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How can I achieve a state of creative flow as a writer?

When I'm racing to meet a writing deadline, I feel a sense of exhilaration, momentum, and flow. How can achieve that state on a regular basis so I can make steady progress on my writing? [more inside]
posted by incandescentman on Feb 27, 2013 - 17 answers

 

Where can I find this awesome notebook?

I have a perfect notebook, left over from college, and would love to find more just like it. But it has no branding -- I have no idea who manufactured the darn thing. My school doesn't seem to sell them anymore. It's 7" by 10", double-wire bound, cloth hardcover, with nice lined pages. Each page has a little recycling triangle symbol on it (indicating 100 percent recycled). Pics inside. Anyone know who could've made it, or where to find the same? Many thanks! [more inside]
posted by dgrobinson on Feb 25, 2013 - 13 answers

Recommendations for a resume writing/editing service?

It's been almost 10 years since I last changed jobs and it's also been that long since I've written a resume. I'd like to get some (hopefully) expert opinion and editing to bring my resume up to date, both to reflect the skills/experience I've gained and ensure that it is in a format that will be acceptable to recruiters/companies. Has anyone used a resume service recently that you've been pleased with? (I'm located in the NYC metro area if that makes a difference).
posted by de void on Feb 12, 2013 - 2 answers

How to transition from commenting on blogs to "real" writing

In the last 9 years, I've written a Russian novel's worth of blog comments. Can you help me channel this energy into personal writing projects? NOTE : I am NOT interested in blogging. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 12, 2013 - 10 answers

Pitching Help! (Journalism)

I work as a journalist. However, I only get articles in publications due to my personal relationships with the editor(s). I've never been able to send in an unsolicited pitch and have it accepted. [more inside]
posted by GiveUpNed on Feb 11, 2013 - 8 answers

Resources on Polynesian myth.

For a friend: I’m writing about a fictional, Polynesian-inspired trickster god for a game. What are some resources I can consult so my storylines are respectful and grounded in authentic myth? Ideally, these sources will be fun to read as well.
posted by cthuljew on Feb 11, 2013 - 3 answers

Style for addressing a formal letter to multiple people

When addressing a formal or business letter to multiple parties, say, A, B, and C, is there a rule for the order, e.g. by how important people are? I.e. if A is more important than B is more important than C, is it: Dear Mr. A, Ms. B and Dr. C: or Dear Dr. C., Ms. B and Mr. A: and are there style guides that I can reference for this? [more inside]
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron on Feb 9, 2013 - 5 answers

How Do I Write My First Book?

How Do I Write My First Book? I'm a bit shy and uncertain about the whole process and need some help in understanding how to just let the words and story gel into something readable. [more inside]
posted by watercarrier on Feb 8, 2013 - 13 answers

What techniques should be used to find the already written future of me?

Let's say that certain phases of my life were already written in a book 70 - 100 years ago by someone, who was either a futurist of a scifi-writer. Let's also say that there are people, who want to make sure - for some yet unknown reason - that I live through those phases and that my personality gets developed similarly to some character's personality in that book. The book would have been written a long time before I was born. Now, what kind of search engines and what kind of search strategies I should use to become sure that there actually is such a book? There might exists traces of revitalizing of the book, if the original writer didn't make good enough guesses about the future.
posted by spctrm on Feb 5, 2013 - 13 answers

Help me, and my team, strengthen our non-fiction writing skills

I lead a team of podcasters. They're all great people--intelligent, articulate, and very good speakers. We now wish to translate our spoken success to the page, and our early attempts have shown that despite the successes we have as speakers we're finding our writing skill (specifically in regards to concise, clear, engaging, and personable communication through the written word) is in need of honing. I need suggestions how to do that. [more inside]
posted by arniec on Feb 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Tell me about an essay that flows really well.

Hello! I am teaching a writing class, and am now teaching students about flow. I would like to do an exercise where I take an essay (preferably, somewhat academic) and cut it up and give it to them to rearrange to show how well the author transitions between paragraphs. The problem is, I can't find one that works in particular! If anyone has a good example, I'd be grateful.
posted by caoimhe on Feb 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Where are all the writers hiding?

