To finish is sadness to a writer — a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn't really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done.
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Being Someone's Quiet And Safe Place Is a Love Language.
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Writing prompt #491
"Find some peace in the fact that most people are too busy worrying about their own mistakes to see yours."
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guilt used to be a normal emotion.
to be felt after doing something bad.
not for drinking a latte with a friend.
when did the word change meanings?
if i look it up in the dictionary,
it will have the same definition as always.
but this guilt is new,
it has started to take over,
and i dont think i want to stop it.
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Writing Different Cultures (More than Food: Meals)
So, if you’re not new around here you may know I’m bilingual, was born and raised for the first six years of my life in one country and then got to experience another. Both a privilege and kind of traumatic. But as such as I have experience with differences in cultures.
I’m not going to however be talking about any real culture. I mostly write fantasy and I’m just going to be talking about some ideas for differences between cultures that you can use to make your own cultures more realistic. Because lets be honest, a lot of things we just assume are the same everywhere.
I was going to do a list, but if I did I’d probably take far too long so instead I’ll probably be doing several of these. For today, we are talking about: Food but more specifically, meals.
Food is probably one of the first things people think about when thinking about differences in cultures (or maybe I’m just hungry). It’s easy to understand and makes sense as different locations have access to different produce.
But more than the food itself, I always find it more surprising the difference in consumption. So, where I was born, we’d usually have three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and supper.
Where I currently live however it’s far more typical to have five meals a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, evening snack and supper. (Snack and evening snack are actually called almuerzo and berenar, but I don’t think there is an exact translation to English). I have quite happily adopted the evening snack, going for a coffee/tea and some bakery good is amazing. But I still after fifteen years cannot do the morning snack, it’s just too many meals. And this has always been shocking to my coworkers, classmates or friends who tell me off for “skipping meals”.
The other thing is times at which meals are consumed. Supper where I currently live is usually around 9pm. Where I come from it’s like 5pm. My boyfriends is always shocked when we go have supper with my grandparents at 5pm, “it’s not supper, it’s a very large evening snack,” he will claim.
Then there are things like with whom and where you have meals. Who prepared the meals.
Where I come from, eating out is a luxury, despite being a country with far more economic power. Where I currently on the other hand, eating out is almost a routine. It’s a matter of prioritisation, you might have cheap shoes but you still have to go out for lunch everyday with your coworkers because it’s expected of you.
The conclusion and most important point I want to make is: there’s a lot more to food, than what you’re actually eating.
So, maybe take a break from staring at maps and figuring out the climate and produce and the meals that could be made with it, and broaden your culture with simpler yet significant details.
As usual, check out my book, stories I’ve written plus other social medias: here. I’m going to be doing a sale on my ebook real soon for Christmas/my birthday! (I’ll be doing a post, don’t worry).
What interesting meal differences are there in your culture?
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Me trying to remind myself that I’m not going to be a terrible writer forever.
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Tips for Writing a Difficult Scene
Every writer inevitably gets to that scene that just doesn't want to work. It doesn't flow, no matter how hard you try. Well, here are some things to try to get out of that rut:
1. Change the weather
I know this doesn't sound like it'll make much of a difference, but trust me when I say it does.
Every single time I've tried this, it worked and the scene flowed magically.
2. Change the POV
If your book has multiple POV characters, it might be a good idea to switch the scene to another character's perspective.
9/10 times, this will make the scene flow better.
3. Start the scene earlier/later
Oftentimes, a scene just doesn't work because you're not starting in the right place.
Perhaps you're starting too late and giving too little context. Perhaps some description or character introspection is needed before you dive in.
Alternatively, you may be taking too long to get to the actual point of the scene. Would it help to dive straight into the action without much ado?
4. Write only the dialogue
If your scene involves dialogue, it can help immensely to write only the spoken words the first time round.
It's even better if you highlight different characters' speech in different colors.
Then, later on, you can go back and fill in the dialogue tags, description etc.
5. Fuck it and use a placeholder
If nothing works, it's time to move on.
Rather than perpetually getting stuck on that one scene, use a placeholder. Something like: [they escape somehow] or [big emotional talk].
And then continue with the draft.
