06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 The Case Against Reading Too Broadly

The real problem with telling young writers to fan out across genres and forms is that it doesn’t help them find a voice. If anything, it’s antivoice. Learning the craft of writing isn’t about hopping texts like hyperlinks. It’s about devotion and obsession. It’s about lingering too long in some beloved book’s language, about steeping yourself in someone else’s style until your consciousness changes colour. It’s Tolkien phases and Plath crushes. It’s going embarrassingly, un...
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05 JUN 2017 by ideonexus

 Be Prolific

For example, Simonton cites the work of inventor Thomas Edison who accumulated a mind-boggling 2,300 patents over his lifetime. He found that in the same year Edison applied for patents for the light bulb and the telephone (certainly both hits) he also filed for patents for 100 or so other inventions including the pneumatic pen (a partial miss), a talking doll (a definite miss) and a ghost detection machine (enough said). In all likelihood, Edison never knowingly worked on something he thou...
Folksonomies: ideas creativity output
Folksonomies: ideas creativity output
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Science Fiction Gave Literature New Frontiers

The shift in subject matter from westerns to science fiction was probably already underway when Burroughs began writing. The frontier, which had been such a key feature of American popular fiction, was rapidly disappearing, and writers had begun looking for new frontiers—hence, the increasing number of stories about lost civilizations in unexplored parts of the world. But even the unexplored parts of the world were shrinking rapidly, and as new technologies, such as aircraft and rocketry, b...
Folksonomies: history science fiction
Folksonomies: history science fiction
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Burroughs "Princess of Mars" even has the protagonist go from the Western frontier to a Martian desert. Wastelands are frontiers as well.

21 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Essay Writing is About Figuring Things Out

To understand what a real essay is, we have to reach back into history again, though this time not so far. To Michel de Montaigne, who in 1580 published a book of what he called "essais." He was doing something quite different from what lawyers do, and the difference is embodied in the name. Essayer is the French verb meaning "to try" and an essai is an attempt. An essay is something you write to try to figure something out. Figure out what? You don't know yet. And so you can't begin with a ...
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