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Showing posts from July, 2019

On the Path to Story Analysis, Scene Analysis, and Sentence Analysis

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Science is a test of facts. Art is an exploration of values. They are different realms of experience, knowledge, and insight. Writing fiction is an art. Creating stories is the most important art. It's infinitely complex. We need a framework to understand both the meaning that we can pull from existent stories and how to create new stories. I've studied many, and like all conceptual frameworks, I've found that I need to build my own.


I think there are three important levels to focus on if you're writing stories: sentence, scene, and story. I am going to briefly introduce three sources for each of these that I'm trying to integrate and adapt into my own system.

Do we want to start at the top or bottom? Let's start at the top, with story, and we'll work our way down. Remember, this is a general overview so all of these books will contain a lot of good info that I'm not going to cover.

There is a great little ebook by Martin Turner called "The One Bas…

Nothing is more important than...

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I came across that sentence when I was reading a book about a week ago. It's stuck in my head. "Nothing is more important than..." It's an odd way to phrase a superlative, something that is at the extreme.


I've gone through a number of iterations. I'm still uncertain about these answers, and I think that's a major life problem. If you aren't certain about your superlative values then your action will be erratic because your intentions are, which is what you see in my life. But, I have been working on some answers that make sense.

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Nothing is more important than...

...confronting loss by adjusting expectations to match reality.
- ...helping people to confront loss by adjusting expectations to match reality.
(These are of four kinds: 1) False expectations of the future. Which is a feeling of loss. 2) False expectations of the past. Which is a feeling of guilt and/or regret. 3) False expectations of the past-future. Which is a feeling of los…

Writing is a Life Skill

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I was recently contacted about being in a history book about Toastmasters District 62. I was the first person to complete an entire path in the Pathways educational program. I was asked for a quote. If asked, could you produce a good and original quote on request?


I asked how long the quote should be and was told a paragraph would be perfect. So, what did I do? Here it is.

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When I was 19 I climbed Mt. Rainier. At that particular moment in my life I had made no plans beyond getting to the summit. When I accomplished that I had this weird feeling. A slight disorientation. That disorientation was because I lacked a next step, I lacked a future. The purpose of a path is to provide you with that next step. I was the first person to complete a Pathway in Toastmasters District 62. I completed that path the same way I climbed the mountain, one step at a time. Follow the path and it will lead you to your destination. And when you're near completion, begin planning for your nex…

Skimming Across the Top of the Soul in Search of Things Hidden There

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Yesterday was the Fourth of July and I did a number of normal things, like walking in a parade and going to the playground with some of the family. It was also a good day for some important insights.


One, I can't do a non-strict diet. Even though my digestive, immune, and nervous systems have healed quite a bit over the last few years, I can tell when I'm doing things my system can't handle and it definitely effects me. Over the last few weeks I went with the idea of, "Just a little bit will be fine." And, to a large extent, I can handle some "normal" foods. But, I do better on a strict diet of meat and kefir. And, I can't seem to handle cheating on that. I thought something like Ice Cream Sundays would work, where I would have one serving of ice cream on Sunday. As soon as I started thinking about doing that I started slipping on a regular basis, for both physiological and psychological reasons I believe. It's strict or nothing, and I have a lo…

Explorations in Business - Part 7 of ?

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Sales ads, letters, and calls, oh my.


Today is an extension of my quest to find my messaging.

A common sales strategy is the before-after-bridge. This is easy to see in diet and exercise sales. "Here's the person when they were fat. Here's the person skinny. Here's how they did it. Buy this product."

In the last article when I was working out the negative and positive revelation I did almost the same thing. It could be changed a little bit. "Here's the day I had to quit a job because I couldn't handle the pain of talking on a phone. Here's the day I gave four speeches at a Harry Potter festival. Rewiring my brain to change how I perceive pain was a key. Here's how to do it. Schedule a consultation now."

Something that sounds similar is Lisa Manyan's challenge-solution-invitation. The words do change what I think of though. "When you're in pain you have a serious problem to solve, but it's hard to solve a problem because …

Explorations in Business - Part 6 of ?

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Get customers. Satisfy them. Those are the two key steps in business. I have to figure out how to do both of those. Today I'm going to try to bring a lot of information together and find out which way I'm presenting this and getting customers.


I've found as I've been trying to design this as a system that I don't like it. I want it to be personal, not systematized. Even though this is going to be complex in a number of ways, eventually I need to end up with some simple strategies and tactics. This is from "Systemantics" by John Gall.

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A Complex System That Works Is Invariably Found To Have Evolved From A Simple System That Worked.

A Complex System Designed From Scratch Never Works And Cannot Be Made To Work. You Have To Start Over, Beginning With A Working Simple System.

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The first principle of systems design is "Do It Without A System If You Can." I don't think I can do that because I want to be able to somewhat co…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 6 of 6

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The Harry Potter festival went great.


It's amazing that so many volunteers were able to come together to make such a great event happen. A bunch of my family and friends showed up, and that was awesome. It was a hot day, and long; my first presentation was at 12:15 and my last one was at 6:30.

There are a bunch of interesting stories that I could tell, like meeting an almost real Umbridge from Toronto, or the long conversation I had with police officer Kayla. But, instead, I'm just going to show you the videos of the presentations.

Here's "The Great Gnome Conspiracy of the 18th and 19th Centuries". I wanted to make sure I didn't go over time and throw everyone off, so I ended up being a little short on this one.

https://youtu.be/9Qr5nwiAbPw
David was a great emcee. The kids really liked it when he did trivia. At one point there were some difficult questions near the end of the festival, when the hardcore fans were left. No one knew the answers and David had to…

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