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September 2014
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Michelle Rodriguez laying down truths

That third gif also sums up the reason why so many queer women in fiction get treated like shit and why we barely get acknowledged as existing at all

These pathetic excuses for writers have no idea how to write a woman who doesn’t want to fuck a man

September 2014
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Dullhypotheses’ Guide to Rehab (Part 1, probably)

A few months back, I was admitted into a rehabilitation center because my depression hit its lowest point. Now, however, I am feeling much better and though to share my experience with the rest of you, whether it be to include in your writing, in the background of your character, or just for your own personal use.
Disclaimer though: Not all rehabs works the same way. Different rehabilitation centers have different styles — some more lax, and others more strict. The type of rehab I was in is not the only type of rehab there is, but it is one type.
There’s probably going to be a part two, since I finished this and thought there should be some more, but for now, I guess this is it! Hope this helps! 
If you have any further questions about life in rehab, feel free to send me an ask!

Under the cut, you will find sections about:

i. Basic Overviewii. Confidentiality and Anonymityiii. Staff: Nurses and Houseparents, the Program Coordinator, Case Managersiv. Safety of Belongings and of the Studentsv. Medicine and Foodvi. Daily Schedulevii. Group Therapy Sessions and Activitiesviii. Behavioral Modifications and Privilegesix. The Studentsx. The Stigma that comes with Rehab

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Dullhypotheses’ Guide to Rehab (Part 1, probably)
A few months back, I was admitted into a rehabilitation center because my depression hit its lowest point. Now, however, I am feeling much better and though to share my experience with the rest of you, whether it be to include in your writing, in the background of your character, or just for your own personal use.

Disclaimer though: Not all rehabs works the same way. Different rehabilitation centers have different styles — some more lax, and others more strict. The type of rehab I was in is not the only type of rehab there is, but it is one type.

There’s probably going to be a part two, since I finished this and thought there should be some more, but for now, I guess this is it! Hope this helps!

If you have any further questions about life in rehab, feel free to send me an ask!

Under the cut, you will find sections about:

i. Basic Overview
ii. Confidentiality and Anonymity
iii. Staff: Nurses and Houseparents, the Program Coordinator, Case Managers
iv. Safety of Belongings and of the Students
v. Medicine and Food
vi. Daily Schedule
vii. Group Therapy Sessions and Activities
viii. Behavioral Modifications and Privileges
ix. The Students
x. The Stigma that comes with Rehab

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#drugs   #rehab   
September 2014
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Things I Never Learned In High School




  • How to do taxes
  • What taxes are
  • How to vote
  • What political parties are
  • How to write a resume/cover letter/anything related to getting a job
  • How to write a check/balance a check book
  • Anything to do with banking
  • How to do loans for college
  • How to jump start a car or other basic emergency things
  • How to buy a car or house

but I’m so glad I know the fucking pythagorean theorem

thank you

didn’t learn any of this in college either

yoooooo (part II)


#research   #life   
September 2014
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Internal consistency


It’s most important in science fiction and fantasy, but applies across the board. In short, your story needs to make sense and be consistent with its own rules.

Know your story’s rules

It’s perfectly reasonable to write them down in a separate document, because depending on the genre you are writing it can be difficult to keep track of every single little thing. You don’t want to change a rule, or break one by accident.

Those can be questions like, how does FTL travel work, your magic system, laws of physics, whatever rules or laws govern the behavior of your characters and/or world such as costums, religion, eitquette.

Are your characters consistent?

Basically, are they behaving in-character? That’s a much more difficult question to answer, but you should be able to figure it out if you know your characters well. For example, a peace-loving type better have a really good reason for busting out the chainsaw and going on a spree. Everything is fair game, but their motivations have to make sense.

If you are breaking your own rules, have a very good reason

But above all, foreshadow and explain why this time is different. Have plausible reasons and don’t techno-babble your way out like Star Trek does far too often. Just be consistent with your nonesense.

If you want to throw questions at me, my askbox is always open.

- Matt

September 2014
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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.


