When a book is popular it tells us a lot about our society and what the mass interest was like at the time of publication. It is good to know the fluctuation of these titles to predict future popular books, as well as gaining inspiration for stories you might be currently writing.
Compiled below is one popular title from each year starting with 2000. Let this list provoke questions, thoughts, and ideas of your own.
Go back in time to see what made them so popular and what idea you might be able to steam from them for your own writing. At the very least, you might find a new favorite book.
Another week closer to Halloween means another creature to talk about, and zombies sure are being talked about a lot these past few years. I wonder if it is all the grunting and moaning that makes them so popular or maybe the classic zombie walk, but whatever it is it seems to have made its mark on pop culture.
First, let’s take it back to where it all began. Before the world became futuristically invaded with zombies we had their first appearance in Haitian folklore. Bokor sorcerers would raise corpses from the dead and control them as personal slaves.
From there zombies had their first Hollywood screen performance in 1932 in White Zombie. However, they didn’t take full center stage until the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video in 1983. Appearing again and again on screen in movies and video games, these creatures continue to be apart of creepy culture.
Some of their strengths include being impervious to pain, they never need to sleep, and can sustain massive injuries without feeling pain. However, they no longer have a high functioning brain and they move slow.
You have most likely seen these creatures in an apocalyptic theme movie or book. Both with a classic theme and some unthinkable twists, as there is a lot to talk about with these ever appearing creatures.
This Halloween season maybe you want to spruce up your spooky series with a zombie or two (as they also mostly travel in groups)? Create your own creature twist and dig a little deeper into all things zombie!
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You can always add a little book inspiration with whatever you do! Including Halloween! Pumpkin carving has always been a must do fall activity in my house and each year we like to spice it up with a creative theme of some sort. This year…book inspired jack o lanterns!
How fun will it be for you to share your favorite stories with others as your pumpkin lights up the night?
Here are a few of my inspirations taken from a couple of my favorite stories throughout my childhood:
Don’t be afraid to be creative! Come up with your own inspiration through your favorite book or character.
In the spirit of Halloween it is only right to dedicate this time to the creatures of the dark that we may not typically pay attention to. Join me each week until Halloween to find out what lies beneath the scales and fangs.
First and foremost… the ghoul.
Each creature comes from different mythology and pertains to different legends. That being said the ghoul originates under Arabic mythology. They have the ability to shape-shift and are known for inhabiting places like graveyards or deserts. Their true form are known to be hairy and canine like, but one of their most distinct features is their hoof like imprints, and most commonly known to be crawling on all fours.
However, with so many stories and renditions we see the ghoul in many different forms, for example…
Ghoul on Netflix focuses on “the ghoul” from Arabic Mythology that can shape-shift, and is known for its hoof like print.
In Supernatural a popular Sci-Fi TV show ghouls are not dead but a form of monster. They typically live in graveyards and feed on human flesh both dead and alive. They can also shape-shift and the only way of killing a ghoul is complete decapitation.
Tokyo Ghoul is a popular anime show about a character who gets bit by a ghoul and becomes half ghoul – half human. In this version ghouls look exactly like humans but like to eat human flesh.
So next time you are writing a story and want to incorporate a ghoul think about what features you want to show and the presence it plays among humans.
I am more of a put it on paper kind of person. I can visualize what is going on in my head better once it is written down. If you are the same, keeping a reading journal can be helpful on your literary journey.
Here are a few starting tips and ideas!
First, picking out your journal. There are of course so many options! Choosing between having a bullet journal or a regular lined journal will probably be your hardest choice. Bullet journals are currently very popular because they allow the writer to be more creative and offer more of a DIY layout. Having a lined journal will still keep things organized in a more structured way and will help you maintain your journal in an orderly manner.
Other things to consider when making your journal
Do you want to stick to one writing utensil
Use color coding
Will you include hand drawn or printed pictures
Where will you keep your journal – will you keep it with you to write thoughts and ideas throughout the day
I recommend starting your journal with a list. Those are my favorites! Lists, lists, lists. What you are currently reading, what you want to read- and the doors open from there. Having a clear list of where you’ve been and where you want to go will help you in the long run.
From there the opportunities are endless and you can start creating reading goals for yourself. It’s a good idea to start with some basic goals. For example, how many books do you want to read in a month or year? Once you have an idea of where you are going, you can start to plan how you are going to get there with more specific lists or different categories. You might have a list that focuses on specific genres of books that are going to be featured on the big screen.
Remember this is your journal and it is there to help you in what you deem important. Some other reading journal ideas can be keeping a reading log.
Write a short summary about what you read
Write what you liked about the book
Log your favorite pages or quotes
Once you get the hang of what you like to log and what you don’t it really becomes your own.
Get inspired. Go on Pinterest and Google and get ideas of your own. My personal favorite spot for inspiration is #bujoforbooklover on Instagram. There is a whole world out there dedicated to journaling.
This is a space for your own thoughts and ideas, go crazy!
This is a space where we collaborate on all things writing, reading and publishing. Our hope is that our posts will both inspire and enlighten you on your own journey.
Now it’s time to meet the team!
Hey! I’m Tania! A.K.A. The Independent Variable. You may refer to me as the former rather than later. I enjoy everything vintage and not of my time: Old Hollywood, the Golden Age of piracy, and Parisian fashion from the 1950s. When I’m not drooling over one of the three, I’m usually found with a nose in a book. I’ll try to read anything, but usually choose fiction and thrillers.
What are you currently reading? The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
you could be a fictional character who would you be? If I were a fictional character, I would be Mazikeen Smith. A devilish character with a soft side? Not much of a change for me!
Morgan is a lover of fashion, beauty and fitness with a keen interest in fantasy and fictional realism. You may find her watching YouTube, a show that mirrors that of the Vampire Diaries or going outside to explore nature.
What are you currently reading:Ms. Kopp Just Won’t Quit by Amy Stewart
If you could be a fictional character who would you be? If she were to be any fictional character, it would be Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation.
Sophia is a movie loving, Disney fanatic who loves to share random facts and eat late night snacks. I love to write in my journal on my own time just in case I have a Notebook moment and need to remember what I have done. My favorite books to read are historical fiction with an edgy romance and anything World War II.
What are you currently reading? The FieryCross by Diana Gabaldon
If you could be a fictional character who would you be? Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I am constantly seeking adventure and can be stuck in my own imagination. I often daydream about the future and create stories in my head.
Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to keep the fun going!
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.
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!
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.