i aim my arrows high















pulpofiction:

there is a huge difference between writing a scenario for cheap emotional manipulation and writing a scenario necessary to further a character’s journey into becoming their fully realized self

the latter targets the character first, and then you. the former just targets you

6 days ago with 635 notes — via pulpofiction
#writing #media responsibility



To new/discouraged writers:

enjolrastic:

You don’t have to have 100+ notes on everything you write to have quality writing. Keep writing.

You don’t need to have reviews praising the ground you walk on—you don’t even need readers at all. Keep writing.

You don’t need to come up with the most unheard-of plot lines and most accepted head canons to have quality writing. Keep writing.

And most importantly, you don’t have to have quality writing right now and that’s okay. Keep writing.

We all start somewhere. It takes a lot of courage to post something for complete strangers to read, but keep writing. Keep posting. Keep asking for feedback. Look for people to help you grow. And many years later, you might roll your eyes and feel secondhand embarrassment over your past self’s word choices and character development. But I really hope that when that happens, you then go and pick up a pen or open up a blank document and you keep writing, knowing how far you’ve come and how far you can go.

6 days ago with 4159 notes — via meggannn, © enjolrastic
#writing #fanfiction



memoriescantwait:

I really wish people would stop confusing a story being “light” or “dark” with it being “optimistic” or “cynical”. A story can be a light-hearted comedy and ultimately promote a really depressing and jaded worldview. It can also be dark and have lots of character death and ultimately end up with an uplifting, hopeful message (the last few Harry Potter books, anyone?)

Light/dark has to do with a work’s overall tone, and optimistic/cynical usually has to do with the message or theme. They aren’t necessarily related, and good writers will often mix and match them to play with audience expectations.

The fact that some people don’t get this ruins a lot of attempts at media analysis on the Internet.

(Addendum: Also, whether people are right about a work being “cynical” or not, I really wish people wouldn’t use that as a way to bash the work. I understand this is a reaction to other people doing the reverse - to the idea of “True Art is Angsty,” and I agree, that’s bullshit - but that doesn’t mean we should swing all the way to the other end of the spectrum. Both cynicism and optimism have their places. You aren’t like, revolutionary and against-the-grain for assuming optimism is always better; you’re just stupid in another direction. The costs of taking a more optimistic approach to a particular issue when a more cynical approach is necessary is just as high as vice versa, if not higher.)

1 week ago with 106 notes — via meggannn, © memoriescantwait
#writing #media awareness #cultural criticism



schmergo:
I like reading all three of these as actual short stories,

schmergo:


I like reading all three of these as actual short stories,

1 week ago with 322370 notes — via meggannn, © frostingpeetaswounds
#the hunger games #twilight #harry potter #books #writing



annabellioncourt:

I never knew how true and realistic and non-exaggerated this episode was until I went to college.

1 week ago with 246337 notes — via nosoftsound, © thekrustyykrabb
#spongebob squarepants #writing



"

I was asked in an interview once: You’re writing another book with a female lead? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to be pigeonholed? And I thought, I write a team superhero book, an uplifting solo hero book, I write a horror-western, and I write a ghost story. What am I gonna be pigeonholed as?

Has a man in the history of men ever been asked if he was going to be pigeonholed because he wrote two consecutive books with male leads? Half of the population is women. I lose my temper here. And it’s certainly not at you. It’s just this pervasive notion that “white male” is the default. And you have to justify any variation from it.

"
1 week ago with 25410 notes — via thingssheloves, © kierongillen
#writing #feminism #media awareness



This is why I call bullshit on whining about “political correctness” affecting your writing.

fixyourwritinghabits:

Writing is not about your comfort. I have no idea who sold you the idea that writing is a comfortable, easy thing. Pushing yourself as a writer is part of the experience. If you feel uncomfortable about writing diverse characters, then you need to double down and commit yourself to doing the best job you can. Read diverse works, support POC, LGBTQ, and other writers. It’s only by stretching yourself can you grow as a writer.

Writing is never free from critique. People are going to call you out on grammar mistakes. They’re going to call you out on weak plot. They’re going to call you out on misrepresenting your characters. It’s not about how they say it, it’s not about whether or not you’re a good person, it’s about a failure in your writing. Deal with it. Apologize sincerely, and strive to do better. You’re being held back by a fear of something you’ve never even tried to do. I have fucked up on this blog and I have been rightfully called out for it. I apologize, and strive to do better. You can too.

Diversity isn’t for token points, it’s to reflect your world and your readers. No one is asking you to throw in a ______ character as if it’s some kind game you’re trying to win. We’re asking you to be realistic. Barack Obama is the president of the whole damn United States, but your story set in New York City doesn’t include a single person of color? That’s just insulting.

