Monday, June 13, 2016

7 Elements I Love to Write

Today I’m joining in with a linkup hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further In and Ashley @ Ashley Aspires called A Novel Idea. This is a weekly linkup to help writers stay inspired and look deeper into their writing life. You can learn more about it here or here. I won’t be joining in every week since, well, I only post once a week. Heh. But I really liked this week’s prompt. It got me thinking. I love questions that make me think.

This week’s prompt is:

Tell us about your writing style/what you like to write.

The moment I read that I thought, “What do I like to write about?” Back in the day, I would have loudly proclaimed MEDIEVAL FANTASY without a moment’s hesitation. But for the past few years I’ve branched out, I’ve tried different things, I’ve discovered different styles I like and don’t like. I by no means write one particular genre anymore. My stories are all over the place. From medieval fantasy, to contemporary fantasy, to fairytale retellings, to a dystopian novel, a King Arthur/Robin Hood mashup thingamajig, all the way to a bizarre steampunk time travel novel. With a dozen more ridiculously hard to describe stories constantly crowding my thoughts.

I had to ask myself, do I actually have a specific style? DO I EVEN KNOW WHAT I’M DOING?

Probably not.

BUT. I think I have started to hone in on my author’s voice in the past two or so years. Really, Burning Thorns and my last two NaNoWriMo novels were the first three stories where I began to improve vastly on my writing and discovering what I like to write about and how I like to write.

So the real question I asked myself was, if someone were to read multiple stories of mine, would they find any reoccurring themes, despite the varying genres? The answer is: ABSOLUTELY!


“But,” you’re thinking, “you just said you branched out of fantasy!” No, no, no. NEVER. I said I branched out from your standard issue medieval fantasy. But if there’s one thing I can be sure of (ha! okay, I’m never sure of anything about myself), it’s that my stories will ALWAYS have some sort of fantastical element to them. Whenever I even try to come up with a story without something fantasy-esque in it, dragons and unicorns attack my brain. Such as the time I was considering a contemporary mystery, Sherlock Holmes-y sort of thing, and then my brain was like BUT LET’S ADD MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES. There’s just no getting around it. Not that I’m complaining. Fantasy is my favorite thing of ever, medieval fantasy still being highest on the list. Rest assured I will always come back to my beloved medieval fantasy no matter how much I branch out. I’ve never been a history nut, so writing historical fiction for me is a big no. And I can count on one hand how many contemporary novels I’ve read. (No joke.) I get enough of real life in, well, real life. Writing is my escape. I SHALL WRITE FANTASY FOREVER AND A DAY. Whether it be medieval fantasy, contemporary fantasy, completely different worlds—IT’S ALL GOOD. Which brings us to. . .


A few years back I wrote a steampunk time travel story. The world was supposed to be your average world, much like ours, but with a steampunk flavor. Next thing I knew THERE WAS A BABY DRAGON IN IT. Who just took over the show and played a prominent part in the story! I tried to write a story without dragons, I DID. But it was futile. Basically, if you read a story by me, expect dragons in some form or fashion. They come from nowhere. They come from everywhere. I DON’T EVEN KNOW. Just dragons. DRAGONS EVERYWHERE. Am I complaining? Hahahahaha. . .NO. Dragons are LIFE, and I refuse to stop writing about them. *gathers up all the dragons and runs away with them*


Ah, yesh. Antiheroes. Those precious babies who never can decide if they’re good or bad or WHAT. I mean, hello? DECISIONS ARE HARD. But seriously. They’re my absolute favorite type of character to write about, and pop up all over my pages. Long before I even knew what an antihero was. I was just thinking the other day about my first antihero that appeared back when I was a little baby of 16. He immediately became my favorite character of EVER back then and I had nooo clue why! WELL NOW I DO. Antiheroes are amazing and complex and interesting and can make the very BEST redemption stories. Not to mention SO FUN TO WRITE. Mine tend to start out as full-out villains, then bump-up to antihero status, then slooowly fight that “anti” in their title and became actual heroes in the end. It’s my favorite FAVORITE type of character-arc to write and you can sure bet you’ll find it in over half of my stories. NO REGRETS.


I’m pretty sure this one has come into play in every novel I’ve ever written. Somehow I can’t seem to stop penning tales of light triumphing over darkness. Even in stories I had absolutely NO intention of doing that with, it just bled through. Sometimes it’s more subtle, sometimes it’s the prominent feature of the story, but it’s always there. Because isn’t that why we’re here? To soak in God’s light and reflect it back to this dark world. How can I not tell stories of light overcoming darkness?


