Describing your CharactersDescribing your Characters
As writers, one of our primary goals is to bring characters to life in the readers’ imaginations. To do this, a character needs two things:
1) A personality.
2) A physical appearance the reader can imagine.
The first is created through characterization, and the second is said to be done through physical description. While both statements are true, what I’d like to discuss is how physical description needs to do more than just craft appearance, and more than anything, it's characterization that contributes to vividly imagined characters.
Take a look at the following example.
1) When I entered Mr. Smith's office, he stood and smiled at me. He had a big nose, brown eyes, and short, brown hair. He wore a dark suit. I shook his hand.
What do you know about Mr. Smith from this brief scene? The physical details I’ve given say that he has a big nose, brown eyes, and short, brown hair.
An Argument for SaidPrefaceAn Argument for Said3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Before reading on, I want to make it clear that I only make this argument for writings of the English language. Although it may apply to others as well, I've learned through the comments below that at least in German and Russian this principle is reversed. So unless you're planning to write in English, you should look to writers of your own language for guidance.
An Argument for Said
When writing dialogue, it is necessary to use dialogue tags, which are the phrases that identify who's speaking. They're pretty easy to recognize once you know what they are. Here are a few examples, with the tags in bold.
"Canoodle is a funny word," she said.
"I'll have two beers, one schnitzel," he slurred.
"Don't drink the Kool-Aid," she whispered.
Look familiar? Simply put, they're "he/she said" and all its synonyms. Moving on.
When you're writing, you obviously want to
The Basics of Comma UsageThis guide is meant to give you, as a writer, a thorough foundation in comma usage. I won't cover every use, but I will go over a majority of them, all of which are worth knowing.The Basics of Comma Usage3 years ago in Personal More Like This
As far as this tutorial's subject matter is concerned, I feel comfortable explaining about ninety percent of what follows. However, I want this to be as accurate as possible, so I've gone to other sources online to back me up (primarily to fill in the gaps of my knowledge in terminology). I've included the links to these sources immediately below as well as in the author's description. I will refer to them throughout the tutorial by their source number (Source 1, Source 2, etc). If you wish to better your grammar even further, I particularly recommend grammarbook.com (Sources 2 and 3). Note that all the examples I give in this tutorial were not taken from the sources; they are my own.
1) grammar.ccc.comnet.edu ("Conjunctions")
7 Tips To Instantly Become A Better ArtistPractice, practice, practice. Gah.7 Tips To Instantly Become A Better Artist2 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
Attend life drawing classes over the summer. Blegh.
Take a sketchbook with you everywhere you go, and fill up ten of those bad boys at the coffee shop. Pfft.
Let's be honest here. We all want to become better artists, like, right frickin' now. We don't even want to have to suffer through hour-long tutorials of some pompous snooty hack bloviating over the intricate methods of drawing eyes on YouTube. We want progress, we want improvement, and we want it on our desk in ten minutes ago!
Fine, fine, I hear ya'. While these aren't going to make an instant Leonardo da Vinci out of you, these might get you up to...ehh...Basquiat caliber. Sure, I've made tutorials, but those are more about setting up Photoshop for the sake of coloring an image, and not so much building yourself artistically. Those are more technical lessons. Artistically
Critiques: The artist's worst nightmare....Or so it is often thought. But it should never be.Critiques: The artist's worst nightmare....2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
(Please note, I'm not necessarily talking about deviantart's critique system, though this certainly applies to it. I'm talking about all feedback, whether in comments or notes, in person, or on another site. Deviantart simply has a good format for others to leave feedback to an artist.)
In art school, you tend two get two different types of young artists: people who are infatuated with their work, and people who have no confidence in it at all. But really, it all boils down to the same thing: as artists, we are incredibly reliant on other people's judgement of our work for our self-esteem. It sounds a bit stupid, but I don't know that I've talked to any serious business artists who say otherwise (though if you do, please tell me). Artists often view their work as an extension of themselves, or their soul, poured out on paper. We seek other people's approval, b
Nobody Loves My Character!Nobody Loves My Character!2 years ago in Writing More Like This
On making characters lovable, in your story and online
Brought to you by Super Editor
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
Paper VillainsPaper Villains2 years ago in Writing More Like This
On writing three-dimensional villains
Brought to you by Super Editor
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 Secret to ParagraphingThe Secret to Paragraphing5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The SECRET to Proper Paragraphing
(NOT a punctuation article.)
