Tagged: anime lover

Why Do We Enjoy The Action/Violence in Stories?

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All right, let’s face it.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all enjoy watching a well-choreographed fight scene.  It’s impressive to us.  It’s artsy.  It might even be “beautifully” done.

Let’s not forget that it’s exciting…it’s attractive…and we can even find ourselves “getting into it”, throwing punches at bad guys and delivering the final blow with the hero or heroine.

Does it ever bother you that we are like this?

Think about it.

I’ll never forget the time I was watching the Hunger Games in theaters, back in 2011.  It was the scene where Clove gets killed by Thresh.  Thresh takes Clove and slams her against the wall of the Cornucopia until she’s dead…and everyone in the audience cheers.

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I was honestly bothered by this.  Who cares that Clove was about to kill Katniss?  Who cares that Clove was definitely messed up?  We’re still talking about one human killing another (Thresh killing clove).  Why does this merit a cheer?

I don’t think cheering is the response that Collins (author of the Hunger Games) wanted.

Why are we obsessed with violence?  Why do we enjoy it, laugh at it, or think that it’s cool?

Is there some deeper meaning behind our desires?

Not to get too philosophical, but I personally believe that humanity has a fallen nature.  It’s not hard to see evidence of this.  That being said, I believe that we formerly had a pure, good nature before the Fall of Humanity (yes, I’m talking about Adam and Eve).

Thus, I’m wondering, does our desire for battle, our love of violence and action, come from our fallen nature?  Or the original human nature God gave us before the Fall?

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John Hedekira, the main character of Elithius…

These are questions that the characters in my book struggle with.  Is there a right or wrong reason to fight?  What should your intention be while fighting?  What should your disposition be?  Angry?  Calm?  Indifferent?  Passionate?

What do you think?  Are you bothered by how “into” action and violence our culture is?  Do you see this in yourself?  Is it a good thing or bad thing?


Interested in buying Elithius, my fantasy novel?  For a limited time only, Elithius is 99 cents as an eBook here.  Don’t miss out.

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500 Followers

Title says it all!!!  My blog officially has 500 followers now (Facebook followers included!)!

I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m even prouder to be a part of this community.

Thanks for all that you do.  This journey would be meaningless without you.

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HOORAYYYYY!

Cheers!!!!

500 Followers

Title says it all!!!  My blog officially has 500 followers now (Facebook followers included!)!

I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m even prouder to be a part of this community.

Thanks for all that you do.  This journey would be meaningless without you.

thank you gif

HOORAYYYYY!

Cheers!!!!

Elithius Excerpt–Blood and Shadow

In preparation for the release of my newest book, which will be published in December, I thought I’d share with you an excerpt from Book One of Elithius!


 

A loud, terrifying scream sounds just outside our house, and an instant later I hear the front door get broken down.  Cassie and Luke begin screaming with panic and horror and immediately I rush for the only decent weapon I own; the sword standing upright in the corner of my room.

With a surge of speed, I burst out of my room.  They already have my siblings.  Fear is the only thing empowering me as I stab one of the intruders in front of me.  Only then do I acknowledge what I just attacked.  It is a horrifying beast, black as the shadows in the room, standing like a man, but with horrible teeth and eyes, a grotesque face, and a large, muscular body.  The room is filled with them.  I immediately know what they are.  They are Evil.

They begin dragging Cassie and Luke out of the house.  I cry out to my siblings, raising my sword, but I am blocked by a horde of the beasts.  The darkness is so thick around me, so dark I’ve never seen anything like it, as though the darkness is a black wall connecting the beasts, emanating from their skin.  The way they move makes my head swim, like they keep multiplying and then vanishing into the darkness.  Finally, I abandon caution and charge them, and two of them step out to meet me.  One after another, I cut both of them down, reacting out of pure instinct.  I hear my siblings scream from outside and I raise my head to look for them beyond our demolished front door.  I see them with their arms outstretched for me, and then, all of a sudden, I feel pain erupt in my stomach.

And I gasp.  Time freezes for a moment, and I grunt with alarm again, looking down at the blade sticking into my body.  The blade retracts, and I release a quivering breath.  Falling to the ground on my side, I watch as my blood pools beneath me, warm against my side.  As I lay there,—sharp, burning pain running through me—I look up, seeing outside in the fading light of day a distinct figure: a beast with long, matted hair, and a red cape.  Every Evil returns to his side, swarming about him.  And I know that he is their leader.

