all these scenes are with nick

The Element EVERYTHING in Your Story Needs

To all the writers who have ever felt lost, alone, and completely confused during the labyrinthine journey that is writing anything, and felt like screaming this at your story …

There’s hope.

There’s a light at the end of that darn tunnel. First, let me describe how I used to fight my way out of these periods of confusion and hopelessness. 

Usually, I would try to force myself to get back into the groove of the story. I would reread it, and be yelling at myself in my head, “Remember why you love it! LOVE your book again! Keep reading and FALL IN LOVE, damn it!” I’d go over descriptions, bits of dialogue, banter between the characters. I’d go over settings and imagery, and try to make myself remember how much they’d once excited me. I’d read things that had made me laugh when I typed them, sentences that I was particularly proud of, paragraphs that made me feel particularly clever. But the thing was, it didn’t work. 

I didn’t care.  

What was the problem? The problem was some of those descriptions, settings, images, and witty episodes of bantering had no Story Reason to be there. They were just there because they amused me. Just because I found the imagery beautiful. Just because I found a sentence or joke really clever and wanted to share my wit with the world. But the world didn’t care about my wit. Because the world (the people reading my book) knew subconsciously that there was no story to give that so-called witty sentence substance and meaning. I could create the most breath-taking images, I could make the most well-rounded living and breathing character, I could make a setting that you wanted to run away from home and live inside … and it didn’t matter. If the thing didn’t have a purpose for being there within the narrative, nobody cared. And I didn’t either. 

So what is a Story Reason? 

Everything in a story exists to support one of three things. 

1. The A-story: The surface plot, the quest of the main character to achieve a specific tangible goal. What the story is about on the surface. 

2. The B-Story: The love story, or relationship of the thing. Usually this relationship is instrumental in causing the third element, which is …  

3. The Character Arc. The theme of the story, the purpose, the piece of truth the story seeks to prove to the main character and the audience. 

If something in a story doesn’t contribute to the progress of these three, there’s no reason we should care about it. It has no point. Because in the end, all we care about is the story!

When it comes to scenes, story reason means continuity. It means the way the story unfolds logically. If every scene is there for a darn good reason, the scenes after and before will make total sense, they’ll connect seamlessly, a steady progression of events. Every scene’s turn triggers the next scene. 

And to do this, every scene must be able to be linked with three words: Because of that.

Because of the turn of one scene … 

The next scene happens. 

And because of the turn of that scene the next scene happens.

To illustrate how this works, let’s look at a small movie you might have heard about called Zootopia. (Thanks to @inked-withlove for the movie suggestion!)

So let’s start at this point, the turn of the scene with Clawhauser and Judy searching the file on Emmitt Otterton. 

Turn: “I have a lead." 

Because of that …

Judy has to get Nick to tell her what he knows about Otterton.

Turn: It all goes poorly, and now Nick and Judy are stuck together by an incriminating adorable carrot recorder. (The B Story, the relationship, has intertwined with the A Story.)


Because of that …

Nick takes Judy to the place he saw Otterton go, a place he thinks will cause her to give up. 

Turn: She doesn’t quit, she marches right in. (B Story: Nick sounds surprised, and a little impressed, that she didn’t back down.)

Because of that … 

She has to question a rude yoga-performing elephant. 

Turn: Though the elephant is absolutely no help, the seemingly addled yak is more than helpful – he even remembers the license plate number of the car Emmitt left in. 

Because of that …

Nick thinks his part in this endeavor is complete. But Judy remembers that she’s not in the system yet, and thus can’t run a plate. Nick, however, can. And he’s going to, or else. 

Turn: It just so happens that he has a pal at the DMV. 

Because of that …

Sloths. He takes her to a DMV run by sloths and wastes as much of her precious dwindling time as he can.

Turn: “It’s night?!”

Because of that …

Legitimate Enterprise Car Service (at least that’s what it’s called in the screenplay) is closed. Judy doesn’t have a warrant and Nick is enjoying her suffering tremendously. After a spat, she tosses the carrot over the fence instead of handing it to him.

Turn: Because she has now seen a shifty low-life climbing the fence, she has probable cause, and doesn’t need a warrant. She can go in. (B Story: Nick is looking at her with more respect.)

Because of that …

They find the car and begin investigating. The car is a crime scene; claw marks everywhere, the missing otter’s wallet … and a cocktail glass etched with a "B”.

Turn: And it all adds up for Nick. This car belongs to Mr Big, a notorious crime boss. And his polar bear henchman are right outside. They grab Judy and Nick and yank them off screen. 

