Saturday, December 14, 2019

Why You Need to Set a Goodreads Goal (and how to reach it)

It's getting close to New Years...which means we're all thinking about what we want to do in 2020. It's goal setting time.

And I'm here to convince you to set a goal for how many books to read in 2020.

We need to read. Reading is a good thing. So please forgive my shameless reference to a post on my personal blog about why We Need to Read. I'm trying to keep this post short, haha.

Setting goals is a good way to get more reading done. And doing it through Goodreads keeps it concrete, real. You actually create the account and decide just how many books you want to try for. Or even if you just do it privately, keeping a list of the books you read can help keep you on track.

There is no wrong goal (unless you're being unrealistic). Are you a busy person or a slow reader? Then a low goal is perfectly fine. Don't feel bad that you only read 5 books while others read 55. Maybe they simply don't have anything else to do with their life. Maybe they're speed-reading and not getting anything out of what they read. Maybe they're reading novellas or kids books. Or listening to audio books at high speed. Think about the year ahead, and set a realistic goal. Maybe two books a month, plus an extra or two in summer. You know your reading habits better then anyone else.

But don't make it easy. What's the point of setting a goal when you don't have to sweat to reach it? Why set a goal for three books and then read a couple board books you found lying around and count those as reaching your goal? Pick a goal you know you can reach and add one more book. Hold yourself accountable and don't "cheat" by reading books way below your reading level.

**But how to reach your goal, especially in this busy world?**

Always have a book handy, should you find spare time. I don't carry a purse. I carry a bookbag (or so I call it). It totes around my bullet journal, my Bible, and at least one book. If I find a few minutes lunch break to read, I've got a book. If someone else drives (my sibs and I sometimes carpool to work), I can read. If I'm getting the oil changed, my book is with me.

Keep an ebook on your phone at all times. Those times when you're stuck on the toilet...stop scrolling FaceBook and read a few pages. Sitting in the car waiting for a slowpoke to get ready to leave? Read a page while you wait. Think opportune moments, guys.

Try something new. You don't have to read a new book to make it count towards your book goal. You're allowed to do re-reads. But I beg of you, try something new. Just once, at least. Check out our book reviews or ask a friend for a recommendation or read reviews on Goodreads. You might be surprised.

Don't sweat. If you don't reach your goal because you set it way too high, or unforeseen life things happened, hey, don't worry about it. (If you spent too much time on Pinterest, yeah, you might want to be a little embarrassed.) But generally speaking, there's no shame. You did what you could. And as long as you enjoyed what you read, or learned from it, that's what counts.

-Julian Daventry

Saturday, November 30, 2019

NaNoWriMo (according to BBC Robin Hood)

So first you hear about this NaNo thing...writng 50,000 words in one month. Pretty crazy, huh?

Then you make the (probably stupid) decision to attempt it yourself.

But then you have to figure out which plot bunny to write...

And tell your friends and family what you're going to do.

Sometimes they won't be so supportive...

Others will be just as excited as you are.

But then November 1st arrives, and you bid farewell to the world and lock yourself away in your room to write.

The beginning is fun. You are full of brilliant ideas and opportunities and the possibilities are endless.

But then a random character appears...

And you're just like...

And then a new side plot comes along and demands to become the main plot

And you struggle to balance writing and life and hobbies and mental health and they just keep battling each other for your time.

But you keep writing. 

You don't give up.

Sometimes you'll come up with the most amazing characters and twists...

And sometimes you'll write something that once you've read it you realize it should probably be burned.

Every now and them you emerge from your writing den to greet your family and receive sustenance for your mortal flesh.

But then it happens.

You get stuck or behind schedule and consider quitting.

The draft is going slower then expected.

You've got a case of writer's block.

Or life happens and you have no time to write.

You wait for motivation. Or maybe just some free time in your schedule to get some writing done.

And then it comes. The big moment. The epic finale of the draft. That one evening where you have nothing else to do but write. The inspiration to burst through the writing block.

And you do it. You reach 50,000 words in your story. You have finished!

