major categories

Actually

The question I get the most is how I write characters that feel like real people. 

Generally when I’m designing a human being, I deconstruct them into 7 major categories:

1. Primary Drive
2. Fear: Major and Secondary
3. Physical Desires
4. Style of self expression
5. How they express affection
6. What controls them (what they are weak for)
7. What part of them will change.

1. Primary Drive: This is generally related to the plot. What are their plot related goals? How are they pulling the plot forward? how do they make decisions? What do they think they’re doing and how do they justify doing it.

2. Fear: First, what is their deep fear? Abandonment? being consumed by power? etc. Second: tiny fears. Spiders. someone licking their neck. Small things that bother them. At least 4.

3. Physical desires. How they feel about touch. What is their perceived sexual/romantic orientation. Do their physical desires match up with their psychological desires.

4. Style of self expression: How they talk. Are they shy? Do they like to joke around and if so, how? Are they anxious or confident internally and how do they express that externally. What do words mean to them? More or less than actions? Does their socioeconomic background affect the way they present themselves socially? 

5. How they express affection: Do they express affection through actions or words. Is expressing affection easy for them or not. How quickly do they open up to someone they like. Does their affection match up with their physical desires. how does the way they show their friends that they love them differ from how they show a potential love interest that they love them. is affection something they struggle with?

6. What controls them (what they are weak for): what are they almost entirely helpless against. What is something that influences them regardless of their own moral code. What– if driven to the end of the wire— would they reject sacrificing. What/who would they cut off their own finger for.  What would they kill for, if pushed. What makes them want to curl up and never go outside again from pain. What makes them sink to their knees from weakness or relief. What would make them weep tears of joy regardless where they were and who they were in front of. 

7. WHAT PART OF THEM WILL CHANGE: people develop over time. At least two of the above six categories will be altered by the storyline–either to an extreme or whittled down to nothing. When a person experiences trauma, their primary fear may change, or how they express affection may change, etc. By the time your book is over, they should have developed. And its important to decide which parts of them will be the ones that slowly get altered so you can work on monitoring it as you write. making it congruent with the plot instead of just a reaction to the plot. 

That’s it.

But most of all, you have to treat this like you’re developing a human being. Not a “character” a living breathing person. When you talk, you use their voice. If you want them to say something and it doesn’t seem like (based on the seven characteristics above) that they would say it, what would they say instead?

If they must do something that’s forced by the plot, that they wouldn’t do based on their seven options, they can still do the thing, but how would they feel internally about doing it?

How do their seven characteristics meet/ meld with someone else’s seven and how will they change each other?

Once you can come up with all the answers to all of these questions, you begin to know your character like you’d know one of your friends. When you can place them in any AU and know how they would react.

They start to breathe.

fun tonys fact for tonight! expect some surprising or interesting winners because for this season, the american theatre wing changed how the tonys are voted! now, instead of every voter voting in every category, voters only vote on categories in their field. light designers won’t vote for best set design, actors won’t vote for best costume design, choreographers won’t vote on best book of a musical, etc. it might shake things up!!

anonymous asked:

Hey, you're awesome, thanks for existing, basically ^_^ Anyway, I wanted to know if you have any tips on how to write different personalities? My characters (all of them) always end up with the same default personality that I fall back on. Thanks!

Thanks for your question, darling!  I think most of us have struggled with this – after all, we’re conditioned to one way of thinking, feeling, and acting for as long as we live.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we write characters like ourselves, though.  In fact, many of us have a “default character” that’s sassier than we are, sweeter than we are, or in some way different enough from us that we still feel like we’re writing a character.

The problem, then, isn’t that we can’t visualize a different personality than ours.  On the whole, we can.  What we’re missing are the small details that make it feel whole – otherwise, it’s like painting the same room six different colors and trying to pass it off as six different rooms.  Different dominant traits can’t hide the fact that you’re working with one template!

So the question we’re left with: what are the traits we’re missing?  And how can we change them to create a unique and whole personality?


Three Types of Character Traits

There are, as the title suggests, three major categories of personality traits as I see it: fundamental traits, acquired traits, and detrimental traits.  A well-rounded character needs some of each to be three-dimensional and realistic.

Fundamental Traits

The fundamental traits of a person’s character are not as simple as interests and preferences; they are the very base of all decisions and desires.  They are either learned in early life or developed over a long period of time, rooting deeply into the personality.  A few examples of fundamental personality traits include:

  • Upbringing – The word choice here is conscious, as upbringing encompasses many different aspects of a person’s development.  Consider who raised them, and with what morals and practices they were raised to adulthood.  Consider their influences, both familial, social, and in media; consider the relationships that were normalized during their development, as well as the living conditions (financially, emotionally, environmentally, etc.).  The people, places, emotions, and conflicts made common during a person’s developmental period are essential to their personality in adulthood.  This is why psychologists often draw present-day problems back to a person’s childhood memories – because those formative years can subconsciously dictate so much of a person’s future!
  • Values – These may not coincide with the values a person is raised to hold, but upbringing certainly has an influence on this. A person’s values will direct the course of their life through every decision, large and small.  You don’t need to outline everything your character believes is important – every moral and every law they agree/disagree with. But those values which stand above others will give your character purpose.  A few of my favorite examples are: Jane from Jane the Virgin (whose initial storyline is heavily based on her religion and desire for a beautiful love story, as well as her childhood influences who inspired these values) and Han Solo from Star Wars (whose character development rested upon his values shifting from money and gratification to more honorable things).
  • Beliefs – Different from values, beliefs are a more general set of guidelines for how a person believes things are supposed to be.  Beliefs can also be a source of great conflict, as a character tries to stay aligned with their beliefs despite other values or desires.  These beliefs can be established systems, like religion or politics; they can also include more personal belief systems, like nihilism or veganism.  A characters beliefs, like their values, can change over the course of the story – but even if a character is questioning one system of belief, like religion or pacifism, they should have other belief systems in place to govern some of their activity.
  • Reputation – A lot of human activity, whether consciously or not, is dictated by how others perceive them (or how they believe others perceive them).  There are two types of reputation: personal and passing.  For instance, a woman named Sally who gains a personal reputation of sleeping around will behave in reaction to this reputation – either sleeping around because everyone already expects it of her, or specifically not hooking up because she wants to shake this reputation, or developing a thicker skin to deal with the rumors until it passes.  A man named Billy who, because of his tattoos, bears a passing reputation as an intimidating man will either try to soften his demeanor with strangers, own up to the image, or at least learn to expect judgment from strangers as a consequence.
  • Self-Image – Also relevant to a person’s behavior is the way they perceive themselves, which can often have little to do with their reputation.  A lot of self-image is based on definitive moments or phases in the past.  For instance: for several years after I started wearing contacts and cutting my hair, I still saw myself, in dreams at night, with long hair and glasses.  One of my friends, similarly, could not seem to notice when boys would flirt with her during sophomore year – because she still saw herself as an awkward middle schooler with braces, and not as the charming cheerleader with the great smile.
    Inversely, self-image can be inflated, causing character to behave as though they are funnier, smarter, or more prepared than they truly are (see: the rest of my sophomore acquaintances).  This can be an overlooked character flaw opportunity – or flawportunity…

Originally posted by alliefallie


Acquired Traits

Now we move on to the acquired traits of personality, which are the ones you’re more likely to find on a character sheet or a list of “10 Questions for Character Development”, alongside a million other things like their zodiac sign and their spirit animal.  But the traits I’m about to outline are a little more relevant to a character’s behavior, and more importantly, how to make this behavior unique from other characters’ behavior.  The following traits will be learned by your characters throughout their life (and their story), and are more likely to shift and grow with time:

  • Interests – I know, I had to reach deep down into my soul to think of this one.  But it’s true!  Interests, both in childhood/adolescence and in adulthood, are an important part of a character’s personality and lifestyle.  Childhood interests both reveal something about the character (for instance: my nephew loves trains, Legos, and building, suggesting a future interest in construction or engineering) and create values that can last for a lifetime.  Current interests affect career choice, social circles, and daily activity for everyone.  Forgotten or rejected interests can be the source of pet peeves, fears, or bad memories. There’s a reason I’ll never play with Polly Pockets again, and it 100% has to do with bloody fingertips and a purse that wouldn’t open.
  • Sense of Humor – This can be a little hard to define, understandably.  If you were to ask me what my sense of humor is, I’d probably start with a few stupid memes, pass by Drake & Josh on the way, and somehow wind up telling you bad puns or quoting Chelsea Peretti’s standup comedy. A person’s sense of humor can be complex and contradictory!  Sometimes we just laugh at stuff because someone said it in a funny way.  But anyway, to help you boil this down to something useful: take a look at a few kinds of comedy and relate it to your character’s maturity level.  Do they laugh when someone lets out a toot?  Are they the kind of person to mutter, “That’s what she said,” or simply try not to laugh when something sounds dirty?  Can puns make them crack a smile?  Do they like political humor?  Do cat videos kill them?  Is their humor particularly dark?  Can the mere sound of someone else laughing make them laugh?  Figure out where your character’s sense of humor is, and you’ll feel closer to them already.
  • Pet Peeves – For every interest a person may have, and everything that makes them laugh, there’s something else that can piss them off, large- or small-scale.  Are they finnicky about their living space and neatness? Do they require a lot of privacy? Do certain sounds or behaviors drive them crazy?  What qualities are intolerable in a romantic interest for them? What kind of comments or beliefs make them roll their eyes?  If you need help, just try imagining their worst enemy – someone whose every word or action elicits the best eye-rolls and sarcastic remarks and even a middle finger or two – and ask yourself, what about this person makes them that mortal enemy?  What behaviors or standards make them despicable to your character?  That’s all it takes.
  • Skills – Everybody has them, and they’re not just something we’re born with.  Skills can be natural talent, sure, but they’re also cultivated from time, values, and interests.  What is your character okay at?  What are they good at?  What are they fantastic at?  Maybe they can cook.  Maybe they have a beautiful eye for colors.  Maybe they have an inherent sense of right and wrong that others admire. Maybe they’re super-athletic or incredibly patient or sharp as a tack or sweet as a cupcake.  Maybe they know how to juggle, or maybe they’re secretly the most likely of all their friends to survive a zombie apocalypse.  Where do they shine?  What would make someone look at them and think, “Wow, I wish I were them right now”?
  • Desires – A good way to “separate” one character from the next is to define what it is they want, and then use every other detail to dictate how they pursue that goal.  Every real person has a desire, whether they’ve defined it or not – whether it’s something huge, like fame or a family of five with triplet girls and a beach house on an island, or something small, like good grades for the semester.  These desires can cause a person to revise their values or forsake their morals; and these desires can conflict with other people’s desires, influencing how people interact with each other.  Remember that every character is living their own story, even if it’s not the story you’re telling.
  • Communication Style – A majorly overlooked character trait in pop fiction is unique communication styles.  Having every character feel comfortable arguing, or bursting out with the words, “I love you,” is unrealistic.  Having every character feel paralyzed at the idea of confronting a bully or being honest to their spouse is also unrealistic.  There should be a healthy mix of communicators in a group of characters. Some people are too softspoken to mouth off at their racist lab partner.  Some people wouldn’t see their girlfriend kissing another guy and just walk away without saying something.  Some people just don’t react to conflict by raising their voice; some people enjoy sharing their opinions or giving the correct answer in class.  Boldness, social skills, and emotional health all have a part to play in how people communicate their thoughts – so keep this in mind to create a more realistic, consistent character.
  • Emotional Expression – Along the same lines but not the same, emotional expression is more focal on feelings than thoughts.  If you’ve ever heard of the fight-or-flight response, the different types of anger, the stages of grief, or the five love languages, then you’re aware of different “classifications” of emotional expression and management.  Read up on some of those things, and think about how your character handles emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, paranoia, and so forth.

