A TEXT POST

Anonymous said: Can you give me tips on writing about electrocution?

klariza-helps:

Note: I had to sit through a 45 minute electrocution lecture courtesy of a teacher I asked about the history of electrocution. See how I love you?

Anyway, sure thing! I was going to just give you a paragraph on writing it, but then one thing led to another, and I decided to go ahead and write a small guide on electrocution and electric shock, as I couldn’t find a tumblr based one myself. (If all you really care about is writing it, just scroll down to the end of the post.)

Let’s start out with what electrocution is and basic information about it.

Know the difference between electrocution and electric shock. (I’m bringing this up because people often confuse electrocution and electric shock.) The basic difference is that one kills you, and the other doesn’t.

  • Electrocution - “death caused by electric shock, either accidental or deliberate. The word is derived from “electro” and “execution”, but it is also used for accidental death.”
  • Electric shock - “a sudden discharge of electricity through a part of the body.” (non-deadly)

Current is what kills in electrocution. The current level is determined by the applied voltage and the resistance of the material (i.e., your body) that the current is flowing through. Depending on the individual, the resistance of dry skin is usually between 1,000 -100,000 W.

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(image courtesy of my digital electronics teacher)

POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING?: If you’re interested, take a look at this post. It shows a dead body after electrocution

Most electrocutions are done accidentally. It’s actually rather rare that you are electrocuted on purpose. In fact, electrocution in general isn’t all that commonplace. One count that I found expressed electrocution with a lifetime odd of 1-in-5,000 for Americans. (I’m almost sure that the website was referring to a high current electric shock, but I’ll let it slide.) I don’t know what sort of situation your character is in, but keep this in mind when writing.

  • Electric Shocks

An electric shock is usually painful. A small shock from static electricity may contain thousands of volts but has very little current behind it due to high internal resistance.

Their danger levels depend on:

  • The amount of current flowing through the body.
  • The path of the current through the body.
  • The length of time the body is in the circuit.
  • The voltage.
  • The presence of moisture.
  • The phase of the heart cycle when the electric shock occurs.
  • The health of the person before the occurance.

Shock effects include:

  • Psychological
  • Burns
  • Neurological

Fun fact: electric shocks are used in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). General anesthesia and a muscle relaxant ensured that the patient doesn’t feel a thing, even though enough electricity to light a room for one second passes through their brain. Patients do, however, experience (typically) temporary memory loss. ECT is known to be used on severely depressed patients or patients with boipolar disorder. (x) 

  • Electric Chair:

Alright, so I’ll start off with some early history on the electric chair, because who doesn’t love background information?

New York built the first electric chair in 1888 (figures). (William Kemmler was the first to be executed in 1890.) Others began to adopt this method, though it is not the sole method of execution in any state today as it was then. (The electric chair remained the only method in Nebraska until February of 2008.)

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(1890, used to kill Kemmler)

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(2005)

What happens in the process, you ask?

Well, the person is usually shaved and strapped to a chair with belts. The belts cross the prisoner’s chest, groin, arms, and legs. A metal electrode is attached to the scalp and forehead, over a sponge that has been moistened with saline (it can’t be too wet or too dry). An additional electrode is moistened with Electro-Crème and attached to a part of the prisoner’s leg. The prisoner is blindfolded, and the execution team leaves the room. The warden tells the executioner when to pull the handle to connect the power supply. A current jolt of 500 to 2000 volts for about 30 seconds is given, but this varies from case to case. (Robert Gleason Jr. received 1,800 volts at 7.5 amps at TWO 90-second cycles.) The body relaxes when the current is turned off. The doctors wait momentarily, and then go check to see if the heart is still beating; if it is, another jolt of electricity is given, and this continues until the doctors can officially proclaim that the heart is not beating. (Multiple physicians check this.)

Give me gross specifics on what goes on, maybe?

The prisoner’s hands usually grip the chair. They may violently move their limbs, causing dislocation or fractures. Their tissues swell. Defecation occurs. Steam/smoke rises, and the smell of burning is in the air. At postmortem, the body is hot enough to blister if it is touched. An autopsy has to be delayed so that the internal organs can cool. Third degree burns with blackening are present where the electrodes met the scalp and legs.

Quotes! I want quotes on what happened, I command you to give me quotes!

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan had this to say about execution by electric chair: “…the prisoner’s eyeballs sometimes pop out and rest on [his] cheeks. The prisoner often defecates, urinates, and vomits blood and drool. The body turns bright red as its temperature rises, and the prisoner’s flesh swells and his skin stretches to the point of breaking. Sometimes the prisoner catches fire….Witnesses hear a loud and sustained sound like bacon frying, and the sickly sweet smell of burning flesh permeates the chamber.

