tommorow67  asked:

I am trying to write a fantasy adventure with different dynamic characters. I have already thought of some of the characters and have a plan for the direction of the story to go but I'm trying to figure out how to start it like the perfect hook to get people to read it or to start a flow of action. Any tips?

Hi! I’d love to help.

You could start with the event that kicks off your conflict. For example, if your conflict is that your antagonist wants to overthrow the royalty and rule the kingdom, you could start with your characters getting news of your antagonist’s first attack on the royalty/the kingdom’s army. Start with the main problem, so that your readers know what to expect from your story – anything else will be extraneous.

You could also start with your characters’ call to action. For example, maybe your characters have heard about attacks against the royalty/the kingdom’s army, but what causes them to take action? Does someone force/talk them into taking action, or do they decide enough is enough and start moving? (Keep in mind that whatever your characters do to start with, they should probably start small – we call it “rising action” for a reason!)

You could also start with a scene or two to introduce a couple of your main characters, and give some info on the background/setting. For example, in Stephen King’s The Stand, many characters from many different places come together, and he follows somewhat of a formula: the first chapter is Character A’s POV; the second is Character A’s and then Character B’s; the third is Character A’s, then Character B’s, then Character C’s; and so on. Depending on how many characters you have and how quickly you want to start the rising action, this might be a good route for you. (Keep in mind, though, that Stephen King had somewhat of an introduction/preface in which the inciting incident – a deadly virus being unleashed from the government laboratory in which it was stored – takes place, and all his character introductions are the union of his characters and that problem – in other words, in chapter one, Character A is introduced to that virus as others around him get sick; in chapter two Character A’s saga continues and the virus is brought into Character B’s world; and so on. So even if you use this method, don’t wait too long to introduce your main conflict.)

I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask! - @authors-haven

anonymous asked:

So I'm new at writing and the type of writer I want to be is a screenwriter. My trouble is I'm having such an hard time on how to start it off. I have a lot of ideas here and there for an indie film I just don't know how to put it on paper. Help me please!!!!! Lol

Before you even start a story, there are a few simple but labor intensive steps you need to take–not taking them is like hitting the road on an empty tank of gas. And FYI, the only thing I know solidly about screenplays is that the formating is very finicky, but a story is a story, so I’m just going with general prep on this one. 

1. Brainstorm. You’re going to come up with a LOT of ideas. Most of them are crap. Eliminate them and you’ll be left with a handful that are original, strong, and doable. Record them for future reference and come up with a simple plot. You can create your characters as well at this point if you wish.

2. Outline. After brainstorming, you should be left with a rough plot for your story. Now you need to deepen it through an outline. You can outline scene by scene or chapter by chapter–whatever works best for you. List out the story events, connect your plots and subplots, and get rid of your holes.

3. Sit yo’ butt down and write. Fairly self explanatory: start your story! Keep your outline nearby and if you get stuck, use it for reference. Remember that you need to write horribly to write well and try to set aside time everyday/every week. You’ll have a manuscript on your hands in no time!

Hope this helps! 

Chapter One / Website / YouTube / Facebook / Patreon

nepenthe

[ni-pen-thee] 

(n.) 1. a drug (or a plant providing it) that has the power to help one forget one’s grief or sorrow. 2. anything that produces sleep or forgetfulness in a pleasurable way.

After the breakup she dove into her art which, despite being so referential to her lived experiences, had the paradoxical effect of distancing her from those painful memories—to say nothing for the nepenthean power of total absorption in a craft.

Writing a Relationship Your Readers Will Ship

Relationships, especially in beginner writer’s works, have a tendency to feel forced. Even in some popular and famous works of fiction, the relationship doesn’t feel natural. It seems like a boring afterthought which the writer added in at the last minute. Far too often, I find myself completely indifferent to a character’s romantic life. A good romance in a story will give the reader a bit of second-hand infatuation. They’ll root for the relationship, beg for it. If the romance is well written, you can make a reader smile and blush just by reading a few sentences. When done properly, it can even compensate for a weak and cliché plot.

But first, decide whether the romance is needed. If you’re adding a character to the plot simply for the sake of being a love interest, it’s probably not a needed romance. You can still add it, of course, but it will be much harder to keep your story focused on the central plot.


Step One
Make sure the characters have chemistry.

