art and writing references
freckledfanfiction:

I found a gem website

freckledfanfiction:

I found a gem website

4 Types of Writer’s Block (And How to Overcome Them)

stephaniegrand:

1. You can’t come up with an idea.

This is the kind where you have a blank page and you keep typing and erasing, or just staring at the screen. You can’t even get started because you have no clue what to write about. You’re stopped before you even start.There are two pieces of good news for anyone in this situation:

1) Ideas are dime a dozen, and it’s not that hard to get the idea pump primed. Execution is harder.

2) This is the kind of creative stoppage where all of the typical “do a writing exercise”-type stuff actually works. Do a ton of exercises, in fact. Try imagining what it would be like if a major incident in your life had turned out way differently. Try writing a scene where someone dies and someone else falls in love, even if it doesn’t turn into a story. Think of something or someone that pisses you off, and write a totally mean satire or character assassination. (You’ll revise it later, so don’t worry about writing something libelous at this stage.) Etc. etc. This is the easiest problem to solve.

2. You have a ton of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, and they all peter out.

Even this problem can take a few different forms — there’s the ideas that you lose interest in after a few paragraphs, and then there’s the idea that you thought was a novel but is actually a short story. Ideas are dime a dozen, but ideas that get your creative juices flowing are a lot rarer. Oftentimes, the most interesting ideas are the ones that peter out fastest, and the dumbest ideas are the ones that just get your motor revving like crazy.

If an idea isn’t getting any traction, it’s not getting any traction. Save it in a file, come back to them a year or ten later, and maybe you’ll suddenly know how to tackle it. You’ll have more experience and a different mindset then. The reason you can’t get anywhere with any of these ideas is because they’re just not letting you tell the story you really want to tell, down in your murky subconscious.

3. You have an outline but you can’t get through this one part of it.

Some writers work really well with an outline, some don’t. For some writers, the point of having an outline is to have a road to drive off, a straight line to deviate from as far as possible. Plus, every project is different — even if you’re an outline fan usually, there’s always the possibility that you need to grope in the dark for this one particular story.

There are two different reasons you could be getting stuck:

1) Your outline has a major flaw and you just won’t admit it. You can’t get from A to C, because B makes no sense. The characters won’t do the things that B requires them to do, without breaking character. Or the logic of the story just won’t work with B. If this is the case, you already know it, and it’s just a matter of attacking your outline with a hacksaw.

2) Your outline is basically fine, but there’s a part that you can’t get past. Because it’s boring, or because you just can’t quite see how to get from one narrative peak to the next. You have two cool moments, and you can’t figure out how to get from one cool bit to the other.

In either case, there’s nothing wrong with taking a slight detour, or going off on a tangent, and seeing what happens. Maybe you’ll find a cooler transition between those two moments, maybe you’ll figure out where your story really needs to go next. And most likely, there’s something that needs to happen with your characters at this point in the story, and you haven’t hit on it yet.

4. You’re stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.

Sort of the opposite of problem #3. Either you don’t have an outline, or you ditched it a while back. Here’s what seems to happen a lot - you were on a roll the day before, and you wrote a whole lot of promising developments and clever bits of business. And then you open your Word document today, and… you have no idea where this is going. You thought you left things in a great place to pick up the ball and keep running, and now you can’t even see the next step.

If it’s true that you were on a roll, and now you’re stuck, then chances are you just need to pause and rethink, and maybe go back over what you already wrote. You may just need a couple days to recharge. Or you may need to rethink what you already wrote.

If you’ve been stuck in the middle for a while, though, then you probably need to do something to get the story moving again. Introduce a new complication, throw the dice, or twist the knife. Mark Twain spent months stuck in the middle of Huckleberry Finn before he came up with the notion of having Huck and Jim take the wrong turn on the river and get lost. If you’re stuck for a while, it may be time to drop a safe on someone.

argonianbot:

i dont think you guys appreciate how rad this site is 

because first of all you got your basic fantasy and game race names for like

everything

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BUT AS IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH

REAL NAMES WHICH ARE GOOD FOR BOOKS

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AND THIS THERE’S MORE????

