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screnwriter · 2 days ago
Writing Pirates: myths and misconceptions
A quick guide to the most popular misconceptions of a pirate's life.
1. Walking The Plank
Thinking of becoming a pirate, but afraid of heights? Don't worry. You find yourself a captive? Pirates will throw you right overboard.
Despite having been heavily depicted in mainstream media, there has been little to no evidence of pirates ever using the plank as punishment [and even if they did — it was far from common practice].
Pirates lived by a code of conduct, which determined how they would treat their prisoners [as well as each other, come a pirate to betray the crew or cause mishap onboard the ship. Gambling was also, not prohibited]. Punishment ranged anywhere from throwing prisoners overboard, to marooning (leaving prisoner on deserted island) and keelhauling (being pulled under water, dragged against the ship)
Linked here is a scene from Black Sails with keelhauling used as punishment (WARNING: if you're sensitive to blood, gore and torn limbs, do NOT watch this video).
2. Pirate captains
While most pirate captains made themselves well deserving of their bloody reputations — no captain ruled their vessel with an iron fist.
As a matter of fact, the Captain of the ship only had absolute control during battle. Any other day, set aside from the captain's cabin, his rights were equal to his crew's — and most of the authority was given to the quartermaster. [who's job was to settle minor disputes, as well as punish those men who transgressed the conduct set in place].
The Captain was voted into power, and if he failed to meet the needs of his crew, or deemed too unfit to rule, he would be deposed of.
3. Shiver me timbers, matey?
Nope. Sorry to burst your bubble — Not even pirates speak pirate.
Sure, most pirates might still have spoken in colorful phrases and accents, but their language was more likely to resemble that of a sailor from their region at the time [with a splattering use of curse words borrowed from French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Arabic, if they were British].
Phrases such as ''shiver me timbers'' and ''arrs'' were popularized due to the 1950's Disney movie Treasure Island, with the introduction of Robert Newton as Long John Silver. So in other words, no arr, ahoy matey! Avast ye timbers!
4. Pirates buried their treasures
Aside from Captain William Kidd (who buried some of his treasure near Long Island before sailing into New York City to turn himself in), pirates usually divided and spent their loot right away.
Most of the treasure consisted of things they've plundered, such as food, supplies, animal hides and lumber. It wasn't uncommon to blow money on fun, liquor and women either. Pirates were known to be heavy drinkers. And if not — the goods collected worked as trade goods.
5. Privateers VS pirates
You want to be a pirate without the risk of conviction? Go for a privateer.
It's important to remember that pirates and privateers are not synonyms of one another, pirates are robbers who plunder the sea, while privateers were private individuals commissioned and licensed to attack and seize vessels of hostile nations.
As opposed to a pirate, a privateer was recognized by law, and could not be prosecuted for the crimes he admitted, which made the system wide open to abuse. Most privateers were nothing more than licensed pirates. Technically they're different — but use the same tactic.
6. Pirates were all old men (and only men)
Majority of pirates were young man in their 20s, who turned to piracy after having tried, and failed, to get a job as a sailor or merchant. Another factor being that men in their 20s had less attachments at home, and thus more willing to become pirates.
Women were rarely welcomed onboard (they were said to bring bad luck) but many disguised themselves as men to become one — and proved their worth through wits, guts and contribution. They had to be tougher than their male counterparts. If you were a woman on board, survival depended on being both both smarter and braver.
Many women however, simply pretend to be pirates in an effort to take advantage of some of the freedom, rights and privileges that were exclusive to men at the time.
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howtofightwrite · 2 days ago
Spellswords, Believability and Understanding how to use Powerful Characters
maybe a stupid question but how would i write a believable ‘spellsword’? without making my character overpowered
So, “believable,” and “overpowered,” are two entirely different, independent, considerations. You can easily have one without the other, and while the former is probably necessary, the latter is not, depending on the kind of story you’re telling.
Believability is contextual to your audience. Do they believe in your character? Do they accept that your character is who they say they are? This can get significantly more complicated if your character isn’t being honest with the audience, though that is a more advanced concept.
At its simplest level, “believable,” simply asks if it’s plausible that your character could be who they say they are. If spellswords are accepted as a part of your world (even if they’re somewhat rare), a spellsword will trend towards believable. If they are fundamentally impossible, (either because magic is understood to be a fantasy, or some fundamental element of spellcasting conflicts with martial combat) then they will be less believable (at least, initially.)
Similarly, how your character views the world is a serious consideration for believability. If you have a character who’s been formally educated in magic, then that knowledge will shape their understanding of how it works. If magic is uncommon, your spellsword would have an unusual understanding of how magic really works, when encountering magic during their travels. This would likely set them apart from other characters, who have no formal education on the subject.
Similarly, someone with a martial background will have a more practical understanding of waging warfare. Either, on a direct blade to blade, level, or (if they’re formally educated) at a more strategic level.
So, can a Spellsword be believable? Yes, absolutely. They can operate as a bridge between martial and arcane training, with a unique viewpoint of the world they exist in. Depending on how they fit into your world, they could easily have held military rank, or operated as a liaison between the military command and it’s battlemage corps.
Alternately, it’s quite possible they never ascended that far, or even graduated without actually joining the military (for whatever reason.) It’s possible they served in an organization tasked with protecting less militant mages, they may have worked as a mercenary, or any number of other jobs that would benefit from being able to fight, while also being able to cast magic. In a setting with freelance adventurers, spellswords are a natural fit.
So, it’s entirely possible for a spellsword to be believable, if your setting permits their existence in the first place.
Now, here’s the harder part of the discussion, “overpowered,” characters aren’t a problem, until they are.
“Overpowered,” is often a problem in games. I don’t just mean video games, ironically it’s probably a bigger problem in tabletop roleplaying, than in video games.
Ironically, the conflict between these two can give some pretty clear insights into how much you need to worry about this.
In a tabletop roleplaying environment, the gamemaster (whatever their actual title) needs to balance the experience for the players present. Most, quality, roleplaying rulebooks will devote some time to discussing this, and offering their insights on the subject.
The simplest reduction would be, you have multiple people at the table, and so your story needs to include all of them to a (roughly) equal degree.
