Knock Yourself Out
How to Write a [Near]-Fainting Experience
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You've probably all read books or seen movies in which a character passes out. The heroine might swoon gracefully and collapse onto the floor or into the hero's arms. People rush to bring water, a doctor, or something to revive her. She then wakes up, rosy-cheeked and a bit distressed, and she fans herself for a while while insisting that she is fine.
Fainting in real life is not nearly so beautiful. Authors, especially ones with no experience, can sometimes fall for such idealized descriptions. I am (un)fortunate enough to have experience in this area, so I will share it here.
Quick Losses of Consciousness
Usually this involves an impact or a sudden pain. The character may have no idea what happened to him or her afterwards, and later results vary depending on the severity of any injuries sustained.
Real-life example: My mom used to work as a waitress during her teenage years, and Aunt Jennifer, her
I Dub Thee...I Dub Thee...3 years ago in Writing More Like This
On the psychology and choosing of names
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Many authors struggle with names. After coming up with a character who perfectly fits his or her intended role, planning personality traits, clothing, hobbies, and physical descriptions, now you have to sum all of that character's being up in a name!
There is an incredible number of ways to choose a name. Often authors are baffled by the vast array of first names and surnames that could be given to a character, and it's almost impossible to start. Whether you're hoping for a name that could belong to any girl on a street or a fantasy warrior from planet Xyla, there are infinite ways of choosing a name.
The best way to find ordinary names is a list. Sometimes one might choose a name that actually means something, while other times one might hope for an ordinary name with little more meaning than "her mom liked it."
Your OC's HairYour OC's Hair4 years ago in Writing More Like This
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You have the unique opportunity to see a Writer's Guide being drafted.
Some bug of a mysterious nature decided to delete the resource text last January or so and I think the text is gone for good, so I'm re-writing it. This notice will be taken down when this is no longer considered a draft. (Yes, I'm letting you read my draft. Now you have insights into my evil mind...)
*~*~*~The Actual Guide~*~*~*
Most girls are taught that there is a standard, all-encompassing way to take care of hair. You brush it every morning and don't pull the tangles too hard. When you wash it, you use a little bit of shampoo for the hair near your scalp, and a little bit of conditioner for the rest of it to minimize tangles. You should only blow-dry it, curl it, or straighten it on special occasions, because doing so damages your hair.
So we learn the rules and follow them, perhaps tweaking them here or there if necessary. It's just like Mom
Planning the Evil PlotPlanning the Evil Plot3 years ago in Writing More Like This
A half-guide, half-narrative on writing a story
brought to you by Super Editor
Before I start writing, I like to have some idea of where I'm starting, where I'm going, and how I'm going to end up there. Let's say that I want to write a comedy about an author who suddenly changes places with her Mary Sue. I usually jot down some basic ideas:
Sarah, the author: ~13 years old, average-looking, glasses, rather tall and gangly
Ellemere, the Mary Sue: ~16 years old, long flowing hair, violet eyes, etc.
Forrest (Ellemere's love interest) : ~18, stereotypical pretty boy who is too dark and broody to make a good love interest
Leon: ~17, Ellemere's somewhat dorky friend who falls in love with her but is cast off to side in favor of Forrest
Tangent: For those of you who are confused, the ~ symbol means "about." I think it comes from math.
I like to draw, so I'd probably make doodles of these characters too. Drawing characters is a great way to develop th
Beating the BlockBeating the Block3 years ago in Writing More Like This
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Please read this list slowly and carefully, considering not only the individual prompt but ways to bend it. You'll get much more out of it. (Thinking about specific characters and/or listening to your book's theme music while you read may help.)
This list is designed mainly to give ideas for characterization-related scenes. If your issue is more along the lines of "I don't know where I'm going," then this may not be as helpful. While you can read this anyway, meditation and logic are usually the things that work best.
If this gives you an idea, write it down! It's a long list, so you don't want to risk forgetting anything.
Not all of these thoughts and ideas will apply to your story, but perhaps one can give you an idea! I encourage you to modify the ideas below to better fit your characters' unique situation. This is just meant to get the ideas flowing. Let's get started!
