Sunday, September 30, 2012

Three Reasons Banning Books is Not the Answer (Celebrating Banned Books Week Plus Giveaway!)

Banned Book Week is being hosted by Book Journey. There will be posts and hops all week to celebrate banned books. You might be surprised how many of your favorites have made this list at some point! Visit Book Journey for more details.

When the powers-that-be decide that a book isn't suitable for their agendas, they tend to ban it from schools, libraries, and what Jane Austin might have referred to as "good society."

This is, of course, the worst thing they could possibly do. Not only because it violates all kinds of constitutional rights, but because it accomplishes exactly the opposite of what they intend. The best way to get a lot of people to read a book is to ban it.

And why is that, exactly?

1) Human Nature. We mortals are naturally both curious and rebellious. The instant we hear that something is off limits, we are seized with an overwhelming desire to participate in that thing. (Why do you think dieting is so hard?)

2) Revolution. Many banned books are about a revolution of some kind, whether political, emotional, cultural, religious, or personal. Revolutions generally spawn from some kind of oppression. By banning books about revolution (usually under the guise of forestalling social upheaval) the powers-that-be give birth to the very thing they're trying to avoid.

3) Freedom. Exploring the limits of our imagination makes us more free, not less. The more free we feel, the more satisfied we are with life. Assuming we aren't oppressed in any other part of our lives, this would make us less likely to rise up. Banning books simply fans the flames of unrest. Again, not what they were trying to accomplish.

When I read the Hunger Games trilogy a couple of years ago, I was told all kinds of interesting things. Most people I spoke to really liked the first book, but not so much the second or third. I'm not sure why that was, but it gave me low expectations for the rest of the trilogy. I even considered not reading the second and third volumes. But, when the first one ended, I knew I had to keep going. I just loved the first book so much!

*some spoilers ahead*
When I got to the part of Catching Fire where Katniss visits Rue's district, my jaw was on the floor. It was poignant, shocking, and visceral. Tears came to my eyes and I remember thinking how stupid the Capital was. There was nothing they could have done to more fully ensure that the people of that district would revolt. Most people will only stand for injustice and violence for so long before they rise up to stop it.

I remember suddenly craving an insurrection! I totally wanted a dozen Nazis complete with Third Reich uniforms to show up threatening people, just so I could go all Angelina Jolie on them to get my adrenaline out. This is the effect that injustice has on us.

That's why oppressive regimes will always fall. Eventually. And why all banned books will be read. Here's to what they don't want us to read. *lifts hot cocoa cup* and may the odds be ever in our favor.

Giveaway:

At the end of the week, I'll be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. To enter, just leave me a comment telling me what your favorite banned book is and why. :D

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bloggiesta 2012--To Do List


What is Bloggiesta?

(From www.theresabook.comFall is a busy time of year with school starting and with a number of other blogging events going on, including Book Blogger Appreciation Week (don’t miss this!), but we wanted to give everyone some time to focus on those small tasks that fall by the wayside during busy times. Bloggiesta is the perfect event to check off those to-do lists and also get inspiration going into the wintry months! It’s also a great opportunity to connect with other bloggers you may have not met before or haven’t talked to in awhile. We’d love to have anyone interested to join in the fun!


Remember, the level of commitment during Bloggiesta is up to you. We’d love for you to find lots of time to devote to blogging with us during those three days, but if you have just one day that you can join us, or even just a few hours of one day, please do not hesitate to sign up.
If you decide to participate in the Fall 2012 edition you can expect:
  • to spend time that weekend (as much or as little as your schedule allows) working on your blog
  • to create a to do list to share on your blog and link up with other participants
  • to hopefully participant in several mini challenges and learn something new
  • to connect with other participants through blog hopping or twitter
  • to make new blogging friends!
  • to come away at the end of the three days with a spiffed up blog!


Read more: http://www.theresabook.com/2012/09/bloggiesta-participants-welcome-lets-get-signed-up/#ixzz27oVOho1y


So here's my To Do List:

1) Write Top Ten/Teaser Tuesday posts for all of October.
2) Write all of the guest posts I have coming up (there's currently four) and send them off.
3) Beef up my email list a bit.
4) Write all of my Thoughts for Thursdays posts for the month of October.
5) Visit at least 20 other bloggers participating in Bloggiesta.

