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  • Showing only topics with the tag "writing". Back to normal view
    1. Why AI writing is inherently coercive

      Writing, at its core, is a shared experience between the author and the reader—an exchange of thoughts, emotions, and ideas. This connection, built on trust and authenticity, is the bedrock of any...

      Writing, at its core, is a shared experience between the author and the reader—an exchange of thoughts, emotions, and ideas. This connection, built on trust and authenticity, is the bedrock of any meaningful relationship, even one as seemingly one-sided as the parasocial relationship between an author and their audience.

      When AI is introduced into the realm of writing, it disrupts this delicate balance of trust. Readers inherently believe that they are engaging with the genuine thoughts and expressions of a fellow human being. However, the introduction of AI blurs this line, creating a scenario where the words on the page may not be the product of human experience or creativity.

      Imagine delving into a piece of writing, believing you are connecting with the unique perspectives and emotions of another person, only to discover that those words were crafted by a machine. The sense of betrayal and disillusionment that may follow disrupts the very essence of the reader's trust in the author. It's akin to thinking you are having a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend, only to later realize it was an automated response.

      This violation of trust erodes the foundation of the parasocial relationship, leaving readers questioning the authenticity of the connection. Human communication is a dance of shared experiences and emotions, and AI, no matter how advanced, lacks the depth of personal understanding that defines true human interaction.

      In essence, while AI may expedite the writing process and provide creative insights, it does so at the cost of jeopardizing the sacred trust between the writer and the reader. As we navigate this digital era, let us not forget the importance of preserving the authenticity that underlies our human connections through the written word.

      Generated by ChatGPT.

      21 votes
    2. I need an alternative to the traditional typewriter

      I enjoy writing letters, but my hands have progressively hurt more and more from handwriting. For a time, I tried typing letters on my computer, the personal feeling of my letters diminished....

      I enjoy writing letters, but my hands have progressively hurt more and more from handwriting. For a time, I tried typing letters on my computer, the personal feeling of my letters diminished. Having printed it out, looking clean and mechanically perfect made my letters feel less valuable, they didn't feel like I spent time on them.

      So, for the last few years, I've typed letters on two older typewriters and that has felt like a happy medium. I make mistakes and have to fix them, sometimes the text looks odd or the paper moves, I love it.

      I have two questions I need help with:

      1. Does anyone know of a mechanical typewriter that doesn't utilize the rolling pin to secure the paper? When I write on cards, they have to be bent and sometimes they never retain their former shape. I'd also like to get into journaling this way, but can't feed a whole journal through the rolling pin.

      2. Can anyone think of other ways I could write letters, other than the methods I've listed already, that may bring a personal nature to my letters?

      Thanks!

      17 votes
    3. Keeping a commonplace book

      I have tried and tried to write a daily journal/diary and always gave up after a while. My longest stretch was over the course of five years. It always devolves into a litany of banality, though,...

      I have tried and tried to write a daily journal/diary and always gave up after a while. My longest stretch was over the course of five years. It always devolves into a litany of banality, though, and when I look back at it, invariably appears a bit cringy.

      So I have decided to start keeping a commonplace book- a place to write down interesting thoughts, quotes, ideas I come across and so forth. Without the chronological format of a journal I feel less compelled to list down stuff for the sake of it and am actually listing down ideas I'd like to remember.

      Do any of you do something similar?

      17 votes
    4. Would anyone be interested on a reading/reviewing exchange recurring thread?

      For anyone who is writing fiction, it can be difficult to find suitable readers who are willing to provide extensive notes on their work, especially when writing anything over 300 words. Generally...

      For anyone who is writing fiction, it can be difficult to find suitable readers who are willing to provide extensive notes on their work, especially when writing anything over 300 words. Generally speaking, the longer the story, the harder it is to get notes on it.

      One of the most successful subreddits for fiction criticism is /r/DestructiveReaders/. That sub has a series of rules and recommendations for its functioning, but, to summarize, you are only allowed to request feedback on a story if you have previously provided quality feedback to a story of equal or larger length than yours.

      Each critique you make gives one "credit" that you use to receive a critique on something of your own.

      It's a great idea and, by and large, it works.

