Hello to my fellow book bloggers,
One thing the blogging community does really well is discussions. Through creating an article, there is plenty of time to explore thoughts and have conversations with each other. I love it.
I have done a few discussions now, and whilst they can take me a while to do, I find them very rewarding. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with ideas, so I thought I would share a few discussions that I would simply love to read. Yes, this is selfish gain. Nonetheless, it could be helpful to some bloggers, and I no longer have to keep that scrap of paper I scribbled these ideas on.
SOME OF MY TIPS ON WRITING DISCUSSIONS
- Pick a title with a lot of personality. It will lure people in. Easy ways to do this are either a question or through humour.
- Headings. Overuse them, if anything. Having questions as headings is useful, but having answers as headings is a must too. Your points make the post uniquely yours, and you should flaunt that.
- Have a bit of media to break up the text, e.g. covers, gifs, graphics
- Show your stance, but don’t be one-sided. Remember that it is not about bashing the other side but showing yours.
WHY DO YOU LOVE YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE?
Perhaps this discussion sounds simple but it’s a little overlooked too. How often do you consider why you love your favourite genre past a fleeting thought. Delve into the topic more. It could even be a great post to get other bloggers involved with.
intro: What is your favourite genre? Examples of books you loved.
main question: Why do you love [insert fave genre]?
things to consider: what are the typical fundamental attributes of your favourite genre? What things draw your attention to their books, i.e. romance, action, family? What themes do you like to be explored? Why does your favourite genre showcase these themes well?
UNPICK CERTAIN CHARACTER ARCHETYPES
One of my favourite discussion topics and a very open one, making it hard to explain. It is a specific kind of post. You have to pick a type of character that you have a lot to say about… Analyse the things you like, the themes explored, and the strengths and weaknesses typical of these characters. Go wild, and examples are always a hit. Include personal stances here, as there has to be a reason you picked this character type to discuss.
- Good guy characters are not boring. You are!!
- What does a complex character really mean? (broody over past pain is no longer enough)
- The decline of “pick me” characters is a blessing.
- Stereotypes limit character design, and now we are bored
- 🍄 the perfect female character?!?!
- 🍄 why do we love morally grey characters??
YOUR TURN-OFFS IN BOOKS
The anti-tropes. We all have individual things we dread appearing in books, from tiny to big things. Occasionally you may like them, but overall they are turn-offs. List them and explain why they get a big no from you. Any examples? Any exceptions?
I would simply split the post into three categories…
- specific things you hate in books
- tropes you used to love but now hate
- genres you avoid
SHOULD AUTHORS HAVE FAVOURITE CHARACTERS?
You probably can’t control someone else’s thoughts and actions, but for a discussion’s sake, what influence should the author’s favouritism have on their books…
intro: it is natural for authors to have favourites, but what does it mean for the book.
main question: What does it mean when the author has a favourite character in their own books?
things to consider: Can you think of an example where you could see an author’s favouritism for a specific character? How did this influence the book? Did it make you feel different toward said character? How does it affect the writing (do they get more page time, does the character lose less, are their flaws glossed over more)? Is it a benefit or restriction?
conclusion: You decide, should authors have a favourite character? Yes or no.
BEAUTY EXPECTATIONS IN BOOKS
This is quite a complex discussion, but here is how I would initially approach it.
intro: What are the common beauty expectations in modern-day society?
main question: How do beauty expectations influence books?
things to consider: How do books feed into these beauty expectations? Is this good or bad? How do books compare to other media forms in terms of beauty standards? To what extent are books free of them? How do you think the rise of fanart and illustrative covers has affected this? How does all of this make readers feel (any specific examples)?
conclusion: your personal feelings on the topic
HOW MISTAKES SHOULD BE HANDLED
intro: Mistakes are a part of a character’s journey
main question: How should mistakes be handled?
things to consider: Should books provide a guide on what to do when you make mistakes? How important to you is it that characters get comeuppance? Do your feelings towards this depend on the age group? Are mistakes more satisfactory when done by the main character or side characters? If mistakes are left unjustly unresolved, do you feel this showcases the behaviour as acceptable or the lack of justice? Any examples?
conclusion: Which side to lean more towards? Should books be good examples of handling mistakes or messy examples?
ARE BOOKS SUPPOSED TO HAVE POSITIVE MESSAGES?
intro: People love a positive message, but is it a necessity?
part one: talk about books with positive messages
things to consider: What books have you read with positive messages? What messages were your favourites (examples)? How did this make you feel? Should books/authors feel a responsibility to send a favourable message to audiences (does your answer vary among different age groups)? Why/why not?
part two: talk about books that don’t have positive messages (at least not obviously)
things to consider: Have you read any books without any positive messages? Look at famous tragedies. Whilst sad, did they still maintain a good lesson/theme? Does sadness actually enhance positive messages through contrast and emotion? Would you enjoy books without positive messages/themes? Do you think it is human nature to find the good even in tragic/negative stories?
conclusion: Answer the question… should books have positive messages? Yes or no.
CAN A BOOK BE FREE FROM ALL CLICHéS?
intro: What are clichés? How many do you think there are? Answer: a lot.
main question: Can a book be cliché-free?
things to consider: To what extent are clichés a good thing? What is a book with a cliché you liked? What is a book with a cliché that you hated? Compare them. Why do you have different responses to the cliché? Was it dependent on the cliché or how it was written/resolved? Can you think of a book without clichés in it? Was it a strength or a weakness?
conclusion: Do you think they can be books without clichés?
CONSUMERISM IN THE BOOK COMMUNITY
Consumerism is everywhere, including in the book community. I think conversations around it are basically necessary.
intro: What is consumerism? How is it present in the book community?
main question: Is consumerism a good or bad thing?
things to consider: What are the pros and cons of consumerism? What effect does consumerism have on you? Do you like the influence of consumerism? How do you distance yourself from the consumerist side?
conclusion: how does consumerism personally affect you? What does it mean to you?
BOOK COVERS & AESTHETICS HAVE TOO MUCH POWER OVER ME
intro: What are aesthetics? What are your favourite book covers?
main question: How does the rise of aesthetics and pretty book covers affect you?
things to consider: Do you feel the book community pushes aesthetics/pretty book covers? Does it increase the likelihood of you buying certain books? Do you think this is a good or bad thing? Are any aspects of these repetitive? Do you think people judge books based on covers too much? Why/why not? Do you think books with covers deemed ‘not as pretty’ have less chance of being widespread? Do you think book covers affect people outside the book community as well?
conclusion: what do you think… book covers and aesthetics have too much power, or do you like their impact on the community?
intro: what does ‘hyped’ mean? Any examples of hyped books?
main question: Do you like the role of hype in the book community?
things to consider: Do you like the term hyped book? What makes a book hyped? When a hyped book lets you down, do you think the hyped lied or it wasn’t for you? How does privilege affect hyped books? Do you prefer talking about hyped or under hyped books? What are the different reactions when you talk about these respective groups in the book community? Do hyped books get more responses, and how does this affect how you make content? How do you highlight underhyped books most appealingly?
conclusion: Do you like the role of hype? Yes or no.
There we go. I don’t claim for any of these topics to be originals. I just think they have the potential to open up interesting conversations. If you do (or have done) any of these discussions, I’d love to know in the comments.