Ask @SyeraMiktayee:

In your "Taking Inspiration From Real-Life Myth, etc" article, one point is "don't turn somebody else's religion or spirituality into fantasy hocus-pocus". What if I want to turn someone else's religion/spirituality into a form of divine magic as opposed to a form of arcane magic? Is it okay then?

Taking someone's faith/spirituality and reducing it down to a magical system like this is exactly the kind of thing the article is talking about, and is something I highly recommend avoiding.

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Have you ever played tabletop RPGs like D&D, or is your RP experience entirely in forum RPs? I've only RPed in tabletop games, and I can't help but notice that some of the problems you bring up in your RP advice articles are rare or even non-existent in tabletop RPs.

I've done both, but *mostly* forum/freestyle RPs, so yeah.

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I was gaslighted and manipulated into thinking I was a horrible person in my last relationship -- I think. Your article on moral abusers describes my ex almost perfectly. But I've completely lost my sense of self, and have no idea whether I'm a bad person or not. How can I heal?

If at all possible, it would probably be good to get professional help, or visit a site like 7cups.com for some free counseling.
In the meantime, I'd recommend this: http://www.springhole.net/other/how-to-cultivate-a-strong-internal-identity.htm
And the articles on moral abuser and gaslighting mention using your own self-check system and explain how this works. Make an effort to do this; it helps a lot.
It's also possible that you're going to experience some moments where you wonder whether your ex really was right and whether you're just being ridiculous. To avoid this, I suggest writing down a list of some of the nasty things your ex did to you. Refer to that list if you start having doubts. And if nothing else, remember that if your ex was a good person, you wouldn't be in this state right now.
It may take awhile for all of this to really sink in and stick, so be patient with yourself if it doesn't start working immediately.
Good luck!

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About skepticism, I once saw an ad on the Internet that had a guy claiming that he could make me a millionaire and had made lots of other people millionaires. I was skeptical and clicked away. Do you think that's a good time to be skeptical?

That is a very, very good time to be skeptical. That's one of those things that's just too good to be true.

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I'm writing a romance between two female characters, one of them is terminally ill, and a lesbian. the other is a widow, mentally ill, and dealt with a miscarriage, and has never dated women. i read your article about building romances, and i'm unsure if it's too big of an obstacle, to overcome?

That is one of those things that VERY much depends on the individuals. It could very much happen, though I do imagine there'd be some struggle along the way, and they might need to face and ask some tough questions and fears.

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How do I turn a self-insert into a proper character?

Essentially, you give your character different traits from yourself and flesh those out as best you can. They don't have to all be different, but if you can several significant ones, it goes a long way.
A couple of obvious ways are to make your character look somewhat different from you (and not just prettier) and to change your character's name, if it's your own name.
Other things you can do is come up with ways your character thinks and feels differently from you. Maybe your character likes something that you don't, and vice versa. Maybe your character tends to handle conflicts differently than you do. Maybe at some point your character made a choice that you wouldn't have made.
And of course, there's giving your character different history and backstory details, and then asking yourself how they would have made your character into a different person from you. If your character grew up someplace else, for example, your character would feel nostalgic over different things, have a different sense of cultural identity, and may have faced different challenges and issues that produced a person who is significantly different from you.
And then there are skills and hobbies. You can swap out a few of your own for something else, possibly including at least one that you have no interest in yourself.
Once you've changed your character's details around thus, you should no longer have a self-insert on your hands.
Best of luck!

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To the OP: if this character is really so selfish that they won't do anything unless there's something in it for them, they might still rescue the drowning person on the off chance it will lead to someone doing something good for them.

Well, there ya go. You might go with that, or you might stop and think up some potential things (even if they sound silly!) that this character hopes to get from this. (EG, "Ha! I rescued you! Now you owe me a reward!" or "Aren't you that guy who owes me two hundred dollars?")

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+1 answer in: “I'm trying to set up a scenario and I'm not sure how to make the leap from A to B. What extenuating circumstance could incline a selfish character to save someone from drowning?”

Do you have any advice for someone writing a story where the hero and heroine are literal deities? I read your post on immortal characters, but it seems to be geared to immortals who are more or less mortals who don't die of old age, maybe plus some special powers, rather than actual gods.

It is geared toward characters like that, but there are still points that apply to deities, including:
-Put yourself into their shoes and think about where they've been and what they've done. They've probably seen a lot, so there's probably no reason for them to be surprised by humanity's shenanigans!
-Think of some specific adventures or shenanigans they've gotten up to throughout their entire existences. Considering they're this old, "one thing per every decade" might be too tall an order, but the more you can fill things out throughout their entire existences, the better.
-Also put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself why they're doing what they're doing! Do they have any big divine plans? If so, why are they playing things out this way, and not another way? Do they have any rules they follow? Is there a sensible reason in-universe for these rules to exist, or are they just there to keep them from doing anything that would derail the plot?

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What, exactly, does consenting to cookies mean? Could it just be one of those little banner thingies that say "by using this site, you consent to cookies," or is it more complicated than that? (I want to help you but I'm not sure I understand the situation yet)

Many webmasters were lead to believe that those little banners would suffice, but it's actually more complicated than that. The whole thing requires consent to be given *before* a cookie is placed, and somehow or another, records collected of this consent being given.
Google is apparently putting together an optional tool to help webmasters do this, so here's hoping that pans out. XP

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Who would you trust more, your half sister who treats you kindly despite that she brutally killed the men who murdered her children or the stepmother who has made it very clear that she never liked you and might still have feelings for your father’s murderer who she was romantically involved with?

I'll go with the half sister. She has no motivation to kill me, nor is she involved with anyone who might persuade her to think killing me was a good idea.

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One of my characters is a rather small, skinny woman. Most of my characters are normal size and a few are even chubby, but I have noticed a lot of Mary Sue traits seem to have things to do with skinniness. Is having a skinny character OK?

It's just fine! It's only a problem if it's played up too hard as a reason to see the character as attractive, or if it ends up happening that the character is basically physically *flawless.*

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(1) I'm planning a SoulMettle story set in a small town in the Midwest (Wisconsin, to be exact). In this kind of setting, is it safe to assume magic users are generally associated with alternative crowds that more "traditional" people would balk at? There are some unfortunate leftover sentiments

Abbey
(2) from the 20th century irl and I remember reading that the government in the 50s deterred the "nuclear family" from partaking in magic use.
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Oh, absolutely. Many people definitely associate magic with alternative crowds simply because they're usually the most visible, and any sentiment that exists in the real world could most certainly apply here.

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