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About Literature / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester Hello, my name is Grace.26/Female/United States Groups :iconstoryedu: storyEDU
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Deviant for 7 Years
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Which movie should I go see first? 

17 deviants said Ant-Man
7 deviants said Minions
4 deviants said Selfless


:iconnanoplotmo: :iconpostrevival: :iconstoryedu:

Hey there ...

Selfie/Photo Challenge Thing?

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 3:47 PM
“You can tell a lot about a person by what they write, but there are lots of other ways to get an idea of who they are. What they wear; what they read; what their room looks like; what posters they hang on their walls; what they keep in their bedside drawer. If you’re like me, bored with answering the same questions, then feel free to jump in and show your watchers who you are in a different way.” - SilverInkblot, the meme’s creator

What to do:

Post photos of your bed, bookshelf, one of your more unusual possessions, a favorite accessory you love to wear, something you've had since childhood, your pet(s), your neighborhood, closet, and shoes. A short description of each would be sweet.


This may be the first time I've showed my face on dA ...
Untitled by illuminara


I never make the bed ...  (Yes, that's the Independence flag from Firefly. Browncoats forever!)
Untitled by illuminara


Fiction, educational, reference, comic books, journals. (The sticky note on the inflatable dinosaur says "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
Untitled by illuminara
Untitled by illuminara

Unusual Possessions

I collect fountain pens, and these two vintage ones are fairly rare. I've written a lot with these.
Left: Sheaffer Imperial - Right: Eversharp Skyline (both are gold semi-flex nibs)
Untitled by illuminara
Untitled by illuminara

I also recently acquired a mechanical keyboard and unique rainbow keycaps that I freaking love.
Untitled by illuminara

Favorite Accessory

I got this copper-cast necklace of a lynx claw in Asheville, NC this spring, and I've been wearing it every day since for obvious reasons. It's so badass ...
Untitled by illuminara

Something I've Had Since Childhood

I've had this trunk since I was a kid, and it contains binders full of my old stories. Obviously, it's far from large enough.
Untitled by illuminara


Meet Breeze, the fun-loving border collie, and Ari, the ridiculously energetic Dutch shepherd.
Img 0328 2 by illuminara

Breeze's favorite trick it to jump in a box and proceed to look adorable. 
Img 0314 2 by illuminara


This is from my front window. It's a pretty quiet NE Ohio neighborhood. My yard is really bringing the place down a notch. :PUntitled by illuminara


Nothing to see here.
Untitled by illuminara


I have some boots and sandals in the garage, but I'm not much of a shoe person. I keep my shoe collection strictly functional.
Untitled by illuminara

Wrapping Up

I don't think this is a tag-centric meme, but let me know if you decide to jump on the bandwagon. I'd love to see your photos!

I will get back to regular programing shortly. Short coaching is still open!

- Grace

Skin by SimplySilent
  • Mood: Peaceful
  • Listening to: Asia
  • Reading: The Book of Disquiet
  • Watching: The Man in the High Castle
  • Eating: Asian coconut curry stir-fry
  • Drinking: Lemonade

Free story coaching is back!

Sun Jul 12, 2015, 7:06 AM
Want to learn more about storytelling? Check out my writing guides.

Because I’ve been studying storytelling a lot lately and want to crack some yarns that didn’t come directly from my own brain. And I’m feeling generous. =D

Here’s how it works:

First of all, what is “story coaching”? It’s where you tell me about the story you’re writing (or planning to write), and I help you work out the bugs and make it even better!

We’re talking story structure here (mainly plot and character arc), not beta reading or editing. I don’t read any of your actual story prose. Instead, you send me a synopsis of any original story you’re currently writing/developing on or thinking about writing. This can be anywhere from a few paragraphs to several pages, but try to keep it to 3 pages or less if possible. It doesn’t have to be detailed; just an outline will do in a pinch.

If you don’t know how to write a synopsis, never fear! No one really does, and that’s OK. Check out this helpful article. As long as it at least vaguely covers the entire plot of your story, it will suffice. In order for me to be the most help to you, I need to know all the key plot points of your story, including the ending, and all the characters that come into play.

If you’re super new to story structure and plotting, check out my story arc diagram to help get your brain gears turning:

Story Arc Diagram by illuminara

How do I sign up for this story coaching, you ask?

Simply send me a note declaring your interest, and I will send you my email for file-sharing purposes. Once I get your synopsis, I will take a few days to go over it and come up with suggestions. These suggestions won’t have anything to do with advice on style, grammar, editing, etc. They will be directly related to plot, characterization, and story structure.

I will:

- Tell you what I think about your concept, whether it’s original or cliche, too simple or too complex
- Give you notes on plot and story structure, specifically if it's missing any important elements, could be a more compelling story, needs more reveals or a more dramatic midpoint, climax, etc.
- Tell you if you need a stronger character or character arc and give you specific ideas on how to achieve this
- Let you know if you're subplots are effective and necessary to the story
- Run it through my brain's handy cliche-detecting database and let you know if you've fallen victim to any of the Classic Tropes

If that sounds like a lot, never fear, it's all tied together! I live for story analysis. Also, please feel free to include any specific questions you have about the story and/or let me know if there's any specific feedback you're looking for!

