tip for writing

mooniwolfkomoki  asked:

Got any tips on what not to do during a time skip?

What not to Do During a Time Skip

1) Don’t try to summarize everything that happened when you get back. You can have important events occur in the time period (deaths, births, promotions, marriages, etc.), but don’t shove them all at the reader. Mention them casually upon the return. If a character is killed between time skips, have the other characters react a certain way at the mention of their name, or make it seem like something is clearly missing. Don’t come out and say right away that they died.

2) Don’t be vague about the time difference. The fastest way to turn a reader off is to be vague about a change. If it takes more than five pages to know exactly when and where we are after a time skip, your reader will have to go back and re-read everything, and we don’t want that.

3) Don’t overthink it. Time skips are super common in stories, and can range from a few hours to years.You don’t even hardly have to acknowledge more minor time skips, and they’re often necessary to tell a story well. If you worry about it too much, your story might get a bit disjointed.

anonymous asked:

I have problems finding different "voices" for each of my characters. Could you help me by maybe explain the different aspect that can change one's voice? Thank you!

Hi, love!  Thanks for your question and your patience :)  I love writing unique character voices, both in dialogue and narration, just because it can make a story completely different just through the way it’s told.  There are a lot of different aspects to a character voice, though, so I’ll just go through the basics I run in my mind when I develop voices.

Aspects of Character Voice

  • Education – To be as realistic for your character as possible, you need to consider the level of education they received growing up.  There are too many characters in modern fiction who speak eloquently, confidently, and grammatically correct, yet don’t have the educational backstory to support this.  This is especially important if the character has to speak publicly, which many overlook as a skill that must be developed.
  • Influences – People learn how to speak, how to joke, and how to appeal to others from their family, friends, and idols.  For example: my aunt is much more reserved than my father and uncle.  She’s a quiet, thoughtful psychologist – but every once in a while, she shows her roots over her education by engaging in some of the awful puns that run in my dad’s side of the family.  Puns seem uncharacteristic of her at first glance, but it adds depth to who she is by reaching back into her childhood.
  • Communication Style – I touched on this in my post on character traits, and it probably applies even more here.  Your characters aren’t all going to speak up at the same times, about the same things, in the same ways.  Some people avoid confrontation; some people can’t ignore irritants.  Some people are open about their personal affairs; some don’t feel comfortable sharing their middle name with friends.  Some people think out loud, and occupy the room subconsciously.  Some people use humor to mask their feelings, and rarely speak without a hint of irony in their voice.  Some people are horribly self-aware, and some people talk without really hearing or filtering themselves.  It’s all important.
  • Demeanor – Mood, countenance, disposition – basically, what is the character’s general attitude?  If someone were to describe them in a couple of words, what would they be?  Some people are generally positive, and some are generally negative, or irritable, or uncomfortable, or emotional, or just really strong in whatever direction.  I had a friend in theatre describe me as “anxious at rest”, and I think that pretty much covers my demeanor.  Now, no one behaves one way all the time – this is just more of a “default emotion” that colors how they approach certain situations.

Example: Because I’m “anxious at rest”, I feel happiness like butterflies in my limbs, and sadness like it’s raining bullets in my stomach.  Because my brother is naturally chill as hell (my words), he feels happiness like a warm, gooey piece of pie, and sadness like a thin, wet sheet clinging to his skin.

