Friday, January 12, 2018

What I Learned about Writing from The 100

I recently finished rewatching the CW show The 100 and it was right in the middle of me revising Silver. I was having some difficulties figuring out a few characters and where I really wanted the plot to go. Sequels are so hard because they're the glue that's supposed to stick two books together, the first and the third. They're the bridge between the beginning and the end and I've always found the middle of my books difficult, which maybe is why I find sequels so hard. But anyways, as I was watching The 100 I realized two things that completely changed me and seemed so stupidly obvious that I should have known these things from the very beginning. Like all writers should or do know this and I guess the concepts just never clicked in my brain until now because I had a ah-ah! moment.

I learned that simple plots are usually better and character motivations are everything. I know, you're probably like duh... I already knew, but I guess I didn't. Yes, I've read tons of articles and books about character motivation and plot, but rewatching The 100 just sort of made me come face to face with these two concepts. Maybe it's because I learn a lot through example and by watching these two concepts being used in a TV show and several others helped me grasp the idea better. 

But anyways, if you haven't seen The 100, I highly recommend it. It's so good and one of my favorite shows. The show is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has been living in space for several generations after the Earth became uninhabitable due to a nuclear war that ravaged the entire planet. Because the Ark (the spaceship the human race has been living on) is running out of oxygen they send one hundred teenage offenders to the Earth. Drama and danger ensue. So anyways, the show follows Clarke Griffin, the main character, and as the show goes on Bellamy, his sister Octavia, John Murphy and several other side characters become important as well like what happens on most TV shows. Usually the most important characters that have the most potential are the ones that get promoted to almost main character level, you know?

I've always sort of had a hard time with plot and character motivations. I can make a good, realistic main character with goals and a personality and motivation, but side characters? Maybe it's just me, but they've always felt a little flat to me. But the thing is with TV shows? You're side characters can't fall flat or no one will like your show. TV shows don't just rely on their main characters to carry the show, but they also rely on their entire cast to carry the plot as well. Books do too, but I feel like it's less obvious because most authors stick with one character's POV. Maybe two. But they don't have the time to give every important side character that they want to develop their own POV or scenes here and there. They can't switch from scene to scene like a TV show, which makes it trickier and because I've watched so many TV shows over the past few years (probably more than I've read books), I've looked at the plots and the characters and the format and wanted my books to be just as good as them. For a while I didn't think it was possible, but I think I finally figured it out.

TV shows, especially ones like The 100 let their characters shine because their plots and goals are simpler. Usually the characters have one primary goal to accomplish. In season 1 the one hundred kids’ main goal was to survive. Survive the mysterious dangers of Earth, survive the weather, survive sickness, survive Grounders. Just survive. Season 2, their goal was to escape Mount Weather. To escape these people that took them. Season 3, their goal was to stop Allie (I won’t tell you who she is in case you end up watching it, but she’s the bad guy). In season 4, the theme kind of loops back around to survival. Only now they have to survive another apocalypse that is going to destroy Earth again. See how easy it was to sum up the seasons? I could probably even do it for TVD, only TVD has many more subplots. The 100 has a few subplots, but usually the characters are driven and focused on that singular goal. But that isn’t what makes the show interesting and the story worthwhile is it? No, what makes the story so good are the characters themselves. How they react to that goal, how they accomplish that goal?

When it comes down to it, everyone has their own best interests at heart. When the apocalypse happens, you look out for yourself and the ones you care about. Its selfish and cruel, but for most characters and people that's just how it is. Unless you’re the selfless hero, like Clarke. Not only are motivations so important, but priorities are too. Take for instance in this last season, everyone’s primary goal was to survive a new apocalypse. But why do they want to accomplish that goal? What are their priorities? Who do they want to save? Clarke wants to save the human race. Ensure that the human race continues, even if that means sacrificing some to save others for the greater good.

 Bellamy is focused on protecting and saving his sister.

Murphy is the antihero, selfish bad boy of the show (you know the kind of character I’m talking about). He just wants to save himself and his girlfriend.

Monty wants to save his girlfriend and his best friend.

Within these very personal priorities and motivations, if you look at the bigger picture you have different groups of people with different motivations and priorities and a way to survive. Clarke’s people go through several different plans. First to hunker down in a spaceship for five years, then to create something that would make them all immune. The Grounders can’t seem to look past the present moment and are worried about politics and war, over survival. Get what I’m saying? Motivation and priority is key. If you give your characters a strong goal to accomplish then you have to give your characters a strong motivation and priorities too. In the one episode when all the clans are fighting, Octavia even says, she wasn’t sure what she was fighting for. For just bloodshed and to fight, for her brother, for her people. But then she got her priorities straight and realized her motivation. She was fighting for everyone. For survival and for her clan, which she views as all the clans.

 So, when I applied this to Golden, I sat and made a list of all the important characters. My protagonist and “heroes” and my antagonist and “villains.” Then I went through and thought of everything I already know about these characters and sort of tested them in my head. Who are you doing this for? Who are you wanting to accomplish this goal for? Why is this goal important to you? What’s your main motivation? Who and what are you, priorities? What are you willing to do to accomplish this goal? Steal? Break the law? Hurt someone? Kill someone? What are you willing to sacrifice for this goal? What won’t you compromise? Then I wrote out all the answers to those questions until I knew why they’re doing what they’re doing and who they want to save and why. It completely changed my book and made it ten times better and ten times easier to write because then I knew exactly how my characters would react and what they were willing to do to accomplish their goal and how each of them are going about accomplishing that goal in their own unique way.

The same goes for plot. I was having the hardest time with plot. My plots always end up more complicated than they need to be, and I end up digging myself into a hole that I can’t get out of. That was starting to happen between Golden and Silver and as I rewatched The 100 and I realized that not every plot has to be so complicated. There don’t have to be tons of bad guys and ulterior motives and secrets and lies and shady organizations. Sometimes simpler is better. Not every story will call for a simpler plot, but also, not every story will call for a complicated one either. So, because I was feeling overwhelmed and was backing myself into a corner I simplified the plot and my two books became ten times better because of it. I could then focus on my characters and my antagonists finally fit into the plot how they were meant to and it all just came together like the right puzzle pieces being put together. Some TV shows are complex, and I love those kinds of plots. I love complicated, hard to figure out, mysterious plots. But I also like simpler ones, because those allow for all the attention to be on the characters and how they react to certain situations.

