It happens all the time and everyone knows it.
To use an example,
Frances slammed his hands down on the table. “I have had it with your snoring Jeanine!”
“My snoring?” she demanded. “What about your twitchy feet? I can’t go to sleep with your cold potato feet rubbing against my goddamn shins, you-“
"Then put a pillow between my feet and your shins," Frances snapped. "Wow! Fixed! whereas your-"
"Use the fucking nose strips and take your fucking medicine." As she said this, Jeanine mashed the box of nose strips and the bottle of pills into the plastic counter. "They’re right here."
Frances snorted and turned away from her. “How many times do I need to tell you that-“
"My stomach is upset blah blah blah I’m such a little bitch," Jeanine said mockingly. "I will leave-"
"Go ahead!" Frances shouted, waving both his hands towards the door.
There’s actually a college application post scheduled for Wednesday.
which one lol
FIFIHELPS MAKES A GUIDE: PLAYING A BARISTA
So you’re playing a barista, huh? What exactly does a barista do? How does the job work? Here’s a little guide to help you out. All my information comes from firsthand experience working at multiple coffee shops over multiple years. If you have anything to add/discuss about this list, please let me know!
Thanks to The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, we can literally speak with the author of the world fantasy classic. After all, many of us are looking forward to the last part of the trilogy - ‘The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Ar
robertogarcias asked: Heey! Great blog honestly you have done a great job! I am writing a book about some teenagers going to middle school and the plot gets involved with them and a new teacher who is following them. How can I skip classes, explain that school is now over or making a class faslty getting over? because I am using school classes that have important scenes on the book, but I am getting stuck about what making with the other school classes that completes the school day. Thankyou!
Most of the action in a middle school or high school setting will take place in the following areas:
- on the way to school (walking, bus, car)
- various locations inside and outside of school prior to first bell
- inside the classroom just prior to class beginning
- between classes, in hallways, at lockers, or in bathrooms
- at lunch, in the lunch room, on school grounds, or off school grounds if an open campus
- in the gym, on the field, or in the locker room
- in the library
- after school, in hallways or at lockers, outside of the school, or wherever a particular extracurricular activity is held
- during extracurricular activities such as clubs, meets, practices, games, and dances
- outside of school hours, at homes, malls, parties, workplaces, or various public areas or businesses
Try to set scenes in logical places. A scene that requires a lot of talk or action might not be best in a classroom, and a make out session might not work in the lunchroom.
You can skip through a day like this:
Harold and I hatched our plan on the walk to school that morning. By the time we removed our math books from our lockers, our plan was ready to be set in motion. When we got to math class, I made a list of steps which I handed to Harold.
"I’ll tackle step one during third period," he said, grinning.
I gave him a nod and turned my attention to Mrs. Smith even though I had no interest in trigonometry that day. The hour passed by horrifically slow, and English and History lasted six-hundred years, but finally I caught up with Harold after third period to hear the score.
"Step one is done. Ready for step two?"
I could feel the mischief in my grin. “On it. I’ll have it done by lunch time.”
For the next two periods I stared the clock down, willing the time to pass more quickly than it had been, and finally it was time for lunch. I knew that this part of our plan relied heavily on the unwitting participation of Suzy Atwell, so I sought her out as soon as I had my lunch tray.
That is a truncated version of what you could do, but it shows how you can cover a lot of time and classes without actually writing about each one.
I hope that helps, and by the way, thanks for your kind words about the blog! :)
I think one of the biggest things to keep in mind when writing fantasy is to try and keep as much of it realistic as possible. Obviously since it’s fantasy, there will be some kind of magical or supernatural powers, creatures, etc., so those won’t necessarily be “realistic,” but there are still real-world things to consider.
Some commonly overdone fantasy tropes that can easily lead to overpowered characters include
- learning a new skill (magical, weapon-related, etc.) in an alarmingly short amount of time
- related to the above, a young character being more skilled than an older and more experienced person despite their age (not to say that you can’t make young characters exceptionally talented, but let’s be honest, if a teenager who just learned magic six months ago goes up alone against the most powerful mage in the land, they’re probably gonna lose, and if not, you might have an overpowered character on your hands)
- having a character be born with some kind of “inherent” talent for a difficult or long-lost power, then using this as an excuse for why they’re so good at everything
- characters who are mages/witches/wizards/magic users of some sort who aren’t balanced out by other magic users, or by limitations on their magic. For example, if magic users are super uncommon in your world and there are only a few in the story, there probably should be some severe limitations on how much or what kind of magic they can use, or else they’d wipe everyone else out easily.
- this one isn’t quite as overdone, but since you mentioned your characters were mostly mercenaries, you’d want to make sure their weapons, armor, and other gear reflect their status. Unless they’re exceptionally well-paid mercenaries, they probably won’t have the best mint-condition armor or greatest super-rare enchanted weaponry, and even their fighting style will likely be different from that of formally trained soldiers, knights, etc.
There are probably a lot more, but those are some ones that seem pretty common. There are also non-genre-specific things that can lead to a character seeming “mary-sue”-like and flat:
- always being right even without enough information to make an informed decision
- not having flaws that can actually affect the story (example: if one of the character’s flaws is that they’re “immature,” think about how “has an immature sense of humor and makes fart jokes” differs from “handles confrontation in an immature way, leading to difficulties in their relationships with the other characters”)
- saying in the narration that a character looks a certain way but showing them to be another. For example, you can say upfront that Character A is “plain-looking with brown hair and gray eyes” but if you go on to constantly describe them with phrases like “soft auburn locks shining in the sunlight” and “eyes like oncoming storm clouds,” people probably aren’t going to buy into the whole “plain” claim, and it’ll seem like you were just saying that to make them seem less exceptional
- not being fair in the way characters’ negative actions are portrayed– for example, excusing the protagonist if they make a mistake that costs innocent lives, but vilifying another character for doing the same. Although this bit of advice doesn’t always stand, especially if your story is in first-person, or if you’re intentionally going for an unreliable narrator.
These are just some that immediately came to mind as common or overdone. Here are some external things to check out:
- Common Mary Sue Traits
- Mary Sue Problems
- 123 Character Flaws
- 100 Character Development Questions
- Help! I Have a Mary Sue
- Mary Sue Litmus Test (this one can be entertaining but I’d take it with a grain of salt; once I ran through it just for fun with one of my old characters who I knew was ridiculously overpowered [like he was literally a 1,000-year-old immortal demigod mage swordsman] and it said he was a well-balanced character, then it said that my scruffy plain 50-year-old non-magical human general was most likely a Mary Sue. So I would definitely not use this as you #1 resource for writing well-rounded characters.)
If this is a good relationship, the characters should naturally be worrying about consent and respect even if they are new to the BDSM community. That’s a natural point of concern in every relationship. I picture a healthy couple getting into BDSM for the first time saying stuff like “Shit did that really hurt?” “Sorry!” “Is that no no or no?” “Are you really OK with this?” because they’re good people and care for each other.
If there is no concern for anyone’s safety or consent, then that is an abusive relationship, even if they “learn” to respect boundaries later.