The excited yell of Amy Rose echoed through the air, and could probably be heard from all over the world. It was just as was suspected. Amy bounded out of nowhere and latched herself onto an unsuspecting Sonic the Hedgehog, who went from laidback to extremely angry in the space of a second.
“GET OFF OF ME!” he screamed in anger, without thinking. Yet again, Sonic was famed for his stupidity.
Amy let go of him, her eyes welling up with tears, “B-but Sonic…”
“WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?” he shouted loudly, his eyes almost popping out of his eye sockets. Nobody, not even himself, cared about how out-of-character he appeared to be, “DO US ALL A FAVOUR! CURL UP AND DIE!”
At that, Sonic the Jerk ran off, leaving Amy to collapse on the pavement and cry to herself. Typically, the weather decided to rain, and Amy sobbed harder and harder. Her dress was getting dirty. It was strange; whenever Sonic had turned her down before she had always jumped to her feet and tried again until she had him. However, she just sat there and cried.
“Hey, Amy Rose.”
Shadow the Hedgehog leant down on the floor, holding out his hand to her with a soft smile on his face. His heart thumped loudly. Normally Shadow didn't act so nice to anyone, so it was certainly a surprise to Amy. He brought her close to him, hugging her softly.
“Don’t worry, Sonic’s just a jerk that doesn't deserve you,” he whispered, stroking her quills, and kissing her forehead. Amy blinked in confusion; Shadow didn't know Sonic was the one that had hurt her feelings. She shrugged; it didn't matter, not really. Shadow was such a nice guy even if he was generally cold…
“I love you Shadow,” she whispered back. She was certain she had broken a record; she had fallen in love with someone in the space of a second right after having her heart broken by the hedgehog she had loved since she was a child of eight.
Shadow kissed her cheek, finally able to admit his feelings to her now that Sonic was out of the way, “I love you too Amy.”
From that moment on, Shadow the Hedgehog and Amy Rose became instant boyfriend and girlfriend.
Sonic the Hedgehog kicked the sand in frustration; Amy was so irritating. After three whole days, he still hadn't steamed off about her obsessed fan girl attitude towards him. Though he did feel some level of guilt deep down, he didn't want to admit it.
He randomly sighed, before something caught his attention.
Amy and Shadow.
No, his eyes were not deceiving him; Amy and Shadow. Walking together, arm in arm, giving each other mushy glances every three seconds.
Rage filled Sonic; how dare Shadow steal his girlfriend? Well… Amy wasn't his girlfriend yet but maybe if he showed the pink hedgehog who Shadow really was then maybe she would be head over heels for him again, which would give his ego a real boost knowing that he was better than Shadow. So he sat and thought of a plan to split Amy and Shadow up, regardless of how much of a jerk he was acting like.
Eventually, it hit him. He would have to kill Shadow the Hedgehog. It was the only way to win Amy back.
So he did what jerks that picked a fight did best; he marched straight up to Shadow and Amy, with his fists clenched, “HEY FAKER!”
Turning around, the black hedgehog glared at the sight of him, “You have a lot of nerve showing your face, jerk.”
“I have a lot of nerve? You’re stealing my girlfriend!” the sapphire hedgehog roared at him.
“She was never your girlfriend to begin with!” Shadow yelled back, his fists clenched just as tightly as Sonic’s.
“DIE!” Sonic lunged at Shadow, fists beginning to fly, “I’ll teach you to steal Amy from me!”
“STOP IT!” Amy screamed, her eyes alight with rage. She glared at Sonic fiercely, her eyes wide with anger, “I was never yours in the first place, jerk! I love Shadow now, and if you can’t accept it, then get lost!”
Sonic’s eyes welled up with tears. Amy hated him. Even killing Shadow would not help; it would make things worse. Sobbing, he pulled a sharp knife out of nowhere.
“If that’s what you want Amy…” Sonic whispered in a low voice, “But I just want you to know that I did love you… if you choose Shadow though… I just… I can’t live without you.”
And at that, he pointed the knife’s blade towards himself and buried it within his chest. Collapsing to the floor, screaming in agony, Sonic the Hedgehog bled to death.
A few weeks after that occurrence Sonic was buried outside Tails’ workshop, for Tails was the only person who still had respect for his best friend. About four or five months after that, Amy married Shadow. They had twin boys together named Rush and Dash, and lived happily ever after.
And as for Sonic? People started hating him because he interfered with Shadow and Amy being together. So everyone except Sonic lived happily ever after, not that Sonic lived at all.
A ShadAmy parody. Because I am sick of all the cliche fanfiction where Sonic is OOCed into a complete jerk and Shadow is OOCed into a nice guy.
Do you know a lot of people actually HATE Sonic as a character now because of these fanfictions? It sickens me, because Sonic is not the least bit like that. It makes me wonder if the ShadAmy n00bs (not saying all are n00bs, there are some nice fans out there) hate Sonic simply because he's in the pairing SonAmy which "interferes" with ShadAmy. It honestly sickens me.
