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Empowering, Inspiring, Improving

Advice Column!~

Advice Column

Questions from Members receive answers from Admins!~

This bi-weekly series (published on Sundays) was created to allow our Members to ask our Admins any question that they would like, whether it be about something personal or artistic! Want to participate? Ask us a question by leaving a comment on the most recent Advice Column, or by sending a note to the group or Warchief!~

Launch | #1 | #2 |

Feature O' Friends!~

Feature O' Friends

Feature a friend and get featured in return!~

This weekly series (published on Mondays) is aimed at developing and nurturing community spirit by allowing members to suggest a friend to be featured in the next issue! Those who suggest a friend can have their artwork featured as well!~

Launch | #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 | #12 | #13 | #14 | #15 | #16 | #17 | #18 | #19 | #20 | #21 | #22 | #23 | #24 | #25 | #26 | #27 | #28 | #29 | #30 | #31 | #32 | #33 | #34 | #35 | #36 | #37 | #38 | #39 | #40 | #41 | #42 | #43 | #44 | #45 | #46 | #47 | #48 | #49 | #50 | #51 | #52 | #53 | #54 | #55 | #56 |#57 | #58 | #59 | #60 | #61 | #62 | #63 | #64 | #65 | #66 | #67 |

Tuesday Tips!~

Tuesday Tips

Helpful tips provided each week!~

This weekly series (published on Tuesdays) was created to provide our members with helpful tips that can help them either artistically, or with their everyday lives!~

Cards, Chocolates, And Cookies! | Planning Art? | Arts And Crafts Supplies! | The Finishing Touch-Frames | Procrastination | Inspiration! | Manipulation | Breaking From Real Life | The Rough Stuff | Line Me Up, Give Me That Carlton Fade | The Colors! The Colors Duke! | Move Yo' Body, Every-Everybody | A Guide to Pricing Art| A Guide to Art Programs|Jump In dA Line, Work Yo Body In Time | I Forgot To Feed My Tamagotchi |

Wednesday Features!~

Wednesday Features

Two random members featured each week!~

This weekly feature (published on Wednesdays) focuses on promoting the work of two members of the group! Want to join in? Read the Features each week and leave a comment about the work you see to have a chance to be featured in the following week!~

Launch | #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 |

Feedback Corner!~

Feedback Corner

Give and receive feedback!~

This weekly series (published on Thursdays) is aimed at helping artists receive essential feedback on their pieces! To get involved, leave some feedback on another artist's piece who requested feedback, and get in on our comment cycle!~

#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 | #12 | #13 |#14 | #15 | #16 | #17 | #18 | #19 | #20 | #21 | #22 | #23 | #24 | #25 | #26 | #27 | #28 |#29 | #30 | #31 | #32 | #33 | #34 | #35 | #36 | #37 | #38 | #39 | #40 | #41 | #42 | #43 | #44 | #45 | #46 | #47 | #48 | #49 |

Friday Favorites!~

Friday Favorites

Weekly favorites picked by the Admins!~

The Friday Favorites are a weekly themed feature of artworks selected by Admins! Each week, Admins pick one or two pieces from our group gallery that relates to the theme so that every artist, regardless of their skill level, has an opportunity for their artworks to be featured!~

#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 | #12
#13 | #14 | #15 | #16 | #17 | #18 | #19 | #20 | #21 | #22 | #23
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Countdown to the end of the "Draw This Again" Contest!~

Saturday, October 17th @ 8:59pm

The time left to participate in our new contest!~

Current Contest: Draw This Again Contest

VIP Donators and Prize Contributors!~


Here's a list of our VIP Donators and Prize Contributors!~

VIP Donators

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Prize Contributors

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"A Tamagotchi died today in Las Vegas."

    Hey there! Just your friendly neighborhood Mtn-Man Here to bring you another riveting Tuesday Tip! As per the norm, all this will be coming to you from the keyboard of an inebriated individual who likes to share! :ahoy:

    Ok so if y'all haven't guessed from the title, I will be talking to you today in reference to literature! Yes, that's right, the horrible literary bastard who couldn't write himself out of a wet paper bag is gonna talk about writing. Go figure... :shrug:

    What we're actually going to be discussing is something that a lot of people try to cope with all the time in the art field, and not just literary folks. Even people who draw and paint and such I think can benefit from some of the knowledge I'm about to attempt to impart with you. What our real focus today is going to be on is Character Building! So lets get going eh?

