Monday, April 30, 2018

What If…? Fantasy Tag

I think at this point it’s pretty common knowledge that I fail at keeping up with tags.
(You should see the amount of tags I have bookmarked that I’m supposed to do…) Buuuut I love tags, and some come my way that I know I MUST do. Basically if they involve books, fantasy, or characters, I’M IN.

Well guess what? This tag features ALL THOSE THINGS.

The What if…? Fantasy Tag was originally created by the lovely Jenelle Schmidt for her awesome February is Fantasy Month celebration. And it’s still toootally February right? Right??? (Please leave me in my delusions.)

Kyle Robert Shultz tagged me to join in on this one and obviously I had to! FANTASY, PEOPLE! And this one involves imagining you’re in a fantasy novel. I have much practice with that. *grins*


  • Thank the blogger who tagged you. (Thanks, Kyle!)
  • Include the graphic somewhere in your post.  (*points up*)
  • Answer the questions. (*points down*)
  • Tag a few blogger friends – and let them know they’ve been tagged. (*points farther down*)
  • Have fun! (DONE!)



. . . THE TAG . . .


Your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The cast of the most recent fantasy book you read comes to your assistance… who are they? Will they be helpful?

At the time of writing this post (which was actually weeeeks ago, so I know this answer has changed at this point), that would be the A Wrinkle in Time graphic novel. I guess that counts?

And wow, I think I’d get a mix of “help” from these characters. Calvin seems like a car guy and would be pretty useful and, even if not, he’d lend a hand and do the best he could anyway, because he’s precious like that. Meg is also practically a genius and could probably put things together and figure it out. Charles Wallace might just know how it works and could tell Meg and Calvin what to do. Halfway through though, Meg would most likely get frustrated and give up, where Calvin will push through. And, in the meanwhile, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which appears and tells us to ditch the car and sweeps us all off an a crazy adventure to save the universe.

Overall, I can’t see how this would end badly. (Except I’d probably die if I went on a save-the-universe-adventure but details.)


You go to bed one evening and wake up in the lair of the villain of the last fairy tale you read, where are you and how do you plan to get out?

I…have no memory of the last “official” fairytale I read, but the last fairytale retelling was The Stroke of Eleven by Kyle Robert Shultz which is a Cinderella retelling. That means I’d be stuck in the Castle of Basile and imprisoned by the Fairy Godmother which, frankly, I’M FINE WITH. Seriously, if I had to be imprisoned by a villain, this would probably be my pick!

Not gonna say much because #SPOILERS, but basically I’d be in a pretty castle ballroom with some timey-wimey stuff going on and yeah. I can deal with this!


You are transported into a fantasy realm and given a mythical creature as a companion and best friend… which mythical creature do you get?





Is anybody surprised? Anybody?

I’d probably get a feisty, snarky dragon and we’d sass each other to death and my dragon would get constantly annoyed because it’d have to save me from doom on a daily basis because I’D BE USELESS IN A DANGEROUS FANTASY WORD but we’d be actual besties and drink tea together after adventures (because it’s also a civilized dragon) and it’d be glorious.


In a strange series of coincidences, you end up needing to take the place of your favorite fantasy hero or heroine. Who are you?

I’d be Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle (the book specifically) and just YES PLEASE??? Not only would I get Howl (*griiiins*) but I’d be SOPHIE. And I’d live in the cozy moving castle and chat with Calcifer and help Michael with his magic practice and also HOOOOWWWLLLL.

Also I totally have the sass and feistiness of Sophie, so I think I can do it.


To go along with question #4, now that you are that character, is there anything you would do differently than that character, now that you are running the show?

I…honestly can’t think of anything? Truthfully, I’d probably handle things a lot like Sophie did. If anything, I might would yell at Howl even more than her. XD


If you were yourself in a fantasy novel, what role do you think you would play in the story?

Oh gracious, certainly not the protagonist, that’s for sure. XD If I was, it’d be a one sentence book.

“Christine stepped out the door…and died.”

