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Writing Resources (Do Not Comment)


Be Beautiful in Sin
Sep 28, 2013
Though I would create a thread to compile the various writing resources I have collected over time. I did not create these, merely found them.

Please do not comment here. If you have resources to add, PM me, subject "Writing Resources."

Word Choice
Reverse Dictionary-When you need a word to fit a definition.
Partial Word/Definition Look Up
Rhyming Dictionary
Thesaurus (Synonyms and Antonyms)
Translator Recommended by Rudolph Quin
1920-1930's Slang





























Pointed out
















Very accurate - exact
Very afraid - fearful
Very angry - furious
Very annoying - exasperating

Very bad - atrocious
Very beautiful - exquisite
Very big - immense
Very boring - dull
Very bright - luminous
Very busy - swamped

Very calm - serene
Very careful - cautious
Very cheap - stingy
Very clean - spotless
Very clear - obvious
Very clever - intelligent
Very cold - freezing
Very colourful - vibrant
Very competitive - cutthroat
Very complete - comprehensive
Very confused - perplexed
Very conventional - conservative
Very creative - innovative
Very crowded - bustling
Very cute - adorable

Very dangerous - perilous
Very dear - cherished
Very deep - profound
Very depressed - despondent
Very detailed - meticulous
Very different - disparate
Very difficult - arduous
Very dirty - filthy
Very dry - arid
Very dull - tedious

Very eager - keen
Very easy - effortless
Very empty - desolate
Very excited - thrilled
Very exciting - exhilarating
Very expensive - costly

Very fancy - lavish
Very fast - swift
Very fat - obese
Very friendly - amiable
Very frightened - alarmed
Very frightening - terrifying
Very funny - hilarious

Very glad - overjoyed
Very good - excellent
Very great - terrific

Very happy - ecstatic
Very hard - difficult
Very hard-to-find - rare
Very heavy - leaden
Very high - soaring
Very hot - sweltering
Very huge - colossal
Very hungry - ravenous
Very hurt - battered

Very important - crucial
Very intelligent - brilliant
Very interesting - captivating

Very large - huge
Very lazy - indolent
Very little - tiny
Very lively - vivacious
Very long - extensive
Very long-term - enduring
Very loose - slack
Very loud - thunderous
Very loved - adored

Very mean - cruel
Very messy - slovenly

Very neat - immaculate
Very necessary - essential
Very nervous - apprehensive
Very nice - kind
Very noisy - deafening

Very often - frequently
Very old - ancient
Very old-fashioned - archaic
Very open - transparent

Very painful - excruciating
Very pale - ashen
Very perfect - flawless
Very poor - destitute
Very powerful - compelling
Very pretty - beautiful

Very quick - rapid
Very quiet - hushed

Very rainy - pouring
Very rich - wealthy

Very sad - sorrowful
Very scared - petrified
Very scary - chilling
Very serious - grave
Very sharp - keen
Very shiny - gleaming
Very short - brief
Very shy - timid
Very simple - basic
Very skinny - skeletal
Very slow - sluggish
Very small - petite
Very smart - intelligent
Very smelly - pungent
Very smooth - sleek
Very soft - downy
Very sorry - apologetic
Very special - exceptional
Very strong - forceful
Very stupid - idiotic
Very sure - certain
Very sweet - thoughtful

Very talented - gifted
Very tall - towering
Very tasty - delicious
Very thirsty - parched
Very tight - constricting
Very tiny - minuscule
Very tired - exhausted

Very ugly - hideous
Very unhappy - miserable
Very upset - distraught

Very warm - hot
Very weak - frail
Very well-to-do - wealthy
Very wet - soaked
Very wide - expansive
Very willing - eager
Very windy - blustery
Very wise - sage
Very worried - distressed

I often find myself struggling to find the right word to use to describe how a character’s feeling, so I compiled a list to help you find exactly what you mean and just how strongly you mean it.
Strong: delighted, ebullient, ecstatic, elated, energetic, energized, enthusiastic, euphoric, excited, exhilarated, exuberant, jubilant, marvelous, overjoyed, terrific, thrilled, tickled, turned on, uplifted, vibrant, zippy
Medium: admired, aglow, alive, amused, buoyant, cheerful, confident, elevated, encouraged, gleeful, fulfilled, happy, in high spirits, jovial, joyful, light-hearted, lively, merry, optimistic, proud, relieved, resolved, respected, sparkling, up, valued
Soft: content/ed, cool, fine, flattered, genial, glad, good, gratified, hopeful, keen, peaceful, pleasant/pleased, relaxed, satisfied, serene, sunny
Strong: adoring, ardent, cherishing, compassionate, crazy about, devoted, doting, fervent, idolizing, infatuated, passionate, wild about, worshiping, zealous
Medium: admiring, affectionate, attached, clinging/to, fond/of, huggy, kind, kind-hearted, loving, partial, soft on, sympathetic, tender, touchy, trusting, warm-hearted
Soft: agreeable, appreciative, attentive, considerate, friendly, interested in, like, respecting, thoughtful, tolerable, warm toward, yielding
Strong: alienated, barren beaten, bleak, bleeding, dejected, depressed, desolate, despondent, dismal, empty, gloomy, grieved, grim, hopeless, in despair, woeful, worried
Medium: awful, blue, crestfallen, demoralized, devalued, discouraged, dispirited, distressed, downcast, downhearted, fed up, lost, melancholy, miserable, regretful, rotten, sorrowful, tearful, upset, weepy
Soft: bad, blah, deflated, disappointed, disenchanted, down, funk, glum, low, moody, morose, somber, sorry, subdued, uncomfortable, unhappy
Strong: blemished, blotched, broken, crippled, damaged, false, feeble, finished, flawed, helpless, impotent, inferior, invalid, powerless, useless, washed up, whipped, worthless, zero
Medium: ailing, awkward, defeated, deficient, dopey, feeble, helpless, impaired, imperfect, incapable, incompetent, incomplete, ineffective, inept, insignificant, lacking, lame, minute, overwhelmed, small, substandard, unimportant
Soft: dry, incomplete, meager, puny, tenuous, tiny, uncertain, unconvincing, unsure, weak
Strong: alarmed, appalled, desperate, distressed, dreadful, frantic, frightened, horrified, intimidated, panicky, petrified, shocked, terrified, terror-stricken, tormented, wrecked, vulnerable
Medium: afraid, apprehensive, axed, defensive, fearful, fidgety, fretful, guarded, insecure, jumpy, nervous, scared, shaky/shaken, skeptical, skittish, spineless, startled, stunned, suspicious, taut, tense, threatened, troubled, uneasy, wired
Soft: anxious, careful, cautious, concerned, disquieted, doubtful, impatient, perplexed, reluctant, shy, tense, timid, unsure, watchful, worried
Strong: baffled, befuddled, bewildered,chaotic, confounded, constricted, directionless, dizzy, flustered, rattled, reeling, shocked, shook up, speechless, stagnant, startled, stumped, stunned, taken-aback, thrown off, thunderstruck, trapped
Medium: adrift, ambivalent, blurred, disconcerted, disordered, disorganized, disoriented, disquieted, disturbed, foggy, frustrated, hesitant, misled, mistaken, misunderstood, mixed up, perplexed, puzzled, torn, troubled
Soft: bothered, distracted, confused, surprised, uncertain, uncomfortable, undecided, unsettled, unsure
Strong: abused, aching, anguished, beguiled, crushed, degraded, destroyed, devastated, discarded, disgraced, forsaken, humiliated, mocked, punished, rejected, ridiculed, ruined, scorned, stabbed, tortured, violated
Medium: annoyed, belittled, cheapened, criticized, damaged, depreciated, devalued, discredited, distressed, impaired, injured, maligned, marred, miffed, mistreated, pillaged, resentful, used, wounded
Soft: let down, minimized, neglected, put away, put down, rueful, stepped on, tender, touched, unhappy
Strong: affronted, belligerent, bitter, burning, enraged, exploited, fuming, furious, hateful, heated, hostile, incensed, infuriated, intense, outraged, patronized, pissed, provoked, rebellious, repulsed, seething, spiteful, storming, strangled, truculent, vengeful, vindictive, wild
Medium: agitated, aggravated, annoyed, antagonistic, cheated, controlled, coerced, crabby, cranky, deceived, dominated, exasperated, harassed, ill-tempered, indignant, irate, irritated, offended, peeved, provoked, ratty, resentful, ridiculed, smoldering, smothered, sore, spiteful, stifled, testy, ticked/off
Soft: angry, bothered, bugged, chagrined, dismayed, displeased, galled, grim, hot, impatient, irked, mad, petulant, sullen, uptight
Strong: abandoned, black, cut off, deserted, destroyed, empty, forsaken, isolated, marooned, neglected, ostracized, outcast, rejected, shunned
Medium: alienated, alone, apart, cheerless, companionless, dejected, estranged, excluded, left out, leftover, lonely, oppressed
Soft: detached, distant, far, insulated, remote, separate, withdrawn
Strong: abashed, debased, degraded, delinquent, depraved, disgraced, evil, exposed, judged, mortified, shamed, sinful, wicked, wrong
Medium: apologetic, ashamed, contrite, culpable, demeaned, downhearted, flustered, guilty, penitent, regretful, remorseful, repentant, shamefaced, sorrowful, sorry
Soft: bashful, blushing, chastened, crestfallen, embarrassed, hesitant, humble, meek, regretful, reluctant, sheepish