Only once in my entire life have I ever written a first person story. To be truthful, until just a couple of years ago, I hated first person with a passion. I can’t even tell you WHY. All I know is every time I picked up a novel and found it was in first person I groaned internally. Then, horror of horrors, I actually *le gasp* WROTE MY OWN FIRST PERSON NOVEL. And, worse yet, I. . .liked it. O_O Ever since, I’ve had no problem with reading first person books. There’s a level of intimacy with the character there that third person is sometimes missing. BUT. I’m still a firm lover of third person, and have no doubt 90% of my novels will be just that. I tend to have multiple points-of-view and don’t enjoy the limitation of first person in that sense. And novels that have multiple POVs but are all in first person hurt my poor brain for some reason. Now, I am all completely and firmly for intimate third person, where you’re still in one character’s head at a time. I want to feel like I AM the character. Thus all my novels very much stick to the intimate third person POV. It’s my fave.


Who doesn’t love a good story about best friends going through mortal peril together and forming deep bonds. LET’S JUST SAVE THE WORLD AND BE BESTIES OKAY? I love it! I love writing about it! I actually love ALL types of character bonds—friendships, families, romance. But the sad truth is, my earlier writings didn’t have many family relationships. I’m trying to fix that! I don’t know what was wrong with me! Families are AWESOME. I also didn’t write too much romance. Really, my NaNoWriMo 2013 novel, More Green than Envy, was my first story featuring a fair amount of romance (and even then it was still just a little subplot), and Burning Thorns is the first novel with heavy romance in it (but it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it kinda can’t be helped). But friendships now, they’ve been in my novels since the beginning of time! Buddy stories are so FUN. And I especially love writing about two people who at first don’t like each other then became the BESTEST FRIENDS OF EVER. Like a hero and antihero. *wriggles eyebrows* Can there be anything more epic? I THINK NOT. What’s crazy is, Burning Thorns is my first novel with a sad lack of friendship. o.o There’s a lot of family and romance, but where are the best friends? It’s WEIRD. Because I’ve never written a story without a ton of friendship. I JUST WANT ALL THE BESTIES.


Or perhaps I should say satisfying endings. Because my novels may very well traumatize you and characters may die and horrible things may happen. BUT, I can’t, physically CAN’T, leave a novel of mine on a sad note. I’m not into open endings or the whole everybody-dies-the-end type of finale. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to leave my characters or readers in such a shape. I want my readers to finish the book with a full heart and smile on their face. I want them to be fulfilled. Not empty and depressed and feel like they wasted their time. So yes, I shall write my happy endings without shame!

I probably have dozens of more things that all come into play in my novels, but those are the main themes that strike me.

As for my style or “author’s voice”, well, is it possible to even describe one’s author voice? I DON’T EVEN KNOW. It just is. And, like I said, mine has only really started to come to me in the last three or so novels I wrote. It takes a long time to grasp your author’s voice, and it may even change from book to book. It takes practice and lots of playing around to get it right. For me, I’m not overly flowery like, say, L.M. Montgomery. Her amount of gorgeous writing is way beyond my wee brain’s capability. But I’m not as straight-forward and fast-paced as Suzanne Collins. I do enjoy writing in a bit of prose, but I also don’t want to confuse my readers with too much flowery talk. I want my stories to be easy reads with just a touch of beauty. . .if that makes any sense at all.

Let’s be real here. I really just write whatever story I feel like at the time and hope for the best! Because I’m professional like that.

WELL. That is plenty about me and my writing. What are a couple
of specific things that show up again and again in YOUR stories?
Do we share any? What’s your absolute FAVORITE thing
to write about?? DOES IT INVOLVE DRAGONS?


  1. Oh goodness, ANTIHEROES. I didn't even realize those types of characters had names until a couple of years ago but I love them so much. Especially when they're more heroic than not. :)

    And also, love third-person and fantasy. Fantasy is that one genre where you can really write anything, which is really fun.

    That Sherlock Holmes + mythological creatures? I really want to read that. :)

    1. I'm with you! I didn't know what they were for the LONGEST and yet I loved them to death. I thought something was wrong with me for liking all these not-so-good characters. XD But eventually I finally understood! They're my favorite. And I agree. The ones that lean a little more toward the "hero" side are just sldkfjlksjdflsdf. LOVE THEM.

      You and me both, girl! YES. That's why I love fantasy so much. It's so ridiculously infinite. I can say I write fantasy and that mean ANYTHING. Which is good, since I do write all sorts of weird things. XD

      D'awww, thanks! Sadly, I'm only 2 chapters into that one. I love the idea of that story, but it keeps getting pushed back by other projects. I think about it a lot though and want to fully write it one day.

