Tag Archives: fantasy

Inspiration Dice Prompt #13

Inspiration Dice Prompt #13 | Paperback LoverInspiration Dice

Yellow = Genre
Blue = Character
Pink = Character Traits
Red = Plot
Green = Action

Though these dice are more specific than the story dice and seem more intimidating, try your best to let go of any nerves or fears that you’re feeling and just let you’re imagination take over. That might be what I love about these dice the most, they force you out of your comfort zone faster than any other writing exercise. But, like I’ve said before, our brains are amazing, storytelling machines and they will find a way to make these seemingly unrelated words come together to make a story. It might not be the best story, but it will be a story.

Feel free to approach the plot and action dice however you feel comfortable. Pick your top three plot dice and use those to follow a three-act story structure. Use all five and allow how the dice landed to dictate how the events unfold. Let the orientation of the action dice dictate the outcome of that action: right-side up elicits a positive outcome, upside down brings about mayhem, sideways confusion. However you choose to approach it, the point of this exercise is to let go and let what happens happen. The point is to have fun and write without worrying about the outcome.

Remember: Even if what you come up with doesn’t make sense, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Music Prompt #26

Start by listening. You don’t have to listen all the way through, but do give yourself some time to really listen. Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable doing so, put on your headphones, and listen. Allow yourself to really feel the music and immerse yourself in what you’re hearing. Once you’re ready, start writing.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, start by writing a list of words the music makes you think of. Is it calming, energetic, creepy? Does it make you think of a specific place, person, or genre? What type of person can you imagine listening to this kind of music?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Music Prompt #24

Start by listening. You don’t have to listen all the way through, but do give yourself some time to really listen. Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable doing so, put on your headphones, and listen. Allow yourself to really feel the music and immerse yourself in what you’re hearing. Once you’re ready, start writing.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, start by writing a list of words the music makes you think of. Is it calming, energetic, creepy? Does it make you think of a specific place, person, or genre? What type of person can you imagine listening to this kind of music?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.

1. Lucifers Hymn 0:00 – 2:08
2. The One Who Dwells Within 2:09 – 5:04
3. The Dream Snatcher 5:05 – 9:02
4. When Darkness Shines Brightest 9:03 – 14:14
5. We are The Chosen 14:15 – 18:19
6. The Coven 18:20 – 22:40
7. Forever and Never 22:41 – 26:46
8. The Awakening 26:47 – 31:18
9. The Devil’s Grasp 31:19 – 35:43
10. The Witching Hour 35:44 – 39:57
11. Time to Leave this World 39:58 – 43:43
12. The Last Vampire 43:44 – 46:35
13. Morrigan 46:36 – 50:19
14. The Fire Dancer 50:20 – 52:43
15. The Forsaken Melody 52:44 – 55:23
16. The Elixir of Life 55:24 – 1:00:03


Music Prompt #23

Shorter 15 minute option:

Start by listening. You don’t have to listen all the way through, but do give yourself some time to really listen. Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable doing so, put on your headphones, and listen. Allow yourself to really feel the music and immerse yourself in what you’re hearing. Once you’re ready, start writing.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, start by writing a list of words the music makes you think of. Is it calming, energetic, creepy? Does it make you think of a specific place, person, or genre? What type of person can you imagine listening to this kind of music?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.

0:00 – The Trail
2:51 – Geralt of Rivia
5:15 – Eredin, King of the Hunt
7:45 – Wake Up, Ciri
9:21 – Aen Seidhe
11:59 – Commanding the Fury
14:09 – Emhyr var Emreis
16:41 – Spikeroog
19:49 – King Bran’s Final Voyage
22:03 – Silver for Monsters…
24:25 – Whispers of Oxenfurt
27:02 – The Nightingale
28:43 – City of Intrigues
30:52 – The Hunter’s Path
33:46 – Widow-maker
35:58 – Kaer Morhen
38:35 – Eyes of the Wolf
40:41 – Witch Hunters
43:24 – …Steel for Humans (Lazare)
44:53 – Fate Calls
46:53 – The Vagabond
49:43 – Cloak and Dagger
52:31 – Forged in Fire
54:37 – Yes, I Do…
56:13 – Welcome, Imlerith
59:00 – Drink Up, There’s More!
1:00:38 – After the Storm
1:02:11 – Blood on the Cobblestones
1:04:16 – Farewell, Old Friend
1:07:10 – The Song of the Sword-Dancer
1:09:25 – The Hunt is Coming
1:11:32 – The Fields of Ard Skellig
1:14:44 – Ladies of the Woods
1:16:37 – Merchants of Novigrad
1:19:48 – Hunt or Be Hunted


