The Issue of Being a Freelance Artist (When working with non-designers): A story by Sean Williams (and future reference for other artists)
Hey guys, looks like its story time… I’m going to vent to you guys about something that just happened to me today, and hopefully you guys can reblog it so that we as artists, can try to avoid this from happening in the future.
For the last month or so I’ve been working on a freelance project for a woman who plans on running a blog about going to College. Throughout this process, I’ve worked with her step by step, going through designs, drafts, re-drafts and etc. After turning in the final design yesterday and being in agreement that the design was good, and that payment should be finalized; she sent me an email stating this:
“I ran the design by a couple of people affiliated with by blog, and I am going to have to ask you to redo it. It’s just not what we were looking for. I’m not a design person at all and I wanted it done, so I settled on it. But this has to be done right”
“Okay, fine” I thought. Sometimes things don’t work out, and designs need to be redone. I was fine with this, and I have absolutely no problem working with a client to make sure that they’re happy; but something about her wording stuck a chord…. She settled. And for reference: THIS is what she said yesterday- BEFORE the email today stating: “This has to be done right”
FUN FACT: I had gone in a completely different direction before coming up with the design I sent yesterday, but after HOURS of working on it and checking in with her (with her telling me she loved the way it looked) –
–I was asked to redo it.
She told me to redo it. A DAY BEFORE IT WAS DUE. Which I did (The design I turned in yesterday). But I digress..
Icontinued reading through the email:
“If you are not able or willing to take this on, then we can just cut our ties here. If you would like to finish the project in a time sensitive manner and be paid the other 50$ and be featured, then please get me a new design by today.”
At this point, I’d been working with her for a little over a month, (I’m a full-time student, and I work the maximum number of hours that I’m allowed to work on campus, on top of that I’m the president of an animation organization on campus, so suffice to say, I’m busy) and she had a deadline for the project, so there was a part of me that could understand her urgency. We had decided on $100. Half up front and half after I had finished. But now something else had stuck with me: “Please get me a new design by today”
What? Are you kidding me? a NEW design? We had been working together for over a month, and I had worked based on what she wanted, and now she wanted a COMPLETELY new design by the end of the day. A day, I might add that I don’t have free because I have work and then other school-related obligations that I need to fulfill… That would mean sketches to generate more ideas, having to confer with her on the design, THEN actually implementing the design, and having to clean it all up, with 1.) No direction (because the way I designed it previously was obviously all wrong), and 2.) By the end of the day.
This had to be done right, and after all of that working and reworking, I was STILL looking to try to be as helpful and professional as possible. So of course, I was considering starting from scratch and coming up with a THIRD finalized design, until I read the rest of the email… HERE’S THE KICKER: I can’t even make this shit up.
“A few things to keep in mind. 1. I am a professional. I’m an adult, this is my business. I want it clean, simple and streamlined”.
In my head I thought: “You’re joking. You’re going to tell me these things like I’m a child? First of all, I may be a student, but I’m a working adult, I take care of my schoolwork, I pay rent, I pay a car note, I’m ENGAGED, AND take care of a pet Ferret. Beyond that, not only have I worked on this project with you step, by step, but I’ve done COUNTLESS drafts and ON TOP OF THAT, you’ve told me multiple times that the design is perfect for what you’re looking for”…
Are you fucking kidding me. This woman thought it was okay to send me: A designer; this “HELPFUL” link. About tips. FOR NON DESIGNERS. WHEN SHE HERSELF IS NOT A DESIGNER. After this I was LIVID. But I kept my composure and kept reading:
“Ask me questions, read the blog, treat me as if I’m a real client. Let me know your thoughts on this.”
I almost couldn’t contain myself. For a month I’ve done sketches, layouts, and etc… I’d worked with you step by step, following her instructions for the design, FOR EACH ITERATION OF THE DESIGN and I had tailored each of my changes exactly to her specifications. Beyond that I’d read and re-read over the blog multiple times in an effort to come up with a design that would best display her intentions. I was so upset after reading her email that I literally just closed my phone and walked around for a few minutes to clear my head.
After much consideration, I decided to do what she herself had suggested and cut our ties. And I did it in what I feel was the most respectful way that I could while still maintaining my dignity. I sent her a message stating that I’m sorry that things didn’t work out, but that I could tell that she clearly didn’t respect me as an artist, and that I thought it best if we didn’t continue working together. I wished her good luck in finding a designer that could suit her needs, and I went about my day.
Although this situation didn’t end the way that I had expected it to when we began working together, I’ve learned some things, and I wanted to share my story with you all as a way to help raise awareness for things like this:
-VALUE YOUR ART. -VALUE YOUR TIME. -VALUE THE CLIENT BUT DO NOT LET THEM STEP ALL OVER YOU
There are non designers who will commission you and be happy that you created something for them, and there are those that will NEVER be satisfied with what you give them. See the warning signs and DO NOT work with people who are going to be difficult for the sake of being difficult.
I’ve worked with more than a few people who don’t appreciate the amount of passion and hard work that goes into art, and it draining, frustrating and its just not worth it.
Another thing that I learned is please please please DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT.
The project that I was working on wasn’t worth $100. And after the second draft it was even worth doing for $200. I understand being a student and needing money, but I’d rather work for free on something that I love than work for pennies on something that I hate.
Don’t take a project just because it pays. AND PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO UNDERCUT YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU’RE A STUDENT OR BECAUSE YOU DON’T FEEL THAT YOU’RE A “PROFESSIONAL” YET.
I have friends in the animation industry who STILL don’t feel like they’re necessarily “Professionals”
KNOW YOUR WORTH. And never ever EVER Let anyone tell you what you’re worth. Especially if they don’t know or respect just how much work and time goes into making the beautiful things that you all make.
I think that’s about it. Thanks for putting up with yet another long rant about me trying to navigate my life as an artist!
(also… completely unrelated: If you’re an artist reading this, let me know! I’d love to follow you and I hope you do the same!)
Stephen King is an All-Time Great, arguably one of the most popular novelists the world has ever seen. And there’s a good chance that he’s inspired more people to start writing than any other living writer. So, as the Guardian and King’s UK publisher Hodder launch a short story competition – to be judged by the master himself – here are the ten most important lessons to learn from his work.
1. Write whatever the hell you like
King might be best known – or, rather, best regarded – as a writer of horror novels, but really, his back catalogue is crammed with every genre you can think of. There are thrillers (Misery, Gerald’s Game), literary novels (Bag Of Bones, Different Seasons), crime procedurals (Mr Mercedes), apocalypse narratives (The Stand), fantasy (Eyes Of The Dragon, The Dark Tower series) … He’s even written what I think of as being one of the greatest Young Adult novels of all time: The Long Walk. Perhaps the only genre or audience he hasn’t really touched so far is comedy, but most of his work features moments that show his deft touch with humour. It’s clear that King does what he wants, when he wants, and his constant readers – the term he calls his, well, constant readers – will follow him wherever he goes.
2. The scariest thing isn’t necessarily what’s underneath the bed
Horror is a curious thing. What scares one person won’t necessarily scare another. And while there might be moments in his horror novels that tread towards the more conventional ideas of what some find terrifying, for the most part, the truly scary aspects are those that deal with humanity itself. Ghosts drive people to madness, telekinetic girls destroy whole towns with their powers, clowns … well, clowns are just bloody terrifying full stop. But the true crux of King’s ability to scare is finding the thing that his readers are actually worried about, and bringing that to the fore. If you’re writing horror, don’t just think about what goes bump in the night; think about what that bump might drive people to do afterwards.
3. Don’t be scared of transparency
One of my favourite things about King’s short story collections are the little notes about each tale that he puts into the text. The history of them, the context for the idea, how the writing process actually worked. They’re not only invaluable material for aspiring writers – because exactly how many drafts does it take to reach a decent story? King knows! – but they’re also brilliant nuggets of insight into King himself. Some people might think that it’s better off knowing nothing about authors when they read their work, but for King, his heart is on his sleeve. In his latest collection, The Bazaar of Broken Dreams, King gets more in-depth than ever, talking about what inspired the stories in such an honest way that it couldn’t have come from another writer’s pen. Which brings us to …
4. Write what you know. Sort of. Sometimes
Write what you know is the most common writing tip you’ll find anywhere. It’s nonsense, really, because if we all did that we’d end up with terribly boring novels about writers staring out of windows waiting for inspiration to hit. (If you like those, incidentally, head straight for the literary fiction section of your nearest bookshop.) But King understands that experience is something which can be channelled into your work, and should be at every opportunity. Aspects of his life – addiction, teaching, his near-fatal car accident, rock and roll, ageing – have cropped up in his work over and over, in ways that aren’t always obvious, but often help to drive the story. That’s something every writer can use, because it’s through these truths that real emotions can be writ large on the page.
5. Aim big. Or small
King’s written some mammoth books, and they’re often about mammoth things. The Stand takes readers into an apocalypse, with every stage of it laid out on the page until the final fantastical showdown. It deals with a horror that hits a group of characters twice in their lives, showing us how years and years of experience can change people. And The Dark Tower is a seven (or eight, or more, if you count the short stories set in its world) part series that takes in so many different genres of writing it’s dizzying. When he needs to, King aims really big, and sometimes that’s what you have to do to tell a story. At the other end of the spectrum, some of King’s most enduring stories – Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption, The Mist – have come from his shorter works. He traps small groups of characters in single locations and lets the story play out how it will. The length of the story you’re telling should dictate the size of the book. Doesn’t matter if it’s forty thousand words or two hundred, King doesn’t waste a word.
6. Write all the time. And write a lot
King’s published – wait for it – 55 novels, 11 collections of stories, 5 non-fiction works, 7 novellas and 9 assorted other pieces (including illustrated works and comic books). That’s over a period of 41 years. That’s an average of two books a year. Which is, I must admit, a pretty giddying amount. That’s years of reading (or rereading, if you’re as foolishly in awe of him as I am). But he’s barely stopped for breath. This year has seen three books published by him, which makes me feel a little ashamed. Still, at my current rate of writing, I might catch up with him sometime next century. And while not every book has found the same critical and commercial success, they’ve all got their fans.
7. Voice is just as important as content
King’s a writer who understands that a story needs to begin before it’s actually told. It begins in the voice of the novel: is it first person, or third? Is it past or present tense? Is it told through multiple narrators, or just the one? He’s a master at understanding exactly why each story is told the way it’s told. Sure, he might dress it up as something simple – the story finding the voice it needs, or vice versa – but through his books you can see that he’s tried pretty much everything, and can see why each voice worked with the story he was telling.
8. And Form is just as important as voice
King isn’t really thought of as an experimental novelist, which is grossly unfair. Some of King’s more daring novels have taken on really interesting forms. Be it The Green Mile’s fragmented, serialised narrative; or the dual publication of The Regulators and Desperation – novels which featured the same characters in very different situations, with unsettling parallels between the stories that unfolded for them; or even Carrie’s mixed-media narrative, with sections of the story told as interview or newspaper extract. All of these novels have played with the way they’re presented on the page to find the perfect medium for telling those stories. Really, the lesson here from King is to not be afraid to play.
9. You don’t have to be yourself
Some of King’s greatest works in the early years of his career weren’t published by King himself. They were in the name of Richard Bachman, his slightly grislier pseudonym. The Long Walk, Thinner, The Running Man – these are books that dealt with a nastier side of things than King did in his properly attributed work. Because, maybe it’s good to have a voice that allows us to let the real darkness out, with no judgments. (And then maybe, as King eventually did in The Dark Half, it’s good to kill that voice on the page … )
10. Read On Writing. Now
This is the most important tip in the list. In 2000, King published On Writing, a book that sits in the halfway space between autobiography and writing manual. It’s full of details about his process, about how he wrote his books, channelled his demons and overcame his challenges. It’s one of the few books about writing that are actually worth their salt, mainly because it understands that it’s about a personal experience, and readers might find that useful. There’s no universal truths when it comes to writing. One person’s process would be a nightmare for somebody else. Some people spend years labouring on nearly perfect first drafts; some people get a first draft written in six weeks, and then spend the next year destroying it and rebuilding it. On Writing tells you how King does it, to help you to find your own. Even if you’re not a fan of his books, it’s invaluable to the in-development writer. Heck, it’s invaluable to all writers.
I know everyone is freaking out over Trump’s tax returns being leaked but let’s make something clear. The journalist who was leaked these documents said himself that he believes Trump himself is possibly behind this. Trump has leaked shit to the media his whole life and these documents are literally nothing.
They only leaked 2 pages of what’s likely a large amount of information, they’re over 10 years old, they show that he paid a high percentage of his income, they don’t show business dealings or how he made his money, like it shows nothing. These two pages being leaked was very intentional and the media is going to eat this non-story up for days/weeks.
Ten Things That Are 500% True About Dean Winchester and Classic Rock Radio Stations
He can tell what part of the country he’s in by which bands get the most play. Sam thought he was making it up until Dean actually showed him an article on FiveThirtyEight about it. Sam didn’t even know Dean knew what FiveThirtyEight was. (“Apparently it’s a tool for proving you wrong, Sammy.”)
He will judge a station harshly for censoring Steve Miller Band’s “Jet Airliner.” (”Funky kicks? What the hell is that?”)
He wonders sometimes if radio stations realize that they’re incriminating themselves when they play Rush’s “Spirit of Radio,” or if they’re idiots like people who play The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” at political rallies. (”Or people who think R.E.M.’s ‘The One I Love’ is romantic.” “What?” “Nothing.”)
He has almost zero patience for most morning radio “talent” because they never. shut. up. (”If I wanted to listen to some douche talk shit all day I’d call Crowley.”)
He understands why the original Springsteen version of “Blinded By The Light” never gets any airplay – it’s terrible – but he wonders what kind of deal Manfred Mann made to get the cover version played all the goddamn time. Like, the dude is still alive, so it can’t be standard crossroads fare, but something is going on there. Maybe he should ask Cas.
He will also judge any DJ who mispronounces Led Zeppelin’s “D’yer Mak’er.” (”It’s supposed to be a joke, Sam!” “I know. You’ve told me, like, five hundred times.”)
He has a soft spot for the trivia and/or “name that tune” type call-in contests. He almost never gets to play them – he’s always just passing through – but one of the best meals he’s ever eaten was paid for with a win from a station in Nebraska. (”That’d be ‘Wild Horses’ by The Rolling Stones…”)
He wishes fervently that stations would play almost any Warren Zevon song that is not “Werewolves of London.” It’s catchy. We get it. For fuck’s sake, at least throw us a “Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” or even “Excitable Boy” now and again. (”Hey, you want Chinese? I think I saw a place a couple miles back…”)
He remembers when “We Will Rock You” didn’t automatically segue into “We Are The Champions" and misses it. Yeah, they go together, but they’re also meaningful on their own. And yeah, he knows that a single came out the year before he was born with the two of them together, but come on. (”Fucking digital libraries, man…”)
He wonders if all these ads for tractor companies are actually selling any tractors, because that’s fucking wild. Chainsaws he can see, sure, but large farm equipment? He’s got no points of reference for that. He wishes Bobby was still around. Bobby’d probably know.
