Writing Wednesday: Writing Prompt #?

I’ve honestly forgotten what prompt number this is since I haven’t done one in a while. I do apologize. In the new year, I’ll start over on the numbers and keep up with it better then.

On with the prompt:

Tuesday

Yellow

Mime

Your word count goal is 500 words total. Once I get my own written, I’ll post it here. I can’t wait to see what you write so please, share it with me either via a link or through the comments below.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Words, Words, Words

It’s Writing Wednesday, and I thought I’d talk a bit about language. Language is made up of words that help us to communicate both verbally and by writing. It’s been around almost a long as Man has been. Early man is thought to have communicated with body movements and the occasional guttural sounds such as grunting.

Eventually, Man achieved oral language though it is unsure exactly when this happened. The overall agreement is that it was a long process of adaptation and evolution with early Man having very small vocabularies and limited ability to vocalize words.

Once oral language was achieved, Man began to spread out. Languages changed as regions and areas began to differ. people needing different words to relate to their surroundings. Philology is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, ..”the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages”

A Polyglot, according to Oxford dictionary, “a person who knows and is able to use several languages.” This means being fluent in at least 4 different languages.

Oral language soon developed into written languages as societies grew and became more complex. It is postulated Writing came about at the same time as Trade and Accounting did because a way was needed to record transactions. The royal family especially appeared to have a need to know exactly what they owned and how much.

The written language developed and changed as the need for it changed. It has become so interwoven in all societies and cultures that one has to be fluent in it as well as the oral language for one to be considered an “expert” in that language. Polyglots not only speak a language fluently, they are also able to read and write fluently in that language.

Words, and their uses, have a big impact on people. You can see it on the faces of people who get good news and those who get bad. You can brighten someone’s day with a kind word, or you can destroy a person with a harsh one. It doesn’t matter is those words are spoken or written, they all have an impact on both of the people in the conversation.

My first, and main inspiration, is J.R.R. Tolkien, and he was both a Philologist and a Polyglot. He also had the job of Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. He specialized in Old and Middle English, but he was also fluent in German and several other languages. Philology was his hobby as was writing, and he used one to enrich the other, creating no less than three languages for his books.

Words, words, words, – they are historical with some having roots in ancient times, and others are more modern, created to keep up with the changes in the world around us. Case in point, France’s Commission d’enrichissement de la langue francais(French Language Enrichment Commission) started by de Gaulle in 1966, has the sole task of coming up with new French words for things including words created in other languages – especially American English ones.

I, as a writer, strive to use words to the best of my abilities to achieve a desired effect/goal. My main goal for writing this blog is to establish a rapport with my fellow humans. I have achieved this, to a small degree, and I continue to work towards creating more while enriching and strengthening those I have already created. I am appreciative of all the feedback I get from everyone.

The next time you use a word, like “macho” consider how and when the word became a part of your language. Is it one that is indigenous to your language, or is it one brought in from another language? American English is full of Loanwords, words brought in from other languages, and most have been adopted into the language through constant and generalized usage. Macho originated in the Spanish language, but it’s been adopted into American English with the exact same meaning in both languages.

Just thought I’d give you something to think about. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

OpEd: Cursing and Swearing – Are they really signs of intelligence?

Curse: utter offensive words in anger or annoyance.

Swear: the use of offensive language.

Both of these definitions fall under the umbrella of Profanity: blasphemous or obscene language.

I have been told that use of Profanity is a sign of intelligence, but my own research has shown this to be false. According to a study conducted by Yale University and the paper later published called The Relationship Between Profanity and Intelligence:

“ABSTRACT. Profanity and censorship are prevalent in our culture. Many negative opinions about
cursing exist, but there is little actually known about how harmful it can be. The purpose of this
experiment was to see if cursing is correlated with intelligence. The hypothesis is that there will
be no relationship between cursing and intelligence. A 28 question survey that assessed cursing
frequency was given to 46 college enrolled participants. After the survey, the participants were
asked to complete the Wonderlic Personnel Test in order to assess their Intelligence Quotient.
After running a linear regression analysis between the factors in the survey and the IQ scores, no
statistically significant relationship was found between cursing and intelligence. There was a statistically significant correlation found between IQ score and whether or not the participant reported that he or she attempts to expand his or her vocabulary. These findings show that although
cursing may not be socially desirable, it is not a predictor of intelligence or the lack thereof. It
was shown that vocabulary and the desire to expand it may play a large role in intelligence. This
should be emphasized in scholastic environments, especially for children before the age of three.
Developing an extensive vocabulary as soon as possible seems to lead to higher intelligence….”

I have always believed profanity is a lazy person’s way of speaking. It was originally used to shock people into silence thus allowing the person speaking to “win” the argument or whatever. Most people use certain profane phrases out of habit and as a knee jerk response when someone makes them mad or whatever.

