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For the Writers out there: Common Injuries And How To Treat Them
In my experience, RPers and Writers alike enjoy one thing: Making characters suffer. This little guide is supposed to help you with keeping injuries and the First Aid - in case you want to patch your character back together - realistic.
I am no medical professional, but I dare say I picked up a thing or two during my First Aider training ;)
Under read more for length! Also, trigger warnings for blood, I suppose?
Writing: Your Characters Must Earn (or Have Earned) Their Skills
- Magic (and other skills—especially physical skills) must be practiced. Yes, your wizard could be the “chosen one,” but remember that even Harry Potter had to practice his patronus charm. In The Matrix, Neo had to learn how to get used to working within the system.
- Knowledge must be studied: Your character probably wasn’t born with world knowledge floating around in her brain. She might have a high IQ, but she still needs to study. Hermione Granger read Hogwarts: A History well before she attended it. NOTE: This also applies to knowledge about science fiction technology.
- Wisdom often comes from making mistakes earlier in life: My dad will often say he learned most of his knowledge about woodworking from “the school of hard knocks.” He usually follows that with a story about how he screwed something up. Your skilled characters probably have a lot of stories. Wisdom can also come from watching others make mistakes and choosing not to go down the same path.
- Wisdom also comes from experience: A legendary general will have seen many ways to fight a war. He knows what works and what doesn’t based on what he has seen.
Anonymous asked: I’m doing crime fiction in school and have to write a short story, but I’ve never written crime before and I don’t really know how. Do you have any tips? Maybe something on writing action scenes, creating suspense, and leaving clues? Thanks for any help you can give me!
Crime fiction is most definitely one of my favorite genres to read, so I’m so happy that you’ve given me the chance to look these things up!
- Writing Action Scenes
- How Do I Write Better Action Scenes?
- Writing the Action Scene
- 10 Tips for Writing Good Action Scenes
- Punch Up Your Fight Scenes: Three Techniques To Knock Readers Out
- Writing Tense Action Scenes
- Ten Tips for Building Suspense in a Novel
- Foreshadowing and Suspense
- How to Keep Them Reading
- 9 Trick to Writing Suspense Fiction
- 5 Simple Steps on Creating Suspense in Fiction
- Don’t Drop Clues; Place Them Carefully
- Effectively Leaving Clues in Mystery Stories
- False Clues and “Red Herrings”
- Writing Crime and Suspense Fiction
- Crime Fiction Writing: Ten Clichés to Avoid
- Tips for Writing Crime Fiction and Thrillers (I would focus on tips 1-7)
I hope these links can help you. If you have any further questions, let me know!
[Made rebloggable by request]
For those not familiarized with the term: Memento? Homestuck? 500 Days of Summer?
- Nonlinear Storytelling: what it is, examples in film, literature, and videogames. Pretty much the basics and probably what you already know.
- Story structure: graphic examples of types of story structures, including nonlinear.
- 25 things you should know about story structure: tips, advice about story structure in general, things you’ve gotta take into account. Pretty funny.
- Linear vs Nonlinear: a comparison between linear and nonlinear storytelling.
- Nonlinear storytelling: more talk on nonlinear storytelling.
- Exploring methodologies for a nonlinear story development: now we get to the really good stuff. Explaining in steps the way you can pull a nonlinear story development off. Suggestions on ways you can keep track of your plot.
- Limits of a nonlinear narrative structure: stuff you need to know you’re getting yourself into. Some obstacles.
- Structure and looking at the whole: talking about the difference between structure and plot. Plot is always linear, structure doesn’t have to be.
- Writing nonlinear stories: on continuity, timing, and cues.
- Sypnosis for a nonlinear story: what title says. Talkin’ about sypnosis, I’m adding this in case your story needs one.
- VIDEO: how to write a nonlinear story: Robert McKnee talks and gives advice on how to write non linear stories for screenwriters.
- Out of order: a discussion of nonlinear narrative stories: OP even did a restructuration of Red Riding Hood to make it a nonlinear narrative.
For the anon that needed help with anachronic storytelling. Maybe they couldn’t find anything because we don’t use the word “anachronic”, we use nonlinear.
Red Flags for Female Characters
1. If something would be boring and/or undramatic for a male character, it would probably be boring and/or undramatic for a female character. If you’re writing a female character (particularly in a major role), I’d recommend thinking about whether you’d want to read about a male character in that situation or with that trait. If not, then you’re probably boring your readers.
2. The character is useless. Have you made a main character more or less helpless for most of the story? Does she watch as the story happens around her? Does she get repeatedly saved by other characters when the going gets rough? Please think back to #1. You’d probably be bored reading about a more or less helpless guy, right? Your readers will be just as bored by a helpless female.
3. The character’s only defining trait is being hyper-smart or (more rarely) a total ditz. That’s fine for one character among several, but if she’s your only significant female character, it’ll raise questions about your ability to handle female characters at a more relatable level of intelligence. If you’re having trouble with more relatable female characters, I’d recommend checking out some Meg Cabot books, Mean Girls and/or Pride and Prejudice.
3.1. The character is totally pure. A character that always does the right thing and has no motivations besides being friendly/agreeable/nice is probably pretty boring. 100% pure characters strain the suspension of disbelief, are less relatable and usually less dramatic. For whatever reason, these types of boring characters are almost always women.
4. Your readers will probably be able to tell if you have not read many female main characters written by female authors. If you don’t have the firsthand experience of actually being a female, being well-read is probably the closest you’ll get to seeing the subtle distinctions between most women and most men in terms of perspective, dialogue and actions. Conversely, when I’m reading manuscripts, the easiest way for me to pick out male characters written by female authors is when 1) the character is hyper-introspective and collected (even in a crisis) and the author doesn’t realize that’s unusual, and/or 2) a male character notices far too many irrelevant details, such as eye color and hair color, and the author inadvertently makes it sound like the character’s ogling someone or writing a fashion review.
5. The character is a love interest that doesn’t have a role outside of romance. She’ll probably be a more interesting love interest if she has something else going on. For example, Lois Lane is (occasionally) a competent reporter whose investigations sometimes tie into Superman’s work. Pepper Potts figured out who kidnapped Tony Stark by breaking into Stane’s office. Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim had a penchant for awesomeness and a mallet. Also, she was a ninja courier for Amazon.
5.1. The character is defined by her physical attractiveness and/or sex appeal. If you consider physical attractiveness one of the three most interesting things about a major character, I would recommend rethinking the character’s development because most likely the character is a love interest that is interesting only to the author. (Think back to #1–you wouldn’t want to read about a guy whose main trait was his handsomeness, would you?) Also, please bear in mind that most of the professionals evaluating your submission will probably be ladies, so you won’t even have the titillation angle working in your favor.
6. The character has no substantial goals besides going along with other characters and/or getting in bed with somebody. If you’re going to bother writing in a character, I’d recommend giving him/her some sort of independent effect on the plot. If not, why bother having the character? Fortunately, you don’t need to give a character much space to give her/him a role to play. For example, Neville Longbottom had around a page of dialogue (~350 words) in the first Harry Potter book and he still managed to raise the stakes for the protagonists by growing a spine at absolutely the worst moment. (Dumbledore’s recognition of his badassery was probably the highlight of the first book for me).
7. The character is mute. In general, I think the mindset behind this decision is “I’m having a lot of trouble writing dialogue for females, so I’ll just make her mute.” In this case, muting a major female character will only draw attention to how bad you think your female dialogue is. I’d strongly recommend practicing your female dialogue instead–the practice will help, and at least you’ll get out of instant-rejection territory.
Masterpost of TWH articles
Masterpost of all the articles we have done in the past few months (that we can remember). I am making this as a resource for all of you to check before sending questions and hopefully it will make it easier to find the things we’ve done. It will be updated constantly. If you know I’ve missed something send me a link and I will add it. Have fun!!
Writing Child Characters
Creating teenage characters
Help! I can’t write an opinion different to my own!
Writing the ‘dumb’ character
Writing a British character
Writing magical/mythical creatures
Discovering more about prostitutes
Information on BURNS
Victorian ladies and aristocrats
Masterpost of drinking experiences
School System in the UK part one, part 2
Learning more about university (UK)
Military & PTSD Resources
Anonymous asked: I’m writing a story dealing with a female character that’s a solider or a marine…I haven’t decided which just yet. But I’ve realize that I don’t know where to start my research and I hope that you or maybe one of your followers would know where I can start. I want to know what kind of training they go through, the combat/positions in it, weapons, ranks, speaking in code, PTSD, etc.
I wasn’t sure exactly what branch you meant when you said “soldier,” so I decided to use this as an opportunity to get links for all four branches. I’ll start off with the Marines, since you said she might be a Marine, and I will put information about PTSD at the end of the post.
- The Official Website of the US Marine Corps
- This Marines website has links to the history of the Corps, eligibility requirements, and more
- Women Marines Association
- Marine Corps Times
- Surviving Marine Corps Basic Training
- What to Expect at Marine Corps Basic Training
- US Marine Military Ranks (also has a pay scale)
- Roles in the Corps
- US Marine Corps Enlisted Job Descriptions and Qualification Factors
- Marine Corps Weapons
- Marine Corps Terms, Slang, and Other Sayings
- The Official Homepage of the US Army
- About the Army
- Women in the Army
- Soldier Life
- Surviving Army Basic Training
- Army Training: Basic Combat
- US Army Ranks
- US Army Military Ranks
- Careers and Jobs
- Army Enlisted Jobs
- US Military Weapons of War: Army
- Military Terms & Acronyms (this looks like it has generic terms from all branches, but to be fair, I haven’t looked through it thoroughly)
- US Air Force
- The Official Website of the US Air Force
- Air Force Women Officers Associated
- Air Force: Basic Military Training
- Basic Training
- Surviving Air Force Basic Training
- A Female’s Perspective of Air Force Basic Training
- Air Force Civilian Jobs
- Air Force Enlisted Job Descriptions and Qualification Factors
- US Air Force Military Ranks
- Air Force Rank Structure
- Gallery of US Air Force Weapons
- US Air Force Weapons School
- Unofficial Air Force Language
- Air Force Terminology
- The US Navy
- America’s Navy
- Women in the Navy
- Navy Physical Readiness Test
- Surviving Navy Boot Camp
- Recruit Training Command
- Careers & Jobs
- Careers & Jobs: Reserves
- Navy Enlisted Job Descriptions
- Rank Insignia
- US Navy Military Ranks
- Navy SEALs Weapons
- Naval Terminology
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
What You Should Know About Babies
I think, at some point in all our lives, every writer comes across a character who has a baby. Often our characters are suddenly faced with the problem of what the heck do I do with this child?! So this is a little insight on what you should know about babies.
Sagging Middle Syndrome: How To Rescue Your Novel From Its Fatal Effect
Sagging middles especially result when there is no increase in tension as the plot progresses. In the move towards the climax, your characters should face increasingly bigger obstacles and challenges. Things should get more complicated – never less. Characters should have more at stake as events unfold. The emotions should run higher and deeper. And each event should leave the reader more concerned about what will happen next.