Hello, writerly friends, the VWA is back! You can leave the tissues at home, today we are going to get a little silly ;3

What is the VWA?

The Virtual Writing Academy is a weekly writing class where we explore strange writing exercises. This is NOT a lecture. You are not going to learn by listening— but by doing. So, take out your notebooks because we are going to write!

Missed our previous classes? Check out the playlist!

If you want more writing advice videos subscribe to me on Youtube, and, if you want your daily dose of writerly advice and prompts, then make sure follow my blog:! ♥︎

posted: 1 week ago
with: 347 notes


Hello there~

First off, I wanna say that it’s pretty awesome both of you want to get back into writing! One can’t have enough writerly friends :D

Silliness aside, you’re both dealing with the same issue:

How do you regain motivation?

Well, I have just the thing for you~ The following exercise will work regardless if you haven’t been writing in years, or if you just got struck with writer’s block. This is what I use whenever I feel like I’m losing motivation on my current work:

  1. Grab paper and a writing utensil (you could also use your computer, but analog has worked better for me because of the kinetic nature of pencil+paper c;).
  2. Take a deep breath. Hold it in. Let it out slowly. Give your brain much-needed oxygen~
  3. Ask yourself the following questions: “What were my favorite things about this book? What excited me the most? What did I look forward to the most?”
  4. Write down everything that comes to mind. Everything. These can be things like ‘the romance between character A & B’ or ‘the rotten antagonist’ or ‘the protagonist’s antics’. Ultimately, these are the things that drove you (sometimes subconsciously) to work on this book to begin with.
  5. Take a second to consider the things that you wrote down.
  6. Make a note of them, and return to your project— with the intention to enhance the things that excited you, the things that made the project FUN for you from the beginning.

Writing should be fun. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Now, if you’re feeling doubtful about my advice, consider this: If you read step 6 and your gut reaction was "I can’t make the book all about THAT" then I think you may be trying to impress someone. Also, what do you mean you can’t make your book about anything you want? Of course you can. It’s your book, and it’s your time.

And, lastly I leave you with this: The reader can tell when you had fun writing. Sure, you can power through a book you hated to write, but don’t even think for one second that people are going to enjoy it.

If you didn’t enjoy writing it, why would anyone enjoy reading it?

I hope this helps~ If any of you has any more questions, don’t hesitate to them my way!

Have fun, and keep writing~

posted: 3 weeks ago
with: 425 notes


aww nasa has a page for space technology terms you can use in science fiction


IMPORTANT: I would like your input on the WRITERS UNITE compilation!


Hello, writerly friends!

As I mentioned earlier, WRITERS UNITE has been an incredible success so far. I can now say (without doubt) that I have gotten over a hundred awesome pieces of advice, from writers of all ages and skill levels. I don’t mean to sound sappy, but there plenty of pieces that made me go "I wish I had known that when I first got started.” The way some of them were phrased were so perfect I was speechless.

This is… actually part the reason I am posting this.

When I originally made the WRITERS UNITE post, I thought I would get a few dozen messages— thirty at most (because Past-Max tends to be shortsighted). I thought I would just make the advice into a slideshow and release it on Friday.

Now though, there is so much (and all of it is so good), I feel awful just picking a few (out of so many submissions). So, I want to open up the conversation to all of you (even if you didn’t submit). I try to be transparent with everything I do, and in this situation I would never consider acting without asking you all first (after all, you are the ones who sent me this amazing advice).

So, how do you think I should go about compiling this advice? There are a few ways I think I could go about compiling— but they both come with their ups and downs.

Option #1: “Slideshow”

This is the original plan. I would pick a selection from all of the advice and create a slideshow. Additionally, I would create a thank-you post containing the URLs of everyone who submitted (least I can do). This would mean, of course, that I would have to choose a few from the hundreds of awesome submissions.

