London life is busy, but I will try to bring blogging back

I have been saying to myself that I should get back to blogging for so long that it seems I have forgotten my reasons altogether. I guess moving to London and starting a full time job does not leave enough spare time for everything that I would like to be doing. Although I don’t miss Uni even a little bit and would not want to go back to the life of a student, I do miss having the time to do so many things that I’ve liked (I procrastinated a lot and avoided my deadlines on a daily basis, that is probably why Uni has not been such an amazing experience).

I keep telling myself that I am too busy, but somehow I find the time to waste hours and hours on silly television shows, therefore I keep thinking that my excuses do not have any ground, it is only laziness. I guess the busy big city life and the new challenges that came with starting my new job did not leave much space for my hobbies. Or maybe there was no need to escape anymore, since I have found a place I feel perfectly content at.

Still, lately I have found myself missing the calm that writing would bring, or maybe it is the space where I can express my love for books and actually see others do the same. With moving around quite a lot and not being a social butterfly, it is quite difficult to find the people who share your passions. Even in London.

This time, I am making myself a promise that I will try to blog at least once a week, and I hope that I will actually be able to keep it. My New Years resolution, although a bit belated.

Today I am going to a book event – I will get to meet V. E. Schwab – an author whose books became my favourites of the year. I got to love London for these kinds of opportunities, even though none of my friends will come with me. I am still really excited, and will consider this event as my official coming back to blogging party.

If you happen to be around Piccadilly today and going to an evening with this amazing author, come say hi.

Hopefully, my wallet will not suffer too much today, and I will be inspired to find more time for reading, writing and blogging.

 

 

I hope I am back to blogging for good

Ugh I have been way too absent from the blogging platform, and I really miss it. Hopefully, I will be back to writing reviews and doing book tags soon. I really miss writing.

The reason for my incredibly long absence is this – I did not have Internet for almost 3 months. It is getting ridiculous now, it does not feel like 21st century at all. I mean, moving to London felt like moving to the modern age, not backwards.

I had a wonderful time in Bali, it was magnificent, and very hot, and I did not need the internet there at all. However, I am back in the real world now, where I have the urge to connect.

Well, now I am just making excuses. I stated writing this post over a month ago. I guess ‘ve just been busy. London is expensive, finding a job is really tough in a big city, and it was impossible to concentrate on any other task other than applying for work. Well, after a few months, I am still without one, and I do miss writing, and most of all, reading. So I guess I am officially back to blogging, and I hope I can maintain a frequent posting schedule.

I guess after 3 months of not having Internet, I stopped using it. Now I just hang out with friends, or go to watch films at the cinema (I am not that rich, I just get to go there for free).

I hope some of my followers will still remember me.

Blogging more will e my new years resolution, as I find myself being back to this platform, after spending New Year’s Eve not leaving my house and watching my sister puking her guts out. Hopefully the rest of 2017 will be better.

I hope you all had a better one than me, drinking gin and tonic at home alone, eating mini quiches.

Well, it could have been worse.

2017, here I come.

Personal Update

Not sure if you noticet that I have not been as present as I would like to be lately. For those who are interested, I will update you a little on my life.

So a couple of weeks ago I have moved out from Newcastle in UK, rherefore I was quite busy packing, saying goodbye to my wonderful co-workers, and preparing for my long-awaited holiday.

Now, I am spendind one wonderful month in Bali, Indonesia. I have hoped that I would be able to find time for blogging, but this place is so amazing and I just feel disconnected from the real world. Plus, I don’t really have wifi at my house. I am doing quite a lot of reading though, so hopefully I will ne able to post my reviews after my holiday.

I am not sure when I will be back to posting on a regular basis since I will be moving to London after my holiday, where I will have to do some job-hunting and exploring. I am really excited for this change though.

I am not sure how will I be able to get back to the real world. Travelling is amazing, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and seeing exceptionally beautiful surroundings just gives me life. I definitely recommend to spend all your savings on travelling, go to places far away, because the world is different here, happier.

I feel like I am getting too deep, but right now I am getting a foot massage and I am so relaxed.

I hope you are having a great day wherever you are!

Is Fantasy a Lesser Genre? Part 2

fantasy-images-4

In my previous post, I have discussed the issues with the fantasy genre. You can find the first part of the post at Is Fantasy a Lesser Genre

Since fantasy is rarely considered to be high literature, with little literature value, only the people who actually indulge in reading these books understand what fantasy is able to bring to the table.

