darlavillani:

Nine Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers
"Seeing your work in print for the first time is a unique thrill. But it can feel like a daunting task to submit your writing to a magazine or journal when you nobody other than friends and family has ever read it. To make the process somewhat less scary, here are 9 literary magazines that welcome submissions from new and never before published writers."
 Read on.
Let’s stay connected.

darlavillani:

Nine Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers

"Seeing your work in print for the first time is a unique thrill. But it can feel like a daunting task to submit your writing to a magazine or journal when you nobody other than friends and family has ever read it. To make the process somewhat less scary, here are 9 literary magazines that welcome submissions from new and never before published writers."

 Read on.

Let’s stay connected.

(via fixyourwritinghabits)

He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.

Mary Oliver, excerpt from “White Heron Rises Over Blackwater” (via larmoyante)
victoriousvocabulary:

APPETITION
[noun]
desire; a longing for, or seeking after, something.
Etymology: from Latin appetītiō, “a longing for or desire”.
[Erika Steiskal]

victoriousvocabulary:

APPETITION

[noun]

desire; a longing for, or seeking after, something.

Etymologyfrom Latin appetītiō, “a longing for or desire”.

[Erika Steiskal]

yeahwriters:

Prompt by lovely-alpacas:

Write about you or one of your characters walking through a place that was once filled with activity and now is deserted. Be sure to describe the feelings that are there now compared to the ones felt when it was active.

Submit Your Story | Yeah Write | Daily Prompts in Your Inbox

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

What biases does your character have? Do they have any ignorant opinions and beliefs? What do they base it on? Are there any facts that support their opinions or discredit the opposing opinions? Do they believe any misconceptions as fact that support their opinions or discredit the opposing opinions?

How did their history up to this point lead them to these biases, opinions, and beliefs? How do their biases, opinions, and beliefs effect their life and character development from this point on?

sexpigeon:

The anchor, or whatever it’s called. Most underrated bit of a suspension bridge. Just a massive and immovable object.

sexpigeon:

The anchor, or whatever it’s called. Most underrated bit of a suspension bridge. Just a massive and immovable object.

Stereotypes, Tropes, and Archetypes

writeworld:

What are the differences between stereotypes, tropes, and archetypes? What are they? How do writers use them? Let’s take a look at some vocabulary and how we define these terms to make sense of them for ourselves.

Stereotype (n): A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

To elaborate on this, stereotypes can be seen as sets of characteristics or behaviors that are commonly associated with one another, thus making it easier to intuit some of them if one or more is known. Stereotypes, though, are not literary. They refer to beliefs held about groups in reality, not types of characters. The literary cousin of the stereotype is the trope.

Trope (n): devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.

If tropes seem a little too much like to stereotypes for comfort, that’s because, technically speaking, they are stereotypes. “A Trope is a stereotype that writers find useful in communicating with readers.” (x) However, because the word stereotype has become so stigmatized in society, we prefer to think of tropes as specific to storytelling.

You use tropes in your writing. It is nearly impossible to escape them. And that is okay.

Tropes are things that pop up repeatedly in media as cultural norms in storytelling—types of characters, settings, plot lines, etc.. Stuff like a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who exists to usher a male character to his higher level of emotional awareness or personal growth, or a case of Mistaken Identity where Hilarity Ensues. Tropes are culturally-based, which is what sets them apart from archetypes.

Archetype (n): a very typical example of a certain person or thing; types that fit fundamental human motifs.

An archetype is a kind of character that pops up in stories all over the place. A trope is a character that puts that archetype in a cultural context.

For instance, let’s say you have a character who is a Geek. The role of a Geek in literature is a trope, because it is common in a certain culture (i.e. Western, though depictions of the Geek will vary within Western Civilization as well). Broadly and therefore in terms of an archetype, the Geek is the Scholar, a person who is constantly in search of knowledge. Various stereotypes about the Geek (like poor social skills) might then be inferred by characters or readers based on their understanding of the society in which they live.

It’s important to mention that none of these things are necessarily clichés.

