2082 posts tagged with Writing.
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Talk to me about getting an MFA

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]
posted by babelfish on Apr 28, 2016 - 21 answers

eReading + eResearch refresher

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]
posted by 0bvious on Apr 24, 2016 - 2 answers

Gregg Reference Manual: 2004 or 2010 edition?

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.
posted by onecircleaday on Apr 21, 2016 - 2 answers

What is an enjoyable novel, with depth, suitable for freshman comp?

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]
posted by girlbowler on Apr 11, 2016 - 13 answers

Orbital Mechanics for Dummies

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]
posted by contemporarySlob on Apr 5, 2016 - 8 answers

Help me learn to edit longer stories.

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]
posted by overglow on Apr 4, 2016 - 8 answers

Mixed-Meowdia Art

What is a great website for teaching how-to-write kanji, with animations? [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser on Mar 17, 2016 - 4 answers

Seeking biological weapons science info

(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]
posted by jessamyn on Mar 16, 2016 - 5 answers

what would happen if cell phones could kill us?

(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]
posted by changeling on Mar 14, 2016 - 28 answers

How can I overcome compulsive perfectionism with ADHD / OCD?

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]
posted by chaos_theory on Mar 12, 2016 - 9 answers

I think I may need to offer my head up for hunting...

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]
posted by anonymous on Mar 6, 2016 - 4 answers

What I do have are a very particular set of skills

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]
posted by castlebravo on Mar 4, 2016 - 15 answers

Oldest (as in longest running) character in Marvel Cinematic Universe?

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]
posted by Faintdreams on Feb 27, 2016 - 6 answers

Can I see the course syllabus for life?

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]
posted by Mrs. Rattery on Feb 25, 2016 - 23 answers

Tips and tricks for working on writing that bores you

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]
posted by lollusc on Feb 24, 2016 - 7 answers

Tips for writing a gender-neutral interview?

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]
posted by Isingthebodyelectric on Feb 22, 2016 - 6 answers

What's it like to work in fundraising?

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]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Feb 15, 2016 - 13 answers

Examples of foreshadowing in movies and literature?

I'm thinking if writing something that heavily uses foreshadowing in any/all permutations possible. [more inside]
posted by prufrock on Feb 13, 2016 - 26 answers

"Only the x-iest is x"

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.
posted by Taft on Feb 9, 2016 - 24 answers

I WANT TO GO TO THE SCHOOL PLZ LET ME IN KTHX BYE

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]
posted by thereemix on Feb 9, 2016 - 10 answers

writing and focusing tips for someone with cognitive complications

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]
posted by suddenly, and without warning, on Feb 4, 2016 - 22 answers

Turning a PhD dissertation into a book - any tips?

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]
posted by Aravis76 on Feb 4, 2016 - 8 answers

How does a desk potato get comfortable typing all day?

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]
posted by atetrachordofthree on Feb 1, 2016 - 16 answers

Tech writer wants to advance in science communications career

I had an entry-level science communications role in quasi-academia. Due to funding cuts I was let go, and fell into a job as a tech writer. But I strongly prefer my previous role and would like to advance in that career path. How do I do this? Career details inside. [more inside]
posted by aperturescientist on Feb 1, 2016 - 4 answers

What's the best way to get a hand written manuscript typed up?

I have a nearly completed manuscript of a novel that I'm writing that is entirely handwritten. I need to get it typed up, but it's over 400 handwritten pages and I'm a.) overwhelmed and b.) trying to finish the novel with a limited amount of free time, so I don't want to spend all my time typing instead of writing. How do I get this thing typed up? [more inside]
posted by coolguy#1 on Jan 28, 2016 - 8 answers

How to Submit to Book Publishers?

One of my closet relatives has self-published a book and now has revisited with hopes of submission to book agents. Aside from being a really interesting and good story, he is flummoxed by the plethora of requirements agents require (synopsis page, sample page, query letters, no attachements etc). He has used OpenOffice to create and is looking for software to help make agent submissions? Any ideas? More Inside the fold! [more inside]
posted by Funmonkey1 on Jan 26, 2016 - 9 answers

A publisher wants my book. How to pay the bills while I write it?