Photo Prompt #36

Photo Prompt #36 | Paperback LoverSource: Marcin by Fairy Lady Photography

Write what comes to mind. If a story doesn’t come to you, start by writing a description of what you see. Where is this place? What time of year is it? Why is this place important? Why would someone photograph it? Who lives here, if anyone does? What is nearby? What isn’t seen in this photograph? Who is this person? Where are they going? What are they doing? How do you imagine they walk? Talk? Do they have a speech impediment? An accent? Where are they from? Are they local? A tourist? A time traveler?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Photo Prompt #34

Photo Prompt #34 | Paperback LoverSource: by Antique Cameo (Julia Trushina)

Write what comes to mind. If a story doesn’t come to you, start by writing a description of what you see. Where is this place? What time of year is it? Why is this place important? Why would someone photograph it? Who lives here, if anyone does? What is nearby? What isn’t seen in this photograph? Who is this person? Where are they going? What are they doing? How do you imagine they walk? Talk? Do they have a speech impediment? An accent? Where are they from? Are they local? A tourist? A time traveler?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Music Prompt #20

Start by listening. You don’t have to listen all the way through, but do give yourself some time to really listen. Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable doing so, put on your headphones, and listen. Allow yourself to really feel the music and immerse yourself in what you’re hearing. Once you’re ready, start writing.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, start by writing a list of words the music makes you think of. Is it calming, energetic, creepy? Does it make you think of a specific place, person, or genre? What type of person can you imagine listening to this kind of music?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


A Darker Shade of Magic

by V.E. Schwab

Started: April 25, 2017 | Finished: May 14, 2017

In a world where there are four parallel Londons, White, Red, Grey, & Black, Kell, a powerful kind of magician called Antari, comes into possession of an object that must be returned to its home: Black London, a place that is rumored to no longer exist. The idea behind this book is fascinating and I wanted to love it, but I was left feeling absolutely, entirely, and frustratingly underwhelmed.


The story was entertaining enough to hold my attention, but I was never interested enough to be enthralled by it. To put it another way, I was never bored, but I wasn’t floored either. I do think this is an interesting concept (one I had been exploring myself long before hearing about this book) and would like to see this as a movie if only to see the world and the magic, but the world and the magic may have been it’s only saving grace.


I can’t say that this wasn’t a unique story. Like I said before, it has an interesting world with well paced world building, however, I found myself not really caring all that much about the events that were happening. The only reason for this that I can come to is the characters…


As with everything else in this book, the characters weren’t awful, but, at the same time, I just didn’t care. I had a hard time connecting with them and I don’t really know why. I keep trying to figure it out and I can’t. The characters felt real and relatively fleshed out, but I honestly couldn’t have cared less about them. The only characters that I really felt anything for were Holland and the kid guarding the door towards the end, and even then it wasn’t enough to make me cry for either of them (and I cry easily, so that’s saying something). For Holland, this may have been because his sympathetic side was never fully fleshed out. He was treated like a villain with hints of sympathy and not much else. Had we gotten a chance to explore more of the story from his point of view, maybe it would have made his story a bit stronger.

I can say that I did not care for Lila one bit. By that, I don’t mean that I hated her, but that I literally didn’t care at all about her or her problems. This might be because Lila clearly didn’t care about her own life or problems either. If she doesn’t care if she never returns to Grey London, why should I? If she doesn’t care if she gets hurt, why should I? If she doesn’t care about running headfirst to her own death, why should I? Not that a character like this can’t be successfully written. Schwab just missed the mark.

One final note on character: while I admired Shwab’s attempts to create a female character who rejected female gender roles, it felt forced and lackluster, and it was the only thing in this book that made me actually feel something, though it wasn’t what Schwab wanted me to feel. Everything Lila did felt more like one more reason for the reader to nod and say, “She’s not an average girl. How revolutionary!” She doesn’t wear a dress? How revolutionary! She carries weapons and is categorized as a cutthroat (something we never actually see, by the way)? How revolutionary! She wants to be a pirate? How revolutionary! I get it. Now who is she as an actual person and not as a check mark in your diversity list? It doesn’t help either that I would have been fine with it had Schwab not also fallen for the “women who like being women are bad” trope that is so easy to fall into with these sorts of characters. I find tomboys and masculine women in entertainment as refreshing as everyone else, but when they constantly belittle and think less of women who aren’t opposed to their own femininity it rubs me the wrong way.


First, so I can get it out of the way: there were so many typos in the edition that I read, especially towards the end. I just…you’re better than that, Tor.

Other than typos that should have been caught before being okayed for printing, just like everything else in this book, the writing was lackluster. It was shallow and underwhelming. I was rarely transported or got lost in the writing. And this is the part that just really confused me. Over and over again, I keep seeing/hearing people saying that the writing is amazing and beautiful, it blew them away and it’s “unique and a breath of fresh air” (yes, that is an actual quote that I came across). I don’t get it. Did I miss something? Did I read an abridged version? Did I read the wrong book? Have none of these people read an actual good book before? I mean, seriously, this book was just…basic.

