Tuesday, November 28, 2017

TWIC: Science proves it!, living a fantasy, semi-cliche

There are a variety of phrases, all some version of "science shows...." or "science proves...." that bother me. That said, here is Science Shows Something Something Surprising About People Who Love To Write. I guess no matter how factual they might or might not be, they are inspiring. One paragraph from the article:
It turns out writing can make physical wounds heal faster as well. In 2013, New Zealand researchers monitored the recovery of wounds from medically necessary biopsies on 49 healthy adults. The adults wrote about their thoughts and feelings for just 20 minutes, three days in a row, two weeks before the biopsy. Eleven days later, 76% of the group that wrote had fully healed. Fifty-eight percent of the control group had not recovered. The study concluded that writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.
Your novel's done. Now what?
At Quora, I answered the question Do you spend time 'living' in a fantasy world? The link is to all the answers. Mine is 6 paragraphs long; here is the first one:
I do and I am not satisfied with it! I know it sounds strange that I am unsatisfied with a universe I control utterly, but my apparent love of repetitive tasks and killing of monsters and Nazis disturbs me.
Amazon is policing book promotions that can upset their ranking systems. It seems authors using BookBub promotions have had their books removed from rankings. The same does not happen if Goodreads promotions are used (Goodreads is owned by Amazon, I learned in the article.)
How much of my writing is mine? Scott Thornbury, professor of ESL, discusses creativity and ESL instruction.
Corpus linguistics has, of course, shown him to be wildly wrong: a great deal of real language use does in fact consist of fixed phrases – more than 50%, according to some estimates. The Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin had long since anticipated this: ‘Our speech, that is, all our utterances (including our creative works), is filled with others’ words, varying degrees of otherness or varying degrees of “our-own-ness”’ (1986: 89).
Language use, it seems, involves an equal measure of conformity and creativity, a tension that finds expression in John Sinclair’s distinction between the ‘idiom principle’ and the ‘open choice principle’.
I find in my current Nanowrimo work a lot of simple phrases that I use from repetition, I use them because everybody uses them. And yet they are not precisely cliches. Here I describe students newly arrived at a school:

Some stood tall, aloof and confident, untouched by misfortune, while the faces of others showed nervous hope. The six year old had charmed an older student enough that he held the younger boy’s hand in support.
"Untouched by misfortune" most stands out to me as something I can't imagine saying. It feels right but almost formal, as if I had learned the phrase. So does most of the rest of the quote.  Several pieces of it just don't feel like me. I am comfortable with the words, they are common enough that I am not plagiarizing any individual and they aren't cliches, but I imagine they are examples of 'fixed phrases' that I have absorbed.

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