Me after reading the same fanfic for the 1000000000000000th time : Damn this some good shit
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When I write three sentences on my WIP:
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signs a writer is working
they said so on social media to make it real
they made coffee
now they're dusting the ceiling
bought a few books
thinking about baking BREAD FROM SCRATCH
is that 10,000 words!!!
no it's 100 words
could go for a snack tbh
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Writing female villains
@bluebxlle_writer on Instagram
POV : you’re a female villain in fiction. You’re badass and can beat up a dozen men at once, but you have no other personality besides either being cold or always using your feminine charms to seduce men. You’re also fully devoted to the main male villain. I'm tired of seeing the lack of well-written female villains, so let’s change that, shall we? Here are some tips for writing a good and well-developed female villain!
1. Their personality
I always get excited whenever there's a badass female villain, but then, boom. They're simply two-dimensional women who has no other personality besides being hot, badass and beating up men. Yes, we all love a badass hot lady, but not when she's boring.
Give us someone with an interesting personality, a well-rounded backstory, complex morals, and literally anything else that you would give your male villains. Instead of simply either emotionless or overly cheerful, give us ambitious, creative, and resourceful female villains. Give us a witty woman who cracks jokes in the middle of battle. Give us normal women.
I've noticed that most of the time, the motivation of female villains is either driven by love or their desire to seek approval from a more powerful man, while male villains have all types of motivations, like ruling the world, gaining immortality, or rebuilding civilization.
See the difference? Why not give your female villains a motivation centered around them, instead of another man? I'm not saying that romance is a bad motivation - but it's just a widely applied stereotype that would be nice to change for once.
3. Make them likable
I can make a list of male antagonists who people love, but would hate their female counterparts. It’s pretty annoying, so give your female villain likeable traits. If she’s ruthless, you can make her a good leader who cares about her people. If she’s cold, you can make her a determined person who’d stop at nothing to reach her goals. You don’t have to make her likable as a person - she’s a villain after all - but please try to make her likable as a villain.
4. Complex morality
Give your female villains a complex morality - terrible things that she doesn’t mind doing and some lines that she will never cross. Maybe she’s fine with killing others, but she would never let one of her people die. Maybe she’s doing evil things, but for a greater good. Or alternatively, you can even make her completely ruthless!
Please, please give your female villain a purpose in the story besides just looking hot and badass. Think about what will happen to the storyline if she wasn't in it. If the plot will fall apart, then you're good to go. Also, another thing, don't kill her off so quickly if she's the only female villain in the story. It gives the impression that they're easier to defeat than male ones.
The ATLA/TLOK universe has the best female villains I've ever seen, periodt.
Take Azula, for example. Yes, she works for a bigger male villain, but she doesn't need him. In fact, she accomplished everything without the help of that useless excuse of a Fire Lord. She could literally get rid of him and take the throne for herself if she wanted to. She also has a complex backstory which makes people understand her, a rich personality, and is completely ruthless. True, she's a horrible person, but I love her as a villain.
Then, there's Kuvira from TLOK. Unlike Azula, she's doing evil things for a cause that she believes is good. Eventually, she realizes that her actions are wrong, and turns herself in, which was the beginning of her redemption arc. She has a good backstory, complicated morality, and she doesn't answer to any man. She even has a love interest who has nothing to do with her villain arc, which I love.
Writers, give us more female villains whose arc doesn't revolve around men.
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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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Anyone know where I can find the next chapter of my own book?
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As a chaotic player and dm, I relate to this and feel for my lawful friends.
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Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing
saw lots of people doing this and I thought it would be fun so here are some tips I wish I knew before I started writing! // @writingzawn on instagram
Stories should be fluid
When I was younger I just used to write lots of random scenes that were only really snapshots into my characters' lives, shove them together, and call it a story. But scenes should feel connected, building towards some ultimate, shared purpose.
Outlining is very useful
I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I always used to get stuck halfway through a project and then end up writing dull, pointless scenes for the sake of getting to the end. I wish I'd known that the stage before you start writing can be really useful if you take it seriously and put the work in.
You have to enjoy the story you're writing
I always used to aim to make my stories 'meaningful' and forget about making them enjoyable. This meant I didn't enjoy writing them, so I never finished them. But something can be 'meaningful' and still fun. Sometimes you just have to let go and write something you're going to have fun writing, because something can be both enjoyable and have depth: they're not mutually exclusive.
Don't try to be like anyone else
I'd often start a project that was similar to whatever book I was reading at the time and try and imitate the author's voice and style. I don't think there's any problem with that in itself as it can help you to grow - as long as you aren't actually committing plagiarism - but it meant when I finished reading whichever book my project was inspired by, I lost interest and stopped working on it. I think it's really important to know what you enjoy writing, how you like to tell a story and what's important to you. Now I know the stories I like to tell, the genres that suit me best, the types of themes and characters I love, I manage to sustain motivation for longer.
