anonymous asked:

*Curtsies* Dear Duke, I'm a fairly good writer except I can't make a first chapter to save my life. I want to grab the audience's attention but don't know how. Can you please give me some tips and advice for a good first chapter. Please and thank you.

*Curtsies* Magic rule for your first chapter: It should start with an interruption of the norm. Basically, why does the story start here? You need an inciting event that pulls the MC out of their routine and lets the reader know that something unusual is going on, and more unusual things are about to happen. For Harry Potter it’s owls arriving at his house. For Bilbo Baggins it’s a party of dwarves. For Robert Langdon it’s pretty much always a phone call in the middle of the night followed by pictures of dead bodies (use your imagination, Dan). You can always go back and fill in the day-to-day of this character’s life, but you want to start a story with action. What changes? Why start the story on this day instead of a dozen other days? Figure that out and your first chapter will write itself.

Thorin x Reader: The Fifteenth Company Member

Originally posted by tinysofia

(Author’s note:  Woohoo!  This was certainly a lot of fun to write! It was weird not to write in second-person pov, but I wanted to focus more on Thorin’s thoughts as he meets this woman and finds himself both irritated and impressed by her, so you can see how he becomes attracted to her. Hope you like it!!

Request: Thorinx(fem)reader where she is a beautiful warrior half dwarf half human invited by Gandalf to join the quest without Thorin’s knowing. At Bilbo’s home, her arrival makes Thorin hugely angry, which makes him yell at her, trying to make her give up on going along. But she is a super sassy insubordinated girl that bites back every harsh word. That makes Thorin even more furious but he can’t deny that he feels attracted to her.

 Gif is not mine, credit to original owner!)

    “I thought you said this place would be easy to find,” Thorin huffed as he stepped inside the hobbit home.  He raised a brow at Gandalf who towered very awkwardly over the group of dwarves.  “I lost my way….twice.” 

    Gandalf had only just shut the green, circular door when there was a tentative knock.  Thorin did not particularly like the subtle, sly smile the bearded mischief-maker wore.  It made him feel uneasy.  Thorin hated feeling uneasy.  He much preferred certainty of situations.

   “That would be our final Company member, right on schedule,” Gandalf announced, giving a small nod.

    “What do you mean?  All of the dwarves I summoned are here.”

    “I was hoping you would have arrived to Mr. Bilbo Baggins’ house a lot sooner so we could have discussed the matter before she arrived.”

    “She?”  Now Thorin was most certainly irritated.  What on earth was Gandalf going on about?  The Company leader folded his arms across his chest as Gandalf opened the door.  There stood a rather striking stranger, female, who stood in the doorway.  She donned a dark green tunic, ash-colored trousers, and a pair of brown boots.  She also wore a dark cloak, but had already pulled back the hood.  Her height and clothing suggested she was dwarvish, but she lacked a certain features such as facial hair, which was strange for a female dwarf.  

    “It’s about time you opened the door,” the woman said with grin.  “I was starting to think I had the wrong place”  She gave a respectful nod to Gandalf as she entered the house.  “Gandalf.”

    “It is good to see you, my dear,” he greeted with a warm smile.  “I hope your travel was swift and safe.” 

    “Indeed.”  She turned to look at Thorin, her eyes sweeping over his form briefly.  “You must be Thorin Oakenshield.”

    Thorin gave her a curt nod.  “And who might you be?” 

    “The name is ________,” she took a polite bow, “at your service.  Gandalf has summoned me to join your Company.”

  At that, the handsome leader gave Gandalf another incredulous look, lifting one eyebrow.  Gandalf ignored the expression and simply gestured for everyone to join the others in the dining room.  But Thorin would not have it. 

    “I demand to know what this woman is doing at a secret meeting such as this.  It is no place for her.” 

    “With all due respect,” she spoke up, though her tone suggested a lack of respect, “I understand that I am not a dwarf of the Blue Mountains, but I can assure you that I have as much a right to be here as any of the others.  Erebor was a home to my ancestors, and I intend to help reclaim it.”

   Thorin inwardly seethed at her quick and certain response, but he could not deny that her determination was admirable.  She had the spirit of a warrior, and he caught himself wondering just how skilled she was in battle.  He could picture her swinging a battle ax with strength and precision, her expression tightened with ferocity as she took out any and every foe that crossed her path…

    He shook the thought away rather angrily,  Who was this woman to speak to him in such a manner?  He was Thorin Oakenshield, future king of Erebor!

