Critique and Mentorship Winners!

Wow, what a contest! It was quite the mental feat, tallying up the entries for both the critique prizes and the mentorship opportunity. It was great to see so many enter, and I really appreciate everyone who spread news of the contest. As a result, The Bookshelf Muse has 174 new followers! Thanks to everyone who visits, old and new.

All right, down the the goods. We all know you're skimming to get to the important stuff right?

Winners of the first page critique are:

*Lo*

Larissa
Kathryn Jankowski
MadPrinceWill
Susan R. Mills

Winners of the first chapter critique are:

Taffy
Christina

And finally, the winner of the 3 month mentorship (186 entries, people!) is....

BISH DENHAM!

Winners can contact me HERE for more info. Please put Contest Winner in the header of your email in case spam monkeys get to it and I need to rescue you.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who played along. As always, there will be more contests to come. Have a great week and happy writing!

Contest Closed!





Thanks everyone for entering! I'll announce winners tomorrow after I give Random.org a workout! :)

(Gotta love Chuck Norris)

Contest Reminder

Hi everyone! Things have gotten a bit hectic for me lately, so I hope that you'll forgive me for not posting a new setting today. Instead I want to thank everyone who has entered my 1000 Followers Contest and Mentorship Opportunity. If you haven't yet entered, you can find all the details here. Contest closes on Wednesday September 29th.

Huge thanks to all you amazing folks out there who have spread the word about this contest. Truly I am so honored by the kind words I've seen on twitter, blog posts,and other sharing sites. I'm happy that so many writers use The Bookshelf Muse and your support has allowed the news of the thesaurus collections to spread even farther. This is clear by the 129 new followers that have joined in last week and a half!

So once again, thanks for all the support! I hope everyone has a great, productive weekend. :)

Symbolism: Vulnerability

Every day we interact with objects, places and sensations that affect the way we think and feel. This can be used to the writer's advantage by planting symbols in the reader's path to reinforce a specific message, feeling or idea.

Look at the setting and the character's state of mind, and then think about what you want the reader to see. Is there a descriptive symbol or two that works naturally within the scene to help foreshadow an event or theme, or create insight into the character's emotional plight?

In Nature:
 An injured animal
Bird with a broken wing
The old and sick
Saplings
Eggs in a nest
Exposed tree roots
Trees bent under the weight of snow or ice
Flies and moths trapped in a spider's web
Open areas devoid of tree cover or shrubs
Butterfly with a damaged wing
Spring buds covered in frost
Cold winters
Lack of a food or water source
Closed-off valley
Cliff edge
The growl of a predator
Animals during hunting season
Younglings, newborns
Lakes, rivers, ecosystems and animals close to human populations/factories

In Society:

Homeless
Children
Teenage prostitutes, street teens
Elderly
Dark alleys
Lights burnt out or broken along a street
Dark parkades
A broken door lock
Broken windows
House fire
Home invasion
Victims of crime
The intensive care ward/patients
Mentally ill
Poverty

Famine
Disease

Poorer neighborhoods
Cancer victims
The Disabled
Job loss
Foreclosures, bankruptcy
Man made disasters (oil spills, pollution, etc)
Extreme weather (floods, tornadoes, mudslides)
People without heath care benefits
Refugees
Abandoned pets
Adults and children in abusive environments
Losing your purse or wallet in a strange place
Being lost
Exploited children
People affected by war
Wheelchairs
Hospital beds
Hospital wrist band
Seniors homes
Families suffering from grief (loss of a loved one, funeral, wake)

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Vulnerability. Some are more powerful than others. A limping animal crossing an open field is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, a poor neighborhood may not foreshadow vulnerability on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

Flirting Fails

The other week, I made a list for Body Language associated with Flirting and had a huge response to the topic. Flirting is often a big component to teen fiction as well as any novel with a romance vibe.

Because Flirting is all about reading the signs, I thought it might be useful to also look at the Body Language used to show flirting disinterest. After all, not every character ends up with the girl or guy, and some are too clueless to understand their flirting attempts are a total turn off. As writers, sometimes our goal is to show the reader something that the characters themselves are unaware of, and this is where body language signals are so important. For sake of clarity, I'll give examples where the male is the flirting initiator. :)


Sorry, I'm Just Not That Into You


A lack of eye contact
If the girl is more into studying the contents of her purse, checking for texts or fiddling with her drink straw than him, this is your male character's cue that as far as romantic matching goes, he isn't on her radar.

