Review of The Snowflake Method

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As you may have known, I’ve been using The Snowflake Method to plan my novel, Battle Song. The Snowflake Method is a method created by Randy Ingermanson to design a novel outline. The idea is that you start small (one sentence), and expand it until you get to something large and complex (a fifty-page outline, then your first draft).

Here’s the link to his article about it: The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel

I haven’t yet finished all ten steps of The Snowflake Method, as the last step is to actually write the entire first draft, but overall, this method has worked quite awesomely for me. In this review, I’ll share some of my thoughts, including my likes and dislikes, about this method.

My Favorite Part: The Outlines

I know, I know, I told you that I wasn’t a planner, and I didn’t like outlines! Well, that’s just what I thought. I love my outlines. Why do I love them? Well, for two simple reasons:

  1. They organize my writing and plot fantastically. Previously, I’ve struggled with writing my middle…which then led to struggles in writing the climax and the ending. But having an outline makes it easy to see how the story progresses and will serve as a great guide as I draft Battle Song.
  2. They make me feel so professional! Which is definitely the more important reason, haha. But seriously, it’s so much fun to be making notes about a certain spot in the book and be able to say, “But wait, in scene #42, she says…” It just makes me feel like a real author, which is such a cool feeling.

In The Snowflake Method, you end up making two outlines. The first is in a spreadsheet, with just a short explanation of each scene. At times, it was hard to boil down the essence of a scene into 10 words or so, because there was just a lot going on in each scene. Plus, I wasn’t entirely sure what constituted as a scene. However, I love being able to see the novel at a glance. Instead of having to scroll through pages to be able to find a specific scene, I can just look at the spreadsheet and go, “Okay, that happens ten scenes later, in scene #35.” (And referencing specific scenes is, again, ridiculously fun.)

The second outline is an expanded version of the first, taking those few words you wrote and then making it into a couple of paragraphs. This is actually an optional step, but I’m loving it. It’s so fun to imagine writing these scenes later on, and since I’m not actually writing anything, the first draft will still be fun. And it will be easy to write, because I’m outlining every scene.

I made a google doc for this step only, with header links for each scene, which allows me to navigate the doc easily. Each scene has a little template that makes it easy to fill out, too.



I’ve just been having so much fun with the outlines! That being said, developing the plot enough to get to the point where I could make an outline was difficult, and I ran into several large problems. Now, however, I only have to solve little problems, so planning becomes a lot more fun!

What I Liked: Expansion of Plot

The thing I like the best about The Snowflake Method is this idea of expanding your novel from a tiny idea into an thought-out outline. And the best part about this is that you don’t expand linearly–you expand from the center outward.

To clarify, it’s not as if you start at the beginning of the outline, write the first scene, then the second, and so forth. Rather, you start with an idea that slowly leads you to create a comprehensive guide to the entire book. You have a beginning, middle, and an ending all the way from the second step, which is only a paragraph long.

Which was awesome! In previous novels, I hardly ever knew the middle or ending of the novel when I started, but by using The Snowflake Method, I was able to come up with an entire plotline that actually worked.

The organization of these plot-related steps is very cohesive and smooth. By the end of each step, I had enough information to move onto the next step. Rather than being daunted by the idea of creating an outline involving every scene, by the time I had a four-page summary of the novel, I was ready!

Here are all the plot-related steps:

  • 1 sentence summary (logline)
  • 1 paragraph summary
  • 1 page summary
  • 4 page summary
  • Spreadsheet outline (short description of each scene)
  • Expanded outline (longer description of each scene) (optional)
  • First draft

I loved how these steps fit together, and they helped me create a plot that I love.

What I Disliked: Insufficient Character Expansion

There are seven plot-related steps above. But what about the other three? Well, those are for developing characters.

  • 1 page character sheets (including a 1 paragraph storyline)
  • 1 page character storylines for major characters, 1/2 page for minor
  • Character charts detailing everything there is to know about each character

To me, these steps just aren’t sufficient to create an entire character, especially one who develops in synchrony with the plotline.

The first two steps work well together, but then, you’re suddenly expected to know “everything there is to know about each character” (the last bullet point is, in fact, a quote from the Snowflake Method article). I ended up skipping that step (more or less), as it actually seems impossible to me.

Rather than that step, I researched character arcs and developing realistic characters, and I found an article about a very simple yet emotional way to develop them: Creating Deep Realistic Characters

This includes only 4 steps:

  1. The Goal
  2. The Motivation
  3. The Deep Dark Belief
  4. The Origin of the Deep Dark Belief

It was difficult to figure this out so late in the process, so when planning another novel, I will definitely move this sooner. I still have yet to figure out how exactly I will alter The Snowflake Method to fit my character needs (perhaps adding more steps?), but I will.

