Writing

Latest Articles

Writing
81
Writing
24
Writing
51
Writing
54
Writing
84
Writing
114
Writing
93
Writing
37
Writing
99
Writing
90

Latest Topics

3

Can YA Lit still benefit and be enjoyable to adult readers? Does it need a fresh start?

There tends to be a negative stigma attached to Young Adult literature these days. It’s too cliché, it’s all the same, there too many vampires, angels or oppressing dystopian societies etc etc. And it seems once you’ve passed a certain age you’re looked down on for still reading and enjoying these books. Do you, as an adult, walk down the Young Adult aisle and fear the judging eyes on you from behind? As if they’re silently telling you to grow up? Is this a problem within the genre or people in general? Do you believe that we need a fresh wave of writers to bring a new edge to the idea of Young Adult literature to crack this stigma attached?

  • I completely understand your concern about the stigma surrounding YA. I would be the first to disagree with you and the genre, except that I found that the true value in YA is with the wisdom entrusted within the prose and the imagination. Nothing ever changes in life, the more we progress in time, the more certain things remain constant, is the way I see it. I find myself going back to the tried and true pages of text, and realizing how powerful the messages were, I was just too distracted and inexperienced to make sense of it. YA is at the bottom of my list of books to read, but certainly will remain a vital recourse when I ever hit that road block every writer faces. – lofreire 3 weeks ago
    0
  • YA is going through a trilogy phase for sure. – Munjeera 3 weeks ago
    0
  • There has also been a trend in YA of forced social issues taking precedence over the plot. If these themes are at the forefront, it starts to feel more like a lecture than a narrative. Social issues should happen organically in fiction and leave the reader with enough information to discuss and form their own opinions. – AGMacdonald 3 weeks ago
    0
  • I'm suspicious of the YA designation because so much of the time, the books seem to be pretty similar (not necessarily with plot devices or dystopian view, but in their view of young adulthood as-told-from privileged adulthood). Also, YA is a pretty profitable market, hence the cliches and repetition. The genre designation is very convenient as a marketing and book-sales tool. As for "outgrowing" YA, that's why the publishing industry has a growing interest in the term New Adult, which is a kind of transitional term between YA and Adult fiction -- that might be an interesting place to look to answer this question of stimga. – belindahuang18 5 days ago
    0
2

The benefits of being a writer

Writing is a passion with so many drawbacks- Writers block, constantly thinking of ideas, dealing with rejection and failure. So what makes us continue? There are many reasons, such as wanting to tell an important story, wanting to show commitment and dedication to a hobby and wanting to get published.
For many, its a way to gain self-appreciation and satisfaction. By demonstrating to yourself that you can commit to a task for many months, it’s like the literary equivalent of running a marathon.
For others, it’s about proving a talent to the world. It’s about declaring ‘I’ve got something to say and I’m going to say it’.
Regardless of the limitations of being a writer, the benefits outweigh the negatives.