• adenoidal:if someone’s voice is adenoidal, some of the sound seems to come through their nose
• appealing:an appealing look, voice etc shows that you want help, approval, or agreement
• breathy:with loud breathing noises
• brittle:if you speak in a brittle voice, you sound as if you are about to cry
• croaky:if someone’s voice sounds croaky, they speak in a low rough voice that sounds as if they have a sore throat
• dead:if someone’s eyes are dead, or if their voice is dead, they feel or show no emotion
• disembodied:a disembodied voice comes from someone who you cannot see
• flat:spoken in a voice that does not go up and down. This word is often used for describing the speech of people from a particular region.
• fruity:a fruity voice or laugh is deep and strong in a pleasant way
• grating:a grating voice, laugh, or sound is unpleasant and annoying
• gravelly:a gravelly voice sounds low and rough
• gruff:a gruff voice has a rough low sound
• guttural:a guttural sound is deep and made at the back of your throat
• high-pitched:a high-pitched voice or sound is very high
• hoarse:someone who is hoarse or has a hoarse voice speaks in a low rough voice, usually because their throat is sore
• honeyed:honeyed words or a honeyed voice sound very nice but you cannot trust the person who is speaking
• husky:a husky voice is deep and sounds hoarse (=as if you have a sore throat), often in an attractive way
• low adjective:a low voice or sound is quiet and difficult to hear
• low adverb:in a deep voice, or with a deep sound
• matter-of-fact:used about someone’s behaviour or voice
• modulated:a modulated voice is controlled and pleasant to listen to
• monotonous:a monotonous sound or voice is boring and unpleasant because it does not change in loudness or become higher or lower
• nasal:someone with a nasal voice sounds as if they are speaking through their nose
• orotund:an orotund voice is loud and clear
• penetrating:a penetrating voice or sound is so high or loud that it makes you slightly uncomfortable
• plummy:a plummy voice or way of speaking is considered to be typical of an English person of a high social class. This word shows that you dislike people who speak like this.
• quietly:in a quiet voice
• raucous:a raucous voice or noise is loud and sounds rough
• ringing:a ringing sound or voice is very loud and clear
• rough:a rough voice is not soft and is unpleasant to listen to
• shrill:a shrill noise or voice is very loud, high, and unpleasant
• silvery:a silvery voice or sound is clear, light, and pleasant
• singsong:if you speak in a singsong voice, your voice rises and falls in a musical way
• small:a small voice or sound is quiet
• smoky:a smoky voice or smoky eyes are sexually attractive in a slightly mysterious way
• softly spoken:someone who is softly spoken has a quiet gentle voice
• sotto voce adjective, adverb:in a very quiet voice
• stentorian:a stentorian voice sounds very loud and severe
• strangled:a strangled sound is one that someone stops before they finish making it
• strangulated:strangled
• strident:a strident voice or sound is loud and unpleasant
• taut:used about something such as a voice or expression that shows someone is nervous or angry
• thick:if your voice is thick with an emotion, it sounds less clear than usual because of the emotion
• thickly:with a low voice that comes mostly from your throat
• thin:a thin voice or sound is high and unpleasant to listen to
• throaty:a throaty sound is low and seems to come from deep in your throat
• tight:a tight voice or expression shows that you are nervous or annoyed
• toneless:a toneless voice does not express any emotion
• tremulous:if something such as your voice or smile is tremulous, it is not steady, for example because you are afraid or excited
• wheezy:a wheezy noise sounds as if it is made by someone who has difficulty breathing
• wobbly:if your voice is wobbly, it goes up and down, usually because you are frightened, not confident, or are going to cry

Eyes, Brows and Forehead

arched a sly brow: sly, haughty
blinked owlishly: just waking, focusing, needs glasses
brows bumped together in a scowl: worried, disapproving, irritated
brows knitted in a frown: worried, disapproval, thoughtful
bug-eyed: surprised, fear, horror
cocky wink and confident smile: over confidence, arrogant, good humor, sexy humor
eyes burned with hatred: besides hatred this might suggest maniacal feelings
eyes flashed: fury, defiance, lust, promise, seduction
eyes rolled skyward: disbelief, distrust, humor
forehead puckered: thoughtful, worried, irritation
frustration crinkled her eyes
gaze dipped to her décolletage: sexual interest, attraction, lust
gimlet-eyed/narrowed eyes: irritation, thoughtful, mean, angry
gleam of deviltry: humor, conniving, cunning
kept eye contact but her gaze became glazed: pretending interest where there is none/bordom
narrowed to crinkled slits: angry, distrust
nystagmic eyes missed nothing (constantly shifting eyes): Shifty
pupils dilated: interested, attraction to opposite sex, fear
raked her with freezing contempt
slammed his eyes shut: stunned, furious, pain
squinted in a furtive manner: fearful, sneaky
stared with cow eyes: surprised, disbelief, hopeful, lovestruck
subtle wink: sexy, humor/sharing a joke, sarcasm
unrelenting stare: distrust, demanding, high interest, unyielding

Place To Place, Stationary Or Posture

ambled away: relaxed, lazy
barged ahead: rude, hurried
battled his way through the melee: desperate, anger, alarm
cruised into the diner: easy-going, feeling dapper, confident
dawdled alongside the road: lazy, deliberate delay for motives, unhurried, relaxed
dragged his blanket in the dirt: sadness/depressed, weary
edged closer to him: sneaky, seeking comfort, seeking protection, seeking an audience
he stood straighter and straightened his tie: sudden interest, sexual attraction
held his crotch and danced a frantic jig: demonstrates physical condition – he has to pee
hips rolled and undulated: sexy walk, exaggerating for sex appeal
hovered over them with malice/like a threatening storm: here it’s malice, but one may hover for many reasons.
hunched over to look shorter: appear inconspicuous, ashamed of actions, ashamed of height
leaped into action feet hammering the marbled floor: eager, fear, joyous
long-legged strides: hurried, impatient
lumbered across: heavy steps of a big man in a hurry
minced her way up to him: timid, sneaky, insecure, dainty or pretense at dainty
paced/prowled the halls: worried, worried impatience, impatient, diligently seeking pivoted on his heel and took off: mistaken and changes direction, following orders, hurried, abrupt change of mind, angry retreat
plodded down the road: unhurried, burdened, reluctant
practiced sensual stroll: sexy, showing off
rammed her bare foot into her jeans: angry, rushed
rocked back and forth on his heels: thoughtful, impatiently waiting
sagged against the wall: exhausted, disappointment
sallied forth: confident, determined
sashayed her cute little fanny: confident, determined, angered and determined
shrank into the angry crowd: fear, insecure, seeking to elude
sketched a brief bow and assumed a regal pose: confident, mocking, snooty, arrogant skidded to an abrupt halt: change of heart, fear, surprise, shock
skulked on the edges of the crowd: sneaky, ashamed, timid
slithered through the door: sneaky, evil, bad intentions
stormed toward her, pulling up short when: anger with a sudden surprise
swaggered into the class room: over confident, proud, arrogant, conceited
tall erect posture: confidence, military bearing
toe tapped a staccato rhythm: impatience, irritation
tottered/staggered unsteadily then keeled over: drunk, drugged, aged, ill
waltzed across the floor: happy, blissful, exuberant, conceited, arrogant

