Starting Out

Authoring a blog should be a piece of cake for a compulsive writer. I have opinions about almost everything, after all. But, then, I realize the world may not be particularly interested in my ideas about proper dental hygiene, base jumping, or the relative merits of cotton and polyester blend fabrics.  I needed a focused purpose and theme.

Okay, so what do I know, love, and never tire of sharing with anyone who will listen? It should have been obvious from the beginning: the writings of Jane Austen. Her stories and style are what inspired me to get serious about my own writing in the first place.  Therefore, I will choose a Jane Austen quote for each post and confine myself to editorializing on whatever subject it suggests.  Here’s number one:

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.”

This quote (taken from Mansfield Park, chapter 48) is my favorite in that it pretty much defines my literary philosophy. I’m interested in books that entertain me, that make me feel good, that sweep me away to another world. Although I know without conflict there is no story, I’m glad when it’s time to do away with the culprits and resolve the crisis for a happy ending. Reader satisfaction, in my opinion, stems from the hero or heroine overcoming their difficulties, not being destroyed by them. If someone prefers a dose of harsh reality, they can turn to “other pens” or turn on the news instead. But, like Jane Austen, I can be trusted to not dwell on guilt or misery any longer than absolutely necessary, and to restore the characters I’ve come to care about to tolerable comfort by the end of the book.

About Shannon Winslow

author of historical fiction in the tradition of Jane Austen
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