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.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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