Books and magazines have been outlets for creative expression since printing presses made them viable options for creative production. Today, though, the magazine industry seems straddled over digital and print options—and after the editions are printed, they are slowly extinguished in a swirl of ephemeral media (print letters, circulars, magazines), while books re-circulate in libraries, used bookstores, and personal collections.
Is it fair and accurate to say that books hold more enduring value than magazines? If so, why do books hold their value more so than magazines? If a book held the exact same content as a magazine, would its life cycle be different? Is the fate of these publications dictated by their binding and paper type, or are there cultural undertones that determine if these media flourish?
There are surely many ways that one could approach this topic -- historically, materially, economically, reception studies, seriality studies, gender studies, etc. -- but for the sake of a Helpful Note, I will comment on only one dimension of the issue: for roughly the first two hundred years of the existence of "the novel" as a distinct literary genre, the vast majority of novels were originally published serially in magazines. I'm not sure if this factor simplifies or complicates your original query, but it offers tangible cases with which we might respond to your "If a book held the exact same content as a magazine" hypothetical, since the complete works of Charles Dickens (for example) can be described as being (more or less) identical to content that initially appeared in magazines. What this essentially tells us is that the "book-magazine dichotomy" began simply as a difference in media, whereby the connotations of them emblematizing key differences in content/form/genre came later. For me, this brings to mind two follow-up questions: 1) Would the novels of Dickens have been able to achieve the degree popularity of popularity they went on to enjoy if they had never been decoupled from the material vessel of magazine pages and republished as autonomous books? 2) Given that novels today are seldom published initially in magazines, what factors lead to the separation of content/form/genre that we now associate with the two variants of print media, and how has the concretization of those associations impacted our subsequent expectations and/or beliefs about each medium's limits and potential? – ProtoCanon10 months ago
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. – MonicaGrant5 years ago
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. – Jailel4 years ago
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. – TahliaEve4 years ago
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? – kelseyodegreef4 years ago
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. – RJSTEELE4 years ago
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. – ajaymanuel4 years ago
An example that could be drawn upon is Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America. – EJSmall4 years ago
W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn is an interesting read that could tie in will here – Samantha Leersen3 years ago
Travel de-centers our way of thought for reasons that startle, astound, confuse, intrigue, and all of the above. This happens because we don't know how we are meant to "feel" or "think" in a place that is culturally distinct from our own. In short, our way of life is being challenged, and we feel the need to confront the new in order to re-center ourselves. – JuanGomez2 years ago
From a literal sense, actually traveling to locations, especially those that enjoy a culture much different from our own, is enlightening: both on an intellectual level and one of pure pleasure, experiencing the vernacular within language, architecture and geographical differences, experienced in both plein-air and urban landscapes, together are catalysts (or persuasive elements) vital for the creative thinking. Though we have the means to travel through virtual conduits, these fantastical journeys can only, barely prick, our inner emotions, desires and social consciousness of the world around us: the virtual experience feeds only the mind, but only reality can be prick our souls. Lance A. Lewin – Fine Art Photographer/Instructor/Lecturer
– LanceLewin2 years ago
Writing about other cultures without not visiting the related destinations is the same as describing the taste of food if you haven't tried it. Travelling is a must, otherwise, it's just work based on theories. – Christof Claude11 months ago
The cultural differences would certainly stand out and would be addressed. But, with culture, there is so much that picking and choosing what to address becomes the issue. – Joseph Cernik11 months ago
traveling is what actually encourages people to write an example would be 'the happiness of pursuit 'by chris Guillebeau-fanlove – FANLOVE11 months ago
An analysis of how disney characters have changed over time. Describing the differences in the characters and plotlines of the old disney as it started to how it is today. Figuring out why these changes have happened or how they benefited disney.
It is still an extremely broad and ambitious topic. Revising a century of cinematic production of such a gigantic company as Disney just to see what changes occurred is unrealistic and even pointless for a single article. What exactly do you want to achieve? Focus on a cartoon, a franchise, a specific character, a genre maybe. Limit the time frame; suggest an original starting point to initiate the comparison; propose an innovative an doable idea and a clear objective. – T. Palomino12 months ago
Interesting topic! Besides looking at the films and plot lines within them, exploring the changing film processes and evolving technology used to create films would also be helpful – Anna Samson11 months ago
A good topic, it probably needs to be narrowed. In addition, whoever writes on this might address what might have brought about changes (marketing or public attitudes). – Joseph Cernik11 months ago
This topic has a lot of potential and many directions it could be taken in! There's a lot of opportunity for author interpretation here, though I agree that narrowing the approach a bit might be helpful. Perhaps one could focus on the evolution of themes specifically? What messages has Disney left in the past, and what ideals are they trying to shed greater light on? How has this shifted the morals that Disney's storytelling now rests on? (The evolution of the "Disney Princess" image especially provides a pretty deep well for possible examples). – mmclaughlin10211 months ago
Countless famous writers– Maya Angelou, Kerouac, Victor Hugo– have been documented as having strange writing rituals that jumpstarted their creativity. Angelou only wrote in motels, Victor Hugo wrote naked… the list goes on. What were the strangest rituals in the history of the greats? What are some rituals proven to work? How should writers looking for structure embrace the practice of rituals before writing?
