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.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

GUEST POST by Patrick Bailey: Exercises to Build Your Character Development

Writing captivating characters is a skill all authors strive to master. Characters are the human element of every story, providing readers with exciting and vulnerable emotions through written work. Building characters is a challenge even if you are creating them through the inspiration of real world people. Real character development that stands the test of time and diversity in readers should always include human vulnerability, engaging descriptions, and realistic navigation of challenges throughout the story. Practice developing your characters with the following exercises if you'd like to take their stories to the next level in your writing.


Dialogue is one of the most powerful tools you can use to develop your characters. Rather than describe what they are doing and thinking, using their own words and mannerisms can illustrate your intentions behind each scene and make your reader feel like they are listening in on a real conversation. Learning how your character speaks and responds in certain conversations will allow you ease and creativity throughout their storyline. Dialogue exercises can help you flesh out conversations that do not even make it into your story, but impact your character's mannerisms and speech over time. Experiment with writing your character in an argument. Experiment with dialogue where they need to end a relationship, or advocate for themselves. Working through these scenarios will help you develop your character's voice before you develop their storyline.

Face Them With Challenges

Captivating your readers' attention is best done by throwing your characters into scenarios where your audience will want to see them win. Difficult situations require perseverance, and readers often relate to the struggles and challenges of obstacles your story holds. The most memorable stories make history when an author can capture human emotions required to make it through any challenge, fact or fiction. If your story needs excitement, consider bringing your characters through journeys where they will need to grow in depth or in human qualities. For example, your character could face an existential crisis that defines who they are. Perhaps they struggle breaking alcohol addiction or develop a deep relationship with someone they had to move past conflict with. No matter what they challenge you feel is appropriate for your character, having them overcome their journey will connect readers to their development throughout your story.

Practice Visual Descriptions

Visual descriptions of your character go far beyond their physical appearance. Of course it is important to give your readers a mental picture of what your characters look like, but how far beyond that can you go? Perhaps you can describe what it looks like when their face reacts to anger. Maybe you can explore their mannerisms or physical behaviors when they feel stressed or excited. In written work, it is especially important to cover descriptions of behaviors not easily shown in books, such as body language or a deep description of their environment. Painting a visual picture of what your characters experience both environmentally and physically will only enhance their story so your readers can grow in understanding and attachment to their journey.


These exercises are the beginning of your path towards experimental character development in your stories. Connecting your readers with characters requires vulnerability, descriptions, and bridges to human emotions created by challenges along the way. Challenge yourself to spend time practicing techniques to enhance your characters' voice or humanity. By following these simple steps, you can understand the picture you are trying to paint for your readers in order to create a captivating storyline.

 Meet the Orator:

Patrick Bailey is a professional freelance writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

Website / Blog URL:
Social Profile URLs:

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Spring in the Air: May Wrap-Up

Spring is here! I went to the beach today, and even though the water was freezing, the sand was warm and the air had that quality of salt and tanginess that made me think maybe we're going to have a pretty decent summer. I can't be sure yet...but I think there's a lot of good stuff coming up in my near future, and I hope there will be a lot of good stuff for y'all too!

Posts this Month:

May the Fouth: Five Writing Tips from Chewbacca: This one was the thought-child of several members of the team, although Catherine and Clare did the actual writing! To celebrate Star Wars day, we talked about the beloved character Chewbacca and how we can use him as an example for writing sidekick characters. 

How To Write a Stress-Free Serial for Your Blog: Keturah Lamb wrote this post about how to tell a serial story on your blog without freaking out, and she did a great job! She's written two blog serials and the second one, the story of Susan Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia, is actually in the process of being published right now. Go check it out at her blog!

Monthly Stats

100 followers (wahoo!), 45, 919 all-time views

59 likes, 68 followers

304 followers, 449 tweets

40 posts, 139 followers

22 boards, 140 followers

47 subscribers

71 group members, 16 discussions

Around the Blogosphere

Several of our members, including Lila Kims, did the Voted Most Likely Tag! 

