I'm like every other post-college twentysomething in lots of ways: I make too little money, watch too much Netflix and indulge in an existential crisis oh, about once an hour. Also, like many in my cohort, I love the idea of packing up a ratty old duffel bag and heading off to some far corner of the world to taste, see and do all I can, while maybe giving myself either a leg to stand on once I return to the job market here or the warm-n-fuzzies that come from volunteering and/or service learning. All pretty standard fare. Here comes the doozy of snowflake: I'm in a wheelchair and have certain difficulties with speech fluency, owing to my CP and spastic diplegia diagnosis. Try as I might, I can't get myself to give up on the dream of spending a year or more abroad, even with all this in my way. Help me get there, oh beautiful hivemind? [more inside]
posted by marsbar77
on Jan 19, 2014 -
Asking for a friend. Friend interviewing a source for an article and wanted to publish it as an interview. He pitched it to a paper and the paper wants him to right a story in the form of "as told by." So the article reads like a narrative by the source but is written by my friend. He has never written anything like this before and wonders whether or not he should pay some of what he's paid for the article to the source?
posted by melissam
on Jan 17, 2014 -
I'm getting sick of writing to the same music. Suggest me new stuff please. Nitpicky particulars and what I'm listening to right now inside. [more inside]
posted by dersins
on Jan 17, 2014 -
What really great activities, exercises or lessons do you remember from your undergrad-level writing or composition courses? [more inside]
posted by yersinia
on Jan 17, 2014 -
Does anyone know the name/email address of a guy who used to post to Usenet in the mid-1990s in justified text? (When rendered in a monospaced font.) [more inside]
posted by mstillwell
on Jan 14, 2014 -
I'm having trouble finding any decent quality writing on sex advice or on sex in general where the author and target audience are both straight men. Part of this is about being interested in reading such content, part is about wondering if there really is a void here and if I should start writing myself to fill it. [more inside]
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch
on Jan 11, 2014 -
What are good examples of technical documents? examples: business policies, research papers, references, documentation [more inside]
posted by ichomp
on Jan 8, 2014 -
I'm looking for NYC poetry class recommendations! Gotham Writer's Workshop and 92Y are both offering courses that start soon. Poet's House also offers classes but they haven't announced the dates yet. Does anyone have experiences with any of these? Are there other poetry classes or groups I'm overlooking? [more inside]
posted by yaymukund
on Jan 6, 2014 -
I really love works of fiction that use the style, setup, or form of another media product as a means of storytelling and sometimes subversion. For example: TEDxSummerisle
(complete with tweets and botched livestream) and The Theory of Narrative Causality
, written primarily in the form of Livejournal posts by the Sherlock Homes fandom (inc comments and bits of fanfic) as well as GChats, TVTropes, and related media. What other similar works are out there? [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Jan 4, 2014 -
I'm an author. I've seen enough other authors flame out when responding to criticism that I know never to respond to negative reviews. But I'm sometimes tempted to respond to positive
reviews of my book on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites-- perhaps with a short "Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it;" perhaps with a longer reply if it seems appropriate. Should I ever do that? If so, when? [more inside]
posted by yankeefog
on Jan 1, 2014 -
Hello, I'm trying out the whole Match.com thing for the first time and am having trouble making my profile really stand out. I'm getting a little writers block as well. I've tried doing the funny thing and it just comes across as corny. I'm not fond of my writing skills and what I've put together feels it's a little flat. Let me know if anybody has any suggestions for improvement. Of course, any grammar corrections are more than welcome as well.
More inside and Thanks! [more inside]
posted by Che boludo!
on Dec 31, 2013 -
There's a Michael Crichton book (technically finished based on his notes) called Micro. It is about a group of people who get shrunk to miniscule size and are attacked by mundane wildlife. [more inside]
posted by Lorc
on Dec 31, 2013 -
I was reading a review of Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 and a reviewer said the following:
The author inserts John Dos Passos-like lists here and there in the text. Not quite sure that works, however (These lists are distorted and truncated in the Kindle edition).
What do these lists look like? [more inside]
posted by hjo3
on Dec 29, 2013 -
Is it possible for a layperson to differentiate an MFA trained author from one who isn't?
posted by larry_darrell
on Dec 28, 2013 -
I'm looking for original self-marketing ideas for a writer and/or a designer. Okay, social media is important: Design your own page, update it frequently and get your friends to like it and promote it to their friends. But I'm looking for those kinds of tips that you've read and thought to yourself "Well that's original!". Something on par with Nine Inch Nails'/H2DA/Radiohead's decision to give their music for free "lest they come to the unique live concert experience" marketing ploy. Have you ever come across a Seth Godin or a Malcolm Gladwell book (or anything else) and was struck by something interesting?
posted by omar.a
on Dec 24, 2013 -
trying to get rid of.