Then they leave.  Their cries sound for long, pain-filled moments after, and then they fade into silence.  And all that’s left behind is blood and shadow.

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Art by Clare S, my awesome little sister


As always, I’d love to know, What do you think?

Click here to read more of Elithius!

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Cover art by Elizabeth M

Finally! Real Neat Blog Award

I know I’ve been nominated for numerous awards by people and I’ve been doing a terrible job at participating.  I’ve been very busy with house work and graduation stuff and writing Volume 8 of my series. So I’d like to apologize for my absence.

I was nominated by Nicolle ( https://storiesofahsi.wordpress.com/ ) for this award. If you get the chance, check out her blog, she’s a great writer and has a deep sense of community.

So, on to the award.

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How it works:

Basically, you thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.  Then you answer the 7 questions of the person who nominated you, then you nominate other people and ask them 7 questions.

Here are Nicolle’s questions and my answers:

  1. What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?

That is definitely more than one question! But it’s a good one. My main inspiration is wanting to influence the world and wanting to express myself to the world. Other inspirations would be the writers of my favorite stories, such as The Lord of the Rings, Fullmetal Alchemist, Mistborn, etc. I write because I want to and because it makes me feel alive, because I feel like I’m making a difference when I do so.

2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?

Another tough but good question. The end of The Two Towers when Sam is talking about how life is worth fighting for, and Rohan is simultaneously defeating Isengard, is definitely a good moment. Or Aang beating the Firelord in Avatar. Good moments.

3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?

This is actually an easy one. Fantasy all the way. I like the dark stuff to be honest, but anything with swords, magic, and lots of symbolism is my favorite.

4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?

I listen to music that corresponds to the mood of what I’m about to write.  I usually prefer to write at a specific time of day, when my outside surroundings reflect the mood of my story.  To be honest, I feel like these are just the normal things a person might do!

5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?

Harry Potter!  The more I read the Harry Potter series, the more I realize how similar I am to Harry.  I think we could be best friends because of how well we could relate to each other.

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?

Hmm, another tough one! I’d say Ireland.  I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland.  Not sure why, I just have.

7.  What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?

One thing I could change?  My opinion of myself.  It’s flawed.  I will say no more.


Thanks so much to Nicolle for her deep and interesting questions!  Once again, be sure to check out her blog here.

I Nominate…

Anyone who read this and wants to participate!  I know this might sound lame, but I’m going to ask you the same questions, just because they are so great.

For the sake of clarity, here are the questions again:

  1. What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?
  2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
  3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?
  4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?
  5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
  6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
  7. What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?

Thanks so much for participating, I’m looking forward to your answers!

The Pros and Cons of Naming Your Chapters

I don’t know how many people actually read let alone NOTICE chapter names.  When I was younger, I thought J.R.R. Tolkien’s style of writing was the archetype for all fantasy writers (some would say it is), and this extended to his chapter names.  I was infatuated with the clever, descriptive, and even “noble” sound of his chapter names.

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An example of one of Tolkien’s chapter names

All of that being said, it’s interesting to note that chapter names are far less common nowadays.  Now, I’m no “writer-statistics-specialist”, so you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see people giving their chapters names anymore.  I think this can be for a number of reasons (see the “Cons” part of this article).  But I believe one important reason is that readers don’t like long chapters anymore (or maybe they never did, and writers finally started making chapters shorter), and so now the average novel has twice as many chapters as a novel would’ve had fifty years ago.

Why does the number of chapters in a book influence whether or not they get names?  Well, who wants to waste all that time thinking up names for 25+ chapters?  Honestly, naming chapters that are between 6-9 pages long is annoying.

I’ve already started listing some cons, so let’s take a look at some pros.

Pros of Naming Your Chapters

What usually grabs your attention when you pick up a random book at a bookstore?  The colors of the cover, obviously the image of the cover…and maybe the name?!  Names are great because they have the power to incite certain feelings within the reader.  Obviously, the titles of books are able to do this, whether they elicit feelings of curiosity or excitement, but chapter-names have the ability to do this too.

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I stole this from Kristen Lamb’s blog because it’s so perfect.  Not sure where she got it.  I don’t deserve any credit.

Think about it.  Oftentimes, when we begin a new chapter, we are either continuing to write about an event that happened in the previous chapter, or we are opening up a new scene/new setting.  Chapter names are able to help us accomplish this; they give the reader an understanding of what’s going on, meaning that we don’t have to waste time explaining it to them.

