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Stuff about writing

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What you want, what you need: fans and endings, and narrative satisfactions.

This one is heavily dipped in Angel and Buffy references, but bear with it. There is quite some wisdom about writing and storytelling in general, about how stories develop and why they need to come to an end; and of course what makes a good story. Also contains a little jab towards a part of the fan community that doesn't get the difference between what they want, and what they need... simply put, entertaining reading with a point.

This is a little out there, but contains an interesting hypothesis that refuses to leave my mind, and I find it hard to really prove or disprove... though this place may actually disprove it.

This is from an exchange between John Steinbeck and some friend of him:

--- Quote ---We thought that perhaps our species thrives best and most creatively in a state of semi-anarchy, governed by loose rules and half-practiced mores. To this we add the premise that over-integration in human groups might parallel the law in paleontology that over-armor and over-ornamentation are symptoms of decay and disappearance. Indeed, we thought, over-integration might be the symptom of human decay. We thought: there is no creative unit in the human save the individual working alone. In pure creativeness, in art, in music, in mathematics ... the creative principle is a lonely and individual matter. Groups can correlate, investigate, and build, but we could not think of any group that has ever created or invented anything. Indeed, the first impulse of the group seems to be to destroy the creation and the creator. ...
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Writing Blunders

A writer lists twenty frequent mistakes in writing; some sound familiar, some not.


--- Quote ---Pain don't hurt: Flat descriptions about someone's emotional state bring tears from editors, not readers. Now, don't look to me for fixes on this, I'm not the best with emotion, but I do know you can't just say "His accusation made her feel bad." Describe the feeling bad through images or actions. Did her face heat up with shame, or did it cause ice to form in her gut, or did she flee to the bathroom and sob into her scarf?

More is Less: Quality, not quantity. A single arresting image can be more horrifying than a page full of splatter. This also goes for heroics, landscaping, and descriptions of boobs.
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A few common spelling mistakes even smart people make:

--- Quote ---1. YOU'RE and YOUR
If you have no idea when to use which. Well, you're not on your own. This is perhaps the most common mistake of all. Heaven knows why. The distinction is really quite simple:

    * You're is used to substitute the words "you are."
    * Your is a word you use when referring to something that belongs to the person you're speaking to. "Your purse," "your coat," and so on - and not "Your late!" or "Your wrong!"

2. IT'S and ITS
Close cousins of you're and your, it's and its suffer about the same amount of misuse.

    * It's (with an apostrophe) replaces "It is" or "It has." (It's easy to remember!)
    * Its (with no apostrophe) refers to something that belongs to "it." (Its meaning is clear!)

Ah, the triple treat - or terror, as the case may be.

    * They're is short for "They are."
    * Their refers to something that belongs to "them."
    * And there is simply "not here."

"They're going to their house, which is over there."

4. TO and TOO
When you mean "overly," please remember to add the extra O - or face the consequences. I once received a heated text message that was meant to make me angry: "TO BAD!" it shouted in loud, aggressive capitals. I ended up in uncontrollable giggles instead. Too bad indeed.

This one really drives me batty. And when I lose my mind, I often let loose a string of expletives. When what you want to say is the opposite of find, then lose the extra O. Loose (with two o's) is the opposite of tight.
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"Stuff about writing"

What an insidiously pessimistic, passive-aggressive, nonchalant, disinterested title for a helpful thread!!


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