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2:31 AM
Q: Book Plot Sugestions

LizzyDoes anyone have a good plot suggestion for a children's fantasy? Maybe about a 13 year old girl in the 1500's. Anything will do.

@PaulA.Clayton, I made some changes to the "content" section but didn't move on to others. Let me know what you think when you have a chance.
11 hours later…
1:17 PM
@MonicaCellio The following was composed outside of chat; it is a bit long.
@MonicaCellio The paragraph you added at the start of the "Content" section makes clear one problem that I am not entirely certain how to address: the proper combination of flowing text with list points. I like the content, and having a brief introductory paragraph for each of the three "aspect" sections may be appropriate; but, as it stands, the move to list format is excessively jarring.
The completeness statement added to the "relevant quotes" point is good, but since such is a more general point, it should probably be the primary bullet point (perhaps ideally with "relevant quotes" being one of several subpoints). Such would require a rewording of that sentence ("should" to "do") and of the "relevant quotes" sentence.
Including the "recommending books" subpoint in its parent point's text is appropriate as long as further subpoints are not found (a list of one entry is not a list).
The merging of the "additional resources" point into the "sufficient" point is good, but I plan to edit that last sentence moving "such complex questions" to the beginning.
The moving of the editing portion--and substantial expansion of the content--seem good. The appropriate tone of the subject (more counsel/encouragement than commands--not that the bullet points are absolute commands or exclude advice on application) fits the format. However, it revisits the issue of how flowing text and lists should work together for artistic excellence.
It might be appropriate for counsel (flowing text) and commands (lists) to be separated at the top level rather than at the section level. This would involve fewer (jarring) transitions. Placing the counsel at the end would have the advantage of first giving the "Law" and then giving the "Commentary" (and avoids the need to substantially rephrase the introduction).
However, as the length of the text portion grows, section headers might be needed for it as well, making the list sections less distinct. (Using a h1 header over the entire "Commentary" portion might properly separate the two parts of the answer and allow subsection headers to be used without disorientation.) OTOH, there is an attraction to having a summary/commentary at the end of each section.
As an initial guess, based on your text additions, it seems most appropriate to have a very short text piece at the start of each section and an extensive text at the end of each section. I am not entirely comfortable with this organization since the text content seems likely to have overlap and non-obvious assignment. A unified text could avoid repetition and would be more friendly to a less structured organization than lists.
Concerning additional content, a "provide examples" bullet point seems appropriate, but I am not certain whether such belongs under "Content" (it is adding content) or "Style" (it is a method of explanation). There should probably also be a point about not using a signature (I suspect there is also an answer-equivalent to the "Thanks in advance" of questions which should be avoided).
Since all SE sites could benefit from "What makes a good answer?" advice and a large portion of that advice is about writing, it would be right and proper for the answer for the Writers SE to be a worthy resource for other SE sites. The joy of excellence in your (plural) calling awaits.
2:02 PM
Q: Is it correct to use verbs like "sighed" and "laughed" as dialogue tags?

alexchencoIn other words, is it correct to write something like this: "Oh," he laughed. "Sorry, I'm not sure what's with me today." (Every time I see something like this, I think: "How is this peson laughing an talking at the same time? But other times seems OK for me. Strange.) as an shorter versio...

2:19 PM
@PaulA.Clayton, thanks for the extensive comments! Good stuff. I agree that the combination of text and bullet points is problematic; I wonder if we should write a text-only explanataion first and then a bullet-point summary (checklist)? That way the why is there for people to read, but for the "TL;DR - just tell me what to do" folks, we have a handy form for them.
I found myself reaching for subheadings (I'm not sure if Markdown supports that), too. One approach I've seen for the "big" FAQ-y posts on MSO is to use multiple answers, but I'm not sure we want to do that. Maybe, for each of the three sections, text first (possibly with subsections), checklist/summary at the end, and clear division before the next section (e.g. lines)? Just thinking out loud here.
@MonicaCellio OTOH, the TL;DR people would want the quick part first. BTW, subheadings are supported (the number of # marks), but they are not especially distinctive. WRT multilple questions, I was thinking that an editing question/answer could be helpful (and could extract some content from this answer).
Or, collect the bullet points at the end in one section, as you suggested.
@PaulA.Clayton I actually meant multiple answers to the same question, with the "question" post providing the linked TOC (including the TL;DR list, if we want to do it that way). Hang on while I find an example of what I mean.
Ah, that sounds like a very good solution.
Q: Moderator Cheat Sheet

user149432As an alternative to the other FAQ format being fleshed out here on MSO, I'd like to propose something far more terse that covers the bare essential mechanics of being a moderator. Feel free to add more questions, but keep them short: this isn't the place to get into complex moderation issues, ...

We would presumably want to remove the other two answers (that predated yours) after making sure their content is incorporated (I think it is already), then make the question CW (which will make future answers CW automatically).
@MonicaCellio That is a clever hacking of the Q&A format!
2:27 PM
@PaulA.Clayton it is. :-)
@PaulA.Clayton, would you like to take a stab at restructuring along the lines we're discussing? (You can make new answers and hold off deleting the originals until you know it'll work.)
@MonicaCellio I could make a first attempt at that later. I will be leaving the computer soon. (I did make a few edits of the answer a little while ago; nothing substantial, however.) I shall return (God willing). (leaving chat)
@PaulA.Clayton sounds good! I'm at work now, so I wouldn't get to it until later either. Take care & see you soon, God willing.
1 hour later…
3:56 PM
Q: Wait for the results of writing contest or try other means

PsicofreniaI submitted the manuscript of my first, never yet published, novel to a big writing contest whose outcome will only be revealed in December, and may lead to a publishing. Now, I'm unsure of what to do next: just wait, hire an agent, and/or submit the manuscript to other publishers as well. If ...

