Anonymous: Hey there, this may be a very ignorant question and I apologize, but I can't seem to find the right search terms that would help me find what I'm looking for... all examples I know of cultural "exchange" were in fact appropriations labeled "exchanges". But I saw you mention cultural exchange earlier tonight and I wanted to see what you see cultural exchange as and really to just help me unmuddy the exchange/appropriation connection I have previously formed? Sorry for the ignorant question :c


This is actually a great question and I apologize it has been sitting in my ask for awhile! Cultural exchange and cultural appropriation are completely different things that are often confused with each other (the latter being bad). So in order to explain this thoroughly I going to personalize my examples with things that are true about me:

1.) I am Mexican

2.) I really love Russian culture

Now let’s say you Anon are Russian and you really like Mexican culture (and I wouldn’t blame you, we got the best food it is known). So let’s say we meet and we become friends.

Let’s say you love Mexican food (the finest type of food imho) and I tell you where you can get really good tamales around town and bring you some of my abuelita’s tamales when I go visit you. In response you invite me over to have your mom’s homemade milk soup. We just exchanged our culture’s food.

Let’s say you go visit Russia and bring me back the most adorable matryoshka doll. In response when I go visit Mexico, I bring you back beautiful artesanias and other recuerditos. We just exchanged some of our culture’s items.

Let’s say I invite to my family’s posada and break a piñata and have pozole. In response you invite on January 7th to celebrate your Christmas and go to church. We just exchanged traditions of our culture.

All these examples are cultural exchange. We are sharing our food, items, and traditions in an open and friendly environment. We are not taking anything from each other, we are appreciating our cultures together and celebrating the uniqueness of them.

Now let’s see the other end of the scale, what is called cultural appropriation.

Let’s say you really like my abuelita’s tamales and attempt to make your own version of them. Not only do you redo the entire recipe to the point where you butcher my family’s classic meal, but you start your own business selling tamales. Your business takes off and you hire Mexican cooks ironically as you sell what you call “tamales”. You are making profit on a food of a culture that is not yours, exploiting the same people the original food came from. That is cultural appropriation.

Let’s say your friends at school liked the artesanias I brought you from Mexico and they want some of their own to wear. Instead of asking me where I bought them or who sells them, you decide to make your own and make money from your friends. Everyone at your school starts wearing the items you make, while you make profit on the work of real artesanas who make a living on those items. You are re-taking an object that has value and meaning and demoting it to a simple commercial accessories for personal gain. That is cultural appropriation.

Let’s say you really like my posada and attempt to make your own. You hire your own mariachi, piñatas, and make your own version of ‘pozole’. You friends come and enjoy the party and decide to make their own versions of the party. Soon posadas become a fad and are popular until they are sold as party items in your local Party City. You have just taken a personal tradition of my culture and reduced to a mere ‘party’, striping away its original meaning. That is cultural appropriation.

Notice on how unlike my first examples of cultural exchange something is missing from this set of examples, that thing is me. I am missing from every single event. This is relevant because you are partaking in my culture without my having an open dialogue with me. And in so you are isolating me from my own culture. Cultural appropriation excludes me from my culture and places you in control of it.

The thing is most people get wrong about culture is the definition of it.

Culture: the beliefs, way of life, art, and customs that are shared and accepted by people in a particular society.

PEOPLE. Culture is not simply items, foods and/or traditions, it is people. The essence of a group of people. This is why we have to be careful when approaching cultures, we are not dealing with just items or beliefs, we are dealing with people.

Most people who consider themselves “fans” of cultures (big exm: weeaboos and their ‘love’ for Japan) will more than often take away the people factor from their ‘cultural appreciation’. Sometimes reducing the same people whose culture they love into mere objects.

It’s not wrong to be interested in a culture or like a particular culture, we just need to remind ourselves that culture also denotes people and we should include the people as we appreciate the culture. In my personal example, it is one thing to say I like Russian language, kokoshniks, and Russian history. It is completely another thing to go up to a Russian person and tell them “you’re doing your culture wrong!! why isn’t it as pretty as in books wahhh” We have to constantly remind ourselves that cultures are not made up things in our history or sociology books but breathing, real, tangible things that are associated with groups of people.

Culture is people. And we should always be sensitive about that.

