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demonhunting:

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

aetherial:

Checklist for character development.

Created by myself, compiled from questions gleaned from several sources, and some of my own additions.

It should be noted, that not every character will check every one of these things off. It is not REQUIRED to have all this information, but this checklist is, rather, a guideline for helping you think of your character as an entire, three dimentional being with thoughts, feelings, possessions, contradictions and background.

A character is 20% revealed to the reader, 80% writer/author/Mun knowledge. What the Reader sees is just the tip of the iceburg, but without the other 80% the character can’t help but come off feeling shallow. There’s nothing beneath the surface -  KNOWING as much bout your character as possible, instrinsicly, in detail, intimately, can do nothing but help build believability and dimension to your character.

Use only the things on this list that you feel are important, but I would like to remind you that the reader learns a lot about a character NOT through exposition (that’s kind of a cheat, and always feels , to me, like a rather clunky way of conveying knowlege), but through their actions, quirks, thoughts, and even through the things they own and carry with them. What kind of food they eat and how they eat it. What they wear. What they carry in their wallets.  I encourage you, as writers, to consider these things when creating a character, and encourage you MORE to leave the exposition out and tell us about your character through these other means!

If nothing else, this will give you a LOT to work with when writing with your character. Maybe it’ll spur you to write about the character’s parents. Or the relationship between them and their family. Maybe you’ll find yourself inspired to write something about how they lost everything in a fire  - and the importance each remembered lost item held.

There is certainly no rule that says you HAVE to do it this way, but invariably, the most memorable characters are the ones that we as readers can relate with. It’s hard to relate with just words - but people - with beliefs and dreams and fears -  that’s something we can get behind.

I certainly hope you find this useful, and since so many have been inclined to reblog and like this, I shall endeavor to add more character creation and writing tips, lists and excercises up on this blog!

I think this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

- Pen

i think i just orgasmed

Your PoC-excluding setting is a Choice and you should Own It.

cactuartamer:

OK so a lot of people are rightfully criticizing recent movies like Brave and the Hobbit and the upcoming Snow Queen for having no or apparently no PoC characters in them.

The apologists will say that it’s “not realistic” because of the setting. We rightfully point out that A) that’s just not true, because there were PoC in those times and places and B) having things like magic and faeries and dragons in your stories, and then turning around and complaining that PoC would be “unrealistic,” is more than a little bit hypocritical.

But I think it really needs to be brought to the forefront for those “It’s not realistic because of the setting” people, that even if we granted their assertion for the sake of argument, it wouldn’t matter, because the setting wasn’t dictated to the movie makers (or original authors) from on high. The setting is a choice just like everything else in the narrative is someone’s conscious choice, and if someone chose a setting that (supposedly) excludes PoC, then that’s not an accident outside of their control, that is a thing that they actively did and they deserve criticism for that as well.

iamshadow21:

YA author Corinne Duyvis was “glad” when she was diagnosed with autism because it allowed her to learn more about herself and other people. Here she explains how the diagnosis led her to writing and eventually her first novel, Otherbound.

Useful Writing Websites

fictionwritingtips:

I compiled most of the writing websites I’ve mentioned on my blog into one post. I find a lot of these sites useful, so hopefully they can help you out!

Imagination Prompt Generator: This give you a one-sentence writing prompt that will help you come up with ideas. I think it also allows you to set a ten minute timer for each prompt.

Wridea: I really like this site because you can write down simple ideas that you can organize later and put into a bigger project. You can share these ideas or the site will help you randomly match ideas. It’s great for brainstorming and building a fully formed outline.

List of Unusual Words — Here’s a site you can browse through that gives you a list of unusual words for every letting in the alphabet. If you’re looking to switch up your vocab, or looking to develop a way a character speaks, this is a good reference.

Picometer — Here’s a writing progress meter that can be embedded on your site or blog. There’s also the Writertopia meter that shows word count/current mood. 

Cut Up Machine: This website takes whatever words you typed or pasted into the box and rearranges your sentences. It’s not practical for writing a novel, but it might help with poetry OR coming up with ideas. Experiment with it and see what you can come up with.