  2. Funny, up until about two years ago I, too, said "Medieval fantasy" without a second thought. Then I sort of accidentally discovered historical fiction. Doing research ruins medieval fantasy, I found, because you're always discovering anachronisms in your work (like horned Viking helmets and velvet invented before it really was and cinnamon and chocolate coming into common use before the 15th century and side-lacing on Anglo-Saxon gowns before the Conquest and bareheaded married women during any period vaguely 'medieval'. . . I should stop), and it's hard to convince the critic in your head (who knows better) that it's fantasy and nobody else is going to get twitchy about it besides you. Besides, there's so many settings that come ready-made in historical fiction with just a little research. Research is really the equivalent of world-building. Anyway, I've branched out, in a way, going from fantasy that never managed to be more than imitations of Tolkien and Lewis, to historical fiction (one during the American Civil War, one in seventh-century England, one in the 11th century in England just before the Norman Conquest, and now one in planning that comes right after), and even some bits and pieces of 'contemporary', in which ideas, words, and mannerisms of my sister play a large part. So far I haven't had quite the same intrusion of strange animals :). Oddly enough, for as much as I love dragons, I don't think I have any stories with them.

    Antiheroes are fascinating. They tread such a narrow line between good and evil that they're really a challenge to write, but so much fun (not fun, really, because you have to think so hard about how not to glorify the dark or let him get off too easily or all kinds of things) to redeem.

    My writing group just had a long conversation about the light versus dark theme. So far I've got one story that's all about that. Writing about the dark can be very scary, because you don't have to look very far inside yourself to find those traits to write about. I share a lot with my antagonist, almost more than I do with the protagonist. But it's so much worth it when the light wins.

    1. (Split into two comments because the first got too long and couldn't be published)

      Lately I've also gotten into experimenting with first person points of view, and although they can be very handy for getting into the character's head, it's harder to show things that go on in that character's absence without too much head-hopping --- third person has much less trouble with that, although, while third-person omniscient is best for avoiding the head-hopping, it also risks sounding too condescending sometimes.

      Friendships! (We share a lot, I'm finding out.) A lot of my characters end up with vary vague family relationships, for some reason; it's not that I consciously make them orphans or just leave out writing about their families altogether, it just happens. I'm working on that. But I do like them to have friends. I wish people nowadays wouldn't go around turning every bond into romantic love. King Arthur's knights were devoted to him, but not one of the original writers made anyone an homosexual (though there was, I must admit, a fair bit of adultery going on in the ordinary way). David and Jonathan were very good friends. A girl can be friends with a guy and it doesn't necessarily turn into romance (and most of my closest friends are guys). Probably more people have friends than romances, but very few people write more about friends than romance.

      An ending should be satisfying, even if it isn't perfectly happy. There's a place for bittersweet endings, too, like the end of the Lord of the Rings, where it's all the more powerful because, as in real life, things aren't quite perfect; they never go back to the way they were before, and maybe that's a good thing. (Also if every ending were perfectly happy, we'd get bored of them.)

      I don't know what my absolute favourite thing to write about is. I write a lot about home, what it means and where it is; I tend to favour light and dark; there's a lot of adventure and wit that gets tossed around with all of it; Beauty and the Beast and Robin Hood elements make frequent appearances; but I can't say I know yet what my favourite is.

      This has gotten quite long enough. In sum, yes, I agree with your post, and I share a lot of your sentiments :).

    2. Your big comment(s) make me happy! ^_^

      I know precisely what you're saying with researching medieval times. That's always a struggle for me, because...I don't really want my medieval stories historically accurate. I much prefer the romanticized version of medieval times. BUT the perfectionist side of my brain is all, "But it must be accurate!" It's such a problem. I've kept to the fictional, romanticized medieval style and probably always will, but there is always that little niggle of doubt in the back of my mind. #writerprobs

      I so admire you and everyone who write historical fiction! That's something I know I'd never be able to get right. I don't have the patience or passion enough of history to research and such. So hat's off to you!

      I cannot get enough of antiheroes, I really can't. But you're right, they can be a challenge. Because you don't want them "turning good" over night. It needs to be realistic and come slowly. Still, it's a challenge I love!

      Really? What a coincidence! I know what you mean. It scares me how much I can relate to Anya sometimes. o.o But darkness vs. light is a very real thing and it's something I always feel very compelled to write about.

      I agree 100% with the first person thing. It's very intimate but also a little too limiting at times. The one story I wrote in first person I'm considering switching to third person because the limitations were driving me mad.

      We are so similar with this! That's exactly me with the family thing. I absolutely did not purposely leave out family relationships and have so many orphans, it just...happened. And, like you, I'm trying really hard to incorporate family more in my novels now.
      Just YES to everything you said. I enjoy a touch of romance in novels, but I get really tired of the ONLY relationships ever being romantic. Girls and boys can absolutely be great friends with no romance. And I LOVE seeing two guys being total buddies. It's so fun! I just don't get why friendship gets put on the backburner these days in fiction.