Though I admit I don't like ShadAmy anymore, I am not bashing the couple. Please note that this is a parody, meaning it just pokes fun at the cliché ShadAmy fanfiction. If you cannot poke a little fun at all these stereotypical fanfiction or at yourself, then either get a sense of humour or don’t read.
I awake in the night; I can no longer sleep. I don't see myself in mirrors; I see somebody else. I am alone. I am dead. The red stripes on white flesh Keep me somewhat Sane. I stare at the ceiling; It is as cold and dead as I am. The pain burns within; as my life slowly fades away.
Ingredients: Dumplings: 200 g of rice flour 200 ml of hot water Sauce: 100 ml water 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce 70g sugar 1 tbsp corn starch
Directions: Dumplings: 1.) Mix the rice flour and water together. 2.) Knead till dough is as tough as your earlobe. 3.) Fill a pan with water and heat up. 4.) Rip off bite sized pieces of the dough and steam them for 25 minutes 5.) Throw the balls into a bowl and mush together with a wetted wooden spoon. 6.) Knead the dough 7.) Roll out dough into a long stick shape. 8.) With a wetted knife, cut bite sized pieces off. 9.) roll the pieces into balls. 10.) wet skewers and apply an even amount of dumplings to each. 11.) pour sauce over dumplings and enjoy.
Sauce: 1.) Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan. 2.) Simmer till thickened. 3.) Pour over dangos.
A metal door screeched in strain as a slim-fingered hand pushed it open. Sunlight streamed through the fluffy white clouds as a human form stepped onto the roof. The young woman walked forward, remnants of snowy patches crunching beneath her grey and purple sneakers. Squinting at the light, she moved to a nearby ladder and clung to it. Chills raked her body, igniting where her skin met the frosty metal. Arriving at the top of the small overhang, the woman kneeled at the edge; the undisturbed snow clung to her jeans. Crisp winter air nipped at her cheeks and fingertips, furthering the cold that plagued her. Her soft breaths became water particles in the air and her thin spring jacket did little to protect her from winter's remnants.
"Ann, you know what will happen if you continue."
Ann unfurled her fingers from the large bag she held in her left hand and set it on the cement platform. She unzipped it and pulled the contents out with her right hand. Large and black, the longbow extended her full height. She pressed lightly against the white string and smiled, satisfied. It moved with her pressure and fought back enough to show its strength. People wandered the streets below, clothed in thick winter garments, and cars raced by, their owners too afraid of the temperature to risk walking. Intensity loomed just out of reach; darkness crept along the walls of her building and seeped into her every pore. The sensation slid into the depths and wrapped around her heart like a ribbon, wrapping tighter with each passing second. Ann's smile faded and she rose. Her gaze flitted from person to person on the street below, scanning, searching. "Where are you..?" The intensity rose the nearer the person came. A single person exerted dark pressure; an evil desire. Her attention snapped to it in an instant, ignoring the other people on the street as they went about their day. Within a few moments, Ann spotted a man who waltzed into the street. He wore a blue sport's jacket and loose jeans; his blonde hair, only a few inches long, shifted in the wind and with every step he took. A middle-aged man, no different from the next; perhaps he worked as a teacher, or a coach. Returning her bow to her left hand, Ann stared at him as he entered a small café. Unconsciously, her mind connected to his. She let his thoughts slide into hers, noting nothing aside from his buying a cappuccino, so she delved deeper. Ann found her way into the darkest depths of the man's desires, the ribbon clenching tighter the closer she came to the truth. She unlocked the path to what she sought and stole a glimpse into his mind. At night, he watched a woman through her open window; he observed her when she forgot to close the curtains as she changed. She lived in a rural area in the outskirts of town, unaware of the unwanted attention she received. Ann investigated deeper still and her lips thinned to a line. Intentions of making the woman his whether willing or unwilling. Not above killing her if she struggled too much. Ann shook her head and began to retreat from his mind. In the man's memory, a young girl ran into her mother's room, smiling and begging her to read her a story before bed. No more than six years old. A distraction, the man's thoughts told her. Someone who would only get in his way. Ann's heart sank and she removed herself from his mind. Unwrapping the ribbon of darkness from her heart, she hesitated but for a moment. Ignore the situation and let a child lose her mother, or worse, her life? Every fiber of her being screamed at her to change the inevitable, to protect the child and her mother, the small family. A mother and a daughter; just like her home situation.
"Please, sweetie. I know you want to help, but the more you do, the more he notices."
