by the way it only changes color if your little post boxes are colored or have a design

Last time I suggested a series of read-throughs once you finish the first draft to give you an overview of things that you need to focus on when you go in for the rewriting and editing. Sometimes, you have an entire scene whose essence is generally right, but maybe the order or the wording or the focus isn’t quite right. Even worse, you try to take a stick and scissors to it and it’s not doing anything, just staring at you with that bad prose. Here’s a technique I’ve found helpful, and hopefully you will too.

Step One: Change the font size to the smallest you can still bear to read, change the margins to 0.5 all the way around, and hit print on just that section. These changes will help you save paper, always a plus.

Step Two: Grab anywhere from 3-5 different colors of highlighters or markers. Designate the colors to the following plot arcs:

  • main plot
  • subplot
  • main character development

If you have more than one subplot, use a different color for each; same goes for if you have more than one main character. Be very discerning about who constitutes a main character and who is really a secondary with a large role acting as a subplot for the book. Try to whittle it down to those 3-5 colors. Less is preferable to more. What you’re going to do is break the story down into its most basic components. Write yourself a key/legend for the colors so you don’t get lost. For my piece that’s pictured, blue identifies the main plot, pink the subplot, and orange signifies character development for my main character. Transitional sentences that don’t have anything to do with anything except to facilitate scene or topic changes I left uncolored.

Step Three: Highlight each sentence according to its function in the story. Often times, whole paragraphs will be all one color, but every now and then, there will be a multicolored paragraph, or a color change halfway through. Be sure to color accordingly. Don’t get lazy and assume.

Step Four: Cut the story into pieces according to color.

Sometimes you’ll be left with one sentence awkwardly hanging out on its own slip, like that pink one right above the blue section in my piece. Try to keep things all in connected pieces of paper. If one paragraph goes onto the top of the next page and it’s the same color, tape them to make them one slip. You can see that a little bit with the blue paragraph.

Step Five: Switch things up! Move the pieces of your scene-puzzle around, keeping in mind that you’re trying to streamline this prose and also see what things simply don’t fit. By highlighting, you should be able to better see what things feel out of place or sections that might come off as choppy. Try moving things in a way that attempts to put related story lines together. Obviously not all the sections of each line need to be together, but the more you can connect things that go with each other, the smoother your scene will flow. Of course, there may also be sections you choose to remove because they no longer go in this scene. That’s okay. Set those aside and keep fiddling. Transition sentence can always be rewritten to fit the new flow, so don’t worry too much if right now the rearranged pieces don’t entirely fit. Sentence beginnings can be altered to fit with their new place, and sections you decide to remove from this scene can be fit into other places in you novel if you think they’re still necessary.

Step Six: Implement the changes into your digital copy, changing transitions and the little details to fit. This may include changing actions or setting to fit with your new order. My scene started out with my character on a rooftop, then she hopped into the street and had a conversation, then went up the street to observe something, hopped back on the rooftops to have another conversation, hopped back down into the streets to witness something else. In the new scene, she observes something, has her conversation in the street, witnesses something, then gets up on the roof and has her conversation. Those little changes about where she is had to be made, but it takes only a few word changes to clarify those.

Here’s a tip: Be very discerning and tough on your prose. When you are deciding if a slip needs to be kept or not, consider if there’s a better way to incorporate the information. If there is, chuck that slip. This technique allows you see if the focus of the scene is on what matters and not on something else.

Here’s what my piece started out looking like:

Here’s how it ended up:

(side note: the large white chunk at the top of the second column should be colored entirely blue, however I knew I needed to simply rewrite that whole section, so I left it uncolored.) Yes, some pieces stayed the same, and I didn’t get rid of a lot (the slips set aside at the bottom are ones that were removed), but what I was able to do was refocus on what mattered, remove excess fat, and recognize where things didn’t flow. Look at the first column of the top picture! What a mess! In the end, the scene smoothed out, and I felt a lot better about the whole section. When I first learned this technique I thought it was ridiculous and that it would never help, but if you’re really, truly stuck on a scene and can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, try this out.

(still need help? not sure how this would ever help you? my ask box is always open.)

River Song's Wardrobe (Updated for “The Husbands of River Song”!)