In the olden days, like the Middle Ages, being profane was actually a sign of intelligence because you had to have a decent vocabulary, and some wit, to properly “curse” someone.

Latin words were translated and used by those with an education while common folks with limited educations would use profanity of a more religious nature. ‘By God’s Body!” was a popular one and was later changed to “By Jove” to make it more acceptable.

Monty Python did some tongue and cheek “swearing” by saying: “Your mom is a hamster, and your father smells of elderberries!” I first heard this as a preteen and didn’t know what people thought it was so funny until an older friend translated : “Your mother is a whore, and your father is a drunk.” Very witty and got past the censors of the time.

I enjoy reading passages where a person spends a few minutes insulting a person:

You bloody pox ridden, pustule covered, flea bitten, mangy, foul smelling, ignorant son of a three-legged ram!” or some such. That kind of insult takes a bit to pull off so a big vocabulary is a must.

Nowadays, big vocabularies mean insulting someone using technical terms for bodily functions as well as scientific names for things and doing things usually ends up with the receiver of such an insult having no idea how burned they are.

While there are many benefits to swearing and using the F word, using it as part of a normal conversation is not a sign of intelligence imho. Using it every other word is plain stupid and shows a serious lack of creativity at the very least. When someone uses profanity in regular conversation, I stop listening to what they have to say because it’s not going to be anything interesting or important – not to me.

When angry, swearing is very cathartic and thus, is useful. Swearing just to do so isn’t.

End of my op ed. Tell me what you think – I promise I won’t use any profanity. I am just trying to get a feel of what others think.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Word Association #2

I had such fun with the first one, I’ve decided to do it again. The game is simple, read each word and write down the first word that comes to mind. The FIRST one, and it doesn’t matter what it is. Your mind makes associations in many different ways and no two minds work the same way! Also, you can’t use the same words I choose:

  1. Victory
  2. Honesty
  3. Blue
  4. Sorrow
  5. Truck
  6. Dog
  7. Child
  8. Serendipity
  9. Scrumptious
  10. Benign

Here are my answers. Please, post yours in the comments and don’t worry about explaining why you used a word. It’s all in good fun!

  1. Winning
  2. Truth
  3. Red
  4. Happiness
  5. Bronco
  6. Malamute
  7. Mother
  8. Surprise
  9. Pie
  10. Safe

I look forward to seeing what kind of answers you give me for this little game! 🙂

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Golden Knave Update August 2021

I have a Beta reader! She lives in the UK, but she’s willing to work with me about the time between us 🙂 I am waiting on a friend here in the US to let me know if she’s interested in being a reader still – she just finished some intensive chemotherapy and may no longer feel up to doing something like this.

With L, she’s going to be holding me accountable. I am sending her a chapter a day Monday through Friday which means I have to work on getting it from long hand to the computer before I can email her anything. I’ll be doing to formatting and the rest once everything is on the computer, it’s easier that way actually – for me anyway.

I sent her the backstory including an overview of Crimson Knight so she’ll know where things stand when she begins work on Golden Knave. I also sent her the first chapter of Kitya’s story. I actually thought I had all of Kitya’s story on the computer, but I was way wrong so I’ll be doing that before anything else.

Golden Knave still doesn’t have an ending, but I’m sure once I get to that point, I’ll have it worked out. It would be impossible not to.

I think, I know, Golden Knave will be done before Yule this year as that’s my final goal for this project.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

OH YES!! If you’d like to be a Beta reader, feel free to let me know in the comments below! This is an adult fantasy novel so be forewarned!!

Word Association Game

Wednesday is about writing – all aspects of it. This week, I thought I’d present to you a word association game.

How to Play

1. I’ll give you a list of words, and you write down the first word that comes to mind for each word.

2. Have fun, there is no right or wrong to this game

Word List

  1. Rainbow
  2. Brick
  3. Flower
  4. Washing
  5. Sea
  6. House
  7. Extreme
  8. Effortless
  9. Flow
  10. Heat
  11. Elephant
  12. Hat
  13. Puddle
  14. Eccentric
  15. Boots

My Answers – Can’t use mine!

  1. Rain
  2. Red
  3. Daisy
  4. Folding
  5. Breeze
  6. Den
  7. Weather
  8. Easy
  9. Ebb
  10. Cold
  11. Large
  12. Sombrero
  13. Mud
  14. Crazy
  15. Shoes

Please, put your answers in the comments below!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Genre: Romance

As I mentioned in my first article about the genres in fiction writing, Genre:Horror, the first proper novel was a Romance novel written by a man in 1740, Samuel Richardson, the subject of another article I wrote.

Pamela, the very first Romance novel ever written, was about a young servant girl who is the subject of her master’s affections. She doesn’t return his advances at the first but eventually, she does. The novel is a bit controversial now because of the behavior of the master being a bit scandalous, but in the era it was written in, his actions weren’t considered wrong at all. It was a male dominated world after all.

Mr. Richardson’s contemporary, Jane Austen, was greatly influenced by his work and was moved to write her own romance novels, Sense and Sensibility being the first of her small body of work. Both she, and Mr. Richardson, were quite disapproving of the “Cult of Sensibility” as it has been called. This idea of the senses, and the emotions elicited by them, being fully explored and expressed was widely accepted in many aspects of society, not just in writing. Romantic works written in this manner were referred to as Sentimental.

Richardson and Austen both poked fun at this cultural movement in their own novels, preferring a more realistic and sensible approach to romance.

Like the Horror Genre, Romance started out as being just about romance, the wooing and pursuit of a loved one with all that this entailed, and it grew to encompass a great many subgenres as novel writing developed.

Romance – the original and eldest of the genre. It’s hard to find a book that is pure romance now, focusing only on romance and little else.

Examples: Pamela and Sense and Sensibility

Historical – Georgette Heyer wrote the first of this subgenre in 1921 , and it pays strict attention to historical detail including dress and etiquette. Harlequin Books, the most famous series of romance books, began with this subgenre in 1949.

Examples: The Black Moth and The Outlander

Regency – this is possibly a sub sub genre of Historical though many think it’s a sub genre of Romance itself. All novels take place specifically between 1795 and 1837 with no deviation.

Examples: Slightly Dangerous and Arabella

Contemporary – this encompasses novels written after the 1970s. It’s a modern, realistically written genre dealing with modern issues of dating, love and romance.

Examples: The Notebook and Something Borrowed

Erotic(NOT Erotica) – this is a subgenre that has a more sexual element to it but it’s not erotica. It leaves the chaste, young adult venue and enters into full rated X adult only novels. Sex becomes part of the plot, of the character development and of the source of tension in the story so much so, romance is more physical than emotional.

Examples: His to Possess and Master of the Opera

Paranormal/Supernatural – this genre is all about ghosts, werewolves, demons and angels and the people who love them. This is a very popular sub genre at the moment.

Examples: Danse Macabre and Twilight

Suspense – Non Paranormal/Supernatural – this sub genre blends elements of the thriller and detective novel genres to add flavor to the romance. Think innocent murder suspect falling in love with police detective trying to clear her name….. that sort of thing.

Examples: Twisted Shadows and Don’t Tell

There are a great many more but not being a great fan of the genre, I didn’t do more than cursory research into the topic. If you are a lover of Romance and want to know more, there are plenty of places to look – you could fall down a virtual rabbit hole of sub genres and sub sub genres of Romance. I wish you well on your journey.

As for me, I’ll stick to my Horror and Fantasy. I hope you enjoyed this article which is by no means definitive or all encompassing. it was just a short piece to provide information you may not have otherwise known.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt – Emotion, Show or Tell?

I’m listening to a very interesting audio book about writing emotion in fiction. The author looks at both the Show, Don’t Tell camp and the Just Tell camp. Both sides have interesting views on emotion.

Show, Don’t Tell

Use visual cues to show emotion ie crying, sobbing, wretchedness etc.

Just Tell

Inner dialogue is best for this, but outer dialogue is used as well.

Both camps agree emotion should be discussed, it helps the reader relate(hopefully) to the character and ideally, to feel something themselves.

The author also recognizes there are a great many authors(myself included) who straddle both camps when writing, and emotion is just one more thing for us to either show, or tell, according to what we think suits the scene,

What are your thoughts about this? Do you think emotions should be Shown or Told or are you a fence sitter too who likes both according to the situation?

Personally, I have trouble writing emotions because of how I was raised. I feel emotions just fine, you can see that in my writing in Crimson Knight. Harsh emotions such as anger aren’t that hard to show or tell. Softer emotions such as sorrow are harder to express.

I use the terms “hard” and “soft” as generalizations. There is nothing soft about sorrow or grief, they can actually be physically damaging whereas as anger or fear can be fleeting leaving nothing behind to show they were there.

The author of the book whose name I can’t remember – book and author both – is of the opinion in order to write emotions, an author must not be afraid of them. They must be willing to feel the emotions themselves. I get immersed in my writing so I do end up feeling the emotions of the characters even when I don’t mean to.

Again, what are your thoughts on this? Readers. I’d like to hear what you have to say as well.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt: Flash Fiction

I haven’t done a prompt in a bit so, here’s one for you. Writing a max of 300 words, use a dolphin, a teaspoon and sadness as elements in your story.

Once you’re done, please share somewhere and post the link in the comments. I’d love to see what you did!

I’m not quite up to creative writing just yet, but I’ll post the link as soon as I get mine done.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice — James Harringtons Creative Work

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a […]

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice — James Harringtons Creative Work

I’ve been enjoying Mr. Harrington’s posts for some time now, and I did get at least one of his books – just need to find time to read it now.

I’m sharing the above blog post on my Writing Wednesday because it’s about writing. If you like what he has to say please, let him know. We all appreciate feedback.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!