Let him notice. Ann's brows furrowed and she stretched out her left arm, clutching the string with her index and middle fingers of her right hand. Arrows filled the quiver she wore on her back, abandoned. Without an arrow, the woman focused on the essence within her and pulled the string back. An arrow of shimmering baby blue appeared where her real arrows rested when she used them. The essence connected to her core, relaxing her muscles without weakening her grip. She shifted her foot and adjusted her aim. The man paid for his drink, unaware of the arrow aimed at the door, just as the woman and child did not know about the salvation Ann granted them. Just as they would never know. Shutting her eyes, Ann waited, grateful for her patience. Two lives would be spared a horrible end or a worse fate tonight. A soft jingle wafted through the air when the door opened. Ann's eyes shot open and with planned precision, she released the string. He never stood a chance. The arrow passed through his body, through his heart, and shattered into a million pieces on contact with the door. The man stopped in his tracks and a flicker of confusion crossed his expression. He felt it, like a dull throb; she knew it. After a moment, he shook his head and moved away from the doorway and proceeded down the street, sipping his cappuccino. Ann watched him for a moment and brushed against his inner mind. Thoughts of the woman, who dated him once and chose not to repeat it a second time, had vanished. No longer did he remember the single mother who lived in the rural area on the opposite side of the city. It was as if they never met. No harm would befall the mother and her daughter. Not from him.
"You meddle in his affairs, Ann. He will not take lightly to that. Do you want him to find you?"
He could find her even if she refused to meddle. Packing her things, she slung the bag over her shoulder and descended the ladder. Unrest hung in the air; it loomed in the distance, out of reach of her bow, lest she shot through buildings. Her hand clenched the doorknob and she pushed it down, pulling the door towards her. The fresh air morphed into nauseating thickness, hidden from the outside world and the natural change of things. Few people ascended the steps to the roof and the door often remained sealed. Ann's footsteps echoed on the steel steps as she drew closer to the street. The stillness unnerved her; not a single sound echoed aside from her footsteps. Once on ground level, she exited the main entrance of the apartment complex and smiled as the sun's warm embrace caressed her. Her smile lasted only a few seconds as she remembered the feeling of unrest and hunted it down; her feet led her down the street and closer to the unnerving, but familiar, sensation.
"You need to protect yourself."
Ann turned a corner and found herself in an alleyway that led to a dead-end. The feeling of unrest washed over her, switching into sorrow and intense fear as it reached her. Ann's steps faltered and she paused, glancing around the dark alley. A small form huddled in a far corner, hidden from normal eyes. Striding closer in slow, even steps, Ann's breath caught in her throat. The small form stayed small as she neared it and she felt her heart break at the sight of the young boy. No longer of the living, but not yet passed on. In the darkness, she barely recognized the truth; his form appeared almost solid. Glimpses of light revealed his true state and it horrified her. So young. Ann kneeled in front of him. "Are you ok?" He let out a gasp and looked up, eyes wide. "Y-You can see me?" "Yes," she smiled warmly. "I can." " Who are you?" "A friend." She reached out, ignoring when he flinched back, and patted his head gently. "How long have you been out here?" The young boy's eyes widened more when she touched him. "I-I think three days." Three days. Winter brought more dangers more death. A backlog, and that poor boy suffered for it. Ann fought back her frown and maintained her small smile. "You need to move on."
"Every person you help endangers you."
The boy, no older than nine, looked up at her fearfully. "I can't. My parents " "Shh." She stroked his cheek and flashed a reassuring smile. "You will see them again. This isn't forever. Have you visited them?" He nodded slowly, staring at her. His eyes were just a shade darker than her vibrant green ones. "Do they care about you as much as before?" Ann purposely refused to mention his death. "They do " Her smile broadened. "Then nothing will stop you from seeing each other again. Trust me." The boy hesitated, and then repeated his nod. "Thank you." Ann grabbed his hands and rose, pulling him to his feet. "You're welcome. There will be a man waiting for you; he will take you on a boat ride. After that, you'll find peace. Everything will be fine." He allowed a small smile and inclined his head in understanding. "Be safe." She pressed her right hand over his heart, hidden by a red shirt. She strained and focused until a light of the purest white, similar to the arrow, illuminated in her hand. The boy began to fade, his body becoming more immaterial than before. Slowly, he vanished from the land of the living. Ann closed her eyes and maintained focus. The energy of the male spirit vanished and when she reopened her eyes, she found him gone. "Be safe " She turned her back to the dead-end and stared up at the sky. Her mother's words echoed in her mind, plaguing her whenever she helped the living and the dead. She warned her not to do it, pleaded her to stop and distance herself from her powers; to separate herself from what made her, her.
"You risk your life for people you don't know, people you never knew. Why?"
Because no one else could. And she'd be damned if she let petty fears stop her from helping people who needed it. He might find her, he might be angry, he might hurt her, and she might be in danger. Why bother with 'What ifs'? She had lives to save.
I humored my muse when she insisted I write the prologue for another book. Although my main focus is still The Forbidden Series, having this prologue written will ensure that I remember the story and will return to write it later.
This was written on December 27th and edited throughout the past few days.
Ann is a character I enjoyed writing about a lot, and I am looking forward to writing more about her. As is evident from this prologue, she is not a mere mortal, but what she is, is for you to find out. I left subtle hints throughout the prologue. If you think you know what or who she is, then let me know in a comment.
