building story

Had this dream I was stuck in a 50 story building and me and a group of people had to keep going higher up because of waves of water flooding the streets, turns out this giant black demon was standing in the ocean causing it

discommunicator  asked:

Do your characters coexist in a same world/universe?

yeah!! at least for now they do, i enjoy drawing them all together so i don’t really give them all separate worlds haha! (plus im just really bad at story/world building woopsie ;o; )

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

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Desert sky
Dream beneath a desert sky

I think a lot of the mistakes in TLJ come from a fundamental misunderstanding of what audiences want versus what critics want; and a complete misreading of the strengths of the Star Wars saga. 

Star Wars has never been about “subverting your expectations” or “destroying your preconceived notions” or any of that tripe reviewers are trotting out to defend the latest movie. Even at its most subversive (ESB) Star Wars was still about building things, loving your friends, and having hope for a better future. The cultural context was different as well. Coming off of the seventies, when sci-fi was still nascent; that sort of borderline downer ending was genuinely revolutionary. It really did “subvert expectations”. Now every other reboot is about making things darker and less fun, and sci-fi has become a grit fest. There is no destroying preconceived notions. We’ve seen it all before and we’re tired

This is an inherently a constructive series full of destructive occasions. The Death Star may get blown up and planets may get destroyed, but there is an honorable rebellion and real hope for the future. Now it has become a destructive franchise, and the deaths feel cheaper because there is no promise that the Rebellion is still fighting, that hope is just around the corner. Without those “tired” fantasy cliches or actual plot pacing, it’s hard to feel like the story is building up to anything. New directors take glee in tearing down mainstays for the sake of it, killing off characters, and throwing in gratuitous subplots. While this sort of edge might still delight critics, a lot of audience members have gotten tired of it. 

We don’t necessarily want old Star Wars back, we recognize that things change, but we do want the same foundational ethos. We want storytelling beats out of fairytales, wrapped in good special effects and cheesy deliveries, touched by a genuine desire to make something good and exciting that people will enjoy. We want childlike enthusiasm, and genuine care, and a storytelling vision that reaches more than one weird episode. You don’t need to be upending what it means to be a Star Wars story, in fact, that’s the opposite of the solution. This is a children’s story (for all ages), and not a gritty reboot. Learn how to tell it like one, or don’t get upset when people complain. 

Southern/Suburban Gothic Prompts

- The long grass waves in the fields as the sun goes down, making a sound like it’s whispering. You don’t want to know what it’s saying.

- The streetlights always flicker twice – once as you pass under them, and again just after. You wonder if they flicker every time something passes underneath them, but you don’t want to turn and find out.

- He’s the perfect southern gentleman: gelled hair, soft eyes, a gentle accent that makes you almost sleepy. The first time he kisses you, when he bites your bottom lip, you could almost ignore how his teeth feel too sharp. Almost.

- The storefronts wait empty; the wind blows the doors open and shut, open and shut. Everything looks deserted, but you know it’s not. They’re lying in wait, is all.

- You pass an alleyway and there’s something waiting – something with bright eyes and an eager smile. You pass without a second look. As long as you don’t look, you’re safe.

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Star trails over Nebraska

I like to think that Angus still does detective work after Story and Song. It seems like something he was really proud of, so I don’t think he’d give it up completely. Of course, he has so much else going on in his life now that he’s probably more selective with his cases - ones that need to be solved quickly, interesting ones, ones that have everyone else stumped, that kind of thing. And it’s usually not murder cases anymore, so it’s a much safer line of work.

Angus also now has an enviable list of consultants.

“Good morning, Taako! I had a question about a seasoning that I haven’t heard of before, but I thought you might be familiar with it? It’s called - what? It’s not… it’s not that early in the morning, it’s almost noon! …I’m sorry I woke you.”

“Thank you for calling me back, Magnus! I actually had a question about woodworking, specifically… oh? Yes, I remember the new puppies. Wait, really? You mean it? Thank you so much! I, I can’t keep a dog on campus, would it be okay if it stays with you?”

“Mavis, could you ask your dad if Pan worshippers are required to keep a garden? And if a garden of exclusively poisonous plants is acceptable? Oh, no, I have his number it’s just that he’s not answering again…”

“Good evening, Madame Lucretia! I, I was wondering, the view from the moon base lets you see the layout of Neverwinter pretty clearly, right? So, if a street wasn’t marked on any official maps, you’d still be able to see it from there, right? …yes ma’am, school is going very well. It’s not a dangerous case, I promise, and I’m being very careful.”

“Lup? I’m glad I caught you! I had a question, if you don’t mind, about explosives? Do you know how much magic power it would take to level a building, say, three stories high? …Lup? No, no you don’t have to test it! Please don’t actually blow up a building! That would be very bad!”

