2 hours ago   •   350 notes   •   VIA yeahwriters   •   SOURCE yeahwriters

Brand new blog: Shoot My Story


Brand new blog: Shoot My Story

4 hours ago   •   12,810 notes   •   VIA bibliophylum   •   SOURCE writing-questions-answered

Guide: Describing Clothing and Appearance


When Describing a Character


  • provide enough detail to give the reader a sense of the character’s physical appearance 
  • highlight details that serve as clues to who the character is and perhaps what their life is like
  • describe clothing to establish character or when relevant to scene


  • go overboard with too many details or take up too much of the reader’s time describing one character
  • repetitively describe features or fixate on certain characteristics
  • describe clothing every time the character shows up unless its somehow relevant to the scene. 
  • describe minor characters’ clothing in-depth unless it’s relevant

Choose a Focal Point

When describing a character’s appearance, choose a focal point and work up or down from there. For example, you may describe them from head to toe, or from toe to head. Try not to skip around. If you’re describing their face, start with their hair and work your way down to their mouth, or start at the mouth and work your way up to their hair.

Describing Race and Ethnicity

There is a lot of debate about the right and wrong way to describe a person’s race. If you want, you can state that a person is Black, white, Hispanic, Native American, First Nations, Latino, Middle-Eastern, Asian, Pacific Islander, etc. Just remember that races are made up of different ethnic groups. Someone of Asian descent could be Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. If you’re describing a character whose ethnicity is unknown or not important to the plot, you could just say that they were Asian or Black, for example. But, the rest of the time you need to be clear about whether they are Chinese, Chinese American, Korean, etc. Also, remember that not all Black people are African-American, such as someone born in England or Haiti, for example.

You may instead choose to describe a character’s race through the color of their hair, eyes, and skin. It’s up to you which you feel most comfortable with and is most appropriate for your story. Just remember, if you describe one character’s skin color or otherwise make an issue of their race, you should describe every character’s skin color or race.

Describing Clothing

Just like with physical appearance, when describing clothing you want to choose a focal point and work up or down. Think about things like the garments they’re wearing (pants, shirt, coat) and accessories (hat, jewelry, shoes). Be sure to choose clothing which are both relevant to your character and to the time and place where your story is set. You can find out about appropriate clothing by Googling the time and place your story is set plus the word clothing:

"Clothing in Victorian England"
"Clothing in 1960s New York"
"9th century Viking clothing"

Be sure to look for web sites that aren’t providing cheap Halloween costumes. Shops providing clothes for historical reenactors are often very accurate.

Looking for Inspiration

There are many resources online for both historical and modern clothing. For historical clothing, you can look for web sites about the period, web sites for or about historical reenactors, or web pages for historical enthusiasts or museums. For modern clothing, you can simply pull up the web site of your favorite department store or clothing designer. Choose an outfit that works for your character, then learn how to describe the relevant parts.

Resources for Describing Clothing:

Describing Clothing
Describing Clothes
Writing Tips on Describing Clothes
Describing Clothes and Appearance (If You Should at All)

Resources for Garments and Accessories:

Types of Dress
Coats and Jackets
Sleeves, Necklines, Collars, and Dress Types
Scarves for Men
Scarf Buying Guide
The Ultimate Scarf Tying Guide

Historical Clothing Resources:

OMG That Dress!
Period Fabric
Amazon Dry Goods
Reconstructing History
Historic Threads
Historical Costume Inspiration
History of Costume: European Fashion Through the Ages
Women’s Fashion Through the Years
Clothing in the Ancient World
Clothing in Ancient Rome
Clothing in Biblical Times
Vintage Fashion Guild

Modern Clothing Resources:

Clothes on Pinterest
Fashion Dictionary
This is a Fashion Blog
What I Wore
Fashion is Endless

Physical Details Resources:

Women’s Body Shapes
Men’s Body Shapes
Face Shapes
Realistic Eye Shape Chart
Facial Hair Types
How to Describe Women’s Hair Lengths
The Ultimate Haircut Guide for Women
Men’s Haircuts (Barber Shop Style)
A Primer on Men’s Hairstyles
Hair Color
Obsidian Bookshelf Hair Color
Obsidian Bookshelf Eye Color
Skin Color Chart
Curl and Texture Chart

9 hours ago   •   765 notes   •   VIA fixyourwritinghabits   •   SOURCE stirtheplot

How can you be sure that your plot is actually compelling, and not just a pile of stuff that happens? 

