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Top Ten Posts of 2017

Collage of pictures from top posts
Congratulations! You survived 2017. To serve your holiday time-wasting needs, here’s our most popular posts of the year. Like last year, the three winners were all on the topic of social justice. In these posts, we encourage authors to envision the world they want to see. Books will not change the world in a day, but they remain a powerful tool.

If you need a break from the long march of social justice, we’ve got plenty of craft focused posts as well. This year, our readers were particularly fond of magic and romance, two subjects that are as tricky as they are rewarding. We hope you enjoy our work as you brace for 2018.

Our Top Ten Posts

Commentary

When Dark and Gritty Is Just Exploitation

Daenerys being held aloft by freed slaves.

­Some weeks ago, the makers of the Game of Thrones TV series, Benioff and Weiss, announced their next project. Titled Confederate, it will feature an alternate-history US where the South won the Civil War and slavery is still legal. In response, many social justice advocates … read more »

Storytelling

Seven Ways to Bring Characters Together

You have a character that’s made from oozing lava, and another that’s a rolling snowball. They’ll make a great lava-snow duo, but right now they won’t so much as say hi. Don’t worry, storytellers have many tried-and-true plot devices for bringing characters from different walks of life … read more »

Analysis

Six Novels With Weak Throughlines

The Gentleman and Norrell from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

A throughline is a story’s core, the problem that’s introduced at the beginning and resolved at the end. It is the single most important element of a story. When you tell someone what a story is “about,” you’re usually describing the throughline. Read more »

 

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