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unpretty · 2 days ago
Hallo Miss Kitty! Hope you had a great day and petted lots of cats and ate delicious things and run into no traffic at rush hour.
I have a question: why did you stop using ao3? I know it's obviously made for fanfiction, but I know of people who continued posting their original writing there and just created a fandom of their own. Is it just easier to have your own blog?
(i love the blog btw I'm just curious)
thank you!
i still use ao3, i just haven't had anything to post because i haven't been updating any fics
i know there isn't actually any rule against posting original works (and most of the claims that they were taking down original works were like, people using ao3 to blog) but,
so the thing is that most of my readers come from tumblr, and the majority of tumblr users are using this site through the app, and the vast majority have zero interest in leaving the app. a huge number of people don't even want to leave their dashboard within the app. there is a marked, noticeable, and massive difference (with some rare exceptions!) in engagement with my fics between
fics posted to tumblr without a readmore, it's all on the dash and everyone just has to deal with the long post
fics posted to tumblr with a readmore, which may or may not be viewable on the dash depending on like. how old the post is or what version you're using?? idk, it's a mystery
fic previews posted to tumblr with a link to read the rest on ao3
obviously there are fics where i got a lot of notes with a readmore or an off-site link, but with those there is usually a 'prompt' post at the top that basically says what the fic is going to be about, and then later i reblogged it to add the fic i wrote. that's not a deliberate thing i ever did for engagement reasons but it's something for writers to keep in mind i guess. people love being spoiled by a blurb.
anyone who has ever tried to get tumblr users to click a link to a different website with free content, labeled THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT AND IT'S TOTALLY FREE, knows that it's an absolute fucking ordeal. my condolences to all independent queer webcomics everywhere. as long as i have my own website anyway, there is basically no advantage to me putting original content on ao3. getting people to click a link to ao3 is just as difficult as getting them to click a link to kittyunpretty dot com. and if it's on my own website, i can throw a floating ko-fi button on it. replacing the link to my ko-fi with a floating button that doesn't require leaving the chapter page made my tips increase massively, probably on the same principle of 'no one likes going to a different website'. it's also easier to edit, rearrange, do weird html stuff, etc etc. and some people end up clicking around and reading my other original stuff and maybe giving me money, which doesn't happen on ao3
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lolshrej · 3 months ago
I’m not wise at all. I told you, I know nothing. I know books, and I know how to string words together—it doesn’t mean I know how to speak about the things that matter most to me.
-André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name.
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septembercfawkes · a month ago
The 5 Types of Lines We Use to Craft Stories (and How to Use Them to Reveal Character)
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Recently I was listening to a lecture from #1 New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson where he listed four different kinds of lines we use to write stories--and while I knew each type existed, I had never really thought of listing them out and talking about them, and as I considered that, I also thought of another type he didn't mention.
When it comes to actually writing a story (on a line-by-line level), you really only have five elements to do that with. And one of the differences between a beginning writer and a professional-level writer, is that a professional-level writer will convey more than what the lines are saying on the page--they'll convey more than the text itself. In contrast, a beginning writer often uses more words than necessary to convey concepts that the audience already understands. So while a professional writer tends to write text jam-packed with meaning, a beginning writer tends to write long-winded text with little meaning.
As an example of how to bring more meaning to text, I'm going to cover how each type of line can be used to reveal character (in part because this is what Sanderson does in his lecture). Beginning writers tend to write whole passages of introspection in the opening where nothing really happens--usually in an effort to convey character. But in reality, every kind of line can be used to reveal character nearly all the time. You don't have to bring the story to a grinding halt to do it--as long as you know how to do it.
So let's go through the five types of lines we have in our arsenal.
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Dialogue is speech between two or more characters, and it's set off by quotation marks.
Experienced writers know that often what is not said, and the way it's not, conveys just as much, if not more than what the dialogue says itself. This is often where subtext happens. Furthermore, the more intense the feelings a character experiences, the more likely they are to speak indirectly about them--usually.
Dialogue is also used to convey most characters' voices. Voice is what the character talks about and how the character talks about it. 
