Some links I have found in various Tumblr Posts that I have saved on my computer. I do not take credit for collecting all these links. Unfortunately, I did not have the mind to save/note where these various links come from. Thank you to whoever compiled these links together.
General Writing Tips, Guides and Advice
How to be Confident in Your Writing
Start Your Novel Already!
Why First Chapters Matter
How to Outline a Novel
Word Building 101
Common Mistakes in Writing
Tips on Getting Started
What Not to Do
7 Tips to Become a Better Writer from Stephen King
How to Use Reading to Become a Better Writer
Why Writers Must Read
How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers
31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing
10 Tips to Write Fanfiction
Writing a Blurb
10 Writing Tips
Point of View
Speed Up Your Writing
Recieving Bad News
Useful Writing Apps
Plot and Conflict
What is Conflict?
Where’s Your Conflict?
Adding Conflict to Your Scenes
Guides for Using Inner Conflict That Makes Sense
Plotting Your Novel
Internal and External Conflict
The Top Ten Plotting Problems
The Elements of Plot Development
Writing a Plot Your Own Way
Develop a Plot
Tension and Conflict
Your Plot, Step by Step
Plot vs. Exposition
Plot and Conflict
Character DevelopmentHow to Describe the Body Shape of Female CharactersCharacter Apperance Help
Words to Describe Voice
Body Language Cheat Sheet
Character Development Exercises
101 Character Development Questions
Art of Character Development
Characters You Need to Reinvent
Making Characters Likeable
Heros and Villains
Understanding Body Language
100 Positive Traits
Mental Illness in Writing
Conflicts and Characters
Indifferent, Distant Characters
Being a Bitch
Writing Nice Characters
Writing Characters with Mental Illness
Writing Male Characters
Playing Male Characters
Characters with Glasses
Writing Female Characters
Writing Intriuging Male and Female Characters
Spelling, Punctuation and GrammarPlacement of Speech TagsGrammar and Spelling
American vs. British Grammar
How to Use the Semicolon
Introduction to the Basic Rules of Punctuation
All About Dialouge
11 Grammar Tips
Correct Use of Apostrophe
40+ Tips to Improve your Grammar and Punctuation
Better Writing: Grammar & Spelling
Semicolons and Colons
Underlining and Italicizing
Dashes and Parentheses
List of 1000+ Adjectives
All About Names
Genre Based20 Tips to Writing Love ScenesOn Love And Sex
All That Sex!Writing “Real” Men in Romance Fiction
How to Write a Kissing Scene: Valentine Edition
How to Write a Kiss? And Should You Write Sex?
The Keys to Conflict
Writing Gender-Specific Dialouge
Things Smut Writers Should Know
How to Write a Sex Scene
3 Secrets to Writing Sex
Writing Love Scenes
Why You Should Write Love Stories
How to Write Horror
Horror Plot Cliches
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Horror
Plot and Character in Horror Fiction
7 Laws of Comedy
5 Secrets for Improving Comedy Writing
How to Break into Comedy
How to Be Funny
Mystery Writing Lessons
10 Rules for Mystery
Members of Congress are living off food stamps for a week to protest Republican cuts. It’s a challenge for them, but GOP cuts would hurt millions of everyday Americans.
Why does this not have more publicity. This needs it!
I want a reality tv show where politicians have to live in poverty for a month. They have to live in Government housing, shop with food stamps, and get only a limited amount of money for clothes. Because here, they still have all their trappings, lilke nice cars and thousand dollar suits. I want them in Walmart jeans trying to determine if they can afford a carton of milk.
Give them a full calendar year. I want to see them confident in January, and sometime around June choking back tears at the Safeway because they are tired, so tired, of eating 25 cent cup noodles, eyeing other peoples’ full grocery carts with a dull bewilderment.
Let me see them despair because they have a persistent nagging cough that won’t go away and might be turning into pneumonia but the minute clinic is $60, which might as well be as six million dollars, either way they ain’t got it to spare - and that doesn’t count the cost of prescriptions. Let me hear them tell people about the muscle cramps they get at night due to eating non-nutritious garbage for months, the weakness from persistent hunger.
Let them know the shame and frustration of only owning one pair of cheap polyester pants for work and one pair of thrift-store jeans, and both persistently have ripped crotches and seams coming undone, no matter how many times they get sewn back up.
Let the women know the particular sort of despair that comes once a month when you can’t afford even the cheapest pads or tampons.
Let them understand the frustration of being charged a $35 fee for a $2 overdraft. Let them watch as the bank holds charges from different days in “pending” till they all come through on the same day, and the bank charges them four times for a single overdraft because “the charges all cleared at the same time”.
I want them to know the particular pain of having to decide between food for the week, or transportation costs to and from work. You can’t have both. Choose wisely.
You do not truly understand poverty until you’ve lived it and a month isn’t enough to encompass it. Not even close.