Honestly, I'll be lucky to get through all that! I won't have as much time as I'd originally hoped. But, here's to progress. Baby steps, right? I had planned to hit the TBR list hard this October and get through lots of Halloween books. If I can get even half of October's posts written beforehand, that will really help. 

So, what's your Bloggiesta 2012 To Do LIst?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Follow Friday--Big Words



Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! 



Q: What is the BIGGEST word you've seen used in a book lately - that made you stop and look it up? Might as well leave the definition & book too.


Photo Credit: historicenterprises.com
I can't remember which book this is from (I'm reading two classics at the same time so I'm sure it was one of them) but I remember looking it up. (Checked my dictionary.com iphone app to find it again.) The word was caparison (not comparison). It means: a decorative covering for a horse or for the tack or harness of a horse; trappings. Probably something that would ONLY be seen in a historical piece. 

What word have YOU had to look up recently?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday (T4T) -- 6

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday!
Image credit: 
devor / 123RF Stock Photo  

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Readers may respond by either commenting on the quote I put forward or contributing a quote of their own. I'll include a linky list, or you can just respond in the comments.

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!   

This week's theme is heroes! Here are some great quotes:


"The noir hero is a knight in blood caked armor. He's dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he's a hero the whole time.” --Frank Miller
“When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.” --Euripides
"Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale."--Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
“Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”--Brodi Ashton, Everneath 
"My lady, I am a hero, and heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest cannot simply be abandoned. Unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story." --Prince Lear, The Last Unicorn

Which quote is your favorite? Do you have any to add?

The Intersection of YA and Dystopia

Photocredit: missbookreviews.wordpress.com

Hello All! Happy Wednesday!

Last week, Jordan of Miss Book Reviews did a cover reveal for me. This week I'm guest posting on her blog. My guest post is entitled, The Intersection of YA and Dystopia. If you could all hop over there (just click one of the links) and leave your comments there, I'd really appreciate it. Her blog is super-cute and she's been great to work with.

Thanks so much to all my followers for their amazing support! Have a great day! :D

Photo Credit: smileysof.com


Monday, September 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday--Unfinished Series


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Today's Question:

What are the top ten series you haven't finished for any reason?


Photo Credit: Amazon.com
1) Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin. I love this series so much, but the next book won't be out for three years (*sobs pitfully*) so I'm not in a hurry to finish the 5th book. Other things that I DO need to finish keep coming up. Consequently, I haven't finished.

2) Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Okay, this one's not my fault. I haven't finished because the final book keeps getting pushed back. (I'm not at all bitter, though.) It should be out Jan 2013 and I will probably be dead to the world until I get through it. No showers, no food...I'm really serious.

Photo Credit: fanpop.com
3) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Okay, this isn't a series by itself; it's a prequel. But, I figure it's part of the LOTR series, right? I've read the trilogy, but for some reason, I never finished the hobbit. When I was in junior high, I checked it out and read most of it. I got through everything except for the very end where they fight Smog. I had to give the book back to the library at that point, and for some reason (I have no idea what it is!) I never checked it out and finished it. So, I know the whole story...except for the final few chapters. Pathetic, I know. Looks like they're making the film into a trilogy, so I've two years, right? :D

4) Possession series by Elana Johnson. This one is just due to procrastination and being too busy. I really liked the first book, but my TBR list is a billion miles long and I haven't gotten to the second one yet.

Photo Credit:
goodreads.com
5) Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. I'm pretty sure there's a sequel to this, but I'm still reading the first one so, obviously, I haven't read the second. (Stretching, I know, but I can't think of any more!)

6) My Fair Assassin series by Robin LeFevers. I read the first one, Grave Mercy, and LOVED it, but the second one isn't out yet. I'll definitely be reading it when it is, though. :D

Okay, that's all I can think of. I'm sure there's a few other books I've read that will be series but only the first one is out so far. 

What are your Top Ten Series to finish?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Follow Friday--Happy Hype!


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! 


Q: What hyped up book was worth all of the fuss?


Photo Credit: zdnet.com

Harry Potter! 


