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Little Details

A Fact-Checking Community for Writers

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Membership:
Open
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
Important notice: Please read the rules before posting. If you don't, your post may not be approved!

Welcome to little_details, a community that helps writers with their research and fact-checking. We have a large, diverse membership that can answer questions such as:

"If I hit my character on the head like so, what will happen?"
"Will this destroy the Earth?"
"Can guys have freckles on their penises?"

All types of fiction writers--professional, amateur, fanfiction, original--are welcome to post questions. Our focus is on factual accuracy rather than general writing advice. If you're still not sure what we're about, reading our recent entries page should give you a better idea.

(The answer to the last question, by the way, is "yes.")



ANONYMOUS POSTING

If you have a question but don't have a LiveJournal account, or would like your identity to remain secret, you can submit it as a comment here. A moderator will post it to the community for you. The question will appear on the community's main page.

Important Note: This is not where you post your question if want your question to appear under your LJ account. If you want it to appear under your LJ account, then post to this community normally. If you have an LJ account and want to post anonymously, please do not use your LJ account to leave the question, as replying to you for any reason will reveal your username!



POSTING FORMAT

We don't have a strict posting format, but all posts are required to include some basic information. This keeps the community running much more smoothly. Before you submit, make sure your post has:
  • A subject line that describes your question. For example, if your question is about the effects of getting shot in the knee, then "getting shot in the knee" is an excellent subject line.

  • The setting of your story. When and where is it taking place? Even if you don't think it's relevant, it often turns out to be.

  • A summary of how you tried to research your question. Simply saying that you used Google and Wikipedia isn't enough. What are some of the search terms you tried? What articles did you read? Leaving out this information is the number one reason for rejected posts! If you're having trouble coming up with fruitful search terms, no worries; just say so! Straight-up translation requests may also be exempt from this rule.
Posting is moderated, so if your post doesn't include this information, it may be rejected. You're welcome to resubmit once you've edited it, but it does waste your time.

In order to protect the community against visitors who don't know that it's for fiction writing, posts containing information about how to break US law or how to harm someone should be friends-locked. If you don't friends-lock such a post, you will be asked to edit it.

Posts containing (or asking for) explicit descriptions of sex acts should be marked as containing adult content.



RULES

1. Obey common posting netiquette. (Don't alter your font, put large images behind a cut, and so on.) And, it should go without saying, make sure that you follow the posting format above.

Here's the FAQ on how to use an lj-cut.

2. At least attempt to research your question before posting. This means a Google search, at the very least. If your question isn't the type that can be googled or you need help coming up with fruitful search terms, no worries; just say so.

For your reference, here's an awesome post from an IT librarian about how to search effectively.

3. Keep it (mostly) worksafe. Graphic descriptions of sex or violence should go behind a cut, and your icon shouldn't get anyone in trouble with their boss.

4. If someone asks for a translation of a word or phrase into another language, don't refer them to Babelfish or another automatic translation site. Automatic translation is often hilariously inaccurate (yes, even for single-word queries), so it's just plain bad advice.

5. Avoid giving the impression of reliability where there is none. Most of the writers who ask questions here are looking for accurate information. If you're only offering speculation or information from an unreliable source, then let the poster know.

7. Don't delete your entries or your comments. Don't delete other people's comments. Don't freeze comments. Discussion on this community belongs to the entire community, not just you. We can and do ban people for violating this rule. Occasionally there are exceptions, but they're rare. If you're not sure you're allowed to delete something, contact the mods.

You can screen comments in your posts only if it's an emergency and you immediately contact your mods. Not an emergency: people being rude to each other. Emergency: Porn spam, personal information posted without permission. Don't delete these comments; the mods need to see them. UPDATE, JULY 2014: Spam Protection feature turned on. Comments containing links are now marked as suspicious and can be unscreened at the discretion of the poster or moderator. Obvious spam comments posted by bots may be deleted. For spam or malicious comments posted by users, please wait and notify a mod of the situation.

The other things that you can be banned for include, but are not limited to: attacking other members' choice of subject matter, using racial or sexual slurs, harassing another poster, refusing to do as the moderator asks, plagiarizing, cheating on your homework, spamming, and generally being an asshat with no redeeming qualities.



USING THE TAGS

Not all posts are tagged yet, but almost! Those that are can be browsed through the tags page.

Due to the limits of LJ's tagging system, posts are tagged with broad categories, rather than keywords. When a category gets too big to be easily searched, we add subcategories and move posts into them. For example, if you want to know something about Japanese history, you should look under the japan: history tag, not the japan (misc) tag. If you're not sure what something is tagged with, feel free to contact orange_fell.

You are not required to tag your own posts. A maintainer will eventually tag them for you.



CONTACTING THE MODS

orange_fell is the primary maintainer. She's online often and can be contacted by commenting on this post or by private messaging her on LJ. If the problem is urgent, such as someone posting personal information or porn spam, you can also contact these people:

twilight2000 contact at Twilight2000 at gmx dot com
twistedsheets10 contact by private message over LJ
callie_chan (the creator of the community) - contact on AIM as Fyreflyzblaze [contact in case of a dispute between mods]



DISCLAIMER

Information provided in this community is intended to help authors write credible fiction. It should not be mistaken for real advice given by professionals. Or real advice given by criminals. Don't try any of this at home, and don't blame us for it if you do.

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