Jane Eyre: Writing Romance


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is one of my favorite books ever, for many, many reasons. The writing, the characters, the story… and yes, the romance.

For a book to be listed as a favorite of mine, an honor I bestow on very few works, it needs to be of excellent quality. But not only that, I need to enjoy it. I need to have fun reading it. In Jane Eyre, a lot of that fun is seeing Jane’s strength and passion. And, I must admit, a lot of that fun is seeing the romance blossom between her and Rochester.

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Gregor and the Code of Claw: A Lasting Impact

8dbba17559ea3bdecf51bd0e4958195cGregor and the Code of Claw is the fifth and last book in the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins.

I love this series (if you couldn’t tell…). Eight years ago, I had stopped rereading Chronicles of Narnia, my first book love. I wasn’t read much fantasy at that time- sticking mainly to mysteries or other ‘real world’ genres. But then I got this entire series as a birthday gift and devoured it in four days. Continue reading

Gregor and the Marks of Secret: Writing War (Part 2)

d1e05d3d80af7d6193f0ed7c940550caGregor and the Marks of Secret is the fourth of the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins.

In Gregor the Overlander I talked about how focused and subtle it was in its war themes. By the fourth book in the series, the message is much blunter, with Gregor outright questioning the place and necessity for war. Although this approach probably wouldn’t have worked in the earlier books, by now the series has built up to a point where it can support a harder look at the issue. (Spoilers ahead)

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The Hunger Games Trilogy: Writing Sibling Relationships


Back when the Hunger Games was big, I remember a friend complaining about Prim’s character. She said Prim was a prop because she and Katniss never talked to each other ‘like real siblings do.’ Just recently, my sister was complaining that siblings are too friendly in books and talk to each other too much. I happen to think Prim and Katniss have a super realistic relationship, and agree with my sister on the state of siblings elsewhere.

(Spoilers ahead)

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Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods: Why Little Kids


The art I’m using is killing me because I own different editions, but there’s no high quality image of them.

Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods is the third book in the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins.

It’s rare to have prominent toddlers in fantasy books, especially when there’s a quest involved. 99.9% of the time, it’s unrealistic to have them there. After all, who would take a toddler on a dangerous journey? But having such a dependant character along adds an interesting dynamic. (Spoilers ahead)

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Beaumont and Beasley Book 1: Comic Characters

912b6jcelbjl-__bg0000_fmpng_ac_ul320_sr200320_The Beast of Talesend is the first book in the Beaumont and Beasley series by Kyle Robert Shultz (here’s his blog). It’s hilarious, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Normally I’m not big on the secondary, comic relief character. They’re usually not as interesting as the main characters or as funny as the author thinks they are. In The Beast of Talesend, though, I love Crispin, Nate’s lazy younger brother.

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Gregor the Overlander: Writing War (and Other Big Themes)


The Underland Chronicles, by Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games), is an amazing story. I first read this series eight years ago and was obsessed with it for ages. I haven’t revisited it in years, though, and figured now was a good time to do so.

I can see several similarities between this series and The Hunger Games. Not like she copied herself, but there are personal touches that mark both stories. The biggest touch is the themes both stories explore. (Spoilers ahead)

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The Creation of Jack Book 1: Broken Characters

The Creation of Jack Book 1: Broken Main CharactersOut of Darkness is the first book in The Creation of Jack series by indie author E.B. Dawson (check out her blog!) I have to admit: I stayed up way later than I meant to when reading this book. That’s pretty high praise, right there!

I’ve read a lot of books, and after awhile, you start seeing patterns in the types of characters. You’ve got your YA dystopian heroine, your black-haired sassy bad boy, your farm boy hero… But I can’t think of any other characters like Logan, Out of Darkness‘s heroine.

You can read the synopsis (and buy the book!) on Amazon.

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Hamilton: Hypocritical Characters


What do you do when your main character is ridiculously prideful, a workaholic, and cheats on his wife? How do you get audiences to root for him? Is that even possible?

We’re talking about Hamilton, if you couldn’t tell. He’s a bit of quite the jerk, but audiences still cheer for him. Why? Well, there’s several reasons, but a big one is that they hate the antagonist even more.

How do you know that people will hate your antagonist enough to make up for your antihero? There’s a foolproof way to guarantee hatred in an audience. People loathe hypocrites. And Thomas Jefferson is one giant hypocrite.

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