between writing and thinking about what to write

Talking with writers online

Their stories: Amazing grammar, soaring vocabulary, beautiful imagery and prose which flows like a river.

In chats: no capitalisation or punctuation, swears like a sailor, misspellings everywhere, acronyms and abbreviations every five words, idek

Prompts for writing, journals, get to know me’s or whatever

About me

Am I a clean or messy person?
Am I a tea or coffee person?
Am I a vegetarian/vegan?
Am I afraid of heights?
Am I allergic to anything?
Am I an early bird or a night owl?
Am I an extrovert or introvert?
Am I an innie or an outie?
Am I easily embarrassed?
Am I in a relationship?
Am I left or right handed?
Am I much of a daredevil?
Am I scared of the dark?
Am I social?
Am I superstitious?
Am I ticklish?
Can I bake?
Can I cook?
Can I curl my tongue?
Can I dance?
Can I drive?
Can I juggle?
Can I play poker?
Can I roll my r’s?
Can I sing?
Can I spell well?
Can I swim?
Can I wiggle my ears?
Do I correct people when they make mistakes?
Do I have a collection of anything?
Do I have a strong accent?
Do I have any nicknames?
Do I have any pet peeves?
Do I have any piercings?
Do I have any strange phobias?
Do I have more girl friends or boy friends?
Do I have much of an ego?
Do I judge a book by its cover?
Do I like bubble baths?
Do I like classical music?
Do I like clowns?
Do I like my handwriting?
Do I like roller-coasters?
Do I like scary movies?
Do I like shopping?
Do I like to gossip?
Do I like to talk on the phone?
Do I like travelling?
Do I play any instruments?
Do I sleep with the lights on or off?
Do I smile at strangers?
Do I suck or bite lollipops?
Do I talk to myself?
Do I tend to hold grudges?
Do I use earphones or headphones?
Do I use sarcasm a lot?
Do I want any tattoos?
Do I wear glasses?
Have I ever been on a plane?
Have I ever been on tv?
Have I ever been to the hospital?
Have I ever crashed a car?
Have I ever got in trouble with the law?
Have I ever had a rumour spread about me?
Have I ever had braces?
Have I ever pulled an all-nighter?
Have I ever skipped school?
Have I ever started a rumour?
Have I ever thrown up in the car?
How long does it take for me to get ready?
How many relationships have I ever had?
How old was I when I first got my period?
How tall am I?
What am I most likely to be doing when I am outside?
What am I usually doing on a Friday night?
What are my favourite bands?
What are my favourite flowers?
What can I smell in the air?
What colours mostly dominate my wardrobe?
What is my appearance like?
What is my culture?
What is my current wallpaper on my phone?
What is my full name and why did I get it?
What is my greatest strength?
What is my greatest weakness?
What is my guilty pleasure?
What is my Hogwarts house?
What is my most expensive piece of clothing?
What is my most heavily used makeup product?
What is my most used phrase?
What is my most used word?
What is my personality like?
What is my personality type?
What is my religion?
What is my spirit animal?
What is my strangest talent?
What is my zodiac sign?
What is one trend that I completely bought into?
What is something I can’t do no matter how hard I try?
What is something I hated as a child that I like now?
What is the last thing I bought?
What is the longest I’ve ever gone without sleep?
What is the pet I would like to have?
What is the worst injury I’ve ever gotten?
What language do I want to learn?
What video games do I play when I want to relax?
What was the last book I read?
What was the last movie I saw?
What word do I always use as an exclamation?
What word do I always use to describe something great?
Where do I currently live?
Which is my favourite season?


Favourites

What is my favourite accent?
What is my favourite animal?
What is my favourite band?
What is my favourite childhood book?
What is my favourite colour?
What is my favourite drink?
What is my favourite flavour of ice cream?
What is my favourite food to eat on a rainy day?
What is my favourite food to eat on a sunny day?
What is my favourite number?
What is my favourite place on the planet?
What is my favourite radio station?
What is my favourite sandwich?
What is my favourite snack?
What is my favourite song?
What is my favourite swear word?
What is my favourite word?
What is my favourite thing to wear?


People

Do I remember the day I met …?
How are my mother and I similar and different?
What are the compliments I have given other people?
What are the compliments people have given me?
What do my best friend and I have in common?
What gifts would I like to give everyone?
What if I could meet anyone on this planet – who would I choose?
Where is my best friend?
Which actors & actresses do I trust enough to watch whatever they’re in?
Which teachers inspired me the most?
Who are my favourite characters?
Who are my friends?
Who are my parents?
Who are my sisters?
Who are the new people I met? – their names and where we met
Who are the writers I trust enough to read anything they write?
Who brings the sunshine on the days I see nothing but a grey sky?
Who is my best friend?
Who is my celebrity crush?
Who is my favourite youtuber?
Who is my role model?
Who is my secret valentine?
Who is someone I admire?
Who is someone that saved me?
Who is the most intelligent person I know?
Who is the most supportive person in my life right now?
Who was the last person I texted?
Who would I like to go on a midnight adventure with?
Who would I love to randomly see this week?
Who would I really like to hug?
Who would I really like to punch?
Why am I grateful for …?
Why am I grateful for dad?
Why am I grateful for mum?


Music

A playlist for 12-year-old me
A playlist for throwback Thursday
A playlist for when I’m angry
A playlist for when I’m in love
A playlist for when I’m in the mood to party
A playlist for when I’m sad
A playlist of songs that I have on repeat
A playlist that makes me want to dance
A playlist that makes me want to sing
A playlist to inspire me
A playlist to listen to on the bus/train
A playlist with the classics
A song that really speaks to me
A song that was stuck in my head today
Bands and their logos
Song lyrics
What are the first 6 songs when I put my playlist on shuffle?
What song always brings a smile to my face?

Places

A place where the architecture made me want to wake up and see the city skyline every morning
A place where the customer service made me tip £100
A place where the memories were unforgettable
A place where the nature made me want to live in the middle of nowhere
A place where the people restored my faith in humanity
How to get to my favourite place
Places I have never been to but want to see.
Somewhere I want to go before I die
Somewhere I want to go before I turn 20
Somewhere I would rather be right now.
What are the popular places in town?
What is the worst place I’ve been to?
Where is my favourite place to shop?
Where was I born?

Lists

A list of every single song on the albums released by my fav bands

Every tom and jerry’s ice cream flavour (I want to try).

Places I would like to see.

Sounds I like.

Sounds I dislike.

Sports I like.

Star signs.

The first 5 things I saw on my way home.

The first 5 words that come to mind.

The main roman gods.

The main Greek gods.

Things I don’t own but like.

Things I want to buy.

Top 10 episodes to watch

Top 10 favourite quotes.

Top 10 movies to watch.

Top 10 people I want to meet.

Top 10 places in Manchester.

Top 10 restaurants I love.

What is the sentence on line 13 of page 23 in the book nearest to me?

What movies do I watch when I’m feeling down?

What tv shows do I always recommend?

What were my favourite tv shows as a child?

