Draw the Muse: Classic Horror edition

Send me a category letter + number (example: A1) for me to design my muse(s) based on one of these icons from classic horror literature, film, legend, or history! Note that the classic characters’ gender does not need to affect your design!

A) Book Characters

  1. Doctor Frankenstein 
  2. Frankenstein’s Monster
  3. Dr Jekyll and/or Mr Hyde
  4. Count Dracula
  5. Wilhelmina Harker
  6. A Lovecraftian Horror
  7. The Phantom of the Opera
  8. Abraham Van Helsing
  9. Dorian Gray (+ painting, as a bonus)
  10. The Headless Horseman
  11. Bride/Groom of Frankenstein

B) Movie Characters (+ book and movie)

  1. Creature from the Black Lagoon
  2. Count Orlok
  3. Regan McNeil
  4. Jason Voorhees
  5. Chucky doll
  6. Pennywise the Clown
  7. Freddy Krueger
  8. Jack Torrance
  9. Annabelle doll 
  10. The Mummy
  11. Sadako/Samara
  12. The Wolfman

C) History/Urban Legend

  1. The Candyman
  2. Elizabeth Bathory
  3. Jack the Ripper
  4. The Bell Witch
  5. Bloody Mary
  6. Mothman
  7. Lizzie Borden
  8. Resurrection Mary
  9. The Hook
  10. Boogeyman
  11. The Slit-Mouthed Woman

Inktober Day 18, The Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin, with crows, nib pen and ink on paper

The 9 books in the series involve dozens of characters (including the city of San Francisco) over decades. It began as a serialization in a San Francisco paper in the 1970s and continued to follow its characters as they were affected by the AIDS outbreak, as well as other major local and world events - I won’t spoil it by going into details, but it gets pretty zany. The final book takes the surviving characters to Burning Man. I am so sad the series has come to an end.

One of my greatest regrets in life is that I was in San Francisco a few years ago for a conference and failed to skip off for a few hours to go to an Armistead Maupin book signing. What a mistake!

Not a great drawing of the Golden Gate Bridge nor of a cable car, but it’s the thought that counts. Or the crows.

It has been a while, but yay! more book characters fanart! Val, Ygritte and Ryk. Ryk isn’t a very prominent character, but I wanted to draw a wildling dude, and I have been having some fun AU thoughts with his sibiling like relationship with Ygritte. Osha and Gilly were top choices to draw on this Free Folk edition, and I do hope to get to them soon. Not going for a 1:1 equivalence to any real world ethnic groups, but I am going for a central asian influence on my take of the ASOIAF characters, and it has been a real fun process, one of my least favorite aspects of fantasy is that it is so european, in that way that not even real life Europe was.

So Restless AU thoughts. Haven’t thought of the specifics of it, but Ygritte and Ryk are perhaps the most prominent Free Folk in Restless. Mance’s power isn’t as consolidated so there’s friction between the factions, and Ygritte and Ryk and their group still haven’t made their mind if to follow him as king so we get a lot of the workings of the Free Folk through them. They will run into Benjen and his rangers at some point, but it the result will be an unlikely truce (if momentary)

Val will run into Rhaegar on his journey Beyond the Wall, and it’s pretty clear it is at Mance’s behest to arrange a meeting between Kings. Perhaps most surprising is Rhaegar’s willingness to accept, to the point even Val ends up advising caution during their journey. But Rhaegar’s focus on the Others and the threat they represent guides his decision making, for better or worse. Jamie knows it’s reckless, but he believes enough on his king to trust on this gamble. 

jupiterhyde replied to your post “Out of all your Oc’s which one is your favorite and do you relate to…”

Tell me about your book characters

LMAO, sure.

Well, my favorite character I have created is, no doubt, Bernardo Esparza, “The Writer”, he is a magical being and has a lot of power for someone that never asked for it. He was so much fun to create and write, I keep wanting to at least mention him in every story I do because he is that awesome, and somehow he is in every story.