And you bask in the glory.

And you scream about it to your friends and family while they congratulate you.

And then you sleep for the next 48 hours.

And there you have it. The NaNo experience...lots of words, heartache, mild panic, sleeplessness, and evil cackling. Hope y'all had a great NaNo2019 and got a lot accomplished for your drafts.

-Julian Daventry

Friday, November 1, 2019

For the Writers in the Race for the 50K: A NaNo Encouragement Post

Greetings, rebellious writers!

Today is the first day of November. It is the time of the year that pretty much every writer in the world knows about: NaNoWriMo.

Through out this month writers across the globe will be typing as fast as they can, trying to get 50k words.

A lot of us writers of Rebellious Writing will also be joining this mad dash to get our ideas onto the page. Some of us have done it before, for others it is our first time. To commemorate this grand event we want to celebrate what all participants are taking on. When you are feeling stuck this month come to this post for encouragement.

It can work so many different ways.

Whether you’re a pantster or a planner you know what works for you. I have tried pantsing the last few years, and that hasn’t worked so I am doing the rebellious move of plansting. Everyone’s minds work differently and that is so beautiful! How boring would life be if everyone could only do things one way?

I have so many thoughts and possibilities running through my mind. I also have my computer covered in post-it notes to remind me of all of my brilliant plans. Whatever works for you, do it!

It’s just a number, not a story.

NaNoWriMo is famous for the insane goal of 50,000 words. That’s a lot. This is here to help us expand our stories and push us to do the impossible. If you have the determination, you can do it. I know that I have never written 50,000 words before. My highest is 25,000--only half!--and that took many months.

So, why am I going to even try? What is the point?

“A writer is a world trapped in a person.” - Victor Hugo.

I have a story, living inside of me, longing to get out. Being an introvert, I have trouble saying what I have to say out loud; but when I write things down the words just flow, my inner thoughts and dreams. I have messages that mean a lot to me that I want other people to know.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

I think that I can do this because I am extremely stubborn and determined. Once I put my mind to it I’m going through to the end of the line.

And you know what? From the way things are going my story might be done only at 40k, and that’s okay! I’ll have put the effort into it and accomplished something. It is your story and you know when it ends.

For me, 50,000 is encouraging us to make the most of our stories. If that wasn’t the goal then I would probably finish at 25,000, again. The number pushes me to flesh out my story more than I could imagine. Already today I have added so much that I would never have thought of if I hadn’t been pushing for such a large target.

Winning isn’t everything.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Stories are part of who we are. I love reading and writing, it is part of my identity. Through all of that, don’t forget your own story: the life you are living.

Take care of yourself, and enjoy the life, too.

Write rebelliously.

In today’s world people tell you that to make a good novel you have to have bad language, smut, and follow what everyone else is doing.

This November we encourage you to defy the “normal”. Each of us are unique, and we all have amazing stories within us. Show the world what you can do and have your novels be the best they could be.

We here at RW will be so busy typing that we won't have any posts this month, but we will have an update after NaNoWriMo is done.

Keep writing stories that enlighten the world!

Yours &c.

Clare A.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's Totally Okay

Growing up, I was allowed to read Lord of the Rings, but not Harry Potter. I had friends who read both, and friends who read neither. My friends who read HP were kind enough to not bully me about it, though they might occasionally reference a quote or two. And when I was around my friends who didn't read either, I did my best to not constantly be talking about Tolkien's works.

Because it's okay, y'all.

It's totally okay to not read a book or series because your parents told you that you weren't allowed. People should not mock you because you're obeying your parents, and you shouldn't feel that they're being cruel.

It's totally okay to not read a book because you don't think you'll like it, whether it's because of the genre, the reviews, or the likelihood of magic or lust or other content you'd prefer not to read.

It's totally okay to not finish a book because you didn't like what you found inside. You won't be labeled a coward for stopping right then and there and never looking back.

It's totally okay to not read a book because you don't like the author or don't like what the author promotes/is promoting. 

It's totally okay to write low-star-kinda-bad but honest reviews. We should be respectful, but we should give our opinions.