Because of that  …

Judy and Nick are wedged between the bear henchman, on their way to face Mr Big. 

Turn: Nick sold him a very expensive rug that happened to be made from the fur of a skunk’s butt. Or in other words, Mr Big really doesn’t like Nick.

Because of that …

They wait fearfully for Mr Big to appear, and even when he’s revealed to be a tiny shrew, Nick still launches into obsequious and panicked mode. He tries talking his way out of it, but Mr Big really REALLY doesn’t like him. And when Judy shouts at him that she’s a cop and she has evidence on him –

Turn: “Ice ‘em.”

Because of that …

“No icing anyone at my wedding!” Fru Fru Shrew is not a happy camper. Father and daughter bicker about his promise of no murder on her wedding day, and the fact that “I have to, baby. Daddy has to.” Until – 

Turn: “She’s the bunny who saved my life yesterday. From that giant doughnut!” Well, Judy is now in Mr Big’s good books. He’s going to pay her kindness forward. Nick is floored. 

I’m gonna stop there.

SO! After going through that analysis of how the scenes are linked together, let’s abandon the “everything needs a story reason to be in there” rule, and see what happens. 

After the scene where Judy and Nick reluctantly join forces, we could add a scene where Nick is trying to remember the name of the place, and where it is. Then we could have them asking around, searching the city, refusing to ask for directions, lots of banter. THEN we can finally get to The Mystic Springs Oasis.

And after they get the plate number, maybe Nick grabs the carrot pen and makes a run for it. Then we can have a chase scene, but he gets away. Then we can have Judy trying to run the plate on her own, before realizing she isn’t in the system, and failing. Then we can have a scene where she has to track down Nick again. Then a scene where she figures out how to blackmail him into it. THEN they finally get to the DMV. 

And you know what would have happened then?

Zootopia would have made everyone bored. 

All of these inserted scenes are unnecessary. Sure, they might add conflict, add complications to Judy’s quest, but they’re ultimately just filler. They’re just there for the sake of bulking out the story. This is why that tip I hear so often in writing circles always perplexes me: “Figure out the worst possible thing that can happen to your character, then do that.” If people went with this rule, they’d just keep throwing terrible things at the characters for no apparent reason, one after another, and the reader or audience would be expected to be entertained by it (but wouldn’t be). It would be like cartoons before Mickey Mouse came along and applied story to animation: before, cartoons were just gag after gag, slapstick situations mashed together like a funny video compilation. Except with books and movies, it would just be conflict-heavy situations strung together, taking an inordinate amount of time to make any actual progress.  

Once you make sure everything has a purpose within the narrative, things get so much better.  And I find, when I reread my work I don’t have to scream at myself to “love your book or else” if everything has a reason for being there. And instead of feeling like yelling at my story like an angry overworked crab, I feel a lot more like this gif.

I hope it works for you too.

4

GRIMM | 6.11

Adalind warns Diana before she woges.

holy mother of FUCK i just read a screenrant article that mentions stuff about thanos’ relationship with Death (as in the personified entity) and how one of his main comic motivations is to impress Death and how in the after-credits scene of the avengers the alien guy explicitly says (about the humanity) “to challenge them is TO COURT DEATH” aaaand how on top of all of that, markus and mcfeely conspicuously dodged all questions about Death as it ties with thanos’ motivations SO NOW I’M JUST…. WHAT IF DEATH IS PERSONIFIED IN THE MCU….

MORE IMPORTANTLY… WHAT IF TONY “MERCHANT OF DEATH, WALKING DEAD” STARK, MR. “I SAW THEM ALL DEAD, NICK, I FELT IT” – WHAT IF HE INTERACTS WITH THE EMBODIMENT OF DEATH oh my GOD the avenger who’s THE MOST OBSESSED WITH DEATH AND DYING

WHAT IF TONY “I DECIDED THAT YOU JUST DIED, PAL” PHYSICALLY MEETS DEATH I AM SCREAMING

2

There are like eight kiss scenes in the EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING movie from what we’ve seen in the trailers and short clips alone. This means, Amandla and Nick locked lips for at least eight times while doing the movie, and that’s all that really matters to me right now. ;) This little movie that features a beautiful love story between a gorgeous, black girl and a cute, white boy next door (literally), without a single mention of race, just showing that black people—black girls—do exist and that a black girl is human and falls in love too, is my everything, everything. So excited to see this carefree, black girl infiltrating the big screens! Bring the #blackmagic on! ♡

