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Created Works Round-Up: January 2024

A banner that reads "Created Works Round Up: January." In the upper left corner is the Duck Prints Press logo with a rainbow of duck prints around the left and bottom of it. On the right is the Dux mascot, a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet and a pleased expression on their face.

Duck Prints Press’s monthly “created works round-ups” are our opportunity to spotlight some of the amazing work that people working with us have done that ISN’T linked to their work with Duck Prints Press. We include fanworks, outside publications, and anything else that creators feel like sharing with y’all. Inclusion is voluntary and includes anything that they decided “hey, I want to put this on the created work’s round-up!”

Check out what they’ve shared with us this month…


cruel forgiveness by Cedar McCafferty-Svec

art || transformers || m/m || idw rodimus prime/armada megatron || teen & up || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: Digital drawing of IDW Rodimus and Armada Megatron based off a scene from a roleplay server on dreamwidth. Megatron is faking his own death and making Rodimus watch.

other tags: self harm, canon mashup, based on roleplay

TUMBLRLINK


Stay by Smehur

art || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || mature || no major warnings apply || complete

TUMBLRTWITTER


Astarion by Smehur

art || baldur’s gate 3 || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: This started as a silly colored pencil doodle and ended up my best drawing so far. Anyway, I love him.

TUMBLRTWITTER


A Godsdamn Kraken by Smehur

fiction || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || mature || no major warnings apply || 7,760 || complete

summary: Astarion and Tav met before the events of the game – and immediately got in trouble.

AO3


Self Help & Writing Advice by Tris Lawrence

blog post || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 781 || complete

summary: I don’t like self-help books. Which means I often don’t like writing advice books.

Which sucks because I really want to like both of them. I am positive there are things I could learn from them.

TUMBLRPILLOWFORTLINK


ND Creative: Time, Focus, Organization by Tris Lawrence

blog post, nd creative series || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 957 || complete

summary: Time, focus, and organization can be complicated things as an ND creative.

TUMBLRPILLOWFORTLINK


Things I Thought Were Mine by enchantedsleeper

fiction || fence comics || m/m || nicholas cox/seiji katayama || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 9,235 || complete

summary: Nicholas, Seiji, and the King’s Row team are invited by Jesse Coste to join him at an exclusive summer retreat for elite fencers at the Coste residence. Surrounded by reminders of the life he could have had, and with Jesse determined to pick up where he and Seiji left off, can Nicholas survive the week without some closely-held secrets bubbling to the surface?

other tags: Canon divergence AU, hurt/comfort

AO3


a dream or two (away from you) by enchantedsleeper

fiction || fence comics || m/m || aiden kane/harvard lee || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 8,845 || complete

summary: Everyone knows that magic isn’t real. Never mind that Aiden, crown prince of Feldhaven, has been having strange dreams from a young age in which he meets and plays with a young boy from a far-away kingdom.

He can’t explain it, but he isn’t concerned – until years later, when an eighteen-year-old Aiden is suddenly introduced to the new Captain of the Guard: Harvard Lee. The boy from his dreams.

other tags: mediaeval fantasy AU, slightly handwavey dream magic, friends to lovers

TUMBLRAO3


You Make Sense of the Devil by Hermit

fiction || mcu, criminal minds || m/m, f/m, poly (multiple genders) || james “bucky” barnes/emily prentiss, james “bucky” barnes/steve rogers || mature || rape/non-con || 15,772 || complete

summary: A ghost from the BAU past reappears and drags up unfinished business for Aaron Hotchner. The ripples are enough to call back missing team members and spread well beyond the circle of his influence.

other tags: Timeline What Timeline, MCU fusion, Criminal Minds fusion, liberties were taken with the legal system, Case Fic, No One Is Okay, canon typical trauma, Past Rape/Non-con, Flashback, discussion of trauma, Implied Polycule

AO3


Tremble by Tal

fiction || link click || m/m || cheng xiaoshi/lu guang || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 2,096 || complete

summary: Cheng Xiaoshi has a bad time in a photo. Lu Guang is there in the aftermath.

