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09:00 - 18:0018:00 - 23:00

9:56 AM
Q: Punchy paragraph beginning

cherhanI am writing a paper and always want to find ways to write a punch opening for my paragraph. For instance, under the sections which I describe hashtag, I started with Hashtags detect interesting topic in microblogs. My point is I want to let the readers know Hashtags is useful, but probab...

Q: Pricing your Kindle ebooks at Amazon

Alexandro ChenBasically, I would like to know what's the optimal price for ebooks published at Amazon (via Kindle Direct Publishing.) I'll try to be as specific as I can: Novel 60,000~70,000 words Literary Fiction Self-made cover Novella 20,000~25,000 words Literary Fiction Self-made cover Short Sto...

10:26 AM
Q: Writing a punchy paragraph opening / beginning

cherhanI am writing a paper and always want to find ways to write a punch opening for my paragraph. For instance, under the sections which I describe hashtag, I started with Hashtags detect interesting topic in microblogs. My point is I want to let the readers know Hashtags is useful, but probably...

2 hours later…
12:22 PM
@Matt Yes! It did. I thnk.
aboot the phone interview?
Yes. I thought I'd let Cerb ramble in the other room so we didn't have to keep interrupting each other.
So you're going to drive out for a face to face?
Again, yes.
I'm ... oh phone!
Argh. I feel like I'm spending the whole day talking.
to interesting people?
12:31 PM
Making sales pitches to different audiences.
for a new job or for the site you're working on?
All of it.
That was the recruiter, desperately trying to get back in the game after dropping me unceremoniously two weeks ago.
ha! scum bag
12:36 PM
OK, I have to stop talking to Cerb now.
stops looking
So this job thing. I dunno. It's really exciting, but also seems like it will be a lot of driving.
yeah. I remember you saying. and there's no remote working angle?
I'd have to extricate myself from a couple of consulting projects, and also try to ease out of my current position.
@MattЭллен With this particular position, there is.
Or could be. We have to negotiate it, and she sounded like she was talking herself into it when we discussed it yesterday.
that sounds hopeful :)
I couldn't tell if she was thinking "God damn it, I need a warm body on this project!" or if she was thinking "Wow, she really does have skills and seems personable. How can I get Kit working here? Will this work?"
Also, I met a new person, my eldest's friend's mom. They live down the street and she's a database programmer too and she works from home, and her name is Kat.
How funny is that? Kit Kat.
@KitFox maybe both?
I'll be back in a bit, lunchtime!
1:01 PM
Yay! Lunchtime.
But not for me.
1:32 PM
Hello, all.
Hi, @KitFox
I realized I was talking to the recruiter in the hallway.
Why oops?
You mean in the hall at your current position?
1:51 PM
So it's possible the director heard me saying "Oh yeah, it was great. It definitely sounded like a good fit, and I think she's willing to negotiate the schedule."
2:13 PM
OK, I have a meeting, then maybe some lunch, so I will possibly be late to chat. You people chat in my absence, you hear me?
Supposedly some people think they will take over chat today anyway.
have a good lunching :)
Irony. Tastes so good.
btw, my two cents. would fill up the site quicker than quick.
2 hours later…
3:48 PM
@KitFox so obviously you're arranging for child care, pet-sitting, a home nurse for grandma, or something of that ilk, right? :-)
4:03 PM
Q: From Markdown to .odt and vice-versa: a possible distraction-free writing workflow?

KropotI'm writing a master thesis (Sociology) and I'm really penalized by distractions. I would happily shift to a markdown full-screen environment but I wrote an half of the thesis in .odt via LibreOffice, so I would like to know if it's possible to convert from .odt to Markdown, maintaining the footn...

