osbombing

amandaonwriting:

If you are writing for fun, and if you don’t want any help, please write any way that works for you. I am not trying to convert you to writing with a plan. It truly does not matter to me how you write. However, if you are struggling to finish a book that makes sense, I would love you to carry on reading.

Why should you do it?

When I used to teach Writers Write regularly, one of the first things I asked students was: How does your story end? I did this for two reasons. Firstly, as much as some people love the idea of working with meandering storylines, it has been my experience that those writers seldom finish writing a coherent book. Secondly, most people who go to workshops or sign up for courses are truly looking for help, and I’ve learned that the best way to succeed in anything in life is to have a plan. Successful people will tell you that you need to know where you’re going before you begin.

Smell the roses

This does not mean that you can’t take time to smell the roses, or explore hidden paths along the way. It simply means that you always have a lifeline and when you get lost, it will be easier for you to find your way back again. Remember that readers like destinations. They love beginnings, middles, and endings. Why do you think fans are terrified that George R.R. Martin will die before he finishes A Song of Fire and Ice? They want to know how the story ends. 

Here are seven reasons why I suggest you write your ending first.

  1. If you know who the characters are at the end of the story, you will know how much you should reveal about them at the beginning. 
  2. You will be forced out of the ‘backstory hell’ that beginner writers inhabit and into the story the reader wants to read.
  3. Hindsight is an amazing thing. We all know how different life seems when we’re looking back. We can often tell where a problem began. We think about the ‘what ifs’ with the gift of hindsight. You can use this to your advantage in fiction writing.
  4. You will have something to work towards. Instead of aimlessly writing and hoping for the muse to show you the way, you will be able to pull the characters’ strings and write the words they need to get them from the beginning through the middle to the end.
  5. Plotting from the ending backwards saves you so much time because you will leave out stuff that isn’t meant to be there. You will not have to muddle through an overwritten first draft.
  6. Writing the end forces most of us out of our comfort zones. We have to confront the reality of what we are doing. It might not be as romantic as flailing around like a helpless maiden, but if you want writing to be your profession, it’s good to make the outcome visible. This is a way to show yourself that you are serious. The end gives you a goal to work towards.
  7. The ending is as important as the beginning. Good beginnings get people to read your first book. Great endings get readers to buy your second book.

There are a handful of famous authors, like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, who say they don’t plot. I think they just don’t realise they are those rare authors – natural born storytellers, and that plotting is instinctive for them. I have interviewed many successfully published authors and I can revel that the majority of them do believe in plotting. They outline, in varying degrees, before they begin. And yes, most of them know what their ending will be. Why don’t you try it? What have you got to lose?

I truly hope this helps you write, and finish, your book.

by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy 10 (Amazingly Simple) Tips to Get You Back on The Writing Track and The Author’s Promise- two things every writer should do. You could also read The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book.

decoyjayman

samurottedge:

Since it was Munday, I decided to do a small art reference project for myself. And then I decided to make it public with the following notes.

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

What NOT to do (front):

  • Don’t chicken wing your arms! Although it might be easier to hold the rifle, you will make yourself a bigger target.
  • Don’t close your one eye! You will lose your depth perception, which is crucial when you are on the move, or are trying to determine how far away your target is
  • Don’t keep your legs haphazardly strewn about. You need to make sure you’re balanced!

What to do (front)

  • Keep both eyes open
  • Bend your elbows downwards and towards the ground to make yourself a smaller target
  • Bend your knees to control the gun’s recoil + be ready to move.

What NOT to do (side)

  • Don’t put the stock above your shoulder
  • Don’t lean back.
  • Both of the above reduce your control over the weapon and may result in a black eye, and the rifle flying backwards and out of your hands.

What to do (side)

  • Bury the stock of the rifle into the meaty part of your shoulder
  • Lean into the gun to keep the gun under control when the recoil of the gun kicks the gun upwards or to the side
  • Bend your knees slightly to lean forward, as well as make yourself a smaller target

Patrol/Relaxed Stance

  • The soldier is relaxed and is most likely moving around.
  • His eyes are searching for possible threats
  • His hands are still on the rifle, even if he has a sling on

Low Ready Stance

  • Possible threat has been detected
  • Entire body shifts towards threat direction
  • Stock is shouldered 
  • Eyes are focused on the possible target
  • Gun barrel is pointed in the target’s general direction, but not directly at the target.

Firing Stance

  • Immediate response
  • Soldier fires off shots while screaming to the other people in his team
  • "CONTACT!" or "THREAT!"
kayrama

kammartinez:

Author John Scalzi was on a roll this morning (currently 7:14 AM, 26 Sept. 2014) with a tweet he found from some guy sending out an “ultimatum” to women to “make a choice” between feminism and, well, men like him. So Scalzi launched into a truly magnificent set of scorchers, which I’m posting here for the delectation of people everywhere.

Also: I would like to thank that guy for setting the ultimatum. It makes finding a boyfriend so much easier when the undesirable ones wear a placard identifying themselves.