The Drowned World by J G Ballard – Review

Long before the issue of climate change had really impacted on popular consciousness, there was J G Ballard’s The Drowned World. Ballard’s 1962 debut novel (or rather his second – his first novel, The Wind from Nowhere, he went on to disown) was a product of its time, yet speaks to us today with perhaps … Continue reading The Drowned World by J G Ballard – Review

Love and Eskimo Snow by Sarah Holt – Review

Ideas-driven fiction is perilous ground for writers at any stage of their career. It poses the constant challenge of balancing the insistent voice of theme with the integral components of the story itself – character, plot and pacing. Too much theme, and you risk turning your fiction into a political pamphlet – too much story, … Continue reading Love and Eskimo Snow by Sarah Holt – Review

The Problem with Ideas-Driven Fiction (And How to Fix it)

Theme folds in meaning to our writing and gives a recognisable shape to the underlying structures that form the narrative. Without theme the narrative can feel flat or disjointed, but a strong theme provides an overall consistency that holds everything in place. Scenes, characters, and events take on new poignancy, attracting deeper sympathies. Most importantly, … Continue reading The Problem with Ideas-Driven Fiction (And How to Fix it)