Cliché (n):

  1. A trite or overused expression or idea; often a vivid depiction of an abstraction that relies upon analogy or exaggeration for effect, often drawn from everyday experience.
  2. A person or character whose behavior is predictable or superficial.

For more about clichés, mosey over to this post. Essentially, clichés are boring and overdone by definition, but tropes and archetypes can be useful. Yes, this is a subjective distinction.

So here’s the breakdown:

  • Stereotypes: Not literary. We avoid using this term to talk about classifying characters, settings, plot points, etc..
  • Archetypes: The broad, all-encompassing norms of the stories humanity tells. The same archetypes can be found in all or nearly all cultures.
  • Tropes: Culturally-specific norms in storytelling. Tropes are cultural classifications of archetypes. There can be many tropes found under the umbrella of one archetype. Literary devices are not tropes (i.e. narrators, foreshadowing, flashbacks, etc.).
  • Clichés: Overused and hackneyed phrases, characters, settings, plot points, etc.. Archetypes do not become clichéd. Tropes can become clichés if they are used too often and readers get bored of them. Clichés are defined by a loss of the meaning or as a distraction from the story.

Let’s focus on tropes and archetypes now as these terms are often used as a sort of shorthand when writing. Once you have firmly introduced a character as one type of archetype and/or a trope within that archetype, you do not have to elaborate on the character as much before moving on in the storyline.

While this can be useful and can help keep a section moving, it can also be very lazy, can help to perpetuate unhealthy stereotypes that carry over into the real world, and can make for one-dimensional characters. All of this forces the readers to focus on the way the story is being told instead of the story itself. Not good.

Here are some questions to keep in mind when using trope and archetypes in writing:

  • Is this derogatory? Does this demean or belittle? Is it harmful to the reader? For instance, the Dumb Blonde trope from American culture can assume that all blondes are easily-fooled, flighty, and even promiscuous. In the real world, the Dumb Blonde trope certainly translates into a derogatory stereotype, so is it something you want to use in your writing or can you manipulate the trope to create something unexpected?
  • Is this really necessary? Do you actually need to use a trope or archetype as a base for your character to keep the flow moving or the characters easy to remember, or are you using it so you don’t have to bother to give your character, well, character? Laziness is no excuse for poor writing. Using a trope can flatten a character very quickly if that’s all that they have going for them. There’s even a term for a character whose personality is limited to a single trope; they’re called stock characters.
  • Is this actually the one I want? Perhaps the empty headed and hot cheerleader trope is not the one you want. Maybe the secretly hot booksmart nerd is a better fit for your story. Maybe not. Really think about what base characteristics you give your characters, because they an come in handy farther down the storyline. Browsing tropes is fun, but at the end of the day, try combining character traits to create something that is unique for you is what makes a character worth writing.
  • Am I using this to bash someone? While almost all tropes can be harmful in one way or another, how you present them can have a big effect on whether or not you are actually using a trope or are pulling away from your story to offer the reader a stereotype instead. Being nasty because of someone else’s perceived shortcomings won’t help your story, and, if that’s not enough reason, it can be harmful to you because people will call you on it. Depth is key.
  • How can I use this in a way that is helpful? By making your characters more personalized and three-dimensional, you humanize them and give the reader a better chance of empathizing with them. In Creative Writing Tip: Avoiding Stereotypes, Matthew Arnold Stern says:
    The antidote to stereotypes is to create well-rounded characters with clear and human motivation. Even a character who appears briefly in a story can benefit from depth and complexity. Such characters add realism and depth that draws us further into the story.
    Choose a base trope or archetype for a character, and then elaborate on it in a way that breaks expectations or defies convention. A shy, sweet, nerdy girl who is not afraid to loudly tell someone to stop when she is uncomfortable and is happy with who she is could be a much more interesting character then the throw away filler character of a compliant, scared bookworm. A big, popular jock who is not afraid to stand up against bullying and treats his parents and teachers with respect has more hidden depth than the usual sneering bullies that populate literary sports fields.

