The Deceit of Good and Bad

As Professional Writers, one of our duties is to develop an understanding of the English Language. That includes the cultural usage of the terms “good” and “bad”. This TED talk video by Educator Marlee Neel discusses how these words are deceitful terms that hide the truth. She encourages us to let go of the words “good” and “bad,” and to push ourselves to illustrate, elucidate and illuminate the world with active and descriptive language. In her TED talk, Neel says “The primary reason for replacing the terms “good” and “bad” in writing and speaking is to produce more precise and true descriptions”. We are too languid and too afraid to use other words. She also discusses how we need to dig into those “grittier, exact terms that are buried in our lexis waiting to see daylight”.

For those who are unfamiliar with TED and TED talks, it is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas. This is usually done though TED talks, which are short, powerful talks that can last 18 minutes or less. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. You can find out more about TED and TED talks at their website.

 

So, You Want to Go Viral?

viral

If you’re a frequent visitor to the World Wide Web, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “go viral” before. When content is said to have gone viral, it means “it is viewed by a very high number of people in just a short period of time.”  Of course, the number needed to be considered viral is very subjective, but basically it is just high traffic content be it an article, blog post, song, video, etc. In this case we’re focusing on writing, however. 

So, how does one go viral? According to this article from Forbes, there are 10 solid strategies one should implement when aiming to write  something viral. Some of the tips I found most interesting include:

The power of visuals
I am always so focused on the content of my actual writing that I tend to forget the engagement visuals can create. According to Forbes, visuals, paired with an enticing headline, are a fundamental component to writing viral content.

Timing!
Apparently posting at 9AM EST is a great time to release your article, blog post, etc. into the Internet because you’ll be catching those workers who haven’t had enough coffee yet and are delaying starting their work day!

Definitely check out the rest of the eight tips from the article to learn more about writing viral content and see how you can apply these tips to your own writing. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up writing a piece that will even beat BuzzFeed’s stats! You never know!

Enjoy and good luck!

Writing Short Stories Professionally

I know there are a lot of people out there with short stories hidden away on their desktops, never expecting to see the light of day. However, those little gems could be making you some serious cash. I am constantly seeing emails and flyers begging for short story entries for publication. Why not give it a shot? You never know where it may lead. So for all you creative writers out there, here are some great tips from wikiHow for transforming those short stories gems to professional pieces that can earn you some cold hard cash.

Practice is imperative to writing a successful short story. Remember that your first work is what sets your reputation. It’s hard to recover from a poorly-received first novel as many people may already have written you off. This may also seem like a wasted effort, but it’s generally a good idea to write your first story and then get it sent to an editor. That way, you’ll avoid common mistakes, and get valuable feedback about what you may not have developed enough, plot holes you may have written, and other roadblocks.

Create your first story and get your manuscript ready for publishing. This is around the time that you’ll want to hire an agent who can help you find a reputable printing press to get your story out to the public.

Contact an agent and send your manuscript to a publishing house.  Choosing the wrong agent or the wrong publishing house can make or break the career of an aspiring author. Research reputable agents and houses, and ask around to see who can give you the best service for your money

Promote your work. You’ve gotten it published; now it’s time to get some return on it. Thanks to today’s technology, it’s far easier to get word out than ever before. Start up a webpage, create a blog, do a reading. There are many ways to get the word out. You just have to find them.

Check out critical reception of your work. Depending on how you promoted it, you may get a lot of critical feedback in known works, or you may get a few simple reviews on Amazon. Any critique is helpful, and it can help shape your writing to be more successful in the future. Examine what you need to work on, and set upon fixing it.

Begin your new work for publishing. Your new career as a writer has only begun.

Reality Fused with Animation

documentaries

Recently, the New York Times released an article discussing how various documentaries use animation within their works to help tell their stories a little better. Three new documentaries have utilized animation as a vital portion of their films, each for different reasons, which the aforementioned NYT article explains in further detail.

The fusion of real life with the animated to better tell a story is a very interesting concept. Definitely check out the NYT article to learn more about why the directors of the documentary did what they did; as writers, you can always learn and borrow something from other creative fields.