I am excited for this story and can't wait to continue, even if my other series comes first. As it stands now, this will be one novel, but this may change by the time I sit down to write it.
The title is temporary, unless I decide the title works well enough.
Please let me know what you think; opinions are greatly appreciated.
What do you think of the story, the pacing, and Ann? Do her emotions shine through well enough?
Todavía lo recuerdo como si fuera ayer, el día en que perdí la vida que conocía el día en que pase de ser una señorita a convertirme en una asesina. Me llamo Ángela Salviati y esta es mi historia.
1ªParte Desde mi infancia vivía con mis padres en una buena casa de Venecia, mi padre era medico, un medico de gran fama entre la aristocracia del lugar. Mi madre era una hermosa mujer hija de astutos, y por lo tanto, adinerados comerciantes.
Teníamos una vida tranquila, la gente conocía y respetaba a mi familia. En cuanto a mi . sinceramente los traía de cabeza. Mis padres se volcaron en darme una buena educación, en cambio yo prefería aprender otro tipo de cosas la vida de una señorita no me gustaba, era aburrida y predecible, yo preferiría haber nacido hombre, y poder ser un soldado o alguien que se ganara el respeto por sí mismo y no por su apellido.
Frecuentemente me escapaba de casa, quería explorar cada rincón de la cuidad, estaba harta de ver siempre a la misma gente y tener las mismas conversaciones vacías y sin sentido. A la larga aprendí a esconderme bien, ya que mi padre mandaba bastante gente en mi busca. Una de esas noches todo cambio . Volvía de mi paseo nocturno, cuando al acercarme a mi casa escuche barullo, entre la gente que se encontraba en los alrededores estaban algunas de las personas que trabajaban para mi padre.
-Señorita Ángela... escuche como alguien me llamaba, y al darme la vuelta reconocí a una de las criadas.
-¿Que ha pasado? pregunte confusa.
-Dese prisa señorita Ángela, ¡la guardia se lleva a su padre!- al escuchar aquellas palabras me dio un vuelco el corazón, no entendía que estaba pasando solo sabía que no permitirá que aquello siguiera.
Al acercarme varios guardias llevaban escoltado y esposado a mi padre, intente abrirme paso pero no había manera. Mi madre estaba retenida en la casa, no sabía qué hacer; cuando subían a mi padre a un carro me fije en su cara, le habían golpeado. La rabia se apodero de mi, grite llamando a mi padre mientras intentaba pasar, al escucharme mi padre que prácticamente estaba dentro del carro quiso salir, volvieron a golpearlo y lo empujaron dentro. Al ver aquello no pude contenerme golpee a uno de los guardias que me cortaban el paso y corrí hasta mi padre. Estuve a punto de tocar su mano pero el carro se puso en marcha y se lo llevo, quise correr tras él pero me lo volvían a impedir, sentía tanta impotencia . Mientras me empujaban hacia mi casa, luche y forcejee con ellos pidiendo explicaciones a gritos.
Me llevaron tirando del brazo con fuerza hasta mi madre, la abrace mientras lagrimas de rabia corrían por mi cara, no lograba entender lo que pasaba solo esperaba que fuese un mal sueño.
-Controle a su hija señora- decía uno de los hombres con desprecio.
-¡No hay derecho! No nos explican nada, se llevan a mi padre a golpes y nos encierran como animales, ¡Exijo que me digan inmediatamente que está pasando!- le grite a ese hombre mientras mi madre lloraba abrazada a mí.
-Tu querido papa está acusado de traición a su Santidad el Papa- dijo con una sonrisa burlona.
Me quede de piedra, acusaban a mi padre de traición y todos sabíamos cual era el castigo por ese delito, la muerte. Estaba atónita, por un momento me quede paralizada, luego me llego un solo pensamiento, tenía que salvar a mi padre. Me levante e intente salir corriendo, sin éxito, el guardia me cogió y empujo de vuelta con mi madre. Ese pensamiento seguía fijo en mi cabeza, haría lo que fuera para salvarlo.
Mire a mi alrededor buscando algo que me fuera de utilidad para poder escapar, y lo encontré. Cogí uno de los jarrones de mi madre y golpee al guardia en la cabeza, mi madre grito asustada y yo aproveche para escapar. Cuando salí por la puerta principal, el guardia a quien había golpeado gritaba por la ventana que me detuvieran y en pocos minutos me habían reducido de nuevo. Seguí en mi empeño por huir y salvar a mi padre pero fue en vano, no tenía la fuerza suficiente como para luchar contra dos hombres que me sujetaban. Aquel hombre salió con la mano en la cabeza, parecía ser su capitán, se paro frente a mí y hablo.
-Vaya, vaya una chica con agallas pero hagas lo que hagas no podrás salvar a tu padre- decía mientras sonreía con desprecio.
