Tag Archives: evolution

Authors Answer 150 – Creative Evolution

Writing is a skill that changes over time. The more an author writes, the better they become at their craft. Reading our first stories remind us how far we’ve come. And quite often we cringe and hide that story so no one can see it. This time, we’re talking about how we’ve changed over the course of our writing careers.

Question 150 – How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

H. Anthe Davis

I think I’ve most evolved in my editing skill — my ability to detect bad material and fix it. I’ve also loosened up a bit in my textual diction and am slowly figuring out how to not torture the English language, as I was critiqued once. I used to use more complex constructions and more high-falutin’ words in places where they weren’t necessary, or were in fact counter-productive to the flow and tone of the narrative. I’m trying to relax that, and clean up some of my descriptions and metaphysical concepts so it doesn’t take ten re-reads to figure them out. Clarity and precision are key.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Creatively? I think I can definitely say that over time I’ve expanded a great deal concerning the type of fiction I’ll write. Growing up, and as a young adult (not that I’m particularly old now), I would pretty much only write fantasy-type stories. Even concerning fanfiction, I stuck to things like Harry Potter and that novelization of Final Fantasy 3 that I never did finish (*cough cough*). As time went on, though, I began delving into genres I never really thought I’d be any good at – such as horror – and I loved it. These days, while I do definitely still focus on fantasy, horror, and supernatural themes, I’m a lot more open with what I’ll try. I haven’t shared much of it, but I’ve written lots of different genres now, from alternate history, to sci-fi, to erotica, and I think being able to do that really exercises the mind creatively, even if you know that you might never publish those pieces.

Jean Davis

When I first started writing seriously, it took me much longer, like years, to finish a first draft. Now that I’ve been at this for twelve years, I’ve managed to wrap up a full first draft in a matter of months. I’d like to think my voice is stronger, that I’ve got a better grasp of what works and what doesn’t, and that I now know when to abandon a project and when to slog my way through it.

Eric Wood

My writing has evolved slowly and quietly over the years. Where I once wrote straight forward without inferences, I now include hidden, deeper meanings. Where once all my characters were the same (basically, me) now are diverse and unique. Also, my stories have developed a complexity they didn’t have before.

Gregory S. Close

Over the years I’ve increasingly recognized the importance of craft in writing, rather than relying purely on talent. A natural talent for writing/story-telling is important, but it’s equally vital to have the tools to hone that talent. You can only be as talented as you, that’s a set value – but you can always improve your craft with hard work.

Cyrus Keith

If anything, I believe I’ve grown to be more careful in writing technique, using literary tools more easily. I pay attention to repetition, excessive speech tags, adverb usage, tension, characterization, and a host of other details that I always took for granted before. I think with every novel I complete, I become a better writer, more able to wield these tools with ease. I also think I’ve become more humble, through the many rejections that still come my way.

Paul B. Spence

I began as a sort protoplasmic ooze with single storylines but quickly became multi-linear. I suppose it might have been radiation, or that big black monolith thing in my back yard…

D. T. Nova

I’ve become more aware of my influences, and consequently become more likely to get a little meta.

I’d also like to think I’ve gotten better at writing things that work on multiple levels.

Jay Dee Archer

In the early days of my writing, I had fairly straightforward stories with a rather awkward way of narrating. I really don’t want to read what I wrote back then. My stories have added many layers. There are multiple storylines now. And I think I narrate far better. Word choice, avoiding repetition in speech tags, and a strong desire to avoid infodumps. But I also think that the eleven years that I spent teaching English have improved my grasp of the English language. I pay close attention to the grammar I’m using, though I think I may do that too much. I get hung up over a sentence, when I should just continue writing and worry about the structure later when I’m editing it. There’s always room for improvement!

How about you?

If you’re an author, how have you changed creatively over the years? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About to Get Political on YouTube

Tomorrow, I’m recording my weekly science news video. It’ll be uploaded on Thursday. Over the first two weeks, I haven’t done anything remotely political, but this week, one of the biggest science news stories has to do with the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States. The chief of the EPA is a climate change denier and has made a conclusion about climate change and carbon dioxide without actually knowing the science.

I’ll be keeping my opinion out of the video, as I just want to report the news on it. But I’ll say it here: you can’t make a scientific conclusion if you haven’t actually studied the science. His opinion won’t change reality. Unless he shows evidence that he is correct, I won’t accept his conclusion.

The same goes for any science-deniers. Deny evolution? Think vaccinations cause autism? Give us the evidence. Not anecdotal evidence. Not opinions disguised as evidence. Not the Bible. Not Andrew Wakefield. If you can show that the science is wrong without any doubt, you’ll win the Nobel Prize.

So, show me the evidence.

Controversial Opinions?

Facebook shares, news articles, and Trump. What do they have in common? A good amount of anti-science garbage. There are times when you see your friends and family sharing things from David Avocado Wolfe or Food Babe, or you see news articles about the new Ark Encounter in Kentucky or Texas school boards trying to get Creationism in science textbooks, or you hear Trump talk about how climate change is a conspiracy or that vaccines cause autism, and you just want to slap some common sense into people.

