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Shady Characters

Shady Characters
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Story Starters, Creative Writing Ideas for Fiction Looking for story starters and creative writing ideas? You've just struck gold. Here you'll find an endless supply of inspiration. Bye-bye, Writer's Block. Take a moment to bookmark this page so that you can find it again whenever you need new ideas. Also be sure to check out our free 3-day online creative writing course, Endless Story Ideas, which will show you techniques to come up with new fiction ideas whenever you need them. Do you like this page? Story Starters Not sure what to write about? Or get started with these Ideas for Characters, Ideas for Plots, and "What If" Story Starters. Find out about two magic phrases that make it easy to come up with great story ideas. Get 20 ideas that answer the question, "What happens next?" Browse Story Prompts About Obsessions, Life Changes, Talents, Travel, Relationships, Secrets and Habits. Use our fun Story Ideas Kit to create mix-and-match story plots. If you're looking for more detailed creative writing ideas, read on. And... Break it down

Why so many scientists are so ignorant Sign Up for Our free email newsletters Science has enormous cachet and authority in our culture — for very understandable reasons! And that has led scientists (and non-scientists who claim the mantle of science) to claim public authority, which is all well and good in their areas of expertise. One recent example is Bill Nye, the "Science Guy," who isn't actually a scientist but owes his career as a popular entertainer to his purported scientific expertise. As Olivia Goldhill points out in Quartz, Nye's answer was as self-assured as it was stunningly ignorant. The video, which made the entire U.S. philosophy community collectively choke on its morning espresso, is hard to watch, because most of Nye's statements are wrong. Nye fell into the same trap that Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking have been caught up in. There's obviously a grain of truth in this. Instead, we've become a philosophically illiterate culture at large. That's part of the problem.

How to Write a Screenplay In this installment of A Writer’s Voice we’re going to be looking at Blue Ruin, a nice little indie thriller by Jeremy Saulnier. What’s interesting about Blue Ruin is that its main character, Dwight, does not arc in the traditional way. He doesn’t change in the way that screenplay characters typically change. As a producer and script consultant who reads hundreds of screenplays, one of the most common weaknesses in the majority of scripts I review has to do with dialogue that is expositional, or what we call “on the nose” — where characters state exactly what they are thinking and feeling, or tell us information... With June now safely behind us, the 2013-2014 school year is officially over. The monologue is a staple of theater dating back to the ancient Greeks, but has been taboo in cinema almost from the start. When something traumatic happens, it’s said that we all experience the five stages of grief. I have a great idea for a film.

Art Quill Studio Alex J. Cavanaugh: The Insecure Writer's Support Group The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG *Do not add a direct link to your post here! This is a Blog Hop!

Steven Pinker: 10 'grammar rules' it's OK to break (sometimes) Among the many challenges of writing is dealing with rules of correct usage: whether to worry about split infinitives, fused participles, and the meanings of words such as "fortuitous", "decimate" and "comprise". Supposedly a writer has to choose between two radically different approaches to these rules. Prescriptivists prescribe how language ought to be used. They uphold standards of excellence and a respect for the best of our civilisation, and are a bulwark against relativism, vulgar populism and the dumbing down of literate culture. Descriptivists describe how language actually is used. It's a catchy dichotomy, but a false one. But this does not mean that every pet peeve, bit of grammatical folklore, or dimly remembered lesson from Miss Thistlebottom's classroom is worth keeping. How can you distinguish the legitimate concerns of a careful writer from the folklore and superstitions? A rule should be rejected, in contrast, if the answer to any of the following questions is "Yes."

25 Things Every Writer Should Know An alternate title for this post might be, “Things I Think About Writing,” which is to say, these are random snidbits (snippets + tidbits) of beliefs I hold about what it takes to be a writer. I hesitate to say that any of this is exactly Zen (oh how often we as a culture misuse the term “Zen” — like, “Whoa, that tapestry is so cool, it’s really Zen“), but it certainly favors a sharper, shorter style than the blathering wordsplosions I tend to rely on in my day-to-day writing posts. Anyway. Peruse these. Absorb them into your body. Let your colonic flora digest them and feed them through your bloodstream to the little goblin-man that pilots you. Feel free to disagree with any of these; these are not immutable laws. Buckle up. 1. The Internet is 55% porn, and 45% writers. 2. A lot of writers try to skip over the basics and leap fully-formed out of their own head-wombs. 3. 4. I have been writing professionally for a lucky-despite-the-number 13 years. 5. Luck matters. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

5 Minute English - ESL Lessons - Helping you learn English Are word counts really that important? | The Krystol Meth(od) I want to talk about word counts. I know some writers could careless about word count, but these days it’s important. Well, I guess it has always been important. For me, I write shorts or novella’s as they are called. I love writing, but I don’t know if novella’s are just my niche or I haven’t applied myself to write more. I am going to give you a list that I found online for word counts. Literary / Commercial / Women’s: 80,000 to 110,000 – These genres vary greatly in how their stories are told, but not in how many words are used to tell them. So, these are the numbers that writers are suppose to follow if you want to be picked up by a mainstream publisher. Short Stories: 1000 to 8,000 – Many contests will advise on their own maximum word count, sometimes as high as 20K. Like this: Like Loading... Related A to Z Challenge H is for Help! I need help! In "A to Z Challenge" I'm feeling very Carrie Bradshaw like! Happy Tuesday Readers! In "Books" My book is completed, now what? Happy Saturday!

The Ancient Roots of Punctuation In his new book, “Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks,” Keith Houston reveals the stories behind esoteric punctuation marks, from the pilcrow (¶) to the manicule (☞) to the octothorpe, a.k.a. the hashtag. Many of these have their roots in ancient Greece or Rome, and have evolved over time in Medieval religious texts, Renaissance scholarship, and modern printed works (not to mention the Internet). Here, Houston, who lives in Scotland and also runs a Shady Characters blog, tells the origin stories of some of these marks. Octothorpe (#) Left, from the pen of Isaac Newton; right, detail from Johann Conrad Barchusen’s “Pyrosophia” (1698). Courtesy the Othmer Library of Chemical History, Chemical Heritage Foundation. The story of the hashtag begins sometime around the fourteenth century, with the introduction of the Latin abbreviation “lb,” for the Roman term libra pondo, or “pound weight.” Pilcrow (¶) Ampersand (&) Manicule (☞) Diple (>)

Beyond Your Blog: Freelancing, Getting Paid to Write, and Writing for Free If you’d like, jump to a section within this post: Many of you are growing as writers and seek opportunities beyond your blog. To continue this conversation, let’s talk about freelancing and getting paid to write, and the flip side of this: writing for free and exposure. Julie Schwietert Collazo, a bilingual writer/editor who has written for publications such as National Geographic Traveler and Scientific American, blogs at Cuaderno Inedito.Caitlin Kelly, a National Magazine Award winner and frequent contributor to the New York Times, blogs at Broadside.Kristen Hansen Brakeman, a writer who has contributed to the Washington Post and the New York Times‘ Motherlode, blogs at KristenBrakeman.com.Deborah Lee Luskin, an award-winning novelist and radio commentator, blogs at Live to Write — Write to Live: a collaborative blog for the New Hampshire Writers’ Network. Give us a breakdown of your typical day. I get to exercise control over the shape and form of my days. Caitlin: A few thoughts:

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