Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Hey everyone! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you stopped by. This week, we’re finishing out our series for the month of October! How crazy is that? November starts on Thursday—but I’ll be sticking with this series through the end of the week, so you’ll have to wait until next Tuesday to find out what November’s theme is. ;-)

This month, we’ve been talking about themes, legends, and myths that are incredibly popular in fiction (and have been, for a very long time). They’re things that can easily be modified to make amazing new stories, even though we’ve seen a lot of these things a million times before.

And today? Yet another that I haven’t explored yet, in my own writing. I really need to though.

#9: The Unknown

I partially debated not using this as a topic, because it could be argued that the unknown is in every single story ever. There’s always something the reader doesn’t know until the end of the book. That’s just the way stories go. But that’s not what I mean, really.

By the unknown, I mean using that unknown as a major part of a story. For instance, in the movie The Village, those we don’t speak of are an unknown factor, something that doesn’t exist in real life. It’s a creature, or a thing, or maybe it’s a person in a mask. We don’t know, and that’s what makes it fascinating.

It’s also done to death, between movies, television shows, and writing.

But I’ll have you notice that Stranger Things also focused on the idea of the unknown, and that it did so with wild success—and without anyone really saying that they’d already seen this story done enough times and didn’t think it needed to be rehashed in the method the writers had chosen.

So, obviously, it can be done to great benefit and great appeal. Which is why I wanted to bring it up as a part of this series.

As with everything in this series, even the idea of the unknown is enough to spark interest in a lot of readers, which is what makes it one of those themes that we writers should really take advantage of. Seriously. I need to do this. You should too.

This will always be a topic that interests readers, and if you can take your own incredibly unique spin on it, your story could be the next one that ends up being as big as Stranger Things or The Village. That could be you. All you have to do is find the right angle—and I’d love to help!

No, really! If you have story ideas and you want to run them by someone, I’m always here for you. I’ve had plenty of ideas in my day, and a good half of them were duds. I can tell you what’ll make a good story, and what might not have enough story behind it. And, you know me, I’m the author who loves to help other authors. Always.


{Rani Divine}

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Hi everyone, and welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’re enjoying this month’s series—I know I am! I’ve gotten so many new novel ideas based off the things I’ve written this month. It’s pretty amazing, I have to say. Although now I find myself struggling to decide what I want to write next...

If you’re new here, this month we’re talking about Themes, Legends, and Myths that are extremely popular with readers in general. They’re all things we’ve seen a lot, things that in some ways could be considered overdone, but we’re taking a new spin on them and using what’s already been done to springboard a new idea, a new story, that’s never been seen before.

This week, let’s talk about one I’ve never tackled (and one I’m not sure I ever really will)

#8: Magic (or Lack Thereof)

If you’ve read anything of mine, then you know magic isn’t something I write. It’s just not. It’s one of those things I try to avoid, simply because it can give certain characters far too much power in certain situations. I don’t like when that happens.

But, it’s also something that I know a lot of readers greatly enjoy. In fact, I know a great many readers solely read stories that have magic as one of their central themes. Magic, or, of course, the lack thereof.

It’s something we all know about, something we’ve all heard about since we were knee high to a grasshopper. Magic has been whispered about all the time, in nearly every context known to mankind. Science has been known as magic. Witchcraft. Sorcery. Technology. The list goes on and on and on, and people just can’t get enough of it.

Which makes it one of those things that’s extremely popular for us to include in our writing.

People love the idea of magic, the notion of having abilities other than the mundane ones given to nearly every human on the planet. We’re all intrigued by the idea of magic, by thoughts of powers beyond ourselves, and we love to see what people do with those powers.

Of course, because we’re talking both about magic and the lack thereof, you have several options when it comes to writing a story in this vein.

You could write about characters who have magic but don’t realize it.
You could tell the tale of a people who are searching for magic in a world that doesn’t have it.
You could write the journey of a mage who’s lost his magic, in the act of searching it out once more.

As per usual, the possibilities are endless—and I’ve only listed some extremely obvious ones. Magic is one of those themes that we can do anything with, in almost any base genre.

Sure, it’ll probably turn into some form of fantasy by the end, but urban fantasy is a thing too, you know.

Readers will never get enough of their want of magic.


{Rani Divine}

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Hi everyone! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you stopped by. It’s nice to know you’re around.

All month long, we’ve been talking about myths, legends, and themes that are used (almost to the point of being overused) in a lot of fiction throughout the world. From films to television shows to short stories to movies, we’ve all heard of these things being used and reused—and there’s a reason for it. That’s what we’ve been talking about this month. Those things that everyone knows and loves, that we writers can use to our advantage when it comes to our writing.

#7: Robin Hood

Now, some of you might counter that Robin Hood is far overdone in modern fiction, and I’d say that in some senses, you’re right. But I don’t necessarily mean using Robin Hood himself. No, what I mean is taking a character who is essentially good, labeling him as the bad guy, and having him go around doing good for the people around him. People love a story like this. They’re drawn to it, which is why Robin Hood is such a popular legend to begin with.

Let’s use that to our advantage, shall we?

The Robin Hood theme can be used in any genre, in any number of ways. I literally cannot count the number of ways I’ve seen the idea of Robin Hood, of the good guy labeled as a bad one, done in writing, television, and film. It can be done in a modern setting, with a protagonist who steals from those who’ve swindled others, only to get the money back to whom it belongs. Or it can be done in a fantasy setting, with a protagonist who rights wrongs caused by others.

Point is, no matter what genre you write in, Robin Hood is one of those themes you can take and tweak into your story—and it’s one that we know people will love.

True, some people don’t like the Robin Hood tales. True, some people would say it’s been done a million times before and they don’t want to see it again. True, there’ve been so many actual Robin Hood stories made into film and television that sometimes it really is overwhelming. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who love it all.

Robin Hood is a popular enough legend that it’s safe to remold into something that suits your writing. Both in style and in genre.

Of course, I know not everyone wants to play it safe—but that’s when you take the themes of Robin Hood and mold them into something completely new. Maybe your protagonist isn’t even the Robin Hood character, but is instead the Sheriff of Nottingham. There are a million ways you can play it to make it into something amazing, something no one’s seen before, something readers won’t even realize was initially based off Robin Hood.

I’d love to see you try. Send me links or excerpts if you do!


{Rani Divine}