Hey! Thank you for your blog, I'm finding it really helpful. I started an indie RP blog a while back but I have a really hard time finding RP partners. I was thinking of reacting to some open starters, but I was wondering if it's okay to just reblog them? They say "open to anyone" but I don't want to annoy the muns and I don't know whether there are unwritten rules surrounding these open starters..
Open starters, especially ones tagged with “open to anyone,” are just that! Don’t be hesitant. I’m sure the other mun will be glad to have a reply to their starter. That’s why they posted an open one, after all!
1. If something would be boring and/or undramatic for a male character, it would probably be boring and/or undramatic for a female character. If you’re writing a female character (particularly in a major role), I’d recommend thinking about whether you’d want to read about a male character in that situation or with that trait. If not, then you’re probably boring your readers.
2. The character is useless. Have you made a main character more or less helpless for most of the story? Does she watch as the story happens around her? Does she get repeatedly saved by other characters when the going gets rough? Please think back to #1. You’d probably be bored reading about a more or less helpless guy, right? Your readers will be just as bored by a helpless female.
3. The character’s only defining trait is being hyper-smart or (more rarely) a total ditz. That’s fine for one character among several, but if she’s your only significant female character, it’ll raise questions about your ability to handle female characters at a more relatable level of intelligence. If you’re having trouble with more relatable female characters, I’d recommend checking out some Meg Cabot books, Mean Girls and/or Pride and Prejudice.
3.1. The character is totally pure. A character that always does the right thing and has no motivations besides being friendly/agreeable/nice is probably pretty boring. 100% pure characters strain the suspension of disbelief, are less relatable and usually less dramatic. For whatever reason, these types of boring characters are almost always women.
4. Your readers will probably be able to tell if you have not read many female main characters written by female authors. If you don’t have the firsthand experience of actually being a female, being well-read is probably the closest you’ll get to seeing the subtle distinctions between most women and most men in terms of perspective, dialogue and actions. Conversely, when I’m reading manuscripts, the easiest way for me to pick out male characters written by female authors is when 1) the character is hyper-introspective and collected (even in a crisis) and the author doesn’t realize that’s unusual, and/or 2) a male character notices far too many irrelevant details, such as eye color and hair color, and the author inadvertently makes it sound like the character’s ogling someone or writing a fashion review.
5. The character is a love interest that doesn’t have a role outside of romance. She’ll probably be a more interesting love interest if she has something else going on. For example, Lois Lane is (occasionally) a competent reporter whose investigations sometimes tie into Superman’s work. Pepper Potts figured out who kidnapped Tony Stark by breaking into Stane’s office. Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim had a penchant for awesomeness and a mallet. Also, she was a ninja courier for Amazon.
5.1. The character is defined by her physical attractiveness and/or sex appeal. If you consider physical attractiveness one of the three most interesting things about a major character, I would recommend rethinking the character’s development because most likely the character is a love interest that is interesting only to the author. (Think back to #1–you wouldn’t want to read about a guy whose main trait was his handsomeness, would you?) Also, please bear in mind that most of the professionals evaluating your submission will probably be ladies, so you won’t even have the titillation angle working in your favor.
6. The character has no substantial goals besides going along with other characters and/or getting in bed with somebody. If you’re going to bother writing in a character, I’d recommend giving him/her some sort of independent effect on the plot. If not, why bother having the character? Fortunately, you don’t need to give a character much space to give her/him a role to play. For example, Neville Longbottom had around a page of dialogue (~350 words) in the first Harry Potter book and he still managed to raise the stakes for the protagonists by growing a spine at absolutely the worst moment. (Dumbledore’s recognition of his badassery was probably the highlight of the first book for me).
7. The character is mute. In general, I think the mindset behind this decision is “I’m having a lot of trouble writing dialogue for females, so I’ll just make her mute.” In this case, muting a major female character will only draw attention to how bad you think your female dialogue is. I’d strongly recommend practicing your female dialogue instead–the practice will help, and at least you’ll get out of instant-rejection territory.
Homosexuality would be not only completely legal in Neimoidian society, but regarded no differently than heterosexuality, and thus there would be no reason to even consider restricting it’s legal status.
First off, let’s all agree that a very large part of the reason homosexuality is frowned upon on so much of Earth, particularly in the past few centuries, is because of religion. I’m not bashing faith or religion (I do separate the two), I’m a Christian myself, but it’s an undeniable fact that some of the worst things in history have been done for religious reasons. That’s why I said “in the past few centuries;” historically speaking, homosexuality was actually considered a norm in places such as ancient China, where there were, I believe, ten Emperors who were either homosexual or practiced homosexuality (one of the most famous being Emperor Ai of Han), and even sacred in certain Native American (you could also argue the Two-Spirit, but that’s more of a trans topic (which, btw, would also be fine in Neimoidian society), African, and Tongan tribes. Let’s also not forget Ancient Greece and Rome.