Once you know what your characters and doing and saying, how do you get all that down on Paper without ending up with a huge confusing mess?
Putting the Story on Paper.
Everybody knows that when a new speaker speaks they get a new paragraph, right? In other words, you DON'T put two different people talking in the same paragraph. Okay, yeah, so anyone who has written any kind of fiction learns this pretty darned quick, (usually from their readers.)
What nobody seems to get is that the same goes for a new character's ACTIONS. Seriously, when a new character ACTS they're supposed to get their own paragraph -- even if they don't speak!
In short, you paragraph by change in CHARACTER -- not because they speak, but because they ACT. Ahem... Dialogue is an ACTION. In other words, the reason you don't put two different characters' Dialogue
Underappreciated MammalsClass Mammalia contains a lot of the world's favorite megafauna--tigers, lions, wolves, elephants, zebras, dolphins, etc--so it's easy to see how "less charismatic" species get overlooked, not just in the public eye but in the scientific realm too. Rodents and bats contribute to over half of all mammal species, but the majority of mammalogists work with carnivores or ungulates, particularly game species. Here are some very cool mammal species that need more time in the public eye. Some are common, some are rare, and some are near extinction, but all could use a bit more appreciation.Underappreciated Mammals2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Amazon River Dolphin (endangered), American Pika (least concern), Pygmy Spotted Skunk (vulnerable)
Colugo (vulnerable), Ghost Bat (vulnerable), Aye-Aye (near threatened)
Lowland Streaked Tenrec (least concern), Northern Tamandua (le
No One Cares About Your StoryGOOD NEWS: This is perfectly normal!No One Cares About Your Story2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
I can't remember the source, but a few years ago I read this famous author's account of how it felt to have his first book come out, and he mentioned buying a copy himself because he was afraid no one would take an interest. Now this is a guy who managed to get not only an agency but a publisher (which is a whole pile of people who were like yesplz), and he's still afraid readers won't care. I was like, 'whoa mind blown.'
But anyway, the fact is that we are all strangers on the Internet and, by default, there is no reason for you to read my stuff or vice-versa. If you went and stood in Times Square with copies of your latest story, how many people would give you more than a passing glance? And how many of those people would get to the end of your work, and how many of those would offer critical feedback?
And, if you were one of the passersby, whom would you stop for?
Okay, I'm done scaring the shi
On the Subject of BasesFellow People of Deviantart,On the Subject of Bases2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
I am here today to talk to you about Bases and Dolling.
I am not asking you to do it, or even to like it, but just to put out a standpoint that is sorely missing from this ongoing row over what a Base really is.
You may think a base is a large traced piece from anime with no skill and that the people who draw on top of them are lazy artists who just don't want to learn how to draw. Some bases are traced, but not every base.
Dolling is a hobby, something that is done for fun, and not every doller out there wants to be able to draw like a whiz kid. A lot of people hold down jobs, or full time education and just want a little fun. And so they are able to use a base that they like and draw some clothes and hair onto it, often very skillfully.
The 3rd Rozen Maiden by Felirile :thumb196488107:
PE: 10 tips and tricks not very known about PS10 useful and not very known Photoshop tricksPE: 10 tips and tricks not very known about PS2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
1. Saving your .psd with all layers hidden makes a smaller file compared to saving it with all layers visible.
2. You can use the Crop Tool to quickly increase the canvas size of an image by holding down Ctrl + Alt whilst dragging the Crop Tool outside the current canvas.
3. If you want to see only one of your layers at a time, hold down Alt whilst clicking the eye icon of the layer. (do it again to show all layers again)
4. Holding down Alt while in a dialog box turns the Cancel button into a Reset button, so you can reset the values back to default.
5. If you want to just quickly check a very heavy .psd file, you can hold down Shift + Alt while clicking the Open button. This way Photoshop will open a flattened version of the file.
6. You can change the gray background that surrounds your image with the Paint Bucket Tool, just hold down Shift and make click on the background.
