#writing tip
bluebxlle-writer · 3 months ago
Writing fight scenes
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1. Pacing
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?
4. Description
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
6. Injuries
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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deardragonbook · 2 months ago
Sad things you can do in a book other than killing of a character
Character death is sad, but it also has huge consequences on your plot that can’t be reversed. Not to mention, depending on your genre, character deaths are often reserved for later in the series as a way of telling the reader that things are getting serious. 
So, until that moment, here’s a quick list of things you can do to tug at your readers emotions: 
1.- Destruction of an item of value. For this to work you’re going to have to set this up early on, it could be a childhood toy they need to sleep at night, a necklace they swear gives them good luck, and old family trinket or any number of things. The important thing is you show just how important it is to the character, make them happy and excited just to talk about it. Later on your character will feel loss and so will the audience. 
2.- Arguing. Two characters with a strong bond arguing can be heartbreaking, even if you know the argument is going to resolve itself eventually, going from cuddles and banter to cold looks and the silent treatment, can easily hurt the audience just as much as the characters. 
3.- Betrayal. When well done, it’s worst than character death. When you as a reader fall head over heels in love with a character, only for them to betray the rest, it’s heartbreaking, especially if when you read back the foreshadowing was there. It was so obvious yet you were all so blind! As blind as the other characters. Also, unlike character death, they’re still there, there to taunt you with their mere existence. 
4.- Failure. We have probably all felt that emptiness, that feeling as the world crumbles around us, haplessness, when we failed an exam in school or just couldn’t get the house clean in time for that visit. Take that feeling and reflect it into your characters, it doesn’t have to be an exam, it can be anything, a task they’re parents asked them to do and they tried their best, a mission, anything. Just let them fail and feel the world crumble. 
5.- Being forced to stay behind. Following from point four, if a character is not good enough they can be left behind, perhaps it comes from a place of love, an attempt to protect them from enemies too strong, yet it still hurts. Perhaps they haven’t failed, perhaps they are left behind for another reason, because they are “too valuable”, or because they’ll be more useful back home. Either way, watching those close to you go of to fight for what you believe in, without you, can be painful. 
6.- Finding out something they believed in was a lie. It can be something relatively insignificant, an assumption they never bothered to question. Or something world shattering. Allow me to offer up an example with an unimportant spoiler from my second book (it’s not even out yet but oh well): in this book, while talking about some law, Henry realises his daughter believes he and her mother were married. This is an assumption Itazu made and never questioned. It affects nothing, nothing changes, yet finding out her mother and her father were not the happy married couple she’d always pictured, it’s painful. 
This could also be something huge, finding out you’re adopted for example. 
7.- History. Oh, history, how depressing it can be. And if you have a fantasy world you have many opportunities to go into this. From slaughters to slavery, finding out how society got to where it is, the base on which it is built. Well, it’s pretty depressing. Obviously be careful how much inspiration you take from real world history and always be respectful and do your research! 
8.- Scarring. An injury can be painful, it can be scary. And depending on what caused it, leave you with traumatising memories. Now add to that a physical visible reminder on your skin you can never remove. Well, that can be pretty horrible. Imagine the scar came from a battle the protagonist longs to forget, but can’t because every night before going to sleep they can’t help but glance at their arm where the nasty scars forever lies. 
As usual,  check out my book, stories I’ve written plus other social medias: here.
This another post I could probably do a part two on someday. Can you think of any books where any of these are done effectively? Do any of these happen in your owns book? Please tell me! I love hearing from you all. 
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maxkirin · 2 months ago
I've said this ten thousand times in the past but, when it comes to planning/writing a novel, DON'T TRUST YOUR MEMORY.
Got a cool idea? ✍️ Write it down!
Thought of a cool line of dialogue? ✍️ Write it down!!
Came up with a twist for book 3? ✍️ WRITE. IT. DOWN.
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bookishdiplodocus · 7 months ago
Naughty words in a godless world
Imagine you're writing a story that takes place in a world that has no God, or gods, or saints. What do you do with exclamations like "Oh gosh!" (derived from "Oh God") or "Jeez!" (derived from "Jesus!")? And - oh god - what do you do with curses and swear words? If your characters can't say "Oh my god", "hell no", or "damn" because there are no gods to damn anyone to hell... what are your options?
Here is a list for inspiration
In general, non-religious curse and swear words refer to local cultural taboos.
