As one of the site's top answerers of story-identification questions, I'd like to offer the following suggestions to anyone thinking of posting a question in this tag:
No detail is too insignificant. You might think it's ever so obvious that your characters are white or teenagers or whatever, but you still need to tell us. If you don't tell us, we don't ...
In-Universe Explanations — Even Based On Real Science — Are On-Topic
Any question that is asking for an answer within the context of a fictional universe, even if that question requires real-world science information, is on-topic.
We should not expect content creators to spell out every detail of the science in their works. We can assume that works of ...
Questions must have as much detail as possible, including, but not limited to:
Media (short story collection, magazine, novel, TV, film, animated, website) Was it part of a series?
Original year of publication/airing, or at least when you read/saw this work of fiction. "Read when I was a child" is not as useful as "Read when I was a child (early 1980s)". ...
I'll go against my philosophical inclination and say "close them".
Closing doesn't mean the question is bad. It just means that it can not be answered as-is. (where as is usually applies to question text, but COULD also apply to the question's ecosystem).
Closing is NOT PERMANENT. So, we could - and likely will - have a lifecycle of:
BAD workflow - ...
DO NOT DO THIS
I'm sorry for shouting, but I've wanted to say this to a few people recently; I got a bit excited.
There are a couple of reasons you shouldn't do this:
Your question may not end up getting closed. For a recent example, see In Star Wars: "The Force Awakens," how could this lightsaber have turned up where it did? and How did Maz ...
story-identification questions should only be closed as duplicates where both answers are accepted, regardless of the similarity between them. (If the OP posts a "yes this is it" comment, that's as good as an acceptance.)
Simple, easy to administer.
First of all, go to the search box in the left-hand side of the topbar:
You can type any word or collection of words into there to get a list of all posts on the SFF site containing all of those words. Putting - before a word will exclude posts containing that word, so e.g. voldemort -dumbledore will give you all posts that mention Voldemort but not ...
If only one question has a known correct answer, then we should leave the other open.
My response to the suggestion that we close ‘obvious’ story ID dupes has always boiled down to “Okay, but why?”. We have a slightly tidier site, but that seems to be about it. By contrast, there are several reasons not to do it:
If we’re wrong, we’ve just annoyed the OP.
As one of the site's top answerers of story-identification questions (by volume), I tend to follow a very simple process when answering.
Indicate the name of the film
Indicate the year of the film (if needed)
Link the name of the film to IMDB (or another reliable source of information such as Rotten Tomatoes)
Include a brief synopsis of the film,...
I think Mike Edenfield's answer involving the in-universe/out-of-universe one is a good one, but I think there are some ambiguities in the definition and I also disagree with some of the examples given, so I'd like to suggest a slight modification of this idea:
Questions that require taking into account as much relevant canon in-universe information as ...
I'll post my answer in the form of a question: I have to question what makes a story ID question a duplicate? Is it the answer? I ask because the name of a book could be the answer to several different questions. Just because the answer is the same doesn't mean the questions were. It's a slippery slope.
The problem is that we don't always know if any future works are in the making, and if they are, if the question will be answered in them. If we take this to its extreme conclusion, we could only have questions about "dead and buried" canon, and we don't want that, do we?
Ignoring dead canons for now, we can discern different levels of liveliness in canons.
I think the most important tip for asking about a story is composing a concise title and first paragraph.
The title issue has been discussed Consensus on Story Identification titles? and the quality of titles is better than it was a year ago, but I'm not sure how much of that is people reviewing questions vs people writing them well in the first place.
Questions where you could accept an answer
Enter user:me is:question hasaccepted:no answers:1 closed:no into the search box (or click the link).
This searches for
user:me // posts by you
is:question // questions
hasaccepted:no // no answer has been accepted yet
answers:1 // it has at least one answer
closed:no // not closed
A Song of Ice and Fire and/or Game of Thrones
Real life people
D&D - Dan Weiss & David Benioff, Producers of the HBO adaptation
GRRM - George R.R. Martin, writer and creator of the series
TQAT - The Quill and Tankard, the ASOIAF/GoT chatroom for the site
Books & Show
ASOIAF - A Song of Ice and Fire, the name given to the books series....
Real-World Science With Any Relation To a Work Of Fiction Is On-Topic
Any question that relates back to a particular work of science fiction or fantasy, in any way, is on-topic. There is a lot of overlap between fans of science fiction and interest or expertise in real science. There's no reason we shouldn't allow questions that begin with a fictional ...
Any answer should include what and why. What is the answer? Can you identify the exact work? And why is that the answer? Does it match the description given?
In the case of story IDs, the what should at least include the name of the work, the name of its creator(s), and the medium (was it a book, a short story, a (web) comic, a film, a television series,...
I attempt to find questions through using the more unusual Potter words: Fudge, instead of Minister; Galleon instead of money (in this instance, money may be better, it depends; Elder Wand instead of "the wand Draco stole from Dumbledore". Etc. The more exotic/specific the word, the more likely it is to pop.
There's no hard and fast guideline. What I've found works for me is what you've described as #6; placing script quotes into inline boxes (with the > key). I also bold the name of the person speaking, use italics to indicate speech and place square quotes to indicate non-speech directions:
WORF: Captain, I recommend we fire photon torpedoes
I do not think there is a universal “best” way to format quotes. But honestly I believe formatting of these things can get out of hand and the simplicity of the markdown formatting should be respected. In general—when it comes to markdown formatting—if you are feeling restricted by it’s limitations, many times the best solution is to rethink your overall ...
It depends. There's not really a clear rule and some of that comes down to personal preference. However, there are some preferred general guidelines for the overall use of SE when it comes to quote blocks in general.
When quoting a larger standalone block of text you should really use a quote block, as that is what quote blocks are made for and it ...