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

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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

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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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Six of Crows Duology: Incorporating Culture

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There’s tons of buzz about diversity in today’s books. Whether you think this is needed or not, you would probably agree that characters should be different from each other. After all, no one wants a cast that’s exactly alike.

The Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo is pretty diverse, in the popular sense of the word (including disabilities!), but something that really stood out to me was the diversity in culture.

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Skies of Dripping Gold: Writing Allegories

41j8lxtwocl-_sy346_So I finally conquered my (rational) fear of e-books and my (irrational) aversion to self-published works. With this new world of possibilities open, I started with a short story called Skies of Dripping Gold by Hannah Heath (who happens to be an awesome blogger).

There’s a lot packed into this little story- most of it good. One thing that really stuck out to me was its allegorical aspects. Before getting into that, though, I’ll give my non-spoiler thoughts.

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Logan: Ending a Story

Logan: Ending a Story

It’s no secret that it’s hard to end a story. Just look at the number of sequels that are released. Why complete a story when you don’t want to let go of the characters? When you still have more ideas for it? …When you could keep making money off it? Maintaining quality, that’s why.

Logan is the first real ‘end’ in the superhero franchises, excluding standalone trilogies like The Dark Knight and Spiderman. There’s a lot to learn from its willingness to let go of such a popular storyline.

(Spoilers ahead)

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Six of Crows: Multiple Points of View (Pt. 2)

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Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo, is a super fun YA fantasy heist book. It’s about six teenagers and their attempt to infiltrate the most secure prison in the known world: the Ice Court. If they succeed, they’ll be rich for life. If they fail, they die.

Let’s be clear here: I loved this book. There’s lots of great things about it, including the surprisingly fresh characters and the multiple cultures and settings. However, it definitely falls short in some areas, including handling multiple points of view.

(Spoilers ahead)

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