“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?”—Anne Lamott; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (via wordpainting)
As someone who doesn’t always write happily ever afters, I may be a bit biased in this discussion, but I do think it’s worth discussing nevertheless.
Like most discussions hosted here at Writability, I don’t think there’s necessarily a right or wrong answer, though I suspect that genre expectations may play a pretty decent role with this topic. People reading horror, for example, have wildly different expectations than those who pick up romance novels.
But if we’re speaking generally, I suppose the thing to consider is what people generally expect when they pick up a novel, and how acceptable (or advisable?) it is to defy those expectations.
Usually, in genre fiction, people assume the hero will overcome the antagonist (or antagonistic situation) and live with the spoils of victory, whatever that means for the novel. But what if the hero doesn’t win? Or what if the hero wins, but the victory isn’t how they imagined it, or has consequences they didn’t anticipate?
Personally, I don’t think a happily ever after is a requirement. What is required is that all loose ends are tied up and the story arc comes to completion (more on that in this post)—but that doesn’t necessarily mean your protagonist has to gallop off into the sunset on a white horse.
To me, bittersweet or even occasionally unhappy endings are a nod to reality. Because sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned or the good outcome we imagined turns out to be not so golden.
On the other hand, I think it could depend on the reason people are reading: some read to escape reality, others to see echoes of reality or view their reality in a new way. For escapist readers, a not-so-happily-ever-after may be disappointing.
In the end, you can’t make everyone happy, and as I said before, I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong answer. But it’s certainly something to think about.
What do you think? Are happily ever afters a requirement?
NOTE: Let’s avoid spoilers, yes? If you know of a book, popular or not with an unhappy ending, feel free to refer to the book, but please avoid details and title mentions. :)
Writing a series takes a lot of hard work and dedication. In fact, writing a SINGLE book takes hard work and dedication. However, if you’re planning a series there are a few things you need to keep in mind. A series should not be thought of as one really long novel that…
“There is no designated time for anything in your life. You don’t have to have your first kiss at any certain time, you don’t have to get married in your 20′s and you don’t have to do anything just because other people think it’s best. In fact, you will be much better off if you just do what your heart says. The day you stop caring what other people think is the day their opinions don’t mean anything, because you’re not there to give them weight.”—10 Things I Wish I Could Have Told Myself 5 Years Ago (via qoldlush)
Recently, I’ve seen a lot of posts encouraging people to write a specific type of female character: a very feminine woman who kicks butt, has a sarcastic remark for every occasion, and truly cares about social issues. If you want to write a character like her, that’s great! We need all kinds of…
Have you ever tried to "show and not tell", but you just can't figure out how to express something without just saying it? For example: "James's eyes were wide with concern." I just told the reader that James is concerned instead of showing that he's concerned, but if I tried showing, it would be too wordy. What do you think?
But really, every time I come across a situation like the one you described, where I want to show but I’m not exactly sure how to show, I open up The Emotion Thesaurus, find the emotion I’m trying to convey and pick a couple markers that fit my character and the situation to show (in your case) his concern. It usually doesn’t take much—just a couple body language cues will do.
Confession: I have not polished every manuscript I’ve written to a submission-ready gleam—or even tried to, for that matter.
Over the course of eight years I’ve written eleven manuscripts. Of those eleven, I brought five of them to what I at the time considered submission-ready. To be fair, one of them I only just finished a couple weeks ago and thus isn’t ready for editing, so if I remove that from my statistics, that brings me to an even 50% immediate-trunk rate. Or polish rate, if you’re half-glass full.
So now you may be wondering what happened to those five manuscripts I immediately trunked and/or thinking they were a waste of time, but I assure you they were not.
If you’re looking just at time spent, I usually take about an average of a month to month and a half to finish first drafting, so you could say that I “lost” a month with every WIP I immediately trunked. But I don’t consider it a loss, because I gained a whole lot, too.
