Writer’s Block
A picture says a thousand words. Write them.
Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a critique about this picture. Write something about this picture.
Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

Requested by Anonymous.
The gown of truth

His hands were wrapped up in my hair, his dark eyes peering into mine, making me feel solitary in a room full of pulsating, multi-colored lights, and giant thrums of bass lines that vibrated in the pit of my stomach. Around us, groups of people swayed with the music, the air was musty with sweat. I somehow was his center of attention.
I laced my fingers into his long, shaggy hair and pulled his ear close to my mouth, “Grey, let’s get out of here.” He pulled back and looked at me, he didn’t need words, I could read his eyes, “yes” they said. That was almost always the answer to anything I asked. He spun on his feet, his fingers now intertwined with mine, and expertly navigated our way out of the club.
We stumbled out the door, into fresh open air, with ears that still hadn’t adjusted to the quiet. He spun me around and planted me back on the ground. “Nova….” He said, I heard it like the first day.

I was at work, serving coffee in a small coffee house, it was intimate and I spent my time off work here as well. It was decorated with dark art and contributions from people from all over town; from murals depicting twisted adaptations of Alice in Wonderland to sculptures that were rotated out every three months to give local artists a chance to show off their artwork.
“Nova?” I heard my name spoken from a male voice. I turned and immediately in front of me was a tall, lean man with scruffy dull black hair. His eyes were a dark grey and intense, intense in a way I almost wasn’t comfortable with.
“Uh, yeah?” I acknowledged. How did this guy know my name, I was pretty sure I’d never seen him before.
“I’m Grey,” he said, a crooked grin. How fitting. “Jenna told me to talk to you about commissioning a wall art piece?” Ah, made sense now.
“Yeah, um what did you have in mind?” I sat down a tray of used coffee cups and sat at the bar. Like the sculptures being rotated, we painted and repainted and repainted the walls over and again. In the past three months, the job of handling this had been given to me.
“I don’t work with a predestined idea, I just kind of go with it, if you know what I mean. I brought some samples.” He turned in his seat to access his bag laying on the counter, he slid out a large red folder and handed it to me.

“Nova!” Grey demanded, I jumped. “Let’s make our way up to Truman Point.” He lifted his eyebrows in a humorous way, making me giggle.
“It’s already after my curfew so what could it hurt?”
Truman Point was a small island in the middle of a large lake that our town Truman was named after. Apparently, Maxwell Truman, who founded the town lived there in the early 1800’s, and would row to town everyday from his private home. Now a mile long bridge connected the island to the town, and was a great place for families to relax during the day and barbeque, and a great getaway at night for the local misfits. All that was left of Truman’s house was the frame, but that was the least of our cares.
The headlights of his black 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo washed over the tree line as we made our way over the bridge. He drove a ways into the trees and parked the car. He turned to me.
“Nova, I need you to trust me….”
That’s never a good thing…. He pulled my head close, almost like he was going to tell me a secret. I tried to rotate my head, so I could look him in the eyes. But his grip hardened. I small amount of panic rose in the pit of my stomach.
“Grey?” I whispered. He wasn’t saying or doing anything but holding my head. Breathing hard.
“I don’t want to, Nova. But I have no choice.” He voice quivered slightly, but had a sense of power hidden underneath.
Then everything went black.

“Nova, come here and take a look at this.” Grey beckoned. He was covered in paint, splotches of it were on his nose and in his hair. The whole artsy thing he had going on was pretty adorable. “What do you think?” He gestured to his mural, paintbrush in hand, with a clouded look on his face, hiding his emotion so I couldn’t read what he wanted me to think. I took a step back and really studied it.
In front of me was a swirling picture of blues, blacks, rich purples; at the center was a scarlet haired girl, the swirling fans of her hair covered most of her face. She almost looked like me, but I dismissed it, that would be too weird. Although the color of the hair matched mine; I routinely dyed my hair scarlet red, it made my hair pop.
I took a step closer, and attached to her shoulder blades were a great pair of wings (helping me convince myself it wasn’t me), they seemed iridescent, which was cool since it was a painting.
“She’s gorgeous. She seems so haunted. What’s going around her?” I asked, motioning the blurred edges where landings were sketched out.
“Depends.” He told me, twirling his brush around, he looked over at me. “See, I don’t know how powerful she is yet. I don’t know if she is going to win.”
“Win? Win what?” I asked him, a bit confused.
“Exactly, I’m not sure.”