Detrimental Traits

While acquired traits are certainly more enjoyable to brainstorm during the creation process, detrimental traits are as important – or even more important – to the character’s wholeness as well as their role in the story.  Not only do these negative or limiting traits make your character realistic, relatable, and conflicted – they create a need for other characters and their strengths to move the plot forward.  A few examples of detrimental traits include:

  • Flaws – Character flaws are probably the first thing that came to your mind while reading this, but they’re the essence of the category.  Flaws in a character’s personality, morality, or behavior can be a source of character development; they set an individual on their own path and provide a unique motivation for them.  Having Character A struggle with sobriety while Character B learns to be a more patient mother can do a lot to separate their stories and personalities from each other.  Even if certain flaws don’t reach a point of growth, they create a third aspect to personality and force us, as writers, to be more creative with how our characters get from Point A to Point B, and what they screw up along the way.
  • Fears – Everyone has fears, whether we’re conscious of them or not – and I’m not talking about phobias or “things that give you shivers”.  Just like everyone has a primary motivation throughout life (romance, family, success, meaning, peace of mind, etc.), everyone has a fear behind that motivation (loneliness, failure, emptiness, anxiety).  We all have something we don’t want to happen places we never want to be and things we never want to do.  We’ve all been in situations that mildly bothered others but wildly affected us at the same time.  For me, it’s a lack of autonomy, or in any way being forced to do something or be somewhere against my will.
    What does this mean for me?  It means that when other people have nightmares about being chased by an axe murderer, I have nightmares about being kidnapped and locked up.  It means that I’m continually aware of my “escape plan” if something goes wrong in my living situation, and I’m hypersensitive to someone telling me, “You have to do this.”  It means I struggle to follow rules and usually don’t get along with authority figures because I have to assert my independence to them.  It’s irrational and continual and doesn’t just affect me in one situation; it subconsciously directs my steps if I let it.  That’s how real, guttural fears work. Phobias are only skin deep, and they don’t make you feel any closer to the character.

Originally posted by giantmonster

  • Secrets – Even goody two-shoes Amber from the swim team, with her blonde blonde hair and her good good grades, has a secret.  Everybody does, even if it’s not a purposeful, “I have a deep, dark secret,” sort of secret. We have things we don’t tell people, just because they’re embarrassing, or painful, or too deep to get into, or they don’t paint us in a good light.  While the secrets themselves tell a lot about a person, so do the reasons a person keeps a secret.  Hiding something out of shame suggests a person is prideful, or critical of themselves, or holds themselves to a higher standard than they hold others.  Hiding something painful suggests that the person struggles to handle sadness or regret, or that they feel uncomfortable showing raw emotion in front of loved ones. And so on and so forth.
  • Conflict – Whether internal, interpersonal, legal, moral, societal, or what have you, conflict will limit your character’s actions at every turn.  A story is nothing without conflict driving the plot in different directions and causing your character to rethink both their plans and their lifestyle.  Without Katniss’s moral conflict over killing other tributes, The Hunger Games would be the story of a girl who entered an arena, killed a lot of people, and lived the rest of her life rich and comfortable.  If Luke Skywalker didn’t have interpersonal conflict with Darth Vader, Star Wars would be the war-story of a guy who joined a rebellion and then… yeah.
  • Health – Physical, mental, and emotional health is a huge limiting factor for characters that often goes untouched, but it’s valuable nonetheless.  Not everyone has a clean bill of health and can jump off trains without pulling a muscle, go through a traumatic life experience without any hint of depression or anxiety, or watch a loved one die in gunfire and shove right on without emotional repercussions. Consider creating a character who’s not perfect – who isn’t perfectly in-shape or abled, or neurotypical or stable day-to-day, or completely clean and clear of residual heartache, unhealthy relationships, or bad emotional habits.  Don’t define them by these traits, of course – but don’t feel that you can’t write a character with health issues without writing a “sick character.”

So this post got ridiculously long, but I hope it works as a reference for you when creating unique characters.  Remember that you don’t need to outline all of this information to create an individual, realistic character.  These are just some relevant ideas to get you started!  It’s up to you, as the writer, to decide what’s necessary and what’s excessive for your creative process.

Still, I hope a majority of this is helpful to you!  If you have any more questions, be sure to send them in and we’ll get back to you :)  Good luck!

- Mod Joanna ♥️


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask us!

LGBT book list

Hey! I’m the anonymous who sent you an ask earlier about having an LGBT book list. I don’t have tumblr, hence the message :) So I’ve broken it into two major categories, and tried to include books from as many different genres as possible, so that there’s a wide variety for people to choose from.

Books whose major characters are LGBT and/or have LGBT themes:

Basically anything by David Levithan (YA)

If I Was Your Girl: Meredith Russo (YA)

Symptoms of Being Human: Jeff Garvin (YA)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Stephen Chbosky (YA)

Carry On: Rainbow Rowell (YA)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: Benjamin Alire Saenz (YA)

Every Heart a Doorway: Seanan McGuire (YA)

I’ll Give You the Sun: Jandy Nelson (YA)

Basically anything by Poppy Z. Brite (horror and general fiction)

The Raven Cycle: Maggie Stiefvater (YA)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Becky Albertalli (YA)

Ask the Passengers: A.S. King (YA)

The Pants Project: Cat Clarke (MG)

The Song of Achilles: Madeline Miller (fiction)

Basically anything by Sarah Waters (fiction)

Nightrunner series: Lynn Flewelling (fantasy)

Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage series: Mercedes Lackey (fantasy)

None of the Above: I.W. Gregorio (YA)

Middlesex: Jeffrey Eugenides (fiction)

One Man Guy: Michael Barakiva (YA)

More Happy Than Not: Adam Silvera (YA)

The Art of Being Normal: Lisa Williamson (YA)

Gena/Finn, Not Otherwise Specified: Hannah Moskowitz (YA)

This is Where it Ends: Marieke Nijkamp (YA)

Tonight the Streets Are Ours: Leila Sales (YA)

The books in this part of the list have characters that are LGBT, but play only minor roles, or you don’t know about it until late in the book etc.