My first insta-trunked MS, I learned just how much I enjoy making up new cultures and worlds.
My second insta-trunked MS, I learned how not to end a book, and how not to write an antagonist, and why certain clichés really don’t work. I also learned I can indeed write a book in a month. (Unsurprisingly, I don’t anticipate removing this one from the trunk ever. But I suppose you never know).
My third insta-trunked MS, I remembered certain character types that I adore—I remembered I love writing characters who are rejected by everyone, who live on the fringe of society, trying to be the best they can be while everyone around them refuses to see them for who they are. I also reminded myself that I really don’t want to write an antagonist like that. Oops.
My fourth insta-trunked MS, I learned I like writing about aliens and making up languages. I also learned that writing with an outline works really well for me.
My fifth and most recent insta-trunked MS, I learned to let my characters go and try not to strictly plan their romances. I learned writing with an outline doesn’t mean I have to stick exactly to plan, and I learned when my characters suffer real consequences for their actions, they’re so much more powerful than a slap on the wrist.
These lessons may seem a little all over the place, but in my two most recent manuscripts, I used many, if not all of these lessons to better my work.
As for why I put them away to begin with? The reasons varied, but generally it was because somewhere between the first read-through and deciding on edits, I came to realize I either wasn’t ready to start editing for one reason or another, or I didn’t love the story as much as I had while drafting. Which isn’t the end of the world, but in order for me to get through edits (and do them well), I need to believe in the story completely.
Now I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it again, but trunking a manuscript does not mean it’s forever condemned or it’ll never escape the trunk. All it means is that I need to put it away for the time being, and true, some of them will probably never escape the trunk, but I have hope for others that when the time is right, I’ll polish them up and they’ll be ready.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”—Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom (via sandratumbler)
Getting the opening right in your book is possibly one of the most important parts of writing your masterpiece. After all, without a gripping, life-changing opening, many readers won’t get to the real meat of your story.
So how do you ensure that you’ve written an epically amazing opening? Fear not, my lovely readers, for the formula to a brilliant opening is here.
How to Write the Most Incredible Opening in the History of Incredible Openings*:
Dialogue in the void. Before a single line of description, before any characters are introduced, there must be super stupendously thrilling (or hysterical, or tragic, or snarky, or thought-provoking, or all of the above) dialogue. Forget dialogue tags and action beats—give us the good stuff and skip straight to voices before we know who anyone is, or who is speaking, or even where they are.
Start with an entirely irrelevant prologue. This is where your void dialogue should be—in the epic prologue with elves, and magic spells, and dragons, and that hovercraft bombing everything with super cinematic explosions, and an epically amazing ninja fight, and don’t forget the car chase with really expensive, flashy cars. Oh, you’re writing a YA Contemporary? Use the awesomesmash prologue anyway—it’ll only add to your book’s insane level of genius.
Moral of the story narration. This should be at the end of the irrelevant prologue. After all, no one is going to want to read your book if they don’t know what valuable life-lessons they’re going to learn. Honestly.
Beautiful description. If you don’t have pages upon pages of uninterrupted beautiful literary-styled description, you fail by default.
Introduce no less than fifteen characters…then kill them all off.You know, a la The Iliad.
Delve into every character’s detailed backstory. Before you kill them off, or as a eulogy afterwards, tell us every detail about their lives—from their favorite color to their very first memory, and that time their cat Colonel McMeowsers brought them that dead pigeon. This is the only way to make them feel real.
But don’t mention your protagonist until page ten. Or preferably later. You have a lot of ground to cover before you even begin to tell us who the story is about.
When you do get to your protagonist, start at the beginning of their average day. I mean, how he brushes his teeth (clockwise or counterclockwise circles? Up and down? SIDE TO SIDE?), and what kind of brush he uses to brush his hair, and what his favorite cereal is is totally fascinating stuff.
