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Why your character's religion (or lack of) is important: (x)

petitelionwrites:

Anyone in the roleplay community who knows me knows i am one hundred percent about one specific thing: religions. It pains me to see people only use religion when they are playing “religion freaks”. That term roughly translates to someone who’s obsessed with religion and…

via source reblog posted 1 day ago with 3,615 notes →
jansport:

Cross-town color.

jansport:

Cross-town color.

via source reblog posted 1 day ago with 2,990 notes →
uneditededit:

Character Motivation and Consistency:  
So lets take a moment to talk about character consistency.  This is something that I find a lot of people have a hard time with and a lot of it has to do with the actual development of the character in itself.  When making a character, we pick out traits and experiences that define our character.  All of these things including flaws and talents are important but something that people tend to forget with picking out a character is what their motivation is.  

Author Orson Scott Card reminds us “We never fully understand other people’s motivations in real life.  In fiction, however, we can help our readers understand our characters’ motivations with clarity, sometimes even certainty. This is one of the reasons why people read fiction—to come to some understanding of why other people act the way they do.”

Why is Knowing Motivation Important in Writing?:
This essentially, explains to us why characters act the way they do.  Choices are determined by the motivation of the character.  They are a guide in the choices they make because where they want to go or what they want determines what choices they are going to make.  Very very VERY seldom does anyone make a choice at random. By knowing your characters primary motivation, the choices that they make will remain consistent (Even if they are not the ‘right’ choices.  
Basic External and Internal Motivations:  

EXTERNAL: Bold-face is obverse aspect (stuff in parens = goals, effects, or other association)
Survival/safety; Fear of the world (food, water, escape from danger)
Physical comfort; gluttony (shelter, warmth, good food, health)
Pleasure; hedonism (sex, great food, culture, games)
Dominance; tyranny (power, social standing, competition, respect)
Acquisitiveness; greed (wealth, materialism, collecting, excellence)
Curiosity; voyeurism (learning, searching, investigating)
Mastery; perfectionism (excellence, conquest, discipline, achievement)
Reproduction; profligacy (children, creativity, family-building)
INTERNAL:
Autonomy; isolation (self-sufficiency, freedom, non-confinement)
Affiliation; conformity (security, cooperation, loyalty, clan)
Love; lust/ownership (connection, passion, sex, mirroring, approval, giving)
Revenge; justice (righting wrongs, recognition of grievance, vengeance)
Guilt; denial of guilt (responsibility, shame, punishment, redemption, forgiveness)
Identity; self-centeredness (self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-protection)
Surcease; conflict avoidance (peace, escape from anxiety, death)
Spirituality; fetishism (religion, transcendence, transformation)
Growth; decay, aging (learning, maturation, wisdom)
Ambition; insecurity/anxiety (fear of failure, inferiority, stress)
Vindication; rationalization (success, proving self, apology)

The Difference in between a Goal and Motivation:

The goal is like the flower… the motivation is the roots.
The goal is the outward manifestation of the motivation. It is concrete, measurable, and specific. You don’t know when you’ve fulfilled the motivation: “I want success” isn’t measurable– what’s success?  But you know when you’ve achieved a goal:  ”I want to be on the New York Times bestseller list–” That’s measurable. You’ll know when you reach it.
Just keep in mind that while the goal is the external manifestation of the motivation, the connection is not always a straight or clear one.  You can have a goal that is destructive and against your true motivation– “looking for love in all the wrong places” is an example. Or you can have a laudatory goal for a selfish or twisted motivation– “I want to be first in my class to show my father up!”
Motivation is the past; Goal is the future; Conflict is the present.

