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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Hello, could you please help me in writing Found Family troupe 💚
Writing found family
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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.
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.
"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.
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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Writer's Guide: Writing about Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails
Or how to write believable bar and nightclub scenes. I often find myself helping friends with their WIPs and often it as a bartender, I find myself having to correct them on bar and mixology terminology. So here's my quick guide to keeping your lingo on the straight and narrow.
DASH/SPLASH: a drop of a mixer such as juice or flavouring.
MIXER: non alcholic beveraged served with the measure of alcohol in the same glass.
NEAT: Plain, without any addition of ice or a mixture. Just the alcohol.
ON THE ROCKS: Served over Ice.
STRAIGHT UP: The cocktail is chilled with ice and strained into a glass with no ice
DIRTY – if somebody asks for a dirty martini, you add olive juice, the more juice the dirtier it is
DRY- A dry martini includes a drop of vermouth and an extra dry martini contains a drop of scotch swirled in the glass and drained before adding the gin
BACK – a ‘back’ is a drink that accompanies an alcholic beverage such as water or Coke, but isn't mixed.
GARNISH – something added to a drink such as a lime or lemon or orange.
TWIST - a twist is literally a twist of fruit skin in the drink.
BITTERS – a herbal alcoholic blend added to cocktails.
RIMMED - the glass is coated in salt or sugar to enhance the taste.
VIRGIN- non alcoholic
MOCKTAIL- a virgin cocktail
DOUBLE - Two measures of the same alcohol in the same glass. A bartender can only legally serve a double in the same glass. They cannot serve you a triple.
COCKTAIL SHAKER - it is a metal cup that fits into a glass, used to shake the components of your drink together with ice to chill it.
STRAINER- used to seperate ice in the shaker from the liquid within as you pour it into the glass.
MEASURES- these are little metal cylinders meant to measure out the pours of the alcohol. You pour the alcohol from the bottle into the measure and then put it into the glass. It's imperative that the right measure goes into the glass or the drink will taste of shit.
BAR SPOON – a long spoon meant to mix the drink.
OPTIC- it is a mechanism that attaches a bottle to an automatic pourer. The bartender usually fits the glass under the spout and pushes up to release the amount which cuts off at the single measure.
SHOT GLASS- a shot glass is a small glass to contain one measure
PINT GLASS- a glass used for serving pints of lager or ale
HALF PINT GLASS - a tulip shaped glass half the measure of a pint glass
SPEEDWELL/TAPS/DRAFT: are the taps used to pour beer from kegs stored under the bar floor.
SLIM JIM/HIGH BALL GLASS- It is a tall straight holding 8 to 12 ounces and used for cocktails served on the rocks such as a Gin and Tonic.
ROCKS GLASS - or an old fashioned glass, it is short and round. These glasses are used for drinks such as Old Fashioneds or Sazerac
COUPE GLASS- Are broad round stemmed glasses used for cocktails that are chill and served without ice such as a Manhattan, Boulevardier or a Gimlet
MARTINI GLASS - a martini glass is that classic stemmed "v" shaped glass, used to serve drinks without mixers such as Martini and Cosmopolitans
MARGARITA GLASS - is a large, round bowl like glass with a broad and a tall stem used for Margaritas and Daiquiris
HURRICANE GLASS- a tall tulip-like shaped glass with a flared rim and short stem. It holds 20 ounces which means it is the perfect glass to serve iced cocktails in such as Pina Colada, Singapore Sling, Hurricane
Vodka- Vodka is made from potatoes or fermented cereal grains. It has a strong taste and scent. It is usually consumed neat with a mixer such as Coke or Orange juice or cranberry juice or in cocktails like Martini, Bloody Mary and Cosmopolitan.
Whisky/Whiskey- Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage, made from fermented grain mash such as barley, corn, rye, and wheat. It gets its flavour form being fermented in casks for long period of time. When serving a whiskey, one asks whether they want ice or a mixer. Everyone has their own preference. I prefer mine like myself, strong and Irish. Scotch is Scottish Brewed whisky.
Rum- Rum is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses/juice. It is aged in oak barrels. It has a sweet taste.
Beer: is made out of cereal grains and served chilled in bottles or pulled from taps/speedwells.
Ale: Ale in the middle ages referred to beer brewed without hops (a kind of flowering plant that gives beer its bitter taste). It is sweeter and would typically have a fruity aftertaste.
Stout- is a darker beer sometimes brewed from roasted malt, coming in a sweet version and dry version, the most famous stout being Guinness.
Poitín- (pronounced as pot-cheen) is made from cereals, grain, whey, sugar beet, molasses and potatoes. It is a Dangerous Drink (honestly i still don't know how I ended up in that field with a traffic cone and a Shetland pony) and technically illegal. Country folk in Ireland used to brew it in secrets in stills hidden on their land.
Vermouth: Is made from infused with roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, spices, brandy but vermouth is classed aromatized wine. It comes sweet or dry
Gin- is made from juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, almond or liquorice and grain alcohol. Gin has a strong scent and taste and is usually served in a martini or a tonic water.
Schnapps- refers to any strong, clear alcoholic beverage. It is considered one of the best types of spirits because of its pure and delicate aroma. Lesson: never drink peach schnapps.
Cocktails and Drinks
Irish Coffee: an Irish coffee is adding whiskey to coffee and sugar and topping it with cream. As a bartender, I would honestly rather cut my arm off than make one of these.
Baby Guinness: Is a shot made by pouting Tia Maria or Kaluah into a shot glass and spreading Baileys on the top so it looks like a small pint of Guinness.
Silver Bullet: a shot of mixed tequila and sambuca.
Long Island Iced Tea: The Long Island contains vodka, gin, tequila, light rum, lemon juice, triple sec and cola. It has a real kick.
Mai Tai: is made with light and dark rum, lime juice, orange curacao, orgeat syrup and rock candy syrup and served with a mint garnish.
Manhattan: The Manhattan is made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters.
Margarita: The margarita is made with tequila, cointreau and lime juice.
Mojito: a mojito is made with muddled mint, white rum, lime juice, simple syrup and soda.
Martini: a martini is made of gin, dry vermouth and garnished with a lemon twist or olives.
Mimosa: a mimosa is a made with sparkling wine and orange juice.
Mint Julep: Made with Kentucky bourbon, simple syrup, mint leaves and crushed ice
Pina Colada: is made with white rum, dark rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream
Screwdriver: Vodka and Orange juice
Tequila Sunrise: tequila, orange juice and grenadine
Tom Collins: made with spiked lemonade, sparkling water, lemon juice, simple syrup and gin
Whiskey Sour: is made with powdered sugar, seltzer, lemon juice and whiskey.
White Russian: made with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream.
Black Russian: made with two parts coffee liqueur and five parts vodka.
Gin and Tonic: gin served with tonic water
Bloody Mary: made with vodka and tomato juice mixed with lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, fresh herbs, brown sugar and cracked black pepper.
Brandy Alexander: served straight up and made with brandy, cognac, creme de cacao and cream
Cosmopolitan: Made with citrus vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and fresh lime juice
Daiquiri: made with rum, lime juice and sugar.
Gimlet: gin and lime juice
My Top 10 Bartending Rules and Responsibilities
Overpouring is never an option. You can seriously hurt somebody by overpouring, not to mention spoil the drink and ruin your sales. You only serve people what they ask and never more.
When somebody has had enough, you stop serving them. After a while, you know when to cut somebody off.
Never leave bottles on the counter or in reach of customers. Your expensive spirits should never be in reach of anybody but you.
If you tell somebody your selling them premium and top shelf alcohol, you cannot substitute with cheaper licqor. It's illegal.
As a bartender, your eyes always have to be scanning a crowd. You can't leave people hanging.
The golden rule - if you see somebody messing with someone's drink, you chuck it if you can or warn the person. And you get that son of a bitch out of your pub.
50% of the job is cleaning. You have to clean your tools constantly. You cannot reuse measures and spouts, you have to wash everything. Beer traps are clean out every night, rubber mats are washed and anything you have used has to be clean.
You have to hand dry your glasses. You never polish a pint glass as it fucks up the pint. You polish your cocktail glasses, shot glasses and straight glasses.
If someone seems down or on their own, you try make conversation. Often you'll hear some disturbing stuff but always try lend an ear or make everyone feel included.
If you break a glass in the ice bucket, you got to get rid of the ice.
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Insult names to use instead of "idiot,"
None of these are actually meant to be hateful, if any of these have truely offensive meanings (such as the r word) that I was unaware of, please tell me so I can remove it! Tried to avoid cursing, but it contains some!
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Resources for Writing Injuries
Patreon || Ko-Fi || Masterlist || Work In Progress
General Information | More
Diffuse Axonal Injury
Blunt cardiac injury
Pneumothorax (traumatic pneumothorax, open pneumothorax, and tension pneumothorax)
Penetrating injuries (see also, gunshot wound & stab wound sections)
Heart (Blunt Cardiac Injury)
General Information | More
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Injuries to ligaments
Injuries to tendons
Chemical Eye Burns
Subconjunctival Hemorrhages (Eye Bleeding)
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)
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
In the Head
In the Neck
In the Chest
In the Abdomen
In the Legs/Arms
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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BUILD A CHARACTER (Masterpost)
- Name Generator
- Reedsy Generator
- Fake Name Generator
- Fantasy Name Generator
- Baby Names
- Baby Center
- Long Names List by @leafvy
- Giant Name List by @serifsystem
- Dark Academia Inspired Names by @victoriahazelnut
- Dark Academia Inspired Names part II by @victoriahazelnut
- Modern Names Similar to Constellations by @victoriahazelnut
- Personality Generator
- Random Character Traits Generator by @lucalicatteart
- Random Zodiac Sign Generator
- Zodiac Generator
- 638 Personality Traits
- Character Traits List with Examples
- 800 Character Traits: The Ultimate List (+ How to Develop a Good Character Step-by-Step)
- The Signs in a Relationship by @neo-wonderland
- Character Flaws by @madswritess
- A List of Character Quirks by @psychidion
- Victorian Detective by @iamacuteapplepie
- Little Quirks for Future Reference by @elvenwinters
- Things your Character Might be Afraid of by @rpmemesbyarat
- Masterlist of Characters’ Deepest Fears by @bailey-writes
- Kassoon Backstory Generator
- Character Biography Generator
- How to Write Compelling Character Backstories: Step-by-Step Guide
- Childhood Memory Generator
- 33 Life Events For Your Character’s Backstory by @creativerogues
- Important Life Events
- Past Traumas by @blackacre13
>Goals & Motives
- Character Goal Generator
- Character Motivation Generator
- Motive Generator
- Secret Generator
- 300 Secrets for your Character by @crissverahelps
- What Secret does your Character Keep?
- 150 secrets/plots by @sunshineandtearph
- Appearence Generator
- Portrait and Figure Drawing References
- Appearence Adjectives
- Adjectives to Describe People
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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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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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THE ULTIMATE MASTERLIST
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~
Every single daily prompt ever... (Except Prompt #208 because apparently it doesn't exist... ???)
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
Tips for writing character features
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...)
#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...
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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Okay but hear me out: the second and the third chapters are the hardest in the entire book.
Everybody complains about chapter one and endings, and I get it - that's your big money moment, make or break. That's what matters the most to the reader. But I think in terms of sheer difficulty for the writer, in terms of individual chapters, the very beginning is where projects live and die.
Chapter one is an idea. I have probably thirty or forty chapter ones sitting in my computer that never went anywhere, or were cool thoughts but didn't have a plot behind them. They were scenarios with no inertia. One chapter a story does not make.
But the second chapter, that's where things start to change. Chapter two, in most books, is pure setup. You're not just writing the immediate aftermath of the first chapter, you're writing the whole damn book in a few thousand words. That's hard. It takes a LOT of mental energy and requires you to do the actual work of plotting, whereas chapter one you can just dash down whatever inspo you've got whether it goes somewhere or not.
That's tough as hell, but I don't count two chapters as a story either. Two chapters is still nothing but an idea. Chapter three is where the character takes their first action influenced by the inciting event, makes their first move, goes from a person to a protagonist. Chapter three is where you stop telling the reader what could be and start showing them what is. I think you can have the best idea in the world, but if it can't carry itself to chapter three, it's not a story. Certainly not a novel, yet. And that's why the beginning of a project is so critical, because you're mega frontloading and roadmapping a lot of what comes later right at the very beginning.
So when you're starting your next WIP, don't make your goal be to reach the end of the book. Shoot for chapter three. I promise you, once you've got three chapters down in your word processor, the rest of the book will be a whole lot easier.
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ALL-IN-ONE NOTION: “TRANSCRIPTS”
a highly customizable, simplistic but fancy notion template for writers. perfect for organizing notes while keeping it aesthetically-pleasing to look at. guaranteed higher muse and motivation to finish works-in-progress. to download / copy, click “duplicate” top-right to copy it to your notion.
overview / introductory section (including a detailed synopsis section)
visual and simple overview of chapters
visual and simple overview of characters
note-taking section with a simple to-do list
tags system (e.g. completion status for chapters, character roles for characters)
in-depth notes section including a side dedicated for excerpts
please like / reblog if you’re using or interested in using it!
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Writing fight scenes
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A fight scene should be fast-paced and intense. Unless it's a final battle with numerous parties, a fight scene that's too long tends to take away suspense. To speed up your pacing, use active voice to describe movement and don't overdescribe your characters' thoughts. Excessive inner monologue will be unrealistic, as people usually have no room to think during intense combats.
2. Character mannerisms
Here's a point that people often overlook, but is actually super important. Through fight scenes, you should be able to reveal your characters' contrasting mannerisms and personality. A cunning character would play dirty - fighting less and making use of their opponent's weakness more. A violent character would aim to kill. A softer one would only target to disarm their enemies, using weakened attacks. A short-minded character would only rely on force and attack without thinking. This will help readers understand your characters more and decide who to root for.
3. Making use of surroundings
Not only the characters, you also need to consider the setting of your fight scene and use it to your advantage. Is it suitable for fighting, or are there dangerous slopes that make it risky? Are there scattered items that can help your characters fight (e.g. nails, shards of glass, ropes, wooden boards, or cutlery)? Is it a public place where people can easily spot the fight and call the authorities, or is it a private spot where they can fight to the death?
The main things that you need to describe in a fight scene are :
• Characters involved in the fight
• How they initiate and dodge attacks
• Fighting styles and any weapons used
• The injuries caused
Be careful to not drag out the description for too long, because it slows down the pace.
5. Raise the stakes
By raising the stakes of the fight, your readers will be more invested in it. Just when they think it's over, introduce another worse conflict that will keep the scene going. Think of your characters' goals and motivations as well. Maybe if the MC didn't win, the world would end! Or maybe, one person in the fight is going all-out, while the other is going easy because they used to be close :"D
Fights are bound to be dirty and resulting in injuries, so don't let your character walk away unscathed - show the effect of their injuries. For example, someone who had been punched in the jaw has a good chance of passing out, and someone who had been stabbed won't just remove the knife and walk away without any problem. To portray realistic injuries, research well.
7. Drive the plot forward
You don't write fight scenes only to make your characters look cool - every fight needs to have a purpose and drive the plot forward. Maybe they have to fight to improve their fighting skills or escape from somewhere alive. Maybe they need to defeat the enemy in order to obtain an object or retrieve someone who had been kidnapped. The point is, every single fight scene should bring the characters one step closer (or further :D) to the climax.
8. Words to use
• Hand to hand combat :
Crush, smash, lunge, beat, punch, leap, slap, scratch, batter, pummel, whack, slam, dodge, clobber, box, shove, bruise, knock, flick, push, choke, charge, impact
• With weapon :
Swing, slice, brandish, stab, shoot, whip, parry, cut, bump, poke, drive, shock, strap, pelt, plunge, impale, lash, bleed, sting, penetrate
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So You Want Your OC to be Jewish
So you’re writing a story and you want to make a Jewish character—great! I’m here to help. I always want more Jewish representation but I want good Jewish representation, so this is my attempt to make a guide to making a Jewish character. What are my credentials? I’m Jewish and have been my whole life. Obligatory disclaimer that this is by no means comprehensive, I don’t know everything, all Jews are different, and this is based on my experiences as an American Jew so I have no idea, what, if any, of this applies to non-American Jews.
If there’s anything you want me to make a post going more into detail about or if there’s anything I didn’t mention but you want to know please ask me! I hope this is helpful :) Warning, this is long.
If you are Jewish you can use the word Jew(s), e.g. “She’s dating a Jew.” If you are not Jewish you cannot use the word Jew(s). This is not up for debate. Non-Jews calling us Jews has a negative connotation at best. Don’t do it and don’t have your characters do it.
Basics, Plus My Random Thoughts that Didn’t Fit Anywhere Else
A confusing enduring issue is, what is Judaism? It’s a religion, but some Jews aren’t religious; is it a race? A nationality? A culture? A heritage? The only constant is that we are seen as “other.” There’s a lot of debate, which makes it confusing to be Jewish and as such it’s common for Jews to struggle with their Jewish Identity. However many people agree that Jews are an ethnoreligious group, aka Judaism is a religion and an ethnicity.
Temple/Synagogue/Shul = Jewish place of worship. Shul is usually used for Orthodox synagogues.
Keeping kosher = following Jewish dietary rules: meat and dairy can’t be eaten together and you can’t eat pork or shellfish. Fish and eggs are pareve (aka neutral) and can be eaten with meat or dairy (but again not both at the same time.) When eating meat it has to be kosher meat (e.g. kosher Jews are allowed to eat chicken, but not all chicken is kosher. I know it’s kinda confusing I’m sorry.) Kosher products in stores will have symbols on them to identify them as kosher. If someone is kosher they’ll probably have separate sets of utensils/plates/cookware/etc. for meat and dairy
Shabbat/Shabbos/Sabbath = holy day of the week, day of rest, lasts from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Depending on observance Jews might have Shabbat dinner, attend Shabbat services, or observe the day of rest in its entirety (making them shomer Shabbat)
Someone who is shomer Shabbat will refrain from any of the prohibited activities. These can easily be looked up but include: working, writing, handling money, cooking, and using technology.
Bat/Bar/B’nai Mitvzah = tradition where a Jewish boy/girl becomes a man/woman. Celebrated at 13-years-old for boys, 12- or 13-years-old for girls. Girls have Bat Mitzvahs (bat means daughter in Hebrew), boys have Bar Mitzvahs (bar means son in Hebrew) and twins or two or more people having one together have a B’nai Mitzvah. They will study for this for months and then help lead services and, depending on observance level, read from the Torah. The ceremony is often attended by family and friends and followed with a celebration of sorts (in America usually this means a brunch and/or party.)
Goy/gentile = non-Jew. These words are not slurs, they are literally just words. Plural of goy is goyim and is a Yiddish word, plural of gentile is gentiles.
Jewish holidays follow the Hebrew calendar, meaning that according to the current solar/Gregorian calendar the dates of our holidays are different each year.
Jewish law recognizes matrilineal inheritance. This means that Jewish law states your mother has to be Jewish for you to be Jewish. This is because of reasons from biblical times that I can explain if you wanna come ask, but as you can imagine is a bit outdated. While Orthodox Jews might embrace this idea and only consider someone Jewish if their mom is Jewish, many Jews are more flexible on the idea (and yes, this does cause tension between Orthodox Jews and other Jews at times.)
Judaism =/= Christianity
Some people think Judaism is just Christianity without Jesus (some people don’t even realize we don’t believe in/celebrate Jesus so newsflash, we don’t) and that’s just wrong. Yes both religions share the Old Testament, so they also share some history and beliefs, but the entire ideologies of the religions are different. In brief, they are similar in some ways but are not the same.
What seems to me to be the biggest difference is that Christianity (from what I understand) has a heavy focus on sins, more specifically repenting for/gaining forgiveness for your sins. In Christianity you are born tainted by original sin. In Judaism we believe everyone is born pure and free from sin and everyone is made in God’s image. Judaism has some concept of sin, but doesn’t focus on them and instead focuses on performing Mitzvot (plural, singular form is mitzvah. Direct translation is “commandment” but basically means good deed or act of kindness. It also relates to the commandments, so following the commandments is also performing mitzvot.) Examples of mitzvot include anything from saying a prayer or lighting Shabbat candles to helping a stranger or donating to charity (called tzedakah). One of the main tenets of Judaism is tikkun olam, which directly translates to “repair the world” and means exactly what it says on the tin. Instead of focusing on being forgiven for doing bad Judaism focuses on doing good. The only day we focus on past wrongdoings is Yom Kippur, one of our most holy holidays, discussed below.
Rosh Hashanah – The Jewish New Year, occurs around September and lasts for two days, though Reform Jews often only celebrate the first day. Day of happiness and joy, celebrated by eating sweet things for a “sweet new year” (often apples dipped in honey) and circular challah to represent the end of one year and beginning of another. Also celebrated with services and blowing the shofar (rams horn.) Some spend the day in prayer and/or silent meditation. Possible greetings: chag sameach (happy holiday; can be said on almost any holiday), Shana Tovah, or happy new year (which is what Shana Tovah means, some people just say it in English.)
Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement. Occurs ten days after the start of Rosh Hashanah. One of if not the most solemn day for Jews, but also the most holy. The day is spent reflecting on yourself and any past wrongdoings and atoning. The day (sundown the night before to sundown the day of) is spent fasting, a physical way of atoning. We do this in hopes of being “written in the Book of Life” and starting the year with a clean slate. The shofar is blown at the end of the holiday. Most Jews will end the fast with a grand meal with family and friends. Most common greeting is “have an easy fast,” but happy new year is still appropriate.
Sukkot – Celebrates the harvest, occurs on the fifth day after Yom Kippur and lasts seven days. Celebrated by building a temporary hut outdoors called a sukkah and having meals inside it, as well as shaking palm fronds tied together (called a lulav) and holding a citrus called an etrog. Very fun and festive holiday. Possible greetings include chag sameach or Happy Sukkot.
Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah – Some Jews (mostly Reform Jews and Jews living in Israel) combine both holidays into one day while some celebrate them as two separate days. Either way they occur immediately after Sukkot. Shemini Atzeret is similar but separate from Sukkot and features a prayer for rain; Sukkot is not mentioned in prayers and the lulav isn’t shaken but you do eat in the sukkah. Simchat Torah celebrates finishing reading the Torah, which we will then begin again the next day. It’s a festive holiday with dancing and fun. Some Temples will roll the entire Torah out and the children will run under it. Appropriate greeting for both would be chag sameach.
Rosh Hashanah through Simchat Torah are referred to as the High Holidays.
Chanukah – We all know about Chanukah, celebrating the reclaiming of the Second Temple and the miracle of the oil lasting eight days. The most represented Jewish Holiday there is. Unfortunately it’s one of the least significant holidays for us. Occurs around November or December and lasts eight days and nights. Celebrated by lighting candles in the Menorah each night with a prayer and kids usually get gifts each night. Also celebrated with spinning tops called dreidels, fried foods like doughnuts (sufganiyot in Hebrew; usually the jelly filled ones) and potato pancakes called latkes. Greetings: happy Chanukah or chag sameach.
Tu B’Shevat – Birthday of the trees, basically Jewish Arbor Day. Minor but fun holiday, sometimes celebrated by planting trees. Occurs around January or February.
Purim – Celebrates how Queen Esther of Persia defeated Haman and saved her people, the Jews. Occurs in Spring. Festive holiday traditionally celebrated by dressing in costumes, eating sweets, and giving tzedakah (it’s also technically commanded you get drunk so woohoo!) Whenever Haman’s name is mentioned you make a lot of noise, booing and using noisemakers called groggers. Greetings: happy Purim, chag Purim, or chag sameach.
Passover/Pesach – Celebrates the Jews being freed from slavery in Egypt. Occurs in Spring and lasts eight days. The first two nights (some only celebrate the first night) are celebrated with seder, a ritual meal with certain foods, practices, prayers, and readings from a book called the Haggadah and often attended by family and friends. Most famous prayer/song of the holiday is the four questions, which ask why that night is different from all other nights and is traditionally sung by the youngest child at the seder. The entire holiday is spent not eating certain foods, mostly grain or flour (the food restrictions are complicated and differ based on denomination so look it up or ask a Jew.) We eat a lot of matzah during Pesach, which is like a cracker kinda. I personally hate it but some people actually like it. Greetings: happy Passover, chag pesach, or chag sameach.
Tisha B’Av – Anniversary of the destruction of the Temple. Occurs in Summer. Very sad, solemn day. Some celebrate by fasting from sunrise to sunset. Not the most widely celebrated holiday. Some also commemorate the Holocaust (also called the Shoah) on this day as it was the destruction of a figurative temple.
There are a bunch of denominations in Judaism, we’ll go into it briefly.
Reform/Reformed: This is the least religiously observant level. Often Reform Jews don’t keep kosher or observe Shabbat, their services on Shabbat will use instruments. Reform Jews probably attend services for the high holidays at the very least and probably had a Bat/Bar Mitzvah. Might say they consider themselves more culturally Jewish. Their Temple/Synagogue will be the most “liberal”—aka have more female/diverse Rabbis and a more diverse congregation. I’m Reform and my Temple’s lead Rabbi is a woman and we used to have a Rabbi who’s a queer single mother.
Conservative: More religiously observant and more generally traditional. Might keep kosher or observe Shabbat, but not necessarily. Services likely won’t use instruments (not supposed to play instruments on Shabbat). Most likely had a Bat/Bar Mitzvah, but girls might not read from the Torah, though this depends on the congregation. They do allow female Rabbis, but in my experience it’s less common.
Modern Orthodox: Very religiously observant but also embrace modern society. Will keep kosher and observe Shabbat. Men will wear kippot (singular=kippah) and tzitzit under their shirts. Women will cover their hair (if they’re married), most likely with a wig, and wear modest clothing (only wear skirts that are at least past their knees and long sleeves). Emphasis on continued study of Torah/Talmud. Parents will likely have jobs. Might have larger families (aka more children) but might not. Services will be segregated by gender, girls won’t read from the Torah publicly, and female Rabbis are very rare. Children will most likely attend a religious school. Will attend shul services every Shabbat and for holidays.
note: there are some people who fall somewhere between modern Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox, or between any two denominations really. as you can imagine people don’t all practice the exact same way.
Ultra-Orthodox: Very religiously observant and not necessarily modern. Will keep kosher and observe Shabbat. Men will wear kippot or other head coverings and tzitzit under their shirts, and are also often seen wearing suits. Women will cover their hair (if they’re married) with a wig or scarf and wear modest clothing (only wear skirts that are at least past their knees and long sleeves). Emphasis on continued study of Torah/Talmud. Men might have jobs but might instead focus on Jewish studies, while women most often focus on housework and child-rearing. Don’t believe in contraception (but this is kinda nuanced and depends). Will often have very large families because having children is a commandment and helps continue the Jewish people. Might be shomer negiah which means not touching members of the opposite sex aside from their spouse and some close family members. Services will be segregated by gender, girls won’t read from the Torah publicly, and there won’t be female Rabbis. Children will attend a religious school. Will attend shul services every Shabbat and for holidays.
Ethnic denominations (the different denominations do have some differences in practices and such but tbh I don’t know much about that so this is just the basics):
Ashkenazi: Jews that originate from Central/Eastern Europe. Yiddish, a combination of Hebrew and German, originated from and was spoken by Ashkenazim and while it’s a dying language it’s spoken among many Orthodox Jews and many Jews of all levels know/speak some Yiddish words and phrases. Majority of Jews worldwide are Ashkenazi.