Orion’s Arm: This is a great website to use if you want to research worldbuilding or if you have science questions. There are tons of resources you can use.

Word Frequency Counter: If you’re finding that you’re using the same words over and over again, this website should help. You’ll be able to count the frequency usage of each word in your text. This should help you switch up the words you’re using and understand where the problem might be.

Phrase Frequency Counter: This is same site explained above, but it counts the phrases you’re using.

My Writing Nook: This allows you to write or jot down ideas wherever you are. You don’t need to have your laptop in order to access it, so it might help you during this time. You can write as long as you have your phone.

Writer: The Internet Typewriter - This site lets you write, save, share, and/or convert your writing online. I tried it out and it’s pretty cool. It saves for you and is a great way to brainstorm or plan out some ideas.

The Forge - The Forge is a fantasy, creature, spell, and location name generator. It’s awesome.

One Word: This site gives you one word to write about for 60 seconds. This should help you get started with your own writing and will work as a writing prompt to get you warmed up. It’s a great way to get yourself motivated.

Confusing Words:  On this site you can search through confusing words that often stump many writers. It’s not a huge reference, but it should help you with some writing/grammar issues.

Cliché Finder: This site allows you to enter parts of your writing and it will search for clichés. If you find that you’re using the same phrases over and over again, this will help a lot. I haven’t messed around with it too much, but it looks useful.

Hand Written Fonts: If you’re looking for great hand written fonts, this is a great reference. All of them are pretty awesome.

Tip of My Tongue — you know when you’re trying to think of a specific word, but you just can’t remember what it is? This site will help you narrow down your thoughts and find that word you’ve been looking for. It can be extremely frustrating when you have to stop writing because you get a stuck on a word, so this should help cut that down. 

-Kris Noel

charliezardrps:

not all character development exists to make someone a better person

people turn into assholes, too. They become more  manipulative, arrogant, clingy, irritated… complex.

and that’s okay, that’s important.

explore that.

✧・゚:*✧・゚:* \(◕‿◕✿)/ *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Anonymous:
I'm currently in the process of writing something. When I finish, I'd like to see it get published. How should I go about that?

legit-writing-tips:

Hoo boy. 

First step: edit. Edit like crazy. Once you’ve done that, get someone else to read your story, and then edit it again. 

If it’s a short story, I strongly suggest you sign up at Duotrope.com. It’s $5 a month, though I believe you can sign up for just one month to try it out, and it’ll give you access to complete listings for magazines and anthologies that are currently open for short story submissions (including some publishers accepting novels and novellas).

If it’s a novel, you have a few different routes to take. First decide how you want to publish. If writing is primarily a hobby for you - that is, you’re not really trying to make a career out of it, or at least not just yet - then you can go ahead and self-publish through the Kindle direct program on Amazon, Smashwords, etc. Be sure to do your research to figure out which service you think is best. 

NEVER use a self-publishing service like Publish America or Xlibris. Unless you are paying for specific services DIRECTLY - that is, paying for an editor or for someone to design a book cover if you’re self publishing, or if you’re directly paying for paperback copies - there is never any reason to pay a company to publish your book for you.

If you do want to take a slightly more professional approach to publishing, there are still quite a few options. If your story fits into a niche market then you may consider researching and approaching smaller, indie publishers. The biggest benefits here is that indie publishers don’t require you to have an agent, and they are willing to take a chance on unknown authors and more experimental writing. 

If you think your novel has what it takes to be published on a much larger scale, then you have a long process ahead of you that will begin with you finding an agent. Again, tons of research needed to find the agent who’s best for the type of story you’re writing. 

Approaching an agent is tough. You’ll need to learn to write a query letter, a synopsis of your novel, and you’ll need to learn to be patient. 