Bonus Thing: There’s a “modern rock” (or whatever) station up in Montana called The Moose, and it’s awful. Every time they catch a case up there, he gives Sam shit about it. (”Hey Sammy, I think somebody found your iPod.” “You realize that’d be more insulting if I didn’t like Pearl Jam, right?”)
when this blog began back in March of 2014, nothing was expected from it. ironically, this blog was the manifestation of a post (that post is here) from earlier that month and this blog was created to share some laughs among some bored friends
a couple of these friends reblogged some of the posts on the blog and the blog suddenly went viral, with a bunch of people asking “when are you going to make more?”
so what is this blog?
looking back -and i didnt necessarily plan this - the blog had three distinct stages
relatable humor blog (problems 1-120)
nuanced perspectives of life from straight white boys (121-350)
humor/character driven, non-linear story development (351-1000)
i had no idea what the hell i was doing through the first two stages. sometime during the second stage, I asked myself, “hmm…this blog focuses on teenage masculinity…how do other people see teenage masculinity and how do I, literally, show that one can become better?” the answer to this is the product that you see today. i wanted to develop a humorized abstract of masculinity through the eyes of a straight white boy instead of continuing to callously satirize white boys. so the product you see today is a result of that. i wanted to keep this blog as ambiguous as i could and I wanted other people to form their own opinions of this blog so, as good artists do, i didn’t say anything.
the ask above was the last ask that I saw in my inbox this afternoon and i have seen this ask probably over 500 times over the history of the blog. so to answer the question….the answer is both. the blog is supposed to be like this in order to invoke a sense of levity, but also to create a reality that is true for some straight white dudes, and in my opinion, it is what made the blog unique.
why even do this?
I have been on tumblr since 2012. I have seen a lot of shit. from francieum, the club penguin blogs, badgoku14, and the sandsverse blogs - I wanted to bring something different to tumblr - i wanted to poke fun at straight white boys, but i wanted to be entirely realistic and spot on as well. There’s a reason why there isn’t a “Gay Black Girl Problems” and that’s because not many people can relate to what a gay, black girl goes through day in and day out. Straight White Boys are everywhere, and for that reason, many people can, at the least, relate to being in the presence of a straight white boy, and if i could do that with clever, realistic humor and didn’t demonize white dudes, i knew that the community would be better off for it. additionally, there are few, pure content creators on this site anymore. I know a lot of people use this site as an escape and look for humor to cheer them up, so I thought that I could give back and help people when this site helped me laugh when I was feeling down
So the last post I reblogged got some interesting comments I want to touch on, namely people stating that they don’t dislike Romance because it’s fluffy and feel good, but because it is often sexist, misogynistic, ableist, heteronormative and woefully lacking in diversity, which yes, absolutely, yes. Those are entirely valid criticisms of the genre—indeed I find them to be valid of any genre, whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, young adult or otherwise. There is a shocking lack of diversity in our fiction and media—and not because people don’t want it or aren’t trying to make it, but because publishing houses and media can’t see the co-relation between what their marketing teams are telling them, and the actual reality that of course straight white stories are selling the best, of course it is, because you won’t sell anything else, that’s why there’s no sales numbers for anything else.
I worked in a romance publishing house for a good few years, I also worked for their erotica team, and do you know, not once did I ever come across a manuscript with a disabled person? Not a single one. There was also never a manuscript that featured a character with mental illness who wasn’t the villain, or whose issues couldn’t be Fixed With Love™(*vomit*).
The few times a story featured non white characters, it was usually “The Best Friend Who Gives Sassy Real Advice”, or so horrifically racist that our modus operandi was to nuke it from the office servers rather than try and deal with it because how do you politely tell an author, hey, you’re a fetishistic piece of shit please find God and change the entirety of your story so we can print it, (Answer: you don’t there is no polite way to tell someone they are a
fetishistic piece of shit and you never want their work to darken your inbox ever again.) when you can instead say “Sorry, not what we’re looking for a the moment” and retreat to the relative safety of the slushpile where maybe, just maybe, a hidden gem awaits excavation.
And our publishing house prided itself on diversity because we had an LGBT section, and oh boy let me tell you I was so excited when I got moved over onto that side…only to realize, there’s no w/w fiction because “it doesn’t sell well” and 90% of the m/m fiction is being written by women for women and they fired the one gay author cause his work wasn’t “what was selling” and every bisexual character I ever encountered was either Actually Gay/Actually Straight, or surprise! The Evil Greedy Homewrecker who needs to pick a side, booo hiiiiss, grab your pitchforks and burn the witch.
And I remember, I remember looking to my senior editor who was also my friend at the time, a poly bisexual, mentally ill woman and saying “what the fuck Rebecca” (yes, her name was actually Becky) and she looked at me over our skype call and said “You want to keep your job? Deal with it.”