Excuses If an excuse is used to get out of the conversation that does not involve a time constraint (bell for class rings, a work shift, etc), seems rushed or paper thin, move on. When under pressure, people often grab onto the first idea that will get them out of the situation. If her exit excuse sounds phony or nebulous, it probably is.

Closed body posture Crossed arms, rigid muscles, taking a step back or leaning away or to the side, holding a purse or jacket as a barrier between you...these are all ways she's announcing a lack of interest.

Stiff reactions to humor If a weak smile or faked laugh is all his attempts at being funny elicit, it's probably time to move on to a warmer reception elsewhere. If her reaction is veiled sarcasm or derision, then he should definitely take the billboard hint and get out of there.

Attention is elsewhere If your guy is trying out his moves and she's scanning the room, checking out other things going on, looking for friends and only making a passing attempt at interacting, it's like a clue gun to the head: NOT INTERESTED.

The Infamous BUT If she pays you a compliment and then tags a but onto it, that my friend is the kiss of death. You're a nice guy, but... I like you, but... You're a lot of fun, but... These are all examples of how maybe you were witty and fun, but she didn't feel the chemistry.


Want your character to avoid instant rejection? Avoid these Flirting Don'ts:

--Don't stare. A gaze should linger, but staring can be creepy and makes people uncomfortable.
--Don't undress her with his eyes or have him make lurid comments unless she does first. Hot flirting at the right time is good, but making her feel like a side of beef isn't. Never exceed the other person's intensity.
--Don't ignore personal space. No one wants their space invaded. Watch for signs she wants him to move closer--leaning in, moving herself closer, etc. If he moves too close, too fast, it will make her uneasy.
--Don't talk too much or make it all about him. Nerves often make people feel more talkative. But if he monopolizes the conversation or doesn't allow her time to respond or add her own thoughts, she'll lose interest fast. Ditto if his idea of attracting her is to air all his excellent qualities, interests, abilities, etc. No one finds ego attractive.
--Don't act insecure. He might be scared to death, but he can't show it. If he walks up to her with failure on his mind, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
--Don't be over-touchy, especially on first encounters. Even if she's sending signals she's like to be touched or even touches him first, show some restraint. If he turns into an octopus, her good judgement 'warning system' will kick in and he'll end up wallowing alone in #flirtingfail


Do you have any ones to add? How do you show the 'not into you' vibe without resorting to telling?

1000 Followers Contest & Mentorship Opportunity!

1000 followers. Really there's only one thing to say when something like this happens: THANK YOU. You are more awesome than baby seals and Pumpkin Spice lattes. You are more awesome than Chuck Norris' moustache. You are even more awesome than Zombies, but don't let them know I said that.

Seriously. You. Awesome.

We need a contest, yes? Of course we do!

Here at The Bookshelf Muse, it's all about becoming stronger writers together. So, in that spirit, check out these scrumptious prizes:

General Drawing:

5-First Page critiques
2-First Chapter critiques


Special Drawing Challenge

It's simple: SPREAD THE WORD about this contest! If you do, I will include you in a special drawing for a three month mentorship with me.

What the mentorship will entail:


--A three month partnership where I will help you in any manner I can toward stronger writing, publication, increasing your online platform and helping you with agenting questions/search


--I will help you build or improve your query (if needed)


--A full read of your manuscript, offering advice on improvements and helping to brainstorm solutions if desired.


--An in depth look at your web presence and suggestions to hone your blog, increase followings and make suggestions with other social media to strengthen your online exposure


--Emails to answer any questions you have about writing, blogging, getting an agent, leaving an agent or how the agent relationship works


--General support!

So, do you need a mentor, someone to bounce ideas around with, brainstorm solutions, ask questions about writing or platforms? I may not be 'book published' yet, but I've been around and have picked up a few things. :) I also have the good fortune of being agented by Jill Corcoran of The Herman Agency, and have written over 1200 critiques for other writers, helping them strengthen their writing. Maybe I can help you, too.

