Writing Articles

literary criticism and romance novels

Anatomy of Criticism, Part 3

August 20, 2015 9:02 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Note: In my previous blog posts Anatomy of Criticism Part I and Anatomy of Criticism Part II, I discuss Northrup Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Frye identifies five genres: drama, epic, lyric, history, and novel. He distinguishes among five modes: mythic, romance, high mimetic, low mimetic, and ironic. Two uptakes:... read more

ronda rousey fight night MMA romance

Ronda Rousey

August 17, 2015 7:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Cover Photo Credit: WikiMedia User Msmirlie2863. Edited and authorized for reuse under this Creative Commons license. Ronda Rousey is currently the reigning women’s bantamweight champion of the UFC. She is undefeated, having won all of her 12 fights and all in the first round. Most recently, on August 1, 2015 in Rio... read more

Anatomy of Literary Criticism and Romance Novels

Anatomy of Criticism, Part 2

August 11, 2015 7:45 pm Published by 1 Comment

Note: In Anatomy of Criticism Part 1, I open a discussion of Northrup Frye’s key work Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Frye distinguishes among five genres: drama, epic, lyric, history, and novel. In other words, Frye does not have a notion of genre in terms of what we now call genre... read more

Anatomy of Criticism – Part 1

August 4, 2015 1:09 pm Published by 1 Comment

What is the difference between so-called genre fiction and so-called literary fiction? Another way to ask the question is to wonder: When did genre fiction begin to be called genre fiction? The distinction seems so clear these days when you can walk into a library, a bookstore, or search online... read more

enriching your story writing tips

Enriching Your Story

July 16, 2015 6:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In Three Tips for Creating Good Dialogue I mention the technique of imagining what other art form your story could be in order for you to get a sense of the proportion of dialogue to narration. As an example here I suggest that Jane Austen novels are minuets, unhurried, elegant,... read more

why americans love self help books

The Peculiarly American Love of Self-Help

July 13, 2015 8:57 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Note: I wrote this blog after reading Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Vintage Book, Random House, 2013. The HBO documentary Going Clear was aired in April, 2015. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found... read more

All Eyes on Her concept in New Adult Romance Novels

All Eyes On Her

April 9, 2015 5:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Lately I’ve been reading New Adult fiction, mostly sports-themed romances. A recurrent feature of these stories has caught my attention. It’s the moment in the narrative when the heroine experiences “all eyes on her.” One story, featuring a college football hero, has the wildly improbable scene where the star player... read more

keeping your distance as an author of romance novels

On Authorial Distance

February 13, 2015 4:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

On Christmas Day 2014 I listened to an interview Diane Rehm had with Margaret Atwood about her new story collection Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. Note: The original NPR airdate was November 10, 2014. During the interview Atwood read the opening pages from the title story first published in The New... read more