evyrgreen  asked:

hello!! i have a character with afro hair and i want him to have it in a protective style, (particularly twists) but he isn't one to buy extensions if he could just do it with his own hair. is this realistic? and can you undo (idk if that's the right word) protective styling, wash your hair, and then put it back in almost immediately? ty!!

Natural Twists on Black Hair (Men, for Example) 

Absolutely, you can do twists with your own natural hair. The styles looks pretty different with extensions than without, though. I’d recommend you search youtube for natural hair vloggers twist styles (and add “Men” to your search if you need to, as women will likely be the default result). Natural twists are typically done with just product, styling tools, fingers, and patience!

NATURAL HAIR TWO-STRAND TWIST & TWIST-OUT | TUTORIAL ( EASY ) youtube video by ChristianAdamG. Subtitles included in video, no spoken directions, just music.

Look up vlogs or images of “twists, natural hair.” You’ll see the difference between the “twists, extensions” style.

“and can you undo (idk if that’s the right word) protective styling, wash your hair, and then put it back in almost immediately?”

Depends on the protective style. Twists done on the natural hair? Yes, you can undo and wash, and put it back on. Just be mindful of the more manipulation to the hair, the less protection overall. 

A good protective style would mean the wearer doesn’t have to mess with it for a while. Many natural-haired folks wash their hair once a week (ever heard of Sunday Wash day?) so it’d make sense if they wore the style, took it out to wash on their Wash Day, then put it back in. 

Then again, a twist out is another style on its own, the result of twisted hair being carefully unraveled to reveal chunkier curls. That style can be maintained for a while too, i’d say about a week, more or less, with product and measures taken to keep them intact at night (think silk bonnet, pineapple method, buns, etc).

Also, protective styling with natural hair (only) is more quickly reversible than with extensions. With extensions, the style is usually meant to keep much longer. A month or more, really depends.

~Mod Colette

from my own personal experience, the best way to overcome writer’s block is to have a wip that is solely for your own self-indulgent whims. this relates mostly to if you have one wip that’s your sole focus, because it gets draining quick. for example, if you’re working on a story with dark themes and content, why not have a side project that is light and whimsical? 

anonymous asked:

Hey, do you know any flowers that survive extreme cold, are somehow related to royalty and are pretty for clothing designs? Thank you!

Hey there,

Few plants actually bloom in the cold, but I think I got just the right one for you. Christmas roses. Now they might not be called that in your story depending on whether or not Christmas actually is a thing there, but they would work quite perfectly I think.

They bloom once a year, first in deep winter usually snow white but they also come with a greenish or purple tint, as well as in an actual deep purple. Purple is often regarded as a royal colour when you look up its associations and meanings so it’d work quite well for your intentions. Christmas roses also have a sort of sister plant, called Lenten roses. (Which bloom in spring if the name hasn’t given that away for you.) They belong to the same genus but are different types, yet both come in the same colour scheme and quite frankly they look a lot alike to the untrained eye. (Christmas roses often have bigger flowers I think.) Both plants are also hardy so if they are well cared for during winter they should come back each year to bloom again.

Their Latin names are respectively Helleborus niger and Helleborus orientalis.

(Source)

– Mod Jana

Disclaimer

This blog is intended as writing advice only. This blog and its mods are not responsible for accidents, injuries or other consequences of using this advice for real world situations or in any way that said advice was not intended.

Worldbuilding Development Prompt: Forsaken Places/People

What people or places within your world have been forsaken, abandoned, and/or forgotten?

Has a specific person been forsaken by the world? For example, did the world turn its back on a war criminal, a martyr, a dictator, or a well-intentioned tragic hero? If so, what events led to this eventual abandonment? How did this affect the individual in question? 

Has a group of people been forsaken by the world? For example, a prejudiced dictator could declare one type of people as inferior or inhuman. If so, for what reasons did the world turn its back on this sect - their race, their religion, their difference in culture, their actions, their political choices, etc.? How did this choice affect the history of the world and the relation between these groups of people?

Has a place been forsaken by the world? For example, one country could reject all contact with another on a solely political level or a collection of kingdoms could restrict their citizens’ access to a neighboring continent. On the other hand, perhaps rumors of supernatural occurrences cause people to trek around a certain town or haunted woodland instead of crossing through it.