      The issues of /r/DestructiveReaders/ are, essentially, the issues of Reddit as a whole, as a consequence of the existence of downvotes. Members can take the notion of "quality critique" to an extreme, going way above what the rules actually require. They may require something overly lengthy, or something that appeases a subjective criteria. Some may even downvote the "competition" so their own posts stand out.

      That can lead to some unfair, frustrating experiences the mods can do little to prevent.


      In this post, I am proposing that we create a series of recurring posts that function in many ways similarly to /r/DestructiveReaders/, but in a way that is more flexible and adapted to the needs and peculiarities of the Tildes community.

      The posts could be either monthly or created when the previous got too long.

      I would maintain the "credit" system, but I would use a notion of "effort" which takes everything into account, including the length of the review, but other criteria we can come up with as a group. We could possibly have a scheme in which the authors themselves would say how useful that review was. Sometimes, three paragraphs can be useful, and I would like us to have a way to ascertain this.

      I wouldn't have any powers to remove anything, so the whole thing would be in the honor system. Essentially, I would be merely suggesting behavior, and, if someone decides to simply not follow the rules, I won't even try to admonish or shame anyone.

      I would track credits and submissions on the body of the post itself. At least in the beginning, I could serve as the sole organizer, but anyone else who wishes to contribute will be welcome.

      And, oh: we could be open for non-fiction as well. That could mean biography, history, or even technical writing. But I'm not sure how to incorporate everything into that idea.

      What does everyone think?

      37 votes
    5. Beam of light in the sky

      I wrote this story yesterday. I translated to English with the help of Google Translate and added my own revisions and fixes. Beam of light in the sky Last night I saw a beam of purple light in...

      I wrote this story yesterday. I translated to English with the help of Google Translate and added my own revisions and fixes.

      Beam of light in the sky

      Last night I saw a beam of purple light in the sky. It was a giant, vibrant thing, like something done with a brush. There was no one with me at the time, but if it had been, they might not have even seen them. It was like that space between two blinks of the eye. Like film photography. Nothing in this world flies like that, and it wasn't like it flew either, it was more like a stone thrown from afar, falling in the distance in a perfect parabola. It fell without a sound, and the earth trembled beneath my feet. When dawn came I went to the beach where I saw the beam of light fall. The tide was coming in but had not yet erased the large circle of burnt sand. I turned on the television waiting for the news, and also looked on the internet. Anything.

      The days passed, and, as the memory mixed with other things that were happening, it became more and more distant.

      Perhaps there are many inexplicable facts out there about which sensible people think it best to remain silent. My grandfather painted crosses on the doors of his house to ward off werewolves. In the past, some people had statues in their living rooms to ward off hauntings.

      We pretend we live in this world here, but the beyond is always out there pressing on the walls of reason. The word is a lamp — it clarifies what is in reach while it reveals and accentuates the darkness that cannot be reached.

      Only rarely does what we see on the vigil have the truth of a dream or nightmare. The remaining events are like shallow pencil lines, or they do not penetrate the brain.

      I still remember the beam of light in the sky. Even if it haunted me, I could never forget it. It was a little secret that made me special. Taking the subway, buying bread, or walking around the neighborhood, I was more than a man. I was a man with a mystery.

      ***

      There was a tall, thin guy in the middle of the carriage. He had a backpack over his shoulder, arms splayed at the waist. Only us both on the train. During the thirty-minute journey, He maintained balance without using his hands. When I looked at his feet, I noticed that they were floating half an inch off the ground. I felt watched and looked up. He smiled at me. His eyes were milky white, without divisions. A white ball looking towards me.

      ***

      Team meeting at work. Someone commented about the party the previous weekend. Of course, I wasn't invited, and if I was invited, I wouldn't go. There's something very artificial about the way normal people move. Hundreds of muscles to say "Good morning", pull up a chair, display agreeableness, and perform belonging. All the time performing what they already are, lying so that others believe what they already know to be true. It's not enough to be good, you also need to dramatize your own goodness. And they are, in fact, good.

      Because they're good, they invite me to the party next week (I'm not going), because they're good, they ask my opinion on all important topics (I don't care), and, because they're good, they'll never say there's no place in that group for a nasty, ugly, stupid guy like me.

      I remain in the transition space.

      But none of that matters. I am special, and I have an unbreakable, inherent, ontological value. Something that none of them had ever dared to know or conceive.

