It's that time of year again. People are gearing up for NaNoWriMo and as usual I feel like I'm missing out. I did do NaNo many years ago, and won, and I learned that it is ultimately anathema to my writing process. It solves a problem I don't really have. I'm not one of those people who'll get around to writing someday, and while I can write at speed, writing at NaNo speed simply meant I ended up with mostly garbage I stewed over for three months, threw out in its entirety and rewrote before never looking at the project again.
I'm sure I'm not the only one for whom NaNo isn't ideal, and I was thinking about how I could harness some of that communal NaNo energy in a way that compliments my process better.
Thus, this year I'm setting myself a NaNoTiMo challenge, to wit, I'm going to attempt to spend 50 hours over November working on my writing. I'll probably make note of the word count in the end, but I'm not setting a goal; outlining and making notes and editing will count, not just drafting. This I hope will help with a problem I do have, which is prioritising. I get up, I work out, I do chores, then I write. I don't actually know how much time I spend writing currently, so if nothing else it'll give me some idea of that, and if it goes well I can adjust the goal next year.
If you like the concept, you're more than welcome to join me.
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Writer's Guide: Writing about Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails
Or how to write believable bar and nightclub scenes. I often find myself helping friends with their WIPs and often it as a bartender, I find myself having to correct them on bar and mixology terminology. So here's my quick guide to keeping your lingo on the straight and narrow.
DASH/SPLASH: a drop of a mixer such as juice or flavouring.
MIXER: non alcholic beveraged served with the measure of alcohol in the same glass.
NEAT: Plain, without any addition of ice or a mixture. Just the alcohol.
ON THE ROCKS: Served over Ice.
STRAIGHT UP: The cocktail is chilled with ice and strained into a glass with no ice
DIRTY – if somebody asks for a dirty martini, you add olive juice, the more juice the dirtier it is
DRY- A dry martini includes a drop of vermouth and an extra dry martini contains a drop of scotch swirled in the glass and drained before adding the gin
BACK – a ‘back’ is a drink that accompanies an alcholic beverage such as water or Coke, but isn't mixed.
GARNISH – something added to a drink such as a lime or lemon or orange.
TWIST - a twist is literally a twist of fruit skin in the drink.
BITTERS – a herbal alcoholic blend added to cocktails.
RIMMED - the glass is coated in salt or sugar to enhance the taste.
VIRGIN- non alcoholic
MOCKTAIL- a virgin cocktail
DOUBLE - Two measures of the same alcohol in the same glass. A bartender can only legally serve a double in the same glass. They cannot serve you a triple.
COCKTAIL SHAKER - it is a metal cup that fits into a glass, used to shake the components of your drink together with ice to chill it.
STRAINER- used to seperate ice in the shaker from the liquid within as you pour it into the glass.
MEASURES- these are little metal cylinders meant to measure out the pours of the alcohol. You pour the alcohol from the bottle into the measure and then put it into the glass. It's imperative that the right measure goes into the glass or the drink will taste of shit.
BAR SPOON – a long spoon meant to mix the drink.
OPTIC- it is a mechanism that attaches a bottle to an automatic pourer. The bartender usually fits the glass under the spout and pushes up to release the amount which cuts off at the single measure.
SHOT GLASS- a shot glass is a small glass to contain one measure
PINT GLASS- a glass used for serving pints of lager or ale
HALF PINT GLASS - a tulip shaped glass half the measure of a pint glass
SPEEDWELL/TAPS/DRAFT: are the taps used to pour beer from kegs stored under the bar floor.
SLIM JIM/HIGH BALL GLASS- It is a tall straight holding 8 to 12 ounces and used for cocktails served on the rocks such as a Gin and Tonic.
