5 Classics I Actually Enjoyed Reading in School

Somehow, we’ve reached the time when the school supply section is back in stores. The fresh smell of college-lined paper is in the air all around us. Unfortunately, this time is more complicated than back-to-school last year. But whichever way this situation plays out, the time of learning is almost back. As someone somewhat fresh out of school, I still have a vivid memory of the long nights of studying and homework. One of the things I both dreaded and looked forward to was the reading. I’m sure this isn’t a surprise, but I was the person who would read extra books on the summer reading list. But not all books you read in school are fun, especially once you get into the classics. There were many that I read with a tinge of annoyance. But, it was surprising to find that a few of these classics were good and interesting to me.

Image from Goodreads.com

  1. The Alchemist– Paulo Coelho

My sophomore year of high school is not a year that I remember well. There are gaps in the time frame that I have to ask others to fill in. But I can’t forget the feeling of reading this book. The Alchemist is like many stories. A young man goes on a quest to find a treasure far away. During his journey, he learns more about the real treasures of life. It sounds like many of the hero’s journey stories that you read in school. The fascinating thing about this simple story was its impact. Everyone in my class felt excited to talk about the story, excited to read another chapter. Many of us finished the book early because we were so captured by the story. To me, this novel is a classic because of its simplicity. We can all put ourselves in the shoes of that shepherd boy traveling the world. It didn’t have dark themes or a tragic ending, but still managed to get its point across to a group of sixteen year-olds. It was a light in a sea of darker novels. Someday, I want to read this book again and again to capture the feeling it gave me all those years ago. If you want to learn more about this book, you can check it out on Goodreads here.

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  1. The Odyssey– Homer

Reading this classic was enjoyable for a few reasons. First, my love of Greek of mythology. When the gods I loved to read about growing up popped up, I loved discussing their sections of the story. Also, it’s a fun mix of a road trip story and a hero’s journey-style quest. I was starting to enjoy these types of stories around the time I read this, so it was perfect timing. The most important thing, though, was not the story itself. They say that teachers change your outlook on a subject. For me, that was the case with this book and my freshman honors English teacher. Mr. Barlew had a great way of explaining stories to make them more applicable to modern readers. This was true for The Odyssey. While it’s full of adventures, the language can be a bit hard to decipher. Mr. Barlew used creative ways of teaching to make this story more fun to read. This included acting out the final battle between Odysseus and Penelope’s suitors. Picture a group of fifteen year-olds play-fighting in a library with yardsticks. Needless to say, that rocketed this classic into my top ten. If you want to learn more about this classic tale, you can check it out on Goodreads here.

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  1. Sense and Sensibility–  Jane Austen

This classic is the only one on the list that I read in college. Sure, I was familiar with Austen’s work, but I hadn’t read any of it until my second semester of Freshman year. I had heard the title of this story before, but I knew little to nothing about the characters. What drew me to this classic was the sister dynamic. I have a sister, and even though we aren’t exactly like Elinor and Marianne, it was easy to relate to them. Also, I’m a bit more of a hopeless romantic than my sister, so I felt their dynamic on a deep level. I read a moment where Marianne was being a bit dramatic about something and thought “oh look, it’s me”. After reading the book, we also watched the movie. It stars my favorite almost name-buddy, so I knew I would love it. I love Emma Thompson, and it was fun to see Alan Rickman out of his Snume. This movie did add to my love of the story because of the actor’s ability to bring their characters into being. Emma felt like Elinor, and Kate excelled as Marianne. Sometimes watching the movie version does help you appreciate the story more! If you want to dive into Austen’s tale, you can check it out on Goodreads here.

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  1. The Things They Carried– Tim O’Brien

When I first saw this story on the list of reading for my I.B. English class, I was a bit skeptical. For me, stories involving war can go three ways when I read them. The first results in a very sad Emily who is just depressed about life now… thanks book. The second is a more action-movie approach that has me reading on the edge of my seat like I’m watching an Avengers film. The third is a book written in boring, detached language that makes it a droll to get through. This classic took these ideas and threw them out the window. The writing style was like an interesting fiction novel. Also, the themes blew my fellow classmates’ minds. I don’t want to spoil much if you haven’t read this story, but we had a lot of great conversations about the meaning of “truth”. Intrigued? You can learn more about O’Brien’s story here.

