What is a life worth? More importantly, what is a human life worth? 

This episode attempts to explore the many narratives which surround this very energized topic. A bit on the ranty side, I'll admit, but my hope is that you will hang with me throughout. Especially if you're someone who enjoys a good rant. If not, just do your best. That's all anyone can ever ask. 

Ah, Stranger Things. The biggest franchise on Netflix and one of the most highly anticipated binge-worthy shows of 2019. So how does Stranger Things do in its third go-round? Is it the best ever? Or is it the worst of the bunch? 

This episode is all about the good, the bad, and the ugly of season three. Full disclosure: SPOILERS are ahead. You have been warned. 

A writer may have a new idea and think it the best thing he's ever conceived. Yet if he is unable to make it believable, he's sunk. His audience will leave him before he even gets going. 

In the first of a three-parter, I talk about some of the ingredients for exploring new territory. For example, the importance of developing tension between good and evil and why we must acknowledge that humans are corruptible, foul creatures. 

Or something like that. 

We get bombarded with commercials and ads daily. Buy this thing. Check that item out. If the tactics were that simple, no company would go to the effort of creating mascots or telling unique stories to gain the attention of their potential customer base. 

But we know that's part of what gains customer loyalty - a good story; a testimonial; some good word-of-mouth from recent buyers. Companies have to be able to tell a good story on top of making something useful. 

So if a company tells us something that speaks into what they believe - how do we respond to that? We may enjoy what they make, but do we also endorse what they believe in too? 

What do you think about that? 

 

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. 

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