The Dying Art of Romance Novels

rose

There’s all kinds of books ranging from science fiction, to realistic fiction, but it seems some people believe that romance has been a degraded genre. I think they’re just repetitive and people are getting bored of reading them. Some of the conflicts are hardly even that difficult for the characters to get over and I think romance writers can do so much better. Here is what I think romance writers should do to improve their books and feel free to comment any other ideas that come to mind.

 

Jimmy and Jane don’t have to have a happily ever after.

Romance novels do this all the time and it’s so, so predictable. Maybe Jimmy has to move or Jane dies in a car crash. Maybe it took the other person years to move on because they missed them so much. Romeo and Juliet was a romantic play, but no one sees anything else like it anymore.

There’s more to life than lovers

Even if it is romance, remember people typically have other ambitions too.  Maybe Jane got a job in New York, but Jimmy has to stay where they are for his work and Jane is crying because she can’t decide what she wants more. Most people -especially someone that doesn’t have a partner quite yet- are at a tug of war between what they want to do in life and the people they want in their life. I think this is important in romance novels, dreams need to be acknowledged if romance writers really want their stories to look realistic.

Maybe someone gets burned

getting burned

Analogy to dating, just because someone asks, doesn’t always mean the other person will say yes

Again, it shouldn’t be predictable, it shouldn’t always be Jimmy asks Jane out either. They shouldn’t always say yes to the first person that asks them out. Maybe Jack asked Jane out before Jimmy did and Jane said no. It will make the novel better because this is what happens in real life. 

It’s not always rainbows and unicorns

Don’t make the book happy and giddy all the time, that’s not what happens in the real world. Maybe Jimmy’s family died in a fire and he’s clinging onto Jane because she’s the only “family” he has. Maybe they fight because Jimmy cheated on Jane, maybe Jane leaves and ends up dating Jack.

Make things CHANGE

One thing I’ve seen in romance novels is there isn’t really much of an arch in either character, all that changes is their relationship status. I know people can’t always change others, but maybe something else does. For example, maybe Jimmy hates kids and Jane loves them. Maybe Jane creates a “bring your child to work day,” and there is a kid that makes Jimmy change his mind without persuading him to.

It doesn’t have to be sappy

Another Sappy Romance Novel Cover

If someone’s a good writer, they can find other ways to appeal to a readers emotions. Readers don’t have to fall in love with the male or female lover, but they should at least fall in love with their relationship. This is another romance thing that is repetitive and almost cliché. Cliché writing is a path no writer should go down. For some readers it almost makes them want to set the book down and find something else. Maybe Jack and Jane just like getting coffee and talking rather than Jack giving Jane flowers every day.

If someone writes romance fiction and wants to keep the genre alive, please, please shuffle a deck of ideas and write down a list of things in romance novels that have become common. The world wants something new and we’re waiting for romance writers to show us a different story.

One Minute of my Time? What is the World Coming to?

Has my generation really gotten to the point where we can’t we put in ONE MINUTE of our own time to read someone else’s work? I’ll admit I’ve clicked the like button and never actually read someone’s post, but their are some post where I actually committed my time to reading it and helped with discussions on another person’s blog. We can do better than this, I know we can do better than this.

We need to put aside some time to focus on others and not just focus on ourselves. I thought that was the point of blogging: to post stuff that people want to see and find things that actually mean something to them. I know, book reviews don’t always mean a lot to people, but with each one a write I hope at least one person finds value in it. I hope it helps people find a book their looking for so they don’t pick up one that they don’t enjoy. That’s my job, to help people find books they like so they aren’t wasting their time.

I hope this helps, let me know if anyone has any good book discussions. Happy blogging!

