Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Why kids can learn more from tales of fantasy than realism


The last line of today’s re-blog:

“And hey, if it’s good for the kids …” :-)

M.C. Tuggle, Writer

Fantasy learning

Deena Weisberg is a senior fellow in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her specialty is “imaginative cognition,” which studies how imagination boosts one’s ability to learn. Her research demonstrates that children absorb new material taught in the context of a fanciful scenario better than they do when it’s presented in more realistic terms. In a recent edition of Aeon, she challenges herself with a question she’s grappled with before: Why do fantastical stories stimulate learning?

What can be going on? Perhaps children are more engaged and attentive when they see events that challenge their understanding of how reality works. After all, the events in these fantastical stories aren’t things that children can see every day. So they might pay more attention, leading them to learn more.

A different, and richer, possibility is that there’s something about fantastical contexts that is particularly helpful for learning. From this perspective, fantastical fiction…

View original post 252 more words

Advertisements

#Writers & #Movies


I wrote a post featuring Movies about Writers back in 2016—it included 12 films. #Writers and #Movies

There’s a more recent post in The Independent Publishing Magazine called, Seven Films About Writers That Will Motivate You.

So…

19 movies about writers…

In one of my past posts, I said:

“…the legendary director and producer, Francis Ford Coppola, said he preferred being inspired by reading short stories rather than movie scripts.”

I’ve also said:

“As a writer, I think watching movies is an excellent way to absorb the craft of storytelling. Even though the approaches differ in certain critical ways, you can ‘translate’ between them.”

So…

Movies about writers and movies for writers…

How about a few videos for writers?

Just go to Aerogramme Writers’ Studio and check out their post, 13 Inspirational TED Talks for Writers.

I’ve included at least four of those videos in past posts; and, I drop one in here for the folks who just hate taking links out from blog posts :-)

Enjoy this talk about storytelling freed from politics, from the author, Elif Shafak :

(very sorry if you have to watch an ad before the video :-( or, heaven forbid, even after the video…)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Visit The Story Bazaar
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Writers, are you showing off or sharing? A way to kill your darlings


Re-blog today by the inimitable Roz Morris…

Nail Your Novel

fa5e3d4961d73a6701f7b74729d8ad29I’ve been reading Bill Bryson’s Notes From A Small Island and he describes a moment in an Edinburgh art gallery when he saw a father talking to his son about the difference between early and later Goya. Bryson says:

The man was describing the pictures with a fondness and familiarity that were truly heartwarming and the boy was raptly attentive to his every word. He wasn’t showing off, you understand; he was sharing.’

Showing off. Sharing.

It seems to me that this distinction could apply, not just to art appreciation or father-son conversations, but to art itself.

It’s hard to pin down what makes a piece of art effective, but one explanation could be this – an essential quality of transparency, of real communication. Whether it’s painting, dance, acting or writing, you forget it’s being accomplished through words on a page, or strokes of paint, or somebody dressing up and…

View original post 296 more words

The #Bestseller Fever…


I’ve had a number of posts here exploring the phenomenon of the bestseller…

#Bestseller Fever

Two that seem like good entrées to the reporting I decided to do today are:

What Is a #Bestseller, Really? And, Should an Author Try to Write One?
~~~~~~~~~
Why Trying to Write a Bestseller Is Bad for Your Mental Hygiene

Here are just a few excerpts from those posts:

“…I feel that beginning the process of writing a book with the dream of it becoming a bestseller is going to make the writer, consciously or subconsciously, write in an imitative fashion—trying to write to the folks who like bestsellers—killing any true originality and honest creativity…”

“Bottom-line, unless you’re some hot-property sports or movie or business person with a Traditional Publishing house’s money behind you, you need to write a book that expresses your deepest creativity and let the sales-chips fall where they may…”

A quote from Ursula K. Le Guin:

“The readability of many best sellers is much like the edibility of junk food. Agribusiness and the food packagers sell us sweetened fat to live on, so we come to think that’s what food is.”

Now for a post (sent to me by a very good author friend) from the blog, Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity, called, The Secret to Writing a Best-selling Novel.

I’m almost embarrassed to offer excerpts; but, here goes:

“Computer scientists have developed an algorithm which can predict with 84 per cent accuracy whether a book will be a commercial success…”

“A technique called statistical stylometry, which mathematically examines the use of words and grammar, was found to be ‘surprisingly effective’ in determining how popular a book would be.”

I must point out that that last excerpt is quite like many “scientific” claims—claims that have not borne the weight of exhaustive examination…

I feel that just as business has infected science, and inflated claims are made which are derived from rigged “experimentation” or even from highly prejudiced computer “studies”, the corporate-mind has infiltrated the book-blogging world and is promising you’ll be famous and make loads of money if you sell you soul to the “experts”…

Last shot for me is to urge you to read, or re-read, what I consider the Most Important post I have here (most important out of a total of over 1,900 of them…):

What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Visit The Story Bazaar
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Editing as creative development – guest post at Ingram Spark


Reblogging Roz Morris is a great honor…

Nail Your Novel

Good developmental editing is one of the cornerstones of book production, but indie authors have a special advantage over the traditionally published. Indies can use the editing process to nurture their potential and perhaps find talents they didn’t suspect. I’m talking about this role of the editor at the IngramSpark blog today.

And if you’re in the environs of London, you can come and see me talk about this in a one-day self-publishing masterclass. I’m one of four expert speakers covering all the publishing bases (editorial, design, publicity, distribution) at this.

If you hop over to my post, you’ll see a special discount code.

Finally, permit me a little discreet throat-clearing … yes, you know about Not Quite Lost, but I can’t help mentioning it because it publishes in two weeks’ time and I’m rather excited.

Save

Save

View original post