I guess what I’m saying is, I learned a lot about writing in 2017 and I feel like my writing improved a ton over that whole year. But the two most important things I learned about is character motivation and simpler is sometimes better. Don’t be afraid to simplify your plot because you feel like you need to compete with other writers who write amazingly complex and mysterious plots full of twists and turns. Sometimes the best books are the simplest ones.

Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the rest of January!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Writing Plan and Goals for 2018

Hi everyone! I guess I sort of took a break for the first week of the New Year, but now I'm ready to get back at it. Just a heads up though, I have two classes starting next week that I'm sort of dreading and stressing about and depending on how much work they give us, I probably won't be posting as regularly as I would like. I guess that always sort of happens when a class starts and the blog goes quiet for a while.

But I hope you all have had a great first week of 2018 full of fun and productivity and writing!

This year I want to get a lot done, maybe a little too much done when it comes to writing. I know I already sort of wrote a blog post on my writing goals, but they’ve already sort of changed in the past week and become clearer. Last week I plotted out the sequel to Weapon Icean for the hundredth time and I finally have a solid plan and already (in typical Melody fashion as one of my friends would say) the plot has already changed so I’m going to have to go back and re-plot again. Oh, the joys of being a pantser. Plotters have it so easy and then there’s us pantsers who live in constant organized chaos, making it hard to actually plan out a book and a publication date and stuff. Such fun.

But seriously, I am so excited for this draft. I really think I’ve figured it out. I’ve finally found the story that Delphi has been wanting to tell! It only took a whole year. So now, all I have to do is pretty much rewrite the first draft I wrote for Nanowrimo 2017 and then revise and probably rewrite again because my books love to make things hard for me. I can tell you all with absolute certainty that the sequel to Weapon Icean will be out in December this year. I am determined to make this happen and it will happen. I’m also trying to decide if I want to go through Weapon Icean again and make some changes or tweaks, make that draft better than it is because I feel like I can do better now and change a few things. But, for now I’m staying focused on the sequel and will figure that out later. I have a whole year to do that.

Anyways, so here’s my hesitant plan for writing in 2018 (the fun will be me trying to hold to this plan and stay on schedule since I both like schedules and plans and can never stick to them and feel overwhelmed by them at the same time):  

·         Finish rewrites of the WI sequel by the middle or end of February (giving myself a generous amount of time because I always plan on being overwhelmed by classes and other responsibilities).

·         Start revising once rewrites are over and hopefully get that done by the middle or end of March, depending on how busy that month is because we may or may not go on a mini-vacation.

·         Seeing how it’s me, I’ll probably end up doing micro revisions and then edit as best I can. Hopefully get that done by the end of April (maybe??)

·         Send it out to be beta readers. Seeing how I’ve never really had an beta readers, I don’t know how long it takes for them to get back to me or how I’ll decide to do that, but I do know I definitely want to have beta readers. That will probably be finished by the end of May or June-ish?

·         I’m still trying to decide if I want an editor. The last editor who did Weapon Icean was good, but I feel like she sort of changed my book too much. That’s why I want to get beta readers and then just find an editor to do copy editing like grammar and stuff. That will probably get figured out June or July.

·         Then, probably do one more sweep over it and… I think I’ll be done. How crazy is that??

·         I also gave my mom a generously long deadline of having the cover done by August, so we’ll see if that happens 😉

Not to mention, while I’m working on all of that, I also want to do revisions on Golden and Silver and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I may not get to Bronze (the third and final book in my sci-fi alien trilogy) until Nanowrimo 2018, but that just stresses me out thinking so far ahead. And the fact that I’ll have two classes through to May and then one class during the summer (which is one of the piece of cake classes, so that’ll be nice). But I know for sure that if I get nothing else done this year, I am determined to work on the sequel until I am absolutely satisfied with it and make it the best it can be. Plus read up on marketing and how to properly do a book launch and pre-ordering and all that because I want this book to be more professional in how I publish it and everything. Have a real date pinned down and stuff.

So yeah… I guess that’s my game plan for 2018. I’m not really sure why I’m sharing it, but maybe it will help other writers who live in organized chaos and feel pinned in by a book plan to be able to wrap their head around actually planning out a real book launch. Writing a book is hard, but it’s even harder for those who aren’t good at plotting or feel suffocated by the thought of a plot. Our first drafts always turn out ridiculously messy, but also full of so much potential. It’s like one of those little archaeology kits that you get at the dollar store where you have to chip away at the rock until you get to the dinosaur bones in the middle. From the first draft on I have to chip away at my book until I get to the real prize under all of the filler and plot holes and grammar mistakes. It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of time and energy and sometimes, I can’t help but think maybe it’s not worth it. Why do I even bother? But then I get to the center, to the prize and I feel amazing and like all of that work was worth it. That’s been the mantra getting me through rewriting Silver and now rewriting the sequel to WI, it’s a lot of worth, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Don’t let all the daunting hard work ahead of you scare you. Massive rewrites used to scare me and usually I would just give up on the book. But last year I’ve sort of taught myself not to give up. Massive rewrites are daunting to me and still scare me, but then I push past that and get to work because I know it’ll be worth it in the end.
 
I hope you all have a great, safe, and productive new year!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking Forward to 2018

Oh my gosh! Are we really at 2018 already?! This feels crazy... Like crazy, crazy. Two new Star Wars movies have come and gone, the Stranger Things craze began two years ago, we're months instead of years away from the Infinity Wars! Like seriously, this is just crazy.