Book About a Dress-Loving Boy and the Unforunate Reaction to it

Jacob's new dress

It’s a kids book about a boy who likes to wear dresses and is used to help other children accept the gay community. It frustrates me that after just a few complaints it gets taken out of schools. It is discussed in, ‘Reading a book can’t turn you gay,’ Say Authors of Children’s Book Yanked by CMS and A book about a dress-loving boy was supposed to teach kids acceptance- until lawmakers complainedI think there are a number of reasons why it shouldn’t be banned and here’s just a few:

1) It Creates Open Minded People

the-problem-with-closed-minded-people-is-that-their-mouths-are-always-open-4d750

We don’t know everything about the world yet -we don’t even know for sure where we go when we die- who are we to judge? In order to find out everything about the universe we can’t suppress things such as this, maybe people of the same gender really can love each other, but we’ve been so brain washed into thinking that that couldn’t happen. Again, we don’t know everything and if we prevent certain things from happening then how can we learn more?

2) There’s Good and Bad People, but Being Gay in Itself Doesn’t Make a Person Bad.

good and bad peopel

I know gay people, I know straight people, and I know just about everyone in between. I’ve meant straight people who are rude and I’ve meant gay people that make my blood boil. However, I’ve meet people -either gay or straight- that I could strike up a deep, enlightening conversation with. A person shouldn’t be considered bad if they are gay, how they go about living their lives should hardly have an affect on someone so stop making it a big deal.

3) Why is it a big deal?

If someone told their friend that they liked the color red, but their friend liked the color blue are they going to fight each about it? No! Listen, I’m not even gay, I’m straight and I’m discussing this because I have friends that are gay and just because they look at life a different way does not give me a reason to disown them. 

4) Stop Letting History Repeat Itself

Hitler

Remember that German guy with the mustache that killed all the jews or that one time when the northern and southern states threatened to seperate from each other? If someone doesn’t support gays their just risking something like that happening again, and to be honest I enjoy staying home and reading a book rather than watching my friends get killed just because they saw life in a different way than I did.

 

If  it was up to me I wouldn’t suppress the book, I think anyone who wants everyone to think a certain way is unreasonable. Only in our differences will we thrive, not our similarities.

 

Who did it? The Women in Cabin Ten by Ruth Ware

the women in cabin ten.jpg

Let me first just talk about the cover, no matter how much someone will try to drill into a readers head that the cover doesn’t matter it still won’t happen. Humans are visual creatures and there isn’t much we can do to change that. The cover on The Women in Cabin Ten literally caught my eye, some kind of shiny material was used to add more detail to the rain and I loved the texture of the book. If you’re not really a nook person like I am the texture might also be something authors, and publishers should keep in mind. The shades of blue they used on the cover was good too, it had some dark shades to it, giving it an eerie feeling. I thought the window itself was also appealing, it makes the viewer think there’s something I’m looking into, maybe something I’m not supposed to be seeing, but I get to see it anyway.

Thrillers, crime, and mysteries are the types of books I’ve come to read more and more. The Women in Cabin Ten seemed like a little bit of all three, with burglary, a missing person, things going missing. The sub plots were intriguing, with the main character having a little romance going on and the backgrounds of the other characters were unique, each had their own personality, one I found to be quite funny. My head was spinning with theories, did so and so do this? If so and so did it then what about this? But they couldn’t have done because this other thing happened! It was hard to get everything to add up and eventually I ended up giving up on what I thought was going to happen and just let the book take me where it wanted me to go.

How did you feel about this book? If you’re thinking about reading it what questions do you have? Did you like the romantic subplots or did you think it was too much?

 

Books I’m Currently Reading

Reading books meme

So I’ve had a few books I’ve been reading and I figured I’d tell everyone what they were even though I haven’t finished them yet. Let me know if you’ve read them before and tell me what you thought about them, this week I should have more time on my hands to get my reading done and I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve finished them. Here’s my list of what I’m currently reading:

1) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I’ve probably mentioned this one before, so far I’m at page 152, it’s been a good read, but the book is about three times as long as what I’m used to. It talks about finical journalism, big powerful cooperations that try to destroy anyone that messes with their reputation, a missing person, a family that is rueful to their on kin, and a mysterious girl with a dragon tattoo. There is quite a lot going on, I’m curious to see how it all turns out. If you like books that have a lot going on, I would highly recommend this book to you.