Tell everything (and don’t show anything). Jimmy is angry when he hits his alarm clock. He doesn’t know why he’s angry. Maybe it’s because the bristles on his tooth brush are too hard, or maybe it’s because his mother left three days after his second birthday and that ridiculous chihuahua bit his pinky finger when he was four. He stares into the mirror while brushing in counterclockwise circles and stares into his gorgeous green eyes. Coincidentally, green happens to be his favorite color. He’s very attractive, but he doesn’t really think so. Some girls say his wavy dark locks framing his face make him look handsome, but they just remind him of his mother.
Jimmy loves Cap’n Crunch cereal.
Author foreshadowing. Because who doesn’t love the disembodied voice telling us what’s going to happen? For example:
But what Jimmy didn’t know was that this would be the best day of his life, and also the day he died. All because of that Cap’n Crunch.
So there you have it! Now go forth and awesomize your opening.
*This is another sarcastic post! I beg you not to take these points seriously and please don’t use any of these suggestions. Please.
It’s December! Which means Christmas is coming and Thanksgiving is over and NaNoWriMo is complete! Now many of you have 50,000 new words or maybe even a new manuscript all nice and shiny on your computer. So what now?
What to Do:
Finish your manuscript. Assuming you haven’t already. 50,000 words isn’t always a full novel, depending on the genre and how lean your first drafts usually are. But if you didn’t finish, keep going! You’re nearly there.
Celebrate! You deserve it! Writing 50,000 words in a month is nothing to scoff at—watch your favorite shows, read your favorite books, eat something delicious and enjoy some time with your family and friends. You’ve done something pretty fantastic, so enjoy it.
Back up your files. No really. Go do it right now. I’ll wait.
Make pre-edit notes. As many of you raced through that first draft, you may have some ideas already as to what will need to be adjusted or researched for and during the editing period. Write these down now, before you forget them. Because chances are, you will forget them.
What NOT to Do:
Submit to agents or editors. A lot of agents and editors close to queries and unsolicited submissions in December both for the holidays and to avoid the NaNo rush. Do not under any circumstances be part of the NaNo rush. You’ve done something you should be proud of—you wrote a novel, or a large part of one at least. But what you have is a first draft, and first drafts need to be re-read, and revised, and ripped apart and edited to death before they’re refined enough to be submission-ready. And that takes time.
Don’t sabotage your future efforts by submitting your manuscript prematurely. Take your time to get it right and you’ll be glad you did.
Publish. Same as the above. Take the time to get it right before you upload your book.
Edits and revisions are not optional. I basically went over this in the first bullet, but if you want to publish your work, whether traditionally or independently, editing is not optional. Ever. The only way to make your book as good as it can possibly be is to put it through extensive edits and trade with critique partners and revise revise revise. There aren’t any shortcuts in writing.
So those are my post-NaNoWriMo tips—what would you add to the list?
What do you think of books featuring many LGBTQ characters that are immediately classified as "queer genre", in spite of the content of the stories? I had a YA supernatural-horror story in mind, but if the main character is not cis heterosexual, the book would simply get lumped into the "LGBTQ" shelf in every bookstore.
This is definitely not my area of expertise, so maybe some other readers can answer this better than I can, but I don’t think all books featuring LGBTQ protagonist’s are automatically classified as LGBTQ books (in fact, as far as I know, I don’t think there’s a specific LGBTQ shelf in bookstores at the moment…though maybe I’m wrong?)
For example, ADAPTATION by Malinda Lo, as I understand it, features an LGBTQ protagonist and is classified as YA SF. I’m relatively sure that if the book isn’t about your protagonist’s sexuality, then it won’t be kept separate from any other books of it’s genre (in your case, horror). It may be mentioned in lists with other books featuring LGBTQ protagonists so that those looking for that specifically can find it more easily, but I don’t think it’d be kept separate on the shelf.
But as I said earlier, this isn’t my area of expertise, so I could definitely be wrong.