      ***

      The more books I buy, the less books I read. I cook some rice without anything, open a can of beans someone talks to me on television (fortunately I don't need to respond). I don't own a mirror. The goal is not pleasure, but rather to distract myself from any deep, real, or revelatory thoughts. I don't want to find out anything about myself -- I already know I'm a piece of shit, and that's enough for me. Sometimes I masturbate and I always regret it. I sleep quickly, so terrifying thoughts can't reach me. I always have nightmares, and then completely forget about them. If I don't remember, did it happen? Past me deserved it, present wants nothing more than for him to go fuck himself.

      ***

      I have a recurring nightmare. Like a sheet of paper, my body folds. And folds. And folds. Infinite times. Until I exist in the space of a millimeter, which, in turn, folds as well. Now I am an atom and continue to shrink. I am a quark, a Higgs boson, a proton, a neutron, an electron, a neutrino, and finally, a massless particle. Nothing. However, my incorporeal consciousness, against the laws of physics, still exists, and slowly slips into a black abyss, reflecting, in recursive despair, on the sadness of its own end.

      ***

      I had to change the gallon of water in the office. That's not my job, but someone asked me once and I thought it would be better to keep doing it than talk to a human being. I don't drink water. If I can hydrate at the same time as I kill myself, why make two trips? There's a minibar full of Coca-Cola under my desk.

      ***

      The secretary drank three liters of water without breathing. When she noticed me, she looked back, moved her face robotically toward me, and smiled at me with white eyes.

      ***

      I didn't expect my psychologist to believe that I saw the beam of light in the sky. If the poet creates worlds, science destroys them. The delusional paranoid, the prophet of the non-existent, the depressive, and his pain, all need to be medicated, tamed, and boxed. The cure for insanity also kills terrifying, exciting, and poignant delusions, bleeding into reality with its pulsating, quixotic beauty.

      But what if I was right? What if what I saw also passed through my corneas? How many patients are just healthy people reacting appropriately to the inscrutable? And if logic says they exist, why not me?

      ***

      When I left the house a man ran up to me, held my arm tightly, and whispered in my ear with a breath of vodka: "Don't drink the water".

      He had a glassy stare, focused on a point in the distance, or maybe some hallucination that was very present to him. He spent a second like that, to emphasize the point, looking in my direction but clearly not seeing me. And he drove away between the cars, his soot skin melting into the asphalt.

      ***

      I tried to buy a soda, but the vending machines, kiosks, and snack bars were selling water. Exclusively. The subway station was crowded and silent — these adjectives never go together in this city. No one elbowed, cursed, or complained to get on the train. The groups followed as a block, with constant speed, as if governed by the same principle and identical motivation. There was beauty in their movements, which resembled more the constant flow of homogeneous fluid than the inherently human chaotic traffic.

      ***

      I didn't change the gallon of water that day. I opened my Coca-Cola and watched. Nobody called me to the team meeting. When I approached, they closed the shutters. I stuck my ear to the door. Total silence. I knocked on the door. After a long wait, someone opened it enough to poke their face out. -

      "Yes?"
      "I still work here."

      I defiantly took a sip of my Coke.

      "Ah... yes... you don't drink water, do you?"
      "No."
      "Oh."

      He seemed to be relaying a distant signal. Cleared his throat.

      "Maybe you should do that."

      ***

      I texted my psychologist. He told me that in these situations it is important to drink lots of water.

      ***

      The transition was slow and orderly. The city was taken over by a horde of calm people, and even in the subway, there was an unearthly silence. Apparently, they kept going to their jobs every day, repeating a simplified and useless version of their host's everyday movements like lobotomized automatons incapable of strong emotion. I can't say who was the theater for. Perhaps there was, in their consciousness, a remnant of what they once were, which they needed to attend to in some way to maintain them in that state.

      On TV, on all channels, non-stop advertisements. "Water is life", "Drink water, join us!", "In this heat, nothing better than a can of water!". Every now and then someone would run outside, looking around like in a horror movie. It's been a while since I've seen anyone.

      ***

      The calm of the Others is unnerving. When I go out on the street they don't chase me, approach me, or show any hostility. They're just there, and because they're there, they make me want to kill them.

      The sea wave is not hurt by my punches.

