Tag Archives: Big Think

4 classic books that teach deep insights through unlikable protagonists

You can learn a lot about life through literature’s most unrespectable and heinous characters.

By Tom Brinkof, May 15, 2023

Unlikable protagonists come in many shapes and sizes. (Credit: laporteouvertedotme / Wikipedia)

In his book, “Save the Cat!”, Blake Snyder offers storytelling tips for aspiring screenwriters. His main piece of advice, from which the book gets its title, is to “save the cat.”

In short, Snyder argues that writers should introduce their protagonists by having them do something that demonstrates their key traits or moral code, which sometimes means the character does something to make the audience like them—like saving a kitten from a tree.

Likable characters, after all, can produce more compelling stories than unlikable ones. Snyder has a point. Likable protagonists engage the audience by making it easier to relate to their personalities and struggles. The more we root for a character, the happier we feel when they accomplish their goal, and the sadder we get when they don’t. Unlikable protagonists, by contrast, risk alienating their audience. At worst, we don’t care if they fail or succeed. At best, we actively want them to fail.

Source: Valuable lessons from literature’s most unlikable protagonists

How to write like Ernest Hemingway: a style guide | High Culture | Big Think

The author of classics like “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Sun Also Rises” is known and loved for his simple yet effective writing style. Here’s how to imitate it.

By Tim Brinkhof, January 18, 2022

Ernest Hemingway is famous for his style as well as his stories (Credit: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection / Wikipedia).

Today, more than 60 years after his death, Ernest Hemingway is known not just for his moving stories but his technical writing skills.

According to E.J. Gleason, professor of Irish and American literature at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, Hemingway had found his artistic voice before he turned 26.

His signature writing style, characterized by short phrases constructed using plain, everyday English, left a profound impact on the literary world, shaping generations of aspiring fiction and non-fiction writers that followed in his footsteps.

Although Hemingway’s way of writing may seem straightforward, it is by no means simplistic, let alone easy to imitate. A less talented writer might hide their lack of substance behind difficult words and convoluted sentences, but to write like Hemingway requires both a great effort and real intellect. Like a surgeon, Hemingway stripped his stories of any and all insignificant or superfluous information, until only a basic skeleton and a handful of vital organs were left on the page.

Source: How to write like Ernest Hemingway: a style guide – Big Think

Are we really addicted to technology? – Big Think

Fear that new technologies are addictive isn’t a modern phenomenon.

By Freethink * 31 July, 2021

Credit: Rodion Kutsaev via Unsplash

This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink, which has partnered with the Build for Tomorrow podcast to go inside new episodes each month.

Subscribe here to learn more about the crazy, curious things from history that shaped us, and how we can shape the future. In many ways, technology has made our lives better.

Through smartphones, apps, and social media platforms we can now work more efficiently and connect in ways that would have been unimaginable just decades ago. But as we’ve grown to rely on technology for a lot of our professional and personal needs, most of us are asking tough questions about the role technology plays in our own lives.

Are we becoming too dependent on technology to the point that it’s actually harming us?

Editor’s Note: Includes audio…

Source: Are we really addicted to technology? – Big Think