Tuesday, March 7, 2017

TWIC: bees,dialog, azimov, card design, eatables,

I gotta eat more bees. Vital writing advice from Chuck Wendig.
10. Write 1,000 Words A Day. But don’t write them in order. That’s how you confuse the witches. You can put the words in order later when the witches are asleep in their tower.
11. Study Other Successful Writers. Other writers have done this well, so study what they do. Look at their sentence structure. Examine the rhythm of their storytelling. Chart the map of their many footsteps, ideally tracking them with RFID tags. Rifle through their trash like a raccoon. Steal their debit cards. Eat their food and their bank statements and the hair you find in their shower drains, all while miming their mannerisms in a mirror. Live under their floors or behind their walls. That way, you find the ideal time to strike — pop them with a tranq dart and once asleep, search their bodies for ancient sigils and secret messages tattooed there. Then lock them in a cage and steal their manuscripts for your own. Become them by performing The Rites. Or say fuck it and then go back to number four, where you bludgeon them and eat their brains.
12. Eat Bees. You gotta eat some bees, man. C’mon. Just fuckin’ eat ‘em already. We all do it. They’re full of protein. They also sting you as you eat them which activates your Imaginatory Gland, so eat a handful of bees and then you get jacked on cool thoughts and ideas. Eat the bees. Don’t be a baby about it.
13. Stop Eating Bees. All right, you’ve eaten too many bees. It’s weird. You got a problem. Go to a meeting. Bees are going extinct the fuck is wrong with you.
14. Don’t Ever Look At The News. Because like Fiona Apple said, “This world is bullshit.” It is. It’s all bullshit. It’ll just make you sad and then you won’t write, you’ll just sit around eating cheesecake and offering up stupid writing advice on the Internet. The news is dumb. The world is dumb. Retreat into your land of unicorns where it’s safe.
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More writing tips blogs here.
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I think my attempts at dialog are clunky. I want to add some humour and sarcasm but I also want them to sound natural. My own real life attempts at sarcasm and humour I must admit are also weird and unnatural. One of the discussions here is on that subject:


Crafting believable dialogue is tough. But here’s one piece of advice that will make it easier: Characters should say things we wish we had said. What does that mean? Remember Elmore Leonard? His dialogue is a great example of this notion. Leonard’s characters don’t speak like anybody in real life. And that’s very important indeed.
Good dialogue does not mimic natural speech. Regular chit-chat is boring and pedestrian. It’s filled with too many “Ums” and “Ahs” and overstocked with superfluous details, social niceties, and fluff.
An example. Say our protagonist (let’s call her Jane) is meeting another character (Bob, who is secretly in league with the main villain) for a drink at the local. Jane’s determined to confront Bob about his double dealing. Here’s what regular speech might sound like:

“Hi Bob. How’s it going? Um, I haven’t seen you in a while. You well?”
Bob looked up from his beer and said, “Oh, hi Jane. I wasn’t sure when you were coming, so I ordered a beer already. What can I get you?”
Jane thought for a while. “Um, I’ll just have a soda thanks. So… What have you been up to?”
“Not much. A little bit of this and a little bit of that, you know..” ...
And some of the less natural, better version:
Jane sat down and waved away the waiter.
Before Bob could say anything, she said, “So Bob, I ever tell you about my uncle Richard? No? Yeah, well he died last year. Upstate.”
“What do you mean, Jane? I don’t—“
“He spent most of his life in solitary, Bob. Terrible thing, solitary. Makes a man wish he’d made some different choices in his life. Like maybe not selling out his buddies to the highest bidder. My uncle, he got put away for treason, Bob. Treason.”
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Describing what you see in Rorchach's ink blots seems like a creative enterprise. Here are some details on the blots.

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Asimov on writing:
6. The Secret Sauce
A struggling writer friend of Asimov’s once asked him, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Asimov replied, “By thinking and thinking and thinking till I’m ready to kill myself. […] Did you ever think it was easy to get a good idea?”
Many of his nights were spent alone with his mind —
I couldn’t sleep last night so I lay awake thinking of an article to write and I’d think and think and cry at the sad parts. I had a wonderful night.
Nobody ever said having ideas was going to be easy.
If it were, it wouldn’t be worth doing.
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To outsiders, thinking about design often seems a pretty but unnecessary option.Or at least, I often think of it that way and hope there is a group called 'outsiders' that consists of more than just me. The recent mix up at the Oscars shows why design concepts are important. Full size image and all three advantages to the new design at the link.

3. Emma Stone’s name is bigger than the title, “La La Land,” because she is the winner of this category. The winner should be the most emphasized thing on the card with all other information, like the film’s title, in a smaller or a less thick font...
Apparently, the announcers were given the wrong award envelope and that wasn't immediately clear. The 'after' image shows a different set of priorities - the name of the award ceremony is not nearly so important because everyone involved knows where they are.
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A chart book from India has better art work than mine but looks similar to grids of images I have made for my ESL classes.
Meant to teach children good behavior, and to assist their reading skills, these inexpensive posters were plastered everywhere by local printers.
Here is my favorite image:
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