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Latest Topics

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Modern Literary Language

I’m really interested in the evolution of language across literary movements. We saw the quickening and shortening of literary language during the Beat era, and I’d argue the lengthening of language in the decades before. How are we writing today? What will become of modern-day style? I think it’s interesting to try and interpret our tendencies in real-time, rather than decades after they’ve happened. Have we even further shortened words/sentences as a result of the fast-paced digital moment we live in? Is there a niche that has done the opposite (ie. tend toward longer, flowing sentences as a kind of reaction to memes and media)? Have we changed the way we speak and write in some other fundamental way?

  • I think this is a really interesting topic to explore. Modern language is definitely interesting, though I think an article on this topic would definitely need to look at where we have come from. Explore (if only briefly) the history of the development of the English language, earlier eras/movements that saw the way we use language change dramatically. It is easier to see change retrospectively than while it is occurring, so having some previous point of reference would help with accessibility to this topic. Also - clearly defining what is considered 'modern' is crucial. – leersens 1 month ago
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  • I would be interested from the stand point of modern scientific writing and if it does/doesn't translate well into the broader readership. Are there any alternatives? Ways and forms that will make it more readily applied and enacted into policy etc? How can scientists (and hopefully audiences as well) change to accomodate space within the dearth of literature available for consumption today? – DrBax 1 month ago
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Taken by MaeveM (PM) 1 month ago.
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How can writing help with well-being and self development?

Writing is a beautiful tool used in our day to day lives. Everyone has thoughts piling up in their mind everyday. Sometimes we don’t even notice it. Personal well-being is very important for living a fulfilling life. A huge part of having a healthy well-being is emotions. How should we handle our emotions? Using the tool of writing is a great way to express your emotions on paper and help your thought process. Writing is a great way to improve your self development and get through tough times in life. Writing out how you are feeling is a good thing to practice everyday even if you’re not a writer. Self-reflection is like being your own therapist in hard times throughout life.

  • This is a really wonderful topic. Perhaps you can make it more a discussion topic by adding how writing out emotions continues to well being. Or opening it up to how writing emotions contributes to emotional well being and awareness. Or even journaling in therapy or in therapeutic process? Perhaps different methods of journaling ( just writing words, creative writing, narratives, story telling etc?) – birdienumnum17 2 months ago
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Taken by nicolemadison (PM) 2 months ago.
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Fan Fiction & LGBT Expression

Last week, Archive of Our Own (AO3), a major fanfiction archive and network, won the Hugo award for Best Related Work, an award never before given to a website or unpublished fan work. Fan fiction is the genre that comprises unpublished, written fan works based on other media, such as comics, television, film, and books. Perhaps because it is written by "amateurs" or because it is unpublished, fan fiction has often been scoffed at as unprofessional or self-indulgent. But for fans, fan fiction can be a way of reshaping popular media to reflect their identities. Members of the LGBT community in particular often criticize popular media for lacking compelling narratives surrounding LGBT themes, and when left unsatisfied, many fans turn to fanfiction to see themselves in the media they otherwise enjoy.

How does fanfiction fill a void in representation for LGBT fans? What role does fanfiction serve in building and maintaining a fanbase, if any? And what happens when any particular piece of media garners a notable LGBT fan fiction fanbase? What transformative properties do LGBT fan works enact upon media, and what are the positive and negative consequences?

  • Fanfiction has always been a form of escape and wish-fulfillment. For some people, that may be making slight changes to stories; for others, it could be as large as changing a character's identity. Either way, it is a safe space to gather with a community of writers similar to you, and, if you already feel alienated because you are a part of a marginalized community, it can provide a support system you may not be able to find as easily elsewhere.This is a very interesting topic and one I hope someone will pick up. It is very complex and not something I can explain readily in a comment, but definitely one worth exploring. – fhlloyd 10 months ago
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  • Fanfiction is amazing. It gives both writers and readers the catharsis of a world in which they/their OC can interact with beloved people and characters. It's also a nice way of making oneself into someone they wish to be. I agree both with your "reshaping popular media" comment, as well as fhlloyd's comment regarding alienation and support systems. Despite being borne of one person's fantasies, others may find content relatable and enjoyable. – SmileQueenCross 10 months ago
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  • It'd be great to address all the shame around writing and reading fan fiction. There's a lot of it – espadaccini 4 months ago
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What makes a 'good' story?

The art and craft of storytelling isn’t something that is ‘known’ but something a writer becomes to learn, with practice. However, stories (as a whole) can be extremely subjective; not every story/narrative is going to be loved by every reader. So: what makes a story ‘great’? What elements of traditional storytelling constitute a good story? Are authors who attempt to undermine these traditions ‘good’ storytellers?

  • This is a good start! You really ought to find some examples of some 'great' stories and see what threads may exist between them. Likewise, you could also find some bad ones and see what common mistakes they made. – majorlariviere 6 months ago
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  • It's all subjective, in the end, I agree. Some 'great' stories may have similar characteristics, or what is generally accepted and praised by the readers. In some cases it may be the name attached to it, making it a 'classic' so, therefore, it's seen as great, but I think what makes a good story is a sense of perspective, environment, description, and a well thought out idea. No matter the genre, the story needs heart. – sarahjae 6 months ago
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  • Depending on the genre and demographic you are trying to reach. A "great" story includes a sense of authenticity and complexity within each character. This helps us as readers to understand their motives, relate to their actions and witness growth within the story itself. – Key 4 months ago
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  • I think this is a very interesting topic. Writing is definitely subjective can people have different likes and dislikes. One person might love a story while the other is just uninterested. I think what makes a good story is making raw connections within simple things. It's about being able to relate to different topics. A story should have unique characters with quirky traits. It should ahem conflict and challenges. It's not about how intense a story is, it's about the deeper meaning behind simple things. – sarahandrosoff 2 months ago
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Flashblacks and flashforwards in fiction - how useful/necessary are they? When does too much become

The use of flashbacks and flashforwards is a controversial subject among writers and writing advice pages. Some encourage flashbacks/flashforwards, while others encourage to avoid (especially if they bogg the narrative down or doesn’t contribute anything to the overall plot). How does this criticism and in depth understanding of this literary device assist writers in improving their craft? How does this affect the way writers read/analyse flashbacks and flashforwards in fiction?