Okay, obvious answer, I know, but when I read these (just before book 5 came out) I had SOOO many people telling me not to read them! That was when lots of prudish people were saying that because they used wands and did spells, it was evil and dark and voodoo-ish. Then my sister said she thought it would be stupid to read them because they were "little kid" books. But then there was all the hype. I don't think I have to tell anyone how awesome they were. (Even my sister converted after the movies started coming out! :D

Happy Friday, Everyone! :D





P.S. If you missed it, Michelle at Concise Reviews did a cover reveal for me today, and I included a guest post entitled The Importance of Escapism. Click here to read it! :D 

Thoughts 4 Thursday--5!


Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday!
Image credit: 
devor / 123RF Stock Photo  

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Readers may respond by either commenting on the quote I put forward or contributing a quote of their own. I'll include a linky list, or you can just respond in the comments.

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!  


Photo Credit: fanpop.com
This week's theme is horses! Horses are used in many and varied way in literature. They are a major part of many historical stories, but historical, contemporary, and fantasy authors alike make use of them! They are majestic creatures full of nobility and personality! (Trust me!) :D Here are some horse quotes!










“A horse which stops dead just before a jump and thus propels its rider into a graceful arc provides a splendid excuse for general merriment.” --H.R.H. Prince Phillip
“There is a lot of folklore about equestrian statues, especially the ones with riders on them. There is said to be a code in the number and placement of the horse's hooves: If one of the horse's hooves is in the air, the rider was wounded in battle; two legs in the air means that the rider was killed in battle; three legs in the air indicates that the rider got lost on the way to the battle; and four legs in the air means that the sculptor was very, very clever. Five legs in the air means that there's probably at least one other horse standing behind the horse you're looking at; and the rider lying on the ground with his horse lying on top of him with all four legs in the air means that the rider was either a very incompetent horseman or owned a very bad-tempered horse.”--Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight
“Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds."--Holy Bible, Job 39:19-25


What do you think? How important are horses in our stories? Our history? Our culture? Which quote do you like best?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cover Reveal and Blurb--Miss J! (And RMQ!)

Hello Everyone and Happy Wednesday! I hope today finds you all well and prosperous. And also happy, for that is everything.


Thanks for visiting my blog. Miss Book Reviews is doing a Cover Reveal for Persistence of Vision today. If you could all hop over and leave your comments there, I'd really appreciate it. Afterward, you have my permission to do something nice for yourself! :D


Photo Credit: quickhealth.net

Just saying.

Thanks so much for all your support!


Random Movie Quotes (RMQ)

Don't know what this is? Click here.

Last time's RMQ was:


Photo Credit: fanpop.com

"You use that words so often. I don't think it means what you think it means."

Alex Cavanaugh guessed it! That's right: It was Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride! Who doesn't know that movie? :D Great job, Alex!





Today's RMQ is:

"When someone asks if you're a god, you say YES!"

Any guesses? Three possible points--one for film, one for actor, one for character! Good luck! :D

Top Ten Tuesday--Bookish People!

Photo Credit: brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


Top Ten Bookish People You Want To Meet (Authors, Bloggers, etc.)

Sorry to all my wonderful blogger friends. I <3 all your blogs, but because you are alive and blogging, I hold out a very realistic hope of meeting you someday. Therefore, you didn't make the list! :( sorry. I went with all those I want to meet but never will (at least not while living!) :D

P.S. Answers are the same on both my blogs today. Just FYI to those who follow both! I DID do different pictures, though. You know, just in case you're curious. :D

Author Robert Jordan
Photo Credit: Goodreads.com
1. Robert Jordan. Alas, my top pick (also probably my favorite author) passed away from a rare form of cancer in 2007. :( So wish I could pick his brain, though.

2. George R.R. Martin. Currently totally obsessed with his Song of Fire and Ice series. As an author, I can sometimes predict where an author might be taking a story line better than lay readers. Even though it would mean spoilers, I wish I could sit down and ask him some specific questions, just to see if I'm right. (I'd totally still buy the books, though! :D )

3. J.K.Rowling. Just because. Kind of obvious, right?

4. Stephanie Meyers. I'm not the biggest Twilight  fan, but Stephanie Meyer is an LDS author who has made it big, so I'd love to pick her brain about our mutual beliefs, how they figured in her story, and what motivated the choices she made both in her writing and in her career overall.

