Ello ello ello! I had a question about Hyperekplexia. I'm trying to write a character with PTSD who suffers from this, but I'm having trouble describing such an extreme startle reaction without saying 'They jumped' or similar. Would something like '[name] flinched visibly at the sound, so much so that his knee banged into the table, causing the glassware to shake.' get the point across that someone's reaction was very extreme? Are there other words you think might work better?
1) Show other people reacting to their reactions.
I don’t think I have hyperekplexia- but I do have an exaggerated startle response. And I can tell you that extreme startle responses don’t go… unnoticed.
Someone is going to think your character is overreacting.
Depending on who your character is around, there’s likely someone who is going to think that their startle response is *hilarious* and try and trigger it.
Depending on who your character is around, there’s likely someone who thinks that the character just needs to get over it. That they just need to force themselves to get better.
Depending on who your character is around, someone might become very apologetic and refuse to drop the subject. ‘oh my gosh, I didn’t mean to- I- you poor thing I should have announced myself-’
2) Have it cause a consequence.
A glass breaks.
Something gets dropped
Clothing gets ruined because paint/food splatters
Someone’s feelings get hurt.
Your character might even hit someone by accident. (Jerked elbow into them kind of hit, not like ‘welp you scared me and I punched you in the face’)
Maybe they don’t think about their exaggerated startle response most of the time, but then they do it in front of their boss or romantic partner and are overcome with shame.
now you obviously don’t have to do both of these every time your character might be startled- but having a scene or two where one of these happens, goes a long way in establishing…. that this isn’t just a little small thing. Personally I think it does better than trying to spend three sentences describing the jerky movement/strange sounds.
lately i’ve been thinking a lot about the specificity of language. everyone always talks about how english has one word for love, i’m bored of that. i think a lot about how we have a word for a sign of things to come (portent) and how we have a word for freeing someone of sin (absolve), we have a word for a sudden outburst of any kind of activity (paroxysm). today my brother taught me wayzgoose: “an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St. Bartholomew’s Day”.
i think about this in a kiss, how we purse our lips, how we press into each other, how kiss is a small word for an action that feels big - i think about how we have french kiss, how we have a smack on the cheek, a peck. i think about this when we make eye contact, how we have “a moment” that passes between two people like an envelope, one that reads of more, more, more - i think of who gave us the names for obscure things. how shakespeare gave us elbow, and what did we call it beforehand.
what word is there for the way your eyes look when you talk about your favorite thing. we have phosphorescence, the property of emitting light, but that’s not right. what word is there for how it feels with the floor against your back while you’re watching sunbeams filter dust motes. there’s languid, relaxed, but that doesn’t work. what word is there for how it feels beside your best friend, listening to them laugh, knowing this moment is a pocket that keeps all of the good things inside, one i will tuck myself into again and again, one i am somehow distant from even though i’m enjoying it: watching the moment become a memory i think of fondly, even while it’s happening.
there’s kissing, there’s leaning in, there’s words for summer and fireflies in jars and fall creeping in. there’s words for leaves and the smoke in the air from breathing and there’s words for the fire of a sunset on an autumn evening. i think about how we made words for things. the oxford dictionary gives us 171,476 current words to make sense of things. how we let poets give us syllables for how it feels to fall into someone’s arms (melting) and someone who talks a lot (gregarious) and vast burning (conflagration). the beauty of language is we have a word for that until we don’t have a word for that and then poetry comes in.
if i kiss you i think: portent. if i kiss you i think of telling you here is where our lips purse here is where my sins absolve here is the paroxysm of my heart. i kiss you and i think: what words do other people use when they need to fill in the emptiness of “love”. do they think conflagration, the misery of scorching, or do they think of slow burning. do they think portent. do they think of kisses as french or as just kisses, no purses or bow lips. when they lean in do they melt into it. when they love, is it just that? something specific? or do they mean “the spaces around this word say more than the letters i’m given.”
So, my party and I- a paladin, a barbarian, a druid, a myself a wizard- are currently going through high level play. Like, lvl 17-18 stuff. We were facing a really powerful cult of dark mages, and the leader had Power Word: Death.
