Thursday 25 August 2022

From "Games Authors Play" by Peter Hutchinson (Methuen, 1983)

About the puzzles that authors set for readers. Here are a few quotes as a reminder that fashions change.

  • "the detective story proper only begins with Edgar Allan Poe and his Chevalier Dupin" (p.24)
  • "The nature of allegory has changed over the centuries, developing from its medieval and Renaissance mode (in which correspondences between certain abstraction or generalisations and the figures of the new plot were straightforward and rather naive) to a more 'subversive' kind after the end of the seventeenth century. It then became a more satirical form, in which a political aim was often apparent" (p.54)
  • "Social games would seem to have preceded sporting ones as a popular form of parallel in literature, but the emphasis now seems to fall rather on sport" (p.68)
  • Updike's "The Centaur" ends with a "Mythological Index", "a long list of mythological figures who may be seen to feature in the novel, together with the page number(s) on which they supposedly appear" (p.75)
  • "Historical periods of intense intellectual activity and self-discovery seem to have provided the best moments for paradox to flourish. As a self-conscious, overtly intellectual, often ingenuous exercise of the mental faculties, it requires a responsive audience as much as a brilliant exponent" (p.87)
  • "The Elizabethans readily employed puns in such serious contexts; our own age prefers them as jokes" (p.104)

Friday 12 August 2022


I've been looking at genre and have begun to make notes. Here are snippets.


From "Romance: Find your pigeonhole" Jess Morency, Writing Magazine" (March 2022) -

  • "Regency romance is a complete genre in its own right ... and there's now comedy Regency too" - Linda Hill
  • "I think [chick lit] died in the 1990s" - Anne Williams. Others say it's contemporary romance with fewer characters and themes
  • "All romance is women's fiction" - Jess Morency
  • "all rom-coms are chick lit; not all chick lit has romance" - Lisa Firth
  • In the 1990s, "publishers were asking authors to transcribe books from first to third person as the former was seen as 'too chick lit'" - Jenny Bent


"The historical novel flourished in the mid-20th century but it went completely out of fashion", Alison Weir, "Writing Magazine (June 2018)"

"it's easier than any other genre. The research gives you so much. Place, time, events. You have to move your characters on the stage you've already built" - Isabel Allende

Myth, Legend, Fairy Tale

Myths have gods and deal with cosmic Good/Evil. Legends have superheroes and deal with culture/society. Fairy Tales deal with personal happiness at different stages of life – defeating evil parents (i.e. Kings/Queens), finding a partner (a Prince/Princess), or preserving family life.


  • NSFW - not safe for work
  • PWP - porn without plot
  • #Drarry - Draco and Harry Potter relationship
  • #crossover