Books featuring minor LGBT characters:

Lola and the Boy Next Door: Stephanie Perkins (YA)

American Psycho: Bret Easton Ellis (fiction)

Garden Spells, Lost Lake, First Frost: Sarah Addison Allen (fiction)

Ready Player One: Ernest Cline (science fiction)

Emmy and Oliver: Robin Benway (YA)

The Millennium trilogy: Stieg Larsson (mystery/thriller)

Noggin: John Corey Whaley (YA)

Extraordinary Means: Robyn Schneider (YA)

Elusion, Etherworld: Claudia Gabel (YA)

Sarah’s Key: Tatiana de Rosnay (historical fiction)

Passenger, Wayfarer: Alexandra Bracken

And these books are ones I haven’t read but I believe have LGBT characters:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post: Emily M. Danforth

Rubyfruit Jungle: Rita Mae Brown

Keeping You a Secret: Julie Anne Peters

Fun Home: Alison Bechdel

Girl Walking Backwards: Bett Williams

Ash: Malinda Lo

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children: Kirstin Cronns-Mills

The Bermudez Triangle: Maureen Johnson

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart: J.C. Lillis

Annie on My Mind, Holly’s Secret: Nancy Garden

And the Band Played On: Randy Shiltz

Am I Blue?: Marion Dane Bauer

Maurice: E.M. Forster

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel: Sara Farizan

Lies We Tell Ourselves: Robin Talley

The Price of Salt, or Carol: Patricia Highsmith

Everything Leads to You: Nina Lacour

Luna: Julie Ann Peters

Written on the Body, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit: Jeanette Winterson

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun: Jacqueline Woodson

The Color Purple: Alice Walker

More Than This: Patrick Ness

I am J: Cris Beam

For Today I am a Boy: Kim Fu

Hero: Perry Moore

Brokeback Mountain: Annie Proulx

Blue is the Warmest Color: Julie Maroh

Okay, I think that’s all I have for now, though I know I am missing a lot of books. This is a good start though for people looking for something to read. I’ve read all of these except for the last list, so any questions or recommendations, I am happy to provide. Also, I’m always up for chatting with a fellow johnlocker. The only friend I have who watches Sherlock is firmly in the ‘Sherlock is asexual, but if he loved anyone it would be Molly’ camp >_< Anyway, I love your blog. Keep up the great work. Cheers!

Kami


(referencing this post)

Wowee! Thanks for the fabulous list, Kami! I hope this will help out all of my followers looking for some literature!! :)

I really find it deeply unfair that Beyoncé continues to be shut out of the major categories and be delegated to “Urban Contemporary Album”. I just feel like there is some clear bias against R&B music in general at the Grammys and I find it to be a part of the deeper systemic issue the Grammy’s have had for decades. Beyoncé just happens to be caught in the middle of genre politics and it’s unfortunate because she is creating some incredibly boundary pushing work that should be recognized. That’s all.

Sassy, sarcastic characters who typically come off as cold, unfeeling jerks who intentionally isolate themselves from society but occasionally slip up and have a total mental/emotional breakdown (in either canon or fanfiction) where they really need a friend are my kryptonite. I just want to give them all a hug and help them find their happy endings.

Semiotics in Fandom Texts

A brief lesson on media decoding for the Check Please! Fandom

Semiotics is the study of signs/symbols and their use/interpretation. It’s basically how is meaning is created and expressed. Stuart Hall, notably, had a preferred reading theory. 

There’s encoding and decoding in all media. The content creator (an artist, journalist, etc) makes a piece with an intended meaning. They encode a message into their work. It’s the job of the audience to take that piece and decode its meaning.

 Now, it’s not often that straight forward. It’s not just like you have an audio jack straight from the brain of the creator into your mind so you can download their exact intended message. You have things like ethnic, racial, regional and religious backgrounds. You have how old you are, the generation you were raised in, and  the kind of education (formal or otherwise) that you’ve received. Whether you’re nuerotypical or allisitic sometimes comes into play. What privileges, or lack thereof,  and experiences you carry with you heavily impact how you interpret media. And even when a creator comes out and says “this is exactly the lens through which I want you to see this piece,” that can still be ignored or disregarded. 

Hall broke down how an audience decodes meaning into three major categories: 

Dominant reading- you’ve hit the nail on the head. This is exactly how the creator intended you to consume this media. You figured out the message and have accepted it as such. 

Negotiated reading - you’ve taken the message, and there are parts of it that you accept. You’re negotiating your bias with how much you believe that the intended message is indeed the message. Perhaps you see how it could be interpreted differently, but you’ve chosen to accept your interpretation as THE message. 

Oppositional reading - you’ve basically rejected the entire message in favor of something more aligned with your beliefs. This is like when global warning deniers refuse to look at facts and figures because they’ve been conditioned to believe that “the science is still inconclusive”. (just one example, more on this later)

Typically, the way people read media messages is more on a spectrum. So I’ll be using qualifying terms such as “more”, “less”, “closer to” and “further from” in order to describe placement on this spectrum. 

Case Study: In Universe Meta Meta 

Keep reading

muchadoaboutannie  asked:

If I come to FL will you teach a fellow bisexual cubana how to figure out which girls also like girls? Because I am like a lost little rabbit!

luckily miami wlw are easy to spot. there’s 2 major categories. The one that’ll fight u if you look at her girl wrong: wife beater, basketball shorts, backwards hat, 5 bitches with them, optional eyebrow slit. or The one that may or may not be an art student: hipster looking chick with the different colored hair. Both categories will have girls with one side of their head shaved so look out for that overlapping feature that’s a dead giveaway green light and she ‘bout it. go get ‘em. dale

anonymous asked:

Hello! So I have this idea, a fantasy idea, that there's this mythical item that could grant the user anything they wanted. But in this world it's considered legend and it suddenly came back up out of nowhere. A lot of people believe it to be evil, some think it could grant them fortune or help revive a dead loved one, and etc. My only problem is how it got in my world and what it is; like is it a sword or a crystal. I know this is kind of confusing, but can you help me at all?

Hi there!

Mythical items can be tricky little things and sometimes even as the writer, they stay hidden from you. You mentioned that it has a legend (hurray, step one complete!) but, you’re not sure what it is or where it came from. With a little bit of brainstorm and “reverse engineering” we should be able to solve your questions. Let’s begin!