How to Write a Query Letter

There are tons of online resources that’ll walk you through the process of what happens once you start contacting agents, and what happens if one of them takes an interest in you. Usually, you’ll have to send the agent your full manuscript, and from there they may ask you to revise and send it back to them to see if it’s what they want. If they decide to represent you, they’ll shop it around to bigger publishers to see if any editors decide to take it on. I encourage anybody who’s taking this route to do tons of research on the process on their own. 

I can’t tell you which route is best for you. I’ve had two stories published, and I have one more coming out in the next few months. I got very lucky with my published stories in that I follow quite a few writers on Twitter and one of them happened to post about the anthology that I ultimately ended up getting my first story published in. From there, I developed a pretty good group of writer friends and connections. 

The best advice I can give you overall is to do a ton of research and to always keep your eyes open for possibilities. I’m still not a professional writer by any means, but the fact that I have my name out there will hopefully be my foot in the door for future endeavors. 

Good luck to you! 

gimpnelly:

askmaridee:

I took a couple of hours out of my day to be on a panel for Young Author’s Day, an event put on by the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. I was invited to join by John Lustig, who I feel very lucky to call my friend and mentor. We answered the usual questions about the writing process and how we broke into comics, but I was even more intrigued by the audience. Notice something about them?

Yeah. GIRLS. Very. Young. Girls.

So I asked THEM some questions. “How many of you read comics?”

All hands went up.

"How many of you want to make comics some day?"

Most of the hands went up.

Here’s where it really got interesting. “How many of you BUY comics?”

Only one hand raised. I asked her where she buys her comics. She said, “At the comic book store.”

"Do you have a comic book store you like going to?" I asked.

She hesitated. “It’s complicated.”

That’s 10 year-old speak for “I have to go there to get comics but the store makes me uncomfortable.” The rest of them read webcomics. None of them had heard of Comixology before, but they knew all about it by the time the panel was over. What comic would they like to see most? Minecraft. Only Steve needs to be a girl.

It was a fascinating experience, especially in the wake of this article detailing why girls in the 1980s (like me and one of the moms nodding eagerly in the audience) stopped buying comics for 20 years.

The future of comics is bright indeed.

This is absolutely wonderful.

rifa:

maxkirin:

So, let me guess— you just started a new book, right? And you’re stumped. You have no idea how much an AK47 goes for nowadays. I get ya, cousin. Tough world we live in. A writer’s gotta know, but them NSA hounds are after ya 24/7. I know, cousin, I know. If there was only a way to find out all of this rather edgy information without getting yourself in trouble…

You’re in luck, cousin. I have just the thing for ya.

It’s called Havocscope. It’s got information and prices for all sorts of edgy information. Ever wondered how much cocaine costs by the gram, or how much a kidney sells for, or (worst of all) how much it costs to hire an assassin?

I got your back, cousin. Just head over to Havocscope.

((PS: In case you’re wondering, Havocscope is a database full of information regarding the criminal underworld. The information you will find there has been taken from newspapers and police reports. It’s perfectly legal, no need to worry about the NSA hounds, cousin ;p))

Want more writerly content? Follow maxkirin.tumblr.com!

HELLO

The Importance of Mary Sue

geekmehard:

unwinona:

When I was in Ninth Grade, I won a thing.  

That thing, in particular, was a thirty dollar Barnes & Noble gift certificate.  I was still too young for a part-time job, so I didn’t have this kind of spending cash on me, ever.  I felt like a god.

Drunk with power, I fancy-stepped my way to my local B&N.  I was ready to choose new books based solely on the most important of qualities…BADASS COVER ART.  I walked away with a handful of paperbacks, most of which were horrible (I’m looking at you, Man-Kzin Wars III) or simply forgettable.  

One book did not disappoint.  I fell down the rabbit hole into a series that proved to be as badass as the cover art promised (Again, Man-Kzin Wars III, way to drop the ball on that one).  With more than a dozen books in the series, I devoured them.  I bought cassette tapes of ballads sung by bards in the stories.  And the characters.  Oh, the characters.  I loved them.  Gryphons, mages, but most importantly, lots of women.  Different kinds of women.  So many amazing women.  I looked up to them, wrote bad fiction that lifted entire portions of dialogue and character descriptions, dreamed of writing something that the author would include in an anthology.

