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Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced site where anybody can contribute, just like this one. Wikipedia strives for verifiability and neutrality and has an active user community, but that doesn't mean that things can't get past it. It doesn't mean information there can't be wrong. Some pages are full of detailed, reliable information; some are not. So, in ...


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Things changed. Several reviews on the reliability of Wikipedia concluded it is about as accurate as more standard encyclopaedias, while having more content. I too have heard that Wikipedia should not be used at all when I was in school, but nowadays, at least at the universities I have some acquaintances in, professors do not hesitate to point to Wikipedia ...


18

The reference in Pratchett's books (it appears in more than one of his Discworld Witches books) is to the common rhymes regarding Magpies, which are related to crows. There are several versions of this rhyme, each part of England traditionally had its own. The references in the Discworld books play upon these differences which will be recognised by all ...


17

I like to say that broadly speaking, Wikipedia is mostly trustworthy when statements are cited, but it's never a source. There are several parts to this. Wikipedia is broadly and mostly trustworthy -- Most of the time, especially in articles of broad interest, errors are caught and at least flagged, if perhaps not addressed, quickly. This is what the [...


17

Here are some books that should help. Where it makes sense, I'm trying to include the date and place of publication, a description, and a quote for context. (Not all of the information in these books will be helpful, unless you don't know what consonants and vowels are.) A Key to the Art of Letters, 1700, London: Earlier than your timeframe but still worth ...


14

As far as UK style guides go, what you're probably looking for is the Oxford Guide to Style, formerly known as Hart's Rules (that link also contains a useful section outlining what the nearest US equivalents are). The University of Oxford website also provides an on-line style document, but it's nowhere near as comprehensive as the book. There are other UK ...


14

There is no special secret technique to writing. No methodologies that you must follow. No "right way". The best ways to learn about writing are reading and writing. When you read, you are exposed both to ideas, and to how those ideas are expressed. Take note of how things are done, try to understand what the author achieves. This can refer to how ...


13

The idea that anyone can edit Wikipedia is often put forward as a bad thing, but with Wikipedia it's part of the peer review process and this happens a lot faster than it does with printed encyclopedias. It also depends how you use it - as Monica mentions, the trick is to treat every page as a piece of journalism, and use it as a starting summary for the ...


13

Wikipedia policy requires that editors cite sources to support their edits. However, there's no systematic process for checking that editors are accurately representing the sources they cite, or that the sources are reliable, or that they even exist. It usually works pretty well when a page attracts attention from multiple editors who are willing to ...


13

No. Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time. This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism. Biographies of living persons are especially vulnerable to this issue. Some of the article information might not be accurately true, which is therefore considered to be wrong. ...


12

No, it is not overkill to follow a stylebook. As others have said, you consult it as questions arise and learn as you go; you normally don't read it cover to cover. We all put sticky notes on the oft-consulted sections. Since you went to the trouble of asking your question, you are obviously bothered by the lack of consistency within your company. Also, ...


12

This is the reality of the thing: there are hundreds of thousands of people who would like to have written a novel. Many of them are willing to spend a considerable amount of money to advance their ambitions. This creates a market for writing courses and books on how to write. Where such a market exists, competition in that market will inevitably drive the ...


12

If you're relying on Wikipedia as a source, then it's worth noting that the Wikipedia page on identifying reliable sources for use in Wikipedia articles states in no uncertain terms that Wikipedia articles (and Wikipedia mirrors) in themselves are not reliable sources for any purpose. That's not as paradoxical as it sounds, because a Wikipedia article ...


12

1. READ A LOT I agree with @Cloudchaser that writing is a craft you have to practise. You should absolutely read these books that have been recommended to you. Read as many as you can on the craft of writing and if blogging is your thing, analyse the style of other successful blogs. 2. DON'T EXPECT TO GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME But no amount of reading will ...


11

Details. Out of context, fragmented details. Blood on carpet. How shall I clean it? My little brother cries like a cat Broken window. Daddy will be angry. Damaged school building. Today, we can stay up late. Clothes are torn apart. I need to thread a needle. Et cetera.