I wanted to talk a bit about botched executions as well. 

  • William Vandiver- He was still breathing after an initial surge of 2,300 volts. The execution took a total of 17 minutes and five jolts of electricity.
  • Wilbert Lee Evans - When hit with the first jolt, blood spewed from the right side of the mask on his face, covering his shirt with blood and a sizzling sound could be heard as blood dripped from his lips. Evans moaned continuously until a second jolt of electricity was applied. 
  • Pedro Medina - Foot-high flames shot from the headpiece during the execution. The execution chamber was filled with a stench of thick smoke. It gagged the two dozen official witnesses. An official flipped a switch to cut off the power to end (early) the two-minute cycle of 2,000 volts. Medina’s chest continued to heave until he died after the flames went out.

Gruesome? Definitely.

  • How do you apply all of this in your writing?

Take the information I have given you in stride. Understand what electrocution and electric shock are. Know your character. Some people are scared of death, some aren’t. Know how your character would react in such a situation when they’re face to face with the person who, with the pull of a switch, will send a lethal amount of current running through their body. 

On an ending note, I highly recommend you READ THIS ESSAY. Not only does it send goosebumps down my arm every time I read it, it will help you understand the psychological aspect of electrocution as well. 

Reblogged from Reference For Writers
A VIDEO

lotrlockedwhovian:

gregmelander:

BELOW THE SURFACE

Amazing illustrations of what might be below the surface.  At the Schusev State Museum of Architecture

*stares in awe* story ideas.

A VIDEO

alittlepieceofuniverse:

Futuristic / Cyber Tattoos Compilation VI

Reblogged from DEEP RED ROOM
A VIDEO

syverce:

crimsonakane:

jedibusiness:

If we ever get to the post-apocalyptic era, I hope everyone dresses like this. Hot damn.

NEED

I have reblogged these before but I still like them.  Especially bottom left.

A PHOTO

endilletante:

Indian Interiors, photographies de Deidi von Schaewen, ed. Tashen, 2008.

inspiration “the foundation”

A TEXT POST

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

To the anon who is looking for references on writing characters with limited/no sight, I’ve been developing and writing two characters who both lose their sight completely for about six years now, and have wracked up some great information over the years!

One awesome reference is the 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters ebook, written by Stephanie Green. It’s only nine dollars, and completely worth it. It details a lot of the things that sighted people assume, or don’t even think about. It also has tips for further research, and where not to get your facts. A must for anyone writing visually impaired characters.

Future Reflections, a magazine for parents or teachers with blind children, is also a really good one! The subscription is free, too. For example, there’s a great article on blind cooking in the 1985 July-September edition that i found particularly helpful, because one of my characters takes up cooking after being blinded. It’s great because it’s written for sighted people looking into a blind child/student/person’s life, so it’s ideal for the sighted writer getting a feel for their blind character’s world.

I would also visit the National Federation for the Blind’s website, and poking around other country’s sight-loss associations wouldn’t hurt, either!

There are plenty of other resources out there, but the absolute best source is someone who deals with legal or complete blindness themselves. I’ve found that most people that have a visual condition don’t mind answering questions or helping you out (as long as you’re polite, which, duh), because there are a lot of books out there that represent blindness with a lot of inaccuracies, and that can be frustrating! It’s like a POC dealing with constant racial stereotypes, or a gay person dealing with constant Kurt Hummel characters, except there’s even less mainstream representation through blind characters. Keep in mind, however, that everyone’s experience is different, and speaking to just one person might not cut it! Multiple opinions are always better than one.

If you don’t know anyone with visual issues of the top of your head, you can visit your city’s blind and visually impaired association; most well-populated areas have one. Speak with professionals and visually impaired people alike. And, when all else fails, read blogs! There are plenty of blogs written by people that have been blind from birth, or blind due to illness/accidents. A lot of details about guide-dog training and handling, problems with school systems, courteous methods of aid, and awful inconveniences all in raw, cite-able, interactive corners of the web!

But, as you probably know, it’s important to keep in mind that, just as a person with visual impairment is more than just their impairment, your blind character is a character first and foremost! Don’t ignore development or characterization and cover it up with disability stereotypes! That only leads to more harmful misrepresentation.

I have plenty more sources, if anyone would is curious or would like to inquire about them. Thanks!

Morgan

PDW - TOSHI

A VIDEO

akoaykayumanggi:

kirbyaraullo:

giannicdao:

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Filipino Architecture.

Fact. I have a slight obsession with traditional Filipin@ architecture. From the traditional nipa hut and built in stilts and bamboo and wood to the traditional bahay na bato which are these styles seen above which are influences from both the traditional nipa hut and the Hispanic influences.