It's totally okay to not want to read a book simply because you have zero interest in it. Or because you don't want to pay the money to buy it and can't get it at the library.

I promise. Life will go on. Maybe you won't understand a quote or a meme. But that's it. Life just continues.

Giving and Taking Recommendations

As readers, we should be very willing to give book recommendations. And we should be very understanding when someone says they're not going to take a recommendation. I don't throw LotR at my friends who won't read it because of convictions or simple disinterest. If they ask for book recs, I might laugh and say, "Well, there's always LotR!" and then I go on to recommend books I know they'll be likely pick up and actually enjoy.

As readers, we should not feel shy about saying, "oh, I'm not interested in that" or "my parents won't let me read it" or "after looking it up, I think I'll pass". Everyone is different. Everyone has different interests, reading levels, convictions, parents, and spending habits.

And that's beautiful.

-Julian Daventry

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Recap Post of the It's So Classic Blog Party!

Greetings, to all of you fellow rebels!

We hope that you all enjoyed participating in our It's So Classic Blog Party! While there are many definitions of the word classic, we found through out your posts that pretty much all of you agree on this one:

a thing which is memorable and a very good example of its kind

Speaking of your posts, let's take a look at all of the entries we got!:

Tag Answers:

Extra Posts:

A huge thank you to all of you who participated! We are so glad that this blog party was such a success, and we are so excited to read all of your awesome posts! Here's to two years of Rebellious Writing!

If you still want to do the tag and haven't yet, go for it! Just post a comment on this post so we can link it up. Also, if we missed any of your posts, let us know! I did my best I could with your previous comments and some digging around the internet.

For an update on our schedule, we are only going to be posting twice in September because a lot of us are so busy with different school work, but we will be getting back on track in October.

Remember to always Write Rebelliously!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

It's So Classic Blog Party: KICKOFF

Greetings to you, Fellow Rebels!

It is a day of celebration - Rebellious Writing is now officially 2 years old!

It is so crazy that two years ago, one girl put out a simple blog post that sparked an entire movement. As we have grown these two years, we have grown more and more in love with classics. And so, for this second anniversary, we are throwing an entire party devoted to these classics!

But first, there is one question to answer: What is a classic?

At the basic level, a classic is book that has not gone out of print since it was first published. It has elements that are timeless. They are often used as models for good literature....and as required readings for school, LOL.

To kick off this party, we're giving you guys an original tag!

It's So Classic Tag


1. Link your post to Rebellious Writing (
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag at least 5 bloggers.

  1. What is one classic that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, but really needs to?
  2. What draws you to classics?
  3. What is an underrated classic?
  4. What is one classic that you didn’t expect to love, but ended up loving anyway?
  5. What is your most favorite and least favorite classics?
  6. What is your favorite character from a classic? Or if that is too hard, one is your favorite classic character trope (e.g. strong and silent, quiet sidekick, etc.)
  7. What’s a popular classic that you felt wasn’t actually that great?
  8. Who is your favorite classic author?
  9. In your opinion, what makes a classic a classic?
  10. Relating to newer books, what attributes does a book need to have in order to be worthy of the title “classic”?

In addition to the tag, we'd love for you all to do your own posts relating to classics! What is your favorite classic book? What are some lessons that you've learned from classics? Or, give us your opinions about classics!

To make things easier for us, please link your posts to the comment section of this kickoff post. We will then link everyone's posts at the end of the party in another post. 

We look forward to seeing your posts!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

It's So Classic: Blog Party Announcement!

Hello Fellow Rebels!

First off, we really need to apologize for having such a long silence. Besides having a few schedule changes, we have been planning a big event here on RW.

To celebrate our 2nd blogoversary, we have decided to forego our usual Round Table and do something really fun with our readers.....our first Blog Party!

It is all about Classics in Literature and it will take place between August 9 - August 30.

We will debut the tag portion of our party on the kickoff day of August 9. But we especially want posts from you readers!

