Writing on your forehead is funny, because you automatically write in mirrored letters.

"With a book I’m the writer, and I’m also the director, and I’m all of the actors, and I’m the special effects guy, and the lighting technician. I’m all of that. So if it’s good or bad, it’s all up to me."
— George R. R. Martin (via maxkirin)


Many people believe that adjectives, adverbs and even nouns, are the way to quickly add imagery to a story, but actually, if done excessively, it bogs the story down. The real type of word you should focus your attention on is verbs.

Why should I avoid nouns? 

It’s not so much that you should avoid nouns as much as you should avoid making nouns when they aren’t needed. For instance, don’t say “This is an improvement of my classmate’s work,” say: “This improves my classmate’s work.” As you can see, the latter sentence is simpler and less bulky. 

Why should I avoid adverbs? 

When used excessively, you really begin to hack away at the details you could have in your story. If you just say, “He nodded slowly,” it’s much less description than “He moved his head like a fishing lure, looking to the ground, and then back to her judging eyes.” You just need to be careful. Think about if you need more imagery, or if your piece is fine without another sentence or two. 

Why should I avoid adjectives? 

Some adjectives are totally fine. There is nothing wrong with saying “The blonde beauty leaps across the shiny stage.”  However, there is something wrong when a sentence is constructed like, “The shiny, gray, new sword was held by the daring, bold hero.” When overdone, it bogs down the story. Sometimes, the smaller details are better left unsaid. After all, sometimes readers like having their own room for head-canons! 

What’s the big deal about verbs?

Verbs, believe it or not, do more than state an action. Verbs are also powerhouses of description. For example, lets go back to the first sentence I used in the adjectives section. While there is nothing wrong with “The blonde beauty leaps across the shiny stage,” you could also say “The blonde beauty leaps across the stage, twirling across the shimmering stage.” Notice how the verbs drag you into the scene, pull you closer, and have a stronger effect? Looking at how the words “shiny” and “shimmering” offer different levels of imagery is something that can be said with several different verbs. Verbs often pack a stronger punch, and also carry motion and action even in the dullest of scenarios. 


Hello, writerly friends~ ♥︎

You asked for a Writing Advice Masterpost, so here it is! Below you will find a collection of the best questions and answers from the last two years. Not only that, but they are also organized so you can find the answers to your questions quickly and get on with writing.

But wait, there is more!

This post is more than just a collection of advice, it’s a nexus for writing advice, resources, and information! That’s right, this post is going to grow over time. I will be updating this masterpost WEEKLY with new answers, writing advice videos, playlists, and more! So, make sure to bookmark this page and follow my blog (maxkirin.tumblr.com) so you don’t miss a thing~ ♥︎


Virtual Writing Academy

Motivation & Inspiration

Planning, Outlining, and Getting Started


Editing & Revision

Hot Button Issues

General Advice


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Last Updated: 07-26-14. Click HERE to see the latest update. Latest posts are in Italics.


Trying to figure out what your style is isn’t as hard as it might seem. I’ve seen a lot of writers get asked questions like “how did you develop as a writer?” or “how did you find your style”, so I feel like this is a topic I should talk about. If you stop stressing out about it, it will all happen naturally. If you continue to read and develop your craft, your style will continue to form.

The styles that writers develop are usually not planned. Most people don’t sit down and think “well, who do I want to sound like?” It’s true that you could be influenced by writers you admire or read a lot of, but it’s not usually a conscious decision. A writer’s style develops naturally over time. It comes from writing A LOT.

If you write a lot and spend time working on your craft, a style will develop on its own. Forcing a style, however, will usually not work. If you force vocabulary you wouldn’t normally use into your writing, your readers will be able to tell.  If you try to mimic your favorite authors, your writing will feel unnatural. Don’t force a style that isn’t yours because you will not produce your best work.  I know it might seem like a good idea to emulate a writing style that is popular, but that’s not the best way to go.

Ultimately, you should use words that feel natural to you and write every day. Try to be clear and concise with your writing. Growing and seeing your writing style change over time is normal, as long as you keep working on improving. Also, try not to compare your writing to someone else’s. Just because you don’t write like Mark Twain, that doesn’t mean you’re not any good. Writing styles are different and it’s hard to compare them.

Here are a few natural ways to develop your own writing style:

Consume what inspires you

Once you figure out what you like and what motivates you, keep going. Reading a lot will help you develop your style and pick out what inspires your own writing. I’m not saying you should mimic what you like, but you will pick up bits and pieces of the novels you’re consuming. That’s not a bad thing. If you consume what you like to read, you’ll find more inspiration for your own novels. What you like will start to creep into your writing.

Try to write different genres

Make sure you experiment to figure out what you’re best at. Write a lot and try writing in different genres and art forms. You might be able to tap into something that you didn’t even know inspires you until you try it. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Be concise

Don’t dance around what you want to say, just say it. Try figuring out how to get the point faster without bogging down your writing with unnecessary information. This will help you develop a style that will make your writing more appealing. Think about what you want to say and figure out the best way to say it.

-Kris Noel

(Source: f-launt)

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 550D
  2. Aperture: f/7.1
  3. Exposure: 1/320th
  4. Focal Length: 55mm
Anonymous Asked
QuestionI was wondering if you could describe the right reasons to kill off a character? Answer


There are plenty!

