Breaking Cliches: Heroic Grievances

Inspired by the discovery of A Villain’s Complains last month, Kirin has stepped in to write his own take on the grievances he believes heroes are forced to suffer due to stereotyping. 

Everyone likes to throw the word hero around. Saving the world. Very heroic. Saving a nation. Heroic. Saving a city. Generally heroic. Saving a king. Heroic. Saving a tiny lamb from drowning in a flash flood. Maybe heroic. Saving chocolate. Not one mention, thank you very much. (It’s a long story and one I’m not going into today.) Continue reading

Breaking Cliches: A Villain’s Complaints

Years ago, Scarlett made two friends: Elena and Kirin. They are realm leapers who take it upon themselves to test how realistic fictional settings, tropes, and cliches are.

Recently, one of them discovered fragments of a journal compiled by a villain (who will go unnamed). After one particular defeat, he spent the better part of the night ranting to himself about the perceptions of villains by the common public.

There are too many people claiming the title of villain nowadays. One has only to kidnap a princess or destroy a town and their names are suddenly spoken in hushed whispers. Ridiculous. There are some of us who actually had to WORK for our titles. Continue reading

Breaking Cliches: By Fire and Fang

Years ago, Scarlett made two friends: Elena and Kirin. They are realm leapers who take it upon themselves to test how realistic fictional settings, tropes, and cliches are. I firmly believe they put themselves in this much danger solely to make fun of it once they escape. Not something I’d recommend, but today you get to benefit from their rashness. Or rather Kirin’s rashness in investigating dragons up close.

Hello and listen. Carefully. Continue reading

Breaking cliches: Damsels in Defiance

Years ago, Scarlett made two friends: Elena and Kirin. They are realm leapers who take it upon themselves to test how realistic fictional settings, tropes, and cliches are. I firmly believe they put themselves in this much danger solely to make fun of it once they escape. Not something I’d recommend, but today you get to benefit from their rashness. Mainly from Elena’s adventures.

My dear fellow women who have the misfortune of being cared about by someone deemed important,

Firstly, I want you to know you’re not bait. There may be some advantages to going along with all that nonsense and more on that in a bit. But I want you to know. Continue reading

5 Ways to Create Strong Descriptions

How do you ensure your story doesn’t take place in a blank room? Or a blank forest or castle or city as the case may be?

Too much description and your reader’s eyes glaze over. Too little, and they don’t know what is happening. Except, the amount of description is rarely the problem.

Strong description isn’t about the length of the description. Rather, it’s about how you go about describing the particular item, setting, or person.

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Motivations Matter

I sometimes don’t know which comes first.

The character I’m writing who I suddenly realize is dealing with struggles I relate to. Or struggles of my own that I see more clearly because one of my characters decides to deal with them in their own way.

Unlike characters in books, however, I don’t go through a wild adventure in a week’s time that overcomes my flaws at once.

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Spotlight: The Walled City

“There are three rules of survival in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife.”

Jin is living off the streets and her own speed while searching for the sister her father sold into slavery.

Dai tries to escape his past even if that means running drugs for the ruthless kingpin who holds the city in sway.

Mei Yee has been trapped in a brothel for two years, until freedom is nothing more than a dangerous dream.

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5 Tips to Create a Deep Character Voice

There’s no single ‘perfect style of writing.’ Everyone connects to words a little differently, and what grips me may not grip the next person.

Be that as it may, one of my personal passions in both writing and reading is building a deep emotional connection between the reader and the character. One of the main ways I do this is by developing a unique voice around an already distinct character.

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Don’t Focus on Christianity

It isn’t a new idea. It isn’t revolutionary.

But it bears repeating.

As Christians, we should not sit down to create the next great Christian piece of art, be it a book or painting or movie. It’s a terrible idea and if that’s all we have to go on it will end up stilted, cringy, and dull as a rusted coin that’s lain in a gutter all winter.

Here’s why.

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