July 1, 2014

yuusaris:

yuusaris:

yuusaris:

omg ashley you have unlimited scroll im not sure how you survive

I CAN REMOVE THE FUCKING UNLIMITED SCROLL?!?!?!?!?!

the deed is done. 

image

(you do it by going into ‘setting’ and then clicking on ‘dashboard’)

I never knew this. never. My life is so much simpler now.

July 1, 2014

yuusaris:

ashley imma make make your life 300% easier and turn off unlimited scroll. tell me if you want me to change it back.

When I backtrack, I just scroll. I scroll and scroll and scroll until I’ve found my tail and the cycle begins anew

2:53pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZE9bEv1KGtEl5
  
Filed under: BLESS U 
June 26, 2014
On Writing: Secondary Characters

readingwithavengeance:

Secondary (and tertiary and further) characters are every bit as important as your main character.  Where the main character has to be the vehicle for her or his personal story — and more often than not it’s a story of exceptions — the secondary characters are going to carry your world.  By having a wide and diverse cast of bit characters, you show your world as being rich and fully-formed.  Characters will accomplish this impression of a ‘full world’ far more evocatively than any amount of trivia you might come up with.  But, seeing as secondary characters by nature get less page-time than main characters, it can sometimes be hard to really express them as being vivid and fully-developed.

  • Less is more - It feels hard to give your secondary characters as much development as your main characters because it is hard.  It’s nigh-on impossible.  And frankly, books that try it run the risk of getting too cluttered.  So don’t.  While your characters should be fully-formed to you, the audience should only get glimpses of them when they’re on the page.  If they have their own character arc but we only get to see the start and the end of it, that’s fine.  The impression that they’ve got off-page stuff we don’t get to see is going to make them feel more real anyway.

Read More

(via thewritingcafe)

June 25, 2014
Writing Research - Ancient Rome

ghostflowerdreams:

Ancient Rome was an Italic civilization that began on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants (roughly 20% of the world’s population) and covering 6.5 million square kilometers (2.5 million sq mi) during its height between the first and second centuries AD.

In its approximately 12 centuries of existence, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to a classical republic to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate Southern and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa, and parts of Northern and Eastern Europe, Rome was preponderant throughout the Mediterranean region and was one of the most powerful entities of the ancient world. It is often grouped into “Classical Antiquity” together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. [x]

Names

Society & Life

Commerce

Entertainment & Food

Hygiene, Health & Medicine

Fashion

Dialogue/Language

Justice & Crime

(via thewritingcafe)

June 11, 2014

(Source: stkreuz, via cutestforlife)

June 5, 2014

God, I can’t delete that untuil i get home FUCK internet explorer….

June 5, 2014
yuusaris:

ygocanonshuffle:

yu-gi-yaoi:

an au where kaiba teaches sunday school


an au where atheist kaiba teaches sunday school
“THERE IS NO GOD. THERE IS ONLY DUEL DISK.”

 #’BUY KAIBACORP’

yuusaris:

ygocanonshuffle:

yu-gi-yaoi:

an au where kaiba teaches sunday school

image

an au where atheist kaiba teaches sunday school

“THERE IS NO GOD. THERE IS ONLY DUEL DISK.”

 #’BUY KAIBACORP’

June 2, 2014

sxtrovert said: Okay, so I recently began writing a new story (after shamefully abandoning a previous story with over 30k words) and I'm a little stuck on something pretty trivial. There's a scene in which two characters are walking to a nearby location and talking to each other along the way. My issue is that the scene is basically 70-80% dialogue, which I think makes it boring and would have readers skipping lines. Is there any way I can bring the scene to life? Thanks in advance.

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

Well first off, make a list of all of the information this scene delivers unto the reader.

For example,

  • The reader learns there is a great war brewing in the east.
  • The reader learns that Jo has budding feelings for John.
  • The reader learns that hunters frequently poach the woods, looking for…

Then ask yourself if all of this information really needs to be conveyed via dialogue. I’m gonna stick with those things for my scene to use as an example. It’s not gonna be the best writing in the world, but the purpose is just to show you how to work with scenes where there is due to be more dialogue than there has been previously.

