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., Faolan, Kami, Blue, Meraki, and Snow. Here is our team page.
Group RP: In light of the current running group roleplay competition, we want to inform everyone that it will be coming to an end very shortly. To those participating - keep pushing and get out whatever posts you can in that time! We also want to remind everyone that though it is a competition, nobody should feel any pressure as at the end of the day it is all fun and games and should just be a good way for you all to write and get to know each other.
Event Schedule: Just a heads up that we have been discussing some changes to our event schedule to better entice users, provide better breaks, and adjust event timelines to best serve our awesome community!
Staff Changes: In the passing month we had a few changes to the AS staff. First and foremost we said goodbye to our lovely Overseer Deer and our Creativity Moderator Ecce, but we also welcomed in two others! Welcoming to the team now we have a second Archivist, Faolan and a returning face, Rakuen. She will be a more behind the scenes Administrator to the site and we are very happy to have her back. Faolan will be handling house sorting primarily.
Summer Prompts: As the Group RP competition comes to a close by the end of May, June will mark the beginning of the 100 Days of Summer! It will be similar to last year's 100 DoS event. We will be posting about it in more detail as time nears, so get ready!
Staff Applications: As far as this goes, we have opened up staff applications once more in search of a few more members to take up positions. At the time there is no deadline but you should submit the application offered here to Thunder as soon as you can to avoid missing out. We are currently looking for an Attendant, a Global Moderator, and two Overseers!
Explicit Board Rule Thread: We have recently created a thread for the Explicit Forum detailing what sort of things should and should not be found within. For those who have access, please take a look at that thread. You can find this stickied to the top of the forum.
Literacy: We must stress that though 200 words are mentioned as the bare minimum for the site, this is with writer's block and posts should never constantly reflect this length. It is strongly recommended that you keep your posts above 300 words as this is a mature and literate writing site. This applies to all role-play forums.
Thread Deletion: Please remember that staff members are not here to delete your threads for you so that you can clean up your posts. Threads will be moved to archives and not deleted, unless a situation calls for it for whatever reason. If you would like to have your thread moved to archives, please PM our archivist, ichor, to let her know.
Thread Symbols: This is a gentle reminder to everyone on site that we do have rules for usage of thread symbols. If you've forgotten or simply don't know what each symbol means, please look to here for a bit of guidance as they are very important in terms of warnings. This applies to all role-play forums.
I'm about to get married! I can barely organize my thoughts and planning a wedding is so big!! Do you have any tips and tricks in organizing big events and get-togethers?
- Anonymous Phoenix
Preparing for a wedding or any large scale event can be an enormous undertaking, especially if you haven't done it before. There are a few great tips that will help everything run smoothly.
1. First, if at all possible, plan as far ahead in advance as you can. It'll take a great deal of pressure off of you if you're able to schedule every known aspect of your event down to the minute, even if you only plan ahead a few weeks. With everything planned and set, it allows you some time in case things go awry to make adjustments or rearrange things. You will feel so much more at ease if you have important phone calls and meetings taken care of before the big day. You do not want to be doing this all the week before your event, you'll go crazy. You can even find in-depth wedding/event planning guides and printable timelines on Google that you can tailor to your specific needs.
2. Have a physical place for all your planning essentials. Etsy is a great place to find wedding planners that come equipped with pages to file in all your different things that are important to remember. However, it is not necessary, you can always buy a cheap notebook or accordion folder to house important documents, phone numbers, locations, etc. That way, you have everything in one place; organized and easy to find when you need to grab something quickly.
3. Get help! It's always important that you have people you trust to help you along the way. The stress is normal but your friends and family can always help you out when you need it. Maybe just one or two reliable people that know what you need to get done. This is also important in the event of an emergency, you're not the only one that can handle important meetings or decisions. You can even put someone in charge of keeping your things organized if that's too stressful for you.
4. Don't panic! Things may go wrong, missing, etc. But if you make an attempt to stay organized and ahead of the game, you will have the willpower to handle any mishap that may come your way. Take a breather, count to ten and ask for help when you feel overwhelmed!
Everybody loves a good romance whether it is in a roleplay or in writing. What are some good references and/or things to avoid (such as cliches) when writing a romance?
- Anonymous Wyvern
One of the best things you can always do is read romance novels. See what you like and what you don't like. Whatever you don't like, make note of it so that you don't end up doing the same thing in your own writing. There are many cliche pairings in romance novels - such as bad boy x good girl - that can, of course be avoided. But, if you don't mean that, then after doing a quick Google search, I found many articles written on what type of cliches to avoid. One article I found listed seven different types.
1. Avoid writing about the perfect guy or girl. Let them have flaws to make them realistic.
2. Avoid writing about love at first sight - liking or being attracted to each other is realistic, but being in love with them is not.
