Writing For/With/Against the Times

When in writing stories, a magical ability the writer has is that they can set that story in a wide variety of time periods. It can be set in the past, the present, and even the future. As a result, it can set up a number of challenges for you. If you’re writing something that takes place in the past, then that sets up a wide assortment of research for you to conduct on the designated time period. If your story is set in the present, while not a lot of research may be needed, there are always case scenarios where something happens that may or may not impact your present-set story. As for stories that take place in the future, depending on how you want to conduct it, there may be no research needed at all, for it’s a time that’s yet to take place and therefore, what you make of it and how you predict it resides in your hands.

These are basic cases for time-sensitive writing projects. However, to make things even more complex, there are times where in order to get your story not only accurate with the times but overall meeting your level of satisfactory, there are times where a writer may find themselves writing for, with, or even against the times. Continue reading “Writing For/With/Against the Times”

Advertisement

Writing For/Against the Masses

A few months ago, I briefly encountered an aspiring writer. Getting into a little conversation, he explained to me how he was previously working on a science fiction novel. While it wasn’t perfectly structured as he made it clear to see, the story and key elements made it interesting enough where it sounded really unique and unlike other science fiction stories I had previously heard. He said how he had set it aside for the time being and is currently working on something that was more so for the masses.

I couldn’t help feel a little discouraged when I heard that last part. While he didn’t say he was giving up on his science fiction novel completely, the fact he was working on something that, genre-speaking, would be more popular was almost like hearing someone surrender. Much like TV shows, movies, and music, particular themes and genres are fashion from time to time in the world of books as well, and going against them can effect your readership to a certain extent. Continue reading “Writing For/Against the Masses”

Research, Inspiration, Wonder

When in writing, they say to “write what you know.” Personally I don’t always find that to be true, let alone right. To limit yourself to writing a story using only the knowledge you know, no matter how knowledgeable you are, can be a narrow path to travel down. That’s why sometimes, when creating a story, it’s best to step out of your mind and sought out external resources; whether intentionally searched for or not. It’s all about the drive of wonder and the desire to enhance, and it oftentimes leads writers down a journey of a different kind. Continue reading “Research, Inspiration, Wonder”

When In Costume

Happy Halloween everyone! Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to my calculations, this is the third time this year where my weekly blog post has fallen on a holiday. Halloween is one of those holidays that, at least to me, I felt I took advantage of when I was younger, but have grown to really love and appreciate more and more as I’ve gotten older. While many people have a wide variety of reasons for why they like the holiday, I think a lot of us share common ground when I say that I especially love it when you get to dress up in costumes.

There are so many to choose from; whether it it’s the thematically appropriate spooky costumes, the attire of a particular profession, a public figure, or as your favorite character from a TV series or movie. However, the act- and perhaps art- of assembling and wearing a costume seems to have gone even beyond Halloween in today’s culture, ultimately giving more excuses during the year for stories to be told in this form. That’s what I aim to explore today. Continue reading “When In Costume”

Thoughts About Interviewing

When I was fifteen, I experienced what it was like to write for a publication for the first time when I joined my high school’s newspaper. Within the first month, I received my first assignments, and one of them was a piece about a then upcoming law in the State of California that bans the use of cell phones while driving. Seeing that high school is a time when many people start driving, I figured I make it more relate-able by actually getting comments about this new law from students at my school. Armed with a newly bought recorder (and I mean the kind where it uses small cassette tapes to document audio), I set out to do my very first interviews. Little did I know then that I would do many more in the long run. Continue reading “Thoughts About Interviewing”

Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Tight Rope: About “The Walk”

Over the course of the past year, I’ve made the effort to expand my dialogue about storytelling by going beyond the boundaries of books and out into the mediums of TV and movies. I do so by devoting a least one post every other month to an overview of a TV show or movie that’s reached a significant time in its history (i.e. series premiere, series finale, film release, anniversary of a release, etc.). Previously, I discussed my thoughts about the mini-series (and spin-off of the TV show “Heroes”), “Heroes Reborn.” Today, I head back to the silver screen with an overview of a visually dynamic biopic about one of the craziest events in American history, “The Walk.” Continue reading “Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Tight Rope: About “The Walk””

Storytelling from the State of Detachment

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie or TV show where you walked away from it with tears in your eyes and the cause was a moving or heart-wrenching scene? I’m sure many people can attest to that; and when I mean by many, I definitely mean most people. And yes, I’ve definitely heard the phrase more often than not how “If that scene where [such and such happened] didn’t make you cry, then you have no soul.” Well… I guess in that case, I have quite a ball to drop.

I rarely cry at such scenes as the ones described. I’m like a rock in those case scenarios. Seriously, you could put the beginning from the movie, “Up,” on repeat and I still wouldn’t shed a tear. I could read the blood bath scene in The Hunger Games without struggle. Honestly, the only thing that has ever made me tear up is Isao Takahata’s film, “Grave of the Fireflies.” Other than that, I really do not get emotionally involved when it comes to the various mediums of storytelling. Why you wonder, as you ponder whether I really am that heartless? That’s primarily because when in storytelling, whether if it’s absorbing someone else’s story or telling one myself, I’m always in this state of detachment. Continue reading “Storytelling from the State of Detachment”

Return of the Heroes in “Heroes Reborn”

Throughout the year, I’ve been making the effort to explore the methods of storytelling beyond the text found in books. Naturally, television and movies are other- and more often than not, more popular- avenues of doing so, which is why I take the time to explore each story of either medium, and always at a significant time in its history (i.e. series premiere, series finale, film release, anniversary of a release, etc.). Previously, I shared my thoughts about Disney movies and about four of them that I saw over the course of four weeks as part of the Disney Screen program. Today, I return to the television front as I zoom on a mini-series that premiered back on Thursday evening: “Heroes Reborn.” Continue reading “Return of the Heroes in “Heroes Reborn””

Thoughts About Storytelling for the Stage

Storytelling can come in a wide variety of forms. Apart from the common mechanism of telling stories through written words, I’ve taken the time to step outside that realm and really take a look at how narratives are done in other mediums; including movies, television, and even in journalism. However, one that I haven’t touched upon yet- that I find surprising to not have tackled earlier- is how storytelling can go about when performed on a stage for a live audience; complete with costumes, makeup, lighting, blocking, acting, and in the cases of musicals and operas, songs and choreography. Yes. Today, it’s all about storytelling in plays and musical theatre.

Continue reading “Thoughts About Storytelling for the Stage”

The Causes and Effects of Storytelling in Journalism

I’ve been prone to talking about different forms of storytelling on this blog; even in ways that maybe one hadn’t considered before.  From books to movies and even personal narratives, I always strive to showcase the effect such different mechanisms of storytelling can have on people.  But there’s a form that I haven’t discussed yet that perhaps may oftentimes be overlooked by the mixed reception it more or less gets; and that is the mechanism of journalism; the profession of collecting a wide variety of information and sources on an event that’s happened or is taking place and then sharing them with an audience.  Being someone who has studied journalism in college, this is a form of storytelling that I’ve been wanting to touch upon for a while, but I’ve wanted to wait for the right time.  After looking over the events that have happened this past week, I think it’s fair to say that the appropriate time has come. Continue reading “The Causes and Effects of Storytelling in Journalism”