‘Driven on by some demon’

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither… Continue reading ‘Driven on by some demon’

“Like starting a stone”

“I feel very strongly about putting questions; it partakes too much of the style of the day of judgment. You start a question, and it’s like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last you would… Continue reading “Like starting a stone”

The Wrong Words

The wrong words. They were true a hundred times over, yet they sounded like a lie. Hadn’t he always known it? Words were useless. At times they might sound wonderful, but they let you down the moment you really needed them. You could never find the right words, never, and where would you look for… Continue reading The Wrong Words

When the Right Book Comes at the Wrong Time

Dear Former Self, You didn’t know it at the time, but you would have loved this book. It’s right up your alley. Unfortunately you aren’t here anymore and I can only do so much to envision what your reaction to it would have been. I’ve tried to summon your spirit, to imagine this being your… Continue reading When the Right Book Comes at the Wrong Time

NaNoWriMo: How it went… and is still going.

Well, last night was the last night to update word counts and scramble in the last couple thou. I actually forgot about it—I was reorganising my bookshelf at the time. Was it in dire need of reorganising? No. But nor has it been any of the other five times I’ve completely reorganised it this pandemic,… Continue reading NaNoWriMo: How it went… and is still going.

Storm Warning: Writing the Inciting Incident

Writers are often encouraged to start their novels off with a bang. Hook them in the first paragraph, the first sentence—heck, the first word. Sometimes, it takes on the form of marketing strategy. “Look at television commercials,” they say. “The scene is set, a problem arises, and the product appears as the answer to the… Continue reading Storm Warning: Writing the Inciting Incident

Secondary Characters: The Curse of the Dark Horse

I have a problem that’s been going on for quite sometime. I’ve sort of noticed it off and on in the background, but always dismissed it as something I don’t really need to take steps to fix. Until now. It came to a head when I went back to a WIP and started thinking about… Continue reading Secondary Characters: The Curse of the Dark Horse

Time in Flux (Capacitor): Ruby Red and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Ah, time travel: creator of paradoxes, destroyer of timelines, and conveniencer of plots. I like a good time travel story, whether it be the new Who (Moffat loops and all) or the good old Back to the Future. Time travel tends to frequent science fiction, but is also exploited for its potential in the historical… Continue reading Time in Flux (Capacitor): Ruby Red and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

On-Line English Literature Discussion: Being Dramatic

What makes drama different from narrative and poetry? It's not a trick question. It is, however, a rather broad question, posed by my first-year English teacher. I attempted to answer it, addressing a few of the most apparent considerations, without by any means giving a comprehensive analysis: A narrative, especially one with an omniscient voice… Continue reading On-Line English Literature Discussion: Being Dramatic

On-Line English Literature Discussion: Not Natural

Folklore. Fairy-tales. Horror stories. Urban legends. Mythology. What is it about the inexplicable, the fantastical, and the outrageously unrealistic that captures the human imagination? For that matter, what is it about the human imagination that causes it to manufacture these things, if indeed there is no outside originator? It was while studying "The Old Nurse's… Continue reading On-Line English Literature Discussion: Not Natural