So today I’m asking a question I don’t actually know the answer to. But I think it’d be interesting to discuss.
I’ve often heard of people putting a book down (either literally or in a review) because they contain unlikable protagonists. Of course, what qualifies as likable is entirely subjective, but it’s made me wonder—do our protagonists have to be likable?
I don’t think this is necessarily a hard yes or no answer. I think protagonists should be likable to an extent—if they’re entirely unlikable not many people will want to put up with them—but the goal shouldn’t be to aim for perfection by any stretch (in fact, that’d probably only aggravate the situation).
While I don’t think it’s impossible to enjoy a book with an unlikeable protagonist (I personally didn’t find Tris from the Divergent series to be especially likable, nor Warner from Destroy Me…at the beginning, anyway), I suspect this may vary from reader to reader. I have a friend who stopped reading Hunger Games because she found Katniss unlikable, and I’ve seen others rate books poorly because they weren’t a fan of the protagonist.
So now I ask you: do you think it’s necessary for the protagonist to be likable?
“”I am not ‘half Japanese’ and ‘half Lithuanian Jewish.” When I’m singing a Japanese folk song, I don’t sing with half my voice, but with my whole voice. When I’m taping together my grandparents’ Jewish marriage contract, worn by time but still resilient, it’s not half of my heart that is moved, but my whole heart. I am complete, and I embody layers of identities that belong together. I am made of layers, not fractions.”—
I’ve worked with several literary agents and agencies, and have seen some exemplary agenting and some downright rotten practices as well. Here are the six things I want all authors to know and expect from their agents:
1. No requests for money up front. None.
A proper literary agent asks for no…
These are some helpful tips for finding an agent. I also really recommend anyone who is serious about getting published buying the current editions of The Writer’s Market and the subsequent books in your area. These books are put out by Writer’s Digest and are a listing of agents, publishers (with a helpful list of who does and doesn’t accept work without an agent’s representation), and magazines. Literary Agents and Novel and Short Story Markets have been a boon to both myself and Starke.
Beyond that, there are more helpful tips for finding agents, writing queries, synopses, and advice on navigating the business side of the industry.
They are expensive but they are worth it and are vetted by a good company (Writer’s Digest) with a solid reputation. With Christmas coming up, you all know what should be first on your list.
As it’s Thanksgiving in the States tomorrow, I’m taking a minor detour from the usual writing-related posts to talk about some real-life applications.
You see, as many of you are aware, tomorrow is a bit of a strange Thanksgiving, because not only does it blend with Chanukah, but many large retail stores have decided to extend Black Friday and start the sales on Thursday.
I’ve heard a lot of people calling for boycotts, and telling people not to go, and starting petitions against it, but that’s not what this post is about. Boycotts or petitions or not, the stores are still going to be open and employees are still going to be working on Thanksgiving.
Instead of focusing on the negative, however, I’d like to try to do something positive. There are going to be a lot of tired employees who are missing Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so why not go out and make their day a little better?
If you plan to go out tomorrow or Friday for Black Friday sales, consider buying your cashier or another working employee a small gift. Maybe it’s a candy bar or a pack of gum, which may not sound like much, but as someone who has worked as a cashier during the holiday rush in the past, I can tell you little gestures go a long way.
Let’s take some time this holiday season to show hard-working employees that you’re grateful for their work and you understand that they’d rather be home with their families. Let’s show them the true meaning of being thankful and spread some holiday spirit.
Even if you don’t go, I encourage you to spread the word to others who might. I’m calling this Operation Thanks, and you can easily spread the word by reblogging this post on tumblr or sharing one of the tweets below with the #OpThanks hashtag. We can all do a little something to help make someone’s day better, and it starts with remembering to be thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah to all who are celebrating!
Fun fact: up until recently, I found it more difficult to write female POV characters than male POV characters.
