Part-time Writer, Part-time Student, Full-time Fan.
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Suggestions for changing paragraphs

Oh my FuckinDo you realize how annoying it is when you don’t switch paragraphs when a new character is speakingDo you realize how confusing it isI don’t care if they’re using one-word responses at each other, start a new damn paragraph. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHARACTER.

dear christ more walls of text please. please.




Suggestions for changing paragraphs

Oh my Fuckin
Do you realize how annoying it is when you don’t switch paragraphs when a new character is speaking
Do you realize how confusing it is
I don’t care if they’re using one-word responses at each other, start a new damn paragraph.

dear christ this.
no more walls of text please. please.

10 Questions

Don’t typically post things that don’t relate somehow to writing anymore, but I figured I might as well do this bit, especially since aublanc-the-garrulous was kind enough to include me in their tag game. Not tagging anyone, but if you want to answer these questions as well or something, go for it.

1. Do you have any pets?

Not at the moment. Dorm/Nomadic Living doesn’t really lend itself to animal companions.

2. Where is the farthest you have traveled (relative to where you live now)?

Mm, probably either the trip I just finished from Florida to Missouri or the one from Tennessee to DC? I’m kinda fuzzy on the distances.

3. Who is the person you admire most?

Ooh, don’t think I could really pick just one. I’ve had several awesome role models— especially the lady mentors in my life.

4. If you could choose any job you want and have no consequences (it pays the bills, if it’s illegal you don’t get caught, etc.) what would it be?

I’d still be a teacher, probably. Education is not a field you choose or leave behind lightly.

5. What do you do to cheer yourself up on bad days?

I generally hole up in a room somewhere with a book and quiet music and try not to cry because that’s the worst thing ever and I hate it.

6. Do you like to swim in the ocean or in lakes?

I’m not the best swimmer and considering I really, really don’t like being surprised by things or touched without my consent (by anything or anyone), swimming anywhere but a pool by myself or with very, very close friends is a no.

7. What is your favorite piece of clothing?

I have this fantastic thing called a slanket (it’s like a snuggie, but a thousand times better) and it’s like getting a hug without actually having to touch someone so…it’s definitely my favorite.

8. What show/book/song do you love but originally thought you’d hate?

Probably Supernatural or Sleepy Hollow as I’m a complete wimp when it comes to anything even remotely scary.

9. What is your favorite quote?

"Little by little, one travels far." J.R.R. Tolkein (For now, anyways.)

10. Are there any books (or fanfictions) that have made a big impact on your life? 

The Hobbit and The Wheel of Time series come to mind, but there have been so very many over the years….

11. Are you ticklish?



I made these as a way to compile all the geographical vocabulary that I thought was useful and interesting for writers. Some descriptors share categories, and some are simplified, but for the most part everything is in its proper place. Not all the words are as useable as others, and some might take tricky wording to pull off, but I hope these prove useful to all you writers out there!

(save the images to zoom in on the pics)

Reblogged from thewritingcafe  755 notes


Three ways NOT to start your book

The beginning of your story is, in a way, one of the most important and vital parts of the entire book. Even the first word alone can decide whether your readers will want to keep reading, or won’t. It is important to create a good hook that helps to start the general flow of the plot line to draw the reader into the story, and I know it can be hard. So, here are some DON’TS to starting your story.

1. Alarm clocks!

I know it feels easy to start off a story with your character waking up to the sound of an alarm clock, but this is NOT the way to start off a story that you want to be popular.

Have you ever heard of the term “Déjà vu”? Well, that’s exactly what I feel, and I’m sure some of you feel when you see this type of beginning. So. Many. Stories. Begin. With. This! The whole point of the beginning is to hook in your reader, and one way to catch their attention is by making your story, as well as the beginning, UNIQUE!

Unique= Not like the rest!

2. Prologues

Some of you may be surprised at this one, I know if I were younger than I am today, I would be, too. Because, I used to use prologues ALL THE TIME. But, prologues can be, a lot of times, annoying, and useless. If you really think about it, you don’t need prologues in your book, because prologues are just backstories that lead up to chapter one. And readers know this, so, most of the time, they’ll either skip it or read it without their full attention, therefore boring them and making them less optimistic about your story.

Some of you may be saying "But what if I need a way to explain my story at the beginning?". Personally, I love when a book starts out when the reader has no idea what is going on. It makes me want to keep reading to find out, therefore catching my attention. Leave the explaining to a later time in the beginning section of your story!

3. Dreams

Please don’t open a story with a dream. Sure, the action of a dream can hook a reader, but after revealing that it was only a dream, it can disappoint the reader, as well as frustrate a reader. Especially when, after the action of the dream, the story is slow and boring, with the main character getting out of bed and going to school, or getting ready for work, etc. When this happens, I am mentally hurling your book across the room and at the wall.

Although, there is an exception to the “no-dream” rule as long as, after the dream, you continue the story at almost the same level of thrill and action, but, I have found this hard to do. My advice, just don’t start your story with a dream in the first place.