      There are always a dozen of them planted at the entrance to my building. They never react. But sometimes they talk.
      "You look thirsty"
      "Today is a beautiful day to drink water."
      "Did you know that the human body is sixty percent water?"

      A six-year-old boy turns to me. He wears pants and suspenders, like a child of the 1940s.

      "Why don't you love us?"

      Even though he's just a puppet, it's hard to ignore the kid's endearing appearance.

      They want to convince through emotions, and maybe one day they will.

      "Ask that to the boy who lived inside you."

      "We are Peter, and Peter is us. Don't you understand? Before he was fragile, now he is eternal..."

      I didn't wait for the end. They were making too much sense. I smashed his head with a paving stone.

      A fat, hairy man without a shirt continued without wasting any time, in the same ethereal monotone. He didn't bother to disguise his milky, inhuman eyes.

      "You are one, and you wish to always be one. For you, it is not possible to be without subtracting, and the existence of the Other in you is the dissolution of everything you value most. If there is a face in God, it looks at you. There is nothing that we are not, and everything in the cosmos pulses with us."

      ***

      It's just a matter of time, and they have more than me.

      Sitting at the kitchen table with my last three cans of Coca-Cola, there was no alternative. The glass of water in front of me.

      I drank the water.

      I remembered when I cried in a movie theater, and the sensation of not being touched.

      My fears, memories, traumas, weaknesses, and talents.

      The edges of desire and a love that is lacking.

      A scream without an answer, a cry without comfort.

      A crazy, immense, unruly passion.

      My identity, my gender, my name. The edges of my body.

      Dissolving gently...

      Sweetly welcomed into everything.

      How sad to be no longer, because I long for my pain.

      I am meaningful. I am meaning.

      No more hunger without food, no desire without fulfillment.

      My pain consoles others as the pain of others consoles me.

      There is nothing in me, I am nothing, everything in me registers and erases.

      Lost in translation, I die.

      Pretext of conscience.

      Massless particle.

      Nothing.

      I am no longer one.

      There is nothing that we are not, and everything in the cosmos pulses with us.

      11 votes
    6. Pens and writing!

      Inspired by this comment and a need to burn off some steam during dead time in my day, I figured i'd spin off and ask what everyone else likes writing with. I have atrocious handwriting, but have...

      Inspired by this comment and a need to burn off some steam during dead time in my day, I figured i'd spin off and ask what everyone else likes writing with.

      I have atrocious handwriting, but have found i'm more likely to take notes if I actually enjoy what i'm writing with, and then by extension I started looking at smaller pens so I wouldn't mind carrying them on me at all times. After diving down the rabbit hole a bit over the years I've got-

      Fountain Pens:

      Lamy Vista-
      The first one I dived into. Everyone recommended the safari, and the vista looked cooler, so I went with that. It eventually got broken, but I thought it was a great starting point. I haven't gotten any more though simply because I don't love that they use a different cartridge than the vast majority of pens, and didn't want to bother with converters.

      TWSBI Eco-
      My first piston fountain pen and still one of the best. I love the look, I love how it writes, I love that it's cheap so if I do screwup (like say put it through the wash 4 times over the years.....) it's not a bank breaking expense.

      Kaweco liliput in fireblue -
      This was my treat for not losing/breaking the Eco for a few years, and because i've got a sling I carry with me and wanted something nice to write with that fit with a notebook (there's a wallet I use for that). Much more expensive than a normal liliput but it's gorgeous and I love it.
      NOTE: I linked to the nibsmith because I do think it's the only spot you should buy this pen from. They let you choose some extra options for the nib at the bottom, and for no extra charge, they'll do a "tune & smooth" pass which I've noticed helps with this pens one flaw of sometimes struggling to get it started. Not the end of the world if you're buying it for the normal $55 price and need something small, but extra unacceptable at the price point of the fancier versions.

      Other Pens:

      Bullet Space Pen -
      I've got one in black and one in brass. They fit in the same compartment as the liliput for when I don't want to be using a fancier pen, and of course write very well, in basically any condition, and are extremely cheap for the hobby at $36.