Author Terry Goodkind
Photo Credit: last.fm
5. Terry Goodkind. Another favorite author of high fantasy. His Sword of Truth series is amazing!

6. Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird. Just cuz.

7. William Shakespeare. Yup! The big guy. There's so much speculation as to who he really was. Totally want to write his "true" story. :D 

8. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I put these two as one because they were in the same writer's group. (Totally making up my own rules here, but whatever). Two of the most innovative fantasy minds of their time.

Author Joseph Conrad
Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org
9. Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness is one of my favorite books of all time! I'd love to pick his brain about it! :D

10. Charles Dickens. Totally want to know exactly how he came up with the story line for A Tale of Two Cities. I know it's set against the French Revolution, but still! Details please!


How about you? What Bookish people would you like to meet?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nailing Down Your Audience

Photo Credit: mamaliciousnoire.com
Hi Everyone! Happy Monday! I'm doing a guest post entitled, Nailing Down Your Audience over at Emily White's fantastic blog. Hop on over and comment there! Thanks! Have a great week and I'll see you tomorrow! :D


For Alex J Cavanaugh's Blog Fest, click here! (Moved it to my other blog).

Happy Monday!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Follow Friday--Hype and Disappointment


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!  


Q: What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?


Fifty Shades of Grey. Hands down. I'll admit that I haven't read ALL of this book, but I've read enough of it to know that I belong to the camp of believing this is absolute smut. Don't get me wrong: I totally know how people can get addicted to it, but that doesn't change facts. 

Sex sells in our society. It's a simple fact. The mark of a good author is one who can hook people and bring them back again and again without the sex. Then you know your characters, story, conflicts, etc. are all good, which makes you an awesome writer. Let's face it, everyone pays attention when the clothes come off, but that doesn't mean a book is worth reading.

How about you? Did you like Fifty Shades of Grey?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Bite Reviews and Me!

Hi Everyone! Happy Wednesday! I always love Wednesdays because yesterday was only Tuesday, but tomorrow is Thursday! If feels like the week is just flying by (usually). :D

Picture Credit: BookBitReviews.blogspot.com
Today Becky at Book Bite Reviews is doing an author interview and cover reveal...for me! (squee! my first author interview!). Hop on over and show your support for a great blogger who's willing to help a debut author! Thanks everyone! :D

Click here to go to Book Bit Reviews!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays--Anna Dressed in Blood

Okay, I just started this so this is on pg. 36.
After the house is sealed, I start a small fire in the backyard and my mom and I burn every small knickknack we find that might have meant something to a previous tenant: a purple beaded necklace left in a drawer, a few homemade potholders, and even a tiny book of matches that look too well-preserved. We don't need ghosts trying to come back for something left behind. My mom presses a wet thumb to my forehead. I can smell rosemary and sweet oil.
"Mom."
"You know the rules. Every night for the first three nights." She smiles, and in the firelight her auburn hair looks like embers. "It'll keep you safe."
Source: Goodreads.com
"It'll give me acne," I protest, but make no move to wipe it off. "I have to start school in two weeks."


I'm loving it so far! What are you reading right now?











Random Movie Quotes (RMQ)

Don't know what this is? Click here.

So last Friday's RMQ was: "Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must shout as you did in Rome, 'Do your worst. For I shall do mine.' And then the fates shall know you as we know you, as [character name] the Man."

Alex Cavanaugh guessed The Count of Monte Cristo, and he was right. He gets two points because the titles of the book and movie were the same. This was said by Jim Caviezel in the 2002 version. (Theoretically it may have been said by someone else in another version, but this is the one I know. :D) I also know it was a straight quote from the book by Alexander Dumas. Anyway, Caviezel was playing--you guessed it!--the Count of Monte Cristo, otherwise known as Edmund Dantes.



For today's RMQ: 

"You use that words so often. I don't think it means what you think it means."

This one is pretty well known so SOMEONE ought to guess it. Just saying. :D Good luck!

6 Elements of a Great Dystopia

So my forthcoming book falls under the heading of Dystopian Fantasy. Dystopia is a hot genre these days because of the success of things like The Hunger Games and the bounce-back of the zombie genre (just one great big dystopian world. See my earlier blog post where I discuss this.)

