Saturday, January 27, 2018

January Snow: Monthly Wrap-Up & Update



Picture this: A night that is dry, bare, cold, and raw. Everything is bleak, and black. A single flake of snow falls to the ground and dissolves because it is alone. More flakes fall slowly, lingering in the air, hesitant to drop onto the cold, cold ground. The wind picks up, helping the flakes fall faster as more come down. Morning breaks to glimmering snow making everything pure.

This is how Rebellious Writing has grown! All of YOU are like snowflakes, each one beautiful and different! The RW movement is the wind, gently encouraging you to make books pure, clean, and where we gasp in wonder at their beauty. We thank you so much for landing on the ground, because one person couldn't do it alone!

Happy 2018 from the Rebellious Writing team! In the five months that we have been up and running, a lot of snow has fallen!

Also, we really appreciate...
ABIGAIL LENNAH
&
ANNA C.S.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We couldn't do anything without you two!


What Has Been Happening Here

We now have:

69 followers!!
&
13,737 page views!!!

People around the world who look at this blog:

United States: 10,620
Australia: 607
Russia: 429
United Kingdom: 375
Canada: 306
Ukraine: 199
India: 102
Germany: 81
France: 69
Israel: 55

This is so amazing, big thank yous to all!!!!


Posts

In December, we had two posts:


Book Scout Bulletin #2
In our second book review bulletin post, our book scouts found some good reads! From Roar by Cora Carmack to Enna Burning by Shannon Hale, go check out all their thoughts! Thank you so much to all of our scouts! We love getting recommendations.





Introducing... Our New YouTube Coordinator!
Here we introduced the lovely Keturah Lamb as our YouTube gal! She wrote a beautiful guest post about why we read and write. We love having her on our team, she is great to work with! Keep an eye out for videos coming hopefully soon!



In January, we had three posts:


Reviews of the Cliff Walk Courtship Series by the RW Team
After Cecily Wolfe approached us about the first two books in her Cliff Walk Courtship series, Catherine Hawthorn, Gray Marie Cox, and Clare A. read and reviewed them. Go see all of their opinions!






Reader's Thoughts by Christy and Daisy
We had Christy's guest post Music and Prose, about the contrast in books and music, and Daisy's great guest post The Sin Trend about how it is not cool to have bad things in books. Thank you two so much for sharing!



Guest Post Featuring Ivie Brooks: Clean Writing Doesn't Equal Censorship
The awesome Ivie who is a great supporter of RW, had a guest post about how RW is not censorship. She showed how your character can be the character you want them to be, without actually having all that junk. Thank you so much, Ivie! We really appreciate it!


Did you miss any of these posts? Click the images to view them!


Is RW Being Social?


I would say so! You can check out all of our accounts on these websites by clicking the icons on the bar at the top of the screen.


Facebook
A big thank you Faith Thompson for doing all of the works!
34 posts
54 total likes
59 followers

Twitter
Lots of thanks for all who tweet for our cause!
398 Tweets
262 Followers

Instagram
19 posts
118 followers

Google +
Thanks to Lila!

Pinterest
503 pins
66 followers

YouTube
Yay! Thank you so much to Keturah for taking over the Youtube channel! Watch for new videos coming soon!
1 video, 144 views
25 subscribers

Goodreads
Thanks to Abby and Catherine!
6 discussions
46 members
18 books on our bookshelf

Around the 'hood

Carol Baldwin's post Fresh Voices in the Blogosphere featured our own Gray Marie Cox, Catherine Hawthorn, and Lila Kims! Her post also included Order of the Pen writers Julian Daventry and Sarah Rodecker! Thank you so much Ms. Baldwin!!!!!!

Melissa Gravitis posted a really helpful post on Questions To Ask When Creating Fictional Monarchies!

Anna C. S. did a post on Split POV Books You Should Read This Year.

Faith Thompson, Catherine Hawthorn, and several other followers hosted fictional Literary Dinner parties on their respective blogs.

Lila Kims made a new blog!!! The Red-Hooded Writer is in business! Please drop by and pay her a visit at her new blogging home!

Happy New Year to All! And remember to always....
WRITE REBELLIOUS!!!

Yours &c.
Clare A.
(Apologizes for my obsession with snow.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

GUEST POST FEATURING IVIE BROOKS: Clean Writing Doesn't Equal Censorship



I saw comments around the blogosphere a while back saying Rebellious Writing is censorship. This honestly frustrates me because I know that is the opposite of what Rebellious Writing is all about.

Let's take a look at the definition of censorship, which is as follows:

"The suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security."

First off, Rebellious Writing is a movement that does not have the power to stop anyone from writing these things. All they can do is spread the word and speak to the world about better writing. That's literally it.

From the amount of views and followers they've accumulated in such a short period of time, it seems to me that the message of #RebelliousWriting has resonated with a lot of people. These people feel the same way about what The Rebels have to say.

I've seen people say it is within their character's personality to curse. That can still be the case without actually putting those words in there.

But Ivie, my character's personality is to say those words. How is not putting the words in there showing his personality?

I'm glad you asked. Here's an example:

Tom and I made it to the mile marker. We ducked behind the red oak tree and I leaned up against it, panting. Tom was doubled over, just as breathless as I was. When he finally regained enough oxygen, he peeked around the tree. "I think we lost them."

I sighed. "Where do we go from here?"

Tom shrugged and began walking, but tripped over a large tree root that had found itself above the soil. A string of curse words came out of his mouth. I rolled my eyes and stepped over the root to pass him. "Stop being a baby and let's get going."


Tom obviously hurt himself when he fell over an unearthed tree root. His was cussing and the point of view (POV) character wasn't very phased by it. But, this was portrayed all without Tom actually ever saying the words, allowing the reader to fill in the blanks as needed. Readers like when their imagination is stretched.

Same thing goes for romantic and social situations. Far too often, you'll find YA has become more and more like Adult Fiction. The problem with this is that teens aren't mature enough to really know what they should and shouldn't be doing. By presenting these things in front of them, it confuses them.

I know we, as teens, have to learn the harsh realities of the world, but books often portray things like underage drinking, sleeping around, and doing drugs as okay. Sometimes, it's applauded.

This stuff does happen in life. But it can be shown in a way where consequences come along with an action.

Drinking underage could result in being arrested or lots of community service. Sleeping around could result in getting a disease or for females, teen pregnancy. Drugs can kill you prematurely.

A character can't be put into situations and not be changed or suffer consequences.

I'm not saying these things can't take place in books. I don't think The Rebels think that, either. What we, as those who support this movement, have come to agree on is we want to see things portrayed realistically.

A character doing drugs could suffer side effects. They can't just be smoking whatever they get their hands on and not experience anything. Something has to happen.

What The Rebels and all their supporters want to see is authors stop trying to normalize things that just are morally wrong. We want authors to show consequence to action. We want authors to be honest.

We want books that will break our hearts, make us cry, make us laugh, and leave an impact on us long after we reach "The End."


Meet the Orator:

Ivie Brooks is a Jesus loving, dragon riding, book reading, sweet tea drinking writer who wishes to portray life in all its ups and downs. Writing characters that have realistic feelings is important to her, as is making the story raw and vulnerable. Ivie lives in the south and is a southern girl at heart. She hopes to run a business of her own and be her own boss, all the while self-publishing books every few months. You can find Ivie at her website, iviewrites.blogspot.com and you can see her book reviews over at Goodreads.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Reader's Thoughts by Christy and Daisy




Hello fellow Rebels!!

As we hail our 5 month mark, we here at Rebellious Writing can safely say that we really didn't expect this movement to take off as it has, and that we weren't expecting several of the opportunities that came our way. And we sincerely thank our supporters, our Activists, and our readers for all of that support and those opportunities. A round of applause to you all!!

It must be admitted that some things fell by the wayside as we scrambled to accommodate these new opportunities and maintain our regular schedule. And one of those happened to be our "Orator" or guest posts that were submitted by our readers between August - November 2017. 

However...after months of delays and technical issues, we are pleased to finally bring to you some!!

