OKAY SO ALMOST 2 MONTHS AGO OUR ENGLISH TEACHER FORCED US TO ENTER A POETRY CONTEST AND I WAS ABOUT TO ENTER A POEM WHEN IT TRIED TO FORCE ME TO GIVE IT A TITLE SO IN A FIT OF RAGE I WROTE A NEW POEM COMPLAINING ABOUT THE TITLE REQUIREMENT
AND TODAY I WENT TO CHECK MY EMAIL AND I??????
YOU ARE LITERALLY PUBLISHING AN INSULT TO YOUR OWN RULES BUT OKAY I GUESS IF GETTING TALKED DOWN TO TURNS YOU ON SOMEHOW AND I GET PUBLISHED I’VE GOT NO COMPLAINTS HERE?
We discussed the issue of describing People of Color by means of food in Part I of this guide, which brought rise to even more questions, mostly along the lines of “So, if food’s not an option, what can I use?” Well, I was just getting to that!
This final portion focuses on describing skin tone, with photo and passage examples provided throughout. I hope to cover everything from the use of straight-forward description to the more creatively-inclined, keeping in mind the questions we’ve received on this topic.
So let’s get to it.
S T A N D A R D D E S C R I P T I O N
B a s i c C o l o r s
Pictured above: Black, Brown, Beige, White, Pink.
"She had brown skin.”
- This is a perfectly fine description that, while not providing the most detail, works well and will never become cliché.
- Describing characters’ skin as simply brown or beige works on its own, though it’s not particularly telling just from the range in brown alone.
C o m p l e x C o l o r s
These are more rarely used words that actually “mean” their color. Some of these have multiple meanings, so you’ll want to look into those to determine what other associations a word might have.
Some of my favorite books from my collection. Hope you enjoy and find an artist you enjoy!
Posting it on this blog because illustrators of children’s books are so often overlooked, and deserve the same praise than any other type of artist.
You only have to worry about genre when you’re trying to write a smaller, more specific genre (such as steampunk) or when you’re trying to sell your story.
Don’t worry what genre it is right now. If you do want to write a medieval fantasy, you’ll have to research the time period and culture you’re writing about (even if you make up a place you’ll have to research some stuff) and read a lot of medieval fantasy.
However, here is a list of fantasy genres (keep in mind that many fantasy novels can fit into more than one category):
- Alternate World: A setting that is not our world, but may be similar. This can include a character traveling to another world or a setting that is simply an alternate version of ours.
- Arabian: Fantasy that is based in or on the Middle East and North Africa. This also includes folk tales and epic poems, which make up the majority of this genre.
- Arthurian: Set in Camelot (most of the time) and deals with Arthurian mythology and legends.
- Celtic: Fantasy that is based on the Celtic people and culture, most often post La Tene culture.
- Christian: This genre has Christian themes and elements alongside fantasy elements.
- Classical: Based on Roman and Greek myths. Sometimes it includes Kemetism.
- Contemporary/Modern: This genre takes place in modern society in which paranormal and magical creatures live among us. An example would be the Harry Potter series.
- Dark: This genre combines fantasy and horror elements. The tone or feel of dark fantasy is often gloomy, bleak, and gothic.
- Epic: This genre is long and, as the name says, epic. Epic is similar to high fantasy, but has more importance, meaning, or depth. Epic fantasy is most often in a medieval setting.
- Gaslamp: Also known as gaslight, this genre has a Victorian or Edwardian setting.
- Gunpowder: Gunpowder crosses epic or high fantasy with “rifles and railroads”, but the technology remains realistic unlike the similar genre of steampunk. It’s like putting elves on a pirate ship or putting werewolves in the Wild West.
- Heroic: Centers on one or more heroes who start out as humble, unlikely heroes thrown into a plot that challenges them.
- High: This is considered the “classic” fantasy genre. High fantasy contains the general fantasy elements and is set in a fictional world. It is often heroic or epic as well.
- Historical: The setting in this genre is any time period within our world that has fantasy elements added.
- Medieval: Typically set in Europe during the early to late middle ages.
- Mythic: Fantasy involving or based on myths, folklore, and fairy tales.
- Paranormal/Supernatural: Involves supernatural and paranormal creatures as the source of fantasy, such as werewolves, vampires, and ghosts. Romance is often present.
- Portal: Involves a portal, doorway, or other entryway that leads the protagonist from the “normal world” to the “magical world”.
- Quest: As the name suggests, the protagonist in this genre sets out on a quest. The protagonist most frequently searches for an object of importance and returns home with it or with a prize.
- Science Fantasy: A genre that combines science fiction and fantasy. An example is Star Wars.
- Sword and Sorcery: Settings in which the characters use swords and engage in action-packed plots. Magic is also an element, as is romance. These can be set in many time periods.
- Sword and Soul: Similar to Sword and Sorcery and heroic fantasy, but African-inspired. However, the genre is spreading to other subgenres of fantasy.
- Urban: Has a modern or urban setting in which magic and paranormal creatures exist, often in secret. It also has elements of horror.
- Wuxia: A genre in which the protagonist learns a martial art and follows a code. This genre is popular in Chinese speaking areas.
FACT: There is such a thing as rainbow bookshelf wallpaper. In case you were wondering.
(h/t Buzzfeed Books)
You are not going in circles
You are making progress in a spiral. You do come back around to where you were at the start, since recovery and healing take time, but every time you come back around to that point you’re a little higher up because you’ve got more experience, more knowledge, and more strength.
You ARE making progress
I really needed to read this!!
Some harsh but very very true words
When people let me review their portfolios (on career day or open days at my game design school) I explicitly ban them from commenting during the review… …because otherwise they will follow the impulse to downplay everything I see in an attempt at being humble.
"this is an old image…"
"I’m not happy with that one…"
"this is just a sketch…"
"I did this really quickly…"
"there is better stuff on later pages…"
It’s totally understandable to have those impulses. The quality of art is not empirical data and therefore impossible to measure. Good art, bad art, it all comes down to standards. And you don’t want to come off as naive or self-absorbed.
But just don’t do it. Don’t talk yourself down in front of others. In the best case you have someone supportive who now thinks “damn, this person needs to be prepped up all the time. Do I really want to work with somebody like that” or in worst case “now that you say it, yeah, this is kinda lame/rushed/unfinished/lazy, go away.”
You can only submit what you have. If that is not enough, then it’s not enough. Your attitude will not change that. But if it is enough, you can do serious harm by not being confident of who you are now.
This means appreciating what you are able to do right now and have a clear vision of what you want to learn, be confident that you will learn it in time.
This is really important. Eliminate this urge. Eliminate it professionally, when having contact with people in a position to buy your work. Eliminate it socially, when you just share your work for fun. Destroy this urge as thoroughly as you possibly can.
Because when you have done that, you’ll find that you feel at least 25% less shitty about your own work. You lose the urge to do it. You stop reinforcing those negative thoughts, and they retreat. They may never go away completely (although they might!) but this is good practice for ignoring those thoughts flat-out.
Don’t shit-talk yourself. Even if you can’t be SO PROUD, don’t ever try to influence anyone’s opinion toward your work in the negative.
Try to love your work. Try to see what you learned from each piece, even if it’s a failure. If you feel that you learned nothing, appreciate the fact that just spending time on it is honing your skills and giving you valuable practice.
i used to be super not-confident in my own work. When I stopped pointing out the flaws in my own stuff, I felt better about it almost immediately.
NEVER EVER TOUCH A WRITER/ARTIST/ANYONE’S PERSONAL NOTEBOOK. DO NOT GRAB IT
DO NOT GRAB IT AND TAKE IT
DO NOT TAKE IT
DO NOT TAKE IT
DO NOT LOOK THROUGH IT WITHOUT THEIR EXPLICIT AND CONSISTENT PERMISSION
THERE IS A REASON IT IS THEIR PERSONAL NOTEBOOK AND NOT THEIR PUBLIC EVERYONE GRAB IT NOTEBOOK
I DON’T CARE IF YOU ARE JUST PICKING IT UP TO SEE SOMETHING I AM SHOWING TO YOU
DO NOT TOUCH IT
1) Give me a pairing.
2) Give me an AU setting.
3) I will write you a three-sentence fic.