I woke up, it was dark and smelled very earthy. I was cocooned in something waxy, and it smelled of spring. I began to panic, memories of my last moment awake began to flood into my brain. Grey. The car. Truman Point. The strange way he was holding my head, then apologizing and….
Panic really started to set in, and I tried thrashing my way out of the weird nest. “Help!” I screamed, over and over. “Hellllppp!” Finally I seemed to break free, sunlight wavered in and I jumped up as fast as I could. I had been trapped in gigantic leaves. Terrified, I looked around. Everything was oversized, I was the size of a bug it seemed. I was in a tree. I WAS IN A TREE! I started to slap myself, pinch myself, and shake my head. This has to be a dream.
“Nova?” The voice was just quiet enough. I turned vehemently searching for the voice. It was dark and I was ten inches tall!!
“Who’s there?” I demanded shrilly. “Who??! Answer me!!”
“Nova.” He came out then, Grey. Now I knew this had to be a dream. No freaking way. No way. “Nova, I have a lot to explain.”
“You sure as hell do!” I yelled, taking a step toward him, then stopping. He was the one who put me here after all. “What is going on?” I was trying to keep it together, but I felt like I should be in an insane asylum. I wanted desperately to cry.
“I’m a Magic Sprite. We live separately from all other fae; the finders, the collectors, the growers, the mischiefs, the elementals. You get the idea.”
“I get the idea?” I asked sarcastically. “I get the idea? You mean to tell me your some kind of fairy magic thing? I have gone insane. I’m delusional. I wonder where I really am, what did you give me? Why am I hallucinating?” I was shrill, I had gone completely mad, waving my hands around, my hair flying in a million directions.
“Nothing. I’m not lying.” Like I was supposed to believe that. “I was sent on a mission to kidnap you and bring you to my King. I’m not supposed to be telling you, but I can’t help it.”
I knew I shouldn’t be going along, but being confused, I did. “Tell me what?” I asked. I was still shivering, anxious with confusion and desire to just have this be over.
“Nova, ever wonder why you have a compulsion to dye your hair so unnaturally? Or why you never fit in just right, why you notice things others don’t?” I just sat there, waiting for him to go on. “You have a shield on. It’s a spell performed by royal fae to block your real size and looks from mortal eyes. But your true self will show through. You hair is flaming red. You aren’t mortal. Your eyes have magic, you are the long awaited fae queen. You were hidden two hundred years ago, its been hell tracking you down; especially since every eight years or so, your identity is changed and you’re relocated.”
“I’m a faerie queen?” I asked. I was literally shocked into disbelief. Hysterics gone, just utter and complete disbelief. I just sat there. “And why aren’t you supposed to tell me, why have I been ‘hidden’?” I made air quotes around it to show him I didn’t believe him. I was still waiting to wake up.
“My King, being the only fae left with any royal in him, is currently in charge of all of Mysticism. You, however are fully royal. You were the sole daughter of King Lightening and Queen Flame, who died from poison right after you were born. Your cousin, half blood, took you and hid you. When he refused to reveal your existence, only telling us only of your relocation and identity spell, was killed. My King, was his father. He is the only ruler left, and he wants you gone.”
Unable to quite process this, I fainted.