2018 will be full of lots of fun and exciting things, even though, to be honest, I'm kind of nervous about what's going to happen this year, but here are a few things that I'm excited for in 2018:

  • Sad and excited for the last season of The Originals. Now it truly will be the end of the TVD era for me. :(
  • Avengers: Infinity Wars. I'm pretty sure every Marvel fan has that date set on their calendars this year.
  • The Incredibles 2. How could I forget that?? That is going to be epic!! They better not mess it up!!
  • X-Men Dark Phoenix comes out and I am so excited for this! I hope they do it well!
  • I turn twenty this year. Which is scary, but also exciting in a way... I guess?? Twenty feels kind of like a big deal haha
     
  • I get my Associates degree next December. Again, another scary, but exciting thing, since I have no idea what I'm going to do after that.
Honestly, right now my brain is dead and I can't think of anything else that is definitely going to happen next year because we don't really have any vacation plans or anything...

I have quite a few goals for 2018, most of them writing related and have nothing to do with like changing anything super significant about my life. But here they are:

  • Finish revising and polishing Golden
  • Finish revising Silver
  • Write Bronze and revise Bronze (the third and final book in the trilogy)
  • Revise, edit and polish Project Khione
  • Find an editor for Project Khione
  • Publish Project Khione by December
  • Get better at marketing my books
  • Write more short stories and maybe submit them to a few magazines/websites
  • Become more organized and structured in my writing process.
  • Perfect the art of character arcs and simpler plots instead of making crazy, all over the place first drafts.
  • Get my driver's license (cuz yeah... that didn't end up happening this year either)
  • Figure out what I want to do after I get my Associates
  • Get out more. Meet some new people. Have some new experiences.
  • We started going to a new church a few months ago and I started going to their twenty's Bible study group so I plan to continue going to that and making some new friends, and learning more about God.
  • I've gotten so much better at my prayer thanks to this thing called prayer journaling, but now I want to get better at reading the Bible more often this year.
  • Read 25 books or more this year.
  • Ace my last few classes and try not to stress too much about them like I have been for the past year or two. I've learned that I'm kind of an over-achiever and I stress out over classes and probably work ten-times harder than others in my classes and then, by the end of the semester I have a high B or A and end up realizing I didn't have to stress out as much as I was.
  • Keep better track of this blog and update it more frequently than I have been.
  • Be more peaceful in general. I think it was the night before or a few nights before Christmas I was seriously stressing out and was just not in a good mental state or mood and my mom told me about this thing they do in Sweden and Denmark called hygge (pronounced hooga). It means living in the present moment, enjoying life and the company of family and friends and even the company of yourself without worrying. Just finding peace in the present moment. Then, the pastor talked about peace at church during the Christmas Eve service and I think that was God trying to tell me to chill out and be more present and not let myself freak out over things I can't control or over things that are super far in the future. So, I'm going to try and practice more hygge and mindfulness this year to keep my inner peace.
So yeah, that's a lot of 2018 goals. But all of them, I think, are accomplishable and will make this year interesting and hopefully more easy going and fun than this year was. Those are my goals and now that I see them all up there, it feels like a lot, but I think I can do it. Especially the writing parts. That's going to be a lot of work and I probably won't accomplish everything that I want to, but that's Ok. You just have to take life as it comes and trust that God has a plan and He knows what He's doing because He does. He's got me and He knows what's best for me, so I'm choosing to trust him as 2018 comes around.

I hope you guys have a great New Years' Eve and New Years Day and I hope you all have a great year ahead full of good times and fun and laughter and peace.

(P.S. I'm so excited cuz me, my two brothers and my mom are going to go see Star Wars The Last Jedi tomorrow for New Year's Eve!!)

What are some of your 2018 writing and/or life goals?

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 in Review

Hey everyone! I haven't posted a bunch since I've been sick with the flu and then Christmas season was busy and I honestly just haven't gotten around to any blog posts. But, it's the end of the year. 2018 is within sight, just a couple of days away and I'm kind of freaking out a little bit. I've never really been nervous about a new year, but for some reason I'm nervous about this year. For now though, here's my 2017 in review!

2017 Writing: This year was a very good writing year.
me all year

I feel like I grew a lot this year as a writing. Since writing and publishing Weapon Icean, I've done a lot of practicing. I wrote a lot of short stories at the beginning of the year that I think really helped strengthen my writing in general. And I mean, seriously, I'm a published author! Weapon Icean is one years old this year!! How crazy is that?! Not to mention, I published my second book and my first short story collection Of Magic and Mayhem which I am insanely proud of. They may be shorter than the average short story, but I'm really proud of my writing in them and I feel like a few of them are some of the strongest things I've written. I wrote the first book in a trilogy that has seriously changed me as a writer. Golden has been one of the best experiences I've ever had with a book. I've never been so passionate and in love with a world and cast of characters before and I want to do them justice and make it the best trilogy I can before publishing or even letting the books see the light of day. I think Golden was also one of the fastest books I've ever written. It took me about five, six weeks to finish it! Which is crazy since I haven't written a book that fast in years and haven't since. Silver took me forever and is still taking me forever to revise, but it's been worth it. Anyways, Golden with Renee and Jax and Zayde will always hold a special place in my heart.
me writing this trilogy

After I wrote Silver, the sequel (are you getting the theme yet ;) and that's been a huge learning experience for me. I know this may sound weird, but I've always have had a hard time wrapping my head around a structured character arc. Like plotting in general and planning ahead is super hard for me and my brain is just not cut out for it. But with Silver, the first draft was so messy and unstructured that it forced me to do a ton of research on character arcs and plot arcs that I've learned a lot how to balance a larger cast of characters and how to give them each their individual character arcs and manage to incorporate all of their needs and wants into the same book without bogging it down. Or at least attempting to perfect that method as best I can.

Then for most of the beginning of the year I worked on revising and editing the short stories in Of Magic and Mayhem and getting that ready and published. That was a good learning experience too and I think as I publish more it'll get easier and faster and more organized with each book I release cuz I learn so much with each publication.