What words don’t seem real to me?

Wish list



Experiences/Memories

A memory in summer

A memory in winter

A memory with my family.

A memory with my friends.

I’ll never forget the day (a teacher) did this.

Memories from high school

Special moments I want to witness.

The story behind my first kiss

The story behind my last kiss

The stories behind my scars

What are the memories I never want to forget?

What is my saddest memory?

What is the first thing I remember?

What is the funniest thing I remember?

What was my most embarrassing moment?

What was the happiest day of my life?

What was the last concert I went to?

What was the most amazing thing I’ve ever witnessed?

What was the most disappointing thing in my life?

What was the most nervous I’ve ever been?

What was the saddest day of my life?

When was I last scared for my life?


Letters

A note to my favourite teachers.

Dear _____, I would like to tell you.

Dear 5-year-old me.

Dear 10-year-old me.

Dear 13-year-old me.

Dear 15-year-old me.

Dear 16-year-old me.

Dear 18-year-old me.

Dear 21-year-old me.

Dear 25-year-old me.

Dear all the boys I’ve liked.

Dear someone I need to forgive.

Letters to my future children.



Questions to answer

A wise person learns from the mistakes of others – do I agree?

Advice to any if the new kids at sf.

Am I a bad loser?

Am I a good liar?

Am I a writer?

Am I an artist?

Am I good at giving advice?

Am I happy with myself?

Am I happy with the person I’ve become?

Am I the kind of friend I would like to have as a friend?


Books I always reread

Can insanity bring on more creativity?

Do I admit when I’m wrong?

Do I believe that people are capable of change?

Do I belong here?

Do I hold grudges?

Do I have trust issues?

Do I like confrontation?

Do I live or do I just exist?

Do I prefer to be on camera or behind it?

Do I really want a cat?

Do I trust easily?

Have I ever been bullied?

Have I ever been on a date?

Have I ever felt like I wasn’t enough?

Have I ever felt rejected by my friends/family?

Have I ever had a friend turn into an enemy?

Have I ever had a paranormal experience?

Have I ever had a public perception of me change from good to bad?

Have I ever had a song or poem written about me?

Have I ever hopelessly failed a test?

Have I learnt from my mistakes?

How am I feeling?

How do I find comfort when I’m sad?

How do I vent my anger?

How do I want to be remembered?

How could I avoid getting hurt?

How does a (any appliance around the home) work?

How I think will determine how I live – agree or not?

How would I define my sense of humour?

What am I like when I’m angry?

What am I most afraid of?

What are some things that stand between me and complete happiness?

What did I like about being a kid?

What did I want to be when I was younger?

What do I admire most in others?

What do I hate about sf?

What do I hate most about myself?

What do I love most about myself?

What do I notice first when I see someone?

What do I think about selfies?

What do I think about the most?

What do I think could be improved in the educational system?

What do I think people think of me?

What do I touch first when I stick my arms out?

What do I wish I didn’t miss?

What do I wish for every night?

What does a rainbow mean to me?

What fictional character do I wish was real?

What fictional universe would I like to be a part of?

What is an experience that has made me stronger?

What is an item of clothing or jewellery you’ll never see me without?

What is my biggest dream and how do I plan on making it become a reality?

What is my biggest what if?

What is my greatest achievement?

What is my greatest failure?

What is my secret weapon to get someone to like me?

What is one aspect of myself that I feel confident about?

What is one thing I am interested in learning more about?

What is something that makes me feel vulnerable?

What is the best gift I’ve ever received?

What is the first thing I think of when I hear the word ‘heart’?

What is the hardest lesson I have had to learn in life?

What is the ideal age to be and why?

What is the most scandalous situation I’ve ever been involved in?

What is the nicest thing about a person?

What is the single best decision I’ve made in my life so far?

What is the single worst decision I’ve made in my life so far?

What makes a great relationship?

What makes me smile?

What motivates me to succeed?

What part of my life would I relive if I could?

What part of my life would I remove if I could?

What question am I afraid to tell the truth to?

What questions would I ask to get to know someone better?

What was I doing at 12am last night?

What was I like as a child and how did my personality change as I got older?

What was my favourite subject in school?What was the last lie I told?

What was the most ridiculous thing that made me cry?

What will I do in university?

What would I change about my sf?

What would I change about my life if you knew I would never die?

What would I change about the world?

What would I like to change this year?

What would I do differently if you knew that no one was judging me?

What would I do in the event of an apocalypse?

What would I have to see to cry tears of joy?

What would I want written on my tombstone?

When did I experience stage fright or nervousness in front of a crowd?

When do I feel most at peace?

When did I last send a handwritten letter to someone?

When did I not speak up, when I know I really should have?

When did I witness something controversial and had to keep it a secret?

When was the last time I cried?

Where do I see myself in 10 years’ time?

Where do I want to live?

Where is the best place to get pizza?

Where would I go if I got a plane ticket to anywhere?

Which do I value more in others, brains or beauty?

Who do I get on with better, girls or boys?

Who do I miss the most?

Who do I need the most?

Why couldn’t I get out of bed this morning?

Why couldn’t I sleep last night?

Why do I hate insects?

Why do dogs hate me and I hate them?

Will you lend me a hand – how do I think this idiom got started?

Would I ever spread gossip?

Would people consider me a diva?

the worst thing about trying to decide to read a fic:

-horrible writing.

-the summary is good but the story is written in a different language or is badly written.

-opening it to find no spaces between the paragraphs.

-both your otp and notp is tagged and you have no clue if you want to take a risk or not.

-tagged major character death and you start sweating.

-hasn’t been updated in 80 years but the summary is on point and their the best fucking writer ever.

-you start reading only to find that the person updates every ten years and you just happened to catch them on a day they finally updated.

-you find a writer and check them out, only to find out they mostly write about your notp - and of course they always update, have perfect writing and have stories that are epic.

-stories with so many fucking tags, you just shake your head and move on.

-the “i suck at summaries please check it out still” and you just, pause because it has your otp and you debate whether or not to take the risk.

-you find a pairing you never considered before and think holy shit, that could be hot and spend all day hunting through the tag.

-you ship a pairing so fucking hard, only to find like two fics and you start weeping.

-when you find a perfect story only to check the tags and see some weird shit that disgusts you and you scream why.

-a fic with good writing and summary but it’s so short or is only fan-art.

-a crossover fic where you have both of your fandoms but don’t have both of otps, just one.

-one shots that are so good you wish they were longer.

-when your notp is tagged but it’s labeled as a past relationship or says your otp is endgame, and you have to go through the notp’s awkward breakup in order for your otp to happen.

-when someone doesn’t tag properly and a plot twist hits you and you want to cry.

-you finally find a great fic that has been updated and the last update says writes block, personal issues- can’t do this, asks for co-writer, discontinues it or says lol i hate how this is turning out, deleting.

-when a writer as twenty stories to update and you cry because you like all of them and you have to wait.

-when you remember a story from like five years ago and you search for it, only to find it’s been deleted or can’t seem to find it anywhere.

