Copyright for Writers and Tutorial Bloggers Link

One of the hardest things about putting together demos of software is creating interesting and useful dummy data. When I wrote about how I use plain text for tasks, I was torn between having fun with the dummy data and not wanting to get sued by someone. It’s a lot of work to create a fully realized set of data and it’s even more work when it’s mind numbingly boring.

The Punctuation Guide Link

Now, this is a lovely little guide to punctuation. Notwithstanding its versatility, the em dash is best limited to two appearances per sentence. Otherwise, confusion rather than clarity is likely to result By way of Lifehacker

How We Plotted Stories on MASH Link

From Ken Levine, one of the writers for the series MASH: We broke the show down into two acts and a tag. Each act would have five scenes. Brief transition scenes didn’t count. But go back through some episodes. Five main scenes in the first act and five in the second. As best we could we would try to advance both of our stories in the same scenes. But each story is different and we tried to avoid being predictable.

Why Did Jodon Romero Kill Himself On Live Television? Link

Jessica Testa has a lengthy article on BuzzFeed this week. The piece focuses on the televised suicide of a carjacker. It’s a great piece of journalism from an unexpected source, BuzzFeed. I don’t normally read BuzzFeed. That’s not a knock against BuzzFeed. They have section titles like “LOL”, “fail”, “wtf”, and “trashy” which tells me they are self-aware. Their articles typically do not appeal to me but this one article restored their position in my RSS feed reader.

Vonnegut's Rules How to Write with Style Link

Vonnegut: It may be that you, too, are capable of making necklaces for Cleopatra, so to speak. But your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out. I really need to read these repeatedly. Like every day. Several times.

The Value of Writing

James Somers: When I have a piece of writing in mind, what I have, in fact, is a mental bucket: an attractor for and generator of thought. It’s like a thematic gravity well, a magnet for what would otherwise be a mess of iron filings. I’ll read books differently and listen differently in conversations. In particular I’ll remember everything better; everything will mean more to me. That’s because everything I perceive will unconsciously engage on its way in with the substance of my preoccupation.