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Old 04-16-2013, 05:49 PM   #31
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Drat. Are you telling me I actually need to *know* stuff to write a story.

Oh noes....

But still, I've started. I expect to finish it... someday.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:06 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
"So, I get this," said a new poster in the thread.
"But what about a question?" asked someone else.
"Yeah, does the question mark go in the quotes, or do you use a comma and toss it out at the end," asked the first poster?

I think it depends on if it's a direct or indirect question. If it's a direct question then inside the quotes, but if it's an indirect question then put it at the end of the sentence. Does that make sense?
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:20 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Drat. Are you telling me I actually need to *know* stuff to write a story.

Nope not at all. Lots of completely ignorant folks write stories filled of bad information.

However, I would also say lots of completely ignorant folks write stories by spending the time to learn what they need to know for the story.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:15 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
However, I would also say lots of completely ignorant folks write stories by spending the time to learn what they need to know for the story.
Uh.... I'll just take that as a compliment, OK?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:18 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Uh.... I'll just take that as a compliment, OK?

Hmmm, you could, but only if you think you fall in the category of completely ignorant folks....other wise you can take it as it was intended, general comment on the status quo
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:11 AM   #36
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[...]* As claimed here:
http://www.scribophile.com/academy/c...ion-mark-usage

p.s. Just flipped through some "search inside" pages on amazon.co.uk.
I checked Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling and whomever was on the current bestseller list, and while some use single quotes around dialog and others used double, they all put the comma INSIDE the quotes.
As far as I know, the double-quotes versus single-quotes choices is part of the book production - like choosing the font style and size - rather than a regional thing. I've got plenty of examples from books (U.S. and U.K) going back many years. A casual scan through them suggests both quote types have been used in both regions, with perhaps a greater tendency to single-quotes in recent times (but that's not exactly a comprehensive study).

A quote from Bulldog Drummond by Sapper, published by Hodder & Stoughton Limited, London. This is the sixty-fifth edition from 1943:
Quote:
"Really," remarked Drummond, "I think, sir, that you must be right in your diagnosis of your chauffeur's mentality."
Notice the double quotes and the comma inside the quotes. If you take a look at the University of Oxford guide linked to from Karen Garvin's article, you will see how she has managed to get confused. The Oxford guide does suggest single quotes for outer speech*, but when talking about commas inside or outside the quotes it distinguishes between whether the comma belongs as part of the direct speech or not (and they manage to avoid contradicting themselves by not showing an example for the simplest case: "Hello," he said.) Aside from the simple case, it is uncommon to break speech away from where a comma might legitimately appear, and so their exceptional situation is rare (and, as far as I can tell, largely ignored in commercially published novels).

* Note that some care has to be exercised when dealing with style-guides. Many, such as University ones, are about internal preferences rather than necessarily expressing a wider definition. Some do get adopted more widely, but you need to look more widely to find and verify that - and in the case of single vs double quotes I can see no reason to support a regional bias.

Disclaimer: I don't really have the qualifications back my remarks above - other than observation of the books on my shelves.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:42 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Drat. Are you telling me I actually need to *know* stuff to write a story.

Oh noes....

But still, I've started. I expect to finish it... someday.
Good for you! Here's hoping it's a labour of love.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #38
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Write it. All of those limitations you mentioned can only be overcome by actually writing something. Don't worry if you feel like it can't be the masterpiece you want it to be (yet). There's only one way to get those skills.

Good luck
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:40 PM   #39
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Someone once said it takes a million words before you start to get good at writing. I am not sure if that is a real magic number but the concept is true; so relax, plan for the long haul and write!
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:51 PM   #40
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Someone once said it takes a million words before you start to get good at writing. I am not sure if that is a real magic number but the concept is true; so relax, plan for the long haul and write!
Similarly, I think it was Bob Dylan who said the secret to writing 10 great songs is to write 1000 songs.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:01 PM   #41
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I think it was Ray Bradbury who said that if you write a short story a day (what we would call flash fiction) that at the end of a year you will have 365 stories and the odds are in your favor that at least some of them have to be good stories. Or if you write slightly longer stories (one a week) you will have 52 stories at a years end and some of them have to be good.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Someone once said it takes a million words before you start to get good at writing. I am not sure if that is a real magic number but the concept is true; so relax, plan for the long haul and write!
There are a lot of those anecdotes. One of the best known is that it "Takes 10.000 hours of practice to become good at anything you do".

10.000 hours is 250 work weeks. That is about 6 years of full time work, or 12 years in 20 hours a week part time.

If it really takes 10.000 hours just to be merely "acceptable" or "good" at something, most people won't be good at anything except their daily job. Most people don't have the time to spend 20 hours a week on a hobby, and if they do, they often don't have the inclination.

If you'd say that it takes 10.000 hours to become a master, or expert, then I'd believe that.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #43
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There are a lot of those anecdotes. One of the best known is that it "Takes 10.000 hours of practice to become good at anything you do".
I think the point is, it takes TIME to get good at things. Even raw talent improves with TIME.

How you measure it is up to you, but I have published 1/2 million words in my fiction novels alone in 2 years, so I do not think a million is all that hard of a goal to reach.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:18 PM   #44
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If I count all the posts I've written in some tech and photography forums, then I'm probably a long way past a million. I *long* way. But that are not stories.

I've just bought Scrivener, using the coupon code I found, and then hit the brick wall I always hit: I forgot taxes, so the durned thing turned out €5 more than expected. Ah well. Now see if I can make up some credible names for characters and races I've got in mind.

Not too easy to depart from the typical Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, etc, after having played (AD&D) RPG's for 15 years and reading Tolkienesque fantasy for even longer.... At least, my Elves WON'T be called Elves, they WON'T be in the West, and they WON'T be the "firstborn race that is now at the end of its time in the current world", and they WON'T live forever. (You know, that's GOT to give you some epic space problems at some time.)

Hm. Maybe my Elves are not Elves after all. Maybe I'll just be original and call them Elfs.

Nah

Last edited by Katsunami; 04-18-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:21 PM   #45
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You could cheat with the names...

http://www.rinkworks.com/namegen/
http://fantasynamegenerators.com/

And dozens of others.
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