For Nanowrimo I rewrote the sequel to Weapon Icean. Last year I had planned for it to be released this winter, but that didn't happen. After Weapon Icean and then the first few different drafts and versions of Project Khione, I needed a huge break from them. But now, after I finish revising Silver, I'm going to get onto Project Khione and make it the best it can be. Even better than the first book because I think I have the potential and ability to do better than I did before.

So, yeah. 2017 has been a really, really good writing year. I've learned so much and it's been really amazing, not to mention I am truly just so happy and excited about Golden. That book and even Silver, with it's many hours of revisions, have brought so much happiness into my life that I really needed. It never feels like too much of a chore to dive back into that world and refine it and the characters as best I can.

2017 Books: I sort of already wrote a whole blog post about that, but I'll just say some of my favorite books I read this year. Here are my six favorite books of the year from most favorite to less favorite:
  1. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  2. The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
  3. Nightfall by Shannon Messenger
  4. The Undertow series by Michael Buckley
  5. Traitor to the throne by Alwyn Hamilton
  6. Starfall by Melissa Landers
2017 TV Shows: I seriously need to get better at tracking what new shows I watch during the year because I honestly they all kind of blend together from year to year. But, I do know one thing. It feels like an eternity ago but The Vampire Diaries aired their last season at the beginning of this year. I feel so sad every time I think about it and I cry every time I watch the very last episode. That show stole a piece of my heart. Another show that I loved and helped me through some hard times was Teen Wolf, which also ended this year. It's been a year of endings sadly, and the Originals ends next year as well which just breaks my heart a little more at the thought.
The Originals are ending :(:(
It's going to be hard to say goodbye to the world Julie Plec created with The Vampire Dairies and I really hope there will be a spin-off series or something. The last season of The 100 and The Shannara Chronicles were both really good this year, I can't wait for the new seasons to come! I also watched the Inhumans, which I'm afraid was probably a short lived love for the show. I'm pretty sure I also discovered one of my all time favorite shows and one of the best written shows that deals with time travel I have ever watched (sorry not sorry Doctor Who fans): 12 Monkeys. Hands down one of the best shows I've ever watched. So, go watch it!

Also The Gifted which is in the world of the X-Men aired and I'm in love with that show! Speaking of the X-Men and incredibly amazingly written shows, Legion aired earlier this year. That show is right up there, if not above 12 Monkey's. It is fantastic and I've never watched a show so well crafted and well done and as deeply layered as that one. Then there's The Runaways, which I didn't think I would like, but I'm now seriously hooked. But I think my best find this year has been Being Human. My dad loves that show and has been telling me to watch it for years! So, I finally caved and I really liked it. Love it actually. It's right up there with TVD. So yeah, that and of course all of the DC shows, except for Supergirl, I've been watching. Supergirl got too PC and the writing got really sucky, not to mention Kara has become super whiny and overly full of herself. Kind of like Buffy around season 5, Kara needs to be knocked down more than a few pegs and the show needs to stop worshipping her because she's female. I'm sorry, but that fight between her and Superman was the lamest thing I have ever watched. Superman is, well a man, if you haven't noticed and is way stronger than Kara. Supergirl was originally a sidekick character in the comics and Superman should have been able to beat her in that fight. But anyways, that's another conversation for another time.

2017 Movies: I actually didn't see a lot of new movie this year. I saw

  • Thor: Ragnarok: It was really good. I laughed a lot, but it definitely isn't my favorite in the Thor trilogy. I just feel like they tried too hard with the humor and afterward, yeah I felt like I had laughed a lot, but I also felt like they could have done better. That movie had a lot of potential for character growth and the writers didn't fulfill that.
    This is probably one of the most used gifs of the year
  • The Man Who Invented Christmas: This is my favorite movie of the year, second only to Wonder Woman. I loved it! It's an instant Christmas classic and I can't wait to buy it and watch it over again. If you didn't get a chance to see it, I would definitely recommend buying it. This movie is worth the money.
    This movie needs more gif because as a writer this whole movie was so relatable
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: I thought this movie was Ok... mediocre at best. I really, really loved the first one and had high hopes for the second one, but it fell a little flat, not unlike Thor: Ragnarok. It had a lot of potential for character growth and the plot and writers held those characters back in a big way. There was way too much humor. Don't get me wrong, I love a good laugh, but I also don't mind some serious stuff. A good balance is always a good thing and I feel like Marvel was having a bit of a problem with finding that balance this year.
    Baby Groot was the best part of this whole movie
     
  • Wonder Woman: Best movie of the year by far. I loved it! I saw it twice and I loved it even more. This was a masterpiece of a movie. Perfectly written, the perfect balance of humor and seriousness. There was an actual theme and real plot and stakes to the movie. I loved it and I highly recommend watching it.
    This movie was awesome from start to finish
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: In contrast to Wonder Woman, this is my least favorite movie of the year. Thankfully I didn't waste my money seeing it at the theaters, but we did rent it from Redbox. I didn't realize how much I love Spider-Man and the cast of characters that surround him, until I saw this movie. One of the first superhero movies I ever watched was the Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire. People will say that, that wasn't the real comic book Peter Parker. Not the high school version, but I don't really care. To me, those three movies were amazing masterpieces. Some of the best superhero movies I've ever watched. They had the perfect Peter Parker, the perfect Mary Jane and the perfect Harry Osborn. Throughout the trilogy they had the Green Goblin (besides Loki, he's probably one of my most favorite comic book villains), Doctor Octopus, and Venom. That trilogy took and utilized and perfectly captured three of the most important and iconic villains in the Spider-Man world. To me, to have Spider-Man means to have Mary Jane with her red hair and pale skin (or blond haired, blue eyed Gwen Stacy), best friend Harry Osborn, an appropriately aged Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Spider-Man: Homecoming had none of it. It was a total drag and I was bored half way through. The stakes were super low, I could care less if the Vulture stole a bunch of Avengers equipment. I know some people loved it and good for them, but I won't be watching this version of Peter Parker. At least not in the theaters.

