doctor's writing

Robbie's Awakening

I got inspired to write this after I saw all of the stuff about Robbie. I made it where he can’t nessicarily “see” but he can still sense where things are- like a snake. He uses his scent to be able to “see” in a way. Also, the two “blobs” are Marvin and Schneeple.

Robbie remembers complete black, no light to be found for miles around him. He remembers floating amongst this blackness, limbs limp if they had actually been there. He remembers feeling nothing aside for maybe just… a weightless. He remembers feeling free. Free of thought, pain, energy, everything.

And then he remembers the bright and blinding light. He remembers how it pierced the blackness above him even though there was no real sense of direction. He remembers the light spreading and growing until he could no longer stand, feeling pain after so long.

One moment he is feeling nothing, and the next he is feeling too much at once.

The hard surface beneath him was the first thing he made of, back laid out across it. He felt the cold air next, brushing against any bare skin. And then he felt the pain.

Oh the pain.

It was everywhere, spreading from his eyes to his toes. It was a stinging and aching and burning pain all at once. It was most predominantly in his chest and brain, however, pounding and exploding and imploding.

He sat up, screaming, able to hear and smell the things around him. He could not, however, too focused on the pain to pause and smell or hear. He could not see when if he focused, however. There was just a haze of different shades of red around him which grew brighter with each intake of air through his nose.

He felt…. hungry. No, starving, ravished. Any word that describes hunger would be used in that moment because he wanted- no, needed, food. And he could smell it around him and maybe eating could help take away the pain-

He roared and leaped at the first source of food around him, this being a blood of deep red. He latched onto the now squirming chunk of meat, digging what he could call jagged nails into its flesh. There was another scream that did not belong to him but he continued, biting down on the first area of the meat e could reach. This enlightened another scream but he didn’t care and he tears the meat from the chunk just as the other blob runs over, knocking him from the other.

He growled, hitting what he could hardly recall to be a wall. He curled up and chewed at the meet he’d gotten, feeling a tooth pop from his gums and fall to the ground nearby. He didn’t care, though. He was too hungry.

“What the hell is he?!” Something like a screech hit his ears and he flinched, curling further in on himself to try and staunch the loud noise. “That’s not Robbie!”

“I- I don’t know what happened!” Another screeching noise and he roars once more, having finished the piece of meat he’d had. But… he’s still starving and he needs more! “I did as the spell told me!”

“He just bit a huge fucking piece of my shoulder off!” The first shrieked and he can’t stand it anymore. He snarls and pushes back up, nearly falling over when he hears and feels something pop in his flesh stick. The blobs are nearby in front of him and they’re brighter, more red. Especially the one he’d bitten…. and he can smell a delicious smell coming from it. A metallic tang and his mouth is watering. “Marvin, what the hell did we make?!”

But before the they blob could screech again he launched forward with all of the speed he could muster, tackling the better smelling blob to the ground. He bent down to try and bite at it’s meat again but something prevented him from doing so, something pressing against his neck and keeping him from reaching the flesh. He could feel the pain in his stomach and chest growing but shrinking in his brain and he feels that that is good.

“Get him off!” The blob beneath him shrieked and he continues to bite and snap at it despite being unable to reach it.

Something slamming into his side sends him flying off of the blob once more but he catches himself this time, feeling something snap off from his hand. He lets out another roar and goes darting back forward only to be knocked back once more.

“We have to knock him out somehow!” The second blob screeched and he turns his attention towards it because it’s still up unlike the first one. He hisses at it and crawls towards it.

“Hit his head!” He first screeched and the second is moving and is now holding something in a darker red color just as he reaches it-

Something hits the side of his head. He skids away from both blobs, a new and terrible pain in his brain. He lets out a pained noise, the shades of red slowly fading around him.

“I’m sorry, Robbie,” shrieked the second blob and it’s nearer. If only could reach it- “I’ll fix you, I swear.”

And then the world fades.