-To show that something is dangerous. If your band of six main characters fight the evil dragon and every single one of them survives, did they really fight that strong of a dragon? If the villain is after your character’s family and every family member makes it out alive, is the villain really that scary? Major character death is the only way to make a deadly threat actually seem legitimate.

-To show that actions have consequences. You know that trope where the hero defeats the villain in a city-destroying battle, but all the citizens made it out alive first (because, you know, everybody would be able to hear the news and get out in time *eyeroll*) so nobody innocent dies? That’s a terrible trope because it’s like the narrator is stepping in with an authorial washcloth to keep the hero’s hands clean. Sometimes even actions that end up good overall kill people, and it’s important to show that drastic measures have drastic results and that anything that affects millions of people is going to kill at least a few.

-Yes, sometimes as character development, though you should never, ever do this to the only major woman or minority character because that’s a nasty trope. And even if it’s a straight white dude being killed for character development, it’s important to avoid fridging and manpain tropes. You can do this by giving the character who gets killed other important things to do than getting killed, and focusing on the pain they go through rather than the pain others around them (especially men) go through. When a character who meets those requirements gets killed for character development, I never hear a thing about it being problematic. ESPECIALLY the “giving them other importance than getting killed/character development” part. That is the biggest key.



I did this post for Write on Com. Figured it would be worth sharing here also.

Diversity in Writing

by author Ellen Oh

Recently, I was part of a conversation where an author said the following: “But there’s been a lot of anger from some quarters about “appropriation” and “exoticism” … I’m terrified of incurring the kind of wrath I’ve seen online, and have decided I’m not qualified to tackle diversity head on.”

Guys, if this is you, then I want to talk to you about why it is okay to “tackle diversity.” If you are the type to say, “Yes, I want to include diversity! I just don’t know how.” I want to talk to you too, because there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. But mostly I want to tell you how important it is that you all are trying. Thank you for that. Because I was once that little girl scanning through the books desperately looking for someone like me, who wasn’t a stereotype. And now I have kids who are doing the same thing. Thank you for wanting to have this conversation.

But if you are scared about being called out for including diversity in your book, then wake up and smell the diapers, children, because you are not going to be able to make everybody happy. Someone somewhere is going to be offended for something you wrote and for a reason that you never intended! You wrote a girl empowerment book? How dare you put down feminine girls! You wrote about sexual exploitation? How dare you write a slut shaming book! You wrote a POC main character? How dare you white person try and exploit minorities!

Look, I’m Korean American and I wrote a fantasy book based in ancient Korea. I studied it for 10 years on top of all that I knew from being raised by Korean immigrants. And yet I had plenty of people bash me for getting things “wrong” about Korean culture in my book – and most of them weren’t even Korean! So the one thing I can promise you with absolute assurance is, someone somewhere is going to be irate at you for writing. Whether it is the fact that you wrote a POC character or the fact that you are posing in your author picture with a hand to your cheek, someone is going to hate you for something. Listen, you are not ever going to make everyone happy. That’s just human nature. I bet someone out there is reading this post right now and pissed off at me just because they don’t like my face. What can you do? You can start not caring about making everybody happy.

Now writing about POC is a bit different in that most people are afraid of being called a racist. So they avoid diversity because of it. However, let me reassure you that by not including diversity, you are also being called a racist. Maybe not to your face, but you are. And guess what? Being called a racist is nowhere near as painful as dealing with actual racism.

Now that I have freed you from the fear of being reviled on the internet, let’s talk about a few things that you need to keep in mind:

  1. Do your research and be respectful. Don’t culturally appropriate from POC and then claim that your world is different therefore you can do whatever the hell you want with it. Call your world whatever you want, but if your world looks and sounds like China, and you even use Chinese words and architecture and terms specific to that culture, then don’t pretend it’s not China and mix us up with every other Asian culture. It just reeks of sloppy research and not giving a damn. If you want your world to feel Asian without specifically calling out a specific country, it can be done – see Eon/Eona. See The Last Airbender series.
  2. Avoid stereotypes. There are many. The magical negro, the blonde bimbo, the smart Asian math whiz, the ghetto talking black kid, the feisty Latina, the Asian dragon lady, the cryptic but wise Native American, the uppercrusty WASP, etc. Using stereotypes is lazy writing. You don’t want to invest in your character’s development to go beyond an easily recognizable trope. Don’t do this.
  3. Exotification of another culture. “But remember, there are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.” ? David Wong. I think the context of this quote was about women and how men view them. But it works well in this context also. If you don’t include POC in your book, you are dismissing them. If you do include POC but make them exotic and other-worldish, you are going the other way. Neither is acceptable.
  4. Check your privilege. Don’t get mad that I used the “P” word. I know privilege can be a touchy subject. Asking you to be aware of your privilege is not the same as calling you a racist. What I’m doing is asking you to be aware of it. If you are a female, then you know that male privilege is very real. Take what you understand as male privilege and make a correlation to white privilege and you will see what I mean. And if it helps, read this: http://ted.coe.wayne.edu/ele3600/mcintosh.html
  5. Reach out to minorities for help.  If you know nothing about the culture that you want to include in your book, then reach out for help. Yes, you can find a lot of information on the internet, but some things you can only learn from people who live that culture 24/7.

It won’t be easy, and it shouldn’t be! You will probably make mistakes. And that’s ok! You’ll learn from them and you will fail less and less the more you try. But the most important thing is that you try. Because you are writing for kids. All our kids! And they need to see that their books can reflect their world.

I accidentally magnetized a hairpin.