I’ve noticed there’s a linguistic contradiction when it comes to authors describing their state of publication.
Our natural tendency is to say, “I published a novel,” because this sentence is in the active voice. We take ownership in the act of publication since it is our work transitioning into completed form. However, when you say “I [...]
People often joke about the impracticality of an English degree. After all, our major doesn’t teach us accounting or marketing or law or any of those hard skills the job market values. I poke fun as well — always with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, of course — because I know our myriad [...]
When I started this blog almost four years ago, I chose the title An Aspiring Novelist in Hollywood.
At the time, I was finishing my first novel and still considered “aspiring” as it had yet to be published. Since I didn’t want to start blogging without some general direction, I thought the [...]
When it comes to scholarship and teaching, there is one area where film schools are considerably more advanced than English departments: their comfort level with genre.
Cinema programs, USC’s in particular, regularly offer classes devoted to melodrama, comedy, musical, noir (actually a style rather than a separate genre), and horror. Media professors acknowledge various conventions [...]
“First, try to be something, anything, else.” ~ Lorrie Moore, “How to Become a Writer”
Been there. Tried that. Didn’t work. More specifically, it didn’t work again.
Three years ago, when I was stuck on the rewrite of my first novel, I was worried about my future employment prospects. In the long run, my day [...]
As a writer, I come with a particular hostility to types of critical theory — or at least the championing of analysis over the original art being explored. My blood boils when a critic smugly dissects a novel or film, or quibbles over some minutia, in a way that misses the main point of the [...]
If you’ve ever attempted to read Strunk & White’s classic grammatical guide The Elements of Style, you’d know its helpfulness is only surpassed by its dryness. In 1918, Cornell University professor William Strunk Jr. published a “forty-three page summary of the case for cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity in [...]
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