Al ver como se burlaba de mí que no me podía mover, no pude aguantarlo y le escupí en su asquerosa cara. Limpiándose dio la orden de que me dieran una lección. Los guardias rieron con maldad y me llevaron bajo un puente que había cerca de mi casa.
-Nos divertiremos mucho contigo - me susurraba uno que me sujetaba contra la pared, mientras el otro se quitaba parte de la armadura.
Forcejee de nuevo, no dejaría que esos cerdos me tocaran. Me zafe como pude del que me tenia sujeta y corrí pero enseguida el otro guardia me cogió de un brazo. No me iba a rendir, tire y tire hasta que pude soltarme, con tan mala suerte que caí en el canal. Era de noche, me buscaron por todas partes pero no aparecía. Llamaron a su capitán y le comentaron lo sucedido, rápidamente muchos de ellos comenzaron a buscarme. Pasaron toda la noche buscándome por ambos lados del canal y metros más abajo de donde había caído, al no encontrarme me dieron por muerta.
Dejaron de buscarme pues los cadáveres no podían hacer nada, no sé si fue el destino o pura suerte, pero me salve y no iba a permitir que nada le pasara a mi familia.
Ahora soy un fantasma, y no descansare hasta descubrir la verdad.
If every book was the same, we'd get bored with them pretty quick. Variety is what gives that special spice. Try to come up with a story that's entirely your own. If your work is based off another work, however loosely, make sure you use your own style. Don't just repeat what someone else has already written. Nobody likes a copycat, and you could face an unpleasant lawsuit that way.
2. Have a good title.
If you want people to read your book, you'll need a title that will catch their eye. Make it exciting, but keep it brief, too. Don't make your title so long that it wears the reader down. Try to stay within the limit of ten words. If you have trouble inventing a title, go through your story and decide what the main theme is, what it is in that story that really stands out.
3. Make your characters as believable as possible.
The characters are what make the story a story. You learn about them, sympathize with them, and hate them. They make you laugh and cry. They fill you with joy, sadness, fear, and disgust. A good character is one that you can relate to. They have strengths and weaknesses, like you do. They grow and develop; they actually learn something as the story progresses. Avoid Mary Sues and Gary Stuscharacters who are perfect, in essentially every aspect. They have everything going on for them; everything turns out in their favor. They have no need to change or grow throughout the story. That's unconvincing, and boring.
4. Have a catchy introduction.
"Once upon a time, there lived a pretty little girl, in a pretty white house "
Oh, come on, you can do better than that, can't you? "Once upon a time" is the oldest intro in the book. Go for something a little more creative, something that really attracts the reader's attention. Give your audience a good reason for continuing with the story. You could start by expressing regret, anger, surprise, or joy for something that had happened, or someone can say something very interesting, like this: "You're not serious about this, are you, Jill?"
Now that's an excellent way to start off a book; it makes the audience wonder what's going on, and what will happen next.
5. Give your characters something to do.
A good plot is one of the most essential ingredients in story-telling. Your characters must do something; they must have a problem that's big enough to last throughout the story, and it must be something important and exciting. For example, two girls struggling to decide which dress they ought to wear for the upcoming school dance isn't much of a problem, and isn't very entertaining. However, two girls struggling to survive on a desert island after they've been shipwrecked is a very big problem, and therefore a great deal more thrilling. Whatever the dilemma is, whether life-threatening or not, make sure it's something that can be worked out; make sure the characters can actually do something about the situation.
6. Be careful of sentence length.
This is where an author is apt to make the biggest boo-boos. A sentence may be too long, too short, too wordy, or entirely unrelated to the story. Take especial care in this area; say what you must, but don't ramble. Don't drown your readers in an ocean of words. Stick to the point. Use "and" and "then" sparingly. Use nouns and pronouns wisely. Avoid using too many adjectives, such as: "He was the most vulgar, insolent, impudent, boorish, crude, disrespectful, distasteful, insufferable man I'd ever had the misfortune to meet." Only one or two adjectives should be enough, three at the most.
Don't say the same thing twice, such as: "She moved quietly and silently through the haunted house." "Quietly" and "silently" stand for the same word, and that's a mark against you.
Avoid one and two-word sentences as well, if you can help it. Try to maintain an equal balance of long and short phrases.
7. Use paragraphs properly.
You'd have a much more difficult time reading something if it was all bunched together. That's why we use paragraphs. Paragraphs, in short, mean organization. Many writers have no idea when and how to use paragraphs. With some exceptions, one paragraph should be at least three sentences long, and should not exceed seven lines.
You always make a new paragraph when something changes in your story. You make a new paragraph when the time, place, and action changes, or when the speaker changes. Two quotes by two different people must always be on separate lines, like this:
"Mom, can I go to the movies with Kelly? Please?" I offered my best puppy-dog look. "Oh, all right" The words had barely left my mother's mouth, and I immediately scooted out the door before she could change her mind.