So after my post on Martha Jones’ wardrobe got unexpectedly loved, and before I wrote about Rose’s Series 1 clothes, I thought I’d continue to put my two favorite things together (costume analysis and Doctor Who) and see what I could come up with. Because this is my specialty, yo, and it makes me happy.

So: let’s do River Song!

Now, there’s a small difficulty here. Either I can analyze River’s outfits in the order we see them, thus revealing the writer/viewer’s arc of her character’s trajectory, or we can look at them in the order River wore them from her perspective, going all in-universe and watching River’s wardrobe progression in the order it happened for her. I’ve decided to go with the second object, because then we can admire how the costume team managed to keep certain threads (oops, pun) consistent in a story that’s all out of order and out of time. And then you can go back and piece it together in order if you want! What nerds we are!

So, anyway, what’s River wearing when we first meet her? Well.

I’m sure it’s the height of baby-fashion, whatever it is. One nice anon pointed out that it looks like something called a Halo sleep sack, though, so there’s a thing for you. Baby fashion, guys. It’s complex.

River/Melody appears a few more times as a child, but her clothes are so little seen that I can’t really build anything solid off of them. River’s wardrobe only really starts to come into its own when she’s under the name of Mels, larking about with her parents:

What a lovely gif. You can’t see the outfit terribly well (because I chose this gif over closer shots, sue me), but it’s a gray tank and a black leather jacket. Not much to go on, but tank tops tend to be for active people and leather jackets always signal “tough person,” unless David Tennant is wearing one and looking like a wet adorable rat.

He is so smoll.

But the color palette for Mels’ clothes is already important: despite being a very colorful person, River sticks to a neutral palette most of the time, relying most heavily on beigey colors or muted earth tones, often with a shot of black to spice it up.

Kinda like the above outfit, actually. While we’re looking at it, note the pattern on her dress: how weird it is, kind of skeletal. It’s bold, but not an easily identifiable print like polka dots or stripes or florals. It looks like rows of spines, or barbed fencing. Something fierce and weird and not to be trusted.

Ah, good, now Alex Kingston is wearing it! Look at how the fit changes: that’s the River Song shape, right there, from the knee-length hem to the v-neck neckline to the drapey bodice. There’s usually a lot of draping in her dresses; I think it’s to add to the drama of it all, that appearance she has of living life on a very great stage.

In the above picture, River’s showing off her great lace-up boots, too. Here is someone who came dressed for murder. She totally looked in the mirror today and said “And that’s how an assassin looks!” to herself, while dancing to punk rock. Or to the screams of horrified civilians, as happens with her next outfit.

Keep reading

Bullet Journaling

If you’ve been in the studyblrcommunity for very long you’ve probably heard of a style of planner called abullet journal. At its core it’s designed to be a catch-all for the varioustasks, appointments, thoughts, and lists you create as you go about your day, allowing you to quickly jot down a note or to-do and be able to remember and either complete or expand on it later–if you want to learn more, you can go to the creator’s website, bulletjournal.com.

However, as with any system, everyone has taken and modified it in their own way to fit their needs. I’ve taken the basic concept and modified it to fit my needs as a student on a quarter system, with work, classes, and extracurriculars to keep track of.

I use a Piccadilly essential notebook for my bullet journal. It’s essentially a bargain Moleskine; it’s about a third of the price, but likely about as durable. It also has better paper, in my opinion. Mine’s a little run-down simply from being dropped and thrown into my backpack over six months but it’s held together pretty well, considering how much I use it. Mine also has graph paper, as I find it easier to make my calendar pages and keep everything nicely lined up with all the little squares. I also use post-it flags with mine to mark important pages: purple is this quarter’s schedule and classes, blue is the current month, and green is “project pages”, i.e. any lists or notes I’ll need to access often

My index is on the first real page of the bullet journal. Looking back I wish I’d skipped to the next page, as this one is attached a little funny, but oh well. I mark down all my months, quarters, and list/note pages in here. Even after seven months it’s not a very long list as I tend to use my journal as more of a day-to-day planner than a book of lists, so it’s mostly just months and quarters her

