How Fiction Works

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Prince Harry’s Book Is Just Good Literature “I don’t give a fig about the royals, but much of Spare reads like a good novel.” After admitting that she doesn’t care about the British royal family and doesn’t follow what they’re doing, Laura Miller writes, “To my surprise, the first half of Spare turns out to …

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You Can Watch ‘Kaleidoscope’ Episodes in Any Order. A Complete Guide I love novels with unusual structures. So when I read that the episodes of Netflix’s new drama Kaleidoscope could be viewed in any order, I had to check it out. This article from CNET discusses how several choices can affect the way viewers experience the …

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book review

“The Hidden Machinery” by Margot Livesey

“I am using the phrase ‘the hidden machinery’ to refer to two different aspects of novel making: on the one hand how certain elements of the text—characters, plot, imagery—work together to make an overarching argument; on the other how the secret psychic life of the author, and the larger events of his or her time …

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book review

“What About the Baby?” by Alice McDermott

I don’t write fiction, but I do enjoy reading it. I also enjoy reading about the writing of fiction, because understanding the issues that writers consider about their writing process makes me a more competent reader and critic.  I grabbed this book when I saw it on the “Featured” shelf at the library. I was …

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Opinion  Have we forgotten what a public library is for? The executive directors of the Michigan Library Association and Michigan ACLU reflected on the recent vote to defund a public library outside of Grand Rapids over its display of LGBTQ books.  Categories: Censorship, Libraries The Ultimate Guide to Wondrous Independent Bookstores Shortly after opting out …

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Over the Past 25 Years, the Big Publishers Got Bigger—and Fewer A report from Publishers Weekly: As 2022 began, the U.S. trade publishing business was dominated by what has been called the Big Five—Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan. Before the Penguin–Random House merger in 2013, that group was …

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An In-Depth Guide to Book Sizes Every once in a while I come across a book that isn’t a standard size. That difference may not seem important, but it can make shelving the book difficult if you want to put it in with, say, other books by the same author. Category: Publishing People Are Sharing …

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Discussion

What Makes a Good Twist Ending?

Introduction I still remember the experience of first seeing the movie Planet of the Apes (the original 1968 version starring Charlton Heston). As the movie ended, Taylor (the astronaut played by Heston) and Nova rode off on a horse in search of a new place to live. As they rode along the beach, the camera …

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stack of 3 books plus open book with pen. Title: 5 Effective Multiple-Perspective Novels

5 Effective Multiple-Perspective Novels

“There are many reasons I love novels with multiple narratives. In novels where the events are filtered through the consciousness of a single ‘reliable’ narrator, I often wonder; is this the whole story? What could be missing here? Truth is often a multiplicity of perspectives, and sometimes the more viewpoints and versions of events there …

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Making Story Structure Your Own I’ve recently been working on reviews of two Big Books: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (530 pages) To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara (704 pages) Big Books contain so much that finding a way into discussing them is often a challenge. For both of these novels I’ve …

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