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Here's something that really helped me recently.

You might have seen a bunch of clickbait sites posting a research paper on questions that could create feelings of intimacy between strangers. Here's the NYT's piece on it, which includes the 36 questions. (By the way, don't do this on a date. It got... awkward.)

These questions weren't great for my love life, but they did end up being a big help for getting into character quickly. I've adapted them for your purposes, taking out references that would only make sense in their original context. The way I used this in Aderyn's profile was to answer all 30 questions in character within the frame of a psychological profile test, which developed her personality as well as her voice.


1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before sending a message to someone, do you ever rehearse what you're going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a perfect day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

10. Take four sentences and tell your life story in as much detail as possible.

11. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

12. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

13. Is there something that you've dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?

14. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

15. What do you value most in a friendship?

16. What is your most treasured memory?

17. What is your most terrible memory?

18. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

19. What does friendship mean to you?

20. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

21. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?

22. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

23. Complete this sentence "I wish I had someone with whom I could share..."

24. If you were going to become a close friend with someone, please share what would be important for them to know.

25. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

26. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

27. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

28. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?

29. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

30. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

Edited by Words^3

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General sites:

Query Shark - Not necessarily for writing stories, more for writing query letters. Basically, how to write good summaries/introductions to stories. I can see the general concepts here being applied to writing Water Cooler entries. Y'know, to reel in the people.

The Right Writing - Very very cool blog full of writing tips. Some specifics:

Time between events - "The number of words you use between two events gives your readers a rough idea of how much time occurs between them."

Relevant infodumping

Introducing characters out-of-character

Basic overlooked worldbuilding questions

Several months to several years - a list of things that are usually written as taking place in months but in reality would take years

Ways to make an invincible character interesting

Yuffie's Writing How-To's - Very, very useful. Requires Wattpad account to read, but worth registering.

A Thesaurus of Descriptions - includes description examples of things in terms of five senses, triggered emotions, etc. Some examples:

Thesaurus for weather and earthly phenomenon

Emotional Wounds Thesaurus

Color, Texture, and Shape Thesaurus

All I have for now. *throws links*


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Fun with T1 Combat - Suggestions and Guidelines by @bigfatcat

Well-written and much needed article about T1. I see a ton of questions about it all the time, and BFC outlines quite a bit in here. If you're curious, interested, or confused by T1, I'd really recommend this.

Edited by Off Topic

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^ I'm gonna have to read that at some point. That guy was tough when I dueled him. Taught me a lesson or two about the effectiveness of a rapier. Ohhh people and our inevitable overconfidence of stereotypes. Turns out the rapier's not the flimsy foil by any measure.

I'd also like to recommend www.valucre.com as a useful writing resource, if that counts.

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“This is your daily, friendly reminder to use commas instead of periods during the dialogue of your story,” she said with a smile.

“Unless you are following the dialogue with an action and not a dialogue tag.” He took a deep breath and sat back down after making the clarifying statement. 

“However,” she added, shifting in her seat, “it’s appropriate to use a comma if there’s action in the middle of a sentence.”

“True.” She glanced at the others. “You can also end with a period if you include an action between two separate statements.”

Taken from here

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Guest Deviant

You can find all sorts of crap on youtube these days. 

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If it hasn't already been posted, then http://www.springhole.net/ is a p/cool place to hit up. It contains a bunch of useful, analyzing articles that can help you understand where you might be able to better your characters, worldbuilding, plots etc. It also has a couple generators, if your imagination is failing you or you just need some added inspiration. :bigsmile:

This is awesome, too: http://wordsandchocolate.tumblr.com/post/81211654551/i-made-a-slideshow-about-how-to-create-a-fictional

Edited by jerbearthehut

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