My Top 5 Favorite Tropes to Write || Collab With Emily Mundell

Hey everyone! Today I’m back with a fun blog post about books! I’m collaborating with Emily Mundell to bring you a fun duo of posts: Emily is a writer, and I am not, so we thought it would be fun to share different perspectives on different tropes in the bookish world! I will be talking about My Top 5 Book Tropes I Like To Read on her blog, while she will be talking about the Top 5 Book Tropes She Likes to Write here!

Please welcome Emily as she talks about tropes she likes to write!


Happy Friday, all! Today I’m taking over Hanne’s blog to talk about my Favorite Tropes to Write! If you would like to hear all about her Favorite Tropes to read, swing on over to my blog where she was kind enough to share all about it.

Without further ado…

  1. The Chosen One
    I know that this one is SUUUUPPPEEERRR trope-y, but it’s honestly one of my favorite things, especially when you get to twist it, like Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars for instance. The chosen one idea may be cliche and overdone, but it can almost always be interesting, especially if you bring a fresh new take to the table. Maybe by using more than one chosen one? Or that people messed up who the chosen one prophecy was about? Or even go the Darth Vader route and the chosen one is “bringing balance” in a way that actually makes them the villain instead of the hero. However you choose to do it, reading about and writing “The Chosen One” is almost always one of my favorite story tropes, especially for fantasy and sci-fi.
    DSC_1219
  1. Duelling Protagonists
    In both of my published works, as well as many of my WIPs, projects, and plot bunnies, I employ the idea of “dueling protagonists” to tell my stories. In The Sorceress and the Squid, Estrella the sorceress contrasts strongly with the human soldier, Jalen. I write from each of their POV’s, going back and forth between their voices to tell the story of their grand and magical adventure.
    In Faithless, my recent adult novel, though my female MC Saagar is the only POV character, her husband Damien is also very central to the story, and he contrasts both her experience and her actual character. These are just two examples of many other story ideas of mine, and I don’t know exactly what it is that draws me to this trope, but it’s honestly one of my favorites and permeates nearly every one of my stories. The contrast of a male and female MC telling their versions of their shared story is just so interesting to me. I find that you get such great depth between two protagonists, especially if they are different genders and come from different backgrounds or even different sides of the fight/conflict.
  1. Grumpy Older Character vs. Soft Innocent Character
    There’s nothing that melts my heart like some hardened soldier/warrior/farmer/etc who stumbles upon a young, bright-eyed child who turns their whole world upside down overnight. Anne of Green Gables does a great job of this, and it’s something I like to employ in small doses throughout my own books and novels.
    DSC_1126
  1. Young Character with Extraordinary Powers
    Is there anything cooler than revealing that the most powerful being in the story is actually a little child who may or may not be a bit out to lunch and possibly a sociopath? Usually plagued with some traumatic backstory, this kid looks cute, precocious and normal, if not a little weird, but they will soon reveal to your audience just how insanely powerful they really are – and it will definitely be epic.
    I love this trope because I love underdogs. I love watching those perceived as smallest and weakest come out on top of an exchange with someone who thought they had it all together. In real life, my favorite example of this is my youth group dodgeball team, which is made up primarily of small 13 year old girls, going up against other youth groups who rely on only the male players on their teams and do not realize just how stacked our team actually is, since nearly every one of our players is strong in their own right. This feeling of satisfaction carries over to my fiction, where I have several small but mighty characters in the works in future projects.
  1. The Love Triangle
    Another super cheesy one, but love triangles can actually be really, really fun to write – or maybe I just love drama too much. In my fantasy epic, one particular subplot of the first book revolves heavily around the MC, his young fiancee, and his cousin, and the relationship between the three of them that is confusing at best, and full of more than a little rivalry and bad feelings. However, what I enjoyed doing with this love triangle is giving the central female the true romantic affection for only one character, while feeling simply like she is trapped into doing her duty to the other. It makes for a lot of fun angst and that is what I am personally all about when writing. xD
    DSC_1141
  1. Enemies to Lovers // Enemies to Friends // Friends to Enemies // Lovers to Enemies
    However you want to slice this trope, I find it practically irresistible (hence why you’ll probably find some version of it in every one of my books, lol). There’s just something about the crazy emotional rollercoaster that your characters and readers go on when such drama afflicts a relationship. Any time there’s feelings this powerful and complex involved in a story, you know it’s going to be good.

There are a lot of voices in the book community who speak out against tropes and cliches, for valid reasons as they are usually overdone and uninteresting. However, I think almost any trope or cliche can be fresh and exciting with the right spin put on it, and that’s one of my favorite parts of crafting a new plot, character, and book!


What are your favorite tropes to write all you authors out there? Let me know in the comments! And of course be sure to go check out Hanne’s favorite tropes to READ on my blog here!

