Nine of the Most Annoying Heroes in Classic Popular Novels: an Uncharitable Rant…

As none of the following novels were written by authors still alive, I don’t see why I shouldn’t publish this uncharitable list to give a laugh to those who, like me, feel  in the mood for a bit of good old intolerance, so here it is. I warn readers that the list is based on … Continue reading Nine of the Most Annoying Heroes in Classic Popular Novels: an Uncharitable Rant…

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

The quote is, of course, from Zuckerman's book 'Writing the Block Buster Novel'. It is made with reference to a certain Don Corleone. Zuckerman is showing how Puzo makes him sympathetic. That general advice is very good, but I was particularly fascinated by this quote in particular, as it is so astute, and explains an … Continue reading Albert Zuckerman: ‘What counts in judging a character for the reader is limited to what we actually see the character do, as opposed to what is said about him.’

Romantic Novels and Working Class Characters

A writer friend of mine commented once that it is difficult to have romance when you don't know where your next meal is coming from. Certainly,it's true that I haven’t come across many love stories – let alone love stories that can be defined according to the current definition of ‘romance’  -- which are set … Continue reading Romantic Novels and Working Class Characters

‘The Viking’ by Eddison Marshall: One of the Few Cases Where I Prefer the Film Version

I seem to be making a habit out of disliking one or both of the main characters in the books I've read recently: I couldn't stand the love interest in 'Jamaica Inn' and couldn't stand the female protagonist of 'Frenchman's Creek' and thought that the love interest was her (boring) anima. In this one, I … Continue reading ‘The Viking’ by Eddison Marshall: One of the Few Cases Where I Prefer the Film Version

Servant Heroes in Historical Romance: A Rarity Compared to Servant Heroines

It is interesting that one of the unwritten rules of historical romance is that the hero must never be a working class man, let alone a manservant. This is the more intriguing, because a fair amount of heroines are maidservants. Of course, in that, they follow the steps of the heroine of one of the … Continue reading Servant Heroes in Historical Romance: A Rarity Compared to Servant Heroines

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.

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.

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.

Celebrated Writers Whose Names Have Become Synonymous with the Fictional Depiction of an Age: Part Two: Georgette Heyer’s Depiction of the Regency UK and ‘Life in London’ by Pierce Egan: ‘Corinthian Tom’ and his ‘Coz Jerry’ as the Original Source of Heyer’s Regency World and Sporting Heroes

  In my last post, I wrote about the influence of Mary Renault, whose fictional interpretation of Ancient Greece has become so famous.  I commented on how the writer’s particular treatment of Bronze Age Greece and of the rise of patriarchy, which necessarily reflected the views of her own age, sixty years ago, have been … Continue reading Celebrated Writers Whose Names Have Become Synonymous with the Fictional Depiction of an Age: Part Two: Georgette Heyer’s Depiction of the Regency UK and ‘Life in London’ by Pierce Egan: ‘Corinthian Tom’ and his ‘Coz Jerry’ as the Original Source of Heyer’s Regency World and Sporting Heroes