Because you see, Marketing reigns supreme, and Marketing doesn’t give a shit about people like you and me. It doesn’t care if the neurodivergent person wants to see people like them in fiction, it doesn’t care that people of color want to be more than just the friend/villain, they don’t care that there is more to LGBTQIA+ than the L and specifically the G, it doesn’t care if disabled people want to be represented as more than someone ele’s story arc prop. They don’t care they, don’t care, and do you know why so many publishing houses look down on indie publishing and self published authors and try to call them hacks? Because we don’t give a fuck that they don’t care and we’re doing what we want anyway.
Oh sure you get the usual “but the work is so unpolished, no one has vetted it, it’s just bad, this is why we need publishers to stop the crap from rising to the top”—and yet Fifty Shades of Grey still gets a multi-billion dollar production budget and to the top of the best seller list—do you see, where I am going with this? They’re not interested in selling the best they are just interested in selling, and we are living in a society that has a system designed specifically to a quite literally straight and narrow demographic. So of course XYZ stories sell well, of course they do, because that is where the vast majority of marketing goes, to make sure you buy into it. And Romance…Romance is a lucrative industry to be in if you can get the weight of that campaign behind you…but if you can’t? Well, not only do you have to compete with lack of funding and resources, but also the pervasive lie that because you’re not affiliated directly with X Publishing House or Y Agency, you are not good enough, and no one will want to read your story.
And that’s a bunch of baloney. It’s so much baloney you can slap it between two slices of bread and cover it in mustard because the whole thing is a ham.
Do you know what I would have loved growing up? (And still would) Stories about girls who liked people regardless of gender—and who wasn’t conflicted over it because people are people and gender is fluid and irrelevant to love. Stories about people with mental health issues, where the person is still loved and shown as functional, with their mental health issues, not despite. Stories about disabled and ill people who have fulfilling lives whose arc doesn’t revolve around being brave for simply existing or how much of a saint their families/loved ones are for putting up with them. And do you know what I get instead, even now as an adult who has worked in the industry that sells these stories? I get things like Fifty Shades of Domestic Abuse, and train wrecks like You Before Me where the death of the disabled person is seen as a romantic gesture of selflessness that sets the love interest free to fully live her life. HOW FUCKING FUCKED UP IS THAT. Oh you can argue with me all you want that wasn’t
Moyes intent when she was writing it, but it damn well was the end result.
Yes, Romance is lacking, and yes it needs revamped, it needs more cultural diversity, it needs more inclusion, it needs so many things—but it also needs for people to not want to not write for it because it’s “fluffy” and cheap, like somehow they are selling their souls away.
I’ve got friends who have written amazing, diverse stories told from their point of view…but they won’t ever get them published because as soon as you mention self publishing or the Romance industry they turn their noses up. And they’re shooting themselves in the foot in doing so, because there ain’t no way a story about XYZ is going to make it in a sci-fi house, no matter who much tech you add in. On the flipside of that, I’ve also got a friend who has written about her experiences as a Black queer disabled woman and it’s filled with relationships and great life stuff and so funny…but she can’t get it published anywhere because she’s been explicitly made to feel like she doesn’t belong in the genre because her stories are too complex, they’re too different they’re too comedic…too…too…too (the list goes on). And that’s awful because Romance is a genre that is primarily about people and if you as a Romance house are telling me you can’t sell a story about people, boy are we well and truly fucked.
The biggest criticism of the Romance genre shouldn’t be that it’s too damn happy and therefore unrealistic and nothing but fluff. What’s unrealistic is the complete lack of diversity and inclusion in the genre that makes it so alienating that a huge part of our society immediately feels like they don’t belong.
And that’s a bigger problem than fluff.
So great, yes fine, Romance isn’t for you, you can tell me all the time that you don’t like Romance and I will cheerfully talk to you about literally anything else. But don’t ever tell me you don’t like Romance because it’s simple and fluffy when there’s a whole wealth of actual problematic shit to dislike it for.
And to you, yes you, I’m talking to you. You with the idea in the back of your head and the worry that you’ll never be a Serious Author because all you want to write about is romance and people and angst and fluff and also thinking no one wants to read stories about people like you: take that idea and run with with it, learn from your experiences and keep doing it some more and maybe one day we’ll have the publishing industry we deserve that will acknowledge you. But until then: Rebel and Do It Anyway.
what level of specificity would you recommend in naming diagnoses in novels? would you say you run the risk of dating your story if you give your character a label that soon goes out of use (like ddnos in the dsm 4 becoming osdd in the dsm 5)? especially in stories that are meant to be in the far future or an alternate universe. is it better to avoid clinical wording to lessen the chance of it becoming obsolete in a few years? or does the value of explicit representation outweigh that?
This is a interesting question! There’s a couple of ways to go about this:
1. Don’t name any kind of diagnosis at all; let readers draw that conclusion.
This is my least favorite, because I personally think naming the disorder is important for representation. If you choose this one, I recommend really going out of your way to clearly portray the symptoms.