@magic-marvin-protection-patrol @tylerscheid

Did I do good writing from a zombie’s POV??? I tried making it as crazy and hard to follow as possible.

Of Magic, Miracles, and Moonlight - chapter three

a Strangebatch fic by sobeautifullyobsessed

Doctor Stephen Strange’s life has settled into a fulfilling pattern; even as Master of the New York Sanctum, he continues his studies in the mystic arts, self-training with the library that the Ancient One amassed in her years as Sorcerer Supreme. An old alliance forged by the Ancient One brings an unexpected request to him, and he is duty bound to fulfill it. Along the way he meets with some pleasant surprises–and discovers that his heart is not immune to the effects of the gentlest sorts of magic.

from Chapter Three on AO3 & FFN

he removed several books from his pack and set two of them in front of her. “Now, these texts provide an introduction to clairvoyance and divination.  I want you to take some time over the next couple of days, read them through.”  Teyla picked one up, and then the other, running her fingers across the titles embossed on the covers.  “I’ve bookmarked some sections that I think have a direct bearing on what we’re trying to accomplish here,” he told her, “And if you feel ready, I encourage you to try what exercises you find worth your efforts.”

“I will do my best,” she nodded, “Master Salma said I will be mapping unchartered territory.”  She looked down, quietly admitting, “I find it all…very…intimidating.”

“No one will be judging you, Teyla.”  She met his eyes at that, searching for assurances.  “I promise,” he added, “And if we’re lucky, Kamar-Taj will learn as much from you, and you from us.”

Relief dawned first in her eyes, and then spread softly across her face, “I must admit my mentors on Hadeeth were frustrated when they could not provide teaching enough for me to harness and refine my raw ability for divination.  I pray that your efforts to guide me will not be a waste of your valuable time.”

“No effort to teach is wasted when the student is sincere in their desire to learn,” he assured her, his voice low and persuasive, “And that is something I’ve learned as both a student and a teacher myself—and not just of the mystics arts.  My medical training was more than a decade long process.”

Strange pulled a plain, leather bound book and pen from the side pocket of his rucksack, “One of the simplest things you can do is keep a record of your dreams.  The texts advise you do so nightly—or at least as often as you are able to recall your dreams upon awakening.”  He slid the items across the table to her.  “Whatever details you can remember without concentrating too hard—otherwise your waking mind will try to add definition to things that don’t make sense…”

Teyla nodded, growing excited, “Why yes—immediately record the images and the events of my dreams.  How have I not thought of this myself!  To keep a…a dream…”

“…journal,” they finished together.  She grinned at him, “Your wisdom has already surpassed that of my Hadeethan teachers.”

He chuckled, “As much as I’d like to, I can’t take credit for the idea, Teyla; it’s a basic beginning in most of these texts.  Keep in mind, your best results will come from writing down your first thoughts, no matter how confusing or jumbled they may be.  Don’t give your mind a chance to filter or rearrange them in a search for meaning.”

“Yes, yes,” she murmured, “I understand…”

“And your feelings, Teyla.  How you felt throughout the dream—and how you feel upon awakening.  Even if you wake mid-dream, or in the middle of the night,” he stressed, “Write it down.  This should help us see patterns in your dreaming, and eventually enable you to distinguish normal dreams from the prophetic ones.”

And there it was:  that light in her eyes and upon her face that reminded him of the simple joy of having an avenue of learning open up before him.  As exacting as his medical studies had been, there had always been the deep satisfaction of just knowing he was on the path to knowledge meant for him.  And again as he began his studies at Kamar-Taj.  As a physician, Stephen had seen that light from time to time, in his best student interns—and had forgotten it could be equally satisfying to the teacher who invoked it in their charges.  From a task he’d initially dreaded, he was suddenly glad the situation had forced him to become Teyla’s mentor

Read the whole story on AO3 & FFN

You know, there is some really dark shit in Doctor Who that sometimes seems to get glossed over. The Cybermen, for one. I can’t imagine anything worse that becoming a Cyberman. Canary Wharf must have been a nightmare no episode or story can even begin to capture; I wonder if Big Finish will try one day?