Which is actually another thing I love about The Snowflake Method: you’re allowed to, even supposed to, alter it to fit your needs. You can add, remove, and change steps all you want, so that it works for you.

No Worldbuilding?

There is no worldbuilding, or even setting development, involved in The Snowflake Method. Which can be a problem, especially if you’re creating a fantasy world.

There are two sides to this issue. On one hand, you want to be able to develop your setting enough that it can take part in your plot. On the other hand, you don’t want the setting to be so important that it constricts your ability to create a good plot.

For me, this wasn’t as important. I’ve started writing Battle Song twice, and both times I developed the world and the magic a little bit more. I already had enough information that I could incorporate it into the plot.

I don’t think there’s a way to include worldbuilding into the steps of The Snowflake Method, though. Character and plot are very much intertwined, while the setting may only have a minor effect.

I’d assume this is part of the “composting” that Ingermanson talks about: the time before you begin The Snowflake Method, where you spend time just thinking about your novel, collecting ideas. Doing some development beforehand gives you a solid backdrop while you create characters and plot, but you can always change it later on, if needed.


I love how The Snowflake Method helped me organize my novel into something cohesive and understandable! It needs a few personal tweaks and alterations to work for me, but there is definitely a solid foundation.

I would definitely recommend this method to anyone who:

  • doesn’t already have a planning method that works for them
  • wants to become more serious about writing
  • wants outlines that make them feel professional (obviously important)

Your Thoughts

If you’ve tried The Snowflake Method, what did you think of it? What were some things that you would change?

If you haven’t, how do you plan your novels (or do you)? What is your favorite part of the writing process (planning, writing, revising, etc.)? What do you think is the most important element to develop when planning a novel?

(P.S. I started drafting Battle Song the other day! So you should see a post about that soon!)


The New Year Approaches (2017-2018 Goals)

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Hey, everyone! Hopefully you all had a wonderful Christmas and so forth! I am back–hopefully for real now, since I want to continue blogging at a more constant pace this next year. Of course, I said that last year, too. BUT! This post is about the New Year, and New Year’s resolutions!

It’s a tradition to review my goals from last year, and make new ones for next year. I’m going to try to make this year’s goals more clear and concise–hopefully just one for each section. However, the review from last year will be a little longer.

If you want to see my post like this from last year, see here: Review of 2016, Plans for 2017

2017 Goal Results

Life Goals:

1. Continue reading my scriptures every day, and pray every morning and night.

Well…I did well at this for the first part of the year, and then it started to drift away. I still read my scriptures in the morning, but I’m so tired that it’s just not very conducive to reading and understanding. And I’ve also been struggling with praying…so I know that I still need to improve on this one!

2. Write in my journal at least 6 out of 7 days every week (85% of the time).

Hahahhha nope. But…I actually did better than I thought. I got 201 entries (as of Dec. 19th, when I started writing this), which is only 55% of the time. But that’s still a lot of entries.

My worst month: March, with only 6 entries.

My best month: June, with 25 entries. (Which is so close to meeting the 85% mark!)

1st half of the year: 100 entries exactly!

What I noticed is that I tend to write more entries if I write every day–skipping a day leads to skipping more days, while writing multiple days in a row makes me more likely to write more further on. (And maybe this is obvious, but it was cool.)

3. Start researching colleges and apply for college at the end of 2017.

Yes! I have applied to some colleges, and I know I’m accepted to one of them…we’ll see on the others in 2017. I’m not sure exactly where I want to go, but I have an idea…the question is if I can get a scholarship because I need money.

But I am proud for my applications! One of them was especially stressful, with basically 6 essays required…but I did it!

4. Get my driver’s license and finish my online class (this should be done by February, though).

Yes, and yes. Although I did not get my driver’s license by February, hehh, and I think I had to get an extension on the online class. Thank goodness those are both done!

5. Do an act of service at least once a week.

Oops. I forgot about this. And while I did some service, I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it once a week. I need to do better at this one as well.

6. Get a job. I don’t want one…but I need one and it’ll be a good experience for me.

No, I didn’t get a job. I’m still afraid of being stuck working a job that I hate…but I’m also realizing how much going to college will actually cost, and…I either need to get a job or do some work for my dad some more.

But, I sort of got a job… I think I might’ve mentioned it once–my grandpa wrote his own history, and I edited it for him. Not necessarily a “real” job, but I did earn some money from it.

Reading Goals:

1. Read at least 5 books a month and post reviews on them on Goodreads (so a goal of reading 60 books…though I might change that to 75).

