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July 2014
20
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The Psychology of Writing: Character Development and Anger

cutsceneaddict:

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Sooner or later, your character is going to get mad. And I don’t mean “mad dog” mad, I mean steam-out-the-nostrils mad. Because anger is such a human emotion, it’s important to be able to portray an angry character without resorting to melodrama. Finding that realistic, human balance isn’t always easy, but it can be made easier if you—the writer—take a few minutes to research this natural, emotional response.

So, in today’s post, let’s talk about:

  • What causes anger
  • Physical signals of anger
  • Internal sensations of anger
  • Mental responses to anger
  • Cues of long-term anger
  • Signs of suppressed anger

Read More

#anger   #emotions   
July 2014
09
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sad-bot:

i dont think you guys appreciate how rad this site is 

because first of all you got your basic fantasy and game race names for like

everything

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BUT AS IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH

REAL NAMES WHICH ARE GOOD FOR BOOKS

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AND THIS THERE’S MORE????

BAM, PLACE NAMES

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AND STILL MORE

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SO YOU SEE THESE LITTLE OPTIONS HERE

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PLEASE, PLEASE

GO AND TRY TO HELP A GOOD PERSON OUT

#names   #naming   #resources   
July 2014
09
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Story Elements: This is Why We Fight

writing-questions-answered:

July 2014
09
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Anonymous asked

Hi! I want to create some fictional (perhaps even fantasy-esque) drugs, but I don't even know where to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

clevergirlhelps:

Firstly, the drugs need to do something good that “hooks” people. No one’s going to keep taking a drug that sends them to the twelfth plane of torment or one that makes them totally colorblind. You can sort most drug effects into four categories:

  • Happy (MDMA, heroin). The user experiences extreme euphoria and contentment. This may be accompanied by feelings of kinship with those around them and diminished anxiety. Users may achieve a transcendental state. It may also reduce inhibitions.
  • High (cocaine, alcohol). Users experience a burst of energy, confidence, and feelings of sexual prowess. Inhibitions are reduced. Users sometimes become more aggressive.
  • Mellow (marijuana). User feels calm and relaxed. Everything feels “taken care of”. Again, may induce transcendental state. The user will also experience mild euphoria and anxiety will diminish.
  • Trippy (LSD, shrooms). Significant alteration of sensory perception. People may see halos around objects or believe solid surfaces are wobbling. Shrooms reportedly increase one’s sensitivity to sound. Time loses meaning. Users lose sense of self.

Theoretically, you could make fantasy drugs for any desirable human emotion, like the feeling of being full, orgasm, confidence, love, and satisfaction.

Secondly, where does the drug come from?

  • Natural. Like shrooms, opium, or cannabis, it must be grown and harvested. Who farms it? Is it illegal to farm? What kind of plant is it? Where does it grow best? 
  • Manufactured. Like MDMA and LSD, it’s made in a lab. Who makes it? What ingredients is it made of? Does an organization control its manufacture?
  • Magic. The drug is actually a spell and someone has to cast it on you.

Related is how the drug gets from the lab/farm to you. Who controls the trade? How far away is it? All of this will affect the price.

Thirdly, how do you take it?

  • Inhaling. Includes methods like smoking, where the drug is rolled into a thin cylinder and placed between the lips; you inhale to feel the effects. Also included are practices like huffing, where you inhale noxious chemicals from a container.
  • Drinking. Self-explanatory. You can also anally imbibe drinks to hasten the effects.
  • Injecting. Put it in a needle and stick it in a blood vessel. The drug goes right into the blood stream.
  • Swallowing. The drug comes in a pill, like ecstasy. You swallow it and digesting it will give you the full effects. You could also eat it, like most psychedelic mushrooms. 
  • Absorbing. The body has several areas where blood vessels lie close to the surface of the skin. Applying the drug to the area will allow it to diffuse into the bloodstream. These areas are: the nose (snorting), the mouth (chewing/dipping tobacco), and the rectum (anally imbibing alcohol). 

Fourthly, what are the side effects? There will be side effects unless your magic or technology is advanced to the point at which you can reverse severe neurological damage. 

  • Mild. Reddened eyes, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, nausea, sweating, hunger, loss of appetite
  • Moderate. Memory loss, insomnia, diarrhea, vertigo, suggestibility, vomiting, hearing loss
  • Severe. Necrosis, muscle rigidity, convulsions, bad trips, physical disfigurement (eg “meth mouth”), psychosis, HPPD
  • Chronic. Depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, dependence on the drug, irritability, fatigue, rage
  • Way down the road. Cancer, emphysema, COPD, heart problems, lung problems, liver problems, kidney problems, Parkinson’s, stroke, high blood pressure

If your drug is fantastical, then it has more variety as to the side effects. For example, it turns green-eyed people into rabbits, slowly turns one’s stomach to stone, causes users to go back in time, and has a 2% chance of exploding your head.

Fifthly, how does the culture view it?

  • Illegal. No one can use it for any reason. In which case, the drugs will be controlled by an illegal group like a gang or cartel. There will be harsh laws against its manufacture and spread. People who don’t take the drug will look down on people who do.
  • Illegal with exceptions. It’s been shown to aid things like concentration or alleviate the symptoms of that disease. People who can use this drug must obtain it from special makers and carry permission with them at all times.
  • Legal with exceptions. Like alcohol and tobacco in the US, you can buy it and use it in most areas. However, you can’t buy it if you’re under a certain age, can’t use it in buildings, and you can get in trouble if you use it at the wrong time (drinking and driving).
  • Legal. Everyone can use it. There are no restricts on when, where, how, or who.
  • Spiritual. The drug is used as part if a religious experience. Only those undergoing such an experience can take it. The drug is a gateway to another world, frees the conscience, or some other esoteric thing.

Finally, how does that affect society? You should consider,

  • How much it costs. Illegality and the amount of time/money it takes to manufacture will affect pricing. It may also vary by the time of year. For example, if it’s natural, then maybe the drug is cheapest immediately after the harvesting season and really expensive during the winter, when it’s impossible to grow. You also need to factor in how people will get the money to buy the drug, such as stealing or prostitution.
  • Support groups. People will get hooked. How can they get off? Family and friends will certainly try their best, as most drugs do not improve your working or home life. Are they the only methods of support or are there rehab organizations as well?
  • Laws and their enforcement. (Don’t look at this is if your drug is totally legal or legal with exceptions.) There will be laws against its use. How are they enforced? Do the laws go after distributers as well as consumers? How are the consumers treated in court - as criminals or as victims? 
  • Who takes it. In our world, most illegal drug users are lower-income. It’s “shocking” when someone of the middle or upper class is addicted to drugs. The lower-class reputation has led to other classes looking down on drug users as poor, filthy, and needy; and on the lower-class as drug-addicted degenerates. If the upper class took it, then perhaps taking the drug would be the cool thing to do and being high/stoned/buzzed would be a status symbol. Only peasants have lucid thoughts; true nobles don’t know what they’re doing 90% of the time. 
  • Media. The US government banned smoking ads featuring Camel Cigarettes’ mascot, Joe the Camel, in 1997 because he appealed to children and people don’t like their kids lighting up. You don’t see too many cigarette ads in the US anymore. On the other hand, the media glorifies alcohol. Drinking makes you a man. Drinking makes you sexy. Many can’t wait (or don’t wait) to turn 21 and engage in this manly, sexy world of alcohol. So please, please remember that how the drug is presented will affect who consumes it.

#drugs   #fantasy   
July 2014
09
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milkovichhelps:

Below the cut you’ll find a masterlist of links to resources specializing in combat. The masterlist covers topics such as the military, hand to hand combat, injuries, firearms, and various other weapons. If you have anything you’d like to add to the masterlist then feel free to send me a message.
Read More

milkovichhelps:

Below the cut you’ll find a masterlist of links to resources specializing in combat. The masterlist covers topics such as the military, hand to hand combat, injuries, firearms, and various other weapons. If you have anything you’d like to add to the masterlist then feel free to send me a message.

Read More

July 2014
09
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The Effects of Alcohol and Alcoholism Withdrawal

midnightreference:

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Impaired judgment
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Blackouts
  • Flushed appearance
  • Intense moods
  • Lack of coordination and slower reflexes
  • Reduced concentration

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease
  • Brain damage
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency
  • Ulcers
  • Mouth/throat cancer
  • Malnutrition
  • Concentration & memory problems

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Within 2-6 hours of the last drink
    • Insomnia
    • Anxiety
    • Headache
    • Reduced appetite
    • Tremors
    • Stomachache
    • Paleness
    • Clammy skin
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Dilated pupils
    • Fatigue
    • Irritability
    • Depression
    • Rapid emotional changes
  • Within 12-24 hours
    • Some experience alcoholic hallucinosis, which includes visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations that normally end within 48 hours
    • Most are aware that the hallucinations aren’t real
  • Within 24-48 hours
    • Withdrawal seizures may occur
    • Risk is increased after multiple detoxifications
  • Within 48-72 hours
    • DTs (delirium tremens) may occur
    • DTs usually peak at 5 days
    • Disorientation
    • Confusion
    • Anxiety
    • Seizures
    • High blood pressure
    • Severe tremors
    • Fever
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Sweating
    • Hallucinations indistinguishable from reality

Sources:

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/withdraw/a/aa030307a.htm

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CHIQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unmc.edu%2Ffamilymed%2Fdocs%2FAlcohol_Withdrawal.ppt&ei=qaZ6UvDyGsrPsASbgYFg&usg=AFQjCNFvG9Oy1kEM14tOtqBqlqFTd18TbQ&sig2=F28HRYeGeq8j5K01n0eOpw&bvm=bv.55980276,d.cWc

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/alcohol-abuse/alcohol-withdrawal-symptoms-treatments?page=1

http://www.dassa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=122

http://www.drinkwise.org.au/you-alcohol/alcohol-facts/short-term-harm/

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol/short-term-long-term-effects.html

July 2014
09
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howstuffworks:

How Lobotomies Work
The lobotomy is a type of neurosurgery, or surgery performed on the brain, known as psychosurgery. The idea behind psychosurgery is that severe forms of mental illness can be treated by changing the way that the brain works. Doctors believed that by severing the connections that the frontal lobes, or prefrontal cortex, had to the rest of the brain, they could calm patients’ emotions and stabilize their personalities without doing away with their intelligence and motor functions.
The prefrontal cortex serves a number of complex functions in the brain, usually called executive functions. (Higher-level decision making and planning, reasoning and understanding, personality expression, creativity and behaving in a socially acceptable way all fit under this category.) The prefrontal cortex is connected to many other regions of the brain, including the thalamus, which receives and relays sensory signals.
The brain is essentially composed of two different types of matter: gray and white. Gray matter includes the neurons, or brain cells, along with their blood vessels and extensions. White matter comprises the axons, or nerve fibers, that connect the areas of gray matter and carry messages between them through electrical impulses. So a lobotomy was intended to sever the white matter between different areas of gray matter. (Another name for lobotomy, leucotomy, means “slice/cut white” in Greek.)
In the United States, about 50,000 patients were lobotomized, most of them between 1949 and 1956. The man who perfected what became the standard of lobotomies, Dr. Walter Freeman, called them “soul surgery” and claimed that they could be used to treat not only schizophrenia, but depression, chronic pain and other mental and physical conditions. Freeman, and other doctors who performed lobotomies, believed that they could relieve suffering. In some cases, they did.
Read on…

howstuffworks:

How Lobotomies Work

The lobotomy is a type of neurosurgery, or surgery performed on the brain, known as psychosurgery. The idea behind psychosurgery is that severe forms of mental illness can be treated by changing the way that the brain works. Doctors believed that by severing the connections that the frontal lobes, or prefrontal cortex, had to the rest of the brain, they could calm patients’ emotions and stabilize their personalities without doing away with their intelligence and motor functions.

The prefrontal cortex serves a number of complex functions in the brain, usually called executive functions. (Higher-level decision making and planning, reasoning and understanding, personality expression, creativity and behaving in a socially acceptable way all fit under this category.) The prefrontal cortex is connected to many other regions of the brain, including the thalamus, which receives and relays sensory signals.

The brain is essentially composed of two different types of matter: gray and white. Gray matter includes the neurons, or brain cells, along with their blood vessels and extensions. White matter comprises the axons, or nerve fibers, that connect the areas of gray matter and carry messages between them through electrical impulses. So a lobotomy was intended to sever the white matter between different areas of gray matter. (Another name for lobotomy, leucotomy, means “slice/cut white” in Greek.)

In the United States, about 50,000 patients were lobotomized, most of them between 1949 and 1956. The man who perfected what became the standard of lobotomies, Dr. Walter Freeman, called them “soul surgery” and claimed that they could be used to treat not only schizophrenia, but depression, chronic pain and other mental and physical conditions. Freeman, and other doctors who performed lobotomies, believed that they could relieve suffering. In some cases, they did.

Read on

July 2014
09
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Writing Side Characters: Thoughts

fuckyourwritinghabits:

Hey Writing Habits, do you have any tips or links for writing side characters? Keeping the little guys as interesting as the big ones, as it were?

Your side characters have their own backgrounds. Fleshing those out will help you a lot in figuring out what they can do and when. Even if you end up with thirty pages of notes that will never see the light of day - or more! - getting to know them will help you a lot in making them interesting.

Your side characters are not aware they are side characters. Everybody else is starring in their story. They’re not going to drop everything just to be there in time to provide a key plot point or helpful hint. They have to behave naturally, and within their own interests.

What we don’t know can be just as interesting as what we do. Having some mysteries remain about your side characters can make them just as memorable as the main ones. Why didn’t Shelly cry at her mom’s funeral? Why was the secretary willing to risk her job to help the detective? Hinting at their motives - or leaving characters wondering at them - can help make them more real.

That said, giving them motives is super important. Shortcuts and stock characters leave much to be desired. As a writer, you can do better than that. The girl who gets with the guy at the end is just that, a stock character. The girl who gets with the guy at the end because they really like each other or because of Some Other Reason just got more interesting.

Hope these help!

July 2014
06
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Huge Ass List of First Names and Nicknames

rphelper:

I put this together for NYC and thought I’d share.

Read More

#names   
July 2014
06
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sneakywitch-thief asked

Concerning writing habits, I'm trying to write a story right now and I feel as though it's going to be very lengthy. I'd like to be able to get a 5k-10k chapter out every week, but I'm not quite sure what the best way to tackle this goal might be. Any advice for building up the habit to write several thousand words a day?