Tagged with literature

Don’t Feed the Negative Body Image


I am currently teaching an adjunct course at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  It is a literature course, and last week one of the readings was a poem by Marge Piercy entitled “Barbie Doll”.  Here is the poem, and the discussion about it comes after: Barbie Doll This girlchild was born as usual and presented … Continue reading

A Question About Samwise Gamgee…and Tolkien’s Answer


Over at Noel Campbell’s blog, he has posited an interesting question about Samwise Gamgee from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.  The question was quite good, and caused me to peruse Tolkien’s letters for the answer. The question is this: Who would history say destroyed the ring if Samwise had told the story?  To quote Mr. Campbell: … Continue reading

Writing With Juxtaposed Tones


The past few nights, while working on my current WIP, I discovered that I was nearly subconsciously doing something with my prose that was at the same time fascinating as it was a personal best. I wrote using two juxtaposed tones. I will not post the chapter in question on this blog as I am … Continue reading

Crossing Out the Wrong Words


Mark Twain once wrote: “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” Sure.  Sounds easy, right?  I suppose one could write an entire novel and then just go back erasing word after word until it is something that might be more presentable.  Of course, he didn’t mean this to be … Continue reading

Falkontheorie Gone?


German writer Paul Heyse (1830-1914) based his theory of Falkontheorie on the ninth tale of the fifth day of the Decamaron.  The tale is about a man who sacrificed everything for the love of a woman and when he still rejected her he then sacrificed his prize falcon as well, thereby winning her heart.  The idea or … Continue reading

Emotive Dialogue


Yesterday I recorded our latest podcast for Fanboys on Fiction, and during the conversation, Ryan McKinley brought up the devilish problem of using “he said/she said” in dialogue passages.  This made me think of a good way that we could remove these redundant story killers from our dialogue and in the process make that dialogue more … Continue reading

Character and Background: Harmony and Conflict


Writers have strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes I feel like I have most of the latter.  Often I find myself in the trench of “showing” the story to a reader, describing expressions, hinting at the setting, and trying to characterize through dialogue so much that I forget that there is a virtually untouched area for … Continue reading

E-Publishing Predictions for 2013


Today I received an e-mail update from Mark Coker because I am a Smashwords member (that is, I have published to Smashwords and they see fit to send updates my way about their company).  Mark Coker, president of Smashwords.com, which is a wonderful vehicle for self publishers to publish their work for free in every format … Continue reading