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About Literature / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester Grace28/Female/United States Groups :iconnanoplotmo: NaNoPlotMo
Helping You Prewrite Since 2015
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Deviant for 9 Years
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Statistics 383 Deviations 25,745 Comments 108,276 Pageviews

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The Lifecycle of a Novel Draft
This article’s aim is to teach you how to draft a novel. That’s a pretty vague statement and begs a lot of questions. What’s a draft? What work or planning do you have to do before you start drafting? Can you just sit down and start putting pen to paper and expect a draft to miraculously show up? How many drafts do you need to write in order to get a “finished” novel?
First and foremost, a draft is simply a version of a manuscript, and there will be many versions along the way to a finish novel ready for publication (or whatever other plans you have for it). The purpose of a first draft is to bring your story kicking and screaming into existence—nothing more. It has to exist before your story can be molded and perfected into its final form. You have to start somewhere, and you also need a blank canvas on which to discover your story, a place where anything is possible and anything can happen. You may have a vision in your head, but you don’t kn
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7 Ways to Form Healthy Writing Habits
1. Write Every Day
Christy Hall nailed it when she said, “A writer writes. There are no exceptions to this reality. No excuses.” There’s nothing sexy about this. It’s tough work and requires dedication and persistence, but it’s the only way to make consistent progress. Almost everyone who writes for a living or is a productive amateur will tell you this. It’s no secret, but it’s often ignored because it’s hard. Unfortunately, there’s no magical way to make it easier, but you can form a habit through discipline. Once habit sets in, you don’t have think about it—you just do it.
These are the five most effective methods I've used to build a daily writing habit:
- Have something to say. This should be obvious, but what’s the point of writing every day if you don’t have something to write about? Develop your idea first, and then start holding yourself accountable to the “write every d
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The Sky Is Calling
Sunlight hit slim clouds as if clawing its way into the morning. Jagged black mountains began to appear in the distance, reaching for the sunrise and calling to me in a seductive whisper. I could continue my drive to work, or I could ride into the mountains on the wings of dawn. The choice was clear, and I drove on.
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The World Before
A lot of people still like to talk about what things were like before the world went to shit, but I really don’t find it all that interesting. Who cares if you were an investment banker or a gangster when your next meal can outrun you?
The only thing that matters now is how good a brain you got in your head and how fast you can learn who’s worth trusting and who ain’t.
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The Importance of Character Diversity
Ultimately, this gets back to the foundations of why we as a human race tell stories. We want to communicate ideas, spread knowledge, share secrets, engage with our contemporaries, entertain, inspire, call to action, and move people. Sure, you can do most of those things without telling a story, but stories are powerful because they connect with people on an emotional level. In order to make this connection, people have to relate to the story and feel like it’s their story, like they are a part of it and it was made for them. They have to see themselves or a version of themselves in the story so that it speaks to them personally as well as to the universal emotions in all of us. If some are singled out or left out, stories lose a bit of their power—or a lot of it.
With all the ideologically and emotionally charged politics at the forefront of social discourse right now, it’s easy to think diversity in stories (or in anything) is about being politically correct and try
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How to Pace Character Arc
Everyone loves stories about underdogs pulling off a big win and the likes of Han Solo picking up arms to fight for what’s right. But what about when a character just can’t make up his mind to do anything? Or the girl who’s always right no matter what and never has a bad thing happen to her? Those stories just aren’t as interesting and can verge on annoying.
So how do you fix them? You’ve got to plan the pace of your character arc, your character’s journey of transformation, from the very beginning.
What Is Character Arc?
Character arc is a change in your character physically, emotionally, or spiritually from the beginning of your story to the end. It’s called an arc because it spans the length of your story in an arcing fashion. This change can be for the better or worse—growth or regression—but something has to change. If your character ends up the same as he or she started, well, that doesn’t make for
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Before You Comment on the Internet
This is a thought guide to commenting on the internet--and also in real life. Before you leave an unsolicited comment or critique, send a note, or post on a forum or chat, ask yourself these three questions: 
1) Does this need to be said?
Or is it obvious and go without saying? Does it really need to be pointed out? Is it negative, inflammatory, rude, condescending, misinformed, just a guess, invalid, a logical fallacy, unintelligible, irrelevant, or just not worth saying? Then maybe don't say it.
Or is it humorous, entertaining, informative, enlightening, encouraging, thought-provoking, or something of the like? Will saying the thing you want to say benefit the people who will read your comment? Will it provide some value to the community at large or at least one individual? If so, proceed to the next question.
2) Does this need to be said by you?
Or has someone else already said it? Perhaps someone more informed, more qualifie
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Kill Me Twice
Kill me once, shame on you. Kill me twice, well, that makes me a pretty stupid immortal. I can’t even deny it at this point because it’s happened more than once. I don’t like to talk about it, but this is a special case.