Normally, wizards have less health/constitution than others, but, my con score was a whopping 18. This is the DM’s reaction when I reminded him I have 132 HP.
DM: The Archmage looks to you, and utters a single word, a word you yourself have once used.. and you fall to the ground, slain by Power Word: Kill.
*Party starts freaking out*
Me: Uhh, DM, power word kill only works if I have 100 or less HP. I haven’t taken any damage, so, I’m still at 132.
Dm, looking at me like I’ve grown a second head: What?! But your a wizard! Wizards are super squishy, how do you…
Me: I have 18 constitution, does that help?
DM: …. Well, I guess your alive then.
*under his breath* wizards don’t have health..
*Cue party cheering and laughing*
some notes i’ve been taking on DMing, culled from various sources
Plot & Campaign:
Don’t think of yourself as being “against” the players. They aren’t playing “against” you. They are playing against the world and situations you pose to them, but you should be on their side.
Similarly, don’t think of the campaign as “your” story that you are telling to the players. It is a story that you are telling together. They affect the outcome of it as much (or more) than you do. If the players find a way to ruin your carefully crafted plot, let it go. You have to accept not getting your own way all the time the same way that the players do.
That said, have contingency plans in case the PCs kill or ignore your plot hook, find a way to bypass your carefully created puzzle, or successfully charm your final boss into not attacking them.
Use up your most fantastic ideas - don’t hoard them for later. You never know how long a campaign will last, and you might never get to those cool scenes and setpieces you were saving.
Utilize recurring NPCs. It’s less work for you and gives the players someone familiar to look forward to seeing (or resent intensely.)
Give the players a nemesis - someone or something working against their efforts, even if that is not a “villain” per se.
Have descriptions ready for locations and NPCs, but don’t over-describe. Give them enough details to build a sense of atmosphere without requiring them to draw the scene.
Have a set of possible random events ready to go, and periodically roll to see if any of them happen, to keep your players (and you!) on your toes.
Rules & Rolls:
Like in improv theatre, go for the “yes and” (or “yes but”) response to a player’s idea rather than a “no.” If the rules don’t specifically ban a player from doing something, let them do it. If it’s especially game-breaking and stupid, this is a great time to say “yes, but” and come up with a fun consequence.
Don’t stop everything to look up a rule. If you can’t find or figure out the answer within a minute, tell the players how you’ll do it this time based on your best guess and look it up for the future. Alternatively, if you aren’t sure what the rule would be for what a player proposes, just let them roll a d20 and add a relevant modifier to it versus your best estimate of difficulty level.
Don’t assume that a failed check means “nothing happens.” Failures can be as eventful, interesting, and story-driving as successes.
Calculating small currency amounts, weight encumbrances, and rations is incredibly boring for everyone. Decide ahead of time whether you want to just ditch those elements (within reason - if you are being kind to the players by not making them weigh out every item in their inventory, they should be kind to you by not claiming they are carrying a whole refrigerator.)
Pay attention to what motivates your players most (treasure, money, challenging fights, puzzles, stories) and use that to guide your campaign ideas. Let them tell you what carrot will lead them through the plot.
Make a note of what your players mention wanting out of the game experience (a certain kind of adventure or scene, an item) and find an opportunity to reward them with it.
Come up with a set of treasure/advanced weapons/other loot-ish rewards specific to each player. Whenever they are dungeoncrawling or getting rewards, roll to see which items they receive at that time.
Provide opportunities every session, if possible, for each character to use their skillset and playstyle, so that they don’t feel like the sidekick in someone else’s adventure.
Encourage the players to make themselves a “battle sheet” in addition to their standard character sheet that lists all their skills and spells (in their own words) and how it works, so that they understand their own potential and remember to use them! You are there to help them out if they aren’t sure of a mechanic, but encourage them to take ownership of their own character’s abilities.
Cliffhangers aren’t actually great ways to end a session (in case the campaign stalls out there, or a player drops out), but you can end with a new situation arising or a hard question to ponder, giving the players something to think about and look forward to returning to for the next session.
Pay attention to the players’ welfare and condition as much (or more) than to their characters. If they are stressed, unhappy, or angry about something in the adventure (or something another player is doing), you should be ready to moderate that as much as you would moderate an in-game rule.
