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 -
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 -
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 -
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.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2
on Aug 8, 2013 -
What $20 item will help me remember that I can make better use of my time than playing video games? Exciting snowflakes inside! [more inside]
posted by Tevin
on Jul 12, 2013 -
Is there an external professional/creative communication undergraduate program with no class interaction at any Australian university? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange
on Jul 10, 2013 -
I'm writing a TED conference parody, and I'm hungry for some good behind-the-scenes info. I can't find much of anything. Which makes me hungrier. Do you know of any good blog posts, essays, articles out there?
For people who have attended or have some inside info, would you mind dropping some info here about what it was like? Particularly, unusual or annoying things. [more inside]
posted by ErikH2000
on Jul 9, 2013 -
Medium, a 'thingy' on the web
, which is apparently in beta, has just sent me an invitation to come and write. Its been difficult searching for reviews or information about them due to their name. I've been recently burnt by Posterous' closure with the sudden demise of a popular* group blog I'd initiated. I would appreciate your thoughts on this medium (heh), whether I should consider writing there, particularly wrt its longevity or survival, and any other insights on its target audience, reputation and/or credibility, before investing time, effort and original content once more. [more inside]
posted by infini
on Jun 26, 2013 -
I'm looking for examples of analysis of why a particular passage of prose is excellent, or why it fails. [more inside]
posted by tchemgrrl
on Jun 11, 2013 -
When I type up a line or a short passage from a novel to post online, I often "clean it up" a little, and I'm wondering how much of this is OK. [more inside]
posted by pete_22
on Jun 9, 2013 -
I gave my aunt a draft manuscript of my novel to read and in addition to catching typos and asking about character motivation, she wrote the above. I'm now halfway through the manuscript and I have removed THREE HUNDRED extraneous 'that's.
Maybe 'that' is just my quirk (see what I did there?) but I wonder if you have similar tips. I'm not looking for grammar rules or broad writing suggests like 'use active voice,' just quick, concrete shortcuts to tighten up flabby writing. Another example, depressingly necessary in academia, is to replace every instance of "the way in which" with "how."
posted by pretentious illiterate
on Jun 6, 2013 -
What I want is an older sister /grandmother/ auntie type - someone wise I can write letters to from time to time, who will write me thoughtful letters back and offer suggestions and whatnot. A life coach? A counsellor (or therapist)? Does anyone offer this service? I would happily pay a reasonable fee. [more inside]
posted by jrobin276
on Jun 3, 2013 -
Writers, and novelists or fiction writers in particular, can you share your goals, processes and timelines for each of your drafts? [more inside]
posted by thinkpiece
on May 19, 2013 -
I'm looking for websites that post longer pieces (3000 words+) on topics like science, culture, personal essay (not so much regular long-form journalism). These could be magazines like seed or nautil.us or online only. Recommendations?
posted by asher
on May 17, 2013 -
Folks I know get published! Yay them! Go them! But shamefully, it.. the ...the flames, flames...on the side of my face...breathing...heaving breaths
. How do I tame my inner envy monster? [more inside]
posted by angrycat
on May 2, 2013 -
Years ago (years!) I recall a TV show with Carl Sagan wherein he was standing in a library and made the point that if he read x
books per week for x
number of years then he would have read a small fraction of the books that have ever been written. His point was that even a well-read person can only ingest a fraction of what is out there.
I've always like that quote and would like to find this scene on YouTube or another site...
posted by gilast
on Apr 7, 2013 -
Are there other simple-to-express checks like the Bechdel Test for measuring gender bias and feminism in fiction? I try hard to make sure I'm being a decent feminist as a writer -- I'm a guy, I tend to write with male protagonists but with a lot of female characters involved, and I worry about my blind spots. [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath
on Mar 19, 2013 -
There seems to be huge number of online work/project tracking/logging programs out there, but they are mostly designed for small businesses and freelancers (e.g. focussed on invoicing) and charge by the month. I've seen a few that look OK like Toggl and Slimtimer but none that seems ideal for my needs yet. Can anyone recommend ones (ideally free and with the ability to track different tasks & share that tracking/logging) that are easy to use, have decent functionality, and would be good for 2 friends working on writing their PhD theses and would like to try and help each other keep track of how much work they're doing? [more inside]
posted by zresearch
on Mar 10, 2013 -
I need an editor (copy and content) for an edgy, non-traditional chapbook of poems. Word count is light -- around 4,000. Budget is nearly non-existent (this is an art project) but there would be some kind of honorarium attached. Can someone help me find a good, trusty editor?