Ahem. Okay, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad. But yeah. I think I’d probably just be “Random Nameless Citizen #452”.

All right, seriously now. Let’s see… I work at a small, cozy secondhand bookshop in real life, so why not in the fantasy world? I could be the rest stop for the heroes, offer them some coffee and provide them with helpful books to aid in their journey. Also, just for fun, can my fantasy bookshop be full of cats? Maybe even magical cats. (This is a fantasy world after all.) So I’d be the crazy book/cat lady who only appears in one chapter but provides much needed rest and some humorous sass for the heroes.

I like this! It sounds accurate. Let’s go with it!


One morning, as you are going about your daily business, you pick up an everyday item and a voice booms in your head with prophetic words about your future. What object is it, and what is your prophecy?

Obviously it’s my laptop, and the prophesy goes something like:

With this item productivity you should make,
Instead Pinterest, Twitter, and all means of procrastination is your fate.


You are transported into a magical realm and turned into a mythical beast… what beast/fantasy creature do you want to be?

A lot of people have answered this with shapeshifter which would obviously be the best choice. Then I could be ALL the things.

Buuut if I had to only be one creature… Ummmmm.

Can I be Pinkie Pie? I want to be Pinkie Pie!

Ooookay! That probably doesn’t count at all. But, speaking of My Little Pony, being an alicorn would be great! (Which is a unicorn/pegasus. Basically a unicorn with wings.) So I could be a horse, fly, and probably have magic of some kind. That’d be great!

Also just being your classic talking cat would be a good one. Who doesn’t love the talking cats in fantasy? (Hey, maybe I’m a shapeshifting cat and that’s why I own this bookstore full of cats in the fantasy world, because I’m secretly a cat myself.)


If you could read your way into any fantasy realm, but the catch is that you can never leave, would you? Which realm would you choose?

WITHOUT A DOUBT. I literally joked about this in one of my recent posts. Sorry, but if I get a chance to go to a fantasy realm, I’M LEAVING. (Despite the fact that I’d probably die…)

Which one though? AGH! Either Narnia, Neverland, or Wonderland. I think I could survive fine in any of those. Narnia would probably be the most pleasant place to live though (provided it’s during the golden days), so let’s go with that one!


As you are going about your normal day, you discover that you have a magical power. What is it?

I can bring characters to life. Like…actually make them real, physical beings. So at any given time I can hang out with any character I like and I live happily ever after the end.

(But seriously, this is something I’ve daydreamed about since I was a tiny thing and have even considered writing a story about an author who can bring their characters to life when they want. Because I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ALL THE CHARACTERS PLEASE.)

That was so much fun! Except now I really wish all these things could come true. WHY have we not come up with a way to bring books to life yet, hmmm?


I was having the hardest time figuring out who to pass this on to, because I feel like every single blogger I know has already done this one or been nominated for it. SO. Instead I’m gonna cheat and do a free-for-all!

Consider yourself tagged!

This is such a fun tag and I’d love for you all to do it. So don’t hesitate to snatch it up!

Here are the Questions
(For copy and pasting purposes)

1. Your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The cast of the most recent fantasy book you read comes to your assistance… who are they? Will they be helpful?

2. You go to bed one evening and wake up in the lair of the villain of the last fairy tale you read, where are you and how do you plan to get out?

3. You are transported into a fantasy realm and given a mythical creature as a companion and best friend… which mythical creature do you get?

4. In a strange series of coincidences, you end up needing to take the place of your favorite fantasy hero or heroine. Who are you?

5. To go along with question #4, now that you are that character, is there anything you would do differently than that character, now that you are running the show?

6. If you were yourself in a fantasy novel, what role do you think you would play in the story?

7. One morning, as you are going about your daily business, you pick up an everyday item and a voice booms in your head with prophetic words about your future. What object is it, and what is your prophecy?

8. You are transported into a magical realm and turned into a mythical beast… what beast/fantasy creature do you want to be?

9. If you could read your way into any fantasy realm, but the catch is that you can never leave, would you? Which realm would you choose?

