My dissertation hand in deadline is within two months. I still have a sh*tload left to do, and I fear I'm sinking fast. I have well meaning friends and colleagues that offer support, but the stress is killing me because I can't trust my own instincts and I don't know how to ask for help. [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]
There was a quote I read once that said something like.... A good written work is where every sentence and every word must be there for it to be complete. Where there is no word that can be cut out and still salvage what is trying to be communicated- like no wasted words. .... It was a quote that said something along these lines. I can't remember it and I can't remember who said it either. I think a famous author said it, but not sure. Does anyone have any ideas?
In writing, there are different units of measure. For example, the letter, the word, the sentence, and the paragraph. There are also sometimes blocks of paragraphs. In each block, there is a single line break between each (indented) paragraph. Between blocks there are multiple linebreaks so that there is some whitespace between the blocks. This seems to be one of the larger units of measure before a chapter. Does anyone know what the official name for a block of paragraphs is (if it even exists)?
Hi mefi, can anyone recommend sites/writers that post interesting longer articles in French? [more inside]
Can you please give me advice, or share recommendations, about non-disposable, easy writing pens for a left-handed writer? Not ballpoint, and need free-flowing ink. I have tried various gel, ball-point, fountain, and dip pens, and I prefer a sustainable solution. [more inside]
If you have figured out how to write research papers as a student with RSI (De Quervain's in this instance), please share tips, tools, or online resources that have helped you. [more inside]
I have a couple of short stories out there on the market right now. They're between 4000-6000 words each. I've really been struggling with how to price these, and I have found no good advice on Google. How should I proceed? Writer flurries inside. [more inside]
Short of being in Australia*, I'm writing a story that takes part in Sydney, Australia. Are there any online resources, etc. that could give me an idea who to write dialog that an Australian citizen would speak (certain phrases, slang, etc). *(Warning to Australia, I'll be visiting next year)
So, my (unpublished, agent-less) writer wife has one of those opportunities to sit down with a pro editor and agent for 10 minutes, each, at a convention.... what in the world do we do with an editor for 10 minutes? Wife is on the second/third draft of a completed manuscript. [more inside]
I'm writing a sci-fi novel and I've come to an extended battle scene. Music without lyrics is a MAJOR plus (lyrics can distract me and slow down the writing... but music is good for blocking out noise from outside my study.) Any suggestions? Guitar-oriented hard rock music and VNV Nation-style modern sounds would really help! [more inside]
I've been working on a few different zines myself, but I'd love to find more zine community online. What are some of the best sites, communities, blogs, Tumblrs, Twitter accounts, for getting into zine communities? [more inside]
I've had an idea for a long-form essay with some original research and reporting kicking around in my head for a while. I've done some background research, and I haven't found any similar treatments of the topic anywhere else in either academia or in the popular press. I already have three different groups that I could interview and conduct field research with about the topic, and I also have a pretty strong theoretical and historical base to frame the writing. I'm used to academic publishing, but would be interested in writing this as a non-academic long-form essay. At the very least I'd be publishing this on my own webspace, but was curious about what the process would be like to try and sell it to an online venue? Is it better to write the thing first, or are there places which I could propose the article to beforehand? Is it even realistic to think that I could sell an article without being a previously published author in the mainstream press?
Any ideas to help myself continue to be a wandering freelancer while increasing my income and expanding job opportunities? [more inside]
I am about 15,000 words into my first novel, and I'm finding it difficult to get feedback from my old English major friends. I'd like to know how the pace, grammar, syntax, etc. of my story strike various experienced readers, but I certainly don't want to put my manuscript online in an unsecured environment. Any thoughts? BTW, I live in the Maine woods; no, there are no local meet-ups. I really wish there were.
