Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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I've been re-reading my dogeared Dorothy L Sayers books, specifically the ones featuring Harriet Vane. And I want more like that. [more inside]
I'm trying to figure out how to explain why the usage of particular verbs is weak. [more inside]
What are the best places in LA for a writer to hone their craft? I'm a new writer and would like to learn more about how to do it. Details inside. [more inside]
Depending on its state, H2O can be called ice, water, or steam. Are there any other substances that have two or more native English words for different states of matter? (Three seems like too much to ask -- water is the only substance I can think of that even occurs in three states in everyday life.)
I'm looking for a short essay or non-rhymey poem that talks about loss and renewal for an ash scattering in the ocean. [more inside]
What are other phrases like "globe-trotter", "world explorer", "earth shaker", or "terraformer?" I need 10 more and I'm stumped! The linguistic recipe is 1 noun synonymous with Earth + 1 noun that is a person doing a thing... [more inside]
Are there any languages in which you insult the male relatives of your interlocutor? NSFW language below (obviously). [more inside]
Help me source a half-remembered quotation about siblings singing. [more inside]
I need a new series to read, but don't know where to turn. I've only read a few, and like Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee best. [more inside]
I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy novel in which one of the characters has survived a childhood of systematic sexual abuse. I'd like to understand the psychological effects of abuse, particularly sexual abuse, on survivors, and different ways in which people react to and overcome that history. (Or fail to overcome it, as the case may be.) [more inside]
Like it says on the tin Mefi, I'm looking for quotes on the contribution of science and innovation to social enlightenment and progress. Bonus points if the quote comes from a European woman but any source welcome.
What are your favorite French-language family saga novels or novels that recount the story of a life? [more inside]
How do I overcome the negativity that prevents me from completing partially-finished writing projects? [more inside]
Ages ago in my high school Spanish class we read a short story about a ghost. The basic plot summary was that a man dies and wakes up as a ghost; nobody else can see or hear him. At the end of the story he realizes that every person enters their own plane of existence upon death and stay there forever. He's disgusted at the thought of his wife passing through a miasma of ghosts, millions of whom are probably spying on her. [more inside]
We wrote a book! We did it! I just realized we're going to some sort of book signing event to meet local booksellers soon, and there will be promo copies of the books for the booksellers. What clever and useful thing should I say, beyond just writing my name? [more inside]
How do you work on maintaining all your lesser used languages? [more inside]
What short stories would 3rd graders enjoy? I'm reading stories aloud to 3rd graders for 15 minutes once a week, and I need some good suggestions. For me, the stories that I remember from grade school where always the twists: The Monkey's Paw, The Necklace, etc. What great short stories do you remember from childhood? Or what great short stories have you read to 8- and 9-year-olds?
I feel like that is the recurring message lately. How can I improve as much as humanely possible? And how do I cultivate a career in journalism at this late stage? [more inside]
I'm trying to recall a.. (semi-romantic?) poem that described an imaginary hour/time in which weird/absurd stuff happens. [more inside]
Hi. I swear a lot. It's fun. I've been swearing since I was a little kid on the bus who dropped f-bombs (like this previous ask). I have a kid now and realize I need to curb that, but most of the obvious substitutions are really corny and cheesy. Help me out! [more inside]