Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's blog Chain time again and Michelle asks:

What elements in your favorite genre make it your favorite? For instance, if your favorite genre is romance, what elements do you like in a romance story? A tortured hero? A spunky heroine? Steamy love scenes? Sweet romance? If your fave genre is sci-fi, what elements do you love the most (the characters, the science, the possibilities?), etc?

I have to agree with Kate and say YA is by far my favorite category because of the huge variety of genres within it. Like Kate said, within YA authors have more freedom to combine elements from different genres and I love reading these unique stories.

I'm a sucker for YA fantasies. For some reason I haven't been able to get into fantasy written for the adult market. I get hung up on the world-building. But I've found so many YA fantasy novels with fluid world-building and compelling characters. 

Some of my favorites are Holly Black's Curse Worker Series, Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor, and Kristin Cashore's Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue. I love the original worlds in these stories. These writers create dynamic characters that are very different from the people I see every day, yet are extremely relatable. These characters have to face problems unique to their world and its rules.

The best kind of escapism for me is when I'm rooting for a character to use her magical power to defeat the bad guy and win over the love interest.

Be sure to check out Michelle's post from yesterday and read Cole's tomorrow.   

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Favorite Tropes

Time for the blog chain again. This time Kate wants to know:

As a reader and/or a writer what are some of your favorite fiction tropes? Are you sucker for secretly in love with best friend type stories, stories set in mysterious boarding school stories, stories that contain time travel, or something else entirely? As a writer how do you try to give the tropes you tackle in your own books a fresh spin?

Of course I'm a sucker for a kick-ass heroine. Whether she uses her body or her mind to defeat the bad guy, I love girl who takes charge. Kristin Cashore writes awesome heroines.

I LOVE unreliable narrators. Liar by Justine Larbalestier is the ultimate example of this, but I like any story that makes you question what the narrator is telling you. 

Like Kate, I love the survival trope. I'm more into post-apocalyptic stories than surviving in the wilderness tales, though. The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Under the Never Sky are two of my favorites.

I also like childhood best-friend turned lovers romances. The romance in the Curse Workers Series by Holly Black is a good example of this.

Similar to the unreliable narrator, I like stories with a protagonist who isn't necessarily a "good guy." Kate does a great job of this in Another Little Piece.

In terms of my own writing, I always try to write about strong women. And whether it's due to memory loss or mental illness, my narrators aren't very reliable. I've written about childhood best-friends turned lovers, but it didn't work very well.

You can see Michelle's post from yesterday and read Cole's take tomorrow.

What about you? What are your favorite tropes?