How Not to Tell a StoryAfter being on DeviantArt for a few years now, I've noticed patterns in people's stories. Patterns, that I can't say I've ever seen until I started using the internet. I believe that's because these kind of patterns are thoroughly unprofessional. The pattern in short is this:
Character = victim
Plot = bad things happening to said victim
Maybe this sounds harsh. It's not if you understand that is ALL there is to these stories. They take any character, hurl them into a tragedy and that's it.
Let's get this straight: We do not know your character well enough to care about them yet. No matter how bloody and gutty their injuries are, no matter how many of their family members are deceased, no matter what their boyfriend did to them, no matter what kind of disease they have, WE. DO. NOT. CARE!!!!!
These kind of things are sad in themselves, but WHO is this person we're supposed to feel so horrible for? Establish THAT. It should be your absolute FIRST priority: no exceptions.
No more pasting
MOST COMMON CLICHES IN STORIESMOST COMMON CLICHES IN STORIES in Other More Like This
Crazy, psychopathic, murderer ladies
Sexy, butt-kicking girls
Depressed emo/goth/always-dresses-in-black types
The brown-haired girl with no personality
The mean, popular, snobby girl
Unreasonably cruel bullies out to make life harder for the main character
The best friend (if they were a good character who *happened* to be a best friend they wouldn't have to be described as this)
Fun fact: Making victim OCs is cliche
Another fun fact: how someone dresses is NOT their personality
Yet another fun fact: People who claim to be random really are not and they know it.
Super bonus fun fact: A character's breast size need NEVER be stated. The end.
Super de duper bonus fun fact: Please, spare us the paragraphs on what the character looks like. It is a story, not a fashion show. A few sentences with mentions of hair color or other select features you find necessary to point out(KEYWORD: NECESSARY) are perfect. After all, how
Is she Mary Sue? Clarifying Mary SueIs she Mary Sue? in Free Verse More Like This
So, I realize that everyone has heard of Mary Sue characters, but the thing that bothers me is that Mary has never really been as clarified as she could be. Girls go around crying Mary Sue at every character with long pink hair, then go and create even worse Mary Sue characters in the false illusion that they're making nonMary Sue characters (or even anti-Sues) when in fact they're doing the opposite. Allow me to explain how this seems to happen.
First of all the term "Mary Sue" desperately needs to be clarified to these people, so this brings us to the very important question: What IS a Mary Sue?
At least everyone can agree on one thing. Mary Sues are characters that are so perfect it's annoying.
But. What do they mean by perfect? Everyone has different ideas of that, naturally. Unfortunately, this is how many fanfiction (and other) writers make their biggest mistakes.
When you hear the name Mary Sue what pops up in your mind? A be
The Problems With Stories Written by TeenagersDon't be offended at the title. "Teenagers" is just my way of saying "people who write unprofessional/shallow stories." Not all teenagers write shallow stories, it just sounds catchier.... Anyway.The Problems With Stories Written by Teenagers in Reviews & Guides More Like This
The first thing I want to make clear is: I'm not talking about anything mechanical in this deviation. Grammar/spelling is important (obviously), but that point has been beaten to death by people on the internet already. My purpose, as always, is to talk about the stories themselves, regardless of the way they are communicated. Whether it be through written word or on-the-spot narration, I believe there are certain tricks to telling good stories. Not rules, mind you. Tricks.
I don't believe that telling good stories is about what you "should" do, rather than what you shouldn't. Example: people generally hate Mary Sues, right? Well, sometimes I notice things that are "like" Mary Sues, in the sense that they're equally as shallow/unprofessional ways of telling stories. The purpose of this deviat
The Problem with Self Inserts The Problem with Self InsertsThe Problem with Self Inserts in Reviews & Guides More Like This
There is nothing wrong with inserting yourself into a story. Like anything, it can be well done or... not so well done. The fact is, the majority of people who tend to write about self inserts happen to be beginners. Naturally, that causes there to be a pattern of certain, specific mistakes that are frequently found whilst reading anything on the internet. The purpose of this deviation isn't to say that self inserts are bad. I'm simply going to point out the most common mistakes that we usually encounter.
1. Making ourselves better than we really are.
Don't be fooled by the word "better." This can be replaced with mysterious, deep, dark, tragic, romantic, lovable... anything we want. Maybe a mix of a few of those things. The point is, the version of ourselves will be biased.
2. Not making anything bad happen to yourself
Let's talk about the word "bad." Does this mean something, perhaps, like... getting a disease? No. It means anything that interferes with
How Not to Write Love InterestsUPDATE: READ THE NEW EXTENSION TO THIS POST. LINK IN DESCRIPTION!How Not to Write Love Interests in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Despite the few who haven't caught on yet and still believe that "kids hate reading," we all know that these days, reading is popular.