In a game where you only need to worry about one player, they can be the focus. Concerns about being overpowered only relate to how it influences the experience of that player, and many, many, games heavily tilt the odds in the player’s favor, and the player character in an RPG being, “the chosen one,” has been a meme for decades.
How does this apply to writing?
Simple. As in games, “overpowered,” is a relative statement. A character is overpowered, when they’re mismatched to their place in the story and the challenges they face.
If your character is facing opposition that legitimately threatens them, then they’re not overpowered. If they’re carving through cannon fodder enemies without repercussions, then they may be a bit overpowered for that challenge.
Ironically, there is a similar element here. The danger of an overpowered character in a game is that the player will get bored. The danger of an overpowered character in a story is that the audience will get bored. There are deeper differences in how and why that happens, but there is still some similarity. If the character is too powerful, the outcome is preordained, and the experience itself is dulled. This leads into one of the most challenging elements of overpowered characters.
The problem with an overpowered character isn’t that they’re overpowered; it’s that you need to work harder to keep them interesting.
A character who is balanced against the threats they’ll face has to constantly work for every victory. In theory (though, not always in practice) that gives you a base degree of interest in the events that are unfolding. If the outcome is uncertain, the audience is less likely to tune out.
Similarly, repeating the same encounters will have diminishing returns. If your character dispatched three bandits in the previous chapter, will three or four really pose that much of a threat now? Remember, the threshold on a character being overpowered is whether the outcome is uncertain.
One solution is to introduce uncertainty into the environment. By, “environment,” I don’t literally mean the space the characters are fighting in, though that is an option; instead I’m talking about the general social space around the character. A character who is disproportionately powerful can still be interesting if they’re trying to expose a conspiracy lead by people on their own level, if they’re wrestling with the philosophical implications of their own nigh-omnipotence, or any number of other potential challenges, that extend well beyond what they’re dealing with. In a reverse, an egregiously overpowered character may struggle to hide their true nature from the people around them (a sub-plot that has been run into the ground by superhero writers over the years.)
An overpowered character isn’t, automatically a problem, but they can be more difficult to work with. Having said that, this may not be an issue for you. While your spellsword may be more dangerous than an individual fighter, they’re probably less magically adept than a mage who focused on their arcane education. Meaning they fit into a very specific niche between normal melee fighters, and dedicated magic practitioners, along with other specialized magic practitioners, like whatever you chose to name your stealth/magic specialists.
The hard part is making sure your character is believable. After that, power is what you make of it, if your character feels too powerful, they may just need more powerful foes to challenge them.
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Spellswords, Believability and Understanding how to use Powerful Characters was originally published on How to Fight Write.
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bluebxlle-writer · a day ago
Hello, could you please help me in writing Found Family troupe 💚
Writing found family
masterlist. main navigation.
@bluebxlle_writer on Instagram
Writing a realistic found family can be challenging, because you need to establish why this group of different characters are willing to risk their lives for people they aren't even related to and met along their journey. I honestly still can't fully understand how to write top-tier found family relationships like those in ATLA, SoC, or the Gilded Wolves, but I do have a few tips!
I'll be including ATLA's found family as a reference in this post, because nobody can deny that it has one of the best found families in fiction <3
1. In need of a family
In order for a found family to work, the characters should be in need of family figure(s) during the story. Maybe they had lost their parents or a sibling, or live in an abusive household where they have nobody to help them.
And no, characters in a found family don't always need a tragic backstory. The "lack of family figures" here can be something simple, like not having enough friends. But either way, what they lack in their real family should be found in their found family to make their relationship impactful.
2. Tension
When a group of people with contrasting personalities meet up, there’s bound to be tension before they warm up to each other. Show your characters disliking one another and being reluctant to work with them at first.
Sokka disliked Aang at first because he was too carefree and childish, Katara thought she was going to get along with Toph but ended up disliking her because she was arrogant, and Zuko obviously did not get along with the group at first because none of them trusted him. But despite all that, they ended up loving one another like their own family in the end, didn't they?
3. Bonding moment
To relieve the tension, you’ll need bonding moments between your characters to make them understand and like each other more. Give them no choice but to go on a mission together, having to work together in order to complete it. During the mission, write your characters making different choices that'll reflect their personality and morality, giving your readers a chance to know them better.
Take the Southern Raiders ep for an example, it was a chance for Katara to learn that Zuko was truly trying to change for the better.
4. Conflict
"Ah, so after the bonding moments, my characters will get along with one another perfectly fine, right?"
Wrong. The people in your found family will definitely have different opinions, moralities, and ideologies, leading to loads of potential conflict. Even after getting along, show conflicts between them.
I'll stray from ATLA for a bit and take SPOP as an example - in S4, Adora, Bow, and Glimmer were practically a family. But they still had a huge argument, which eventually lead to summoning Horde Prime instead of saving Etheria. Why? Because they had different views. Adora and Bow prioritized civilians and wanted to take the safe path, but Glimmer preferred to take risks for a greater gain.
5. Unexpected
A found family should be unexpected - consisting of a group of people who initially had no intention to care so much about one another. Show your characters only wanting to join the group for their temporary or personal gains, but ended up sticking with one another even though they didn't need to.
For instance, Katara and Sokka's initial goal was only to find Aang a waterbending master, but they ended up getting attached to him and staying with him until the end. Toph only joined the Gaang to escape her strict parents, but ended up genuinely helping the Gaang. Zuko's only goal was to capture the Avatar, but he ended up joining the Gaang and getting a family that he had always wanted.
6. Contrasting personalities
The characters' personalities should contrast and complement one another, because a family with members of the same role will definitely be boring, right?
Aang and Toph are childish, but that's not a problem because they have Katara's motherly insticts to keep them in check. Zuko is introverted and has troubles making friends, which is why we have Aang and Suki's outgoing and warm personality. A majority of the Gaang prefer to act instictively based on their guts, which is why they need Sokka, who has the brains to devise plans beforehand. See how their constrasting personalities make a perfect team?
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septembercfawkes · 18 hours ago
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Every so often when I’m editing, I find out that something critical to the story happens off page! The more important the moment, the more likely it needs to be rendered in real time, on page, for the audience.
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macgyvermedical · 6 hours ago
Question for you; I need a food allergy for my protagonist, something not life threatening but noticeable, and preferably something specific (so not a wide ranging allergy like gluten). Anything spring to mind?
