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3 hours later…
11:05 AM
@StackExchange bad news. Apple have successfully registered a trademark on Chicago
and carbon, too!
we're all doomed
1 hour later…
12:15 PM
Q: Real World Languages in Fantasy World

Jillian HallMy Question is "Can someone use Real world languages in a fantasy world?" For Example: In a fantasy world called "Nuvo" their are witches that speak "Russian". Since this fantasy world has no relations to the real world nor "russian" people in the real world, could someone still have they witch...

1 hour later…
1:22 PM
Hello, weekly chatters!
I plan to set aside some time today to work on preparations for NaNoWriMo. Anyone interested or interested in learning more?
I'm interested but not sure if I'll have time to participate.
@MattЭллен said he won't have time this year. I was hoping to talk him into a smaller goal instead.
dunno. maybe
I have a software project I'll probably be in the middle of
No! You must commit! Right now!
It's like Divergent. One choice, when you are 16, and you never, ever get to change your mind.
commitment? but I'm in my early thirties! I can't commit to anything
1:36 PM
Seriously, what kind of idiot community would come up with that and also think it was a good plan?
Have they never met teenagers?
what ever sells books to teens, y'know?
@KitFox yes. they're all self-important drama-queens
I posed this to my husband and he answered "Christians" immediately.
1:37 PM
I decided I had to think about that.
psh. My flavour of Christianity made me commit when I was a baby.
Then again when I was 12.
pumpkin spiced Christianity
Well, we were talking about Harry Potter and stuff too.
And how dumb it is to label teenagers with a single character trait.
I am brave, therefore, I do not fit into the kind-hearted, smart, or ambitious group. These categories are all mutually exclusive.
And you have to value one above all the others.
And by the way, you're twelve.
Um. Right.
1:41 PM
people are single dimensional characters. except bad guys, they can be interesting
I was complaining that Huxley did it the right way, and everyone else missed the point.
Huxley was kinda weird, although I've only read Brave New World
it felt very naive
But in HP the sorting is not meant to signify mutually exclusive traits. It's meant to put you where you need to be.
and your choice is what is most important
not that I've read HP. that's just what tumblr tells me
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 It's the same way I'm sure with Divergent, but they sure as hell don't make it seem that way.
1:43 PM
the kids didn't get choices, except harry.
OK, so what if you need friendship and motivation?
@KitFox haven't seen/read it. I thought it was a much bigger us vs them split in divergent.
but does how they think affect what the hat says?
so if they think they want to be slitherin, they will get slitherin
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 I started reading it. Just got to chapter six.
@MattЭллен The hat is magic. It makes its choice magically.
1:44 PM
I see :D
But in harry's case (spoiler alert) the hat was unsure and figured he could do well in either gryffindor or slytherin and harry wanted gryffindor because he had 20 minutes conversation with some kid he didn't know on the train.
Even better than choosing at sixteen for the rest of your life is that if you don't complete your initiation, because for instance, you trip while running to the train right after the ceremony, then you are factionless for the rest of your life.
@KitFox do you mean, with breeding and conditioning?
@MattЭллен Right. No one ever had a choice.
And they didn't want one either.
ah yeah
@KitFox mostly :D
1:46 PM
And, stereotypically, EVERY SINGLE KID in Slytherin is an asshole, and broadcasts that assholishness far and wide, so Harry could spot it a mile away despite being a scared kid with no friends in a world where magic is suddenly fucking real
Except the one.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Did you read Methods of Rationality?
@KitFox Do you mean at hogwarts?
He wanted to restore house slytherin.
@KitFox yes. it's still not finished!!!
I know!!
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 No, that's Divergent.
It is really not very good so far, but I am going to read the whole thing anyway.
The foreshadowing is like being hit with a brick.
"She thought about Toby, who she didn't really know and wouldn't recognize, but who happened to be from her faction and was the only person she remembered choosing a different faction which also happened to be the one she was considering."
1:49 PM
as an aside
"She could never be an Erudite; they were so conniving and out to get her faction. She didn't know how she would react if someone, say her brother, chose that faction. But surely that sort of thing would never happen, because children nearly always chose their own faction, and both children leaving was unheard of."
ouch! make it stop
Oh, and my ex-sister-in-law knows Amanda Palmer by the way. I handled the news with aplomb.
punches her fist into her palm
No really, it's fine.
1:54 PM
I, er, don't know who that is.