Now that’s not to say that I consistently wrote one with a greater degree of success than the other, but I often found the voice harder to nail with my female POV characters than I did with the guys.
For the longest time I couldn’t really figure out why that was—as a heterosexual woman, it would make sense that I’d find it easiest to write from a female POV…right?
Problem was, I often got bored with the voices of my female characters. They largely came out sounding the same, which I knew was a problem, and if I was being honest with myself, they really weren’t all that interesting. It wasn’t until I wrote a WIP with a female POV character who was absolutely nothing like me that I realized the problem—my previous female characters were too much like myself.
Writing is an opportunity to take a journey through someone else’s eyes. It’s a chance to step out of yourself and experience someone else’s life. I love that about writing, and so it makes sense to me that I love to write characters that are very different from me.
Granted, parts of myself do slip into my character’s personalities. Many of my MCs share my love for sarcasm and have analytical minds. Some of them have trouble with empathy, like me, and many of them are pretty strategically-minded.
I’ve often seen people online ask how to write characters different from themselves, and the biggest bit of advice I’ve seen is one that I couldn’t agree with more: think of them as people first. Beyond race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, our characters are people first. They have opinions, desires, fears and dreams like everyone else, they have tempers and motivations and pet peeves and loved ones.
If you figure out who they are first, the rest falls into place. It’s just a matter of getting to know them well enough so that you can.
Do you find it difficult or easy to write a character unlike yourself? Why?
“Women often have a great need to portray themselves as sympathetic and pleasing, but we’re also dark people with dark thoughts. I wanted to have that on the page, as horrible as it might seem.”—Zadie Smith on her novel NW (from The Evening Standard). (via naisae)
“The Capitol are the enemy: its citizens are vapid, selfish, exploitative, narcissistic and worst of all apathetic; they don’t care about where their new dress comes from or who is making their dinner or how many children died making their new emerald necklace; they live in such excess that they purge between meals at parties while the people who sourced that food are starving in the fields; they literally place bets on the deaths of children! We really feel like we can’t drive that one home enough. Like, they just make kids kill each other on live TV and then the kids who survive grow up to be sold into sex slavery or to abuse alcohol as a coping mechanism or to be so PTSD-stricken that they can’t even talk anymore. We know what you’re thinking right now: “damn, that sounds sweet, I want to be just like the people in the Captiol.” Right? No? Yeah, us either. But that’s what CoverGirl and Lionsgate seem to think.
At its core, The Hunger Games is a book about the trauma of hyper-consumption–but when it comes to traumatizer vs. traumatized, CoverGirl’s Capitol Collection falls squarely on the side of “traumatizer.” The makeup line comes with a lookbook that will help you “get the looks of the Districts” and is so unaware and self-absorbed that it kind of feels like it has to be a joke. The only time anyone from the Districts looks anything like something in that lookbook is when children are brought to the Capitol and dolled up to be paraded around on live TV as though they were props instead of humans (because of course, to the Capitol, they are props). Then two days later they take the makeup off and kill each other and probably die themselves while their families look on, horrified and defeated. FASHION!!!
But of course, the reason that this line even exists is because we, as a culture, are actually pretty close (metaphorically anyway) to the Capitol. Consumption at any expense is pretty par for the course here, and the people who grow our food and make our clothes aren’t really in much better shape than the people of the Districts. Our culture really, really values outward appearance and it insists that girls about Katniss’s age should be less into leading a revolution and more into getting the right look. The Capitol Collection encourages girls to identify not with rebellion and justice, but with superficiality and self-interest. We think that is not only ridiculous, but scary and super dangerous.”—
Seconded. Of the many whackadoo merchandising tie-ins associated with Catching Fire (Subway comes to mind), the CoverGirl campaign may be the worst. There were plenty of ways to create cosmetic tie-ins that didn’t fetishize poverty or so thoroughly embrace and sanitize the barbarity of the Capitol.
