You have such a talent with your writing! I write, and I too also maybe make my chapters a little long to read in one sit down, and I LOVE when other authors do it too lmao, the more the merrier, I say! I wanted to ask you though, since you write such long chapters, do you have anything you like to do for writers block? That is my weakness lol, I take forever to get anything out.
Thank you so, so much!!! That’s so sweet of you!
Oh boy, I sure do get writers block. Especially for parts of the story I haven’t written out, or just barely laid out.
The best thing I’ve found for writers block is to do that first. Write out a plan. Beginning, middle and end. Just write, write and write. Even if it’s just the smallest plan. Make yourself write the smallest thing, every day if you can. Writing is like anything- practice, practice, practice.
Then what I do is, I write the parts of the story I’m least looking forward to first. It doesn’t even have to be fully fleshed out, or developed. Could just be the bare bones. But in my experience, your story will flow and the characters’ motivations will be more organic if you can keep your narrative chronological. Sometimes I give in and write whatever I like, but my usual plan is that.
Then the parts you’re most looking forward to, that’s your reward. Once you get to that point, it’s a relief because Ahh, yes. I know this part. I like this part. I also think finding the right writing soundtrack helps. Or at least in my experience. I love listening to music while I write.
But I think more than anything, it’s about getting back into the habit. Any little idea you have, just write it out. Even if it’s just one random scene, a little bit of a conversation.
The scene in TBE where Yuuri tells Victor his real name was actually the first scene I wrote for the story. I just had the image and conversation in my head. So I wrote it. And then it just blossomed from there. I don’t think it matters how long something takes, or even if you’re entirely happy with it. Just write as much as you can and write what you enjoy. Soon, practice will become habit.
Sorry if this doesn’t make as much sense as it could, but these are the things that I go back to when I’m struck with writers block! Let me know if there’s anything else I can try and do to help! And good luck with your writing, I’m sure you’ll do amazing.
What matters the most in your writing is that you write what feels right for you. You’ll find your groove, it’s just about creating a path to it.
1. Favorite place to write.
2. Favorite part of writing.
3. Least favorite part of writing.
4. Do you have writing habits or rituals?
5. Books or authors that influenced your style the most.
6. Favorite character you ever created.
7. Favorite author.
8. Favorite trope to write.
9. Least favorite trope to write.
10. Pick a writer to co-write a book with and tell us what you’d write about.
11. Describe your writing process from scratch to finish.
12. How do you deal with self-doubts?
13. How do you deal with writers block?
14. What’s the most research you ever put into a book?
15. Where does your inspiration come from?
16. Where do you take your motivation from?
17. On avarage, how much writing do you get done in a day?
18. What’s your revision or rewriting process like?
19. First line of a WIP you’re working on.
20. Post a snippet of a WIP you’re working on.
21. Post the last sentence you wrote in one of your WIP’s.
22. How many drafts do you need until you’re satisfied and a project is ultimately done for you?
23. Single or multi POV, and why?
24. Poetry or prose, and why?
25. Linear or non-linear, and why?
26. Standalone or series, and why?
27. Do you share rough drafts or do you wait until it’s all polished? 28. And who do you share them with?
29. Who do you write for?
30. Favorite line you’ve ever written.
31. Hardest character to write.
32. Easiest character to write.
33. Do you listen to music when you’re writing?
34. Handwritten notes or typed notes?
35. Tell some backstory details about one of your characters in your story ________.
36. A spoiler for story _________.
37. Most inspirational quote you’ve ever read or heard that’s still important to you.
38. Have you shared your outline of your story ________ with someone? If so, what did they think of it?
39. Do you base your characters of real people or not? If so, tell us about one.
40. Original Fiction or Fanfiction, and why?
41. How many stories do you work on at one time?
42. How do you figure out your characters looks, personality, etc.
43. Are you an avid reader?
44. Best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten.
45. Worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten.
46. What would your story _______ look like as a tv show or movie?
47. Do you start with characters or plot when working on a new story?
48. Favorite genre to write in.
49. What do you find the hardest to write in a story, the beginning, the middle or the end?
50. Weirdest story idea you’ve ever had.
51. Describe the aesthetic of your story _______ in 5 sentences or words.
52. How did writing change you?
53. What does writing mean to you?
54. Any writing advice you want to share?
Paris Hilton’s entire career was a performance art piece that all at once defined, critiqued and predicted modern culture. Whether by design or not, her work set the template for:
-The downfall and comeback of Britney Spears
-The spread of social media
-The meteoric rise of High School Musical
-Lady Gaga’s first two album cycles
-The Cubs winning the World Series
-The Kardashians’ very existence
-The Trump Administration
-Blue Ivy Carter
-The Marvel Cinematic Universe
…the list goes on. Whether you like it or not, Paris Hilton is the beginning, middle and end of everything you know about culture. That’s hot.