A person can be allergic to just about any food, drug, or part of their environment, and have just about any level of reaction to it.
So really you can pick whatever food makes the most sense for your story, and give them whatever non-life-threatening allergy symptoms you'd like. Some options for non-life-threatening symptoms include:
Gastrointestinal symptoms (swelling and inflammation in the GI tract causing pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea)
Mouth symptoms, like itchiness, tingling, or "spicy" sensation
Skin symptoms, like hives and itching, or watery eyes
Nasal and throat symptoms, like runny nose, itchy or sore throat, or congestion
Lung symptoms like asthma (can be mild or severe)
Other symptoms like headache and rapid heart rate
For example, I'm allergic to peanuts, which is a common allergy known to cause life threatening anaphylaxis. But instead of dying or needing epinephrine, I just get bloating, nausea, and gastritis that can mess me up for a while if I don't take a common heartburn medication to resolve it.
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the-bitch-mob · 9 months ago
fuck it. be creative even if you never really *make* anything. write out plot synopses of stories and then move on. design OCs you'll never use. make mood boards and concept art and don't do anything with them. life's too short to forget everything that inspired you and creation doesn't have to be "complete" to be worth the time you put into it.
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inky-duchess · 25 days ago
Writer's Guide: Writing about Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails
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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.
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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.
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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
Alcoholic Drinks
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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
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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
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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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whatagrump · 9 months ago
Apparently a lot of people get dialogue punctuation wrong despite having an otherwise solid grasp of grammar, possibly because they’re used to writing essays rather than prose. I don’t wanna be the asshole who complains about writing errors and then doesn’t offer to help, so here are the basics summarized as simply as I could manage on my phone (“dialogue tag” just refers to phrases like “he said,” “she whispered,” “they asked”):
“For most dialogue, use a comma after the sentence and don’t capitalize the next word after the quotation mark,” she said.
“But what if you’re using a question mark rather than a period?” they asked.
“When using a dialogue tag, you never capitalize the word after the quotation mark unless it’s a proper noun!” she snapped.
“When breaking up a single sentence with a dialogue tag,” she said, “use commas.”
“This is a single sentence,” she said. “Now, this is a second stand-alone sentence, so there’s no comma after ‘she said.’”
“There’s no dialogue tag after this sentence, so end it with a period rather than a comma.” She frowned, suddenly concerned that the entire post was as unasked for as it was sanctimonious.
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wordsnstuff · 10 months ago
Resources for Writing Injuries
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Patreon || Ko-Fi || Masterlist || Work In Progress
Head Injuries
General Information | More
Skull Fracture
Diffuse Axonal Injury
General Information
Neck sprain
Herniated Disk
Pinched Nerve
Cervical Fracture
Broken Neck
Chest (Thoracic)
General Information
Aortic disruption
Blunt cardiac injury
Cardiac tamponade
Flail chest
Pneumothorax (traumatic pneumothorax, open pneumothorax, and tension pneumothorax)
Pulmonary contusion
Broken Ribs
Broken Collarbone
General Information
Blunt trauma
Penetrating injuries (see also, gunshot wound & stab wound sections)
Broken Spine
Lung Trauma
Heart (Blunt Cardiac Injury)
Bladder Trauma
Spleen Trauma
Intestinal Trauma
Liver Trauma
Pancreas Trauma
Kidney Trauma
General Information | More
Muscle Overuse
Muscle Bruise
Bone Bruise
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Tendon pain
Injuries to ligaments
Injuries to tendons
Crushed Hand
Crushed Foot
Broken Hand
Broken Foot
Broken Ankle
Broken Wrist
Broken Arm
Shoulder Trauma
Broken elbow
Broken Knee
Broken Finger
Broken Toe
General Information
Broken Nose
Corneal Abrasion
Chemical Eye Burns
Subconjunctival Hemorrhages (Eye Bleeding)
Facial Trauma
Broken/Dislocated jaw
Fractured Cheekbone
Skin & Bleeding
General Information (Skin Injuries) | More (Arteries)
femoral artery (inner thigh)
thoracic aorta (chest & heart)
abdominal aorta (abdomen)
brachial artery (upper arm)
radial artery (hand & forearm)
common carotid artery (neck)
aorta (heart & abdomen)
axillary artery (underarm)
popliteal artery (knee & outer thigh)
anterior tibial artery (shin & ankle)
posterior tibial artery (calf & heel)
arteria dorsalis pedis (foot)
Abrasions (Floor burns)
Gunshot Wounds
General Information
In the Head
In the Neck
In the Shoulders
In the Chest
In the Abdomen
In the Legs/Arms
In the Hands
In The Feet
Stab Wounds
General Information
In the Head
In the Neck
In the Chest
In the Abdomen
In the Legs/Arms
General Resources
Guide to Story Researching
A Writer’s Thesaurus
Words To Describe Body Types and How They Move
Words To Describe…
Writing Intense Scenes
Masterlist | WIP Blog
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screnwriter-old-i-moved · 5 months ago
Writing pirates: Pirates vs Privateers (part one)
Before we dive into the glamour and destruction of a pirate’s life, it’s important to establish and difference between the crews who operated the seven seas in the 1700s. 
A group of men who robbed and plundered the sea, but also committed felonies, robberies and murders in any haven, river or creek where the Lord High Admiral had jurisdiction. 
The Lord High of Admiral = The ceremonial head of the Royal Navy (also known as someone who appears to be in charge, but holds very little influence, like most monarchs today) 
Jurisdiction: The official power to make legal decisions and judgements
Pirates who preyed on Spanish ships and ports in the Caribbean Sea. To Spain, they were nothing more than ordinary pirates, but for their nations, they were much more than that. 
Spain strived to keep all their possessions from the rest of the world, and the rise of buccaneers came apparent when the English occupied Jamaica, which provided them with a base to attack Spanish settlements. 
Pirates (and privateers) who operated in North Africa. Their base primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.
(also referred to as: barbary pirates, barbary corsairs or ottoman corsairs)
An armed vessel, consisting of a commander and his crew, who was licensed to attack, seize and loot ships of hostile nations. 