Hope this helped you fix your story starting habits! I know I didn’t mention a few, such as opening with dialogue, weather, etc. but these are the main three DON’TS to starting your story. Thanks for reading! :)

Reblogged from thewritingcafe  4,051 notes




Ahhh! This is so cool!

An author was writing historical fiction, and decided (in hopes of escaping anachronistic language) to only use the vocabulary that Jane Austen used. They made a custom dictionary of all the words Jane Austen used in all of her books, and used that to spell check, so it flagged modern words and phrases that she would have totally overlooked otherwise.

I’m thinking it would be incredibly easy to do the same thing for fanfiction, especially book-based - compile a dictionary of, say, all the words GRRM used in ASOIAF, and use that as a spell check dictionary so it would flag any words GRRM did not use…

Or a particular TV show character’s dialogue, though that would involve much more manual effort…

edit: apparently, some historical fiction authors use old dictionaries (circa: 1700-1800s) as their custom dictionaries, even when writing about much earlier time periods. This helps them escape writing with modern-sounding anachronisms that throw modern readers out of the story, but also allows them to use language that a modern reader can understand when writing about time periods where characters should be speaking, say, Old English.

friendly reminder that such a thing has been developed for the les mis fandom 

These are some great resources for authors of historical fiction (and/or fan fiction)!

Guide: Describing Clothing and Appearance


When Describing a Character


  • provide enough detail to give the reader a sense of the character’s physical appearance 
  • highlight details that serve as clues to who the character is and perhaps what their life is like
  • describe clothing to establish character or when relevant to scene


  • go overboard with too many details or take up too much of the reader’s time describing one character
  • repetitively describe features or fixate on certain characteristics
  • describe clothing every time the character shows up unless its somehow relevant to the scene. 
  • describe minor characters’ clothing in-depth unless it’s relevant

Choose a Focal Point

When describing a character’s appearance, choose a focal point and work up or down from there. For example, you may describe them from head to toe, or from toe to head. Try not to skip around. If you’re describing their face, start with their hair and work your way down to their mouth, or start at the mouth and work your way up to their hair.

Describing Race and Ethnicity

There is a lot of debate about the right and wrong way to describe a person’s race. If you want, you can state that a person is Black, white, Hispanic, Native American, First Nations, Latino, Middle-Eastern, Asian, Pacific Islander, etc. Just remember that races are made up of different ethnic groups. Someone of Asian descent could be Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. If you’re describing a character whose ethnicity is unknown or not important to the plot, you could just say that they were Asian or Black, for example. But, the rest of the time you need to be clear about whether they are Chinese, Chinese American, Korean, etc. Also, remember that not all Black people are African-American, such as someone born in England or Haiti, for example.

You may instead choose to describe a character’s race through the color of their hair, eyes, and skin. It’s up to you which you feel most comfortable with and is most appropriate for your story. Just remember, if you describe one character’s skin color or otherwise make an issue of their race, you should describe every character’s skin color or race.

Describing Clothing

Just like with physical appearance, when describing clothing you want to choose a focal point and work up or down. Think about things like the garments they’re wearing (pants, shirt, coat) and accessories (hat, jewelry, shoes). Be sure to choose clothing which are both relevant to your character and to the time and place where your story is set. You can find out about appropriate clothing by Googling the time and place your story is set plus the word clothing:

"Clothing in Victorian England"
"Clothing in 1960s New York"
"9th century Viking clothing"

Be sure to look for web sites that aren’t providing cheap Halloween costumes. Shops providing clothes for historical reenactors are often very accurate.

Looking for Inspiration

There are many resources online for both historical and modern clothing. For historical clothing, you can look for web sites about the period, web sites for or about historical reenactors, or web pages for historical enthusiasts or museums. For modern clothing, you can simply pull up the web site of your favorite department store or clothing designer. Choose an outfit that works for your character, then learn how to describe the relevant parts.

Resources for Describing Clothing:

Describing Clothing
Describing Clothes
Writing Tips on Describing Clothes
Describing Clothes and Appearance (If You Should at All)

Resources for Garments and Accessories:

Types of Dress
Coats and Jackets
Sleeves, Necklines, Collars, and Dress Types
Scarves for Men
Scarf Buying Guide
The Ultimate Scarf Tying Guide

Historical Clothing Resources:

OMG That Dress!
Period Fabric
Amazon Dry Goods
Reconstructing History
Historic Threads
Historical Costume Inspiration
History of Costume: European Fashion Through the Ages
Women’s Fashion Through the Years
Clothing in the Ancient World
Clothing in Ancient Rome
Clothing in Biblical Times
Vintage Fashion Guild

Modern Clothing Resources:

Clothes on Pinterest
Fashion Dictionary
This is a Fashion Blog
What I Wore
Fashion is Endless

Physical Details Resources:

Women’s Body Shapes
Men’s Body Shapes
Face Shapes
Realistic Eye Shape Chart
Facial Hair Types
How to Describe Women’s Hair Lengths
The Ultimate Haircut Guide for Women
Men’s Haircuts (Barber Shop Style)
A Primer on Men’s Hairstyles
Hair Color
Obsidian Bookshelf Hair Color
Obsidian Bookshelf Eye Color
Skin Color Chart
Curl and Texture Chart