She’s a demon hunter, and I’m madly in love. I’m not possessed, of course, but convincing her otherwise isn’t proving to be an easy task. How else could a man become immortal? She’s not the only one asking. I myself have no idea. I’ve been looking for answers for nearly three decades now, and the only reasonable conclusion I can come to is that I got lucky.
The social class of the immortal man is occupied by few, and most of them are dicks. They tell me it’s foolish to fall in love and even more inane to die by your lover’s hand—twice. What if she tells? I could be committed. Or worse, she might believe me.
Oh God, I hope she believes me.
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#Mywritespace Meme by illuminara #Mywritespace Meme :iconilluminara:illuminara 10 12
Sunday Blues
I couldn’t stand it anymore—the sunshine, the criminally gorgeous weather, the live music and boisterous conversations happening on the street right below my window. Outside, a place I could never go. The city was no place for someone like me.
I let myself fall to the couch and lay there just listening to the sounds of a world I could never know and staring at the ceiling of my industrial apartment. Well, it wasn’t exactly mine, but that’s beside the point.
Only one more day of waiting, one more night of lonely, soulful saxophone playing in my ears and taunting my dreams as I drifted into an unsettled sleep.
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20 Ways to Boost Your Creativity
1. Create something every day. If there’s one secret to productivity, this is it. It’s not sexy or exciting, but the bottom line is that creative masterpieces aren’t built overnight. They take time and dedication, and you will only make real progress if you work every day. If you haven’t formed a daily habit of creativity yet, start today. It takes about a month if you’re serious about it, and then it becomes second nature and you’ll never look back.
2. Value progress over perfection. Productive and perfect are not synonyms. Which would you rather be?
3. Accept that what you create won’t be perfect and create it anyway. Perfect is the enemy of good. If you give yourself permission to just create, chances are you’ll create something pretty darn good—at least some of the time. But you have to give yourself a chance.
4. Make a mess. Perfectionism is neat, but progress is messy. You can get organized later, b
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Missing Kat
It was a quiet night at Four Winds. I’d come for a drink after a solitary weekend that seemed much too short. Maybe I was defiant of the fact that I had to get up at 5:30am the next morning, or maybe I just wanted to enjoy some exquisite jazz. Tonight’s band did not disappoint. The sax sent chills down my arms and out my fingertips—just the way I liked it.
I took a slow sip of my drink, a simple rum and Coke, and considered pulling out my notebook to write. Instead, I swayed to the music and watched an intense game of pool come to a decisive end. I couldn’t guess the stakes, but by the looks of it, someone had bet more than they were ready to lose.
The evening wore on, and patrons came and went in a steady stream. Around nine o’clock, about the time I began considering how much longer I should stay, the tall oak doors parted for a familiar face. Well, familiar to me. Justin Avery was a tall man in his late twenties with Latin features and usually the kind
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Arrow of Time
Time has no objective. To each of us, it is relative to our perspectives and individual perception. With our unique thoughts and actions, we have all created our own universe unknown and inaccessible to anyone else.
This comes at a price.
No two people live in the same universe. Nothing understood by one can be truly understood by another in the same way. We must rely on the inefficiencies of language to evoke emotion and share ideas, concepts, and information so complex we barely understand them ourselves.
And yet, here we are. Yes, we have fallen into chaos from time to time, but we have progressed far beyond any reasonable expectation. We are marching through time like an arrow on course for a yet unknown destination. We are humans, after all.
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Hanson and Griggs (script) by illuminara Hanson and Griggs (script) :iconilluminara:illuminara 2 4 Character Arc Worksheet by illuminara Character Arc Worksheet :iconilluminara:illuminara 108 9
How to Write a First Draft Without Perfectionism
Maybe you’ve heard that first drafts are supposed to suck, but what does that really mean? What does a sucky first draft look like? How do you allow yourself to suck? Why would you even want to allow yourself to write something that sucks in the first place?
Because otherwise, you’ll most likely be crippled by the writer’s arch nemesis: perfectionism.
Did you just cringe? We all experience it when we sit down to write, arrange everything just so, type a sentence or two (or a bit more if you’re lucky), and then it strikes—your inner editor. It smacks you across the face and demands that you fix that grammar mistake right now. 
Or worse, you’ve written multiple chapters of your epic novel when you suddenly get a great idea for a new direction to take the story that will make it so much better! But you can’t just keep writing as if you’d written in that awesome new idea from the beginning. No, your inner editor screams at
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Instant Zen
   Standby by PatrickRuegheimer christmas is here by kyokosphotos
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Maneki Neko by Pinkmango77 Abstract. by Blutr0t Un peu d'air sur terre by angievercetti red stars by Deeevilish :thumb140714764: holy bird by shtrumf double pact by detail24 The Youngest by YagaK Pico Ruivo - Enlightment by yv :thumb144959431: Egyptian Goose by 00Tiger00 :thumb144405552:
Lalli by catman-suha Buba's dream by AlicjaRodzik :thumb144773260: All that I am by naked-in-the-rain :thumb144666577: ...shine for me V... by JoannaRzeznikowska :thumb144541823: :thumb144548118: :thumb144554531: Time won't let me go by iNeedChemicalX Morning ride by DianaCretu :thumb144191003: All that I am . .. by light-from-Emirates Autumn Bokeh by snak
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trick or treat by ladyrapid trick or treat :iconladyrapid:ladyrapid 36 12 the christmas machine by prismes the christmas machine :iconprismes:prismes 445 58 Crossing Street by reubenteo Crossing Street :iconreubenteo:reubenteo 102 37 summerfly by mohdfikree summerfly :iconmohdfikree:mohdfikree 438 23 The Pretender by april182 The Pretender :iconapril182:april182 627 44