Things to Ask Yourself About Your Target Audience
  • How old are they? You should be able to come up with a range. If you’re writing for children, your range should be fairly narrow (about 3 years). If you’re writing for adults, your range should be more broad.
  • What kind of vocabulary would they expect and be familiar with? You need to be especially careful about this if you’re writing something intended for a young audience because children will get bored quickly if you bombard them with too many unfamiliar words (although including a few is perfectly acceptable). Basically, you want your word choice to suit the book’s genre and tone while also making sure your readers won’t have to pick up a dictionary every other paragraph just to find out what you are trying to say.
  • What do they want from novels in your novel’s genre and subgenre? It’s not enough to know that your target audience likes science fiction or whatever your novel’s genre is. You need to pinpoint their specific desires in regards to tone, subject matter, and a variety of other details as much as possible. For example, is your target audience looking for something serious and philosophical or would they prefer something lighthearted and whimsical? You need to figure that out because if you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one. That’s why it’s so important to target a specific target audience.
  • How long are the novels they usually read? This goes hand in hand with the previous two points. The age of your target audience and the expectations that come with your novel’s genre determine your novel’s ideal length. For example, novels that are aimed at children are typically much shorter than those that are aimed at adults, especially if their genre doesn’t necessitate much world building. In contrast, science fiction and fantasy novels can be extremely long.
  • How do they want to feel while they are reading? Would your target audience prefer to be laughing their heads off or would they rather cry their eyes out? That’s not to say you can’t make your target audience feel a variety of emotions over the course of your novel, but you should know the main one or two they’d like to feel so that you can focus on engaging those specific emotions more often than the rest. For example, if you’re writing a romance novel, chances are your target audience primarily wants to feel warm and fuzzy inside and maybe to cry a little bit (whether that’s due to happiness or sadness depends on the kind of romance), so they will be very disappointed if you spend the majority of the book making them feel scared.
  • Are there any gatekeepers involved? The younger your target audience is, the less likely they will be to buy their own books. This can make things tricky because you have to appeal to BOTH kids and gatekeepers (parents, librarians, teachers, etc.) if you want to have kids read your book. While kids can handle more than adults often give them credit for, that doesn’t stop adults from trying to shield them from certain things. That doesn’t mean books aimed at children need to be mindlessly cheerful or avoid all touchy topics completely, but it does mean you need to be tactful and keep things at an age appropriate level. This can actually work in your favor since handling tough topics subtly makes novels feel less preachy and more powerful. 

I Have a Question

What writing advice/tips do you guys like? I personally like advice/tips that focus more on writers, than the actual writing itself. You know, stuff such as:

  • “Write for yourself.”
  • “Develop a writing routine.”
  • “Set goals.”
  • “Make connections.”
  • “First drafts don’t have to be perfect .”
  • “You can’t please everyone.”
  • “Take breaks from your writing.”
  • “Research.”
  • “Be patient and realistic.”
  • “Don’t give up.”
  • “Your stories are worth being told.”
  • “You don’t need anything special to be a writer. You just need to write.”

Obviously, tips and advice on the actual writing are very important for multiple reasons. But there’s always so much debate around them, and they tend to confuse writers or lead them astray. I think people should pay a little more attention to tips and advice that focus on writers, because that’s where it begins: the writer. Writing doesn’t exist, without its writer.

If you only focus on the ones that just have to do with the writing, it’s easy to lose yourself really quick. Your manuscript takes control of you, and you become compelled to make it abide by all the do’s and don'ts that exist because it seems like that’s the only way your story can be valuable or successful.

Focus on you as the writer and the things that will benefit you alone first, and the rest will follow.

anonymous asked:

I’m writing a ThorBruce one-shot with autistic Bruce. As I myself am not autistic, I came to ask if you have any tips or ideas for writing it. (I’m writing it as a surprise for a friend who has autism, but I feel if I asked them for advice it’d give away the surprise!) Thanks for the help!!

Anon, it’s so thoughtful that you’d ask (and really sweet that you’re writing for them!!) I’m happy to help in whatever way I can <3

If you want, you can search #autistic headcanons on my blog, which is pretty well filled up with my (and others’) headcanons for both Thor and Bruce. 