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  1. Romeo and Juliet– William Shakespeare

This may seem like a cliche, but hear me out. This was the first Shakespeare play I ever read. Is it my favorite? No. But I have such fond memories reading this play in class. That is again thanks to the wonderful Mr. Barlew. Teachers can make a big difference y’all. He took a No Fear Shakespeare approach to teaching us the play. For example, he explained to us that “do you bite your thumb at me sir” is equal to someone flipping you off. He then proceeded to read the passage over using the modern terminology, which made it a lot funnier. We acted out scenes and had lively discussions. Also, the blubbering of the boys in my class when they learned of the age gap was eventful. Want to revisit this iconic play and it’s quips? You can check it out here

While there have been the duds over the years, I’ve been lucky to read many more classics that I still enjoy to this day. I’ve been consulting my list recently to find some books that I want to give another read. I’m looking forward to revisiting not only the stories, but also the memories I associate with them. What are your favorite classics that you read in school? Do you have any that you think I need to check out? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, and happy reading!

A Journalism Major in a Poetry Class

There are so many different ways to write. But sometimes it’s easy to forget the complexities of these different writing types.  When I started college, my writing experience wasn’t the vastest. It consisted of MLA formatted essays and the beginnings of stories left unfinished. I didn’t step out into the wide writing world until college. I learned APA, how to write press releases, and after a while, poetry writing. In a move that was both scary and exciting, I managed to weasel my way into an English major’s class as a Journalism major. I had pitched it to my advisor as a great way for me to hone my writing skills in case I wanted to be a copywriter. Whatever it takes right? 

Before I took this class, I had mildly ventured out into the world of poetry. When an emotion became too vivid, it was somehow easier for me to channel into poetry than anything else. I even got a few published in my university’s publication. But I didn’t consider myself enough to be a poet. The world of poetry is vast and intimidating, especially for a girl who doesn’t consider herself a writer. Because my poetry wasn’t deep or full of clever author choices, it didn’t feel good enough. Needless to say, my imposter syndrome was pretty high when I walked into my poetry class. 

Thankfully, my professor was encouraging and not at all condescending towards my writing. Which was a blessing to me, because my writing felt juvenile compared to some of the works we were reading. During that time, we kept a journal and had the task of writing a few poems in it a week. As the semester progressed, I felt less perturbed by the blank page when it was time to write. In fact, I sometimes found myself jotting down an idea on my phone to write in the journal later. It was so exciting to feel the current of creativity flowing out of me. Even if my writing wasn’t as “sophisticated” as my classmates’, I was happy with what I had. 

I found that my PR classes helped a lot with my writing instead of hindering it. In a press release, you have to include as much information as possible within a limited word count. Because of this, you have to be strategic when choosing your words. I found this also true when I was writing poetry for class. When you craft a poem, each word you choose matters. It was challenging, but also comforting in its familiarity. I channeled the wisdom I learned from my JMC classes to help me, especially when I was editing my poetry. 

Taking a poetry class also helped my writing skills in my JMC classes. This class allowed me to explore a new writing style that was actually super helpful in my JMC classes. During the time of my poetry class, I was working on a campaign for an advertising competition with my class. The writing experience I got in my poetry class helped me edit the copy for the ads we were pitching. I  discovered that it also helped with my brainstorming process. I guess they both pull from the same pool of creativity! 

In the end, I found my experience in my poetry class to be a big help to my writing and creativity. What about y’all? Have you ever taken a poetry class, and what was the experience like? How did it help out in other parts of your life? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing everyone!

Why I love Fairy Tale Adaptations

Did the title of this blog post give you déjà vu? If so, then you know that I’ve already nerded out once before about adaptations. What can I say, they’re a fun genre that I can’t resist.  But I’ve scratched the smallest surface of the genre. Last time, I spun a tale of my history with mythology adaptations. Today, it’s time to jump back down the adaptation rabbit hole. I wanted to nerd out over my first literary adaptation love: fairytale adaptations. 