Head Movement

cocked his head: curiosity, smart-alecky, wondering, thoughtful
cocked his head left and rolled his eyes to right corner of the ceiling: introspection
droop of his head: depressed, downcast, hiding true feelings
nodded vigorously: eager
tilted her head to one side while listening: extreme interest, possibly sexual interest

Mouth And Jaw

a lackluster smile: feigning cheerfulness
cigarette hung immobile in mouth: shock, lazy, uncaring, relaxed casualness
clinched his jaw at the sight: angered, worried, surprised
curled her lips with icy contempt
expelled her breath in a whose: relief, disappointment
gagged at the smell: disgust, distaste
gapped mouth stare: surprised, shock, disbelief
gritted his teeth: anger, irritation, holding back opinion
inhaled a sharp breath: surprise, shock, fear, horror
licked her lips: nervous, sexual attraction
lips primed: affronted, upset, insulted
lips pursed for a juicy kiss
lips pursed like she’d been chewing a lemon rind: dislike, angry, irritated, sarcasm
lips screwed into: irritation, anger, grimace, scorn
lips set in a grim line: sorrow, worried, fear of the worst
pursed her lips: perturbed, waiting for a kiss
scarfed down the last biscuit: physical hunger, greed
slack-mouthed: total shock, disbelief
slow and sexy smile: attraction, seductive, coy
smacked his lips: anticipation
smile congealed then melted into horror
smile dangled on the corner of his lips: cocky, sexy
smirked and tossed her hair over her shoulder: conceit, sarcasm, over confident
sneered and flicked lint off his suit: sarcasm, conceit
spewed water and spit: shock
stuck out her tongue: humor, sarcasm, teasing, childish
toothy smile: eagerness, hopeful
wary smile surfaced on her lips


nose wrinkled in distaste/at the aroma
nostrils flared: anger, sexual attraction
nose in the air: snooty, haughty

Face in General

crimson with fury
handed it over shame-faced
jutted his chin: confident, anger, forceful
managed a deadpan expression: expressionless
muscles in her face tightened: unsmiling, concealing emotions, anger, worried
rested his chin in his palm and looked thoughtful
rubbed a hand over his dark stubble: thoughtful, ashamed of his appearance
screwed up her face: anger, smiling, ready to cry, could almost be any emotion
sneered and flicked lint off his suit: conceit, derision, scorn

Arm and Hand

a vicious yank
arm curled around her waist, tugging her next to him: possessive, pride, protective
bit her lip and glanced away: shy, ashamed, insecure
brandished his fist: anger, threatening, ready to fight, confident, show of pride
clamped his fingers into tender flesh: anger, protective, wants to inflict pain
clenched his dirty little fists: stubborn, angry
clapped her hands on her hips, arms crooked like sugar bowel handles: anger, demanding, disbelief
constantly twirled her hair and tucked it behind her ear: attracted to the opposite sex, shy crossed his arms over his chest: waiting, impatient, putting a barrier
crushed the paper in his fist: anger, surrender, discard
dived into the food: hunger, eager, greedy
doffed his hat: polite gesture, mocking, teasing
doodled on the phone pad and tapped the air with her foot: bored, inattention, introspection
drummed her fingers on the desk: impatient, frustrated, bored
fanned her heated face with her hands: physically hot, embarrassed, indicating attraction
fiddled with his keys: nervous, bored
firm, palm to palm hand shake: confident, honest
flipped him the bird: sarcastic discard
forked his fingers through his hair for the third time: disquiet/consternation, worry, thoughtful
handed it over shame-faced: guilt, shame
held his crotch and danced a frantic jig: physical need to relieve himself
limp hand shake: lack of confidence, lack of enthusiasm
propped his elbow on his knee: relaxed, thoughtful
punched her pillow: restless, can’t sleep, angry
rested his chin in his palm: thoughful, worried
scratched his hairy belly and yawned: indolent, bored, lazy, relaxed, just waking
shoulders lifted in a shrug: doubtful, careless discard
slapped his face in front of God and country: enraged, affronted/insulted
snapped a sharp salute: respect, sarcastic gesture meaning the opposite of respect
snapped his fingers, expecting service: arrogant, lack of respect, self-centered
sneered and flicked lint off his suit
spread her arms wide: welcoming, joy, love
stabbed at the food: anger, hunger, determined
stood straighter and smoothed his tie: sudden interest, possible sexual interest
stuffed his hands in his pockets: self-conscious, throwing up a barrier
sweaty handshake: nervous, fearful
touched his arm several times while explaining: sign of attraction, flattery, possessive
wide sweep of his arms: welcoming, all inclusive gesture, horror

Sitting or Rising

collapsed in a stupor: exhausted, drunk, drugged, disbelief
enthroned himself at the desk: conceit, pronouncing or taking ownership
exploded out of the chair: shock, eager, anger, supreme joy
roosted on the porch rail like a cock on a hen house roof: claiming ownership, conceit, content
sat, squaring an ankle over one knee: relaxed and open
slouched/wilted in a chair and paid languid attention to: drowsy, lazy, depressed, disinterest, sad, totally relaxed, disrespectful
squirmed in his chair: ill at ease, nervous, needs the bathroom


flung himself into the bed: sad, depressed, exhausted, happy
prostrated himself: surrender, desperate, miserable, powerless, obsequious, fawning, flattering
punched her pillow: can’t sleep, anger, frustrated
threw himself on the floor kicking and screaming: tantrum

Entire body and General

body stiffened at the remark: offended, anger, alerted
body swayed to music: dreamy, fond memories, enjoys the music
bounced in the car seat, pointing: excitement, fear, eager
cowered behind his brother: fear, shyness, coward, desperate
curled into a ball: sorrow, fear, sleepy, defensive
heart galloping: anxiety, joy, eager
held his crotch and danced a frantic jig
humped over his cane, each step shaking and careful: pain, aged
inhaled a deep breath and blew out slowly: buying time to find words/thoughtful, reconciled
quick and jerky like rusty cogs on a wheel: unsure of actions, self-conscious, tense, edgy
rocked back and forth on his heels: impatient, cocky, gleeful
manhandled the woman into a corner: bully, anger
slumped shoulders: defeat, depressed, sad, surrender
stiff-backed: priggish, haughty, affronted
stood straighter and straightened his tie: sexual interest, wants to make an impression
stooped and bent: aged, arthritic, in pain
stretched extravagantly and yawned: tired, bored, unconcerned
sweating uncontrollably: nervous, fear, guilt
tall erect posture: confidence, military bearing
was panting now at: afraid, exhausted, out of breath, sexual excitement

