Let’s Write A Shapeshifter Romance!

Spooky season is upon us! And if you prefer a little growl with your romance, then get to writing! While animal instincts and natural raw behaviors may not be what you want in your real-life partner – doesn’t mean you can’t can’t write about them!

When writing in this specific category of paranormal romance here are a few guidelines to go off of:

Dive deeper into the sensory realm – readers want to embrace the wild side!

Do your research! – what paranormal animals do you want to use, and what special abilities do they have amongst others?

Purpose of shapeshifting – do you want them to be stronger, can they blend into the environment?

How will the character be different in human form? – What traits will make them stand out?

Story line, story line, story line! – It is very important to identify the origin story! How were the shifters created? Who was the first one? How do they reproduce? Etc. 

When thinking about a shapeshifter romance most people strictly think werewolves (shoutout to Twilight). However, there are other shapeshifters you can base your character off of, many countries have their own version of a shapeshifter. For example:

Canada : Bear Walker is from First Nations folklore of that area. It’s an evil sorcerer who walks around in the form of a bear.

Haiti : loup-garou can change into anything, both plant and animal.

Ireland & Scotland : The selkies are seals that take off their skins to become human. Dark-haired Celts may have their genealogy explained via the selkies. Selkies are helpful creatures who watch over fishermen.

Portugal : The bruxsa or cucubuth is a vampire-werewolf that consumes both flesh and blood. 

And there’s so many more! Writing is work! Especially when building a complex and dynamic world. But you can do it, don’t be afraid to put your mind to the test! Do some research and have fun. 

Happy Writing!

Sources:

The Art of the Book Review

In today’s cyber centered world, you can leave comments and reviews just about anywhere. What might seem like minor praise or dissatisfaction to the reviewer, these comments can just about make or break a product. The same goes for reviewing books. 

So, when the time comes to review a book here are a few things you should include:

  1. The title of the book and author.
  2. The genre and subgenre if applicable.
  3. Personal review – try to include an in-dept reason to why you feel the way you do.
  4. Rate the book on a scale, but make sure to explain how your personal scale works.

You can also include a summary of the book in your own words. These summaries should include the plot, setting, and the characters journey. Also keep in mind to make a disclosure if you talk about any spoilers. 

Overall, writing a book review is very helpful to both the author and potential readers. It lets people know if it is a book they would be interested in reading, and the author gets to know their readers a little bit better. Be true to your review- you can actually create a decent following by just expressing your real thoughts.  Think about what outlets you will use to write your review as well, there are so many!

People are actually asking for your opinion, so have fun with it!

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Blushing Language

We all know the writing motto: show, don’t tell.

But don’t we all get overwhelmed when we think we need to show everything? Are there certain categories of showing emotion or a character’s feeling towards something versus telling? Well, you can answer those questions because we’re going to share a quoted post. The original author is MIA but we do want you all to know – it wasn’t our idea. We’re simply adding a bit of input!

How to write ‘they blushed’ without writing ‘they blushed’:

  • They took a step backwards.
  • They shifted their weight from one side to the other.
  • They hid their face in their hands.
  • They shifted their glance to something else in the room, all around the room for that matter.
  • Their eyes widened.
  • They crossed their arms.
  • They leaned into themselves.
  • They scratched the back of their head.
  • Utilize hand motions. When people are nervous or embarrassed, they tend to use their hands to declare their frustration.
  • Quirks! Each character should have their own quirks even before you begin writing. It’s their go-to and displays some of their negative traits sometimes.

 

Foot Traps

caltrops.jpgCaltrops

 

  • This was a weapon used to maim or kill infantry, and/or others not shielded with armor. Caltrops specifically had two or more sharp nails. In the past, caltrops were used against foot troops and cavalry. Today, caltrops are used against wheeled vehicles. We’ve all watched high speed chases!
  • The name of this device if from Latin. The original meaning is “foot-trap.”
  • Caltrops have been used in heraldry. Mainly as charges in the shields!

Top Tier Polearm

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Glaive

  • It is a European polearm. It’s decorated with a single-edged blade at one end of the pole. The blade is similar to that of an axe head – not a straight blade or as curved as cutlasses or swords.
  • Some of the blades were crafted with a small hook somewhere on the blade-end of the pole. Sometimes on the opposite end of the blade. This was used to catch riders. (This is a running theme in our weapons of choice!)
  • The glaive was a highly rated weapon in the polearm class/other hand-to-hand combat weapons of the time. This rating occurred in 1599.

All Aboard!

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Italian Boarding Sword

  • The Italian boarding sword was a tool used by sailors or pirates. When ships collided and one crew needed to get aboard another vessel, this sword was used to cut rope with ease or hack closed doors.
  • Although considered a tool, it was also used as a weapon. It could pierce a victim and the fighting style is very similar to fencing (except with a shorter blade.)
  • We are accustomed to seeing sailors and pirates with curved blades (cutlasses for example) but this particular sword has a straight blade.
  • It is also called a Genoese boarding sword because of a captain who hailed from the Republic of Genoa.

New Just Broke…

We’re going to sum everything up: the APA (Audio Publishers Association) reported the rise in audiobook sales in 2018 being 24.5%!

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According to Publisher’s Weekly, this is a more accurate percentage. It’s accounting for sales receipts rather than estimated sales. Over 91% of audiobook sales are coming from a digital format…we’ve entered the digital age! Kidding, we’ve been living in it for quite some time now!

The more popular genres include general fiction, mysteries/thrillers/suspense, and sci-fi/fantasy. Nonfiction sales have risen and represent 32.7% of units sold in 2018; starting with general nonfiction, history/biography/memoir, and self-help.

The age group dominating a little over 91% of sales are adults. Young adult titles increased by double digits and audiobooks geared for children rose moderately.

Production of audio has risen 5.8% from 2017!

(This report was based on figures from 20 publishers, including all Big 5 houses.)

A Ceremonial Club

What is so incredibly special about the weapon we are talking about this week is…it’s still in use! Maybe not for battle, but for ceremonial purposes and the pictures found online are of these traditions! Carry on…


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Rungu

  • This weapon originated in East Africa. It was used in battle and in hunting originally.
  • It also serves as a ceremonial tool for male warriors of the Maasai culture. The ceremonial rungu are decorated in beads sewn in by the local women.
  • It’s similar in shape to a club, mixed a bit with a baton. The end of the club was typically a heavy knob or a heavy ball.

The Iron Claw

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Zhua

  • Zhua literally translates to claw. And this weapon represents that entirely. It is an iron claw attached to a 6 ft. pole. Sometimes it bears a weight at the bottom to be used as a bludgeon.
  • Some of the better reasons to use a zhua in battle is to disarm someone of their shield or grabbing riders off their horses.
  • This is an ancient Chinese weapon and was a known weapon of Sun Tzu, a warrior and general.

Whipping a Blade

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Urumi

  • It’s a sword. It’s a whip. It’s very easy to hurt yourself when wielding this weapon.
  • Before dabbling into the art of the urumi, one is supposed to have knowledge with a sword. It’s meant to be the last weapon learned in a certain type of martial arts.
  • This originated in South India/Sri Lanka in the Sangam Period, or the 3rd – 5th century BCE.
  • The Urumi is best used against multiple enemies, if swarmed in battle.