The Writer's Life

Writing, for what it's worth...

19 notes

Lie or Lay?

ceallaig1:

missviolethunterwrites:

The verbs lie and lay confuse people because:

  • their meanings can be similar
  • one of the verbs (lie) has two completely different meanings
  • they vary between regular and irregular according to sense
  • they vary between transitive and intransitive according to sense
  • the present tense of lay is the past tense of the irregular lie

The following table summarizes these similarities and differences:


image

source: englishclub.com (x)

The rule I learned was, ‘hens lay, people lie’.

21,746 notes

mimswriter:

Kurt Vonnegut: 16 Rules For Writing Fiction
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
9. Find a subject you care aboutand which you in your heart feel others should care about.
10. Do not ramble.
11. Keep it simple. Simplicity of language is not only reputable, but perhaps even sacred.
12. Have guts to cut. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.
13. Sound like yourself. The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child.
14. Say what you mean. You should avoid Picasso-style or jazz-style writing, if you have something worth saying and wish to be understood.
15. Pity the readers. Our stylistic options as writers are neither numerous nor glamorous, since our readers are bound to be such imperfect artists.
16. You choose. The most meaningful aspect of our styles, which is what we choose to write about, is utterly unlimited.

mimswriter:

Kurt Vonnegut: 16 Rules For Writing Fiction

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

9. Find a subject you care aboutand which you in your heart feel others should care about.

10. Do not ramble.

11. Keep it simple. Simplicity of language is not only reputable, but perhaps even sacred.

12. Have guts to cut. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.

13. Sound like yourself. The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child.

14. Say what you mean. You should avoid Picasso-style or jazz-style writing, if you have something worth saying and wish to be understood.

15. Pity the readers. Our stylistic options as writers are neither numerous nor glamorous, since our readers are bound to be such imperfect artists.

16. You choose. The most meaningful aspect of our styles, which is what we choose to write about, is utterly unlimited.

(via ceallaig1)

1,707 notes

house-of-gnar:

Kazakh eagle hunters | Mongolia

The Kazakhs are the descendants of Turkic, Mongolic and Indo-Iranian tribes and Huns that populated the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea. They are a semi-nomadic people and have roamed the mountains and valleys of western Mongolia with their herds since the 19th century.The ancient art of eagle hunting is one of many traditions and skills that the Kazakhs have been able to hold on to for the last decades. They rely on their clan and herds, believing in pre-Islamic cults of the sky, the ancestors, fire and the supernatural forces of good and evil spirits.

(via rosengris)

11,486 notes

madlori:

[rebloggable by request]
Well, first of all, WELCOME TO ONE OF MY PET PEEVES.
A female character does not have to be “strong” (whatever your definition of that is) to be a good character.
Women can be strong, or wussy, or emotional, or stoic, or needy, or independent, and still be legitimate people and interesting characters.
In our totally understandable desire to see portrayals of strong women (in reaction to decades of damsels in distress and women as appendages), we’ve somehow backed ourselves into this corner where the only acceptable portrayal of a woman in the media is a strong, kick-ass woman.  That is not doing women any favors.  It just leads to the attitude that you have to be ONE WAY ONLY to be legit as a woman.  You shouldn’t have to be Natasha Romanoff or Xena to be considered a good character.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Buffy as much as the next person, but that should not be the only acceptable portrayal.  It should be okay for a female character NOT to be strong, too.  Let’s take Molly Hooper as an example.  She is not the stereotypical “strong” woman.  But hell, she went through medical school, didn’t she?  She’s smart, and she’s funny, and she serves a story function - she is not a major character, but she doesn’t have to be.  But her character gets criticized because she pines after Sherlock.  What, you never pined after somebody?  Did it make you invalid as a person?  You never got a bit silly over a crush?  I know I did.  And I still consider myself a strong woman.  It should be okay for Molly to have a crush on Sherlock without getting the “oh, she’s so pathetic, what a terrible example, what a horrible female character” thing she so often gets.  Yes, because it’s so terrible that a female character should reflect an experience that like 99% of us have had.  
Screw writing “strong” women.  Write interesting women.  Write well-rounded women.  Write complicated women.  Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner.  Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband.  Write a woman who doesn’t need a man.  Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks.  THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN.  Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people.  So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong.  Write characters who are people.
The only bad female character, if you ask me (and you did), is one who’s flat.  One who isn’t realistic.  One who has no agency of her own, who only exists to define other characters (usually men).  Write each woman you write as if she has her own life story, her own motivations, her own fears and strengths, and even if she’s only in the story for one page, she will be a real person, and THAT is what we need.  Not a phalanx of women who can karate-chop your head off, but REAL women, who are people, with all the complexity and strong and not-strong that goes with it.
This is why I disagree with the “damsel in distress” criticism of Irene in the last scene of Scandal.  Here’s the thing about being a damsel in distress…it’s only bad if that’s all she is.  If the character’s defining characteristic is being a damsel in distress, that’s bad.  But if an otherwise complex character with lots of other agency and actions happens to be in distress, then…that’s all it is.  She is in distress.  That happens.  Characters are often in distress, or there would be no plots.  Should a female character never be allowed to be in distress, at ALL, to be valid?  No.
A strong female character is one who is defined by her own characteristics, history and personality, and not solely by the actions or needs of other characters.  She is a person in the story, not a prop.  That is the best definition I can come up with.  Note that my definition did not involve martial arts. 
That was probably longer than you were anticipating!  I’ve had that percolating for a long time.

madlori:

[rebloggable by request]

Well, first of all, WELCOME TO ONE OF MY PET PEEVES.

A female character does not have to be “strong” (whatever your definition of that is) to be a good character.

Women can be strong, or wussy, or emotional, or stoic, or needy, or independent, and still be legitimate people and interesting characters.

In our totally understandable desire to see portrayals of strong women (in reaction to decades of damsels in distress and women as appendages), we’ve somehow backed ourselves into this corner where the only acceptable portrayal of a woman in the media is a strong, kick-ass woman.  That is not doing women any favors.  It just leads to the attitude that you have to be ONE WAY ONLY to be legit as a woman.  You shouldn’t have to be Natasha Romanoff or Xena to be considered a good character.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Buffy as much as the next person, but that should not be the only acceptable portrayal.  It should be okay for a female character NOT to be strong, too.  Let’s take Molly Hooper as an example.  She is not the stereotypical “strong” woman.  But hell, she went through medical school, didn’t she?  She’s smart, and she’s funny, and she serves a story function - she is not a major character, but she doesn’t have to be.  But her character gets criticized because she pines after Sherlock.  What, you never pined after somebody?  Did it make you invalid as a person?  You never got a bit silly over a crush?  I know I did.  And I still consider myself a strong woman.  It should be okay for Molly to have a crush on Sherlock without getting the “oh, she’s so pathetic, what a terrible example, what a horrible female character” thing she so often gets.  Yes, because it’s so terrible that a female character should reflect an experience that like 99% of us have had.  

Screw writing “strong” women.  Write interesting women.  Write well-rounded women.  Write complicated women.  Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner.  Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband.  Write a woman who doesn’t need a man.  Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks.  THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN.  Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people.  So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong.  Write characters who are people.

The only bad female character, if you ask me (and you did), is one who’s flat.  One who isn’t realistic.  One who has no agency of her own, who only exists to define other characters (usually men).  Write each woman you write as if she has her own life story, her own motivations, her own fears and strengths, and even if she’s only in the story for one page, she will be a real person, and THAT is what we need.  Not a phalanx of women who can karate-chop your head off, but REAL women, who are people, with all the complexity and strong and not-strong that goes with it.

This is why I disagree with the “damsel in distress” criticism of Irene in the last scene of Scandal.  Here’s the thing about being a damsel in distress…it’s only bad if that’s all she is.  If the character’s defining characteristic is being a damsel in distress, that’s bad.  But if an otherwise complex character with lots of other agency and actions happens to be in distress, then…that’s all it is.  She is in distress.  That happens.  Characters are often in distress, or there would be no plots.  Should a female character never be allowed to be in distress, at ALL, to be valid?  No.

A strong female character is one who is defined by her own characteristics, history and personality, and not solely by the actions or needs of other characters.  She is a person in the story, not a prop.  That is the best definition I can come up with.  Note that my definition did not involve martial arts. 

That was probably longer than you were anticipating!  I’ve had that percolating for a long time.

463 notes

Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself… It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.
Harper Lee (via maxkirin)

1,818 notes

On writing, my advice is the same to all. If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less. —- Ignore
critics. Critics are a dime a dozen. Anybody can be a critic. Writers are priceless. —— Go where the pleasure is in your writing. Go where the pain is. Write the book you would like to read. Write the book you have been trying to find but have not found. But write. And remember, there are no rules for our profession. Ignore rules. Ignore what I say here if it doesn’t help you. Do it your own way.
—- Every writer knows fear and discouragement. Just write. —- The world is crying for new writing. It is crying for fresh and original voices and new characters and new stories. If you won’t write the classics of tomorrow, well, we will not have any. Good luck.
Anne Rice (via a-love-of-reading)