ROCKS GLASS - or an old fashioned glass, it is short and round. These glasses are used for drinks such as Old Fashioneds or Sazerac
COUPE GLASS- Are broad round stemmed glasses used for cocktails that are chill and served without ice such as a Manhattan, Boulevardier or a Gimlet
MARTINI GLASS - a martini glass is that classic stemmed "v" shaped glass, used to serve drinks without mixers such as Martini and Cosmopolitans
MARGARITA GLASS - is a large, round bowl like glass with a broad and a tall stem used for Margaritas and Daiquiris
HURRICANE GLASS- a tall tulip-like shaped glass with a flared rim and short stem. It holds 20 ounces which means it is the perfect glass to serve iced cocktails in such as Pina Colada, Singapore Sling, Hurricane
Vodka- Vodka is made from potatoes or fermented cereal grains. It has a strong taste and scent. It is usually consumed neat with a mixer such as Coke or Orange juice or cranberry juice or in cocktails like Martini, Bloody Mary and Cosmopolitan.
Whisky/Whiskey- Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage, made from fermented grain mash such as barley, corn, rye, and wheat. It gets its flavour form being fermented in casks for long period of time. When serving a whiskey, one asks whether they want ice or a mixer. Everyone has their own preference. I prefer mine like myself, strong and Irish. Scotch is Scottish Brewed whisky.
Rum- Rum is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses/juice. It is aged in oak barrels. It has a sweet taste.
Beer: is made out of cereal grains and served chilled in bottles or pulled from taps/speedwells.
Ale: Ale in the middle ages referred to beer brewed without hops (a kind of flowering plant that gives beer its bitter taste). It is sweeter and would typically have a fruity aftertaste.
Stout- is a darker beer sometimes brewed from roasted malt, coming in a sweet version and dry version, the most famous stout being Guinness.
Poitín- (pronounced as pot-cheen) is made from cereals, grain, whey, sugar beet, molasses and potatoes. It is a Dangerous Drink (honestly i still don't know how I ended up in that field with a traffic cone and a Shetland pony) and technically illegal. Country folk in Ireland used to brew it in secrets in stills hidden on their land.
Vermouth: Is made from infused with roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, spices, brandy but vermouth is classed aromatized wine. It comes sweet or dry
Gin- is made from juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, almond or liquorice and grain alcohol. Gin has a strong scent and taste and is usually served in a martini or a tonic water.
Schnapps- refers to any strong, clear alcoholic beverage. It is considered one of the best types of spirits because of its pure and delicate aroma. Lesson: never drink peach schnapps.
Cocktails and Drinks
Irish Coffee: an Irish coffee is adding whiskey to coffee and sugar and topping it with cream. As a bartender, I would honestly rather cut my arm off than make one of these.
Baby Guinness: Is a shot made by pouting Tia Maria or Kaluah into a shot glass and spreading Baileys on the top so it looks like a small pint of Guinness.
Silver Bullet: a shot of mixed tequila and sambuca.
Long Island Iced Tea: The Long Island contains vodka, gin, tequila, light rum, lemon juice, triple sec and cola. It has a real kick.
Mai Tai: is made with light and dark rum, lime juice, orange curacao, orgeat syrup and rock candy syrup and served with a mint garnish.
Manhattan: The Manhattan is made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters.
Margarita: The margarita is made with tequila, cointreau and lime juice.
Mojito: a mojito is made with muddled mint, white rum, lime juice, simple syrup and soda.
Martini: a martini is made of gin, dry vermouth and garnished with a lemon twist or olives.
Mimosa: a mimosa is a made with sparkling wine and orange juice.
Mint Julep: Made with Kentucky bourbon, simple syrup, mint leaves and crushed ice
Pina Colada: is made with white rum, dark rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream
Screwdriver: Vodka and Orange juice
Tequila Sunrise: tequila, orange juice and grenadine
Tom Collins: made with spiked lemonade, sparkling water, lemon juice, simple syrup and gin
Whiskey Sour: is made with powdered sugar, seltzer, lemon juice and whiskey.
White Russian: made with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream.
Black Russian: made with two parts coffee liqueur and five parts vodka.
Gin and Tonic: gin served with tonic water
Bloody Mary: made with vodka and tomato juice mixed with lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, fresh herbs, brown sugar and cracked black pepper.
