Still the Same Girl (first Draft)The Abyss was tempting again tonight. Just a few steps away from Bell-mère's grave it called Nami to take a final rest, too. Let go, It whispered. You gave so much already. Nami was as weary as an old sail hanging limply in the wind. No fierce wind could fill her with joy again, it all seeped through the holes that had been torn into her.
“You're still the same girl.” Nojiko had told her. She couldn't have been more wrong. The girl that was Nami had died along with her mother as Arlong had shot her. Just when Nami had finally been ready to call Bell-mère by that name. Mother. And Nami had died again when she was forced to work for Arlong's crew. The flag that killed her mother forever stitched into her arm as an irremovable stain of sin. And then maybe a third time, as she told the other villagers and was shunned for betraying her own mother. She withheld the real reason why she did so, didn't want to share the burden. She had thought s
Synonyms, the Thesaurus, and YouEvery now and then, I see one of those lists going round, be it on Tumblr, shared on blogs, or whatever. You know, those lists; the ones that go on for eight miles listing ten synonyms for dozens of common words.Synonyms, the Thesaurus, and You2 years ago in Writing More Like This
I hate those lists. In the wrong hands, they often do more harm than good. And in the right hands, they‘re just sort of useless.
There's one going around I do rather like, because it points out the idiocy of these lists. At the top, it says, 'instead of whispered, consider…' and lists off a whole bunch of words. One of those words is 'insinuated'. And the very first response to that list? 'Aye lil mama, let me insinuate in ya ear.' Now, that sentence sounds utterly ridiculous, because whisper and insinuate do not mean the same thing. Not even close. But these lists are often rife thesaurus copypasta like this that upon closer inspection make very little sense.
Let's take the word 'got' for a mome
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
A Tutori-scussion DraftsFirst drafts are fun. Don't look at me like that, they are. Just putting your words down on paper, letting the story escape from your brain and actually exist on paper? That's brilliant. Now, if you get hit by a car or fall into a coma or something, the words are still there. The story didn't die with you.A Tutori-scussion Drafts1 year ago in Other More Like This
Of course, that's just as long as you know what's going to happen. The second you reach a scene that you just can't figure out, everything goes downhill. When you hit that glass wall in your brain where suddenly nothing wants to make sense anymore, or that technical detail you've been putting off dealing with because you'll figure it out when you get to it (oh wow you got to it time to figure it out), it gets a lot less fun.
And that's the hard part about first drafts. There's nothing more terrifying than a blank page when you have no idea what to put on it. I imagine that this is particularly difficult for writers who have already been published and have contracts
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 1Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 16 years ago in Writing More Like This
Part one: Parts of Speech
Now that you know how to use a comma and structure a quote, lets really get our hands dirty! Because all those commas and quotes and hard stops dont mean a thing if you have weak grammar. Grammar is huge. Theres a lot of it, so this will only be a blitz course, covering a lot in a small space. Hopefully, you already know most of it, though.
Parts of Speech
Thats right. Were doing sentence diagramming in this lesson. Youre going to need to know the difference between an adjective and an adverb later on, so this seems the logical place to start.
A sentence needs three things to make it a sentence. It needs a subject, a verb, and it needs to be a complete thought.
The subject is usually, but not always, a noun, a proper noun, or a pronoun.
Nouns: Nouns are something physical. Look to your left. What do you see? Thats a noun.
° Please pass me that book.
Proper Nouns: Proper nouns are exactly what
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 2Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 26 years ago in Writing More Like This
Part two: Tense of the Narrative, and Plural and Singular Nouns
Tenses: No, were not talking about a hard day at work, but rather verb tenses. What, basically, is the time-direction of your narrative? Is the chronicler telling about something that has already happening, is happening, or will eventually happen?
In most works of fiction, the narrative is in past tense. Its already happened. Occasionally, youll find a book in present tense its happening now, as youre reading it and these are usually of the pick your own adventure sort. The ones where you dont read about the knight in shining armour, but rather, you are the knight in shining armour and the choices you make determine whether you rescue the princess or if the evil wizard turns you into a newt. Ive never seen a book written in future tense it will happen, but it just hasnt happened yet but if you
10 Quick Tips: StorytellingFor those with high-powered jobs, demanding pets, or other drains on your valuable time: here is a quick, ten-point tutorial for better storytelling.10 Quick Tips: Storytelling4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The points are drawn from books, articles, casually-offered-advice and my own experience. Much like the Ten Commandments, they aren't all concrete rules. Just things to strongly keep in mind.
1. Show, don't tell.
-> Don't tell us that elves are disliked. Show us the disgust on people's faces when one appears.
-> But sometimes it is quicker just to tell. Watch out for those times.
2. Dramatise more.
-> Don't give the reader overviews. Pick out scenes and dramatise them.
-> Narrators explaining things is boring. Characters doing things is exciting.
3. The protagonist drives the story.
-> They're the decision-maker, not a parcel to be carried around.
-> Stories are about the hero doing things, not just having things done to them.
4. Every scene has a purpose.
Writing Style vs. VoiceWriting Style vs. Voice5 years ago in Writing More Like This
A Writer's Guide to Style vs. Voice
Here on dA, there seems to be a lot of confusion and general mass hysteria when it comes to the subjects of writing style and voice. What are they? What's the difference? Can you write one without the other? How important are they, anyhow? Do you really need either of them? Wait, what are they again?
