Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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May 28

Short fiction recommendations

What are your favourite collections of short stories written by a single author? [more inside]
posted by quaking fajita at 9:54 AM - 56 answers

May 27

What is the quintessential poetry style guide book (if one exists)?

My wife just graduated with her masters in poetry and I'd love to get her a high quality, hardcover, commemorative book. [more inside]
posted by TimBridge at 2:52 PM - 10 answers

Cultural Appropriation in the Mechanics of Magic

I am a white cis-het male working on a writing project that includes both a fantasy novel and a tabletop RPG system and setting, based in an alternate history Earth where magic is a part of normal life. I believe in the importance of diversity in representation, so I would like to depict an America in which European/American culture is less hegemonic than in reality. One of the ways in which I want to do that is having non-European systems of magic be influential on the art and science of magic in this world. In particular, I am considering whether there is a way to incorporate chakras into both the fiction and the game's system without it being cultural appropriation. More details after the break. [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 11:38 AM - 9 answers

Can I pay the Internet to write my emails?

I suck at correspondence, and would like to pay another human to draft the occasional very brief email message for me-- standard thank-yous, requests, friend check-ins, etc. (I don't need a full-on virtual assistant; just the occasional $5, 5-minute task). Is there an established gig website that handles this sort of custom short content request? How else could I go about tracking down someone to provide this service? [more inside]
posted by Sockinian at 6:55 AM - 10 answers

May 26

(Virtual) Summer writing programs for a teen?

A talented and typically sullen sixteen-year-old girl is about to meet the vast free time of Summer Vacation and I'd like to find something that feeds her inspiration more than her desperation. She's a fine writer and it's good for her mental health for a whole pile of reasons. Registration for the local, in-person summer writing programs has come and gone, so I'd like to find some online options that encouraging her writing. Give me your online classes, camps, communities, apps, or anything else appropriate for a teen who likes to write, but could use some constructive encouragement. [more inside]
posted by Ookseer at 4:16 PM - 7 answers

Is there a literary equivalent of going back to high school?

I am looking for some young adult fiction that describes current high school experience. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:41 PM - 8 answers

Remembering a poetry book from my childhood

What was this anthology book from my childhood?? Read at my grandmother's house in the early to mid 1990s. [more inside]
posted by amicamentis at 9:19 AM - 8 answers

May 21

What is the most efficient use of Duotrope?

Hello there. I've been using Duotrope primarily to see what market is opening or re-opening and targeting markets that way. Yet Duotrope's search function is getting pretty kewl, in terms of targeting subgenres and lengths and whatnot. So I'm curious, fellow writers: what is your Duotrope process? [more inside]
posted by angrycat at 2:43 PM - 4 answers

May 17

Help me find this children's book about sharks

Help me find this book! Gory children's book about shark attacks read in the mid 1990s. [more inside]
posted by amicamentis at 6:28 AM - 8 answers

May 16

Book ID. Fantasy Book where Women Use Gem Pieces For Magic

This is Children's/YA book I read in the early to mid 1980s in the UK. Invaders from across the sea are occupying the young heroes homeland and are looking for something. The protagonist goes in search of a magic jewel/gem/stone to defeat the invaders. One of the few details I remember is that another magic gem had been used to solve a previous crises and the shattered pieces of it could be used to do some kind of magic by the female characters. [more inside]
posted by antiwiggle at 2:25 PM - 4 answers

May 15

Benefits to formal diagnosis of dyslexia as an adult?

I think my boyfriend might be dyslexic and I'm debating how much to bug him about getting it checked out. But how would you even treat dyslexia in a 30-year old, and is there any benefit to getting a formal evaluation and/or diagnosis as an adult? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 5:41 PM - 9 answers

May 14

Looking for poems, quotes relevant to the death of a heroic dissident

I'm doing PR for a heroic dissident who is on hunger strike to protest the actions of a dictator. He's in grave danger and I have little hope. I think he will be gone soon. Can anyone suggest poems or quotes relevant to this situation? I want them for my own comfort, but it would be especially useful if there was something that wasn't too long that I could use for PR. [more inside]
posted by Surprised By Bees at 11:06 PM - 11 answers

In search of confidential dictation

I am looking for options for confidential dictation (beyond what Google can find for me). Please give me your personal recommendations for solutions. [more inside]
posted by elizeh at 6:31 AM - 2 answers

May 13

When did the US begin referring to 'Victorian' things?

When did people in the US begin referring to things in their own country as 'Victorian'? And why? Is there any history or controversy behind such a usage?
posted by Emma May Smith at 3:06 PM - 12 answers

Copyright on 1942 Documents

In the course of archival research, I've come across transcriptions and author's notes of some remarks that were given during a private conference in 1942. I'm having trouble sorting out the 1909 and 1976 Copyright Acts and how they impact these documents. Are they in the public domain, or are they still under copyright?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:01 PM - 13 answers

Domingo? no. Rodrigo? no.

Help me remember the name of a children's book about a dog. [more inside]
posted by komara at 1:11 PM - 5 answers

Help me unf*ck this reading list

So...my 10th-grader's school has released the list of possible summer reading books, from which he has to pick one to read and review. As you might imagine, there is A Problem. [more inside]
posted by SinAesthetic at 12:13 PM - 68 answers

May 12

Modular stories?

Which authors (or directors) have experimented with modular storylines - that is to say, brief stories, whose parts could be re-ordered, yielding new storylines? I'm looking for examples that actually work - either in poetry, in short stories, or in (short) films. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 3:15 PM - 21 answers

May 11

Michel Thomas-like French course taught by native French speaker

Is there a good French language cd / audio course similar to the Michel Thomas one, but taught by a native French speaker (a male one preferably)? [more inside]
posted by cotesdurhone at 7:03 PM - 3 answers

How can I nuke bad OCR text in a log of PDFs and replace with good?

I've inherited a ton of PDFs of scanned documents that are somewhat readable. The source were actual documents scanned into a scanner. Now I'm trying to make the OCR'd text readable by screen readers in one way or another. Looking for advice or even keywords to Google. Situational specs ahoy! [more inside]
posted by tilde at 8:18 AM - 13 answers

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