other tags: Hurt/Comfort

AO3


Phase Shift by Terra P. Waters

fiction || original work || platonic or familial, f/m || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 99,500 || ongoing series

summary: Despite being a self-professed science geek, high school freshman Camilla Mitchell has had a secret imaginary friend for years. It comes as quite a shock when said friend, Emma, accidentally drags her into a dimension full of hostile telepathic creatures. Cam’s friends, her brother, Oliver, and her mother, Kathryn, work furiously to solve her disappearance and bring her home. Other members of their small Minnesota town disappear, one after the other, including Lizzy Becker’s best friend, who is ripped from her arms. Lizzy badgers loner Oliver into working with her to rescue their missing loved ones. They discover a bridge between the two worlds—a bridge that allows the hostile creatures from Cam’s newly-discovered dimension into ours. If there’s a bridge, there’s a way to rescue the people taken. Right?

other tags: Tags: science fiction, alternate dimensions, teen characters, friendship, bisexual main character (minor references), lesbian character, nonbinary character, aliens; Content warnings: disordered eating, emetophobia, child abuse mention, homophobic bullying, teen characters in danger, gun violence, physical violence, abduction

TUMBLRPILLOWFORTLINK


The Last Drop Cafe by Terra P. Waters

fiction || stranger things || poly (multiple genders) || jonathan byers/chrissy cunningham/steve harrington/nancy wheeler || explicit || creator choses not to use warnings || 77,500 || complete

summary: Nancy Wheeler is in her last year of college, about to graduate with her journalism degree. She’s just working as a barista at The Last Drop Cafe until she can find a real journalism job. She loves her boyfriend, Jonathan, though there’s been some tension lately, and she’s not quite sure how long the relationship is going to last. At least she lives above the coffee shop, which makes rolling out of bed at five in the morning to go to work slightly more tolerable. Her upstairs neighbors, Steve and Chrissy, are newlyweds eager to start their family. When a case of sleep deprivation and mistaken identity ties the two couples together, things quickly get complicated. But maybe complicated is just what Nancy was looking for.

other tags: Coffee Shop AU, College AU, Mistaken Identity, Polyamory, Somnophilia, Accidental Non-con, Unplanned Pregnancy, Birth, Hospitals

AO3


Phase Shift by Terra P. Waters

fiction || original work || platonic or familial, f/m, f/nb || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 99,500 || complete

summary: Despite being a self-professed science geek, high school freshman Camilla Mitchell has had a secret imaginary friend for years. It comes as quite a shock when said friend, Emma, accidentally drags her into a dimension full of hostile telepathic creatures. Cam’s friends, her brother, Oliver, and her mother, Kathryn, work furiously to solve her disappearance and bring her home. Other members of their small Minnesota town disappear, one after the other, including Lizzy Becker’s best friend, who is ripped from her arms. Lizzy badgers loner Oliver into working with her to rescue their missing loved ones. They discover a bridge between the two worlds—a bridge that allows the hostile creatures from Cam’s newly-discovered dimension into ours. If there’s a bridge, there’s a way to rescue the people taken. Right?

other tags: Science Fiction, Horror, Aliens, Teen characters, Alternate dimensions, Friendship, LGBTQ+ characters, Hearing Impaired Character, Eating Disorder, Child Abuse, Gun Violence, Kidnapping, Teenaged Characters in Peril, Minor Character Death

TUMBLRLINK


Prayers of Descent by unforth

fiction || tian guan ci fu || m/m || hua cheng/xie lian || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 1,648 || complete

summary: After 800 years in the Heavenly Court, Xie Lian receives a prayer with a simple request: “can I see you, your highness, just one more time?”

other tags: Canon Divergence, Jun Wu/Xie Lian

AO3

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Aether Beyond the Binary: Final 48 Hours

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for our anthology Aether Beyond the Binary, featuring 17 stories of non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, and other outside-the-binary characters living in modern aetherpunk settings, has entered our final two days of funding! And we’ve crossed our funding goal (after a scare with a fake pledge that has made things…uh…interesting)!!

