121 posts tagged with writing and fiction. (View popular tags)
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Help me design a (possibly steampunk) spaceship

I am writing a short story in which an unmanned spaceship crashes in a field, and I've gotten stuck when it comes to visualizing/describing the spaceship. I like the idea of a steampunk craft, though it will have lights. In case you are wondering, the overall tone I am going for is magic with a hint of sadness. Got any ideas for what it looks like on the outside or inside? What might my characters find when they explore?
posted by mermaidcafe on Mar 12, 2014 - 10 answers

 

What are some examples of completely unique writing systems?

I'm fascinated by writing systems. I've seen this wiki page about different types of systems in real and fictional languages. As I understand it, there are generally three kinds of systems: logographic, where symbols represent entire concepts or words; syllabaries, where symbols represent syllabic sounds; and segmental, where symbols represent phonemes or small units of sound. Is there any other way to write? I'm having a hard time coming up with how it would even work, but I'm sure some clever author somewhere has tried. Is there another way to write a language other than the above?
posted by RobotNinja on Feb 27, 2014 - 14 answers

meta stories are meta

I really love works of fiction that use the style, setup, or form of another media product as a means of storytelling and sometimes subversion. For example: TEDxSummerisle (complete with tweets and botched livestream) and The Theory of Narrative Causality, written primarily in the form of Livejournal posts by the Sherlock Homes fandom (inc comments and bits of fanfic) as well as GChats, TVTropes, and related media. What other similar works are out there? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 4, 2014 - 22 answers

What does a "John Dos Passos-like list" look like?

I was reading a review of Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 and a reviewer said the following: The author inserts John Dos Passos-like lists here and there in the text. Not quite sure that works, however (These lists are distorted and truncated in the Kindle edition). What do these lists look like? [more inside]
posted by hjo3 on Dec 29, 2013 - 3 answers

How has the MFA/Creative Writing affected fiction?

Is it possible for a layperson to differentiate an MFA trained author from one who isn't?
posted by larry_darrell on Dec 28, 2013 - 13 answers

Chapter One: The End.

Tell me the story of how you managed to keep your novel organized! [more inside]
posted by mittens on Dec 16, 2013 - 15 answers

Leaping into the action: good examples of in media res in short fiction?

I'm teaching a workshop on in media res (starting a story at the height of the action and then revealing backstory later) this weekend, and I'm looking for a short story (fairly short, short enough that students could read it in under 5-10 minutes) that illustrates in media res well. After the students read the story, I'm going to ask them to write an in media res story of their own. Does anyone know of any good short stories that would resonate with 13-16-year-olds? Thank you!
posted by DeusExMegana on Oct 17, 2013 - 19 answers

Specfic writing workshops in the Midwest

Are there any speculative fiction writing workshops in the Midwest? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Sep 19, 2013 - 7 answers

Unsung Short Story Masters

I want to know about that favorite short story writer of yours that no one else has ever heard of. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 13, 2013 - 42 answers

Tips & tricks for capturing the 'voice' of a piece of fiction?

How do you go about consciously aping the voice/tone/style of a particular genre of fiction or writer? [more inside]
posted by Erberus on Aug 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Name some paranormal young adult fiction cliches so I can avoid doing it

Please name some Paranormal Young Adult fiction tropes and cliches (obvious or obscure) so I can avoid doing them myself in the book I am writing. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by Sully on Aug 22, 2013 - 21 answers

Help me name a genome!

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 - 11 answers

Favourite examples of foreboding or suspense in literature?

What are your favourite examples of building tension or suspense in literature? Ideally these are brief moments, single paragraphs or small scenes, compelling the reader to continue on, worried about what will follow. [more inside]
posted by swrittenb on Jul 17, 2013 - 22 answers

Best Online Writing Groups/Workshops?

What are the best online writer's groups or workshops, especially for genre (scifi/fantasy) fiction? Active community of geeks wanted. Help a writer get serious about her stories. [more inside]
posted by ninjakins on Jul 16, 2013 - 5 answers

I need help in improving my short story

Is it possible to find an expert in creative writing in the Boston area or online to help me improve my short story? Several knowledgeable readers pointed out specific flaws in it that I have no idea how to fix. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jul 13, 2013 - 3 answers

Writers of Metafilter, please help me stay on track and keep going.

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 - 8 answers

Help me learn more about contemporary Indonesia!

I'm trying to learn more about contemporary Indonesia, and I'd love book & essay recommendations, especially of narrative non-fiction with a strong first person narrative voice! (But I'd also love suggestions of fiction, good travelogues, podcasts, blogs, zines, films, academic articles--really anything that doesn't demand prior in depth knowledge.) [more inside]
posted by tapir-whorf on May 13, 2013 - 4 answers

How to stop trunking my short fiction before it's even submitted?

I've been writing short fiction. I've got my process down pretty well, to the point that I am not getting stuck in writer's block hell or any other common pitfalls. I have ideas, and I'm capable of getting them down on paper. I revise them, I produce new drafts, etc. My problem comes in the last phase of the process. I don't know when to say something is done. [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Mar 21, 2013 - 11 answers

How do I check my feminism as a writer?

