On words and books and writing.
Steampunk and sci-fi.
Romance and action.
Fantasy and mystery.
Adults, but we promise to keep it SFW.

 

thewritingcafe:

Writing fantasy can be a bit overwhelming, especially since you have to create an entire world (in most sub genres) when you’re already trying to create characters and plots. Here’s a guide and some questions to get you started to inspire.
World Building:
Physical:

Geography: Make a map of your world. Start with an outline of the country, kingdom, or nation you’re making. Is it an island? Is it landlocked? Does it share borders with other countries or regions? Once you have your basic shape, you can add more borders within for states, provinces, kingdoms, and more smaller regions. Now place it somewhere on a globe. This will affect the geography and the climate of your world. Look up the ecosystems and geography of lands similar to yours.

Local Setting: Where is the general area that your story takes place? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Is there not enough sun because of all the trees? Are there mountains? Is there a tide? What does it smell like? Is the air polluted in one area more than another? How does that affect breathing, smell, and daily life? Those who lived near the Chicago Stockyards when it was open breathed bad air their entire lives. Going to a place with cleaner air was quite an odd experience for them.
Ecosystem: What animals are most common? Have your characters hunted any species to the point of extinction? Which animals have been domesticated? What plants and herbs grow there? Rural characters should have knowledge of the nature around them and the uses of certain plants and animals.


Climate: Climate depends on the geographical location and other environmental factors. This will affect your characters’ lives significantly.

Regions: Does your story take place in one country? Or many? Either way, these places are going to have small regions within whether they are called states, provinces, kingdoms, or whatever you want. Or maybe there are no regions. Your characters may just ambiguously refer to places as “the east” or “the lakes” if there is a place heavily ridden with bodies of water. A fictional island in one my stories has a place that many refer to as “the southern branch” because it is the southern most part of the island and it juts out from the rest. If you have regions, make up their borders. Are there border laws? Are people allowed to pass freely? Are criminals allowed to pass freely? Are there no set borders, but a general idea of where one region starts and another ends? Are there physical borders (such as a wall or a fence)? Do customs vary from region to region?

Astronomy: Consider how many moons your world has and constellations. Does your world notice stars? Have they given names to stars and constellations?

Villages, Towns, and Cities: When creating a city, town, or village, draw a map and consider who lives there. Draw the geography first. Is there a river that runs through it? Are there hills and forests? Or a swamp? Draw the major roads and note where there may be bridges or tunnels. Add the minor roads next and draw in buildings and homes. Your town could even follow a certain shape, like a circle that has a major building in the center. Maybe, for a smaller village, there is only one road and homes spread out on either side. Or perhaps there are no roads at all.

Population: How many people live in certain areas? Is the population high or low? Consider the average family size and life expectancy. If your characters live for a long time and have a low infant mortality rate, they may have a high population. Or maybe they live long enough to realize high population can be a problem, and thus limit the amount of children they have. The population will affect available jobs, amount of towns and cities, and the environment. Think of the diversity in the population. Are there more men than women? More children than adults? What about the percentages of race?

Foreign Lands: What are the foreign lands? Are they as advanced as the place your story takes place? More advanced? Less advanced? Do they have a bad or good history with your land? What is the relationship between these lands? How do their cultures differ? Are the borders controlled? What do these places look like? Have borders ever changed? Do mountains or rivers make up the borders?


Read More

thewritingcafe:

Writing fantasy can be a bit overwhelming, especially since you have to create an entire world (in most sub genres) when you’re already trying to create characters and plots. Here’s a guide and some questions to get you started to inspire.

