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kanyeroleplays:

How To:

Write/play a character who is a rebel.
As a celebration for 300 followers, I’ve decided to write some guides on some of the most commonly misplayed characters on Tumblr - here’s one of them. We’ll be focusing on rebels. In this guide, you will see what the stereotypes of a rebel are, debunking the facts and myths of these stereotypes, some suggested personality traits that a rebel may have, some suggested backgrounds that will tell why they have taken to the “rebel” lifestyle, some FCs who have a “rebel” type look, and lastly, a playlist for characters who are rebels. Enjoy!
Note: I am in no way saying this is an end-all, beat-all guide on how to play rebel characters. I have simply done research and drawn upon my own experiences with rebels. If you feel you have a different interpretation on how a rebel would act, feel free to use that interpretation instead! If you have any suggestions or tips on how to improve this guide, shoot me an ask and I’ll do it right away!

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kanyeroleplays:

How To:

Write/play a character who is a rebel.

As a celebration for 300 followers, I’ve decided to write some guides on some of the most commonly misplayed characters on Tumblr - here’s one of them. We’ll be focusing on rebels. In this guide, you will see what the stereotypes of a rebel are, debunking the facts and myths of these stereotypes, some suggested personality traits that a rebel may have, some suggested backgrounds that will tell why they have taken to the “rebel” lifestyle, some FCs who have a “rebel” type look, and lastly, a playlist for characters who are rebels. Enjoy!

Note: I am in no way saying this is an end-all, beat-all guide on how to play rebel characters. I have simply done research and drawn upon my own experiences with rebels. If you feel you have a different interpretation on how a rebel would act, feel free to use that interpretation instead! If you have any suggestions or tips on how to improve this guide, shoot me an ask and I’ll do it right away!

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how do you write a brutally honest character? Or write a situation where you might be able to show this side of their personality?

Anonymous

thewritingcafe:

There are two types of honest people. There are honest people who tell it like it is, whether their comment is welcome or not, and there are honest people who stay true to their word and who don’t lie, cheat, or sneak around. Both types can share traits:

  • Rude: Sometimes, an honest person can be rude when they point out truths. They may or may not realize that they are being rude. If they realize it, they might not care. If they do realize it, they might be reluctant to point it out or they might apologize for doing so. This is a flaw of being honest. It can cause conflict with other characters or it can reveal information that other characters wanted to keep quiet. Other times, people are honest because they like being rude.
  • Playing Fair: Honest people who “play by the rules” will reveal when a person is cheating (even themselves) because it’s part of their moral code. This can also be a flaw and it can result in an antagonist winning. They might have a chance to get out of a situation through stealing something that can help, but it goes against their moral code and therefore will result in internal conflict if they take it.
  • Outspoken: Some honest people will be outspoken or will seem outspoken if they’re the ones who stand up and give the truth that no one else wants to say.
  • Trustworthy: People who are honest can be trusted to tell the truth. This can be both a good and bad trait. They might give away someone’s secret if they feel it’s right to tell the truth about what happened.
  • Unbiased: Honest people have the ability to be more unbiased and objective than other people. They can look at both sides of a situation fairly.
  • Social Skills: The “tell it like it is” honest type can have trouble with social skills. They might not realize that some things are better left unsaid and therefore will turn others away through their honesty.

For some examples of these characters, look at the TV Tropes page.

There are tons of situations that you can show this and it should be present in more than just a few situations if it’s a major trait of a character. Showing their honesty can happen anywhere at any time, but it’s also dependent on your character and the story itself.

5 Common Story Problems with Simple Fixes

fictionwritingtips:

Our stories are often plagued with these common story problems, but if we don’t know how to fix them, we’ll never improve our writing. It’s important that you remember you don’t need to scrap your novel if you keep having the same issues over and over again. Hopefully this list will help you pinpoint what’s going on and provide ways for you to improve your novel.

