I think I write in a confusing manner. Folks seem to have a hard time wading through my sentences and paragraphs. Maybe it's because I use peculiar words. Maybe I phrase things awkwardly. Maybe I just don't understand how to properly structure a sentence. I don't know. Do you have any advice about how to write in a way that's easy to read and understand? [more inside]
Say you lived in Portland, and you like journal writing and you like beer. Normally you journal write while working in one of the city's wonderful coffee shops, but you were thinking - "it's the afternoon and I live in Portland - I should replace coffee with beer!" Where would you go . . .?
I run a website. I try to get other people involved in writing, and many start out excited to participate, but that interest drops off. I'm not sure how to "nicely bug" people to encourage that community participation. Help? [more inside]
We're creating an e-book, and need an online platform helping a team of writers/editors to collaborate. Perhaps some variant of Wiki, unless there are jazzy new services out there I don't know about.... [more inside]
I like to travel. I also like to make money. I have always heard about the internet being a great tool these days for doing both. A very long time ago, I made money doing journalism writing for legit media outlets. I don't have a degree, just a natural talent. For the better part of the past decade, I have focused on screenwriting and have even optioned a script but other than that I haven't made any serious traction. What resources exist for doing this remotely and where should I look? What would I need to do get started? I do still have articles from my journalism days that I could provide as samples. I would also be open to other forms of writing/online work if it was easy to pick up on. Thanks!
Several friends of mine are published writers in various platforms. I see them - or even my non-writer friends - comment on an article someone had written and all totally agree some piece is terrible, which I had read, but I'll have no idea why. I usually just nod my head, because I feel too sheepish to ask about something which is apparently so obvious to others. [more inside]
I'm writing a novel, and this is a research question. Essentially, I want to understand, both in general and in specific, what emotional decisions lead to a good relationship. The protagonist and the love-interest have hit it off, and Act 3 is about how their relationship deepens and intensifies. So, I want to know, what choices, and especially what emotional choices, have you made that turned out well? [more inside]
This pen was anonymously left on my desk at my job a few months ago, and I need more of this pen in my life. [more inside]
Hurrah, my ex-boss agreed to
write sign my a letter of recommendation! But I have to write it myself. How do I sound like him? [more inside]
I'm looking for interesting feminist texts of any kind (poems, prose, speeches...) that are not under traditional copyright in the U.S. and are from the last few decades. So, most will be 1) works prepared by a U.S. government employee as part of that person's official duties (such as any politician's speeches written by govt employees), or 2) anything the author CC-licensed or otherwise released outside traditional copyright. Very broad definition of feminist / female-positive. Especially great would be any intersections between feminist and anti-racist or anti-war ideas.
how can I become a good writer? [more inside]
I have always been fond of writing poetry, but lately I seem to want to expand my writing craft towards short stories. I think the most notable clincher for writers to improve their overall craft is simply by reading voraciously; with an eclectic wide range of authors and literary works. What are some wonderful literary works, authors, playwrights, short stories, non-fiction, fantasy work, et cetera. Can you recommend for me? To further my own voice and writing craft. [more inside]
Help I know what I want to say, have it in text files. But I am not a writer! I need to write a small book / manual to support a training that I am putting together. [more inside]
Two questions, both writing related: 1) For those of you engaged in essay and fiction writing (not academic or research-heavy professional writing), are pen and paper still part of your creative process at all? What is your workflow like?; 2) Will publishing an essay on one's own personal, special interest website (with a potential reach of less than 100) first preclude ever having it accepted for publication (not just linked) in some form or another on an online magazine platform? [more inside]
What formatting conventions are there for inarticulate sounds such as screams, cries, snores, etc. when writing screenplays? [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've been composing several written works for some years now. They are unfinished, however, certain sections 'need to be published' according to a trustworthy friend who specializes in the field. Unfortunately, I've lost touch with her, and am clueless as how to attempt to publish whilst maintaining an appropriate degree of protection and control of my work. [more inside]
Can you offer suggestions for a (radical or not-so-radical) career shift from office-y type work to something...else? I am at the end of my rope, and so are my loved ones, who are out of suggestions for me. [more inside]
NSFW. I'm looking for the best gay male erotica, specifically of the genre of someone ostensibly blogging about their sex life. [more inside]
My fears and indecision have blocked my 'career' progression for years. For a variety of personal reasons, I moved back home (at 44), and now I'm searching for a job. But I don't have much money left, so I need to find something soon, even if it's not perfect. I've boiled it down to three possibilities: copy editing, grant writing or library/information science. But I’m not sure any of them are right for me. I searched MeFi for answers, but they were either outdated (2011) or not geared towards my Myers-Briggs personality type. [more inside]
I've finished a self-help book and want to try to get an agent. I'm looking for recommendations for websites that have the most accurate, up-to-date information about agents that solicit self-help books. I've done a lot of research and found sites, but I don't know how to determine which lists are accurate, up-to-date, don't contain entries of agents who scam you by charging you after the fact, etc. Any recommendations for finding an agent will be very much appreciated. Thanks!