This year I decided in a fit of nostalgia to revisit the books I loved so damn much.  I wanted to reconnect with my old friends…

…and I found myself facing Mary Sues.  Lots of them.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.  A fantasy world full of Anakin Skywalkers and Nancy Drews and Wesley Crushers.  I felt crushed.  I had remembered such complex, deep characters and didn’t see those women in front of me at all anymore.  Where were those strong women who kept me safe through the worst four years of my life?

Which led me to an important realization as I soldiered on through book after book.  That’s why I needed them.  Because they were Mary Sues.  These books were not written to draw my attention to all the ugly bumps and whiskers of the real world.  They were somewhere to hide.  I was painfully aware that I was being judged by my peers and adults and found lacking.  I was a fuckup.  And sometimes a fuckup needs to feel like a Mary Sue.  As an adult, these characters felt a little thin because they lacked the real world knowledge I, as an adult, had learned and earned.  But that’s the thing…these books weren’t FOR this current version of myself.   Who I am now doesn’t need a flawless hero because I’m comfortable with the idea that valuable people are also flawed.

There is a reason that most fanfiction authors, specifically girls, start with a Mary Sue.  It’s because girls are taught that they are never enough.  You can’t be too loud, too quiet, too smart, too stupid.  You can’t ask too many questions or know too many answers.  No one is flocking to you for advice.  Then something wonderful happens.  The girl who was told she’s stupid finds out that she can be a better wizard than Albus Dumbledore.  And that is something very important.  Terrible at sports?  You’re a warrior who does backflips and Legolas thinks you’re THE BEST.   No friends?  You get a standing ovation from Han Solo and the entire Rebel Alliance when you crash-land safely on Hoth after blowing up the Super Double Death Star.  It’s all about you.  Everyone in your favorite universe is TOTALLY ALL ABOUT YOU.

I started writing fanfiction the way most girls did, by re-inventing themselves.  

Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.  

As a girl, being “selfish” was the worst thing you could be.  Now you live in Narnia and Prince Caspian just proposed marriage to you.  Why?  Your SELF is what saved everyone from that sea serpent.  Plus your hair looks totally great braided like that.

In time, hopefully, these hardworking fanfiction authors realize that it’s okay to be somewhere in the middle and their characters adjust to respond to that.  As people grow and learn, characters grow and learn.  Turns out your Elven Mage is more interesting if he isn’t also the best swordsman in the kingdom.  Not everyone needs to be hopelessly in love with your Queen for her to be a great ruler.  There are all kinds of ways for people to start owning who they are, and embracing the things that make them so beautifully weird and complicated.

Personally, though, I think it’s a lot more fun learning how to trust yourself and others if you all happen to be riding dragons.

Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.

A girl making herself the hero of her own story is a radical act. Stop shaming girls for doing it. Stop shaming yourself for it. 

gattaluvmusic:

queerpunkhamlet:

laufeysonchild:

god-senpai:

queerpunkhamlet:

cis people aren’t allowed to edit my papers anymore

"WHAAATT? I HAVE TO EXPLAIN MY WORK??? IN MY OWN PAPER??? WHAT THE FUUUCK??"

Well if you’re trying to convey a topic not everybody is well-versed on and get people on your side, yeah, maybe citing evidence, providing examples, and helping people understand instead of throwing out a heated statement with little backing and ending on that would maybe possibly make your work a tiny bit more credible. Just sayin’. It’s your paper in the sense that you’re the author, but you’re not the one reading it and trying to get something from it.

oh for chrissakes u fuckstick

1. this is not the first time i mentioned privilege in the paper. or cisgender. this paper was written on my personal experiences with being trans, and the difficulties i’ve faced because of it, and the difficulties that cisgender people with otherwise comparable lives have not faced.

2. the terms privilege and cisgender had both been thoroughly elaborated on in this paper.

