#MondayBlogs ‘New Uncluttered Blog. Less is More’ #Bloggers # #MondayMotivation

Change is due. Less is more.

I’d had my previous blog template since I started blogging, almost four years ago.

It was pretty, with a Dante Gabriel Rossetti print of Lilith on the header and some of my favourite books from my bookshelf in the background, but it appeared cluttered.

I had been thinking of changing my blog’s appearance for some time, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted or if the change would bring technical problems. I’m delighted that it hasn’t.

I wanted a cleaner, simpler, uncluttered, style, because I’m more convinced each day, that less is more and simple is more effective than complex, in life, love and work.

Writing Flash Fiction has been a great help in uncluttering my writing style (more about that in a previous past, here) and so has following Kurt Vonnegut’s suggestions regarding not wasting the reader’s time (Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted) and making sure all information is relevant (Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action). 

Then there’s all the advice, especially Stephen King’s, on using less adverbs and stronger verbs, not to mention the impact of showing not telling. So I’m aiming for a crisper writing style, cutting out rambling and overexplaining, use of passive voice, repetition, and trying my best to make readers ‘feel’ they’re inside the novel, not ‘see’ it from the outside.

Of course Mark Twain had said it all before: “Employ a simple and straightforward style.”  No wonder he found it hard to appreciate Jane Austen, who died only seventeen years before he was born. Don’t get me wrong. I like and respect Miss Austen’s work, but she’s a prime example of telling not showing, for example in Persuasion, her last, and one of my favourite novels. More about that in an earlier post, here.

After previewing different templates, I settled for one called Wilson, because it looked clear and clean. I love the use of black and white. simple and clear. I also prefer these colours in my wardrobe. Many busy and successful people like Obama and Bill Gates also stick to few colours when they dress, find out why here.

By the way, there’s a fabulous Ted Talk by Graham Hill called ‘Less Stuff, More Happiness,” which you might like to check out here.

Who needs a rainbow of colours when two are enough? Especially when so many people use Tablets and Smartphones to check blog content.

I’m still thinking of ways to unclutter my menu, but for now I’m leaving it as it is, with six main menus:

Home.

Blog.

About Luccia Gray.

Jane Ere and Victorian Literature.

Fiction Challenges.

Book Reviews and Spotlights.

I’ve kept their respective subheadings for the moment, but I’m thinking of eliminating them altogether.

Hope you like my new blog, and all suggestions and opinions for improvement are welcome.

Are you uncluttering your life and your blog? Tell me how!

 

 

 

 

#IWSG Surprising Writing #amwriting #WWWBlogs

The IWSG is a fabulous site for authors to share and encourage ech other by expressing doubts and concerns and looking for advice and guidance in our writing life. It’s a safe haven and meeting place for insecure writers of all kinds!
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day when we post our thoughts on our own blogs. Check it out and join in here! 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG
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I’m taking part by answering this week’s optional Question: 
Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?)

I surprise myself every time I pick up my pen, because I (almost) always jot down my ideas on paper before I sit down to the ‘real’ work of giving shape to my untidy notes on my laptop.

I always carry a pen and notebook, ready to capture the idea on the spur of the moment, before it escapes forever… Many of those ideas are never transformed into complete stories, although they may become part of a story. I use the same notebook until all the pages have been used up, which usually takes about a month, and I keep them at hand, just in case, for years.

This was sitting on a plane, but my favourite place to write is in the car, when I’m not driving!

I’ve written three historical novels and have started a fourth, but my heart isn’t in this fourth novel, at least not yet, so it’s resting on my shelf for the time being, because I wanted to write something different, but I haven’t known what for a long time.

I felt lost, not knowing what kind of novel I wanted to write. I kept filling notebooks full of  ideas which never came to fruition. It wasn’t writer’s block, because I had plenty of random creative ideas, but I felt I lacked purpose. I needed to find a project that would absorb all my creative thoughts and energy. I was getting worried. Although there were many ideas, not one pulled me obsessively, which is what I need to immerse myself in a novel completely.

It has taken me about a year to feel overwhelmed by a new project, but it has finally happened, when I least expected it, on a long car journey, as co-pilot, the seed of an idea dropped and flourished. When I arrived, I had a rough outline, main characters, setting, and a sense that ‘this was it at last’.