Before we start on the problem, let’s talk about your legend a little bit. In most legends, a line or two is dedicated to the creation of this object. Whether it mentions a dark force forging the object or it being gifted to a hero by a mighty king, the very beginnings of the object are usually mentioned. Along with the beginnings, the disappearance of the object is included as well. If you have one of these two, figuring out the other one should be fairly easy. Some things to consider would be if the object is good or bad, who the original keeper was, and its last known location. These will serve as the basis for your legend as well as for deciding what your object is exactly.

Creation of the Magical and Mythical

In mythology and literature, objects that have some sort of reverence or powers attached to them are created three possible ways: by a magical being, by a powerful ruler, or by an element of the earth.

  1. Magical Being- The Magical Being can be anyone that has magical powers but some common ones are wizards, enchantresses, elves, and on occasion, fairies. Because the Magical Being is powerful and most of the time there to help your protagonist in their quest, it is not uncommon for magical gifts to be created and given by them. In one version of King Arthur, the Lady of the Lake, who has some magical orientation, is accredited with the giving of the great sword Excalibur to King Arthur. While the sword is not known for being magical, it is what gives Arthur his authority as the King of England.
  2. Powerful Ruler- Similarly with the Magical Being, the Powerful Ruler can have the item forged for them but the creation is accredited to them and they are the ones either using it or giving the item to your protagonist. In literature, this is very common with powerful weapons and happens twice in Beowulf with the two swords that help him in his quest. The Powerful Ruler can also be anyone who is considered a deity. It is extremely common in mythology that gods or goddesses gift objects to great mortals who are accomplishing good deeds.
  3. Element of the Earth- An Element of the Earth is common in cultures where certain mountains, forests, rivers, etc. are either holy or contain an unknown power. Sometimes, the Element of the Earth is described as having a bodily form like a fairy or spirit, and not just being “a gift from the mountain”. The Lady of the Lake is sometimes viewed as an Element of the Earth and a water nymph, but it depends on the version of the story.

Whether or not you have certain creatures in your world will help you decided how you object comes into being, but the origins I mentioned are only the three major categories that appear over and over in myths and literature alike. There is, of course, the possibility that a wise or pure human created the magical object, but these are less common and someone with the power or magical skills is usually the one creating and gifting such objects.

What could it be?

Now that we have discussed creation and backstory, let’s review what you object could be. You had mentioned it is believed to possibly be evil, bring good fortune, or bring back the dead and that it might be a sword or a crystal. Using these five options that you have mentioned, I was able to come up with a few options for you to work with. Keep in mind that if they do not work, you can always do something different! In mythologies, there is literally everything from swords and shields to plates and cups that have some sort of special importance. Have fun and brainstorm away!

The sword option only has two logical possibilities as to whether it is good, bad, or raises the beloved. A sword is a weapon, so it could be used for evil in destruction of people and objects. However, it could be a pure sword and bring good fortune to the wielder, never failing and always destroying evil. I did some research, specifically on mythical swords, and I could not find anywhere that a sword had brought someone back from death. Logically, it makes perfect sense as it is a weapon, but you could have it be more of a pure and ceremonial sword for traditions and intertwine the ability to heal grievous wounds.

The crystal option actually works with all three possibilities and other types of stones or crystals are mentioned similarly in different mythologies. A crystal can be evil and from the darkest depths of the earth with the ability to only destroy. It could bring good fortune and be like a wishing stone that when the holder thinks of their one true desire it is granted. If it brings good fortune, you could go either way on raising the dead. Either you grant it the ability to occasionally raise a beloved or you could apply the Genie Rule and it cannot raise the dead along with no wishing for more wishes, it cannot make people fall in love, and it cannot kill anyone. 

I hope this has given you at least a spring board to begin working on your story more in depth. Like I mentioned earlier, you are not confined to just a crystal or sword. Anything you want could be mythical and magical and its origin story can be anything you want it to be. All you need to do is apply reader logic and make sure it fits your plot line. (Does it make sense and does it fit?) Don’t worry about it too much. Sometimes origin stories change later down the road as you learn more about your world and your characters.

Happy Writing!

-Mia

billboard.com
Grammy Watch: Will a One Direction Member Finally Earn a Nomination?
Over the course of their five albums and six Top 10 hits together, One Direction received exactly zero Grammy nominations. So can the 1D guys at long last snap their cold streak, now as solo artists?

Earlier this month, sleeping pop giant One Direction notched a rather remarkable chart achievement, despite being on hiatus for over a year: all five members of the mega-selling British group have now earned at least one solo top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Louis Tomlinson was the final member to join the club when “Back to You,” featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals, recently debuted at No. 40 on the chart. Liam Payne and Niall Horan each have current Top 20 hits with “Strip That Down” and “Slow Hands,” respectively, while Harry Styles and Zayn have each entered the Top 10 on their ownm with songs like “Sign of the Times” and “Pillowtalk.”

All five of the 1D lads are doing quite well for themselves, and all five have released new music since the start of 2017… and thus, would be eligible for the 2018 Grammy Awards. However, history’s working against the quintet of burgeoning stolo stars: Over the course of their five albums and six Hot 100 Top 10 hits together, One Direction received exactly zero Grammy nominations.

Keep reading

Writing Magic Posts: Personal/Experience versus Applicable Information

Magic posts generally fall into one of two major categories: personal/experience posts or applicable information posts. Which type of post yours falls under will affect how they are perceived.  

Personal/Experience posts are what a person experienced during a magical event, typically written from a narrative PoV with a lot of focus on conversation, the environment and detail. They are very detailed recordings of a single experience. Applicable Information posts differ in that, while they may be based in personal experience, they are usually built off of a combination of multiple experiences rather than just one.

