In Praise of the Vilified Prologue: Top 12 Novels with Prologues

In Praise of the Vilified Prologue: Top 12 Novels with Prologues

In Elmore Leonard’s famous 10 rules for writing, the second rule is: avoid prologues. “They can be annoying,” he wrote. “A prologue in a novel is back story, and you can drop it in anywhere you want.”

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Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 15 Historical Novels

Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 15 Historical Novels

Historical fiction, the vast territory where history meets fiction, can be a story about prehistoric times or the Elizabethan era or the American Civil War. It can be a sweeping epic or a thriller or a bodice ripper. What is historical fiction? What are the qualities of a good historical novel?

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In Praise of the "Short and Sweet": Top 9 Novellas

In Praise of the "Short and Sweet": Top 9 Novellas

It’s torrid outside. It’s time for a summer fling—make that a literary summer fling. I’m talking about reading something short and sweet: a novella. It’s longer and more satisfying than a short story, without the “commitment” required by a novel.

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Are You a Literary Snob? 6 Signs to Watch For

Are You a Literary Snob? 6 Signs to Watch For

Is reading literature a form of snobbery? Literature has always been associated with the upper class because traditionally only rich people have access to it. They are also more likely to have the education necessary to appreciate literature. But in this day and age of global communication, when you don’t have to be able to read or understand a single word of French to appreciate Proust, is it still snobbish to read “Remembrance of Things Past?”

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Top 10 Places in Literature that Will Trigger Your Wanderlust

Top 10 Places in Literature that Will Trigger Your Wanderlust

One of the reasons I read novels is to escape to another place. Good books transport me to cities and countries I can only dream of visiting. Even when a story is sad or downright depressing, a memorable depiction of a locale can still trigger my wanderlust. And when I do get a chance to see some of those places, I feel twice as lucky.

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5 Reasons Why Reading is the Key to Writing Success

5 Reasons Why Reading is the Key to Writing Success

Want to be a writer? Read, read, and read some more. It’s the first requirement for writing well. Don’t take my word for it, take Stephen King’s. He said: “You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do. If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

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