Nearly everything we do is rhetoric. And like it or not, no matter who you are, you’re doing rhetoric and you don’t even realize it. Or maybe you do, in which case this post will probably just be a lite (as in “diet-lite”) refresher. In any case, you’re probably wondering why that title is misspelled. I’ll get to that.
Being a child and playing with toys are pretty much synonymous. But when you see a child playing with toys, you don’t see what’s going on inside. To me, toys were my first form of storytelling. Continue reading “Toy Stories”
Quick, how many Muslim writers can you name? Now remove Khalid Hossein (The Kite Runner) and tell me who you have left. Seriously, tell me in the comments. Because, really, there aren’t many of us around. And that’s a problem. Continue reading “The Muslim Writer’s Manifesto”
Despite being a writer, I’ve never been much of a reader.
I know my credibility (or ethos; remember that for a later post) just crashed through roof, but allow me to defend myself. While I wasn’t much of a reader, I did read big. I skipped right past teen fiction and went straight for Stephen King (The Green Mile), John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany), Yan Martel (Life of Pi), and Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes)—most of those before I was even in high school.
I wasn’t much of a reader because I was a gamer. In fact, most of my life I preferred a controller in my hands than a book. And yet, at the heart of it, it was through video games that I became a storyteller. Continue reading “16 Bit Minds: How Video Games Influenced My Writing”
One of my instructors in Professional Writing, Sophie Lees, taught me and the rest of her class the difference between what a story is “about” and what it’s “aboutness” is. Though the two terms may seem interchangeable, they are, in fact, completely different.
You can tell what a story is about by the blurb on the back cover, the synopsis preceding it, the one or two sentence description. In other words, the about is the what of the story: what happens when protagonist meets antagonist and everyone fights and he saves the kingdom and everyone lives happily ever after The End. But the aboutness is a different beast altogether: it’s the why of the story. Not just the hero’s motivation or the villain’s overly complicated plot to overthrow the world. Rather, it’s the whole reason the story exists. It’s the purpose. Why is this story here in the first place? Continue reading “About Aboutness”
I’ve set my timer for two hours. That’s how long I’ve given myself to write and edit this first post. If it doesn’t make it out the gate by then it’s gone. So if you’re reading this, I’ve succeeded.
So with the clock ticking down, let’s talk about writing. Continue reading “What Writing Is”