Review of ‘My Lady Ludlow’ by Elizabeth Gaskell.

‘My Lady Ludlow’ could be classed among Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels, being over 60,000 words long. Still, it's a good deal shorter than the three volumes that were considered a respectable length for a novel by Victorians, and is included among her shorter and more minor works. Besides, the structure is frankly faulty; or anyway, the … Continue reading Review of ‘My Lady Ludlow’ by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Post Two on Albert Zuckerman’s quote: ‘What counts in judging a character for the reader is what we actually see the character do, as opposed to what is said about him.”

In my previous post, I was writing about Albert Zuckerman's quote and its applicability to questionable anti-heroes, or heroes who convert from anti-heroes into actual heroes in stories. I mentioned how often readers in general are happy to discount these characters' former shabby or downright hateful deeds, as long as they are not described graphically … Continue reading Post Two on Albert Zuckerman’s quote: ‘What counts in judging a character for the reader is what we actually see the character do, as opposed to what is said about him.”

Ten Classic Ghost Stories

While writing some ghost stories myself, I have been re-reading some of the ones I came across years ago by way of inspiration. I found most of these in collections on my parents’ bookshelves. I’ve no doubt that some of them came as part of job lots from auctions, which my mother used to fill … Continue reading Ten Classic Ghost Stories

Review of Rhoda Broughton’s ‘The Game and the Candle’: A Romantic Novel With An Unhappy For Now Ending

These days, it is a firm convention of romantic novels that there must be a happy ending – otherwise, it confounds reader expectations. While some writers and readers hold out that a ‘happy for now’ is sufficient – ie, it is left up to the reader to decide whether the new found happiness between hero … Continue reading Review of Rhoda Broughton’s ‘The Game and the Candle’: A Romantic Novel With An Unhappy For Now Ending

Reblogged from my Archives: The Gary-Stu or Marty-Stu; Neglected Compared to the Mary-Sue.

  I wrote a longish post about research for historical novels and changing opinions on 'facts' in history, and guess what - my PC has eaten it. It is 'irretrievable'.  Ironically, part of the post metioned the frustration of wasting hours carrying out fruitless research on topics where nobody can give you anything but the … Continue reading Reblogged from my Archives: The Gary-Stu or Marty-Stu; Neglected Compared to the Mary-Sue.

Drama and Melodrama in Some Classic Victorian Novels

      When writing tales of terror, it can be difficult to keep balanced along the thin line between the terrifying and the ludicrous – as I have commented in a previous post ‘The Thin Line Between the Gothic and the Absurd’.     It is nearly as difficult at times to maintain that balance between drama and … Continue reading Drama and Melodrama in Some Classic Victorian Novels

Characters’ Names: Some Thoughts from a Names Geek.

My PC has just  eaten a longish post I write all about research for historical novels, and the changing nature of the understanding of what are taken for granted as 'historical facts. Ah, well: my own fault for not being super careful with an ailing PC, and I will have to re-write it another time. … Continue reading Characters’ Names: Some Thoughts from a Names Geek.

More on Antagonists: Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Sylvia’s Lovers’ and the Eponymous Lovers as Antagonists.

Following on from my recent post about antagonists, it is interesting how that role is often played by an inhuman character, and can even be an impersonal force. Sometimes, the identity of the antagonist can even appear to shift from one character to another: one formerly not perceived as an antagonist can become one as … Continue reading More on Antagonists: Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Sylvia’s Lovers’ and the Eponymous Lovers as Antagonists.

The Difficulty in Portraying the Truly Good Hero and Heroine – Examples from Classic Novels

The literary critic Graham Handley writes of the difficulty of creating a character who is very good: ‘It is a strange but true fact that the truly good person is difficult to portray convincingly in fiction, and Hester Rose (a sort of secondary heroine in Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Sylvia’s Lovers’) may be compared with Diana Morris … Continue reading The Difficulty in Portraying the Truly Good Hero and Heroine – Examples from Classic Novels

Reblogged from my Archieves: The Gary-Stu or Marty-Stu; Neglected Compared to the Mary-Sue.

  I wrote a longish post about research for historical novels and changing opinions on 'facts' in history, and guess what - my PC has eaten it. It is 'irretrievable'.  Ironically, part of the post metioned the frustration of wasting hours carrying out fruitless research on topics where nobody can give you anything but the … Continue reading Reblogged from my Archieves: The Gary-Stu or Marty-Stu; Neglected Compared to the Mary-Sue.