8. Use good spelling.
There is no question about it: if you wish to be a writer, you must know how to spell properly. It is much more difficult to understand misspelled words; in some cases, it's like trying to make sense of a foreign language. Avoid text talk (THAT'S GR8, C U L8R) at all costs. Maintain a healthy vocabulary, but don't sound like you've butchered a thesaurus. Don't use excessively long, complex words, just to sound smart. If you have difficulty with big words, use a dictionary, or a spell-checker on a computer.
9. Use good grammar.
You will save yourself and your readers the headache if you maintain proper grammar skills. Good grammar helps a story flow much more smoothly. Always capitalize the first letter in a name, and at the beginning of every sentence. Know where to put commas and semicolons. Always use quotation marks whenever someone is talking, and always end a sentence with a period, or some other appropriate mark. One common mistake of authors is:
"I can't believe this." He said with a jaded sigh.
In this case, you use a comma at the end, not a period. And you don't capitalize "he". This is the right way to do it:
"I can't believe this," he said with a jaded sigh.
Another common error is the misuse of words that sound the same: there, their, here, hear, affect, effect. These errors are extremely easy to miss, especially since a spell-checker can't pick them up. Remember the differences between these words, such as how "there" means a certain location, while "their" refers to a group.
When you're talking of more than one thing, be careful of how you use "s" and "es". Also, watch your apostrophes. Apostrophes are used to show possession; you place the apostrophe before the "s" to show singular possession, or, in other words, if it's the possession of one person. If it's plural possession, or more than one person, you place the apostrophe after the "s". For example:
I want to check out Mr. Archibald's new apricot trees.
Whoa, look at that boy's cool hat!
Do you want to try out for the girls' basketball team?
When dealing with the possessive form of names that end with an "s", it's not always required to add a second "s", though it is preferred. Like this:
I promised to tend to Mrs. Jones's flowers while she was away on vacation.
10. Have a satisfying ending.
Not every story ends with "happily ever after". In fact, try to avoid using that kind of ending, if you can help it. The ending is where the loose ends of the story should be tied up. It must provide answers to questions that were asked at the beginning. Your ending doesn't always have to be a particularly happy one, but it should end on a satisfactory note. For instance, the character can be at peace with the world, or two opposing characters can reach a compromise. Your ending may contain a note of hope, or some little piece of truth. You may even end on a surprising note; the "element of surprise" often wraps up a story very nicely.
One of the first mistakes that a writer of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, or supernatural horror) makes is front-loading every little bit of information of their world that they painstakingly made. One of the last mistakes that a writer of speculative fiction makes is giving stupid details of their world, unknowingly retconing things, and explaining things that don't need explaining because this usually ends their career or irreparably damages a franchise. Today's lesson is about "bad worldbuilding" because the hardest part of actually creating a fictional world is giving too much detail.
This one is going to be different for different types of media. For example, most television shows have a build-as-you-go kind of feel (think Fairly Odd Parents), while a series of novels is usually planned out from the beginning. As an aside, if you're planning out an entire series of novels, make sure that at least the very first one can stand completely on its own to the point where no one would "need" a sequel. Trust me, it'll save you a lot of trouble, and it'll be much easier to pitch to an actual publisher. But that's a lesson for another day. One lesson at a time, or two in this case.
Obviously leaving things too vague is a bad thing in a story. You don't need to have a master's thesis in writing to know that. However, giving bad details is significantly worse than giving no details. We'll decide what "bad details" are later, right now I have to explain why this is. Honestly to cut a long story short, the answer is the Star Wars prequels. When the Force was a vague... force, it made sense. What mattered was that the characters believed that the Force worked (and that both moralities had it, but once again, another day). Then George Lucas tried to explain why the Force worked. And explaining it added more questions that were never answered.
Today's rule of thumb: any worldbuilding should remove more questions than it adds. Yes there are exceptions, but that's not the point. You're not an Adventure Time writer. I don't care if you're saving the answers until later. Remember, you want your audience to be around until later, and more importantly, you want them to care. Bad worldbuilding actively kills the suspension of disbelief. People aren't stupid, and giving too many details is often the result of not having faith in your audience. You often don't even have to tell your audience anything about your world up front. If they can gravitate towards the characters or the story, then you can let the world unfold in front of them.
That brings us to "show, don't tell." Honestly, if a detail needs to be told to the audience and can't be shown, it might not be all that important. "For the longest time our people have been ruled over by an evil dictator" changes to seeing landscapes filled with wartorn battles, statues to this dictators, people cowering in fear from soldiers. By telling when you should be showing you risk giving stupid details because your explaination for how magic works might be convoluted beyond all belief. I have literally stopped reading books because the writers were spending too long and being too convoluted on how magic in their world works. I don't care! I don't need to know that you're pulling fireballs from another dimension! And all too often it ends up being a more complex way of wording: "I wave my magic wand and something happens." Even if your character is learning how to be better at magic, it doesn't matter how the hell it happens. I can write a novel without knowing how the English language came to be, or in even worse cases, how language itself came into being.