“Go on a date with me.” Grey demanded. I just looked at him, my expression asking if he was serious.
“I don’t date.” I was cleaning a table, as it was the end of my shift. My hair was tied up in a knot that was tumbling down from exhaustion and my black t-shirt with the coffeehouse logo was covered in coffee I managed to spill on myself earlier that evening.
“Exactly.” He pointed out with a flourish. “You work and you paint. I just paint. We need to do something. We could paint together, so you don’t miss out on free time.”
I shook my head. “ I really don’t want to.” I insisted, I was tired, and boys usually weren’t worth the time when you had rent to pay and little free time.
“Nova, I’ve been hanging around you every day for two weeks. It won’t be that different, just a different location. Besides, I don’t know of that much here in town, and you could help me find a good place to eat or rent an apartment. I’m getting tired of Miss Mary’s Inn.” He had a point. That place smelled like mothballs, I had to stay there a year or two ago while my apartment was tented for termites.
“Fine. But it’s not a date.” I whisked my tray away and continued the clean up.
“Great, see you in an hour.” He grinned, even so, there was something always so serious about his appearance.
He showed up an hour later, freshly changed out of his paint stained clothing, he eyed me up and down. I had brought a change of clothes, as usual for when I got off my shift. No one wants to wear a shirt stained with coffee. I was wearing a pair of cutoff jeans and an oversized navy blue t-shirt with a pocket.
“Sorry, was planning on just sitting around reading and drawing.” I told him. He didn’t care, he just took my hand and led me out into the town; we got into his old black car, and he began driving. “For not knowing the town, you sure look like you know where you’re going.” I looked over.
“Yep.” He came to a bridge and I knew exactly where we were going.
Truman Point.

“Good god. Nova, wake up seriously, we have to get out of here!” I came to, slightly disoriented.
“Where’s my bed?” Grey just looked at me like I’d hit my head. “Seriously” his eyes asked. “Not this faerie crap again…” I moaned. He scooped me up onto my feet, one hand on my back for balance. Waking up, I could hear why he was panicked, I guessed. There was a large buzzing sound, coming from all directions, and voices, and growls, and the tree was shaking.
“What’s going on?!” I asked, he grabbed me by my hips and threw me into the air as response, I screamed and closed my eyes, but I never fell. His hand re-connected with mine, so I opened my eyes slowly. I was flying! No joke. Beside me, Grey had a large pair of silver wings that were jagged, my jaw dropped.
“No more fainting!” He demanded, pulling my hand.
“A-am I flying, too?” I yelled. I could feel a starnge sensation tugging at my back. My skin was flexing, I could feel it.
“Yeah, you’re a natural, can you focus please?”
“On what?! Wings are kind of a life changing thing?
He never got to reply, as a giant bee with a man, or excuse me faerie, on its back dropped in front of us.
“Tut-tut Grey. Changing allegiance are we? Hand her over.” This man wad long black hair that was pin straight and fell to his waist. He was broad shouldered, and his eyes were menacing, almost red. I was terrified. Grey was too, I could see. He was still, not a muscle moving. I however, was a mess. I was shaking with fear.
“No.” he finally said after some deliberation. The man looked angry. “King, no. Grey reestablished. “You led us all to believe that Nova was evil. A wrench, who would overthrow us all and make life for herself the only life worth living. She is kind hearted, stubborn, and ambitious, se has perseverance. What could she possibly do that is so bad?” He demanded, he seemed to grow three sizes, anger flaring.
“Ah. Love. Didn’t know a dark magic sprite was capable. Intriguing. Now give me the girl.” He outstretched an ebony leather gloved hand, I almost wanted to go to him. I closed my eyes, picturing myself drawing the scene in vibrant colors; picturing myself saying no, painting the King frozen in place. I opened my eyes and his eyes were wide in fear. Even Grey was watching me.
“She has the gift.” Was all King muttered. Silence seemed to fall.
“What gift?” I asked hesitantly. Looking at Grey.
“I knew it.” He said quietly. He flew over to me and whispered in my ear. “Spin, slowly and then more quickly. Imagine the King as a lowly alchemist gatherer. Paint it in your head, slowly and then more quickly.” Hesitating, I did what he said. I started spinning, the King still frozen, except for his face, seemed even more fearful. I spun and spun and spun again. Around me a gown grew, fabric in rich colors like burgundy and royal purple were swirling around me, like Grey’s painting. I closed my eyes and focused harder, instead on a painting of my own creation in that moment. I painted in my mind, mixing colors for the King’s perfects shades, a man, sitting in a meadow, with a basket. In it was some bread and water, also a leather satchel with different plants growing out. On the edge of the meadow was a small shack built out of leaves and flower petals (I was guessing, I was new to the fairy thing). I matched all the perfect shades, not stopping the insane speed I was gathering until finally I came to a halt, with the last imaginary stroke of paint.
​Grey and I were alone, in a tree. I was clothed in a gossamer gown, my hair had grown at least a foot. It reached down to my thighs, it was maniacal, as it was explosive, my hair was engulfing and flowing. Grey’s eyes beamed, with more color than ever before.
“I told you to trust me.” He said pulling me to him, brushing his lips across my forehead. My gown seemed alive, as it wrapped around us both, ensuring me of the truth I just created. This is me.
I was a faerie queen. I believed it.

