Showing posts with label reader. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reader. Show all posts

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Things No One Tells You About Book Blogging | Book Blogging Tips (#25)


I had no idea what to expect when I just dove into blogging head-first. I didn't even read other blogs when I first started and just decided to do it my own way.

A lot has changed since then and I'd like to say that my blog has improved since then. Here are some things that really surprised me when I first started blogging.



  • Success won't come overnight: Good content ≠ Readers

No matter what you post, you won't become a successful blogger within six months. There are exceptions to the rule, but don't assume that you're one of those. Readers are earned and that takes time.


  • Queuing WILL save your blog

Honestly, if it wasn't for my well-stacked queue I'd probably have quit already. It's hardly possible to keep posting as much as I do (almost every day/ every other day) without actually planning posts in advance. I use my creative highs to schedule posts in advance. I suggest you make a habit of queuing, too, because it really does help a lot.


  • Themes matter, period.

So many people say it's all about the content, but honestly: there are certain themes that I just can't stand to see anymore. At this point I actually click away when I see an awful blog design, no matter how interesting the posts sound.


  • You will lose motivation

..and that's perfectly normal. Blogging is a full-time job and after months and months of writing posts, you may get tired of it. Don't give up. The big names in the blogging community are the people who never gave up. You can do it.


  • It's a competition - you will get jealous of others

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you shouldn't try to be like other bloggers or try to be as successful as them. I've heard it all, but the truth is I do look left and right and try to improve my blog constantly. The internet changes and so do the habits of the people who visit my blog. 

  • Of course you'll get discouraged to see a blogger that has barely started surpass you with their statistics.
  • Of course you'll get jealous when someone gets an awesome ARC that you didn't get 
  • Of course you'll constantly ask yourself why someone else has more followers, has more commenters, has better statistics
  • Of course you'll try to be more like the people you admire. And eventually plan to be a better blogger than them.
That may sound a little conceited, but it's the truth. Why are you blogging? Because you think your voice matters. When it ends up being unheard it's frustrating and annoying and it will make you question everything you do. 

BUT:
Don't listen to that little voice that says you're not good enough and you're never going to make it. 

Persistence is the key to success. 

One day people will look up to you and ask themselves why they're not as great as you are. 


What are things that you didn't expect about blogging?
Do you sometimes get jealous of other bloggers?

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mary Sues and Why We Need More of Them | YA Talk



What is a Mary Sue?

The term originated from fan fiction I guess. It typically refers to characters who are beautiful, loved by everyone, super powerful, super smart, but usually don't recognize their beauty.

They're loveable because they're sometimes even insecure, but they can kick everyone's butts if they wanted to. Also, every guy that meets them falls in love with them.




Mary Sues typically also have:

  • a super tragic backstory
  • a hidden talent/skill that makes them special
  • been "chosen" by a higher power to be the only savior/ are the only person who can resolve the plot
  • an exotic hair or eye color that makes them stand out
Readers always joke about Mary Sues, but in fact they do still exist in YA. The thing is, most people don't seem to realize that their favorite novel involves a Mary Sue heroine.


Typical Criticism and Why I'm not having any of it

1. They are self-inserts of the reader, even author, into the story

They don't really have a personally besides being flawless and perfect, almost inhumanly perfect.

... so? The term self-insert implies that it's easy to identify with them. There's a lot of characters that I think don't have a personality and still are the driving forces of big franchises. We all want to identify with the main character when we're reading. Because we're all different, it's absolutely impossible to please everyone. So of course the books with less opinionated characters are more likely to appeal to the masses. It's easy to interprete if the author is vague about their portrayals.

2. They're an unrealistic reflection of everything that everyone wants be: beautiful, popular, perfect, strong and loved. 

And that's hella good! We want to read about the things we don't have. Reading is a way of escapism! We want to travel to places that we'll never see, we want to read about situations that we'll never experience. So yeah, for once we want to read about someone that has it all, is popular and loved and beautiful.

3. They're the result of very poor writing.

You can have a Mary Sue main character and still built a kick-ass world and have a great plot. Best example? Caelena Sardothien from "Throne of Glass".  If you've read the book, take a moment to think about it yourself and then we'll talk.


Actually: We need more Mary Sues

Being called a Mary Sue is neither a death sentence nor an insult. There are some characters that are wildly loved by everyone who reads certain books and to me, they're absolute Mary Sues. I'm not going to call names, but there's a lot of undercover Sues that people don't even recognize. They look up to them, especially female characters that are great at fighting, beautiful and getting all the attractive guys.

Featuring unapologetically strong and kick ass female characters has been a recent trend. I mean if you look the most popular movie -to-book film adaptations you'll rarely encounter female characters that are strong, beautiful and super scary while still being feminine. The fact that the term Mary Sue is mostly used to refer to female characters and points out character flaw that have existed for YEARS in literature (not only YA) with male main characters is just flat out ridiculous.

Just look at popular action movies and characters like Indiana Jones, Chuck Norris, Superman, Batman - all those guys are classic Gary Stus and these are only the most popular ones. If you think in terms of movies, I can hardly tell you a single Mary Sue character in a similar franchise. It's a blessing that it's become a trend in YA to show merciless fighter-type heroine main characters and I am absolutely in favor or bringing all those books to the big screen and finally getting some gender equality in the medium.

So yes, I want more Mary Sues. Do you?


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