How to Practice Writing A Novel — Without Writing A Novel
Fast-track the million words to mastery Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash There’s an old adage about quantity versus quality. But in the case of writing, the common belief is simple and logical: you can only really achieve quality writing by producing a large quantity of it first. Write a million words–the absolute best you can write, then throw it all away and bravely turn your back on what you have written.
Reading time: 9 minutes 3 seconds
Why Harry Potter is Immortal
Imagine you’re one of the many people who rejected a manuscript titled “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by a then-amateur writer known as J.K. Rowling. The pain those editors felt upon its subsequent massively successful publication must have been immeasurable. Doubly so when the novels became blockbuster movies and a theme park. Can’t get worse, right? Harry Potter simply must fade away eventually. Or must it? It’s been a number of years since Harry Potter has ended and yet here we are, in a world where plenty of people still put their Hogwarts House in their Tinder profiles and Instagram bios like some sort of definitive proclamation of their personalities.
Reading time: 8 minutes 59 seconds
Paradox as the Path in the Daodejing
In “Paradox of Virtue” Hektor K.T. Yan endeavors to analyze the Daodejing’s perspective on virtue and the perception of virtue in relation to its actual acquisition. In so doing, Yan deconstructs the essence of virtue as presented by the text, and determines a position that virtue is achieved when one acts without considering the perception of virtue and with only the goal to attend a need. I agree with his position: there is a real “paradox of virtue” in the text.
Reading time: 6 minutes 55 seconds
Basil and the Brush: The Self and the Sublime
In “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Basil, the painter of the titular portrait, argues with Lord Henry Wotton over his refusal to exhibit the piece in public. When Lord Henry questions Basil over the fact, his response is simple: “I have put too much of myself into it.” Though Lord Henry understands this as being an aesthetic likeness and laughs, Basil means something quite different. By his own admission, he means that Dorian Gray has influenced his art in a profound way.
Reading time: 2 minutes 37 seconds
Chaos and Order, Man and Divinity
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the theme of chaos and order is a prevalent and fundamental motif both to the philosophy of the text as well as the society that it aims to portray – a Greek culture. Through a careful close reading of two sections of the epic that deal with this theme: “Pentheus and Bacchus” and “Chaos and Creation”, I have come to a conclusion concerning the way humans interface with nature in this tradition: it is only divinity, and not Man, that has the right and ability to establish true order.
Reading time: 4 minutes 39 seconds
Where Frankenstein's Creature Learned to Argue
Born from science and occult mystery, Frankenstein’s creature is the fruit of years worth of research and experimentation in the pursuit of knowledge. The creature himself hungers, in the beginning, for knowledge and learning and he acquires it quickly enough through observation and eventually the power of literacy. The books that Frankenstein’s creature happens upon and reads are absolutely vital to his personal development and his perception of himself as well as the world around him – but they also serve as primary learning tools.
Reading time: 2 minutes 45 seconds