1. I am reading Harry Potter metas again, and I’ve decided I wish I could see two things:

    1. The series rewritten by someone else. I love JKR’s stories, but there have been so many amazing meta and fanon things since then, and I would want to see where someone else given, say, all of the information we have now about what happened up to Voldemort’s attack on Harry, would go with it.

    2. An agreed upon fanon. I know that that essentially never happens, but it would be really cool to have one agreed-upon extended canon like with the Star Wars extended universe.

    Basically, I wish there was more Harry Potter.

  2. Anonymous said: Hi! I am in love with your advice! Would you be able to point out some helpful websites or ideas on how to write children and teenagers having to mandatorily serve in the army? Thank you so much!

    First, in modern times, that is uber illegal. Like, war crimes illegal. If they are 15-18, it’s more complicated, but if they’re under 15 (which I assume “children and teenagers” falls under), it’s really illegal.

    There are (in modern times) essentially three kinds of child soldiers (which is a generic term, not one that just means soldiers who are under the age of 13). I’m going to term them the British type, the Bolivian type, and the Central African Republic type. Know that all of those are titles only given because they are countries where this happens, not that they are necessarily in any way illustrative of the region or the people in them.

    In the British type (which happens in the UK, Australia, Canada, USA, India, and a number of other countries), people can join the army when they’re younger than eighteen (but older than fifteen), but they can’t serve in combat until they are eighteen. Some countries have specific exemptions that allow for under-eighteen service in cases where evacuation isn’t possible (like Australia) but otherwise do not allow for service of anyone under the age of eighteen.

    In the Bolivian type (which happens in Bolivia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Burma/Myanmar and a number of other countries), the governmental army has soldiers who are under eighteen (and often under fifteen) who fight in combat. This often ends up being mandatory and is really looked down upon by the international community.

    In the Central African Republic type (which happens in the Central African Republic, Burma/Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Syria, Chechnya, and a number of other countries), non-governmental military or paramilitary forces have children in them. In these cases it is especially common for the groups to forcibly take the children, who are often then addicted to drugs so they will be more willing and able to commit atrocities. Girls who are taken in—something which is less common but does happen—are commonly sexually assaulted.

    I’m assuming you’re talking about the Bolivian and Central African Republic types, because the British type is generally relatively benign and most people don’t have an issue with it. You also mentioned mandatory service. There are essentially two ways that you can go about having mandatory military service. The first is like the draft in the US, where it is the law. The second, which works especially with children, is to abduct people and force them to become soldiers. This is especially common in the Central African Republic type, but it also happens in the Bolivian type. This happened a number of times in Cold War-era conflicts like in El Salvador.

    Here are a few things to think about:

    • Machine guns are probably the best things (best in regards to efficacy rather than morality) for child soldiers, because they’re not that heavy and they don’t require a ton of training to hit what you’re aiming at.
    • It’s going to be really difficult especially for young children to do physical tasks that a normal military person in somewhere like the United States would do.
    • Especially if this is a large-scale thing, this is going to really screw up a generation (or more). You have children growing up killing people, and so their view of morality would be…off at best. Killing would be their normal.
    • It’s going to be pretty hard to get a child to go into a war zone without any sort of enticement. Drugs are often a good way to do this, especially if you don’t care all that much about whether or not the children survive.
    • You need to think about whether fighting will be required for only boys or for both boys and girls.
    • You need to figure out the command structure. Are children leading other children, and if not, does the hierarchy stagnate from whenever they are brought in (at 7, 11, 15, whenever) until they reach whatever you count as being an adult? If so, why does anyone trust their decision-making capabilities?
    • There are positions in the military other than fighting. They can also be scouts, medics, cooks, intelligence analysts, or numerous other things.

  3. Anonymous said: So I have this romantic subplot in my fantasy story between two best friends who've travelled together for like six years. I really want the romantic part to start in the story, but I somehow feel like it should've happened before, because they've been together for so long. I really don't know how to make it flow from friendship to romance without it becoming too fanfic-y or mushy. (1/2)

    And it’s especially hard because they’re not ones to actually say “I’m in love with you” or something to that extent. I also don’t want to make it that big a deal because it’s not what the story is about although [A]’s love for [B] really is a fundamental part of [A]’s motivation for doing what he does, and of [A] overcoming mind-alteration. Any tips?

    There are essentially two directions to go with this. The first one is where they (or at least one of them) are in love before the story starts but that they don’t admit it to each other until after the story starts. The second one is that the feelings start after the story starts.

    From your description, the first option makes more sense, because I’m having a hard time imagining feelings spontaneously appearing after six years, but anything is possible. They could have just not realized it before, especially if they lived only with each other, because they didn’t have any other frame of reference. Something would have to shake them out of the status quo, such as an illness, the death of someone else, the appearance of someone who wants to sleep with one of them and/or start a relationship with them, or a gazillion other things. One of these things could also inspire one of them to mention their feelings for the other one.

    Another option, given your description, is that the love is one-sided. [A] could love [B] and could be fine with the fact that [B] doesn’t love him back. [B] could later end up loving [A] back, if you want to go in that route.

    The transition should probably be awkward at first. Especially if they grew up together, thinking about each other sexually and being able to act on it might be really weird. They’ll probably screw up at first because they’re not sure whether they’re supposed to act differently when they’re in a relationship as opposed to just being friends. It might get worse before it gets better.

  4. Anonymous said: English is not my first language, but I always do my writting research in english, and when I see some posts I get really confused because I don't have any idea about acronyms like OC, POC, HEA, etc... I do know a few, but most of them not. Have you got any list? It would be very helpful...

    thecharactercomma:

    Sure, no problem! Some of the most common ones include:

    AU = Alternate universe

    GSD = gender and sexual diversity

    LGBT+ = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender

    LI = love interest

    MC = main character

    OC = original character

    OOC = out of character (thanks, ehuru!)

    POC = Person of Color

    WIP = work in progress

    WOC = Woman of Color

    I’ve actually never heard of HEA, but from looking online it might stand for happily ever after! I probably missed a few but those are the common ones I can think of.

    Any others I’m missing, followers?

    —E

    HEA is Happily Ever After, which is often used in contrast for HFN, which is Happily for Now. They’re terms primarily for romance novels, where HEA stories imply that the character will be together happily forever a la the end of Disney fairy tales. HFN stories imply that, while the characters are happy at the end of the story, they won’t be happy forever, either because of differences that haven’t been reconciled or because of some deadline that hasn’t been resolved yet (one is ill, one has to leave soon, etc.)

  5. Things I Want to See

    Vampire stories where anti-vampire people are all blue-ish because they ingest colloidal silver to keep vampires from drinking their blood.

  6. Anonymous said: Have you published your works?

    I have a poem published in Futuredaze. Beyond that, I have only had stuff published in anthologies that we give as gifts during the fundraiser every year for the writing program I did (Alpha SF/F/H Writing Workshop). I am currently working on a couple of novels (one main one right now) that I hope to get published in the future.

  7. Anonymous said: I know you must be boggled down with a lot of asks, but I need some help. I have a solid idea, which is usually what starts a story, but the problem is that while I like the aspect of it, I can't sit down and create good characters to go into it. Do you have any advice for this?

    Check here.

  8. Anonymous said: Dunno if you've answered this before, but do you have any advice for people who have created the characters, but lack a suitable plot?

    Anonymous said: I know you must be boggled down with a lot of asks, but I need some help. I have a solid idea, which is usually what starts a story, but the problem is that while I like the aspect of it, I can’t sit down and create good characters to go into it. Do you have any advice for this?

    I don’t usually answer two asks as one, but they’re essentially the same question, so I thought I’d put them together. I’ll also post the answer on the other ask so people can find it looking for that, too.

    I will admit that I don’t usually have this problem, though when I do, I tend towards having the plot without the characters. Here’s how I look at it: characters are plot. Who your characters are should drive what happens in your story. Kind of.

    The way I see it, there are two things that should drive your plot: characters and external actions.

    Even though this is out of order (and I hate when that happens) I’m going to talk about external actions first. And there is a point to this. External actions, for the most part, should be not dependent on people. This can be natural, like a tornado, or man-made, like global warming. If there’s magic involved, it can also be magic-based, such as having some sudden shift in magic. Sometimes they can be based in human actions. This can be things like wars starting, general law shifts, or a school year starting. The main thing about external actions is that the man character can’t do anything about them.

    The problem with actions like this is that they take away your character’s agency. While that may be the point, it also can make the story boring, which means that they must be used sparingly. That then brings you to character-driven events.

    Character-driven events make up literally everything else that happens in the story. This is every decision that every character in your story makes. These should be based off of a few things:

    What the character wants.

    What the character doesn’t want.

    What the character is afraid of.

    The long term goals of the character.

    The relationship the character has with any other character directly involved.

    The relationship the character has with any other character indirectly involved and/or who might be affected.

    Obviously, the bigger the decision is for the character to make, the more you need to worry about this stuff.

    Now for why I just went through all of that:

    If you have a plot with no characters, you already have the major external actions. You probably also have some people (unnamed blank slates, but people nonetheless) in your idea. For each of these people, figure out what you have them doing in your idea. This can be really broad, like you have them killing someone, joining an army, starting a new job, or looking for a relationship, or really specific, like you have them working up the courage to kiss their best friend, joining the chess club at school, or throwing peanuts at the teacher until they get detention. From each of those actions, you can reverse engineer the motivational factors I listed above and start to build a character from that.

    If you have characters with no plot, then you have the character-driven actions without having the external actions. If you know all about your characters, then you essentially have them at a status quo. Maybe they’re all friends in high school, halfway through their sophomore year. If things go the way they are, nothing interesting will happen, so you need to change the status quo. Think of a few different possible external actions: one of them is forced to move, one of them dies, a new person starts at school, the school catches on fire, aliens invade, etc. and try them on to your characters. Using the motivational factors above (or anything else that you can think of), figure out what your characters would do. Once you do this, you can build a plot.

    Obviously, there are a gazillion different ways to go about this. The way I described is fairly formulaic, and if formula doesn’t work for you (which is totally fine), then here are a few other suggestions:

    Describe what you have to a friend. Talking through it might help shake something loose, and if it doesn’t, your friend might have some suggestions.

    Write down a bunch of random ideas (either that you think or that you get from a generator) on pieces of paper and pick one at random. See if you like it for your story. If you don’t, pick another one.

    Write a scene. It doesn’t need to be long, and it doesn’t need to end up in your final draft, but sometimes it helps to just start writing.

  9. I got over 500 notes (on one post) and 4 followers in the last hour and a half and am really not sure what happened, but I’m now at 1,302 followers, so hi to all of my new people (and all of my old people).

  10. So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.

    God, what a Mary Sue.

    I just described Batman.

    — 

    http://adventuresofcomicbookgirl.tumblr.com/post/13913540194/mary-sue-what-are-you-or-why-the-concept-of-sue-is (via twerkinshield)

    WILL AUTO-REBLOG FOREVER.

    (via carnivaloftherandom)