Distinguish between MOTIVATION and ACTION:

Remember that motivation exists to inspire the character to make choices and take actions.  If you’ve been told your protagonist is “too passive”, it’s likely what’s lacking is motivation that leads to action. 
Every action, however small, should be motivated.  If the motivation is obvious, then you might not have to show it (we assume that she’s running from that tiger for survival). 
Compare the external (obvious) motivation to the goal and/or actions.  If they don’t match, an internal motivation is probably in force. What hidden desire or fear is influencing actions? An alternative reason for motivation/action mismatch: You’re trying to make an original character act in stereotypical ways.
And keep this in mind: Heroism and villainy are in the action, not the motivation.  Heroes do heroic things, they don’t just intend to do them.  And villains do bad things even if they have the best of intentions.

Taking all of these things into account, here are three exercises that I found a while back and use to help figure out character motivations:

1. Real People as a template: 
Make a list of 5 people you know really well. Beside each, make notes about how they:
react to stress
experience happiness,
treat other people.
After that, list what motivates each of these behaviors. Try to be as factual as possible, drawing from things you know; for things you’re unsure of, use common sense to hypothesize.
A person might make it their goal to treat others with respect because of religious beliefs, or maybe because they were disrespected in the past. Someone might react poorly to stressful situations because they have a deep-seated fear of failure, stemming from a past experience.
2. Characters from Literature:
List 5 characters from literature and what motivated their actions throughout their respective stories.
For example, Shakespeare’sHamlet. His thoughts are motivated by revenge (because his uncle secretly killed his father), along with anger, sadness and confusion (because his mother married his uncle so soon after his father’s death).
Add to this a host of other factors, and you have a well-developed character you can understand.
3. Self reflection: 
Write paragraphs to describe
 your most frightening experience
 your happiest experience,
your most stressful experience, and how you reacted to each situation.
After, list all the factors that motivated your behavior. How is your personality shaped by your motivations?

During the story (Or role play) it is important to remember these character motivations when your character makes choices.  That is really what this is about; identifying the motivations that make your character act the way that they do.  
During the plot, motivations may change, and should actually shift for the character to develop, but never all at once and never out of the blue.  Still the back story that drives your characters motivations will always be part of them.  
For instance; I write a character whose past has made her a survivalist but over the course of a year she shifts to protection of the family that she has developed.  However this took a full year to happen and her motivation of survival was never put on the back burner.  Instead it just expanded to protection of the group and not just herself.  Her fear of lose over this new family is what really drives her.
And there you have it: Keeping your character consistent through their motivation.

uneditededit:

Character Motivation and Consistency:  

So lets take a moment to talk about character consistency.  This is something that I find a lot of people have a hard time with and a lot of it has to do with the actual development of the character in itself.  When making a character, we pick out traits and experiences that define our character.  All of these things including flaws and talents are important but something that people tend to forget with picking out a character is what their motivation is.  

Author Orson Scott Card reminds us “We never fully understand other people’s motivations in real life.  In fiction, however, we can help our readers understand our characters’ motivations with clarity, sometimes even certainty. This is one of the reasons why people read fiction—to come to some understanding of why other people act the way they do.”

Why is Knowing Motivation Important in Writing?:

This essentially, explains to us why characters act the way they do.  Choices are determined by the motivation of the character.  They are a guide in the choices they make because where they want to go or what they want determines what choices they are going to make.  Very very VERY seldom does anyone make a choice at random. By knowing your characters primary motivation, the choices that they make will remain consistent (Even if they are not the ‘right’ choices.  

Basic External and Internal Motivations:  

EXTERNAL: 
Bold-face is obverse aspect (stuff in parens = goals, effects, or other association)

  • Survival/safety; Fear of the world (food, water, escape from danger)
  • Physical comfort; gluttony (shelter, warmth, good food, health)
  • Pleasure; hedonism (sex, great food, culture, games)
  • Dominance; tyranny (power, social standing, competition, respect)
  • Acquisitiveness; greed (wealth, materialism, collecting, excellence)
  • Curiosity; voyeurism (learning, searching, investigating)
  • Mastery; perfectionism (excellence, conquest, discipline, achievement)
  • Reproduction; profligacy (children, creativity, family-building)


INTERNAL:

  • Autonomy; isolation (self-sufficiency, freedom, non-confinement)
  • Affiliation; conformity (security, cooperation, loyalty, clan)
  • Love; lust/ownership (connection, passion, sex, mirroring, approval, giving)
  • Revenge; justice (righting wrongs, recognition of grievance, vengeance)
  • Guilt; denial of guilt (responsibility, shame, punishment, redemption, forgiveness)
  • Identity; self-centeredness (self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-protection)
  • Surcease; conflict avoidance (peace, escape from anxiety, death)
  • Spirituality; fetishism (religion, transcendence, transformation)
  • Growth; decay, aging (learning, maturation, wisdom)
  • Ambition; insecurity/anxiety (fear of failure, inferiority, stress)
  • Vindication; rationalization (success, proving self, apology)

The Difference in between a Goal and Motivation:

The goal is like the flower… the motivation is the roots.

The goal is the outward manifestation of the motivation. It is concrete, measurable, and specific. 
You don’t know when you’ve fulfilled the motivation: “I want success” isn’t measurable– what’s success?  But you know when you’ve achieved a goal:  ”I want to be on the New York Times bestseller list–” That’s measurable. You’ll know when you reach it.

Just keep in mind that while the goal is the external manifestation of the motivation, the connection is not always a straight or clear one.  You can have a goal that is destructive and against your true motivation– “looking for love in all the wrong places” is an example. 
Or you can have a laudatory goal for a selfish or twisted motivation– “I want to be first in my class to show my father up!”

Motivation is the past; Goal is the future; Conflict is the present.

Distinguish between MOTIVATION and ACTION:

Remember that motivation exists to inspire the character to make choices and take actions.  If you’ve been told your protagonist is “too passive”, it’s likely what’s lacking is motivation that leads to action. 

Every action, however small, should be motivated.  If the motivation is obvious, then you might not have to show it (we assume that she’s running from that tiger for survival). 

Compare the external (obvious) motivation to the goal and/or actions.  If they don’t match, an internal motivation is probably in force. What hidden desire or fear is influencing actions? 
An alternative reason for motivation/action mismatch: You’re trying to make an original character act in stereotypical ways.

And keep this in mind: 
Heroism and villainy are in the action, not the motivation.  Heroes do heroic things, they don’t just intend to do them.  And villains do bad things even if they have the best of intentions.

Taking all of these things into account, here are three exercises that I found a while back and use to help figure out character motivations:

1. Real People as a template: 

Make a list of 5 people you know really well. Beside each, make notes about how they:

  1. react to stress
  2. experience happiness,
  3. treat other people.

After that, list what motivates each of these behaviors. Try to be as factual as possible, drawing from things you know; for things you’re unsure of, use common sense to hypothesize.

A person might make it their goal to treat others with respect because of religious beliefs, or maybe because they were disrespected in the past. Someone might react poorly to stressful situations because they have a deep-seated fear of failure, stemming from a past experience.

2. Characters from Literature:

List 5 characters from literature and what motivated their actions throughout their respective stories.

For example, Shakespeare’sHamlet. His thoughts are motivated by revenge (because his uncle secretly killed his father), along with anger, sadness and confusion (because his mother married his uncle so soon after his father’s death).

Add to this a host of other factors, and you have a well-developed character you can understand.

3. Self reflection: 

Write paragraphs to describe

  1.  your most frightening experience
  2.  your happiest experience,
  3. your most stressful experience, and how you reacted to each situation.

After, list all the factors that motivated your behavior. How is your personality shaped by your motivations?

During the story (Or role play) it is important to remember these character motivations when your character makes choices.  That is really what this is about; identifying the motivations that make your character act the way that they do.  

During the plot, motivations may change, and should actually shift for the character to develop, but never all at once and never out of the blue.  Still the back story that drives your characters motivations will always be part of them.  