We want fangirly posts about your favorite classics, the in-depth analyses, the writing lessons that we can learn from classics, and more! 

All the posts will be linked in the final post of the linkup. In the meantime, we'd love for you all to share these buttons on your blogs and social media:

We look forward to seeing your posts!!

Keep fighting the fight!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Fun in the Sun: June Wrap Up

Greetings to you, fellow rebels!

Summer is indeed upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere, which means camping season, barbeques, swimming, fireworks, and long summer evenings where the sun doesn't disappear until half the night has passed (or so it seems, anyway).

Where I am in the world, the sun has been hiding more often than not. There has not been one week where there has not been any rain. To be frank, it's the first year in several that spring has actually extended to it's proper end date. But now that it is starting to heat up here, my family can get things accomplished....and have fun besides!

Speaking of fun, what fun things has RW been partaking in? Let's take a look!

Posts This Month

Exercises to Build Your Character Development
In this post, guest writer Patrick Bailey explains how to develop characters using dialogue, visual descriptions and character arcs. Great for writers just starting out!

A Review Of A Thousand Perfect Notes 
Lila Kims puts out her thoughts on a soul-rendering debut novel by indie author C.G. Drews, better known to the blogosphere as Cait @ Paper Fury.

Historical Fiction: Four Things Writers Get Wrong  
In this rather ranty post, Catherine Hawthorn points out 4 different pitfalls that historical fiction writers fall into as they draft. She also gives research tips and ways for authors to edit their way out of said pitfalls.

In this post, Faith Thompson shows to write a wonderful content review for the conservative audience without giving any spoilers. She especially highlights RW's key issues of Language, Abuse and Lust. Perfect for frequent reviewers on Goodreads and blogs!   

Monthly Stats 

100 followers, 47052 all-time views

58 likes, 67 followers

304 followers, 449 tweets

44 posts, 139 followers

22 boards, 137 followers

47 subscribers

70 group members, 23 discussions

Around the Blogosphere

Julian Daventry and fellow blogger Sarah Rodecker published their Q&A vlog! If you love everyday shenanigans, please check out Part 1 HERE, and Part 2 HERE.

Faith Thompson has recently unveiled a new WIP! You can view the introduction post HERE.

Our founder, Gray Marie Cox, recently published a post called "Dear Reader: You're Not Ugly" It is straight from the heart, and anyone struggling with self-doubt needs to read it. Now.

Melissa Gravitis published another gem of an article, "Questions to Ask when Choosing a POV". As someone who sometimes struggles with sticking with one kind of POV, this list is being shoved into my growing portfolio of "things to consult before writing".

Project Canvas published an article on how the 3-Act Story Structure will affect the marketing aspects of the book. You can view the post HERE.

A fellow blogger, Megan Chappie, recently published a post called "Bring Back the Boy Heroes", that I believe that many Rebellious Writing supporters would love.

For those who remember founding member Audrey Caylin, we regret to report that her blog has gone inactive. We would link her final post, but the link is actually broken. We wish Audrey all the best as she goes forth into new adventures!


Now that the shackles of school have been released, young adults have been tackling another stack of books - their summer TBRs! 

I, quite unfortunately, have no such list. 

Tell me, what clean reads would you recommend I check out? 

P.S. RW wll have a schedule change this summer, only posting twice a month and then having a summer wrap-up.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Technique Behind a Content Review

We see the questions all over Goodreads--"What was the content in that book?" "How much cussing was there?" "Knowing how I feel about content, would I enjoy this?" The conservative community likes content reviews, and that's a good thing! They can be very helpful for helping people decide if they want to read a book or not.

The question arises, though: What do you need to put in a content review? How do you write one???

Well, my friends, I am here today to explain to you MY technique for writing a content review!

There's three things I like to hit:

ROMANCE (as in anything to do with relationships, the level of physical stuff going on, as well as mentioning homosexuality, explicit material, and anything that might trigger people. This is going to be the section where you want to be the most Careful.)

LANGUAGE (cussing. You can be as detailed or undetailed as you want here.)

