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Better Late Than Never To Break The Rules

The [Input|Output]s of Mark
Better Late Than Never To Break The Rules
By Mark Askew • Issue #8 • View online
A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to!
It’s a late Tuesday night and the start of the week wasn’t the best. Additionally, I’m running on 6.5hrs of interrupted sleep and I am feeling it and have felt it all day.
Still, I promised a weekly newsletter. You’re getting a weekly newsletter. Even if it’s late.
For the week—I’m pretending it’s last week—I’ve been engrossed with talks and lectures from Steven Pinker. In particular, talks regarding his book The Sense of Style. If that book sounds familiar, then I will take credit for referencing it in a previous newsletter.
Before diving into the text of the book, I already have such gems such as the passive and active voice. Despite the overwhelming advice to write in active voice, there are times it just doesn’t work. Context matters. And this is mostly left out when others give writing advice. Who or what should the reader focus on? The doer? Or the done-to?
“The ball was kicked by Mark.” The ball is the subject. Kick is the verb. Should the ball be the focus?
“Mark kicked the ball.” Mark is the subject. Kick is the verb. Should Mark be the focus?
A weak example but this is where writing style comes into play. What’s that saying—know the rules to break them. All rules are tools for the writer. You can write passive sentences; it puts the focus where you want the reader to be. Eschew your comma and embrace the run-on sentences; it can show the reader the mental state of the character or portray a stream-of-conscious style.
Write. Have fun. Take writing advice with a grain of salt. Learn and understand the language syntax. Then bend it to your will. Rules are tools.
I can’t wait to actually read the book.

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
On Women & Film
The Women of Zack Snyder's Filmography
New On The Productivity Lab
Book Review: Algorithms to Live By from authors Ben Christian and Tom Griffiths, looks at how to apply computer algorithms, such as caching, sorting, or scheduling to your everyday life. In this episode, Kyle and Mark attempt to wrap their heads around the proposed algorithms. Find out what they thought and more in this episode of The Productivity Lab.
Currently Reading
I am currently reading The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal*. This is book two in The Lady Astronaut Series. I am 80% of the way through the book and I’m just flying through the pages. (Last week I was only 44% of the way through.)
*Link is an affiliate link.
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