With this law, the reason is obvious: Because of Lawrence v. Texas, the ban on oral sex in Louisiana is unenforceable. So this is purely a symbolic move, meant to shore up a general social disapproval of non-procreative sex. But, let’s be clear that social disapproval will be selectively applied. Straight men will continue to enjoy social support for having sex while their female partners are shamed for it."
Yes. Yes to the whole article. Also, I’m sorry…they’re banning what???
"That’s why conservatives have been opening up new attacks on contraception access. They know that it puts women in an uncomfortable position, because defending contraception is equated with “admitting” that you have sex, which is still considered a dirty thing for women to do in many quarters." <— THIS THIS THIS
All writing advice is subjective, but there are some mistakes in writing that WILL ensure your novel’s failure, not only to your readers but to those who might be your potential agent or publisher. I’ve never really come across these mistakes when I used to review short stories for my literary magazine (I might have, I just don’t remember), but as a self-employed editor, I most certainly have come across them—and have made one or two myself.
- Happy Beginnings. Many first chapters must start out with some sort of tension. In the first two books of The Stars Trilogy, they start out with heavy tension. Amelia from When Stars Die is terrified of the impending trials that will determine her readiness to be professed as a nun, and she is also seeing shadows no one else sees. That is when this book begins. In the sequel, Alice is slated to be executed for being a witch. In the most recent book I’m writing, the chapter starts out with my teen protagonist trying to get drunk: he is a recovering alcoholic, too. These are not happy beginnings. You don’t want your story to start out with your protagonist having a perfect life. Something that essentially upsets your character must occur.
- Fearless Story. Something needs to threaten the character throughout the book, whether this is the threat of death, the threat of psychologically coming undone, the threat of losing things the character love, and so on and so forth. A story without fear is not a story at all. Throughout When Stars Die, Amelia’s primary threat is the threat of death: her death and her younger brother’s death. Think about your favorite books and what threatened the characters in these books the most.
- Loaded Dialogue. In real life dialogue is loaded, but readers want to read a more concise version of that dialogue. I didn’t have too many issues with loaded dialogue in When Stars Die, but I did in its sequel. Let me give you a few examples of loaded dialogue, and then how to fix that dialogue.
“Gene, can’t you stop drinking just for one freaking night?”
“No, Josh. You just don’t understand me. You don’t understand what this does for me.’
“I might not understand, but I do know this isn’t the best way to deal with your problems.”
“Then obviously you’ve never had problems before.”
“Obviously you can’t handle your own problems!”
Here is a more concise version:
Josh glares at the shot glass. “Shit. Just stop already.”
“Give me a reason.”
“Do you really need one?”
I look beyond Josh, swirling the vodka. ”Your life’s perfect.”
Josh digs his nails into the palms of his hands, the knuckles whitening. “Screw you, Gene. Screw you.”
- Predictability. Sometimes there are some very astute readers who can already tell what is going to happen. For example, I am an astute reader. I already knew who the culprit was in Cheryl Rainfield’s Stained, but that didn’t make the book any less enjoyable. I also had one reader who adored When Stars Die, even though some of the twists were not twists for her; however, many other readers of mine did not see the twists coming. These twists keep your book from being predictable. Knowing what’s coming can kill the tension.
If you’re struggling with making something unexpected happen, come up with a list of outcomes that could occur in certain situations. Concentrate on description, dialogue, and action. Write what could occur with your description. With Amelia’s character, she often describes things rather negatively because of her surroundings, so when she comes across something positive, the surprise lies in the negative she is still going to find. You can create a twist using your dialogue to shock the other character. Refer to my dialogue example above. Josh is put off by Gene’s ambivalent attitude about his drinking problem. As for action, there needs to be unexpected outcomes that occur. For example, in When Stars Die, you think Amelia is supposed to kill a certain antagonist, but she’s not the one who does it.
- Ambivalence. You love the book when you draft; however, when you begin to revise it, you hold a certain amount of ambivalence toward it. You already wrote the book, so you lose your excitement because you think nothing new can happen. But a lot of new things can happen. Delve deeper into your characters. Flesh them out. Find better ways to tell your story. Look at all characters, including your antagonists, and see how you can make them better. Look at sub-plots and find ways to make them stronger. Revisions are essentially about cutting the fat, about making the book much better than its draft, about trying to make the second draft different from the first. I love the process of revisions, because I already know what revising a draft means.
Message me with any questions or comments. Next post will be on writing a novel without an outline, which is crazy, because I can’t do this. This post will be for those who absolutely do not want to outline, even if they are stuck on their stories.
Ohh, “Loaded Dialogue” is a thing I’ve had issues with (in my writing & in what I read) for years without having a term for it. Thanks!
If you ever think you did something embarrassing just remember that I had a really hot waiter one time and i was gonna order double pepperoni pizza but I looked him dead in the eye and accidentally asked for double penetration pizza in front of my whole family
Stop reblogging my failure
SO I WAS FUCKING TALKING WITH MY DAD AND
dragons came back
killed all the rich people and took their money for their horde
and then if you needed money
you would just challenge the dragon to a riddle duel
and both of us ended up agreeing that riddle duels with dragon bankers would somehow be a much fairer, less frustrating economic system than we have now
Help save a 16 year-old trans girl of color from being put in a mens adult prison with NO crimes charged against her by emailing Commissioner Katz.
She has never been convicted of a crime but they want to move her to near isolation in an adult mens prison. This CANNOT happen. Here is a more in depth article: http://feministing.com/2014/04/14/how-the-connecticut-department-of-children-families-is-failing-a-trans-girl-of-color/
I put together an email for Commissioner Katz, so all you have to do is copy and paste it. Click here for the example email
Please reblog to raise awareness!
in honor of shakespeare’s 450th birthday (and as thanks to the fandom for being exceptionally cool), I’m doing a giveaway!
there’ll be two winners, each of whom can choose one of the options below:
- a signature shakespeare edition of the play of their choice (like the one shown here, these are hardcover copies with informative footnotes, commentary, essays, laser-cut paper art between the acts and a timeline of “significant performances”; you can see some more of the art here)
- a DVD of a globe or RSC production of their choice (non-shakespeare productions like the globe’s doctor faustus or the RSC’s documentaries and DVDs on shakespearean acting are fair game too, and if you’re worried about region locked DVDs I can also include an mp4 copy on a USB to be safe)
- a copy of to be or not to be by ryan north (a choose your own adventure version of hamlet in which you can play as hamlet, ophelia and/or claudius, which is exactly as entertaining as it sounds— the kickstarter page offers a pretty good idea of what it’s all about if you don’t know already)
- I’ll use random.org to determine the winner from the notes on this post, so just like/reblog to enter
- you don’t have to be following me to win (it’d be cool of you, but it won’t affect your chances either way— this is open to anyone who likes shakespeare)
- I can ship internationally, so it doesn’t matter where you live
- make sure your askbox is open so I can notify you if you win!
- ends may 6 (because that’s when the RSC’s richard ii with david tennant comes out on DVD, so yes, that is an option if you so choose)
if you have any other questions (or suggestions for prizes of equivalent value that you’d also be interested in seeing as an option— I was thinking maybe the hollow crown box set if I can find it?), just send me an ask!