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Does self-publishing a book impact the potential for mass-market publication?

Once I've made my sci-fi novel available via Lulu.com, will it still be viable to shop around to agents and editors for potential mass-market publication? Are there factors that influence it? For example, if it sells a lot, is it considered a good buy by a publisher, or has it basically had its first run?
posted by JWright on Dec 8, 2006 - 9 answers

Help a wannabe Alan Moore?

How can a writer find an artist for a comic book collaboration? [more inside]
posted by Bookhouse on Dec 7, 2006 - 7 answers

Can I get a job as a writer without a degree?

I'm 23 and working as a sales assistant/helpdesk support/office admin/web designer/receptionist in my hometown. How do I go about getting a paying job as a writer, without formal qualifications? [more inside]
posted by saileyn on Dec 7, 2006 - 10 answers

Book recommendations that meet a specific criteria...

Looking for inspiration in two kinds of books. Perhaps you've got some recommendations? 1) Novels with very short "chapters" or fragments or pieces, that combine to make a whole; 2) Books boldly written, whether that be a writer being bold with timelines, punctuation, language, etc. (examples of both types of books inside). [more inside]
posted by dobbs on Dec 6, 2006 - 54 answers

How do I write quickly and intelligently?

How do you learn to write quickly? I have a good number of 5-15 page papers due in the next couple of days and they're killing me. I have no lack of ideas, I have no lack of outlines and notes I can create. But somewhere between holding the notes and writing the sentences down my brain sticks and I spend an hour writing and re-writing the first paragraph. What to do? [more inside]
posted by schroedinger on Dec 6, 2006 - 40 answers

What is your personal narrative?

Do you have any recommendations for solid creative non-fiction magazine columns or the like? [more inside]
posted by loiseau on Dec 5, 2006 - 4 answers

Information on the Writer's High?

I'm looking for any information on the "Writer's High" I am assuming it is similar to the "runner's high." I have heard it mentioned a few times, mostly by writer's who use it for therapeutic purposes. Have any studies been done?
posted by Gnostic Novelist on Dec 5, 2006 - 5 answers

Weblogs Inc.: to accept or not accept

Has anyone here accepted an offer to (or currently) write for a blog on the Weblogs Inc. network? I have some questions inside if so. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 30, 2006 - 2 answers

The first things you read when you open a book are...what?

I'm writing a book. What's the difference between a prologue, a foreword, an introduction, and a preface?
posted by soulbarn on Nov 29, 2006 - 12 answers

New word?

Concerning the first appearance of words: Is there an authoritative source or repository of "new" words? I ask because I want to introduce what I believe is a "new" word but want to be certain it hasn't appeared anywhere else. I did the obvious Googasearch and found nothing.
posted by lometogo on Nov 22, 2006 - 13 answers

Please help me identify a short story

I remember a friend of mine telling me about a short story/novel/novella about a baseball pitcher whose pitched balls disappeared after leaving his hand, only to reappear in a totally different place and kill someone. There's [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 22, 2006 - 9 answers

Choosing Writing Contests

Writers: How do you decide which writing contests to enter? [more inside]
posted by clairezulkey on Nov 22, 2006 - 4 answers

grammerFilter: present/past tense

I am writing a children's book (first time). I can't decide whether to use present or past tense. Here's a sample in present tense: Bobby walks slowly into the water. The waves rush up over his feet, but he is not afraid because the same thing happened last time. He goes a little farther. And a little farther. The water is up to his knees. and past tense: Bobby walked slowly into the water. The waves rushed up over his feet, but he was not afraid because the same thing happened last time. He went a little farther. And a little farther. The water was up to his knees. The present tense seems a little more "active", but past tense has certain story telling quality. Any comments on why I should use one or the other?
posted by allelopath on Nov 20, 2006 - 17 answers

Article about the origins of white space?

I'm trying to find a great article I read a year or two ago about the origins of white space in written text--does this ring a bell for anyone? [more inside]
posted by Powerful Religious Baby on Nov 17, 2006 - 6 answers

How to overcome online dating questionaire writers' block?