  • Grinding teeth
  • Narrowing eyes
  • Yelling
  • A burning feeling in the chest
  • Heavy breathing
  • Unjustified or justified accusations towards other characters
  • Jerky movements
  • Glaring
  • Violence
  • Stomping
  • Face reddening
  • Snapping at people
  • Lack of motivation
  • Messy appearance
  • Quiet
  • Slow movements
  • Crying
  • Inability to sleep
  • Frowning
  • Red eyes
  • Isolating oneself
  • Fatigue
  • Not concentrating
  • Thinking about someone
  • Good communication
  • Not forcing a friend/lover into something
  • Smiling randomly
  • Making eye contact with loved one
  • Nervous behaviors (fiddling hands, biting lip)
  • Cuddling
  • Flirting
  • Inside jokes
  • Holding hands
  • Kissing
  • Offering gifts
  • Fluttering stomach
  • Racing heart
  • Losing track of time while with loved one
  • Daydreaming
  • Disagreement with someone
  • Shaking head frantically
  • Backing away
  • Putting hand on one’s chest
  • Rapid speaking
  • Rationalization or justifying something
  • Dismissing someone or something
  • Blushing
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Grimacing
  • Looking down
  • Changing the conversation
  • Rubbing back of neck
  • Shoulders slumping
  • A weak voice
  • Tightening chest
  • Panicked thoughts
  • Running away
  • Getting quiet
  • Concentrating on something else
  • Smiling
  • Laughing
  • Squealing
  • Bouncing on toes
  • Warmth in chest
  • Fast pulse
  • A sense of contentment
  • Relaxed posture
  • Quick movements
  • Breathlessness
  • Desire to help
  • Face going pale
  • Panicked thoughts
  • Jerky movements
  • Mind racing for a solution
  • Running
  • Freezing
  • Fighting
  • Fawning (doing what people tell you to do)
Side note: flight, fight, freeze, and fawn are all reactions to adrenaline. Aka the fight or flight response
  • Thinking of survival
  • Rapid breathing
  • A panicked feeling
  • Feeling horrible about oneself
  • Lying
  • Grimacing
  • Trying to redeem themselves
  • Asking for forgiveness
  • Anxious thoughts
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Inkarnate Map Making Tool Want to know how much cocaine cost by the gram? How much does a kidney sell for? How much does it cost to hire an assassin? Well, put down your "I'm on the NSA watchlist for Googling bizarre shit but I'm just a writer!" coffee mug! Havocscope is your one stop shop for searching for all those edgy, illegal topics through legal means! Recommended by Rudolph Quin
Limits of the human body:
Recommended by Rudolph Quin
being unable to open their eyes for a few moments afterward
one small kiss, pulling away for an instant, then devouring each other
pressing their foreheads together while kissing
speaking normally, then after the kiss their voice is hoarse
guys furrowing their brow when kissing passionately
staring at the other’s lips, trying not to kiss them, before giving in
running their thumb over the other’s lips
when they lean forward a fraction as if to kiss the other person, then realize they shouldn’t and pull back to stop themselves
ripping the other away - “no we shouldn’t” - but when they kiss them again they moan and hold them close
one sliding their hand into the other’s hair slowly
their entire body freezing for a second when their love kisses them
accidentally being forced inches apart from each other, staring at each other’s lips, and just before they kiss someone pulls them back apart
when one stops the kiss to whisper “I’m sorry, are you sure you-” and they answer by kissing them more
a hoarse whisper “kiss me”
then licks their lips and says “please”
Table Top Audio Ambient audio for a variety of settings, plus a Soundpad to create your own.
Sex Positions Not to be confused with sexposition. ;) Has visuals and animations for MxF sex positions. NSFW

Pirate Resources
Hair washing and care in the the 19th century Hair washing is something that almost every historical writer, romance or not, gets wrong. How many times have you read a story in which a heroine sinks gratefully into a sudsy tub of water and scrubs her hair–or, even worse, piles it up on her head to wash it? Or have you watched the BBC’s Manor House and other “historical reenactment” series, in which modern people invariably destroy their hair by washing using historical recipes?

Historical women kept their hair clean, but that doesn’t mean their hair was often directly washed. Those who had incredibly difficult to manage hair might employ a hairdresser to help them wash, cut, and singe (yes, singe!) their hair as often as once a month, but for most women, hair-washing was, at most, a seasonal activity.

“Why?” you might ask. “Wasn’t their hair lank, smelly, and nasty?”

And the writers who embrace ignorance as a badge of honor will say, “Well, that just goes to show that people used to be gross and dirty, and that’s why I never bother with that historical accuracy stuff!”

And then I have to restrain myself from hitting them…

The reason that hair was rarely washed has to do with the nature of soaps versus modern shampoos. Soaps are made from a lye base and are alkaline. Hair and shampoo are acidic. Washing hair in soap makes it very dry, brittle, and tangly. Men’s hair was short enough and cut often enough that using soap didn’t harm it too much and the natural oils from the scalp could re-moisturize it fairly easily after even the harshest treatment, but in an age when the average woman’s hair was down to her waist, soap could literally destroy a woman’s head of hair in fairly short order.

Instead, indirect methods of hair-cleaning were used. Women washed their hair brushes daily, and the proverbial “100 strokes” were used to spread conditioning oils from roots to tips and to remove older or excess oil and dirt. This was more time-consuming than modern washing, and this is one of the reasons that “good hair” was a class marker. The fact that only women of the upper classes could afford all the various rats, rolls, and other fake additions to bulk out their real hair was another. (An average Victorian woman of the upper middle or upper class had more apparent “hair” in her hairstyle than women I know whose unbound hair falls well below their knees.) Women rarely wore their hair lose unless it was in the process of being put up or taken down–or unless they were having a picture specifically taken of it! At night, most women braided their hair for bed. Now that my hair is well below my waist, I understand why!

The first modern shampoo was introduced in the late 1920s. Shampoos clean hair quickly and also remove modern styling products, like hairspray and gel, but the frequent hair-washing that has become common leaves longer hair brittle even with the best modern formulations. (From the 1940s to the 1960s, many if not most middle-class women had their hair washed only once a week, at their hairdresser’s, where it was restyled for the next week. The professional hairdresser stepped into the void that the maid left when domestic service became rare. Washing one’s hair daily or every other day is a very recent development.) That’s where conditioners came into play. Many people have wondered how on earth women could have nice hair by modern standards before conditioners, but conditioners are made necessary by shampoos. Well-maintained hair of the 19th century didn’t need conditioners because the oils weren’t regularly stripped from it.

Additionally, the oils made hair much more manageable than most people’s is today, which made it possible for women to obtain elaborate hairstyles using combs and pins–without modern clips or sprays–to keep their hair in place. This is why hair dressers still like to work with “day-old” hair when making elaborate hairstyles.

There were hair products like oils for women to add shine and powders meant to help brush dirt out of hair, but they weren’t in very wide use at the time. Hair “tonics”–mean to be put on the hair or taken orally to make hair shinier, thicker, or stronger–were ineffective but were readily available and widely marketed.

If you have a heroine go through something particularly nasty–such as a fall into a pond or the like–then she should wash her hair, by all means. This would be done in a tub prepared for the purpose–not in the bath–and would involve dissolving soap shavings into a water and combine them with whatever other products were desired. Then a maid would wash the woman’s hair as she leaned either forward or backward to thoroughly wet and wash her hair. Rinsing would be another stage. The hair would NEVER be piled on the head. If you have greater than waist-length hair and have ever tried to wash it in a modern-sized bathtub, you understand why no one attempted to wash her hair in a hip bath or an old, short claw foot tub! It would be almost impossible.

A quick rundown of other hair facts:

Hydrogen peroxide was used to bleach hair from 1867. Before that, trying to bleach it with soda ash and sunlight was the most a girl could do. Henna was extremely popular from the 1870s through the 1890s, especially for covering gray hair, to such an extent that gray hair became almost unseen in certain circles in England in this time. Red hair was considered ugly up until the 1860s, when the public embracing of the feminine images as presented by the aesthetic movement (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood) gained ground, culminating in a positive rage for red hair in the 1870s to 1880s. Some truly scary metallic salt compounds were used to color hair with henna formulations by the late 19th century, often with unfortunate results.

Hair curling was popular in the 19th century and could either by achieved with rag rolls or hot tongs. Loose “sausage” rolls were the result of rag rolling. Hot tongs were used for making the “frizzled” bangs of the 1870s to 1880s–and “frizzled” they certainly were. The damage caused by the poor control of heating a curler over a gas jet or candle flame was substantial, and most women suffered burnt hair at one time or another. For this reason, a number of women chose to eschew the popular style and preserve their hair from such dangers! Permanents were first in use in the 1930s.
Different services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) and different countries will use different names for their rank, but an E1 (Enlisted First-rank) will be roughly equivalent to an E1 in another, and the same all the way up the chain. The time in each rank is average time since joining the military; it’s entirely possible to be in that rank outside of that many years due to being particularly good or bad at your job or for doing something notably good or bad.
Enlisted: handle the day-to-day tasks that must be done. Specialize in just one field and know virtually nothing about others.
E1/Private/Pvt: 0-6mos. Brand new out of boot camp and thus not trusted.
E2/Private First Class/PFC: 6-12mos. Has been around slightly longer than a private, can be trusted with basic tasks
E3/Lance Corporal/LCpl: 1-3yrs. the most common rank, trusted with most tasks, a senior lance can hold positions usually reserved for a corporal
E4/Corporal/Cpl: 2-4yrs. in charge of training and leading a small unit(4-12, usually)
E5/Sergeant/Sgt: 4-6yrs. very senior member of platoon, will be given a lot of authority, generally unsupervised, in charge of 12-30. If just ‘sergeant’ is said, this is the rank meant.
E6/Staff Sergeant/SSgt: 6-12yrs. The senior enlisted in a platoon, advises the platoon particular officer (called the 'platoon commander’) and interprets their orders. Intersection of weird, cool, and knowledgeable.
E7/Gunnery Sergeant/GySgt: 12-18yrs. main job becomes technical knowledge and arranging training and logistics. valued more for knowledge than ability to work. After this rank, either become MSgt or 1Sgt.
E8/Master Sergeant/MSgt: 16-25yrs. technical expert due to experience in field, non-command role, can advise planning of operations.
E8/First Sergeant/1Sgt: 16-25yrs. Does the company commander’s bidding, very experienced, discipline oriented
E-9/Master Gunnery Sergeant/MGySgt: (from Master Sergeant) 20-40yrs. Supreme technical expert, trusted as an advisor to anyone in the field, up to battallion and regimental leadership, more time in service than most troops have alive
E9/Sergeant Major/SgtMaj: (from First Sergeant) 20-40yrs. No one knows what he does other than motivating speeches. Has no idea what’s actually going on at the lower levels. Strangely likeable. Advises battalion commander and above. If you piss him off, you will pay dearly.
Junior Enlisted: E1-E3. Do what they’re told, generally not trusted with setting their own schedule, a senior lance can take charge but will usually be handled by a Corporal. Mostly do the hands-on work.
Non-Commissioned Officers/NCOs: E4-E5, charged with training and leading teams, squads, and platoons, generally knowledgeable. Mostly in direct command of junior enlisted.
Staff NCOs/SNCOs: E6-E9, effectively equivalent to officers they advise, are technical experts and/or make sure the enlisted carry out the orders of the officers. Mostly in charge of advising officers and passing on officers’ orders. Enlisted ranks only go to E9.
People get weirder as they go higher in Enlisted ranks, starting noticably at SSgt, because they’ve been immersed in the military culture for so long. People are also generally less in shape at higher ranks, starting noticably at GySgt, because there are fewer people who’ll call them out for it and because they are no longer promoted based upon actual numbers.
The LCpl Underground: the grapevine of gossip spread by junior enlisted. Often DISTURBINGLY accurate at predicting orders from above. If someone isn’t junior enlisted but is known to be connected to the LCpl Underground, they’re probably cool and can be trusted to help you out in a pinch.
Officers: coordinate resources between fields. Trained and charged with leading, organizing, and managing resources of large groups
The only officer ranks you particularly need to know are:
O1/Second Lieutenant/2Lt: called 'butterbars’ as an insult because of the way their rank insignia looks. Everyone hates them because they’re effectively E1’s in personality and knowledge, but outrank E9’s.
O3/Captain/Cpt: almost always good at their job and good at knowing what people need. Usually connected to the LCpl Underground.
O5/Lieutenant Colonel/LtCol: generally dickbags who are just trying to make themselves look good so they can get promoted. Unfortunately usually in charge of very large groups of Marines.
O6/Colonel/Col: rank looks like an eagle, so they’re called 'full bird’s, and considered a very prestigous rank.
O7-O10: generals. You will never see them, but will hear about orders coming down from them.
Warrant Officers/Chief Warrant Officers: WO or CWO, used to be SNCOs but became officers. pinnacle of knowledge in their field, but limited to command in that field only. Everyone loves them because they’re always knowledgeable, in touch with reality, and chill.
The general consults with his SNCOs and says to his LtCols 'you’re going to take this city, and you’re going to take this one’
The LtCol consults with his SNCOs and says to his Captains 'you’re taking this neighborhood, and you’re taking this one’.
The Captain consults with his SNCOs and says to his Lieutenants 'we’re taking this neighborhood on this day and with this many guys; you’re in charge of the Truck Platoon, so make sure the trucks are ready. You’re in charge of the Radio Platoon, so make sure the radios are ready’.
The Truck Lieutenant goes to his SSgts and say 'we’re getting this many guys and their gear on trucks on this day and getting them to this location’.
The SSgt goes to his cpls and says 'we need this many trucks and we’re going this far. Fuel Platoon will have the fuel ready on Monday.’
The cpls make sure the trucks and fuel and drivers and everything are ready.
(There’s a lot more to this process, but a junior enlisted will never see any of it except what directly affects his platoon)
Buddy Team: 2 junior enlisted. This term is generally only used by infantry, and to refer to two people moving forward alternately in order to provide cover to each other.
Fire Team: 3 junior enlisted+1 senior lance or corporal. A single portion of work (fixing a truck, monitoring radios, going on a patrol, etc).
Squad: 3 fire teams +1 cpl/sgt. A single portion of a mission (clearing a building, a shift of office workers, etc)
Platoon: 3 squads +1 sgt/ssgt+gunny+1 Lt.
Company: 4 platoons +small staff section(1stSgt, GySgt, and 3-4 others)+Cpt commander, Lt executive officer.
Battalion: 4 companies +staff MGSgts and 1Sgts +1 sgtmaj +1 LtCol+1 Maj executive officer + a staff and support company. Also called a unit, and most people will ask 'what’s your unit?’ when they want to know where in the military you work.
You’re probably not making it dystopia enough.
People in boot camp are called 'recruits’, and are not allowed to use pronouns. 'I told him’ becomes 'this recruit told recruit Smith’. If you accidentally use a pronoun, you’re punished. Recruits are specifically told that this is because 'only people use pronouns, and you haven’t earned 'I’ yet’. Recruits are pointedly dehumanized so that their concept of societal norms can be rebuilt from the ground up, making them more receptive to 'instant willing obedience to orders’. Stockholm syndrome is actively fostered, although it’s called 'esprit de corps’, and it makes it so that the vast majority of recruits - myself included - come out of boot camp talking about their drill instructors like they hung the moon and stars. This Stockholm Syndrome isn’t just for their DIs; it’s for the military itself, and makes it so most Marines will automatically side with the lowest common level of Marines in anything (an infantryman will automatically side with another infantryman against an artilleryman, but against a civilian would even side with admin).
Recruits live in squad bays - a large room with rows of bunk beds, an attached communal bathroom and laundry room and pretty much nothing else - in platoons of 50-120 recruits, managed by 4-6 drill instructors (usually Sgts and SSgts, although occasionally Cpls or GySgts). Every second of a recruit’s day is intensely managed and monitored. Sometimes after a month or two into boot camp they’ll start having an hour or so a day of free time, but during that time they can’t leave the squad bay. Most of a recruit’s free time happens after lights out, and only then if they sneak out of bed to the bathroom or laundry room (sneaking out of the building altogether is virtually unheard-of). Recruits go back to using 'I’ as soon as they aren’t around DIs, but will often slip up and call themselves 'this recruit’.
Marine boot camp is three months long. You learn some Marine Corps history, how to fire a rifle, marching commands (called 'drill’), rank structure, very basic survival skills, swimming, basic first aid, basic hand-to-hand combat, uniform regulations, Marine ettiquette (called 'customs and courtesies’), rappelling, how to cross obstacles, how to use a gas mask, basic combat maneuvers, and tons of running and working out.
It’s unconfirmed, but strongly believed by the junior enlisted that they’re given hormone suppressants in boot camp to make recruits less distracted by sex. During boot camp, most guys don’t get boners and most girls stop their periods, and near the end of boot camp they come back. I personally think this is just a natural reaction to sudden massive stress and weight loss, but can’t be 100% sure.
There is absolutely no going home during boot camp; you’re there for the full duration, and if you have to leave because of a massive family emergency (like your mom died), you’ll start over from the beginning when you come back.
Officers and Enlisted go to seperate boot camps. Officer boot camp is very different from Enlisted’s, and I don’t know anything about it except that it’s HELLA hard.
The most common punishment in boot camp is called Incentive Training (or 'IT-ing’ or 'getting IT’d’), it takes place on any clear space in open view of the rest of the platoon. The offending recruit(s) will be ordered to do pushups, squats, planks, or some other stationary exercise for several minutes at a time while having their mistake screamed in their face by one or two drill instructors. Often this is done until slightly beyond the recruit reaching muscle failure, although other standard limits aren’t unheard-of; one of my drill instructors had a rule called 'make it rain’, which was that you weren’t allowed to stop until you were dripping sweat and/or tears onto the floor. Other common boot camp punishments are repeating some self-depreciating statement at the top of your lungs until your voice gives out, or drinking ridiculous amounts of water. THESE DO NOT CONTINUE AFTER BOOT CAMP. After boot camp this is considered hazing, and is hella illegal and the person who instigated it will probably get seperated from the military for it - although some NCOs and SNCOs will still give you the option 'PT or paperwork’ when you get in trouble, which means either get negative paperwork and/or a demotion or get hazed. Most will perform the hazing with you, to show that they’d be willing to take the punishment as well.
Until a few years ago, beatings were common both in and out of boot camp, but those became illegal after the public realized how many recruits were coming out of boot camp crippled or dead. Beatings are now even more illegal than hazing, but some GySgts and above will still wax nostalgic about the days where hazing and beatings allowed. It’s the worst-kept secret in the Marine Corps that beatings still happen in boot camp, both between recruits and also from DIs, but they’re not nearly as common or extreme as they used to be.
Standing more than your usual guard duty (both the position and the person who does it are called 'duty’, as in, 'I’ve got duty this weekend’ and 'look out, duty is coming up the hall!’) is another common punishment. In boot camp, a duty shift is two hours during your sleep shift, and after boot camp it’s a full 24 hours. The worst duty punishment after boot camp is Saturday duty - you can’t drink alcohol within 8 hours of going to work, so no partying on Friday, your entire Saturday is taken up with duty, and your duty recovery (semi-mandatory 12 hours after you get after getting off duty so you can sleep before going back to work) is on a day you’d already have off, so you lose your entire weekend. People have to be standing duty at all times, though, so sometimes you get Saturday duty even when you haven’t done anything wrong, which sucks. Standing duty two shifts in a row is technically illegal, but not unheard-of.
Cleaning duties are also a common punishment; sweeping, scrubbing, etc.
There are four levels of official punishment, and except in extreme circumstances you won’t see these during boot camp:
Counsellings are a form of paperwork, and can be used for recognition of positive things as well as a warnings about negative things. 3 counsellings for the same thing bumps the third and beyond up to a page 11. Showing up late for work might get you a counselling if you’ve got a hardass in charge of you and you don’t have a good excuse.
Page 11s are also a form of paperwork, and these and above are only used for negative things. Barely more than a slap on the wrist. Three page 11s for the same thing bumps the third and beyond up to an NJP.
NJPs are a form of paperwork, including a quasi-trial made up of your immediate and further up supervisors. This usually comes with docking of pay, reduction in rank, non-recommendation for promotion, and/or restriction. NJPs can also prevent you from re-enlisting. You get an NJP for drinking and driving, breaking the local liberty policy, getting into a fistfight, or things of that level.
Court Martials are a full-on military trial. If convicted, you will have pay docked, be reduced in rank, non-rec’d for promotion, and likely put in military prison a.k.a. the brig. It’s only for major crimes, generally involving endangering large numbers of people.
Due to the intense culture shift of boot camp, most Marines come out of boot camp with at least mild PTSD. The first week or so after getting out of boot camp, they’ll be excessively neat and precise and formal, and hoard food and sleep every chance they get. They’ll jump at anything that even sounds like an order, often catching themselves a few seconds later when they remember they’re not in boot camp anymore. They wake VERY suddenly and sometimes violently from sleep. Sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, crying or screaming while asleep, bedwetting, and nightmares are common. These all wear off fully after a few months to a year, but can take longer depending on the culture of the job field they go into for their next phase of training. The ability to sleep anywhere, any time, and in any position will remain with them the rest of their lives, and it’s a running gag to see Marines sprawled out or twisted up sleeping on top of each other and their gear.
