AS Afflatus: Issue Ten

Where you can find all published issues of the Advanced Scribes Afflatus, our very own newsletter!
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ichor.
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:53 pm

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If you are a new reader of the Afflatus, welcome! This magazine is meant to be interactive with our members, meaning submissions, suggestions, and nominations are encouraged! For each contribution to the Afflatus, points will be awarded to the house! Through this magazine, we aim to provide tips and inspiration as well as updates regarding the site. To make a submission, you can do so by using this form or even posting directly to the thread.

Submissions that are meant to be shown for the next issues are: Dear Stag, Featured Writing, & Anonymous Compliments/Critique.

Afflatus Contents: Title Post, Updates, Dear Stag, Writing & Life Tips, Character Interview & Prompt, Member Corner, Featured Writing, Adventure Story, Activity Center and Anonymous Compliments and Critique.

Current Staff/Team Members: Thunderofthedrum, Night Fury, Commander Shepherd, Blacksteel Alchemist, Ichor., DeerInYourHeadlights, Eccedentesiast, Kami, Blue, Meraki, and Snow. Here is our team page.
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Group RP: Hope you guys are all doing well! If you are ever stumped, utilize your teammates and housemates! This event should be fun; a way to make new friends, try new ideas, and earn a great amount of house points! If you are not on a team but want to be a backup, please PM Thunder!

Prompt Event: We hope this has been a fun way to achieve a few points without having to commit to the group event or in case you didn’t make it onto a team. We welcome feedback! Events are there for YOU guys.

Banned Members: It doesn’t happen often outside of spam, but occasionally we do have a situation escalate to the point of warranting the ban hammer. We want to give everyone a reminder that if you know for a fact someone was banned and you think you see them around again (whether an old or new account), please report it or tell staff! We’ll determine what action is most appropriate and we really appreciate when you guys make sure to communicate with us if you see something.
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Dear Stag,

I'm stuck in a loop hole of self-doubt and I can't break it. How do I fix it?

- Anonymous Kitsune


Baby steps. Some people struggle with this more than others, and everyone has different experiences. Self doubt often has to do with the fear of failing, of looking stupid, unattractive, uninteresting. Of being called out, of not doing something right. Out of this can come the fear to try or start. What could possibly help is setting very small goals that you can achieve to slowly build up your confidence, such as small acts in your daily routine, or small changes. If you want to change your look, start with just some eye shadow tutorials, or if you can’t speak in front of people, practice in front of toys, friends, and build up to Skype or Discord friends. If you don’t think you will get a job, just work on your resume to begin with. Asking questions doesn’t hurt! Ask for feedback from friends or coworkers, how to improve or if something looks good. Ask for ideas to try next, if you are too nervous to ask for criticism of what you are doing now.

Dear Stag,

What is your favorite quote to live by and why?

- Anonymous Unicorn


"May I act with courage, may I deal with honour, may I achieve humility." Why? It was in one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. It was a bit of a punch in the gut and yet a breath of fresh air. It pushes me to do what’s right but also to live life fully. Even just little things, like going loading my kayak onto my car for the first time despite some fumbling in front of strangers, biting my tongue instead of lashing out in hurt, or letting someone into my lane during rush hour traffic. It reminds me of how far I’ve come, and it gives me strength to continue to explore who I could be.

"You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will." Why? I think the main reason why I’ve always been so hesitant to start all of the projects that I’ve wanted to do throughout my life was because I was scared of failing. And I always remember this particular quote of Stephen King whenever I feel hesitant or afraid of starting something. I mean, you can always change and perfect whatever you create, right? But you can only start it once and it takes a whole lot of courage to do that. I think this quote and this particular author has saved a lot of my ideas from crumbling into nothingness, honestly.
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This month's Writing Tips theme is on Writing the Perfect Scene - Large Scale Structure.

There are two levels of scene structure: the large-scale structure of the scene and the small-scale structure of the scene.

The large-scale structure of a scene is very simple. There are two choices that can be made for the scene structure: a scene or a sequel.

A scene follows a three-part pattern consisting of: a goal, a conflict, and a disaster.