Problem: Unmotivated Characters

If you’re having trouble figuring out where your story should go next, the problem could be with unmotivated characters. Characters aren’t in your novel just so you can push them around every once in a while and make them do things. They need to develop over time and keep your story going in the right direction.

Solution:

Work on your character’s wants, goals, and motivations. You need to figure out what’s driving your character if you want them to do anything. Where do they want to end up? What’s standing in their way? What’s their plan? Who will help them? Think about everything your character will need to do to resolve your novel. Focus on what they want and what motivates their actions and your characters will stop being dull and lifeless.

Problem: Boring First Chapters

A boring first chapter is dangerous because you want to captivate your audience right away. You don’t want to lose readers just because of this, but sometimes it happens.  You should give enough information to keep your readers interested, while also keeping them intrigued enough to figure out what happens next.

Solution:

Putting emotion into your scenes from the beginning will not only help set the tone, but we’ll get an immediate understanding of your world. The best advice I can give is to construct a scene that helps us best understand your character. If they’re on the run, show us that they’re being chased. If they’re sad and lonely, construct a scene that lets us feel their isolation. You don’t necessarily need to open your book with action, but you do need to introduce the conflict. Think about what your character wants and go from there. Think of your first chapter as an introduction to an essay. You don’t go right into the points immediately, but you set us up for something good.

Problem: Plot Holes

Writers worry about forgetting to include important information in their novel that’s necessary to the plot. If you’re discovering that readers often point out plot holes in your story, maybe it’s time to reevaluate how you plan your novel.

Solution:

Pre-planning or prewriting your novel often solves any plot hole problems. If you take the time to write out important scenes so you don’t forget them, your story will become stronger. However, if you’re not someone who likes to do so much planning, you can tackle plot holes during the editing phase. Take notes when you’re editing so that you can catch these plot holes and figure out where you can add necessary information. A plot hole does not always mean your novel needs loads of reworking, but it is something you need to take the time to fill in.

Problem: Poor Pacing

Poor pacing can ruin a novel, but luckily it’s something you can tackle head on before you even start writing your story. Good pacing helps add tension to your novel and helps you make sure there’s enough rising and falling action to keep your story interesting.

Solution:

Planning out your novel ahead of time also helps solve pacing problems. You can create a timeline that helps you keep track and plan out when you want certain things to happen. Read up on story arcs and try to plan out your scenes accordingly. If you’re already done with your novel and you notice poor pacing, try rearranging scenes or spreading out the action.

Problem: Info-Dumping

A very common writing problem is info-dumping. This is when you tell your readers loads of information at a time without showing them anything important. Info-dumps usually occur in first chapters of novels, but they can happen anytime during the course of your story. Info- dumps can drag down your story and bore your readers.

Solution:

Cut out long paragraphs where you explain what’s going on in your novel and show your readers instead. Avoid over explaining things that can be explained through action. Letting your audience figure things out instead is a much more satisfying reading experience and it lets your readers connect with your characters on a deeper level.

-Kris Noel

Guide: Dialogue Tags & Dialogue Punctuation

writing-questions-answered:

/post/77346142034/im-currently-in-the-worldbuilding-stage-and-im-doing - In this post, you stated that a world should maintain its mystery. I've never yet made a grand story that requires such great thinking over world building. I'm actually planning one as of now, and i'm really enthusiastic about it. And i don't want to really fail doing it so please could you explain more why you've said that i should maintain my world's mysteries.

Anonymous

characterandwritinghelp:

(It has come to my attention that a lot of you really liked this post of mine about worldbuilding. You can imagine my surprise when I saw it crack 700 notes. Thank you all!)

I suppose I ought to amend this slightly, though. Maintaining mystery is a good thing and I encourage it, but I in no way want you to think that you cannot include all the aspects of your world in your story. By all means, show it off! What I mean by maintaining mystery is that you must never give everything at once, if you give it at all.

The cardinal rule of magic (for what is storytelling but magic?) is that you never reveal everything you know. Always be the smartest one in the room. When worldbuilding, you are the one behind the curtain, creating stories with a wave of your hand and a tap on your keyboard. You are the master magician, and your reader is the audience. Awe them.

Maintain the mystery because:

  • There is not enough space. One thing to beware of when worldbuilding is pacing: when to include and when to skip over. Not just pacing, but also length, so as to avoid infodumping. You are writing a work of fiction (presumably), and you must not forsake telling the story for including details of worldbuilding. The story is more important. Remember, you are building a world for a story/protagonist, not the other way around. Your world should serve to enrich and add depth to your story, your story should not serve as a vehicle to talk about a world.
  • There is not enough space hereWorldbuilding is a process, not a step. It is not something to check off your list, “all right this is done I can move on YAY.” Rather than slamming everything in the face of the readers and then never mentioning it again, give several “doses” of worldbuilding over the course of the story. This will help you avoid infodumping, as well as create the impression that the world is vast and maintain a sense of discovery. On that note…
  • Know when to stop. Knowing your story inside and out can only do you good as a writer, but for a reader it might not be so great. If a reader feels that a story has nothing left to show them, they may start getting bored. Knowing everything isn’t as interesting as discovering. If you remember nothing else, remember this: stop when it’s done. Do not keep going for the sake of continuing to develop the world. Story first, always. I think you would be hard pressed to find a book that people read solely for the worldbuilding.
  • It doesn’t really matter. As above, story first. Can you imagine reading a book that starts with page after page after page explaining the inner workings of world government and detailing how the power players in the story made it to their current state of affairs? That is less a work of fiction and more a history textbook, and that does not make for good reading.Every aspect of society is important, make no mistake, but not everything makes for a good story. (Never, ever, EVER throw any of it out or permanently delete it, though. Always keep it around, you never know when you might need some of that research.)
  • The real world is full of mystery. True, we have discovered a lot as time and technology have progressed (such as that the Salem Witch Trials did not burn actual witches and might only have taken place because the town of Salem was on a massive drug trip, or that sailors somehow mistook manatees and dugongs for women and called them mermaids), but there is still so much we have yet to learn. Things that are mysterious to us now might be debunked in the future, and some things might just stay mysterious to us forever.
  • Trust your readers. Readers are smart, not everything needs to be explained to them. And never talk down to them.

Something else to consider: What point of view are you coming from? A first person protagonist who is unfamiliar with the world may focus on different aspects of the world than an indifferent third person narrator.

Make sense? Let us know if you have other questions.

-Headless

#3434567676

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

Why do people lie?

Answer this in your character’s first person perspective.

8 Character Roles

writingbox:

Protagonist: the central character tied into the main storyline. Their goals fuel the action and their own personal journey.

Antagonist: the character whose goals directly oppose those of the protagonist. They are not necessarily an ‘evil’ character or ‘the baddie’, but their journey towards their own goals blocks the protagonist’s journey.

Mentor: the mentor voices or represents the lesson that must be learned by the protagonist in order to change for the better and achieve their goal.

Tempter: the antagonist’s right-hand. The tempter doesn’t necessarily know the antagonist, but they both share the role of stopping the protagonist from achieving their goal. The tempter tries to convince the protagonist to ‘change sides’, but may end up changing sides themself.

Sidekick: the protagonist’s unconditionally loving friend. This character may become frustrated or suffer doubt, but always stands by the protagonist in the end. Typically, the sidekick embodies the theme without even realizing it.

Skeptic: the skeptic does not believe in the theme or the protagonist’s goal. They have no loyalties, and are simply following their own path.

Emotional: this character acts impulsively, letting their emotions fuel their decisions. Sometimes this works to their advantage, sometimes it is their downfall.

Logical: the rational thinker who always plans and reasons the best course of action. Again, sometimes this works to their advantage, sometimes it is their downfall.

thehannibalrpc:


A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals or close friends with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or other forms of illegal behavior.[2] Some criminal gang members are “jumped in" or have to prove their loyalty by committing acts such as theft or violence. Although gangs exist internationally, there is a greater level of study and knowledgeable information of gangs specifically in the United States. A member of a gang is called a gangster.


