and thank you kind anon for pointing out my spelling error!

anonymous asked:

Hey, I heard someone say the Hunger Games isn't immersive and I was wondering what is an immersive universe, and is it something I should be doing/writing? And how to do it? Thanks

Thanks for your question, love!  I’m very much in agreement with that person’s opinion of The Hunger Games.  While THG is a brilliant plot-driven series, I’ve never been able to “get into it”, for many of the reasons I will discuss here.

So immersive storytelling is definitely tricky, just because of the factors involved.  Instead of trying to get readers to a certain place, you’re trying to keep them there.  You’re trying to keep them from getting that feeling that you get when you’re watching TV and you notice the edges of the screen and the rest of the room and you break focus and you hear the clock ticking in the background until you completely lose track of the scene.  Immersion is the reason I couldn’t stay awake through any of the Thor movies.

Originally posted by thorduna

(Seriously, if he didn’t look like this, I wouldn’t have made it 10 minutes.)

My point in saying that, though, is that while the Thor movies have that zoning-out, thinking-about-what’s-for-dinner effect on me, they manage to totally captivate some other people!  So immersion, first of all, is different for every reader, every viewer.  I’m only able to give you my perspective on what makes a story captivating for me, so take my words with a grain of salt.

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way… the actual advice.


6 Keys to Immersive Storytelling

1. A Journey

A journey can be defined as many things: a physical journey from Point A to Point B (e.g. Lord of the Rings), or an emotional journey from a personal or interpersonal State A to State B (e.g. The Fault in Our Stars).  It can be defined as a story in which a moral is taught, the main character is changed, or the reader is changed for reading it.

I define a journey as this: a story throughout which the reader feels they are heading somewhere, and, by the end of which, feels either satisfied that they have arrived, or unsatisfied that they never quite made it.  In either scenario, there is a goal in mind – the only difference is whether or not the characters are victorious or not.  But victory doesn’t define the journey.  Motion does.

2. Relatable Characters

The only way for your story (and therefore, your readers) to keep moving is to be propelled by characters – and while The Hunger Games and Thor both certainly had characters, what they lacked, for me, was relatable characters.  No matter how compelling the journey of a story is, the reader has to both understand and care about whose journey it is.  Otherwise, you’re just watching Grey’s Anatomy.

*bitter cough*

3. Strong Imagery

Another way that the THG books fell short, for me, was their physical description of the story – the sensory experience of it.  For all the experiences Katniss went through, both physical and environmental, something about the description felt singular.  The reader didn’t get to experience the sights, sounds, and feelings of the environment.  They didn’t get to see each environment through Katniss’s eyes, through the tint of her emotions.  It felt empty, in a way.

And that’s a major part of immersion.  Make sure that your story isn’t experienced from an overhead camera, but through the sensations and emotions of your POV character.  Use your settings, and the way we experience them, to enrich the story and create that movie-effect!

4. Real Stakes

Even from the very first page, stakes are necessary to keep readers invested in the story.  Whether they’re small-scale stakes (getting to school on time) or large-scale (getting to the bomb in time), having a mystery or impending doom or just some carrot to dangle will make it more difficult for the mind to wander and the hand to close the book.

Just be careful not to make it hyper-intense all the time, or else it can feel gimmicky or melodramatic.  My main point here is to avoid stalling or creating too much lead-up/exposition without creating tension,  Slow starts = quick death.

5. Rich Narration

Whether you’re narrating, yourself, or through the voice of a character, a strong narrative voice is key to a compelling story.  A lot of this takes place in the second draft – editing and rewriting, once you’ve gotten the first draft out of the way.  It’s like putting together a bouquet of flowers – you’re not going to use all the flowers you grow, but you have to plant a bunch of different seeds and figure out which colors you like.  So let yourself out of your box!  Write all those beautiful descriptions and wacky humor and long, emotional tangents about your characters’ introspection.  Really fill your garden with every kind of flower you can cram in there, and let it simmer over the first draft.

Then, when you’re going back to edit, be sure not to let self-consciousness rule you.  Delete the unnecessary stuff, of course, but let yourself keep the personality.  Don’t try to make your story too clinical or perfect.  People are reading it for you and your voice, so let yourself get swept away, and they will be, too.  But if you sit there typing with your head somewhere else, that’s exactly how the audience will read it.

6. Authenticity

Seriously, this is the most important key for any story, and I can’t preach it enough: readers can tell.  Everything.  They can tell if you’re bored.  They can tell if you’re rushing or trying to slow everything down.  They can feel when you’re having fun and they can sense when you’re holding back.  They may not be aware exactly what the problem is with something like The Hunger Games (or whatever story any individual person finds non-immersive), but they’ll feel that vacancy all the same.