2) The Cabin by Natasha Preston

I’m just over 50 pages into to this book, I still love her books, but recently it has been getting a little repetitive though, the theme in this book is pretty close to the theme in Awake and The CellarThe characters are just switched up and their relations with each other are different. So far The Cabin has been more of a mystery than a thriller, -which is one thing that makes it different from Awake and The CellarHer others books I’ve read put the reader in suspense, she left me hanging onto every word and I want to know if The Cabin will make me feel the same way.

3) Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

I’m yet to get this book, but I have read part of it for my Creative Writing class. It’s more of a mystery book and from what I’ve read, it had quite a bit of layers to it. I also like the characters because their psychical descriptions are a lot different from most of the books I’ve seen. The main characters are a Chinese American family, I think characters with this kind of psychical description are coming of age -and I think it shows that even though we’ve learned to accept different races, I still think the world is yet to accept children that are mixed.

4) In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

So, I’m yet to read this one, but I have read The Women in Cabin Ten. I was left completely clueless as to what would happen next, I was always left wondering how the main character would figure out what was going on. I think I’m going to like this book since it was written by the same author, I can’t wait to see how it plays out and think it will make me a better reader. I’m hoping after reading these books I will be better at finding any subtle foreshadowing in other books and maybe one day finding out what will happen next will become second nature.

5) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I got about 100 pages into this book and I was just flat out bored. I might get back into at some point in my life, but it hardly had any subplots and it just focused on the main part of the story. If it was shorter I might have had more fun reading it, but since there wasn’t much going on it was hard to get through the first part. Maybe I’m not giving the book a fair chance, but when I’m reading I want the wheels in my mind to turn and this book just wasn’t doing that for me.

Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you so much Zoë for nominating me! I think this award will help bring bloggers together so we can find ways to improve our posts. I’d also like to thank Okoto Enigma for creating this award!

The Rules
Put the award logo/image on your blog
List the rules
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
You nominate 10 – 20 people
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
Share a link to your best post(s)

About Me

  1. I’m currently a senior at my high school right now and I’m struggling with trying to find my place in the world. I’ve got a lot to figure out and I hope blogging might help me find what I’m looking for in life.
  2. I love caring for my dog, Zeus, by May he will be about 12 years old. Taking him for walks helps me stop worrying about what’s going on in my life.
  3. My name is Athena, but I’m not actually greek, my parents wanted to name me that because they knew someone with that name.

Answers to Zoë’s Questions:

  1. The last book I abandoned was Hot House by Brain Aldissthe setting took place where the earth had stop orbiting the sun and plants became animal like. I didn’t like the names of the characters or the way he described the plants. He would only give one to two sentences of description for each one, which bothered me because I couldn’t picture the plants or the characters well.
  2. One book to movie adaptation that I was unbelievably disappointed in was The City of BonesI talked about what I didn’t like about it in my Movie vs. Book post.
  3. Still life pictures are my favorite book covers! If my friends hadn’t told me the plot of Twilight, I probably would have read it. I especially love still life photos that give the viewer the same feelings that the story gives them. My post, Dear Authors, STOP Putting Characters on the Cover goes more in depth on what covers I like.
  4. A universe I would want to live in is probably Narnia, I love talking to animals and it would be cool if animals could literary talk back to me. I’m not really that much of a religious person, but Aslan still means so much to me. If I had a wardrobe like that, I’d never leave it.
  5. If books became scented I would buy one that had a coffee smell to it. I love waking up to the smell of coffee in the mourning. If I planned to read the majority of a book at night, I would choose a lavender scent. Lavender makes people sleepy and -at least in my opinion- I find it calming.

My Questions:

  1. What is one book you have read that you think is underrated? Why do you think it’s underrated?
  2. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring three books what would you bring?
  3. Which would you prefer: coffee, tea, or neither? Why?
  4. Do you keep the artist separate from the art? Or do you think they should go together? What I mean is, say an artist creates something that you absolutely love, but you find out they are a terrible person, would you still enjoy their art or would you boycott it?
  5. The weird question: If you had to do cartwheels or somersaults for the rest of your life which one would you choose?

Your turn! Even if you’ve done it before feel free to do it again.