      Precisely! I'm fine with bittersweet endings. Like you said, they can be more powerful that way. I just don't want downright depressing endings.

      I LOVE how you write about home. That's beautiful. And adventure and wit are two of my most favorite things! As well as Beauty and the Beast (obviously, heh) and Robin Hood!!! :D I'm OBSESSED with Robin Hood type stories. LOVE IT.

      I just love how we write so many of the same themes. Too fun! :D

  3. I love this post. I want it wrapped up in a silver ribbon that has tiny baby dragons embroidered on it. BECAUSE. Then I can put it in my pocket, and carry it around with me, and smile all the day long.

    BUT THESE THINGS! YES, YES, and YES! Dragons are a must NO MATTER WHAT! Okay, so I have written stuff without dragons, but they are so wonderfully epic and wonderful! I MISS MY DRAGONS! I haven't written about them in .... almost two years? Something like that. But it's not good. Not good.

    FRIENDSHIPS!!! <3 I love my besties, too. You can't write an awesome character without having some sort of bestie backing them up. Unless you've got siblings to back them up. Actually... come to think of it... I think I have more siblings for my heroes than besties. Hmmm.... or maybe it's an even mix. Too many people to try to count right now. :P Writing about family is probably one of my biggest elements. I have A LOT OF FAMILY in my stories. Pretty much every one.

    Ugh, yes. First person is awful. Until you start actually writing a story in first person, and you actually enjoyed it. But it really depends on the story. I began Hazel Tree in first person actually, but then revised it to third person after only a few chapters in because I absolutely hated it. I think it's mainly difficult to write in because you're so limited to your perspective. BUT if you got the right story for a first person POV, wow. That can go far. I love first person with sarcastic and fiery characters, because then you can narrate with an awesome snarky tone and not apologize for it one bit. *grins*

    1. You know, I read your posts, and then I'm like: "Just a quick comment. Just something short, and then I'll be on my way." And then it's SPLAT -- writing, and 30 minutes later (after reading the post through like three or four times) I walk away having posted nothing under 200 words. :P

      Love you, dear friend! <3 Keep on posting these wonderful, distracting gems!! :)

    2. Um, excuse me while I flail and giggle with glee. YOU SWEET PERSON YOU. <333

      GIVE ME ALL THE DRAGONS. I'm trying to think of something I wrote that didn't have dragons in some form or fashion... Well, my dystopian novel, Fallen Matter, didn't, since it is just a futuristic version of our world. But when I rewrite it I should totally put some mention of dragons in it for fun! :D But yes, I get you. When I've gone a long time without "dragon exposure" I totally start to miss them as well!

      Exactly! Friendships are so FUN. Hey, siblings make the very bestest of best friends! So that totally counts. One of my most favorite relationships I've written is between a pair of male and female twins I have. Those two are a mess. XD I loooove how you have so much family in your novels. Mine have such a sad lack of that. I need to write in more family!

      YES. I hated it up until I tried it myself and discovered it's not so bad at all. But I do completely agree it depends on the novel. Some just call for it, while others it doesn't fit the style at all. And can I just say I'm very happy you ended up going with third person for SotHT. For some reason I can't see first person with that one at all. The beautiful, whimsical fairtyale-ness of it all screams third person to me.
      Snarky narrators are too great!!! I just read through the Percy Jackson series and LOVED the first person in that because Percy himself was so sarcastic and I couldn't get enough of it!

      Giiiirl, I do the exact same thing! It's just so fun to talk to you and I want to comment on every little thing, and next thing I know I've written a comment as long as the post! But I LOOOVE your big comments and chatting.

      Love you toooo! You've just brightened my day so very much. <333

  4. *hugs post to death* I LOVE THIS THING SO MUCHHHH! <333

    And this post just makes me want to read your stories more and more. BECAUSE THEY HAVE LOTS OF THINGS IN THEM THAT I LIKE.

    Ooh, family relationships! I love those. <3 That's one thing I LOVE about the Ilyon Chronicles... everyone's endearing family relationships. :D

    And my younger sister (who is a tomboy) was disgusted to hear me say this, but I really enjoy a sprinkling of romance in stories -- if it's sweet and clean and well-done. :) Another reason why all of my favorite books are my favorite books. :)


    Confession time -- I don't like writing about dragons. *GASP* I'm sorry, but I just... no. -.- It's really weird actually, considering that I like READING about dragons, but not WRITING about them. Shame on me. xD I really don't know why my brain decided to do that to me. :P

    Ah, I am a third person kind of girl, too... but I do enjoy a little first person every now and then. Lots of times, especially in the cases of The Hunger Games and Divergent, I find that first person is far too straight forward and un-descriptive for my taste. BUT one series I thought handled this exceptionally well is THE OUT OF TIME trilogy by Nadine Brandes. It is the most beautiful first person I have ever read. I am CONVINCED that Nadine has first person superpowers... and writing superpowers IN GENERAL. o.o (if you haven't come away with anything from this rambling paragraph, come away with this: READ OUT OF TIME.) :P


      Family relationships are great! I don't know WHY my novels have such a sad lack of them. It's a serious problem! And yet another reason I need to read the Ilyon Chronicles. It's going to happen, IT IS.