In the same fashion, I did the literal devil, Anton Van Goldschmidt. Or Tony. My dad (stepfather) had such an influence in this character and I just love him, he is such a bitch but also such a good person, lol. He is, so far, somehow in every story I have written.

Other characters I have done that I love ar Nicoletta, Apolonia Valencia and her idiotic twin brother Apolo (or just Polo), the always in pain William and his boyfriend Luke, and recently, the literal demon and the ghostbuster Alexander Tarrab and Hannah Limantour.

Nana and Alexander are just– so much fun to write, they are both assholes and they have both so much to go through still, I’m loving right now doing their bckstories and their relationships with Dead David and their respective couples, it’s fun.

hey so the infitnitely wonderful @ha-dicronos tagged me for this! thanks!!

first crush on a fictional character

I’m aromantic, but I’ve always had a soft spot for frank zhang, but in a very platonic way.

a book that made you cry

the silver mask. what did you think?

book that was spoiled for me

mark of athena, someone told me percy and annabeth fell in tartarus.

first book you fell in love with

harry potter!

first time you couldn’t stop smiling bc of a book/character

the epilogue of harry potter!

first person the really impacted your reading

@kickthecall and company

I tag: @agustinathe @will-smolace @kickthecall @mageofsoul @a-super-evil-cat-who-murders @thehufflepuffofdumort @basically-a-trashcan

book tag!

I was tagged by @demidorks​! Thank you Giu <333

First Crush on a Fictional Character

Cedric Diggory (I know you said the exact same thing but like. Mood)

Book That Made You Cry

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (oh shush haters)

Book That Was Spoiled For You

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

First Time You Fell in Love with a Book

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

First Time You Couldn’t Stop Smiling Because of a Book/Character

probably Amos Daragon by Bryan Perro (that’s a thing from Quebec)

First Person Who Had a Real Impact on Your Reading

My 3rd grade friends (then my 6th grade teacher)

People I Tag: @undeadnymph @annabathtime @gr33kg0ds @preatorpercy @spookeeith @sallyjacson & whoever wants to do it! :)

When my grandparents were 13 queer was a whispered slur and it was unthinkable to be gay, let alone trans. It was just assumed you weren’t.

When my dad was 13 being gay was something you talked about behind closed doors. It was hilarious. It was frowned upon. My dad was assumed to be gay and somehow less of a man because he liked theatre.

When I was 13 I had just learned what it meant to be gay. I had just learned what transgender was. I was scared and lost. It felt like there was nothing for me. There was no proof I wasn’t alone.

My brother is turning 13 soon and he knows about most sexual orientations and has an older sibling that is out as trans/nb. He is openly against homophobia and talking about it with his friends isn’t taboo. He watches cartoons with background gay couples and thinks nothing of it. One of his favorite book characters is genderfluid.

We still have a long way to go, but I think you gotta admit, that is progress.

The Dos and Don’ts of Beginning a Novel:  An Illustrated Guide

I’ve had a lot of asks lately for how to begin a book (or how not to), so here’s a post on my general rules of thumb for story openers and first chapters!  

Please note, these are incredibly broad generalizations;  if you think an opener is right for you, and your beta readers like it, there’s a good chance it’s A-OK.  When it comes to writing, one size does not fit all.  (Also note that this is for serious writers who are interested in improving their craft and/or professional publication, so kindly refrain from the obligatory handful of comments saying “umm, screw this, write however you want!!”)

So without further ado, let’s jump into it!


1.  Open with a dream. 

“Just when Mary Sue was sure she’d disappear down the gullet of the monstrous, winged pig, she woke up bathed in sweat in her own bedroom.”

What?  So that entire winged pig confrontation took place in a dream and amounts to nothing?  I feel so cheated! 