10.  As you are going about your normal day, you discover that you have a magical power. What is it?



Let’s discuss all the fantasy things! What fantasy world would you want to live in? And, if you did, what type of character would you play there? (I love that question.) Am I the only one who totally loves talking and/or magical cats in fiction? And do you agree it’s completely unfair that we can’t bring our beloved characters to real life? UGH. SO RUDE.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Beautiful People - Favorites Edition {And the FINAL Beautiful People!}

My absolutely favorite blog linkup is ENDING. And I’m a blubbering ball of sadness. *cue the waterworks*

I’m sure most of you know about Beautiful People—a linkup hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further In and Cait @ Paperfury, in which each month they ask questions for us to answer about our story characters. Talking about my characters (or, ya know, ANY fictional characters) is my favoritest thing on this earth, so naturally I was alllll about this linkup! And GUYS, I’ve been doing it since my first year of blogging. Since before Cait was one of the hosts and instead Sky did it with her friend Georgie. I’ve joined in on almost every BP for the last 7 years. AND NOW IT’S ENDING. I am much sadness, but I absolutely understand. Sky and Cait are busy people, I totally get that. I’m just feeling all nostalgic. *sniff, sniff*

BUT. Before saying farewell for an undetermined amount of time, our ever illustrious hosts have cooked up an extra special Beautiful People to say goodbye with a bang. This one is all about FAVORITES. And I do love favorites, so I am excited!

Though a lot of the questions are centered on my writing in general, some still ask about a specific character. It was hard trying to decide which of my (maaaaany) characters to end BP with. I had finally narrowed it down to Rose and the Dragon (the “beauty” and “beast” from Burning Thorns). Buuut I couldn’t pick one sooo…I’M DOING BOTH. ‘Cause hey, it’s the last BP. Let’s go all out!


Visit Sky @ Further Up and Further In or Cait @ Paperfury to join the (FINAL!!!) BP linkup!



1.) Favorite genre to write in?

FANTASYYYYYY!!! (Is anyone surprised?) The ability to literally create anything I want with absolutely zero real-world limitations appeals to my creative-loving soul like no other.

Also fantasy involves DRAGONS. So, like, why would I write anything else???

Okay, but if we’re being specific here, YA speculative fiction is my niche. I’ve written a couple of steampunk stories, time travel, dystopian, high fantasy, modern fantasy, a retelling, and…yeah. I really like spec-fic. But pure fantasy is my #1 BFF.


2.) What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?

The Dragon: Wellll, I supposed it’d be amusing if he read the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale or any B&B story period. Since his story is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Eheheheh. Buuut I think I’m going to steal Skye's and Kendra's answers and say the Bible. He could…probably use it. Ahem.

Rose: I think she’d absolutely love Lord of the Rings. She probably needs that reminder that the smallest, seemingly most insignificant person can make the biggest difference, and that there is always hope no matter how dark things become. Plus she just loves reading and good stories so win-win here.


3.) Favorite piece of dialogue you’ve written?

Good gracious. I’m supposed to choose one scene of dialogue out of the over a dozen stories I’ve written? *pokes through stories*

OKAY. I do not have a favorite favorite, but I did find this one from my dystopian novel, Fallen Matter, that made me chuckle.

Redness caught my eye, and I found a splotch of blood covering Lykan's upper right arm. "You're hurt."

"That's what happens when you don't wear your seatbelt and let an idiot drive."

I bristled. "You told me to!"

"That was before I knew how incompetent you were. Really, is it that hard to keep your eyes on the road?"

"You shouldn't have been hanging out the door of a speeding vehicle!"

"It's called saving your life, so I think the proper response would be a thank you. Those authoritaters were never going to give up."

Man, I haven’t looked at this story in aaaaages. It was fun revisiting it and these characters (mainly Lykan *COUGH*).


4.) What did your character want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?

The Dragon: He was honestly so busy avoiding what he didn’t want to be and just surviving, he didn’t really take the time to think about the occupation he would have pursued if he had had the choice. But when he was a child he always admired the high life and dreamed of living in the castle. So something prestigious would have been his choice, though, as a peasant, it was an impossible dream. And he became…a beast. Eheh. But he does in fact live in a castle now but ahahahaha it’s not exactly the life he dreamed of…

Rose: Though Rose’s situation is far different from the Dragon’s, she, too, has always had her life set out for her, not leaving her much room to dream of any other options. Really, she just wants to please her father, no matter what. (And yes I’m being vague because #SPOILERS) Althooough I suspect being a librarian would be something she’d leap at the chance of. But what did she grow up to become? Mmmm. Spoilers! *grins*


5.) Favorite character name(s)?

UGH. So many characters!

I think my top favorite is proooobably Iavin (from the Colors of a Dragon Scale series). It’s like Ivan but with an UH in the middle. Eye-UH-vin. No clue why I like it so much, but I do! I’ve always loved names starting with vowels.

I also really like Eryth (AIR-rith), Calgora, and Eldoren from the same series.

Ethryl is from a trilogy I have called The Traveling Library and may be my favorite female name. (Except it looks too much like Eryth and I think I need to respell one of their names…?)

Annnd I’m very fond of Karis (from The Nether Isle). That’s such a pretty name.

Okay I’m stopping now I promise. I just have SO MANY CHARACTERS and am totally named obsessed so yeah.


6.) What makes your character feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?

The Dragon: Words of affirmation is his love language. Harsh words and disgust is all he has experienced for many, many years, so praise and reassurance touches his heart deeply. He’s also not-so-great at expressing kind, meaningful things vocally, and admires those who can and do. And, naturally, Rose was the last person to show him this kindness. (BRB SOBBING.)

Rose: For Rose, it’s all about quality time. She values spending time with people, and when someone, in turn, wants to spend time with her, she’ll basically instantly make them her BFF. It means so much to her when others show they like her enough to want to use their valuable time with her. Though a kind word can definitely go a long way with her as well. And who made her feel loved last? Ummm…that depends on what point it is in the story. In the last section I edited it was a random guard. XDD Buuut also the Dragon, obviously. Sort of. Mostly. (Let’s just pretend I’m not ruining all of their lives. Eheheheh.)


7.) Favorite character you’ve ever written?

AHA! You thought I’d agonize over this question, didn’t you? WELL. I’m actually a terrible person and tooootally pick favorites between my children. *smile, smile*

The answer would be Cael from the Colors of a Dragon Scale series. He’s probably the most complex character I’ve ever written. He’s an antagonist and not. Literally the worst but also kind of totally nice. Very charismatic and fun while also driving everyone craaaazy. He’s sort of snarky, but really not in a nasty way. More fun-loving, honestly. He cares about people buuuut also sometimes has, erm, warped views about things. And just…I DON’T KNOW. He is a conundrum and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! He also has an extremely complicated and fascinating backstory and just yeah. Cael. He’s something.


This looks sooo much like how I imagine him.
(Pic found on

But he also has a big head and if he knew he was my favorite character I’d never hear the end of it GAWSH.

My secondary favorite is Iavin, who happens to be Cael’s best friend…and enemy. (I TOLD YOU IT’S CONFUSING.) Iavin is a little shy, awkward cinnamon roll and my absolute faaavorite character to write the POV of. His nervous, adorable thought-process gives me life, honestly. Also he’s a half-elf which is always fun!


Totally Iavin
(Pic found on

Honorable mentions go to: Airen (Colors of a Dragon Scale), Lark (Burning Thorns), Lykan (Fallen Matter), Karis and Jonah (The Nether Isle), annnd…literally every single one of my characters ever because even though I say I choose favorites I REALLY JUST LOVE ALL MY BBYS SO MUCH!!!


My babies that I seem to take pleasure in
torturing but hahahaha details.


8.) If your character were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)

The Dragon: He really has no prized possessions and would be pretty much fine going with only the clothes on his back. He’s used to living with nothing. Though I suppose the clothes on his back would be the thing he’d refuse to part with, because he has to cover himself fully to hide his, erm, deformities. The idea of people seeing his true form horrifies him. He would probably also take a certain iron dagger because of…reasons. (Gotta love my vague answers!)

Rose: Well, she sort of did leave town and she was in her nightgown and had literally nothing. Buuut in normal circumstances, she’d probably pack plenty of gowns and lots of good reading material, and maybe something special to remember her mother by, like a rose from the gardens where her and her mother spent so much time. She’d press it in a book to preserve it. That way she’d have a piece of home and her mother with her forever. I don’t know what she’d easily throw out. I think as long as she had enough clothes and books, everything else could go.


9.) Favorite tropes to write!

I totally love the rags to riches trope! Giving my poor, struggling characters like…an entire kingdom is way, way too much fun.

I’m also a total sucker for amnesic characters. Yes, I know it’s sooo overused but I LIKE IT. Something about having a character who literally has NO CLUE who they are and then watching them slowly get their memories back is so, sooo fun! And can also add a lot of wonderful emotion. (I mean, BUCKY. COME ON!) It’s great!


Because you needed Bucky feels today. You’re welcome.

The bantering male and female ships also give me life. As do snarky dudes with hearts of gold hidden deep, deeeep inside them somewhere.

Tropes can be fun, guys! Usually they’re overused because they work.


10.) Which story has your heart and won't let go?

…All of them? Seriously, I adore ALL my stories. Each and every one has such a special place in my heart. Most of them are total embarrassing disasters that need complete and utter rewrites BUT I STILL LOVE THEM. I love the characters, I love the concepts. I just love writing!

Right now Burning Thorns has me wrapped around it so tightly I can barely think of anything else, and I’m totally okay with that. But that really happens with any story I’m working on at the time. My favorite story tends to be the one I’m working on at that moment.


11.) Favorite relationship between characters you’ve written?

Another question you’d think would be extremely difficult but NOPE. I can say, without a single doubt, that Cael and Iavin’s friendship is 100000% my favorite relationship I have ever written. It’s sooo complicated and messy and tragic and ridiculous and fun and makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. The bromance is STRONG.

Cael is so flighty and sure of himself and charismatic and the total leader, where Iavin is the scared puppy who barely knows how to use his own paws and is both fascinated and horrified over Cael but is too timid to speak up and tell Cael that no he in fact doesn’t want to go on death-defying, world-ending quests thankyouverymuch. Basically Iavin risks his life on a constant basis because he’s too shy to tell Cael no. He does eventually get a smidge of backbone and learns how to handle Cael, but the growth of their friendship is so entertaining to watch.

Come on now," he stood and grabbed Iavin's arm, "you really should be sleeping."


"We've got another full day of traveling tomorrow. You need your sleep." Cael pulled him to a stand, dragged him back to Nemayn, and practically tucked him to bed, carefully making sure Iavin's cloaks covered him sufficiently. "You sleep well now."

Iavin watched the boy walk off, not entirely sure what just happened but far too sleepy and cold to figure it out.

Sometimes Cael mothers Iavin and it amuses me endlessly.


12.) Toni Morrison once said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

Well how convenient that I literally published an entire post about this last week! Completely on happenstance too, because I had written last week’s post weeeeks ago, long before this BP came out. I’m just psychic I guess. *puts on sunglasses*

Anyways, you can read the post HERE.


13.) Favorite pinterest board / aesthetic for a book?


I think my favorite would have to be the Burning Thorns board, mainly because I’ve put the most effort into it. Plus I just adore the dark forest-y feel of it.

Though I’m also very fond of the dark, whimsical feel of the The Nether Isle board, even though it’s pretty small right now.


14.) Favorite time periods & settings to work with?

Medieval fantasy has aaalways been my go-to. It’s my comfort zone. BUT, at the same time, I quite like occasionally slipping out of it and trying something utterly new.

The grungy, futuristic, dystopian world of Fallen Matter was so, so, sooo different. Basically the complete opposite of my usual setting, but I loved that. I loved working with technology and futuristic buildings and contemporary speech. I utterly adored the strange, 1920s-esque, steampunk setting of The Nether Isle. The McGuffin Book, another story I have that…I never got far with at all but still plays in my head quite often, was a set in modern times buuut had mythical beasts and magic which was fun.

But, I still always fall back to a medieval, European, fantasy setting. Still though, I think in general as long as it has fantasy or, ya know, not strictly real world elements, I love it. Being limited by real world things bores me to tears. XD


15.) When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?

With every single one of my books, I want the reader to close it with a spark of hope igniting inside them. With a satisfied smile, a content sigh. With the unshakeable truth stirring inside them that there is always light in this world, it’s just a matter of finding it, holding on to it, and never letting the darkness reign.

And I want them to feel as though they just experienced a wild, emotional, amazing journey with a cast of characters they don’t want to say goodbye to.

Whether I achieve this ahahahahahaha! WHO KNOWS. But this asked what I want, not necessarily what I accomplish, SO.

And with that, we reach the end of my last Beautiful People post for the unforeseeable future. *sniffity sniff*

Thank you, Sky and Cait, for the delightful linkup. Every single one brought me a better understanding of my characters and stories, and was just a blast all around. I do hope it returns one day, but if not, I sure am glad for the time we did have with BP!



Have you joined in with this last Beautiful People? (If you haven’t, you shoooould!) But I’m super curious, what is your favorite time period/setting to write in? Annnd what’s your favorite ever character name you have? (I told you I’m name obsessed.) Come, let’s chat about all the writerly things!

Monday, April 16, 2018

7 Things in Fiction I Wish to See More Of

Looky here, another list of 7! I make no apologies.

Lately I’ve been pondering stories (lol like I ever think about anything else), and was thinking about the types of things I wish I found more of within the fictional world. There are a looooot of things that bother me about the fiction we’re fed these days (which I’m sure you’ll get plenty of posts about ‘cause that’s who I am as a person), and there are a loooot of things I want but don’t find too often.

SO THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY. 7 things I wish was in fiction more! I’m sure there are 1939489234 others besides these 7, but these are some things that have, honest to goodness, been needling at my brain for YEARS.





Let it be known that if I am fed a book that manages to make me laugh out loud and tears my heart out into teeny tiny pieces, I WILL LOVE IT FOREVER. That’s kind of the key to good storytelling for me.

And, actually, I think we are getting a lot of books like this these days, especially in the YA genre, and it muchly pleases me! Buuuut it still is sometimes lacking.

Too often we seem to only get one or the other: Super dark and depressing with literally nothing happy going on everrrrr and like can someone please give these characters a hug? OR, it’s just a straight up comedy and even the serious parts are made fun of.

I ADORE The Hunger Games. It’s one of my favoritest series EVER. But, well, they were really depressing books. I can think of…one scene that made me chuckle out of the entire trilogy??? Obviously those books were meant to be dark and serious, AND THAT IS FINE. I just feel like they could have been even better with a smidge more humor sprinkled about.

I think Marvel nails this balance to perfection. Think about Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, you will laugh until you lose your voice. But you’re lying if you tell me you didn’t shed a tear at “We are Groot!” THIS IS THE KIND OF STORYTELLING I’M HERE FOR.



You know the drill: Boy/girl turns 16. Suddenly obtains phenomenal powers. Is told they’re going to go on an epic adventure and be the one to save the kingdom/world/entire universe And they…whine about it.

“I just want to be normal.” “Why did this have to happen to me?” “I don’t want these powers.” “This isn’t fair.” “I wish this never happened.”


My brother and I joke about this one alllll the time. Think about it, have you ever met a 16-year-old who says they wouldn’t want magical powers and to be a hero??? Come on, we all wish we could obtain some sort of superpower or magical gift.

Yes I know, “with great power comes great responsibility” yadda, yadda. I GET IT. Being the chosen one is hard. Going on adventures isn’t comfortable. BUT, at the same time, I’d looooove to find a story where the protagonist gains these gifts and acts like a teenager normally would and be totally stoked about it. And then maybe even use said powers for dumb, everyday activities. Like oh, I’m telekinetic now? SWEET. Now I never have to get off the couch to reach the remote.