It’s not too late to get your copy of this awesome collection made by our very queer press by our very queer contributors. We wrap on January 25th at 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

Learn more about Aether Beyond the Binary now by visiting the Kickstarter campaign, or read on for more info…

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology (two people of indeterminate gender doing science, one with a flower hovering over their hand, the other holding a tablet), the sky whale enamel pin (a green whale flying through a cloudy purple night sky, the non-binary symbol balancing from its mouth), the aether dux sticker (a duck with a blue mohawk, choker necklace and a harness securing crystal wings to their torso), the plant-watering robot holographic sticker (a cute flying robot watering a tropical potted plant), and the aether musician bookmark (a young white person playing the guitar, magical swirls in the non-binary pride colors dancing around them).

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this oh-so-different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

Aether Beyond the Binary features 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words. We aim to publish it as an e-book (ePub and PDF), and to print it digest size, 5.5 in x 8.5 in (14 cm x 21.5 cm) in both trade paperback and hardcover formats. Aether Beyond the Binary also features a spectacular wrap-around cover by non-binary artist Mar Spragge; this will be printed as a lovely gloss dust jacket for the hardcover edition. 

Curious about the project? You can learn way more by visiting the campaign page or by checking out our other blog posts about it to learn more about our merch and contributors and read excerpts, creator interviews, and more:

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Back the Aether Beyond the Binary Kickstarter Campaign!

The cover for the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Duck Prints Press is thrilled to announce that the crowdfunding campaign for science-fantasy gender-diverse sixth anthology Aether Beyond the Binary is now live on Kickstarter!

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or barely changed, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether. This power source may replace technology, supplement it, or oppose it. These characters may be agender, genderfluid, bigender, or any other non-binary identity. The thread that these tales share is exploration: of the world around them and of the self. We propose no conclusions; instead, we demonstrate how far-reaching the questions are and how expansive the range of possible answers can be, thereby broadening the discussion about the nature of gender and the place of genderqueer characters in science-fantasy fiction. We hope you’ll join us to explore the endless possibilities of these magical worlds.

This anthology includes 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words, by our diverse fancreators-turned-original-fiction-authors, gorgeous artwork by Mar Spragge, Pippin Peacock, Alessa Riel, and Atomic Pixies, amazing merchandise, and awesome add-on extras.

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology, the sky whale enamel pin, the aether dux sticker, the plant-watering robot holographic sticker, and the aether musician bookmark.

Looking for the perfect post-holiday purchase? Look no further! Get awesome, gorgeous stuff, a fantastic, erudite book, and support queer indie publishing – become a backer of the Aether Beyond the Binary crowdfunding campaign TODAY!

Campaign ends January 25th, 2024.

Patreon backers who support the crowdfunding campaign can also get an excellent extra: the adorable plant-watering backer as a key chain! So there’s no time like the present to back us on Patreon, too!

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Pre-Orders Now Open for “Many Drops Make a Stream” by Adrian Harley!

Pre-orders for Adrian Harley’s debut sapphic fantasy novel Many Drops Make a Stream are now open!

A memory-stealing cult.
The ever-watchful City of Eyes.
Making small talk.

Join Droplet as she faces all these horrors and more…

Vigilante shapeshifter Droplet has trained her entire life to take down those with more power than scruples, but she still makes mistakes. When a rescue mission goes wrong, a memory-stealing cult of blood mages escapes with kidnapped captives in tow. To save them, Droplet reluctantly teams up with the outgoing, tenacious Azera. Droplet knows better than to trust a human—she made that mistake once, and that person’s betrayal scattered her community across the known world—and she can tell Azera is hiding secrets behind her sunny smile. But if they can’t learn to work together, even Droplet’s own memories could be lost.

Many Drops Make a Stream, Adrian Harley’s debut novel, is the stand-alone first book in a series of related fantasy-mystery-heists featuring the shapeshifter Droplet and the friends and found family who work alongside her to fight the corrupt powers-that-be. Many Drops Make a Stream is rated general (adult) audiences and features shapeshifting shenanigans, a nascent f/f quarrelers-to-lovers pre-relationship, a wonderful extended cast of family and pseudo-family, necromancy and blood magic and spellwork (oh my!), and one (1) very angry goose.

