#writers on writing
every writer: i love my characters so much, they're my babies & i would do anything for them, absolute sweethearts
also every writer: that one dies, and that one goes through fire and brimstone, and that one gets abandoned and lives through his worst nightmares, and that one loses everything he's ever loved, and-
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Why must I write things?? Why can't I just IMAGINE things and then watch them MAGICALLY MATERIALIZE before my eyes??? *stamps foot angrily*
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Save the cat! Outline:
Note: Not all of these beats are equal in scene length. Some can be very short, others long.
Opening Image: They way your novel opens, usually with a scene, some narration. Introduction to the protagonist/world. (0-1% of the novel)
Theme stated: Life lesson, what does the protagonist need to learn before the end of the story? This is stated by a character that is not the hero. (at 5%)
Setup: Thing that needs fixing. (First 1-10%)
Catalyst: (Inciting incident) The thing that kick starts everything and ensures people can’t go back. (At around 10%)
Debate: Reactions to the inciting incident. (Around 10-20% in the novel. If your novel is 400 pages this happens between page 40-80)
Break into 2: Hero accepts the call to action. (At 20%)
Theme Stated/ B Story: Introduction of a new character, or the character that helps the hero learn the theme. (At around 22%)
Fun and Games: Hero in their new world. (from 20 to 50% in the book aka page 80 to 200 in a 400 page novel) This is called fun and games because that’s what it is to the audience.
Midpoint: The middle of the book. Literally. False defeat/victory. Stakes are raised. Either things have been going the heroes way and they are on top of the world about to lose it all. Or things have been going down hill and this is where things start to get better. (At 50%, page 200.)
Bad guys (Internal) close in: If the midpoint was a false defeat, this is the point where things slowly get better. But the heroes flaws are closing in. (At 50-75%)
All is lost: Whiff of death. Rock bottom, something happens that shakes everything and crumbles the heroes. (At 75% Or page 300)
Dark night of the soul: Return to normal. This is where the hero deals with the darkest point. Reaction to all is lost. (At 75 to 80%)
Dark night epiphany: This is where the hero learns the life lesson/theme. (internally) (At 75 to 80%)
Breaking into 3: Hero realizes how he has to fix himself. (At 80%)
Finale: Hero proves that he truly learned the lesson/theme. (At 80 - 99%)
Gathering the team: Hero gathers the people around him. (At 80 - 99%)
Executing the plan: They execute the plan. (At 80 - 99%)
High tower surprise: Final act set back. (At 80 - 99%)
Dig deep down: Hero uses their learned theme to band together. (At 80 - 99%)
Final image: Opposing image to the opening image.Final scene of the novel. (At 99-100%)
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Enemies to lovers dialogue ~
I'm a sucker for the enemies to lovers trope and therefore I present few prompts to help give birth to more ships in this trope !!it's miscellaneous,I hope ya like it...
"That night was a mistake and you know that...-I-it was a moment of vulnerability! We were both overcome by stupid emotions..."
Enemies don't kiss each other like that! Enemies don't crave the touch of each other! "
Shut up! and wipe that smirk off your face before I do it myself! Oh yeah? Why don't you come over and do it with your lips hm?
I can't stop thinking about that...kiss.
I said you're beautiful ok?! Jeez, do you have something wrong with your hearing?
"They say forbidden fruits taste the best. Then that explains why you taste so f***king delicious to me. "
Who did this to you?! Who hurt you like this? TELL ME!!!
Are you crazy?! What if someone saw us?! But I missed you...
Hey, look at me. You are going to be alright. I'm here for you ok?
This doesn't change anything. You know I still hate you.
Did I make your heart flutter hm? Haha, you look like a tomato!
This isn't right! We are not supposed to be like this! I'm not supposed to have feelings for my enemy!
You're so adorable when you blush!!
Nightmares again? Ya want me to keep you company?
W-why did you kiss me?
I'll break your neck if you kiss me like that again! .ohh, feisty. That's what I like.
Why didn't you tell me you were wounded?!
Why would you love me?! I'm not worthy of being loved! All I do is hurt the people I care about!
I don't think I can hold back anymore.
Do you know what pisses me off?! It's that I still care about you. I still love you even after all the shit you put me through.
You. Are. Mine .
Wait - was that your first time ?! You're a virgin??!
Why do I remember kissing you?
Your cheesy flirting won't work on me. Oh really? Then why are you blushing?
Oh yeah? Why don't you come over here and make me?
I always knew that you'd one day fall for me. But I didn't expect you to be at my feet this early.
I never meant to hurt you...please come back to me.