I manage my writer friend's site where he puts up (not otherwise published) longform articles for free. Film criticism, fiction and articles about literature and philosophy, close to 500 entries. Due to his ethics he is against marketing or monetising and only now after some years we are investigating donations (definitely not monetising). Is this feasible, and how do I not get this wrong? [more inside]
Help me set-up my first personal site in under 24 hours. [more inside]
There is an exercise recommended by some writers where you take a wall or a large board of some kind, and using different colored sticky notes, you put all kinds of completely random thoughts, images, and ideas for a story down, and then move them around until they form patterns you could work from. It's a nice, right-brained alternative to the outline, or even the mind-map. [more inside]
I have a lot of questions about the world! There are many different ways to explore those questions, but in order to explore them at a level that satisfies me, I have to investigate using mediums that I am fluent in. As of this moment, I don't think I am fluent in anything. Creatives of Metafilter, give me your thoughts and anecdata! [more inside]
I'm trying to identify/find this pre-1980 story set in America, about an epidemic (highly contagious, spread skin-to-skin) where everyone's turns grey and the victims have hallucinations. The protagonist is on the run (along with a woman?), trying to escape roaming victims (who have a craving to touch his uninfected skin). In that last aspect, it has a zombie apocalypse feel to it. I believe it was a little-known work by a big-name author. Can anyone tell me what it is? SPOILERS BELOW [more inside]
I'm curious to hear the experiences of people with good writing skills who were raised in families with poor language usage. [more inside]
How can I turn my writing skills into "I earn $$$$$$$$ working from home!" with immediate effect and without the use of magic? [more inside]
I'm looking for movies about a depressed/blocked writer who breaks through and regains his or her creative spark! (Preferably not through hokey means like hooking up with a manic pixie dream girl/boy.) Can also be any type of creative person, not necessarily a writer. Any suggestions appreciated!
I've been writing for a year and a half. I'm proud of my work, which is pretty obscure so far but some people like it and I'd like to try to go somewhere with it. (I'm in my late twenties if that makes a difference.) I just got published in an erotic anthology that's kind of a big deal. I also write essays for a high-traffic website. I think I'd have a wider audience if I used my real name. But I'm worried about discrimination because it's pretty sensitive material. [more inside]
I've posted plenty about struggles with bipolar/anxiety/ptsd. This post definitely relates to those issues, but I am NOT seeking treatment advice here, as I've got that covered. Really, I just want help coping with some current symptoms (reframing things or new ways to just do things anyway) and hopefully figuring out how to at least do some of the things I ostensibly enjoy. More below the cut. [more inside]
I have a Cross Classic Century pen that came with a standard Cross ballpoint ink refill installed. I don't like the ballpoint refill. Do I have any options when it comes to other (read: better) refills that will work with this pen? [more inside]
What are some tips that I could use to help me write out comics I'd like to draw? [more inside]
I just submitted my dissertation (yay...)! But during the struggle I've decided that academia is not my cup of tea--what next? Details after dropping out of warp. [more inside]
I hope this doesn't sound like a "do my homework for me" Ask, but I'd like some help with researching gender bias in STEM. As I mentioned in this thread, I've been asked to write an article regarding gender bias in STEM for an internal newsletter at my company. [more inside]
I've gotten out of the loop on recent Science Fiction writing. What are the best science fiction short stories and novels published within the last year?
TLDR: The title pretty much says it all; I'm seeking feedback on my resume. It's functional in design. Please suggest improvements. I've posted an anonymized version on Imgur for this question. (Yes, I will be deleting the resume image afterward.) [more inside]
I need a job/career. I have a PhD in bioengineering. I spent that time analyzing brain data in Matlab. Then I got an intense programming job in Manhattan. I lasted for 10 months: It was so aversive that I worked too slowly and finally had to resign. What do you do? Do you like it? What should I do now? [more inside]
I got an amazing calligraphy set for Christmas. I have never done anything of the sort before. Where do I start? [more inside]
I'm looking for some type of software that will help me track the events and worldbuilding reveals of a novel. I have just started using Scrivener for Windows, so it might be possible that there's a relevant feature that I haven't learned about yet. My ideal would be something that lets me tag particular scenes with events that happen in them and then look at a cumulative report of all the events (tags) that have happened up till that point in the novel. [more inside]
Hi everyone! For my job, I'm transitioning from Mac to Linux (trying Ubuntu) on my laptop and using an Android phone (CyanogenMod). I'm a little new to all this. For work and for play I read and write just an insane amount of text. I write papers and nonfiction research pieces and novels and thousands of notes. I read epubs and mobis and piles o' PDFs and many many online articles. What are your favorite apps and programs for reading, writing, editing, saving, and searching/storing text on these platforms? [more inside]
I want to get into the habit of daily writing in 2015, and one way I'd like to do this is by fleshing out a single poetic prose piece/novella/novel over the course of a year, through daily posts to a site, with possible social or RSS features so people can follow along if interested. What is the best medium for doing so? [more inside]
Is it acceptable to use a pen name in contemporary fiction / creative nonfiction circles? [more inside]
I am starting to write a novel. I have a totally different career in another field and want to write controversial / disturbing literary fiction. How should I handle this? [more inside]
I recently learned that my (retired) mom is interested in writing, and I would like to get her a book in support of this. Bird by Bird would have been perfect, but she's already read that one. Can you suggest other books have that same feel? [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]
I'm a writer with a (hopefully temporary) condition that prevents me from typing much. I need someone to turn my handwritten edits/revisions into updated Word files, so I don't have to type. Where and how do I find this person? [more inside]
Are there any literary writers (i.e. not sportswriters) who've written about modern NFL football in the same way that Joyce Carol Oates has written about boxing / David Foster Wallace has written about tennis?
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 looking for more excellent blogs written by novelists. Point me in the right direction! [more inside]