2017 Life Stuff: Well, 2017 was definitely full of lots of life stuff. We went to Disney at the beginning of the year. That was lots of fun and even though there were a few rough patches, I still seriously love Disney. It's my happy place. I survived and even aced my first Spanish class and got through some of the most difficult classes I've taken yet. Me, my mom and my brother went to a rockin Skillet concert and one of the best nights ever! It was seriously epic! I got my first job. It was very hard, but a good learning experience. My mental and physical health has been up and down and hard to control all year. At least I can manage my mental health, but my physical health has been all over the place.
Me for most of this year lol
My body just decided to completely freak out at me this year, but thankfully I'm going into the new year better able to manage both my mental and physical health better than I could at the beginning of this year. There have been other scattered things here and there that have been good and bad. I turned nineteen which was scary, but not as scary as turning twenty.

So yeah, that's been my 2017 more or less. There are a few things I didn't accomplish this year, but I have a whole new year to accomplish them now. 2017 was good and full of lots of learning experiences. Now to get ready for a new year!

How was your 2017? What goals did you accomplish this past year?


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Books of 2017 and Books in 2018

First of all, Merry Christmas Eve!! I had planned to blog more last week but then I came down with the flu and was out for a few days. I'm just now starting to feel better so I thought I'd better start on my yearly wrap up. Tomorrow is Christmas and I hope you all have a fun, relaxing day with family or friends or both.

This year, reading started out kind of slow. I was in a reading rut at the beginning of the year and it took a while to get back into a good book. Some people can just read, read, read whereas I'm crazy picky about the books I read which means I love books. I'm a writer and I do read, but I don't read as often as most writers/readers because I'm super picky about what books I can get into. I have a very specific taste in books (TV shows too) so when I get into a reading rut the only way for me to get out of it is if a book from my favorite author is coming out. Which only happens like once a year... so there's that.

But anyways, here are all the books I've read this year (let me know if you read any of them and what you thought!):

  • Rook by Sharon Cameron: This book started off my year. To be honest, I read it because the cover was beautiful. It was enjoyable... it took me a while to get into it and I have to push through to the end cuz I didn't really want to finish it but felt like I had to. Overall though, it was very intriguing and different from most books I've read.
  • The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause: I love this book! It's a vampire book (of course), but not like any you've ever read. Annette Klause has such a beautiful, simple writing style that makes me so happy and the ending was unexpected and bittersweet, but definitely a must read. If you aren't a fan of the vampire craze, this book isn't like any other vampire book I've read. It's not cliché at all!
  • RoseBlood by A.G. Howard: If you've followed this blog for a while then you know I love A.G. Howard and I especially love her Splintered series. I was so excited for this book seeing how it's a Phantom of the Opera retelling of sorts. It took me by surprise in a good way and was just as dark and magical as I assumed it would be.  
  • Starfall by Melissa Landers: Starflight (the first book to this sequel) is one of my all time favorite books. I've read it like three times already and I think Melissa Landers is a great writer and a genius. I loved this book too. Just the scifi world she created is so unique and Firefly-ish. In other words, if you love Firefly, you'll most likely like this duology.
  • Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton: Uph, I love Alwyn Hamilton! She's amazing! This series is amazing and I'm so glad I discovered it and this book is by far my favorite so far.  
  • The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd: Natalie Lloyd has become one of my top favorite authors after reading A Snicker of Magic. I fell in love with her quirky young characters, and the very unique, beautiful and magical vibe that she infuses in her stories. This was a beautiful middle school book with a sprinkle of magic, friendship, a first crush and Boneyard brew. She managed to make a ghost story magical, child friendly and whimsical in a way.
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas: This was a pretty good book. Not my favorite in the least, but still good. I have a few problems with this series in general, but overall it was good and I really do love the characters despite the fact that I had a hard time finishing it.  
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber: Another book I read because of the cover, only with this book I fell in love with the story as much as the cover. The twist at the end and just how vibrant and chaotic and dark yet magical and beautiful the world she created is, was just so fun to read. I love it from beginning to end and couldn't put it down!
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab: I say I love these other books, but I seriously love this duology. This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet are both masterpieces. They're beautifully dark and chaotic while also speaking about such deep and meaningful themes that.  
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller: I'd heard so many great things about this book and finally decided to read it after a few months of it coming out. I really liked it, the writing wasn't my favorite and sometimes I had a hard time sticking with it, but I am definitely excited for the sequel!
  • The Torment of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell: This was novella in the Renegade X series and it was so good! I wanted more and was glad the actual book came out a month later!
  • The Phobia of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell: I love the Renegade X series! There are a few things about the series that I don't like or disagree with, but overall its so good! The characters, especially Damian, are so animated and fun.
  • Undertow by Michael Buckley: When I was in middle school I read his Sisters Grimm series and its still one of my favorites to this day. I reread the series usually once a year at some point and so I was so, so excited when I found his YA trilogy. I devoured this whole series. It was amazing and I highly recommend both this series and the Sisters Grimm series.  
  • Raging Seat by Michael Buckley
  • Heart of the Storm by Michael Buckley
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman: This one was really good. I had a fun time reading it. It's not my favorite and I feel like it isn't the strongest, best book I've ever read, but it was definitely fun and a good science fiction book. I'm glad I discovered it and gave it a try.
  • Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen: For some reason, after reading These Broken Stars I was craving a small, light hearted, magical book and by chance I came across Beastkeeper. It's short, it's sweet with a memorable world and characters you root for. It reminded me a lot of Winterling which I think is why I liked it so much.
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer: Then there's, of course, Renegades. I bought this book because Marissa Meyer. It was a great superhero book. Followed all the tropes and cliché-y things that I love to have in a superhero book while also being original. The main character Nightmare, is so unapologetic about her agenda as a villain. It was kind of refreshing to have a character dubbed a villain who never truly wavered from her "evil" plans and one who didn't feel sorry as the book went on that she tried to kill one of the heroes. Don't get me wrong, I love a good antihero and villains that find redemption and become heroes, but with so many of them out there it's refreshing to find a villain who is stuck in her ways for better or for worse
  • Nightfall by Shannon Messenger: *sigh* Nightfall. I adore Shannon Messenger and her books. She's an amazing writer and I could gush about her books for the days. This was a fantastic, awesome, amazing book and I am dying for the next one!! I've loved watching Sophie and the gang grow up over the years. I started reading this series when I was fourteen and by the time the next book comes out I'll be twenty and still in love with the series. Shannon Messenger has created a lifelong fan.
So, I mean, not as some people and not as many as I would have liked, but again, super picky here. It's the quality that counts, not the quantity anyways. Plus, I've been looking around desperately for more good YA science fiction books! I adore Melissa Landers' two science fiction series and I really enjoyed These Broken Stars, but I'm having a really hard time finding more like them so if you have any suggestions let me know!

