Saturday, February 24, 2018

Straight Shots: A Look at February and a Call to our Readers

Bow arched, tightened, the archer releases and his arrow whirs with speed and agility piercing whatever surface it is aimed at.

Our words are arrows, and everyday we must ask ourselves what we are shooting out into the world.

This month has been incredible for RW. From our shots to the shots we've been getting back.

I want to thank our reader's for your comments, your time on this blog, and your dedication to this movement. I also want to thank every single team member for pressing on and fighting through some of life's busiest time and still finding time for RW. You all are incredible.

Keep shooting those fiery arrows!

How are we growing?

Let's check the stats.

We now have

16,028 page views in all!

 We're reaching the whole world, check out who's reading our blog!

United States: 11,405
Israel: 1,839
Russia: 694
Australia: 625
United Kingdom: 396
Canada: 317
Ukraine: 263
India: 132
Ireland: 103
Germany: 83

This month at Rebellious Writing
Book Scout Bulletin #3

An incredible resource to find new reads reviewed rebelliously by our readers and team members. This month features opinions on Renegades, The Blood Race and other books.

Fill in the Blank: Combating Vulgarity with Vocabulary

What's causing a rampant rise in bad language and how can we combat it? Catherine takes on this problem from a fresh standpoint. A great call for us writers and also readers to expand our vocabulary.
You Think This Happens Everyday? - Romance and Keeping it Real

This post is a delightful mash up of princess bride and the lack of reality in teen romance. Definitely one to read if your YA incorporates romance!

A Call to Our Readers

This month I want to specifically extend a call to our readers. Though our schedule is booked until April, we need posts to fill this summer as our team takes a break and works on improving Rebellious Writing.

Bloggers, we want your posts on Rebellious reading and writing on our blog
 Writers & Authors, we want you to share your books & experiences.
Readers, we want you to share books that changed & shaped you

We would also appreciate any words of encouragement, ideas or suggestions our fellow rebels have.

To learn more about guidelines and the submissions you can make please visit the following page.

Rebellious Writing isn't just a movement, it's a community. Help us grow!

Let us always aim straight so that our shots may fall onto hearts and grow seeds of change.

Ad Meloria

- Anna C. S. -

Saturday, February 17, 2018

You Think This Happens Everyday? // Romance and Keeping it Real

"This is true love," Westley tells Buttercup, his beloved, at the beginning of the classic film The Princess Bride. "You think this happens every day?"

This is enough to convince Buttercup that she can follow Westley to the ends of the earth. If you've seen the movie, you know that while Buttercup can be rather damsel-in-distress-y and Westley can be overly perfect, they are one of the most shippable ships of all time, and everyone (even the other characters) know it.

That last line, however, is one that people seem to have forgotten. And by "people", I mean YA authors.

"You think this happens every day?"

In The Princess Bride *minor spoilers ahead*, Westley and Buttercup fight their way through dozens of obstacles, including but not limited to quicksand, murderers, the unwanted third member of a love triangle (sort of?), giant rats, and even death itself. They share some wonderful and passionate kisses. Westley promises at one point, "I promise, I will always come for you."

"Not one couple in a century has that chance," one of the other characters tells Westley at one point in the film, referring to the romance that Westley and Buttercup have. So why is it that it seems every high school fling in fiction is "true love," something that doesn't happen every day?

In almost every contemporary I've read, the characters are in high school and are about 16. The girl (usually) has a hopeless crush on the boy, who is either way out of her league or isn't single. Then something happens that throws them together. And from there, the relationship is portrayed as absolutely perfect.

Until it randomly isn't and they get in a huge fight that will make or break them for the rest of their lives. Because apparently that's how high school dating works.

I'll be quite honest with y'all and admit: I've never dated. I'm in high school, and I see no reason to waste my time on shallow relationships that won't last. I can't wait to get married someday. But I don't really mind if it takes a while to get there, or if I haven't had a ton of flings between now and then.

Even with my inexperience, I'm willing to bet that high school relationships don't tend to end in marriage for the rest of your life. I've seen high school relationships, and I've seen that it's very, very uncommon to have one last for long. In college, long-term relationships might not be so rare. My own parents met, dated, and married in college, and are approaching their 21st anniversary.

I do have friends who have dated in high school, however, and on average, their relationships last a few months. I had one friend who was with the same girl his entire senior year, but last I checked, they're both single again.

This is reality. The "true love" of high school is not reality. Only 2% of couples will marry their high school sweetheart--and that's usually once they're already adults (18 and up.) True love doesn't come along in high school, and if it does, it usually takes a while to recognize it. What if the teen dating scene was portrayed realistically in fiction? I understand that that makes it less interesting, but at the same time, couldn't it be more interesting?

And another thing--the physical aspect of intimacy? There really isn't anything wrong with waiting. Someday, I'd love to see a mainstream novel where not ONLY is there no steamy making out or sex or anything like that, but the characters who aren't doing it aren't portrayed as goody two-shoes who just don't want to have any fun! (Looking at you, Caraval.)

Believe me, I'm not at all bashing romance here. I'm all for ALLLL the romantic subplots, especially when the characters are mature and maybe a little bit older. But the idea that YA books seem to be propagating is that you WILL meet your true love when you're sixteen. And this leads to unfulfilled expectations, unhealthy dating habits, and broken hearts when it doesn't work out the way the books tell us.

What if there were more books where this unreasonable standard wasn't so prevalent? That's my challenge to you today: If you're a writer, write a book about teens who don't have any romantic relationships and are still 100% fulfilled and doing something awesome with their lives. If you're a reader, try to find such a book on the shelves of your library. One that I'd recommend right now that has very little romance (and what there is is between mature adults) is All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (which does pretty well by RW standards; only a couple of cuss words and no physical lusty attraction.) If you've found a really good book where there's minimal or mature romance, let me know about it in the comments! I'm always looking for that sort of book. <3

Let's raise the standards. Let's allow our books to show life as it really is--real and messy and not always perfect. Let's help teens focus on the things that are valuable for them now.

Let's write and read rebellious.