The license was issued in form of a document, which was called the Letter of Marque (and Reprisal, LOMAR for short). The letter was written in ponderous legal phrases, and decorated with an elaborate pen and ink flourishes. 
The Captain, or commander, of the ship, was expected to keep a journal, as well as hand over ships to the Admiralty court to be assessed and valued. A proportion of the ship’s value went to the sovereign, while the rest was divided between the owners of the ship, the captain, and his crew.
Admiralty court: jurisdiction over maritime law, including cases regarding shipping, ocean, and sea laws
Sovereign: king, queen, or other royal ruler of a country
An authorized privateer, and get this, was recognized by law, and could not be prosecuted for piracy, which in turn caused the system to be wide open for abuse, and most privateers were nothing more than licensed pirates.
Privateers, in simpler words, were basically pirates with papers. They were hired to carry out military activities, and in many ways, their actions mirrored a pirate’s, only difference being, they couldn’t be prosecuted for the crimes they committed. 
Also, fun fact! In the 1700s, also known as the golden era of piracy, 98% of the men operating as pirates in the Caribbean and western Atlantic, had formerly either been seamen in the merchant service, the Royal Navy, or even served as privateers. 
Not every man suffered the same fate, however. Captain Woodes Rogers, a former privateer, became the first Royal Governor over the Bahamas, and was tasked with the dangerous mission of establishing a well-organized government, that would force every last pirate in the Nassau to surrender. [x]
Today, both privateer and buccaneer are being used as a synonym for pirates, but it’s important to know that in the golden era, they were not the same. 
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literallymechanical · a month ago
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Hey so here is the official US Department of Agriculture guide to obliterating animal carcasses with explosives, complete with diagrams. It has a very strong opening thesis.
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What’s easier: dragging an 1100 pound horse carcass out of the woods, or carting in 50 pounds of explosives to obliterate it?
The document also has some very important tips you might not have considered Re: obliterating large animals.
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Do you want to totally obliterate a large animal, or is acceptable to simply scatter the remains into more manageable pieces? Either way, you’re in luck! The numbers given above are for “partial obliteration and dispersal,” but if you truly do need to vaporize a horse, the USDA has you covered.
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Side note, I’ve read the word “obliteration” so many times it has lost all meaning.
Anyway, I hope you find this information useful. Remember: there’s no use beating a dead horse when you can obliterate it instead!
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spaceshipkat · 9 months ago
I feel like book piracy has become so normalized now and its honestly so ugly and disappointing. Like I totally understand that some people in other countries have straight up no library access but for people in the US/UK?? saying that pubs are their 'free trial' without even trying to use a library??? I truly think younger readers using them don't realize how badly it could fuck an author over
i think book piracy comes down to people not understanding the differences between the film industry and the book industry. i don’t fully understand the film industry bc it’s not my focus, but i do know that pirating movies or shows is not going to directly impact the actors and/or the little people behind the movie or show. (if someone wants to elaborate on how, please do! i’m not really sure.)
however, pirating books is going to directly impact authors, not publishers or CEOs or any other bigwigs. an author is paid thus: they sign a contract for a certain amount of money, say, $100,000 for a two-book deal. that means that each book will be (technically) worth $50,000. depending on the contract, a check will be written for $25,000 upon the author turning in the version of the manuscript that the editor bought. that check will go to the author’s agent, who will take their 15% commission, which will be $3,750. then, the agent will send the remaining $21,250 to the author, minus taxes. with that same scenario, a check with the remaining $25,000 will be written upon the author turning in the final copy of the manuscript, aka the version that will go to the printer, and the process repeats (the check is sent to the agent, the agent takes their 15%, the author gets the remaining $21,250, minus taxes). 
that’s not where this story ends, though: in every contract is a thorough section detailing royalties, aka how much the author will receive per sale of a copy of their book in the book’s entire lifespan. if an agent is good, this will be one of their most important areas they focus on during negotiations. it’s imperative that people know that royalties can make or break an author’s career. it’s better to have larger royalties than a larger advance, bc an advance is only once, whereas royalties will continue as long as the book continues to sell (hardcover, paperback, audiobook, ebook, etc). the higher the author’s advance, the more pressure there is for the author to break even, aka for the author to make back the $50,000 spent on that first book. in a worst case scenario, if an author doesn’t earn back their advance (a big turn of phrase in publishing), they could have book 2 canceled, or they could possibly never be able to sell another book to a publisher again due to a poor sales record. in that case, it’s likely the author will have to re-debut under a pen name so the publisher backing them can treat them like a debut author. or, you’ll see an author’s first printings tank between book 1 and 2 or book 2 and 3 etc etc. for instance, Enchantee by Gita Trelease had a first hardcover printing of 175,000 copies (which is big for a debut!), while book 2 of that series, Everything That Burns, has a first hardcover printing of 75,000 copies. now, i can’t see the sales numbers, but it seems likely a lack of sales is the culprit here. 
so when people say that pirating books will directly influence whether or not your favorite author gets to publish more books, they really mean it. it won’t affect the publisher (who has massive protections in place) nearly as much as it will affect the author (who doesn’t have those same protections), and it could mean that your favorite author never gets to finish that series you love or can never publish another book again. in conclusion, don’t pirate books, kids. 
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awed-frog · a year ago
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Digital artist Daniel Voshart recreates the ‘real’ faces of Roman emperors thanks to machine learning. You can learn more about the process, discover more emperors or buy a poster here.
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[Marcus Aurelius]
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[Lucius Verus]
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ghostflowerdreams · a month ago
Differences Between British English and American English
I hope this chart is a helpful reference for all writers. I used dictionaries, checked a couple of language forums, blogs and other people's charts to compile this. It also includes slang. I know that some of them won’t be a completely accurate comparison, but I tried to find the closest equivalent to them.
Please, keep in mind that some of these may vary throughout the years and could depend on the region. For example never in my life have I ever heard of the Water/Drinking Fountain in America (or at least in my area in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, etc.) be called the Bubbler. But apparently its very common in the Midwest of America, in particularly in Wisconsin (also in Rhode Island and Massachusetts for people to actually call it that). 
I left it out of the chart because it’s only a few areas that call it that and not all of America. I imagine something very similar to that is likely to happen for those in the UK too, and if so, please share any differences in the words and/or slang in your area.