      No shame in that! I do, too. Now I'm not big on the romance being the core focus of a novel, but a sweet subplot of romance is perfection. ^_^


      *LE GASP* You don't?? D: Okay, okay. I actually totally get ya. Our brains do weird things like that. Like I looove reading about big epic battle scenes but...I hate writing them. Like HATE writing them. They hurt my brain. Sometimes it's just so much more fun reading about something than having to do all the work of creating it yourself. Hehe.

      *fistpump* Third person all the way! It seems like first person is the trend these days and it's kinda getting on my nerves. Like you, a little here and there is fine, but ALL the time? Eh...I'd rather not.
      I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO READ THE OUT OF TIME TRILOGY FOR THE LONGEST. I've only ever heard good things. Those are books I DEFINITELY will be reading hopefully sooner rather than later. Now you're making me want to read them even MORE. Because I totally need more books on my to-read list. *cough, cough*

  5. Fabulous post! Loved reading it, dearie! Medieval fantasy is my first love, by far; but I've branched out a scosh and written some in other genres. The current novel I'm working on is a historical fiction. I adore history, and am writing a retelling of how the Magna Charter was signed, with lots of twists and turns and of course a hint of Robin Hood; because YES!

    Love and Rich Blessings -

    ~ Aspen

    1. THANK YOU!!!

      Medieval fantasy, yesssh. It will forever be my first and foremost love as well. I like to explore other things, but I always come back to it after time.

      I so wish I was more into history. It's a sad fact that I'm really not. I completely admire people who put so much effort and research into making historical novels. I think that's just wonderful!

      WHOA. Your story sounds so unique and epic. And ROBIN HOOD! :D Now that's one historical-type thing (if you'd call it that...?) I can't get enough of. I adore all the Robin Hood things! :D

  6. You are fantastic with your dragons, antihero's, and fantasy stories. I love them!


  7. It's cool to know more about your writing style! We have a lot of similarities I too love friendships and third person limited and happy endings. ^ ^ Though I like sci-fi as well besides fantasy, though fantasy was my first love. :)

    1. D'awww, thanks! I love learning about people's writing styles and likes myself. It's so fun!

      I'm realizing more and more how similar our writing styles are. I just love it! Friendships, third person, and happy endings are the BEST.

      When I was little I wasn't wild about sci-fi, but then I it started growing on me, and now I'm quite fond of it. Well...some sci-fi. I'm still picky about it I think, but I like it MUCH more than I used to. XD But yes, fantasy all the way!

  8. What a fun post! I loved hearing about your writing style! DRAGONS! Yes, I love dragons. When Minstrel's Song is done, though, I shall be taking a break from dragons... I think I tried to tackle them as far too young of a writer, and they suffered for it. I could tackle them now... but I have a couple of series coming that don't have dragons in them at all, and they need my attention. I think my next dragons will be quite better for the time off. Or, I hope so. Because dragons are awesome. I'd like to do them better justice ... and make them a bit more central to a story.

    I think I may try to get to this link-up this week. I've been focusing on blogging this month and taking a break from real writing... but I have some drafting to start and this sort of linkup seems like a great way to get the ol' creative juices flowing again.

    1. Thank you! I do, too. Seeing all the many, many different ways people write is just fascinating!

      DRAGONS, YESH. ALL THE DRAGONS. I am just sure your dragons are amazing, and when I read your stories (WHICH I NEED TO DO!) I know I'm gonna love them! But I do understand trying things at too early an age. But isn't it so rewarding seeing how our writing has improved through the years?

      You should! I really like it. And I agree, it's a perfect linkup to get those creative juices pumping. ^_^ Good luck on your drafting!

    2. It is extremely rewarding to see how our writing improves through the years! I have a love/hate relationship with it... but more love, I think... knowing that my writing is way better now than it was 10 years ago, and hopefully will be even better 10 years from now.