For this campaign, we’re offering:

Better yet, you can get a discount by picking one of three bundles:

You can learn all about the book, the author, the campaign, and our offerings by visiting the pre-order page NOW!

Want a chance to win a trade paperback copy of Many Drops Make a Stream? Help us spread the word about this campaign by liking and signal boosting our posts on any of our platforms that including “sharing” functionality (such as Tumblr, Mastodon, Bluesky, and Facebook), and you can get up to 4 entries per platform where you share!*

Campaign backers will also get bonuses based on the number of signal boosts our posts receive! All the social media links for sharing are on the linked pre-order page, so help us tell the world about the awesome book, and who knows – you might win a copy! (But only if we fund, ’cause we can’t afford to print the book if we don’t fund, so help us make sure people who want to buy The Awesome learn that The Awesome exists!)

*sweepstakes rules and conditions
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“He Bears the Cape of Stars” and “She Wears the Midnight Crown” Books and Merchandise Now on Sale!

Duck Prints Press’s anthologies He Bears the Cape of Stars and She Wears the Midnight Crown, featuring 34 stories by 34 authors exploring the potential for mlm and wlw relationships growing and changing during unusual masquerades, are now available! From science fiction to fantasy to modern to historical, these anthologies take the reader to many different settings, with larger-than-life characters exploring the world around them, the people they meet, and themselves! The casts are as diverse as Pride itself, and whether they’re looking for love, a second chance, a companion, or a friend, these books have a little bit of everything!

HE BEARS THE CAPE OF STARS, featuring 17 mlm stories, is available for sale on:

The Duck Prints Press Website | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

SHE WEARS THE MIDNIGHT CROWN, featuring 17 wlw stories, is available for sale on:

The Duck Prints Press Website | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

…and many other major e-book sales platforms! And you can request your library purchase it through the e-book lending program of their choice!

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

Extra merchandise from the masquerade anthologies crowdfunding campaign is now on sale too! Did you miss the campaign? Are you dying for an amazing tote bag, a gorgeous bookmark, an aromatic candle, a glossy sticker or two, a new patch, or some lovely queer art for your walls? You can get this merch, and lots of merch from our past campaigns, from our website NOW!

She Wears the Midnight Crown merchandise: art print | bookmark | dux sticker

He Bears the Cape of Stars merchandise: art print | bookmark | dux sticker

Other campaign merchandise: chibi masquerade patch | scented candle | tote bag

Was there campaign merch you wanted that’s not available on our store? We have very limited quantities left of our enamel pins, and we have a whole heck of a lot of seconds (as in, damaged copies) of the print books! If your interested, feel free to drop us a line on any of our social media platforms or at info at duckprintspress dot com – we’d be delighted to hook you up!

Come now to the Duck Prints Press website and GET YOUR BOOK ON! You’re not going to want to miss these amazing collections or any of the gorgeous merch!

(and if you can help us spread the word by sharing this post, we’d appreciate it a lot, too!)

Who we are: Duck Prints Press LLC is an independent publisher based in New York State. Our founding vision is to help fanfiction authors navigate the complex process of bringing their original works from first draft to print, culminating in publishing their work under our imprint. We are particularly dedicated to working with queer authors and publishing stories featuring characters from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Love what we do? Want to make sure you don’t miss the announcement for future giveaways? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and get previews, behind-the-scenes information, coupons, and more!

Want to support the Press, read about us behind-the-scenes, learn about what’s coming down the pipeline, get exclusive teasers, claim free stories, and get backer-exclusive extras when you support our crowdfunding campaigns? Back us on Patreon or ko-fi monthly!

