Here are some of the book reviews, articles and blog posts I’ve been enjoying this week. Want me to feature one of your posts here? Send me a link and I’ll check it out!
I have been reading some interesting things this week; it’s rather hard to know which links to include. In the end, I decided to pick out five of my absolute favourites to pass along:
- Pride and Prejudice in Emoticons. As a Jane Austen fan, I was delighted to come across this. It’s extremely funny and actually quite clever. And the comment thread about corgis is priceless.
- To Prologue or Not to Prologue. Curtis Brown asks how we, as readers, feel about prologues. Personally, my opinion is divided. I feel that they are frequently overused, particularly in the fantasy genre – they seem to be viewed as a way for authors to give us back story without interrupting the flow of the main narrative, which is often all to the good, but seldom entirely necessary. I think prologues are perhaps best left out, on the whole, but it really depends on how well they’re written, how relevant they are, and the structure of the book itself.
- Speaking of fantasy, Writer’s Block discusses some of the most common sub-genres of fantasy, and how it’s not as monolithic and stereotypical a genre as it is sometimes made out to be. There are a number of excellent book recommendations as well.
- Nicole Humphrey Cook of It’s All About Writing wonders what, exactly, constitutes a writer’s life. As far as stereotypes go, there seem to be two kinds: the manic, reclusive author surrounded by piles of unfinished manuscripts, and the successful, well-paid author every young novelist dreams of becoming. I think I resemble the former more than the latter, sadly!
- Can Straight Authors Write Queer Too? The Lambda Literary blog considers the question. Speaking for myself, I am inclined to argue that limiting the characters anyone can write to those with whom they have something in common is a ridiculous and ultimately self-defeating exercise; the thing I love about writing is it requires you to understand the world from the viewpoint of persons (that is, characters) vastly different from yourself. It virtually requires the development of tolerance and flexibility in order to succeed. To say that one group is so beyond the norm as to be incomprehensible to those not of their ‘kind’ is perhaps an arguable point, but not one to which I subscribe. No human being can claim with any certainty to understand the experiences of another; they can only use their imaginations and intuition, and hope for the best.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy those links. Have a great weekend!