Category Archives: Literature

Reviews and commentaries on how what you read affects your writing

Obnoxious characters

Creating villains is much like creating protagonists. They are people with depth and a history. A villain follows discernible motives just like the hero does. Only at some point in their life, villains take an ethical shortcut to get ahead. … Continue reading

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Writing by numbers

Shoving creativity into neat little boxes of specific sizes is difficult. Still, I tend to quantify my writing. It provides the sense that I am actually accomplishing something and adds to the vague hope that someday the rest of the … Continue reading

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Want a good tip?

Have you ever chatted with a person and mentioned publishing some work only to be barraged with requests for writing tips? Although we would long to be full of wisdom, providing that kind of information is not easy. Sometimes it … Continue reading

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A new definition of literacy

A child of mine made a joking statement that if we wanted to raise the level of writing we needed to lower the number of people who are literate. The supposed logic behind this suspect claim is that the books … Continue reading

Posted in Education trends, Fiction in education, intelligence, Literature, Trends in books, Writing trends | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The fantasy fad

When I attended a seminar for writers of young adult (YA) books, the speakers were all writing fantasy works. Nobody seemed to be creating realistic young adult novels. There should be room for mine, right? Maybe not. When I coached … Continue reading

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What were you thinking?

The precise rules for dealing with thoughts are not recorded in standard grammar and usage books. There are opinions on how to do this based on current trends, which may become dated in a few years. One of these is … Continue reading

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Language fashion trends

Speaking a language is a skill that we continue to do all our lives. If a child hears the language spoken properly, they will learn to speak it correctly without thinking about it. At least they will be speaking it correctly … Continue reading

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The need for criticism

W. Somerset Maugham said, “People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise.” These were the words of his character, an artist in the novel Of Human Bondage, so it may not be Maugham’s real view. Or, was it? … Continue reading

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How well do you know your characters?

Why is it difficult to write complex and interesting characters? Because I must resist the temptation to simply tell about them. I cannot get upset by readers who expect to jump into immediate action and learn all about the character … Continue reading

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Mature content

As a grade school child, I read a book called Black Beauty. It was actually written for adults. In the first chapter the son and only heir to the family dies of a broken neck in the foolish sport of … Continue reading

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