Literature vs. Art


Today I had my first official Literature of the Western World class. Our professor asked us, in groups of three, to come up with our own definition of literature. My own group quickly came up with something along the following lines:

“Literature is any form of written art used to convey stories, culture and traditions.”

After some prodding, the room turned in to a debate. Oral story-telling – is it literature? Dancing, theatre, etc. Some people seemed to take insult when our group announced that no, it isn’t. But not considering something as literature isn’t an insult guys. It just means it isn’t a written art. It is performed, with personal aspects. Everyone performs things differently, alters a little. But the written form doesn’t change (unless someone rewrites it). A half-ass translation can indeed change the story.

What do you think? Sure, a play script is considered literature (in my eyes) but the performed version, no. I consider it an art. Art covers a broad aspect, from graffiti to short stories to street dancing. But a street dancer isn’t a writer – he (or she) is an artist. They might be a writer too, for I consider literature an art form (in some aspects). All writers are artists, in their own way, but not all artists are considered ‘literature’.

What do you think? How do you define literature?


PS: Check this out. There are more than 52 projects now, but these are the originals.

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Everyone is scared of something, and most of us don’t know why. It is ingrained in to our brain, and most of the time it is completely irrational. They say fear is learned – but no one pointed at a spider and said ‘You see that? You are scared of that. You are SO. FUCKING. SCARED.’ I just turn in to a screaming idiot at the sight of them, and often become paranoid for hours afterwards. (My enemies should be taking notes) I’m scared of heights, despite living on the top bunk of a bed for seven years, but not afraid of to fly – although boarding and leaving them makes me a nervous wreck. I’m highly paranoid in general. Of what I don’t know. Certain pitches of sound strike a nerve with me.

Frankly, I’m scared of a lot of things, and none of them are for a reason. I’ve never been bitten by a spider, fallen from a great height, or had my eardrum broken by screaming. I just dislike it. I often invent scenarios in my head for why that person looked at me, or why I’ve seen that car that many times today. They are irrational stories, and most likely in no way possible. No one is out to get me. Most likely. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think they are. I’m not going to spazz out on you and declare everyone a stalker, but I won’t deny I’m probably more than a little paranoid.

What are you scared of? Do you know why? Some say confronting your fear is the best way to handle it, but I’m pretty sure if I got dumped in a room with a spider all it would do is enhance my nightmares to a more personal level. They also say learning more about what you’re scared of can help. I know spiders have eight leg & eyes, most are not venomous, and that they freak me the fuck out. Studying hasn’t helped me, at all.

Troy, co-creator of Marble Hornets, once mentioned that they try to target subconscious fears throughout the series. They are fears that almost no one thinks about, but most people have – fear of being followed, fear of memory loss, fear of other life, fear of being watched and fear of not knowing where you are.

“If we could fit in fear of being trapped in small spaces, we’d be golden.” – Troy.

Marble Hornets is located here.

From Psychology Today:

Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we couldn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are in no way life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason. Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.”

According to, these are the top ten common phobias.

Arachnophobia: The fear of spiders.
Ophidiophobia: The fear of snakes.
Acrophobia: The fear of heights.
Agoraphobia: The fear of any situation which is difficult to escape.
Cynophobia: The fear of dogs.
Astraphobia: The fear of thunder and lightning.
Trypanophobia: The fear of needles.
Social Phobias: Self-explanatory.
Pteromerhanophobia: The fear of flying.
Mysophobia: Fear of germs &/or dirt.

View the above listed source for a more detailed explanation of all of these phobias and other relevant articles.

And on a slightly related note:

Watch a guy all but piss his pants playing Amnesia  (language warning) : Amnesia WTF?

Watch a spider try to hide in the sand. Spoiler alert: You’re not invisible, Spider. I’m terrified of spiders and thought it was hilarious:  Cave Spider

“Well. It’s about as invisible as an elephant in a warehouse. But it knows how to dig.” – My friend Joseph.

So what are you scared of? Do you know why?


(PS: Heights, spiders and being watched. That last one I blame on Troy. Thanks bro.)

