Entries by KJ Charles

Law: what is it good for?

So, as is now my habit, I was soliciting on Twitter for blog post ideas and the following question was raised by @podcastled: Do you have to learn the rules (“rules”) to break them? I think a post about resisting being super rule-bound would be interesting. This is extremely interesting, especially to me because I […]

A Thief in the Night is out!

I have a release day, for the first time in a very long while. (This is basically because I’ve started going with publishers instead of self publishing. When you finish a book that you’re doing yourself you can get it out in a very short time: I had Subtle Blood out in less than a […]

Let’s talk about sex (scenes)

Sex scenes tend to loom large in romance. So let me first note that they don’t have to. Romances can be closed-door (sex happens off page) or entirely sex-free (asexual romances, books that lead up to a marriage with no shenanigans in advance) and work brilliantly. Don’t believe anyone who says you have to have […]

Know Your Place

I have taken to soliciting on Twitter for blog post ideas, and today’s is an excellent one from @kilerkki. Your books often have a really strong sense of place—how do you build the setting? (How do you keep yourself from getting lost in blueprints while your characters are wandering London’s back alleys/some fancy manor’s corridors?) […]

Characters, Politics, Fish, and You

Let’s talk about politics. Specifically, your characters’ politics, how you position them, and how they/you express them. If your immediate thought was “My characters don’t have politics”, you’re wrong. Your character, if in a contemporary, votes, and if they don’t vote, they’re making a decision not to participate. They will have a view on how […]

No, *You’re* Wrong: writing arguments

I wrote a while ago about conflict in romance. My main point was that ‘conflict’ doesn’t have to mean ‘argument’. The MCs can be in deep conflict with a situation or third party, or even profound disagreement with each other, without ever raising their voices or even having an angry feeling. This set-up can produce […]

Twelve Random Books (a trip report)

There was a Twitter challenge going round at the end of 2021: get random scrollers-by to recommend books, pick 12, read them in 2022. The idea was to read something you wouldn’t otherwise have picked up, whether because it hadn’t crossed your path or because it didn’t sound like your thing, or even just because […]

Echo (echo echo echo)

This morning I actually typed the following sentence, although I have all my faculties and was not drunk at the time. He gave a disgruntled grunt. Be right back, just going to exorcise my word processor. This got me thinking about echoes, if not the worst problem faced by writers then perhaps one of the […]

Best Books of 2021

Another year, another book post. (I know we still have most of December to get through but you might be looking for Christmas presents/holiday reads, and I’m procrastinating.) Goodreads informs me I have read 283 books this year, not counting the DNFs I didn’t trouble to list or the rereads (Murderbot and T. Kingfisher, mostly). […]

When Not to Write

There are many blog posts, tweets, memes etc out there telling you to get writing. Far fewer will tell you to stop. What can I say, I’m a rebel. The other day I saw a couple of tweets from the marvellous EE Ottoman (whose delightful post-WW2 cottagecore historical romance The Companion you should read now, […]