Annotation 2020-04-02 221739Emily Mundell is an INFJ, a farmkid, an artist, and an indie author, with two current published works. She likes to ride ponies, climb mountains, take photos, and create/absorb new worlds and stories. Find her at:

Blog + Website || Instagram || Twitter


Thank you to Emily for collaborating with me today! It was super fun! And definitely make sure to go check my post on her blog out!

4 ESSENTIAL Bullet Journal Spreads I Can’t Live Without feat. Charley from The Miss Charley || Bullet Journaling || Collab

Hey everyone! Today I’m here with another bullet journal post!! You all like them and I like writing them, so it’s the best of both worlds! Today, I have my friend Charley on the blog, and she is sharing some of her bullet journal spreads she can’t live without, and I’m over on her blog with some of mine that I can’t live without!

Find more of my bullet journal posts here!

Bullet journaling can seem intimidating at first glance. Believe me, I know. I spend hours scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram looking for inspiration. Spreads vary from pieces of art meant to be framed to minimalist spreads created with a basic pen. After two years of creating spreads from one end of the spectrum to the other, I found my four essential spreads I need in my bullet journal. I’m going to share them with you!

Monthly Calendar

My monthly calendar spread is something I play around with depending on how busy I think my month will be. Recently, I have been doing a calendar spread horizontally to fill the page and leaving room on the side for ‘Important Dates’. I don’t have much of a social life, so I can easily fill in work hours, bill due dates, etc. I also keep my school due dates in a separate planner in order to keep my life more organized.

Monthly Spread

Finance Tracker Log

In 2019, I made finances a priority for myself. I don’t have a checkbook, so I had to create my own log. With my financlogs, I like to alternate colors for each line. Each log has columns for: date, store, amount, and what’s left in my budget. Budgeting is so important for finances at any age, and I find having a log makes me more accountable for where I spend my money. At the top of my tracker, I will add in each week’s paycheck divided into my budget categories. I also make sure to add a ‘Wishlist’ of two or three items to spend a little extra on during the month.

Finances

Reading and Watching Log

Typically I call this my ‘What I Devoured’ log as a take on Christine Riccio’s ‘What I Eat in a Month’ videos. I find this log important at the end of each month to remind myself what I actually read and watched since time can get away from me. Depending on the month, I make the spread one or two pages. During the quarantine, I will definitely be adding in more pages.

Reading and Watching

Weekly Overviews

My personal preference is to plan my weeks out at a time. I don’t do daily spreads simply due to how busy I get during the school semester. I find weekly logs allow me to prepare mentally for the week on a Sunday night or Monday morning. I will write everything out on a to-do list and then move each item into a day.

Weekly
20200201_140342

Thanks for letting me visit! Make sure to head over to my blog to check out Hanne’s post!

xo,
Charley


2020 profile picCharley is a twenty-something college lifestyle blogger who loves to share about her recent reads, crazy life, and bullet journal. She spends her time working in a bookstore, attending college full-time to become a teacher, and watching way too much Netflix. Make sure to send her a hello when you visit her blog!

Blog || Instagram || FaceBook || Twitter || Pinterest || TikTok


Thank you so much Charley for posting on my blog today! Make sure to go over to her blog to see my post on my most used bullet journal spreads! What was your favorite spread from this post? Do you use your bullet journal to track finances? Leave a comment and let me know!

College Advice We Wish We’d Known feat. Abby from Story Eyed || Collab

Hey everyone! Today I have a super special and exciting post: my first official collab!! I’m doing a collab with Abby from Story Eyed. We’re both going into our sophomore year of college, so we decided to put some thoughts of what we’ve learned now that we’ve survived a year of college.

College Advice We Wish We'd Known.png

Hi, friends! I’m Abigail Lennah, and I blog over at Story-Eyed. I’m a rising civil engineering sophomore who enjoys writing poetry for theater performances, riding Lime scooters, and playing Red Flags with friends. It’s so exciting to do this collab with Hanne, as both of us are rising sophomores at our respective universities. Today, we’re showering some advice and experiences garnered with the first year under our belts.

Hanne and I have different schooling backgrounds which transformed into the transition period between high school and college. I went to a Montessori school in kindergarten, through the public education system, and now attend a private Jesuit university, whereas Hanne was homeschooled throughout the first thirteen years and attends a public university. We brainstormed a bunch of questions. Hanne’s answers are on my blog, so go on out and read them once you finish this post!


What is something no one told you about going to college?
People say this in passing, but the weight of their words never settled until the first several months past: you grow so much in college. For the first eighteen years of your life, you’re swarmed by the comfort of the people, places, and environment. Then, college strikes, thrusting you into liminality where you’re forced to learn about your identity without familiarity surrounding you. It’s scary because you’re put outside of your comfort zone, but if you stand your ground and open to new opportunities, it will stretch your character in ways you never expected to grow.

