Storybook EndingHer ink-stained lips have kissed too many a forgotten page,
and phoenix down]
And her Prince Charming has yet to come,
shattering like stars]
So all she can do is gaze out her tower window,
concealing poisoned apples]
Clutch that corroded and timeworn blade,
tearing down castle walls]
Toss her childhood fables to the waltzing of the moon,
[even broken wings
wish for happily ever afters]
[once upon a time
there was a girl who became her own hero.]
The (Fictional) Vampire Bloodloss WorksheetThe (Fictional) Vampire Bloodloss Worksheet2 years ago in Other More Like This
First of all, I want to stress one thing here. This article is NOT about real vampires! I am a firm believer that there are real vampires out there and those people consume blood. They don't look/act like Dracula. They are rather ordinary and aren't making nightly kills in order to survive. This worksheet is for the many authors who are writing vampire stories where they need information as to how much blood their vampire characters will need to survive, and how much blood can be drained from their victims before they die.
The main reason I am writing this is that I'm an author too and in my pursuit to find this information, I have stumbled across so many other writers looking for the same thing. I have never seen this type of information collected into one place, so I decided to create this page in the hopes it might help a few people. Note that this could also be used for any general fiction where a victim has substantial bloodloss, such as a gunshot wound, etc.
Now, I'm not a
Writing Lesson: Naming Your Character Your character's name is one of the most important decisions you have to make when writing a story. There are tons of resources for naming your characters (baby name websites being my personal favorite) but there are also many things you should take into consideration. Here are some do's and don'ts in no particular order.Writing Lesson: Naming Your Character2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Similar names for twins I read an article on names recently that expressly forbid the use of matching or similar twin names because it was "overdone". While yes, naming your twins Jayden and Kayden can be a bit tacky sounding, the truth is that people do it. A lot. I've personally met a pair of identical twins named Kirsten and Kristen. Do I think their parents are crazy? A little, but when you're choosing names for your twins, it's hard not to look for rhyming or alliteration. For writers, my only suggestion is to make them visually different enough that readers can tell them apart. Jace and Jackson are easy tw
Plotting-Murphy's Law MethodPlotting-Murphy's Law Method5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Plotting Tricks: The Murphy's Law Method
"What Can go Wrong SHOULD go Wrong."
If you want an easy way to plot out a story that your readers can't guess the end to by the fourth chapter, then THIS is the method for you!
Basically, you begin with a character and something they desire. They go after their desire which immediately sparks complications which become a Problem that your character has to solve.
Once the character applies their chosen Solution to their Problem, Murphy's Law kicks in. The Solution triggers yet another problem.
This pattern continues--Problem > Solution > Problem--so on and so forth until All the problems are solved and your character either reaches their goal, or achieves an even better one--or dies.
This method is extremely effective when plotting out Adventure stories of any kind. In fact, Van Helsing, National Treasure, Inkheart, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, the James Bond movies, most RP video games,
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.
10Q Writers' Tutorial: EasyTen Easy Questions to Fix Your Fantasy Story10Q Writers' Tutorial: Easy5 years ago in Writing More Like This
(may also work for sci-fi)
So, you've written your fantasy story and uploaded it to dA. Maybe it's a thousand-word short. Maybe it's a twenty-four-part epic. In either case, you know it rocks. There's a dashing/brooding hero/anti-hero, a beautiful/kick-ass heroine/seductress, and the most amazing fight/magical scene involving swords/fire-balls/spiritual-enlightenment that the world has ever seen.
The trouble is, no one's reading it. And, when they do, the comments are annoyingly lacking in the "OMG!" factor. Your readers just aren't "getting it". So how do you help these poor, unenlightened wretches to recognise the true jaw-dropping amazingness that is your story?
Well, you could sit them down and patiently talk them through every plot point and crowning-moment-of-awesome (after which they probably still wouldn't get it) or you could try this handy, ten-question tutorial.
