Will Aaron Sorkin Burn The Newsroom to the Ground?

Spoilers for The Newsroom, season 3 episode 5 follow. Read at your own risk.

Throughout this truncate season, I’ve had some real glimmers of hope for The Newsroom. The show, about a plucky, holier-than-thou newsroom that decides not to pander to the lowest common denominator, but to treat their audience as if they were intelligent, moral people, has had its detractors, many of them in newsrooms throughout the US. Personally I like the idealism that it strives for, but the show often brushes off key factors like ratings and advertisers, adding a layer of surreality to the proceedings.

Some of those neglected elements have been coming back to bite the fictional newsroom this season. The network has been sold to a nouveau riche new media ‘visionary’ who stands for everything the newsroom doesn’t -- citizen journalism and immediacy over fact checking and second-sourcing news. Add to this that the newsroom is still suffering from a loss of credibility for getting suckered into presenting a detailed and very incorrect report on the US military using sarin gas in Afghanistan.

Christmas in Malaysia

I’ve been meaning to write about Christmas in Malaysia since, well, last Christmas. I’m glad I waited, as this year I’m noticing things that contradict what I thought I experienced the first time.

Malaysia is a country at a unique intersection. It is a Muslim country* but it is also an Asian country. Although Muslims don’t generally celebrate Christmas, Asian retailers love any holiday that promotes consumerism, and in that sense, there’s no holiday like Christmas.

Christopher Nolan's Interstellar: The Great Filter and Timey-Wimey Stuff

This post most certainly contains spoilers for the movie Interstellar.

Christopher Nolan had a lot to say in Interstellar, and he took almost three hours to say it. I’m just not sure that it ever amounted to anything. In this film, ex-astronaut turned farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is convinced to leave his family in an attempt to save them (and Earth) from certain destruction. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Armageddon, this is a much bleaker, darker, and realistic doom — we’ve destroyed the Earth’s environment and now it’s killing us.

“You’re writing a book? Cool! Am I in it?”

It’s a question that I’m sure every unpublished fiction writer gets (published writers can tell you to buy the book and find out for yourself). I’m also sure that the answer is the same for 99.99% of them as it is for me.

No.

My books deal with situations that I want to explore. That means that the characters are defined by the needs of the plot (although as the story matures in writing, the characters also bring new perspectives and conversations to the storyline).

Writing Linearly, in the First Person - a challenge

I don’t write linearly. I don’t write the first chapter first, the second chapter second, etc., until the last chapter last. There are writers who write that way. I'm not one of them. I start at the beginning, write the end, then work out what has to happen to get from point A to point Z. I go back and add a detail or a piece of information that will become important later. I worl- build as aspects are revealed to me, and I incorporate them as I go along.

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