-B

why i’ll be happy if either zootopia or moana wins.

a quick list off the top of my head!!! i’m sure there’s lots more to be said i’m just so excited about these movies

zootopia 

  • all those messages in the movie ??? like i dont think i’ll ever be over disney doing THAT
  • the fcking scene when judy is talking about how predators have it in their dna to be savage and nick is like wtf?? and she’s like no not you, you’re not like them and he says “OH SO THERE’S A THEM NOW?” AKDFLJA;FIJDAF ;i remember audibly GASPING when he said that ohh my god. 
  • the whole thing on the bus when the prey pulls her kid closer when they’re sitting next to that lion 
  • when the pig is like “go back to where you came from” and the jaguar or w/e was like “i’m from the savannah!!!” like omg how RELEVANT is htat to today’s society?
  • the whole story of how when byron howard pitched the idea to john lasseter, john picked byron up like baby simba (this is a FACT and I even asked byron on twitter if it happened) 
  • the fact that everyone walked in to this movie thinking it was going to be a furry movie and it was actually WOKE AF
  • that scene where nick is a kid and we learn about his back story
  • the fact that the villain used fear tactics to pit predator against prey to try and control everyone does that sound a LITTLE FAMILIAR TO YOU??? she even went out and literally changed them in order to frame them for something they didn’t do
  • FLASH THE SLOTH 

Moana

  • soooo much positive energy from this movie
  • all the beautiful people of colour on screen ;o; 
  • SHINY 
  • the positive female relationships between moana, her mum and grandma!! women supporting WOMEN!!! 
  • when moana’s mum helps her pack for the trip instead of stopping her omg 
  • pua and hei hei 
  • when the ocean finally says what every one is thinking and locks hei hei in the boat 
  • i know it’s probably not v accurate but at least showcasing a glimpse of a blend of polynesian culture to the world
  • moana and maui’s relationship
  • I AMMMMM MOANNNNNAAAAA!!!!!!!! 
  • the MusIC!!! The SINGING!!!! 
  • The animation in general how they do that with her hair??
  • the fact that moana kept over coming obstacles and managed to reach her goals and made her family proud and changed the minds of her people and left a shell on top of all the rocks.

so yea, i’ll be v happy if either of them wins the oscar! 

10

 NICK ANIMATION PODCAST

EPISODE #40: Inside The Loud House Writers’ Room

The Loud House is the brainchild of creator Chris Savino and one of the most popular cartoons on television. But what goes into writing this smash hit week after week?  On this epic season 2 finale of the podcast, Hector learns the behind-the-scene details when he takes our crew out of the recording studio, across the Nickelodeon campus, and into animation offices of this beloved series.  We’re unpacking all the secrets with writers Mike Rubiner, Karla Sakas Shropshire, Kevin Sullivan, Whitney Wetta, Sammie Crowley, and the main Loud-man himself, Chris Savino.  So join the gang and learn what it takes to tell hilarious stories straight from the heart.  

Listen on:

Many thanks to Mike, Karla, Kevin, Whitney and Sammie for joining us! Follow The Loud Writers on Twitter to see some hilarious “overheard in the writers’ room” tweets and stay updated on all the Loud Crowd news.

Keep up with our intrepid host Hector on his own Twitter and Instagram pages. That’s a wrap for season two - thanks for listening, and stay tooned for season three this summer!

10

I have no idea if that’s how police cams work just let me dream.

Week 5!  

Fics that are NSFW are marked.

@4theluvofall - Last Words - You are tired of Tony not taking care of himself, when something happens in the field and you regret what might have been your last words to him.  Tony x Reader

@after-avenging-hoursIncubus [3] - This is an Incubus!Bucky AU fic.  Bucky x Reader NSFW

@annadierSame Patterns {Part 5} - You and your broken heart now live separated from the Avengers. It hurts, and they all try the same thing to make you come back - but when will it work?  Bucky x Reader

@avengerofyourheartIn the Arms of Justice Pt. 16, Pt. 17 - Reader is a witness to a crime, tying her to the investigation as well as the police involved. She never would have guessed how that one night would continue to change her life years later. Bucky x Reader

@bionic-buckyb - Remember Me Part 3 - Here is part 3 everyone! This took a while for me to get right, so I hope you guys enjoy it. Sorry it’s being posted so late too. Work sucks! Let me know what you think! ♥. Bucky x Reader