All in all, archetypes and tropes can be a handy writing tool when used sparingly, but we have to remember that the stereotypes we perpetuate in our writing resonate with people in real life.

Speaking in terms of subject matter and not story construction, stereotypes have their place in literature, so long as the writer and the reader are completely aware of the fact that they are being used. Perhaps you are using a stereotype so you can later break it in an interesting way as a plot device, or you are driving it home as a stereotype that you feel is justified. For instance, there is the stereotype that drug dealers are dangerous and violent. The fact that anyone who is actively complicit in illegal activities is potentially dangerous is true, and it probably is best to avoid and not trust someone whose livelihood revolves around convincing you to break the law.

In Is Stereotyping Bad?, Brittney Weber said:

"Stereotypes have the potential to show a member of a particular group how to behave or how others believe they do. The latter may be apparent in the way they are treated by society at large, while the former encourages them to remain within the confines of that definition."

So think before you write, and be considerate of the effect your writing may have on others, as well as the effect that devices like tropes can have on your writing.

Further Reading: 

-Ji, O, and C

(via fixyourwritinghabits)

When you live alone people are always thinking they can stay with you, when the opposite is true: who they should stay with is a person whose situation is already messed up by other people and so one more won’t matter.

Miranda July, The First Bad Man (via bookoisseur)

(Source: specialedition87, via bookoisseur)

writingwithcolor:

clevergirlhelps:

A short post on the most underrepresented eye color in fiction and the most common eye color in the world.
Shades of Brown
Gold
Amber
Russet
Tawny
Fawn
Copper
Chestnut
Rust
Sepia
Umber
Copper
Caramel
Ebony
Inky black
Things that are Shades of Brown
Whiskey/beer (gold)
Wood (range from light brown to black)
Chocolate (mid to dark brown)
Coffee (pale gold to black)
Henna (reddish brown)
Bronze (light brown)
Afternoon sunlight (gold)
Obsidian (black)
Animals (and their eyes)
Earth (wet earth = dark brown, red clay = reddish brown, wet sand = light brown)
Ink (black)
Topaz gemstone (orange to dark brown)
Leather (mid to dark brown)
Brown Associations
Autumn or winter: Brown, an earth tone, is closely associated with dead plants, which are brown and not very romantic. You can link this to the smell of woodsmoke, bark, or new snow; the taste of frost or hot chocolate; the sight of bare branches and southward-flying birds; the touch of warm sweaters or rake handles; the sound of crunching leaves or fire crackling.
Earth: Again, brown is an earth tone. You can link this to petrichor, the smell of flowers, animals, or water; the taste of crisp cold air or freshwater; the sight of fresh soil, stones, bark, or a low-slung, comfortable cabin; the touch of rain, leather, dirt, or fur; the sound of birds calling, rain falling, plants rustling
Alcohol: Most liquor is gold or brown. You can link this to the smell of alcohol and a well-packed bar; the taste of ice, glass, garnish, and alcohol; the sight of a polished bar, a half-empty glass/mug, and the shotgun resting below the bar; the touch of a mild buzz, an arm through yours, or the mild jostling as you find a barstool; and the sound of barroom buzz, a pool table, jazz music, and pouring drinks.
