So I recently realized that a favorite poet of mine, Alice Duer Miller, published one more book of poems than I thought she had. I have been consequently wallowing in feminist poetry with snappy meter and rhyme for the last couple of days. Now that I'm done with my book, I'm looking for more poetry that strikes a chord, especially poetry by and about women. Where should I look, and who should I read? [more inside]
I'm currently writing a non-fiction book that will be published next year. I want to hear your best tips for keeping things running smoothly - especially towards the end of the publishing process. Specific circumstances inside. [more inside]
I'm a writer (read: I have not attempted to publish anything yet but I write. A lot.) I'm working on another novel and I want my writing to be as real and authentic as possible. However, I'm running into a gap in my life knowledge that I need your help with. (Please note: I'm not looking for you to post ideas or plot suggestions - I'm looking for a better understanding of real life, in all its messy and complicated glory, to draw from as I write this story.) [more inside]
There used to be a website that would encourage you to write a set amount (500 words?) every day. This is meant for stream-of-consicouness, just get it on paper writing. The website would store your writings (but not allow public sharing) and remind you to keep up the habit. Now I can't find it. Is it gone? Any other suggestions for how to get a writing habit going?
20ish years ago there was a one-page essay in the (maybe? Last page?) New Yorker that featured many uses of words that had no such root or form. I can't think of any specific words in the essay, but even what the words or practice are called and a list would be nice. Things like "rambunction" for rambunctious, or "consternating" for consternation. Is this mere coinage, or is there a wider practice at work? [more inside]
I just gave notice at my 9-5 advertising job (yay!) to try out the freelance life, but will soon be forfeiting my awesome Macbook pro to the company store (boo!). Therefore, I am in need of a new laptop, STAT. [more inside]
Please recommend me some new-ish critical/theoretical/academic writing on new-ish horror. [more inside]
I want to read journals and letters by people in their fifties and sixties. It could be anyone, anywhere, any century. I prefer good writing, and some levity. Most of all I'm looking for a sense of personality, text that brings the writer to life. The writer in his/her late middle age has lived several decades. They are settled in themselves, yet they still struggle. They look forward to years ahead, and they ponder mortality. What do they have to say? [more inside]
How do I maintain energy, steam, inspiration, and enthusiasm while undertaking a LONG project-- writing a nonfiction book? I've been at it for 4 months already, and I've got at least another month of proposal writing, and then will have many months of book writing. It's a marathon, and I've never done a marathon. [more inside]
I'm looking for links to Objectivist discussion sites/articles about how non-parent childcare (for orphans etc.) would work in an Objectivist/Randian society. I have some links; they don't cover this exact topic. [more inside]
How might I go about getting an entry-level writing job? Difficulty: not really sure what kind of writing job I'd like, am old, and possibly on the autism spectrum. [more inside]
I have a book proposal I need to write. I would like to leave NYC for a bit to do it. I’m taking off at the end of August/Labor Day weekend, so I have six days. Where should I go? Caveat: I don’t drive. [more inside]
I miss the days when I could actually find people's personal blogs online. Does anybody do that anymore? I am interested in people who document their life, experiences and thoughts -- preferably recent blogs that are still being updated, but any blogs with a decent archive would be fine, too -- and I do not mind dark stuff (quite the opposite). [more inside]
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]