This Is Your Brain on Writing

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nom
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Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:21 pm Post

New York Times article by Carl Zimmer on the neuroscience of creative writing.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/science/researching-the-brain-of-writers.html


Note: I wasn't sure which board to post this on, so happy for a mod to move it somewhere more appropriate.
Complete and utter NOMsense.
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Hu
Hugh
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Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:19 pm Post

Thanks, nom - very interesting indeed. I'd also be interested in the next step Steven Pinker recommends - to compare brain images when the brain is engaged with fictional writing with images when it's engaged with factual writing.

Although... I'd contend that the 'creativity' required for factual writing - if it's to make the writing interesting and digestible to readers - can sometimes be almost as great as that required for fiction.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

Hu
Hugh
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Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:40 pm Post

If, of course, an index of 'creativity' were possible to conceive - which it almost certainly isn't.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Orpheus
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Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:50 am Post

Hugh wrote:Thanks, nom - very interesting indeed. I'd also be interested in the next step Steven Pinker recommends - to compare brain images when the brain is engaged with fictional writing with images when it's engaged with factual writing.

Although... I'd contend that the 'creativity' required for factual writing - if it's to make the writing interesting and digestible to readers - can sometimes be almost as great as that required for fiction.



I would suggest that it would have to be greater.
"Never was there a time when I [Krsna] did not exist, nor you, nor all these
kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.” Bhagavad-gita
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devinganger
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Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:39 am Post

Orpheus wrote:
Hugh wrote:Although... I'd contend that the 'creativity' required for factual writing - if it's to make the writing interesting and digestible to readers - can sometimes be almost as great as that required for fiction.


I would suggest that it would have to be greater.


I would respectfully suggest that's a load of poppycock that has its roots in the prejudice some people feel against fiction. There are a lot of similarities between good fiction writing and good non-fiction factual writing, but there are differences. They are related skill sets with a lot of overlap, but they aren't the same, and the amount of creativity involved is only one factor. I know a fair number of writers both good and bad, across all disciplines. Some of the best writers are the least creative people, but they have discipline and a fair amount of self-knowledge.

Good writers will always figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are and arrange their writing accordingly.
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Devin L. Ganger
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Orpheus
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Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:42 pm Post

devinganger wrote:
Orpheus wrote:
Hugh wrote:Although... I'd contend that the 'creativity' required for factual writing - if it's to make the writing interesting and digestible to readers - can sometimes be almost as great as that required for fiction.


I would suggest that it would have to be greater.


I would respectfully suggest that's a load of poppycock that has its roots in the prejudice some people feel against fiction. There are a lot of similarities between good fiction writing and good non-fiction factual writing, but there are differences. They are related skill sets with a lot of overlap, but they aren't the same, and the amount of creativity involved is only one factor. I know a fair number of writers both good and bad, across all disciplines. Some of the best writers are the least creative people, but they have discipline and a fair amount of self-knowledge.

Good writers will always figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are and arrange their writing accordingly.


I can see your point . It also reminds me of what my university math professor once replied when asked which mathematical sub-discipline (pure mathematics, applied mathematics, combinatorics and optimization, statistics...) was better? He said that there was only two kinds of mathematics: "Good mathematics" and "Bad mathematics." :shock:
"Never was there a time when I [Krsna] did not exist, nor you, nor all these
kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.” Bhagavad-gita
2.12

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devinganger
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Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:55 pm Post

Orpheus wrote:He said that there was only two kinds of mathematics: "Good mathematics" and "Bad mathematics." :shock:


I *adore* that. Thank you for sharing it!
--
Devin L. Ganger
Not a L&L employee; opinions are those of my cat
Life has a way of moving you past wants and hopes -- Kevin Flynn