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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)
ladiesagainsthumanity:

Fuck you right in the eye, Hobby Lobby. Right in the motherfuckin’ eye.

ladiesagainsthumanity:

Fuck you right in the eye, Hobby Lobby. Right in the motherfuckin’ eye.

ladiesagainsthumanity:

*Ginsburg, I know, my rage blinded my usual propensity to spellcheck. My bad RBG!!

ladiesagainsthumanity:

*Ginsburg, I know, my rage blinded my usual propensity to spellcheck. My bad RBG!!

ladiesagainsthumanity:

RUTH. BADER. GINSBURG. 

via @sethdmichaels

kateordie:

I do not think that word means what you think it means.
Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.

Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)

OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.

Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.

Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).

Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.

Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.

(via bansheewhale)

always reblog because you know women

(via alternageek)

storyware:

How to make GIFs for Tumblr
GIFs tell a story unlike any png or jpeg. You can make a gif from any video file or set of images. Each image makes up a frame, or a point in the animation sequence.
GIFs have grown in popularity on Tumblr and other social media platforms, Mashable History of the GIF.
GIFs gem circa the 90’s,

& now we have sophisticated video clips & detailed animations,

Option 1 - GIF in 4 Steps (Beginner):
GIF Generator: https://imgflip.com/images-to-gif
Upload an image, a video from your desktop or paste a YouTube link
Set you delay, quality, etc. 
Download your GIF
Advantages: Quick and easyDisadvantage: Watermark from website, limited width and height, pre-set fonts & effects
Option 2 - GIF with Photoshop (Intermediate/Advanced):
Download Photoshop. Adobe CC (Creative Cloud) allows for a free 30 day free trial of Photoshop. 
Open Photoshop application
Start a new Photoshop document (File > New) and choose “Preset: Film & Video.” This will give you preset guides. 
Open the Timeline panel, go to the top bar menu, Window > Timeline
 There are 2 options for animation, “Create Video Timeline” or “Create Frame Animation”
Choose “Create Frame Animation”
You can make your GIF from a video file (find an easy repeatable motion) or any set of images (layers)
For Video: File (from top bar) > Import > Video frame to layers > Select range only (this will add the frames automatically to your video timeline)
For Images: File (from top bar) > Place Embedded (add as layers)
For images, use the add new layer button with each change in animation. 
Continue to add frames to your Timeline by switching layers on and off in your layers pallet (File > Layers) then clicking add new frame
 For an easy fade effect, select the layers of the animation so far. Hold down your left mouse while holding alt and drag them to the right to make a copy of the frames. With them still selected, toggle the more tab on the top right of the timeline box, click on reverse frames.
 Set your repeat: forever, 3 times or once.
 Save out your gif. File (top bar) > Save for Web > GIF
Above is the basic animation from a few layers and a reverse frame animation. 

Follow this detailed tutorial to get some hands on practice with Photoshop animation to make a rocket blast off! 
Advantages: Photoshop give you complete control over your animation, fonts, rate of animation, animation fade effects/tweens (effects between 2 frames). 
Disadvantage: Must own Photoshop or download software and have some basic Photoshop skills

Our favorite Tumblr GIF artist, mrgif

storyware:

How to make GIFs for Tumblr

GIFs tell a story unlike any png or jpeg. You can make a gif from any video file or set of images. Each image makes up a frame, or a point in the animation sequence.

GIFs have grown in popularity on Tumblr and other social media platforms, Mashable History of the GIF.

GIFs gem circa the 90’s,

& now we have sophisticated video clips & detailed animations,

Option 1 - GIF in 4 Steps (Beginner):

  1. GIF Generator: https://imgflip.com/images-to-gif
  2. Upload an image, a video from your desktop or paste a YouTube link
  3. Set you delay, quality, etc. 
  4. Download your GIF

Advantages: Quick and easy
Disadvantage: Watermark from website, limited width and height, pre-set fonts & effects

Option 2 - GIF with Photoshop (Intermediate/Advanced):

  1. Download Photoshop. Adobe CC (Creative Cloud) allows for a free 30 day free trial of Photoshop
  2. Open Photoshop application
  3. Start a new Photoshop document (File > New) and choose “Preset: Film & Video.” This will give you preset guides.
  4. Open the Timeline panel, go to the top bar menu, Window > Timeline
  5.  
    There are 2 options for animation, “Create Video Timeline” or “Create Frame Animation”
  6. Choose “Create Frame Animation”
  7. You can make your GIF from a video file (find an easy repeatable motion) or any set of images (layers)
  8. For Video: File (from top bar) > Import > Video frame to layers > Select range only (this will add the frames automatically to your video timeline)
  9. For Images: File (from top bar) > Place Embedded (add as layers)
  10. For images, use the add new layer button with each change in animation. 
  11. Continue to add frames to your Timeline by switching layers on and off in your layers pallet (File > Layers) then clicking add new frame
  12.  
    For an easy fade effect, select the layers of the animation so far. Hold down your left mouse while holding alt and drag them to the right to make a copy of the frames. With them still selected, toggle the more tab on the top right of the timeline box, click on reverse frames.
  13.  
    Set your repeat:
    forever, 3 times or once.
  14.  
    Save out your gif. File (top bar) > Save for Web > GIF

  15. Above is the basic animation from a few layers and a reverse frame animation. 

Follow this detailed tutorial to get some hands on practice with Photoshop animation to make a rocket blast off! 

Advantages: Photoshop give you complete control over your animation, fonts, rate of animation, animation fade effects/tweens (effects between 2 frames). 

Disadvantage: Must own Photoshop or download software and have some basic Photoshop skills

Our favorite Tumblr GIF artist, mrgif

nevver:

25 years ago June 4th, Tiananmen Square

amandapalmer:

DESIGNER VAGINA SONG!!!

speaking as one who has a labia the size of, oh, rhode island, i am very pleased to see someone has taken up their ukulele (mandolin?) for this cause because i’m so fucking busy with this fucking book i haven’t had time. 

apparently ’The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) states 1,030 “vaginal rejuvenation” procedures were performed in 2006. The two recognized plastic surgery organizations in the United States, the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), stopped tracking these procedures after 2006. However, surgeons in the United States, the United Kingdom, as well as in other developed nations, report that the procedure seems to be growing exponentially in popularity.’

my labia are (sorry to TMI the shit out of you, but hey, here you are) about two inches long. and wrinkly. i can practically tie them in a knot.

i remember being a teenager and looking at porn and wondering if they were wrong. but none of my lovers ever seemed to care, so I let it go. 

i think it might be time for me to write the I HAVE SLEPT WITH LIKE A HUNDRED PEOPLE AND NONE OF THEM SEEMED TO MIND THAT I HAD A GIANT LABIA book.

i know this may seem like an unseemly little topic but i really would like to add my voice to melissa’s on this one:

GIRLS: YOUR VULVA IS FINE THE WAY IT IS. REALLY. IT MAY SEEM LIKE IT’S WEIRD-LOOKING, BUT IT’S NOT. THAT IS WHAT VULVAE AND LABIA LOOK LIKE. 

EVERYBODY: VAGINAS GENERALLY DON’T LOOK LIKE PERFECT LITTLE PINK-FLOWER VAGINAS YOU SEE IN PORN!!

SEX ORGANS ARE FUNNY-LOOKING!!! HAVE YOU *SEEN* A PENIS LATELY?? 

i also found a site called “realself.com” (http://www.realself.com/review/thailand-th-labiaplasty-trim-meth-bangkok) and this sad little exchange in a forum, a thread started by a new zealand girl who sounds like she’s relatively young and got a labiaplasty for $854 dollars.

"I haven’t been happy with the length of Labia Minora [i think she means majora - afp] for about 5 years, I have guys comment on it and getting Brazilian waxes and wearing a bikini is always nerve wracking….then heard from someone that in Thailand you can get it don’t for a really affordable price and they have great surgeons over there as long as you do your research and find the right one just like in any country. Anyway so six months later I was off to Bangkok with my mum…."

then a set of follow-up posts and pictures of her recovery and freak-out when the stitches didn’t dissolve, etc etc: and a comment below:

"Why the hell would you do that ? It’s like cutting the petals from a flower to have only the flower button !!!"

her response:

"Because it was uncomfortable and embarrassing having large labia, no offence but it’s comments like this that made my only feel like I could trust one person to tell about the surgery, which was my mum trust me I wouldn’t have gone through all of this if it wasn’t going to make massive positive difference to my life."

and therein lies the question…..

why, oh why, was it uncomfortable and embarrassing?

i want to sprinkle anti-shame fairy dust all over the world today

cakelove:

Chocolate Filled Raspberry Meringue Kisses
and how to make them :)

cakelove:

Chocolate Filled Raspberry Meringue Kisses

and how to make them :)