Archive for March, 2013

Well, let’s get this straightened out before I begin my rant. I don’t know if every writer will have experienced these mistakes, but as a writer myself, these are the worst mistakes that I made. I just thought it’d be interesting for some of you to read about my horrible mistakes. (Because I know how funny that is for all of you.)

Mistake No. 1: Not reading any books. I’ve said this many times, but I hated to read. I knew how to write, but there are certain things you can only figure out from actually reading a book. It’s normal. That is, for those of us that aren’t prodigies. I, for one, wasn’t like Mozart, nor even Salieri. (Name dropping famous musicians from over a hundred years ago – strikes off Bucket List )

So, for any young people out there that are wondering if they should read before writing their masterpiece… Do it. It honestly cannot hurt. And, it can achieve two things. It can humble you by blowing your mind with the book’s brilliance… OR, it can give you an ego boost after you read a book you think is quite terrible. It’s rather wrong for you to read a book on purpose because you know it is bad, of course, but at the end of the day, anything that will help inspire you is not really horrible. As long as you don’t make a habit of it.

Mistake No. 2: Ignoring your grammar. Commas. ‘Nuff said. You know that stuff they teach you at school? That can actually be useful. Hey, I’m not a square. I hate diagramming, for example, but it was actually good to know when it is appropriate to use semi-colons, or colons, etc. That type of stuff can really expand your writing style. It really won’t hurt.

I’m not saying you need to love it. It’s just very useful, if you allow it to be.

Mistake No. 3: Not reading your own stuff. This is actually a very heinous mistake that I make (albeit, unknowingly) to this day. You see, whenever I reread my own stuff, I feel terribly arrogant. That isn’t because I’m quite conscious of myself – it’s because of my sister’s constant yammering in my ear about how arrogant I am. But we’ll talk about that next time. So, reread your stuff until you’re sick of it. I’m not telling you to edit it, but rereading it will refresh your memory of it. I mean, one time, I forgot a character’s name because it’d been so long since I wrote about him. I know! Ridiculous. So, rereading everything you write? Can’t hurt. Besides, if you’re as egotistical as me (doubtful), you’ll probably like it a lot.

Mistake No. 4: Arrogance is not Confidence. I tend to fall prey to this mistake quite often. I mean. Whether it’s simply scoffing at the horrible writing of a famous author, or whether it’s ridiculing someone’s attempts at defeating you in writing – it’s not good, man. Once you become arrogant, it becomes harder for you to edit anything you write. “You know… Killing all of the female characters in my book may not sound like a good decision, but my writing really is quite awesome. I’ll keep it.”

You can be confident. Nay, everyone should be confident in their writing. You should always consider your writing good, but always remember that it can be improved. Once I got into the mindset, I improved exponentially. If you think my writing is bad NOW… HAH. If you only knew… HAH.

Like I said, be confident, but not arrogant. Because the temptation to laugh at a famous author’s writing is quite strong… I won’t even mention the name of the author I normally pick on, because I haven’t got the right to do so. This author became successful, and he’s got a good fan base. That’s more than what I’ve done so far… Granted, he’s about a decade older than me. But still, until I become as successful, I haven’t earned the right to do such a thing. Heck, I wouldn’t even do that when I do get that successful (IF, I mean) because by then… I’d probably have realized how hard it was to do all of that.

Mistake No. 5: Research is not lame. Research… It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a supposedly very accurate biographical novel of Abe Lincoln, or if you’re writing a fantasy novel set in a completely different universe, or if you’re writing about talking animals. Research, man. Even if you’re writing about a completely new world, research will not hurt. For example, if you remember the topic I linked about the myths about fights in literature, you’ll know that swords don’t actually make a cool sound when you unsheathe ’em. Topic link is down below, if you want it.

Research makes a world much more vivid – it is especially useful in your fictional universe. Another example. Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, likes to inject real life facts into his novels because it helps make his book that much more real. Really, it’s a lot of fun. In Lullaby, he mentions how the taped audience in certain sitcoms were recorded back in the 1950’s. And that they’re all probably dead. Or the scene in Fight Club where Tyler gives the main character a chemical burn and tells him that vinegar can neutralize the pain. (That isn’t a spoiler since it happens fairly early.)