What the character talks about + How she talks about it = Voice
It's worth pointing out that what a character talks about conveys what the character is thinking about.
For example, in Lord of the Rings, Hobbits often talk about food, because that is what they are thinking about, because they eat more food than most people. They also talk differently than most people.
Dialogue can be used to convey what a relationship is like, and deliver information to the audience.
In short, it can be used to convey more than just what is said.
Here's an example of dialogue that conveys what's not said, by touching on strong feelings indirectly (creating subtext); that conveys character voice; and that conveys a relationship.
"I wonder if we'll ever be put into songs or tales," Sam said.
Frodo turned. "What?"
"I wonder if people will ever say, 'Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring.' And they'll say 'Yes, that's one of my favorite stories. Frodo was really courageous, wasn't he, Dad?' 'Yes, my boy, the most famousest of Hobbits. And that's saying a lot.'"
Frodo continued walking. "You've left out one of the chief characters--Samwise the Brave. I want to hear more about Sam." He turned to Sam. "Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam."
"Now Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't make fun; I was being serious."
"So was I."
You can learn more about dialogue in my Writing Tip Index (there is certainly more than what I can cover in here).
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Description is used to convey the concrete world to the audience. Usually this relates to setting, but characters also get described. Imagery is text that appeals to the five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Some people add additional senses--like a sense of time and space.
As human beings, we rely on our sense of sight a lot, and that is often what writers use the most--they'll describe what the street looks like or what a character is wearing. But unlike film or video games, short stories and novels allow more opportunities to appeal to touch, smell, and taste. It's easier for us to describe texture and temperature, for example.
Imagery is important in immersing the audience into the story, so they feel like they are there, experiencing what the character is experiencing. In many writing classes, imagery is one of the first things writers are taught. This is because beginning writers often write in abstract ways, and description forces the abstract into something concrete, which is more meaningful to the reader.
But description can do more than simply convey the concrete world. Sometimes it can be used to convey a sense of history about the setting or even worldbuilding. It can almost always convey something about a character. As writers, we should strive to pick the details that convey more information than themselves--we want to pick the right details. For example, a character who is wearing a shirt that has grease stains tells us more about that person than a character in a plain white shirt.
In most stories, the narration is in the viewpoint of a character (most often the protagonist). This means that what is described and how conveys how the viewpoint character views the world. For example, a dentist may notice and describe people's teeth more than another character. And if the story were written from a Hobbit's point of view, they may use food for metaphors more than most characters. Of course, there are some cases where the narration zooms out from the viewpoint during descriptions, but generally speaking, much of the time, the way something is described will convey the viewpoint character.
Beginning writers often write descriptions that feel static and stagnant. This can be overcome by creating a sense of change or motion in the way the description is written.
Below is an example of description from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is told from the point of view of Death.
The sky was like soup, boiling and stirring. In some places, it was burned. There were black crumbs, and pepper, streaked across the redness.
Earlier, kids had been playing hopscotch there, on the street that looked like oil-stained pages. When I arrived, I could still hear the echoes. The feet tapping the road. The children-voices laughing, and the smiles like salt, but decaying fast.
Then, bombs. . . .
Within minutes, mounds of concrete and earth were stacked and piled. The streets were ruptured veins. Blood streamed till it was dried on the road, and the bodies were stuck there, like driftwood after a flood.
They were glued down, every last one of them. A packet of souls. . . .
Yes, the sky was now a devastating home-cooked red.
Blocking (AKA "Action" or "Beat")
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The term "blocking" is borrowed from play performances. Blocking is just about anything an actor does that isn't dialogue: where they stand, where they look, how they interact with the setting, how they move across the stage, how close they are to what, how they interact with props.
In short stories and novels, this is a line that conveys action. It's also called a "beat." However, I usually avoid that term because "beat" is an ambiguous term that can mean different things in different contexts in the writing world.
The actions a character takes will often convey something about that character and his current state. For example, in a conversation, as an argument gets more intense, a character may invade the other's personal space. If one character suddenly says something that makes the other uncomfortable, the latter may take a step back. If one character is vulnerable, whether the second draws closer or steps away can convey a lot.