The writing workshop I attend might end up dissipating soon. How can I find a replacement group? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Feb 3, 2013 - 3 answers

Fun, writing games?

So I'm having some friends over tonight. We're all writers and we're going to play some writing games. Do you have any that you might suggest? [more inside]
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? on Feb 1, 2013 - 17 answers

Writing catchy, fun, simple Facebook updates for a company. How?!

I have just become the person In Charge of Facebook for my small company. Last week I sat down and wrote some Facebook posts that my boss thought were "too cheesy." I agreed with him. They totally were. I am a social media lover- I have a tumblr, a Facebook, etc. I know when people try too hard and used to work for a government official who Did Not Get Facebook and so I know what definitely doesn't work. I've just never been in charge of writing one. [more inside]
posted by timpanogos on Jan 30, 2013 - 12 answers

What are you best and worst experiences with a Director?

I'm a writer who has two one-act plays on in a theatre. I am also directing them but this will be my first time working as a director. What do you think makes a good director? What positive and negative experiences have you have and what could I do to make this go brilliantly? [more inside]
posted by Nufkin on Jan 27, 2013 - 10 answers

Help me write beautiful letters.

Rather than rely on our usual email correspondence, I would like to write some letters by hand to someone very important to me who lives very far away. [more inside]
posted by Callicvol on Jan 26, 2013 - 5 answers

Why isn't my husband interested in what I do?

I'm a writer married to a jazz musician. I always hoped I'd end up in this sort of arty, creative marriage. But there's a problem that is becoming overwhelming. In spite of fully expecting me to experience and support his art, my husband never, ever, reads anything I write. Not a two-page story or a blog post much less anything longer. He says he feels awful about never getting around to it (and I've made it clear it's fine if he hates it—I just want him to be willing to check it out) and he seems to be sincere... But he still doesn't read it. It really hurts me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 26, 2013 - 91 answers

OMG, storytelling in journalism is changing. What to read abot this?

Here's an European writing a book/thesis about storytelling in journalism. What texts (linguistics, literary theory etc – preferably *not* mass communication theory) might help in analysing contemporary changes in that field? [more inside]
posted by earthwormsleg on Jan 24, 2013 - 2 answers

Rom coms where the love interest is introduced later?

The standard format for a romantic comedy has both key characters introduced very early in the script/movie -- say, in the first ten pages/minutes. I'm looking for examples of romantic comedies where one of the romantic leads is introduced later in the movie. [more inside]
posted by allnamesaretaken on Jan 22, 2013 - 38 answers

CMS for book project

I'm considering writing a technical book, mostly a labour of love. I want to do the writing process online, like Bruce Eckel did for his excellent Thinking in Java years ago. In order to facilitate user feedback, Eckel had a very fine-grained commenting system, which he developed himself and called TalkBack. At the end of each paragraph there was a "comment" link that let users comment on that particular paragraph. Are there any other CMS that offers fine-grained feedback like that? I'm aware of an older (2003-2004?) Zope TalkBack implementation, but would like something more current. And if you think I'm looking for the wrong thing and should go about writing a book on the web differently, please chime in!
posted by Harald74 on Jan 22, 2013 - 8 answers

Sports metaphors for the unsporty

I came across the phrase "in his/her/my wheelhouse" last year for the first time and was shocked to learn there's an entire genre of writing with its own set of metaphors that I know nothing about. Sportswriting! [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Jan 20, 2013 - 38 answers

Hanzi: How to increase patience?

Hello, I am currently studying Chinese. I'd be interested in any advice people could give me with regard to making my Hanzi practice more productive. [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Jan 19, 2013 - 11 answers

Best Windows software for writing a non-fiction book (with callouts!)

I want to write a non-fiction book with basic formatting like bulleted lists, numbered lists, along with some callouts. Think "XYZ for Dummies". I'm on Windows XP / Windows 7. Don't want to upgrade XP on my seconday machine if not absolutely necessary. [more inside]
posted by 4midori on Jan 18, 2013 - 8 answers

Podcasts as good as Scriptnotes, but for prose?