Goal: A goal is what your main character wants at the beginning of the scene. It must be specific and clearly definable. Your character must have a goal to make them proactive and not passively waiting for the universe to deal them Great Good. Your character is going after what they want, just as your reader wishes the character could do. A character who wants something desperately is an interesting character, even if they're not nice. Your reader will identify with the character and that is what you want as a writer.

Conflict: The conflict is a series of obstacles that your character faces on the way to reaching their goal. You must have conflict in your scene because if your character reaches their goal without any conflict, the reader will be bored. The reader wants to struggle. No victory has any value if it comes too easy.

Disaster: A disaster is a failure to let your main character reach their goal. Don't let them win! When the scene ends in victory, your reader will feel no reason to turn the page.

A sequel follows a three-part pattern consisting of: a reaction, a dilemma, and a decision.

Reaction: The emotional follow-through to a disaster. When something awful happens, you can't help feeling off balance. Show your main character reacting to their disaster. Show them hurting and give your reader a chance to hurt with them. You may need to show some passage of time. This isn't a time for action, it's a time for reaction and weeping. Don't have the character stagger around in pain forever. In real life, people who do that lose their friends. In fiction, you will lose your readers. Eventually, the main character needs to get a grip and look for options.

Dilemma: A situation with no good options. If your disaster was a real disaster, there aren't any good choices and your main character must have a real dilemma. This gives your reader a chance to worry and wonder about what can possibly happen next. Let the main character work through their choices, sort things out, and eventually find the least bad option.

Decision: The act of making a choice among several options. This is important because it lets your main character become proactive again. People who never make decisions are boring people and wait for somebody else to decide. No one wants to read about somebody like that. Make your character decide and make it a good decision that your reader can respect. Make it risky while making it have a chance of working. Your character now has a new goal that will keep the reader turning the page.
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This month's life tips is over Building Credit.

This is so important in life. When you leave high school, you likely won’t have any ‘credit’. What I mean is that you don’t have any credit history. If you want a loan or want to rent a place, when they run a credit check on you, nothing will show up. That leaves them standing there with no information to go on about whether you would be a good investment or a good renter. They don’t want someone who is going to miss payments and get in trouble. Having good credit (ie good credit history) means that you have dealt with payments before and been good about them. It means you pay your rent and your car payment on time. Over time, this builds good credit, which may earn you a better interest rate when you buy a car or property later on! (Plus being responsible about your payments and other responsibilities is just good all around, and makes you more mindful of your finances) Actually, I know someone who had saved enough money for the purchase of the used vehicle he wanted but because he wanted to add to his credit, he got a loan for several thousand dollars anyway. He simply paid it back extra quickly so that it would contribute to his credit. Most people wouldn’t think to do that or wouldn’t be able to, but it was a crafty idea!

How to build good credit? One common way is to get a credit card - the the key is that you use it wisely. Don’t spend more than you can pay off. Remember, the way a credit card works is it allows you to BORROW money from the bank which then you have to pay back. When you get a credit card it will say what your credit line or limit is, essentially the maximum amount you can charge on it. Depending on your credit and perhaps other factors, it could vary from under $1000 to several thousand or more! This can be really helpful for big purchases like a new $4000 sofa for the house which would benefit from the flexibility of paying it over some time, but generally you should pay off most or all of it every month. If you have some credit built already, you can probably get a regular credit card. If you aren’t there yet, there are some options to start off and work up to it! There is the route of getting a secured credit card, which means you pay a deposit (likely the amount of your credit limit) which they can use if you fail to make a payment. Another option is to get a co-signer (typically a parent) but remember that by having them co-sign, their name is also responsible for this credit card account, so all the more reason to use it responsibly. A third way where you don’t get your own account is to become an authorized user on someone else’s. I know someone who has his teenage daughter as an authorized user of his account with a copy of his card. This allows her to use it and start putting some use to her name while leaving him as the one legally responsible for the charges.

Two more ideas are to get credit for the rent you pay, and a credit-builder loan. Look around online to read up on these!

General Tips:

- Pay on time, every time
- Pay off the full amount or as much as you can - NEVER pay just the minimum required payment!
- Don’t open too many accounts; that can bite you in the rear with spending, making payments, and also having ‘young’ accounts
- The ‘age’ of your accounts does play a role - older accounts look more steady and reliable to lenders
- Look at the interest and any fees (avoid cards with fees if possible)
- If you get a card or new bank account, you can typically download the app for your mobile device to track your charges and other helpful information. Some even show your FICO credit score, such as Discover.
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1. How was your character's name chosen by their parents?
2. When your character was a child, what did they dream of becoming as a child?
3. What is the one place your character would love to visit and with who and why?
4. Describe an event that made a huge impact on your character and why.
5. Describe the impact someone had on your character and why.
6. What is your character's favorite actor?
7. What are your character's hobbies?
8. What is the weirdest thing your character has done?
9. How would strangers describe your character?
10. How would friends describe your character?
11. How would your character's significant other describe them?
12. Does your character believe in any religion? Are they deeply religious?
13. Has your character ever broken the law?
14. What is your character's thoughts on cheating?
15. What is your character's thoughts on love?

x Prompt x
They wanna see me dead but I’m looking like a god
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Skystar901 was nominated and earned Halcyon a point for participating in the group role-play competition and helping out the Amaranthine team!

Do you have ideas as to what you would like to see here? Don't be afraid to share through our google form!
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:07 pm

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I Guarantee There Are Angels Around Your Vicinity by Deer
Hidden text.
The door shut loudly behind him, his combat boots making his presence known as he walked through the house. His black backpack was lazily swung over his right shoulder, the man casually making his way through the hallways in his camouflage jeans and black shirt. Halting in front of what he assumed was the living room, he raised his brown eyes to peer inside. The person inside looked up to watch him, seemingly afraid upon meeting his gaze.

“Who are you?” the older man inside the living room asked. He was at the end of his fifties, and a soft smirk crossed Brandon’s face as he stepped closer. “Demon to some. Angel to others.” Resting himself against the doorway, he casually crossed his foot at his ankles as he peered around the living room. “Is Rena home, Derek?”

Derek seemed to grow uncomfortable at that mention, but tried to keep his cool as he brushed some remainders of cocaine of the coffee table in front of him. “She’s at work. What do you need from her?” he questioned, causing for the smirk on Brandon’s face to widen. “Can’t you guess? I’m still surprised you are underestimating the looks of your daughter. She is like a siren, and she caught me.”

Detaching himself from the doorstep, he made his way further into the living room. Taking seat at one of the chairs, he turned his head to face Derek. This was going to be fun. “Look, if she got her ass into trouble again: I’m not going to protect her.”
“I know.” Brandon said, shrugging quietly as he had been aware of the whole situation for quite some time. He just hadn’t really taken action until now. Most of the time it was Dan who paid her (and Dan’s own) father a visit.

“She’s a good girl. I’m here to talk.” Brandon said, eyes narrowing slightly as he watched the douchebag sitting across from him. “Is it true? Are you using her to run your errands?”
Beginnings by Kami
Hidden text.
The memories were still fresh deep inside of her mind. The screams of agony echoed whenever she tried to sleep, never allowing her soul to rest. It was as if whenever she closed her eyes, she would find herself standing in the same underground village, looking at the scene that was already etched into the deepest corners of her being, watching it happen over and over again, wounding her even more. Instead of resembling a time of learning and curiosity, the past appeared to her as an enraged wolf, sinking its fangs deep into her throat, silencing the screams that never came out, turning them into pathetic whimpers. Even after three years had passed since the event on that dark evening, it still felt as if she had wiped the blood from her face only yesterday.

She had been seventeen when it happened; a young girl who was only starting her journey and her adventure in the cruel and unfair world beyond their village. Gullibility and need for companionship were often said to be her second nature. Having been sheltered for most of her life, she had taken the world outside of her parents' embrace for granted, believing that it would worship her just like the people had back in the underground. But the world was cruel and it only wanted to break those naive dreams.