-when a writer gives you an update schedule and you’re excited because they follow it but then they start missing it and you just…

-when a writer deletes a story and rewrites the same story but you like the original better.

-when your reading a story about a rare pairing that interests and your otp hate each other or just friends and it’s just so weird to read.

-when one half of your otp is in another relationship and the other half shows up with someone else and then you remember, right i’m not reading a story about my otp so i can’t get mad.

-when your otp is popular but it’s not as popular as another ship in the fandom and you hate how the other ship as so much more stories than your ship.

-when you try to read an ot3 relationship because it has two characters you love but the other character is usually from your notp and you hate when your notp share moments.

-when you beg an author (usually one where they aren’t in the fandom really) to write more stories about your otp and they say maybe and it never happens.

-when the writer literally shits on your favorite character and you can’t go through it anymore.

-when your otp isn’t the main pairing and you don’t really care about the other pairings in the story and skip to your otp parts.

-when a story has a million words and it’s so good and you know that you will spend all day and night reading it until your eyes hurt.

-when a story have 200 parts to it and you lose all hope after a while because the story is dragging.

-when your otp is going through something and so many stories are filled with angst, fluff and hurt that it makes you cry because yup, i need to read about my pain for my otp.

-when the writer refuses to write the smut you been waiting for and your otp is stuck in unresolved tension mode forever.

-when the writer unexpected changes the story’s events and you are disappointed by the direction.

-when you find a great au and the characters are so out of character… it makes you sad.

-when you open a fic only to find you hate the point of view and you scream.

-when you request a prompt and the author writes it but you are disappointed and just smile through the pain.

-when you have such a good idea in your head and you try to write it but it’s so bad that you delete it and cry, hoping someone else writes the brilliant idea that you had.

-when you don’t ship something anymore but see a great plot and you click the story and take a deep breath - because shit is about to go down.

-when you reading a great story but get distracted and skip some parts, shit goes down in between and then you think fuck, and have to start over.

-when it’s tagged “slow burn” and you say i can do this and it’s chapter 30 and my ship still hate each other like what.

-when the author says this is their first time writing smut and you think on god they better do this right - only to find out they writing eight pages on your otp making love. like yes.

-when the smut is so rushed or improper you feel cheated and log off because done. like so done.

-when it’s tagged “everyone lives” and your eyes water because that’s all you ever wanted in life.

-when the author leaves a cliffhanger and says in the author’s note “lol sorry about the cliffhanger, i’ll update soon”. you ain’t sorry, stop lying.

-when you see that the story is complete and do a happy dance, only to realize that it ended badly or the sequel/series hasn’t been updated.

Character-Building Tips

- Unopinionated characters might seem likeable or diplomatic to you, but they’re boring to the audience. Your characters may choose not to take sides in certain matters (ex. their parents’ divorce, a fight between friends, etc), but they have to believe in some things. And opinionated characters make opinionated audiences, and that means interested and emotionally-invested audiences.

- Write any scenes that stumble into your mind and enchant you, even if you think (or know) those scenes probably won’t end up in the final draft. No matter what you do with them, those scenes will still tell you something about your character(s), and that will enrich the rest of your story.

- Make risky characters. If you think your character might offend your audience or a certain part of it, write your character anyways. It could be a bad character with good views about certain subjects or vice versa, but either way it will show three-dimensionality.

- If you’re having trouble with your character being realistic or 3D, get to the root of their person. Don’t ask “what drives them as a plot device?” but “what drives them as a person?” – if you know their motivations as a person, their purpose in the plot will surface.

- Stay away from stereotypes, unless you’re writing a comedy.

Hope this helps. - @authors-haven

anonymous asked:

What do you do with Too Many Ideas Syndrome?

At first you embrace it: “I’ll never stop writing ‘cause I’ll never run out of ideas! This is awesome!!!!” And then you realize that with so many ideas, you’re going to have to pick one to run with and then it’s like uh…yeah…  

Too Many Ideas

This question has given me the opportunity to bring back the cute bunny post from 2015. In it I discuss how you bounce back and forth between ideas, so take a look. It might help!

In that post I mention that it’s really a matter of going with whatever idea is most interesting to you at any given time. This could change from day to day, so one day you might work with one idea and the next you work with another. This is really basic advice, so I’m going to try to take it one step further. 

Start with Your Characters

If you’re overwhelmed by how many concept/plot ideas you’ve got, make a list of each concrete idea and set it aside. Then, work on character development. Start with one key character and then work outward. 

You might be wondering, how do I create characters without any kind of plot, but writers do actually do this. We’ve got questions in our inbox right now from writers that have developed characters and are stumped on the plot. So it’s definitely possible. 

This key character you’re starting with? Begin by establishing aspects of them that are separate from plot, things like age, gender ID, racial/ethnic background, sexual ID, and obviously their name. Go as far as you feel compelled to go, but start with these basic facts. 

Then, think about their relationships/friendships. Do they have lifelong friends they knew as children? Do they have siblings they’re close with? A parent they bond well with? Think about those they’re friendly with, and then do the same thing you did when you started with your key character - their age, gender ID, ect. ect.

Next, think about potential future relationships. These don’t have to be romantic relationships. If your key character is an artsy type, maybe you envision them clashing with someone who operates with logic and reason, and then seeing how they become friends or enemies over it. This leads you to create yet another character. 

What you’re doing here is developing character dynamics. You’re thinking about who these characters are first, before you even begin to consider what will happen to them. Having a cast of characters in place before you plot anything out can immediately draw you in. As I’ve said before, this is one reason we write fanfiction. We’re attached to the established characters and we want to imagine them in new situations. 

The Character Quick-Change

Grab the list you made earlier of all your plot ideas and concepts. Start casting them in roles in the ideas you’ve already come up and see how they fit. One of your ideas might be set in a fictional, fantasy world with fairies, werewolves, dragons, while another idea might be an urban fantasy where they are no magical creatures but there is magic. And maybe another idea has no magic at all. So as you plug your characters into each vastly different idea, the two start to mold each other. Your characters drive the plot, and the plot you chose will help you add deeper levels to your existing characters. 

If something doesn’t feel right, move onto the next idea. Imagine your characters are standing on a stage, and you’re simply switching out the scenery and the costumes. You’re giving them opportunities to play different roles, but you’re allowing them to bring their own personalities and backgrounds to each role they take on. 

Eventually you should find something that just fits. And when that happens, you keep going with it. You might run into problems as you’re writing, and you might be tempted to move onto another idea, and that’s okay! Go with your instincts and see what happens. Discipline with an idea is hard to maintain, so don’t feel guilty about it. It’s something all writers struggle with. 

When it comes to frustration during the writing process, the trouble is differentiating between your idea just being dead and the typical writing problems that you’ll see with any idea. But I think that’s a whole other topic that maybe I’ll get into at a later date ;)

Writing = experimentation. Try things out and see what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll know an idea is worth exploring when it happens, because your excitement and enthusiasm will soar. 

