and why have i only found out that this inspired inception

A Random List of Things That Have Helped Me In Building Fictional Stories

So I was suddenly inspired to type these up tonight, idk why. I know I’ve mentioned them to friends in conversations, or kind of vaguely talked about them in other posts, but I decided to collect them all into one thing. Basically some practices that do my worldbuilding by which have helped me a lot.


I can’t begin to describe how many times I’ve had a brilliant idea and I’ve been like “eh I’ll remember it later” and then it’s been lost to me forever because I didn’t write it down. Seriously, it’s never too early to start taking notes, and it’s never too early to start creating a system to organize your notes. You’ll thank yourself a year from now when you want to remember that one vague idea you had for a character or a scene but you can’t quite remember it exactly. I personally love Evernote because I can jot notes on my phone, and then it syncs with my computer so I can pull them up later to expand on it more.

2. Always be willing to radically change things.

So your story or world has been “this way” for many years, that’s just how it is yeah? But suddenly one day… you get hit with this notion of… what if you radically changed this one element and turned it into this kind of story instead? The improvement would be massive! and yet… and yet… you’re so familiar with the current story, it’s been your best friend for so long, it’s almost painful to ditch huge portions and rewrite them!
Trust me I know, I’ve done some massive overhauls to certain stories and it’s hard, it’s sooo hard. However, in the long run I’ve been glad EVERY SINGLE TIME that I did make those changes. Any chance to improve a story should be jumped on immediately.

3. But ALWAYS keep those old ideas logged away in your notes.

I say this because of two things. 1: you might actually change your mind and want to switch back to an older idea that fits better, so having all that info there makes it a nice and easy switch. Also 2: It’s fun to have a documentation of how your story has grown and changed! You can look back and be like “wow that sucked, glad I changed it” or be like “awww, it was so rough back then, I’m glad I was able to flesh things out and fill in the details.”
I’m a bit of a hoarder by nature, because everything has to run through the “but I might need this later” urge in my brain. It’s not practical for all the cardboard boxes that tend to build up in my house, but it’s been absolutely invaluable in regards to my art and stories.

4. Scrutinize the hell out of your story.

So I fell into the same trap myself that I think literally every new writer falls into… and that is using way too many cliches. Or just essentially copying stories they’ve already seen. Honestly I don’t think they realize they’re doing it. I know I sure didn’t. I think it’s just somehow part of being 15-16 years old? Because SO MANY 15-16 yr old artists I’ve seen are just ripping off other ideas. So don’t worry if you’re in that stage right now, this is your chance to get a heads up on your competition. This is where you get to do lots of research and realize what common story trends you might have accidentally fallen into.
It helps a lot to take a hard look at your story elements and just do the “does this HAVE to be this way?” test. Does my main character HAVE to be another white male seeking revenge? Does there HAVE to be a sexy female love interest? Does it HAVE to have the usual bad guy that wants to take over the world?

Mostly I’ve done this with checking out the minority representation in my stories, and female representation. I’m super white myself, I’m as white as they come, and lemme tell you there was almost 0 representation in my earlier stories because it just didn’t dawn on me to include non-white characters. I was definitely young and oblivious once, but I’ve done a lot of learning and exploring of other cultures. Now every time a new character pops into my head and they’re the default caucasian, I instantly go “ok but what if they had Middle Eastern descent, or were from somewhere in Asia?” Additionally I’ve switched so many male characters to females because I was getting quite a sausage fest. Not sure how that happened, I guess the default of “male character” has been so embedded in my head because of popular culture that even I, a woman, had to fight against it.

5. Let your story take time.

Ok so after scrutinizing your story you’re probably going to notice a LOT of problems. And it’s going to be infuriating and beyond frustrating if you don’t have any immediate ideas for them. Y'know what the best thing I’ve done for this dilemma? WAIT.
Some authors will spend YEAARRSSSS working on a story. Christopher Nolan spent 9 years working on his script to Inception. It actually got studio approval very quickly when he only had the rough idea, but then other projects demanded his attention and he couldn’t get around to directing it. But he’s said in interviews that the extra time he then spent tweaking the script and letting it grow and change were absolutely invaluable.
So don’t get distressed if you don’t have a million brilliant ideas right away. I’ve had some stories that I’ve been working on for 10 years or more, and it took 7 years for one of them to finally make sense.
Of course there’s a balance to be found, you could end up waiting your entire life for the “perfect story” which can never be found, so you have to learn when it’s good enough and to start working to finish it.

