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The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. — Aristotle

The problem with education today is that praxis, the hands-on, the actual practice, is often ignored in the classroom, especially in higher education. Instead, we embrace theories in the classroom, and not much more, over praxis. If institutions of higher learning want to remain relevant, they will need to bring praxis back into the fold.

I am reminded of a recent conversation with someone close to me who has experienced the decline of higher education in the United States. He mentioned a coworker, who had several…


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The tyranny of the novel must be overthrown before you start writing your Web serial.

I love novels.

Who doesn’t?

Novels are a personal favorite of mine as far as a writing medium is concerned. However, the tyranny of the novel often causes problems when one tries to write a Web serial. Web serials aren’t novels in their structure, nor are they chopped up and neatly packaged crypto-novels. Instead, Web serials are an entirely different beast — excuse the cliche, I’ve had way too much coffee today.

The tyranny that comes with the novel’s architecture cannot be understated. The…


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The idea of binge reading is nothing new — not exactly.

In fact, the first serialized novels, by people like Dickens, were binge read. With the advent of cheap(ish) e-readers, readers were thought to be the next big thing when it came to binge-worthy consumption. However, what the big companies, like Amazon, and not so big companies, too many to mention here, forgot is that readings must be tailored for such binge-worthy sessions.

The problem that I’ve found in writing Web serials is that writers, myself included, try to mirror the novel far too much. In fact, they should…


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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The spread of inexpensive technologies, particularly hardware and software packages, have created the conditions of possibility for an information-based civil war in the United States. It sounds nonsensical, but is it? The us versus them mentality has a deep-rooted history in the United States, stretching back to the country’s founding. (Just look to the U.S. Declaration of Independence if you don’t believe me.) In heterogeneous nation-states like the U.S., new developments in computer and information technology, could lead to serious internal conflicts, if left unchecked.

He [the king] has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring…


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I remember when I was an undergraduate an instructor told me that democracy is like building a house where every nail has a say in how affairs should be conducted. Truly challenging group projects, unlike what detractors suggest, are the lifeblood of the democratic processes that institutions of higher learning are supposed to expose students to. In fact, collective action is the single hardest thing to accomplish, and, in a quasi-democracy like ours in the U.S., group projects, at the collegiate level, could foster the traits we expect younger students to have going into the political realm.

The problem…


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The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it. — Karl Marx, “Theses on Feuerbach” (1845)

Graduate school is probably not the best time to be figuring out your political identity. You have far too many papers to write. Too many projects to complete. Bureaucratic machinations are looking to snuff you out. And, you have those oh-so-special instructors looking to get rid of your ass, because you’ve upset their life’s balance.

I applied for graduate school much in the way a slacker does. I didn’t have a plan. All I knew was…


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She [Patricia Highsmith] went on to recommend that aspiring writers keep a notebook in which to jot down thoughts or ideas, that they should trust in the power of the unconscious and that they shouldn’t force inspiration. –Andrew Wilson, Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith (2003)

“You’re wasting fuckin’ paper, kid!”


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Picture of an Outline/Zero Draft by G. Michael Rapp (2019)

Hemingway is said to have articulated that the first draft of anything is shit.

When it comes to our notions of drafting, especially among indie authors, we need to reconsider the value that drafting has on the writing and creation processes. We need to reconsider the drafting processes, because indie authors often focus on production, quantity, over the creation of quality. This isn’t helped by the “publish or perish” mantra that dominates the entire publishing industry, from the heavy hitters all the way down to the self-published indies publishing on Draft2Digital and tweens writing on Wattpad.

I have…


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Serialized fiction has a long, and, if we’re completely honest, a romantic history that attracts a lot of newbie writers to the writing format. However, what most writers forget is that serialized fiction doesn’t always translate well into other writing formats: such as the novella, the novel, or even the short story sequence. In fact, serialization lends itself to serialization. Don’t believe me? Fine. For those willing to take a chance on this assertion, keep on reading below.

Serialization is a unique creature. When reading Victorian novels, and even pre-Victorian novels, we can understand the importance serialization had on the…


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Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

We don’t turn to story to escape reality. We turn to story to navigate reality. — Lisa Cron, Story Genius (2016)

Narrative imagining — story — is the fundamental instrument of thought. Rational capacities depend upon it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, or predicting, of planning, and of explaining. — Mark Turner

Let’s admit it. The war between genre and literary fiction has claimed a good number of casualties, soaked up a good bit of ink, paper, and bandwidth, and, if we’re honest, wasted a good deal of time. It is time for reconciliation —…

G. Michael Rapp

I’m no longer on Medium. Find me at backtotheholodeck.com.

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