But also the Toclafane. What a terrifying story - the last of humanity, crash landing on a dark, inhospitable planet they thought would be their salvation, turning themselves into cold machines to survive. Then traveling back in time to destroy their ancestors. Wow. That is horrifying. So dark and depressing, and with no acknowledgment that that particular future could change. How awful.

Anyway. I’m sure you can guess what I’m writing about this afternoon! Question: do you think that Ianto, Tosh, Gwen, and Owen voted for Harold Saxon? What happened to the ArchAngel Network after TYTNW? And how did UNIT handle the coverup of events on the Valiant??



Here’s to the newbies just starting out, the ones discovering their ability to twist and bend plots, characters and places to their will for the first time,

To the old faithfuls, who have kids at home and a full-time job but somehow still find the time to make us forget for a while,  

To the students who publish one-shots and sagas in-between study sessions,

To the ones who posted that one fic years ago and have since moved on, but whose story meant (and still means) so much to so many readers,  

To those of you who publish short, little things that pack the emotional punch of a freight train,

To the ones who update faithfully, and to the ones who don’t,

To the ones who weave lyrics into their stories, and the ones who deal in nothing but angst,

To those who don’t write in their native language, 

To the brave ones who do it despite their fear of rejection or criticism, 

To the ones who like to write with their friends, and the ones who do it alone because their friends wouldn’t understand, 

To the ones who spend hours researching in order to to make their world as real as possible, 

To to the poets and novelists and essayists and dreamers:  

Every single one of you is precious.  

You, along with all the other fandom artists and creators, lift us up and give us hope.  You make us laugh, you make us cry, you make us think and question and wonder.  You help us escape, sometimes, when we need it most.  You bring the unimaginable to life, you translate lofty words into ones we can smell, hear and taste, and you continually encourage and inspire us.  You’re wonderful and powerful and courageous and so, so loved, even if we aren’t always the best at letting you know it.  So this is for those of you with empty comment sections, with a concerning lack of kudos/likes/favs/bookmarks. Your stories make a difference, and they always will.  

So, from all of us to you:  

Thank you.

Me: I wish I had more time to read

Also me: *spends an eternity on Tumblr reading about other people reading*

Originally posted by giphygiff

Things Dr. Kuseno Has to Deal With
  • Typing out an entire manual for Saitama so he knows what to do if Genos “you know, gets all weird or something”  
  • Explaining to Genos why he can’t have a blender installed somewhere on his body
  • Sitting Genos down and explaining why nearly self-destructing four times in one week is a bad thing
  • Showing Saitama for the seventh time how to manually shut Genos down
  • “You want to know where what is, Saitama?” “Heh, you know…I’m just curious.” 
  • Not asking why Genos has finger-shaped dents all over his body or the occasional bite mark 
  • Getting use to the sight of Genos being carried back to his lab by Saitama on his back
  • Listening to Genos go on and on and on about how great his Sensei is 
  • “He really is amazing, doctor.” “Uh huh.” 
  • Pulling Saitama aside and giving him the “stern father figure talk”
  • “So…are you saying Genos does like flowers…or not?” “Is this really the only reason you came all the way over here?” “Yep.” “*sighs* He does. He likes tulips.”  
  • Listening to Genos have lovey dovey (as Dr. Kuseno liked to call them) conversations with Saitama over the phone while he’s getting repaired
  • Getting a call from Saitama in the middle of the night asking if Genos can get struck by lightning 
  • Getting another call from Saitama asking if “static shock would mess Genos up because he bought me these new fuzzy socks and I wanna shock him but I want to make sure he doesn’t, you know, die if I do.”
  • Being surprised whenever Genos laughs at something Saitama says 
  • Being happy that Genos has finally started to live his life after meeting the hero Saitama    

You know…it always made me sad how nuWho Doctors treated the companion who came after “their” companion. Ten was so hung up on Rose that he completely overlooked how sharp, kind, and devoted Martha was. Eleven was so bitter everything that happened with the Ponds that he became less trusting and questioned Clara at every turn, when she was only ever just a regular young woman. They both deserved better than what Ten and Eleven gave them. They were bright, brave individuals in their own rights who deserved to be treated as such, but Ten and Eleven never really saw them as their own people—as a friend, as a fellow traveler.

