The Dark Tower is a Masterclass in How to Write About Yourself

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 2, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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The Dark Tower is an inaccessible magnum opus of imagination and insignificance. It's probably a tricky pitch for a movie, as well. In fact, I recall the potential for a movie adaptation news motivating my initial read of the text.

And, yes, that marathon session through the series roughly ten years ago revealed:

  1. This is a story structured around the terrifying idea of an endless universe
  2. This is a story about writing as a craft
  3. Because of the first two things, it's a wickedly difficult series of books to pitch as a mega-big Hollywood movie (let alone properly adapt into a movie)

But how does The Dark Tower teach us how to write stories, how to write characters, and how to write worlds...?

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Topics: how to write

How to Write a Short Novel in 25 Days

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 26, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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Writing and self-publishing a novel in roughly 25 days isn't out of the question. Now, that writing and publishing milestone isn't going to make any modern writer a single red cent. Nevertheless, posting a working "beta" draft, something that may become a novel and people may one day pay to read, must become measurable.

I've approached this declarative moment.

Ghost Little has built a living document, a library of free books to read online, tailored to modern reading habits and written with digital distribution at its foundation.

This is how to write a short novel and how indie authors can get their work out there.

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Topics: how to write

How to Write a 500-Word Long Blog Post in 45 Minutes

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jun 14, 2017 12:00:00 PM

WRITE-500-WORDS.gifTaking the planet's hyper-fast globalization into consideration, we must face facts that clear communication across all available channels is already a critical survival ability for humans.

Learning how to write quickly and honestly is an under-exercised muscle in the human arsenal.

Until a search engine can properly face-scan a few quintilian faces on video files, writing remains the most measurable communication format, and the blog post remains the backbone of the written word for all peoples, personally and professionally.

Mastering this writing craft will make you an efficient, effective communicator...

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Topics: how to write

Yes, You Should Outline Writing Projects (all of 'em!)

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 17, 2017 12:00:00 PM

outline-writing-projects.gifA supremely-talented improvisational musician can take to the floor and tell you that thoughtless, organic creativity is the purest form. This is not incorrect.

Plenty of great writers shoot from the hip. That is a capital skill. Stephen King didn't write hundreds of books by putting up his feet; he wrote them because he didn't stop writing. Improvised writing is pure.

Then again, purity may not be your objective, in music, or in writing. Perhaps you need to immediately put an idea in your reader's head?

Keeping that in mind, you need to outline all your writing projects...

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Topics: how to write

How to Write a Rockstar Job Rec and Hire Secret Agent Employees

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Business man with glowing exploding head concept.jpegYou've heard this one—it's time to expand your team and you have to be dead-sure you know what you need for the role. You want a rockstar: a warm body that captures all the attention in the room and can still wow everyone when things get loud.

How do you turn your needs into a thorough job rec though? It's no easy task. No matter the role, internal- or external-facing, sales or account services, you feel pressure to hire a peacocking rockstar. Here's the secret though: the best rockstar-hires are actually secret agent-hires.

Let's dig into how you do this...

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Topics: how to write

How To Write About: Likable Characters

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 12, 2016 12:00:00 PM

riddick.gifThe greatest favor a writer can do is deliver the world a memorable character.

The second greatest favor a writer can do is deliver the world a likable character.

The worst favor a world can do is deliver the world another jerk bathed in their writerly projections, neuroses, and anxieties. Writers have daddy issues, man. Mommy issues are less common. Unpack that ball of yarn, why don't you?

Creating a likable, memorable character that is not simply A Jerk / Author Surrogate is a huge challenge. Like email, social media, or blogging, knowing how to write likable characters is honor bound by a simple rule: never skimp on the details...

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Topics: how to write

Are Short Paragraphs Better Than Long Paragraphs?

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 2, 2016 12:00:00 PM

wall-of-text-2.jpegAt some point in your life, you likely had an English teacher at with strong opinions about structure. Grammatical structure. Sentence structure. They likely slapped a palm on the board at the front of the class to emphasize the point: this is how you do it!

That poor teach was being paid so little money.

You can read up on Ghost Little's two exquisite guides on writing shot sentences. With that debate dead and laid in a tasteful burial, let's examine the next structural piece: paragraph length.

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Topics: storytelling analysis, how to write

How To Write About Creative Process

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 26, 2016 12:00:00 PM

pen-notepad.jpgI continue to struggle with explaining my own creative process. I struggle to explain it to myself. I struggle to explain it to other people.

In fact, I've almost given up explaining it to other people. If I were a crueler person, I'd do this out of prickly, self-serious superiority. Instead, I, like many people, often let impossibility poison my desire to share.

If you want to know how to write about a creative process, begin by sharing with groups providing criticism you can react to and implement...

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Topics: how to write

Best Of 2016's First Half: OVERWATCH

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 20, 2016 12:00:00 PM

lucio-particles.gifThe year 2016 is already bumping uglies with some of the worst years ever in recorded human history.

David Bowie, our link to the cosmic beyond, passed away. Prince, a true original and musical weirdo-genius, died. There are mass shootings every other week. American cops are racist. The Republican party still draws a ruthless pink-dong'd constituent. It's bad news all the time, growing worse as the summer carries on.

Sometimes you're so powerless in the face of one horror after another that you don't even know how you should hurt, beacuse it does hurt. Hatred and garbage don't get to win though.

And then, standing there, it's Overwatch. It is so perfectly The Future Of Videogames, so perfectly Tomorrow, that it just might save us all.

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Topics: how to write

5 More Examples Of Why Short Sentences Are Better Than Long Sentences In Business Writing

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 14, 2016 12:00:00 PM

typewriter-vintage.jpgDiscussed prior on this very website, there's no singular tool for determining good writing structure. That determination comes from experience. You'll come to understand which tool is best for getting your point across to your adoring fans. Making that point clear is your responsibility, "rules" of writing be damned.

Strong, confident sentences are excellent vehicles for making a point. Long sentences can lose the point, meandering around. Shorter sentences provide less opportunity for misinterpreations and fuck-ups. This makes reading and processing the information less taxing.

I collect over-long sentences when I edit my company's blog. Here are 5 more examples demonstrating why short sentences are better than long sentences.

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Topics: short sentences are better than long sentences, storytelling analysis, how to write

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