Ask @SyeraMiktayee:

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In response to your More Ways to be Happy article, do you think it'd be a good idea to keep a notebook of these "quests" like you would have in an RPG? For if you're ever down but don't know what to do at that moment, I mean.

Absolutely! That's a great idea.

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In your article "Talking About Your Strange & Apparently Paranormal Experiences Without Sounding Like A Complete Kook", you mention otherkin, fictionkin and multiple personalities as if they were harmless quirks of neurology. I think this is dangerous and enabling. Why are these beliefs harmless?

In and of itself, they're harmless if those with them keep their heads on and A: don't act like some kind of religious fundamentalists about it, and B: keep their eyes peeled for any symptoms that might legitimately need treatment and don't try to excuse them away.

And as I see it, with these sorts of people you're looking at two possible cases:

1. Someone has a quirk of neurology that is causing them to feel something, in which case they can't really help it. There's no use shaming them; in fact, doing so may just make them dig in their heels and cling to the whole thing even harder. We can, however, encourage them to see things in a more rational light and help them put their experiences into a more sensible perspective that they may be able to keep themselves better-grounded in reality.

2. Someone basically has very unusual spiritual views. We usually accept that freedom of religion is a good thing and that people have the right to believe as they will. Therefore, if they happen to have beliefs that make it plausible that they are reincarnated from a past life as an elf, then they have the right to that belief the same as anyone has the right to any other eschatological belief. We can explain why we believe that they are wrong and we can absolutely speak up (and possibly even intervene) if they start doing something that puts somebody at risk, but otherwise they do have the right to believe what they will.

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One of my characters is a thief/rouge and wears dark clothing and is mostly reserved due to her profession. How do I make sure that she doesn't end up being some edgy and brooding OC?

Firstly, there seems to be an assumption here that to be a rogue, one /must/ have a reserved personality. Now, it's certainly true that your rogue needs to be calm and quiet when the job demands it, but what about other times? Your rogue could easily be more social and outgoing when the situation doesn't demand sneaking. Who is your character beyond her job? What does she like doing during her off-hours? Put some thought into that. Make her a person who happens to be a rogue, not someone whose entire personality can be summed up as "rogue."

As for clothes, keep in mind the possibility of your rogue dressing very differently during off-hours (if such a thing is possible). You can also try at least to minimize design details that serve no real purpose (such as extensive laces or buckles) and ridiculous weaponry (IE, mall ninja fare). And aim for dark colors rather than outright /black/, as actual black actually blends into the shadows /less/ well than colors like dark gray or navy.

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An older story of mine was scrapped because of too many characters and arcs that distracted from the main story. How can I make sure that this doesn't happen again in future projects?

Identify and line out the main plot and the characters and elements it requires. If it's unnecessary, trim it off. Combine character roles and object functions to prevent them from needlessly multiplying. Always ask yourself whether something new you're considering is actually useful and necessary or not.

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If you had to make a theme park, or just a ride for a pre-existing one, what would you theme it around? What rides and other stuff would you have?

Witches, I suppose. And witchy ones.

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If we're speaking cliches, what is it with green light being evil, menacing, creepy? From the killing spell in Harry Potter to wildfire in Game of Thrones, it's always green. When I thought about a scary glow for a story, I imagined it green and then I realised how cliche it is. How to deal with it?

Why is green creepy? Well, as far as I've found out, there are a couple of reasons. One is that a green pigment made in the 19th century used arsenic. It was highly popular and ended up used in quite a few products, including clothing and wallpaper. People did eventually catch on to how toxic it was, and so the color green developed an association with death and poison. There's more information here:

Long before this, though, the color green was associated with faeries, and faeries of course often meant all kinds of trouble for people. (Lore has it that even wearing the color green could offend the faeries, as they see it as something of theirs!)

As to how you can deal with it, realizing that you don't want to pigeonhole green as evil or creepy is a good first step. The next step is to ask yourself what you might do instead, and what logic you're going to operate on here. What would befit the story you're writing? What might help set the tone or mood you're trying to create? As a general rule, thinking about what you're trying to establish and accomplish can help you work out a lot of problems like this.

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Do you ever plan on making another 'Premade World'?

I have one in the works, but it's pretty complicated and with everything else I have to do, it hasn't happened as quickly as I'd like.

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I know you already have an area where you have suggestions for places to RP, but I have a more specific situation. I mentioned forum RPing as a casual detail in conversation (he mentioned wanting to play a werewolf character but couldn't find a good story to play it in) and he was interested. (P1)

He asked what forum RPing was and he seemed interested, so I gave him a basic idea of how it worked, but I couldn't think of a forum to recommend. He's younger and autistic (literally, not in the way the Internet uses "autistic screeching") and don't know which sites would be the best to suggest so it would be simple enough to just jump in and start/join a game but he wouldn't have to deal with any crappy communities that makes those sort of jokes or RP in inappropriate settings. Know any role playing sites that work?

Unfortunately, I do not. What you might just do is suggest that he read some how-to and tips articles for roleplayers so he knows a bit about how to conduct himself, what to expect, and how to recognize bad communities and players (I have quite a few articles on these topics) and let him go in search of roleplay communities or sites (Google's a place to start) on his own.

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in the fandom generator index, there's a part for warrior cats, but the heading in question has no generators. Can you fill something in there?

Yeah; there was supposed to be something there - I don't know what happened to it!

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I got my account at an RP forum deleted with no way to contact the moderators/anybody who uses the site, and I've got no idea why; I've had a consistent activity schedule, have been a generally good citizen, yet I've been stonewalled from them -- they even kicked me from their forum Discord server.

(1/2) Should I try to find a way to get into the forum again/get contact with admins/mods, or just pack up my bags and leave?
First of all, I'm sorry to hear that happened - it's very cruel to just kick someone out with no explanation, let alone with no attempt to resolve whatever problem the player may have been causing.

In my experience, what you often have in cases like this is an admin who is afraid of confrontation for one reason or another - though of course, this is no excuse for treating a player like this. It also happens sometimes that someone else in the group doesn't like you for some reason (and that reason might not be any fault of yours) and has made you out to be a horrible person to the admin.

Whether you want to try to get in contact depends. Is it worth the effort to you? Do you want to face the potential drama? Or would you perhaps rather just cut your losses and seek out a game with hopefully better management?

If you try to get in contact with the management, don't try to evade your ban. See if you can get in contact another way, such as through a mutual friend. Make it clear that you just want to talk and clear things up, and that you don't want to fight. Make it clear that you're willing to correct your behavior if the management helps you understand what you did wrong. If it succeeds, there are a few things you should be prepared for. It might end very badly, especially if the management doesn't care enough to act professional about things like this. You must also be ready to be calm and diplomatic yourself, because turning it into a fight or playing the victim will only make things worse. (Even if you feel like they deserve the full force of your fury, staying cool and professional does have a practical purpose: they can't use your words against you later.)

Good luck!

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Hi I've been using your site for awhile, it's wonderful. I have a suggestion, why not add a forum? You already have a chat, but I think a forum would be awesome.

A forum will not happen because I don't have the time and energy to maintain one.

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Thanks, but I think you misunderstood my question. I asked about similarities and differences between the past and the new girl. Also, the first part - how to make the new relationship truly meaningful while acknowledging that the past one also was but without making the past one irreplacably best.

Same answer still applies. Just focus on making a unique character who happens to have enough in common with the guy that we can understand why they get together. They shouldn't all be the same things as he had in common with the first girl; maybe they have a few things in common that he had in common with the other girl while maybe there are quite a few things they have in common that are different. Go this route, and you should do all right.

As for making the prior relationship meaningful, think of it like this: they had a good time and meaningful experiences together. The new relationship should have the same thing going on, but rather than it being better or worse, it's just different. Think about your relationships with your friends - most of them aren't really better or worse than each other; they're just different from each other because you do different things with different friends and relate to them in different ways.

I hope this is the type of answer you're looking for.

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What was the inspiration for your site name?

This one's covered in the faqs. :P It's just a hole in the ground where water comes up out of. There was one near my childhood home.

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Do you know how to write religious people?

Hi, just a random questions about your quizzes. Do you use a software that calculates the formulas for you? Thanks!

Nope, I just customize a script directly.

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Any advice for creating fantasy econonomies? Everything from what it's based on to what its pieces are physically made up (like copper pennies in USD)?

Most of my advice for fantasy economies is here:

I also have a random coin generator here that you might use to inspire a few ideas:

With regard to your example, I think a good way to go would be to ask yourself what makes sense. What can they make money out of that's sufficiently available and durable? As for what it's based on, what do they have that's *worth* basing their money on? Gold, like in the US? Some fantastic material? Something else?

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I was reading your articles about long lived characters & vampires on springhole. I'd thought over a lot of the things but it was all very helpful! Won't talk about my character etc but thank you

Lucy Richer


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I have a character whose father constantly pushes them to be the "ideal child" and never sees them as good enough. Any advice on how to do this without making it seem unrealistic or corny?

Not specifically, no. Just try to bear in mind the principles I have laid out here:

If you intend the father to be narcissistic, I'd also recommend doing research on narcissistic parents, since there's a lot of material out there on it.

