Monday, July 30, 2007

Writing 009 -- Characters of Tragedy & Redemption

This episode explores Tragedy and Redemption tales. It's purely an introduction; there is so much more we can talk about.

I take a look at some classic stories like Macbeth, Les Miserables and A Christmas Carol. They really stand up to time not merely as stories but as models of their respective genres.

Enjoy. And please -- comment.

Listen: Characters of Tragedy & Redemption


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Writing 008 -- Writing Historical Fiction: Part 2

In this episode, we continue our discussion on how to write Historical Fiction. This show is broken down into three parts and we analyze the works of James Michener, Umberto Eco and Anne Rice.

The show is broken down to three parts:

I. The Time and Place of the Narrator
II. The World Beyond the Character
III. The Character and His Immediate World

Writing Historical Fiction -- Part 2 (Writing 008)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Writing 007 -- Writing Historical Fiction

This episode has gotten some responses, both positive and negative. (Though constructive criticism is always good.)

Some people felt I was correct to call for as much historical accuracy as possible when writing historical fiction. (I certainly don't think the historical novelist should be sloppy about things.)

Other people felt that adherence to history can get in the way of storytelling.

Both are true. Both have a legitimate case.

Good storytelling might require bad history. But bad history is nothing to be proud of.

Good history doesn't guarantee good storytelling. And bad storytelling is nothing to be proud of.

I just prefer the best of both worlds.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Writing 006 -- Listener Letters

Well, I felt it was time, and here it is -- the first show devoted to listener letters. I address podcasting questions and writing questions alike. The strongest emphasis is on the matter of how I approach my novel: do I outline the story or develop it as I write?

Bear in mind that my approach to things reflects my personal style and it might not work for you. But the question came up enough in email and I thought it worthwhile to address in this show. At the very least, it will provide greater context for our future discussions.

My suggestion for this blog post -- answer this: how do you approach writing? Do you establish an outline in advance or do you simply write as you write? Do you write your story in sequence or do you move back and forth between different parts of your story?

I'd really like to see the various approaches.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Writing 005 -- Thoughts about Setting

Just a quick note about this show. . .

I intended to get into a discussion about how the definitions of "protagonist" and "antihero" are less than firm in literary theory. Based upon various literary traditions and different schools of thought, the definitions vary more than this show acknowledges. I will address this issue not here in this blog, but in Writing 006, which will be devoted to listener email and miscellany.

Stay tuned.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Writing 004 -- The Shadow in the Hero

This one was fun to do, but I can't help but bang my head against the wall. There are just so many other dimensions of this topic that I could have gone into; there are so many literary and cinematic examples of the things I did discuss.

I'm also aware that I ended the discussion rather quickly. An oversight in editing. Sorry. But there will be plenty of informal follow-up in future shows.

If you can think of other examples of the Shadow archetype, post them here. Think of the books that you have read and the movies you have seen. Trust me. Examples are all over the place.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Writing 003 -- How to Write Dialogue

Shh -- don't tell Donna Flarkmore about this episode (not that it's her real name).

What are your thoughts about the rules, the whole dialogue attribution thing and my take on meaningless dialogue?

What other dialogue issues would you like to see me discuss in some future show?

And was I cruel to the memory of Donna Flarkmore? (Not that she's dead, or anything.)