wingedbeastie

This is an excellent writing advice from Chuck Palahniuk. This was first seen on tumblr. Unfortunately, when I clicked on the link, it no longer existed.

But, I still think it’s worth sharing.

writingadvice: by Chuck Palahniuk

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.

For example:
“Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline. Traffic
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.”

For example:
“Ann’s eyes are blue.”

“Ann has blue eyes.”

Versus:

“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.

Thanks Hiraku! (via wingedbeastie)
walkingdisaster-
s0mething-rad:

fuckyeahrainbowhair:


fallingfate:
rapeculturemakesmeangry:

This is from the slut walk. One of the arguments is that girls ask for rape because they wear slutty clothes, short skirts, tight, low-cut tops. This girl is an example of the fact that rape victims can look like anyone, you, me, this girl. Rapists. Dont. Discriminate.

I promised a long time ago that I’d reblog this whenever I saw it on my dash. No regrets, it breaks my heart every single time.

an incredibly important message, rape is rape. no one is ever asking for it. a woman has the right to dress how ever they want - it is society that identifies risque dressing as ‘asking for it’, and in my opinion, that way of thinking needs to be diminished.

Seriously if you see this and don’t reblog it, I have NO respect for you

s0mething-rad:

fuckyeahrainbowhair:

fallingfate:

rapeculturemakesmeangry:

This is from the slut walk. One of the arguments is that girls ask for rape because they wear slutty clothes, short skirts, tight, low-cut tops. This girl is an example of the fact that rape victims can look like anyone, you, me, this girl. Rapists. Dont. Discriminate.

I promised a long time ago that I’d reblog this whenever I saw it on my dash. No regrets, it breaks my heart every single time.

an incredibly important message, rape is rape. no one is ever asking for it. a woman has the right to dress how ever they want - it is society that identifies risque dressing as ‘asking for it’, and in my opinion, that way of thinking needs to be diminished.

Seriously if you see this and don’t reblog it, I have NO respect for you

jensenfans

hacia-otra-vida:

diamond-lie:

I’m sorry that you had to see this pictures, but have you ever heard about the Surabaya Zoo? It’s the biggest zoo in Indonesia and it is, basically, a place for animals to die in the most horrible ways. They don’t have vets, they hardly ever clean the place, staff sells animal’s food, some of them are in really small cages…

You see the giraffe on the picture? It ate 20kg of plastic bags cause it was starving and all there was to eat was garbage. About 25 animals die per month.

The government doesn’t care about the zoo and ONGs have problems to release the animals cause most of them are not in healthy conditions to just go back to their true homes.

SIGN THE PETITION TO SHUT DOWN SURABAYA ZOO! Help to make a change. Reblog it. Post it on all your social medias. Invite your friends to join. Tell everyone you know about it.

cabrones

tilneyhale
aandyrea:

caninotexsistforawhile:

silent-suicides:

thedarkchocolatedandy:

sxeman69:

but then again, its kind like putting a meat suit on and telling a shark not to eat you

We (men) are not fucking sharks!
We are not rabid animals living off of pure instinct
We are capable of rational thinking and understanding. 
Just because someone is cooking food doesn’t mean you’re entitled to eat it. 
Just because a banker is counting money doesn’t mean you’re being given free money.
Just because a person is naked doesn’t mean you’re entitled to fuck them. 
You are not entitled to someone else’s body just because it’s exposed. 
What is so fucking difficult about this concept?

How can you not reblog something like this

Boom

I’ve reblogged this so many times

aandyrea:

caninotexsistforawhile:

silent-suicides:

thedarkchocolatedandy:

sxeman69:

but then again, its kind like putting a meat suit on and telling a shark not to eat you

We (men) are not fucking sharks!

We are not rabid animals living off of pure instinct

We are capable of rational thinking and understanding. 

Just because someone is cooking food doesn’t mean you’re entitled to eat it. 

Just because a banker is counting money doesn’t mean you’re being given free money.

Just because a person is naked doesn’t mean you’re entitled to fuck them. 

You are not entitled to someone else’s body just because it’s exposed. 

What is so fucking difficult about this concept?

How can you not reblog something like this

Boom

I’ve reblogged this so many times

walkingdisaster-

flourishnblottts:

cumberbatched-in-the-shire:

whitebeltwriter:

There needs to be a bar or club or something that when you walk in there’s a rack of different color wristbands with words like “I’m looking for-“

  • girls
  • boys
  • anyone
  • no one
  • friends
  • etc

So that everyone would know who’s looking for who.

Like:

"Hey that girl is cute. And her wristband says she’s also looking for a girl. Sweet!”

Or:

"He’s cute, but his wristband says girls. Oh well."

you are the future

tilneyhale
I dislike the phrase “internet friends” because it implies that people you know online aren’t really your friends, that somehow the friendship is less real or meaningful to you because it happens through Skype or text messages. The measure of a friendship is not physicality but its significance. Good friendships, online or off, urge us towards empathy; they give us comfort and also pull us out of the prisons of our selves.
John Green (introduction to This Star Won’t Go Out)  (via cmtilney)