Great writing advise and insights here from novelist, screenwriter, and game designer, Chuck Wendig:
I’m a panster at heart, plotter by necessity — and I always advocate learning how to plot and plan because inevitably someone on the business side of things is going to poke you with a pointy stick and say, “I want this.” Thus you will demonstrate your talent. Even so, in choosing to plot on your own, you aren’t limited to a single path. And so it is that we take a look at the myriad plotting techniques (“plotniques?”) you might use as Storyteller Extraordinaire to get the motherfucking job done. Let us begin.
THE BASIC VANILLA TRIED-AND-TRUE OUTLINE
The basic and essential outline. Numbers, Roman numerals, letters. Items in order. Separated out by section if need be (say, Act I, Act II, Act III). Easy-peazy Lyme-diseasey.
THE REVERSE OUTLINE
Start at the end, instead. Write it down. “Sir Pimdrip Chicory of Bath slays the dragon-badger, but not before the dragon-badger bites the head off Chicory’s one true love, Lady Miss Wermathette Kildare of the Manchester Kildares.” Rewind the clock. Reverse the gears. Find out how you build to that. Find the rest of this piece at Wendig’s blog terribleminds.
Tally wrote the screenplay for The Silence of the Lambs, as well as All the Pretty Horses and The Juror. Tally was speaking at the London Screenwriters’ Festival.
“A cop out is not an excuse, not even a weak one; it is an admission of guilt. When someone “cops a plea,” he admits guilt to some charge, in exchange for better treatment. He has “copped out.” When a guy says, “I didn’t get to fuck her because I reminded her of her little brother,” he is making an excuse. If he says, “I didn’t get to fuck her because I’m an unattractive schmuck,” he is copping out. The trouble arises when an excuse contains a small amount of self-incriminating truth.”
“If I were in charge of the networks”, an excerpt from George Carlin’s book, Brain Droppings. Read the full essay here.
“From a distance, philosophy seems weird, irrelevant, boring — and yet, also, a just a little intriguing. But what are philosophers really for?
The answer is, handily, already contained in the wordphilosophy itself.
In Ancient Greek, philo means “love” and sophia means “wisdom” — philosophers are people devoted to wisdom. Being wise means attempting to live and die well.
In their pursuit of wisdom, philosophers have developed a very specific skill set — they have, over the centuries, become experts at many of the things that made people not very wise.”
Beautifully animated this video from Alain de Botton of The School of Life cleverly explains why philosophy is a “powerful and necessary tool of government, leadership, and personal growth in everyday life”.
Follow philosopher and writer Alain de Botton on Twitter.
Find The School of Life online.
“Sentences have been around since the dawn of paragraphs, and indeed since before that, for sentences are essentially the building blobs of a paragraph. Right here, if you’re looking closely enough, you may notice that what you are now reading in fact is a sentence. But also—some will have noticed even more well—what you are reading is a paragraph. And I could go further than that, even, to declare that you are also reading words, letters, and indeed this entire page. Nobody thought you could do it, but here we are now and aren’t you having a good time?’
Read the full article at The New Yorker.
Follow James Thomas aka @AstonishingSod on Twitter.
Hazards of Hindsight
For a moment
prudence and reconsideration
Hindsight dry-cleans your speech
Forget caution and correction
don’t render me speechless with your reason –
all I want from you is a quick artless response
that knocks judgement off into history’s oblivion
only then I’ll get a pure no, a simple yes from you
not the elusive past, I wasn’t a part of
To make any sense of history
I need an artless response
In its freshness
I can see better
the peanuts enclosed in the sturdy shell
the fresh oil in its ripened seeds.
by Monika Kumar
from Samalochan, 2012
translation by author.
Originally published at 3QuarksDaily.