Book Review: Flames of Courage by Hannah Heath

Introducing the second installment in the Terebinth Tree Chronicles, Flames of Courage by Hannah Heath! This brilliant short story follows the same storyline about Wanderer in Colors of Fear, and fully develops the character of Jayel, a halfblooded warrior elf who seeks to cease oppression and restore justice for the halfbloods.

Book Review- Flames of Courage by Hannah Heath - Tea with Tumnus (1)

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Fixing Tropes in Fantasy Fiction

The Google dictionary defines the fantasy genre as “a genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world.” With fantasy, you have freedom. You can make whatever you want possible. You can create your own worlds, your own species, your own rules and laws. And yet, fantasy does have its stereotypes. And that’s okay. I find a lot of similarities between my writing and many other fantasy books I’ve read. Tropes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re relying on them in an attempt to box your story into a particular genre. If you’re a fantasy writer who’s struggling with eliminating stereotypes, or if you’re any kind of author who wants a fun and slightly sarcastic post to read, you may benefit from the following tropes and the possible alternatives for each.

Fixing Tropes in Fantasy Fiction - Tea with Tumnus

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Review of 15 Best Books Read in 2016 (With Pictures)

I’ve decided to experiment a bit this Tuesday. I’ve taken my favorite books I read in 2016 and compiled them into one blog post, complete with a short review and book photography of each. (Except for the books I don’t own. These are stock pictures I edited onto a picture I’ve taken.) Each book title has an Amazon Affiliate link, which means if you click the link and buy the book on Amazon, I get a tiny percentage of your money (so thank you, in advance, for your future hypothetical support).

I’ve never really shared my photography on my blog before, so this also gives me a chance to talk about and direct you to my Instagram. I try to post quality photography on there every other day at the most and I post pretty much anything from bookstagram attempts to random pictures of nerd collectibles, cosplays, tea in cool looking mugs, nature, and anything that has to do with writing and aesthetics. My siblings and I also went on a rainy, muddy photo shoot the other day in which I dressed in a cloak and held fantasy books in what we call the “woods” (a small patch of trees behind our neighborhood). Future Instagram posts will feature those, and I personally think they’re epic, thanks to my brother, the photographer (Michael Jr.).

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Keep Your Writing Organized with a Bullet Journal

I’m sure we writers hit a spot during our writing career when we feel overwhelmed. We’ve done a great job developing that plot, the foreshadowing and characters, but it’s too much. We can’t keep track, what with all the scattered Word files and notebooks full of unorganized scribbles. Let’s face it:

It’s tough being a writer. It can be depressing, writing about people, who, even though they are fictional, have serious problems. Delving into those problems and developing them, crafting them into a story, can lead to fictional stress (a real thing). It’s like you’re making sure ten different people are all taken care of and happy at the same time. Unorganized and dislocated, all these story tidbits, the tiniest scenes, the snatches of dialog, a character’s arc, etc. etc. all come tumbling down on your poor cluttered mind and distracts you, forcing you to lose your confidence. Your wits. Your sanity. Your nut.

Sound familiar?

For a while, this fit me to a T. When school started, it got worse, and I found the root of the problem was disorganization. I like keeping notes about my writing, but they’re all scattered in one tiny notebook I bring with me everywhere. There are a lot of ways to keep your writing organized; I’ve heard Scrivener is a very popular and handy resource particularly for fiction writers. But I can’t take a laptop everywhere I go. A notebook? Check. And that’s where all my writing ideas go before I log them onto a Word file.

I started researching how to gather up all my ideas into one place (in this case, a single journal) where I could find them easily. Now if that doesn’t sound like heaven to a plotter, I don’t know what does. In my research, I came across a term called “bullet journaling” and I was very happy with the article I found: Bullet Journaling for Fiction Writers

I bought a notebook. I fell in love with it. And I started to bullet journal. (Cue suspenseful music.)

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History Helps You Write: Religion and Government in Fantasy Fiction

Last semester I took a history class that covered all of history up to 1500 A. D. The textbook was hard to get through and I never really had much of an interest in history, ancient world history in particular. However, besides having an excellent professor and the best college learning experience yet, I learned something in this history class that I knew would take me far in my own writing, thus causing me to appreciate the subject more than I have before.

How?

History Helps You Write Religion and Government in Fantasy Fiction
Photo Credit: Michael Metzler Jr. 2015

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Writing Tips: Quirks – The Pros and Cons

I’m sure all you writers have heard that your characters need quirks … especially your major characters, such as the protagonist and antagonist. Foreshadowing and background adds quirks to the character, makes him unique. Especially if the quirk has an effect on the story and ties in with the character’s personality, his problems or desire. It can be a subtle quirk, an oddity, an out-of-place physical appearance, a gait, the way she talks while twisting her hair, even his tendency to say “UM” very loudly in the middle of sentence transition. They can also make your characters memorable and even act as a symbol to remember a character by. Jack Sparrow, for example, has that strange, (and yet awesome) walk of his which communicates that his character is a bit off the rocker. Ahab has that wooden peg for a leg because Moby Dick bit it off during their first encounter, which is why he now wants vengeance upon Moby Dick in the story.

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