How did "PERSON: (action) Speech" become the convention for scriptwriting or dialogue writing, when that's not even how scripts are written professionally? [more inside]
I'm just starting graduate school and am researching different tools. One that appeals to me is Latex, but I'm wondering if it's seen as archaic or anti-social/collaborative these days. I'll be learning/writing about social/information science.
I'm an experienced editor (of all sorts) and writer (primarily journalism but also have had short gigs writing copy for social media and for a mobil app interface). Long ago I analysed a client's website to see if it was user-friendly or hostile. I'm really good at understanding customer perspectives and advocating for users. Also, I'm an old. How might I go about getting such a job? And would such a job, in the Bay Area, be lucrative? [more inside]
Seeking examples or lists of writing that have inspired writers to write. Not "I read Orlando and wanted to be a writer," but novels, stories, or non-fiction that, when read, inspire one immediately to write, either on a one-time or a repeated basis. I write regularly; I'd like to have a shelf by my desk that I dip into more or less randomly before writing to prime the pump. While I love many books or stories, I rarely remember the ones that make me want to write.
I just retired from teaching and am resuming writing. I had an agent and had two books published (F/SF, mainstream publisher) twenty years ago, but my agent died and I'm basically starting from scratch. The Writer's Digest conference in August in NYC looks okay. Is it worth going? Or should I do something else first? [more inside]
I'm starting to write short science fiction. Where should I look (online) for support, guidance and, eventually, publishing? [more inside]
What script is this painted text written in? This feels like an embarrassing sentence to write, but I suspect it's either a Brahmic script or something from Tolkien. (Bonus question: What does it say?)
I want to buy a diary [more inside]
Was this a journalism issue? Why?
A young heterosexual couple in San Francisco try to give each other gifts for their anniversary. They give up something of value to themselves to buy each other a gift, but when the exchange occurs they realize that what they bought for the other is dependent on something the other has already given up. What have they given each other, and what have they lost? [more inside]
Hi all, I am struggling on how to word a letter (or a flyer) advertising my buddy's company that provides handyman services to property management companies. I've been putting it off for weeks and the google is failing me. Is anyone good at this, or can you recommend a source for how to write or format such a letter? Many thanks! [more inside]
I'm writing a dissertation (specifically, an ethnography). What writing software do I need (Mac OSX)? [more inside]
I'm a classical music newbie and need suggestions on composers and pieces that are similar in vein to Wagner's Tristan & Isolde. [more inside]
Caveat up front: It's entirely possible that I'm being ... childish ... in this situation. I honestly can't tell. Do I have to adjust my expectations and grow up? Do I suck it up, keep my mouth shut, and endure the class? Do I go to the administrators? Or do I get more hands-on? Short novel to follow. [more inside]
This was asked back in 2008, and maybe some of the answers haven't changed since then, but I thought I'd ask. What are the best writing tools for a distraction-free experience? I'm looking primarily at hardware right now, but software is welcome too. Or hell, if pen and paper is the best, say so. [more inside]
Simple enough -- how to get work in this line. Examples from real-life cases/people who did it are appreciated. [more inside]
I am a white cis-het male working on a writing project that includes both a fantasy novel and a tabletop RPG system and setting, based in an alternate history Earth where magic is a part of normal life. I believe in the importance of diversity in representation, so I would like to depict an America in which European/American culture is less hegemonic than in reality. One of the ways in which I want to do that is having non-European systems of magic be influential on the art and science of magic in this world. In particular, I am considering whether there is a way to incorporate chakras into both the fiction and the game's system without it being cultural appropriation. More details after the break. [more inside]
I suck at correspondence, and would like to pay another human to draft the occasional very brief email message for me-- standard thank-yous, requests, friend check-ins, etc. (I don't need a full-on virtual assistant; just the occasional $5, 5-minute task). Is there an established gig website that handles this sort of custom short content request? How else could I go about tracking down someone to provide this service? [more inside]
A talented and typically sullen sixteen-year-old girl is about to meet the vast free time of Summer Vacation and I'd like to find something that feeds her inspiration more than her desperation. She's a fine writer and it's good for her mental health for a whole pile of reasons. Registration for the local, in-person summer writing programs has come and gone, so I'd like to find some online options that encouraging her writing. Give me your online classes, camps, communities, apps, or anything else appropriate for a teen who likes to write, but could use some constructive encouragement. [more inside]
Freelance writer considering education in front- and back-end coding. I've chosen an educational path, but I don't know how to make the best of my new-found skills as I move forward. More inside. [more inside]
Full time and mostly happily employed as a tech writer at company A, but it's not a long term career plan. Company B asked me to come in to see about a potential short term gig. This could be great. Or not. Help me navigate? [more inside]
I write best while I'm walking, and for an upcoming project I'd like to streamline this using some sort of speech-to-text word-processing setup on my Google Nexus phone. Google's native voice recognition in Docs hates my voice and produces only large paragraphs of semipunctuated gibberish. What app(s) + accessories setup will give me accurate, extended voice-to-text transcription with minimal oversight, ideally also with good punctuation functionality? [more inside]
I think my boyfriend might be dyslexic and I'm debating how much to bug him about getting it checked out. But how would you even treat dyslexia in a 30-year old, and is there any benefit to getting a formal evaluation and/or diagnosis as an adult? [more inside]
There are plenty of successful writer-directors out there, but I'm curious about successful directors who started out as writers only (screenplays, novels, plays etc) before they transitioned to directing. I'm especially interested in minority or female directors.