A publisher is interested in my unfinished book manuscript, and has asked for an estimated completion date. I’d love nothing more than to finish writing it. But my financial situation is precarious, and I haven’t been able to find a day job that will leave me with enough time and energy to write. Plus, I’m facing a rent increase in April that may cost me my home if I don’t find another source of income soon. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by velvet winter on Jan 21, 2016 - 47 answers

Best ink for dip pens/calligraphy?

Artists/Calligraphers, help me find the perfect ink for art and writing with a traditional dip pen. Tell me your favorites! [more inside]
posted by InkDrinker on Jan 20, 2016 - 11 answers

Book recommendations, please!

I am looking for book recommendations. Specifically, books that have gorgeous writing. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jan 20, 2016 - 81 answers

I'm addicted to "Buts" - I need help writing better sentences

I constantly overuse this type of sentence: "X, but Y." Here's an example: "I liked the new Star Wars film, but I was disappointed by the absence of Jar Jar Binks." My writing is littered with these types of sentences. I need help mixing it up. How can I reduce these types of sentences? Is it just an issue of restructuring the sentence?
posted by Bushmiller on Jan 19, 2016 - 20 answers

happiest hours

seeking LA bars at least somewhat conducive for early-evening write-togethers with author pals! [more inside]
posted by changeling on Jan 14, 2016 - 3 answers

What’s your favorite smooth writing pen?

I have liked Pilot’s Precise V7 for the past 20 years, but the latest batch I bought seems to have irregular ink flow. A couple times a day, the normally-smooth ink dries up a bit and needs to be coaxed out, looking like this. I have a pretty light touch when I write, and when the V7 works it’s the best thing ever. These dry spells are bumming me out, though. Has quality control on these dipped recently? Is there another kind of ballpoint pen with the combination of smooth ink flow and a fat line I like? I lose pens on the regular, so I’m looking for something that I can buy in bunches and keep around.
posted by migurski on Jan 6, 2016 - 24 answers

Good places to post writing online?

You'd think Google would be best for this, but help me out: I have pieces of writing that I would like to share online (non fiction, poetry, short stories, etc.). I have joined various post-your-stuff sites, but I find most of them to be full of teens (which is great! Seems like the kids these days are just cranking stuff out...) posting teen type writing or fan fiction. I'm talking about Wattpad and similar sites. Do you know of any good writer's sites with a social/interactive element (ratings, following, etc.) that have a more mature/literary bent? Thanks! Happy new Year
posted by bobbyno on Dec 27, 2015 - 9 answers

Shakespeare on desire as muse

Brief Shakespeare quotation on the idea of desire or love as muse / as source of creative fire? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Dec 20, 2015 - 4 answers

Paper notebook recommendations (for a gift)?

Hi! I have spent the last two hours searching online for the perfect paper notebook/journal gift for my SO's father (a lawyer and clergyman), and all the ones I found seem to have something not-quite-right about them, even the ones found in "best! paper! notebooks!" blogs. Dear notebook lovers, help me, please. Requirements inside: [more inside]
posted by quixotictic on Dec 17, 2015 - 9 answers

Inconceivable!

Why wife strongly recalls having seen an edition of The Princess Bride where all the interruptions from the reader are in red, and the introduction matches the movie with a Peter Faulk type character rather than the one with William Goldman's rambling take of being at the poolside with the starlet and taking phone calls from his wife. Does such an edition exist?i can find no trace of it online.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2015 - 14 answers

Turning fanfiction into an original work

If one decided to publish a work of fanfiction as an original work, what sort of protections would be necessary? I'm thinking of publishing a fanfiction work by changing names and places associated with the source material to original names, but are those the only protections I should be taking? [more inside]
posted by Roentgen on Dec 16, 2015 - 9 answers

How do I find creative collaboration?

