say no to drugs cause if they're talking to you you had enough

anonymous asked:

Hello! So I was scouring the Internet for advice today but I couldn't find any on this topic. My problem isn't that I don't have any ideas (I probably have too many) but the problem is that I don't LOVE any of my ideas. I like them. I think they're all fine ideas. But liking them isn't going to motivate me long enough to finish a novel. How can I give my ideas that extra uumph to make me love them? How can I figure out what's missing or why I don't feel this way about any of my ideas?

Hello, nonny!  What a challenging question…  This one’s been in my inbox a couple days, just because it’s such a big question.  But I’ve thought it over and I think I have some ideas for you :)


The Thrill Is Gone – How to Find It Again

So generally, there’s no one answer or cure-all to this problem.  I’ve had this issue multiple times, with different causes.  My first novel didn’t have enough meat to the plot; my second novel had been over-planned in my head to the point that it no longer excited me.  My third novel had way too much plot, so that by the time I got ¾ the way through, I’d written over 200K words and felt sick of the idea.  I started my fourth novel way too soon, and am now going back and planning it more!  So there are obviously many different reasons that a story doesn’t take off (or dries up eventually).

The first step is to figure out what’s missing, like you said.  There are a few aspects of your story to assess…


1. Plot

I’m discussing plot first because, to me, it’s the most important part of fiction.  Plot, conflict, and stakes are foremost to my stories.  You could have the most complex and sympathetic characters, but without plot, they’re static and become boring.  But for some reason, this is the part of story ideas that new authors neglect most!

So if your story has great characters and an immersive setting, but you can’t get into it, try asking a few questions about your plot:

  • What is the point of the plot?  What’s the message you’re conveying in the story?  Even if your story isn’t an allegory or a metaphor or the next Chronicles of Narnia, there should always be a conclusion to which all plots arrive – otherwise, the story can feel aimless.  The best way to find your message is to look at the conflicts involved (e.g. Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, etc.) and find the “winner”.  What worldview, belief, or concept “defeats” the other concepts?  It can be as simple as Good vs. Evil, or more complex, like Loving the Sincere Drug Addict vs. Settling for the Selfish Dentist (provokes the question “Is love worth danger in relationships?”).
  • Does the plot have ups and downs?  And really consider both ends of the spectrum here.  Stories become dull if they are made up of victory after victory – or if they’re made up of nothing but loss and tragedy.  No matter the genre, you have to strike some sort of balance, lest the story become predictable and emotionally non-engaging.  Find victories and failures, even in unassuming places, to keep readers invested and hopeful.
  • Do you have a satisfactory ending?  Or do you have the ending     planned yet?  I’ve found that I can’t really commit to an idea unless I see a resolution – otherwise I feel too nervous to start.  If you do have an ending planned, make sure it’s the right ending.  It can feel like there’s one possible conclusion, and once you’ve found it, you stick to it – but question it, brainstorm it.  It may not be a happy ending every time, but when you find the right one, you’ll know it.
  • Do you have the right plot at all?  Look at your story as a whole.  Does it start too early or too late, relative to the real meat,     the real action?  Is it told from the most impactful POV?  Does the plot cover too much ground for one book, or is it not enough to fill the pages?  Consider all the characters, backstories, and subplots you have, and ask yourself if any of them are more interesting than the main plot.  If so, shift your focus.  Use them instead.

2. Characters

Maybe it’s not your plot that’s going sideways.  Maybe you have it all worked out – the head, the tail, the whole damn thing – but it still doesn’t feel right.  It doesn’t feel like it’s coming to life, somehow.  It feels flat.

That can be a character problem.  It would be like sitting by the campfire and hearing the most fascinating, horrifying story, except it’s told by a man with The Most Boring Voice Who Talks So Incredibly Slowly and Takes All the Fun Out of Everything.  An example: The Hunger Games.  Those books bored the crap out of me.  Unless someone was being killed or Haymitch and Effie were interacting, I just didn’t care.  And those books had a great plot behind them!

So here’s what you need for a good cast of characters:

  • A solid protagonist.  Solid = three-dimensional, empathetic, and relatable; having a goal, an internal conflict, a self-image, and fears or shame.  They should have different facets of themselves – their head and their heart, their desires and doubts, and that little voice in their head that says, “Give up on that.  Be realistic.”  Give them strengths, weaknesses, and a couple of bad habits, for kicks.
  • A variety of supporting characters.  You don’t have to have thirty characters + six secret characters stuffed under your trench coat; but with however many characters you have, make them as different from each other as possible.  Give them some similarities, of course, so that they can relate to each other – but never make them so close together that you have to decide, “Who should say this line?  Character A or Character B?”  Make them unique enough that the words come out of their mouths, instead of you having to decide where to put the words, yourself.
  • Relationships, relationships, relationships.  And I’m not talking about romantic relationships.  I mean, sure, those too – but there are many different kinds of relationships to explore.  Friendships, enemy-ships (?), parent relationships, sibling-ships, silent alliances, “annoying friend-of-a-friend”-ships, “my-ex’s-little-sister”-ships, “you’re-the-ruler-of-the-galaxy-and-a-Sith-lord-but-also-my-dad-please-stop-being-evil”-ships…  You get the idea.  Make them unique, make them strong, and allow them to evolve over the course of the story.
  • Diverse morals, interests, and personalities.  My first short stories focused on white middle-class people who were culturally and politically identical.  They lived in one house, usually, and watched the same TV shows and made the same references.  They had the same sense of humor.  They rarely disagreed on anything that wasn’t clear-cut (e.g. “You drank the last Pepsi!”  “I was thirsty!”).  So do yourself a favor and don’t make my mistakes.  Give your characters unique ethics, cultures, backgrounds, personalities, goals, appearances, and conflicts.  You’ll be more invested by then, I’m sure.

3. Setting

Lastly, I’d like to add that while your characters and plot could be well-developed, there’s always a chance that they’re placed in the wrong setting.  This is why many story ideas can seem great, but won’t get off the ground – maybe they’re set in a pre-made universe like Middle Earth or Panem when they could be their own story.  Maybe your tragic romance is set in the middle of apocalyptic war, when instead, it should be drained down to a period piece.  Maybe your story is perfect, except you’re writing it too close to home – in the real world, in the present year.  There are a million factors to picking the right setting, including:

  • Applicable history and culture.  If you’re writing a story about someone who’s oppressed, or someone who’s a politician, or someone who’s a witch, you’re going to need to back that up with history.  Develop a history for the oppression or politics or witchcraft – where these things began, how they developed over time – and a culture for them now – how oppressed people survive and how witches in your world interact, etc.
  • Imaginative scenery, influenced by the characters.  Even if your story takes place in New York City in 2017, allow your characters’ living spaces and workplaces to have a unique touch – colors and quirks that your readers can see in their mind.  If even you can’t see what you’re writing, inspiration is going to be difficult to find.
  • A lifelike background.  Just because the plot focuses on your characters does not mean everything going on behind it should be quiet and dead.  Anyone who looks out a window in a city building can see other people living – people on the highway will see other cars taking other people other places.  Everyone who has a friend will hear a little something about their friend’s siblings, their friend’s friends, their friend’s neighbors.  Life and stories exist outside of your plot; make sure you’re not writing about a ship in a bottle.
  • An aesthetic.  That sounds gross and teen-tumblr-y, but let me tell you personally: I don’t feel truly ready to write (and love) my story until I can hear the music for the future movie adaptation – until I can see the kind of clothes the people wear, the games they play, the places they eat and shop.  I think of the colors and themes in my scenes (e.g. my first novel was set primarily at night in a grunge/city setting; my current novel is very green and outdoorsy and gives me that feeling of bonfires just after sunset).  Once you get that “feeling” from your story, you’ll know it.

Anyway, this reply took me like three days to write because I really wanted to get into it.  I hope some of this helps you to fall in love with one of your ideas, so you can get started :)  If you have any more questions, be sure to send them in!

(I have 26 questions in the inbox, though, so be patient with me…)


If you need advice on writing, fanfiction, or NaNoWriMo, you should maybe ask me!

anonymous asked:

Hello! May I have GOM piggybacking their fem!s/o, running across the hallways, shouting that they're superman and everybody just melts at the cuteness. Bonus if you can write their team's reactions. Thank you teru-chan!

At first I read this the other way around and I imagined s.o. giving Atsushi a piggyback ride… never in my life before I was so afraid of choking to death on a bite of chocolate. 。゚(TヮT)゚。 Here we go, dear sweet Anon, piggyback rides with Murasakibara, Akashi, Kise, Aomine, and Midorima! I decided to tweak it up a bit, so the scenarios wouldn’t be repetitive.

Imayoshi elbowed Sakurai when they were walking down the hall.

“I’m sor-” Sakurai paused his automatic reaction when he noticed what Imayoshi was pointing at. His jaw dropped. “-ry…? Whaaaaat? Aomine is…?”

Meanwhile, you and Aomine were making your way to the staircase in order to get to the roof like it was any other day - except it was not any other day. All it took for you was to briefly mention that while giving a piggyback ride, Aomine would be able feel your chest pressing to his back, and he was on his knees in an instant and urging you to hop on.

“Best idea ever.” Aomine’s voice was ringing with the grin that he was definitely sporting at that moment. “I’m gonna carry you around everywhere from now on.” He snickered at some idea that apparently had just popped into his mind. “You know what? Maybe you could take off your bra, that wou- OUCH!”

You slapped the top of his head once more for a good measure.

“Don’t overdo it,” you muttered irritably, but pressed a small kiss to the side of his jaw anyway.

“We are going to win this!” Kise shouted, grinning and laughing.

The Valentines Day Festival had a bunch of fun competitions, and of course Kise wanted to participate in the Piggyback Couples Race the most. That’s how you ended up clutching onto his back for your dear life and tilting your head up and laughing and squealing along with him. Other couples were obviously a long way behind you, since Kise did not hold back in the slightest, sprinting so effortlessly like he wasn’t carrying you at all. Wind was whistling in your ears and warm, white puffs of Kise’s exhales ghosted over your face, sun was shining brightly despite the cold weather, and it was all so perfect that you were sure you would remember the moment for the rest of your life.

