i want to live. i want the rush of missing my bus stop home on purpose and having no idea of what corner of the city i'll end up in. learn with a friend how to dance like they did in fancy ballrooms, hand flowers to people i'll probably only see once in my life. go outside just to get lost, and laugh without caring how loud my happiness is. fall in love with strangers i pass by in the street, sing to myself when im washing dishes and smile at little things. learn to cook properly to hear the hum people let out when they taste something nice and hear them say i should share the recipe. have my heart broken a thousand times to mend it again and again so that every time it grows bigger and warmer with new people and things i find beautiful. i want to drown in coincidences, stupid mistakes and decisions i havent really thought through
and fall in love with life.
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She isn't broken for you to fix, she has past trauma that you need to heal.
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Words to describe facial expressions
Agonized: as if in pain or tormented
Alluring: attractive, in the sense of arousing desire
Appealing: attractive, in the sense of encouraging goodwill and/or interest
Black: angry or sad, or hostile
Blinking: surprise, or lack of concern
Blithe: carefree, lighthearted, or heedlessly indifferent
Brooding: anxious and gloomy
Bug eyed: frightened or surprised
Chagrined: humiliated or disappointed
Cheeky: cocky, insolent
Choleric: hot-tempered, irate
Darkly: with depressed or malevolent feelings
Deadpan: expressionless, to conceal emotion or heighten humor
Despondent: depressed or discouraged
Doleful: sad or afflicted
Dour: stern or obstinate
Dreamy: distracted by daydreaming or fantasizing
Ecstatic: delighted or entranced
Faint: cowardly, weak, or barely perceptible
Fixed: concentrated or immobile
Gazing: staring intently
Glancing: staring briefly as if curious but evasive
Glazed: expressionless due to fatigue or confusion
Grim: fatalistic or pessimistic
Grave: serious, expressing emotion due to loss or sadness
Haunted: frightened, worried, or guilty
Hopeless: depressed by a lack of encouragement or optimism
Hostile: aggressively angry, intimidating, or resistant
Hunted: tense as if worried about pursuit
Jeering: insulting or mocking
Languid: lazy or weak
Leering: sexually suggestive
Mischievous: annoyingly or maliciously playful
Pained: affected with discomfort or pain
Peering: with curiosity or suspicion
Pleading: seeking apology or assistance
Quizzical: questioning or confused
Radiant: bright, happy
Sanguine: bloodthirsty, confident
Vacant: blank or stupid looking
Wan: pale, sickly
Wary: cautious or cunning
Wide eyed: frightened or surprised
Wrathful: indignant or vengeful
Wry: twisted or crooked to express cleverness or a dark or ironic feeling
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“how many times have people used a pen or paintbrush because they couldn’t pull the trigger?”
— 𝘝𝘪𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘞𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘧
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When I write three sentences on my WIP:
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i am asked about my favorite color.
i am seven
and my reply is
because i am a girl
is a princess color.
i am asked about my favorite color.
i am ten
and i like
because a boy told me that pink
is lame and girly.
i am asked about my favorite color.
i am thirteen
and i tell them
it is unique and spunky
like i want to be.
i am asked about my favorite color.
i am seventeen
and i just say
i do not say
it is bright and angry at the world
as i am
i cannot form the words to express
all of my frustrations
so i paint my lips with
i am asked about my favorite color.
i am twenty
and it’s pink
i remember the joy
of being a child
i reclaim the freedom
because i cannot remember
what my shoulders felt like
before the depression
hung from them.
i am asked about my favorite color.
i am twenty-six
and my answer is
it confuses most people
they don’t see it
they may think of dirt
and dead things
but it is coffee with friends
and the chocolate chip cookies
my mom used to make.
it is my hair
and my eyes
amber and gold
in the sun
and i love myself
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How to Kick a Reader in the Gut
Disrupt the reader’s sense of justice.
This generally means setting a character up to deserve one thing and then giving them the exact opposite.
Kill a character off before they can achieve their goal.
Let the bad guy get an extremely important win.
