Tag Archives: famous authors

The Joys of Parody.

A forgotten form of Written Art?

Parody, like punning and cliché, resounds with readers because of aspects such as unique turns of phrase, irony and to be honest, being just too clever by half (characteristics of only the very best of the old stand-up comedians, too). The result is a very satisfying form of lexical humor. Check out this old book for some choice examples of parody:

Have you ever written a parody?

Tell us about it (or link to it), in the comment box.

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Inspiration for Authors: The Man Who Invented Christmas (film)

The Man Who Invented Christmas.

If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend it. When I saw the trailer and said, “I have GOT to see that!” my son bought it for me. I saved it, un-watched, until we could see it together. We finally got to do that a few nights ago, and I laughed harder than I’d done in quite a while.

Of course, it’s highly fictionalized, but how it portrays the writing process rings true to my experience as a novelist, in most respects (I’ve never suffered with “blockage,” as expressed by William Makepeace Thackeray, in the script). Non-writers often don’t understand that fiction is neither autobiographical nor biographical, and the film correctly shows how a novelist puts together pieces of real-life experience in a different way, creating a new “fictional reality,” (what I call “Life in the Parallel Universe”). The way Dickens accumulates a following of fictional characters who turn up in odd places and at unreasonable times, and who don’t do what he wants them to do,  is hilariously accurate. There are no Queensberry Rules for writing a novel: it’s a free-for-all; anything goes, and it usually does.

I’ve written about Charles Dickens elsewhere in this blog: All You Need is Love, in which it’s shown that A Christmas Carol is more subtly complicated than many who enjoy the tale would suspect; and in my Another Author’s Insight quotation series, in which Dickens, writing in 1850 after having finished David Copperfield, reveals the true depth of the relationship that can develop between authors and their characters.

My son found my reaction to the film as amusing as the movie, but I told him, “Wait until YOU write a novel – THEN you’ll know!”


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Happy Birthday, Jonathan Swift!


The Guest of Honor, born November 30, 1667

Welcome to the birthday party!

Perhaps Jonathan Swift’s best known tale is that of Gulliver’s Travels (1726). The name of the eponymous character hints of Swift’s upbringing in Ireland, because of its resemblance to the Gaeilge word ghallaibh (foreigners), reflecting the character’s adventures in some very strange lands.

Indie authors who write in this genre would do well to study Gulliver’s Travels and consider what has made it a hit for nearly 300 years.

There’s much more to the story than the part on which the adaptation shown below is loosely based, but it is one of the most beautifully drawn animated feature films of its era, and certainly surpasses most modern cartoons of the last generation.

Enjoy Jon’s birthday today!

#birthday #party

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