The Thinking Verb Taboo, Idea Theft, Paper Reality, and Teachers

Today inspired me with a pile of high-octane brain food from online sources, so here I gather and share. Please click through to the original articles and read them for yourself. Each of these will pay dividends on the time you invest in reading them.

1) Thought Verbs by Chuck Palahniuk on Culture Porn
A challenge for writers: For the next 6 months, don't use any thought verbs while writing.
"These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.

"The list should also include: Loves and Hates."
Find these verbs in your writing and destroy them. Unpack them and lead the reader to figure out what the character thinks instead of using the crutch of looking into the character's head directly. Show, don't tell, but unpacked into observable action. He also reserves a section for is and have.

Mere Existence and simple Thought no longer suffice. Act and Demonstrate to draw your reader into your writing.

2) "What If Someone Steals Your Idea?" as blogged by Daniel Solis
Daniel's enthusiam and passion infect anyone in his immediate area. In this article he clears the mind's cobwebs and dispels meaningless fear on the way to working through your idea. An idea alone does not make a game, and at least part of the idea came from somewhere else in the first place. The development of that idea and the constant revision inherent in playtesting make a successful game, and that takes effort.
"NO GENIUS. NO MYSTIQUE. ONLY WORK."
Also, get over yourself and stop worrying about intellectual property until after you create the property in the reality outside of your head. Which dovetails nicely into...

3) You Are Wrong: A Place to Start by Quinn Murphy on Thoughtcrime Games
Ideas stuck in your head will not serve you. Get past the perfect crystalline structure of your idea and start working out the flaws, but first you need to get your idea on paper. An editor (even you yourself) can't edit something that doesn't exist. Ideas in your head remain formless until you commit them to reality.
"'It was just so perfect, but I couldn’t find a way to express it!' is the phrase you can put on the tombstones of most of the world’s failed creative projects.

Don’t make tombstones. Make art. Make games!"
4) What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali with art by Zen Pencils
Here's my favorite passage from What Teachers Make:


Words to live by, even with all the "this"es. High octane.

(Note to self: Catch up on the entire Zen Pencils archive. Awesome stuff.)

What inspires you?

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