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Showing posts from January, 2019

Fictional conflict without villains

Does good fiction need a villain? 

Looking over my novels and stories, there are some sinister people, but I don't think there are any real villains.

Now, there are those who might use that criterion to criticise those stories, and they may not be wrong, but I am not attracted to stories where there is an obvious villain or nemesis, whether of the Robert Lovelace and Sir Percival Glyde variety, or the more complex Javert, or even the insidious Humbert Humbert.

One of the challenges today is that we are used to boo-hiss villains, and they are the staple of television drama - more subtle villains not being suitable for viewers who only occasionally drop into a series, or to the commercial interruptions and distractions of television and web viewing. Of course Francis Urquhart and his American cousin, Frank Underwood, are notable exceptions, but even they are subservient to what I find the more interesting driving force - events, my dear boy, events.

The effects of a world that is always…

What happened to the Season of Christmas?

Happy New Year, all! Make one of your resolutions not to sweat the stuff you can't do anything about and focus on making your desk, your room, your home, your office a better places.

I was in Massachusetts with family for Christmas and it resonated with all my childhood Christmases. Returning to the UK, the decorations and lights in the neighbourhood are already gone and it's not even Epiphany yet. My lights are still on and will be until twelfth night.

This is another, sad illustration that people no longer understand Christmas, even as secular event. Can the message of Christmas not be sustained even until 6 January? I expect there are Valentine's Day promotions in the supermarket.

Anthropologically, it must be unique to celebrate the anticipation of an event that one doesn't actually believe in with the expenditure of billions of dollars. 

I'm one of those who firmly believes that no one who does not believe that God became Man at Christmas has any business celebrat…