Today, you can go almost anywhere in the world, and you’ll find someone who can communicate with you in English. Some speak it well, and some speak it with difficulty, but almost everyone knows at least a few words.
With that in mind, it occurred to me recently that I would like to know a little more about how the English language got its start, how it developed, what influenced it, and how it rose to such a position of prominence in the world.
In this piece, we’ll take a brief look at the origin of English and its evolution from the fifth century to the early 21st century and look at what influenced English along the way, including the Industrial Revolution, colonialism, and the rise of the United States, all leading to English being established as a world language.Continue reading
Everything I know about writing great blog posts I learned from devouring probably a literal ton of novels—and dissecting how they keep me turning pages.
I know, it seems really far-fetched. But hey, I just thought of something they both have in common: Great novels and great blog posts both hold on to your attention from the beginning to the end, and they never let up. So what are the best practices we can apply from novel to blog post?
I looked at three different elements of both novels and blog posts, and looked for three different novels that I think illustrate these really well. And I’ll show you the ways some great bloggers I read have applied these same techniques to their own posts.Continue reading
There are many authors who have one or two books that I can count among my favorites. Margaret Atwood is not one of those authors.
To me, and many others, everything that she’s written is fascinating and worthy of a spot on my list of favorite books.
As a teenager, her gripping plots, masterful storytelling, and relatable characters had me pulling all the Atwood novels that I could carry off the library shelves. I’ve read everything that she’s written since then with equal gusto.
It’s safe to say that I’ve always been a fan of television and movies. According to my mom, I had The Wizard of Oz on repeat when I was a child. When I got older and smarter (and a lot more devious), I would sneak out after bedtime to catch as much of The Sopranos as I could before my parents caught me.
It’s no surprise that two decades later, I’m living in the movie and television capital of the world, attending one of its top film schools, and working my butt off to write movies and television that measure up to those that inspired me as a child.
When Sarah Ramsey published her article on how watching television can make you a better writer, I beat myself up over not thinking of the idea first. And damn, she wrote a good article.