All speech acts are goal-oriented.
There are monsters around this time of year. Creatures of folklore and horror fiction. All of them presumably had creators at some point -people who had to puzzle and make creative decisions about their monstrous imaginary progeny. Which made me ask a few rhetorical questions to myself, starting with this one – what kind of […]
Towards the end of the eighteenth century the innocent, care-free days of English grammar were coming to an end. Grammarians had made strenuous efforts to “ascertain” the language and bring order to a riotous body of previously lawless syntax. There were dissenting voices. Liberals like Joseph Priestley wrote in 1762 that it was “absurd” to […]
It’s probably not going to be an Internet-breaking observation that characters can sometimes seem to take on a life of their own when you are writing fiction. Writing day-in and day- out for months some characters (more often primary than secondary) start to become almost as “real” to you as anyone else in your life. […]
I remember during a stint in news reporting realising stories had a better chance of being picked up by the news editor (city editor in US) if they provoked some sort of emotion in the reader. Being journalism it was often fear or anger! But isn’t a news story just be a selection of facts […]
Its probably fair to say Ben Jonson found criticism challenging. According to contemporary accounts the Renaissance playwright was quick to anger and killed two men in duels. The actor playing the Prologue in Jonson’s play Poetaster arrives on stage in a suit of armour, which is “Forty-fold proof against the conjuring means/Of base detractors, and illiterate apes” […]
One of the big problems when writing about the after life or spiritual realms is that the afterlife, if there is one, is an unknown quantity. An author can’t meet up and interview a spiritual being for research in the way they would, say, a police officer. John Milton faced this problem when composing his […]