And as an afterthought, here’s another post that might be useful to you: Focusing on One Project.

-Rebekah

Masterpost of my favorite journal prompts...

I’ve been getting some asks about my journaling habits, so I wanted to make a list addressing one question regarding my favorite prompts. These always make me feel better! 

  • List 3 positive habits you have and explain why they benefit you. 
  • If you had 2 other lives to live, what would you do with them? 
  • Discuss 3 people who encouraged you and has continually supported you. What qualities do they have that you admire? 
  • List 5 tasks that take up most (or a lot of) your week. 
  • What do you need to protect? 
  • Have you avoided anything this week? 
  • Create a list of books you plan to read. 
  • What do you want to learn to do? 
  • Create a list of movies you plan to watch. 
  • What are you currently looking forward to? 
  • What is your favorite holiday? 
  • When do you feel the most comfortable and at ease? 
  • What is discouraging you right now, and what can you do to move past it? 
  • List 5 short-term goals and explain steps you can take to achieve them. 
  • What is your biggest strength? 
  • What are you totally honest about? 
  • Who knows the most about you? 
  • Why are you proud of yourself? 
  • What would you do with a million dollars? 
  • What is and isn’t working in your life? 
  • What lessons are you currently learning? 
  • Create a gratitude list. List as many things as you can. 
  • What do you stand for? 
  • What moves you? 
  • What qualities do you enjoy about yourself, and how can you continue to develop them? 
  • Explain the best compliment you’ve ever received. 
  • Who are you right now? 
  • How have you changed in the past 5 years? 
  • List positive quotes that you enjoy or find motivating. 
  • Create a self-care playlist of positive songs. 
  • Discuss your favorite movies, books, hobbies, music, foods, drinks, etc. 
  • List things that make you happy. 
  • What are your wildest dreams? 
  • Write a bio for your future self - who you want to become - but write it in the present tense. 
  • Describe your ideal day. 
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
  • When do you feel vibrant, electric, and alive? 
  • How can you be a source of love and magic to the world? 
  • How can you incorporate more fun and play into your life? 
  • What experiences trigger fear for you? 
  • Discuss 3 times you were proud of yourself. 
  • How does stress emerge in your life, and how can you manage it? 
  • How do you compare yourself to others? 
  • What can you do to make yourself feel calmer and more peaceful? 
  • What are you here to do (what is your purpose)? 
  • What do you no longer need? 
  • What do you know for sure? 
  • If you could start your life over, what would you change? 
  • Write a letter to your teenage self. 
  • What have you learned today? 
  • What would you do if you had no fears? 
  • Write a letter to a fictional character. 
  • Write about something that didn’t happen. 
  • What do you wonder about? 
  • List your favorite sounds. 
  • What are you worried about, and what can you do about it? 
  • What do you have difficulty accepting? 
  • Write about an act of kindness you performed or witnessed today. 
  • Discuss your favorite memory. 
  • How can you practice self-care? 
  • Is there a difference between happiness and fulfillment? 
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
  • List some of your insecurities about your physical body, and then, for each body part, write down something positive about it. 
  • Create a word map with the word “Identity” in the center. 
  • Focus on a regret that haunts you. 
  • What does family mean to you? 
  • What did you believe about love as a teenager, and how have your beliefs changed? 
  • Describe a moment that changed the course of your life forever. 
  • Write a letter to your future self. 
  • Are you introverted or extroverted? 
  • What does beautiful thinking mean to you? 
  • What are your favorite words? 
  • What is your aesthetic, or personal style, and who or what has influenced it? 
  • What is your favorite way to spend the day? 
How to Annotate Literature

Many times language and literature classes require students to annotate the books that are given to them, but in many cases tips and advice on how to do so is lacking. I will be sharing my personal strategy for efficient and successful annotating that will not only help your understanding of the text but also gain the love of your teachers!

The tips have been divided into 5 components, each with their own explanation.

Sticky Tabs are Your Best Friend

I don’t know how I would manage to annotate without my sticky tabs. They help me organize and navigate the book before the reading, remind me what to look for while i’m going through the text and help me find whatever I may need once I get to further analysis for the class. 

Create a key for your tabs, personally I use five colors each having a few specific purposes based on where I place them in the book. Most stickies are accompanied by a specific note that will remind me of what I wanted to point out, these stick out of the right margin. 

  • Pink- Anything to do with characters, be it development or certain traits to remember. It can also be used for when you have questions about character related aspects of the text.
  • Orange- Refers to setting, in plays it is also applicable for stage directions.
  • Yellow- Is used for literary devices and use of language (tone, diction, patterns) and syntax, if there is a particular word the author used or a structure you want to take note of, this is the color to use. 
  • Green- Applicable to any important plot events, notable scenes or things that you think will be significant later in the story.
  • Blue- Themes and context of said ideas, anything to do with time, place and space in which the text takes place. It can also relate to how your context (a student reading a book for a literature course) impacts your perception of the text.

These are the things teachers usually look out for and it is certainly useful in any kind of further task! 

The top and bottom margins can be used to divide the book in to sections, such as chapters or scenes, mark the most important pages and to also highlight text to text connections. These colors you can pick yourself!

I do not recommend having more than 5 sticky tabs per page, otherwise it gets too crowded and they lose their purpose! (but you will still need to buy aaa lloootttt)

This is my key for the book I am currently annotating, Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. 

Don’t Overdo it With the Highlighter

Find one color highlighter that you like the most and use it to mark explicit words or phrases that catch your attention, you can also use them in correlation with you sticky tabs! 

I prefer to use a yellow highlighter because it seems to bleed the least, and I usually use it in relation to the the yellow and blue tabs because those are the ones that relate to the most detailed and minute parts of the text. Once again you can find your own preference! But don’t overdo it, otherwise, like the tabs, the highlighter will lose its function to highlight important points. 

This is an example of how much highlighting I usually do. For non-fictional texts or parts of a book (like in the introduction you see here) I reserved highlighter for dates and names. 

Have a Conversation With the Author

This is one of the first tips that my high school teacher gave me and it’s really one of the most important ones to remember. And I know, it may sound kinda silly, but I find that it really helps me in developing my ideas and remembering exactly how I felt about a certain aspect of part of the text. 

Whether the text is fiction of non fiction, anything in between, you can always do these few things

  • Ask questions- As if you were going to get an answer, ask questions, write them down and write down as many as you want. Writing things down helps people remember so then it is more likely that in a class discussion you will be able to recall your queries or wonders. 
  • If you don’t like something, or you’re surprised by something, write it down! Use exclamation marks, use words that you would use in a regular conversation. I always write ‘WOW!!’ or ‘OMG’ when i’m especially impressed, and having such vocal- well written vocally- emotions will bring you closer to the subject of the text. 
  • Talk to the characters as well, if you are questioning a character’s actions ask them and provide an explanation as to why you speculate they may have acted a certain way. Not only does that further contribute to your involvement (also making things more entertaining) but it also deepens your thought!