   “Why don’t we head into the dining room, and discuss the matter later?” Gandalf suggested in a friendly manner as he tried to defuse the situation.  But Thorin and _______ locked eyes, both their gazes burning as neither refused to back down.

    “You will not last a moment in the wild.” 

    “Because I am female?”  She scoffed.  “I can assure you, Thorin Oakenshield, I have done my fair share of traveling.  And fighting.”

    “Fighting, no doubt,” he quipped.  “Since you seem to have no hesitation in engaging in conflict with someone such as myself.  Your weapon of choice?”  He took a step towards her, folding his arms across his chest.

    “Ax and sword.  I have much experience with both.”  She mirrored his actions, stepping forward and folding her arms as well.

    They stood directly in front of each other, their previous anger replaced by a newfound mutual respect and admiration.  Thorin smirked at her, convinced that he might as well let her join the Company since she would most likely come along whether he liked it or not.  At this point, he found himself fond of the idea.

    “Well, then, Ms. ________.”  He held out a hand.  “Welcome to the Company.”  A warmth filled him when she firmly took hold of his hand and shook it.  

     “Thank you,” she responded, smirking as well with a glint in her eye.  “I look forward to reclaiming our homeland.”        

Uncle - Thorin Oakenshield

Pairing: Thorin Oakenshield x Reader

Characters: Thorin Oakenshield, Fili, Kili, Bilbo Baggins, Dwalin, Balin, Gandalf

Warnings: N/A

Request: N/A

Word Count: 794

Author: Hannah

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IT’S FINISHED! And not a moment too soon. Today was the last day I was able to work on it.

My sister’s getting married this Saturday, not to mention her birthday and Christmas are coming up soon too. She’s briefly in town from North Carolina for the wedding, so I thought I’d roll up a combination present for her! We both like the Hobbit so I decided to make her a miniature to decorate her new house with <3

This was so much fun to make!! It came out smaller than I meant it to, which is why the door, steps, and gate are all slightly wrong sizes… but I know she’ll love it anyway. The dimensions (without the tree’s height) is about 6″x4″x4″!

This is my first miniature scene and I think I did great! Let me know what y’all think!!!

Mr. Baggins Builds His Dream House

When Bungo Baggins married Belladonna Took, he didn’t realize she came with two remarkable sisters. If three is a crowd, four is a mob. And a mob – even one made of hobbits – simply won’t do in one tiny smial. Factor in any future fauntlings, and he really can’t be blamed for coveting something more spacious. Too bad no one informed him that building it himself would be so… so… whatever this is!

What follows is an entirely respectable account of the building of Bag End, inspired by the 1948 classic Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

Rolling Stone: 22 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Taylor Swift

From why she doesn’t take sexy selfies to why she dances at awards shows, here’s what didn’t fit into her third Rolling Stone cover story

We followed Taylor Swift for days, getting all the details on her pop coming-out party, 1989 — and learned a little about living under the constant eye of the paparazzi to boot. Here’s 22 facts from the co-author of “22” that couldn’t fit into this issue’s cover story, from why Lena Dunham thinks she’s a little bit like a 90-year-old to why it’s impossible to keep a steady romantic relationship.

She has money in her blood.
Swift’s mom, Andrea, was working as a mutual-fund wholesaler in Philadelphia when she met Swift’s dad, Scott, who was a client. “They met in a meeting, and he asked her out,” Swift says. “He had this farm 40 minutes outside of Philly, and he was throwing this big hoedown, and she came, and that’s where they fell in love.” As a girl, Swift wanted to be a stockbroker like her dad; she and her brother also took sailing and horseback riding lessons — “just in case we were put in a time machine and had to live in the 1800s.”

She used to get drunk and cry about Joni Mitchell.
“When I first started drinking — when I was like 21 — I used to cry about Joni Mitchell all the time after a few glasses of wine,” Swift says. “All my friends would know, once I started crying about Joni Mitchell, it was time for me to go to bed.”

