Necklaces by RubyRobinBoutique.
What do you do with an abandoned trolley station? Build a massive underground park!
That’s exactly what Dan Barasch wants to do. New York City has two-thirds the green space per resident as other big cities, but converting the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal into a park the size of a football field would create a respite from the bustling streets. By redirecting sunlight from the roads above, it is possible to illuminate a luscious community space below, nicknamed the Lowline for its similarity to Manhattan’s beloved High Line.
A Clockwork Orange, Dir. Stanley Kubrick
Book Geek Quote #604
I don’t have any guides, but I can probably suggest a few ways to look at this. Please note that I will be focusing more on how serving in the present-day American army affects people, for I am most comfortable with this stance. If your character is part of another country or even universe, you have to take into consideration if the country they’re serving is particular to war or not. Whatever the case may be, if your character’s lifestyle doesn’t change very much while serving in the army, then they, on a personal level, will reflect this and will not experience drastic change themselves.
To figure out how a character will be affected by their service, start with just your character. No title. No labels like “soldier.” Just think of them. What are they like? Are they reserved or outspoken; distant or approachable; against changes or can easily adapt to change; has a quick temper or is rather mellow? Serving in the army affects people in many different ways, so having a good grasp on your character’s personality and temperament will help you determine just how your character will or will not change. Typically, if being a soldier proves to be really stressful, your character will most likely reflect that upon their return. They might become rigid, solemn. Other times, they might act on their anxieties through their lack of sleep, appetite, and social interaction. If your character already acts like this before joining the army, then these traits would most likely amplify.
Next is to examine their relationships with others. Does your character have any healthy relationships where they feel safe and supported? Is there someone in particular who can easily anger them? Would the people your character know be insensitive towards such topics like trauma and anxiety? If your character is surrounded by people willing to listen and understand any of your character’s problems, your character will have an easier time transitioning from a stressful life in the army to the civilian lifestyle. It is more difficult to cope with the effects of being in the army when your character has no one to rely on or when people belittle their experiences; with this, traits like outbursts and social withdrawal would more likely strengthen than diminish. There are also transition programs that have been established to help veterans ease their way into the civilian lifestyle. There are other programs like those pertaining to mental health, physical health, and job offers, too. Your character’s surroundings are just as important as your character’s personality.
Once you have all of those organized and figured out, convey these changes through your writing. Do they tend to easily laugh? Give them moments where they don’t or that they actually feel offended instead. How do they dress now? How do they socialize? Do they even want to? How about their interests—any differences in them? As for their habits, did they suddenly take up drinking and drugs after serving? What of their sense of empathy and sympathy? Don’t forget to experiment with their dialogue. Are their sentences now long-winded or abrupt? Maybe some of their favorite phrases fell out or perhaps they took on military jargon. There’s also the facial expressions and physical quirks to think about. If your character walks with squared shoulders and a straight back, once in while show them with slumped shoulders while dragging their feet. Are there obvious wrinkles on their faces that were once not there? Are they jittery? Maybe stiff? Make use of all these and sprinkle your writing and their dialogue with them. Changes in your characters don’t have to be obvious. Actually, it’s best if it’s not too straightforward. Have your reader think a bit. Show the effects without bombarding your readers with them. Have your writing gradually change to reflect the changes in your character.
Lastly, remember to NOT romanticize a former soldier’s predicaments. Mental health problems such as depression and Post-traumatic stress-disorder (PTSD) do not make one tragically beautiful, mysterious, or attractive. Display the less favorable things that come with such mental health problems. Maybe your character lost in touch with many of their close ones due to their night terrors or unwillingness to socialize. Have them lash out on people, thinking they are merely talking to them out of pity. Evince your character’s apathy through their neglect of their personal hygiene and physical appearance. If they self-harm, write it off as a terrible addiction and not as beautiful marks. Is your character unable to relax, focus, or motivate themselves? Show it and have it affect how others see them. If you’re going to write about something like depression, do it thoroughly with research. Please, please do not rely solely on television shows, movies, and fiction books as they tend to romanticize a lot of topics. Your character can still be wonderful, beautiful, and whatnot. Their mental illness and troubles though? Nope. There’s a difference.
Serving in the army tends to cause stress, anxiety, trauma, depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, and physical injuries. To be thorough about this without knowing what your character is like, I’ll provide various links that may be of some help.
Outside tumblr (general information about the effects of being in the army)
Outside tumblr (what to do after the army)
Outside tumblr (some mental health problems resources)
I hope that helps! And I apologize for the wait.
"To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."
Follow me on instagram for more drawings :D
Books are my refuge when I’m lonely. I always find a friend between the pages of a book. That friend doesn’t judge me or make me feel inadequate or not enough. Thery’re just there. For me. Always waiting. And that’s a comforting thought.
Hi love your blog very helpful! I am currently writing a love triangle and was wondering how do I go about doing that? I’ve never been in one myself what kinds of things should I consider?My first instinct would to say that love triangles are rarely written well (frequently dissolving into boring melodrama) and often create a false choice between two people even though it’s entirely possible to love more than one person at once (polyamorous people exist!). I’d suggest looking into other ways of causing character tension or internal angst that don’t revolve around romance.That being said, here are some (personal) observations that make love triangles work for me.
- Character A acknowledges to self that they love Character B and C for different reasons.
- Character A explores the reasons to be in a relationship with B or C beyond “hotness” and “perfectness” including things like long term living compatibility, long term personality compatibility, financial reasons, and location. Committed relationships are more than just romantic love.
- Char B and Char C aren’t total dicks to each other and don’t fight to prove to A that they are more worthy than the other.
- Also no private extra wooing to A. (That one’s personal but it feels like emotional bribery/manipulation.)
- A makes a final decision without plot intervention, meaning it doesn’t involve B or C being killed off or permanently separated from A.
- B and C are respectful/friends after A makes the final decision. B and C respect A’s decision and don’t try to fight it.
- Mutual Pining that turns into a polyamorous relationship. Now it’s actually a triangular relationship.Resources
- Search Love Triangles on Tvtropes.org for all the different kinds of love triangles.
- The Writing Cafe’s Romance Tag
- Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. If you hate/don’t understand Shakespeare, just read the sparknotes page to understand how love can be more complicated than just a triangle or the V shape most “love triangles” end up being.
*quiet mumbling about how love triangles area actually love V’s*
I’m like the last person to be giving advice about love triangles or any kind of relationships, having never been in one or met someone that I want to be in one with, and I agree with everything Liren’s pointed out so far.
The biggest thing for me is respect, both between the wooers and for the wooee (shh it’s a word I made up). I want to see friends that stay friends after falling for the same person, I want to see respect for the final decision that is made.
Also non heterosexual love triangles would be really nice to see, god knows I have seen very very few of them ever in more mainstream published books.
Sorry I haven’t been very helpful!