Like many kids, I grew up reading fairy tales. My personal favorites were Grimm’s fairy tales. I loved the countless little stories about animals, heroes, and magical creatures. My childhood book of fairy tales had a worn spine by the time my sister and I got older. Even as a 25-year-old, I still have a book full of the complete Grimm’s fairy tales. But I did go through a phase where the traditional fairy tales seemed a bit stale. Sure, I loved the classics, but there are so many times that you can reread The Golden Goose. During that time, I began to notice a lot of fairytale adaptations entering the reading scene. There was Y.A. rom-com adaptations, more adult takes, and the classic “dark-retelling” of some classic tales. 

One of the first adaptations I remember reading was Cinderellis and the Glass Hill by Gail Carson Levine. It was a fun twist on the story of Cinderella, with some elements of other stories sprinkled in with a bit of humor. Levine has done many other fairytale adaptations, like Ella Enchanted and Fairest. Her versions of these classic tales made me interested in the art of storytelling. When I was older, books like Geek Charming introduced me to a fun and quirky way to retell some of my favorite fairy tales. 

Reading these stories excited me because of the creativity involved. Sure, these stories aren’t new, but it’s so fun to see where the twist comes in. Sometimes it’s witty humor or a deep sense of world-building.  Or it could be genderbent characters and modern settings. These elements give fresh life to the stories, and even expand on some parts of the original tales.   You could read the banter of characters interacting who are from different stories. Or you could enjoy a steampunk version of a classic story. The possibilities are endless!

One day, I want to write my own fairy tale adaptation with a twist. In the meantime, I’m delving into interesting fairy tales from many different cultures. It’s so fun to learn about the folklore of these parts of the world. I also love seeing how iconic stories translate in different cultures. What is your favorite fairy tale that you’d love to see adapted in some way? What’s your favorite fairy tale adaptation? Let me know in the comments below! I’m excited to hear your thoughts, and hopefully learn about some new tales. Happy reading everyone!

A Novelist Learns How to Write a Screenplay

The world of writing is vast and full of many different mediums. I have placed myself in the part of that world for novelists and blog post writers. But I often wonder what it’s like for the other worlds of writers. After all, even if the process is similar, the product is so different. In my quest to learn more about writing, I wanted to visit a new section of the writing world: screenplays.

To assist me in my quest to learn more about screenplay writing, I referenced Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. He takes interested scriptwriters through the process of writing, pitching, and more. I’ve read Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody, which used Synder’s book as inspiration. I decided to use these two books to compare the processes for writing a novel, and writing a screenplay.

When reading these two books, I discovered that the writing process is very similar. Not a huge surprise, but interesting when you consider one is more of a visual medium. It’s also the case when you consider that Brody’s process took inspiration from Snyder’s book. There are similar genres with the same beats when you are plotting them on your cards and storyboard. The story structure is also very similar, with the classic three acts like the hero’s journey. Dialogue for both types of writing is very important and vital, but “show don’t tell” is still king. 

It was interesting to me that one of the big differences in these processes is the prep and pitch work. When prepping for a screenplay, you focus on a one-sentence pitch to get the story across, aka the logline. It has to get the point across, and tell executives the target audience and how much it’ll cost. Also, you have to be able to picture the movie poster from your logline. A very hefty sentence! In novel writing, you have a bit more wiggle room, and you don’t have to worry about cost and target audience as much. Snyder says that you have to test your logline out in the real world to see if it fits. Instead of passing it along to your peers like you might do for your novel, you pitch it to anyone. Strangers in line with you at a coffee shop? Check. Your neighbor who you see when you take out the trash every morning? Also yes. It’s a more extroverted approach to testing the waters, and it makes more sense. In screenplays, the target audience aims to be as mass-market as possible. This makes it simpler to sell to executives and audiences. So testing it out with a bunch of different people is a great way to see if it falls into that realm. 

The pitch work has some overlap. You sometimes need an agent, but who you know can be the most important thing. What interests me is how creative you can get with the pitches. Sure, you can get creative with novel pitches, but not like the examples Synder lists. Synder and his writing partner sold a movie with a unique approach. They sent kids to executive’s with backpacks full of fake money and the pitch to help visualize the story. He mentions many other examples of how writers get executives in the mood to hear their story. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but it’s still a fun and interesting approach to marketing. As someone who works in advertising, these out-of-the-box ideas are exciting. 