Read More

September 2014
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Anonymous asked

Hi. My character is an Emergency Medical Tech. Do you have any guides about that? Or writing medical scenes? Really, anything will help.
#medical research   #EMT   #EMTs   #careers   #jobs   #occupations   #characters   
September 2014
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The Writer’s Guide to Distinguishing Marks on Characters


So, I was filling out my little character chart thing and got to “Prominent/Distinguishing Features.” What are those? What could they be? I wanted my character to be interesting, so did some research. Then I thought, why not create a little guide for other authors? So, here you go. My “Writer’s Guide to Distinguishing Marks on Characters!” Have fun creating different, interesting characters with cool (or perhaps, not cool) marks.

This is by no means a complete list, but it’s something. All information came from webmd.com.

Freckles and Such


These are growths on the skin, usually brown or black, that can appear anywhere. They come alone as well as in groups. Most moles appear in early childhood or during the first 30 years of a person’s life. Most adults have anywhere from 10-40.

Moles can change as years pass, becoming raised, changing colors, developing hairs, or even disappearing. They may darken after sun exposure or during pregnancy.

Your character can have a mole that isn’t disgusting looking; moles do not have to detract from physical appearance.


Small brown spots usually found on the face and arms. More common during the summer and on lighter-skinned people (and people with red hair). Think about the amount of freckles your character has, because these range from across the nose to everywhere on the face.


There is not yet a known cause, but birthmarks are colored skin spots that are present at birth or develop shortly after birth. They can be brown, tan, black, pale blue, pink, white, red, or purple. Some birthmarks are colorations of the surface of the skin; others are raised above the surface of the skin or extend into the tissues under the skin.

Red birthmarks: Colored markings that develop before or shortly after birth. They have to do with blood vessels somehow.

Pigmented birthmarks: Skin markings present at birth. Like…

Mongolian spots: Bluish and similar to bruises in appearance. Often on the butt or lower back but also on trunk and arms. More common in darker skinned people.

Café-au-lait spots: Light tan or light brown spots, usually ovular in shape. (I have one of these).


A common type of vascular (having to do with blood vessels) tumor which occurs (usually) early in life and resembles a birthmark. Usually harmless and painless. Port-wine stains are the only type that are permanent (again, usually), unless they were treated at some point. Port-wine stains are flat purple or red birthmarks often on the face.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has a port wine stain on his forehead, if you want to find a reference picture.


A spot on the skin that is darker than the surrounding skin, caused by exposure to sun. Kinda like a birthmark, except it happens later in life. Usually on the face or hands. (I have a spot like this on my leg, too. Atleast I think it’s this. It looks like I just dropped a drop of tanning cream on my leg or something. Idk.)


There are many types of scarring. Scars are caused by wounds to the body like cuts and burns. These can be any shape and occur anywhere. Scars do fade over time and become less noticeable.

Keloid scars: Result of an overly aggressive healing process. They may hamper movement, and are more common among darker skinned people.

Contracture scars: Burn scars. They tighten skin, which can impair movement.

Hypertrophic scars: Raised, red scars.

Acne scars: Result of, obviously, acne. These can be anything from deep pits to scars angular or wavelike in appearance.


Redness of the skin (some times pimples also); this is a skin disease.

Skin can also become red due to allergies- rashes- so perhaps think about your character’s allergies.

Age Marks


All aged people have them, really. Folds in the skin due to the thinning of skin, loss of elasticity, inability to retain moisture, less efficient oil glands, and slower healing rates.

Wrinkles are also caused my smoking, so if your character is a long time smoker they may have more wrinkles.

Skin Tags

Small flaps of tissue that hang off the skin. They aren’t dangerous. They are found most commonly on women, especially with weight gain, or in elderly people.


Not a distinguishing mark, per say, but I might as well add it. It’s harmless but mildly embarrassing and sometimes itchy, so if your character has dandruff their scalp may itch. Dandruff has nothing to do with hair and everything to do with your scalp- it’s white flakes of dry skin. Also, it can apparently get worse with stress and cold, dry winters.

