Book Review: The Courtship of Jo March

Title: The Courtship of Jo March: A Variation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Fanfiction Book Description from Goodreads: Set in the early 1870s, this re-imagining of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is for all who have ever wondered how things might have worked out differently for the beloved March sisters - the life Beth … Continue reading Book Review: The Courtship of Jo March

Works that Last: The Importance of Originality

Since the "madness" of A-Z starts tomorrow and I haven't written a word, I thought I'd continue the Flashback Friday series today and give you a post from June 2014. 🙂 In the George R. R. Martin interview with Rolling Stone writer Mikal Gilmore, Martin said that “Both as a writer and as a reader I … Continue reading Works that Last: The Importance of Originality

Flashback Friday: An Argument for Children to Read Fairy Tales and Fantasy

As part of the ongoing Flashback Friday series, here is a post whose content originally appeared in June 2014. G. K. Chesterton wrote about a great many matters, including fairy tales, and I’m not going to try to capture the entirety of his thoughts on the subject. However, three of his essays present some very … Continue reading Flashback Friday: An Argument for Children to Read Fairy Tales and Fantasy

Why I Don’t Often Re-Read Fantasy

I read a lot of fantasy novels. Of the books I read, that genre and the classics (usually things written before the 20th century) are the most read, but I've noticed that I don't reread fantasy that much. I think about it. I plan to reread it. I own the books in question. But I … Continue reading Why I Don’t Often Re-Read Fantasy

Violence in Books: Do We Need the Details?

As part of the ongoing Flashback Friday series, here is a post that was originally published in May 2014 George R. R. Martin, the author of the novels on which the “Game of Thrones” television series is based, fielded some questions via email regarding why he included sexual violence in his works. He stated that his philosophy … Continue reading Violence in Books: Do We Need the Details?

Focusing Your Novel with A Journalist’s Trick

Okay, perhaps it's more of a tool than a trick, but journalists have been using the "Who-What-Where-When-Why-and-How" format on hard news pieces for well over a century (to judge by the sort of articles they write, where each of these items are addressed), and I've found the six questions are equally useful when writing a … Continue reading Focusing Your Novel with A Journalist’s Trick

Four Ways to Handle Backstory

Every story has exposition--details of the character and world that you, as the author, need to pass on to the reader. You've spent hours fleshing out the world of your story and learning about your characters, and now you have to find some way of getting this information (or at least the essential part) from … Continue reading Four Ways to Handle Backstory

Fictional Families: Fathers and Sons

We've been examining family dynamics in fiction, looking at strong and healthy relationships rather than the dysfunctional ones that tend to create drama and difficulties. While the latter are more common and more interesting at times for an author to write, the former give us imaginative role models for our own lives and can give … Continue reading Fictional Families: Fathers and Sons

Book Review: After Avalon

Book Description from Goodreads: King Arthur is dead. Camelot has fallen. Britain drowns in Saxons. These are the stories of what came after.  Merlin’s prophecies begin such, in introduction:  “In the days when Arthur’s dream was dimmed, as grey embers under storm, actors from our reverie still ventured forth. A boy enters decaying Broceliande with the … Continue reading Book Review: After Avalon

Fictional Families: Fathers and Daughters

I've been thinking about examples of good parenting in novels and movies, and, not entirely to my surprise, I haven't found that many. I can think of lots of bad parents and lots of stories where a parent (or both) are absent--all the Cinderella and Oliver Twist stories, the Pride and Prejudice -type mothers and Persuasion -type fathers--but … Continue reading Fictional Families: Fathers and Daughters