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 - 18 answers

first fiction contest

I'm submitting a story to a fiction contest, attaching it to an email. Other than the contest guidelines, is there anything else I need to do to the document or be aware of?
posted by larry_darrell on Mar 9, 2013 - 2 answers

Naturalistic Post-Apocalypse Worldbuilding

What elements are needed to write a frighteningly plausible post-apocalyptic story? [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jan 7, 2013 - 24 answers

Is writing great fiction innate or learned?

Writing fiction: is it the sort of thing where you either have "the gift," or you don't? [more inside]
posted by indognito on Jan 6, 2013 - 38 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

Critical Contexts for Writing : a reading list

I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Dec 14, 2012 - 8 answers

Sun and Sun and Moon and Moon and Moon

A world with binary suns and multiple satellites that can still be livable by a diverse (even lush) assortment of life forms - true or not? [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Nov 30, 2012 - 11 answers

Looking for resources about monastic life

Books / resources about monastic life? I am thinking of writing a story set in a completely fictional setting, and I'd like to research more ideas of what life is like in a monastery or abbey. [more inside]
posted by marble on Nov 25, 2012 - 20 answers

Invented language vs. familiar words in fiction?

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 - 67 answers

You don't need permission to dress up as a copyrighted character, but do you need permission to write about it?

My novel involves a costume party with some guests dressed as recognizable characters from films, TV, etc. I'm clearly not trying to claim them as my own and it's just all Halloween costumes, but am I asking to get sued? [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath on Oct 30, 2012 - 4 answers

I Ought to Be in Pictures?

What are the realistic odds of a movie studio buying rights to fiction? What steps could one take to even attempt this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 6, 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

Interview With A Character

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 - 5 answers

Open courses that teach writing skills: where are they?

Open courses that teach writing skills: where are they? [more inside]
posted by pracowity on Jul 11, 2012 - 6 answers

What last lines stand out in your head?

What are the best ending lines of poems/short stories/novels/movies? [more inside]
posted by karminai on Jun 22, 2012 - 72 answers

Technically speaking, the modern zipper wasn't actually invented until . . .

I would like to experiment with writing historical fiction. Are there any resources that describe best practices for this genre? Do you have any experience/recommendations/advice? [more inside]
posted by Think_Long on May 30, 2012 - 8 answers

What sort of wild technology do you need to entangle particles?

I need to know what sort of equipment one uses to "entangle" particles. Where would I find this sort of information? [more inside]
posted by AdamCSnider on May 28, 2012 - 4 answers

Writer seeks readers: possible LTR

Tell me stories of people finding unusual routes to getting their books to readers. I have written a book and would love to hear about people who found readers through more DIY channels. Not interested so much in how to self-publish, as in hearing stories to help me find the next step for my creation. [more inside]
posted by bobbyno on May 13, 2012 - 20 answers

Stories of abuse

Looking for good short stories or essays about abusive relationships [more inside]
posted by princeoftheair on Apr 16, 2012 - 9 answers

How to choose writing form?

To writers: how do you consider questions of which form in which to express your ideas - short story, essay, novel, poem, even unconventional forms like very short fiction or experimental plotless fiction or aphorism collection or blog posts (to the extent they're their own thing)? Are there any good articles or books that wrestle with this dilemma?
posted by shivohum on Mar 8, 2012 - 8 answers

How does your writing group work?

My fiction writing group is wondering if there's a better way to critique each others' pieces. How does your writing group do it? [more inside]
posted by ShooBoo on Mar 6, 2012 - 10 answers

i've been accepted to my creative writing mfa program! help me do it right.

i've been accepted to my creative writing mfa program of choice! help me do it right. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 5, 2012 - 11 answers

Best books that act as writing coach for fiction?

What are the best books, articles, or websites that act as a kind of "writing coach" for fiction, which walk you through, like an encouraging but demanding mentor, the psychological, technical, and purely logistical issues of writing and then publishing short stories or novels?
posted by shivohum on Feb 22, 2012 - 14 answers

A story, a story, my kingdom for a story!

I can write fiction, but nothing I write ever seems to be a coherent story. How do I write a story? [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto on Nov 30, 2011 - 31 answers

Time for some new reading material.

Hit me with some great, freely-available, science fiction short stories. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Nov 4, 2011 - 31 answers

Graphic Novels for Writers, not Artists

How do I go about getting some of my stories made into comics? [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust on Sep 20, 2011 - 10 answers

Please suggest some good oral histories

What are the best oral histories to read? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 27, 2011 - 18 answers

Help me plot a novel I don't even have an idea for!

Novel plotting filter: how do YOU do it? Do you think of a character first, devise the end and work backward from that, have a world/location in mind and try to discover what stories would occur there, what? [more inside]
posted by jasondbarr on Jun 2, 2011 - 19 answers

Reading on Research in the Digital Age

Summer short course filter: Fun readings on the internet, the future, and research in the digital age for high school teachers. Help a librarian plan a syllabus! [more inside]
posted by activitystory on Apr 28, 2011 - 5 answers

Am I Allowed to Use Anecdotes in Fiction?

Fledgling story writer here. Let's say somebody tells you an anecdote about a friend of a friend, an anecdote that might be interesting to put in a longer work of fiction. [more inside]
posted by The ____ of Justice on Apr 12, 2011 - 12 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

Helpful websites for an aspiring writer?

[Creative Writing Filter] I'm looking for some online resources to help me get back into creative writing after a three year break. [more inside]
posted by wansac on Dec 18, 2010 - 4 answers

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