Tag Archives: fiction

creating characters, part 3

Welcome to another installment of my character-creation process for storytelling. I started out by calling the series “creating characters in epic fiction,” but really I’m talking about creating characters in general, so I have shortened my title accordingly. I would … Continue reading

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creating characters in epic fiction, part 1

I’ve been writing for a long time, and I do it professionally, but nonetheless I regard myself as a student of the craft rather than some kind of master of it. So if you’re a writer, or perhaps a deep … Continue reading

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developing a story

Once you’ve worked out what story is, it’s time to figure out how to write one. This part-developing a story-isn’t easy; for some of us, it can take longer than the natural human lifespan. But now, more than ever before, … Continue reading

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Watership Down by Richard Adams: the rabbit Aeneid

Watership Down by Richard Adams My rating: 5 of 5 stars Two square miles of English countryside become a zone of adventure, combat, and statecraft for a band of refugee rabbits. My path to this book was via The Seven … Continue reading

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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: the battlefield within

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde My rating: 4 of 5 stars One hundred twenty-four years after its original publication, this poetic tragedy still effervesces with cynical epigrams and thought-provoking ideas. I remember being curious about this book … Continue reading

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I, Claudius by Robert Graves: authority + literary power

I, Claudius by Robert Graves My rating: 4 of 5 stars This undeniably brilliant book may leave one or two small things to be desired as a story. My first exposure to the writing of Robert Graves was indirect, via … Continue reading

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A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin: who needs reality?

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin My rating: 4 of 5 stars A massive fantasy series kicks off with a story that is light on magic, heavy on politics. Having finished the “poetic works” in the Britannica Great … Continue reading

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Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville My rating: 4 of 5 stars An erudite adventure story whose progress is slowed by digressions on the art and science of whaling. I first read this book in 1980. Conscious of reading a classic, and … Continue reading

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truth and fiction

The man crossed the street. Question: is the above sentence fiction or nonfiction? There’s no way of knowing, is there. Which man? Which street? When? We’d need to know these things before hazarding an answer. Bob Carlson crossed 5th Avenue … Continue reading

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