You already have the tools. This question already had the answers. The only reason why I answered it at all is because it implies some underlying belief that learning about other people is somehow hard. The tools are out there, use them. You know what you should be researching, you know there are books out there by writers of color. Read them. Do your own research. This is a fundamental element of writing.

If your stories can have faeries and dragons but no people of color, you have a problem. If your sci-fi space crew of hundreds just happens to all be straight, you’re deluding yourself. If you’ve gone through the trouble of painting new worlds and imagining new societies, but can’t seem to include anyone who isn’t straight, cis, able-bodied, or white, your story is flawed. It’s not even that hard to fix it! The refusal to even consider it is on you. The problems behind your story start with you. You have the power to change this.

Publishing is looking for diverse stories. You can ask them:

[D]iverse publishing is not a “niche” market, it is this country’s present—and future. Literary agent Adriana Dominguez

No one is asking you to never write white or straight characters. No one is asking you to change everything about your writing. No one is asking you to do all of this immediately without researching first. We’re asking you to try.

Please. Just try.

3 weeks ago with 1584 notes — via fixyourwritinghabits
#media responsibility #writing



fixyourwritinghabits:

Hi, I used to be so passionate about writing. I literally wrote all the time and it was my life. For the past year or so though, I just can’t get myself to do it. I just simply don’t have any ideas (or any ideas that haven’t been done in some form before). When I do manage to write something, I stop because I think it’s terrible. Part of me feels like I just don’t have talent anymore, but I don’t want to give up. How do I get back into writing? Thank you xx
We have several tags that I hope might help you - Powering Through, Motivation, Inspiration, and Writer’s Block. Other than that, I hope the following advice can help you:
  • Start slow. Don’t force it. Set a time, but if that’s too hard, write when you feel like it. This isn’t something you should force.
  • Start small. Don’t feel like you have to write a novel. Start with snippets, play with ideas, try new forms.
  • Doodle. If you sit down and can’t write, find some way to move your pen. Drawing might lead to words, which will lead to sentences. Don’t be afraid to channel your childhood self.
  • Get help. Find encouragement. Join a writing group just to listen, hang out on writing boards. Find someone to bounce ideas off of. Find places you can get ideas.
  • Do something that’s not writing. Pick up a new hobby. Take pictures, paint. Do something that will encourage your creativity in other ways. The words will come, they just need a little help.
This is hard, but it’s not hopeless! You can do it, anon.
3 weeks ago with 191 notes — via fixyourwritinghabits
#writing



soulfulkoala:

Don’t apologise for this answer at all! Thanks so much for taking the time out to give such a long, in-depth, thoughtful response to my question. :) I think it’s interesting that you point out struggles with your health (mentally and physically) and with your general life (socially, quality of life, etc) as a result of trying so hard to be as prolific as you’ve been. I’ve tended to do the same in the past, and I also have a personality disorder that I’ve recently started receiving medication for, though mine is generalised anxiety disorder.

To also get super personal (hah, oops), I think my writing is affected by my anxiety in the sense that I tend to either not start projects that I have loads of ideas for just because I’m afraid they won’t turn out the way I want them to or because I’m afraid I just won’t do it justice, or I’ll dive head first into a project and overly commit to it with the idea that I won’t finish it if I don’t write it all right now in one sitting, which is illogical, sure, but anxiety itself is an illogical process.

My big fear in my writing, I guess, is that I tend to never finish things much longer than roughly 5-10K just because, like I said, if I can’t get it done in one sitting, I feel like I can’t do it at all for whatever reason, or if I try to come back to it a second time, even if it’s only a day or two later, I’ll feel like I’ve lost the “spark” or momentum that I’d been building up. That’s something I need to work on, because I obviously don’t want to spend my life or career writing exclusively short stories (or, if we’re talking in fan fiction terms, rather short one shots).

If you don’t mind, I would sort of like to ask you a few other questions about your process itself? Like, basically, do you always outline a story completely before you dive into actually writing it? Do you always know where it’s going to go, and do you ever write character sketches or character bios before you start a fic, just to get an idea of how your characterisation of the person is going to be within the context of that particular universe (i.e. Harry/Aiden/Louis dynamic and personalities in Blokes in Cardigans being entirely distinct and separate from their personalities and dynamic in Sheylinson, or even the fact that Harry/Louis in Millie fic is obviously completely distinct from Harry/Louis in Sheylinson, even discounting George’s presence in that story)?

I’m sorry for sort of overloading you with so many questions, but you’re probably the fandom writer that I sort of admire or look up to the most, at least in the sense of me enjoying the things that you produce, both because I love the stories and because, as a writer, I can also appreciate the time and effort it takes to create such strong characters and plot lines. 

Again, thanks for answering my question. And sorry also for getting so longwinded on my end as well! :)

I’m reblogging this fresh so that I don’t clog up people’s dashes by adding a long answer onto a long answer onto a long answer!