Two characters are stuck under a br
Character QuestionnaireCharacter Questionnaire4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Convenient location for consolidating facts (986 mg)
Useful reminders (310 mg)
Advice (127 mg)
This is a questionnaire meant for recording important information in a convenient place to facilitate consistency.
Copy and paste text into a Sta.sh Writer, .txt, or Microsoft Word document. Highlight information after the colons and type over it. When writing, record facts about your character here to keep track of them.
The questionnaire is not a substitute for proper character development.
Do not use if you have not written any scenes with this character.
Stop and ask a doctor if you find yourself uncertain about what the answers to many of these questions are.
Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away, and purchase a new computer.
Nobody Loves My Character!Nobody Loves My Character!3 years ago in Writing More Like This
On making characters lovable, in your story and online
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Disclaimer: This is a troubleshooting guide, and it doesn't necessarily cover every possible solution. It's based on my own experience, and not every idea may fit every character or work. Please use your common sense and personal taste when applying this information. Thanks for reading!
It's every writer's nightmare: your characters, after all the things you've put them through and all the months or years they've inhabited your head, have been eagerly displayed to the public and received an unenthusiastic response. Your audience has not been enchanted. They do not drool, fall hopelessly in love, or draw fan art in droves. They don't even pick favorite characters or whine for more information! You've failed. Nobody understands your characters. Nobody understands you.
...Wait a second. Try again?
Deviants who regularly post OC stories and art are lucky: their relationship with their audien
I Have Writer's Block!Don't panic. Don't bang your head against the wall. (All you get is a headache... trust me on that.) Writer's block requires a thoughtful, logical approach, so hating yourself will go nowhere.I Have Writer's Block!4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The first thing we tend to do when we have writer's block is to leave the book. We close the file or notebook and say we'll get to it later. Well, sometimes that works, but sometimes we still haven't touched it a week later. Or a month later. At that point things get a little worrisome. That's why I've compiled this list.
1. Try taking a walk or bike ride. Sometimes you just need the time to yourself. I know you've probably heard this before, but that's because it works. Let your mind drift to your characters, and an idea may arrive.
2. Think about your book before you go to sleep. Sometimes you dream about it, which can provide ideas. Sometimes you figure out the answer to your writer's block before you fall asleep. (If you're like me, you'll grab the nearest Post-it, scribble down your ideas, a
Creating a New WorldCreating a New World4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Please copy and paste this into a Word document or deviation. Then highlight the information after the colons and type over it.
Time/Era: Exact year or approximate time
Name of Country: For fun, you could alter the name of an old country to amuse more educated readers. For example, I altered the Assyrian Empire's name for a conquering people to evoke images of brutality and Mesopotamia.
Geography: Keep track of all the places you mention and their approximate locations. I find it handy to draw a rough map of the area.
Landscape: Trees, soil, water, buildings... Imagine you were flying over the place in an airplane. What would you see down below? (And no, you can't write "screaming people who have never seen airplanes before and think the apocalypse has come.")
Housing: How big are the houses that the people live in, and what are they made of? If they're members of a migrant tribe, what do they use for shelter, and how do they
ExtrasuperfabulousExtrasuperfabulous4 years ago in Writing More Like This
(with a cherry on top!)
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This resource is outdated and has some sections that are poorly written. Several of the ideas are bad. I am working on revamping this to make it appropriate for all audiences and situations.
Here is a better guide.
When you have a story, there are characters that you like, characters that you love, and characters that you hate. Then there are those characters whom you adore. You think about them a lot. You know their personalities, zodiac sign, blood type, Myers-Briggs type, favorite foods, favorite outfits... you name it! You draw them in your sketchbooks and algebra notebooks. You imagine extra scenes from the character's childhood. You can't stop thinking about that special character!
Are you this obsessed with your characters? If you are, that's okay—I am too. However, if you have that much obsession concentrated on one particular charac
Character Description FormCharacter Description Form3 years ago in Profiles More Like This
This form works for commissions, art trades, requests, or any possible situation in which I or someone else could be drawing your character.