7. Not a very unknown tip, but if y
The Neglected Importance of the Online CommunityWhat is the Worldwide Online Community?The Neglected Importance of the Online Community2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
The Worldwide Online Community is simply a group of people from a wide variety of countries and continents who come together to share their skills, experience, and/or love for a subject. Online communities are a fairly new faction and are not fully understood, their importance is neglected and may not reach their full potential until the next generation incorporates them more and more. It wasn't until the '90s that the Internet or World Wide Web really became a part of the culture, but in less then 20 years its impact has changed society from top to bottom.
In order to really delve into the importance of the worldwide online community, one must first define what it is. There are hundreds of different definitions of what an online community is, but this statement is generally accepted throughout these definitions.
Worldwide online communities are groups of people who join together on the Internet with a common int
Wonderful resources for PhotographersHello lovelies! How has everyone been?Wonderful resources for Photographers2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
I've been overwhelmed with the amount of questions and comments I've been receiving about how I edit my photographs, what Photoshop actions do I use, how I do I get a "soft" effect, etc. I've been trying to keep up in answering them all but I thought it would be much easier if I give an explanation / tutorial / information about my editing in this journal. My only ask in return is that you please "like" my Official Photography Page "Sarah Jane Photography" via Facebook - I do update frequently and give tips on photography & editing. There's even a bokeh video too!
Before I delve into resources to use... I want to say to all photographers and photoshop users that everyone has a unique way in editing, and everyone has personal styles in the way they want their 'finished' photo to look. I am deeply humbled that so many enjoy my photographs; every comment and critique is very meaningful to me. I started using Photoshop when I was 13, and I love playin
CEA Blog: Mature ContentHey guys, today I want to talk about Mature Content on deviantART and hopefully clear up some misconceptions that exist around it. For those of you eager to look at some boobs and hot male torsos, I'm afraid I won't be including any here .CEA Blog: Mature Content2 years ago in DeviantART Announcements More Like This
How the mature content filter works
All members over the age of 18 can choose to enable or disable the mature content filter to suit their needs. All members with a registered date of birth under the age of 18 have the mature content filter locked on and can not disable it. All logged out visitors have the mature content filter enabled and can not disable it.
The mature content filter is split in to two types, strict and warning. The strict filter is completely voluntary and prevents any deviant with the mature content filter on from accessing the work. The general or warning filter is the standard mature content tag and will remove the image from immediate view when browsing and place an warning page on the devi
Five Tips to Starting FreelancingSo, you're tired of being unemployed. You've been stuck at home for the umpteenth month in a row, a new season of The Legend of Korra is still a year off, and your government support checks (should you be lucky to still be getting them) won't even come close to affording you a bus ticket to Everfree Northwest. Your evaluation of life is the same dissertation of tedium and monotony as Helen Keller's review of Chinese Democracy.Five Tips to Starting Freelancing2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
You know, pretty much on par with every other review of Chinese Democracy.
But know what? If you can't find a job, you'll make a job! Screw finding work, and screw the employers who keep dismissing your applications for being "over qualified" like that Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design is as detrimental to your character as being a registered felon. Screw them and that stupid help wanted sign at Quiznos. Now you're freelancing, baby.
While I'm assuming you're alread
IP confusionIt's sad to see people fighting about intellectual property rights when they apparently have no clue what those are, how they work and what is allowed (and not).IP confusion2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Prime example: http://boltstrueno1fanever.deviantart.com/art/Onyx-Forepaw-Feb-2012-Ref-286737985 vs. http://yasuoxingxing.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4vcima
Obviously the latter is similar to the first.
The question is: is this allowed?
To answer that question, it is important to understand what rules apply and what intellectual property (IP) is.
There are three different kinds of IP that can apply here:
As the name hints this is the right to make copies of a work. It does not protect ideas, only the actual recorded work - artwork, documents, music etc.
This means that if someone copies your art (by directly copying it, by tracing it or otherwise adapting your work) you can certainly take action, but there is little you can do to prevent someone else creating their own
Tips for the Messy WriterWhen the Muse StrikesTips for the Messy Writer2 years ago in Writing More Like This
I don't know about you, but most of my ideas for writing come to me in the shower. There I'll be, rinsing the shampoo from my hair, and suddenly a line flits through my head - a line so beautiful, so perfectly balanced between the universal and the personal that if I do not capture it immediately my muse will torment me with silence the rest of the year. Generally this situation ends with me haphazardly wrapped in a towel, running down the hall past the rest of the household - who have now learned to politely look the other way - to the dry erase board on the refrigerator where I can scribble out the thought before it evaporates into the ether.
