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What makes authors like Gayle Forman and John Green so successful in the YA Novel field of writing?

Look at the backgrounds and career history of some YA Fiction writers and find similarities in what they’ve done that worked, or even didn’t work. Don’t forget to find the things that make these individual authors stand out among the others.

  • I think it would be interesting to look at this from a more economical perspective instead of looking at their careers. Since all successful YA authors are not unanimously loved it would be interesting to see what particular tropes/plots/characters/ect. seem to draw the most readership. This removes the notion of what is "good" or "bad" and instead looks at what writing style seems to draw more readers in this genre. – LondonFog 5 months ago
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  • Also, people will anxiously await the author's upcoming book and purchase it, regardless of negative reviews. When an author has a true following it is difficult for readers to be dissuaded. Even when they are disappointed, they still tend to return, and try to read the next book. This is especially true with teen readers. It would be interesting to compare the actual statistical readership numbers between adult readers and teen readers pertaining to famous authors, with numerous books, and see how the numbers fluctuate during successful books, and less successful books. – danielle577 5 months ago
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  • What are the lines that define the different genres? Like how do you define where the things you are writing fall into? I am personally writing a story and one part of me thinks that it might fall into YA and another part of me believes that it could just be considered adult fiction. – lundquisth0004 3 months ago
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Is Objective Journalism Dead?

Discuss modern journalism and answer the question of whether objectivity in journalism has been forsaken. On the left we have Huffington Post, and on the right we have Breitbart (of course there are other examples to use on both ends of the spectrum); question and answer why there has been an uprising in biased reporting in the Western world. Explore the causes of this and compare modern journalism to past journalism such as the 1920’s (or any time period the author chooses).

  • This is a great topic...Something you can add may be the role television, the internet and other mass media portals played in this. – MikeySheff 2 months ago
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  • Interesting topic, though I'm not convinced that journalism has ever been truly objective. While objectivity sounds like a lovely ideal, it's worth questioning how possible (or even useful) it actually is. Some of the most iconic journalists from history (Murrow comes to mind) achieved that status by being opinionated, and bringing about real-world change with their opinions. Perhaps the onus need not be on the journalists to not take a stand on divisive issues, but rather on media consumers to read what's been written by both Left and Right-wing journalists to form their own opinions. – ProtoCanon 2 months ago
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  • It's also helpful to think about why news organizations have changed over time due to corporate control.Many owners now emphasize profit margins over quality news. – seouljustice 2 months ago
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  • Objective journalism never existed. The first papers in America were colonial papers which were not allowed to publish anything bad about the government without facing jail-time. Post colonial papers were entirely sponsored by political parties who used newspapers to attack opposing candidates from different parties. Then came the penny press which sensationalized stories, focused on celebrity news, and sometimes fabricated entire stories. It wasn't until the 1800's the a facts-driven model was introduced and there was more of an emphasis on being objective, though even then they never entirely were. Now a day, Opinion Journalism plays a huge part in media as a whole. Opinion Journalism should not be confused with Counterfeit Opinion Journalism, which consists of those crazy, outlandish claims and accusations based on personal belief and emotions. In contrast, real Opinion pieces consist of facts, actual news, in which the writer takes into account and then draws and educated conclusion. Whether the reader agrees with the writer or not is irrelevant, if the facts are correct and provided in context, its still valuable news. A lot of the Counterfeit you see is spread because we no longer have men sitting in chairs deciding what we hear and see. Now, we are the gatekeepers of media, and if we continue to spread false news, it will continue to be printed. – HDumars 1 month ago
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Taken by TheGoose (PM) 1 month ago.
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Social Media: Is it an advancement in communication or is it holding us back from having meaningful conversations?

Social media has evolved quite swiftly. We are able to watch the news on Facebook, while also reading and analyzing the opinions of others. On Instagram, we are able to view our favorite celebrities and their daily lives. Then there’s Snapchat, which has become a new medium for communication, interaction, and pointless "snaps" of our activities taking place at an exact moment.

