3 Ways Social Media Can Help Explode Your Library

spoiler alert! i'm going to be soliciting your book recommendations so stick around like a bug on fly paper!

via @infinitelynovel

#bookstagram is no joke.  With nearly 1o,ooo,ooo entries on Instagram, there are TONS of folks linked together in the grand game of gramming books.  & a lot of those pictures give me book-envy.  Because really, do we pick up new books solely by their synopsis?  No.  No, we do not.  Book blurbs are universally obnoxious creatures to create, & most of the time they do the book NO justice.  It's sad.  Sad, but true.

APPEARANCES ARE IMPORTANT.  You may wish it was otherwise, but it is not.  Author note: I've lost track of the times people have expressed surprise over the cover of my novel Plenilune because "it doesn't look like it was self-published!"  THAT'S THE KEY, FOLKS.  That's the key...

okay, but why is social media important for your tbr list? i'm glad you asked. i'm glad you asked...

via @infinitelynovel

**Angel choir.**  I go on Instagram & discover gorgeous #flatlays of books that are basically completely free eye-candy.  Some of these grammers are super good at photography.  Am I a sucker for good photos?  Yes.  Yes, I am.  Am I going to be interested in a book based on it's cover + arrangement in the photo?  Yes to that, too.  ("sign me up for the NEXT book club!" )

Bee tee dubs, I had never heard of V. E. Schwab until @emileighlatham  + @paperfury gushed about her on Instagram.  Cue me, scrounging around our local library website for a copy of Vicious - which took an age to come in but cOME IN IT DID & guess what I'm really enjoying it.  BOOM.  Wouldn't have heard about this author except for the world's new marketing platform, Instagram.

("I said 'bookswag.'  I said 'bookswag,' Sam.")  Am I susceptible to the allure of sharing flatlays of my newfound novels on Instagram?  I totally am.  Social observation note: people who enjoy a book REALLY LIKE IT when you get that book too + start reading it.  When you tag them, link them, shout out to them that you're reading in their textsteps, they get really excited + BOOM a community is born.  It's an introvert-friendly community, too, so that's double the awesome.

via @infinitelynovel
#bookstagrammers i follow

@thatjennyfreitag (wait a sec...)

your quest, should you choose to accept it, is

  • a:: comment below with bookstagrammers you follow + love!
  • b:: comment below with book recommendations for me + the other penslayer readers!

thanks so much for reading. see you soon!
xoxo, jenny

4 Character Tropes That IMO Need to Die

If you've read books that have living, breathing people in the cast, you've probably read some of the big relationship tropes in the biz.  Tropes happen, ya know?  There are a number of patterns into which things tend to fall, & relationships are no exception.  The problem is, if you think, "Oh lookie, this is Trope X," then the trope has failed.  Nine times out of ten, tropes should NOT be so obvious that you recognize what you're seeing (exception: outrageous parodies).  Here is a personal rant enlightening post on my top most annoying relationship tropes.

4 Character Tropes That IMO Need to Die

The Geometric Affection
I. hate. love triangles. so much.  If every heroine had Elizabeth Bennet's view of matrimony, so much the better.  I mean, sure: love is a tricky thing.  What is it?  How do you know when you love someone?  How do you know when you LOVE-love someone??  Well, I don't pretend to have those answers because they are not simple answers, but I can tell you that it does not involve yo-yoing the affections of two other people.  Authors.  I am so over this.  I have seen how awkward it is to be the recipient of two people's jockeying, & it is not fun, you guys.  THIS SHOULD NOT BE NORMAL.  THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE BECOME A TROPE.

"if you're in love two people at the same time, choose the second. because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn't have fallen for the second."
(ashamedly quoting the faceless actor)

The Engagement Ring
"Dude. I got this ring for X but I don't want her to see it before I'm ready to give it to her.  I trust you: hold on to this for me."

Oh, nO ONE KNOWS HOW THIS WILL END.  Except that we do.  We all do. Not only does this one annoy me because it's so predictable, it stresses me out at the same time because the chucklehead protagonist is TOTALLY GOING TO LOSE THE EXPENSIVE RING.  This trope.  This trope needs to be buried.  Buried + not allowed to rise from the grave so help me amen.  

The Banter
 Banter has almost zero purpose in a novel.  Almost.  Maybe one time out of ten it serves a useful purpose to help display character personality/growth/something to help sketch the individual's character, but those other nine times?  It's just irritating, childish, flimsy, pointless verbiage.  (bitter much, jenny??)  Quit with the banter thing unless the dialogue serves to improve your novel.  Why are we writing this novel?  To tell a story!  Will this help build the perfect cathedral showcasing your amazing genius?  Probably not so INTO THE SCRAP HEAP WITH YE.

The Bickering
Oh but there's more.   I. HATE. THE BICKERING.  Note: this is coming from someone who thrives on contention.  I love being angry + complaining about stuff.  (let's all enjoy this meta moment).  HOWEVER.  Bickering is the cheap, knockoff replacement for meaningful character dialogue.  Countless times, I have seen "character development" which was nothing more than two protagonists (bonus points if they're love interests) nitpicking + sniping at each other in a manner that is unrealistic + implausible.

(i kind of feel like protagonists bickering + going on to save the world is actually proof of God's existence + common grace because i can't believe the protagonists would ever survive + succeed otherwise)

Hey, you made it through my pet-peeve tropes!  I give you two challenges:

a:: avoid these tropes
b:: use these tropes but in a manner so cunning that no one realizes what you're up to

got any special tropes that annoy you?
share, please! misery loves company
xoxo, jenny