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Help me exacerbate my mad writing crush on Nicole Holofcener!

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 - 8 answers

How can I get started as a freelance writer?

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 - 23 answers

Leaping into the action: good examples of in media res in short fiction?

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 - 19 answers

Examples of essay/articles without a character or main person

Hello, 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 - 5 answers

Best Area for Small Press and Tech Jobs?

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 - 12 answers

You know where you want to go, but you don't know for sure...

[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 - 24 answers

Dead ends everywhere I look

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 - 25 answers

How to use 40,000 sheets of letterhead paper?

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 - 22 answers

To Self-publish, or (try) to Publish... and I'm a snowflake

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 - 7 answers

Quiet place to drink, write, and read in Cambridge/Somerville MA?

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 - 11 answers

How can I improve my writing?

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 - 11 answers

Brief example of a rant / ineffective written argument?

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 - 11 answers

Can a Git Branch Contain Only a Sub-Set of the Repository?

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 - 9 answers

GTA V writing staff demographics?

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 - 5 answers

Wrote TV Spec Script, Now What?

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 - 16 answers

Specfic writing workshops in the Midwest

Are there any speculative fiction writing workshops in the Midwest? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Sep 19, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me compose a letter/buy a flat

I'd like to buy a flat in a particular building. I'm going to do a hand-written letterdrop, but would love some advice about the best way to execute this. [more inside]
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Sep 18, 2013 - 4 answers

Handwriting without tears.

I never learned to hold a pen correctly. My extremely awkward method involves pressing my index and middle fingers hard on the top of my pen. As a result, my hand quickly gets tired and cramped. Can I change this? How much practice would be involved? It's easy to find descriptions of better grips, but I don't find advice for adults who want to change long-established bad habits.
posted by Wordwoman on Sep 16, 2013 - 17 answers

Help me find a Junot Diaz quotation about writing and politics.

I'm looking for a Junot Diaz quotation about writing and politics, and google is failing me. I saw it in the last year or two in the form of a tumblr-type image, though it was not this one about Elvish. It went something like this:
Interview question: How do you make sure your writing has good politics?
Diaz: When you grow up in a society that is as repressive as ours, that bad politics is going to come out in your writing no matter what. I have to struggle constantly to examine my writing and make sure I agree with the politics and get misogynistic or otherwise reactionary political content scrubbed out of it.
The interview question may or may not have been present. I of course can't phrase Diaz's response as eloquently as he did.
posted by HeroZero on Sep 15, 2013 - 2 answers

Unsung Short Story Masters

I want to know about that favorite short story writer of yours that no one else has ever heard of. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 13, 2013 - 42 answers

Day in the life of a Technical Writer.

Is your job title 'Technical Writer'? What on earth do you do all day? Would pursuing a job as a Technical Writer even be remotely fruitful given my past experience? [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on Sep 8, 2013 - 16 answers

Where do you go in Rome, Italy if you want to hang out and write?

My family (myself, my sister and our parents) are heading off shortly for a vacation in Rome, Italy. My family likes to write a lot; my parents are actually taking on online writing course at the moment, and I have a fair bit of writing to do for work. In the States we'd go hang out at a coffeehouse to get our daily wordcount in. What's the best place to get writing done in Rome? [more inside]
posted by fermion on Sep 7, 2013 - 8 answers

Does everyone in the world want to write, or is it only Americans?

Between the writers' conferences, workshops, organizations, academic degrees, web sites, online fora, regional groups, and how-to books that seem to fill this country, it appears that every third American more or less seriously wants to be a writer. (UK seems to have a bit of the fever as well.) Is the same obsession at play elsewhere, that is, in the non-English speaking world? [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Sep 4, 2013 - 14 answers

Speak, memory. (Or at least whisper a bit louder.)

How do memoir writers jog their memories? How have you (in the absence of note-taking during or immediately after transformative periods in your life) jogged your memory? [more inside]
posted by blue suede stockings on Sep 3, 2013 - 12 answers

Please don't ask me

How do I kindly decline my struggling-writer friends' numerous requests that I submit their screenplays to my agent, without causing any bad feelings or strife? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 27, 2013 - 45 answers

Tips & tricks for capturing the 'voice' of a piece of fiction?

How do you go about consciously aping the voice/tone/style of a particular genre of fiction or writer? [more inside]
posted by Erberus on Aug 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Name some paranormal young adult fiction cliches so I can avoid doing it

Please name some Paranormal Young Adult fiction tropes and cliches (obvious or obscure) so I can avoid doing them myself in the book I am writing. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by Sully on Aug 22, 2013 - 21 answers

How much should an editor of an online publication be paid?

If I want to hire an editor to manage the blog for my ad-driven website, how much should the pay be if it's full-time? What about part-time? Other than creating and managing content, managing writers (and bringing on new ones), and promoting the blog and the site on social media, is there anything else I should list in a online editor's duties? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 20, 2013 - 4 answers

Trying to remember a poem - "three than four then many more"

That's really the only string I can grab at it "Three then four, then many more" or maybe
posted by Atticus Swanson on Aug 16, 2013 - 1 answer

Ok, so we've split up, now who gets custody of the book idea?

My ex and I had a couple of ideas for books before we started dating. They were joint ideas and something we were going to work on together. Unfortunately our working styles clashed and very little got done on even the main one. I want to have the option to actually put the hard work in to develop the story from the tiny amount of info I have now into a finished story at some point in the future. So is it possible, wise, legal or even moral to ask him to sign something saying he relinquishes the rights to the ideas in return for a very small royalty IF I finsih the books and get them published? [more inside]
posted by Ranting Prophet of DOOM! on Aug 15, 2013 - 13 answers

Channeling my inner Whedon.

