Jane Austen and Christianity, Part Two

I recently came across the existence of Jane Austen's prayers while reading the annotated Pride and Prejudice. Before that, I'd never known such a thing existed, despite having read numerous biographies and books about her and her writings. I knew we had many of her letters; I'd even read the deleted chapter if Persuasion, but … Continue reading Jane Austen and Christianity, Part Two

Jane Austen and Christianity, Part One

I have long considered Jane Austen to be one of the better Christian authors. She doesn't preach conversion, brimstone and damnation, yet she reaffirms Christian doctrine quietly, through her characters and stories. They may be a product of her own beliefs or of the overall Christian tenor of her society, but the messages are there. … Continue reading Jane Austen and Christianity, Part One

Three Questions to Ask Your Novel

These days, we have to be our own editors if our novels are going to succeed, get an agent, a publisher, or the share of the reading market that we want. And sometimes, our own tendencies as writers can work against us. It’s so easy to get caught up following a few favorite characters around … Continue reading Three Questions to Ask Your Novel

Stories within Stories

Last Friday, we looked at how we can use material from other stories in our own, and today, I want to look at an example, as examined by A Pilgrim in Narnia, where Brenton Dickieson highlighted some of the “stories,” or sources, of Pride and Prejudice in a recent post, some of which were quite … Continue reading Stories within Stories

Fan Fiction: An Offering of Love or Laziness?

I was browsing my library book-sale shelves recently and noticed that many of the works offered for sale—at very discounted prices—were works of fan fiction, most notably Star Wars, Star Trek, and the historical fiction types. I thought it rather intriguing, since the books are donated; it suggested that other, more worthy volumes were retained, … Continue reading Fan Fiction: An Offering of Love or Laziness?

Writing that Scene: Pride and Prejudice

In the format of a non-traditional critique, Writing that Scene examines the fundamentals of what it takes to capably convey a scene to one’s readers. The opinion expressed is my own, and other readers’ opinions may and will differ. If you are interested in sharing a scene of your own for a future post, click … Continue reading Writing that Scene: Pride and Prejudice

Back When We Still Cared

I just finished a recently-published historical fiction novel, set in England in the time of Jane Austen and most of Georgette Heyer’s books. It had a great premise, but the execution was…flawed. And not for glaring historical flaws. The costumes, the plot events, and the characters had a studied feel to them. I felt like … Continue reading Back When We Still Cared

Authorial Brutality: Considerations on Killing off Characters

There has been a great deal written about how authors should be “brutal” to their characters and kill them off, whenever the plot requires it, just to keep readers from feeling a character is “safe.” And then, when it happens, there is the inevitable outcry that it was a horrible ending, leaving some readers inconsolable … Continue reading Authorial Brutality: Considerations on Killing off Characters

Inspiration, Introduction, and Influence: The Power of Books

One of the blogs I follow recently did a Bookshelf Tag (in her case, it was a Movie Shelf Tag), and it got me thinking about the power of stories and books, in particular. I discovered that the books that inspire me aren’t usually the ones that introduced me to a genre, while the ones … Continue reading Inspiration, Introduction, and Influence: The Power of Books

Reading with Baggage

It’s impossible to read anything without baggage—preconceived ideas and expectations. When we encounter words like “store,” “study,” or even “street,” our ideas of those places are informed by our experiences and culture…and from the perceived genre of the book. In our minds, a street in a piece of historical fiction will probably not be the … Continue reading Reading with Baggage