  • I agree with everything you have said. I also think that we continue to write to express our thoughts and opinions and to jot down our experiences. Some also write as a way to escape from reality, there troubles and worries. It is therapeutic I suppose for some. In regards to your last statement, if you love writing with a passion the benefits will always outweigh the negatives because you love it so much. – claraaa 1 month ago
    3
  • I see the point about all the negative aspects of writing, whether for work or for hobby. I suppose in my case, the human mind has such endless and boundless capacity for creativity that writing is only one way for expression of that creativity, others being dance, song, painting. In the end, the writer is the 'prophet' of what so many people overlook. The writer is not much different than a teacher because a teacher has the motivation and ability to impart valuable words unto the right people. People have been writing things down since the earliest times. My curiosity is constantly piqued by what others create and the form in which it is expressed. – lofreire 3 weeks ago
    1
  • I totally agree with this. I think writing is an art and it is challenging to continue. I sometimes find it discouraging when I am out of ideas or when other people's writing are better than mine. However, what keeps me going is that writing is a way for me to express myself. It also helps me get my thoughts. Another beautiful thing about writing is that it can be kept and you can always go back to it. It almost preserves how you once thought or felt. It is fun to read things you have written several years back and see how you've grown. – birdienumnum17 2 weeks ago
    1
  • I think we all have our own reasons for writing, even if we know we probably won't be the next big thing. Yes, rejection is a toughie and I have enough rejection slips to wallpaper my bathroom (OK, it is a very small bathroom), but my attitude to rejections is chalk it up to experience and keep slogging away regardless. I write as a hobby, to express myself and to explore some of the weird ideas that bubble to the surface from whatever dark corner of my mind they were previously lurking in. For instance, I recently underwent an operation to remove a cancerous growth from my bowel, but my gallows sense of humour kicked in almost as soon as I left the recovery area - because the doctor who operated on me was named Dr.Disney. Honestly, you can't make these things up! A few frantic scribblings later and I've got the beginnings of a black humored comedy sketch that might lead to something...or it'll sit on my hard drive until I find a way to use it. Whatever the case, at least I have a short character study that might well pop up in something else I write. Benefits definitely outweigh the negatives and we write because we need to write in much the same way as a musician, poet, painter or film maker follows their passion. The creative side of humanity is our best feature and it should be nourished in all of us. – Amyus 2 weeks ago
    2
  • All of these comments are exactly what I had in mind- The individual thoughts and experiences of each person are unique and different and this topic can really embody that. It's also refreshing to hear that we have all had moments of rejection and disappointment (and even though most of us try to brush it off and say 'it makes us better writers-which is true- Rejection is AWFUL!). – Courtney 1 week ago
    1
  • I agree with what you have said, along with the notes posted. It is interesting to think about, why writers continue their passion although there are many drawbacks. Most of my pieces of writing are to jot down experiences in a more literary form, however, I completely agree that there are many different reasons why people like to write. But that is like any other form of hobby or career, the reason why people choose them and continue to evolve with them are endless! The benefits definitely outweigh the negatives as a writer. – caitlinm 6 days ago
    0
3
Locked

Does social media enhance or hinder our communication skills?

It could be argued that communication is the central component of human life. It is necessary for every function of society, and verbal communication is what sets us apart from other species on Earth. With advancements in technology, communication has become easier than ever before. A person on the other side of the world can be reached in an instant, with the click of a button. There are however complications with online communications. Implications of messages are sometimes misconceived; there is an absence of gestures, tones and human actions that help translate meaning. The response of social media is to introduce Emojis, which help to counter these absences.

The ease of online communication could be seen to discourage people from participating in real life human interaction. It could be argued that the emergence of online dating positively or negatively impacts romance. Voice your opinion on the matter and answer the question, "Does social media enhance or hinder our communication skills?".

  • Social media has allowed for people to form real life friendships with people they would have never met otherwise. Friendships with people with similar interests which I believe enhances communication skills. – amberhall 4 weeks ago
    0
  • Social media acts as another facet to communication and gives us a wider platform on communication, considering all positives and negatives. – Paris Williment 4 weeks ago
    0
  • I do believe that Social Media does have its place in society but many people are becoming addicted to social media and it is starting to affect relationships and work prospects. – Sazadore 4 weeks ago
    0
  • I acknowledge that there are negatives in communicating so easily and regularly on social media and it is that it can negatively impact our own social skills in everyday environments. However, I think it's important to see the benefits it has for people who lack the skills to communicate as easily as everyone else. People with anxiety, depression and other disorders benefit from it immensely as they can chat with people regularly online. It provides an environment safe and secure enough for them to not feel anxious, yet also provides them with the communication essential for healthy human development. It's a stepping stone for them. – Sidney 3 weeks ago
    0
Taken by Sazadore (PM) 4 weeks ago.
9
Locked

How travel can inspire writing (Both fiction and non-fiction)

When suddenly placed in a new location our brains tend to do funny things. We inhale air we have never tasted, brush our fingers along foreign rock, and bath our eyes in completely new sights. Something about travel bungles our minds. It’s as if we’ve received an electric shock and our neurons have gone nutty, rearranging themselves to create new thought patterns. Of course this doesn’t literally happen but change in environment and routine can cause us to think differently, making new synapses in our brains. Travel can introduce a new perspective, one we’ve never thought of before, or provide fascinating characters that we never would have found from our couches. When we find ourselves somewhere new we tend to pay more attention to everything around us. Our heightened sense of awareness reveals things we might not have noticed if we lived there. Travel can perhaps be described as shock therapy. Removing oneself from an everyday routine can be utterly refreshing, especially for a writer.

