mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 18: How to Steal for Fun and Profit


Key Points: All artists incorporate their experiences. History and mythology provide a mine of experiences and relationships that you can use. Avoid plagiarism, make it yours. Or hang a lantern on it, make it an homage. But don't use borrowing as a shortcut -- use it as a buttress for your originality. Try combinations!
pesky plot snatchers? )
[Brandon] I think that it's a great idea. In fact, I'm going to give our writing prompt this week as being... I want you to go... I want you to go to Howard Tayler's website, I want you to click the button that says "click here to instantly teraport to some place inside the archives."
[Howard] [whistle]
[Brandon] I want you to take whatever strip shows up, read the next three or four, and have it... use it mailed in with some other concept to create a new story.
[Dan] Something wholly original.
[Howard] If you can stop reading after just three or four, that's probably best for you. You don't want it to cost you hours and hours of your life.
[Dan] Otherwise, you won't get any writing done.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
a.k.a. realism comes first

(Incidentally, NHK has subtitles associated with I think weekly themes. Mostly I ignore them. Right now it is first-year assistant?)

This episode started with Uraki, the sneaky man, announcing that from today, their house would be the headquarters of the young men's military history club. Then he tried to put the sign on the fence. Shigeru grabbed him and threw him down. He laid on the ground, moaning, and said Shigeru used to do this to him all the time when they were kids.

Next, the sign was laid in the entryway, and Shigeru faced Uraki in the kitchen. "So explain first." Uraki sighed. "It's simple, really. We're going to set up a fan club for you."
A fan club? )
Fumie said, "Well, let's see how much he spent." She looked in the wallet. It was empty. "What? He spent it all? How..."

To be continued...
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
One of the TV shows was looking at old Japanese houses, and showed us a sort of stone-lined hole in the floor. Kind of like a chimney, but going down, not up. Apparently this was a somewhat common feature in relatively well-to-do houses at one point. The kind that had a stand-alone safe building for keeping their family treasures, which is another common feature of some older architecture here in Japan.

However, this hole was in front of the little family shrine, the butsudon, inside the living space. Under some wood slats that were easily lifted out of the way. Apparently in case of a fire in the area, the family was supposed to pull up the wood and push the family memorial bits and pieces into this hole. I guess preserving the ancestral tablets was reasonably important. And what happened to the family member who was designated to push stuff into the hole while the fire gets closer?

I wondered if anybody ever used it. Or was this just a sop to fears that was never actually used?
mbarker: (Burp)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode One: World Building History


Key points: You don't have to write a history book, you need to create the illusion that the history exists. You need to know which parts of the history are important to your story. Small details can give historical rounding and fullness. You can't spell history without spelling story, too. People like to believe that there are causes in history, but beware monocausationalism -- everything has multiple causes. Pay attention to the reason you are worldbuilding history -- and if it isn't adding to the story, stop. Write your story -- then look for points of conflict and worldbuild there, or as you stumble across important parts, worldbuild those. It's always okay to go back and fix it.
moments on the tides of history )
[Howard] Writing prompt. There's a war. You're writing a historical paragraph about a war that has five distinct causes. Come up with all five and justify them.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. We are done, you are out of excuses, now go write.

May 2017

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