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Category: fairy tales

The Oral Tradition of Storytelling: Curing the Contemporary Culture Crisis

Posted in Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, folklore, folkloric motifs, language, mythology, Storytelling, symbolism, and Truth

Telling Tales and the Written Word The oral tradition of storytelling is distinct from the written or literary tradition. Telling stories out loud from memory predates literature, but literature has never superseded its more ancient forebear. Both are contemporary forms of storytelling and the boundaries between them are…

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On Desiring Dragons: Why Read Fantasy Literature?

Posted in Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, folklore, genre fiction, Literature, mythology, novels, and Storytelling

A Fantastic Question Family members, friends, and colleagues have all asked me why I read fantasy. I’ve given different answers in different contexts at different times to the persistent question, “Why read fantasy literature?” This post is a distillation of my current defense of fantasy. But let me…

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The Life and Work of Hans Christian Andersen: Lessons for Writers

Posted in Books for Kids, childhood, Childrens Books, Classics, creativity, Culture, discipline, fairy tales, famous authors, famous writers, Learning to Write, Literature, living the dream, making a living as a writer, motivation for writers, writer biographies, writers, writing life, and Writing Tips

Hans Andersen: Poet, Novelist, Storyteller A recent writing commission for a private client involved researching the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen, author of the world famous fairy tales. I was delighted to be paid to revisit his stories and learn a little more of his biography.…

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How to Write Without Approval: Reasons to Keep Writing When it’s Tough

Posted in anxiety, Creative Writing, creativity, discipline, fairy tales, fear, finishing your novel, genre fiction, Getting published, Independent Publishing, Learning to Write, Literature, living the dream, making a living as a writer, motivation for writers, novels, overcoming fear, Productivity for creatives, Rejections, self publishing, self-doubt, Storytelling, transcendence, Truth, and writing life

  The Need For Approval For many of us, the quest for approval is one of the reasons to keep writing. I imagine once you’ve a horde of adoring fans hanging on your every word, and swathes of bookstore real estate burgeoning with your work – if you’re…

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The Origins of Urban Fantasy in the Literature of Classical Antiquity

Posted in Classics, Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, folklore, folkloric motifs, genre fiction, mythology, Paranormal Fantasy, Storytelling, symbolism, and Urban Fantasy

The Ancient Origins of Urban Fantasy I wonder how many readers of Urban Fantasy fiction, or any fantasy literature, know how ancient its origins are? In a previous post I suggested the genre began in the 1980s – nurtured by the writer and editor Terri Windling and inspired by…

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What is Urban Fantasy? Monsters, Transgression, and Kicking Ass

Posted in book covers, Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, feminism, Fiction, folkloric motifs, genre fiction, Literature, mythology, Paranormal Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy

It All Started in the 1980s What is Urban Fantasy? While fantastical stories set in urban environments appear in 19th century literature (think of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula in London or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) and even as far back as antiquity (consider the adventures recounted in Apuleius’s Golden Ass),…

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Why Do Authors Use Metaphors? How Metaphors Ignite Imagination

Posted in conflict in fiction, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, genre fiction, language, Learning to Write, literary devices, Literature, metaphors, mythology, novels, Storytelling, symbolism, transcendence, Truth, Writing a novel, and Writing Tips

Igniting the Reader’s Imagination Why do authors use metaphors? I think it’s fair to say without metaphor most prose would be very poor, fiction far from fantastic, and poetry impossible. Most of us remember being taught about metaphor and other literary devices at school. A few of us…

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