This popped around in my social media feeds enough that I finally read it, and I do love a good analysis of evolving grammar. It even includes a tumblr-sourced translation of Romeo and Juliet:
But what really interests me as a linguist is that doge speak is recognizably doge even when it’s not on an image at all. Let’s take a look at a particularly brilliant example from tumblr, although there are many shorter ones (check out this twitter or this subreddit):
What light. So breaks. Such east. Very sun. Wow, Juliet.
What Romeo. Such why. Very rose. Still rose.
Very balcony. Such climb.
Much love. So Propose. Wow, marriage.
Very Tybalt. Much stab. What do?
Such exile. Very Mantua. Much sad.
So, priest? Much sleeping. Wow, tomb.
Such poison. What dagger. Very dead. Wow, end.
If you are interested in language (and you should be, writer!), then this kind of analysis should whet your appetite for more:
The first factor is the kind of “baby talk” that we do towards our pets, known in the literature as pet-directed speech (yes, there are actual studies on this). It tends to involve speaking with exaggerated pitch and using simplified sentence structure. By comparison, the “baby talk” that we do towards actual children involves these two factors plus extra-precise articulation of sounds and is known as infant-directed speech (formerly motherese until some genius realized that it’s not only mothers who talk to babies).
The thing, of course, is that there is a grammar to the ungrammatical speech-that-is-Doge.
Read the whole thing here: http://the-toast.net/2014/02/06/linguist-explains-grammar-doge-wow/
It’s important not to walk past behaviours that are unacceptable, even if there is political fallout. So let me just say shortly, sweetly: the petition begging to let the SFWA be discriminatory because free speech wah is a load of sexist bullshit and if this is generally indicative of the author’s opinions then David Truesdale is a dickhead. I will concede I don’t know the fellow and he may be very nice in person, but we work with the material we have.
See, when you hear a man argue that it’s ok to have women treated as sex objects on magazine covers because men are also sometimes treated as sex objects on magazine covers, you have a nice window into the kind of world where the privileged think that swapping gender roles magically inverts the cultural power imbalance too, and if they (invariable men) don’t feel upset being objectified by strangers on the street then women shouldn’t either.
I’d take my feminist cap off now and stop being so ranty except, oh wait, it’s actually a non-removable cap.
As Natalie Luhrs explains, regarding the cover in question:
It would be one thing if this cover had any sort of relationship to the contents of the Bulletin, but it didn’t. It’s a badly done painting of a not that sexy, mostly naked warrior at severe risk of frostbite. And the Resnick/Malzberg column was about how hot some lady editors were in their bathing suits and nary a mention of their facility with a red pen. Objectifying and dehumanizing. No wonder people objected.
Just as watching politicians’ voting records is important to get a read on their character, I suggest that seeing who is actually signing this petition is important too.
There, that’s Literarium’s colours nailed to the fucking mast.
Read and shake your head here: http://radishreviews.com/2014/02/10/oh-dear-sfwa-bulletin-petition/
Just a quick post today, via ‘First Book’, which attended a conference in order to shine light on the lack of diversity in children’s literature, and highlighting their own goal in this space:
To expand diversity in children’s literature we are pioneering a market-driven solution. The First Book Marketplace is an online store available only to educators and program leaders serving kids in need.
There’s an infographic contrasting actual racial groups of low-income children (US-centric) and matching that to their representation in children’s books, and it doesn’t look great (and yes I myself am guilty of this, having a white female protag in my own children’s book).
Check it out here: http://blog.firstbook.org/2013/07/01/expanding_diversity_in_childrens_books/
I love zombies too!
We love the undead, but the term “zombie” can be interpreted a lot of ways. Successful subs will look outside the box. We’ve seen zombie plagues, zombies hordes, zombie hunters, and zombie super-heroes. What else have you got?
Characters matter. So does story. Would your story work without zombies? If so, chances are good we’d like to see it.
As always, we’ll consider all genres, providing they link back to the theme. So, zombie SF, zombie mystery or romance, fantasy or horror – it’s all good.
Big Pulp pays a token of 1c per word, up to $25 USD, and full guidelines are here: http://bigpulp.com/submissions.html
This is a very attractive periodic table generated from the TV Tropes website (NOTE: I did not link to that website because it is the black hole of the Internet; if you are interested in storytelling it can take hours to extricate yourself from it).
The Periodic Table of Tropes might be a better name for this interactive visualization: Although each box on Harris’s Periodic Table contains one storytelling element coupled with an atomic number, you probably won’t recognize many of these storytelling elements from creative writing class. Rather, the Periodic Table of Storytelling is filled with elements such as “Idiot Hero,” “Getting Crap Past The Radar,” and “Xanatos Gambit,” spread across groups that range from archetypes to metatropes.
See, just reading that tempts me to click through to TV Tropes and find out what it means… Must… Resist…
I won’t pinch the image and post it here directly, but definitely click through to check it out: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3025995/infographic-of-the-day/infographic-the-periodic-table-of-storytelling
Philip Overby looks into his own enjoyment of Fantasy, and posits some reasons why fantasy writers might or might not play it safe when writing new work.