Fairy Tale Central focused on the tale of Rapunzel for the month of May, and the posts that they did were awesome! We continue to love the snarky commentary posts where Christine, Arielle, and Faith roast the original fairy tale story in all its cringeworthy glory.

Our follower Ivie Brooks did a pair of beautiful posts in celebration of her 20th birthday talking about what she's learned and where she wants to go with this next year of her life! 

Nicki Chapelway is posting a serial story on her blog! She's already got two posts up, but this story is brilliant and you need it in your life.

Melissa Gravitas did an excellent post on whether writing is a matter of talent or practice, and I thought it took a very deep and unique angle on that question.

This summer is going to be amazing, everyone, so hang in there! It's springtime, and I, for one, can't wait for it to be warm enough to swim. Keep being awesome!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

How To Write A Stress-Free Serial For Your Blog

I've written several serials for my blog now, two fiction and many nonfiction. And I've finished them all ... something that has resulted in many of my friends asking me, "Please, share your secret!?"

And because I don't want it to be a secret, I have decided to share.

1. Have an idea worth finishing
First, know what you want to write. It's all good and fun to know that you want to write a serial, but make sure before you start writing that it's actually serial material. Inspired to write something, but been putting it off because it's just not quite good enough or appropriate for a traditional novel but you're in love with it anyway? 

Ask yourself if your current reader base would like it. For example, writing horror if your readers are a bunch of Christian 14-year-olds is not a great idea. Try to make sure the content still fits your blog. 

All of my serials were ideas I was passionate about. 

The fiction ones, The Lawrence Children and Susan of Narnia, were ideas I'd had since I was about fourteen, so the plots had been simmering in my brain for a good five-eight years before finding life in words. 

My nonfiction serials, Living With The Amish, Why I Love/ Hate Myers Briggs, On Spending Time and Working Before Resting, and many others were all topics I was passionate about through experience and thus couldn't keep in a single blog post. 

2. Finish it BEFORE you start posting 
Then, once you're certain, write it all out. DON'T WRITE SOME OF IT AND POST BEFORE IT'S FINISHED. That's a sure way to guarantee a load of stress for yourself. Plus, you'll end up forgetting and finding you don't know what to write next, and then your serial will never be finished, or you'll have long breaks between publishing breaks, and your audience will lose interest. 

So write everything first.

For both The Lawrence Children and Susan of Narnia I wrote the first drafts in under three weeks. 

For most of my nonfiction series, I wrote them all out in the space of a couple days, if not a single day. Except my Amish series took right at a year to put together, because of having to work with so many people.

Because my fictional serials weren't novels I was trying to write for publication, but something I was doing for fun for my blog, I didn't use quite the same method as I usually do. I took maybe a week tops break from the manuscripts, then dove right into the second draft. And that's all the writing I did ... the second draft usually took me about the same amount of time as the first. 

In the first draft, I focused on getting the story down. 
In the second draft, I focused on making the story more interesting, taking out parts that made it dull, adding description where I needed it, and tightening my prose. 

3. Find Beta readers, and possibly editors
After finishing the second draftI looked for a few beta readers among friends and Go Teen Writers. I even found a few people wanting to edit and had a few people go over my serials. 

I didn't want to put a ton of work into these as it's just for my blog, but at the same time, I didn't want to post garbage. So I looked for about three-five beta readers and one or two editors. I did this only on my larger series though, not any of my two-parters. 

My beta readers would point out plot inconsistencies, bad dialogue or confusing wording, and characters doing things out of turn. 

My editors would do basic line edits. 
I actually hired Elisabeth Houseman to edit Susan of Narnia, because I was really excited about that serial. And she did a fantastic line edit. 

I've also had R. M. Archer edit for me, and I've always been very happy with her work. 

One last thing that's very good to do, is to thank all your beta readers and editors. And I actually write and schedule this post just after finishing up step three so that I don't forget who was involved with helping me. Here's my afterward post for the Lawrence Children as an example. And I have one written up for my Susan serial, too. It's just scheduled and waiting to post until the serial has all been posted ;) 

I should have probably written a thank you post for my Amish series, too. But I didn't ... and at this point, I'd have a hard time remembering all who helped me put that together. Which is really sad and why I should have written it when I had the chance. 