I have to write for my job and although I'm a good writer, the passive voice is my nemesis. I want to use it consciously and for a reason, not as a mistake or a bad habit. So ummm, yeah, I need some resources. [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday
on Dec 22, 2013 -
I couldn't find any information as to how Alan Moore goes about writing his comics (namely Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell). I found an excerpt from his Watchmen script
which shows how incredibly detailed he is in describing each panel. I once read that on Watchmen, it was a back-and-forth between him and Dave Gibbons, where Gibbons starts off with roughly sketching out the panels, gets comments from Moore, gets greenlit, then proceeds to drawing the final version. Any more information on Moore's process? Any other scripts you know of and is his writing as detailed for all his projects as detailed (I know that From Hell has labyrinthine appendices that almost match the work itself in length for example)?
posted by omar.a
on Dec 17, 2013 -
I've recently noticed an irritating trend in English-language writing: sections that really should be written in the past perfect tense are instead in the simple past tense. I've seen this more in American English than in British English, but that might just be confirmation bias. Is there a reason for this, for example a new style of teaching in schools or universities? And is it really new, or am I just looking for things to get annoyed about? [more inside]
posted by daisyk
on Dec 14, 2013 -
It's a common trope in literature, film, etc. where somebody warns another person: "You can't possibly grasp the secret that's going on here!" Which, of course, raises a mystery that an author's got to resolve, usually anticlimactically. What are instances of stories which pay off
on those juicy teasers? i.e., stories in which the thing that our protagonist "can't possibly comprehend" is in fact astonishing, unexpected, and totally rewarding for the reader? (Bonus points for avoiding
cosmic horror, unnecessary violence, sexual savagery.)
posted by Rory Marinich
on Dec 13, 2013 -
Is there some sort of online venue that's midway in concept between twitter and a blog? [more inside]
posted by threeants
on Dec 12, 2013 -
What's it called when authors put ****** in place of place names or character names? [more inside]
posted by dilaudid
on Dec 5, 2013 -
Where can I see numbered diagrams for handwriting each Cyrillic letter?
posted by slowlikemolasses
on Dec 5, 2013 -
Can anyone point me to articles or books which investigate the artistic advantages and disadvantages of writing vis-a-vis other mediums like film (e.g. what effects can written documents have that movies cannot, and vice-versa)?
posted by shivohum
on Nov 18, 2013 -
I'm looking for an example novel(s) that features several separate third person viewpoint characters with seemingly different plot strands at the beginning but whose plots converge as they go on and they end up meeting further on in the novel (if only briefly). I want to see how the author handles these meetings and the meta narrative of several stories merging into one. I would prefer mainstream rather than literary as I'd like to seem something straight forward rather than overly tricky and would prefer sf but please don't let that constrict you as I'm more interested in the mechanics rather than the background and any genre would do.
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Nov 14, 2013 -
I enjoy writing but often have trouble with motivation. Is there a blog or other resource that tracks writing contests? Looking for anything from publishers looking for compilation submissions on a certain theme to overtly commercial contests (where you might write something about a product to win a small prize or the product itself) to just for fun bragging rights competitions. [more inside]
posted by mikepop
on Nov 13, 2013 -
Is Marketing Communications a good fit for me? Career advice appreciated, especially from people with experience in the industry. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 11, 2013 -
Recent job opportunity came up, and I have the chance to write semi-professionally for a small company. Think in the vein of writing movie reviews or reviewing software. Its professional writing, but there will be conceptual and thematic details involved, it's not simply writing staid copy.
I would like to find a book that helps me hone my prose, and will teach me how to better edit and improve my work. [more inside]
posted by cascando
on Nov 5, 2013 -
I'd like to begin a daily writing practice, to be hosted on a semi-public blog (that is, it's public but not promoted, and not for anyone but myself). [more inside]
posted by jsturgill
on Nov 4, 2013 -
St. Louis friend trained as a writer and filmmaker wants to use his skills to help people in need/suffering. Does anyone in the area (the city, or St. Louis County) know of any volunteering options for him? He already has an office job, but career suggestions would be welcome, though I think volunteering is more of an immediate interest. National and local organizations anyone knows of in the area are welcome. Thanks!
posted by Locative
on Nov 4, 2013 -
I'm starting a blog about a particular subculture. While there are a lot of blogs about this particular thing, there aren't any from the particular perspective that I'll be writing from. I'm wondering if it's best for me to write it anonymously, or to attach my name to it. Outside of my writing, I'm on the path towards a public(ish) career. [more inside]
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper
on Nov 2, 2013 -
Last night I saw Enough Said and it blew my mind with how great the writing was as well as the acting. What other movies would the Mefiverse recommend in this vein?
