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I have an encyclopedia, not a story: what to do?

Authors Of AskMe, has this happened to you? During my self-imposed creative hiatus over the last year or so I conducted a lot of research into what would be my dream project. A project I could be passionate about, the kind of book I'd really want to exist. So I made a list of every thing, character, concept, idea, sudden kind of twist I'd like. I have three notebooks of this stuff. I cross-indexed it and included all my references. I have an astounding about of detail on what I want to put in and touch on but no actual story. I keep staring at it, like it's a list of SCP entries, and I can't think of a damn thing for anyone to do with these collected items, places, motifs, themes, and people. It's frustrating cause I can come up with quick pulp narratives on the fly for stuff I'm not working as hard on but every attempt to break and outline a rising action for these people results in rapid breathing and complete brain fume-lock. I keep asking "What does the main character want?" and coming up with nothing. Is this common? Is there a resource for this? Can I pay someone to go through these ideas and find something that other people might want to read? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Apr 23, 2014 - 39 answers

I make mistakes. Does that mean I’m not cut out to be a proofreader?

I am very dissatisfied with my career trajectory (it may be laughable to even call it that) and I’m wondering if it is because I am doing something that I really have no aptitude for. Is there really such a thing as an "error-free" proofreader? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 12, 2013 - 24 answers

SoundCloud batch editor?

Do you know if there's a good batch or bulk editor for SoundCloud file metadata for Mac or PC? [more inside]
posted by Mo Nickels on Jul 2, 2013 - 2 answers

Will edit for food

During the past year, I have inadvertently become a freelance editor. I was wondering if any of you have some advice for me about getting disability and extended health insurance (I live in Toronto, Canada so I basically just need to worry about "extras" like dental and vision care, medications, etc.), and if you've got any other tips for me about finding work/promoting myself and managing what is in effect my own business. I've been working as an (in-house) editor for over 18 years, so I'm looking for advice on a more esoteric level than "set up a work schedule and stick to it" and "keep the receipts for your Post-its, because you can claim them at tax time".
posted by orange swan on Nov 29, 2012 - 5 answers

Best practices for editing RTL languages for the Web?

What tools do you use to edit Persian for the Web, preferably, but not necessarily, on a Mac? [more inside]
posted by bricoleur on Oct 30, 2012 - 5 answers

They tried to make me go to rehab / I said "what?"

Have an interview for an editing job at a rehab clinic. I know nothing about the current state of rehab. Help? [more inside]
posted by pised on Oct 29, 2011 - 3 answers

Gratuitous Self Promotion

As a video editor, how can I best capitalize on a film's theatrical release? [more inside]
posted by rocco on Sep 8, 2011 - 2 answers

WANTED: better headlines

How can I write better headlines for my college newspaper? [more inside]
posted by gypsyhymns on Aug 22, 2011 - 9 answers

What's in a name? Help name my freelance book editing business.

I need help naming my freelance book editing business. I do developmental editing--critiquing "big picture" elements of a story like Point of View, character and plot development, pacing, etc.--but it's not a term that most writers are familiar with and it goes by other names as well, which confuses authors. I don't do copyediting (grammar and punctuation). I'd like something that's either self-explanatory but not boring, or is witty/irreverent/intriguing, with extra points for a literary allusion. [more inside]
posted by Yoshimi Battles on Jul 22, 2010 - 21 answers

iMovie, you're dead to me.

I'm looking for good consumer-grade video editing software for the Mac that is not iMovie or Final Cut Express. [more inside]
posted by joshrholloway on Mar 8, 2010 - 11 answers

Help a film editor find work in the UK or USA

I want to find work as a film editor in the UK. Would it be better to find a permanent job, or freelance? Would I need an agent? If so, do you have any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by mooza on Oct 5, 2007 - 2 answers

Searching for the copy editing bible

What are the best books I can buy to learn how to become a proficient newspaper copy editor?
posted by dead_ on Jun 20, 2007 - 12 answers

How do I learn editing and layout?

I'm in college. I'd like to be trained to do editing and layout for a living. How do I proceed? Do you know anything about Simon Fraser's Editing program? [more inside]
posted by ITheCosmos on Mar 10, 2007 - 10 answers

Remixed literature?

Has anyone vastly improved -- or just changed -- someone else's already published writing by editing? [more inside]
posted by callmejay on Aug 30, 2006 - 25 answers

Simple, online HTML editor?

Is there such thing as an application I can install on a client's web server that will allow him to edit certain HTML documents and save them? [more inside]
posted by Robot Johnny on Apr 4, 2006 - 10 answers

Shoulda, coulda, woulda used an editor.

For the want of an editor! For a class I'd like to find some examples of text that could benefit from better editing. [more inside]
posted by bystander on Nov 19, 2005 - 28 answers

Vanity Wikipedia Edits

What is the proper netiquette for editing a Wikipedia entry about yourself? I just stumbled upon mine recently. Since it is written in the third person there is the presumption of objectivity. But then, it is my life, and I am the world's expert on it. What would you do?
posted by kk on Feb 10, 2005 - 15 answers

Newsletter layout editing responsibilities

I have been hired to layout a newsletter for print and for publication online. There is an editor who compiles the articles, edits for length, and etc. In this situation, who should be responsible for the copy editor duties? I find that it is a pain to finish the layout and then hear back from the editor that there are several spelling, punctuation, and line break mistakes that need to be corrected (which is generally hard to do in DTP software). Is it unreasonable of me to expect that the copy-editing should be done by the editor and not the layout person?
posted by achmorrison on Jan 21, 2005 - 18 answers

Photoshop CS Books for OSX

Photoshop CS (OSX) books for almost-beginners: I'm hearing good things on "Photoshop CS Bible" by Deke McClelland.
Photoshop CS (OSX, too) for professional photographers: I'm hearing good things on "Adobe Photoshop CS for Photographers: Professional Image Editor's Guide to the Creative Use of Photoshop" by Martin Evening.
Any other suggestions? thanks
posted by matteo on Apr 27, 2004 - 6 answers

Software for song mixing (clean up recordings, slow/speed up, mix one song with another)? OSX if possible

I'd like to create some mixed audio CDs where I would literally slow down/speed up parts of the songs to merge them together as a DJ does. I'm mainly planning to make club/dance music mixes, although I may do some downtempo/chill mixes too.

I'd like to import some tracks in from vinyl and would do that via my mixer (i.e. I know not to do it directly from the turntable itself.)

Does anyone have any thoughts on the best software to do some simple editing (I hear there is software that can cut hiss and needle pops and whatnot) and then the mixing? I have both XP and OS X, but I'm thinking I would prefer to do this on the Mac.
posted by gen on Dec 11, 2003 - 10 answers

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