Hot answers tagged

19

Lauren gave the single most universal method - let me expand on that. Note there doesn't have to be a literal character for the cabbagehead - a virtual one will do. Get some quotes from 'MYTO for dummies'. Get a cautionary work safety series series "Accidents resulting from and involving mishandling MYTO". Outright break the fourth wall having the omniscent ...


15

Introduce a cabbagehead character. "Cabbagehead" is a term from Phil Farrand, who wrote the Nitpicker's Guides to various Star Trek series. He points out that particularly in NextGen, it became necessary for one person to abruptly (and temporarily) develop the IQ of a head of cabbage, so that the other characters could explain the situation and the audience ...


14

Lauren's and SF's answers give good advice for dealing with the necessary explanation. My additional advice is: make sure it's really necessary. Driving a car is a pretty complex task (ask anyone who's taught a teenager :-) ), and there are cases where it might be important to describe in detail the revving of the engine, the easing-out of the clutch, the ...


8

Why do you think you need to make it seem significantly relevant early on? All you need is to make the thread interesting. You may drop a couple hints. Hang some Chekov guns. Signal the reader the thread is of any relevance, no matter how minor. And then make that thread good. Make it a captivating story on its own. As long as the thread is interesting, ...


7

The first thing I notice when looking at the site is a gigantic, dounting wall of text. This alone makes me reluctant to read the entire piece already regardless the subject or substance. I would certainly recommend making sections and section headers. This means white lines between every paragraph and bold typed headers to divide seperate general parts of ...


7

You can't drift off into the distance when you leave a room. Unless it's a really big room. You can drift out of a room, but you disappear rather suddenly, when the line of sight through the doorway is broken. Clouds don't disappear suddenly, unless they go behind buildings or mountains. Your English is fine here. The sentences make grammatical sense. ...


6

Show it breaking or failing to work as intended. You can describe the steps to get it working again as well as explaining why.


6

Science Fantasy: I think your genre falls into a rather mushy category know as science fantasy. Sometimes this is called "soft" sci fi. While this relies on a scientific basis for the story, elements either do not conform to conventional science or have additional fantastic elements not reflective of science. A publisher might have a different ...


4

Show the guy who modified it leading a training session to teach others how to use it. Doesn't have to be a classroom setting; it could be on-the-job or in-the-field. This gives you plenty of opportunities to have the students ask the questions that the reader will want to know the answer to. A whole room full of cabbageheads, so to speak, although for good ...


4

The creation of a good puzzle depends a lot on the specifics of the puzzle and your intended audience and medium of presentation. Let's take Puzzling.SE as an example, as you've used that in your question. The folks over at Puzzling.SE wondered something similar as you do and decided to post their creation process in "Wrap-Up" posts. You can find concrete ...


4

I don't have time to read your petition; but quickly here is a guideline. First, you should avoid saying the same thing in other words. Second, prioritize. For each thing you are talking about, figure out what will be most important to a new reader, and talk about that. In the high-priced consulting world, they stick very closely to the Rule of Three, ...


3

If the main character isn't sure whether what they're seeing is a drug-induced fantasy or a real occurrence, perhaps the reader doesn't need to know either, at least not at first. If a character has been drugged and is hallucinating, what's happening is "real" to him. He experiences things and responds to them. But there might well be hints that something ...


3

...what can be done to minimize the confusion for the reader... While I am not an expert on script formatting convention, it is my understanding that neither screen nor stage scripts are intended for just reading, but rather for performing by professional actors under the professional director's guidance. Author's notes (action or parenthetical) should ...


3

Sentences always are too long when they're wordy. Lauren did a nice job of tightening the sentence and makes an excellent point about zero sum. Depending on the context, the sentence might be tighten even further: "As players move around the board, they buy, rent and sell properties from and to each other, trying to maximize their wealth."


3

two thoughts: 1) You don't need the while X then Y structure to convey parallel events. Just list them one after another. It's implied that they're simultaneous. 2) Separate your X and Y (the child's birth/crumbling/reassembly and the clouds). The stream of consciousness is a lot to track, the magical realism is a lot to process, and there are a lot of ...


