It is a hot and muggy summer evening hereabouts. Seemed like a perfect night to not really cook at all, so we had gazpacho along with good crusty bread and some cheese. Mm. That worked.

hornkerling replied to your post:5, 6
POV takes forever. I think it’s one of my strengths, too, mostly, but I’m still working on it. (May all our skills continue to evolve!) As someone who tips the balance of description into purple, or forgets to do it at all, I sympathize with 6.

Last year masseffectlove did a series of character appreciation weeks. I set myself a personal goal of writing at least a small something for each week, and then set a further goal (after the first week) of writing it in the relevant character’s POV. Some of them were much harder than others, but pushing myself to stretch in that way helped me grow a lot, I believe.

May all our skills continue to evolve, indeed!

You bear such heavy burdens.

21 August 2014 ♥ 1,629 notes    Reblog    
reblogged from donatello-hamato    source: discoart

sfdsg wow gives up


sfdsg wow gives up

21 August 2014 ♥ 353 notes    Reblog    High-Res
reblogged from donatello-hamato    source: discoart

If you’re a singer/songwriter fan, have you listened to Deb Talan/The Weepies?
Hell, or Emilie Autumn for that matter (though her newer stuff is more surreal Neo-Victorian gothic horror singer/songwriter stuff.)

I haven’t, actually, but I’ll check them out! Thanks!

coppermarigolds said: 31, 35?

31. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant?

My attitude on this one has shifted over the course of my fic-writing career. I used to try hard to make things canon-compliant; even when I was writing a non-canonical romantic relationship, I tried to fit it into canon events as seamlessly as I could (imagining that the participants were sufficiently discreet about their involvement that others didn’t know, for example).

More recently, I’ve gotten much more interested in alternate takes, and trying to incorporate canonical situations and dialogue can feel frustratingly confining.

I guess it’s something I struggle with, a bit, because I do want characterization to fit with canon, and I enjoy exploring those interstitial moments between scenes. I like trying to make canon make sense, but sometimes I really want to break free of it.

35. Would you ever kill off a canon character?

I’m going to assume this question means a canon character who doesn’t die in canon, because, well, Mass Effect. :P 

Sure. I’ve done it before, and I’ll probably do it again, if it suits the story.

I don’t tend to kill off my protagonists, though. I kind of like them to stay around being protagonists.

mynameiscloud replied to your post:32 & 33?
Oooh. “David and Lexa in a ludicrous situation” would have a lot of potential, don’t you think?

It would, if I could think of the right ludicrous situation! :D

mynameiscloud said: 32 & 33?

32. How do you feel about smut?

I like reading smut from time to time, although I don’t tend to read fanfic only for the smut. I also like writing it… but I use to write more of it. Lately it seems as though I have to be in just the right frame of mind, and also dealing with just the right set of characters. Some of them are a lot more, er, forthcoming about their bedroom activities than others.

33. How do you feel about crack?

It’s fun to read when I’m in the right mood. I think I like it best when the characters are in-character, just dealing with a ludicrous situation.

shadoedseptmbr said: 18 and 24?

18. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?

These days I write most stuff in Scrivener, and I use its note cards and cork board regularly. I do some outlining, though my outlines tend to be pretty sketchy. It’s becoming more necessary, I think, as some of my story ideas get more involved. Even so, they tend to be a list of “stuff that should happen” or scenes I have in mind.

24. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?

Already answered, but the short version is no.

This reminds me that I need to go find and rip my old Dar Williams CDs. I wonder where they’ve gotten to?

I do have a lot of CDs I haven’t ripped yet, myself. I should get on that at some point. I had a project to rip all the CDs a couple of years ago, but I didn’t finish.

I love seeing both Dar Williams AND Vienna Teng on your list!

Thank you! The music library is long on singer-songwriters.

Maybe I should shuffle it more often; I haven’t listened to some of these songs in a while, and some of them tie into fics better than I would have thought.

genginger said: Writing meme: 4, 24?

4. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?

Oh, gosh. Lots. There are probably a dozen ideas and partially-written ficlets in the Sewers to Stars continuity alone. There’s a DA fic I keep contemplating and not really pursuing. There’s some non-crossover TMNT stuff, and non-crossover ME stuff.

One that I mean to get back to once Divided Loyalties is done can be summarized this way: Val Shepard fires the Crucible and wakes up in some other Shepard’s universe. The more she sees of it, the less she likes it.

24. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?

No. There are older fics of mine that I now sort of sigh over, because they don’t feel like my best work any more—but they were the best work I felt capable of at the time I posted them, and there could be someone out there who loves them. I don’t want to take that away by removing the story.






Instead of whispered, consider:

  • murmured
  • mumbled
  • muttered
  • breathed
  • sighed
  • hissed
  • mouthed
  • uttered
  • intoned
  • susurrated
  • purred
  • said in an undertone
  • gasped
  • hinted
  • said low
  • said into someone’s ear
  • said softly
  • said under one’s breath
  • said in hushed tones
  • insinuated

These posts make me unreasonably cranky. So cranky, in fact, that every time a new one of these goddamn things crosses my dash, I’m just going to dissect them. Both for the edification of newer writers and because fuck these lists.

