What writers usually miss in analysis

One of the reasons literature majors don’t automatically turn into great writers is that they tend to focus on the wrong things when it comes to analyzing fiction. They aren’t alone. Most analysis content on the web focuses on things like themes, allegory, imbedded messages, prose, and (in genres like fantasy) world-building, and magic systems. These elements aren’t unimportant, but they are not what makes a story a good, memorable read. Here’s what writers should focus on instead (in no particular order): Story events. What happens? What order do things happen in? What was unpredictable? What impact did the events…

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A world of comparisons and trade-offs

Following up from last night, I want to hammer home an important point: We live in a world of limitations. That means that the comparative value of your time spent doing certain activities is more important than an absolute value. Practicing scales will improve your guitar technique, but will it improve your technique as much as spending the same amount of time practicing actual musical pieces? The idea that students should practice music rather than scales isn’t exactly anathema to the orthodox music education practitioner; the traditionalist would say, “Practice both!” We don’t have unlimited time on this earth to…

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Writing Groups

By “Writing Groups,” I mean a group of writers that read and give feedback to each others works. Are these sorts of groups useful? They can be, but compared to other things you could be doing, I think their utility is minimal or possibly a negative, depending on what sort of people are in the group. I’ll give an example to spring-board this discussion: Before I go further, this is a reminder that I never endorse piling on anyone I link in this blog. Heather wants to be a writer and improve her craft. I want anyone with that desire…

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A Book For All Creative types

Pre-order it now on Amazon, coming in March! Here’s some of the things I go over in this book: How to self-assess your life priorities and decide where your focus should be How to design a creative process that will allow you to meet your goals, over and over again How to adjust your mindset so you can complete the projects you begin and become a prolific artist How to stay inspired and keep yourself from burning out. Pre-order it now!

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It’s about dunking on you

I didn’t watch the super bowl. I haven’t in some time; Even if I wanted to, I lack the means, but as time goes on I’m ever more thankful for this. The halftime show, as usual, was a debacle of sorts. Two (middle-aged) women went on stage in skimpy attire and danced erotically for the biggest TV audience of the year. I saw some clips after the fact; I won’t link them here for reasons that will be clear. As usual, most people are missing what such a display is really about. It’s about dunking on you. It’s also about…

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The Diversity War never Ends

It doesn’t matter how much you shut out men. It doesn’t matter how concentrated alternative lifestyle adherents are in your industry. They will always call for more. You are in an eternal state of sin for the color of your skin. Take note of this. Not only are the goalposts shifting, there were never any goalposts to begin with; or rather, the goals are different than what they say they are and aren’t actually on the field. The point of pretending there are goalposts is to get you to play the game they want you to play. If your industry…

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5 Minute Abs

If you grew up watching 80s and 90s commercials, you undoubtedly have seen countless devices for getting abs for “only 5 minutes a day!” Rational, experienced people know this is bullshit. If you could get abs in only five minutes a day, we’d all have them, right? In truth, you can get abs for five minutes a day – five minutes planning your diet to lose the fat covering the ab muscles you already have. This is the perfect metaphor for anyone looking to accomplish something difficult. Everyone wants to sell you some special method for getting what you want…

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Jealousy among artists

At the age of 36 I’ve been involved for multiple years with several big artistic “scenes,” including authors of various genres, classical musicians (particularly guitarists), flamenco musicians, and peripherally visual arts scenes such as comic artists. In all of these, there is a character flaw that seems to occur at much higher levels than the background (and I have personal points of comparison – I’ve been lots of other things besides an artist). That flaw is jealousy. Artists are insanely jealous of one another. The worst is probably in the visual arts, but certain music scenes are simply intolerable once…

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The Death Cult

I’ve been talking about the Death Cult for a while now, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see others coming to similar conclusions on their own. What is the death cult? It is a developing secular religion that is dedicated to death, of course, but this is not a religion of suicide, at least as you normally know suicide. Here’s what I mean: Is your own death the worst thing that can happen? Only a sociopath would say “yes.” What is worse, your death, or the death of your family? The death of your city? Country? Your country and yourself?…

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Postmodern Politics: Beauty Edition #hotgirlsforbernie

Oh boy, #hotgirlsforbernie has it all. You don’t want to click, but you will. Your curiosity will overcome your better sense. https://twitter.com/hashtag/HotGirlsForBernie?src=hashtag_click This is a perfect example of how post-modernism, with its core ideas of “challenging assumptions” by attacking the meaning of concepts, is fully at home with and ingrained into the modern, western political left. This whole thing is a bit a take-off of the meme that “conservative girls are hotter,” but it all goes so horribly, horribly wrong. ANYONE can be a hot girl for Bernie, you see, even if you aren’t a girl (apologies my friends) and…

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