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Thursday, 09 January 2020 08:42

Changes in Creative Writing

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There are trends in writing. If you doubt that let your copy of Moby Dick or A Tale of Two Cities fall open to a random page and read a paragraph! Next pick up the book you are reading for your book club, open it at random and read a paragraph. Unless you are a member of an extraordinary book club, your “now book,” is far different in the style and structure of the writing, much looser, easier to follow, and engaging.

How does this happen? For an intriguing discussion of recent trends see the following.

There are trends in writing.

Recently a movement toward enhanced clarity in communicating concepts by going around the "rules" of writing has emerged. A fascinating article published in the New York Times, December 29, 2019:  

We Learned to Write the Way We Talk - A Decade of Distrust By Gretchen McCulloch. (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/27/opinion/sunday/internet-writing-text-emotion.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_191229?campaign_id=2&instance_id=14840&segment_id=19924&user_id=f7f94c900c1ed3bd97fcc1a6b9651c62®i_id=267089841229)

Here are a few quotes that may stimulate your thinking:

“The closest to love that an external list of rules can offer is a feeling of besieged camaraderie,

a unity against a perceived common enemy.”

If you are seriously committed to being understood -

“Understanding comes from meeting other people where they are, like being willing to use gestures and a handful of semi-remembered words and yes, even to look like a fool, to bridge a language barrier with

laughter and humility.

“Having emotionally real conversations takes vulnerability.” And writing well takes vulnerability too.

And, for the English teachers: “When we write in ways that a red pen wouldn’t approve of, we give our interlocutors the chance to show that they care more about us as a living human presence than they do about some long-dead or absent authority, by not derailing the conversation with moralizing “corrections” — or better yet, by replying with the same vulnerability.”

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Ron Pickett

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