twh-respond

anonymous asked:

My story is set in a futuristic Italy but I'm not sure about two things. I named my main character before I chose where it would be set, so now her name isn't Italian at all. Should I change the main character's name? And also the people speak English but isn't that weird in Italy? I'm not sure what I should do now.

For the character name, if it’s set in the future, you may be able to get away with naming her whatever fits — as long as it suits the world. Not everyone has names that exactly fit the country they live in, and many countries have immigrants, even spanning a couple generations, that hold to their original country’s naming patterns. That being said, if it doesn’t suit the character anymore, change it. 

As far as the speaking English in a mostly non-English speaking country (at least as a first language), that happens all the time with English-speaking writers setting stories abroad. It depends what market you’re publishing in, and how important it is to the story. Generally speaking, if you say your story is set in Italy, but you’re writing in English, people will assume your characters are speaking Italian unless an indication is given that they’re not. Or, you could mention a character’s language, but write the dialogue in English. Both are tactics used frequently by authors. 

Hope this helps! 

- O

stormwolftori asked:

Hi there! This is my first time doing NaNo and I feel kind of strange about the quality of my writing. I'm taking comfort in the fact that everyone says it's about the quantity and hitting the word count. That it's a first draft and the most important thing is to get it out, which I've been doing for the past two days. But I feel I'm doing a lot of telling and very little showing. Like it's all stuff I would fix in the second draft, but there seems to be very little substance now, is this okay?

It’s totally fine. It really is about the words this month.

Yes, you want to have substance. Yes, you want to have a cohesive story. Yes, you want to have fully developed characters. Many of these things reveal themselves through the process of actually writing. So while at times describing in minute detail the way a room looks, or how the weather makes a character feel, or a dream sequence with dinosaurs with lasers for eyes seems worthless, it’s all a part of the process in crafting your world, your story, your characters.

Let your ideas fly free, because now is the time when everything might be useful.

(Also, we’re three days in. You are not expected to be perfect with this type of writing practice yet. Are you an expert at anything after three days of working on it for several hours? No. You won’t even be an expert at 30 days — and that is totally fine.)

Hope this helps!

 - O

Anonymous asked: Skipping hours, days, months, WHATEVER amount of time in existence can be very difficult for me sometimes… I’m afraid it gets too sudden, for example, and I just can’t find the correct moment or words for that. Do you have some advice on the matter?

————————————————————————————————————-

Unfortunately, there are no good links for writing time lapses (which irritates me to no end. Links are the epitome of good examples). 

Hmm… here’s an example of my own writing of a couple-hour/over night time lapse because I’m not sure how to answer this. If followers have suggestions, please let this Anon know.  -H

** This is about 2 years old or so. It’s one of the endings I thought I’d have in my book but I have since discarded it. **

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Ok so in my story, the protagonist is friends with a guy who's promiscuous with both genders; I was wondering how to write him out to where the readers can tell this about him without slapping them in the face.

Really, just make mention of it here and there and you should be fine. Whether it’s addressed by the character or others around him, the best way to not make it permeate the novel is not to talk about it a lot. This doesn’t mean there aren’t opinions about it held by this individual, or other characters, just that it’s not brought up frequently. The more something is mentioned, the more it will become a focal point. If you’re having trouble striking a balance, put in as much as you feel comfortable and when you have your alpha or beta readers go through it, ask them if they feel it’s mentioned too often. Sometimes you need a bit of outside perspective as well. 

Hope this helps! 

- O

anonymous asked:

While I was talking to my friend about my story, she said it was similar to the show Leverage. I hadn't seen it but it turns out they are similar. Any tips on making it unique, because now I'm worried about seemingly basing my story off the show..

Many stories are similar in premise, and sometimes in character array as well. However, this shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing your story. Your voice and your characters and your interpretation of the same basic concept will make it unique. 