  • Social Skills – This can tie into education and influences, but also has a lot to do with personality.  A character can be raised to know and value social convention, or they can pick it up themselves; or they can disregard social “rules” despite any kind of education.  How does your character handle awkward situations?  Are they blunt with strangers?  Are they respectful to authority?  Do they keep their opinions to themselves, or speak up no matter what?  Do they at all change themselves or their behavior to adapt to new situations?  There’s a spectrum there, between 100%-Integrity and Chameleon status, and your character’s somewhere on it.
  • Sense of Humor – I’ve talked about this before, too, but for posterity, I’ll add it here.  When writing a character’s voice, you have to think about what amuses them – and it’s not necessarily what amuses you.  I think of the show The Office, which is basically a playground of different senses of humor.  There’s Michael Scott, who works with things like “that’s what she said” and celebrity impressions; there’s Jim Halpert, who’s both sarcastic and a diehard prankster; there’s Pam Beesly, who can only offer puns along the line of, “I’ll put out an A.P.B. – an Ask Pam Beesly.”  These small details make characters sound distinct from each other.
  • Introversion/Extroversion – Lastly, a lot of how a character communicates depends on how they experience social interactions.  Are they energized by conversations and social events, or do these things drain them?  Do they seek out others, or do they wait to be addressed?  Are their thoughts focused outwardly – on what’s going on around them, what others are saying or thinking, on how they appear to others – or inwardly – on their internal thoughts and interests, on what they’re thinking and feeling?  This will affect how they speak and how they narrate the story, even if you’re not writing in first-person.

Anyway, that’s basically what came to mind when I saw your question.  If this doesn’t help you, be sure to send us another ask with more information :)  Good luck!

– Mod Joanna ♥️


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

On Morally Gray Characters

missgoomba39 asked: “I wanted to ask you how to write a morally gray character and make them interesting but not seem completely evil?”

I won’t lie - I love morally gray characters. My favorite books are full of them - characters who are just not nice, characters who commit murder, who lie, who cheat, steal, say horrible horrible things to their own mothers - horrible people can be fascinating heroes. 

Keep reading

“I don’t feel alive unless I’m somewhere new. ‘Home’ is synonymous with ‘prison’ if I feel like I have to be there. I guess what I need is to run and run far. Then, once I’ve had my fill of the new, I’ll, you know. Come home.”

Writing Blogs & Sites to Watch

Anonymous asked: “I think ur blog is gr8! And I was wondering if u would have any recommendations for other blogs like urs??”

First off, you’re too sweet! I am glad to hear you enjoy my blog. I have a lot of fun working on it. And actually, while I am not actually on and watching the writing community of Tumblr as much as I could be there are definitely some standouts who I’ve come to really adore. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi there! I love this blog (its already been incredibly useful) and I've got something I could use a little advice on, if you can. I'm writing an original fiction set in a specific city and year. Do you have any tips for researching that might help me capture the feel of the place/time? I want it to feel like a snapshot and I've done a little research already, but is there anything particular you notice/know of that will really help set the scene without it feeling too contrived? Thank you !

Hey nonny, I’m glad you like the blog <3 Setting is a hard thing to get right in stories, and it can often be overlooked. I struggle with this a lot, as I’ve never been out of my home country, and really the best advice I can give you is this: research (which I also addressed in this ask). 

To make your setting seem realistic, you need to know a lot about the time and place. It’s not too hard to find information about cities, you can find out generally what they look like and all that jazz, but to bring the setting to life, you have to know a lot of little details. I have a few resources for you here that may help you out. 

PLACE

  • What are the notable landmarks?

Do the citizens have nicknames for places in the city? Do all the buildings look similar, or is it a smorgasbord of styles?

  • Is the city well-maintained, etc?

Are the streets littered with garbage or pristinely swept? Are the roads and sidewalks cracking or do they look brand new? Are the buildings old and in disrepair, or do they look brand new and modern? Is the greenery (if there is any) taken care of, or is it overgrown and unkempt?

  • What are the people there like? 

Is there mainly one race/culture there, or is it diverse? Are the people there generally kind, rude, or does it vary? Will people on the street give directions to someone who’s lost?

  • What’s the climate like?

Is it mild? Is it hot (if so, is it dry or humid)? Is it cold? Is it rainy? Does it snow in the winter?

  • How wealthy is the city?

Does the city have enough money to fund and maintain green spaces or public buildings? What class are most of the people there?