Is this a good or bad thing? Have we grown closer to one another through the advancement of this form of news and communication or are we simply becoming obsessed, lazy, and judgemental?

  • No matter which direction the writer chooses for this I think it's important to talk about the impact of social media on long distance friendship. It may draw us away from people in our present space, but at the same time it allows us to maintain some sort of connection with the people we've had to leave behind as our culture becomes more spread out and even globalized. There's also the facet of this topic that could explore friendships which actually begin online. Are these any less real? – Mariel Tishma 2 months ago
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  • I agree with this topic a lot. I do not have ay form of social media, so when people want to get to know me more that ask to talk to me on SnapChat or Twitter. It is crazy how they are talking to me and telling me these things, then they can take 5 minutes out of their day to talk to me more. Some people do not like to talk directly to peoples faces, so I think they use this as a cover up. – aliyaa19 2 months ago
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  • With truth in reporting laws gone, we have a new problem of self-referential media. It's always been a problem in academia that academics have tried (and often failed) to be aware of... but now it's become a machine. Not sure how we break the chains... – staceysimmons 2 months ago
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  • I agree with a lot of this, but I feel like it could boil down to just being condescending towards millennials (Please don't! My intelligence isn't determined by my birth year!).Also, I think you discredit a lot of the positive aspects of social media. Pinterest is great for recipes, and rarely vapid or narcissistic. Twitter can be stupid, but it can also be humorous and effective in promoting social movements. And as much as I absolutely abhor Instagram, I have seen many younger people take an interest in legitimate photography (and not just 'selfies') because of it. Social media probably does more harm than good, but there are definitely positive aspects.But yeah, I have no defense of Snapchat, ha. – m-cubed 2 months ago
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  • There's definitely some potential to this topic. A cost/benefit argument can be made regarding social media. Whoever chooses to tackle this article should weigh the pros and cons. The benefits of keeping in touch with friends or family members who have moved hundreds of miles away is invaluable. Additionally, the ability to create a professional network can make or break some newly graduated or licensed professionals in their careers.That being said there are considerable cons to the prevalence of social media that could be addressed. Most notably, and already mentioned, the epidemic of fake news in today's society. As opposed to real journalistic integrity of obtaining sources and fake checking those sources, today's "media" relies on gotcha headlines and three degrees of hearsay to sway an audience into believing something that isn't true. – rtpnckly 1 month ago
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Taken by James Zhan (PM) 4 weeks ago.
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South Park and linear story telling

South Park is undeniably a trend setter in its crude political, up to date humour. From its conception in 1997 until its 18th season, South Park did not really attempt a full season story arc. There have been a few three episode long specials but none like the 19th or 20th seasons. It is interesting to see these characters who have pushed the boundaries for years, finally have ramifications for their actions that carry over from episode to episode. Personally, I have enjoyed this change of pace and I am excited to see how the 20th season unfolds. It would be interesting to see what this could mean for South Park’s style of comedy, for their future story telling and much more!

  • Great Topic!!! – MikeySheff 2 months ago
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  • You might want to add a question for the writer to answer, such as, what did they do successfully in the last iteration of multiple episodic storytelling and what would you like to see them continue doing? Or... what would be some good topics for South Park to explore in the coming seasons? – Kevin 2 months ago
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  • I find that in a lot of shows like family guy and american dad are almost trying the same. – granharv 2 months ago
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  • Yes, would be interesting to compare this type of storytelling in animation to Family Guy and American Dad. – Sonia Charlotta Reini 1 month ago
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Writing as a means to discover the nature of consciousness

Stream of consciousness writing is an interesting way to gain insights into the nature of mind and consciousness. It would be extremely interesting to see what kind of article could be written concerning writing as a means of discovering insights into the nature of human mind. Perhaps researching areas such as philosophy of mind, consciousness, the relationship between mind and body, psychology, and flow states could reveal valuable ideas into this topic.