Note: It’s been pointed out to me that some of these are incorrect, however, like I mention earlier at some point they were once true (like maybe 10 to 30 years ago) and some of them are still accurate, but it just depends on the location. I went more into it HERE. 
Remember, I’m only one person, who spent their own free time to work on this, so please cut me some slack. And if anything, I hope to encourage you all to make your own charts, because the current information online is out of date and unclear about where exactly in the US/UK that the words and slang came from.
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howtofightwrite · 19 days ago
We See These Misogynistic Idiots in Our Inbox Occasionally
Anonymous asked:
not to sound like a prey animal on main but i feel like too many people, men and women both, do not actually understand the extent of the strength difference between men and women. it is actually surprisingly easy for a man to kill a woman, in fact it can be done accidentally
The only people who deny it are either blinded by ideology, or have never wrestled with someone of the opposite sex. I had a girlfriend who was extremely athletic, but had only ever played on all-female teams, and her little brothers were very young so she could throw them around. I’m 6’ 4″, and she honestly thought she could hold her own against me.
When I was fifteen, I had a boyfriend who was extremely athletic, but had only ever played against all-male teams. His sport of choice was soccer and his legs were very strong, so he liked to run around kicking other guys in the groin to resolve disputes. (Sorry, Tumblr, he did not turn out to be gay.) One day, we were hanging out at my house and he decided to hug me from behind. I didn’t realize he was behind me, caught his arms moving in my peripheral vision, and nailed him in the solar plexus with my elbow. I did it automatically, just trained instinct. He bowled over, coughing, for a good minute, and continued coughing for roughly five minutes after that. After I determined he was, in fact, okay, I giggled because it was really, rather funny.
We broke up shortly after that. Fifteen year old me figured my body had the right idea about him. The only difference between my incident and yours is I’d been doing Taekwondo since I was six and had plenty of experience working with the opposite sex. I didn’t apply this singular experience of momentarily paralyzing a young man’s diaphragm as a weakness to all men everywhere.
We get MRAs like you every so often on this blog and, honestly, the only men who are wrapped up in the biological/physical differences in male bodies versus female bodies are the ones deeply insecure in their own masculinity. I encourage you to work on coming to terms with yourself and building your confidence in healthy ways outside of comparisons to others. Truly I do, because there are aspects of your ask which are supremely fucked up. We’re going to go over what you said in detail. Not for your benefit, but for the benefit of others.
“not to sound like a prey animal on main”
You sent this on anon. Maybe this is a Reddit thing, but your name isn’t attached so only you will ever experience the full embarrassment of trying to litigate your break-up with a complete stranger.
i feel like too many people, men and women both, do not actually understand the extent of the strength difference between men and women. 
This isn’t “too many people.” This is about your ex-girlfriend. If you’re trying to AITA this shit, I can tell you, in no uncertain circumstances, yes, YTA. (You’re The Asshole, for those of readers who don’t hang in that subreddit.) 
In the real world, not only do most people genuinely believe there’s a greater strength difference than men and women than actually exists, but they don’t realize that after a specific threshold natural advantages (whatever natural advantages exist and different body types have different advantages) cease to make a real difference. Physical strength is one of those. The general population actually puts too much importance on “natural advantages” over training and practice. That happens when people fail to grasp their own ignorance. (People, perhaps unironically, like the person who sent this ask.)I’ve done martial arts for most of my life, strength differences don’t matter to me because I know how to nullify my opponent’s strength. Violence is a lot more complicated than strength v. strength, and also a lot simpler. Force isn’t generated by the upper body alone and force application has nothing to do with the size of a person’s biceps or what they can lift. If flat strength mattered, bodybuilding would be more than cosmetic. The reality is bodybuilders struggle to draw bows. The reason for this ignorance is simple, as most cops will tell you, most people haven’t been in a fight since high school (if they’ve ever been in a fight at all.) This results in a skewed perspective in a society that already trains a skewed perspective on the gender divide from birth. Gender roles are socially manufactured, sorry.
In the professional field, nobody talks about strength because (surprise!) strength doesn’t actually matter. Martial combat is all about learning to utilize the advantages of your own body while stripping your opponent of theirs. You fight with the body you have. Want to fight? Learn to work with what you’ve got. On a practical level, that’s the end of the discussion. The rest is semantics.
Women do martial arts. They practice against men and women. That’s the end.
“it is actually surprisingly easy for a man to kill a woman, in fact it can be done accidentally”
I know this is going to come as a shock, but it is surprisingly easy to kill anyone accidentally. That’s a human thing. While you may feel otherwise, society actually labels women as acceptable targets for masculine aggression and so they are more likely to be on the receiving end from an abusive partner. This doesn’t mean women aren’t abusers, some are, and the treatment of women by society at large means even fewer female abusers get recognized. Male violence against women is unfortunately common. That doesn’t make women weaker. In fact, it gets us into a discussion about societal training and victim blaming for confirmation bias that I don’t feel like getting into.
I’m really hoping you didn’t accidentally kill your ex though. The fact you chose to include this line in your ask is pretty telling about where your mental state is.
“The only people who deny it are either blinded by ideology.”
People who know what they’re talking about don’t deny it, they say it doesn’t matter if you know what you’re doing. That’s the difference. However, this line is pure projection. You are blinded by your own ideology. I know this because you came here to argue with me, a third degree black belt who did martial arts for thirteen years. You didn’t stop and consider that my lived experience regarding this subject might be slightly more extensive than yours. Also, you’re relying on confirmation bias to support your point.
Your ideology as expressed in the ask you’ve submitted gears itself toward denying that any natural advantages exist outside of those gifted by size and the upper body’s musculature. Which is, sadly, incorrect. Biologically, it is true that male and female bodies aren’t the same. Historically, in Western countries, we haven’t truly explored the advantages gifted by female bodies, we know remarkably little about female bodies in general. This is largely due to the fact that society is geared toward maintaining male as default. Science knows more about how to give you an erection than it does my period.
However, the gap isn’t as massive as some would like to believe. Different isn’t less.
There are quite a few countries outside the West where the concept of women fighting isn’t alien, or even up for debate. Their history is filled with female rulers, female politicians and power brokers, women going into battle, and practicing martial arts. They’ve even founded martial arts. Europe’s is too, they’re just a little more difficult to locate.