Of course, you can use setting and props to do the same thing. As an argument gets intense, one character throws something at the other. If someone is uncomfortable, she might put something (an island, a couch, a car, a teeter-totter) between them. If she's feeling vulnerable, she might "hide" or "block" herself by getting a blanket, picking up a book to look at, or turning away from the speaker to pretend interest in a rose bush.
Even in a scene where blocking is the primary focus (building an invention, competing in America Ninja Warrior, forging a sword, hunting), how the character interacts with the setting and objects can convey more than itself--how tightly he holds a screwdriver, how sweaty her hands are against a climbing wall, the way he beats the metal, how many shots she shoots.
Some character take repeated actions, and that conveys something too. In BBC's Sherlock, the fact that Sherlock stabs the mantle whenever he gets frustrated is something specific to him. It helps establish who he is. And actually, that fact becomes specifically important in season four--when we understand that he, someone who is supposedly not driven by emotion, sometimes manifests more raw emotion than any one else.
You can learn more about blocking in my article about it here.
Here is an example of blocking from Brisingr by Christopher Paolini.
Taking the pieces of hard and soft brightsteel she had decided to use, Rhunon placed them into the forge. At the elf's request, Saphira heated the steel, opening her jaws only a fraction of an inch so that the blue and white flames that poured from her mouth remained focused in a narrow stream and did not spill over into the rest of the workshop. . . .
Rhunon had Eragon remove the brightsteel from the torrent of flames with a pair of tongs once the metal began to glow a cherry red. She laid it on her anvil and, with a series of quick blows from a sledgehammer, flattened the lumps of metal into plates that were no more than a quarter of an inch thick. . . . As she finished with each plate, Rhunon dropped it into a nearby trough of brine.
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Like Sanderson, I've waited to cover introspection until now because beginning writers often overuse it, which has led some in the writing world to regularly tell others to rarely use it.
Nothing can quite kill a story's pacing like a big hunk of introspection, except, of course, its cousin, the info-dump. The reason for this is that the more time we spend reading a character's thoughts, the less immediacy the story has, which means the less the audience cares about it. Often beginning writers put in whole paragraphs or even pages of introspection in addition to info-dumps--killing the pacing and readers' interests even more. Some writing instructors will tell you that you shouldn't spend more than 20% of the novel in a character's thoughts. But yet in some successful stories, this rule is completely disregarded.
Introspection as a tool isn't a problem, and it's one of the most obvious ways to convey character. Few things are more personal than private thoughts. But as I stated in the opening, beginning writers tend to write a lot of introspection that conveys very little. Instead, we want the writing to be more condensed, with nearly any introspection conveying more than what's on the page. With introspection, usually less is more.
Most beginning writers will use introspection to address the past. In reality, introspection is usually more effective when the character is thinking about the future--which hasn't happened yet. Have your character think about what he fears or hopes could happen. This helps draw the audience in, because they'll then want to see if what could happen actually does happen.
Introspection is basically internal dialogue/monologue, which means it's another opportunity to convey the viewpoint character's voice. Because . . .
What the character thinks about +  How he thinks about it = Voice (again)
How thoughts are actually handled on the page will depend on what's called point of view penetration--how deep the text goes into the character's head. In third person, direct thoughts may be set off in italics (or underlined if italics isn't available). But in third person or first person, the text itself may take on the thoughts and attitudes of the character, in which case, there are no italics (or underlining).
You can learn more about writing introspection in my articles, "How to Write Excellent Introspection" and "Breaking Writing Rules Right: 'Never Open with Introspection.'"
Here is a passage of introspection from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. Notice how the passage includes anticipating the future and also conveys character.
Harry wished his scar would burn and show him Voldemort's thoughts, because for the first time ever, he and Voldemort were united in wanting the very same thing. . . . Hermione would not like that idea, of course . . . . But then, she did not believe . . . Xenophilius had been right, in a way . . . Limited. Narrow. Close-minded. The truth was that she was scared of the idea, especially the Resurrection Stone . . .