Differences between personal/exp posts and applicable info posts:

Personal/Experience Posts are:

  • Usually describing a single event
  • Written like journal/diary entries
  • Focus on emotions, feelings, sensations, and/or events
  • Are generally useful only to the Original Poster (OP). (This usually ends up with them being ignored/not getting many notes, for those of you that care about that.)
  • Examples: “I went to X astral realm…”, “I interviewed X spirit…”, “I casted X spell and this is what I felt during/what happened after…”, “My guide told me X…”

Applicable Info Posts are:

  • Usually written from experience with multiple events, a summarization of multiple experiences sometimes including those of others
  • Written like articles
  • Focus on information/what is applicable- useful for many people
  • Purposely avoids emotional tone/language
  • Can be useful to a wider audience (thus usually garnering more notes/attention.) 
  • Easier to gain confirmation for (since you can ask others who may be doing the same thing about their experiences)
  • Usually better organized and thus easier for a quick read
  • Examples: Info on the culture of a specific group of spirits, a spell, theories

Some of you might worry that your practice will be less “sacred” if you give out information. Well, I’ve got good news for you-

You don’t need to expose personal shit to be informative. As said earlier, the majority of people don’t care about your personal experiences because there’s nothing in your sacred experience that they can use and apply to themselves (as cold as that might sound). Because of this, you can still keep the personal aspects of your practice secret while opening up applicable information. So you can keep your guidance from your spirit guides, heart-wrenching journeys, sacred sigils your deity gave you and whatever else personal shit to yourself. Good news, right?

Anyhow, if you want to focus on writing more applicable information posts,

You move from a personal/experience to applicable info with:

  • Confirmation - multiple, unrelated people experiencing the same thing
  • Correlation - Multiple instances of the same/similar events/experiences occurring 
  • Analysis- finding out what may be applicable to others, and what isn’t
  • Editing out personalization- You purposely remove anything that applies only to you. This makes the information more widely applicable.

Moving from personal experiences to applicable info is an extraction process. You’re literally extracting and filtering out “raw info” from a collection of experience- it takes time, but the applicable info will be very useful once compiled.

For confirmation/correlation studies, the ideal minimum of experiences/people confirming would be 30, as it is the statistical “magic number” where trends begin becoming apparent.* While not foolproof, it would be the ideal. However, given the size of the community and how hard it is to find others doing the same things as you, that sample size isn’t achievable for the majority of us.

The next best thing would be to form (persona 5 voice) social links with a small group of practitioners around the same level of experience as you, so that you can perform experiments/confirmation/correlation checks with each other.

Tips for a better applicable info post:

  • Be as SPECIFIC with your sample as possible. If you want to write about a type of demon for example, don’t  just call them “demons” in your post. Don’t even just say “Lavartum demons”. Now, saying Theatre Lavartum demons, a specific subset of the Lavartum species, would be much better. Narrow it down as much as you can, to specific subspecies/races/ethnicities (when talking about spirits) or towns/provinces (when talking about an astral location), for example(s?). Here is a post expanding more on why.
  • Have others review your articles to make sure the information is applicable and easy to understand.
  • Write as simply yet precisely as possible. Don’t use vague, flowery language when you’re trying to share info and make it more applicable.
  • Have good formatting…it doesn’t matter how good your information is if it’s poorly organized so nobody can understand it. Make use of headings, subheadings, etc.
  • Proofread
  • Don’t be afraid to ask around if people have had similar experiences. More people are likely to trust the info if it was formed through the experiences of multiple people (because confirmation). The more you trap yourself with this idea that you can’t share any of your experiences, the greater your insecurity is going to get. After all, you’re the one forcing standards on yourself. If you’re gatekeeping information and then getting insecure that you can’t be truly open you have no one to blame but yourself. You need to really look at yourself, your practice and the community overall to decide what you do or don’t want to share; ignoring these points will only hurt you in the long run. And a reminder again- you don’t need to expose personal shit to be informative.
  • Create new terminology when necessary, but if you need to use an already existing word (such as ‘signatures’ in ‘energy signatures’), try and make sure that your new term uses that word in the correct context or as close to the original context as possible. Don’t be afraid to make up completely new words if what you’re attempting to talk about doesn’t fit anything you know of (and double check with google to ensure that the word you’re making up doesn’t exist yet lol)

Applicable information posts are the main way that new information gets introduced to communities, as the information can actually be used and improved upon by a multitude of people. If you want to effectively contribute your information, you’ll need to make it applicable to others, hence the name.

*Google it for more. 

“So the doc said I have ____ Seizures. What does that actually mean?” An Updated Cheat Sheet

So you’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy. Great… what does that even mean?


“Epilepsy is a seizure disorder,” meaning you’re brain is more likely to send off mixed signals, than the next guy. But that’s alright, ‘cause I’m going to lay down the basics of what you need to know. Lol.

First, let’s get this straight: everyone is capable of having a seizure. You stick lil’ Timmy infront of a high speed strobe for long enough, sooner or later his brain will say “What the hell am I looking at? I can’t keep up!” And he’ll wind up on the floor.

Folks who have Epilepsy, like you and I, are no different. We see things, hear things, feel, and taste, just like any other human being. Okay? What I’m trying to get at here is you are not a freak of nature. You are not a mutant. Sadly, no, you do not have special powers to set objects aflame. (I know. That bummed me out too.) No! Instead, you’re just a normal dudelet - just chillin with the rest of the human race.

But what does makes us different, is that we have a lower seizure tolerance than most. That’s it. I know right? When you say it like that, it doesn’t sound like a big deal. That’s cause it isn’t. What is a big deal, are the seizures themselves, which I’ll get to in a hot minute.

So what IS a seizure? Great question. “… a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain,” says The Epilepsy Foundation (epilepsy.com). Another, but equally scientific, definition describes it as, “the workers in your brain going, ‘What the actual fuck are we dealing with here?’ And proceeding to lose their shit,”

Pretty much, something - be it lights, lack of sleep, stress, booze, high pitched beeping, the sight of toast, whatever - will set off this seizure. This is called a Trigger. Triggers are things that our brains don’t generally enjoy. They tend to me things that could give a person headaches, or migraines; or make you feel out of sorts if you have to deal with them for too long. It is possible for some to “delay” a seizure, or even stave it off completely. Not everyone can do this though. I know someone who’s been able to prevent her seizures by sleeping with a foot on the floor. I (sometimes) can push one off if I feel one coming on, by either her being physically active or focusing on something solid, to remind myself im not floating away. But as I said, not everyone can do it. It depends on what type of seizures you have, and how in tune you are with your body. I only figured out my method after years of experimenting.

Anyway, so we got the basics. Back to….

Seizures! There are two major categories from which we have a variety of flavors.

There’s Focal and Generalized. The main difference between the two is how they start. Easy enough, right? (I’ve heard tell of a third classification “Unknown Onset”, but we’ll get into that later)

First we have Focal Onset: Focal seizures happen in specific parts of the brain - Sort of like a controlled mob.

Focal Onset Aware (aka Simple Partial): Im gonna be frank with you here. There are like a million types of Simple Partial Seizures. I probably won’t hit every kind, and I apologize if I’ve skipped someone out there. Ya know. My bad. Nonetheless I’ll do my best.

Simple Partials are pretty cool is that you are awake for them. Oh yeah. That’s right. You can have a seizure and be totally cognizant. These are the ones many refer to as “Auras”. Yeah, you know that “warning” you get before blacking out? That my friend is most likely a simple partial seizure. They’re like little seizures. Aw cute, right. No! They’re a pain in the ass! (Ehem. Apologies) anyway, as I said before, they can come in a whole bunch of types. To save time, I’m just going to give you a list of the effects:

Some people experience Deja Vu, out of body experiences, weird tastes in your mouth, (there’s emotional/psychological kinds) that’s make you have intense sorrow, or a sense of impending doom, others make you randomly filled with a god-like rage.

Others make your hands, fingers, toes, legs, etc twitch.

Some make it IMPOSSIBLE to find the right words/understand words/even read, and you suddenly feel illiterate and as if English is your second language despite being brought up in the US. (I’m not emotionally invested or anything).

Honestly, for these, you really should look it up yourself. I’ll be doing a separate post just for them, but nonetheless. It’s too important, and it’s one that truly is unique to the person.

Focal Onset Unaware (aka Complex Partial):

These are like simple partial seizures, but you’re NOT awake. Apparently many experience lip smacking during it. I wouldn’t know, because I’m out for the count. The one thing I do know is they can go into Generalized Seizures. This is not common however, that’s just the case for me.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG

Next we have Generalized: “Generalized” Seizure are seizures that effect both sides of your brain. *Imagine a stray cluster of teenage neurons are having a house party, and EVERYONE shows up.*. [Neurons are the little electric dudes that’s race around your head and make everything work/tell different parts of your brain what’s going on]

Tonic-Clonic (Motor): This is the big nasty one that people believe all seizures look like. The person loses consciousness, and convulses (shakes).

What It’s Like: They don’t hurt while it happens; but I’ll be honest with you, it can feel like you’ve been hit by a bus coming out of it. Basically, you’ve been clenching up and releasing muscles you didn’t even know you had over and over really really quickly. It’s like being super out of shape, and then made to do a triathlon athlete’s complete workout circuit in 2-5 minutes. At a weird angle, so you probably get dinged up along the way. So yeah. I’d describe it as waking up to limp noodles for tendons and joints, and fiery rocks for muscles. It’s sorta like how you’d imagine the hero of an action film would ACTUALLY feel like if the scenario were real.

Absence: these are super quick, but can happen MANY many times a day. They’re so quick that they’re almost impossible to notice. You stare for a few seconds, and snap out of it. I know, not very scary. What sucks is that you can lose time with them. So one second you’ll be lovin life, and suddenly, black, you forgot what you were saying, and a whole bunch of things that happened recently. This all comes back though, eventually.


Clonic Seizures: Unlike Tonic Clonic, these big and nasties happen while you’re awake. (Fun fact: Tonic is the part of the seizure where you stiffen and fall unconscious. Clonic is where you convulse). So needless to say, these can hurt. Actually, they do hurt. A lot. I’ve only had a couple in my time, thankfully, but it feels like everything’s described earlier for Tonic-Clonics, except you are wide awake the entire time to enjoy every bump, scratch, and uncontrolled spasm. Oh, and it feels like there are electric shocks going through you. At least it did for me. These tend to last a few minutes.

Tonic Seizures: these tend to happen in your sleep, but they don’t have to necessarily. The muscles in your legs, arms, or abdomen tense up for about 20 seconds. It’s relatively harmless, but can mean for some serious loss of balance if it happens while standing up. (Also they’re just a pain, and can wear you out, honestly)

Atonic: These I’ll admit, can be spooky. Basically your muscles go limp for about 15 seconds at a time. So you might now be able to hold your head up; or suddenly you drop everything cause your arms go out. It’s not fun. It’s actually less than 15 seconds, but some people can have a bunch of these in a row. If its bad enough, some may consider wearing a helmet, if a fall hazard arises.

Myoclonic: Muscles will jerk as it electricuted. Apparently these seizures can start in the same part of the brain as Atonic, and many who have one have been known to experience the other.


So that’s what you missed on Glee! Any questions, comments, moans or groans, shoot em up my way! If anyone has any knowledge of Tonic Clonic Seizures, id love to hear it! And if I missed anything, please let me know!!

Hope this can be of some help for you newbies out there, (or for you other folks like I who never got the full story on their diagnoses til much later lol)


And don’t worry friend. I know Epilepsy is rough. I know it sounds scary, but you’re going to be fine. You’ve got an entire community who has your back :) So hang in there Kiddo!


Sincerely,

Captain Fantastic Spastic

By nominating Styles, the Grammys get to anoint a new figure in rock music who is already immensely popular and heralded by critics. What’s the downside here?

A quick note about a major category that has been remained untouched in this dissection: Best New Artist. It is possible that one of the 1D boys (maybe Harry, or Niall) snags a nomination in the Big Four category, but more likely that Grammy voters classify them as not-new due to their earlier stardom within One Direction. […] Styles has the best chance at showing up here, but remains a long shot. More likely he’ll show up in a rock category, cause a bunch of grumpy responses from rock fans and help secure 1D member’s first Grammy nod. Six years after their debut album arrived in the U.S., it’s about time the boys participate in music’s biggest night.

