Sol Stein sold me on “The Actor’s Studio Method for Developing Drama in Plots”

Some of my regular readers might notice that my usual response to frustration in the midst of a writing project is to start borrowing writing books from the library and systematically going through them (in addition to eating chocolate, cleaning, and spending too much time on Facebook as an avoidance strategy).

stein on writing

A new favorite writing book, chock full of original, well-informed, and practical advice.

I’m two volumes into my current stack of five. The last couple of days, I’ve been reading Stein on Writing, written by novelist, playwright, and editor extraordinaire, Sol Stein. It’s not a new book, but it’s a classic, and I picked it up due to the acclaim.

I’m not done yet, but I’m just loving this book. It’s much more practical than most of the writing books I’ve read, which tend toward the touchy-feely, and after 50 pages of familiar (but articulate) ground (which I probably could use a review of anyway), Stein starts describing all sorts of new strategies for writers to employ.

My favorite one, thus far, is “The Actors Studio Method for Developing Drama in Plots.” Continue reading

Regional dialect in the U.S. – Pardon me for my nerdiness

two women talking

“I’m sorry I laughed at you for calling the ginger ale, ‘Coke.'” “That’s alright, Mabel. I’ll forgive you if you pardon me for laughing when you called the spigot a ‘spicket.'”

Like most people who read and write SF and fantasy, I have a tendency towards nerdiness. I watched Star Trek loyally (until I ditched my TV at age 24). I read graphic novels. I watched foreign films as a teen and young adult and snubbed “Forrest Gump” and “Titanic.” And my idea of a fun day out could easily involve a museum, planetarium, or library.

Yes, I sat at the table with the nerds, geeks, and dweebs in high school. At least the social consequences of nerdiness drop drastically at some point during college.

One of the things I studied in college and graduate school happens to be sociolinguistics, and the topic still fills me with geeky glee, so when Discover Magazine directed readers to Joshua Katz’s work at NC State University, I had to give it a look-see. Continue reading