Anonymous asked: What would having everyone telepathic/telekinetic do to a civilization? Culturally etc?

clevergirlhelps:

Telepathy

  • Mind defense courses taught early and often so people aren’t having their minds hijacked left and right
  • No secrets. You might think that’s great, but there are some things (even in government) that should be need to know. Humanity in a group is not a rational thinker.
  • Therapy will probably be easier
  • No privacy. Which leads to paranoia, isolation, discomfort, and so on. If your society is used to such things, isolation from the group might be a form of punishment
  • There might be a kind of hive-mind (unless people can protect their thoughts) because everyone is sharing their thoughts and it might be difficult to distinguish one’s own thoughts from others’

Telekinetic

  • No manual labor (widespread unemployment?)
  • New security measures to protect against theft and vandalism (maybe items that are too heavy to 
  • Telekinetic events in the Olympics!
  • Murder rates go up because it’s easy to telekinetically smash someone into a brick wall or throw a knife into their chest
  • Change in warfare. Why use planes and tanks and ships when your enemy can just throw them to the ground or flip them or capsize them? It might be drone warfare or soldiers in close-quarters combat.

Both

  • Some sort of power nullification will probably be invented to control individuals
  • You need to consider what children will be like. Children don’t have self-control and they tend to be irrational and emotional. Tell a telekinetic five year old he needs to go to bed and he might throw his parent through a wall. An older child might know restraint, but a younger child (or, God forbid, a baby) has no such discipline. 

A Handy Guide to What Is and Isn’t Cultural Appropriation

alwayslabellavita:

What isn’t cultural appropration:

• Trying/eating/making a culture’s food
• Listening to that culture’s music
• Watching that culture’s movies
• Reading that culture’s books
• Appreciating that culture’s art
• Wearing that culture’s clothing IF in a setting where that culture is prevalent and IF people are okay with it and/or it is necessary to fit in and not stand out weirdly (i.e. If you visit Pakistan, you can wear a shalwar kameez so you don’t stand out as an American tourist. Or if you visit a specific temple or religious setting, you may need to/want to adhere to specific dress forms. Or if you’re invited to a wedding and they allow/invite you to wear their cultural dress to participate in the festivities).
• Using that culture’s dance/physical traditions in specific settings (i.e. taking belly-dancing classes, or going to an Indian wedding and trying to dance with them).

What is cultural appropriation:

• Wearing specific items of clothing that may (and probably do) have deeper meaning as a costume. Like on Halloween.
• Wearing specific items of clothing to be trendy or fashionable.
• Trying to imitate their natural beauty standards and possible makeup/markings (i.e dreadlocks and bindis and mehndi/henna).
• Taking their rituals, old-as-hell traditions, and dances and turning them into cheap, tacky everyday garbage for you to have “fun” with (i.e. smoking sheesha. Y’all turned it into this janky nonsense that looks so trashy and stupid).
• Taking spiritual/religious ideas and traditions and subscribing to them to be trendy or unique
• Trying to act like you’re an expert in their food, music, or art, and that you can do it BETTER than them
• Basically trying to WEAR that culture’s skin, clothing, & beauty traditions as a costume/trend and turn old traditions into cheap garbage

And WHY is this wrong? Because, in our society, white people or non-POC can get away with wearing another culture’s clothes and identities and it will be “cute”, “indie”, “bohemian”, “trendy”, and “exotic.” BUT when a POC who actually belongs to that culture wears their own culture’s clothing, styles of beauty, or does things that are specific to their culture, they’re looked down upon, made fun of, sneered at, told to “Go home, get out of this country, we don’t do that here,” and laughed at. The few times I wore a shalwar kameez in public—and I’m Pakistani—people gave me weird looks, like I had a disease. And yet if a white person (or, heck, even a different POC, because POC don’t have the right to appropriate other cultures either) wears a shalwar kameez, people will call her exotic and cute. Seriously? Do you see a problem? I do. Want some proof? When Selena Gomez and Katy Perry use other cultures as costumes in their music videos and stuff, they were thought to be creative and fun. But when an Indian American woman with brown skin won Miss America, there was a huge racist backlash and people said, “We don’t look like that here, we don’t need a curry muncher here, get out of this country.” So I guess Indian culture is only okay if Selena Gomez is stealing it, right? But not if an actual Indian woman is displaying it? Another example: white people with dreadlocks are seen as “soft grunge” and “hippie”, but black people with dreadlocks are looked down upon and seen as dirty and lazy for having them, even though they know how to take care of their dreadlocks way better. 

