Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blogiversary and TCWT! December Blog Chain

Today is my 3rd blogaversary! That's right, I've been blogging for three years. For some reason that feels like a long time.

It's also my 19th birthday, which means I'm now the same age as the MC of Noxumbra. I think this is rather cool.

To celebrate, I have a TCWT! blog chain post. It's been a long time since I participated in a TCWT! blog chain, and I'm glad to be doing one again. This month's prompt is:

“What works of fiction have taught you by example, and what did they teach you?”

When I suggested this prompt to John, I meant "what have books taught you about writing" but as a few of the other blog chain participants have pointed out, it's rather vague, and so there have been several FANTASTIC posts about what books have taught life lessons. Yay for different prompt interpretations! I'll be focusing on books that have taught me about writing.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
These books are amazing for many reasons. The characters are great, the plot twists are mind-blowing. The first book taught me about character arcs, and showed me how a character can change over the course of a novel. I understood the idea that characters should change during a story, but watching Vin change throughout the course of this book really cemented it in my head. 

Also, the magic system was very cool and taught me about how magic systems can work. 

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
HER DESCRIPTIONS, DUDE. MAGICAL. Again, these books had great characters and plot twist, but what I took away from them was the descriptions. Stiefvater chooses just the right things to describe. Not the basics like eye color and hair color and a weirdly shaped birthmark. She picked things like the smell of gasoline and mint (she used smell a lot, actually, which worked stupendously), the canvas trees and nine pairs of scissors in Blue's room, the high ceilings and marks left by big machinery in Monmouth Manufacturing. She picked details that brought the scene to life. 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
I finished this book on Sunday night, so I'm still reeling a bit from the ending, but one thing that I noticed she did really well was the characters' internal conflict. Everyone in this book was conflicted about something or fighting inner demons, and it was done in a way that made the characters seem very human and relatable, and made the overall character arcs awesome. 

Also, there were several viewpoint characters who all interpreted the situation differently, and had different ideas about what would happen, and how that would be good and bad. That was awesome. It made each character his/her own person, and let the reader see several different opinions on what was happening.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Admittedly, I haven't finished reading the book, but I've seen the miniseries based on it a few times. What I learned from this one is that you can create a giant web of connections between characters and it makes for really cool story development. Now, it would probably be very easy to create a web that confuses the reader, but done right it's wonderful. 

I think that's all for this post. A merry Christmas to you all! 

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog chain: 
25th – [off-day]
31st – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)


  1. These are really cool lessons about writing! I haven't actually read these books myself but I think it's awesome that you can pull things, and I'm glad you mentioned them because there are some things, like internal conflict, that I have to work on. :) I've heard good things about these books—I suppose now I'll have to check them out.

    1. If you do check them out, I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for the comment!

  2. YESYESYESMAGGIESTIEFVATER! Her descriptions are so good!

    What Mistborn taught me was how to have a running plotline that was there but almost secret so that there could be shattering plot twists (Vin's Earring!).

    I haven't read anything by Sarah J. Maas or really Charles Dickens, so I'm not exactly qualified to comment on your other two examples. ;) But excellent post!


    1. Oh, Vin's earring YES. That was awesome.

      Thank you!

  3. (Sorry if this posts twice - I think Blogger ate my comment the first time.)

    Happy belated blogaversary and birthday, dude!!! You are awesome. And, of course, thanks for the great prompt. :)

    I reeeeally need to read the Raven Boys, don't I? I've been looking for a good book to really sink into--I've been reading mostly books with sparse writing lately--and it sounds like this one is magical and descriptive in a non-annoying way. Because I agree--description can enhance a book SO much when it's used well. Awesome post. :)

    1. (Blogger did eat your first comment. Silly Blogger.)

      Thank you, thank you, and you're welcome! :) You are awesome too.

      YES YOU DO. READ IT NOW. The descriptions, the characters, the plot twists... It's awesome. Read it.