I am going to pull off a massive bank heist I am doing NanoWrimo and have 3 criminal gangs, one of whom has someone chasing two guys who are low level criminals. The trouble is, I have no idea how people who have fallen into a life of crime, and particularly successful crime, think and act or would act in this situation. If anyone has any advice or sources of information please send it my way. [more inside]
Does anyone make my ideal notebook? A5 in size, any colour you like, with covers that flex but aren't too flimsy (not stiff boards) and with a mix (alternating pages if possible) of both lined and plain pages? The mix is important - I like drawing and writing - but I'm not really sure what to search for to find what I want. I'd take a mix of squared and plain at a stretch. All suggestions and pointers welcome.
What are some magazines or online publications that publish popular -- but not dumbed-down or gimmicky -- history writing? Difficulty level: must pay writers. [more inside]
I have, for the past several years, worked as a journalist in a fairly niche area. I do not want to do this anymore - but I do want to put my skills to good use, and make a decent living. How do I do this? What now? [more inside]
Something that happened many years ago in my community is coming back to the fore in the form of multiple lawsuits. Many people were hurt and it turns out that a lot of people connected to my family were involved in one way or the other, on both sides: perpetrator and victim. There was a major cover-up operation back when it all went down and most of these people, perp and victim included, have moved on, in a way, from that time. I realize that I am uniquely suited to write this story , but I don't know how to go about getting people to talk to me, and talk to me on the record. [more inside]
In other words, I'm looking for a list of adjectives that could complete the sentence "I am feeling __." This is actually a fairly extensive group of adjectives, and I'm wondering whether this type of adjective is identified formally as a certain type of adjective (which would make it easier to find the set) or whether anyone has assembled such a list.
My daughter would like a diary or journal like Anne Frank had. It is red plaid, with a lock and she would preferably like the pages lined. [more inside]
Attorneys, law students, anyone: what is the best legal opinion you've ever read? I am fascinated by legal rhetoric and I want to read the best-written, best-argued, opinions (majority or dissenting) you can come up with. Amicus briefs will also be accepted. And the case doesn't need to be historical or momentous, nor does it need to be a Supreme Court case, but cool of it is.
What's the best description of that-which-can-not-be-described in horror literature you've encountered? [more inside]
Where can I find some good hard rock (or hard rock-ish) background music with no vocals? [more inside]
Can anybody tell me what sort of writing this is, and what (if anything) it says?
I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year, and I discovered that my setting of Portage County, WI happens to have a ghost town! Unfortunately, the only thing I can find about it is a stub of a Wiki page. [more inside]
When I think of Wilde's or Dickens' prose, I think of classical rhetorical techniques such as paraprosdokian and chiasmus--and of course countless others. I'm looking for sources that analyze prose fiction--modern or canonical--according to models of classical rhetoric. Internet sources would be excellent, but I might spring for a hard-copy text if it's not too expensive. Thanks.
Help me discover a place in the greater Bay Area I can go for a few days to focus on a writing project. [more inside]
I need a book on the different varieties of English, their spellings, grammar and punctuation and some info on vocabulary differences, too. But I'm having trouble finding one. [more inside]
If you are a writer (nonfiction or fiction), a designer, or a programmer, how do you survive the editorial process with your self-esteem intact? [more inside]
what's the trajectory of someone who wants to eventually write for a comedy/drama or even a kid's show? Is there an entry-level equivalent for that kind of thing? What skills are necessary besides screenwriting experience?
I'm writing a dystopian sci fi novel and it's coming along sparkingly. Yay. One of the plot lines involves a shortage of women, and the development of new family units utilising polyandry. I'm looking for resources - primarily non-fiction - of both positive and negative experiences of polyandry. [more inside]
Have writers ever changed television series based on fan discussions or feedback? I have a memory that this happened with Lost, but I can't find the specific article. I may even have read it in a book. Any other suggestions? Links to articles/interviews would be helpful.
