Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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I want to read non-fiction about bees. Ideally engaging narrative non-fiction. Lots of good bee facts. NOT JUST HONEYBEES! I'd like to read about local bees too! Different kinds of bees! BEEEEEEES!
I want to write beautiful, generous, precise, and insightful short fiction. I have a writing routine now, but I don't know how to improve my craft. I would love recommendations on concrete tactics, exercises…and maybe workshops to take (online or in London). [more inside]
A printing plate, 1-3-5-9 repeated in a 10 by 10 grid. What could it be? (Pics inside) [more inside]
What percentage of pursuit race riders from 1900-1929 were heroin addicts?, or, who would you hire to find out the answer to that question? My first thought was research librarian. If research librarian is correct; Is there a way to hire a reputable research librarian per question?
What are words that mean "reliable", "dependable", "responsible", "trustworthy", etc., but begin with the letter b, in English or any other language? [more inside]
The 'n' key on my work laptop broke last week, which became an amusing Friday diversion for my colleagues as they tried to decipher my emails and messages. I will get a new laptop on Monday. I want to announce the return of my 'n' key by sending them a message that uses the letter 'n' as many times as possible. Can you help me compose a sentence?
Can anyone suggest strong baby girl names that aren’t classic European names? [more inside]
How do you use the word "ambivalent"? [more inside]
I checked out a book from my local public library and was amazed to discover that it is signed and inscribed by the author, an important American writer who is now deceased. Should I let the library know or do you think they already know? What is the best practice here? [more inside]
I have a PhD thesis and I have a publishing contract (due in a few months) for a book that is loosely based on the thesis. Each time I open the thesis I am feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. How on earth can I change the turgid prose of the thesis into something normal people might want to read? [more inside]
Asking for a friend. It's for a real estate promo piece which lists: the number of homes sold (I guess in a certain period), the average [number of] days [those homes were] on the market, and... Average Sale Price $0,000,000 or Average Sales Price $0,000,000?
I thought I'd ask Metafilter this, as I don't have much experience with Goodreads and I'm a little shocked at what's happening there. My debut novel is coming out in a few weeks' time, which I'm delighted about. People having been requesting ARCs and reviewing it (I guess mostly book bloggers), and the reviews are truly bad – mostly 1 and 2 stars so far. I'm finding it incredibly depressing and it's really getting to me. Advice wanted about how to deal with it – thank you! [more inside]
My 3 year old is obsessed with the Diary of a Pug books - cute graphic novels that are meant for 6 year olds. Suggest more like this? [more inside]
This is similar but not quite the same as countable vs noncountable. I'm trying to think of a noun that can't very logically be preceded by "the" and the only one I can think of right now is "outer space" - because there's only one. But this could also apply to concepts and intangibles; are there examples I'm missing? TIA!
Is there a term, a device, for when everyone the protagonist meets is essential to realizing their goal? Seems like it would be a part of Joseph Campbell's hero's journey. Basically they are all put in the protagonist's path so the protagonist will have the knowledge they need to do whatever it is they are trying to do at just the right time. If just one of those characters was missing, the protagonist would fail. So kind of like having no red herrings among the characters, instead they are all essential? Or at least almost all are. [more inside]
I remember a fiction writing / outlining method described here a long time ago that consisted of writing a single central sentence and then expanding on it with additional single sentences until you had an entire plot or possibly an entire narrative. (In my memory it’s similar to The Snowflake Method, but not an exact match.) Does anyone remember what I’m talking about? [more inside]
I need discourse on being ill. [more inside]
As an ESL speaker, I'm not very familiar with African American Vernacular English beyond what little I've seen in movies, and I'd like to broaden my familiarity with it to the point of at least being able to recognise the basic structures of it. Recommend me American Black books written at least partly in AAVE, especially in narration? Genre fiction preferred, because gods know I don't often have the focus for very literary stuff and memoirs just don't click with me.
I am looking for novels in which the protagonist experiences a profound loss of meaning and somehow comes out the other side. Think existential crisis, depersonalization, or nervous breakdown. We should follow the protagonist through the process of loss and (hopefully) reconstruction. Ideally something written in the last twenty years, though I'm open to older stuff, too. [more inside]
I want to know the grammatical reasoning behind this: a) Each cat has a collar b) Each cat must have a collar Why does adding must change the subject-verb agreement? This is next to impossible to google an answer for as I'm not sure what grammatical rule/exception I'm looking for, and it is slowly driving me mad not knowing why.