“The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future—deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.”
— World Watch Institute

  • Me, in the middle of Filibustering: I will get to my point in good time, Mr Speaker, but perhaps I would be able to better illustrate my point with a short story that I'm sure everyone will find both relevant and illuminating. People often say that politics is a game of influence and I believe that influence can be accrued in three major categories, those categories being wealth, fame and power, which is where I shall forthwith start my story.
  • Wealth, Fame, Power...
  • The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King Gold Roger. The final words that were said at his execution, sent people to the seas.
  • "My wealth and treasures? I'll let you have it. Look for it, I left all of it at that place!"
  • Men now, chasing their dreams head towards the Grand Line. The world now enters a Great Age of Pirates!"
  • ありったけの夢をかき集め
  • 捜し物を探しに行くのさ
  • ONE PIECE!

Last year’s Tony’s were great because while there was still some competition, we all knew Hamilton was going to win a majority of the categories, regardless what we personally thought of the show. This year - too much talent. Too much competition. I’m attached to literally every cast for different reasons and I want them all to win for different reasons. I’m glad I’m not making the decisions, Good luck to the American Theatre Wing for making these hard decisions - I’m glad I’m not in your shoes.

On the other hand, I’m most likely going to be happy however the chips will fall when the noms are released because I’ll be routing for every cast member in every show, most likely, and several of them are bound to be nominated.

ZoSan Fic Rec - One Piece

Finally (yes again), I’m doing the fic rec you’re all waiting for (esp you @sleepydrarry​, please stop harassing me lmao)

There will be a lot of Unda’s work on here but what can I say, I’ve fallen in love.

  • Vitriolic Best Buds - Unda : Or: why I shouldn’t read TV tropes late at night. Wanted to have a little fun with this trope that fits the boys to a T. Vague hostile romance if you squint a little or just a hostile bromance. Your choice. One shot. - Over protective Zoro and Sanji in a One Shot and so much cuteness, I can’t. Also Sanji and Zoro and not explicitly in a relationship but come on, everybody knows.
  • Memories - Stark_Black : Sanji has been in a coma for eleven months, but he’s lost his memory of the past two years. Now, he doesn’t remember Zoro, or the life the two of them had built together. - Apparently, in every fic rec that I do, I MUST have a fic with reserve. So here it is. The fic is great and the angst at the start is a KILLER but, I think it’s an old fic (like 2008), I mean, come on, there is BlackBerries and How To Save A Life. Also warning about some nearly sexist comments and not enough lube/prep.
  • The Roronoa Fruit - Stark_BlackTo Zoro’s surprise, Sanji takes a step towards friendship, using food as his cover. Now their new friendship is deepening fast and Sanji almost can’t keep up. - Oh, another one by Stark_Black ! Okay, I may have reserves about Memories but, The Roronoa Fruit is AWESOME. Just go read it, so much pining, I CAN’T. Kinda wish I could Obliviate myself and read it again.
  • The Not-So-Romatinc Tale of the Swordsman and the Cook - donutsandcoffee…as witnessed, told, and suffered through by the Bravest Warrior of the Sea, Usopp.Sanji loves Zoro. Zoro loves Sanji. They are also, somehow, obliviously, infuriatingly, in an unrequited love with each other.Usopp thinks he can do something about it. He really should have had more self-preservation instinct than that. - THIS ONE, this one, I died laughing in the floor. Luffy and his “It’s a Mystery Plan” and everybody is so on-character, I can’t even. It’s so awesome, and so funny and just go read it, mood-lift is assured.
  • Aural Pleasure - Unda : “It’d be almost funny if it weren’t so terrible, out of a whole sandy beach the directionally challenged Zoro manages to find the one rock to land head first on.” Zoro has to learn to talk again and in the process learns a bit about listening to Sanji. - OMG this one (yes I’m excited about every single fic on this rec, fight me). The angst in the fic is horribly good, I legit cried. 92k words and every single one of them is on point. It’s the fic that made me fall in love with Unda, All praise the ZoSan genius. Serisously, if there is only one fic to read in this rec, it’s this one. Also happy ending so… ;)
  • Once More With Feeling - Aviss : Sanji is given a second chance to set things right. And a third. And a fourth… - This one is the pure definition of angst. I cried A LOT. It’s super well-written and heart breaking and please, do read it.
  • Prison Blues - donutsandcoffee : Zoro gets lost, Sanji gets captured by the marines, the Strawhats break into the ship’s prison, and they all escape with a bang.Not exactly in that order, much to the confusion of Sanji’s cellmates. - 3rd person narrator, only one chapter, and incredibly funny. One of the first ZoSan fic I read and I also fell in love with the author.
  • Reactions - Unda : Sanji is happy to report that his food has never hurt anyone… until now. - Another Unda work, what can I say. This one is also awesome, and please go read it, I don’t even have the words to say how good it is. Just read it omg
  • go back to sleep - itsmylifekay : His skin tingles with an unfamiliar sensation and he shifts, mind becoming more alert as he takes in his surroundings and the strange, lingering warmth on his arm. If he concentrates hard enough, he can feel the fading shape of long fingers pressed into his skin.“Go back to sleep, stupid marimo,” he hears. Sanji is standing close by, pulling on the last of his clothes and straightening his tie. His voice is low in the softness of the early morning and Zoro grunts at the words. - This one is just fluff and pining and rainbow and unicorns. There’s a little of gore, I don’t remember it being bad but I’m not phased by it, so maybe you should be careful..
  • Fix Me - LunaStories : A story of despair, loss, and healing. An alternate scenario in which Sanji is the one who takes the damage from Kuma, rather than Zoro. Thriller Bark Arc.And even as there were shouts of horror around him, Zoro dashed to the blonde’s side, determined to give him a scolding (and then a beating after he healed) for the stupid stunt he had pulled.They all watched with varying degrees of surprise as Zoro reached Sanji, and with one tap on the shoulder…he fell. - OKAY SO. Everybody that knows me, know that I actually enjoy hurting myself and making myself cry to sleep and this fic goes into that category. Major Character Death, I’m warning you guys. But for the ones of you who have the same tastes as me, just go read it and enjoy. it’s fricking awesome and I keep reading it again and again, I can’t get enough of it.


Okay there’s already quite a lot of fics and I’m only half through my list of what I wanted to rec. So that’s means….. THERE’LL BE A 2ND PART (yes Em’, you’ll be able to harass me again, nice right ? lmao)

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed it and please don’t forget to leave kudos and comments to the authors ;)