consider the following aus
- "we wore matching halloween costumes to this party" au
- "we’re the only ones who didn’t get the email about class being canceled" au
- "tried to get the candy bar that didn’t drop out of the vending machine and now my hand is stuck can u help me out" au
- "we’re the only ones on campus who didn’t go home for christmas" au
- "we both got in separate bar fights downtown and now we’re waiting in the ER comparing stories" au
- "accidentally fell in your lap while standing on this crowded bus" au
- "can u help me sneak my cat into my dorm" au
- "accidentally got assigned the same library study room so I guess we’ll have to share for the semester" au
- "It’s raining and u forgot your umbrella so come over and stand under mine while we wait for the bus" au
- "I rented the apartment above your flower shop and in the last two months you’ve gotten a new flower I’m allergic to so I keep buying bouquets until I can figure out which kind it is" au
[ORIGINALLY POSTED 7/4/14; LAST UPDATED 9/17/14]
Having trouble finding the perfect idea for your fic? Want to challenge yourself? Want to just get ideas? Hopefully this masterpost will be of some help!
This is perpetually under construction—if you have anything to add, let me know!
LISTS AND IDEAS FOUND ON TUMBLR
- AU ideas by Tumblr user authorkurikuri
- AU ideas by Tumblr user scamdal (1) (2)
- AU ideas by Tumblr user crowthis
- AU ideas by Tumblr user smallnico (NOTE: There seems to be more than one version of this; this is the OP, though)
- Eight Unique Plot Ideas by Tumblr user chloetherph
- Situation Ideas For Your Character by Tumblr user shackleboltrp
- Masterlist Of Dramatic Storyline Ideas by Tumblr user rp-assistant
- AU ideas by Tumblr user coffeeclint
- AU ideas by me!
LISTS AND IDEAS FOUND ON DEVIANTART
- 70 Writing Prompts by amorine on dA
- Writing prompts by Hinxight on dA (1) (2) (3)
- 100 Writing Prompts by tehuti on dA
- Writing Prompts For You by inubasket on dA
- Writing Prompts by LexicoN18 on dA
- Prompts by MyMidnightLove on dA
- 23 Writing Prompts by RayneWolfspeaker on dA
LISTS AND IDEAS FOUND ELSEWHERE
- 8 Ways To Say I Love You by R. McKinley
- Alternatives To Platonic Love
- Prompts From A Hat
- TVTropes (fair warning to those who have never been on this site: you WILL be trapped there for hours)
CHALLENGES AND BINGOS
- 30 Day OTP Challenge
- 30 Day NSFW OTP Challenge
- Horror Bingo
- Kink Bingo
- 30 Day Dark Fandom/OTP Challenge
- Trope Bingo
- Cliche Bingo
Subsistence Methods and Economy
Note: Stories, facts, and information provided here are not meant as encouragements for writers to simply insert into their works. Additional research may be needed. They should only be used as inspiration and to help with understanding how cultures are put together. Please use this knowledge to inform your own culture creations without full appropriation. Find the rest of the series here.
This post goes hand-in-hand with the previous post on Evolutionary Typologies of Civilizations.
Last time, we discussed the four basic categories anthropologists use to classify cultures: bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and states. Peoples using the band or tribe structure styles are frequently referred to as traditional cultures while chiefdoms and state-type structures (those with centralized government) are referred to as complex cultures. These terms are not meant in any way to reflect the actual complexity of cultures, but came into being in the early 1900s during the birth of anthropology as observations. Cultures with centralized governments are characteristic of larger settlements, which by their nature require more organization, thus considered more complex.
All political correctness aside, let’s talk about some of the things mentioned in the last post, namely subsistence methods. This term refers to how cultures choose to acquire their food. In the last post, terms like horticulture, sedentism, and nomadic movement were thrown around, but let’s talk about what those mean and why a culture would use them.