I think it's great that my nephew will have opportunities to rub elbows with famous people and travel widely.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Neil Gaiman's wife and the singer for Dresden Dolls.
I know someone who went to high school with Morena Baccarin
I wish I myself had those opportunities, but just because I don't, that doesn't make me less of a person.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Oooh.
I know people who went to school with... me?
Yeah, well, I was Stephen King's son's newspaper editor.
So it looks like I'm writing horror this year.
1:57 PM
we can all go to perl conferences and brag about being on chatting terms with tchrist
oh yeah! Forgot he's famous
Oh, that's true.
I think he would even consider us friends.
@KitFox in a quasi-cthulu-esque universe?
how's your conundrum with aging magic users coming, @Mr.ShinyandNew安宇?
@MattЭллен I didn't really have time to work on it.
how about now?
2:08 PM
It's finished now.
that was quick :D
@MattЭллен Yes.
aw crap, my dog ate my short story.
aw man. that sucks. I didn't know you had a dog
or a spare computer
I have several computers.
2:27 PM
use the latin plural!
only when Cerb is around
so Toys R Us is having two "make and take" days where they are giving away small lego kits
plus the lego store is doing one today
Q: I drastically need to improve my writing, kindly recommend books, software or anything that will help.

user10819After three years of law school and having authored over a dozen papers, the managing partner, at my law firm, tells me that I need to drastically improve my writing. Can anyone suggest any books, software or anything else that can help.

so that's 3 free lego kits per kid this month
I almost but did not go to Legoland or a Lego store while I was away.
2:53 PM
I didn't go to a Lego store while I was not away
Were there three within an hour drive?
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 sounds like good value for money
I did go to Ikea for the first time.
@KitFox not really
@KitFox did you have meatballs?
No, we just went to the downstairs Bistro. The boys were tired.
2:55 PM
I've not had ikea meatballs. I don't feel like I'm missing out
I decided it was Sam's Club for elitists.
I like swedish meatballs generally speaking though.
wholesale meatballs
I decided I should set up my blog for NaNo 2014 before I message E.R. again.
@KitFox Ikea is not really elitist. At least, it doesn't seem that way to me.
Most of the stuff at Ikea is cheaply made. They have some nice pieces and some really crappy pieces.
I'm a fan of their Poang chairs and Billy bookcases.
I'm talking about the appearance and relative hygiene of the people there.
I do like their stuff.
3:04 PM
@KitFox Hm. I've never been to a Sam's Club. Is it like Costco?
It's like a warehouse with WalMart shoppers. Sam Walton owns both.
yeah, so just like Costco then.
I dunno I never thought to compare Ikea to Costco
Costco is nicer than Sam's Club.
now when we go to Ikea my kids just like to play in the ball pit.
We were going to, but they ran out of room, and we were just making a quick stop.
4:02 PM
Did I miss the writing exercise?
Oh. When does it start again?
I was just finishing my opening ramble for NaNoWriMo on my writing blog.
@Aaron Um, well, it's a little sporadic.
Sometime between now and about two hours from now.
Have you been before?
Yea I have done 3 of them now.
Did you see me then? I don't recognize your avatar.
But I'm not always here.
4:04 PM
Yea. You were at the first one I did at least.
The wild flute one
Have you ever heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)?
@Aaron Oh yes, that one.
I remember. You changed your avatar?
Hi @kitfox, I caught you!
Nope. I have had the same avatar for all the stack exchanges for a year.
4:05 PM
NaNo is held every November. The challenge is to write 50,000 in a single month.
It's my character Acheron in chibi form.
The goal is to help writers stop thinking and just write.
@KitFox 50,000 words?
@Aaron Oh. Sorry.
@Aaron The pace is 1,667 word per day.
@KitFox That sounds crazy.
4:06 PM
@KitFox I am not on here often so it's understandable you would forget.
@Aaron I do remember your avatar.
Not long after we started the Writer's chat three years ago, we geared up for NaNo, and several of us did it.
@JasperLoy You did.
@KitFox Hmm. I might try this but I would be starting late.
And several of us made it to the end.
Does it all have to be one story?
4:07 PM
Even if you don't make it, it is still a great experience.
@Aaron Well, it's honor system, but the idea is yes, to write a novel.
We had a lot of support in here, and we get better at supporting each other every year.
Darn. I have recently realized that I am better at short stories rather than longer novels.
You could write a set of related short stories.
