So, hello there!
I'm a caucasian from California who went to college for psychology and came out an English major. I might have gone for anthropology if I'd thought of it in time.
My interests are varied, but include alternate history, non-standard intelligence, non-human intelligence (space aliens, elephants, New Caledonian crows, etc. (1)), and well thought out crossovers.
I would be interested in beta-ing for someone.
My pet peeves (oh, I'll still read your stuff. I'll just complain loudly while I do it):
- Misuse of Latin plurals. A millennium is one thousand years; "millennia" means two thousand or more.
- Eidetic memory. While there have been many claims to "photographic memory," it has never actually been scientifically proven in an individual. This isn't to say that such a thing could never exist, but it frustrates me the way this trait is simply tacked on in the course of mentioning how smart a character is. First of all, if your character is smart you should show-not-tell; secondly, that half-decade your character spent with a secret order of mnemonic monks is a much cooler origin for his or her memory superpower; and thirdly and most importantly, if you have a character with this sort of ability, it ought to have a profound effect on how that person sees the world, because most people do not have this perspective.
- Decimated. Means "removed one tenth of." There's still 90% left. No, seriously. Back before the use of gunpowder weapons, losing ten percent of your army was a big deal. If your troops are an elite squad (like, say, the x-men), that means you've permanently lost one or two of your main characters, depending on the size of said squad. Dead, never coming back, completely Jossed, end of story. If, on the other hand, you started with an army one thousand strong, that means you are now writing one hundred letters to families, arranging one hundred military funerals, coming up with words for one hundred eulogies to prove that those men and women died under the orders of someone who actually cared. This may not seem like a crushing defeat to someone who plays a lot of Starcraft, but if an officer's command was decimated, he or she would often surrender. I know the dictionary says that you can use "decimated" to mean "destroyed," but if you've got a word that can mean either "one specific state mentioned nowhere else in the English language" or "that thing there are a whole lot of synonyms for," ...well, I just think it's mildly unethical to disregard the original meaning of the word like that. Try "eviscerated" ...it means "ripped the intestines out of," so now they're scrabbling on the floor bleeding to death as you look on in satisfaction.
(1) yes, of course dolphins! I didn't want to mention them because they're obvious...