3. Don't make the romance become the focus. This can make your plot suffer.
4. Avoid having the heroine making the unlikable/jerk guy lovable. It's a very common trick that is used in writing romance.
5. The evil other woman. Meaning, a woman who was scorned or rejected and has become crazy in her quest for revenge. Find some
other way to bring in drama and tension to the story.
6. The dying hero/heroine. Admittedly, this is my favorite cliche. But, it is overused. The characters are finally together - or about to be - and then one of them is dying. Try giving them better endings and don't kill characters off too soon!
7. Love triangles. If these aren't carried out well, it can hurt the plot. They're great at times, but discretion is needed.
To read more in depth about these seven tips, you can visit this article here.
What are some ways to put an end to procrastination when I have some things that need to be done?
- Anonymous Wyvern
The best way is to either limit or get rid of the things that are distracting you. You can make a vow or promise to yourself that until you finish what you need to get done, you won't partake in whatever it is that is distracting you. Try to get friends and/or family in on it too. Have them limit or stop you. If they see you online or doing something you shouldn't be doing, then tell them they have permission to intervene and do whatever it takes to make sure you get back on track. If this doesn't seem to work, maybe take breaks. Do your important work for a certain amount of time, before taking a short break to take your mind off the task. Set a timer or alarm to ensure that you don't lose track of time and end up sidetracked for hours without realizing it.
How can we submit articles to the Afflatus? Do we gain House Points with article submissions?
- Anonymous Wyvern
You can submit articles by PMing them to the archivist, ichor! You can submit anything for your article, such as writing or life tips. Points have not been determined for article submissions at this time, however, due to there being no previous interest. Staff members will need to discuss this and upon reaching a conclusion, an announcement on the Afflatus will be made! Thank you for showing interest in submitting articles to us!
This month's Writing Tips theme is on Writing the Perfect Scene - Small Scale Structure. Check out the first half of this writing tip in the last issue!
There are two levels of scene structure: the large-scale structure of the scene and the small-scale structure of the scene.
In order to write compelling paragraphs leading your character from the initial goal to conflict to disaster and then through reaction to dilemma to decision, you use what Dwight Swain calls "Motivation-Reaction-Units" or MRUs.
Writing MRUs are hard but helps improve writing. It is the magic key to writing fiction that is compelling.
To write in this way, you will alternate between what your main character sees - the motivation - and what he does - the reaction. The motivation is objective, but something your characater can see, hear, touch, or taste. Write it in a way that your reader also experiences what the character is. Then, start a new paragraph where your character does things in reaction to the motivation. There is an exact sequence that must be followed based on what is physiologically impossible. The motivation is external and objective while the reaction is internal and subjective. This creates the reader's illusion that they are experiencing something real.
To break it down:
The motivation is external and objective. You present it that way in objective, external terms in a single paragraph. An example of this is The tiger dropped out of the tree and sprang toward Jack. Notice that there is nothing indicating Jack's point of view, because that will come next.
The reaction is internal and subjective. You present it exactly as your character would experience it from the inside. This is the chance to make your reader the character and must happen in its own paragraph(s). The reaction is more complex because it is internal. Internal processes happen on different time-scales. You must present the reactions of the character's from the fastest to the slowest time-scale. If put out of order, things won't feel right and you destroy the illusion of reality. The reader will stop reading because it's not realistic, even if facts are right.
For instance, when seeing a tiger, the first reaction will be fear. After, you have time to react by instinct, or reflex. And after that, you have time to react rationally - to think, speak, act.
Here is an example that will be broken down. A bolt of raw adrenaline shot through Jack's veins. He jerked his rifle to his shoulder, sighted on the tiger’s heart, and squeezed the trigger. "Die, you bastard!"
Feeling: "A bolt of raw adrenaline..." Is shown first because it happens almost immediately. Reflex: "He jerked his rifle..." Is shown next as a result of his fear. No conscious thought required. Rational Action and Speech: "...sighted on the tiger's heart..." Last because Jack has had time to think and act in a rational way.
After the reaction, comes another motivation. Remember that the motivation can be complex or simple. The only requirement is that it is external and objective - something that not only the character can see, hear or feel, but the reader is able to as well like they are there.
The important thing is to keep alternating. When you run out of motivations or reactions, your scene or sequel is over.
This month's life tips is over Filing Tax Returns.
Note: this portion is written from an American’s point of view and may differ in other countries.
