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About Literature / Hobbyist illuminaraFemale/United States Groups :iconnanoplotmo: NaNoPlotMo
Helping You Prewrite Since 2015
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Deviant for 11 Years
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Statistics 400 Deviations 25,955 Comments 125,268 Pageviews

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Dear all the important numbers in my life:
Social security number,
I’ve known you since birth
School year,
I’m glad I outgrew you
Years of my life,
You never match the age of my soul
Credit score,
We’ve had our ups and downs
Years I’ve lived under the same roof,
Never long enough
Library card number,
You’re the most important number of all
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I Am
I am the mountain outside my window, an old soul, stable and unmovable. Until there's a rockslide.
I am the faint scent of honeysuckle on a warm summer afternoon that reminds you of the fun you had playing in the woods long ago, and you smile.
I am the cool air that calms your spinning mind like waves breaking against your ankles and then receding in the sand. Be still. Breathe. In and out, slow and deep. I am an ocean that will never vanish. I am here.
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Strong, Not Brave
I still remember learning the difference between bravery and strength. On a quiet night at the Turtle Inn, an old man sat beside me at the bar and began regaling me with stories of his younger days. He’d spent his life exploring the dreamscape, and he’d seen more worlds than I ever would. It was easy to tell he’d lived a hundred lives in his hundred years.
He said he’d been pulled into this world by curiosity, and it never let go. Curiosity had led him to strange, dark places as well as places so stunning and full of magic his voice quivered and faltered when he tried to describe them.
When I asked how he’d seen so much, he told me he had many regrets. Explorers like him, he said, go at it alone. Traversing the dreamscape requires the ultimate freedom of solitude. Yes, he’d met many friends along the way--and a few lovers, each he’d left with a bittersweet goodbye more potent than the last. That would be my life if I followed the same path, he
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In Case of a Portal on Mars
    I’m a lot of things. A wandering explorer, admirer of the classics, sharpshooter, lover of silence, and sweet tooth. But most importantly, I am a loner. I eat alone, sleep alone, and travel alone. All the things most people do in the company of another human being, I do in the company of myself.
    If I could find a way to make a living that didn’t involve interacting with other people, I’d be doing it. But the funny thing about money is that you have to get it from someone else. These days, my money comes from people willing to pay for my knowledge of the dreamscape or to access my collection of magical artifacts.
    At least I get to work from home.
    I start every morning the same way, with a swig of orange juice from the carton and fistfuls of cereal from the box. Usually peanut butter Captain Crunch
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Alive or dead, we’re all looking for our own piece of the world to haunt. Some yearn for the clammering hights of the city while others want only space and solitude. My spot was forgotten by everyone but me. It’s up a mountain, away from hustle and bustle and life and lets me be alone with the world. Alone with my thoughts and reflections. Alone with my memories slowly twirling to the tune of old jazz on the record player.
I like it that way. Or maybe I can’t imagine my life any other way. But “life” isn’t the right word, is it? Because I’m not alive. Not in the deep-breathing, heart-beating, blood-rushing sort of way. But I have new thoughts and new experiences committed to memory that build atop each other every day. Isn’t that life? Life can take a lot of forms, I suppose. And so can death.
I’m not sure which is lonelier, an empty life or a quiet death. But I’m not lonely. I felt that way from time to time in life, b
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How to Write the Beginning of Your Story
We all know the most important sentence in a story is the very first sentence. It has only one goal: to convince the reader to read the next sentence and then the next until they are fully immersed in your story.
The goal is simple, but executing the goal with success is a challenge we’ve all agonized over. It’s easy to obsess over the beginning and wonder if you’ve started in just the right place with the right scene or narration. Maybe it seems perfect to you, but beta readers tell you it’s not a good enough hook and you try to make it bigger and better, flashier and more action-packed.
The opening of a story doesn’t have to be flashy or be a big, attention-grabbing action scene. A good opening holds readers interest because it does one thing very well: it establishes the narrative urgency of the story. It immediately lets your readers in on the most important thing they need to understand in order for this story to take place, feel real, and becom
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The Lifecycle of a Novel Draft
This article’s aim is to teach you how to draft a novel. That’s a pretty vague statement and begs a lot of questions. What’s a draft? What work or planning do you have to do before you start drafting? Can you just sit down and start putting pen to paper and expect a draft to miraculously show up? How many drafts do you need to write in order to get a “finished” novel?
First and foremost, a draft is simply a version of a manuscript, and there will be many versions along the way to a finish novel ready for publication (or whatever other plans you have for it). The purpose of a first draft is to bring your story kicking and screaming into existence—nothing more. It has to exist before your story can be molded and perfected into its final form. You have to start somewhere, and you also need a blank canvas on which to discover your story, a place where anything is possible and anything can happen. You may have a vision in your head, but you don’t kn
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7 Ways to Form Healthy Writing Habits
1. Write Every Day
Christy Hall nailed it when she said, “A writer writes. There are no exceptions to this reality. No excuses.” There’s nothing sexy about this. It’s tough work and requires dedication and persistence, but it’s the only way to make consistent progress. Almost everyone who writes for a living or is a productive amateur will tell you this. It’s no secret, but it’s often ignored because it’s hard. Unfortunately, there’s no magical way to make it easier, but you can form a habit through discipline. Once habit sets in, you don’t have think about it—you just do it.
These are the five most effective methods I've used to build a daily writing habit:
- Have something to say. This should be obvious, but what’s the point of writing every day if you don’t have something to write about? Develop your idea first, and then start holding yourself accountable to the “write every d
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The Sky Is Calling
Sunlight hit slim clouds as if clawing its way into the morning. Jagged black mountains began to appear in the distance, reaching for the sunrise and calling to me in a seductive whisper. I could continue my drive to work, or I could ride into the mountains on the wings of dawn. The choice was clear, and I drove on.
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The World Before
A lot of people still like to talk about what things were like before the world went to shit, but I really don’t find it all that interesting. Who cares if you were an investment banker or a gangster when your next meal can outrun you?
The only thing that matters now is how good a brain you got in your head and how fast you can learn who’s worth trusting and who ain’t.
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The Importance of Character Diversity
Ultimately, this gets back to the foundations of why we as a human race tell stories. We want to communicate ideas, spread knowledge, share secrets, engage with our contemporaries, entertain, inspire, call to action, and move people. Sure, you can do most of those things without telling a story, but stories are powerful because they connect with people on an emotional level. In order to make this connection, people have to relate to the story and feel like it’s their story, like they are a part of it and it was made for them. They have to see themselves or a version of themselves in the story so that it speaks to them personally as well as to the universal emotions in all of us. If some are singled out or left out, stories lose a bit of their power—or a lot of it.
With all the ideologically and emotionally charged politics at the forefront of social discourse right now, it’s easy to think diversity in stories (or in anything) is about being politically correct and try
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How to Pace Character Arc
Everyone loves stories about underdogs pulling off a big win and the likes of Han Solo picking up arms to fight for what’s right. But what about when a character just can’t make up his mind to do anything? Or the girl who’s always right no matter what and never has a bad thing happen to her? Those stories just aren’t as interesting and can verge on annoying.
So how do you fix them? You’ve got to plan the pace of your character arc, your character’s journey of transformation, from the very beginning.
What Is Character Arc?
Character arc is a change in your character physically, emotionally, or spiritually from the beginning of your story to the end. It’s called an arc because it spans the length of your story in an arcing fashion. This change can be for the better or worse—growth or regression—but something has to change. If your character ends up the same as he or she started, well, that doesn’t make for
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Before You Comment on the Internet
This is a thought guide to commenting on the internet--and also in real life. Before you leave an unsolicited comment or critique, send a note, or post on a forum or chat, ask yourself these three questions: 
1) Does this need to be said?
Or is it obvious and go without saying? Does it really need to be pointed out? Is it negative, inflammatory, rude, condescending, misinformed, just a guess, invalid, a logical fallacy, unintelligible, irrelevant, or just not worth saying? Then maybe don't say it.
Or is it humorous, entertaining, informative, enlightening, encouraging, thought-provoking, or something of the like? Will saying the thing you want to say benefit the people who will read your comment? Will it provide some value to the community at large or at least one individual? If so, proceed to the next question.
2) Does this need to be said by you?
Or has someone else already said it? Perhaps someone more informed, more qualifie
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Kill Me Twice
Kill me once, shame on you. Kill me twice, well, that makes me a pretty stupid immortal. I can’t even deny it at this point because it’s happened more than once. I don’t like to talk about it, but this is a special case.
She’s a demon hunter, and I’m madly in love. I’m not possessed, of course, but convincing her otherwise isn’t proving to be an easy task. How else could a man become immortal? She’s not the only one asking. I myself have no idea. I’ve been looking for answers for nearly three decades now, and the only reasonable conclusion I can come to is that I got lucky.
The social class of the immortal man is occupied by few, and most of them are dicks. They tell me it’s foolish to fall in love and even more inane to die by your lover’s hand—twice. What if she tells? I could be committed. Or worse, she might believe me.
Oh God, I hope she believes me.
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#Mywritespace Meme by illuminara #Mywritespace Meme :iconilluminara:illuminara 9 12
Sunday Blues
I couldn’t stand it anymore—the sunshine, the criminally gorgeous weather, the live music and boisterous conversations happening on the street right below my window. Outside, a place I could never go. The city was no place for someone like me.
I let myself fall to the couch and lay there just listening to the sounds of a world I could never know and staring at the ceiling of my industrial apartment. Well, it wasn’t exactly mine, but that’s beside the point.
Only one more day of waiting, one more night of lonely, soulful saxophone playing in my ears and taunting my dreams as I drifted into an unsettled sleep.
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:iconnanoplotmo: :iconpostrevival:



Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Grace is passionate about telling stories that expand the boundaries of imagination. She currently resides in Asheville, NC where she's always looking for adventure and soul food. When she’s not writing or entertaining her fabulously fluffy border collie, Grace can be found in cafes, book stores, museums, nerd sanctuaries and conventions, and traveling by plane, train, and automobile.

Grace has been published in the short story anthology Intrepid Horizons.

Ever been curious about tarot's storytelling abilities? Or just curious about it in general? I've been learning it and relating it to the thing I know best: creativity and storytelling. I've gotta say, while I'm certainly not a mystic nor superstitious and I don't remotely believe tarot can tell the future, it has a lot to say about the human experience. Since storytelling is all about the human experience, I've found tarot has a lot of insight into storytelling and creativity in general.

I thought it would be a fun challenge to learn and practice by pulling two cards and connecting them in a humorous way that relates to storytelling and/or creativity. I've got a few different decks to play around with, and so far the results have been entertaining:

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 4.14.52 PM by illuminara

My Interpretation: You're writing Loki fan fiction. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 4.15.54 PM by illuminara

My Interpretation: Enjoy sadistically torturing your characters? You’re gonna have fun today!

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 4.18.49 PM by illuminara

My Interpretation: I can’t write today because unstable furniture caused paralysis.

(This is a satirical oracle deck call the Fantod Pack.)

If you like this kind of thing and want to see more as I continue practicing, check out my instagram account dontplotwithtarot. I've gotta credit whoever's behind for sparking the idea.

Again, shamelessly in BIG LETTERS ...

Check out my instagram for this project: dontplotwithtarot


Add a Comment:
doolhoofd Featured By Owner May 26, 2019
Tell stories that leave scars.
If you want scars, try reading Baudrillard. Chain:la: 
illuminara Featured By Owner May 26, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Detective88 Featured By Owner May 25, 2019
I am impressed by your tutorials. I am seeking your wisdom for when I write my fanfiction(and maybe stories outside of here). 
illuminara Featured By Owner May 26, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Awesome! Fanfics are so much fun. =D
Detective88 Featured By Owner May 26, 2019
Yeah I know. But I want to improve it
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