hella more stuffs ++The 5 Most Dangerous Creativity/Productivity Myths:
i've been wearing my sig for a long time for a reason
flash fiction contest: http://www.ttbook.org/3-minute-futures
[thanks to lamat for the tip]
the hemingway app: http://hemingwayapp.com/
you guys -- look at that. look at it. use it. use it to help you find your sore spots so you can edit them (it doesn't tell you how to edit them but it highlights what's "wrong" and tells you basically why). H says i'm writing at a 2nd-3rd grade level but that just means everyone can read and understand what i'm writing...
read more? read what, tho
the only sentence you need to use in fiction: mind blown
braaaap from the resident troll asshole/s You need to read this one first if you're serious about improving
Change your perspective on outlines:
an open letter to pantsers...
goody good-good for you if you THINK you write well without a plan. bless your little heart. but think about how much better you'd be if you planned your stories. maybe you'd finish one for once. stop being scared and give it a shot, if you can without sabotaging yourself to fail to satisfy your ego. if you're scared of #3, then you're only fooling yourself. you're only limited by your imagination. so what does that say about you.
sincerely, an ex-pantser (who learned to embrace a plan and whose results improved exponentially)
P.S. -- getting defensive about this topic with me here will only make me laugh at you so think carefully before you show your ass and
Workshopping with Rasp: Part 2 of 3In the first part of this workshop, I talked about how to create compelling characters. This part will be about what drives them and how to royally ruin their day so you can entertain your readers. compelling characters are useless without a story. This is where motivation and conflict come in.
What is it? A state of being that exists when needs or wants are not being fulfilled and the desire to have those needs or wants satisfied.
On a basic level, humans have needs. I hope we are familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs because that is what I'm about to draw from. If not, here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs . On the bottom rung, we have physiological needs that must be met for basic survival: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, h
Workshopping with Rasp: Part 1 of 3Here it is, as promised. Keep in mind that even though I do not have formal training as a writer, these are the things I keep in mind when writing my characters. I have had varying levels of success here at dA and you are free to use my ideas or not. I'm not claiming to know it all, the below is not gospel and it's not guaranteed. But you never know.
Comments are appreciated, haters are welcome.
How to Create Compelling Characters
I can't speak for everyone but I read for compelling characters. If the characters really move me, the plot can be as thin as it wants; though it's not always easy to have characters carry the whole thing if nothing is happening.
Where do we find compelling characters? In books, of course, but they're obviously not confined to books. Compelling characters in movies are just as important. Unless you're doing improv, plays and movie
Your ideas have no value.http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236605
first of all, the source doesn't really matter. an idea is an idea is an idea. if someone thinks it's the best or someone else thinks it's the worst, it's worthless until it's put into action and proved one way or the other.
now, i know i'm not the only one who thinks this around here, but posting this in the lit forums is a waste of time because i think there'd be more confusion than it's worth, seeing as noobs are always more interested in writing about their ideas instead of writing the stories that sprout from the ideas, as well as thinking everyone wants to steal their ideas.. the only thing of value from that is the laughs i get while i curse their parents.
what are your thoughts?
Dialogue WorkshopI want this workshop to be somewhat different from other workshops -- I'm going to break this down into two categories: technical elements and personal advice.
And I hate to say this, but the following information in this workshop only works if applied. Osmosis and good intentions do not work. Sorry.
PRE-EMPTIVE TLDR NUTSHELL
To write effective dialogue, there has to be a basic understanding of what communication is. Wikipedia sums it up nicely: the meaningful exchange of information between two or more people. It's easy but not at the same time.
This has to do with actual concepts for crafting effective dialogue. For the most part, I had to research the details but you'll be able to pick out what I added on my own. You know how I get and if you don't, you soon will. No apologies for that.
Links to the websites I used will follow.
Some of the worst advice I've seen and that I'm s
John Green talks about why we read (and write)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSYw502dJNY&feature=share&listL8dPuuaLjXtOeEc9ME62zTfqc0h6Pe8vb
if you're a writer, watch this video now.
if you don't take the few moments it takes to do this task...
then you simply don't care about understanding why you do what you do.
//IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT'S ABOUT THE STORY
///actually, watch his entire Literature series. no one else did so he stopped. travesty.
Five tips for making quality submissions: http://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/02/27/writers-relief/
A CALL TO ALL LIT GROUP OWNERS Profanity ahead? You betcha!
You owe it to your members and to the lit community at large to weed out/read the stories and poems you receive. You owe it to your members and the lit community at large to not be just another warehouse storage site for everyone's shitty work. How do you do this? I mean, that would be, like actually taking an active interest in your group. That's hard. I know you have Minecraft and Skyrim to play and every other stupid excuse in the world to not babysit your group -- it's so much easier to auto-accept every piece of scat that comes across your group's inbox! You don't have to do anything!
You are part of the problem why lit quality is so low.
You owe your members more than one asshole who thinks it's alright to submit his horrible fucking angst-ridden emo horseshit to 100+ groups (not an exaggeration). You've s
FINISH WHAT YOU STARThttp://writerswrite.co.za/basic-plot-structure-the-five-plotting-moments-that-matter
stop playing with your own shit in the dark and get it the fuck done
//leave me alone
///you got nine days
////unless it's an emergency
an interesting sentence from an excruciatingly long farticle/review of books that do this (excruciating because i have shit to do): "Whenever a writer comments on his or her own work, there's inevitably an attempt — futile and foolish — to control how readers engage with that work."
my research for the day --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPP8w0wMRgQ&list=RD02kp_bI2vU7dE
FaeriefireWe all hid when the faeries dueled.
You and I were in the closet, wishing to each other half-secretly among the motes that the duels could be rare as dragons, at least. Instead they were only rare as quarter-moons.
Ground liquifies, sometimes, during a duel. The stars brighten and fall faster, leaving holes in the ground and setting forests alight. The sun hides in a bird’s nest, they say.
We did not see when the damage was done. We were accustomed to avoiding to know even the names of those who fought. Our eyes were far from windows.
But duels always ended the day after they began, and we stepped out as if we were free.
Your eyes caught the light first, and when I followed them my air caught in my throat. Like going underwater without the protection of a mermaid.
That day our world was on fire. The glass of the town hall had melted to colorful puddles on the ground. Some houses were gone - some people too, I realized. Surviva
He was white.
But, not the
--"controversial at political dinner parties" and "this racist comment will cost him the election kind"--
Stark, snowy, riveting white.
His hair was always victim to the static that came from
the mountain of pillows that topped off his hospital bed.
He always lay there,
a beacon in the middle of the dark, mudd brown, living room.
I suppose it was hell to live the last of his life there,
but at six, I thought he was God,
living on a cloud that was Heaven.
I remember his warm hands, their blue lines, and their wrinkles,
the way his smile never met his eyes--
and his eyes said he had more in his mind than his mouth could say.
I would study him for hours while he slept,
Hoping he would wake up, be glad that I was there to cure his loneliness,
and give me secrets to the world.
Once in awhile, I was lifted to the wintery heights of his bed,
Set beside him to talk.
And his warm hands would cup over mine,
Whilst I told him about the dandelio
Under the Willow TreeHome
Once upon a time, a very, very long time ago, there existed a young girl who loved to paint. She did so many things with only the tip of her fingers. She painted the sun orange, the oceans blue, and the grass green. One day, she noticed a paintbrush lying under the willow tree.
"What is this?" she asked, for she had only created with her fingers. "Where did it come from?" She received no reply.
She was a curious girl, and instinctively dipped the point into her maroon paint. Streaking the brush across her paper, she gasped.
"It works so much better than my hands!"
She swooped and swooped with the brush until the sun dipped, and smiled the whole time. It was growing dark, however, and the girl was tired. She collected her things, sealed off her paint, and slept beneath the arms of the willow tree.
The young girl grew accustomed to the paintbrush, and began to favor the instrument. She drew nature more vividly, and the grass was a brighter shade of green. The ocean and sky bl
The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
Blank EntryInspector Andel removed her contact screens and allowed herself a small sigh of nostalgia. She had borrowed a tablet from the archives department, and now weathered hands were flicking their way through cold case files. Hand-typed files. She'd almost forgotten that she used to deliver reports just like these.