What i’m trying to say is write down anything that comes to mind, your first response is your true response, and it is a valuable addition to your notes! And if you want to write a whole essay in between the lines… Actually, i’ll come back to that later! 

Pens, not Pencils 

I used to make notes completely in pencil but my approach changed when I realized that overtime the pencil would rub off and get illegible. I think it was because I used my book so much, but having switched to pen I realized that it helps me in quite a few other things as well. 

The good thing about pen is that you can’t erase it and let’s say you started writing down a note, scan down the page and realize what you are taking a note of is completely wrong. That’s ok! That’s actually really good! Don’t scribble out what you just wrote down, but instead continue and explain why you may have thought a certain way and what your understanding is now. That relates really closely to the previous note. 

Evidently pen also appears darker on the page, then there’s no possibility of it ever disappearing. It also won’t smudge or bleed as long as it’s ballpoint! That’s a good thing when drawing arrows between lines, underlining in addition to your highlights and circling/boxing whatever you deem necessary.

Time, Effort and Commitment

It’s clear that this post took me a while to make, and it took me a while to develop this system with all of the things that I have considered. So it must be self evident that using this type of annotation won’t be quick. It might get tiring at some times, and for me it really does, but at the end I find that it always pays off! You have to stay committed to this technique, you have to put in the same amount of effort for every page, which means you need time. So here are a few final general tips I will leave you with.

  • Don’t procrastinate! As goes for any task, and this one more than any, don’t waste time getting to it! I advice you check how many pages you have in total and make sure that you do a certain amount per day (usually 5-10 pages a day is good!)
  • If you go off on massive tangents in the side bars, make sure that you don’t get too distracted by them because they will take up a lot of your time. But one now and then may be good! Be sure to mark it for later reference!
  • Play mind games with yourself. This one is actually pretty interesting but it personally gets me a long way. If you have 20 pages left, don’t look at it as 20 pages but instead as 4 times 5, then the amount will seem a lot more manageable! It’s a kind of self encouragement!
  • That can also be said by looking now and then at how far your bookmark has moved through the book and giving yourself a pat on the back for all of you hard work!

That’s all I have for now! If you have any further questions for advice or explanation please message me and I will be more than happy to help! And I hope that this helps some people out too! (I’m counting this as 21/100 days of productivity as all I did today was related to annotating.)

How to Give Your Antagonist a Little Humanity

There is such a thing as your antagonist being too over-the-top. There’s a possibility that they can become static or one-dimensional if you don’t understand why they’re the protagonist. Not many people in the world are evil for the sake of being evil. There’s usually a reason behind what they’re thinking and feeling, so try to explore that with your own characters. Remember, the antagonist is usually the hero in their own story.

Focus on background

Knowing your antagonist’s personal background should add more dimensions to your story. Do they have a family? Is there something specific that happened that shaped them? Understanding where each of your characters came from and how they came to be the way they are will really help add depth. Your readers will begin to see what makes them tick.

Know what they want

Antagonists have wants and needs, just like any other character. You should always know what your protagonist wants if you want to drive the story forward and the same can be said for your antagonist. What are they searching for? Why do they want to stop the protagonist? Do they want the same thing as the protagonist? This will help you figure out your conflict.

Is there someone they care about?

Knowing what your antagonist cares about will reveal a lot about them.  Sure, sometimes mindless unstoppable villains are exciting, but it doesn’t work for every story. Smart antagonists that care about something are usually more enticing. You can make them a bit more humane if you reveal what they care about. Do they believe what they’re doing will actually save the world? Do they think they’re doing the right thing? Consider these questions.

What do they think about the protagonist?

It’s not necessary for the antagonist to absolutely hate the protagonist. Sometimes it’s more interesting if they respect each other or if they already have a relationship. Do they think the protagonist is completely wrong? Do they understand their point-of-view? Knowing what your antagonist thinks will help form a realistic relationship between the protagonist and antagonist. It will help you shape your story into something better.

-Kris Noel

Writing Love without Experience

Anonymous asked: “I started a story about love, but the problem is that I have no romantic experience whatsoever. Because of that, it has come to my attention that the romantic scenes are stiff and seem out of place. Any advice?”

I don’t think you need experience to write about something, especially if it’s romance or something so incredibly prevalent across the board in art, media, and storytelling. We have grown up on love stories to the point where it is almost obnoxious. I personally love them, but if I didn’t, I imagine it would be pretty relentless. Anyway, with so many examples out there, personal experience is overrated. 

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Creative Ways to Come up With Ideas

I’m often asked how to come up with ideas, so I thought I’d give you a few ways to hopefully jump-start ideas on your end. Putting yourself in certain situations can get you in a more creative mindset, so be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening around you whenever possible.

Here are a few ways to come up with creative ideas on daily basis:

Listen to the people around you

There’s no better way to generate ideas than to listen to the people around you. People say some interesting things if you stay open to it. Ideas are guaranteed to formulate if you listen to what’s happening around you.

Tune into talk radio

Talk radio will help give you some ideas regarding how people communicate with each other and how people argue about things. Think about how people would talk about things in your world and what forums would be available for discussions.

Watch your favorite movie

Try to focus on why your favorite movie is your favorite. What gets you excited about it? Once you figure out those things, you should be able to realize what you want your book to be like. Harness what motivates you.

Write a scene between two characters

Consider writing a scene between two characters you like. Use your own characters or your favorite fictional characters. Put them in a situation they wouldn’t normally be in.

Take a walk

Allowing yourself some fresh air sometimes helps you get creative. If you’re stuck in one place all day, try to get out for a little while. Changing your environment can help generate ideas.

Use Google Maps

If locations tend to inspire you, use Google Maps to zoom in on places you’re interested in. Being able to see a place you intend to write about can make a huge difference. It will also help you see things in a different way.

Search for new music

Music often helps inspire writers, so take some time to download something new. Turn on Pandora or Spotify and keep your ears open for something that inspires you.

List your favorite characters

Pinpointing exactly what makes a character interesting to you can help you build your own characters. Take some time to list a few of your favorite characters and see what they have in common. Use these ideas to structure a character of your own.

-Kris Noel

honorableotp  asked:

forbidden

+ Jealousy.

Um, so remember how I said I was gonna cut myself off at 1500 words max? Yeah, I failed. This is +4k. It spiraled out of control and I’m like 95% sure there is a part two for this. If you guys are up for it of course. 

This is AU/AH role reversal of sorts, in which Klaus is Caroline’s assistant.


Klaus had always been good at keeping secrets. Ever since he was child, he managed to keep everything sealed inside of him. He kept his love for art a secret from his father. He kept the pain of his father’s slaps a secret from the world outside the confines of his home. As a teenager, he kept his sister’s boyfriends in check without her knowing. And he managed to keep his job at a bakery a secret from his family. At eighteen, he left his address a secret from his family until Elijah found him, relief on his face and hurt in his eyes and it occurred to him that this should not have been a secret. And through it all, what he learned to do best was to keep his feelings secret. With time, he learned to simply keep them in check. So it was no surprise that Klaus’ best hidden secret was his infatuation with his enchanting boss, Caroline Forbes. But it was a surprise to him that his feelings towards her continued to spiral out of control.

