Thursday, August 21, 2014

Man Lost in Thought Photo Writing Prompt

Here is another photo writing prompt for you, which illustrates the power of an ambiguous expression. What is this young man thinking? What emotion is he feeling? You could interpret his story a million different ways to fit several different genres. Click this link to read more: Man Lost in Thought Photo Writing Prompt.

Copyright © Obsidian Bookshelf. I don't allow my content to be copied and reposted in full. You may use an excerpt (a few sentences) with a return link, but not the entire post.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Word Count and Fiction Lengths

Why worry about word count? After you finish writing your fiction project to whatever length it needs to be, you must know its approximate length category to market it. Word Count and Fiction Lengths.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Communicating with Your Beta Reader

Your working relationship with your beta reader is based on trust. That starts with understanding each other’s expectations and communication style. Please read on for Communicating with Your Beta Reader.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Do You Care When Trends Corrupt Language?

Language changes all the time because every subculture needs a trendy way to express itself. This leads to linguistic trends that sweep the population, enter the mainstream, and establish themselves as acceptable over time though they break the rules of grammar and use words in unusual new ways. Please read on for Do You Care When Trends Corrupt Language?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What Does This Couple Want?

Here is a picture writing prompt for you. What is this cute young couple up to? Clearly they are sharing a moment of intense communication over some issue or question. What Does This Couple Want?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pickup Men Review

Pickup Men by L.C. Chase is an LGBT gay romance with very strong plotting and likable characters set in the dangerous world of rodeo. Please click here to read more.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shirley a Novel - Review

Shirley: a Novel by Susan Scarf Merrell

GENRE – Literary Fiction, Fictionalized Biography

It is 1964 in Vermont. A (fictional) young couple moves into the spooky country house with real life literary giants Stanley Edgar Hyman and Shirley Jackson. For one year, the youngsters stay as house guests with young Rose acting as sort of a servant and lady’s companion to Jackson, and Fred functioning as a protégé to Hyman. First-person narrator Rose is a sensitive 19 year-old from poor beginnings whose hard-scrabble parents were criminals. Somehow she lucked into marriage with Fred, a sweet graduate student in literary criticism. Now Rose is pregnant for the first time. Her innately imaginative personality is heightened by hormones, and she becomes increasingly obsessed with making the volatile and witchy Jackson her mentor and mother-figure. In addition, Rose can’t stop thinking of a Bennington co-ed that went missing in the 1940s who has surfaced in various guises in Jackson’s fiction as a character. Could Jackson or Hyman have had something to do with the girl’s disappearance, perhaps due to an adulterous affair with Hyman?

Meanwhile, family tensions increase as Rose jealously attempts to freeze out the four Hyman kids (who are about her age) so she can have Jackson to herself. Though Jackson and Hyman (both in their mid-forties) are overweight, in poor health, and unattractive, they have an open marriage and a liberal attitude toward popping pills and drinking to excess. But Jackson, who writes feverishly to stave off financial ruin, understandably resents Hyman’s nonstop womanizing with his adoring students. All this creates a malign influence that starts to affect Rose and Fred’s marriage.

I’ve read most of Shirley Jackson’s fiction plus her biography (by Oppenheimer), and this novel accurately reflects Jackson’s writing style, themes, and personality. It’s moody, atmospheric, intense, and compulsively readable. However, I’m not comfortable with the author’s decision to make the three younger Hyman kids characters in her novel, complete with imagined behavior and dialog. These individuals are real people now in their seventies. Unlike their parents, they are not celebrities nor are they removed by death beyond the creepiness of having their privacy invaded. The story probably should have kept their appearance only to a brief mention. Look on for Shirley: A Novel

Copyright © Obsidian Bookshelf. I don't allow my content to be copied and reposted in full. You may use an excerpt (a few sentences) with a return link, but not the entire post.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Unsmiling Young Man Photo Writing Prompt

This photo writing prompt features a young man with an unsmiling gaze who should pique your imagination. What kind of person is he? What thoughts are running through his mind? From what action has the photographer just distracted him? Unsmiling Young Man Photo Writing Prompt