guess who will be turning up tonight? :D for a first :P
its Dave
Dave! oh! great
Dave is my generic placeholder name
if i cant think of a name but want to write with one i put Dave in instead
4:13 PM
i'm not sure Dave will be too happy to hear that
I suppose he's probably used to it, though
4:43 PM
today is tuesday right?
because the chat locks me out when i try that :/
4:58 PM
close enough
whats gonna get this conversation going today then?
because ive hd waaaay too much sugar and need to talk
:D so many blue names
Hey everyone. Were we gonna talk about that contest thing?
5:01 PM
Ah, well, it's a special occasion :)
I don't know how much play our announcement on Meta got,
but yes! we are going to talk about the contest thing!
I posted here about it (with link), but it didn't generate discussion. Which is fine, since today's the day we announced for that. :-)
contest thing?
Read the Meta post first.
Well, for formality's sake, I'll give a quick intro:
5:04 PM
so ask and answer more questions around genres?
Basically, yes,
haha did i give your intro for you? :P
nice idea doing it over nano
The discussion now is to talk about possible alternative topics - is there something better than genres that we like? - and to bat around other details of how this'll run.
Well, genres is a proposal, one we think will help the site, but we don't want to make the decision ourselves. So, tag-based contest to boost content in under-represented tags, w/tie-in to NaNo maybe... sound good for starters?
(Man, I'm not a chat regular. Keep forgetting how hard it is to deliver an intro here :P)
5:07 PM
I like the basic idea of the contest. Genres will get eyeballs, but the site really needs more stuff like non-fiction and tech writing. Not sure how to do tags with those, though. So stick with genres for this contest, maybe use lessons learned from this to do a non-fiction contest down the road?
ahh i thought you picked genres purely because of nano, seems like the most logical plan anyway
@Standback sorry :P
Well, yeah, this hooks into nano.
does tech writing include things like blogs or?
Well, I did try to provide a good initial idea :D
I agree that fiction is a good focus with the NaNo tie in.
Before we take genres as a given, though,
I'd love to brainstorm other possible contest topics.
Well, it should be something we have some traction in on the site, but something we want to encourage.
5:09 PM
Set genres to the side. Anybody got any suggestions?
Questions on editing?
Do you have some good examples of those? All of the questions I think of are always entirely too subjective.
@NeilFein for the end of NaNo. (Shouldn't be editing while slamming it out. :-) )
id be surprised if the novel tag wasnt used more during national Novel writing month
5:10 PM
Screenwriting, playwriting, comic-book-scripting?
@KitFox: Examples of which?
All of these are good but kinda miss the point, which is to take advantage of nano.
characters maybe, people might need help creating relateable characters
Oh I should share an assumption I'm making in case it resides solely in my head: highlight a different tag each (say) week? That's the context for my editing comment.
Ooh, characters. That's a good one.
@MonicaCellio: You're right, I was assuming otherwise :)
5:11 PM
@RhysW ooh, novel building blocks -- character dev, world-building, what else?
@MonicaCellio dialogue
We'll circle back to format after topic, though, I think...
A lot of genre writers skimp on the characters and go overboard on the world-building.
A lot of fanfic writers do the opposite :P
@Standback having said it I now don't think it's necessarily a good idea -- let's pick several related tags & run 'em all for the full duration. More open, and easier to manage.
5:12 PM
ok, we'll get back to that.
beginner, not a building block but will catch on to new comers to nano
Ok, I'm seeing three major themes so far: (a) genre tags, (b) novel components (e.g. characters, dialogue...), (c) types of writing (e.g. poetry, comics).
What single tags could use some love?
@MonicaCellio - Agreed. But do they have to be genre tags? Maybe characters, plot, length, brainstorming (if it exists) - all tags that can be hooked into nanowrimo.
@Standback characters has potential but seems under-used
5:13 PM
@Standback - romance
screenwriting and playwriting could use more love too.
@NeilFein I'm not saying they need to be genre. It looks like genre tags is one of three "types" of suggestions we're getting so far.
(man, now I want to skim over the whole tag list and find the most awesome ones.)
(Agreed that all of that can be hooked into nano too!)
I guess we should have collected some tag stats before this chat. Oops. :-)
I'd love plot, even though those always run into our can't-plot-for-you/too-localized problems.
@Standback thats what im doing anyway :D
5:15 PM
@Standback let's make sure we have a good meta post to explain the boundaries there. (We probably already do.)
ordering by popularity of tag and seeing what hooks into nano
haha! we have a wordcount tag!
even described as "reaching goals"
Well, I love me tropes, cliches and tv-show... those tend to be fun.
...you know,
for me.
...anything else?
you totally killed the entire chat room, that takes skill!
Can't think of anything.
@Standback Anything. I don't ask many questions here because I have trouble conceiving questions that aren't primarily opinion-based.
5:20 PM
Existing questions you'd like to see more of? Subjects that'd bring visitors flocking?
@Standback a "how-to-make-billions-by-writing" tag would help but alas
the tags for this chat room make us sound like a pay per minute phone line (chat hot juicy)
I have no idea who put those there.
doesn't blink
5:23 PM
We're in the middle of brainstorming topics and details for a site contest :)
I know, but I have to read all if I can help you
Q: When can I tell people that I am a novelist?
5:25 PM
@Shkeil: mmmm, the intro is at meta.writers.stackexchange.com/questions/748/… ,
but right now we're just throwing around ideas for a central topic.
Q: I am an author. How do I introduce myself at parties?
@Standback I've upvote and fav it
A: How do you get invited to these parties, anyway?
cool :)
So so far, we've brought up the genres idea; we've touched on various elements-of-writing (plot,character,setting,etc.),
Q: I wrote an angsty poem once. Is it OK to call myself a poet if it gets me laid?
and we've mentioned that if this works (or if the contest were less NaNo related), we could have a similar event to flesh out our weak points - editing, tech writing, other more tangential stuff.
A: Oh, if you're a poet, I bet you'll want to read my epic ballad of how misunderstood a genius I am!
5:27 PM
Comment on A: Will it help me get laid?
Comment: Please don't ask followup questions in the comments.
@KitFox wait, being a poet can get you laid? Man, I've been doing it wrong. :-)
anything else?
Well, maybe it's because I'm hot, not really because I write crappy poetry sometimes.
5:29 PM
I'm sorry. I know I'm not helping. I've got too many things going on to be useful.
I don't know how I can help...
So I'm wondering if we should pick a few genre tags and a few elements-of-writing tags (less-opiniony ones, if we can).
@Shkeil what kinds of questions would you like to see more of here?
What kinds of questions are good genre questions?
IMHO, the genre idea is pretty strong. It's clear, it's accessible, it comes with built-in target audiences.
I'm more worried about opening the elements-of-writing tags to a popular contest - they can be pretty fuzzy; I don't know if we've got a handle on them ourselves so far.
"How do I keep a love triangle exciting, but also resolve it in a satisfying way?"
A three-way. Duh.
5:32 PM
@Standback - Have one of the characters be a poet.
"Is it bad if I hide mystery clues that are similar to ones I've read in other books?"
How are those questions not subjective though?
@Standback questions asking if something is "good" or "bad" are a problem, yes.
I think basically all our fiction questions are subjective, when you get down to it. :-/
Subjective is fine, as long as a question is answerable.
5:34 PM
But yeah, true.
@KitFox fantasy, fantasy/sf, sf (just skimming tags here).
"How can I make sure my mystery twists haven't been done too many times before?"
"How do I write an evil villain who's smarter than I am" (I think we have something like that actually)
@MonicaCellio: Are you listing tags?
@Standback I was listing some good sample questions in genre tags, in response to, um, somebody here.
5:36 PM
Ah :)
That is, "more of this type" -- existence proof for genre being not just opiniony.
They all look opiniony to me.
What non-citation questions on the site aren't? :)
So I think I will go over here and do this other thing, so I don't bog you down.
5:37 PM
Some level of opiniony is pretty much unavoidable, but "how do I solve this problem that other people will have too" is different from "fix my text". :-)
@KitFox aw, sorry! Please come back soon.
Plus, this wasn't meant to just be the mods discussing things. Sorry.
Oh, I am keeping one eye over here.
all right then :)
Come back when we talk logistics :P
But I'm feeling like I'm being negative, and that's not helping your discussion.
Oh, Proposal: I propose we deliberately exclude critique questions from the contest.
@MattЭллен @waxeagle @BESW any thoughts on all this?
@Standback seconded!
5:39 PM
Sorry, phone call.
Hm, what? Sorry, was paying no attention whatsoever until ping!
back! sory was ordering foods
did we decide on a tag?
What's the issue at hand?
5:42 PM
(sorry - called AFK a moment, BRB)
but really we should include and
Q: Let's Hold a Contest!