Okay, not too many people open their novels with monstrous swine, but you get the idea:  false openings of any kind tend to make the reader feel as though you’ve wasted their time, and don’t usually jump into more meaty action of the story quickly enough.  It makes your opening feel lethargic and can leave your audience yawning.

Speaking of… 

2.  Open with a character waking up.  

This feels familiar to most of us, but unless your character is waking up to a zombie attack or an alien invasion, it’s generally a pretty easy recipe to get your story to drag.

No one picks a book to hear how your character brushes their teeth in the morning or what they’d like to have for dinner.  As a general rule of thumb, we read to explore things we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.  And cussing out the alarm clock is not one of them.  

Granted, there are exceptions if your writing is exceptionally engaging, but in most cases it just sets a slow pace that will bore you and your reader to death and probably cause you to lose interest in your book within the first ten pages.  

3.  Bombard with exposition.  

Literary characters aren’t DeviantArt OCs.  And the best way to convey a character is not, in my experience, to devote the first ten pages to describing their physical appearance, personality, and backstory.  Develop your characters, and make sure their fully fleshed out – my tips on how to do so here – but you don’t need to dump all that on the reader before they have any reason to care about them.  Let the reader get to know the character gradually, learn about them, and fall in love with them as they would a person:  a little bit at a time.   

This is iffy when world building is involved, but even then it works best when the delivery feels organic and in tune with the book’s overall tone.  Think the opening of the Hobbit or Good Omens.

4.  Take yourself too seriously.

Your opener (and your novel in general) doesn’t need to be intellectually pretentious, nor is intellectual pretense the hallmark of good literature.  Good literature is, generally speaking, engaging, well-written, and enjoyable.  That’s it.  

So don’t concern yourself with creating a poetic masterpiece of an opening line/first chapter.  Just make one that’s – you guessed it – engaging, well-written, and enjoyable. 

5.  Be unintentionally hilarious.

Utilizing humor in your opening line is awesome, but check yourself to make sure your readers aren’t laughing for all the wrong reasons (this is another reason why betas are important.)  

These examples of the worst opening lines in published literature will show you what I mean – and possibly serve as a pleasant confidence booster as well: 

“As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand – who would take her away from all this – and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.”

– Ali Kawashima

“She sipped her latte gracefully, unaware of the milk foam droplets building on her mustache, which was not the peachy-fine baby fuzz that Nordic girls might have, but a really dense, dark, hirsute lip-lining row of fur common to southern Mediterranean ladies nearing menopause, and winked at the obviously charmed Spaniard at the next table.”

– Jeanne Villa

“As I gardened, gazing towards the autumnal sky, I longed to run my finger through the trail of mucus left by a single speckled slug – innocuously thrusting past my rhododendrons – and in feeling that warm slime, be swept back to planet Alderon, back into the tentacles of the alien who loved me.”

– Mary E. Patrick

“Before they met, his heart was a frozen block of ice, scarred by the skate blades of broken relationships, then she came along and like a beautiful Zamboni flooded his heart with warmth, scraped away the ugly slushy bits, and dumped them in the empty parking lot of his soul.”

– Howie McClennon

If these can get published, so can you.


1.  You know that one really interesting scene you’re itching to write?  Start with that.

Momentum is an important thing in storytelling.  If you set a fast, infectious beat, you and your reader will be itching to dance along with it.  

Similarly, slow, drowsy openers tend to lead to slow, drowsy stories that will put you both to sleep.

I see a lot of posts joking about “that awkward moment when you sit down to write but don’t know how to get to that one scene you actually wanted to write about.”  Write that scene!  If it’s at all possible, start off with it.  If not, there are still ways you can build your story around the scenes you actually want to write.

Keep in mind:  if you’re bored, your reader will almost certainly be bored as well.  So write what you want to write.  Write what makes you excited.  Don’t hold off until later, when it “really gets good.”  Odds are, the reader will not wait around that long, and you’re way more likely to become disillusioned with your story and quit.  If a scene is dragging, cut it out.  Burn bridges, find a way around.  Live, dammit. 