It was nearly dawn when he remembered Luna, alone in a cell in Azkaban. . . . If only there was a way of getting a better wand. . . . And the desire for the Elder Wand, the Deathstick, the unbeatable, invincible, swallowed him once more . . .
It was as though a flame had been lit inside him that nothing, not Hermione's flat disbelief nor Ron's persistent doubts, could extinguish. . . . Harry's belief and longing for the Hallows consumed him so much that he felt quite isolated from the other two and their obsession with the Horcruxes.
"Obsession?" said Hermione . . . when Harry was careless enough to use the word one evening . . . "We're not the ones with an obsession, Harry!"
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This is the fifth type of line I would add to the list, because sometimes there are lines that are neither dialogue, description, blocking, nor introspection, but simply summary.
Summary condenses time, explains through telling, tends to be more abstract, and may swiftly change characters and setting. In fact, it may not even mention a specific character or setting.
Use summary when the audience needs to know the fact that something happened, but it's not important for them to experience it. Also use summary when you need to cover a broader length of time in a shorter amount of space. Summary can be great for scene transitions--usually when what happened between the scenes is worth mentioning, but not worth dramatizing.
Summary is important in providing context for the reader, so may be used to set up a situation or to provide additional background information. For example, you may summarize a short backstory to explain a character's current behavior.
For most stories, summary is usually best kept to a minimum because it is closely related to telling (as opposed to showing). However, a story with no summary will more often than not have problems.
Like description and introspection, what and how the viewpoint character summarizes may reveal more about him or her. With that said, however, summary is probably more likely to be plain and straightforward than the other line types.
You can learn more about summary in my article, "Scene vs. Summary: When to Use Which."
Here is an example of summary from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
Mother came home and commiserated with Ender about the monitor. Father came home and kept saying it was such a wonderful surprise, they had such fantastic children that the government told them to have three, and now the government didn't want to take any of them after all, so here they were with three, they still had a Third . . . until Ender wanted to scream at him, I know I'm a Third, I know it, if you want I'll go away so you don't have to be embarrassed in front of everybody.
Mixing the Types
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While you may have passages that are purely dialogue, purely description, purely blocking, purely introspection, or purely summary, most of the time, you'll probably be writing lines of all types within a  given segment.
For example, in my excerpt from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you may have noticed that introspection, summary, and dialogue were all used.
Here is an example that uses all five types of lines from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.
She still found longer hair an annoyance, however. She washed it, combing out the tangles and knots, wondering how the court women could stand hair that went all the way down their backs. How long must they spend combing and primping beneath a servant's care? Vin's hair hadn't even reached her shoulders yet, and she was loath to let it get longer. It would fly about and whip her face when she jumped, not to mention provide her foes with something to grab on to.
Once finished bathing, she returned to her room, dressed in something practical, and made her way downstairs. Apprentices bustled in the workroom and housekeepers worked upstairs, but the kitchen was quiet. Clubs, Dockson, Ham, and Breeze sat at the morning meal. They looked up as Vin entered.
"What?" Vin asked grumpily, pausing in the doorway. The bath had soothed her headache somewhat, but it still pulsed slightly in the back of her head.
The four men exchanged glances. Ham spoke first. "We were just discussing the status of the plan, now that both our employer and our army are gone."
Breeze raised an eyebrow. "Status? That's an interesting way of putting it, Hammond. I would have said 'unfeasibility' instead."
Clubs grunted his assent, and the four turned to her, apparently waiting to see her reaction.
Why do they care so much what I think? she thought, walking into the room and taking a chair.
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laneypwrites · 4 months ago
The battle between your head and your heart is never an easy one. Your head thinks about the future, the logic, and the reality of the situation. Your heart thinks about the past, the emotions, and the memories. Your head wants you to move on to the thing that makes the most sense, but your heart wants you to go to or stay in the place that makes you comfortable, even if it’s not what’s really best for you. I can’t tell you whether you should follow your head or your heart, but I can leave you with this— your heart should always guide your head, otherwise you’ll lose sight of what makes you, you.