11

For a first draft, you can use placeholders. XXX, TK (publication shorthand for "to come"), TECH, literally the word [placeholder] in square brackets — anything to indicate that you'll fill in the mathguffin details later. Also, feel free to gloss or summarize. The point of the scene is not going to be the math anyway, right? The professor pointed to ...


10

I think I've written this before (or upvoted someone who has written it), but so what: You need a basic idea. Oh, you have one, good. You need a main conflict. Otherwise you do not have a story. That means your hero wants something and someone is putting obstacles in his way. Like Remeo wants Juliet, but their families are against their relationship. Hero ...


10

For documentation that will be published outside your organization, it is usually important to follow a style guide (pretty much any one) so that all the documentation reads with one "voice" even though it was written by a bunch of different people. As noted by Lauren Ipsum, you don't read the style guide cover-to-cover but, rather, consult it on individual ...


10

Indian culture is very complex. The names and characteristics of Indian royalty varies from state to state. To create a royal name you will need to answer several questions. What is the period your character is set in? This is important because names have evolved over the years. TL;DR. I will restrict my name choices to a particular part of North India. ...


10

If you are contemplating about mediaeval warfare with longsword type weapons, try reenactors. These people are actually researching what can, cannot be done with the means at the time. This includes fighting in full plate using realistic swords. There are lots of visuals to be found but best would be to seek out a group from a compatible age and go through ...


10

I think this is very much a matter of the overall narrative style of the work. Some narrative styles will give you great liberty to do this, some will make it very difficult or forced. The question then becomes, do you choose a narrative style that makes it easy to deal with your subject matter in the way you want to, or do you hobble yourself with a style ...


10

Read literature from the country or period you want to write about. If you want to write about norse mythology, open the Edda and get names there. If you want to write about the french revolution, open Diderot and find names there. And so on. Read history, read sagas, read original literature. There is your source. If you want to write about a fantasy ...


10

I would strongly suggest contacting historians from (descendants of) the actual groups you are taking inspiration from, and asking them for feedback/suggestions, not just on names but on other aspects of your story. In today's world, publishers and audiences are increasingly demanding authenticity in the portrayals of real-world cultures, and that requires ...


9

I have been working on exactly the same problem. What I've found so far are below. I've only just got these books, so I can't tell you how good they are apart from first impressions, but here goes: 1) The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery Which is a step-by-step program to help you develop your characters, your murder, your plot and everything else. Looks ...


9

Rather than formal training, consider getting involved with the doc team of an open source project with a strong commitment to the quality of their technical writing. You'll get not just one teacher's eyes on your work, but several to dozens of experienced technical writers. You'll get feedback from consumers of your technical writing. You'll have a ...


9

For color-to-name converter, a quick Google search gives me this link: http://chir.ag/projects/name-that-color/#C0C0C0 In which you can just pick a color from the color wheel to see its name. Perhaps the color you want is "Mercury" But, as Phillipp said, you might better explain the color in words more frequently used, instead of using some rather ...


9

An easy way to get names is to first define a few characteristics about the person you want to name. Are they: humble? fast? strong? reliable? tall? tiny? beautiful? Then enter these words into a translation engine of your choice in a handful of languages and look at the result. You will probably get a few ideas for possible names by playing around with ...


9

I gave your question some thought, and I figure the best source of inspiration for you would be an encyclopaedia. Let me explain: your regular characters can travel to distant lands where they'd encounter new views, customs, wildlife etc. They can travel back in time to various interesting historical periods. They can pop into famous fairy tales (like ...


8

The best way to write dialogue in different accents is to hear your characters speak with those accents in your own head, first. That said, there are some differences that are well documented: Spelling, as you've mentioned. Vocabulary, e.g. Apartment (US) vs Flat (UK), Sidewalk (US) vs Pavement (UK). Prepositions, e.g. On the weekend (US) vs At the weekend ...


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