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Happy Birthday kateordie, we love you!

It is Kate Leth’s 256th birthday on this planet, and to celebrate this, we have THREE NEW KATEORDIE ITEMS IN THE TOPATOCO STORE! Three! It’s bananas!

Speaking of bananas, we have the "NSFW Shirt", which you might have seen before on the "Adults Only" stickers.

We also have announce the existence of the “Geek Girl Illuminati” shirt and patch! Beware, geek girls are everywhere! And we will get you.

I love the Geek Girl Illuminati shirt and *obviously* need it.


Filed under not sure how to tag this awesome stuff? GEEK GIRL ILLUMINATI

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sparklermonthly started following you


sparklermonthly-senpai noticed you!

Lianne: Lillian usually runs the Sparkler Monthly Tumblr, and she’s the one who inspired me to write horrible smut about Tamaki and Kyouya a few years ago, so this reaction gif feels…weirdly appropriate.

Oh god, this is making me feel like I’m now obligated to break in my AO3 account by posting that one Tyrant Who Fell in Love fic I wrote for you a zillion years ago… 

(And *this* is how I feel about all our lovely followers! I should make an effort to follow more of you back…)

Filed under gif party ouran high school host club otou-san and okaa-san forever

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While I have you on the line…or I guess fanmail-tumblr-thingie, I was wondering if I could ask you a question or two. Yeah, two. You don’t need to respond if you don’t want/have time to, but I’d appreciate it if you did :)
Firstly, what made you start writing in a way that made you love it, and b, how do you plot your books?

This question came in through the “mail” part of tumblr, so I although I am answering this publicly, I deleted all the personal information of the asker, in case they didn’t want that to be public. It’s just such a great question, though, that I wanted to talk about it a bit.

What made you start writing in a way that made you love it?

That’s the big question, the question we have to answer over and over for every project.

I remember writing draft after draft of Tithe, not loving what I was writing and not knowing how to write something I would love. This was also a period when I was incredibly critical of everything I read. There were very few books I could read without ripping apart — and then there were a few I felt were so perfect that they taught me nothing. They seemed completely seamless, with no way in and no way to analyze how to replicate what I liked.

Adding to that, I had some odd ideas about writing. I knew I was supposed to show and not tell, so I never told anyone anything, even if that made it super confusing for the reader. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be derivative or cliched, so every time something happened, I tried to make the characters do the opposite of what was expected, even if that was less interesting.

Those early drafts were awful and they were awful because I was writing to please my (intimidated) writer self. I wasn’t writing for the part of me that mattered — my reader self

Asking myself what I liked — and answering honestly — was the first step in getting to writing stuff I loved. We worry a lot about the market when we’re starting out (and maybe even when we’re no longer starting out), but we have to trust that if we love a thing, there will be other readers who love it too. Maybe not the most possible readers, but our readers.

As for plotting — it helps to know these things:

(a) what does the protagonist want? (b) what’s the obstacle? (b) what’s at stake?* (c) what are the agendas of the other characters in the book? (d) what is the thing, which, once it happens, means the book is over? (e) what are some fun things that you want to happen along the way? (f) what’s the ticking clock and when does it kick in? (g) how does the protagonist change by the end? and (h) what’s the protagonist’s secret?

It’s okay if you don’t know all those things. But, like I said, they help.

Then, I would say, try to give yourself touch points in the manuscript. Not everyone works to an outline, but most writers exist on a spectrum between plotters and pantsers

*People talk a lot about making sure the stakes are high, but let me say instead that the stakes should be highly personal. Yes, it makes sense to want to save the world — that’s where you keep your stuff, right? — but losing a job, disappointing the people you love, losing a loved one, etc. are usually more intense stakes.

I thought the plotting tips above were particularly useful, but I also really like the explicit difference between “high stakes” and “highly personal stakes,” which I find is something a lot of newbie writers get wrong. The world doesn’t *actually* need to be ending, but your characters should *feel* like it is. 

(via ysabet)

Filed under making art writing stuff smart people saying smart stuff holly black

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Off*Beat, Volume 3


Off*Beat, Volume 3Creator: Jen Lee Quick
Publisher: Chromatic Press
ISBN: 9780991946648
Released: August 2014
Original run: 2013-2014

Nearly a decade after the series first began it’s finally here–the third and final volume in Jen Lee Quick’s Off*Beat. The first two graphic novels in the series were published by Tokyopop in 2005 and 2006, but the planned third volume never materialized and the first two volumes…

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Filed under off*beat reviews