I can't wait to see what you're working on and help you make your stories even more badass!

Just so you know, I'm offering to do this because I genuinely want to. I have no ulterior motives! I will not ask you to do anything for me in return. This is not quid pro quo. It's just free story coaching with no strings attached. Also, there's no expiration date on this offer--until I set one, haha. 

Spin me right round  Grace

Suggested Reading:

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby - also these great youtube videos
Elements of a Good Story by illuminara
Story Arc Explained
In every writing community, terms like "plot" and "development" and "arc" are constantly thrown around, and everyone expects everyone else to know what they mean without ever clearly defining them. Sure, vague advice about the importance of character development and story structure are great and all, but how do you actually do it? Aside from style and grammar, what are the mechanics behind a well-told story?
What does a good story look like?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Not easy, but simple. Every good story does one thing well: it asks a question, deliberates it, then answers it. This provides a framework of three acts that create what's called dramatic tension
Here are some examples of what this looks like:
The Little Mermaid
Act one: Will Ariel become human so she can be with the man she loves?
Act two:
  How to Develop Story Conflict
Conflict is the central element of any story. It’s what keeps us on the edge of our seats and turning page after page until 3:00am. Or, as Wikipedia puts it, narrative conflict is “an inherent incompatibility between the objectives of two or more characters or forces. Conflict creates tension and interest in a story by adding doubt as to the outcome.”
So how do you create this all-important conflict in your stories? Well, it all starts in the development process. There are three basic steps to developing conflict, and they follow a specific logical progression because, ultimately, developing a good story is an exercise in logic. So let’s jump right in.
Step 1) Scope
The first step is drawing the boundaries your story’s scope. That might seem like a weird place to start, but scope will determine nearly every other aspect of your story.
The key here is to determine what within the world of your story is out of balance.
This imbalance
 Intro to Character Arc by illuminara

  • "Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it."

    - Madeline L’Engle

  • Watching: 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Playing: With a puppy!
  • Eating: Weird, expensive sandwiches
  • Drinking: Milk shake
Want to learn more about storytelling? Check out my writing guides.

Sooo ... I recently acquired some spare change and purchased a mechanical keyboard. Oh. Boy. I finally found what my fingers have been missing all these years. I did it to give myself a better writing experience and actually enjoy typing instead of always writing with a fountain pen and then leaving the words on paper indefinitely. It should certainly do the trick!

That said, I've been working on Dreamcaster again recently (my novel project that's been "in the works" far, far too long). I think I've pinned down a better plot, but I won't know for sure until I write the damn thing. I'm currently rewriting what I wrote for NaNo last November and will go from there. But it's hard, and I need help.

I've tried the whole beta reader group thing before, but inevitably everyone gets busy (including me) because that's just how life works. However, I'm serious about my writing and would love to find just one person to work with who has a little spare time and a good understanding of storytelling. I need someone to keep poking me until I finish the story! (Via Skype if possible.) In exchange, I will help you with your writing any way I can. I'm not the best beta reader/editor, but I'm good at encouraging people to keep writing, and I'm awesome at story and character development. 

Here's a little bit about Dreamcaster:

It's a YA decopunk novel about a girl who can transmit whatever she imagines in her head to a live audience (with a little help from technology). She movies from her small town to the city with her brother so she can complete in the annual Dream Battles. In the city, casters are considered celebrities, but she's not interested in fame. She has a speech impediment, and casting is vital to her ability to communicate. While dreamcasting may be seen solely as entertainment, she tries to bring casting's true potential to light.

Trigger warnings include violence, disturbing deaths, and suicide. (But none of these are the main focus of the story.

So yeah, send me a note if you're interested. :aww:

Gay Pride Flag by Blues-Eyes Grace

P.S. If you love sending and receiving old-fashioned snail mail, check out this month's call for participants over at PostRevival!

  • "Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it."

    - Madeline L’Engle

  • Watching: 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Playing: With a puppy!
  • Eating: Weird, expensive sandwiches
  • Drinking: Milk shake


Hello, my name is Grace.
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I like to consider myself a nerd with class--not because I'm classy but because I enjoy the classic things in life. I'm the kind of person who notices all the little specks of beauty and inspiration that tend to hide just out of sight everywhere we look. I'm passionate about living a life of creativity and enjoy writing, design, photography, and architecture to name a few of my favorites.

I'm currently living in Ohio, and I work at a gun shop for my day job and train dogs as my side job. Not even kidding. I have an interesting life.

Give a llama, get one back!


Find me on Skype: grace.sabella


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bear48 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Professional
Llama jump by Droneguard :llama: :headbang: :squee: :headbang: :llama: Llama jump by Droneguard

Thank you for the Llama :llama:

Llama jump by Droneguard :squee:  :squee:  Llama jump by Droneguard  :squee:  :squee:  Llama jump by Droneguard
illuminara Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Time Traveling Llama You're Welcome Speech Bubble 1 - BeemoteYou're Welcome Speech Bubble 2 - Beemote
fmafan567 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist
Thanks for the llama! :heart:
illuminara Featured By Owner Edited Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! And thank you for the watch. :boogie:
fmafan567 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist
You're welcome! :D Your art's pretty cool!
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