BAM, PLACE NAMES

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AND STILL MORE

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SO YOU SEE THESE LITTLE OPTIONS HERE

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PLEASE, PLEASE

GO AND TRY TO HELP A GOOD PERSON OUT

maxkirin:

So, let me guess— you just started a new book, right? And you’re stumped. You have no idea how much an AK47 goes for nowadays. I get ya, cousin. Tough world we live in. A writer’s gotta know, but them NSA hounds are after ya 24/7. I know, cousin, I know. If there was only a way to find out all of this rather edgy information without getting yourself in trouble…

You’re in luck, cousin. I have just the thing for ya.

It’s called Havocscope. It’s got information and prices for all sorts of edgy information. Ever wondered how much cocaine costs by the gram, or how much a kidney sells for, or (worst of all) how much it costs to hire an assassin?

I got your back, cousin. Just head over to Havocscope.

((PS: In case you’re wondering, Havocscope is a database full of information regarding the criminal underworld. The information you will find there has been taken from newspapers and police reports. It’s perfectly legal, no need to worry about the NSA hounds, cousin ;p))

Want more writerly content? Follow maxkirin.tumblr.com!

thewritingcafe:

Seven Extremely Good Reasons to Write the Ending First

amandaonwriting:

If you are writing for fun, and if you don’t want any help, please write any way that works for you. I am not trying to convert you to writing with a plan. It truly does not matter to me how you write. However, if you are struggling to finish a book that makes sense, I would love you to carry on reading.

Why should you do it?

When I used to teach Writers Write regularly, one of the first things I asked students was: How does your story end? I did this for two reasons. Firstly, as much as some people love the idea of working with meandering storylines, it has been my experience that those writers seldom finish writing a coherent book. Secondly, most people who go to workshops or sign up for courses are truly looking for help, and I’ve learned that the best way to succeed in anything in life is to have a plan. Successful people will tell you that you need to know where you’re going before you begin.

Smell the roses

This does not mean that you can’t take time to smell the roses, or explore hidden paths along the way. It simply means that you always have a lifeline and when you get lost, it will be easier for you to find your way back again. Remember that readers like destinations. They love beginnings, middles, and endings. Why do you think fans are terrified that George R.R. Martin will die before he finishes A Song of Fire and Ice? They want to know how the story ends. 

Here are seven reasons why I suggest you write your ending first.

  1. If you know who the characters are at the end of the story, you will know how much you should reveal about them at the beginning. 
  2. You will be forced out of the ‘backstory hell’ that beginner writers inhabit and into the story the reader wants to read.
  3. Hindsight is an amazing thing. We all know how different life seems when we’re looking back. We can often tell where a problem began. We think about the ‘what ifs’ with the gift of hindsight. You can use this to your advantage in fiction writing.
  4. You will have something to work towards. Instead of aimlessly writing and hoping for the muse to show you the way, you will be able to pull the characters’ strings and write the words they need to get them from the beginning through the middle to the end.
  5. Plotting from the ending backwards saves you so much time because you will leave out stuff that isn’t meant to be there. You will not have to muddle through an overwritten first draft.
  6. Writing the end forces most of us out of our comfort zones. We have to confront the reality of what we are doing. It might not be as romantic as flailing around like a helpless maiden, but if you want writing to be your profession, it’s good to make the outcome visible. This is a way to show yourself that you are serious. The end gives you a goal to work towards.
  7. The ending is as important as the beginning. Good beginnings get people to read your first book. Great endings get readers to buy your second book.

There are a handful of famous authors, like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, who say they don’t plot. I think they just don’t realise they are those rare authors – natural born storytellers, and that plotting is instinctive for them. I have interviewed many successfully published authors and I can revel that the majority of them do believe in plotting. They outline, in varying degrees, before they begin. And yes, most of them know what their ending will be. Why don’t you try it? What have you got to lose?

