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Ambigous Endings

I’d figure that an analysis on ambiguous ends in literature seems to warrant some serious thought.I’d like somebody to write about the psychology related to an open-ended plot..Movies could do as well.Anime is also an option

  • Do you have specific works in mind? Choosing some might help anchor the topic. – Stephanie M. 4 years ago
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  • Before We Go is a great movie with an ambiguous ending. – Munjeera 4 years ago
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  • Like the ending in Kidnapped or David Copperfield? – RedFlame2000 4 years ago
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  • Looks good under the topic of writing as the discussion could be the value of an ambiguous ending using various examples of how it works in various mediums. – Munjeera 4 years ago
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  • Before We Go is a Chris Evans movie about two people who meet in New York. He is on his way to connect us with the love of his life who has become an old flame and she is deciding to end her marriage. I can't say the ending because it will be a spoiler but the ending is ambiguous. Unusual for a romantic comedy. – Munjeera 4 years ago
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  • An ambiguous ending to a novel will undoubtedly leave open the window to future renditions. Even in a happy-ending scenario, there is potential for reversal of fortune (leading to another compilation). There is always the possibility that the reader massaged the original plot into a flavor consistent to their unique palate; one the author could conceivably exploit into several more chapters, or sequels. An unresolved ending builds the kind of tension and momentum that brings loyal readership back to the watering hole, so to speak. That is not to say that critics won't take notice either, for ambiguity fuels their ire as well. – lofreire 4 years ago
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  • Damn! You beat me to it. I was going to suggest a very similar topic. On a personal note, I rather enjoy ambiguous endings or those that credit the audience with enough intelligence to work things out for themselves. We are all too often given spoon-fed answers that discourage us from thinking...and we are a thinking species after all! – Amyus 4 years ago
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  • Are ambiguous endings sometimes done so as to leave the way open for a sequel? Or it can be a sci-fi device... – JudyPeters 4 years ago
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Is disabling comments on internet articles and videos brave or idiotic?

When online publications release a video or an article that covers a controversial topic or expresses a provocative opinion, more and more frequently the moderators of the website decide to preemptively disable the comments section. Is this a smart idea, given that some topics on more popular websites will inevitably draw internet trolls or similar undesirables to flood comment sections with useless vitriol that overpowers legitimate discussion? Or is this an idiotic action that stifles any chance of legitimate discussion for fear of having to deal with hateful or useless material? Are moderators afraid of being accused of fostering a hateful environment if they allow this material to be presented in their forums? This is especially relevant given that many websites feature a voting system for their comment sections which allow audiences to give relevant comments more visibility based on the opinions of the people actually reading the article or watching the video, thereby allowing audiences to self-regulate what material they choose to engage with.

  • I would suggest being wary of using qualitative terms like "brave" or "idiotic" without strong supporting data (statistics, news headlines, polls, website usage data, etc.). What defines "brave" or "idiotic" is subjective. This feels like it could include a bigger discussion about freedom of speech, censorship, cyber bullying, and hate speech. I would be very interested if this focused on one platform like a case study (YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, 4chan, etc.) because it might be a lot of work to do a broader examination of online commenting. – Eden 2 years ago
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  • If the comments are very/all negative, then you absolutely must disable them. Of course, if the content is disturbing or shouldn't be seen and it causes public outrage, then disabling them seems redundant. However, for something innocent or religious, disabling comments would definitely be necessary. – OkaNaimo0819 1 year ago
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  • Interesting topic! You could possibly explore reasons why disabling comments would be appropriate or argue that it is never appropriate depending on your stance. – Dena Elerian 1 year ago
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  • This is such a relevant, yet interesting topic! Especially with today's internet culture and the prevalence of "cancel culture", it would be interesting to discuss how social accountability versus an intolerant space with no room for growth extends into the realm of hate comments and the action of disabling them. – miagracen 5 months ago
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  • Great topic. I have to wonder, though, how often "legitimate discussion" actually occurs in those online comment sections. – JamesBKelley 2 months ago
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  • If approaching it from the angle of qualitative terms like brave vs. something else, I encourage veering away from "idiotic," as that is an ableist term. – the.liquid.kid 2 months ago
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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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago
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  • An example that could be drawn upon is Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America. – EJSmall 1 year ago
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  • W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn is an interesting read that could tie in will here – Samantha Leersen 10 months ago
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Taken by Sujayweaves (PM) 2 months ago.
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Narrative Distance in Life Writing

Life writing (memoirs, essays, autobiographies and biographies, auto-theory, etc.) is inherently personal in nature. These writings focus on personal stories that can be confronting for the reader to read, AND for the writer to write. They intend to communicate some form of personal, human truth.

But what role does narrative distance play in these works? Does life writing have to be first-person perspective that recounts events exactly as they transpired? Or, can a writer distance themselves from the writing and still achieve the same intimacy of life writing?

A range of texts could be discussed here; texts that approach life writing very differently.

Some examples could include clear-cut autobiographies written in the first-person (of which there are many), or works of fiction where a made-up character represents a real person (semi-autobiographical works, like Jane Eyre or Frost in May). A more out-there example could be cook books — these often express personal stories under the guise of recipes. Travel writing, too, can often be an inadvertent style of writing about the self whilst maintaining some narrative distance.