Hi! I'd like to ask you, where do you get your ideas from? (The whole work or also the small details in it) Where does it all start? From the wordplay or a visual idea or the actual thing you want to talk about..? I'm really in love with your illustrations!
Often it starts with a visual idea. When I see a great image while walking around the block or mindlessly scrolling through tumblr, I flag it in my subconscious or jot it in my sketchbook for future reference. For instance, this photo of a girl walking a crocodile:
The next step - I put myself (or at least my cartoon avatar) into the picture:
Now I’m ready to apply a metaphor. What does crocodile-walking mean? How does it relate to my dreams, my hopes, my fears?
Maybe a crocodile walker is a person who won’t settle for the ordinary existence of a dog walker.Maybe a crocodile-walker is creative and eccentric. Maybe crocodile walking is a metaphor for… creative ambition.
Note the winking wordplay in the title - crocodile, nature, get it? I like my comic titles to contain multiple layers of meaning. Bonus points for puns.
Next step: telling a story through words and pictures. This works better when I write and draw panels simultaneously. Otherwise I’m stuck forcing words to fit a picture, or vice versa.
My panel approach is theme and variation. The theme is established in the opening image. Now to explore more visual possibilities. What possible scenarios might a crocodile-walker find himself in?
Rival exotic pet walkers:
Along the way I try to insert as many small jokes and bad puns as possible. I also tend to draw my family as extras in the strip. That’s my dog Shelby staring at the reader in bewilderment.
Ultimately, the panel variations should build to some conflict. Preferably this conflict is internal, external, and zoological.
The conflict leads to personal crisis:
And finally, resolution.
I like to end my comics where they started. With a small, simple idea. An open-ended question. The start of a new story.
Class demo from the Kiev workshop at Projector. Thanks to everyone who was there, and for those who came up with the key words I worked off:FunnyPriestMCIndia CyberpunkBarbarian I can up with the idea of a Sikh tribe in a cyberpunkish future where they rule the lowlands as some sort of migrating horde MC riders, it strikes me now that I should have given this guy a bow, that would have been doooope. Anyways, hope you all enjoy:D -Even
Guided masturbation is so much fun, especially when your
sub obeys your every single word. Watching them work themselves up, moaning and
begging you to let them go faster or please, please touch them is fun. Asking
them if they’re close, how close and if they want to cum for you like a good
puppy. Then telling them they’re not allowed, to stop moving their hands and
stop bucking off the bed.
When they’re so wet and horny and ready to cum but they don’t
because they want to be good for you is so much fun. The whine in their voice
when they beg, the red of their bitten lips, the tremble of their thigs and
catch in their throat when you make them do it all over again. Oh it’s so much
How does reading a word by its shape work? Do you ever get confused by words shaped similarly?
Ok, so the way this was explained to me is that I read English the way japanese people read kanji, where the character stands for an entire concept rather than a series of sounds that make up a word. Or like reading one of Carrie Fisher’s emoji texts, I guess?
It’s a “This collection of lines has this meaning” thing, rather than a “These shapes mean these sounds which mean this concept thing” if that makes sense?
I rarely have problems READING things. Honestly you can sub in words with keysmash nonsense (e.g. spofdghf) to an astonishing degree before meaning is lost for me, as long as I have a bit of context. I have no idea how to actually pronounce ‘epistemology’ but I can write about the meaning of what makes knowledge knowledge for ages.
I have more difficulty when it comes to writing things. I can remember WHICH lines and shapes were in a word, but forget what damn order they went in. I also had a habit of flipping letters vertically- b/p and d/q for instance. So when I hand-write, I tend to capitalize them, even in the middle of words.
a comprehensive description and explanation of an idea or theory
As a basic rule of thumb: if your exposition distracts from the main narrative, then it’s too much.
That sounds a lot simpler than it actually is, though, doesn’t it? Because it’s difficult to tell when we’ve pulled the reader’s attention away and when we haven’t within our own work.
That’s why beta-readers are so helpful because getting a fresh eye can do wonders for helping see things in our work that we’re too close to notice. A good beta-reader (or two or seven) is an invaluable tool for a writer. Find a few friends or family whose opinion you trust and listen to them when they have feedback on your work. Their word isn’t gold–you don’t have to make every change they suggest–but it is still important for your development.