Secondly, I frankly don’t care what your belief systems are…it’s a natural occurrence. It happens in hundreds of animal species, including humans, and did so long before humans set about spreading religion (and even during!). There are countless scientific reports and journals on the subject, including some species, such as male giraffes, where homosexual encounters occur with a far greater frequency than heterosexual encounters. Denying it is akin to denying gravity. And by the same logic, it would surely have occurred during the evolution of Neimoidians, including the evolution of Duros (who, if you don’t know, are the ancestors of the Neimoidians).
Neimoidians are not the most religious of beings to begin with and, by that fact, wouldn’t have found any impediments from religion, particularly those which have swayed our own views. In addition, Neimoidians see themselves as already physically-, mentally-, and culturally-perfect, and above others, and by that definition, would not see fault in themselves Secondly, if wealth and prominence is born from involvement with another, regardless of sex or gender, why, in Neimoidian terms, should that be a bad thing? Thirdly, one can deduce that a successful Neimoidian would probably have a successful mating history and/or successful partners…again, regardless of sex or gender. I argue that in the case of the Trade Monarch (a title devoid of gender, to begin with), he or she, for a female would be just as likely and just as respected as a male, would be permitted multiple spouses, even from multiple genders/sexes, depending on his or her preference.
I will admit that I don’t think homosexual relationships would be flaunted anymore than a heterosexual relationship would be (but Neimoidians are not emotional, anyway, as they regard the display of emotion as a weakness (which is a canon fact)), nor would they be quite as common as heterosexual relationships, simply by design; however, I don’t think Neimoidians would frown upon them, nor see them any differently to a heterosexual relationship. For lack of a better analogy, it’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation for all, regardless of sex, gender, or orientation. To reveal something so personal, including emotion or feeling, is to reveal weakness and even go so far as to evoke a social taboo.
If you’re having trouble making your characters interesting or you feel like all your characters turn out the same, you’re probably creating flat characters. If your character hasn’t undergone a significant change during the course of your novel or your audience is having trouble relating to them, you need find ways to improve this. It’s important to remember that all your characters need to have goals, no matter how small, and they need to be actively working toward those goals to stay interesting.
Your protagonist should be relatable and realistic. Even if your readers don’t necessarily agree with what they’re doing, they should be able to feel what your protagonist is going through. This is your job as a writer. You need to get your readers to understand their thought process or what they’re going through, even if they’ve never experienced it themselves. This can be achieved by using real-life emotions in your story, so it’s important you don’t ignore the emotional aspects of storytelling. Most people will understand love, fear, sadness, happiness—EVEN if they’ve never been in the situation your protagonist is in.
One of the most important things to remember is that your character’s actions should remain realistic. And I don’t mean that they need to do things only we can do in our world, but their actions need to stay true to their world. Their actions should make sense in context to what they’re going through.
Your protagonist should also be a problem solver and proactive. A character with good morals will have integrity, but we all know not all main character have good intentions. However, all protagonists should be able to do things on their own, or else they’re going to be a weak protagonist. I’m not saying they don’t need help, but they need to overcome the big challenges on their own. They can’t just stand around waiting for everyone else to finish things. They need to take initiative at some point, and this should be due to their personal growth throughout the story.
Here are some tips on improving flat characters:
Focus on primary traits, complexity traits, and character flaws.
Primary traits: Every character you write should have primary traits. These are things like smart, funny, inquisitive, etc. These aren’t necessarily anything deep, but they give the reader enough to understand what sort of category or archetype that character fits in.
Complexity traits: Adding complexity traits will be what adds more depth to your characters, and will make your characters interesting. This is necessary if you are building lead characters/main characters. With complexity traits, you plan out the primary traits with more detail. For example, if your character is smart explain what he or she is smart in. Does he or she know a lot about history? Are they good at math?
Character Flaws: Finally, give that character flaws. These flaws humanize your characters and they generally stand in the way of your character’s success. It’s important that your characters fail sometimes and that these failures are a result of their personal flaws. No one wants to see a perfect character. We want to see someone who is able to pull themselves back together after experiencing failure. We want to see them earn their success.
Next, focus on character goals and motivations.
Character goals: Every single character your write needs to want something. They need to have a goal and those goals will drive your story forward. For example, your main character might want to run a marathon. It’s a big deal for them and they spend your entire novel training (and failing at training) until the end when they finally do it. Running that marathon is their goal throughout your novel and they won’t stop until they succeed. Remember, character goals are different from motivations.
Also, keep in mind that even secondary characters need to want something. Develop each character and make sure you understand why they want to do something. What do they get from helping out your main character? Why do they care so much? Think about what’s at stake for them.
Motivations: There are certain things that will push your characters forward. Expanding on the marathon scenario above, maybe your main character has to finish a marathon because they will win 1 million dollars if they do. Maybe their family is poor and this is the only way to help them. That’s your character motivation. It’s obvious they really care about their family and they need the money. It’s important to understand why your character is doing something and why they want something. What will accomplishing their goals do for them? Why do they need to do? Again, what’s at stake if they don’t?
Character development is a long, in-depth process, but hopefully following these steps will help you out. It’s important that you keep your characters proactive or else you run the risk of them becoming boring. Characters that work actively toward their goals are the most interesting.
From IGN - Interview with Dave Filoni on how EU will be seen. Good for #RP knowledge.
"My approach has always been to utilize the Expanded Universe as basically a base of ideas. That was very much how George used it. He would see things like Aayla Secura or Quinlan Vos, and he would say, "Oh, that’s neat. Let’s use that," but he would never really use them quite in the way that the comic books told the story. So I think that that’s completely fair, being the person that had created Star Wars, to go like, "Well, I like that idea, but this is how I would tell the story." That’s not too different when you see that sometimes Percival and Galahad are very similar questing knights, and sometimes they’re different; they have different names with different spellings. Good stories and storytelling often branch out and have multiple stories. But as you know, a lot of my life for the last 10 years has been discussing that with fans who love the EU, and I don’t mind at all. I think the key for me is I never would subtract and tell them that, "Hey, you can’t like those stories." If you love those stories, they count for you, and I think that that’s great. Who am I? I’m lucky enough to make this show, but I try to give a nod where I can to things I know people will like." ~Dave Filoni
Ok, lets talk about this. So this evil cult species (or whatever they are, I forget) create this doppelganger of Maul with all his skills, memories, etc. and he fights Vader.
Of course this entire concept is just a fan service~ Enough people were like ‘WHAT IF MAUL AND VADER FOUGHT’ and then DHC was just like ‘ok fuck it, who needs continuity anyways' and made this comic.
But you guys, this is like, one of my favorite comics despite it being complete bullshit that would never happen.
At one point Maul recognizes that Vader still has good in him and describes it as something like “a lone light in the darkness that you refuse to extinguish" and refers to Vader as "jedi" throughout the fight and I just,
90% of the time Maul dominates because he’s more skilled, (especially compared to Vader’s mechanics which put a lot of strains on him that Anakin never had), but at the end Maul asks Vader something like “what could you possibly hate enough to destroy me?” (because you know sith draw power from their hate) and Vader says “myself.” and kills Maul. AND I TRASHED MY ROOM AND CRIED. I CANNOT HANDLE.
So yeah, this comic will fuck you up. Would not recommend. Jk go buy it~
So, I did write a post about building nations and culture some time ago, but my plan has changed. Initially, I was going to write a series of articles about it, but I think, given that Tumblr doesn’t really have a ‘series link’ as such, I’ll compile it all into one.
In science fiction novels (especially the hardcore ones), descriptions are key for readers to understand the rules of this new world. That is why a false-step in this aspect can potentially ruin your success and provoke ridicule, scorn, and a trip to the pillary (if you happen…
“If you use magic in fiction, the first thing you have to do is put barriers up. There must be limits to magic. If you can snap your fingers and make anything happen, where’s the fun in that? … The story really starts when you put limits on magic. Where fantasy gets a bad name is when anything can happen because a wizard snaps his fingers. Magic has to come with a cost, probably a much bigger cost than when things are done by what is usually called ‘the hard way.’”—Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, on writing magic. (via theticklishpear)
In our story, all Mandalorian children born after 21 BBY are given clan Mandala back tattoos. A Mandala tattoo in real life is a sacred symbol that connects to truth in the Universe. While many races in Star Wars have tattoos, none of…
Notice how most of the Yuuzhan Vong warriors have “spikes” or “horns” on their back from their armor? Their armor, called “Crab Armor” or “Vonduun Skerr Kyrric” is resistant to lightsaber strikes and plasma projectiles. But the “spikes”?
The “Escalation Ceremony” is a religious ritual by the Warrior Caste that attachment of Implanters on their backs along their spine that officers receive as they rise through rank.
The implanters were small, gray and six-legged. They were equipped with botyroidal optical organize and a quartet of appendages efficient for slicing through flesh and tucking surge-coral into open wounds. The implanter carried whatever enhancements were necessary for the ritual escalation.
Most starting Warriors, eventually get two finger-length horns of coral on their backs that were two pointed tips, which are hooked slightly.
The implanters secure themselves to the back of the candidates’ neck to reach both shoulders. Sharp appendages make deep cuts on the tops of the shoulder muscles, clear down to the bones that form part of the ball-and-socket joints. When the incisions were complete and Priest Caste acolytes had collected the flowing blood in bowls, the implanters inserted the hooked horns into the cut, employing a resinous exudate they produced to weld the horns to the shoulder bones and to seal the wounds around them. At the same time, a sluglike ndgin wove a helix trail through the candidates’ feet, sopping up whatever blood the acolytes failed to capture.
Though perspiration ran freely and legs trembled, not one of the junior officers cried out in pain or so much as grimaced.
The candidates did not squeal because that would be seen as weak and unworthy of Escalation. If they squealed they would be demoted to the shamed caste, the lowest caste. All these activities took place after a prayer, then an invocation by the commanding officer.
(Star Wars - Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse pp 170-171 by James Luceno)
If these are the end times for literature, then we must be traveling in circles, for the death of storytelling looks an awful lot like its birth. The novel itself isnt all that old. Sure, we can find a handful of examples going back thousands of years, but you have…
Literary publishing’s uneasy relationship with fan fiction has been complicated by the realization that fandom is a huge potential market—one already stocked with both prolific authors and enthusiastic readers. But how to tap that market is a dilemma that few publishers seem quite prepared to engage.