A list of college interview tips for any seniors that freaked out like I did when I got my interview request! Some advice gets repetitive but it’s all helpful and I found the tips from current interviewers were the most helpful.

From the Interviewers Themselves 

Pre-Interview

General Tips

Post-Interview

3

14/100 | Monday February 9 2016 | Tips

A much requested question! I answered it a bit differently this time - it is intended to be read in order, like a script. I wanted to be direct, but also calming. Let me know if it works?? I 100% stand by every thing I’ve written here, because I just did it recently and it worked for me. #Honest

If you want to know how to be more creative, quick, think more critically or just know more, I’ve got some tips for that too for a separate post. Let me know if that interests you : )

Writing: Keeping the Flow

There are two big differences between good stories: stories that flow and stories that don’t. A story that flows is one that is paced well enough that the reader doesn’t feel like the author is spending too much time in one place, and the reader always knows what’s going on and doesn’t get bored. Flow is an extremely hard balance to strike, and all writers struggle with it, but hopefully these tips can help you achieve it a little better in your writing.

  • Don’t impede your reader.
    • “Impede” or “impediment” is just a big fancy word for something preventing the reader from moving forward in the story. Some examples of writing impediments are:
      • Stilted wording. These are words that seem unnatural or that are hard to read or understand, or a style that’s hard to follow. Spelling out a character’s dialect (accent) in their dialogue especially impedes a reader.
      • Confusion. If the reader is having trouble following the plot, telling the characters apart, and/or understanding the dialogue, they’re going to give up reading. Avoid confusion as much as possible. A story can be complex without being confusing.
      • Redundant phrases. A phrase is redundant if it feels unnecessarily repeated. For example:
          • He rolled his eyes and sighed in exasperation.
        • Instead of repeating what was already obvious, consider these revisions:
          • He rolled his eyes.
          • He sighed.
          • “That’s stupid,” he said in exasperation.
        • The same message is delivered in much fewer words.
    • For more information and examples on impeding flow, click on the link to The Editor’s Blog down below. Most of the ideas in this section came from that article.
  • Constantly keep the story moving.
    • While you shouldn’t rush your scenes along, you also shouldn’t linger on scenes for too long. If your story has ten-page arguments that could be shortened to a page-and-a-half, your reader will get annoyed and feel that the scene is dragged out. Also, revisiting a previously-closed scene is a definite flow-killer. If a problem or argument has already been resolved, don’t bring it back up unless some new story element has compromised the previous decision. Rehashing scenes to make the story longer or just because you, the author, liked them makes the story feel long and boring.
  • Don’t get stuck in a rut.
    • If your writing feels the same throughout, the reader will get bored. Break up your words and scenes with new ways of presenting ideas. Balance edgy, quirky writing with clean sentences. Have some short sentences and some long. Make some descriptions poetic and flowery, and make some choppy and sarcastic. Affect your style based on which character is telling the story. It’s a very difficult balance to strike, but once you discover how to pace your writing perfectly, the whole process will feel like a breeze.
    • (If you struggle with this, read read READ! It’s the quickest way to get better.)
  • Some helpful links I found.

un petit guide pour la prise de notes efficace. 

j'ai mis les quelques raccourcis & symboles qui me sont utiles, mais il y en a bien sur pleins d'autres ! personnellement, j'écris assez vite, donc j’ai pas besoin d'une centaine de trucs, mais tout ce qu'il y a ici, c'est des choses que j'utilise constamment et ce, depuis plusieurs années ! je suggère vraiment d'utiliser des techniques comme ça pour faciliter la prise de notes et vous assurer que vous ne manquez rien en classe (et que vous réussissiez à vous relire après !!)

What Writers Can Learn from Groundhog’s Day

Based on my previous What Writer’s Can Learn from posts, I wouldn’t blame you for expecting me to write about the character development of Phil Connors, the weatherman that is trapped in Punxutawny, Pa on a never ending Groundhog’s Day. I could write that post, but I’ve done that several times already and I have something different I want to talk about this month.

Phil Connors had an experience in the movie that is similar to reading a book. Think about that statement. Evey morning, Phil would wake up and it was the same exact day. None of the other characters in the story knew there was a difference. For them, each day had never happened. For Phil it was almost the exact same day.

Do you have a book that you have read a bunch of times? (I’ve got a bunch of them.) Each time you read that book, you are a different person, and you have a new experience with the book even though it hasn’t changed one letter.

I’ve been writing for a while and I expect that someone out there is wondering if I have a point here for writer. (Pro tip-Yes I do.)

Because Phil gets to experience the same day so many times (some guesstimates range from several month to many years, to 10,000 years.) Regardless of the actual amount, Phil lives in this single day and knows it better than any person has a right to know a single day.  He uses his time to learn French literature, how to play the piano, and how to make the lives of every single person in the town of Punxutawny better.

I’m not going to ask you to make the lives of all of your characters better because that would make your story less interesting, but I do want to ask you to get to know your world. What is going on in the background of the story? What are the seemingly insignificant elements that could add a touch of real life into your narrative? Could there be a character hiding in the shadows that should get some exposure? (Perhaps in another story if not this one.)

I know you can’t spend 10,000 years exploring the world of your story, but do us both a favor and explore some of the hidden places of your tale. I promise you that if you take this time, then you will find new and interesting ways to present your characters and their experiences.

Hope this helps someone out there,

Billy

PS. Immersing yourself in your fictional world will also help out with grammatical issues. ;)

Some tips on spending actual money in the game and some general things I’ve observed/found useful.

Firstly, a big thank you to @loki-on-mjolnir for making me a part of this awesome community. :)

I was lucky enough to get in on the beta version of the game and have been playing for a few weeks now. I know there are a lot of new people playing the game so I just wanted to impart a couple of observations that I’ve seen and also some tips that I personally found helpful.

First off I’ll address spending actual money in the game:

  • Of course you’re more than welcome to do what you want in regards to spending/not spending real money in the game. But if you’re worried about spending money my biggest tip would be wait until they have some kind of deal or sale. Recently I got a ‘quest’ where if I bought a ‘stash of credits’ they would give me 1,000 shards for free (I had a google play gift card so I was all over that like Tony on technology). Deals like that are worth taking advantage of if you’re willing to spend actual money. They want you to spend money on the game, that’s why they design it so that you’re constantly low on credits and/or shards. However it is entirely possible to play this whole game free. Things will take longer to save up for, but it is totally doable. I’ve found that the the more I level up the more credits I get for missions and quests. You’ll find that you can actually save up credits pretty fast. If you can save or wait until a quest or a character is less credits/shards to obtain or even free the better.

Secondly, upgrade your buildings when you can:

  • One thing I found helpful that if you want to save time on quests is to upgrade your buildings when you are able to before they are a requirement. You’ll save time when completing quests and you’ll also unlock skills for certain characters faster. Of course if you can’t then don’t do it, but the buildings I’ve been made to upgrade before level 14 are Star Tower, Avengers Dorm, the Archives, and Blasting Range. If you can upgrade those before then you will be ahead of the game. Also the higher the upgrade the longer it’ll take to complete. My suggestion would be to do this at night while you’re asleep. I know that I just recently upgraded the Avengers Dorm and it took about 11 hours.

Thirdly, until they announce more characters or make it more clear that you can recruit characters such as Vision and War Machine without spending so many shards I would hold off.

  • That’s just more my personal opinion on it, but I know how much your faves  mean to people so if you really want to go for it than do so. One thing I did notice during the beta testing was that their number of shards to recruit them kept changing, which I found annoying. I remember seeing Jessica (Spider-Woman) at over 600 shards and then when I played the ‘official release’ she was only 250 shards, so keep an eye on that. I’m sure the prices won’t change with the official version, but if you see difference in price of shards then something is off. 

Fourth, do the smaller missions first:

  • I’ve found it helpful to send characters on tasks for their quests that require the less time first. If I can send everyone on 1 minute - 15 minute missions before sending them on big long ones that’ll take hours then I find I can complete some tasks a little faster. 

Fifth, if you can get it for free, get it for free:

  • I’m still trying to recruit Cap and it’s taking a long while, but if I can get him for free then I’m doing it. Why spend over 1,000 shards to get him when you can get him for completing missions. It takes a lot longer, but in the end you’ll save your shards and make more credits on the way.

Sixth, and the last thing I’ll suggest:

  • Contact the developers, give them feedback, give them ideas. I work in the mobile gaming industry and while it’s not the same as AA, I do know that feedback and ideas go a long way. Some ideas and feedback may not be any huge interest  to them or even feasible, but if we speak up about what we want in this game then we may see some results. Also if you want more free credits and shards tell them that and tell them to make it easier to either get more credits for completing quests or tell them there needs to be a daily login reward or some kind of reward/bonus system to help people achieve their goals. A lot of games do that or have some kind of reward system. And I should think it goes without saying that please be respectful and polite when sending them stuff like that.

I hope some of this helps people with their gameplay. Also please continue to ask the blog questions and/or send in your own tips. We love hearing from you. :)

dragonsand asked:

hey, how big are your traditional pieces? I mean, how big is your graphite work (the ones you scan and edit)? It must be very big to get such good detail and not smudge the graphite..

They’re usually 11″ x 17″ or 11″ x 14″. For anyone who has seen my color prints in person, I actually work at size, which means the print of my work is the same size (or sometimes larger) than the original. Because I do this, I need to make sure my lines are super duper extra clean, or else it will look sloppy and messy.

I usually make sure to have a piece of smooth, toothless scrap paper under my drawing hand so that I don’t smudge the piece! That goes a long way, and it’s a really simple fix.

With my preliminary sketches, I tend to do a bunch of ridiculous gesture drawings on cheap computer paper back to back to back, using a lightbox to refine them and retrace them as I go. I usually go through at least 2-3 rounds of sketches for each illustration (sometimes more like 20-30 if I’m feeling extra nit-picky.) By the time I arrive at my favorite gesture drawing, it’s usually clean enough to where I only need to draw the most necessary contour lines onto the final sheet of Paris paper. This means I’m not erasing too much on my final draft of the illustration- it’s treated more like inking, with lots of pressing heavy with the pencil to ‘seal’ it to the paper, and with minimal erasing so as not to smudge anything.

Also! Pay attention to how your eraser reacts to the kind of paper you are using. A stretchy gum eraser will be better for certain papers, often toothier ones. Rubber erasers are often better for smoother papers, only if the eraser is very fresh (1-5 months old.) Rubber erasers tend to dry out, and after they dry out, they’ll wreck up your drawing instead of erasing. I’ve found latex erasers are best for smooth paper, as they erase very cleanly. 

Do keep in mind as well that if you are drawing lightly, darker graphite (B-6B) are actually easier to erase than lighter graphite (H-9H.) I almost always work with B lead in a .07 drafting pencil (the metal kind, so you can apply lots of pressure.) Don’t forget that the surface under your drawing (i.e. your desk) will also affect your line quality. I usually draw on top of hard, very smooth plexiglass to get the cleanest lines possible. Other things you can try drawing on that produce interesting effects are self-healing cutting mats, a stack of computer paper under your drawing (to cushion if you press too hard,) or laminated particle board. All are slightly different.

And finally, patience. Ungodly patience and good podcasts can get you through anything.

I hope this was useful to you!