A lot of people are trying to write more diverse worlds, but a lot of people are also perfectionists who need to know every detail and reason in their world. Here are some ways and explanations for creating a diverse world. This is geared toward pre-industrial and early industrial societies.
Trade: Trade can do wonders. Trade is how your characters get rare fabrics, different foods, knowledge of other cultures, knowledge of other languages, cultural diffusion, and more. Trade can occur over land or over water. You can get characters to travel halfway around the world. You can have trade posts near major cities. Groups of traders who travel over land can go through cities, towns, and tiny villages. Entire cultures can be centered around trade and they can have influence on many parts of your world.
Exile: This can make for some interesting stories for characters. Using exile can put entire families or even whole groups of people (ethnic groups, religious groups, a village, etc.) in faraway lands where they’ll probably stay for a long time. Means of exile can vary. They might have been banished from their land or a natural disaster could have forced them to move.
Hiding: Like exile, you can uproot characters and place them in another place while also coming up with an interesting back story for why they are hiding. This can also reveal a bit about your world. If there are several people in hiding from one particular place, what does that say about the relationship between these two places or these places themselves (i.e., corruptness, law, freedom, etc.)?
Politics: Political rulers are not confined to their homes. They can travel to other nations for political or personal reasons. They might need to discuss political matters with another ruler or they might be guests at a party. There are also political marriages or children of political leaders who live elsewhere as a ward.
War: War, past or present, can bring people to your setting. Some people might be refugees, some might be descendants of prisoners of war, and some might be allies. Or, a past war could have acquired more land and the people who were there, making them citizens of the new nation post-war (depending on the rules of citizenship). Whether they’re citizens or not, they’re still in the same nation and it’s likely some will travel to major cities or elsewhere within the nation’s borders. There can also be forts and camps for a military of another nation.
Education: Does your setting have some type of prestigious school? If schools are few, ones like these can attract the rich, powerful, and/or connected from several surrounding areas. Even if there are several schools a prestigious one can still attract many people.
Religion: Some religions have a goal of spreading their beliefs, so you can bring that into your world. Other times, if there is something of religious significance in your setting, religious people may travel there on a regular basis. Those who spread religion might travel on similar routes of traders (or they might be the traders) to talk about their religion. Or there might be places where religious leaders gather and live.
Exploration: You can get some explorers, or even just wandering travelers, to go to faraway places in search of resources, people, enlightenment, religion, important objects, and more. Another option would be researchers.
Festivals and Ceremonies: These can be tied to religion, history, politics, and many other things. Large celebrations can bring tons of people to one place, whether it’s in a city or not. If you’ve got something like this in your story, take advantage of it to introduce new people and cultures.
So, I’ve been seeing this Butterbeer recipe passed around and… it’s cool… but isn’t it supposed to be alcoholic??? So here you go, Butterbeer for those wizards up to no good!
Please drink responsibly!
P.S. this absolutely tastes like what I envisioned from the books…
A lot of people use semi-colons wrong because they know there’s supposed to be a pause in their sentence that they know isn’t quite a comma, so they think it must be that mysterious semi-colon. Usually, it’s actually supposed to be an em dash (—), which in some ways is more mysterious!
The em dash is the longest of the three dashes and most often used for interruptions. Interruptions in speech, in action, in thought. It’s also a great syntax addition for fight scenes, since it makes the narrative seem quick and unexpected and jolting from side to side like a fight scene should be. Read your em dash sentences out loud until you get a feel for how its pause compares to the pause of a comma. It’s a heartbeat longer. If a comma is one beat of pause, then I see an em dash as two beats of pause.
In this first example, the em dash is used to give an aside to the reader. It’s like a btw sort of moment, which can sometimes be replaced with commas or parenthesis. I think the em dashes are most suitable when your aside is decently long.
Her neighbor, Frank, is always blasting music.
Her neighbor—the one who always blasts the music—is named Frank.
My mischievous neighbor, Vince, seemed to have a knack for graveyard cavorting.
Vince—more often called (in a raised and angry voice) Vincent Price Ramsey—seemed to have a knack for graveyard cavorting.
Next up, here’s the em dash as a replacement for the semi-colon. Kinda like a slang or shortened sentence. Semi-colons have to connect two independent clauses—meaning each side of the semi-colon could stand alone as its own complete sentence. If you don’t want to do that, try an em dash:
I thought hanging out would be great—a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.
I thought hanging out would be great; it would be a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.
There was a headstone hardly a foot from where I’d emerged—dark grey stone a few inches thick and maybe as high as my knee.
There was a headstone hardly a foot from where I’d emerged; it was made of dark grey stone a few inches thick and maybe as high as my knee.
Sometimes, you can use an em dash to have a speaker correct themselves, or interrupt themselves to amend their sentence.
I could see the blur of the graveyard behind him—through him—
Similar to the last example, it can be used to interrupt a sentence in order to add additional information about the sentence. Often you can use a comma in this situation, too, so try to think of syntax and how that additional beat of pause changes things. In this case, Alice has just seen a ghost for the first time, so her mind is a bit too shocked for the normal pause of a comma. Read both. Doesn’t the one with the em dash sound more shocked or surprised, while the comma makes it sound like a simple observation?
He was glowing pale—almost tinged in cold blue.
He was glowing pale, almost tinged in cold blue.
Of course, it could be an interruption. It could be someone interrupting another in speech, one action interrupting another, or a character’s thoughts interrupting themselves. Here I’ll include the sentence with the em dash and the sentence following, so you can see the thing interrupted and the interruption.
You can have an action interrupt a character’s thoughts. For the first one, Alice is in a creepy situation and completely focused on something else, so when something touches her elbow, she’s shocked out of her thoughts. For the second one, Tristan is listening for an enemy when the enemy makes a move and startles him into action.
As far as I could tell it was some kind of berry—
An icy contact on my elbow broke my resolve, and I screamed until an equally cold hand clamped over my mouth.
The night was still, and yet—
Something whistled through the air. Tristan jerked backwards, narrowly avoiding an incoming dagger.
Here we have one character interrupting another in dialogue. Pretty self-explanatory.
“I’m not going to—”
Mom’s voice in the receiver cut me off. “At least consider it.”
“After all, you’re only a—”
“If you even say girl,” I interrupted, “I’ll stab you, I swear.”
The next one is part of a fight scene, so Alice’s thoughts are interrupting themselves as soon as she thinks them. She throws up an idea, “iron,” but interrupts herself from further exploring that idea, and instead casts it out. In a fight, you don’t have time to think out long, eloquent ideas. Your thoughts should come in fragments. Stab. Punch. Dodge. Swing. Would this work? No. How about this? Maybe. The em dash can help get across this uneven jolting of thoughts.
Iron—no use. I’d dropped the knife when her damn vines ensnared me, and the nails were in my pockets and out of reach. Blood—there were possibilities there.
Continuing in fight scenes, em dashes can have action interrupt action. Don’t just throw them in willy nilly, but if you have a chance for an em dash, jump on it. Instead of a word like “suddenly,” it makes it feel suddenly. Ups the tension. Em dashes are about interruption, and what is a fight scene but two people interrupting each other’s attempts to kill the other? This is especially useful for the last line in a paragraph during a fighting scene, because it’s a nice place to have one action interrupt another.
I snatched it—slit across my hand—
And stabbed her through the heart.
His swords whistled through the air—
A clean “X” appeared on the imp’s back, severing its body into four neat chunks.
So yeah, I’m basically obsessed with em dashes and I use more of them than the majority of writers. (At 72k words, my current project has 22 semi-colons and 344 em dashes. So. Yeah. Not to mention the length of this post…) Em dashes are way cool and can add a lot to your writing even though they’re just another form of punctuation. Syntax helps your reader into the mindset you’re going for, and em dashes can be a great, powerful part of that syntax!
Q:Hi. My character is an Emergency Medical Tech. Do you have any guides about that? Or writing medical scenes? Really, anything will help.
Here’s what I’ve found on EMTs, anon!
- Want to become an Emergency Medical Technician?