The characters should compliment each other’s personalities. If he’s loud, stubborn, and aggressively opinionated, a more tranquil and soft-spoken love interest would suit him well. Two headstrong people wouldn’t be likely to have a lasting relationship in real life, unless they (impossibly) agreed upon every subject. But, there should be some similarities. While opposites do attract, polar opposites will not and the whole relationship will feel forced. The characters should have something in common. It could be morals, a parallel backstory, the same motivations, whatever. As long as there’s a reason for them to be drawn to each other, there’s potential.

Step Two
Slow burn ships are fantastic.

Don’t make your characters fall in love right off the bat. There can be attraction, of course, but genuine feelings of true love don’t happen instantly. Your characters should become closer as people, feel at ease around each other, and truly know the other before they fall head-over-heels. The readers will crave the relationship far more, like dangling a treat right in front of a dog’s nose, but keep pulling it away. Teasing is a beautiful thing.

Find ways of showing (NOT TELLING) the characters are falling for each other. Have them stand up for one another, be protective. Have them break their own normal routine for the other. For example, a callous, guarded character could lower their walls for a moment if their love interest needs emotional support. These scenes can be awkward for the character changing their typical behavior and that discomfort can demonstrate how much they care for the other, altering their own selves for the other’s benefit.

Howeve, make sure that you combine these cute emotional moments with distance. Make the characters deny their true feelings or even distance themselves from their love interest upon discovering their feelings. The more the characters long for each other, the more the reader will long for them to be together. Build barriers between them for your characters to have to work to knock down. Keep them close, but maintain that distance until the moment is right.

Step Three
“_____” translates to “I love you”

The first example of I think of when I think of this is The Princess Bride, where the male protagonist tells his soulmate “as you wish” when he really means “I love you.”

This falls under the category of show, don’t tell. Hearing a character say “I love you” has become so boring. Unless it’s done in a surprising confession or unique way, it’s boring and stale.

Come up with a phrase that you can repeat in moments throughout the story until it has a meaning of love for the characters and both know exactly what the other means when it’s spoken.

Step Four
Taking a break can help create tension.

You know you loved someone if you leave them and feel awful. Apply this into the writing. Your characters can break up, then get back together in a joyous reunion.


Step Five
Not every couple has a happy ending.

Sometimes, things don’t always work out for different reasons. An ending that leaves readers craving more can be a good move.

3

From the makers of the no-effort character checklist, I bring to you… The no-effort complete character sheet for lazy writers like you and me™! 

Because the extra effort I put in staying up until 3 am to do put this together can save us all a lot of effort filling out longer character sheets ^^

You’re supposed to print it out and fold it in half to make a little booklet but you can save ink and do it on your computer :P

Link to PDF on google drive (fixed typo)

pick-me-ups for writers

for the self-conscious beginner: No one makes great things until the world intimately knows their mediocrity. Don’t think of your writing as terrible; think of it as preparing to contribute something great.

for the self-conscious late bloomer: Look at old writing as how far you’ve come. You can’t get to where you are today without covering all that past ground. For that, be proud.

for the perfectionist: Think about how much you complain about things you love—the mistakes and retcons in all your favorite series—and how you still love them anyway. Give yourself that same space.

for the realist: There will be people who hate your story even if it’s considered a classic. But there will be people who love your story, even if it is strange and unpopular.

for the fanfic writer: Your work isn’t lesser for not following canon. When you write, you’ve created a new work on its own. It can be, but does not have to be, limited by the source material. Canon is not the end-all, be-all. 

for the writer’s blocked: It doesn’t need to be perfect. Sometimes you have to move on and commit a few writing sins if it means you can create better things out of it.

for the lost: You started writing for a reason; remember that reason. It’s ok to move on. You are more than your writing. It will be here if you want to come back.

Things to Do When You Can’t Seem to Write

Are the words just not coming? Try getting away from the screen for a few minutes.

Do Something Productive

  • Take care of the dishes – load or unload your dishwasher, or wash a sinkfull by hand. If you have to leave any to soak, try writing for a few minutes while they do.
  • Put away that basket of laundry you’ve been ignoring.
  • Clean your bathroom sink.
  • Put away any shoes, jackets, or other outerwear you left lying around.

Do Something Fun

  • Write/draw/paint in your journal, if you have one. Do a page, then try writing again.
  • Read a chapter of your current book.
  • Set a timer for five or ten minutes and play a simple game that will let your mind disengage–my go-to is Spider Solitaire.
  • Call/Skype/text a friend and have a chat for a few minutes.

Make Your Writing Space More Pleasant

  • Straighten up your desk. Throw out any scraps of paper that have served their purpose, but check to make sure you’re not tossing out story notes! Dust the surface off, and put away anything that belongs somewhere else.
  • Light a candle.
  • Get a glass of water, or make yourself tea or coffee.

Take Care of Yourself

  • Grab a small snack if you’re hungry.
  • Are your hands dry? Mine get terrible in winter. Moisturize!
  • Lips, too –grab that lip balm.
  • Feeling sluggish? Take a short walk or do some jumping jacks to get your energy level up.
  • Feeling grungy? Take a shower. “Inspirational” showers are my favorite, I get so many ideas in there.

If one of these doesn’t break you from your funk, try one from another category to switch things up. And if you still don’t find your writing mojo, maybe you need a longer break, or to pack it in for the day. Just remember, working hard is great, but forcing yourself to write can burn you out, so keep yourself in balance!

5

I made these as a way to compile all the geographical vocabulary that I thought was useful and interesting for writers. Some descriptors share categories, and some are simplified, but for the most part everything is in its proper place. Not all the words are as useable as others, and some might take tricky wording to pull off, but I hope these prove useful to all you writers out there!

(save the images to zoom in on the pics)

daniella501  asked:

Hi! I've been reading your blog and loving every single post. I'm a beginner at writing, and I was wondering: how could you write a realistic character?

Hi, thank you! I’m always glad to hear that this blog is helpful.

How to write realistic characters is always a common question among beginning writers, and I’d be happy to help you answer it. (Here’s my post on general character-building tips – it may help you.)

1. Give every character some sort of flaw.

Just as people aren’t perfect, neither are characters. It doesn’t have to be any huge problem – although it can be – but give each character something, whether it be stubbornness or a bad temper or being too giving. (My post on character flaws may give you some ideas.)

2. However, don’t make characters all good or all bad.

Give your protagonists bad traits and things they’re not good at, and give your antagonists talents and good traits. Chances are even the worst people think they’re doing right – just look at Hitler.

3. Don’t put your characters in boxes or give them limitations.

Just because your character is feminine doesn’t mean they can’t be an awesome streetfighter; just because your character plays varsity football doesn’t mean they can’t be intellectual and well-spoken. People are endless blends of traits, which is why they’re unique – so are characters.

Those are some blanket statements on creating characters – below I’ll link you to posts that may also help you!

Creating Likeable Characters

Building Friendships Between Characters

Writing Dialogue (the way a character speaks can tell a lot about them, which is why I’ve linked you to this post)

5 Ways To Develop A Convincing Character

Writing Dynamic Relationships

Character Mannerisms

Character Development

Writing Romantic Relationships

Also, @thecharactercomma specializes in characterization (and grammar), so that blog will probably be a huge help.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! - @authors-haven

Beyond this, consider how these professions might vary depending on who the customers are - nobles, or lower class. Are they good at their job or just scraping by? Do they work with lots of other people or on their own? City or village?

For younger characters:

  • Apprentice to any of the above
  • Messenger/runner
  • Page/squire
  • Pickpocket
  • Shop assistant
  • Student
  • Looks after younger siblings

(Images all from Wikimedia Commons)

Creating Likeable Characters

Sometimes it’s difficult to make your characters likeable as they are tested and are pushed to further and further lengths. Sometimes they have to make hard decisions, and sometimes the pressure gets to them and they mess up, hurt another character or an innocent bystander. How can you keep them likeable throughout the whole plotline?

- Keep their motivations pure.
It almost always comes back to the heart – if their heart is pure, and that’s established early-on, the audience is more likely to root for them.

- Give them flaws – make them human.
Not every character has to have some huge problem, like an addiction or a traumatic past or a disability – if your entire cast does, it’s no problem, but it’s not necessary. But every character has to have some flaw(s), whether it’s cheating at card games because he can’t stand to lose or being too-closed minded or closing off when she gets too emotional. If your character doesn’t have a flaw, they start to come off as too perfect, too angelic, pretentious.

- Give them permission to mess up.
This ties in with flaws – if your character is inclined to make a bad decision at any point in the plot, don’t steer him away from it because “oh no he’s my protagonist and he must be Good and Whole and Pure and All-Knowing”. Let him walk into that ambush despite the sick feeling in his stomach and get half his army killed; let her rush into a confrontation with a bully and get into a fight with another girl who has a switchblade. Let your characters mess up – it shows that they’re human.