Some things you may want to emphasize in your writing:

  • Reactions to sensory stimulation. Does he have any sensitivities? How do they manifest? Are there any stimulations that he finds pleasure or comfort in, such as pressure? This can contribute to the imagery of your story.
  • Communication. A lot of us communicate in unconventional ways (such as having a “flat” or “monotone” voice), or just have troubles communicating period. For me personally, I often struggle with translating my thoughts into words (which results in a lot of silent pauses while I mentally scramble to find the right word). This causes a lot of frustration and anxiety for me – so in that same vein, you may want to capitalize on Bruce’s personal feelings about communication as well.
    • Communication difficulties often leads to social disconnects, which in autism often results in isolation. Lots of us – myself included – struggle with initiating and maintaining relationships. It’s doubly tricky for us introverted autistics, because socializing is just so draining and we can only do so much of it before having to recharge. We have to walk a fine line between social exhaustion and lonely isolation, and it can be a real pain sometimes.
  • Fitting in. Those of us who are able to sometimes make an effort to appear “neurotypical-passing” – i.e., behave in ways that are perceived to be more typical. This is usually done for the purpose of fitting in, which can at times be a necessity due to ableism. Lots of us see a fork in the road with regards to this, and find ourselves asking these questions: “Do I mask my behaviors in order to advance in life, with the risk of compromising my identity? Or do I be myself, and risk the possible ostracism and ableism that may follow?” It’s a very poignant situation that a lot of us are faced with. We don’t want to keep being someone who we aren’t, but at the same time, we don’t want to miss out on opportunities that would be easy for us to snag if we had been born neurotypical. As long as society is ruled by ableist standards, this will be the everyday choice that we autistic folks have to make. And I think that’s an important thing to reflect on.

These might be a little too deep depending on the type of piece you’re going for, but I hope they helped at least a little. My brain is like mush right now, so unfortunately that’s really all I can think of at the moment. Fellow autistics are welcome to add on, of course <3

Something I found that makes a scene easier and longer:

Writing the dialogue first.

I never used to do this, but one night it was really late and I was half asleep but I wanted to get some work done. So I decided to just fill in the dialogue I wanted for the scene.

I found myself with close to 1000 words of dialogue. (I obviously tagged who said what, how it was said, etc.)

When I came back to the document, I just filled in the action, the background, descriptions and plot.

I ended up with between 3000-4000 words in one sitting.

Maybe this won’t work for everyone, hell maybe someone else has already pointed this out, but I just wanted to share this writing tip.

fuck the idea that your stuff is “too weird to write”. your concept isn’t “too obscure”. your worldbuilding isn’t “too niche”. fuck this whole idea that writing success is measured in copies sold or kudos or mainstream appeal. sometimes writing success is just making whatever the heck you wanted to make. 

Making your angst hurt: the power of lighthearted scenes. 

I’m incredibly disappointed with the trend in stories (especially ‘edgy’ YA novels) to bombard the reader with traumatic situations, angry characters, and relationship drama without ever first giving them a reason to root for a better future. As a reader…

  • I might care that the main siblings are fighting if they had first been shown to have at least one happy, healthy conversation. 
  • I might cry and rage with the protagonist if I knew they actually had the capacity to laugh and smile and be happy.
  • I might be hit by heavy and dark situations if there was some notion that it was possible for this world to have light and hope and joy to begin with.

Writers seem to forget that their reader’s eyes adjust to the dark. If you want to give your reader a truly bleak situation in a continually dim setting, you have to put them in pitch blackness. But if you just shine a light first, the sudden change makes the contrast appear substantial.

Show your readers what light means to your character before taking it away. Let the reader bond with the characters in their happy moments before (and in between) tearing them apart. Give readers a future to root for by putting sparks of that future into the past and the present. Make your character’s tears and anger mean something.

Not only will this give your dark and emotional scenes more impact, but it says something that we as humans desperately, desperately need to hear. 

Books with light amidst the darkness tell us that while things are hard and hurt, that we’re still allowed to breathe and hope and live and even laugh within the darkness.

We as humans need to hear this more often, because acting it out is the only way we stop from suffocating long enough to make a difference.