Hope this helps!



why do people avoid happy backstories like theyre the fuckin plague jesus christ stop listening to linkin park for a moment and realize you dont need to be miserable to have character development

(Source: bitloins)



Answer all these questions and you should have a fully-developed character for your audience to connect with.
A strong character can carry a weak plot; but a strong plot can’t carry weak characters







"time to go find a new character name"


"wait a second"


"is that what i think it is"


"ah, yes"


"he’s sure to win everyone’s hearts"

he must grow up to be a total prick


I’ve been working on a plot for an idea I’ve had in my head for a few years now, and it has grown significantly beyond the scope I’d originally imagined. I know that it’s way too much to fit into one book, and I’m okay with that. The issue I’m having is one of planning: I want to make sure that each book in the series has its own arc, but I have no clue how much “story” would constitute “one book.” How can I make sure I’m planning each book with the “appropriate” amount of plot? Thank you!

The most important thing you have to remember is that each story in the series (because you are looking at it from a series perspective) must have a contained story. Let’s say, for example, your end goal is to defeat the big bad (win the throne, defeat the Capital, etc). Each book can be a step in that direction, but they must have their own stakes and accomplishments. Look at The Lord of the Rings or The Hunger Games as an example - each story has an arch, even if the characters are aware of it (destroy the ring) or not (defeat the Capital was not the goal of Katniss until the third book).

This means that each book needs to have their own stakes, new problems, and a satisfying ending. Satisfying doesn’t mean you have to wrap things up, or that you can’t leave the reader at the edge of their seat, but there does need to be a feeling that one book’s story is ended and another begins.

Let’s look at it it as a trilogy example:

  • Book One: We are introduced to the characters, discover their main goals, follow them through suffering and trauma as they try to accomplish these goals. The end of the book finishes the major problem of that book (defeat the dragon, fight the overlord’s minion), but doesn’t solve the Main Problem, or leads to new ones.
  • Book Two: Shit gets harder. The last book’s challenge was a cakewalk compared to this one. Minor characters probably die. Maybe a major character or two dies too. Main obstacle of the book is tackled or defeated, but not without cost.
  • Book Three: It’s all or nothing. Characters start dropping like flies, or the main character realizes she’s been betrayed by her friends, or the love interest turns out to be the enemy all along. Final problem is resolved, but not without irreversible character and world changes, for good and for bad.

See how the stakes are high in each book, but consistently grow through the series? The books have a goal for each one, although that goal gets harder, and it gets the characters closer to the final goal.

Here are some links that can help you out:

Manipulative Characters in Roleplays


I’ve kind of always wanted to write this rant, so here we go:

You know when there’s that character in the RP whose bio says that he’s supposed to be ‘manipulative’ and ‘sly’ and really good at reading people and clever and stuff?

Those characters are supposed to be brilliant puppet-masters, and they’re supposed to be able to manipulate other characters. The admins wrote that character that way for a reason, and the person playing the character should have the liberty to use their character in a realistic way. So when you’re playing against a character like that, don’t have your character guess the manipulative/secretive character’s motives just because you want the ‘good guys’ to win. Especially if you’re playing someone who’s supposed to be easily manipulated.

Read More


A breakdown of medieval armor, since a lot of pieces are required to create a full suit.

8 Ways to be More Productive with Less Effort


1.Sort out your priorities. Make time to honestly reflect on your life, and to think about what is important to you. Where are you going? What do you want? What are the steps that will take you there?

2. Focus on the essential tasks. Next, think about your short term responsibilities. Ask yourself: “Out of all the tasks that I have to do, which will get me the greatest return for my time and effort?” Make a list of these types of tasks — they’re your most important things to do this week.

3. Eliminate what you can. Now look at your list. What on the list is not essential? Is there anything there that you can drop from your schedule, delegate to someone else, or put on a “waiting list”. Often when we review these non-essentials later, we find they weren’t necessary at all.

4. Do essential tasks first. Begin each day by doing the two most important tasks. Don’t wait until later in the day as they’ll get pushed aside to make time for other stuff that arises throughout the day. You’ll find that if you do these tasks right away, your productivity will really increase.

5. Eliminate distractions. If you allow yourself to be constantly interrupted by email notifications, IM, cell phones, social media and so on, then you’ll never be productive. Turn them and, if you can, disconnect yourself from the internet.

6. Keep it simple. Don’t waste time on applications that are meant to organise your schedule. Make a simple to-do list with a word document, or with some paper and a pen. Then get started on whatever work you had planned on doing.

7. Do one thing at a time. In most situations, multi-tasking slows you down. You can’t get things done with a million things demanding your attention. Focus on what’s in front of you, to the exclusion of all else. That way, you are likely to achieve more, in less time, and with less effort.

8. Make time for honest reflection. At the end of the day, reflect on what you have achieved. Make sure you affirm yourself for your hard work. Think about possible changes you need to make - and commit to keep going, and aiming for your goal.