rules of writing Archive

Episodia 1.6: The Five Pillars of Place

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As a writer, reader, and a creative writing teacher, I am—for now and forever—a staunch proponent of the place-based narrative. When we think of stories, we tend to focus on those bound to particular characters or events. And yet, some of the most compelling plot lines found in literature

Episodia 1.5: Mad Men’s Tell-Tale Heart

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For six seasons now, television viewers have been transfixed by advertising phenom Don Draper’s troubled smolder as he winds his way through Manhattan’s boardrooms, bedrooms, and bars. Each episode is loaded with literary jewels for writers to fawn over: the elegant use of space (that office elevator really knows

Episodia 1.2: Dissecting the Downton Craze

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When PBS first aired “Downton Abbey” two years ago, viewers across the nation had no idea that our lives were incomplete—but judging from the show’s reception we were all missing this episodic saga of one British aristocrat’s struggle to maintain his traditions while the outside world (and some of

Episodia 1.1: Making Comedy and Paper with Liz Lemon

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If you didn’t have the pleasure of viewing “30 Rock” before its finale on January 31, allow me to introduce you to the funniest female sitcom character since Lucille Ball. Her name is Liz Lemon, and — as the head writer for “TGS with Tracy Jordan,” a live comedy show

The Elements of Style

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On the first day of class, my ninth grade biology teacher told us the curriculum called for us to learn science from the least abstract level to the most—biology this year, followed by chemistry, physics, and calculus. “Of course, that’s completely bogus,” he said at the end of this