Many languages swear by referring to cleanliness: dirty, sweaty, sticky, smelly etc. This includes things you do on the toilet.
Some languages, like Dutch, use diseases as curses and insults. For example, someone nasty/bothersome might be called a "cancer sufferer" in Dutch. These swear words are combinations of (derivates of) typhus, cholera, and cancer.
Societal hierarchy and family trees, mainly the inferior positions like a bastard (seen as inferior in the family tree) or a derogatory word that refers to lower class people (seen as inferior in that society).
On the other hand, you could insult a highly valued member of the other person's family, like their mother, or of their society, like their Queen/Emperor.
Sexual taboos, often implying someone (or their mother) is more sexually active than society accepts of them.
Calling someone the word for someone's genitalia refers to the same taboo.
How do you apply this to your language?
You could use explicit/taboo words as ... :
... an intensifier: "It was a shit-hot day."
... a negative adjective: "This is a shitty job."
... an insulting noun: "This journey is shit."
Or try to be creative and combine different taboos for a multi-hit offense. My favorite one is the Spanish "I shit in your mother's milk", which combines insulting the other person's mother, the taboo of bodily functions, and the taboo of cleanliness.
During my research I came across this article, which contains a number of concrete examples from all over the world you can draw inspiration from.
And on a less offensive note, you could always make up your own equivalent of "Merlin's beard!", "Great Scott!", or "For Pete's sake!" (Pete, by the way, is a catholic reference: Pete is Saint Peter.)
I hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, and happy writing!
Follow me for more writing advice, or check out my other writing tips here. New topics to write advice about are also always appreciated.
Tag list below the cut. If you like to be added to or removed from the list, let me know.
And if you come up with creative curses, feel free to add them in the comments :)
@therska @writingwordsaddrawingpictures @the-words-we-never-said @writingwhithotchocolate @i-rove-rock-n-roll @maskedlady @no-time-like-write-now @timefire25 @black-lakritz-dragon @nzmayart @fandomrandomness-stuff @dangertoozmanykids101 @anaestheticdisaster @storytellingofravens @purpleshadows1989 @mathematicpony @i-don-t-know-words @notquitenovelist @coffeescribles @reffaces @livingthelovelylife @katsglabella @lokitty-is-my-spirit-animal @thefallenbibliophilequote @watchmewritedumb @sting-the-scribe @kais-writing-shit @dameschnee123 @curiosityonmars @oodlittlething @nonbinarychaoticstupid
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love-me-a-good-prompt · 4 months ago
Do you ever find yourself over-using the word “shout” (or “shouted” or “shouting”) in your writing? Try using these words instead:
yell / yelled / yelling
scream / screamed / screaming
shriek / shrieked / shrieking
bellow / bellowed / bellowing
holler / hollered / hollering
cheer / cheered / cheering
bark / barked / barking
squeal / squealed / squealing
howl / howled / howling
roar / roared / roaring
hoot / hooted / hooting
call / called / calling
squawk / squawked / squawking
screech / screeched / screeching
exclaim / exclaimed / exclaiming
whoop / whooped / whooping
boom / boomed / booming
whoop / whooped / whooping
erupt / erupted / erupting
cry out / cried out / crying out
(NOTE: Keep in mind that all of these words have slightly different meanings and are associated with different emotions/scenarios.)
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nikasholistic · 6 months ago
Celebrate being a writer. Celebrate your stories, your characters, and the wildest concepts of your imagination. We spend too much time beating ourselves up, criticizing our writing, pointing out mistakes and weaknesses. It’s time to become proud of your writing. Even if you think it sucks, I promise, it’s good enough, it’s beautiful. You can always become a better writer, but you don’t do this by bringing yourself down.
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writingadvice365 · 3 months ago
Romance Writing Resources
Basic Tips to Write a Healthy Relationship
Tips for Long-term Relationships
What being in love looks like
Writing kiss scenes
Romantic Couple Development Questions
36 Questions that Lead to Falling in Love
An article going into more detail about the above 36 Questions
Romance novel story arc structure
Springhole.net romance resource page
~Grand List of Writing Resources~
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writingtipss · 2 months ago
Some things that might help you with NaNoWriMo this year:
Now that National Novel Writing Month is upon us, we’re faced with the daunting task of writing 50,000 words by the end of the month. Here are some things to do/keep in mind to make the daunting task a little less daunting.
50,000 words in 30 days is a little over 1500 words a day. That’s only 5 pages of your book every day.
If you have a busy schedule, save some words for the days you’re not as busy. If you have work or school 5 days a week, try shooting for 1,000 words on weekdays and 3,000 on weekends.
Skip parts that you’re stuck on. Since NaNoWriMo is all about time, skip the parts that waste it. Don’t know what your first line should be? Don’t worry about it, what happens directly after it? Tell the story, hook your reader later.
Understand where your story needs to go. Whether you’re a detailed outliner or a pantser, knowing where your story is going will speed up the process between Point A and Point B. What’s your inciting incident? What’s the climax? Connect the dots.
Try not to worry about quality. Emphasis on try, because I’m assuming you still want something that resembles a novel after this. But your main goal during the event is your wordcount, you can go back and edit on December 1st.
Find a routine that works for you. What space do you feel allows you to write the most? What time? Do you need your lucky socks?
Put your phone away! Writing can already be pretty distracting on a computer, but I find that phones are even more distracting because you have all of your apps on top of what you have access to on your computer.
Figure out what gets you in “the zone.” I personally use playlists (and if you make one for your project, you can add it to the project information on the site!) that remind me of the story, so I have an auditory reminder to write as well as the task at hand. I also like looking at the Pinterest boards for my project, because it gets me excited to add words to the images in my head!
Less of a tip, more of a reminder: if you drink unhealthy amounts of caffeine (no shame, I do too) I just ask that you drink some water with it too.
Have fun! I feel like I say this in every post, but it’s true. We write because we enjoy it! Don’t let NaNoWriMo stress you out too much, and if it’s starting to become overwhelming or bad for your mental health it’s ok to take a step back. No one is going to strip you of your “Writer” title.
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creativepromptsforwriting · 12 months ago
Do you have any tips on how to create a villain?
Hi :)
How to create a villain
A good villain is ultimately what makes a hero heroic and is therefore a very important part of your story.
Why do we need a villain?
opposite of the story’s hero
their goals and motivations oppose those of the hero
the hero is reacting to the actions of the villain
showcases the hero’s weaknesses
the character of the villain should be one of your priorities while planning the story
Types of villains
human villains
fantasy villains (with magical abilities, superpowers, etc.)
animal villains (e.g., Jungle Book)
abstract villains (an idea, a society, a corporation, etc.)
if you make your villain more abstract, it can have advantages, but it also makes it harder for your readers to relate to them and understand them
if you have an abstract villain, think about using human representations of that villain for your readers to project their feelings and thoughts onto
more specific types of villains:
likeable villain
unsympathetic villain
unpredictable villain
Characteristics of a villain
There are many different types of villains, but they also share a few similar characteristics:
own beliefs and morals – What do they believe in? What is morally correct for them? Do they see themself as bad/evil? How far will they go? Do they make exceptions for some people or do they not care at all? Maybe they want to do the right thing, but they go about it the wrong way.
goals and motivation – goals are things they want to have or want to accomplish, but motivation is even more important, it explains why they want or need their goal to be fulfilled, you need to invest time into giving your villain a (at least for them) plausible reason for what they are doing
connection to the hero – the hero reacts to the villain’s actions, maybe their fates are intertwined, maybe the hero’s actions in the past led to them becoming the villain, the villain is interrupting and then furthering the hero’s character development the same way the hero is doing to the villain’s development
worthy opponent – being especially powerful, clever, a specialist in something the hero is not, seemingly unbeatable until the end
compelling backstory – people are usually not born bad, it’s something they’ve become over time, it explains the motivation, probably not just one defining moment, if you want one event that changed them, then also think about the reactions from others to that event or what happened afterwards that made them turn evil
similar characteristic to the hero – think about where it went wrong, where did they turn to the dark side? Like I said before, a tragic event does not automatically lead someone to become a villain. Losing their parents young for example can turn them either into the villain or the hero, decide why they turned in that direction that they did
More tips:
Make your villain interesting
your reader should love to hate, but also hate to love them in a way
give them their own character arc and show development
make them special the same way your hero is special
give them a magnetic personality
don’t make them too predictable or the readers will lose their fear of them
Humanise your villains
not born evil, maybe they were corrupted
nothing more frightening than seeing yourself in a villain
give them positive qualities
make the readers sometimes sympathise with them
give them moments of relatability
your readers should be interested in the villain, but not necessarily root for them (only if that’s your true intention), because it could undermine your hero’s actions and motivation
Make them lose
If your story doesn’t end with evil ruling over the world, you need to know how to make the villains lose:
give them weaknesses
let them be a slave to their own moral code
let them have fatal character flaws that in the end the basically defeat themself
give them a worthy ending, something appropriate for a great opponent
Good luck creating believable villains!
- Jana
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thelimeonade · 5 months ago
Pls. Practice. Your writing.
If you are seeing this, it's a sign that you should stop whatever you're doing, whatever WIP you are on, whatever it is you are writing and change it up by writing up a few pages on a random prompt!!
This doesn't only help you practice your writing, but also is a great way to dump out some ideas that you don't think you'll need rn and make room for new ones - or even better! You'll figure out how to make use of those ideas and fit them in something bigger! It also helps get rid of writer's block!
Drop me a heart in the comments and I'll send you an ask with a random prompt!
Feel free to do the same for me!
If you want, you can reblog this and help fellow writers too!!
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bluebxlle-writer · 2 months ago
How I create my characters
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@bluebxlle_writer on Instagram
I’ve been getting questions on how to create characters recently, because apparently lots of y’all don’t know where and how to start creating a new character. I don’t think this post will help everybody, since everyone has different methods on creating characters (eg. some come up with names first, others come up with appearance first), but in this post I’ll be sharing my character creation process. I hope it will help! <3
1. An iconic line
This is a less well-known method to start creating a character, but for some reason it's always how I do (and it always works lmao). It's hard to create a character from scratch, so instead, I think about an iconic line that the character could say, which is usually related to my wip's theme or mood. I came up with this line for an oc :
"I've been trying so damn hard to make everyone smile, but I get it now. The world would be happier without me, wouldn't it?"
Just from this single line, I already know lots of things about this character :
• They always put the happiness of others before their own.
• They've probably been told that they need to have a positive effect on others in order to have the right to live.
• They've been trying to please others, but end up worsening things.
• They're determined and desperate.
• ...They probably had a corruption arc and won't get a happy ending :"D
• The moment when they say this line is their breaking point
See? Just from two sentences, I already have an idea of their personality and backstory. Sometimes, I even get an idea for their appearance too. This is way easier than not knowing what to do first to create a character from scratch.
2. Appearance
Lots of people come up with character names before their appearance, but I always need to generate their appearance first, because otherwise, I can't visualize or imagine them. I usually play around with picrew.me (an avatar generator website) to generate their potential appearance. I don't spend too much time on this stage tho, because I'll end up changing their appearance again after figuring out more details about my wip (that's why I said potential appearance).
3. Personality & backstory
After having a rough idea of how they look like, I'll imagine them in various scenes in my wip and come up with their personality. If there are already other existing ocs in the wip, I always be careful to not repeat too much aspects from the other characters, so each character will be unique.
Then, asking why the character has a specific personality will create their backstory. For instance, if a character has trust issues, ask why. Maybe they've been betrayed by a loved one before? Or they live in a dangerous world where everyone double crosses people to survive?
4. Name
After I know their appearance, personality, and depth, that's when I decide a name for the character which fit their vibes or has symbolism. For example, my character Bayu's name is symbolic because it means "wind", reflecting how he's a thief who moves as fast as the wind.
Sometimes, I don't immediately search for a permanent name if I'm out of ideas. I'll just choose a random placeholder name that fits their vibes, and remember to come up with their real name later.
5. Character arc
After knowing all the general information about the character, I'll begin plotting out their character arc - their development throughout the book/series and whether it's a positive or negative character arc. This stage is the hardest for me, because I need to figure out its starting, breaking, and ending point, and also the factors and people involved in the arc. I have a post series about both redemption and corruption arcs, you can check my masterlist to find them!
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deardragonbook · a month ago
Character flaws I'd like to see more often plus uses for them
1.- Talking too much. Specifically, with adults. I see this a lot with hyperactive children. But a lot of us don’t grow out of this and I want my representation! Plus, this can be very fun and useful! You can use it for exposition and world building. It leaves plenty of room to hide small details. It also can give a lot of context about other character’s around them. 
When they start talking word after word for about a hundred words more than necessary to say they  are happy, do the other character’s seem entertained? Annoyed but say nothing? Annoyed and say it? Do they look like they’re not listening? Do they look like they’re listening but later on we find out they’re just really good at pretending to listen? So many possibilities! And how does the original character react to this? 
2.- Being terrible with names. I mean, as someone who once forgot the name of a co-worker I saw every day and had been working with for years, it’s kinda upsetting when character’s in books just hear it once and remember. 
Especially when I’m just dying to be reminded this character’s name because I forgot. It’s not only a very relatable character flaw, it’s useful for reminding readers of who’s who! Something a lot of authors don’t do enough of (including me, I know my characters better than my co-workers, so of course it’s obvious to me). 
3.- Hoarding. Not like to the point where’s it’s dangerous and a problem that needs to be solved, but to the point where you have a shoe box full of receipts from seven years ago for stuff that never had a guarantee. To the point where you have leaflets from concerts you went to at the age of ten and can’t throw away “because of the memories!” To the point where you have magazines because, “look at the pretty pictures! I can use that in scrap booking somewhere… some day.” Or stickers from when you were five years old that won’t even stick anymore. 
Again, lots of people do this, it’s relatable, but also, it gives you lots of opportunities to show us stuff about the character, about their past and how they’ve changed with time. Natural exposition baby! 
4.- Gets anxious when there’s too much noise, or too many people. Not as a plot point, not as a symptom of autism or something. Just normal, over stimulation. Because over stimulation can happen to anybody, and our ability to withstand it is different. 
This too can be useful, it can be a good way to separate two characters from the group. “Oh, I’ll go with her, you guys stay, don’t worry!” 
Also, it’d be nice to see a character realise the environments not good for them, communicate that calmly and leave before over stimulation. Like, you think after years of this shit I don’t know before things get too bad? You’d be right sometimes, but not all times. Sometimes I know my limits, and I never see that in media (if you know any media that does do this, tell me!). 
5.- Having zero sense of direction. Because after four years I still manage to get lost on my own street if I come in from a direction that isn’t the one I use every day and again, I want representation. 
Plus, you can have character’s get lost (especially in fantasy worlds with no GPS) as a way to discover new locations or send other characters to find them. 
I hope you found at least one of these ideas useful. Or, they inspired you to think of other good and not often seen character flaws. 
I want to state that I’ve used the word character “flaw” but that might not be entirely accurate for some of these I just can’t think of a more accurate word right now. 
As usual,  check out my book, stories I’ve written plus other social medias: here.
Which one of these can apply to one of you characters? What flaws did I miss out? 
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maxkirin · 6 months ago
With my book coming out soon, I thought I'd take this as a chance to answer a very tough question:
What's the Best Way to Support an Indie Author? Where should you buy their books? 🤔💵
Big post incoming!
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Before we start talking about the wild, wild world of 👑royalties👑, I want to make this crystal clear:
The best way to support an indie author* is to BUY OUR BOOKS. Straight up. Paying for our hard work is good enough.
You want to support me? Easy. Buy my book.
*Now, let’s say you don’t care where you get the book from or your goal is to make sure most of your hard-earned money actually goes to the indie author rather than some corporation… then, in that case, read on!
So… what the heck are book royalties anyway?
When you purchase an indie eBook the money you spend is split between the author and the retailer. Depending on the split, more or less of your money will actually end up on the hands of the author you’re trying to support.
This differs from traditional publishing, where the author receives a lump sum as an advance from the publisher (which is then split between author and agent).
The publisher then sells this book on other storefronts, which further splits where the money actually goes.
PS: It is not until the book has actually generated as much revenue as the advance that said author begins to *actually* earn royalties on books sold, which may be as little as cents per book to a percentage of each sale.
To further confuse matters, different retailers offer different royalty rates! 😵
Where should you purchase books from if you want to super-duper support an indie author?
Well, let me give you a tier list—beginning from the TOP!
S TIER: Author's Personal Shop
Buying a book directly from an author's shop is by far the best way support 'em. Outside of a small % that goes to cover for credit card fees (~5% in my case), pretty much all of your money goes to the author.
If the author has a shop—buy it from there!!
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A TIER: Itch.io
It's not just for games, you know! Its royalty rate is one of the most generous with a default 90/10. This is crazy-good compared to most other retailers.
Seriously, more authors should start selling their books on Itch.io!!
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B TIER: Most Retailers
Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, and Kobo all offer a 70/30 split. It didn't use to be like this, tho!
