per·son of col·or
A person who is not white or of European parentage.
For your research:
- Here are some noteworthy sites that focus on women of color in the United States and around the world
- Native American Languages and Where they are used.
- The Races of Humanity
- Human Differentiation: Evolution of Racial Characteristics
- Whitewashing is racist
- What is a Hyphenated American? Beautiful People of Color
- More links and Research!!
How To Write PoC:
- From Margin to Center: Writing Characters of Color
- How to write PoC characters. [part 1, 2, 3]
- 5 SIMPLE RULES FOR WRITING YA FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR.
[part 1, 2]
- Decoding Hair Texture: [Black hair]
Face Claim help:
note: to remove this from the top of your dashboard just click the red pin!
- Delete extraneous literary devices before you consider deleting characters and plot points.
- If you had ten minutes to reread your favorite book, which parts would you skip and which parts would you head to? Take the most skippable parts of your own story and delete them.
- Delete or change scenes designed solely to establish something (a character, a setting, etc.). Every scene should move the plot along.
- Put in more dialog. It breaks up long, verbose paragraphs nicely.
- Delete any event that isn’t very interesting. If it’s crucial to the plot, either imply it, drastically shorten it, or change it.
Would you happen to have any resources on assassins? It’s a story set in Medieval Europe-type universe. Anything like ways to kill someone effectively, to clothing or weapons or mentalities to types of guilds or whatever would be great. Also, you’re phenomenal.
A truly helpful and very detailed post that explains what kind of things you can do and what you need to avoid in order to write an assassin in general.
If you’re gonna write on a setting which is really futuristic or old, you have to learn about it.
This is Thomas Keightley’s history of three secret societies of the Middle Ages: the Assassins, the Templars and the Fehmgerichte.
The Assassins, a shadowy group based in a remote stateless area, practicing a radical variant of Islam, and promising their followers a reward in the hereafter if they died in battle, has obvious modern parallels.
A problem there seems to be is that most of the people wanting to discuss about assassins see them exactly like the game Assassin’s Creed portrays; however, while there are a few true facts in the game, there’s a bit of a stretch on what they wore or how they organized themselves. It’s not like there’s actually a lot of information on them, since they were not called assassins in public and their job was basically that- to be subtle in their killings.It turns out that the ‘Assassin Fortress’ that lies in Masyaf throughout the Assassin’s Creed story, is real. In fact, it’s name is Alamut, and it rests upon the peak of Aluh Amut, which is apart of the Alborz Mountains.History of Alamut - An index, apparently about the story of the place. It has a very interesting article on the etymology of the word assassin.This particular link will be really helpful since it talks about their tactics, victims and eventual downfall.Even better, it lists a source of books:
- Franzius, Enno. History of the Order of the Assassins, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969.
- Hodgson, Marshall. The Order of Assassins: The Struggle of the Early Nizari Ismailis against the Islamic World, ‘s-Gravenhage: Mouton & Co., 1955.
- Lewis, Bernard. The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam, New York: Octogon Books, 1980.
- Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004.
The TYRANT: the bullying despot, he wants power at any price. He ruthlessly conquers all he surveys, crushing his enemies beneath his feet. People are but pawns to him, and he holds all the power pieces. Hesitate before getting in this man’s way – he’ll think nothing of destroying you.
The BASTARD: the dispossessed son, he burns with resentment. He can’t have what he wants, so he lashes out to hurt those around him. His deeds are often for effect – he wants to provoke action in others. He proudly announces his rebellious dealings. Don’t be fooled by his boyish demeanor – he’s a bundle of hate.
The DEVIL: the charming fiend, he gives people what he thinks they deserve. Charisma allows him to lure his victims to their own destruction. His ability to discover the moral weaknesses in others serves him well. Close your ears to his cajolery – he’ll tempt you to disaster.
The TRAITOR: the double agent, he betrays those who trust him most. No one suspects the evil that lurks in his heart. Despite supportive smiles and sympathetic ears, he plots the destruction of his friends. Never turn your back on him — he means you harm.
The OUTCAST: the lonely outsider, he wants desperately to belong. Tortured and unforgiving, he has been set off from others, and usually for good cause. He craves redemption, but is willing to gain it by sacrificing others. Waste no sympathy on him - he’ll have none for you.
The EVIL GENIUS: the malevolent mastermind, he loves to show off his superior intelligence. Intellectual inferiors are contemptible to him and that includes just about everyone. Elaborate puzzles and experiments are his trademark. Don’t let him pull your strings – the game is always rigged in his favor.
The SADIST: the savage predator, he enjoys cruelty for its own sake. Violence and psychological brutality are games to this man; and he plays those games with daring and skill. Run, don’t walk, away from this man – he’ll tear out your heart, and laugh while doing it.
The TERRORIST: the dark knight, he serves a warped code of honor. Self-righteous, he believes in his own virtue, and judges all around him by a strict set of laws. The end will always justify his nefarious means, and no conventional morality will give him pause. Don’t try to appeal to his sense of justice – his does not resemble yours.
The BITCH: the abusive autocrat, she lies, cheats, and steals her way to the top. Her climb to success has left many a heel mark on the backs of others. She doesn’t care about the peons around her – only the achievement of her dreams matters. Forget expecting a helping hand from her – she doesn’t help anyone but herself.
The BLACK WIDOW: the beguiling siren, she lures victims into her web. She goes after anyone who has something she wants, and she wants a lot. But she does her best to make the victim want to be deceived. An expert at seduction of every variety, she uses her charms to get her way. Don’t be fooled by her claims of love – it’s all a lie.
The BACKSTABBER: the two-faced friend, she delights in duping the unsuspecting. Her sympathetic smiles enable her to learn her victims’ secrets, which she then uses to feather her nest. Her seemingly helpful advice is just the thing to hinder. Put no faith in her – she’ll betray you every time.
The LUNATIC: the unbalanced madwoman, she draws others into her crazy environment. The drum to which she marches misses many a beat, but to her, it is the rest of the world that is out of step. Don’t even try to understand her logic – she is unfathomable.
The PARASITE: the poisonous vine, she collaborates for her own comfort. She goes along with any atrocity, so long as her own security is assured. She sees herself as a victim who had no choice, and blames others for her crimes. Expect no mercy from her – she won’t lift a finger to save anyone but herself.
The SCHEMER: the lethal plotter, she devises the ruin of others. Like a cat with a mouse, she plays with lives. Elaborate plans, intricate schemes; nothing pleases her more than to trap the unwary. Watch out for her complex designs – she means you no good.
The FANATIC: the uncompromising extremist, she does wrong in the name of good. She justifies hers action by her intent, and merely shrugs her shoulders at collateral damage. Anyone not an ally is an enemy, and therefore, fair game. Give up any hope of showing her the error of her ways – she firmly believes you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
The MATRIARCH: the motherly oppressor, she smothers her loved ones. She knows what’s best and will do all in her power to controls the lives of those who surround her – all for their own good. A classic enabler, she sees no fault with her darlings, unless they don’t follow her dictates. Don’t be lured into her family nest – you’ll never get out alive.
Newsflash: If a strong, independent female character falls in love, it does not automatically mean that she has lost her values or that she’s become less strong and independent, and does not necessarily change her story into an anti-feminist one. The idea that all women should fall in love and get married IS sexist, but a woman actually falling in love and getting married of her own free will is NOT sexist. Thank you and good day.
CREATING AN OC
- Building Fictional Characters
- Creating an Original Character
- Fiction Writing: Creating a Character
- How to Create a Character
- How to Create a Fictional Character From Scratch
WRITING A BIO
Found here. Bio layouts still to come.
Habits in writing are natural. Like any other habit, they serve as a safety net and a place where we can surround ourselves in comfortable things that work for us. In short fiction, these habits might not stand out so much. In long fiction, however, repetitious formulas can jolt a reader from the narrative.
The list below is a few pointers on craft habits that I tend to give writers during the critique process. They’re only guidelines, not rules, and as such are totally meant to be ignored at any given time.
Passages of time
I once critiqued a writer who used “she waited a beat” as a way to express a moment passing, and I hadn’t seen this before, so I liked it. But then she used it again. And again.
There might be times where simply “a moment passed” is completely necessary. Oftentimes, however, it doesn’t need to be done. Instead, it might be possible to actually describe what happens in that moment, whether it’s simply just the characters seething with tension and expressing it physically.
“She looked away. They were silent for a tense moment.”
“She looked away. Her fingers picked at her jeans. The breeze tickled the gathering sweat on the back of her neck.”
Extra steps of action can be used as a tool to slow down the narrative or create a certain mood, but if that’s not the intention, then this might be the end result:
“She walked down the hall and grabbed the doorknob. She unlocked the deadbolt and pushed open the door. She stepped outside.”
This is a lot of unnecessary fat that would be trimmed right off in revision. Not every second of a scene (or between scenes) needs to be captured if there’s not plot or character development, so it’s fine if all that is summed up to simply:
“She went outside.”
I/she/he: felt, saw, heard, tasted, touched, etc. Any time the aforementioned is used, the writer removes the reader from the story one full step. Instead of diving headfirst into the description, this makes the reader test the water with their big toe first.
“I heard the wolf cry.”
“The wolf cried.”
“I tasted cinnamon.”
“Cinnamon burned on my tongue.”
“I touched the cold water.”
“The cold water stung my fingertips.”
In moderation, at the right moments, perhaps to create a certain mood or to communicate a sort of disconnect (such as in dreams or fragmented memories), using these phrases can be effective as well.
Words like “back” and “around” are my greatest dependencies. I use them so frequently that everyone is looking back or turning back or reaching back or handing back. Even worse, sometimes my characters will turn back around.
Word tics stunt a writer in creatively approaching action. I’ve read about agents who loathe the word “look” and said to simply describe what the character is seeing. There are certainly times where these words are absolutely necessary, but they shouldn’t serve as a crutch. (You can read more about word tics in this post.)
Clichés lose their meaning over time, and because of this, they often don’t work well in regards to description.
“He had a chiseled face.”
“Her eyes sparkled like diamonds.”
These are phrases that have been used and abused to the point where readers will glaze over the cliché in question without digesting the words, or readers will read the cliché and think of another story where they last read it. (Or maybe even roll their eyes because diamonds.)
As writers, it’s our job to invent new ways to describe the same things. It’s also important to note that clichés can be reinvented, a twisted new take on old phrases, so to speak, and also that some characters might simply be prone to clichés as part of who they are.
Awesome unusual words
Sometimes we find a super cool word that we love to use and reuse. It simply works in a sentence and conveys precisely what we want to convey. The word might not be all that unusual, but strange enough that it stands out if we use it twice in a chapter. The more we use it, the more it loses its efficacy.
“The blistering cold shower water…”
“The blistering wind…”
Let’s assume the first example sentence just needs to have the word blistering. In that case, it might actually be best to rework the second sentence to let the reader infer the word “blistering”.
“The wind ripped the swell of condensation from her lips. Her eyes burned as she crossed the patches of grass, her stiff fingers buried deep in the pockets of her coat. She knew the sparse green blades would be dead with frost in the morning.”