Did reading this book give me hope that someday I could write a screenplay? A bit. I still have a lot to learn before I can cross that off my bucket list. Have you ever written a screenplay? How was the process different from novel writing in your eyes? If you haven’t, what kind of screenplay would you like to write? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!

Why I love Mythology Adaptations

When I was a young girl, I lived in a world of stories. Bedtime stories full of adventures and the lives of little women, TV shows teaching me to read, and more. When I could put the sentences together on my own, I opened myself up to a new world of imagination. One day, my mom bought me a kid’s version of Greek mythology and the rest is history. 

Since that time around the age of 7, I’ve gone through an on and off relationship with mythology. It was fascinating to hear the stories of people thousands of years back in time. I could understand their version of why the sun set, why the seasons change, even the origin of arachnids. During my off time with mythology, I came across a series that many know well: Percy Jackson.

Percy Jackson introduced me to a new world of storytelling: adaptations of mythology. Through Percy’s snarky point of view, I relearned some things and even learned a few new things along the way. It was a wonderful combination of a more dynamic tone with a nod to the stories I knew and loved. After devouring that series, I went on a quest to find more stories adapting all types of mythology. 

 Twelve years later, I’m still drawn to these adaptations. I love the way these storytellers breathe new life into stories. From podcasts to musicals, the opportunities are endless. I can see the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in a new time. Modern storytellers can weave the stories in a modern tone and bring a new understanding. What brings me the most joy about these is not only the new life it creates for these stories. It is the knowledge that somewhere, someone will pick up an adaptation for the first time. And after their interest has peaked, they might go down the mythology rabbit hole and find a new thing to love. 

What do you think of mythology adaptations? Do you have a favorite one? Let me know in the comments below! After many years as a fan of mythology, I’m always excited to find a new version of a classic story. Bonus points if it introduces me to a new world of mythology that I’ve never visited before. Thanks so much for tuning in to my nerdy gushing, and happy reading!

Researching as a Writer

Writing a story involves a lot of steps. That’s stating the obvious to any writer who’s ever gotten a story idea. With things like world building, writers spend immense time on stories before the storytelling begins. Character design? With the character sheets out there, who knows how long that could take. Depending on the story and writer, one of these time-consuming steps is research. 

Research is the bane of some people’s existence. There are those who write and then decide to go back and research later to confirm. I am not one of those people. As you’ve most likely gathered from my previous posts, I am a fan of research. In fact, I find myself journeying down research rabbit holes instead of writing.  I can sit down for an hour of writing and spend thirty minutes of that time researching historical facts. 

During my trips down the research path, I’ve learned some very random and strange facts. Many of these things I have found through the glory of writing boards on Pinterest or the land of Google. If you’ve ever befriended a writer, they will tell you that the research is only for storytelling. And remind you often. This is not to concern you, only to make you less freaked when you check out their Pinterest. I’ve had friends ask me what I was up to because I kept pinning stuff about gunshot wounds and fighting tactics. Now they know not to ask questions because I’ve taken to pinning these oddities to my writing board.

Researching leaves you with information that’s useless outside of writing and trivia games. As someone who loves learning, I get excited when I have the opportunity to tell someone one of these facts. Is someone curious about ways to find out if someone’s lying via body language, I have a few suggestions. You never know, your research may pay off in the real world too.

What is something interesting you’ve learned while researching for a story? Do you like to research before or after you finish a rough draft? Let me know in the comments below! I’m excited to learn about other people’s process during this stage. Thanks for reading everyone, and happy writing!

A Goodreads 2020 Update!

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow we’ll be into month seven of 2020! To call this year a wild-ride would most likely be an understatement. Every week I have thought “I wonder what surprise occurrence will happen this time.” Like I said in my last post, I have been able to focus more on my hobbies to keep my spirits up. One of the small silver linings of this time is that I have more time to read. And since I’ve laid out a more challenging Goodreads goal this year, it’s a welcome opportunity.

When I discovered the Goodreads challenge a few years ago, I found it a way to make my reading feel productive. Recently, I’ve been procrastinating on doing some productive things by doing others. Instead of vacuuming, I’m watching a video about a historical figure. When I should be searching the internet for blog inspiration, I’m reading. It has been a great way to feel that I’ve accomplished something during this weird time vortex.

