At some point you’re gonna have to choose who you love the most. Them or yourself.
—  Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #13 // a.s
I will feed myself self love until it dilutes the taste of you from my lips, till my mouth is overflowing, till my heart is flooded, till my mind is exuberant with “I love me” instead of “I love you”. And that is how I will forget you.
—  Nikita Gill, How I Will Forget You
Tips On How to Write a Shape-Shifting Character (For both fanfic writers and original content writers)

(gif courtesy of http://ilyone.tumblr.com/)

HOLY SHIT MY LAST POST ABOUT WRITING  WINGED CHARACTERS (which you can find here) GOT A SHIT TON OF NOTES! SO I DECIDED TO MAKE ANOTHER ONE ON SHAPE-SHIFTERS!

There are a lot of shape-shifting fics and stories out there. Like. A lot. Whether they be about were-creatures or about characters that just have the ability to shape-shift, a lot of the times- like with winged characters- these shape-shifters are not written very well.

They may be unoriginal, or they may be super Mary-Sues/Gary Stus when it comes to the fact that they have an infinite amount of power or whatever. So I decided to tackle the issues that come with creating a shape-shifting OC or making a canon character into a shape-shifter.

1. Decide what your character’s shape-shifting will be mainly used for

Shape-shifting can be used for a variety of reasons, and that’s why it’s critical for you to figure out what your shape-shifter will mostly be using their powers for.

Here are some reasons why shape-shifters can use their powers:

-Battle (transforming into a bigger creature to overpower enemies)

-Disguise (transforming into something that blends in with the environment around them to hide from enemies)

-Forced to shift (AKA werewolves)

-Spy work (transforming into antagonist’s lackeys to infiltrate the base or even vice versa)

2. Set Limits Right Off the Bat

Shape-shifters are incredibly powerful, and in theory, they can be practically invincible when it comes to battle and hiding from enemies.

However, that should ONLY be in theory. Your shape-shifters CANNOT be all-powerful like their abilities can call for them to be. Here’s where Mary Sue/Gary Stu elements come in, because many writers just state that their characters can shape-shift and leave it at that.

That brings up questions like:

“If he was running from the Big Bad™, then why didn’t he just shift into a wall or a chair and disguise himself?”

“If she had to fight the Big Bad™, why didn’t she just transform into a dragon and deep fry him?”

“Couldn’t they just masquerade as the Big Bad™’s minions and get inside the secret lair?”

Then, the author tries to make up for the lack of rules by giving us some half-assed explanation halfway through the third book.

As soon as the reader finds out that the main character is a shape-shifter, you have to lay down the groundwork for the limits.

Can they only transform into animals?

Can they only transform a certain amount of times at any given point?

Is there something that distinguishes them from the object/person/animal that they’ve transformed into?

Can they only transform into inanimate objects?

Can they only transform into other people?

Does transforming take a lot of energy and therefore they don’t do it often?

Is transforming painful?

Take Beast Boy from Young Justice/ Teen Titans/ various other things as an example:

He can transform into a lot of animals, yes, but they’re all obviously green and unnatural, making it difficult for him to blend in with other animals. his means that his shapeshifting would be most used for attack than for disguise.

You need to set limits, or else your character will be all-powerful and the plot won’t be all that intriguing to the readers; they know that the protagonist will win, so they won’t bother to really get invested in the story.

3. There are many forms of shape-shifters. Just because the mainstream media is all about werewolves with sixteen packs that can cut glass doesn’t mean that you have to make werewolves only

Did you know that technically, a werewolf is just a subdivision of were-creatures?

The prefix “were/wer” means “man” and is usually followed by the name of an animal, ANY animal, to imply that the man (or woman) is transforming into it.

Therefore, there could be werecats, weretigers, werelions, wereunicorns, and were[insert plural name of creature here].

You should really look up the different kinds of shifters from all different cultures and regions of the world. They’re actually quite amazing!

Here’s a list of some of my favorite shapeshifter creatures (Note that these are not all of the shapeshifters, just my personal favorites some of which I feel needed to be represented more in literature):

-Were[insert name of big cat here]

-Werewolf

-Skinwalkers

-Animaguses(Animagi?) (don’t use these they’re JK Rowling’s I just really like Animagi)

-Generic, run-of-the-mill shapeshifters

-Were creatures that are actually just the creature trying to masquerade as a human/ a creature that has a human form

-Transforming into huge gruesome monsters (it’s good shit 10/10)

4. You don’t have to describe the full transformation every single time. The first time is enough.

Readers don’t want to have to go through long, agonizing paragraphs of description every time your character changes, especially if they change during a battle. They don’t want the bloody, gory action to be disrupted by a description of a transformation that they’ve read a hundred times before.

If you truly want to describe the transformation more than once, though I highly advise against it, never describe it more than three times, and make sure to make it unique every single time. If you don’t think you can do that, just describe it once.

You should, however, describe the symptoms that come with transforming. Is it painful? Is it uncomfortable? Does it feel incredible because it makes the character feel a rush of power? Gimme the deets, but not all of them.