If this is a situation familiar to you, then you may be what I call a messy writer. Messy writers are those for whom organization is not always advantageous, or even possible. This short guide offers five rules I've discovered help keep me on track once I've started a writing task. I hope you'll find them h
Publishing ScamsCopied and pasted from my blog since deviantART's been having this problem for a while now. I had meant to post something on this matter back in October since it was when I noticed more and more "publishers" like this popping up on the site, but never got around to it. Of course, with all of these unprofessional publishers coming out of the woodwork again recently, I thought I'd share what I shared on my blog here.Publishing Scams1 year ago in Art Features More Like This
What is a scam publisher?
Essentially, a scam publisher is a press that cheats authors into believing that they are getting traditionally published by their rules and guidelines. However, if you read the fine print, you'll see that "traditionally" publishing you is not at all what's happening. This can range from promising royalties which never come, making you pay a fee to be published, or even stem from lack of professionalism. While the term "scam" usually means forcing you to pay, there are many other
PE Daily Deviations - So you want to suggest DDs?You're browsing deviantART or are simply checking your message centre and find a wonderful art piece. You want to suggest it as a Daily Deviation because you believe it truly deserves to be seen by the community as a whole. But how to properly suggest a DD? This article will explain the process.PE Daily Deviations - So you want to suggest DDs?2 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
Things to check before sending a suggestion:
The first thing you need to check is if the artist has been given a Daily Deviation in the past 6 months. Volunteers cannot feature anyone who's had a DD in that period of time with no exceptions, as this has been hard-coded into deviantART's system.
"But how do I check an artist's Daily Deviations?" you may ask. Simply go to their gallery, click browse and scroll down. If they have any DDs, you'll be able to find a link to them at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can add "/dds" after their profile url and click enter on your browser's address bar.
How to create a successful GroupMy beautiful friendsHow to create a successful Group2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
I hope everybody is doing fine and enjoying their summer
Today, I want to talk about Groups. I’m a member of so many groups and I always encourage my friends to join as many groups as they can, a group is always a great place to meet new artists and let everybody know what you do.
But, I’m sure that you guys notice every now and then that there is a group that is not active or it has been around for a long time and it has so few members, or a group that doesn’t respond to their members and so many other problems. There are so many groups people create them just for the sake of creating a group and they leave them just like that, with no activity at all.
How to create a successful group
:iconFlowerhdplz: Commitment: Before you start thinking about creating a group, you should ask yourself, are you ready for it, do you have the time for it, ar
PE Feedback: ...But I don't know what to say?Critiques: What to say when you don't know what to sayPE Feedback: ...But I don't know what to say?2 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
All of us have heard about feedback events during our time on deviantArt. Many of us have participated in them, while others have declined to do so for various reasons. Some of these reasons include fear of receiving critique on one's own work, fear of being attacked for critiquing someone's work, fear of not knowing what to say, and feeling inadequate to critique a deviation from someone who is perhaps more skilled than we are--especially if the deviation is created using a medium to which we are unaccustomed.
We especially want to focus on this last reason.
Here is a conversation that we had recently in a dA chat room (names have been changed):
Us: We are planning a cross-medium, dA-wide critique event for Project Educate!! Will you participate?
DeviantX: Hmm. I don't know.
Us: Why not?
DeviantX: I'm a photo
So you think you can stamp?Stamp GuideSo you think you can stamp?2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Hello Everybody and welcome to my Stamp making guide. You may be wondering, why is TheSaltyMonster making a stamp guide? Well the answer is because a lot of people have been asking me how I make my stamps, and how to get started. So here it goes, and pardon the journal title. Please also check out the stamp feature towards the end of the journal
If you use any of the resources I have included in this journal, make sure to credit the original artist in your deviation description
How to get started..
Well, first things come first: What do you want to make a stamp about? Is it dA related, is it of your favorite TV show, or food? Or is it just an inspirational quote?
This is absolutely the first step in planning.
Is your message funny, girly, cute, serious? Depending on the type of message you're going to be portraying, you need to choose an appropriate stamp:
Planning the Evil PlotPlanning the Evil Plot2 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