Thursday, March 12, 2015

TCWT March Blog Chain: A Different Kind of Love

A short interlude from #FanMonth—your monthly Teens Can Write, Too! linkup. Yay.

“What are your thoughts on reading or writing books in non-novel formats? Are there any you’ve particularly enjoyed?”

I like reading non-novel books. I mean, there’s lots of ways to write a book. I myself have enjoyed some non-novel books lately. Here, look:

1. Pastrix, by Nadia Bolz-Weber :: a memoir (ish, thing) of a lady who became a Lutheran pastor. Sometimes it challenged me, sometimes it made me laugh, but I think it was a very raw version of Christianity we don’t see often enough.

2. Tattoos on the Heart, by Gregory Boyle :: another memoir about a Catholic priest who works with gang members in California. A very different version of raw Christianity, but still important to hear.

3. Olympians, by George O’Connor :: graphic novel series (IT COUNTS OKAY) of the Greek myths; I just reviewed the seventh one, and I loved it.

4. A Fine and Pleasant Misery, by Patrick F. McManus :: short stories originally written for newspaper about camping; when you read it, it’s like you’re sitting with pine needles in your butt listening to the stories with campfire smoke in your eyes, and they are beautiful.

Those are the most prominent. Yeah, I read a lot of novels. But you know what I really love, more than novels? Stories.

All of the books I just listed tell stories. Stories, stories, stories. And what is more beautiful than a story?

Stories about baking bread, and sleeping with your housemates’ significant others when they aren’t around, and being forgiven even though you are cranky and cantankerous (and aren’t we all?).

Stories about gangs—about watching kids kill each other on the street—about having a girl my age hop into the office, excited that she’s pregnant because she wants to have kids before she dies.

Stories about the gods: stories that teach you to admire Hera, to respect Zeus, to fear Poseidon, to pity Ares, to understand Aphrodite, and to love Hades even more than you already did.

Stories about adventure and misery. Stories about friendship. Stories about making stupid mistakes, and being somewhat over it by now.

It doesn’t take a novel to capture me. It doesn’t take a novel to remind me that I love to read when I forget. And it doesn’t take a novel to punch you in the gut with all the emotional weapons known to man.

I admire people who have those stories to share. They’re captivating. Branding. And if you swear off non-novel formats in principle, I tell you: you are missing out. Lots.

Do you write non-novel format? Do you read non-novel format? Tell me about it! Any recommendations?

If you ARE in the blog chain—drop me a link to your post, so I can be sure to come and visit!

If you ARE NOT in the blog chain—it is Fan Month. Take fifteen minutes, visit three other people who are in the chain. YOU CAN DO IT.

6th – Act I: How Theater Helps Us Write

7thNon-Novel Formats

8thI'm Sick of Novels

9th –

10th – TCWT Blog Chain Post

11th – Not Just Novels

12thConsider... maybe you're exactly where you ought to be.

13th – Poetry, Plays, Prose, Pictures, & More

14thTCWT March Blog Chain

15thLate, late, late!

16thMarch 2015 TCWT Blog Chain

17thTeens Can Write, Too! Post

18thMarch 17, 2015

19th –

20thNot limited to novels either :)

21stI'm Sorry: A Diary with a Strong Female Character

22ndWords in its many different forms

23rd –


25thMarch TCWT Chain

26thTeens Can Write, Too! (March 2015)

27th – (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)


  1. I adore the Adventures of Tintin. Those comic books are definitely one of my favorite non-novel format stories. I've also read a play or two for school. And of course, short stories. They are what I love writing as well as reading. As for autobiographies, I have enjoyed reading narratives of former black slaves before the Civil War. I would totally recommend Twelve Years a Slave; it's written so well it almost runs like a novel.

    1. I've heard of the Adventures of Tintin, but never actually read them. Glad you like them! Plays and short stories are great, although sometimes I struggle to get through autobiographies. I really enjoyed the Twelve Years a Slave movie, so I might have to look up the original book, too!

  2. I like read some non-fiction books. (Such as books on writing or fighting.) I also like to read history books...

    1. History and writing are two things I really enjoy—although personally I'd have to choose fighting over farming. Sorry!

  3. I love reading memoirs, too. It's really inspiring when you get to read about how far some people have come.

    1. Absolutely! Fictional stories open the door to what can be done, but memoirs are great because they inspire us with what has already been done!

  4. Okay, that George O'Connor series sounds awesome. O_O (How did I forget graphic novels? C'MON, JOHN.)

    I've also been meaning to read a lot more memoirs. Sometimes I worry that they're too preachy or sensationalized, I guess, or at least more so than fiction novels. Still, it seems there are a lot of good ones out there--will have to check out some of the ones you listed.

    Great post, as per usual. :)

    1. Do you know? BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME. (But yes, graphic novels are awesome-possum.)

      *nods* I think that can happen, but both of the memoirs I listed are pretty small-scale, or that's what I understand. Very much in their own communities. But, if I have to say one thing, maybe they were both written by preachers, but they did a good job of not being preachy. They're more reflections on their own lives.

      Thanks for reading! :)


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