Elizabeth: T is for Time

swirlyclockI’ve been marathon watching shows on Netflix lately, and it’s got me thinking about timing in stories. When you watch shows on standard broadcast television, there is typically a week between episodes, which gives a sense of time passing in the story, even if no actual time cues are provided in the episodes. When you watch one episode after the other, however, that sense of space is lost and it can be challenging to determine just how much time has passed in the story. As viewers continue to transition from traditional broadcast television to on-demand viewing, the issue of timing becomes even more relevant. Continue reading

Michaeline: Fair Use

“Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” T.S. Eliot in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism

Way back in the dark ages, when a Sony Walkman tape player was the height of technology, I was in journalism school and they talked about plagiarism, and scared the bejeezus out of us in Communication Law class. Plagiarism is one thing (and a very bad thing, both as an artist and as a consumer) but sometimes using other people’s words is the right thing to do on many levels.

Poster advertising

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.” And then it was turned into a play. And then a movie. Actually a couple of movies.

This week, NPR’s Planet Money had a podcast that touched tangentially on fair use, and for some reason, my subconscious perked up and listened. I don’t think I’m planning any grand literary heist, but if I do this summer, Continue reading

Michaeline: Writing Good Food Scenes

Dinner at the Crachits from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens used food very effectively in *A Christmas Carol*.

Good Saturday, everyone, or whatever day it may be for you. Remember last week when I asked you to share food scenes that moved you as a reader? Today, let’s identify what made those scenes work for us, and think about how we apply that to our own writing.

I think it’s important to remember that food is a very basic need – right at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with friends like water and shelter and sex. When you write about food, you are writing about basic human needs that every human reader has.

I noticed four important things that turn food porn into something Continue reading