  • I can't really see where you are going with this.. Do you mean examining practices like automatic writing where you just write for several minutes witout thinking or you mean the essence of what is written? – Kaya 2 months ago
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  • I'm not completely sure about where you are going with this but maybe you could consider the psychoanalytic cathartic method, namely the idea of converting traumas into language and therefore curing them. In relation to this, mentioning Greek tragedy and its tackling of the human nature and mind would be useful. If you want to focus on stream of consciousness as a form of writing then you could, for instance, compare authors such as Joyce and Woolf and explore how language and writing function for them and which kind of insights they offer in relation to the way in which our mind works. In any case, I think that the topic could be interesting but it is a bit too broad and needs to be restricted to something more specific. – CostanzaCasati 2 months ago
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  • I think you will need to be more specific with this one. Perhaps a certain kind of writing or a certain kind of consciousness. The topic is just too broad and unspecific, to the point where it might actually be hard to understand more than anything else. – agramugl 2 months ago
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  • I think the second half of this topic would be more interesting, and you would benefit from leaving out how consciousness is related to writing. Maybe focus on a specific topic in philosophy of mind (functionalism, dualism), rather than connecting it to the art of writing. – ecooper15 2 months ago
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  • I like where you're going with this! I have always been interested in learning more about consciousness, however, I feel that in order to write a strong article from this topic, research needs to be done through credible sources and asking people their opinions on consciousness. Also, asking people who are either knowledgable or beginners in starting their joinery into "the all knowing." – saritachris 2 months ago
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Writing Stories Which Break the Rules

Discuss ways in which writers can tell stories that go against conventions and selling-points, and would likely struggle to find an audience. It is wonderful to think outside the box and try something new. It can be rewarding and even push the artform forward with innovation. Sometimes as writers we want to break the rules and disregard important aspects to character, plot, genre, dialogue, etc. that not only work, but are usually the foundation to good writing. We may be used to writing for an audience, but this time want to try something crazy and write a screenplay for a film when we have no idea who would watch it. How can we stay true to our artistic vision knowing we are doing everything all wrong? What are the benefits?

  • It can be argued that any and every text to receive any sort of canonical status has done so by strategically breaking previously established conventions. This almost feels too big to tackle. – ProtoCanon 3 months ago
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  • In my opinion the simplest way I can think of to write unconventionally is to take a common story and add your own little adjustments. You could do a backwards version of the tale or take one or a few particular elements of the story and try to get your imagination to work on that. For instance, generally, one would expect the protagonist of a fairy tale to find true love or something of the sort, but what if that character had absolutely no interest in romance. What if that character enjoys solitude? With the imagination sky's the limit. – RadosianStar 3 months ago
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  • I feel like if you were to write a story where there is no change, where the character's status is stagnant that could be a way to tackle this idea that breaks the rules. A wonderful reference to this style is Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep. It tells a harrowing deeply meaningful story in a style that is neither linear nor follows the conventions of stereotypical story telling. Hope that helps in your search to find how to 'break the rules'! – Gntmeda 2 months ago
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The Evolution Of Women Within Books

How the view of women inside books changed.
For example, in earliest writing of fiction and plays women would be portrayed as being delicate. In some of mythology they were seen as items and prizes for the heroes. In some stories they are seen as enchantresses that lure men into danger. How did they transition from that to books with characters like Anne Shirley ?

