Adele, by Leila Slimani: Vapid and Lacking

Adele by Leila Slimani is one of those books that I so desperately wanted to like based on the reviews, and ended up absolutely loathing based on the actual content. It’s a book-length bit of New Yorker fiction, you know the type: contemporary, moody, and pointless. meaningful plot. If a story is what happened, and […]

Sequels must be in a different genre to work

So, the subject of Alien and Aliens came up again, and I want to circle back to something I wrote awhile ago., in which I excoriated a writing teacher for completely missing the point of Ripley’s character. In the first movie, Ripley is the executive officer of the starship Nostromo, in charge of an active […]

A Little Fall Cleaning

Today I engaged in a little “fall” cleaning. This post is somewhat technical, a changelog explaining, if only to myself, what I did to my story collection this Fall to clean up some internal details. The wonderful consistency of my story mini-sites is due to a very simple thing: I’ve been using rendering templates for […]

How Well-Structured Are My Novels?

I’ve been spending some time recently cleaning up my “How to write” folder. That’s literally what it is, a folder with a bunch of “Here’s how to plot a novel” spreadsheets from various people, lists of themes and show formulas, and lots of general advice on how to write a book. I was wondering how […]

The Formula of a Romance Story

The writers of Rick and Morty have a formula for their show that works pretty well in the context of the show, precisely because of the nature of the characters they’re trying to lampoon. The formula is: The character is in a place of comfort. They want something. In trying to get it, they end […]

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