Kise passed the end line and you both yelled in victory, and then-

Keep reading

Karl Pilkington Starters
  • It's like a pylon.
  • Get that down, its a deathtrap!
  • You've never been to China.
  • ...but it’s all about ‘a gorilla and a fox are walking thru the woods.’ How often does that happen?
  • That's the problem with them fables, they're putting animals together that wouldn't meet. I don't know where a scorpion is knockin' around with a frog.
  • Well...like, when you're born, you're a little baby, you're wrinkly and stuff, when you get older you sort of morph into a baby again...
  • By 78 you've done everything you're going to do. If you haven't bungee-jumped by the time you're 78 you're not going to do it.
  • All I'm saying is that old people need to be old people.
  • You need oldness. You need to see old people.
  • Well you look 78!
  • Stop looking at the walls, look out the window.
  • If I was Noah, I would have gone, Hang on a minute, I've just seen somethin' that looks a bit like this, let it drown, have a bit of a clear out, but he was messin' about savin' everythin'
  • Why didn't evolution make a giraffe good at carpentry so it could build a ladder?
  • You know how they say people have six senses? There's loads more than that. The ability to feel someone looking at you, that's been around since man and dinosaur were knockin' about.
  • We came from the sea originally, now we're going back in it. Don't go in it, unless you're in a boat.
  • On identical twins - You always get a little snidey one.
  • On dopplegangers - How would I know which one I was?
  • It would only get me into trouble won't it? Because people won't believe there's another one like me.
  • Otherwise everyone would be saying that when they get caught robbing, they go Oh it wasn't me it was me doppleganger.
  • Does the brain control you or are you controlling the brain? I don't know if I'm in charge of mine.
  • Did I tell you about the immune system?
  • He got hot, he got so hot his lips fell off.
  • I came up with a good idea....see through skin
  • I find that if you just talk, your mouth comes up with stuff.
  • If you don't sleep you get run down. Sloths never get a flu, cos its good innit thats when your body's replenishing
  • As long as you're rememberin' baby Jesus, does it matter when you're rememberin' 'im
  • That's what I'm saying about Christmas, I might not be in the mood for it
  • The first time you watch it you'll probably cry a bit. The second time you watch it you will probably think - boy that would be bad having a head like that being picked on - the third time you are probably thinking, er, how does he get his jumper on, er, then dunno probably bored of it the fourth time. But, but it's well worth watching.
  • The Elephant Man would never have gotten up and gone, ‘Oh, God. Look at me hair today.’
  • Treat the world like a head
  • We're just a weed in the universe
  • I could eat a knob at night.
  • Hummus isn't a meal
  • Hypothetical: Shipwrecked and eating a penis- ...I'll look for something else. We're surrounded by water. Why are we eating knob?
  • Where you are is what you eat. When I'm in London I'll have beans on toast for lunch. On holiday — what? Tapas? Go on then I'll have a bit. You eat whatevers in that area.
  • Whether it's a potato or a nut, it's a foodage!
  • Read about a pub which is gettin' some stick 'cause its stopped a horse goin' in. Its been the horse' regular for ages, but some new owners have taken over the pub and they said they're servin' fresh food and don't want a horse in there anymore
  • I look at life like a big book and sometimes you get half way through it and go 'Even though I've been enjoying it, I've had enough. Give us another book'
  • I'm just sayin', I don't like fun
  • They say it all started out with a big bang. But, what I wonder is, was it a big bang or did it just seem big because there wasn't anything else drown it out at the time?
  • I dont know her, there's only so much you can say to a stranger.
  • I think some bacteria have better lives
  • What's that plate that's above a saucer but below a plate?
  • Yeah but everyone was a saint years ago, that seemed to be thrown about back then. Who's a saint now, in this year, who's a saint?
  • It’s just hassle of having friends and family
  • The world is getting more and more scruffier
  • You won't get anything done by planning.
  • Any problem solved is a new problem made.
  • I've met a few little people in my time.
  • I met a little fella once and he was alright.
  • Turns out it was another load of monkeys from another part of the island...from the rough bit...
  • Apparently you're not allowed to lick a toad's back.
  • So I was watchin David Attenborough..
  • At what point is a wasp ever going to have a chat with a spider?
  • At no point am I going to lick a little frogs head.
  • I'd kick it, and I'd say 'You knob-head'
  • In the sea you've got to be constantly sort of alert.
  • In the sea you've got an enemy behind every rock.
  • Get rid of some of the fish and the water will drop. Simple. Basic science.
  • People moan about drugs being tested on animals. I sort of think it depends innit. If the drug's aspirin and the monkey's got a headache, is it right?
  • A dog has got human eyes.
  • I saw a cockroach playing Pacman
  • I've been watchin birds more than insects recently, and the thing I've found with pigeons is, they've got wings but they walk a lot
  • Don't be chucking that out. You might need that later
  • If you live in a glass house, don't be chucking stuff about
  • People who live in a glass house have to answer the door
  • You don't have to do it straight away, but just do it before it gets really bad
  • Neil Armstrong, that spaceman, he went to the moon but he ain't been back. It can't have been that good.