For those of you with some sort of steady income, such as a full time or part time job, you may have had to file your taxes - perhaps even for the first time. The deadline has now passed, but if you felt stressed or confused, then hopefully this helps you for next year while it is still a fresh experience. Firstly, I do highly recommend a simply service like TurboTax. If you have a W2 from your employer, or even are employed by someone more privately and they give you a 1099 (I had this experience for the first time due to a side job working for someone who is self employed with her own private practice). Software like TurboTax will walk you through things step by step, though it can still seem a little intimidating at first. The main things you will need include your W2 and any other related documents (such as my 1099 from my side job), and you might also benefit from putting in the information for your student loan payments or costs of school for the past year. Putting in the appropriate info regarding the interest you paid on your loans or the tuition you paid could help you out! At the end, I also needed my drivers license, either to be able to file online (versus mailing it in) or to receive the tax refund as a direct deposit, so if you don’t have your license you are likely fine.
Once you have done the process, let’s address what you do with any money you receive back. DO NOT just go out and spend it all! This isn’t the appropriate time to splurge it all on new games or a new pet. You want the majority (or at LEAST half) to go towards debts/savings. If you want to put it towards your credit card bill or student loans, that’s great. If you want to save it for an apartment deposit, wonderful. If you want to set it aside from your dream trip in a couple years, sounds good. Don’t have any savings to put it towards? Start a savings account! Anything that will decrease your debt now or better prepare you against debt in the future is fine with me. And if you want to skim a bit off the top to go have a little fun, by all means!
An example would be: say you get $300 refunded. You could put $100 towards some sort of debt you have, such as a loan or credit card, set aside $100 for savings of some sort, and then go have fun with the other $100. I would never say you can’t have any fun - but keep it reasonable. Use this awesome opportunity to tackle debt and goals. I divided my return between my student loans, my credit card, and saving for an upcoming trip. I also bought a few things on Amazon in a really enjoyable ‘treat yo self’ moment.
1. How would your character describe their childhood?
2. What were your character’s favorite childhood activities?
3. What was your character’s fondest childhood memory?
4. Is your character a virgin? If not, when did they lose their virginity?
5. Who has the greatest influence on your character? Why?
6. Is your character able to kill? Under what circumstances do they find it acceptable?
7. Is there anything your character refuses to do? What is it and why?
8. In general, how does your character treat others?
9. Who is your character’s best friend? How did they meet?
10. If your character died or went missing, who would miss them?
11. What does your character look for in a potential lover?
12. How can someone impress your character?
13. What are your character’s pet peeves?
14. Name three things your character is good at. Name three things they’re bad at.
15. What would your character want to be remembered for after death? xPromptx “I don’t think I could ever stab someone. I mean, let’s be honest. I can barely get the straw in the Capri Sun.”
Eccedentesiast and her friends will be doing a gaming stream on May 12 to raise money for an animal organization. They will be making money by both donations and viewer count. If you'd like to join and help support the cause, PM her to find out more!
Sinning Trashcan is holding a research poll for her college Journalism class! Please help her out by voting on the poll!
Do you have ideas as to what you would like to see here? Don't be afraid to share through our google form!
“You gotta be kidding me. Him? After everything I did for you?” he was baffled, surprised by this sudden turn of events. His brown eyes casted over his sister, wrapped up in the arms of two strangers to him. Both of the guys were a bit more as 6 feet tall. One of them had short black hair, a stern look on his face as his eyebrows were furrowed together into a frown. The other had snow white hair, multiple piercings littering his face and making his overall look quite intimidating… if Dan hadn’t been a gangster and had dealt with this shit before.
“I did so much shit for you. I’ve been like a, what is it called… guardian angel to you.” he huffed, noticing the guys unwrap the redhead from their grip to step forwards. “I don’t know who the fuck you are. But I don't care if you are an angel. You are still a jerk.” the white haired guy sneered, shielding the redhead from Daniel’s view. “You call this being a guardian? Name one thing you ever did for her.” he continued, stepping closer until he was basically facing the blond gangster.
“How about I kept her damned ass alive?” Dan hissed. “That you paid for her debts does not mean you are superior. We know that you knew this for such a long time, and still you let her suffer.” the black haired male joined in, even if his voice was more gentle in an attempt not to make the redhead more upset as she already was. The tears were streaming down her freckled cheeks and Alex was trying his hardest to dry them off with his sleeve, holding the girl he had always seen as a sibling close to him.
A pair of keen bluish-green eyes was focused on the massive cathedral. Notre-Dame towered over the sleeping city of Paris as its colossal towers loomed above the unusually silent marketplace. It was an early dawn in late June; the morning sun had already begun its journey into the sky, the first rays of gold illuminating the church. In spite of the current hour, a few dazed people were already moving in front of the stone building, impatiently waiting for their usual routine to begin. Most of them ignored the hooded figure leaning against a nearby inn, coincidentally named Hotel Dieu. A few passerbies decided to greet the mysterious person. They received no answer, quickly shuffling away when the piercing gaze focused on their faces. The man felt like a bad omen.