Keep Them Talking

The first point about the war could be relayed through conversation alone since there isn’t likely to be a news broadcast in the middle of nowhere. In this instance, word of mouth is the most likely source for the information, so you don’t have to avoid dialogue at all costs. By all means, use it!

'Things are tense now,' said John.

He had his back to me, his gaze trained on the sun as it rose behind the distant mountains.

'They've closed their borders for fear of invasion from the north. There's no way we're getting through that passage today.'

Just don’t make it black and white. Tease information, so that the reader can draw their own conclusions. I don’t have to say, ‘there is a war brewing in the east’. John looking eastward and speaking of closed borders and invasion makes that clear enough.

Undertones

The feelings of one character towards another are things you can layer underneath the scene. Rather than getting a character to shout, ‘I hate you!’ or ‘I care about you!’, try and show their brewing hatred - or affection - in other ways.

He looked thin and frail, and the wound at his arm still seeped through the precarious bandage I’d tied the night before. Pulling my jacket tighter around my waist, I hid the torn part of my shirt out of sight.

'We should keep going,' I said. 'There's a town not far from here -'

'And what if we're seen?'

'You can't carry that injury for much longer. It's already infected.'

'Then I'll lose my arm.'

'Don't be ridiculous.'

I shoved him hard, knocking him a step off balance. It would have been more fitting for me to keep the distance between us, but I closed it with a sure stride. I teased the bandage at his arm and re-tightened the knot…

Rely on Your Setting

You say your characters are walking from A to B, so what kind of things around them can speak on their behalf? I listed that in my scene, there are hunters around, poaching the woods for something specific. It’s not likely that John or Jo would know everything about the landscape or what is to come, so they can see it or hear it instead, right?

Already, I have a fair bit of dialogue in my scene, but it can be broken up with description or internal monologue to keep it from coming across as a ping-pong dialogue segment.

Where the track had once been uncertain, a pathway of flattened grass opened up beneath the tree boughs. John shielded his eyes from the jabbing rays of the sun. If I hadn’t kept my gaze low, I might never have caught it. With no time to explain, I wrapped my arms around his waist and dragged him a few steps back.

'Idiot,' I seethed. 'You almost lost your foot as well as your arm!'

He broke free of my hold and stared ahead, aware of the toothed, metal trap concealed well by the long grass.

'Hunters?' he wondered aloud. 'It's unusual for them to be this far out.'

I shivered. ‘Let’s just get out of here already.’

'Yeah,' he agreed. 'Rumour says they're raised in darkness. They see in the night better than they see during the day.'

I caught a laugh in my throat, then stifled it. Hurt softened his expression for a brief moment, before he continued to walk on ahead. I trotted to keep up…

My examples aren’t the best, but I hope you can see now that dialogue segments can still be kept interesting (this being the operative word when it comes to my quick writing, but you know what I mean, ha ha!) without it all being supported by talking alone.

To recap:

  • Use the five senses. Sometimes taste is a difficult one to put in there, but make sure your characters are taking in the world around them as they walk through it. Give your reader a strong setting, so that they can visualise the world you have created and also learn through the dialogue and the things your characters perceive.
  • Break up the dialogue. Without indicators or any kind of movement between characters, your reader might struggle to keep up with who is talking and when. This in itself should keep the scene from being too dialogue-heavy.
  • Subtext. Try not to have the dialogue too black and white. Make your reader work for their information, and also use the opportunity to show them some character development and character interactions. This will keep the dialogue pieces interesting and also motivate your reader to pay attention as they learn new things about the characters and their feelings for one another.

I hope this helps you out…! Best of luck.

- enlee

May 13, 2014
Hair Help

thechronicleofshe:

write-like-a-freak:

I’m whiter than white and my hair holds zero curls.