Foragers: Characterized by a dependence on naturally occurring sources of food. Foragers are food collectors, not food producers. 99% of hominid existence has been spent this way. Modern foragers are found in areas of marginal agricultural potential, and they have evolved and continued to change over the years. Here are some general characteristics (tendencies, not absolutes) of foraging peoples:
- live on low energy budgets
- live in small groups of related persons (bands)
- informal, consensual decision-making
- egalitarian (equal across gender and status) social relations
- size and composition of groups influenced by resource availability and social tensions
- mobility as a way of adapting to resource fluctuation (i.e., bring people to food rather than the other way around)Horticulture: Refers to garden cultivation, a non-intensive planting based on cyclical and non-continuous use of crop lands. Horticulturalists primarily rely on domesticated foods, especially the region’s staple crop, though can be supplemented by hunting, fishing, and gathering. This method of subsistence is most often found in the humid tropics. There are huge differences between horticulture (small-scale) and agriculture (large-scale):
- horticulture does not make intensive use of land, labor, capital, or machinery. It uses simple tools like digging sticks, hoes, and machetes.
- Horticulture utilizes polyculture, also called multi-cropping, or the planting of different crops in the same field, is common. Crop rotation, or the use of multiple fields and switching what is grown in which field in order to maximize the use of nutrient in the soil, as well as allowing a plot to be left fallow for a period of time, is combined with slash and burn techniques which entails cutting down the natural growth in the fallow field, then burning it to return a fresh layer of nutrients to the soil.
- Horticulture provides a relatively low crop yield per acre of land due to the use of simple techniques and the general lack of techniques to improve productivity. Horticultural methods require much more land due to this.
- Horticulture allows for household self-sufficiency. Each household is usually capable of producing most of the food its members need. The production goal is for consumption rather than producing a surplus for trade.
- Both horticulture and agriculture are based on highly detailed environmental knowledge.Pastoralism: This does not refer to the literary movement of the same name, but instead of animal husbandry and the reliance on herds of domesticated animals. While a primarily old word adaptive strategy, it is still practiced among today’s traditional cultures. The types of animals which are herded depends upon the environment. A few common breeds are cattle, sheep, goats, camels, llama & alpaca, reindeer, yak, etc..Like foraging, pastoralism is usually found in areas of marginal agricultural content such as the semi-arid grasslands of East and West Africa, the deserts of the Middle East, and the mountainous regions of Southwest and Central Asia. Pastoralism enables the utilization of land where agriculture is impossible or too risky. A society’s sole specialization in pastoralism is relatively rare, though it can be seen among the Maasai of East Africa and the Fulani of West Africa. Most pastoralists engage in some cultivation or trade animal produce for agricultural commodities from sedentary farmers (those who stay in one place). For pastoralists, mobility is the key to success. A move may be triggered by a number of things, including:
There are two types of movement: horizontal migration which is regular movement over large areas in search of foraging materials; and transhumance, a seasonal movement of livestock between upland and lowland pastures. Transhumance is regularly practiced in mountainous regions where higher ground may become too cold in the winter, and lower ground too hot in the summer.
- ecological necessities such as new grazing lands or additional water supplies
- political factors such as the desire to maintain tribal autonomy (self-governing)
- personal considerations such as when conflict threatens a camp so families move to join another group
Pastoralists often mix species in herds to reduce the risk of loss to disease, drought, and raiding in the same way a gardener today will plant multiple types of trees to avoid losing all their trees should one type become infested with a plague or disease. Different animals will have different feeding habits, as well, allowing for some of the animals to find food anywhere along their route. There is also the more common consideration that different animals will produce different products. Small stock commonly provide meat while larger stock will provide milk.
In his 1924 article entitled “The East African Cattle Complex,” Melvill Herskovits discussed the relationship between herders and their herds, which has sometimes been misinterpreted as an irrational, emotional attachment to the animals. For pastoralists, livestock are more than utilitarian beasts and perform various functions including as part of bride wealth, blood wealth, and stock partnerships. Harold K. Schneider, an economic anthropologist who spent his fieldwork among the Pokot of Kenya and the Wahi Wanyaturu of Tanzania asserted that livestock were frequently regarded as a form of currency. Pastoralist views on livestock matched many of the qualities that economists attribute to money: portable, divisible, interest-bearing, and constitute a store of wealth as well as a means of exchange.
Herds are usually owned by families or kinship groups, but the grazing territory is held collectively by the tribe. Today, necessity has forced many pastoralist groups to engage in market exchanges with members of neighboring societies. These market exchanges have been the means of transitioning from pastoralism to a sedentary, settled lifestyle.
How does this help a writer? Once you’ve decided the environment, the next step in culture building is population, subsistence, with political structure closely following. Your culture’s subsistence method is intrinsically tied to the environment they’re existing in. You’re not going to have a foragers in places where agriculture is better suited. But you’re also not going to have agriculture where the soil is bad, or they have no trade partners and therefore no need for a surplus. That’s where horticulture would come in. Knowing a bit about a few of the types of subsistence methods out there will help you think through why your culture does what they do.
We’ll talk about political structuring in future posts.
For The Masses:
This is an accessory store where everything is $1.
They even have cosmetics! brushes, lipstick, and lashes as well as cute socks and panties!!
Because I know some of you lovelies are glam but poor. It’s good for your mental health to do something nice, even if it’s cheap as dirt.
Myths, Creatures, and Folklore
Want to create a religion for your fictional world? Here are some references and resources!
- General Folklore
- Various Folktales
- Weather Folklore
- Trees in Mythology
- Animals in Mythology
- Birds in Mythology
- Flowers in Mythology
- Fruit in Mythology
- Plants in Mythology
- Folktales from Around the World
- Egyptian Mythology
- African Mythology
- More African Mythology
- Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
- The Gods of Africa
- Even More African Mythology
- West African Mythology
- All About African Mythology
- African Mythical Creatures
- Gods and Goddesses
- Aztec Mythology
- Haitian Mythology
- Inca Mythology
- Maya Mythology
- Native American Mythology
- More Inca Mythology
- More Native American Mythology
- South American Mythical Creatures
- North American Mythical Creatures
- Aztec Gods and Goddesses
- Chinese Mythology
- Hindu Mythology
- Japanese Mythology
- Korean Mythology
- More Japanese Mythology
- Chinese and Japanese Mythical Creatures
- Indian Mythical Creatures
- Chinese Gods and Goddesses
- Hindu Gods and Goddesses
- Korean Gods and Goddesses
- Basque Mythology
- Celtic Mythology
- Etruscan Mythology
- Greek Mythology
- Latvian Mythology
- Norse Mythology
- Roman Mythology
- Arthurian Legends
- Celtic Gods and Goddesses
- Gods and Goddesses of the Celtic Lands
- Finnish Mythology
- Celtic Mythical Creatures
- Gods and Goddesses
- Islamic Mythology
- Judaic Mythology
- Mesopotamian Mythology
- Persian Mythology
- Middle Eastern Mythical Creatures
- Aboriginal Mythology
- Polynesian Mythology
- More Polynesian Mythology
- Mythology of the Polynesian Islands
- Melanesian Mythology
- Massive Polynesian Mythology Post
- Maori Mythical Creatures
- Hawaiian Gods and Goddesses
- Hawaiian Goddesses
- Gods and Goddesses
Creating a Fantasy Religion:
- Creating Part 1
- Creating Part 2
- Creating Part 3
- Creating Part 4
- Fantasy Religion Design Guide
- Using Religion in Fantasy
- Religion in Fantasy
- Creating Fantasy Worlds
- Beliefs in Fantasy
MALEFICENT MAKES A MASTERLIST: MAGIC RESOURCES.
Magical Powers (i.g. Superpowers, mutations, etc.)
Magical Spells, Charms, and Curses
- Ultimate Magic Spells
- List of Spells in Harry Potter
- Encyclopedia of Spells in Harry Potter
- List of Magical Spells and Charms
- List of Magical Charms
- List of Fablehavens Magical Creatures
- Magical Creatures and Beings
- List of Legendary Creatures
- Mythical Creatures Guide
- The Phoenixian Book of Creatures
- Mythical Creatures and Beasts
My personal favorites, magical/fantasy generators.
- Fantasy Name Generator
- Seventh Sanctum
- Rink Works
- Fantasy Name Gen
- Serendipity Fantasy Name Generator
Remember, though, always try to be as creative as possible and try to create your own names for things! Latin is commonly used and twisted to create different names for places, spells, and more. Here are a few sites to get the juices flowing.
