Category Archives: storytelling

The joy of “perfect” words

What poetry can teach us.

And what I’m sharing with my class on Wednesday.


Why Pixar Rocks

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But its movies still feature characters that grapple with real problems and undergo subtle and plausible moral development; they still eschew the violence, prurience, and stupidity that has infiltrated children’s movies over the past decade. In short, Pixar has the courage to respect the intelligence of the people watching its films. Even if their feet don’t reach the theater floor.

The Atlantic profiles all kinds of “Brave Thinkers” in this month’s cover story, including Pixar co-founders Steve Jobs and John Lasseter.

Also saluted: the “South Park” guys; the Facebook guy; Ralph Nader and TWO newspaper publishers.

Write Like a Fifth Grader

It can be harder to write a short story than a long one, and it can be much harder to write with simple words than with complicated ones. Most every good writer knows words that soar on silver wings. But sometimes those words fly off into the clouds and the reader loses track of the story. I like words that work for a living.

Writerly wisdom from one of the best newspaper writers in the country: Tommy Tomlinson of The Charlotte Observer.
He shares his thoughts on using simple words in this post here., part of this newly-discovered Nieman Storyboard website.

TV/Film — My Drug of Choice

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I just watched “Juno” for the upteenth time and I was struck again by its great narrative, especially by all the little touches that propel the story forward and keeps you engaged and hooked and invested. The “chapters” — season by season. It’s a natural propeller. She’s pregnant so we keep watching her get “pregnanter” and we want to know what happens 1. to her body 2. to the baby. She leaves that note on the couple’s doorstep so we’re not entirely sure if Vanessa will get the baby. And then, of course, there’s the outcome of Juno’s relationship with Bleeker. All in all lovely entertainment and a lovely narrative arc.