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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. ...
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.
1. YOU'RE and YOURIf 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 ITSClose 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!)3. THEY'RE, THEIR, and THEREAh, 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 TOOWhen 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.5. LOOSE and LOSEThis 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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