But that’s not really the issue, right? This post is about what you can do to help your own work improve!
First, if you’re fretting over this and you have not written your novel yet…then stop reading this post and go write your book!In your first draft, you should write all the words. (Maybe not all, but lots.) It’s okay to write four pages of exposition in the middle of scene in your first draft because in this version, you’re just telling yourself this story. You’re organizing notes, thoughts, outlines, etc. into a narrative. It won’t be perfect, and that’s great. You can’t move onto the next stage of book-making until you’ve got a first draft, so through caution to the wind and write!
This post is mostly for those of you who have finished work and are going over it prepared to edit, rewrite, scramble it up, and starting making that mess-of-a-first draft into a finished, wonderful product.
So…it’s time to edit your book
Zoom in on a section of exposition and take every fact you’ve written about and ask:
Does this advance the plot? Do we come to a deeper understanding of a main character because of this?
If the answer to both of those is no, then cut it (in this draft. Don’t worry. You still have those words written in previous drafts!) Do this as you read through for any section of exposition you find.
Then, when you’ve shaved off the irrelevant bits, start asking yourself: Is there a more subtle way to weave this into the action or dialogue of the narrative? If no, but it’s still important, then leave it. If yes, then try to do some rewriting where you have these cultural tidbits revealed in the actions and speech of your characters.
Allendra was from the southern tribes. Their main diet consisted of crop, food produced from the land. Wildlife beyond the occasional crow or squirrel was rare, so the southern tribe had come to view their abundant crops as a gift from the gods. They were vegetarians as a matter of, not only happenstance, but religion. That religion had been instilled in her by her parents, primarily her mother, and even though she’d left her homeland and was wandering new, unfamiliar territories for the sake of her own people, her mother’s hypothetical approval still drove Allendra’s actions. When presented with meat, Allendra did not know what to do. She was out of her league here, in this strange culture. And she didn’t know how to turn away the offer without being rude.
“Street vendors?” Allendra said, lifting a brow. “But they’re all selling…bloody things.”
Randa laughed. “Oh, Ally, don’t betray yourself as such an alien. That’s meat! Everyone around here eats it. It’s good for you.”
“I haven’t…I don’t eat…It’s just…” Allendra stumbled over her words. She didn’t want to be rude. Her mother would slap the back of her head if she was rude to this new hostess. And yet…what would mother say if Allendra waltzed up to this vendor and took a bite of the meat? Allendra shuddered to think.
The gods wouldn’t be too thrilled, either, but it was the image of mother’s disappointed face that made Allendra turn away from the street vendors and keep walking. Homesickness filled her gut. “Sorry, Randa. I just can’t.”
See you can do to make cultural facts fit into the story or character development. Here are some ways to think about that, as you attempt to change flat exposition into engaging storytelling:
Could this worldbuilding exposition be used to:
Invoke an emotion in a character?
Create conflict between characters?
Create conflict within a character?
Add tension to the main plot?
Add tension to an important subplot?
Create a funny or awkward situation?
Motivate a character’s actions?
Prevent a character from taking necessary action?
Basically, ask yourself this main question: How can I show the importance of this cultural element, rather than telling the reader how important or relevant it is?
Sometimes, exposition is needed. It’s not evil and it has a lot of power to get bullet points of information to your reader quickly. However, you–the writer–always need to make sure you’re letting exposition have power by using it sparingly. There are always multiple options on how to present information to your reader. It’s your duty to make sure you consider them all and use the one that best fits your narrative.
And now that you’ve finished this draft of editing and rewriting, set your novel aside for a while. A week, a month, a year…whatever you need. Come back to it later with a fresher perspective and see how your edits fit together. If you find that some of the exposition that you cut needs to be put back, then you can always do that. You can see the flow better, and do more editing to help your new rewrites fit effortlessly into the narrative. You are the writer. YOU HAVE THE POWER.
I’ll start right away by saying that plotwise, if Jonsa isn’t happening (it is happening in s8), Jon choking LF, didn’t forward the story in any way, at all.