I've recently started listening to Scriptnotes, a great podcast by John August and Craig Mazin about screenwriting. Is there a similar podcast about novel/short story writing, or indeed writing in general? Podcasts I already subscribe to and key things I like about Scriptnotes inside. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Jan 18, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me fill in this vague recollection of a story I read?

Help me fill in this vague recollection of a story I read? I read it probably as recently as last year. I don't remember if it's a short story or an incident in a novel. [more inside]
posted by Infinity_8 on Jan 17, 2013 - 6 answers

Self-publish, Kindle Single, or publish traditionally?

Am considering publishing an unusual philosophical self-help tract written in a fiery, contrarian tone. Think Hegel meets Deepak Chopra, for lack of a less weird description. Right now the manuscript is short. I'd like it to provoke conversation, make a reputation, and build an audience. I lack these currently. Am I better off a) self-publishing, b) creating a Kindle Single, or c) publishing traditionally? C would require me to expand my manuscript to 5x its current length, but give me prestige, a (likely small) advance, wider distribution, and perhaps more publicity. The other options would be far faster and might allow me to iterate my ideas / write other pieces based on audience reaction. Any advice on which option (feel free to add options) would best serve my goals?
posted by shivohum on Jan 16, 2013 - 8 answers

Philosophy reading reccomendations on "Notion of freedom and humanity"

A friend of mine recently quit his job and has found himself with a lot of free time. As a method to explore his mind and world he has set himself a task to write an essay on : - "The Notion of Freedom and Humanity" I am no philosophy veteran but I am sure that there must be some great texts already dealing with this subject. What research and reading material can I recommend my friend for his essay?
posted by Cogentesque on Jan 15, 2013 - 12 answers

How to be a strong writer (Academic)

ok, hivemind, I am going back to school and I want to brush up on my writing. Are there any workbooks, or maybe even online classes that you might suggest? Particularly, in the area of academic writing to be published and grammar? And, are there any books you might suggest, as well, in the general area of strengthening your writing skills and grammar? I have heard of The Elements of Style, and On Writing Well, but I do not think those are the books I am looking for. I am really look for something that addresses grammar, like when to use a semicolon, etc.
posted by TRUELOTUS on Jan 11, 2013 - 21 answers

Half-remembered quote about poets

I read, somewhere, a quote about poets to the effect that even successful poets have day jobs, collect disability payments or come from money. I vaguely recall that this was said (or written) by a woman who was a successful [poet? writer? editor?] in her own right, and who would have had a reasonable sample size on which to base the statement. What quote am I thinking of? Who wrote or said it? My googles have been uncharacteristically ineffective in locating the quote or identifying the source.
posted by dersins on Jan 11, 2013 - 2 answers

Graduating with a BA in Philosophy (Canada) in April. Job search help

A few days ago I went to see my local Career Advisor at school. She said I was miles ahead of every other humanities grad as I have 15 months of work experience. She told me to contact various guilds and organizations in my area... [more inside]
posted by GiveUpNed on Jan 10, 2013 - 7 answers

Is it the stylus or the screen?

I got myself a Lenovo tablet on super sale for Christmas. I'm interested in using it to read and annotate pdf files (mainly journal articles). The pdf reader app I'm using has the ability for freehand writing, and I'd like to try that out for margin notes (some of the papers are technical with lots of symbols, so writing is easier than typing). I bought a stylus that had pretty good reviews on Amazon, but I have to push down to make it work which is ok for highlighting, but tiring for writing. Is this a limitation of this tablet's screen? Or is there a stylus that is easier to use? [more inside]
posted by bluefly on Jan 9, 2013 - 9 answers

How do I write a blog that's professional and personal?

I work in communications and would like to start a blog that I could link to from Twitter and LinkedIn. But I'd also like to write about my personal life. How do I thread this needle? [more inside]
posted by kat518 on Jan 8, 2013 - 8 answers

Naturalistic Post-Apocalypse Worldbuilding

What elements are needed to write a frighteningly plausible post-apocalyptic story? [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jan 7, 2013 - 24 answers

Is writing great fiction innate or learned?

Writing fiction: is it the sort of thing where you either have "the gift," or you don't? [more inside]
posted by indognito on Jan 6, 2013 - 38 answers

Graduating soon with a BA from a Canadian Uni. Job search help please. I have two years writing experience.