So I got to thinking: what elements make a great dystopian world? There are a few

Source: collider.com
1) The government/ruling entity must be supremely powerful. As in, no one defies them. No one gets out. Penalties for rebellion are beyond severe. You must convince your reader of the danger your MC will be in if they dare defy the powers-that-be. The darker, more brutal, more mysterious, the better!  Ever notice how no one cares if someone defies the PTA. (Okay, maybe the PTA moms.) Make your governing entity intimidating, please! These are the kinds of people that kill without thought, torture without conscience, suppress basic human rights, and kill liberty. Make your readers hate them!

Source: cache.io9.com
2) You dystopic world itself must be dangerous! Again, if your MC is in danger of stubbing his/her toe while crossing the road, no one's going to be impressed. Long before the Hunger Games commenced (before the Reaping, even) Katniss took risks by venturing outside permitted areas. In Cormac McCarthy's pulitzer-prize winning The Road (a MUST read if you're at all into dystopia), life is dangerous. The man can't go certain places, do certain things. He must keep going; he must keep his son alive; they can't stay in one place for more than a night or two. We don't even know why, only that there's an inherent sense of danger. These worlds are deadly. Make your reader feel it.

Source: thegospelcoalition.org
3) Darkness and gloom. The Hunger Games didn't make use of this one, except perhaps in describing District 13, but it's often a good idea to have things like overcast skies and barren landscapes. Think the "real world" shown in The Matrix. In The Road, we aren't given details about what event threw the world into madness but McCarthy's description of ashes in the air points to some kind of extinction-level-event that resulted in nuclear winter. This one may not be a must-have, but it's a good way to go. Even if your world isn't this way physically, using these kinds of words as mood-descriptors will help make your world FEEL very dystopian. If you need inspiration, may I suggest listening to New Divide by Linkin Park. The imagery in this song is very post-apocalyptic. (Might I add that I'm currently writing Book 2 of Interchron, and the 2nd verse of this song inspired the ending. Just sayin'. Click the link if you're curious!)

4) Facades. Of course you don't want to confuse your reader, so don't go overboard, but in my opinion, the more, the better. You could do any number of these, but here's a few examples that it's a good idea to include.

  • Illusion of a perfect world--the way the ruling entity is keeping power is by putting forth the idea that their rule of the world is perfect. Even if the citizens of your dystopia know better, perhaps they see this as the lesser of two evils. So there should be a very distinct line between what the world seems to be and what it actually is.
  • Mystery of the ruling entity. There should be many things about the unrighteous, ruling entity that are not readily obvious to it's citizens. Slowly revealing shadowy truths about your ruling entity will keep the story moving forward and eventually show the reader how the evil entity will be brought down. If you wanted to bring down a government, how would you go about it? Rush the capital on a motorcycle? Good luck in prison, pal! On the other hand, if your characters (and therefore your readers) can slowly, piece by piece infiltrate the entity and find it's weaknesses, well...
  • Character facades. Anyone know what synectoche is? It's a really geeky English major word that means a smaller story mirrors events in a larger one. A play within a play, if you will, but events in the two stories mirror one another. The best example of this EVER was Lost, which isn't on anymore, but they did this beautifully. Anyway, because facades are just part of dystopia, utilizing them with your characters is a great way to mirror the larger story and keep tension. Just make sure to reveal all truths by the end (of the story, not necessarily the novel) so the reader feels satisfied.
  • I'm sure there are many other possibilities. This is something you could play around with and never entirely miss. Like I said, the more, the better. 
Source: Goodreads
5) Tragedy. There simply MUST be tragedy in a dystopic world. I recently watched the movie version of The Hunger Games with my younger sister, who'd never seen it before. While my sister can get weepy, especially where her daughter is concerned, she's not one to sit back and cry very often or feel sorry for herself. She often says (and The Hunger Games was no exception) "Don't get sad, get pissed!" I think this describes very well how dystopic stories work. Tragedy or sadness is a powerful emotion, perhaps the most powerful one we have. Look at how depressed people behave (or don't) or how the death of a child or other loved one effects us. Tragedy is what moves people to action. I think Suzanne Collins did this masterfully. The death of a certain child or children (trying to stay away from spoilers here) is what sparked revolution in the districts. Only tragedy can have that sort of effect. So, set down the rules of your world, show the conflict, then add some tragedy. You'll be amazed how fast your characters will form insurrections and take their lives into their own hands.