StandbackGoal Writers.SE has been small but steady for quite a while; we're not slipping, but we want an opportunity to grow. So we're planning an event which is a combination of of promotion, and content generation - promotion to reach new eyeballs, and content generation to actively shape our site int...

Oh, sweet Celestia on a stick, do you have any idea how hard that rpg.se contest was to arrange?
5:44 PM
@BESW: Ooooh, now THIS sounds helpful.
Pray tell :)
And I was just a mouthy citizen with opinions.
Oh! I have opinions!
Just the kind of mouthy citizen we need!
so many people!
Instead of just looking at the shiny frontpage contest entry, here, have the planning meta posts.
Q: One year anniversary contest?

Brian Ballsun-StantonSo, we've been invited, by the powers that be, to celebrate a one year anniversary with a contest. While other sites have had contests for "best user" and "unanswered question cleanup" ... we have 4 unanswered questions and a tightly knit community. What kind of contest should we run for our Ap...

Q: The first annual RPG Games-fest! (Proposed Rules)

Brian Ballsun-StantonInspired by cleanupathon, taken from highest upvoted answers here. This post shall be for rules and discussion related to the first contest. This intro bit will be cleaned up after we start. The RPG Stack is about to celebrate its first birthday and we want to give you presents! (Image by Cyb...

