Identifying a Novel’s Themes Using the Title and the Blurb

We usually need to read a novel in order to identify its themes. However, what if the title and the blurb (a.k.a. jacket copy) could suggest potential themes? It’s not a stretch sometimes. In today’s edition of Theme: A Story’s Soul, we’ll explore how both items can reveal a great deal about the ideas and… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Victorian Novels

If you’re like me, this holiday season you’ll probably see at least one version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, and if you’re really like me, this might send you into a spiral of Victorian nostalgia. Well, good news! The nineteenth century saw the rise of the novel, so there are plenty of excellent books… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Books to Kill Your Post-Mockingjay Depression

You may have heard of a little movie coming out today about a dystopian America and a most disloyal band of subjects.Or perhaps you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years?The Hunger Games has become a worldwide phenomenon. It’s brought untold attention to YA literature, and with good reason. It’s an un-put-downable… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Books To Help You Craft a Stronger Narrative

It’s November and for thousands of writers across the globe, that means one thing: National Novel Writing Month. Also known as NaNoWriMo, the month of November sends novelists into a frenzy of story crafting, their aim a 50,000 word draft in 30 days. Fingers fly across keyboards, and characters magically come to life on the… Read more »

#5onFri – Five Spooky Picture Books

Whether it’s carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses or planning your costume, the month of October is stuffed full of Halloween. Kids and adults alike get excited to dress up for trick or treating, parades and parties. In fact, Halloween is turning into a month-long celebration of everything spooky, creepy and fun. Here are five picture books we’ve… Read more »

#5onFri — Medical Narratives: Books for the Medical Mind

At the very thought of “medical books” or books about diseases and other health afflictions, we often think of probing, unemotional texts filled with technical verbiage and doctors studying sick humans as if they were machines with a few broken gears. And maybe some are like that. But there are also medical narratives that put medicine into… Read more »

#5onFri — Five Multiple Perspective Novels That “Work”

While in the process of nudging my first novel toward publication, I gave it to a bestselling nonfiction author to read. Although he gave me some excellent advice, he prefaced his list of edits with this: “You need to change your point of view. Multiple perspectives never work in novels.” It was like someone was… Read more »

#5onFri — Five Books to Read if You Loved Game of Thrones

For many readers, Game of Thrones is the first foray into the magical world of epic fantasy novels. It’s also the first introduction to the phrase: “The sequel is coming,” and the corresponding question: WHEN???? The Winds of Winter is, in fact, coming (or so Mr. Martin says), but as it’s likely it will be… Read more »