More people were slowly filling up the marketplace grounds. But not a single one resembled the nobleman his eyes were searching for. He scoffed, clearly dissatisfied. The locals of Paris kept moving past him, barely acknowledging his presence, busy with their usual chores and duties. His eyes were focused on the mingling crowd, searching for particular a man of wealth. There were only commoners walking from one market stall to another, conversing with the local merchants about their prices and goods. Not a single one of that lot was important to him. Frowning underneath his black hood, the man pushed himself away from the inn's wall, slipping into the crowd unnoticed. His new target was the Notre-Dame de Paris, the very famous Gothic-style cathedral.
Standing in front of the building, his intent eyes could barely see the top. Frowning, the young man tugged his hood down, moving away from the doors and briskly walking to the side of the church. There were fewer people enjoying the fine gardens around the cathedral, thus, he was alone. Approaching the stone wall, he let his arms drop to his sides, a pair of curved daggers sliding out of his tunic's sleeves. The blades were light and sharp, perfect for his next objective. Getting to a higher level above the ground would let the man survey the marketplace grounds better and more sharply. Looking at the crowd one last time, he began the climb.
Write one or more poems based on one of the seven deadly sins without mentioning their name/synonym. At least four lines. For each poem submitted, you earn 3 points. If you submit all 7 poems, you can earn 25 points. Post poems directly to the thread and title the post Deadly Sin Poem(s).
Staff Questions from previous activity:
1. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
2. What are some tactics that you personally use to gather muse whether it is writing a personal piece or writing a response to a roleplay?
3. If you were to select an animal that best represented you, what would it be and why?
4. What made you volunteer to take up a staffing position at Advanced Scribes?
5. In your school years, what was your favorite subject? What was your least favorite subject?
1. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they, and what are their names?
2. Favorite book or series?
3. Favorite ice cream flavor(s)?
4. Have you ever visited somewhere out of your city, and/or country?
5. Do you watch anime and, if so, what’s your favorite one?
1. All Staff - How do you guys work together so smoothly? I mean it seems like you guys have instant communication. As someone who has my own site, with staff as well, is there an easy way to stay in constant contact with them?
2. Thunder - What kind of coding runs the site behind the scenes? Was there originally a hosting site like proboards or something similar?
3. All Staff - How do you guys decide when enough is enough? Again, asking because I’ve got my own site, and i want to know how many chances a user should be given. Especially if it’s known they’ve had…issues on other sites.
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:Just wanted to drop by and give a warm welcome to our new Archivist, Faolan. Welcome to the team, it'll be nice seeing you around more <3
Anonymous Kistune wrote:Deer is a wonderful human being and she deserves much more love than she gets. She is one of the best friends I will ever have and I am forever grateful for having someone so nice, caring and selfless near myself. I don't even mind that she isn't a real deer - I love this amazing lady all the same and she is also one of the main reasons why I've come to love AS as a community. So, cheers to you, love!
Anonymous Wyvern wrote:This is to Viperans that are participating in the Group Roleplay Competition. You guys are doing a fantastic job! A great representation of our House! ~SongOfFlames~, shimada, qunari, evergreen, Jazzyleia
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:I just want to say that avenoir. is an absolutely amazing scriber, who has been a great friend to me
BlazeRod has requested some critique on a writing piece they did for the Spring Prompts! Please provide some constructive feedback! You can message them directly or submit through the Google Form so I can forward it to them!
Link's fingers danced along the Harp of Ages. He'd finally finished his adventure, Labrynna was safe, and before it Holodrum. Now, there was nothing left to do, no one left to save. The only thing he could do was sit and enjoy the peace while it lasted. Making sure not to play any of the tunes that would warp him into the past, Link tilted his head back and let a small smile flit across his face. He'd missed this. The peace and quiet of knowing that there was no insane person trying to take over some part of the world or another.
Continuing to play, Link felt rather than saw a strange shimmer in the air. As he pulled his hand away from the string, the world seemed to invert slightly, and then with a scream, there was suddenly a small, yellow haired girl standing in front of Link. The teen yelped, and stumbled backwards. The girl wobbled a bit, and then her eyes focused on Link and her dark blue eyes widened fearfully.
For about ten terrifying moments the two just stared at each other, and then tears formed in the girl's eyes and she whimpered. Instantly Link's mind went to Barry, the son of Bipin and Blossom. He'd helped raise the kid when time was all wacky and he'd grown to the age of seventeen over the span of almost a month. He'd ended up becoming a singer, and had taught Link a song to heal himself.