As you might have noticed, we like to season our approach to A Discovery of Witches (and really, all fiction) with a healthy dose of literary criticism and story structure. Why, you ask? Because it allows us to engage deeply and meaningfully with a good novel and gives us the tools we need to unpack its strengths, its weaknesses, its themes, and its thesis. If you’re interested to learn more about stories and literary criticism, here are some great resources to peruse:
The Basics of Fiction by Jenny Crusie
Anchor Scenes for Story Structure by Lucy Marsden
On Stories by C.S. Lewis
Helping Writers Become Authors: The Story Structure Database
Beemgee: Story Structure
The Narratologist: Literary Theory
The Purdue Online Writing Lab has some great primers on the basics of different schools of literary criticism and how to start a close reading of a text:
Purdue OWL: Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism
Purdue OWL: Close Reading a Text and Avoiding Pitfalls
Purdue OWL: Introduction to Feminist Critique
Purdue OWL: Introduction to Critical Race Theory
You can find a very dense exposition of the “Death of the Author” canon of literary interpretation by its creator, Roland Barthes, here, or you can digest a friendlier summary written by Andrew Gallix of the Guardian.
Here are some other posts you might enjoy:
Why Read Fiction?
Fiction Matters from the Fandomentals
Out of the Subtext: C.S. Pacat on Why Diversity Matters in SF/F
Defining Urban fantasy and Paranormal Romance: Crossing Boundaries of Genre, Media, Self, and Other in New Supernatural Worlds
To Hell and Back: Power, Violence, and Sexuality in Urban Fantasy
Urban fantasy fiction: there’s more to it than sex with were-leopards
Why Can’t Romance Novels Get Any Love
We’ll add to this list as we find more goodies for you to read! Let us know what kinds of perspectives you’re interested in and we’ll add them to the list, too.
Until our next episode,
Cait and Jen