ZThemes

LET’S MAKE SOME MOTHERFUCKING MAPS

chrc:

YOU NEED

A BIG SHEET OF PAPER & A PENCIL

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SOME MOTHER FUCKING MACCARONI (MAKE SURE THEY’RE DRY BRO DON’T WANT NO STICKY-ICKY MAP)

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AIGHT THAT SHIT DON’T LOOK LIKE NO COUNTRY I KNOW (EXCEPT MAYBE AUSTRALIA FUCK THEM THOUGH)

ORGANIZE YOUR MACCARONI! MAKE SOME FUCKING COASTLINES!

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BETTER, BUT NOT FUCKING GOOD! WHATEVER, TRACE THE COASTLINE WITH YOUR PENCIL. BE SURE TO BE SLIGHTLY SQUIGGLY AND, OH, FUCK THOSE LITTLE ISLANDS YOU MADE THEY’RE NOT BIG ENOUGH TO BE WOBBLY ENOUGH SO YOU’RE BETTER OFF USING EITHER RICE (OR SIMILAR) OR JUST TRY TO MAKE SOME REALISTIC FUCKING ISLANDS (SPOILER: YOU WON’T)

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GOOD ENOUGH I GUESS WHATEVER LOOK AT THAT VAGUE SORT OF ISLAND/COUNTRY/CONTINENT SHAPED PIECE OF SHIT. SEE THE ISLANDS? I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO DAWG.

NOW TAKE A SHARPIE AND MAKE EVEN SQUIGGLIER FUCKING LINES AS YOU FILL IN YOUR ISOUNINENT

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LOOK AT THIS WONDERFUL PIECE OF SHIT IT TOOK ME LITERALLY TEN MINUTES TO MAKE TOPS AND NOW YOU JUST NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHERE TO PUT ALL YOUR DWARF-FUCKING ELVES AND LIZARD-PEOPLE WITH BOOBS

FUCKING GOOD JOB

carryalaser:

Journals, articles, books & texts, on folklore, mythology, occult, and related -to- general anthropology, history, archaeology

Some good and/or interesting (or hokey) ‘examples’ included for most resources.
tryin to organize & share stuff that was floating around onenote.

Journals (open access)
— Folklore, Occult, etc

— History, Archaeology

Journals (limited free/sub/institution access)

Books, Texts, Images etc.
— Folklore, Occult etc.

— History

Websites, Blogs
— Folklore, Occult etc.

— History 

Learning the Essentials of Plotting Your Novel

fictionwritingtips:

I get a lot of questions about plotting, so I figured I’d write up some tips on getting started. Learning how to plot your novel can be difficult, but it’s really all about knowing what your characters want and how they’re going to get it or attempt to get it. A character with motivations and goals will help focus your plot and get you to figure out where it needs to go. Here are a few essentials when it comes to plotting your novel:

Create a plot skeleton

It helps to first jot down the key elements of the story you want to tell. Creating a plot skeleton means getting down to the bare bones of your story. What’s most important? What scenes are essential to your story? Once you figure out those key scenes and have some semblance of a beginning, middle, and an end, you’ll see your story start to come together.

Work on a timeline

If you’re having trouble figuring out when you want things to happen, try working on a timeline. What event needs to happen first in order to lead into the next big event? Your story is going to have some ups and downs, so you need to make sure your story is paced well. You don’t want action, action, action without any rest for your readers. Learning to pace your novel well is an important skill to have as a writer. I suggest reading up on story arcs.

Focus on characters

Your characters will tell the story if you let them. Focusing on the wants and needs of all your characters will help build the plot for you. It’s sometimes as easy as that. Think about what your character wants and go from there. What journey will your character be in for? What does the antagonist want? How do they stand in the way of your protagonist? Think about how one action leads to the next.

Make sure your scenes connect

When telling a story you don’t want to keep saying “and then this happens”. Then you’re just stringing together events without thinking about how they build on each either. You need to think about the “but” in your story. Something like this helps; “Amy wanted to go the school dance, but her mother doesn’t want her to go.” This explains that Amy really wants to do something, but another person is standing in her way. You can begin to think about conflict and why Amy’s mother doesn’t want her to go. You can begin to piece together a story and connect the dots.

Flesh out your story

Once you have all the big scenes figured out, you can begin to add extra detail and flesh out your novel.  Spend more time thinking about your world and the specific details of your characters. Work on scenes that will help reveal the setting and all those character details. Figure out what interactions are necessary to give your readers important information. Each scene should work to push the story to its resolution.