I believe this genre is highly underrated. The poor quality and numerous works featuring silly characters and unrealistic worlds have discredited the genre, giving it the perception of guilty pleasure kind of read. And although all the genres are filled with poorly written works as well as really amazing pieces, the high literature type of genres do not get that much of a judgement.

Having quite a few issues, and being well, quite unrealistic, fantasy genre often presents trouble in getting used to the new supernatural world of the book. However, when fantasy is done right, it has so much to offer. So there are a few examples why fantasy should not be brushed under the rug so easily:

The Benefits of Fantasy

1. The plot can be completely unexpected.

When you pick up a novel set in reality, certain things are expected. For example, if you are reading a war story, you know how it is going to end. Who is going to win, and who is going to lose. With fantasy, you are in for a surprise. A war can be horrible, and bloody, and the outcome – completely unexpected. There is so much space in fantasy for really powerful moments, with immense consequences. And this unpredictability has the power to surprise the reader much more than a book set in the real world.

2. The story can be taken much further.

Although there are quite a number of series set in the real world, I always tend to think that they work better in a standalone format. Fantasy, on the contrary, works better when it is told in series format. With the previously discussed ability to deliver a truly surprising and captivating plot, it is more likely for the fantasy story to keep the reader interested for a longer time. The truly compelling series, featuring the same characters and maintaining the intense and captivating plot going, are able to bring the reader to care more about the books. Since the plot takes the time to develop, the reader is able to form stronger connections with the characters, and the story in general, making the whole journey much more satisfactory.

3. Ability to create a truly magnificent enemy.

I do not in any way suggest that other genres are not able to deliver captivating villains. Yet in reality-based works, the impact will not be that immense as it is possible in fantasy. Because in a supernatural world, there are no limitations The bad guy might have destroyed worlds, or have possession of truly horrifying powers. You just never know, making the possibility of utter terror a true possibility.

4. As well as a true hero.

Of course, it can always be done in any kind of genre. It depends on the ability of the writer. Just the hero’s journey has much more potential and twists. And really tough tests.

5. Compelling love story.

In fantasy, the romance can be really compelling, attracting a lot of attention from the readers. There are some factors that work in crafting a magnificent romance, that purely romantic books are not that able to deliver. Like:

  1. Romance can develop over time since it is not the main or at least not the only focus of the story. And we always want the things we do not have, making us root for the characters even harder.
  2. Forbidden love can be taken to a completely new level. I mean, there aren’t that many forbidden love stories set in reality, unless really immoral. With fantasy, it can be a completely new perspective. Like two rivalry species. An enemy lover. Some magical twist that keeps the characters apart. And let’s be honest, forbidden things are always the sweetest.
  3. Possibility to really develop characters. You get really attached to them after following their journey for a while.

There are certainly more aspects that make fantasy such an enjoyable genre. However, these factors cease to be that exclusive to the genre. The ability to create a complex story with an unpredictable plot or truly entertaining multi-dimensional characters, allows fantasy genre to always surprise the reader. Of course, the issues of creating a captivating story always exist, making only the well-crafted works stand out from the immense amount of crappy texts. After the reader becomes familiar with the formula, fantasy loses its ability to surprise just because of its creativity. Therefore, it is up to a skilled and talented author to create an amazing story.

Having explored both the issues and benefits of the fantasy genre, it is easy to say that all the genres have truly magnificent works as well as the crappy works. Each genre possesses their dangers and strongpoints. But having found the love for this particular field quite recently, I feel the need to inform the fellow readers of the truly magnificent books that the genre allowed me to read. It really should get more recognition for the ability to convey a truly complex and captivating story.

I always love to hear your thoughts and opinions and welcome recommendations of your favourite fantasy books.

Is Fantasy a Lesser Genre?

sky-night-space-galaxy

The fantasy genre is rarely considered as the one that has much value. Many judge fantasy books as well as the people who love it. Some say it is because of snobbish ideals, or the unfamiliarity with the genre, or because of the bad experience one had while reading the poorly-crafted story. Either way, it is often judged.