Mistake No. 6: Don’t get caught up in your research. You’re probably annoyed at me right now because I just said to do your research. Well. It’s important for you to actually, you know, write. And research can and will get in the way of that. If you think about it ,doing research is really easy. It’s easy to forget about the novel, and just get absorbed in your research.

Japanese soldiers in Iwo Jima got dysentery from the sewers? Really? They ate worms after they ran out of food? You know. It can be pretty cool, the research. So, you must remember to actually write. Research is cool, but the actual writing is… I would say that it’s even better, but it’s necessary. Because writing can make you either miserable or ecstatic. It’s a fickle mistress that toys with her lovers. And we still buy her jewelry. I don’t get it, either!

Mistake No. 7: Listen to beta readers, but don’t destroy your masterpiece. Let me tell you. My beta readers have saved my ass on so many occasions that it’s not even funny. (Wait, why should it be funny?) They’ve given me stellar advice, and told me about mistakes that I didn’t notice. I really owe ’em a lot. However, if you get a beta reader that simply insults you, and tells you that something you worked hard on for an entire year is trash… Don’t destroy your masterpiece. Sure, it may not be a masterpiece to anyone else, but it’s yours. You sweated over that! (Probably not… Unless it was very hot when he wrote a chapter.) You bled over that. (How would he have injured himself?) You cried over that. (Now THAT is quite likely.)

So, constructive criticism is awesome, but if your beta reader is not being helpful, don’t simply change everything. Get another beta reader and ask that person what they think. If everyone, as a consensus, thinks your book is bad. Well. Just put it in a drawer, and write something new. Don’t destroy it. I technically destroyed my first book, but I still have a copy on my Mom’s computer. My first book may have been unsalvageable, but its mere existence in the world is comforting. I can tell people that I wrote my first book at the age of 11. It wasn’t good, but I worked hard on it for a year. That’s something. The fact that you worked on something consistently every single day is awesome. It’s a sign that you actually can finish something. So, if you finish a book, no matter how bad it is… Pat yourself on the back and call it a good day.

Those are all the mistakes that I’ve made, but here’s something that I think all writers should do.

Be Nice to other writers. Whenever you meet a writer, be nice to ’em. They’re your long lost soul sisters and brothers, you know? Be nice to ’em just for the sake of being nice until they give you a reason not to be nice to ’em. If they insult you, then you can stop. But consider this: even if the other person is a bad writer… He or she is still a writer. He or she probably went through all the difficulties that you went through. So, it stands to reason that you should give that person the same respect that you would want to be given. 

You know what. I think we should apply this to meeting other people in general. All of you are probably nice enough that you do this unconditionally, but it needs to be said. Be cool with people, and it’ll work out. For one, it’s nice to be friends with writers. You can talk all day about your writer’s block, and they’ll know what you mean. It’s pretty awesome, in all honesty.

I hope this stuff I’ve written helps. Thank you. Like, Follow, and Comment. I would appreciate it very much if you did all three.

P.S: I thought that I should write a post today. I’ve already submitted my story, Radio Silence, but I’ve yet to receive word on whether or not they think it’s good or bad. I think I went over the word limit, so I may have to cut the first chapter in half. Anyways. I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ve made all of those mistakes at least once. And as an amateur writer, I thought I actually knew a little something about it. I liked writing about all of this quite a bit.  Thanks again.

~J.A. Romano

 

Common Myths in Fights: Busted

Well. Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t written a post since Ideas Within Ideas. There’s a good reason, however. I’ve been working on a story for this website, Jukepop Serials. I’ve probably talked about Jukepop Serials before, but I’ve just been polishing the story. The story is called Radio Silence, and I’ve opted for a completely new story rather than my finished novel.

Right now, I’m working on the cover, but once it’s done, I’m going to immediately send it off to the site’s editors.

So, after that, I’ll be able to write plenty of posts again. Problem is – I need people’s votes for this. I’d really appreciate it if you people would take the time, when it’s uploaded, to register to the site and vote for my story. That’d be pretty great.