Some Female Gangsters You Should Know

Bonnie Parker
Griselda Blanco
Stephanie St. Clair
Sandra Avila Beltran

A drug lord, drug baron, kingpin, or narcotrafficker is a person who controls a sizable network of persons involved in the illegal drug trade. Such figures are often difficult to bring to justice, as they might never be directly in possession of something illegal, but are insulated from the actual trade in drugs by several layers of underlings. The prosecution of drug lords is therefore usually the result of carefully planned infiltrations of their networks, often using informants from within the organization.


Some Female Drug Kingpins

Angie Valencia
Kath Pettingill
Blanca Salazar
Mireya Carreon

Procuring or pandering is the facilitation or provision of a prostitute in the arrangement of a sex act with a customer.[1] A procurer, colloquially called a pimp (if male) or a madam (if female), is an agent for prostitutes who collects part of their earnings. The procurer may receive this money in return for advertising services, physical protection, or for providing, and possibly monopolizing, a location where the prostitute may engage clients. Like prostitution, the legality of certain actions of a madam or a pimp vary from one region to the next.


Some Badass Madams

Kristin Davis
Xaviera Hollander
Sally Stanford
Jessie Williams
Polly Adler
Heidi Fleiss

A serial killer is traditionally defined as a person who has murdered three or more people[1][2] over a period of more than a month, with down time (a “cooling off period”) between the murders.[3][4] The motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification.[3][4] Some sources, such as the FBI, disregard the “three or more” criteria and define the term as “a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone” or, including the vital characteristics, a minimum of two murders.[4][5] Most of the killings involve sexual contact with the victim,[6] but the FBI states that motives for serial murder include “anger, thrill, financial gain, and attention seeking”.[5] The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example, occupation, race, appearance, sex, or age group.[7]


Some Terrifying Female Serial Killers

Delphine LaLaurie
Jane Toppan
Belle Gunness
Aileen Wuornos 

thehannibalrpc:

gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals or close friends with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or other forms of illegal behavior.[2] Some criminal gang members are “jumped in" or have to prove their loyalty by committing acts such as theft or violence. Although gangs exist internationally, there is a greater level of study and knowledgeable information of gangs specifically in the United States. A member of a gang is called a gangster.

Some Female Gangsters You Should Know

drug lorddrug baronkingpin, or narcotrafficker is a person who controls a sizable network of persons involved in the illegal drug trade. Such figures are often difficult to bring to justice, as they might never be directly in possession of something illegal, but are insulated from the actual trade in drugs by several layers of underlings. The prosecution of drug lords is therefore usually the result of carefully planned infiltrations of their networks, often using informants from within the organization.

Some Female Drug Kingpins

Procuring or pandering is the facilitation or provision of a prostitute in the arrangement of a sex act with a customer.[1] A procurer, colloquially called a pimp (if male) or a madam (if female), is an agent for prostitutes who collects part of their earnings. The procurer may receive this money in return for advertising services, physical protection, or for providing, and possibly monopolizing, a location where the prostitute may engage clients. Like prostitution, the legality of certain actions of a madam or a pimp vary from one region to the next.

Some Badass Madams

serial killer is traditionally defined as a person who has murdered three or more people[1][2] over a period of more than a month, with down time (a “cooling off period”) between the murders.[3][4] The motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification.[3][4] Some sources, such as the FBI, disregard the “three or more” criteria and define the term as “a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone” or, including the vital characteristics, a minimum of two murders.[4][5] Most of the killings involve sexual contact with the victim,[6] but the FBI states that motives for serial murder include “anger, thrill, financial gain, and attention seeking”.[5] The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example, occupation, race, appearance, sex, or age group.[7]

Some Terrifying Female Serial Killers

(Source: mikkelsenwrites)

If you put a bullet through your head, would you still feel it - provided that it's an instant kill?