  • Good topic! If I may, The Essays, of Michel de Montaigne could, perhaps, be a relevant example. Indeed, the goal of Montaigne was to depict himself in such a way every reader could find a bit of himself through the pages. In the preface, he wrote: “I am myself the matter of this book […] Every man has within himself the entire human condition”. Montaigne, under the cover of an autobiographical work, tackles, however, many subjects, whether it is social analysis ("Of Cannibals", for instance) or philosophical thoughts, through references to many ancient thinkers. The fact that it is a rather old book (1570-1592) and a French one, may also stress another aspect of narrative distance. – Gavroche 7 months ago
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Exploring the Nom de Plume

What causes someone to choose a "nom de plume" ("pen name")? While living in the Internet age, most people are completely comfortable with the idea of identifying themselves online with names other than those they were born with (i.e. usernames). When it comes to writers, the Brontë sisters all used male pseudonyms in order for their work to be taken more seriously. J.K. Rowling was encouraged to hide her sex when the Harry Potter series was initially published because it was feared young boys would not read her work otherwise. Later, J.K. Rowling herself disguised her world-famous name with the pseudonym "Robert Galbraith" when she departed from Harry Potter-related works. However, it is not only women who take up a "pen name." Lewis Caroll, Mark Twain, and George Orwell are just some examples of this. Much like a "stage name" can serve to reinvent oneself into a more exciting character than one’s birth name would initially suggest, what are the myriad reasons for which authors choose nom de plumes? What do they seek to change or perhaps maintain? Have the reasons for pen names changed over time? If so, how?

  • Hi, I'm not trying to steal your thunder, but I made a very similar topic suggestion a while back: https://the-artifice.com/whats-in-a-non-de-plume/ Might be worth combining both topic suggestions, as we essentially ask the same questions. – Amyus 8 months ago
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Writing in Isolation during a global pandemic

Amidst a global pandemic, most of us are working from home, and in that context, mental health has become a persistent topic. For writers, daily access to the outside world is an integral part in motivating our creative processes. Under current circumstances where quarantine and isolation is advised, I propose an article that may consider the positive and negative effects that isolation may have in writing as a creative process.

  • A timely topic indeed. I'd suggest adding a section on combating the isolation if and when possible. The obvious answer is, "leave the house," but there are more creative and necessary options during the pandemic, such as taking a virtual museum tour or watching a musical or operatic performance online. In fact, you might profile some platforms where people can do these activities as part of this or another article. – Stephanie M. 9 months ago
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  • Awesome suggestions, it makes sense that the article not only considers the problem but also offer possible solutions to the problem. – Locke 9 months ago
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  • I actually think this topic is so relevant and important to explore during this time. – RheaRG 9 months ago
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  • This is a great topic to discuss. I have currently been writing during quarantine and it is very different and a little difficult. – Raven Kirk 7 months ago
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The Sword of Shannara: Inspiration or Plagiarism

It is natural to be inspired by the works of your favorite author when writing your own story. Needless to say, there are many books whose stories show signs of inspiration from older works leading to a contesting balance between seeking inspiration and plagiarism. One such book that skirts the border between the two involves Terry Brooks’ "The Sword of Shannara" often criticized to have plagiarized Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The book has nevertheless found its share of audience and was a massive success. I propose an article that discusses how Brooks took Tolkien’s fantasy formula and used it to provide major boost to the fantasy genre in the post-Tolkien era.

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    Journalism and the Politics of Character Assassination.

    Analyze how writing techniques are used by journalist on all aspects of the political spectrum to paint politicians in a specific light. Some journalist might play with elements of the truth or take phrasing out of context to go after an opponents reputation. An example of this from the United States of America might be how journalist on the right side of the spectrum go after progressive senators like Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They tend to portray them as communist, but they are actually self-proclaimed democratic socialists. The left in the United States of America also does similar things to the right. The article can also go into the the dangers of avoiding neutrality in political journalism and letting readers come to their own conclusion about political figures. Or, it can dive into the risks of creating a veiled portrayal of neutrality regarding political figures when the writing is not. The writer can also discuss the effects of polarization when it comes to political writing. This topic could be a delicate subject to write about since, for readers in the U.S, it is very close to elections. Nonetheless, it could be a good opportunity for an analysis of journalistic writing.

    • This article would have to be cautious to stick to analysing the writing techniques, and not focus too heavily on the politics (as that is not what The Artifice is for). – Samantha Leersen 9 months ago
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    • I agree. I just wanted to put the topic out there for anyone that can skillfully pull it off, and stick to the writing techniques. I've always felt that political journalistic writing is an interesting niche because it functions to sway discourse in a certain way. I'm not familiar with the writing style enough though to do the analysis. – Passerby 9 months ago
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    • The article just needs to focus on media bias and use examples from both sides. A certain amount of centrism is required but the person who writes this topic should also consider the limitations of the media. Drawing upon the failure of Hillary Clinton to successfully mobilize voters, reveals that negative media coverage can have the opposite of the intended goal. So this topic would have to critique media and its limitations. Does the media coverage even make a difference? Journalists themselves were shocked and dismayed post the 2016 election and there is ample self-reflection among them as to why all their polls were wrong. But were polls incorrect? Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million votes. So regardless of media coverage, voting will be served by the electoral college. There are many limits to how much influence the media has as has been evidenced by American politics. – Munjeera 9 months ago
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    • I don't think it would be necessary to stay neutral or in the center with this article. If you think one side does this more than another, I think it's fair to build it that way. I wouldn't search for an example on the other side for everything you say about one side's behavior. – AveryGrant 9 months ago
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    • I reckon the author should be encouraged to find at least one example of the other side employing character assassination. The author can have their beliefs that one side has a greater tendency for it than another, but neutrality is important when focusing on the writing techniques that journalists use. Otherwise, it would be a political debate that seeks to support the ideology of one side over another. – CharlieSimmons 7 months ago
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