What’s the story? Well, I’m going to post the summary after the cover is done. Another thing, this isn’t the idea I was talking about in Ideas within Ideas. A lot of you were most likely disappointed since I got a lot of Tweets and comments about that. (I wouldn’t say two comments and one Tweet is a lot…)

Ignore the stuff in the parentheses. But, this was a story I came up with for NaNoWriMo. As some of you awesome writers know, NaNoWriMo was this big event in November where you wrote an entire book in one month. Needless to say, I failed. But, I did manage to make up a pretty cool story.

So, bear with me, and soon enough you’ll have more posts of me rambling about writing, shows I both love and hate, as well as book reviews. I haven’t been reading a lot since I’ve been working on the story.

But a review will probably be posted on Shogun, or Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose soon enough. I watched the miniseries, Band of Brothers, when I was five, and I really loved it. So, odds are, the book review of the Band of Brothers will probably be posted really soon.

So, thanks for reading. And I really hope you keep an eye out for my post where I give you all the summary, cover, and link to where you can vote for the story.

Thanks.

~J.A. Romano

 

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I think after reading that title (the one above these lines and lines of text) is: Ideaception. I know. I’m the first one to ever think about it – I’ve pitched it to Warner Bros. and they’ve given me a 250 million dollar budget to do whatever I want.

Anyways, I had an idea yesterday for a new book. I won’t tell you the idea – which tells you how much I like it. Normally, I blab about my ideas like I’m at gunpoint. I just like hearing myself talk. (Wait… that doesn’t make sense…) But, with this idea, I can’t do that. I need to write it first. Only thing is – it requires a massive amount of research. I don’t know about all of you professional writers, but as a bona fide amateur writer, I normally wing it. My first book? Wrote it not knowing a lot about books. My third book? Didn’t even know the names or the plot by page 75. That’s right. I managed to get that far without names or a sensible plot.

However, with this idea, I don’t feel like an amateur anymore. This is my most ambitious project, yet, and it blends almost all of my favorite elements in a book. The problem is – what does a writer do when he has too many ideas? I know, you all think I’m terribly arrogant. But am I? At some point or another, a writer gets a huge burst of ideas, right? But, what can this writer do about it, exactly? What if the writer already has a long running book series and his readers are up in arms about the sixth book? *coughs GRRM coughs*

I have started over 12 projects. It’s not that I’m that good. It’s just that my attention span is horrible, and the smallest idea I get – I write it. Of course, lately, I’ve begun focusing my creative energy into specific projects, but that does not mean the ideas stop. There are plenty of movies that show writers having trouble writing something worthwhile – most notably the writer in Sunset Boulevard.

I’ve written done a lot of ideas, both on paper and on keyboard, but if you could write an entire book based on one idea alone, everyone would be published! You need a plot, and then you need to actually write the thing. Depending on your skill and time, it can take from six months to a year. There are certain exceptions, sure. Stephen King wrote the Running Man in three days. Say what you will about King – he can finish his books. Something I can’t boast without a bit of hesitation.

What a writer should do, first and foremost, is write all of his ideas. Just do it. I mean, really, does it hurt you? Nope. Might it benefit you in the future? Definitely. The next thing you should do is prioritize your projects according to whether or not you think they have the potential to be something great. Here’s an example:

Untitled Project:

So there’s this dystopian future, right? And the government is watching your every move. I’m thinking of calling the government… The Watcher… Wait, no… Big Watcher? Big Cousin?

Tentative Title – the Wrestling Club:

Basically, this salaryman is an insomniac. And he ends up meeting this really good looking guy – maybe Clooney could play this part – in the plane… and they decide to start a Club together after talking – the Wrestling Club.

Please don’t steal those brilliant ideas of mine. I’m really quite happy with ’em. But yeah, make an Idea List. Prioritize one over the other. I once read somewhere that you can’t really rate ideas by their merit alone… to which I say, that is ridiculous. Pick the idea you like best and just go with it. If you can’t think about that idea anymore, move unto the next one. That’s what I did when I got stumped on my second book. Guess what, it worked.

I haven’t finished my second book, yet, but I’ve finished my third book, and I’m working on its sequel right now. The List WORKS! Well… sort of. I really need to work on that second book.

