The Weekly Commonplace (4/23/17)


“I tried to talk. I want you to remember that. I tried to reach out. I tried to understand you, but I think that you understand us perfectly. And I think that you just don’t care! And I don’t know whether you’re here to invade, infiltrate or just replace us. I don’t suppose it really matters now. You are monsters! That is the role you seem determined to play, so it seems that I must play mine: the man that stops the monsters. I’m sending you back to your own dimension. Who knows? Some of you may even survive the trip. And if you do, remember this: You are not welcome here! This plane is protected! I am the Doctor, and I name you the Boneless!” (The Doctor, “Flatline”, Doctor Who, courtesy of


“A novelist who creates a tapestry of thoughts and feelings, sights and sounds and smells in the proper way, can completely engross a reader, locking them into the writer’s fictive universe so powerfully that the reader often remembers a story that was read years ago much better than he recalls his or her own life at the time.” (David Farland, Daily Meditations: Writer Tips for 100 Days, Kindle Loc. 1212-1215)

“It is a writer’s greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others. Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry.” (Brandon Sanderson in Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarions, quoted by David Farland in Daily Meditations: Writer Tips for 100 Days, 1253-1255)

“Among the Welsh, a poet was called a Maker. The idea was that with words he could create illusions that were so deep, so profound, that it was as if he were bringing his dreams to life. When a Maker describes a stream, you can hear the babbling of the brook as water goes rolling over stones. You can taste the mist rising from limpid pools on the back of your tongue, along with sunlight and autumn leaves. As you kneel to drink, water striders dart through your imagination.

When a Maker tells a tale, he doesn’t just explain what emotions a character feels. He’s not satisfied with just ‘showing’ the emotion by describing it accurately. His goal is to make you experience the tale. His goal is to bring you into the tale so forcefully, that you live through it.

Don’t tell. Don’t show. Make.” (Farland, 1274-1280)

“Resonators are often words that identify your piece as belonging to a particular genre, such as fantasy, romance, or horror. They are part of the secret language that is used within a particular genre to give the writing more power by referring to previous works written in that genre.” (Farland, 1288-1290)

(Image courtesy of Syd Wachs and


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