Sephardi/Sephardic: Jews that originate from the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, and southeastern Europe. Ladino, a combination of Old Spanish and Hebrew, originated from and was spoken by Sephardim. It is also a dying language but is still spoken by some Sephardim. After Ashkenazi most of the world’s Jews are Sephardic.
Mizrahi: Jews that originate from the Middle East and North Africa.
Ethiopian Jews: Community of Jews that lived in Ethiopia for over 1,000 years, though most have immigrated to Israel by now.
There are so many Jewish stereotypes and shit and I ask you to please be mindful of them. Stereotypes do exist for a reason, so some people will fit stereotypes. This means your character might fit one or two; don’t make them fit all of them. Please. Stereotypes to keep in mind (and steer away from) include:
All Jews are rich.
All Jews are greedy.
All Jews are cheap/frugal.
All Jews are [insert job here]. We’ll go into this more below.
All Jews hate Christians/Muslims/etc.
All Jews are white.
First of all Ethiopian and Mizrahi Jews exist, many Sephardi are Hispanic, and today with intermarriage and everything this just isn’t true.
All Jews have the same physical features: large and/or hooked nose, beady eyes, droopy eyelids, red hair (this is an old stereotype I didn’t really know existed), curly hair.
Many Jews do have somewhat large noses and curly hair. I’m not saying you can’t give these features to your characters, but I am saying to be careful and don’t go overboard. And don’t give all of your Jewish characters these features. As a side note, it is common at least among American Jews that girls get nose jobs. Not all, but some.
Jews are secretly world elite/control the world/are lizard people/new world order/ any of this stuff.
STAY AWAY FROM. DO NOT DO THIS OR ANYTHING LIKE THIS. If you have a character that’s part lizard, do not make them Jewish. If you have a character that’s part of a secret group that controls the entire world, do not make them Jewish.
Jews have horns. If you have characters with horns please don’t make them Jewish.
Jews killed Jesus.
The blood libel. Ew. No.
The blood libel is an antisemitic accusation/idea/concept that back in the day Jews would murder Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals and sometimes even for consumption (did I mention gross?) Not only did this just not happen, but it’s actually against Jewish law to murder, sacrifice, or consume blood. Yes these accusations really happened and it became a main reason for persecution of Jews. And some people still believe this shit.
Jews caused The Plague.
The reason this conspiracy exists is because many Jews didn’t get The Plague and the goyim thought that meant it was because the Jews caused it/cursed them. The real reason Jews didn’t get it is because ritual hand-washing and good hygiene kept them from getting it. Sorry that we bathe.
Jewish mother stereotype.
Ok, listen. I know stereotypes are mostly a bad thing but I have to admit the Jewish mother stereotype is not far off. Jewish moms do tend to be chatty and a little nagging, are often very involved in their children’s lives, and they are often trying to feed everyone (although they don’t all cook, my mom hates cooking.) They also tend to be big worriers, mostly worrying about their family/loved ones. They also tend to know everyone somehow. A twenty minute trip to the grocery store can turn into an hour or two long trip because she’ll chat with all the people she runs into.
Jewish-American Princess (JAP) ((I know calling Japanese people Japs is offensive. Jews will call girls JAPs, but with a completely different meaning. If that’s still offensive I am sorry, but just know it happens.))
This is the stereotype that portrays Jewish girls/women as spoiled brats basically. They will be pampered and materialistic. Do these girls exist? Definitely. I still recommend steering away from this stereotype.
Listen. Listen. There are some names that Jews just won’t have. I won’t speak in definites because there are always exceptions but you’ll rarely find a Jew named Trinity or Grace or Faith or any form of Chris/Christopher/Christina etc. Biblical names from the Old Testament? Absolutely Jews will have those names they’re actually very common.
I’m in a Jewish Sorority. My pledge class of ~70 girls had five Rebeccas and four Sarahs. Surprisingly only one Rachel though.
When it comes to last names I have two thoughts that might seem contradictory but hear me out: a) give your Jewish OC’s Jewish surnames, b) don’t give your Jewish OC’s the most Jewish surname to ever exist.
By this I mean I would much rather see a character named Sarah Cohen or Aaron Levine than Rachel Smith. Just that little bit of recognition makes a happy exclamation point appear over my head, plus it can be a good way to hint to readers that your OC is Jewish.
On the other hand, please don’t use the most stereotypical Jewish names you’ve ever heard. If you have five Jewish OCs and one of them is Isaac Goldstein then fine. If Isaac Goldstein is your only Jewish OC I might get a little peeved. There are tons of common Jewish surnames that are recognizable and easy to look up, so don’t revert to the first three that come to mind. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it yucky, for lack of a better word.
We all know there are certain jobs that are stereotypical for Jews to have. We’re talking lawyer, dentist, doctor, banker type stuff. To an extent these stereotypes exist for a reason, many Jews go into those careers. Do not make these the only careers your Jewish OCs have. Stereotypes might have reasoning behind them but it doesn’t mean they aren’t harmful. If you have multiple Jewish OCs some of them can have these careers, but not all of them. I do know a lot of Jewish lawyers, dentists, and doctors. I also know accountants, people involved in businesses (“mom, what does Brad do?” “he’s a businessman” sometimes there just aren’t more specific words), people involved in real estate. I don’t actually know any bankers personally, and with money and stuff being one of the most common and harmful Jewish stereotypes I would suggest steering away from that.
These are common fields for Jews, but Jews can have literally any job. Please feel free to get creative. And if you have more than one Jewish OC you can think about making one of them a Rabbi, but DON’T do this if they’re the only Jewish OC. Please.
So I mentioned Yiddish earlier. Like I already said, it’s not a very widely used language anymore but there are some words and phrases that are still used by a lot of Jews (in America at least.) Here’s a list that is absolutely not comprehensive:
Oy vey = oh no
Shvitzing = sweating (but not just a little bit. Shvitzing is like SWEATING)
Kvetch/kvetching = whine/whining or complain/complaining
Mazel tov = congratulations; this is the same in Yiddish and Hebrew
Chutzpah = nerve or gall (e.g. “He’s got a lot of chutzpah for breaking up over text like that”)
Kismet = fate; I just learned this is Yiddish
Bubbe and Zayde = grandma and grandpa
Schelp/schlepping = drag/dragging, can also mean carry or move (e.g. “I had to schlep the bag all around town” doesn’t mean they literally dragged it)
Schmutz = dirt or something dirty (e.g. “you have schmutz on your face”)
Schmatta = literally means rag but can be used to refer to ratty blankets or clothes
Plotz = collapse (usually used in the sense of “I’m so tired I might plotz” or “she’s gonna be so excited she’s gonna plotz”)
Schmuck/shmendrick = both mean more or less the same, a jerk or obnoxious person
Shtick = gimmick, routine, or act (can be used like (“I don’t like that comedian’s shtick” or “he always makes himself the center of attention it’s his shtick”)
Spiel = long speech, story, or rant
There’s so many more so look them up and think about using them, but don’t overdo it. A Jewish person isn’t gonna use a Yiddish word in every sentence (or even every day or every few days.)
