A manifesto on writing for design
3— See your words
If a woman in a boilersuit and a man in a tutu utter exactly the same words, the effect is completely different. So before you start writing, it’s important to visualise what your words will look like when the reader sees them. How will the text and images relate to each other? What typeface will they be set in? What’s the format and medium? Too often, words and visuals inhabit the same world but look in totally different directions. Whereas they should be embracing like childhood friends.
Wanted: Respect For Wizards, Orcs
“Come on, he says. It’s all made up. It’s like playing with dolls! None of it’s real!
I have terrible news for you. It’s all made up. All fiction is fantasy—it’s what my daughter’s kindergarten teacher would call “pretend play.” Madame Bovary is a doll. Stephen Dedalus is a doll. Mrs. Dalloway? Doll. When it comes to novels, fantasy is the rule, not the exception. If anything, it is realist literature that pretends to be real. Fantasy doesn’t pretend.
OK. But my point is, it’s all just about some big battle between good and evil.
A generalization, but yes: Fantasy is one of the few literary genres left where it is still considered OK to explore questions of moral judgment. But that’s not a bad thing.” - Lev Grossman
How to Talk to Little Girls
“Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.”
No One Can Take A Bath For You: Why I Write
“I worked in an office for a while, where everyone was smart and beautiful and well-dressed, but I couldn’t figure out what they actually did all day. It was about this time—when the concept of an expense report took on some meaning—that I thought I might really pursue writing. I hate this phrase. We don’t really pursue anything. We do, or we don’t. We fail, and that is fine.” - Nancy Smith, The Rumpus