Definitely did this! Well…not necessarily the 5 books a month, but I did read 60 books & add reviews for them. I read a lot more, too, but I went through a phase where I didn’t want to write reviews on Goodreads, so I didn’t…

At the moment, Goodreads says that I have read 74 books, though I assume what I actually read is somewhere in the range of 85-100, which makes me quite satisfied!

Blogging Goals:

1. Blog at least 6 times a month (at least 72 posts throughout the year).

Yeah, that didn’t happen. You may have noticed, but halfway through the year or so, I just got tired of blogging and didn’t do anything. However, I’m hoping to do better next year! (Posting less frequently, but more regularly.)

2. Keep the sidebar of my blog updated.

I think I need a sidebar that doesn’t need to be updated, hehe.

Writing Goals:

1. Complete the 365K challenge.

No…I did this for January, and then it all fell through once February began. I definitely haven’t done as much writing as I wanted to, and while I feel like it’s okay that I didn’t meet some of my goals, I’m sad that I didn’t write often or consistently.

2. Finish 3 novels, one of which has to be Enhanced.

I didn’t finish Enhanced, and technically I didn’t finish any novels, but I did write and finish my Iris novella, which is something that I’m really proud of! You can read excerpts here and here, if you’d like.

3. Start a maximum of 2 novels.

I have to think about this, but I might have actually done this one since I didn’t write as much this year, haha. I started (and finished) my Iris novella, and I started the MG dragon novel I mentioned in last year’s post for April Camp NaNo (and lost).

I also started Battle Song again, but since that was a second draft, it doesn’t really count, right?

4. Write a short story/flash fiction every month.

This did not happen. I think I might have written one short story this year…though I did start a couple of them, I think.

Thoughts on 2017 & Other Accomplishments

So, I clearly did not do very well on my goals (except for the reading one, haha), but…I feel pretty good about my year as a whole. Maybe it’s just rosy recollection, but I think I needed some time and space to spend more time on school and the people around me. So here’s some other accomplishments from the year:

  • I made some really awesome friends this year at school! And since one of the things I’ve struggled with for a long time is being shy, it feels so good to be around people who actually care about my opinion and want to be around me! Whenever I’m around them, I can’t help but thank God for the blessings He has given me.
  • I started “Becoming an Author” with Battle Song. I think I’ve only done two posts in this series, but hopefully it will continue in the future…or it will just become my entire outlook! I’ve become more focused on my writing and trying to improve with it, to make it actually something I can do in the future.
  • I applied to college! And I tried out for a music composition major, something I probably wouldn’t have done on my own, but my voice teacher encouraged me to. And even though I don’t know if that’s something I want to do, I feel good about reaching out a little more than I normally would.

There are probably other things, too, but I’m really only remembering the last few months or so–but they have been good months!

Now on to the New Year! Yay! *hands you some cookies to help you get through the rest of this post*

Goals for 2018

I want these goals to be slightly more ambiguous than the last two years’ have been. Not in a bad, vague way, but in a way that allows me to accomplish something good even if my perspective changes throughout the year. With this, I’m trying to keep it to only one goal per section as well!

Life Goal(s)

Learn how to live on my own. (See, kind of vague.) I’m planning on going to college next year and living on my own, even though I could probably still live at home, in order to help myself grow and learn new things, and so forth. So…I have to figure out how to do that (which kind of terrifies me)! And a lot of things could be involved with this, but that’s my main goal, so I’ll leave it at that.

Grow closer to God and more secure in my beliefs. I know I said I was keeping it to one per section, but I feel like this one is important enough that I need to add it in as well. This year, I feel like I’ve grown farther away from what I believe, and I know I need to do better.

Reading Goal

Read 60 books and review them on Goodreads. I know I’ll read more than that, but I think this is a good amount for me to actually review. I should probably also figure out how to use Goodreads as a sort of form of social media or something, but right now, I just use it as a way to track my books, and that’s okay.

Blogging Goal

Find out what I want to blog about, and do it consistently. I’ve spent a little bit of time deciding what it is I want to blog about and what I want to share with you all (basically I’m just going to talk about my writing every day, mwahaha). I don’t know how often I’ll post–maybe only twice a month or something–but I want to make it consistent and not have several-months-long breaks from blogging. Hopefully, though, I’ll be more excited about posting and post more often!

Writing Goal

Publish Battle SongI can’t accurately describe the tingly, nervous, and excited feeling that writing that goal down gives me! But I think that I can actually do it. I’m finally at a place where I think I care about writing in the right way to try to publish, and with a novel that is actually publishable. (I am so excited about Battle Song, by the way! Even though it can often be very confusing and frustrating.)