“Women can’t fight” is a cultural invention. Pop culture still largely supports a majority white male default, but that isn’t reality.
“or have never wrestled with someone of the opposite sex.”
Your only example for this is limited to a singular instance, so we’re going to take this with a grain of salt. I can tell you’ve never wrestled with anyone who knows what they’re doing because you put way too much importance on height, specifically being taller than your opponent. Height is actually a detriment against someone who knows how to manipulate it into a particular disadvantage, one that gives an advantage to the biologically female body, we’ll get to that in a second.
Female martial artists regularly practice against men, usually men of all ages because there just aren’t enough participants to break down evenly by sex/gender. If they start young, they’ve been practicing against larger opponents for most of their life. (The same is true for young boys too.)
“I had a girlfriend who was extremely athletic,”
So, being athletic doesn’t mean jack shit. That’s true for both genders. The type of muscles you develop heavily depends on the type of sports you do. In addition, the vast majority of people are completely reliant on their upper body. The upper body strength contest is where men have a natural advantage, they’re better at building muscles in the upper body where women build up muscle more quickly in their core and their legs. Depending on how tall the man in question is, he’ll also start with a leverage advantage. He’s going down, while his shorter opponent is going up.
Both these advantages are nullified by martial arts and completely non-existent against someone who practices wrestling. I don’t mean “wrestling” as in grabbing someone and hauling them around the yard, or professional wrestling which involves professional stuntmen performing choreographed fights, I mean wrestling the sport. This will be covered in the grappling side of martial arts like jiu-jitsu, judo, etc.
Anyone who practices wrestling will perk up when you say, “I’m 6”4” and rub their hands with glee. They all know it’s the short wiry fucks you’ve got to watch out for.
Glee was my response at hearing about your height, by the way.
“but had only ever played on all-female teams, and her little brothers were very young so she could throw them around.”
I find it hilarious that you and your ex engaged in the exact same tactics when it came to the fake wrestling and you came away thinking there was a real difference between you. All your anecdote proved was two humans engage in the same natural behavior. Which is why we tell our that training matters. Neither you nor your ex have any idea about how to utilize your lower body or attack your opponent’s center of balance. Or, you know, leverage. That’s completely normal for untrained people.
In comparison, every one of my boyfriends except Starke have all failed to hold on to me in any meaningful fashion. I had an ex who always tried to playfight and pin in bed. Did it work? No. The answer to this one isn’t strength, it’s knowledge and technique. I know how to grapple and practice wrist releases, he didn’t. I don’t need to be stronger when I can be bendy and slippery instead. There’s no need to force anything.
“I’m 6’ 4″, and she honestly thought she could hold her own against me.”
So, let me explain what happened with your ex. She played sports, which is a confidence builder, especially if you’re good at it, and she’s gotten a lot of dopamine hits from adrenaline. Adrenaline makes you feel good, it makes you feel strong and tough. Both built an overweening sense of confidence that ultimately proved false. That’s a human thing, not a gender/sex thing. This happens all the time to men too. Plenty of guys who scrap in high school think they know how to fight. They don’t. Hell, in the scenario provided, she’s not any different from my high school ex who liked to kick other guys in the balls. He only kind of knew how to use his legs because soccer, and only in the way soccer taught him. (His kicks were cringe.)
Height is physically intimidating to most people, but only because they haven’t spent most of their life physically tackling taller people. The irony is that tall people have a whole slew of disadvantages that make them more easy to deal with than humans of average size or those who are short. In male bodies, the center of gravity is higher due to hip position. The center of gravity in biologically female bodies is lower, meaning they have an easier time maintaining their balance. 
Taller people have to get much lower to the ground to maintain stability, they’re easier to knock over, destabilize, and throw. Their limbs are also longer which makes it much easier to perform joint breaks. Humans with high levels of muscular definition provide you with visual lines straight to all their pressure points. Pressure points are more difficult to locate in biologically female bodies due to the subcutaneous layer of fat.
If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to join any judo or jiu-jitsu dojo. Have fun learning how difficult throwing a five foot, ninety-pound girl can be. (Damn you, Kristen.)
The sexes aren’t as different as you’d like to believe. The real problem for you is your lack of self-confidence, especially when it comes to your masculinity. 
What does it matter that your ex believed she could overpower you? 
Why does the fact she had confidence in herself and her own abilities bother you? 
Why did it irritate or anger that she didn’t automatically acknowledge your (supposed) superiority? 
Why do you need to feel superior?
Healthy relationships are built on mutual regard, understanding, and respect. You obviously didn’t respect your partner’s passion for sports or see it’s value, so it’s not surprising you broke up. All girls who practice sports have heard the whiny bullshit about how they’re not as good as men, how their achievements are meaningless because they’re not men, and how they’ll always be second class. You’re not telling your ex or me anything we haven’t heard hundreds of times before. Thousands, probably.
You know who I never heard that bullshit from? My martial arts instructors. I’ve trained with a lot of men over the years and it never came up, not once. There was no, “boys are better.” They never needed to put down others, exert their superiority, or exclude in order to feel confident and comfortable with themselves. They didn’t need the clubhouse. And, honestly, neither do you.
Let it go.
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We See These Misogynistic Idiots in Our Inbox Occasionally was originally published on How to Fight Write.
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a-cure-for-writers-block · 2 months ago
I've been putting this off for some time because ughhhhhh so much work ahah! Anyway, I finally bring The Ultimate Masterlist to your dashboards! Hold on, it's going to be a long ride~
General Posts
Every single daily prompt ever... (Except Prompt #208 because apparently it doesn't exist... ???)
ACFWB Playlists
Character names
Character sheet
Writing Advice
Finding inspiration
Overcoming writer's block
Continuing on with your story
Developing a plot
Starting your story!
Writing in third person
Tips for writing in first, second & third person
Emotive language
Tips for writing character features
Expanding vocabulary
Choosing the direction of your story
Hitting a block (Minor writer's block)
Improving your writing in a specific genre
A guide to bettering your writing (The tall one, the blonde one...)