And then there’s my Twelvey. Twelve, whose older and less charming traits were embraced because Clara knew him so well and loved him so much. Twelve, who was so intensely close with and similar to Clara that he had to remove himself from her in order to keep the universe safe. There will never be a pair quite like them again. I couldn’t blame him if he couldn’t bring himself to make a new friend. 

Instead of retreating into himself and refusing to let another young human into his life, he…did the opposite. He noticed a young woman who is clever, who loves to learn, and he wanted to meet her. He took it upon himself to teach her, because she can’t afford to attend the university. He went out of his way to get to know her, to learn her story, and to give her a glimpse at her late mother, because it mattered to her. He acted so very much like a Doctor. Like the Doctor Clara deserved when she first met Eleven. Like the Doctor Bill deserves now. 

Clara must be so proud to call that guy her Doctor. I know I am.

the blue notebooks

time travel au

pairing: jimin | reader
genre: fluff, angst
word count: 8.575
warnings: none
author’s note: this story will have a sequel since there is much, much more I want to tell, but I wanted to keep it under 10k and I figured this part worked well as a standalone. please enjoy :)

You meet Park Jimin after a particularly rough landing.

You wish time traveling was as easy as the books like to describe, or as beautifully romantic as the movies depict. It is a concept that’s been overly embroidered with advantages that do not exist — and even if normal humans see it as a fortuitous skill, one they long to have, they rarely realize that having a normal life is out of the question for your kind. Even so, there is no point in wishing for something that won’t happen in this lifetime, not with the time traveling genes burning strong within your veins.

Keep reading

Without 🛋️

A/N: This piece is very long and has taken me a long time to write for several reasons. But I hope this is what these lovely people hoped for when they sent in their requests (x x x)! Love you all and I hope you have a great day :)

Harry had always been in awe of you.  

From the moment he had you in his life, his heart had been filled with your gentle compassion. He had admired your instinctive kindness, personally witnessing the way you’d give a piece of your heart to everyone in your life. “Being kind is all that I can give” he’d hear you say and it breaks him just a little when he watches your smile falter for a fraction of a second, before you arch your eyes and nod your head slightly towards him in reassurance. You’re doing it again, he gathers, putting up a front to satisfy the people around you. Making sure they remained lost in their pursuit of happiness while you’re left alone to pick up your own shattered pieces.

Harry had regretted that night the most. The first, of many, where your heart felt particularly heavy as you smiled and whispered “I’m fine” to his concerned eyes. The silk of your dress clumped at your shoulders as you walked away from him then, away from a night of celebrating your recent promotion at work and into a cab to nurse your friend that had gulped too much tequila to shove away his own misfortunate thoughts.

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anonymous asked:

prompt: andreil + emergency room visit

(this is a sequel to THIS ‘I think there’s someone in the house’ fic!)

The paramedics hammer on the door, and Neil looks up, teary-eyed, from where his face is pressed into Andrew’s damp hair. He’s feeling for his breath with the back of his hand, waiting moment to moment for Andrew to die in his arms, silently like he does everything else. Urgency keeps stunning Neil all over again, hysterical defibrillators. The EMT’s are calling out through the wall, muffled but calm.

It feels unthinkably wrong, their absolute evenness and ease outside his door when his life is an exposed neck and Andrew’s death is the whirring blade of a saw.

He realizes that he has to get up to let them in, and it seems as impossible as it would be for Andrew to spring up and answer the door himself. He feverishly wants them to crumple the door to splinters and be inside already. 