In the course of archival research, I've come across transcriptions and author's notes of some remarks that were given during a private conference in 1942. I'm having trouble sorting out the 1909 and 1976 Copyright Acts and how they impact these documents. Are they in the public domain, or are they still under copyright?
There are things that make me sad, and things that make me sad about being sad. For example, some things don't really merit a lot of sadness (especially when it is ill-informed or useless), but consistently and sincerely break my heart all the same... [more inside]
Who are the modern Robert Anton Wilsons? [more inside]
I'm already a professional writer, and have been for a decade, but I've been slowly trying to shift stakes. I feel like going for an MFA would offer valuable guidance, validation, and permission to try new things. But I also feel like maybe I'd be better off lighting thousands of dollars on fire. MFAs of MeFi, please observe my snowflakes and tell me what to do! [more inside]
I have been doing most of my research digitally for a number of years, with varying degrees of success. As I finish up my phd (!) I want to refresh my research habits and streamline for efficiency. For pdfs, epubs, and online articles I currently use several services and software platforms, only some of which are compatible. Help me best this [more inside]
I'd like to buy this for work but I didn't want to spend $50, as I'd never get reimbursed. A used copy circa 2004 is $6. Is there any significant difference between the 2004 and 2010 editions? It's probably a no-brainer to get the 2004 version but I don't want something that's completely obsolete.
As I teach it now, my first semester composition course is geared toward inquiry. My primary text is From Inquiry to Academic Writing, and Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. I'm on the hunt for a new novel. [more inside]
Where can I learn about the physics of spaceflight if I don't know calculus? What books, movies, video games, websites, etc., would you recommend? [more inside]
I need help learning how to do structural edits on longer pieces of fiction (and maybe how to think about story structure more while I’m writing first drafts as well). I’m looking for book recommendations, articles, tips and techniques, and stories of what works for you. There’s more specifics below, but the tl;dr version is: what are editing strategies that might work well for someone a) highly attuned to sentences and the beautiful details of language and b) on the intuitive side in terms of process? [more inside]
What is a great website for teaching how-to-write kanji, with animations? [more inside]
(asking for a friend) I'm writing a novel - a thriller - set principally in the Antarctic in WWII which takes the idea of the development of a biological weapon as its premise. What I need is an insight into a suitably nasty bacteria or virus that could have been developed into a weaponisable form; something that the British might have been working on towards the end of WWI; and something that could have been resurrected again in 1943 as a back-stop to deal with two possible scenarios. [more inside]
(asking for an author pal!) This scifi writer wonders: If electromagnetic waves were linked to cancer, what systems (electronic/political/social) would be impacted, and how? [more inside]
I have ADHD with a lot of OCD symptoms. I think the ADHD is primary, and the OCD symptoms are my lifelong coping reactions to feeling overwhelmed all the time and making endless mistakes. I'm now on Adderall, and it has illuminated how much the OCD slows me down and burdens me, but at the same time, many of my OCD behaviors are rational. They help me catch my many mistakes (while writing or in life) when my ADHD is at its worst. I need strategies to pull myself out or to help me immediately recognize when I'm spiraling. [more inside]
I'm a writer and former academic with a diverse skill set. I'm looking to make a major career transition, but am unsure how to find the kinds of jobs that I believe would be professionally satisfying to me. [more inside]
Can I build a new career out of the things I'm actually good at? Please help me figure out what careers could fit what I do. [more inside]
Who, out of the entire MCU (TV and Movies, but not Animated series), is the oldest character? By oldest I mean was published in comics first? [more inside]
I've been having a bit of a rough time for the last while, and I'd like to try to start writing to help me work through some things. Turns out, that's easier said than done. Can you help me get going? [more inside]
I have a paper due tomorrow, which is about 2/3rds done, but I am absolutely bored out of my mind with the topic. I had just about brought myself to accept that I would spend most of the next 48 hours being this level of bored, when I discovered that I have lost the last half-day of work I did on it, so I have to redo it. This will add the tedium of rewriting stuff I wrote already to the boredom of working on a topic I find uninteresting in the first place and feels almost unmanageable. I have perky music, a clock to race against, and snacks, but what other tips and tricks do you have for working on something that bores you silly? [more inside]
I have been asked to edit an interview using they/them/their instead of gendered pronouns. Please give me your tips / best practices for clarity! [more inside]
I'm writing a piece of fiction and have a character who works in fundraising for a big nonprofit. Is there anything I can read to find out what this sort of work is like? [more inside]
I'm thinking if writing something that heavily uses foreshadowing in any/all permutations possible. [more inside]
Can you offer some names for this line of discursive reasoning that goes "only the strongest is strong at all" or "only the most pretty people are pretty." So far I can think of two: No True Scottsman and the various ways of saying "might makes right" but I have a tip of the tongue feeling there are a lot of these.
I am working on my grad school application essay and am freezing up. I haven't had to write an application essay since 2002 and I'm not sure how to begin. Help! [more inside]
I'm trying to finish my PhD thesis. I need help, tips, anything from methods for focusing for someone with probable cognitive issues related to Bipolar I disorder to ADHD or OCD behaviors, and reducing anxiety related to this so that I can function. I would appreciate any advice anyone could offer. [more inside]
I'm just getting started on the process of turning my PhD dissertation into a book. On rereading, I'm a bit shocked by how clunky the writing is and how much I haven't said. I'd love any advice from anyone who has done this or anything similar. What's the best approach I can take, and what pitfalls are there? [more inside]
I have finally gotten over the initial stasis of PhD dissertation writing. Now that my brain came around to the idea of writing and reading all day, my body is protesting: achy back, tight legs, sore wrists. Tips/tricks/recommendations/links to ergonomic chair, pretty please? [more inside]