Other Distinguishing Marks


It’s really a series of puncture woulds that carry dye. The dye is in the scar tissue (hence, permanent, even as we loose layer after layer of skin). Also, tattoos may be swollen with some crusting on the surface at first. It may ooze small amounts of blood for 24 hours, and also may ooze clear, yellow, or blood-tinged fluid for several days. Ew.


You can pierce many parts of your body. Obviously, the most common is the earlobe. Cartilage piercings take longer to heal than earlobe piercings. Other popular sites are the mouth and tongue, the nose, eyebrows, navel, and genital area. Piercing sites can also swell or ooze some fluid at first. Think about your character’s allergies as well- many people are allergic to different types of metal.

Stuff to think about

Does your character squint? Maybe their nose is forever crooked after breaking their nose one too many times? There are a lot of diseases that can leave marks as well! Characters are like blank sheets, you get to mark them up. (That sounds kinda mean, but… you’re the author! It’s your job!)

September 2014
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How to Do Research for Your Novel


When does research become a bad thing? When writers use it as an excuse not to start writing yet. I’ve seen writers spend ten years researching a novel that not only didn’t require such exhaustive background research; it would have been better off without it. Still other writers love doing research so much—or at least they say they do—that they never write at all. It’s like being a perpetual student, staying in school and earning degree after degree to put off venturing out into the real world.

Research has its rightful place in the novel writing process and is in fact vital to many kinds of stories. The keys to keeping it under control is to understand that there are two kinds of research for the novelist; know which kind should be done when and know when not to do research at all.

Background Research

The first kind of research, the kind in which some writers mire themselves as a means of putting off actually writing, is background research. Background research is exactly what it sounds like: investigating an era, a subject, an industry, or whatever is necessary to come up with a believable plot for your novel.

Background research is necessary when you have an idea for a novel that is either set in an unfamiliar time or place or is about a subject that you know so little about, you can’t even begin to construct a story until you know more.

Imagine, for example, a writer with an idea for a novel set in the field of nature preservation. His lead character is a forest ranger. Though he has the vaguest notion of a story idea, he hasn’t a notion of exactly what forest rangers do all day. And he must know this before he can start putting a story together, before he can start stringing actions together for his lead character.

This article isn’t about how to research. You know what the various methods are, from consulting books and other printed materials in libraries to surfing the Net to conducting informational interviews. This article is about how much research to do.

How can you avoid falling into the perpetual research trap, yet still learn enough to work with? By setting out concrete questions for yourself before you even begin. In most cases the writers who mire themselves in research and never get to writing the novel itself use what I call the “immersion approach”. They read book after book, fill notebook upon notebook with notes, in an effort to insert themselves as deeply as possible into their subject. There is no real plan to their work—all books on the subject are fair game; it’s impossible to go too deep; no detail is unimportant. It’s all in the name of immersion.

If, on the other hand, you force yourself to compile a list of questions you need answers to before you can build your story, you’ve already gone a long way toward limiting the research phase.

Let’s take our forest ranger example. Our hypothetical writer has a vague notion for a thriller set in the world of nature conservation; his premise is: “Suppose a man [the forest ranger] discovered that his best friend, a fellow ranger, was murdering animals and selling their [what?] on the black market.”

Our writer must ask himself what basic information he needs to begin devising his story. Here are some likely questions:

  • What animal products are sold on the black market? (Fur, skin, tusks, etc.)
  • Around which of these products is there likeliest to be violence/danger?
  • In what countries does this illicit selling occur?
  • Are the animals that provide these products protected? Where? (Protected forests, jungles, savannas, etc.)
  • What are the people called whose job it is to protect these places?
  • What are these people’s primary activities in performing their jobs?
  • Do these people work from any sort of headquarters on or near the land they protect, or do they move about, with no central headquarters?
  • If they do work from a headquarters, where would it be?
  • What would the headquarters be like? (Building, cabin, tower, etc.)
  • How many people would work in one facility? On one protected area? Are there shifts so that protection is constant?
  • If there is more than one person, how do they communicate?

And so on. Questions lead to more questions. When the actual research begins, yet more questions inevitably arise. But the research process has been shaped into a finite project. Each question is tackled, one at a time, and when it’s answered, the novelist moves on to the next one. If the novelist resists the temptation to be sidetracked, which can lead to dangerous immersion, then the background research process has a definite end, and the plotting phase can begin.

When Not to Do Background Research

More than once I have advised a writer faced with extensive background research to reconsider her project entirely. In these instances it was clear that although the writer had a strong interest in the subject she was about to research, her absolute lack of knowledge of this subject made research impractical; the learning curve was too steep. To conduct the research necessary to achieve even a rudimentary knowledge of the subject would take so long that by the time the book itself was written, too much time would have passed, causing too long a time span. Publishers want books good and fast—usually no more than a year apart. In terms of career strategy, sometimes a project simply isn’t practical.

When I decided to write my own fiction, I knew I would write amateur-sleuth mysteries, because what I most enjoy reading is amateur-sleuth mysteries, both contemporary and historical. I was torn, however, between two ideas.

One idea was to write a mystery series featuring a sleuth who was a literary agent in a present-day New Jersey village and who was helped in her detecting by her cat. The other idea was to feature as my detective an alchemist in medieval London. On reflection, I realized that despite my extensive reading of novels set in the medieval period, I would have an enormous amount of research to do—research that would probably have to be added to for each novel in my series.

On the other hand, I am a literary agent, I live in a small town in New Jersey, and a number of cats have owned me. For this idea, there would be no learning curve at all. Because I’m an agent, making my living selling books, when it comes to decisions such as this I’m practical if nothing else. My choice was clear. I would follow the age-old adage “Write what you know.” Thus, Jane Stuart and Winky of Shady Hills, New Jersey, were born.

Think hard about any project you’re considering that will require too long a research period. Sometimes, in terms of your career, the learning curve is just too steep.

Spot Research

The other kind of research is what I call spot research. It’s the small piece of information you need at a precise moment in the plotting or writing of your novel. What’s the actual name of rat poison? What kind of wood would that table be made of? What’s a town about fifteen miles south of Stamford, Connecticut?

As with background research, writers often use an item of spot research as an excuse to stop plotting or writing and start searching. Entire days can be spent looking for a tiny item of information—days that will likely spoil the flow and momentum of your work.

Items that require spot research are items that matter but can wait until you’re done. When you’re plotting or writing your novel and one of these items arises, don’t stop; signify that you’ll have to research this later by typing “[????]” or “TO COME” or the old journalist’s expression, ‘tk” (to come). At the same time, jot on a piece of paper that you’ve headed “Research” and place it near your keyboard. Thus, in your manuscript you type:

If Gail had headed south on Route 17, she’d definitely have passed through Paramus and then [????].

And on your Research sheet you write:

Town south of Paramus.

When I’m plotting or writing a novel, I force myself never to stop to do spot research. I do all of that when my first draft is completed and printed out. Since I don’t let myself stop to research, I have no excuse to stop writing. I counsel the novelists I represent, especially the ones on tight deadlines, to follow this practice, and I counsel you to do the same.

— Evan Marshall

September 2014
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Anonymous asked

Hello! So I am absolutely terrible at arguing, but my OC is not supposed to be. He is way more persuasive and clever than I am, and he can easily win a debate, so how can I RP someone who is far above my level? I'm afraid of writing weak arguments that will make him look stupid.

It’s actually really easy to be good at arguments and debates, especially if you’re in an rp setting and can make shit up. :D Here are some personal tips from me on how to construct an argument. Remember the PEA! Point, evidence, analysis. Before constructing any argument, try to know what your point is. Try to write a topic sentence, as concise as possible, like “The Avengers will kick the X-Men ass in a battle located in New York City”. Evidence! Try to have at least three pieces of evidence possible in order to back up your point, and always analyze this evidence afterwards. “Because The Avengers have Captain America” Evidence! “Who really has a nice ass and no one can beat his ass cause he has the best one, duh!” Analysis! “Because Wolverine will totally help the Avengers. As seen in graphic novel blah blah blah, Wolverine’s loyalty lies with the Avengers and not with the X-Men.” That’s basically how I would do it in any sort of essay writing slash pseudo debate scenario. 

Here are some links to help you with constructing arguments:

Depending on how you want to play your character, there are a lot of ways to be persuasive. Your character can be more intellectual, coming up with good points to persuade someone to do good. Or, your character can be cunning and achieve it through subtle psychological hints and body language. For example, if you’re drinking with someone, every time that person laugh, by taking a drink you can make them associate the happy and free feeling of being drunk with you. So they naturally listen to you more. Obviously, that’s really sneaky, so it’s up to your character traits on whether that would be included. All persuasive characters have one thing in common and that’s confidence. So as the writer, you have to be confident in what your character’s motivations are. Be sure that you know why your character is persuading someone to do as such. Is it because they always want to be right? Or, is it because they are more manipulative?

Here are some links to help:

And for playing someone more clever than you are, google helps. Really. I’m currently playing an electrical engineer and I have no idea how to even begin. But it’s always about the research. When a specific topic comes up like, building a tiny robot camera, I google how to build a robot camera. It’s legitimately all I do for every character. When I roleplay Hawkeye, I think I had thirty tabs open at one point telling me how to shoot an arrow and how to calculate wind direction affecting said arrow. So you know, bullshit a little bit, and google a little bit. Throw really long words at your roleplayer and it’s all good. 

Here are some links:

Hope that helps!

September 2014
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10 Things NOT to say to Adoptees


1.    Do you know your REAL parents?

My “real” parents are the ones raising me. The term you are looking for is: biological parent, bio parents, or birth mother/father.

2.    Why did your mom give you up?

Again- it’s birth mom, and she did not “give me up.” She placed me for adoption because she thought that was the best option for everyone involved. 

3. Why didn’t your birth mom want you?

Many birth mothers DO want their babies, but they decide that doing so would be detrimental to her life as well as the child’s. 

4.What if your mom had aborted YOU?

This is usually said to me before the person discovers I’m adopted AND ITS MY FAVORITE. My birth mother almost did abort me and she aborted a pregnancy before mine, and guess what, I still vehemently support her right to do so. My birth mother carried me as a GIFT to my parents and me. She was in no way obligated to do it and it wasn’t easy. Saying she shouldn’t have the right to abort is a slap in the face to her CHOICE. Because that’s what it was. A choice. NOT an obligation. 

So in short, don’t ask this unless you want to completely lose your argument.

5. God blessed your parents when he gave them you!

Well first he tormented them with years of infertility, 6 ectopic pregnancies, and some very dangerous miscarriages. Oh, and it was my birth mom that “blessed” them with a child. 

6. Where are you from?

This is not one I experience, but many trans-national and trans-racial adoptees HATE this one. It’s mostly annoying because you’re basically asking why they don’t “match” the physical appearance of their adoptive family, but there’s also the fact that they’re not really “from” another country. If they were adopted at a young age, they probably don’t remember living in their birth country.

7. How much did you cost?

Ummm, I was not sold. The phrase you are looking for is: “How much did the adoption process cost?” Adoptions are expensive, but you’re not paying for the child. You pay for lawyer fees, home studies, and agency fees, NOT the child. 

8. What was the orphanage like?

If you’re talking to a domestic adoptee, this just tells us you have absolutely no idea how adoption works. No, I was not dropped off at an orphanage. In America (and Canada),very very very few children ever stay in an orphanage. There are only a handful left and most are for special needs children. When a child is placed for adoption, they stay with foster parents or the couple that is planning to adopt them.

As for trans-national adoptees- if they actually did spend time in an orphanage, that may not be an experience they want to talk about with just anyone, so don’t be a dick.

9. WOW! You look like their real kid!

I am their real kid …

10. I don’t think I would feel like an adopted child was really “mine.”

If you feel this way, please just keep it to yourself. I respect your right to make a family in whatever way works for your, but this is not a discussion that I want to have. I feel strongly that family is made of the people that raise you and are there for you. If you try to tell me how “blood ties” are stronger, I will feel extremely awkward and probably a bit upset. Just please don’t …

#adoption   #research