I want to try to traditionally publish first. If that doesn’t work, then I will self-publish, but the reason I shifted my focus from Enhanced to this novel is because it felt the most plausible to be able to be traditionally published, and I’m super excited to embark on this crazy adventure with it!

Let’s talk!

How did your year go? What were your best moments/accomplishments, and what are your top goals for 2018? Link to your New Year’s Resolutions posts once you’ve written them; I’d love to check them out! And what do you think about me trying to get Battle Song published? Crazy, exciting, or both?

Also, it’s been a while! How have you all been? Tell me about your Christmas and all the adventures you’ve had while I’ve been gone!

Should Books Be Made Into Movies?

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I’ve been wanting to do a discussion post where I can hear your thoughts. So, after watching the third Hobbit movie yesterday, I wanted to ask you the big question: should books be made into movies? And what are the pros and cons of doing so?

I think every author, at least once, dreams of seeing their novel on the silver screen. And yet, readers are almost always unsatisfied with the job that the movie producers do.

So, should books be made into movies?

Ultimately, I want to hear your thoughts & your ideas, but I’m going to share some of the pros and cons of movie adaptations. Tell me if you agree or disagree with them!


  • It brings more people to the book and gives the author a greater reading community.
  • It shares a good story with more people. Some people who don’t read books will watch the movie and get to share in the genius.
  • It’s easier on your mind when the book is hard to understand (*cough*Lord of the Rings*cough*) or when you’re just tired.
  • It has music! Which is awesome! Especially when you get a really cool soundtrack (Lord of the Rings, again!).
  • It helps you visualize. Especially when you’re like me and you can’t visualize what characters or settings look like. Plus, there can be awesome landscapes that are just awesome.
  • It can add new meaning to the story. Sometimes movies give me new perspective on the characters and story, and they can occasionally move me even more than the actual story does, or be a companion to it and make them both feel even awesome-er.


  • The producers sometimes don’t read the book! Okay, not really, but they sometimes veer so far from the actual story line that it’s ridiculous. I’m looking at you, The Lightning Thief and Ella Enchanted.
  • People don’t always read the book (which is generally better) after seeing the movie. Isn’t it so frustrating when someone says they’ve seen the movie, whether or not they like it–and then they refuse to read the book? And it’s so awesome, but they just won’t.
  • Or, people don’t know it was a book in the first place! Has anyone else read How to Train Your Dragon? (I like the movie better…)
  • The story is reduced to a shorter time frame. Except in The Hobbit, when they made it longer. This means that things have to be cut (S.P.E.W. from Harry Potter!) and sometimes those things were important to the original plot, so it changes it. Sometimes, this can be a good thing, but most of the time it’s just frustrating.
  • It’s limited to what you can see. Which means that if a book uses a lot of internal dialogue and conflicts, it’s a lot harder to show those. So either those conflicts get changed, or they develop and resolve it through different means that don’t occur in the book.

Obviously, there are good and bad things about movie adaptations. So I want to hear your opinion:

Should books be made into movies? What movies are actually better than the books, if any? What are your favorite and least favorite movie adaptations? What components are needed in a good movie adaptation? If you could make any book into a movie, what would it be, and what would you change?

Ramble away, and we’ll discuss it!


The Food Book Tag

By my order, The Week of Blog Tags shall be extended, in which I shall gift you with a blog tag this one final day (to finish my final tag). Therefore, I shall still not tag anyone, else there be a multitude of tags. If you wish to be tagged, you are! Thus ends the amended decree.

Fin reminded me of the blog tag I’d missed! It’s one she’d (Fin @ Spiel) tagged me for, The Food Book Tag. Thank you, Fin (both for the tag and for reminding me about it)! I promise you, my poor little tag-whelmed readers, that this is the last blog tag. until I get tagged again, of course..

1) What’s a fictional food that you would die for?
Hmm…that’s a good question. I’ve now decided that food should be described more in books. I don’t know that I’d die for any fictional food, because then I’d be dead and wouldn’t be able to eat it, but I would love to have blue chocolate chip cookies from Percy Jackson. Or ambrosia from the same book.

2) POPCORN!!! A book that reads like a movie.
I’m not sure if I’ve read a book that’s this descriptive. My favorite descriptions in books are from Shannon Hale’s Goose Girl series. I just remember a few descriptions that were really beautifully written from that series.

3) CHOCOLATE!!! Your guilty pleasure book.
I love chocolate…but a guilty pleasure book? Probably Brandon Sanderson because it’s completely amazing but they’re long, so I end up feeling guilty for not doing any of my chores or homework or anything because I’m so sucked into the books. It’s wonderful. And horrible at the same time.