Let your characters resolve their problems

It’s very important that you let your characters resolve their problems on their own. If you’re developing your characters along the way, the resolution should be a result of them finally gaining the power, knowledge, strength, etc., to fix things. I know not every story will be “resolved”, but if you want your protagonist to grow in some way they need to figure out their own problems instead of relying on other factors to get them through. A good plot shows how your characters learned to overcome their obstacles on their own.

-Kris Noel

Anonymous asked: I feel very frustrated because I feel that I have forgotten how to write a story. My mind is full of ideas but I don’t know how to put them on paper and this makes me feel very angry with myself. Sometimes, I think that I have read so much advice that I am confused. Right now, I’m just writing character profiles. But I want to write stories, but I can’t. What do you guys recommend that I should do? I don’t think we’ve addressed your particular predicament yet, so I’m going to do that now.
Listen, this is normal. What you are feeling, this confusion and sense of being overwhelmed, it’s completely normal.
Try this:
Walk around with a notebook or a few scraps of paper tomorrow and jot down ideas in your free time. Try to keep your ideas small, like a sentence or even just a phrase. “Johnny finds a secret door.” “Sanga won’t do her chores.” Mind map. Write down those little fragments of ideas and, if one strikes your fancy, circle it and mind map it while the idea is still fresh in your head. Again, try to keep your ideas in phrase-to-single-sentence format.
Take your ideas and your mind maps and write little scenes. Maybe they are just clips of dialogue back and forth. Whatever you like. Write out fragments of the story now instead of fragments of the idea. Keep it short (or not).
Expand. What happens between those little fragmented scenes? Maybe more little fragmented scenes, maybe chapters of story. Don’t think about it too much, just let the words flow. You don’t have to edit at this point. Don’t overthink your style or plot or character development. Just write.
Fill in. Everything that you haven’t written to complete the story? Yeah, write that in. You probably think it’s boring or else it might be really hard for you to write since you saved it for last. Write it anyway. No one said writing was easy.
Edit. Go through and streamline your story. Throw out stuff that didn’t work. Break up your action with exposition and vice versa (unless you don’t want to). Insert scenes or characters or plot points for clarity.
Proceed to next story. I don’t know what you want to do with the one you’ve just finished, but you do whatever you’re going to do with that one then move on to planning the next idea.
That’s a basic writing process. If that doesn’t work, let me know where you got stuck and we’ll go from there.
Some other tricks that I think might help:
Instead of trying to come up with some awesome beginning, just write “Once upon a time” and start somewhere. Literally anywhere will do.
“Once upon a time there was a coffee cup named China who was lactose intolerant.”
“Once upon a time they were fighting and he punched her in the face.”
“Once upon a time no one liked Garson Homily because his parents were weird.” The cool part about “Once upon a time” is that you can put it in front of any idea just to start writing that idea. It removes the pressure, the necessity to begin a sentence, because by the time you finish typing it you’re already four words in. And you can delete it later! I use it all the time when my fingers are stuck just hovering over my keyboard.
In our article This Is a Towel: Beginning and Developing Plot, we talk about three ideas (the first three under the link list) to expand plot. You mentioned that you write character profiles, so you’ve probably got characters in mind. Use these quick and dirty tips to come up with plot for those characters.
Writing well means writing often. In Lift Yourself from a Writing Depression, we list some methods for just developing the habit of writing every day. For you, it may be to try to write something in a narrative format every day. Writing is not like riding a bike. Once you learn what works for you, you can still fall out of practice, so it’s important to write often. Very few writers can get away with long periods of time away from pen and paper. Write a story or a piece of a story every single day whether you feel like it or not. Make yourself contribute or complete a narrative. Write drabbles. Work on your saga of Fred the Unicorn. Whatever. Just write.
Thank you for your question! Please don’t hesitate to shoot us another message. I hope some of this helped!
-C
Do you have a writing process? What is your method for writing stories?

W R I T E W O R L D: Creating a Process: Getting Your Ideas onto Paper (And into a Story) 

Starting Up Already

referenceforwriters:

I have all these ideas written down in a notebook and all worked out in my head i just can’t get myself to actually writing the stories. - foxy-lips

This is a problem I myself have encountered, and it’s extremely frustrating. There’s no exact cure for it but sitting down and trying to write. However, you may want to take a look at the ideas you’ve got in your notebook and decide if they are strong enough to be written at all. If you really like them and they really inspire you, the best you can do is get yourself in the mood and write already. Beware it might not come out right or perfect the first time, but we’re worried about writing right now. Don’t care about making it perfect in the first draft (or ever, because there’s no such thing as perfect).