"I'm just like Belle from Beauty in the Beast, because I love books," teenage girls are saying, while teens of both genders are sitting down to enjoy things like Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Eragon, Lord of the Rings and other more obscure titles.
This is just what we've been hoping for, isn't it? Kids and teens finally taking an interest in literature. It has finally become cool. They're thinking of themselves as rebels or nerds or hipsters, all of which are just new versions of the word cool.
Ah, finally people are spending their time having actual constructive hobbies.
...Or are they?
Here I am going to explore just how this isn't necessarily true; how sometimes your time can be better spent playing a good, mind-building video game or watching a wholesome, creative
An extension of How not to Write Love Interests“Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” - C.S LewisAn extension of How not to Write Love Interests in Reviews & Guides More Like This
This quote is about faith not love, but you can see how the same logic applies. If faith is not merely to "feel" as if you believe something, why should love be merely to "feel" that you like something?
In the end, faith is remembering you have reason to believe, and love is a choice about how you treat someone. Feelings are irrelevant. They are passing. They are constantly changing, and that's natural. They can indeed play a role in our decisions about relationships, but are a fickle factor to base an entire decision off of. It's like building a house on the sand. We're human beings with intelligence, and there is no such thing as a feeling so powerful we HAVE to act on it-that is fantasy.
What about circumstances? What about age? Can it ever be simply a waste of time?
On my last deviation, people arg
How to Judge a Book by its CoverWhen it comes to the "literature" from the Young Adult section at the library, I think it's gotten to the point that you can indeed judge a book by its cover.How to Judge a Book by its Cover in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Just because something is a book, does not mean that it doesn't make you stupid. Sometimes books can be brain-rotting, even more so than a good old, wholesome cartoon, if I may be so bold.
Today I will show you a guide about how to judge a book by its cover; that way you can conveniently know what books to avoid and which you decide are tolerable.
WARNING!!!!!!!! DO NOT CONFUSE THESE FOR GOOD BOOKS THAT HAVE SOME OF THE SAME TRAITS.
Okay, carry on:
Charlie Jackson is a teenage boy who is off to save the world from an evil foe. He and his best friend: Conveniently-Loyal-Steve, the girl he secretly admires for some unknown reason even though she's a huge jerk: Girls-Have-To-Be-Perfect-And-Tough-Or-Else-It's-Sexist-Jane, set off as an "unlikely" trio on a cliche adventure peppered with mostly sarca
Why I Don't Believe in HatersHate is a strong word.Why I Don't Believe in Haters in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Did you ever hear someone say, "We need to stop bullying!" and wonder to yourself, when you have ever seen a stereotypical bully with big muscles and a black, ripped-up leather jacket pushing around smaller kids and stealing their lunch money?
Realizing this is obviously corny and unrealistic, you throw this idea away in the sewer where it belongs.
But then who are these bullies that everyone is talking about? It seems very interesting that bullying has (as they say) become such a very big problem nowadays... Hence the inspirational phrases, "haters gonna hate," and "don't judge," coming into popularity.
But again, which bullies are everyone referring to?
I'm not writing this to say that bullies don't exist. I'm not writing this to offend victims. I know bullying exists. You could say I'm merely writing this to make fun of "fake" bullies and "fake" victims. Nothing I say in this will absolutely hold true in every (if indeed, most) situations of bullying. I'm only
Making Fun of The Mortal InstrumentsI thought it would be interesting to write an example of a terrible story and explain which parts were badly written and why.Making Fun of The Mortal Instruments in Reviews & Guides More Like This
So I wrote a funny Snape and Lily fanfiction, but then I realized there was an even better example called The Mortal Instruments.
It's a series that was originally a Harry Potter fanfiction, and still has lots of the same problems as a regular fanfiction even though it's been published.
"But those aren't problems, maybe I like stories that have those things."
Okay, you like them. *That's* an opinion.
The FACT is that they're not very well-written (meaning they're not something any kid you find walking down the street/off google can't accomplish writing). Consider this: the majority of fanfictions are written by beginners. Is it a coincidence that it's the beginners who all write this way?
WHY do people grow out of it? COULD any of it possibly just be immature?
Here I have inserted some comments into the story to highlight what I found to be the most fanfi
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 Character 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
Writing Lesson: Writing ConversationsWhile I am not a professional by any means, I have been writing for many years and, more recently, beta-reading as well. In all of my experience, I've noticed that a lot of to-be authors make some really silly, simple mistakes. In an effort to help out, I'm going to be putting up a few "Quick Tips" that might help you improve your writing and get more readers.Writing Lesson: Writing Conversations in Writing More Like This
For this "Quick Tips" entry, I'm going to focus on conversation and the use of quotations. Here we go
Punctuation in Quotations
When a character is speaking, their statement is often followed by, "she said" or, "he mumbled". However, you have to keep in mind that this is still part of the sentence!
Incorrect: "Wait, I have to tie my shoe." she said.
Correct: "Wait, I have to tie my shoe," she said.
Even though her statement ended, the sentence carried on to tell the reader that it was she who spoke. That's how it works with a period, but with exclamation marks and question marks, many people choose to ignore t
Writing Lesson: Character TraitsIt's come to my attention as of late that there are a few traits that people give their characters for no other reason than making their character unique. I thought I would just ignore it, but then they started popping up everywhere. I mean everywhere. I looked through the deviations in a group yesterday and saw reoccurring "traits" that make me want to tear my hair out. So this handy guide is here to tell you what's been done to death and when (if ever) it's still okay to use it. I am by no means a professional, but I certainly hope you'll take some of this to heart.Writing Lesson: Character Traits in Writing More Like This
Please keep in mind that these are all just opinions, really. I am not telling you that you can't do these things! (Not that I have the authority to do that anyway). More than anything, these are just things to take into consideration when creating a character for a novel.
Heterochromia. This is the condition where one's eyes are two different colors.
10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing.These are some very basic things for new writers. If you see somebody that could benefit from this, send them a link!10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing. in Writing More Like This
1. Use correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar everywhere, not just in your writing.
I see a lot of writers that text-talk in conversations, leave out punctuation, don't capitalize words, etc. Even if you're just shooting a message to a friend on Facebook remember those rules! Not only does this create good habits, but I find that it leads to better and more intelligent conversations
2. Learn those tricky rules like "laid/lay" and "effect/affect".
A lot of people slack off on these. Personally, I have to look up things like this all the time because I just don't remember. They're annoying, but learning the differences can help you out in your writing and in real life. Also, the difference between "good" and "well" is a must-know! I hear this used incorrectly every single day.
3. Paragraphs and when to use them.
Obviously your wr
OC Exercise: The Best Cure for Writers Block'Ello, Kitsune here. As many of you know, I'm currently working on a novel that is taking over my life. Recently, I've been having trouble keeping the personalities of my characters (who have changed a lot over the near eight years that I've been working on my novel) completely straight. I know my main character well enough, since the story follows her life closely, but sometimes I feel like I don't know everyone else in my world enough.OC Exercise: The Best Cure for Writers Block in Writing More Like This
I'm sure you've all seen the character profiles before. (Name, age, height, physical description, likes, dislikes, etc.) I have filled out more of those than I care to admit, but they very seldom help. Therefore, I came up with this "OC Exercise" to help you get to know your characters better. The best part is, it will even get you some writing practice!
I highly suggest posting your finished products on deviantart and requesting a critique. This will not only help with your actual writing, but it mi
Writing Lesson: Your Character's Parents While I am not a professional by any means, I have been writing for many years and, more recently, beta-reading as well. In all of my experience, I've noticed that a lot of to-be authors follow the easy trends and miss out on some great story telling opportunities. Hopefully this guide will help you improve your story and learn that the easy way out isn't always the best! If you would like more writing guides and tutorials, check out the description below.Writing Lesson: Your Character's Parents in Writing More Like This
For this "Quick Tips" entry, I'm going to focus on an important part of back story: parents.
*Please note! I understand that, unfortunately, not everyone reading this has parents. If your parents have passed away or are otherwise absent, please forgive anything written here that might be considered upsetting. These scenarios are for fictional parents only and when I say "dead", I do not mean it to sound nearly as insensitive as it
Writers Block and How to Kill ItWith NaNoWriMo coming up soon, I thought I'd finally spit out a writers block help guide. This can be used any time and for any blocks! Let's begin.Writers Block and How to Kill It in Writing More Like This
A lot of writers block cases come just from environment. For example, for a long time my computer was a desktop. Not very portable, right? Well, this meant that if I wanted to do any writing, I had to sit down in the same spot every time and write. I had to deal with the same environment, the same clutter, the same chair, the same sitting position, etc. This doesn't help! So consider your environment. (For suggestions that require moving elsewhere, use a laptop or a good old fashioned notebook with a pen or pencil)
Clean up your workspace. Organize it. Rearrange it. Make it different than last time you sat there.Light a candle or incense, or even freshen up your room with an air freshener. Go in another room. So
Anything you can find:"They're wicked," whispers Deputy Mack, when he thinks we aren't listening. "Beautiful, but wicked."Anything you can find: in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It makes Noah smirk from the front desk, where Clara Wynn, the dispatcher, is sneaking him sips from her hip flask while she profiles him. DePrince, she writes, Noah Thomas. Age: 12. Hair: Black. She puzzles over the color of his eyes before penning gray on the line, a rarity that gives us an edge, which we use like a scalpel. Noah flickers eyes like new nickels whenever we want something. Today is the Friday after the funeral and we are sick for answers, so we ask Clara if she will take our mug shots.
"I'll find some film," she says, disappearing into the back room. The door taps shut behind her. Deputy Mack and Sheriff Spellis are still arguing about us in the office, their voices a low rumble of contention, so we slip off our chairs and spread out through the station.
"Obituaries, photos, police reports," says Noah, fanning a stack of files across the desk. "Hur
of the ground-of the ground in Short Stories More Like This
It was Sunday night when Geo climbed into my room from the fire escape. I was painting my toenails and listening to the sounds of the city: police sirens, pulsating bass, the kids in my tenement running guitar riffs back and forth with the street musicians on the sidewalk. That was the year I turned sixteen and took a two-month vow of silence to honor the death of autumn. A premature snow had robbed the season of its delicate warmth and color, forcing the maples to weep their leaves into the gutters. All that rainwater, all that decay. How could anyone create when October was dying outside their windows? Pete and Jake practiced acoustic that entire month. The rest of us were too fragile to play in suicide weather, when the right chords might move us to open our veins.
Geo sat down next to me, examining my bottle of red lacquer. "'To Eros is Human,'" he read, and rolled his eyes. "I'll keep that in mind."
I offered him my shoebox of nail polish. He selected a purple the color of opium
singles.Cooper is twelve years old and a treasure in his tennis whites, and I am unremarkable, eleven, blurred at the edges like some uncertain shoreline. He only speaks to me because he sees Coach Drown's hands linger too long on my hips when he's teaching me topspins. We're pairing up, Cooper declares, claiming me from across the court with the wide end of his racquet. He spends the rest of practice serving straight down the line, aiming to concuss. Cooper Corentin plays tennis like we're in trenches. Come on, kid, fight back, he says. If I were a fucking truck, would you just stand there on the dotted line?singles. in Short Stories More Like This
Coach Drown is a truck. Every Thursday afternoon, he rakes me over for roadkill, and I lie there bisected below him with the taste of gravel in my throat. I should be used to it by now, but sometimes he still catches me full in the nerves like headlights. I'm practicing my backhand these da
Rants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OCRants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OC in General Fiction More Like This
Well, I figured that since Spongebob- Proof Of Spandy was so popular that I would do something that's different but also the same. I've written a little mini rant/opinions on an issue that isn't nearly as annoying as it used to be but it's still suck around for a quite a while everywhere I've been (Ex. DevArt, Fanfiction Net, LiveJournal). So, hope you can all enjoy and leave whatever comments you feel necessary. I would love to hear your opinions.
First I shall address Mary-Sues. Here's the five bad points of a Mary-Sue:
The name is only a slight problem. As in, it's not really one to be too concerned about but it is something that could give a good character a bad image. A name such as 'Melony Butterfly Lily DeeDee Silver Jay Hannah Rose, Melony Rose for short' is not going to give anyone a pretty image of your character and people will get tired just by trying to sa
The Name GameThe Name GameThe Name Game in Personal More Like This
Pitfalls to Avoid and Tricks to Use while Naming People and Places
We've all been there. You're reading a pretty interesting piece of fantasy fiction, and a few paragraphs in you learn that the main villain's name is "Abraxas the Cruel, Lord of the Black Tower." You wince at the unoriginality, close the deviation, and move on to something more interesting. We've all been on the other side of things, too, with a detailed plot outline in hand, staring at a Word document that displays only a single line: "???? knew what he had to do--kill the president." We're sure that once we get that protagonist's name down, that perfect name, we'll be able to write the whole thing in one gush of brilliance, but all that's coming to mind are banal names like "John Everyman" or over-the-top ones like "Staff Sergeant Max Fightmaster".*
*Yes, that is his rea
The Gay AgendaThe Gay AgendaThe Gay Agenda in Free Verse More Like This
we unpacked the car in hundred-and-ten degree heat
home after our three-months, big-haul supermarket run
stared at the late season watermelon
we grabbed on an impulse
I got the cutting board and a bowl for rinds
you got the never-dull, wedding-gift ceramic knife
we tore into our pieces at the same time
swamping desert thirst in southern fruit
pretending we were comfortably cool
believing it during each bite
I opened a new paper towel roll (we had been out)
you gave me the next slice, cut yourself another
we ate the whole damn thing in one sitting, not talking
just munching one icy wedge after another
until I mumbled a joke you made me repeat
(had to slurp-swallow to do it)
I said, “I said, I think this makes us—”
you, with a fresh juice smile, finished: “—a couple of fruits.”
Readymades: Hallmarks of Lazy WritingReadymadesReadymades: Hallmarks of Lazy Writing in Literature Features More Like This
Hallmarks of Lazy Writing
ShadowedAcolyte here for projecteducate's Prose Basics Week. I decided to tackle "lazy writing" as a topic, because they always say "write what you know" and boy, do I know laziness. Then I realized there were dozens of ways to be a lazy writer, so I heroically narrowed the scope of my article down to one broad topic: readymades. After talking about what a "readymade" is, I'll explain why they should be avoided in writing prose*, and I'll finish with some tips to help you avoid using them yourself.
Before we go any further, I should note that the term is not a technical one. It is the word I was taught to use to identify a set of common problems with weak writing, so it's the word I use. I hope you'll find this article helpful, but it's not a textbook.
*I say "prose" because it's Prose Basics Week, but readymades infect poetry as well. If you're more a poet than a prose
The Triumph ProjectDr. Maya Angelou, a literary and cultural luminary, died this Wednesday. While glowing words have and will continue to be spoken about her talent, activism, and dauntless spirit, she is honored especially for her body of work. She took her own suffering and the suffering of others and, through her words, transfigured that suffering into triumphant art.The Triumph Project in Deviant Events More Like This
Some of us in Community Relations invite you to participate in a new Project in remembrance of Dr. Angelou, one that grew out of a suggestion by Aeirmid. Together, we'll be creating art about triumph, be it personal, societal, or even hypothetical. At the end of the project, all deviations will be featured. This isn't a contest; it is a way for us to use our talents, following Dr. Angelou's example, to enrich our community.
What counts as triumphant? That's up to you. It could be a non-fiction biographical account of an historic leader, or an autobiographical poem about a personal moment of triumph.
Yes You Can!Yes You Can!Yes You Can! in Literature Features More Like This
Helpful Hints On Reading and Discussing Poetry
Contest Information Below!
Hi! Welcome to projecteducate’s week on poetry forms. I’m here to talk about poetry in more general terms, which might help you with the rest of the week. As a great lover of poetry, it makes me incredibly sad when I see a comment on dA that says
I just don’t get poetry
I like this poem, but I don’t know why
I can’t possibly say anything about this poem, it’s just so much better than I could do
If you can see yourself in any of those comments, this article is for you! By the end of it, you’ll have some idea of what to think about when reading and later commenting on a poem, as well as the opportunity to win some points in a contest. Obviously no article is going to teach you “eve
She Wasn't Born This WayShe Wasn't Born This WayShe Wasn't Born This Way in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You never mention the word "disorder" in certain company.
That's a defense mechanism, rewriting song lyrics in my head as the uncomfortable silence drags on. Not that it's really silent, ever, in a hospital. Machines whir in the background like insect hives, nurses flit (or stomp, depending on inclination) from bed to bed, and some janitor or orderly inevitably rattles by the room with a bucket of vomit or cart of soiled bedding.
So not quiet, then, but certainly uncomfortable. She avoids my eyes, fingering the roses on her lap. Everything in hospitals is blue-and-white, a sick, sterile periwinkle that I suppose is supposed to be cheery. The sheets leach the red from the roses. I'm blue, anorex-da-ba-di.
Naked, she is a lesson in skeletal anatomy, shrunken skin pulled tight on bones ungirt by flesh. In this half-recline bed, I can see only her beautiful face floating above the covers, a corpse-
Choose Your Name“John Brant,” I whispered, and a dashing British gentleman appeared in my mind, arrogant and suave as the slim-fitting Italian suit he wore. He sounded classy, not overly pompous. But there was just something about him. He could be the cool confident charmer I was looking for. But he could just as well be a stiff stocky soldier with his pride shoved far up his ass.Choose Your Name in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
“John Chase,” The name rolled smoothly off my tongue. Another man took form, both the same and different from the first. He was just as charming, perhaps a little lower in class with a bolder tongue. And was that a little mischief I saw in his eyes? Undoubtedly, he was smoother than the latter. He could work. A common name for a common man. Maybe a little too common. But he could work.
