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    Latest Topics

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    Published

    Romanticism and Hippie Culture

    It can be argued that Romanticism has continued to persist past the 1800s and continued on one form or another. With this in mind, it would be interesting to see a comparison between Romanticism and Hippie culture. Is Hippie culture a continuation of Romanticism? What are the similarities and differences between these ideals? How does it show up in literature?

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      Comparing the Differences Between Sherlock and Elemenary

      Sherlock Holmes has had many renditions, but BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary came out about the same time. BBC’s Sherlock takes the stance that Sherlock is a high functioning sociopath while CBS’s Sherlock is a recovering addict. These renditions affect how other characters in the series were represented as well as how they interact with him. How do these differences compare to the books and do both versions show a strong representation of a version of Sherlock Holmes in their own right?

      • Interesting topic however I would urge the writer to tread carefully. When examining multiple editions and origin stories things can get messy. A focal point (perhaps characteristics all the renditions share? what is it that makes Sherlock "Sherlock" ?) is very important to execute this successfully. – Mela 9 months ago
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      • You've misspelled elementary in the title. – Tigey 9 months ago
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      How is Japanese Horror (J-Horror) Distinct from Other Horror Genres?

      Analyze and discuss how j-horror is distinct from other genres of horror, particularly its defining characteristics and notable directors or narratives (i.e. What makes them notable, to you as a viewer and the overall field?) Discuss its historical and recent developments. Have there been any emergent prominent themes? Compare it to remakes.

      • I believe that Japanese Horror is the most scariest horror there can be. I think the gruesome detail and illogical scare factor (i.e. monster, spirit, ...) is what characterizes the way horror is brought in Japanese Horror. – naturalbeautyqueen 1 year ago
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      7
      Published

      How to maintain your motivation to write

      The struggle with motivation and focus can be helped by habit. I’m a fan of two steps, which has worked well for me, although of course everybody’s different.

      1. Have some sort of master plan: an outline, a flowchart, a spreadsheet, a detailed synopsis, an index card for each scene, or whatever other organizational method works for you. Know the whole story before you begin writing; most novels that remain incomplete are that way because the writer started without knowing where he was going and how to get there. For a first novel, a plan is vital. Maybe you can write your second without one, but first you need to know you can finish a work that big.

      2. Once your whole story is planned out, try the BIC method. That’s your butt in chair for a set amount of time every day, minimum 30 minutes. (An hour or more is better. You want to write this novel or not?) During BIC time you have two options, and only two. You may write, or you may not write. You can’t be online, have the TV on in the background, read or send texts or instant messages, play a computer game, do writing-related research, read what you’ve already written, adjust your outline, eat, smoke, or anything else. Write or don’t, period. (Those who give themselves BIC of more than an hour can schedule a break if they must have one–but it doesn’t count as part of the BIC time.) If others in the household might disturb you, you need to find a way to make that not happen, like doing it while they’re at work or school, asleep, or take your BIC time at the library or a coffeehouse. Most days, you’ll write. On the best days, you’ll ‘catch fire’ and go beyond your assigned time, which is great. However, you can’t amass credit. The next day, you still owe the same amount of BIC time as every other day.

      Teaching yourself to write even when it doesn’t come easily or you don’t feel like it is part of the road to being a professional writer whose work other people pay to see.

      • If someone wrote about this topic, I'd definitely read it. There are a lot of different methods out there. I haven't heard of the BIC before, but the strategies I'm familiar with are very similar. Having a routine is crucial. Writing at the same time each day for a set duration of time ensures that you write everyday. Listening to music also helps me concentrate, especially if the music fits the mood of the piece I'm working on. Maybe also setting aside time to edit your work and do research is good idea. Every few days or so I'll reread what I've written just to make sure I don't have any glaring errors or things I can easily fix before continuing on. – S.A. Takacs 2 years ago
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      • I love the idea of this topic. I would definitely read it.It could also be interesting to do some research and add some tips/suggestions from successful authors on what they do to combat writer's block and maintain motivation. – bookworm2g9 2 years ago
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      • I like the idea that you are presenting, You also have made some important suggestions. Motivation at the same time is a very personal matter and has to be catered to individual needs and talent. While I enjoy guidebooks or foundation books that provides instructions on successful writing, often it is difficult to follow all the rules. Perhaps one point that this article could address is how to successfully use such guides. – Arazoo Ferozan 1 year ago
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      • I am currently reading "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation" by Stephen Johnson. In Chapter 3, Johnson explores how some ideas are shaped over the course of generations and pieced together from the findings of different individuals. He calls this process the "slow hunch." Here is a sample of the text: “Keeping a slow hunch alive poses challenges on multiple scales. For starters, you have to preserve the hunch in your own memory, in the dense network of your neurons. Most slow hunches never last long enough to turn into something useful, because they pass in and out of our memory too quickly, precisely because they possess a certain murkiness. You get a feeling that there’s an interesting avenue to explore, a problem that might someday lead you to a solution, but then you get distracted by more pressing matters and the hunch disappears. So part of the secret of hunch cultivation is simple: write everything down." – DoultonSchweizer 1 year ago
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      • Ideally there are some characters that come to life and just need to be written. Others stories write themselves. I always wait for it and never forget to thank my muse. – Munjeera 1 year ago
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      • Butt in Chair is excellent! Truly, the story isn't going to write itself, and instead of planning what you're going to do the next time you write, just start writing! Don't allow yourself to procrastinate! – gretawhipple 1 year ago
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      • I'm fascinated by anything to do with writers' processes, writers' habits and foibles. I'd read this. – J.P. Shiel 1 year ago
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      • Definitely focusing on the differences between intrinsic / extrinsic motivation would be a good angle for the story. You can only force yourself to write in a vacuum for so long, you need others to push you along. – MCSWM 1 year ago
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      3
      Published

      The Obscure Shakespeare

      Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth – these plays could be considered the "Holy Trinity" for Shakespeare in academia; these plays seem to be the ones that are introduced to students most often and at the earliest ages (with an occasional Othello or King Lear thrown into the mix).

