By Elena Juarez
A new dawn. A new dusk. A new season. A new man. A Change of Seasons written by Khurram Elahi is a good example of a character driven novel where one man’s descent into absolute insanity is the main focus. John Winters, a seemingly ordinary man, undergoes a multitude of life-altering events that bring forth a chilling dive into madness.
I used to overlook memoirs when shopping for books or perusing the library. In doing this, I foolishly neglected myself a bounty of beautiful books. Memoirs offer insightful glances into the lives of the authors, providing perspectives we readers might not get in our everyday lives. I grew particularly fond of graphic memoirs, a memoir written as a graphic novel. Thanks to the mechanics of comics, graphic memoirs allow the authors to tell their stories in a unique manner.
When reading a book, the reader will visualize the events with their own imagination. This results in multiple interpretations of the same event – each reader will perceive a description in a slightly different way based on their own experiences. Graphic memoirs avoid this thanks to their usage of images. With a picture, you’re ensuring that your audience at least sees the same thing on the page. This way, the author can depict the events of the narrative with greater efficacy and accuracy.
From Jane Austen’s Emma using the upper class regency dating conventions to craft the rom-com to Taika Waiti’s JoJo Rabbit (the script off of the novel) using the unconventional setting of WW2 Germany to create a satirical coming-of-age comedy, history has proved to be a sand-box for comedians.
Every act that the homo sapiens sapiens since they learnt how to write has been a convoluted mess - well, probably not all the time- while paying attention to history class I can’t help but ask the humans in the past “What were you thinking?”
I think there is a beauty, joy, -most likely just a sliver-lining- in the ironic craziness that is our past. Therefore I present to you 3 prompts for a next set of comedies that would not use the internet, or gen z, as a punch line.
A very common trope in historical fiction is to have real people feature as characters in your fictional works, either as cameos, side characters or protagonists. The accuracy of the depictions in these works is on a wide spectrum of historical accuracy. On one side you have those who remain incredibly faithful to the accounts of what these people were like, while other authors delve fully into the realm of fictionalization.
TW: mentions blood, death, and repression.
The last decade has seen an improvement in promoting diversity in the book industry. It does have a long way to go to be great, but it is an improvement nonetheless. But why are classrooms still so focused on western-centered literature? I’m writing this today to tell you the story of a group of friends from beautiful Latin American countries, who have impacted literature in ways you might not even be aware of.
The Latin American Boom started at the beginning of the sixties and continued throughout the seventies. This decade dyed Latin America’s cobbled stones red. Cuba, 1959. Castro, the infamous dictator, rose to power. His regime would oppress whoever opposed him. Ecuador, 1965. Troops marched into universities, subduing students and workers. Mexico 1968. Students protested on the verge of the Olympic Games, all attacked by the army. The phrase «Dos de octubre no se olvida» (October second is unforgettable) is still whispered among Mexican citizens. Brasil, 1969. Death penalty was approved for whoever dared stand against the government. Chile. Venezuela. Dominican Republic. Bolivia. All countries where people, specifically, students and workers who demanded change, were brutally silenced. All while the United States slithered around the continent, supporting whoever they found most convenient (Cinema 23).
El Boom Latinoamericano emerged in this context.
Over the course of his playwriting career, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays, 10 of which were history plays. The histories recounted actual events, each documenting the reign of an English king. Compared to some of Shakespeare’s other works, they might not seem as attention grabbing. They’re not nearly as infamous as his tragedies or comedies, but that doesn’t mean you should skip over them.
While the histories may not be produced as often as his other plays, they shouldn’t be lost to – well, history. The histories still contribute quite a lot to literature and our culture. Here’s some reasons to give the histories a chance.
As a society we have always had a fascination with the filthy rich that only gets amplified with queens, kings and the novelty class.
Who didn’t grow up wanting to be called ‘your majesty’?
Therefore it is not unusual that a fair share of our period dramas focused around the crown, and the fact that they were more likely to receive the education to go down in history than their working class counterparts.
Viewers also favor stories about royals because for us period dramas are about escapism and stunning outfits however, we do not consume media solely for its escapist qualities and the same goes for dramas set in the past.
While I was writing my last article—Writing in Past Tenses for the Tense-Switching Writer—I realized that there was something missing from it, and it’s this: writers don’t accidentally switch between past tenses. No, tense-switching happens between the present and the past tenses. But why is this? And can we learn something about the writing brain from it? Read on to find. out
Harry Potter. Percy Jackson. Books like these are beloved by many as a result of their role of making children and teenagers feel validated and seen, especially with the added context of finding familiarity in another world. This form of escapism has been a vital tool for them to get through trivial aspects in their lives, like the prospect of growing up, for example.
Some may argue that fictional institutions like Hogwarts and Camp Half-Blood romanticize growing up in the strict education systems we live in, however what matters is the purpose and intentions behind this work - as this is what fuels it to be what it is today. An example of this is Rick Riordan’s Camp Half-Blood. CHB is a thriving environment for demi-gods to train and reside in, a safe place free from the monsters that plague the world outside the Long Island Sound, and one of the main settings we see throughout the series. Within the song ‘The Last Day of Summer’ in The Lightning Thief Musical, a particular line in Luke’s verse is as follows: “Chiron always says our parents made camp as this safe magic space, the truth is they don’t have to see us, they won’t bother to show their face”.
Your character enters the room, beautifully attired. They walk down the stairs, almost in slow-motion. The room becomes blurry, only focusing on them. They might hold their worst enemy’s eye, they might feel the weight of a dagger strapped to their leg. And so the ballroom scene begins.
An intriguing scene, it will keep your readers invested in the details and the feelings of your characters. But what would be a ballroom scene without dancing? Dancing is one of the most personal, tender, and beautiful forms of expression for human beings. I would love to read more ballroom scenes, so I have put together a guide to describing and choosing dance styles.