I truly hope this helps you write, and finish, your book.

by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy 10 (Amazingly Simple) Tips to Get You Back on The Writing Track and The Author’s Promise- two things every writer should do. You could also read The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book.

How to Write Naturally

fictionwritingtips:

Trying to figure out what your style is isn’t as hard as it might seem. I’ve seen a lot of writers get asked questions like “how did you develop as a writer?” or “how did you find your style”, so I feel like this is a topic I should talk about. If you stop stressing out about it, it will all happen naturally. If you continue to read and develop your craft, your style will continue to form.

The styles that writers develop are usually not planned. Most people don’t sit down and think “well, who do I want to sound like?” It’s true that you could be influenced by writers you admire or read a lot of, but it’s not usually a conscious decision. A writer’s style develops naturally over time. It comes from writing A LOT.

If you write a lot and spend time working on your craft, a style will develop on its own. Forcing a style, however, will usually not work. If you force vocabulary you wouldn’t normally use into your writing, your readers will be able to tell.  If you try to mimic your favorite authors, your writing will feel unnatural. Don’t force a style that isn’t yours because you will not produce your best work.  I know it might seem like a good idea to emulate a writing style that is popular, but that’s not the best way to go.

Ultimately, you should use words that feel natural to you and write every day. Try to be clear and concise with your writing. Growing and seeing your writing style change over time is normal, as long as you keep working on improving. Also, try not to compare your writing to someone else’s. Just because you don’t write like Mark Twain, that doesn’t mean you’re not any good. Writing styles are different and it’s hard to compare them.

Here are a few natural ways to develop your own writing style:

Consume what inspires you

Once you figure out what you like and what motivates you, keep going. Reading a lot will help you develop your style and pick out what inspires your own writing. I’m not saying you should mimic what you like, but you will pick up bits and pieces of the novels you’re consuming. That’s not a bad thing. If you consume what you like to read, you’ll find more inspiration for your own novels. What you like will start to creep into your writing.

Try to write different genres

Make sure you experiment to figure out what you’re best at. Write a lot and try writing in different genres and art forms. You might be able to tap into something that you didn’t even know inspires you until you try it. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Be concise

Don’t dance around what you want to say, just say it. Try figuring out how to get the point faster without bogging down your writing with unnecessary information. This will help you develop a style that will make your writing more appealing. Think about what you want to say and figure out the best way to say it.

-Kris Noel

romantic0utlaw:

think about these things when you’re making a fictional place; even a developed city has its roots in how easy it was to settle in the first place!

Offensive Mistakes Well-Intentioned Writers Make

Food-Colored Skin

Not only is purple prose obnoxious; sometimes it’s downright racist. For some reason, writers have a fondness for describing dark complexions as “chocolate” or somesuch.

But wait, people like chocolate! What’s so bad about likening a skintone to something almost everyone likes?

The problem is that food-colored skin is a phenomenon mostly limited to dark-colored complexions. And it’s more than just a little creepy when strangers keep likening your skintone to an inanimate edible object. Plus, in some places “chocolate bar” is a playground taunt used to goad black children.

Not a very tasteful choice in similitudes at all.

Skin Color Only Described When Not White

In many stories, the color of a character’s skin will only be described when the character doesn’t have a fair complexion. This typically happens because the writer is white and subconsciously thinks of xir own skin color as the default and everyone else’s as the outliers. Even JK Rowling, whose books frequently focus on tolerance and equality, is guilty of this.

The solution is simple - just describe everyone’s complexion, and all will be well.

Written Accents

Written accents are offensive because they essentially tell the group whose accent is being written that “your way of talking is weird; my way is normal.”

Not only are written accents offensive to the group being represented, but they’re offensive to read because you have to spend extra time trying to sort out what the writer was trying to say.

If you want to write a character who is supposed to have an accent, use grammar and slang associated with people who have that accent. You could also just mention that they have an accent. But don’t butcher the spellings of the words. “He’s got himself in a right pickle, he has” is fine, but “‘E’s got ‘imself in a right pickle, ‘e ‘as” is not.

