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September 2014
16

Anonymous asked

My story will be set in a futuristic society where, in order to obtain medical treatment, one must WANT to be helped/healed. Do you have any tips on forming a realistic alternate society? I love the idea of subtle terror that such events could happen. Sort of like 1984 or the movie Gattaca.

For help on writing an oppressive government, go here.

For tips on writing about the future, go here.

If you need any more help, don’t hesitate to drop another ask.

~DP

September 2014
16

Anonymous asked

also, for helping with writers block, you can check out tumblr user maxkirin because they post prompts, writing playlist, and other type of inspiration :D

^

September 2014
16

The other day in class while we were correcting homework, my teacher said “Always stand behind your work. If you have to, stand very far.” and it totally made me think of writing, and then when I saw the Joseph Fink ‘stand behind it or don’t’ post, I remembered it and thought I would share with you guys.

-T

September 2014
16
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Anonymous asked

But the disposable man is okay? Sorry but sometimes I need a disposable character, a killed twin, a dead partner, they're mostly men but they happen to be women and I'm not going to change their sex if it doesn't make sense in the story? Calibrating something that has nothing to do with sexism purely for your story to be PC is bullshit. Shit happens. Sometimes girls die.

thewritershelpers:

Yes, women die. While perhaps the article doesn’t make this point specifically, I would argue that it isn’t that women die in fiction - it’s when they die without having their character developed at all, and they serve absolutely no purpose apart from dying. Secondly, I believe the author focused on women because it is much more prevalent in literature and popular culture than it is men. Regardless of gender, I don’t think using disposable characters is the best approach.

The only time I think it works is crime fiction/murder mysteries, because a death is necessary to get the story rolling, and most murder victims in stories like that were never introduced to the readers prior to their death anyway. A disposable character, in my mind, is one that we’re exposed to before their death, and they are given no personality, no motivations, no characterization, as if the author doesn’t want to bother to develop the character because they’re going to die in a couple pages anyway. That is a disposable character. 

That’s my opinion on the subject. Thoughts?

-R

I honestly think there is a difference between a disposable character and a “woman in refrigerator” character. Disposable characters can be ok, if you have to do it, and that’s what, I think, you’re talking about in this ask. However, fridging a character is different - it’s bad writing. You’re not creating a new character who just happens to also die, you’re creating an extension of another character. The fridged character only exists to further the turmoil or conflict or whatever for another character. It’s not that difficult to give the otherwise fridged character her own motivations/personality/life outside of the character her death affects most prominently in the story.
-T

September 2014
15

Anonymous asked

But the disposable man is okay? Sorry but sometimes I need a disposable character, a killed twin, a dead partner, they're mostly men but they happen to be women and I'm not going to change their sex if it doesn't make sense in the story? Calibrating something that has nothing to do with sexism purely for your story to be PC is bullshit. Shit happens. Sometimes girls die.

Yes, women die. While perhaps the article doesn’t make this point specifically, I would argue that it isn’t that women die in fiction - it’s when they die without having their character developed at all, and they serve absolutely no purpose apart from dying. Secondly, I believe the author focused on women because it is much more prevalent in literature and popular culture than it is men. Regardless of gender, I don’t think using disposable characters is the best approach.

The only time I think it works is crime fiction/murder mysteries, because a death is necessary to get the story rolling, and most murder victims in stories like that were never introduced to the readers prior to their death anyway. A disposable character, in my mind, is one that we’re exposed to before their death, and they are given no personality, no motivations, no characterization, as if the author doesn’t want to bother to develop the character because they’re going to die in a couple pages anyway. That is a disposable character. 

That’s my opinion on the subject. Thoughts?

-R

September 2014
15
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Guide: Timelines

writing-questions-answered:

September 2014
15

The Disposable Woman: A Trope That REALLY Needs to Go

Anyone who’s been studying story structure and tropes knows the Disposable Woman. She’s the daughter who was killed by the mob, the wife who was immolated by a demon, or the sister who was the victim of a serial killer. These characters are always female, they’re rarely on screen, and their deaths are used purely as a catalyst for the hero’s actions.

This is a message you should really think twice about before sending. A further breakdown can be found at The Literary Mercenary right here: http://nealflitherland.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-disposable-woman-trope-that-really.html

September 2014
15
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betafinder:

Article
#alcohol   
September 2014
14

Anonymous asked

Heyo sorry if you've answered this before but I'm on a phone. The narrator (a white female) in my dystopian fic has a best friend who is really smart but also sarcastic. I'm planning on writing her in as african american but I don't want her to have that generic "sassy black friend" trait branded on her because the stereotype(?) seems pretty stupid. How do I show she is not just a sassy-sidekick (bc she and my narrator are pretty much equal tbh) while still keeping that sarcastic element to her?

I’m not sure what you mean when you say “the stereotype” seems pretty stupid. The fact that it exists is stupid, or the fact that people still use it is stupid?

