This is a character breakdown of the protagonist of The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu, based on the real woman that was Nannerl or Maria Anna Mozart. The second half of a two part series, both posts will contain spoilers for the entirety of the book. While I don't personally think this book is really a read for the plot, there will still be spoiler warnings at the beginning of both posts. Spoilers on premise and plot below.
This is a character breakdown of the protagonist of The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu, based on the real woman that was Nannerl or Maria Anna Mozart. The first half of a two part series, both posts will contain spoilers for the entirety of the book. While I don't personally think this book is really a read for the plot, there will still be spoiler warnings at the beginning of both posts. Spoilers on premise and plot below.
"If I wanted immortality, it would not come from my writing. The words hung weighted around my neck. Composition was for men. It was an obvious rule. What would others think of my father if they knew I composed behind his back? That he could not even control his own daughter? What kind of girl shamed her father by secretly doing a man’s work?"
— The Kingdom of Back, Marie Lu
"Strong female character" is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in how-tos, analyses, Tumblr-rant posts, and more. It's sometimes seen as positive (Lizzie Bennet, Juliette Cai), sometimes negative (Celaena Sardothien), and all-round a pretty hot topic. Which female characters are the type of "strong" we want to see? Which aren't? Which tried to be but failed miserably, giving female characters, or attempts at strong ones, a bad rep? How do we write one?
All it comes down to is wanting to see well fleshed-out, thoughtfully written female characters that are just as complex, flawed, interesting, and organic as their male counterparts in stories. And it's clear why we want it so badly — for centuries in mainstream fiction, we haven't been able to get that. Not consistently, and often not in otherwise-masterful narratives.
So why is it that "strong female characters" are still so often terribly written, one dimensional, and, well — given the sort of standard male characters never would be? Is there a problem with the concept of creating a "strong female character"?
by Nour Salama
For World Poetry Day, here are some POC poets you should check out!
"If the olive trees knew the hands that planted them, their oil would become tears"
Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet and author who was regarded as the Palestinian national poet. He won numerous awards for his works. Darwish used Palestine as a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile.
This March, I had the privilege of interviewing Watty award-winning author Madison Siwak about her experience writing adventure stories, such as her fantasy romantic-adventure novel As The Crow Flies. We talked theme, organisation, tropes, Agora, and more.
"Hold my attention." - Margaret Atwood
Among the myriad of other things, adventure stories are largely about pacing. When bringing a reader along on an adventure through the world, usually with a crew and some other archetypal plot devices (villain, maybe a McGuffin, time crunch) keeping the reader interested in the experiences of each character is generally one of the writer's goals. If your reader isn't reading, the adventure isn't happening.
So pacing: how do we do it?
The call to adventure is the first main plot point in an adventure story. This is when our protagonist is faced with an event, or a conflict, that is going to send them on the adventure, not to mention likely change their life. This is the understanding that they'll have to leave where they are, that everything is going to change. In Lord of the Rings, this is when Frodo realizes he'll be leaving the Shire with the Ring.
Well, if you haven't guessed yet, our theme for this month will be Adventure. Though in today's blog post, we're taking a look not at adventure stories, rather, the call to write, regardless of what you're setting off to write, as well as the call away from it. After all: with the call to adventure also comes the refusal of the call.
So how do we make time for writing? And if we already have the time, what else is stopping us? How do we overcome those? All questions we're tackling today.
Often the task of writing a solid blurb for your novel is more daunting than writing the entire book or even a strong first chapter. This makes sense, of course, trying to encompass months or even years of your hard work and beautiful prose into a short paragraph can seem impossible. The fears of writing a terrible blurb however, cannot outweigh the power of a strong one. Effective blurb writing captures attractive story elements and shows off your ability to write succinctly. No matter how strong your story is, a poorly written blurb will sink your novel before you even get a chance to hook your readers in.
In this post, I will walk you through what I’ve learned in how to write an effective blurb through a sample blurb that needs improvement.