Provide an overview of what’s wacky, what’s working, and what’s downright weird.
This is fine. But if someone decides to write an article about this topic, I would like to see more than just a list of writers and their eccentricities. The author will need to work with serious and reliable sources because there are many rumors out there about “rituals of writing” that are just plain lies. There are scholars who occupy a big portion of their research in debunking these rumors. The author of the potential article will also need to provide with a thorough analysis that expresses a reasoned and substantiated position about the subject. Otherwise we can just google the subject and be done with it. – T. Palomino1 year ago
This subject is an exciting topic; perhaps the author might mention some negative aspects of either having rituals or not having them. Another point would be giving examples of significant routines involved in writing and how these improve or hinder creativity. Also, the author might provide evidence of writing rituals that improved the author's work and others that caused writer's block. – Richard1 year ago
Excellent look at different sources, like writing rituals, I think you can reimagine a different landscape – mfolau181 year ago
I think every writer is different and it takes time to really hammer down their own person writing ritual. Every writer is different and no two writing ritual is the same, that's what makes writing so brilliant, individuality breeds new ideas which in turn breed new stories. – MichaelQualishchefski1 year ago
Interesting, but broad, and perhaps problematic considering that what's strange or wacky to one writer or layperson might be completely "normal" to the next (whatever that word means). I'm more concerned, too, that you might run into a lot of overlap. For instance, a lot of writers today have the same advice (write at the same time every day, make yourself sit your butt in the chair, stop in the middle of a sentence and come back). Perhaps you could expand from writing rituals to specific advice for specific genres, or something of that nature? Or perhaps you could focus on writers from different periods, and make a case for how the writing process has evolved from say, the twentieth century to now? – Stephanie M.1 year ago
Artists in various disciplines sometimes comment on the process of working from an initial idea toward published versions of their works. For those learning in the arts, one powerful message within such commentary is the general commonality and value of leaning into a practice of improvement over time through successive revisions of a work. This could be contrasted against the notion some students have that great works emerge relatively whole and complete most of the time.
The author of this article could review the revision practices of various established artists, comparing their similarities and differences. The article could restrict itself to a single discipline (e.g. a certain type of writing), or could take a multi-disciplinary view.
This topic is an excellent article for arts university students and creative entrepreneurs.
Perhaps the revision practices of artists might go in the direction of the opinions of artists and give examples of the real-life processes of different artists. The author might develop more ideas around the practices of various artists. – Richard1 year ago
Great topic. I think this article would be well paired with an analysis of how technological innovations, such as those in recording, have ingrained this idea of 'easy perfection' - for example, in the realm of classical music, we are now far less accustomed to hearing the natural mistakes and slips that occur in live performances, simply because most of our interaction with composed music is through perfect, edited, perfected takes. – gracejjohnson1 year ago
Great topic! I think extending it as a multidisciplinary article would be very enjoyable and informative to read. It could not only explore different disciplines but also different mediums (unless that is what you meant and I misunderstood) – Anna Samson1 year ago
There’s a lot of time travel in fiction and many times, it makes no sense. Sometimes, the nonsensity is a strength, other times a weakness. Examples of media that use this trope (not necessarily have to be used) are Steins;Gate, Harry Potter and the PoA and of course, Avengers: Engame and Back to the Future. This topic should explore when time travel is done right, what constitutes it being done right in the writer’s opinion, and of course, delve into the types of time travel (multiverse, paradox and time loop), and whether it’s a good idea for fiction to use it.
Perhaps a good idea would be to examine how differently this trope is used in different medias, whether TV or film.