Style is the form and structure with which you write.
Voice is the attitude and perspective with which you write.
In other words, voice is the emotion and feeling of a piece of literature, and style is the technical way of communicating that emotion.
Clearly, there is a tangible difference between the two. Style is a delivery system for voice. While voice can and should affect the form with which you write, you can most certainly write one without the other. However, the best writing is a masterful fusion of both.
I'm here to illustrate for you the difference between style and voice and to define exactly what they are and how you can us
8 Ways to Help You Write Without Writing8 Ways to Help You Write Without Writing1 year ago in Writing More Like This
1. Go for a Jog. No really, you should. Even though it is sort of built into the stereotype of writers that we should never get out-and let alone even think about being fit-perhaps it is time that you ignore that stereotype for the sake of your writing quality.
According to a study by journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, people who exercise regularly do far better on tests of creativity than those who do not exercise. More creativity means more writing ideas, so getting into shape and exercising regularly might just be the final ingredient in making your novels shine.
2. Unplug the Internet. In the famous words of an unknown writer, “'Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet,’ and it could not be more true. How often do you go on the internet for some research or to find a song, then suddenly find that an hour has past and you are suddenly on facebook or twitter without even knowing you did so?
There are two w
Writing Tips - DescriptionWriting Tips - Description5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Description: Balancing Too Much and Not Enough
Theres an old adage about writing that says, show, dont tell. But what does that actually mean? Surely, were not expected to illustrate our stories, are we? Christ, I hope not. Some of mine are rather long.
No. What that means is that you should use your words to paint a visual picture for the reader. Talking heads are both boring and confusing, and should generally be avoided. If youre unfamiliar with the term, talking heads refers to the phenomenon where all, or most of story is carried out through the characters dialogue. You see it like mad in web and news paper comics, but it happens in prose as well.
The first, and arguably the most fun way to banish the talking heads is to make your characters act. This doesnt mean action, necessarily. The character can do any amount of going from place to place or thing to thing, but so what? Hes still not rea
How to Make a VillainHow to Make a Villain.How to Make a Villain5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Okay, keep in mind that everyone has their own way of going through characters, and villains especially are very much your own thing. You're going to have your favorite class, most likely, and you're often going to stick to it. (And sorry folks, this is an ACTUAL tutorial - there are enough joke ones out there already, funny as they may be.)
One thing to generally keep in mind, however, is the tragic past - avoid it. Seriously, people, nobody likes it when the villain gets whiny. Which isn't to say that they can't have a tragic past, but it's very easy to send it into whininess, or cliché. A bad boy villain character who keeps it all locked up inside really isn't any better. There are several options, though, I'll be listing only the ones I'm familiar with around here.
Classic villain - These have a lot of subclasses, and can range from stupid to serious, but they're basically the type you'll see in old movies. The evil scientists, or power
Writer's Tip: Writing Effective SentencesSentences—if the plot is the backbone of a story, then sentences are the muscles and tendons keeping it glued together. Unfortunately, writing solid sentences isn’t easy for everyone. As Human beings, we don’t speak the same way we write. Unless you do a lot of writing, you may have trouble putting together even the simplest of sentences. The last time you took a good look at a sentence and broke it down into its individual parts was probably around 3rd grade. Don’t worry—I’m here to help.Writer's Tip: Writing Effective Sentences1 year ago in Writing More Like This
There’s More Than One Type of Sentence
There are (roughly) four different types of sentences, and we’re going to get into each of the different types (with examples!).
Simple Sentences – This is a sentence in its truest form. A simple sentence is the statement of a single idea in a direct, clear way. Most simple sentences contain less than 20 words, but it is best if you keep your word count aver
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
Tips for the Messy WriterWhen the Muse StrikesTips for the Messy Writer3 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
DeviantART: A Critical Community (Part 1)You may have heard...DeviantART: A Critical Community (Part 1)11 months ago in Other More Like This
From the most novice to the most accomplished, dA is home to artists of all types and skills. This mish-mash of talent, experience, knowledge, and eagerness to learn creates a beautiful opportunity for mentorships between those who are learning and those who are willing to lend their time and patience to a burgeoning new artist or writer. But forming those relationships can be daunting for those looking for help and unfulfilling for those offering that help.
This is the first of a two part article series that aims to address a few key points of miscommunication that seem to be common between those willing to offer critique and constructive commentary and those seeking feedback. You may have heard that the critique community on deviantART "sucks" or "doesn't exist", but I'll humbly beg to disagree. I've been an activ
ACTION Sequences - Plug+PlayACTION Sequences - Plug+Play5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing ACTION Sequences
The Plug & Play Method
Lets begin with a Review...
The flash of pain exploded in my cheek from the slap her hand lashed out at me.
Why is this wrong?
If you were watching this scene as a movie, that sentence is NOT how you would have seen it happen.
Actual Sequence of events:
1) Her hand lashed out at me in a slap.
2) A flash of pain exploded in my cheek
ACTION Sequences = Chronological Order
REALITY = something happens to you and then you react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
FICTION = the Plot happens to the characters and then they react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
If you want the reader to SEE the actions that you are trying to portray, Chronological Order is the ONLY way to write that scene. In other words, if you visualize the characters doing something in a specific
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