If you’re experiencing Writer’s Block: 

  • Relax. I’ve gone through writing hiatuses too, where I can’t seem to even write a sentence. Sometimes I do and believe it’s not good enough, but at least I wrote something. Write when you feel like it. You’re not less of a writer because you can’t write for a while.
  • Try freewriting. Write it as it comes and worry about it later. Let the ideas flow and don’t care if they come out ridiculously. Don’t limit yourself! 
  • Don’t start at the beginning! Write that favorite line that you have in mind, then write the scene surrounding it, then write what came before and what came after it. Once you get out that part, you will most likely get your mind going. Don’t worry about what you can’t write, write what you can!

If you’re lacking motivation

  • We’ve got a lot of that. Sometimes, we just need someone to tell  us it’s okay that we struggle, that it is not uncommon, and that we just need a little push to get back on track. 

Too many ideas!

Also, this is an extra piece of advice I’m going to give to you and any writer that may experience this problem: Do. Your. Work. First. If your mind is a mess of ideas, organize and start from outside. 

-Alex

Anonymous: Any tips on building a world that has dramatically different cultures? I'm writing a comic and I'm trying to create a world with sci-fi, medieval and possibly western influences. I'm really worried my world is going to feel like patchwork and seem not at all plausible. The only thing I can think of that does this well is guild wars 2 so any examples you can give me that I can examine would be great.

thewritingcafe:

Look at genres like Space Western, New Old West, Sword and Gun, and Space Fantasy.

A good example of something that mixes new and old is Star Wars. They have light sabers (swords), the Force (magic), the  government plot (basically what happened with Ancient Rome), and the sci-fi tropes of robots, aliens, space ships, and more.

Firefly uses slang and aesthetics from the Old West, but there is also major East Asian (mostly Chinese) influence on the culture. They also use swords from time to time and old technology (horse-drawn carriages) is still in use in some places.

You just have to find a balance and you have to normalize it within your universe. Guns might be used in normal combat, but swords might be used for more meaningful deaths, ceremonies, trials, combat, and more. Aesthetics might come from one time period while technology might come from another. Medieval titles might be used, but they might wear futuristic Western clothes and use Western style guns that can turn into swords due to futuristic technology.

werenotinkansastoto:

10 things writers get wrong about EMS

I love y’all, but nothing jars me out of a story like something glaringly wrong with describing an EMS response in a story.  I don’t expect things to be 100% accurate when it comes to medicine by any means but here are the more obvious things.

1.  EMS does not come rushing into any violent situation.  Or at least we’re not supposed to.  Police needs to be on scene and declare that the scene is secure before we enter.  (We’re trained that if you enter before that you’ll just become another patient and tax resources.)

2.  We do not describe every treatment.  We’ll do our best to assure bystanders of treatment, but when shit gets real we will just load and go.

3.  If you decide to ride with us, you ride in the front.  A family member/friend riding in the back is just another distraction/stress.  We don’t have time to explain to you what’s happening.

4.  Doctor’s never automatically dictate treatment.  If you’re a doctor you need to prove to me your medical credentials and speak to my medical control and legally assume care of the patient.  The same goes for hospitals.  You cannot enter and automatically assume an ED or A&E is going to obey your commands.

5.  Seizures are generally short.  Somewhere between 60 to 90 seconds.  Anything longer than 4-5 minutes is considered Status Epilepticus and needs pharmaceutical intervention.  Anything longer than 2-3 minutes is generally abnormal but still below the range of SE.

6.  CPR is generally performed for 20-30 minutes on scene depending on your regional protocol.  Many urban systems now have something called a LUCAS device that mechanically does chest compressions leaving responders with free hands to deal with drugs and airway issues.  CPR is not performed for hours except under perhaps extraordinary circumstances, such as a child or somebody that was submerged in icy water.  (You’re not dead unless you’re warm and dead.)

7.  Call takers are generally not medically trained.  In my region they are but my understanding is that in many areas they are not.

8.  At least in my service areas the Fire Department responds on many critical medical emergencies.

9.  EMS personnel do not perform mouth to mouth.  Like…ever.  Even when I’m off duty I keep a mask in my car to provide mouth to mask ventilations.  

10.  Not related to writing at all but just expressing a personal pet peeve.  No you cannot follow the ambulance in your car.  I don’t care if you have your emergency lights on.  You following me is risking another patient.  There is nothing you can do for your loved one right now.  STOP