4) CHIPS!!! Your favorite flavour genre.
Fantasy, sci-fi, and fractured fairy tales.

5) CAKE!!! An absolutely delicious book that you ate read in one sitting.
Ooh, there’s way too many to choose from. I’ve read a lot of books in one sitting…but some of my favorite memories of doing this has been with Harry Potter books…that was lovely and delicious.

6) PIZZA!!! A book that has your favourite toppings things in it.
Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy books (both Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive) because they have awesome magic and even awesome world building and cultures and I absolutely love them.

7) CUPCAKES!!! Your favourite short story (because cupcakes are small so they equal a short story)
Aww, that’s so cute. Umm…my favorite short story…probably fairy tales, if those count. I really like (and these are all the original/Grimm versions) Rapunzel, The Little Mermaid, The Twelve Huntsmen, and Bearskin. Funny how all those are ones I want to write retellings of (except Bearskin, I read it since I wanted to read someone else’s retelling of it).

I also like short stories with a twist at the end…like The Lottery. Except that one’s kind of creepy.

8) TEA!!! Your favourite story to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea.
Welll I don’t drink tea but probably something winter-y since I’m thinking hot chocolate now. What’s a winter-y book? Anyone have any suggestions of books that involve the winter season as a good book I could read?

9) COFFEE!!! Your favourite contemporary story.
I don’t drink coffee either…or read much contemporary. Like, no contemporary, actually. As far as realistic fiction, I’ve read a few (mostly historical fiction). Actually, I’m reading a pretty good historical/realistic fiction called Letters from the Jade Dragon Box. It talks a lot about China being under communist rule and its really interesting so far. But…that’s not really contemporary fiction. Sorry, I got nothing.

Whew! WE HAVE FINISHED ALL THE BLOG TAGS. Remember, if you want to be tagged, you are! This is a fun one. 🙂 Also, speaking of all these books I’m wondering, do you have any good book recommendations that I should read? If you have some favorite books that you think I might not have read, please tell me! I love getting recommendations.

Burn, Rewrite, and Reread Book Tag

By my order, this week is decreed The Week of Blog Tags, in which I shall gift you with a blog tag each day (in an attempt to finish all the ones I have been tagged for). Therefore, I shall not tag anyone, else there be a multitude of tags. If you wish to be tagged, you are! Thus ends the decree.

I was tagged for this fun one by Poppy @ Poppy’s Best of Books (thanks, Poppy!), and I’ve finally gotten around to it! For this one, I just took my 9 most recently read books and used a random number generator to select which ones for each round. (Okay, I couldn’t remember the last two so I just threw in two books I remember reading semi-recently.) It is so sad that I’ve only read one book so far this summer.


  • Randomly choose 3 books that you have read.
  • For each group, decide which book to burn, re-write and re-read.
  • Repeat until you have completed 3 rounds (or 6 rounds).


  • Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
  • Saving Madeline by Rachel Ann Nunes

Burn: I guess out of these choices I would burn Saving Madeline. I really love some of the other books this author has written, but this one didn’t quite feel up to par, and the romance really wasn’t developed well enough.

Rewrite: I would definitely rewrite Winter. I expected to love it, but in all honesty, the book was hard for me to get through, and I felt like the ending was unrealistic. I’d have to have it rewritten to read it again. (I do love the first three books of this series, though.)

Reread: I know I’m going to reread Ender’s Shadow again at one point (probably at whatever point I ever end up reading the entire Enderverse) because it was amazing. I really connected with the characters and I just love Ender and Bean. It was a great book.


  • The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

Burn: I love all of these books, so I’ll just have to choose the one that I loved the least, which was Xenocide. I think this is kind of like when I read Speaker for the Dead a few years back and it was just hard for me to get through, and now after I reread it, it was so good. So I think it’s probably just that it’s not the right book for me at this point in my reading experience. The world building of the Chinese-ish religion was really awesome, though.

Rewrite: Nooo I love these other two too much. How about I just say I rewrite Ender’s Game so that there’s no swearing in it? Let’s just go with that.

Reread: I’ll be rereading The Bands of Mourning. That book was seriously amazing and kept me drawn in from the first page to the end. Seriously, Brandon Sanderson is a magician. I should write a blog post about how amazing his writing is sometime…


  • Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  • Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Burn: Definitely burning Fairest. It’s not that the writing was bad–it was beautiful–but the content was so…uggh…that I had to stop reading it. If you’re fine with adult content then you might like this book, but for my innocent young mind it was unnecessary and ruined the book for me.

Rewrite: Rewrite goes to Ender in Exile. It was a good book, but clearly it wasn’t up to par with the other Enderverse books I read because I don’t really remember much of anything that happened in it. So it’d need to be a little more amazing to compare with Speaker for the Dead.