While I might agree with the opinion that fantasy books will never be considered as high literature, seeing them as guilty pleasures is also wrong. I used to belong to the type of people who only saw fantasy as a way to relax when you do not want to read anything smart or serious. With an exception of Harry Potter, obviously. Yet, after indulging in more books of the genre, I have realised that fantasy was not the problem. Some books are just not that good.

I believe it is much more difficult to write a good fantasy book. Although with this genre, endless possibilities and storylines are able to be crafted, only a thin line exists between fantasy being believable and stupid. With no limitations, authors often tend to either try too hard or not hard enough.

So I will attempt to analyse the main advantages and disadvantages the Fantasy genre has to face in comparison to more high-literature-like books. Since there are quite a few pros and cons I want to explore, this post will focus merely on the issues, with the advantages following a bit later.

Issues with fantasy

 1. Creating a believable world.

With endless possibilities of fantastic elements, the author can never be sure when their created world is going to be believable. It is important to establish the rules straight from the beginning. Whether magic will be involved, how much power the ‘supernaturals’ will be handed. Whether it will be our own reality with a supernatural twist, or a new world completely. Either way, no matter how many elements the author decides to use, it is crucial to make the reader accept the world as true. Therefore, failure to maintain a balance between fantastic things and relatable problems often tend to result in the reader perceiving fantasy as quite stupid.

2. Avoiding repetition.

There is quite a limited amount of certain supernatural beings that tend to be used in fantasy fiction. Therefore, a high amount of books involving the same creatures will appear as well. From vampires to witches to angels, so many books exist that feature these overused supernatural beings, that finding the way to present these creatures in a fresh and entertaining way becomes quite a task. Nobody wants to read about the same vampires over and over again. At some point, the readers will have enough. Especially if the novel tends to resemble a previously read text a bit too much. So finding fresh, unseen material, even if the copying is accidental, is a crucial part of a successful fantasy book.

3. Keeping the story going.

It is a known fact that fantasy books rarely come as ‘standalones’. With so much time spent in crafting a complex fantasy world, authors often build the story requiring more than one book for a satisfactory finish. However, it is a tricky quest to maintain the same quality of the books. Quite a few fantasy works reach their peak before the whole plot is resolved, and goes downhill, with the author not knowing where to take the story next.

Another problem that surfaces quite often is prolonging the storyline without any necessity. After the success of the book, some authors just refuse to leave their created world at the right time. The reader grows bored. The writer’s need of money becomes stronger that the ability to deliver a good story. And everyone loses.

I hate when I have to abandon certain books because the quality ceases to be the same, and my attachment to the characters is the only thing keeping me going. That, or the before interesting characters are ruined or become boring, and you have to stop without getting the satisfaction of a proper ending.

4. Let’s face it, some authors are just not that good.

Nowadays, it is so easy to become an author. However, you actually need to have the required skills for crafting a great novel. There are so many elements that need to be considered when an engaging fantasy book is concerned. Like:

  1. The plot needs to be intense.
  2. The characters need to be likable and believable. Not dumb and annoying.
  3. No unnecessary high-school drama when there are much bigger problems in the picture.
  4. Finding the balance with relationships. Too much will be a disaster. Too little will make caring for the characters quite difficult.
  5. Make it smart and engaging, not dumb and filled with sparkling vampires.
  6. WRITING STYLE. Because when you are a waffle, you will not become a cake.

Some authors just do not have what it takes. Yet they still get published, and read. There are so many poorly-written fantasy novels, that the belief of fantasy genre being crappy is not that far-fetched.

5.Dumb things tend to be popular.

People loved Twilight. People LOOOVED 50 Shades of Grey. Trump has a whole bunch of supporters. Therefore, some real dumb fantasy books are bound to become popular, overshadowing the really well-crafted ones, and establishing a belief of the genre being ‘lesser’.

Certainly, more issues exist, but these would be the main ones. With so many poorly-written fantasy books in existence, and with so many elements that can go wrong, it is easy to assume that fantasy acquires more cons than pros. I believe fantasy does not have the recognition it truly deserves. So if you are one of the people that consider the genre to be quite dumb, I suggest you give it another go. Because when it’s done right, it’s so worth it.

Maybe try Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor or Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo before sustaining from the genre completely.

I would also love to hear your thoughts about the genre, and what are the reasons for liking/disliking it.

You can find the second part of the post at Is Fantasy a Lesser Genre? Part 2