The Chronology of StorytellingImagine you're reading to a live audience. It can be as big or small as you'd like. It can be your writing or someone else's. It doesn't matter. Indulge yourself in the fantasy. So you're reading to a live audience. They're enraptured. They're engrossed. They're generating a movie in their heads as you weave your tale. Imagine how important every word you produce is to these movies. Every detail you provide adds another layer. They smell the flowers. They feel the roughness of the brick. They see the vivid colors of the clothes.The Chronology of Storytelling3 years ago in Writing More Like This
And then you require they perform time travel to make the movies accurate.
The chronology, or order of events, in a story is something I've been focusing on a lot in my writing lately. I'm not just talking about the overall chronology. There's obviously a beginning, middle, and end to a story. You progress from one event to the next. Things happen in chronological order. That's how, y'know, stories make sense. That's also
Tutorial - Understand And Resolve Social IssuesToday I want to share one of my deepest insights into human behavior that I always try to keep in mind.Tutorial - Understand And Resolve Social Issues2 years ago in Other More Like This
If you learn the 2 rules described and explained below, if you absolutely live and breathe them, you will wield immense social power. You will be able to understand and solve a lot of social issues - including a great many of the threads on the "help with life" forum here on dA. It's because all of these issues are just different manifestations of these 2 fundamental rules. I encourage you to actually learn them or even print them out.
The 2 Rules
Rule 1: "If someone is angry, they are actually hurt. If someone is hurt, they are actually feeling a loss."
Comment 1: Generally, loss means that an expectation of someone has not been met. To resolve someone's anger and feeling of hurt, you must understand their loss and address it.
Rule 2: "Whatever any human has ever said to another human is at its base either one of
Reading as a WriterHave you ever set down a book for good because you found something in it you don’t like? If you want to write, I suggest that bad habit end now.Reading as a Writer2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Why, you ask? Because everything you read—and I mean everything–has positive value for you as a writer. Stephen King, and any author worth his or her salt, is a huge advocate of writers reading massive amounts.
Again you ask, why? How can everything be useful? There are a number of reasons and I’ll cover as many as I can.
Reading bad literature teaches you about yourself and shows you what to avoid—or at least how not to do something—in your own work. If you run across something that you don’t like, stop and ask yourself why you don’t like it. Is it just a personal preference? Was it out of place or poorly executed? Does it contradict something from earlier? As soon as you figure out the “why” of something’s badness, you learn a little about yourself and you
5 Ways to Get Fantasy WrongYes, you're writing a fantasy story. Yes, that means many of the normal "rules" of reality are suspended. It doesn't mean you can just write whatever you like and expect your readers to swallow it. The existence of dragons they'll probably accept. Moscow being the capital of France they probably won't.5 Ways to Get Fantasy Wrong4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The key to "selling" weird, fantasy stuff to your reader (like dragons and half-elves) is making the world at large believable. This means getting the simple things right. So on that note:
1. Factual Errors
There are things in the wide-world of fiction that are fantasy elements; things like dragons, unicorns, and women who find beards sexy. There are other things in the wide-world of fiction that are factual elements; things like the speed of an average horse, the boiling point of water, and the observation that iron rusts.
Clearly, these are not two distinct categories that can have a line neatly drawn between them. You may have creat
Help! I have a Mary Sue!Help! I have a Mary Sue!2 years ago in Writing More Like This
You know that you have a Mary Sue when she upsets the monochromatic color scheme of my Writer's Guides.
Mouse over blue text to see a note.
Internet communities often lash out at writers who create Mary Sues. Declaring the writing to be below their standards, they proceed to punish the creators. They mock the characters, verbally abuse the writers, and write hyperbolically about how much they wish the characters would die.
Bullying writers (who may be very young) is only going to make them afraid to write—and therefore improve—or share their work. Not only that, but it discourages other writers from speaking for fear of public mockery, and it may silence the voices that could someday become great.
If you've directly or indirectly suffered from the abuse of such individuals, let me first apologize on their behalf. I don't care if your story stinks so much that it can be smelled from fifty miles away; mocking you
Fishing for INSPIRATION?Fishing for INSPIRATION?5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Fishing for INSPIRATION?
