Tear It All Down–Why I Wrote The Book I Did

Sometimes I write articles to answer questions in a place I can always point to later. And, lately, a question I’ve gotten a few times is “what made you write this book?” So, here’s the answer: to tear down an old cliché.

I make no bones about this, I am tired of stories with “being the chosen one” as the reason for a protagonist to be a protagonist. Characters that are talented, characters that are part of an elite group: that’s fine. Stories about average joes are not the only type of tale, and it would be boring if they were. But, specifically, what ground my gears when I began writing Just Another Chosen One were those tales of heroes who would always win in the end.

“Destined” to save the world.

Where’re the real stakes there? Continue reading

The Battle For Books

Being a writer in 2017 is not easy. We have competition and not just from our fellow wordsmiths. How can a book compete with Netflix and Hulu and movies? I mean, I love books, duh, and I read a lot of them, but even I am a lover of movies. How could you not love movies? They’re so good lately. Continue reading

Starting Off Dead

The easiest way to get me to buy a book is for the first few sentences to blow me away, or for the premise to be amazing, or for your name to be J.K. Rowling or Neal Shusterman.

So, to this end, when I’m not already a fan of the author and the premise isn’t an immediate hook, I have a little test I will do, which while not at all fair, is fun and a learning opportunity. And the test is this: if I read the first sentence, or the first page, and my eyes don’t bounce off once, then it goes on the to-buy list.

Again, super unfair. But it is an interesting exercise. And, by doing this sort of test a lot, I’ve noticed a few reoccurring methods of structuring the beginning sentence from book to book. Continue reading

Brandon’s Favorite Things: A List

The subjective nature of art, and the changing of a person’s personality as time goes by, adds up to it being desperately hard to nail down a favorites list. Media shifts as we do—at least from our perspective—and thus we will respond differently than we had minutes before. But, as a creator, and a consumer, and dare I use the pretentious word: “connoisseur” of creative things, I do feel it necessary to try to understand my taste in media, and since this is the internet, the natural tendency is to try to put it into an easy to read list.

So, here we go. I am going to, based on my opinions on this day 2/6/17 (which is when I wrote this…you’ll see the edited version on Wednesday) list out my favorite creation in each form of media I can think to include, along with a short reason for why. Though, to keep the word count reasonable, I’ll keep to only a few short sentences each.

So, here we go. My current all-time favorites. If I had to grab something for entertainment and run, these would be my choices. Continue reading

No, You Will Not Run Out Of Ideas…

…As long as you still bother to live a life outside your art. It’s an important caveat. Because, well, yeah, if you just sit and write and write and never experience any other media or any other life you will run out of ideas, probably.

But otherwise, don’t worry about it. You will not dry up—you will not get lost. Believe it or not, finishing the first draft of a book is a freeing experience. Once you know you can write one—you can write another. And you’ll know what kind of ideas will sustain a story. Continue reading

Building A Book: The Mountain Of Paper

Wow. There it is. I did not realize how satisfying it would be. To look at it. To see it. Stacked there after three hours of waiting.

Am I being vague?

Yes, yes I am.

It’s because it’s somewhat odd for me to go into this. But I think it’s time I told all of you. Stopped keeping it a secret.

I printed my manuscript. Continue reading

New Year’s Book Cheers!

As a writer, I read a lot of books, not as many as I’d like, honestly, but still quite a few. And since the year is closing out, I thought I would give my recommendation of three books I’ve enjoyed during 2015.

1.) “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” by Patrick Ness

In a word: Poignant. In more words: The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a book that is not what you probably assume going off its synopsis. I picked it up thinking it was going to be a somewhat black comedy dealing with the people on the sidelines in a chosen one narrative. And while that second part is true, it is not a comedy. This is a bleak book. Full of relatable, if horribly broken characters. It tore me up inside watching people younger than I am deal with this…well…life shit. It is not a book to read if you’re in a good mood. But it is excellent. And I have to recommend it. It is just too artistically clever, and downright human not to tell you to read it. Continue reading

A Smattering of Favorite Books #2 (Sci-Fi Edition)

I love way too many books to limit the list to only three, so I say it’s time to look at another smattering of books. This time I’ll be taking a look at some of my favorite science fiction, starting with:

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

  • Why I Love It: Do I even need to explain this? The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is one of the most beloved science fiction novels known to man. It’s clever, satirical, and downright brilliant. But it also holds a place in my heart for another reason. This book defined my sense of humor. It made me understand how to use the ridiculous, how to place just the right amount of absurd to get a laugh. Without it, I may not have even made the same friends, or became a reviewer. It truly told me where my towel was.
  • Favorite Quote: There is simply too many good quotes for me to pick just one. Go find the book, open it to any page, and then put your finger there. That sentence, that sentence is my favorite.
  • Read This If You Like: Laughing.

Continue reading

Monthly Mention: March 2015

March has been a great month for me, entertainment wise.

So allow me to share the spoils, with the third ever Monthly Mentions!

Favorite People:

Favorite Bloggers:

Continue reading

Rambling Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Things looking a bit different? Yeah, you could say that. You see I am having a bit of an event on the site for the next few weeks. You can read about it here. Otherwise, no worries, this is not permanent. Just a bit of fun. Hope you enjoy.

Warning: This article has massive spoilers of the Hunger Games Trilogy. 

It’s a very good sign for society, that books are becoming popular again.

First we saw the Harry Potter boom, the seven part epic that made millions.

Then we saw the rise of the Twilight novels, an atrocious book series, which managed, despite its niche audience to turn into a massive movement.

Now we get to the next record smasher, The Hunger Games.

A new beast in that regard. As the last two phenomenon where just good stories. This one has a message to tell, a warning of what we could become.

So let’s take a look. Continue reading

Rambling Review: Brave New World (The Book)

It should be noted that this review is more of an overview. As such, it contains heavy spoilers. For anyone that thinks that they can skip reading the book by reading this review: Please do not attempt. I am not a substitute, just read the damn book. A little culture never hurt.   

“O wonder!

How many godly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world! That has such people in’t!”

-Shakespeare

Never has a quote so perfectly matched a book. Continue reading

What Ender’s Game (the book) taught me about video games, and life.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST GETS VERY PREACHY. IF YOU DON’T LIKE MORALITY RANTS, TURN AWAY NOW! 

Alright, so it is a very well-known secret that books can change your outlook on life. Your very beliefs really. I mean what else is the Bible, then a book with huge influence? (No offense intended to any Christian or other bible minded individuals)

Everyone knows that books can have effects on life, can help you through decisions, and so on. But what people don’t always know, is that this applies to all books. Fiction as well as poetry, nonfiction as well as historical. All of them could change you.

For me there is a few books that did this. Brave New World, Illusions. But most of all, Ender’s Game. Continue reading