Back to Basics

I’ve got a guest post today at Culinary Carnivale–I recommend some Young Adult classics and newer books I think are destined to become classics.


I’m fairly busy this month with my other main creative outlet, choir, as well as a number of social obligations. Perhaps as a consequence, I’m not only writing very little on the new project, I’m not thinking about writing very much–beyond thinking, “I’m not writing!” several times a day with varying degrees of chagrin.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is part of my process. It’s happened before, and it will happen again: I reach a point where I want to begin something totally new, and I have to stop, retreat, reassess, renew. (It’s just that this time, I’m working on something contracted as well as not-working on the something new.)

As part of the process of feeding my backbrain, I’m very slowly reading a book on rhetoric, and I ordered a couple of interesting-sounding books on the craft of writing, and will shortly order one more. If you’ve read any of these, please let me know what you thought, and if they were useful to you!

1. The Art of Time in Fiction: As Long as It Takes by Joan Silber.

2. How Fiction Works, by James Wood.

3. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams.

4. This is the rhetoric book: Experiencing Fiction: Judgments, Progression, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative by James Phelan. This one was recommended to me by a friend who is an academic. As you might imagine, it’s a pretty dense book, but I’m finding it fascinating.

Published by Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s writing showcases her voracious lifelong love of books. She reads over 120 new books each year, especially historical romance, fantasy, and space opera, and incorporates these genres into her erotic fiction. Her first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. When not writing, Victoria conducts research in libraries and graveyards, lectures about writing and selling erotica, and speaks at literary conventions on topics such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotic science fiction/fantasy, and the empowerment of women through unconventional means. Her daily writing blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and author interviews. She also guest blogs for Heroes & Heartbreakers and The Criminal Element. She lives in Philadelphia.

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