If you like to have all of your books on the same platform, buying an indie author’s book through these platforms is honestly A-OK! 👍
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C TIER: Amazon
Amazon has a default 35/65 rate (ouch) and has the option for a 70/30—but it's not easy. The latter option is not available in all territories and has many prerequisites.
Also, one way to get the 70/30 split is to *exclusively* sell your title on Amazon (ooof).
As if Amazon’s system wasn’t already confusing enough—there’s also *delivery fees*. Yes, you read that right. Amazon charges the author for the delivery of the digital item based on the file size, nickle-and-diming you like it's 2004 and you went over your text message limit.
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I don’t want anyone to feel bad for buying books through Amazon. Like I said before, the best way to support us is to buy our books—no matter where you get them.
A sale is better than no sale at all. 🤞
The reason I set out to write this is because the average person has no clue that where you buy a book from actually matters.
You spend your hard-earned money wanting to support an indie author and the bulk of that Hamilton doesn’t even go to them.
And now you know. 🧵🔚
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bookishdiplodocus · 9 months ago
How to convey information through dialogue without shoehorning it in
So you have information you want to plant into your story, and you would like to do that through dialogue. Naturally, you'd want to make the dialogue look natural, so that it doesn't scream -> This Piece Of Information <- Will Be Relevant To The Plot Later!!! I never saw any writing advice about this subject, so I thought I’d write up a post about it.
Say, for example, you want to plant the information that Barney is afraid of fridges. Fridges? Jup. That's weird. Jup. Which makes it all the more difficult to bring up in a scene. And what makes it even more difficult, you decided you want this dialogue to take place before the Thing With The Fridge Happens later on, so you're in a pickle. How do you bring up a fear of fridges, when there are no fridges around?
First, I'm going to show you how shoehorning the information in a dialogue would look like.
Don't do this:
Annie and Barney are in a scene that has nothing to do with fridges.
Annie: "By the way," she asked casually, "have I ever asked you what your worst fear is? Since we’re on this quest together, we should know these things about each other."
Barney: "Fridges. They scare the bejeebers out of me."
Annie: "Fridges?" She laughed incredulously. "How come?"
Barney: "Well, one time my brother locked me into a fridge, and I've been afraid ever since."
Annie: “That makes sense, Barney. I’m sorry you had to go through that.”
Try to avoid using things like “by the way” or “suddenly” in this part of the dialogue, because that’s a shoehorn red flag.
Instead, you want the conversation to flow from something inconspicuous to the information you want to plant and then into at least one other topic.
Do this:
Annie and Barney are in a scene that has nothing to do with fridges, for example they are thrown into a snake pit during their quest.
Barney deals with venomous snakes without a second thought.
Annie, in the corner, trying to get a hold of herself: "I can't believe you're not afraid of those snakes."
Barney: "You just got to know how to handle them."
Annie, in awe: "You're fearless."
Barney, laughs: "Trust me, I'm not. You should see me around fridges."
Annie: "Fridges...?"
Barney: "My brother locked me into one when we were little. I almost suffocated. Never trusted them ever since. Nor my brother, obviously."
The conversation continues about his relationship with his brother, making it seem like that's the important bit. You sneaked the information about Barney's fear for fridges into the dialogue about snakes and his brother.
Let’s break that down, shall we?
This conversation has three topics: snakes, fridges, and Barney’s brother. The snakes and Barney’s brother don’t really matter. They could just as well be completely different topics. (I'll show you later.) Their only function is to ease into the conversation about Barney’s fridge fear and ease out of it without drawing the reader’s attention to its importance.
Topic 1: Something present in this scene that has a thing in common with topic 2
Discussing the snakes feels organic and natural, because they are kind of hard to ignore in this scene. Make the first topic something related to what the characters see, feel, experience in that particular scene… Write a piece of dialogue about topic one.
Topic 2: The information you want to plant
Then transition into the topic switch. How? The topic of fridges and the topic of snakes have one thing in common: fear. Specifically, Annie is afraid of snakes and Barney isn’t, but he is afraid of fridges. Bringing this interesting bit into the conversation changes the topic again, because how can you not go into a sentence like this?
Topic 3: Anything related to topic 2 you can latch onto
The topic is changed yet again after the information you planned to plant. Just let this part of the dialogue run its course. It doesn’t matter much what you do with it, as long as you don’t stop the dialogue right after the moment you delivered the line you needed to deliver. The trick is to make the conversation flow to and from your chosen topic.