The crypt scene could’ve easily not have had LF in it, it could’ve just been Jon looking at Ned, then heading out, mounting his horse, turning around, smiling and waving goodbye at Sansa, and it would’ve worked perfectly, no need for the choking scene, but they included it it anyway. Why?
It had already been made very clear to us that he’d die for her, kill for her in season 6. I mean he almost beat Ramsay to death, he fought a war for her. So yeah, there was no reason to show him being so aggressive towards someone connected to Sansa, again; towards someone who declared his love for her, to him.
Again, you gotta ask yourself, why then?
That scene added nothing to Jon’s plot/story in s7. Nothing, but the fact that he loves Sansa, fiercely.
D&D had him threaten LF, that if he touches Sansa (for a platonic relationship, the word harm, would’ve worked much better, but yeah… D&D settled for touch, more than once) he’s going to kill him. Now, we all know Jon’s threats were meaningless, they literally were empty threats, because LF was meant to be later executed by Sansa, Arya & Bran. So why add that choking scene then? If Jon wasn’t even going to carry out the threat?
D&D for “some 😉” reason wanted to keep reminding us, even in season 7, just how much Jon loves Sansa, just how possessive and protective he is of her, because for “some 😉” reason it’s clearly very important to the plot.
“She’s his sister, of course he’s protective of her.” Ok, fair enough, but the scene where he almost beats Ramsay to death, the scene where Sansa says “He’ll keep me safe, I trust him.”, the one where she tells him “Father couldn’t protect me, neither can you, so stop trying.” and he says “I’ll stop trying to protect you when […]”, and the scene where he tells her “I’ll never let him touch you again. I’ll protect you, I promise.”, were more than enough to get that message across, the viewers got the memo Jon cares deeply for Sansa in S6, no need to waste precious screentime, and money on it any further in S7, and yet, they did. That choking scene, only ended up making the goodbye scene between Jon and Sansa, more powerful, more intense, more meaningful; it gave it a romantic feel.
D&D kept showing us, that Jon is very protective towards Sansa, in a territorial way, almost in a “don’t you dare, don’t you dare touch her, get near her, she’s mine; mine to protect, mine to take care of, mine to love.” kind of way. I cannot see another reason why D&D would simply bother so much, waste so much screentime, to show us just howmuch he loves Sansa, and how much Sansa loves him, overandoveragain, if they’re not building them up for romance in S7.
Again, exclude Jonsa, and that scene doesn’t make any sense, exclude Jonsa, and that scene was absolutely pointless/useless. I highly doubt they’d waste money to pay the actors, to shoot a scene that brings absolutely nothing to the plot. No. They wouldn’t. Same thing with the scenes with Tyrion “a sham marriage, unconsummated”, I mean, why add that? Why add a scene with Jon, where Sansa where her (not)bedding is being discussed? lol And Theon, “What you did for her, is the only reason I’m not killing you.”, which translates to, you betrayed my family, I should kill you right now, but you savedher, and she saved me in return, she means the world to me, she’s all I have left, all because you helped her, so I’ll let you live, I won’t kill you.
He’s miles away from her, and Sansa keeps being brought up, he’s miles away from her, and Sansa keeps bringing Jon up. D&Ddid not want us to forget about Sansa’s and Jon relationship, they didn’t want us to forget their love for each other, even while being miles and miles apart from one another.
So yeah, the only purpose that choking scene served, was of enlightening (some of) the viewers at home (the majority are still clueless lol… my sweet summer children🙈), it served to make Littlefinger (and us) realize, Jon has strong feelings for Sansa, which later led Littlefinger to tease Sansa about a Jon/Dandelion alliance/marriage to see her reaction, to see if she feels the same way towards him, and what he got from her, was an incredulous “You think he wants to marry her?!”. I mean look at her expression, how she raises her eyebrows, she’s literally like, “What? Jon wouldn’t marry her/do that? Would he?”
I must say, Sansa also seems to be quite possessive of Jon, as well. Her reply to LF was odd, for a sister. It’s as if this whole time, she thought she’d never have to share him with anyone, that he’d always be hers, that she’d be the only one he gave his attention and love to. As if the thought, that Jon will marry someone at some point, never even crossed her mind, which would be, well, weird, to say the least, if she only had sisterly feelings towards him, which she clearly does not.