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Musical Muse


What do you listen to while you write?

Are you a sound track kind of fellow? Or do you rock it oldie style? Does what your writing change your music preference, or is it strictly your own mood thing?

For me, it depends on what I’m writing. When I’m writing something with my character Gabriel, I have a specific playlist. It changes, sometimes, depending on the nature of the piece, but it’s usually a collection of the same bands and a few key songs. Other stories are inspired by a certain song, so I stick that song – and maybe a few other similar tracks – on repeat, maybe for hours at a time. Sounds irritating? If I’m lucky, I sink so far in to the ‘writing world’ I don’t really hear the music. It becomes background noise. Headphones are a must for me, especially when in a crowded room. No earbuds for me, though. Do they bother anyone else? I’ll stick to something that doesn’t fall out of my ears every five minutes …..


Some people partake in what is referred to as a ‘100 Theme Challenge’. I’m doing something similar, but instead of words or particular, specific themes I’m taking a 100 songs and coming up with something inspired by the rhythm and lyrics. That doesn’t mean you have to make up a story modeled specifically after the song. I listen to a lot of Christian Rock – bands like Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Lifehouse – and sometimes derive major horror pieces from them. (Then again, with Skillet, that doesn’t seem surprising)

Your challenge is to take your list of top ten favorite songs and write or draw something for each one. Poetry, short story, hell model a chapter of your novel after it. A haiku. Anything. If you complete the challenge, let me know! There is no limit to what you can do with this. So go for it!

My Top Ten:

1. Violet Hill by Coldplay

2. The Joke by Lifehouse

3. Running Up That Hill by Placebo/Kate Bush

4. Lose Urself by Family Force Five

5. The Wolf by Fever Ray

6. Faith by Taking Back Sunday

7. You & Me by Dave Matthews Band

8. In One Ear by Cage the Elephant

9. Swing Life Away by Rise Against

10. The Kill (Bury Me) by 30 Seconds to Mars

These aren’t necessarily my top ten favorite songs, but they are some of my favorites to write to. If you have any music suggestions for me, let me know. I listen to a variety. So drop it!

Thanks for reading,


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Dearest Writers:

I’ve got some stuff for ya.


As I’m mostly a writer, most of what I post here will at least be slightly writing related. Whether I’m shamelessly self-promoting my own things, sharing articles I’ve found, or even some humorous writer comics, it’s going to be here. So, I hope you enjoy. If you found any of this useful, or have something you want to share, please let me know.


Today, I’ve got some articles for you.


If you’re like me, outlining just looks like one big pain in the ass. You don’t know how to do it, you don’t know what to put in it, and frankly, you’re not even sure what it is for. I’ll tell you what it’s for: Your benefit. Sure, you can write the first draft. But the second time around, when you’re looking for those plot holes, or checking details, you don’t want to sit there and destroy your computer – or notebook – trying to find the name of the antagonist’s deranged mother. So, you make an outline. You’ll need key plot points, summaries, characters involved, important items acquired – or hell, your character might have chipped a tooth – and it needs to be in here.

This article just might help with the more important bits. Simple Novel Outline Guide


In writing, we always want to know what not to do. For me, one of my major problems is using ‘was’, instead of something else. I’m lazy. I don’t want to search my vocabulary for something more interesting, more … explanatory. Nope. “I was mortified.” “I felt mortified.” See how easy that was? Stop being lazy.

And read these articles.

Five Weak Words

11 Mistakes


I have more articles for you, but I don’t want to post everything in one blog post. So follow me, people. Get up on this, and hopefully I’ll keep you interested. I’ll try to supply you guys with some writing tips/articles/bullshit at least once a week.


Thanks for reading, I hope something here was helpful.

– Alyss

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Everyone should follow these instructions.


Allo world. You can call me Alyss. I’m here to post reviews on things I’ve enjoyed (or haven’t) and introduce you to my world within the internet. At the moment, I haven’t much to share. But I’m sure that’ll change. I hope you enjoy.

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