This form will give me a sense of how to draw your character! Please copy and paste this text into a note or deviation. Highlight and type over the parts that aren't in bold. You can jump back to this form for the links.
Please share as much information as you can think of! The more info you give me, the more easily I can draw your character how you envision him/her. You won't be pestering me if you tell me the exact hair color; instead, I'll be happier to know that I'm getting it right.
Premium members (and non-premium members?) can add thumbnails to literature deviations through Sta.sh! This is a great way to incorporate reference pictures. Otherwise just put in links, such as
Exercise: Your Character's Distinct VoiceExercise: Your Character's Distinct Voice2 years ago in Writing More Like This
The purpose of this exercise is to see how much you've differentiated each of your main characters' voices from each other.
How to Use
Pick a few major characters in your story. (I recommend using between 3 and 6.) For each of the numbered prompts below, choose what each character would say in that circumstance. You may want to write a few sentences of dialogue from that character or a quick internal monologue.
These lines are meant to generate short pieces of dialogue (about 1-5 sentences), as it's easiest to compare lines to each other that way. If you start writing long paragraphs or another character's reply to your character, then stop. Copy and paste the text. Then place it in a Sta.sh Writer or other document and continue the scene there. If you like it, post it (and credit me for the prompt, if you please!). When you finish that and return to this exercise, write about 1-5 sentences for that character and c
Punctuating DialoguePunctuating Dialogue2 years ago in Writing More Like This
For non-native English speakers and young readers: If you hover over a blue word, you'll see its definition.
Punctuating dialogue can be surprisingly difficult, even for people whose first language is English. It's one of the things that you see all the time in books, but you pay little attention to, and all your English teachers assume that you already know it. Sure, if you read a lot, you pick up the basics, but even then it can be difficult to unconsciously absorb all the rules. (Until 2012, I was making heinous mistakes with commas vs. periods. I'm still weeding out errors from my novel.)
Anyhow, for the sake of my fellow spirits who bemoan the lack of proper dialogue education, I've researched the subject and compiled this little guide. I hope that it answers your questions, and that it isn't too dull.
Note: I use American English. Other English-speaking countries may have slightly different rules.
Paper VillainsPaper Villains3 years ago in Writing More Like This
On writing three-dimensional villains
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Disclaimer: (as experience suggests that I need one) This resource consists of opinions. There may be better ways to write, and my advice may not fit your type of story. Please use common sense when applying the ideas expressed below. Thanks for reading!
Do you remember the Big Bad Wolf? He destroyed the Three Little Pigs' houses and ate them (or only chased them, depending on the rendition). He ran to Little Red Riding Hood's home and devoured her grandmother. The Big Bad Wolf appears in countless fairy tales to eat and terrorize the general populace.
In many children's stories, the Big Bad Wolf is symbolic for the negative consequences that can follow bad choices. Two of the Three Little Pigs failed to work hard on their houses, allowing the wolf to blow them over with his tremendous breath. Littl
The Cracks Begin to Show: Making Flawed CharactersThe Cracks Begin to Show: Making Flawed Characters3 years ago in Writing More Like This
First of all, I freely admit that what I say isn't gospel. I am a total amateur at art and writing. I've learned everything that I know via the internet and a few books. It's just that I appreciate all of the tutorials here on dA that have helped me out, and I want to put a little bit of my own methods back in.
I've run across an odd myth about fictional characters here on good ol' deviantART: If my character isn't a Mary Sue then I've definitely written a good character. Sadly, this is not so. A Mary Sue (see here for more) is just a specific kind of bad character. Not all bad characters are Mary Sues. It would be like saying that since the movie you made isn't Birdemic or The Room, it's a good movie. Erm that's not quite the case. Maybe your skills are only OK. What's a budding writer to do?
