The Problem With Character SheetsAlright, there are some pretty awesome character sheets out there. I don't personally use them, but I've seen others make them work. I'm not here to dispute the fact that they've got some utility, but I am here to point out one big problem with relying on a list of traits—which is generally how character sheets present these things—to define your character.The Problem With Character Sheets2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
(Note: This also applies to Mary Sue tests. 'Not a Mary Sue' just means your character isn't a perfect storm of coincidence. It has nothing to do with likeability or even believability. <insert dictator here> isn't a Mary Sue, either.)
I think this approach is, if it's the only approach you take to figuring out a character, a really bad idea.
Take a moment to think about your best friend. What's their favorite food? What are they good at, and what are things they do that make you Google good places to dump a body?
Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Start Your StoryHook, Line, and Sinker: How to Start Your StoryHook, Line, and Sinker: How to Start Your Story1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
You have the story idea, a brief outline (or not), and enough motivation and/or preparation to place your fingers on the keyboard and think, Let's begin. But how does one, in fact, begin a story? How do you select the perfect scene to situate your reader without putting him to sleep? It's easy to become overwhelmed by the sea of possible beginnings before having typed a single word. This article provides a list of different ways to begin a story, long or short, pointing out their respective advantages and disadvantages. The right beginning can give you just the push you need to send you flying into the world of your characters.
A prologue is a scene or chapter that pertains to the story without featuring your protagonist at the present time. It might show your hero as a child; it might show your antagonist plotting to take over the world; it might show a
The Top Reasons for Manuscript RejectionOne of the things that the literary agency I work for does some weekends out of the year is teach seminars on query writing and the first 5 pages of manuscripts (which, basically just means the first page of the manuscript). The seminars last only a day or two, but aim to help writers improve their queries and start of their books so that they have a better chance of standing out in the ever-growing slush pile. Since I know many members of the literature community here aim to one day be published writers, I thought I would share our sheet of the top reasons for manuscript rejections. Please note: These are in no particular order.The Top Reasons for Manuscript Rejection2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Wrong genre Agents have guidelines for specific genres that they like to represent. Just like you and me, they have certain genres they love and certain genres they don't. Sometimes, it's not because of personal preference, but because they don't know the market for some books as well as other agents who are very passionate about
Hundreds of free art e-booksThis was originally written by David J.C. Briggs on the Conceptart.org forums. (The original post can be found here.) All credit goes to him for compiling this list, I'm just passing the word on.Hundreds of free art e-books2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
The Internet Archive is a massive digital library that stores all sorts of material in the public domain, from music and movies to images, webpages and nearly three million books. All of this is open-source and available to the general public free of charge. The books documented below cover all sorts of subjects from different eras, from anatomy to portraiture, fashion to architecture, from the works of Leonardo Da Vinci to the letters of Vincent van Gogh.
And this is only scratching the surface! If you head over to the Archive and search for whatever subjects catches your interest most you can find much, much more. Just select "Texts" in the search box at the top of the page.
Slip-away SolsticeThe solstice day has come and gone, engulfing my hemisphere in an eerie ice-ridden reverie and the winter depths lodging itself in my world. Yet the hours of Sol's life lengthen throughout the day and send its rays tentatively crawling through the skies and into my house. It's warmth barely grazed my skin, and I want to greedily reach out; become one with it. Because I am afraid of the cold, and I need the sun to light my way towards peace.Slip-away Solstice1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
Brain FlurriesYou know, that moment? When you have an absolutely brill idea for a piece, and it seems to be the most magnificent thing you've ever seen-- like a snowfall, cool and glittering? Yet it slips away so quickly. It frosts the ground, leaves a cold snap in the air, lingers in your brain, and your childish mind tries to cling to it, to behold it again. But it's gone baby, gone. You'll never chase that cold fronted inspiration again.Brain Flurries1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
I'm just glad I caught this snowflake before it fell.