I have to fill out one of those lovely online dating questionaires, and am having trouble coming up with witty, charming things to say about myself. How to overcome this particular form of writers' block? [more inside]
posted by kenoshakid on Nov 14, 2006 - 18 answers

TV Writing Group Help

what is the best way to form a TV writing group? [more inside]
posted by tristanshout on Nov 11, 2006 - 6 answers

Cussin' and Writin'

Writers: When do you use profanity in writing? [more inside]
posted by clairezulkey on Nov 10, 2006 - 29 answers

Help, I just need some vocal HELP.

Help me learn/improve on vocal melody writing techniques. [more inside]
posted by sindas on Nov 6, 2006 - 9 answers

So, really: If I do what I love, will the money follow?

I recently left my comfortable position in a safe, nonprofit enclave to try the big bad corporate world and see if I could make a go of it. Three months in, the fit is pretty lousy. Ah, but I think I know what I really want to do. And yet, should I give the new place more time to see if things improve? What's that? Yes, or course, there's ... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 6, 2006 - 5 answers

How to respond to an interviewee's rude email?

I'm a freelance writer and recently interviewed a few people for a piece which ran today. Two of them were unhappy with the outcome. Now what? [more inside]
posted by different on Nov 2, 2006 - 40 answers

Writing around the Cellphone Problem

Writing around the "Cellphone Problem". [more inside]
posted by empath on Nov 1, 2006 - 31 answers

Mercenary Linguimancer seeks Steady Paycheck

I am a writer new to western Washington. I am short on experience but long on skill and drive. In the coming months, I shall complete my English education. But I need work now! [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak on Oct 30, 2006 - 4 answers

All work and no play makes theantikitty a dull girl

I'm looking for a private place to write for a weekend (with the possibility of multiple weekends if it seems extremely productive) within about 30-45 minutes of the city of Pittsburgh. I'm thinking a little cabin in the woods, or something similar. I'm also thinking cheap! [more inside]
posted by theantikitty on Oct 28, 2006 - 3 answers

Pitching a profile article

Do I need to contact a company before I pitch a profile to the local newspaper? [more inside]
posted by faunafrailty on Oct 26, 2006 - 3 answers

Where Can I Find Sales Figures for Novels?

Where can I find sales figures for novels (new and/or classic)? I am aware of Bookscan and Publisher's Lunch, but those are very expensive.
posted by Gnostic Novelist on Oct 26, 2006 - 9 answers

The Flâneur exposed

'The Flâneur': What fascinating titbits can you add to my knowledge about this concept? Art, history, philosophy and literary theory links all welcome. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Oct 25, 2006 - 22 answers

Quietly, quietly... poison?

(Writing/Hypothetical Filter) Are there any poisons that (could) mimic the symptoms/effects of cancer if administered to a person over time? [more inside]
posted by teststrip on Oct 25, 2006 - 15 answers

Hand writing and note-taking

I am an ESL teacher, and I have several types of classes; however, I have one problem, my handwriting looks as if I were a five year old scribbling with a crayon. So I am curious if anyone might have any suggestions on getting better at handwriting and printing for someone who doesn't have time to go to a course. Also, a second related question, are there any ideas for making conversation corrections? When my students are speaking, I write down various things that they are saying, and make various corrections, or simply offer alternatives, or local dialect. What are some of the most effective and useful ways to do this? If there are any people who have spent any time learning other languages, what ahs helped you most? Thank you all in advance.
posted by Knigel on Oct 24, 2006 - 12 answers

Oops, that's not quite what I meant...

Wordfilter: looking for a word or phrase that describes social paradoxical effects, where the action results in the opposite of its intention. [more inside]
posted by dragonsi55 on Oct 23, 2006 - 6 answers

What do you call those little quotes in books?

What is the term for those little quotes that sometimes open books? [more inside]
posted by SansPoint on Oct 20, 2006 - 11 answers

The stress alone is worth billions.

Will I win my small claims lawsuit against this deadbeat publisher? [more inside]
posted by changeling on Oct 19, 2006 - 10 answers

live and write

I'm tired of making next to nothing writing complete bullshit. I'm so so so so tired of it. I want to maximize my freelance potential and even enter into whoredom so I can make some money to live on. I'm in graduate school right now, but I need income, and I'd like to continue on in the field of creative journalism or analysis. What can I do? (this gets complicated) [more inside]
posted by punkbitch on Oct 19, 2006 - 13 answers

Software for writing poetry?

