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April 2014
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Yo, Grammar: What’s up with “nauseated” and “nauseous”?

theyuniversity:

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Hello, rainbowsandrattlesnakes.

This is a tricky question. Here’s why:

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As you can see from the following definitions for “nauseous,” the two words are now interchangeable:

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However, if you want to be a “diction hipster,” use the two words in their original meanings:

  • The nauseous (causing nausea) fumes from the chemistry lab made the students feel nauseated (feeling nausea).
  • The nauseous (causing nausea) smell of his own breath made Barney nauseated (feeling nausea).

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(Vomiting smileys GIF source: WHAT SHOULD RAVERS CALL ME)

#grammar   
April 2014
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April 2014
14
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shitroughdrafts:

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, directed by Peter Jackson. 2003.

shitroughdrafts:

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, directed by Peter Jackson. 2003.

April 2014
14
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how-will-they-tell-my-story asked

How do I write a realistic plane-crash-on-deserted island scene?

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

Okay… this is a very specific question so I’m going to just throw up everywhere about airplanes and airplane crashes and you can take whatever you need from it using my unhelpful headers.

Trigger warning: I’m talking about plane crashes and things that happen in plane crashes so read on at your own risk.

The Facts

Courtesy of Channel 4, Foxnomad and Mentalfloss:

  • 40% of people experience some level of anxiety about flying.
  • Across all commercial airlines, accidents occur at a rate of one per 1.2 million flights.
  • In the US alone, there are around 7,000 aircraft in the air at any given time.
  • Around half of all plane crashes happen as the craft comes in to land - 4% during the descent, 10% during the initial approach, 11% during the final approach and 25% during the actual landing.
  • There are 280,000 British Airways flights each year, carrying 32 million passengers. There has only been one fatal accident involving a BA-branded plane since the company was founded in 1974 - a mid-air collision over Croatia in 1976.
  • Most crashes occur during the first three or last eight minutes of the flight.
  • You have about 90 seconds to exit a burning plane. In those 90 seconds, a burning “airplane cabin can reach temperatures that will melt human skin”.
  • More than 76.6% of all persons involved in crashes survive.

So in short, plane crashes are very, very rare, and a lot of people spend their time suspended up in the air in a winged tin can and survive the experience. The reason I’ve included these facts, is because to write a realistic plane crash scene, you should first realise how unlikely it is for a plane to crash in the first place.

General Airplane Information and Safety

If you haven’t travelled on an airplane before, then I’ll give you a brief rundown of what the process is like on a successful flight.

Basically, you go through airport security (which is showing your passport to about three different people and having your bags/body checked), then after a short wait you can board your flight (and again, show your passport but this time, also your boarding ticket).

Once everybody is seated and the hand luggage is properly stowed away in the overhead areas or beneath the seat in front of you, the air hostesses/hosts will emerge from wherever they spend the rest of the flight when they’re not trying to make you buy things from the trolleys, and show you important safety information such as:

The air mask will drop if the cabin pressure gets too low, by the way.

Throughout the flight (and at the slightest feel of turbulence) the seat belt sign may light up, which indicates you are to remain seated no matter how desperate you are for the bathroom (also if you’ve ever had to precariously perch over an airplane toilet several thousand feet up in the air you’ll understand that they were probably designed by Satan). On smaller aircraft (so, the kind of terrifying airplane WITH PROPELLERS I had to board to cross states that one time) you aren’t allowed to get out of your seat at all because you’re only on that thing for, like, an hour [but we were handed out free pretzels twice during that time so, luckily, starvation didn’t set in).

Now some quick notes regarding the safety information:

  • Children are not sat by the exit seats. Ever. If the seating arrangements end up that way, you can be given the chance by a crew member to be a hero and switch seats. Basically, you have to feel comfortable and confident that you will assist people out of the exit if you’re put in that seat, so they’re never gonna stick a child or someone wheelchair bound there as a convenient obstruction for your story.
  • You cannot board the plane without a boarding ticket. I learnt this when my dad lost his ticket, and for the entire hour we were delayed, claimed, ‘Of course they’ll let me on board…!’ only to get to the door and have the stewardess firmly insist he had to show his boarding ticket before getting on the plane. Me, my sister and my mother watched from our seats and tried not to laugh and/or panic and the ticket was eventually found, but that’s not the point. The point is, you can’t have some random saboteur getting on the plane without a ticket to hijack it mid-flight.
  • Don’t inflate the life jacket when on board the air craft. Take creative license with this though, because I bet some people, in a panic, would tug on the life jacket cord like there’s no tomorrow after putting it on inside a falling air plane, with the assumption that inflating it will somehow turn it into a magical parachute. In actuality, it just makes it really difficult for everyone to move around in the narrow aisles when it comes to getting off the plane after the crash landing.
  • Always apply your own air mask/life jacket before applying someone else’s. Again, creative license, because parents are way more likely to fit their kids into life saving gear before they fit themselves with it, no matter what the safety information tells them.
  • You won’t get sucked out of an airplane if a gunshot punctures the window. I know this because Mythbusters told me and I believe everything they say. However, bigger, window-sized holes do allow for explosive decompression to an extent.

