Defeating Amateurism: (Guest Muse, Robert Penn Warren)

Story Analysts, such as myself, often use the work "amateur" when writing about or discussing scripts. "This reads like an amateur script..." Or, "Such-and-such is clearly an amateur writer." So, do we mean this in the pejorative sense? Generally, yes. Is that fair? Probably not. While "amateur" can mean someone who isn't getting paid to …

Continue reading Defeating Amateurism: (Guest Muse, Robert Penn Warren)

Superstar Paragraphs: the simple expository and the simple action

Thanks to a host of sentence enthusiasts—my favorites: John Gardner, Virginia Tufte, Stanly Fish and Constance Hale—the syntax unsavy can learn to structure simple, complex, compound, periodic, forward-leaning, subordinating, additive and other sentence forms. Good prose and best-selling fiction cannot be created without them. Good paragraphs, like good sentences, also have identifiable forms and functions. …

Continue reading Superstar Paragraphs: the simple expository and the simple action