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: