Anonymous whispered:
So I'm sure you have gotten this ask before but I am thinking of starting a fantasy novel because I have always been fascinated by them but I don't want to get sucked into the cliche fantasy world that every author has already done. Any tips on how to keep my novel original and possibly some other tips ?

thewritingcafe:

Here. Also check the fantasy and cliche tags on the tags page and read as much fantasy as you can.

07 28 / +56 / via /

characterdesigninspiration:

Quite a few people requested some form of trait/personality generator, and here’s the result!  I wanted to keep it vague enough that the options could work for any universe, be it modern, fantasy, scifi, or anything else, so these are really just the basics. Remember that a character is much more than a list of traits, and this should only be used as a starting point– I tried to include a variety of things, but further development is definitely a must.

Could pair well with the gender and sexuality generator.

To Play: Click and drag each gif, or if that isn’t working/you’re on mobile, just take a screenshot of the whole thing (multiple screenshots may be required if you want more than one trait from each category).

What’s up with the semicolon?

theyuniversity:

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Good question, Anon.

Let us first answer your question, and then other readers can peruse the rest of this post about semicolons.

In your example, we wouldn’t use semicolons. There isn’t much room for confusion, so we would simply use commas:

  • She went to New York, Brick, NJ, Forks, and LA.

For the sake of parallel structure, we would also rephrase it in one of two ways:

  • She went to New York, Brick, Forks, and Los Angeles. (Now the list only includes the names of cities.)
  • She went to New York, NY; Brick, NJ; Forks, WA; and Los Angeles, CA. (We used semicolons there because commas would have been too confusing.)

Those of you who are wondering what is going on can refer to the “mega comma” point below.

Now, without further ado, on to explaining what a semicolon is—and does.

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The semicolon is one of the most misunderstood, misused, and underappreciated punctuations.

This famous quote from Kurt Vonnegut might have something to do with it:

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On the other hand, standardized tests (especially the ACT and SAT) insist that you know how to use a semicolon properly. Many esteemed newspaper editors also endorse the semicolon.

Kurt Vonnegut’s diatribe notwithstanding, let’s examine what a semicolon is and does:

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In other words, a semicolon combines two sentences together, and in doing so, connects their ideas more closely.

Therefore, there is one important caveat to consider when using a semicolon as a period:

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In other words, a semicolon can prevent this: I’ve seen Katy Perry perform in Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Boston, MA, and San Diego, CA. #CommaOverdose

It is possible to overuse semicolons; combining sentences in close proximity with semicolons can make your writing seem endless; therefore, use semicolons when they’re needed (and effective). #SeeWhatWeDidThere

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Cheers.

(Alice in Wonderland GIF source: The Daily Clog; Supernatural GIF source: The Dreamer)

maxkirin:

So, someone wanted some tips on planning/outlining their novel and instead I made this. It kind of happened.

If you’re new to my silliness let me introduce myself.

My name is M. Kirin and I write books. If you’re interested in writer resources, inspiration, and the adventures of a dork, you could do a lot worse than me :3

graphitedoll:

"True Love comes in many forms"

since i’ve equated a few of my favorite dreamworks movies to celestial bodies, i wanted to do something similar with a few disney/pixar movies that i love and love seems to be just the right theme !!

remember to buy gifts for your mom! there’s only 1 week left to prepare !!

pretendersrpa:

Below the cut you will find my masterlist of negative personality traits, as requested by jemmarps:

Read More

What’s up with “into,” “in to,” “onto,” “on to,” and “unto”?

theyuniversity:

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Let’s begin with “in to" vs. "into”:

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Before this adorable little pig turns into bacon, let’s enjoy this cute GIF.

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Here is the difference between “onto" and "on to”:

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On to" is similar to "in to”: “on" is an adverb and “to" is a preposition. It often appears in idiomatic and casual expressions:

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Lastly, “unto” is an old, now rarely used, preposition that can basically be replaced by “to" or "until.”

One of the most famous sentences that uses unto is what is commonly known as the Golden Rule:

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The Golden Rule uses “unto” in place of “to.”

Here is an example of “unto” in lieu of “until”:

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Unto death” (until death) is one of the most common phrases in which “unto” is used.

Anonymous whispered:
How can I make my writing sound less... boring? I also have trouble with using the same words over again, so on one page the same word describes the same action twice or more.

thewritingcafe:

Let’s look at what might make your writing boring:

  • Style: If your writing reads as “this happened and then this happened and then this happened”, if you’re not rewriting anything to improve it, or if you’re using redundancies, your style is the problem. There is a style tag on my tags page that can help you with this, but you can also look at the description tag.
  • Plot: Sometimes the plot can be boring without the story being boring, but the characters need to be superb in those stories. If your story is not heavily character driven, your plot can’t be boring. Make sure there are risks. Let your characters lose every now and then. Make it interesting. The plot and plot development tags on the tags page can help with this.
  • Too Much Detail: Unless it’s important, you don’t need to describe your characters making breakfast or getting dressed. It adds too much unnecessary detail. Ask someone to read over your writing. Have them highlight or underline everything they skip over or have them mark the places where they start to skip parts of writing. Get rid of those parts or rewrite them.
  • Pacing: If you have slow pacing where slow pacing is not needed, the writing will come off as boring. Too much description and too slow of a transition from one idea or event to the next can slow down your pacing. For tips on this, check the tags page for the pacing tag.
  • Long Paragraphs or Long Sentences: If most of your writing is a string of long sentences and long paragraphs, it can come off as boring. Add some variety in sentence length. Make sure paragraphs aren’t too long. People tend to get bored when a long paragraph is coming up.
  • Too Formal: Creative writing does not have to exist within the rules of academic writing. You can start sentences with “because” and you can write a paragraph that is only one word long. Mix it up. Find your writing style.
  • No Devices: Try using metaphors, similes, foreshadowing, allusion, symbolism, and other literary devices to deepen your writing.
  • Glue Words: This ties in with style. Glue words are words that can be taken out of the sentence without losing meaning. They’re words like: on, out, up, through, after, before, in, but, the, etc. Instead of “He came into the room through the door.” you can say “He came into the room.”
  • Character: It’s easier to write a boring story if you write in first person because the reader is then closer to this character. If a character has a boring voice, the story will be boring. Check the style and voice tag for help with this.
07 21 / +287 / via /

pureempath:

i —— foreword

Fairly recently I realized that a lot of writers and US citizens alike don’t really know and fully understand their rights when being arrested/interrogated.  This is mostly a writing guide but if you’re a US citizen this stuff is just useful to know.  Basically, the police won’t tell you most of your rights aside from what you know — but they don’t even explain those.  I hope this helps. 

ii —— being arrested

If you are not served with a warrant, the police can not arrest you.  They can say they have one, but unless they show it to you, you don’t have to cooperate with them.  Upon being arrested, you will be read your rights.

        “You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say
          or do can be held against you in the court of law.  You
          have the right to an attorney, if you can not afford one
          you will be provided one without any cost to you.”

Every so often the police officers fail to say this to the suspect before the questioning session and usually that results in negative consequences for the officers involved.  What they don’t tell you is that you are allowed to have an attorney present before and during your questioning.  They also don’t tell you that what you don’t say and do can be held against you.  An example of this is, say you’re being accused of murder.  If you sit there expressionless and stoic while they’re telling you that you killed your mother its gonna seem suspicious and they can use that in their favor.  Now, in that same respect if you sit there sweating and vehemently denying it — they can use that against you as well.

Alright, they also don’t tell you that you can accidentally forfeit your ‘right to remain silent’ (fifth amendment right).  If you say “I didn’t kill my mother.” you just gave up your right to remain silent.  They will likely try to provoke you to say something like this that will make you give up this right.  That’s why you want a lawyer present during and before your questioning.

iii —— interrogation techniques

There are a lot so I’ll only be outlining a few major things.  Additionally, this guide is only applicable to lawful interrogations of arrested individuals that are US citizens and do not fall under the “terrorist" category, because military interrogations are quite a bit different.  I might touch on that later.

The room is set up strategically.  In almost every interrogation room, there is a table, two chairs, and a mirror/one way glass.  The suspect sits on one side of the table, a police officer on the other, and the interrogator stands.  The sitting police officer serves to corroborate and support the other police officer, or participate in the good cop/bad cop facade.  The one sitting will usually pretend to be more friendly and try to feed you the age old lie “if you just tell the truth it won’t be as bad”.

The sitting cop will also look for microexpressions and pay attention to body language while the standing cop will generally pace around and give off aggressive vibes to intimidate you, the suspect.

On rare occasions, you can be questioned without being served a warrant.  During these times, you have not been read your rights most likely and you do not have to cooperate.  Sometimes its in your best interest, other times its not.  Either way you don’t have to stay.  On other occasions they are allowed to detain you for up to 12 hours but that is exceptionally rare.

The police officers questioning you will try to make you trip up on your own story.  They do this mainly by trying to speed up the process so you have less time to think and process — the aggressive body language comes into play here.  If you feel threatened you’re more likely to stutter and stumble around than if you have a clear mind.

If they’re having a difficult time getting you to start talking, they’ll ask you harmless questions — questions usually about your family members, your birthday, etc.  These are always things they know already but it gets the metaphorical ball rolling.  Along with that, they can establish a baseline of what your body language is when you’re telling the truth so they know when you’re lying.

iv —— "enhanced interrogation" techniques

As far as the less lawful interrogations go, just keep in mind that all pain would have to start at a minimal level and incrementally increase in intensity to be effective.  You also have to factor in disorientation due to pain and possibly blood loss.  At a certain point in time, your subject will realize they are going to die and there is no going back and they will stop caring.  If they think it could possibly stop, you can get information out of them.  There always has to be the possibility of getting out of it alive.  Or you could also kidnap someone close to them and hurt them in front of your subject if that works.

The most commonly known about method is waterboarding, but its not the most widely used.  The mechanics are basic, actually.  Some sort of material is wrapped over the subject’s head — like a thick canvas material, or plastic — and water is poured over it.  Essentially they feel like their drowning but you are just asphyxiating them.  Its more mental torture than anything else.

Sometimes hypothermia is used, and that is basically just taking the subject’s clothing and putting them in a room about 50* F.  Then every couple of minutes the subject is doused in cold water.

A very common technique is to shake the subject and that is fairly self explanatory, I believe.  Not enough to hurt them, just enough to instill fear that you will.  An open handed slap to the face or abdomen is also used.  Punching is usually not employed by the government because it harms the prisoner, but if you’re talking about another country or a rogue operative, maybe a drug dealer — who knows.

Sometimes it is as simple as making the subject stand in one place in the same position for hours.  It causes intense strain on the muscles and is usually quite effective.

v —— end thoughts

I could have gotten a lot more in depth on a lot of this but I felt I covered it enough to give a general idea.  I do hope this helps people write these sort of things more accurately, or maybe even if they get into a scuttle with law enforcement (which I hope does not happen).  If you have any questions, comments, or anything additional that I should add, don’t hesitate to contact me.

lt