This'll help you keep momentum and, maybe, make the scene easier to write later on once you have a better grasp on the plot and characters.
Trust me, I do this all the time.
It can take some practice to get past your Type A brain screaming at you, but it's worth it.
So, those are some things to try when a scene is being difficult. I hope that these tips help :)
Reblog if you found this post useful. Comment with your own tips. Follow me for similar content.
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Every writing advice ever: If you’re having trouble with a scene, skip it and write a different part of the story.
Me: If I don’t write in chronological order, I will die
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#224: What Will Your Story Be?
As writers, we have the great benefit of understanding what makes stories work. What makes characters compelling? What moves the story forward?
When we deal with plot points and character arcs, it can be easy to forget that we're writing our own story too. What will it look like? We throw our protagonists into unbelievable hardships and write their ways out. Through failure and misfortune, we let our protagonists grow into people that we ourselves aspire to be.
What would your protagonist do if they sat at the desk in your place? A pen in their hand, a page of crossed-out lines in front of them, not sure where to take the story next?
Stories always include some sort of conflict. Often, this takes the form of obstacles. A character wants something, but something else is in the way. And that pretty much sums up anyone's life. We all want something.
If you're reading this blog, you probably want to write more or even publish a book.
Of course, to get what we want, we have to get over whatever stands in the way. Overcoming obstacles is where good stories are. If I was writing the story of my life as a piece of fiction, what would happen next? What should happen next? What would make sense in the story?
The other crucial ingredient of any successful story is action. Action is what moves a story forward. Even in fiction, people won't buy a plot where things come to the protagonist without trying much. Pretty much all good stories involve the character making decisions and taking action. They may not be able to make the right choices yet, but it's better to move somewhere than to do nothing.
You don't have to display heroic levels of bravery or do some crazy things like your characters. Sometimes, closing the YouTube video that you're watching and writing some words is enough.
I like to remind myself of this once in a while. It helps me sanity-check whether what I'm doing can reasonably lead to wherever I'm trying to go.
One day, your life will be just a story. It may not be as glamorous or heroic as the stories of our protagonists, but it may often require similar levels of bravery and dedication and work. It's not easy to look into yourself and write about things you see there. It's not easy to show up and face the blank page day after day for many years.
It's not easy, but you have to keep facing the obstacles that stand in your way. Otherwise, your story won't be worth telling.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Radek 👋. I’m a writer, software engineer and the founder of Writing Analytics — an editor and writing tracker designed to help you beat writer’s block and create a sustainable writing routine.
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#223: Consistency is Key, November 2021
#222: Passion and Grind, November 2021
#221: Going From Zero to One, November 2021
#220: How to Make Your Writing Compound, November 2021
#219: 7 Benefits of Doing NaNoWriMo Even If You Don’t Win, October 2021
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Writing is all fun and games until you need an actual plot
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I am not afraid of losing people because I lost a lot already.
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ill be back again.......... someday
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what people think writing is: worldbuilding, churning out entire chapters in one sitting, metaphors, character building, finishing novels, flawless plotlines
what writing actually is: random 1 am thoughts, zoning out into fictional worlds, associating songs with characters, writer’s block for six weeks at a time, coming up with plot twists at the most inconvenient times
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Showing that they care.
smiling at each other from across the room
randomly texting a gif or emoji
laying their hand on the other’s leg
kiss to the side of the head
squeezing the other’s shoulder
fixing the other’s clothes
guiding them with a hand on the small of their back
embracing them from behind
ruffling their hair
placing their chin on the other’s shoulder
calling them nicknames
winking at them
teasing each other good-naturedly
putting an arm around the other’s shoulder
washing the other's hair
taking a photo of the smiling or in their element
looking in each other's eyes
putting a blanket on them
tugging at the other's clothes to keep them close
making them food they like
laughing at their jokes
placing a hand on the back of the other’s neck
brushing strands of hair away
patting their head
sharing an umbrella
bumping shoulders into each other
randomly face-timing just to hear their voice/see their face
pressing their foreheads together
nudging them to show they are right beside them
laying their head on the other’s shoulder
Love Language Part I | Part II
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changing with the tides by shelby leigh 💛
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Me: Opens document with unfinished writing
Me: Yep, it still exists *closes document*
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