one day a CS major with some photoshop skills decided he wanted to make a silly user-submitted command comic about some asshole kid walking around his house, which would explode into some Plot Shit, generally following the model of a previous work, Problem Sleuth (which ran for a year and concluded itself cleanly, i.e., had an actual Beginning, Middle, and End)
anyway, then The Internet Teens picked it up and suddenly this guy’s audience was no longer CS nerds looking for shitty CS jokes and ridiculous plot shit, but teens looking for Feels and Gays
anyway the two things got combined and seven years and 7,958 pages later with probably approaching close to an hour of animation and ~4-5 hours of flash games spread throughout, we are left with an animation reflecting on just how many times the same characters have fucking died.
it was supposed to consist of seven acts.
the following is the current act structure:
Act 5 Act 1
Act 5 Act 2
EOA5 (once upon a time, people thought this 13-minute animation was the climax)
Act 6 Act 1
Act 6 Intermission 1
Act 6 Act 2
Act 6 Intermission 2
Act 6 Act 3
Act 6 Intermission 3
Act 6 Act 4
Act 6 Intermission 4
Act 6 Act 5 Act 1
Act 6 Act 5 Act 2
Act 6 Act 5 Act 1: Again
Act 6 Intermission 5
Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 1
Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 2
Act 6 Intermission 5 INTERFISHIN
Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 3
Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 4
Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 5
Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 6
Act 6 Act 6 Act 1: Homosuck
Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1
Act 6 Act 6 Act 2
Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2
Act 6 Act 6 Act 3: GAME OVER
Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3 (psyche the ride never ends)
Act 6 Act 6 Act 4
Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4
Act 6 Act 6 Act 5
Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5
essentially, all you need to know about homestuck is this: if someone tells you it’s a cohesive unit they’re lying, and if someone tells you it’s ending, they’re also lying
I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 again today and noticed a bunch more things on the rewatch.
First of all I was expecting to be bored at least some of the time (I mean, I just saw it a little over a week ago), but I never, ever was, not even once. This movie uses every minute so well. (Unlike the first one, where most of the Ronon and Thanos scenes dragged horribly even the first time, and were completely skippable on a rewatch.)
I love how the end of the movie recontextualizes some of the earlier scenes. For example, Mantis’s misery and fear is so obvious when she first meets the gang, and in most of her scenes afterwards. The first time you watch it, her anxiety is easily read as nervousness around strangers. The second time, though, it’s such a gut-punch to see her standing behind Ego, wringing her hands, and knowing why.
Drax mistaking Yondu for Peter’s actual father is another of those fantastically recontextualized scenes. The first time, it’s funny, just a tossed-off joke. The second time, though … right in the feels. Because Drax, for the most part, doesn’t get the whole concept of people pretending to be something other than what they are. He watches Yondu and Peter interact with each other and he totally gets the actual relationship in a way even they don’t.
Speaking of which, there is some really brilliant editing in this movie. This time around, I noticed how it cut from Ego’s “I’m your dad, Peter” right to the first installment of Yondu’s storyline (which also involved interacting with his parental stand-in, Stakar). And none of the significance of this is clear if you don’t know the characters’ emotional context! You basically can only pick it up after having seen the movie once.
The pacing on all the emotional arcs is so, so good. I didn’t even really notice, the first time around, how strong the Peter-Rocket arc is, from their fighting in the beginning, through Rocket not wanting to leave him on the planet, to their little moment of connection at the end.
I still can’t get over how this movie has eight major characters (not counting Ego; let’s not count Ego) and every single one of them has a) an emotional arc of their own, b) at least one strong platonic relationship arc with a beginning, middle, and end, and c) at least one scene in which they get to be awesome and do something important. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Even the noncombatants. Even the baby!