Graduating in June with a BA Philosophy. I have two years journalism experience. I'm currently searching for jobs through my network and linkedin. Help please! [more inside]
posted by GiveUpNed on Jan 3, 2013 - 5 answers

Wanted: Novels Set on the Internet

I'm looking for examples of fiction that heavily involve transcripts of online communication - forum posts, website content, emails, IM conversations, the more and more varied the better. [more inside]
posted by restless_nomad on Jan 3, 2013 - 37 answers

Details, details, details...and then BAM!

As a reader of fiction (especially if you're a devotee of speculative fiction), how much do you like detailed descriptions and/or lists as part of the story? What if the story switches between detail and expediency? [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Dec 28, 2012 - 12 answers

This is 35.6

I officially entered my mid-30s in 2012...a year in which I got my BA and have continued to maintain my mental health. Though I feel good about my accomplishments this year, I am at an impasse. Please help! [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 on Dec 27, 2012 - 7 answers

What is a realistic path to becoming a published SF author?

What is a realistic path to becoming a published SF author? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Dec 26, 2012 - 13 answers

Reading Aloud Allowed?

What are the legal rights and obligations of someone reading aloud in public from a published book? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 24, 2012 - 5 answers

Year in long reading 2012

I have an ~18 hour flight ahead of me and I am compiling a DIY ebook of longform journalism/non-fiction for my Kindle to get me through it. So, what is the best thing you read this year? [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 21, 2012 - 11 answers

help a textbook taught me something relevant and amusing once

I'm looking for an essay I read in a textbook. This would've been in the late 90s and it was a middle school Literature textbook. The essay was about writing. I remember that it included a bit about how you can't ask writers about writing for the same reason you can't ask the sea about itself (it will just gurgle at you). It also had a bit about breaking the rules when writing, talking about how writing guides tell you never to open a story with dialogue but then gave an example of a classic novel that opened with dialogue in French. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Dec 20, 2012 - 2 answers

A Little Bit (Or More) Each Day ... Of What?

Help me decide how to spend 5 to 30 minutes each day in 2013. [more inside]
posted by reader-writer on Dec 14, 2012 - 13 answers

Love writing but...

I've always had communications-related jobs, but they never seem to be the right fit. I'm a great writer (although I have a love/hate relationship with writing), but I also helping enjoy helping people and interacting with people, etc., and writing is a pretty solitary job. (Well, PR isn't, but that's one area I want to stay away from, as well as fundraising). Have any other writer-types who are like me found a solution? (Oh, and I don't want to take on grad-school loans right now.)
posted by trillian on Dec 14, 2012 - 15 answers

Critical Contexts for Writing : a reading list

I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Dec 14, 2012 - 8 answers

Resources for improving one's writing

Looking for essays and books you have found most helpful in improving your writing - in particular, style, critical analysis, and conveying a strong message. I've read "Politics and the English Language" and The Elements of Style, and found them both really helpful. Thanks!
posted by mossicle on Dec 12, 2012 - 15 answers

How can I make a living as a student, but not in school?

When I was in college, I really loved writing papers and now I find that I miss the chance to study small topics in depth. How could I make that into a career? [more inside]
posted by youcancallmeal on Dec 10, 2012 - 23 answers

Creating an index of first lines

Creating an index of first lines, from a group of many poems, each stored in a seperate .txt file. Are there any applications or scripts that would help me to do that? [more inside]
posted by dylan_k on Dec 8, 2012 - 7 answers

You want to use my article somewhere else? Well, er...

Wrote an article for publication on the web. Billed the client for the article, but did not specify any charges for re-use of the article elsewhere. Now the client just got back to me, saying that they liked it so much they want to use the article on another website which was not specified in the original contract. What should I do next? [more inside]
posted by micketymoc on Dec 7, 2012 - 4 answers

Instructor access as a non-instructor?

I would like access to a supplemental resource for a textbook that I purchased, for non-school-related use, but only instructors for a course can have access. [more inside]
posted by zeek321 on Dec 6, 2012 - 3 answers

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