How To Be A Fantasy Character 101

Today we’ll be studying the basics of what it takes to be a full-fledged fantasy fiction character. Note-taking is encouraged.

Step 1: Wear the appropriate attire

In this class, we provide you with a starter kit which includes pre-muddied boots and a cloak carefully hand-torn by our specialists. We also recommend you complete your outfit with your own choice of shirts, pants, and hoods. Our wardrobe selections include Colors Of the Forest, A Hunter’s Garb, and Dusty Road Wanderer.

Step 2: Grow out your hair

Most of our past graduates adapt to the standard shoulder-length hair, which we recommend for its versatility. It’s long enough to catch the breeze while you sit majestically on your wilderness rock of choice, and it’s short enough to whip around just right in situations where dancing, spinning around in surprise, or hand-to-hand combat are required.

Step 3: Make sure you have adequate eye color

You’ll have to purchase your own contact lenses, but our prices are economical so you won’t have to use the last non-specified-currency coins from the pouch on your belt. As with our clothes department, our contact lens counter features an array of color choices. These include, but aren’t limited to, Emerald Green, Pools-of-Water Blue, Rich Mahogany Brown, and As-Black-as-Ebony Black. Each base color also comes with palette variations ranging from Deep to Sparkling.

Step 4: Invest in some recommended accessories

Now that you’ve completed your basic outfit and your rugged-yet-charming and/or graceful-yet-fierce appearances, we can move on to completing your look with some accessories. Should you plan on spending time adventuring outdoors, please consider our selection of flasks, weightless cooking supplies, hand-carved staffs, and lethal daggers. If you prefer to stay in town, however, you may be interested in our stealth-friendly tool belts, lock picks, just-quiet-enough grappling hooks, and lethal daggers. Not into adventuring? No problem! In the next aisle, you’ll find our embroidered handkerchiefs, leather-bound books, this-belonged-to-my-mother necklaces, and lethal daggers.

Step 5: Formulate a dietary plan

Now you look the part! Let’s get to work on your lifestyle changes. I see you’ve brought water and vegetables, but don’t worry, we won’t be needing those. There’s a Local Healer booth set up in the back; talk to any of our soothing female staff members and she’ll set you up with a new nutrition plan based on bread, cheese, mysterious chunky tavern-stew, and plenty of ale and mead. With our dietary plan, dehydration is a thing of the past!

Step 6: Learn the necessary survival skills

We know you want to start questing as soon as possible, so we’ve condensed our survival skill syllabus into a two-day crash course where you’ll learn to wield a sword, shoot a bow, ride a horse, and set rabbit traps from our team of bearded experts. However, if you present us with your certified Chosen One and/or Hero of Destiny I.D., you can take a brief placement test and skip the course altogether.

Step 7: Purchase an animal companion

Of course, all our students want horses, and we’re glad to provide you with a fine spirited stallion, or, alternatively, a stubborn-yet-loveable mare that’s too old to travel fast but fits your budget just right. However, please remember that most horse names have already been registered, and our last graduating student had to settle for Thunder_Stripes20387. We advise you consider our other available companion animals before making a hasty horse decision. We offer battle tigers and tamed wolves for our real gutsy adventurers, or, should you prefer the more cute-and-comical variant, we have injured birds of prey and a randomized forest rodent. Now, what color would you like your horse?

Step 8: Select a surviving family member

Unfortunately, our program doesn’t allow students to graduate so long as all their relatives are alive and well, so we’ll have to ask you to choose up to a maximum of three extended family members to move ahead with. For the sake of convenience, we recommend limiting yourself to siblings, wise and loving grandmothers, and/or shady aunts and uncles. When you’ve made your selection, please sign the Emotional Consequences Waiver form, which you collected at the start of the class.

Step 9: Reserve a room at the tavern/inn of your convenience

When you pass this class you’ll be enrolled in our extended learning abroad program, so make sure you choose a tavern that matches your preferences. This is the second form we gave you, the one on the faded parchment nailed to the door. Slots fill up quickly, so make sure you get your name on there right away so you don’t miss out on the isolated table in the corner, the one with the dim candle. You can still brood and ignore the noisy patrons from other tables, but it’s just not as fulfilling! We want you to have the most mysterious experience possible.

Step 10: Wait for your first quest

To complete the learning abroad program and receive your traditional written-in-the-ancient-language diploma, you’ll need to complete a quest. You’ll find a list of available quests towards the end of your syllabus, but you’ll need to wait for us to send our certified suspicious stranger to your designated location before embarking on the quest. If you head out on your own beforehand, the chances of encountering your assigned quest companions will be slim, and you will likely fail the final exam: our carefully curated sequence of incrementally-dangerous challenges which you cannot complete without courage, friendship, and at least one potential love interest.


We hope you’ve found our class instructional and inspiring. We look forward to seeing each of our students fulfill their destiny.

The Writer’s Life According to Star Wars

I’m back from Christmas vacation and a blogging hiatus. It seems to have been a Star Wars themed break as well, given Rogue One and a number of re-watches at my place. Therefore, I decided to kick off the 2017 blogging year with a Star Wars themed post. Here we see the writer’s life as told by Star Wars gifs…


1
When a new story idea wakes you up.
2
When you solve a plot hole in the middle of, well, some random activity…
3
When MS Word starts underlining all your made-up words.
4
When you find a typo in your proof copy.
5
When you try writing without caffeine…
6
The aftermath of a character death.
7
When someone tells you how hard it is to make a living as a writer.
8
When you realize how hard it is to make a living as a writer.
9
When you find out your friend is reading Twilight.
10
When your villain starts to grow on you.

Have a great day everyone, and may the Force be with you!

The Writer’s Life According to Wallace and Gromit

We’re going way back with this installment. But hey, we’re just crackers about cheese, so it’s all good!

1
When your book gets a bad review.
2
Trying to keep up with NaNoWriMo.
3
What you imagine your first book signing will be like.
4
When the perfect writing weather strikes.
5
Trying to decide what writing beverage to grab.
6
When the words just aren’t happening.
7
When the research starts to get weird.
8
Trying to keep the plot bunnies under control.
9
When you realize nothing good in your story will ever be safe from you.

As usual, none of these gifs belong to me or were created by me. Let’s be real…you know this by now. Have a great day, everyone!

22 Symptoms of Characteritis

Ever wondered if you’re actually a character in some random writer’s new story? Don’t worry! Here are some of the most common characteritis symptoms. It’s just like Googling that weird bruise on your toe: check to see if any of the symptoms match, and if one or two feel right, you’ll probably be dead by the end of the book!

Common Symptoms of Characteritis:

You frequently hold your breath without realizing it.

Your heart pounds/hammers/drums/thuds at unhealthy rates.

You get inexplicable stamina boosts.

You rely more on adrenaline than on nutrition.

You frequently lose consciousness, but you’re immune to concussions.

Your spine tingles/shivers/itches at random.

Your eyes scrunch/narrow/squint/glisten/widen/shut/open/gleam/flash every time you say something important.

You get interrupted every time you try to kiss someone.

You randomly pause whatever you were doing for a moment of intense introspection.

You frequently open your mouth to say something, then change your mind.

If others are surprised at you, they hide it well.

You often clench your fists, but only to express righteous anger.

You die a lot.

You run into random rivers a bit too often.

Your stomach curls/tightens/drops every time something bad happens, but you suffer no digestive side effects.

Your breath catches at random points in your respiratory process.

You have an identity crisis at age sixteen and change your name three times.

You have a knack for identifying the exact hue and depth of people’s eyes.

You’re prone to gunshots and stab wounds, but impervious to pulled muscles, stomach cramps, colds, and ear infections.

Falling to your knees is your compulsive response to tragedy. Your knees don’t bruise.

A funny friend starts tagging along everywhere you go.

You only have one nice teacher.


If you suffer at least three of these symptoms, you’re probably a character! I recommend you go see a specialist since you’re in for a rough ride. If your specialist has a beard and smokes a pipe, don’t get too attached to him. If your specialist is bald and wears glasses, he’ll probably try to kill you at some point.

In the meantime, have a great day!

The Writer’s Dictionary: An Alphabetical Sample

Amwriting (v): a hashtag commonly used on social media to indicate when a writer is most distracted.

Book (n): the physical manifestation of the writer’s soul. Not to be confused with horcrux.

Creativity (n): a nutrient absorbed from caffeine.

Dialogue (v): to argue with one’s characters.

Editor (n): a medieval torture device.

Fan (n): 1. a device used to blow papers off a desk; 2. one who habitually smells books.

Grammar (n): a semi-transparent layer of red ink applied to a manuscript.

Heroism (n): a disease contracted upon excessive exposure to destiny.

Inciting [event] (n): the first character death.

Jail (n): the result of online search history.

Kill (v): 1. to take out frustration on a character; 2. to display power and authority over one or more character(s), a common intimidation strategy.

Love (n): 1. a three-sided geometrical shape; 2. a one-sided geometrical shape.

Mentor (n): a disposable cutout figure commonly found in cereal boxes.

Notebook (n): a detachable extension of the brain.

One (n): the hardest page.

Publisher (n): an elusive deity associated with Traditionalism.

Query (v): 1. to beg; 2. to believe in Santa Claus.

Research (n): a pseudo-productive variant of procrastination.

Subplot (n): an excuse to make two incompatible characters kiss.

Typo (n): a bacteria most visible five minutes after publication.

Uninterrupted (adj): a spiritual state of being only achieved in the afterlife.

Verbosity (n): a description of weather or scenery.

Write (v): 1. to convert sleep deprivation into ink squiggles; 2. to cry.

X (n): a red symbol applied by editors to express hopelessness.

Yarn (n): a tool invented to lure cats off keyboards.

Zebra (n): a placeholder noun commonly used in alphabetical blog posts.

 

 

 

The Writer’s Life According To Harry Potter

It’s back, and this time we’re looking at the wonderful wizarding world of writing! Sort of. I’ve lost track of the number of instalments in this blog series, but oh well. The writer’s life according to Harry Potter:

1
When you finish writing that epic climax.
2
Discovering the joys of a thesaurus.
3
When you check your book sales.
4
Gotta weed out those cliches…
5
The dangers of not bringing a notebook.
6
Yet another typo.
7
There are some reasons to go out…
8
When you need reviews for a book release.
9
Giving your characters a heads-up.
10
No, you will not “ship” my characters!

As usual, none of these gifs belong to me. All gifs can be found at giphy.com.

Header image from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harry-film-logo.png

The rest of the series, The Writer’s Life According To…

Jack Sparrow

Sheldon Cooper

Minions

Gollum

Winnie the Pooh

Toy Story

I’m super glad you stopped by. Subscribe if you want to stay in touch, and have a splendid day!

In Case Of Book Sale, Break Glass

Not everyone knows how to react when a stranger (or even a friend) buys and reads their book. Here’s a quick, step-by-step guide so you know exactly what to do next time this happens to you.

Step 1: Panic

What? What is this? This can’t happen. I’ve been exposed. Compromised! Someone knows my name now! 

Step 2: Succumb to misery

They won’t like it. It’s not good enough. They have more followers than me on Twitter, and they’ll tell everyone how bad my book is. 

Step 3: Tell yourself everything will be okay

Maybe things won’t be that bad. They might like parts of it. After all, it’s not terrible, is it? 

Step 4: Engage in mild celebration

Yay…I guess. First book sale this month. So…things are looking up, you could say. *Tosses confetti on self* Probably clicked on it by accident, though. 

Step 5: Hope for the best

Well, who knows? If they do like it, maybe I’ll get a good review. Maybe they’ll recommend it to someone else. Fingers crossed! 

Step 6: Decide how to respond

Okay, so they tweeted about it. Should I favorite it? Thank them? Is that too arrogant? Do I tell them I hope they like it? No, it’s a book, a piece of my soul, not a snowcone. Better play it cool and not say anything. But…is it kosher to retweet? 

Step 7: Realize you have no idea what you’re doing anymore

It’s been fifteen minutes, and I haven’t moved a muscle. People around me are starting to look worried. If I had more sales I’d be better at this. 

Step 8: Repeat step 1

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