Throughout the following month of August, at a holiday flat by the sea, the plot grew and the characters came to life. It’s not a historical novel and it’s not a family saga. It’s a type of novel I never thought I’d write. A contemporary, romantic thriller simmered for 30 days, in a whole notebook of ideas. I’m back home now, and the proper, chapter by chapter outline is almost complete.

I’m a plotter, mostly, although I enjoy improvising, too. I love it when a character I hadn’t planned surprises me by popping into my mind and taking over, or when a plot twist happens unexpectedly as my characters are thinking or speaking. I can deal with these surprising characters and events and rework my original plan. On the other hand, I find it impossible to write without a destination, and that’s where plotting helps me focus.

I welcome surprises as a writer. I never know when or how a creative idea will take root in my mind, and I love the challenge of continued surprises as the novel unfolds.

Antonio Machado (1875 – 1939), drawing by Leandro Oroz Lacalle (1883 – 1933)

A famous Spanish poet, Antonio Machado (1975-1939), wrote, “Traveler, there is no road; you make your path as you walk.” I agree with Machado’s idea, but I also like to know where my destination lies.

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Do you like surprises as a writer?

Have you ever surprised yourself?

Writing Dialogue in Fiction #writingtips #amwriting #writerslife

I love writing dialogue and I include plenty of dialogue in my novels, but I also find it’s one of the hardest parts to get just right.

dialogue-is-easy

Writing the dialogue itself isn’t so demanding, it’s padding it with all the necessary contextual information within a novel that causes the problems.

Here are some notes I’ve made for myself to remind me of what I need to think about and do to make my dialogues relevant, vivid, authentic and natural.

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Dialogue is a great way to show (not tell) the reader about character and plot.

Think about the purpose of the exchange, and remember that every scene in the novel should:

1) Show character Or  2) Reveal plot

 1- Show character

This can be done subtly or specifically, depending on the importance of the character or the aspect you want to disclose.

What does the character say? And how does this show how he thinks or feels about what he’s done or is going to do, or about other characters… Are the characters lying? Purposefully? Inadvertently?

2- Develop plot:

It’s also a great way to reveal plot or add a plot twist (or red herring!).

  • Is there something new you want the reader to know? Is it part of the plot? A plot twist? A lie to confuse the characters and/or reader?
  • Is it a past event you to remind the reader about (in a series) or something the reader has not been told before?
  • Is it foreshadowing or giving clues to an event which may soon be taking place?

What to add/think about when writing your dialogue.

If you were writing a play, you wouldn’t have to think much about this. You could add some stage directions, but mainly the director and/or the actors would add the speaker’s actions, clothes, setting, props etc. to the dialogue. In a novel, the writer has to think of ways of transmitting this information.

Characters aren’t still or in a vacuum when they talk. They’re doing things and thinking about things. Their senses are aware, so they can hear, see, smell, taste and feel. They’re in a specific place which can bring memories or give them specific vibrations. They’re with people who can make them feel differently, too.

Although the actual conversation is our aim, and it’s probably what we write first, at least I usually do, later on we need to make it real. Create the context for the reader to understand and feel what the characters feel, which is not necessarily the information they give when they’re actually speaking.

dialogue-is-not-just-quotation

Some specific questions to ask yourself:  

  • Where are the characters? In general (e.g. a hotel) and specifically (e.g. on the terrace in their room)
  • Why that place in particular and not another?
  • What are they seeing? Near (e.g. on the floor) and far (e.g. on the horizon).
  • What are they thinking about? Present conversation? Past events? The place?  The person they’re talking to?
  • What are they hearing? What does it remind them of? How does it make them feel?
  • What can they smell? What reaction does this have on them?
  • Are they sitting, standing, moving? Are they doing something while they talk?
  • What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Tense? Romantic? Mysterious? Relaxed?
  • What are their facial expressions, movements and gestures like?
  • Are they interested or pleased to be having the conversation? If not, where would they like to be? Or what would they like to be doing?
  • What are they wearing? What does it tell us about them? The place? The situation? The time of year?
  • What’s their relationship? Does the reader already know? Does he need to know anything else? What do they think of each other?
  • What’s their motivation for the conversation? Was it prepared, unexpected, on one side or both?
  • What day is it? Time of year? What’s the weather like?
  • What have they been doing before?
  • What are they going to do next?
  • What’s on their mind?
  • What’s happening around them?
  • Who’s entering and leaving the place or the conversation?
  • Are the speakers alone? If not think about other people there, what are they doing? listening, watching, oblivious…

Remember:

Identify the aim of the conversation regarding character and plot.

