Writing with Color has received several asks on this topic.

Everything from “how do I describe my character’s skin tone without being offensive?” and “what’s the problem with comparing my character to chocolate and coffee?”

I’m hoping to address all…


How To Travel In Europe


If you’re planning your trip around Europe, then there are some basics that would be nice to know before setting off - believe me, I started my first independent trip with no knowledge whatsoever, so I know how much of a difference it makes.

Now, when I say independent, I mean no parents, no guides, no travel plan, not even a hotel for the night. All I had was a credit card with my savings, a backpack with clothes and some food and a cell phone. My trip lasted 43 days, so needless to say, I needed to learn.

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Today In History | September 7, 1533: Birth of Elizabeth I

Less than two weeks after taking to her chamber, at 3 o’clock on the afternoon of the 7th September in 1533, Anne Boleyn gave birth to a baby girl: Elizabeth Tudor, named after her paternal grandmother Elizabeth of York, and possibly also her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Howard. The little girl had her father’s red hair and long nose, and her mother’s coal black eyes.

The birth was straightforward, the baby was healthy and so was Anne, but something was very wrong – the baby was a girl and not the promised son and heir promised by Anne, astrologers and doctors. A celebratory tournament had been organized and a letter announcing the birth of a prince had been written, with the intentions of naming the prince either Henry of Edward. The joust was cancelled and the word “prince” had an “s” added in the birth announcement letter. The celebratory jousts were cancelled in 1516 too, when Mary was born, and it was traditional for the celebrations of the birth of a princess to be low-key. Although the joust was cancelled, “a herald immediately proclaimed this first of Henry’s ‘legitimate’ children, while the choristers of the Chapel Royal sang the Te Deum”and preparations were already underway for a lavish christening. 

Henry and Anne both grieved that Elizabeth was not a boy, but little did they know that she would go on to be one of the greatest monarchs in British history - the Virgin Queen, Gloriana; that she would give her name to an age. Long live Good Queen Bess. {1}{2}

happy birthday, lizzie



Strong verbs improve your writing in three ways. They help you:
  1. Reduce adverbs: Choosing strong verbs helps you to be specific. You should replace an adverb and a verb with a strong verb if you can. It will improve your writing. Don’t say: “She held on tightly to the rope.” Do say: “She gripped the rope.” Don’t say: “He looked carefully at the documents.” Do say: “He examined the documents.”

  2. Avoid the passive voice: Choose specific, active verbs whenever you can. Don’t say: ‘He was said to be lying by the teacher.’ Do say: ‘The teacher accused him of lying.’

  3. Eliminate wordiness: Strong verbs help you eliminate wordiness by replacing different forms of the verb ‘to be’. They allow you to stop overusing words like ‘is’, ‘was’, ‘are’, and ‘were’. Don’t say: ‘She was the owner of a chain of restaurants.’ Do say: ‘She owned a chain of restaurants.’

If you reduce wordiness, choose specific verbs, and use the active voice, readers will be able to understand you more easily. This is what you want because the reason we write is to communicate. 


Savannah asked:

What’s your advice to make a scene flow into another? I don’t like saying ‘and then they arrived’ and whatnot. I just struggle with making the story stick together. I’m trying to not use page breaks to show it’s the next scene but rather kept it going.

Hello there, dear patroness! ♥︎

I have touched on this subject in the past, but I think you pose a very nice twist on this situation :D

You see, generally when I get questions about transitions (or connecting scenes that don’t happen one after the other) my advice is to either:

  • (A) Cut to the chase. This would be what you refer to with starting the next chapter or scene with "Ten days later we arrived at Whiterun" or "It took Joel and Ellie three hours to get back to the safe-house."
  • (B) Cut to black. Just like in script-writing, this would be having a hard formatted separation between scenes. This can be a pagebreak, as you mentioned, a passing in time (indicated by a centered *****), or by simply starting a new chapter.

But, you are not actually looking to do either of these things. So, of course that advice is not helpful. Thankfully, though, I have just the thing for you c;

Are you familiar with Gary Provost’s "This Sentence Has Five Words"? You should click on the link and read it, it’s not very long— but I think it kind of proves the point I am about to make.

Writing is kind of like music. There is a certain rhythm to prose, and a melody to words— that when exploited can bring your story to the next level. I am not talking about going full-on Shakespeare, but keeping in mind the melody of words can be useful to making stories flow better.

