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Damn it Procrastination!


Her consistent mispronunciation of “rendezvous” did not help at all.

FightWrite: Your Killers Need to Kill


Killers need to kill. It’s surprising how many writers ignore this very specific and important piece of the ones they claim are killers, heartless or not. Sometimes, there’s a difference between the character we describe in the text and the actions the character takes. An author can tell me over and over that a character is a deadly and dangerous person who strikes ruthlessly without mercy, but if they don’t behave that way in the actual story then I’m not going to buy it.

Show versus tell: the difference between who the author says the character is and the actions the character takes in the story. Especially if the actions counteract the description. Now, you do have characters who lie, characters who misrepresent themselves, characters who say one thing and do another, but these are not the characters we’re talking about. This is about ensuring that you, the author, know the character you are writing. Unless you’re hiding their habits, let us glimpse the worst they’re capable of.

Monster. I could tell Jackson I was a monster, but he wouldn’t believe me. He saw a strawberry blonde, five feet eleven inches. A waitress, a Pilates nut, not a murderer. The nasty scar across my slim waist that I’d earned when I was ten? He thought I’d gotten it from a mugging at twenty one. Just as a natural layer of womanly fat hid away years of physical conditioning, I hid myself behind long hair, perky makeup, and a closet full of costumes bought from Macy’s and Forever 21. To him, I was Grace Johnson. The woman who cuddled beside him in bed, the woman who hogged the sheets, who screamed during horror movie jump scares, the woman who forgot to change the toilet paper, who baked cookies every Saturday morning, the woman who sometimes wore the same underwear three days in a row. The woman he loved.

No, I thought as I studied his eyes. Even with a useless arm hanging at my side, elbow crushed; my nose smashed, blood coursing down from the open gash in my forehead, a bullet wound in my shoulder, Sixteen’s gun in my hand, the dining room table shattered, and his grandmother’s China scattered across the floor. He’d never believe Grace Johnson was a lie. Not until I showed him, possibly not even then. Not for many more years to come. Probably, I caught my mental shrug, if he lives.

“Grace,” Jackson said. “Please…” The phone clattered the floor, his blue eyes wide, color draining from his lips. “This isn’t you.”

Gaze locking his, I levered Sixteen’s pistol at her knee.

“Don’t,” she whispered. “Morrison will take you in, he’ll fix this.” Her voice cracked, almost a sob. For us, a destroyed limb was a death sentence. Once, we swore we’d die together. Now, she can mean it. “Thirteen, if you run then there’s no going back.”

My upper lip curled. “You don’t know me.” I had no idea which one I was talking to. “You never did.”

My finger squeezed the trigger.

Sixteen grunted, blood slipping down her lip. In the doorway, Jackson screamed.

Do it and mean it. Let it be part of their character development, regardless of if which way you intend to go. In the above example, there’s a dichotomy present between the character of Thirteen and her cover Grace Johnson. There’s some question, even for the character, about which of them they are. It sets up a beginning of growth for the character as she runs, but it also fails to answer what will be the central question in the story: who am I? Which way will I jump?

If Thirteen doesn’t kill Sixteen, if the scene answers the question at the beginning then why would you need to read the story?

Below the cut, we’ll talk about some ways to show their struggles.


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(via thewritingcafe)

Character Development Questions #6


  1. How does your character handle finances? Are they a big spender or a careful saver?
  2. Has your character ever gotten in trouble with the law? If so, what for? Does this ever come back to affect them?
  3. Is your character particularly interested in a certain historical period? If so, what about it appeals to them?
  4. What are your character’s political beliefs? If your character is from a fictional world, are there political parties or groups that share these beliefs?
  5. If your character is from a world where magic is real/common, what would they do if they suddenly ended up in a non-magical world? Or if they just lost their powers?
  6. How many past sexual partners has your character had, if any? How do they feel about one night stands/hookups/other “promiscuous” sex? Is that something they ever have/would engage in?
  7. How “self-aware” is your character within the story (i.e. a fantasy story where they find out they’re the chosen one and call it cliche, or a sci-fi story where they compare their life to Star Wars)?
  8. If your character is the narrator of the story, are they a reliable narrator? Or do they often omit/embellish things to swing the reader’s opinion a certain way?
  9. Has your character ever traveled outside the country if their birth? If so, what for? And if not, do they ever want to?
  10. Would your character ever put themselves in danger to help a complete stranger? If so, how bad would a situation have to be for your character not to help someone?
  11. Just for Fun: Your character hits the jackpot lottery and is suddenly a millionaire. What’s their first purchase?