- But if your character messes up, let them own up to it eventually.
The general who killed half his army by ignoring the unease in the back of his mind might cry over their makeshift graves long after the rest of the platoon is asleep; the girl sitting in the infirmary might feel remorse for knocking her opponent’s block off. Or your characters might argue and might be stubborn and might not apologize for weeks. But let them apologize eventually. This goes back to the heart, and what the character knows is right.

- Relationships with other characters are vital.
That’s not to say a loner character can’t be likeable – but the audience’s perception of a loner character is determined by the thoughts/words of other characters. Characters all color each other and define parts of each other, just like people do to each other in real life. If your character is a jerk to other characters and other characters don’t like him (especially if the characters who dislike him are likeable), the audience won’t like him either. The character’s image depends not just on himself, but on his supporting cast.

Hope this helps! - @authors-haven

Writer’s Resource - Wound Care

It’s probably one of the most common scenarios in a novel, comic, roleplay, script, or otherwise.  Character B gets injured, and Character A knows wound care and takes care of it for them.  But the old fashioned style of thinking runs rampant, especially with ‘classic wound treatment’ being educated generations down, leaving plenty of people unaware of more realistic and recent modern advances in traditional first aid.  

Things To Remember:

  • Wash your hands.

It’s all too common for this step to be missed in writing.  When wound care comes up, remember that the purpose of it is, underlying everything emotional, to get the wound clean.  Hands not very recently disinfected and sterilized are more likely to cause infection, undermining everything else that Character A hopes to do.  Even if it’s just a sentence or a footnote, remember to add in washing hands – with soap!

  • Clear the wound.

There are multiple options here, but they all come back to the same thing.  Character A should always clean out the wound with hydrotherapy, which is fancy speak for running water for a very long time.  Flushing a wound can be done with a non iodized salt solution, a dilution of very mild soap, or even plain but it must always come back to WATER.  Run the wound under water for a few minutes to clean out dirt, bacteria, and loosen any debris stuck inside.  Character A can and should use clean, sterile tweezers to remove this debris if the water is unable, then pat the wound dry with gauze.  

  • Keep the wound clean.

Antibiotics are a necessity with any and all wound care.  From petroleum jelly, a store bought antibiotic like neosporin or polysporin, or any other ointment.  However for a lesser known and just as realistic option, remember you can also use ( with or alone ) sugar.  On burns, deep gashes, cuts, or just about anything, packing the wound with sugar would let Character B’s body begin to heal without fear of bacteria, because the highly concentrated medium of sugar will not allow bacteria to survive.

  • If stitches are necessary.

Is the wound is deep enough to go to fat, muscle, bone, or other structures?  Does it go right over a joint?  Is it on the hands, fingers, or around the mouth or eyes?  Have minutes passed without the bleeding slowing?  These are prime locations that will medically require stitches – be it to assist the wound in closing, or stop natural motions from ripping left alone gouges wider.  Stitches, or sutures, traditionally use thread made of silk or nylon and a curved needle with suture scissors to assist in the special kind of stitch that specially holds wounds together.  

If Character A needs to stitch a wound together, their knowledge may vary, and they may not have the correct tools.  But here are some things you can make sure they know.  Make a knot on each stitch, to better hold it in place.  Hold the skin together while stitching, don’t trust the thread to pull both sides in by itself.  If the flesh is ragged on each side, they may need to cut clean edges, mostly to insure that the stitches don’t tear out and the wound is even.  Removal comes days later, with cutting each stitch besides the knot and pulling it out – it should tug, but be painless.

  • Wrap the wound.

That old belief that a wound should see fresh air is an absolute lie, as proven by many doctors over the years.  Wounds should be kept constantly covered, and damp.  Studies show that a covered, damp wound healed in 12-15 days while an air exposed, dry wound healed in over thirty.  Not only this, but covering and dampening the wound brings less chance of scarring.  Use wound dressings like wet to dry gauze ( which is just as common as traditional ), then wrap in a bandage, even two if necessary.  

  • For long term wound treatment.

Whether Character A keeps a constant eye on B, or if Character B is on their own, they should both keep up wound treatment for realism.  Each day change the bandage and gauze, or more, if found to be constantly wet.  Use daily hydrotherapy to clean out dead cells and drainage from the wound.  Pack with more sugar or antibiotic ointment.  Lack of doing this would cause Character B an infected wound, likely turning to an abscess, and undo all the previous work.