Set up a coup against a tyrannical king. The coup fails miserably.
Don’t always give characters closure.
(Excluding the end of the book, obviously)
A beloved friend dies in battle and there’s no time to mourn him.
A random tryst between two main characters is not (or cannot be) brought up again.
A character suddenly loses their job or can otherwise no longer keep up their old routine
Make it the main character’s fault sometimes.
And not in an “imposter syndrome” way. Make your MC do something bad, and make the blame they shoulder for it heavy and tangible.
MC must choose the lesser of two evils.
MC kills someone they believe to be a bad guy, only to later discover the bad guy was a different person altogether.
Rejection is a powerful tool.
People generally want to be understood, and if you can make a character think they are Known, and then rip that away from them with a rejection (romantic or platonic) people will empathize with it.
MC is finally accepting the Thing They Must Do/Become, and their love interest decides that that’s not a path they want to be on and breaks up with them
MC makes a decision they believe is right, everyone around them thinks they chose wrong.
MC finds kinship with someone Like Them, at long last, but that person later discovers that there is some inherent aspect of MC that they wholly reject. (Perhaps it was MC’s fault that their family member died, they have important religious differences, or WERE THE BAD GUY ALL ALONG!)
On the flipside, make your main character keep going.
Push them beyond what they are capable of, and then push them farther. Make them want something so deeply that they are willing to do literally anything to get it. Give them passion and drive and grit and more of that than they have fear.
“But what if my MC is quiet and meek?” Even better. They want something so deeply that every single moment they push themselves toward it is a moment spent outside their comfort zone. What must that do to a person?
Obviously, don’t do all of these things, or the story can begin to feel tedious or overly dramatic, and make sure that every decision you make is informed by your plot first and foremost.
Also remember that the things that make us sad, angry, or otherwise emotional as readers are the same things that make us feel that way in our day-to-day lives. Creating an empathetic main character is the foundation for all of the above tips.
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Story Structures for your Next WIP
hello, hello. this post will be mostly for my notes. this is something I need in to be reminded of for my business, but it can also be very useful and beneficial for you guys as well.
everything in life has structure and storytelling is no different, so let’s dive right in :)
First off let’s just review what a story structure is :
a story is the backbone of the story, the skeleton if you will. It hold the entire story together.
the structure in which you choose your story will effectively determine how you create drama and depending on the structure you choose it should help you align your story and sequence it with the conflict, climax, and resolution.
1. Freytag's Pyramid
this first story structure i will be talking about was named after 19th century German novelist and playwright.
it is a five point structure that is based off classical Greek tragedies such as Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripedes.
Freytag's Pyramid structure consists of:
Introduction: the status quo has been established and an inciting incident occurs.
Rise or rising action: the protagonist will search and try to achieve their goal, heightening the stakes,
Climax: the protagonist can no longer go back, the point of no return if you will.
Return or fall: after the climax of the story, tension builds and the story inevitably heads towards...
Catastrophe: the main character has reached their lowest point and their greatest fears have come into fruition.
this structure is used less and less nowadays in modern storytelling mainly due to readers lack of appetite for tragic narratives.
2. The Hero's Journey
the hero's journey is a very well known and popular form of storytelling.
it is very popular in modern stories such as Star Wars, and movies in the MCU.
although the hero's journey was inspired by Joseph Campbell's concept, a Disney executive Christopher Vogler has created a simplified version:
The Ordinary World: The hero's everyday routine and life is established.
The Call of Adventure: the inciting incident.
Refusal of the Call: the hero / protagonist is hesitant or reluctant to take on the challenges.
Meeting the Mentor: the hero meets someone who will help them and prepare them for the dangers ahead.
Crossing the First Threshold: first steps out of the comfort zone are taken.
Tests, Allie, Enemies: new challenges occur, and maybe new friends or enemies.
Approach to the Inmost Cave: hero approaches goal.
The Ordeal: the hero faces their biggest challenge.
Reward (Seizing the Sword): the hero manages to get ahold of what they were after.
