With reference to:

Publishing Fantasy versus Realistic Fiction (multiple questions)

It is my opinion that requests for the question to be split down are a little over zealous. After all, one of the suggestions is to collapse Qs 1-3 into a single question. At the moment they are in a single question split down for clarity and I am happy for this.

I think Q4 is too vague by itself and makes more sense within the corpus of this mega-question.

I think Q5 could stand alone but, again, it seems to be more informative within this one question.

I also think that just asking for it to be split to get the "questions asked" per day count up is a bit of a silly reason for someone to be asked to do something like this (I do realise this comment is half-joking... it's the half that's not joking that worries me).

Like I say this is my opinion but I have been asked to "shelve" (i.e. withhold) my given answer which covers all of the sub questions until it has been decided whether the mega-question is allowable.

I would like to suggest that, unless someone submits something along the lines of:

  1. Where can I look for an agent?
  2. What kinds of character archetypes are popular in SF novels?

which are blatantly completely different questions, I would personally allow more related information under one "question heading" clearly split apart with appropriate formatting as the one referenced above is.

This kind of thing is fine in written exams, I believe it should be fine here also.

EDIT:

Would the question be more acceptable phrased like this?

Title: How do I get started with my Fantasy novel?

I have a few questions about a fantasy book project. I'm really new to the idea of writing a fantasy book so I just need some help being pointed in the right direction. I could do with the following topics being covered:

  • Is it possible to find a list of publishers that publish specifically fantasy books?
  • On that topic, are there "fantasy" agents, editors etc.?
  • What are some good resources for writing fantasy?

I realize this question might be vague, but I wonder if you guys might be able to share some good links to some reading, or even books on the topic. I'm not asking for a list of everything possible, but any advice or resources you can share.

I have reduced the first part, taken out the unanswerable question about things being "more accepted" (what the hell is "accepted"?) and made the "main thrust" of the question the community wiki-style bit at the end.

Does this rate as better to you or is it still a no no?

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Incidentally, I found I wasn't allowed to submit this question unless I included the feature-request tag. Got a weird error message saying I had to include the tag "bug-feature-request-support-discussion". After a bit of playing around it let me submit as is. Is this a bug? –  One Monkey Jun 28 '11 at 9:56
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One Money - you need one of [discussion] or [bug] or [feature-request] or [support] for all meta questions. It's by design. So you have [discussion], as appropriate. –  justkt Jun 28 '11 at 12:41
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Ah, I understand. Maybe I should request a feature that that message looks less like a bug ;) –  One Monkey Jun 28 '11 at 13:24
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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I had to close this. It is completely unanswerable in its current format.

It's not a question to "fix" but one to re-post, if the author so wishes. In the meantime, leaving the question open will lead to wasted efforts as users are guessing what the question will actually be while you debate here.

Here is the comment I posed as a closing justification:

I have to close this as unanswerable in this multi-question format. A big part of this site is the vetting (voting) of the answers and this solicits many answers in a single post. It's necessary that questions contain a specific, detailed, answerable question. (1)(2)(3) could conceivably be combined into one useful question. (4) is at least somewhat answerable if you're looking for readership statistics. (5) Is way too broad; Asking for a list of resources isn't really what we do here. A list of "things to consider" would be nebulous. Better to ask specific problems you are trying to solve.

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I hesitated with the close vote because I was hoping OP would fix it (particularly since we had very clear requests, and OP seems a well-meaning newcomer). But by the time you got to it, I think closing was more than appropriate. –  Standback Jun 28 '11 at 17:08
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I appreciated all the help, and it seems a close was necessary in this case. I have created two new questions based on 1-3 and 4 as suggested. Thanks. :) –  bdrelling Jun 28 '11 at 19:51
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Although they're related questions, they're not the same question, and each will have different answers. Splitting them into separate questions seems entirely logical and consistent to me.

Question one is about what publishers are out there specialising in fantasy books. Question two is about whether there are agents out there specialising in fantasy. Question three is about editors specialising in fantasy, and whether it's necessary. Question four is about the audience of fantasy books. Question five is about fantasy resources.

The only thing really bundling these questions together is the fact that they're about the "fantasy" genre.

I mean, where do you draw the line? I have ten questions about characterisation, does that mean I can post a single question with ten questions because they're all related?

As presented, they should be separate questions on the site.

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If you think the question would have to fit under the old-school Stack Overflow "this is community wiki, so don't close it!" rules, it's not a good fit for our site. We want our questions to fit the new guidelines, not the old ones. We want them specific, discussable in depth, and answerable. We want to be able to vote on the answers.

That's exactly why a "mega" question will fail. How do you vote on an answer that perfectly answers just 3 of the five questions but leaves the other two untouched? Is it better or worse than one that somewhat answers all five? What about if an answer is the canonical, best-for-all-time answer to just one? How will the question asker choose which answer gets the check mark? It's not a fit for our system. It needs to be less vague and more cohesive.

Even in written exams, which you compare a question on Writers to, you'll notice that teachers and professors usually have a set number of points for each sub-question that totals the number of points for the overall question. That's how a teacher can make sub-questions work fairly for all students. In writers we can't give out partial accepted answers or partial votes, so it just isn't a comparable model.

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Two things I have learned then. 1) There are new guidelines. 2) No community wikis. I was not aware that these were no longer happening until now. –  One Monkey Jun 28 '11 at 14:06
    
@One Monkey - only mods or the automatic triggers can turn things CW these days. And we've worked on establishing guidelines for them before, but in general there's little good reason for them other than the auto triggers. –  justkt Jun 28 '11 at 14:31
    
Even more clarification. Good to know that at some point I find myself in the loop... –  One Monkey Jun 28 '11 at 14:41
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I voted to close as not being a real question. The title alone shows what is the problem of this question:

... (multiple questions)

This is a Q&A site. People have questions, google them and hopefully find their answers here. One point to get a good result in the search engine's index is a meaningful title. Look at it:

.../questions/3208/publishing-fantasy-versus-realistic-fiction-multiple-questions

Collapsing different questions or not, is not the problem here. We have a vague undefined question, which shows that the OP is not sure what he really wants to ask about.

So this questions needs to be restructured, probably split in two or more questions to get defined, answerable and searchable questions.

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I tend to agree with this POV more than the idea that it should be closed because it contains sub-queries. –  One Monkey Jun 28 '11 at 11:59
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