Thanks to the miracle of book tapes and intriguing storytelling, I’ve clocked myself in at 24 books as of the publication of this post. To my utter excitement, I’m 5 books ahead of schedule. According to the Goodreads site, that is. There’s hope that I’ll wrap up with 40 books, or maybe even more, by Jan 1, 2021!

While this is exciting, I haven’t challenged myself with a book recently. I’ve been diving into the glorious world of beach mysteries and fun rom-coms. These are lovely books to read, but I wanted to add some classics and “challenging” reads to my reading list. I want to learn, to grow as a person in this crazy world we live in. I also want to beef up my random fact repertoire, which I feel has been a bit stagnant since I graduated college. Either way, I’m looking forward to the new worlds and stories that are in my future

Do you have any book recommendations that you think I should add to my list? How is your Goodreads challenge going? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for around eight months! It makes me so happy that my words are interesting enough for you to return for new posts. I hope y’all have a great week, and happy reading!

Rejuvenating with Writing

 It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that things have been a bit rough for a lot of people recently.  We’re all grasping at straws to find some hint of what used to be normal, while trying to grow and change at the same time. On the whole, it can get a bit exhausting. Sometimes you have to take a break from the glaring reality flashing in your face. Whether it’s gardening, Zoom calling your friends, or reading a book, you need something to rejuvenate your spirit. To keep you on the path towards a brighter future.

For the longest time, the only thing that fell into this category for me was reading. Then music joined the mix, but it’s a bit difficult to quietly practice a clarinet in an apartment complex. Especially when everyone is at home to hear your cringey attempts at relearning scales. Reading has been a comfort to me, but I’ve also found that writing has joined the ranks as well. When I write, that is. Writing can ebb and flow in my life to extreme degrees. So, when it is in my grasp, I snatch it up like a child catching a lightning bug. Cupped firmly-but delicately- in two hands, to see the glow of inspiration between fingers. 

Writing this blog has been a mixed bag for me right now. Some days, I can feel the ideas for future content flowing from me. But only when I’m in a location where writing said ideas down is an impossibility. Most days it feels like a chore, but one that I enjoy doing once I’m in the middle of it. I’m sure you have something in your life like that right now. 

But the nice thing about writing right now, despite my lack of inspiration, is time. Time to focus on research rabbit holes about 1920s archaeologists, or invent an underground network of spies. If you feel stuck in the rejuvenating hobby, try a new strategy. For me, this new strategy is research or character sheets. I can pull myself into parts of writing that normally won’t cross my mind until I’m in the thick of a writing session. Researching might not add words to the page, but it can add ideas to my mind that I can pluck out later when I’m stuck. Designing a new character might put their words on the page in a new way. It’s also a great way to learn about how your characters will interact differently with each of the characters in your novel.  

If you’re like me, staring at your lack of life progress in frustration, take time to rejuvenate. If you feel stuck, try that new strategy. Take a new look at another piece of it that will help the big picture. Rabbit holes of researching or learning about writing are some ways that I’ve kept my big picture. How will you help yours? What are you doing, or are wishing that you could do, to reignite your spirit? Let me know in the comments below. Stay safe out there everyone, and happy writing. 

 

10 things I want to see in the Percy Jackson Adaptation on Disney+

A few weeks ago, Rick Riordan confirmed something that Percy Jackson fans hoped for years. In the future, Disney+ will release a Percy Jackson series! As someone who grew up loving the original series, I was ecstatic to hear the news. The series is full of amazing moments that were either altered or cut in the movies that won’t be named. With a series lead by Uncle Rick, it’s likely that we’ll get to see some of our favorite moments in live-action.  In anticipation, I tried to imagine some of the moments I’m dying to see on screen. There are countless quips, hilarious moments, and even heart wrenching scenes. Here are a few that I can’t wait to see in the series. 

  1. The Nobody jokes from Sea of Monsters

 As a mythology nerd and someone with fond memories of the Odyssey, I was so happy to see these jokes in the books. It’s not as long running as the dam joke, but it’s still pretty great. It’s a cool mix of informative and a way to highlight the sass and quick wit of the characters in the book. 

  1. Mr. D being Mr D.

Something that I missed in the movies was the full character of Mr. D, aka Dionysus. I loved the dynamic between Percy and Mr. D, especially in the later stories.  At the beginning, their relationship is more for laughs and sass. This part of the story offers a lot of great comedic opportunities. In the later books, we start to see a more “human” side of Mr. D through all the intentional name-calling. It was nice to see a god care about his kids, especially during a book where many half-bloods were struggling with their absentee godly parents. 

  1. Grover and Percy’s bond 

Something that I really liked about the story was Grover and Percy’s mental bond. The dreams and mental communication added a lot to the story and their friendship. We got to see a bit of their friendship in the movies, but we missed what made their bond so special. It would also be a fun thing to shoot in tv show format, so I hope we get to see that done well.

  1. The sassy chapter titles… in any way possible please

This is a lot harder to include than the other items on this list, but I hope they can find a way. The chapter titles were one of my favorite parts of the series because they illustrate the tone of the book so well. And this girl loves creative sass, so they need to include them somehow. Maybe episode titles? I’m sure Uncle Rick will think of something.

  1. Apollo’s puns and crappy poetry

Apollo is more of a side character in this series, but he has some memorable moments in the series. As a pun lover, I loved his puns and hilariously crappy poetry. It was a fun juxtaposition from the Greek mythology version of Apollo. It also makes his more serious moments more impactful to the series. 

  1. Tyson and Percy’s Relationship

Tyson and Percy’s relationship is something that I want to see grow on screen. At the beginning, Percy was definitely frustrated at the fact that there was another son of Poseidon. But overtime, there’s a great growth in their relationship that also helps Percy and Tyson grow as demigods. It’s a great example of how sibling relationships can help you grow, even if you aren’t on great terms at the start. Also, I loved their interactions in the book. I want to see that wholesome mix of annoyed brother and cinnamon-roll brother on screen!

  1. Rachel Dare

I have to admit, Rachel Dare annoyed me a bit when we first met her. But over time, I grew to appreciate her character and arc. She can see through the mist, which is rare for anyone mortal. In fact, one of the few who can in the books is Luke’s mom. Rachel’s story has the risk of going down the same path as Luke’s mom, but she instead takes the reigns of the Oracle with determination. Being chosen by Apollo is a huge help to avoid Mrs. Castellan’s fate. I also want to see Rachel’s story arc because she is a dynamic person who, despite her lack of demigod strength, plays a big role in saving the world. So awesome.

  1. Blackjack and Mrs. O’Leary

Blackjack and Mrs. O’Leary are a great part of the series. They may not be primary characters of the books, but they help the primary characters move the plot along in great ways. Blackjack, as Percy’s Pegasus, is helpful to him in battle or when the demigods are trying to escape. Also, he’s hilarious and helps keep the sassy tone of the books with his quips. I just want to see a flying horse demand donuts. Is that too much to ask? Mrs. O’Leary is a great character, because she expands the lore of the story and is a great dynamic for Percy. Giant hellhound with the personality of a puppy? So many great situations to play out on screen. 

  1. The stakes

Something that I appreciate about the Percy Jackson series is that it’s real to an extent about the cost of war. You know why these kids are choosing to spend their summers learning to fight. There are stakes when the impending battle against Kronos grows closer. People die, people get hurt, and even betray each other. In the movies, it felt like the stakes weren’t at the same level. It is a Disney+ show for kids, so they obviously can’t go too far, but it’s important to show that the kids at Camp Half-Blood are fighting a dividing battle. A few of these moments for me that were super important was when Bekendorf died, and Silena’s betrayal afterwards. It  reminded the readers that those fighting in this war were teenagers. It also showed the sacrifices they had to make to get them to the Battle of Manhattan.

  1. More of the campers and their shenanigans 

The quests are an exciting part of what makes the Percy Jackson series great, but the camp is just as important. It’s the home base, where Percy learns more about being a demigod and trains for his future adventures. Another great thing about the camp is that we get to see the other demigod’s shenanigans and personalities. The Hermes cabin is always up for a prank, and the fun rivalries always brought about fun moments. I hope that the show will include some of these not only so we get to know more demigods, but also to change up the pace a bit. Quests back to back is fun, but after awhile it can get boring. That’s why the books have the camp adventures woven in, and why the show needs to include these moments also. 