Character Building 101

    Now I know this is a time old obstacle that has been faced by writers and artists alike. Being able to create a fictional character for your story, comic, or even "role playing" is something that has to be done with a fair bit of clout and tact. There is a very derogation term I've seen used on dA and around the inter-webs, called "Mary-Sue","Marty-Stu", or in general referred to as a "Sue" character. Sue characters are often characters who are so perfect as to be beyond annoying. A Sue character is usually written by a beginning author. Often, the Sue is a self-insert with a few "improvements" (ex. better body, more popular, etc). The  Sue character is almost always good looking, smart, etc... In short, they are the "perfect" character. Other examples of "Sue's" would include but not limited to: 

Identifying Mary-Sues

    Victim Sues: The Victim Sue is your whiny, wimpy, pathetic character who can't seem to do much of anything except cry and get themselves into trouble that the romantic interest of the story has to rescue them from. 
    Warrior Sues: The Warrior Sue is usually loud, obnoxious and (of course) an amazing warrior. They'll usually have some tragic past that led her to become a warrior, and she'll upstage all of the other characters with their mad sweet powers. 
    Misfit Sue: This includes all Sues who are supposedly geeks, nerds, misfits, etc. Usually, the Misfit Sue doesn't start out as inhumanly good looking, but winds up getting a makeover and finding out they had the potential to be a guy/girl magnet all along. Usually, this Sue is very bookish and smart, but will find some sort of physical talent nobody expected and become a star as a result. 
    Punk Sue: Also called Nonconformist Sue or Goth Sue, the Punk Sue is usually written by beginners in the 11-15 age group. They are usually loud, obnoxious, annoying, and generally the type of person who you'd want to send off to boot camp for six months. They almost always have angst coming out of their ears and isn't really a bad person, they're just oh!-so-angry at whatever tragic past the author has chosen to give them. The Punk Sue is based on what the 11-15 year old author thinks is "cool" and wishes they could be. This includes Evil Sues. 
    Ok, so those are just some of the definitions I've come across in my research of the topic. In no way am I advocating the shaming of characters who follow any of these molds. A lot of writing comes from personal experience, so there are a lot lot of attributes in "Sue" characters that are actually real to writers and artists out there.  What we want to do is paint a picture or a real and "relatable" character. So if personal experience seems to fall into a "Sue like" category, well that's ok, you just need to be aware of that fact so that you can determine a way around that to make your characters stand out a bit more and be more unique. 

Make the Characters Charismatic 

     Not good looking, necessarily - though your audience will more readily warm to a handsome or a beautiful character than to an ugly one. Nor do your fictional characters need to be eloquent and witty and have the ability to always know the right thing to say, though again, these things certainly won't hurt.There simply has to be something about them, ya know? They have to be the kind of people whose presence electrifies a room, the kind of people you can't take your eyes off. If a fictional character can walk into a room unnoticed, your audience probably won't take much notice of them either. Also, with charismatic, you want your characters to be likable as well. Or better still, lovable! We all know that there are people in life that we instantly take to, and people we duck to avoid. The question is, what qualities separate the nice from the not too nice? Kindness? Generosity? Selflessness? Yes, all of these things, plus probably a thousand other traits.


Whether you make the reader care about a character by making them likable or dislikable, beware of making the good characters in a novel too good, and the bad ones too bad. If a hero is pure and noble with no flaws or imperfections whatsoever, readers, far from loving them, might go to the opposite extreme and hate them for being too saint-like. Equally, if a dislikable character is wholly evil with not a single redeeming virtue, they might end up more like a pantomime villain, hated yes, but in more of a comic way.

    So yes, you still want the readers to basically love your character and basically hate whichever character is trying to thwart the their plans. But if you can work some ambiguity into the story, by having the protagonist not be wholly good and the antagonist not wholly bad, the story will be much stronger as a result. As a matter of fact, it's a good idea to think of your story as not having heroes and villains at all, but rather characters with opposing goals, each of whom is right in his or her own mind. 

Make the Characters Interesting

    Let's say that your central character is an accountant who has been married for over 40 years and is nearing retirement. Yawn, yawn, yawn!

But also make him a roulette expert who is planning to cheat the casino out of millions with the help of a 19-year-old pole dancer called Champagne and the readers will sit up and take notice! As with all of these character traits I am discussing, the specific qualities which make a character interesting, charismatic, likable, or whatever, are ones you will have to decide upon for yourselves. 

    So some things you should really consider would be the job they do. A spy perhaps, or someone who quit the rat race to farm llamas, or a tightrope walker with vertigo. The places they have been and the sights they have seen, the more exotic and unusual, the better. Their skills and talents, playing the harpsichord or tuba perhaps, or the ability to perform magic or to walk on fire. Your list would probably look very different, but if the things you use to make fictional characters interesting are interesting to you, you will be able to write about them with enough passion to interest the people who count, the readers.

Keeping the Characters "Real"

    Realistic characters in fiction are just like us. We can recognize ourselves in them, and we therefore find them easy to like. We can imagine them living next door to us, inviting us round for a beer. which is something I would find very comforting, being I'm such a lush. But realism by itself is not enough. Just as pure romanticism in a character can soon become boring, because they are too remote for us to empathize with them. So pure realism is equally boring, because ordinariness is dull. That is why ostensibly realistic characters are never as realistic as they first appear. They need to be more then just real, they need to be ordinary while still being extraordinary. 
    To do this you  must g
ive the characters in your own story,particularly the leading character, the perfect mix of ordinary realism and extraordinary romanticism. The realism will make readers like them, perhaps even love them. The romanticism will make readers be a little in awe of them.Whether you make the character predominantly realistic, or predominantly romantic, is down to you.

