Action in scene|Shop Talk

I’ve been thinking a lot about action in scene lately. Turns out I’m not the only one. In fact, according to this gem of a post I found on The Writing Garden, one of my favorite contemporary authors, Chuck Palahniuk, has some great advice on the subject: It’s all about eliminating thought verbs. I’ve reposted it here as I find the font of the original to be difficult on the eyes. Enjoy.

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Writing Lesson: Observation|Shop Talk

A great bit of advice from Theodora Goss. Worth the read.

Theodora Goss

I thought it might be interesting to put down some of the things I’ve learned from teaching writing.  From writing too, of course, but I find that when I teach writing, I tend to make certain points over and over.  Because these are the sorts of things that many writing students need to work on.  So I thought they might be interesting to point out here as well, for those of you who are writers, or who simply want to improve your writing . . .

The first one I want to talk about has to do with observation.  If you want to be a writer, you need to also be an observer . . . someone who is curious about the physical world around you. I don’t know about you, but I find it harder to write about the physical world than about mental states. It’s easy enough to…

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Mid-class bathroom breaks land students in the poo

Originally posted in The Anchor

Joe King–Mediocre Investigative Journalist

If you’re looking to pass this semester, you may need to hold it. In accordance with the new Classroom Requirements of Accepted Protocol policy, Rhode Island College students are now forbidden to use the restroom during class periods.

The CRAP policy went into effect last Wednesday, and was met with immediate student outrage.

“Do you believe this CRAP,” asked senior English major, Tom Dunn. “I mean, I nearly soiled my britches all because a few uptight professors can’t get going without some prune juice? What a crock!” 0-days-since-a-nonsence-01-293x300

What’s more, the CRAP policy doesn’t just mean students aren’t allowed to leave the classroom for a much-needed bathroom break; the restrooms on campus will now be monitored via card swipe. If students would like to visit the restrooms in Craig Lee, for instance, they must swipe their student ID cards; if they’re supposed to be in class at the time of the swipe, the door will not open.

According to CRAP policy co-writer and professor of English, Katerina Knickyknack, the new policy addresses her need for firm control.

“When a student leaves during class to use the restroom, it is disruptive and extremely rude to both the class and myself,” said Knickyknack. “They can either go before class or hold it. And on a note of personal preference, I no longer allow water bottles in any of my classrooms; I like to avoid disruption at all costs.”

After the first day of hosting this new CRAP policy, the college community witnessed the onset of an angry student mob during Wednesday night’s Comrades-in-Arms meeting. Student Committee of the Communist Party commissar, Jim Brady, met the mob head on with sympathetic righteousness.

“Students—my people—I understand your plight,” started Brady. “The SCCP shall flush this excrement through the foul sewers of your fair college. No more shall you wallow in this CRAP policy.”

The steamed mob cheered, but the mood swung when a random student shouted.

“This new policy is shit!”

The commissar was quick to address the potty-mouthed student.

“Sir, I shan’t have such filth spoken in my chambers,” said Brady. “We go out of our way to speak without expletives—I appreciate if you would do the same.”

After the room took in Brady’s brilliance, a dictate was offered by the commissar himself to abolish the CRAP policy. The SCCP exploded with cheers for their wise leader and sang songs of praise to his eminence.

When policies such as CRAP are enforced, it is up to the students to take matters into their own hands. And when that fails, they find guidance in a strong student leader—the voice of the people. So, if you’re finding it hard to pass this semester, don’t force the issue. Instead, just relax—unclench those butt cheeks—and administer a much needed enema.

 

Existential crises in a Halloween town

Originally posted in The Anchor

Joe King–Mediocre Investigative Journalist

"Students may have sat around campus last week, mouths agape and staring off into the distance as campus life as we knew it came to a grinding halt. But we simply won't know."
Providence is ready to embark on a year-long Halloween expedition, but is the existential problem of dressing up everyday worth free candy?

Providence citizens began preparing for a year-long Halloween initiative last October, and this week the wait finally ended. Thousands of kids trapped in adult bodies collected numerous costumes over the past few months, but now that the time has come to dress up, a worrisome question looms on the horizon of the city’s pumpkin-lined streets: Is an existential crisis worth free candy?

According to the fine folks of West Framingport, a small town tucked away in northwestern Rhode Island that adopted a similar movement five years ago, the crises stemming from struggles with self identity vary amongst the townspeople. For former Navy officer Brian Moran, the year-long celebration has come with an interesting caveat.

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Whispers in the darkness

Originally posted in The Anchor

Joe King – Mediocre Investigative Journalist

Be careful when speaking the words of power while on campus.

In the still of night, the whispers can be heard about campus; calls to the Black Bird of the Woods with a Thousand Young, and the shrill cries of… turkeys?

Last Friday evening, the chatter in the Don spoke of unusual activity on campus—soft hints of a gathering by the woods near the west end of campus. Sitting alone at the shadowy end of the dining hall, a black-cloaked individual stared into an uneaten plate of turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes, and spoke in hushed tones.

“…and unto he that knoweth the signs and uttereth the words, all earthly pleasures shall be granted,” the voice said, and finished with a short chuckle. The mysterious person left the table and exited the dining center.

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Literally nothing happened

Originally posted in The Anchor

Joe King–Mediocre Investigative Journalist

"Students may have sat around campus last week, mouths agape and staring off into the distance as campus life as we knew it came to a grinding halt. But we simply won't know."
“Students may have sat around campus last week, mouths agape and staring off into the distance as campus life as we knew it came to a grinding halt. But we simply won’t know.”

Given the recent campus car chase, missing student funds, and coup of the former student governing body, nothing happened last week. Literally.

Students may have sat around campus last week, mouths agape and staring off into the distance as campus life as we knew it came to a grinding halt. But we simply won’t know.

According to Programming spokesperson, Julia Cringeworth, group events on campus weren’t cancelled–they simply didn’t take place.

“We had expected a high turnout for campus activities last week. I guess we were wrong. Come to think of it, I couldn’t even tell you if anyone actually showed up. I know I didn’t,” Cringeworth said.

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