Unconventional writing tips + detecting BS


[Feature Photo: See-ming Lee]

Writing faculty member Candice Walsh shares what’s been on her radar lately.

The Culture of Shut Up – The Atlantic 

This is an interesting article on freedom of speech and what it means for us in the time of the Internet. In other words, we need to deal with the fact that the Internet provides a space for people to do and say whatever the hell they want because we’re all hiding behind computer screens. “We need to get comfortable with the reality that no one is going to shut up. You aren’t going to shut up. I’m not going to shut up. The idiots aren’t going to shut up.”

33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer – Medium

While I don’t agree with everything in this article (including the bit about coffee and going to bed before 9 PM at least four nights a week), there’s some unconventional advice in here that I love. My favourite:

“Write whatever you want. Then take out the first paragraph and last paragraph.” A common habit I see among new writers is the NEED to wrap-up a story in a short summary – reiterating what’s already been said. As a reader, I like drawing my own conclusions.

The Bullshit Generator

This one is just for fun. If there’s any website that REALLY captures the art of bullshitting, it’s this one. There’s nothing really serious about the site, but the author created a bunch of new-age web copy that flawlessly points out how some people are good at saying a lot about nothing. He focuses on big buzzwords: “You must take a stand against discontinuity. We can no longer afford to live with materialism. The complexity of the present time seems to demand a flowering of our essences if we are going to survive.”

Isn’t that deep?

Climate Change Adaptation: Under the Tuscan Sun – Jim O’Donnell

Jim is a U alumni and one of the most enthusiastic learners I’ve come across during my time as Faculty. He wrote this piece originally for the final exam, and now here it is, published! If you’re a wine enthusiast you’ll be interested in learning about how Tuscany is dealing with climate change and its effect on wine production.

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