I’ve edited the first 250 words of my manuscript five times, and it is now as close to perfect as possible. I've heard of rewriting before, and I've been "editing" my manuscript, which means re-reading it and altering things I don't like (sometimes removing and inserting entire scenes), but that's not really it, is it? What I did with the first page of my manuscript, do I have to do it again with the remaining 347 pages?
Unfortunately it’s hard for me to say what you do or don’t need to do, as I haven’t seen your MS. You’re right that what you’re describing isn’t rewriting—it’s editing. As for whether or not you have to rewrite your remaining 347 pages…you don’t have to do anything. I don’t think that you probably need to rewrite every page, although I’ve heard of it happening, so I suppose that varies from writer to writer. But as for whether or not that’s the case for you? It’s impossible for me to say.
Have you had any CPs? If not, I super highly recommend that you find a couple writers to trade with. They’ll really be able to tell you what may need rewriting or reworking and what’s working and what’s not. And trust me—you don’t want the first person outside of your family to look at your writing to be a publishing professional. You really really don’t. I promise.
I wrote a post a while back about where to find CPs, which has a listing of five different CP-finding resources.
Hope this helps! I wish you all the best with your editing. :)
I’m a fairly organized writer. I usually plot a basic outline with plot points to guide me along the way before I write a single word, and I always write in chronological order. I tried writing out of order once and it ended in disaster (and an uncompleted manuscript), so it’s unlikely I’ll be trying that again anytime soon (but never say never, right?).
However, I am more than well aware that not everyone works remotely close to the same way I do.
There are writers who pants completely with absolutely no idea where the MS is going to take them when they sit down to write, and there are writers who plot every last detail then write completely out of order.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it, which is why I like writing about process so much—it’s fascinating to me to see all the different ways writers operate.
I’ve often seen writers encourage each other to write the scenes that excite them first—I tend to do the opposite: I write the scenes as they come, and when I have a scene ahead that I’m dying to write, I use that motivation to get me through the scenes I’m less excited about. If I start to get bored at any moment, I make something happen—both to entertain myself and future readers who will likely be bored if I’m getting bored.
Being that I’m a fairly logical person, chronological order to me makes sense—my scenes build off each other and unplanned ideas I get in earlier scene often weave their way into future scenes.
However! That doesn’t mean my way is better. It’s just what works for me.
But enough about me, I want to hear from you guys—do you write in chronological order or do you skip around? Why?
“See, Rowling largely operates Harry’s generation in a clear system of parallels to the previous generation, Marauders and all. Harry is his father—Quidditch star, a little pig-headed sometimes, an excellent leader. Ron is Sirius Black—snarky and fun, loyal to a fault, mired in self-doubts. Hermione is Remus Lupin—book smart and meticulous, always level-headed, unfailingly perceptive. Ginny is Lily Evans—a firecracker, clever and kind, unwilling to take excuses. Draco Malfoy is Severus Snape—a natural foil to Harry, pretentious, possessed of the frailest ego and also deeper sense of right and wrong when it counts. And guess what? Neville Longbottom is Peter Pettigrew.
Neville is a perfect example of how one single ingredient in the recipe can either ruin your casserole (or stew, or treacle tart, whatever you like), or utterly perfect your whole dish. Neville is the tide-turner, the shiny hinge. And all because he happens to be in the same position as Wormtail… but makes all the hard choices that Pettigrew refused the first time around. Other characters are in similar positions, but none of them go so far as Neville. None of them prove that the shaping of destiny is all on the individual the way he does.”—Emily Asher-Perren (via nathanielstuart)
I’ll always remember sitting with my first manuscript and a pile of rejections, wondering where to go from here. I didn’t want to give up on the book, and starting anything new felt just like that—giving up.
I eventually tried to write a sequel, but got less than halfway through before I began to realize if I never sold the first book, book two would be dead on arrival. I wasn’t ready to trunk the manuscript, so I continued querying, but I also started a short story that evolved into my second manuscript.