@brighterlightsRunning Late (Part 1 of 2) - College AU. You grow infatuated with a cute stranger who always happens to be late for class. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned when you finally interact with him. Bucky x Reader

@bovariaIt’s a [Tinder] Date! (Part 1/3) - Thinking he needs to find a date, Natasha signs Steve up to Tinder. In Queens, Peter Parker does the same to you. It’s a match!  Steve x Reader

@buckyywiththegoodhairA Lesson in Love (Creative Writing) - (College!AU) In which you’re assigned to write a story about romance, a subject you know nothing about, and Bucky, a hopeless romantic, offers you his assistance.  Bucky x Reader

@buckyywiththegoodhairA Lesson in Love (A Different Perspective) -  (College!AU) In which you’re assigned to write a story about romance, a subject you know nothing about, and Bucky, a hopeless romantic, offers you his assistance.  Bucky x Reader

@buckyywiththegoodhairDaily Texts (ALiL Deleted Scene) - (College!AU): In which you try to adjust to daily texts from Bucky.  Bucky x Reader

@explicitfandomsASTROPHILE (a person who loves stars) - Bucky x Reader

@girl-next-door-writesIt’s All Fun And Games (til someone loses an eye) - Some days Director Fury really doesn’t like his job.  Those days are mostly when other people are involved, and by other people he means specifically Tony Stark.  Nick Fury 

@girl-next-door-writes - Sunday Afternoon - For the past few months you have noticed a change in your relationship with a certain Avenger and you can’t help but wonder if this is the end.  Clint x Reader

@girl-next-door-writes - Together or Alone - You were recruited for the Super Soldier program but how much could you lose in pursuit of defending your country?  Your freedom? Your life?  Your Bucky?  Bucky x Reader

@hellomissmabel - Little Monster Part 5, Part 6 - Wanda’s loyalties are tested and Steve has a change of heart.  Steve x Reader

@hunters-from-stark-tower - Shattered - Bucky x Reader

@imaginingbuckyBlurb Starter #36. “And you’re naked. Okay.” - Friends who couldn’t hold their liquor were the worst. Normally, you would get super frustrated having to take care of an inebriated friend.This time however, you had to admit that it was rather amusing.  Bucky x Reader

@imaginingbuckyBlurb Starter #24: “So you’re my soulmate.” - 1:45 pm. That’s the time that appeared on your left wrist in the middle of the night. The sharp pain woke you up. It looked like a tattoo in black ink. You looked down at the time and panic set in.You were going to meet your soulmate today.  Bucky x Reader

@imaginingbucky - Broken, Part 2, Part 3 - “Sign on the dotted line and everything will be complete.” Your lawyer handed you a pen and you took it hesitantly.You looked at the piece of paper that lied on the table in front of you. Once you signed it with your signature, your marriage to James Buchanan Barnes would be over.  Bucky x Reader

@imhereforbvckyMirror For The Sun - Part 10: Los Angeles (End) - (Bucky POV) Nat tricks you into leading a road trip with Bucky, Sam and Steve. Her plot is partly to get the boys to travel for fun for once but mostly to get you and Bucky together. You and Bucky, who seemingly despise each other.  Bucky x Reader

@italwaysendsinafighttThe Night Ahead (Part 1) - bucky came out of cryostasis after just a few months. with the help of steve, he’s trying to piece the fractions of his mind back together. while flipping through old HYDRA files, he remembers something from his days as the winter soldier: you.  Bucky x Reader

@iwillbeinmynest - Date Night - Prompts : 28. “My parents asked about you.” + 51. “I think I’m in love with you, and I’m terrified.”  Sam x Reader(f)

@iwillbeinmynest - Headliner - Prompts: 53.  “You haven’t even touched your food. What’s going on?”  +  57. “If you don’t want to talk about what happened, then say so. Don’t just lie and say it’s fine.”. Bucky x Reader(f)

@iwillbeinmynest - The One Where They’re on the Couch - Prompts: 5. “I just want to cuddle and watch Friends.” + 38. “Do you ever think if people heard our conversations, they’d lock us up?” Steve x Reader

@iwillbeinmynest - Worth - Prompts: 14. “Where would someone hide in a town like this?” + 15.” If I ever see you anywhere near her, you’ll have to deal with me!”. Steve x Reader(f)

@just-some-drabblesThe Friendly Wager (Part 1) - AU. Reader and Bucky Barnes are neighbors and best friends. After yet another bad date, reader comes home to find Bucky with his typical weekend target. They decide to make a wager about dating, but is there more on the line than reader cares to admit?  Bucky x Reader

