blue bits. red rocks.


Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, which the HBO series is based on, fully develops the individual agency of characters. He creates incredibly complex plots with characters that have flaws and make decisions that are half-chance. Readers have been shocked at how characters can be killed off with little notice, but they describe his writing as having “realness” and “humanity.” Anything can happen to any character at any time, but in a realistic way. If Tolkien followed the trajectory of agency-based writing, it arrives with Martin’s truly complete world of agents. Each personality is multi-layered, acting on their history and experience, changing as the story does. Tolkien clearly favored a central character with the narrative weaving around them; however, his stories give an air of a much wider world that the main character simply exists within. Going further, Martin writes characters with such realistic motivations, reflecting the complexity we see in others and ourselves, that it is a significant shift in storytelling. This paradigm change is of course not simply relegated to fantasy writers, but the popularity of the two writers underscores this transformation. Agency. Or Why We Love Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.

The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day. Robert DeNiro

But the truth is—perfection isn’t required for publication. If it were, then we wouldn’t have to point our fingers at the “mistakes” in books on the bestseller lists. Bitterly we analyze those bestsellers and say things like, “I can’t believe she got away with using all those adverbs” or “His dialog was so stilted” and finally, “My book is written much better.” Our books can be executed perfectly. We can have flawless sentence structure. We can follow all of the rules of manual and style down to the very last comma. But … nobody cares about a perfect book. Why? Because they care more about the STORY. Jody Hedlund

We [are] shaped as writers, I believe, not much by who our favorite writers are as by our general experience of fiction. Learning to write fiction, we learn to listen for our own acquired sense of what feels right, based on the totality of the pleasure (or its lack) that fiction has provided us. Not direct emulation, but rather a matter of a personal micro-culture. William Gibson

If you are finding it difficult to communicate, stop blaming lack of face-to-face visual contact. If you can’t communicate in writing, it may be because you can’t write properly. There is a cure for that: education and practice. Tom Morris (via kvasir)

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