party don’t start til i walk in.
This hasn’t been on my dash in way too long.
stop scrolling and look at this puppy
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.
“Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline. 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.”
“Ann’s eyes are blue.”
“Ann has blue eyes.”
“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.
I wanted there to be a scene where the Two Rivers lads are just chewing the fat about all the stuff that happened to them when they were apart and for one of them to mention something to do with lady troubles and to slip in the comment “Well, you know me guys - I’ve never been good with women. Not like you two at least…” and for there to be like, a minute of dead silence pass between them while they all try to comprehend it.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau entertains Orri Pall Dyrason, drummer for Sigur Ros, the Icelandic rockers who cameoed as the royal band at Joffrey’s ill-fated nuptials. “He kept on joining us, but we kicked him out every time,” says bassist Georg Holm, alas, none of the instruments were real.
Children. They were teaching children.
Rowena, Godric, Salazar; they tended to forget that. They saw young minds, young acolytes - eyes that would look up to them. Not innocence. Not childish wonder.
Toughen them, said Godric.
Make them smart, said Rowena.
And ambitious, above all, said Salazar.
But war and the real world; that was not where children belonged. Aye, they would belong one day, but it was not their part to turn them cruel, make them hard, make their eyes dart sideways always looking for ways to twist the world to further their own ends. They were to protect them. Shield them from the worst so that some good, some kindness would find its way into an ever darkening world. To give them weapons and teach them how to use them, but never tell them that those weapons were their only hope.
She’d seen in all the battles she’d rode out to just how dark the world could be. Was it not their duty to bring light into this world? To fight darkness with light; not with more darkness - with divisiveness and strife and hatred?
I will take them all, she said.
I will protect the ones you will not. I will save them. I will give them a home. They will be the last rays of all that is good in this world. I will teach them kindness. I will teach them loyalty. I will teach them selflessness.
I will teach them how to be the backbone, the heart of this world. I will teach them how to stand steadfast, when all hope is lost.
I will teach them how to be human, to be more than just one single word.
No, she knew, theirs would not be an easy path, or a glorious one. They would have no songs. No great tales in books. No laurels. No consolation, no thanks.
But they would be the reason why, when the darkness finally came, all of them in all their different colours would stand shoulder to shoulder and draw their wands as brothers in arms.
Not for achievements. Not for trophies. Not for power.
For goodness. For hope.
And when the time came for them to choose the words that would forever guide the children that would come to them, Helga smiled and engraved, upon a bronze plaque, these words:
Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.
(But her students remembered a very different set of words. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.)
(Helga Hufflepuff requested by boney-eyes-jefferson)
#and this my friends is why no one is quite sure what a hufflepuff really is#the answer is: everyone#they come in a million different shapes and sizes#they could be braver than gryffindors#and more cunning and more ambitious than slytherins#even smarter than ravenclaws#but they all come to hufflepuff#and there learn to be loyal and fair and goodhearted#and that quite possibly#is why hufflepuff has hardly any dark witches and wizards#because they have learnt how to be the very last line of defence#before chaos takes over the world#and this#THIS is the sleeping dragon you do not tickle#because if they can’t protect the earth you can be damned well sure they’ll avenge it
Punk’s not dead. Just exhausted.
Punk needs a blanket. Maybe some chamomile tea.
shhhh. small noises. small baseline solo.
battestar galactica is like ‘well, it starts with the genocide of the human race, and then it goes downhill from there.’
#DONT FUCKING TOUCH ME IM NOT OVER THIs
friendly reminder that when the actor who played khal drogo met the actress who plays daenerys he shouted “WIFEY!” and tackled her
Also reminder that during one of the sex scenes they were supposed to film, he came on with a sock puppet on his dick and Emilia Clarke was laughing so hard they had to take a ten minute break.My life isINFINITELY better knowing those tidbits of information
at the Q&A panel I went to with him he said before every sex scene with her he would go “I’M SORRY I’M SORRY I’M SORRY I’M SORRY” before getting into character and going at it
these two are everything
I would watch the series just for them.