Talk about yer damn feelings, people
Notes from reading one too many romances with inorganic tension because the leads won’t just talk to each other oh my god. But some of these go for nonromantic plots too — and it sure would be great to see more that did. Always write stories that give nonromantic relationships the weight they actually deserve!
I love angst, I love dramatic reveals, I love emotionally constipated characters, I love all the things that usually accompany a “use your words” plot. But it is incredibly frustrating when the problem a character is creating becomes so much bigger than the problem they’re avoiding. So, as soon as your character begins to be unhappy because they have a feeling they “cannot” express, please consider:
Reasons for a character not to talk about their feelings with the object of said feelings that can be strong enough to drive an entire plot
- Feelings which are inappropriate to the situation (usually romantic):
- In-laws, lovers of friends, etc
- Enemies. Not rivals; rivalry is personal and surmountable. Enemies, who have third parties invested in them staying enemies, thank you very much
- Well-founded (even if ultimately inaccurate) fear that doing so will negatively and seriously affect a valued relationship, romantic or otherwise:
- Founded in social norms: “I can’t tell you I love you; we’re both women” (this isn’t fear of third-party consequences; that there would be an ordinary plot problem. this section is purely about the object’s reaction)
- Founded in experience: “I can’t tell you I love you; I’m not lovable” (i.e. abuse. use with extreme caution)
- Founded in the other person’s prior behavior, if done very convincingly: “I can’t tell you I love you; I tried [more than] once and you shut me down”
- Founded in straight-up common sense: “I did a legitimately bad thing and you will think badly of me if I tell you my feelings about this”
- Doomed circumstance
- We’ll never see each other again, so let’s not admit how sad that is
Reasons for a character not to talk about their feelings with the object of said feelings that are strong enough to contribute to dramatic tension, but really can’t drive an entire plot
- Characteristic reticence
- Reticence is essentially a personality trait, but it probably came from somewhere, and it definitely manifests differently depending on the character’s background
- Class conditioning (comes in many varieties): stiff upper lip, Stepford wifeliness, aristocratic dignity; toughness, survival mechanisms, nobody-cares-so-don’t-whine; etc
- Gender conditioning (mostly masculine, but not exclusively): boys don’t cry, don’t be a wimp, strength is silence, etc
- Habit: politicians or diplomats, the solitary, those with authority
- Inexperience and/or youth
- "I don’t even know what I am feeling”
- "I’ve never done this before and don’t know how"
Reasons for a character not to talk about their feelings with the object of said feelings that just make everyone roll their eyes and want to smack them
- Spite, pride, anger
- This is where rivalry belongs
- "I’m too Cool And Independent to love you" (not to be confused with straight-up common sense: a woman who fears marriage will stifle her independence isn’t being prideful. A character whose reputation or self-identification hinges on not admitting something, absent any other reason on this list, is. Danny Zuko, I’m looking at you.)
- Withholding affection out of anger is understandable short-term, childish medium-term, and abusive long-term
- Use these if you want the character to look bad, of course!
- Laughably ill-founded fear of rejection
- There’s no stigma, nobody’s committed any major sin, everybody’s in a relatively healthy mental place, and the other person’s given no strong negative signs
- And if you sat down and thought it through for ten seconds with a little bit of empathy, you’d probably figure out why they did you give that negative signal that one time
Pleaaaaaase, writers of romance and fanfic, understand that purely emotion-driven plots are really hard to do and try to avoid milking more tension out of a given situation than it can actually sustain. That is how drama becomes melodrama. At best.
Have I forgotten any common tropes? Anybody have examples of stories that break my half-baked hastily-crafted ill-thought-out rules?
DIY Potion and Spell Book Tutorial from Better After. This is a really good tutorial using plastic toys, glue gun, cardstock and paper towels. This FIY is based on a tutorial by SEEING THINGS - my favorite Halloween Blog that had great printables and tutorials and is now DEAD & GONE. This is why if I see a printable I like, I don’t wait unitl later to download it.
~This would also be a nice tutorial for an actual spell book instead of just a decoration.