6. On a similar note: That initial idea rush is the BEST THING EVER… but never go with your first idea (although always keep them around just in case).

All my stories, the first versions, were absolutely rip-offs or heavily inspired by something I had recently read/watched/etc. However, over time, as I let them grow, I started to notice the problem areas and worked to change them, and the end result now is something where the original influences can barely even be seen anymore (although they’re still there and I won’t deny it).
So this kind of encapsulates all my other points, don’t be afraid to make huge changes, but keep your old stuff around in case you like the original better, but also let it take time so your brain can work to fix the bad stuff.
Being aware of how other stories and art and etc sticks in your brain and influences your thinking can be very helpful. I’ve had to fight to not change some of my stories based on each TV show I’m currently obsessing with. I’m basically just a giant sponge so I’m like WOW I LOVE THIS I WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING LIKE THIS. So instead I have to think hard about “ok, what is it specifically I love about this? Is it how they set up scenes? Is it the dialogue? The character interactions? The cinematography? The pacing? The directing?” If you break something down to it’s base elements then you can say “I really like how they pace out the reveals of information so the audience is always hooked and interested in more, I’ll have to take notes and see if I can improve that in my own story.”

Now I’m realizing I could make “analyze other media in your chosen medium/genre” yet another point, but I think there’s tons of other articles that have covered the importance of knowing your field. This was just me blabbering about general concepting ideas that have helped me a lot over the years. I can only hope that they’re helping to make my stories better as I’ve yet to finish any stories technically haha, but maybe someone else out there can get some ideas to help them out.

Happy Worldbuilding Friends!

anonymous asked:

what about jungkook, jhope and rapmon? is there any specific explanation to their stories??

(cont.) also i was wondering if you were going to continue thinking through your theory?? it seems interesting so far!!

Thank you!! I wasn’t really planning on it initially, but once I started writing this response it started to grow into a more developed and researched theory again *v* I may or may not add to it depending on how inspired I’ll be from whatever’s next. or they could release a new video and my theory is completely disproved 

You know, I’ve always been a bit curious as to why they gave J-Hope narcolepsy because it’s not a commonly used or romanticized theme to have have in media depicting brain disorders (note that narcolepsy is not categorized as a mental illness). 

Keep reading

shierrart  asked:

Hello! I am writing about a serial killer in a fantasy setting and he uses a knife/dagger to kill his victims. My question would be, what kind of a knife/dagger would be good for this? His victims don't have weapons on them and are smaller than him if that makes any difference. Thank you!

Any knife or dagger would be good for this. It doesn’t even have to be a “professional” knife or combat oriented weapon. It can be a kitchen knife, a butcher’s cleaver, a meat hook, a surgeon’s scalpel, anything you want really. If he or she is a savvy serial killer then they’re most likely to use a knife that leaves a minimal amount of forensic evidence. However, unless you’re basing your magic and fantasy setting around a modern 21st century understanding of medicine, detective work, criminal profiling, and forensics, it doesn’t really matter. He’ll use whatever is within the range of he has access to and maybe has special meaning (maybe not), perhaps a knife with an interchangeable handle and one that is easy to clean. It really depends on what type of killer he/she is and since I don’t know the character, the setting, or the type of law enforcement in question it’s really difficult to guess. (I say he because most of the serial killers we know of and profiling circles around are male, but historically there have been several prominent female ones.)

While serial killers have probably existed for as long as humans have, our understanding of their psychology (and even the use of the term “serial killer”) really only dates back to the 1960s-1970s before that they were something of a mystery.

I’d actually step back a moment and look at serial killers. I’m going to pull a passage from Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Hunting Serial Killers for the FBI by Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman dealing with the profiling of “The Vampire Killer” aka Richard Trenton Chase. Ressler, arguably, coined the term “serial killer” in the mid-70s, and is one of the originators of modern serial crimes investigation.

Here, in the original (and not entirely grammatical) notes written at the time is how I profiled the probable perpetrator of this terrible crime:

“White male, aged 25-27 years; thin, undernourished appearance. Residence will be extremely slovenly and unkempt and evidence of the crime will be found at the residence. History of mental illness, and will have been involved in use of drugs. Will be a loner who does not associate with either males or females, and will probably spend a great deal of time in his own home, where he lives alone. Unemployed. Possibly receives some form of disability money. If residing with anyone, it would be his parents; however, this is unlikely. No prior military record; high school or college dropout. Probably suffering from one or more forms of paranoid psychosis.”