Suppose you were reading a fantasy novel, and the story was changing from one setting to another.  Which arouses that fantasy-magical sort of feel?

Chapter 6

or

Chapter 6: The City in the Treetops

The second title makes you think of what?  Really huge trees, so big that they contain buildings?  Lots of crazy architecture?  Perhaps Elves, or other woodland creatures?

Seriously, names can make images and ideas EXPLODE into your mind.

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A simple chapter-title could make this image appear in someone’s mind

Chapter-names are also great for setting “the feel” of the entire chapter.  Consider these two titles.

Chapter 25

or

Chapter 25: The Final Battle

That first title doesn’t give any description concerning what’s about to happen.  That’s fine, if that’s what you want as the author.

But which title do you think makes the reader excited?  Which one sets the tone?  Which one makes the reader go: Oh my GOSH, this is it!!!

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Could you make your reader excited in anticipation of something like this?

Names have power.  They are great for setting the tone and inciting feelings in the reader, feelings that you want them to have.

*Point goes to chapter-names*

The only other (main) reason I think chapter-names are good is because they give your book a sense of orderliness.  It’s convenient for readers to know in which chapter they last left off, and it helps them to remember in which chapter so-and-so dies/gets married/eats brussel sprouts/etc.

Cons of Naming Your Chapters

We’ve already determined that people like short chapters nowadays, so it might seem silly to name all 35 of your chapters, when they are each only 8-12 pages long.  Sometimes there isn’t enough action in each chapter to merit a name.  You don’t want to have chapters that are 3 pages long, and you get stuck naming them things like “No Honor, No Glory, Only Blisters in Unfortunate Places” (ahem, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini).

Also, naming your chapters also runs the risk of being too descriptive.  Ever read The Children Of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien?  (probably not, because you’re not a nerd like me!)

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Well, this book by far has some of the WORST chapter names.  Three chapters were named: “The Death of (insert name of important character)”.

Great.  Well, we know that (insert name) dies.

If you don’t trust in your ability to name chapters well, don’t name them at all.  It’s better than being stuck with a name you don’t like, or a name that gives information away.

Another reason not to name chapters is a matter of taste.  If you think chapter names sound too “old”, then don’t have them.  If you want your story to be wrapped in mystery, or you have a story full of surprises, maybe chapter-names aren’t for you.

Remember how we decided chapter names give your story order?  Well, sometimes they can give your story too much order.  Chapters that are long (and long enough to merit a name) can end up becoming a story within a story; each chapter forms its own little short story within the book.

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If you strongly dislike this idea, and you prefer your chapters to run together, then maybe you shouldn’t have chapter names.  If you have a story where chapters are really only present to give your reader a break, then why waste time naming those chapters?

Elithius (my story) doesn’t have chapters with names, as of now.  I simply have too many chapters to name them all.  Also, there are plenty of surprises and plot-twists in my book, so I prefer to keep the element of surprise.  My story is fast-paced and really runs together; there isn’t time for each chapter to have “a story of its own”.  And there’s nothing wrong with that; that’s just how I want to “play my hand”.

When it comes to chapter names, how do you play your hand?


I hope this provided some helpful insight into whether you should name your chapters.  As always, I love to hear what you think.

What do you think?  Thoughts?

To Live The Dream

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When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing that comes into your head? What do you look forward to each day? What inspires you to rise?

As authors or bloggers seeking publicity, we all wake up each day, hoping that today will be better than yesterday. We have goals we are constantly pursuing, and we want to believe that each day, we are getting closer to those goals. HOPEFULLY, every day starts with hope.

So don’t let that hope be for nothing.

I am writing this to inspire you, but also to inspire myself. Don’t believe that anything can stop you, and nothing will. If your goal is to become a better blogger, don’t let your doubts get in the way. If you want to become a world famous author, why let the “odds” stop you? Life isn’t about gaining. It’s about giving something, and giving FOR something or someone. The funny thing is though, it’s only by giving that we are truly able to gain.

What are you willing to give to reach your goals?

I am a doubtful person. I am far from optimistic. I’ve had too much training in critical thinking and logic. Obviously, that can be a good thing. But when it comes to pursuing your dreams?

Screw logic. Screw the odds. Logic only exists because of mystery, because there are some things we CAN’T see coming or explain.  And odds were made to be turned.

Shatter the odds, upset the logic that says “you can’t”.

Tell yourself, “I can”, and then go do it.