  • This would be a good topic, and there's certainly a lot to be explored. You could analyze only American literature, British literature, or whatever and analyze how the views have changed across history along with decisions that have happened pertaining to culture and society. – Nayr1230 8 months ago
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  • This topic is incredibly interesting, but it is also extremely broad. Perhaps it might be easier to take a couple character traits and shown how authors have ran with ideas that exemplified those traits? How has society made room for redefining what the roles of a women should be? Lastly, it could be worth looking into how the roles of women has changed in just two consecutive decades? – lgonsiorek 8 months ago
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  • I don't immediately see this topic as a good one. Women have to be generally objected, categorized and potentially dehumanized to reflect on the view of women in all of books. The generalizations that would have to be made would be terrible patronizing.If you carve out "perceptions of women in Norse mythology" or "portrayal of the woman's role in classic British literature" would help to focus the topic. – Piper CJ 7 months ago
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  • The main problem your generalized draft question hints at is how women characters were written BY men for most of history. I think narrowing your focus to considering the range of female characters women authors write could also open up some interesting discussions.The problem is that it's assumed that in ancient/early modern writing women were mere sexualised items however that view is problematic by how some Greek authors (see Lysistrata by Aristophanes) were already playing with those roles and creating strong female characters. And sadly today things aren't drastically better in how tv and many books still don't have strong female characters or lead roles. Perhaps it's worth investigating the instances they are given faithful representation and the type of stories that demote them to objects (masculine, pursuits of greed etc.) – JamieMadden 7 months ago
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  • This is a huge topic to cover- could you maybe narrow it down a little bit? It would really be interesting, but there is just so much to it that it couldn't be done justice in a single article. Maybe choose a few books, or an era of books to cover. – LilyaRider 7 months ago
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  • way too vague, not a good topic. – Richard Marcil 6 months ago
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  • This topic is extremely vague and difficult to cover as you are basically asking someone to explore all genres of literature form inception to contemporary times, i.e. Beowulf, or Gawain and the Green Knight, to let's say The Girl on the Train. It's too difficult and the way in which women are portrayed is intertwined with the social mores in which the stories are written. That, in fact would be an interesting topic. To look at it more from a sociological aspects--the expectations of the female heroine, and those that were thought to contradict the prototypical idealized female. – danielle577 5 months ago
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Psychology behind becoming a good writer

I think there are may writers who can write, but what makes a good writer? Its not just correct grammar and use of good words / sentences. Its more about connecting the reader to write-up isn’t it? To really convey his or her message to the reader that can touch one’s heart! That psychological aspect in the writing! That feel in the writing that can connect the reader with everything it can!

  • What makes a writer/author "good" is also subjective. Some people might find an author amazing and others will be less thrilled with their work. It might also be worthwhile to discuss the books people consider "classics" like Charles Dickens' or Jane Eyre novels. What makes them classic and who decides? – S.A. Takacs 6 months ago
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  • A "good" writer is like any other artist. Art usually provokes a reaction. Just as beauty evokes a feeling of joy and humility, art will generate a response. Not always positive and not always appreciated in its era. I think this could be an effective article if the writer focuses on touching readers' hearts. What do readers care about? It's like writing a musical piece. You compose and hope people enjoy it and get it. – Munjeera 6 months ago
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  • Some necessaries for a good writer: lateral thinking, a clear conscience, the realization that no one is objective. "Remember when you're out there trying to heal the sick that you must always first forgive them." – Tigey 6 months ago
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  • Ironically, I attempted to broach a sort of similar topic, but was asked--and for good reason--to define the term "good." I did not want to use the word "good," but I also did not want readers to become fixated on just the technical aspects of writing, which can be taught. Writing is a subjective experience. How many times have you stated, "I love that book!," to someone else responding, "I just didn't get what all the hype was about." Many times, books that "speak to us," are due to our personal journeys in life. Lastly, let's not forget the greatest writers who were told that they weren't any good, or were rejected countless times!!! – danielle577 6 months ago
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  • I think this topic will spark many subjective answers, but my perspective on this topic is that a "good" writer must be able to communicate their ideas to an audience. There are examples in literature where authors ignore existing grammar rules or traditional conventions, but because their ideas reflect themselves and their community, the work becomes useful and valid for representing a set of ideas. For example, much of Beat literature is pretty much unreadable from a grammatical perspective, but its influence on American youth and counterculture is undeniable.So if I was to further clarify your topic question, I would ask: how can an author ensure their work communicates to an audience and what steps can they take to better reflect their perspective of the world around them?Some potential answers to that question in relation to your original query might include suggestions for how the writer can immerse themselves in a community ("No man is an island"), write in the language of the community, and use that community as the writer's target audience. I think answering the "how-to" part of that question will help get to the psychological aspect you are referring to in your topic question. – Kevin 4 months ago
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