A Mere Introduction to Classics

Have you wanted to get into reading classic literature, but not known how or where to start? It’s a daunting undertaking even for those of us who are inclined toward liking older writing. The term “classic” is broad and applied differently almost every time it’s used, which makes something as basic as determining what constitutes as a “classic” difficult, much less deciding which ones you might want to read! So, rather than simply suggesting a list of books, this post is about how to research and determine what classics you might enjoy most (and why you might want to give them a try in the first place).

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The Ebb and Flow of Creativity

Recently, I’ve been struck again about the importance of viewing writing holistically. I’ve written about this idea in previous posts—particularly when speaking about worldbuilding or the “character-first vs. plot-first” dichotomy—and, likely, many other authors and artists have talked about the same concept using different language (nothing new under the sun, amiright?). But it’s resurfaced in my mind because I’ve come upon another slow patch of writing my WIP, and like all other times before, I don’t like it.

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The Last of the Myshkins: The Idiot, the Author, and the Read-Along

While most of my posts for #thelastofthemyshkins will be on my Instagram, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write a little bit more about The Idiot, Dostoyevsky’s aim for the novel, and how I’m going to approach my second read of my second-favor novel. After all, there’s only so much that a social media post can hold (literally and figuratively).

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The Last of the Myshkins Read-Along Announcement + Upcoming Plans

Instagram Post 1

It’s here!! My long-hinted-at Instagram read-along, The Last of the Myshkins, is slated for November of this year, and I’m extremely excited to be hosting it. Although it’s still a while until then, I wanted to give some extra information not found on the infographics, as well as tell you why I chose to create this read-along (and a little update about a change of schedule coming up!). Continue reading “The Last of the Myshkins Read-Along Announcement + Upcoming Plans”

Weaving Themes into Stories

Weaving Themes into Stories

In last week’s post, I discussed how themes, just like plot and characters, are innate parts of storytelling, and how we cannot divorce theme from the rest of our writing. The natural follow-up question, then, is how do you handle thematic elements well? Readers and writers alike are well aware that things like theme, symbolism, and motifs are delicate and difficult—give it too much space and your book becomes a sermon, and give it too little and your story suffers for lack of clarity and meaning. To quote my previous post, “poorly-handled themes are a result of their disharmony with the characters and plot of a story.” But how do you find that wonderful harmony of story elements? Realizing that theme is always there is the first step. The second step is understanding how themes operate (often uniquely) in creative storytelling; and the third step is finding techniques to question your themes in order to extract nuance. Continue reading “Weaving Themes into Stories”