Reread: Which brings me to my last reread, Speaker for the Dead. Like I said in Round 2, when I first read this I found it just as hard to get through as Xenocide is for me now. But reading it over again, I found that it was really awesome and kept me excited throughout the whole thing with plot twists that I’d forgotten about and awesome world building, not to mention cool discoveries about characters and their interactions and choices.

I hope you enjoyed and I definitely do not apologize for the plethora of Enderverse books. Have you read any of these books before, and what did you think of them? Remember, if you want to be tagged, you are! 🙂

Book Review: Starship Troopers

I’ve81LFWqiZaVL never done a book review before on here before, but as I’m trying to expand my horizons and read more sci-fi and stuff, I decided I might as well start. However, this isn’t exactly a typical book review, as it will involve my analyzation of the author’s style of writing and why the plot/setting/characters work or don’t work, since I think that’ll be more useful to writers.

Today’s book is Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. The book follows Juan “Johnnie” Rico as he joins the infantry during “The Bug War”, fighting against alien Bugs. There are a few points I’d like to touch on for this book.


The book was written in first person, from Johnnie’s POV, and I found the narration to be very unique in the fact that it sounded like he was writing his experiences down at a later point rather than it happening right now. The way he wrote fit with autobiographies and journals I’ve read, making the story seem realistic even though it was taking place in an almost completely different world than ours.

Another thing that added to the realism of the narration was that when Johnnie would explain things to the readers, he would only explain things that people of his time period wouldn’t understand, not going into detail about things that the people should know about, even if the readers didn’t, which I thought helped a lot.


In this system of government, to be able to get citizenship and vote, one would have to serve in the military for a term of at least two years, and the military only accepts volunteers, which I found to be a very unique and interesting premise. The idea is that, by choosing to fight for others, you’ll fight for better laws and rights as well.

“Under our system every voter and officeholder is a man who has demonstrated through voluntary and difficult service that he places the welfare of the group ahead of personal advantage.

“…Social responsibility above the level of family, or at most of tribe, requires imagination–devotion, loyalty, all the higher virtues–which a man must develop himself.”


The most prominent technology used in this book were the powered suits. They work through negative feedback, which I don’t really understand, except that when you move, it moves, it allows you to jump higher and farther, you can communicate with other people, ther’es lots of guns and bombs, and you can do all sorts of other cool things with it. Johnnie describes it as looking like “a big steel gorilla, armed with gorilla-sized weapons”.

The M.I. (the Mobile Infantry) are dropped from spaceships in shells that wear away as they travel through the planet’s atmosphere, letting them land on the ground in their powered suits in order to complete whatever objective they’re ordered to. They’re called “drops” and the first chapter starts out with one of them.


While there is the plot of Johnnie moving through his life in the military and kind of a growing up plotline, there wasn’t a defined big plot to get out of it, like there is in most adventure/fantasy/sci-fi books.

That doesn’t mean the plot was bad, though. It actually fit with the rest of the book, especially with the autobiography-like narration. The style of the plot reminded me of old classics, where it’s about someone’s life, but it’s not arranged in this saving-the-world plot or anything.

I actually thought this added a little bit to the realism of the book (though I do wish there was a bit more of a climax at the end) because in a person’s life it’s not like they normally have that sort of perfectly organized plot line in a lot of books.


The reason why this book is considered controversial to many people is because they think Heinlein wrote it simply to add in his own beliefs on how the military and government should work. Maybe he did, but I thought they were really interesting and added to the development of the government and military.

Some of the beliefs I didn’t quite agree with, but some of them I did. The moral that I liked the most out of this novel was the element of loyalty between the soldiers.

But you don’t walk away on another cap trooper, not while there’s a chance he’s still alive–not in Rasczak’s Roughnecks. Not in any outfit of the Mobile Infantry.


The main thing that I learned was that a science-fiction novel doesn’t necessarily have to be an adventure-ish novel–it can be just as interesting and popular while using a “classic” style, and I also learned a lot about the life of someone in the lower ranks of military. And other stuff too, but my mind doesn’t want to work right now for some reason.

Overall, I thought this was a great book, and I found it to be a very interesting read. I ended up really liking it, even though it wasn’t what I expected, and I recommend it.

Have you ever read/heard of Starship Troopers? Was this book review helpful or merely interesting (or even uninteresting)? Do you have any advice for future book reviews? I’d like to improve my reviewing skills. And do you have any suggestions of books I should read? I’m mainly focusing on reading science fiction right now, but I love other genres too.