Writing dialogue
Long Posts
#30 Q's to ask your OC's- Appearance
#50 Q's to ask your OC's
#50 This or That Q's for your OC's
NSFW Dialogue prompts
#100 NSFW/Smut dialogue prompts
Sexual tension prompts
Reasons for couples to break-up
#50 Dialogue prompts- compilation
#100 Dialogue prompts- Angst edition
#100 More angst/argument prompts
#100 Prompts to break a reader's heart
#100 Prompts to make a reader swoon
Short fluff/cozy prompts
OTP Christmas scenarios
#100 Song lyric prompts
First person prompts
Protagonist in a situation with...
Dystopian ideas
Shy fluff prompts
Character death prompts
And I think we're done for now! I'll try to keep it as updated as I can! All my love, Yasmine xox
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iloveyou-itllpass · 3 months ago
some writing advice nobody asked for
- figure out why you write. is it a hobby? is it something you want to become your career? do you have intentions of going to print? then you'll have a better idea of what advice you need.
- experiment with scheduling versus writing whenever you fancy it. i'm reading on writing by stephen king right now for uni and he says that he sets himself a goal of writing 2,000 words a day. he gives a lot of good advice about writing but i won't put it all here because then it won't be my writing advice lol, but one thing he says is to get into a room with a closed door and no distractions (unplug the tv, turn off your phone/wifi etc), sit down, and do not leave that room until you have your 2,000 words. i did this in the final week of writing my novel and it worked wonders, even though i'm not usually the kind of person to start a writing session with a wc goal in mind!
- don't show people the first draft. this exists solely for you. show them the second, or maybe the third. the first draft's job is just to exist, not to be by any means brilliant. don't introduce unnecessary pressure or doubt by showing people the rough work (unless obviously this is your agent/editor because it's kind of what your job together is)
- try not to get too bogged down by the driving plot or clear arcs/ideas at first. people will tell you different things, so really it's about figuring out what works with your personal writing style, but in my experience i start with a vague idea or atmosphere, maybe a character or two. when i start with a central plot point (i.e. "i want this group of students to end up involved in a murder"), even if i do stick to that, the plot will grow and expand itself as you write. what began as the big, main, central part, becomes just one little part of a huge, rich plot. it's true when people say that books like to write themselves - your final draft will most likely look absolutely nothing like your original plan or even your whole first draft, and that's what i absolutely love about the craft.
- and finally, listen to more radiohead. alternately put "something in the way" by nirvana on loop. just trust me.
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inky-duchess · 12 months ago
Fantasy Guide to Noble Titles & What they Mean
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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aileywrites · 6 months ago
Writing Royals Part 2
 The last part was all tips about how to write royal characters, and my apparently controversial opinions on certain things, like corsets......Anyways, I have two more tips I wanted to share about writing royal characters, and some questions I use when I’m about writing the people surrounding the royal family: the royal court!!! Every country with a monarchy or any similar system is gonna have a royal court around them. These people included advisors, favorites, ambassadors, and servants. Getting the dynamic of your royal court perfect often depends on how you write these characters, so here we go!
Homegirl, Where Are Your Guards???
There is nothing that bothers me more than when a royal character is like in the middle of a war or their people are rebelling and they’re like, “ugh, I hate having all these guards around me. I just want to be free!!!!!” Which, okay fine, having a bunch of people follow you around and stand outside while you pee, and generally watching your every move does not sound fun at all, but getting offed doesn’t sound fun either. If your character’s country is in the middle of a war, and even if they aren’t depending on the country, they are going to have guards around them all the time. In Tudor England, guards would sleep in the King’s room even if he had company because people were always trying to assassinate each other. Even if your royal character has magic or powers or something, they still probably need guards. If your characters have been royal all their lives, they probably will know their guards very well and know how to sneak away from them for that oh so coveted night in the town as a commoner. But, even though royalty probably did feel claustrophobic with all those guards surrounding them, especially in the Victorian era right up until the end of World War 1, everyone’s biggest fear was being assassinated. People were getting offed and assassinated left and right, so take that into account when your character oh so desperately wants to leave the palace. 
Above the Law, Cause You Are the Law
I’m pretty sure that has been the motto of like almost every medieval to late Renaissance European monarch. Don’t get me wrong, there have definitely been good, benevolent monarchs who actually care about the needs and requests of their people, but then you get to Henry the 8th, and you’re like....., but that’s how it was back then, and even to an extent now. Royalty and nobility get away with so much shit that would send a normal person to prison, just look at Prince Andrew. Having all of that power and prestige, combined with being in charge of a country and being pretty much exempt from a lot of things can lead your royal or noble characters to have an inaccurate sense of right and wrong. Using Henry the 8th as an example, pretty much half of the things he decided in his life can be summed up with, “it’s okay when Henry does it, but if anyone else does it, then I’m offing them” That can create really good conflict if your royal character is forced to finally face the consequences of some of their actions, despite having gotten away with everything since they were a kid. 
So, now that we’ve got your royal family figured out, it’s time to get into the royal court. Here are some basic questions that I asked myself when I was writing my royal court for my current, wip!
How big is the total court?- And when I mean court, I don’t just mean the nobles, I mean like everyone, the cooks, gardeners, everyone. I know I’m using Tudor England a lot as my example, but y’all know the Tudors and Henry Cavill own my heart. Anyways, Henry the 8th’s official household could have up to 800 people at one time, and anyone of his various Queens could have another 200 people at their disposal. That’s a lot of people.
What factions exist within the court?- In the words of James Madison, factions forming is pretty much inevitable. Inevitably, people are gonna have similar interests and agendas, and those people will often band together to bring down other people who have the opposite agendas as them. Royal factions are some of the best ways to add some intrigue and spicy conflict to your story.
Where does the court meet?- All royal courts center around the Monarch, but where does the monarch live? Does the Monarch move around throughout the year? In my wip, all the Sovereigns live in their own territories during the summer months, but during the winter months, they all live together at Brookshire. The location of your court can play a big role in how power is consolidated in your world. 
Who all is in the court at any given time?- This questions is probably one of the most important questions when you’re building your royal court. The people close to the monarch who protect them, love them, or spy on them. These people, in some scenarios, might have more control over the country than the monarch themselves. They might scheme to control the monarch, marry them, or kill them. 