  1. Ottonian crown on display at Essen’s cathedral treasury, ca. 1100. Long believed to be the infant crown of king of Romans Otto III
  2. Long called the Crown of St. Louis and thought to have been made in Paris, the Crown of Liège, acquired by the Louvre in 1947, is now known to be a Mosan piece (late 13th century)
  3. Crown of Elizabeth Kotromanic (born ca. 1339) in Zadar, given by Louis I of Hungary

Crafting Stronger Scenes


Scenes make up the entire structure of your novel, so it’s important to know how to do this well. Very often, a new scene is identified by the start of a new chapter, but it can also be a few paragraphs/pages long. Identifying a scene is the first step.

Here is the technical definition: A scene is a unit of story that takes place at a specific location and time. If those change, you have a new scene. Your story will be illogical is it has no semblance of scene or scene changes, so this is very important.

It helps to think of each scene as its own story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Each scene needs to be necessary and advance the plot in some way, just like every other detail of your writing. However, each scene plays into the bigger story of your novel. They all build on each other.

Here are a few tips to improve the way you write scenes and communicate with your audience:

Cut out unnecessary information.

Your writing will improve drastically if you can figure out the point of each scene. What are you trying to say? What are you revealing about your characters? Each scene should add to the overall story and give us a sense of where our characters are going.  Any scene that doesn’t do this should be cut. This helps keep your novel flowing and will prevent your writing from getting boring.

Goal, conflict, and distaster/resolution.

This is pretty standard formula for crafting a strong scene.  What goal is your character trying to accomplish? What is the conflict and what stands in their way? What happens as a result of their actions? How will they resolve this problem? Obviously not every scene will have a resolution, but the disaster should lead into the next scene.  Think about these things when you’re constructing your novel. If a scene doesn’t seem to have a point, cut it. If you feel like your novel is dragging, keep a look out for scenes like this.

Don’t prematurely cut to a new scene.

Your scenes need to flow, so if you’re constantly cutting to new scenes your novel will feel disjointed. For example, if a character dies you can’t just cut to new action without any of the characters dealing with it. Don’t go from place to place or time to time without developing the story properly or using transitions. Let us stay with a scene until it leads to something else that drives the story forward. Writing up an outline will help with this.

-Kris Noel

(via characterandwritinghelp)


Hello, writerly friends, the VWA is back in session!

What is the VWA?

The Virtual Writing Academy is a weekly writing class where we explore strange writing exercises. This is NOT a lecture. You are not going to learn by listening— but by doing. So, take out your notebooks because we are going to write!

In this week’s episode: I make you hella sad as we explore the harsh life of being a ‘hero.’ Make sure to have tissues handy, because you’ve just boarded the Feels Train c;

Missed our previous classes? Check out the playlist!

If you want more writing advice videos subscribe to me on Youtube, and, if you want your daily dose of writerly advice and prompts, then make sure follow my blog: maxkirin.tumblr.com! ♥︎


Portuguese history meme — eleven moments [3/11]

Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil (1807)

This transfer refers to the escape of the Bragança royal family and its court of nearly 15,000* people (*this number is still disputed) from Lisbon on 29 November 1807. The royal family departed for the Portuguese colony of Brazil just a day before Napoleonic forces invaded Lisbon, lead by Junot. The Portuguese crown remained in Brazil from 1808 until the Liberal Revolution of 1820 led to the return of João VI of Portugal on 26 April 1821. For thirteen years, Rio de Janeiro functioned as the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal in what some historians call a “metropolitan reversal” (i.e., a colony exercising governance over the Portuguese empire.)

In 1807, at the outset of the Peninsular War, Napoleonic forces invaded Portugal due to the Portuguese alliance with the United Kingdom. The Prince Regent of Portugal at the time, future João VI, had formally governed the country on behalf of his mother, Queen Maria I, since 1799. In August, France told Portugal to cut ties with Great Britain. In late October, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed by France and Spain, and proposed a division of the Kingdom of Portugal between all signatories. In mid to late November, the first French troops reach Portugal.

