Further to the success of a previous Ask Me, in which I was given a great idea for a fictional story I am writing, I am back with another question. I would like to know what people, places, events and objects you associate with fairy tales, folklore, myths etc. [more inside]
Story research filter: My imagination was sparked by a recent comment about how computer programming was considered a suitable career for women in the 1950s and 60s, akin to clerical work. I'd like to learn more about what working life might have been like for these women, and about computing in general at that time. Bonus points if you can help me name some companies in 1950s San Francisco that might have employed my character. [more inside]
I just began my application for certain UCs and CSUs (hoping to matriculate Fall 2015). In particular I'm concerned about my essays. What resources do I have to help me revise the essays before I submit them? Are there any topics I should be sure to cover/avoid? [more inside]
I am pondering a career change into technical writing. I do not consider myself a "technical" person. Is this a stupid idea? [more inside]
A lot of mindfulness meditation techniques focus on awareness of the present moment and stepping outside our personal narratives. My question is: does this process end up dissolving our perceptions of the past; and when one side steps the narrative, doesn't it make it harder to compose and imagine stories that exist outside of the present moment?
How does a job-seeking cover letter stand out in this day and age? [more inside]
All my life, people have complimented me on my abiity to write well. In middle and high school, it was writing good chapter summaries, literary analyses and essays for homework using flowery language. In college, it became about construction and the flow of ideas, and I found myself to be reasonably adept at that as well. I'm currently jobless ( looking for my first job at 25), and when people chime in with suggestions on how to fix that, they can't understand why I poo-poo the idea of writing professionally out of hand. Help me develop my writerly mind and get myself out of the English class for good. [more inside]
I'm looking for ideas to improve creating and organizing notes efficiently. Including analog and digital devices. [more inside]
I want to write a blog that invokes the aesthetics and atmosphere of a certain fictional world from a comic strip. In this comic, they live very happily, have a delightful home, and go on many adventures. I'd like to write posts inspired by their activities. I would reference the strip in the blog name, and occasionally include single panels for context. Is this okay in terms of copyright? [more inside]
I am currently co-writing a play with music (which may turn into a musical, but we're not sure on that yet) that involves the dynamics of a group of band members, their management, the issues they have with each other, etc. My writing partner is a singer who was in a very successful local band, but I have never been in anything but high school marching band. I would like to watch some documentaries or behind-the-scenes footage of bands in action, bands in practice, etc. [more inside]
Bewildered by an old-looking mahogany wood writing set. [more inside]
Which organisations, companies, community groups, etc support and encourage embracing both arts/humanities AND STEM (especially technology)? [more inside]
I'm in the final couple of months before submitting my dissertation, writing up frantically, and have just found out that someone I know has switched topics to my topic and actually submitted their dissertation. How do I cope with this and get on with my work? Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
Many of the details in this question still apply. Logistics aren't that big of a deal anymore, and I'm chipping away ever so slowly at my social anxiety and fluency issue, but I'm still without prospects and now about $12k in debt on account of some reckless impulse spending and unpaid debt from college. Can the hivemind help get me out from under this? Snowstorm inside. [more inside]
I want to move to make a permanent move to Mexico. How do I make this happen? [more inside]
When I want to do work that involves writing, I find that I am most productive during the hours of around 11 PM to 6 AM, because it takes me all evening to wind down from the day and get into a mindset where I can focus on creative/writing work. My circadian rhythm will then be messed up for the next three days or so. This is incompatible with my class and work schedule as a medical student. [more inside]
How do I know I’ve taught myself enough technical writing software (number of programs and my abilities therein) for potential employers to take me seriously? [more inside]
I want to write. But I have all kinds of Big Dumb Issues around it. Help me stop sabotaging myself? [more inside]
I was wondering if any Mefites might currently work in, or know someone who works in, a career that meets the following qualifications: 1. Involves a ton of writing. Any type of writing. Even if one spends most of one's time crafting emails, that would be sufficient. 2. Is relatively easy to get into with only a bachelor's degree in a possibly unrelated subject. 3. Is generally not discriminatory based on age (in other words, someone who is in their late 40s/early 50s would not be seen as teetering on the edge of their grave). [more inside]
Is there a website that works like a bookmarking service but will also allow screenshots of the page? Or how else can I work this out? [more inside]
I have been writing since I was about 7 and always enjoyed writing stories, sometimes hundreds of pages long. In my final year of English at school my teacher said that I should really turn the start of a piece I had written at the time into a novel. At the time I was flattered but I don't really think I considered it possible. [more inside]
I want to take control of my time, writing output, attention and procrastination, bedtime, exercise, and diet. What tools should I use to track what I eat, how I spend my time, what I spend money on, when I exercise, when I go to sleep and wake up, and how many words I write per day. [more inside]
I need to write a short blurb describing the services our group provides, which is basically defined in three dimensions, eg. "We provide services (A + B) for data types (C + D) in domains (E + F)." I imagine this is something faced by technical writers, is there some best practice for writing this sort of thing so that it is readable in plain English? [more inside]
