Before we get to the challenge, if you haven't been keeping up with this series so far, you can catch up by checking out The Writing Challenge Series category.
Today's Challenge: a character from your WIP who intrigues you.
Oooh! This will be fun.
I currently have 2 WIP (works in progress).
#1 - The Tales of the Wovlen series.
Vliron from book 2. He doesn't just intrigue me. He fascinates me. I can't really explain why, because that would be spilling the beans on the forthcoming books in the series, but let's just say that he is not what he seems. There is more to him than meets the eye. Plus, he's hot, wears black, has a tragic backstory, is rugged, and kicks butt on the battlefield. What more does a girl need to be intrigued?
#2 - Deepwood Tales.
This set of stories is being done in conjunction with a friend, and I'm not sure if they'll ever get published, but the main character of the stories will play a part in the fourth book of the Heroes of Ravenford series.
The main character of Deepwood Tales is Kalyn. Her closest friend is a middle aged woman called "Fran". Fran intrigues me. She is blind (or appears to be), has a one legged screech owl, a gaggle of "demon" geese, and lives by herself in the forest. She knows how to heal, how to create magical items, and how to fend for herself. Monsters avoid her, and she always seems to know things that she shouldn't.
I get the feeling she's a lot older than she looks too.
So, yep. Those are my two WIP, and those are the characters from them that intrigue me.
Today's challenge is going to be a fun one! But first, if you haven't been keeping up with this challenge so far, here are the previous days!: DAY ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, FOURTEEN, FIFTEEN, SIXTEEN, SEVENTEEN, EIGHTEEN, NINETEEN, & TWENTY.
Today's challenge: the actor you would choose to play the main character in a movie adaptation of your WIP.
Oh man! I have wasted so much time thinking about this over the years! I mean, what author doesn't dream of their book getting its own movie adaptation?
But, even though I have thought about it a lot, I have no idea which actor I'd like to see take on the role of Keegan, the main character in my Tales of the Wovlen series.
I have actors picked out for nearly every character in my series, but Keegan has me stumped. He has his own face in my mind, one that can't just be picked out from a crowd of actors. Keegan is special. I'm not even sure what actor I'd choose for his voice if I were to do an audio book with voice actors. Maybe Chris Pratt? Or Chris Pine? What about Chris Evans? Not Chris Hemsworth! No sir. No way. I'll save his gorgeous voice for a dragon! Yum!
What's your opinion? Who'd you'd like to see play Keegan in a live action movie?
Oh boy! Now that I've started thinking about this again, I should do a blog post about all the different actors I'd like to see play my characters in a movie!
Don't forget to check out the previous challenges: ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, & EIGHT.
Today's challenge is: Your favorite character from a book not written by you.
What? REALLY? Are you kidding me? I have way too many favorite books with awesome characters in them to be able to pick out just one favorite character.
Perhaps I should just make a list?
Lord of the Rings – Olórin, Mithrandir, Incánus, Tharkûn, Greyhame, Old Greybeard, the Grey Pilgrim, Stormcrow, the White Rider, Láthspell, Servant of the Secret Fire, Wielder of the Flame of Anor, Ring-bearer, and Elf-friend - Gandalf the Grey. He is my all time favorite.
The Chronicles of Narnia – Oh gee…. wow…. so many characters, so little time… since Aslan probably doesn't count, because he is everybody's favorite, I’ll go with Reepacheep the mouse and Bree the horse from The Horse and His Boy.
The Hunger Games – Haymitch. Sure, he's always drunk, but he's got more brains than the rest of them put together in those sorry books. Okay, so, the Hunger Games aren't actually some of my favorite books. They seriously needed more dragons.
Dracula by Bram Stoker - Van Helsing. Van Helsing. Van Helsing. He's awesome, he's funny, he's Christian, he has difficulty with the English language, and he's the master at hunting vampires. Van Helsing is my total favorite.
Heroes of Ravenford – Glolindir the Elf, Seth the Halfling, and Aksel the Gnome. Those three rotate between being my favorites. If I feel ornery and just want to stab someone with a knife and a sarcastic comment (and have somebody laugh with me about it), Seth is my favorite buddy. If I feel like I'm surrounded by immature idiots and just need someone who understands how I feel, Aksel is my man. The rest of the time, Glo is my favorite. He's an elf who has a tendency to blow things up and start fires. Of course he's my favorite.
The Arrival by Dakota Kemp – Jaxom… always Jaxom. He's witty, he's funny, he's smart... I would seriously date Jax in a heartbeat. (For those of you who don’t know me, I don’t have any interest in a relationship and I don’t waste my time dating, so for me to say “I would date him” is a BIG thing. Fortunately for me, he’s fictional. Unfortunately for my poor mother, he’s fictional.)
Patrick F. McManus books – Rancid Crabtree.
Dragon Riders of Pern – Piemur from The Harper Hall Trilogy. He's the bomb!
Don't forget to check out the Other Challenges up to this point!
Today's Challenge: Your least favorite character out of all the characters you’ve ever written.
Oh gee. This one is hard. Honestly! I like all my characters in My Book, even the nasty ones.
This would seriously be a toss-up between Demetrius - the bad guy who killed my main character’s father - and Keegan, the main character.
Yes. My main character is one of my least favorite characters. He can be such an idiot! And talk about being a whiney baby ALL. THE. TIME…. gag. But, despite that, I still love him.
Now that I really think about it, I think Demetrius is really my least favorite. He’s just downright, flat out nasty and revolting. He’s a coward, he’s a thief, he snarls, he fights dirty, he’s arrogant, and on top of it all, he’s not very pretty to look at.
So, yes, Demetrius is my least favorite character. In fact, he makes Keegan look mighty good!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out DAY ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE & SIX of this challenge!
Today's challenge is: Your favorite character out of all the characters you’ve ever written.
This is really hard. It would either be Pharrgon the regal dragon, Walneff Feldost the riddling prophet, Gillion the Jester, or Vliron Nightstalker the rogue assassin. If you’ve read my first book, then don’t worry - you haven’t met Gillion or Vliron yet. They are introduced in book #2, which is coming out really soon (No, really! It really is! I swear!).
Trust me when I say that Gillion and Vliron are AWESOME. Because, they really are awesome. And you don’t have to take my word for it. You can ask any of the testers who have pre-read the 2nd book (or parts of it). I have heard that they think Gillion and Vliron are awesome, though, they are starting to split into teams on who they think is more awesome - Team Gillion and Team Vliron.... my awesome characters may end up starting a fan war....
Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes – favorite character.
If I judge by which character is fun to write, I think Gillion would be my favorite. He is such a cut up! If I want something funny said or done, Gillion is my man. If I want something crazy or spastic done, Gillion is also my man. If I want someone to make some awesome ninja moves and kill monsters Legolas style, all while smiling and cracking jokes, Gillion is definitely my man.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, I've had a lot of fun with Vliron. He is just the opposite of Gillion. If I want somebody to do or say something mean and cold, Vliron is my man. If I want somebody other than Pharrgon to scare the monsters, Vliron is my man. If I want someone to be a suspicious, sneaky, and befuddling character that the reader likes one minute and hates the next, Vliron is also my man. If I want someone to take a really bad beating..... then Keegan is my man. Though, Vliron has taken some really nasty ones as well.
Picking a favorite character is impossible. I like them all for different reasons. I like writing them and learning their styles. I like torturing them and seeing how they respond. I like killing them too.
Yes. I know. I have issues. I plan to capitalize on that though!
Would any of you be interested in buying one of these T-shirts should I start an online shop?:
Hey! This is going to be a really fun challenge today, but don't forget to check out DAY ONE, TWO, THREE, and FOUR if you haven't been keeping up with this challenge so far.
Today's challenge is: Your protagonist is somehow transported to this world, meets you, and learns that you are responsible for creating his/her world. What is the first thing he/she would say or do after learning this fact?
Well..... I'm doomed.
Keegan is technically my protagonist in Tales of the Wovlen (he's such an idiot, but we won't get into that). If he found out that I was the person who caused the red dragon to kick his people out of their kingdom, turning them into nomads (the life he was born into), and that I wrote the prophecy about the Dragon's Son, picked him for the job, and then sent the army that massacred his friends and family....... Yeah, he'd try to chop off my head. And yes, I'd scream and run like a little girl. He may be an idiot, but he gets ugly when he's angry, and I have a highly developed sense of survival.
If Pharrgon (the dragon) was with Keegan, though, he would be more understanding. He'd see that I created the safe forest for him to hide in, all the wonderful creatures for him to enjoy, put Keegan in his life, and made him the formidable beauty that he is. He would try to help Keegan see the positive side to all of that, and he would certainly keep Keegan from chopping my head off.
There is also one other delicate little thing that Pharrgon would be thankful to me for, but I can't mention her right now because...
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Make sure to wear green, or you'll get pinched (that's what happens in my house)!
By the way, don't forget to check out DAY ONE and DAY TWO of this challenge, if you missed them.
So, today's challenge is: a trope in your genre that gets on your nerves.
I'll be honest; I had to look up what "trope" meant.
Trope - a: a word or expression used in a figurative sense : figure of speech
Ooookay. A cliche! I got it now. Why didn't you just say so?
So, what is a cliche in my genre (fantasy) that gets on my nerves? I have no idea. Cliches very, very rarely get on my nerves. There is something about the predictable that makes it familiar, like an old friend, and I like that.
Thinking about it now, there is one cliche in fantasy that, only recently, I have come to find a little annoying. It is the super strong, tough, battle hardened, young female characters.
In most of the fantasy books I have read, the female characters are either warriors, assassins, mages, barbarians, or some other type of Xena Warrior Princess or Red Sonja "bad-A". Plus, they are always young and hot. Now, I'm not saying that tough, young, hot chicks are bad or unrealistic. I'm a tough, young, hottie if I say so myself, but not all women are young, hot warriors. Some are gentle and delicate - the healer, and the priestess. Some are quiet, regal, and proud - the queen, the duchess, and the farmer's wife. Some are fun-loving and flirty - the bar maid, the gypsy girl, and the merchant's daughter. And don't forget about the sassy boss - the cook, the store keeper's wife, and the governess. Not all women are Xena warrior princess, or Lessa the dragon rider, or Arya the elfin princess. Also, battle hardened warriors are definitely NOT young and hot. They are beautiful in their own way, but they have many scars and they are tired and worn thin, because they have seen many, many gruesome battles.
The only reason this cliche has started to bug me is because of the reviews a friend was getting on his first book (The Heroes of Ravenford by F.P. Spirit). I LOVED his book. I adore one of the female characters introduced in it. But many of the reviewers who read it were upset because of the "lack of strong female characters".
Excuse me? What in the cube kingdom of gelatinous are you talking about? What happened to the "stop using cliches" sermon?
Everyone wants "fresh content", but as soon as one of their favorite cliches are avoided, they throw a fit.
I guess what actually gets on my nerves in the fantasy genre is the readers. Authors are always getting preached at to create original stories free of cliches. But then they get bashed if they publish a book without cliches.
Shut up, you picky readers! Either read the book and enjoy it, or go write your own. Then let's see how well you handle criticism from other readers like yourself who love/hate/love/hate/love/hate cliches.
OH! And one other thing that annoys me about the fantasy genre: NOT ENOUGH DRAGONS.
When I read a fantasy book, and there aren't any dragons, I feel just like this chick from Game of Thrones:
So, this is my first ever video/YouTube book review, and I pretty much stumbled and staggered all the way through it. I got better toward the end, I think, but... yeah. I left out what Genre it is (Fantasy) and I didn't read the "blurp" on the back *Facepalm*.
Needless to say, if you have any tips on making a really good book review on YouTube, TELL ME! I will take any and all tips and suggestions (even if it's something along the lines of "shut yer pie hole and stick to writin' stuff... just be advised that I can throw pie as well as eat it).
Anyway, here is THE ARRIVAL (<--- Amazon Affiliate Link):
When a rash of mysterious and brutal attacks throughout the Hechani Sea shatters tenuous relations, the city-states erupt into a destructive war. Embroiled in the conflict, young Atian officer Kelvar Alexandros is determined to protect his men and his country in the looming trials, despite his growing concern that the enemy may not be as evil as he assumed.
Meanwhile, Mistress Telaine Le Fay, sorceress of Gothrond, is dispatched to investigate the hostilities. Her mission is to discover the roots of the conflict and negotiate a peace settlement. The situation proves unclear, however, and she finds herself inextricably tangled in a web of lies, desperately searching for an elusive truth.
Telaine’s past mentor, the excitable intellectual, Jax, has a problem of his own. His studies have led him to a discovery that could have dire consequences, and he is determined to discover if the threat he fears is indeed real.
In the desert sands of the Great Waste, an adventurous young man named Tor longs for something more than his mundane, everyday scramble for subsistence. Little does he know, Jarwulf, the infamous Blood Berserker from the north, and his mercenary band will soon arrive in his village – and sweep him off to a life he dared not even imagine.
Amidst the tide of darkness rising in Vrold, the only hope may be an unlikely alliance, but evil is rarely obvious. It is a subtle force hiding in plain sight, and the truth is hard to find when even heroes can fall prey to its malevolent will...
As I've been editing book 2 of Tales of the Wovlen, I've also been chopping out unnecessary scenes. The reason for this is the same reason for "deleting" scenes in a movie: the movie is shorter, the story flows more smoothly and the action keeps rolling. It just makes the overall experience for the audience better.
The only difference between a movie and a book is that one can't generally buy or sell a book of deleted scenes, whereas, with a movie, you can purchase the "directors cut" or "extended edition", or get a DVD with special features and deleted scenes. This fact makes if very painful for an author of books. We are cutting pieces of time and effort off our darling, and no one will ever see them. Ultimately, this is for the greater good of the book. Deleting scenes will keep critics happy and fans will never know what they're missing. But it still hurts.
Thankfully, though, there is a solution: I can share these deleted scenes with fans via my blog!
As a special treat, I am going to share one such scene with you today (even though, as of today's date, the book isn't published yet).
This deleted scene comes from Chapter 3 of The Dragon's Due, book 2 in the #TalesoftheWovlen series. As you will be able to guess by reading it, Keegan, our beloved hero, is already getting on everyone's nerves. Saul, Alia and Brainna express their frustration over the situation, and Walneff tries to put it into perspective for them.
The reason I cut this scene out is because it took away from Keegan and the overall sullenness of the chapter. I really liked it, because it lightened the mood, but the mood change is jarring and I don't think the reader needs any help getting things into perspective. They are in Keegan's head most of the time anyway, so they will either resonate with his attitude or they will identify with Saul who is asking "Can I just punch the snot out of Keegan now?"
Without further ado, here is the deleted scene - Frustrations.
Alia cleared her throat, dipped a spoon into a pot over the fire and stirred the contents. "I think it's safe to say I'm also growing very tired of Keegan's attitude." She said, which put Saul back into his flustered mood.
"He’s acting like he is the only one who has suffered through anything!" Saul huffed, pacing angrily "He does not seem to realize we have also suffered the loss of our friends and family, we are being hunted by the same beasts as him, we are as displaced in this world and as involved in all of this prophecy mess as he is!" He kicked a broken tree branch against a tree.
Walneff sighed. “Saul, try to understand how Keegan is feeling right now. He has learned that, because of his existence, hundreds of people, his friends and family, were tortured and murdered. He has also learned that thousands of people now depend on him to fulfill his part of prophecy. How would you react if your shoulders were suddenly saddled with the responsibility of saving an entire land from an unknown enemy? How would you hold under the realization you had been destined to become the savior, and later on king, of your people? What would your feelings, your reactions be when you learned everything in your past made your future, and the future itself depends on you and the choices you make?” Walneff watched as Saul’s face fell and grew somber.
The tall man uncrossed his arms and lowered them to his sides. He opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it.
Walneff dipped his chin, keeping his eyes on Saul’s face. “More than you can understand is resting itself on Keegan’s shoulders right now.”
Saul nodded. “I- I know,” he scratched the back of his head again “I hadn’t thought of it… not in that way.”
“The least we can do is to be patient with him and support him in any way possible.” Alia said, sorrow caressing her face. “I should have been the most understanding of all. I am his sister.”
Walneff nodded with a gentle smile before reaching into his cloak, pulling out his pipe, and filling it. “Wisely said, Alia, my dear.” he stooped down to the fire and pulled out a smoldering stick to light his pipe with “I might add, none of this is an excuse for Keegan’s sore behavior. And, I must also confess, I too have grown weary of it.” He puffed on his pipe and lowered himself to sit on a log “His grumpy behavior really has been putting a damper on my generally cheerful demeanor, and that makes my bones ache.”
Saul grinned as he looked at the old man with a raised eyebrow. “Cheerful demeanor? I believe Keegan would disagree, even if he were in a good mood. He thinks you're always grumpy.”
Walneff looked up at Saul and his diamond blue eyes twinkled with mischief. “Does he now? How interesting! Because I have the exact opinion of him.” The girls giggled, causing a grin to turn up the corners of Walneff's mouth, his eyes sparkling all the more. "Ah, well, I heard a saying once that could be applied to this situation I suppose: 'it takes one to know one'." The girls giggled again and Walneff continued to puff on his pipe in silence.
1. What thing in particular makes westerns appealing to you?
Faith: All of it! The ruggedness, the danger, the flexibility, the shootouts, the romance, the multiple redemption possibilities, and so much more. Sorry, I can’t pick just one.
2. Where did the idea for Hymns of the West come from?
Faith: It came after I had a beta-reader ask what the next book in the series was about. I wasn’t even planning a series, so I told him there wasn’t a second book. But his question got me to thinking and I eventually came up with the ideas for six or seven books in the series and I am now considering connecting this series to a contemporary fiction trilogy I have ideas for. We’ll see where that goes.
As for the name of the series, that came when I decided to make all the novel titles hymn titles. And since they’re all Westerns, Hymns of the West works perfectly!
3. What’s something about yourself that really annoys you?
Faith: My forgetfulness. I forget things way too easily and sometimes that is a very, very bad thing.
4. What’s the name of a book you’re reading?
Faith: “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. It’s a shortened version of his full-length book by the same name. I haven’t read much of it yet, but it is good.
5. What scares you?
Faith: Heights. Especially suspension bridges or manmade towers that sway in the wind. *shudders*
6. Bonanza or Gunsmoke?
Faith: Bonanza. There’s just something about those Cartwright boys that Gunsmoke doesn’t have. I like Gunsmoke as well, but not as much as Bonanza.
7. Why do you write?
Faith: To encourage and challenge Christians in their walk with God and to hopefully reach some non-Christians for the gospel as well.
8. What’s the last song you listened to on purpose?
Faith: Franz Schubert’s Impromptu Opus 142 number 2. It was on a CD I was listening to and I skipped ahead to it because I didn’t remember which one it was.
9. What is your favorite salty treat?
Faith: Dill pickles. They’re about the only thing I like that has a lot of salt. Even with potato chips, I prefer the no salt chips rather than the salted ones. I’m weird that way.
10. What makes you laugh?
Faith: Jokes. Sometimes. Other people laughing hysterically and unable to stop. Things like that.
11. Who’s your favorite cowboy movie star?
Faith: John Wayne all the way. Can you get anymore cowboy than him?
12. You just walked in the door after a long day. What do you do first?
Faith: Unpack whatever needs unpacking, take my shoes off, and then it depends on what else is going on. J
13. Here’s a free plane ticket! Where would you like to go?
Faith: Scotland! Or Montana, but I could, conceivably drive out there someday, so yeah, I’d pick Scotland. I’ve always been fascinated by Scotland. Of course, since I have some internet acquaintances in Ireland and England, I’d probably try to get there as well since I’m on the island.
14. Before we end, would you tell us a little about each of your books in the Hymns of the West series and what inspired each one?
Faith: A Mighty Fortress is about Joshua and Ruth Brookings and their encounter with Jed Stuart. It’s a story of trust and redemption. The idea for this story came from a picture and a short story contest. I was too old for the contest and the idea I had was too long for the contest anyway, but the picture inspired me to write this novel.
Be Thou My Vision is about Jed Stuart’s sister, Anna, and how the events in A Mighty Fortress affect her life and change it completely. Be Thou My Vision came about when I decided to write Anna’s story.
Amazing Grace is a continuation of Be Thou My Vision, but from Caleb Stuart’s perspective. After finishing one of the drafts of Be Thou My Vision, I knew I had to write Caleb’s story. Since Be Thou My Vision is in first person, I couldn’t do his story in there, so I wrote Amazing Grace.
About the Author
An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, Captaining on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).
As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.
You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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