She actually does curse from time to time.
Although Swift has cultivated a pretty G-rated image, in private she’s just like anyone else. At one point she’s playing some rough demos of a few new songs on her iPhone when she pulls up one called “I Know Places,” co-written with Ryan Tedder. Swift is playing the piano and hits a wrong note when she blurts out, “Fuck!” Blushing, the real-life Swift immediately attempts to cover the speaker on her phone.

She co-wrote Lena Dunham’s future wedding song.
As a bonus track on her new album, 1989, Swift co-wrote a song with Jack Antonoff of fun., who happens to be her pal Lena Dunham’s boyfriend. It’s called “You Are Love,” and Antonoff describes it as having “a very ‘Secret Garden’ Springsteen vibe.” According to Dunham: “Jack and I have a lot of existential and political issues with marriage. But if we ever do get married, there’s no fucking way Taylor is not playing that song.”

She lives in the house Frodo Baggins built.
Earlier this year, Swift moved to Manhattan, where she bought a pair of adjoining Tribeca apartments for a reported $20 million. The building dates back to 1882, when it was built as a warehouse for a sausage dealer — she likes the way it feels like a farmhouse in the city, with lots of wood beams and exposed brick. The apartment was previously owned byLord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, but Swift says she didn’t have to change very much. (“They have really great taste in paint colors.”) She did, however, find a new use for one walk-in closet: “Now it’s my greeting-card writing room!”

She’s surprisingly proud of being able to do splits.
Hanging on the wall in Swift’s new apartment — near dozens of Polaroids of Swift’s family and friends — is a photo of her doing splits. “I was the kid in elementary school who could never do them,” she explains. “So it was a big goal of mine.” In order to pull it off, she spent four months stretching every single day. “It was really hard and painful,” she says. “No one could understand why it was so important to me.” But in the end, it was all worth it. As she says: “Take that, elementary school insecurities.”

She took her grandma’s style.
Also hanging in Swift’s apartment is a photo of her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, an opera singer in the Fifties who was a dead ringer for Swift. “I’ve taken after her in ways I really didn’t see coming,” Swift says. “We have the same nose. We both like to dress up. And she loved to entertain: At her parties, she would get up and sing for her friends.” Her grandma also took Swift to see her first musical, a children’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when she was 10. “I started doing kids’ musicals, because I loved seeing these kids up there singing and acting,” she recalls. “It affected me more than I realized.”

Don’t expect to see her at the club anytime soon.
Swift’s idea of a big Saturday night is watching Titanic at home with her cats. “We’re both a little bit like 90-year-olds,” says Lena Dunham. “If we’re feeling really crazy, I can get her to go to a furniture store.”

Despite the rumors, Swift says she and Selena Gomez never had beef.
Last August, the gossip press reported that Swift and her pal Gomez weren’t on speaking terms because of the latter’s involvement with Justin Bieber. Not true, says Swift. “People think they have my relationships all mapped out. There were all these blogs, like, 'Are they feuding? Are they fighting?’ Meanwhile Selena and I would be on the phone that night, laughing about it. We let them have that one.”

She’s not a fan of sexy selfies — or of flaunting it in general.
“I don’t Instagram pictures of myself for people to be like 'Wow, that looks really sexy,’” she says. “I take pictures of cute kittens, or when the ocean looks nice, or of a funny sign I saw in an airport.” This philosophy extends to sexiness IRL as well: “I like a more classic look,” she says. “I always go back to Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. Red lipstick and a winged eyeliner — I think that looks nice.”

She has a simple trick for surviving the paparazzi.
When it comes to the paps, Swift has two simple rules. “You just make sure your skirt is down, and you make sure you don’t give them a terrible eating shot,” she says. The second one is hard for her: “I’m incapable of telling when food is on my face. It’s like I don’t have nerves in my skin. So if I get, like, a heinous piece of chocolate on my face, please let me know. I won’t be offended.”

If you ever spot her in public, go ahead ask for a picture.
“I’m totally cool with human interaction,” says Swift. “I’m not scared of strangers. I don’t walk around with bags over my head.” All she asks is that you come up and ask, instead of trying for a sneak pic. “Everyone always says the same thing when they get called out: 'I was not!’” she laughs. “But it’s like, yeah, you definitely were! As a human being who’s been dealing with this for eight years, I know when someone is taking a picture of me.”