World Building:

  • Physical:
Geography: Make a map of your world. Start with an outline of the country, kingdom, or nation you’re making. Is it an island? Is it landlocked? Does it share borders with other countries or regions? Once you have your basic shape, you can add more borders within for states, provinces, kingdoms, and more smaller regions. Now place it somewhere on a globe. This will affect the geography and the climate of your world. Look up the ecosystems and geography of lands similar to yours.
  • Local Setting: Where is the general area that your story takes place? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Is there not enough sun because of all the trees? Are there mountains? Is there a tide? What does it smell like? Is the air polluted in one area more than another? How does that affect breathing, smell, and daily life? Those who lived near the Chicago Stockyards when it was open breathed bad air their entire lives. Going to a place with cleaner air was quite an odd experience for them.
Ecosystem: What animals are most common? Have your characters hunted any species to the point of extinction? Which animals have been domesticated? What plants and herbs grow there? Rural characters should have knowledge of the nature around them and the uses of certain plants and animals.
Climate: Climate depends on the geographical location and other environmental factors. This will affect your characters’ lives significantly.
Regions: Does your story take place in one country? Or many? Either way, these places are going to have small regions within whether they are called states, provinces, kingdoms, or whatever you want. Or maybe there are no regions. Your characters may just ambiguously refer to places as “the east” or “the lakes” if there is a place heavily ridden with bodies of water. A fictional island in one my stories has a place that many refer to as “the southern branch” because it is the southern most part of the island and it juts out from the rest. If you have regions, make up their borders. Are there border laws? Are people allowed to pass freely? Are criminals allowed to pass freely? Are there no set borders, but a general idea of where one region starts and another ends? Are there physical borders (such as a wall or a fence)? Do customs vary from region to region?
Astronomy: Consider how many moons your world has and constellations. Does your world notice stars? Have they given names to stars and constellations?
Villages, Towns, and Cities: When creating a city, town, or village, draw a map and consider who lives there. Draw the geography first. Is there a river that runs through it? Are there hills and forests? Or a swamp? Draw the major roads and note where there may be bridges or tunnels. Add the minor roads next and draw in buildings and homes. Your town could even follow a certain shape, like a circle that has a major building in the center. Maybe, for a smaller village, there is only one road and homes spread out on either side. Or perhaps there are no roads at all.
Population: How many people live in certain areas? Is the population high or low? Consider the average family size and life expectancy. If your characters live for a long time and have a low infant mortality rate, they may have a high population. Or maybe they live long enough to realize high population can be a problem, and thus limit the amount of children they have. The population will affect available jobs, amount of towns and cities, and the environment. Think of the diversity in the population. Are there more men than women? More children than adults? What about the percentages of race?
Foreign Lands: What are the foreign lands? Are they as advanced as the place your story takes place? More advanced? Less advanced? Do they have a bad or good history with your land? What is the relationship between these lands? How do their cultures differ? Are the borders controlled? What do these places look like? Have borders ever changed? Do mountains or rivers make up the borders?

Read More

The gods have no mercy: 55 Words to Describe Someone's Voice

writinghelpers:

I was sitting on the computer last night trying to be productive and actually write something. My first sentence included the character listening to a voice through an intercom and my first thought was, “What kind of voice is it?”

So, naturally, I found myself googling…

Writers: You Might Be Doing It Wrong If...

terribleminds:

kawaiiofrp:


I’ve seen so many people portray ballerinas, or even dancers in general, wrong. Here’s two things that we need to get straight before going on:
Ballerinas are not anorexics.
Ballerinas do not turn into creepy-ass swans on stage, like in Black Swan. Nor do they get creepy needles in their skin.

Now, moving on. Now, many people make these guides based on how they see that they should be portrayed, but I’m making this guide from the inside. I, am a dancer myself, and I think that this would help many.