The Road Back: they realize that their goal was not the final hurdle, but may have actually caused a bigger problem than before.
Resurrection: a final challenge, testing them on everything they've learned.
Return with the Elixir: after succeeding they return to their old life.
the hero's journey can be applied to any genre of fiction.
3. Three Act Structure:
this structure splits the story into the 'beginning, middle and end' but with in-depth components for each act.
Act 1: Setup:
exposition: the status quo or the ordinary life is established.
inciting incident: an event sets the whole story into motion.
plot point one: the main character decided to take on the challenge head on and she crosses the threshold and the story is now progressing forward.
Act 2: Confrontation:
rising action: the stakes are clearer and the hero has started to become familiar with the new world and begins to encounter enemies, allies and tests.
midpoint: an event that derails the protagonists mission.
plot point two: the hero is tested and fails, and begins to doubt themselves.
Act 3: Resolution:
pre-climax: the hero must chose between acting or failing.
climax: they fights against the antagonist or danger one last time, but will they succeed?
Denouement: loose ends are tied up and the reader discovers the consequences of the climax, and return to ordinary life.
4. Dan Harmon's Story Circle
it surprised me to know the creator of Rick and Morty had their own variation of Campbell's hero's journey.
the benefit of Harmon's approach is that is focuses on the main character's arc.
it makes sense that he has such a successful structure, after all the show has multiple seasons, five or six seasons? i don't know not a fan of the show.
the character is in their comfort zone: also known as the status quo or ordinary life.
they want something: this is a longing and it can be brought forth by an inciting incident.
the character enters and unfamiliar situation: they must take action and do something new to pursue what they want.
adapt to it: of course there are challenges, there is struggle and begin to succeed.
they get what they want: often a false victory.
a heavy price is paid: a realization of what they wanted isn't what they needed.
back to the good old ways: they return to their familiar situation yet with a new truth.
having changed: was it for the better or worse?
i might actually make a operate post going more in depth about dan harmon's story circle.
5. Fichtean Curve:
the fichtean curve places the main character in a series of obstacles in order to achieve their goal.
this structure encourages writers to write a story packed with tension and mini-crises to keep the reader engaged.
The Rising Action
the story must start with an inciting indecent.
then a series of crisis arise.
there are often four crises.
2. The Climax:
3. Falling Action
this type of story telling structure goes very well with flash-back structured story as well as in theatre.
6. Save the Cat Beat Sheet:
this is another variation of a three act structure created by screenwriter Blake Snyder, and is praised widely by champion storytellers.
Structure for Save the Cat is as follows: (the numbers in the brackets are for the number of pages required, assuming you're writing a 110 page screenplay)
Opening Image : The first shot of the film. If you’re starting a novel, this would be an opening paragraph or scene that sucks readers into the world of your story.
Set-up [1-10]. Establishing the ‘ordinary world’ of your protagonist. What does he want? What is he missing out on?
Theme Stated . During the setup, hint at what your story is really about — the truth that your protagonist will discover by the end.
Catalyst . The inciting incident!
Debate [12-25]. The hero refuses the call to adventure. He tries to avoid the conflict before they are forced into action.
Break into Two . The protagonist makes an active choice and the journey begins in earnest.
B Story . A subplot kicks in. Often romantic in nature, the protagonist’s subplot should serve to highlight the theme.
The Promise of the Premise [30-55]. Often called the ‘fun and games’ stage, this is usually a highly entertaining section where the writer delivers the goods. If you promised an exciting detective story, we’d see the detective in action. If you promised a goofy story of people falling in love, let’s go on some charmingly awkward dates.
Midpoint . A plot twist occurs that ups the stakes and makes the hero’s goal harder to achieve — or makes them focus on a new, more important goal.
Bad Guys Close In [55-75]. The tension ratchets up. The hero’s obstacles become greater, his plan falls apart, and he is on the back foot.
All is Lost . The hero hits rock bottom. He loses everything he’s gained so far, and things are looking bleak. The hero is overpowered by the villain; a mentor dies; our lovebirds have an argument and break up.