I'll wait for you. I'll wait for you to come to me.
Shut up before I kiss you again!!
What the hell are you doing in my apartment?! Wait- are you drunk?! Nooooooooooo...* Giggles*
Oh my god, why are you bleeding so much?! This isn't what you mean by a small wound!!
No one is allowed to kill you except me you understand? Stop getting into stupid fights!
Wait- you mean I took your first kiss?!
You have five seconds to pull away before I change my mind. I don't want you regretting this kiss
You have no idea how much... I hate you.No idea...
I'm not going to hold back anymore. I'm going to make you mine.
Open your eyes, damnit!!! Don't you die on me like this! I won't allow you...!
God...you're like a drug to me. So beautiful yet so...intoxicating .
Why are you being so nice to me? Don't tell me you've already fallen for me.
You have no idea how long I've waited to kiss you like this... To touch you like this...
I hate you!! Oh, I know you love me ~
I know I'm not supposed to be like this... But it feels so right.
Why don't you come closer and let me show you how it's done, sweetheart.
Did I ever tell you, you look cute when you're angry? Because that's how you look right now. Like a cute angry bunny.
S-shut up !! I'm not blushing! You are!!!
No, I'm not leaving you behind again. I won't lose you a second time.
I have never wanted anyone as much as I wanted you.
" This is wrong... I-I can't love you... We're supposed to mortal enemies !
Oh my gosh, did I make the stoic, emotionless A, blush, hmm?
I hate you, right? I'm supposed to hate you... But why can't I anymore?
Why won't you just admit it?! I know you feel the same way I do.
I'm never leaving you alone again.Not this time.
Stop caring about me okay?! I never asked you to have feelings for me!
- It's because I care about you ok ?!Why is that so hard to believe?!!
Why is your face so red,babe? Am I too hot for ya ?
Haha,I love to see your reaction. You're such a fun tease.
How do you expect me to not fall for you when you keep behaving like that?
Wait - you guys betted on us to become a couple ?! I thought you were my friends?! How could you ?T-this literally one of the top ten anime betrayals!!!
You're making it hard to resist kissing you when you look like that.
Ahh,stop attacking me so much...! Shut up , I know you love my kisses.
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Gelecekteki sevgiliye not: Mükemmel misin?
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RAVENCLAW: "Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it's a letdown, they won't buy any more. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book." –Mickey Spillane (Writers on Writing)
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Lately I've been forgetting the power of words. Nothing I read makes me feel better. Nothing I write makes me feel better. Everything others say is so predictable. I have nothing to say either. Or maybe I do. I have a lot to say. The how is where I trip. And the why. How do I say it all without being attacked and why should I say any of it at all?
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"What a lonely feeling it is to know that there is and will never be a deadline to your trauma. You just pull out your lawn chair at some drive-in theater to watch some movies that are unable to yield your interest in 90° weather and feel your skin begin to burn away to a crisp and you can't do a damn thing about it."
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You'll never know how much damage you caused someone, until they detached themselves away from you.
Falling Petals // ma.c.a
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Living helps with writing and writing helps with living.
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Reading my dialogue out loud to see if it sounds authentic.
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Being a writer is like [blankly stares at laptop screen of manuscript for 30 min but is actually dreaming up next scenes] [creates playlist for specific scene] [watches movie/show and gets 2916382 ideas for plotline] [tries to write but too burnt out so ends up messing up next scene and then deleting it and questioning entire life choices] [starts writing midday and comes out of frenzy at 4 AM with another 2k words written but having forgotten how to human] [fingers ink-stained from brainstorming ideas for book] [gets 10 new book ideas and can’t decide which to focus on so ends up not writing either] [rereads draft and cracks up at own jokes] [rereads draft and yells at characters for being foolish] [rereads draft and cringes] [rereads draft and feels proud and accomplished] [wants to share writing with the whole world because it’s a piece of own soul] [mortified at sharing writing with the whole world because it’s a piece of own soul]
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I am discovering that there are so many sides to writing a book that have nothing to do with writing a book.
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Creative writing is a weird and tricky thing. You can only really learn your own personal process by trying out the processes of other people and then discard the things that don't work for you, while keeping the things that do. And it's so different for everyone that while you can teach story structure, things to consider and other concepts, there's no way to teach a cookie cutter way to write.
And honestly, that's kinda wild.
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50 INTERESTING WAYS TO BEGIN A STORY.
I am well aware of the turmoil of finding a gripping story beginning. God the pain! So I present to you prompts to help y'all hook the readers !