  • This is a really cool topic. Maybe to make it a more focused discussion, give some examples of authors who were inspired by places. It is a little broad so giving an example of a book that was inspired by a place or by travel will help. – birdienumnum17 1 month ago
    1
  • I can relate to this. Every time I travel I make sure to bring a fresh notepad and a good stack of pens. Being in a new environment is great for making you feel inspired. – TheK3 1 month ago
    1
  • Without travel, we are prisoners to our own lives. Trapped within our schedules, just another pawn of society. Travel provides an escape to the systematic mundanities of life. – finmb99 1 month ago
    1
  • This sounds like a very fascinating topic. I know from personal experience that travelling has enabled me to think of many ideas for plot, historical settings and character development, and can assist in painting more accurate context for works that are set in other countries and/or time periods. – SophIsticated 4 weeks ago
    1
  • Yes, travelling can make for more interesting stories because you are able to relate to the place better after visiting it. Also if you are creating a fictional place you can still that place as the backdrop to you fictional place. – Sazadore 4 weeks ago
    1
  • Writing freed the mind from the burden of memory, led to development of more rational, and reflective thought, and allowed for communication beyond the limitations of space and time. Next level is accessible due to the development of the Internet: we can combine writing with pictures, animations and sound. – seadspuzic 4 weeks ago
    1
  • I love the idea of this topic. Every time I travel to new places, I scramble to put down notes of everything I encounter - sights, sounds, tastes... There's nothing like being in a new country immersed in another culture to get the creativity flowing, especially when you dig a little deeper and research the history of the places you're going to as this can lead to more interesting stories. – CandiceLocklee 4 weeks ago
    1
  • excellent topic choice, I find travelling has a similar effect on me. Dreams become far more vivid and memorable; due to the amount of new experiences had in the daytime. The constant refreshing of ones surroundings provides a writer with inspiration for creative thought, giving a writer the basis for; a new storey, character or setting. Travelling distorts the senses in a really fascinating way, our eyes see unusual things, we hear different languages constantly, our pallet processes new flavours whilst whiffing pungent odours. I think it often parallels psychedelic drug experiences like LSD, explaining why the effects are known as: 'tripping'. – Iliasbakalla 3 weeks ago
    0
Taken by tarawesson (PM) 3 weeks ago.
3

To what extent did Virginia Woolf's family influence her depiction of families in her novels?

In many of Virginia Woolf’s novels (such as "The Voyage Out", "Night and Day", "Mrs Dalloway", "To the Lighthouse" and "The Years"), the concept of family, and in particular family breakdown, appears. Considering her own life (her parents, brother, and half-sister all died when she was relatively young), does her family influence this portrayal of families? Obviously, one would have to give biographical information about Woolf and a description of the principle families in some of the novels (Mr and Mrs Ramsay in "To the Lighthouse", the Dalloways in "The Voyage Out" and "Mrs Dalloway", etc.)

    7

    What is the appeal of time travel stories?

    Time travel is a frequently revisited topic in both popular and literary fiction. What is the philosophical appeal of time travel? Does it simply speak to our personal regrets or to large global/political/social issues that we wish to undo? Is it egotistical to think that ‘hight sight is twenty-twenty’; that to know the negative outcome of one event/one decision would allow us to course correct and thereby find success? Can humanity (globally or personally) only learn or develop compassion through disaster?