3

Each of the three genres discussed here (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) lends itself to different aspects of the human experience. Horror is the easiest to categorize: Horror is about being powerless in the face of evil. Whether this evil is supernatural (the movie Poltergeist), ostensibly scientific (the Alien franchise) or social (as in the ...


3

I was able to find 3 publicly available British manuals of style which mention nested parentheses. 1. British Chicago Footnotes Referencing Guide This is a guide for referencing using footnotes, as opposed to a general style guide. However, it briefly mentions nested parentheses: The entire source need not be put in parentheses, which involves changing ...


3

Simplicity is better It is inherently better to write in the simplest possible manner required to communicate your ideas. As someone who reads a lot of older prose (I recently finished McCauley's History of England), I'm definitely aware of the differences you tend to see in older works. The most extreme example I can recall was some years ago as I ...


2

Here is what I hope is a sufficient short answer: Science Fiction and Fantasy both change or add some aspect to our world. The general difference is that, in Science Fiction, the new aspect (like interstellar space travel or aliens) could exist, following the laws of the world we live in. It also usually has a technological theme/tone. Fantasy usually ...


2

Try something like this: This application is for users of (ESP) who need to understand its results quickly and easily. (Product) takes the metrics compiled by (ESP) and presents them in a way that makes troubleshooting and documentation easier. (Product) produces reports for (business function A), (business function B), ... . Rationale: First, explain ...


2

The extent to which you can do this varies depending on your audience, but generally, I wouldn't do it with a thoroughly unknown word. Tonitrus is an excellent example. Great word, means what you need it to mean, but in itself it's already so rare that your readers will have to look it up. If you are then coining an adjective on top of it, you're going to ...


2

Yes - everything in the brackets is redundant. If you were to omit '(we will come to that later)' then the sentence would still have the same effect on the reader's mind - that of making a promise that you must fulfil. This is because the rest of the sentence: 'The response will either be an evasion, or it will be . . .' already alludes to a future event - ...


2

Think about how dream-like or drugged states are portrayed--hazy, halting, illogical. Nothing in an imagined state is solid; time skips around, scenery/environment changes very quickly, people and faces morph into other people and things. Now compare this to the reality of the monster your character encounters. They may have a moment of, "Wait, is this ...


2

To find out if your novel is sci-fi vs. fantasy, we must establish the rules of the world your characters live in (even when the story has multiple worlds). If the rules/laws of the world are founded in mystical objects not created by man himself but by a higher being (can be evil, holy, good, bad, both, etc...), then your main genre is fantasy. If the ...


1

I find that there is often a sense of ironic humor in such parenthetical writing. When I read it, it feels like #hashTagHumor [#sometimesObscure #millennialParadise]. The author is trying to compress two or more related but very different views into the same words. BTW, as an example of how parenthetical writing is bad, I disagree with your second ...


1

It is not redundant. You are providing information about the structure of your presentation to come, making a promise to discuss all of the possible classes of "a response". Such promises are recommended, if the alternative to "evasion" is XYZ, then it is easier for people to listen to your XYZ discussion if they know you won't ignore their question of how ...


1

Copy-paste your work into online services such as the Hemingway app. It will suggest some changes for clarity. You can edit there and then copy-paste into another service and so on if you think you need more "eyes" on your work. Try to learn some general lessons in the process.


1

I'm pretty much with SF's answer on this one. I'll go even further. The desire to provide instant gratification is what makes a story boring. It is frequently said that opening paragraphs must hook the reader, I disagree. Your opening must inspire confidence - you know exactly what you're doing and why you're doing it. Anything that seems irrelevant now ...


1

If the word "conceived" is important later on in the story, try: "...unusual child ever conceived in the village was born, immediately crumbled into bones in the midwife's hands. Horrified, the midwife tried an ancient spell by assembling the pices of the the infant together ..." Something supernatural happened to the child, so the midwife, in many ...


1

It's a complex sentence, with a complex structure and many adjectives. I, for one, love a well-constructed long sentence, so I won't suggest breaking it up. Try doing what the midwife does: reconstruct it from its parts. Start with the basics: subject, verb, and object. Keep those clear as you fill in the details. Looks like you have three parts, separated ...


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