- What EMTs and Paramedics Do
- How to Become an EMT or Paramedic
- Pay for EMTs
- An EMT’s Work Environment
- EMT Educational Requirements
As for medical scenes relating to your character’s work, check these links out. You could also take a look and read through some of the blogs off this list of EMS blogs, or ask them questions too!
- 10 Things Writers Get Wrong About EMS
- Human Anatomy
- Getting Nasty Stains out of Your Scrubs
- TheWritingCafe’s Medicine Tag
- ReferenceForWriters’ Medical Research Tag
Hope this helps!
During the Annual Pantheons Meeting, the gods of the Dead just look for a corner away from sunlight and bitch about people.
I’m not entirely sure about how this happened, but Hades and Anubis might be my new brotp.
this is flawless and I need to hug whoever drew it
I can dig this Brotp omg
Can somebody do one with Hermes, Loki, and Set, PLEASE?? :)
Annual Pantheons Meeting, Part 2.
In the Victorian era, hand-fans were used not only to cool oneself but also as a secret way to communicate the language of love. For example, by running one’s fingers through the fan’s ribs, one is trying to say, "I want to talk to you." The enigmatic language of the fan was widely used by both men and women.
I. A fan placed near the heart.
"You have won my love."
II. A closed fan touching the right eye.
"When may I be allowed to see you?"
III. A closed fan moved threateningly.
"Do not act so impudently!"
IV. A half-opened fan pressed to the lips.
"You may kiss me."
V. Covering the left ear with an open fan.
"Do not betray my secret."
VI. Hiding the eyes behind an open fan.
"I love you."
VII. Shutting a fully open fan slowly.
"I promise to marry you."
VIII. Fanning oneself slowly.
"I am married."
IX. Letting one’s fan rest on the right cheek or the left.
"Yes" and "No", interchangeably.
X. Opening and closing the fan several times.
"You are cruel."
XI. Fan in front of the face.
XII. Twirling the fan in the left hand.
"We are being watched."
XIII. Fan held over left ear.
"I wish to be rid of you."
XIV. Carrying an open fan in the left hand.
"Come and talk to me."
XV. Opening a fan wide.
"Wait for me."
XVI. Placing the fan behind the head with finger.
[Artwork: Secret, by Lee Yun-hi.]
[ORIGINALLY POSTED 7/4/14; LAST UPDATED 9/17/14]
Having trouble finding the perfect idea for your fic? Want to challenge yourself? Want to just get ideas? Hopefully this masterpost will be of some help!
This is perpetually under construction—if you have anything to add, let me know!
LISTS AND IDEAS FOUND ON TUMBLR
- AU ideas by Tumblr user authorkurikuri
- AU ideas by Tumblr user scamdal (1) (2)
- AU ideas by Tumblr user crowthis
- AU ideas by Tumblr user smallnico (NOTE: There seems to be more than one version of this; this is the OP, though)
- Eight Unique Plot Ideas by Tumblr user chloetherph
- Situation Ideas For Your Character by Tumblr user shackleboltrp
- Masterlist Of Dramatic Storyline Ideas by Tumblr user rp-assistant
- AU ideas by Tumblr user coffeeclint
- AU ideas by me!
LISTS AND IDEAS FOUND ON DEVIANTART
- 70 Writing Prompts by amorine on dA
- Writing prompts by Hinxight on dA (1) (2) (3)
- 100 Writing Prompts by tehuti on dA
- Writing Prompts For You by inubasket on dA
- Writing Prompts by LexicoN18 on dA
- Prompts by MyMidnightLove on dA
- 23 Writing Prompts by RayneWolfspeaker on dA
LISTS AND IDEAS FOUND ELSEWHERE
- 8 Ways To Say I Love You by R. McKinley
- Alternatives To Platonic Love
- Prompts From A Hat
- TVTropes (fair warning to those who have never been on this site: you WILL be trapped there for hours)
CHALLENGES AND BINGOS
- 30 Day OTP Challenge
- 30 Day NSFW OTP Challenge
- Horror Bingo
- Kink Bingo
- 30 Day Dark Fandom/OTP Challenge
- Trope Bingo
- Cliche Bingo