“John Davies,” I frowned, my eyes still closed as I wrinkled my brow. This man was full of question marks. Unlike the previous two, I couldn’t picture him quite as clearly. And I wasn’t su
Love Letters On the TrainDear Stranger,Love Letters On the Train in Free Verse More Like This
I'm leaving this post-it tucked in the side of the train-seat. If you're reading this, you've seen it. I've seen you sit here every few Monday mornings, sometimes tapping a bent, unlit cigarette against your thigh, sipping from your tea (who brings a tea cup onto a train anyway?); sometimes staring at the rain outside, or reading your well-worn, beaten copy of Jane Eyre (I hate that you fold the corners down - it's bibliophilic abuse. I wish the book would papercut you to defend itself a little, but I digress).
You seemed so sad this Monday morning past. Please smile again. I love it when your eyes catch the light of something I'm unaware of, something silently and intimately your own; a secret from the world that makes everything all the more meaningful to you.
- The Passenger
I'm not in the habit of reading post-its from strangers. I found a love-letter hidden in a newspaper once, that the author forgot or was too afraid to send. It made me sad to think
The SeizuresSkye has a seizure at dusk, and we're alone.The Seizures in Free Verse More Like This
I hold her wrists
so she doesn't fall from her hospital bed,
turn her on her side and hit the nurse distress button
screaming for someone to help us.
She's shaking uncontrollably,
and the bracelets on her wrists move
in a discordant lullaby.
Then it's over,
and the nurses come and check her pulse,
her blood oxygen, her motor control.
She can talk again, but she's confused
and doesn't know who she is.
She can't move her legs.
I stroke her hair and tell her where she is,
help her slow her breathing, and help the nurses.
Our roommates return, and she starts seizing again
dancing in the
mind far away in a dark sea of electrical currents
whispering as the tide pulls her out again
soft puppet masters taking hold of our heart strings
lifting her palms to help her drown with them.
I hold her limbs and the nurses hold the shape of her face.
The girls are terrified,
and the doctors come and get them to leave.
I stroke Skye's hair again
Mermaid Bones - a beat poemTRIGGER WARNING: Sexual assault and eating disordersMermaid Bones - a beat poem in Free Verse More Like This
Mermaid Bones - a beat poem.
I'm hiding an ocean of teeth under my scales
it's in the forbidden taste of salt on my tongue
the weight of the measuring tape,
of those numbers pushing bubbles through my blood and through my gums.
It's written on the circumference of my waist.
In the words cursing the ghost ship of my shape being plundered against my will.
It's spoken by the fish telling me that I have no right to fill my gills with oxygen
underneath a sea bed of regret laid heavy with the shape of a tail.
You are a whale they said
and they made me push my bones out to see the fish bones that they could wish on
to beach myself on the sand reaching for a reason to say "no"
I will not make sandcastles out of sandwiches, and pick at the entrails of the jellyfish noodles on my plate on the first date with puberty that said
"you will now be endowed with an oyster set with strings of pearls that hang heavy round your throat like a
The WordsIt started softly at first. Little words and instances, and small betrayals that left questions sticking in her mind like needles. Words that hit her skin like stones, leaving bruises that spread and scarred and left fear in their wake, words that kept her up at night.The Words in Short Stories More Like This
Who I am? What am I doing here? And who are you?
The words start tumbling faster now, and come with twisted expressions of anger, bitterness, resentment and blame. It's taking her back to her childhood; the memories of disquiet and fear and always, always the blame. It's taking her back to the fear of speaking, the fear of being touched, ever. The fear of meeting someone's eyes. There is only anger around her. An atmosphere weighed down by secrets and the blush of blood rising into skin. And inside, nothing but emptiness and the echoes of something deeper, something that will never be undone.