For each term of school I make a quarter spread. Here I put down my weekly schedule for that quarter, including classes, work, and clubs, as well as brief information on each of my classes. You can see I had kind of a packed schedule this past quarter! For each class I like to write down the professor’s name and what sort of assignments and tests we’ll have; for example my scientific computing class (green) had only biweekly quizzes and homework, while math (orange) had midterms, a final, and weekly homework, which I noted. From this spread onwards everything is color-coded. Work is always highlighted and sorority events and tasks are purple, and anything super important, such as exams or deadlines, is red. Classes tend to rotate between the same three or four colors (because I like them and chose them to contrast against each other); for this quarter scientific computing was green, mechanics of materials was blue, dinosaurs started out pink but went to light blue (I got a new pen) and linear algebra was orange. Next quarter I’ll use three of those same colors for my new classes

On to the monthly spread. I like to do this sort of visual calendar instead of the one originally described for the bullet journal, as I’m more of a visual person and this kind of calendar helps me see amounts of time better. Once more things are color-coded, though I tend to just use red, purple, and highlighter, as only larger events get put on this calendar. I also like to put a diagonal line through completed days so I can more easily track the passage of time (I just really like marking things off, okay). The opposing page is the monthly overview; it tends to be pretty short because most of my tasks and events are due/planned weekly. This is really just for longer-running tasks, ones which don’t have to be done within a short amount of time, and for making note of events past this month. The original bullet journal system doesn’t really do too well in terms of planning past the current month, so I’ve adapted it to have future events marked on the monthly pages. Since I don’t really plan out further than about two months in advance this works just fine.

This is my main change to the original system: the weekly spread. Since my homework is due weekly and I have very short terms of only about 10 weeks, I tend to think more in terms of weeks than months; ergo I needed some sort of weekly to-do list. This list has EVERYTHING due that current week, as well as things I should be thinking about/working on for the next week, and events for the current and next weeks. You can see my color coding system in action here, with important things marked in red, and everything else marked in its appropriate color. You can also see my symbols for different things. If a task has a couple of smaller subtasks (like studying for my CEE exam) I’ll move those task boxes in one square so they’re nested under that task. I also tend to write the shorthand of my classes in front of each task as well as color coding them; it’s probably overkill, but I started out doing that and just kind of stuck with it.

For most short-term lists I’ll just use a post-it note or a page from a notepad, but for things I’ll need to reference for a while or I want in a safer place, I’ll make a new page for them in my notebook. I usually skip pages between weeks and months so I’ll often just use one of those for the page instead of going ahead of my current week. Here’s a couple examples of these kinds of pages.

A list of things I need to work on as chair of my sorority’s social media committee. As you can tell I’ve been a bit swamped with other stuff and unable to work on these much, heh. Note how this is a mix of tasks and notes, sometimes with subnotes fleshing out a certain task.

A page of brainstorming for a job interview last fall. I basically wrote down all sorts of examples of my various strengths and successes, as well as tried to think of possible questions and how I could answer them truthfully yet stressing my qualifications. I felt a bit more prepared after doing this sort of brainstorming, as I was able to more easily answer a question because I’d thought about examples beforehand. (For those of you who are curious, I did get the job and have been happily working it these past few months :) )

My study plan for finals during winter quarter. I basically wrote down all sorts of tasks I wanted to do to prepare myself and from that figured out what to do each day to use my time most efficiently. After I took each final I would color in all the boxes for that class, even if I hadn’t fully finished that task, and put a check next to the name of the class. It was a nice way to see my progress. I’m happy to say I did very well on all of my classes this quarter; only one was slightly lower than expected, but for the most part I was very happy!

And that’s my bullet journal! Let me know if you’d like more explanation/pictures of anything, or have questions! I’d be happy to oblige. :)

bespectacled-sword-fighter  asked:

Do you have any advice for people starting to fuse?

Sure, why not?  Usually I answer asks privately, but I figured I’d post this one.  You know, for posterity.

Beginning Splice Advice

1. Watch some tutorials.  I gather there are plenty of them on youtube, but I really recommend this one by the great Samson of thatsplicingadventure.  It was what got me going in the right direction when I was starting out.

2. Practice, practice, practice.  I didn’t start out very good at splicing, as a casual browse into the early days of this blog can attest.  As of this post, I’ve made over two thousand splices, and that’s the only reason I have attained the modest level of skill that I have now.  Have faith in yourself, keep splicing, and publish as you go.

3. Be patient.  In my experience, the divide between a good idea and a great sprite usually consists of taking the time to make it work.  Pixel by pixel, if necessary.  Resist the urge to throw up your hands and say “good enough” when it’s still not quite right.  If it means taking a break and coming back to it (it often does), then I say so be it.