They totally nailed the realism in Spiderman: Homecoming.



This is such an important one to me! It has been something I’ve wanted my whole life, but don’t often get. And I should probably turn this into a whole blog post, but I’ll sum up my thoughts as briefly as I can here.

It seems like Christians are afraid to get gritty. We produce fluff because anything else might not be “clean”. WELL. Have you read the Bible? That’s some pretty gritty stuff right there. Being a Christian is HARD. It is not a smooth life, and we can’t pretend it is. We can’t turn our backs to the deep issues of the world. In fact, as followers of Jesus, it is our job to face the hard, gritty things in life and make them better. To talk about the deep subjects, not avoid them.

And yet, Christian media still seems to focus on the fluff, the mediocre. Fearful of getting into the nitty gritty. And, frankly, I’m tired of it.

Recently I read the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes and oooooooh my! NOW THOSE WERE GRITTY BOOKS. But they were also Christian. Dystopian, YA, Christian books. Not something you see everyday. BUT I WISH WE DID.

These books were not afraid to get down and dirty. The characters did not have it easy (like…at all o.o). But, woven all throughout it, there was HOPE. Parvin, the protagonist, learned to trust in God and grew in her walk with Him in each book. I was slammed hard with so many realizations, so many lesson of God’s love and power. I was shown how hard the Christian life is, how hard it is to do the right thing and love people and stand up for what is right. But it is so, so worth it.

These were not fluffy books by any stretch of the imagination. But they were not preachy, in-your-face books either. These were powerful, gritty stories with a beautiful, powerful message AND I WANT MORE. I am so absurdly proud of Nadine Brandes for writing these, and of her publishers for not being afraid to put them out there.

This is the sort of fiction I want to see more of than anything else.



Sooo I may sound hypocritical since I’m literally editing my own Beauty and the Beast retelling right now. Annnd I have a Cinderella retelling percolating in my brain. Why yes, there are approximately 33 billion Cinderella retellings out there. But, truthfully? I’m not picky when it comes to fairytale retellings. I WANT THEM ALL.

BUT, at the same time, I’d looove to see more obscure fairytales (a.k.a. fairytales Disney didn’t make popular), turned into retellings. Because THERE ARE SO MANY FAIRYTALES IN THE WORLD. The possibilities are endless. Seriously, every single time I read a fairytale I get inspired to retell it.

And it doesn’t even have to be a fairytale. What about myths and legends and folklore in general? There is an infinite well of story inspiration out there. In fact, I have a King Midas retelling cooking in my brain that I’m absurdly excited about.




This is a huuuuge pet peeve of mine. I think we’re all aware of the trope. The boy and girl meet in book 1, fall in love, and live happily ever after at the end…OR NOT. Because by book 2 they’ve broken up, seem to hate each other, and we get to go through them getting back together and living “happily ever after” allllll over again for the sake of TENSION.


People seem to think that once the couple gets together, it’s not interesting anymore. Well, excuse me, but I quite like reading about or watching couples love each other and have a healthy relationship, thankyouverymuch. It’s inspiring. Where watching the whole breakup, get back together, breakup, get back together fiasco over and over and over again gets tiiiiiring. Like, if they really loved each other would they let these little tiffs separate them half a dozen times??? Ooobviously couples are going to have problems, BUT WORK THROUGH THEM. Having characters walk away from each other every. single. time. something goes wrong in the relationship just gives me a headache.

I think this is also a case of trying to avoid the “sequel blues” because apparently the story is only good if you have romantic tension. After all, it’s boring once the couple is together, and no other types of plot devices work besides romance, right??????


Again, seeing a couple that got together in book 1 and then ACTUALLY LOVE EACH OTHER through book 2 excites me more rather than watching the same romantic tension I had to deal with through book 1 all over again. TV shows are the worst about this. Because when you have 8 season of a show, you’re probably going to be forced to watch the couple breakup and get back together at least 20 times. Uuuuggghh.

