send message if we know each other.
2 Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
3 Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
4 Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5 Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6 Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
7 Laugh at your own jokes.
8 The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
A lot of people assume dialogue is easy to write because ‘It’s just a conversation! I have those all the time.’
But real conversations are, for the most part, really boring:
- Lots of verbal tics (uh, um, like, well, I mean)
- Lack of conflict (How was your day? Great, yours? Pretty good!)
- Cliches and repetitive phrasing
Writing dialogue that too closely mirrors real conversation will give you lots of repetition on the page. You don’t want that. Repetition is bad. It’s boring. It sucks. It’s totally lame.
All that said, here are a few essential reads re: writing dialogue that is great and awesome.
On Saidisms and Dialogue Tags:
- He Said, She Shouted Loudly by Nathan Bransford
- Verbs and Dialogue Tags: Or, Stop Smiling Words by Annette Lyon
On Pacing and Creating Conflict:
- Am I Talking To Myself, Or Is This Guy Not Holding Up His End Of The Conversation? by Anne Mini
- Speak To Me, Protagonist. Or Blink Twice To Let Me Know That You’re Alive by Anne Mini
On Info-Dumping, Hollywood Narration and As You Know, Bob
Genderqueer Links and Books
The following are link and book recommendations, all evaluated myself, as helpful resources that relate to genderqueer and non-binary concepts and identities. If there is a resource you would like to suggest, please use the GQID submit form (select Submit a Link from the drop-down or copy and paste a list into the default text box). See also Marilyn Roxie’s genderqueer tag on Delicious. If you are instead looking for the bibliography for the Genderqueer History and Identities project, click here.
Androgynites Unite, Anything But Binary, Ask a Non-Binary, Break the Binary, LGBTQ Advice, Fat Genderqueers!, Fuck Yeah Androgyny!, Fuck Yeah Bigender!, Fuck Yeah Genderless, Fuck Yeah Gender Studies!, Fuck Yeah, Genderqueers!, Fuck Yeah, Transitioning GQs, the gender bender agenda, The Gender Book, Genderforkr, GenderPanic, Gender Queeries, Genderqueer, The Genderqueer Activist, GenderQueer Confessions, Genderqueer Fashionista, Genderqueer Problems, GQ Moments, KNOW Homo, LGBTQ Connections, Neutrois, Nonbinary, Non-binary Artists, Nonbinary Autistics!, Non Binary Confessions, Non-Binary Folk, Non-Op, no gender rules, nullgrade, Practical Androgyny, Queer Dictionary, Smashing the Binary, spectrumofgenders, STFU Binarists, T.R.A.N.S., Transcending Anatomy, Trans*Opinions, Trans* Transgressions, Trans* Tumblr Directory, transbears, TransFess, TRANSPRIDE, ygender[queer]
GQ-friendly Livejournal Communities
Websites and FAQs
Androgyny Rarely Asked Questions, Chroanagram, Crossdreamers, Genderfork, Genderology, Genderpedia, Genderqueer in the UK, GenderQueer Revolution, Gender Sphere, The Midwest Trans & Queer Wellness Initiative, Nonbinary.org, Non-Op: Another Option, pipisafoat: FAQ on Genderqueers, Gender Expression, and Gender Variance, Practical Androgyny, Questioning Transphobia, T-Vox, We Happy Trans, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, YGender
Organizations and Events: Click here for a list
Forums and Groups
Prounouns and Titles
Art of Transliness: Gender Neutral Relational Terms, Freelance Writing: The History of the Indefinite Singular Pronoun, Gender Neutral Pronoun Blog, Gender Queeries: Gender Neutral/Queer Titles, Genderqueer in the UK: Misc, or Mx: A Gender-neutral Title, MIT’s Ally Toolkit: Gender Neutral Pronoun Usage, Warren Wilson: Using Gender-Neutral Language in Academic Writing
Articles: Click here for a list
Fun, Videos, Podcasts, & Performance
Agender Earthworm, Facts About Queers (Humor), Fuck Yeah Non-Binary Seahorse, Genderqueer Chat, Gendercast: Our Transmasculine Genderqueery, Gender Queeries,Kreative Korporation: Yay genderform! (a comprehensive and fun-to-play-with list of gender, sex, orientation, and more identities), Midwest Genderqueer, regender: A Different Kind of Translator, Trans Parrotfish, Trans Parrotfish’s Significant Other
Gender Diversity Project, Gender Spectrum: Resources, Queer Teaching Tips, Safe Schools Coalition, TRANScending Identities: A Bibliography of Resources on Transgender and Intersex Topics, Transgender Student Rights, Trans What?: A Guide Towards Allyship
Sex Ed: Click here for a list
The Trevor Project: “The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services” to LGBT youth: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) Also available for matters of less pressing urgency, Dear Trevor is an “online, non-time sensitive Question & Answer resource for young people with questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity.” A directory of previous questions in the category of Transgender/Genderqueer is also available.
Fashion and Transitional Gear: Click here for a list
Note: Use Worldcat.org, the world’s largest global library catalog, to see if the book you’re seeking is available at a library near you!