The first time around, I didn’t really notice how brutal Gamora and Nebula’s fight is. @sheronm pointed out how incredibly OTT Gamora picking up the ship cannon is (in a way female characters rarely get to be) but the whole fight is like that: brutal, dirty, vicious, and not sexualized in the slightest. Speaking of which …
The only shirtless scenes in the whole movie are guys (Peter on the ship, and Yondu at the brothel). The closest the movie comes to a romance arc is Peter and Gamora flirting and dancing. I still adore how Mantis and Drax make it explicitly clear that they aren’t into each other in a sexual/romantic way, and yet the most important relationship either of them has in the movie is with each other, and he’s willing to die to save her in the end. The movie doesn’t completely ignore romantic love (the Peter/Gamora relationship is still important), and it is true that there are a few sexist jokes (like Peter hitting on the Sovereign queen – though he apologizes for it, which is a rare thing). But overwhelmingly, this is a movie that never dismisses its female characters to “love interest” or sexualizes them any more than the male characters are.
When I saw this movie the first time, I thought the soundtrack and use of music was better in the first movie, but now that I’ve seen them both back to back, I was so, so wrong. They both have great music, they both have some great musical scenes, but I think it’s mostly that the first movie has a faster, more actiony soundtrack, while the second movie has a slower, gentler, more emotional soundtrack that I didn’t fully appreciate at first. But in the first movie, the music is mostly a (well-done!) melodic accompaniment to the action, while in the second movie, the songs are very carefully fit to the scenes in which they occur – whether the important thing is the peppy/awful contrast (“Come a Little Bit Closer” over the murder montage), or the whole point is that the song is so terribly, cheesily on point (“Brandy”), or sometimes because the song fits the emotional tone of the scene in the best fanvid kind of way (“Father & Son”, or the repeated use of “The Chain” for the characters being separated and then coming all back together in Peter’s love-epiphany/Power of Friendship™ moment at the end).
It’s just sooo goooood. I really didn’t expect a bombastic, ridiculous musical comedy in space to genuinely be one of the best movies I’ve seen in ages.
What is a Chapter? - Understanding the Structure and Use of Chapters in Novels
A chapter is more than a more than a random chunk of story. The best way to think of a chapter is as a mini-story within the overall story that you are telling. A chapter is self-contained and events within a chapter tend to be linked in some way. Even if two completely separate events are shown in different scenes, there will always be an implications of those events being connected, either through time or circumstance.
It is important to remember this as a writer because your audience certainly will not forget this fact, and may not appreciate scenes being randomly linked together within a chapter if they are not connected.
So to reiterate - a chapter has it’s own beginning, middle and end, complete with a climax. Your protagonist(s) will have a goal within that chapter, conflicts that they will have to deal with, and some sort of resolution that progresses your reader into the next chapter of your novel.
But of course, it’s not that easy, is it? Not by a long shot. There are a lot of other things to consider, but this is a good starting point for understanding chapters and how to use them in storytelling.
Now that we’re talking about chapters, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of discussing the structure of chapters.
As we already said, chapters are more than just a chunk of story. Chapters are typically made up of several smaller components - otherwise known as “scenes.” How many scenes does a chapter typically need? That’s up to you, the story you’re trying to tell, and a number of other factors.
If you really want a good starting point for chapter structure then 3-5 scenes works well for most writers.
So let’s craft a chapter based on this sort of “structure.” In this chapter, my protagonist has the goal of hunting down a demon that has been terrorizing the city she protects. The plan is for her to meet the demon and to discover that he is actually a fellow vigilante.
Okay, so that’s pretty basic. I need to come up with a lot more for that to function as a full chapter. But you can see that it works as a full chapter, as it does tell a full story. So let’s get into the scenes.
Scene 1 - Protagonist meets with her mentor to discuss the problem of the demon. She notices some odd things about the demon’s behaviors when the mentor discusses him that give her doubt.
Scene 2 - Protagonist is out on patrol and manages to catch sight of the demon. She follows him but quickly loses him.
Scene 3 - Protagonist in her daily life. She is thinking about the demon so much that he is becoming almost an obsession. She ends up discussing him with a friend of hers.
Scene 4 - Protagonist is out on patrol again. While trying to find the demon she ends up in a nasty fight with even worse monsters. The demon ends up saving her life and she realizes that he is a vigilante like herself.
In this structure we have a goal - a conflict/complication - a climax - and a story shift at the end of the chapter. This shift is important as it makes for a chapter that will keep your reader wanting to move on to the next part of the story to see what happens next.
(Any shift in story, whether it’s a change in time, POV, or a dramatic turn of events is a good time to break for a new chapter, FYI.)
Anyway, I have a lot more to say regarding scenes, so I’ll leave this mini lesson off for now.
