Great writing and great cuisine, compared.
On why both giving and interpreting good criticism are dying arts.
Do you own thing, but don't let it fence you in.
Is franchise-driven storytelling the default mode of storytelling from now on?
You have to take yourself seriously enough to know when not to take yourself seriously at all.
A new site opens up under my provenance; video games make a comeback in my life; and I ponder the future of my publishing system.
Another case of yesterday's tomorrow, today.
On the merits of talking critical smack.
Me and my MT. (Is it "blog" or "bleargh"?)
Why I may not participate in another NaNoWriMo from now on.
How you know when you've "arrived" as a writer.
On culture being a tasteless affair (puns intended).
On writing about a kind of man that no longer exists.
Why artists and thinkers shouldn't consider themselves mutually exclusive entities.
Goodbye, About.com; hello, something new.
Do creative people "have a core of fierce insecurity inside of them that's so profound that they see any legitimate praise as a form of sycophancy"?
Bill Watterson: "No upside for me" in adapting Calvin & Hobbes to animation. I agreed.
When your only marketing system is for marketing blockbusters, what happens to everything that's not a blockbuster?
With all the things that make demands on what little spare time we have, is it a surprise that sitting still and looking at words on a page gets pushed down and down?
On the concept of the wasted (artistic) opportunity.
If the right thing was intuitive, everyone would already be doing it.
Mr. T-isms aside, know who you are and where you're going. If you don't, the consequences to your creativity can be dire.
An early '80s PC flashback: me and my ZX-81.
Why technology doesn't promote creative diversity in the ways we like to believe it does.
How my "is" is not everyone else's "ought".
The more kinds of art you try, the better your art becomes.
Why the "market" can't fix problems with creative work.
Is writing "competing" with TV, movies, video games, etc.?
Book publishers should model themselves as Berry Gordy, not Lee Iacocca.
On the art of the hatchet job, and on negative criticism generally.
It might be better to think of more things as being art, even the things we wouldn't be inclined to call art.
Why ''Grand Theft Auto'' isn't likely to be a movie anytime soon: integrity. What? Yes.
Why Kurt Vonnegut didn't think much of SF.
More on not repeating yourself creatively.
On the ways violence becomes an aesthetic unto itself in our entertainments.
On why creative people must learn to say no.
On things being their own reward.
Artists don't need to be damaged to be profound.
On criticism vs. reviewing.
On why too much advice to writers is mere marketing advice.
I'd rather have a scrupulous intellectual opponent than an ally with dodgy thinking.
On the fallacies of attention-getting in the "going viral" age.
''We have to take human behavior the way it is, not the way we would wish it to be.''
What we call "the market" reflects more the behaviors of a few, not many.
Why DC and Marvel are stuck in a taste trap of their own making.
Why, as a fan, sometimes it's best not to get just what you want.
More on the general avoidance of discussions about spirituality in futurism.
On the ongoing publishpocalypse.
How to be out standing (sic) in your field.
A culture of free cannot be sustained by an economy of free.
Why citing "data" as your justification can be no less arbitrary than "Because I said so."
Why I liked "Wolverine", but had to be careful why.
How number crunching -- the tool of the good -- too easily becomes the enemy of the great.
Spike Lee turning to Kickstarter may be the new normal.
Why evolutionary forces are not your company cop.
How this summer's big-budget movie carpet-bombing has bombed bigtime.
More on why art doesn't sit on the rungs of a ladder.
How "story beats" have killed storytelling, especially in Hollywood.
Why del Toro's Cthuluzillavengelion project didn't quite break wide.
The rise (we hope) of the non-fiction drama.
What constitutes an adult audience in this day and age?
Maybe we've grown weary of manufactured excitement, emphasis on that first word: manufactured.
If we don't know what's possible creatively, we might never try to look beyond what we have.
Everything is in and nothing is out. Right?
Why WordPress and I can't get along.
My failure to connect with "Game of Thrones."
Be your own dang "focus group".
On the video game of the TV series of the movie inspired by the book.
Expect dummies and that's what you'll get -- but I sense there's more on that score.
What happens to the movies after they all become tentpoles.
Why things are popular may be more about dumb luck than anything else. But don't despair too much.
"Write the book you want to read." What if you don't know how?
Or maybe burning Java, who knows. More adventures in the jungle of bad software.
Why the longing for "escapism" is problematic.
Living forever without actually growing up first seems like a non-starter.
There's always going to be something you can't do. The hard part is knowing what.
Ugliness is not a total synonym for "truth".
How the death of DVD killed Hollywood.
Why "Man of Steel"'s Superman is a little more interesting, and problematic, than you might expect. (Warning: spoilers.)
The movies are their own worst (financial) enemy.
On reissued e-books and copyediting. Or the lack thereof.
Why do we make gods out of men?
On Amazon's flash sales creating breakout bestsellers:
Know thyself, especially why you create in the first place.