Kai@ Kai Attempts Book Blogging

One Green Acorn

The Book Blog

Beth@ Hello Beautiful Book Blog

Sophie @Sophie the Bookworm

Libby @Through the Wardrobe

Jackquie@ Rattle the Stars

Amy@ Amy Talks Books

Amber@ YA Indulgences

The Blogin’ Hobgoblin

Beaches and Books

Stacy and Justin@ A Court of Coffee and Books

Brooklyn@ The Girl From Biono

Nicholas Bizov@ Readers Analysis

Lauren@ Lauran Lives

Ellie@ Ellie’s Bookshelf

Kay Goodwin-Bates@ Wild on my Side

Jauza Maryam Mumtazah@ Books & Candies

Shanti@ Virtually Read

Lizzy@ The Bent Bookworm

 

How I’m Writing my Outline

I will say, I’m yet to write a book -although I written over 120 pages worth of stories. I wanted to show everyone how I’m doing my outline, I think it might help others think about how they want to create their own. Here’s who I’m doing it:

What I bought:

  • Cork board
  • Pins
  • Index Cards
  • Different colors of pens

The Set Up

 

On my cork board, I have several index cards, most showing the storyline, one has my list of concerns in the story I want to write, so each time I go up to it, I know what I need to keep track of to make the story better. Towards the right I have the name’s of the main characters. I plan on putting their physical descriptions on their as well as how they develop in the story. I used the colored pens to show the major and minor conflicts in the story -however I was just experimenting with it and I don’t think it turned out the way I planned. I had also bought red thread, thinking I could use it to connect certain parts of the story, but I didn’t use it, I wasn’t sure how it would help with this particular story. I think the index were enough to help set it up.

On one side of the index cards, I wrote the broader version of my story, on the back is a much more detailed idea of how the story will go. I wrote this so I don’t get off track of my main goal, I think it will really help once I’ve finished the outline. I’m almost done with the detailed version of it -however, it’s still a fresh idea and I might have to change it up a bit to make sure everything falls in line.

Why write an outline?

I tried writing a story(novel length) without an outline and everything fell apart. An outline helps remind me what the my goals are for the story so I don’t write something completely different from what I originally planned. I strongly recommend that everyone does an outline, at least for a novel length story. Whether it be through cork boards, index cards, a google doc, really anything you can write your thoughts on. It will be such a hassle if you don’t, writing the main ideas (and subplots) down will save you so much time and it won’t give you as many headaches.

 

Links to blogs that help with outlines:

https://lisanowak.wordpress.com/outlining/

Writing a book ON wordpress:

https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/

https://en.support.wordpress.com/write-a-book/

Websites that help with outlines:

https://self-publishingschool.com/11-ways-outline-book/

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/

http://www.wikihow.com/Outline-a-Novel

War Between Literary and Genre Writing? Give Me a Break!

Book drama is more real than someone might think, but it isn’t always authors rubbing against each other, it’s the books themselves that some people argue about. If someone wants to read literary fiction, go ahead, if someone wants to read genre fiction, go ahead. Don’t try and tell someone that one is better than the other. There are good and bad books in each category, but whether one is good or bad can be based on someone’s personal opinion and not nessarlily something the author did incorrect. Here are some things I have found that people have used to make either side appear better:

1) Literary Snobbs

book snob meme

Some people who enjoy literary books won’t even read genre books, but they believe they have a right to criticize them. People such as Jennifer Robson, a genre writer, has come across this issue and she discussed it in a video that talks about literary books and popular books. No one should criticize a book if they haven’t even read it to begin with. If someones a literary reader(or a genre reader) they are not entitled to tell someone either category is bad without being reasonable.

2) The Genre Bandwagon

Some genre writers might agree that genre books are better due to their popularity.  However, it could also be due to ads and marketing or people could be reading the book just because everyone else is reading it. There might be a certain genre that’s popular for a certain period of time, horror books might be more popular during the fall or romance books might be more popular in February. A lot of people might have read it, but they does’t mean they actually enjoyed it.

3) Literary Suffocation

forced to read in school

Ruth Graham wrote a post with the first sentence being, “Read whatever you want.” That sentence was only only meant to cushion her next sentence which was, “you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.” Most genre books are typically YA, especially science fiction and fantasy. Which is -indirectly- another cut into genre books. She states that adults are, “better than this!” Which is far from statics, in the entire world roughly 20-15% of adults can’t even in read. Most adults in America can only read at a 7th or 8th grade level with only 15% of adults able to read at full literacy.