Don’t ramble or tell the reader things they already know.

Reduce tags and tags with adverbs to a minimum.

You can make characters unique by the things they say, expressions, or gestures they often make, the clothes they wear, etc.

Read it out loud: think about length, repetition, authenticity, flow, does your main point (plot/character) come across? You’ll probably need to tweak it a few times, at least I certainly do!

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I have these questions pinned to my notice board. I refer to them once I’ve written the first draft of the conversation. It helps me give more depth to my dialogues.

I’d love to hear from you:

How do you approach your dialogues?

Do you write them straight off or do they go through various stages?

Any more tips / ideas for writing dialogue?

 

Falling in love and staying in love with my #novel #amwriting

My Writing Process: Falling in love and staying in love with my novel

From Freewriting to Editing

It’s easy for me to fall in love with my latest novel.

I love words. I’m  an artist, so I let it flow. I love feeling the rush of inspiration, getting  it all out if my system. Splashing the words on the page as my characters take over my mind and create their story.

This is when I fall in love with my novel. I’m crazy about it and I can’t get enough of it. I even think I’ll never be able to live without this burst of creative energy in my life.

Love

It’s such a powerful high that I forget it won’t last (thank goodness it doesn’t, otherwise I’d be a bundle of unconstrained, nervous energy, which would burn myself out!)

While I’m in love with my novel I have no friends, or family, I drift through daily chores, even work, only living for the moment I can sit down and write my new story.

I usually do this by hand, once I’ve thought about and envisioned the scenes, but I soon move to the typewriter where I can easily bash out between three and four thousand words a day, sometimes even more, sometimes less; I can’t avoid all my other obligations.

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This is the easy stage, often called freewriting.

The problem is it ends, and once I’ve fallen in love with my novel, I need to stay in love. Something has to remain after the mad rush has subsided (and I know deep down that it will eventually subside).

Can I do that? Can I sit down, read the thousands of words I wrote and love them after the frenzy? Can I be ‘reasonable and realistic’ and edit and shape it into a novel?

Can my passionate lover become my best friend? Can my idealized novel make it in the real world? Does it have a ‘real life’ outside of my obsession?

If it’s no, then it goes into the drawer for a time, or forever, who knows?

If the answer is yes, then I need to edit and shape the mass of unbridled madness.

This is painful. I have to cut out words and even whole lines, paragraphs and pages…

EDiting

I’ve learnt my lesson after writing three novels.  ‘Less is more’ and ‘simple conveys the most complex message effectively’.

As Kurt Vonnegut wisely told us: Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

He went on to expand that even every letter should fit the bill, and I agree. Every single word and letter should be there for a purpose. I’m still learning to do that, because I’m biased. All the words are mine and I love them all, cutting them out is painful, but I’m convinced it needs to be done either by yourself or with the help of another expert pair of eyes, such as an editor.

I have to plan it and often rewrite parts of it until it’s shaped into something I can fit into scenes, chapters and parts. I need to identify stages, plot lines, time sequence, turning points, climax, and so much more.

It’s like a first big argument between lovers. The novel drives me crazy with frustration and I know I either sort it out and we make it up, or we have to go our separate ways, because we can’t even be friends.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m falling in love with a new novel, and I’m in agony. I don’t know what’s going to happen… yet.

I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, does this happen to you?

 

1 Day to Book Launch of ‘Midsummer at Eyre Hall’: My Happy Ending, Thanks to Camus, Orson Welles and My Daughter.

Tomorrow is the big day. The Eyre Hall Trilogy is officially complete and available for purchase and download on Amazon as a Kindle ebook.

My proof for the paperback version of Midsummer at Eyre Hall arrived today. I’ll be checking it through carefully, and it will be available to purchase in print before the end of the month.

Today’s post is about happy endings.

 

My Trilogy

The Eyre Hall Trilogy in my hands! What an exciting moment, even though Midsummer at Eyre Hall is the proof copy.

In this final post, I’m going to tell you about one of my greatest challenges. I needed to make sure the end of The Eyre Hall Trilogy was not disappointing for readers who had read the previous books. After their emotional investment and the time spent reading, I wouldn’t want to let them down.

The main dilemma regarding the ending: it  could be happy or not.

As I briefly discussed in my previous post, a happy ending is not mandatory in a romance, or in a gothic romance, or even in a Victorian gothic romance, but in the end, that’s what has happened in The Eyre Hall Trilogy.