I might do that. Maybe one of the sets where you see the story from all the characters different views.
I've thought about that very thing.
You are free to do planning ahead of time, such as outlining
4:10 PM
Coming up with characters is helpful too.
The most important piece for me was figuring out my writing pace, so I could plan how much time (roughly) I would need.
I feel very good today. I feel as if I can solve all my problems soon.
I like my Acheron character but his storyline follows so many tropes it's kinda cheesy.
@JasperLoy Excellent. Are you going to write today?
basically any prep at all is helpful. Last year my prep was thinking of a topic, and then writing a spreadsheet to help me estimate how far behind I was.
That wasn't enough prep.
@KitFox Prob not. I came here to chat with you.
4:12 PM
I have to walk to the store for lunch. Be right back.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 But you were glad you did it, right?
glowers Right?
Actually I wish I had spent more time preparing. Sadly this year I am swamped at work and probably won't even try nano.
4:29 PM
I just jumped in last year. I think the second novel was a little better than the first, despite having no planning.
For one thing, I made the story bigger to begin with.
Instead of trying to figure out what to do when I ran out of plot halfway through.
I have a meeting in 30 minutes. You all should go ahead without me.
I think I should think of a title for this year's novel, just to get me started, although of course usually titling should be last.
Still, it's fun. I think I will do another silly title, like the other two.
4:54 PM
Matt has vanished
For Licensing and Use Restrictions view the link(s) below:
- Research institutions require an MTA, companies require a license prior to shipping.
Seriously, these people love to write as many words as possible.
Hi @TRiG I remember the pics you posted in chat, LOL
@JasperLoy Do you? I don't.
@TRiG Some swimmer or diver, LOL
Or, at least, I don't recall which specific pictures you're talking about.
@JasperLoy Oh. Tom Daley and Matthew Mitcham have both been mentioned by me.
Both are rather beautiful. And both, now, are openly gay.
4:59 PM
Anyway, I have promised a few things recently. I won't change my username anymore. I won't delete my SE account or email account anymore.
@TRiG The last sentence is so surprising...
@JasperLoy Well, Matthew Mitcham has been out for ages. Tom Daley more recently. They both have boyfriends, too.
@TRiG I like Taylor Kitsch and Steven Strait in the movie The Covenant.
@JasperLoy I've not seen that. There are a lot of films I've not seen.
5:20 PM
I is back
Is everyone here yet or?
I'm here but I can't really write today.
6:06 PM
did you twist your writing fingers?
jumps up and down
Hello, my friends, hello.
@TRiG I also like Taylor Lautner in Twilight 2.
6:21 PM
I am here mainly to see Kit, lol.
Today is a good day on SE, earned rep by answering some simple questions.
So how is your life @kit? Is it good these days?
Hello @gnomeslice handsome, lol.
Anyone here to write?
6:39 PM
@JasperLoy Haven't seen that film; don't intend to. But I have enjoyed some of the stills from it, yes.
@TRiG By the way, I am not gay. =)
@Aaron Seems no, lol
@JasperLoy Yes, good, thanks. I am glad to hear that you are feeling better.
@Aaron Yes. Let's do it, right now.
Pick a topic.
Let the writing begin!
Topic: The darkest days of my life.
6:54 PM
Go, write!
I am only suggesting the topic, you write, lol.
I like that topic.
Good, write!
The darkest days of my life: I wanted to die, but I could not find a painless way to do it. It seemed that I would never recover, in which case there was no way to continue living. I was convinced that nothing and nobody could help me, not even God. No words can describe the suffering I was in. Then, Maria appeared, and I found hope. She made me see the light. She made me believe that one day I could be whole again. When I looked into her eyes, I saw that I had a future after all.
There, just a short fictional piece from me, lol.
7:07 PM
Oh. Mine too.
@KitFox Very good
Oh thanks. Making me hungry.
@JasperLoy Very good.
Is Acheron part of a continuing story?
7:12 PM
Are you writing based on your role-plays?
I feel like we talked about that before.
Yes, and I think I have mentioned it but not sure.
That must be a really interesting process. I bet you could manage a whole novel that way.
If you didn't mind playing and writing every day.
Or maybe playing one whole day and writing the other six.
If I spend a lot of time writing a novel, I would want to publish it and sell it for lots of money.
If I actually stopped being lazy and decided to write it all out into novels I probably have a couple and a half.
So you should give NaNo a go then.