ABUSE (so drugs, physical/sexual/verbal abuse of other characters, alcohol, and other substances.)

And if there's anything else, you can mention OTHER. If I feel like mentioning the violence level of a story, this is where I'll put that.

23437156Here's an example of how I do this from one of my Goodreads reviews. The book is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

LANGUAGE: One f-word, one maybe two s-words, a number of b-words, d-words, and a couple of others. Less than I was expecting from what I've heard from other reviewers, so that was nice.

SEXUAL: One character has a past that involved being a prostitute at a pleasure house. Nothing explicit to do with that is ever actual shown, but ya know. Nothing pleasant. Nina can be rather rude and is, frequently. The girls wear revealing dresses at one point and jokes are made of this. Much flirting, including a couple of guys implied to be homosexual. A boy and a girl sleep together in a pile of furs to survive bitter cold at one point. Some kissing, but not a ton. 

ABUSE: The whole plot centers on finding a scientist who produces an awful, addictive, destructive drug. So there's that. Also, some drinking/drug taking/etc. I don't recall whether there's anything the main characters do in this vein. Nothing substantial or I'd remember. :P 

OTHER: Lots of shooting, explosions, rude banter, etc. Kaz is fairly brutal. These are all anti-heroes so you're not going to find glowing good morals here.

This is my personal technique for writing content reviews. I like it because you can hit a lot of points here. One thing that you need to beware of is the temptation to loudly bash any content you don't agree with in this review. I cannot stress how much you don't want to do that.

If something happens in a book that you don't agree with or you don't like, you can reflect that in your rating. You can DNF. But be polite about it in your review!

I write roast reviews sometimes, but I mostly do them in a spirit of good fun and entertainment for myself and my Goodreads followers xD I don't like books sometimes. We're not all going to like every book. But it's important to remember that someone still wrote the book, and even if you don't agree with everything in it or it has a lot of content, please don't slam it. :P Be kind, even if you don't like it. If you roast a book, do it lightly. If you disagree with a book, state why politely.

Basically: state things for your followers, and be kind about it. Don't necessarily expect everyone to agree with you. But remember, a lot of people really appreciate content reviews, especially on the big hyped bestsellers. So be nice. And be respectful. But write them!

Do you write content reviews? How do you set them up if you do? Talk to me in the comments! 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Historical Fiction: 4 Things Writers Get Wrong

Greetings to you, fellow rebels!

So as a Rebellious Reader (and a Rebellious Writer), it can be very difficult to find a clean and well-written piece of historical fiction. There is a lot of swearing, and a lot of lust in several modern works of historical fiction.

But beside these obvious flaws, there are 4 other major pitfalls that historical writers fall into which madden historical fiction fans.....and actual historians like me. And it is these four that I wish to showcase in this blog post.

1. Everyday Language

This is the biggest pitfall of historical writers - even modern readers will pick it up.

For example, we use the phrase "can't get the time off" as an excuse for when we can't be there for something. Before the 20th century and highly standardized timetables/companies, it was all based off of "obligations", i.e. they had to meet someone, something had to be inspected, etc.

Language is one of those things that reveals a lot about a world - sometimes, even down to the decade. This even applies to slang and everyday terms for objects. As the phrase goes "the devil is in the details."

To combat this, I try to look for novels, letters and other contemporary sources from the time period in which I'm writing in. A well-researched movie, documentary or TV show can also be a good choice. Not only is this great for research purposes, but it immerses you into that culture - allowing you to pick up those little linguistic quirks and translate them to your own stories.

2. Attitudes towards events or objects

Each generation views the past in a different lens. A lot depends on the political and social movements that were current for the time...and even past movements. For example, our view of the past has been shaped by several movements in the 1960s-70s as well as our current political and social movements. 

One of the most stereotypical things that writers write with a modern view is......THE CORSET.

Corsets are support garments that support not just the bust, but also the back and abdomen. They are descended from the 17th century stays, which are in turn descended from stiff bodices of the 16th and earlier centuries. Our brassieres are, in fact, direct descendants of corsets.