What are some things you want to see in the Percy Jackson adaptation? Do you have any theories about casting or what they’re going to include? Let me know in the comments below! I’m so excited see the series, and hope it goes well. Happy reading everyone!

6 Tips for Naming a Character

There are many things to figure out when creating a story. Where does it take place? What’s going on? Why are your characters involved? One of the most important aspects to figure out is something that can be deceivingly difficult; your character’s names. Naming a character can be a walk in the park for some, but others can struggle to find that perfect name. Even when you find a good name, it might be up in the air. It might not work for them later on in the story, and then you’re back to square one. When faced with the character-naming struggle, there are a few ways you can find the perfect name. Here are a few tips to help get you on the right path.

1.  Consult the Census

If you are writing a historical novel, or even one that takes place in our modern world, the census is a great asset. This is especially true if you are in the United States and your story takes place in the US as well. First, figure out when your story is taking place. Then, look up “census names for” and then the year or decade of the story. Try to focus on the top 100 or top 150 names when considering your options. This gives you a lot of options, and allows you to use a more unique name if you want. It can also be fun to switch it up a little! If you’re writing a fantasy novel, it might be fun to name your characters names from the 1920s or 1800s. Keep your mind open. You never know what you’ll find!

2.  Graveyards 

This option is a bit creepy, but many authors have used this tactic to name their characters. If you are visiting or live in a city with old graveyards, it’s a huge bonus. Take a notebook with you and write  down names that you find interesting. Write down first and last names so that you can mix and match when you get home. You might find a great name for a character among many tombstones. This option is great for any novel, not only historic ones. If you do this, there are of course a few rules. Most important, be respectful. Don’t write down the name of someone who’s family is in the cemetery with you. Also, only visit when the cemetery is open and you are able to go inside. As long as you follow these rules, this is a great option to get those creative juices flowing. 

3. Baby Name Sites

This a more obvious option, but still a great way to find a name for your character. You can search baby names by region, time-period, origin, and meaning.  If you’ve already figured out some attributes of your character, try searching names with meanings that match. Or, you can name your character a name that represents who they will become by the end of the story. Baby name sites are also great because they have an endless list of names that can expand your horizons. If you want your character to have an E name but you’re avoiding Emily or Edward, these sites will give you some great options. They also have names by region and origin, which you can use to find names that match your character’s family background or location. 

4. Shakespeare…and other historical texts

He’s back on my blog already! This might not be ideal for all genres, but Shakespeare is a great resource for character names. His plays have interesting names and names that are common even today. You can edit these names to fit in a modern setting, such as a character named Titania who goes by Nia. Many of these names also work in a fantasy setting. After all, Hermione from Harry Potter got her name from Shakespeare! You can also check out classics novels and mythology for name inspiration. 

5. Name Generators

When all else fails, these are a great inspiration for character names.  There are generators that spit out completely random names. They’re both fun and helpful for characters in our world. There are also generators where you can narrow down the name options by many factors. Either way, you should get many name ideas from this option. As you go, write down the names that the generator recommends to you. Then you can go back to these options later and choose between them. You can also get inspiration for other characters in the future! There are so many generators to choose from, but I found Name-Generator.org.uk has some good options. You can check them out here

6. Family Tree

This might seem a bit weird, but it’s a great way to find names. If your story takes places in the 1930s, consult your family tree (if you have one) for the time that your characters were born. So if your characters are in their 20s in the 1930s, look at your family tree for peopl born in the 1910s. If you have the information available to you, looking at names on both sides of your family is a great way to come up with a unique name. For one of my stories, I named a character after the first name of my great-great paternal grandmother. Her last name was from my maternal great-grandmother’s side of the family. This is also a great way to get to know your family better while you’re writing a story! Or find some wacky names in your family history. 

Have you ever tried these tactics to name your characters? What is your favorite way to find names for your characters? Let me know in the comments below! If you’ve found a way to name your characters that I haven’t mentioned, leave a comment. I’m always looking for new ways to approach the writing process! I hope this post has helped you jump start your character-naming process. Thanks so much for reading and happy writing!