Though profiling was still in its infancy we had reviewed enough cases of murder to know that sexual homicide — for that’s the category into which this crime fit, even if there was no evidence of a sex act at the crime scene — is usually perpetrated by males, and is usually a intraracial crime, white against white, or black against black. The greatest number of sexual killers are white males in their twenties and thirties; this simple fact allows us to eliminate whole segments of the population when first trying to determine what sort of person has perpetrated one of these heinous crimes. Since this was a white residential area, I felt even more certain that the slayer was a white male.

Now, I made a guess along a great division line that we in the Behavioral Sciences Unit were beginning to formulate, the distinction between killers who displayed a certain logic in what they had done and whose mental processes were, by ordinary standards, not apparently logical— “organized” versus “disorganized” criminals. Looking at the crime-scene photographs and the police reports, it was apparent to me this was not a crime committed by an “organized” killer who stalked his victims, was methodical in how he went about his crimes, and took care to avoid leaving clues to his own identity.  No, from the appearance of the crime scene, it was obvious to me that we were dealing with a “disorganized killer” , a person who had a full blown or serious mental illness. To become as crazy as the man who ripped up Terry Wallin is not something that happens overnight. It takes eight to ten years to develop the depth of psychosis that would surface in this apparently senseless killing. Paranoid schizophrenia is usually first manifested in the teenage years. Adding ten years to an inception-of-illness age of about fifteen would put the slayer in the mid-twenties age group. I felt that he wouldn’t be much older for two reasons. First, most sexual killers are under the age of thirty-five. Second, if he was older than later twenties, the illness would have been so overwhelming it would already have resulted in a string of bizarre and unsolved homicides. Nothing as wiles as this had been reported nearby, and the absence of other notable homicides was a clue that this was the first killing of this man, that the killer had probably never taken a life before.

Whoever Fights Monsters, Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman, pg 3-4.

Sir Also Appearing In This Book: Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”), Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper, Peter Sutcliffe (“The Yorkshire Ripper”), Richard Speck, and Jefferey Dahmer. If you’re planning to write about a serial killer, even a fantasy based one, I recommend reading about what the experts who caught actual serial killers have to say before turning to recent television like Dexter or Hannibal. The book also includes some discussion of the various crime scenes and killing which may provide you with some (admittedly rather gruesome) inspiration.

What kind of killer is your killer? Organized? Disorganized? If we’re discussing someone who routinely uses the same weapons over and over again, I’m going to guess these aren’t crimes of chance. Though whether or not this was the weapon he first began killing with (and holds sentimental value) is probably a question worth thinking about. If it is, then it’s likely a common one that’s valuable to his daily activities.

Is he stable (and capable of holding down a job) or mentally unstable? Why does he kill his victims? In the case of “The Vampire Killer”, he believed the people he was killing were tied to a secret Mafia organization that was poisoning him for his mother. In his trial, he firmly believed this was his chance to out the truth. We know untreated paranoid schizophrenia often results in these sorts of delusions.

Why your killer does and who he targets are going to be much more important than what he performs his killings with. Women? Men? Girls? Boys? Nobles? Merchants? Prostitutes? Religious minorities? Is he punishing his targets for some perceived slight or sin (stalking and killing prostitues because they represent immorality and corruption, coupled with a repressed sexual desire)? Is he trying to save the world? Are his killings just hack jobs or do they have a theme?

It’s all up to you really.

References for Further Reading/Viewing:

Whoever Hunts Monsters by Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman. I’ve already said why this should be on your shelf if you’re writing serial killers, but I’ll say it again: FBI expert and discussion of real case files. When it comes to research: Reality > Fiction.

Seven In this famous thriller, Morgan Freeman and a young Brad Pitt star as two cops chasing down a serial killer who performs crimes based on the seven deadly sins. (Yes, Supernatural fans you can finally learn “what’s in the box” though you may wish you didn’t.)

From Hell by Alan Moore. One of Moore’s lesser known (i.e. less popular than Watchman) works surrounds the investigation into the possible identities of Jack the Ripper. Not only is it very good, it’s also very thorough.