Into the Caves

Welcome to the Ember Chasm blog section. Craft articles, book reviews, and so much more. New content always incoming: We’re striking matches and building new fires as you read.

Craft Articles

Review of Past Lives, Future Bodies by Kristin Chang

Past Lives, Future Bodies by Kristin Chang is a sharp and vivid poetry collection. Each poem feels like a fish flowing through brightly colored, corral-speckled waters, sunken ships of family relationships rusting in the distant sandy depths, plunges into the inky waters of family relationships, sexuality, and race lurking just around dark seaweed bends. TheseContinue Reading

Review of Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney

Like its title implies, Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney encourages us all to speak, share our feelings, and delve into our experiences. Set in Dublin, this novel follows twenty-one year old Frances and her former girlfriend/current best friend/artistic partner, Bobbi, when they form a bond with an older couple—Nick and Melissa—at a literary event.Continue Reading

3 Ways The Last of Us Can Improve Your Writing

Videogames tell stories—unique stories, ones that are far more interactive than films or books, and that have the potential to take you through some truly heart-wrenching narrative experiences. The Last of Us is one such experience. Actually, it’s arguably the experience. With over 200 award wins and nominations, The Last of Us holds the podiumContinue Reading

7 Books To Read to Support Black Lives Matter

With the murder of George Floyd by police, protests have sparked all over the world. All fifty states, more than seven hundred U.S cities, and at least seventeen countries have united in protest, calling an end to systematic racism and police brutality. Black Lives Matter now marks a civil rights movement—one of the largest inContinue Reading

Citizen by Claudia Rankine – A Must Read

“I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” One of many powerful quotes in Citizen, Claudia Rankine’s heart-wrenching, genre-bending, rage-inspiring 2014 collection. With the current abhorrent human rights violations inflicted upon George Floyd acting as the most recent entry in a blood-soaked history of racism in this country, this book, now more thanContinue Reading

Review of Knots by Gunnhild Øyehaug

Øyehaug’s collection of short stories—the shortest being one page and the longest twenty two—is an odd and anxious experience. Everything is quite normal, but slightly off: the spaghetti is slimy and cold, the wallpaper looks red and pimpled, the snow outside blows in, twirling like a dizzying hula hoop. She gives you only the detailsContinue Reading

Marlon James: “Reclaiming the Fantasy Novel”

Image credit to Megan Potter, ASU Now Marlon James has made waves in the Fantasy world for a while now. He won the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings in 2015, and if you’ve read his work, you know why. Jame’s prose, especially in his most recent publication, Black Leopard, RedContinue Reading

Five Ways to Create a Complex Character

Being alive is weird. It comes with emotions, experiences, societal placements, and upbringings. We each have different cultures, hobbies, belief systems, identities, and ideologies that are a part of who we are. Instead of simply existing as gelatinous balls of flesh, humans contain multitudes.  Characters in narrative should be the same way.  One of theContinue Reading

The Correspondence of Existentialism and Feminism in Virginia Woolf’s To the Light House

In her book The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir describes a woman’srelationship to creativity: “when she does not find love, she may find poetry…the young girl throws herself into things with ardor, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make herContinue Reading

Review of No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

This book was a mix that felt both familiar and absolutely incredibly wrong. It was a bit like drinking a colorful, fruity-looking smoothie only to find out it was entirely composed of foods—tomatoes, salmon, maybe some pickle juice—that definitely shouldn’t be in a smoothie. It was equally interesting and disgusting. There were atrociously dislikable characters,Continue Reading

eight ways to be a better writer

Eight Tips to Be a Better Writer

You’re here because you want to write. You want to write good things. Things that resonate. Things that matter. But to do that, you have to write them. And writing’s hard—don’t worry, we feel the same way.  It’s why we’ve compiled eight tips to help broaden your knowledge of the craft, and make writing thatContinue Reading