IMG_6118a.png

What has your biggest struggle been since starting college and how have you overcome it?
My biggest struggle is dedicating time to self-care. Engineering is a time-consuming major. Add in balancing five different external commitments, balancing a social life, and trying to get enough sleep calls in for a grand mixture of intimidating proportions. Any one of my friends could attest: yes, I’m out doing all the things. In some cases, I embody Hamilton’s ability of working non-stop. This contributes ramifications such as burnout and poor mental health. It’s not something I’ve overcome—the chart waxes and wanes—but I’m taking steps to try to make it easier on myself this year.

What was one thing you did outside of school while you were at college?
I overcommitted to engaging in different activities, from joining a sustainability leadership group advocating energy reduction education to weekly volunteering at local elementary schools! I spent lots of my time in engineering and writing clubs who helped construct my perceptions on both subjects, but the biggest club I’ve been apart of is the Filipino-American Student Union. Surprisingly, this wasn’t a club I entertained joining when first arriving on campus—I went to the first meeting due to mutual friends dragging me along. I didn’t realize how much I would love learning about my cultural identity until many event planning and Tuesday nights later! Now, I’m one of the festival coordinators for the upcoming school year.

IMG_3953

What do you do when you’re procrastinated until the last possible second? Do you give something up, and do one thing well? Do you do two things haphazardly? What goes through your head then?
I seldom procrastinate.(note from Hanne: cannot relate) Putting things off rattles my anxiety to high gear, but when procrastination does happen, it’s usually during group projects due the following day. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in groups with more subdued and calm personalities to balance my franticness. Sometimes, this means spending ten minutes during break laying on the floor listening to reggae. It may also mean listening to choral music at 2:30 in the morning. Usually the work gets balanced out well and we complete it with some hours of sleeping to spare but does become a panic fest for some time.

How has college caused you to readapt your schedule, in comparison to high school?
You have autonomy on how you spend your time. This can be a strange power to wield, especially if much of your time was dictated by an external force. There are over a thousand minutes in a day, and you get to decide what to do. If you want to watch a discounted movie Tuesday morning because your sole class got cancelled, go ahead! If you want to stay in over the weekend instead of going out, that’s fine too. It’s strange to wield what you do in your time, but you are your own self-advocate and dedicate your time however you want.

IMG_6072

As a STEM major, how do you balance & partake in activities outside your major?
I’m a civil engineering student who’s crazy about creating sustainable infrastructure in cities, especially moving forward when climate change and our contributions towards it is a big deal. Some of the activities I take part in—such as joining a women’s engineering club and a sustainability leadership program—reflect that. Yet, I’m also a writer, creator, and hot chocolate consumer, too! They’re important identities, and it’s important to give time to nurture them. I try to dedicate at least two hours to other non-STEM related activities, such as writing poetry for theater performances! It also helps give a breath of fresh air, especially when Newtons stress you out.

Time management is a big thing, and in college you’re given independent over what to do. How do you manage your time to have a balance of a healthy, social, & academic life?
The number one tip to balancing everything without falling apart is understanding how much time you have and what your abilities are. Is there truth about choosing only two from the triangle featuring school, social life, or sleep? To some degree. (For me, DEFINITELY sleep.) I’m still able to accomplish a lot because I try not to waste time, knowing the demands of my major. It also comes down to priorities. Sometimes, you can combine aspects together, like group studying, the ultimate combo of socializing and school. But you also need to fulfill your own needs, and if studying by yourself needs to happen, then let it happen. Be honest with what you can fulfill, and don’t take on too much.

IMG_4992

College can sometimes be a place to meet new people—discuss how you morphed into the new environment.
The people I met throughout college made the transition smoother than I perceived it. I spent the first several weeks entrapped in my dorm room, gorging on KIND bars and not talking to anyone. It was scary because one, it was a new environment, and two, my senior roommate already had a preestablished group, so I didn’t come in with a buddy. I felt a bit lonely, something which I didn’t shy away from mentioning to others. Spending time in the common room helped, though. It’s funny, because my interactions with my closest friends initiated with me being the enthusiastic outgoing one when the reality of our personalities is quite the opposite. The friends I made aren’t a coherent group, and sometimes, not being in a group is sometimes sad. You don’t have a connection or comradery to be nestled in a comforting bubble. Despite this, I still spend lots of time with them and they bring out the best parts, encouraging exploration, self-care, and a positive outlook on the future.


Go check out Abby’s blog and social media: you won’t regret it! Make sure you read my half of the post, with my answers! Are you in college right now? If you’ve been to college, what are some questions you wish had been answered? If you’re heading to college soon, what are some questions you have? Drop us a comment and we’ll try to get back to you!

Find Abby: Blog || Instagram || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube