EDIT: Nope. Not true. I made a bad assumption and immortalized it in a bad post. Don’t listen to me, I know not what I’m talking about…

WTF?! So apparently, staff decided to automatically make author portraits visible when posting from a side blog - this is pretty dangerous for people who run side blogs that can’t or should not be associated with their main blog - I think of the “fandomhatesxxx” blogs or xkit-extension (xkitguy) or a lot of trans folks blogs and the like. 

So WTF? 

You can remove it by going to the settings page for your side blog(s) and clicking the slider next to Blog Avatar - Show author portraits. It’s enable by default because staff actively hates its users.

Handling Race/Culture in Alternative Worlds

anonymous asked:

I’m writing a fantasy story set in an alternate dimension (the protag is a girl from “our” world), and I was wondering on how to handle different ethnicities in that alternate world. Would just assigning skin colors and physical features and stuff to them be enough to represent different real world races? I’m kind of worried that if I don’t acknowledge real world cultural aspects I’d be erasing people’s cultures and stuff, but at the same time I want it to be its own world with its own cultures.


Representing races depends on what you want to focus on and express in your narrative, plot-wise and theme-wise.  With any detail, be it a world-building detail or something else, you need to be careful that your readers won’t think something you write about is going to be a story element if it’s just for the pure sake of worldbuilding. If you mention a race-based issue in the narrative, depending on how you do it, readers might think that it’s a plot element and be confused or let down when it never shows up again.  Alpha/Beta readers are the way to make sure you’ve successfully balanced the line between effectively communicating your world-building and misfiring Chekov’s gun.

In scene-setting contexts/scenes, simply describing what’s going on (rather than why it’s going on) is enough. Think about it in terms of TV and movies establishing different settings: they typically don’t dedicate a series of shots explaining the new world to you like it’s a documentary. Instead they just have the world existing. Your describing the people in the background in terms of what they wear or what their languages sound like and so on could be your written equivalent to that.

However, that’s usually just good for the ‘establishing shot’ part of writing, and within the course of your narrative, there are going to be opportunities (if not the expectation) to go further than just description. 

Think about the themes of your narrative, or about the literal events that are going to take place.  Think about if there is some sort of aspect of some culture that you could use as foreshadowing, comparison, or contrast for the things your protagonist is going through.   For instance, let’s say my character will get really hurt in a nasty scuffle.  Perhaps she can meet a doctor beforehand, who is treating somebody who has wounds similar to what my character is going to receive. Later when she is hurt, she remembers the doctors’ remedies.

Re-read or go read fantasy books and take notes on how they introduced their cultures and how much attention they did or did not put into things.  Ask yourself, “Did I like how they did that? How can I do what they did, or how can I improve on it?”  Having a go-by helps you make much more progress than trying to think from scratch.

- Rodríguez

dear writers who struggle with settings:

i found a rlly cool website that may help you bring your settings to life

it’s called homestyler and it lets you design a home, inside and out, with customizable furnishings and coloration, down to tiny details in the decor.

you can use both 2D and 3D views to create your floor plans and adjust the placement of everything, and you can create multiple layers if your house has more than one floor

it’s totally free, you can save as many projects as you want, and it even creates high-res photos and panoramas for you so it feels like you’re really in the house

there are a few drawbacks, such as:

  • you can’t color the same wall a different color on each side; the color you pick for each wall applies to both sides of it.
  • it’s VERY touchy. sometimes it registers movement when you didn’t do anything, sometimes it refuses to register movement even tho youre flailing your mouse wildly. it’s often hard to select the right thing.
  • LOCK THE PLACEMENT OF YOUR ROOMS. if you don’t, the slightest twitch of your mouse could send them into a blender.
  • the “undo” stack only stores your last three actions, so in case of accidental bullshit, save often.

bUT YEAH if you have trouble maintaining a steady idea of the layout of your house, the coloration of things and placement of everything, just trouble in general bringing your setting to life, it could be really helpful to have this tool that allows you to build your settings!!

A Guide to Writing Catholic Schools 

Here is a little guide on using a Catholic school as a setting or some things to consider when writing a character who has attended Catholic school. I have gone to Catholic grade school for 5 years and am currently a freshman in a Catholic high school. Of course, everyone’s experience in school is different and I am in no means representing everyone who has ever attended Catholic school, but these are some things I have observed or learned through research

I hope this is helpful! Full guide below the cut.