Option #2: “Compilation Book”

Someone actually suggested, on an message separate from their advice, if I would consider putting all the advice into one book. Now I like this idea (because it doesn’t ask me to pick from all of your awesome advice ;3;), but the person who asked had a bunch of questions to go along with their suggestion, so allow me to relay my thoughts:

  • Would this be a physical book? No. It would be a FREE eBook. I code eBooks for a living (and I can do it in my sleep) so I would probably have this compilation in all the major digital formats (EPUB, MOBI, PDF).
  • Why not a physical book? There is a lot of money that goes into the production of a paperback. I am in no situation to be giving away ‘free’ physical books (that cost money to make), and if I considered charging for the book I would walk into a metaphorical mine-field, because paperback production costs are steep, and I would have to get release papers from every writer who submitted. Unfortunately, physical books are out of the question :c
  • Would this book cost money? No. I would release for FREE as a download. Gumroad (where my books are) allows free downloads, so I would put it up there along with a few mirrors (like and such). The books would, of course, come free of any DRM.
  • How long would this take to make? A week or so. As I said, I code eBooks. I can take a whole manuscript and turn it into an eBook in a few hours. Of course, I also kind of have a day-job along with the blog, so a week is a comfortable and conservative time-window.
  • This would contain all of the advice? Yup. I would probably sort them by subject and number them. Imagine like those proverb books. Each piece of advice would get its own page. Everything would be sourced, and I would also add an index at the end, listing everyone who submitted (and have a link to their blog).
  • What if I don’t want my advice on this book? No problem. If you sent advice and you disagree with it being in the eBook just send me a message and I will omitt it. No questions asked c:

I apologize if this has gone a bit long, but I wanted to write all the information I had at hand so that you could all make an educated decision~ ((If you have any more questions, please send them my way and I will update this ASAP!))

Now, I pass the mic to you. What do you think? What are your thoughts? What option do you think it’s the best? Do you think there’s a better way to go about things?

PS: Thank you for taking the time to read this, and share your thoughts! i really appreciate it~ ♥︎ And now for a complementary question mark: ?

posted: 1 month ago
with: 167 notes


A kind follower reminded me of that '7 Cardinal Rules of Life' post going around, and they asked me if I would ever do my take on them (that being, a writerly take). Well, seeing as how I’ve been running a Writer Positivity series for over 100 posts, I thought it would be a fun chance to collect some of my favorite advice!

PS: The above are not meant to be taken as ‘literal’ rules for writing, but rather advice for leading the lifestyle of a writer~ ♥︎

Looking for more writerly content? Make sure to follow for your daily dose of writer positivity, advice, and prompts!

posted: 1 month ago
with: 8160 notes

The Color Thesaurus














All from Ingrid’s Notes on Wordpress, direct link here.


Hello, dear followers~ ♥︎

Recently I got a bunch of questions about the difference between Showing & Telling, so I thought that I would summarize my thoughts on the subject as a slideshow!

Of course, those of you who have been following my blog for ages can guess my thoughts about this ‘Show VS Tell’ debacle. Personally, I feel that Telling (the act of Summarizing) gets a reputation for being a lesser tool— which I disagree with greatly. Show and Tell are both important tools of the Writer’s Tool-Box, and they serve different purposes~ ♥︎

Are you a writer? Then follow my blog for your daily dose of writer positivity, inspiration, prompts, and writing advice:!

posted: 1 month ago
with: 2547 notes






Instead of whispered, consider:

  • murmured
  • mumbled
  • muttered
  • breathed
  • sighed
  • hissed
  • mouthed
  • uttered
  • intoned
  • susurrated
  • purred
  • said in an undertone
  • gasped
  • hinted
  • said low
  • said into someone’s ear
  • said softly
  • said under one’s breath
  • said in hushed tones
  • insinuated

These posts make me unreasonably cranky. So cranky, in fact, that every time a new one of these goddamn things crosses my dash, I’m just going to dissect them. Both for the edification of newer writers and because fuck these lists.

As mentioned in previous posts: These are not synonyms for whispered. You can’t use them interchangeably. Let’s go through them.

"Well," she whispered, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is speaking in a voice so low it’s become words made of breath, probably because she doesn’t want to be heard.

"Well," she murmured, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is saying this very quietly, but above a whisper. She may be talking to herself.

