Archive for 2011

  • Fifty-Six Of The Best (Or Worst) Similies Ever Written

    Fifty-Six Of The Best (Or Worst) Similies Ever Written

    December 30th, 2011 | Metaphor and Simile | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    The following list, which comes from two contests held by the Washington Post, is not new — in fact, it’s been making the internet rounds for a while now — but you’ll never get tired of reading it: 1. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. 2. He […]

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  • The Truckdriver

    The Truckdriver

    December 26th, 2011 | Poetry | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    The trucker who lives next door is seldom home. He’s a long-haul trucker, he’s over-the-road. He earns good money and does not spend. There’s something ascetical about him, something well read and wise. He’s forty. His hair is long. He wears jeans and combat boots. Sallow and haggard, his face is handsome nevertheless. His willowy […]

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  • Christmas And Its Origins

    Christmas And Its Origins

    December 25th, 2011 | Christmas | journalpulp | No Comments

    Syncretism is a term that means the combining or reconciling of opposing practices and principles. It’s most commonly used in a religious or philosophical context, and as with Easter, Christmas too is syncretic in its origins: a pagan celebration whose provenance long predates Christ’s birth but which eventually made its way into the Christian mainstream. […]

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  • Literature As An Art Form

    Literature As An Art Form

    November 4th, 2011 | Literature | journalpulp | 12 Comments

    Literature is the art-form of language, and words are its tools. As a painter uses paint, as a musician uses musical instruments, as a sculptor uses stone-and-chisel, so a writer uses words. Words have a definite meaning. That is the first point every writer must address — though of course not every writer answers that […]

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  • The Goths and the Origins of Gothic Literature

    The Goths and the Origins of Gothic Literature

    October 31st, 2011 | Gothic Fiction | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    The Goths, as recounted by a Gothic historian named Jordanes (mid 6th Century AD), were a Teutonic-Germanic people whose original homeland was, according to this same Jordanes, in southern Sweden. At that time, this half-barbaric band was ruled by a king called Berig. It was King Berig who led his people south to the shores […]

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  • What Makes Literature Last?

    What Makes Literature Last?

    October 28th, 2011 | Literature | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    “One of the tests of a good writer,” said the poet Karl Shapiro, “is editorial acumen, the ability to turn down your work. It’s the amateur who falls in love with his own written words and holds them sacrosanct.” I think that that’s essentially true. I think also that anyone can learn to write formulaic […]

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  • David Lynch Or Quentin Tarantino?

    David Lynch Or Quentin Tarantino?

    October 14th, 2011 | Movies, Plot, Storytelling, Theme | journalpulp | 9 Comments

    A reader writes: Dear Ray Harvey: Well, it took me five months but I finally finished reading More and More unto the Perfect Day and I wish to compliment you! Though it is a challenging and not easy read, it is rewarding and gives much food for thought to say the least. Your story reminded […]

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  • Interview With Slagheap

    Interview With Slagheap

    October 6th, 2011 | More and More unto the Perfect Day | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    The following questions were submitted to me some time ago by Mr. Maxwell Hoaglund, of Slagheap magazine. I publish it here with Mr. Hoaglund’s full knowledge and permission. Q: If your finger isn’t typing, where is it? Ray Harvey: It’s on the pulse of the people. Q: Are you really a bartender? Ray Harvey: Yes. […]

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  • Writing Takes Place Inside The Head

    Writing Takes Place Inside The Head

    September 24th, 2011 | How to write a novel, Plotting | journalpulp | 5 Comments

    Humans spend the majority of their lives inside their own heads, to paraphrase John Milton. One of the primary reasons — and it’s a perfectly legitimate reason — that people give for not finishing a book or a writing project is that they don’t have the time to write. The good news is that at […]

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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, which when it comes to story-writing tell us what to do and what not to do but never give […]

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  • What Is Poetry?

    What Is Poetry?

    September 10th, 2011 | Poetry | journalpulp | 3 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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  • How To Begin Your Story

    How To Begin Your Story

    August 17th, 2011 | Beginnings, Characterization, Plot | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Establish your setting early on. Give us The When, The Where, The Weather — the overall tone. Is your story happy, soft, somber? John Steinbeck does this so well in the beautiful opening of Of Mice and Men: A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and […]

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  • Writers On Writers

    Writers On Writers

    August 14th, 2011 | Literature, Writers | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    “Rat-eyed” Virginia Woolf described Somerset Maugham as. “No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word,” said Eudora Welty of William Faulkner. “Curiously dull, furiously commonplace, and often meaningless,” Alfred Kazin said of William Faulkner. “Hemingway never climbed out on a limb and never used a word where the reader […]

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  • Climax: Bringing Together The Essential Components Of A Novel

    Climax: Bringing Together The Essential Components Of A Novel

    August 11th, 2011 | Characterization, Climax, Plot, Storytelling, Style | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    A good novel consists of four primary components, all of which interact in an almost symbiotic way. Those elements are plot, character, theme, and style. (The recapitulation of theme-and-plot combined is what I call The Situation.) Of those four components, the first three are primarily concerned with subject-matter, and the last — style, which is […]

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  • Writers Discussing Other Writers

    August 8th, 2011 | Literary trivia, Quotes | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Charles Baudelaire spent two hours a day getting dressed. When Edgar Allen Poe married his cousin Virginia, he was twenty-seven, and she was thirteen. And consumptive. The genius poet-priest Gerard Manley Hopkins wanted to change his name to Pook Tunks. Robert Frost had only five poems accepted in his first seventeen years of writing and […]

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