Brandy Alexander: served straight up and made with brandy, cognac, creme de cacao and cream
Cosmopolitan: Made with citrus vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and fresh lime juice
Daiquiri: made with rum, lime juice and sugar.
Gimlet: gin and lime juice
My Top 10 Bartending Rules and Responsibilities
Overpouring is never an option. You can seriously hurt somebody by overpouring, not to mention spoil the drink and ruin your sales. You only serve people what they ask and never more.
When somebody has had enough, you stop serving them. After a while, you know when to cut somebody off.
Never leave bottles on the counter or in reach of customers. Your expensive spirits should never be in reach of anybody but you.
If you tell somebody your selling them premium and top shelf alcohol, you cannot substitute with cheaper licqor. It's illegal.
As a bartender, your eyes always have to be scanning a crowd. You can't leave people hanging.
The golden rule - if you see somebody messing with someone's drink, you chuck it if you can or warn the person. And you get that son of a bitch out of your pub.
50% of the job is cleaning. You have to clean your tools constantly. You cannot reuse measures and spouts, you have to wash everything. Beer traps are clean out every night, rubber mats are washed and anything you have used has to be clean.
You have to hand dry your glasses. You never polish a pint glass as it fucks up the pint. You polish your cocktail glasses, shot glasses and straight glasses.
If someone seems down or on their own, you try make conversation. Often you'll hear some disturbing stuff but always try lend an ear or make everyone feel included.
If you break a glass in the ice bucket, you got to get rid of the ice.
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me: I want to update a WIP :)
brain: cool you have to write it then
me: I have to what
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I’m currently writing my second book of 2021, and I have a lot of advice to give! Someone reached out asking for advice on how to overcome their inner perfectionist during the first draft—and my, oh my, do I have things to say! 😄
Now, the inner perfectionist is that icky voice in the back of your head telling you what you’re writing—all this work you’re putting on your story—is worthless because it isn’t perfect right now. And if something isn’t perfect right now, what’s the point?
The inner perfectionist is a reflection of our own fears, our doubts, and our insecurities. Deep down, we want people to like our work—but if it isn’t perfect right now how could anyone like it? This sentiment keeps a lot of writers from achieving their full potential...
So let’s put an end to that!
Over my long time writing, I have come up with three reminders that I repeated to myself until I truly believed them and my inner perfectionist finally perished.
Repeat after me...
"This is just the beginning.”
Your story doesn’t have to be perfect right now, you’re just starting out. You don’t have to make sure every passage is perfect. You haven’t even finished the first draft! How do you even know what perfect looks like? This is just the beginning.
Your story doesn’t have to be perfect right now, and there’s nothing you can’t change later. The amazing thing about writing a novel is that can always change as much of the story as you want, whenever you want. A scene not working out? You can rewrite it. A character not hitting hard enough? You can rewrite them. Nothing is set in stone. Everything changes.
“There will be time to edit later.”
Your story doesn’t have to be perfect right now, specially when you’re writing the first draft! You can’t in good faith edit your story before you finish it. There’s no point stressing out over making every passage perfect right now. There will be time to edit later.
Some days will be harder than others, and that’s okay. Just keep reminding yourself that your story doesn’t have to be perfect while you’re writing it. The only thing that first draft needs to be... is written. Once you’re there, you can start polishing, but you can’t get there if you keep stopping yourself short, writing and re-writing, every time the inner perfectionist shows up.
It’s hard, but I know you can do this.
Keep writing, writerly friend~ 📝✨
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it would be so ✨simple✨
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Writing smut without cringing the whole time? How do you do it.
Writing Smut 101: Overcoming Smut Shame
CONTENT WARNING: NSFW RELATED CONTENT BELOW.
The short answer, nonnie, is: you don’t.
That is to say, writing smut is always kind of cringe—especially if you’re new to it, or simply “not in the mood” to write.
But rest assured, feeling embarrassed is completely natural. The trick is learning how to overcome the cringe when it does happen, instead of letting it deter you.
I’m going to break this up into a few sections: 1) Why you might be feeling this way, 2) How I, personally, combat the issue, and 3) Some more tips that might help you get the ball rolling.
1. Why You “Cringe”
It’s important to find the root cause of any form of writer’s block so you can pull the weed out instead of just trimming it back. Smut writer’s block is its own special brand, and generally, the main issue writers have when it comes to smut is stigma.
Speaking openly and honestly about sex, in Western society, is still very much a taboo.
No matter how “progressive” we like to think we are, the inherent shame surrounding pleasure-seeking experiences, and the detailing/consumption of them, has been ground into us since we learned how to understand the concept of gratification.
And I’m not just talking about sexual gratification. This applies to everyday things, as well. Eating, shopping, relaxing (or doing virtually anything in capitalist society that does not directly contribute to capitalism).
So it makes sense that you would feel any amount of embarrassment, awkwardness, or “cringe” when writing smut. It’s something our society teaches us is wrong to want. Unfortunately, that shame translates to writer’s block when we sit down in front of the computer.
A lot of this blockage might stem from not giving ourselves permission to write the thing.
We’re staring at the blank document, knowing we want to write smut, and suddenly the thoughts start streaming in: This feels wrong, is this wrong? What if someone comes in and looks over my shoulder while I’m writing? Am I describing this right? Is this too unrealistic? I have NO idea what I’m doing, and everyone is going to know it.
These are all perfectly normal thoughts, and definitely ones I still have from time to time. But they’re also probably the direct cause of why you feel so blocked. Luckily, I have some bits of advice to give you on how to unblock yourself.
2. How I Combat Smut Block
✦ First, when the intrusive thoughts occur, instead of ruminating on them, think of each one as an impermanent object. You can use any metaphor, but I like to use the imagery of leaves:
Each negative thought is a leaf floating down the river of your mind. If you focus only on the leaf, you’ll exert a lot of energy running to try and keep up with it, consequently miss everything else around you. But if you acknowledge that leaf as a temporary part of the scenery, and let is pass, you can process and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings a whole lot better.
Remember: you are separate from your thoughts. You are not defined by them. The things you think sound stupid might be incredibly exciting to someone else.
If you can string a sentence together, you can write smut. This is all part of giving yourself permission to write the thing that makes you feel uncomfortable.
✦ Second, I’d suggest giving good thought to how you personally experience embarrassment, how you experience excitement (of the sexual variety), and how those two might sometimes commingle or feel similar.
For me, they are very comparable, like different shades of the same emotion—but there are differences which are important to note.
If I’m making myself blush from excitement, this is a very good thing for writing smut. It means that what I’m writing feels real enough to evoke something in the reader, even if the reader, like me, knows what’s going to happen.
If I’m making myself cringe, however, it may be time to take a step back and readjust my perspective.
✦ Third, ease yourself into it! Don’t jump straight in the deep end and expect to know how to keep your head above water if you’ve never swum before.
The way I eased myself into smut was first by writing “Steam”—a category of fic I made up because the current vocabulary lacked an efficient term for fics that straddled emotional romance and explicit content.
Essentially, steam is smut-adjacent but not explicit, and here’s a step-by-step example of how I transitioned myself smoothly from one genre to the next:
I first wrote my fics Wicked Game and You Are (both of which feature either a heavy make out session or teasing + lots of sexual tension) with this “steam” concept in mind.
I wrote the first chapter of Fine Line, which has brief but explicit descriptions of fantasies, framed by a very sexually charged scene.
I released my fic Crashing, which is probably more of a bridge between Steam and Smut, and features soft-focus fingering. Nothing in it is explicit—it focuses more on the emotions than explicit detail—but it’s very clear what is happening.
After I wrote those, I felt just confident enough to make that final stride over the threshold into smut. I wrote my fics Holy, King, and the second chapter of Fine Line all within weeks of each other.