2. Use the real name, even if it’s anachronous / doesn’t fit your setting.
“The wizard has panic disorder and agoraphobia, so they never leave their tower.”
3. Use the real name, but only on a meta / narrator level.
“In another world, her affliction would be called depression, but they had no name for it here.”
4. Modify existing names to try to convey the same meaning while sounding right for your setting.
The healer shakes their head gravely. “He has a disorder of the personality that makes him dependent on others. It is not something a potion can cure.”
(Dependent personality disorder)
5. Use fancier-sounding existing names.
“I’m so worried about her, Father. Do you think it could be dysthymia?”
(Persistent Depressive Disorder)
6. Use historical names if your story is in the past. Be careful with this one though - some of the historical terms can be problematic.
Alex Example takes a deep breath before confessing to Lord Winston, “I think I have manic depression, just as my mother did.”
(Bipolar or related disorders)
7. Make up a name and describe its symptoms enough that readers understand what you’re saying.
The seer peers at Alex Example before saying, “The Curse of the Soldier is upon you.”
Alex Example frowns. “But how can I have it? I’ve never been on a battlefield.”
The seer smiles sadly. “War is not the only horror that can bring the curse. The tragedies you’ve been through are haunting you.”
8. Make up names and link them to the current diagnosis if your story is in the future.
“I’ve got severe neural psychosis.”
“What’s that again? I don’t know psychobabble.”
“Used to be called schizophrenia.”
Hope that helps!
Followers, can you think of other ways to include a diagnosis in your non-modern stories?
Spotify is a fantastic place to find and discover new and old music, but it can also be a wonderful source of literature, audiobooks, and old radio shows. As a fan of all of these things, I have put together a list of some of my favourite non-musical playlists!
Scary Stories Everything from Poe’s the Raven to some good, old-fashioned spooky late night radio! Very good for fans of podcasts/audiobooks like Lore, the No Sleep Podcast, etc. Mythologies Explore the stories behind your favourite myths including Greek gods and legends, Buddist mythologies, Britannic classics such as Arthur, and Egyptian Afterlife stories! Love Poems A beautiful collection of love poems from classic authors like Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, and more! Fairy Tales A collection of full fairytales, all by Hans Christian Anderson and including The Mermaid, the Little Match Girl, and The Snow Queen! The Adventures of Sherlock Homes Select adventures of Londons Favourite Detective, and including some pretty amazing vintage radio adaptations! The Essential Edgar Allen Poe Great for research projects, this playlist includes the very best of the famously frightening poet Poe. (I love his work but lack the focus to read it on paper, so this playlist has been a godsend for several English projects and papers!) Jane Austen This is a massive playlist, including the entirety of the Pride and Prejudice audiobook, sense and sensibility, persuasion, and more! It also includes poetry and film scores from Austen adaptation. The HP Lovecraft Compendium 23 hours and 14 minutes of love craft’s spokes and mind bending-est stories read aloud to you by some fantastic Narrators. A Hipsters Guide to Poetry Ever seen and amazing poem quoted on Tumblr? It’s probably on this playlist. Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost are all included. SciFi Radio Dramas Classic Science Fiction, like 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1984, and the War of the Worlds turned audio play for vintage radio and coming to your late night study session now! Women’s Lit Maya Angelou, Virginia Wolfe, Mary Shelly and More are included in this playlist, their poems and short stories. Irish Lit Explore classical and contemporary Irish novels, short stories, plays, poems, and lore in both English and Irish Gaelic! Learn and practice the language at the same time as you discover the countries culture. Shakespeare: The Poetry His sonnets and poems, all of them, read aloud to you by a number of talented performers. 5 Hours of Shakespeare to put you in the writing mood! French Literature Hugo, Balzac, Dumas and more! French short stories and novels, now in audio form! Explore classics of French literature while you do laundry! Shakespeare: The Comedies Shakespeare can get notoriously gloomy, what with all the murdering and tragically ridiculous misunderstandings he features in some of this plays. But explore his bright, innocent, and summer side with hi classic comedies! The Victorians Explore the sensibility of the Victorian era through some if its best poetry: brooding, sceptical, romantic, whimsical, and nonsensical. Sylvia Plath Everything you’ve ever wanted in a beautiful playlist. “Hear the voice that penned the poems.”-Spotify. Poems for Spring Beautiful poems read vintage and modern style, celebrating the innocent light that emerges in the spring!
So there you have it! This is by no means a complete list of playlists containing this kind of content, I know for a fact that most public domain books/ audiobooks are available on here! Happy Listening!