3. this paper was written for a women’s studies class, on gender analysis, in which both privilege and cisgender privilege in particular had been explained, elaborated upon, and discussed by the professor.

4. the comment was not by the professor, it was by a cis classmate during a peer review.

5. the words cisgender and privilege are both in scare quotes (in case you can’t google that or don’t know what it means or want to deny their existence, scare quotes is when you put a word or phrase in quotation marks to make it seem less real — the textual version of sarcastically making air quotes with your fingers)

6. another edit, by the same editor, involved asking me what my birth name was. i’m sure you don’t need to be told that that’s transphobic.

7. i spoke to the professor about this edit, and he agreed with me that the comment (and the way it was phrased) was out of line.

bonus: if your reaction to seeing gross transphobic things is “well it’s probably the trans person’s fault”, then you’re gross and transphobic and i hope you don’t know any trans people IRL for their sake

They just wanted you to elaborate. IS THAT SO FUCKING HARD? Good heavens what has the wonderful world of writing come to. 

learn to read, you ignorant shitstain

1. this is not the first time i mentioned privilege in the paper. or cisgender. this paper was written on my personal experiences with being trans, and the difficulties i’ve faced because of it, and the difficulties that cisgender people with otherwise comparable lives have not faced.

2. the terms privilege and cisgender had both been thoroughly elaborated on in this paper.

shut the fuck up and get your fucking ass off my goddamn blog

Side Note To Fan Fic Authors

balliste:

twobirdsonesong:

Here’s the thing.

I read a lot of scripts.  A lot.  From professionals to aspiring writers to complete newbies.  Features and pilots.  Specs and treatments.

And 8 times out of 10 the fan fic that I’ve read over the last, oh, 15 years is leagues better than this stuff.  It’s more inspired.  It’s more compelling.  It’s genre bending and creative and heartfelt.  It’s well-paced and intense and funny and sexy and meaningful.  It’s smart and thoughtful and good.  It’s novel-quality.  Better than, sometimes.

Rare is the script I don’t want to put down, but how often have we stayed up until 3am to get to the last chapter of a 100k fic? And it’s not even a fan fic author’s day job.  This is what they do on the side.  In their spare time.  For free.

So my point is, fan fic authors, you’re good.  You’re good writers and great storytellers.  I know it doesn’t always feel like it, especially if you’re one of the authors who’s not a BNF and doesn’t get the notes/hits that a few do.  And  because some people still view fic as “not real writing.” You guys know the shit that gets made into movies.  You’re better than that.  So be better than that.  If writing is what you think want to do, then just know you’re already doing it.   You’ve already started.

And you’re more talented than you might think.

            

(via intrajanelle)

brodingershat:

You know, the thing that exasperates me about people not considering a work of fanfiction to be artistically credible because it’s derivative is the fact that pretty much everything we fucking produce is derivative in some way. 

Do you even realize how much of what we accept as “classic” literature is essentially folkloric fanfic, religious fanfic, mythological fanfic? Shit, every book you’ve read or show you’ve ever watched involving a multitude of different mythological or folkloric creatures existing within the same universe (see: Supernatural for a prime example) is crossover fanfiction.

And the derivative works we’ve produced in the past have, in many cases, had a massive impact on modern interpretations of the source material- in some cases, they’ve even supplanted the source material.

Read More

downtothelastbullet:

As a professor, may I ask you what you think about fanfiction?

I think fanfiction is literature and literature, for the most part, is fanfiction, and that anyone that dismisses it simply on the grounds that it’s derivative knows fuck-all about literature and needs to get the hell off my lawn.