To also get super personal (hah, oops), I think my writing is affected by my anxiety in the sense that I tend to either not start projects that I have loads of ideas for just because I’m afraid they won’t turn out the way I want them to or because I’m afraid I just won’t do it justice, or I’ll dive head first into a project and overly commit to it with the idea that I won’t finish it if I don’t write it all right now in one sitting, which is illogical, sure, but anxiety itself is an illogical process.

Yes, same.  (Obviously. See Genesis. And Deaf!Harry. And Gellababy. And H/G/L mpreg. And like 8 different original fiction manuscripts on my desktop.)  BUT I think trying to find a balance between Big Projects You’re Passionate About and Little Projects You Can Write For Fun helps.  That’s why sometimes I just post a one-shot about George’s sweet peach booty instead of working on a bigger fic that requires more… well, anxiety.

Writing things that take longer than one sitting is definitely an acquired taste and an acquired skill.  If rereading yesterday’s work and hating it is part of the problem, write each day’s segment in a fresh, clean, empty document, and don’t compile them until the end!  Or at least do a page-break every night before you go to sleep so that it LOOKS clean and empty when you sit down again.  Sometimes, writing longhand with a pretty pen in a cute notebook, letting it sit a few days, and then transcribing it into your document feels “safer” than composing by computer.  At least for me, that works.  I don’t know why!  I think it probably puts me in a mindset more akin to when I would just doodle stories during math class for my own fun than trying to think of the words as eventually being publicly read.

If you don’t mind, I would sort of like to ask you a few other questions about your process itself? Like, basically, do you always outline a story completely before you dive into actually writing it?

It depends!  When Lucy and I write together, if it’s a long piece like Landslide or Part 9 of Sheylinson, we discuss the general arc we’re looking for thematically and in tone/voice, plus suggesting specific scenes that we know we want to write.  If we’re just writing something short and light like Wingdings, though, we just wing it.  We alternate sentences when we write together anyway, so it’s like a game of telephone! ^_^

When I’m writing on my own, I do outline more formally, but with fic I always end up deviating from what I’d planned.  With original fiction, I stick to my outlines pretty religiously, but no one reads my original fiction so that doesn’t matter. :P  My favorite outlining stucture is Dan Harmon’s Plot Embryo!

I like it because it forces me to think about character development in a structured and paced way, which is one of my (many) weak points. Obviously. Given that my average fic is about 3x as long as a novel. Welp.  I just tend to get really excited about worldbuilding stuff and forget that things have to HAPPEN within the world and that they have to happen with gravitas that comes from the characters and not just the effects on the world/setting.  This helps keep me in check.  Ish.

Do you always know where it’s going to go, and do you ever write character sketches or character bios before you start a fic, just to get an idea of how your characterisation of the person is going to be within the context of that particular universe (i.e. Harry/Aiden/Louis dynamic and personalities in Blokes in Cardigans being entirely distinct and separate from their personalities and dynamic in Sheylinson, or even the fact that Harry/Louis in Millie fic is obviously completely distinct from Harry/Louis in Sheylinson, even discounting George’s presence in that story)?

Yes — I have to know the ending before I can start a story.  I usually write the last scene first, if it’s something long, or at least have it VERY well-visualized!  Like, we knew the interrogation room blowjob was a thing before we’d planned most of Landslide, and the return to the bungalow for Millie’s fifth birthday was the second scene of Milliefic that I wrote.  Part of why I’m having trouble with Genesis is that my outline’s changed so much that the ending CAN’T be what I’d planned/written! D:

I have mixed feelings about character biographies.  I love them, but I love them to the point where I used to spend so much time on detailed FOLDERS and FOLDERS of character bio that I never ended up having a story to write because I’d exhausted the idea of the character to a point where they’d become static.  I also have an actual issue, kind of, with those “100 essential questions for every character!” surveys because… I don’t think those things are essential to most stories.  I think your theme and your interests and your scope determine what’s essential to know to write your characters in the way that’s most meaningful to THAT STORY.  And I also don’t like anything that makes writing too, like, prescribed?  Contrary to loving the Plot Embryo?  I don’t like writing that reads like anyone could have done it because they clearly used the 100 Questions Characterization and the Inverse Triangle Outline and went to TVTropes to pick their characters’ flaws.  You, as the writer, know what is essential to write your characters with empathy, and I feel like everyone writer has to know some different tiny detail to really ~feel~ their characters.  I have to know how they eat.  What, when, with whom, why, I feel like the role of food in a character’s life is a nexus that I can build the rest of them around and if that doesn’t fit within the thematic scope or plotline I’m sticking them in, then they’re not the right character.  But that’s just me.  Someone else might need to know fashion or books or animals/pets or school subjects or what have you.  I just don’t think that knowing a middle name is ever as important, per se.