Your imagination is a pond that you fish your ideas from. Like any fishing pond, what you catch depends on what you've stocked your pond with and how much you put in there. If you fish for only the occasional idea, your little ideas have time to breed creatively until they overflow the pond, leaping right out into your hand -- and onto your keyboard. If you fish a lot, you will have to restock -- Frequently.
A Dry Pond = Writer's Block
What's in YOUR Imagination?
What do you KNOW?
What do you love to Do, to Study, to Think About, to Talk About...? Make a list of all the things you know well and all the things you've done -- seriously! Mythology, history, any retail jobs you might have had -- anything you might have seen, done, or studied.
WHO do you KNOW?
Have you ever met...?
A real Criminal?
A real Hero?
A real Romantic?
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
Types of Mary-Sue'sAngsty Sue: This type of Sue is created for people to feel bad for because of some dark past. Every other character in the story (unless they're mean or spiteful) will always make the Sue’s angst the biggest issue in the story and the fact that she constantly dwells in her own self pity will be considered a “natural reaction”. If two characters both have traumatic experiences, the Sue will receive more attention no matter what. The main goal of these is often to have the OC cuddle with a canon character.Types of Mary-Sue's1 year ago in Writing More Like This
Example one: Fred has just had his leg chopped off and will die if he does not receive medical attention immediately, but Mary-Sue is crying because of her daddy issues so everyone is busy comforting her. When Fred tries to call attention to the fact that he’s dying, the others will call him selfish for not caring about Mary-Sue.
Example two: Best friends, Lucy and Mary-Sue were both kidnapped. Lucy was raped, and Mary-Sue witnessed it. W
Character Tips 3 - ClothingCharacter Creation ClothingCharacter Tips 3 - Clothing4 years ago in Other More Like This
So, your character has a body, a life and a personality. The thing is, they're still naked! Well, this should solve their problem.
Before we decide on their clothes, we need to figure out what they actually do for a living. This is important because, apart from their personality, this will decide the type of clothing your character will wear. For example, a princess will wear a lot of fine dresses and have a lot of jewellery whereas a peasant will have patched up clothes and little to no jewellery. A business man will wear a suit to work whereas a person working on a construction site will wear jeans, steel toed boots, a shirt, a high vis. vest and a hard hat.
Basically, position in society and career will determine what your character usually wears.
How Personality Fits In
Appearance is influenced by your personality, not the other way around. For example, an outgoing person will more likely reveal more skin than a shy per
The Secret to Proper ParagraphingThe Secret to Proper Paragraphing5 years ago in Writing More Like This
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 in the same paragraph is BECAUSE you don't mix two characters' Actions. Okay?
"Wait a minute,
Why Roleplay Does Not Make You A Good WriterWhy Roleplay Does Not Make You A Good Writer2 years ago in Other More Like This
A lot of people love to roleplay. I love to roleplay. I remember when Dungeons & Dragons first came out and blew the world open with the idea that adults could "pretend" just like kids. I have been roleplaying for nearly 30 years and was part of one tabletop campaign that lasted 15 years. Yes, that's real time, not game time. I have recently begun forum-based roleplay and enjoy it.
I started writing before I became a roleplayer. I devoured fiction as a teen and wrote non-stop during my highschool years. I was lucky to be schooled on how to write properly and I practiced, joined writer's groups, got critique, and practiced more. I believe I had a firm base to help me develop as a writer. Granted, even though my early days were writing fan-fiction, they were stand-alone stories. My roleplaying was "live-action" as we didn't have forums or chats to post RP threads on.
Nowadays things are different. For many people, roleplay is their first foray into writing. Is that a bad thing? No
A Guide to Character SheetsAlmost as soon as they were invented, people have been feuding over the effectiveness of character sheets. Some say they are godsends and they couldn't possibly create characters without them. Others say they only create flat characters and there's absolutely no reason why any writer should need to know the smallest and most minute details that character sheets call for. And then there are the writers that don't know which side of the debate they should listen to.A Guide to Character Sheets4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The easiest answer to that question is it's a personal decision that every writer needs to make for themselves. But before you make that decision, maybe you should know how they work and the benefits you can gain from them.