4:29 PM
what is the difference in these two sentences ?
1 . John is proud TO HAVE SERVED his country.
2. John is proud TO SERVED his country.
#2 is wrong.
@KitFox ok. Can you tell me what grammar rule is broken in the second sentence?
"To served" is ungrammatical.
I just did.
You don't use a past participle with "to."
ohh!! thanks
is "debate about" correct idiom ?
Probably. What's the whole sentence?
4:41 PM
also was my last sentence grammatically correct - is "debate about" correct idiom ?
I don't have the whole sentence just came across another sentence in which debate about was there, so wondering is it ok to use about with debate
"geologists are still debating about whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm."
You can use debate about. I don't think I'd call it an idiom, and in any case, the question is not phrased properly.
what is the problem with this question? is because about - whether is weird or something else ?
And not "grammatically correct." It's either grammatical or ungrammatical.
Is "debate about" the correct idiom? Is "debate about" the usual phrasing? Is "debate about" idiomatic?
Something along those lines.
4:45 PM
thanks alot
can you please point out the problem in this sentence - "geologists are still debating about whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm" ?
It doesn't start with a capital letter.
wait i'll post the complete sentence
A little under a million years ago, the briny waters of the Baltic Sea began flooding into the cold North Atlantic: geologists are still debating about whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm.
I'd use a semi-colon instead of a colon.
Or a period.
4:50 PM
i can't change that as it was not a part of options to choose
it appear in GMAT Sentence Correction
I was allowed to choose among the sentences started from "about"
A little under a million years ago, the briny waters of the Baltic Sea began flooding into the cold North Atlantic: geologists are still debating whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm.

(A) whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm

(B) if the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm

(C) about whether the flood was gradual or cataclysmic

(D) whether the flood was gradual or cataclysmic

(E) whether the flood was gradual or it created a cataclysm
I was confused between c and d. Just wanted to have solid reason/s to choose D over C
@KitFox can you please explain why C is not correct option ?
Hope I'm not breaking any rule of this room.
@Hemant that sounds like the kind of question that would work well at English Language Learners
@MattЭллен thanks for directing me to right forum
5:06 PM
@Hemant I was just getting lunch.
no probs
thanks guys
It is more succinct to drop the "about"
you are very helpful
great! thats what i thought:-)
The "about" is more colloquial. What do you think, @Matt?
5:12 PM
Yeah, something like that. It's superfluous, certainly
thanks a lot guys
5:29 PM
Sure thing.
6:15 PM
@Kit do you have any encouraging words? I'm trying to write something
You want me to spontaneously praise you?
Or should I read something first?
Well, it might be better if you read it first :D
It's a good premise. Something is tangled there at the end.
Also, it sounds more like narrative than a tweet. Is it a tweet?
6:17 PM
It's going to be a sort of log entry
I like the tweet idea.
I plan on doing a lot of them, and weave a story from them
but this isn't the finished entry. I want to write a lot more of it
Transmissions from MC are delayed.
6:19 PM
I need some encouragement to write more, is all
If it's a journal entry, she wouldn't say Mission Control on Earth. That's superfluous exposition.
She knows where it is.
@MattЭллен Write more. MORE!
@KitFox good point
Is she related to Dr. Moreau?
I must know more!
no, no relation. I just like the sound of the name
So what's the plot summary? Or is it a surprise?
6:22 PM
oh, it's just about a disaster on the first (?) colonial mission to Mars
What kind of disaster?
I'm trying to focus on the event and not have a central character
Oh right! You'd talked about doing something like that.
I thought it sounded interesting.
something happened and most of the people going died. I'm imagining about 1000 people down to 204
That's a lot of people to send that far.
6:24 PM
yes, but they're going to colonise
I can't imagine the difficulty of those logistics.
There must be many ships.
Two years to get there or so.
I think building the ships in space and ferrying people up
Like the whole Columbus thing.
the Columbus thing?
Nina pinta santa maria and the other one that everyone skips because it sank
or something brb
6:26 PM
I see
I thought it might have been a space shuttle disaster I didn't know about
That's Columbia and it blew up on re-entry about ten years ago.
It was right before my father died actually, that's how I remember. Also, when the second Iraq war began.
6:39 PM
that's a lot to happen all at once
:D You're sweet. You should be writing.
2 hours later…
8:25 PM
Q: How specific should I be when outlining the plot?

JMcAfreakOne problem I often run into when trying to make a general outline of the plot for a story is how specific I am in the descriptions of events. Generally, this happens when I have written a portion of the story already, meaning that I know what happens in and around that part of the story. When I ...

Q: Whose gender matter? The character's or the actor's?

DrakryttareWhen striving for gender balance in a play: what is more important, balance among the characters or among the actors? (Given all characters are written as individuals and not as stereotypes) Background (if needed): This is a question that came up when deciding characters for a student project. ...


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