back when there weren’t hacks and we all had to duplicate crap with that turn-off-your-wifi-when-the-session-is-ending-at-the-exact-right-moment
when clover paths blew up in popularity and we all shared the same pain of having to dupe for hours and hours to fill our towns with clovers and WHOA I FOUND A FOUR LEAF CLOVER I WONDER IF THAT MAKES ME LUCKY
I remember when all the drama was on acnlconfessions and about 50% of it was furries
that infamous club tortimer troll guy who made me cry that one time and wow that was so stupid omg
“why is marshal so popularrrrr I only liek the UGLY villagersss” - about 30% of submissions to confession blogs
when I sold marshal to someone for 40 million bells omg
beetle farming for hours and hours to pay off them loans because once again NO HACKS
kind souls posting their high turnip prices and letting people come to their towns to sell, those people saved my life
the great pastel vs. forest towns debate (is that still a thing?)
when the sloppy set was a Huge Deal and now I never see it??
north tbh, I miss it
dream suite: “is that a bra rack”
debates about whether or not tom nook is really evil
discovering that you could put ur kk music on shuffle = mind blown
the excitement of discovering various new features in acnl for the first time- gem rocks, the clam shell music boxes, bamboo!! amazing!!
the term “dreamies” I rarely see it anymore and I am grateful for that
Could I have some tips about writing short stories?
I’m really happy to be the one to answer this question, because short stories have very quickly risen to the top of my “Favorite Things to Write” list. I find that there’s something really liberating in the restrictions of the style, because it makes your creativity and more craft-oriented mind work in tandem. It’s incredibly engaging, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned over the years!
Before I get into a nice, organised bullet list of advice, I do want to start by addressing a really common misconception about short stories. There are some rumors floating around that short stories need to have a certain…restraint to them in order to be taken seriously. Like they need to be particularly subtle, gritty, hyper-realistic, or generally boring in order to be worth anything.
Before you fall into this trap, please realise that “literary” is not a genre. Some of the most interesting short stories I’ve come across have been set in the most ludicrous of sci-fi environments, with pieces of the sky falling or smothering the earth in tiny, fuzzy microbes. Your story can be whatever you want it to be— girls from Jupiter or an almost-transcendent discussion of the human experience. You do you, and make beautiful art from it.
That’s my biggest piece of advice for you, anyway. Now onto the actual answer to your question….
Take advantage of writing prompts. If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea from scratch, try getting a prompt from someone nearby or (if you’re as afraid of talking to people as I am) use one of those online generators. Even the ones that don’t stand out to you right away as particularly interesting can be helpful for getting a flow going, especially if you don’t pick around to find one that speaks to you. Forcing your brain to work under those types of restrictions gets you in the headspace for writing shorts as a whole.
Start small. Short stories tend to focus more heavily on a single aspect of their content (i.e. a certain character, emotion, or tension), so you don’t really need to know a lot about your characters or their surroundings going in. Give yourself a starting point and let the world evolve around it.
Develop your prompts. I like to shoot for about five paragraphs of each prompt. This gives me enough time and content to determine if the idea is going to hold water for a while. If you feel like you can keep going after five paragraphs, do so! If not, find a new prompt.
Don’t sweat the first draft. This is more of a general piece of advice, but I’ve found it rings especially true for short stories. The short tends to develop in unexpected ways as you continue to write, and you’re most likely not going to end up telling the exact same story in the final draft anyway (unless you’re Flannery O’Connor, and then the first draft is the final draft). You’ve got a way to go yet, so don’t get caught up trying to make it perfect right away.
Keep your end game in mind. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re writing, but this can often lead into spending several paragraphs setting the scene or following a certain topic of conversation that isn’t really necessary. I’ve always found it more efficient to have some idea of where your story is going to end, so you always know what you’re working toward as the story develops. With that being said….
Feel free to explore your own tangents. This is somewhat in direct opposition to what I just said, but as long as you have some idea of your end goal, it’s okay to work new things in there. It’s possible that your story may change direction halfway through and you come up with a new end point to work for, so see where your mind takes you!
Set a limit for yourself. Know your word and page count, even if it’s just an arbitrary number you make on the spot. Work to meet it, but try not to exceed it. You end up cutting a lot of irrelevant details and streamlining your story when you know there’s a cap on your content.
Figure out the point of your story. As I mentioned before, shorts tend to focus in on a very specific part of the story and let everything else build around it and for it. Have an idea of what you want it to be while you’re writing, and see how keeping that tone in mind affects your writing.
Explore new styles. This is another general tip, but I like short stories for the uniqueness they get to have when it comes to style and narrative perspective. Working with styles you’re not really familiar with can bring a whole new angle to your writing that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, and it’s good to see how that develops and affects your story.
Workshop, workshop, workshop. Feel around your writing community for people who may be interested in offering critique of your story. Bouncing your ideas off of them can help you gain a better understanding of what is/isn’t working within your story, as well as offer new perspectives and interpretations that you alone may not have considered.
Analyse your work as a whole. I’ve found that answering the following questions can give you a good idea of what needs to be revised in later drafts:
Is there a discernible message to the story? Is it conveyed effectively?
What does each element of the story contribute to the piece as a whole?
What changes within the story. What do we know or understand now that we didn’t at the beginning?
Set a new limit. Change up your word/page expectation and see how the story changes and develops in response.
Don’t overedit. If the story feels finished, it probably is. There’s no use second-guessing yourself at that point.
I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck moving forward with your stories. Happy writing!
