Stories Within Stories: A Consideration of Novel Structure (Cloud Atlas, Starless Sea, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler)

Stories are funny things. Character, setting, and plot get all twisted together to create something magical, capable of transporting the reader out of the present and into some fictional place of curious make-believe. It’s a fickle process, too. Books that shouldn’t work can sometimes turn out to be biggest craze of the season. Other times, … More Stories Within Stories: A Consideration of Novel Structure (Cloud Atlas, Starless Sea, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler)

Creating Realistic Characters: A Song of Wraiths & Ruin, a Case Study

Recently, I’ve been blown away by some of the casts of the fantasy books I’ve been reading. Two in particular don’t just have a realistic protagonist. Many of the mid-tier characters also seemed capable of just hopping off of the page. I know I don’t do many character-related blog posts, but today we’re going to … More Creating Realistic Characters: A Song of Wraiths & Ruin, a Case Study

Adult Reader vs. Middle Grade Book: Inkheart

Certain books, you’re bound to love. Others, you can’t help but hate. And some, you find you just couldn’t care less about. If you read my Reading Challenge Wrap-Up from Wednesday, you probably think that Inkheart falls in the middle category. It certainly felt that way sometimes as I read the book. But then I … More Adult Reader vs. Middle Grade Book: Inkheart

Choosing the Opacity of Your World-Building

Among the multitude of differences that separate the practice of reading from the art of writing, especially when it comes to the fantasy/science fiction genres, one of the hardest to reconcile is that of world-building. For a reader, the setting cannot take center stage. Even for someone like me, who loves to explore new settings … More Choosing the Opacity of Your World-Building