Don't get too caught up on writing advice
There was a time when I was taking in so much advice and getting really stressed about following it to the letter that I stopped enjoying writing. I took each tip as a law I had to obey and it really restricted my style. Now I read writing advice to see how other people do things, to see if there are useful tricks I could benefit from, but if I don't think it fits how I like to work I let it go.
Follow your interests
I love ancient history, so I decided to set a book in ancient greece and ancient persia. If there's something you're really interested in, you'll probably have fun writing about it. Also, treating writing as an opportunity to learn about topics I'm interested in helps keep me motivated.
I benefitted so much from reading writing tips online, but learning that there were lots of circumstances in my writing where they didn't apply was important. You know your story best so you know if it's better to use an adverb there, for example, or to include a character-focussed scene that isn't important to the plot. Follow your gut.
Don't do something just because everyone else is
Lots of people in the writing community write fantasy, which is really awesome, but that's not a genre that suits me particularly. I used to feel I had to write it, though, because that's what everyone else was writing. Now I know realistic/historical fiction is what I prefer to write, and that's really helped me sustain motivation.
When I tell people the level of research I've had to do for my current wip a lot of people say 'well, why don't you write about stuff that you already know about?'. I used to feel daunted by historical fiction, so I wrote characters based upon myself set in the real world. I know for lots of people that's really rewarding to do, but I didn't find it enjoyable or healthy to completely focus on my own experiences in order to write a story about them. It takes a lot of time and effort to write historical fiction set in a time you know nothing about, but it is possible to get to a stage where you know enough about it. If you're feeling daunted by a project but really want to give it a go, I say go for it. If you put the work in, I'm sure you'll be able to give it a shot.
The process is much longer than you think
I used to aim to finish projects in a matter of months - I thought I could write a novel in the space of a year. But it's better not to rush the process. It's about the end result, not finishing it as quickly as possible. I've been working on my current wip for over a year and am yet to finish the first draft because I've been researching and outlining and daydreaming. But all that is only going to make it sweeter and a more successful story when I do finally finish.
Sometimes it's better not to set a goal than to set an unrealistic one
I find I can write to a much higher standard when I'm in the right frame of mind, so forcing myself to write 1000 words when I was exhausted from school just meant I ended up with tons of lifeless scenes that I cut anyway. Allowing myself to go with the flow and not pile tons of pressure on myself when I work more slowly than I would like has been really beneficial. Yes, you can always edit bad words later, but I've found striving to write good words in the first place keeps me motivated and enjoying the process. I know that's a bit controversial, but it's worked for me.
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Types of Villains
@bluebxlle_writer on Instagram
Not only your protagonists need to be appealing enough to keep your readers attached to them - villains will also make our break your story. There are lots of different types of villains, here are some :
1. The Mastermind
One of my top favorite villains, periodt. They’re resourceful, cunning, and almost always a step ahead of the hero. They can find ways to defeat their enemies without getting their hands dirty, usually through strategy and manipulation. (Ex. Azula)
2. The Beast
Basically the polar opposite of the Mastermind. Unlike them, these types of villains tend to rely on their physical prowess to fight their enemies. Most of the time, they’re ruthless and literal monsters - thus the name.
3. The Corrupted
Corrupted villains is probably the most tragic villain type of all, because they used to be good people (bonus points if they used to be a hero in the story), but due to... some torturing from the writers, they undergo a corruption arc and becomes a villain. I think corrupted villains have the most potential for character development, because you can explore in depth their backstory, personality, and morality to show your readers why they became villains. These villains might get redemption arcs since they used to be good people after all, but if they’re too corrupted, they’re screwed.
4. The Dark Lord
One of the most overrated tropes in my opinion, and it’s getting boring, but when done right, it can make an amazing villain. The Dark Lord is a villain with evil intentions who has an army of loyal soldiers. They’re usually very experienced (and edgy), like Lord Voldemort from HP.
5. The Avenger
I made this name up, so don’t go researching it because all you’ll find is Marvel’s Avengers lmao. Anyway, the Avenger is a type of villain whose motive is fueled by the desire for vengeance on the hero. They’re actually the most dangerous type of villain, because their motives are blinded by pure hatred and they’d risk anything to get their revenge. They won’t listen to reasoning, and are often morally gray.
6. The Mirror
This type of villain is also one of my top favorites. The Mirror are villains who are foils to the hero. Whether it’s in terms of personality, backstory, or motive, it’s up to you - you can be as creative as possible! These villains are really complex, because despite having numerous striking resemblances to the hero, they still ended up on the “evil side”. This can be a handy tool to show your readers how your hero would have turned out if they had chosen another path.
7. The Greed
They’re villains who are hungry for money, power, status, or anything in general, really. People tend to hate greedy characters, so this will be a perfect opportunity to create a villain all your reader would hate - or not. Even better, you could make your greedy villain have a good side that your readers will root for - so they'll wonder why on earth they ended up liking this greedy lil sh*t.