I have $7000 in medical bills this year because I let something go untreated for nine years because I couldn’t afford it. When I broke my hand I refused to go to the doctor because I couldn’t afford it - it wasn’t until my manager swore up and down that worker’s comp would cover it that I even considered going - and there were pieces of bone sticking out of my hand. I once walked on a broken foot for a year. A year. Because my boss wouldn’t let me have the time off to let it heal properly and my job required being on my feet for 8+hours a day. And that fucking foot kept starting to heal and then re-fracturing all over again. Spaghetti makes me sick to my stomach because I ate it every fucking day for months on end because pasta and tomato sauce are CHEAP, but there was no meat and no veggies, so it didn’t really do me any good.
Sometimes I buy things I don’t need just to prove to myself that I can. And sometimes I go crazy and buy bags of things for the homeless shelter and the food bank because Jesus, do people need it and I have a little extra to spare now. Sometimes I hoard things, like soap and food and old clothes that I don’t like and will never wear again, because what if I need it in the future and can’t afford it?
Sometimes I remember being so poor that my power was turned off and my bank account was negative and I had nothing in the kitchen but ramen noodles and canned beans and god only knew how I was going to scrape together $475 to pay the rent on my shitty apartment and the lingering stress makes me start to cry.
I wanted my first-year film students to understand what happens to a story when actual human beings inhabit your characters, and the way they can inspire storytelling. And I wanted to teach them how to look at headshots and what you might be able to tell from a headshot. So for the past few years I’ve done a small experiment with them.Some troubling shit always occurs.
It works like this: I bring in my giant file of head shots, which include actors of all races, sizes, shapes, ages, and experience levels. Each student picks a head shot from the stack and gets a few minutes to sit with the person’s face and then make up a little story about them.
Namely, for white men, they have no trouble coming up with an entire history, job, role, genre, time, place, and costume. They will often identify him without prompting as “the main character.” The only exception? “He would play the gay guy.” For white women, they mostly do not come up with a job (even though it was specifically asked for), and they will identify her by her relationships. “She would play the mom/wife/love interest/best friend.” I’ve heard “She would play the slut” or “She would play the hot girl.” A lot more than once.
For nonwhite men, it can be equally depressing. “He’s in a buddy cop movie, but he’s not the main guy, he’s the partner.” “He’d play a terrorist.” “He’d play a drug dealer.” “A thug.” “A hustler.” “Homeless guy.” One Asian actor was promoted to “villain.”
For nonwhite women (grab onto something sturdy, like a big glass of strong liquor), sometimes they are “lucky” enough to be classified as the girlfriend/love interest/mom, but I have also heard things like “Well, she’d be in a romantic comedy, but as the friend, you know?” “Maid.” “Prostitute.” “Drug addict.”
I should point out that the responses are similar whether the group is all or mostly-white or extremely racially mixed, and all the groups I’ve tried this with have been about equally balanced between men and women, though individual responses vary. Women do a little better with women, and people of color do a little better with people of color, but female students sometimes forget to come up with a job for female actors and black male students sometimes tell the class that their black male actor wouldn’t be the main guy.
Once the students have made their pitches, we interrogate their opinions. “You seem really sure that he’s not the main character – why? What made you automatically say that?” “You said she was a mom. Was she born a mom, or did she maybe do something else with her life before her magic womb opened up and gave her an identity? Who is she as a person?” In the case of the “thug“, it turns out that the student was just reading off his film resume. This brilliant African American actor who regularly brings houses down doing Shakespeare on the stage and more than once made me weep at the beauty and subtlety of his performances, had a list of film credits that just said “Thug #4.” “Gang member.” “Muscle.” Because that’s the film work he can get. Because it puts food on his table.
So, the first time I did this exercise, I didn’t know that it would turn into a lesson on racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism. I thought it was just about casting. But now I know that casting is never just about casting, and this day is a real teachable opportunity. Because if we do this right, we get to the really awkward silence, where the (now mortified) students try to sink into their chairs. Because, hey, most of them are proud Obama voters! They have been raised by feminist moms! They don’t want to be or see themselves as being racist or sexist. But their own racism and sexism is running amok in the room, and it’s awkward.
This for every time someone criticizes how characters of color and female characters of color especially are treated in text and by subsequent fandoms. It’s never “just a television/movie/book”. It’s never been ”just”.
“…and by subsequent fandoms." <— bless this addition.
This one is always worth reblogging.
When I say, “Representation matters,” it’s not just the presence of PoC, women, PwD, LGBTQIA, in narrative, it’s the roles are those characters are occupying.
The hall of mirrors that is the interplay between fiction and real life becomes a negative feedback loop with real consequences, because we internalize things and then we act them out.
Storytelling is a powerful thing. What stories are we telling, and why?
Shakespeare: “This is just the theatre!”
The Doctor: “Oh yeah, but the theatre’s magic, isn’t it? You should know. Stand on this stage, say the right words with the right emphasis at the right time. Oh, you can make men weep.”