HOW TO ENTER:

If you'd like to enter for the General Drawing, you MUST be a Follower (new or old) and leave a comment. That's it, no big hoops to jump through. Just stop in and say hey, and of course I always appreciate tweets, blog links and general word spreading, but that's up to you. :)

If you wish to also enter for the mentorship draw, you MUST be a follower (new or old) AND fill out this simple form I've attached. Normally I don't do the form thing, but for something like this, it will help me stay organized.You don't need to be at the query stage or anything, just a serious writer intent on improving. :) If you think I might be able to help you on your journey, please enter!

**IMPORTANT** 

Please do not mention this contest on forums as the form suggests you can. It's come to my attention that several writing boards are feeling spammed because people are posting multiple threads about this contest in order to gain an entry. This was never my intent, and I feel terrible for any extra moderating work my contest has caused. This is totally my bad--I didn't expect such a huge response, nor foresaw this happening. Apologies to everyone involved.

Contest closes Wednesday, September 29th, so get those entries in, and once again thank you for spending time here at The Bookshelf Muse!


Symbolism Thesaurus: Unity

Every day we interact with objects, places and sensations that affect the way we think and feel. This can be used to the writer's advantage by planting symbols in the reader's path to reinforce a specific message, feeling or idea.

Look at the setting and the character's state of mind, and then think about what you want the reader to see. Is there a descriptive symbol or two that works naturally within the scene to help foreshadow an event or theme, or create insight into the character's emotional plight?

In Nature:

A stand of trees
Animals crowding together in a storm
Animal herds
A pack hunting prey
Bird migrations
Animal migrations
Duck formations
Flocks grouping on the water (seagulls, geese, etc)
Schools of fish
Hornet's nest
Ecosystems
Ant or termite hills
Tadpole schools
Wolf howls
Cricket song
The horizon
Aboriginal tribes
A spider's web
A pod of dolphins
A herd protecting the group's young
A lattice of Vines
Stems/trunks growing together/twisting around each other to strengthen
A wall of black cloud
Rain deluge
Impassible jungle
Mountain range
Streams converging
Bee swarm

In Society:

Marriage
Family
Church/religion
Charitable organizations
Political parties
Human chain
People standing shoulder to shoulder
Protests
A list of signatures
Scientific community
Rallies, gatherings, BBQ, parties
Country, province, state flags
United Nations
Team Colors
Peace symbol
The wheel
Circles
Causes (Aids, Cancer research, run for the cure, etc)
Corporation/place of business
A mother or father holding her/his children's hands
Goal-focused classes (learning yoga, fitness, university students striving for the same degree, Ticket or accreditation)
Professional organizations
Neighborhood/Community
Education
A city or town
A province or state
A seven-point star
Yin-yang
Chain links
Woven fabric
The round table
Paper doll chain
A complete puzzle
Groups/clubs with common beliefs, ideas, interests
A row of books on a shelf
A display cabinet featuring like-objects
Cheering crowds, team supporters, fans
A harbour of sailing boats

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Unity. Some are more powerful than others. A human chain is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, the howls of a pack of wolves may not foreshadow unity on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

New Look

Okay, so I came out of the dark ages and updated the blog. I really liked the wide post area I had with the old one, but my Thesaurus Entries are getting so crazy I really needed to move to a cleaner sidebar. I'm hoping the double columns will make it easier for you to search for what you need, rather than endless scrolling.

So, while I'm still playing, if there's anything that bugs the zombies out of you, let me know. I want this to be easy on the eyes and usable for everyone.

Hope everyone is have a spectacular week!

Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Peace/Harmony

Every day we interact with objects, places and sensations that affect the way we think and feel. This can be used to the writer's advantage by planting symbols in the reader's path to reinforce a specific message, feeling or idea.

Look at the setting and the character's state of mind, and then think about what you want the reader to see. Is there a descriptive symbol or two that works naturally within the scene to help foreshadow an event or theme, or create insight into the character's emotional plight?