8. The Henchman
A powerful villain who can easily pass as the main antagonist, but is actually only a decoy villain doing dirty work for a bigger antagonist. Henchman villains are a perfect tool for plot twists, since your readers will assume they're the main villain - until their boss is revealed.
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What My Followers Want To See More Of In Male Characters
I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing, especially writing male characters, and I’m happy to say that my WIP has quite a few of these. I think we can all agree that with the absolutely sickening influx of dark, broody, bad boys in YA fiction, having male characters with more nuance and hmmm I don’t know actual personalities is refreshing and something that all books need. Thank you guys so much for answering this poll(conducted through instagram), and let me know if there’s something else y’all want to be polled on that I can turn into a post! I didn’t change anything that you guys wrote, so there are some repeats on the list, but I think it makes a point to see how many people want to see the same (relatively simple) things in fiction!
Them being soft and kind
going to therapy/having mental health struggle
non-toxic religious men
lgbt men(beyond being gay and fetishised)
feminine guys who aren’t gay
men of all sexualities being feminine
physically disabled men who are very masculine
straight male characters in close friendships with mlm characters
sensitive and weak moments
“feminine” men mb, guys who like flowers and stuff while also being very strong cause thats cool I think
confidence enough to compliment other men
feminine interests without being judged
discussing things they love doing
I think it’d be nice if people showed men’s insecurities more often. Also, men also get abused and stuff
genuine friendships with someone who’s better than them
eating disorders, anxiety, insecurities, other common mental health concerns
guys not afraid to show their vulnerability and weaknesses to the people they care about
casually wearing makeup and not making a fuss or a statement out of it
being shy is ok. being nice to the mc and not being a complete douche bag, if the mc is being an idiot and playing with their feelings telling her straight up or leaving her, they don’t have to be attractive to be likable, their dark pasts isn’t an excuse for them to be shitty human beings
them being vulnerable
healthy platonic friendships
vulnerability and insecurity shown through non toxic traits
soft spoken, kind and gentle voice
I want to see them cook, sex, or such without invalidating their masculinity
male characters who express their emotions and aren’t ridiculed by others for it
I want more soft men tbh. It’s usually all badass and then breakdowns. I want someone who is fragile
affectionate with their friends and/or in tune with their emotions
males who aren’t afraid to cry and be affectionate with their friends
respect and genuine care for females and people of other genders, thank you
i would love to see more bisexual/pansexual male characters!!
the ability to take no for an answer
bisexual males that aren’t the main plot. they just get to be bi and it doesn’t affect the story
being vulnerable/crying without thinking that they’re weak for it
ones that are submissive and fine with it
Ones that are fucking respectful of their female counterparts
talking about their feelings
kind to their lover without being called a simp
guys being allowed to be gentle and not seen as weak or inferior
openness rather than being closed off all of the time
I want to see witty and quirky characters + humor that is shown around EVERYONE
femininity and vulnerability, crying, breakdowns, etc.
real emotion, crying, and for it be okay for them to do that
treats women like equals without having to be “taught” how to by a love interest
caring about others without being portrayed as awkward and/or flirtatious
emotions and kindness
showing emotions that isn’t anger
not being misogynistic
smart but not the typical ‘nerdy geek’ just there as an encyclopedia for the MC
Men who are comfortable with being emotionally open (and them being emotionally open DOESN’T automatically mean they’re gay
emotional maturity and having healthy relationships and behavior
showing affection to their platonic friends
respect toward others
male characters that are “motherly” Let them cook, clean, sew, and be good with kids
male characters who are perceptive and understanding
male characters with realistic, practical muscles
wanting hugs and getting giddy over little bits of affection
male characters who wear heels (even if the rest of their outfit is traditionally masculine)
black male protagonists
emotional strength instead of physical strength
males that let the non males take charge and our respectful
realistic bodies and insecurities
more males characters exploring their identity
males who have hobbies, they’re passionate about
physically and mentally strong and resilient. Protective, but respectful and supportive
not being overtly attractive and being okay with it
emotionally guarded without being cold or angry
more sympathy, less naïvety to the female protagonists feelings
stylish dudes who aren’t gay (not that lgbtq+ rep is bad it’s just a tiring stereotype)
guys friendships and protectiveness of non love interests
male characters being feminine without them being queer coded or comic relief
them finding a healthy way to cope with problems
healthy paternal figures that do not die in the saga please
big scary guys with hobbies like crochet, sewing and reading books for rescued animals
soft and loving and caring all the time who cry and are hurt and not badass all the time
be soft and kind to everyone, not just their bae
cool mysterious and stuff but not flipping depressed characters please stop that trope
them crying, having close female friends, being lgbt+(especially trans men), showing emotions
male characters that aren’t possessive/obsessive and know how to accept “no”
raising kids without a love interest involved
societies with men that aren’t stereotypical
male characters that aren’t naturally good leaders
a really straight guy having a really gay best friend
seeing more male characters be comfortable in expressing their feelings and emotions
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Live footage of my writing process:
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So cute ❤️
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