Before boot camp, you sign paperwork saying what job you’ll go into when you finish boot camp. Sometimes you say you’ll take anything, which is called 'going open contract’, but it’s more common to know what job you’ll have. Immediately after boot camp, you get to go home for ten days. If you’re in infantry you’ll go to three months of training in your specific job after that, and if you’re in any other field you’ll go to a month of MCT (Marine Combat Training) which is a month of learning more survival skills and combat maneuvers, as well as a couple of the more common weapons (grenade launcher attachment for a rifle, two different kinds of machine gun, throwing grenades). MCT is less rigid than boot camp, and you’re considered a person again, but infantry training is almost as bad as boot camp.
Infantry will go to their unit and start doing their jobs immediately after their three-month training after boot camp, but after MCT everyone else goes on to their training for their particular job. Some training (like admin) is only a couple of weeks long, others (like translator) can be as much as two years long. In job training, you’ll generally have curfews, will almost always be in uniform, and have limited time off-base, but otherwise you’re free to do as you please outside of training (training is 8-12 hours a day). Once you finish your job training, you go to your final unit. Getting to your final unit is called 'hitting the fleet’, and is generally considered to be the time where you’ll be treated like a real person again. At your final unit, you can do pretty much anything you want when you’re not at work.
If you’re in infantry, you’ll probably be still in a squad bay during your job training. If you’re not in infantry, you’ll probably be in a barracks room, which is basically a crappy dorm room that houses 2-4 Marines, two being the most common. The barracks often loses power, water, and internet for as much as days at a time, and if you have both working heat and AC then you are considered blessed because most people never have one and most don’t have either. Bathrooms and showers are generally communal, although if you’re in a barracks you might have a private bathroom and shower. If your hot water is working at all, you have an unlimited supply. If you’re deployed on a ship, you’ll probably sleep in a slightly-larger-than-coffin-sized space stacked with a bunch of other people, and 99% of your belongings will be in a chest that takes the place of your bed’s boxspring and is referred to as your coffin.
Going home during job training is strictly rationed, and leaving training for more than a week for an emergency will likely mean that you have to start training over from an earlier point.
They’re called 'MOS’s’ (short for Military Operational Specialty) and there’s WAY more of them than just the guys who run in with guns. The military is basically its own little country within a country, and as such has mechanics, truck drivers, accountants, cameramen, translators, power-, water-, and sanitation-workers, cooks, priests, and all the other jobs that keep a society running. Basically, follow all the rules you would usually use for building a society when you’re building your fictional military - it’s sort of connected to its country’s society, but largely self-sufficient.
The military is roughly divided into two sections: Grunts and POGs (People Other than Grunts, pronounced 'pəʊg’). This is not a firm or official division, and everyone defines it differently, but generally falls between 'the people who shoot people’ and 'the people who don’t shoot people’. There is a LOT of animosity between the two groups, and calling someone a POG in seriousness is a major insult.
YOU CAN NOT BE FORCED INTO RECON. Recon is a volunteer-only field, because the job requires a ton of physical fitness, mental stability, loyalty, and secrecy. It is an extremely prestigious unit and one of the few that is near-universally respected by the whole military.
There are a lot of stereotypes about different MOS fields, and they’re just as true as any other societal stereotype.
-admin (the guys who file your paperwork) will lose/misfile/shred your paperwork and are lazy. Literally everyone hates them.
-grunts, truck drivers, and mechanics are stupid
-POGs are either in pristine bodybuilder shape or fat/emaciated, no in-between
-POGs are lazy
-translators are pompous dicks
-cooks are useless
-the band is an insulting joke and needs to be removed
-officers are desk jockeys
Any non-work relationship (friendly or romantic) between people of different ranks is officially called fraternization, and so is any non-work relationship between people who are at different levels of the same chain of command (regardless of rank). Basically, if someone could use your relationship as leverage to make you do something for them in the workplace, it’s fraternization. The only time your average person will care is when it’s a 2-rank-or-more difference, or if it’s affecting your work.
Sex isn’t supposed to happen in the barracks, but it does, and as long as you’re not loud enough to be heard down the hall and you’re accomodating for your roommates, no one cares. It’s against military law to discriminate against someone based on sexuality or gender, and although officers and SNCOs thought this would be a REALLY big deal and put off repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell because of that, literally no one at the lower levels cares. We’ve always known non-cis and non-straight people were here, and we care a lot more about how well they do their job than who they’re sleeping with or what pronouns they want to go by.
About 25-50% of DFAB in the military are non-straight and/or non-cis, and most are pretty open about it - higher percentages are found in jobs requiring heavy labor or higher intelligence (vehicle maintenance, translators). There are vanishingly few non-cis DMABs, but percentages of non-straight DMABs are very difficult to determine because the military is INCREDIBLY apparently-gay. The Marines (my main point of experience) are the gayest heterosexual organization ever to exist - to the point we have the phrase 'it’s not gay if you’re wearing bootbands’, which means if you’re in uniform, basically anything short of actual penetrative sex is considered not-gay. Groping anywhere not the crotch is considered completely acceptable with 90% of friends, both above and below clothing, though it’s always masked as a joke. Marines tend to be pretty good about laying off if they’re told it’s not welcome, though.
Officers are taught in their boot camp not to show open disdain to their troops. They’ll talk down to you, treat you like a child and insist they know better, but their words will always be honeyed and there will usually be a patient smile on their face as they tell you to suck it up and deal with your shitty situation they probably caused, because it’s for the best. NCOs and senior lances will talk to you like you’re trash until they’ve gotten to like you, and occasionally SNCOs, too. Above GySgt is effectively an officer.
You will never see the officer who’s in charge of the base. You probably won’t talk to anyone more than two ranks above you unless you’re in trouble or greeting them in passing. When you pass by an E4 or above that outranks you, you greet them with the time of day (good morning/afternoon/evening) and their rank (or sir/ma'am and a salute, if it’s an officer), or risk a chewing out. Their rank is on their collar or shoulder, depending on what uniform they’re in, but some combinations of ranks and uniforms are basically impossible to see, in which case you guess and pray - guessing high is safer than guessing low. You only salute officers and only when you’re wearing a military hat, so you’ll usually only salute them when you’re outside. 'Soldier’ is only ever used in a disciplinary or sarcastic context, never a friendly or even neutral one. Calling someone by their rank is the standard between different ranks. 'that will be all, corporal’ 'aye, staff sergeant’ etc. officers are called 'sir’ or 'ma'am’ no matter their rank. Within the same rank you usually call each other by just last name, and if you’re friends, by first name or nickname. You use rank and name when referring to a third party, 'gunnery sergeant gonzales’, 'captain bowers’, etc. If you call an enlisted 'sir’ or 'ma'am’ it’s considered a mild insult; they’ll usually respond with 'I’m a [rank], I work for a living’.
Very few people trust their superiors to have their best interests in mind. The further up the chain you look, the less trust there is - I trust my Sergeant pretty well, for example, but my LtCol very little. Usually it’s because of the higher-up’s ignorance to junior enlisted’s day-to-day life, but sometimes it’s because of their selfishness.
When speaking to someone who outranks you, unless you’re friends you’ll stand at parade rest. The more they outrank you, the more rigid the parade rest will be. Standing at attention is reserved for formal situations. No one would ever go to attention for a non-officer except as a joke; it’s insulting to the person you’re going to attention for, since enlisted dislike officers and you’re implying they’re an officer.
If you’re on a base, you’ll probably be able to go to the chowhall (cafeteria), and the food is pretty much the same as you ate in high school. Air Force chowhalls are MUCH higher-quality than the other branches’. If you’re going to the chowhall during peak hours, expect at least 15 minutes of waiting in line. You can eat as much as you want in the chowhall.
If you’re not on a base or are training on unpopulated part of the base (called 'being in the field’), but you’re lucky, you’ll get what’s called hot chow. It’s a very limited selection of hot food prepared by the cooks that came with you to the field, and slightly lower quality than what the chowhall serves. You’re only allowed to eat a certain amount, but it’s pretty generous, and if you get really lucky there’ll be enough for yout to go back for seconds.
If you’re in the field, you’re probably eating MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat), which are a large meal’s worth of food that’s been designed and packaged to last basically forever. Generally, the only MREs you get are what you carry in your pack, so you have to balance weight versus need when you leave base. There’s a pouch of chemicals in each MRE that gets REALLY hot when you add a bit of water to it, and you an use this to heat up your food (or keep you warm at night). The hot pack is toxic and gives off a lot of mostly-harmless gas, DO NOT MIX IT WITH YOUR FOOD OR USE IT IN AN ENCLOSED SPACE. The food has tons of calories and a decent balance of nutrients, and is designed to back you up so that you don’t poop as much in the field, and each MRE also comes with laxative gum to counteract this if necessary. MREs have a lot of variety (everything from maple sausage to chicken pesto pasta to vegetarian tortellini), and are better-tasting than you might expect but still not as good as hot chow. One MRE a day can sustain you pretty indefinitely, but two or three a day is recommended for most people. Because everything is so highly processed in an MRE, you’ll start seriously craving fresh fruits and vegetables after a week of eating nothing but MREs. MRE trading is a market that can buy you just about anything in the field, and the most sought-after parts are candy, dried cranberries, and chocolate peanut butter.
In a mix of ranks, regulations state that the lowest rank gets served first, then the next-lowest, etc. This doesn’t apply in the chowhall, but does in any other situation.
Military time is said 'zero seven hundred’ or ‘zero seven-thirty’, not 'seven hundred hours’
People who get out of training because of injuries are pitied and envied for the first couple of days, but after that are generally looked down on as slackers and liars unless they have a very visible, time-locked impediment like a broken leg. If you want to skip training for a day, feigning illness is the best way, although that means you’ll have to at least look like you’re going to medical - but you won’t be scrutinized unless you do it more than a couple of times
Standing in formation is when you’re all lined up neatly in rows and columns and expected to follow drill commands, and this will happen for everything from morning roll call to retirement ceremonies. If you’re not used to it, you can pass out from standing at attention for too long - usually at least one person out of 100 per hour, double or so in hot weather. It has to do with bloodflow and knowing how to balance, so new guys pass out more often. Most formations including over 100 people last at least an hour, with the highest-ranking person present speaking first and each lower-ranking person speaking after them and saying most of the same things. Anyone who passes out is usually either left there until the formation is over or quietly dragged off; in either case the formation will go on like nothing happened.
Haircuts and styles are strictly enforced in training; men have to have a particular, short hairstyle, and women with long hair have to have it in a neat bun. Once you’re out of boot camp and initial training, these standards relax slightly, but not enough for a civilian to notice the difference. When a woman isn’t in uniform, she can have her hair however she wants. When one or the other person isn’t in uniform, you aren’t expected to salute or greet someone of higher rank, but politeness is still required. Kissing is not allowed in uniform, nor is any physical affection that lasts more than three seconds.
It’s really disorienting to talk to someone not in the military for more than a few minutes at a time; you have to re-train your vocabulary and body language to civilian, leaving out tons of swears and acronyms and in-jokes. Going out and interacting with people also involves suppressing all sorts of weird instincts (hats and sunglasses indoors grate on you really bad, for example).
Training areas can’t be 'hogged’; whoever is in charge of the training will put in a request to use it during a certain period of time. Anyone of higher rank than can usually kick them out at will during that time if they were pissy enough, though.
Booze is everywhere. If you aren’t able/allowed to buy it from a store (all bases have at least one PX/Post Exchange, which is sort of like a mini-Walmart that also sells military gear and alcohol) then there’s definitely a LCpl who knows a guy.
Oversight is, hilariously, gratuitously bad. The main impediment to the smooth running of any military base is a combination of the officers in charge not knowing exactly how things work at the lowest levels, and people just outright not doing their jobs. For some utterly bizarre reason I can’t understand, people who just don’t do their jobs don’t generally get in trouble for it, and officers are generally kept in the dark about how the lowest levels work. This leads to a LOT of waste and mismanagement.
The US military is made up of roughly 90% males. Most females are found in non-physical jobs, but there aren’t any jobs that are exclusively male or female (except infantry, but that very recently was opened to females) or even stereotypically male or female. About 65% of the population is white, 20% is hispanic, 10% is black, and 5% is everything else. SNCO ranks and officers are only about 50% white, and officers are only about 80% male - this is due to those ranks being promoted on apparent ability, and non-white non-males visually stand out more in a crowd of white males even if everyone has the same actual ability. Not as many white males complain about this as you might think, but some do.