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davidfarland · 14 days ago
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I’ve often said that there are ten thousand right ways to write a story. Unfortunately, there are a million wrong ways to do so. That’s why I’ve found when editing stories for anthologies or judging contests, about 90% of them don’t make the first cut. Here are some easy ways to avoid getting rejected.
1. Use proper grammar
If I see that you have a large number of typos, poor grammar, or incorrect punctuation on the first page of a manuscript, I will reject the story. (I lump all such errors into the category of “boogers.” This also includes things like coffee or cat pee stains on manuscripts.) I may forgive one mistake on a first page, or even two, but not three. Small errors suggest sloppy work throughout the tale.
2. Beware of starting your story with profanity, sex, or extreme violence
As an editor and writer, I want my books to appear in national markets. So I want librarians and school teachers to pick up the books and recommend them wholeheartedly. With rare exceptions, books that sell well tend to have something of a PG rating.
Recently I received a story that had a picture of the author attached. She was young. She was gorgeous. She had only three marijuana leaves covering her body. Don’t send me such pictures.
3. Do not write query letters that insult the editor
Letters that suggest that “My property is so much better than anything else you fools have published” will guarantee a rejection.
4. Don’t start off by telling your editor that you are planning a book/movie/video game empire
Some editors will reject a work specifically because it looks “too much like a movie.” I’ve received submissions that contain photos of every star that the author plans to use in his first movie, along with a breakdown of the 400-million dollar budget. I often get such packages with release forms attached, so that I have to promise not to steal the author’s ideas before I open it. I understand that the author is excited, but it really does look silly.
5. In your query letters, do not offer bribes to editors
I once had an editor friend who got a letter with a penny, an aspirin, and a condom in it. The young writer said, “There, I’ve offered you sex, drugs, and money—now will you accept my proposal?” The editor was not amused. On one or two occasions, I have heard of editors who actually were offered bribes, but the editors didn’t take them. However, that makes me wonder. If an editor did take a bribe, would he ever tell anyone? And how much do you need to offer an editor? They get paid less than church mice. Hmmm . . . maybe that explains some of those poor books I’ve seen. . .
6. Never put a cover illustration in with your manuscript
If you’re writing a fantasy, it is all right to put in a map, but make it a good one.
Now, you might say, “But what if I’m an illustrator too?” The truth is, even if you’re a professional illustrator, you don’t want to put on a cover. The book’s prose needs to stand on its own. When it is time to get artwork done, you can submit your artwork separately, but recognize that the art director for the publishing house will normally be very leery of using your art. I have seen only a couple of illustrator/writers who have ever pulled this off.
7. Format your manuscript properly
A lot of authors don’t bother to format their manuscripts properly. Years ago, I used to think: “Okay, so these writers are novices. They don’t know the rules. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.” But over time I learned that people who hadn’t learned to write in manuscript format usually had fatal flaws in their story. They hadn’t practiced the craft enough to become publishable. So when I see a manuscript that isn’t formatted properly, it raises a red flag.
8. Never start a book with a list
Whether that’s a list of twenty or thirty characters, or a list of every place in the book, or a dictionary of special terms. Your tale should instruct the reader well enough so that it can be enjoyed without those things.
9. Never try to sell a story based upon copyrighted material
For example, publishers must reject song lyrics every time, so don’t insert lyrics to recent songs. I’ve seen some great fan fiction. For example, in Writers of The Future a few years ago, I got a touching story about Gomer Pyle coming back from the war in Vietnam, but it can never be published in a major magazine. The same is true if you write a Star Trek, Star Wars, or Twilight story. Writing such stories is a waste of your time. Write your own fiction.
10. Don’t waste an editor’s time
Don’t send “true” stories to fiction markets. Don’t send your doctor’s thesis, or private letters telling the editor about your rough childhood. If my guidelines say that I want science fiction, don’t send me a mainstream story. If I tell you that my length limit is 7,000 words, don’t send me your novel. With Writers of the Future, we can’t have the author’s name on the manuscript. If you put them on, I must reject the manuscript, even if I love it.