BODY

Although many see ballerinas as anorexic freaks in tights, they really aren’t that. Yes, dancers must be skinny, but they must have strong muscles. And that means all muscles. Including abs. Unlike musclemen, dancers must keep a toned body with strong muscles. 
A ballerina’s arms must have a delicate feeling to it, yet they must be strong and firm. A ballerina’s legs are very strong, and are full of muscle. Depending on how long and how much they dance, they could have hyper extended legs. As for feet, let’s just not say they’re the prettiest. So a personality idea or a a fact that many people might not know about is that the character might not like to wear closed-toed shoes. Details of the foot would include:
Veins are visible in the foot.
Toenails aren’t so pretty (Why? Because when dancers go on pointe, they have to cut their toenails so the impact of the hard box on the toe wouldn’t ruin the toenail. So don’t even think about doing a para about getting a pedicure. Stay with the manicure.)
Archy feet (Due to constant pointing of the foot)
Huge ankle and toe joints
Big toe may look like its pointing inward
And that’s just a little bit. 

NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

Dancers, as much as they look beautiful and make dancing seem effortless, it’s all apart of the act. Dancing, especially on pointe is absolutely painful. Here’s what you’d normally see:

“Sarah quickly got into class and put on her pointe shoes. She immediately got onto the dance floor and started spinning on her pointe shoes. She did 10 turns effortlessly, and just continued spinning.”

If I’d ever see this, I would find you and punch you in the face. First of all, every dancer must stretch. That includes:
Straddle
Splits (Right, left, & middle)
Barrework (This is especially important. You just don’t walk into a room and start dancing. You must warm up a little bit. These are often done in ballet shoes, then dancers go on pointe for center, although there are times when they do pointework at the barrè.)
Also, so many people get ballet turns wrong. For example:
Spin or turn is a pirouette.
Kick is a grand battement.
A full glossary of ballet terms can be found here. 
So, let’s do that little snippet one more time:

“Sarah hurried into class, almost being late. She got to the barré and quickly put her pointe shoes on. Today was Tuesday, so she knew that they did pointe at the barré. She tucked away her water bottle underneath the barré, pressed up against the wall as she learned the first combination. It was always this: pliés, tendus, degagés, frappés, grand battements, and finally onto center. They did a simple combination consisting of mainly glissades and échappés, and then went on to pirouettes. Keeping her stomach tight and her arms firmly placed in first, she got 5 rotations in, and was proud of herself. Her neck began to be sore from the constant spotting, but she continued doing pirouettes. Soon after, the class ended. Feeling proud of herself with her pirouettes, she decided to reward herself with a well-deserved smoothie.”

You see? There is much more technicality in the glossary of dancer than many people know. 

COMMON HABITS

One main habit of a dancer (as in the majority of dancers, competition & professional dancers alike) is to say that they’re fat, even though they know that they aren’t. It’s mainly due to how media portrays dancers as either anorexic freaks or bottle-blonde barbies with pointe shoes that go all the way up to their knee. 
Another habit is to tap out a a beat when they’re concentrating. This comes from always being surrounded by music.
Also, when learning or marking a combination, a dancer will often bite their lip, chew their cheek, or even stick out their tongue, which for some reason, helps concentrate. 
Another habit, sadly, is that dancers can be quite clumsy when not dancing. Whenever I trip or fall, I get a lot of ‘I thought you were supposed to be a dancer.’

STYLE

There are many different types of dancing, and different styles of different genres. Let’s take the USA for example. The West Coast is mainly about entertainment. If you look at dances from studios such as Dance Precisions, or Just Plain Dancin’, it’s a lot of entertainment, yet there’s still a lot of technicality. It’s because they’re all about entertainment that they seem so intimidating. Because it’s not all technical stuff, there is less things for judges to take off for, which means higher scores. The East Coast is mainly technicality. Many studios, such as ALDC, push their girls to the limit. For example, many girls on the East Coast at the age of 9 or 10 are already doing 6-7 turns. But of course, that doesn’t mean the West Coast isn’t that talented, too. It’s because of their hard tricks and leaps (ex. an aerial out of a turn combination) that they seem intimidating, too. But being a dancer that watches many dances from both sides, and has competed on both sides, I’ve learned this. The South Coast is basically a mix of it all. If you look at studios such as Masters Upper Level (my studio, yay!), there’s a lot of entertainment mixed with technicality (for example, our production Bugle Boy. You can find a video of it here).

I hope this helped you all, and I can’t wait to see more ballerinas in upcoming character bios!

In that dance I posted from my studio, I’m actually in it, although you won’t really be able to tell what I look like. I’m in the leap part from 2:07 to 2:13. I’m in other places, but this is where you’d be actually able to see me. I’m the center one, or the shortest one in that group. This dance was also nominated for ‘Best Performance of 2012’, but I’m not sure if we won or not. 

kawaiiofrp:

I’ve seen so many people portray ballerinas, or even dancers in general, wrong. Here’s two things that we need to get straight before going on:

  • Ballerinas are not anorexics.
  • Ballerinas do not turn into creepy-ass swans on stage, like in Black Swan. Nor do they get creepy needles in their skin.

Now, moving on. Now, many people make these guides based on how they see that they should be portrayed, but I’m making this guide from the inside. I, am a dancer myself, and I think that this would help many.

BODY

Although many see ballerinas as anorexic freaks in tights, they really aren’t that. Yes, dancers must be skinny, but they must have strong muscles. And that means all muscles. Including abs. Unlike musclemen, dancers must keep a toned body with strong muscles. 

A ballerina’s arms must have a delicate feeling to it, yet they must be strong and firm. A ballerina’s legs are very strong, and are full of muscle. Depending on how long and how much they dance, they could have hyper extended legs. As for feet, let’s just not say they’re the prettiest. So a personality idea or a a fact that many people might not know about is that the character might not like to wear closed-toed shoes. Details of the foot would include:

  • Veins are visible in the foot.
  • Toenails aren’t so pretty (Why? Because when dancers go on pointe, they have to cut their toenails so the impact of the hard box on the toe wouldn’t ruin the toenail. So don’t even think about doing a para about getting a pedicure. Stay with the manicure.)
  • Archy feet (Due to constant pointing of the foot)
  • Huge ankle and toe joints
  • Big toe may look like its pointing inward

And that’s just a little bit. 

NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

Dancers, as much as they look beautiful and make dancing seem effortless, it’s all apart of the act. Dancing, especially on pointe is absolutely painful. Here’s what you’d normally see:

“Sarah quickly got into class and put on her pointe shoes. She immediately got onto the dance floor and started spinning on her pointe shoes. She did 10 turns effortlessly, and just continued spinning.”

If I’d ever see this, I would find you and punch you in the face. First of all, every dancer must stretch. That includes:

  • Straddle
  • Splits (Right, left, & middle)
  • Barrework (This is especially important. You just don’t walk into a room and start dancing. You must warm up a little bit. These are often done in ballet shoes, then dancers go on pointe for center, although there are times when they do pointework at the barrè.)

Also, so many people get ballet turns wrong. For example:

  • Spin or turn is a pirouette.
  • Kick is a grand battement.

A full glossary of ballet terms can be found here

So, let’s do that little snippet one more time:

“Sarah hurried into class, almost being late. She got to the barré and quickly put her pointe shoes on. Today was Tuesday, so she knew that they did pointe at the barré. She tucked away her water bottle underneath the barré, pressed up against the wall as she learned the first combination. It was always this: pliés, tendus, degagés, frappés, grand battements, and finally onto center. They did a simple combination consisting of mainly glissades and échappés, and then went on to pirouettes. Keeping her stomach tight and her arms firmly placed in first, she got 5 rotations in, and was proud of herself. Her neck began to be sore from the constant spotting, but she continued doing pirouettes. Soon after, the class ended. Feeling proud of herself with her pirouettes, she decided to reward herself with a well-deserved smoothie.”

You see? There is much more technicality in the glossary of dancer than many people know. 