That was my 2017 in books and now here are the books I am so excited to read in 2018:

  • The Half King by Melissa Landers: Tentatively titled The Half King, a failed oracle must leave her temple sanctuary to serve an enigmatic young ruler who turns to shadow at sunset. In doing so, she discovers a disturbing truth about herself that shatters the fragile peace within the realm. The first in a YA fantasy duology.
  • Renegades 2 by Marissa Meyer: Cover and synopsis coming soon.
  • Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller:
    Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

    When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.
  • Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton:
    When gunslinging Amani Al'Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she'd join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn't have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn't exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.  
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber:
    Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling and breakout debut Caraval, following Scarlett’s younger sister, Tella, on a journey to the empire’s capital to fulfill a mysterious bargain.
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black:
    Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

    And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


    Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

    To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

    In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
      
  • Vengeful by Victoria Schwab: (No cover yet)Sydney once had Serena―beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance.
    Victor himself is under the radar these days―being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities #7 by Shannon Messenger: (Cover and Synopsis coming soon)
  • The Problem Children by Natalie Lloyd:
    When the Problim children’s ramshackle bungalow in the Swampy Woods goes kaboom, the seven siblings and their pet pig have no choice but to move into their Grandpa’s abandoned old mansion in Lost Cove. No problem! For the Problim children, every problem is a gift.

    Wendell and Thea—twins born two minutes apart on a Wednesday and a Thursday—see the move as a chance to make new friends in time for their birthday cake smash. But the neighbors find the Problims’ return problematic—what with Sal’s foggy garden full of Wrangling Ivy, toddler Toot’s 365 stanktastic fart varieties, and Mona’s human catapult.

    Truth be told, rumors are flying about the Problims! Rumors of a bitter feud, a treasure, and a certain kind of magic lingering in the halls of #7 Main Street. And the neighbors will do anything to get their hands on those secrets—including sending the Problim children to seven different homes on seven different continents!

And there you go! Those are the nine books that I'm looking forward to in 2017. I'm hoping to get more than just 20 books read next year, but who knows how busy I'll be with other stuff. I'm looking forward to a whole new year of new books and lots of new reading time! Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Idea of Celebration

So this morning I didn't feel a lot like celebrating... My brother was up all night puking and I really didn't want to get the flu (and still don't) and plans had to change because he has the flu. I was pretty bummed, not to mention I still had one more exam looming over my head

But it's almost 4 P.M. now. I finished my final exam and today is Weapon Icean's book birthday. I'm pretty sure I posted that on all of my social media accounts because I'm just so excited. It's a big accomplishment. And right now, honestly, I feel like celebrating. There's a lot to celebrate this time of year. The birth of Jesus, Christmas, snow! There are Christmas parties and family get togethers and yummy food and presents. Not to mention the New Year. But today I feel like there are a few other things I want to celebrate.

This semester was particularly rough. I took interpersonal communications and art history and you would think they wouldn't be that hard, but trust me, they are. The teachers expected a lot out of all of us and there were a few times when I was just done and exhausted and I didn't want to do it anymore. Seeing how its a college class and I'm freaky about getting semi-good grades I didn't not do my work, but some days I didn't give 100%. The past week I've been scrambling to finish everything. Final paper, final exams, all of it and it was just exhausting and stressful and now that it's done, I'm enormously relieved and happy that it's over. At least for a little while.

Also! It's Weapon Icean's book birthday!
I've said numerous times that I did the best I could last year with that book and now I probably could have done better, but I don't think that disqualifies all the hard work and countless hours I put into that book. Even this year I put in quite a few hours updating it and making it better! I worked really hard on that book. I wrote it and tirelessly revised and edited the heck out of that thing. I even got an editor and everything. The cover is fantastic and gorgeous and awesome thanks to my awesome mom who's a photoshop wizard. I was scared to take the plunge and put my work out there and Weapon Icean signifies more than just me being a published author for a whole year now. It reminds me that I can do this writing thing. That I've put the work in and the hours in before and I an do it again. That it's totally worth it all in the end when your holding that finished copy in your hand and that even though I may not get a lot of sales, that's Ok. It just makes me work twice as hard to improve my craft and make my next book better and it pushes me to work harder at marketing and learn more about the technical side of being a writer. But most of all Weapon Icean makes me really proud of myself for writing a whole book, revising and editing it and publishing it. If I hadn't published Weapon Icean, I don't think I would have had the guts to publish Of Magic and Mayhem and I don't think I would have pushed myself to improve my craft or work harder this year to make writing a priority. Weapon Icean and Delphi and all of the characters in that book will always be special to me, because it was my first book and I think that's pretty amazing.

But, anyways, back to the idea of celebration. What is celebration? Ironically my Bible study group was talking about celebration last night. We were reading in Ezra and the leader had us turn to 1 Samuel 7:12. In verse twelve Samuel sets up a stone of help, also called an Ebenezar (not Ebenezar Scrooge), after a defeat of the Philistines as a memorial for the help given to them by God. In my Bible study group they asked how we commemorate or remember the good times, or the celebratory times when God has helped us through a difficult time or when life has been just really good and we have a lot to be thankful for. In other words what are our Ebenezars? Our stones of help? I found that concept very interesting because I had never thought of that before. In hard times what are some things that I can look to that would remind me that I've gone through hard times before and God has always been there and taken care of me? What are certain things that I can do or make during times of celebration?