As mentioned in previous posts: These are not synonyms for whispered. You can’t use them interchangeably. Let’s go through them.

"Well," she whispered, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is speaking in a voice so low it’s become words made of breath, probably because she doesn’t want to be heard.

"Well," she murmured, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is saying this very quietly, but above a whisper. She may be talking to herself.

"Well," she mumbled, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is speaking under her breath in low enough tones that her words may sound unclear or slurred. Also very possibly talking to herself.

"Well," she muttered, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is speaking lowly, but more clearly than a mumble. She sounds angry, irritated, or dully frustrated.

"Well," she breathed, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Breathing words may mean relief, exasperation, or exhaustion, and sound half like a sigh. Oh, look—

"Well," she sighed, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

The character is almost certainly not happy. She’s speaking in a tired, heavy breath.

"Well," she hissed, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character’s words are coming out in low, very sharp breaths. She sounds angry, irritated, or maybe just in an intense moment.

"Well," she mouthed, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is using the barest hint of her voice, if any at all. Her lips are silently forming the syllables.

"Well," she uttered, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

Using uttered in this particular type of descriptive sense actually just sounds awkward. That said, ‘utter’ sounds like a word that implies speech in low yet strong and loud tones, well-enunciated, like someone preaching.

"Well," she intoned, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

The tone of her voice is dull and flat, with little variance in pitch. She is saying this without much emotion (intentionally or not).

Fuck “susurrated”.

"Well," she purred, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The manner she’s speaking in is silky, smooth, and particularly pleased; quite possibly smug. In this particular example, this implies she probably does have a choice about [whatever it is] and is being facetious.

"Well," she said in an undertone, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

This is bad, because an undertone is something that needs describing. That’s like saying “her dress was a color”.

"Well," she gasped, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

The character is speaking in a sharp intake of breath, probably brought on by surprise or shock. She could also be short of breath, being strangled or something.

"Well," she hinted, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character has particular (duh) hint-hint tones in her voice as she speaks to someone. One can just imagine her leaning over closer to their ear.

"Well," she said low, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Her voice has dropped below normal pitch, but is above a whisper. There’s a certain amount of dullness in the tone, probably.

"Well," she said, into his ear, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

This implies nothing about the actual voice, just that she’s literally speaking right into his ear (perhaps at normal volume, which would be painful). It doesn’t, on its own, carry any connotations of tone or emotion.

"Well," she said softly, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

I have a personal beef with the word “softly” on account of writers in a certain area of a certain MMO that use that word for fucking everything; speech, movement, touch, footsteps, because it helps to passively describe their character as delicate and pretty or something.

It’s a personal beef. There’s nothing really wrong with the word. Moving on.

Saying something softly implies not only a lowered pitch but a certain gentleness (or at least lack of weight) in tone.

"Well," she said under her breath, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

This is very like muttered, murmured, etc — it sounds (dur) breathier, and is more likely to imply a person talking to themselves.

"Well," she said in hushed tones, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Now you’re getting closer to an equal term for “whispered”; hushed tones could mean that, or half-whispered. It does imply a certain amount of whisperiness or breathiness. It also implies a deliberate attempt to be quiet.

"Well," she insinuated, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Like with ‘uttered’, this feels grammatically weird in that it’s usually a thing a person describes another person as doing (“Greg didn’t say it, but he insinuated it!”), but whatever. It’s similar to hinting; it means you’re trying to imply or subtly convey something, but has nothing to do with actual whispers.

tl;dr Those words are all different, these lists are terrible writing advice and people need to stop pulling tangentially-related words from the thesaurus and saying they all mean the same thing.


as i tell my students:

"use the precise word, not the word that kinda sorta fits or ‘sounds more impressive’ “

use exactly the word you MEAN

21 August 2014 ♥ 452,368 notes    Reblog    
reblogged from teadrinkingdragon    source: writeworld

Tagged by genginger!

You can tell a lot about someone by the music they listen to. Hit shuffle on your Phone/Tablet/Internet Radio/Media player and write down the first 10 songs. Then pass this on to another people.

  1. Emm Gryner - Lonestar
  2. Dougie Maclean - Ready for the Storm
  3. Anna Ternheim - Come to Bed
  4. Dar Williams - Beautiful Enemy
  5. REM - Imitation of Life
  6. Calexico - No Te Vayas
  7. Shawn Colvin - 84,000 Different Delusions
  8. Vienna Teng - My Medea
  9. Lucy Kaplansky - Off and Running
  10. Eliza Gilkyson - Rose of Sharon

That… seems like a fair representation.

hornkerling said: 5, 6

5. Share one of your strengths.

I think I’m good at getting into different character POVs and writing as they would think or speak.

This was not a thing that came naturally; this was something I worked at over quite some time by trying to do it. I believe firmly that writing is a collection of skills that can be improved more than an innate talent.

6. Share one of your weaknesses.

My standard answer to this is “plot,” but I think I’m actually getting better on that front, so I’m going to say something different. I don’t think I’m great at descriptive writing, especially at working physical description in in a way that’s not intrusive. (i.e. “She stared into the mirror at her [detailed physical description]”) Writing mostly fanfic means the appearance of most characters and settings can be taken for granted, but it would be nice to do better at this.