Hi, writers of MeFi! I am an unpublished writer of fiction. I think I am good, or at least, not terrible. No great stylist, but readable. However, I am awful at writing witty dialogue. I can do awkward, I love writing arguments, but I can't do funny. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 on Aug 15, 2013 - 12 answers

Help me name a genome!

I'm working on a new book and I need to name a genome. I can't handwave it-- while the book is SF, I don't want people in the know to be able to look at it like people look at Law & Order address (ie, nobody from New York would ever think that's a real address. Nobody in science would ever think that's a real genome.) [more inside]
posted by headspace on Aug 14, 2013 - 11 answers

As a teacher, can I refer students to my professional business?

I teach writing to adults. When they ask me to edit something that's not for class (say, for their professional work), can I refer them to my private writing/editing business, even if they're currently enrolled in my class? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Aug 12, 2013 - 5 answers

Looking for pet-themed poetry

Mr. Lucid and I put our lovely cat to sleep after her brave battle with kidney disease. I'd like to send an uplifting poem to the vets and vet staff who have helped our family so much. I'm looking for poetry that is specific to pets and animals and speaks to the value of having them in our lives, but also expresses gratitude for those in the helping professions who mean so much to their four-legged patients. [more inside]
posted by luciddream928 on Aug 8, 2013 - 11 answers

A Quote About Fire Or Something

What does it feel like to walk across a thick carpet of cooled ash, like after a forest fire or a house fire? I'm writing a book and I didn't think about the sensation until right now, and I'm quite clueless. Thank you!
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 on Aug 8, 2013 - 13 answers

personal writings about ADD/ADHD

I'm looking for high-quality, moving, compelling, interesting writing about having ADD; i.e. personal essays, creative nonfiction, that sort of thing. [more inside]
posted by threeants on Aug 4, 2013 - 3 answers

How to improve my technical writing?

I'm in a creative portion of the software development field (advertising), and I often am asked to help write technical documents like case studies, final documentation to the client or simply find myself needing to explain technical ideas to a client. How can I improve my writing skills? I'm looking for general tips or rules, as well as examples of engaging technical writing that doesn't read like a Github Wiki page. [more inside]
posted by geoff. on Aug 3, 2013 - 3 answers

Writers: how do you go about creating new characters?

Writers: how do you go about creating new characters? I've tried in the past, but they usually end up a combination of tired cliches and quotes from old movies. They never feel real. If I don't have a natural talent for doing this, how do I get better at it?
posted by archagon on Aug 2, 2013 - 19 answers

Version Control for Writers

Surely there are some more sophisticated programmers' tools for storing and comparing multiple drafts, or versions, of a written document. Might we use those tools, to study written work, or to keep track of versions both linear and non-linear? Authors, editors, literary scholars, archivists: all eventually have to do work with multiple versions of a text. Can the existing tools be made more readily available to them? [more inside]
posted by dylan_k on Jul 31, 2013 - 16 answers

Source of Gore Vidal quote about writing

Can anyone help me identify the original source of this Gore Vidal quote? "Write what you know’ will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect. That is the only way out of the dead end of the Serious Novel which so many ambitious people want to write and no one on earth wants to read." Have been Googling for a while without any luck.
posted by steinsaltz on Jul 25, 2013 - 5 answers

Help! I'm a newbie freelancer who needs guidance on taxes

I'm new to the world of freelance writing but not making enough to hire a tax advisor. Should I start paying taxes in September? And how can I write off the depreciation of my laptop? [more inside]
posted by bluelight on Jul 20, 2013 - 13 answers

Isn't it Ironic?

Looking for a short story, in which an elevator figured prominently, used to demonstrate literary irony in a gifted-talented/advanced placement middle school class. [more inside]
posted by crush-onastick on Jul 19, 2013 - 3 answers

How to write a story, pulp style

Specific story-writing method published by a '20s/'30s crime writer? [more inside]
posted by meadowlark lime on Jul 18, 2013 - 3 answers

Jobs that would give me time to work on my own creative projects?

Are there paid jobs I could get that are non-demanding enough that they would give me long hours of free time to work on my own creative projects? [more inside]
posted by incandescentman on Jul 17, 2013 - 11 answers

Favourite examples of foreboding or suspense in literature?

What are your favourite examples of building tension or suspense in literature? Ideally these are brief moments, single paragraphs or small scenes, compelling the reader to continue on, worried about what will follow. [more inside]
posted by swrittenb on Jul 17, 2013 - 22 answers

Best Online Writing Groups/Workshops?

What are the best online writer's groups or workshops, especially for genre (scifi/fantasy) fiction? Active community of geeks wanted. Help a writer get serious about her stories. [more inside]
posted by ninjakins on Jul 16, 2013 - 5 answers

Any ideas for an in-class writing exercise using a model essay?

I want my students to learn something from reading a "model essay." But how do I do this? [more inside]
posted by caoimhe on Jul 15, 2013 - 8 answers

Left a good job in the city

I am in the middle of a long, demanding professional school admissions process. Essays are required. But I am so demoralized about my life situation that I am finding it very hard to have the proper upbeat tone. Experienced writers and editors--hell, experienced salesmen--what are some exercises I can do to get into the proper headspace? The more concrete, the better, like "start every writing session with ten bullet points about your accomplishments," or similar. [more inside]
posted by skbw on Jul 14, 2013 - 13 answers

Best texts & exercises for adults in a professional writing class?

What are the most useful writing tips and/or resources (books and the like) that you have come across as an adult? New teacher of a course in professional writing wants to know. [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Jul 13, 2013 - 11 answers

I need help in improving my short story

Is it possible to find an expert in creative writing in the Boston area or online to help me improve my short story? Several knowledgeable readers pointed out specific flaws in it that I have no idea how to fix. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jul 13, 2013 - 3 answers

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