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Celebrating Thesaurus Day

Today is Thesaurus Day! To celebrate, we asked our crew of blog contributors to share their favorite common word and synonym of it. Take a walk through some fabulous words with us…


Our first synonym was offered by Hermit.

slubberdegullion (noun): a dirty rascal, scoundrel, wretch


Our second synonym was offered by Nina Waters (it’s me!).

bemused (adjective): confused, bewildered


Our third synonym was offered by Tris Lawrence.

ubiquitous (adjective): omnipresent, widespread


Our fourth synonym was offered by EC.

holler (noun): a shout, a cry; a small valley (dialectical)


Our fifth synonym was offered by Sebastian Marie.

harangue (noun): a rant, a lecture


Our sixth synonym was offered by Alessa Riel.

epiphany (noun): an illuminating revelation.


Our seventh synonym was offered by annabethlynch (@annabethlynch).

pulchritudinous (adjective): beautiful, alluring


Our eighth synonym was offered by boneturtle.

fell (noun, adjective): a moor (n.); sinister (adj.)


Our ninth synonym was offered by R. L. Houck (who has a story coming out this Saturday, by the by…).

rebuke (verb): reprimand


Our tenth (and, sadly, last) synonym was offered by Adrian Harley.

rapscallion (noun): rascal, ne’er-do-well


What are your favorite synonyms? We’d love to hear!

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“And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing'” – Now Available in Our Webstore!

Did you miss our crowdfunding campaign for And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”? Was there merch you wanted that you didn’t get? Have you been eagerly awaiting it’s arrival in our webstore (haven’t we all been?)? Well YOUR TIME HAS COME!

In And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, 16 authors and 16 artists have come together to create an exquisite, full-color collection of artwork and stories inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing. We encouraged contributors to stretch their imaginations, think outside the box, and put their own unique—and queer—twists on Benedick, Beatrice, Hero, Claudio, Don Pedro, and the whole gang! In true Shakespearean fashion, our creators utilize gender, sexuality, romanticism, and a host of costume changes to tell unique artworks and stories—some featuring original characters, some characters from the play—that show Shakespeare’s work in a whole new light.

And now, you can get your very own e-book copy from our webstore! Only $9.99 for 16 phenomenal stories and 20 gorgeous art pieces!

We’ve also listed four merchandise items from the original crowdfunding campaign that we have extras of – if you want ‘um, you’d better grab ‘um, because once these extras are sold out, we will never be making more!

Art Prints of the Front Cover

(featuring the gorgeous artwork by Gio Guimarães in all it’s colorful, queer glory!)


Art Prints of the Back Cover

(featuring even more of Gio Guimarães‘s wonderful work!)


“Taming My Wild Heart to thy Loving Hand” Bookmark

(with artwork by Alicia Matheson and the signatures of our contributors!)


Bard Dux Sticker

(created by Alessa Riel)


Don’t Miss Out! Visit Our Store Today!

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Wondering What We’re Working On?

Well, wonder no more!

A week ago (Sunday, August 28th, 2022) we held our second-ever all-server meeting – a now-monthly event inaugurated in July, where everyone involved with Duck Prints Press (authors, artists, designers, ko-fi/Patreon monthly backers, etc.) is invited to jump into a channel on our Discord, listen to some updates on our current projects and upcoming plans, and ask questions, comment, make suggestions, and generally get more involved! At the meeting, many people indicated that they wanted a better idea of what the Press staff are actually doing, on a day-to-day basis, and @hermit-writes (WordPress) suggested it would be easy for us to set up a public-facing Trello board, especially because we already use Trello to do most of our behind-the-scenes task organization/management. We opened that up to a general vote and the response was overwhelming, YES WE WANT TO KNOW! So, with Hermit’s help, the thing is now done – and y’all can see too!

As part of Duck Prints Press’s ongoing commitment to transparency, we present you: a Trello board listing what we’re working on and project status, available for everyone to see!

This Trello board includes all of our current projects and short-term plans (roughly the next quarter-or-so), and the status of individual tasks associated with the project. You do not need a Trello account to view it. We expect to add a calendar component to it too (transferring our existing, rather bare-bones, Google Calendar into the Trello so that everything is in one place). We encourage you to take a peek and keep an eye on what we’re up to and how we’re progressing!

As always, we’re here to provide information to our contributors, staff, readership, curious public, really everyone involved in the Press in anyway – so always feel free to let us know if you have questions, comments, feedback, etc.