Science Fiction vs. Fantasy

A year or two (or three) ago, my dad gave me a book called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. I didn’t exactly read it, but I did start it, and the entire first chapter was about how a writer needed to choose whether they wanted to write sci-fi or fantasy and then stick with that because publishers weren’t going to let you do both. (At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about. My memory is a little fuzzy.)

I didn’t really think much about that, because I already knew–I was a fantasy writer. I grew up reading–no, devouring–fantasy books by the hundreds, and my foundation was fully built on them. My reading of fantasy books vs. sci-fi books was at least 100 to 1. So it was fairly obvious that that would be what I would write.

The only thing is, recently all of my ideas have started to lean toward the science fiction side of things. There’s the epic sci-fi, which is several books of sci-fi, first of all, and the last few short stories I’ve written are also sci-fi. Then I keep having novel ideas that are sci-fi, like Alpha Star, which is a sci-fi with intergalactic space travel, where a mother has to save her son who was taken from her.

Pretty much, all of my ideas that used to be fantasy related are now all slowly turning to be science fiction related.

I’m kind of thinking the only reason I want to write sci-fi is because it’s another “fantasy” to me, another place where I can create different worlds (discovered by space travel), different creatures (aliens), and a different “magic system” (technology). It’s certainly not because I know about science and have read hundreds of sci-fi books.

However, I don’t just want to give up fantasy and move to a new genre. I do still have ideas for fantasy novels, and I do still want to be a fantasy writer…partly.

So what do you think? Should I just write in one genre? Do I need to have read as many sci-fi books as I have fantasy to write it successfully? And is it possible for a writer to successful publish in multiple genres, or should they just stick to one?

I think I’m going to keep my options open for now, but I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject.

Infinity Dreams Award


Infinity Dreams Award.png

I was actually tagged to do this by three people, Kellyn from “Reveries”kbl from “KBLSewing”, and Aurora from “Incomparable”.  Thanks you guys! But that means I have 33 questions to answer at the end…that’ll be fun.

11 Facts About Me (no, I’m not doing 33 of these)

  1. I love the smell of yeast. (Random, I know, but it was the first thing that came to the top of my head.)
  2. I have alopecia areata.
  3. My favorite color is turquoise.
  4. My favorite season is autumn.
  5. I’ve finished 5 novels, but haven’t revised any of them. (I’m planning on it, though!)
  6. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a.k.a. a Mormon)
  7. I took piano lessons for 7+ years.
  8. My favorite number is 23.
  9. I get claustrophobic sometimes. Usually in cars or tents or in really small spaces.
  10. My favorite tree is either the willow or the aspen.
  11. I love orange juice–I think I could drink it all day long…

The 33 Questions…

Questions from Kellyn:

If you were to choose one place in the world to vacation, where would that be? What would you do there?

Hmm…I don’t know. Somewhere new and exotic, out of the country. Probably somewhere in Europe. And while I was there, I would go sightseeing and eat lots of yummy new foods.

Say you’re trapped in one of your favorite books as the main character. What would you do differently than what he/she did?

One of my favorite books…but there’s too many choices! I would say something by Brandon Sanderson, but most of his books have multiple main characters…I’ll go with Dragon Slippers for this one. What would I do differently? I’d ride the dragons way more often. I’ve always wanted to ride a dragon.

What’s your least favorite thing about your favorite book?

I’m going to go with the Stormlight Archives series for this one, by Brandon Sanderson. My least favorite thing is that the next book isn’t coming out until 2017. Agh!

If you had a choice between being trapped in a frozen wasteland or a barren desert, what would you choose?

Frozen wasteland, definitely. I’d much rather die of cold than of heat.

If you were able to take three books with you on vacation, what three would those be? (And, no, you can’t just bring your Kindle….)

I’d bring my Book of Mormon (one of our religious texts), and then I’d bring The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, since those are both over 1000 pages long and should last me until the end of vacation. 🙂

If you had a time machine, where (and when!) would be the first place you went?

If I couldn’t affect anything, I’d love to go to the past and just observe what it was like (and I’d also really like to meet Jesus Christ) but if I would affect things, I’d probably go to the future and just see what it’s like. Then I could write really realistic sci-fi books, hehe!

What’s your motto?

I don’t know…I don’t think I have one specific motto that I follow or I feel is just meant for me. Also, my mind is blanking on mottos.

What would you hate to see someone throw away?

Interesting question…probably something that I would be willing to take, like chocolate or cookies or books or something.

Say you take up a new hobby (something you’ve never tried before). What would that be?

Something I’ve never tried before? Well, I think it’d be cool to learn to paint professionally, but I’ve tried painting before. Ooh, it would be cool to learn how to weave cloth by hand…I could make rugs and tapestries and it sounds like fun.