In my community at least it’s very common that by the time your college-aged that you’ll have been to Israel at least once.
Israel is a controversial topic within the Jewish community and in the world. It’s sensitive and complex. I really, really suggest not getting into it. Just don’t bring it up because no matter what you say someone will be unhappy. Just don’t do it.
Ashkenazi Jews have some sucky genes (I’m Ashkenazi so I can say this, you cannot.) These sucky genes cause certain disorders to be more prevalent for us. Children only get the disorder if both parents are carriers of the disorder, so Jews usually get genetic testing done before having children. If both parents are carriers the risk of the child getting the disorder is high, so parents might reconsider or have some indecisiveness/fear. Some of these are:
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Ashkenazi Jews also have a high prevalence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women and increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer in men.
Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Lactose Intolerance are also very prevalent
In a dorm of like 40 Jews, six of them had Crohn’s.
Ways to Show Your OC is Jewish
Wears Jewish jewelry, e.g. Star of David (also called Jewish Star and Magen David), Chai symbol (means life), jewelry with Sh’ma prayer, or hamsa (but beware this symbol is used outside of Judaism).
Mentions their temple, their Rabbi, having a Bat/Bar Mitzvah, going to Hebrew School, Shabbat, or a holiday coming up.
Have someone ask them a question about Judaism.
Have someone notice they have a mezuzah on their door.
Most Jews will have a mezuzah on the doorframe of the front door of their house/apartment, but they could even have one for their dorm room or whatever. It’s traditional to kiss your hand then touch the mezuzah when walking through the door, but most Jews don’t do this every time, at least not most Reform or Conservative Jews.
Have them call out antisemitism if you’re feeling spicy
The end! I hope this helped and if you have any questions my ask box is always open!
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Fantasy Guide to Noble Titles & What they Mean
So I get a lot of questions about what nobles actually do or how much they own or why a certain title is higher than another. Understanding the complexities of nobility and their hierarchy can be a bit of a head twister but hopefully this will help you out. Just for the moment we will be focusing on European Titles because I can't fit all the titles into one post. Forgive my shitty doodles. The diagrams mark out where the particular noble would rule.
These titles have two meanings. In the latter half of the Austrian Empire, it was used to denote senior members of the Royal family such as children and siblings. It is also a non Royal title given to someone who rules an archduchy, a large portion of land with in the kingdom. They are in charge of the archduchy, ensuring it runs smoothly. They are referred to as Your Grace.
Grand Duke/Grand Duchess
The Grand Duke is probably the trickiest of all these titles as there is a dual meaning. A Grand Duke can rule a state as a sovereign like in Luxembourg or they can rule a Grand Duchy (a large portion of land within a kingdom) like the Grand Dukes of Russia. The Grand Duke was below the Archduke and their lands may be smaller. They are in charge of ruling their Grand Duchy, upholding the monarch's laws in their name. They are referred to as Your Grace.
The Duke is the highest rank in most European nations. The Duke rules a large portion of the kingdom- called a Duchy- which you can think of as a county/state. The Duchies are often awarded by the monarch to their children who are not the heir. The Duke is charge with running that portion of land by order of the monarch, handling the over all business of that piece of the Kingdom. Dukes are referred to as Your Grace. There was only one Duke per Duchy.
A Marquess is the next rung down from Dukes. The Marquess is in charge of a portion of land within a Duchy which is called a Marsh which lays near a border. The Marquess is solely responsible for the running of that portion of land. The Marquess is called The Most Honourable (Insert name), the Marquess of XYZ. There could be multiple marquesses in a Duchy if it was near a large border.
An Earl/Count Rules over an Earldom, which is a section of a Duchy but it has less importance than a Marsh ruled by the Marquess. The Earl/Count is the third highest ranking within the Duchy. Often it was the subsidiary title of the heir of the Dukedom, so the eldest son/daughter of the Duke would be the Earl. The Earl/Count of X is addressed as Lord X for example, the Earl of Grantham, is called Lord Grantham. There could be multiple Earls/counts per Duchy.
Viscounts are the Earl/Count's second in command, ruling a portion of land with the Earldom. They handled the judiciary matters of their lands and their barons. Viscounts were addressed as the Right Honourable (insert name) Viscount of XY. Viscounts can also be used as a subsidiary title for the son of a Earl. When Thomas Boleyn was made Earl of Wiltshire, his son George was made Viscount Rochford. There might be multiple Viscounts in a Duchy.
The Baron is the lowest of ranks in the nobility pyramid. Before the mid-medieval period, almost all nobles were labelled as Barons. They ruled over a portion of the land under the Duke, the Earl and Viscount. There were always a huge force of barons with in the Duchy. They handled the minor local disputes of their lands, collecting taxes and monies owed. If they faced a larger issue or crime, they would pass it up to the next ranking noble the Viscount and then it could travel all the way up to the Duke. The Baron of Townville were referred to as as Lord Townville.
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how to properly structure a query letter!*
[An optional brief introduction, no longer than 2 - 3 sentences, perhaps where you elaborate on the #ownvoices of your manuscript, or pointing out certain things in your manuscript that the agent asks for. I reiterate that this paragraph is optional. Unless you have a very specific reason to be querying this agent—for instance, if they tweeted an MSWL for a heist novel and you’re querying a heist novel—there is no relevance, so don’t include this paragraph.]
[The first paragraph of your summary introduces the world, the main character, and their Normal. For instance, Cynthia lives in the times of a pandemic and works to continue living in their new normal. Every day, Cynthia chooses to get up and keep living and making the most of their situation while trying to find something to do to be useful.]
[The second paragraph of your summary introduces the plot. To continue with the above idea, Cynthia has been tasked with trying to find a cure to coronavirus, but all they have to work with in their home is duct tape, tangerines, Tylenol, and a never-give-up attitude.]
[The third paragraph introduces stakes, aka what will happen if Cynthia doesn’t discover a cure with the resources they have at home. Luckily for them, however, a woman named Jane they had a one night stand with needs a place to crash after she was evicted. Cynthia agrees to let her stay as their roommate, especially because Jane brings with her the missing ingredient to the cure for coronavirus, a magic bean she stole from a giant--but there’s only one magic bean. If Cynthia and Jane can’t find a way to make more beans, they might be sent to the realm of giants forever.]
[The closing paragraph goes like this: Complete at 89,000 words, THE MAGIC BEAN is an Adult contemporary fantasy with potential for a companion novel. I believe it will appeal to fans of Erin Morgenstern and Naomi Novik. Briefly explain who you are and share what you’re comfortable with about yourself—I say I’m 26, headed to grad school for archiving, and that the book is #ownvoices for genderqueer representation. Also mention if you have any connection to the publishing industry. I mention who I was previously represented by, why we amicably parted ways, and that I’ve mentored in many writing contests.]