*Two novel’s that could be discussed in detail is "A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan and "Time’s Arrow" by Martin Amis.

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    Boku no Hero Academia: The evolution of Superheroes

    Boku no Hero Academia (BnHK) is an anime series that has been rising in popularity over the years in Japan as well as with the Western audience. Among the recent slew of movies and entertainment based around superheroes, Boku no Hero Academia is no different. This follows a current trend in the evolution and redesigning of superheroes’ past and present. There are various similarities and identifiable inspirations that the author of BnHK has taken to flesh his characters, and yet there is a unique charm to one of the series’ protagonists: All Might that carries forward to other characters in the series and makes it truly unique. All Might is very much the Superman of the series, and yet there is something about his character that makes him far more evolved and endearing than the big boy scout. How does this correlate to the current perspective and revision of the modern superhero?

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      The Importance of Travelling to Creative Writing

      Analyse the importance of travelling to experience other cultures on the creative writing process (either your own experience or an author you are familiar with).

      • I think it would be good to include the aspect of travel as not necessarily only the aspect of exploring other countries and cultures, but to use 'travel' as a metaphor for stepping outside of our comfort or familiarity zone even in everyday life, and thereby creating more depth and experience to draw upon in our writing. – MonicaGrant 1 year ago
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      • Stepping outside of the world you know and into the unknown or the other worlds we’ve only read about is essential to unclogging writer’s block. As MonicaGrant said it’s also about getting out of your comfort zone, mentally. Traveling allows you to open up to these new spaces in your mind. It gives you new perspectives and issues to expand upon. Traveling gives you the opportunity to tell the people’s story of them that may not have a voice. – Jailel 1 year ago
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      • I agree with the sentiment that "travel" us a metaphor for stepping outside of one's comfort zone. Furthermore, an author travelling and exploring the unknown lends proper authenticity in regards to escapism, a trait that so many, if not all creative pieces, aim to have readers experience. – TahliaEve 12 months ago
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      • I'm wondering if this relationship might be more reciprocal than the suggested topic allows. What if creative writing is what encourages people to travel? – kelseyodegreef 12 months ago
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      • I definitely like this idea as I think many on this site could relate to the ideas expressed and would be interested to hear another's input. Especially when analyzed through the work of a few great authors of the past. – RJSTEELE 7 months ago
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      • Travelling I always feel can be taken both from a figurative and literal perspective as what one does in promoting their individual growth. The individual experiences of every writer play significant role in how their works turn out, and as such exploring not only the literal notion of traveling from one place to another, but also the mental traveling one endures when dealing with day to day life would be interesting for discussion. – ajaymanuel 7 months ago
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      • An example that could be drawn upon is Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America. – EJSmall 5 months ago
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      Taken by nsafwat (PM) 1 month ago.
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      Is Print Media Beyond Saving?

      As the number of digital news sources rise, the number of print media consumers falls. Many believe that the death of print is inevitable since the generations that are accustom to print will eventually die out. Do you think younger generations will keep print alive? Is it really worth saving?

      • I think it will stay around as a novelty, especially since we can't keep the aesthetic of a bookshelf to display all our favorite works with an e-book for each lol I hope it stays around in some form but it's hard to say. – Slaidey 1 year ago
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      • That's a tough question to answer. I do think there is something irreplaceable about being able to physically hold something (such as a print book) that online sources just can't give you. At the same time, online sources are more accessible, reach a larger audience, are cheaper than print, and can be taken anywhere as long as you have digital access. I don't think print media will go away completely, but as it becomes more "outdated" I think it will become more of a collector's item like vinyl records - not used as often, but something people like to hold on to as a work of art. – fhlloyd 1 year ago
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      • A printer technician is working for his or her expertise in maintaining the proper operation of pressure equipment in a commercial facility. These people are part of a company's maintenance department and usually report all manager's instructions and follow them. These printer technicians often have to undergo professional training to familiarize themselves with the company's operations. – chrissamson 8 months ago
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      • The term or expression "print media" seems quite broad addressing daily newspapers as well as books and therefore book stores. Too broad a term makes it difficult to focus on specifics, which I think is needed to address this issue in a thoughtful way. – Joseph Cernik 8 months ago
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      • Terrifying question to anyone who loves literature/reading, but a good one. I think it'll stay around yes, but with time it'll most likely make a shift to a "vintage" sort of aesthetic rather than what it is today. I think it'll be a large aspect of any reader's life regardless because well having the physical book is different than an e-book, but when it comes to industry, it'll definitely change. There is a Forbes article titled "The Barnes and Nobles Buyout: A Godsend For Book Readers And Investors" where it talks about B&N barely being saved from bankruptcy. It's definitely a frightening time for the publishing industry indeed. – Scharina 8 months ago
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      • Publishers Weekly records that print sales remain strong. Have you watched CNN recently? Do those commentators and interviewees sitting in front of their bookshelves at home really read those books, or are they a stage set like the one "Owl Eyes" discovers in Jay Gatsby's "library" in The Great Gatsby? As Mr. Cernik points out here, "print media" is a large category that takes in many forms. The history of the book suggests that the book will remain around for quite some time. – rockandrollbob 2 months ago
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