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

Cinderella’s Stepsisters: Ugly or Mislabeled?

I've been thinking about characters and their appearances in preparation for the "Characters in Costume" blogfest for the end of October, and I've also been reading some of the classic Disney stories to my two sons. As a result, I've been thinking about the way Cinderella's stepsisters come across in the books and film. Anastasia … Continue reading Cinderella’s Stepsisters: Ugly or Mislabeled?

Book Review: The Rules of The Mine

Book Description per Author: The Rules of the Mine, a novel of about 59,000 words, is a story in which a teenage boy named Benjin must learn the true meaning of sacrifice. After losing his parents, being betrayed by his uncle, and locked up in a mine to be forgotten, Benjin must collaborate with the … Continue reading Book Review: The Rules of The Mine

Crafting an Authentic Beginning

As a book reviewer, I read a lot of first chapters and beginnings to judge whether I want to review a book. Instead of being moved by the cover or hype from other readers, I usually have only the blurb and the words themselves to guide me (I often haven't even seen the cover until … Continue reading Crafting an Authentic Beginning

The Art of Making a Good Match

I've been dealing with writing romance lately. Not the genre but the plot component, the seemingly inescapable phenomenon that crops up when writing fantasy, science-fiction, historical fiction, and just about any other genre, provided you have a few single characters floating around. And I've written about how authors can woefully get a romance wrong before, and … Continue reading The Art of Making a Good Match

Book Review: Hollo: The Gatecaster’s Apprentice

Description from Goodreads: Hollo always wanted to go out and explore the city, not that she dared… but still… staying inside all the time is bad for a body, even a wooden one. And what's the good of being able to do magic if you can’t even enchant the statues next door to keep you … Continue reading Book Review: Hollo: The Gatecaster’s Apprentice

Why a Bad Book can be a Good Read

I've discussed reading habits before and why you really want to read good books, but how, as a writer, you may have to read professionally some books you don't enjoy. But today, I want to urge you to not forget the values of a bad book. I'm not meaning a book that's grammatically-cringe-worthy, that has … Continue reading Why a Bad Book can be a Good Read

Book Review: Love, Life, and Logic

Description from Goodreads: Love, Life, and Logic captures the individual struggle of a young man against the seemingly unnamed, unknown, anonymous power of the universe. In a shocking revelation of his innermost thoughts, the book depicts a painful account of his emotional turmoil arising out of his own confusions and dilemmas, and his personal developments … Continue reading Book Review: Love, Life, and Logic

Ten Reasons Why Writers Make Good Neighbors

This morning, I was awoken to the sounds of saws and dump trucks  as road construction continued just outside. And it got me thinking: if you could pick your neighbor, you should always go with a writer. Writers are quiet. When we're building something, all you're hear is a clatter (along with a few incoherent grumbles … Continue reading Ten Reasons Why Writers Make Good Neighbors

Does it matter if your novel is “Multicultural”?

I've been writing a bit about race and racism lately, but one thing I haven't mentioned is how this could influence a novel. And, since my blog is primarily about writing, I figured it's something worth discussing. Many people feel that they need a racially diverse cast of characters to reach the modern reading audience. … Continue reading Does it matter if your novel is “Multicultural”?