@knittingknerdy - Love You - It’s easier to tell Steve you love him when he doesn’t know you mean it.  (fluffity fluff). Steve x Reader 

@mellifluous-melodramas - Roses - Is it possible to win a girl’s heart in a day?  Bucky x Reader

@mrshopkirk - The Workout - Steve thinks the Avengers can use a different work out so he seeks help. The Avengers and especially his boyfriend Bucky are not happy with the new trainer, an Olympic gold medalist called Lance Tucker.  Bucky x Steve

@sebbys-girlBraving the Elements Part 11/? - Three girls, gifted with the ability to control the elements, are called on to help the Avengers when they are put in an impossible situation. The problem is they have been burnt by SHIELD and Hydra before.  Bucky x Reader

@tatortot2701 - Lost Home - This is my entry for @bionic-buckyb ‘s 5k AU Challenge. Q bit long but I hope you guys like it.Prompt: “I don’t care if you hate me, I don’t care if you dislike me. But why would you cheat on me?”  Bucky x Reader

@tatortot2701 - The Nanny Part 6 - When Bucky Barnes hired a Nanny, he thought he was going to hire someone to take care of the kid. But when she starts, he knows that she is more than just a Nanny. Bucky x Reader

@viollettes - “Seventeen Days” (Part 7) - An angel from heaven is sent back to Earth to prevent college senior Bucky Barnes from ending his life. But here’s the catch - she only has seventeen days to do it.  Bucky x Reader

@volklanaFalling In Love In A Coffee Shop Part 2 - Set in the aftermath of Civil War when Tony is attempting to heal and forgive, when he meets you at a chance meeting in a small town coffee shop will both of your lives be affected forever? Also if you have seen the movie We Bought A Zoo (2011), I imagine reader’s fashion sense and general personality to be quite like Scarlett Johansson’s character Kelly. So her setting is going to be a ranger in a wildlife park setting. Tony x Reader

@whyisbuckysoMisfire [Chapter 3] - The four times Bucky tries to ask you out and fails.  Bucky x Reader

@you-and-bucky - Not Good Enough - Hey guys, here is another part to the (Y/N) Barnes story. And once again, it is very angsty. I would recommend that you read the warnings before reading, just to be sure that there is nothing too painful for you in it.  Bucky x Reader

@you-and-bucky - Unbirthday Present - I am sorry that it has taken me so long to write this one. I have had a really hard time writing lately, and I especially wanted this to be good, as I am dedicating it to my lovely friend @beccaanne814-blog.It was recently Becca’s birthday, and I promised that I would make it up to her for missing it. Becca, I really hope that you like this. I took my inspiration straight from you (I hope you don’t mind), and I hope that you enjoy your unbirthday present! Thank you so much for being such a beautiful and supportive presence in my life, and I hope that our friendship will continue into the future.  Bucky x Reader

Building a Scene: It’s over isn’t it?

For Pearl’s song “It’s Over isn’t it?” the scene is about Pearl accepting a loss. As the series has progressed, she’s learned that she isn’t always right, and that there are things about herself that she’s has to reevaluate. This all comes to a sort of climax in this scene where she accepts and admits out loud that her relationship with Rose was never as deep and complete as she wanted it to be or told herself it was. This is where she’s left at the end of the scene, feeling lost and out of place.

In the outline written by Ben Levine and Matt Burnett, this is how the scene looked:

You’ll notice a lot of things ended up changing compared to the final version. Most of that was due to time constraints. When we started storyboarding the episode, all of the rough demos of the songs were recorded so that we had an idea of the amount of time we had between each song (which ended up not being very much). The result was that we had to basically be transitioning constantly between songs, but doing it in a way that felt natural and as gentle as possible.

In addition, Rebecca remembered a part from the 1982 movie “Victor Victoria” starring Julie Andrews that she wanted to use as reference for the feeling of the scene:

Right away we latched onto this spinning 360 degree camera move. I loved the energy and focus it gave to the character and I immediately roughed out a version with Pearl.

If you’re ever stuck during a scene this is what you do: Don’t start from the beginning, find the moment you see clearest in your mind and build out from there. From these rough thumbnails I built the rest of the scene outward. I brought back motifs like her sword skills and her dance style to help evoke the past events of the series, and I tried to give as much time as I could to each shot and make her acting as expressive a possible.