You see, when used correctly, sheets can really assist an author in keeping the facts about their world and characters straight. Otherwise, on page ten little Anne has green eyes, but on page thirty-two they change to blue, and miraculously enough on page fifty-five they're brown or back to green.
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.
STUCK on a Short Story?STUCK on a Short Story?5 years ago in Writing More Like This
10 Second Tip:
Stuck on a SHORT Story?
Stuck on what to put in your story?
-- This is the list of things I check off when I create a story:
Do you have a Setting in mind?
- Modern day
Do you have ONE big main event for the story to focus on?
- A battle
- An escape
- A love scene
- An act of revenge
- A sacrifice
- A treasure to claim
- A magic spell
- A transformation
Do you know what you want to SAY with your story?
- Love sucks.
- Friendship is forever.
- No good deed goes unpunished.
- A snake can only ever be a snake.
- Sometimes you have to take chances.
- Magic makes things worse, not better.
Do you know where you want to END your story?
- A wedding?
- A funeral?
- A bloody battlefield?
- An empty street?
- The bottom of an ocean?
Do you have your three central characters ready?
-- Just to make things interesting, any one of t
Essentials of a Short StoryEssentials of a Short Story5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Essentials of a Short Story
Quotes raped from a critique of Nathanial Hawthorn's Twice Told Tales by
Edgar Allen Poe - 1837
Edgar Allen Poe, celebrated as one of the finest short fiction writers of all time, was also a literary critic. These are bits of his wisdom on writing short stories, gleaned from one of his critiques.
"The true critic will but demand that that the (story's) design intended be accomplished, to the fullest extent, by the means most advantageously applicable " -- Poe
Poe's Prerequisites -- in a Nutshell:
To deliver fullest satisfaction, a short story should be structured:
1) To be read in one sitting.
2) Using a deliberate number of characters and incidents.
3) With words restrained in style and tone.
4) All done that should be done, with nothing done which should not be.
Poe's Prerequisites -- in DETAIL
A short story should be structured:
1) To be rea
NAPOWRIMO 30 Days of PromptsDay 1: I am a poet.NAPOWRIMO 30 Days of Prompts2 years ago in Literature Templates More Like This
Day 2: I own my flesh.
Day 3: Tell a lie.
Day 4: Love through letters.
Day 5: A thousand kisses deep.
Day 6: Monochromatic fears.
Day 7: You have 7 days to live.
Day 8: Glow in the dark stars
Day 9: Misplaced bones
Day 10: Write as if you are a body part.
Day 11: Wake the dead.
Day 12: Love bites
Day 13: I never think about ____ anymore.
Day 14: Find me.
Day 15: 7 Deadly Sins
Day 16: 3AM coffee
Day 17: Kiss the stars on her arms.
Day 18: ‘Last night—’
Day 19: What is your sign? Write about it.
Day 20: Galaxy skin
Day 21: What is tangled up in your heartstrings?
Day 22: A fight in a stairwell
Day 23: A forbidden desire
Day 24: Stitched the words into my heart
Day 25: Cross-hatched skin
Day 26: Artist fingers
Day 27: Holding up the universe
Day 28: Dig deep
Your Character TOO Special?Your Character TOO Special?5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Is your Special Character
Are you indulging in a few too many "special traits"? Is your story really an excuse to show off your Super Special Character? Are you committing a MARY-SUE/GARY STUE?
--> Dead give-away: Your favorite character is YOU only BETTER!
Who is Mary Sue/Gary Stue?
According to SubReality.com:
"Mary Sue / Gary Stue is any original or deeply altered character who represents a slice of their creator's own ego; they are treasured by their creator but only rarely by anyone else. A Mary Sue/Gary Stue is a primadonna (usually, but not always badly-written,) who saps life and realism out of every other character around, taking over the plot and bending canon to serve their selfish purposes."
-- For more details:
The Mary Sue/Gary Stue "Self-Insertion" in Manga Fan-fiction:
According to A