"It's not the 20s any more, Andel. We don't use tablets."
Andel had been too absorbed to notice Dieter sneaking up on her until the overbearing git had pulled up a chair opposite. Dieter was tall, young, charismatic, and by all accounts was everything Andel was not.
"Cold cases," she said, with a lot less venom than she had intended, "It's the only way to view the reports."
Dieter leaned back and propped his feet up on her desk. "Ah yes, cold cases. Well I suppose you have to do something while your officers are out with the response teams."
She ignored the feet bouncing obtrusively at her. It was too late to say anything now – she had to pretend they never bothered h
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
eugenics in bulkBy the time she was twelve they had already decided she would marry a man who could run a five minute mile and speak seven languages. They chose her a husband the same way they had chosen her eyes and her legs and the pale freckles that interrupted her nose - the same way their parents had designed their children and arranged their marriages, strategic.
Her father called her petite reine. He owned an antique chess board carved from ebony wood and maple. Some days she'd sneak into the library, pry open the old chequered box and pick out one of the queens, and she'd turn it round and round, searching for imperfections. It was a plain, ugly thing, huge and fat in her tiny grasp. She had wondered if he thought of her this way.
She wondered the same now.
Her hands were not her own. A businessman in a white coat had grown them slender and strong, built her carbon fiber bones and nails like arrowheads. Her mother reminded her of this when the
FloodgatesWe’re lined up as we enter Year Seven.
Rulers are pulled out, skirts inspected. Three inches above the knee, no more.
Our skirts are millimeters too short. We hope to pass. If we pass, we’re allowed into the house. Those who don’t are sent home so their mothers can mend what’s broken.
They scour for torn hems, loose stitches, and find none. But Marissa filled out over the summer, and the back of her skirt rises up her thigh nearly an inch above an appropriate level. We share a knowing glance as she flows out of our line, thrust back into the office where someone will call her mother to gather her. Our mothers taught us to lean back when the ruler passed, to let the hem dip down to the creases of our knees. No one would know. When we pass, we share a silent victory.
When they can’t hear us, we whisper about Marissa’s chest, how red splotches cover her nose and cheekbones. We think she won’t come back, girls like her never do, and seventh years a
love people"We call everything a river here."
there's a love parade
beautiful blue and white houses
spill children into the street
like beads of happy colored glass--
music all over.
the trees are spring,
fall, and summer,
green yellow maples
all love people
two moons to a face
I think of a quiet
pebbled stream in this moonlight
and a younger woman,
like a single brush of ink,
as the pebbled stream dips,
into winter, or untimed wild.
Where Seagulls Dare “There’s no escape, you know.”
Thomas put his head on one side, slapping the water out of his ear. “Sorry?”
“There’s no escape...from the island.” The heavily bearded man gave him a stare. “The same rocks that sank your vessel have defeated my every attempt at floating a raft.”
“Oh.” Thomas wasn’t sure exactly what one was supposed to say in this situation. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“There’s food enough to get by here, if you don’t mind bitter roots, insects, sour berries. That’s almost the cruellest thing.” Beneath his stitched-leaf hat, his eyes gazed out to sea. “Compared with the open ocean, this place offers a fair chance of survival. But can it really be called living? Trapped here...on the island?”
A Turning Point in the Clockwork WarA war of attrition
depends on supply and drawdown,
how much you have and how much you use up.
With personnel, the balance concerns
the influx of recruitment versus
the outflow of casualties, deserters, invalids.
There is only so much loss
that a fighting force can sustain
and still fight.
Pilot Claude Archer was the first
to challenge his invalid discharge.
"I don't need legs to fly," he said,
patting the healed stumps of his thighs.
"My Osprey runs on elbow grease."
The members of the discharge board
paused and looked at each other.
What he said was true.
The Osprey-class fighter jets
relied on hand controls,
and a sharp eye and iron nerve.
Fingers flicked through the stack
of discharge papers -- so many, many pages.
So many soldiers lost, never to fight again.
They could not afford to let slip even one
who might be retained, somehow,
to face the front line once more.
Far less could the war effort spare
one of its best pilots.
