5 Reasons Why Breaking Bad is Macbeth

Breaking Bad is now in its final death throes, and we will soon all see what happens to Walter White and the rest of his crew, not to mention his tortured family.  Most well written stories reference great literature, but Vince Gilligan has indeed made some obvious references from Shakespeare that are evident throughout theContinue reading “5 Reasons Why Breaking Bad is Macbeth”

5 Great Books About Variant Histories

Lately I’ve been on this variant history kick, reading novels set in modern times but after something happened in the past that is different from actual history to change the way things operate in the present.  I thought I would list 5 of my favorite variant history novels for you today since today’s letter isContinue reading “5 Great Books About Variant Histories”

NaNoWriMo Tip #17: Action In the Dialogue

Every year I teach Shakespeare, one student invariably asks the following question:  Why does Shakespeare not write stage directions in his plays?  The answer to this question is always the same: If you will examine his dialogue, you will find that he does. For example, in Hamlet Act 1.1 we have this exchange: BERNARDO: Who’sContinue reading “NaNoWriMo Tip #17: Action In the Dialogue”

The Sagging Mid-Section: Is Your Novel a Swamp In the Middle?

One problem that amateur novelists face is what I call the sagging mid-section.  They might have three to five chapters at the beginning that do everything that yesterday’s post mention, and the ending of their novel is fantastic and wonderful, full of interesting plot twists, but the middle of the novel bogs down in aContinue reading “The Sagging Mid-Section: Is Your Novel a Swamp In the Middle?”