Lovely topic, but perhaps too broad. Maybe just focus on one or two examples of time travel, or contrast a successful and unsuccessful example? – Stephanie M.2 years ago
The film 'The Butterfly Effect' is a great experience, essentially saying that you can't change the past to end up with the happy ending that you want. It says some other things, but just watch the film. I also like the way the film '12 Monkeys' does it. If someone wrote this article, they they have to decide what is 'correct'. I suppose I lean towards what does current theoretical physics allow/say is correct? – heath2 years ago
Assuming that the "nonsensity" is perceived from a physics perspective, it is understandable, and it is also the reason spectators have so many problems understanding time travel in fiction. It hasn't even been understood in real life through science. Would it be a more useful approach to see time travel in fiction through the lens of philosophy rather than physics? – T. Palomino1 year ago
Characters that present as villainous at first and nobly heroic nearing the end, have always fascinated audiences. Zuko from Avatar The Last Airbender, presents as a particularly striking example of this. Here we have a young teenager who just fills an antagonist role so well. He constantly is hunting Aang and company in the hopes to restore his honour. As the story progresses however, through various trials, tribulations, self-reflection, and personal development, he ultimately finds his own honour in helping the Avatar. Eleanor from the show The Good Place has a similar arc where self-development, understanding, and personal growth prove key to her redemption.
One can argue that Snape in Harry Potter doesn’t quite follow this redemption arc, and while many fans think his redemption proves just as valid, a case can be made against it. Snape arguably doesn’t make any effort in his own redemption, and his love for Lily and grand reveal that ‘he was actually one of the good guys all along’ just doesn’t seem to offer that same ‘satisfaction’ for lack of a better word as the other redemption arcs previously mentioned so much as it seems to play more into the role of a plot twist than a redemption arc. We don’t see the same focus on growth and becoming a better person here.
This begs the question- what makes a good or bad redemption arc and what differentiates a redemption arc from a plot twist?
Interesting idea! Redemptions are very interesting! I would just remove your thoughts from the topic before it will be approved. – Sean Gadus2 years ago
I'd actually be happy to write this once my pending piece has been approved (though I don't know Eleanor so mmight replace her with someone else.) I approved this topic but I feel it's better to remove your personal feelings. – Adnan Bey2 years ago
I feel like a "redemption arc" is always kind of in the eye of the beholder, especially if we're talking about characters who aren't made to be seen as purely wicked. If a character is a full-blown villain, then it's easy to pinpoint if or when they stop doing purely villainous things. On the other hand, if a character makes some questionable decisions that don't cross the line into outright evil, then different people will have different opinions about how much growth is necessary before the characters "prove" they're no longer as bad as they were to start with. I also feel as though it's harder with longer-running series that span several years (like the Harry Potter franchise) because it's so hard to keep characters consistent for all that time. A character might advance a little, then backslide, several times over the years, which makes it harder to track their growth. – Debs1 year ago
I recommend comparing the fates of the characters after their redemption. So, so often, the bad guys who do a Heel-Face Turn end up dying, even sacrificing themselves: Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Rumplestiltskin, Snape - heck, even Eleanor Shellstrop is dead at the end of her story, so none of her future good deeds will positively impact the living world, they'll only impact her friends who are also dead! One is left wondering, what's the point of a redemption arc if the villain-turned-good person dies? – noahspud1 year ago
I'd be interesting in reading this, I've gotten burned out on redemption arcs in media. – SunnyAgo1 year ago
Something valuable about a writer is their ability to tell complex, unique stories, some of which involve horrific plots, traumatic events, etc. Is there ever a point when writing an experience an author does not know becomes insensitive, doing that experience injustice? For example, take the book Little Bee. A white man wrote about a Black girl immigrating to England all on her own. The story was beautifully told, but was it his to tell? How does one define what makes it okay and what doesn’t? If he told the story accurately enough, in terms of the experience of being an immigrant, is it okay? Or does the fact that he is a white man automatically make the story less valuable, as it did not come from someone who knows the experience? On the other hand, many authors include smaller, less important plot points, such as a parents’ divorce, or a death in the family. If the author has never experienced those things, does the story feel less genuine? Does the emotion seem dull? Does it do that experience justice? Does a lack of experience make a story worse or insensitive? Consider where these limitations may lie, if any. Many authors do face backlash for writing about topics they have no experience with, but is that also not one of the most important parts of writing- to explore the unfamiliar?
Now, this is a highly interesting and complex question. You raise some great points. I'd add, however, that when we talk about whether there should be "limitations" on writing certain experiences, we skirt the line of censorship. I'd like to see a section of the article that talks about how writers and readers can avoid this, particularly considering the amount of censorship we're seeing in literary fields right now. – Stephanie M.2 years ago
This is a topic called 'Ethics of Representation', and if we were to seriously stop writers writing experiences they "don't know" then what music, comics, games, books and films would remain? I enjoy the film 'Schindler's List' and enjoy reading the book 'My Brilliant Career'. If you were to write an article about this, then please say "No, we shouldn't stop writers." If we did stop them, the world would be boring. – heath2 years ago