That's the whole point of it.
7:14 PM
writing is hard
By the way, is taking a random pic on the internet and using it for your avatar a breach of any copyright rules?
@KitFox So is Henrietta a wildcat or something?
I'll tell you two things to help you get started. The first thing is to clock your writing pace. You can do that here by looking at how many words you write in ten minutes.
I might. My life is kinda busy though. I am getting married on the 31st, getting my car fixed this week.
@GnomeSlice No, a human.
7:15 PM
But she has claws?
@Aaron Congrats. I have yet to find a gf, lol.
@Aaron Congrats. I think you have enough RPG background to go pantsless (that means without a plan).
@Aaron Is it a man or woman you are marrying? =)
@GnomeSlice A former human.
@KitFox Oh.
7:15 PM
@KitFox Oh I can write at least 5 paragraphs in a minute if I am into the writing. Goes to search for an old rp.
@Aaron What's that in word count?
@JasperLoy A woman, and I am a guy
@KitFox One sec. gotta find some old rps
@Aaron Thanks for sharing. =)
@JasperLoy ok?
Jasper likes to live vicariously.
7:17 PM
Me too, but I usually ask raunchier stuff.
@KitFox Well, I recently met a girl on SE, but I don't know what she looks like, lol
A new one, eh? Well, it shouldn't matter what she looks like.
Well, not too much.
But I know you will say she is too young, so I am not putting much hope into this one.
I think you would be better off looking for a real woman who is approximately your age.
Actually, who is your age - 5 or so.
Yeah, but I guess I can always just wait and see how things go with this one. I am not really looking for someone, it just happens.
7:20 PM
Hmm. I can't find the RP. I assume I probably have the one I am after saved on BookFace and I can't get on that at work.
OK, well, figure out your pace, and then work out how much time per day you will need to actually write.
Then take a day to write 1,667 words to get a feel for how much content that is.
Try to write exactly 1666 and 1/6 words lol
Then you can plan for how much time you will need, and spend the rest of the day at work or in class or whatever thinking about what you will write when you get to the time allotted for writing.
At least, that's what I've done and it's been pretty successful.
I spend my commute plotting.
1667 words is roughly two scenes in my cadence.
What I just wrote was 366 words and I finished a about a minute before the timer was done.
Sometimes just one, sometimes three or even four if I can't get the words moving.
7:24 PM
simchona has not logged in for 5 months, I think she loses her modship next month.
@Aaron So that's about 45 minutes at that pace to write 1,667 words? Did I figure that right?
But your pace won't always be that quick, although you get a good shot at it if you do your plotting separately.
Close enough. 366*4.5 = 1647
And you are also used to off-the-cuff improv because of RP, so that will help you too.
I have been drinking lots of coffee lately. Leads to lots of reflux I think.
@JasperLoy It can.
7:27 PM
But I need to write 50k in 24 days which equals 2083 words a day
@KitFox Did you email sim and find out what she is up to?
@Aaron Why only 24?
@JasperLoy No.
@KitFox Because there are only 24 days left this month
Did you say it started this month? I don't remember actually
Oh! NaNo is in November.
It hasn't started yet.
Oh held in november
7:28 PM
@kitfox You should watch the recent movie If I Stay, very very good.
Hmm. I might be able to pull that off then as November won't be quite so busy
So an hour a day. You could write any adventure in your head.
@JasperLoy I saw your recommendation for it. I don't have lots of time for movies, but I'll think about it.
I might write Acheron's childhood. I would have 7 character's points of views to use.
And remember, it's just a draft.
One of the great bits of advice that was shared with me the first time around was something along the lines of "Your first attempt at a novel is going to suck no matter when you write it."
The idea being that getting it on paper is the goal, no matter how bad it is, because then it will only get better.
@KitFox Yeah, just like posting an answer here and editing it later, lol.
7:32 PM
If it lives in your head and you keep rolling it around until it's perfect, you're going to ruminate on it forever.
@Matt @Mr.Shiny Are you going to do the exercise today?
Shiny is not in this room even.
He was here earlier. I can't believe the time. I have to go. CU!
Time for me to leave, since I am only here to see Kit, lol
8:21 PM
Q: Examples of an essay point

Johnny McKenzieI'm writing a computing essay on technology and how people use it. One of the points I plan on making is: "Technology is the expression of human creativity and ingenuity". I'm having a bit of writers' block trying to conjure examples of this; specifically how it is the expression of human...