It’s a herculean effort to ease Andrew to the ground, like he’s gritting his teeth and cutting off his own leg. He touches Andrew’s clammy face briefly but he can’t bring himself to try and slap him awake. He props Andrew’s bare feet up on the rim of the bath so the blood will flood towards his head, at least.

He feels untethered to his body when he stands, a helium balloon with its usual weight passed out on the bathroom floor. He falls into the wall immediately, adrenaline neck and neck with exhaustion.

He finds his way to the front door without his mind’s help. His head is in the bathroom with Andrew, and he knows that no matter what happens it’ll be there for a long, long time.

The next time he blinks, a man in uniform is holding his biceps and peering down at him seriously.

“—sir? Sir, are you hurt at all?”

“No,” Neil says, lips numb. “Bathroom. He’s in the bathroom. He’s bleeding to death.”

He turns, easily slipping the paramedic’s grip. There’s a procession of them, hefting a gurney and a couple of kits, and they’ve brought all the cold from outside in on their heels. They’re such a foreign object in their warm, messy apartment — uniformed, official, and precise.

It’s deadly, walking in and seeing Andrew spread out in his boxers, blood oozing through his t-shirt from his loose stitches, pale enough to match the porcelain. Neil’s seen enough corpses to recognize what they look like. 

He falls heavily to his knees and puts his head directly to his chest, listening, tears slipping hotly over the bridge of his nose.

“Please,” he slurs. His heartbeat is a tentative thud, a knock from an unexpected guest. “Help him. Now, help him now.”

“We’re going to try our best Sir, but you’ve got to get out of the way,” someone says gently.

He topples backwards onto his hands. It’s a cramped space, and he knows it would be easier if he waited outside, but he also knows he’d rather die than leave them alone with him.

The first guy kneels down and takes Andrew’s pulse, and Neil shakes his head. They’re too slow, time is feeding directly into a wide open drain.

“He needs an IV. He’s two litres down, at least. You’ve got to—“ A petite woman puts a hand on his shoulder and he shrugs her off violently. “No! You have to listen to me.”

“We know what we’re doing,” she says. “Are you an MD?” She eyes him doubtfully, gaze flitting from his scars to where her colleagues are taking vitals and cutting through Andrew’s clothes.

“Yes,” Neil says wildly. “And he needs an IV. Possibly two. Large-bore, normal saline. He’s not getting any oxygen, and he’s been like this for as long as it took you to gather your meager response team.”

She purses her lips, but she’s a professional. He can see her repressing her anger and it infuriates him. He feels like he’s crashing, over and over again, and he’s watching someone daintily pump the breaks.

“He’s right,” one of the EMT’s says distractedly. “We’re gonna need to get some fluids started, he’s in hypovolemic shock, sats below 50.”

“You want to tell me what happened?” one of the men asks.

“No,” Neil says as evenly as he can manage, reaching out to graze Andrew’s cold fingers.

“Did you do these stitches?” the woman asks, pulling at Andrew’s skin to get a better look at them. He suddenly sees how they must look to them, sloppy and angry red. Neil bends her arm away without thinking about it.

“Don’t touch him,” he snaps. He could break her arm and it would make him feel better. He drops her, disoriented by his own violence.

“There’s no need to be antagonistic,” the first man says. “We don’t want to have to remove you.”

“You really don’t,” Neil agrees. “You won’t succeed.”

Keep reading

Despite the mountain’s brittle screams and wails of condemnation, making every effort to throw this evil into cold oblivion, in the hopes to drown it in the relentless storms that carried their rage.

This wraith persisted, defied, fought through the obstacles the mountains presented to it. Serpentine, were the movements. But it was far from graceful, there was no grace in describing such a abomination. With every step, climbing ever closer to the place where this creature’s previous life began. 

A ledge he found, in the frozen peaks he stood. Anchored to the cliff face he saw through the snow-blanched veil and glimpsed monumental structures in the distance. 