He met Caroline at 23 years old, freshly graduated from college, fascinated by the smashing success of her magazine at only 27. He went in for an interview for the position of her personal assistant, his tie slightly off-center and his palms sweating. His chances of actually snatching the job were slim to none. He had no experience beyond his time at the bakery which sustained him through university. He had no network to fall back on which could recommend him to her. But he was determined to go through with the interview. Caroline Forbes, he believed could teach him a lot. Fixing his glasses on his nose once more, he braced himself and walked in.

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Anonymous said:What about the hero kidnapping the villain’s sidekick/lover?

Anonymous said: We’ve got villains with the hero’s lover, do you have any for a hero interacting with a villains lover?


1) “You need to let me go.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t.”
You need to let me go,” they said again, flatly. “I don’t want your blood on my hands when they catch up with you.”


2) “You think I don’t know what they are? I’m neither blind nor stupid. Don’t fucking patronize me.”
“And yet you stay?” 
“Where else would I go? Into your arms, swooning into the sunset? Please.”


3) The villain’s lover looked at the hero, silent for a beat. “I think you want some fragile little damsel you can rescue, some broken bird that proves that they were evil and monstrous all along. Inhuman. Incapable of loving anyone or anything. I’m not going to give you that. Great kindness and great cruelty are not mutually exclusive traits.”


4) “You seem rather too nice to be in love with a monster.” 
“You seem rather too judgy to be a hero - or is that what makes you one? The arrogance of assuming you alone understand the world enough to deliver it justice?”


5) “It’s alright, you’re safe now.” The hero looked at them earnestly, careful not to make any sudden movements. “I’ve got you.” 
“Is that supposed to reassure me? You just kidnapped me!”
“No - that’s not - I rescued you!”


6) “I’ve know all about you,” the hero circled the chair. “You’re the most powerful person in this game so far. You could be king of the court if you weren’t so loyal.” 
They said something, not acknowledging the words. Hyper-aware of the weight of scrutiny. 
“Why are you so loyal?” the hero asked softly. “They don’t deserve it.”
“And you do?” 


7) “They don’t love you, you know.” The hero knew that achingly, painfully, well. Looking at the villain’s lover was like looking at old photograph of themselves. A slap in the face. “If they did, they wouldn’t put you in the middle of this.”
“I put myself in the middle of this!” They met the hero’s eyes, fiercely. Even as their voice cracked. “Unlike you, I’m not a miserable traitor. Or what, you think I haven’t heard about you? You think they haven’t told me what you’d say? Your lies, your jealousy, your obsession.” 


8) “They miss you, you know,” the villain’s lover said. “Talk about you all the time. They still have your bedroom, perfectly intact. You make me a ghost in my own home.”
“You really love them.”
“Don’t you?”


9) “Oh, drop the victim act,” the hero spat. “I know what you are. You’re as bad as them. Snake.”
They hissed gently, teasingly, between their teeth. “You’re the one who brought me into your home. Tempted?”


10) “Don’t use a bomb for leverage, sweet thing, and be surprised when it blows up in your hands. Or what, did you think they kept me just for the pretty face?”

I have a theory about how/when LeFou came out to Gaston. I don’t necessarily believe it myself but it fits into canon, makes sense, and is pretty interesting to think about.

Okay so first let’s go over what we know is canon:

  • During the Gaston song Gaston doesn’t know LeFou is gay “how come no girl has snatched you up yet?”
  • They don’t have any time alone between the Gaston song and tying up Maurice scene because Maurice was with them the whole time
  • Fast forward to next time we see them at Gaston’s Tavern
  • As they walk in, LeFou is talking about his feelings “It’s not too late to go back, every time I close my eyes I see Maurice stranded there.” This implies emotional intimacy between them before this scene begins
  • Manipulation scene and “do you want to be next” heavily implies that Gaston knew

Something happened between the Maurice incident and the mob scene.

(I’ll put the rest under keep reading if u want to see it) 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

would you mind giving tips n tricks for how to write kiss scenes? i just dont really know what to say in them other than he/she pulled him/her into a kiss. how would i go about expanding this? :0

Sure! (And wow - I wrote a lot about this!

Writing a Kiss

1. Emotional context to frame the description
2. Body/hands/physical descriptions
3. Description of the kiss (The kiss is a journey! It has a start, a middle, and an end!)
4. The feelings and emotions generated by the kiss.
5. You can break up or frame the scene with dialogue and thought if needed.


1. I start with emotions/scenarios to frame my kisses - is it a hungry kiss? Demanding? Gentle? Teasing? Loving? And I use these emotions to branch out into what kind of descriptions I’ll use. (Eg. a gentle kiss might have feathery light touches, while a desperately hungry kiss might have one person clutching the other to them tightly; their fingers digging into their shoulders with the force of their need.)

2. Next I’ll go with the body and hands. Are they pressed together? Is one person’s hands roving over the other person’s body? If so, what are they touching, squeezing, scratching, clinging to, etc. Are they  grinding together, pressed so tightly they seem to almost be one person? Or are they tentative and careful, keeping their distance?

3. Then I’ll describe the kiss. Sometimes the kiss starts slowly; a gentle press of their lips. Sometimes one person’s mouth catches the other’s. Does the kiss start chaste with lots of small kisses? Does one person tease the other person’s mouth open? Is it a tongue kiss? If it’s a really passionate kiss, are their tongues dancing against one another? Sliding? Swirling together? Do they tease one another with flicks of their tongues? Do they nibble? Do they pressed kisses along the jaw? To the tip of the nose? (Think very physical descriptions here - but very evocative and sensual too!)

4. What about their feelings? How does the kiss make them feel? Hot and bothered? Tingly? Melting? Burning? Repulsed? Lol. The way they feel is so important! Because it should dictate when the kiss ends and what happens afterwards.

5. Also, remember to think about how to break up the kiss if you need to. Eg. Are they speaking in between kisses? Thinking anything? You can include dialogue or thought to break up the kiss or direct where it goes. 

So yeah … that’s kind of my process for writing kisses! I hope this helps.

aphrodvite  asked:

Hi! I'm a budding author and need your advice. I've always wanted to write an amazing mystery/thriller novel (they're my favorite!) but I'm totally at a loss when it comes with revealing information and shocking the reader. I think about really predominant authors in the genre and I just have NO idea how they think of such interesting plot twists and interconnections between characters. Every time I try, my "mystery" is really obvious to figure out. I need to make it more complicated... but how?

Hi!

I struggle with the exact same problem. I’ve loved mysteries and things that go bump in the night since I was a kid, and I’ve always heard “Write what you love,” but mystery/horror are most definitely not my genres – I suck at writing mysteries, and all my monsters are cheap cardboard funhouse decorations. I’m okay with this, because although I have a tendency to branch into the paranormal or mysterious, I love writing anything (and I mean anything) high-stakes and quick-paced – however, I could improve if I wanted to, and so can you! I think I may be able to give you a couple of tips on how to improve your plot twist game.

