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Latest Topics

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Published

Books That Have Changed Your Life

With free time opening up for a lot of people due to current circumstances, there is plenty of time to read and focus on self-development. Books shape our lives and influence us whether or not we choose to recognize that. Personally, I’m always looking for book recommendations, so perhaps an article could be written about books that deeply impacted you or books that have been well-received in general. They could range from books that developed you spiritually, fictional books that helped you learn the art of writing, or memoirs that shifted your mindset. A diverse selection of book genres and the ways in which they impacted readers would be interesting. You could also touch on the messages, lessons, and themes that made the book resonate with you or readers in general. Recommend books that people will connect with and explain why they altered your life in some way.

  • Just to add also, I think an article like this should try to be as diverse as possible. As in, don't select 5 books that make you feel more optimistic, for example. Pick one that made you look at the world more optimistically (a sad memoir maybe). Pick one that convinced you to read more (YA literature is good for this - it is literature that is easily consumed and is a good starting point for a lot of people who don't like to read). Maybe choose a text that is political or subverts a master narrative of history, something that opens the reader's eyes to an important aspect of the past. These are just examples of course, I just want to stress that an article like this should avoid sameness. – Samantha Leersen 6 months ago
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  • Sometimes this theme, which I've seen before, can be addressed by discussing a book that is read and then re-read at different points in one's life to see how a reader understands a book the second time around. – Joseph Cernik 6 months ago
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Published

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 9 months ago
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  • A good idea, what, I think is needed is some perspective. In other words, an essay addressing this topic needs to discuss writers who used self-development writing and how it helped them. Perhaps there are movies or TV shows where self-development writing has been used so some sort of timeline can be seen where self-development writing begins and what it leads to. – Joseph Cernik 7 months ago
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  • I wonder how the reverse applies? Writing to process emotions/trauma can also help you grow as a writer. Memoirists do this and so do novelists and poets...Jillian Weise wrote a novel (The Colony I believe) about life as a person with a missing leg and the pressures and misconceptions of those around her. She developed it from a series of journal entries. Writing can help you move towards personal well being and learn how to transform emotions into art. – rosebo 7 months ago
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7
Published

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 1 year 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 1 year 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 10 months ago
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7
Published

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 1 year 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 1 year 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 10 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 9 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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      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 2 years 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 2 years 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 9 months ago
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      Unnecessary Articles In Journalism

      Have you ever read a headline while reading the news, whether it’s considered a serious platform or not, where you truly question why someone would write a whole article dedicated to something so trivial? How is it possible today to see two articles side by side about two drastically different subjects like "Baby Found Amongst Rubble in Syria" right next to "Will Selena Gomez Ever Wear a Bra Again"? I understand that the world can’t always focus on the negative aspects of life all the time but shouldn’t we start to question how nitpicking an famous individual is a better news alternative?

      • I feel that "unnecessary" might be a bit subjective. I could be wrong, but it feels more like you want to critique the online news cycle and clickbait, as compared to print journalism standards. Some questions that could be asked: Who writes clickbait? Why is there a prevalence of clickbait articles on the internet? How has internet journalism changed which topics are highlighted by news websites? How has ad revenue impacted headline choices? And how do algorithms give very different headlines equal standing on any given website? – Eden 1 year ago
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      • I think it could be useful to explore where we draw the line between "Buzzfeed journalism" and "New York Times journalism" (for example). Are either one of these less legitimate than the other? In a world where SEM and SEO increasingly rule, and newsrooms are shrinking, which urge wins-- the urge to write material of quality and truth and intellect, or the urge to actually get people to read it and make a little money off of it? Is there a way to combine both? – haileyscomet 1 year ago
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      • Celebrity gossip is unnecessary. Who cares if the dress is black or white (or whatever it was) or who has broken up with whom? On the other hand, it would be nice to see more articles about a hobby or genre of music or something. Interesting, but not stupid. – OkaNaimo0819 1 year ago
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