General Summary

     Ok so first never create a plain, dull, ordinary character, because the readers simply won't care about them. But if you have to create a character whose defining characteristic is dullness, make them extraordinary. Then there is also a lot to be said about personal experience too. Real life experiences can be manipulated into works of fiction to have the stories more firmly well rooted in the realm of possible life events. These events will be totally yours too, which is why it was only kinda mentioned upon. You will have to use your judgement and trust your instincts to try and make relatable and non over the top characters. You also want readers to care about all of your characters(which I know we didn't even address side characters, but everything we went over covers them too as long as they don't eclipse the main character[s]), even the humble minor with just one scene and a couple of lines of dialogue. But your protagonist should always hold the number one spot in their hearts where it be your newest comic, novel, or fan fic. 

Other Readings on the Subject

Mary Sues -- How to Avoid ThemThis document is copyright to James Ruvithorn [Zek-kkarsha] and Gabriel S.... To use it, you MUST have their permission and the ability to prove you have it.
So you've probably heard the term MARY SUE on RP sites before. You've probably heard all about how bad they are and how much everyone hates them.
But have you actually ever had a Mary Sue defined to you? This bit of writing is meant to define and clarify exactly what they are and why you shouldn't create one. It will cover both the male and female versions of the type, called [respectively] Mary Sues and Gary Stus.
1-Who and What Are Mary Sues/Gary Stus?
Mary Sues.... Are, in a word, Nightmare. Nightmare for any forum Admin and for anyone trying to play with them in a thread. Your typical Mary Sue has either a boring perfect past and life, or has a past so tragic she shouldn't even be functional, yet is. She is beautiful, with little to no physical problems. Most
   How To 'Flesh Out' an OC
The aggregate of features and traits that form the
individual nature of some person or thing.

In this tutorial I will guide you through a way to 'flesh out' an Original Character (Also known as an OC). Before we begin, let's go through the basics.
A character is quite simply one who possesses qualities that define them from someone else. Every character is original and unique. A character can not only be human, but an animal, an alien, or anything that the imagination can come up with.
However, characters are often difficult to create, because to put it bluntly, you are in a sense creating a new being. This being needs the same kinds of traits and characteristics you possess, but can't be your own. They have to be original. In this case, many young writers and artists forget how hard it is to make a character and forget the complex details that enhance a character.
Fleshing out is a term used commonly in developing characters. It means to add additional det
World Building Formula pt. 1-2World Building Formula
Section 1: Real Life Influences
Before we delve into creating an imaginary world, we must understand the importance of using real life influences as a base. No one can imagine anything not based on real life.
The best way to start creating or to fine-tune an imaginary world is to find influences from our world to be inspired from.
If a fantastical world has cargo full of imaginary species and magic or alternate laws of physics, the reader needs something, at least a few principles, that are the same as Earth’s so that they have grounding in your story. There’s a fine balance, as many wise writer types will say between patronizing and keeping your audience in the dark enough that they want to know more. The correct balance allows them to understand without confusion while being drawn on through the book by suspense.
Section 2: Nature
Reality, or at least what we perceive as reality, is probably the most key factor in what w

Ok, that's all from my drunk ass today, I'll catch you all on the flip side. Mtn-Man Out. 

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lectraplayer Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Where is the complete list of folders to submit deviation to? The only thing I can find is Featured.
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lectraplayer Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm looking for the join and watch buttons but I do not see any of the usual controls up top. Just the LLama. How do I watch and join?

Also, what would you call my avatar?
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LadyScoora Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Hi, just passed by to say this group is so alive and active. Thank you guys for working hard to keep it this way~ love this group ♥ :)
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ratinrage Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
:wave: thank you for accepting me :)
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sylverface Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much for accepting  me =D
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Melski83 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for accepting me! :happybounce:
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daaljaramr Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Student General Artist
Hey how can I join the group? Greetings :)
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Queen-of-Flowers Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Student General Artist
I just submitted two pieces to the digital art folder, but now I'm second guessing myself and thinking that they belong in the fan art folder. :XD: My pieces were MLP & Neopets characters. Should I move them, or are they all right where they are? :O I looked for a journal with a guide/summary of the gallery folders, but I didn't see one. I might just be blind though! haha
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PokemonDutchess Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hello, I saw this group and it interested me. So, can I join, please? thanks.
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MaurOwl Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi would it be possible to join the group?
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Tailspin101 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Do you know when you will have another contest?
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LennoraSilverstone Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Writer
Hello everyone, I'm new here,  a writer just starting out. I have just finished my first work and will be posting parts of it on my DA profile until I get a decent amount of people to share the whole thing with.
If anyone is interested in erotic novels, please give the TEASER of my new book a shot! More to come soon! 
Don't forget to +fav  and +Watch if you enjoyed Heart 
(1 Reply)
MlENSHAO Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2015
Hello! I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but I'm just wondering.

What happens if you place a piece of art within the Critique Me folders, but you weren't guaranteed 2 comments by other members? Or alternatively, what happens if said two posts weren't critiques, but regular "I like it" posts?
(2 Replies)
KittenDiotima Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2015   Photographer
What happened to the Random Member Feature?   I always liked that one, and I'd been going thru them...admittedly very slowly...since i've joined.
(2 Replies)
samjoel20 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can i join here?
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