“Don’t be slutty, don’t have sex. But be sexy. If you’re too sexy though and you get raped, then that’s you’re own fault because you’re not actually supposed to listen to us about being sexy, even though we tell you your value is derived from how sexy you are. If you get into a position of power, we will assume that you used your sex appeal to get there and not your brains and we will mock you even though we told you the only thing that mattered was your sex appeal. Make yourself accessible to me, but holy shit stop being so desperate and needy. Don’t be a tease. If we want to have sex with you, don’t friendzone us, even though we just fucking told you not to have sex.”—
so you’re telling me there’s an alien who regenerates into a completely random form, that he cannot control or determine himself, and who understandably could take millions of different appearances, but who all 13 times just turned into a different skinny white guy
tv show. white man. hes sad. he has to do important thing but its hard. his girlfriend died probably. TWSIT!! theres another white man. maybe MORE. hes sad too but for different reason. its very deep probably. theyre best friends but not gay but maybe they are haha fandom!!! every girl dies or goes away. just not gay white man friend. 10 seasons 100 million viewers. what will moody white men do this week.
They don’t need you all up in their shit. They don’t need you typing a single letter into the YouTube search bar and getting prompted to go on a journey through all of the “announcing to the parents we’re pregnant/engaged” happy-cry videos that they enjoy watching…
Being sick in Elementary:Yay home from school chicken noodle soup and movies
Being sick in high school:OH MY GOSH I'M GOING TO MISS A MATH NOTE AND THEN GET BEHIND IN ENGLISH AND THEN I'LL HAVE LATE MARKS OFF MY PRESENTATION AND I HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL BECAUSE I'M GOING TO FAIL EVERYTHING AND DIE ALONE UNEDUCATED AND OLD AND NOT KNOWING HOW TO GRAPH A PARABOLA
In six seconds, you’ll hate me.
But in six months, you’ll be a better writer.
From this point forward—at least for the next half year—you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates.
And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those later.
Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night…”
Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The
mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because she never slept that quiet, those mornings, she’d only put her own cup of coffee in the microwave. Never his.”
Instead of characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them. Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.
Instead of saying: “Adam knew Gwen liked him.” You’ll have to say: “Between classes, Gwen had always leaned on his locker when he’d go to open it. She’s roll her eyes and shove off with one foot, leaving a black-heel mark on the painted metal, but she also left the smell of her perfume. The combination lock would still be warm from her butt. And the next break, Gwen would be leaned there, again.”
In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.
Typically, writers use these “thought” verbs at the beginning of a paragraph (In this form, you can call them “Thesis Statements” and I’ll rail against those, later). In a way, they state the intention of the paragraph. And what follows, illustrates them.
“Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline. was backed up from the bridge, past the first eight or nine exits. Her cell phone battery was dead. At home, the dogs would need to go out, or there would be a mess to clean up. Plus, she’d promised to water the plants for her neighbor…”
Do you see how the opening “thesis statement” steals the thunder of what follows? Don’t do it.
If nothing else, cut the opening sentence and place it after all the others. Better yet, transplant it and change it to: Brenda would never make the deadline.
Thinking is abstract. Knowing and believing are intangible. Your story will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and knowing. And loving and hating.
Don’t tell your reader: “Lisa hated Tom.”
Instead, make your case like a lawyer in court, detail by detail.
Present each piece of evidence. For example: “During roll call, in the breath after the teacher said Tom’s name, in that moment before he could answer, right then, Lisa would whisper-shout ‘Butt Wipe,’ just as Tom was saying, ‘Here’.”
One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone. Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering.
For example: Waiting for the bus, Mark started to worry about how long the trip would take…”
A better break-down might be: “The schedule said the bus would come by at noon, but Mark’s watch said it was already 11:57. You could see all the way down the road, as far as the Mall, and not see a bus. No doubt, the driver was parked at the turn-around, the far end of the line, taking a nap. The driver was kicked back, asleep, and Mark was going to be late. Or worse, the driver was drinking, and he’d pull up drunk and charge Mark seventy-five cents for death in a fiery traffic accident…”
A character alone must lapse into fantasy or memory, but even then you can’t use “thought” verbs or any of their abstract relatives.