In Nature:

Doves
Animals intermingling as they graze
Bird calls, trilling
Flowers
Schools of fish
Rainbows
Cranes
White Poppy
Olive branch
Olive tree
White Pine
American bald eagle
Phoenix (fantasy)
A quiet glade
An animal dozing in the sun
A private lagoon
Apple blossoms
Doves cooing
The sound of running water

In Society:

The color blue
Victory sign
Peace symbol
Children playing/learning
People working in harmony
Peaceful group marches and celebrations
Peace Pipe
Olive wreath
Hands clasped together
White flag
Soft music
Baby's breath
A sleeping child
Joined hands
Images of the planet
A smile, hug or other sign of goodwill
Happy face symbol
Open palms
John Lennon
The Beatles
Meditation
Prayer
Strumming a guitar and singing
Dali lama

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Peace. Some are more powerful than others. An olive branch is a powerful symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, the soft of soft music playing may not foreshadow peacefulness on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

Flirting 101: Bust a Move

Flirting--a smile, a joke, a quick touch that is so much more than what it appears to be. It can instantly forge a connection between two strangers, or escalate a friendship. For some, their mad skillz in attraction gives them the pick of the room, while others break out in hives at the thought of having a conversation with someone of the opposite sex. And let's not forget the person who leans in a little too fast, and touches a little too much. Instead of reeling in a potential mate, the person they flirt with ends up bolting for the door, worried the next move might involve chloroform.

Fact: flirting is individual. It's unique. There is no one method that ensures success, and as writers, we need to know our characters well to find a flirting style that comes across as authentic to the reader, and achieves the results we need for our story to work.

How a character flirts will depends on these things:


Setting--where the character is plays into how they flirt. People naturally adapt to the environment and will act differently at a church picnic than at a football game. Think about the setting, and how it can define boundaries, affect mood and dictate appropriate behavior.

Confidence level--a girl or guy who is socially active and used to interaction with the opposite sex will be much more confident than someone who is inexperienced. Too, the way a character sees themselves will come into play. Someone aware of their strengths and assets will have stronger self confidence than a person who doubts their self worth. Always factor in your character's background, personality and self confidence level before choosing how far to go when flirting.

Audience--if people are watching the interchange, then the awareness of possible watchers will either ramp up the flirting or tone it down, depending on those involved. Is your character showy, or not? Do they have something to prove? Does having an audience provide the energy they need to get what they want or throw them off their game completely?

Goals--If your character is trying to determine if there is a mutual attraction, the flirting will be less direct and more tentative than if the attraction is obvious. When the goal of flirting is to heighten emotions to the crackling point, then the moves become much more intense and aggressive. Consider what the goal is behind the flirting to ensure the level of playfulness matches up.

Receptiveness--The interest level or emotional connection may not be the same for both parties. If the body language of one character suggests they are not as engaged (moving back, looking away, fidgeting) as the other hopes, then flirting style and intensity level will need to change in order to keep a connection.

Flirting is all about body language and knowing how to read it. Here are some flirty moves to get you started!

For Him

Smiles (is there anything more attractive than a smile?)
Eye contact (not constant or it's creepy, more like a magnet pull of repeat contact)
Moves closer
Light and brief touches
A light squeeze of her hand
Runs a knuckle down a forearm
Drapes an arm around her shoulders
Places a hand on the small of her back
Steers/guides with light touches, arm pulls, playful nudging
Touches an item she's holding (tugging, tapping his pencil against her notebook, etc)
Notices and verbalizes approval in what she wears or how her hair is styled
Offers flattery, compliments
Suggests to do something benign together (get a drink, walk the same direction, find a place to sit, study together some time, get some fresh air, etc)
Shows sincerity
Jokes, teases, engages in small talk, banter
Is attentive
Agrees with her opinions
Downplays her compliments to him (showing modesty)
Does a double take of her in order to be 'caught looking' (but doesn't stare like she's meat)
Asks questions
Holds eye contact slightly longer than he normally would
"Accidental touches" (bumps her leg with his, brushes her hand, shoulder, etc while reaching for something)
Mentions something he's noticed/remembers about her (something in their mutual past, something he saw her doing before approaching, etc. This is to show she is memorable)
Watches her lips
Says things that have a double meaning/suggestiveness

