Tag: Group Writing

Member Post

 

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the trivia of insurrections and coups and racists claiming to be antiracists conducting a reign of terror under the sponsorship of global corporations that these petty outrages distract us from the deeper crimes, crimes perpetrated in the culture against the truth. A friend of mine the other day […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were King of the Internet, I Would Mandate the Percontation Point⸮

 

Satire. Irony. Sarcasm. The written word seldom conveys these things well enough to tell them from someone’s making a serious statement or proposal. (This has even been codified and is now known as Poe’s Law.) Distinguishing serious from ironic is a very old problem, and one that was solved in about 1580. It was in that decade that Henry Denham, an English printer, came up with a solution. His idea was to have a new mark of punctuation that would distinguish when someone was not serious. That mark was the percontation point, and it looked like this: ⸮.

Thus, were I the King of the Internet, you would be mandated to use the percontation point⸮ It would probably be the only punctuation available to such publications as The Onion or The Babylon Bee. And maybe some mistakes would no longer be made:

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were Your Writing Coach, I’d Take Away Your Exclamation Point

 

Exclamation point abuse! It happens to far too many writers! It seems they just can’t help themselves!

Okay, look, you get one exclamation point per year or per book. That’s it. And I just used up my three-year allotment. Unless you are illustrating a point of a character who always seems to be in exclamatory mode, a character who is a joke and a punchline, then you might use more exclamation points to show what an idiot he is. Otherwise, just don’t. Exclamation points should be treated like saffron: Just a few bits go a very long way.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were a Leaf, I Would Fall for You

 

If I were a leaf, I would fall for you.
From high atop the highest tree, I’d spy
As you came forth and topple through the blue
To meet your shoe as it kicked me up high,
To fall and rise once more and tumble nigh
That shoe to be kicked again as my plan
To be near your feet or fluttering high,
To always be your leaf that takes the van.
I am no falling leaf; I am a man,
A tired, old mortal with little play
Where once I strolled and kicked the leaves and ran
Beside you. Then I matched you fey for fey.
Good days come and good days go. Good days fade.
But those memories I would never trade.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were a Pirate, I’d Steal Thy Heart

 

If I were a pirate, I’d steal thy heart,
For something must a pirate steal, matey.
Ah, talking this way is not such a start.
No, no, we must discourse matters weighty,
Such as how to get representation
Of damsels fair of form in pirate crews
And thus to improve the pirate nation.
No people stands for long without it woos.
And men alone get up to deviltry
When left to their devices comical,
They turn their hands to outright ribaldry
And vile pursuits far more inimical.
Left are we to mull over thy beauty
And how that begets thy solemn duty.

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day once more, a foolish bit of frippery. What better way to address one bit of foolishness than with another? Are you a participant in this ersatz holiday?

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were Your Writing Coach, I Would Start You at the Beginning

 

Your first line is the most important of your written work. It is like the door to your house or business. You want it to be inviting so the reader will feel welcome and come for a visit in the world you have created. If the door to your house is chipped and scuffed and needs painting or refinishing and maybe the screen on the storm door is hanging loose, people might be a little hesitant to come visit. If you want to be a professional writer, your first line is the door to your business. If the opening of your written work is sloppy or uninteresting, why would the reader want to move on to the next line? If the first paragraph is dull or passive or even seemingly evasive through being non-specific, why would a reader want to bother reading the second paragraph? You don’t want your reader to feel like they have entered a rough part of town where few of the houses are maintained.

As mentioned in the previous entry of this series, I critique a fair number of works of art before they are seen by the public. While I have critiqued works of visual and industrial art, my forte is in the written word. I have helped other authors develop poems, short stories, novellas, novels, and even non-fiction works. I often come across the same issues in the works of many authors, especially those who are amateurs or just trying to break into the profession. This conversation will highlight one of these common issues and errors: the weak opening.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were Your Writing Coach, I Would Advise a Different Point of View

 

I critique a fair number of works of art before they are seen by the public. While I have critiqued works of visual and industrial art, my forte is in the written word. I have helped other authors develop poems, short stories, novellas, novels, and even non-fiction works. I often come across the same issues in the works of many authors, especially those who are amateurs or just trying to break into the profession. This conversation will highlight one of these common issues and errors. I may do more as time allows.