  9. Great post, Christine!
    Before I say anything else let me say this: TOOOOOOTHLESSSS!!!! That GIF is ADORABLE!!!!
    Anyway. It IS hard to write in first person. In the beginning of my story, it seemed like all the MC did was watch everyone else, and do basically nothing. So now I'm changing it to third person.
    And YES friendship is awesome (both in real life and stories! ;))
    Thanks for posting!!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. ^_^

      TOOTHLESSSS!!! :D :D :D He's so ridiculously adorable, I just want to cuddle him!

      It really is! It can be fun, but I so very much prefer third person.

      Hear, hear to that! You can never go wrong with a great friendship.

      Thank YOU for reading and commenting. Makes my day every single time. ^_^

  10. I loved this post Christine, it was so fun to read about the elements you like to write! (and I agree with Ariel, the Toothless GIF is adorable. This is why we write about dragons *nods*)

    "Next thing I knew THERE WAS A BABY DRAGON IN IT." Oh my goodness, that made me laugh so hard :D. Which story was that?

    I'm always waffling over whether to do my stories in first person or third person. Though they typically end up third person, just because ... well, it's eaiser, I guess :D. Plus, I have this weird thing where I ALWAYS write first person present tense, even if I try to do it past tense. Yeah, I has problems *shakes head*.

    (oh, also I saw your comment on the Paper Crowns post about losing the URL for my blog, so here 'tis: Hope to see you around!)

    1. D'awww, thanks!

      Hehehe. Dragons are just everywhere in my writing, I can't seem to stop them. (Not that I'd want to.) It's called The Avriot, the first book in a trilogy I call The Traveling Library. I only ever wrote the first book though. One day I shall continue those stories!

      I find third person so much easier, too, yes! OH MY GOODNESS. I do the SAME THING. o.o I thought I was the only one! When I was first trying to write first person, it kept accidentally coming out in present tense. I constantly had to go back and put things in past tense. I can't believe there's someone else that does that! XD

      MY SAVANNAH'S BLOG. YAY. I bookmarked it so I won't lose it again. I can't believe I lost the link. GAH. *huggles blog*

  11. I absolutely love that you were able to narrow down 7 recurring elements in your stories! I'm a similar way--though my genres and styles tend to be different, there are a lot of things I end up writing again and again. I LOVE that you love writing friendship--we so need more of that in the book world. I really appreciate that you try to write SATISFYING endings--that's my goal as well with (most of) my novels.

    Also, dragons. YES.

    Thank you for linking up! ♥

    1. Thank you! I love how the question for your linkup got me thinking about it! It was a lot of fun looking at my stories and analyzing the similar themes.

      It's so neat how we can write a dozen different types of stories, but there's always a part of US in them, no matter how much they differ from one another.

      I agree! Friendship lately have been lacking in novels. It seems like romance is the only relationship characters have anymore. But friendships are just as important! And satisfying endings are my fave. ^_^


      Thank YOU for hosting. I really, really love the idea of this linkup! :D

  12. ANOTHER GLORIOUS POST. Not like I'm surprised or anything. ;D Again, I must applaud you and your excellent taste. BECAUSE ALL OF THESE STORY ELEMENTS ARE PERFECTION.<3 Especially dragons, fantasy, friendships, happy endings, and third person. (Whoa, that is like all of them. BUT WAIT I ALSO LOVE ANTIHEROES AND LIGHT VS. DARK. Why must your choices always be so perfect, Lauri???)

    Fantasy is my favorite genre, but I've surprisingly never actually written one yet. (I mean, unless you count my horribly-clichéd, copycat story from little 11-year-old Mary, but let's not.) Maybe I'm just terrified of messing it up because it's my favorite? I don't really know. I have an idea for one on the backburner currently which maaay or may not involve dragons and elves and whole new fantasy creatures. I'M A LITTLE EXCITED. Hopefully I can start working on the outline this summer! *squeals*

    AHHHH, THAT TOOTHLESS GIF, THOUGH. So stinkin' cute!

    Light vs. dark...YES! My favorite stories always include that. *points at LotR* In every story I write, I can't help but present a picture of light vs. dark. 'Cause like you said, we're meant to shine a light for our Savior. I want it to show through everything I pen.

    Third person is DEFINITELY the best! I like first person, but I just really enjoy the different things that can be done with third-person. (Side-note: it CANNOT be present tense. I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT LIKE PRESENT TENSE. LIKE AT ALL. DO NOT GO THERE. I WILL BE AN UNHAPPY DRAGON. Yeah, I kind of don't like it. XD)

    FRIENDSHIPSSSS. Good camaraderie always makes me happy! ^_^ (Or let's be honest, frenemies are also extremely fun to write. In fact, they are probably one of my favorites. *cough* James and Charlotte *cough*) I love relationships of all kinds, whether they be friendships, romances, or family.