But I’m writing a character of mixed race. One of her grandparents is Japanese-American, two are African-American, and one is Anglo-American. She’s got kinky curls like so

image

Basically, I don’t know about this type of hair much at all. I actually have a biracial cousin whose hair looks very similar to this and I plan on asking her about it, but I also wanted to ask any of you guys who might be able to give me more of a writer-geared response.

How would my character need to care for hair like this? What affect would different regimens or no regimen have on her hair? If she brushed her hair out, what would happen? Is there anything that I may not think of/wouldn’t occur to me that I should keep in mind when writing a character with hair like this?

Thanks, guys!

This is literally my hair type. 

1. Black skin isn’t as oily as white people’s skin—on average. So, we don’t deal with oil buildup with our hair. We actually have to put oils IN our hair or our scalp gets dry and our hair brittle.

This means 3 things:

  • We don’t have to wash our hair as often as white people. Imagine how your hair feels an hour after you wash it and its dried. Our hair feels that good and clean for like about 2-3 days before it starts to get the way your hair feels after a day and a half of not washing it. 
  • We need to put oil/products in our hair. Personally, I use Olive oil pretty regularly. But occasionally, I’ll put in coconut oil or shea butter instead. And if I’m feeling fancy as hell, I put in Jasmine oil.
  • If we let our hair get brittle/we don’t pay attention to keeping it moisturized, it gets tangled SUPER quickly. And then starts breaking off.

2. We can’t just wake up and have it be in a perfect looking afro without work.

Our hair gets tangled and frizzy and needs to be managed. Imagine your worst hair day. You hair won’t lie down or do literally anything you want and its hella tangled. Our natural hair is like that at least once every 3 days. ESPECIALLY if it’s long like this girl’s is.  Black girls deal with this in several ways.

  • By getting elaborate braided styles.
  • By getting a relaxer
  • By getting braided in extensions
  • By wearing it in an afro that they wash, blow dry and pick out every other morning.
  • By shaving all their hair off
  • By wearing wigs (though this is severely less common)
  • By going to salons often

What we cannot do is just go to bed with our hair all curly and cute and wake up with it still looking curly and cute. If we go to bed without wrapping our hair in a scarf, we will wake up to a tangled  annoying nest of curls.  If we go to bed having wrapped our hair in a scarf, we will wake up with our hair mashed down worse than the most terrible of hat hair. 

C’est La vie.

3. When brushing out those kind of curls, they tend to  look something like this:

image

image

Of course my hair is a lot shorter than hers  in this picture because this was taken years ago. But, if brushed, her hair texture would look something like this. 

Some hair suggestions I would give for how you deal with her hair:

  • Have her braiding it/getting it braided 
  • if she’s in a post-apocalyptic/dire environment, She’d probably shave it off, or make it into dreadlocks.
  • If she’s wearing it natural like in the picture, talk about her picking it out or combing it attentively etc. 

(via thewritingcafe)

4:52pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZE9bEv1FnOV7Y
  
Filed under: Writing references 
April 28, 2014
Describing Chinese Girls

writeworld:

Anonymous asked: How would you describe a Chinese girl’s physical appearance, specifically eyes and skin tone? I have heard describing her eyes as almond is offensive and leads to the belief that is prevalent in some Asian countries that their eyes are not good enough or beautiful, but I also don’t want to exotic-ise them. I also have poor colour perception but know my readers probably won’t, otherwise would have looked at colour swatches. Thank you

I’d start looking for Chinese people from the region of your story’s setting who would be willing to help you out with your research. Once you’ve found a few takers, politely ask them how they would describe themselves. 

If you’re writing from an outsider’s perspective—that is, you’re writing not as the Chinese girl character but from the viewpoint of a non-Chinese or perhaps non-East Asian character—you might do research on how people of your viewpoint character’s culture and time period describe(d) Chinese people who look like your Chinese girl character. 