I guess you’re expecting me to say, “Ugh, I’m so sick of epic fantasy.” Actually, no. I quite enjoy these kinds of stories for the most part, and have done so for around twenty years or more.
However, I found myself in a bit of a quandary recently when I thought, “I’d like to read something a bit different in tone, structure, and scope.” So I started looking through my collection of books. Admittedly lots of fantasy.
I’m not much of a fan of fantasy anymore (particularly epic fantasy), having read my share of Eddings and Feist tomes in my youth. That doesn’t mean there isn’t huge scope yet in the fantasy genre, obviously. Philip explores this:
A question kept nagging me, though. For a genre as limitless as fantasy, why do I feel like I need to escape the genre to get something completely different? Could it be that fantasy is one of the safest genres out there? Is safe a bad word?
Why Fantasy Writers Might Try to Crack the Genre Open
Fantasy is a limitless genre
The potential exodus of readers to Young Adult fiction
The ability of new writers to immediately distinguish themselves
Why Fantasy Writers Prefer to Play it Safe
It’s easier to meet reader expectations
The fear of being ignored
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I’ve snipped out his detailed exploration of these points, so click through to check it out here: http://mythicscribes.com/miscellaneous/fantasy-fiction-too-safe/
The article should be titled, ‘Adobe tells Readers to Eat Shit and Die’.
The tl;dr version is that Adobe is going to start pushing for ebook vendors to provide support for [their] new DRM in March, and when July rolls Adobe is going to force the ebook vendors to stop supporting [their] older DRM. (Hadrien Gardeur, Paul Durrant, and Martyn Daniels concur on this interpretation.)
Look, I’m known for my resistance to DRM, so I am really not trying to say, ‘I told you so’, but I fucking well told you so. DRM is a failure for everyone except the companies selling the DRM tools and here is just more evidence.
One thing Adobe seems to have missed is that there are tens of millions of ebook readers on the market that support the older DRM but will probably never be upgraded to the new DRM. Sony and Pocketbook, for example, have released a number of models over the past 5 or so years, most of which have since been discontinued.
Your lesson today is: just stop buying DRM’d ebooks. Yes, this is a problem if you buy from Amazon and iTunes. Tough. Fucking. Shit.
Just stop it. Stop it and they will eventually stop, too.
Read it and weep: http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2014/02/03/adobe-require-new-epub-drm-july-expects-abandon-existing-users/#.UvBxsPQW18F
Jen Webb discusses a recent news story about successful Australian author Matthew Reilly:
Aristotle said it first: if you want to write a good story (or, in his terms, a good tragedy), you must have two things: plot, and character. Plot is, for Aristotle, “the arrangement of the incidents” — the causal relations between things, people and events. Character refers to the individuals who are the actors in that plot, and all their personal qualities and moral capacities, along with the relationships they have with each other and with the choices they have to make.
I’m not and have never been a fan of Matthew Reilly’s writing, but I certainly applaud his successful approach: http://theconversation.com/improving-ones-plot-in-life-why-matthew-reillys-books-sell-22644
I’ve worked with the ACT Comic Meet folks before, being paired up with an amazing artist to submit a story to their ‘Beginnings‘ Anthology, and they produce good work and showcase a wide range of artists. Calls are now open for 2 page comics for their new short anthology, ‘Exposure’. This is produced in a similar style to the ‘The Day I Destroyed the World’ anthology (to which I also submitted). They’re looking for short, 2 page B/W stories on the them of ‘Exposure’:
Comic submissions should be:
Sized to at least A5
At least 300dpi
Black and white/greyscale
Note the title is indicative of the pay – authors receive a contributor copy of the anthology.
Long time readers will know my opinion on exposure-only or for-the-love markets, and that opinion remains firmly held! However, in reality it means I merely choose more carefully when promoting non-paying markets, and there aren’t a lot of comic markets out there.
Take a look! When I submitted for ‘Beginnings’ they paired me (writer) with an artist (Ele Jenkins) and we made awesome art together, so if you are an author and not an artist, or vice versa, this may work for you.
Guidelines here: http://actcomicmeet.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/exposure-a-comic-anthology-by-act-comic-meet/
This is a bit of fun and made me think about my own sleep patterns a little. Of course, is this correlation or causation? Does being a good writer predispose us to particular sleeping patterns, or does the sleeping pattern influence the writer?
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and a better author. Wait, that’s not right.
Maria Popova (from www.brainpickings.org) commissioned an infographic to map the productivity of authors against their sleeping patterns.
It makes for an interesting read, demolishing any notion that there’s a ‘perfect hour’ to rise. We’re all for adopting Charles Bukowski’s approach to mornings…
Check out the poster here: http://shortlist.com/entertainment/books/authors-sleep-patterns-and-productivity