Respect the fact that we are different. You don’t need to be culturally BLIND because that is just as ignorant. Trying to ignore cultures means you’re trying to erase peoples’ identities. You can appreciate/like/admire other cultures without trying to steal them, use them, cheapen them, and wear them as costumes. You weren’t born into it, so know your limits. And YES. There will ALWAYS be those people who say, “But my Chinese friends don’t care if ____!” and “I’m Mexican and I don’t care if people ____,” but they do not speak for all people of that culture and just because THEY don’t mind doesn’t mean other people don’t. Plenty of POC get harassed/taunted/degraded/fetishized over their own cultures WHILE people not of that culture are called “free-spirited”, “bohemian”, “quirky” and “trendy” for imitating the SAME culture—so yes, the people who oppose cultural appropriation do it based on actual microaggressions and bigotry they may have faced and it is NOT your job to try and convince then that they don’t have a right to their own culture or that the oppression against them should mean nothing.

Think about this. There are some women okay with sexism. Some POC okay with racist jokes. Some Jewish people don’t care about anti-Semitic jokes. And your friend might be one of these people. But suddenly that makes it okay for you to behave foolishly, immaturely, and ignorantly? 

Wise up. It’s 2014. There is no excuse to be ignorant.

And if you ever need to explain to someone what cultural appropriation is, show them this post (credit me if you post it elsewhere). It’s a good starter and I think it encompasses the basics of what cultural appropriation is and isn’t. 

Anonymous asked: any tips on creating a fictional town in america? I went through the settings tag and couldn't find much

thewritingcafe:

Pick a Region: (Italicized states could fit into more than one group, depending on who you ask, and some people list more or less regions than the ones listed below)

  • Northeast: New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey
  • Midwest: Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma
  • Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada
  • South: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Maryland, Delaware, Louisiana, Arkansas, 
  • West: California, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Montana
  • Non-Contiguous: Alaska, Hawaii

Once you’ve got your region, narrow it down by state. You don’t have to get more specific than that if you don’t want to, but your character’s world will give away what region they’re in and possibly the state based on clues. Here is what you should know when creating your fictional town in a region/state:

  • Environment: Know the environment of your region or state. There are no wolves (except for isolated incidents) in areas like the lower Midwest, so it would be odd for your characters to come across a pack of wolves in a southern Wisconsin forest.
  • Climate: There are tons of different climates around the US. If the area of your town is specific (like how South Park is a mountain town in Colorado), you’ll need to know more about that climate. If your characters are in a temperate region, you just need the seasons to change depending on the timeline of your story. If your characters live in a region where heavy snowfall is common, snow days at school will be rare.
  • Culture: Slang, common religions, architecture, food, popular music, references (to nearby cities, sports teams, etc.), etc. vary by region, by state, and by city. Some slang is only found in certain cities or certain regions of a state.

Type of Town:

  • Rural: Rural towns are found in the countryside, often with low populations. 
  • Suburban-Rural: These are a mix of suburbia and the countryside. Houses may be placed farther apart, the town might be larger than a suburb without having a larger population, and there may be small businesses.
  • Suburban: Suburbs are just outside cities and large towns and are primarily residential, meaning there are not a lot of businesses. In the US, it’s typical for suburbs to have single-family homes (though there are multi-family homes sometimes), sidewalks, and gaps between houses. Suburbs are a favorite for authors, especially YA authors.
  • Suburban-Urban: These are between the “true” suburbs and the city, often sitting on the border of the city. They have residential areas, but also everything you might find in a city such as busy streets, public transportation, several businesses, and buildings. You’re more likely to find multi-family homes and apartment buildings in suburban-urban towns than you are with suburban homes.
  • Urban: Urban towns aren’t necessarily in the heart of the city (the main tourist areas). Urban neighborhoods, towns, villages, etc., vary greatly by city and each one has its own unique culture and demographics, especially if there is a large population of immigrants in the area. Some urban towns can resemble suburban towns.

When you’ve got your town, draw a map for it. Note important places, like schools and the homes of characters. If your characters are in a suburb or a suburb-urban town, pick either a real city or a fictional city in a real state to put it around.

If your characters are in school and you want a lot of characters, pick an urban, suburban-urban, or suburban town. For the last one you can have more than one suburb share a school. If your character works at a place like a major law firm, they’ll probably need to be near a city. Think about what your character needs to pick a town.

