Jonathan Brun

More Writing Technique

Just read a solid essay on how to write essays. It dispels a lot of the usual standard crap we were taught in high school (intro, development (3 points), repeat intro in the form of a conclusion) and outlines where essays came from and what they are really for: exploring an idea, not making an argument.

Essay here.
Published on February 27, 2008

Rules for Writing

Here are the six rules (and their origin) I try to follow when writing:

  1. Avoid the verb ‘to be’ and all its forms (is, am …). – Grade 10 English Teacher, Mr. Shannon
  2. Write something once, then cross out the unnecessary words. – Yves Faguy
  3. Avoid the use of “I” because it is stylistically poor and it bad for the ego. – Good to Great
  4. Use positive language (i.e. avoid no, can’t, won’t) because people prefer positive thinking. – Neuro-Linguistic Programming
  5. Use sub-titles, chapter headings, etc. – Yves Faguy
  6. Open and close paragraphs with short, positive statements.
Hope that helps.
Published on February 22, 2008

Movies, Books, and Drama

While the west was already “developed” in the 1950s, we have become significantly more developed since then. Our society has more precise rules, more information, more security, more wealth, and more peace – all of which are reflections of the degree of development. We need more to be shocked – if at all possible – more to be pleased, and more to be happy.

On a note of some relevance, I am currently rereading The Lord of the Rings (for the third time). What comes to mind in comparison with the film adaptation is two things, the timeline and the dramatics. While the journey and time is dragged out over years and decades in the book, the movie does not make much effort to show that is less than a year or so. Also, actions are made more dramatic and sensational in the movie. These two trends are both common in film adaptations, but it leads me to the question of whether our society has been saturated with tales and stories. To get our attention, an event must truly be dramatic.

The one scene that quickly comes to mind is where Frodo accidentally puts the ring on while at the Prancing Pony. In the book he is dancing on a table, slips and the ring slides onto his finger because he was fingering it in his pocket. In the film, the ring goes flying through the air and slides onto his outstretched arm as he tumbles to the ground. While the difference is not enormous, it reflects the larger trend of making an event far more dramatic in film than in a descriptive book.

Published on February 19, 2008