Making a good character is a lot more complex than just avoiding
Writing Lesson: Your Character's Parents While I am not a professional by any means, I have been writing for many years and, more recently, beta-reading as well. In all of my experience, I've noticed that a lot of to-be authors follow the easy trends and miss out on some great story telling opportunities. Hopefully this guide will help you improve your story and learn that the easy way out isn't always the best! If you would like more writing guides and tutorials, check out the description below.Writing Lesson: Your Character's Parents2 years ago in Writing More Like This
For this "Quick Tips" entry, I'm going to focus on an important part of back story: parents.
*Please note! I understand that, unfortunately, not everyone reading this has parents. If your parents have passed away or are otherwise absent, please forgive anything written here that might be considered upsetting. These scenarios are for fictional parents only and when I say "dead", I do not mean it to sound nearly as insensitive as it
Writing Lesson: Character TraitsIt's come to my attention as of late that there are a few traits that people give their characters for no other reason than making their character unique. I thought I would just ignore it, but then they started popping up everywhere. I mean everywhere. I looked through the deviations in a group yesterday and saw reoccurring "traits" that make me want to tear my hair out. So this handy guide is here to tell you what's been done to death and when (if ever) it's still okay to use it. I am by no means a professional, but I certainly hope you'll take some of this to heart.Writing Lesson: Character Traits2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Please keep in mind that these are all just opinions, really. I am not telling you that you can't do these things! (Not that I have the authority to do that anyway). More than anything, these are just things to take into consideration when creating a character for a novel.
Heterochromia. This is the condition where one's eyes are two different colors.
HOW do you make THE END?HOW do you make THE END?5 years ago in Writing More Like This
"When will you make an end?"
- The Pope on the painting of the Sistine Chapel
"When I'm finished."
Okay, so you got this GREAT Idea for a story!
- This Great Idea...that births chapter after chaper...
- This Great Idea... that you can't seem to finish. (WTF?)
So what do you do now?
HOW do you make an End?
Fairytales and Myths were my foundational reading, so they became my base model for how a story should finish -- by ending where you began with a solution.
This doesn't mean ending a story in the location it started, or that full irrevocable transformations don't happen, but that the story ties the knot to the Emotional or Karmic place they began. -- The lost find their way, the wicked are punished, the weak become strong, monsters are faced, emotional hang-ups are dealt with, and problems are solved. What is begun - finishes.
-- Stories aren't just about characters Doing stuff, it's about cha
The LAYERS of FictionThe LAYERS of Fiction5 years ago in Writing More Like This
"If you have Action and Dialogue, do you really NEED Description too?
What is the difference?"
The Layers of Fiction
"Himawari-chan, I have your lunch!"
"Here you go Himawari-chan!"
"Thank you, Watanuki-kun!"
"You are very welcome, Himawari-chan."
"I see. Of course. Thank you, Yuuko-san. Do I need to tell you what she said?"
"No! No, you don't, and I don't want to hear it! I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!"
"Yuuko thinks you do."
"That's her! Not me!"
"Are you a fortune-teller?"
"No! Of course not!"
"I'll come get you after class. I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice."
"What? No! I said I don't want to wait !"
"You gonna eat that?"
"Yes I am!"
"I do not, not, NOT take orders from you!"
This is "Talking Head Syndrome." There are no dialogue tags, because I don't use them.
10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing.These are some very basic things for new writers. If you see somebody that could benefit from this, send them a link!10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing.2 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Use correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar everywhere, not just in your writing.
I see a lot of writers that text-talk in conversations, leave out punctuation, don't capitalize words, etc. Even if you're just shooting a message to a friend on Facebook remember those rules! Not only does this create good habits, but I find that it leads to better and more intelligent conversations
2. Learn those tricky rules like "laid/lay" and "effect/affect".
A lot of people slack off on these. Personally, I have to look up things like this all the time because I just don't remember. They're annoying, but learning the differences can help you out in your writing and in real life. Also, the difference between "good" and "well" is a must-know! I hear this used incorrectly every single day.
3. Paragraphs and when to use them.
Obviously your wr
10Q Writers' Tutorial: HeroTen Easy Questions to Fix Your Fantasy Hero10Q Writers' Tutorial: Hero4 years ago in Writing More Like This
(may also work for sci-fi)
Fantasy is all about heroes. Dashing knights in shining armour. Swashbuckling pirates in baggy trousers. And sultry princesses in not-a-lot-really.
