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!
Today's challenge is going to be fun! But first, if you haven't already, be sure to check out DAY ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, & FIVE.
Today's Challenge: You are somehow transported into the world of your story. Name the biggest challenge you would face having to transition from living in the real world to your story world. Be as detailed as you like.
Camping. Plain and simple.
I have never done any real camping before. Camping has always entailed sleeping in an air conditioned camper with a soft foam mattress under me and warm fuzzy blankets on top of me and a self-lighting stove to cook on in the kitchen area of the camper.
Yes, I am ashamed that I have never done any real camping before.
Of course, the first monster I came across – Roshar, anyone? – would mess me up pretty bad too. Hand me a sword and I can do some impressive fun stuff with it, but if I had to depend on a sword for survival… yeah. Forget the sword. I’d rather have a dragon. It’s long range, it’s effective, has impressive fire power, and nothing is walking away from it.
A dragon could also come in really handy for camping, come to think of it! If I had a dragon, all my problems would basically be solved. The only one remaining would be the lack of chocolate. There is chocolate in my world, but it has limited distribution. Sure, I could fix that, but what is life without challenge?
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:
Pilot enjoys me reading to him! He especially loves hearing me read my book aloud (wink, wink).
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...
Youre one step closer to unlocking the mystery of being a Grimm with the Grimm Key Necklace. The bronze finished key perfectly replicates the key worn by Nick, handed down to him from his Aunt Marie. The key comes on a 19 inch chain and flips open to create a seventh of the map to locate the treasu...
By Joy the Grimm from Oklahoma, USA on 11/18/2015
5out of 5
Pros: Beautiful, Good Length, Stylish, Unique, Good Quality
Best Uses: Travel, Everyday, Night Out
Describe Yourself: Modern, Practical, Comfort-Oriented
Was this a gift?: Yes
I got two of these Grimm Key Necklaces - one for me, and one for my sister, who is a huge Grimmster.
So, as I have been processing my grief and coping with the loss of my grandmother, I have turned into a YouTube junkie. More specifically, a short films junkie. I have been wasting an unbelievable amount of time watching short films and independently made "movies" on YouTube.
It's been a lot of fun!
Before you rush off to YouTube and start doing it yourself, though, I gotta tell you that there have been a few short films I've watched that were pretty bad (and then there were a few that were worse than bad). However the good ones, the ones I like, I save to THIS PLAYLIST. If you want to have a fun short film marathon, you are welcome to start out on my list. I'd say it is a PG-13 list, in case you have kiddos that want to watch.
Of those videos I have saved, there have been a few about dragons. If you know me, you know that I EAT. THOSE. UP.
Dragons - Can't get enough of them.
Since I don't have anything better to post about, I thought I would share my top 3 favorite dragon short films from YouTube for your enjoyment.
WARNING: The last one is a tear jerker!
When people write a fantasy story, they usually coin it as “Medieval Fantasy”. Although Medieval Fantasy is a sub-genre of Fantasy, it is a very broad one. Most Fantasy - stories, movies, or games - is Medieval Fantasy. There are several other sub-genres in Fantasy that help break up the mass. Most people do not know what sub-genres there are or what books are in them. Many times, one book can fit into two or more sub-genres.
There are too many to list and explain in one blog post, but I thought it would be helpful to make a list of the popular sub-genres in Fantasy and mention a couple of books in each of them.
Contemporary fantasy (also called Urban Fantasy when set in a city) is set in contemporary times and contains supernatural elements. Books in this sub-genre would be Dragons in Our Midst, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians.
High Fantasy is set in an entirely fictitious world and have characters, themes, and a plot of epic stature. Books in this sub-genre would be Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, & Tales of the Wovlen (Hey! I can dream, right?).
Historical Fantasy is a rather broad sub-genre where fantasy and historical fiction blend together. Most historical fantasy is set before the 20th century and contains fantastic elements. Branching from historical fantasy is Arabian Fantasy, Celtic Fantasy, Wuxia, Classical Fantasy, and Steampunk.
Heroic Fantasy is set in a fictitious world and chronicles the tales of heroic characters. The Chronicles of Narnia would be in this sub-genre.
Sword and Sorcery (S&S) commonly overlaps with Heroic Fantasy. It is generally characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent conflicts with small elements of romance present. Examples of this sub-genre would be Conan the Barbarian, The Heroes of Ravenford, and Dungeons & Dragons.
Dark Fantasy is the combining of fantasy with dark and frightening themes, often combining elements of horror. It also broadly refers to various works that have a dark and gloomy atmosphere about them. The Dark Tower series and perhaps even Dracula could be put in this sub-genre.
Fairytale Fantasy is when motifs and plots from folklore are used heavily throughout the story. Books in this genre would be Stardust, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and the Charming Academy Series.
"When is book 2 going to be done?"
"Are you done with book #2 yet?"
"I'm dying here! I need to know what happens! When is book 2 going to be published?"
I cannot tell you how many times these questions have been thrown at me this summer alone. Often times, they are accompanied by a friendly, threatening undertone.
I love it. It means that my book has fans! I mean, that is SO AWESOME. I never dreamed I or my book would have fans.
On the other hand, it is driving me up the wall. I love the questions, but I hate that I have no definitive answer for them.
Book #2 of the Tales of the Wovlen series is currently in the editing phase. I'm done writing it. It's 500 pages long, give or take a little. So, I haven't wasted the better part of a year writing a teeny-weeny thing! The editing phase has been a killer, though. You can't just finish writing a book, slap a shiny bow on it, and throw it at your ravenous readers. If you want it to succeed, it must be scrubbed, polished, shined, and meticulously groomed. Because of this, I'm sorry to say that I have no idea when it will be ready to publish. All I know is that it will be soon (not soon enough though!).
Editing is an exciting stage for an author, because we are watching our baby book go through a growth spurt.
At the same time, editing is a nightmare for an author. We just want our story to be DONE and everyone to love it. We don't want to read through it 50 times, and then 20 more times after that. We don't want to chop scenes out, shorten things up, keep Madam Point Of View in line, or endure the tedious trials of dialogue, grammar, and word-overuse!
WHY CAN'T YOU READERS JUST BE HAPPY WITH AN IMPERFECT WORK OF ART???
The only reason we authors do any editing at all is to please our readers. Y'all should be thanking us instead of threatening us with suicide notes if the next book doesn't come out by Christmas.
*squints at all the bookworms*
However, I do have some good news for you: my beta readers (those who help with the pre-editing phase of the book) have made some very encouraging remarks which suggest readers will LOVE book #2.
Exciting new characters, fantastic battles, goosebump generating scenes, and, of course, awesome dragons are only a few of the good things my beta readers have mentioned about the book thus far. All of it makes me super excited, and I can't wait to share the book with the world!
Seriously, I am way more excited about this book than you are. Like, you have no idea.
What Can You Do While You Wait?
The waiting process is killing me and I know it's not doing you, the reader, any favors either. So, here are three things you can do to make the waiting time shorter!
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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