Let’s look at another example, something more realistic. You still want to convey the fact that Barney is afraid of fridges, but this time, Annie and Barney are not on a quest, they are in a romance novel.
Barney and Annie are looking out over the ocean. She brought a bottle of wine, a light breeze cools their skin, in the distance, a cargo boat slowly glides along the horizon. It seems like a perfect moment.
Barney raises his glass and compliments Annie: “You pick great wine.” (topic 1)
Annie: “Thanks. I did a wine course last year in my local community center, a series in which we learned all about the different kinds of wine and what to pair it with.”
Barney: “Sounds like fun. You should teach me sometime. Did you get to taste everything?”
Annie: “Yeah, of course. That was the main reason I joined. What about you? Which wine do you prefer?”
Barney: “Oh, I’m not a connaisseur. I like anything but white wines.” (change of topic)
Annie: “Why not?”
Barney, embarrassed: “Red wines are usually kept at room temperature, and white wines go in the fridge.”
Annie, after a second: “I can’t see the problem there.”
Barney, embarrassed: “Ah. Well. I don’t like fridges. Like, not at all. My brother once locked me into one, and – well, let’s say it was a hugely traumatic experience.” (boom, there it is: topic 2)
Annie, confused: “But – How do you keep your food fresh?” (change of topic) (doesn't necessarily have to happen so soon after The Line)
Barney, still embarrassed: “I go to the supermarket every other day.” (topic 3)
The conversation continues about going to the supermarket every other day and foods that Barney can't eat because they spoil too fast outside of the fridge. Annie is surprised to hear how many things can be kept at room temperature for a day or two. (topic 3,5)
That's it, folks :)
I hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, and happy writing! This post was inspired by a question from @therska.
Follow me for more writing advice, or check out my other writing tips here. New topics to write advice about are also always appreciated.
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love-me-a-good-prompt · 11 months ago
Do you ever find yourself over-using the word “cry” (or “cried” or “crying”) in your writing? Try using these words instead:
sob / sobbed / sobbing
wail / wailed / wailing
weep / wept / weeping
bawl / bawled / bawling
whimper / whimpered / whimpering
howl / howled / howling
blubber / blubbered / blubbering
snivel / sniveled / sniveling
squall / squalled / squalling
yelp / yelped / yelping
whine / whined / whining
shed tears / shed tears / shedding tears
burst into tears / burst into tears / bursting into tears
tear up / teared up / tearing up
choke up / choked up / choking up
well up / welled up / welling up
break down / broke down / breaking down
let it out / let it out / letting it out
turn on the waterworks / turned on the waterworks / turning on the waterworks
open the floodgates / opened the floodgates / opening the floodgates
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homeworkforpigeons · a year ago
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to all my writer friends out there.
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writingadvice365 · a month ago
A Nanowrimo reminder
While it is really awesome if you reach 50,000 words, it is also really amazing if you wrote 500 words this month despite whatever life was throwing at you.  
The real win is that you have more words in your story than what you had before.  And that is something to be proud of.  
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aileywrites · 9 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: https://ryanlanz.com
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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hues-of-purple · 5 months ago
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My very friendly reminder to myself to actually write today…
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creativepromptsforwriting · 4 months ago
Hi! This is my first time asking, but your prompts are amazing! It’s almost like you’ve experienced these scenarios with how detailed you are! Any who, I was curious about tips on starting off a story. What are the best ways to hook a reader in the beginning?
Aww that is actually one of the best compliments I had so far!
How to start a story
don't start with descriptions
the reader can get bored if the descriptions are too long
they won't remember details until they actually formed a connection to the situation and the characters
start with a prologue or flashforward or flashback
this way you can show what's going to come or what happened so far to get the reader hooked
a lot of writers advice against using dream sequences and the character waking up as the beginning of the story, because it can seem lazy
start with action
hook the reader by throwing them right into action
they get invested sooner in the plot and the characters
they want to find out more about the context that brought them to this point
build an emotional connection
start by showing an emotional scene or present the character's goals and intentions and motivation to make people relate to them and their struggle
surprise the reader
start in an unusual situation, something that may even confuse the reader at first (but not too much, you should resolve it quickly to get them to keep reading)
leave them with questions they want to find the answers for
I hope this helps you and good luck writing!
- Jana
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