The Citizen: The ‘Spark’ to a Story

The Citizen The Spark to a Story

At long last, The Citizen has arrived!

The Citizen is the second book in the Lost Empire trilogy by E. B. Dawson (here’s her website). I absolutely adored the first book in the series, The Traveler, which I wrote about here, and couldn’t wait to see what happened next to Anissa (especially after that heartbreaking cliffhanger). Let me say: The Citizen did not disappoint.

Was it a perfect book? No. Was it highly polished and have all its pieces in place? Again, no. But it has something better- it has a certain spark that made me forget about critiquing it and instead get swept away in the story.

No spoilers ahead. You can read The Citizen‘s summary on Amazon.

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Twenty One Pilots’ “Pet Cheetah”: Music for Writer’s Block

Twenty One Pilots Pet Cheetah Music for Writers Block

By now, I’m sure you’ve listened to Trench a million times. I really like almost all of the songs (to be honest, “Jumpsuit” is the one exception currently), but “Pet Cheetah” in particular stood out to me as relevant to writers.

One of the first posts on this blog was about “Kitchen Sink,” a favorite Twenty-One Pilots song and one that’s excellent for any writer struggling to find meaning in what they do. While “Pet Cheetah” doesn’t have the same depth, it’s still a fun, encouraging song for artists struggling with writer’s block- and succeeding.

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Why I Read… Self-Published Stories

Why I Read... Self-Published Stories (1)

Self-published stories are only growing in popularity. Instead of going the traditional route of querying agents and editors, and submitting their books to publishing houses, many writers are opting to do it themselves, printing their books and distributing them through places like Amazon or Barnes & Noble on their own. The authors are often called ‘independent authors,’ or just ‘indie authors.’

There are mixed feelings about this indie trend- some people think it’s the best way to share an original vision with readers, while others feel that the lack of ‘gatekeepers’ produces low-quality works.

While I can definitely sympathize with both sides of the argument, I keep finding myself buying more indie books. I like the rawness of the writing in many stories, I like the flexibility of length, and I like the community around it.

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The 100 Season 5: Heroes to Villains

The 100_ Hero to Villain

The 100. On the surface, it looks like a ‘cool,’ ‘edgy’ story riding the wake of The Hunger Games‘s popularity, following teens in too much makeup. But as the show progresses, that impression quickly falls away.

Yeah, Clarke’s mascara is a little much at this point, and the ratio of leather to other fabrics is a bit skewed, but that’s far from the focus of the show anymore. Instead, The 100 concentrates on its characters, pushing them to, and past, their breaking points. It shows just how far humanity can fall, and how none of us are blameless. By season 5, characters who used to be the closest friends are actively fighting against each other. Dark? Yeah, you could say that.

And it’s not just a gimmick, either. The character progression is solid, the breakdown of their moral codes are understandable. These characters still feel like the same people we cheered for in season 1, despite every awful thing they do. The 100 has a lot to teach writers about crafting the path from hero to villain.

(Spoilers for Season 5 ahead)

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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Protagonist vs. Main Character

Ant-Man and the Wasp_ Protagonist vs. Main Character

Ant-Man and the Wasp was the latest Marvel movie, and one that I didn’t want to exist. After Infinity War, I just wanted Avengers 4, even if it means I have to wait a year before a new movie. (*whispers*And is anyone else getting superhero burnout? No? Just me? Okay then…)

But I had to see the latest Marvel release, and I ended up pleasantly surprised. Ant-Man and the Wasp was funny and entertaining, with flashy characters, strange powers, and cool costumes. And from a writing perspective, it made me think about the differences between a protagonist and a main character.

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The Lost Books #1: Connecting With Your Audience

The Lost Books 1_ Connecting With Your Audience

Sarah Prineas was one of the first authors whose books I actively sought out at the library. Now I almost always browse an author’s collection of work, at least to see their other titles, but I used to think of books or series individually, not as belonging to any writer. Sarah Prineas was one of the first authors I liked.

Even though that was years ago, I still keep up with what she publishes. So when The Lost Books 1: The Scroll of Kings hit the shelves, I snatched it up.

Like the rest of Prineas’s works, this did not disappoint. It was a fun romp in an intriguing world, and it reminded me just how much fun it is as a booklover myself to read something for booklovers. The Scroll of Kings does an excellent job connecting with its audience.

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Why I Read… Fantasy

Why I Read... Fantasy

Don’t you ever want more out of life? And this isn’t the start to an advertisement like: “Go on this cruise and your life will be fulfilled!” I’m talking about something deeper, a longing that cruises and ‘stuff’ can’t satisfy.

It’s not a comfortable feeling, but I don’t always want to hide from it. I find that it puts things into perspective- there is more to life than what we see. And fantasy, with its worlds that are slightly ‘more’ than ours, reminds me of that feeling.

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Hey guys! So, there’ll be no regular post this week (and probably not next week either). I’ve gotten super busy recently, and don’t have the time/energy to do much writing of any kind, including blogging.

While I do believe that pushing through a week or two of writer’s block in order to meet a schedule (even a self-imposed schedule like this blog) is important, I’m also at the point where I’d be cutting out too much other stuff to continue at this current rate.

I will have more time eventually, at which point I’ll happily settle back to regularly posting. Until then, I’ll only update occasionally. I have several posts planned that I’m excited about, and I hope you will be too!

Until then, you can explore the other writing resources I talked about last week, or you can, you know, live life! Seize the day! Write about it all!