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Showing posts with the label Literary Analysis/Commentary/Interpretation

One Instance of Horrible Wisdom - Rectified

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There is some wisdom that is good, but there is also bad wisdom. Today we shall take a look at the bad.


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Once upon a time there was a king who had a son. He wanted his son to have the best of everything, including education. But, the time of kings and princes is very limited. The king decided that he needed the best education for the prince in the shortest amount of time. He assembled a great many of the learned men in his kingdom and set them a task, reduce all of the knowledge that they had into as short a time as possible for the prince. They set about their task. It was a large endeavor. They wrote, discussed, debated, and rewrote textbooks. Finally, after 4 years of effort they came to the king and said that they could teach him everything that there was to know in 16 years.

The king was upset about this. "My son, the prince, will be 20 in 16 years. He cannot be reading textbooks still! He must be leading my armies along our borders by then. You need to do bette…

Patrick Rothfuss, George R. R. Martin, and the Speed of Writing - Part 1 of ?

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Every time you see George R. R. Martin mentioned there is a long list of people complaining about how slowly he is writing the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It annoys me, so I'm going to do some comparing.


First of all, we have to figure out what we're doing, and then how we're doing it. I'm going to mostly use arbookfind.com for book lengths, and readinglength.com if I need to. I think good metrics would be words per day and years per book.

I imagine that Mark Twain's short story The Death Wafer (or Death Disk) is going to be our slowest rate, because it's a very short story and it took him 12 years to write. But it was worth it, it's good stuff. Let's look at Twain first, then we'll dive into epic fantasy.

I did a simple word count of the story and came up with 3,358 words. That's 0.77 words per day (I rounded up), and one short story per 12 years. I think that's going to be our slowest rate no matter what else we look at.

I'm also go…

The Evaluation of Writing and The Deconstruction of Creation

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Creation and deconstruction are two sides of the same coin. Stephen King recommends that you put as much time into reading as you do into writing. I put way more time into the reading portion, but I don't do it in a particularly critical or systematized way. I want to change that.


When I first started public speaking my ability to give a speech evaluating someone else's speech lagged behind. I went to another member of my Toastmasters group that is a professional speaker and teaches college courses on public speaking. He gave me a format to use that was both flexible and gave structure to my evaluations. That is what I am looking for in evaluating writing.

The first thing that we all evaluate is whether or not we like a work; whether or not we think it is good. We don't always, and probably usually, know why we like or don't like something, but it is important to recognize the emotions we are experiencing because of a work. Trying to make that process conscious will al…