There is a stranger asleep beside me. Someone I no longer understand, who no longer understands me. I am afraid of their
Suicides Learning To SpeakIt’s 6 a.m. A girl is beginning the journey back from Oz, anchored to life by the whirr and beep of machines and tubes. Above her emaciated body, nurses pace, write on clipboards, click their heels and purse their lips. She is oblivious. Her mind drifts in freefall, stuck in an eggshell skull wrapped in nasal gastric tubing and an oxygen pipe forced down her throat like a synthetic umbilical cord. Somewhere, neurotransmitters are sewing themselves back into conscious awareness. There is a person lost somewhere in that body. There is a mind overboard in a black sea, sending up a flare. The nurses are afraid that she will stay in there forever. A family jostles at the side of the bed in the cramped, generic hospital room. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men… I don’t need ruby shoes to find my way home. My name is Ruby, the nurses click their heels and my family makes the wish.Suicides Learning To Speak in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
I’m finding my way back to consciousness through the sound
White Christmas Love LetterI'm writing to you from underneath a streetlight, watching the black curve of the asphalt road lead away. Soft whispers of wind passing dark and silent while the rain falls, white music over the rooftop of the world like silk and dust and static in the dusk. I look for the light flooding across the open sky, a red blush that makes me think of you, the rosy hues of your cheeks underneath the soft hush of snow on a Winter's day in Florence. The white blanket's tread covering you like a child with a cloak.White Christmas Love Letter in Letters More Like This
I want to lay you at my feet with that white Christmas, the soft flight of your heart beating with mine, your chest pressed to me and our hands entwined under the pale oblique fall of rain and ice in the dark. Flowers bloom here for Christmas, but not for me without you. Across the world, the blossoms fade and die with cold, their loveliness more beautiful for that fragile flame, extinguished under a damp, light cloud. A moment lost is precious simply for being a memory.
Here, the air s
9 Editing Tips You (Possibly) Haven't Heard BeforeIn some form or another, we all know how to edit. Maybe you're like me and there is some information in the back of your mind still hanging around from the 3rd grade grammar lessons. We all know subj-verb-obj, I before E except after C, etc. But when it comes to editing literature there are some more particular aspects of language that one should keep in mind in order to improve your story flow.9 Editing Tips You (Possibly) Haven't Heard Before in Reviews & Guides More Like This
1. Complicated Vocabulary
2. Cliché v Collocation
3. Reading Out Loud
5. Getting Distance
6. Seeking Out Critique
7. Grammar Help
8. How to Use the Passive Voice and Why
9. Fixing Content Errors Before They Start
1. Least Complicated
A lot of times people get into trouble with their writing because they are either trying to emulate a certain style or because they're trying to 'sound smart', and it's not usually necessary. Yes, there are certain times that the bigger word will sound better and more appropriate, especially in period context, but most o
The (Fictional) Vampire Bloodloss WorksheetThe (Fictional) Vampire Bloodloss Worksheet 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
Why Roleplay Does Not Make You A Good WriterWhy Roleplay Does Not Make You A Good Writer 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
Secrets - A Dark Flame Story Some say Gale City is the worst place to live in the whole United States. I've been living here since I was two years old. Considering I'm ten now, I guess that's not a long time, but eight years is usually long enough to get to know a place. Before I was placed in Gale—and I can really remember that far back—I used to live in Chicago. My mom and stepdad and four sisters lived in a two bedroom apartment in the projects. It was clean and we had food to eat. The problem was that dad always needed money to pay for the "junk." Back then, I never understood why anyone would want to buy garbage. I now know that junk doesn't mean trash, but it is garbage, and people pay through the nose for it.Secrets - A Dark Flame Story in Short Stories More Like This
Maybe you're wondering how a kid can know so much. Well, in Gale you learn to know or you end up doing something bad—and ten years old is too young to die. I've always picked up things fast, and I don't even watch t.v. that much. Bobby Brali and me
Literary Compass - Vol. 13WelcomeLiterary Compass - Vol. 13 in Literature Features More Like This
If one is looking for Literature, you don't need to go far on deviantART. There is a large community of writers and a plethora of work to peruse. Featuring genres such as fantasy, mystery, horror, and romance, one would be hard-pressed to find an area not covered. However, due to the nature of the site, shorter works tend to get more focus. It's easier to quickly read a poem or a short story, and thus many of the feature articles on dA showcase those works. However, there are many novelists and serial writers among the mix, oftentimes fighting an uphill battle to have their works seen and appreciated.
With that in mind, I have started an article to spotlight some of those artists and their literary-worlds. The works covered in this feature will exclusively be long-form fiction such as novels, trilogies, etc., or fiction serials.
Current Stop - 1866 London
The next stop on our Literary journey is the Victorian-era London and featured in the nove
Lost and Found Scene 1 - Relativity Episode 1The light above the vanity flickered, throwing the room into a series of shadows. Babs Stone tapped the plastic casing with her finger, hoping to jiggle the bulb back into place. The room fell into complete darkness. After a moment, the light snapped back on, shining bright and steady. The prostitute leaned back towards the mirror.Lost and Found Scene 1 - Relativity Episode 1 in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Pulling up her chin, Babs checked her throat carefully. While she didn’t have a policy against rough stuff, she didn’t like when her clients left marks. It made it difficult when picking up another john, not to mention she simply didn’t like bruising on her neck. Satisfied, she tousled her long platinum blonde hair so it framed her face, then twisted open a cylinder of Fire Engine Red and smeared it across her lips. She could hear shuffling and smiled at the thought of the man on the other side of the door.