I thought a lot about that question during the rest of the study group and came up with a list of a few things that remind me of celebratory times in my life and of times when God has helped through rough times. One of those things is music. When we're in a good mood, when we want to celebrate we turn on upbeat, happy music. During the Christmas season we celebrate Jesus' birth by listening to Christmas music. Memories and celebratory feelings are permanently attached to some of my favorite Christmas music that I've been listening to for years. Another thing is my journals. A few other people said journaling as well. You can flip through the pages and look back on the hard and good times. Honestly, I think I would benefit from learning to prayer journal during the good, celebratory times. I don't prayer journal as often as I should during times that are good and without trouble and I think that if I did that more I could look back and remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It would also help me see the big picture. Look back at the hard times and then flip a few pages to when I got to the end of the tunnel and came out into the light. Seeing how it's a new year and all coming up soon I should put that into practice sooner rather than later and I intend to.

Another thing would probably be this blog right here. I've gone through my many blog posts since 2014 and see the blog posts I wrote during really hard, difficult times and then skipped ahead a month and can see how good God was and how He brought me out of those hard times. But I think the biggest thing that is my Ebenezar are my books. When I think of Lindsi I think of a... simpler time. A time when I was younger and didn't have to worry about a lot, before panic attacks and bouts of depression, before a lot of things changed and happened. When I think of the sequel that I wrote I think of a very, very hard time in my life. I was actually revising the end of Sabrina when that very hard time in life that changed a lot came about and Sabrina, for better or for worse will always carry that memory. Golden and Silver will always remind me of this years with all of its ups and downs. My books and my writing are my Ebenezars, my help stones.

So, while Christmas is only two weeks away and a new year is rolling around too quickly, take some time to think about what your help stones are and even during the hard days find something to celebrate or remember that God will get you through this because He's gotten you through hard times before. Enjoy the snow and the fun and the laughter and the celebration of the coming of Jesus this Christmas and don't be too intimidated by a new year. Instead celebrate all the good things that happened this year and celebrate the fact that we get a whole new year to make new memories and do more good and get more writing done and further the kingdom of God. (It won't be easy, at least for me, but I'm going to try my best to do celebrate on bad days and not be too anxious about the new year).

Have a great rest of the week everyone!!

What are some of your help stones?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

My Top Ten Favorite Characters and Why I Love Them

Hey everyone! I haven't done a Friday in Review in a while and this technically isn't a Friday in Review, but this was a subject I was talking about with a friend the other day and thought it would make a good blog post. Some of the names that ended up on this list honestly surprised me, though it doesn't surprise me that half of them are from TV shows. I love books, but I've turned into more of a TV fan lately. So here are my top ten favorite characters and why I love them and/or how I relate to them:

  1. Rogue from the X-Men: When asked what is my favorite character like in anything and of all time, my mind goes instantly to Rogue. I don't even know why I liked her so much when I was younger, but I first came to know of the X-Men in that cartoon show X-Men: Evolution (that I still love to this today if I'm being honest). She was this outsider who couldn't touch anyone. She felt disconnected and different, even from other mutants. Not to mention she wore a lot of dark purple and purple eye shadow and lip stick, which is my favorite color ever. That and she wears a lot of green, which I have actually started wearing a lot of... (coincidence??). She's also extremely pale kind of like me... I'm starting to see a weird amount of similarities between us, seeing how I also wear a lot of dark purple eye shadow as well... I feel like she was sort of antihero at first (another thing me and a friend were talking about, who was my first ever antihero) and I think it was Rogue. Obviously she ended up being a good guy and part of the X-Men, but she had a journey. She made mistakes and picked the wrong side and she had flaws and I think that's what makes her so relatable.
    Rogue in the X-Men trilogy