Things Appropriated From Other Cultures

Many new writers are bound and determined to make sure their characters have meaningful and unique names. I see many people who have clearly scoured the bowels of online baby name sites to find the perfect Vedic/Japanese/Aztec name for their white character.

This sort of thing is a form of cultural appropriation, which is a pretty huge faux pas. For the uninformed, cultural appropriation is when a member of a dominant culture takes something from an oppressed/minority culture and uses it in a shallow, trendy, or superficial way - and there’s really nothing more shallow or superficial than trying to make your character stand out by giving xir an “exotic” name instead of giving xir a memorable personality and story.

Likewise, people give their characters katanas and throw youkai into their stories for no other reason than “it’s more interesting” than Western culture. Throwing things from another culture into your story for no other reason than you think it’s “more interesting” reduces that culture to a cheap gimmick, which is pretty rude and offensive.

“Harmless” Stereotypes

The Japanese plant-lover. The wise Native American. The sexy Latina. There’s nothing bad about loving plants or being wise or sexy, so why would anyone find these offensive?

For one thing, it can create unrealistic expectations and assumptions about these people. Many Asian-Americans find themselves having to explain to people that no, they don’t know squat about gardening, really. Many Latinas would rather people didn’t expect them to be hot and spicy lovers based on their race. And contrary to what some think, Native Americans aren’t really born with a magical connection to the Earth and tend to find assumptions that they are quite irritating.

The Supercrip

There are two varieties of supercrips: the first is a disabled person who is treated as a hero just for doing everyday things that most people take for granted. It’s quite frankly condescending, and many disabled people would thank you to knock it off.

The second type is the character who has amazing skills or abilities because or in spite of xir disability. While a writer might be trying to say “just because a person has a disability, doesn’t mean they can’t be amazing!”, what the audience hears is “disabled people often have amazing abilities to make up for their disability,” which unfortunately isn’t true.

The Mighty Whitey

The Mighty Whitey is a white person (if not physically, then culturally) who finds xirself faced with the task of saving a marginalized group (often as not from other white people). The character is usually male and ends up becoming the leader of the people he just liberated, and he usually ends up with a hot ethnic-looking gal to boink. (Think Jake Sulley fromAvatar, and you’ve got the Mighty Whitey in a nutshell.) The Mighty Whitey will learn the ways of an ethnic group, and xe will become even better at them than the people who have been studying them all their lives.

What makes this trope so horrendous is the attitude of white supremacy: it implies that non-white people cannot solve their problems without a white person to help or even lead them, and that white people will always be better at everything.

Also, becoming a leader of a people whose culture you have only known/studied for a few months - or even a few years - is one of the most ridiculously puerile fantasies in existence.

Getting Mental Illnesses & Different Neurologies Wrong

Want to create a chilling plot twist? Just the killer the hero’s evil alternate personality! That’s called schizophrenia… right?

Wrong. And this type of thing is incredibly insensitive and offensive.

Aside from the fact that schizophrenia does not create multiple personalities, most people with schizophrenia and multiple personalities are quite harmless. Yet thanks to their portrayal in fiction, many people expect them to be dangerous, which makes their already-difficult lives even more difficult.

Occasionally, some people go the other direction and portray these people as innocent or even mystical. That’s positive discrimination, and that’s also bad because it creates unrealistic expectations.

Whether it’s schizophrenia, multiple personlities, autism, Asperger’s, psychopathy, sociopathy, or anything else, you’re going to use a mental disorder or alternate neurology of any kind, make sure you research it. And whatever you do,NEVER give your character a mental illness just to make xir more “interesting,” because that’s ableism.

Trying to Create an Aesop About Discrimination Without Actually Understanding the Discrimination in Question

Most people think they have a pretty good bead on what racism is all about - it’s about segregation, ugly slurs, and pointy white hats. Same goes with sexism - women can get jobs and vote now, so it must be over, right? Ha, if only.