Contrary to popular opinion, they are not meant to be constrictive contraptions of torture. The only reason why they are viewed this way is because of sensationalist journalism and pseudo-medicals. Nor were they viewed as waist-trimmers (except maybe by a few nutty women who were concerned with fads).

They were, for about 90% of women, quite important garments that didn't earn a second thought after putting them on. Similar to what we think of brassieres today. Not only did they allow plenty of movement, they provide help in maintaining posture.

So pleaseeeeee for the love of history, do not write corsets as if they were worst thing in the world. There ends the rant from the historical reenactor (who, ironically, has never worn a corset yet!).

3. The Women's Role in Society

Women's role in society is one of those things that many people get wrong. There are misconceptions abounding about what women could and couldn't do. Part of this has to do with the Women's Lib movement in the '70s, the other has to do with the lack of unbiased sources in the historical record...because apparently primary sources were not used for several hundred years??? 

A Tumbler post I found via Pinterest....and edited for cleanliness's sake by me

It certainly wasn't all tea parties and socializing, I can tell you! Women were more educated then many people realize, so they could influence the political sphere in an indirect manner. They take care of the home and most took a lot of joy out of it...which includes sewing, cooking, and cleaning. They were free to pursue a hobby or two. They were also involved in churches, which often provided a lot of humanitarian aid. They were teachers and nurses, businesswomen, and writers.

Without women, nothing got done. Literally.

4. Fashions and Clothes

I have read a few books where some elements of women's clothing show up in the wrong decade. For example, bloomers show up in a book that supposed to be pre-1880s. And that doesn't work.

Each decade (and class) has it's own fashion plate. While it may be safe to go up to five years in the past (or you can have an eccentric or older lady that adheres to an older fashion style), going into the future for your character's fashion breaks one of the cardinal rules of historical fiction writing. Just don't do it. Please. And thank you.

Instead, check out actual historical fashion plates. Go find a living history site for your time period and see what the costuming looks like. Or go check out historical sewing channels and blogs such as Prior Attire, CrowsEyeProduction, and American Duchess.

And there completes a rather rant-y post from a historical fiction nut....who is indeed trained as a historian in real life. All of which probably could be solved by research....

So, if there is a moral to this post, it is to do your research when writing historical fiction.

What about you? Are there some things that annoy you about historical fiction? Or myths from history that annoy or interest you? Need help with sources? Feel free to chat with me in the comments! 

Fight on, rebels!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Book Review: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

image source: Goodreads
Goodreads Summary:

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Language: ✩✩✩✩  There's one s-word and maybe some mild swearing in German. (I wouldn't know because I don't know any German.)

Abuse: ✩✩✩ This book is heavy on the abuse, both physical and verbal, but it's all put in a very bad light. In fact, the abuse is central to the story and its theme. The 3-star rating is a trigger warning in case abuse is something you know wouldn't be good for you to read about right now - again, A Thousand Perfect Notes does not shy away from this topic. If you want a good example of abuse handled well in YA fiction, though, this book is it!

Lust: ✩✩✩✩✩  Expect non-vulgar attraction between two characters that is SUPER clean and sweet. <3

Content review: ✩✩✩✩🟉(4 1/2 stars)

Personal review: ✩✩✩✩

If I had to describe this book in three words, they would be POOR PRECIOUS BECK.

There are a lot of books out there with male protagonists - and fantastic male protagonists at that - but I don't know if I've felt for one as deeply as I felt for Beck Keverich while reading this book. He is SUCH a well-developed, beautiful character with so much hurt and brokenness and love and passion brimming in his soul.




All the characters were fabulous, in fact - either fabulous in general, like Joey and August (<333), or just fabulously developed, like the Maestro (who was terrifying).

A Thousand Perfect Notes made me grin hugely, smile softly, and cover my mouth in a mix of horror, sadness, and anticipation. My feels were EVERYWHERE.

Have you read this book? Do you want to? ;D Comment below! And you can check out A Thousand Perfect Notes on Goodreads HERE.

Fight on, rebels.