The arrival of a letter or email or package. ( Whether the contents is good / bad depends on you )
The text of a letter / email/ diary. ( You might wanna dive right into what it says and let the reader learn about the character reading )
An invitation to join a club / attend a party / to do something shocking.
A death of a character.
The main character is in a frustrating situation. ( This can quickly help readers to empathize right away )
A main character is in an awkward situation.
An escape from a boring meeting or prison or someplace unwanted .
Someone discovers a dead body.
A funeral is held for someone in the family / the community.
The beginning or the middle of a disaster. ( a bombing , a plane crash, an Apocalypse.? Anything really)
The aftermath of a disaster.
A character does something which will be discovered later. Eg; sneaks a love note into someone's possession, poisons the wine, plants a bomb in a car, etc.
A game or contest.
A performance or the conclusion of one.
One character rescues another.
A main character declares he is in big trouble.
A main character is clearly in big trouble.
A main character is in the hospital.
A main character sees a house or city for the first time.
A plane/ ship/ train arrives. ( Your OC might be on board or watching it. If they're on board, you can take the readers on a journey)
Someone gets amazing news.
Someone gets devastating news.
Someone goes on a date.
A scene at a party/bar / nightclub.
A fight scene. ( OC may be participating or watching the fight )
An all-out battle scene.
A character moves to a new place
A dramatic moment in the middle of the end of the story. ( You can decide to start like this and backtrack to show how they got there )
Someone is arrested.
A courtroom trail.
A job interview. ( This helps the story start with the main character being vulnerable and the readers can empathize with them while getting to know them through their inner monologue )
The main character gets fired from their job. ( A nice method for instant empathy)
A chase scene. ( Nothing better to pull the reader than a little action. Hehe ~)
Character or characters wait for another. Maybe an ambush or a surprise party.
A busy street scene.
A character/characters getting ready for an event. Eg; getting dressed, put on makeup, shaved, do their hair .etc
A visitor shows up at the door. ( a stray cat? A future love interest? Someone your character dislikes? Etc )
A character commits a crime.
A character witnesses a crime.
Characters or a character do a job.
One character teaches another how to do something.
Character or characters preparing to dit down at a meal
A character comes across a significant object. ( probably a magical object? A dangerous object like a gun? It could be anything. )
Someone teaches or attends a class.
Your main character discovers something shocking in the possession of their loved one. For example, imagine them discovering a gun / a suicide note, a bloody knife, or clothing, a large amount of hidden money, very disturbing photos, etc )
Your character running away from something or someone dangerous / deadly.
Your main character waking up in an unfamiliar place. ( A nice method to start with a little mystery. Spicy Bonus points: they don't remember how they got there in the first place. Or better yet AMNESIA!! There are many ways to get around it.)
50. Your character being followed. Or they're the one following someone)
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I think most of the memories are made of glass. We can easily look through them. we can see the shadows we loved and we can feel them ripping our hearts out, again and again.
I think most of the love in this world is made of tragedies or become one in the end because humans are doomed. The moments are only filled with silence and sometimes it is filled with not saying enough.
I am yet to live more years of life than I have lived I guess. And I know I have been in and out of from veins of many strangers where the blood was only blue but sometimes when it gets mixed with red the grief flows through them instead of blood and I think it is because they did not breathe enough.
They forgot that tragedies are not always loud, sometimes they are found in harsh breathing sounds from pale lips. Look for tragedies in big black eyes that have seen more ruins than people.
I wish we were not born to be broken with so much around us. I wish we were made to build with so much around us. I think we were birthed by the sun but in the end, we chose the moon.
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Plot progression: points, twists, and hinges.
(And why hinges rock.)
Please excuse me while I assign already well-loved terms new meanings for my own benefit. (This is to say, writing terminology means something slightly different or goes by slightly different terms depending on who you ask. Two of the definitions I use here are based ones that stuck with me, while the third is something I pulled right out of my backside because it didn’t quite fit with my acquired definitions of the other two. Other terms and definitions are equally valid; I’m just using these ones until I figure out how to telepathically funnel wordless concepts.)
First let’s get basic: What’s a plot anyway? Tis a bunch of things that happen to move your character toward something. Usually this something is a goal. Win the war. Find the killer. Survive the winter. Get through the wedding. Kill the dragon.
Plots (should) have important scenes within them which propel them along. A full book that’s just a knight walking on a path for twenty-five chapters thinking about killing a dragon and then finally reaching the dragon to do so it boring. A book about a knight facing random trials that have nothing to do with the dragon she’s set out to kill is more interesting then walking. But the most engaging version of this plot would be if each trial she faced was connected to the dragon killing in some way.