The key word in these scenarios is ‘similar.’ Stories can have many similarities and still be very different. It’s when you get into being almost an exact replica that you might need to rethink your story. In which case, change out a character (or add one), to change dynamics. Change the setting (a different planet, a different country, etc.). Change the goals of your characters — which might, in turn, change the overall plot. These may be substantial changes, but they can also make your story stronger and more unique — and many an author has started a story only to realize they were creating “their version of X show-book-movie” and altered something like this to make it their own. 

Hope this helps!

- O

Writing Superheroes and Villains

I wanted to ask about writing superheroes, how do you first go about balancing their powers out and finding equal villains for them to go against? -cluewhite

What a wonderful question! I’m really going to enjoy answering this one and hopefully our followers might be able to share their own opinions (hint hint). 

When creating a superhero there are a few things to consider:

  • What gives them their superpower (special spider, iron suit, the fact they are a god).
  • What their superpower is and its limitations. (All superheroes have limitations- think of Batman!).
  • What is their weakness. (Small knifes? Hahaha I made a funny.)
  • Who knows their weakness?
  • How does their personality contribute to their superhero status? Do they deserve to be a superhero?
  • Best question: Are they a superhero by choice?

These are just some questions I would consider to start developing this character. Superheroes are normal characters, they deserve the same amount of character development and they need to be rounded characters. You also need to really consider their motives. Are they driven by revenge? Or simply because they want to make a difference?

So your superhero can have any power they want, but it needs to have a limitation. If this character is unbeatable then there is no point in your story. Also, your reader will struggle to empathise with your character if they aren’t challenged and if there isn’t a struggle to succeed. 

So lets talk about villains! Now, what you need to think about to start with is why are they enemies? Is it because your superhero knows this character and wants to stop them? Is it because your superhero has suffered at this villains hands? Or does the superhero want to act for the good of the people? 

I’m going to mention some villains here so you can catch my drift a bit more.

  • Obediah Stane (Ironman) - knew Tony and was motivated by greed. Tony fought him because he felt like it was his fault, he had created this ‘monster’.
  • Lizard (The Amazing Spiderman)- Peter felt responsible for the Lizard thing as he had given him the formula. 
  • The Joker- (Batman) had no real motive, he just liked chaos. Batman fought him because it was the right thing to do, to save Gotham.
  • Loki (Thor and Avengers)- Loki was motivated for revenge. Thor fights him because he is his brother and he feels responsible for him.

You can see a trend here with comic book superheroes. The superhero is normally motivated to fight the villain because he knows him, feels partly responsible or less common he just wants to fight them. 

Of course this means nothing, you can do whatever you want with your superhero. But it is interesting to consider the relationship between these two central characters and how well they know the other. 

So, making them equal.

You don’t have to make them equal, not at all. A common trend seems to be that one party is the brawn and the other the brain. What I think is more interesting though is when both characters are equally brilliant. It then is more a battle of tactics to win.

To make an equal villain develop them like you did your superhero. Consider what makes them powerful, what gives them the power. Their own weaknesses and strengths. 

Give them both strengths and weaknesses and they should start to balance themselves out. Or they could just be equally as powerful and it is their personality that determines who wins. 

Writing about superheroes

How to write a great villain

How to make a scary villain 

I hope this has helped you! If not, hit us up again. (We don’t bite- much). Followers, as always feel free to chip in.

-S

lovetrustforget asked:

Is it still considered an information dump if I'm having a character tell another character something about their past? Sorry if it's confusing, I love your blog! Thank you!

Don’t worry, I understand what you mean. It doesn’t really matter what the context is, an information dump is when a bunch of information is given to the reader all at once (often a lot of unnecessary information, too.) -T

Beginning Your Story Without Info-Dumps

How to Avoid Writing Info-Dumps 

How to Avoid Info-Dumping

Four Tips for Fixing the Infamous “Info Dump”

Gunshot/Stab wounds in fantasy and sci-fi

Anonymous asked you: Do you have anything on gunshot (assault, pistols, snipers) wounds, stab wounds, or stitching? I’m writing both sci-fi and fantasy stories, so the stab wounds can really be caused by anything from small pocket knife to a rapier.

Hi! Great question. I have answered this once and then tumblr decided to delete it, so here we go again!

Getting a handle on guns

A summary of how people die and don’t die in a sword fight

Useful resource for realistic killing wounds

Pathology: Knife wounds

A stitch in time: Medical sutures now and in history

Surgical suture

Stitches, wounds and lacerations

I’ve kick started your research for you with the above links. I think for the wounds and types of weapons you will have to a lot more research into the damage a weapon can do and the likely result of an injury.

I would take a look at rehabilitation time for injuries as well if you want it to be quite realistic. This will differ upon type of wound, depth of injury and placement. 

For stitches I wasn’t sure if you wanted modern/future/past so I’ve got you some past treatments and the ones used nowadays. For a futuristic approach I would look at research that is ongoing at the moment and look for ways that medicine could be improved or changes. For example maybe instead of stitches or staples they use a laser to shut a wound.

Hope this helps!

-S


anonymous asked:

Any advise for writers who got started late, a lot of writers I see usually started in their teens or earlier. I'm in my 20s and just getting into writing and sometimes I feel behind.

Short version: just write.

Longer version: Everyone comes into their own at different points in life — this is as true for writing as it is for any endeavor. You may feel as though you’re playing ‘catch up’ to some people, but the truth is that everyone is always playing that game with any new undertaking, everyday. We all start somewhere, and whether you’re beginning the path as a writer at 16 or 46, the only way to get started is just to do it, and not judge your progress on someone else’s.

I mean, can you imagine being 26 and deciding you want to be a composer and comparing your progress at that point to Mozart? It’s an extreme example, but it highlights how you shouldn’t judge your starting point by someone with more experience. 

Additionally, it’s a common used phrase to not judge your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel — meaning you shouldn’t judge your individual progress on a journey by looking at what other people have accomplished at a completely different point in their personal timeline, especially knowing that all you’re getting is the accomplishment, not all the work it took to get there.

If you want to write, write. If you have stories in you, tell them. It doesn’t matter what age you are.

Hope this helps!

- O

avonvanhassel asked:

What would be your advice on making writing 'grittier'?

There seems to be some disagreement on what makes a story “gritty.” When pulling up gritty book lists on Goodreads, the majority tend to be dark, disturbing stories that may give readers an unsettling feeling because they are getting enjoyment out of something so unpleasant. I read two different takes on what makes fiction gritty, and they each offered a unique perspective.  

Gritty Stories, What Are They?

This writer suggests that a gritty story features a resilient, ambitious, and passionate protagonist, and that doom and gloom are mere “decorations.” Also written here is that gritty fiction doesn’t shy away from harsh truths.

What Makes a Novel Gritty and Dark?

While the previous viewpoint suggested gritty writing was about characterization, this writer believes gritty fiction is more about the tone you use to describe events. Any plot can be gritty if the author approaches it with that intention.

For me, when I think of fiction as being gritty, it has to do with tact. It’s fiction that is brutally honest. A hero may not win the war (at least not without major casualties), and sad, unfulfilling endings may be the unfortunate result. If that’s the case, it pegs the question - why would we read fiction that leaves us hopeless and sad? I think no matter how gritty a story seems, we try to find the good in the character’s harsh circumstances. If the protagonist loses their best friend, we try to think about what the protagonist still has left to hold onto, or we consider that the deceased no longer suffers. It challenges our pessimistic instincts to find the good in the darkest of times. 

Okay, that was a bit more philosophical than I intended, but I think the key to making writing gritty depends on your idea of gritty. Is it dark? Is it honest? Is it about passion, determination, fervor? What books have you read that make you want to write gritty fiction? I would start there and think about what those books have in common. 