[Final closure: Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you!]
[My phone number and, though optional, my twitter handle]
*i’ve been in the publishing industry for nine years now, have mentored many authors who went on to be published by the Big 5, and worked in writing contests to help writers, not only with their manuscript, but with their pitch and query letter and comps etc. i know what i’m about 😉
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Character Development : A Collection of Resources
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
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
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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Shoutout to my $15+ patron, Douglas S.!
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DIALOGUE IDEAS TO GET RID OF THAT WRITING BLOCK (masterpost)
101 Ways to Break your Character's (and Reader's) heart by @emswritingprompts
Injured & Hurt/Comfort Prompts + Dialogues by @delilahfairchild
A Bunch of Different Dialogue Prompts #16 by @skriveting
Angst Dialogue Prompts(Mostly break up and relationship) by @hollandsmushroom
Parents x Child prompts by @promptandstuff
Heartbroken Dialogue Prompts by @palettes-and-prompts
Angst by @wrting-prompts
Prompts List (150) by @sapphicwhxre
Dialogue That Gets Scarier When Trapped In A Hug by @thatostrichwriter
Question Ideas #11 by @love-me-a-good-prompt
10 Enemies to Lovers Prompts by @person-1n-progress
500 Followers Mega Prompt List by @prompts-for-every-need
Amelia's Prompt List by @maybanksslut
Olivia Rodrigo Sentence Starter (i found this one so creative) by @hoesresources
Hero x Villain Prompts: Mega *Flirty* Dialogue Edition by @creweemmaeec11
Enemies to Lovers Prompt List by @tommymcartney
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Flower Shop AUs: the crash course no one asked for
Alright my dudes, I worked in a flower shop when I was in high school and I’m here to bring you some potentially useful information for all your flower shop AU needs. this is all my own experience, take it with a grain of salt, etc etc etc.
making a custom arrangement right when someone requests it (ie they walk in and say “I want XYZ” and the florist then making an arrangement on the spot and selling it, all in one customer interaction) is pretty rare- I see it in fic a lot, but I can only imagine it happening on a really slow day, and probably from a pretty good-natured florist. custom arrangements tend to be something that are ordered well in advance for very special occasions (weddings, quinceñeras, etc), because you’ll be paying for the consultation and the time that it will take to design the arrangement.
most places will have a bunch of pre-designed arrangements to choose from- there’ll be pictures of the options near the register, often with cheesy names like “a thousand wishes” or “happiness blooms”. because greens keep longer than flowers, a shop usually keeps a stash of greenery arranged in vases, so when someone orders one, you just have to add fresh flowers to a pre-made vase. if someone came in and said “I want this pre-designed arrangement, but with X instead of Y”, that’s a pretty reasonable request.
customers usually don’t know anything about flowers. you get a lot of people coming in and basically asking “what do you think my date/partner/parent will like?” the obvious answer is “why the fuck would I know?” but that’s “impolite” or whatever, so a good florist will ask questions about what the person likes, if they have a favorite color, what your price range is, etc. basically you have to just pretend you know what the recipient wants- ultimately, in nearly every circumstance they’ll just be happy to receive flowers, so it’s hard to go wrong.
sorry to say it, but I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone, florist or not, who was actually familiar with flower meanings. like it honestly never came up. it’s a fun element to include in a story, but realistically the only way someone’s going to “get the message” of an arrangement is if you tell them directly that the flowers are meant to “say” something, or maybe if you’ve talked about flower language in the past.
often, in the process of unpacking, processing, and storing flowers, you’ll get a few flowers that break at the stem, which makes them essentially unusable in an arrangement (generally speaking, longer stems=more expensive) however, you could, in theory, save any snapped-stem flowers, make a little bouquet of them, and give it to someone. (I did this a few times when I was working in the back room- I literally just snuck discarded flowers into my backpack. a rose with a 5” stem would get thrown out normally, but if you save it it still looks adorable in a mason jar). I’m just saying, “florist gives crush a little bouquet nearly every day” is something we need a lot more of, and it’s totally feasible.
a list of things a person might do while working in a flower shop (if you need to just have ambient activity or whatever):
“front of house” work:
arrangement, including assembling dozens of identical arrangements assembly-line style
taking orders (on the phone and in person), usually from people who know fuck all about flowers. requires the patience of a saint and/or a take-no-shit attitude.
general cashier/sales work. a lot of flower shops will also sell potted plants, small gifts/trinkets, greeting cards, chocolate, etc. so there’s the usual maintenance, stocking, etc associated with retail.
opening and processing shipments (flowers have to be unpacked and have the ends of the stems sliced off with one of those guillotine-ish paper cutting things, then stuck in buckets of water. a single shipment can take hours, especially if the flowers are delicate or individually wrapped)
clean-up, which involves sweeping pounds of plant matter into two-foot-tall mountains, then shoveling the mountains into garbage cans. “shoveling” is not a hyperbole there, you literally use a snow shovel as a dust pan. it’s a full-body workout.
clean-up in the cool room/walk-in (the giant refrigerator where the flowers are kept). same as normal clean-up, but there are more shelves and corners to get packed with leaves and shit. also it’s about two degrees above freezing. this is an excellent opportunity for sharing sweatshirts, coats, etc.
organizing orders by zip code and date of delivery. during a busy period, this is a one or two person job that involves being stuck in the walk-in for hours. great potential for “begrudgingly realizing I like this person’s company” moments.
delivering arrangements! door-to-door is a one person job usually, but delivering to a single location (ie taking flowers to a wedding or graduation) takes two or more people taking an often-very-long drive in a truck/van. (I’m not saying “road trip games” but that’s exactly what I’m saying).
little details (idk maybe for someone to notice about the florist character?):
when you work in a flower shop, you will smell like flowers until you wash it off in the shower. the smell lingers like you wouldn’t believe.
calluses!! a florist might have calluses on the outside of their thumb and the backs of their fingers from holding scissors and clippers (the location’s hard to explain but if you hold a pair of scissors, all the places where the scissors touch your skin), on the bases of their fingers on the palm side (from carrying buckets, etc), and possibly on their fingertips (especially the tip of the thumb) from snapping stems and generally working with their hands all day.
also, your hands are a little damp nearly all day, so a florist is likely to have some really chapped skin, in the winter especially.
lilies are normally sold with the stamen removed, so they don’t get pollen stains on the petals. lily pollen stains everything it touches, so when your job is to remove the stamens of a hundred or so lilies, your fingers will be stained yellow for a while.
also, green-stained fingertips and nails are common. (snapping stems with your thumbnail will turn it green, stripping leaves off stems will stain the space between your forefinger and thumb)
scraped-up hands and arms. it just happens- it’s physical work with a lot of sharp tools, nicks and scratches are going to happen.
it’s pretty physically taxing work, especially if your boss has a “no sitting on the job” rule (mine did.) after an especially busy day of work, your character will probably be exhausted and sore. massages? massages.
