Based on True Stories, Inspired by, or?

Just as I was going to reveal ‘secrets’ about the true story inspiration of my latest novel here, I realized that all my novels have been more or less rooted in reality, and real people’s lives. Hence, the following thoughts. A novel doesn’t have to be based on a true story, nor even exactly inspired…

Painting with Words

Prose is usually painting with words, is it not? Particularly anything poetic, we’d suppose. Still, writing any prose is more similar to putting a painting together than one might realize at first glance. Paints or words, it takes an artist to sculpt it into a shape worth enjoying. Whether painting or writing, sketch your ‘story’…

Jane Austen on the Novel and Novelist

In Northanger Abbey (chapter five), Jane Austen shared her thoughts on novelists who disparage other novelists, and how writing novels draw on many talents to achieve, and are just as worthy as periodicals, news, history and etcetera: “… I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel–writers, of degrading by their…

Composite Characters, Traits and Types

How many times has somebody asked me such as, ‘Is that character actually me?’ or ‘Is that her?’, ‘Did you base that guy on him?’, ‘Did you have an evil stepmother in growing up?’, ‘Were you an orphan or adopted?’ or ‘Is your mother-in-law the sweet one, or the horrid one?’ and any number of…