(and – want to support what we do? we heart our monthly supporters on ko-fi and Patreon, and we’d love to have you, yes YOU, on board too!)

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Now Live: Duck Prints Press’s Third Crowd-funding Campaign!

Duck Prints Press LLC is over the moon to share our next to anthologies with you: She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars!

These two anthologies share a common theme – masquerades – and each features different kinds of relationships. She Wears the Midnight Crown contains 18 wlw stories; He Bears the Cape of Stars contains 18 mlm stories. Both collections tell myriad stories exploring how these characters’ relationships develop, grow, and change while they attend or participate in masquerades!

Our 36 contributors have stretched their imaginations to present innovative stories exploring what a masquerade can be…and, of course, tell rich, engaging tales of wonderful queer folk finding love, companionship, acceptance, the queer platonic relationship of their dreams, or the found family they deserve. The collected works feature characters in all the colors of the Pride rainbow, queer and genderqueer, and these diverse individuals inhabit worlds ranging from science fiction settings where everyone must be masked to breathe, to fantasies where no one wears a literal mask but everyone shows the world a false guise, to iterations of the real world where some people lean into deception.

You’re definitely not going to want to miss it – you can buy one book or both books, some merch, or all merch – we’ve got 8 backer levels to help you get exactly what you want!

We’d love for you to attend the masquerade! Don your mask and read on…

The Seed&Spark Campaign for She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars runs from now through July 14th, 2022!

Go Forth, and Back It Now!

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Solicited Brilliance

Hey everyone! This is Aria, one of the resident fandom olds here to bring you a guest blog post this week. The topic is near and dear to my heart, so let’s dive straight into talking about that ever-ominous thundercloud – Writing Advice! 

Writing advice is a tricky subject for many authors – what works for one clearly doesn’t work for another, and what’s essential for one genre might not even apply to another genre . (Certain authors can pry adverbs from my cold, dead hands.) It doesn’t matter who is offering it, where, or when: it is an industry truism that writing advice is as varied as writers themselves. 

With that in mind, I asked ten different authors for writing advice, in the hope to highlight just how different we all are, even when approaching the same question.

The question I posed to everyone individually (so no one would get worried if they gave the same answer), was as follows: What is one piece of writing/writerly advice you hold as a Universal Constant? That no matter what you are writing or what you are working on still holds true?

As I hoped, the advice is as varied as the authors are!


@nottesilhouette:

Hmm I think for me, the Universal Constant is that [my writing has] got to make me feel good. Not necessarily happy, because I’ve definitely written through tears before, but it’s got to make me feel…satisfied, or give me catharsis, or lead me towards a goal I’m passionate about (looking at you, med school essays!). 

Even if [my writing is] for school, getting things done feels good, and for creative writing, I want to feel like I’ve stretched my writing brain or accomplished something cool — if I’m not getting that feeling, it’s time for a break and maybe a new plan of attack.


Hermit:

“You can’t think your way out of a writer’s block. Most of the time you need to write yourself out of a thinking block.” – John Rogers

When a story is fighting me this is often the solution. Either the scene is going against the characterization, the characters are lacking agency/being too passive, or I went wrong three sentences back; the answer to getting the story flowing is to write it differently and see how that feels. Rather than try to force an existing scene by coming up with better justification for an OOC (Out of Character) passage or diving into a new research rabbit hole.


Shadaras:

I don’t know where this advice first came from (it’s one of those things that just gets passed around until it’s from the general writer mindscape, especially in fandom spaces), but this is the advice I tend to ground myself in: “Write what you want to read.” What that means can vary depending on context, of course, but it gives a guiding point to return to when I’m stuck. 

The thing I want to read could be a specific character dynamic, or leaning into descriptions of the environment, or a plot beat I really want to hit, or even (in a nonfiction context) just the clearest explanation of an event/rule I know how to give. Writing what I want to read means that I’m going to enjoy myself more, and that means that I’m going to be able to write much more easily, and that makes it more likely I’ll finish stories and be able to share them with other people – and then I can find people who like the same things in stories I do, and we all win!