We could, if we wanted to, label each of these trials with terms like plot point, a plot twist, or a plot hinge, depending on how they interact with the story as a whole. (Now I have to define what each of these terms mean to me. I set myself up here, didn’t I?)
We probably all know what a plot twist is. A big reveal. A shocking conclusion. A revelation that puts the whole story into a new light. (Luke, I am your father!)
Most writers will describe a plot point as some version of ‘an event which progresses the plot.’ This is all fine and dandy until you have to decide what counts as progress and how much of it you need for something to genuinely be a plot point. For the sake of this article, I’m going to call it anything that has a noticeable effect on either the ultimate or immediate goal of the story.
A plot hinge is a type of plot point. It can also include a plot twist. But not all plot twists or plot points are plot hinges, because a hinge actively swings the plot in a new direction. It takes the goal the story is set upon, and it rattles that mother-fork until its eyes pop out.
Let’s have some examples, shall we?
A knight is crossing a mountain on her way to slay a dragon.
While at the mountain, she fights a random dwarf. It’s a nice action bit where she’s in peril a few times and at the end, she kills the dwarf and continues down the other side of the mountain. A real page turner. (Spoilers: it’s probably, actually, not.) It’s also not a plot point (or, a plot anything), because the entire segment could have been cut without anything else changing. This whole scenario has no effect on what the plot’s current goal is, how it’s being accomplished, or how we perceive it.
If instead, while at the mountain, our valiant knight fights a dwarf with ancient knowledge on forging dragon-killing weaponry and convinces him to forge her a dragon-killing sword that ends up being the only reason she can kill the dragon at all, then you have what’s purely a plot point. The goal of the plot hasn’t been altered, nor our perception of it, but we’ve taken an irremovable step towards accomplishing it.
If instead, while at the mountain, our valiant knight uncovers ancient knowledge that reveals the villainous dragon is actually part of a much larger system of dragons with magical human form, and her own mother was secretly a dragon, giving her dragon blood of her own, this is purely a plot twist. The goal of the plot hasn’t changed, and we’re not closer to having killed the dragon, but our perception of the plot, how our main character fits within it, and what it should mean to us as readers, has been altered.
Pretty basic, yes?
Now imagine that those two things both happen while our knight is at the mountain, but as she’s leaving, the dragon she’s been riding out to face finds her. They battle. Barely prepared, our knight is losing terribly. She tries to flee, making it to the nearest town before the dragon finds her. In order to lay him low, his must use both her dwarfish weapon and her secret dragon powers. The town sees this, and decides she, too, is the enemy. A town guard steals her dragon-killing sword and tries to slay her with it. In a moment of compassion, the dragon she nearly killed helps her escape the town, but every knight our valiant half-dragon once fought alongside now sees her as a monster. And they’re coming for her.
This is a plot hinge. We just flipped out perception of the plot, tackled and crashed right through our main goal, and opened the doors for a new goal that’s still adjacent to our original one (and might still lead back to it by the end of the book—who knows, the villainous dragon might still need to be killed after all).
The trick with plot hinges, is the throw the reader for just enough of a loop to make the story fresh and interesting, without letting them question why the story before and after the plot hinge aren’t separate books. For a plot hinge to work, the plot must be pushed without being torn off the hinges. The old goal can’t be left dangling, limp with unfulfilled promise, and the new goal must build off everything the book has already established.
When done well, though, a plot hinge can turn a “this is enjoyable!” story into one that makes readers go “oh god, please read this, I NEED someone to scream at, I’m literally dying.”
I’m not going to tell you how many of these you should have in any given story. I’m not even going to tell you that you need to have any of them. (That would be hypocritical, as not all of my own stories do. Some are pulled along by simply plot points and twists, and they’re still perfectly enjoyable, if I do say so myself.)
You can also slip plot hinges into side plots, and make cases for what constitutes a hinge in character development. And at the end of the day, there’s a hundred different ways to build tension into a story and engage the reader. This is just the one I’m having fun identifying and analyzing at the moment.
And I hope you can set out and have fun with it to.
(Also, call it by my personal terminology. Pretend I, and I alone, invented a brand-new kind of plot point. Buy my book. Ascend me to godhood. Rebel and kill god-me to take back the world for humanity. Something like that.)
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"It is August : The true ending of a year. I've grown sick from trying to love who i am."
- Carlie Hoffman, from 'High bridge Park'
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But whatever you choose to become, I hope it makes you genuinely happy.
Hi, Sweetie // ma.c.a
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