That’s beside the point, though. What you should do, though, is see if your idea already exists. Google is a godsend, honestly. Every time I meet a senior in college, I get all serious and ask him/her: “So, you lived to see the internet without Google… how was it?”

And he/she will reply, with a quivering upper lip: “It was a dark place… A place that no one should ever visit.”

Then we cry and hug. If you don’t believe me…

So, I am looking forward to this idea. I am going to work on the research bit, and I’ll probably write long, whiny blogposts of me swearing to never take up this project again. I wasn’t kidding about the research. Imagine an enormous amount. Imagine it? Yeah, well, just about that much. Didn’t expect that, did you? Well, I like to be unpredictable.

The moral of the story – ideas, write them down. No matter what. Don’t forget them, just rank them.

P.S: I wrote this post, also, because I just wanted to blab about my idea. I couldn’t really divulge any ideas, but you can sense how excited I am about this. Hopefully, a year from now, I’ll be telling you all about the sequel to my third book, as well as the book that spawned from this meagre idea of mine. Let’s hope, eh?

~J.A. Romano

Interesting stuff to read:

Why you should read <— Got the idea for those funny book examples from this article.

Common Myths in Fictional Fights <— Didn’t really mention it in the post, but this helped me out a lot. Can’t believe how often I’ve humiliated myself in my book by doing some rookie mistake like those detailed over there. I really hope that everyone else has made the mistake of doing one of these myths.

So, a writer I know wrote this article on the importance of Setting. And another writer I know wrote a follow-up post on it. You can read it here. They’re both pretty good, and they’ll probably convey my point more fluidly than me… but I’m going to go ahead and write my own take. They mostly talk about setting, but I want to talk about something that’s rather synonymous with setting – pacing. Plus, I had a snappy title for Pacing in mind. Sue me.

Setting and Pacing is everything. Most times, if the reader isn’t hooked in the Prologue or the first chapter, they drop it like it’s on fire. Doesn’t matter if the summary on the back cover is absolutely awesome. That’s just how it works. However, you need to create a unique setting ,while keeping the pacing at breakneck speeds. 

That is pretty difficult. It’s not a sign of a bad writer if they want to take a breather and start writing about the setting. That’s normal. The problem with pacing is that you can’t stop for a second to explain what the reader is seeing. 

Imagine, if you will, that the writer is a tourist guide on a rocket ship, breaking through the atmosphere of Earth and into space. That’s pretty fast. Now, describe all the sights the passengers are seeing without boring ’em, or halting the pace. That’s difficult, isn’t it? 

So, I want to talk about when it’s acceptable to slow down the pace. 

One of my beta readers noted how my book had very little fluff. It was both a good and bad thing. You may ask, “Jian, how can it be a bad thing? Are you just bragging about your mad skills?”

Hmm… Yes. I am. But it can be a bad thing because life is not without fluff. And we, writers, aim to make our worlds as realistic and as life-like as possible. That’s ironic, since Fantasy began as an escapist genre. However, the genre has morphed in the past century, and now we can do a lot of stuff with it. 

My book’s Prologue starts out with the technical main character walking to his death. Then the next chapter is of his successor getting stabbed multiple times, and going into a coma. Yeah… I kind of jumped the pace, didn’t I? You see, I write what I want to read. And what I want to read is super fast books. I want to read a book, finish it, and go: “Did that seriously happen in just a week?”

Pacing is the enemy of writers because it slows down the moment you take your time to explain the setting. One of my beta readers said (not the same one) that Worldbuilding is kind of my weakness. Now that I reread my book, I hate the world building. It’s ridiculous. My pacing was so fast that I didn’t really have fun with the world. Basically, we’re in this country, right, and it has a whole lot of strife. Lots of mercenaries, and priests are sorcerers and they control everything.

Of course, about halfway into the book, I do take my time with world building. But I took too much time to get to the “fluff”. It can be seen as unrealistic simply because there’s no fluff. There’s no heroine (well, I do have a heroine, technically, but not in the traditional sense of the word), no romance, and no spa time for the characters. 

