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George Saunders: On Story - YouTube
"Originally launched on the Atlantic.com
A Film by Tom Mason and Sarah Klein
Executive Produced by Ken Burns

In this rare appearance as a documentary subject, George Saunders reveals the pitfalls of bad storytelling and explains the openness and generosity required to breath life into great characters. The film offers a direct look at the process by which he is able to take a single mundane sentence and infuse it with the distinct blend of depth, compassion, and outright magic that are the trademarks of his most powerful work.

Situated in an innovative and dreamlike visual world set to a lush original soundtrack by Antfood music, the seven minute film distills the magical essence of one of our most beloved writers into a work that will inspire old fans and Saunders newbies alike."

[also here: https://vimeo.com/143732791 ]
georgesaunders  storytelling  stories  video  2015  tommason  sarahklein  characters 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Let Me Explain to You a Thing
"I see and write a lot of “DON’T DO THIS!!!” posts, so I thought I would make a “DO THIS!!!” post.

General Requests

• More POC in leading roles
• More important friendships
• More queer characters in leading roles
• More disabled characters in leading roles
• More genderqueer and trans characters in leading roles
• Realistic women in leading roles
• Happier/more positive characters and messages

Specific

• 45 Things I Want to See More Of (Part 2)
• Black Villains
• Boys in YA
• Characters
• Cool Things (2) (3)
• Fantasy (2)
• Female Characters (2)
• Female Character Traits
• Happiness
• Horror Genre Mashups
• Magic Systems
• Male Characters
• Medieval Fantasy
• Modern Fantasy
• Plots
• Relationships
• Romance (2)
• Soulmate AUs
• Stories
• Stories I Want to Read
• Urban Fantasy
• What thewritingcafe Wants
• YA Novels (2) (3) (4)

My wish list tag is always updating and includes posts containing things I would like to see in fiction. characterandwritinghelp has a similar tag.

The plot bunnies tag is likewise updating and includes posts that I think would make for an interesting story.

More Things I Would Like to See

• Steampunk with different ethnic influences alongside the gears
• Utopias that try really hard to be good, even though they aren’t and never will be perfect
• Science and magic coexisting
• Creation stories - stories that focus on building and growth rather than destruction
• People are good themes
• Extroverted protagonists
• Environments other than temperate deciduous
• Stories centered on art
• Stories without war

• Nonviolent revolutions
• Genres from different viewpoints (YA from adult perspective, dystopian from government worker perspective, fantasy from A REAL PEASANT)
• Stories focused on a not nation-changing events within a larger world
• Negative rebellions
• Recovery stories (from wars, especially)
• Love stories where the characters are already together/married
• Many main characters
• A story about averting a war via aggressive diplomacy
• Stories of a land during its Golden Age
• Stories centered on science
• Stories centered on someone’s strange profession
• Optimistic messages (an optimistic story does not necessarily need to be a happy one)
• Villain protagonists, or antagonists and protagonists who have equally valid/sympathetic goals
• Journey stories á la the Oregon Trail
• Borderlands with lots of culture clashes
• Settings that play a huge role in the story
• Ordinary heroes (scared, untrained, and will never be ready for power)
• Stories centered on games and entertainment
• Stories that show how victors/history distorts the past

A lot of my longer posts (like Therianthropy, Magic, and Apocalypse/Post-Apocalyse) and posts on worldbuilding are hopping with plot bunnies, so you should check those out if you want more specific help."
orldbuilding  storytelling  genre  peace  nonviolence  diversity  srg  writing  ya  youngadult  plot  characters  settings  fantasy  relationships 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Locus Online Perspectives » Cory Doctorow: Cheap Writing Tricks
"So my favorite, foolproof way to start a story is with a person in a place with a problem, preferably in the first sentence. A named person in a defined setting is a signal to the reader’s human-being-simulator to get started assembling a skeletal frame upon which to hang future details about this ‘‘person.’’"

[via: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2014/02/first-sentence-problems.html ]
fiction  writing  corydoctorow  howwewrite  advice  firstsentences  setting  characters 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Frankenfont | Fathom
"An edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein laid out using characters and glyphs from PDF documents obtained through internet searches. The incomplete fonts found in the PDFs were reassembled into the text of Frankenstein based on their frequency of use. The most common characters are employed at the beginning of the book, and the text devolves into less common, more grotesque shapes and forms toward the end.

The beginning of the book is comprised largely of Arial, Helvetica, and the occasional Times New Roman. As you might expect, these are by far the most common fonts used in documents.

By page 46 and 47, things have progressed to a lot of Arial Bold and Times Italic.

In the 200s, commonly used script fonts, as well as much more obscure faces are beginning to appear.

As we reach the end, the book has devolved significantly: non-Roman fonts, highly specialized typefaces, and even pictogram fonts abound.

Process. For each of the 5,483 unique words in the book, we ran a search (using the Yahoo! Search API) that was filtered to just PDF files. We downloaded the top 10 to 15 hits for each word, producing 64,076 PDF files (some were no longer available, others were duplicates). Inside these PDFs were 347,565 subsetted fonts.From those fonts, 55,382 unique glyph shapes were used to fill the 342,889 individual letters found in the Frankenstein text.

