When you are proofreading your post, you are falling victim to what Chabris and Simons call the “illusion of expectation.” Your brain is wired to find what is expected: an error-free post. Basically, your brain is on auto-correct, so you actually do not see the typos. They are invisible.
ok but where r the cornrows
- LA Screenwriters
- Screenwriter’s Corner
- Script Magazine Blog
- Sex in a Submarine
- Shouting into the Wind
- …by Ken Levine
- Complications Ensue
- John August.com
- Kung Fu Monkey
- Go Into the Story
My bet is that you’re in your first draft. Remember: in your first draft you can do anything. All a first draft has to do is exist. Once you get past the first draft you start cutting and adding what’s necessary to smooth things out—through more drafts. In my opinion, there is no problem in writing a story in a nonlinear way. You may start with your favorite scenes regardless of them not being the first ones, then work your way through the rest. It’s something a lot of people does.
When it comes to the scenes you don’t like, however, or the things you haven’t given much thought to, all you can do is sit down and write them. You get off the internet and type away, because there is no other way you’ll get something done in the story if you don’t have anything to work with in the first place. That’s the discipline.
Basically: just write. Write what your heart wants to see. Write selfishly. Then, with that same selfishness, write the rest. Finally, edit.
If you haven’t started at all and all you’re doing is world building, you may need some information on beginnings, middles, and endings—perhaps your outline isn’t working like it should. If all else fails, the best thing you can do is start over. Maybe you’re lacking motivation to write at all, and that is something quite common, but should not stop you.
They key to writing it realistically is research.
Abuse can come in many forms and sometimes the victim is unaware that they are being abused (with the exception of physical abuse, in which they may be in denial anyway). If you want it to be subtle, you can start with emotional abuse and controlling behaviors, as that’s how physical abuse often starts out.
Physical abuse is not just visible injuries (like bruises). It can be shoving, pushing, and other physical acts that don’t leave a lasting mark. It could even be starving someone, dehydrating them, and any other way that strains physical endurance for the sake of controlling the victim.
Again, abuse starts out small and it builds up. It’s hard for the victim to walk away, even in the beginning, because they probably care about their abuser too much to completely cut them off over something that seems innocent. One common form of early abuse among heterosexual relationships is the male making suggestions to what the female should wear. This then turns into the male saying they don’t like certain outfits, hairstyles, or makeup. Then it turns into the male getting angry when the female does not look the way he prefers and that leads to emotional abuse. I’ve actually seen this happen a few times and I’ve heard more stories about it.
If the abuse in your story gets to the point where the victim needs to go to the hospital, they’re probably going to lie about what happened. I know you probably see this in movies all the time, but that’s because it happens. In the US, if you harm someone to the point where they end up in a hospital, you get in trouble. Victims are again conflicted with this because they may still care about their abuser and not want to get them in trouble, may be in denial about the abuse, or may be afraid of more abuse if they turn in their abuser.
So if you want the domestic abuse to be subtle, write about the start of an abusive relationship. This does not have to be at the beginning of the relationship, but writing it this way will make it less noticeable to the reader unless the reader is actively looking for it.
I also have this post on survivors of domestic abuse, if that helps.
- Domestic Violence Experiences
- Writing Realistic Violence (not abuse-centric, but still useful)
- Domestic Violence Statistics
- Domestic Violence and Abuse
- Domestic Violence (relevant links are on the right side of the page)
- Domestic Violence: Statistics and Facts
- Domestic Violence Facts
- Domestic Violence Statistics
Think about the last time you disliked someone. Why? Did you show your dislike? Did they give you the wrong impression? What kind of people do you usually dislike and why?
Emotions like liking or disliking a person are common. We just do it sometimes without realizing it. When you have two characters and they dislike each other, then you need to figure out why and how they show their dislike (body language, speech, thoughts in case of certain POV’s).
It also depends on what happens through the story. Do they have to work together on something despite how they feel about each other? You need to ask yourself these questions in order to find out how they dynamic will be like, or you could write it and see where it takes you, keeping in mind the characterization of both characters. But mostly, use your own experience and imagination.
Through Academic Earth, you can take courses in all of the fields below:
- Computer Science
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- Berklee College of Music
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- BusinessEnjoy the over-abundance of free educational resources, and never stop exploring and expanding! And if anyone knows of any other great self-education resources, let me know![Edited: Make sure to read the full terms and agreements, and like most online course sites, do not expect this to act as a replacement for a real-life class unless any specific course you sign up for states it offers transferrable credits. Make sure you know most online-courses will not be recognized as a replacement for any part of any curriculum by credited educational institutions.]
Follow Rec #4
The Blog: Queering Comics
Reasons to follow it: While not a writing blog, the premise of this project is something I know a considerable portion of my followers would enjoy as much as I do. I recommend it to those who are into comics and have had, or have the desire of adding more LGTBQ+ diversity to them. You can share headcanons, fanfiction, and even fanart!
From what I’ve observed, there are three types of food scenes. It really depends what kind of emotions you want to evoke in your readers as to how to put these scenes together.
The Food is Unbelievably Delicious
Take Shadowmagic's Conor, when he tries the fruit of the Land for the first time. Or Pellinor's Maerad, who comes across some beautiful and overwhelming banquets on her journey, a far cry from what she used to eat before the story began.
In both of these cases, there is a heavy emphasis placed on how ‘perfect’ the food looks. Nothing congeals, sweats or stagnates. You need to pick out appropriate descriptors to create the best picture. What kind of aromas surround the food? How does it sound when the character bites into it? What is the texture like? Think about the foods you like to eat, and how you feel when you get the chance to taste them!
When describing meat, avoid the bones unless your character is nibbling every last strip from them. You want the turkey crowns and chickens to be plump and full, not thin pickings. And although vegetables are on the top of most people’s ‘do not eat’ list, they can be fresh, glistening beneath a lump of melted butter, roasted or cut into delicate, thin circles. Puddings are wobbling, oozing chocolate and cream, smooth, angular and precise, delicate and decorated.
If your character eats something good, they should react to it too. Especially if it’s better than they imagined. Moaning with pleasure, wide eyes, gorging themselves… all signs that a person is enjoying what’s in front of them.
The Food is Absolutely Disgusting
The tastes here are sour and bitter. They burn your throat, nose and tongue and make your eyes water. When saliva floods into your mouth, it’s because there’s a high chance you’re about to start retching.
The smells are suffocating. There are no aromas or fragrances here - it’s smell and stench. Things gone off, things sagging and suffering in the warmth or grossly preserved in the cold. There’s sweat, liquids, grease and watery sauce. Everything is off-colour. Meats are pale and limp, vegetables shrivelled and small. Desserts are dry, hard and bland. Soups are thin and the cereal is soggy.
Basically, think of everything you’ve ever eaten that tasted disgusting and really focus on what made it so abhorrent to you at the time. Also, focus on details that would make you reject food. For example, not eating your beans on the same plate as everything else, because the sauce congeals and sticks to the other food.
Reactions to this kind of food are screwed up faces, tongues stuck out, exclamations of how awful it all is, hand waving in front of an open mouth to cool off the heat, hands clutched to throats because it burns just to swallow, whooping coughs, running noses, etc.
The Food is Just There
Forks sliding out of mouths, plates full of something or other. In these scenes, the food isn’t much more than an element to a scene. Maybe your characters are discussing things over dinner or they’re the only ones not eating in a restaurant.
In that case, the smells and visuals should correspond with what is happening at the time. Maybe the smell of coffee reminds Paul of how tired he is, and how much he’d rather just be sitting in a diner drinking coffee than discussing something as heavy as murder.
Frost from A Touch of Frost is always eating, but it’s because he has no time to actually stop and enjoy a meal. He goes for high calorie fast foods, things you can scoop out of polystyrene trays and eat out of papers. Food on the go, food that takes little effort to eat. There’s no marvelling over the taste - he knows how it tastes, because it’s all he ever eats. The smells are stale in his car and on his clothes, or not registered at all.
Here, you focus on the act of eating, and ignore pretty much everything else. The food is a simple prop in a whole other scene, and so it shouldn’t take any attention from the reader other than ‘it’s there’.
Food That Reveals Character or Atmosphere
Greedy characters bite into full cakes that split and drip over their cheeks and chins, anal characters separate the greens from the oranges and pick one pea at a time. Fussy characters spend more time organising their meal than actually eating it, and characters with no time polish off their dinner in less than five bites.
At awkward dinners, cutlery scrapes the plate, there’s wet chewing and loud swallowing. Elbows are drawn in, backs straight, eyes falling everywhere but on other eyes.
Hectic dinners have mashed potato slopping onto the tablecloth, juice stains on bibs, food ever-flowing, bowls being passed over plates and hands grabbing.
When writing the scene, think about what you want to show us about the atmosphere and the character and then imagine how the food would be consumed in that specific instance. So, your character is nervously waiting. She’s pulling apart her sandwich, nibbling, but not tasting. Your characters are in an argument; they’re not eating, but they’re holding forks up in protest and stubbornly shoving the food around their plates during the intervals.
Just a little segment, but they’re worth thinking about. Are they overflowing, or is what’s left tipped back into a jug at the end of the meal? Do the characters sip or guzzle? Breathe in or wince as it runs down their throat?
A lot of the time, it’s all about getting the tone right. Using your vocabulary to the best of its ability, so you can piece together the perfect food-y scene.
I hope this helps!