@NeilFein, @KitFox I wrote mine above ^ :)
Well, it was a sad topic. So I had to write something sad :D
See ya all!
I have a grammar question: Can we say that we have lost someone when we have lost them in the sense that they fell for someone else or is it only pertinent to losing someone as in them being dead now?
9:11 PM
@MattЭллен Good one. Starred it :-)
9:36 PM
@Arrowfar Losing someone generally means losing a relationship. Sometimes the loss is because of death, sometimes other factors, so can say you lost someone when they fell in love with someone else.
@BESW! Are you doing NaNo this year?
@KitFox I see. Thanks!
@KitFox Gosh, no. My Novembers are always insane.
grumble, shake fist
hi Kit and BESW :-)
9:39 PM
How are you guys? :)
What I am doing next month is testing out a new RPG storytelling format.
Ah, I see. I hope it works out for you.
How is it different? she asked probingly.
I hope so too! My group likes telling complex, long-lasting stories, but our individual attendance is... erratic.
@KitFox From the scale of 1 to 10 how are my stories here? :-)
9:43 PM
I've got one guy who shows up every week like clockwork, and everyone else is lucky to come half the time on average--but nothing so regular as every other week.
@Arrowfar I can't evaluate writing on an unqualified linear scale.
Which makes it hard to tell long-form stories, when the characters are bouncing in and out so much.
@BESW That makes it complex, which could be fascinating.
We've been doing short stories, just one or two sessions each, and they've been fun: short stories give you more freedom to be reckless with the characters and the world because there's no pressure to keep either of them viable in the long-run.
But we still yearn for long stories with growth and development over time.
So how are you going to do it?
Eclipsing narrative?
9:46 PM
So I recently bought the Atomic Robo RPG, based on the comics of the same name, and realised that the comic-book format may be perfect for our needs!
Hmm. That is interesting.
My one regular player will be the central character of the story, with an overarching goal that drives the narrative.
Each week, a variable set of secondary characters will join him on that week's mission toward his goal.
@KitFox I see. So writings cannot be judged in scales like that?
The Atomic Robo RPG rules for invention are very helpful in setting this up: Atomic Robo is a world where all the "dials" for science and conspiracy are set to Indiana Jones levels of action and drama. Jones is an Action Archaeologist, compared to real-world archaeologists. Atomic Robo has Action Biology and Action Astronomy and so forth, too.
@Arrowfar Well, I suppose they could, but it wouldn't be in any way informative.
9:50 PM
@KitFox okay :)
@BESW That sounds great.
So our story will bend around an Action Scientist working to create something so big and improbable that he needs help gathering the pieces and experts around the world to make it happen. Each week is a different "help me do something toward making my invention a reality" story, culminating in turning on the invention.
You must be very excited.
Since my player's already got the idea that the invention is a spaceship which lets him fly into the Sun, this both creates a lot of opportunity for Action Invention before it's completed, and makes the working invention itself a driving force for drama.
@Arrowfar If you are asking for critique, I'd have to first understand what your goals for writing are.
@BESW So does he decide the purpose for the invention and does he share that with you, or does he reveal it through gameplay?
9:54 PM
@KitFox My goal is to be good at writing generally. I am not some writer, but I think I should be good at it.
@KitFox So, do you think that even good writers' work vary in that sometimes they write good and sometimes average?
@Arrowfar What are your criteria for "good writing"?
@Arrowfar Any writer's work will vary depending on the context, plot, and state of revision.
@KitFox In this particular system, he defines the purpose and effect of the invention at the start, and that tells us how many complications he's going to run into during the course of making and using it.
That sounds like a lot of fun. I wish I had a group of friends to play games like that with.
(This system assumes you always succeed at making Action Inventions, because it'd be boring to fail, so instead it's a matter of how complicated and dramatic the thing makes your life.)
9:56 PM
How does the gameplay advance?
@KitFox That people can understand what I write (for example, I am in a finance field and I want to sure that I can explain what numbers mean), But here I want to make sure that folks 'like' my stories that I paste here.
That would be the general criteria :-)
@KitFox Not sure what you mean, exactly. Are you asking about the mechanics of resolving actions?
@Arrowfar Well, your writing is reasonably clear, even in the few places where you are noticeably non-native. "Like" is harder to evaluate because it depends on your goal.
Persuasion, humor, information, etc.
@BESW Yes.
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