Happy Writing!
David Farland
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Kay Kenyon is an American science fiction and fantasy writer currently living in Wenatchee, Washington. She wrote “The Entire and the Rose” and “Dark Talents” book series.
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David Farland will be hosting a Master Workshop for Fyrecon!
Making it Big as the Modern Writer: A Blueprint for Success
8 Hour Master Workshop for $179 (includes Whole Conference general admission to Fyrecon) Class is limited to 50 students January 15, 2022 at Fyrelite Winter 2022
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ofunspeakablethings · 5 months ago
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badwriterpositivity · a year ago
"show don't tell" is an invaluable piece of advice in writing, but PLEASE don't apply it in literally every single situation. You should never sacrifice your pace or tone for it. Sometimes the best and most effective way to tell your reader something is to just... Tell them. Trust me, they will thank you.
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unpretty · 6 days ago
worst part of original writing is getting hung up on your own lore. i miss fanfiction where i could look it up on a wiki and get five answers and ignore them all to make up my own thing because canon is stupid.
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passed-out-writer · 6 months ago
Writers looking back on their draft they made at six years old like-
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kittyweaveswords · 2 months ago
knocking out devil
I am working hard to open the lock of success by key of hardwork
I won't stop till I hunt my prey
Isolating myself in den turned my personality grey
Oh my lover please don't mind as I am committed to the time
Resting for a minute feels like committing a heinous crime
Concentrating on my task till i go blind
Oh my destiny please be kind
I work hard till I cry
the angry tears falls down with my heated sweat
I wont give up till I try
though the hurdles in my path being slippery like moss
oh my lord , these shameless obstacles are kissing my ass
I will work hard till the tables turn
I will show off my success making the devil within you burn
oh this nerdy obstacle creeping me out
bottling up my frustration till it erupts out
focusing the eye till it runs out of fluid
To let my success dawn , I am burning the midnight oil
Winking my eye at devil when his blood boils
The devil is nobody else but my previous failure
Winning the battle made me an object of allure
Looming a shadow in his life till his confidence becomes soilure
Carrying out my consistent efforts would make me victorious
there's no other fun than in making devil jealous
Giving my best
as it will never go waste
The devil is pulling me down
i stepped up on him to win that crown
Using devil like a ladder
smirking to him in the mirror on his blabber
watching him exploding out of frustration
I finally celebrated my victory sipping the wine in game station
I heaved a sigh of relief
little did i know he would come back to congratulate me with a surprise of grief
saying , " Darling , you can never resign this game of rise and fall"
(i hope you are able to figure out what is crown and who is the actual devil)
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lesdevissages · 8 months ago
“I’m sorry this is so bad-” 
No, please stop. Stop apologizing. Do you understand what you just did? You created. You shared with us a piece of your passion, your creativity, your soul. Just the act of that in and of itself carries such an immense and profound beauty to it. Your creations may not look exactly like those of people you admire, but that is okay. They are uniquely yours. They are a badge of honor that you should wear unapologetically and with pride.
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jamesd-jpeg · 5 months ago
Things You Should Know About Your Characters: Part 2
1. What is your characters biggest fear? (Is it irrational or rational?)
2. Who has the biggest influence on your character? (Is it positive or negative?)
3. What are your characters political beliefs?
4. How is your character with kids?
5. What is your characters biggest secret?
6. What piercings would your character get, if any?
7. What is something your character finds repulsive?
8. What does home mean to your character?
9. How loudly does your character talk?
10. What is your characters favorite flower?
11. How does your character respond to physical affection?
12. Is your character a feminist? (Why or why not?)
13. Is your character good at keeping secrets?
14. How would your character respond to a stranger hitting on them?
15. What traits has your character inherited? (And from who?)
16. What does your character do at sleepovers?
17. If your character had access to social media, how many accounts would they have, what apps would they use, and what would their username(s) be?
18. How does your character react to reuniting with someone after a long time?
19. What is your characters sexuality?
20. What does family mean to your character?
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