So write angst, and darkness, and gritty, painful stories, full of treacherous morally grey characters if you want to. But don’t forget to turn the light on occasionally.

Support Bryn’s ability to provide writing advice by reading their debut novel, an upbeat fantasy about a bloodthirsty siren fighting to return home while avoiding the lure of a suspiciously friendly and eccentric pirate captain!

Even More notes on writing deaf characters

Talking

  • People talk to themselves and that includes Deaf people
  • I sometimes sign to myself, but whether I mutter or sign depends on why I’m talking to myself
  • Cooking? Verbal speech to keep myself on task. Trying to work out an emotional scene? Signed speech.
  • And using my whole body to talk to myself is allows more creative freedom
  • Also even if a Deaf person identifies as non-verbal, they might still talk
  • maybe a hearing person wouldn’t recognise it as speech, but sound is a part of signed language
  • so muttering and breath-noises are common.
  • It’s also worth mentioning that “sounding deaf” isn’t what you think it is.
  • We don’t yell or make incoherent noises (usually)
  • and even if we do, that’s fine
  • but generally, people who are Deaf over-enunciate and speak very clearly.
  • This is either intuitive and perfected over time, or taught in speech therapy.

“How much can you hear”

  • People love to ask this question, and I can’t give them an answer.
  • Unless I’m feeling snippy. Then I usually ask “Well how much do you hear?”
  • They can’t answer either.
  • Ergo, if you’re hearing and writing a d/Deaf character, don’t compare the way they hear the world to the way that a fully hearing person would.
  • Be particularly wary of percentages
  • I’m 75% deaf
  • and I have no idea what that means
  • because hearing loss is very nuanced.
  • I’ve met someone who is 80% deaf, but she could hear in pitch ranges that I couldn’t.
  • Hearing aids don’t emulate sound either
  • so how a d/Deaf character hears with them in won’t be at the level a hearing person would
  • it’s also very obvious that the sound is electronically enhanced.
  • Putting in earplugs and walking around like that will not provide “Deaf experience”
  • you’re better to listen to Deaf people telling you how they experience the world.

The craft itself

  • Don’t fret about your word choices initially
  • you have the privilege of hearing and that’s okay
  • you take sound for granted, don’t worry about it.
  • (Yet)
  • Once you’ve got the story how you want it, set aside a whole revision just for using the right language if your POV character is Deaf
  • printing out your manuscript in a different font is very helpful
  • it’ll make it easier to pick out “red flag” words and phrases.
  • Whenever you find a chunk of writing focused on sound/hearing, highlight it
  • and then tear it apart.
  • Can your character actually hear that owl hooting, or would the background noise be too blurry?
  • Would your character hear the sound as it is, or would they have an association that overrules the sense?
  • I.e. do they see a raven open it’s beak and think about black bubbles of ink in their throat? I know I do.
  • Cross out any hyper-focus on sounds or re-write them in a different way.

The golden rule

  • Don’t write deaf characters
  • Write people who happen to be deaf
  • Please, include us.
  • Thank.

Stuff I Learned at My Writing Workshop (That I’m Kicking Myself in the Head for Not Realizing Sooner):

-  The difference between a book that grabs you from the beginning vs. one that you’re on the fence about tossing out the window is winning your trust. It’s why it’s “easier” to read books by authors you already know, or fanfic where you’re familiar with the characters. Winning the reader’s trust as quickly as possible should be your first goal as a writer when you’re going back and editing your first draft. This can be accomplished by things like: speaking authoritatively about the subject (even if it’s utter bullshit), graceful prose, or establishing quickly in the story what it’s about. For example,“Character A had a problem. Character B didn’t love them back, so Character A was going to kidnap them so they would.” Maybe it’s not a story you want to read, but you are now firmly couched in what you signed up for in this story and the promise the author is going to deliver on before the end. 

- Characters need goals. They need goals in every moment and in every scene. Every character needs a goal in every moment and in every scene. Maybe they’re not directly pursuing that goal right this very moment but it’s probably always at the back of their mind. Romances and detective stories are the easiest to deliver on this need. Character A wants to win their love. Detective A wants to solve the case. Even when they’re having tea with grandma, their thing is at the back of their mind. Keeping your character and your story focused on this thing they want helps pull your reader along and keeps them engaged on the “So what?” and “Why are we reading this scene?” questions of why they should keep reading.