For your convenience, here is a list of people that might be at a royal court at any given time sourced from:
The monarch(s) – Regardless of what titles you give them, this person or duo is the center of a royal court; she defines the rest of the court. If the monarch consists of two people they are most likely either married or siblings, sometimes both depending on the culture and age.
The monarch’s family – people related to the monarch by blood, adoption or marriage fall into this category, and these people might or might not have their own titles and additional positions, though not necessarily always officially. Consider how younger royal siblings might be sent places to be married off, and be expected to function as ambassadors without the pay, or the many hats that a dowager queen might wear in her “retirement.”
Ambassadors – these men and women come from other kingdoms but they’re vital to functioning on a wider scale. They communicate their lady’s desires, intents and goals, as well as bring her insider news from the courts where they are appointed. When things are going well, they command a lot of respect and power, but if their two countries are on the outs, their lives are almost certainly in danger. Keep in mind too that ambassadors are likely to have their own households, and there might be a junior ambassador in play as well.
Nobles – At any given time, a royal court is bound to be packed with the country’s gentry, there to doing things such as discuss business, introduce a child for courting, serve the crown for their appointed time or because they are so active in politics because they make their home wherever the Queen does. Unlike ambassadors who are primarily going to be focused on inter-country negotiations, noblemen and women will have their own agendas to further their families, and while you’d like to think that they’re all loyal to the crown and their country, sometimes their own ambitions might get in the way.
Court Fool/Jester – We like to think of the court fool as someone who is, genuinely, a fool, but that’s often not the case. The Fool is a useful tool for the monarch because he distracts the court, and more often than not acts as a spy, passing along tidbits of overheard information or sightings–after all, who pays attention to the simpletons?
Courtiers – Courtiers are different from nobles in that they are people whose talents or ambition have brought them to court seeking the next rung on their ladder, rather than people whose daily business has brought them to the Queen’s presence. They are here to make a name for themselves, and can almost always be counted on to act in their own best interests, unless motivated by an exceptional force. These types are often at court on their own dime.
Resident military commanders – Military commanders are not likely to be regular fixtures at court, as they’re needed with their forces. But the highest ranking among them are going to be in nearly constant contact with the monarch (or the monarch’s representative, as is sometimes the case) and that will often necessitate being physically present at court.
Guests – Whether from outside of the country, rich or poor, landed or not, the royal court is ALWAYS going to have guests, and a well-established court is going to have provisions for housing and caring for a large number of them. A person’s station and/or possible value to the crown might determine wherein a castle they are housed and how they are treated, but if you write in a few guests consider that their perspective could be useful in defining the court as a whole.
Semi-permanent guests – These guests are people who don’t necessarily belong at court, and while their stay might be lengthy, it is well established that it will not be permanent. Examples of these kinds of people might be businessmen appointed to oversee some long term prospects, or the children of foreign nobles who have been sent to another country to be educated.
The monarch’s favorites – These could be really good characters for you to develop in depth. They’re essentially wild cards, and as they are favorites of the Queen, they have the potential to be outlandish or scandalous, hated or misunderstood, but the love and blind eye from the Queen keeps them nearby… tethered.
Royal lords and ladies – It will be rare for any ruler to find themselves alone; their personal attendants live to see to their needs and are never going to be far from hand. These politically powerful positions are likely to be jostled over a great deal, especially if the monarch is young, and might overlap somewhat with the royal favorites. Sometimes these people are lifelong companions and sometimes they are placed strategically close to the monarch for certain goals but regardless of how they came to be there, they are likely to share in the fine things, wealth, power and danger that surrounds a royal.
Sponsored artists – Sponsored artists could easily be labeled courtiers, except that it wasn’t usually their idea to come to court, and they’re not there for their own ambition. If the wealthy of your world are at all inclined to supporting the arts – drawing, painting, writing, performance, design, etc – they’re likely going to want to show off their investments, so in this regard these artists are usually nothing more than accessories. Though being a court is always a good way to increase one’s sales.
Guards – Any court is likely to have several levels of protective personnel, all the way from those hired by the royal household to keep the general peace and take care of grunt work  to personal, more elite bodyguards. This is another varied group that can include any number of peoples, skill level, objectives and professional capacity, but everybody who’s anybody is going to have one or two. Eunuchs might also fall into this category–those maimed men who have been conscripted in guarding typically women whose virtue is deemed vitally important.
Servants – Another highly varied group, but no less vital to the functioning of a royal castle and court. Servants might hold roles such as cooks, head cooks, librarians, messengers, laundresses, seamstresses, housekeeping, tasters, children’s nurses, ushers, grooms, heralds, and gardeners. If you world isn’t very progressive, some of these roles might also be filled with slaves or bonded servants.
Harem members – This again will depend largely on your story itself, but if the King or Queen is going to be flitting from bed to bed, there’s likely to be a group of bedmates hanging around for royal pleasure. Whether or not this group is well respected or received (or even publically visible) is up to you.
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wordsnstuff · 7 months ago
Character Development : A Collection of Resources
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Patreon || Ko-Fi || Masterlist || Work In Progress
Resources For Creating Characters
Resources For Describing Characters
Resources For Writing The Mafia
Resources For Writing Royalty
Commentary on Social Issues In Writing
General Tips
Guide to Character Development
How To Fit Character Development Into Your Story
Tips on Character Consistency
Designing A Character From Scratch
Making characters for your world
Characters First, Story Second Method
Understanding Your Character
Tips on Character Motivations
31 Days of Character Development : May 2018 Writing Challenge
How To Analyze A Character
Alternative Method of Character Creation
Connecting To Your Own Characters
Interview As Your Characters
Flipping Character Traits On Their Head 
Character Driven vs. Plot Driven Stories
Tips On Writing About Mental Illness
Giving Your Protagonists Negative Traits
Giving Characters Distinct Voices in Dialogue
Giving Characters Flaws
Making Characters More Unique
Keeping Characters Realistic
Writing Good Villains
Creating Villains
Guide to Writing The Hero
Positive Character Development Without Romanticizing Toxic Behavior
Tips on Writing Cold & Distant Characters
Balancing Multiple Main Characters
Creating Diverse Otherworld Characters
Foreshadowing The Villain
Masterlist | WIP Blog
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