THAT SAID, I feel like knowing your world is what has to determine both the characters and the plotline.  Like, Millie!Harry WOULD BE different from Cardigans!Harry or Sheylinson!Harry because the world he lives in is drastically different, and Genesis!Harry’s world is even more different from that.  For me, the most important part of fanfiction is the interplay between who the character “really is” and who the character is in the world you’re writing.  If you write a fic where you give Harry a baby and don’t change his mindset and behaviors to accommodate that, it won’t be as good, or whatever, or if you make Harry half-cat or a farmer or a photography student or WHATEVER.  It has to affect his personality, just like it would for a real person! :)

Same for pairings, like Milliefic!H/L versus Sheylinson!H/L.  Yeah, 1D exists in both of their worlds, but Millie doesn’t, and that’s a huuuuuge difference in who both of them would be as individuals, which changes their relationship dynamic hugely, too.

I’m sorry for sort of overloading you with so many questions, but you’re probably the fandom writer that I sort of admire or look up to the most, at least in the sense of me enjoying the things that you produce, both because I love the stories and because, as a writer, I can also appreciate the time and effort it takes to create such strong characters and plot lines.

Welp, thank you. <33  That’s really, really sweet!

3 weeks ago with 10 notes
#soulfulkoala #people who are sweet #writing #narcissism probably #long post #personal



4 weeks ago with 62076 notes — via sheeren, © etsy
#writing #i loooove the designer of this notebook #her blog is so cute and pretty



"As a writer, I’m more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened."
— Kazuo Ishiguro  (via rachelannbrickner)
1 month ago with 4106 notes — via fixyourwritinghabits, © booksalon
#writing #kazuo ishiguro



"Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot."
— Leigh Brackett (via writersrelief)
1 month ago with 2291 notes — via fixyourwritinghabits, © writersrelief
#writing



Anonymous said:

Considering the recent asks and reactions, I'm looking at my projects (multicultural sci-fi fantasy, and agender protag YA) and I'm getting both depressed and terrified. I don't know whether the insignificant, selfish joy of telling my story will ever be worth the risk that I'm going to get something wrong and hurt someone. It's not criticism I'm afraid of... it's hurting ANYONE, even a stranger, even once. Is this surmountable, or should I take it that this is a sign I shouldn't write at all?

fixyourwritinghabits:

It’s a sign that you’re a very caring individual who truly does want to do right for situations you don’t know very much about. There are two ways of dealing with fuck-ups

  • The wrong way is to make a mistake, and when called on it, bend over backwards to claim it’s not a mistake, that other people are wrong, that you’re ‘sorry they’re offended.’
  • The right way is to sincerely apologize when making a mistake, maybe ask about on how to correct it or do some research, and carry on, mistake fixed.

Too many people let the fear of mistakes keep them from writing people of color, from writing queer people, from writing women. Too many people throw up their hands and end up writing the same old stuff, because they’re not willing to let themselves go through this process. But what kind of writer are you if you can’t take the advice of Ms. Frizzle? Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy. If your apologizes are as sincere as your intentions, you’ll be fine.

1 month ago with 54 notes — via fixyourwritinghabits
#writing #note to self #media responsibility #social awareness



ALL DAY, I have been trying to remember the name of a specific class of pirate that starts with the letter G.  It sounds like garibaldi or gondolier but obviously is neither of those words.

WHAT THE FRICK WORD AM I THINKING OF???

1 month ago with 6 notes
#WRITING #skellerbzzt #stelmarias #kaikamahine #i feel like you'd know



"

I spent some time this week trawling through customer reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, in order to look for trends — paying particular attention to the scathing one-star reviews that inevitably warn all other readers against buying or reading the disliked book. Starred reviews affix to all works of literature a kind of efficiency rating, which over time average out to a meaningless valuation somewhere between the middle threes and the low fours.

King Lear is valued at 3.87; Paradise Lost at 3.74; The Divine Comedy at 4.0. Although there is a great deal of variation in the five-star reviews, the one-star reviews are overwhelmingly alike, even across genres and styles of literature. I noticed the recurrence of three principal objections: (1) this book was confusing; (2) this book was boring; and (3) this book was badly written.

“Confusing”, “boring” and “bad” are fine complaints, and in many cases may be pertinent complaints, but they are not criticisms. They are three different ways of saying that the work in question failed to evoke any response from the reviewer at all. Far from describing and critiquing a literary encounter — the job of criticism — such “reviews” only make it clear that a literary encounter never took place.

The book in question is evaluated as a product, and because the product has failed to perform as advertised, it is judged to be deficient. These negative appraisals are rarely developed beyond, “If I had understood/enjoyed/been interested in this book, it would have been better.” I am always tempted to reply: “If you had understood/enjoyed/been interested in this book, you would have been better.”

"
2 months ago with 34 notes
#books #literature #writing