Let's not confuse the process of describing something with the process of creating it.
Template-driven storytelling strikes again (and again, and again).
On love being the highest law.
Is formula storytelling "better" just because it's more commercially successful?
Amazon helps fanfic goes "legit" -- or is it about fanfic?
Why the pipeline that deliver us the culture we have to live with is failing us.
Why checklist-driven, beat-structure construction works in the short run but is ruinous in the long run.
Just having an audience doesn't mean you have something to say to it.
How economics supplants culture: a failure of marketing, and of imagination.
Creativity, once again: it's at least as much about observing as it is "making stuff up."
What self-publishers need most: big data?
Ralph Bakshi is alive, well, and angry in a good way.
A new venue for one-to-one curation: gaming.
The number-crunchers have arrived in the screenwriting department. Pray.
Why do we let the business of creativity pass into the hands of the most uncreative people around?
The little guys in creative fields are being just as lockstep and predictable as the big guys.
Just "being a writer" isn't enough anymore -- and maybe it never was.
Once we've bonded through our mutual fandoms, then what?
A book is not just a wad of paper.
Can't please. Shouldn't try. But don't confuse that with blowing your toes off.
Why functional competence is no place for an artist to rest on one's laurels.
Suspension of disbelief: exercise for the brain.
On self-publishing, self-promotion, and self-delusion.
Knowing more than others is not a form of oppression.
Spike Lee, remaking "Oldboy": I'm excited, and nervous.
What makes a work great isn't an objective truth.
On the word "unmarketable".
Why I still love me some physical media, even when downloads are that much more convenient.
On the hazards of being someone else's product via social networking.
When we live in a world where nothing we create ever really goes away, what should we create and why?
The sheer impulse to write can't by itself be used to avoid self-criticism.
Change your mind, early and often.
Hijacking the power of peer pressure.
How to fix publishing? Fix publishers, readers, books, all of the above?
Life's bigger than one-upsmanship.
Which will it be: to leave artifacts or to create experiences?
I play over my own head, even when it hurts.
Crowdfunding's best when the crowd has some idea what you're doing.
They were complaining about the movies being scorched earth in 1937.
Another quote from Nile Rodgers spurs some thought.
Publishers, who needs 'em?
On why limits are good things. (Part one of many.)
The artist isn't a guru, a god, or sometimes even a good guy.
Where'd the site archives go? Oh, they were right here all along.
Our art isn't just "content", but that's what it's being turned into.
I was wrong about the bottom falling out of e-book pricing, thank goodness.
The exploitation of effects houses by Hollywood is only one of many signs of the system's ill health.
"I demand two things from a composer: invention, and that he astonish me." What did Stockhausen mean by this?
What can you do when someone you trust tells you about your work, "Sorry, it's terrible"?
Should creative types even bother to monetize their work?
Meet my first, and very tiny, Amazon Kindle royalty check.
In a conversation with a friend about remakes, said friend noted that there are three things you need to do with a remake: Retell the old story, and not only do it justice but pay proper homage to it. Update...
Let's not fence ourselves in.
Why machine recommendations are by, and for, machines.
Daniel H. Wilson's io9 essay about having his books optioned but not filmed was a wasted opportunity.
Why the current pop-culture Geek Movie Paradise orgy leaves me cold (again).
On loving the art in yourself, not yourself in the art -- and not letting your art do your living for you.
The neurotic escapism and spectators' world of masscult.
"Half the scores are the reviewers reviewing the game, and half are reviewing their expectations."
We will always find a new way to be naive, and that's a good thing.
Is crowdsourcing a substitute for curation?
On the whole alternate universe of unfilmed movies that exists only as scripts in a vault somewhere.
Why there will be no "this generation's Star Wars", not even from Star Wars itself.
One thing you can't blame fans for doing: they always have their eyes open to possibilities the rest of us shrug off.
Fandom can be expressed in immature ways, but at its core it's far from immature.
I recently picked up an iPad Mini, mostly for the sake of having an iOS device of some variety. It's next to impossible to work in the field I'm in(information technology journalism) without knowing at least something about the Apple...
Sure, it's a "textually enriching experience" or what have you ... but is it any *good*?
Criterion: Gate of Hell, Repo Man, and Naked Lunch.
Nagisa Oshima (most notorious for In the Realm of the Senses) has died at the age of 80. I wonder whether or not someone of his cage-rattling importance will be able to step up to the plate in his absence....
Lucas honors Kurosawa yet again, by remaking him.
Yasutaka Tsutsui's Paprika is now out domestically
If we can't let artists make mistakes with their own work, then they won't be free to make happy discoveries either.
Why are people valued more for their "consistency" than for their ability to learn and adapt?
Is a bad guy always a requirement in fiction?
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This page contains an archive of posts in the category Uncategorized / General for the year 2013.
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