      Contrail pocket pen-
      Silly expensive, but this one clips onto my wallet, which also has a notebook in it, and thus has become the pen I use the most. Writes well (and since it's a ball point you can easily change the cartridge to whatever you want), looks nice, and is quick to get open so I can take spur of the moment notes. I can use the Liliput/Bullet as well with my setup, but the liliput's screw cap is a little slow/unwieldy for those scenarios, and the bullet clip kept falling off in my pocket.

      Stuff I've had my eye on:

      Honestly i've found a lot of fountain/fancy pens are quite over the top/large, when I really prefer a more sleek/small look. Still one of these days i'll probably get a Vanishing point fountain pen, because I do think that's really cool, but I haven't seen too much else that's really caught my eye.

      That's it for my modest collection. I'm curious to see what others have.

      19 votes
    7. Lisica - A Scientist Soap Opera ... Looking for beta readers for the first draft of my four volume series!

      As an author who normally writes a lot of thrillers with dark subjects, I found at the outset of last year that I just couldn't add any more darkness to the world. Lisica is a story I've been...

      As an author who normally writes a lot of thrillers with dark subjects, I found at the outset of last year that I just couldn't add any more darkness to the world. Lisica is a story I've been incubating for over 20 years, about a fictional island 1600 km off the coast of Oregon in the middle of the Pacific. I've just finished the series and it needs a new set of eyes to take it to the next level.

      It is pure escapism, a love story about eleven researchers who are sent to Lisica for eight weeks to categorize the island's life before a new global satellite agreement comes into force and the USAF has to reveal the island to the wider world. The novels are equal parts scientific discovery, (with special emphases on data science, field biology, geology, meteorology, marine science, archaeology, and linguistics) and equal parts torrid romance between all these beautiful people. In many ways it is a utopian story, about people in paradise doing valuable work who can also love without hurting others. There is no toxic masculinity or bullying on this island, no sophomoric communication problems, no jealousy nor regret. It is my belief that natural challenges such as storms and cliffs and the mystery of the unknown is enough. This isn't Lost. There is magical realism here but it is more realism than magic.

      I'm hoping to find a few qualified beta readers who have a background in these sciences, to help me make sure I present them correctly. But it's a lot to ask, for sure. Each of the four volumes is 15 chapters of exactly 26 pages each. 1560 pages in all. 425,000 words. If anyone knows a retired biology teacher with plenty of time on their hands, that's basically who I need at this stage.

      My next step is to turn each chapter into audio episodes. As well as an author, I'm an Audible narrator and professional character actor. It is why each chapter is exactly 26 pages long. They make for sixty 42 minute audio episodes. I will eventually release the series week by week for free on my literary podcast over the next year.

      Hopefully, this scratches someone's itch. Thanks for reading!

      11 votes
    8. Books about… books? More specifically, books about writing?

      Not too long ago, I came across a book that changed my life, or at the very least, my writing. While I have some trouble remembering specifics, I do remember it going deep into the world of...

      Not too long ago, I came across a book that changed my life, or at the very least, my writing. While I have some trouble remembering specifics, I do remember it going deep into the world of philosophy and psychology, exploring the intricacies of what makes a book, and what our writing really means. The book analyzed the craft of writing, discussing how humans perceive the differences between good and bad writing, the difference between a good speech and a dull monologue, and how good writing becomes great. This, as well as the nuances of human perception on language in general. Alas, I have since lost the book's title and author, but the captivating writing style and genre remains with me, and I’d really enjoy some recommendations of similar works. I don’t expect to ever find it, as my search has led me to other good books about this sort of writing.

      *Please forgive me if this is not the method I should be following when I post, this is my first post here. *

      16 votes
    9. How would you rewrite the ending of a show that had an unsatisfying finale, or imagine an ending to a show that was canceled prematurely?

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Recently I've been rewatching GIRLS for the umpteenth time. When the series finale originally aired, it was a mini “Game of Thrones finale” situation. Fans were largely disappointed by the final episode, many disliking season 6 in general. It's one of my favorite shows, but usually when I rewatch it I either skip the very last episode, or I skip the entire final season, instead pretending that the season 5 finale was the ending of the show.

