Category Archives: Writing trends

How does literacy change books?

The title may seem like a curious question. However, I wanted to trace how the increasing percentage of people who could read changes the publishing business. Do the types of books favored by the public change as a population becomes … Continue reading

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The Lead-footed Writer

In movies when an event is crucial to survival (such as disarming a bomb) the clock keeps ticking away on until the last minute as the hero tries to figure out which wire to cut. He wipes the sweat off … Continue reading

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Star Words

Creating a good plot is one of the most difficult parts of writing. A perfectly plotted story is going to be snatched up by readers, but so far we seem to have only produced one of these plots that most … Continue reading

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The Teenage Genre

When a library placed a book in the young adult or YA category that used to mean two things: The book was within the reading level of 12 to 18 year-olds, often a sixth to eighth grade level, and the … Continue reading

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Who’s the real villain?

As a legend Robin Hood represents the kind of principled nonconformist on which many heroes are based. We love to read about people who confront government wrong-doing even in a criminal manner as he did. But, if a similar character … Continue reading

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The sports hero’s journey

When advised to base stories on the hero’s journey, I realized that the “monomyth model” constructed plots based on a large sampling of Greek mythology. I’ve always had a suspicion that these myths were based on real people. The characters … Continue reading

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Sports Lit

While watching a recent bone crunching pro-football game on TV, I saw a player dive into a fracas and come up with the fumbled football. He took off for his goal, running for the sidelines to avoid being pummeled by … Continue reading

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Keeping the unknown a mystery

I was engrossed in a mystery that grabbed me from the beginning. Set in the mid nineteenth century it commenced with a spooky chase scene in the fog. The shadow-like suspect disappeared around the corner of a stately brownstone. Then, … Continue reading

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Dueling Detectives

When Edgar Allen Poe published Murders in the Rue Morgue in 1841 the murder mystery was a relatively new genre. He wrote a few more of these increasingly popular detective stories. However, In 1849 he was found wandering injured and … Continue reading

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Getting the Utopian Novel Right

H.G. Wells kept trying to get the utopian novel right. His novel A Modern Utopia has a fictional framework–the protagonist meets a man from a perfect society on a distant island. The book is really a philosophical essay describing the … Continue reading

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