For instance; I write a character whose past has made her a survivalist but over the course of a year she shifts to protection of the family that she has developed.  However this took a full year to happen and her motivation of survival was never put on the back burner.  Instead it just expanded to protection of the group and not just herself.  Her fear of lose over this new family is what really drives her.

And there you have it: Keeping your character consistent through their motivation.

via source reblog posted 1 day ago with 1,099 notes →
Writability: Thoughts from the Intern Slush Pile: Is Your Voice Up to Snuff? (x)

avajae:

As I’ve been going through the intern slush, I’ve noticed that many times, when I recommend a rejection, it’s largely because of voice. Voice, to me, is one of the most important elements in a novel, because if it’s wrong on the first page, it’s usually wrong throughout the whole manuscript.

Being that I read a lot of YA submissions, this post is largely centered on voice-related problems I frequently see with YA submissions. But many of these issues can also apply to NA by looking at the points with a slightly older cast in mind.

YA Voice Red Flags:

  • Lack of contractions. This can actually be a problem in any category, but it’s especially important in YA manuscripts—a voice without any contractions always sounds stiff. This is one of the easiest (and often one of the first) voice-related red flags I pick out. Why? Because we speak and think with contractions, so when they’re absent, the writing becomes stilted and loses a great deal of flow, making it extraordinarily easy to pick it out. “I am not feeling well so I can not go,” for example, doesn’t sound nearly as fluid as, “I’m not feeling well so I can’t go.” Agreed? Good.
  • Outdated slang. If you’re writing YA, you need to be current with the language—no exceptions. For examples, teenagers today don’t really say “talk to the hand” or “phat” or “what’s the 411” anymore. (Note: those weren’t taken from actual submissions, I’m just giving outdated examples). Outdated slang, to me, is an enormous red flag and tells me the writer isn’t reading enough YA. 
  • Forced (current) slang. This is an equally problematic, but harder to spot problem. Sometimes I see submissions that use current slang, but the waythey use it feels…off. This is a little harder to describe, but the easiest way to ferret them out of your manuscript is to have critique partners and/or beta readers who are up to date with the current slang read your manuscript. 
  • Corny curse substitutions. This is a biggie. While not all teenagers curse, many of them do—and when they don’t, they don’t often use corny substitutions. “Frickin’” for example, could work as a substitution for a particular four-letter word, but “french fries” probably won’t. 

    Note: UNLESS your character makes a point of being corny, or it fits with your voice. I won’t say this never works (because I’m sure there’s a book out there that can make it happen), but to be honest, I’ve yet to see it work successfully with exception to “D’Arvit” in Artemis Fowl, which mostly worked because it wasn’t corny—it was a made up gnomish word. 
  • Teenager stereotypes. This is huge. When I see teenager stereotypes blended into the voice or the characters, it almost always puts me off. Teenagers are not a sum of their stereotypes, and relying on them in your writing, quite frankly, is lazy. You can do better–and teenagers deserve better. 


Solutions:

  • Listen to teenagers talk. A lot. Don’t have a teenager in your life? That’s fine—watch YA-centered TV shows and movies. They tend to feature teenagers who are effortlessly up to date with current slang, references, etc. Or go to your local mall and do a little (subtle) eavesdropping. Yes, really. It’s research. 
  • Read YA. By and large, the YA that’s published today (especially if it’s relatively recent) have great examples of successful YA voices. Read them. Learn from them. Write your own. (This step by the way? Not optional if you’re writing YA). 
  • Get critique partners. This is so ridiculously important—make sure you have beta readers and critique partners look at your work. I personally recommend having several rounds of betas and CPs, so you can see if the changes you made in the first round, for example, were as effective as you hoped. 


Would you add anything to either list? Unmentioned problems? Solutions?

via source reblog posted 1 day ago with 49,694 notes →

arctic-bramble:

Winter in Finland.
This is where I live and the weather was incredible today.

via source reblog posted 2 days ago with 363 notes →
Be passionate about what you write, believe in your ability to convey timeless ideas, and let no one tell you what what you’re capable of.