So back in the late 90s when MMORPGs were dos based and on telnet (yes, I’m old) I had just gone to college and I was playing a version of Vampire the Masquerade online with some irl friends and of course a whole bunch of folks I didn’t know.
And yes it’s worth noting I was even more terrible at online communication than I am now. I get overwhelmed by the volume and speed of chats, I don’t know how to talk to people, and I have actual processing issues with tone and typing and multitasking.
So anyway, I was a bit of the darling-to-be-sheltered to most of the other players, being very much still ace identifying (though without really having the luxury of that word then) and everyone knew that I was in no way interested in flirting with folks (especially online) or having romantic role play of any kind. I was, however, hella good at writing so I tended to create narrative spaces (called rooms) for people and if you were patient, rping with me was really fun because WORDS I GOT THEM and well, you folks have read my writing. Imagine realtime writing with me. It’s FUN.
One night I’m multitasking like mad. I have my clan chat up, my faction (yes, it was called something else, but hell if I remember, it’s been 20 years since I played VTM) channel up, and my Super Cool™ character (a toreador antitribu and clan leader) is having a major conversation with someone looking to defect to my clan when all of a sudden the dude my oh so originally named Maharet is talking to says across the faction channel
[<Name I Don’t Remember> looks at Maharet. “Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”]
Now this was before Moulin Rouge and Lady Marmalade, and I had
1. never listened to disco
2. taken a single semester of french after four years of spanish
So I spend like…five minutes trying to figure out what it means and why we’re talking across the faction channel and are we in character? why the hell would we not be in character? but no one is in character on the faction channel?
While the entire channel erupts with people yelling “No!” and challenging dude to vampire duel after vampire duel for offending me.
And people are yelling and rolling initiative and stuff.
And finally I (who have forever been notorious for struggling with chat functions anyway) just respond back over the faction channel with:
[Maharet took Spanish?]
And y’all, it was pandemonia.
I had about two dozen people shouting across the entire chatroom/server/whatever you call it. People who I’d barely ever talked to offering translations and dude had twice that many yelling at him for hitting on the faction darling who everyone knows not to hit on and I still see this divided up into sorta virtual spaces because we (our characters) had been sitting in my vampire’s very nice parlor having tea and wine or something and talking clan politics while we (ourselves) weren’t talking at all, and I was chatting in other spaces with all these other “real life” people and ocs and dude got shot down by like four different levels of reality and I still don’t know who he was hitting on (me or Maharet) but I guess it didn’t matter cause the answer was still no.
And well, he didn’t get into the clan that’s for dang sure; I really don’t remember if I ever saw him on there again.
But hey, he has a legacy because even though I don’t know his name I STILL cannot hear that song without thinking about that time a vampire died (six times! he lost six duels!) for trying to sleep with me.
If you’ve tried to buddy me, send me a jamagram, or otherwise contact me in-game, my apologies for being unresponsive. I actually haven’t logged onto Animal Jam in months (I finally snapped, after a personal record of logging in almost every single day for five years straight). I might go back on again sometime in the future, but for now, if you have any questions or want to talk to me, it’s probably best just to message me here on Tumblr. Thanks!
I know we’re not mutals but if you ever want someone to play with im usually always available. Id love the chance to play with you sometime but i’d completely understand if you don’t want to.
I’m not gonna say I’m completely against the idea of having you join us, especially since it might just be myself and Blu for a bit now it seems. I am anxious at the thought (having severe social anxiety is probably the worst thing to ever throw upon someone;;) and while we don’t talk much, you’ve always seemed like a pretty chill person the few times we have conversed. So I’ll definitely keep you in mind! Still debating on whether I’ll get on today or not, so if not today, then possibly another time.
Rules: Put your music library on shuffle. List the first ten songs that come up, then tag ten people.
I’ll admit that I’m a little bit embarrassed of my music and it’s rare I’ll let anyone look through my stuff without snatching my iPod away but oh well. Don’t expect what I say to be very long as I am a person of very few words even online.
1. Come out and Play- The Offspring. I like the drums and guitar that open this song and in this day and age, the meaning is almost scarily on point.
2. What you Own - RENT. The build up towards the end is fantastic and the voices of the singers compliment each other so well, even when they’re not singing the same lyrics
3. The Gospel Truth - Hercules. This song is fun. Just fun through and through and a brilliant opening to a damn good film.
4. I Want It All - Queen. Freddy Mercury. Absolutely enough said.
5. Dig a Little Deeper - The Princess and the Frog. This song is so bloody catchy and the ending is great. It’s got a nice build up to a toe tapper of a song
6. Ladies Choice - Hairspray. I can imagine JJ doing a dance to this… I might just write something with that.
7. Not Fair - Lily Allen. I really like the banjo in this and it’s so wonderfully blunt. “My boyfriend sucks in bed and I’m getting really ticked off about it.”
8. Sister Act - Sister Act. It starts slow and then builds into an declaration of loyalty and sisterhood. It’s not my favourite but it’s still good
9. Charity Concert/The Art of the Possible - Evita. It’s not my favourite song from the soundtrack, that being a New Argentina or I could be good to you, but it’s a decent tune.
10. Forever Young - Alphaville. It’s relaxing and the kind of song I could listen to on a walk
Thank you Shuffle for exposing how weird my musical taste is.
I’m going through some screencaps, cropping them down to use as reference… and this is one of the best I’ve found of him from this side to see his scars. I never saw the ones on his neck or cheek before.
Eret’s scars are very important to me. For weird reasons.