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Fourteen years of deviantART. It's hard to imagine. It's a little surreal, too, that I've been here for most of that. Well, my account has at least. I've been less than active during that decade, and those times where I was here, I was less than involved in anything.

I was a broken mess, psychologically speaking, when I came here, and my early interactions were colored by this. I just wanted attention and for people to praise my work as though it were better than sliced bread. Or pizza. I thought I knew everything and could offer advice to one and all. I'm not sure any of those people I back-and-forthed with back then are even still around. I hope they're doing well at whatever they're doing at least. But I digress. Back in those days, in high school, I took a digital photography class and found I had talent with a camera. I possess it still, but I haven't taken a photograph since that class. It lies dormant, waiting perhaps for the day I pursue it once more...

Fire in the Sky - low exposure by Faraleigh  Icy Grass by Faraleigh

I also developed a fondness for Photoshop and photomanipulation. I turned those out as quick as I could as my only real artistic outlet. Drawing took too long and I wanted something closer to instant satisfaction.  And I continued to be plagued by wanting praise rather than assistance in my artistic adventures. That desire didn't change until years down the line...

Strange... by Faraleigh  Stairway to the Stars by Faraleigh

I went dormant for quite a while at some point after high school, and I've never fully recovered. I've developed the want for growth through constructive criticism, but I still (and who doesn't?) crave that elusive praise. It's not so much my goal here anymore, though, and my venture into making writing guides showed me that I had something to contribute to this community. While they've been few and far between, it's clear that there's a healthy appetite for such things.

The Necessity of Flaws in CharacterizationOkay. Close your eyes (well, maybe just one) and imagine your favorite fictional character. Are they strong? Compassionate and giving? Witty and clever? Wise and intelligent? No matter the make-up of their awesomeness, they probably bring a smile to your face and that warm, fuzzy feeling to your insides. You probably remember vividly their adventures and hijinks, their clever retorts, or how amazing they were at figuring out some wild and crazy puzzle. They probably inspired your own writing. You probably wanted to recreate that smile and fuzzy feeling with your own readers, so you made your version of the character (or took some of their traits) and integrated them into your prose.
This is all fine and dandy, especially considering there's nothing new under the sun, but there's a good chance you missed out on something really important. Let me explain.
It's great to have a badass character who kicks ass and takes name. But what makes them so badass? Is it that they can lift a Hummer w
   Reading as a WriterHave you ever set down a book for good because you found something in it you don’t like? If you want to write, I suggest that bad habit end now.
Why, you ask? Because everything you read—and I mean everything–has positive value for you as a writer. Stephen King, and any author worth his or her salt, is a huge advocate of writers reading massive amounts.
Again you ask, why? How can everything be useful? There are a number of reasons and I’ll cover as many as I can.
Reading bad literature teaches you about yourself and shows you what to avoid—or at least how not to do something—in your own work. If you run across something that you don’t like, stop and ask yourself why you don’t like it. Is it just a personal preference? Was it out of place or poorly executed? Does it contradict something from earlier? As soon as you figure out the “why” of something’s badness, you learn a little about yourself and you


Through all of this, I have continued at the pace of a glacier pursuing my love of literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I have shared my dreams and my scars, hoping to inspire and encourage others who happen across my work.

Dear JimDear Jim,
It is the eve of moving day, and as I cleared my shelves of your books I couldn’t help but be swept away by nostalgia.
It was 2002 that I first met you. I was scouring the shelves of an outlet bookstore for anything that might tickle my fancy when I happened upon Fool Moon. While the bloody paw print and broken window of that original cover enticed me, I confess the back cover was less than inspiring. Still, I bought it along with others I now no longer remember using my meager high school funds. As my mom drove us home, more than an hour away, I devoured that book. Even upon our arrival I didn’t set it down, making straight for the couch. I was more than a hundred pages in by the time I had to stop, and I finished the next day.
It was the beginning of a riotous love affair that changed my life.
I lauded the wonders of The Dresden Files and proudly called them my favorite books. I eagerly awaited every new installment, pilgrimaging to Ellensburg to g
   HotbottleThere are few things so destructive as a wildfire, raging out of control across the land. Property, homes, and even lives can be ruined by such a basic force of the natural world. Only in the best of circumstances can loss be mitigated and no sage can predict the full effects of its wrath.
One such surpassingly ruinous thing is rumors. Whereas with nature you understand what you're facing, the ever-twisting word of man is but one part truth and a world of misinformation. Perhaps it is the inclusion of man in the equation that makes it so much more dangerous and unpredictable.
In a place where gossip pays more than gold, that danger is exponential.
Whispers followed in the wake of a stranger's arrival to Center Town, words none dared speak too loudly for fear of being heard by the evil of which they speculated.
"He'll be the death of us all," a farmer muttered under his breath in the field.
"Will my children be okay?" whispered the baker's wife.
"Why now?" grumbled the tailor over a nea


And this, I think, concludes my jaunt through nostalgia. Happy birthday, dA! Here's to many more.
  • Reading: Lovecraft's fiction in chronological order
  • Playing: Forge of Empires, Uptasia, Kapi Regnum

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Faraleigh
Sherwood
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
I'm an antisocial hermit whose passion is writing. I have a Bachelor's in English and I hope to edit novels until I can make it big as a novelist.
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:icongoldennocturna:
GoldenNocturna Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Student Writer
Thanks for the 3D Llama Badge !
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for adding Conquer your artblock to your collections. I'm happy that you like it :la:
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:iconfaraleigh:
Faraleigh Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Student Writer
And thank you for offering it. :aww:
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:iconsrgitta:
srGitta Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thanks! :)
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:iconspectral-aspen:
Spectral-Aspen Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
:D Thank you for the :llama:!
Sorry for the *very* late reply!!
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:icondr-aim:
Dr-Aim Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student General Artist
thank you very much for the fave on my tutorial masterpost ! it seems from your journal that you had a rough time, I wish you the best.
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:iconfaraleigh:
Faraleigh Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student Writer
You're most welcome. And thank you. :hug:
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:iconescribe-estudio:
escribe-estudio Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
thanks for the llama
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:iconkaja-xenia:
Kaja-Xenia Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
Thanks for the llama! :D
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:iconsoullesstengu:
SoullessTengu Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks for the llama :)
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