PDF Fonts. This project started because of a fascination with the way that PDF files contain incomplete versions of fonts. The shape data is high enough quality to reproduce the original document, however only the necessary characters (and little of the font’s “metrics” that are used for proper typographic layout) are included in the PDF. This prevents others from extracting the fonts to be used for practical purposes, but creates an opportunity for a curious Victor Frankenstein who wants to use these incomplete pieces to create something entirely different."
books  ebooks  fonts  frankenstein  pdf  glyphs  characters  internet  search  maryshelly  frankenfont  srg  benfry  2011  papernet 
january 2014 by robertogreco
CopyPasteCharacter.com
"What is CopyPasteCharacter.com?

A web and iPhone application for copying the ‘hidden’ characters that comes with the computer’s typefaces, to be pasted into emails, tweets, text documents, forums and whatever else you might need to spice up with an extra ♔, ฿ or, ❒.
Copy Paste Character is developed in St☃ckholm, Sweden, by Konst & Teknik & Martin.
If you have any questions, feedback or praise, feel free to send us a tweet (@copypastechar) or email.
Oh, and we of course welcome any PayPal donation you would want to send our way — thanks! Or get the official mug here."

"Click to copy — press down ❮alt❯ for multiple"
via:robinsloan  characters  reference  tools  typography  web  symbols  copypaste  onlinetoolkit 
february 2013 by robertogreco
140 Characters On Chinese Twitter Is More Like 500 Characters On Twitter.com - AllTwitter
"There’s been some talk that China’s answer to Twitter, Weibo, will be coming to the US in a matter of months. Weibo and Twitter both offer 140 characters as their maximum, but, interestingly, 140 characters in Chinese is not the same as 140 characters in the Roman alphabet that English and many other speakers use. In fact, you can fit in almost five times as much meaning on Weibo as you can on Twitter."

"There are plenty of features that Weibo might compete with Twitter on: the number of active users, for instance. However, if Weibo were to follow the same model as Twitter when it launches in the US but expand the number of characters to more than 140, it might compete on the ability to include more meaning in each tweet (weibeet?) too."
2011  charactercounts  wordcounts  characters  words  microblogging  twitter  weibo  chinese 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Brevity: Twtr | The Economist
"THIS 78-character tweet in English would be only 24 characters long in Chinese: [image]

That makes Chinese ideal for micro-blogs, which typically restrict messages to 140 symbols. Though Twitter, with 140m active users the world's best-known microblogging service, is blocked in China, Sina Weibo, a local variant, has over 250m users. Chinese is so succinct that most messages never reach that limit, says Shuo Tang, who studies social media at the University of Indiana.

Japanese is concise too: fans of haiku, poems in 17 syllables, can tweet them readily. Though Korean and Arabic require a little more space, tweeters routinely omit syllables in Korean words; written Arabic routinely omits vowels anyway…

Romance tongues, among others, generally tend to be more verbose (see chart)…

Kevin Scannell, a professor at St Louis University, Missouri, has found 500 languages in use on Twitter and has set up a website to track them."
charactercounts  characters  wordcounts  words  kevinscannell  semiocast  weibo  arabic  urdu  farsi  microblogs  efficiency  2012  romancelanguages  portuguese  spanish  english  chinese  language  twitter 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Believer Logger — INTERVIEWER On various occasions, especially in...
"…you’ve spoken about dispensing with the old accessories such as plot & characters. But are those old accessories so useless as that; are there no truths to be reached with them?

NATHALIE SARRAUTE: One reaches certain truths, but truths that are already known. At a level that’s already known. One can describe the Soviet reality in Tolstoy’s manner, but one will never manage to penetrate it further than Tolstoy did with the aristocratic society that he described. It will remain at the same level of the psyche as Anna Karenina or Prince Bolkonsky if you use the form that Tolstoy used. If you employ the form of Dostoyevsky, you will arrive at another level, which will always be Dostoyevsky’s level, whatever the society you describe. That’s my idea. If you want to penetrate further, you must abandon both of them and go look for something else. Form and content are the same thing. If you take a certain form, you attain a certain content with that form, not any other."
thebeliever  interviews  characters  plot  writing  literature  truth  content  form  society  princebolkonsky  annakarenina  dostoyevsky  tolstoy  nathaliesarraute 
may 2012 by robertogreco
How to write fiction: Andrew Miller on creating characters | Books | guardian.co.uk
When we set out to write, we do not do so out of a sense of certainty but out of a kind of radical uncertainty. We do not set out saying: "The world is like this." But asking: "How is the world?"
books  writing  fiction  thinking  storytelling  2011  andrewmiller  characters  literature  understanding  sensemaking  writers  classideas 
november 2011 by robertogreco
candice breitz: the character
"…involved research with bollywood's child stars <br />
& the roles they portrayed on camera. interviewing each of the young actors, the artist found incredible <br />
similarities and recurring motifs in their characters. <br />
<br />
…after they each watched their assigned movie, <br />
the artist interviewed the children and asked them to verbally portray the character detailing the role and plight <br />
of the child within the movie's narrative. <br />
<br />
edited to show all the children describing their respective movies, without mention of the names of the movies, the resulting group description of 'the character' brings to light common themes and structures in mainstream indian film, while at the same time reflecting the individual's thoughts about how realistic these notions are in indian culture including their dreams, priorities, philosophies and the importance of happy endings."
candicebreitz  bollywood  children  storytelling  classideas  interviews  plot  characters  art 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives: He-Man and the Masters of Transmedia
"When I speak to the 20 and 30 some­things who are lead­ing the charge for trans­me­dia sto­ry­telling, many of them have sto­ries of child­hood spent immersed in Dun­geons and Drag­ons or Star Wars, play­ing with action fig­ures or other fran­chise related toys, and my own sus­pi­cion has always been that such expe­ri­ences shaped how they thought about stories.

From the begin­ning, they under­stood sto­ries less in terms of plots than in terms of clus­ters of char­ac­ters and in terms of world build­ing. From the begin­ning they thought of sto­ries as extend­ing from the screen across plat­forms and into the phys­i­cal realm. From the begin­ning they thought of sto­ries as resources out of which they could cre­ate their own fan­tasies, as some­thing which shifted into the hands of the audi­ence once they had been pro­duced and in turn as some­thing which was expanded and remixed on the grass­roots level."

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/5602 ]
henryjenkins  thatsme  cv  storytelling  worldbuilding  media  transmedia  dungeonsanddragons  starwars  he-man  childhood  toys  play  characters  fantasy  imagination  remixing  remixculture 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Show Some Character! -- Character Corner: Annabel Scheme by Robin Sloan
"Robin Sloan is a wickedly smart, inventive writer who will be great someday. He’s rough around the edges now (and I’m happy to make him that same offer on his next book), but he’ll get over that. He has a wonderful flair for inventive leaps that feel perfectly natural. I hope he continues writing in a similar cyber-punkish vein, because he has a great grasp on technology and what I feel are very incisive views on future-tech."
annabelscheme  robinsloan  reviews  books  characters 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Neven Mrgan's Tumbl → Glyphboard 2.0
"Just in time for today’s release of iPhone OS 3.0 with its oh-so-handy pasteboard, I’ve updated a little project of mine, Glyphboard. It’s a sort of keyboard which lets you type glyphs not available on any of the standard iPhone keyboards. These glyphs include , ☂, ☺, ✔, and even ♫. You may find this handy for Twitter, text messaging, emails, and I’m sure I don’t know what else. A clarification: unfortunately Safari won’t let you just tap a key to copy it; you have to hold and tap. I wish you didn’t, but there. On the flip side, even though it’s a web app, once you’ve installed Glyphboard it will work even when you’re offline. How’s that!"
iphone  applications  webapp  characters  unicode  utilities  text  icons  glyphs  csiap  ios 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Ask H&FJ | Hoefler & Frere-Jones - grawlix
“grawlix, n. A string of typographical symbols used (especially in comic strips) to represent an obscenity or swear word.” I don’t think I’ll ever look at a character set quite the same way again"
typography  language  swearing  punctuation  comics  linguistics  characters  words  definitions  english  h&fj 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Yingzi: If English was written like Chinese
"The English spelling system is such a pain, we'd might as well switch to hanzi-- Chinese characters. How should we go about it?"
analogy  asia  china  chinese  culture  design  dialect  english  writing  languages  linguistics  symbols  tutorial  pictograms  humor  characters  words  radicals  reasoning  via:mattwebb 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Inverse Machinima and Interfaces for 1st Life Play
"What are the near future possibilities of mixing and blending first life props, actions, movements, proximity relationships, time (especially time factors) into the core of what counts as the user interface?"
parkour  videogames  firstlife  gaming  play  games  machinima  lifeasgame  characters  stories  storytelling  nearfuture  flickr  photography  imagination  gamechanging  interface  interactive  interaction  social  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  hybrids  experience  design  julianbleecker  psychogeography  navigation 
november 2007 by robertogreco
steak zombies - fashion research - rare and well done!----welcome!
"Steak Zombies' field of work embraces formats such as graphic characters, plush-dolls and accessories, stage-outfits and theatre costumes as well as character- based real-life-costumes. In a series of Live-Sewing and Clothes Customizing Performances in c
berlin  characters  performance  toys  plush  sewing  glvo  design  fashion  typography 
may 2007 by robertogreco
YouTube - The Disney Trap: How Copyright Steals our Stories
"This video was written and realized by Monica Mazzitelli, member of the Wu Ming Foundation's reading group iQuindici [TheFifteen], whose mission is to read as-yet-unpublished novels and short-stories in order to give feedback to their authors, as well as
writing  copyright  opensource  characters  culture  film  literature  law 
november 2006 by robertogreco

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