Literature Lacks Character

While binaries are almost never true, there is a common division in fiction critique between literature (seen as worthy) and genre (seen as second-rate)—or, to reverse it, between literature (seen as pretentious tedium) and genre (seen as genuine entertainment). Many of those who fall into the second perspective go further, claiming that—rather than a division … Continue reading Literature Lacks Character

UnOccult Secrets

Matt Larkin (author of some rather spiffing riffs on Nordic mythology) posted an article recently suggesting fantasy novels can benefit from the lack of systematized magic. While I find his arguments engaging, for me the best answer lies in what is revealed rather than what is systematized. Larkin's thesis is that magic—at least magic that … Continue reading UnOccult Secrets

Anent the Prose of that Indescribable Scrivener

Discussion of Lovecraft's work tends to focus on three things: racism, cosmic dread, and tentacles. However, as anyone who's spoken to witnesses to an event knows, the same story becomes different depending on the author: so, while a tale of a Englishman who discovers a debased African tribe summoning a writhing horror and is traumatised … Continue reading Anent the Prose of that Indescribable Scrivener

Fleeting Ink by Miriam Joy

Joy weaves together hymns in praise of feeling rather than deconstructing poetry with evidence that words cannot be other than a structure around anything of actual meaning, elegantly capturing both the power of language to show reality and its failure. This collection contains twenty-nine of Joy’s poems inspired by the concept of writing. The eponymous … Continue reading Fleeting Ink by Miriam Joy

Writing as a Team Sport by Kevin J. Anderson

Anderson mixes his thoughts on why collaborations work, or don’t, with anecdotes from the many collaborations he has undertaken, creating a book that shows the reader the potential complexities of partnering with other authors without becoming dry or depressing. This book provides advice and insight on co-authoring fiction, covering reasons to consider collaborating, choosing a … Continue reading Writing as a Team Sport by Kevin J. Anderson

Hurting Your Characters by Michael J. Carlson

Carlson combines an accessible overview of the human body and the damage it suffers from various traumas with insight into how that might feel to a character. This creates a useful framework for adding plausible and emotive descriptions of injury that can be tailored to a character’s knowledge. This book provides an simplified description of … Continue reading Hurting Your Characters by Michael J. Carlson

‘Excel for Writers’ & ‘Excel for Self-Publishers’ by M.L. Humphrey

Humphrey provides clear and thorough instructions on using Excel to support a writing career without descending into tedious detail. With the first book aimed at authors looking to put their writing on a more structured footing and those seeking to be published by others, and the second aimed at authors seeking to publish their own … Continue reading ‘Excel for Writers’ & ‘Excel for Self-Publishers’ by M.L. Humphrey