What I liked about it was the characters were deeply defined and multi-layered, behaved as real people would in their circumstances, and held each other accountable for their actions. Bonus points for having a serious lack of Hollywood veneer lacquered over the top of the movie. [more inside]
posted by Lipstick Thespian
on Nov 1, 2013 -
I'm looking to make around $300-$700 a month doing freelance writing to supplement my income. So far I have been overwhelmed with the resources online and still have no idea where to start. I have no experience writing professionally but I am an English major and have been writing almost all of my life. I'm mostly interested in the "Elance" platform but I'm open to other options. How do I get started? [more inside]
posted by dargerpartridge
on Oct 20, 2013 -
I'm teaching a workshop on in media res (starting a story at the height of the action and then revealing backstory later) this weekend, and I'm looking for a short story (fairly short, short enough that students could read it in under 5-10 minutes) that illustrates in media res well. After the students read the story, I'm going to ask them to write an in media res story of their own. Does anyone know of any good short stories that would resonate with 13-16-year-olds? Thank you!
posted by DeusExMegana
on Oct 17, 2013 -
I'm looking for examples of good essays/articles/long form journalism (2000-5000 words) that aren't told through profiling a person or based on the author's experience somewhere. I received advice that you don't pitch an idea or a subject, but a character, and I've stuck to that, but I'd like to try a few shorter articles and essays that don't depend on framing it around a person or a trip somewhere (my essays that hang off a person's story take over a year to get the material because I follow the person's journey).
I hope that makes sense.
posted by cimuir
on Oct 17, 2013 -
In February/March 2014, my roommate and I will be free to move almost anywhere within California. She graduated last year with a BFA in Writing. I write code. Where should we move in order to find a job for her, preferably in small press? [more inside]
posted by WasabiFlux
on Oct 16, 2013 -
[Book filter] Please recommend stories about people who find out (through trail and error) what they really want, and eventually get there (after a bunch of detours). [more inside]
posted by fix
on Oct 13, 2013 -
That I've posed this question more than once before in various forms doesn't say very many good things, but the circumstances being what they are, I have to hope the answer is yet to be found. That's all I've got really- hope.I'm a 23 year old recent college grad ( in May, with a BA in psychology from Stony Brook University in NY), looking for love, a job, a journey and a purpose. I'm also in a wheelchair, unable to speak fluently in an increasing percentage of life situations, grossly overweight, unmotivated and uninspired. Help me build a life away from my couch and outside of daytime TV, Facebook and lies. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77
on Oct 10, 2013 -
Instead of ordering one set of 200 sheets of letterhead writing paper (with mine & my husband's names and our address), I ordered 200 sets of 200 sheets of paper. That means I will now be receiving 40,000 sheets of letterhead... how can I make this less wasteful and use it all up? [more inside]
posted by ladybird
on Oct 10, 2013 -
I am writing a guidebook for my industry and while I want to catch some of the increase in reputation that comes from going through a real publisher, I also pretty much want to give it away (electronically but also in hard copy as gifts for clients etc) to as many people as possible. Is there a way to achieve both of those goals? Published by an independent, real publisher, printed for those that want to pay, and those I am willing to pay for, and free for me to distribute as much as I want?
posted by HopStopDon'tShop
on Oct 3, 2013 -
I like to have a glass of whisky and read and write on weekday evenings. I'm looking for quiet bars (or licensed cafes) where I can hole up with a laptop and/or book. Does such a thing exist? [more inside]
posted by Beardman
on Oct 2, 2013 -
My writing tends to be very brief, and it's difficult for me to write long essays that are good. Also, I would like to start writing literary and cultural critiques and would like MeFites' advice. [more inside]
posted by myitkyina
on Sep 28, 2013 -
Brief example of a rant / ineffective written argument? Possibly from a discussion forum, content thread, or review site? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine
on Sep 25, 2013 -
I'm new to Git but as I understand it, a branch is typically for working with a copy of all the files. Would it work for what I have in mind, if the branch only contains a sub-set of those files? [more inside]
posted by dylan_k
on Sep 24, 2013 -
What is the racial makeup of the Rockstar North writing team? Specifically, how people were involved in the writing of Grand Theft Auto V were black?
posted by Jairus
on Sep 21, 2013 -
So, I finished the first draft of a TV spec script this week. I checked to see if the show even looks at spec scripts (it does) and I got a bunch of scripts off the show to study the style and length, etc. Now what?* The only writing gigs I've gotten before have either been people coming to me, self-publishing, or people with their own agents bringing me in as part of a package deal. My only experience with the slush pile is cartoon selling (and I've done well there in so far as you can). I don't have representation of my own. After the writing part of writing is done, how does the selling part go - at least for US TV? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 20, 2013 -