So, here it is. Vaccines do not cause autism. There is no evidence. Climate change is happening. There’s a ton of evidence. There was no global flood in 2348 BC. There is no evidence, and a lot of civilisations were around at that time with no record of any such flood (not to mention they didn’t realise that they supposedly disappeared, when they most certainly did not). Non-avian dinosaurs did not live at the same time as humans. They predate modern humans by around 65 million years. Evolution happens. Yes, it has been observed (quite easy when you look at microbes). There’s no evidence of any kind of damage or sickness from eating genetically modified foods. Remember, pretty much all cultivated foods that we eat have been modified over centuries or millennia. You can’t avoid chemicals in food. Everything is made up of chemicals. Water is a chemical. Protein is a chemical. Want to avoid chemicals? Then don’t eat, drink, or breathe.

Anti-intellectualism is incredible strong, especially in the United States. Look at the Republican Party’s candidate for President. It’s a scary situation if he gets elected. People need to be educated. Science is something that doesn’t rely on emotion. The science doesn’t change if you believe it or not. It’s still true. A ball falls whether you believe it or not. The Theory of Gravity isn’t “just a theory.” Cells exist in your body, they divide, and they have a structure whether you believe it or not. Cell Theory isn’t “Just a theory.” Dinosaurs existed and they still exist in the form of birds whether you believe it or not. The Theory of Evolution isn’t “just a theory.” Scientific theories aren’t something you can dismiss as “just a theory.” They are an explanation of observable facts. They’re not a guess.

Don’t agree with me? That’s fine. You don’t have to agree with me. The science will still be true. It doesn’t need your approval to be true.

Science Sunday – Ancient Languages

A little different this week. This is not new news, but something I saw tonight, and I thought it would be interesting to share. While this isn’t exactly a hard science, the evolution of language is an interesting field of study.

First of all, check out this page, which has a video which shows how written language spread.

And then, watch this video. Make sure you have sound turned on. It’s absolutely fascinating listening to what ancient languages may have sounded like.

What did you think? Any comments are always welcome.

Support Science, Fight Ignorance, Promote Education

If you’re new to this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big supporter of education and science. In December, I wrote a series of Mission Statements for my blog, and I touched on some of these topics. I would like to make a stronger statement about what I believe and know.

Support Science

Physics, chemistry, biology, and geology are all very important for our daily lives. Physics is used in engineering and electricity. Chemistry is used to create all the household goods we need to use. Biology is used in medicine. Geology helps us with raw materials for manufacturing. They’re all very important, and unfortunately, scientific illiteracy has made many people think they’re unimportant. Without science, we don’t have technology, health care, TV shows, or smartphones.

Fight Ignorance

Evolution is a fact. Climate change is happening. Vaccines work. I am against anti-evolution. I am against climate change deniers. I am against the anti-vaccination movement. I am against ignorance.

Promote Education

We must fight against ignorance through better science education. We must help people understand the basics of science and know that what we study is actually not some “belief.” Education is extremely important, and science is the backbone of modern society. Without technology, it wouldn’t work. Without education, we can’t maintain the technology or improve it. We need innovation.

So, please support science and education. Don’t support ignorance. Who’s with me?

Does Anyone Still Use a…

256px-BreadboxI thought came to my mind, as many thoughts do. Does anyone still use a breadbox? And that just brought up more questions.

Does anyone still play the old Nintendo?

Does anyone still use the old cell phones without a big colour screen? And for that matter, does anyone still use a rotary phone?

Does anyone still use a black and white TV?

Does anyone still use Mapquest? Sure, it exists, and it’s been modernised, but really, does anyone even bother using it?

Does anyone still pronounce “gif” with a hard g, now that we know it’s supposed to be a soft g?

Does anyone still try to use the Mid-Atlantic accent? Don’t know what that is? It was used on TV in the early to mid twentieth century.

Does anyone still use MD players in Japan?

Does anyone still watch laserdiscs?

Does anyone still use Windows 95? Windows 3.1? Oh hell, does anyone admit to still using Windows Vista and liking it?

Can you personally answer these questions with a yes? Can you add more questions? I look forward to what you have to say in the comments.

The Evolution of Technology

Today, we were at The Railway Museum in Saitama, a place I’d wanted to go to for years. Finally, I went there. It was pretty interesting, and I could have spent a lot more time there looking around. What’s interesting is seeing how the trains changed over time. Old trains are fascinating, but so are newer ones.

One area showed the development of the Shinkansen (bullet train) over time. You could see how the speed of the train got faster over the years, as well as how the design became more aerodynamic. The technology kept improving.

I’m always interested in how technology evolves. I’ll be looking at space probes when I go through them for Quick Facts, though this will mostly look at the discoveries and science done. However, I want to look at specific advances in technology over time for individual technologies. For example, I’d like to look at how computers have changed, or how bicycles have changed, or how telephones have changed. I want to write about the various stages and provide examples. I think it’ll be interesting. It also makes me wonder about the future.

What do you think? Are you interested in how technology changes?