Tag Archives: literature

A poem called October, by Bobbi Katz

October

BY BOBBI KATZ
 

October is
when night guzzles up
the orange sherbet sunset
and sends the day
to bed
before supper
and
October is when jack-o’-lanterns
grin in the darkness
and
strange company crunches
across the rumple of dry leaves
to ring a doorbell.
October is
when you can be ghost,
a witch,
a creature from outer space…
almost anything!
And the neighbors, fearing tricks,
give you treats.

 

Via The Poetry Foundation

And THAT, my friends, is how you design a book cover.

Boom.

Pixar story rules (one version)

Pixar story artist Emma Coats has tweeted a series of “story basics” over the past month and a half — guidelines that she learned from her more senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Presumably she’ll have more to come. Also, watch for her personal side project, a science-fiction short called Horizon, to come to a festival near you.

(Via)

Wise words on perseverance, from them what know

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
Winston Churchill

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit.”
Mark Twain

“I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau

“A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
Publilius Syrus

“If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation.”
Plato

“To be worn out is to be renewed.”
Lao Tzu

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
Abraham Lincoln

“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.”
Henry David Thoreau

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.”
George Bernard Shaw

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Albert Einstein

“Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves.”
Winston Churchill

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
Mark Twain

“If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.”
Samuel Johnson

“It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca