Amateur Ramblings

Oct 1


Went from comedic to real as fuck in like 2 seconds

(Source: friggindweeb)

Oct 1

Organize Your Plot: Part 1



Writers are never short on ideas, but oftentimes we have trouble sorting them out and getting them down on the page. It can be daunting, especially when you have a complex concept or world that has to be built, but it’s useful to know that you’re not the only one facing this issue. As such, there have been many methods devised to help you better organize your story ideas and punch that first road block right in the face. One such is the outline.

First, if you don’t already know the structure of a story, I’d check this article out: Plotting Methods for Meticulous Plotters 

There are a TON of ways to handle an outline, and everyone has their own methods. I don’t usually link the Daily Mail, but here’s an article they did showing some outlines belonging to famous authors to give you an idea of the variations. I’m going to be covering a more standard format in this section.

Outlines are useful for organizing the time line of events in your story as well as keeping track of multiple character arcs. You can be as detailed, or as brief, as you need to be with your outline, since you’re going to be using it as the skeleton for your story. Nothing you write for your outline is set in stone. Expect it to change because stories evolve as you build them. I recommend typing outlines for easy editing at a later point.

I normally set up outlines like this:

Chapter #

Character (Since I have more than one POV.)

  • Idea for how the chapter opens, what the focus character is doing.

  • Details, which will include a description of what happens next, how my character feels about the situation, maybe a line of dialogue I thought of, a piece of imagery I want to use, a question if this particular item is appropriate for the scene or better served elsewhere, a concept idea, a note about how this plot line may or may not work later, etc. It is always easier to move a story element in an outline than it is in the actual draft.

  • Continue listing what happens

  • Next, taking up as much space and as many bullet points as you need. Use a new bullet point when you have a new idea, or a new action or event. My outlines for chapters tend to be a page or more, as I’m very specific.

  • If you only have a general idea of what’s going in a section, or you’ve dug yourself into a plot hole that you can’t fix right now, make a note and come back to it later. You may find as you progress in your outline that you will come up with an acceptable answer to your stuck point working on a later chapter.

  • How the chapter ends. It should lead into the next chapter.

If you want to track character arcs, you can highlight or color-code your text for specific characters throughout the outline so you can see their progression through the overall narrative. I also tend to make note of how I want this character to change by the end of the book if necessary.

My outlines, when I actually do them, tend to go on for a while. The last time I did one the document was around 20 pages or so. This, of course, may be way too much detail for some of you, so feel free to slim down.

Bare Bones Outline:

Chapter 1 (Title, if applicable)


  • Main character bites into sandwich. The act of doing so transports him into a different realm.

  • He falls out of the sky and onto a funeral precession.

  • Disoriented, he is attacked by the precession’s guards while being shouted at by the mourners.

  • Our hero runs away, still having no clue what’s going on. He flees into the woods.

  • He ends up stumbling around, nearly crashing into trees, and eventually runs into what looks like a rock. However, the rock moves and turns to reveal it’s some sort of creature.

  • End chapter on main character staring at the angry, dripping maw of the beast.

This example shows you the main points of the chapter, the focus character, his possible conflict, and an end point that leads you right into the next chapter.

Bulleted lists work the best for me as far as formatting goes, but feel free to use standard numbers, arrows, or Roman numerals if that suits you best.

Outline Tools:

Some people like to use specific programs for outlining. I use OpenOffice (or Microsoft Office, but I’m cheap), though others exist:

  • Microsoft One Note (usually comes with new Windows PCs).
  • Omni Outliner (Mac OS).
  • Free Mind (not a traditional outline and is instead a visual mapping tool).
  • Scrivner.
  • Redhaven Outline.
  • Excel or Google Docs (for spreadsheets).

Happy outlining!


How many times as a writer have you gotten so caught up in the next step of the writing process that you lose sight of the real finish-line: getting to the end? Are you suffering from a case of go-back-and-gix-it, or worse, page-perfectionitis? Stop worrying about editing or finding the perfect word, and just get to the end.

- Gennifer Albin (via writingquotes)


Cool ghost photography by surrealist photographer Cristopher McKenney.


important ship tropes:

  • fake dating
  • SECRET dating
  • being locked in a room or trapped in a small space
  • finishing each other’s sentences, KNOWING WHAT THE OTHER IS ABOUT TO SAY
  • tou chi NG!!!! FOr eheA DS!!!!!!11!!
  • wearing each other’s clothes
  • doing that thing where they accidentally get real close and, like, stare meaningfully at each other for a few seconds too long
  • channeling the inner romcom and having an epiphany about how much they care about each other and RACING TO CONFESS THEIR LOVE
  • fucking. Now or Never Kiss
  • defending each other to scathing tertiary or otherwise minor characters but ONLY WHEN THE OTHER ISN’T AROUND
  • reincarnation or time loop or OOOOH TIME TRAVEL SCENARIOS
  • dramatically saving each other from certain death or barely surviving something that almost makes the other break down and just smirking wearily and mumbling flippant smartass remarks to HIDE THE DEPTH OF THEIR FEELINGS
  • undercover as lovers, the classic
  • ALMOST KISSING. like getting so close that they start to close their eyes and hold their breath and then SOMETHING HAPPENS and they jump apart, that is MORE VALUABLE THAN ANY ACTUAL KISSING
  • casually sitting on each other’s laps during ensemble cast conversations or scenes
  • did i mention F AKE DATinG

(Source: brellaween)

Anything on using foreign languages within dialogue and translating for the reader?



Common Phrases

You don’t have to translate common phrases such as greetings or exclamations. Use action and body language to show the reader what it means. If you use a certain phrase enough, the reader should figure out what it is (a greeting, a farewell, an exclamation, numbers, etc.) over time.

For example, if you use a greeting, show your characters hugging or smiling or shaking hands or greeting each other in some other way. If this phrase is also used when a character enters the scene, the reader will start to pick it up if they don’t already know what it means.

Longer Sentences

There are a few ways you can translate this.

1) Translator

Someone can act as a translator for this character. You do not need to write out what the person is saying. You can mention in the narration that they are speaking another language. Then you would give the dialogue translation to the translator.

2) Paraphrase

You can paraphrase what a person said within dialogue or narration. You do not need to show the dialogue of the foreign language in this case. For example, the narration can say that a character asked for a drink of water in another language. In first person, your POV character can paraphrase what a person is saying if they understand the language.

3) Narration

This makes more sense in first person POV. If a person speaks in another language, you can put (usually in italics) the translation after that dialogue. This is your POV character translating in their head:

"[insert language here]," she said.

[insert translation here].

4) No Translation

You don’t always need to translate stuff, especially if you don’t want the reader to know what’s going on yet. For example, if your POV character can understand this language, they can reply in whatever language you’re writing in while the person they are talking to is speaking in another language. Use this sparingly and take note that you’ll probably have readers who understand that language unless it is a fictional language. Use body language and your character’s response to hint to the reader about what the conversation might be about.

5) Glossary

This works best for fictional languages and books where another language is used sparingly. Some writers create a glossary of the words used in their book and then place it at the end. This way, the reader can flip to the back to see the translation and you won’t have to worry about translating it within the text.



Pipos Doll Animation x

i will not recover from that for a while. 


Lois Van Baarle



Gustave Caillebotte - The Floor Scrapers (1875-6)

Original on top, later version below

"Despite the effort Caillebotte put into the painting, it was rejected by France’s most prestigious art exhibition, The Salon, in 1875. The depiction of working-class people in their trade, not fully clothed, shocked the jurors and was deemed a ‘vulgar subject matter.’ 

The images of the floor scrapers came to be associated with Degas’s paintings of washerwomen, also presented at the same exhibition and similarly scorned as ‘vulgar’”.