Most of the history of Western literature (and probably much of non-Western literature, but I can’t speak to that) is adapted or appropriated from something else.  Homer wrote historyfic and Virgil wrote Homerfic and Dante wrote Virgilfic (where he makes himself a character and writes himself hanging out with Homer and Virgil and they’re like “OMG Dante you’re so cool.”  He was the original Gary Stu).  Milton wrote Bible fanfic, and everyone and their mom spent the Middle Ages writing King Arthur fanfic.  In the sixteenth century you and another dude could translate the same Petrarchan sonnet and somehow have it count as two separate poems, and no one gave a fuck.  Shakespeare doesn’t have a single original plot—although much of it would be more rightly termed RPF—and then John Fletcher and Mary Cowden Clarke and Gloria Naylor and Jane Smiley and Stephen Sondheim wrote Shakespeare fanfic.  Guys like Pope and Dryden took old narratives and rewrote them to make fun of people they didn’t like, because the eighteenth century was basically high school.  And Spenser!  Don’t even get me started on Spenser.

Here’s what fanfic authors/fans need to remember when anyone gives them shit: the idea that originality is somehow a good thing, an innately preferable thing, is a completely modern notion.  Until about three hundred years ago, a good writer, by and large, was someone who could take a tried-and-true story and make it even more awesome.  (If you want to sound fancy, the technical term is imitatio.)  People were like, why would I wanna read something about some dude I’ve never heard of?  There’s a new Sir Gawain story out, man!  (As to when and how that changed, I tend to blame Daniel Defoe, or the Modernists, or reality television, depending on my mood.)

I also find fanfic fascinating because it takes all the barriers that keep people from professional authorship—barriers that have weakened over the centuries but are nevertheless still very real—and blows right past them. Producing literature, much less circulating it, was something that was well nigh impossible for the vast majority of people for most of human history.  First you had to live in a culture where people thought it was acceptable for you to even want to be literate in the first place.  And then you had to find someone who could teach you how to read and write (the two didn’t necessarily go together).  And you needed sufficient leisure time to learn.  And be able to afford books, or at least be friends with someone rich enough to own books who would lend them to you.  Good writers are usually well-read and professional writing is a full-time job, so you needed a lot of books, and a lot of leisure time both for reading and writing.  And then you had to be in a high enough social position that someone would take you seriously and want to read your work—to have access to circulation/publication in addition to education and leisure time.  A very tiny percentage of the population fit those parameters (in England, which is the only place I can speak of with some authority, that meant from 500-1000 A.D.: monks; 1000-1500: aristocratic men and the very occasional aristocratic woman; 1500-1800: aristocratic men, some middle-class men, a few aristocratic women; 1800-on, some middle-class women as well). 

What’s amazing is how many people who didn’t fit those parameters kept writing in spite of the constant message they got from society that no one cared about what they had to say, writing letters and diaries and stories and poems that often weren’t discovered until hundreds of years later.  Humans have an urge to express themselves, to tell stories, and fanfic lets them.  If you’ve got access to a computer and an hour or two to while away of an evening, you can create something that people will see and respond to instantly, with a built-in community of people who care about what you have to say.

I do write the occasional fic; I wish I had the time and mental energy to write more.  I’ll admit I don’t read a lot of fic these days because most of it is not—and I know how snobbish this sounds—particularly well-written.  That doesn’t mean it’s “not good”—there are a lot of reasons people read fic and not all of them have to do with wanting to read finely crafted prose.  That’s why fic is awesome—it creates a place for all kinds of storytelling.  But for me personally, now that my job entails reading about 1500 pages of undergraduate writing per year, when I have time to read for enjoyment I want it to be by someone who really knows what they’re doing.  There’s tons of high-quality fic, of course, but I no longer have the time and patience to go searching for it that I had ten years ago. 

But whether I’m reading it or not, I love that fanfiction exists.  Because without people doing what fanfiction writers do, literature wouldn’t exist.  (And then I’d be out of a job and, frankly, I don’t know how to do anything else.)

"

I do not see Neil Gaiman getting chased around and called a plagiarist like I was this summer when I wrote three words which also appear in the Hunger Games! (And before that, as it turns out, in The Emperor’s New Groove. Llamas, sue the Hunger Games!)

I am very tired of seeing women insulted for things every dude in the world is allowed to do. It is not literary critique. It is violent misogyny.

"

- Holy shit, Sarah Rees Brennan is on FIRE. The whole glorious indelible mic-drop of an essay is here. (via katrosenfield)