1. Foreshadow.
You can write small plot twists (e.g. a character switching loyalties) with steady buildup rather than foreshadowing (this post shows you how), but for the big shabangs that make your readers gasp and cover their eyes with their hands, foreshadowing is the way to go. You may want to check out this ask I answered a while ago that deals more extensively with foreshadowing and how to do it correctly – I think you’ll find it a huge help! Foreshadowing is important because it sets the groundwork for your plot twist, so that it doesn’t seem like a hairpin turn in the road of your story, but rather a slow turn off a cliff, after which your reader realizes they should’ve seen it coming all along. (Nor am I the only person who says so – countless authors preach extensive groundwork for a plot twist, and a couple of posts I’m going to link you to do as well.)

2. Read the material you want to write/feel you need to improve on.
Stephen King is good at plot twists (I used his book The Shining as an example in the ask I linked you to, and there’s another big plot twist in The Shining that I didn’t use, but it follows essentially the same formula), so I would recommend reading him (unless you’re easily frightened). Another book I remember as having a good plot twist at the end is Three by Ted Dekker (but I was about twelve at the time, so it may not actually be as good as I remember). If you like mysteries, study up on the legends: Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Dean Koontz. I would even recommend Edgar Allen Poe, as his plot twists are quite good (specifically I’m thinking of The Masque of The Red Death). (Really, a lot of horror authors are masters at plot twists by necessity of their genre – mystery and horror are kissing cousins.)

That’s all I have, but I can link you to a couple of other posts that may help you!

This post that expands on how important groundwork (foreshadowing) is for a plot twist

The Eight Laws Of Foreshadowing (image)

I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask! - @authors-haven

Some words you won’t unhear, I can’t go back to the person that I was before I hurt you and things will be slightly different between us.

So please, if you’re reading or listening to the songs of the trees and the birds, know that just like early morning– you’re the very definition of home to me, somewhere lost between the morning daze and the highlight gaze
you sang to me.

So please, if you’re never going to forgive me properly at least tell me that what we had was once real and if you could just know that I write these words not as another apology, but as a means that I still think about you when the sun goes down and the moon arrives with another poem to write.

So please, if you’re with someone else some day, just try to forget about the emotional abuse that I put you through, I don’t really know myself, so of course I was going to fuck things up between us, you always were the softer parts of me, the way your lips liked to say my name as we’re arguing with a how could you to amplify the anger that won’t subside with a simple goodbye or a slam at the door.

So please, if you’re alone and drunk, just know that I’m probably doing the same thing. We won’t call and we won’t text, two strangers with a hunger for one another, but we won’t ever meet again and I love you seems to be ripped from page to page, but you’re still my favorite kind of regret. I’m so sorry that we had to end up like this.

So please, I know that we’re still together, but if you ever want out just read these words and take them with you. To the highest mountains, you can burn this letter and let our apologies scatter all over the forest floor. To the bottom of the ocean, I’ll play you the saddest song and I’ll call it blue. I’ll name your eye colors after my favorite thing, I’ll name our love after our favorite song, I’ll name these scars without a blame, I hope that one day we’ll love with the lightness that was us, and if we don’t, and if I don’t and if you don’t remember us, that’s okay. I can live with this, I have to live with this.

So please, if you pick up this letter while I’m sleeping right next to you and you’re reading it with the lights dimmed down just so that I won’t wake up, don’t go through the drawers because there will be more where this came from, I leave letters everywhere for you, one for every mood, maybe you’ll find them all some day, you’ve always been the collector type, collect these unhappy days, but always pride yourself on keeping our happy days. The sun will be up in a few minutes, go make some coffee and pretend that you never read this letter. Put it back. Place my favorite book on top of it, pretend that you didn’t know about those scattered letters, pretend that you don’t know my true intentions, pretend that it doesn’t hurt, pretend that we’re going to make it through this, because I promise, I’ll be doing the same and if you bring it up–

why baby, I didn’t write a thing.
you’re just in a dream,
just like how we were
when we first met
and shared that
first kiss and getting
the same tattoo
on the same heart
that said



how did we end up like this?
—  so please, a letter you’ll promise that you didn’t touch, a letter that you’ll swear you didn’t know existed, and if you did happen to find it while we’re happy, it never happened, burn it.
Write What You Know (Not Necessarily What You’ve Experienced)

Originally posted by gifs-from-the-seaside-ca

I’ve recently written a post about the true meaning behind the quote “good writers borrow; great writers steal.” 

Well, another piece of writing advice has come under scrutiny lately, so I’m here to explain the meaning behind “write what you know.” 

“Write what you know” really means “write what you understand.”

Many people interpret “write what you know” to mean “write about what you have experienced for yourself,” but that’s obviously silly advice. If everyone followed it, libraries would be much, much smaller. Writing is about using your imagination to explore worlds of possibilities. Bits and pieces of your personal history will of course come into play, but they should always be presented in new and interesting ways. Otherwise, writers would be too bored to actually finish their stories.

When people you think you should probably trust tell you to “write what you know,” they aren’t telling you to fictionalise your own memoir. They’re telling you to write about the things that you understand

A novel may be a great series of lies, but there must be truth at the centre of it all and that truth is a direct result of, and in correlation to, the author’s understanding of their subject matter. 

For an author, this means a couple of things:

You should always be able to empathise with your characters. You should be able to tap into your emotions, your passions, your relationships to inform their emotions, their passions, their relationships. 

If you’re writing a scene about two people walking along the Seine at midnight unable to admit their true feelings for each other, you don’t need to have traveled to Paris or walked along the Seine or talked about the moon on the water when really all you wanted to say was that the same moonlight was making the other person look very pretty that night. 

What you need is to know what it is to take a walk in a place that is romantic no matter if romance is taking place there, to have wanted to say something but been too afraid to say it, to be filled with hope and fear and misery and joy all at the same time. 

You should always be able to feel the heart of the scene, instead of simply imagining it. 

If you can’t put yourself directly into your character’s shoes, they’ll wind up saying or doing something that won’t quite ring true.  

You should always be both interested in and knowledgable about the topics and settings that find their way into your stories. 

You don’t have to be an archaeologist to write an Indiana Jones novel, but a healthy fascination with people like T.E. Lawrence, Roy Chapman Andrews, and Gertrude Bell should probably come into play.

You should always not only be knowledgable about the topic you’re writing about, but care for it. You should be able to understand why Indy says it belongs in a museum!!” You should understand why your characters feel passionate about whatever they’re engaging in, because you share some of that passion. (Even if you wouldn’t dream of digging around in a desert yourself.)

It’s okay if you don’t know very much about a topic when you first get an idea for a book, but after doing some research about it, you should connect to the material in some way. 

As long as you’re interested in a topic or place, you’re not breaking the “write what you know” rule by taking the time to understand something you hadn’t when you first imagined your story. 

What’s more: write the kind of story you enjoy reading.