What does this have to do with your question? People forget that Music and Storytelling are not that different, a long time ago they were one and the same. Although both have evolved over time— I think that the solution to your problem can be found… in music.

How would a musician connect two parts of a song that are not entirely the same? How would they transition from one section back to the main part of the song? With a bridge, of course c;

So, let’s find a bridge between where you are in the story, and where you want to lead the reader to. Of course, in order for the bridge to connect them effectively it must share something in common— or otherwise you are likely to end up with a blunt transition like "We arrived at Mercy Hospital two hours later." Technically speaking that is a bridge, just not a very good one. Talking about ‘good’ bridges…

Here are a couple of tips for writing more effective transitions:

  1. Consider the character’s thoughts. What is troubling them? Can you use this as a way to connect the two scenes? We have all experienced moments of waiting, thinking, and trying to make up our minds. Showing a character dealing with internal conflict is a great way to bridge between two scenes.
  2. Montage Time. If you wish to maintain the narrative flowing, a great way to connect two scenes is to use a montage (just like in the movies). Of course, the biggest pitfall is that it is really easy to end up writing stale filler (we went here, we did that, this happened to this person). The way to stay away from this is to not focus on the characters, but rather the narration. I have used this to add character to First Person stories, as it basically gives the narrator a chance to reflect— much in the same way we reflect over those long periods of time when ‘nothing’ happened in our lives.

Remember this:

The most effective way to continue the flow of the story (across two scenes that happen in different times) is to create a bridge (or transition) between them by using similar elements. This allows the reader to follow the narration without interruptions, because they are following the same melody c;

I hope this helps! This is one of those writing situations where practice will be the best way to implement these tips. If anyone has any more thoughts, feel free to share them!

Thank you for the question, Savannah! And doubly-thank you for pledging to my Patreon page! Thank you for directly supporting me, my books, and the awesome posts that you see on this blog everyday~ ♥︎

Interested in becoming a Patron? Head over to my Patreon Page where you will find information on the sweet perks that can be yours from as little as $1 dollar a month, least of which is my gratitude! ♥︎


Anonymous asked:

What's your opinion on writing from multiple perspectives? Like, one chapter would be from Bob's POV, and then the next from Shirley's, ect. Do you have any tips for this?

clevergirlhelps answered:

I love multiple POV stories! I really like when authors explore multiple characters and really give the readers a chance to take in the story from many perspectives.

Multiple POV stories work best when:

  • You have many plots. The more complex the story, the more information you need to feed the reader for the story to work. Sometimes it’s just not possible to get all that information through a single protagonist. Many protagonists, however, are better suited to learning all that information. Many protagonists - especially if they aren’t working together - are also better at screwing up plans and creating chaos. 
  • The plot is character-based. A character-based plot means the story deals more with internal struggles than external struggles. If your plot is character based, you really want to show the reader what all the major characters are feeling. Again, a single protagonist probably isn’t privy to everyone’s emotions.


  • Your POV characters don’t need equal time. And when I say equal time, I mean in chapter time or wordcount time. Devote time to the most important characters and most important situations. Do as the plot demands, not as the character demands.
  • Don’t double up scenes. One of my least favorite moments in multiple POV stories is when the author covers an event with one POV character, then goes back to the beginning of the event to cover it again with another character. If you want another character’s perspective, let them remember parts of the event or revisit as little of the even as you possibly can.
  • Work on voice. You want to keep those characters as distinct as possible. They are different people, after all. I have a voice tag here to get you started.
  • Divide the POVs. Not with that awful **KATNISS’ POV** paragraph starter. Divide POVs by chapter or put a little divider thingy in between POVs if you’re switching in the middle of a chapter. 
  • Keep track of information. Your POV characters will not know the same things because they live different lives and will be exposed to different situations. If your POV character suddenly knows something they shouldn’t, you’ll have a plot hole.
  • Try to avoid one-shot POVs. One-shot POVs are when a character gets one POV chapter, then no others. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it feels strange to hear from a character once and then no other times. 
  • The plots should interact. Even if the POV characters never meet, their plots should have a common element: for example, a common struggle, a common character, or a common theme. This prevents the story from becoming a collection of badly patched short stories.