For Her

Walks past more than once
Turns head to look back at him
Moves closer to him in the room/area
Shakes back hair
Laughter
Uses the eyes and lashes to express and communicate
Asks questions about his interests
Gossips to friends, but eyes are on him
Touches lips (Lips are sensual) IE: biting down while smiling, wetting lips, applying gloss, bringing a drink cup/glass to lips with eye contact
Leave friends to either stand alone and offer an opportunity to be approached, or will directly approach him
Playful touches (fiddle with zipper, turn his wrist to pretend to be interested in the time, etc)
Shows interest or handles something of his (asks to see his play list, asks about his phone, slides a book out of his grip to look it over, etc)
Plays with her hair during conversation, drawing his attention to it
Lets him know that something he says is new/interesting/unusual/or positive in some way
Agrees with his opinions, thoughts, observations
Varies the timbre of her voice to keep him listening (whispers, suggestive tone)
Uses hands to accentuate features (a narrow waist, pulling long hair over one shoulder, fiddling with necklace to draw attention to neckline, etc)
Leans or steps closer
Places a hand on arm
Giggles
Asks about his friends, job, talents (if she knows a bit about him)
Asks for his opinion or for help with something
Fluid movements/gestures
Exudes high energy, fun
Acts coy, shy or playful by tilting the head, side-long looks, and using different types of smiles
Accepts compliments gracefully
Listens closely, and acts on clues in conversation to his likes, dislikes, interests, beliefs, etc
Touches his knee or arm to emphasize a point or while laughing
If in a skirt, places a hand on knee or slowly crosses her legs to draw attention to them
Compliments his scent by leaning in with a smile and asking what cologne he's wearing
Gets 'caught' looking him over and enjoying the view
Mirroring his movements (if he leans in, she does the same, etc)
Points her body toward him (sitting or standing)

So...what are your character's favorite moves? 

Click here for FLIRTING BODY LANGUAGE #FAILS! 

Setting Thesaurus Entry: Herbalist Shop (Fantasy)

Sight

Dried bunches of flowers/herbs hanging from the roof, mortar/pestle, cheesecloth, knife and cutting board, butcher's block table, water barrel, shelves with glass jars filled with seeds/ground roots/ground metals/oils/pods/bark/fungi/honeycomb/etc, bubbling pot over the fire, stone fireplace, firewood bin, wood stack outside, high rafters, cloak hooks, spoons, tongs, rags, buckets, baskets, pouches, labelled jars, creams, strainers, liquids, powders, poultices, bins to hold larger roots, leaves drying on cloth at the window, labelled medicinal tea blends, books, recipe ledger, inventory ledger, stool, a woman wearing an apron, her sleeves rolled as she crushes and blends ingredients, colorful flower petals and leaves, fresh herbs in pots (sage, basil, rosemary, thyme), garlic braid hanging from the wall, a broom, a counter for meeting with customers, small adjoining gated garden with Lavender, Fever few, Heather, Foxglove, Marigold, Mint, dandelions, etc) trees in the yard or nearby forest (Willow, Pine, Alder, Oak, Rowan, Hawthorne), sign above the door depicting herbs or a mortar/pestle

Sounds

Scissors snipping, the papery rasp of herbs in the mortar and pestle, the tearing of bark being peeled from a limb, bubbling pots on the stove, a dry leafy rustle as a breeze bumps bunches of herbs and flowers drying from the rafters, steam hissing, remedies spilling over the pot and sizzling against the hot embers, the scratch of a bristle-broom against a dirt or wood floor, the scrape of a stool, the flip of the page as the herbalist searches for a recipe, the dry crackle of crushing a dry seed pod or leaf between fingers, the dry brush of the hands to dislodge herb fragments, scraping of a spoon in a bowl, tapping a spoon against the side of a pot, water dripping as potions are strained, water pouring into a mug, the whistle of a water kettle, a knock at the door, voices calling out, the murmur of a consultation, the crushing snap of dried plants being broken down, the chop of a knife, the patter of dried plant bits dropping into a put or bowl

Smells

Herbs (sage, thyme, basil, rosemary), mint, licorice root, musty roots and barks, sweet/fragrant flowers (lavender, heather) a moldy dark odor of fungus, sweat, dirt, woodsmoke, the gamy smell of illness and infection (if a patient is present)

Tastes

Bitter teas, tinctures and tonics, water, mint leaves to settle stomach upsets, lemon, flower petals, lavender