Below are my rough boards set to Rebecca’s demo. At the end, i added a pause for when she throws the Rose into the air. It felt like a good spot for things to crescendo ring out. Deedee Magno Hall’s rendering of this blew us all away when we heard it.

From there clean up was pretty much straight forward. The scene didn’t change much except for tweaking her acting here and there. I’m super proud of how this scene turned out, hats off to Nick DeMayo our animation director and to the team at Sunimin in Korea where they draw the entire episode on paper:

Second Chance - Nick Robinson

Requested..

“Nick Robinson imagine where Nick asked out the reader on a date (which is his crush) and tells her to meet him at this restaurant and hours past by and he never showed up and the reader is upset bc she thought that he actually like her, but he stood her up. And the next day at school she gave him the silent treatment and smacked him across the face and he try’s to make it up to her cuz he really likes her and didn’t mean to stood her up. The rest is up to you. Srry it’s so long😁”


“Miss, would you like to order yet?” The smart looking man was once again stood next to my slouched figure, my eyes tingling with tears as the embarrassment settled in.

This was the 6th time he had been over, In two hours. Yep, two whole hours i was pathetically sat at this small table in this stupidly fancy restaurant.

I should’ve left, I know I should’ve. But there was still that small slither of hope tingling within me, the thought that Nick was going to walk through those doors, greeting me with a beautiful smile.

I was pathetic, really. I shook my head at the tall male, gripping my purse in my small hands before hastily walking away from the table and towards the car park. The air was cold and it nipped painfully at my legs and arms, the wind whipping my hair around my face and shoulders.

Clambering into my car I smacked my hand down on the steering wheel in a burst of anger, the action causing the car to move slightly. Taking deep breaths I straightened out my wind swept hair and brushed away the few tears that had left my eyes and raced down my rosy cheeks.

I had been stood up. I should’ve known the moment the notorious Nick, my own crush, had walked towards me and passed me a slip of paper holding the messy scrawl of details for the night.

“A date” he’d said when my face had show utter confusion, “you and me, Saturday night”. The words had caused my heart to pound harder than ever before, a smile stretching on my lips before I found myself nodding. I should’ve known it was too good to be true. How naive of me to agree so soon and believe that Nick actually had a thing for little old me.

Sighing one more time, I shoved my bag onto the passenger seat and started up my car. I ignored the harsh pricking in my eyes and the knot in my chest as I made my way home. Tomorrow was going to be torture.



“Y/N wait! Hey wait up!” Nicks calls echoed in the hallway, dragging unnecessary attention to me and him. I confined to walk, drowning out his persistent calls with my own thoughts. Clutching my books tighter i weaved between students and kept my head down, surely they already knew what had happened.

A large hand gripped my elbow tightly, the action causing my body to jolt and my arms to release my heavy books onto the carpeted floor. They cluttered messily around my feet, the tanned hand still gripping my elbow as I stood still, the hallway now silent.

“Y/N, Please” Nicks voice held desperation yet I still ignored him. He expected me to talk to him after I had waited and been humiliated by him? Huh, No way!

“Go Away!” My voice was harsh as I ripped my elbow out of his grip and collected my books, I knew my face was red with anger and I didn’t even want to look at Nick, it would only fuel my anger towards him more.

“Why are you being like this!? Just-” He didn’t get to finish. The sound of my slap echoed off the hallway walls, followed by people taking in sharp intakes of breath and gasp in shock as they watched on from the sidelines.

“Don’t you dare! Why am I being like this? Oh just piss off Nick!” I had quite frankly, had enough. I wasn’t going to waste my time any longer on someone who wanted nothing more than a joke to play, he wasn’t worth my time.

Nick stood frozen, his hand covering the side of his face that my hand had collided with. He didn’t look mad, just shocked. His dark hair was messy on his head and his other hand was resting slightly on his bag strap, jaw clenched and eyes filled with determination.

I sighed a heavy sigh, “just don’t okay?” I spoke tiredly, Nicks face softening as he watched me turn and walk away from his stiff figure, what now?



“Can I get everyone’s attention.. HEY! EVERYONE!” My head snapped to the sound of the shout, instantly finding the source I groaned and covered my face with my hands. Here we go.

“So recently, I asked a beautiful girl on a date” cheers erupted from the cafeteria as Nick stood high on one of the tables. “She said yes, go me!” He laughed heartily as his eyes searched the room ,skimming over everyone before he reached me.

“I was excited as hell, I mean who wouldn’t be? I booked a reservation and planned how I was gonna look handsome as fu..dge” more cheers. “.. Only, I never turned up” his head Hung lowly as the cheers and chatter turned to boos and “what the hell Nick!” He started to smile slightly at the response carrying on nonetheless.

