Tapping Your Memory for Creativity (Or, Maple Syrup Shared Universe)

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

Published: Nov 21, 2016 12:00:00 PM

dr-strange.gifThe action wherein a maple tree is set up to produce syrup is called "tapping." Interconected tubes run together, usually downhill to get a hand from gravity, leading to a collecting tank. Hundreds of gallons of maple sap is required to boil down into maple syrup.

Are you struggling to approach a creative task? Imagine how many trees inside your mind are required to fuel true creativity.

Your brain constitutes an entire experiental shared universe of thought. To achieve a higher creative plane, you need to learn to tap your memory. 

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Topics: shared universe, storytelling analysis

Don't Hate DmC Devil May Cry For Being Beautiful

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

Published: Aug 22, 2016 12:00:00 PM

DmC-title-card.gifVisibility and volume have been stolen by tasteless crybabies. They possess no agenda, only to dislike, wall off, and counteract. Haters shriek plain simplicities with no sincerity.

It's been some time now since the video game landscape was introduced to the Devil May Cry reboot: DmC, and it remains an undervalued gem, chipped and clouded by morons addicted to their elusive, childish wonder, forever in the rearview.

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Topics: online etiquette, storytelling analysis

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

Star Trek Beyond's Plot is a Middle Finger to Isolation and Pessimism

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

Published: Jul 28, 2016 12:00:00 PM

star-trek-beyond-title-card.gifYou might notice there are three separate condemnations of haywiring isolationist psychos hitting the movies this summer.

The timing couldn't be better if God himself carved it into the walls of his prison cell with a toothbrush shank like this is the year we finally get out. We're going through the final, painful transformation.

First, we had Civil War (go team Cap), wherein Iron Man wants to take authority from Captain freaking America. Next, we spent three hours learning that Batman is a violent, childlike weirdo who grew up wrong.

This brings us to Star Trek Beyond. It's unfortunate the film was built as a space action-adventure, which it is: but it's also a prescient moral lesson about mankind's obsession with war, domination, and life's emptiness when we stare into the universe bucking and exploding within our own skulls.

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Topics: Review, Movie Review, storytelling analysis

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

Whiny Questions, Simple Answers no. 6: Why Does Zack Snyder Get To Keep Directing Movies?

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

Published: Jul 5, 2016 12:00:00 PM

wonder-woman.gifThis is a recurring segment, "Whiny Questions, Simple Answers," where I gather the whiniest question I come across on the internet in a given week, and provide a straightforward answer.

This week's question again addresses the DC "Snyderverse."

We did our analysis of the new Batman V Superman - Ultimate Cut and it's earned greater praise over its initial release.

Coupled with the semi-positive reports from the set of the now-filming Justice League movie, also helmed by Man of Steel and BvS director Zack Snyder, the question cannot be avoided.

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Topics: whiny questions, simple answers, storytelling analysis

How Anonymity Still Hurts Online Writing

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

Published: Jul 1, 2016 12:00:00 PM

blues-brothers-nun.gifI remember when the internet and virtual reality became the new escapism for the non-conforming youth. Perhaps realer than the high-fantasy elves and goblins of generations prior because it was something the 90's rejects could actively live in. They could get away from the traditionalism that beat them down under pretense they defied.

So online, these rejects could share among one another. The sharper ones even had some measure of penetrating power online. And they had extra-special, secret names they gave themselves.

They could be anonymous, if they felt it. I get that freedom. It's a shield. They could vanish backward into anonymity, again, if they felt it.

Trouble is: that anonymity, that protectedness, that outcast mentality, it's burnt deep into the internet's bread and butter now. While once, it was a shield, now it's acid. The anonymity homogenizes and wounds online writing.

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Topics: Download free ebook, storytelling analysis, online etiquette, self-promotion

What Is The Difference Between A Writer And A Blogger?

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

Published: Jun 29, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Ghost_Little_Facebook_Thumbnail_Logo_Photo.pngCertain people who bear the diamond-hard feeling that the world owes them a speaking platform will tell you through their clenched orthodontistry that there's nothing worse than a Millennial, except maybe a blogger. This is a section of people who believe status is the greatest yardstick of a person's capability. To them, a writer is a writer, and a blogger is a plagiarist without an editor.

What is the difference between the two? Is one superior? Is the other outdated terminology? Is a rose, is a rose, is a rose, is a rose, or am I Frankensteining too many miniature gags and references together?

Here's the difference between a blogger and a writer:

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Topics: marketing, storytelling analysis, how to write

Whiny Questions, Simple Answers no. 5: Wait, Why Do People Love The Marvel Movies So Much?

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

Published: Jun 28, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Screen_Shot_2016-06-28_at_8.31.45_AM.pngThis is a recurring segment, "Whiny Questions, Simple Answers," where I gather the whiniest question I come across on the internet in a given week, and provide a straightforward answer.

This week's question again concerns the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While we're a few weeks out from the billion dollar success of the last MCU movie in Captain America: Civil War, this question has come again because of another release of the MCU's rival film shared universe: Batman V Superman - Ultimate Cut. We did our analysis of the new cut and it's earned greater praise over its initial release.

With that in mind, people are grinding their teeth at the thought of why the MCU movies are so popular?

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Topics: whiny questions, simple answers, storytelling analysis, shared universe

Isolationism Is Death: A Brexit Response

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

Published: Jun 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM

diffused-resized-600.pngAt the time of this writing, the United Kingdom has voted by a margin of 52% to 48% to leave the European Union. As far as I can figure, the motivation to do so was because aging racists were afraid of immigrants.

This is troubling because the country that invented Peter Pan, Harry Potter, and Bilbo Baggins has decided to age horribly, kill magic, and stay isolated in the Shire.

I lived in Scotland for a little while. Ask a Scot if they're British and the least that they'll do is laugh at you, so I won't pretend I've lived in Britain, but I technically lived in the United Kingdom, as it was. As an American in the early 2000's, well into the Bush administration, and months after Hurricane Katrina left a city of predominantly non-whites to die, I understood that isolationism and rejecting our planet truly is death.

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Topics: storytelling analysis, Download free ebook

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