Things to Avoid:

  • Put the alcohol down.

Since we’re not in the wild west and Hollywood is a liar, NEVER use strong antiseptics, vinegars, or alcohol to clean a wound.  All things such as white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, vodka, rubbing alcohol or iodine can burn and cause irreparable damage to the skin and flesh, increasing the healing time substantially.  

  • Never applying pressure.

Between each stage of wound treatment, Character B should be applying pressure with a sterilized hand and clean towel or gauze to the wound, preferably with it above their head.  This lessens the chance of bleeding out and allows the blood to slow, but not halt.  

  • Don’t be afraid of pink.

A wound a doctor would be satisfied with seeing is the kind that scares most people: pink, red, and just on the right side of bloody.  Any other colors, too little, or too much blood are all red flags for wound treatment.

  • Don’t be afraid of the doctor.

Unless Character A is a doctor, there may come a time where they have to admit their skills aren’t enough.  If you can see bone, then the wound may need muscle stitches as well as skin.  If it’s extremely swollen, the inflammation has gone from healthy to concerning.  If it’s hot or has a stench, there’s a serious infection.  Draw the line at a smart place, and let a doctor take over.  Even in the fictional world.  

Character flaws

- Self-image: arrogant // having low self-esteem.
The subtleties: the character getting him/herself into trouble because (s)he thinks (s)he can do more than (s)he actually can // a lack of confidence, which can be annoying to other characters & can possibly be dangerous, if it surfaces at a crucial moment
The extremes: narcissism or a god complex // self-destruction (either conscious or unconscious)

- Temperament: uncontrollable // so controlled the character goes numb.
The subtleties: irritable temperament, which causes conflict between characters // indifference that can be hurtful to other characters, which also causes conflict
The extremes: verbal or physical violence (possibly homicide) // being cold, calculating and ruthless

- Opinions: strong // weak. (Although weak opinions or beliefs make for flawed characters, strong opinions on their own are not necessarily flaws – it depends on what the character believes so strongly, and if they believe so strongly they are no longer open-minded.)
The subtleties: making enemies who have different beliefs than you // being seen as kiss-ass or wishy-washy
The extremes: radicalism or zealotry // untrustworthiness

- Loyalty: loyal // disloyal. (Again, loyalty is not necessarily a flaw – as long as it’s in moderation.)
The subtleties: annoying heroics // hesitation to help the protagonist(s), which, if the character in questions holds important questions/materials, can be problematic
The extremes: zealotry or being foolishly loyal (unnecessarily leading self/others to danger or destruction due to loyalty – particularly pointless if it’s only to prove a point, rather than a practical reason) // untrustworthiness

Please, feel free to reblog with your thoughts/add-ons!

Writing Tips Master Post!

Hey writers!

You might have missed some of the writing tips I’ve posted over the last year, so here they all are in one handy list :)

• Action and Fight Scenes

• Backstory

• Characterisation

• Dialogue

• Editing 

• Plotting

• Settings

Subtext

• Tenses

• Theme

• Quick Tips

More tips coming soon!

Happy Writing!

Building Well-Rounded Characters

This is a post I’ve been wanting to put up for a while now. Since this was inspired by a breakdown on how Bella Swan fails to hold up as a good character, and there are a million ways to do these things right, I’ll be using her as an example of what happens when these qualities are absent.

There are three essential qualities that every dynamic character must have:

History

Unless you are starting your story at the birth of your character, they will have prior experiences and relationships that will influence their decisions and personality. While info-dumping about miscellaneous happenings should be avoided, don’t ignore your character’s past, or worse, forget to give them one. Referencing these things can help build chemistry between your characters as they recall past shared experiences, or even share things that happened before they met.

Bella seems to be dropped into Twilight with no previous connections outside of some brief mentions to her mom. She doesn’t seem to have had friends, or plans for her future, or anything outside of what is immediately happening in Twilight. This isn’t realistic or even particularly interesting for the readers.

Goals

The plot is pushed forward by the character wanting something, and what the character wants may change based on the conflicts that arise. They might abandon a goal because it’s too far out of reach, or because a different, more desirable or immediate goal becomes available. But they always need to have a goal of some kind–otherwise, you’re at the end of the story, with them either having achieved or failed to grasp their goal.