Eventually, I did trunk that manuscript. It wasn’t easy to finally put it aside and focus on something new because it felt like admitting defeat. But by putting it away and writing something new, I learned a very important lesson: the top priority for any writer should be to write the next book.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is important and when you publish, so is marketing. Branding, reaching out to other writers, getting involved in the community, reading as many books as you can get your hands on—all of those things are important. But whether you’re unpublished, self-published or traditionally published, the best thing we can do to further our careers and improve our skills is to write the next book.
For unpublished writers, the next book is a fresh opportunity to attract an agent or editor.
For self-published writers, the next book is a new chance for readers to fall in love with your words.
For traditionally published writers, the next book is another opportunity to sell and bring in some new readers.
The next book is what builds our careers. It adds to our repertoire of skills and teaches us new things about the craft of writing and our own ability. It reminds us that writing is always the most important focus and teaches us to push through and be consistent.
So take some time to connect with people on social media and promote your books and keep up to date on the industry. But above all, keep your top priority in mind: the next book.
What do you think? Is writing more important than social media and marketing?
So I received another question! And it’s one that I’ve been meaning to answer, anyway.
As many bloggers are aware, including blog photos is a great way to add a little extra engagement to the page and make the post look more interesting visually. But with copyright laws and the possibility of lawsuits if photos are used incorrectly, it can sometimes be a little scary to start using photos.
The key is to find photos under a Creative Commons license, and I find all of mine through Flickr.
Flickr is a free site that you can log into with a Google, Facebook or Yahoo! account where photographers (amateur and otherwise) around the world upload and share their photos. And my favorite part about it is that you can search through copyright-free photos for free use in posts.
The steps are pretty simple:
The search. Once you’ve logged into Flickr, you go up to the search bar in the top right corner and type in whatever key word you want to use to filter through photos. I usually choose something related to the post, so for instance, for this post, I searched “photos” “pictures” and “photography.”
The Creative Commons filter. After you get your results, click “Advanced Search” to bring up the advanced search menu. From there, choose “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” at the bottom and it “Search” again to filter your results with only pictures that are copyright-free.
Choose your photos. Generally, I open up any photo I find interesting in a new tab, then mark my favorites with the star-shaped favorite button. This allows me to save any photos I like for future use and to also remind myself a) not to reuse them and b) to go back later on and let the person know I’ve used their photo (which is optional, and I am majorly behind on).
Copy the URL. Once you’ve picked your photo and checked the Creative Commons settings to see the rules (which is done by clicking the hyperlinked “Some rights reserved”…usually it’s to add attribution, which you should always do anyway, but it’s good practice to check), right click the photo and select the size you want. I usually choose “Medium 500.” It will then bring you to a new page with just the photo. Right click the picture again and choose “Copy Image URL.” From there you can use that URL to upload the picture into your post.
So that’s it! Don’t forget to add attribution (I usually like to link back to the artist’s Flickr page) and you now have a photo for your blog post. Enjoy!
If you blog, where do you get your blog post photos?
“You have to surrender to your mediocrity, and just write. Because it’s hard, really hard, to write even a crappy book. But it’s better to write a book that kind of sucks rather than no book at all, as you wait around to magically become Faulkner. No one is going to write your book for you and you can’t write anybody’s book but your own.”—
“Writer’s Block isn’t an excuse to not write— it’s an opportunity to push yourself. You can’t wait around to be “inspired”. Start writing, and KEEP writing until you’ve churned out something. The first draft will NEVER be perfect (that’s an unreal and impossible expectation), but it WILL be the first step towards something amazing.”—(via pianorocknroll)
Headcanon: A little before James and Lilly’s wedding, James asked Sirius if he’d organize his bachelor party and Sirius went ‘Don’t you mean your stag party?’ and just literally laughed for about 5 minutes straight until James asked Remus to do it instead