That’s the big stuff. One bonus piece of beginner advice: 4. Don’t resize parts to make them fit.  It never looks good without heavy modification, and by the time you’ve made it look right, you might as well have just made it from scratch. Either let it go, or find some other way.  I’ll drop my method for changing part size into the advanced splicing advice below.

Advanced Splice Advice

The question was about people just getting started, but I’ll throw my more finicky bits of advice gleaned from hundreds of hours of splicing in here too.  Saves me having to make another post down the line.  A lot of this advice is stuff that I forget about too, sometimes, but when I remember it my splices invariably look better.

5. Watch your outlines.  A lot of splices, especially those that have been heavily scratched, often have outlines with little contrast and the end result looks kind of washed out or unfinished.  A crisp outline really makes the splice look solid and complete.  This does not mean every outline should be heavy black, but a lot of outlines could stand to be darker than they are.  

As a sidenote, bear in mind that the Pokemon designers used different shades of black on the outlines of different ‘mons.  This means that when you copy parts from one critter onto another, sometimes you have two different shades of black, making the final result look a little sloppy.  Pick one and make sure it’s consistent throughout the piece.

6. Pay attention to shadows.  This is one of the most frustrating parts of splicing for me, but it makes a huge difference.  Make sure your shadows make sense, that it looks like the splice is being lit from one light source and the shadows aren’t scattered all over.  Also, a few well-placed tiny shadows (often just one or two pixels) around the edges and between parts can add a lot of depth and make all the difference in your finished picture.

7. Make friends with the Edit Colors button, the one to the right of of the color palette on your Paint program.  Often you won’t be able to find the color you need on the sprite that you’re copying from and you need to make a new one.  Start with a base color from your sprite (or two; see below) and modify as needed.  To make it darker or lighter for shading purposes, adjust the luminosity (Lum) by 20-30 points.  Sometimes you need to tweak the saturation, especially if you’re making a whole range of new shades, but mostly you can leave it alone.

To make a perfect-every-time transitional color to put between two color blocks, use the Red, Green and Blue boxes on the right.  Look at each of your two colors, and note their Red, Green and Blue values.  Find the mean value for each (i.e., add the Red values together and divide by two, then do the same for Green and Blue), and input them.  Presto, the perfect middle color.  This works both for colors that are quite similar and those that are very different.

8. That thing I mentioned above, about changing part sizes.  Like I said before, avoid the Resize button. Instead, use the pixels that are already there and either expand or contract them manually.  That is, to make the piece bigger, divide the part into two or more pieces, spread them apart to the size you want, and then fill in the empty space.  To make a piece smaller, remove rows and columns of pixels, then move the pieces together.  Sometimes it takes a few tries to get this exactly right, but I promise it will look better than a resized part.

9. Practice, practice, practice.  I know I said this before, but it applies equally to beginners and masters.  I still learn something new with every splice, and so will you!  Try out different techniques, take on challenges that you once thought were too difficult.  Even revisit some of your crappy old splices and see how much better you can make them now!

That’s all I’ve got tonight, I think. I’ll probably come up with something important that I forgot moments after I hit the post button.  But that’s ok.  Thanks for the question, bespectacled-sword-fighter.

anonymous asked:

How are the mystery skulls character designs bad??? Not being confrontational I just want to know what makes good and bad character design

ummm ok….. im gonna try to explain this as best i can but it might come off as more petty than anything, im not an expert on the subject but i HAVE taken a class on character design and tend to be pretty good at it myself so i hope i know what im talking about at least a little bit.

first up

this guy always bothered me the most. theres just too much going on here. which isnt to say a cluttered design cant work, just look at any given jrpg. but the details arent streamlined, and in my opinion dont mesh together well. the blocks of dark color are scattered in a way that looks clunky and distracting, and speaking of the colors the use of two completely different shades of orange (one derived from yellow and one from red) just doesnt work for me, at least not with the straight white of the shirt and cool blue of the robot arm.

