All posts for Uncategorized / General in September 2021


The Present Moment Leaves Its Mark Anyway

I've found I do my best work when I'm not self-consciously trying to comment on my moment in time.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-09-17 12:00:00 No comments


I had a conversation with someone about The Fall Of The Hammer, and how I'd written that book during the Trump years, and finished and released it during the height of the pandemic. But I had worked very little, if any, of the flavor of those moments into the story. And the current book on my plate, Unmortal, is also not being written as any kind of receptacle for, or commentary on, our current moment in time.

I've found I do my best work when I'm not self-consciously trying to comment on my moment in time. The present moment leaves its mark on my work in some form, and always will. No point in trying to strongarm it into being seen and felt.

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Tags: creativity these troubled times


A Thing To Marvel At

The issue I have with tentpole franchise entertainment is not that it's unentertaining, but that it provides the wrong lessons for creators.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-09-13 12:00:00 No comments


My wife ended up finally watching Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, with me popping in and out as I'd seen both of them before. Being re-exposed to them reminded me the problem I have with most such material is not that it's bad as entertainment, but bad as a teaching example for creators to follow. They're worth watching and enjoying, but not necessarily worth emulating.

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Tags: Marvel Comics creativity entertainment movies


Movies For The Mind

How I sometimes model my approach to a book as if it were a movie for the mind.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-09-13 00:00:00 No comments


At various times I've mentioned my personal profile could include the line "frustrated filmmaker". I always wanted to make movies, but I never got my ducks in a row, especially after I really sunk into writing as a creative outlet and decided filmmaking was too much like actual work. (My other profile description is "Lazy workaholic.")

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Tags: creativity filmmaking writing


The Artificers

Something is not "artificial" because of its means of production, but if the act of producing it, in whatever form, goes against your inner convictions.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-09-06 20:00:00 No comments


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In Jonathan Cott's book of conversations with the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, there is an anecdote where Stockhausen met with D.T. Suzuki (an influence on fellow composer John Cage), where Stockhausen talked about how his music was "artificial" in the sense that much of it was made with tape, electronics, etc. instead of the human voice or a conventional instrument. Suzuki disputed this distinction. To him, something was not "artificial" because of its means of production, but only "artificial" if the act of producing it, in whatever form, went against your inner convictions.

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Tags: A Guy Called Gerald Karlheinz Stockhausen creativity music technology word processing writing


The Palette-Swapping Problem

How I've tried to avoid using the template of a real-world story for my own fiction.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-09-04 21:00:00 No comments


In my forthcoming book Unmortal there's a struggle between two characters, both of whom could be described as revolutionaries from and for an oppressed class. Their disjoint is in how they want to do this. Someone close to me who knows the details of the story asked me if this had been patterned after the disjoint between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. I admitted there were elements of that disagreement in this story, but that it was not in that mold -- in the sense that I had imported some aspects of the real-world issue into what I was doing, but didn't use it as the design for what to do.

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Tags: Unmortal creativity inspiration writing


What We Bring To The Table

Learning to find your own take on things you read or watch gives you a sense of what you can bring to your own work, too.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-09-01 12:00:00 No comments


A good 'un from my fine fellow Steve:

Only You Goes Both Ways - Steven Savage

Your reading or viewing experience is just as unique as anything you create. You will have insights no one else has, and find inspiration unique to your own creativity. You will find flaws no one else saw, and take away lessons no one else will learn. However you consume an artistic experience, that experience is yours and what you take from it is yours.

A key thing for reading as a writer is learning how to produce takeaways from what you encounter. This is not to say that you can never just relax and have a good trashy time at the movies, but that you get the best results with your own work when you learn how to take lessons from other work. Learning to do this also teaches you about what you have to bring to your own table as a creator.

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Tags: Steven Savage Dialogues creativity criticism


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I'm an independent SF and fantasy author, technology journalist, and freelance contemplator for how SF can be more than just a way to blow stuff up.

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