    • I personally think that the appeal of time travel stories lies in our flawed nature as humans. The possibility of reversing/changing the outcome of our own mistakes and/or the wider worlds' is very appealing, as well as egotistical (we get to play the hero). However, the appeal also lies in the unknown i.e., what will the alternative outcome be if I go back in time and ensure Hitler wasn't born? Will there be a better outcome or a worse one? That's just my opinion on the topic though! – Ness 1 month ago
      2
    • I think it is a case of regret. Everyone has defining moments in their lives that determined the course of their life trajectory. In those vulnerable moments of self-doubt, it is only human to wonder about the road less travelled.A few suggestions for revisions:Perhaps "hightsight" could be fixed to read "hindsight." I think this is a great topic but would narrow the focus to an individual's life. Most people may not have the clout to decide world events, with all due respect to our readership.Also, examples like the Arrow and Flash and even Quantico have employed the flashback sequence. Would you want to include the examples you have in mind so the writer of this topic can understand your meaning more clearly? – Munjeera 1 month ago
      2
    • I've always loved time-travel stories. The appeal for me is the idea of not being tied down to any one place and not missing out.The ability to travel anywhere, during any time is the superpower that I've always wanted. There are moments in history that I would love to be apart of. And I have this unquenchable thirst to see space, and other planets and their civilisations.Not to mention, time travel means shirking responsibilities. Not being tied down to anything or anyone.For me, it's simple wanderlust to the extreme extent. – KintaW 1 month ago
      2
    • The underlying message within many time travel stories is to live in the moment and places extreme value in the present. I believe this is what draws us to these stories. We cannot time travel, and the spectacle that is time travel is enticing, but the resolution of the story is most commonly a reminder to cherish time that we have, not to wish back the past or anticipate the future. It is a message that is simple to grasp and easy to promise; I will enjoy every day with no regrets. – GeorgiaParry 4 weeks ago
      1
    • I think this depends largely on the story in question. There are a lot of different takes on time-travel. It would be interesting to try and find certain themes that seem to pop up within the subject most often, and analyze those, rather than the concept of time travel in general. – Ben Woollard 4 weeks ago
      1
    • I believe it is our conciseness of being stuck in a moving chronological belt of time, fixated is what makes much of the 21st century so interested in time travelling. The ability to escape this chain and break its control on us is not only embedded in the liberal thoughts of our society, but in human emotion itself. – chackz 3 weeks ago
      0
    5
    Locked

    Fanfictions - Delusions or Expressions of Admiration?

    Although fanfiction has had a bad reputation in the past (for being strange or ‘weird’), fanfiction allows fans to write stories involving their favourite characters and dwell into their psyche. This article can dwell on the popularity of fanfiction, and express the opinion on whether fanfiction is good or bad.

    • One function of fanfiction that gets overlooked often is that it allows young writers to develop their skills in a community where they can get a lot of feedback - especially with regards to character development. It's a really good way for writers to take an already existing character and write them in an entirely different story while still trying to keep everyone in character (Not everybody succeeds here of course, but it's a good learning exercise). – Grace Maich 2 years ago
      3
    • While it's true that fanfiction can help young writers to develop, it can also lead to a hindrance of creativity. I never did engage in fanfiction communities myself, but several of my friends did and our characters are markedly different. It used to surprise me when I would find their original characters infused with traits, attitudes, actions, etc. of their fanfiction characters, many of which I knew from reading their fanfiction pieces and more often the original novel. I have often wondered if our characters are so radically different in design because my friends who spent large quantities of time with other writers' characters began to...call it absorb...the basic traits, gestures, tones, actions, and ways of thinking from characters they did not create while I (and some of our other creatives) have only my own powers of observation to draw upon as I watch the people I encounter in everyday life. Whether my notion is correct or not is anyone's guess, but it does beg thought. – jennewymore 2 years ago
      1
    • I enjoy reading and writing fan fiction. That being said I often find it troubling when fan fiction delves into the territory of real people. The amount of fan fiction written for One Direction is frightening. These are real people with real personalities that don't become altered due to your wishful thinking. I know I would not want to read a fanfic about myself. It is those types of fan fictions that come across as delusional and slightly creepy.Writing fan fiction based on fictional works is an interesting way to to keep engaged in a fandom. It is also interesting to see how different people interpret different characters since there is no right or wrong way to interpret a fictional being. Certain fandoms have collaborative role playing in the fan fiction realm as well; It keeps people engaged in the fandom. I believe that is an expression of admiration. People are inspired by a world or a character that they want to invest time and energy in exploring that world or character further. I think that is a great compliment to the creators.There is a lot of badly written fan fiction, but there is also a lot of fan fiction that is written with care to the characters or world that they are exploring. Those fan fictions add to a fandom.– LexzieRulz 2 years ago
      2
    • I think something this article could explore is the stereotypes that surround fanfiction. Some people are embarrassed to admit that they write fanfiction because they're afraid that people wil automatically assume that everything they write is like Fifty Shades of Grey. Another thing to consider is that some fanfictions have been successfully published as original work (with some modifications of course). Examples: Fifty Shades of Grey, The Sidhe, Cinder, etc. – VelvetRose 2 years ago
      0
    • Take a look at all the different versions of Harry Potter fanfiction. There's so much! – JennyCardinal 2 months ago
      0
    • For most, it seems to function as a way to explore already developed characters in new scenarios. It can help to be transferred into original fiction through the way that fan fiction writers have to consider what operations or actions live within the boundaries of the already functioning character. Of course some intentionally take the character outside of written or implied canon, but it acts as a way to structure actions around the believability within diameters already set. – talorelien 1 month ago
      0
    Taken by talorelien (PM) 1 month ago.
    1

    I watched you Nae Nae, now what? - Is the lack of lyrics a reflection on the attitudes of today's popular music listeners as a whole?

    Comparison between songs that are more recent and ones that are older throw up a large number of differences in terms of lyrics. One prime difference is that newer songs have an increasingly decreasing (heh, see what I did there?) number of lyrics.
    Examples –
    ‘You a Stupid Hoe’, ‘Turn Down For What’, ‘Now watch me whip, now watch me nae nae’, ‘I know you want me, you know I wan’cha’

    Is this constant reduction in the number of words in a song a reflection on
    a) Our memory – we can’t remember words to songs anymore, or it seems like a waste of time to do so.
    b) Our attention span has dropped so low, that we can’t be bothered to listen to music that isn’t composed of repititive phrases, we can’t be bothered to exert the effort to figure out what longer, more extensive lyrics say.
    c) Just bad taste.

    Is it a combination of all three?
    Is it a different reason altogether?
    Is there a more complex reasoning behind this?

    • I think the simplicity of minimal and shallow lyrics isn't exactly a reflection of our intelligence more so that it's necessary for certain moments. There are several music genres that thrive with complex, poetic lyrics such as Hip-Hop, Alternative and arguably some Pop music and they are highly praised. Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and Kanye West are insanely successful rappers if for nothing else then for the complexity of their wordplay. All of the songs you listed weren't created with the intention of making people come to profound revelations; they are simply dance songs. The only job they have is to get you to shake what your momma gave you and they do it well. – sastephens 8 months ago
      3
    • I agree with sastephens. I think different genres of music are meant to satisfy different drives and relate to different moods. That's why if someone has an eclectic taste in music, he or she can more easily adapt and access a range of different personas than someone with a more limited musical palette. There are certain songs that are meant to be shallow, but incredibly catchy and there are deeply meaningful songs that aren't designed to get burned into listeners' brains via radio overkill. Obviously, there are those instances where songs are both catchy and deep (and it's really terrific when that happens, but not every song has to do that to be a good song). I do agree that there's a trend recently of repetitive, catchphrase-type songs. It may be an attention-span thing as you mention since our tech-obsessed world is dealing with that problem as a whole. I've heard this trend's been happening with movie titles for that very reason. – aprosaicpintofpisces 8 months ago
      2
    • I think its a combination of bad taste and the fact that it will simply make millions of dollars. Those songs are what dominates the charts. They aren't groundbreaking; they are just meant for a night out. And that's fine, but it would be great to get back to songs with more substance. That's just how our culture is right now. The attention span is decreasing. I like to believe that there are still a lot of people who respect and identify with great lyrics. Right now it's the trend but I think people want more depth in a song. – joshmccann 8 months ago
      1