If you use any of this/if this is helpful, feel free to let me know/tag me! I’m @navigatrix on AO3 :))
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Resources for Writers
If you’re coming to this list from a reblog, please click through to the original post as it may be updated with more content!
Please note I haven’t read everything on this list, so I can’t speak to all it contains/accuracy, ya dig?
Writing a Blind or Visually Impaired Character by @mimzy-writing-online
Resources For Writing Deaf, Mute, or Blind Characters by @thecaffeinebookwarrior
Writing Sign Language F.A.Q by @concerningwolves
Words for Skin Tone | How to Describe Skin Color by @writingwithcolor
Words to Describe Hair by @writingwithcolor
So You Want Your OC to be Jewish by @bailey-writes
Body Language Cheat Sheet for Writers from @theinformationdump
Cheat Sheet for Writing Emotion by @thewriterswitch
How to Write a Realistic Argument by @she-who-fights-and-writes
How to write softness by @oriorwriter
Writing villains / villains motivations by @the-modern-typewriter
Personality traits/flaws by @rivalwrites
Writing Consent - written for The Witcher fandom but the advice is actually general, by @hailhailsatan
How to Write Characters in Realistic Polyamorous Relationships - by @simplyoriginalcharacters
How to Write OCs With Trauma
Writing Enemies to Lovers by @pianowritesstuff
How to write a kiss
Guidelines for writing kiss scenes by @writingadvice365
Writing kidnappings by @bluebxlle-writer
❧ So much more is under the cut!
Resources For Writing Sketchy Topics by @wordsnstuff
Resources for Writing Injuries by @wordsnstuff
Writing Advice - On Arrow Wounds by @salt-and-a-dash-of-pepper
Fainting and Losing Your Consciousness for Writers by @artistsfuneral
What it Feels Like to be Punched in the Face by @burn-brighter-than-fire
Symptoms of dying that aren’t coughing up blood
MC going “no pain medication, I don’t want to cloud my mind” is ableist (and possibly nonsense)
Writing pain by @iwhumpyou
Sword Fighting for Fic Writers by @clockadile
Archery info by @mikiri
Video going over “homoerotic potential” of armour - if one character helps another with their armour, what parts are sexy/have kiss potential? (video)
Plate armour is noisy (video)
Horse info 101 by @thecomfortofoldstorries
Fantasy Guide to Employment: Household of a Castle by @inky-duchess
On servant liveries by @sartorialadventure
Info on medieval castles, handedness and weaponry
About blacksmiths by @rederiswrites , @cycas & @ilsa-fireswan
Tips & Info from Bartenders by @floramaisel , @luimnigh & @thecomfortofoldstorries
Useful Geographical Descriptors for Writers by @octoswan
Thoughts on werewolf instincts
Emotionally influenced magical talents that give all developing relationships that Good Urban Fantasy Flavour by @laurasimonsdaughter
Words you can use in place of “said,’ and an argument for using it
Narrative Botox: Filler Words and Phrases to Look Out For by @she-who-fights-and-writes
Deleting the words feel/felt/feeling from your writing by @theliteraryarchitect
Narrative Anchors: How to hold your readers’ attention, wherever you take them by @michaelbjorkwrites
Tips for writing two characters with the same pronouns together
Dialogue Punctuation by @whatagrump
Categories of Plot Twists by @your-fluffy-murder-writer
How to write passages like film effects by @audacityinblack and others
OneLook Thesaurus lets you find that word you can’t think of but can describe! (I love OneLook and use it all the time!)
Tips on expanding your vocabulary by @the-modern-typewriter
How to swear in latin
French Youngster Slang by @frenchy-french
Translators: tumblrs that have offered to help translate phrases etc list by @therogueheart
Common Language in fantasy by @thequantumwritings
Prompts & Tropes, Oh my! by me
Writing with ADHD (by a writer w/ adhd) by @heywriters
Writing advice: write badly! Just write by various users
Writing advice from my uni teachers by @thewritingumbrellas
Tips for writing/getting back into it by @thewalkingnerdx
Writing advice from Chuck Palahniuk
Thoughts on writing from Joan Didion & rupi kaur
On daily word counts by @rsingwriting
Giving Quality, Motivating Feedback by @shealynn88 on @duckprintspress
3 Things that Make a Good (Indie) Book Cover by @coolcurrybooks
Places to submit your writing for publishing
Wills for writers
Posting and Formatting, etc:
Writing a Summary by @rjeddystone
Making your paragraph breaks screen-reader-friendly by @therogueheart , video on the same by @ao3commentoftheday
Tips for writers posting on Tumblr & AO3 by a few of us
Further tips re: posting on AO3 by @jenroses
Fun formatting things you can do on AO3! by @rosemoonweaver
Content Warnings & Tagging on Tumblr by @hailhailsatan
Notes on Fandom, Fanfic & Fanart as well as a bit about tagging on Tumblr by @inber & @limerental
Don’t talk down your writing by @insomniac-arrest
How to block Anons on Tumblr (show hateful people the door!)
If you have rec’s please send them my way!
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Stumbling upon your blog must be my lucky lucky day 😊 I've looked through your FAQ and didnt see anything addressing a pantser plotting a story so... Hopefully this ask is ok! If not, I'm sorry to bother. I'm a pantser, not a plotter but I have an idea for a long fic. How should I go about it without losing interest..? Maybe interest isn't quite the right word. Cause one time I had an idea, I plotted it with beats but then lost interest / got too intimidated by it... Thank you in advance!
Plotting for Pantsers and Pantsing for Plotters
For those of you who don't already know, when it comes to beginning a new project, the writing world consists of two very different groups of people: plotters and pansters.
Plotters meticulously outline their stories from start to finish, and although they benefit from cohesive, streamlined work, they often hit a wall of writer's block and lose creativity from over-plotting.
Pansters just go with the flow, and despite the freedom that allows them to write whatever they want and boosts writing motivation, their stories often suffer from lack of cohesion and can take a while to get to the point.
In order to make a long project, such as a fanfic or a novel, as successful as it can be, you need to be a mix of both.
You need to plot in order to make sure you don't over/underwrite and can optimize your narrative, while also leaving room for flexibility that allows you to make your own creative decisions and prevent writer's block.
Here's how to do it. It's all in the outline.
Unfortunately for pantsers, all long works should have an outline so you know what points you have to hit along the way.
Unfortunately for plotters, it's restricting and unnecessary to have every single detail planned to a T.
A simple "here's whats going to happen in this chapter" should be enough. It doesn't have to be long. Hell, it can just be one bullet point! But as long as you have a general idea of what needs to happen, you can make the rest!
This leaves enough structure for plotters but enough wiggle room for pantsers!
Introduce Character A
Talk with Character B
Foreshadow Character B's betrayal
See? This is a very, very loose idea of what's going to happen in this chapter.
In fact, this is just a list of all the things that HAVE TO happen to make the story go forward; you can still add your own things to it to make it your own!
Tell yourself what is going to happen. Not how it's going to happen.
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