Into the Book

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Posts by Andrew Joyce

  1. It’s really hard to pick up a story that’s been dead for months and try to breathe life into it. I read over the twenty or so pages that are on paper so far, and that helped me a little bit to remember where I’m going with “All Right.” I also had my trusty outline, which has continued to be really helpful (All Right is the first story I’ve ever made a master outline for). But as I sat down this week to write, looking at the blank page was overwhelming. The story still felt dead. (more…)

  2. I have an unsurprising admission of failure for you: I haven’t been writing. Not for a few months at least. It’s why Writing Life was so sporadic over the summer — there just hasn’t been any writing to have a life about. It’s ok, months (years?) like that crop up; but as a writer, how can we combat them? Read on for more: (more…)

  3. “This looks like a good book. Maybe I’ll just read it to get some good stuff out of it, and skip writing a review, because I have so much to do.”
    Oh wait.
    Busyness is so prevalent and so accepted that our standard response to “How are you?” is a simple, “Oh, you know, pretty busy.” If my day isn’t full, perfectly executing a ten-point todo list in stunning fashion, then maybe I’m doing something wrong! These are a few of the reasons why DeYoung has written his book Crazy Busy. It’s a (mercifully) short book about busyness, and DeYoung manages to pack a great deal into it. (more…)

  4. When I sit outside, and feel the wind lick at my face, hear the thunder as the seat beneath me shakes, and watch the lightning skate across the cracks in the gray mass of clouds overhead, there is little room for worry. We love to be reminded of our own smallness. (more…)

  5. Robert Heinlein’s Friday is a mixed bag of sci-fi tropes, missed opportunities, and casual vulgarity all sprinkled into a neat dystopian landscape filled with backstabbing, wars, and secrets. It’s a book that’s deeply conflicting: on the one hand, Heinlein has constructed a great, immersive world and asked some great questions of well-developed characters. On the other hand, there’s a lot that’s not worth reading and Heinlein often doesn’t answer his own questions. Friday is a circuitous book that winds around before finally resolving, and at the end of it all, I still can’t say if it was worth my time. Read on for more: (more…)

  6. What’s a writing life with no writing?

    What do you do when your writing life doesn’t include much writing? It’s a guarantee that at some point you’ll hit a wall with your story, or you’ll get busy at work, or you’ll lose the initial spark that inspired you, or you’ll pick up a new hobby and writing will get pushed to the side. What’s a writer to do in a time when their own writing is dormant?

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  7. The Shadow of the Wind is Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s first adult novel, telling the story of Daniel, a young man tasked with finding out the terrible secrets behind the Spanish writer Julián Carax. In a similar vein to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Umberto Eco, Zafón has produced an immense Gothic novel. Filled with suspense, horror, and surprising wonder, The Shadow of the Wind is a phenomenal piece of writing that fully immerses you in its world (more…)

  8. Last week we talked about keeping a deep and varied reading list as a great way to get inspiration for a story. Today, we’re going to drill into a specific type of inspiration: the ancient classics. Suzanne Collins is great, but have you read your Aristophanes lately? (more…)

  9. There aren’t too many names in sci-fi bigger than Frank Herbert. Dune is his 1965 classic, a landmark in science fiction, and a ground-breaker for many novels to come. I may be fifty years late to the party, but even so, I enjoyed Herbert’s masterpiece, and found Dune a compelling story of humanity, loss, and prophecy that makes for the best sci-fi I’ve ever read. Read on for more: (more…)

  10. Reading good books is like throwing grain into the field of your brain. You’re filling your brain with stories, thinking over ideas and concepts that other writers have poured out onto the page. In the past few weeks, I’ve read or read parts of a classic sci-fi novel (Dune by Frank Herbert), a Gothic novel (Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafón), Augustine’s Confessions, a children’s book (Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet), and most of the book of Job. Keeping a large and varied reading list helps me to feel deeply, to learn from other writers, and to come up with new story ideas. (more…)

ABOUT ItB REVIEWS

Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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