Dark Night of the Soul [75-85-ish]. Having just lost everything, the hero shambles around the city in a minor-key musical montage before discovering some “new information” that reveals exactly what he needs to do if he wants to take another crack at success. (This new information is often delivered through the B-Story)
Break into Three . Armed with this new information, our protagonist decides to try once more!
Finale [85-110]. The hero confronts the antagonist or whatever the source of the primary conflict is. The truth that eluded him at the start of the story (established in step three and accentuated by the B Story) is now clear, allowing him to resolve their story.
Final Image . A final moment or scene that crystallizes how the character has changed. It’s a reflection, in some way, of the opening image.
(all information regarding the save the cat beat sheet was copy and pasted directly from reedsy!)
7. Seven Point Story Structure:
this structure encourages writers to start with the at the end, with the resolution, and work their way back to the starting point.
this structure is about dramatic changes from beginning to end
The Hook. Draw readers in by explaining the protagonist’s current situation. Their state of being at the beginning of the novel should be in direct contrast to what it will be at the end of the novel.
Plot Point 1. Whether it’s a person, an idea, an inciting incident, or something else — there should be a "Call to Adventure" of sorts that sets the narrative and character development in motion.
Pinch Point 1. Things can’t be all sunshine and roses for your protagonist. Something should go wrong here that applies pressure to the main character, forcing them to step up and solve the problem.
Midpoint. A “Turning Point” wherein the main character changes from a passive force to an active force in the story. Whatever the narrative’s main conflict is, the protagonist decides to start meeting it head-on.
Pinch Point 2. The second pinch point involves another blow to the protagonist — things go even more awry than they did during the first pinch point. This might involve the passing of a mentor, the failure of a plan, the reveal of a traitor, etc.
Plot Point 2. After the calamity of Pinch Point 2, the protagonist learns that they’ve actually had the key to solving the conflict the whole time.
Resolution. The story’s primary conflict is resolved — and the character goes through the final bit of development necessary to transform them from who they were at the start of the novel.
(all information regarding the seven point story structure was copy and pasted directly from reedsy!)
i decided to fit all of them in one post instead of making it a two part post.
i hope you all enjoy this post and feel free to comment or reblog which structure you use the most, or if you have your own you prefer to use! please share with me!
if you find this useful feel free to reblog on instagram and tag me at perpetualstories
Follow my tumblr and instagram for more writing and grammar tips and more!
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HURT/COMFORT DIALOGUE PROMPTS:
"Shh, it's okay. I'm here."
"I'm not leaving you, [name]."
"You're not alone, I promise."
"You didn't do anything wrong. There's nothing to apologize for."
"C'mere, let me hold you-"
"Sure, we can snuggle if it will make you feel better."
"Here, hold my hand."
"This is gonna hurt like a bitch, but I have to stitch up that wound."
"Show me where it hurts."
"I know you're hurt, [name]."
"Let me take care of it, alright? You need to rest."
"I'm here to take care of you, [name]."
"There's no shame in crying. I promise."
"Let me take care of things for once, alright?"
"Don't worry, it'll get better soon."
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If you don't face your old pains and traumas and heartbreaks, you'll forever be the victim of your past.
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Writing has two stages:
1. you can't stop
2. you can't start to save your life
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Pet names to use instead of "Darling,"
Got tired of always using either "kitten" or "darling" so I came up with some more and decided to share ♡
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“we are writers, my love. we don’t cry. we bleed on paper.”
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Aesthetically pleasing activities that you can start doing right now
Grab a random book you have at home, read few pages and underline all the words or phrases that inspire you most , search for their meanings or use them to create your own poetry.
Fill out a gratitude list.
Set a daily reminder on your phone to drink water.
Practice belly breathing.
write down about your best self, who is she like ? and how can you move closer into being her ? when you’re done hang that paper you used in a place where you can see it daily.
Stretch for 15 minutes.
put on nice comfortable clothes.