Cowkillers’ has a very finite number of Earth natives in the world - about forty - and I spent a lot of time thumbnailing them, because even when they’re not going to be important for a while (or possibly ever) there’s such a finite number of them that I want to know who everyone is. While I was doing this, I put together some randomization charts so I could randomly determine gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and a few things about them, and tried to use those charts whenever these aspects didn’t matter to their role in the story - which was often. I feel pretty good about the cast’s diversity on the whole.
But it was a pretty unsettling experience, because so many times I’d get a character put together, and I’d have the immediate urge to reroll. And I’d stop and I’d ask myself why, and somewhere my brain would be saying, “No, that makes no sense.” But there was nothing wrong with the character. They just weren’t what I expected. If I stopped and thought about it, there were generally just one or two gender/ethnicity combos that felt right for any given role. And let’s be honest: That is fucked up.
The manager of Cowkillers’ is a very business-oriented, grumpy alcoholic. He was originally going to be a mid-forties, maybe early fifties caucasion male. Instead, she’s Renée Cabrera, a mid-forties, maybe early fifties hispanic-american. And she’s that much more awesome for it. And let’s be clear: I want my stories to have a diverse cast, and if I don’t sit down and specifically say “let’s diversify this shit” I end up with a bunch of white people. And then when I do it feels off, and I have to power through and say, no, that’s just you not being as unracist as you want to be. It sucks.
And even so, I have to watch how I’m using the cast I have. There are a few scenes where it doesn’t precisely matter which characters are in a given situation yet, and sometimes I’ll pick someone at random, and when they feel like the wrong character for the situation … again, I have to ask why. Is it because the Attachments stocker is actually the wrong person to have in this scene, or is it because he’s black? Even after going to all that work to diversify my cast, if I don’t police myself, I end up defaulting to the white cast members when I have a choice.
I imagine this will get better over time, but only if I work on it. The point of this isn’t to say, “Hey, look at me working so hard to be not racist, give me kudos.” The point of this post is that, all those people who say that there’s no such thing as race blindness? They’re right. Racism is insidious.
Badass women of the future:
- Malavath Poorna, the youngest person ever to reach Mount Everest’s summit at the age of 13 years, 11 months
Ann Makosinksi, Canadian inventor of a flashlight powered strictly by body heat at age 16
Mo’Ne Davis, first girl to throw a Little League World Series shutout in history, with fastballs reaching speeds of up to 70mph, at age 13
Alia Sabur, youngest university professor in the world, appointed to Konkuk University in South Korea at age 18
Asia Newson, owning and operating a candle sales business alongside her father, is Detroit’s youngest entrepreneur at age 10
Asked by digitalmoriarty
Okay, so this is a thing I have explained before, and I now need to explain again, and I am doing it publicly because I feel that maybe I have not explained it clearly enough here on Tumblr. This is not meant to single any one person out. But:
I have clinical OCD. One of the ways it manifests is that people cannot give me permission not to answer things. The only one who can declare comment amnesty is me. Otherwise, the unanswered asks and comments will literally gnaw at me. They will haunt me. They will render me physically unable to sleep at night. I will start having panic attacks because of the unanswered email and messages with “please don’t answer this” worked into the text, because everything I am says “answer it,” and everything I am says “don’t break the rules, don’t go against what people ask.”
Do you see the problem?
When I said “please do not message me about the death of my cat,” I meant “please do not message me about the death of my cat,” not “please do not message me unless you also give me permission not to answer.” I still have to answer. I cannot help it.
I am so, so grateful that other people are sorry for my loss. It doesn’t make the pain stop, but pain shared is pain lessened. At the same time, having people go directly and explicitly counter to what I have asked makes things worse, because now I am heartbroken and dehydrated and not being listened to.
I am not trying to be harsh, even though I understand that I may sound that way. But please, do not message me about Lilly’s death. Please, do not give me permission not to answer you. Only I can give myself that permission.
Please, be gentle with me right now.
So hey, using this ask and response as an example (not to single out either of the primary participants), this is just a general reminder:
When someone asks you to not do a thing, and you do the thing anyway, you are being disrespectful.
When someone asks you to not do a thing, and you do the thing anyway, even with the best intentions, you are being disrespectful.
When someone says “Please don’t message me about this topic” and you message them about that topic in spite of their request, you are being disrespectful.
Your desire to do the thing does not trump their desire to not have the thing done unto them, regardless of who or how or why the thing is being done.
This goes for talking to people who have clearly stated their desire to be left alone; reblogging posts which have “do not reblog” in the body or the tags, demanding that random bloggers who belong to marginalized groups educate your non-marginalized-along-that-axis ass about their marginalization after they’ve posted about how they want people not to do this, harassing people online or off, and a host of other topics. If someone has clearly stated their preference for the level of interaction they prefer and/or are capable of dealing with and you ignore that preference, you are being disrespectful and you need to stop.