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Showing posts 21 to 30 labeled Criticism (32 total)

Writing a Watson (May 1, 2015)

If a main character is not directly responsible for most of the significant events in a story, you don't have a protagonist. You have a Watson. More »

Sex Isn't a Story, Intelligence Isn't Cute, and Culture Isn't Character (May 19, 2014)

On Friday I borrowed a certain library book. By Saturday night I was bitterly disappointed in the author, the publisher, and humanity as a whole. More »

What I Learned from Bianca Goes to NYC (February 26, 2014)

I was interested enough in Bianca Goes to NYC to pay for it—yes, pay for it—instead of waiting on the holds list of my local library as usual. And I liked it. I really did. But I'm disappointed because I could have loved it with a few rewrites. It was so, so close to being great, but it settled for okay. More »

Historical Romance: A Subgenre of "Fantasy" (December 7, 2013)

Balls. Arranged marriages. Corsets. Top hats. Chaperones. London. Brighton. Grand mansions in the quaint English countryside. Handsome footmen. Pretty ladies' maids. Bawdy lower classes using funny cockney slang. Proper upper classes using archaic speech patterns. Swords. Horse-drawn carriages. And, occasionally, pirates. More »

Two Signs of Faux Conflicts (November 27, 2013)

We all know that conflict is the basis of story. Right? Right. Without conflict, a plot is just a flat series of events. With conflict, a plot is a meaningful series of events constituting rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. A story without conflict is boring. Many would say it isn't a story at all. More »

Jane Austen Didn't Write Romances (August 22, 2013)

Why are all of the movies about Jane Austen and her works so terrible? Well, for one thing, they're all slapdash productions of half-baked ideas, as Hollywood producers rush to capitalize on the trend. But for another, I think people fundamentally misunderstand the author herself. More »

Agency in Adult Fiction (May 19, 2013)

Yesterday I finished another of Sophie Kinsella's bestsellers in my ongoing effort to learn the secrets of comedy gold. Unfortunately, this time the only lessons I took away were negative ones. The book of the week was The Undomestic Goddess, which has four and a half stars on Amazon. More »

Writing Novels Like Screenplays (April 29, 2013)

Yesterday I discovered that my local library subscribes to eBooks through Indiana Digital Media, which is powered through Overdrive. I went to town browsing all of the books I normally wouldn't look twice at if I had to pay for them through Amazon: horror novels, paperback romances, sci-fi and thrillers. More »

What I Learned From The Casual Vacancy (October 22, 2012)

Last night, I finished J. K. Rowling's long-awaited "grown-up" novel, The Casual Vacancy. I say "long-awaited," but what I mean is "long-dreaded." Would she fumble the ball? Would she dash our hopes for the next great literary achievement, the application of her famous creative wit to the complex and contradictory world of adults? More »

The "All Is Forgiven" Effect (May 9, 2012)

So I just finished the season finale of Castle, and joined the collective voice of millions of other Americans saying, "Squee! Rick and Kate together at last!" I probably would have "squeed" louder if I hadn't been waiting for it for, oh, the past four years. More »