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Assume that as a storyteller you have to keep your audience buttonholed at all times by curiousity, expectation and some kind of suspense.

Alexander Mackendrick (in ‘On Film-making’)

I know I shouldn’t

But you made me smile today

You have no idea the shit I’ve been through this year alone

But you made me feel good

A simple gesture in giving me a free drink was all it was meant to be

But it meant a lot more to me

You remind me of him

But you’re not him

I’m thinking of you today

But I’m dreaming of him everyday

I shouldn’t return ever again

But I need attention from someone

I think I like you

But I know I love him

You’re not him

And you never will be

So something stupid I used to believe

Okay so when I knew nothing about lgbt+ (I was like 7 or 8 okay) I asked my brother what it meant and he said that “is actually lbgt, and it stood for ‘let’s be gay together.’ Because way back when, people would say that when someone liked someone else but it was illegal to be gay so it was their code” so that’s the story of why I believed that for the next 5 years

instagram

Never enough…

(Alex backstory)

Hey! It’s eclipse! Today I will be doing Alex’s backstory! And this was requested by @trans-axeolotl !!

————————————–

Black text » Narrator

Green text » Alex

_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

It was a stressful day for Alex, he was only a kid but he has felt many levels of stress before. Just at the age of 15 he became mentally exhausted. He always had something to do. He has no time off, trying to impress his parents by showing he can handle a lot of work. So they could be proud of him.

Just this once

But no matter how hard he did to achieve his goals he always saw himself as a failure. Someone who can’t handle small things.

His parents were almost never home, and they did not care for there child. Leaving him to starve and to be left alone.

The stress became unbearable, he didn’t want to stay at a place where others would never notice him, not even notice that he exists.

He left everything behind. He brought nothing ,no food no water.

It’s not like I had that anyway….

He walked out of the house, and to his surprise nobody stopped him.

Not his drunk dad or his brain washed mom. They just took one look and decided they didn’t care.

Goodbye , I’ll miss you…

That was a lie, he would never miss them after what they have done..

he went into the city, it was tough. He didn’t have a job or anything. No food

He worked all day at a crapy gas station. It was enough to pay for a small apartment and one meal per day.

But he couldn’t be happier, no one judged him. It was all he wanted.

Soon things went up hill.

Getting expected into a college and getting a nicer place to live.

Meeting Oasis (bonus)

One day he was walking back from work when something caught his eye. There was a group of uniformed men who were circling something. He heard roars and yelling inbetween them.

He ran up to help who ever it was (because he’s a awesome soft boi)

He pushed others out of the way to help this random stranger.

Are you ok!?!?!

It was a dragon , tied up in a net and trying to break free.

As soon as the hunters saw that he was going to help Oasis they tried to get him out of the way.

Before they could the net snapped, Oasis broke the net.

The hunters tried to hold him down but failed. As Oasis started to fight. Alex stood from distance , looking at the horrific fight.

Oasis ended up winning, but he was extremely hurt .

“Oh my! Are you ok?!?”

Alex offered to help Oasis recover at his home..

The fucking end

————————————————–

This is actually the only story I have that isn’t all sad and shit. So have happy good story :)

How did I do? Tell me!!

“Do you think we ever figure things out?” she asked.

“I’m sorry, but what are we—”

“This. All of this!” she waved her arms above her head.

“Still not following,” I said, turning my body towards her.

“Life. You know, how the world works, how people work, hell, even how we work. Everything is such a big mystery and sometimes I hate it. It’s so ridiculous that we go through thirteen plus years of schooling and we’re never taught anything of substance. Math equations, birthdays of the dead, sonnets that I will never recite to the love of my life. All of this we learn, and for what? It’s not like we’re gonna go out into the work force and suddenly ask a client what they think about the Pythagorean theorem.”

She let out an elongated sigh, one that carried exhaustion and the frustration that was apparent in the way her arms flailed about as she spoke. I looked into her eyes that were filled with both sincerity and annoyance.

“What made you think about all of this?” I asked as I turned to lean against the railing. “It seemed like you were perfectly fine earlier.”

“It’s just- I’m-,” she sighed again, except quieter and more controlled. “I’m just scared. I’m scared that one day my whole is gonna fall apart. That all these blocks that I’m laying down as a foundation will suddenly crumble and crack into a million pieces and I’ll fall to my death. Underneath the rubble of crushed dreams and a fake understanding of the world. Not like anyone understands this planet anyways, but I’m still scared. Aren’t you?”

I paused and looked at her troubled face before speaking up.

“To be honest, I don’t think we’ll ever figure this out—whatever ‘this’ is. We’re a nomadic people, constantly wondering from one place to the next, hoping that maybe we’ll be able to settle down and find familiarity. And even if we do, it’ll all come to an end eventually. Maybe not as quickly as a day, maybe in a year or more, but things will end. And isn’t that sort of beautiful?”

“Endings? Beautiful? You really need to pick one between the two,” she scoffed.

