In-the-Shallows

The Zodiac Sign’s Shallow Side

Not that they are shallow but when the negative side of their shallow personality comes out. 

Aries shallow side: Is concerned with others’ opinions because it feeds into their ego. Goes to great lengths to hide weaknesses.

Taurus shallow side: Self-esteem and image is reliant on material things or relationships. Doesn’t want to face differences or change via fear. 

Gemini shallow side: Stays detached, fears deepness, intentions are never clear, tries to always appear happy, gives into gossip and two-faced behavior, can be suspicious of others, and avoids truth and perception.

Cancer shallow side: Goes after things to boosts their confidence, is highly changeable, has a lack of patience, and uses passive aggression to get what they want. 

Leo shallow side: Takes things at face value, is all about physical appearance and reputation, and uses cockiness to hide flaws or distracts with drama.

Virgo shallow side: Avoids emotional messiness, is judgmental, can act snobby, flaunts their perfectionism, and constantly criticizes others to make them look better. 

Libra shallow side: Caught up in vanity, bases a lot on looks or status, self-esteem based on who they are acquainted with, and goes far to hides flaws.

Scorpio shallow side: Manipulates for selfish means, turns people against each other, hides behind cockiness or toughness, and is highly self-destructive.

Sagittarius shallow side: Acts as if they have no shame, wants to always prove themselves, selfishness is obvious, is mean-spirited, and frequently flaunts.

Capricorn shallow side: Highly judgmental, all about status and material things, snobbish behavior, uses others, and appears cold or tough.

Aquarius shallow side: Haughty about their own uniqueness, highly hypocritical, makes fun of others, lacks sympathy, and is a gossiper.

Pisces shallow side: Obsessed with others opinions on them, wishy-washy, never know their intentions, and their identity changes frequently.

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Rough sketches of Commander Clarke and some of her tattoos for In the Shallows because I know a few people expressed interest in seeing them a while ago. 

Okay so I’ve seen a lot of fanart and fics where aged up Lance has scars on his skin, and man do I dig that aesthetic, but what if it’s the opposite? What if healing pods not only repair injuries to the point where there’s no scarring, but they also repair old damage? Like, say, regenerating tissues and cells to the point where the whole body is like brand new.

The scar that Lance’s sister gave him when he was four? Gone. The old burn he had when he was twelve and touched the stove? Like it was never there in the first place. And siblings fight, and Lance has a lot of siblings, so he’s bound to have many “battle” scars, but they’re wiped away, one by one  — like they were never there, like his past with his family never happened.

So maybe at some point, when he only has so many scars left, Lance starts fearing taking an injury, not because of pain and blood, but because that means another trip to a healing pod. Another mark of his past, proof that he really is a boy from Cuba, washed away like ocean foam. Maybe at some point, even if the injury is severe enough to warrant a visit to the pods, but not quite severe enough that it’d keep Lance from piloting Blue, he denies Coran when he suggests he visit the infirmary. Maybe he wants to heal naturally, welcoming new scars to join the old ones.

Maybe he learns to accept it, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe the birthmark on his hip is one day wiped away, replaced by unblemished tanned skin, and maybe Lance stays up till two crying because there’s so little left of who he used to be. What’s left of him that hasn’t been stomped on by parades of war and sullied with blood, tears and duty?

And maybe, when years have passed and the universe is finally well off that they can return home for a few vargas, maybe… Maybe Lance still looks the same.

Maybe all his visits to the healing pods; being exposed to their magic and quintessence has regenerated him to the point where he still looks exactly the same as he did when they snuck out of the Garrison that one oh so fateful night. Maybe it’s been two years, maybe it’s been ten, but the Paladins all look the same, to the dot, like they’re untouched by time. But Lance’s family doesn’t. His little sister, who used to only reach Lance’s hip, all pigtails and freckles, maybe she’s now tall enough to reach his chest and better at math than Lance will ever be. Maybe she has new scars Lance has never seen or kissed away.

Maybe his mom has worry lines and grey hairs Lance knows she didn’t have when he last saw her, and maybe she talks less than he remembers. Maybe she has to pinch herself when she first sees her son after however many years, because he hasn’t changed a bit. Maybe she breaks into tears at the sight of him, and her hug is just as warm and three times as tight as Lance remembers.

Maybe his siblings give him a new scar to cherish before there’s another planet, another crisis that needs Voltron.

What Shallow Thing Do the Zodiac Signs Care About?

Their reputation: Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn, Aquarius

Physical appearances: Aries, Taurus, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Pisces

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I like you wielding a gun. Did it feel good?

Scene Transitions

An important part of structuring your story in any format is the transition between scenes. When not handled properly, time and/or location jumps in a narrative can become disorientating and confusing, making it harder for the audience to keep up with the action. There are three important things to focus on when transitioning between scenes: where the first scene ends, where the second scene begins, and how to connect the two.

It’s important that each scene have closure. When you leave a scene, you need to know that the goal of that scene was reached. If you leave the scene too early, before you receive that closure, your audience will be left hanging, feeling unsatisfied and off balance. You need to ‘cut away’ when the scene comes to its natural end, when everything is understood and the audience is ready to move onto the next idea. If you leave the scene too late, it drags your story, and makes it feel like the scene is longer than it is.

As with the end of a scene, the beginning of a new scene must feel natural. If you have to backtrack immediately after starting your scene in order to explain whats going on, then it means you’re not starting at the beginning of the scene. You can sometimes get away with doing this, if the reflection is placed naturally in the writing, but you shouldn’t try and push your luck. If all of your scenes start with an immediate backpedal to explain where everyone is, how they got there, and when it takes place, then you need to go back and fix some things.

Information about the change in time and location are important to include. If you didn’t, then it would be impossible for the audience to tell if, when or how these changes occurred. The most widely accepted way of transitioning between scenes is to detail the things done by the characters to go from scene A to scene B. They can do so by showing the transition between locations (“They walked the distance to the theatre, laughing the whole way”), points in time (“hours passed as she sat reading in her favorite chair”), or combinations of the two (“they drove for days, the grassy hillsides of home growing into a looming mountain range”). The information in the transition must do everything to set up the new scene that’s starting.

I am going to use a segment from “These Shallow Graves” by Jennifer Donnelly as an example of what not to do when transitioning between scenes. In chapter thirty-four, a scene is ending where the protagonist and her love interest meet secretly during a ball and make a plan for her to sneak out later that evening. The scene ends on an angsty moment as they both watch her almost arranged fiance dancing with the competitor for his affections. Chapter thirty-five immediately begins with the two of them having met up and halfway to their destination. It is then explained how the protagonist had left the party early, snuck out, and made it to the meeting point.

Feels kinda jenky huh? Here’s how we could smooth this out.

Their plan for meeting up that evening involves the protagonist telling her uncle (who an attendee) that she is feeling faint and using that as an excuse to leave the ball early. This would make more sense as a place to end the scene as it signals the beginning of the transition between locations. When she sneaks out the house is a good place to officially begin the next scene, as it signals another change in locations. Because the time spent at the protagonist’s home is not important to the overall story (her waiting for everyone to fall asleep) this could serve as the transition between the scene of the first and the scene of the second meetings. The cab ride from her house to the meeting place is also its own small transition, and is a good place to reflect on past information without interfering with anything else going on (such as dialogue and bonding between love interests).

Remember! All of the important things to keep in mind when writing scene transitions are:
Know where to end a scene.
Know where to begin a scene.
Know how to connect the scenes.