Has anyone seen software for writing formal poetry? [more inside]
posted by pracowity on Oct 18, 2006 - 10 answers

My characters are running away with my novel!

Please help me find something to organize this monstrosity of a novel. Oh yes, there is definitely [more inside]
posted by sperose on Oct 17, 2006 - 10 answers

Control Freaks! Lend me your anecdotes!

Has anyone got any examples or anecdotes about being a control freak for a writing project I'm working on? Maybe you know one, or are one yourself...I'm looking for unusual or funny examples of control freakery. Workplace examples particularly useful...
posted by Mrs.Doyle on Oct 17, 2006 - 40 answers

Creativity by the Thames

Where can I go to get involved with regular creative workshops and/or discussion in London? A little bit [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Oct 16, 2006 - 4 answers

How can I write comfortably?

Writing in bed - is there a way to do it comfortably? [more inside]
posted by anadem on Oct 14, 2006 - 14 answers

Do Goal Buddies Work?

I've often read that the way writers can maintain their momentum is to get a 'goal buddy,' someone you'd meet with or talk to once a week so you can encourage each other and kick each other in the butt and give advice. Have any of you done this? Has it worked for you? What was the secret to staying on topic and staying motivated/focused instead of getting distracted and talking about gossip/family or general complaining?
posted by clairezulkey on Oct 12, 2006 - 9 answers

When might you "have to" tackle the slush pile?

PublishingBizFilter: I want to know a little about the slushpile. Who looks at it? When? Why? [more inside]
posted by Mister_A on Oct 10, 2006 - 14 answers

U.S. Presidential Line of Succession Plot Device

I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I need help with a plot point involving the U.S. presidential order of succession. [more inside]
posted by ND¢ on Oct 10, 2006 - 14 answers

Celebrated penmanship?

We discussed improving penmanship once or twice. I'd like to know who is/was known for their distinctive hand. Links to letters or notebooks would be wonderful.
posted by pedantic on Oct 9, 2006 - 13 answers

Notebooks for the guy that thinks Moleskines are too expensive?

Notebooks for the guy that thinks Moleskines are too expensive? [more inside]
posted by frogan on Oct 6, 2006 - 15 answers

Which Freelancers are Getting the Fancy Contributor Photos?

How does one become a top tier magazine contributor? [more inside]
posted by clairezulkey on Oct 5, 2006 - 13 answers

SciFiSoundingBoardFilter

I want to talk with people about potential future trends as background research for near-future speculative fiction. Where wouldn't this be chatfilter? [more inside]
posted by Alterscape on Oct 4, 2006 - 7 answers

Does anyone recognize this folding rhyme scheme?

Does anyone recognize this rhyme scheme? [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Oct 3, 2006 - 6 answers

How to schedule my time as a freelance writer?

I'm in an enviable position, I guess. I am a freelance writer, with a free schedule (no outside commitments), an outside office to work in, no immediate financial pressure. So what's the problem? [more inside]
posted by different on Oct 3, 2006 - 14 answers

Academic writer's block.

Academic writer's block: tips, strategies, experiences, psychology for dealing with it? [more inside]
posted by RogerB on Sep 27, 2006 - 19 answers

Excellent disjointed writing

Can you think of any examples of "disjointed" writing -- writing with abrupt transitions -- that works? Faulkners Sound and Fury is a good example but shorter pieces are better for my purposes. Can be fiction or non-fiction. [more inside]
posted by Aghast. on Sep 27, 2006 - 17 answers

How do I pitch a book idea?

I have an awesome idea for a non-fiction adventure-type book that would require a small, but not insignificant amount of capital. Is it even worth my time to pitch this to a company, what sort should I approach and how would I go about doing it?
posted by borkingchikapa on Sep 25, 2006 - 7 answers

Fiction vs. Copyright

Enrique Vila-Matas is an author known by using other author's quotations into his own fiction books. Bartleby & Co. and El mal de Montano quote dozens of works by other authors. How can he do this, legally? [more inside]
posted by dfreire on Sep 25, 2006 - 2 answers

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