Without further ado, we'll let our "orators" take the podium!!




Two of the most fundamental elements of musical form and structure are repetition and contrast. Repetition charts the course of the song and establishes a melody. The listener gets familiar with the melody and learns to not only recognize it but enjoy it.

An important concept for movie scores is the theme(s). Sometimes certain characters have their own theme, or a certain pace of action or set piece. But the theme grounds the entire story, gets you to understand a character and recognize when he comes along, or makes you ache with emotion when the theme that embodies an entire franchise begins to play.

Contrast is what makes the piece interesting, though. Composers love contrast. They love that suspension that leaves you on the edge of your seat waiting for it to resolve. They love throwing in strange chords that make you go, "Wait--what??"

But contrast is what makes a piece worth listening to. I’m sure everyone has heard a song at some time that was so repetitive that there was no point in listening anymore. It feels like nothing is going to happen.

All of these concepts can apply to plot structure as well. Imagine a story that does not begin with an introduction to the main character, an introduction into his everyday life, or even a hint of what universe he lives in. Disorienting much?

The appearance of repetition is important in the beginning. It makes you understand the character’s normal world, their patterns. It is even important to understand the regular flow of life on whatever planet they live. Now imagine a world where the character has fixed guidelines the entire story. They go to work. They come home. They eat dinner. So forth. Nothing ever changes and the beat of the story plods endlessly forward and yet nowhere.

The plot has to awaken with some form of contrast. Something new and different enters the character’s world. Maybe he gets a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris. Maybe he is kidnapped and taken to a hidden base. Something has to change amid the repetition for the story to move somewhere. The move from “normal world” to “adventure world” is the launch pad for the plot, but elements of contrast don’t stop there. The reader should be constantly taken for loops and turns throughout the rest of the story, because who truly wants a book where they can predict every single outcome? I’ll pass.

Lastly, theme is such an important thing. So important. If your story doesn’t have a heart, how can it be alive? The theme grounds the entire story, whispers its timeless truth into the mind of the reader. Without themes, a movie’s soundtrack is just background noise. It can be cool background noise, but it remains noise nonetheless. The theme is the anchor. It sets the tone and style of the story. It is crucial. It can be subtle. It is not a in-your-face Aesop’s fable or parable. Your book’s theme should take one-hundred-thousand words and make them into one.


About the Reader: 

Hello! My name is Christy and I am a writer/graphic designer from TX. I was formally homeschooled and writing was a big hobby of mine. I write mostly YA fantasy fiction and read as many books as I can get my hands on. I saw your recent article on Pinterest and found this site. I am very inspired by what you do and how you encourage Christian values. I love your work, and would very much enjoy being involved! My website is www.christywriting.com and I also post book reviews on theoddwriters.wordpress.com with other collaborators.





Recently, I was reading a book, and I was rather enjoying it. But then, slowly, little by little, the author started introducing more swearing, more romance, more innuendo. I had to put the book away.

I'm sure that this has happened to you before. It's a pretty good book, and then they start presenting sin as 'cool' and 'okay'. I was talking to my mom about it later, and she said something that made me think.

She said, "There's a definite trend of including that type of thing."

This reminded me of one time recently when I was in a store and I saw a package of temporary tattoos marketed to kids as meant to help them 'look cooler, stronger, braver' and to help them 'impress their friends'. The artwork on the front featured a cartoon of a girl making a 'fierce' face, cutting her hair, and showing off her double piercing.

Now, these things aren't bad on their own, necessarily; however, it's the heart behind it-- the thought that the girl is only doing those things to impress her friends-- that is sobering.

Sin. should. not. be. considered. trendy.

Sin is wrong, and it's what separates us from God. When sins such as cursing, premarital relations, etc. are shown as being 'cool' and 'trendy', that's the author causing others to stumble. They don't know who's reading the book. It could be a kid as young as ten years old-- maybe even younger. If they think that sin will make them 'cool', what kind of life are we setting them up to lead?