I really don’t like talking about “show don’t tell”, so instead I’m going to steal from Emma Darwin and call it “evoke don’t inform”. While the world building was great, the characters weren’t and that’s because I was mainly informed that these characters had certain characteristics, but Schwab never allowed them to evoke those characteristics. Basically, she told me who they were, but I never really saw it. Especially Lila. I was informed time and time again that Lila was a cutthroat, but all she ever evoked was a scared little girl who thought she was tougher than she actually was. Which would have been fine if every other character wasn’t so surprised that this “cutthroat” who hasn’t actually cut any throats was scared about something. We saw her run more than we actually saw her fight. It was the same with Holland, I was informed that he was being forced to to go after Kell and the stone, but he never evoked any conflict or concern about doing so up until the end.

I was informed about a lot of things in this book, but the conclusions that I came to from what I was being shown rarely matched what I was being told.


I won’t go too far into this one, because, at this point, I’m just repeating myself, but yet again, it wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t great. I saw what was being described, but my reaction was constantly, “All right then.” I only stopped to fully absorb and admire a description twice through out the whole book, something that I did three or four times just in the prologue to A Game of Thrones. I think the most interesting description in the whole book may have been of Holland: “Perhaps it was the way he seemed to be made more of water and stone than flesh and blood and soul.”


I’m still not entirely sure how to feel about this book, even a month after having read it. I’m starting to wonder, though, if my lackluster feelings towards the story came from the fact that nothing felt pushed far enough. There were parts of the story that wanted me to feel something, but they just sort of suggested that I feel it rather than forcing me to. Everything emotional danced on the edge rather than taking the plunge and exploring it entirely. This left the book feeling shallow. I wonder if the events within this novel would have been more interesting if more focus would have been put on some of the darker elements of the story. If we had seen more of Holland and White London. If we had seen more of the stone really possessing Kell like it did towards the end. If we had actaully seen Black London instead of being told about it. The idea behind this story is interesting, but I feel as though Schwab was unwilling to push any further in order to really take the story where it needed to go. The result was a story that I was only half invested in and characters that I only half cared about.

On a final note: this is supposed to be an adult book (as evidenced by the V.E.), but the entire thing read so painfully like young adult. I’m not saying that young adult books can’t be good, but they just aren’t for me. I’ve yet to read a young adult book that has left me breathless. I don’t know what it is, but they just always seem to be holding back which just leaves me entirely underwhelmed and this book was, unfortunately, no exception.

Other Books in the Series:
A Gathering of Shadows — DNF – I read the first chapter and realized that I just didn’t care enough about these characters or this story to continue reading.
A Conjuring of Light — not even gonna bother.


Tarot Story Helper #6

Tarot Story Helper #6 | Paperback Lover>Fairy Tarot

You can approach this story helper in three ways: 1) go off the card’s meaning using the keywords and descriptions I provided, 2) ignore those descriptions, using the images alone to inspire you, or 3) use a combination of both the images and the descriptions to influence your story. Or, you can approach it in whichever method your muse gets excited about. That really is the point here, after all: to have fun with your writing and to just let it come without putting too much stress into it.

I decided to give very basic information for the cards so your muse can have more free reign with where it takes you, however if you want to know more about tarot and how to read the cards, two great books to start with are The Ultimate Tarot Guide & Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. There is also the really interesting book Tarot for Writers that talks about all sorts of different methods for using tarot cards in your writing process.

Remember: Even if what you come up with doesn’t make sense, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Music Prompt #18

Start by listening. You don’t have to listen all the way through, but do give yourself some time to really listen. Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable doing so, put on your headphones, and listen. Allow yourself to really feel the music and immerse yourself in what you’re hearing. Once you’re ready, start writing.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, start by writing a list of words the music makes you think of. Is it calming, energetic, creepy? Does it make you think of a specific place, person, or genre? What type of person can you imagine listening to this kind of music?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.

We Are the Chosen 0:00 – 4:04
Breathe New Life 4:05 – 9:57
The Gift of Sight 9:57 – 15:03
Transcend 15:04 – 19:04
Malleus Maleficarum 19:05 – 22:14
When Darkness Shines Brightest 22:15 – 27:26
Dawn of the Mage 27:27 – 30:23
The Witching Hour 30:24 – 34:38
Time to Leave this World 34:39 – 38:23
Beautiful Mine 38:24 – 42:46
The Elixir of Life 42:47 – 47:20
The Last of Her Kind 47:21 – 51:12
Sorrow’s Harmony 51:13 – 56:17
On the Edge of Forever 56:18 – 1:00:54
Creation 1:00:55 – 1:06:02