When I came out to my mother in my 20s, I wish I’d known that coming out wasn’t a one-time process, but an everyday obligation. I didn’t expect to have to process the questions, independence and realities of my identity alongside my middle-aged mom; I didn’t expect that my processing of all that would be so tied up in her processing of it, too.
Mine wasn’t the coming out story that I’d imagined, the one with a perfect narrative arc — a beginning, a middle and, most importantly, an end — where I’d work up the courage to make a declaration (“I’m gay!”) and then march forward with that truth, triumphantly, into my rainbow-colored queer future.
Instead, what I got when I told my mother was: “I don’t care what you do with your body.”
It was my mother’s tacit way of conceding defeat in what had become a pitched battle over my sexuality, her response to the declaration that it took me some 10 years and 3,000 miles away from her to make.
Her saying it to me didn’t feel much like the victory I’d expected. Instead, it was a crushing realization that coming out as queer would be an everyday battle, that even my declaration was just another chapter in the ongoing saga of my coming out — as queer, as independent, as an adult who was capable and deserving of making decisions that were entirely my own.
But it was hardly the first chapter. That came when I was 16 and on a class field trip, and got a call from my mom who urgently wanted to know why there was a girl’s name written in one of my school notebooks with hearts all around it. I didn’t have a manual for that moment; there was no step-by-step guide to Reassure Your Mother that You’re Straight While Maintaining Your Self Worth as a Queer Person from which I could draw.
So I did what was easiest. I lied.
“No, Mom. That’s just a friend. It means nothing. I’m not gay. I’d tell you.”
But I was extremely gay, and I didn’t tell her. I couldn’t tell her. Not then, and not when I got my first girlfriend three years later.
The truth of my liking girls soon became another iteration of the physical distance I’d carved out for myself, first when I went to college and then after I graduated. Though I was still my mother’s daughter, my identity was changing. I was becoming an adult, a black and queer one who craved freedom. Read more
Hey guys! Here’s some advice for writing that rhetorical analysis essay on the ap lang/comp exam in a few weeks:
This should only be 3-4 sentences long. Don’t spend too much time on it! Make sure you cover the SOAPS.
This is how I like to do it:
speaker, occasion, subject (1 sentence)
purpose (1 sentence)
audience (1 sentence)
thesis (1 sentence)
Your thesis should tell what you’re proving about the effects of the author’s techniques– it shouldn’t straight up list the techniques you’re discussing! Also, your thesis will ideally be a complex-compound sentence, which means it will have at least one dependent clause and two independent clauses. That makes your writing more sophisticated!
Here’s an example thesis (that I wrote for an analysis of a single paragraph):
“As Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ addresses the criticism of his actions and defends his methods, his twenty-third paragraph declares his complaints against the intransigence of the white moderate, defining the white moderate’s innate complacency as the single greatest obstacle in the Negro pursuit towards freedom.”
There should be 2-4 body paragraphs, depending on the length of the passage. Remember: go with the flow of the text, and don’t force yourself to write exactly 3 body paragraphs.
The paragraphs should be organized chronologically through the text, not by technique! This means sectioning the text by paragraph (1, 2, 3) or breaking it into parts (beginning/ middle/ end), depending on the format of the passage.
My body paragraphs generally follow this structure:
topic sentence- briefly describe what the paragraph is about. use transition words to identify the segment of the text you’re talking about
2-3 CSAs (basically examples)
claim: your position on the use of a rhetorical strategy
support: the quote, summary, or paraphrase of the text
analysis: explain how the strategy enhances the meaning and purpose of the text
synthesis to tie together the examples and state how they work together
Limit yourself to 2 strategies per paragraph to keep your essay focused. When writing under time constraints, I tend to be able to provide 2 examples of one strategy and 1 example of a second strategy, per paragraph, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
Make this short and relevant. You’ll still have one more essay to go after this!
restate your thesis using different wording (1 sentence)
call to action, reflection, or extension (2-3 sentences)- it can be any of the following:
ask readers to evaluate the message of the piece
ask readers to agree with writer’s purpose
ask readers to examine how message is pertinent in modern-day
ask readers to reflect on the appropriateness of the piece in modern-day
Aesthetic 120/ mood board: Fuck, fucker, Bullshit, asshole, fuck off… second to laughter, curse words are the best in situations where the rope seems too short at the beginning, middle, or at end of the day. There is beauty in the vulgarity. The words seem to carry all the anger (or whatever it is you are feeling) out of your mouth…it’s such a fucking relief sometimes