10 hours ago   •   58 notes   •   VIA the-right-writing   •   SOURCE the-right-writing

Two important questions


When reading…

1. What is a writing flaw you often miss?

2. What is a positive writing trait you often miss?

If you never seem to be able to catch poor worldbuilding in the works of others, you might not be good at worldbuilding. Similarly, if you can’t tell when romance is written well when you read it, you probably can’t write it well either. You can find out the answers to these questions by reading reviews, especially positive reviews for books you hate and negative reviews for books you love. Personally, I find that Goodreads has a higher overall review quality than Amazon.

15 hours ago   •   280 notes   •   VIA fixyourwritinghabits   •   SOURCE clevergirlhelps

Exactly what it says for the title. This is a multi-part post. Part I gives an overview of the two types of courts (state and federal) in the United States.
Read More


Exactly what it says for the title. This is a multi-part post. Part I gives an overview of the two types of courts (state and federal) in the United States.

Read More

1 day ago   •   4,493 notes   •   VIA writeworld   •   SOURCE thewritersspotblog
1 day ago   •   8 notes   •   VIA allthewritingcontests   •   SOURCE allthewritingcontests



Essay Contest

Contest: Center for Alcohol Policy Seventh Annual National Essay Contest

Criteria: 18+ only | 25 pages or less | must answer the following question: “As states contemplate the legalization of prohibited products, like marijuana, what are some lessons policymakers and regulators…

1 day ago   •   32 notes   •   VIA thewritingcafe   •   SOURCE thewritingcafe
Anonymous ASKED: This isn't related to writing but there is this writing blog who I asked if they had anything on certain topic, they told me that they did and said "we can't stress enough to explore our tags" and to quit my story if I didn't want to put as much effort into researching. I'm brand new to how all this "ask the writing blog for writing advice" works but I took it personal because I know I was stupid. I feel like my story is a dead end and have been with writer's block for 3 weeks now. What do I do?


It’s unfortunate that someone told you to quit your novel, but I’m going to tell you the same thing: Please check the tags page before asking a question.

A reminder to all my followers:

A lot of blogs (not just writing blogs) have FAQs, ask policies, and tag pages for a reason. We get tons of questions. We dedicate a lot of time and energy to these blogs and we ask very little by wanting our followers to look around our blogs before asking a question. When followers continuously ignore our policies, it gets frustrating.

The answer to your question can be found in many places on my blog. The first is on the tags page, which has a link on the main page of my blog for both the desktop and mobile versions. There is a writer’s block tag on that page. You can also find links to the tags page in the ask policy and in the full navigation link.

The second is in the FAQ. On the mobile version, you can find the FAQ on the main page. On the desktop version, my description says that the FAQ is found in the full navigation link. You can also find the link to the FAQ in the ask policy link.

The third is in the search bar on the main page of my blog.

There is another reminder If you use the ask box on my blog. The header says:

Check the tags page, ask policy, and the FAQ first please. Do not send in comments on posts. Reblog or reply to those posts instead. If the ask box is closed, do not submit a question through other means. Wait until it is open again. Please wait up to 7 days for a response.

It’s a courtesy to look around someone’s blog before you ask questions. Please take the time to do so when you are looking for help, whether it’s a writing blog or some other blog.

2 days ago   •   152,731 notes   •   VIA suboccasumsolium   •   SOURCE alecsgrg
2 days ago   •   301 notes   •   VIA copykiller   •   SOURCE copykiller

15 Second Thunder


No momentum today?

Set a timer. Write as much as you can in 15 seconds. Nonsense sentences, overheard conversations, it doesn’t matter. Go off with thunder and lighting for just 15 seconds. Set a goal, like filling an entire page or race against yourself for word number count.

Chances are, you’ll want to keep writing longer than that once you’ve found something that strikes your interest. (Hope you appreciate the bonus pun.)