And so it did, slowly luring her into a false sense of warmth and security. In the disguise of a new friend, the world offered her the freedom she had always dreamed of, lulling her into a dream she didn't want to wake up from. Alena had been an intelligent and creative young woman, revealing secrets the girl had never even dreamed of knowing. They had become a dynamic duo that quickly warmed up to the poorer regions of the village; they were loved not for their noble bloodline or high status, but for what they did. And it had felt like a breath of fresh air for her. After long years of being called only by her title and not her name, she was starting to learn what it felt to be a person again. And the happy smile of a farmer felt more genuine than the cold, forced embrace of her own parents. Back then she couldn't know that the lack of compassion and love from her own family would be the beginning of the chaos inside of her mind and her soul. Those three years ago, she was just a sweet, naive girl who didn't know any better.

She had always found beginnings difficult. And when the first genuine friendship had started off without a single hiccup down the road, it felt surreal. Her and Alena's bond was unbreakable, withstanding the roughest of hardships. It felt like it would never end and continue to exist for many years to come. But like most good things in life, it didn't. All of the hopes and dreams she had had were broken and shattered into a million of pieces at the feet of her parents. A beautiful start was abruptly ended by the people she had hesitated to trust from the very beginning. Everything she had ever wanted was taken away from her, thrown into the deepest of wells and allowed to sink until there were no traces remaining. And even if she could remember Alena's soothing words as if they had been said yesterday, she understood that her friend had been dead for years.
A Hired Assassin...for Ghosts by Jazzyleia
Hidden text.
hose words couldn't have described Xavier any better. It had been a joke someone said one day, wondering what a show based off of a person like that would go like. Never did they think it was actually a real thing, sitting right next to him one night. It was Xavier's world. Store owner by day, gang leader at night, and occasionally an assassin for vengeful ghosts. It was never the ones he took from this world. No, although occasionally they would come and merely wave at him like they were best friends. They always knew he was the only one to see them. Ghosts.

Xavier couldn't remember really how it happened. He remembered being young, taking his first life in a back alley as part of a hit, and he had seen him. His coach congratulated him on a job well done, Xavier's eyes merely glancing back and forth between the dead body on the ground and the translucent figure standing in front of him. But he had kept it secret. For years ghosts of all kind have been coming to him. It was interesting on how they communicated with him. It seemed he was sort of a name among the dead community. They would come, usually leave a message, and either wait for him to see it, or leave. It was such a large thing for him that most of his nights were spent hunting down those that had wronged these people so they could pass onto rest in peace. It wasn't always the easiest thing in the world, and he didn't get paid for them, but it was better than having them stand over your bed at night and staring at you.

So that had become his life. Xavier grew up running the store, running the gang, and running his own side business at night. Thankfully it wasn't always every night, and the ghosts normally kept within the same district area. He had never left the town to do anything. It was only after a night of hardship for the gang, an ambush that ended up killing their doctor, did Xavier truly felt like he was doing some good. He had never gotten the request of one of his members, as most of the time they died due to old age. They didn't need anything revenged. However tonight was different.
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For this month's activity, we'll have members submit a maximum of 5 questions for staff! Each question submitted will be worth 5 points. Questions can be made to the entire staff or to one specific member and will remain anonymous! The max amount of points able to be earned for this activity is 25 points! Staff will answer the questions in the following month's issue! Please send the questions to Thunder.

Have suggestions for future activities? Don't be afraid to share through the google form!
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Anonymous Kitsune wrote:milkyway is such a sweetheart and such a good roleplay partner~
Anonymous Kitsune wrote:vanitas. I just wanted to say as a fellow (sort of) artist I am totally in love with your "Noelle the General". I think it's a really pretty piece and I just wanted to let you know :)
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:Kami is an exceptional RP partner and a great friend. I am always keen to reply to her posts and know I can message her whenever I need, and she can do the same to me. She's an amazing writer and I strive to write as well as her some day. ALSO CONGRATS ON PASSING YOUR EXAMS. I LOVE YOU.
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:So, to put this message short: can I just say that Caladrius seems like a really cool, and overall fun person to talk to? They truly deserve all of the love and luck in the world ♥
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:I admire Deer and her coding, as well as everything that she does for the site. It's also really cool that a lot of other people admire her, and her influence around the community is phenomenal.
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:Katsuki Yuri is an amazing role-play partner and I really missed them
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