    SO THIS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO TURN INTO A MASSIVE COMMENT. But eh, it's typical Mary-style. I'm just cool like that. *dons a pair of sunglasses*

    1. OH YOU. Thank you!!!

      Fantasy is LIFE. MARY. YOU MUST WRITE SOME FANTASY. You won't mess it up, that's impossible! That's what I love about it, it's infinite. It doesn't have to be like Lord of the Rings, there's just soooooo much that can be done! It's all up to you. AND YOU HAVE AN IDEA WITH DRAGONS AND ELVES AND ORIGINAL CREATURES??? THIS NEEDS TO BE WRITTEN YES PLEASE.


      You too? That's wonderful! Exactly. Fighting the darkness with light is kind of our...everything. I can't seem to NOT write about it!

      I am the exact same! First person is fine some of the time, but in general I'm all about that third person.
      I'm not wild about present tense either! I mean, sometimes it can be okay...? The Hunger Games handled it really well. But it's not something I want ALL the time. Just on very, very rare occasions. Sometimes it hurts my brain. It's just so different!

      I ADORE FRENEMIES. Like I was saying, a hero and antihero kind of being buddies is basically the best thing of ever. So much fun stuff! XD

      YOUR COMMENTS ARE AMAZING. I had the bessssst time reading all your comments you did the other day! :D That was the happiest surprise having all new Mary comments. YOU ARE THE BEST. <333333

  13. Firstly: I LOVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY, GIRL. <333

    Secondly: I LOVE how your stories are all totally different. XD That is the best.

    Thirdly: THIS POOOST. I really really enjoyed this post because all of the lovely things that are awesome in storiiiiies! ^_^

    "I had to ask myself, do I actually have a specific style? DO I EVEN KNOW WHAT I’M DOING? Probably not. BUT." I lost it at this. XD AREN'T WE ALL.

    I literally love ALL OF THESE! <3<3<3 I wouldn't say I've done much with dragons, or a TON with friendship (though definitely some!) in my own novels, but I do ADORE reading about both and want to do more with them. ^_^

    I also love how dragons take over everything you write, even your Steampunk story. XD AAAAAAAAHHH TOOTHLESS-BEING-ADORABLE GIF!!!! ^____^ *watches it for longer than I'd care to admit*

    BUT FANTASY. YES. Fantasy has to get in EVERYTHING! I think I have a few that don't have it buuuut mostly yes. :D

    Yep yep yep to Antiheroes! I mean, obviously. ;) I still call them Dark Guys because I'm used to it, but they're totally the best. I think I like writing ones that aren't quiet in the villain spectrum, but do get better... or sometimes even ones who everyone THINKS are villains, but are actually noble! :) (In that sense, Strider was actually one when the hobbits met him. ;) I just love that.) Buuut I do have an occasional one who is actually really dark and I just love the redemption stories that can lead to. :) Butbut all those mysterious characters who you're not sure if they're good or not but can end up noble in the end, I just really like. ^_^

    Light vs. Dark ALLL the way! Let's have none of that shady grey business (except if light still wins). All the best stories are light vs. darkness with light coming out on top, because Light is always greater. :) Love what you said on this one!

    THIRD PERSON ALL THE WAY. I make exceptions for it if I love a book -- like, I can handle first-person if it's a really well-done book -- but mostly third-person. ^_^ And I've ALWAYS written third-person. Except for a short story or two. So it's weird I'm writing one right now. >.> But it's actually -- GASP -- /fun/, which is weird... I guess first-person is okay in moderation or if the story is brilliant or just really calls for it. But mostly third-person. :D (WE WILL NOT EVEN DISCUSS PRESENT TENSE. Ahem.)

    I LOVE BUDDY STORIES YESSSSS! :D Everything you said. ^_^ (A hero and an anti-hero... bwahaha. XD)

    Aaaand you obviously know my feelings on happy endings. ;) Though I also won't usually do as much horribleness because I can't manage it... BUT YES HAPPINESS.

    An author voice is definitely hard to describe, yes... o.o I don't know how one would go about it.

    "Let’s be real here. I really just write whatever story I feel like at the time and hope for the best! Because I’m professional like that." I LOVE THIS AND IT'S THE BEST THING EVER!!! :D (Same. XD)

    WOW that was long. Ahem. Aaaaanyhoo, all that to say, I loved this post and it was awesomesauce and thank you for sharing all of the awesome writing things! <3 Your writing posts are splendiferous. ^_^


      You do a lot with friendships just with the KW stories alone! So many epic, adorable, squishy friendships!!!

      Dragons, dragons everywhere! Not that I mind. ;D (I don't even want to know how many times I've watched the Toothless gif. O_O)

      ALL THE FANTASY. Fallen Matter was the ONLY book I've written without fantasy (and I wrote it on accident anyway), and even it had some unrealistic elements--teens with special abilities. I just can't write anything realistic. It's impossible!