That sounds a little obvious, but people try to write stories they wouldn’t actually enjoy reading themselves all of the time. 

If you love reading YA fantasy novels, but feel compelled to write the next Great Literary American Novel, you’re not writing the sort of story you’re familiar with–that you’re passionate about–and that will show on every single page. Those are two very different sort of books. If you love reading YA, exclusively read YA, but try to write the GLAN, you’re not writing what you know. You’re probably not even writing something you truly care about.

And if you find the story you’re writing dull and uninteresting, any reader will probably feel the same way. 

If someone has read your work and says something along the lines of “you should stick to writing what you know…” 

What they’re really saying is that something isn’t resonating as true. That somehow, it doesn’t feel quite real. That they don’t think the characters’ emotional reactions are what they’d be in real life. Or that Indiana Jones is supposed to be a renowned archaeologist, but he doesn’t seem to know much about archaeology??? 

When they say this, they’re not telling you to go get a degree in archaeology or that in order to write that romantic scene, you must fall in love with someone, walk along the Seine with them, and then write what about what you felt in that moment. 

They’re letting you know that there is a disconnect somewhere between you and the writing. That they can tell you haven’t put enough of yourself in this story. That the circles don’t overlap as much as they should in the venn diagram between the knowledge, emotions, and interests the story requires and the knowledge you possess, the emotions you’ve felt, and the interests you invest in. 

When somebody says “write what you know,” ask yourself:

  • if you’ve really done enough research on this topic–if you actually want to write about this topic enough to do the required research 
  • if there’s another emotional well you can draw from to understand how a character might be feeling, how they might react to a circumstance
  • if this book is one that you yourself would pick up from a library shelf. 

And make sure there’s a core of truth within those all those lies. 

A Lesson in Love (Deleted Scenes)

Hello to any and every radiant human being reading this. I hope this week has been treating you well because that’s exactly what you all deserve.

After some back and forth, I have finally decided that I’m going to be writing deleted scenes for “A Lesson in Love”.

What this means: I want y'all to let me know if there are any scenarios you can think of that didn’t happen in the story that you want to see written. In my head, there are so many more things that have happened between the reader and Bucky that I didn’t get the chance to write. Stuff that has further solidified the reason why the reader is feeling the way she is about Bucky and maybe vice versa? Requests can include other characters as well! 

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Advice from an (Amateur) Archer on Writing About Archers and Archery

Admittedly, I don’t have the widest range of experience when it’s come to archery. I’ve only been shooting for a year now, and the time that I do take to shoot have long months between them. Still, I think it’s important to outline the basics for anyone who wants to write an archer in their book and wants to save themselves the embarrassment of having the archer do something that an archer would never do in a million years.

- Archers usually unstring their bow after battle. Unstringing a bow is exactly what it sounds like: removing the string from the bow’s limbs. Usually, archers then wrap the string around the now-straightened bow so they don’t lose it as easily. Archers unstring bows because everytime the limbs are bent by the string, there is a large amount of tension in the limbs. If the string is on too long and the bow has not been shot for a while, the limbs will start to wear down and lose their power, resulting in an archer needing to buy new limbs or an entirely new bow.

- Archers always retrieve their arrows after battle. Arrows are expensive and take a long time to make, so archers want to conserve as many arrows as possible. Sometimes they have a repair kit with them at the ready, in case they find an arrow with a loose arrowhead or broken fletching that can easily be repaired. 

- Training arrows are not the same as battle arrows. Training arrows have thinner shafts and usually blunted tips so they can easily be removed from targets. Thinner shafts break more easily, and the blunted tips – whilst they can pierce skin – usually won’t get very far in the flesh. They’re also easier to make. Battle arrows are thicker, and their heads are pointed at the tip and have two pointed ends at its sides. This arrowhead is designed to easily pierce through flesh, and is incredibly difficult to pull out because its two pointed ends snag onto flesh. If you want to pull it out, you’d have to tear the flesh away with it, which can lead to an even larger wound.

- Arrows are fatal, and one can incapacitate a soldier for the rest of his life. Arrows are not easily snapped off like you see in movies. The draw weight is too strong, and they can sometimes be as strong as bullets. They will pierce through bone and tendons, which do not easily heal. Furthermore, if you want to remove an arrow, you either have to go through surgery, parting the flesh away from the arrowhead so it doesn’t snag onto anything, or you have you push – not pull – it all the way through the body.

- Bows are not designed for hitting people with in close combat. The limbs are specifically made to flex. Imagine hitting someone with a flexing piece of wood. If you hit with the middle of the bow, it still does very little because there is no weight behind the bow, and so you might as well be hitting them with a pillow. It might be annoying to the opponent, but it won’t save you. Archers need a secondary blade in close combat. They cannot strike people with their bows and expect to win.

- Draw weight affects speed, range, and impact. Draw weight is measured in pounds, at least in America, and it is measured in how much weight must be pulled when you draw back the string. A high draw weight means stiffer, thicker limbs that can shoot further and hit harder. But, this is at the cost of speed. A low draw weight means thinner, more flexible limbs that can shoot smaller distances and have low impact, but can be shot faster. Before you acrobatic fanatics immediately seize the smaller bow for its speed, understand that a bow’s advantage is in its range. No one can hit an archer from 300 meters away with their spear or sword. The archer has complete dominance over the battlefield in this way, and their arrows can kill anyone who gets too close. Not hurt. Not annoy. Kill. And a higher draw weight means a better chance of piercing through specific armor, then flesh, then bone. A lower draw weight means less range and, even worse, a lower chance that the arrow would even pierce through armor if the arrow even hits its target. 

- Bows will always be outmatched in close combat against any other weapon. Bows take too long to draw and shoot, and at such close range, the opponent has an easier chance to dodge oncoming arrows. I already explained that the bows themselves cannot be used to take down a foe. 

- Bowmen on horseback are utterly terrifying. Archers usually can’t move from their spot because range is more important than mobility, and at such a long range, you usually don’t need to move from your spot anyways. Bowmen on horses, however, are closer to the battle, and worse, they are faster than almost anyone on the battlefield. Not only are they difficult to hit, you have no way of predicting where they will shoot next because they can circle around you in confusing ways. If you want an interesting archer character, I’d advise trying these guys out.

- Never underestimate armor and padding. Arrows will never be able to pierce through plate armor because its curved surface will always deflect oncoming arrows. Arrows can pierce through maille because maille is made out of metal rings that can be bent and can fall away. However, padding usually lies underneath, which is surprisingly durable and can stop an oncoming arrow, as well as absorb some of its impact. Because of this, make certain that the archer is focusing on gabs in the armor. To know this, you MUST study armor. Gabs usually lie where the joints are because soldiers need those gabs open so they can move. Typical gaps lie in the neck, the armpit, the inner-elbow, the knees, and the palm of the hand. Impact is also an archer’s friend. A war arrow shot by a hundred pound bow, hurtling at incredible speeds and gaining momentum the further it travels, can evoke serious damage. To be hit by one of these arrows will feel more like being hit by a horse than being hit by someone’s fist.