133 posts tagged with books and writing.
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What's the best writing book for someone with no writing background?

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]
posted by paulcole on Sep 30, 2015 - 12 answers

Examples of literary microphenomenology or deep-point-of-view?

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]
posted by zeek321 on Sep 30, 2015 - 9 answers

Examples of authors/musicians who began their work in their 40s?

I'm looking for examples of authors and musicians who lived artistically unremarkable lives for their first four decades, only beginning to express themselves creatively in their 40s, and who subsequently received critical or popular acclaim for the work they produced during that fifth decade. [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 9, 2015 - 17 answers

What are some works of SFF that use extraordinarily beautiful language?

What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
posted by Going To Maine on May 24, 2015 - 32 answers

I can haz critical race and disability theory

How does a non-academic find interesting academic texts? For months I've been trying to find stuff written about the intersections of systemic oppressions, namely racism, with bodies, health and disability. I feel so sure that some smart academics have written about this, but how do I find that writing? [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 23, 2015 - 14 answers

Recommend books on enchancing poetry and short story craftmanship?

I'm trying to find some valuable works of advice to improve my craftsmanship on writing poetry and short stories. If you can recommend any advice books, poetry, novels, and short stories that can help contribute to better writing in the genre of: science fiction, southern Gothic literature, classic literature, modernism, and modern ligature works, that would be most appreciated. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow on May 19, 2015 - 3 answers

negative roman numerals? fractions? imaginary numbers?

Weird pagesetting question: I'm writing an introduction for the reprint of a book that already has a preface (and will be getting a NEW preface for the new edition). We want to retain the original pagination for the reprint. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Apr 27, 2015 - 10 answers

Help me expand my descriptive vocabulary!

I'd like to learn some more vocabulary to describe nature and architecture for my writing. I love elaborate descriptions in 19th century literature, but I have no idea about the names of most flowers and trees, and I have no idea how to describe various types of architectural in anything but the vaguest terms. [more inside]
posted by lightgray on Mar 14, 2015 - 11 answers

Of Pencils and Pixels

I want to read scholarly work about why doing things with "digital" tools (like word processors or MIDI music keyboards) is experienced differently from doing things with "analog" tools (like typewriters or pianos). [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 9, 2014 - 6 answers

Adapting for profit my own work, portions of which I released under CC

For a couple chapters of a book I'm writing, I could choose to adapt short stories that I already released under a Creative Commons license. Even with the adapted chapters, the book would be 95% new material. What are the implications of mixing the new material with the CC material? [more inside]
posted by internet_explorer on Dec 2, 2014 - 6 answers

Examples of amazing but still accessible writing?

I'm not a smart man. But I do enjoy well written things. But well written books, poems, articles or whatever sometimes seem to be to hard to get into. Anyhow I would love to have examples of what people find to be amazing, creative and perhaps unique in the form of the written word. I don't care if it is famous or not. The best of the best of accessible yet amazingly written works. Thanks!
posted by tarvuz on Oct 3, 2014 - 45 answers

high-concept low-spectacle speculative realistic fiction

What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jul 28, 2014 - 34 answers

inspirational books/biographies about the non-fiction writing life?

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]
posted by starcrust on Jul 18, 2014 - 4 answers

It's on the tip of someone's tongue

Please help my husband and me find words or phrases (any language!) that describe the sensation of knowing how far you are from home. Not really alienation or nostalgia or being homesick-- just the understanding/realization of the distance. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on May 25, 2014 - 14 answers

Suggestions for a subtitle for my workbook?

I have a title for a self-help workbook I'm writing, but I'm having a lot of trouble thinking of a good subtitle... [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Mar 9, 2014 - 12 answers

YANAmazon, but…

I stumbled across an older book, and I'd love to find others like it. Help? [more inside]
posted by xenization on Feb 27, 2014 - 8 answers

Look at this old bookplate!

What language is this? What does it say? [more inside]
posted by steef on Feb 21, 2014 - 8 answers

Good 'Techno-Thrillers'?

I recently bought Zero Day by Mark Russinovish because it was cheap, and also I was vaguely interested in seeing how the whole 'techno-thriller' genre has evolved since I made the mistake of trying to read the Net Force books. It's not very good. Help me find an alternative! [more inside]
posted by anaximander on Feb 16, 2014 - 9 answers

Chapter Trails

Is there a formal term for the hyphen separated list of keywords and phrases that you sometimes see at the beginning of chapters in a book? These usually form a sequential summary of the chapter ahead. I've most often seen this in older books, but recently in Robert MacFarlane's, "The Old Ways".
posted by spudsilo on Feb 11, 2014 - 2 answers

When should an author respond to reviews?