“No, think about it. Endings aren’t always as bad as you think. Sure, you might end up broken and confused and more lost than before. But it’s in these endings that we can find ourselves best. There’s these little pockets of light that are scattered throughout this everlasting journey called life that we need to find. But we won’t be able to find them if we keep pondering about the meaning of life and whether or not things will make sense. Life, it’s like this interactive video game; one choice leads to the next level and to the next and to the next. But you can’t get to the next checkpoint if you’re stuck wondering what the last one meant. You just need to go through with it and hopefully at the end, it’ll make sense. You can’t just wonder about life. You just need to live through it in order to “figure” it out. That’s the beauty of being alive. Figuring stuff out as the days go by. Some things make no sense at all, while everything else just does.”

I reached for her hand and held it, her fingers slightly trembling from the cool night air. Her face still had traces of worry and reluctance scribbled all over.

“What if even after all of that, even after making all the right choices, it’ll all come out to nothing?”

“Well,” I started, “You won’t find out unless you try, right? And if it doesn’t make sense the first time, you can always try again.”

To be a better writer...

When perspective writing, amount and depth of description should mimic the narrator’s experiences. No time to enjoy a view? Sparse description. Not the kind of person who would care about the view? Minimal mention. Time and interest? Break out the paragraph (and it’s even better if you can hear their voice in the description).

A piece of advice that I heard from … actually, I don’t remember where: in an issue of comics, you have three pages to hook the reader. Within those three pages, you have to show whatever about your book is unique, whether it’s the setting, or the protagonist, or the story, or whatever. I think it’s partly because creator-owned, issue-based comics rely a lot on novelty; there’s so many series out there playing with all sorts of genre conventions, and you have to give your reader an idea of what you’re doing as quickly as possible. You can subvert expectations one way or another once they’re hooked, but you have to grab them first, and if you can’t do it in those first three pages, you’ve lost your reader.

Beyond the hook, I want to show readers a slice of what they can expect in the story as a whole, like showing the book in miniature: what kinds of actions will happen in the book? what types of characters? what sorts of scenes are going to show up? In that first issue of Moth & Whisper, we’ve got thefts and heists (some of which go wrong), Niki disguising themself, bits of Niki’s parents’ backstory and their legend, and Niki being skilled but not quite mature yet. All of those elements play out in the story as a whole.

Similarly, in the first issue of Orphan Age, there’s a community we’ve never seen before, characters discussing their trauma, the threat of the villainous New Church, some gunplay, and our three main characters showing bits of their personalities. The first issue is like a sample platter of what readers will get in the whole series.

It’s a lot to try and cram in! Which is partly the reason why both of those series have longer-than-average first issues: they’re supposed to be around 20 pages, but the first issue of Moth & Whisper was 25, and the first of Orphan Age is 27! That’s way too long. If anyone out there is writing comics, please: don’t be like me. Treat your artists well and don’t dump seven extra pages on them. Or at least send them some nice alcohol if you do.

—  Ted Anderson on writing first issues

anonymous asked:

Hi there! I absolutely love your blog, the way you explain things makes it really easy for me to understand and you have been very helpful in the past. :) I searched the tags for a while, but couldn't find anything on it. Do you have any tips on creating swear words for a fantasy world? Many of my characters are too hardened and adult to avoid it, but I don't want to fall into the trope of saying 'holy gods' every five seconds like a lot of other fantasy writers. Thank you so much!!

There are a few thing to consider when you find yourself thinking about making up curses or swear words for fantasy settings.

(Obviously this post is going to contain uncensored swear words. I don’t generally include warnings but this is going to be a lot more than a sprinkle.)

Is there a need to make things up?

Think about the literal meaning of the more common curse words– most of them are sexual in nature, have “taboo” connotations, and/or have specific cultural offense. There typically isn’t anything too special about them where they need to be tailored from scratch to fit a fantasy world, unless you’re someone like JRR Tolkien who had a strong linguistics understanding and made up entire realistic languages.

When language is made up, the author risks these general issues:

  • Sounds stupid or confusing to readers
  • Is linguistically terrible due to lack of knowledge
  • Is linguistically great but doesn’t play enough of a role to warrant all the research and effort
  • Stands out weirdly when the rest of everything is in plain English (or the language the story is written in)

“Holy gods” is more of an adaptation than “making something up”. The true answer for “how to make up swear words” is highly linguistic in nature, so I don’t think that’s really where you’re trying to go. I recommend adapting existing words to meet your needs rather than reinventing the wheel.

Adaptation vs reinventing the wheel.

Though fantasy is written in English (or whichever language the author chooses) there’s a general understanding that the characters aren’t necessarily speaking that language because it lacks the world history to exist. Parallels between earth languages/cultures and fantasy languages/cultures can be drawn, but it’s not the exact same thing.

So, if you aren’t creating and writing new languages (like Tolkien) then you’re best off adapting what language already exists. Doing so requires understanding what makes swearing offensive, knowing your audience, and writing good dialogue (or monologue) in general.  

Swear word offensiveness comes from culture.

As mentioned before, most curses are sexual in nature, have “taboo” connotations, and/or have specific cultural offense. It’s a general guideline that as long as a word isn’t obviously modern or out of place for the world (maybe something like “robot”) then it’s fine to use in fantasy context. Generic swears are usually not modern nor unique enough to cause issue, however it’s worth noting that linguistic drift is alive and well so what we consider swear words today aren’t usually that bad in historical context (or visa versa). 