my opinion on how to make this design better: either quarantine the darker colors to one area of the body (dark pants, dark hair, dark shirt, etc) to act as a focal point, or get rid of that element altogether. also, if youre going for a monochromatic color palette, stay true to that. use a warmer shade of gray for the robot arm, maybe derived from red instead of blue, and add a little yellow to the white shirt. or, if you want to keep the blue as a complimentary color to orange, spread that around the design more or center it in some way.

another rule of thumb with character design is the importance of weight distribution and keeping a consistent silhouette. think about how many designs youve seen of top-heavy characters with much skinnier legs, or bottom-heavy characters that resemble pears. that helps balance out the design in a way that isnt happening here. the way his shirt meets his pants really bothers me because of the way it fans back out at the bottom without keeping a consistent slope. an easy fix would either be to widen his hips/shrink the width of the shirt so they slope into each other, or change the pants he’s wearing to skinny jeans.

this girl’s not as bad, just kinda boring imo. again im not a fan of the different shades of blue and over-saturation, but theres nothing as distracting as on orange guy. she also has a better silhouette because of her curvier figure. this could be a rough draft of a good design, i think! just maybe like, consider the amount of accessories she has and choose between the skirt and the scarf, since those both kind of interrupt the rest of her outfit. also, if her glasses are going to be purple, put purple somewhere else on her design. also add a solid dark area somewhere, otherwise her design just looks flat.

i hate this dog. i dont even care about being mean when it comes to this dog. this dog is terrible. honestly it wouldnt be half as bad if it wasnt for the mohawk, because then it would just be a normal dog with some cool shades, and it would also help the silhouette to be more streamlined. the legs should not be the same width as the head. that just makes it look like a box. its bad.

now this guy. dont get worried, as ive said this is actually the only design i like, thanks to all the points i listed earlier. hes got a good, well-balanced silhouette, and simple colors that work well together. the fact that most of his entire body is black helps draw attention to his face and hands and helps them stand out. the use of purple throughout the design is also very effective, since the bigger areas are kept to just one portion of his body, but the color is kept consistent thanks to the subtle use in the shading and lineart. that all helps harmonize the design, so he looks like he was drawn all at once instead of just throwing a bunch of random elements together.

to top this post off im just gonna share a lil thing from our good friend craig mccracken. check out the way the shapes of the characters are simplified and how they harmonize with each other, think about the distribution of light and dark shading, where the weight of each design sits, etc. 

i typed a lot more than i was planning to but i hope this little critique helps you out!

encychloepaedia  asked:

Firstly thank you! I have recently showed my friends A Tell Tale Vlog and Kissing in the Rain (Anne and Gilbert caused a lot of fan-girling). We love it :) Secondly, what bits of advice would you give someone thinking of adapting a literary work into vlogs?

Hi, chloraffe!

Thanks so much for spreading the shipwreckedcomedy love and thanks for the question! I’m flattered you’re asking for my input on the subject. I’m sure berniesu and inkingideas would have more to say, as their directing work is more focused in literary vlog adaptations at the moment. But since you asked, here are my thoughts on adapting literary work into vlogs/webisodes, with pictures to keep the commentary interesting!

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries made me first fall in love with literary vlog adaptations, but I have to credit periodsfilms for showing me there’s more than one way to vlog a literary adaptation with their Lil Women microseries. (Fun fact, their creators who I’ve never met hello also hail from my alma mater, Carnegie Mellon. Which has no film school, go figure.)

I really loved the way Periods Films used improv actors and the juxtaposition of modern language with period costumes, so I stole that element of their series for A Tell Tale VlogI also loved Mary Kate Wiles in LBD and the spin-off Lydia vlogs, so I stole her for our next series. I guess the takeaway here is to watch as many things as you can, and then steal your favorite parts.

Casting well is key - I love love love working with actors who have strong improv backgrounds, because it makes directing them an adventure and an exercise in the hardest lesson for writer/directors to learn, letting go of your own words to see what you can create with the other awesome people on your team.

Another thing I find important when casting actors is finding someone who can bring a character’s flaws and quirks to life without making them a total caricature, which can be pretty difficult. I think that’s what made me first notice marykatewiles in LBD, that her version of Lydia was at once hilarious and dimensional, something I’d never seen in a P&P adaptation before. Mary Kate is also fantastic at listening to her co-stars and playing off of their performances, which is kind of a rare quality to find in an actor (it really shouldn’t be.)

seanpersaud is similarly brilliant at portraying awkward male leads with unexpected dimensions, and finding new ways to do it every time (very helpful, since I only seem to write male leads of the awkward variety.) Sean is also a phenomenal improviser, and so many of the best lines from Kissing in the Rain and A Tell Tale Vlog can be attributed to something he came up with in the moment. sineadpersaud is also a fantastic improv actress and writer, and pretty terrific singer to boot, so there must be something in the water in that family.