- Christina Westover (via writersrelief)
via source reblog posted 3 days ago with 38,961 notes →
starrify-everything:

TIPS:
Tips For Characterization
21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Tips From Great Authors
The Importance Of Body Language
34 Writing Tips That Will Make You A Better Writer
Things Almost Every Author Needs To Research
Eight Short Story Tips
How To Stop Procrastinating
Ten Exercises In Creativity
How To Show (Not Tell)
Ten Ways To Avoid Writing Insecurity
Why Research Is Important In Writing
Five Ways To Get Out Your Comfort Zone
Seven Ways To Use Brain Science To Hook Readers And Reel Them In
The Difference Between Good And Bad Writers
Five Essential Story Ingredients
Formatting Your Manuscript
Four Ways To Have Confidence In Your Writing
99 Ways To Beat Writers Block
You’re Not Hemingway, Helping You Develop Your Own Skill
Best Apps For Writers
Online Whiteboard
This Sentence Has 5 Words
GRAMMAR (WORDS):
Urban Legends From The World Of Grammar
20 Common Grammar Mistakes
Synonyms For Said
Alternatives For But
Alternatives For Angry
Alternatives For Whispered
200 Words To Describe Light
45 Ways To Avoid Saying Very
Colour Names
Other Ways To Say…
Lay vs Lie
Make Words Longer
Words And Meanings
Common English Mistakes
Online Etymology Dictionary
Tip Of My Tongue
Cliche Finder
NAMES:
7 Rules Of Picking Names For Fictional Characters
Names In Different Time Periods
Behind The Name
Meaning Of Names
Fake Name Generator
Random Name Generator
Quick Name Generator
Fantasy Name Generator
Baby Names Country
Muslim Names And Meanings
Indian Names And Meanings
Name Playground
NOVEL:
How To Rewrite
Editing Recipe
How To Write A Novel
Writing 101: Revising Your Novel
Revising Your Novel: Read What You’ve Written
Finishing Your Novel
Novel Outlining 101
Outline Your Novel In 30 Minutes
13 Most Common Errors On A Novels First Page
How To Organize And Develop Ideas For Your Novel
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
Family Tree Maker
Tips For Characterization
Character Trait Masterlist
Character Bio Help
Character Writing Exercise
123 Ideas For Character Flaws
Three Ways To Avoid Lazy Character Description
How To Create Fictional Characters
Writing Magical Characters
Character Development Sheet
Character Development Worksheet
Character Chart
Character Chart For Fiction Writers
100 Character Development Questions For Writers
Ten Questions For Creating Believable Characters
Ten Days Of Character Building
Writing Effective Character Breakdowns
PLOT, CONFLICT, STRUCTURE and OUTLINE:
When To Change Paragraphs
36 (plus 1) Dramatic Situations
How To Write A Death Scene
The Snowflake Method
Effectively Outlining Your Plot
Tips For Creating A Compelling Plot
One Page Plotting
How To Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps
Choosing The Best Outline Method For You
Creating Conflict And Sustaining Suspense
Conflict Test
What Is Conflict?
Writing The Perfect Scene
How Can You Know What Belongs In Your Book?
SETTING, WORLDBUILDING AND FANTASY:
Masterpost For Writers Creating Their Own World
World Building 101
Creating A Believable World
Maps Workshop - Developing The Fictional World Through Mapping
Creating Fantasy And Science Fiction Worlds
Writing Fantasy
Myths
Creating The Perfect Setting
POINT OF VIEW:
Establishing The Right Point Of View
How To Write In Third Person
The I Problem
OTHERS:
Types Of Crying
Eye Colours
Skin Tones
Who Do I Write Like?
Write Rhymes
Survive Nature
How To Escape After Being Buried Alive In A Coffin

starrify-everything:

TIPS:

Tips For Characterization

21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Tips From Great Authors

The Importance Of Body Language

34 Writing Tips That Will Make You A Better Writer

Things Almost Every Author Needs To Research

Eight Short Story Tips

How To Stop Procrastinating

Ten Exercises In Creativity

How To Show (Not Tell)

Ten Ways To Avoid Writing Insecurity

Why Research Is Important In Writing

Five Ways To Get Out Your Comfort Zone

Seven Ways To Use Brain Science To Hook Readers And Reel Them In

The Difference Between Good And Bad Writers

Five Essential Story Ingredients

Formatting Your Manuscript

Four Ways To Have Confidence In Your Writing

99 Ways To Beat Writers Block

You’re Not Hemingway, Helping You Develop Your Own Skill

Best Apps For Writers

Online Whiteboard

This Sentence Has 5 Words

GRAMMAR (WORDS):

Urban Legends From The World Of Grammar

20 Common Grammar Mistakes

Synonyms For Said

Alternatives For But

Alternatives For Angry

Alternatives For Whispered

200 Words To Describe Light

45 Ways To Avoid Saying Very

Colour Names

Other Ways To Say…

Lay vs Lie

Make Words Longer

Words And Meanings

Common English Mistakes

Online Etymology Dictionary

Tip Of My Tongue

Cliche Finder

NAMES:

7 Rules Of Picking Names For Fictional Characters

Names In Different Time Periods

Behind The Name

Meaning Of Names

Fake Name Generator

Random Name Generator

Quick Name Generator

Fantasy Name Generator

Baby Names Country

Muslim Names And Meanings

Indian Names And Meanings

Name Playground

NOVEL:

How To Rewrite

Editing Recipe

How To Write A Novel

Writing 101: Revising Your Novel

Revising Your Novel: Read What You’ve Written

Finishing Your Novel

Novel Outlining 101

Outline Your Novel In 30 Minutes

13 Most Common Errors On A Novels First Page

How To Organize And Develop Ideas For Your Novel

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:

Family Tree Maker

Tips For Characterization

Character Trait Masterlist

Character Bio Help

Character Writing Exercise

123 Ideas For Character Flaws

Three Ways To Avoid Lazy Character Description

How To Create Fictional Characters

Writing Magical Characters

Character Development Sheet

Character Development Worksheet

Character Chart

Character Chart For Fiction Writers

100 Character Development Questions For Writers

Ten Questions For Creating Believable Characters

Ten Days Of Character Building

Writing Effective Character Breakdowns

PLOT, CONFLICT, STRUCTURE and OUTLINE:

When To Change Paragraphs

36 (plus 1) Dramatic Situations

How To Write A Death Scene

The Snowflake Method

Effectively Outlining Your Plot

Tips For Creating A Compelling Plot

One Page Plotting

How To Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps

Choosing The Best Outline Method For You

Creating Conflict And Sustaining Suspense

Conflict Test

What Is Conflict?

Writing The Perfect Scene

How Can You Know What Belongs In Your Book?

SETTING, WORLDBUILDING AND FANTASY:

Masterpost For Writers Creating Their Own World

World Building 101

Creating A Believable World

Maps Workshop - Developing The Fictional World Through Mapping

Creating Fantasy And Science Fiction Worlds

Writing Fantasy

Myths

Creating The Perfect Setting

POINT OF VIEW:

Establishing The Right Point Of View

How To Write In Third Person

The I Problem

OTHERS:

Types Of Crying

Eye Colours

Skin Tones

Who Do I Write Like?

Write Rhymes

Survive Nature

How To Escape After Being Buried Alive In A Coffin

via source reblog posted 4 days ago with 70 notes →
via source reblog posted 5 days ago with 104,133 notes →
b0yscout:

cybergata:

Elephants walking through a rain forest.

i thought these were bunnies in a field of grass but ok

b0yscout:

cybergata:

Elephants walking through a rain forest.

i thought these were bunnies in a field of grass but ok

via source reblog posted 6 days ago with 168 notes →
Setting Effective Writing Goals | Grauwelt | Young Adult (x)