A child I know has struggling with output (verbal, written) for quite some time. He has some other issues, too. He has diagnosed LDs. He worked hard over the summer and has improved. The school seems to think that his writing isn't a concern. This conflicts with the opinions of other specialists. How do the parents make sense of it? [more inside]
I've been working in either journalism or communications for a few years now and while I like it a lot, I feel like I still haven't quite found the right job. What are some career trajectories for someone who is really good at research, loves talking to people, and has an overwhelming sense of curiosity, but is tired of writing everyday. [more inside]
What Web sites, resources or tools have you found for channeling the zeitgeist at any particular time? This would be slightly different from reading the "news." For instance, The New York Times offers a good overview of what's happening in the world, but the "Most Shared" sidebar is a far better indicator of what people are talking about. Twitter has emerged as a good resource for this, but there's such a huge amount of data there that I wouldn't know how to comb through that. [more inside]
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!
I am a 32 y/o creative writer (poetry, short fiction, essays) and arts journalist. I have an MFA and I have been very well-published in lit mags and on websites (but no book yet). I have two poetry manuscripts that I’ve circulated, and both have had some near-misses. I am very prolific and always have projects going, and I submit often. However, I feel a lack of professional traction, and I am hoping some of you have ways I can level up. [more inside]
I work in freelance newspaper/online journalism currently, but came into it through a sort of backdoor (via a career in corporate communications rather than via j-school). I now find myself in the situation of having regular work for clients that I absolutely love. Unfortunately, that work only comes out to about 20 or 25 hours a week and it would be fantastic if I could double my workload. [more inside]
My background is chiefly Facilities Management/Procurement/Commercial Real Estate, however, I completed my Business degree last year as a mature student of 32. It is only recently (through exhaustive introspection after being made redundant 4 months previously) that my passion falls within the technical writing/editing arenas. Moreover,What colour is your parachute?enabled me to identify what skills I have utilized and subsequently enjoyed throughout my life/career, to facilitate a career of my choice as opposed to just falling into roles I do not like. [more inside]
What resources are available to make me a stronger writer (marketing/communications)? [more inside]
I'm a freelance journalist who is mostly self-taught. I didn't go to j-school and I've never worked on staff at a newspaper or magazine. While I'm confident in my research and writing skills (at least I know where I need to improve) there are a few "rules" of journalism that I feel like everyone else knows and I have never learned. Hence this question. [more inside]
A film professor friend is compiling a list of movies about drug and alcohol abuse in connection to the creative process. Got any suggestions? [more inside]
I am looking for three things here: 1) Some kind of drill, preferably in game format but anything good will do 2) tools to run my writing through to catch my errors and 3) generic reference materials. Online resources are strongly preferred, in part because I get sick when I handle books and papers too much. [more inside]
I work in state government and my position may soon shift to policy analysis, which would include writing and revising policies, procedures, and regulations. I have plenty of experience researching regulations, but not as much in the areas of writing and revising. Can anyone recommend any resources (books or websites) which may be helpful for this type of writing? Thank you! [more inside]
I'm taking next week off to do two things. The first is to develop some habits that are conducive to me writing continually, daily and with presentable results. The second is to actually have a product by the end of the week. I'm thinking one good and fairly polished short story. Please give me advice and ideas about how to accomplish this. Do you need a place to work that is for "writing only"? Do you have a daily routine? Did you have to develop self-discipline? Do you have rituals like meditation or having tea or writing by candle light? Do you listen to music? With an entire week to do whatever I want, how do I best use my time for writing? [more inside]
For the past few years, I've had to deal with what seems like procrastination's more stubborn cousin. It's not just a tendency to put things off- it feels like a visceral, physically-manifested resistance to doing things that should involve no forethought in terms of effort whatsoever, or that do, but that would only serve to help me better myself if I managed to get them done. [more inside]
I'm interested in learning about the details of English grammar and usage, and also maybe in picking up some prescriptions or guidelines for writing well-styled/balanced prose (a la Strunk & White, though my understanding is that there's potentially a great many schools of thought to look at here). The kicker: my academic background is in math and computer science, including the very formal reaches of things like logic, formal languages, etc. Is there any way that this stuff can help me learn that stuff? [more inside]
This is my first year in public health. I am writing a report describing data trends and prevalence rates regarding maternal and child health issues. I am trying to be a little creative in my writing. I feel as though I keep restating the same phrases, "the rate was", "a higher percentage of Asian women" , etc. Any tips on writing about data? For example, one in 4 children, one in ten women, etc. Any resources you can point me to in this type of writing? Basically, writing about numbers and data for the non-mathematically minded :)
For something like the past four or five months, I've been in what I can only describe as a creative lull. I work as a comedy writer and have been doing this for roughly two years, but for whatever reason, I am not producing material that I'm happy with any more. I'm looking for advice from people who have climbed out of something similar, or any insight into why this is happening. I realize the awesome irony of asking this question in a very serious, unfunny way. [more inside]
I'm looking to improve my essay writing skills. I have two questions: [more inside]
I am working with contract writers developing content for a website. Due to the nature of what we're working on and the fact that we have very loose relationship with the contractors, plagiarism is a major concern. Are there any good online tools (free or paid) available for checking copy for plagiarism? [more inside]
I need some examples of organisations using trans*inclusive language in interesting and welcoming ways - particularly on the web and on social media. When I need to communicate that a group is open to women and trans* people, but not cisgender dudes, I feel like I'm using the same clunky phrases every damn time. Help me find new ways to say it without tying myself in linguistic knots. [more inside]
I'm curious as to how writers of fiction or television (specifically writers who are not from the depicted region or culture or economic class themselves) of shows like The Wire or Deadwood or The Sopranos, are able to write a wide range of dialects, vernaculars and idioms so successfully.* [more inside]
I graduated recently with a BA in English, and was set on academia so naturally I pursued a masters. Around the time of submitting my thesis I started work in an entry-level admin type role, which I have been at for the past year. My thesis was recently passed, and I'll graduate this autumn. [more inside]
I am writing a letter, which I would like to keep secret until after my death. In the movies it seems so easy, but how would one really go about doing it? [more inside]
I'm a part-time freelance copywriter trying to figure out how I can quit my full-time retail job and piece together work that is more related to writing. [more inside]
How can I get better at organizing my ideas in writing? I want to be able to write essays, long-form blog posts, articles, etc. I want to be able to use in-depth writing as a tool to accomplish things, instead of just enduring it when it comes up. I'm interested in resources (classes? books?), techniques, and advice. [more inside]
The situation that prompted one of my first questions on AskMe is unfortunately still relevant. Logistics have improved, my depression is....eh. I'm 25 now and have been out of undergrad for over a year. This is my resume . Ignore the crappy formatting, but... [more inside]
Here's a run-down of just a few of the publishing platforms I've heard of recently. Some of them are blog-like and others are book-like. Some are for technical writing and others are more general. I haven't had time to try very many of them, so I'm curious what anybody else might think of them before I jump into using one(s) of them. Are there others like these? What are the differences among them? Vellum Hi Medium woop.ie GitBook LeanPub PressBooks
I really like Fabriano blocks - particularly the A5 dot-patterned paper that is glue-bound on the left side of the block (see here. I would like to get a leather (or other suitably durable material), A5-sized zipper-closing cover to hold one of these with writing implements (pen, pencil, and eraser)... [more inside]
So I'm finally getting some freelance assignments. Yay! But how do I actually do this organizationally? [more inside]
Are any of the coaches / services out there that advise on how to change careers actually legit and useful? I need help figuring out a career change and I see a million books and services out there for me to consume, but I would really value recommendations of someone who has successfully used any of those resources. My goal is to find a position showcasing writing and/or research skills. [more inside]
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]