Causes of death from stabs and cuts:
• massive bleeding (exsanguination) - most common
• air in the bloodstream (air embolism)
• suffocation (asphyxia)
• air in the chest cavity (pneumothorax)
• infection
Stabbing vs cutting:
• Stabbing someone actually takes very little force if you don’t hit bone or hard cartilage.
• The most important factor in the ease of stabbing is the velocity of the blade at impact with the skin, followed by the sharpness of the blade.
• Stabbing wounds tend to close after the weapon is withdrawn.
• Stabbing wounds to muscles are not typically very damaging. Damage increases with the width of the blade.
• Cutting wounds are typically deepest at the site of initial impact and get shallower as force is transferred from the initial swing to pushing and pressing.
• Cutting wounds have a huge number of factors that dictate how deep they are and how easily they damage someone: skill, radial velocity, mass of the blade, and the size of the initial impact.
• Cutting wounds along the grain of musculature are not typically very damaging but cutting wounds across the grain can incapacitate.
Arteries vs veins:
• Severed veins have almost zero blood pressure and sometimes even negative pressure. They do not spurt but major veins can suck air in causing an air embolism.
• Cutting or puncturing a vein is usually not fatal.
• Severed arteries have high blood pressure. The larger arteries do spurt and can often cause death due to exsanguination.
Body parts as targets:
• Severing a jugular vein in the neck causes an air embolism and will make the victim collapse after one or two gasps for air.
• Severing a carotid artery in the neck cuts off the blood supply to the brain but the victim may be conscious for up to thirty seconds.
• Stabbing or cutting the neck also causes the victim to aspirate blood that causes asphyxiation and death.
• Severing a major abdominal artery or vein would cause immediate collapse, but this takes a fairly heavy blade and a significant amount of effort because they are situated near the spine.
• Abdominal wounds that only impact the organs can cause death but they do not immediately incapacitate.
• Severing an artery in the interior of the upper arm causes exsanguination and death but does not immediately incapacitate.
• Severing an artery in the palm side of the forearm causes exsanguination and death but does not immediately incapacitate.
• Severing the femoral artery at a point just above and behind the knee is the best location. Higher up the leg it is too well protected to easily hit. This disables and will eventually kill the victim but does not immediately incapacitate.
• Cutting across the muscles of the forearm can immediately end the opponent’s ability to hold their weapon.
• Cutting across the palm side of the wrist causes immediate loss of ability to hold a weapon.
• Stab wounds to the arm do not significantly impact the ability to wield a weapon or use it.
• Cuts and stab wounds to the front and back of the legs generally do not do enough muscle damage to cause total loss of use of that leg.
• Bone anywhere in the body can bend or otherwise disfigure a blade.
• The brain can be stabbed fairly easily through the eyes, the temples, and the sinuses.
• Stabs to the brain are more often not incapacitating.
The lungs as targets:
• Slicing into the lung stops that lung from functioning, but the other lung continues to function normally. This also requires either luck to get between the ribs or a great deal of force to penetrate the ribs.
• Stabbing the lung stops that lung from functioning, but the other lung continues to function normally. It is significantly easier to stab between ribs than to slice.
• It is possible to stab the victim from the side and pass through both lungs with an adequate length blade. It is very unlikely that this will happen with a slicing hit.
• “Death caused solely by pneumothorax is generally a slow process, occurring as much as several hours after the wound is inflicted.”
• Lung punctures also typically involve the lung filling with blood, but this is a slow process.
The heart as a target:
I’m just going to quote this paragraph outright with a few omissions and formatting changes for clarity because it’s chock-full of good info:
…[stabbing] wounds to the heart the location, depth of penetration, blade width, and the presence or absence of cutting edges are important factors influencing a wounded duelist’s ability to continue a combat.
• Large cuts that transect the heart may be expected to result in swift incapacitation…
• …stab wounds, similar to those that might be inflicted by a thrust with a sword with a narrow, pointed blade may leave a mortally wounded victim capable of surprisingly athletic endeavors.
Essentially, the heart can temporarily seal itself well enough to keep pressure up for a little while if it’s a simple stab. The arteries around the heart, while they are smaller and harder to hit, actually cause incapacitation much more quickly.

