45. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin – Crafting a Slow-Burning Narrative

The left hand of darkness analysis and book review by Jed Herne

The Left Hand of Darkness is a visionary sci-fi story about a lone human ambassador to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants’ biology allows them to choose—and change—their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely different culture that he encounters. Exploring psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness is as a landmark achievement – especially considering that it came out in 1969!

The Left Hand of Darkness analysis


In this episode, I examined how despite being very slow-paced (or, perhaps, because of this), Le Guin’s novel is incredibly engaging. Enjoy!

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Show Notes:

Read my latest space fantasy novel, Across the Broken Stars (out today!): https://jedherne.com/broken

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37 – Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling – Disguising Exposition

Subtly conveying information to readers is a delicate skill. It’s one that Rowling mastered in the Harry Potter series, where all the information is available to readers well before it’s needed, but only coalesces at the required moment. In today’s episode, I describe the 4 M’s of subtle foreshadowing, in relation to the Potter saga. Enjoy!

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Read my debut fantasy novella, Fires of the Dead.

“The perfect read for someone looking to be quickly immersed in a magic system unlike anything else.” – Nicole Wallace, editor of Synopses by Sarge.

Available in ebook, paperback, hardback, and audio book.

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30 – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Writing Twists

After Dale from The Reading Gorilla podcast sent in a listener request, who was I to ignore it? This is an episode about Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic, Ender’s Game. Specifically, I examine how he crafted such an amazing twist. Enjoy!

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And if you want to request an episode, or just have any feedback on the podcast, email me at jed.herne1@gmail.com, or download the free Anchor app to your phone, then search for ‘The Novel Analyst Podcast,’ and click the appropriate buttons to send me a voice message.

Show Notes:

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26 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling – Ring Structure

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and it’s finally here: an analysis of one of my top novels of all time … In this episode, I dive super deep into the circular structure of Rowling’s masterpiece. Be warned: you won’t look at Harry Potter the same way after hearing this dissection … Enjoy!

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Shownotes:

Harry Potter as Ring Composition and Ring Cycle By John Grangerhttp://www.lulu.com/au/en/shop/john-granger/harry-potter-as-ring-composition-and-ring-cycle/paperback/product-13042044.html

Harry Potter – Hedwig’s Theme (Piano Version) Piano Version by Patrik Pietschmann https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTPXwbDtIpA

John Williams – Buckbeak’s Flight (Extended) | London Symphony Orchestra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLiXPbjaZrA

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20 – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson – Avalanche Endings

If you want to learn how to write explosive, fast-paced, balastic endings, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is an excellent novel to study – which is what I do in this episode! Enjoy!

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Shownotes:

Want to read my free short story? Get it here: A Clockwork Prison

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16 – Boone Shepard – The Silhouette and the Sacrifice by Gabriel Bergmoser – Writing Awesome Endings

I recently read the third and final book in Gabriel Bergmoser’s Boone Shepard trilogy – and I loved the ending so much that I’d outlined an episode within hours of finishing the book. Here’s my thoughts on how to write great endings. 

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Shownotes:

My interview with Gabriel Bergmoser: Episode 5 – Gabriel Bergmoser Interview – Windmills, Boone Shepard, Movie Maintenance, and Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

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Want awesome short stories, bite-sized writing advice, and lists of the best books to improve your craft? Join my VIP email list!

 

 

13 – The Martian by Andy Weir – Problem and Response Story Structure

book-review-the-martian

I’ve read this book multiple times and love it more with each re-read. In this episode, I try to figure out why it’s so engaging, and end up categorising problems/conflict into 6 distinctive archetypes which can benefit any story.

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Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

Want awesome short stories, bite-sized writing advice, and lists of the best books to improve your craft? Join my VIP email list!