“Barry, I’m sorry I know this is very sudden but can you please stop Lup from doing whatever it is she’s about to do because I think it might involve blowing up a building and now she won’t answer her stone?”

“Kravitz? I know this is a strange question, but how can you tell a real skeleton from a fake one? …um, thank you for that, but I don’t really want to get that close. It has a sword. And I guess I should have mentioned this first, but it’s actually swinging that sword at me right now? I… would appreciate some help, yes, thank you.”

The actual helpfulness of these consultants is sometimes questionable.

Humans and their Explosions

Humans have been captivated with explosives since their invention. It could be from wanting to be the loudest things around, the feeling of the pressure wave, or being visually and/or audibly pleasing. It could even be an evolved conflict in the brain resulting from the reward and FoF centers activating simultaneously at the sight of fire. Whatever the reason, it is a direct influence on the speed of their technological advancement.

________

Steve: Hey Jim, check out this thing the aliens gave us for the experiment!

Jim: Cool! Want to blow it up to see what happens?

S: Heck yeah!

~1 year and many explosions later~

Altraz: Why where you trying to destroy the thing we gave you for the experiment?

J: At first it was to see what it looked like. After it withstood the first explosion, we wanted to see just what it would take to destroy it.

S: Turns out, only the highest of ordinance humans can safely make stopped it from working.

J: So we reverse-engineered how to make the material it is made of and it is now used in everything from toys to Starship fleets.

A: It’s been a year! How did you figure out how to make it so quickly? It took my species 600 years to perfect it when the Gremforal gifted us it!

S: You can learn a lot about something by knowing how it fails.

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Calm morning drone flight over sea cliff, Dyrhólaey, Iceland

jewish-fangirl-life  asked:

Mom mom mom! How is Nathan gonna keep kosher if he's a werewolf? I think I might have missed whether or not he can control himself while he's a wolf, but how does it work?

True blooded werewolves in Hunger Pangs are better able to control what they do as wolves, with full moons being the exception where the human brain takes a backseat and tries not to cringe too hard at the stuff that goes on. It’s sort of accepted mythology that an agreement with the gods was reached, and that in exchange for their powers they have to go through the change once a month without fail as payment for their long lives and supernatural abilities, and as with any culture when new people come into it, certain new traits and beliefs shifted and changed over the years, and at some point the werewolf culture in Nathan’s part of the world, began to include the practice of keeping kosher during human phases of their life, as a means of separating themselves from actual wolves.

And I’ll level with you at this point, this idea is something purely from my childhood. 

My dad was raised by his Jewish grandmother, he grew up keeping kosher and went on to become a kosher butcher and our household was kept kosher purely out of habit and familiarity even though us kids were all baptized Christian. 

He was also a story teller and liked to mix and match his myths, and at the time when I was getting super into the local Celtic mythology and reading everything my grubby little hands could reach in the library, was also when my dad started writing stories for me and telling me about Great Grandma who was Different from my other Grandma and also why we had two kitchen sinks in the house and two fridges and two sets of knives for everything, and why the family sometimes lapsed into Yiddish when arguing, because I dunno if you’ve ever heard angry Scottish people arguing in Yiddish, but it’s a damn fine way to be expressively ticked off.

One of the stories was a werewolf (wulver in Celtic lore) whose angst came from needing to atone for the things he ate as a wolf, not because he was inherently a monster, but because he was Jewish and couldn’t keep kosher on full moons. And my dad made it funny, he made up stories about all the things this wulver would do to try and keep to his faith, about going to see his Rabbi and asking really specific and weirdly obscure questions and the Rabbi was eventually like listen, kid, whatever is going on, take it up with the Big Guy, you’re doing your best and that’s all you ever can do. If He doesn’t like it, that’s His problem for letting it happen, tell him that…in the meantime…make amends however you see fit for…whatever you got going on. Just be a good person, kiddo, or…whatever you are. G-d will understand.

Which was how my dad worked in the Celtic lore part about how wulvers would guard children and feed starving families and give money to charity and just generally be a swell guy who after the end of every full moon had a tendency to brush his teeth really hard while muttering about being chosen for this life. In the end, the man realizes it is not a curse, but a means to help people who need it the most. What is actually a small inconvenience to him (ie not always being able to keep kosher due to circumstances outwith his control), has prompted him to do great wonderful things for those around him, and perhaps without his monthly suffering he would not be the good, kind person he became. Which I suppose was my father’s heavy handed way of trying to tell me—in the way his grandmother told him—you can overcome suffering, and that which you cannot overcome, you persevere with and try to do good anyway.

A little thickly laid on perhaps, but it stayed with me, evidently, as some 20 years later I write about a werewolf who doesn’t quite know if he believes in gods, but still keeps to their in-world-version of kosher out of habit and looks at the suffering in the world around him and decides kindness is the remedy.

Building a Revolution

Overthrowing a powerful government in the name of the people is a popular plot.  It certainly has a great appeal.