Things that happen during transformation that you can describe:


Painful

- Fur/scales growing (stinging and itchy)

- Bones breaking and reorganizing, as well as new ones appearing and old ones transforming

- Muscles ripping and elongating/shrinking

- Fingernails/toenails turning into claws


Invigorating

- Heightened sense of sight/smell/hearing

- Adrenaline rush

- More power/strength/speed



Hope this helped!

and i know you’re not in love with me, at least not anymore. there once was a time where a blind man could see how much you loved me, now it’s been months since anything more than a goodnight i love you has passed through your lips. i know you’re not in love with me anymore and i pray to god every night that one day you will fall again.
—  if there’s a god he left a long time go because i keep calling and all i get is the answering machine// 4am
What if Cinderella had an attitude problem and Snow White liked cider too much? What if Ariel enjoyed human company more than her own kind’s and Aurora just liked her solitude more than the human touch? What if the only rabbit hole Alice ever fell down involved a pipe and a substance not discussed as such? What if they locked Wendy up for hallucinating about Neverland and a boy who never grew up? What if fairytales weren’t as innocent as they sounded and even princesses weren’t perfect? What if I told you your damage doesn’t define you and the way you survive is no one else’s damned business?
—  Nikita Gill, Fairytales Aren’t Perfect Either
You are those seconds
between lightning and thunder;
full of everything
that’s about to come,
telling me
how close
you actually are.
—  // a storm
j.d.m.

As a kid, I used to think love was when you thought someone was pretty and they let you hold their hand. I would send out the letters to every girl that caught my eye and I would wait anxiously for a reply. I carried that trend into my adult life–pairing myself with any pretty girl that didn’t find me repulsive.

So when you asked me when I knew I loved you. I was tempted to say it was when we held hands for the first time and I felt it in my gut, but it was seven months later, a week after I met your family, that double date with your best friend and her loud boyfriend. During one of his many stories, you reached for my hand under the table and smiled at me because you knew how irritated I was getting. I tried to master a smile back at you but my lips turned to concrete. I felt it like I had never in my life: butterflies.

All my life I’ve been building walls and towers so high you couldn’t see what was behind; my fears and insecurities. Perhaps that’s why I always looked for battles and challenges, even when there wasn’t any. I always looked for ghosts to fight and demons to shoot so I would keep myself busy. Then, you came along and you made it easy for me. You laughed at all my jokes, especially the terrible ones and made me special, safe. I couldn’t fight this and I didn’t want to because it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I knew instantly that you didn’t want to change that part of me which always looked for the hard path but you would encourage it, standing by my side. So that’s what love is, not the absence of a battle, but fighting together.

—  A collab between my immensely talented friend @writingbykawelwa & @giulswrites

This is why I left:
I saw a life with you. Not in a romantic way, but the way where when I looked at the future I saw you sitting at my dining table, confessing your worries for the 1,800th time. I saw you meeting the love of my life and introducing me to yours. I saw you loving my kids like they were your own and I saw us loving each other - platonically, simply.
But through our late night conversations about the world and about our futures - mere kids aspiring to be something great in a city that was always so poor - you spoke more about the way my smile lit your world up instead of what you’d do to create your own. You stopped fantasizing about meeting the love of your life and insisted that I was already in it, despite the fact that I said it wasn’t what I wanted. That this wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
I caught the lingering stares and the subtle comments. More than anything, I noticed how we changed; how you tried to force something on me that I didn’t want, and how you kept getting hurt in the process - silently blaming me for not reciprocating feelings that I didn’t harbor in the first place. 

Three years later and I feel the hatred steam off of you when you see me on the corner of my block. I ripped you off of me like a dying limb because I knew that if I held on to you, you’d  cling for dear life - never looking forward to another version of your own future again. I left because I’d rather hurt you now and have you move on in due time, as opposed to not at all. I didn’t want you meeting the love of my life with a cold smile and tension wrapped around your first handshake. I didn’t want you to go home at night with no one beside you. I didn’t want you to look at my kids and wish they were ours. I didn’t want you to look backwards. I needed you to look forward.

I broke your heart for your own good. But believe me when I say that you broke mine, too.

—  Fri[end]zoned // n.b.
if i promise to make you spaghetti once a week for the rest of our lives, will you make sure i have coffee every morning? if you protect me from all the evil clowns in this world, i promise to hold you on the nights where it feels too hard to breathe. despite my fear of heights i will fall for you, as long as you promise to fall too.
—  4am
Stop.
Take a deep breath.
Listen to the sound of your own heartbeat and just for now, stop worrying.
Stop overthinking those next weeks, the next exams at university or this thing which means a lot to you.
None of them will have the power to destroy you or make you fall.
Think of the last time you were proud of yourself.
Not your parents or your friends but YOU.
The last time it felt as if your heart would burst because of all the joy inside, think of the last night where you reached your bed lightheaded and fell asleep with a smile on your face and warmth in your stomach.
Behold this moment, this glorious feeling of appreciation your own deeds and acknowledged the effort you make each and every day.
You’re worth it.
—  // for those of you who need it most
j.d.m.
At the mention of the word “period”, I watch him pale and look away. At this I wonder, when did the world become such a place that men are embarrassed by the most natural function of a womb, when they had once called a womb home.
—  Nikita Gill, Period