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Eric Johnston
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A Rant on Serial Commas
To my parents, Ayn Rand and God. We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin. What do these two statements have in common? They don't mean what they say and don't say what they mean. The meaning here, of course, is clear--that Ayn Rand and God are the parents ...

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License to Kill: Genre Conventions and 007
I am probably the only person in history who has never seen a James Bond movie or read one of the books. James Bond is ubiquitous in our culture, yet I have somehow managed to avoid it. Of course, I've viewed the Austin Powers movies with delight, but that ...

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Writing Well Through Intuition
In Stephen King's book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, he states, "Fiction writers...don't understand very much about what they do--not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad." This isn't to say writers are ignorant of their craft ...

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Why Do You Write?
I asked my daughter, Alexis, today if she was going to be a writer like me. She looked up at me with the beautiful round eyes and a smile. I knew what she was going to say even before it came out her mouth: "Nooooooo." She laughed as if it was the most ridi...

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Revival by Stephen King: A Terrible Sermon
I will just say up front that I love Stephen King. His Dark Tower series is, in my opinion, a crowning achievement in literature (although, as King himself admits, the series has a major hole in it and needs an overall revision. A revision of the whole seri...

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Harvester: Ascension, Revision and Backstory
This June will see the official relaunch of Harvester: Ascension , a novel I have rewritten over the past six months. The original version of this story was written between October of 2009 and August of 2010, with most of the writing completed in July of 20...

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End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James Swanson
Last week I spoke a bit about new angles, featuring two books I had recently read that attempted to make something new out of something old. This week, I will be hitting on the same idea, but, unlike last week, this week's book, End of Days: The Assassinati...

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Combining Narratives; Featuring Revolutionary Summer and Bloody Crimes
This week, I will be discussing the idea of using two or more unrelated topics/ideas to tell familiar stories in new ways or to develop original stories. I studied both American History and American Literature at the University of Michigan, two fields I fin...

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Doctor Sleep: Psychic Children and the Dark Tower series
Doctor Sleep , the unexpected (until Stephen King announced plans in 2009 to write it, anyway) sequel to The Shining . It became one of the most highly anticipated books of the year, especially after it's 8 or 9 month delay. So does it meet the expectations...
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