posted by nowhere man
on Mar 3, 2013 -
I'm a freelance writer in the second year of my career, as well as a lifelong creative writer with several published works. I've done a lot of performing arts blogging and local news writing and I'd like to build on that and get into more paying work as well as increase my publication credits. I've been recommended to join Writer's Market. Have others had worthwhile experiences with the service? Also happy to hear about other options.
posted by letstrythis
on Feb 28, 2013 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
As a reader, how do you feel about invented language versus familiar words in imaginary worlds? [more inside]
posted by batmonkey
on Nov 21, 2012 -
I'm easily distracted by the Internet while I write, but I don't want to shut it off altogether. Please help me cobble together a solution. [more inside]
posted by catlet
on Nov 16, 2012 -
I am putting together a syllabus for a college composition course. I chose "food" as the theme for this semester. I would like to include examples of different kinds of writing about food, ranging from essays to fiction to poetry, as well as some movies. What are your suggestions? I'm open to anything, as long as it has food in it! I already have a list of some of the obvious ones (Michael Pollan, Dinesen's "Babette's Feast," Jiro Dreams of Sushi), but I am hoping the HiveMind can help me make this the most awesome-- and delicious-- writing class ever.
posted by incountrysleep
on Nov 3, 2012 -
I'm looking for recommendations for 'good' sports writing; authors and/or publications/websites. Online is preferable but print is fine. Bonus points for excellent Golf writing. [more inside]
posted by paulshannon
on Sep 24, 2012 -
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 -
Can anyone figure out the language/writing on the bottom of this teapot
? If it helps, it was probably purchased in the NYC area between 1940 - 1970.
posted by mikepop
on Aug 27, 2012 -
I'm looking for literary/media outlets specifically relevant to purveyors of rambly, tangential narrative mostly-autobiographical non sequiturs (i.e. the sort of writing that's my stock in trade). The recent death of David Rakoff has managed to make my old joke about just accumulating all my writing in a well-marked little box so I can be discovered posthumously seem a little less funny, given that I'm only a few years younger than he is and have been steadfast in my dedication to purposely sabotaging every opportunity that comes my way. Thing is, I have a terrible confession— [more inside]
posted by sonascope
on Aug 25, 2012 -
How do you write your lowercase 'f's? All above the line or partly below? I'm trying to work out if this is a US/UK-specific thing. [more inside]
posted by atlantica
on Aug 14, 2012 -
Possibly confirming the obvious - I wrote a crapton of essays and articles for a market that a) was extremely limited and b) doesn't exist any more. I also believe the contract said the original market was "first rights" only. ...It's probably safe to try to pitch polished-up versions of some of those articles to a wider market by now, right? [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos
on Jul 31, 2012 -
I need an alternative to Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) to use with my 5th grade students. [more inside]
posted by robverb
on Jul 29, 2012 -
What's an alternative to the phrase "when the shit hits the fan" that means essentially the same thing, e.g. "when stuff goes wrong"? Feel free to be creative.
posted by rzperllian
on Jul 26, 2012 -
Help me find this bookfilter: An writer's guide 'interview' with your own fiction character to help uncover their traits and depths. Or, a similar list of interview questions to learn a lot about someone in a short time. [more inside]
posted by The otter lady
on Jul 13, 2012 -
I love writing letters to people - handwritten, with a fountain pen. Help me find a good paper for this purpose. [more inside]
posted by gmb
on Jun 24, 2012 -