Why did I think of an unhappy ending in the first place?

Well, I didn’t want to be accused of promoting false expectations or chosing the easy way to end my trilogy on a marriage or birth, after all, the end, the real end of our lives, is pretty depressing.

I finally decided to stop at a happy moment, mainly because it was my daughter’s request and Camus’ influence, so I followed Welles advice and found the right place to stop in order to have an optimistic ending.

 

Orson-Welles-fun-wise-quotes

 

Before we continue, let’s take a few minutes to discuss happiness. What is happiness? What is a happy ending?

According to Camus, life becomes absurd once we realise that from the moment we are born, we are walking towards our inevitable death.

Life is absurd, but we can make one of two important choices: to live or to die.

We can exert our freedom and refuse to play the absurd game by committing suicide, or we can freely accept the absurdity of life and chose to be happy.

So, if we choose to be happy, we accept our transient nature and implicitly agree to make the most of our time here.

camus qute

Now, back to The Eyre Hall Trilogy. Why is it a happy ending?

Mainly because the main characters, the characters the reader cares most about, are in harmony with the life they lead at the moment the narrative stops. They have made their choices, fought for what they wanted, and they have achieved what they desired, so they are happy at the end.

On the other hand, not all the plot lines are tied up optimistically, and not all the characters are living in harmony. John, Annette and Susan made some unwise decisions which they will have to live with. There is a shadow looming over Michael due to some risky decisions he made, and of course, Jane is getting older towards the end of the novel, and although she is in good health, in Victorian England life expectancy was low, but I wrote ‘The End‘ before she died.

The final moment in Midsummer at Eyre Hall is full of harmony, but the characters, the reader, and the writer are well aware that this is a photograph of a fleeting moment. In any case, I hope you enjoy this temporary representation of happiness.

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The following is an extract from Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, where Charles Dickens and Jane Eyre are discussing the difficulty of ending a novel. Mr. Dickens is visiting Jane and they are chatting by the fireplace at Eyre Hall, after dinner. He calls her Miss Elliot, beause it was the pen name Jane used at that time.

It’s one of my favourite intertextual scenes in the novel; the author I most admire chatting to my favourite fictional character about literature. A magnificent moment.

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Dickens Victorian lady

“The time has come to end this wonderful evening. I would not like to tire you, or I shall not be invited again.”

“Endings are so sad in real life, and so hard to write in fiction. How does an artist know a work of art has reached its end? And what is a good ending to a great story?”

“Indeed. It is no secret that I struggle with every ending.”

“I prefer happy endings, as you know, Mr. Dickens. Readers prefer a satisfactory conclusion. It makes the reading more rewarding.”

“Perhaps you are right, my dear Miss Elliot, but I am afraid it is not always possible.”

“Who should we bear in mind when writing the end, the reader or the story?”

“The reader always. We write for our readers. I had a more pessimistic ending for Great Expectations, but my dear friend Wilkie Collins persuaded me, or shall we say convinced me, that my readers would prefer a more positive ending, so I left the door open for Pip and Estella.”

“And are you pleased with this modification?”

“Yes. I have no doubt the story will be more acceptable with the altered ending. After all, I think Wilkie was right. It is for the better.”

“I must admit, it is one of my favourite novels, and I am glad you decided to present a happy ending. Would you read the last chapter before we retire?”

“It would be a pleasure, Miss Elliot.”

She handed me a copy of Great Expectations. I opened the last chapter and read the ending she wanted to hear.

‘I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.’

Seconds later, I closed the book and watched a single tear slide down her cheek.

“Thank you, Mr. Dickens. That is the most perfect ending anyone has ever written.”

I wanted to add that it was a mere illusion, because there can be no happy ending to any story. We will have to surrender everything we have, in the end, and we will leave this planet as naked and helpless as we came, but I was silent. Why spoil the magic moment?

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What kind of endings do you prefer in the novels you read or write?

2 Days to Launch Midsummer at Eyre Hall. My Genre: What is a #Victorian #Gothic #Romance?

I’m relieved, overjoyed and excited to tell you that The Eyre Hall Trilogy is complete.

There are two days to go to the launch of Book 3, Midsummer at Eyre Hall, on the 21st of June, and I’m aiming to write a post a day about my writing process to celebrate my achievement.

Day two is all about genre. The Eyre Hal Trilogy is a Victorian Gothic Romance, but what exactly is that? Read on to find out.

3 BOOKS ALL HALLOWS

The first word in my genre description is straightforward. A Victorian novel is a novel that is set in Victorian England, roughly between the 1830s and 1900, although many scholars extend it to the encompass the end of the 18th century, too. Most Victorian novels were written in Victorian times, but many others, sometimes called neo-Victorian novels, were written in the 20th and especially in the 21st century. There is more information on the characteristics, themes and style of Victorian and neo-Victorian novels,  and why I write them in these other posts in my blog:

What is neo-Victorian Fiction

https://lucciagray.com/2016/03/28/why-i-write-neo-victorian-fiction/

Why read neo-Victorian fiction instead of authentic Victorian Fiction.

A general introduction to Victorian times

A general introduction to Victorian literature

The Eyre Hall Trilogy is set in Victorian England between 1865 and 1879, although some of the events included as back story occurred in the 1850s and before.

The third word is also relatively easy to define. A Romance is a novel whose central concern is a love story. Romance novels are immensely diverse. Apart from the central theme of love, the rest of the characteristics are infinite, except for the presence of some kind of conflict, which must be resolved (remember Aristotle and Vonnegut; someone get’s into trouble and out of it…).

That’s the sum of common characteristics of romance. There are endless types of conflict and endless types of love stories. They can be set in any time period and in any setting or location. The ending is generally satisfactory, optimistic or downright happy ever after, although it can be partially or totally unhappy, too, see for example: Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte, 1846), Love Story (Erich Segal 1970), or The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks, 1996).

Wuthering heights

The Eyre Hall Trilogy is a Romance, because it includes several love stories, and romantic love and the conflicts brought about as a result of  the characters’ love interests are central to the plot and the sub-plots.

The genre which is going to prove most complex to define is ‘Gothic’, especially because there are many subgenres. In my case I’ll be discussing the Victorian Gothic Romance genre.

It’s origins are attributed to Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto, which he himself subtitled ‘A Gothic Story’.

Castle

The name of the genre is derived from gothic architecture, specifically from the gothic neo-medieval buildings emulating the architecture which flourished in Europe between the 12th and the 16th century, including pointed arches and vaults, flying buttresses, narrow spires, stained glass windows, latticed windows on the exterior, and dungeons, secret passages, ghosts, long winding corridors, dark furnishings and a gloomy atmosphere in the inside.

Not surprisingly, one of the salient features of this genre is the setting, which must include an isolated and spooky, gothic mansion or castle. Think of The Castle of Otranto, Thornfield hall in Jane Eyre, Satis House in Great Expectations, Dracula’s Castle in Dracula, The House of Usher, Manderlay in Rebecca (20th century), Hundred’s Hall in The Little Stranger.

House

In the case of The Eyre Hall Trilogy there is a large country house, Eyre Hall. Jane Eyre rebuilt a house on the site of Thornfield Hall, which had been burnt down by Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre. Jane purposefully made sure that Eyre Hall didn’t have an attic, a rookery, vaults, or a flying buttress, in an aim to make its appearance less gothic than Thornfield  Hall, and although it was a more modern building, there were plenty of nooks and crannies to hide unspeakable secrets…

There are plenty of characteristics which are common to gothic novels. Naturally, the more elements the novel contains, the more gothic it is! Here are a few of the most recurrent, apart from the house, in no particular order:

A mystery and a secret, often a family secret or mystery including murder, torture, or illegal confinement.

A prophecy or ancestral curse on a family.

Omens and paranormal situations.

A persecuted heroine, or damsel in distress, who is generally innocent or naive and easy to fool, by…

An evil character, or villain, who causes havoc in the heroine’s life, often including a seduction, rape or forced marriage. This person is often seeking financial gain and social status.

A supernatural element, which may be a ghost or any other type of unearthly being, such as a devil or a vampire.

Macabre situations such as death, decay, graveyards, churches, exhumation, etc.

Situations which terrorise or frighten the characters.

A dark and gloomy atmosphere, including foggy, dark, cold weather.

Complex plots with secrets and scheming characters.

Strong emotions of love, hate, fear, distress, etc.

Dangerous journeys in carriages, often at night.

One of the essential elements is the opposition between good and evil. The Picture of Dorian Gray and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are prime examples. The writer is concerned with the description of the spiritual and psychological challenges of the human soul in extreme situations.

