Slaying Genre: Let Old Tales Inspire New

grubstreet Image

One of the things I love about Neil Gaiman's writing is the way in which he can take an old tale, an archetype, a known setting, and spin it into something new and beautiful and relevant.

His newest storybook, Hansel and Gretel is a wonderful example. When I received this in the mail from my favorite online indie bookseller, I could hardly wait to bust open the packaging and see how Gaiman would alter the familiar tale

December 31, 2014 | KL Pereira

Craft Advice Different ways to learn to be a better writer Slaying Genre

Readings For Writers: Halloween Edition

grubstreet Image

Every few weeks, a member of the Grub community recommends a book they find helpful or inspirational from a craft perspective. This week is Halloween, so instructor KL Pereira recommends her favorite scary novel.

It's always hard when you're asked to choose just one, simply your favorite. For those of us who revel in words, language, image, line, how can we truly choose one book over all others? 

October 31, 2014 | KL Pereira

Craft Advice

Love Your Villains

grubstreet Image

Years ago I was in a seminar with Steve Almond when he said something that changed the way I look at villains forever.


You've got to love your villains, he told us. You've got to love them just as much, if not more than you love your heroes.


You might be thinking: Come again? Aren't villains the baddies that we're supposed to hate? Aren't they supposed to be unequivocally terrifying?

September 18, 2014 | KL Pereira

Craft Advice

Slaying Genre: Revising Our Endings

grubstreet Image

There’s a lot to say about the place of revision in writing. Or at least I have a lot to say about it (and teach about it). When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out nearly 10 years ago (how can it have been that long?), many folks were displeased or at least dissatisfied with the way JK Rowling chose to end things. Snape’s death, Hermione and Ron’s marriage and children, the Victorian epilogue with its happily-ever-after—hardcore fans who’d been with the series from the beginning started coming up with endings of their own, revising the fates of our ...

August 21, 2014 | KL Pereira

Craft Advice

Slaying Genre: Game of Scene vs Summary

grubstreet Image

I’ve been rereading the Song of Ice and Fire series in the hope that George R.R. Martin will decide to give us more than teasers of the (maybe) forthcoming Winds of Winter. There’s just too much information, too many characters and side-plots for me to keep in my brain and I want to be able to delve into the sixth book without constantly leafing through the other volumes (or worse, Googling) to figure out what crucial thing happened that I just don’t remember.

July 17, 2014 | KL Pereira

Craft Advice