Michel Sabbagh

Michel Sabbagh

Editorial Assistant of Qu Literary Magazine + Sr. Writer for Cathnoquey: The Fractured Isles. Past QA Tester at Bethesda Softworks + Gamasutra/Southern Review of Books Bylines

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Latest Articles

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Moby-Dick And Humankind's Fear Of And Desire To Conquer The Unknown

Between Melville’s description of the color white as one of unsettling nothingness and the meticulous description of whales/whaling that can border on the obsessive (which could mirror Ahab’s mindset), Moby Dick sports a kind of thematic link that emphasizes humankind’s grappling with that which they either can’t/won’t understand or are willing to study if it means being better able to control the unknown. Have any of you gotten the impression that Ahab—in his single-mindedness—stands as a metaphor of sorts for the individual who not only dreads the strange, but also seeks to annihilate/tame it?

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    Latest Comments

    Michel Sabbagh

    Pleasure’s mutual. 🙂

    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
    Michel Sabbagh

    The pilot episode alone nailed the five principles, and under an hour to boot. Toy Story of Terror’s another example of swell storytelling achieved within a lean (heh) runtime.

    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
    Michel Sabbagh

    The pillars I listed aren’t so much rules as they are ways of breaking down narratives and seeing the parts that (don’t) work. These can be especially useful when you’re in an editing/reviewing role.

    It’s challenging (but very rewarding) to whip up a tale that gets all five facets right, and storytelling’s a process of discovery that can take one in heartfelt directions that may not necessarily align with writing dogma/wisdom, so I understand the points you’ve raised. 🙂

    What matters is that you know which guideline you’re following/about to break as you venture further into the word-wrangling process. That way, you can use that knowledge to take your story in fetching and experimental directions.

    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
    Michel Sabbagh

    Literary (and script) editing/reviewing can indeed yield some surprising results and experiences.

    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
    Michel Sabbagh

    You’re right in saying that storytelling can’t be guaranteed a certain level of quality by following specific writing formulas/rules and calling it a day. And in many cases, going against the grain of guidelines can yield idiosyncratic results that make the work of art stand out more, even if the result may not be appealing to everyone. But a story that tries to appeal to everyone risks ending up being special to no one if the writer’s not careful.

    The Pillars of Outstanding Stories