In most short works, such as a short poem, say a sonnet, point of view is not a big deal. The point of view may be the author of the work, or it may be a character made up for the occasion. When we start writing longer works, especially works of fiction, point of view becomes much more important. It seems that most beginning authors attempt to write from the point of view of an omniscient narrator. This is usually a mistake.

Member Post

 

1:00 – The horn sounds the one-minute signal. Hands adjust ropes as sixteen boats maneuver. Most of them move toward an imagined line between a yardarm perched on an old pontoon boat and a floating buoy. Some of the boats move away: they’re too close. It very well could be that in each of the […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. August Group Writing – Reel Tears

 

Crying at the Movies

Field of Dreams. Ok, I know. It’s a summer cliche. And it’s hokey. And kind’a dated. But I must have watched it a hundred times. At least three times in the theatre when it came out. And if I come across it on TV … I’m watching it. Even if it’s already somewhere in the middle; 10 seconds and I’m hooked. And what’s worse, I cry at the end every time. Every time, guaranteed. I’m a sucker for that scene near the end where Kevin Costner’s character is having a catch with his back-from-the-great-beyond Dad. I’m tearing up now just writing about it.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

There has been a great deal of good writing over the years, inspired by monthly theme cues. Maybe you missed some, or joined more recently. Instead of searching on tags, just bookmark this post. This index will capture all of them in one post, updated monthly. A big thank-you to past keepers of the themes; […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

We have nine open days the rest of this month in the group writing theme schedule. Do stop by and share your tale of reels, fishing or film! I do not want to resort to filling empty days with Big Mouth Billy Bass and such. Read More View Post

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

What has happened over my many summers has been an odd duck combination of different things. August is an odd duck too. Often it is a month too extremely hot to be enjoyable, yet at night there might be a cool breeze that slips through the neighborhood with a whisper of the autumn to come. […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I just want to start off by saying I’m not making an appeal for money, pro bono cleaning services or beer donations (although Buffalo Trace bourbon, or something of equal or higher quality, would be appreciated). So, I’m in an orthopedic boot. On my left foot. Yeah, right, you all wish to sign it, but […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I spent most of my youth as an Army brat, since my father was recruited back into the Medical Corps after the Vietnam War doctors’ draft ended and the All Volunteer Force started looking for talent. We always had post housing, so the post theaters were our local cinemas. With four children, our parents naturally […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Fishing bores me. I hate the taste of fish, so I would just be torturing the critters. Sure, I could sit in a boat or on the shore all day, maybe with a book. But fishing? It reminds me of Mark Twain’s description of golf, “A good walk spoiled.” And movies? Generally I had rather […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Doggerel Days of Summer: Boston Flights and Swedish Nights

 

Upheavals in life often leave us running, at once, for the new and the old. Unconfirmed reports say that I may have cut seven inches of my hair off, four days before flying home for the first time in almost eight months. I also may have downloaded two Longmire novels to my phone, and the second book of Winston Churchill’s The Second World War series to my Audible app. Tomas Tranströmer has played much the same role in my life, a touchstone for times good and bad, new and old. Laying in bed listening to a recitation of one of his poems a few nights ago was what inspired me to write this post initially.

While winning a Nobel Prize would be a breathtaking gift to most poets, for Tranströmer this attracted no small amount of criticism. As he was Swedish, some critics said, his mediocre poetry was being honored by a sense of national pride rather than for its merits. To me, this is complete stupidity. The Swedish former psychologist deserves far more attention than he gets in the English speaking world, for the beauty of his wordcraft and the profundity of his message.