To be or not to be? That is the question!

To be!

What’s the #1 item on your bucket list?

To (when I get older) get married and become a mother.

Questions from kbl:

Least favorite food?

Mushrooms. Or squash. But I really don’t like mushrooms…they just kind of creep me out with how they look. They just look wrong.

Most bearable/favorite core subject in school?

English. Because I love to read and write.

Favorite day of the week? (Not Saturday or Sunday)

Hm. I like Fridays, but I also like Tuesdays and Wednesdays too. And Thursdays. I guess any day except for Mondays…

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

But there’s so many choices! I like peppermint sometimes, and strawberry, and cookies and cream and mint chocolate chip, and, well, most ice cream, because ice cream is delicious.

Coke or pepsi? 😉

Neither…? I’ve actually never tried either of them.

Favorite movie?

Lord of the Rings! I love that movie.

Book of choice to live in?

Hmmm…I don’t know. I’d love to live somewhere with magic and nice dragons, but not somewhere where I’d get hurt, but I’m pretty sure that anywhere I’d go would have threats and dangers. So…something with a really cool magic system that I could use. And with dragons. Uhh…I don’t know what book that would be. Maybe I’d go in Dragon Slippers even though there’s not much of that magic in it, but the dragons are awesome.

Favorite and least favorite character in said book?

In Dragon Slippers, my favorite character is Creel, the main character. She’s awesome. And my least favorite character…that one girl whose name I can’t remember that SPOILERSPOILER betrays her.

Favorite holiday?

Christmas! I love the Christmas season.

Favorite color?


Favorite type of shoe?

Uh…flip flops. Honestly, I’d rather not wear shoes at all. Can I answer barefoot?

Questions from Aurora:

What would you do if you were stuck in a small pitch-black room, with no doors or windows, and you were only surrounded by walls?

Cry. And get claustrophobic. And try to find a way out. And pray for help. And if no help came, I’d pass the time by talking to myself or telling stories in my head or singing songs.

If you could choose to change a part in your favourite book which part would you change, and what would you change it to instead?

I have no idea. Most of my favorite books are so awesomely written that even though I don’t like some of the things that happen to the characters, I probably wouldn’t actually change them, because the conflict is what makes the books so amazing.

You are given a choice to choose between a sword and a bow and arrows. Which would you choose?

To fight with, or just to have? If it was just to have, I’d way rather have a sword. I’d want a really cool looking one too, with a spiky/really serrated blade that generally is just super awesome to look at. To fight with…I don’t know. I feel like a bow and arrows would be less dangerous, so I might choose that, but I’d love to learn how to fight with a sword. So I’d probably go with the sword either way.

What was your scariest dream/nightmare?

Out of all of them, the scariest are probably the ones where someone in my family dies. I don’t like those ones at all.

What is your dream job?

Being a stay-at-home mom and an author! That’s what I want to do when I grow up, and hopefully it’ll work out.

What are your thoughts… on apple pie?

It is delicious and probably my favorite kind of pie there is. Yummm. *mouth waters at the thought of apple pie*

What is your favourite subject?

In school? English, Choir, or Creative Writing. I like all of those.

If you had to choose between turning all water into blood or turning all food into stars, which would you choose?

All food into stars because it would make the sky look pretty as I died…

Are you on NaNoWriMo?

Yup! I’m bookishgirl on the YWP and bookishgirl23 on NaNo.

What is your favourite book?

Probably any of Brandon Sanderson’s books. He’s an amazing fantasy author, and I really need to write a blog post on him sometime because his books are so fantastical.

Which of these questions did you enjoy the most?

Out of these eleven, I really liked the sword and arrows one, since I like fantasy-ish stuff. Out of all thirty-three…I don’t know, I can’t decide. There were too many good ones that I enjoyed answering.



  •  Use the Infinity Dreams Award picture
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Tell us 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Tag 11 bloggers



I’m pretty sure every blogging person that I know has already been tagged, so…if you haven’t read Brandon Sanderson, you’re tagged. And you should also go read some of his books.


Questions for Tagged People

  1. What is your favorite hobby?
  2. Out of all household chores, which is your favorite/the least tedious to do?
  3. What is your favorite meal to eat?
  4. If you could only say ten words throughout your life, what would they be? (You could say them over and over again, but you could only use those ten.)
  5. What book are you reading right now/the most recent book you’ve read?
  6. What is your favorite kind of fruit?
  7. What is your favorite picture book from your childhood?
  8. Do you prefer orange juice or apple juice?
  9. Do you speak any languages other than English? If so, what are they?
  10. What is your favorite song or artist?
  11. What is your favorite type of cookies?

Have fun! 😀