l'enfer, c'est les autres: So You Want To Write A Book..


And remember: Google is your best friend.

(via tiny-paper)

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.
Zelda Reed: Bizarre Habits of Famous Authors


Does fiddling around with vowels and consonants all day drive our eccentricities, or were we just born that way?

Most of us probably aren’t as strange as we think we are … relatively speaking, of course!

Here are some examples of famous authors who definitely had some, shall we say, unusualmethods for keeping the words flowing.

  • Victor Hugo wrote both Les Misèrables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in the nude so he wouldn’t be tempted to leave his house. He even had his valet hide his clothes.
  • Demosthenes shaved half his head so that he would be too embarrassed to leave home until his writing was finished.
  • Honoré de Balzac would down black coffee so he could write for long stretches—often for more than 48 hours at a time. (Hey, what’s weird about that???)
  • Ernest Hemingway stood while he met his 500-word-per-day, self-imposed quota. His writing regimen was to be “done by noon and drunk by three.”
  • Truman Capote, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Winston Churchill, and Marcel Proust all preferred to write while lying in bed.
  • Charles Dickens would go for walks (20 miles or so every day) and try to get lost in order to spark his creativity.
  • James Joyce felt that it was a productive day if he composed just three sentences. (How would your manager feel about that?)
  • Vladimir Nabokov wrote on index cards in no particular order. One of his books consisted of 2,000 index cards.
  • William Wordsworth would recite his poetry to his dog while taking strolls. If the dog barked or was upset as he read, he would rewrite the draft.
  • Friedrich Schiller kept a drawerful of rotten apples in his study. His wife claimed that he could not live or work without the awful aroma.
  • Alexandre Dumas could only write poetry on yellow paper, articles on pink paper, and novels on blue paper.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s beloved cat, Catterina, would sit on Poe’s shoulders while he wrote.
  • French novelist Colette always plucked fleas from her bulldog until she was ready to write.
  • Gertrude Stein claimed that she wrote best while seated in a parked car.
  • Agatha Christie wrote while taking baths and eating apples.
  • For many years, Maya Angelou only worked in the plainest of hotel rooms, solely accompanied by a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards, and a bottle of sherry.
  • Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road on 120 feet of taped-together paper so that his stream-of-consciousness writing style would not be interrupted by the need to add new sheets of paper to the typewriter.
  • John Steinbeck insisted on writing exclusively in pencil. He used over 300 of them to createThe Grapes of Wrath.
  • T.S. Eliot would tint his face green with powder to look like he was dead.

(via tiny-paper)


Ways To Describe Tone: 
This is my english teacher’s list but I thought I would share :)
A Handful of the 100 T-Shirts I Refuse to Throw Away (Even Though I Probably Should)

1.     “Dork Shirt”
My mom gave me this shirt. It’s a Hanes, soft blue cotton tee that used to have the word “Dork” emblazoned across its front like a hero crest. I have worn it so often, you literally have to squint to see the lettering. I remember the first time I hung out with my current boyfriend of six years; I was wearing this shirt. Good thing he thought it was a joke. He had no idea I was wearing the truth until we were to far in to go back.

