A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings–

they cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.

I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.

Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on the ground:

then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.

Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the properites of making colours darker.

Model T is a room with the lock inside —
a key is turned to free the world

for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.

But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.

In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.

If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep

with sounds. And yet, they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.

Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room

with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises

alone. No one is exempt
and everyone’s pain has a different smell.

At night, when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs

and read about themselves —
in colour, with their eyelids shut

Craig Raine

Interviews

To decide what questions to ask, you will have to think about the type of person being interviewed and the subject of the interview. Another key factor is the audience (as always) so the interview must be pitched in that particular style-think carefully about this, you want to interest your audience in aspects of a person’s life and this takes some imagination and originality. The interviewer wants to discover something new or interesting about the interviewee- to offer a previously undisclosed insight and not the same thing over again.

However, most interviewers will think about 3 general areas to steer their interview:

Their Past Questions about childhood, where they grew up, significant events/influences, scandals that they may have been involved in- their side of the story.

Their Present Current project they are working on. What they enjoy/dislike about their current job, family life, etc. recent successes and failures

Their Future Where they see themselves in the future, how will their career path change?, how can they realise their dreams?, what are their dreams?… etc.

Come up with a list of questions.

Tone – informal, you write as you would speak – this is after all a conversation..

Answers should obviously be much longer than the questions. We do not wan’t to find out about the interviewer.

Writing Reviews

Writing Reviews:

There are four key elements to a review

  1. Introduction
  2. Details
  3. Evaluation
  4. Recommendation

You can be asked to review anything from a book, cd, gig, play  to a place (restaurant, venue etc.) or even a thing (game console, computer, mp3 player etc.)

Some Guidelines

Have strong opinions

(…but avoid saying ‘I felt…I thought…etc.)

First and foremost, be bold and strong. begin with a dramatic statement. Never begin a review by telling the reader that you are writing a review. “The eagerly anticipated sequel to the best-selling [name of book/CD/film/video game] is finally here and let me tell you it does not disappoint“.  Or “Let me offer you fair warning dear readers –  [name of book/CD/film/video game] offers a dark, intense, disturbing glimpse of the human condition“.If you hate a character in a film describe in detail exactly why (“the acting was too subtle they had no real identity”) do not say “He was rubbish”. However if you enjoyed the beginning scene say so. Remember that you aren’t writing your review to make friends; your mission is to fairly inform the public of your experiences, positive or negative.

Add Facts

Most reviews mix facts with the basic opinions. Information could include the running time of a film or the name of an author of a book. Without some facts your review will be too short of substance and leave the reader without the opportunity to find out for themselves whether they agree with you.

Be Detailed

If you don’t like a novel, explain why. Don’t just say, “This book was dull.” Instead, describe what made boring. Was it too long? Was the writing unexciting? Was it hard to read? Was the plot confusing? You want your audience to understand why you had the reaction you did.

Add Some Humour

Sometimes, you can spice up a review with a little humour. If something occurs to you  that is funny use it, but do not waste time trying to think up something amusing.

Give Suggestions

Finally, it’s appropriate to make some suggestions. If you’re reviewing the latest book by J. K. Rowling but were unmoved, you might want to suggest that readers go to their local library to borrow the book rather than buying it.

Finally

In the end, your audience is looking for you to give them some direction, so don’t hold back. Be fair, be honest, and you should end up with a good review.

Sample Film Review

 

Advertisements

twitterad

An advertisement is all about persuasion, trying to persuade us that we want or need what is being advertised. A number of techniques are employed in advertising and vary depending on the ad itself. All advertisements are aimed at specific ‘Target Audiences’ and it is important to be able to identify these.

All advertisements seek to:

  • Grab our attention
  • Create a link between us and a product or service
  • Leave a memorable impression
  • Adverts rely on the power of suggestion & may contain subliminal messages.
  • They can play on psychological  needs and often prey on negative feelings we have towards ourselves/our lifestyles

Techniques:

  • Bright, colourful graphics
  • Alliteration
  • Music / voice-overs / jingles- memorable rhymes
  • Emotive language
  • Statistics/Expert reports
  • Attractive lifestyles
  • Promise of fun / value for money
  • Logos/Brand awareness
  • Slogans
  • Humour
  • Repetition
  • Personal pronouns
  • Scientific jargon (sometimes employing what is known as ‘pseudo-science’)
  • Informal, friendly language- sometimes in the form of dialogue
  • Positive buzz words / phrases…. ‘Fresh’….’Clean’….’Germ free’…’Youthful’… Etc
  • Celebrity/ expert endorsements
  • Recognisable characters
  • Models
  • Etc….