Category Archives: Literature

How do you learn to write?

You may have heard the story about Hunter S. Thompson: how he sat down and retyped the whole of The Great Gatsby on a borrowed typewriter, hoping that it would unlock the secret of Fitzgerald’s style. I scoffed when I … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Writing | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

My top ten unlikeable characters in literature

This is a follow up to my post on writing unlikeable characters. I’ll be honest. It’s a pretty arbitrary list. There were way too many contenders. If you’d like to add some of your own at the end, you’re extremely … Continue reading

Posted in Lists, Literature | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Till Death Us Do Part: the strangeness of sibling relationships

My mum tells this delightful story about how when I was a baby my older brother – then a toddler – used to climb into my pram and pinch me. ‘He was so resourceful,’ my mother says. Actually, she doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Lists, Literature, The View on the Way Down | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

(Not) keeping it in the family: examples of family estrangement in literature

The idea of family estrangement is something that’s always bothered me. Even as a teenager, I hated arguing with parents. Serious arguments, I mean. There was plenty of me huffing off to my room, or pointing out how embarrassing they … Continue reading

Posted in Lists, Literature, The View on the Way Down | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments