How to Make Me Read Your Book | 6 Story Tropes I Live For

Let’s saw we go to an ice cream parlor. My treat. I order my sundae, which is chocolate ice cream with peanut butter sauce, cookie dough chunks, whipped topping and rainbow sprinkles (no cherry). You open your mouth to order yours, but I cut you off and say, “We’ll both have the same thing.”

“But Maggie,” you protest. “I don’t like chocolate ice cream. And I’m allergic to peanuts! I’d much rather have vanilla ice cream with fudge and oreos on top!”

“Well, you’re wrong. My sundae is the best kind of sundae, so you’ll just have to learn to like it,” I say.

Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? Aside from the fact that my sundae would probably lead to me having a heart attack someday soon, it’s not gross or detestable. Neither is yours. Neither sundae is right or wrong, we just have different tastes in ice cream and its toppings, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sometimes though, I think we get a certain idea about stories – we think that they have to be a certain way, and anything that doesn’t fit that mold is morally reprehensible. Granted, there are a few things that any story should have: your characters should be well-rounded and the plot should be coherent. Just as you wouldn’t put pickles on your strawberry ice cream, you wouldn’t write a story without those important elements.

But from there, who’s to say what the rules are? All audiences have different tastes when it comes to character and story tropes, so it’s just a matter of figuring out which ones work and hoping that the right person finds your story.

I try to keep an open mind when it comes to stories, but if I’m being honest, there are a few tropes that just get me, you know? Like, if I see one of those tropes in a story, and it’s being done well, it’s safe to say I’m hooked. I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorites today – maybe you’ll agree, maybe you’ll disagree, but hey, that’s the fun of it!

Read More »

Roasted Reads | 6 Thoroughly Disappointing Books

It’s autumn. Leaves are falling, the nights are getting longer, and there’s a chill in the air. It’s the perfect weather for a roaring bonfire. And you know what we do with bonfires?

We roast things.

Look, we’ve all been there. A close, trusted friend (or – gasp – a family member) recommends a book to us. They claim it’s the best use of ink since the first Bibles rolled off of Gutenberg’s printing press. And you trust them, so you decide to give it a try.

And you don’t like it.

Maybe you don’t hate it – maybe you’re just apathetic about it. And then when your friend/family member asks you what you thought, you’re caught in an awkward position. Do you risk your relationship by telling them the truth, or do you lie to spare their feelings?

I’ve read more than my fair share of what I would call “overrated” books. Not all of them are bad books – in fact, in many cases, I think they’re pretty decent works of literature. But the more I think about them, the less I like them. And mostly, I just think they need to be taken down a peg or two.

So gather around the campfire, readers. I’m about to roast some books.

Read More »

The ABCs of The Legend of Zelda

A few months ago, I wrote a post titled “The ABCs of Writing.” Today, I’d like to give you a rundown of another one of my favorite things, The Legend of Zelda in a similar manner – for those of you unfamiliar with the video game franchise, think of this as a quick introduction to the games (no spoilers, I promise). If you’re a Zelda fan like me, I hope you’ll find this to be a fun and entertaining look at the elements that make our favorite games what they are.

Read More »

7 Spectacular Songs from Video Games

One of the most overlooked aspects video games is its soundtrack. Like movies and TV shows, you often don’t notice the music in the background as you play your favorite games, but those tunes are just as vital to creating the game’s atmosphere as any other element. The beauty of soundtracks is that they aren’t in-your-face, and yet they can still affect your mood and thoughts during the game. After all, who can forget the intensity they felt as Tetris taunted them with its catchy tune?

Although I’ve always appreciated video game soundtracks, I started really listening to them a few months ago, since the (typical) lack of lyrics and fast-paced music helps me focus on homework, writing, and other things that require concentration. Plus, because they’re usually intended to be played for indefinite period of time, I can listen to them on repeat for as long as I want. In light of that, I’ve compiled a list of seven songs from video games that I love – perhaps you’ll find a new favorite as well!

Read More »

19 Things I Want To Do

Guess what? I’m 19 now! I celebrated my birthday this past Friday (May 5) which was pretty exciting!

Anyway, last year I celebrated my birthday by sharing 18 Facts About Me, and this year, I’m going to do something similar. The problem is, 19 is such an odd number – it’s a prime number, so it’s a bit strange to use it in blog posts. I mean, who ever heard of a list with exactly 19 items? It just sounds weird to me, but I decided to go with it anyway and make a list of 19 Things I Want To Do. The twist? I want to do these things before I turn 29 – ten years!

Now, I’m not setting these as huge goals or things I’m gonna make myself anxious over, but there are a lot of cool things I’d like to do in my life, and I decided to finally put them together in a list. Will I accomplish all of them? Probably not. But it’s fun to dream and have things to look forward to!

Without further ado: 19 Things I Want To Do In The Next 10 years!

Read More »

My Favorite YouTube Channels

If you visited YouTube in its infancy, chances are, you wouldn’t have been very impressed. The website looked like others from the mid 2000s, which is to say, not very pretty by today’s standards. Who would’ve thought it’d become the internet giant it is today?

Like it or not, YouTube has become a huge part of entertainment. Instead of following TV shows, we subscribe to YouTube channels about our favorite things. And unlike TV, which is often limited in terms of genre or time – as in, you can only watch certain shows at certain times – YouTube is accessible anywhere at anytime.

Like many other people, there are a handful of YouTube channels that I follow (more or less). This week, I wanted to share a few of my favorites. Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe not. But I hope you’ll find something new that interests you, and when you’re done reading, I’d love to hear about your favorites too!

Click below to keep reading!

Read More »

A Beginner’s Guide to Christian Rock

Or, “Another Excuse for Me to Talk About My Favorite Bands.”

Want to start listening to Christian rock, but don’t know where to start? Well, I’m here to help.

But let’s get one thing straight first – I’m not the biggest fan of the term “Christian rock,” or whatever genre you feel like shoving in there. First off “Christian” isn’t a genre, no matter what your local Christian bookstore tries to tell you, and second, bands can’t actually be Christian. To quote Blimey Cow for the second time in the past week: “Bands don’t have souls! DC Talk didn’t go to Heaven when it died!”

However, musicians can be Christian, and lyrics can have themes related to Christianity. Musicians and bands use their platform to share the Good News, which I think is wonderful! That’s really what I mean when I use the term “Christian rock” – a rock band that’s using their music and their platform to spread the Gospel.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll explain this list: I know from experience that discovering Christian rock is both incredibly exciting and very overwhelming, so I decided to come up with a reference for those new to this “genre.” I’ve included the bands I think are pretty accessible to everyone up to metalcore and heavier artists. There’s a place for everyone, so read on!

Read More »

Top 5 Male Singers

It’s no secret that I love music. I mention it almost every time I write one of my “Best Of” posts, and in the past I even did a short post series on my favorite music videos.

Now, I know there are a lot of elements that go into making an amazing song. But speaking as someone who doesn’t know the first thing about music theory, or even the difference between a violin and a viola (other than that a viola burns longer), the first thing I usually notice about a song is the vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good guitar solo just as much as the next person, but there’s just something about vocals that I love.

With that in mind, this type of post was pretty much inevitable. I love many singers, but there are some that are just fantastic. After much thought, I’ve finally come up with a list of my favorite vocalists. To be fair, I’ve come up with two lists: Top 5 Male Singers and Top 5 Female Singers.Also, I am including musicians who are not necessarily lead vocalists, but have performed lead vocals at least once. In other words, their primary instrument could be guitar or drums, but they’ve provided additional lead vocals on one or more songs.

Anyway, this week, I’ll be focusing on the guys, and next week will be about the ladies. So without further ago, click on the read the list!

Read More »

5 Things I’ll Miss About High School

Today I’m graduating high school.

As you read this, I may already be walking across the stage, receiving my diploma. Either that, or I just tripped over my gown going up the steps, because I’m just graceful like that.

Anyway, today is the day I am officially done with high school. In a way, it’s weird – it’s hard for me to believe that after twelve years, it’s finally over.

It’s also bittersweet. I’m looking forward to moving on to new and exciting things, and, to be honest, high school has been pretty crazy. But at the same time, there’s a lot I’m going to miss about my high school years. With that in mind, I decided to write today’s blog post as a sort of tribute to my good high school memories. There are plenty of good ones, but I think this just about sums it up.

Read More »