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]
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]
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]
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!
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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!
What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [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]
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]
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]
I stumbled across an older book, and I'd love to find others like it. Help? [more inside]
What language is this? What does it say? [more inside]
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]
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".
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]
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.
[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]
That's really the only string I can grab at it "Three then four, then many more" or maybe
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
What are the legal rights and obligations of someone reading aloud in public from a published book? [more inside]
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]
"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]
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]
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]
I need recommendations for books on writing that address general craft issues - help? [more inside]
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?
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?
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]
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]
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!
How should I manage my workflow for researching and writing a nonfiction book using Evernote and other tools? [more inside]
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]
Which novels and short stories, from any genre, since WWII, have been the most influential on prose style in "literary fiction"?
Help me find this epistolary novel [more inside]
What politically neutral book(s) should I read on multiculturalism and Islam, immigration/integration politics and/or ethnic/religious tensions in Europe? [more inside]
Who are the current masters of the short story form? [more inside]
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]
Can you recommend great books on creativity that have inspired you greatly in your work? [more inside]
I'd like to read some sharp, simple fiction writing to improve my academic essays -- what would I like? [more inside]
In what English movies or books would I most likely be exposed to new words? Any genre and time-period.
Can you recommend good books on grammar and writing? [more inside]