Authors Of AskMe, has this happened to you? During my self-imposed creative hiatus over the last year or so I conducted a lot of research into what would be my dream project. A project I could be passionate about, the kind of book I'd really want to exist. So I made a list of every thing, character, concept, idea, sudden kind of twist I'd like. I have three notebooks of this stuff. I cross-indexed it and included all my references. I have an astounding about of detail on what I want to put in and touch on but no actual story. I keep staring at it, like it's a list of SCP entries, and I can't think of a damn thing for anyone to do with these collected items, places, motifs, themes, and people. It's frustrating cause I can come up with quick pulp narratives on the fly for stuff I'm not working as hard on but every attempt to break and outline a rising action for these people results in rapid breathing and complete brain fume-lock. I keep asking "What does the main character want?" and coming up with nothing. Is this common? Is there a resource for this? Can I pay someone to go through these ideas and find something that other people might want to read? [more inside]
I am a writer (poetry, fiction, essays) and painter (mostly abstract art done in acrylics). I am normally quite prolific, but I have been dealing with a ferocious depression for months now and pretty much stopped creating altogether. However, I am feeling hopeful that the end of the yuckiness is in sight, and I'd like to get back to work. Yesterday I went to a cafe to write and sent out some submissions but really didn't know where to begin with writing. I made a list of potential projects, but none of them really grabbed me, and I didn't either feel any great ideas or the patience to sit with them until I got an idea. A similar thing happened when I was thinking about painting. So, does anybody have any tips for getting back into creative work after a long time away with something as crippling as depression can be?
Typing is killing me and I have to write a bunch of papers over the next couple of weeks. I have a 2012 MBP (not yet on Mavericks) and could spend ~ $100-150 on some kind of voice-to-text software. Looking for something with a minimal learning curve that will let me work fast. And, whatever else is required to quickly & painlessly navigate multiple documents. Any recommendations? [more inside]
Most of the academic textbooks I've read have had a drawn-out presentation style based on psychological observations as part of an effort to project a particular voice. [more inside]
What device is to writing what the Kindle is for reading? Assume a Kindle is, for purposes of this question, electronic, single-purpose, efficiently designed, portable, small and stylish -- and not a tablet like an iPad or Nexus. The method of document storage does not matter.
I'd like to donate some of my time to a charitable organization. The skill I have to offer is copywriting and editing. I can, obviously, do this remotely so the organization could be located anywhere in the world. What's the best way to locate organizations that might be interested in free writing and editing? Is this even a thing?
Lately I've been really into the blog Ribbon Around A Bomb, who writes about female-fronted 70s post-punk, Twin Peaks, feminist art, and leather jackets. I also love The Pulp Zine, which is full of teen dreams and high school small town angst, an obsession with Burger Records, 90s nostalgia, black lipstick and pink hair. I'm looking for more blogs that cover punk, garage rock, femme fun, DIY, weirdo fashion, nostalgia, queerness, creativity, feminism, art, and worship of countercultural idols. Basically, I'm a fully-grown scummy punk boyfemme who wants the experience of flipping through a teen magazine tailored to my interests. What other sites would I love? [more inside]
What are some jobs/careers/gigs that involve writing, some kind of direct interaction in a community space (such as a public library, media lab, shelter, etc.), and teaching/public speaking? Substituting counseling for teaching/public speaking is okay, but something verbal and interpersonal for #3 [more inside]
I want to sell what I write as a 'packaged' article or essay. Best spots to do this? [more inside]
I graduated with an M.A. in English and through luck, contracting, and family connections, came to work in nuclear power. My administrative role has changed to field work. I prefer office work, especially writing reports etc. My area in nuclear is very specialized, and due to downsizing in the industry, I feel a real need to get familiar with my prospects for other jobs and diversify my skills. However, I have no idea how to begin, research being one of my weak points. Long explanation + details inside. [more inside]
I'm trying to write a fictional character background that involves someone overcoming a generally fatal disease in childhood, and leading to a full recovery. The character must grow up to be physically fit and able to engage in a very physical job, but I'm imagining endless visits to the hospital in childhood & nobody expecting him to live long. I have a few reasons to avoid cancer as a story choice. What are other possibilities?
I want to read more essays on individual films, along the lines of Tim Kreider's "Introducing Sociology" (on Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.) [more inside]
Tryin' to track down a portfolio of English reading/writing laminated bifold four page workbooks. [more inside]
I saw a somewhat blogspammy news article the other day (regrettably, I cannot remember where, and google is failing me) which listed the top ten or twenty professions that would be eliminated by automation in the next twenty years. Among them were ones I would expect: telemarketing, retail sales, etc. Nothing surprising there. And then they threw technical writing into the mix. My question is, how could software automate technical writing? [more inside]
I'm 25 and have been in the freelance scene for about a year. I saw Igyre's question and how she was unhappy with making $25/hour. That's about what I'm making now. I'm looking for perspective and what I need to do to start charging more. [more inside]
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?