      The finale of GIRLS hit a lot of marks for controversial finales. A few beloved characters were largely missing from the final episode/season or didn't get closure that people expected. The ending for the main character seemed to come out of nowhere (magically landing a dream job after struggling with employment the whole show,) and her overall arch didn't seem to align with her personality or anything that had happened up to that point. No one really got a happy ending, and the overall message or theme of the show seemed unclear, since many of the characters experienced very little growth over the course of the show, or they did actually experience some growth that was ignored when their conclusions were written.

      I thought it might be fun to see if any of you have similar thoughts about any TV shows that didn't end the way you expected, or what you imagine would happen in fantastic shows that never even got an ending due to being canceled early. A few examples that come to mind:

      • The obvious - How would you salvage the disaster conclusion of GoT? (I've seen so many takes online that manage to make it more satisfying.)
      • I haven't seen Dexter, but I've heard that the ending was unsatisfying and clashed with what people expected from the main character.
      • How could HIMYM have ended if the whole show wasn't instantly tranformed into a bait and switch with the finale?
      • What would've happened with the characters on Freaks and Geeks, had that amazing show been allowed to continue for another season or two?

      I intended to write about how I would want my example show to have ended, but honestly I'm stumped. Writing is hard! Especially if you don't have the luxury of planning the ending ahead of time, which I imagine was the issue for the writers of many of the classic "controversial finales." I'll probably add a comment about it after I come up with something.

      51 votes
    10. Writers: Do your characters leave you alone? If not, what do you do?

      I'm slowly picking up writing again, but I've run into an old time-honoured tradition of mine; obsessing over certain characters. To me, my characters are as real as real-life people; they have...

      I'm slowly picking up writing again, but I've run into an old time-honoured tradition of mine; obsessing over certain characters. To me, my characters are as real as real-life people; they have their own personalities, likes/dislikes, manners of speech, body language and so on. Unfortunately, some of them also tend to get stuck in my mind and I hyper-fixate on them to the point where they overshadow the rest of the cast. To be clear, I'm not imagining myself hanging out with them or anything, just what they do in the plot itself; it's a bit like watching movie clips on re-run but out of order. Sometimes I wish I could just put those characters into a locked box and focus on other parts of the story. I tend to daydream a lot so that doesn't really help the problem.

      Any other writers who have or have had issues with characters who won't leave them alone? What would you suggest to someone in a similar predicament?

      16 votes
    11. Journalists, how did you get into your profession?

      I'm looking at making a major career change and I'm considering trying out one of our local newspapers to see if I can get into a semi regular gig with them. Is there anything in particular I...

      I'm looking at making a major career change and I'm considering trying out one of our local newspapers to see if I can get into a semi regular gig with them. Is there anything in particular I should know or be looking for?

      13 votes
    12. Anyone know of any raw, long-form footage from a writer's room?

      I'm very interested in the inner-workings of a writer's room. I have seen glimpses in "making of" documentaries, but I don't feel that they show much of the actual process. I'd love to see more...

      I'm very interested in the inner-workings of a writer's room. I have seen glimpses in "making of" documentaries, but I don't feel that they show much of the actual process.

      I'd love to see more about how the sausage is made. Bonus points if it's a beloved, popular tv show or movie. I feel like I would be most interested in seeing the best of the best at work.

      23 votes
    13. Fellow writers: How the heck do you choose titles?

      This is quite possibly one of the greatest struggles to writers: choosing a title. You'd think that writing a chapter or story would be the hard part, and to an extent it is, but somehow I almost...

      This is quite possibly one of the greatest struggles to writers: choosing a title. You'd think that writing a chapter or story would be the hard part, and to an extent it is, but somehow I almost always draw a blank at the title. Sometimes, I get lucky and a title just comes to me instantly. Usually though, I'm left staring at the top of the page after finishing trying to figure out what to call it. This doesn't just include the overall story, but even the title of individual chapters. Last year when submitting a short story for a contest, I had no clue what the heck to title it and ended up going with something like "Hawksbills and Ospreys" because the deadline was right there.

      I know this is a common problem for writers. As someone who's active in the fan fiction sphere, the most common trick I see (and that I've used myself) is to pull a title from song lyrics or poems.

      What about you? What are your tricks for trying to get inspiration for titles, and what sorts of "guidelines" do you follow to try to make them stand out?

      19 votes
    14. Writers: Have you been published in a literary magazine?

      I have two goals this year. The second is to submit at least one short story to a literary magazine. The first is to write one good short story (just kidding, the first is to write one story a...