-R

anonymous asked:

I recently found out my dream of going back to school again isn't going to happen. I feel like my dreams are crushed. I was going to get a degree in English and Creative Writing so I can get writing gigs and make money while working on becoming a published author. I want to write. I don't care what as long as I can write. I want to make money in what I love. Is there a way to make it in the writing world without the degree? Is there a way to still make money writing? Please help. I'm destroyed.

First thing: take a deep breath. This isn’t the end of the world. Not even close.

Second: You absolutely do not need a degree to make money writing. Neil Gaiman agrees with me! 

Honestly, going to school for those things helps, of course, but it isn’t necessary by any means. You can become a better writer without college in the same way you can learn math without going to public school. There are a million ways to learn - the fact that you (presumably) follow this writing blog when our sole intention is to help other writers become better at the craft is a damn good start. 

30 Types of Freelance Writing Jobs and How to Get Them

How to Make Your First $100 as a Freelance Writer

Writing Jobs and How to Break Into the Industry

Good luck, pal. -T

anonymous asked:

So I've got a character in my story who's in a coma for a few weeks following a car accident; any ideas on how to write this accurately?

How Comas Work - yet another great SYSK podcast

How Comas Work - the article the podcast is primarily based on (the podcast has more information though as they do outside research as well)

These are obviously my favorite sources, but if anyone has anything else to share, feel free! -T

anonymous asked:

Hey! I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how to start writing. I never know how to start a story and I'm still a beginner, so I was wondering if you could help me :)

I’ll do my best! 

If you are struggling with getting started with your story then it might help you to start planning. We have quite a few resources on starting planning and this is normally a good place to start.

I find it hard to start writing without any planning as it makes it (IMO) quite a terrifying experience. If you already have an idea where your story is beginning and who your characters are it makes the process of starting to write a lot simpler.

Resources for planning:

Our tag

How to make a plan

Beginning a story

How do you plan a novel

Getting Started

Using notebooks

Keeping this in mind will also help you get started: Your first draft will SUCK. Other people may think it’s fine but you will probably hate parts of your writing- this is normally and perfectly fine. Your first draft is a work in progress, you are never sure where the characters are going to go or what the twists are going to be. The second time around you can plan for these kinds of things and it means your writing will make more sense.

If starting an entire novel sounds a little scary to you why not try some short stories or flash fiction. Prompts are quite good for this.

Check out the prompts tag on tumblr or these people:

Writeworld Blocks

Yeahwrite

I hope this helps you a little bit,

-S 

believe that because titles cannot be copyrighted, you are fine to use titles of books or movies in your novel. Quotes or appearances of characters is not so fine. I provided a list at the bottom of various topics on copyright and trademark infringement that will pertain to both your questions, and FAQs on fair use and public domain. And I hope our followers with legal expertise will chime in as well. 

Having said that, I would be careful how you use contemporary pop culture in your fiction. When things are popular in a given moment, it is difficult to predict how long it will stay popular, and if it fades, your work can become extremely dated. I have nothing against John Green or Rainbow Rowell, but they are both very “now” authors. If you were to use classic authors like Austen or Hemingway, or J.R.R. Tolkien - those have shown they can stand the test of time. And personally, I think J.K. Rowling has claimed that status considering her last HP book was published 7 years ago (last film 3 years ago), and the HP popularity has remained persistent despite many other popular fantasy and sci-fi series that have come out since.

There is no cut and dry rule of what makes a work “dated,” and this is certainly my own opinion and not necessarily a rule of writing. But just consider your choices carefully, regardless if it’s a popular book, movie, or band. Now, here are those links I promised:

Public Domain FAQ

Fair Use FAQ

When Do You Need to Secure Permissions?

Copyright in Fictional Characters

So You Want to Use Song Lyrics in Your Novel?

Can I Mention Brand Name Products in My Fiction?

Can You Use Celebrity Names in Fiction?

-R

2

We sure can! 

As many of us know, suddenly is an adverb that means ”quickly and without warning; unexpectedly”.  Adverbs being adverbs, there are right and wrong ways to use any and all adverbs. 

So before we jump into our main point, let’s have a little lesson on using adverbs. 