- Characters shouldn’t just have things they like, they should have obsessions. This is the one I’m kicking myself for. The scientists in Pacific Rim are eccentrically obsessed with studying their thing. Thorin in the Hobbit is obsessed with regaining his home. Katniss Everdeen is obsessed with protecting her sister. Every crazy whackadoodle fandom darling character is obsessed with something. What do they have in common? They’re intensely obsessed with the thing that they care about. We love characters who are obsessed with things beyond reason, whether it’s reclaiming their home stolen by a dragon, or building artisanal bird houses, saving your sister, or studying monsters. Everyone “likes” things, but people and characters who are obsessed with something fascinate us. Examine the characters you’re most attracted to writing in fanfic, and examine your original characters if you’re trying to build those, and figure out what are they obsessed with and how does that inform their character. That’s the thing that’s going to make readers care about them. 

Words that describe someone’s voice
  • Adenoidal: adj: if someone’s voice is adenoidal, some of the sound seems to come through the nose
  • Appealing: adj: an appealing look, voice etc. shows that you want to help, approval or agreement
  • Breathy: adj: with loud breathing noises
  • Brittle: adj: if you speak in a brittle voice, you would sound as if you’re about to cry
  • Croaky: adj: if someone’s voice sounds croaky, they speak in a low rough voice that sounds as if they have sore throat
  • Dead: adj: if someone’s eyes are dead, or if their voice is dead, they feel or show no emotions
  • Disembodied: adj: a disembodied voice comes from someone who you cannot see
  • Flat: adj: spoken in a voice that does not go up or down
  • Fruity: adj: a fruity voice or laugh is deep and strong in a pleasant way
  • Grating: adj: a grating voice, laugh, or sound is unpleasant and annoying
  • Gruff: adj: a gruff voice has a rough low sound
  • Guttural: adj: a guttural sound is deep and made at the back of your throat
  • High-pitched: adj: a high pitched voice or sound is very high
  • Honeyed: adj: honeyed words sound nice, but you cannot trust the person who is speaking
  • Hoarse: adj: someone who is hoarse or has a hoarse voice speaks in a low rough voice
  • Husky: adj: a husky voice is deep and sounds hoarse often in an attractive way
  • Low: adj: a low voice or sound is quiet and difficult to hear or deep sounding
  • Matter-of-fact: adj: used about someone’s behavior or voice
  • Monotonous: adj: a monotonous sound or voice is boring and unpleasant because it does not change in loudness or become higher or lower
  • Nasal: adj: someone with a nasal voice sounds as if they are speaking through the nose
  • Orotund: adj: an orotund voice is loud and clear
  • Penetrating: adj: a penetrating voice or sound is so high or loud that it makes you slightly uncomfortable
  • Plummy: adj: this word shows that you dislike people who speak like this
  • Quietly: adv: in a quiet voice
  • Ringing: adj: a ringing sound or voice is very loud and clear
  • Rough: adj: a rough voice is not soft and is unpleasant to listen to
  • Shrill: adj: a shrill noise or voice is very loud, high and unpleasant
  • Smoky: adj: a smoky voice is sexually attractive in a slightly mysterious way
  • Silvery: adj: a silvery voice or sound is clear, light, and pleasant
  • Singsong: adj: if you speak in a singsong voice, you voice rises and falls in a musical way
  • Small: adj: a small voice or a sound is quiet
  • Strangled: adj: a strangled sound is one that someone stops before they finish making it
  • Strident: adj: a strident voice or sound is loud and unpleasant.
  • Taut: adj: used about something such as a voice or expressions that shows someone is nervous or angry
  • Thick: adj: if your voice is thick with an emotion, it sounds less clear than usual because of the emotion
  • Tight: adj: a tight voice or expression shows that you’re annoyed or nervous
  • Thin: adj: a thin voice or sound is high end unpleasant to listen to
  • Tremulous: adj: is it not steady for explained, cause you’re afraid or excited
  • Throaty: adj: a throaty sound is low and seems to come from deep in your throat
  • Wheezy: adj: a wheezy noise sounds as if it’s made by someone who has difficulty breathing
  • Wobbly: adj: if your voice is wobbly, it goes up and down, usually cause you’re frightened, not confident or you’re going to cry

I am a True Believer in outlining before you write.
(At least, so long as an outline doesn’t debilitate your writing.)