When we start off with Twilight, Bella has no goal, because she has no motivation driven by her history, which is also nonexistent. This means that when Edward comes into the picture, he is her sole, obsessive focus. In a romance novel, we expect winning or keeping the affections of the love interest to take center stage, but we also expect the leads to have other goals that may come into conflict with each other, or drive the relationship forward by aligning. Here, Bella’s whole goal is ‘be with Edward,’ which comes off as shallow and arbitrary due to her lack of any other defining trait.

Flaws/Strengths

A character must have flaws and strengths, and these must be treated flaws and strengths in universe. Bella being clumsy is not a flaw unless it causes a real conflict and she gets called out for it. Bella having a knack for getting herself into trouble is not a flaw unless it causes a real conflict and she gets called out for it. Bella being entirely selfish and manipulative to get what she wants would be a great flaw, but she almost always ends up getting her way and is never called out in any meaningful way for her behavior, so that isn’t really a flaw for her either.

A character must also have strengths to keep the audience rooting for them, but because Bella has no history and her only goal is to be with Edward, which she acts in selfish and manipulative ways to achieve, we never see her display any particular strength of character. She isn’t self-sacrificing, or especially kind, or generous. Her only ‘strength’ is that vampire powers don’t affect her, for reasons that are never explained and are completely arbitrary in order to force the plot forward.

TL;DR: A character becomes dynamic and moves the plot forward organically when they have a personal history, goals, and flaws/strengths that either help or hinder them in achieving those goals. All of these traits intermingle and play off of each other, so it is essential that all three be present to create a well-rounded, interesting character. For secondary/background characters, it may be possible to get away with just two of these, but all three is ideal for all important characters.

Gun Tips for Fanfic Writers

So I’m from the south and grew up around a bunch of military folks, which means that I’m pretty familiar with guns. I’ve read some fic lately that reminded me that not everyone is. In the interests of having better written guns, I thought I’d share some basics.

Gun Safety
The absolute most basic gun safety:
* Always assume that the gun is loaded
* Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot (trigger discipline)
* Never point a gun at anything you’re not intending to shoot (and know that anything you shoot may die)

Most other gun safety rules (always check the safety if you have one, don’t wave your gun around, carry it in a case when not holstered, lock it up around children, always make sure it’s unloaded when you clean it or let someone else look at it) boil down to one of those three. Most people who are taught to shoot are taught that a gun is a tool that is potentially lethal and that safety precautions should always be taken. People who are careless with guns are often not formally trained, and not following those basic rules will get you kicked out of a shooting range right quick. Someone may disregard those rules, but it will say a lot about them if they do. Make sure that’s what you want to say if you do it.

Gun Types
There are three basic types of guns: handguns, shotguns, and rifles. All three have subtypes. Most guns classified as assault weapons are rifles, specifically carbines, but not all rifles are assault weapons. (Personally, I hate the term, because most day to day gun crimes are committed with pistols because they are much easier to carry and conceal.) Handguns are typically used as police sidearms, home defense weapons, competition guns, concealed carry weapons, and the guns of most gangs. Rifles are mostly used by the military, police assault teams, for hunting, in conflict in war-torn countries, and as the weapons of large organized crime syndicates when they don’t have to hide. Shotguns are typically used in hunting and home defense. Most people who are not in organized crime, the military, or gun collecting are familiar with handguns. I’m not going to get into rifles here because I’m not familiar enough with them, but they are many and varied.

Guns, even of the same type, are not interchangeable. If you’ve handled enough guns, you can probably figure out a new one if it’s of a type you’re familiar with, but there will be a learning curve if you have to use it. Guns have different caliber ammunition - or gauge, in the case of shotguns - and loading a gun with the wrong ammo can cause it to jam, break entirely, or in the worst case, explode in your hand.

There are two main types of handgun - revolver and semi-auto. A revolver is the classic cowboy gun. A semi-auto is the gun most police sidearms and gangs will use. Semi-autos normally have greater capacity for ammunition and can be reloaded by changing magazines, but they are more complicated. A semi-auto must be taken apart to be cleaned. A revolver mostly stays in one piece. With modern semi-autos, malfunctions are rare if a gun is properly cared for. Revolvers have few parts, so are also reliable guns.