For the record, I am not a POC, but I care very much about writing diversity well, so I try to educate myself as much as I can. If you don’t want your character to come off as “just a sassy sidekick,” then make her more than that. She needs to have goals and motivations of her own. You need to show her look out for herself sometimes, instead of just being there to support the protagonist (which I feel should be true of any "sidekick" really). You also have to show that she has a range and depth of emotions, and she isn’t just there to provide a laugh. 

You can also avoid tokenism by including more than one black character.

As for the “sassy,” part, I’m going to offer what I think is a valid point, but followers - please correct me if you disagree. I value input from those who know more than I do. If sarcasm is a means of binding your two characters together, I think it’s okay. If your protagonist can be just as sassy and sarcastic as her black best friend, I don’t believe it will come off as a stereotype. Where I think it can go wrong is if you’re showing your white protagonist as someone who is always serious and sincere (and therefore more thoughtful about her life choices, her problems, and her future), and then showing the “sassy black friend” as always joking, always sarcastic, and never serious or genuine. 

I would also suggest you follow writingwithcolor. They haven’t been around long, but I have learned so much from their blog.

-R

September 2014
14

son-of-storm asked

Do you have any tips on how to write an epic fight scene?

I’m actually going to direct you to howtofightwrite. These guys really know their stuff and would be your best resource. 

September 2014
14
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saucywenchwritingblog:

naamahdarling:

howtonotsuckatgamedesign:

mirrepp:

Some harsh but very very true words

When people let me review their portfolios (on career day or open days at my game design school) I explicitly ban them from commenting during the review… …because otherwise they will follow the impulse to downplay everything I see in an attempt at being humble."this is an old image…"
"I’m not happy with that one…""this is just a sketch…"
"I did this really quickly…""there is better stuff on later pages…"It’s totally understandable to have those impulses. The quality of art is not empirical data and therefore impossible to measure. Good art, bad art, it all comes down to standards. And you don’t want to come off as naive or self-absorbed.But just don’t do it. Don’t talk yourself down in front of others. In the best case you have someone supportive who now thinks “damn, this person needs to be prepped up all the time. Do I really want to work with somebody like that” or in worst case “now that you say it, yeah, this is kinda lame/rushed/unfinished/lazy, go away.”You can only submit what you have. If that is not enough, then it’s not enough. Your attitude will not change that. But if it is enough, you can do serious harm by not being confident of who you are now.This means appreciating what you are able to do right now and have a clear vision of what you want to learn, be confident that you will learn it in time. Be proud.

This is really important.  Eliminate this urge.  Eliminate it professionally, when having contact with people in a position to buy your work.  Eliminate it socially, when you just share your work for fun.  Destroy this urge as thoroughly as you possibly can.
Because when you have done that, you’ll find that you feel at least 25% less shitty about your own work.  You lose the urge to do it.  You stop reinforcing those negative thoughts, and they retreat.  They may never go away completely (although they might!) but this is good practice for ignoring those thoughts flat-out.
Don’t shit-talk yourself.  Even if you can’t be SO PROUD, don’t ever try to influence anyone’s opinion toward your work in the negative.
Try to love your work.  Try to see what you learned from each piece, even if it’s a failure.  If you feel that you learned nothing, appreciate the fact that just spending time on it is honing your skills and giving you valuable practice.
i used to be super not-confident in my own work.  When I stopped pointing out the flaws in my own stuff, I felt better about it almost immediately.

THIS!  I see so many people post art or stories and say it’s just a drabble or doodle, it probably isn’t any good, people aren’t going to like it. 
There are always going to be people who are willing to tear you down.  Don’t do their work for them.  Even if you can’t say good things, it doesn’t mean you have to say negative things. 

saucywenchwritingblog:

naamahdarling:

howtonotsuckatgamedesign:

mirrepp:

Some harsh but very very true words

When people let me review their portfolios (on career day or open days at my game design school) I explicitly ban them from commenting during the review… …because otherwise they will follow the impulse to downplay everything I see in an attempt at being humble.

"this is an old image…"

"I’m not happy with that one…"

"this is just a sketch…"

"I did this really quickly…"

"there is better stuff on later pages…"

It’s totally understandable to have those impulses. The quality of art is not empirical data and therefore impossible to measure. Good art, bad art, it all comes down to standards. And you don’t want to come off as naive or self-absorbed.

But just don’t do it. Don’t talk yourself down in front of others. In the best case you have someone supportive who now thinks “damn, this person needs to be prepped up all the time. Do I really want to work with somebody like that” or in worst case “now that you say it, yeah, this is kinda lame/rushed/unfinished/lazy, go away.”

You can only submit what you have. If that is not enough, then it’s not enough. Your attitude will not change that. But if it is enough, you can do serious harm by not being confident of who you are now.