The wicked are usually punished, although they may be redeemed if they learn their lesson and change their evil ways. The good yet physically weaker characters are often empowered due to their moral superiority.

Endings vary widely. Gothic Romance usually has happy endings, whereas Gothic Horror may have unhappier endings.

The Eyre Hall Trilogy must be a very gothic novel, because it contains all the elements I’ve named in spades!

I’ve tried my best to transport the modern reader to Victorian England and experience a gothic romance. There is adventure, suspense, the mystery and magic, dark family secrets, including murder, kidnapping, child theft, blackmail, exhumation, supernatural elements, journeys, asylums, villains, scheming, twisting plots, and plenty of conflict and obstacles for all pairs of lovers in the diverse love stories.

I’ve had great fun researching, planning and writing The Eyre Hall Trilogy, and I hope my readers also enjoy the ride!

Which is your favourite gothic romance?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Days to Launch Midsummer at Eyre Hall. My Writing Process: Intertextuality

I’m relieved, overjoyed and excited to tell you that The Eyre Hall Trilogy is complete.

There are three days to go to the launch of Book 3, Midsummer at Eyre Hall, on the 21st of June, and I’m aiming to write a post a day about my writing process to celebrate my achievement.

Day three is all about Intertextuality.

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Intertextuality is a literary device which creates interrelationship between two or more texts.

The term was coined by Julia Kristeva in the 1960s and has been widely used by poststructuralist and postmodern literary scholars.

The most frequent form is when one book refers to another book’s characters, plot, or scenes.

This reference can be simple or complex. The simple form may reference the title, or a famous character. The complex form may adapt a complete storyline or various characters from another book.

It can be an accidental, subconscious, casual, or deliberate endeavour. It can also be explicit or obvious or implicit, so the reader or scholar will need to delve into the text.

The Eyre Hall Trilogy employs simple and complex forms of intertextuality deliberately and explicitly.

The simple form of intertextuality is employed by most writers. Charlotte Bronte mentions Gulliver’s Travels, The Bible, among other texts in Jane Eyre, for example.

I mention Victorian writers, their works and their characters throughout my trilogy. Some examples are, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Emily Bronte, among others.

The complex form of intertextuality in The Eyre Hall Trilogy includes the use of many characters and back story from both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea.

jane_eyre_an_autobiography_by_charlotte_bronte_2370006095781   Product Details

On the other hand the plots and most of the characters in the three novels which make up the trilogy are my own.

Intertextuality can be carried out using any or several of the following literary devices: allusion, quotation, parody, paraphrase, mimesis, expansion, transfer, among others.

The Eyre Hall Trilogy makes use of all of them, there are direct allusions to other works, including quotations. Some of the original characters are parodied. Events which took place in Jane Eyre are paraphrased as back story for the reader. I have also attempted to emulate the literary style, although I have adapted it for a modern audience. The original work is expanded and many events and characters have been transferred.

Many writers borrow ideas from the works they have read. Scholars call this literary sources, and all authors from Shakespeare to Joyce have done so in their works. It’s nothing new, and nothing to be ashamed of.

I wrote another post on sequels, prequels, reinterpretations, rewritings and writing back which explains my intentions in writing a sequel to Jane Eyre.

I also wrote a post on why Jane Eyre needs a sequel on author Shani Struther’s blog earlier this year.

There are plenty of examples of writers using this literary. James Joyce retold The Odyssey in Ulysses. Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, is based on two characters from Hamlet. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is based on Bertha Mason’s story from Jane Eyre.

The purpose is to modify the readers’ understanding of the primary text by adding another perspective or layer of meaning to the original text leading to a reinterpretation of both texts.

My main aim in writing The Eyre Hall Trilogy was to invite the readers to rethink their opinions of Mr, Rochester, and expose Rochester as the tyrant he was and reinstate his victim, Bertha Mason.

Another aim was to honour the Victorian writers whom I consider my literary Masters, by referencing their works for contemporary readers.

Stevenson, Carroll, Dickens, Wilde, Kipling.

Few readers have never read Jane Eyre or seen a film or television series based on this novel. Most of those who have never done so directly, have heard the story of the poor governess who falls in love with the owner of the house and discovers that his mad wife is locked in his attic.

For those few who have absolutely no idea of who Jane Eyre was, there’s plenty of back story in book 1, All Hallows at Eyre Hall, to help fill in the blanks.

I hope my readers will enjoy a fascinating journey into Victorian England when they read The Eyre Hall Trilogy