A shotgun can be single or double barreled. Other than the ammunition, the main differences are in the action, or how you prepare the gun to be fired. Pump action shotguns are more popular for home defense. For hunting, bolt action and lever action may also be used. The longer a shotgun (or rifle) barrel, the more accurate it is at range. Barrels of shotguns, unlike rifles or most handguns, are smooth on the inside. Handguns and rifles have rifling, engraved circles which spin the bullet and make the shot more accurate. It’s also what ballistics are based on - every gun with rifling has its own unique pattern.

Ammunition
Different ammo is appropriate for different purposes. The ammo used for target shooting is different than that loaded for defense or hunting. People who own semi-autos may keep one magazine loaded for practice on the shooting range and one for home defense. There are way too many different kinds for me to talk about here, but if a character is using a gun in a situation they don’t expect, they may not have the right ammunition for it.

Different sizes - calibers - of ammunition have different stopping power. If someone is trained or drugged up with certain substances or just has enough adrenaline in them, one shot from a .22 or 9mm is not going to stop them unless it is to the head or heart or takes out a major joint. Conversely! Gunshots fucking hurt. If someone is not under those circumstances, even a shot from a small caliber handgun is a deterrent, and can do a lot of damage.

In general, the larger the ammunition, the stronger the recoil.

Ammunition consists of four parts - the bullet itself, the gunpowder, the primer, and the casing holding it all together. Only the bullet is actually shot, but it’s all loaded in the gun together.

Shooting a Gun
Unless your character is in a very rural area, most shooting practice will be done on a shooting range. Ranges are mostly indoor because of noise, but outdoor ones exist, mostly in rural areas. Shooting ranges require both eye and ear protection. Over time, repeated gunshots without ear protection damage hearing. Guns are loud! A gunshot is one of the loudest sounds a human is likely to encounter.

Guns spit out casings - the part of the ammunition that contained the primer and propellant - and they can be hot, but not often hot enough to do more than sting. If you shoot often, you have gotten pinged in the face once or twice. It’s startling the first time, and why eye protection is required. The longer you continuously fire a gun, the hotter both the gun and the casings get.

Recoil is the backwards force exerted on you by the gun when it fires - the kick. Concealed carry guns with large calibers have more recoil. Large guns with large calibers also have higher recoil. If someone is handling a gun that’s a higher caliber than they’re used to, the recoil may startle them. Shotguns and rifles are braced against the shoulder or torso to help distribute recoil.

Shooting a gun accurately with one hand takes a lot of practice. Holding a gun in the firing position for long periods also takes a lot of practice and more strength than you would think.

If you have any questions, send me an ask! Hope this was helpful!

words to use instead of ‘said’

accused, added, addressed, admitted, advised, agreed, announced, answered, approved, argued, asked, assured

babbled, barked, bawled, beamed, began, begged, bellowed, bet, bleated, blurted, boasted, boomed, bragged, broke in, bubbled, bugged

called, cautioned, chatted, chattered, cheered, chided, chimed in, choked, chortled, chorused, chuckled, clucked, coaxed, commanded, commented, complained, concluded, confessed, confided, congratulated, continued, convinced, corrected, coughed, cried, croaked, crowed

dared, deadpanned, decided, declared, demanded, denied, described, doubted, drawled

echoed, ended, exclaimed, explained

finished, fretted

gasped, gibed, giggled, greeted, groaned, growled, grumbled, guessed, gulped, gurgled

hinted, hissed, hypothesized

imitated, implied, informed, inquired, insisted, interjected, interrupted

jeered, jested, joked

laughed, lied, lisped

marveled, mimicked, moaned, mumbled, murmured, mused, muttered

nagged, nodded, noted

objected, observed, offered, ordered

piped, pleaded, pondered, praised, prayed, promised, proposed, protested, put in, puzzled

quavered, queried, questioned, quipped, quoted

ranted, reasoned, reassured, recalled, reckoned, remarked, remembered, reminded, repeated, replied, requested, responded, retorted, roared

sang, sassed, scolded, screamed, shot, shouted, shrieked, shrilled, sighed, smiled, smirked, snapped, snarled, sneered, sneezed, snickered, sniffed, sniffled, snorted, sobbed, spoke, sputtered, squeaked, stammered, started, stated, stormed, stuttered, suggested, surmised

taunted, teased, tempted, tested, theorized, thought, told

urged

vowed

wailed, warned, went on, wept, whimpered, whined, whispered, wondered, worried

yawned, yelled