Read. Read. Read. But also think outside the box. Watch popular movies. The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorites for dialogue and one of the few screenplays that was written before the book was ever created, which I am told is really about the making of the movie so that makes sense. If you haven’t seen the Princess Bride, you owe it to yourself to watch this great film which is a fairy tale love story, if for no other reason than to hear some of the most quotable long-lasting dialogue of alll time. The movie aired for the first time 25 years ago. Lines that if you or I had in our books, would be remembered and cherished. Now what author wouldn’t dream of that? Incidentally, the movie was not an immediate success, something that should make all of the authors reading this take heart. I, myself watch movies for some of the reasons I read books, not only to be entertained, but to learn more about generating believable and entertaining fiction. Things like how actors portray emotion and dialogue for instance. Continue reading →
Schools do a poor job of getting kids interested in history for this one simple reason. How can you relate to a historical period without seeing it through the eyes of the people who lived it–explore their hopes, their dreams, their hardships and triumphs.? How can you grasp something that radically changed a person’s entire world when the world we live in, (specifically in America) is so settled, so easy and calm and for the most part, just? I’ve said before, Americans are spoiled. Unless you actually go looking for it, how do you become interested in history in the first place. Most often, people don’t develop an interest, and that’s a shame.
I hated history in school, but about six years ago I read my first historical novel which changed everything. When I started to research my own novel, The Sun Palace set in sixth century Ireland, I hadn’t wanted to add fantasy but but it naturally popped in through my research. I had no idea that fantasy actually began in Ireland and through Irish folklore. Continue reading →