Exodus 23:2 says: “Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it. If you see a group of people doing wrong, don’t join them. You must not let them persuade you to do wrong things—you must do what is right and fair. (ERV)

If we follow the Bible's teachings, we are promised that good things will follow. Being considered 'trendy' by your friends now will not lead to happiness later. Being 'cool' in God's book, by His standards, will make definite happiness in the long run. We are meant to store up treasures in Heaven, after all.

So this is the point: It doesn't matter what the world thinks is 'cool' or 'trendy' or anything else, for that matter-- The world is often wrong. God, on the other hand, is never wrong... and sinning to be 'trendy' is never okay.


About the Reader:


Daisy Louise Paquet is an Internet-addicted, self-proclaimed nerd. She likes coffee, books, and sci-fi movies. She may accidentally attack you with sarcasm and Batman references from time to time, but she promises to be nice. She currently resides in a galaxy far, far away with her family and cat. You can check out Daisy's blog HERE.


And that, as they say, is that!!

Our thanks go out to Christy and Daisy for submitting these wonderful thoughts, and especially for their patience! Please go and check out their respective blogs, they are both wonderful!

Next week, RW is going to host one of our most hard-core and lovely Activists.....

Ivie Brooks! 

Would you like to contribute a guest post? Click on the Collaborate page and submit the Google Form! As we develop our upcoming schedule, we aim to be *a lot* more timely on publishing them!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Reviews of the Cliff Walk Courtship Series by the RW Team



Hello, fellow Rebels!!

It is the start of a new year, and we are beyond excited!!

And, we're starting it off with a bang - a team book review collaboration!!

Last November, we were approached by Cecily Wolfe to review two of her books from the Cliff Walk Courtship series. Three of our RW writers took up these books to review: Catherine Hawthorn, Gray Marie Cox, and Clare A.  

Without further ado, let's get started! 




Catherine's Reviews: 

Throne of Grace 
Throne of Grace (Cliff Walk Courtships, #1)
Source: Goodreads

Synopsis: 


A maid and a man of high society. 

Arthur Davenport has returned to Newport, RI after a life-changing trip abroad. He makes a friend in Josette Warren, who is a domestic in the Davenport house. Much to the disapproval of Arthur's socialite mother.  


Undaunted by social convention, Arthur seeks Josie out and an unusual courtship takes place as they make plans to found a shelter for the poor and unfortunate in Newport. But the disapproving Mrs. Davenport still hovers in the background. Will Josie be able to win her over? 



Review: 

Language: ✩✩✩✩✩. There was two mentions of the word "hell" but they were in the middle of a proverb ("The road to hell is paved with good intentions.")  
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩. No instances of abuse in the work. 
Lust: ✩✩✩✩✩. There were a few mild kisses as to be expected, but the romance was handled with a lot of caution to make sure that nothing impure was done. 
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩. 



What I Liked: 
  1. I loved the heroine's proper name, Josette.
  2. Wolfe really captured the inner motives behind class struggle, and strikes at the personhood of servants, which is unusual for a historical work. 
  3. Turning point for Arthur was very well done. 
  4. I liked Dr. Colt and Josie's meeting, that was well written. 
  5. Wolfe captured a mother's inner dilemma about what to do when a daughter is on the verge of entering a questionable match. 
  6. There was a nice balance between caution and emotion. 
  7. This was a light read, very similar to Grace Livingston Hill.  

What I Disliked:

  1. It started off feeling like a contemporary novel, instead of a historical novel. 
  2. Josie's hairstyle throughout the entire book is described as a ponytail. Which was unheard of in 1893. For someone who has been involved with living history from that time period, it was a little jarring to see that.  
  3. Sense of timing was inconsistent, and the romance felt rushed. 
  4. Other tenets of world-building could have used a little work. 
  5. Some of the lines of wit I didn't get (glass houses line especially) 
  6. I think the "gossip" storyline didn't get resolved very well. 
  7. The section breaks - especially between POV's - weren't differentiated very well. 

Crown of Beauty

Crown of Beauty (Cliff Walk Courtships #2)
Source: Goodreads

Synopsis:


Two people from the same class. But are they really deserving of each other?