I’d also say as a filmmaker, to always be conscious of what’s in frame and what that says about your characters. Production designers are great, but even when I don’t have one on hand, I usually try to make sure everything in the picture makes sense for the characters.

We like our production design at shipwreckedcomedy to be a little more heightened than production design for the real world in general, but Jen (my wonderful production designer) and I do always try to keep things from seeming “placed” - that is, a prop or set piece that calls attention to itself in frame, in a way that doesn’t make any sense with the characters or story. I don’t mind having statement set pieces like Poe’s massive portrait of himself in A Tell Tale Vlog, I just want to be sure they make sense in the picture.

I have no picture for this next one, but sound is important. Audience members can’t always tell when you’ve lit a scene imperfectly or if there was a camera jitter, but if your sound is bad then even my mom will bring it up when she calls to talk about the latest episode. Invest in basic sound rentals if you can - if you can’t, then try and get a camera with decent on-board sound and enhance it in post.

With regards to cameras, always go for good lighting/experienced cinematographers over just a fancy expensive camera package. A little light will do wonders, and onthewallnow can talk about that much more intelligently than me. Color correction in post is also a thing that can help, and something people forget about too often. Color profiles can define and completely change the look/tone of your video, so your job to pay attention to everything you see in your picture doesn’t end after you finish shooting.

Speaking of post-production, I favor fast edits and short episodes. There are so many great lines that I’ve cut from A Tell Tale Vlog/A Tell Tale Birthday and unused takes of Kissing in the Rain, mostly because funny doesn’t always service the story as well as fast, and if you have too many punchlines/one-liners, it can get a little indulgent. I’d always rather leave the audience wanting more than run the risk of overstaying our welcome. Same goes for editing kissing scenes, incidentally.

With literary adaptation specifically, I try to keep the essence of the characters in mind without staying too married to the source material. It frees up the actors to make their own creative choices, and it also keeps me from worrying that I’m trying and likely failing to live up to the many adaptations that have come before me.

You’d have to ask rachelkiley or berniesu or inkingideas about their thoughts on adapting longer-form source material, since my own literary adaptations have all been fairly episodically contained so far. (I have commitment issues, though I’d take the plunge for the right project, given the right resources.) From what I can tell, long-form adaptation is a tricky thing to pull off and great writing is essential (as it always is.)

And finally, transmedia! That’s a fun new vocab word and it does fascinate me. What I think is so so so inherently cool about this corner of the internet is that there’s an audience that’s willing to go the extra mile and engage in real life with these universes we create, long after the videos end. pemberleydigital and eyrequotes have done a great job with using social media to add another dimension to their characters. We have a pretty small transmedia team at shipwreckedcomedy (read: I am our transmedia team, with assistance from emilyhopebunny on fan-canon summaries), so we do things a bit differently. We used our official Shipwrecked Comedy twitter/tumblr/youtube comments to respond in-character during the run of A Tell Tale Vlog, but that didn’t feel like the right route for our characters in Kissing in the Rain.

But that’s the great thing about having a fanbase this engaged and social media that’s so brand new - there’s more than one way to transmedia. Hence, the Kissing in the Rain Fan-Canon Tumblr Experiment, which has so far exceeded my expectations in so so many ways, I can’t even. It’s given us the opportunity to expand the KitR story universe in ways that wouldn’t have ever been possible in video form, and it’s given us a way to collaborate with our audience in a way that actively plays with the power and talent of fandom. Anyone who hasn’t yet explored our experiment in transmedia should consider checking out this rad post by belovedcreation, which is pretty helpful and cool and I like it.

That’s about all the advice I feel qualified to give at this point, so I hope it’s been helpful and thanks again for asking! Keep watching and commenting, I love hearing from you! As always, if any other questions come up, my ask box is open and I also answer quick questions on Twitter.

Much love,

Yulin Kuang
youtube.com/shipwreckedcomedy
youtube.com/yulinisworking