TIME

  • If your story is set in the past, you’ll have to do a fair bit of research to portray it correctly. If your story is set in the present, odds are you’ll know a fair bit more about the period (but you should still do some research to solidify your knowledge). If your story is set in the future, you’ll have a lot more freedom with how you portray the time period, but it involves a lot of planning and worldbuilding.
  • Here’s a question we received about life in the 1800s, if that’s your time
  • It’s hard for me to give you specific advice without knowing your time period, but you really just have to make sure you know everything you can about the era. That doesn’t mean you have to overload your characters with information. In fact, you probably won’t end up directly referencing a lot of the things you researched, but the fact that you know them gives you a better understanding of the period and makes the setting richer, even if you never directly mention some things.
  • Here’s an article about general historical fiction (which can also be applied to the present or future)

I hope this helped you out! If you have another question, you know where to find us!

-Mod Gen


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

anonymous asked:

Hello, can you please give me few writing tips for people whose first language isn't English? :)

Hi!

Bilingual people, I greatly encourage you to chip in since I don’t have experience with this.

1) READ books that are in English.

1.5) Read anything and everything in English- articles on the Internet, newspapers, etc.

2) Find some grammar lessons online (depending on the extent of your knowledge)

3) Ask for concrit (constructive criticism) on what you write.

4) Focus on the way people who speak English actually talk. I’ve been told that text book Spanish (what I’m learning) isn’t realistic, so I think it could work that way with English?

By the above step, I don’t mean include the “ums”, repetition, and other mistakes of natural speech. That would be really choppy to read. I mean the order of sentences and such (Is that what I’m saying? I don’t really know because I don’t know what makes text book Spanish different from “real” Spanish. I just know that people say there is a difference).

5) Look up a “Differences between (your language) and English” article for some quick notes. Again, the helpfullness of this depends on how well you know English.

anonymous asked:

Ive been writing and I constantly don't have a clue on how to write in a characters reaction to something.So usually I have a character awkwardly standing in the background.Any way you can help out?

The most important character you need to focus on is the character whose point of view the story is about. Make sure that the narrator, or the point of view character is responding, and then you can worry about the background characters. I think what trips writers up is that we worry so much about reacting to every little moment–reacting to each word, reacting to each bit of physicality. But people in reality don’t do this. Our brains don’t process it all. We hone in on what we want to hear–or what we don’t want to hear (perhaps the most shocking part). We hear the ends of sentences in particular, or we only hear the beginning and zone out throughout the rest. Our reactions aren’t always what is expected. For example, people do not always cry when being presented with bad news, not even death. Sometimes it might be something strangely rational that our brains pick up on (perhaps if someone from work dies, their first thought is ‘who is going to lead the presentation then?’). So what is important to take note of is what about what they’re responding to means the most to them? Which part would trigger the most emotional response?

And the same thing is true for the background characters. Some specific part of the news may prompt them to ask a question or make a sound of surprise of fear–you just have to pick and choice your moments for them to respond to. But what a lot of writers worry about is what the characters do in the mean time. And this again depends on your narrator. Would the narrator notice anyone in the background? If they don’t, then you can forget about everyone else, but mention this to the reader. Have them, after digesting the news, say something like “I turned to find my friends still behind me, staring at me wide-eyed after the news we’d just learned. I’d forgotten they were there.” But if your narrator does not forget about them, show this too. Maybe the news, instead of making them so absorbed that they forget everyone else, is so worrying that they continue to look around for comfort: maybe they keep catching their friends’ eyes or looking for their expressions. In short: include them as much as your main character needs them–just don’t forget that they are there. 

What you don’t want to do is allow the entire scene to become dialogue. Just because someone is revealing something or telling a story doesn’t mean that everyone else in the room magically disappears. Show us what they’re doing throughout the reveal (are they smiling? Sweating? Shifting nervously?) and let us into their thoughts (what is their first reaction? what does it remind them of?)

Here are some links I think would be helpful: 

ANCwritingresources is open to submissions, questions, and recommendations. If this or any other message has helped you, please pay it forward by checking out my new book, Permanent Jet Lag, out now! And spread the word here.