Looking for quality, regularly-updated web content as an alternative to the potpourri discussion-based sites that usually make up my day online. [more inside]
I'm looking for related resources (online & offline) for improving my writing skills for everyday work. [more inside]
I'm neck deep in writing an academic book at the moment, and on the worst days I lose the will to live. To dislodge myself from the daily temptation to nuke the whole manuscript, slit my wrists and be done with it all, I've been trying to keep motivated by reading good accounts of the life of writers. I would love recommendations! Details inside. [more inside]
I've had some success this past year in publishing through small presses. I'm seeking direction in my literary career. A lot more details inside. [more inside]
Please help me come up with a decent name for a group of four fictional characters who have power over the classic elements in an equally fictional world. [more inside]
I'm about halfway through reading the first Game of Thrones book, and I'm looking for some literary criticism or in-depth articles about the series' writing (books only). [more inside]
I need music to fill up the background while I write. I'm currently working on a novel and I'm looking for recommendations of artists, albums, or online radio I could have going in my headphones to help me focus on the work. [more inside]
I regularly flake on email responses-- both personal and professional. (I have all the comorbidities you'd expect: ADHD, perfectionism, perpetual writer's block, mild social anxiety, introversion, disorganization, procrastination/avoidant tendencies.) I'm starting a new job and need this particular behavior to stop forthwith. Short of completely overhauling my whole effed-up executive function, is there an ironclad system I can implement to ensure that every single one of those emails gets answered punctually? [more inside]
It’s been a stressful year thus far and I really need to get away for a few days, but alas, none of my friends are available for a trip right now. I’d love to go somewhere in mid/late August. I have a bunch of requirements, of course! [more inside]
So I've been pecking away at a book for a while, encountering the typical novice writer issue of not getting past 100 pages or so before things start to stall. Can you help me figure out who my heroes will do battle with? [more inside]
I like listening to heavy, fast music while writing but recently I find I am unable to do so if the songs have words (or at least words that I can follow). I am looking for rock/metal/industrial/post-whatever that has drums and guitars, but is either instrumental (like Mogwai), or with vocals that are not comprehensible (like ISIS) or buried (like Sub Rosa). [more inside]
I moved and can no longer use the strategies that have helped me get through writing, for ages. I have a lot to do just now but am not in the headspace to change. This is about the regular tabacky. What's as good as nicotine for writing, and similar in use factors? [more inside]
More spooky, ethereal (desert) rock to write to? [more inside]
Link me to riveting, long form music journalism online! I want to read case histories of musicians with troubled lives, like these articles about Elliot Smith and Ben Todd. Or maybe a peek at a subculture I barely knew existed, like Kid Rock's Cruise or Nathan Rabin's many recaps of The Gathering. I'll also accept a straight-ahead profile, as long as it's as well written as Elizabeth Gilbert's piece on Hank-3. [more inside]
What are the best blogs or other online publications about history (any kind) out there? I'm looking for medium-to-long, well-researched, smart, readable articles by a variety of authors with some expertise in their subject matter. I don't want anything too clickbaity, but nothing straight from an academic journal either.
I'm starting to get more well-paid freelancing writing work (features and corporate comms). It's a good way to quickly earn some extra cash, so I need an online portfolio to show to new prospects. Does anyone have any examples of good online portfolios by journalists and marketing copywriters? [more inside]
I am submitting an application for a graphic design position and they are asking for design portfolios and two pieces of writing. I have no writing to give them. What the hell do I write about? I don't want to put a ton of time into researching topics so I can write about them but, seriously, I got nothing. I am a good writer with no outlet. Help!
Can someone decipher what this says for me. Thanks in advance.
I wish to read fiction that has a very high ratio of exposition imparted to amount of actual writing. [more inside]
Please recommend to me any science fiction/fantasy novels (maybe TV shows as well) that are well written, interesting, and essentially nonviolent. "Completely violence-free" isn't necessary. I'm particularly looking for novels aimed at adults that don't rely on combat scenes to advance the narrative, generate/resolve tension, or provide Crowning Moments of Awesome.* [more inside]
I'd like to find some software to organize and tie together less-important details in my story. Probably I want a personal wiki--but which one? I'm open to wiki alternatives also. [more inside]
Let's say you wanted to take between 3 and 6 months off in order to write. What inexpensive, amazing place would you go? [more inside]
Technical writers: please share your experiences with me regarding offshoring and job security. I am considering technical writing as a career change and want to determine if it would be a good move to enter this field. Details inside. [more inside]
I'm looking for essays, books, poetry, nonfiction, or whatever else about normal people's everyday lives and pasts, humorous if possible. I'm looking for stuff in the vein of the New York Press's old columns (like the ones Ned Vizzini wrote) or like Books of Adam. Writing that is casual, but well written.
How do you know that the music you are making hasn't already been written? I have a decent level of proficiency with one instrument and recently branched out and have started learning the basics of a few others. I have never made original music and recently have started tooling around and playing my "own" songs on a combination of a few instruments. It seems unlikely that I am playing anything unique which leads me to wonder how does one know when they are? Thanks.