-Lance knows this, it’s why he spends hours just just watching Hunk work, keeping him company and telling him that it’s time to go to bed whenever it’s late
-Lately Hunk has been getting ready for the final battle with the Galra, taking inspiration from the trap they created intended for Allura and Coran
-It is a machine that will get its intended target into a never ending black hole, no time loops, no time jumps, just nothing
-And it seems like the machine works because they have experimented on inanimate objects and have tried everything possible to bring them back and once it becomes impossible they know that they can then build one on a bigger scale
-Hunk’s machine works and it will save the day but
-Something goes wrong with the machine, it was something that kept cropping up in the beta testing, it’s a certain screw that just never really wants to work
-And see the only people who know where the screw is and how to fix it are Lance and hunk
-And once you fix it, it’s game over, there no coming back from it
-Lance and hunk both know this
-Before Hunk can even go apologize or go fix it
-Lance is already on his way to the machine
-But just before he gets there, he stops and through the intercom tells Hunk “You are the best damn engineer and friend in this world, watch me make your machine work buddy”
-And hunk is just sobbing repeating “I love you Lance and please don’t do this, I can’t do this without you, I can’t do this without my best friend”
-And now the rest are starting to catch on to what Lance is really doing but by that point it’s too late the galra are gone
- Lance is gone
-And because Hunk is such a good fucking engineer there’s no way to ever get him back
-But you see it’s because Hunk is such a good engineer that he doesn’t give up
-He works non-stop for almost a year trying to get Lance back
-Pidge spends more time on the computer becoming more withdrawn, more obsessive in finding his family, including Lance
-Shiro takes it hard, he feels as if he’s let down his team for not being able to keep them all in one piece, he goes back to being very tense and stiff around the others
-Allura spends days, even weeks trying to find Lance, pinpoint where in all the universe he could be, she won’t say it but she misses his bad pick up lines
-And Coran is just hurt and upset that the young man who would get so homesick and yet try his best and be there for others would give up his chance to see his family and that is what pains him the most
-And Keith just starts spending even more time training, withdrawing from others, trying to act as if though he doesn’t miss Lance, trying to move on, failing to move on
-Hunk just well he needs to get Lance back because what is life without your best friend?
-Who just sits for hours on end just to watch you work and tinker
-A friend who has been there for so long they know what tool you need with a look
-A friend who knows that food isn’t the only important thing to but goddamn we need to find small things that bring us happiness
-A friend who makes you go to sleep when it’s late and you’ve been on a creating binge (the others don’t know but that’s okay the person who needs to know, does)
-A friend who just wants you to succeed
-A friend who loves you for who you are and ask for nothing in return
- A friend who would die for them, for him…..
-What is life without your best friend?
-Hunk already knows and he never wants to live through that again
-Because you see it’s because Hunk is such a good fucking engineer that he does get Lance back
The impending Capitalist attack was just one of countless threats a Soviet child had to be prepared for, even in the waning years of the Soviet Union. There were the standard rules for surviving a dictatorship: Don’t trust anyone but family, never attract the attention of the police, always be patriotic. There were rules that applied only to Jews: Don’t utter words like “synagogue” in public, don’t share family stories with non-Jewish neighbors. Anti-Semitism waxed in accord with overall social anxiety; by 1989, it led my family and thousands of others to flee.
Myriad don’ts permeated Soviet life. There was little difference between dangers visible and invisible, real and superstitious. Play with a knife and you’ll get cut; hand a friend a knife instead of placing it down on the table for him to pick up, and your friendship will wither. You were exposed and vulnerable in public, in your apartment, in your head. The evils, the omens, the Americans working on secret weapons and the K.G.B. looking for traitors were all part of the same malevolent atmosphere.
The only relief came in the form of scathing, cynical satire called anekdoty, or anecdotes — anonymous jokes that arose with baffling speed, often in response to current events, much like memes today. What’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? A pessimist believes life will get worse; an optimist knows it will. “Obe khuzhe” (both are worse) was a typical reply when asked to choose between two things; the answer could be sincere or sarcastic, or both. It was a dark coping mechanism, but it helped.
I’ve always found this fatalism hard to explain to Americans, at least until 2016.
Reader’s guide - master list of my favourite fics and writers
So I was originally just making this for myself as a shortcut to author’s I knew I liked in different genres for when I want to read something particular, when I figured why not make this a public post so everyone can access it, right?
All of the present links are to the blog, fic/series, or master list of a writer whose work I adore and all are marvel/avengers based. If you want me to remove you off this list or even just change the way I describe your work please message me and I will do so straight away. All descriptions are only based on my perceptions of the content there is at the time of making the post.
Like most of our fandom and like my URL, icon, blog description etc infer, I’m a slut for Bucky Barnes and this list reflects that.
@buckysbackpackbuckle - Masterlist - okay so this list isn’t all 100% smut but it mostly is and the smut is just so good. Oneshots and a couple short series, mostly Bucky x reader, other ventures include Peter Parker, Lance Tucker and Bucky x Steve x Reader
@fvckingbuckyandsteve - Masterlist - Basically the URL says it all, pure smut featuring Bucky, Steve, Bucky and Steve, Seb and Chris being sinful with reader, plus a few bonus Avengers sex drabbles and a Steve x reader x Nat oneshot.
@actuallyasgardian - Masterlist - mostly smutty one shots and drabbles, Bucky x reader, Bucky x Steve x Reader, Thor x Reader, much great sin.
@just-call-me-mrs-captain -Masterlist - so much great smut, largely ft Bucky, Steve, Seb, Chris, bit of Nat bit of Sam + more, one shots series and drabbles and some great Bucky x reader x Steve action.
