Elves, Trolls, and the Power of Names–it’s a Tuesday Grabbag

Here are there articles, all interesting for different reasons. The first article is from bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks. It’s a short essay entitled, “Why I Write About Elves.” Although nominally a response to people who ask what he writes, only to shut down after being told he writes fantasy, like most of Brooks’s works, there’s more to it than that. It’s about the power of fantasy to use allegory and metaphor to slip important messages, lessons, and arguments past readers’ defenses because they do not think that they are reading about the real world. Brooks’s intelligence, humor, and talent sparkle in this article, so it’s a pleasure to read as well.

The second article is about a man tracking down and confronting an online troll who had threatened him and his family. I don’t want to ruin the surprise ending of the article, but it’s quite a stirring account of what trolling can do to a target and how the anonymity of the internet can be used to let people’s dark sides off the leash.

The third article is a guest post by a favorite of this blog, Myke Cole. It’s about how writers name their characters in fiction. Not only does it provide Cole’s reasons for naming, but it also speaks to the power of names. It’s a quick, fun read that I think authors would enjoy.