      I love how you call them "Dark Guys", because that can encompass a little more than antiheroes. Such as Tare! He's totally a hero, you just don't know it at first. ^_^ And Strider, like you said! Those types are sooooo amazing, because you fall in love with them but fear they're villains and then realize they're actually GOOD and just sdkjflskjdflj. LOVE IT!

      HEAR, HEAR! It's getting more and more of a trend to write gray areas and then...not fix them. Like, it's okay most of the time if you plan on making light win. But stories these days just leave it in gray or even dark areas. What happened to good vs. evil? D: It makes me sad! It's so encouraging to see people like you always writing about good overcoming evil.

      I'm the exact same with first and third. First is okay /occasionally/ but in general I want third. But then there's some books that just call for it and have the most fun narrators, LIKE MERIDIAN IN OHE. Her voice just makes me squeal every time I read it! I LOVE HERRRR! But yes! It seems once we start writing first person, we actually discover how fun it is. That's what I did. Craziness! (Present Yeah. I'll put up with it on VERY rare occasion but I'd sure prefer past tense waaaaay more!)

      Heroes and antiheroes that end up becoming friends is like my favorite thing EVER!


      I can't even imagine describing an author voice. Just the thought of trying hurts my brain. o.o

      Hehehe! Being a writer is such a ridiculous, messy job. XD (I love it.)

      I repeat: YOUR COMMENT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. Just...THANK YOOOUUUU!!!!! <33333

  14. *flails around so much I fall down* YOU'VE BEEN WRITING SO MANY AWESOME POSTS LATELY, GIRL! Okay, ALL of your posts are awesome, but I'm extra-loving the recent ones for some reason. :D This one just makes me want to dive into a million good books at once (as long as some of them are yours!).

    Fantasy! I'm the same way, I almost NEVER write something without at least a shred of something fantastical in it.

    DRAGONS. TOOTHLESS. Yusss, give me all the dragons--cute ones, fierce ones, snarky ones, unique ones...

    I really like the conversation you and Deborah were having about light vs. dark, and how with grey areas, you want light to triumph in the end. To that I say, "Hear, hear!"

    As soon as you mentioned antiheroes, I thought of that character from one of your most recent Colors of a Dragon Scale novels. Forgive me--I don't immediately recall the actual book's name OR the character's name. (Friendship fail. D:) But he's the guy who annoys Iavin but kinda mothers him and it's all adorable and hilarious. XD

    I gravitate towards third person too! I don't know, it feels most natural to me. (Third person past tense, to be precise.) But I've enjoyed a number of books written in first person, even first person present tense. I find it works best with contemporaries--or anything that doesn't take place somewhere in the past. So dystopians, sci-fi, etc. work too. *shrugs* Just my observation.

    Friendship, yes! (All the character connections, right? *wink*)

    And yet another big yes to happy endings!

    I loved getting a glimpse into your writing style in list form like this, Christine! I second Celti: I adore all your writing posts too. <3

    1. *also flails* I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY. THANK YOU!!! It makes me insanely happy you've been enjoying my posts more! I've actually been thinking I'm finding more my...I don't know, niche with blogging lately, and trying (trying being the key word here) to write more quality posts. It's only taken me 5 years. XD Buuuut I still have a long ways to go and lots to learn. STIll. Just...THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You're so encouraging. <333

      Fantasy and dragons are a must! I want them alllll. *hoards all the fantasy and dragon-based fiction* Mwahaha!

      We so need more stories where light triumphs! I hate how gray areas (that aren't fixed) are becoming a thing in fiction right now. Meh.

      Not friendship fail at all! Girl, I forget the names of my OWN characters. Especially in that ridiculously large series! Honest to goodness, I'm /constantly/ having to look up names of characters from that series, and not just secondary characters. MAIN CHARACTERS. It's craziness. So don't feel bad! Anyways, his name is Cael, and he's from More White than Stars, the 5th book of the series. (And I literally just had to look up which number it was in the series, so see? No feeling bad!) It makes me crazy happy you thought of him because he maaaay be my favorite antihero-ish type character I've ever created. And his and Iavin's friendship is hands down my favorite friendship I've made. It amuses me endlessly. xD I'm honored you remembered them! ^_^

      Yeah, I'm the same. Third person, past tense just feels...right. But I do think there are books that just call for first person, but for me it has to be something very specific. Like with high fantasy, I can't even imagine it in first person because such stories tend to be so big and have so many characters and things going on. You make a point about contemporaries though! I think those work great in first person for some reason.

      YES. All the character connections! :D

      D'awwww, thank you! Your comment put a HUGE smile on my face! ^_^


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