Keep reading

A tip for writers trying to describe settings or actions

I get lots of questions from people asking me how I describe settings and actions so beautifully, and make it feel like they can actually see everything in the scene like it’s right there in front of them.

Honestly, I almost never use similes and metaphors. I think I can count one instance in the entirety of Embassy and one instance in all of Resonance where I use a simile. That’s my advice. Don’t describe a place, or a sight, or a sound, or whatever it is you’re describing by then describing *something else* and hoping the reader just gets it.

If you’re trying to describe an old house in the middle of suburbia, show us the wind-worn shutters, the blackened chimney, the rot on the walls, the creak of the front door, the leaky garage….then go on and do a simile/metaphor, if you must.

Don’t introduce us to the house by saying it’s like that misplaced stalk of corn from yesteryear growing in a field of beans. WHAT??? hOW iS tHAT aN oLD hOUSE? What am I looking at?

That’s how I construct my settings. Just describe the setting in the simplest terms possible. But remember, it’s just my personal preference. If you have a flowery way of describing, and you can do it well, then by all means, full speed ahead! My way is just how *I* effectively communicate.

It’s time to choose someone to take over your Facebook page when you die

The company has introduced a new “legacy contact” feature, which allows users to go their security settings and designate a friend to take over their Facebook page when they die. That friend will then be able to pin a memorial post to the top of it that will act as a sort of digital headstone, as well as change your profile picture, and even respond to new friend requests (hopefully with “Oh, now you want to be friends? Maybe you should have thought about that when they were alive!”). However, they won’t actually be able to log in as you, nor comb through your personal messages to learn the terrible truth about you. They also can’t delete any posts or photos, even those now rendered tragically ironic by the circumstances of your demise.

They also won’t be able to post as you, so no hilarious status updates like, “If I wanted to spend all my time burning my ass off, reliving everything I ever did wrong, and hanging around my old, boring relatives, I would have stayed in Texas!” For that you’ll have to hand down your Facebook page the old-fashioned way, by just giving them your password. What do you care? You’re dead.

Full story at avclub.com

Legit Tip #106

Setting plays an incredibly important role in your story.

But you have to find the fine line when it comes to describing it. Too much detail and your readers are likely to get bogged down. Not enough detail, and your characters are left swimming in the middle of a vast expanse of nothingness. 

Think of writing your settings as if you’re painting a picture. Start with the broad strokes. Be sure to define these broad strokes early on. Are they in a city? A forest? An ancient castle? A lavish hotel? A seedy motel…?

Next throw in a few elements here and there to begin fleshing out your painting and giving it life. These should appear early on too, perhaps through your characters’ observations (but don’t bog down the beginnings of your scenes with too much information). These elements will help to ground your story and will also give your readers a sense of reference. Perhaps you describe the flashing neon billboards of the city, or enormous gnarled oak trees, or the matted red carpet in that seedy motel.

From here, you have enough to have built a world your characters can move around in and your readers can clearly visualize. With all that done, your final task is to pepper your setting with little details to make it more lively and vibrant. These are little things, like a homeless man playing guitar on the city streets, or a bizarre painting of a clown over the bed of that seedy motel.

These details can and should appear throughout the text. (And keep in mind that they aren’t just visual… also use scents, sounds, and sensations to build your setting).

Future Earth Sci-Fi Recs?

Anonymous asked: In science fiction, what in your opinion are some of the best examples of a future Earth with space faring technology and globalized government (or at least long-standing peace) where humanity has not become homogenized. Where different cultures aren’t vestiges of times gone by.

I haven’t really read anything which fits this description, but Octavia’s Xenogenesis series comes close. 

This is from the first book in the series: Dawn. 

Lilith lyapo awoke from a centuries-long sleep to find herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. Creatures covered in writhing tentacles, the Oankali had saved every surviving human from a dying, ruined Earth. They healed the planet, cured cancer, increased strength, and were now ready to help Lilith lead her people back to Earth–but for a price.

~ Mod Alice


My Favorite Tumblr App Promos:

  • “Ignore your loved ones with the Tumblr app.”
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  • “Pretend you’re reading with the Tumblr app.”
  • “One weird click to download a Tumblr app.”
  • “Use Tumblr in bathrooms with our slick mobile app.”
  • “Go ahead. Touch Tumblr.”
  • “No one should have to go through life without a Tumblr app.”
  • “For relaxing times, make it Tumblr time.”
  • “Put Tumblr in your pocket rn. lol swag.”