Catherine Davenport, after her brother Arthur's marriage to their former maid Josie, is sick of her mother's plots and schemes to get her married off to a Vanderbilt. As a compromise, her father orders her to work at Arthur's shelter, First Steps. Under the influence of Arthur, Josie and a baker by the name of Grace, Catherine begins to blossom into a young woman.


Then she meets Will - a young man who comes into First Steps looking like a drowned rat with no clue how he got there. As Will is rehabilitated, an attraction forms.

But when the truth about Will finally comes out, will Catherine trust him again? 


Review:
Language: ✩✩✩✩✩. No language present. 
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩. Will is a recovering alcoholic, so alcohol use is mentioned, but it's handled well.  
Lust: ✩✩✩✩🟉 (4 1/2 stars). There is some desire mentioned, shown in a realistic way, but it is mastered over.  
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩



What I Liked: 

  1. I felt that this book was closer to the 1893 time that it was listed as than the first one. 
  2. I really liked the overall plot of this work. 
  3. Will's past life is shrouded in secrecy, and not many details are revealed. But enough was revealed to give that impression and not ruin the lightness of the work. 
  4. The heroine's name matches one of mine :)
  5. I liked how Will tried his darndest to put his courtship on the "up and up" in spite of his past and current circumstances. 

What I Disliked: 
  1. Catherine's fault of day-dreaming was present in nearly every scene. Even coming from a chronic daydreamer as myself, I felt it was too much. 
  2. Sarah acted more like a 15 year old than a 17 year old. Maybe that was the point, but it just didn't fit in my mind. 
  3. Conversations, especially between Catherine and her mother, sometimes changed rather abruptly for my tastes. 
  4. In some places, there was some info-dumping about characters. 
  5. Annie was a very mysterious character, I had trouble with her reaction to some of the things that happened in the book. 
  6. How did Will's mother know about a baking trick as a wealthy woman? 

Overall, I enjoyed reading both of these books, and I'm excited to read the third book about Sarah!






Gray's Reviews: 
Throne of Grace (Cliff Walk Courtships, #1)
Source: Goodreads

I'm going to be very honest, these books weren't exactly my cup of tea. The genre and writing style weren't my most favorite, but I know many girls who would adore these series, and I will probably be recommending them to some of my friends. As Catherine said before, this is a very light and sweet read, but because of my non-existent love for fiction set in the 1800s, it failed to enthrall me. However, I still intend to review these two books without that bias in mind.

The Throne of Grace:

Language: ✩✩✩✩✩. There were two uses of the word "hell" but that was used in biblical terms
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩. Perfectly clean!
Lust: ✩✩✩✩✩. Mild kissing, but no more
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩

What I did like:
  1. The emotions felt real, that was refreshing.
  2. The romance was sweet, it was something you could honestly root for.
  3. Beautiful writing.

What I disliked:

  1. The pacing was a little slow.
  2. The beginning didn't quite grab me.
  3. The characters were a little too perfect.
  4. It wasn't always Historically correct, as Catherine also pointed out.



Crown of Beauty: 

Crown of Beauty (Cliff Walk Courtships #2)
Source: Goodreads

Language: ✩✩✩✩✩ Perfectly clean!
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩ There is a recovering alcoholic, but that lifestyle is not glorified in any way
Lust: ✩✩✩✩✩ There is mild attraction, but to have characters not find each other somewhat attractive seems silly and unrealistic though, so no stars off.
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩ (the one star off is because I didn't really like these books for myself)

What I liked:
  1. It felt more Historically accurate than the last one.
  2. Will was pretty awesome, not going to lie!
  3. Will's character development.
  4. Will's backstory.
  5. Will.

What I disliked:
  1. Catherine is an airhead 24/7, it got a little tedious in some parts.
  2. It felt a it rushed in some places.
  3. Sarah acts like a little kid a lot, but she's seventeen, and it didn't seem to work for her character as a whole.
  4. A few plot holes and things that never made a lot of sense and were never really explained.

Although I didn't love these books, they were really good. If you like contemporary and Historical fiction reads that are relatively lighthearted and clean, check out these books!