2.  Engage the reader.

There are several ways to go about this.  You can use wit and levity, you can present a question, and you can immerse the reader into the world you’ve created.  Just remember to do so with subtlety, and don’t try too hard;  believe me, it shows.  

Here are some of my personal favorite examples of engaging opening lines: 

“In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." 

– Douglas Adams, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

"It was the day my grandmother exploded.”

– Iain Banks, Crow Road.

“A white Pomeranian named Fluffy flew out of the a fifth-floor window in Panna, which was a grand-new building with the painter’s scaffolding still around it. Fluffy screamed.”

– Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games.

See what I’m saying?  They pull you in and do not let go.

3.  Introduce us to a main character (but do it right.)

“Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough and looked don’t-fuck-with-me enough that his biggest problem was killing time. So he kept himself in shape, and taught himself coin tricks, and thought a lot about how much he loved his wife.”

– Neil Gaiman, American Gods.

This is one of my favorite literary openings of all time, because right off the bat we know almost everything we need to know about Shadow’s character (i.e. that he’s rugged, pragmatic, and loving.)   

Also note that it doesn’t tell us everything about Shadow:  it presents questions that make us want to read more.  How did Shadow get into prison?  When will he get out?  Will he reunite with his wife?  There’s also more details about Shadow slowly sprinkled in throughout the book, about his past, personality, and physical appearance.  This makes him feel more real and rounded as a character, and doesn’t pull the reader out of the story.

Obviously, I’m not saying you should rip off American Gods.  You don’t even need to include a hooker eating a guy with her cooch if you don’t want to.  

But this, and other successful openers, will give you just enough information about the main character to get the story started;  rarely any good comes from infodumping, and allowing your reader to get to know your character gradually will make them feel more real.   

4.  Learn from the greats.

My list of my favorite opening lines (and why I love them) is right here.

5.  Keep moving.  

The toughest part of being a writer is that it’s a rare and glorious occasion when you’re actually satisfied with something you write.  And to add another layer of complication, what you like best probably won’t be what your readers will like best. 

If you refuse to keep moving until you have the perfect first chapter, you will never write anything beyond your first chapter.  

Set a plan, and stick to it:  having a daily/weekly word or page goal can be extremely helpful, especially when you’re starting out.  Plotting is a lifesaver (some of my favorite posts on how to do so here, here, and here.)

Keep writing, keep moving, and rewrite later.  If you stay in one place for too long, you’ll never keep going. 

Best of luck, and happy writing.  <3

When reading we don’t fall in love with a character’s appearnce. We fall in love with theie wards, their thoughts, their hearts, their mistakes and their flaws. We fall in love with every aspect of their souls.

It kinda annoys me how fandom culture is often treated as something “other” to be mocked and laughed at, but being a passionate fan of a sports team is considered totally fine. 


Non-black comic book artists are lazy when it comes to black faces or hair. Especially hair. For almost 50 years comic book writers have preferred to write INTO CANON that Storm has naturally bone-straight hair instead of asking their artists to attempt curly/kinky texture. Other black comic book women have inconsistent, outdated, or even nonsensical hairstyles (when Misty had a huge afro AND relaxed bangs? Wtf was that?!). Hair textures get looser as time goes on (Riri Williams, Helena Bertinelli). Skin tones vary dramatically too. It’s like some of these artist have never even seen a black woman in person.

Black male comic book characters don’t fare that well either (though they are treated better than black women in comics). Hair is either bald or ceaser, with the occasional poorly rendered afro or locs. Faces are usually just same-face white characters with brown skin. Lazy.

If writers want to do justice to black characters they have to make sure the artists do the same. Or, better yet, hire black artists. There are tons of talented black artists right here on Tumblr who can draw, paint, and render circles around “professionals” in the industry. I’m tired, TIRED of seeing varied depictions of white people while black characters all get the same five features.