In real life, these people are very rarely overt - in fact, most racism is extremely subtle, so subtle that the offender doesn’t even realize that what they’ve said or done is offensive or hurtful and will vehemently deny the possiblity that what they said or did could have been offensive. (A common response from these people is “I can’t be an X-ist! I have X friends!” Yeah, if only.)

Some examples of subtle discrimination:

  • Telling rowdy children to “stop running around like a bunch of wild Indians!”
  • Describing a non-white character or person as “exotic.”
  • Dressing up in Halloween costumes depicting ethnic stereotypes.
  • Insisting that a woman who does not want children right now will “change her mind” in the future.
  • Asking a woman why she’s still single if she’s so attractive.
  • Asing a woman who is angry about something if she’s on her period.
  • Insulting males who don’t live up to expectations of perceived masculinity by accusing them of acting “girly” or calling them gay.

If you want to learn more about what real discrimination of all kinds look and feel like, I recommend readingMicroaggressions. (Language warning.) Also, check out this handy-dandy list of links to privilege checklists so you can check your own privilege before writing off into the sunset.

Trying to Satirize a Thing Without Understanding Why it’s a Thing

The film Death Becomes Her satirizes the perceived vanity of performers who spend mind-blowing amounts of money on beauty products and plastic surgeries to stay young. Funny film? Yes. But it’s rather sexist in that it treats this perceived vanity as something that just happens to some women for no real reason. It ignores the fact that we live in a society obsessed with youth and that our consumerist culture has commodified it and tries to make us feel inferior every day for not buying it from them. It ignores the fact that the men in control of the entertainment industry constantly pressure women into getting plastic surgery and enhancements, even flat-out refusing to hire women who don’t meet their exact standards of beauty, regardless of their talent.

Killing Off LGBT Characters to Make an Allegedly Non-Hateful Point

There’s this thing that some writers do - they introduce an LGBT character, try to build some some sympathy for xir, and before you know it they’ve killed off this character in a manner that’s reminiscent of that old and noxious “too good for this sinful Earth” trope that pervaded Puritan literature.

This sends an absolutely terrible message to LGBT people - that the only way they can escape the shame and the hate that so often comes with being LGBT is if they die. LGBT youth are at a higher risk of committing suicide already - clearly, this is not a message we want to be sending.

Forgetting Women of Color in Female-Oriented Entertainment

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Charmed. Pan Am. Sex in the City. All of these female-aimed shows exhibit distinctly monochrome casting choices. Sure, Charmed was sort of justified in that the three leads were supposed to be sisters. But Pan Am has no excuse - and there were plenty of non-white stewardesses in the 60’s.

Multi-Racial Groups Always With a White at the Helm

This wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t keep happening all the time. But invariably, whenever there’s a multi-racial group or team of some kind, the leader will invariably be white. The implication is that while non-whites are good enough to have on a team, they still aren’t leadership material.

The Fairytale Gypsy

You know the character type - they live in wagons, wear colorful clothing, read fortunes, and play a mean fiddle.

The trouble is, what you see in fiction is a romanticized version of a very ugly reality: “Gypsy” is actually a racial slur for the Roma and Dom people. The reason they’re nomads is because racists have a habit of routing them out whenever they try to settle down, and their eclectic fashion comes from having to wear whatever they can get. Also, they’re no more magical than you or me.

Their portrayal in many fantasies perpetuates the myth that these people are fairytale creatures who vanished along with Long Ago And Far Away, rather than real people who suffer systemic oppression today.

Here’s the Secret to Writing Outlines

copykiller:

Start at the end. What is the very last thing that happens?

Ask “what causes this?”

Work backwards. Work backwards. Just keep asking yourself, “What causes this?”

Keep working until you reach the beginning.

Seriously, trust me on this. This thing saved my life.

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thejotaku:

ANATOMY TIPS

I was doing a bit of an anatomy study on my livestream and was asked to please post it. 