On Impact (Deserted Island)

One of the most famous ‘plane crash on a deserted island’ scenes I can think of is that shown in the first few episodes of Lost and at the time I watched it (due to fly that year on vacation) I had to be practically sedated before I would willingly enter the airport. It looked so crazy realistic! People screaming, running around, panicking! What if our plane crashed in that EXACT SAME WAY? And I had to forage out some kind of basic existence in the middle of nowhere?! OR WORSE, I WAS THE GUY SUCKED INTO THE SOMEHOW-STILL-ACTIVE TURBINE?!

Well, first off, in a crash that severe, I doubt anyone would be running around and screaming afterwards. They’d all be slumped in their chairs and actually dead, if not in pieces strewn over the surrounding ocean and sand. The plane freakin’ breaks up in the middle of the air and people can still use their legs?! I didn’t watch Lost past those episodes by the way, so I don’t know if the characters just imagined this scenario in the afterlife or if it was all a dream, but either way, a plane crash that severe would not see a few bruised and bumped passengers flailing around afterwards at all, despite the statistics of how many people survive airplane crashes. No one is surviving that one for sure.

If your pilot is competent and hasn’t exploded prior to the landing, the chances are they can make a good attempt at riding the plane belly-down onto the land in the hope that at least some of the passengers will survive. Of course, that’s in a perfect situation. You have to factor in that the plane will descend quickly if it loses the ability to keep altitude, which can result in things like this (trigger warning: video and images of plane crash). You’ll need to research the mechanics a lot if you want to orchestrate the perfect crash scene in which the people on board have high chances of survival.

Things the geography of your scene can affect:

  • Where the plane lands. Sand, or sea? If the latter, it can look like this (trigger warning, images of plane crashes) and there is appropriate safety information provided on airplane safety cards should this kind of crash occur.
  • Conditions for the survivors after the crash. Most deserted islands are blistering hot with a lot of wildlife and fauna around that is either edible or dangerous with no clear clue as to which (and a lot of seawater that one should not drink). Also, if the plane crashes right into a crop of trees where it hasn’t rained for centuries, then that fire is going to rage for a long time.
  • Rescue access. Basically, on Lost, people got lost on an island that nobody in the outside world knew existed from what I can tell, I mean, it ran for six whole seasons. Then again, there are places in the world that are hard to get to when staging a rescue attempt, such as the Bermuda Triangle if you believe in that sort of thing.

That’s pretty much all I have to offer, but here are some more resources so you can keep researching…! I also don’t claim to be an airplane expert, so if any of this is horribly wrong, feel free to correct me or add in your own input.

I hope this helps…!

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Resources

Guides/Help

Information

Videos

Survivor Accounts and Survival

- enlee

April 2014
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otherwindow:

otherwindow:

Ex-renaissance painter vampire in the 21st century embarrassed at people looking at their work from 600 years ago shown in a museum.

"I used the wrong brush"
“It’s just a doodle”
“I’m going to burn it”
“The anatomy isn’t even that great”
“Leonardo made me do it”

#'WHY R U LOOKING AT THIS I WAS YOUNG THEN I DONT EVEN’ 

#'WHY DO THEY CONSIDER THIS AS A MASTER PAINTING HALP' 

#*BURNS THE WHOLE MUSEUM* (x)

April 2014
14
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Me in math class

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April 2014
14
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somekindofurlhere asked

How can I make an 'ironic death'? (Love the new theme btw)

thewritingcafe:

What type of irony do you have in mind?

Verbal irony is when the author or a character says one thing, but means something else.

  • Sarcasm is a type of verbal irony, but not all sarcasm is verbal irony and not all verbal irony is sarcasm.

Dramatic irony is when the audience is aware of something that the characters are not aware of.

  • Tragic irony is a type of dramatic irony in which the character does or says something which has significant meaning to the audience based on what the audience already knows. This is called tragic irony because it often leads to tragedy from a result of the character’s actions or because it is used in the tragic genre.

Situational irony is what most people think of when they think of irony. This is when the opposite of what is expected to happen happens.

If you want an excellent example of a story that uses all three major types of irony, read The Story of an Hour (it’s a short read). I’ll be using this story to show you how to write ironic deaths.

If you want this death to be verbally ironic, you need to be good with what your characters say. The example of verbal irony in “The Story of an Hour” comes at the last line:

When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of the joy that kills.

To understand why this line is verbal irony, you must read the entire story. It is verbal irony because the start of the story mentions that the protagonist, Louise Mallard, has a heart condition. Therefore, when her husband is believed to be dead, those around her are careful to break the news so that she does not suffer heart trouble from the tragedy.