I could’ve gotten over Thor’s sheer lack of pacing technique.  I could’ve ignored The Hunger Games’ emotionless POV character.  I could (and still do, for complicated reasons) continue to watch Grey’s Anatomy even though they’ve exhausted their plots and continually create (and punish) their unlikable, soulless characters.  Those things are problems, but they’re not the reason why I can’t enjoy them.

The reason is that I don’t sense an honesty from the creators.  I don’t feel a personality behind the voices and the storytelling.  I don’t feel like I’ve gotten to know the person behind the pages (or the screen) at all.  And because of that, I didn’t get to meet a part of myself through these stories, either.  Instead, I’m just… bored.  And lost.


Anyway, that got hugely long and it’s super late, but I’m gonna publish this now and pray for few spelling errors.  I hope this answers your question, one way or another!  Thanks again, and good luck :)


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

anonymous asked:

About the "Racist" ML comic, Marinette knew nothing about the people there and she is naked. She has the right to be afraid of the strangers. Stop seeing things that aren't there and read the pages. If you actually read the context, you find these guys are gathering supplies to deliver to a shelter and they actually do help out Marinette out by giving her what clothing they found. It's a classic "Don't judge a book by it's cover" moral.

Surprise! I did read it. But whoops, guess my form of reading isn’t valid. In fact, someone was so sure that I, a high school junior, might struggle in reading context, that they’ve decided out of the kindness of their heart to help me out a week after this whole debate. Thanks for the concern about my reading level anon, want to help me read my AP Lit books too?

After this wonderful message from Anon, I’ve seen the error in my ways and have become pure again. I no longer shall be salty about racism or homophobia or misogyny or hate….

hah psych u woulda thought

Frosty’s Guide to Rehabilitating People Who Think Problems Exist (They Obviously Don’t)

Hey, I’m sure you’re a wonderful person, (inhales deeply) BUT IVE GOT SOME NEWS FOR YOU. So yes, it’s been a fucking week, but buckle in and grab ur popcorn with a liberal dashing of salt, this ain’t gonna be short. 

1. Did Marinette Need to Be Naked? The Great Debate that No one Seems to Pays Attention To

  • I don’t know, I mean I too like to walk around the city in nothing but a cardboard box after I de-transform from superheroing. 
    • “Oh, looky here. I was wearing clothes before, but they’ve seemed to disappear! I’ll just ignore the fact that this has literally never happened before. I’m sure the writers think it’s a hoot! Lol who needs clothes anyhoo, let me just continue on my way in this new couture cardboard box. It’s the latest style in the streets of Paris.”
  • She’s 15, possibly younger. Clothes just magically disappear at that age, trust me I remember. Wasn’t too long ago when the exact same thing happened to me. Oh the mems. 
    • looks into the camera a-la Office
  • Maybe she only wears underclothes that meld into her skin after a period of time because
    • Hah 

2. Ah, The Issue Is Very Simple, Black and White Really 

OR ALTERNATIVELY

How an Entire Part of the Fandom Overreacted Together (Hey, it’s Like the Mandela Effect, We’re Seeing Things that Aren’t There!)

  • Yes, Hi, It’s 2012 calling, it wants its subtle racism back
    • Sorry 2017 can’t come to the phone right now. It’s still busy denying the existence of a lot things
  • As a very gucci poc living in NYC boi do I have things to say rn
    • Oh my, what a lovely thing they’re doing here. Teaching all those terrible racists about how you shouldn’t be assuming those awful stereotypes about black people. Really, it’s just such a wonderful lesson. 
      • GO HOME SUSAN
    • Look, great, you want to subvert stereotypes, I’m all for it. This isn’t one that you should be trying to teach a lesson about. 
    • The stereotype of black people, especially black men, doesn’t go away like this. By having them appear intimidating in your children’s comic you’re unintentionally telling kids to internalize this first impression. They’re internalizing that black people DO appear like that, but SOMETIMES they actually turn out nice and okay and not murder-y or rape-y or loot-y. ***
    • I mean, they even show that Marinette has internalized some of these stereotypes of black people. 
      • PSA: Her best friend is from Martinique …
      • Do I need to say more
    • You want this stereotype to go away? You have to STOP incorporating it into the media in the first place. 
  • I’ve been told that as most people who’ve seen this comic don’t live in the city, it’s been enlightening because they’ve realized that the people here are not actually like that
    • look, that’s part of the problem. Why do you think you have these impressions of New York City in the first place? 
  • Ghetto Blaster 
    • ….
    • Welp, we might as well all start changing our names to stereotypical objects associated with our race. I’ll start. 
      • Hi, I’m Ramen Noodles with a side of Overachiever (let’s play: guess what race I am)
  • I know you think that this is also about Marinette being afraid of strangers. This is a good point. If I was unfortunately naked anywhere, I’d be wary of everyone. 
    • BUT THOSE STRANGERS DIDNT HAVE TO BE BLACK MEN dressed like stereotypes. literal stereotypes
    • there were a number of ways you could’ve shown the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
      • a person of any race dressed in sketchy and dark clothing could’ve been used if you really wanted to teach this moral. 
      • but no…had to be a group of black people. 

3. JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS GODDAMN COVER

  • you know what, maybe i will judge a book by its goddamn cover
    • as in, when people of color in a fandom tell you something isn’t okay, its not your duty to tell us why we’re overreacting. 
  • whether i read it or not has nothing to do with how this fandom likes to ignore the problems that occur. 
  • Ah, I’m offending people with my cries of ‘that’s racist’ or ‘that’s homophobic’ I really sbould be more sensitive to the feelings and backstories of others next time
  • if people are telling you that something seems problematic to them (racist, homophobic, misogynistic), you shouldn’t be trying to persuade them to go through the entirety of the context 
  • just 
  • fucking
  • shut 
  • up 
  • and 
  • think 
  • about 
  • why
  • they 
  • feel
  • that 
  • way

thank you and have a great day

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice on writing longer works? I have written some short fanfiction but I want to try my hand at something longer.

Thanks for your question, anon :)  Congratulations on trying something new!  The best thing a writer can do is challenge themselves… which is more than I’m doing right now…

Originally posted by justalittletumblweed

By and large, most of what you’ll need to write long fiction is already there – since most writers start with short stories (myself included), and many writers consider them more challenging than long works.  BUT there are a few differences in how you approach these kinds of stories, so I’ll list what I think is most important to consider:

  • More planning is required.  Long works require more of the reader’s time, therefore they expect more from them – an overlying theme, a goal, a rewarding ending, and so forth.  They expect character development, to some degree.  They expect the plot to bring a situation from Point A to Point B (e.g. your characters finally find the perfect present for each other; finally confess their feelings; finally find a place to live, etc.).  So take some time before writing to identify Point A – what your characters begin with – and Point B – what your characters end up with.  And then when planning out future chapters, make sure that whatever happens will aid in the journey from A to B.  This can keep you from idling your plot, as is a bad habit in the fic-writing community.
  • Adapt to a first-draft, second-draft method.  I know that back when I wrote short fanfiction, I primarily wrote in the effort to post as soon as possible.  I only did minor revisions, and focused on writing slowly and beautifully.  With long work, it’s better to just write out the first draft first – the basics of the story, without worrying about lovely description and realistic dialogue.  Then go back and rewrite, adding in the nice things and catching any errors in spelling and grammar.  I know this sounds annoying, but I promise it works better in the end and doesn’t take that much more time.
  • Be in control of your chapter length.  Some chapters will run long, and some will be short – but the important thing is to try to keep it consistently in a 750-word range from your previous chapter.  So if your last chapter ran long at about 2500 words, try not to let the next chapter go far below 1750 or much above 3250.  Your chapters can progressively get longer or shorter, but too stark of a shift can be confusing or disappointing for readers.
  • Be more conscious of your characterization.  The longer one writes in character, the easier it is to slip out of character.  We get so comfortable that our narrative voice begins to sound more like us and less like our POV characters.  So remind yourself to think about the character’s face/voice/personality as you’re writing them each chapter.  Otherwise you can get lost.
  • It’s best to finish the work before publishing.  Otherwise, you’ll be subject to fic-readers complaining that you’re not updating fast enough, or trying to influence the course of the story.  Plus, it gives you more incentive to finish, so you can share your story with everyone!  No one likes to start posting a story only to wind up leaving it unfinished.
  • Ask for feedback – but save it for later.  If you’ve (hopefully) finished the work before publishing it, you will receive criticism that will be largely irrelevant to the current story, since you’re done writing it.  This is ideal, in my opinion.  Take the advice your readers give and apply it to future writing, but as for now, let this story lie and be confident in it.  Don’t let them nag you to death over tiny things.
  • Enjoy what you’re writing!  Nothing can kill productivity on a long project quite like losing inspiration, and even if you write it through to the very end, you don’t want to have done it in complete boredom!  Treat yourself like a novelist, or a TV series writer, or someone who’s building a huge fanbase with their awesome, captivating chapter story.  The mindset makes the story – so if you’re devoting more time to this one, make sure you do it for fun!

That’s all I have for now, but if you have any more specific questions about your story, feel free to hit me up!  Thanks again for your question :)

Oh, and happy new year.  May 2016 rot in hell.

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

anonymous asked:

So I absolutely LOVE your writing, and I was wondering if you had any advice on writing a good story

Oh man, anon, it’s about to get really long-winded up in here because brevity is not one of my virtues, especially when it comes to talking about something I love.