And trust me when I say, once you get the momentum going and receive that validation from people who’ve read your work, it becomes SO much easier to sit down and start writing.
You just have to finish that first piece.
✦ Finally (and I know I’m going to sound cliche when I say this), just like any other skill, the more you practice the more confident you will feel and the better you will get.
So practice, practice, practice!
If you’re nervous about posting smut for the first time, have a trusted friend/mutual Beta read it for you. It’s the online equivalent to someone holding your hand before jumping off the cliff, and works wonders for the nerves.
3. Keep The Smut Rolling
Now that you have some tools to help get you past the blockage of writing smut, here’s how to keep the inspiration flowing.
✦ Start by incorporating smutty fanfiction/erotic fiction into your regular reading rotation-
Of course AO3 is a fantastic resource for smutty fanfiction.
If you’re a fan of TFOTA or ACOTAR and want some of my personal fic recs, visit my fic rec masterlist.
In terms of erotic fiction, my personal favourites are anything Anais Nin (specifically Henry & June and Delta of Venus), The Thornchapel series by Sierra Simone, The Godwicks series by Tiffany Reisz, and The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz.
There are also sites like Literotica and sexstories.com, which play host to explicit short fiction (not fandom based).
✦ Next, I’d recommend having a designated digital space for smutspiration-
This can be a list of “smutty” words/phrases kept on a separate document on your computer, for those days when you just can’t think of the right way to describe something.
Or you can create a private side-blog or Pinterest board for your favourite smutty fanart or other kinds of visual smutspiration.
✦ For that matter, try following some smutty/18+ blogs (ONLY IF YOU’RE 18+) here on Tumblr-
Many of them have a plethora of what I like to call “lemony snippets”, a.k.a. short text posts that describe (usually in conversational language) explicit scenarios.
This is useful because it will normalise the concept of sexual fantasies in your brain, making it less weird for you when you try to come up with ones of your own to write into smut.
Not to mention, your dash will be rife with inspiration.
✦ I would also suggest checking out 18+ ASMR on YouTube (AGAIN, ONLY IF YOU’RE 18+).
My favourite account is Professor Cal Official, but Auralescent also has some good content.
Headphones are highly advisable for this, as their stuff is very dangerous for work.
So, nonnie, I hope this has provided you with at least one helpful tip. Whether you took anything away from this or not, just know that the feelings of embarrassment when it comes to writing smut are entirely normal. And the best way to keep those feelings at bay is to confront them head on.
Writing Advice Masterlist
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Hi there. I've got lots of work in progress' I haven't gone back to in years, thing is I really like writing and want to get back into it but I just don't know how? I'm starting to think I might just not have what it takes to be a writer.
So as someone who is quite an extensive writer, what advice would you give to someone who desperately wants to write but won't ?
ooooof, Anon, your ask hit home with the accuracy of a flipping missile!! I know you’re not the only one struggling right now, and the key I think is to be a mix of very gentle with yourself and simultaneously just a little bit stern.
I burnt out completely in December 2020, and didn’t write anything for nearly five months, which was devastating. I’m a writer! That’s who and what I am. And I couldn’t do it??? I was deeply shaken by it, and I’m only just starting to claw my way back to my identity as a writer. I’ve had creative slumps before, but never a complete inability to write at all, and no one really... got it? I’ve had to postpone working on my novel, despite constant pressure from my family, which sucks.
I can’t tell you what will work for you for certain, obviously, but I can tell you what has helped me a bit, and hopefully something there will resonate, and you’ll be able to use it for your own struggles. Hang on in there, Anon!
First off, and I cannot stress this enough, you are still a writer. You don’t have to be sitting at the keyboard and typing actively all the time to call yourself a writer. You can be a writer while also taking a break, no matter how long that break is. If you want your identity to be that of ‘writer’, then you are. Tell yourself you are a writer, even when you’re not actively writing.