However, before you get all excited about writing a story where the angered people scramble together an army and launch themselves against the government, you might want to take a step back and figure out how they got there in the first place.  A revolution isn’t built around one big event: there are things that lead up to it, and there are smaller frustrations that may go unnoticed, but because it’s a part of everyday life, it’s a constant reminder.  They might not be the things people point to when identifying what started the revolution, but they certainly kept the wood for the fire warm.

At what point did the government begin to ruffle feathers?
It’s going to start out small.  It will be annoying, but dismissed as bearable.  It may cause a bit of an obstacle, but nothing that people can’t work around.  Perhaps the government won’t let working class or its colonies to use the official currency.  Perhaps items of higher quality were held for only certain people the government deemed worthy. 

When did the government start adding to the little things?
For one reason or another, the government starts putting restrictions or laws on more things. They’re still able to work around them, but people will talk to each other about their frustration over it.  It’s also important to remember that the government will have a reason for it.  Maybe the new law/restriction is more cost effective,  Maybe it’s intended for protection.  Some examples might be that the colonies/citizens are limited to government approved materials.  Or they’re banned from traveling to a certain place, and that place happens to be on the fastest path to another colony/town.

What started sparking outrage?
Perhaps the government overspent on something, or they went to war and are now low on funds, so they introduce a tax on an item that’s considered an everyday luxury.  Or perhaps a ban is introduced and it affects something that everyone normally gets, but not necessarily a need.  There’s still not enough to pick up arms and fight, and the people might at this point lobby with the government to reconsider some of its strategies. 

When did it start picking up speed?
Perhaps the first tax isn’t bringing in enough funds.  Or the government feels the people aren’t paying as much as they should.  So another tax is introduced.  Or perhaps the ban isn’t that effective and so another ban is introduced to keep people from finding loopholes.  Maybe the government has to ban certain imports.  Anger with the government is increasing at this point.  The citizens/colonists may understand why the government is doing it, but they know they’re getting the raw deal.  Attempts to get the government’s attention become more aggressive, but there isn’t harming of other people.

How does the government respond?
So the government responds to the people’s cries of outrage, but not in the way they expected.  Another tax and/or ban is introduced, or even a new law.  Perhaps citizens/colonists are forced to use a material they are opposed to.  Perhaps the government realizes that if it doesn’t do something, it’s going to lose control over its citizens/colonies.  The militia/police force is increased to keep an eye for rebellious acts.  Arrests are made daily, and the people might be released if nothing is found.  Perhaps the government starts forbidding certain things to be said in the media, so people are forced to rely on word of mouth, and must do so carefully because of the increase in arrests.  Perhaps at this time, the idea of revolting is mentioned while others insist on trying to be diplomatic.

When does the physical conflict happen?
Perhaps there was a scuffle with the police force.  Either the citizens/colonists attacked first, or the police/militia acted aggressively.  Perhaps there was a massacre of some kind.  Maybe there were incidents that didn’t result in injury or death, but it came close to it.  Perhaps the government or citizens/colonists made a precautionary move that made the other party highly uncomfortable.  As the incidents, whether of violent or nonviolent nature, increase in number, the intensity also increases.  Influential people of the citizens/colonists begin to suggest a revolution, or to declare independence.  The government begins to realize they’re losing control unless they take more drastic measures.

When does the idea of a revolution actually become a threat?
Revolting or declaring independence becomes something that many people agree with.  The government perhaps realizes this and so starts making laws or regulations to keep it from happening.  Weaponry might become illegal for citizens/colonists so they won’t have anything to fight with if/when a revolution actually happens.  Curfews might be enforced.  Those outspoken about the government might be tailed.  The influential people work hard on a new government or system to replace the oppressive government.  Perhaps they just plan to outright revolt instead of declaring independence.  But either way, the citizens/colonists are only one word from the government away from declaring war.

It may seem like a lot to work on, but there are events leading up to the revolution that will resound with some people more than others.  Or there are events that will become a bitter memory that will help give some depth to each individual character.

Some things to consider when building the revolution:
It is not as black and white as it may seem.  Both sides are going to be guilty of doing something wrong; it’s just going to be more obvious in the government.  There are going to be people among the citizens/colonists who side with government and they’re not necessarily going to be bad guys.  When creating the conflict, keep in mind why people would choose one side over the other.
Stages will overlap.  A revolution isn’t going to be cleanly cut as posted above.  There are several times when a “stage” will mix with another “stage”, while others may blend right into the next one.  Timelining the process and placing each event can be extremely helpful as you try to keep events straight.
The revolters are most likely going to be the underdog.  They may have experienced people on their side, but if the revolution is going to made up of average citizens/colonists, they’re going to be at a disadvantage.  The government is going to be in control of an army and other resources.  The revolters are going to have to work to achieve their goals.