If you've done much research on getting your writing published, chances are you’ve come across the term “high concept.” Agents and editors sometimes use the phrase "high-concept fiction" when talking about the sort of writing they'd like to acquire, and you'll often hear it touted by writing blogs as a surefire way to make your… Continue reading What Does Publishing Mean by “High Concept,” Really?
Anyone familiar with Iceland has likely heard something about turf houses, the iconic grass-roofed houses that grace the countryside, carried over from insulation methods in medieval Norway. I wrote once before about Rútshellir, a famous old cave guarded by a turf-covered barn. But while the cave itself might be the oldest man-made residence in Iceland,… Continue reading A Visit to Keldur, Iceland
Language has played a crucial role in the history of our world, but in most fantasy, it is often mentioned only in passing. It’s easy to see why: writing fictional languages is hard, and making them seem realistic is even harder. But it’s a topic worth thinking about, especially for those writers who like to… Continue reading Language in Fantasy
It's a song commonly played to ring in the New Year, bidding farewell to the old. Across the English-speaking world, it's used for graduations, for funerals, for any major transitional period in one's life. As a result, pretty much everyone is familiar with the tune. But growing up, I never knew anyone who was actually… Continue reading Dialects in Literature: A Look at Robert Burns
Epic poems have incredible staying power both as literary achievements and as historical resources. The Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf is one of the foremost examples of this. Despite its mythological themes, the story offers historians a rare insight into Anglo-Saxon ideals of masculinity, heroism, and society. At the same time, it presents literary scholars with a… Continue reading History through Poems: Examining Beowulf
In a world of emerging paper currency and capitalism, it comes as little surprise that contemporary entertainment so often focused on economic problems. A surprisingly common theme in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works was the economics of the human body. Often, this issue was addressed in literature and performances through female prostitution, but some texts present… Continue reading The Common Soldier: An Archetype in 17th- and 18th-Century Theatre