The mountains could not hide such secrets from him and alas the curtain fell.

Flags dancing with the winds atop spires of gold, brick work as white as the snow that fell. Chimes, songs of the pure. He heard them. Yes he heard them. 

It stirred something in his thoughts, deja vu brought on by the memories of the day he first looked upon this place. Kamar-Taj.

For a moment his body shook, feathered mantel ruffled, spine cracked and the black eyeless snakes that licked and clung to his shadow and his form, wreathed in excitement….he could smell the magic that emanated from it. 

Multitudes of piecing eyes revealed themselves in the folds of his cloak….something foul clung to the stark figure like a parasite. He was wrought with something incurable, something wretched.

But….he had returned baptised in the blood of the Old Gods…

It was only a matter of time before the old magus reached the holy ground and consumed the light there as well…..

for he only knew of the abyss…and slept in the dreams of his masters who dwell there.


Part 1

Part 3

Tips For Writing Time Travel:  An Illustrated Guide.

@jjpivotz asked:

“What is a good way that I could write time travelling without it being cliche?”

Ooh, I love questions like this!  They’re so much fun, and on a somewhat self-indulgent level, they really get me thinking on the tropes themselves.

So without further ado, here are my personal thoughts on writing about time travel:

1.  Embrace the fact that it’s not gonna make total sense.

This goes for a lot of creative fiction.  When I was writing my urban fantasy novel, for example, I used a lot of traditional mythological figures whose duties and depictions (i.e. one humanoid being reaping the dead despite the fact that over a hundred thousand people die a day, billion-year-old entities who still look and behave like teenagers, figures from religions whose world views wildly conflict interacting with each other, etc.) weren’t compatible with what we currently know about the laws of physics.  

And the sooner I resolved not to even attempt to explain it, the sooner my novel improved.  

The wonderful thing about fiction is that it doesn’t have to imitate reality as we know it;  the laws of the physical universe need not apply.  And as long as the characters in your universe accept that, so will the reader.  

I’ve had around twenty beta readers look at my book, and not one of them has poked holes in my casual disregard for the conventionally accepted rules of physical reality.  The suspension of disbelief is an amazing thing.

As for how to best apply this to time travel, take Back to the Future, for example. This is one of the best time travel series ever made, but if you really look at what’s going on, you’ll come to find that none of it really makes any sense at all.

First of all, Marty McFly is a popular high school student whose best friend is an eccentric nuclear physicist.  Conventional wisdom (and just about every fiction writing book or advice blog I’ve ever read) would dictate that this is a pretty heavy plot-point and warrants some explanation.  But the narrative never questions it, and as such neither does the vast majority of its audience.  

It is in this exact manner that Back to the Future handles its heaviest of all plotpoints, the act of time travel, which is the main driving force behind its entire plot.  

How does it explain Doc Brown’s ability to time travel?  Well, he invented the Flux Capacitor, of course.  What is a Flux Capacitor, you ask?  How does it work, exactly?  Well, fucked if I know.  All I know is that the narrative treats it like it’s a real thing, and by default, so do I.    

The same could be said for the magically changing family portrait, the fact that the characters can’t interact with their past or future selves without universal destruction, flying cars, and the fact that the McFlys’ future children inexplicably look exactly like them.  None of it makes any sense.  And it’s fucking magical.

Another of my favorite examples of this is pre-Moffat Doctor Who.  The science is campy, occasionally straight-up ridiculous, and unabashedly nonsensical, yet paves the way for some truly great and thought provoking storylines and commentary.  

Bottom line is, I don’t know how to time travel.  I’m guessing you don’t either, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be asking me for advice on how to write it.  Accept it.  Embrace it.  Don’t be bashful about it – trust me, time travelers are probably a minority in your readership, so they won’t judge you.