Loose yourself into the internet archives https://archive.org/
Repeat after me, We deserve and still have time to be all the things we want to be! ( if necessary write it on a post it and keep it near you as a reminder.)
Start a recipes journal.
Start a Commonplace book , if you don’t know what that is let me explain “it’s a notebook/book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
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If anyone else out there is a writer holy shit you have my deepest respect because writing is one of the most mentally tiring and time taking activities you can do and as a writer, I know how hard it can get to even have the energy to continue a project without getting distracted or just giving up because you don’t feel like the idea is working anymore. You all are wonderful and I hope the most amazing idea comes to you and you are able to have that same motivation that you had at the beginning.
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22 Essential Literary Devices and How to Use Them In Your Writing
hello, happy Monday. Hope you’re all having a wonderful day!
I will skip the pre-info and dive right into it.
What Is a Literary Device?
is a tool used by writers to hint at larger themes, ideas, and meaning in a story or piece of writing
The List of Literary Devices:
Allegory. Allegory is a literary device used to express large, complex ideas in an approachable manner. Allegory allows writers to create some distance between themselves and the issues they are discussing, especially when those issues are strong critiques of political or societal realities.
Allusion. An allusion is a popular literary device used to develop characters, frame storylines, and help create associations to well-known works. Allusions can reference anything from Victorian fairy tales and popular culture to the Bible and the Bard. Take the popular expression “Bah humbug”—an allusion that references Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol. The phrase, which is often used to express dissatisfaction, is associated with the tale’s curmudgeonly character, Ebenezer Scrooge.
Anachronism. Imagine reading a story about a caveman who microwaves his dinner, or watching a film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel in which the characters text each other instead of writing letters. These circumstances are examples of anachronisms, or an error in chronology—the kind that makes audiences raise their eyebrows or do a double-take. Sometimes anachronisms are true blunders; other times, they’re used intentionally to add humor or to comment on a specific time period in history.
Cliffhanger. It’s a familiar feeling: You’re on minute 59 of an hour-long television episode, and the protagonist is about to face the villain—and then episode cuts to black. Known as a cliffhanger, this plot device marks the end of a section of a narrative with the express purpose of keeping audiences engaged in the story.
Dramatic Irony. Remember the first time you read or watched Romeo and Juliet? The tragic ending of this iconic story exemplifies dramatic irony: The audience knows that the lovers are each alive, but neither of the lovers knows that the other is still alive. Each drinks their poison without knowing what the audience knows. Dramatic irony is used to great effect in literature, film, and television.
Extended Metaphor. Extended metaphors build evocative images into a piece of writing and make prose more emotionally resonant. Examples of extended metaphor can be found across all forms of poetry and prose. Learning to use extended metaphors in your own work will help you engage your readers and improve your writing.
Foreshadowing. At its core, storytelling has one ambition: to capture and sustain your reader’s attention and keep them reading your story. Foreshadowing, or slyly indicating a future event, is one technique a writer can use to create and build suspense.
Humor. Humor brings people together and has the power to transform how we think about the world. Of course, not everyone is adept at being funny—particularly in their writing. Making people laugh takes some skill and finesse, and, because so much relies on instinct, is harder to teach than other techniques. However, all writers can benefit from learning more about how humor functions in writing.
Imagery. If you’ve practiced or studied creative writing, chances are you’ve encountered the expression “paint a picture with words.” In poetry and literature, this is known as imagery: the use of figurative language to evoke a sensory experience in the reader. When a poet uses descriptive language well, they play to the reader’s senses, providing them with sights, tastes, smells, sounds, internal and external feelings, and even deep emotion. The sensory details in imagery bring works to life.
Irony. Irony is an oft-misunderstood literary device that hinges on opposites: what things are on the surface, and what they end up actually being. Many learn about dramatic irony through works of theater like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex. When deployed with skill, irony is a powerful tool that adds depth and substance to a piece of writing.