Please help me understand seaworthiness so I can write about it. [more inside]
How can you make sure that as a writer you're getting better? [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]
My friend is a French expat living in the USA and is almost finished writing a play--in French. She is looking for some feedback on her work from people who are decent speakers of French and know enough about writing for theater, or fiction in general, but it's been surprisingly difficult to find such people. Do you have any ideas for helping her find such people? [more inside]
I wrote a novel (hooray!). I got an agent (hooray!) The book went out to lots of great publishers (hooray!) who all rejected it (tears, sobbing, and gnashing of teeth). And now I'm flailing. Can you help me get my head straight and figure out a plan? [more inside]
I am a writer and visual artist, mostly a writer. I have been through a grueling bout with severe depression. Now the agonizing emotional pain is lessened, but I have been blank, apathetic, and anhedonic for a couple weeks. I started on Zoloft a couple days ago and also had my lithium increased, and I also recently started a prescription dose of vitamin D because my levels were low. I'm throwing all those things plus therapy, exercise,omega 3's, and light therapy at the problem, but there is little help right now. My big question has to do with the fact that I am seemingly unable to be creative right now. I try to write and nothing comes out,or it comes out awkward and flat. I've tried writing about the flatness,but even that trick doesn't work. The visual side hasn't fared much better. Does anyone have suggestions for how I can keep my creative side alive while I wait for all the treatments to help?
I'm a fiction writing and I've always wanted to be involved in the storytelling aspect of a computer game. Can I make this happen without a career change or having to take on technical or design stuff? If so, how? [more inside]
Which mathematicians write exceptionally well or exceptionally clearly? (Individual books or articles would also be acceptable.) [more inside]
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?
I stumbled across an older book, and I'd love to find others like it. Help? [more inside]
I've started writing more (blog posts), and several times this has happened: I use the Mac's search function to look up a word in the dictionary, for inspiration, and instead I notice a PDF search result from my folder full of (sadly illegal) PDF books, and end up on a totally wonderful track. Is there a more comprehensive, perhaps legal, way to do this? [more inside]
Could someone recommend a free or inexpensive program I could use to track experience points in a nerd project I'm working on? To inspire myself to write more, I thought I'd turn my automath afternoons into a sort of rpg, where I gain points for expanding my vocabulary, memorizing passages, writing, revising, and publishing. I could do it all on paper, but I've found I'm much more productive when I keep all my work on my laptop (hypotheses abound). I could also use a spread sheet, where current stat totals are in the top row, but that would quickly lead to tedious scrolling just to input new data. Ideally, I'd like to have a static page with fields I can plug numeric data into, and have that data compiled and displayed somewhere at the top of the page. Seems pretty basic--the kind of thing that must exist, right? Thanks!
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've been working as a receptionist for a few years, and I'd like to transition into a career as a copywriter. About three years ago I wrote back-of-the-box copy for a home entertainment distributor, I've written music and film reviews for a few blogs my friends run, and I recently finished the third draft of a novel. None of these seem like they'd work for a copywriting portfolio. I've also spoken to the marketing department at my current place of employment about writing press releases and blog entries, and I'm waiting to hear back from them about potential short-term projects. In the meantime, what can I do to get more experience and build up a portfolio?
Yesterday I saw a community theater production of Sam Shepherd's Buried Child. Later at home, I looked up some commentary/analysis on it. So many different meanings were attributed to various aspects of the play, such as the corn that Tilden kept bringing in from outside. It was tied to fertility, infertility, Sukkot, the Corn King, death, and on and on. At one point, Vince reentered the house from the screened-in porch by cutting the screen vertically top to bottom and stepping through. This was said to be a symbolic rebirth for his character. [more inside]
Book recommendation filter: Guy loves girl. Guy hates himself for it. Romantic drama ensues. [more inside]
I've been depressed for many years. It has sapped my creative powers. I've had enough. How can I live as a depressed person, but elevate above the limitations this has imposed on me in the past to escape into a writing practice that could create imaginative works of fiction? [more inside]