      Why are these three plays seemingly the most prevalent in English classes? Some of the more "obscure" Shakespeare plays are, arguably, just as good for both reading and teaching as the aforementioned ones. Consider Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Coriolanus, or the history plays (Richard/Henry) and how they would fare as a student’s first exposure to Shakespeare, as opposed to Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth.

      • Although I would argue that Midsummer Nights Dream is up there as well as the most-often-done comedy. I think it would be interesting to ask how looking at more obscure plays would introduce new/different/more interesting aspects of Shakespeare. – Francesca Turauskis 2 years ago
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      • I'm not against first exposure to the "classic" Shakespeare choices that you mention, but I do agree that exposure to a comedic Shakespearean play would be more interesting and entertaining for newbies. I'll always love a good Hamlet in the traditional style or a basic Macbeth (ala Judy Densch as Lady Macbeth--all actors and set in full black, very sparse set, etc.) in which the language and beauty of the story can shine through without distraction. But they are heavy and violent, and some of the comedies are so irreverent and funny that they might help younger audiences appreciate the Bard more readily. This is a very interesting topic to me; I'd like to see how people explore the ideas. – TheatreLife24 2 years ago
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      • Never thought of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing as 'obscure' - I studied both of them before touching Macbeth. Obscurity for Shakespeare ought to be more of a question of going against type, or looking at his early material. – JekoJeko 1 year ago
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      • A lot of it has to do with the verse. Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night's Dream are usually the first Shakespearean plays to which middle/high school students are introduced (I disagree that Hamlet and Macbeth are the first). These plays also are written in much simpler iambic pentameter than his later works; as he developed as a playwright, the complexity of his verse increased. Plots also got more complex and convoluted; R&J and Midsummer are very easy to read and understand; additionally, the protagonists in these two plays are closer in age to teens, as opposed to Hamlet or Much Ado About Nothing (men and women in their late 20s/early 30s), and so are their love triangles and juvenile understanding of love. – Katheryn 1 year ago
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      The Power of Modern Children's Cartoons

      Recent animated shows airing mainly on The Disney Channel and Cartoon Network have established quite a large following among high school and college students. Why is this? Can it be said that recent cartoons initially targeted at children have taken on deeper meanings beyond young entertainment, while teaching some moral values along the way? With shows like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden Wall attracting a more mature audience than probably anticipated, what does this reveal about the nature of these cartoons.

      • The power of previous children's cartoons on viewers of the past could also be an interesting topic, though not the era of the 80's or 90's but maybe during WWII? – smarrie 2 years ago
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      Beowulf and the Big Screen - Modern Adaptations of Medieval Works

      One of the biggest reasons why the most recent Beowulf movie (2007) was so disappointing to some viewers is because it deviated too much from the original text, mainly in regards to Grendel’s mother and the circumstances of Beowulf’s death.

      Is it important for modern adaptations of medieval works in film to be true to the text? How much liberty can/should be taken with a text before it "goes too far" and loses the original flavor of the work? Does this liberty affect how people view the original text, and is this an important thing to consider when making such a film?

      • This is a very subjective topic, and I think the answer lies in the quality of the adaptation rather than its trueness to the original work. A faithful adaptation appeals to those who love the original, but a remake that deviates from its source can keep hackneyed stories interesting throughout the years. Consider Shakespeare: there's an abundance of successful adaptations of Shakespeare's many plays, both traditional and creative. The more traditional 1968 version of Romeo & Juliet was highly successful, as was Baz Lurhman's ultra-modernized 1996 version. Whichever direction is taken, an adaptation's success relies on the same thing as any other film, such as good acting, good cinematography, etcetera. Although Beowulf is admittedly an extremely difficult text to bring to the screen, I think the 2007 version of Beowulf failed because of reasons beyond plot deviation (I'm not a filmmaker, but the acting and CGI are among the many points criticized in that version). That said, the Beowulf text has remained an untarnished classic. A classic text stands on its own merits, regardless of whatever adaptations are made. – NotVanHooten 2 years ago
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      What makes someone a film snob?

      "A person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes."

      I have no problem with this definition but it does raise a question.

      Primarily, how important is it that the person believes themselves to be an expert vs actually being an expert in film?

      From the little definitions of "snob" that I looked up, a common element is the superficiality of differences that the snob sees and looks downward at the person just because of the superficial difference that isn’t an indicator of any intelligence.

      • The term "film snob" sounds like it could fall under the same rank as "hipster." Both terms change in meaning so often with whatever material is designated as pretentious for the moment. It's more of an attempt to simply classify someone's arrogance (towards film in this case) when arrogance can happen anywhere without need for its own terminology. – dsoumilas 2 years ago
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      • If you look up "Cinema Snob" his entire show is a parody on this very subject and quite intelligent on the ridiculous notion of snobs. – smartstooge 2 years ago
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      • To add an interesting angle, I would tackle the question of whether someone can be a justified film snob. I mean, we all know That Guy who is a obnoxiously snobbish about their subject (film or otherwise), and we can all agree that these people need to get off their high horses and admit that they are not the pinnacle of good taste. But then, there's other snobs whose opinions we respect so much that we call them "critics" instead. These are the interesting snobs, because their opinions are often taken seriously and are, to some extent, justified. A film critic has seen far more movies than I'm ever likely to watch, and has watched them with a critical eye that I don't often use. Is there, then, some justification to his pretensions of good taste above that of us plebeians? To what extent can objective quality be measured anyway? – OddballGentleman 2 years ago
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