    The Rogue I grew up with
  2. Damon and Stefan Salvatore from TVD: I couldn't choose between the two because I love them both equally. They both are so complex and multi-faceted. Throughout the whole eight seasons they took turns being the bad brother and/or the villain and sometimes they happened to be on the same team. Both of them good or both of them bad. But I think what I love about them and the show in general really, is the overarching theme of redemption. The very last season was all about whether these characters would find peace, whether they deserved peace and redemption. They're both equal parts sarcastic and funny, while also being deeply flawed and despite being vampires, are very human in their mistakes and problems.  
    My faves!!
  3. Elena Gilbert from TVD: I honestly love all of the characters of TVD equally, but I chose Elena because she's the main character and I do and did relate to her a lot. It's not so much what I love about her, but how much I related to her. The whole show started off with her writing in her diary. Writing. I love writing. She was writing about how she would smile and everyone would believe she was OK after her parent's death. She was sad and kind of broken after something so tragic and fundamental shook her world. Not to mention she's a furiously protective and loving big sister (another thing I can relate to). I started watching that show when I was having frequent panic attacks and depression. I felt really horrible about everything and had a new diagnosis that shook my world, making me feel a lot like how Elena felt. But throughout the show she made me realize that life went on and you could heal and everything would be alright. That things would get better and that we need to treasure the good times in the middle of the bad times because those good times, no matter how small or fleeting give us hope (Stefan's words not hers but still, it counts).
    Today will be different...
  4. Sophie Foster from Keeper of the Lost Cities: Uph, I get all nostalgic when I think about Sophie and the Keeper series. I started reading this series when I was fourteen!! I feel like I was just a little kid! I didn't know anything. Yes I had anxiety, but it wasn't bad. I didn't have depression. I was so oblivious to a lot of things... and I didn't have to worry or feel anxious or depressed. Sophie went through a lot with me and Shannon Messenger seriously created a life long fan seeing how I'll be twenty in March and still going strong with my love for this series. Sophie was just a little twelve year old heroine with magical powers. I love her so much because she was awkward and kind of stutter-y and "childish" for a twelve year old. She slept with a blue stuffed elephant and was terrified of the doctors (totally relatable to me). And now six years later in book six she's this fifteen year old, strong, powerful heroine elf girl who's been through a lot and yet still sleeps with her blue stuffed elephant and is still awkward sometimes and asks stupid questions that she should know the answers to. I still love her so much.
    The whole crew!!
  5. Loki from Thor/Avengers: *sigh* I debated whether to put him on this list and then I was like yeah... I have to. Look I know he's a bad guy and a villain, but for reals, he's just misunderstood! You know how I met one of my best friends at youth group in church? We bonded over our shared love for Loki and then exchanged emails and it's been uphill ever since. I can't even give like a good explanation as to why I like him so much. He's complex and complicated and truly walks on the rope between good and evil. He has ulterior motives and I love the complexity and love he has in his relationship with Thor. Loki was also kind of an outsider and felt different from everyone else (I think I'm starting to see a pattern here... I blame the fact that I'm a Four and we tend to feel different and like outsiders). I'm seriously rooting for the redemption arc they started in Ragnarok to come full circle in Infinity Wars. I want Loki to be redeemed and to be brothers with Thor again and be a good guy and all that good stuff.
    Did I mention his sarcasm??
  6. John Murphy from The 100: I can't really relate to this guy... He's a real jerk in the first season (and the second season?? I'm not sure...?) But we're going to be in what? Season 5 next year and I love him. He's a true antihero. He looks out for himself and I think the best thing the writers ever did was give him Emori to look out for as well. It gave him a redeemable quality. He doesn't take crap from anyone and he was seriously one of the only people in like season 3 that didn't buy into Jaha's chip thing and all that. He saw right through that. I like him because he's unpredictable, an antihero, and extremely complex.  
    Seriously, one of the most frustrating scenes in the whole show!
  7. Remy Lebau (Gambit) from the X-Men: Gambit!! He goes hand in hand with Rogue. In my opinion you can't love Gambit if you don't love Rogue and you can't love Rogue if you don't love Gambit. You're straight up crazy if you don't love them together and ship them hard. Again, another villain, though I suppose it depends on the version and the comics and movies and stuff. The X-Men have gone through so many different phases... But the gist is, he's typically seen as a villain or at least an antagonist, thief and/or con man in the comics and movies. I mean, his whole character identity is rooted in the fact that he is a thief. You can't have a Gambit who didn't come from the Thieves Guild. He's so complex and his power is awesome and he's just an awesomely amazing character. I seriously cannot think of a better way to describe why I love him.
    The Gambit I grew up with
    Wolverine Origins Gambit
  8. Bellamy Blake from The 100: I'm really surprised how many 100 characters ended up on this list... But I knew Bellamy had to be on here. Again. He started off as a jerk. Not as much of a jerk as Murphy, but pretty close. Throughout the seasons though he's redeemed himself and him and Clarke have grown really closed. I shipped them from the very beginning and the whole Wanheda season was torture!! But I'm super excited that Bellarke is happening this coming season! :D He's furiously loyal and protective of his little sister. He's clever and a born leader and follows his heart. I love how Clarke and him compliment each other. He leads by his heart while Clarke leads by intellect and logic. Again, he's such a complex and multifaceted character that shouldn't be underestimated.
    His "catch phrase"
  9. Clarke Griffin from The 100: Clarke! You know, as I was making this list, besides Rogue, it took a lot of thought to come up with female characters I thoroughly like. Mostly because in modern society, writers try way too hard to make female characters as tough and strong as possible. They're either strong and tough and don't show a lot of weakness or there's just something about them that rubs me the wrong way. Or they have the Buffy Complex (in other words they think they're better and stronger than everyone else because their "special" and are all about girl power). Just to be clear, I like Buffy too, especially in the last season when she finally showed some flaws and weakness, but anyways, back to Clarke. I feel like she's so unique as a female character because she thinks more logically and with her head. She isn't the typical female leader who thinks with her heart. She's very driven and smart and resourceful and she defends and protects her friends with everything she has. On several occasions she's risked everything to save the people she cares about and to the save the world. And never once did she get a big head about it.
    #Bellarke
  10. Mibs Beaumont from Savvy: This takes me back to my middle school days. I listened to the audiobook of Savvy in a day. Mibs (short for Mississippi) was the protagonist of a coming of age story. I loved it because she was so sweet and kind of awkward and unsure about being a teenager. In her family when one turns thirteen they get a power. On her birthday she couldn't figure out what her power was, and it took a whole road trip and coming of age journey to realize what it was. She was just so sweet and kind and a great middle sister. I think I related to her especially because she came from a big, slightly chaotic and messy family.
As I said with Loki, I think I see a reoccurring theme. The loner or outcast who feels different from everyone else. That or their awkward or misunderstood. All of which I can relate to and I know how that feels. But relatable-ness aside, I love redemption stories. I think its because those stories of redemption, when a character who is so flawed and has done so many bad things is finally forgiven and turns their life around and is redeemed, gives me and I'm sure others hope and right now we could use some hope in this world. As a Christian I am flawed and I make mistakes and I'm messy, but I am redeemable only through Jesus Christ. He saved me on the cross and I believe in Him and His word and that he carried my sins on the cross so I wouldn't have to bear that pain. Jesus Christ gives me my hope for this world and is my redeemer. Without Him I would be just as messed up and broken as all of these characters above. With Him, I know I am flawed, I'm human, none of us are perfect, but I have hope for the future and I can rely on him in all times of need and when I ask for forgiveness sincerely He grants it to me. I think that's what I see in redemption stories in any genre and in any form of storytelling. Even if they aren't explicitly Christian, I still see that hope and it reminds me of Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer and through Him I'm not an outcast or a loner. I'm part of His family and His church, which means I will never truly be alone or without support.

That got all serious there, but I just think it's so cool how redemption arcs work. They're seriously awesome and amazing. Maybe that's why I'm never truly satisfied with the cookie cutter big bad who is irredeemable because then they feel sort of flat and non-multidimensional to me... But so yeah, those are my top ten favorite characters and why I love them/relate to them. I hope you all have a great, productive and/or calming, peaceful weekend! :D

What are some of your favorite characters and why are they your favorite?