Cardboard Characters, Lovable, Rounded Characters, Larger Than Life Characters,and Mere Ciphers: How Sympathetic Must a Character Be to Keep You Reading?

In my last post, I was talking about my new fledged writer friend being upset at the savagery of a one star review (though she felt a bit better when I showed some of the fine specimens I have come by). Readers of this blog might remember that the main criticism was that her book … Continue reading Cardboard Characters, Lovable, Rounded Characters, Larger Than Life Characters,and Mere Ciphers: How Sympathetic Must a Character Be to Keep You Reading?

The Antagonist in Various Forms

  I read somewhere the phrase, ‘Inside every antagonist, there’s a protagonist waiting to come out’ ( obviously a variant of the saying ‘inside every fat person, there’s a slim person trying to come out’). The antagonist, of course, makes the story nearly as much as the protagonist. If you have a weak or insufficiently … Continue reading The Antagonist in Various Forms

Jane Austen’s Unfinished Work ‘The Watsons’

To my shame, I never had got round to reading Jane Austen’s unfinished work, ‘The Watsons’ until now. Well, that’s not quite true. I began to read it in my early twenties, and got distracted by something else and never got back to it. In a way, it’s a comfort remembering that, because since then … Continue reading Jane Austen’s Unfinished Work ‘The Watsons’

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

The Anti-Heroine

I have often thought, on and off, what a shame it is how few anti-heroines there are in both traditionally published and self published fiction. Anti -heroes suffer from overpopulation in the fiction world- particularly in romance – but their female equivalents seem thin on the ground. This anyway, is my experience, but maybe I … Continue reading The Anti-Heroine

Authors Basing Characters on Real People: Some Examples from Classic Novels

I don’t know how much most authors base their characters on people they have known. I would guess that most combine various characteristics taken from numerous people in real life with some from those they have encountered in fiction to create something original. A writer observes on this website https://litreactor.com/columns/keeping-it-real-a-rough-guide-to-using-real-people-as-fictional-characters 'Fictional characters, especially main characters, … Continue reading Authors Basing Characters on Real People: Some Examples from Classic Novels

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

That Dreaded Manuscript in Your Drawer: join Jane Austen and Pushkin in having a Manuscript in That Drawer of Doom

First of all, I’d like to wish everyone Season’s Greetings. Then I'd like to thank Robert Wingfield of INCA for designing for me such a wonderful new cover for 'Alex Sager's Demon'.  Here it is, above. You can get it on: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDWD7BY?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660 http:/'www.amazon.com/Alex-Sagers-Demon-Pushkins-Nemesis-ebook/ or http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alex-Sagers-Demon-Pushkins-Nemesis-ebook I wanted to write a skit for a Christmas post, … Continue reading That Dreaded Manuscript in Your Drawer: join Jane Austen and Pushkin in having a Manuscript in That Drawer of Doom

Jane Austen: A Writer of Romances?

In my last post on Jane Austen, I commented that: - ‘It is an irony that Jane Austen is seen as a writer of romances, when her own outlook on marriage, and the undesirability of marriage without a comfortable income, was highly practical and very much typical of the era, and the part of society … Continue reading Jane Austen: A Writer of Romances?

‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen: Some Thoughts on the Main Characters

On the characters in ‘Sense  and Sensibility’, I have already commented on my liking for both the primary heroine, Elinor and the secondary one, Marianne. In some ways I prefer Elinor to ‘Pride and Prejudice’s’ Elizabeth Bennett, as she seems less taken over by Edward than Elizabeth is by Mr Darcy. For instance, towards the … Continue reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen: Some Thoughts on the Main Characters