In order to change this we can’t blame people for not having a higher level of thinking. Someone that reads at full literacy should allow themselves to go into a “lower level” of thinking so that their level of thinking is easier for other people to understand. They can’t do that if the only books they’ve read recently are books some people can’t even comprehend.

Kids don’t jump from Dr. Seuss to Charles Dickens in a day, they need to read plenty of books their age first in order to understand it. How can adults write books for kids if they aren’t allowed to read them themselves? Adults need to read them to find out what catches a child’s attention so they can learn to read better.

Sure, literary books might grant us a higher understanding of the world around us -some genre books could do that too-, but without genre books I don’t think people would begin to read in the first place.

 

How to be a Fearless Writer

fearless person

If you want to write a good story, novel, or even a simple blog post you can’t agree with what everyone says, or write about what’s trending at the time. Here are some tips on how to be a fearless writer:

1) What is important to you?

You have to write about something that is important to you if you ever want to write fearlessly.  There may be people that disagree -some might harshly criticize you- but what’s important is that you are true to your readers. You can’t please everyone and soon people will find out what you’re trying to do and they will stop reading. However, if you are true to your readers and you write things that are completely and wholeheartedly something you believe in, you will soon find a group of people that agree with what you believe -maybe even more than you might think.

 

2) What is your symbol?

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If you support LGBT rights, you know a rainbow is normally the symbol for the group of people that do. If you work as a Fedex employee, you’ll know the hidden symbol in the logo. Why should you have a symbol? Simple, so the group of people that believe what you believe in will have an easier time finding you. Symbols how are what help us stay strong and stay together. The symbol will help attract your group of people so they can help support you and make your voice even stronger and heard.

 

3) Block out the haters

blocking out the haters

It is good to have healthy criticism, but if someone is giving your content rueful comments without an explanation as to why, then you should probably stop listening. Some people just was to tear others down and it can be easy for them to -especially when they’re behind a screen- keep going and remember there is someone out there that feels the same way you do.

 

Happy blogging!

Hoping Gone Girl Will be Gone From my Mind

Amy is suddenly gone, a strange crime scene is left for the police. Most blame the husband, but the wife has a questionable past. So what happened?

 

I’m going to give Gone Girl three out of five stars. At first I really liked where it was going, it gave you a strange scene at first, with mopped up blood and messes that weren’t supposed to be there. Nick began act strange and things were popping up that he couldn’t explain. Then it revealed that he cheated on Amy and I thought for sure that he did kill her. Then Amy started talking about the “cool girl” and that’s when the story starting to reveal how Amy gave the illusion that Nick did it.

Towards the end, I disliked both of the characters and eventually I didn’t really care about what happened to them. Maybe that’s the point the author was trying to get across. Once a crime is “solved” no wants to dig much deeper, which aggravated me

Everything was so set up, and what about the two people that Amy met while she was in the cabin? What about all the other people Amy destroyed? If they all testified would she get arrested? If I was Nick I would rather die than be with someone like her.

I’ll admit I liked Nick better than Amy, she never explained to him why she was mad and didn’t like repeating herself. People forget okay, get over it, stop taking it personally. She also let him do things like get drunk with his friends on their anniversary. She let him take her money as well as her parents. She allowed her parents to control her and convince people that she was the person they perceived her to be. She could have talked to her parents about how she felt and maybe they would have done something different, but I guess in Amy’s mind, destroying their lives seemed to be the best option.

Gone-Girl1.jpg

It was hard for me to watch the movie, it was just so messed up, they kept doing stupid things. Amy tried to punish Nick for not making her happy, Nick decided to cheat on her instead of leaving her or working things out. Just thinking about this book makes me want to throw up. I thought you both brought this upon yourselves and your intentionally trying to make it worse, just stop. I didn’t even get through the  movie, Go was the only character that convinced me to watch for so long. The two main characters have done so many messed up things that I found both of them emotionally unreachable.