The characters and the audience expected Louise to fall ill, but the opposite happened (situational irony). Instead of falling ill, Louise became elated at her new freedom and she felt her heart flutter not in grief, but in happiness. But then her husband is actually alive and when she sees him (or supposedly sees him), her heart fails and she dies. The characters believe that Louise died from joy of seeing her husband. The readers can believe one of two things:

  1. Louise was so happy that she died before she ever saw her husband.
  2. Louise did see her husband, but she did not die of happiness. She died of sadness because her short-lived freedom is now gone.

If you believe the first theory, her death would be both situational and dramatic irony. The reader knows Louise died of happiness and the characters know she died of happiness, but for different reasons. If you believe the second theory, her death is still both situational and dramatic irony for similar reasons.

No matter which theory you believe, Louise’s death is situational because the reader and the characters believe that her husband is the one who died, but it really turns out to be the other way around. Her not dying or falling ill in the beginning is also situational because the reader is told from the beginning that she has heart trouble, but the opposite happens and her heart gets stronger from the news.

So how is her death verbally ironic? You have to look at the first line as well:

Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.

The first and last lines are verbally ironic because the author is referring to her soul and her spirit (as you’ll see if you read the entire story) rather than her physical organ (which is what the characters are worried about). Therefore, her death becomes verbally ironic because the author says she died of heart disease and right after says that what killed her was joy, meaning the failure of her spirit and happiness killed her.

It was also verbal irony in another way. It was verbal irony in relation to the second theory of her death because in that situation, the author writes that the joy of seeing her husband was what killed her when really it was the sadness of leaving her freedom behind.

Read the story and take notes from it. You can make ironic deaths extremely complex and layered if you try.

If you want to write a verbally ironic death, what you write or what your characters say must have another meaning. Here is a simple example of a verbally ironic death:

Character A promises to free character B from some kind of prison (physical, psychological, or other), but kills them. The meaning of “free” to character B (and the audience) was used in a way that implied escape and hope while to A it was used in a way that implied ending all suffering for good.

If you want to write a death that is dramatic irony, the audience must know something that the characters do not. This doesn’t mean some characters can’t know. Here is an example of a death that is dramatic irony:

Polonius hides in Gertrude’s bedroom as a way to eavesdrop on Hamlet. Gertrude is aware that Polonius is there and so is the audience. Hamlet, in alarm, unknowingly kills Polonius thus making this death dramatic.

If you want to write a death that is situational irony, you really have to make it wow the audience or make a character’s actions backfire in an unexpected way. For examples of these types of deaths, look here. You can also look at the TV Tropes page for Death by Irony in which the picture there is a perfect example of situational irony. Common ways that this type of death occurs are when someone is killed by their own weapon.

To make this type of death fantastic, look at how to write plot twists and how to foreshadow.

April 2014
14
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georgeknightley:

literally one of the best things in the hobbit was gandalf constantly counting the dwarfs like an exasperated teacher on a school trip

April 2014
14
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  • me: do ur homework
  • me: no
April 2014
14
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Character Flaws

fictionwritingtips:

When developing your characters, they should have both positive and negative traits. To avoid being a Mary Sue (in the sense that your character is perfect and always does the right thing), your character needs to have flaws. These flaws are usually what prevents them from getting what they want, NOT necessarily the antagonist. The antagonist can stand in your character’s way, but most main characters usually have to contend with their flaws before they can overcome any adversity. Accepting and working with your flaws is usually a major part of character development.

I know a lot of people ask what to do to prevent your characters from being too perfect, so I thought this was a good post to help you determine what character flaws to include. You need something more than “he doesn’t like washing his hands” for it to even matter, so you need to get to the core of your character. Here are a few common character flaws that might work:

Shyness. Being too shy, and not in the cutesy I’m so awkward way, can be a major character flaw. Some people are naturally shy or introverted, but if being shy constantly prevents you from getting what you want, it could be an obstacle your main character has to deal with. We often see main characters getting stepped over because they can’t or won’t speak up. Remember, being shy isn’t necessarily a flaw, but it could be an obstacle.

Defensiveness. A character that doesn’t want to be wrong or has trouble taking criticism could also be a major obstacle. Defensiveness doesn’t allow for your main character to learn and grow, which is an interesting character flaw. Exploring this flaw and having your character discover that they don’t always need to be this way will create character growth.

Entitlement. If your character has a serious sense of entitlement, this is a character flaw. They might believe they deserve everything and get seriously disappointed when they don’t get it. This could also be combined with selfishness or self-centeredness, which could create an interesting in-depth character flaw. Your character would need to understand that they don’t always get or deserve everything they want or need.

Dishonesty. Making your main character dishonest or unreliable is a great character flaw to explore. A dishonest character will not be trusted over time and they will have to learn that lying has caused distance between them and other characters. Gaining trust and learning not to deceive will be an obstacle.

Self-Deprecation.  Main characters disliking themselves so much that they have trouble believing in themselves is a major character flaw. Your character needs to believe in themself and turn that into something positive if they want to succeed.

Here are a few more resources that might help you:

Character Flaw Index

Character Flaw Generator

-Kris Noel