Touch

Crushing dried herbs in the palm, sorting through bunches of flowers to select an ingredient, peeling bark, the silky feel of flower petals, wiping hands with apron or cloth, rubbing a hand against a sweaty forehead, back strain from attending a remedy simmering on the fire, stirring and monitoring its color and scent, the patterned strokes of sweeping, opening the door to receive a customer, holding sachets of herbs to the nose to check for potency, the rolling twist of the wrist to grind medicines with a pestle, Stringing new flower bunches up to dry, bending to collect new ingredients from the garden, tying cloth bundles and packages, packing baskets for customers, lifting a heavy cast iron pot or kettle from the stove, stoking the fire, starting a fire with grass and broken down wood chips, applying a poultice to a wound with gentle hands, binding bandages

Helpful hints:


--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

I swept the straw bristles across the dusty floor, scraping purple petal bits and birch bark curls into a pile. Scents, pungent and sweet, tingled my nose and brought a secret smile to my lips. Mama thought sending me to help Nan was a punishment, but I loved coming here. Surrounded by bundles of craggy roots, leaves and strange plants, grey-haired Nan would grind and peel and crush, talking all the while about what each seed, leaf or petal could be used for.

Example 2:

Rhoda spread the foul-smelling poultice over the burn on the young man's arm, not bothering to be gentle about it. His buddies assured her that the chair he'd sat on gave way, spilling him into the hearth at home but by the fumes of liquor wafting off them, Rhoda had her doubts. The pounding at her door in the middle of the night had not put her in a generous mood either, so she'd left out the ochre root which would have helped numb the pain. Maybe her omission would cure the man's stupidity for the next time, saving her some valuable hours of sleep.

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

Hanging over the hot coals, the blackened lid jittered against the boiling pot like chattering teeth.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

The old woman in the rain-filled doorway did not speak, only stared down at the floor, her stick-like arms dangling at her sides. From the state of her filthy clothes she could not afford a remedy, but clearly desperation had brought her here. A yoke of pain pressed on her shoulders, nearly bending her in two. I dropped the bundle of heather and hurried over, and then led her to a stool close to the fire.

Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Illness

Every day we interact with objects, places and sensations that affect the way we think and feel. This can be used to the writer's advantage by planting symbols in the reader's path to reinforce a specific message, feeling or idea.

Look at the setting and the character's state of mind, and then think about what you want the reader to see. Is there a descriptive symbol or two that works naturally within the scene to help foreshadow an event or theme, or create insight into the character's emotional plight?

In Nature:

Weakened animals
Festering sores
Oily, brackish water
Stunted, gnarled trees
Leaves spotted with yellow
Rot
Mold
Fruit covered in scabs or pock marks
Patches of fur missing
Blow flies
An inability to fly straight (birds)
Black rot (crops, grass, plants)
Curled up leaves, browning at the edges
Tree growths
Slime
Tree rot, dead limbs
Unexplained dead fish/aquatic creatures on a shoreline
Spindly animal legs, weak, erratic walk
Animals foaming at the mouth, panting uncontrollably, staggering, stumbling
Dead animals
A yeasty, decaying smell

In Society:

Hospitals
Face masks
Hospital patients
Hospital beds
Ambulance
Stretchers
Stethoscope
IV bag
Needles
Hospital bracelet
Hospital gown
Medical cards
Medical insurance/bills
Airsick bags
Doctor's offices
Medic alert bracelet
Pill bottles
Pills
Pharmacy
Hazard suits
Gas masks
Get well flowers/cards
Oxygen tank/mask
Paramedics

People:

Coughing
Sneezing
Headache
Sweating & feverish
Red-rimmed eyes
Puffy face
Sallow or yellowing skin
Rheumy eyes
Bad breath
Phlegm
Palsy
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Rash
Infection
Runny nose
Tight chest
Shortness of breath
Swollen lymph nodes
Pain
Bleeding
Mental illness (Paranoia, memory loss, depression, etc)
Lethargy
Loss of appetite
Wheezing
Difficulty sleeping
Nausea
Dry mouth
Convulsions
Weight loss

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Illness. Some are more powerful than others. A hospital is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, a pill bottle may not foreshadow illness on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

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