Anonymous

lazyresources:

Providing it’s an instant kill, I won’t get into the topics—distance, type of gun, size of bullet, parts of the brain, etc—that would make this more complicated than necessary. I looked around online, and I have to say no. The brain would not have enough time to process pain before the bullet kills the person. Although there is still debate about this, signal for pain can travel anywhere from 0.5 m/s to 40 m/s depending on the nerve fiber. A common handgun, like a Glock 19 (with 9x19mm Parabellum), can shoot a bullet between 300 m/s and 400 m/s depending on the ammunition.

Some links:

Again, I’m terribly sorry for the long wait! tumblr, you butt.

Learning the Essentials of Plotting Your Novel

fictionwritingtips:

I get a lot of questions about plotting, so I figured I’d write up some tips on getting started. Learning how to plot your novel can be difficult, but it’s really all about knowing what your characters want and how they’re going to get it or attempt to get it. A character with motivations and goals will help focus your plot and get you to figure out where it needs to go. Here are a few essentials when it comes to plotting your novel:

Create a plot skeleton

It helps to first jot down the key elements of the story you want to tell. Creating a plot skeleton means getting down to the bare bones of your story. What’s most important? What scenes are essential to your story? Once you figure out those key scenes and have some semblance of a beginning, middle, and an end, you’ll see your story start to come together.

Work on a timeline

If you’re having trouble figuring out when you want things to happen, try working on a timeline. What event needs to happen first in order to lead into the next big event? Your story is going to have some ups and downs, so you need to make sure your story is paced well. You don’t want action, action, action without any rest for your readers. Learning to pace your novel well is an important skill to have as a writer. I suggest reading up on story arcs.

Focus on characters

Your characters will tell the story if you let them. Focusing on the wants and needs of all your characters will help build the plot for you. It’s sometimes as easy as that. Think about what your character wants and go from there. What journey will your character be in for? What does the antagonist want? How do they stand in the way of your protagonist? Think about how one action leads to the next.

Make sure your scenes connect

When telling a story you don’t want to keep saying “and then this happens”. Then you’re just stringing together events without thinking about how they build on each either. You need to think about the “but” in your story. Something like this helps; “Amy wanted to go the school dance, but her mother doesn’t want her to go.” This explains that Amy really wants to do something, but another person is standing in her way. You can begin to think about conflict and why Amy’s mother doesn’t want her to go. You can begin to piece together a story and connect the dots.

Flesh out your story

Once you have all the big scenes figured out, you can begin to add extra detail and flesh out your novel.  Spend more time thinking about your world and the specific details of your characters. Work on scenes that will help reveal the setting and all those character details. Figure out what interactions are necessary to give your readers important information. Each scene should work to push the story to its resolution.

Let your characters resolve their problems

It’s very important that you let your characters resolve their problems on their own. If you’re developing your characters along the way, the resolution should be a result of them finally gaining the power, knowledge, strength, etc., to fix things. I know not every story will be “resolved”, but if you want your protagonist to grow in some way they need to figure out their own problems instead of relying on other factors to get them through. A good plot shows how your characters learned to overcome their obstacles on their own.

-Kris Noel

10 Things Your Freelance Editor Might Not Tell You—but Should

referenceforwriters:

1. You should avoid the temptation to hire someone to edit your first draft.

I know you’re really excited that you finally finished that book! I’m happy for you … you should be happy for you. Celebrate it! But don’t send it to an editor yet. Put it away for three weeks and then reread, making notes on its strengths and weaknesses, asking yourself what’s missing, and flagging places where you find yourself skimming. Then rewrite the manuscript at least once—twice is better. Don’t bring in a professional until you have made the book the best you possibly can on your own. At this stage, you are still best equipped to take your book to the next level. Only when you’ve taken it as far as you can on your own will you get the most for your money in hiring a freelance editor. Which brings me to a related point:

2. An editor is not a ghostwriter.

It’s not uncommon for nonfiction clients especially to believe that because they have an outline, research notes or interview transcripts, their book is “almost done” and ready for an editor. But if you’re looking for someone to take any of the above and shape it into a manuscript, what you want is a ghostwriter. A nonfiction editor won’t do extensive research for you. A fiction editor is not going to invent characters, flesh out dialogue or write missing scenes. If you hire an editor to do a ghostwriter’s job, you’ll surely be disappointed with the outcome.