5:46 PM
Ah, but we can benefit from RPG.SE's hard-earned wisdom!
@BESW I, ummm, have actually read those pages already.
Is there a particularly headache-inducing part that I missed? Because the final format seemed pretty solid to me, and I was gonna just lift that.
@BESW yeah we pretty much modeled our early discussions on your contest, plus a smattering of experience elsewhere.
The goal of the contest is to increase traffic, particularly question-asking, right?
So that maybe one day, we can somehow emerge from Beta?
Traffic in general; question-asking in particular,
@KitFox the goal is to increase (quality) content. We hope traffic comes as a consequence, but traffic isn't the primary goal.
and expanding the scope of our Google-bait is a nice plus.
5:48 PM
Yes, what @MonicaCellio said.
So it makes sense to focus on questions asked with X tags. That's your rationale, right?
Because theoretically, you'll have more questions asked.
Better content with Google consequences should also bring in more users (contributors, not just readers), eventually.
@KitFox yes, new questions are key here. (I hope we can also include new answers to old questions in the right tags.)
5:50 PM
Okay, so here are some of the challenges I was aware of:
First, it seems like the majority of the site didn't know it happened.
Only a minor fraction of the citizens active on the site also pay attention to the meta or the chat or both.
And there was no real way to announce it on the main site.
Do we no longer have those top-bar-announcements?
Community ad?
Bah. Those (==top-bar-announcements) were useful for beta.
People avoid ads.
5:51 PM
Second, and probably related to the first, participation was low.
Define "low."
(We're smaller, you see :P)
Here are the total ticket counts racked up over the month-long event:
in RPG General Chat, Jun 10 at 13:42, by wax eagle
BESW          8
Erik Schmidt  5
Dakeyras      4
okeefe        4
Magician      4
wax eagle     4
MrJinPengyou  2
pconcepcion   2
SevenSidedDie 2
Standback     2
thomax        2
Thunderforge  2
Tynam         2
Dan Rasmussen 2
Extrakun      2
Lunin         2
@Standback Well, the community ads brought people here for Nano.
Last year.
We can see if they'll put an announcement on the network blog, not sure that'll do much. We need to reach out to the nanowrimo community, bring in people that way.
I meant the top-bar-announcements.
5:53 PM
Also, with the tie-in for NaNo, I'll suggest also tags related to collaboration, organizing and working in writing groups, providing mutual support for writers, dealing with technical difficulties when you have a deadline.
The majority of those (including nearly all of mine) came in during the last week, partly due to one mod brow-beating the chat.
questions about collaborative software too, although those always seem to come down to "use google docs" in the end.
(Although in my case, it was because I happened to start up a Fate campaign at that time and suddenly had a lot of questions relating to a low-tag-count system--I wanted to participate, but had nothing meaningful to contribute during that time.)
"How do I approach my librarian about starting a NaNoWriMo group?"
5:54 PM
@BESW, ok, participation/publicity issues, got it.
I'm sorry, I don't really visit the main site. I just hang around for chat
Third challenge I'm aware of was the conclusion: how do you determine who gets what prizes?
I have no ideas
We held an in-chat "raffle."
@BESW: Right. Seems straightforward, particularly with the periodic announcements of current ticket status.
5:55 PM
@BESW - We figure out how many prizes there will be. The users who earn the most points/badges in time period x get them.
@MattЭллен same here
RPG.SE chat rooms have a unique dice-rolling feature, so we turned the above stats into a table from 1 to 100 and a mod rolled d% in chat.
@KitFox I like some of these. We had a weekly challenge once for collaboration that brought some good questions; we could do more of that.
The more tickets you had, the wider a range on the table you had, and thus the more likely you were to get a prize.
Effectively, every time you'd done something related to the contest's scope on the site during that month, you'd "bought a ticket" for the raffle.
@Standback eh?
5:57 PM
Some actions were awarded more tickets than others, depending on value to the site.
@NeilFein yes. Perhaps pick from a list of options in order (BCG did that).
(I got a shirt and some stickers.)
@BESW Sweet.
Oh wait, maybe wrong about BCG mechanic (I remember being asked for my picks in order but don't know how exactly it was done). But something like that works.
@Standback its like youre trying to summon lauren
5:58 PM
Then the poor mod assigned with handing out the prizes spent a couple months running down everybody's information and mailing the stuff out.
Here is what I learned from the whole experience:
@BESW dont be the poor mod? :P
Contests suck, even when you're a winner.
@BESW cool.
Low-count tags are low-count because our citizens don't have a lot of meaningful questions related to those subjects.
5:59 PM
@KitFox ? whys that?
OK. So rather than low-count, focus on tags that ought to be high-count during NaNo?
@BESW I think we have help from the com team for that this time.
@NeilFein: the problem with "most points=takes prize" is that once you're behind, you don't have much chance of catching back up. Raffle is better - the more you participate, the higher your chances, at whatever level you're currently at.
@RhysW I was just guessing.
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