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 - 34 answers

Several characters in search of a plot

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 - 50 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

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

Like io9 but covers books instead of TV Shows

Where do you go to read about written science fiction? Not a recommendation engine like GoodReads (or god help me Amazon), but somewhere that talks about new books coming out, old books you may have missed, reviews, previews, release dates, etc? And if they want to throw in some actual science, all the better. [more inside]
posted by Ookseer on Jul 9, 2013 - 12 answers

The perils of listening to your readers

A while ago I read an essay/article/rant online re a fantasy author / series and I'd like to read it again but google is failing me because I can't remember any specifics. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 23, 2013 - 2 answers

I have opinions, where should I put them?

For the last few years, I have reviewed every book I read on Goodreads, just for my own edification. I read a lot. I have written a lot. Is there a better use to put this content to? [more inside]
posted by restless_nomad on Mar 16, 2013 - 25 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

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

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

"Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink."

There's a particular sort of humor writer I like. Can you recommend more books in this style? Mid-century, writing about domestic matters, female, personal. [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Nov 30, 2012 - 15 answers

Crossing over with art

House of Leaves and Haunted are works in two different mediums (book and album) by two different artists that deliberately accompany each other. What other examples of this are there? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Oct 31, 2012 - 30 answers

Publishing my first novel - what should I be doing?

I just got an offer to publish my first novel. I know very little about the publishing industry and the business aspect of being an author. Help! [more inside]
posted by inire on Oct 22, 2012 - 13 answers

Recommendations For Books On Writing Generally

I need recommendations for books on writing that address general craft issues - help? [more inside]
posted by xenization on Oct 10, 2012 - 15 answers

Mountain books

I am looking for literary works about mountains. I imagine they exist, because being in mountains and climbing them and seeing everything from up high is such a powerful experience. I know there are movies about this (for instance the silent ones by Arnold Franck), and I suppose there must be an equivalent in writing. Ideally, they would be rather lyrical or poetic texts. Any ideas, hive-mind?
posted by MrMisterio on Sep 14, 2012 - 21 answers

Old books on how to write stories?

After enjoying a 1920 screenwriting book by the flapper humorist Anita Loos, I am wondering what other pre-WW2 writing advice books might be fun and interesting to read. Any suggestions?
posted by steinsaltz on Jul 27, 2012 - 15 answers

Where can I find a Chicago books/writing meetup?

I like talking about books and writing, mostly literary fiction and genre fiction with a slant toward slipstream-style SF. Where can I find a group in Chicago to meet people like me? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Mar 30, 2012 - 2 answers

Did F. Scott Fitzgerald every say "everyone's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness"?

F. Scott FitzgeraldFilter: "Everyone's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness." I've seen this quote attributed to F. Scott. Did he actually say it? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Nov 28, 2011 - 4 answers

Books like *Misery* or *Phantom of the Opera*?

I am writing a story about an artist who is held captive on the condition of creating a work for the captor. I want to know what other works in the same sub-genre are like. Can you suggest some books and movies with a similar motif, especially where a captive is expected to do something for the captor as a condition of their release? Thanks!
posted by Atrahasis on Nov 14, 2011 - 21 answers

How should I manage my workflow for writing a nonfiction book?

How should I manage my workflow for researching and writing a nonfiction book using Evernote and other tools? [more inside]
posted by incandescentman on Oct 16, 2011 - 2 answers

I already know how it ends

I'm really good at predicting the end of most movies and books. I easily see foreshadowing, symbolism, and archetypes. How can I parlay this skill into a creative job? [more inside]
posted by dchrssyr on Oct 2, 2011 - 27 answers

Most influential short stories and novels in terms of style since 1950?

Which novels and short stories, from any genre, since WWII, have been the most influential on prose style in "literary fiction"?
posted by shivohum on Aug 26, 2011 - 19 answers

Help me find this epistolary novel

Help me find this epistolary novel [more inside]
posted by New England Cultist on Jul 27, 2011 - 5 answers

What unbiased book should I read on multiculturalism, immigration and Islam in Europe?

What politically neutral book(s) should I read on multiculturalism and Islam, immigration/integration politics and/or ethnic/religious tensions in Europe? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 25, 2011 - 11 answers

short story masters

Who are the current masters of the short story form? [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Jun 17, 2011 - 37 answers

Writing against one's own inclinations

Can anyone point me towards examples of authors (or other artists) who have produced work with a theme that runs contrary to their own established political or social views? [more inside]
posted by MShades on May 27, 2011 - 26 answers

books on creativity for the creative person

Can you recommend great books on creativity that have inspired you greatly in your work? [more inside]
posted by pleasebekind on Mar 18, 2011 - 23 answers

words, words, words, words

I'd like to read some sharp, simple fiction writing to improve my academic essays -- what would I like? [more inside]
posted by EmilyFlew on Feb 21, 2011 - 26 answers

Movies and books to expand vocabulary

In what English movies or books would I most likely be exposed to new words? Any genre and time-period.
posted by keith0718 on Feb 3, 2011 - 34 answers

Can you recommend good books on grammar and writing?

Can you recommend good books on grammar and writing? [more inside]
posted by GlassHeart on Jan 15, 2011 - 22 answers

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