We usually think of Genres as categories of literature based on a set of established conventions. However, this is true only in part. Fashions change, and so do even traditions. Likewise, also the defining characteristics of any given genre are far from being set in stone. For example, in the 1960s, the increasing numbers of female authors who wrote SF led to a shift of the focus of the stories, that is, more emotion and less physics. For sure, genres change because societies change, and the readers' expectations too change in accordance. In a certain way we could say that genres … [Read more...] about How to put genre in fiction to good use
I love reading. I love reading poignant, gripping stories. However, typos and banal grammar mistakes can spoil even the most well-devised story. Indeed, for me reading a book riddled with typos and grammar mistakes is like watching a movie peppered with an endless series of ads. It just spoils my experience. It's not a matter of snobbishness on my part, or of being a grammar Nazi. Quite simply, when I read a book with a great story, I end up expecting that every other part of the book will be just as satisfying. Once upon a time, with traditional books, the publishing houses made sure … [Read more...] about Editing programs—are they any good?
Nowadays it’s enough to surf the Internet to come across a staggering number of websites devoted to creative writing. In most cases a brief search of any of these websites will produce a post about how we all should use power words if we want to instantly improve our writing. This is just one of the innumerable tips about how to bring our prose to the next level. And, in general, it's a sound piece of advice. After all, why to use walk over and over again when we can resort to amble, careen, flounder and so on? For sure, the size of the English vocabulary is mind-blowing, and it … [Read more...] about Power words–don’t feast on them
Over the weekend I finished reading the The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. This is the first book of The First Law trilogy and, as it is often the case for Fantasy trilogies, it doesn't have a conclusion--not even a minor one. As a matter of fact, The Blade Itself sets up the setting and introduces the main characters of the trilogy. But in it there's almost no mention about what mission our heroes are supposed to embark on, or why. There are only vague hints, and suppositions. Considering what I've just said, this book doesn't sound so interesting. Yet it managed to grab my attention … [Read more...] about The Blade Itself – a review
I read The Hobbit for the first time when I was a child. Tolkien's book immediately captured me, and made me fall in love with the fantasy genre. Some years ago I decided to reread it and gladly discovered that I still enjoyed it as thoroughly as I did on my first read. Indeed, great books and great wines are the same, they both age with grace. Of lately I've watched the third episode of Peter Jackson's adaptation--The Battle of the Five Armies. Even though Jackson's work is quite different from the novel, I enjoyed it as well. In particular, I found the special effects simply terrific. For … [Read more...] about Books and Movies — Three Reasons Why I Prefer Books
When it comes to creative writing any theory is, to say the least, tricky. In fact, as soon as someone comes up with a definition, whatever that may be, we can be sure that a writer is bound to come along and write a story that proves that theory wrong. From story to plot However, this doesn't mean we cannot draw any interesting conclusions about creative writing. For example, paraphrasing E.M. Forster, while a story is a narrative of events exclusively arranged in their time-sequence, a plot is also a narrative of events, but one in which the emphasis is falling on causality … [Read more...] about Creative Writing — Story, Plot, and Vocabulary