Articles — Sean Campbell

If in doubt, stick to the classics?

Sean Campbell crime Sean Campbell

Over the last few years, you might have noticed something about crime novels: they’re all getting more and more samey. This convergence is no mistake. As the world of kindle has evolved, the style required has become quite prescriptivist both in terms of presentation as well as content. Take a look at the bestseller list. Now compare the beautiful, timeless elegance of an older Agatha Christie cover with the slick presentation of the newest Harlan Coben. Where the bestseller lists used to be filled with timeless, classically elegant serif fonts, you’ll now see mostly bold, modern sans-serif fonts. Part of...

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What Makes a Good Character?

Sean Campbell Sean Campbell

What makes a character likeable? Real life can be slow, mundane, routine. We read to escape, and the characters we adore reflect that. They’re larger than life, unique, everything we want to be. Whether you’re after a one-legged detective (like the eponymous Cormoron Strike), the epitome of evil (Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter) or everyone’s idea of a warrior-king (Aragon, Lord of the Rings), you need someone you can hate or someone you can root for. Emotion is the foundation to a good character, and we always need something to hang our hat on. Each (wo)man believes themselves to be the...

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