Book Purchase Links

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PSA for writers

Hi! I’d like to talk to you (as a Scottish person myself) about a little thing called “Writing in a Scottish accent”.

Like all countries, there are obviously some different dialects and accents within - - but there are some general rules and pitfalls to be avoided.

Bear in mind, these are just the opinions of one Scottish person so please don’t be offended, my word isn’t law and I’m just trying to help.


1. Generally don’t chop off the word end

I’ve seen this one various times, and I tend to cringe a little - here’s an example:

Original Text: I wouldn’t expect him back until later.

Pitfall: I wouldn’ expec’ him back ‘ntil later.

It sounds unusual to us to read, because that’s not really how we speak


2. When to use slang

Depending on your preferred level of articulation of course, we do tend to casually use slang, well known word shortenings or colloquialisms - here’s an example:

Original Text: I wouldn’t expect him back until later.

Scottish: I wouldnae (pronounced wood-ney) expect him back 'til later.

Other examples of this particular slang are:

wouldnae - wouldn’t
couldnae - couldn’t
cannae - can’t
shouldnae - shouldn’t
gonnae - going to


3. Patriotism and Nationality

While it’s true a lot of us are rather patriotic, this is often overdone and can take away from characterisation if overused. A lot of this tends to dissolve into tropes and stereotype anyway, so don’t feel as if you need to have them running around in a kilt eating haggis.
Also, take a moment to think: Does your character identify as Scottish or British? For some people this is a matter of political opinion and is a bit of a sore topic, so try to avoid referring to a Scottish character as British unless they’ve done it themselves.

Thank you for reading, and I hope I’ve helped make some things clearer! Feel free to ask any questions!

calling all writeblrs & bookblrs

recently gave my blog a bit of a revamp!! looking for blogs to follow to spruce up my dash. if you’re a writer (and post your own work, poetry or fiction) or post a lot about writing tips, prompts, books, or writing inspiration please like/reblog this so i can follow you! 💞

Why Commenting On FanFiction Is Important

Alright kids, Boo here with a hopefully non-arrogant PSA.

I’m a writer of FanFiction because I like it and it’s my preferred genre (also a great way to receive feedback on writing that I can use on originals, bref). But like with most artistic work posted online, I have very little feedback.

When I was in a slightly writing rut, I cranked one shots left and right, nothing out of the ordinary. But instead of people commenting with their thoughts and good feedback, they just gave me requests.

I don’t think I could ever put into words what that felt like, but I’ll try (the irony of being a writer). It suddenly felt tiring, being a writer, and very quickly I stopped writing altogether. I only ever showed my friend what I wrote and left it at that. I haven’t published anything for a while after. It felt like people were treating me like a mule wanting me to do work for them, and I just wasn’t up for that. I lost my will to write, and then I began to think, “If I post something else other than what was requested, will people even read it?”

Then you get the infamous comments, “You haven’t forgotten about my request right??? Here’s another.”

That just adds anxiety and guilt. I’m purposely ignoring the comments to save my own uncreative ass, at least that’s what it feels like.

After weeks of convincing myself that my stories are worth sharing no matter how many people read them, I started writing and publishing again while working on some longer pieces. Slowly it got better.

Now this week, I remembered I joined another fanfiction platform, and realized I had never published anything on it. I had an idea, and so I started writing. It didn’t come out as I imagined it would, but I was so proud? Like, I started feeling happy about what I created again. Like genuine happiness that I haven’t felt in months since my last published work.

A few hours later, I get this comment:

I cranked out three 3k stories after reading this.

In four days.

It never happened before, and I don’t know how many times it will happen again. It was one comment, but it gave me so much fighting spirit that I think I’m on my way to regaining my initial writer mindset.

Fanfiction writers depend on feedback as a validation that their stories matter to people. If you’re wondering why your favourite author hasn’t updated/posted in a while, ask yourself, “Did I do everything that would convince them to continue writing this?”