Metaphor, Simile, and Analogy. Metaphors, similes, and analogies are three techniques used in speech and writing to make comparisons. Each is used in a different way, and differentiating between the three can get a little tricky: For example, a simile is actually a subcategory of metaphor, which means all similes are metaphors, but not all metaphors are similes. Knowing the similarities and differences between metaphor, simile, and analogy can help you identify which is best to use in any scenario and help make your writing stronger.
Motif. A motif is a repeated element that has symbolic significance to a story. Sometimes a motif is a recurring image. Sometimes it’s a repeated word or phrase or topic. A motif can be a recurrent situation or action. It can be a sound or a smell or a temperature or a color. The defining aspect is that a motif repeats, and through this repetition, a motif helps to illuminate the central ideas, themes, and deeper meaning of the story in which it appears.
Motif vs. Symbol. Both motifs and symbols are used across artistic mediums: Painters, sculptors, playwrights, and musicians all use motifs and symbols in their respective art forms. And while they are similar literary terms, “motif” and “symbol” are not synonyms.
Oxymoron. An oxymoron is a figure of speech: a creative approach to language that plays with meaning and the use of words in a non-literal sense. This literary device combines words with contradictory definitions to coin a new word or phrase (think of the idiom “act naturally”—how can you be your natural self if you’re acting?). The incongruity of the resulting statement allows writers to play with language and meaning.
Paradox. “This sentence is a lie.” This self-referential statement is an example of a paradox—a contradiction that questions logic. In literature, paradoxes can elicit humor, illustrate themes, and provoke readers to think critically.
Personification. In writing, figurative language—using words to convey a different meaning outside the literal one—helps writers express themselves in more creative ways. One popular type of figurative language is personification: assigning human attributes to a non-human entity or inanimate object in an effort to express a point or idea in a more colorful, imaginative way.
Satire. Satire is so prevalent in pop culture that most of us are already very familiar with it, even if we don’t always realize it. Satire is an often-humorous way of poking fun at the powers that be. Sometimes, it is created with the goal to drive social change. Satire can be part of any work of culture, art, or entertainment—it has a long history, and it is as relevant today as it was in ancient Rome.
Situational Irony. Irony: it’s clear as mud. Theorists quibble about the margins of what constitutes irony, but situational irony is all around us—from humorous news headlines to the shock twists in a book or TV show. This type of irony is all about the gap between our expectations and reality, and it can make a memorable and powerful impression when we encounter it.
Suspense. No matter what type of story you’re telling, suspense is a valuable tool for keeping a reader’s attention and interest. Building suspense involves withholding information and raising key questions that pique readers’ curiosity. Character development plays a big role in generating suspense; for example, if a character’s desire is not fulfilled by the end of the book, the story will not feel complete for the reader.
Symbolism. An object, concept, or word does not have to be limited to a single meaning. When you see red roses growing in a garden, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think literally about the rose—about its petals, stem, and thorns, or even about its stamen and pistil as a botanist might. But perhaps your mind goes elsewhere and starts thinking about topics like romance, courtship, and Valentine’s Day. Why would you do this? The reason, of course, is that over the course of many generations, a rose’s symbolic meaning has evolved to include amorous concepts.
Verisimilitude. Verisimilitude (pronounced ve-ri-si-mi-li-tude) is a theoretical concept that determines the semblance of truth in an assertion or hypothesis. It is also an essential tenet of fiction writing. Verisimilitude helps to encourage a reader’s willing suspension of disbelief. When using verisimilitude in writing, the goal is to be credible and convincing.
Vignette. A writer’s job is to engage readers through words. Vignettes—poetic slices-of-life—are a literary device that brings us deeper into a story. Vignettes step away from the action momentarily to zoom in for a closer examination of a particular character, concept, or place. Writers use vignettes to shed light on something that wouldn’t be visible in the story’s main plot.
I’ll make a post going into each of them individually in more detail later on!
Like, reblog and comment if you find this useful! If you share on Instagram tag me perpetualstories
Follow me on tumblr and Instagram for more writing and grammar tips and more!
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