Gender Now Coloring Book - Maya Christina Gonzales
Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us - Kate Bornstein
Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation - Kate Bornstein
Books and essays by Ivan Coyote
Grrl Alex: A Personal Journey to a Transgender Identity - Alex Drummond
GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary - Joan Nestle, Riki Wilchins, Clare Howell
Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity - Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality - Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel
Queer Theory, Gender Theory - Riki Anne Wilchins
Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender - Riki Anne Wilchins
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (in-progress) - Laura Erickson-Schroth
whatever.odt (free!) - JD O’Meara
That’s Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation - Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men - Lori B. Girshick and Jamison Green
Transition and Beyond: Observations on Gender Identity - Reid Vanderburgh
(Looking for a list of books concerning gender, sex, and orientation that aren’t genderqueer specific instead? Click here)
Book lists compiled by others:
I’ve updated this yet again on site and used the reblog post format that subtlecluster had put up to share it - keep sharing and suggesting more resources that I should include!
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- The Bible by Various
- The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- The Quiet American by Graham Greene
- Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
- Money by Martin Amis
- Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
- The Outsider by Albert Camus
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
- Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- The Divine Comedy by Alighieri Dante
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
— From a metal bookmark I got from B&N. I just wanted to share the list with all of you :)
using the prompts below, write a drabble (or whatever) a day for the next 30 days. find someone willing to hit you if you miss a day. look back at the end and go ‘oh! i’m a writer!’.
beginning. accusation. restless. snowflake. haze. flame. formal. companion. move. silver. prepared. knowledge. denial. wind. order. thanks. look. summer. transformation. tremble. sunset. mad. thousand. outside. winter. diamond. letters. promise. simple. future.
Quintessential Movies from the Gay (male) Film Canon You Should Know
- The Broken Hearts Club — West Hollywood gay softball team learns how to love, the power of friendship and coping with loss (actors include Zach Braff, Andrew Keegan and Dean Cain)
- Get Real — gay teen comes out (and being a gay teen means drama will follow)
- A Single Man — based on the Isherwood novel, this film follows what it means to be gay in the 1960s and what we do to keep on after tragedy
- Latter Days — A promiscuous gay man from California meets a private Mormon and their encounters rearrange both of their lives
- Looking for Langston — split film crossing back and forth between 1920s Harlem and 1980s England, this film invites you to explore the ways people express themselves and the places they find comfort
- Brokeback Mountain — the life story of two men who meet while sheep ranching
- Milk — biopic about the life of Harvey Milk, S.F. first openly gay elected city official
- Shelter — a young man returns home to care for his family, finding companionship in a place least expected
- Brother to Brother — taking place during days of the Harlem Renaissance, this film follows a young artist and aging poet
- Walk on Water — following the suicide of his wife, an Israeli intelligence agent is assigned to befriend the grandchildren of a Nazi war criminal
LGBTQ* Theory Books (You May Want) To Know
- Queer Theory, Gender Theory - Riki Wilchins
- Feminism is Queer: The Intimate Connection between Queer and Feminist Theory - Mimi Marinucci
Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory (Gender and Culture) - Lynne Huffer
- Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity - Judith Butler
Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies) - Qwo-Li Driskill (Editor), Chris Finley (Editor), Brian Joseph Gilley (Editor), Scott Lauria Morgensen (Editor)
Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism - Patricia Gherovici
Queer Cowboys: And Other Erotic Male Friendships in Nineteenth-Century American Literature - Chris Packard
Aberrations In Black: Toward A Queer Of Color Critique (Critical American Studies) - Roderick A. Ferguson
- Queer Girls in Class (Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education) - Lori Horvitz
“Why, for example, do the great writers use anticipation instead of surprise? Because surprise is merely an instrument of the unusual, whereas anticipation of a consequence enlarges our understanding of what is happening. Look at a point of land over which the sun is certain to rise, Coleridge said. If the moon rises there, so what? The senses are startled, that’s all. But if we know the point where the sun will rise as it has always risen and as it will rise tomorrow and the next day too, well, well! At the beginning of “Hamlet” there can be no doubt that by the play’s end, the prince will buy it. Between start and finish, then, we may concentrate on what he says and who he is, matters made more intense by our knowing he is doomed. In every piece of work, at one juncture or another, a writer has the choice of doing something weird or something true. The lesser writer will haul up the moon.” -Roger Rosenblatt, How to Write Great
There seems to be a feeling among readers these days that if they see an event coming, the book is less than it might’ve been. I couldn’t disagree more.
I stand with Rosenblatt in celebrating anticipation over surprise. Even when reading mystery novels, the pleasure for me is never in the feeling of, oh I didn’t see THAT coming. The pleasure is living with another’s dread and pain and yearning and hope. All of that is a hell of a lot more fulfilling than being surprised by the killer’s identity.
This is the whole reason foreshadowing exists. Foreshadowing, at its best, is not a trick demonstrated to brag about what a fancy writer you can be. It’s about building anticipation, so that the reader can more fully empathize with the characters in the story: I want s/he to battle and hope against the inevitable while reading just as we all do while living. When it works, anticipation is far more fulfilling than surprise, because we are reminded that a sunrise is precisely as magnificent as it is inevitable.
hey look, it’s 80% of the reasons why i fucking hate stephen moffat’s writing.