@fvckingavengers - Masterlist - pretty much, in my humble opinion, marvel smut queen. In one shots and short series, lots of Steve and Bucky, with some Pitero, Loki, Thor, Nat, Tony and Wanda on the side and a generous amount of reader x two-and-even-sometimes-three-character-action
@writingruna - Masterlist - mostly mega fluffy/ romantic one shots + bunch of drabbles feat. so many characters we got: Bucky, Steve, Pietro, Wanda, Bruce, Natasha, Clint, Thor, Loki, Tony
@writingbarnes - Masterlist - I’ll be honest this tumblr has done SO MANY AMAZING FICS I am yet to peruse them all but from what I can tell its basically fluffy or general oneshots and series, including Bucky, Steve, Tony, Thor, Clint, Pietro, Wanda, Loki, Nat, and Bruce sorted into an impeccably presented series of character-categorised lists
@buckysplums14 - Masterlist - basically all the Bucky smut and fluff (labelled) you can imagine in the forms of one shots and short series. Features Bucky x reader, Stucky, Bucky x Nat, Bucky x Wanda, Bucky x Reader x Third party
@after-avenging-hours - Masterlist - smut and fluff and angst (smut not labelled but kinda clear a lot of the time in titles and descriptions). Mostly Bucky, Steve and Bucky and Steve, featuring some Thor, Loki, Bruce, Sam. Oneshots and series. The disney corruptions are an actual work of smutty genius.
@badults - Masterlist - smutty and fluffy one shots (smut is labelled) with a variety of characters including Bucky, Steve, Tony, Pietro, Wanda, T’Challa, Peggy and Clint.
@marvelfic - Masterlist - smutty and fluffy one-shots and short series (smut is labelled), characters include Bucky, Steve, Bruce and Clint, also features non-romantic Avengers fics.
@stories-from-stark-tower - Masterlist - one-shots come in fluffy or angst/mega feels with the following characters; Tony, Steve, Bucky, Bruce, Pietro, Wanda, Clint, Nat, Thor, Scott, Loki and Wade Wilson (Deadpool), various drabbles and one Bucky series.
@mywritingsblog - Masterlist - fluff and smut (smut is labelled) with Tom Hiddleston and Sebastian Stan, the actors and various characters they play, featuring reader and various female characters, one shots and series.
@rogersxbarnesx - Masterlist - Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers galore, series and oneshots, Stucky and stucky x reader action, and a Wanda Maximoff appearance. Features smut and fluff and some angst (smut is labelled).
@shieldsshallbebroken - Masterlist - oneshots and drabbles, fluff and smut (smut not labelled), great (and smutty) A/O/B steve x reader x bucky series, links to whopping impressive fics on Ao3
@221bshrlocked - Masterlist - Bucky x reader angst, fluff and smut (smut not labelled) one shots and series. Professor!Bucky!!
@avasparks - Masterlist - Pretty much Bucky/ Seb Stan in many one shots, drabbles, series, featuring AUs, Steve x Reader x Bucky action. Fluff, angst and smut (smut not always labelled)
@sebbytrash - Masterlist - Mostly Bucky x reader, fluff and smut (smut is labelled), features a bit of Tony and T’Challa with reader too
@bucky-plums-barnes - Masterlist - Lots of cute Bucky x reader prompted drabble, fluff and smut mostly (smut is labelled so are trigger warnings), bucky x reader one shots of the same variety
@imhereforbvcky - Masterlist - Mostly Bucky x Reader, some great series and also drabbles and one shots: angst and fluff but slays me with the smut
Okay, I bet we all love the scenarios where the more softer ones in the relationships snuggle up or search protective comfort in their partners, but imagine it the other way around.
Imagine Kageyama waking up in the middle of the night, the feeling of being alone haunting him and being scared or heavy breathing, but then Hinata pressing Kageyama’s face against his own, cheeks rubbing against each other and him mumbling “I’m here, you dumbass.” While Kags just clenches onto the orange-haired
Imagine Daichi laying in bed, his head laying on Suga’s hair while he just sighs and complains about maybe having a bad day or his fears because of college, the team or something else. And Suga is just there, patting his back and humming in approval, giving a warm smile which makes Daichi’s days better anyways
Imagine Tsukishima relaxing in Yamaguchi’s arms as his head lays in the curve of Tadashi’s neck and the freckled boy just stroking and slightly playing with the blond hair. Tsukishima isn’t even necessarily talking, he just enjoys the silence and Yamaguchi’s comforting presence after he overthought things or stressed himself with non-important stuff. (cries)
Imagine Iwaizumi hugging Oikawa out of nowhere, in bed, while cooking or just laying on the couch, and asking him to tell one of his weird stories or non-sense thoughts. Oikawa just smiles and starts, being used to it for a long time now, because he knew his voice would calm him down. He doesn’t know that his Iwa-chan does that, because he’s scared of losing contact to him when they go to seperated colleges and him maybe not being able to hear Oikawa’s silly voice again. (kill me for this one)