"Well," she mumbled, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is speaking under her breath in low enough tones that her words may sound unclear or slurred. Also very possibly talking to herself.

"Well," she muttered, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is speaking lowly, but more clearly than a mumble. She sounds angry, irritated, or dully frustrated.

"Well," she breathed, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Breathing words may mean relief, exasperation, or exhaustion, and sound half like a sigh. Oh, look—

"Well," she sighed, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

The character is almost certainly not happy. She’s speaking in a tired, heavy breath.

"Well," she hissed, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character’s words are coming out in low, very sharp breaths. She sounds angry, irritated, or maybe just in an intense moment.

"Well," she mouthed, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character is using the barest hint of her voice, if any at all. Her lips are silently forming the syllables.

"Well," she uttered, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

Using uttered in this particular type of descriptive sense actually just sounds awkward. That said, ‘utter’ sounds like a word that implies speech in low yet strong and loud tones, well-enunciated, like someone preaching.

"Well," she intoned, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

The tone of her voice is dull and flat, with little variance in pitch. She is saying this without much emotion (intentionally or not).

Fuck “susurrated”.

"Well," she purred, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The manner she’s speaking in is silky, smooth, and particularly pleased; quite possibly smug. In this particular example, this implies she probably does have a choice about [whatever it is] and is being facetious.

"Well," she said in an undertone, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

This is bad, because an undertone is something that needs describing. That’s like saying “her dress was a color”.

"Well," she gasped, “I suppose I haven’t got a choice.”

The character is speaking in a sharp intake of breath, probably brought on by surprise or shock. She could also be short of breath, being strangled or something.

"Well," she hinted, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

The character has particular (duh) hint-hint tones in her voice as she speaks to someone. One can just imagine her leaning over closer to their ear.

"Well," she said low, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Her voice has dropped below normal pitch, but is above a whisper. There’s a certain amount of dullness in the tone, probably.

"Well," she said, into his ear, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

This implies nothing about the actual voice, just that she’s literally speaking right into his ear (perhaps at normal volume, which would be painful). It doesn’t, on its own, carry any connotations of tone or emotion.

"Well," she said softly, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

I have a personal beef with the word “softly” on account of writers in a certain area of a certain MMO that use that word for fucking everything; speech, movement, touch, footsteps, because it helps to passively describe their character as delicate and pretty or something.

It’s a personal beef. There’s nothing really wrong with the word. Moving on.

Saying something softly implies not only a lowered pitch but a certain gentleness (or at least lack of weight) in tone.

"Well," she said under her breath, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

This is very like muttered, murmured, etc — it sounds (dur) breathier, and is more likely to imply a person talking to themselves.

"Well," she said in hushed tones, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Now you’re getting closer to an equal term for “whispered”; hushed tones could mean that, or half-whispered. It does imply a certain amount of whisperiness or breathiness. It also implies a deliberate attempt to be quiet.

"Well," she insinuated, "I suppose I haven’t got a choice."

Like with ‘uttered’, this feels grammatically weird in that it’s usually a thing a person describes another person as doing (“Greg didn’t say it, but he insinuated it!”), but whatever. It’s similar to hinting; it means you’re trying to imply or subtly convey something, but has nothing to do with actual whispers.

tl;dr Those words are all different, these lists are terrible writing advice and people need to stop pulling tangentially-related words from the thesaurus and saying they all mean the same thing.


as i tell my students:

"use the precise word, not the word that kinda sorta fits or ‘sounds more impressive’ “

use exactly the word you MEAN


Color palette tutorial time!

This is by no means the Only Way To Pick Colors—it’s just a relatively-simple method I use sometimes.  I’ve found it works pretty well, almost regardless of what colors you pick—as long as you can keep them organized by those light/dark warm/cool categories, and make sure one category takes up a significantly higher proportion of page space, it usually turns out pretty good!





hey this is pretty useful if youre in fourth grade

stop being so dismissive and condescending you prick this is helpful for anyone so go shove a calculator up your ass

(Source: nentindo)

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