In my post of 2 April, I mentioned the first line of The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, as one of my favorite openings to a novel. Which got me to thinking about why it’s one of my favorites. I wondered if I could explain it, and even quantify it. Here’s the line again. “It was a… Read More The anatomy of an opening line
When recently perusing the American Book Review’s fascinating list of their 100 best opening lines of novels – which you can see here – I wondered how many of the masters represented here had got away with things that we non-masters debate in our writers’ groups and forums, in terms of what makes a good opening line. In… Read More A subjective and unscientific analysis of the 100 best opening lines in fiction
Originally posted on Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog:
Knowing how to categorize your work is one of the most important skills a writer needs to know–especially while querying. Here’s an infographic to help. It’s not perfect and there are many places that writers won’t fit into and that doesn’t mean it’s not a marketable book.…
Great piece from The Guardian. Fiction as political protest
The first week of the regime of the 45th POTUS has been characterised by ignorance, arrogance, petulance, xenophobia, Islamophobia and mendacity. Most of these are words that the president probably can’t spell, let alone understand. I couldn’t possibly cover all those ills at once. For now, let’s focus on Islamophobia. As a European, I’m aware… Read More Shame
Got a letter from the DMV. It said I have to register my new car and prove it’s insured. So, I burned the letter and locked the car in the garage. Then I ran down to the showroom, bought three more cars and hid them in the woods. If those bastards want my vehicles, they’ll… Read More Got a letter from the DMV
Everyone knows the old trope about boiling a frog. Drop a frog in hot water, the story goes, and it will jump right out. But drop a frog in cold water and heat it slowly, and the frog will die as the water boils, unaware of the gradual changes. In the last ten days or so,… Read More How did we get here?
At 2 o’clock this morning, as the electoral college map began to firm up, my wife and I both received a text from our eldest son, who is away at college. It asked, simply, “What’s happening?” That’s a good question. Here’s my attempt to answer it. Much of the media coverage over the past year… Read More What’s happening?
How we got to the Girl on the Train A great article by John Mullan in The Guardian, drawing a line from Wilkie Collins to the contemporary psychological thriller.