Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Winter Cold

I haven't been online much this week. A head cold has interfered with my concentration. The most annoying occurrence this week I blogged about on the SWS blog. That was my inability to escape it all into a good book. Writer-mind got in the way and started analyzing the book I was attempting to enjoy.

I was contacted about a contest over at Amazon... and I might see if the friend who mentioned this could do a post.

I promise the next time i sign on here I'll be more creative!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Textual Context

While reading Facebook comments on my wall, I noticed jokes about grammar. A friend teased my boyfriend about non-standard English used in a comment. A glance at Helium and the like definitely highglight the grammarian's concerns about language being "diluted" with the use of coloquialisms.

I guess that the most shocking bit about the whole thing is my epiphany: "I don't care."

Don't get me wrong, I do believe that it is important to have a good grasp of English. Anyone who writes had better know something. If you don't, well, you better be willing to put in the time to learn it!

That said, I think there are a few behavioral shifts we need to recognize before discussing the relevance of grammar to social networking sites:

1) Spoken language is not the same as written language.
2) Technology is affecting communication.
3) In spoken language, grammar and vocubulary usuage is dependent on context.
4) Texting and social networking are equivalent to conversing, sharing experience (like playing sharades at a party consisting of acquiantances)or even waving at
someone when walking down the street (poking, throwing sheep, etc.)

If social networking sites and texting are analogous to these casual forms of communication, the only part of it that makes standard grammar important is the fact that it is textually based. Writing has traditionally been the most formal of all forms communicating in English. The advent of writing has actually hindered natural language change, stalled it to such a degree that the alterations have been minimal in the past 500 years. (Yes, Shakespeare IS Early-Modern English.) All sources for proper grammar and vocabulary come from written works. We use dictionaries, thesarus, novels, and non-fiction texts to inform us of any topic we need. As we do so, we perpetuate standard English.

Bravo and Brava! Job well done, Reader!

But suddenly, context for written communication is broadening. As writing starting to take on the same contexts as spoken language, it makes sense that written grammar will become as context-dependent as spoken language. The lesson should be when to use it in which way. Standard English, in written form does not convey emotion the way that a voice would. In order to meet this need in casual textual conversing, the language changes. Grammar, which conveys its own loaded meanings, is changed to fit the needs of the society utilizing it.

Will this change formal documents? Of that I'm not certain. I certainly hope the alteration won't be extreme, but there is bound to be some reverberation. But then, language is the verbal (and textual) expression of culture, the communication of ideas and so forth. As those things change, and culture changes, so too does language.

From my standpoint, that is inevitable and nothing to balk at. I'm excited. it will be interesting to see what affects this has on formal writing...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Drawing Board

Ok, not entirely going back to the drawing board. But I started Novel One with a dramatically detailed world. I thought I had everything planned to the enth degree. but there's nothing like work on a revision and fresh eyes to make me say to myself: "Woa! Hold up! What do I need here?"

I think I need more research. I need to figure out a few key things that will bring the background of the world to life, and I need to color the whole bit with magic. My process is going to be: read, read, read. I don't want my world to be a spot-on medieval world, so I think the technology and architecture and such that I wish to study will be a range of periods, pieced together on Don-Yin as needed.

First step will be to compose lists: first references and then of precise things I wish to impliment. Next will come the ways in which the cultural/socio-economic/magical components of the world influence the details. Then I back up and integrate the new and improved detail into the story.

Hopefully the logistics will be improved this way :(

I also have to world build for New Project... though that research will be geared toward mytth and history, more than technology and architecture ...

Well, hey... it's something!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year!

I've been very indecisive about the face of this blog. I wobble between creative and professional. This topic came up at the New Year's party I attended. Now I have someone comfortable with templates dabbling with the format, so a brand new design will be unveiled soon. This time i promise to keep it!

The holidays brought other changes, too. SWS has a new website: And i am *going to* teach myself Dreamweaver. Currently I am using YouTube to refresh my InDesign know-how (Such that it is).

In the world of writing my progress is slow. But I'm working on time management in other areas, so as I progress in those areas I will be able to squeeze writing in as well. That's the goal! :D