Oh, and you can just forget about using the verbs forget and remember.
No more transitions such as: “Wanda remembered how Nelson used to brush her hair.”
Instead: “Back in their sophomore year, Nelson used to brush her hair with smooth, long strokes of his hand.”
Again, Un-pack. Don’t take short-cuts.
Better yet, get your character with another character, fast.
Get them together and get the action started. Let their actions and words show their thoughts. You—stay out of their heads.
And while you’re avoiding “thought” verbs, be very wary about using the bland verbs “is” and “have.”
“Ann’s eyes are blue.”
“Ann has blue eyes.”
“Ann coughed and waved one hand past her face, clearing the cigarette smoke from her eyes, blue eyes, before she smiled…”
Instead of bland “is” and “has” statements, try burying your details of what a character has or is, in actions or gestures. At its most basic, this is showing your story instead of telling it.
And forever after, once you’ve learned to Un-pack your characters, you’ll hate the lazy writer who settles for: “Jim sat beside the telephone, wondering why Amanda didn’t call.”
Please. For now, hate me all you want, but don’t use thought verbs. After Christmas, go crazy, but I’d bet money you won’t.
For this month’s homework, pick through your writing and circle every “thought” verb. Then, find some way to eliminate it. Kill it by Un-packing it.
Then, pick through some published fiction and do the same thing. Be ruthless.
“Marty imagined fish, jumping in the moonlight…”
“Nancy recalled the way the wine tasted…”
“Larry knew he was a dead man…”
Find them. After that, find a way to re-write them. Make them stronger.
Wow, you've shown me so many examples of people of color in medieval art, that i'm suprised that even professers of history seem to deny the there were POC in medieval europe! My question though, is this: has there been any research done as to when this white-washing of medieval europe began?
Actually, my next queued post addresses that in detail, particularly in regards to Art Education.
Quick-n-Dirty Version: it began during “The Enlightenment”, during colonization and the beginnings of chattel slavery. The idea of “White People” had just been invented, along with the idea of White supremacy. Basically, all the leading “scientific minds” directly benefited from genocide, kidnapping people an enslaving them, and stealing their land, resources, and skills.
And in order to justify this, it was very important to create this idea not just that “these people are in a subordinate position now”, it had to be retroactive. As in, “these people have never had any accomplishments, their culture is primitive, worthless, ugly, uninteresting, therefore whatever we do to them is okay/for their own good/helping them/better than leaving them to their own depravity” et cetera.
The amount of “science” devoted to proving that people of color were inherently inferior to white people was like…pretty much the ENTIRETY of “science” from the late 1700s to….well.
Shingles concludes it is an American problem brought on by the history of the nation’s oldest and largest Mexican American communities, a history that started with conquest and has excluded generations from the benefits of development. “Our past cannot be separated from our future.”
See how that works?
No past, no history, no context, just a huge group of people that are somehow “inherently inferior”, and coincidentally not historically f*cked over for hundreds of years. It’s about blaming the victims of racism for suffering from the results of racism.
I understand trying to make comics female friendly, but aren't you guys worried that you're going to lose your core audience which is male? In the X-books you've had more focus on the likes on these females like jean and kitty while it should be Cyclops who has been the star of the X-Men comics for years. What warrants these characters more page time than him? Jean and kitty are secondary characters. You guys listen too much to women bitching. They cause so much freakin drama in comicdom.
Wow. you are the first person who I am kind of glad asked your question anonymously because I don’t want to know you.
as a reader of my work I want you to listen to me very carefully: you have major major issues. almost every line of your question reeks of complete misunderstanding of yourself as a man and of women in general.
it’s okay to find yourself more interested in something than others, of course it is, it’s okay to like Cyclops more than Jean Grey, but for you to draw the line at women characters not being interesting to you because you are a man or that you think I am being manipulated by some bitching women is really out there.
and as a reader of the X-Men whose entire philosophy is about tolerance and understanding… you are missing the point.