Force yourself to stop trying to write for a while. It sounds bonkers, and counterintuitive, but if you’re on a forced break, it might help recharge your energy. Tell yourself you’re not going to try and write for at least a whole month. Don’t open any WIP docs. Don’t re-read stuff you’ve got stuck on in the hopes that this time you’ll finish it. You’re on break, and you’ve given yourself permission not to be writing.
While you’re on your break though, feel free to use a little notebook or something to jot down any ideas you have, or snippets of dialogue/scenes etc., as scraps for the future. Just don’t try to make them into a big complete work just yet.
Read. Read lots of new books and stories. Push the boundaries of your usual genre comfort zones and try a new genre. Analyse the writing of these authors closely. Why do you like their style? What makes their style unique? Why does that sentence work so well, and why does that one feel flat or clunky? Be active in your reading, and it might trigger some enthusiasm for your own creativity. Hold onto that feeling, and see if you want to have another go after your break.
Write something for someone else. I took on some commissions recently, knowing I would be obliged to finish them, but I set a limit on the wordcount so I didn’t get super overwhelmed each time. (This is the ‘being a little bit stern’ part.)
Once your break is over (if you decide a break suits you in the first place!), write just one sentence and then walk away. Close the document and go and do something else. If you want to come back and write more later, then do. If not, you still wrote something. Do the same the next day.
Go outdoors if you can and think about your story somewhere else. Perhaps the change of environment will make it feel more refreshed. Take a notebook with you and write somewhere else. It might even feel like a treat!
Make sure you’re comfortable when you’re going to write. Turn your phone off, disconnect your laptop from the wifi, have some water or tea or whatever nearby, go to the bathroom first, put a jumper on or open the window. Just... give yourself permission to write for the joy of it. Remember why you wanted to tell these stories in the first place.
If you’re still not really feeling it, try creating character moodboards on Pinterest, or colour palettes for your characters, abstract watercolours, or whatever creative medium you fancy. Draw maps of the world, or just try and be creative within the universe of your stories without writing them.
Try a writing exchange with another author.
Take writing prompts for ten sentence drabbles or something.
And if none of that helps, forgive yourself for not having the energy to be creative in this way at the moment. Find a way to let go of the guilt and self-flagellation that a lot of creatives go through when their main focus isn’t playing ball. It’s ok to go into a creative slump, and it can take a long time to come out of it.
Hopefully some of that is helpful? It sucks, it really really sucks, when you’re not able to do something you love for whatever reason. Check out my ‘writing advice’ tag because I’ve written a few posts on creative block/writer’s block/creative hibernation before, and I might have missed some points in answering this.
Good luck, and go gently with yourself.
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I know we joke about tumblr and computer illiterate staff a lot, we complain about the NSFW ban still, we call it our hellsite sometimes endearingly sometimes derogatorily. I know that activity on here is plummeting and the pornbots are rampant.
But as a fic writer I'm grateful tumblr exists every day of my fandom life.
Tumblr is the only platform that hasn't completely abandoned fic writers yet and it's so ironic how everyone turned to fanfic during the pandemic singing their praise of how fic "saved them" in those dark times, while at the same time fic writers remain excluded from spaces like Twitter and its fan community because nobody even makes an effort to like or retweet fic or fic links and nobody follows writers there so even if we try to boost each other it does nothing.
And people say "well obviously those spaces cater to visual content, tough luck for you, but at least you have ao3! :)))" completely not understanding ao3 is an archive that was never designed to offer social functions and a way to connect to other fans. It's a space to safely store your works without being vulnerable to content purges and lawsuits, not more and not less.
Ao3 does an important and necessary job and for some writers posting there is enough, having a platform to showcase their work is enough. But a lot of us write not only to contribute to the body of fanworks but also in order to partake in the fan community, to be included and to connect with other fans. But the other sm platform just won't let us.
There's just tumblr for us, and the shadow existence we lead on here.
