People curse and swear. It's a vice that's been popularized and acceptable when trying to make a point. Or when emotions are running high. Our favorite stories - and by default, our favorite characters - might exhibit profane language.
The use of vulgar language has been present in all forms of media for decades. And regardless of how you feel about cursing, we have to acknowledge that language - the how and what we say - matters.
In this episode, I piggyback off of an article I wrote on this topic; discussing whether cursing and swearing is a sign of realism in a story - or if it isn't.
You can find the original article here.
Ever since I was a kid, I've been told I could "change the world". And like most writers-in-training, this concept spoke to me deeply. If my words were delivered well, then perhaps I could make that dream a reality. I could "change" the world for the better. I could be of influence. I could be of some impact in this place while I'm here.
But who says the world is bad to begin with? Is there truly a responsibility we have to fix the world if it is? These are some narratives I'll be exploring with this episode of the #NarrativeWars on The Writer's Lens.
You may or may not know the story of the Hitchens brothers - Christopher, the elder, and Peter, the younger. Christopher was a prominent figure in the anti-religion, pro-atheistic worldview camp while Peter is a well-known voice for the pro-faith, Christian community. Their philosophies would have them at odds, but both men share the same mother and father. Their bloodline could not be tighter. And yet, each man arrived at a very different way to interpret the world.
How did this happen? Aren't we all just slaves to our DNA? Or is there something else at play rather than blood and guts and bone?
On this episode of the #NarrativeWars, I begin to unpack what causes us to formulate our worldviews. And how stories tend to reflect and / or challenge our personal ideologies in the process. Keyword here: personal.
I'm proud to consider myself a writer. I throw ideas into the abyss and see what others think. It's fun, if not terrifying, at times. If you have something you enjoy, then you're likely to have a sense of pride about it too.
Which is why we don't think of Pride as being a negative; it's almost always associated with something positive. Our mainstream attitudes view Pride as something which gives us strength. It gives us identity, even. But as I've explored with every other vice, Pride doesn't always yield positive results.
So to wrap up my Seven Deadly Sins series on creativity, I find it fitting that I cover the sin of Pride last as it's the one we'd least like to part ourselves with.
Recently, I've been talking about my first two books - The Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts... series and I realized that I need to address a couple of things. Namely, 1) why I stopped writing them and 2) why I am not ashamed of them either. Like any other writer / artist, we all have growing pains, but sometimes the growing is something a little more drastic than changing a couple sentences.
Sin number six of seven is Sloth. Probably the one vice least associated with anything really bad.
But since it's on the list, I unpack how Sloth and laziness - surprise surprise - thwarts our creative journey. There's a little more at stake than mere procrastination. There's calling, giftings, and missed opportunities to inspire others for the creative who has a unique message.
Jordan Raynor is the national bestselling author of Called to Create, a book that was birthed out of Jordan's desire to speak into the reasons for why we create what we create. Over the course of several years and even more interviews, Called to Create was released in November of 2017 and will now be followed up by Master of One, due out in January 2020.
Jordan is a speaker and self-described serial entrepreneur - a title he says applies to anyone who writes; for all writers are entrepreneurs at heart. My interview with Jordan was a special treat as I have read his book and felt strongly impacted by it. We discuss a wide array of topics including how to be more disciplined, our identities apart from work, and Jordan's path to publication.
You can find out more about Jordan by visiting his website at www.jordanraynor.com and follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
We don't always agree with the stories we're told. Some we brush off as insignificant while some require further inspection on our behalf. But sometimes we might feel compelled enough to go out and counter what we've heard. In essence, something has stirred us to action.
That being said, what are some things we do when we don't like what we are hearing? And how might that response tie into the way we write and tell story?
This is number five of seven on the road to completing the "seven deadly sins" series here on The Writer's Lens. And as such, I'm almost certain this week's topic will entice people's interest for probably the wrong reasons. Because this week's sin is the sin of Lust; a state of being which incites thoughts of physical euphoria - not about the hindrance of writing pursuits.
However, I think I found a way to tie this one in. And though this won't be an exercise in writing erotica or anything like that, it will be an exploration into what we can become infatuated by. Namely, our ideas, our processes, and our identity as writers.
Ever wonder who is responsible for making the big narratives? Is it a person? Is it people? Is it merely an idea that gives a narrative legs and makes it run?
This episode of The Writer's Lens explores these questions in Episode 3 of the #NarrativeWars.