I made this today as I find it’s a helpful tool when I make characters. I call it the 1-2-3 method.

1 value: Their core belief.

2 flaws: The limitations of the character. Things that can affect their actions and abilities.

3 traits: What makes them, them. the aspects of their behaviour and attitude.

It’s important that you justify their personality through their backstory and home life, however, and it’s good to have conflicting flaws/traits within a group which will help create tension and drama.

I’m using this today to create characters for my campnanowrimo WIP and thought I’d share.

What criticism feels like to a creative person

Browsing Reddit, I came across an extremely effective post about why some creatives respond very poorly to criticism, or even for those of us who respond well, why it can feel like an attack even though in your head you know it isn’t.

Originally posted by enjoy-the-life-baby

Criticism creates a mental conflict, but not always that kind.

Imagine if you wrote a final essay for your literature class, really did your best on it, turned it in, and the teacher gave it 100%. Elated, you take it home to show it off to your dad. Your dad says “You got a D? You really should have tried harder.” You think WTF, you squint at the paper and you’re pretty damn sure it says 100%, A+, Good work. But your dad says “No, it clearly says 63%, D-, disappointing.” Then you start to realize you’re living in some kind of warped reality where your dad sees something on the paper completely different than what you see, and you start wondering if you even know what’s real anymore.

This is what it feels like to get a criticism. It casts into doubt your own definition of “good” which is probably the basis of your entire creative process. It’s not even an issue of admitting weakness. Admitting weakness is easy. What’s not easy is having your instincts cast into doubt and not knowing whether to trust  yourself anymore.

  • Do I trust this critic?
  • Do I trust myself? Some combination of the two?
  • Do I stand by my decisions or not?
  • Do I make changes even though I don’t understand how they will help?
  • Will the changes completely undermine the artistic vision I wanted for this?
  • Will it defeat the whole point I was going for?
  • I can’t feel the emotional reasoning behind making changes, so how will I know if my change is for the better or worse?
  • Is the critic just not the right audience for this? Is the critic biased? Is the critic just having a bad day?
  • Should I ignore them altogether, and just keep doing this for the people who like it?
  • Are my fans wrong and simpleminded?
  • Am I even doing anything of significance?
  • Should I give up here?

These are all questions which artists ask themselves when they receive criticism. They’re tricky, ambiguous questions that don’t always have a correct answer. Many newcomers don’t even know how to approach these questions, so criticism can often feel like a personal attack even if both sides mean well.

That’s not to say that criticism itself is bad, but if you get a better idea of what a criticism is doing psychologically to the receiver, you might find yourself offering more effective, well-received advice.

This ties in pretty closely to the advice I often give on this very blog, about how to deal with negative feedback; above all, trying not to dwell on it. Before you give any response, always take time to calm down.

Originally posted by gabedonohoe

This is a pretty universal problem that affects all creatives across all media. You’d have to be as emotionless as a stone to not fall prey to it occasionally.

Part of being a writer is building up creative confidence. This is the faith in yourself to be able to write something and put it out into the world, and to know, deep down, that this work has value, to you and to your audience.

You may, later, discover that this work isn’t all that good, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was a stepping stone to the person you are now, and the work you’re producing today.

Whenever you create a piece of work, make sure you internalise why you made that work. What it meant to you. It doesn’t matter if that work was a prize-winning literary novel or a scrawling of Vegeta from DBZ drawn in pencil on lined paper. If the work expresses something you can’t contain, something you have to get down on paper, over time you’ll develop the creative confidence to accept that even if it’s “bad”, that isn’t what’s important. The end result isn’t as important as the work itself.

Creative Confidence isn’t something you just develop overnight. It takes work. It’ll probably take a few embarrassing moments too, and those will be the hurtful types that’ll lead to “arguments you win in the shower” 5 years later. It takes different durations for different people. However, if you work at it, it’s something I believe is within the reach of everyone.

Find your Creative Confidence; I’m sure you can.