4. Schedule it on your blog
This actually will take some time. For my shorter series, I can give it an evening or two. But my fictional series took several evenings. 

I'm not sure how other blogging platforms work, but Blogger has really funky formatting behaviors. Especially when copying from one place to another. I usually write through Google Docs or LibreOffice. Sometimes I can copy the text straight over from there to Blogger. But sometimes copying and pasting will put white behind all the text, so I'll have to copy and paste into the website bar, then copy that and paste into my Blogger document. 

That'll make the text standard to whatever I have set on Blogger, but it also means everything is now blocked text. So I have to go through and make all my paragraphs.

IT'S VERY IMPORTANT your format looks decent. Don't think your readers are going to give your story a chance if the text looks miserable. And small paragraphs are crucial, so don't be lazy with forming paragraphs. 

Once I have all my posts formatted in Blogger, I choose a regular day for posting. For non-fiction series, I post on my regular Wednesdays. I did my Amish posts every couple of days, but my two-parters were done on one Wednesday and then the next. 

I also collect all my permalinks and include those at the end of every post so that readers in the future can conveniently find any post in the series. 

For my fictional series, I form a new draft and copy the permalinks there, since those posts are usually about twelve posts long. Once all twelve permalinks are together and formatted how I want them, I copy them and paste them at the end of each of my other posts. Having that extra draft to work from saves time from going back and forth through each of the actual posts. Once I'm done, I delete the draft containing the permalinks. 

5. Forget that about it and allow others to enjoy!
You've written your serial. You have it scheduled out ... if it's a twelve-parter, that means you have a year of content and you NEVER have to worry about writing or posting. Whew! You've just saved yourself from losing ten years of life. Can't you just feel that stress rolling away, and wow, there's so much joy? 

All you have to do now is share your posts on social media whenever they publish—most times I forget it's even time for the next installment to post until after the fact. It's always a nice surprise to see that it's still working without my needing to remember its existence. 

Posting your serial should be fun, and this method of doing it makes certain of that. Your readers can enjoy and you need never have the displeasure of experiencing stress or blogger shame. 

Have you ever written a serial? Do you have any tips to share? And what are some of your favorite serials, fiction or nonfiction, that you've ever read from blogs? Share links! 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

May the Fourth: 5 Writing Tips that Can be Learned from Chewbacca

Today, as many fans around the world know, is Star Wars day! The reason behind this is that one of the common sayings in the series is "May the force be with you", and today we say "May the Fourth be with you."

Because of this special occasion, we here at Rebellious Writing wanted to do a post of some kind featuring something from the Star Wars series. When we learned that Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca in the series, had recently passed away; we decided to focus on his character, and what we as writers can learn about it.


5 Writing Tips that Can be Learned from Chewbacca


1. Make your creatures distinctive in many ways - physical, mental and emotional.
What makes Chewy stand out is his height, his hair and his language. One time he is referred to as a "walking carpet", because of how he looks; but anyone who is familiar with him knows how lovable he is.

2. Provide non-English speaking characters lots of context for his speech.
If your sidekick doesn't speak English, you're going to need another character to translate or provide non-verbal gestures so that he may be understood by the other characters. Han's replies to Chewy always indicate what he said. You can also always tell his emotions based on the pitch of his voice.

3. Loyalty.
This is very often the defining characteristic of a sidekick character. Chewy can be a little harsh when you first meet him, but once you know him he is going to stick with you. An example of that is in Episode 5, when he notices that C-3PO is missing and does not stop until he finds him.

4. Using a sidekick's flaw as conflict for the hero.
Chewy's short temper slowed down the group several times during the original films, creating frustration for the team members...among other things. While it's easy to create this puppet-like side character that do the hero's bidding, this makes for a boring and non-memorable character.

5. Have the sidekick be able to act independently from the hero.
In Episode 6, Chewy separates himself from the main fighting force to overtake an AT-ST unit (otherwise known as the metallic dinosaur-like tanks). This act turns the tide of the battle in favor of the Resistance. This was not under Han's orders, but of his own intuition. This again comes down to having the side character be his own character and not a puppet. If Chewie was under Han's orders all the time, he would have been useless in Episode 8.

