Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Opinion Piece #8 ~ Requiem for Beauty or Beast?

Pic by G.W. aka P.A. ~ Cover of a book I read over the Easter holidays.
It closes with the words:
For there is another darkness coming. See those clouds out there? They bring the storm, the battering rain and the wind. But the storm is also a nurturing thing, a thing that allows the land and the people to grow again. We all have to stand in the rain, however long it lasts.~
(Sonia Helbig wrote a fascinating review of the book in March 2008.)
But this post is not about the book.
These words are just an introduction to tantalise your thoughts as you view the video called The Future of Publishing.~
Opinion Piece #8 ~ Requiem for Beauty or Beast?~

A. In any form you choose:
What do you think?
Do books have a future?

B. There is some interesting information behind this video.
(a) PenguinGroup USA — March 09, 2010 — This video was prepared by the UK branch of Dorling Kindersley Books and produced by Khaki Films (http://www.thekhakigroup.com/). Originally meant solely for a DK sales conference, the video was such a hit internally that it is now being shared externally.
(b) jibyollee ~ Shameless copy of the original video called 'Lost Generation'. So the future of publishing is stealing an original content? Thanks, Penguin.

C. Here is Lost Generation:

D. Does the added information modify your opinion? Explain.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How To #2 - How to Master Descriptive Writing

How To #2 - How to Master Descriptive Writing
Essentially, a descriptive piece of writing uses words in fresh ways!
There is an element of surprise.
But avoid over-using descriptive words in one paragraph!
Overkill is cumbersome, even nauseating!
Here are some examples of descriptive expressions from
The Great Fire – Shirley Hazzard – (Winner of the Miles Franklin Award), Virago 2003

p.4 climate of family life

p.14 the fallen scraps of war
A crumpled linen man, a crumpled cast of a man.

p.19 the day dying in the wet window.

p.20 the gramophone bawling.

p.22 crystal morning

p.24 shabby darkness

p.65 Peter Exley looked down the green mountain to the town scribbled along the shore:

p.66 The July air was a blanket, summer weight.

p.67 The mirror, unreflecting, was like the draped pelt of some desiccated leopard.

p.104 oblique view of the sea

p.109 Indoor light was shrouded by elderly curtains.

p.114 the long orange afternoon

p.118 Only when the Equator had been crossed did he feel safe. There was Colombo now, and Bombay, Aden, Port Said: all the sacred places of pilgrimage, the stations of the Australian cross.

p.120 The Hong Kong evening, its air like broth, was charged with Asia’s unapologetic smells.

p.123 His father had, at most, tinkered with the parental role, taking it up sporadically like a neglected hobby and allowing it to lapse.

p.127 The wind that shook the car was fierce enough to be blowing islands along a steel horizon, as clouds across rough water.

p.131 They ordered cheese omelettes and disinfected salads, which came with brittle, noisy triangles of toast.

p.136 The city appeared to sway on its own silt.


How To #1 - An Approach to Annotation and Analysis of a Newspaper Article

Pic by G.W. aka P.A.
How to #1 ~ An Approach to Annotation and Analysis of a Newspaper Article
When evaluating a newspaper article, it is important to ask questions and highlight evidence.

1. Who or what organization is the creator of the article?
2. What is the context of the article? e.g. cultural/political or is it a public issue? AND what type of article is it to suit the context? Editorial? Feature article? Opinion piece?
3. What newspaper published this article and when? (This will impact on style! e.g. "Herald Sun" = tabloid and "The Age" = broadsheet + often weekend articles are longer than weekly ones.)
4. What attention-getting/PERSUASIVE techniques are used? AND Are they effective?
5. Is the language formal or informal? Name examples. Does the language suit the purpose?
6. Is the language simple or complex? Everyday language or metaphorical, descriptive language? Name examples.
7. Is the article structured? Complex? Confusing? Gathers momentum or loses direction?
8. Are graphics included AND do they enhance or detract from the article?
9. Does the article represent a "small" sphere of interest or is it informative to an audience on a larger scale? Explain and describe what audience would connect with this article and why.
10. Is the article tasteful or distasteful? Name examples.
11. Does the article offer insights into the future or is it a passing piece of information? Explain.
12. What belief systems or points of view are presented, or, (just as important), not presented in the message? Explain.
13. How will different people/different age groups interpret the message?
14. What is the purpose of the message? Is it clear? challenging?
15. What is the tone? Does it change? When and why?
16. Is the article conclusive or would you expect that there may be a follow-up article? What are the cues for your answer?
17. Does the article have historical, political, economic or social value? Explain.
18. Is the article a reliable resource for its topic? Why or why not?
19. Media messages use specific language and strategies unique to the media industry. Do you recognise common features? e.g. short paragraphs and sentences.
20. Discuss the title of the article. Hidden or double meanings? Paradox? Satiric? Metaphor? Cliche? Evasive? Suits the article?
To evaluate its success, consider the strengths and weaknesses of the article!

Jessica Watson

Official Jessica Watson Blog

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