  • The crotch is the halfway point of the body from top of the head to bottom of the feet
  • Shoulders to hips = hips to ankles
  • Elbows rest at the waist line
  • Wrists rest at the crotch line
  • Shoulders and breasts/pecks should always be parallel, no matter what angle the shoulders are at
  • With boob placement, keep in mind where the collar bone, ribs, and shoulders are.  Breats have muscles that connect to the arm—hence why lifting an arm also lifts the breast corresponding with it.
  • Feet are the same length as your elbow to wrist.
  • There are two bones in the knee; the cap and a smaller one below it.  You CAN see them and adding that subtle detail is a really nice touch!
  • When drawing eyes, keep in mind that you should be able to fit the width of an eye between them
  • The face is broken down into thirds; hairline to eyebrows, eyebrows to bottom of the nose, bottom of the nose to chin
  • The halfway point of the head is at the eyeline
  • The mouth is 1/3rd of the way from the bottom of the nose to the chin
  • Ears are from the top of the eyes to the bottom of the nose
  • When drawing a 3/4th view of the face, do NOT MAKE THE FURTHEST EYE SMALLER — the perspective is too small to be noticeable unless you are doing extremely accentuated/warped perspective.  The eyebrows, top of the eyes, and bottom of the eyes should all be parallel regardless of the face’s angle.  The only differences should be the widths; front eye should be wider than the further eye.

Knowing the rules to anatomy is important!  Once you learn them, then you can break them. ( ≖‿≖)*

matsstrandbergauthor:

Karin Tidbeck tweeted this link, and it’s truly a treasure chest of great advice for writers, especially of fantasy, SF and horror.

projectkr:

travelingmadness:

pugletto:

prrb:

How I pratice drawing things, now in a tutorial form.
The shrimp photo I used is here
Show me your shrimps if you do this uvu 

PS: lots of engrish because foreign 

This is the best art advice ever and you should all listen to it because it’s basically what I’ve been telling people for years.

image

i was not expecting that to actually work

Reblogging every time this pops up on my dash because this is helpful for everyone .

amandaonwriting:

Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language

We are always told to use body language in our writing. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. I decided to create these cheat sheets to help you show a character’s state of mind. Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours. For example, he may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy. Use these combinations as needed.

by Amanda Patterson

sixpenceee:

hey as a neuroscience major and someone who wants to study and research the human consciousness in the future, this post was a must!
MIND OVER MATTER
if you believe you sleep well your performance improves
scientists convince people their hands are rocks
lying on a bed of nails without injury
many people in one body
yogi nearly stops heartbeat
curing cancer just by thinking you are cured?
the insane effects of hypnosis on some people
meditation drys wet towels
nocebo effect
phantom pregnancy
WOW FINDINGS ON THE HUMAN BRAIN
your brain makes decisions before you are even conscious of it
finding out what cats see
mental disorders and their brain scans
mirror neurons: everyone can read minds
the vegetative patient who could TALK to doctors
learning how to RECORD your dreams
loosing sleep can kill brain cells
what do babies dream about?
linked brains
rat brain scans during death
moving a bionic arm with thoughts
music can improve a lot of things
mind control is possible
BIZARRE CASES
the mentally ill man who cured himself with a gun
the woman who scratched through her skull
the man who can’t feel emotion
the man with almost no brain
the twins who share a consciousness
the creepy lazarus reflex
synesthesia: hearing colors, tasting shapes
savant cases
explaining parasomnia
monkey head transplants
explaining the split brain effect
the case of phineas gage
brain science explanation behind sleep paralysis
girl with half a brain
Alright that’s all I got so far guys! Be sure to check back on my science section because as we progress further and further and have amazing cool new things, I’ll have new posts with more information :)
Feel free to add to this list also!

sixpenceee:

hey as a neuroscience major and someone who wants to study and research the human consciousness in the future, this post was a must!

MIND OVER MATTER

WOW FINDINGS ON THE HUMAN BRAIN

BIZARRE CASES

Alright that’s all I got so far guys! Be sure to check back on my science section because as we progress further and further and have amazing cool new things, I’ll have new posts with more information :)

Feel free to add to this list also!