So as to what would be a good means of writing time travel, the short answer is:  any way you want.  For obvious reasons, I’d stay away from old cars, police boxes, and phone booths, but with the power of the suspension of disbelief, virtually nothing is off the table:  a pair of magic sneakers, a refrigerator, a closet, a treehouse -oh, crap, that one’s been done before.  But you get the picture.  You can be as creative as you want to be about it.  Don’t be afraid to step outside the police box, so to speak.  

Trust in the magic of the suspension of disbelief, and don’t overthink things.  Your story and readers will thank you.

As for how to avoid other cliches, that brings me to my next point: 

2.  Look at the tried and true tropes of time traveling.  Now subvert them.

This might just be me and my adoration of irony talking, but since you specifically asked how to avoid cliche I’m going to indulge myself here.

Do the exact opposite of what people expect from narratives about time travel.  You know the old trope:  the protagonist steps on a bug, and comes back to the present to find the world being ruled by gorillas.  

I’m not telling you not to include drastic consequences for time travel, because there would probably be quite a few (at least if you believe in the chaos theory, which states every action has a universal reaction.)  

But you could toy around with the idea that fate isn’t something that can ultimately be altered at all, and that all the protagonist accomplishes is solidifying (or even triggering) a pre-existing outcome.   

My knee-jerk suggestion, as someone who takes fiendish glee in incorporating humor into my writing, would be to make the protagonist have some Forrest Gump-type encounters that unwittingly trigger huge, history-defining event, but it can also be significantly more tragic than that:  maybe the protagonist goes back in time to save his father from a hit-and-run car accident, for example, and then accidentally kills him.  Or perhaps he realizes that his father was a bad man (beat his mother, planned on killing someone, etc.) and makes a moral decision to kill him (which is also a great way to ask philosophical questions.  More on that later.)  

I don’t know what kind of time travel your writing or what your style of writing is, but these are things I’d personally just love to play around with.    

Or maybe time travel does change things, but it’s not even close to what the protagonist expected:  maybe his words of wisdom to his newly married mother about true love and the meaning of life and whatnot unexpectedly lead her to realize that she’s deeply unhappy in her current marriage, and he returns to the present to find her divorced (lesbian stepmom optional.)  

Maybe absolutely nothing at all changes, but he realizes that he’s responsible for some famous Mandela Effect, like the Bearenstein/Bearenstain discrepancy.  

Bottom line is, don’t be afraid to do the unexpected.  But conversely, don’t be afraid to use tried and true tropes, either:  regardless of how overdone they may seem to be, they can almost always be rejuvenated when interjected with a thought-provoking plot.

Which brings me to my final point:

3.  Make sure it has something to say.

Science fiction, especially the speculative variety, tends to be best when it begins by asking a question, for which it will later provide an answer.  Take, for example, Planet of the Apes.  The pervasive question of the movie is whether or not humanity is inherently self-destructive, which it ultimately answers with its famed final plot twist that humanity has long since destroyed itself.  

Rod Serling (who was incidentally responsible for the original Planet of the Apes, by the way) did this remarkably well:  almost every episode of the Twilight Zone packed a massive philosophical punch due to the fact that they followed this simplistic formula.  The episode would begin with the presentation of a question, big or small (frequently by the charismatic Serling himself) and by the end of the episode, that question would be answered. 

I’m not going to go in to detail here, as it would spoil the magic of uncovering the plot twists for the first time, but Serling used his speculation to tackle the narrow-mindedness of beauty standards in Eye of the Beholder, the dangers of fascism in Obsolete Man, the communist paranoia of the time period with the Monsters are Due on Maple Street, and countless more.  

I would recommend watching the original Twilight Zone for almost anyone looking to write speculative fiction such as time travel. 

Even if your work isn’t compatible with this specific formula of Question => Debate => Answer (which some work isn’t) it will still need to have some kind of underlying statement to it, or no matter how clever the science fiction is or how original the time travel is, it will fall flat.  

This is why Twilight Zone, Planet of the Apes, Back to the Future, and (pre-Moffat, as I always feel inclined to stress – he does literally the opposite of almost everything I recommend here) Doctor Who still remain widely enjoyed today, despite the fact that many of their tropes have been used many, many times since they original aired.

