Dancing In The Shadows
Write a scene where your Protagonist is asked out on a date. What do they say? Do they go through with it? Is your Protagonist, at all, a romantic?
5 Books on Writing That Every Writer Should Read
To be a better writer, there are really only things that you need to do: Read, and write. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t read about being a writer, and that having a well-rounded understanding of how writing “works” isn’t beneficial.
These 5 books were all assigned to me as a creative writing undergrad, and all have pieces of wisdom in them that have etched themselves so thoroughly into my consciousness that I feel like they’re all floating over my head while I’m writing.
While there are loads of other great books on writing, I specifically chose these because they aren’t all just saying “here’s how I write, you should do it too”—the topics of these books are very diverse!
- Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose: Like I said, the best thing you can do to be a better writer is read. But what does that mean? What should you read? Francine Prose (yes, that is her real last name, if you can even believe it!) helps you answer those questions, and shows how looking for certain things while you read and reread can strengthen your own writing. Check it! (Addendum 9/22/14: I saw her speak at the BKBF yesterday and she is SO COOL.)
- On Writing by Stephen King: This is the one book on my list that is saying “here’s how I write, you should too”. But Stephen King is basically the most prolific writer ever, so I was happy to listen to his advice. Two points of his really stuck with me: 1. Adverbs are lazy and 2. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a story is put it down for a long time—like, 6 months or a year—and come back to it with eyes so fresh that it’s like you’re editing someone else’s story. I’d be interested to know what points of his sticks with you guys!
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: I posted about this the other day, but this book is like my writing Bible. In fact, a friend of mine who doesn’t even write got to reading it, and he loved it, too. Basically if you’re a human with a goal, this book will help you. And Anne Lamott writes kinda like this wise, kind mother who isn’t afraid to also tell you what’s up. Whereas a lot of other books on writing are about the actual storytelling, I like this book because it’s more about the writer’s “lifestyle”. Go get it now so that we can gush together!
- The Philosophy of Composition by Edgar Allan Poe: This is actually just an essay, but considering that Poe is often credited with being the inventor of the modern short story, I had to include it on this list. It’s in this essay that Poe famously defined a short story as one that can be told in one sitting. Whereas King’s On Writing is really “zoomed in” on topics like word choice, this essay is a high level, theoretical piece on what a story actually is. You can get it for 99 cents on Kindle, or, even better, read it as part of a collection of all of his stories… ugh, they’re SO good!!!
- Elements of Style by Strunk & White: I cannot tell you how often I’ve received this little book as a gift—for high school graduation, for college graduation, and for many Christmases and birthdays. But it’s all good because it is kinda essential for a writer to have. Elements of Style is all about—gasp!—grammar. (I should probably give it a read-through again so that I can re-center and remember my grammatical skillz, actually!) Also, there are some cute versions out now that make it seem less snore-fest-y—I really want this illustrated copy!
If you read any of these books and post quotes from them on your Tumblr, tag them #yeahwritingbooks and I’ll reblog you!
So… my friend started a Nuzlocke run on his Youtube channel, and he roped me into it. So I’m actually going to be in his future “Let’s Play” series of videos, and we hope to make this a regular thing.
We haven’t really planned much around this, but he has ordered some microphones to help make the audio clearer in the future, and I’m gonna see about getting us some vocal exercises to help us sound better overall. Go check it out, he has really high hopes for this, and it’d help him out.
I think that the USA needs to move on from September 11th.
Now before all you pseudo-patriots come attempting to sway my opinion with your “unwavering loyalty to the country”, let me just take a minute to explain things. I am an American. I’m a female. And I was a young girl when the events took place.
The events are tragic. I’m not saying that they aren’t. But the US government and the media make it out to be some worldwide catastrophe that claimed the lives of millions of people around the world, when really, the event only killed about 2,600 people, which in the grand scheme of things for a large country like the United States isn’t a huge number.
Also, we’re Americans. Not only are we extremely self-absorbed with our ignorance, fueled by the liberally biased media, we’re hardly sympathetic for our victims. We forced unspeakable violence upon the natives when we came here, we killed almost 150,000 people in dropping the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and we’ve pointlessly murdered innocent people in the Middle East.
I understand that a lot of people died, and I should be respecting them. But while we honor the dead, we can’t have these extravagant 2-hour TV specials reading the names of all these people who died 12 years after the disaster. You don’t see Japan having these insane specials reading off the names of people who died in their terrorist attacks. Yes, that qualifies as a terrorist attack.
I honestly don’t care anymore. Terrorist attacks happen all the time in other countries every day. Just because this one happened in America doesn’t make it any different. It was a terrible thing that happened, but it’s been 12 years. We killed Osama. Why we are still in Iraq, I will never know, but that’s a story for another time. The USA is comparable to a person who still clings to their ex-spouse or significant other years after they broke up.
We have to move on with our lives. Not forget about it completely, but just move on and keep in it the back of our thoughts.
Finally someone says it.
im Canadian and I even felt gulty saying it. but this post is true as fuck.
So glad someone said this. I didn’t know how to word it, but this is the fucking truth. We only care about death when it happens to our citizens.
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Scumbag Baby Boomer memes are the greatest.
It’s funny because it’s true.
there is no reason for “sean” to be pronounced “shawn”
I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW THE IRISH SPELLING IS JUST AS VALLID AS THE “OTHER” SPELLING.