Ok so I’ve finally
gotten around to doing this highly requested post based off this post and I’m
sorry to all those who had been waiting for ages for it to come out but here it
How to Annotate a
Look I’m actually
doing the play Medea at the moment so this can be used for other texts apart
from novels too!
Like I’ve said before,
I know lots of people don’t want to taint their texts with writing and highlighting,
but to me, it is so so satisfying when I finish with a fully annotated book
with tabs flying out of every page and all that, plus it acts as a sweet
resource once it’s done.
((Hopefully by the
time you’ve gotten around to this level of annotating, you’ve read through your
text already and maybe even put down some initial thoughts in the margins.))
To put it simply, I
have three levels of coordination when it comes to annotating a novel: words,
tabs and sticky notes.
big chunks of text you can’t fit in the margins of your book, such as summaries
of characters, themes, etc
also get those big chunks of info to stand out from the rest of the novel
If you’re reading
a larger text with chapters, it’s quite handy to use big sticky notes to summarise
2. Tabs (and
these are the tabs I have sticking out of my book and they’re used for quick
references, where I can easily search up a type of quote quickly in the novel
without having to flip through every page.
of the tabs I use are the same colours as my highlighters, so it is easy to see
where the quote is and which tab it corresponds to.
the specific quote rather than leaving a tab there by itself, for future
reference when you need a specific quote, but if you’ve got a massive chunk
that is just too important to pick out a small quote, use a square bracket on
the inside margin. Smaller quotes are better.
Have a tab
for broad topics such as characters, themes, literary devices, plot developments,
context, etc. If you have more colours, you can always make your categories
more specific (for me, the character of Medea is separate to the rest of the
the main idea on the tab itself, a.k.a. the reason why I highlighted or tabbed
that quote there.
quotes to highlight depends on
What we go
through in class
written as an important quote in the text guide we are given/the internet
think is important. If you’re not sure, ask yourself WHY is that quote
important and if you can answer that, highlight it!!!
explanation of quotes is written on the actual pages, and often right under a
tab to elaborate.
using a thin pen as in 0.38 to really fit in as much as possible.
as well as tabbing is so so important, because you can highlight as much as you
want, but it really won’t mean anything until you’ve written down its
significance, and even if you have an amazing memory, this is vital ok. Even a
few words along the margin explaining the quote can mean the difference between
good writing and great writing in your upcoming essay.
What do I
actually write? If it’s a literary device, I’ll name it (e.g. Metaphor) and
explain its symbolism, or the author’s intention for putting that in. If it’s a
theme related quote, I’ll explain the message that the author is trying to
convey through that quote. If it’s a character related quote, I’ll explain how
that quote adds to their character, maybe finding contrasts, etc.
Supplies that I used
(pink, orange, yellow, blue, aqua; gotta get that colour coding)
- Pilot Frixion
Signo TSI (erasable like the frixion pen so that if I’m not too sure about what
I’ve written as an annotation, I can check with the teacher and erase if need
- A set of
1000 tabs in total, divided among pink, orange, yellow, green and blue
- Pastel square sticky notes
As an optional step, I
highly recommend making use of the back cover or spare pages in the book. I use
them for writing definitions of recurring words, good vocabulary to use in the
future when writing the essay and also character maps, explaining the
relationship between each character.
I hope you all find
((disclaimer: this is
just how I do it so don’t shank me pls))
Sitting in your room surrounded by notes, phone switched off, sweatpants on. Neat cursive handwriting, an empty coffee cup next to you, cross referencing your sources, old school encyclopedias, a CD you borrowed from your friend, only taking a break every 2 hours, focusing on your goals.
Kitchen table, papers everywhere, empty coffee cups scattered around the room. Hair in a messy bun and pencil behind your ear, determined when you want to be. TV on in the background. Taking a break every 20 minutes for more coffee and to call your friends to tell them how boring your study is. Accomplishing your goals despite the mess.
Jamming out to rock music while you work, pigtails, your work is surprisingly organised but you find it hard to focus. You've tried the pomodoro technique but it was hard to stick to, so you take tiny breaks to air guitar when a good part of a song comes on. Getting distracted by your roommates.
Your notes are all in one notebook, scribbled in with a classic blue biro. Black coffee in a mug, reading glasses that you never let other people see, a comfy worn-in office chair, the smell of wood. Not worrying about being neat, keeping things as simple as possible. You do what works for you. It's a relaxed environment.
Studying in the library next to stacks of library books, 15 tabs open on your computer, desk full of pages. Gathering intense background knowledge of everything you come across. Calling your friends to tell them about new things you've learned. Quizzing yourself every 30 minutes, which counts as a break.
Sitting on the floor with your notes spread out around you. Four different types of study snacks. Highlighter marks on your face somehow. Switching subject every 10 minutes to keep yourself interested. Hot chocolate breaks every 20 minutes. Thriving off encouragement from your loved ones. Papercuts.
Your study lasts all day. First at the library, then at home. Work organised into neat folders, a different notebook for each subject. Straight lines and hand drawn banners. Hair in a neat bun. Glass full of different color highlighters. Scheduled breaks every 45 minutes to increase productivity. Framed photos of people who inspire you. Thriving off of competition.
I was just telling Talia (@starthieves) how Sarah should get me a new bookshelf because I had to throw everything else out so these babies would fit. Annotated Heir of Fire wouldn’t go in though. *facepalm*
“She just prayed Sam wouldn’t get hurt. In the silence of her bedroom, she swore an oath to the moonlight that if Sam were hurt, no force in the world would hold her back from slaughtering everyone responsible.”
Hey guys! Today, I just wanted to share with you how I go about with my bullet journal. I have collected a lot of ideas from Tumblr, Pinterest and Youtube, and this is the format that suits my taste. I hope you guys find this useful or interesting! :)
Of course, most, if not all, bullet journals start with an index page so you can make reference to it in the future. This makes things easier to find and more organized.
2. Habit Tracker
I track various habits like eating fruits and vegetables, getting 8 hours of sleep, drinking 8 glasses of water, finishing a book, etc. I put numbers in the grids and each number corresponds to a date. If I did that certain task on that day, I will shade in the box.
This is a calendar for the whole month. Here, I use post-it notes so that it can be easily transferred if the date ever changed. I also use different color of sticky tabs for school, blog and personal life, but the one above is only for blog posts since I don’t have other things to put yet.
4. Books and Blog Posts
The one above is separated into three columns - “Books I Want to Read,” “In Progress,” and “Finished” - and I used sticky tabs to put the books that I want to read in the month of January on the first column. When I’m already reading the book, I will transfer the sticky tab to the “In Progress” column, and then to the “Finished” column when I finished reading the book.
On the bottom part of the page are the blog posts that I plan to post in January, and it’s also separated into three columns - “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Finished.” I also move them to the appropriate columns when the task changes status.
5. Expense Tracker
This is where I track my expenses for the month. In the first column, I put the item that I bought. In the second column, I put the date, and in the third column, I put the amount.
6. Weekly Spread
This is where I put my everyday tasks. So first I put the date, and then the bar below that tracks the number of glasses of water that I drank that day (left) and the number of hours of sleep that I had the night before (right). Then after that, I proceed to my to-do list, and I shade the box different colors once the task is done for school, blog and personal. Below that, most of the time I put 1-2 sentences about the highlights of my day.
7. Weekly Mementos
To the left of the weekly spread are the mementos that I collected throughout the week. These are mostly receipts, tickets, stubs, and any other thing that I think might be worth putting in.
Hi! This is probably going to sound a bit weird, but I always really love how you explain music like there's a science to it - with all these musical terms and cadences etc and how they're built up like other songs/reminiscent of other songs, and I can't help but wonder if you think that the boys are aware of those things when they make music nowadays? Like - is that musical theory something you think they've learned and put into practice on purpose? Or do they have people/engineers who do that?
I can only guess, but here’s a few considerations.
First, from listening to podcasts, I have the sense that some songwriters know music theory much better than others. Even people who have a degree in songwriting do not always know theory, or how to play an instrument, or how to read music.
For instance, sometimes guitar players read tabs or fake books (not the copyrighted or standard versions of songs) instead of music written out on a staff. You can find tabs on all the top pop songs for free on the internet (just search “guitar tabs”). You don’t have to understand anything about theory to write a song copying these chord progressions, because most of them are fairly standard.
So if you look up “Beatles Blackbird,” and just copy the chords out, change the melody a bit– voila! You have a new song with old harmonies.
Sometimes songwriters are inspired by certain instrumental “stems”– these are instrumental parts that are available to be purchased or borrowed. You can buy bass lines, percussion, synth bass, etc.
Usually a song has four stems: bass, melody, percussion, and voice. Any one of these can inspire a song. Artists can lend stems to one another if they think someone might be able to use it. So inspiration might come in different forms, depending on what element cane first.
There are songwriters who are immersed in theory (Fleet Foxes, Radiohead) who write idiosyncratic harmonies– sometimes it’s hard even to break it down! Brian Wilson, of The Beach Boys, and Lennon/ McCartney were also writers who wrote very adventurous, strange harmonies. They sound normal to us now, because we’re used to them, but “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is a strange song, “Penny Lane,” “Across the Universe,” so many others, are very weird songs. They don’t follow the “normal” harmonic progressions of songs we hear from the 1950’s or 1960’s. They went out on a limb.
You can see why Harry loves Lennon/ McCartney. He’s a kid who likes eclectic music. He likes jazzy 7th chords, major-minor key alterations, syncopated rhythms (2’s against 3’s), subtle key modulations. These are all things that were happening in the ‘60’s and '70’s, because jazz-blues-rock-folk musicians all worked across genres then, and people experimented so much.
That’s why I think Harry knows music theory, to some extent. Maybe he doesn’t know the exact terminology for certain things like cadences etc., but he knows which songs he likes, and why. He knows harmonic progressions and chord progressions. He’s learned to play guitar so he can play these sounds out and listen to them. He’s a real musician, and it’s really cool.
A while ago, Louis tweeted that he liked Julia Michaels’ “Issues,” and Harry put this song on his BBCR1 playlist.
There’s a lot of similarities between “Issues” and BTY. The way that the verse has one meaning, and the chorus reverses the meaning (“I got issues, and one of them is how bad I need you”). The other is the syncopation of the words against synthesized sounds– they fill in every space, but don’t overlap much, so everything sounds lean and spare.
I think Louis pays attention to rhythm, a lot more than Harry does. “No Control” has masterful control of rhythm– the beginning of the song is so so so good. “Strong” and “Just Hold On” are both songs with such great use of syncopation.
So I think they are both learning a lot about the theories of songwriting, and both are paying attention to the best songwriters around.
Here’s another thing I love about their songwriting. They don’t copy what other people are doing. I mean, to some extent they follow the same formats, but they have their own signature. They don’t try to copy whatever is the top song of the moment. I love that they trust their own ears, and write their own words!! They’re real musicians!
Do you have any tips on writing characters with a tail?
TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE CHARACTERS WITH TAILS (FOR BOTH FANFIC WRITERS AND ORIGINAL CONTENT WRITERS)
1. Only make a tail if it’s strictly necessary (your character’s tail has to serve a purpose)
Unlike what you may think, tails are very, very tricky to write about if you’re putting them on humans, which I assume is what @dollyjean911 is asking about. There’s something about them that makes it incredibly difficult to describe them without making it seem silly. (Unless your character is a mermaid / has a tail that’s used for swimming; in that case, it’s reasonable, which is exactly what you want- for it to be reasonable).
If your fantasy species/character has a tail, make sure that it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, because otherwise you risk your readers finding it ridiculous, especially if the tail is just used for comic relief like annoying other characters (I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take out the tail if it’s used for comic relief, I’m just saying if that’s the only thing that the tail does, you might want to reconsider giving your character one).
Things that your character’s tail can be used for:
It’s relevant to the creature that your character is (aka a dragon or something)
2. Know That There Are Many Kinds Of Tails and They All Serve a Different Purpose
We seem to be one of the few animals that lack a tail. All animals have it, and therefore that means there are plenty of kinds of tails for you to choose from, both real and imaginary. Here’s a list:
Bovine (Cow / Ox / Wildebeest / etc.)
Canine (Wolf / Dog / Dingo / etc.)
Cervine (Deer / Elk / Caribou / etc.)
Equine (Horse / Pony)
Feline (Housecat / Tiger / Lion / etc.)
Rat / Mouse
Reptilian (Dragon / Iguana / etc.)
Plus many more!
3. Unless it’s Magic, Your Character’s Tail Has Limits; DO RESEARCH
Unless specified, your character’s tail can’t do loop-de-loops and stretch to crazy lengths or whatnot.
Some tails are powerful and muscular, capable of doing some hefty destruction (aka Reptilian and Mermaid) and others are dainty and delicate, more of a nuisance in battle than an actual weapon (Feline).
Like I said, tails have different jobs, and if you have a dog tail doing a monkey tail’s job, you’re gonna have some serious backlash from the readers, who will either critique harshly or simply stop reading altogether, and that’s the LAST thing you want.
If after this you don’t heed my warning and DO YOUR RESEARCH PLEASE!, I can guarantee that your readers will not be a fan of your character’s tail, even if you think you know everything there is to know about it.
3. Unless It’s a Mermaid, the Tail Shouldn’t Be the Only Trait That Your Character Has If They’re a Part of a Fictional Species
“Oh yeah, I’m a dragon but the only thing I have is this tail.”
“Yeah, just like your home with your family in it rn.”
If you’re writing about a fictional species, as a reader I am begging you not to just put the tail as a defining feature. Otherwise, your creature is gonna feel pretty lame.
Add horns and/ or wings! (See my incredibly popular post about writing characters with wings here)
Perhaps maybe scales on the backs of the hands/ cheekbones / down the spine!
Add fangs or fur in various places!
What about various fur patterns like stripes or spots on parts of the body?
(See my popular post about shape-shifters here)
How about fur on parts of the body like with the werewolf?
And so on. It’s not necessary, but it’s recommended if your character with a tail is a part of a species, just to spice it up a bit!
4. Please Be Professional
This is just for the people writing professionally, as well as for people who want to write serious fanfiction.
Like I said, tails are risky business. One wrong move and your story can seem like a nine-year-old’s first furry yaoi fanfic, and unless that’s what you’re going for, I suggest you listen to what I’m about to tell you:
!!!!!****SHOW, DO NOT TELL*****!!!!!
Yes, I know you hear this all the time;
The writing advice community shoves it in your face whenever they possibly can, but with tails, this is a necessity. It will make or break your novel/fic/story/etc.
“Her cat tail fluffed up in surprise”
The above sentence should not exist.
I don’t mean to be harsh, and you may feel bad if you’ve written like this (I admit I’ve written like this myself!), but that sentence sounds very unprofessional, and many readers will close the tab/ the book as soon as they read it.
You need to introduce your character’s tail by means of describing it. Unlike with wings, you can’t just say “cat tail” and be done with it. It doesn’t sound like professional work, which is what you probably want to write.
This is COMPLETELY a matter of opinion, and I’m just saying what I as a reader and a writer believe. Some people have different tastes, and that’s ok!
Here’s how you should introduce your character’s tail:
“Her cat tail fluffed up in surprise.”
It could be:
“Her eyes widened, and he caught a glimpse of movement behind her. Fearing it was one of those creatures from before, his hand flew to his gun, only to find a/n [adjective] tail curling around her leg.”
I know that writing is subjective, but doesn’t that second description sound a whole lot better?
I don’t know about you, but in my opinion I’d rather be presenting my readers with the second description than with the first.
(Granted, I did add a few details, but that’s what has to be the case. Besides, it boosts your word count!)
5. Do Not Ignore Your Character’s Tails!
(Honestly I’m just copying and pasting parts of this section from my wing post because it’s the exact same thing and just as important)
Tails are a 100% real, 24/7 thing! It’s bothersome when writers mention
the tail in one chapter and then only bring it up for comic relief or to knock something over and block the bad guys! Most of the time, I forget
that the characters even have a tail at all!
Here are some pros of having a tail (these are also things you can use for description)
Bludgeon enemies (if they’re bulky)
Use for swimming (mermaid tails)
Knocking things over to block enemies
Cause general havoc (pranks)
There is also the fact
that tails have many cons, even more so then they have pros!
They knock things over
They can get stepped on
They can get grabbed in battle
Unless they’re bulky or can grab things like monkey tails, they are useless against enemies
They can get caught in things
They can annoy other characters
Your character’s tail is an extra appendage; it’s a part of your character! You don’t have to spend every second
reminding the readers that it’s there, but don’t go long stretches of
time without even mentioning it.
6. Tails Can Convey Emotions, Too!
When cats are angry, their tails lash back and forth.
When dogs are happy, their tails wag.
When cats are surprised, their tails fluff up.
Like with the showing and not telling, this tip can boost your word count 100000% and can pack that little extra punch to make your readers more enthusiastic about your writing.
Here are some things your character’s tails can do:
Curl around character’s leg
Tuck between the legs
Lash back and forth
Knock people’s feet out from under them
Bludgeon (it probably won’t will but it sure will leave a hell of a bruise if the tail is muscular enough)
There are more, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.