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hey government, i swear i don’t eat people, it’s for a fic,
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Fantasy Guide to Noble Titles & What they Mean
So I get a lot of questions about what nobles actually do or how much they own or why a certain title is higher than another. Understanding the complexities of nobility and their hierarchy can be a bit of a head twister but hopefully this will help you out. Just for the moment we will be focusing on European Titles because I can't fit all the titles into one post. Forgive my shitty doodles. The diagrams mark out where the particular noble would rule.
These titles have two meanings. In the latter half of the Austrian Empire, it was used to denote senior members of the Royal family such as children and siblings. It is also a non Royal title given to someone who rules an archduchy, a large portion of land with in the kingdom. They are in charge of the archduchy, ensuring it runs smoothly. They are referred to as Your Grace.
Grand Duke/Grand Duchess
The Grand Duke is probably the trickiest of all these titles as there is a dual meaning. A Grand Duke can rule a state as a sovereign like in Luxembourg or they can rule a Grand Duchy (a large portion of land within a kingdom) like the Grand Dukes of Russia. The Grand Duke was below the Archduke and their lands may be smaller. They are in charge of ruling their Grand Duchy, upholding the monarch's laws in their name. They are referred to as Your Grace.
The Duke is the highest rank in most European nations. The Duke rules a large portion of the kingdom- called a Duchy- which you can think of as a county/state. The Duchies are often awarded by the monarch to their children who are not the heir. The Duke is charge with running that portion of land by order of the monarch, handling the over all business of that piece of the Kingdom. Dukes are referred to as Your Grace. There was only one Duke per Duchy.
A Marquess is the next rung down from Dukes. The Marquess is in charge of a portion of land within a Duchy which is called a Marsh which lays near a border. The Marquess is solely responsible for the running of that portion of land. The Marquess is called The Most Honourable (Insert name), the Marquess of XYZ. There could be multiple marquesses in a Duchy if it was near a large border.
An Earl/Count Rules over an Earldom, which is a section of a Duchy but it has less importance than a Marsh ruled by the Marquess. The Earl/Count is the third highest ranking within the Duchy. Often it was the subsidiary title of the heir of the Dukedom, so the eldest son/daughter of the Duke would be the Earl. The Earl/Count of X is addressed as Lord X for example, the Earl of Grantham, is called Lord Grantham. There could be multiple Earls/counts per Duchy.
Viscounts are the Earl/Count's second in command, ruling a portion of land with the Earldom. They handled the judiciary matters of their lands and their barons. Viscounts were addressed as the Right Honourable (insert name) Viscount of XY. Viscounts can also be used as a subsidiary title for the son of a Earl. When Thomas Boleyn was made Earl of Wiltshire, his son George was made Viscount Rochford. There might be multiple Viscounts in a Duchy.
The Baron is the lowest of ranks in the nobility pyramid. Before the mid-medieval period, almost all nobles were labelled as Barons. They ruled over a portion of the land under the Duke, the Earl and Viscount. There were always a huge force of barons with in the Duchy. They handled the minor local disputes of their lands, collecting taxes and monies owed. If they faced a larger issue or crime, they would pass it up to the next ranking noble the Viscount and then it could travel all the way up to the Duke. The Baron of Townville were referred to as as Lord Townville.
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my toxic trait is not planning my fics to the very end before I start writing, then adding in important sideplots in the final act with no setup
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It's so damn unfair that I actually have to, like, write and edit and post stuff in order to get people to read and comment. Why can't I just mentally project it and receive instant praise? Where is that technology, I ask you?
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...and it's been going on like this for a week
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When all you wanted to write was a 1,5k more-or-less-canon-compliant smut scene for a non-canon pairing...
... and it turns into a 5k fluff-and-angst shot with a bit of smut on the side that's going into detail why the canon ship you also like still fits in here and how the characters find their way into an alternative-universe scenario and you're dealing with the dilemma of how to separate canon from dream-verse in future and how so many details would make your dream-verse more realistic and you're just like...
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When I say I'm writing what I mean is I'm staring at the screen with my hands on the keyboard but it's only 10% typing and 90% suffering.
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