This season we also got the “What about happy? Why aren’t you happy? What do you want, that you do not have?” question from Littlefinger, a question which she doesn’t answer, well, she does answer, but by avoiding the question, “At the moment, peace and quiet.”, which is like, at the moment what I’d very much like/want, is for you to stop moving your mouth and get tf out of my sight. lol I love sassy/savage Sansa 😆 Fact remains, she did not answer his question, so it’s left to the audience, to answer the question for her.
I’m pretty sure many of the viewers sitting at home, answered that question in their head. I watched this episode with a group of friends, there were 10 of us, they all thought (me included) that love is what’s missing in her life, that love is what she wants, what she still wants. Sansa, despite all that’s happened to her, she still wants love, I mean, there’s nothing else missing in her life, she’s home, surrounded by friends, she has Jon, and she’s safe, again, the only thing missing in her life, is love.
I don’t even want to imagine what it must feel like for her, to have feelings for Jon, that she thinks she’s not supposed to have (bc you know, she doesn’t know he’s her cousin, yet), to know they can never be. I think that, that, is what makes her unhappy, and I assume, very, very frustrated too, and I ssume, also pretty mad at the Gods, for being so cruel, for playing sick jokes on her, for denying her love, time and time again.
Going back to LF, I think at this point, after getting that incredulous, somewhat shocked reply from her, after seeing just how loyal she is towards Jon, that nothing he could say nor do, would ever turn her against him, Littlefinger is pretty sure both Sansa and Jon have strong feelingsfor each other, and that, that’s why he failed to come between them, why he failed and is continuing to fail to turn Sansa against him.
Note: Him failing to get between Jon and Sansa, is also why he changed his strategy, and decided to try and pit Sansa and Arya against each other, which, let me tell you, had he succeeded, as a consequence/chain reaction, he would’ve managed to come between Jon and Sansa as well, because Jon would’ve never forgiven Sansa, if she had executed Arya. Had LF managed to manipulate Sansa into killing Arya, he would’ve isolated her from the other Starks, which was his plan/main goal all along.
“What are you talking about, Littlefinger doesn’t think Jon and Sansa have feelings for each other, he thinks/knows they’re brother and sister, he’d never think they could fall for each other.” Yeah… emh, this is the same character who said this, in S2 (season 2 is where D&D started with all the foreshadowing btw):
Jon’s reaction was completely out of place, he could’ve simply threatened him, told him “you stay away from her/I’m warning you, to stay away from her, or else…” or something along those lines, but no, D&D had him in full snap mode, instead.
I mean, nothing else LF said got a reaction out of him, nothing. D&D deliberately had him snap at the “I love Sansa. As I loved her mother.” He snarled, slammed him on the wall, full force, like, really violently, all the while growling, literallylike a wolf (going back to the territorial behaviour), we’ve never heard him growl like that, never, and he almost chokes him to death, but somehow manages to stop himself from doing so.
Then he casually get’s out the crypts, and D&D proceed to give us that beautiful, heartbreaking/heartfelt goodbye. Jon turns, waves goodbye and sweetly, but sadly smiles at her, as if nothing happed just two minutes ago in the crypts lol Sansa waves back, and she also sweetly, but sadly smiles back at him. 😭💔
And then? Littlefinger comes out the crypts, confused af by what just happened. I think LF here, is supposed to represent the audience. The audience, just like him, should go “wtf was that?/wtf just happened?/wth did he react like that/so violently?”, and then go “oh, oooh, omg! OMG!!!”, just like LF is going in his head. Then he looks up, only to see Sansa looking melancholically in Jon’s direction, even if Jon is no longer in view now, and she looks so worried, sad and heartbroken.
You can literally see all the wheels turning in LF’s head, in the gif above.
Conclusion: If Jonsa wasn’t bound to happen in S8, this scene would’ve never happened. Jon choking Littlefinger, was included because of Jonsa, it had nootherpurpose, but to further Jonsa, to show the viewers, through Jon’s actions, and LF’s reaction, that Jon’s behaviour and feelings towards Sansa are very intense/strong and “slightly” inappropriate.