Other:

  • Name: If you know what region your town is set in, look at the names of real towns around that area. They usually follow a pattern. The name of the town can be the name of schools, businesses, streets, and parks too.
  • History: If needed, come up with a history for your town. You might not think you need it at first, but it can come in handy. For example, if you need your characters to be at an event, there can be a party for the town’s 100th birthday. The age of the town might also determine the architecture.
  • Appearance: In the town I grew up on, every property had at least one (big) tree on the front lawn thus creating an arch of branches and leaves over every residential street in the summer. What does your town look like? Are there boulevards? Parks? Fences? Alleys? Driveways? Streetlights? Public transportation? Tall houses? Wide houses? Large properties? Small properties? Is it hilly or flat? While there may be a combination of all of these things, certain traits may be more dominant or typical.
  • Activities: What is there to do in your town? Is there a popular hangout? Is there a beach nearby? Do people go to a nearby city for fun? Are there certain areas within the environment (cliffs, clearings in a forest, a lake, etc.) that are popular hangout spots?
  • Keep track of all facts: Write down everything about your town so that you don’t end up with inconsistencies. Keep a list of schools, businesses, public places, government buildings, and everything else that is relevant.

Your town has to be realistic. Readers should have an idea of where this town is or what is near it. A suburban town in the middle of nowhere with no mention of where it is and varying ecosystems isn’t realistic. It’s surreal, distant, and might only work in certain fantasy genres. A town with a population of 15,000 people, but with four middle schools, two churches, a mosque, a synagogue, two law firms, no variation in economic or social class, eight restaurants, and a car dealership is unrealistic unless this small town is used as a center for several other towns.

amandaonwriting:

Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language

We are always told to use body language in our writing. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. I decided to create these cheat sheets to help you show a character’s state of mind. Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours. For example, he may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy. Use these combinations as needed.

by Amanda Patterson

Prose Poems

referenceforwriters:

Any advice for writing Prose Poems? — superwholockshufflepuff

Prose poetry is simply poetry written as if it were prose, keeping its poetic qualities and heightened imagery. A prose poem is a poem that does not use line breaks. This still allows the poet to use alliteration, metaphor, ambiguity, personification, and many other poetic techniques. 

I’m sure you’ve come across at least one prose poem or even know a couple of poets that use this technique from time to time. Even I have written prose poetry—for writing thoughts that need more extension than a couple of lines, but using poetry’s way of explaining things. If you haven’t—start looking.

If anybody knows of poems that fit this definition too, or even poets whose preferred style is this one, feel free to share them and I’ll add them to this post.

Let’s talk about differences between prose poems and things they get mistaken for. 

  • The difference between prose poems and free verse is that free verse does use line breaks, albeit it doesn’t stick to the regular metre. 
    • Meanwhile, prose poetry is a whole different sub-genre, a mix between poetry and prose. It uses paragraphs just like prose, and usually doesn’t break a sentence in in the middle of it.  
  • Another difference that has to be pointed out is the one between purple prose and prose poetry—purple prose is used in actual prose, using over-flowery language that distracts the reader’s attention. It’s characterized by using too many big words and pointing out too many details that break the flow. We aim to keep a good pace in the narrative and purple prose doesn’t do this. I made a post on it once
    • Prose poetry is all about maintaining a good rhythm. It isn’t meant to overwhelm the reader with details, but about telling a story using poetic techniques. It doesn’t even use flowery language most of the time, and if it does, it serves a purpose. The imagery has to serve a purpose, just like it has to in regular prose and poetry, but specially in poetry.
  • One thing that may differentiate a prose poem from a very short story is that the latter will have a stronger preference for narrative than the former, but this is very much debatable.  

When it comes to writing prose poetry, you first need to have something to say, something you need to write, then you write it. The rules are simple:

  1. Write a poem.
  2. Don’t break your lines.

If you know how to write poetry or even play with literary devices you’ll enjoy writing prose poetry because, like free verse, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a certain limit on your sentences. You have to worry about whether the piece flows neatly from one idea to the next. 

Poetry prose is controversial. It breaks the rules of both poetry and prose but it also has become an interesting way to convey thought across the years.

It’s also hard. Some people might be skeptical about your piece, deeming it a short story or just one big lump of text. Like Robert Lee Brewer explains, your challenge is to make the reader believe that a lump of text with no line breaks is still a poem too.

-Alex

booksdirect:

"Fiction Writer’s Cheat Sheet."

40 of the Best Websites for Young Writers →

yeahwriters:

This is a gold mine, but why isn’t Yeah Write on it?!

:(

ensignmore asked: I was wondering if you, or any of your followers know of some good writing apps for the iPhone? I need something that can help me organize my unorganized ideas in my head.

Ok so, I don’t remember when I reblogged something about it but the one app that I used when I first saw this was called SimpleMind+ (at least that’s how the app spells it). 

It’s for free, but I believe there’s also a premium version if I’m not mistaken? However, the free version is good to get down your ideas in an organized fashion where you can write notes, etc. I believe you can also download it for Mac/iPad/etc or something like that. But here’s what it looks like: 

And each thought bubble has a way that you can write notes on it. 

amandaonwriting:

Writing a Novel in 12 Stages

Rise of the Guardians is a book series, correct? (watching the movie rn) So would anyone recommend it?