So they put Pilot Archer back on the roster,
Inspector Wolf The old lady was dead. I could smell it before I even got into the house. The whole place reeked of adrenaline, sweat, fear, copper and steel. He’d dropped her right in her living room. Chopped and chopped until she stopped moving. But I could tell I was getting close. This had been done in a hurry, and the killer didn’t have the time to clean up after himself like he usually did.
Across the room, the phone rang. The shrill sound set my teeth to grinding, but I ignored it. Instead I followed the killer’s bloody footprints into the back bedroom. He’d climbed out the window. If I hurried, I could catch up to him and end this disgusting spree he was on.
Then the answering machine kicked in. “Hi, Gramma! It’s Red. Sorry I’m running late. I kind of lost track of time. But don’t worry. I packed the picnic and I’m heading out the door right now. Love you.”
She’d been expec
Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp
Glass MemoriesDearly Beloved,
Hey, love, it’s me again. It’s winter now – the icy wind throws itself at these stained cinderblock walls but to no avail; a wall works both ways.
A year has passed since I last spoke with you – a year already! No, I’m sure it was yesterday – a Monday.
I never did like Mondays.
I remember where we met. In the subway. You were the last to board a crowded train, I stood up as the wheels began to creak, glancing at you as I did so and nodding ever so slightly towards the empty seat. You laughed and called me a gentlemen, tucking those few strands of honey-colored hair behind your ear. Your nails were painted blue. Light blue. Like the sky.
The mass of people gradually thinned out as we neared the end of the route, until you and I were the only ones left in that car. We sat awkwardly next to each other – you twirling your hair and I fiddling with the buttons on my shirt cuff. I don’t know why I didn’t get up and move.
BombadilHe was there to form his songs
When the earth to none belonged
The singer saw no paths were laid
No footfalls yet in fen or glade
No hunter, plowman, prince or serf
Settled on this virgin earth
The sun was young, horizons free,
No mast or sail yet dot the sea
Not even high-born Elvin kind
Found this place in form or mind
His song began; he stood alone…
To fruit the earth—seed, nut and cone
Long he sang and forests grew
Frond and petal graced with dew
Mountains smoothed from gentle rains
Quenching thirst and growing grain
Vast in numbers, both bird and beast
Came to revel in his feast
Man-kind also settled there
Lordly men and damsels fair
Kings and kingdoms put each to test
Hobbled East—entombed the West
Shadows came from o’er the sea
From which all that's wholesome flees
This bestirred those long-dead Kings
And made them covet living things
Our Singer’s friends by chance drew near
They lay entranced and choked with fear
To succor friends at their great ne
Strawberry (An ice-cream in December)
I disassemble –
heart after limp,
brain before muscle.
You hear the pieces fall.
Sometimes, all I can ask for is an itchy blanket over me, and a cup of steaming tea between my calloused fingers, bringing the smell of hot strawberry to my nostrils, until the smile of content overwhelmingly fills my chest. Sometimes, all I can ask for is death.
I don’t like mornings. I never liked mornings. The sun is mocking – glaring from his heaven to a place grey and heavy with nothing but vanity, and shoving his hard light to all the ugliness around. Night is not like that. Night is beautiful. Night smells of wet leaves and falling stars and wishes forgotten in the sigh of two lips touching. Night brings the twittering song of a hidden cricket, a lullaby lost in the fading dreams of two bodies nesting one in another. Night is not like mornings.
The breeze is cool tonight – comforting, dancing around the baby blue curtains of the kitchen. The TV plays in
Bo.When Lindsay was born, Bo was there. Standing beside her mother, he was the first thing she ever saw. But he was not her father; her father stood on the other side.
Bo was there until the very moment she died.
The sun shone bright through the windows of her pink-laden room. She loved pink. And black.
“Because Bo is black,” she’d told her parents.
Her imaginary friend, they soon concluded.
“Bo is all black,” she described one night as her father tucked her in, “His skin and his hair and everything. He doesn’t talk a lot.”
Her father frowned.
“He sounds scary.”
“He’s not,” she insisted.
Bo sat on the bed and said nothing.
Her father kissed her good night and turned out the light.
“Why can’t Dad see you?” she asked.
“Are you real?”
“Are you real?” he replied.
“How do you know?”