In Conclusion

Chewbacca is such a famous and memorable sidekick, and a worthy character to base your own sidekick characters on. We hope that you can use these tips to flesh out your own characters.

"May the force be with you" in all of your writing escapades!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Rise and Shine: April Wrap-Up and Update

It is often said that "April showers bring May flowers", but it seems hard to believe it when there is never any sunshine, only the rain. "Rain" for us writers can mean several things, either we are stuck only plotting, not doing any writing, or we are editing, and it seems like we will never reach the end.

The good news: All the "rain" is bringing beautiful "flowers".

But, who said that rain is a bad thing? I have always loved rain, because even though we can't see the sun, we still know that is behind the clouds. In these times, our writings are what brighten up people's days. We need to "Rise and Shine" so brightly, even if it means that we are doing the hard tasks, the boring ones, the results will be worth it.

We here at RW had a "rainy day" where we decided to take a break April 7th. Besides that we had some book reviews, getting us back on track!

Posts this Month:

Brushing Shadow and Poisoned Apple: 2 Book Reviews - by Catherine Hawthorn
Catherine reviewed Brushing Shadow, the sixth book in a series by Anna Lee Huber, and we had one of our book scouts, Rachel Kovaciny review Five Poisoned Apples. Follow the bold link to see their thoughts on those two books.

"Uncommon" Book Reviews: Mini-Reviews of 5 Lesser Known Novels - by Julian Daventry
We are always reading new books because it is exciting, but is it because we think that old books are boring? Julian recommends older books that are worth a shot.

Monthly Statistics:

98 followers, 44,901 all-time views

59 likes, 68 followers

306 followers, 449 tweets

39 posts, 141 followers

22 boards, 137 followers

81 members, 23 topics

46 subscribers

Camp NaNo Stats:

As many writers know, April is a Camp NaNo Month! Each of us RW members love to write, so here are some of our stats from this Camp.

Catherine: Goal is 20k. Right now she is at 17k, and still has a few days!
Faith: 120,015, and she won, and finished her book!
Julian: 8 hours and 54 minutes spent editing!
Lila: Goal is editing 100 pages. Currently at around 70ish!
Keturah: 25k words!

Way to go, girls! You have all done so fantastically!

Around the Blogosphere:

The website Fairy Tale Central was launched! It is run by Arielle Bailey, Faith White, and Christine Smith. Such a cool place to check out for all fairy tale lovers!

ArielCatherineCeciFaith, Julian, Nicole, and Sarah all participated in The Shared WIP Tag.

Kara Lynn, and a few helpers, revealed the cover of her book The Broken Prince which is coming out in June!

Our very own Melissa Gravatis celebrated blogging for three years on her blog, Quill Pen Writer! Congrats, Melissa!

One of our followers, Danielle Droubay celebrated her "writerversary", she has been writing for five years! Way to go!

Final Thoughts:

Keep on writing! I look forward to one day reading all of your "flowers," your amazing creations.

Yours &c.

Clare A.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

"Uncommon" Book Reviews: Mini-Reviews of 5 Lesser Known Novels

New books are popular, and for good reason.  These stories are for us, today.  The plots and themes often deal with current issues.  We can relate to the characters as they go through the same things we face-high school, college, jobs (in the contemporary genre, at least).  The authors are still alive and can be contacted for interviews, fan mail, or just to share tidbits about their new releases.  Covers are shiny and new and beautiful.  New books, however, often have content that we at Rebellious Writing are rebelling against.

Old books...are less popular.  And for good reason.  The writing can be hard to understand.  The messages and characters are different.  And the author is likely some middle-aged person writing in some stuffy study by typewriter or something.  And probably dead.

In our effort to escape the content found in newer books, we turn to these older books.  Perhaps, despite the dry, stuffy writing, we can find a story to satisfy our thirst for reading-without sacrificing our standards.

And then we find the truth: sometimes older books aren’t so great either.

It’s a fact of life.  Not every new book is full of lust and gore (yay for that), and not every old book is clean.