Pacing and Setting are the devils on a writer’s shoulder. I think that the most important thing a writer should do is write a beginning which blows the socks off of your own two feet, and then spend the book having fun with it. 

Pacing and Setting will come afterward in the Editing room, but if you concentrate on just Pacing or Setting, you’ll end up with a boring book. Pacing and Setting, in a lot of ways, are organic and natural things. Your characters set the tone for the book, and their experiences set the pacing, and what they see becomes the setting. The best thing a writer can do is make amazing characters, and make up experiences that the reader would want to read about.

Then spend the rest of your time making the world feel real and epic once you’re done. 

I realize I’ve probably bored all of you, but I wanted to talk about my own experiences. Which kind of makes me a bad character, since my pacing is TERRIBLE. I really should make myself a better character…

 

See ya later!

P.S: I’ve probably talked your ears off about this, but my Guest post has been posted. It’s about, like I said, my favorite YA book. Really hope you check it out, and Like it. It would mean a lot to me. Also, be sure to click those two links in the beginning of this post. Those writers are awesome, and their posts are probably more coherent than mine. You’ll get the gist of what I was trying to say in their posts. 

 

No, don’t worry. I’m not going to start complaining about my sickness again. Instead, I’m going to post something I wrote about a year ago, I think. I wrote it for one of my numerous projects (the majority of which remain, unfortunately, incomplete), and it was a first. Since it was a poem.

I don’t know what you’ve gathered from me, but my prose… It’s admittedly not the best, you know? I won’t Wow everyone with my prose, and it may seem a bit simplistic to A LOT of people. But, it works. And I try to improve my writing as best as I can. So, I wrote a poem for the purpose of this story. Basically, a detective and a writer (Me? Conceited?) are trying to solve a case… which involves a creature whose first act is to bite the heads off of several ravens.

I hope you enjoy this. This was a first for me. Poems, from what I’ve gathered, take some serious wordsmithing. (That’s a word now…. in MY dictionary.)

And I wrote that on a whim. I haven’t actually edited it, and I didn’t really think when I wrote it. It may be awful to some people, and may be brilliant to ONE person. (And that person is related to me.)

But, here’s a piece of my more ambitious writings to help all of you stay cool while I’m sick.

 

Crows flew from the north,
And ravens flittered from the south,
Sweet bluejays tweeted their way from the east,
And flocks of pigeons gathered from the west,
And headed to the central point of their destination,
‘Twas their target not a forest made for their foraging,
Nor was it a place to settle and escape from winter’s cruel shadow,
But a place for them to be the Alphas,
Rather than Omegas, as they are usually treated;
Their cruelty knew no bounds when it came to this beast of their choosing,
And even the sweet bluejays sung songs of naught but cruelty,
For this was no ordinary beast,
But it was a wingless thing that only the foulest of sepulchers could give birth to,
And only the darkest of nights dare shroud,
For it had the body of a man, the beak of a raven, the talons of an eagle,
And no hair nor feather nor bristle to be found on its skin,
And for a thousand years, they sang their symphonies of mockery,
‘Till a cacophony rose from the bowels of the cave of whence the beast rested,
‘Twas the sound of pigs squealing, the ravens soon discovered from investigation,
And they crept close to the beast hidden in shadow,
And continued their songs of ghastly tales,
But what they found was not what they had expected,
And saw that the beast had feasted on pigs,
All too late, they realized, and attempted to flee,
And this horrible beast of legends struck out with a vicious beak,
And snapped the raven’s head cleanly off;
The gods were devastated,
At this act committed by a beast made for mockery,
And seven days and nights passed by,
And Seven Forbidden Acts committed,
Till judgement was passed from the Gods,
And the beast was sealed in a tomb deserving of its ghastly nature,
Firmly and permanently sealed for ages to come,
Till now…

So… I wrote two posts yesterday. I know. I’m that good. Just kidding. To be honest, I felt like writing something. Something that didn’t have to have a proper narrative… Something that didn’t have to stay true to the plot. So, I ended up writing one review and one rambling post.