Annabeth Lynch:

The most constant advice that I really try to keep in mind is that sure, someone else may have written it, but not you. Everyone has unique experiences, and that makes your writing unique. No one can write something the exact way you would. It’s my favorite advice I’ve ever gotten, and I feel that it’s always relevant.


@ts-knight:

Writing by habit is often easier than waiting for the muse. When I feel out of practice in my writing, I find that starting again is an uphill climb, but setting a daily goal helps me get back into the flow. That goal could be just writing at all or a certain (achievable) number of words. That way, I know I’ve reached the goal not when I’ve hit a certain quality of writing, but when I sat down at the keys. Exercising my writing muscles (even when I’m afraid to) makes the creativity flow so much better than avoiding the ominous blank page!


@mad-madam-m:

[My writing advice is] that you have to finish. And I don’t mean that you have to finish everything that you write; I’ve got easily a dozen stories or more that are either unfinished or never made it past the first draft. But if you’re writing with the goal of sharing your stories with an audience, be that via fanfic or original fiction or what have you, I really think one of the best things you can do is learn to finish them. This quote about it in particular is one that I’ve held close to my heart for years:

“Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don’t talk about doing it. Do it. Finish.” — E. L. Konigsburg 


Sanne Burg:

I think my universal constant is that I write because I want to write, and I create for myself. That means not caring what other people think of the topics I write [about], as long as I’m behind whatever it is I’m writing. (It also means that I know when I’m forcing it and that I need to stop when writing becomes a chore rather than something for fun or a hobby.)


@theleakypen:

I think the one [piece of writing advice] that has been truest for me, regardless of what I’m working on, is that if something isn’t working [I should] step away from it for a bit and go work on something else. Usually if there’s a problem, I need to let it percolate in the back of my head instead of banging my head against a wall.


ThePornFairy:

Focus on the feeling. If you can write the feeling so that it’s filling you from the tips of your toes to the hair on your head, then you’re on the right track. People don’t care half as much about the setting and wording as they do about the feeling. 

When people say “step inside your character”, I think what they mean is “let your character feel and feel along with them until feelings come out on your page and stab your reader’s eyeballs until they’re feeling right along with you.” Everything else can be edited later, as long as you capture and express the emotions.


@tryslora:

Fall in love with your characters. If you don’t love them, no one else will. And yes, this includes the antagonists and every single side character. And while you’re doing that, remember that every single character thinks they are the star of their own narrative, so let them tell you what it is, even if it’s not the main storyline. Let them come alive.


Wonderfully said, everyone! I’m going to add my answer to the question as well, because sometimes, I’ve needed this reminder far more than I’ll admit! 

@arialerendeair:

Don’t be afraid to write badly. Or poorly, or lazily. (Take that, Mr. Adverb-Hater.) There is a freedom I never realized before in allowing myself to write “badly:” to overuse certain words, phrases, and even styles as I write my rough draft. When I remember not to focus on the minutiae of a story, I can focus on the bigger problems, and fix the small ones later. Once the words are on the page, they can be fixed, but they have to be put on the page first. Write badly, edit, learn, get better, and write again. 

Writing advice as a topic is a mix of controversial and contradictory; all advice should be applied in moderation rather than treated as an endless stream of syrup being poured over a stack of pancakes. (And now I want pancakes…) It’s always all right if advice doesn’t apply to you – but understanding why the advice is given is important. There are other authors out there who might need the advice that isn’t right for you.

When I set out to write this blog post, I had two goals. The first was I wanted to highlight how varied writing advice and tips can be. The second one was for everyone reading it to walk away with one piece of advice that they could hold to heart because it fit them. I accomplished the first, but the second is entirely up to every author reading this. 

The one consistent theme through all of this advice comes down to two words: Keep Writing. Whether that’s daydreaming about your story or putting the words down on the page, write. 

Keep writing. 

Last, but not least, I’ll leave you all with the same question, because I know there are more answers out there that we all would love to hear:

What is one piece of writing/writerly advice you hold as a Universal Constant? That no matter what you are writing, what you are working on, still holds true.

Stay sassy, everyone!