But I think some people don’t understand what that means to me. 

To me, an outline means that I know: 

  • Where the story is going. 
  • What beats it’ll take getting there. 
  • The major content I know I want to write.
  • How that content can be reasonably connected.
  • Where character development decisions should take place.
  • What the climax will entail.
  • What choices the characters will be forced to make during the climax to fulfill or deny their developmental arc.

It also means that along the way I might…

  • Randomly move multiple scenes to a completely new settings.
  • Rearrange scenes to make for better pacing.
  • Throw in conversations I never imagined the characters would have.
  • Completely change one of my main character’s voices in the third chapter.
  • Have a random side character mysteriously foreshadow grudges certain characters are holding.
  • Realize certain characters have legitimately been holding said grudges.
  • Add in new character arcs for said characters to get them to work through their grudges.
  • Watch as the main ship progresses way faster than intended.
  • (Cry over the main ship.)
  • Let the protagonist chose to go by an alias because he’s more insecure than I thought.
  • Watch as his brother ruins his alias attempts four chapters later.
  • Create an entire new arc that revolves primarily around the protagonist wanting to sleep in a proper bed after camping for three weeks. (And do a lot of last minute plot adjusting to make the pacing still work for this bed-related arc.)
  • Forget one of my main characters exists for five chapters.
  • Suddenly add her into an arc she wasn’t supposed to be in, to make up for it.
  • Be bamboozled as the love interest refuses to sit still long enough to let their leg heal and ends up with a permanent injury. 
  • Flat out re-outline entire chapters because the new idea worked better with the character development or pacing.
  • Realize that the symbolism I had for a certain thing has actually meant something different all along.
  • Add in a motto I didn’t realize was a huge part of two of the main character’s lives in the previous book.
  • Take about ten thousand notes on what needs to be adjusted in the next draft.
  • Cry because I think the novel will be too long.
  • Cry because I think the novel will be too short.
  • Cry because I love it too much.
  • Cry because it’s definitely the worst thing ever written.

So, when I say I’m a True Believer in outlining, I don’t mean that I’m a believer in never letting your story’s surprise you, or never making last minutes adjustments, or never throwing out huge parts of your outline for something better.

I mean that I’m a true believer in letting your story have a foundation before you write it, because any large or complex story built on a weak foundation, like a castle built in the sand, will need to be re-built later.

But the stronger a foundation you build for it, the easier it is to make changes without your entire structure falling apart.

#This is not saying that some writers don’t do better just rebuilding the castle later or that all stories are complex enough to warrant outlines. #Please do not take my post about what outlining means to me and attempt to writer’splain to me how some writers can’t use outlines. #I literally put that disclaimer right below the title. #Read and think before you reply.

A Quick Tip for Controlling Pacing

Short sentences speed up the action. They pack punch. They also draw focus to each event. Subject. Verb. Like a camera zoomed in close. Slow-motion shots. Good for fights and epic chase scenes. Don’t fear using sentence fragments. But don’t use it for everything. It can get exhausting for the reader.

Long, complex sentences slow down the action and can create suspense and tension. Imagine them like twisting corridors and long, slow camera pans following the action from beginning to end, moving smoothly from one image to the next without lingering too long over anything in particular. Whole years can pass in the duration of a long sentence; imagine them like those panoramic establishing shots where one season fades slowly into the next. Embrace semicolons; do not shy away from complicated sentence structure from time to time as necessary. But, like all things, practice them in moderation. Long sentences can slow the reader down too much, leading to boredom; they may wander away from the page.

Reminder

“Tortured artists” aren’t a real thing.

Since I was super young, I had severe depression. I saw lots of doctors, and did my best to manage it. However, recently, someone said to me “Well isn’t depression good for you, since you write?”

Nope. Absolutely not. I, like all artists, do my best work when I’m taking care of myself. So, fellow creators, take your medication. Go outside. Take care of yourself. Because that is when you’ll make your best stuff.