And another thing: “almond-shaped” can be offensive to some, but keep in mind that not everyone takes offense to the same things. My issue with “almond-shaped” as a descriptor for what has also been termed “Asian eyes” (also a super vague and inadequate descriptor, in my opinion) is that an almond shape to the eye is one of the most common eye shapes across all races in the whole world. In my opinion, my eyes are almond-shaped, and I’m not Chinese or even East Asian. 

And this descriptor has only become even more ineffectual as it has grown into a cliche. It’s just not all that helpful term. If you feel you must describe the shape of your Chinese character’s eyes, I suggest you find another way. As with everywhere else in the world, there is a wide spectrum of diversity in eye shape among Chinese people. Luckily, there are lots of resources online with listed terms for describing eye shape and plenty of people with these eye shapes whose opinions you could ask. Google and enjoy!

The comments section of this NPR article offer up an interesting discussion on the topic of East Asian eye shape. Have a look.

As far as skin color goes—again, this characteristic can vary widely. You would need to research time period, region, and social class at the very least to help pinpoint the most likely skin colors of your Chinese girl character.

The viewpoint character is also important here. If the viewpoint character is a white guy, for example, he might describe your Chinese girl character’s skin as darker or browner (or perhaps not, depending) or smoother or less freckled than his own. If the Chinese girl herself is the viewpoint character, then others would be darker or lighter or tanner or browner or pinker or milkier or fairer or whiter or more wrinkled or less blemished or whatever-er compared to her. Do you see what I mean? 

Skin color is not as simple as brown or not brown and then a variance of darker to lighter. Skin has tones. It has many colors, blemishes, and scars. It can be hairy or smooth or cracked and dry or shiny or beaded with sweat or lined or tired-looking or freckled or colored with a blush or drained of color or sallow or firm or supple.

Countries and cultures are not made up of clones. People are distinct, and that distinction is worth noting. There is nuance in all things, and it’s your job as a writer to capture it. 

Thanks for your question! If any of our followers have suggestions for the anon, feel free to comment on this post or send us a message!

-C

  • metaphoricaluniverse asked: To the person describing a Chinese character, I’d steer away from “almond shape eyes” because it is so controversial. I’m not sure what kind of Chinese you want, but generally the eyes are single lidded, and wide-set. As for skin color, if you’re going light, I’d avoid porcelain. I don’t find “food” descriptions (e.g. creamy) offensive but some people do. If you’re going darker, I’ve personally heard my skin described as golden, honey, tawny, all of which I don’t mind. Hope that helps(:

Thank you! I want to reiterate that the use of “almond-shaped” to describe people with certain eye shapes is a matter of preference. Some people take offense to it, others don’t care. I find it to be as cliched as it is ineffectual in its ambiguity. Ah well. 

I don’t like to use words like “generally” when speaking of populations as large as China’s (over 1.3 billion in 2013), but I appreciate the benefit of your opinion. “Single-lidded” eyes are certainly common in China and throughout East Asia, as are “double-lidded” eyes and eyes that fall somewhere in between (yes, there is a spectrum to be found here as well).

"Food" descriptions, or the use of words like "chocolate" or "honey" to describe skin tone, can be offensive to some, similarly to the use of "almond"—also a food—to describe eye shape. Whatever words you use, anon, be sure that you are describing your character as you wish her to be represented after careful research and consideration on your part of both your style and your audience. That’s the most anyone can hope for from a writer: thoughtfulness. 

Anyway, thank you to metaphoricaluniverse for their reply!

-C

  • Anonymous asked: I came across the ask of how do you describe the appearance of a Chinese girl and I thought I could help a little, being Chinese myself. There are Chinese with big eyes and small ones, so it just depends on how you want your character to look like. Chinese people are generally fair or slight tanned because quite a lot use whitening cream and cover their skin from the sun and there are the tanned ones like me because they are more sporty and outdoors, so that can contribute to the personality.

Again, I’m uncomfortable with using that word “generally” to describe over 1.3 billion people, but thank you so much for taking the time to provide your point of view! I am sure the anon will find your perspective helpful!

-C

9:51am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZE9bEv1EMC5PC
  
Filed under: Writing References