The How to Train Your Dragon 2 movie is the best example of how to do this RIGHT. Hiccup and Astrid did not go through the whole breakup thing. Instead, they were a happy couple throughout the whole movie. And it was beautiful and precious watching them fight for each other and care for one another. Did it make the movie boring? NO. It made it inspiring and left room for more interesting plot devices.

Can we please just have happy couples being happy couples and loving each other? It won’t make your plot boring, I PROMISE.



This is probably what I see the least of in fiction, especially mainstream fiction, and just… *sighs for a millions years*

In pretty much all secular fiction, we have these heroes/heroines we look up to and yet…they live horrible lifestyles. They lie, they cheat, they might steal, they lust and sleep around, they curse, and they do it as if that’s just life. That’s the normal thing to do, and there are no repercussions afterwards. Aren’t these supposed to be the good guys??? The people we aspire to be?

Immoral behavior has consequences. That’s just how it works. The consequences may not come right away, we may never even see the consequences, but they will be there. And I’m really tired of fiction—the very thing that supposed to inspire us—portray immoral behavior as an okay thing to do. Because hey, my favorite hero did this no problem, so it must be acceptable.

BUT, on the flipside, in most Christian fiction the characters neverrrr do anything wrong. They live completely moral lives and are perfect little Mary Sues/Gary Stus. Which is completely unrealistic. We all sin, we all stumble and have our fallings. But, again, immoral behavior has consequences.

What I want to see in both secular and Christian fiction are characters living realistic lives where they stumble, yes, but there are consequences. I don’t want my protagonist to be some lying playboy and that’s accepted. I want him to have consequences to his behavior, and grow from that. I want to be reminded that sinning is wrong, not told time and time again that these things are okay.

Please, let’s not have Mary Sues. (Again, we’re allowed to write gritty fiction.) But let’s also not have heroes/heroines that live awful lives and it’s portrayed as perfectly fine behavior either.



Another one that has bugged me since I was like…3.

I love world hopping stories, I do. I think we all wish we’d find a magic mirror or an enchanted wardrobe or a wormhole in our bedroom floor that transports us to a fantasy world. (YOU CAN’T DENY IT.) The idea of people from our world getting to have an adventure in a new, magical land excites us because it feels like that could happen to us. It’s so wondrous and appealing.

But the thing I don’t like about portal fantasy is that in pretty much every single one, the characters have to come back to this world in the end.

Um. NO.

I’m sorry, guys, I love you and all but if I stumble into Wonderland or Peter Pan flies me off to Neverland I’M NOT COMING BACK.



I mean, that’s probably immaturity on my part. Usually in these stories it’s inspiring to see the characters grow up and learn from their experiences in the magical world and know they have responsibilities and family here that need them. That's supposed to be a happily ever after. But, erm, it actually depresses me??? I get so upset to see the characters leave the fantasy world and all their new friends there and be stuck in this world for the rest of their lives.

I want, for once, a portal fantasy story where the characters actually stay in the fantasy world and live happily ever after there. BECAUSE THIS NEVER HAPPENS AND I NEED IT!

Fun Fact: My first ever fantasy story (I wrote when I was like…10), was portal fantasy in which the main girl got sucked through a mirror into a fantasy world. And, at the end, she got to go back through the mirror, gather up her family, and take them to said fantasy world where they all lived happily ever after. XDDD That is how much and how long I’ve wanted a portal fantasy like this. I finally just wrote one myself. LOLZ.

I grew up on Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and then later Narnia and it still to this day upsets me that everyone had to come back to this world!


WELL. This post got a bit rantier than I meant it to. Oops. Ahem. But these are my fictional needs, guys! Things that have bugged me for AAAGES. (It was all bound to explode out of me eventually.) I guess I need to take a page from my 10-year-old self and write stories like this myself, yeah?

As the saying goes, “Write the story you want to read.”



What are some things you wish there were more (or less) of in fiction? Do you agree with any of mine? Or completely disagree? I looove discussing this, so share away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...