:iconnanoplotmo: :iconpostrevival:

Hey there ...


Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Grace is passionate about telling stories that expand the boundaries of imagination. She currently resides in Asheville, NC where she's always looking for adventure and good BBQ. When she’s not writing or entertaining her fabulously fluffy border collie, Grace can be found in comic book shops, traversing the mountains, or sleeping under a layer multiple layers of dog hair.

Grace has been published in the short story anthology Intrepid Horizons.

Novel Progress 

Outline (analogue):  100% progress bar - purple by AngelLale87
Zero Draft (analogue): 100% progress bar - purple by AngelLale87
First Draft (digital): 75% progress bar - purple by AngelLale87

Have a question about writing or storytelling? Send a note!*

*Sadly, I don't have much free time these days and am unable to provide critiques. If that's what you're looking for, checkout the regular critique chats at CRLiterature. Also, I highly recommend checking for local writing and critique groups in your area.


Are you part of a critique group? 

35 deviants said No, and I'm just fine without it.
33 deviants said No, but I want to be.
9 deviants said Yes, and I love it!
4 deviants said Yes, but I'm not sure it's helpful.

Peacing Out (for now)

Fri Apr 7, 2017, 5:49 PM by illuminara:iconilluminara:
I just moved into a new place, and I'm kicking it without the internet for a while. It's hard to justify spending $40-$50 on it when I can get on it at work and pretty much everywhere else. But we'll see how it goes. I've been pretty quiet around here recently, anyhow, though I'll still try to comment and browse occasionally on my phone.

Life in North Carolina is great but busy, and I've been focusing a lot on my writing. I'm currently in the middle of a twelve week class for screenwriting, and the goal is to have a finished script by the end of it. I'm also part of an awesome weekly critique group, which is great for keeping me motivated, and it's been surprisingly helpful. You've just got to find people who give the right kind of feedback.

Working full time is a pain in the butt, and I wish I had more free time, but oh well. It is what it is for now. I may start an actual blog at some point and slowly start moving my writing tutorials to it and add to the collection (I have lots of new material), but that probably won't happen for a while. I'll keep you posted. For the foreseeable future, my dA presence will remain ghost-like. :invisible:

Anyhow, I hope you're all doing great and are ready for summer! :eager:


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felinewithin Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
Thanks for the llama! :3
illuminara Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
MidmorningDigger Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Student Digital Artist
alleged altruism
illuminara Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Interesting ...
MidmorningDigger Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Student Digital Artist
AQUARIUS: Your days are numbered. They're numbered randomly from here on out. Write everything down. Everything. Include dates.
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