Animals: Many animals - predator and prey - have brown or golden eyes. You can link this to the smell of (wet) fur; the taste of cold wind, blood, or plants; the sight of moving branches, unblinking eyes, feathers shining in the sun, and fur ruffling in the breeze; the touch of the ground beneath your bare feet, branches whipping along beside you, and the weather; and the sounds of panting/breathing, or soft footfalls or wing beats.
Material: Brown is a tactile color, bringing with it the touch of copper or velvet or hemp or satin in addition to the hue. You can link this to the smell of metal, wet fabric, or hemp; the taste of blood (sometimes described as coppery) or champagne at a luxurious event; the sight of a richly decorated bed, a burnished weapon or set of buttons, or a lovely gown; the touch of cold metal, soft velvet, or course fur; and the sounds of rubbing fur, rustling fabric, and chiming metal.
Blackness: This is for all the very dark-eyed people out there who appear not to have irises at all. You can link this to the smell of a cold night or of rock; the taste of regret, lies, or red wine; the sight of raven’s wings, obsidian, flickering shadows, mourners at a funeral, coals, and endless pits; the sensation of being about to fall into a hole, the secret thrill of illicit behavior, nothingness, warmth, or compelling mystery; and the sounds of murmured conversations, rustling feathers, and drowsiness.
Descriptions for Brown Eyes: Other
crystal-thimble: deep and velvety
extremeflamingo: October eyes
zomborgs: golden brown, like the afternoon sun shining through a glass of whiskey
gsaxby: your eyes are like freshly melted chocolate
just-a-writer: the colour of coal moments before the earth turns it into a diamond
rossdittman: tree bark, dark wood, mountain rock, dark leather
tane-p: i love it when brown eyes are compared with the colors of coffee or honey
vikinghans: pebble brown, the haze of bark, a shade of sooty cocoa
cailincasta: my best friend tells me my eyes are like an intense golden brown kaleidoscope. Buttered chocolate with darker rays fanning out around the bottomless pit of an iris, swirled with caramel crescent moons and trapped by a thick, hazy, black limbal ring.
lightlybow: I, personally, like the terms “honey” or “molasses” because it indicates depth and warmth and familiarity
moonjade65: Their eyes were like brown pebbles smoothed slowly by the trickle of a stream.
that-one-fandom-chick: his eyes reminded me of the hot chocolate I would drink as a kid during winter. A deep, rich, chocolate color.
aprincessdoesntimplyfragility: El sol bañaba sus ojos color caoba y los hacía aún más cálidos, del color chocolate con leche y la tierra fresca y fértil (translation: the sun bathes your eyes in chestnut, augmenting the color of chocolate with milk and fresh, fertile land)
musings-of-a-writer: amber or cognac
ultracoal: brown like a June bug
marlynnofmany: he hadn’t seen brown eyes gloe before, but hers did - like morning sunlight on the bark of a redwood tree.
katsumiri: her eyes are too clear to be a real brown, too milky to be a real chocolate
marquis-shax: sunshine through a glass of whiskey
ghostoyevsky: copper-colored
vaulteddoors: she had eyes the colour of a night at the bar: hardwood floors and 4am ale

This post has great inspiration for describing brown skin tones as well, with taste, i.e. avoiding food descriptions in regards to skin. Though even then, there’s exceptions, which i’ll explain more in a near-future post about describing skin tone ^.^
~Mod Colette

writingwithcolor:

clevergirlhelps:

A short post on the most underrepresented eye color in fiction and the most common eye color in the world.

Shades of Brown

  • Gold
  • Amber
  • Russet
  • Tawny
  • Fawn
  • Copper
  • Chestnut
  • Rust
  • Sepia
  • Umber
  • Copper
  • Caramel
  • Ebony
  • Inky black

Things that are Shades of Brown

  • Whiskey/beer (gold)
  • Wood (range from light brown to black)
  • Chocolate (mid to dark brown)
  • Coffee (pale gold to black)
  • Henna (reddish brown)
  • Bronze (light brown)
  • Afternoon sunlight (gold)
  • Obsidian (black)
  • Animals (and their eyes)
  • Earth (wet earth = dark brown, red clay = reddish brown, wet sand = light brown)
  • Ink (black)
  • Topaz gemstone (orange to dark brown)
  • Leather (mid to dark brown)

Brown Associations

  • Autumn or winter: Brown, an earth tone, is closely associated with dead plants, which are brown and not very romantic. You can link this to the smell of woodsmoke, bark, or new snow; the taste of frost or hot chocolate; the sight of bare branches and southward-flying birds; the touch of warm sweaters or rake handles; the sound of crunching leaves or fire crackling.
  • Earth: Again, brown is an earth tone. You can link this to petrichor, the smell of flowers, animals, or water; the taste of crisp cold air or freshwater; the sight of fresh soil, stones, bark, or a low-slung, comfortable cabin; the touch of rain, leather, dirt, or fur; the sound of birds calling, rain falling, plants rustling
  • Alcohol: Most liquor is gold or brown. You can link this to the smell of alcohol and a well-packed bar; the taste of ice, glass, garnish, and alcohol; the sight of a polished bar, a half-empty glass/mug, and the shotgun resting below the bar; the touch of a mild buzz, an arm through yours, or the mild jostling as you find a barstool; and the sound of barroom buzz, a pool table, jazz music, and pouring drinks.
  • Animals: Many animals - predator and prey - have brown or golden eyes. You can link this to the smell of (wet) fur; the taste of cold wind, blood, or plants; the sight of moving branches, unblinking eyes, feathers shining in the sun, and fur ruffling in the breeze; the touch of the ground beneath your bare feet, branches whipping along beside you, and the weather; and the sounds of panting/breathing, or soft footfalls or wing beats.
  • Material: Brown is a tactile color, bringing with it the touch of copper or velvet or hemp or satin in addition to the hue. You can link this to the smell of metal, wet fabric, or hemp; the taste of blood (sometimes described as coppery) or champagne at a luxurious event; the sight of a richly decorated bed, a burnished weapon or set of buttons, or a lovely gown; the touch of cold metal, soft velvet, or course fur; and the sounds of rubbing fur, rustling fabric, and chiming metal.
  • Blackness: This is for all the very dark-eyed people out there who appear not to have irises at all. You can link this to the smell of a cold night or of rock; the taste of regret, lies, or red wine; the sight of raven’s wings, obsidian, flickering shadows, mourners at a funeral, coals, and endless pits; the sensation of being about to fall into a hole, the secret thrill of illicit behavior, nothingness, warmth, or compelling mystery; and the sounds of murmured conversations, rustling feathers, and drowsiness.

Descriptions for Brown Eyes: Other

  • crystal-thimble: deep and velvety
  • extremeflamingo: October eyes
  • zomborgs: golden brown, like the afternoon sun shining through a glass of whiskey
  • gsaxby: your eyes are like freshly melted chocolate
  • just-a-writer: the colour of coal moments before the earth turns it into a diamond
  • rossdittman: tree bark, dark wood, mountain rock, dark leather
  • tane-p: i love it when brown eyes are compared with the colors of coffee or honey
  • vikinghans: pebble brown, the haze of bark, a shade of sooty cocoa
  • cailincasta: my best friend tells me my eyes are like an intense golden brown kaleidoscope. Buttered chocolate with darker rays fanning out around the bottomless pit of an iris, swirled with caramel crescent moons and trapped by a thick, hazy, black limbal ring.
  • lightlybow: I, personally, like the terms “honey” or “molasses” because it indicates depth and warmth and familiarity
  • moonjade65: Their eyes were like brown pebbles smoothed slowly by the trickle of a stream.
  • that-one-fandom-chick: his eyes reminded me of the hot chocolate I would drink as a kid during winter. A deep, rich, chocolate color.
  • aprincessdoesntimplyfragilityEl sol bañaba sus ojos color caoba y los hacía aún más cálidos, del color chocolate con leche y la tierra fresca y fértil (translation: the sun bathes your eyes in chestnut, augmenting the color of chocolate with milk and fresh, fertile land)
  • musings-of-a-writer: amber or cognac
  • ultracoal: brown like a June bug
  • marlynnofmany: he hadn’t seen brown eyes gloe before, but hers did - like morning sunlight on the bark of a redwood tree.
  • katsumiri: her eyes are too clear to be a real brown, too milky to be a real chocolate
  • marquis-shax: sunshine through a glass of whiskey
  • ghostoyevsky: copper-colored
  • vaulteddoors: she had eyes the colour of a night at the bar: hardwood floors and 4am ale

This post has great inspiration for describing brown skin tones as well, with taste, i.e. avoiding food descriptions in regards to skin. Though even then, there’s exceptions, which i’ll explain more in a near-future post about describing skin tone ^.^

~Mod Colette