Today I’m going to cater to some of our readers who love older novels and recommend a few good ones.  And maybe some of those folks who usually avoid these kind of books might be inspired to pick up one of these and give something different a try.  :)

(Click the book title to be taken to the Goodreads page.)

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Everyone’s heard of this, I’m sure.  If you haven’t, I can only assume you’ve spent the last 16 years locked in prison, trying to write a book about making Italy into one nation.  It’s a long, dragging read.  You’ll want to throw yourself out a window a few times because it’s so confusing.  But it’s worth it.  According to my sister, who loves this book to pieces, “You’ll learn all sorts of things.  You’ll learn how convince people to commit suicide, to convince people to not commit suicide, to make it look like someone committed suicide, how to communicate with a quadriplegic, how to overprice chicken, how to sail, how to escape prison in sixteen years, how to rescue someone, how to befriend assassins, how to make friends with pirates, how to politely insult someone, and so much more.”

The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter

Celtic lore lovers?  Here you are!  Dashing Scottish heroes, epic ladies, and lots of high adventure!  Kind of like Braveheart but without the R rating.  :)  And lots more side plots and fun book features like that.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll enjoy the action.  There’s a lot of characters to suit fantasy novelists, and it’s nicely written as well.

The Traitor’s Gate by Avi

So I was very dubious of this book when I first started reading it.  It’s not my genre, not my time period...basically the only reason I picked this was because a friend gave it to me and I enjoyed other books I’d read from this author.  But it started to get a little interesting...then more interesting...then I was reading as fast as I could.  I would say “a moving little mystery novel set in foggy London."  Kinda cute.  Kinda eye-opening to the time period (like a Charles Dickens novel, but easier to read).

Lysbeth and Pearl Maiden by H. Rider Haggard

Pearl Maiden has always been a favorite book of mine.  A historical fiction novel set during the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD about a Jewish orphan girl.  It’s cute.  A love triangle...but with the girl not being able to pick either of her lovers because neither of them share her convictions.  For lovers of roman and/or Jewish history, it’s a must read!

Lysbeth, however...the first time I read it, I got bored and stopped.  Yes, I actually didn’t finish it (which rarely happens).  But I eventually forgot I didn’t like it and picked it up again...and read the whole thing...and loved it.  Kind of a love triangle again (hmmmm) but with a totally different take on it!

Both are highly recommended!

Any older (aka, not newly released) books y’all like and recommend?  Have you read any of these?  Remember, there’s no shame in reading and loving older books.  Nor is there shame in loving a book that no one else has read, where there’s not even a fandom to share it with.

Read what you like.  But try new things.

Keep reading, Y'all!
~Julian Daventry

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Brushing Shadow and Poisoned Apple: 2 Book Reviews

It's been quite a while since a bookish post made it's appearance here on Rebellious Writing! So for this post, I'll be giving a review of Lady Darby Mystery #6: A Brush with Shadows, and will be publishing RW book scout Rachel Kovaciny's review of the Five Poisoned Apples anthology.

Disclaimer: All opinions are the reviewers', and may not reflect Rebellious Writing as a whole. Rebellious Writing's reviews and star ratings only apply to the work in question, not to every work by the author.

A Brush with Shadows (Lady Darby Mystery #6)
A Brush with Shadows

Language: ☆☆☆☆🟉. There were a few instances of bad language, including at least one instance of "Jack---" that I remember. Most were said in the heat of anger, and not on general principle.

Abuse: ☆☆☆☆ . Lots of family conflict. Mentions of an abusive husband.

Lust: ☆☆☆. Multiple instances of alluded marital relations between husband and wife (and potentially pregnancy because of it), multiple allusions to affairs of a womanizer (and the paying off that happened after), multiple instances of illegitimate children. Not recommended for unmarried women, though it's perfectly acceptable for married women to read.

Overall: ☆☆☆. I rather liked it for the most part. I'm not sure how I feel about the how the plot was handled though. I was expecting a much more plot-centric book like a standard mystery and this one was really focused on relationships and characters. It was pretty engaging, but there were a few times when it slowed a little.

If you're wondering why in the world I'm reading the most recent book in a series without reading the first ones....I assure you I'm a victim of deception here.

See, I saw it in a thrift store and thought it looked really interesting so I picked it up. There isn't a number anywhere on the cover so I had no idea where in the lineup this book was. I didn't realize until later that it was the most recent book of the series. Despite this, it was easy to get a feel for what the characters were and what the backstory is.

What I liked:

- Gage. Best description I can say is that he is a MAN. Like, a real honorable gentleman, who is absolutely masculine and protective and downright attractive.

- Kiera. Her name is perfect, and I liked her character. She's smart, has a dry sense of humor and has a wonderfully feminine soft heart.

-The world-building was wonderful, including the social aspects. I felt as though I truly was on the English moors.

What I didn't like:

- The amount of newlywed intimacy and alluded relations. I should note that the intimacy between the newlyweds was nothing immoral. However, as an unmarried woman, I don't really need to read that (nor should I really - it tends to lead me down paths that I shouldn't tread). I found it super distracting, and I felt that it took a little away from the plot in a couple of spots. Sometimes it worked and others it didn't.

- The lack of plot drivers. By that, I mean that there was much more focus on characters and their relations with each other rather than the underlying mystery. I could understand why it was written this way a little because of the family history - however, I've read other historical mysteries that use that plot device much more efficiently.

- The amount of illegitimacy and the somewhat shady way this particular society viewed it. I'm sorry, but marrying within the first few months of the child's conception doesn't change the fact that the child was conceived out of wedlock. The parties are still guilty of committing fornication, and it should not be emulated. As proven by the characters, that lifestyle can be passed down generations! And really, this idea that men can't control themselves is a bold faced lie.

- There were some allusions to issues of class and morals that seemed just a little too modern for me.

- I was rather miffed to see a cliche ending to this mystery. Everything else seemed original enough!

Five Poisoned Apples: A Collection of Snow White Stories
Five Poisoned Apples

Language: ☆☆☆☆☆
Abuse: ☆☆☆☆☆
Lust: ☆☆☆☆☆
Overall: ☆☆☆☆☆

Five retellings of the familiar fairy tale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” by five different authors!

"Falling Snow" by Skye Hoffert sets the Snow White story in a magical circus where all the performers and circus workers are magical beings... except one young girl. She works as a clown but aspires to be a tightrope walker, and she has no idea that everyone else is magical, least of all the circus owner’s handsome son.

"Raven's Heir" by Jenelle Hovde has this little tinge of Robin Hood flavor that I dig. An orphaned princess seeks to unite her kingdom against her stepmother. She escapes the castle and finds help from a band of rangers, one of whom turns out to be the boy she was betrothed to when they were both very young.

"The Fairest One" by Cortney Manning features a young princess who befriends an enslaved dwarf who helps her escape her greedy stepmother and seek assistance from the dwarven council. It's kind of got a bit of the story of Queen Esther from the Bible woven in as well.

"Red as Blood" by Maddie Morrow is told from the point of the view of an assassin who's tasked with hunting down and killing a member of the royal family, but not told why, and the near-disastrous results.

"Snowbird and the Red Slippers" by Rachael Wallen mixes the fairy tale ‘The Red Shoes’ with ‘Snow White’ and sets the whole story in a prestigious ballet school in New York City, with a poor North Korean dancer at the center. Passion, obsession, culture clashes, and envy all play a part, and I found it to be a stunning conclusion not only to this collection, but to this series as a whole.

Review provided by: Rachel Kovaciny

Rachel Kovaciny lives in Virginia with her husband and their three homeschooled children. She has independently published her book "Cloaked," a western re-imagining of "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Dancing and Doughnuts," another of her western re-imaginings of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." In her free time, Rachel writes for the online magazine Femnista, reads, bakes, blogs, watches movies, and daydreams. You can check out Rachel's blog HERE.

We graciously thank Rachel for this wonderful book review! If any of you have any books to recommend to us, please leave a review of them in our Contact Form ~ we love receiving them!

In the meantime, check back next week for more book reviews, courtesy of Julian Daventry!

Keep fighting the good fight, y'all!