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Subject: Re: [docbook] "Fantasy" markup

Michael A Nachbaur wrote:

I've been thinking the same thing myself.  I have tried many different document types for my writing, starting with MS Word and now writing plain text in VIM (using standard text nomenclature, with a custom perl script to convert it to HTML).  This is for my Sci-Fi writing.

Since I started working on my programming reference book, I've adopted DocBook.  I too have come to the conclusion that it would work wonderfully for my fiction writing as well.

However, I believe adopting additional tags for different genres of writing can only lead to madness and perdition.  For instance, "spell", "magicitem", none of those tags have any place in my form of writing.  Instead, terms like "scienceterm", "technology" and "stellarbody" would be more appropriate.  I'm not recommending that these tags be adopted however, since the vast number of writing styles would overwhelm.

Instead, my plan is to use <emphasis> et al as one normally would in HTML, but use the "role" attribute to clarify what I intend.  I can then extend my XSL stylesheet to understand these appropriately.  I even think it would be interesting to create a glossary of terms for technologies et al that I describe in my book.
I've used this approach in a novel I'm writing using the "role" attribute to, for example, affect how sections are displayed ("role=scene" prints a centered row of stars at the end of the section), display an entire blockquote with emphasis, and a few other things.

I actually added "prologue" and "epilogue" elements based on the chapter element (I wanted "Prologue" and "Epilogue" rather than "Chapter nn."), but that was before I hit on the "role" thing.  It might be possible to use that instead, but I haven't tried it.

Does anyone else have any feelings on the subject?  Any personal / practical experience someone would like to impart?


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