fair weather, flat terrain, roads
• foot: 20 m/day
• forced march: 30 m/day (unsustainable for long periods)
• horse: 40 m/day
• fast carriage: 60 m/day
• horse relay: 80 m/day (changing horses at each town)
fair weather, hilly terrain, roads (or flat terrain, bad weather)
• foot: 14 m/day
• forced march: 20 m/day
• horse: 25 m/day
• fast carriage: 30 m/day
• horse relay: 70 m/day
fair weather, mountainous terrain, roads (or hilly terrain, bad weather)
• foot: 9 m/day
• forced march: 15 m/day
• horse: 20 m/day
• fast carriage: 40 m/day
• horse relay: 60 m/day
fair weather, wooded terrain, off road
• foot: 8 m/day
• forced march: not here you’re not
• horse: 20 m/day
• fast carriage: see forced march
• horse relay: ditto
fair weather, mountainous terrain, off road
• foot: 6 m/day
• forced march: don’t do it
• horse: 10 m/day
• fast carriage: ur not getting a carriage up here m8
• horse relay: there’s nowhere to relay ur horse up here
fair weather, experienced sailors
• decent-sized merchant ship: 80 m/day (brig/carrack/cog type)
• fast/unladen ship: 100 m/day (caravel/clipper/corvette type)
o in peak conditions, you could comfortably get up to 150 m/day
o these boat speeds include some margin for days when little progress is made vs days when lots of progress is made
• for bad weather, just add on a day or two i guess
other modes of transport
• horse & cart: 10 m/day
• fully laden soldier: 15 m/day
• rowing: 3 m/hour (quite fast, 1 mile can be covered in anything from 15 to 45 mins depending on how experienced you are/what type of boat you’re using)
things to note
• walking speed: 3-5 m/hour (on average)
• walking for 7-8 hours a day
• riding speed: 25 m/hour gallop ; 13 m/hour canter ; 9 m/hour trot ; 4 m/hour walk
o obviously it’s unsustainable to ride at a flat gallop all day, unless you’re changing horses at each town
• riding for 10 hours a day
• 1 knot = 1.15 m/hour

RAwQInI.jpg - a resource for checking what gods and goddesses across different continents, cultures, and religions do and their stories. Great if you're writing supernatural fiction and want to base things off of real lore and mythology. Recommended by Rudolph Quin
Famous works of classical music

Baby Name Wizard-the go-to resource for names, it is useful for not only looking up names meanings and origins but it also has a reverse name lookup and even includes on the name pages popularity by year and relatives names - like popular names that parents choose for that name's siblings. A lot of people who name their kid Wendy, for instance, name her brothers David and sisters Amy. Recommended by Rudolph Quin
Name Generator My personal favorite. I love that it has hundred of categories for potential names, from fantasy to sci-fi to realistic.
Vulgar- Language generator.
Mob Nickname generator
City generator
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