3. Your editor is likely to feel more invested in the kind of book she enjoys reading.

Your editor should be familiar with the conventions of what you write. You don’t want her suggesting, for instance, that you include an explicit sex scene in your Christian women’s fiction. Even more important, you want her to like your book enough to want it to be the best it can be. If a prospective editor seems lukewarm from the start about your manuscript or genre, walk away. Find an editor who exhibits genuine excitement about your project. This doesn’t mean that if you’ve written a young-adult paranormal vampire romance you need an editor who specializes solely in that genre. But it does mean that you don’t want an editor who hates teenagers, hates vampires and hates love stories.

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"Hey, were you writing?"

itsonlythefirstdraft:

Um…image

Trying to write threats

itsonlythefirstdraft:

What I want my character to sound like:

What they actually sound like:

Submitted by hewalksinstarlight
thewritingcafe:


Anonymous asked you:
do you have any tips on how to write rules or amendments for my fictional society?

Start with the type of government your society has. Certain governments will have different laws and economies.
Cultural Values
If your society sees dogs as divine beings, it might be illegal not to have a dog in your home for more than 30 days. That is a law based on cultural values. If there are robots in your society, there will probably be rules about robots. If your society is prejudice against a certain group of people, there might be rules about that.
Think about what your society values and what they see as taboo. You should also think about current issues and how the population feels about it. If there is a great fear of a form of government, it might be illegal to support that government. If murder is common and your society doesn’t see it as an issue unless the person murdered is a noble or someone in the upper class, it might only be illegal to murder certain people.
There’s also the little details that most people don’t think about. If there is private property, there will be laws about that. Can law enforcement officials enter private property without permission? Or just public property? If all property is public property, there probably won’t be much privacy.
The Laws
Write out any laws that are relevant to your story. The exact wording of your laws will reflect your society. If the laws are broad, there will be loopholes, but also leeway for people in power to make it mean what they want it to mean. 
If the laws are old and outdated, decide if people want to change them or not. Older laws with outdated terminology might make laws more confusing or irrelevant, but they can also allow more options.
Think about how laws are made. Do they have to go through several people before becoming an official law? Who has the power to propose laws or reject them? Who has the final say? Who can make adjustments? Can laws be adjusted over time or are they final the first time around? Does religion have a say in laws? When and why are laws created?
Punishments
With laws there are punishments. One form of punishment is called a Draconian Law in which the punishment outweighs the crime. Are the punishments for breaking the law mild, moderate, or severe? Can stealing something small get you a life time sentence in prison? Or just a slap on the wrist?
Punishments and crimes can be matched up if you want them to be equal (i.e., the greater the crime, the greater the punishment), or certain crimes might have to meet certain requirements for certain punishments. For example, committing one major crime might have a low punishment because only one crime was committed. Committing several small crimes might have a higher punishment because more than one crime was committed. Do whatever you want to do.
You should also come up with exceptions of punishment. For example, it is legal, in the US, to kill a person if the intent was self defense.
Think about the types of punishment. Are they physical? Can people be sentenced to death? Do they have to pay a fine? Do they have to do community service? Are they exiled? 
Prisons: You don’t need prisons or something similar, but they’re a form of punishment. If your society has dungeons, prisons, jails, or similar places, decide what they are like, who goes there, what it’s like there, and where they are located. Are they located far away from populated areas? Are they underground? Are people given free reign throughout the property, or are they confined to a small space?
Law Enforcement
With law and punishment comes people who enforce those laws. You’re going to need some kind of government force that controls the population. Decide how many different groups there are, what they are in charge of, how many law enforcement officials exist, and how much they enforce the laws. They might not do much to enforce laws or they might be extremely strict.
Holders of Power
The people in power are most often the ones who create, destroy, and uphold laws. Laws that are not written down can be changed by the person in power, depending on the culture, and will naturally change over time.
Go back to the idea of who decides what and why. If business has power or great influence over government, laws might cater to business. For example, in the US, monopolies were at one point illegal. However, the law never defined what a monopoly was and therefore capitalism kept going and business funded the government.
If laws change easily with each ruler, the laws of the society will reflect the personality of whoever is in charge.