PDW inspiration

Reblogged from Mabuhay
A TEXT POST

Writing the LGBT Community

writeworld:

totalrewrite:

Writing the LGBT community can be hard, especially if you don’t know what you’re talking about. So to start off this post, here’s just a few things that are easily confused both with writers and with society in general.

  • Being gay is not a personality trait. This basically means no stereotyping. Don’t make a gay man effeminate just because he likes other men, and don’t make a woman masculine just because she likes other women. While there are actual people who are like this, and it’s perfectly okay to have men and women like this, make sure your characters have personalities and not just a list of stereotypes.
  • Asexual does not mean aromantic. Asexuality means that a person feels no sexual attraction. Aromantic means a person does not feel any romantic attraction. These two are often confused, but they are two very different things. It’s possible for anyone to be one or the other, or even both.
  • Transgender does not mean transsexual. Transgender when a person identifies as a gender that differs from the one usually matched with their sex. Transsexual means that person is going about hormone treatment or surgery to become the opposite sex.

So those are the big three things to think about. If you want more resources to learn about gay and trans people, I’ve got this video that is a brief overview, and then The Really Awesome Trans Glossary. If you still want more information, try talking to someone who identifies as gay or transgender. As long as you’re not being offensive, most people would be happy to answer questions and provide clarifications.

With that out of the way, it’s time to address the actual characters you’re writing.

  • It is perfectly fine for your antagonist to be gay. They can kick puppies and steal candy from children and be the most despicable person on the face of the earth and be gay—it’s alright. But if your character is evil because they are gay, that’s a huge problem. If you choose to have an evil character who is also gay, it’s a good thing to have a good character who is also gay to avoid any problems or miscommunications with readers.
  • There is no universal “gay experience”. Don’t try to write gay or trans characters “the right way.” There isn’t one. All gay and trans people learn about themselves differently. Some people know from a young age that they’re different, but some learn it later on in life. I didn’t realize I was agender until someone told me being agender was a thing that existed.
  • There’s a difference between writing a novel about gay characters and writing a novel about characters who happen to be gay. Don’t think that including gay characters means you have to suddenly make your plot about gay rights/the treatment of gays. Most people aren’t looking for that, and if they are, chances are they’ll go to issue novels for it.
  • Gay couples have just as much sex as straight couples. If your features scenes with several different couples of different sexualities having sex, spend about the same amount of time with each of them. Some of the stigma that comes with gay couples having sex comes from rumors that they’re addicted to it and they have to have sex because something is wrong with them. Most people realize that it’s flat-out wrong, but there will always be people who don’t understand, and its’ our duty as writers to not promote unhealthy stereotypes.
  • Don’t start shipping your characters just because you happen to have made two of them gay. This is not an excuse to put characters together. Your readers still expect them to have chemistry and work together. You wouldn’t create a relationship between two straight characters just because both their favorite colors are purple.
  • If you’re writing a trans character, refer to them by the pronoun they use. Even if your character was born female, if they identify as a boy and want to be recognized as a boy, use masculine pronouns. This is also common courtesy in real life.
  • Be aware of stereotypes. I’m gonna say this one again because it’s probably the most important one on the list. Being gay is not a personality. Being transgender is not a personality. Do not try to make it one.

Because stereotypes are such a huge part of the way the media portrays gay characters in television, movies, and even novels, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common ones that plague it.

Stereotypes to Avoid

  • “Sluts.” This is more bad stigma for anyone who identifies as a sexual minority, particularly bisexuals. People think that gays use it as an excuse to act like sluts, and this stereotype is completely inaccurate.
  • Masculine women and feminine men. I touched on this topic earlier, and while it’s okay to have them, you have to make sure that your characters aren’t just empty shells relying on these stereotypes. Make absolutely sure that you have fleshed them out well if you go down this route.
  • Dead gays. The LGBT community is not a plot device. Don’t kill these characters for shock value. They are not foot soldiers in the battle in the middle of RETURN OF The KING. If you kill a gay character, you had damn well better have a good reason for it.
  • Lesbians trying to have a child. This one is just flat-out cliché at this point, not to mention that it creates all sorts of unwanted subtext about gay couples being “unnatural” because they can’t have children on their own. It’s just something best avoided.

But above all, if you take one thing away from this post, let it be this:

Gay characters are no different than straight characters. Treat them exactly as you would any other character. They don’t require special treatment—just time and effort put into learning about them. Give them the respect they deserve, and you have the chance to write a fantastic LGBT character.

Also, bisexuals. And pansexuals. Them too.

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And everyone who’s not cisgendered.

Reblogged from W R I T E W O R L D