First of all—thank you so much! You guys are so awesome and still when I get love from you I react the same exact way:

Anyway, without further adieu I present:

KAZ2Y5-Imagine’s 10 Tips To Writing a Good Story (to be taken with a grain of salt…for your demons)—

  1. Write what you love. Goes along with number one but it helps so, so much to be passionate about what you’re writing. It’s funny—sometimes when I’m writing a one shot, I’ll get really into it, just completely fall into the page. And those are the ones that get the most notes. It’s clear when you’ve put your heart into something and not just phoned it in, the people reading it can always tell.
  2. Don’t be scared of the unknown. I used to hear the old adage of “Write what you know”. But I’ve only recently come to the conclusion that that’s not great advice. I’m not a hunter, I don’t travel the roads with Sam and Dean (very, very unfortunately). Sure, I watch the show like a crazy person, but that’s it. It’s not something I’ve actually experienced. And maybe this is TMI for you guys, but whatever, I love you all, I’ve never had sex or even been kissed and I was scared to write these things in but I started to and found I had a lot of fun doing it! Write about what interests you, not what you know. One of the scariest things, I think, is a writer’s internet search history. We look like psychopaths but we learn so much from researching and looking for new information. We write to expand our worlds and our minds so take it where you want to.
  3. Read. Read all different kinds of authors and let yourself learn from them. Don’t worry about picking up a book and reading along while in the back of your mind thinking, ‘Ok, I like the way he described that. Remember that.’ If you’re just reading for pleasure, your brain WILL pick up on things and it will start showing up in your writing.
  4. Outline. This one is personal for me and maybe some people write better when they just dive right in. I used to write like that but lately have found that it helps me to write out a little outline before each story. It’s nothing fancy at all, just each action of the story so I know where it’s going and where the meat of it lies.
  5. Give yourself time to think and time away. Each morning I take my dog on a two mile walk, followed by my parent’s dog on a two mile walk. I usually use one walk to think about writing and ideas for the stories I plan on writing that day, and use the other walk to think about my own stuff, my life, what I want to do with my day, etc. If I spend too much time dwelling on trying to find the right idea, my brain just turns to mush and stops functioning.
  6. Music. Music gives me HUGE inspiration. I listen to it on the walks with my dogs, I listen to it while I write, while I drive. Sometimes some random line will give you the perfect idea for dialogue or how to end a story when you’re not even thinking about it. Again, this is a personal one for me so do what works for you.
  7. Put yourself in the room, put yourself in the page. If you’re writing about two people having a conversation, write out the beats if they’re important—the little bits of action in between. But if it’s a quick-fire one, then don’t worry about it—your reader will keep up. If you’re writing imagines like these with pre-established characters (or if you’re writing your own characters), really read what you wrote and let the scene play out in your head. Can you hear the actors or characters saying the lines? If you heard it on an episode, would it be completely out of character? This one can be a struggle and I definitely don’t get it right all the time, but watching it play out in my head has really helped. Also think about each of their reactions. Be in the room with the characters and see how they would respond to one another and things happening around them. If one of them receives a phone call and hangs up and tells the other it’s time to hit the road, what are the chances the second character is going to go with no questions asked? Would you? No, you’d be curious who was on the phone, and what the hell? So let them be real people and watch how they interact.
  8. Show don’t tell. A classic. Something that I struggle with all the time. There’s a writing book I’ve been reading lately that has two interesting points to this. The first is called ‘information dumping’ where you just throw a whole bunch of information to the reader; backstory, previous events, etc. instead of showing it. It really weighs down writing and makes it dense and boring. The other is a question they ask: Can the camera see it? Basically, if it were a show (which works well when writing SPN imagines!), would the camera be able to see what you’re writing or is it just background narrative and exposition? If someone is angry, don’t say they’re angry. Show them white-knuckling a beer bottle, throwing glares at the person across the table, rolling their eyes every time that person speaks.
  9. Edit. Back when I first started (and sometimes even now) I’ll post a one-shot and an hour later realize, ‘Crap! I forgot to include one really important line!’ Or I’ll go back and re-read it once it’s up and see a type-o that I made. So don’t rush it—go through and check for spelling errors which can take readers right out of the story. Check for continuity and information dumping, see if there’s anywhere you can show instead of tell.
  10. Have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself! That’s the last one but I think maybe the most important. If you’re not having fun then you won’t be consistent. The most important part of writing, or any hobby, is to do it first and foremost for yourself. Everyone starts out with zero people reading their stuff, but you continue on for your most important reader: you. Because you’re the one at the end of the day who should be happy with what you’re putting out there. But don’t be too hard on yourself, either, ok? Maybe you wrote something today that you hate and want to scrap. That’s ok. No one writes exactly what they wanted to all the time. Sometimes you’ll look back and think, ‘Really, past me? That’s what you came up with?’ But other times you’ll look back and be amazed at what your mind had inside of it.

Phew. So those are the tips that I find work for me. Again, take them with a grain of salt as everyone is different, but maybe some of those tips will work for you, too. :)