2.     Iron Maiden
This technically isn’t my shirt. I took it from Hunter (my man) when we were just 14 years old. He used to skateboard, so the back of this shirt is shredded from the times he has landed on concrete. It has also acquired a hole in the armpit—I still insist on wearing it. Its perfectly worn fabric, and even though his smell is long gone from it, when he isn’t home I feel closer to him when I wear this shirt.

3.     Harry Potter “Professor” Shirt
I don’t even know where this thing came from. It has taken residence in my drawers for about seven years. It’s a dark maroon shade, with “Harry Potter Training Card Game” written on the left chest; on the back it says professor. I’m going to guess that I sleep walk and play card tournaments while unconscious. Apparently I’m pretty good at it, too.

4.     Billabong Shirt
This shirt is older than me. It once belonged to my mother, but I guess she decided I needed it. There are pictures of me wearing this shirt (that is regular size on me know) and it goes to my feet it is so long. The fabric on this 20+ year old shirt is thin as tissue, but oh man is it great for summertime snoozing.

5.     Walt’s Auto Care Shirt
So what it’s big enough to be a dress and has hair dye stains all over it. I can wear it as a nightgown. End of story. It used to be my dad’s, and he is quite a bit bigger than I am. Makes me feel like a little kid again, when my parents shirts (see Billabong) were my wardrobe.

Writing Non-Linear Pieces

For my creative writing class, I have to write a non-linear story. That means a braid (many characters whose stories seem separate but intertwine somehow), an alphabetically organized tale, or a list of things with stories attached. I have no idea where to begin. Oh the lists:

1. 15 of my 100 T-shirts I refuse to throw out

2. Oh the laptops I have lost

3. Things I have tripped on

4. Places I leave my phone (my refrigerator is one)

5. Cats 

i could go on forever but I am trying to make this easier on myself. 



Alternate World: A setting that is not our world, but may be similar. This includes “portal fantasies” in which characters find an alternative world through their own. An example would be The Chronicles of Narnia.
Arabian: Fantasy that is based on the Middle East and North Africa.
Arthurian: Set in Camelot and deals with Arthurian mythology and legends.
Bangsian: Set in the afterlife or deals heavily with the afterlife. It most often deals with famous and historical people as characters. An example could be The Lovely Bones.
Celtic: Fantasy that is based on the Celtic people, most often the Irish.
Christian: This genre has Christian themes and elements.
Classical: Based on Roman and Greek myths.
Contemporary: This genre takes place in modern society in which paranormal and magical creatures live among us. An example would be the Harry Potter series.
Dark: This genre combines fantasy and horror elements. The tone or feel of dark fantasy is often gloomy, bleak, and gothic.
Epic: This genre is long and, as the name says, epic. Epic is similar to high fantasy, but has more importance, meaning, or depth. Epic fantasy is most often in a medieval setting.
Gaslamp: Also known as gaslight, this genre has a Victorian or Edwardian setting.
Gunpowder: Gunpowder crosses epic or high fantasy with “rifles and railroads”, but the technology remains realistic unlike the similar genre of steampunk.
Heroic: Centers on one or more heroes who start out as humble, unlikely heroes thrown into a plot that challenges them.
High: This is considered the “classic” fantasy genre. High fantasy contains the general fantasy elements and is set in a fictional world.
Historical: The setting in this genre is any time period within our world that has fantasy elements added.
Medieval: Set between ancient times and the industrial era. Often set in Europe and involves knights. (medieval references)
Mythic: Fantasy involving or based on myths, folklore, and fairy tales.
Portal: Involves a portal, doorway, or other entryway that leads the protagonist from the “normal world” to the “magical world”.
Quest: As the name suggests, the protagonist in this genre sets out on a quest. The protagonist most frequently searches for an object of importance and returns home with it.
Sword and Sorcery: Pseudomedieval settings in which the characters use swords and engage in action-packed plots. Magic is also an element, as is romance.
Urban: Has a modern or urban setting in which magic and paranormal creatures exist, often in secret.
Wuxia: A genre in which the protagonist learns a martial art and follows a code. This genre is popular in Chinese speaking areas.
Word Counts:
Word counts for fantasy are longer than other genres because of the need for world building. Even in fantasy that takes place in our world, there is a need for the introduction of the fantasy aspect.
Word counts for established authors with a fan base can run higher because publishers are willing to take a higher chance on those authors. First-time authors (who have little to no fan base) will most likely not publish a longer book through traditional publishing. Established authors may also have better luck with publishing a novel far shorter than that genre’s expected or desired word count, though first-time authors may achieve this as well.
A general rule of thumb for first-time authors is to stay under 100k and probably under 110k for fantasy.
Other exceptions to word count guidelines would be for short fiction (novellas, novelettes, short stories, etc.) and that one great author who shows up every few years with a perfect 200k manuscript.
But why are there word count guidelines? For young readers, it’s pretty obvious why books should be shorter. For other age groups, it comes down to the editor’s preference, shelf space in book stores, and the cost of publishing a book. The bigger the book, the more expensive it is to publish.
General Fantasy: 75k - 110k
Epic Fantasy: 90k - 120k
Contemporary Fantasy: 90k - 120k
Urban Fantasy: 80k - 100k
Middle Grade: 45k - 70k
YA: 75k - 120k (depending on sub-genre)
Adult: 80k - 120k (depending on sub-genre)


