You Writer You

October 30, 2010By jayWriting

The word you when appropriately used can pull the reader into the story/article that you have written. 

However, when I (the writer) decide to place the reader in my position, rather than pulling in the reader it tends to create tension—tension that the reader may not even understand. 

This is what happens when writers use the word “you” rather than “me” or “I” in any sentence that is really about my feelings. 

“Don’t you hate it when…” would be a good opening if all feelings were universal. Since all feelings aren’t universal, using you will alienate some readers. 

Dear writers, those who use sentences like the one above, it will be better, for your readers, if you were to write, “I hate it when…”. If the reader connects with your hatred (or whatever feelings you want to convey), because they too feel the same way, they are drawn in deeper with solidarity. Although, if they don’t agree with your feelings, you haven’t alienated them by writing that they feel the same as you. It allows your readers freedom to explore their own feeling and ideas.

Learning to use you correctly will help to draw in your readers. As a writer that is what I want—to draw my readers in.

Way Away

October 29, 2010By jayWriting

Away         a way

Like then and than the words away and a way are often interchanged.
While they might be interchanged they aren’t interchangeable.

The child push the food away.

The child was lost in the maze, but then found a way out.

In the first sentence, “away” means to: place distance between oneself and something else.

In the second sentence, “a way” means: a path or a direction.

There are several alternate meaning to both words. But, a simple way to remember the difference is to remove the letter “a” and replace it with “the”. This might not always work, but it should work in most instances.

If you are dealing with roads, paths, directions generally you will use “a way”. Alternatively, if you are placing distance between yourself/someone/thing else then you will use “away”.

Might and May

October 27, 2010By jaymiscelany, Writing

Unless you’re a grammar geek these may and might can be very confusing. They are often mixed together in sentences: I may go to the store where I might buy a cola.

Sometimes though the speaker means: I plan on going to the store and buying a cola.

The speaker uses may and might synonymously because they don’t want to use—may or might—twice.

Check out:
May vs Might

 

Creating HTML5

October 27, 2010By jaymiscelany, technology

From Guber: @daringfireball Adobe ‘Edge’ — Prototype Tool for Creating HTML5 Animations: http://df4.us/gg8

It reminds me of a mixture of the earliest Flash client: Future Splash and LiveMotion. Adobe always wanted to be the Flash Killer. Interestingly, they may get to be the one that does it—slowly.

Dances with Avatar

October 25, 2010By jayhumor, Writing

I find a lot of humor/irony in movies like Avatar and Dances with Wolves. They attempt to show how much better a village is in comparison to a predominantly white male society, but in order to win (or survive) they rely on a white male.

The message is clear the white-man-driven military is barbarous while the primitive group isn’t. But, the primitives are useless without a white leader.

I just find it interesting—as a Native American/white man.

Show and tell

October 23, 2010By jayWriting

1) Example of Telling:
Intrigued Berol stopped, stooped down, and picked up a penny.

2) Example of Telling and Showing:
Berol stopped and said to himself, “What’s this? What an odd penny.” So, he stooped down and picked it up.

3)Example of Showing:
“Whoa! What a crazy penny! Best pick that up ‘fore someone-else does.” Berol thought, as he dropped to his knee and snatched it up.

Each example has merit. Each one could come in handy.

1. Is more of a God view. We understand Berol’s thoughts because we are told them. In a movie it would play out like this: the character is running to some other destination and as he is running he stops, looks interested in something, and then picks it up and goes on his way. Throughout the rest of the movie that item would return. Even though we don’t know what it is at first we realize it is important to the character.

2. Is more internal. It is still outside of the character, but we have taken a few steps into the character’s life. We are still primarily being told even though some of it is coming from the character his or herself.

3. Is much more internal. The reader is privy to a situation that is happening in the character’s life—not outside it. Dialogue from the character’s POV helps the reader feel much more involved.

Learning when to show and when to tell will help a new writer deliver a quality story.

Twitter

October 22, 2010By jaytechnology, Writing

Just so you know, I have a subscribe page so readers can be informed via email. The site is still a bit behind what I would like, but if you want to subscribe click in the more info link at the top.

Or you can follow me on twitter @mrjaymyers

 

Aliens! Look Out! Part Deux

October 20, 2010By jaymiscelany, religion

Last time I ended my post with a few questions. Hopefully, if you’re returning, you have read over the link I posted Look Out! Aliens! Pt 1
Let’s recap the questions:

So, can Judaism and Christianity continue to stand in the face of alien invaders? Did G-d give the Torah to some other-worldly Moshe (Moses)? Does Jesus have to die time and time again as some “planet hopping savior?”

What is the problem with these questions? They might seem valid to some. The problem lies in the idea of fate. Neither Judaism nor Christianity are fatalistic in their original ideologies. It cannot be argued that they maintained, throughout their histories, non-fatalistic theologies, but it can be proved that both, at their inception and throughout their biblical literature, believed that “a man can change his stars.”

True, both teeter-totter between fatalism and non-fatalism. But, to be fatalistic one must believe that (as Webster says), “all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable.” Throughout the biblical literature of both Judaism and Christianity (J and C here-out) God both controls events and man can change them. This is a crazy sort of dance between the divine and humankind.

So, what does this have to do with aliens? There is nothing within these beliefs that would force an alien life form to have to journey in the same mold as this planet. Said another way: aliens would have their own path with God. I am sure that there would be similarities, but there wouldn’t have to be a salvation path. Because it is possible that the aliens might never have sinned. Just as sinning was not predetermined for Adam nor Havah (Eve). It would not be for any other life forms.

Unlike C.S. Lewis in Perelandra I do not believe, nor does J and C’s biblical literature enforce, that the fall was inevitable.

But, what if…? (I always loved the “What if…” books that Marvel Comics put out. They weren’t always good, but they were always interesting to me.) What if they did sin? Then would Jesus have to go save them? Would G-d have to give them the Torah to help them from sinning?

Maybe. I don’t know. The Bible doesn’t address it and I don’t put God in a box. But, here’s a funky idea. What if… What if the aliens did sin. What if God sent Jesus (in his cool green skin) and they accepted him so that there wasn’t a crucifixion-type event? What if Jesus never had to die there? It was possible here. He implied so himself,

If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace… Luke 19.42

In the book of Genesis/B’reshit, the Bible makes it clear that in the days of Noah G-d was going to wipe out all creation:

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth — men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air — for I am grieved that I have made them.” Gen 6.5-7

If the God of the Bible was a fatalistic G-d then there would have been nothing stopping him. Noah would have been wiped out with the rest. He had said, “I will.” But…

Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. Gen 6.8

There are many more verses that I could refer to, but I am going to end with this: The G-d of the Bible is not a fatalistic God. Jesus could have lived and died without having to be crucified. Adam and Eve didn’t have to sin.

If G-d has built other planets (and I hope he has)—and they haven’t turned away from him, then they have experienced something entirely different than us. But, if they have turned away then it is likely, I would say highly likely, that they will come with multiple forms of belief just as we experience here on earth.

More on this again sometime.