“I know, I know. I’m an ass” I nodded along with the groups of people, he really was.

“But I want to make it right. Y/N I really am sorry, and I wanted you to know that I really do like you, I have done for a while” scratching the back of his neck nervously he looked my way for a reaction. My heart was hammering harshly against my rib cage as my face turned a bright Crimson colour, oh my god.

“I want to make it up to you.. If you’d let me” everybody’s eyes were now on me, the bar now set higher than ever.

Nick clambered down from the table, his feet speedily dragging over to my own table, standing right infront of my sitting figure.

“How do I know you’re not lying? I’m not going to be let down again-”

Nick cut me off, his smirk appearing as he covered my mouth with his hand.

“If I was lying, would I do this?” I panicked, do what!?

In seconds his lips were stuck to mine, the soft skin of his own meshing with mine to make a sweet kiss. He gripped my cheeks in his hands and mine went to his hair, the kiss deepening.

Was this really happening?? Oh my god!

He pulled away slowly, teasing as he held my bottom lip in his teeth softly before letting go fully and looking me in the eye.
We just- oh god I hated PDA! who am I turning into??

“So, what do you say? Will you Y/N Y/L/N do me the honour of going on a- well another- date with me?” His eyes held a lot of hope as he stared up at me, his hands still pressing on my face.

I smiled brightly before removing his hands.

“Nope!” I smiled again, the cafeteria bursting into whispers as they all - still - looked on at the current scene.

“Okay so I’ll pick you up- whAT!?” His face was bright red, confusion clouding his features as he stood up abruptly. He was super tall, his body looming over my own small frame; seeing him wound up was actually hot as hell.

“I’m just kidding you idiot. I’ll go on a date with you. but this is the last chance because I really like you Nick and I’m not going to be mess-” his lips were on mine again in another kiss, his hands gripping my hips as he hugged me closer for the second time in the past 10 minutes.

Maybe there is room for second chances.

Originally posted by nick-j-robs

THIS IS LAME AF I APOLOGISE !!! ITS 1:30AM AND IVE HAD A SHIT DAY, I always promise to update and write a lot but so much stuff happens and gets in the way:(( I’m a sucky writer and account holder so I really do apologise. Anyway, this was short as heck but enjoy, sorry for mistakes an crappiness:)))

How to Keep Your Readers EMOTIONALLY Involved

Why is it that sometimes a book or movie can make you THIS emotionally invested  … 

And sometimes it’s more like this? 

My stories used to inspire a reaction similar to Hermione’s in my readers. And in me.  At some points I’d be reading my work, and a little honest voice buried somewhere in my head would say “I wouldn’t care if this character was hit by a bus right now.” Then I’d heap some denial atop the voice, silence her unwanted mutterings, and go back to trying to enjoy my story. Problem was, my readers appeared to have this little honest voice as well. And if she told them “Cartoon bus. Hitting this character. Wouldn’t that be funny?” they had a tendency to listen to her.

What was the problem? My scenes didn’t connect to my reader’s emotions. They didn’t change those emotions throughout the scene. They started out sad and they ended just as sad or even more so. And what came after that? Well, another scene that began with the main character feeling horrible, which ended with him just as downtrodden as before. Or worse: The scene began positive and just got better. The next one would start out absolutely giddy and ended effervescent. And this kept going until the characters were almost singing with joy. (Okay, maybe I’m being slightly snarky about my past self.) But after that, I’d follow it up with a long sequence of sadsadsad scenes. 

So what happened? My readers had only two emotions while enduring this: frustration and impatience. 

The scenes weren’t keeping my readers emotionally engaged. The scenes weren’t changing emotionally. And that is what needs to happen: The emotional charge of the scene has to change. Switch between negative and positive. The flow of the reader’s emotions has to be taken into account, and consciously adjusted. It’s that simple. 

How can this be accomplished? 

1) Determine what’s at stake in the scene. To the characters, something important is being threatened, something emotional or primal. Love? Safety? Friendship? Justice? Make sure the scene means something for the characters. (If it’s not emotionally significant to them, connected to the A Story, B Story, or Character Arc, it’s not a scene and the reader won’t care.) And since the readers are emotionally connected to the characters, the readers care about what’s at stake, and are conscious of what it means. 

2) Beats. The exchanges of action and reaction between characters and forces of opposition in pursuit of the goal … these carry that emotion, these are how emotions shift within the scene, gradually taking it from one to another. 