You want to give your audience the bare minimum they need to not be confused, at least at the beginning. As you get better at writing you'll learn more and more where that point is. This is an art, not a science. That's why so many rules can be broken, by the way; they're more like guidelines. What does your audience need to know up front? Your main character, several details about him, his main goal, and his location in the world. That's it really. Think of how your character relates to the world around him and show him doing those things to get across the points of your world. If it isn't plot-necessary, cut it. You might be really, really excited about this little detail, but try to supress it. In most cases, all of your characters will contain this specific piece of knowledge and two characters should NEVER talk to each other with exposition that they both know.
That should get you well on your way to avoiding too much worldbuilding (or rather, too much front-loading). It's time to avoid bad worldbuilding—giving your audience details that will piss them off. Refer to my previous points about over-explaining. If the audience doesn't need to know how x-thing works, don't tell them how x-thing works. Your audience may care, but they'll care a hell of a lot more if you explain this badly. You can explain things badly with poorly chosen words, logical errors, technical errors, and not considering literally everything from the beginning of your series. If you say this thing happens in this specific way, it must have been that way from the beginning. This could work if you were planning it out from the very beginning, but otherwise...
Let's talk about retconning. Retconning has a bad reputation. It's a term that means changing up or removing an established plot point. Retconning is different than misdirection. Misdirection is when you tell your audience purposely wrong information for a twist later, and yes, you can turn something in hindsight into misdirection instead of hindsight. It just takes a little extra thought. So, your character learned about this ancient monster in a history book? Well guess what, that book was made by a tribe that didn't have the tools to examine it closely. Oh, you thought the red guys won that war? Well, guess what, it was just government propaganda. Don't do this too much though, or it turns into a joke. Or do it a lot, and turn it into a joke on purpose. It works great for cartoons, hint hint. Something about coconuts...
So... when do you give more details about your world? When it's relevant to the plot. Or a joke if you're doing comedy. Fantasy comedy is a thing (good luck with that. Horror-comedy is easier to write). A lot of writing is "less is more." When should the beginning of your story be? At the latest possible point. How much world-exposition should you give to your audience? Just enough for them not to be confused. Can you give them bread crumbs of world-building? Sure, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the plot or anything. If you're doing a visual medium use things like the backgrounds to get the job done. In any medium, you can learn a lot about what people talk about and the way they talk about it.
Giving exposition about worldbuilding is a touchy subject to begin with. Like I said prior, two characters shouldn't tell each other what they both already know. Usually these two characters live on the same planet. And the narrator of the story is supposed to assume that you do too (no cheating). If worldbuilding doesn't remove any questions (net) from your series, then it's unnecessary at best. Yes, worldbuilding is a nice spice but if you use too much or the wrong kind you will give people diarrhea. That is not a desirable option.
However, if you absolutely CANNOT avoid the temptation of everyone knowing every little detail of your book/show/movie/whatever, make a pseudo-nonfiction book. Write the text books you might find in that world and publish them. A lot of authors do that, it's generally part of an expanded universe.
Yes, I'll get to the requested topics soon enough. I just thought the importance of these last two outweighed the ones I put in the poll. This stuff trips up people before they even get the point of needing to keep characters likable. Today's lesson... don't be Geor-- just kidding. Today's lesson is not to world-build too much (or at the very least world-expose too much). It's a lesson that I even have trouble dealing with sometimes.
"an explosion", she said I turned to ask her what she was talking about when I caught sight of the tv screen, and for the tiniest of moments I caught myself thinking that there's something beautiful about that much energy and so much destruction; energy - would it wipe me off my feet? maybe melt the skin right off of my bones? heat, death and poison, I don't believe there's much you or I would be able to feel dying in those flames, and I should probably be ashamed that I sitting comfortably in my living room can have those way too ca- sual thoughts; but a lot of people die everyday and to decide to cry for all of them would be to give up breathing for yourself
Paneling is a part of Graphic design. O_- It's an art in itself, think of how you would do a collage and put together a puzzle, that's how paneling works.
You must understand the basic 2D design element: movement, center of interest, value contrast, volume, size, perspective.... so on and on....
As for paneling.... there is no set way to do it, whether drawing the picture first, or draw the panel's first, or draw the panels and the pictures back and forth.... it's all upto the artist, as long as the result is satisfying to the artist. Just experiement and find the best way that suits you.
1. Panels must support your content: That's the most important thing.... if one line is going over an important character's head shot, omit that line and let the character stand out~ If one frame is more important than the other, you wish to make it a focus on the page, make that frame larger than the others, sometimes it can even overlap other panels alittle. However, being overly complicated with the panel works will also confuse the viewers instead of supporting the content, one must find a good balance.