Clare's Reviews:

Throne of Grace
Throne of Grace (Cliff Walk Courtships, #1)
Source: Goodreads
Like Gray, these are not my types of books. But I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed reading them.

Language: ✩✩✩✩✩, there was the reference to "the road to hell" but it was with biblical terms.


"A pretty face doesn’t last, but a pretty action does." 

Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩, very clean!
Lust: ✩✩✩✩🟉 (4 1/2 stars). Some of the characters are warned of it, and Mr. and Mrs. Davenport suggest things about Arthur, but it is all untrue and viewed as negitave.
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩🟉 (4 1/2 stars). 

"I think if we meet someone we feel comfortable with, we should be able to be friends with them regardless of money, station, situation, whatever you choose to call it."

'She was thinking too much; she always did. Then again, some had to.'

“The opportunity to help. I like the way that sounds . . . not as if you felt required to do it, or pressured in any way, but as if you’ve been waiting."


What I liked:
  1. Dr. Colt. He is great.
  2. Josie's worry about others before herself.
  3. The part where Josie felt discouraged. I know this sounds weird, but I actually did like it! We all get down some days and I think she handled it beautifully.
  4. First Steps.
  5. Lucy.
  6. The romance was sweet, and I liked that it could range from a word to a smile, to a squeeze of the hand.
  7. The faith level. "There is great power in prayer, as you must know. God listens.”
  8. The writing! Ms. Wolfe has a beautiful way of writing. (I hope you don't mind my popping my favorite bits in!) "And those gulls, I saw you watching them just now. Your face was like a mirror of their happiness"
What I didn't like:
  1. Though I liked the writing, a few things were repeated a little too much.
  2. The romance moved a little too quickly. I mean, they just met.
  3. As Catherine said, I don't think the gossip was fully resolved. It could have been handled a bit bettter. 
Crown of Beauty
Crown of Beauty (Cliff Walk Courtships, #2)
Source: Goodreads
Language: ✩✩✩✩🟉 (4 3/4 stars), there was some exclamations.


'A poof of flour had flown into her face and mouth, and she began to laugh, blinking away the white dust from her eyes.'

Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩, there was drinking, but it was shown as a bad thing and the character improved.


'Those sort of storms were the most frightening, as the sun strove through fluffy clouds just as thunder roared from above, the heavens dropping bucketsful of warm rain over the city.'

Lust: ✩✩✩✩🟉 (4 1/2 stars), there was a little bit of it, and vague mention of a few things.

Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩, even through this I do think I like the storyline of this one, better than the first one. After finishing the first one I thought, "That was nice, but I would have liked to see more of Arthur's sisters." Then here they are! I definitely can't wait to read Treasure of Hope when it comes out next year!


“And no books. You’ll never find a husband if you’re wasting time reading books.”



What I liked:

  1. Catherine! I love that she loves to read! 'She could never regret the time she spent reading, though. That meant everything to her, the ability to travel far and wide through stories and reporting, until she was able to do so herself .'
  2. Will. Who doesn't like him? I like his character arc.
  3. The storyline.
  4. While in the first one Arthur and Josie have amazing faith, this was so interesting to see it grow in Will and Catherine.
  5. Grace. I am very surprised we didn't see her in the first book! 'An older woman who looked like someone soft and sweet from a children’s book was at her elbow.'
  6. Arthur's love and protection of Catherine. And how Sarah and Catherine comfort each other and Josie!
  7. The writing...

What I didn't like:

  1. I daydream a lot myself, but this seemed a little over done. And your mind thinks things so quickly that it doesn't seem likely that she/he would miss so much!
  2. That Dr. Colt wasn't in it that much!
  3. That we didn't hear much more of Joseph.

These books were a delightful read!
Yours &c.
Clare A.



There you have it! Three different thoughts of Cecily Wolfe's books, Throne of Grace and Crown of Beauty! 

This year, we're planning on expanding our number of posts each month, bringing more reading suggestions, and continue to support clean YA writers towards publication. We thank all of our readers and contributors for your continued support of RW! 2018 is going to be an exciting year!!