Posts Tagged ‘style’

  • The Most Fundamental Thing in Any Work of Art

    September 23rd, 2014 | Subject Matter | journalpulp | 6 Comments

    “There is no work of art without a subject,” said Ortega — and with him here I do not demur. Subject-matter isn’t the only component of art — nor is it the most complicated — but it is the most fundamental. It is the component toward which all others are geared. This is true in […]

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  • Popular Fiction Versus Literary

    Popular Fiction Versus Literary

    August 7th, 2013 | Popular fiction versus literary fiction | journalpulp | 7 Comments

    The difference between popular fiction and literary fiction is subtle but unmistakable. The criteria is graded — think of it as a spectrum — so that a book or movie can have elements of both literary fiction and also elements of genre fiction at the same time. But there is undoubtedly a distinction. It is […]

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  • In Defense of Description

    July 25th, 2013 | Literature | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    There’s a common misconception (unfortunately growing), popular among so-called commercial-fiction coaches predominantly, though not exclusively, that stories and novels have one and only one real purpose: storytelling. Which is to say, plot. Which is to say, conflict. Anything, therefore, that slows the pace of the plot — or anything that disrupts the plot — should […]

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  • Five Reasons I’ll Keep Reading Your Story

    Five Reasons I’ll Keep Reading Your Story

    April 25th, 2013 | Writing | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Actually, there are many reasons — many more than five — that I’ll keep reading your story, but there are also at least as many reasons I won’t. (For example: He had nothing in the way of a like God-concept, and at that point maybe even less than nothing in terms of interest in the […]

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  • What Makes Certain Art Timeless?

    What Makes Certain Art Timeless?

    July 19th, 2012 | Art, Beauty | journalpulp | 12 Comments

    “To produce a mighty book you must choose a mighty theme.” Said Herman Melville. And it’s true — true of any and all art: mighty themes are one of the distinguishing characteristics of timeless art. What is theme? Theme is the meaning that the components of your story or artwork add up to. In literature, […]

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  • Stylists And Stylization

    Stylists And Stylization

    March 8th, 2012 | Art | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    It’s been said that a true artist doesn’t ever lose sight of reality: she stylizes it. It’s been also noted that a good painting often looks more real than reality itself. The reason both of these things are true is that art — which includes literature — is selectivity. Selectivity is the process of choosing […]

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  • Subject-Matter

    Subject-Matter

    February 28th, 2012 | Subject Matter | journalpulp | 6 Comments

    “There is no work of art without a subject,” said Ortega — and with him here I do not demur. Subject-matter isn’t the only component of art — nor is it the most complicated — but it is the most fundamental. It is the component toward which all others are geared. Subject is what the […]

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  • Rules For Writing: Beware The Overly Proscriptive

    Rules For Writing: Beware The Overly Proscriptive

    September 15th, 2011 | How to write a novel | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    There is a formula (of sorts) to novel-writing, but that formula should always be framed in terms of principles, and not concretes. By concretes, I’m referring to these interminable lists of specifics we so often see that tell us what to do and what not to do but never give us the principle behind the […]

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  • What Is Poetry?

    What Is Poetry?

    September 10th, 2011 | Poetry | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Poetry is a subset of literature, the art form of language, but it also legitimately belongs to another art: music. Poetry is rhyme and rhythm. It is cadence and count, meter and metric. Poetry is prosody. It is scansion. It is versification. And those are the elements of poetry that make it a part of […]

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  • Characterization (Part 3)

    Characterization (Part 3)

    July 27th, 2011 | Characterization, Literature, Plot, Storytelling, Style, Theme | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Characterization is a presentation of the personality of the people who populate a story. Characterization is primarily a depiction of motivation and motive. The reader must understand what makes the characters act in the way that those characters do. It’s been said that one of the truest tests of good literature is when you can […]

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