While she had several regulars, Babs liked Denny the best. He was always clean and smelled nice. More than that, he always called
But My Story is So Great...:iconnbsp:But My Story is So Great... in Personal More Like This
I usually save writing stuff for my blog, but Ravenswd and I were talking this morning and he said something so succinctly and to the point that I had to share...
With respect to an alarming number of people who feel they don't have to make an effort to write properly and who feel that learning the basic rules is a waste of time, here are some wise words:
"The rules are there, not to be arbitrary. They are there because that is what makes great storytelling. When you ignore the rules, then it is nearly inevitable that your writing will suffer and not live up to the greatness of your story."
I hear so many people talk about how proud they are of their stories. They are so proud of their characters. They are proud of the worlds they have built, be it through their own imagination, or fostered through role-playing. They want the community to know and love their worlds as much as they do. Problem is, their stories are often hindered by their writing. You can have the most a
Do you know the taste of the universe?One day, when you’re five years old and made out of fractured sunlight and mirror shards, you sit down on the bench of the MAX train. You’re dressed in your winter coat and boots that are too big and one of your parents has pulled your hat too close over your ears.Do you know the taste of the universe? in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
You’re sitting next to your mother, and on the other side is a man that smells like loneliness, something that you’ll later know as cigarettes and alcohol and homelessness. He’s crying quietly into the top of his jacket and you’re scared to look because you’ve never seen an adult cry.
The train ride goes on for five minutes, which is a long time to you, and eventually you sneak a look at the crying man who smells like Portland and loneliness, and he sees you. He leans down until you can see the red lines in his eyes and he whispers to you.
“Do you know the taste of the universe?”
And you look up at him with your little-girl eyes and shake your head because you can’t
The Green of my Heartbeats5: Red, rude, a bully.The Green of my Heartbeats in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
She was bored, propping her face up on her palms. Her teacher, high-voiced and chirping in fuzzy green flurries, was writing rows of sevens on the board. White chalk. The sevens were glimmering in turquoise, and she smiled.
Sevens were nice, friendly. Seven would never eat nine. Nine was just a baby, like her brother at home.
She was only five. Fives were bullies, nasty. Bright garish red, like B. B was red, but he was not as rude. He forgot things though. Like his keys. Impatient.
She sighed, her head slipping and resting on her wrist. She could feel her pulse on her cheek.
"Seven!" said her teacher, continuing to fill the board. "Say it with me. Seven!"
Later, they got to practice identifying numbers. She had learned before, at home. Kindergarten was not meeting her new knowledge expectations.
Sitting at the table, she strived to make conversation to ease the ache inside her brain. "I like sevens. Aren't they the prettiest color you've ever seen?"
They boy next
The Danger of Untold StoriesI believe in words. I believe in voices, the unique cries of human beings as they pour their soul out into the sky. But most of all, I believe in stories.The Danger of Untold Stories in Editorial More Like This
Stories, be they written or spoken or painted onto the walls of caves, reaffirm our humanity. They give us back our own heartbeat, that dull pulse of blood, but more than that they give us our minds. They let us reach back and see where we’ve been, what we felt, what we believed. They form a mirror, let us see who we are, who we were.
And I believe that everyone has a story that deserves to be heard. But more and more I’m seeing that only some stories get told. You have books for children fully admitting that people have different bodies…but where is the admission of different minds? Why do no main characters have mental illness, or attention deficit, autism or dyslexia? Where are the movies about synesthetes, those with OCD, those battling depression?
This is not just a problem of children’s literature, it e
StorytimeIf I told you a story,Storytime in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
would you listen to me?
I could tell you a story about a little girl who lines her feet up on the cracks of the sidewalk, not because she’s scared of breaking her mother’s back but because she’s scared the whole world will open up, rotten teeth and saliva and all into a mouth that’ll bite her out of the air and leave her shadow behind.
And while she steps over the cracks she whispers to herself.
There are teeth down below,
a mouth, tunnel-dark and
we’ll fall, we’ll fall and
that will be that.
And the shadow will be left,
lost, it’ll be lost, it’ll be lost and
that will be that.
I could tell you a story about a little girl whose subconscious is an owl, who holds her arms out stiff and tries to be a bird, so desperate to fly away that her arms never stop, moving like the shaking of an earthquake inside her tiny candlelight bones.
She flaps her wings up and down and laments they are arms.