This means appreciating what you are able to do right now and have a clear vision of what you want to learn, be confident that you will learn it in time. 

Be proud.




This is really important.  Eliminate this urge.  Eliminate it professionally, when having contact with people in a position to buy your work.  Eliminate it socially, when you just share your work for fun.  Destroy this urge as thoroughly as you possibly can.

Because when you have done that, you’ll find that you feel at least 25% less shitty about your own work.  You lose the urge to do it.  You stop reinforcing those negative thoughts, and they retreat.  They may never go away completely (although they might!) but this is good practice for ignoring those thoughts flat-out.

Don’t shit-talk yourself.  Even if you can’t be SO PROUD, don’t ever try to influence anyone’s opinion toward your work in the negative.

Try to love your work.  Try to see what you learned from each piece, even if it’s a failure.  If you feel that you learned nothing, appreciate the fact that just spending time on it is honing your skills and giving you valuable practice.

i used to be super not-confident in my own work.  When I stopped pointing out the flaws in my own stuff, I felt better about it almost immediately.

THIS!  I see so many people post art or stories and say it’s just a drabble or doodle, it probably isn’t any good, people aren’t going to like it. 

There are always going to be people who are willing to tear you down.  Don’t do their work for them.  Even if you can’t say good things, it doesn’t mean you have to say negative things. 

September 2014
14

Anonymous asked

hey i have a question that might sound a little bit stupid but i am writing a novel right now (at least i started one) and i'm stuck at the beginning because my story has to start with the death of the main characters parents. My problem is that i have no idea how to write that. What happens after a death in family? I hope you can understand this :/

I’m gonna get personal with this one, and go with the most recent death in my family, that of our dog. I’m also gonna mention the lead-up to it, because that does affect the emotions afterwards.

Read More

September 2014
13

Anonymous asked

Hey, So I ADORE English language. I love writing and I'm constantly at it. I'm not extraordinary but I'm good. I'm currently in grade twelve and I scored badly on my English exam. Mostly it was because I suck at just copying stuff that the teacher teaches in class. I like thinking and getting to the depth of the story. I believe there's more to it than just question and answers. So somehow I always manage to screw my paper up. My teacher said I'm not good. I'm pretty sad. Is she right?

Most probably not. Going into my history for a minute: when I was very young at primary school, I was labelled with having ‘learning difficulties’, and was put into extra classes to help me with my work. As I got older in primary school it was decided I was ‘average’, so the extra classes stopped. It wasn’t until I hit high school that the headteacher there listened to what my class teachers said, gave me some tests, and moved me up a year. Basically, what had been thought of as me being dim was actually me being bored and not bothering because I found things too easy. It was amazing how my report changed when I got to the year above and did harder work.

Coming back to you: you can’t jump through all the hoops when answering test papers. Therefore the school system thinks you aren’t smart. That’s not the case. I still struggle with English, I can do the creative stuff fine, just not the formal stuff and the memorising what the teacher has said. Maybe ask them specifically what they think the problem is, but don’t let what is said get you down. Life is more than questions, answers, and jumping through hoops, but those things will always be there as obstacles. Just keep writing, and keep getting to the heart of the story.

~DP

September 2014
13

Anonymous asked

Idk if you guys can help or not but I have this character that, when the opportunity presents itself, will cause chaos/fights by subtly doing something that causes a big reaction. It is an important part of her character, so I want her to do this several times and I am having a hard time coming up with things for her to do. Any suggestions?

There are plenty of little things that a person can do and they all come done to one thing: Breaking trust. Everyone trusts everyone else to a certain extent. Even people passing each other on the street. Trust is a very important thing, but also a very fragile one. By breaking the trust between two people someone can cause a lot of dissent and chaos. 

Assuming the character has no powers, and is just a normal human there are lots of little things they can do. It will be a lot easier if they’re on a team with other people, and have access to their stuff and their living quarters. If they know the people well they would know what gets on their nerves. One way to subtly cause a fight in this case is to start rumors. Telling one person that the other said something mean or sensitive about them would certainly cause enough doubt to raise a fuss. Another thing they can do (provided they have access) is plant evidence. By breaking something important to them and planting the evidence on someone else they could start a fight. Or, if a person has a past with something or someone, planting evidence of continued involvement with that person or thing could create mistrust.

If the person doesn’t have access to someone’s personal life they can still cause mistrust in the same ways, but it would have to be a bit less subtle. By causing mistrust between strangers you’d have to make a fuss about something. For example if you stood in a crowd and said to any random person “Hey aren’t you that guy on tv? The one who killed all those people?” Everyone around will become suspicious and possibly even violent. As for planting evidence if you put something illegal or condemning in or on a person and then make a fuss about it that will also break the generally held trust within the crowd.

Just remember that trust is key in any relationship from a marriage to a “hello” on the street. Break that trust and you have a fight coming sooner or later.

Happy Writing,

-B