Adverbs

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. The adverbs that we are all familiar with and are taught in elementary English to identify are words that end with -ly, however, some adverbs (always, here, there) don’t end in -ly. 

The most common misuse of an adverb I see is the use of the adverb “badly”. 

Bad is always an adjective and should be used to describe a noun, while badly should always be used to modify a verb.

Examples:

1. The sisters felt badly bad when they realized they had left their brother out of the planning.

2.She feels bad badly because her fingers were burned. 

———————————————————————————————————————————-

 Now let’s talk about “suddenly”. 


It’s a common opinion that your writing is much stronger without the use of the adverb “suddenly”. Often it is thought to be redundant and commonplace, and usually unneeded. 

If the word is used properly, however, it can be helpful to describe scenes for your character. 

Example:


"What do you mean John slept with Mary?" Janie asked, suddenly aware of all of the people that were looking at them.

Suddenly should be used where the suddenness of the situation isn’t apparent. Characters can definitely suddenly feel things if you don’t build it up to your reader beforehand (“I suddenly felt weak”). 

It can also be used for natural disasters (just going off the question for this) and the like as long as it is believable. Earthquakes can suddenly happen, but wildfires usually have a predetermining action (such as lightening or people). 

In conclusion, "suddenly" is an adverb that as long as it’s used appropriately in the situation, it doesn’t detract from the situation at hand and slow the reader down.

If there are any other questions, please send them to the inbox and I will continue to update this post as they come!

-H

rainykin asked:

Any advice on reasons/motivation for a depressed character to keep living? As in, they often will experience suicidal thoughts and considerations, but there's something that always sort of "grounds" them and motivates them to keep going.

Personally, what motivates me to stick around in those dark-and-dead moments is that dying isn’t just the end of the sadness — it’s the end to everything else, too. 

When depression isn’t kicking your ass, why the fuck would you kill yourself? Everything is awesome! There’s so much shit I still have to do and want to do! I can be anything, do anything, go anywhere I want. Who the fuck cares that I have all of these mental problems? Because for once, they aren’t weighing me down into the tide like anchors; they’re carrying me off into the sky like balloons.

But when you’re down, like your character?

In a broad sense, there are big things, like people I consider family and close friends, who I wouldn’t want that to weigh on. Not only would I not want my death to be something that makes them feel like I feel right now, but I wouldn’t want to give them up. I consider them family for a reason. Also, my pets. My coworkers. My classmates and professors. In the spider web of your connections, they’re the long, straight lines. The ones everyone thinks of first.

But all those little strings connecting the big ones? Everyone seems to forget about those, but they are just as important, because dying is also an end to little things, like eating the macaroons I love from my local coffee shop, or never being able to run around outside when it’s raining. The way my cat tries to eat the cursor on my screen, thinking it’s a bug. The feeling when you wake up early and realize you don’t have anything to do today, and can go back to sleep. It’s little things like that, things that, for even one moment, you can take comfort in, or enjoy, or even that make you laugh out of shock — those won’t be there anymore, either.

So even though you’re forced to carry this weight around and your spine feels like it’s going to break because your head feels like it’s not screwed on just right, it’s not bad enough for me to walk out on everything else. It’s not bad enough for me not to stick around.

To quote a favorite slam poet of mine:

“I think a lot
about killing myself, not like a point on a map but rather
like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been
quite bad enough to make me want to leave. See, when I’m up
I don’t kill myself because, holy shit, there’s so much left
to do! When I’m down I don’t kill myself because then
the sadness would be over, and the sadness is my old paint
under the new. The sadness is the house fire or the broken
shoulder: I’d still be me without it but I’d be so boring.”

-K

anonymous asked:

how do u write kisses w/ tongues that aren't like 'his tongue fought for dominance because he wanted the alpha position in the great war of this century'

I’m sorry, but I really laughed at loud at your example, and completely know what you mean. 

Please refer to our Kissing Tag, If that does not help, feel free to resend your ask :)

-H