A pseudo-European medieval setting is fine, but it’s overdone. And it’s always full of white men and white women in disguise as white men because around 85% (ignore my guess/exaggeration, I only put it there for emphasis) of fantasy writers seem to have trouble letting go of patriarchal societies. 
Guys. It’s fantasy. You can do whatever you want. You can write a fantasy that takes place in a jungle. Or in a desert. Or in a prairie. The people can be extremely diverse in one region and less diverse in another. The cultures should differ. Different voices should be heard. Queer people exist. People of color exist. Not everyone has two arms or two legs or the ability to hear.
As for the fantasy elements, you also make up the rules. Don’t go searching around about how a certain magic spell is done, just make it up. Magic can be whatever color you want. It can be no color at all. You can use as much or as little magic as you want.
Keep track of what you put into your world and stick to the rules. There should be limits, laws, cultures, climates, disputes, and everything else that exists in our world. However, you don’t have to go over every subject when writing your story.
World Building:
Fantasy World Building Questionnaire
Magical World Builder’s Guide
Creating Fantasy and Science Fiction Worlds
Creating Religions
Quick and Dirty World Building
World Building Links
Fantasy World Building Questions
The Seed of Government (2)
Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy
Fantasy Worlds and Race
Water Geography
Alternate Medieval Fantasy Story
Writing Magic
Types of Magic
When Magic Goes Wrong
Magic-Like Psychic Abilities
Science and Magic
Creative Uses of Magic
Thoughts on Creating Magic Systems
Defining the Sources, Effects, and Costs of Magic
World Building Basics
Mythology Master Post
Fantasy Religions
Setting the Fantastic in the Everyday World
Making Histories
Matching Your Money to Your World
Building a Better Beast
A Man in Beast’s Clothing
Creating and Using Fictional Languages
Creating a Language
Creating Fictional Holidays
Creating Holidays
Weather and World Building 101
Describing Fantastic Creatures
Medieval Technology
Music For Your Fantasy World
A heterogeneous World
Articles on World Building
Grand List of Fantasy Cliches (most of this can be debated)
Fantasy Cliches Discussion
Ten Fantasy Cliches That Should Be Put to Rest
Seven Fantasy Cliches That Need to Disappear
Avoiding Fantasy Cliches 101
Avoiding Fantasy Cliches
Fantasy Cliches
Fantasy Cliche Meter: The Bad Guys
Fantasy Novelist’s Exam
Mary Sue Race Test
Note: Species (like elves and dwarves) are not cliches. The way they are executed are cliches.

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