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In your article "Ethical Considerations For Fantastic Situations," you state that the Inhumane Weapons Convention prohibits the use of incendiary weapons. However, the Convention only prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against or near civilians, or against foliage not being used as cover.


All right, got that clarified.

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Can you please give me advice for.... 1. How to use logic without screwing up like I did before. 2. How to respond to being insulted. 3. How to make a request without it sounding like a demand. 4. Deal with people who call your favourite show bad.

I have some pages that deal with these general concepts:

And in this case, you ended up using the False Equivalence fallacy, where two things are claimed to be equal based on a small number of traits they have in common while ignoring the things that make them substantially different. A good way to avoid this one is to examine your two things and ask yourself what each one has that or entails the other doesn't. For example, what is it that truly makes A such a problem to society? Does B *really* share this, or are the only traits they actually have in common fairly trivial or superficial?

Another thing is to constantly ask yourself, "Is this an actual problem, or is it just something that I personally don't like?" This often entails examining whether the thing in question causes actually causes any actual, measurable damage. If it does, it's a problem. If it doesn't, it's probably just something that's not to your tastes.

(And this page has more on how to tell whether a story is actually bad vs. just not to your tastes: )

And finally, aim to be the voice of reason and not the control freak:

I hope that helps!

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I think it's also because I live in New Zealand, where the word "@$$" is more rude than in other countries.

That makes sense! In the US, it's considered a very, very mild swear word.

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(1/2) I'm writing a superhero story and I'm planning on a point where a main villain finds out the main character's secret identity and blackmails him into doing things for her by telling him that she'll kill his loved ones. The main character CANNOT let this happen, because he values his loved ones

(2/2) ...above all else. In the heat of the moment, the main character will kill the villain before she can tell anyone. How should I make sure the hero stays likeable after this and what would be believable consequences for him to suffer?
As far as keeping your character likeable goes, it helps to make sure that you build your character up as being sympathetic and relatable beforehand. It'll also help if it's made clear that this character IS truly desperate, and isn't just killing this villain simply because it's convenient and easy. And it'll also help if we see that what the villain does makes the hero really and truly miserable, and that this villain isn't kidding around and that the danger is very real. (Maybe the villain's done this kind of thing before?)

As for believable consequences, those depend a lot on what happens and how things are in your story. Who is going to find out what your character does? What are their opinions on it going to be? Who will they tell about it? Will they try to take action? If so, what action will they take? Will they maybe try to get this character prosecuted for murder, or will they start a social media campaign? Or is it possible that this villain is so awful that most people are breathing a sigh of relief, and the only ones who want to do anything against the hero are just those looking for a random cause to champion? Put yourself into the shoes of various people who could say and do something about it, and ask yourself what they'd do.

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Beside the obvious issues about pairing a canon character with an OC (I'm already as careful as can be about this part), I need advice on how to show a character developing a meaningful relationship after losing his previous love. As in, his fiancee died few years before (that's canon) and I want to

have him fall in love with a new person. The thing is I want the new relationship (and subsequent marriage) to be true, deep love and all the other things that the best relationships are (maybe without the cliche wording) but I acknowledge that canonically the previous one was shown as all those things as well. Can it be reconciled somehow? And how? Also, you once warned not to make a new love interest too similiar to the previous one (so it's not a direct replacement) and not exact opposite either (don't remember the exact reasoning but you mentioned it's also not healthy). So how not to risk any of those versions? If my character is very different from the canon love interest (but still compatibile with the male character) but not created to be the exact mirror counterpart (aka, no blonde-brunette, shy introvert-social butterfly etc) is it good enough or should I have them have something explicitly in common?

They basically need to have just enough in common that they can bond over it and make us go, "Ah, THAT'S why they're such a great couple!" I hope that helps.

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Okay, sorry if I sounded too fussy and sorry I told you I was leaving. It was not meant to be a demand, it was meant to be a polite request to tone down the language and that example was a failed attempt at using logic. When I said I would leave, it was because it hurt my feelings being called "whin

y" and sworn at. If you apologise for being admittedly a bit rude, I'll apologise for whatever you want and possibly even swallow down those iffy words, but keep in mind I still disapprove of them. Your advice was really cool up to that conversation and I hope you can forgive me.
I do apologize for my own rudeness, and yes, I forgive you! No hard feelings here.

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Do you play/have you played Dungeons and Dragons?

I've played Pathfinder!

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About Syera:

Ask me writing, developing, or site-related questions what cannot be answered by reading the FAQs and articles and such.