6) Hope.This goes hand-in-hand with #5, but make sure there is some hope. I've read some stories that are nothing but depression and hopelessness from beginning to end. The point of these stories was shock value and to show that we need not to let our world become that way. I understand the point, but I don't necessarily agree with it. You send a much more powerful message, tell a much more powerful story, when you give your readers strong characters who have some chance of bringing down the system. Who didn't want to tune in and see if Katniss prevailed? I simply couldn't stop reading The Road. It was actually quite tragic throughout, but the MC had a plan, a mission, something he had to do that propelled him on. I HAD to keep reading to see if he succeeded. Hope will propel the reader on to the next scene, the next chapter, the next book.

There may be more elements to good dystopias, but I think the majority fall under one of these settings. If you write a good dystopia, people will return time and again to see how your MCs fair. 

What do you think? What elements do YOU think make a great dystopia?



Coming Winter 2012
In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.  
After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives. 
In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way. 
If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bloggiesta 2012!

Hi there! Hope everyone's having a freakin' fantastic weekend! Just wanted to let everyone know that Bloggiesta 2012 is currently having sign-ups. This is an event that runs Sept. 28-30 (over the weekend). There are a variety of topics and interests involved. I've never done it before but it sounds great! From what I can tell, it's just basically bloggers networking and sharing information with each other to make their blogs even better. Sounds great, doesn't it? If you want to participate, go to http://www.theresabook.com/2012/09/bloggiesta-participants-welcome-lets-get-signed-up/ to get details and instructions on how to sign up! Well, happy Saturday, everyone! See you Monday! :D

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Follow Friday--Current Reads


Hi Everyone! Quick announcement before I get to my FF post! Booklover's Hideaway is doing a Cover Reveal post for me today. Click on the link and hop on over if you have a minute! Thanks! Now on to the blog hop:


Welcome to Follow Friday!

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! 


Q: What are you reading right now? How do you like it?


source: en.widipedia.org
I'm reading Book 5 of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series. I freakin' LOVE this series, so of course I'm enjoying the book! It's just taking me a long time to get through it because 1) I'm very busy and 2) it's a big thick book that I don't like to cart around anywhere, so I only get to read it at home, and I don't get much reading time there. But oh well. There are rumors that Book 6 will be out sometimes next year so I don't mind dragging things out a bit. :D

I also just started Anna Dressed in Blood. SO excited to get going on this one, though as of right now, I've only read one chapter. :D

What about you? What are you reading?

Random Movie Quotes (RMQ)

Don't know what this is? Click here.

So Tuesday's RMQ was:

source: fanpop.com
"Whether by your will or not, there is no ship now that can bear me hence."

This was said by Arwen in The Return of the King, played by Liv Tyler. I actually had two people guess this pretty concurrently--one on facebook and one on the blog page so I'm giving points to both. Jeff Garrett and Alex Cavanaugh both get points for this one! Great job, guys!

I always loved the way they talked in LOTR. After watching it, I found myself wanting to speak like them. I once said this very line to my dad and he gave me a "what are you smoking" sort of look, so I never said it again. It was fun the one time, though. :D

For this week's RMQ:

"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must shout as you did in Rome, 'Do your worst. For I shall do mine.' And then the fates shall know you as we know you, as [character name] the Man."

Okay, actually five points possible here. Five because while this is from a great film, that film is an adaptation of a great book. So, one point for character, one point for actor, one point for film, one point for book title, one point for author. Hint: Film title and book title are the same, so if you get one, you got both! :D Any guesses?


Thoughts 4 Thursday--4

                       Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday!
Image credit: 
devor / 123RF Stock Photo  

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Readers may respond by either commenting on the quote I put forward or contributing a quote of their own. I'll include a linky list, or you can just respond in the comments.

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired! 

This week's theme is dragons!


Nearly all monster stories depend for their success on Jack killing the Giant, Beowulf or St. George slaying the Dragon, Harry Potter triumphing over the basilisk. That is their inner grammar, and the whole shape of the story leads towards it. --A.N. Wilson 


What do you think? How important are dragons in our literature? Anyone have any cool dragon quotes?