thewritingcafe:

Anonymous asked you:

do you have any tips on how to write rules or amendments for my fictional society?

Start with the type of government your society has. Certain governments will have different laws and economies.

Cultural Values

If your society sees dogs as divine beings, it might be illegal not to have a dog in your home for more than 30 days. That is a law based on cultural values. If there are robots in your society, there will probably be rules about robots. If your society is prejudice against a certain group of people, there might be rules about that.

Think about what your society values and what they see as taboo. You should also think about current issues and how the population feels about it. If there is a great fear of a form of government, it might be illegal to support that government. If murder is common and your society doesn’t see it as an issue unless the person murdered is a noble or someone in the upper class, it might only be illegal to murder certain people.

There’s also the little details that most people don’t think about. If there is private property, there will be laws about that. Can law enforcement officials enter private property without permission? Or just public property? If all property is public property, there probably won’t be much privacy.

The Laws

Write out any laws that are relevant to your story. The exact wording of your laws will reflect your society. If the laws are broad, there will be loopholes, but also leeway for people in power to make it mean what they want it to mean. 

If the laws are old and outdated, decide if people want to change them or not. Older laws with outdated terminology might make laws more confusing or irrelevant, but they can also allow more options.

Think about how laws are made. Do they have to go through several people before becoming an official law? Who has the power to propose laws or reject them? Who has the final say? Who can make adjustments? Can laws be adjusted over time or are they final the first time around? Does religion have a say in laws? When and why are laws created?

Punishments

With laws there are punishments. One form of punishment is called a Draconian Law in which the punishment outweighs the crime. Are the punishments for breaking the law mild, moderate, or severe? Can stealing something small get you a life time sentence in prison? Or just a slap on the wrist?

Punishments and crimes can be matched up if you want them to be equal (i.e., the greater the crime, the greater the punishment), or certain crimes might have to meet certain requirements for certain punishments. For example, committing one major crime might have a low punishment because only one crime was committed. Committing several small crimes might have a higher punishment because more than one crime was committed. Do whatever you want to do.

You should also come up with exceptions of punishment. For example, it is legal, in the US, to kill a person if the intent was self defense.

Think about the types of punishment. Are they physical? Can people be sentenced to death? Do they have to pay a fine? Do they have to do community service? Are they exiled? 

  • Prisons: You don’t need prisons or something similar, but they’re a form of punishment. If your society has dungeons, prisons, jails, or similar places, decide what they are like, who goes there, what it’s like there, and where they are located. Are they located far away from populated areas? Are they underground? Are people given free reign throughout the property, or are they confined to a small space?

Law Enforcement

With law and punishment comes people who enforce those laws. You’re going to need some kind of government force that controls the population. Decide how many different groups there are, what they are in charge of, how many law enforcement officials exist, and how much they enforce the laws. They might not do much to enforce laws or they might be extremely strict.

Holders of Power

The people in power are most often the ones who create, destroy, and uphold laws. Laws that are not written down can be changed by the person in power, depending on the culture, and will naturally change over time.

Go back to the idea of who decides what and why. If business has power or great influence over government, laws might cater to business. For example, in the US, monopolies were at one point illegal. However, the law never defined what a monopoly was and therefore capitalism kept going and business funded the government.

If laws change easily with each ruler, the laws of the society will reflect the personality of whoever is in charge.

"Yeah, that chapter in particular was really great!"

itsonlythefirstdraft:

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