She’s a very thoughtful gift-giver.
“The amount of baked goods and needlepoints I’ve gotten from Taylor cannot be counted,” reports Jack Antonoff. She’s baked him multiple batches of cookies (including pumpkin and oatmeal raisin), and she’s made Dunham a button collage and a cross-stitch of a cat. She was also the first person to give the couple a housewarming present when they moved into their new apartment. It was a taxidermied moth.

But she’s never ordered anything from Amazon.
“I’ve never ordered anything from Amazon. But my brother does all the time.”

She’s grown a little disillusioned with love.
There’s a song on the new album called “Wildest Dreams,” in which Swift takes a fatalist view of romance. “I think the way I used to approach relationships was very idealistic,” she says. “I used to go into them thinking, 'Maybe this is the one — we’ll get married and have a family, this could be forever.’ Whereas now I go in thinking, 'How long do we have on the clock — before something comes along and puts a wrench in it, or your publicist calls and says this isn’t a good idea?’”

And she says it’s almost impossible for her to maintain a relationship.
When it comes to dating when you’re a celebrity, Swift says, “you do feel a little bit like you got run over by a truck. You’ll be riding in the car with someone and all of a sudden it comes on the radio that he bought you a diamond ring and he’s going to propose. And you look at him and go, ’…that’s not true, right?’ And he says, 'No that’s not true!’ Can you blame me for wanting less of that?”

When it comes to breaking up, Swift is a rip-off-the-Band-Aid type.
“Once you’ve established that someone doesn’t belong in your life, I don’t understand what more there is to talk about,” she says. “I walk away from things when they’re bad. I don’t stick around to watch them burn to the ground.” She says when she decides a relationship has “become toxic,” “I’ll just check out. Stop communication. I don’t want to scream and yell at someone and give them the opportunity to say I’m crazy, or that I went psycho,” she says. “No one will ever be able to say I went psycho on them.”

Although she’s had plenty to say about her exes, she’s not sure what they’d say about her.
“If you turn on a tape recorder, they’d say nice things,” she says. “But you never know what they’d say in a regular conversation.”

She’s never been in love.
“Looking back? Not real love. Not the kind that lasts. I think that’s still ahead of me — which is really exciting.”

She gets very excited about animals.
During one afternoon spent walking in Central Park, Swift freaks out about animals at least four times. First comes an encounter with some snapping turtles, whom she wants to feed but can’t. (“I’ll get in trouble with PETA.”) Then there’s a bumblebee that tries to land on her head. (“Have you ever gotten stung by a bee? I can’t remember if you’re supposed to stay still or keep moving.”) A little while later, she spots some ducks in a pond. (“Ducks!” she says. “Are those babies, or are they teenagers?”) And finally, there’s the appearance of a quintessentially New York rodent. “A mouse!” she squeals happily, before being informed that it’s actually a rat. Swift laughs: “Do you feel like you’re hanging out with a six-year-old a little bit?” 

Speaking of age: She knows she sometimes comes off like a 24-year-old tween.
“I think there’s an interesting lag-time on emotional growth for me,” Swift says. “Because I write my records a couple of years before I put them out, I’ve always seemed two or three years younger than I actually was.” That said, having gotten famous singing about fairy tales and crushes, she wary of growing up too fast, because “there’s always gonna be an eight-year-old in the front row. Always.”

Besides — she likes feeling like a little kid sometimes
“I think you have to do things that make you geek out like you’re a kid again, or else you just become one of these 45-year-old 24-year-olds,” Swift says. “That’s why I dance like I’m having fun at awards shows, even though no one else is. Because being cool usually means being bored by everything. And I’m not bored by any of this.”


All Of The Stars : "Imagine stargazing with one of the dwarves and teaching him about the names of each constellation from your world"

kingfae || imagine

How you managed to end up in this world was a huge mystery to you. You only remember bits and pieces of the time before you came into the world of Middle Earth, like falling asleep after reading through half of the book for the second time. And suddenly waking up in the house of Bilbo Baggins who, after you had awoken, reported that you simply just fell out of the sky and into his garden. Surprisingly, with no injuries.

Gandalf, of course, knew that you would be there for some odd reason seeing that he addressed you rather casually. And on that same day, you had met all the dwarves of Erebor. Despite the fact that you knew how this story would end, you kept your mouth shut. Your presence there alone had already affected the story. The least you could do is try to stay alive until the end, and hope that somehow you’ll be sent back the way you were sent here.

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