A difficult choice, Prince Regent João delayed it until he no longer could. He signed treaties with the French and pretended to submit, but secretly agreements were made with the British, preparing a possible transfer for Brazil (not a new idea for Portugal). The Portuguese Prince even suggested to the English King George III the declaration of a fictitious war between Portugal and Britain. When in late November the official newspaper of the French government declared that the House of Bragança no longer ruled in Europe, the Prince Regent ordered the transfer of the Portuguese royal court to Brazil before he could be deposed and the royal family arrested.

The escape was prepared in a hurry, families were separated, and some baggage and belongings were left behind (e.g. the churches’ silverware later confiscated by the French). Prince Regent João, Queen Maria I, and Prince Pedro and Infante Miguel were all on the same ship; a decision which could have had tragic consequences in case of shipwreck. Carlota Joaquina (Prince João’s wife) and the Infantas were on another ship. Setting sail for Brazil on 29 November 1807, and after a delayed departure of two days due to bad weather, the royal party navigated under the protection of the British Royal Navy, reaching the Brazilian coast in the first months of 1808.

Curiously, in his memoirs, Napoleon Bonaparte said that João VI of Portugal was the only one who deceived him.

images: [x] [x]  // info: [x] [x] [x] [x]

(via shunpiked)



1938 Buick Y-Job

The Y-Job is one of the most stunning automobiles ever designed, the perfect wedding of the deco aesthetic and Detroit engineering. This serves many Dieselpunk characters well: the dashing socialite, the flamboyant villain, the mad inventor, the ostentatious politician…

(via coffeebuddha)

How to write an irresistible book blurb in five easy steps


Your blurb will be an important part of your marketing. It is vital to get a reader’s attention. To write a good blurb, you have to make it short. Cut out sub-plots. Add tension to make it dramatic. Try not to mention more than two character’s names, and promise your audience a read they won’t forget.

I’ve come up with this easy acronym to help you create a blurb. I call it SCOPE. Follow these five steps and see if it works for you.

Possible Solution
Emotional Promise

  1. Setting: All stories involve characters who are in a certain setting at a certain time. 
  2. Conflict: A good story places these characters in a situation where they have to act or react. A good way to start this part of your blurb is with the words: But, However, Until
  3. Objective: What do your characters need to do?
  4. Possible Solution: Offer the reader hope here. Show them how the protagonist can overcome. Give them a reason to pick up the book. Use the word ‘If’ here.
  5. Emotional Promise: Tell them how the book will make them feel. This sets the mood for your reader.

I saw The Edge of Tomorrow today, and I decided to write a blurb using this formula.


  1. London. The near future. Aliens have invaded Earth and colonised Europe. Major William Cage is a PR expert for the US Army which is working with the British to prevent the invaders from crossing the English Channel. Battle after battle is lost until an unexpected victory gives humanity hope.
  2. But the enemy is invincible. A planned push into Europe fails and Cage finds himself in a war he has no way to fight, and he dies. However, he wakes up, rebooted back a day every time he dies.
  3. He lives through hellish day after day, until he finds another soldier, Sergeant Rita Vrataski, who understands what he can do to fight the enemy. Cage and Vrataski have to take the fight to the aliens, learning more after each repeated encounter.
  4. If they succeed, they will destroy the enemy, and save Earth.
  5. This thrilling action-packed science fiction war story will show you how heroes are made and wars can be won. Against the odds.

SCOPE will work for any blurb. Why don’t you try it?

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may enjoy How to write a query letter in 12 easy steps and How to write a one-page synopsis

(via characterandwritinghelp)



Judgement Day
Pick one of your secondary characters:
Write a scene where this character is facing judgement for the crimes they did in their life. What is the verdict?

Want to publish a story inspired by this prompt? Click here to read the guidelines~ ♥︎ And, if you’re looking for more writerly content, make sure to follow me: maxkirin.tumblr.com!



Judgement Day

Pick one of your secondary characters:

Write a scene where this character is facing judgement for the crimes they did in their life. What is the verdict?

Want to publish a story inspired by this prompt? Click here to read the guidelines~ ♥︎ And, if you’re looking for more writerly content, make sure to follow me: maxkirin.tumblr.com!