      I have two goals this year. The second is to submit at least one short story to a literary magazine. The first is to write one good short story (just kidding, the first is to write one story a week in the hope that one will be good enough to submit).

      Of course the goal in my secret heart is to have my submission accepted but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Walk before you can run, and so on.

      So, writers (particularly of fiction), have you ever submitted a short story to a literary magazine? How did it go? Did you learn anything in the process that you wish you’d known before? Any tips for a rookie?

      10 votes
    15. Tips for getting back into writing

      I am trying to find tips on getting back into writing regularly. I wrote for many years (nothing substantial published) and did a lot of roleplay, but when the wheels came off my mental health...

      I am trying to find tips on getting back into writing regularly. I wrote for many years (nothing substantial published) and did a lot of roleplay, but when the wheels came off my mental health wagon, all my creative pursuits just kind of withered on the vine. Now I am trying to get back into it to fulfill my dream of finishing a novel (and hopefully a few sequels if I can get the mojo to return). Typically I don't solicit this type of help because I find a lot of the replies are the same, and often are things I've tried in the past that simply don't work for me for whatever reason. My motivation is up and down some days due to severe depression, so I'm looking for simple steps that people in a similar predicament may have used that helped them.

      39 votes
    16. Researchers, how do you take notes on the papers which you read?

      I've been struggling with finding a good workflow for taking notes on the journal articles which I read. I collate articles using Zotero, yet its in-built notetaking features (and comment scraping...

      I've been struggling with finding a good workflow for taking notes on the journal articles which I read. I collate articles using Zotero, yet its in-built notetaking features (and comment scraping from PDFs) is quite poor. So, my alternative so far has been to write up notes by hand, but this is pretty cumbersome and makes it take some time to refer to my notes. My approach is clearly not effective!

      How do you take notes on the papers which you read? Do you prefer to use written notes, or do you type your notes? In any case, what is your preferred means of storing and categorising your notes? And are there particular software which you use, if you opt for typed notes? (At present, I use an A5 notebook. Yet, this is not alphabetised or organised by topic, which compounds my struggles.)

      25 votes
    17. I want to experiment with writing for video games, can you help me find a starting place?

      Hi there, I enjoy writing! I find all formats fun to play with from short stories to screenplays. One thing I've never really written for is video games. I love the idea though. All the world...

      Hi there,

      I enjoy writing! I find all formats fun to play with from short stories to screenplays. One thing I've never really written for is video games. I love the idea though. All the world building, lore notes, dialogue, weapon descriptions, codecs, bestiaries and on and on. There's all sorts of ways to tell a story through a video game and I want to try my hand at it!

      Problem being though, I'm not particularly interested in game design. I'm not NOT interested, but it's not where my passion is. I am willing to learn what I need to, so don't shy away from suggestions that would require me to learn some on the design side.

      Really the only ideas I've come up with are using the mod creator in Neverwinter Nights 1/2 or something like RPG Maker? Are these overwhelmingly difficult to get started in? Could I write in all the things I mentioned from dialogue to weapon descriptions?

      Or perhaps trying to find someone NOT interested in the storytelling side? Someone who wants to focus on design but would love some storytelling in their project and would welcome the addition?

      Or even starting with TTRPG modules maybe. Video Games and TTRPG modules seem to have some similar storytelling elements.

      Does anyone in the profession have thoughts? Does anyone not in the profession have thoughts?

      anyways, bye love you

      17 votes
    18. Book writing self-hosted solutions?

      I'm big into self-hosting and recently getting back into writing as an additional hobby, cuz one can never have too many, right? Anyway, I am looking for a writing organization tool like...

      I'm big into self-hosting and recently getting back into writing as an additional hobby, cuz one can never have too many, right? Anyway, I am looking for a writing organization tool like Manuskript, Dabble, or Scrivener that is both open source and self-hosted.

      Essentially, I would just like something that I can organize my thoughts and occasionally write in, but be able to access it from all my devices - desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, etc. It seems like most of the solutions I've looked at are limited to a single device or cloud functionality is locked behind a paywall. Of course, I could just use a self-hosted wiki site for cloud editing/organization, but I'd like something more oriented toward writing if anybody has any ideas. Thanks!

      26 votes