Lets look at some examples of how swears get “better” or “worse” depending on culture.

  • Someone religious may never say “goddamn it” because that’s super severe wording to them. Even when reading, they may say it like the acronym “GD it” (“Gee dee it”). Someone non-religious may throw it around with no issue.
  • “Cunt”, in the US, is one of the worst things you can call someone, but in Australia or Scotland it’s a more commonplace word that can in a way replace “fool”, “dude”, or many other pretty mild references to people.
  • “Bastard” isn’t much of an insult anymore (at least in modern US) since children with unmarried parents are relatively common, or at least the phenomenon is generally less taboo. In historical context? Big, verbal smack in the face and a lot of accompanying discrimination. 

Using culture to create adaptational fantasy swears:

  • Cultural values help guide which words may pack more of a punch for a good adaptation. Gender values, family values, religious values– almost all aspects of culture can play a role. You don’t have to make up new swears for this, just be sure to show that culture well so the audience can understand the severity of the word.
    • Example: “Bastard” is a classic “only truly insulting if having unmarried parents is a real scandal”
  • Words can be re-purposed or given double meaning. It’s almost always best to keep this to nouns only because nouns avoid the “silliness factor”. Patterns of “verb” swear word usage (”that fucking idiot’) are so common that a direct subversion can easily come off as funny to a reader. Nouns can be more poignant and are easier to attach contextual meaning to, plus you still aren’t making up words. (Just giving additional meaning.)
    • Example: In a culture where the color blue is somehow offensive, calling someone a “blue man” might be the equivalent of “bastard” but with more unique context.
  • Small tweaks can be made to existing swears to upgrade them for story needs. This usually requires the swear having more than one word (AKA be a phrase) and for the swapped word to not cause the phrase to lose meaning. Common phrases for easy tweaking are things like “son of a ____”, “___ god”, “____-damnit”, 
    • Example: “Holy gods” is already a great example of inserting polytheism into a well-known saying.

Swear levels depend on the audience.

I’ve read a lot of fantasy and I’m not sure what you mean by the ‘holy gods’ every five seconds, unless you’re talking about YA or Middle Grade books. I do see “holy gods” in regular fantasy, but either I’ve missed the stories you’ve read that use it frequently or it’s a phenomenon that’s more geared toward a younger audience.

Using the expected audience to gauge swear words:

  • When a book is meant for a non-adult audience there are guidelines on language. Fantasy Middle Grade books (looking at you Percy Jackson & the Olympians) and sometimes YA often throw around “holy gods” because it’s the most they can frequently get away with. Using “slightly weird” kind-of swears can get around this, like “Merlin’s beard” from Harry Potter.
  • Swear words have tiers. “Screw” is a lower tier of “fuck” and it usually manages to fulfill the same linguistic role, unless it’s attempting to be used for emphasis (”you better fucking run!”). That said, “screw” can easily be used in a non-sexual, non-vulgar context (”I screwed up”). “Rut” (generally used as “rutting”) is also seen as a downgrade of “fuck”, especially because it maintains the sexual connotation.

Frequent swearing is (generally) lazy writing/dialogue.

I know your “’holy gods’ every five seconds” example is hyperbole, but writers who use frequent swears tend to look lazy. Do some people talk that way? Yeah, but this is one of the issues where being ‘realistic’ hurts more than it helps, especially in the fantasy genre. In the case of non-adult books, using the same “mild” swear over and over again is usually due to age-specific censorship, but it can still have the “lazy writing” effect.

Since you plan to include swearing, try and limit those swearing characters to a select few– or even better, have swearing patterns be unique to each foul-mouthed individual. They can have some shared words or phrases, as that would be realistic, but they should favor certain ones over others– or maybe one of them is super creative and makes stuff up on the fly. Well-written tone can imply swearing just as much as a commonly known word.

It’s all about getting creative with language. A swear word does’t have to be a bad word for it to carry the swearing implications. Culture context, character reactions, and emphasis are three big things to look at for making a word or phrase stand out, but the most important one is the context of the swear. Swearing isn’t the only way to express concern, surprise, fear, etc., but it frequently shows up in those moments and any quick phrase said while showing that kind of reaction can come off with curse-like connotation.

Swears are more than just single words or phrases said in reaction to something shocking or otherwise notable– don’t forget insults! In some cases, they can have the same effect as swears and can be used as a replacement (”son of a bitch” comes to mind as something that can be said to a person but also as a generic swear).

Good luck with your language!


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Okay. I tried to start this like 100 times, and I always thought it was not good enough. The truth is that a story - mine, yours, it doesn’t matter - is not to be judged. Well, of course my illness is not my whole story, it doesn’t define who I am. But it’s a part of me.

So yeah, they discovered my scoliosis when I was 8. And honestly, it did not really affect me back then. I mean, I was just a little child, I didn’t even understand what this word meant. But when I got older and the scoliosis worse, I started to understand what I had. And yes, it began to affect me. The further affection was a word: back brace.