I have a lot of creative interests and hobbies, and I love to collaborate with others, both virtually and in-person. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find people who are interested in collaborating and willing to follow through (perhaps the bigger problem). I feel like there must be communities, online or otherwise, that help facilitate collaboration, but I don’t know where to go. More below the fold. [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe on Dec 15, 2015 - 10 answers

"I manage a lot of crap" doesn't sing on a resume

Can I get specific, heartfelt, recommendations for high quality resume writing services? Would also work with an individual (i.e. not a service) if someone has really strong personal knowledge of someone who rocks at this. [more inside]
posted by A Terrible Llama on Dec 14, 2015 - 4 answers

Technical writing teachers: pedagogy resources and general advice

I taught college English for years, then transitioned to technical editing, where I've been working for almost two decades. I'd love to get back to teaching, but I thought it would be impossible. Now a friend of mine thinks my experience makes me a strong candidate for an upcoming opening as a teacher in his department. More inside. [more inside]
posted by FencingGal on Dec 14, 2015 - 3 answers

Academic editing service recommendations?

Can anyone recommend a good editing service for academic journal articles (in the humanities)? The article in question is around 9000 words and has already passed peer review and had a number of edits for style at the request of the journal but they are asking for it to be edited again. [more inside]
posted by tomcooke on Dec 4, 2015 - 5 answers

How do I learn to be better at English grammar and editing my writing?

I’ve been a lifelong reader and writer. I’m realizing while doing more writing (and in particular editing my own writing) that I need better resources and suggestions for learning English grammar. I've been told by some editors that I make mistakes and I’d love to have a better sense of how to polish what I write and deal with the little bits of grammatical inaccuracies that sprout up in finished pieces. [more inside]
posted by mulkey on Dec 3, 2015 - 15 answers

Looking for examples of a specific writing structure

Can you think of any examples of pieces of writing that open with a . . . temporal bait-and-switch? [more inside]
posted by listen, lady on Nov 27, 2015 - 7 answers

How do you plan (and write) academic philosophy essays?

I've never been very good at outlining or planning academic papers. My method of attack has consisted of sitting down at my laptop and hammering out prose, then going back and editing draft after draft until I come up with something I like. This method served me just fine in most of my humanities and social science courses in college, but I have a much harder time approaching philosophy essays in this unstructured way. Does anyone have any particular tips or methods that have helped them plan and write academic philosophy essays?
posted by tango! on Nov 27, 2015 - 19 answers

So my freelance article got killed -- now what?

I had a freelance pitch accepted from a major national outlet. For various reasons, the editor didn't like it after I wrote it. Now what? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 24, 2015 - 7 answers

How can I download multiple PDFs from an EBSCO database efficiently?

I have legal access through my school to the full archives, on EBSCO, of a magazine, and I would like to save about a decade's worth of articles in PDF format. [more inside]
posted by kingfishers catch fire on Nov 19, 2015 - 7 answers

Help me help them understand this feeling

I am looking for excerpts or entire works that describe as viscerally as possible the feeling of wanting to die (not necessarily being suicidal but not necessarily not). [more inside]
posted by jitterbug perfume on Nov 18, 2015 - 15 answers

Help Me Replace Grantland

What should I be reading to replace Grantland? [more inside]
posted by hepta on Nov 12, 2015 - 11 answers

Should I self-host my blog or post to a site with a built-in community?

I've been a blogger, off and on, since "weblog" first became a word, but the way blogs and communities are built these days confounds me. I miss tight-knit, ye olde internet communities but am no longer sure how they are built or nourished in a noisier, more commercialized web. I need opinions. [more inside]
posted by iamfantastikate on Nov 9, 2015 - 11 answers

help! should I drop out of my MFA writing program?

I started a MFA writing program in Vancouver this fall. I wasn't sure about whether I should go or not to begin with, and now, I'm still second-guess and worrying I made a big mistake. I'm unhappy, often, and I'm worried that if I stay it will be for the wrong reasons: a big, heavy sunken cost fallacy. Can you help, please? Long complicated backstory inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 8, 2015 - 19 answers

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