2. Movement: Panels MUST be able to direct the viewers themselves, other than the different universal rules of reading left or right, the panels should work its own magic directing the viewer. "What will the viewers see first on this page? what will the viewer see as the second panel on this page?" Design your panels with that question in mind, when needed, ask a friend to check what they would see first. Make sure it's not too complicated that it would confuse the viewer, leave enough nagetive space, and make sure there is a "flow" in their arrangement.
Attention grabbers: a. Size matters: Bigger panels tend to get attention first, bigger text tend to be read first. b. Iconic graphics: An eye, a face, a mouth, something easy to recognize tend to get attetion first. c. Contrast: The part of your page with the most contrast tend to get attention first.
After you know what grabs your readers first on a page, you can plan for orders of the panels 1>2>3>4 ... etc. At that point you have created a flow, a movement of the eyes and how it goes through a page.
3. Depth: Panels can create depth on one layout, think of the panels as its own art, this is where basic 2 D design concepts come in, if you take away all the content in your panels would the panels still look interesting? Sometimes one panel can jump out more than the others, so make sure it's creating the depth you wanted.
4. Variety: Lines that divide the panels can break, it doesn't have to stay closed or as rectangles. If you think that having the space in between the panels would make it look too rigid, omit that space and use only one line, sometimes you can use textures instead of a normal line to express what you want.
A mini test: Close your eyes, then open it again in front of your page, and see where you immediately see, that would be the central focus on your page, if you have a problem checking ask someone else to help you.
5. Sizes: Bigger panels almost always get attention first. Big head shots tend to get attention first. Try to get big when it needs to be, be small when it needs to be. Small and large panels all have their own power and their own usage. You can use sizes of the panels or characters to determine where your readers' eyes will go to.
When you want to impact your viewers, use spread page. (Two pages at once for one single illustration, make sure you have the first page of the spread page on EVEN number, the second page on ODDS. So it would print right.)
6. Express: Make the panels express your idea, rather than trying to make them interesting, when it can successfully help you to express the content, it will be a successful paneling work no matter what styles.
7. Composition: Design all panels as ONE composition, not two, not three, ONE composition for 1 page, and this composition should continue to link to the next pages if needed. Make all panels work as one composition instead of each one drifting on their own, then your page will look more together instead of having the panels each as their own individuals, then you can avoid a lot of conflicts between the panels.
8. Numbers of panels: A lot of you asked me: "How many panels should there be on one page?"
One universal rule is: "NO more than 10 panels."
Some publishers prefer to have "No more than 5 panels on a page."
This is according to the size of your book, most of the mangas are printed small, 5"X7" (the ones in Asia are even smaller) Small panels will make shrunk text hard to read, and make the images hard to see. Bigger panels are encouraged.
I used to do 5-8 panels on a page, now I do no more than 5, with occasional 7-9 for special effects. (ex: an action took place and everyone in the group is shocked. Then I will illustrate small, mini panels with a shot on everyone's face, and the major center panel has the action.)
9. Different styles of panels suit different graphics: (general guide from publisher)
If your manga/comic is illustrated with crazy insane amount of details, then sturdy, steady, and simple panels will help to hold your content in place
If your manga/comics has less content and has a simpler style that relies on movement and special effects, then you can try more fancy way to play with the panels.
My own preference: There's no set rule on what you can use, and what you can't, what really really matters is that your panels must HELP your content to be read easily, back to the first point.
If you go fancy on the panels and yet people become confused by it, then its best you go back to the simple styles first and nail down camera shots, composition basics and adjust your detailing and illustrations before you move onto other types.
I would encourage beginners to start with the simplest panel to make story telling work before they go to play fancy with it.
10. Text, Text balloons are a part of the paneling.
Plan the placement of your text on a manga/comic page WITH YOUR PICTURES together.
It will make an easier read. I know now of days, digital medium makes doing things separately easier, many draw their pictures completely separated from the text, that's ok. But it's not okay to do your panels without having a plan for your text placement, you may make some mistakes that can make layout chaotic and make a page harder to read.
Any manga that's not an easy read tend to get dropped a lot quicker.
Comic/manga is a medium with both words and pictures, so make them one, at least plan them together.
General guide from publisher: "If you are planning your page without text, leave the page a bit empty, then when the text in placed in, it would be just about right."
A good practice of paneling, believe it or not is abstract art, playing with the basic elements of art, shape, and black and white, for example, just play with rectangles and see how many interesting composition you can come up with.
-Personally, sometimes I have panels layout in my mind with the pictures all together, it has fused into my system, it's a part of my composition... but other times, when I only have the content in mind, I just go on to draw them one by one and figure out how to solve them together in sketch.
People have been asking me about paneling... ^^bb my paneling is really at normal ok level.... there are others who are good at it as well, but I will introduce you the basic tips in getting good paneling. *so i don't have to repeat myself.*
Edit: discussion about the numbers of panels on one single manga page is added. Discussion about the placement of the text added.
My other tutorials related to framing/paneling: [link] or non-swf ver: [link]