When Orah and Nathaniel enter the Temple of the Dreamers, high up on the mountain, I didn’t want them to immediately barge into the chamber holding the cocoons, a sterile room dominated by technology. Beyond needing to build anticipation, I felt the haughty dreamers would have embellished the place where they strove for immortality by creating spectacular anterooms as the approach to where their science worked
Tag Archives: Words that tickle the imagination
The partnership between the reader and the writer
I have now received over three hundred reviews for my novels and have read every one of them. I’m struck by the variety of ways readers perceive my stories. One person’s "page turner" is another’s “thought provoking and beautifully written.” Why so subjective?
Novel details and painting brushstrokesTo
From concept to cover
I recently completed the cover for my upcoming novel, The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. The daughter of the title is Kailani, a mysterious little girl, raised in deeply religious society, who sails into a purely secular world. Through the trials of its characters, the book explores the clash between reason and faith, and the redeeming power of hope and love. But how do I show all this within the
Ideas are everywhere
What do the following have in common?[jcolumns model="4" halign="center"] [pb_slideshow group="1"] [jcol/] [/jcolumns] A rustic stone church in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Mt. Etna, the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento, the old merry-go-round in Oak Bluffs, the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle, and the Palantine Chapel in Palermo. All of these are sources of inspiration for my next novel, the sequel to The Children of Darkness. I've always believed that the difference between the creative and non-creative person is not the
My Writing Style
Matthew Arnold wrote: “Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.” Hemingway said it a bit differently: “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the simplest possible way.”I believe good writing is clear thinking, saying what you mean in the simplest possible way. The problem for fiction writers is that we don’t always know
The Greatest Thing I learned in School
In the seventh grade, I began a six year college preparatory school, the elite school in the city and accessible only via an entrance exam. Ninety-nine percent of its graduates went on to college, many to Ivy League schools. But only one in three graduated. I felt pretty confident. I had a good education to date and all the skills to succeed. But I had never read for pleasure. The kids
Why genres exist?
Did you ever stand in an art gallery, look at a painting and think,” it’s a girl squatting beside a bird’s nest.” Then the guy next to you says, “It’s a man walking a dog.” The two of you step closer to see who’s right, and the illusion dissolves into brushstrokes. Books are like that. Why should a bunch of letters crawling across a page evoke so much emotion? “I loved that
Details, details…A cool cup of steaming tea
Writers are always taught to show, not tell. A good example of this is at the beginning of The Night Circus, the wonderful debut novel by Erin Morgenstern. Early in the book, Prospero the Enchanter is called into his theater manager’s office, because a five-year old girl has been left for him, brought in by a lawyer along with her mother’s suicide note. Other than being told
The duty of the old
Quote from Phillip Pullman's The Golden Compass: "The duty of the old...is to be anxious on behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old."
Pixels, words and the eye of the beholder
Recently, my wife was helping me by doctoring an image of a young girl in Photoshop. She zoomed in on the image until all we could see were blurred patches of color. Then she lightened the color of three pixels. At that instant, the image was unrecognizable. But when she zoomed back out and we compared the new version with the original, the expression on the girl’s face had changed entirely.
Page 1 of 212