No story can last longer than the opening few paragraphs without characters, and no character in the history of story-telling has ever been as awesome as yours. They've got it all: good looks, witty words, deadly swordsmanship, wizz-bang magic, and a backstory of almost poetic tragedy. What they don't have is any rabid fans.
Why? How could your readers possibly miss the ass-kicking/heart-breaking/swoon-inducing nature of your character's mad-skills/emotional-depth/pant-wetting-charm?
Well, they might well be idiots. Or you might want to take a look at this concise (ha!) Ten Question Tutorial.
It's worth a shot? Isn't it?
This tutorial will focus almost exclusively on the main protagonist.
Writing ACTION ScenesWriting ACTION Scenes5 years ago in Writing More Like This
-------- Original Message -----------
"I can't write an action/fight scene worth a crap. Mind you, I can usually imagine them, I just can't write them." -- Wanna Do a Fight Scene.
If you can imagine it - you can write it. The easiest way is by doing it in LAYERS.
The Quick and Dirty Method for writing Action Scenes
Start with a list of ACTIONS & Reactions < in that order.
-- Actions ALWAYS go before Reactions.
(IMPORTANT! Each CHARACTER gets a SEPERATE LINE. ~ NEVER clump the separate actions of two different characters in the same paragraph or the reader will get confused as to who is doing what very quickly.)
Will lunged forward, his sword fully extended in a stab.
Jack caught Will's blade with the flat of his blade. Pushing the blade just out of range of his skin, Jack slide down Will's blade in a short fast stab.
Will turned to the side to avoid Jack's sword's point.
Jack did a quick side-step to stay in front
The Art of VILLAINYThe Art of VILLAINY5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Art of VILLAINY ~ Making Realistic Villains for your Fiction ~
"People will do far more to Avoid Pain than they will to Seek Pleasure."
-- CIA Profiler Gavin DeBecker on Human Nature
When I craft a villain, I go out of my way to make darned sure that my fictional villains are as realistic as the villains we face in real life. I begin by giving them ordinary human Issues.
Within every villain (fictional and non-fictional) there's a human issue at core that drives them to BE villains in the first place. Even mass murderers have reasons (however twisted) for doing what they do.
NO villainous action is RANDOM.
The victim may be randomly chosen, but the action -- no matter how twisted -- always has a reason behind it. That reason is ALWAYS driven by a very human issue triggered by an unfulfilled and essential human need.
Key Human Issues:
* Desire for Connection
The Wasteland AKA the MIDDLEThe Wasteland AKA the MIDDLE5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Trackless Wasteland known as: The MIDDLE
The middle (of a story) KILLS me. I freeze when I have to decide which way things are going to go, and how, and that happens during the middle for me.
Middle, middle, middle... It's the Slough of Despond!
The Middle is where I usually fizzle out.
The middle is DANGEROUS territory.
Why? Because the Middle of a story is where you have a million-and-one options, a million-and-one directions to choose from, and a million-and-one ways to really show off your writing skills.
The Middle is also, where you have a million-and-one opportunities to really screw up your story for good. Opportunities that will send you spiraling into ever tightening circles that eventually jam you into a corner you can't get out of. In short: get you Lost in your own story.
You KNOW yo
ACTION Sequences - Plug+PlayACTION Sequences - Plug+Play5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing ACTION Sequences
The Plug & Play Method
Lets begin with a Review...
The flash of pain exploded in my cheek from the slap her hand lashed out at me.
Why is this wrong?
If you were watching this scene as a movie, that sentence is NOT how you would have seen it happen.
Actual Sequence of events:
1) Her hand lashed out at me in a slap.
2) A flash of pain exploded in my cheek
ACTION Sequences = Chronological Order
REALITY = something happens to you and then you react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
FICTION = the Plot happens to the characters and then they react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
If you want the reader to SEE the actions that you are trying to portray, Chronological Order is the ONLY way to write that scene. In other words, if you visualize the characters doing something in a specific