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Tag Archives: literature

College Essays

The semester draws to an end fast. You’ve gotta study and ain’t nobody got has the time for editing essays within an inch of their creative lives.

Want someone legit for realz legitimate to edit your college essays? Look no further. 

 

scriptopad.com

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Free Stuff and Short Stories

Short stories have always been very interesting to me. The flow of the text differs greatly from that of a regular novel and I never really thought I could write a short story. How was I supposed to convey a message in so short of a space? How was I supposed to evoke a myriad of emotions from the reader? Or even just one powerful one?

After taking a science fiction course and getting some of that reading under my belt, I have been gathering more ideas for stories. My creativity has nearly been overwhelming. It’s gotten to the point that I’m going to compile these ideas into one book. 

And I’m giving it away. 

For a period of time. 

I feel like it would be great to share these ideas and for those who can’t afford to just go around buying books, for the first few months it will be completely, totally, 100% free. No five finger discounts needed. I’m actually kind of excited. I don’t really have a time frame other than the one that my excitement has been imposing upon myself. It would be great, also, to have readers give me feedback on my writing. That’s all for now; I will post the story to this blog when I finish it. 

Poetry

A lot of people run away once they hear poetry come out of someone’s mouth. In fact, once you hit “po-” they may run away, intuitively knowing what scary syllables may come next. I, for one, adore some poetry (the operating word here being “some”) and used to write it fervently- especially during my more emotional middle school years. Since then, I’ve sobered up, but I’ve found that my poetic tendencies remain. As such, I am going to start pursuing poetry with more fervor, and perhaps put up some of my work.

I know, I know! All talk, and no work yet? Well, firstly- this blog is a good example of my work (sans editing). Secondly- good point. I’ll start posting words that are somewhat organized with perhaps a cadence about them on my blog. As long as no one steals my work. You don’t want to know what I’d do then.

This is the introduction to the end of my hiatus! Perhaps I’ll be back. Or not.

Reality Check for Writers

A moment we all have

No, it isn’t time to switch to the flamethrower. In fact, stop burning those piles of papers. Don’t think about how happy you’d be if you just burned your desk right now.

Don’t be angry you haven’t made millions yet, or that you have writers block. Trust me, burning an abstract idea can be tough- I’ve tried.

So close…

You don’t write because you want to . You write because you have to. I’ve had this idea for years (specifically since the 5th grade).

Yet so, so far.

One day, I just sat down. I wrote in my Harry Potter journal. I wrote about a love lost, the beautiful glint of his brown eyes, his nerdy love of video games.

Love caused me to write.

Anger caused me to write.

Emotions, in general, force me to write. 

I don’t always want to write. I need to write. If I don’t write, I can’t function. I can’t hold things in. It doesn’t matter who sees it, or if I ever see it again. The thing is, it needs to be out there.

You don’t get paid to breathe. You don’t get paid to drink water. You do it because you need to survive. Survival doesn’t come from a monetary gain- it comes from a biological, sometimes all encompassing need.

If you stop writing because you begin to think it isn’t worth it because my well-researched biography of Trotsky isn’t going to sell, throw that idea in the furnace. Go ahead. We all have our little mental furnaces where we burn stuff (especially us pyros).

Keep writing about how the drops glisten on the pine trees in the morning. Keep writing that mystery where no one knows who poisoned the leader of a radical faction by lacing a meatball with arsenic.

You’ll feel a lot better if you do. Just rid yourself of the ridiculous notion that you have a choice. As writers, we don’t have choices here. We need to do what our bodies tell us to.

Maybe your idea will make millions. Maybe it won’t.

If you don’t keep churning out ideas, you’ll never get anywhere.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Effect vs. Affect

Since this is a grammar bite (don’t worry- only 13 calories and 50mg of brilliance) I’ll try to be as succinct as possible.

Effect describes a few different things:

An output from an input (spending too much time around people had the effect of making Hamlet hallucinate).

The power of influence (her hysterical screaming had no effect on the interviewer).

The effect of the pumpkin falling through the sky was devastating to the town of Little Hancock.

Her effect on him was powerful- he couldn’t stop staring at her Uggs paired with shorts and wondered what in the world?!

Affect follows an effect: it describes how something was impacted by the “effect” in question, produces a change

Jeremiah was severely affected by the noxious gas emitted from the oven.

I knew that slapping the palm tree would not affect it in the slightest, so I proceeded to burn it with a flamethrower.

Hopefully this bit helps. I’m not here to give you the full lowdown on the rules of it to build a foundation- rather, I wish to enhance your current foundation.

Cheers!

Getting into the Characters

There are many different writing styles. In this post, we will review two of these.

The Interviewer

My dear friend writes this way. Her characters speak to her, and tell her the story. Now, this may sound like schizophrenia to you. It’s not. It’s actually a brilliant tactic- one that I have a hard time with. There are many excellent character profile templates out there, with questions about your character.

Rather than trying to answer them, tap into your inner self.

Go on. Do it. 

You may feel a little crazy at first. That’s okay. All writers are bonkers. It’s a known fact. You put it on your resume.

Get a feel for them. Do you find your characters speak easily do you, or do you find yourself imagining them more? My friend, who uses this tactic, has a splendid knack for dialogue. This is why this works so well for her. If you have a knack for dialogue, or at least find you enjoy writing dialogue the most, give this a shot. If not, let’s move onto the next tactic (which I find myself engaging in).

The Observer

As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t see words.

I see pictures when I read.

I sense the soft glow of the lights, the fury written across the face, the awkward sounds emitting from the room next to me (oh wait, that’s reality).

When I wrote the first page of my book, I felt like I was watching a movie, and simply wrote what I observed (that is the anthropologist in me). I personally find this a very fun way to write. I get to relax (a little) and watch my character’s crazy antics.

Using Music as a Tool

Once you get a feel for your characters, identify what kind of music they listen to.

Create a playlist.

Listen and write.

Music is another way to tap into your emotions, and it will enhance your writing, as well as ensure that you remain consistent in your writing. 

Then vs Than

Do not fear the use of then or than. 

Than: used as a comparison.

My wombat is bigger than yours.

My wombat is more aggressive than yours.

Is your wombat scarier than mine?

My wombat will eat your wombat faster than you can think about the ferocity of its teeth

Then: a moment in time, in addition to, therefore, afterward

I was a scarier Frankenstein then (“then” replaces “at that time”)

I went to the concert and then drank with Conner Oberst (“then” can be replaced by “afterwards” or “proceeded to”)

If you wish to argue with me effectively, then you are going to have to make a better case for your wombat (“then you are going” can be replaced by “you need to”)

I ate the turtle soup, then the muskrat bread (“then” can be replaced by “as well as”

In a nutshell: use “than” in comparisons and “then” for pretty much everything else.