I am looking for book recommendations. Specifically, books that have gorgeous writing. [more inside]
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?
seeking LA bars at least somewhat conducive for early-evening write-togethers with author pals! [more inside]
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.
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
Brief Shakespeare quotation on the idea of desire or love as muse / as source of creative fire? [more inside]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Can you think of any examples of pieces of writing that open with a . . . temporal bait-and-switch? [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
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]
What should I be reading to replace Grantland? [more inside]
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]
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]
My 9 year old son is having a very hard time learning to spell. He's a voracious reader, and reads above grade level with good comprehension. In general he's plenty smart. But spelling even basic words is a struggle for him. It has gotten to the point where "just practice more and you'll catch on" doesn't seem like the right strategy. Is there a specific learning disability related to spelling? [more inside]
I used to be a decent writer growing up. I could write things in two hours that would take other people weeks while in school. Ideas.... mental outlines... of what a certain piece of writing would look and sound like would spontaneously form in my head, sometimes down to specific wording. Suddenly, I would get a burst of energy and write until there was nothing left. Now even writing an email feels like pulling teeth. What's wrong with me? YANMD. [more inside]
I've been invited to give a series of workshops at a local high school on writing science fiction and fantasy. What should I do to make them awesome? [more inside]
I'm stuck on part of a short story I'm writing. My main character is at a silent Vipassana retreat, but I'm not comfortable having so much of the action be internal. Aside from natural disasters and the like, what are some weird/dramatic things that could happen there that are realistic?
I want to explore a career as a medical writer/editor. I've worked in the healthcare field for 18 years and I feel I have a lot of things going for me, however I don't have the undergraduate degree that most employers list as required. More details below the jump. [more inside]
Can a writer's literary style or technique be summed up in one phrase? I am trying to compile such a list of descriptions. An example would be: "Ernest Hemingway: Simple, terse, unadorned, and uses few adjectives." George Bernard Shaw: "Energetic, witty, intellectual, aggressive, comedic, and socially critical." The more technical the description, the better.
Let's say I wanted my Mac to be able to display every Unicode character. I mean EVERY character. Not just the useful ones. I want Ancient Greek Musical Notation (U+1D200..U+1D24F). Or Pau Cin Hau (U+11AC0–U+11AFF), a script created by and named after the 19th-century founder of a religion in Northwest Myanmar. Or the undeciphered glyphs engraved on the Phaistos Disc (U+101D0..U+101FF). How can I accomplish my goal while doing the least work sourcing and installing fonts? [more inside]
Hi, I am working on a story and I have a sentence that says, "Please give them the food packets." Can anyone tell me if that is second person point of view or if it's third person point of view. Thanks in advance.
Looking for practical advice and anecdotes on actively looking for a creative partner when life does not grant you one "naturally" like best friends who share a hobby etc. More specifically how do writers find other writers or comic book artists. I've gone to a few writers meetups and they were fun and useful, but ultimately not fruitful (yet). I know there are probably a lot of online communities I could join (how should I approach this approach to finding someone?)
Please recommend a good course to learn more about playwrighting and/or more resources to learn how to do so/NYC city based but open to other locations. [more inside]
I've written an essay about my relationship with my ex. What are your experiences with publishing personal essays about friends or family members? [more inside]
How do copywriters and designers collaborate on assignments? [more inside]
I'm about to start a writing project with someone else. I have no idea how this is done: logistically, that can be all worked out, I mean more division of labor. Does one dream up and the other grind it out? What works best for you and your writing partner?
It's 2015, and more and more academic articles from pre-Internet times are getting scanned, indexed, and shared. Back in the day, you might have been able to publish essentially the same paper in journals with mainly domestic subscriber lists in two different countries, and nobody ever would have been the wiser. Somebody did this. The intersection of subscribers was probably less than 25 libraries in this case back then. Twenty years later, and a reader noticed. Author is now a big cheese. My gut tells me to treat this just like any other case of major plagiarism--notify the author, allow them to respond, but then likely public retraction as self-plagiarism and notify employer and journal where Author is now editor. [more inside]
If you were mentoring/working with a technical professional or someone without a strong writing background, what book(s) would you recommend they read to learn about basic concepts/techniques/style/voice, etc.? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of a particular kind of narrative writing style that might be (or overlap with) what I think is sometimes called deep-point-of-view. [more inside]
I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Difficulty level: self-employment for the past decade, entrepreneur, 40something female. [more inside]
[FictionFilter] In the era of doxxing and all that, is it possible for a tech person with a high-profile position to keep his personal info -- and real name and identity -- under wraps? [more inside]
I am interested in books that manage to combine a successful plot-driven approach (particularly thrillers or other airport-style reading, like Crichton or Dan Brown) with humor, either in the form of characters, dialogue, or narration. When has it been done successfully? When has it been attempted unsuccessfully? Are they like oil and water, and if so, why? [more inside]
As an aspiring horror writer, I am constantly in search of inspiration for images and scenarios that terrify. Help me out? [more inside]
How do I get a good grounding in the study of literature while not a full-time student? What resources (Great Courses, books, textbooks, seminars, courses, etc.) would help? The purpose is to add depth, symbolism, and allusion to my own writing. [more inside]
I love my Jotter, but I'm looking for something similar in a fountain pen. My number 1 priority is slimness - I hate fat pens - but I would also like to avoid cheap-feeling plastic. What are my options for under $50? Should I stick with Parker? Is the Cross Classic worthy of my grasp? What's the best non-bulky fountain pen you've used?
I am researching liner notes, and would like to see Johnny Cash's liner notes for his album "Live at Folsom Prison" as well as his liner notes for Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline." They don't seem to be anywhere online, even in iTunes. I would order hard copies, but I don't have time for shipping. Does anyone know where I can find them online, or would anyone who has them be willing to take readable photos for me? I'm on a time crunch, of course. Please help!
What's the best way to approach potential ghostwriting clients? [more inside]
I got a last-minute invite to a weekend creative writing workshop. I haven't produced anything except for work related, decidedly non-creative, work in a long time, and am not at all in a daily writing (or idea generating) habit at this point. Prescribe me a workout for the next 4 days so I am as "in shape" as is realistic. [more inside]
Should one query publishers individually or simultaneously about short story collections? Does no mention of submission status on publisher websites mean "we're closed to subs at this time?" I've read tons of opinions about novel, short story, or article subs, but little about submitting/querying for collections, other than "you should probably wait until you have a novel." In my niche, many authors publish collections with small or large presses before a novel, if they write novels at all. [more inside]
My daughter is turning 11 next year and I am writing her a Harry Potter inspired story (fanfic) of her very own. She is the star character in a story about her first year at Hogwarts. Can you help me name some of other characters? [more inside]
My wife has started doing some freelance writing, and her first story will be published in tomorrow's edition of our local newspaper. Yay! Unfortunately, someone in the editorial chain made several errors, including misspelling a simple word in a section they (poorly) rewrote, and misspelling the name of one of the subjects of the story in several of the photo captions. They also rewrote another portion into a bunch of short, choppy sentences that totally ruin the flow of the article. How should she respond? [more inside]