Category: P.G. Wodehouse

  • Bringing It All Back Around

    In Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, she pointed out something that I’d never thought about before: The idea that if something is wrong with the end of the piece, then the problem is actually at the beginning. I thought it was a great point–it’s how the resonance gets created, the inevitability. […]

  • Wodehouse’s Traps: How he hints at the complications to come

    On Monday I chatted about complications and, because Wodehouse is such a complication-y dude, there’s more to talk about. As I read more Wodehouse, I find it’s pretty easy to spot what’s going to be a trap for the characters. (Sure, there’re one or two surprises that you can’t see coming–like Monty’s tattoo in The Luck of […]

  • Trouble on Your Hands: Complications

    You know how they tell you creating complications is a good thing in writing a story? Challenge your characters? Well, Wodehouse is The Master. I remember thinking this way back when I read The Code of the Woosters. Now I’m reminded of his skill in The Luck of the Bodkins. In this funky love larger-than-triangular-geometric-pattern, […]

  • Novelists in Novels

    Stephen King does it often. Apparently, Wodehouse does it too: “He envied fellows like Gertrude’s cousin, Ambrose Tennyson. Ambrose was a novelist, and a letter like this would probably have been pie to him.” ~P.G.W. The Luck of the Bodkins Novelists as characters. I’ve never done written a novelist character myself, partly because I think that other fantabulous […]

  • Curses! Foiled Again!: Another Note on Foils

    Another thing to think about when developing good foils is creating a goal that is compatible for both parties. This is harder than it looks. How do you create two characters with different backgrounds who want the same thing, but don’t want to beat each other up in order to attain the same thing? Jeeves […]

  • Foiled and Balanced

    Jeeves and Wooster. Mike and Psmith. Wodehouse knew how to use foils in his work to get the maximum humorous results. On the surface it seems like it’s all about buffoonery placed against the wise-and-tolerant. After all, Wooster gets into one social scrape after another, right there along with his troublesome friends. Mike also stumbles […]

  • The Influence and How It, Well, Influences

    My writers group, The Underground Writing Project, wrote what we call a ’round’ story. Basically, we each took turns writing a chapter and so on and so on until we reached the end. Lather, rinse, repeat. In a seemingly unrelated topic: literature classes bring up the question of influence and it  is always brought up in relation to […]

  • Taking the Trouble

    “with each new book of mine I have, as I say, always that feeling that this time I have picked a lemon in the garden of literature. A good thing really, I suppose. Keeps one up on one’s toes and makes one write every sentence ten times. Or in many cases twenty times…When in due […]

  • Political Commentary Question in Literature

    We talked about satire and politics last week, but Wodehouse also makes little comments in his works, like the following from Mike and Psmith: “‘I am with you, Comrade Jackson. You won’t mind my calling you Comrade will you? I’ve just become a socialist. It’s a great scheme. You ought to be one. You work for the […]

  • Satire III: Wodehouse, WWII Radio Broadcasts, and When Is Satire Okay?

    Now we are back to satire and our mentor: P.G. Wodehouse. During WWII many British citizens were in direct danger — in the bombings of London like our recent mentor Virginia Woolf, and those abroad in Europe when Germany came a-knockin’. Like our current mentor P.G. Wodehouse, who was in France when the Nazis rolled […]