I often find some really bad sentences in books I read. I wanted to start a series in which we look at why they are bad and how to fix them. Unfortunately, I'm a bit stuck on how to proceed. I really want this blog to lift up excellent books and art. I don't want… Continue reading Found Clunkers, Part 1
Let me start by saying that I appreciate all the free content people in the self-publishing world put out. It's quite generous and high quality. There must be ten or more hours of podcasts each week that come to my phone, not to mention blog posts and youtube and e-mails. That's just me, meaning it's… Continue reading Are the Self-Publishing Gurus Out of Touch?
Woops. I just realized the title of this series changed from "Year of Mystery Novels" to "Year of Mysteries" at Part 5. Sorry. I try to keep this consistent for searching purposes. The main point of this series was to examine the mystery novel genre. There are people that read a few a week. There's… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 8: The Last Place
I'm abandoning the embarrassment of having a "...is awesome" set of posts. If I find awesome stuff, I want to share it. Less is a novel by Andrew Sean Greer, and it won the Pulitzer Prize this year. I've been steering clear of prizewinners over the past few years, because the politics of who wins… Continue reading Less is Awesome
One of the most important things we can do as writers is to acknowledge our weaknesses and then work on them. I think too often we get comfortable with "our thing" and then try to hide our weaknesses by going all in on our strength. I've spent an enormous amount of time over the past… Continue reading The Character/Caricature Balance
This was a somewhat enjoyable, quick read, but I had a lot of problems with it. The Intuitionist takes place in a strange alternate world. It's presumably alternate history, because much of the politics has to do with integration and Lila being the first female, black elevator inspector. But it's not quite our world, because… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 7: The Intuitionist
If you've been around this blog this year, then you know I fell into a bit of a slump. I was reading things, but nothing seemed to connect. In fact, it all seemed derivative, flat, and downright bad. I've gotten out of that somehow, and I seem to have hit a period where most things… Continue reading The Three-Body Problem is Awesome