So for time travel, remember that it is a means, not an end.  You could write the most cliched type of time travel story imaginable, and your audience will still feel fulfilled by it if your message is heartfelt, thought-provoking, and/or poignant.

Maybe you want to use time travel to make a statement about your belief in the existence of fate, or lack thereof.  In this case, using the Sterling Approach, you would have your story begin with the question of whether or not humans can alter or change destiny, allow the narrative/characters to argue the question back and forth for a while, and then ultimately disclose what you believe the answer to be.

Or maybe you want to use time travel to explore or subvert the treachery of history and how it is taught, and show how the true narrative can be explored, purposefully or otherwise, by the victors.  

Maybe you want to show that there’s no clear answer, or maybe no answer at all, a la the cheerful nihilism of Douglas Adams novels.

Either way, figure out what you want your message to be long before you put pen to paper, and then use time travel, like any other creative trope, as a means to an end to answer it.  Your story will thank you for it.

(I hope this helps!)

“The Doctor was created as a male character.”

There was a rather desperately thrown-together piece about the new casting on Victoria Derbyshire this morning, and she read out the above quote.  And I thought, well, yes, he was, but he was created as an elderly male character as portrayed by William Hartnell.  He certainly wasn’t created as the cosmic hobo played by Patrick Troughton, or the kung-fu daredevil played by Jon Pertwee – none of the Doctor’s subsequent portrayals fit the character’s original outline.  

 He wasn’t created as a Time Lord – in the original concept document he’s human, and he’s not revealed as a Time Lord until 1969, six years into the series.

 He wasn’t created as someone who fights monsters – Sidney Newman, the show’s creator, was emphatic that there would be “no bug-eyed monsters” and was appalled by the Daleks.  (He later admitted that he was wrong, and that Verity Lambert – the first, female, producer of the show – was absolutely right to put her foot down about them.)

 He wasn’t even conceived as a hero – “anti-hero” is the stock phrase to describe the First Doctor in his early episodes; he is selfish and even spiteful at times.

 Doctor Who has thrived on change; if it had stuck rigidly to the format originally devised for it, there is no way on Earth it would have lasted over half a century.  The core of the Doctor is not anything that was laid down at the start in 1963, but those aspects of his character that have been honed and developed through so many writers, producers and actors – he is brave, kind, clever and funny; never cruel or cowardly.  Nothing that is vital to the Doctor will be in any way eroded by “he” becoming “she”.


This graph is based on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Basically “The Hero’s Journey ‘W Graph’.

 I made the top picture by hand and scanned it. I’m sorry about the messy writing as I tried my best to make it as neat as possible, but my penmanship is not the best. 


So anyway, I got a few questions about planning stories and honestly I don’t plan them. I just do it from the top of my head–which is very bad, I know. But I am now starting to plan my stories and it does make it a bit more manageable and organized. Soooooo I went researching for tips and found something called Fiction Writer’s Cheat Sheet. I liked the idea of the “W Graph” so I decided to make it by hand in different colors. Then scanned it to have a digital copy to work on it through my computer in a pdf file or if I want to do it by hand I can just print one out. Always  make sure to “save as” a different document. 

I am not sure if something like this is already out there, but I thought it would be easier to have something printable out there and just plan it out, not having to struggle with the format.

Hope this comes in handy!!!

Good luck my fellow writers!

BS “medical” tropes to stop using TODAY, 1/?

You’ve seen them. I’ve seen them. The story is going along so well. The character is critically wounded in a dramatic fight; they’re ‘rushed to the hospital’ (more on that later). Drama roils! Will they live? Will they die?

And then… And then the writer (screenwriters, I’m looking at you, too) pulls one of these tired, inaccurate tropes out from under the couch cushions, and you roll your eyes. They’ve Done the Dumb, again. You swear. kick your coffee table. How do they write such crap? Crap like…

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