Multimedia Brainstorming

During my earliest attempts at writing I considered myself author, illustrator, and sometimes narrator. The first story I recall having written, “The Ghost Hatch,” was modelled after the old read-alongs that used to come with the small records – you would know when it was time to turn the page when you heard the beep. I drew pictures for each page and narrated the events on cassette tape to create an entire multimedia experience.
 
My mother said she enjoyed it.
 

Overwhelmed and Down for the Count?

I work at a library so my exposure to books is already quite a bit higher than most people. I am a college student and a good portion of my free time is required reading and wading through textbook chapters. I want to be a writer so the rest of my free time is taken up by books, articles, writing my own book, and of course rereading the thousands of comic books I own (nerd level: expert). I hate to say it but sometimes I have an overload of books and writing. When that happens I stop writing and fall into a literary ennui.

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Clean Reader

I’m taking a break this week from discussing my writing project, to highlight a new app that introduces an interesting twist to the reading experience.  The app is called Clean Reader, and in a nutshell it alters the text displayed when reading ebooks.

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Punctuation Matters

One of the best books I’ve read on writing recently is Noah Lukeman’s A Dash of Style. If you read it, you won’t find much about character, plot, or other common subjects for writing guides. Instead, Lukeman examines an aspect of writing most of us take for granted: punctuation. Despite their frequency, those little marks tend to slip beneath the radar for readers, and even some writers carelessly jot them down, hoping the proofreader will polish their usage.

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In Process

One can only accomplish things with deep determination and focus, right? Wrong! One can accomplish things by various different methods. The most widely used method is probably determination and focus though. My point, however obscure at the moment, is that when it comes to the odd lot that we call writers, there is always an individual process. Writers are a strange sort of creature that, crazily enough, live and work outside of the parameters that drive most people. Our artistic side demands certain criteria be met before we embark on any task no matter how big or small.

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"Write on Schedule"

One evening during my freshman year of college, when I began to write “seriously,” I sat in a folding chair in my mother’s garage. Pecking away at my portable word processor all night long, I hammered out a solid H. P. Lovecraft pastiche short story. Likely it was called “The Eldritch Mystery of Unfathomable Cyclopean Monstrosities” or something of that nature. Depending on copious amounts of caffeine, nicotine, and youthful energy, I toiled for an uninterrupted twelve hours. At the end of my work, I collapsed in the center of the living room and slept until mid-afternoon.

The Mentor

 

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Writing about What Hurts

 “Write hard and clear about what hurts”—Hemingway’s famous advice. Writing about pain connects us to our readers, creating authenticity and an emotional bond. Without building that gut-level rapport, our words come across weak and uninspired—the prose boring, the poetry inaccessible. To avoid this, write from a deeper place. Channel your torments and joys onto the page.
 

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“Nice and Comfortable? Change It!”

The pen felt odd gripped in my left hand. As I tried the simple task of even writing my name, I felt as if I were attempting to eat broth with chopsticks.
 
The experiment – to get out of our comfort zones by writing with the other hand – was awesome in theory, but sort of a mess in practice. At the end of the free writing exercise I had managed to scribble a few lines of chicken scratch that resembled the best sentences composed by Kurt Vonnegut … if Kurt Vonnegut had attempted to type with his toes.
 

The Deep End

I don’t like the way that stories have just become derivative drivel mass produced for a cheap thrill and a quick buck. The literary world has shifted to the mundane and we in our need for entertainment have cultivated a lackadaisical form of writing. Now before you stop reading and label me a heretic for having inadvertently insulted your thrilling reads, let me first say that I hold no grudge against entertainment. I recognize and understand the need for some things to be light and frothy.

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