I woke up this morning with birds tweeting outside the window, with a bright ray of sunshine piercing through the curtains… and snot flowing freely from my nostrils. Are you disgusted yet? You should be. I feel horrible right now. It is bad enough that I got sick on NEW YEARS. Yeah. Everyone went to the terrace to see the fireworks, while I sat on the bed, blowing my red nose. Santa mistook me for Rudolph and tried to put me in front of the sleigh.

So, I really hate being sick, in case you haven’t noticed from my rather angry tone. It’s annoying. You use up a whole lot of tissues, you end up crying a few times (don’t mention it), and once you’re done being sick, the taste of medicine is so thick on your tongue that it’s not even funny.

My head is fuzzy, and I’m really, REALLY caught up in my own problems. A building could explode across the street, and I would not care. Because I am sick.

And being sick brings out the worst in people. The common cold was designed to make you into a sniveling, complaining mess once or twice a year. The only problem is – if you’re already a person that complains a lot before that. My family is suffering with me, because I am horrible when I am sick.

I don’t really order ’em around or anything, but my sneezes… So loud. Anyways, I wrote this post because I wanted to be articulate about my own ailments. I can’t really speak properly with my nose clogged up and phlegm making my throat scratchy. You see, as a writer, I can easily describe things graphically enough so all of you will be disgusted.

Anyways. I just wanted to write out whatever I wanted to say while I was sick. Incidentally, my time has multiplied by three since I’ve gotten sick. I think it was the Theory of Relativity that said that when you’re hunky dory, time passes quickly. But, when you’re sick, physics points and laughs at you. Now, if I’m not using the Theory of Relativity as a proper example… That’s because I am sick, and don’t really care if I’m correct. So, in the free time that opened up for me, I made an apartment building and a bank in Minecraft. And I’ve burned through an entire season of Psych.

Expect a review of Blue Bloods in the following days, and also, as I’ve said, I have a guest post on another blog coming up. Yeah, I feel so cool right now. Physically, I feel like I just had slime poured in my lungs.

Now I’m going to go drink some orange juice, eat something healthy, and sneeze my eyes off. I bid you all adieu.

 

~J.A. Romano

I’ve probably already written a post similar to this already… but I’ll still go on talking about this, regardless. You could say that this is the continuation of my post, Writer’s Assemble.

https://dullboredom.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/writers-assemble/

I want to talk about the books that have inspired me to write. These are also the books that make me feel, simultaneously, like an awful writer. Simply because of how awesome they appeared like after I first read them. We’ve all had that feeling. But, instead of feeling horrible about myself… It inspired me to write, or to write more. Strange, isn’t it?

Like I said, I rarely cracked a book open till the age of eleven or twelve. Incidentally, I only started cracking ’em open because when I was eleven, I wrote my own book. Guess what. It was terrible. You know how when you look back to your past, you shed a tear from the beautiful nostalgia out of it all? Well, I shed a tear from how awful I was back then. I don’t even have the book on my computer anymore. It exists only on my Mom’s computer. I’ve done as much as I can to erase its existence off the face of this Earth and Mars. Why Mars? Because I had a beta reader that—-

Probably shouldn’t tell you about that. So. My sister recommended me a book that she thought I would like. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. At the time, I shrugged and reluctantly agreed to give it a shot. I mean, this was a book. It was probably going to be terrible. Am I right? Well, I was proven wrong. And I loved being proven wrong. When I read the first few chapters, I was in absolute awe. In just the Prologue, it completely wiped out my book. The book that I spent at least a year working on! That is amazing. It infuriated me, and inspired me at the same time. I devoured the rest of the books. I had eBooks of ’em, but I truly loved them, and I convinced my sister to get me paperback copies.

They were dark – unlike any book I’d ever read beforehand -, they had plenty of magic, and… Dude. They had assassins. Immortal assassins. Wait, they’re wet boys. Immortal wet-boys. They’re way cooler than regular assassins. I know, I sound like a real fan boy… But that’s because I am a huge fan boy. I can’t help it.

So, after reading the Way of Shadows, I started writing more serious works. My book beforehand could’ve been classified as YA, despite all the death… After reading the Night Angel Trilogy, I began to write about mercenaries and mass murderers… It changed the characters I wrote about, really, and I thank it every day. You could attribute my less-than ‘good’ and ‘presentable’ characters to Brent Weeks’ genius.

Now, there was a downside. I scoured the internet for more books like this, and I was disappointed. There was no other book like the Night Angel Trilogy. I was devastated… But I didn’t give up my search. Then, a month later, I happened upon the Mistborn Trilogy… Damn. Okay. A lot of people have said that it’s not gritty enough, not dark enough… To which, I reply, have you even read any of the books? Dear God, man… The premise of the first book was that the bad guy won! He won! He owned the superheroes and the armies… He defeated all of them. And he enslaved an entire race of people. And the main characters were thieves. Heck, they were killers, too, if you think about it. Kelsier, after all, really put people through the ringer. If that’s not dark enough, then what is? I loved it. Sure, it’s not as dark as the Night Angel Trilogy or Game of Thrones. But, the magic system, man… and the characters. The magic system changed the game for me. I wrote fantasy, and I read fantasy. The magic system of Mistborn hands down beat the world building and magic systems of EVERY fantasy book I’d ever read up to that point. Afterwards, I concentrated on making a detailed world and an expansive magic system. Yet, though I like to think mine’s quite good… It just sucks in comparison to Allomancy.

Like with Brent Weeks, I read every new book of Brandon Sanderson’s. (Aside from his WoT books)

Yet, I reached the same problem that I had after reading the Night Angel Trilogy. I had nothing else to read. After reading all of Sanderson’s books, it was done. Nothing else. I lost hope in fantasy. I wasn’t arrogant enough to think that my own book was the last light of fantasy. Or shadow, depending on how you think of it. But, I couldn’t find any other book that could match with these books that so inspired me.

Then my friend recommended me a show. And that show was A Game of Thrones. I know, I know. How could I not have read the Game of Thrones before all of those books? It’s ridiculous, to be perfectly honest. I don’t know how I could’ve overlooked it ’till then. But, after finishing the first season, I just sped through all of the books. They were epic. The scale was vast, and the cast numbered over a dozen. I can attribute my love of different and unique characters to A Song of Ice and Fire.

But, by that time, I was already expecting to be disappointed when I couldn’t find any more books. I mean, really. I, of course, saw it coming. That does not mean that it still didn’t devastate me, however. I tried the Wheel of Time, it wasn’t to my tastes. I tried a lot of other books. Then, my sister recommended me a book she’d been telling me about when I was only nine years old. Nine! It was Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon. It was vast in scale, just like Game of Thrones, but it had something over all of them… And that was politics. Yeah, the political machinations of ASoIaF is awesome. That can’t be denied.

But, in Wolfblade, you were literally taken on a journey of a young princess learning how to become the greatest politician in her kingdom. It was brilliant, honestly. I loved every part of the story. The first book spanned across a decade, I believe, and we got to see her from the age of 16 up to when she has children of her own. It was legendary, to me. I can attribute my poor attempts at politics to the Wolfblade Trilogy. Sadly, it’s not very well known… To which, I say.. R-E-A-D IT. Now.

I’ll wait a minute for you to open up Amazon and download it unto your Kindle or to order it.

 

 

Done? Good. You’ll have a wonderful time. If you’ve read none of the books I have mentioned… This may hurt your wallet quite a bit, but.. Seriously, read all of those books. NOW. They are amazing. They were awesome. They literally had me in awe, with my mouth gaping open… Read them.

What are some books that have inspired you as a writer? I really hope you comment and tell me. I would love to know. If you agree with my tastes in books, please tell me. If you disagree, please tell me. I really would appreciate it if you took the time to Like and comment. Cool? Yeah. Thanks. Now go read those books. Since… Yeah. Just do it.

~J.A. Romano

 

P.S: I have a guest post on the blog of a cool guy I know next Wednesday. He has this series for guest bloggers to write about their favorite YA book. I wrote about my own favorite YA book. What is my favorite YA book? It’s a secret… but it’s by Eoin Colfer, and it’s an eight book series. I know, not exactly narrowing the list down for you… But you should check out his blog. He writes really cool reviews, and has some cool ideas. He’s also the blogger for a major review site. Check ’em out.

http://baneofkingswritingblog.wordpress.com/

http://thefoundingfields.com/