COMMON HABITS

  • One main habit of a dancer (as in the majority of dancers, competition & professional dancers alike) is to say that they’re fat, even though they know that they aren’t. It’s mainly due to how media portrays dancers as either anorexic freaks or bottle-blonde barbies with pointe shoes that go all the way up to their knee. 
  • Another habit is to tap out a a beat when they’re concentrating. This comes from always being surrounded by music.
  • Also, when learning or marking a combination, a dancer will often bite their lip, chew their cheek, or even stick out their tongue, which for some reason, helps concentrate. 
  • Another habit, sadly, is that dancers can be quite clumsy when not dancing. Whenever I trip or fall, I get a lot of ‘I thought you were supposed to be a dancer.’

STYLE

There are many different types of dancing, and different styles of different genres. Let’s take the USA for example. The West Coast is mainly about entertainment. If you look at dances from studios such as Dance Precisions, or Just Plain Dancin’, it’s a lot of entertainment, yet there’s still a lot of technicality. It’s because they’re all about entertainment that they seem so intimidating. Because it’s not all technical stuff, there is less things for judges to take off for, which means higher scores. The East Coast is mainly technicality. Many studios, such as ALDC, push their girls to the limit. For example, many girls on the East Coast at the age of 9 or 10 are already doing 6-7 turns. But of course, that doesn’t mean the West Coast isn’t that talented, too. It’s because of their hard tricks and leaps (ex. an aerial out of a turn combination) that they seem intimidating, too. But being a dancer that watches many dances from both sides, and has competed on both sides, I’ve learned this. The South Coast is basically a mix of it all. If you look at studios such as Masters Upper Level (my studio, yay!), there’s a lot of entertainment mixed with technicality (for example, our production Bugle Boy. You can find a video of it here).

I hope this helped you all, and I can’t wait to see more ballerinas in upcoming character bios!

In that dance I posted from my studio, I’m actually in it, although you won’t really be able to tell what I look like. I’m in the leap part from 2:07 to 2:13. I’m in other places, but this is where you’d be actually able to see me. I’m the center one, or the shortest one in that group. This dance was also nominated for ‘Best Performance of 2012’, but I’m not sure if we won or not. 

(Source: rpstagram)

I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison walls?

J. R. R. Tolkien

Novels aren’t just happy escapes; they are slivers of people’s souls, nailed to the pages, dripping ink from veins of wood pulp. Reading the right one at the right time can make all the difference.

Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians series

(Source: seabois)

slushpilehell:

HELLO!

This is to inform you that I happen to have pen-ed a book, a near-about 200-paged book.

And, I will be more than honored if your good-self will, at-least, bother to notice my efforts.

I am willing to send you the thorough book through e-mail itself, for your kind perusal, however, please assure me a mere statement that my book-work will be kept utmost confidential and secure by your good-self.

My good-self assures you that your book-work will be kept utmost confidential…apart from sharing it with SlushPile Hell readers for a cheap laugh.

neuroneptune:

flavorpill:

New E-book DRM Technology SiDiM is Kind of Terrifying
In case worrying about the NSA wasn’t bad enough, we can all look forward to the publishing industry trying their hand at big brother. Thrilling!

” First, of course, there’s the fact that this technology would change the prose, giving every e-book reader a slightly different text. As Paidcontent reported, this could “include changing wordings like “invisible” to “not visible” and “unhealthy” to “not healthy.””
GO AWAY.

neuroneptune:

flavorpill:

New E-book DRM Technology SiDiM is Kind of Terrifying


In case worrying about the NSA wasn’t bad enough, we can all look forward to the publishing industry trying their hand at big brother. Thrilling!

” First, of course, there’s the fact that this technology would change the prose, giving every e-book reader a slightly different text. As Paidcontent reported, this could “include changing wordings like “invisible” to “not visible” and “unhealthy” to “not healthy.””

GO AWAY.

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

C.S. Lewis

(Source: writingfromthebones)