3) Emotional Charge. If the scene starts with what’s at stake in positive way, then it’ll switch to negative by the end. If if starts negative, the scene will change to positive. 

Anyway! How does this work?  

To illustrate it, because I’m having a lot of fun reading the screenplay, here are five scenes from Zootopia. 

Let’s start with the scene right after this happens: Manchas has gone savage, and Judy and Nick are running for it.

Scene 1 

What’s at stake? Life

Opening Charge: Negative (They’re being chased by a jaguar who is about ten times bigger than either of them, and who seems quite keen to tear them apart. To the characters, this scene opens with a 95% likelihood of imminent brutal death. To the audience, this scene opens with two characters we’ve come to care about in this dangerous situation.)

Closing Charge: Positive (They manage to call backup. Judy manages to handcuff Manchas. Nick stays to help Judy, rather than hop on the gondola to safety. They fall but manage to survive. They fall again, but are caught by a vine just before impact. Bogo and the rest arrive, and Judy is full of confidence about her discovery in the Otterton case, and eager to show them. Everything in this scene ended in Judy and Nick’s favor.)

How has what’s at stake changed? They lived.

Scene 2

What’s at stake? Judy’s lifelong dream, the goal she’s worked towards since she was a child. 

Opening Charge: Negative (Judy tells Bogo that this is way bigger than a missing mammal case – Otterton and Manchas went savage. He scoffs at her. In response, Judy confidently sweeps back the leaves to reveal the wild jaguar … and he’s gone. With her proof nowhere in sight, what she’s told Bogo sounds insane and ridiculous. Which provokes him into demanding her badge.) 

Closing Charge: Positive (Nick stops Bogo from taking Judy’s badge. Nick also bluntly tells him that he’s been an unfair little jerk to Judy, they have time to solve the case, and they have much more important things to be doing than standing around dealing with these idiots. He even calls her “Officer Hopps” instead of Carrots. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? She still has a chance to achieve that lifelong goal. And Nick was the one to buy her more time. 

Scene 3
What’s at stake? Truth

Opening Charge: Positive (Judy, and the audience, are feeling thankful and closer to Nick.)

Closing Charge: Negative (But even though we are in a good place, Nick looks far away … he starts thinking back … and we can sense that this memory lane doesn’t end anywhere pleasant.)

How has what’s at stake changed? He’s about to share something significant.

Scene 4
What’s at stake? Innocence

Opening Charge: Positive (We see little Nick! Looking happy and excited. All he wanted to do was join the Junior Ranger Scouts, and his mother scraped together money to buy him a uniform. She’s even adjusting his tie for him, lovingly.)

Closing Charge: Negative (Nick, who had been so happy at the beginning of this scene, is now hiding from the evil kids,  struggling to pull the muzzle off, panicked, crying like his heart’s broken.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Traumatized

Scene 5
What’s at stake? Closeness

Opening Charge: Negative (Well that was a horrifying story. And now Nick is avoiding eye contact, while revealing the takeaways he got from that childhood episode, which have shaped his decisions from then on. Suddenly Judy, and the audience, understand Nick a lot more. We empathize and sympathize with him.)

Closing Charge: Positive (The traffic cameras would have caught whatever happened to Manchas! And Judy has a friend that can help them access those cameras. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Nick dodges out of further vulnerability BUT they’re back on the case – this time, together. 

So!

As you can see, the emotional charges of these scenes fluctuate smoothly, from a scene’s opening to its closing, from one scene to the next. In every moment, in every beat, we’re feeling something. And when the scene turns, we (and the characters) are feeling the opposite of what we were at the beginning of the scene. Our curiosity and minds are linked to the story by the question “What’s going to happen next?”; our emotions are connected to the story by the conduits Judy and Nick, these two characters we care about, as every emotional change pushes us closer towards the answer to the question “What’s going to happen to these two? Is everything going to end up alright for them?" 

Now, let’s see what happens when you stop paying attention to the emotional changes of your scenes. 

Scene 1: Manchas is gone. Bogo is berating Judy. Nick stands there and watches. Judy ends up handing over her badge. The real cops leave, and Judy stays behind, figuring she might as well try and complete the case anyway. All Nick wants is that carrot pen, so he tags along.

Scene 2: Judy has nothing to feel thankful about, and certainly doesn’t feel closer to Nick. He’s thinking back on his childhood, but doesn’t share anything with Judy… 

Scene 3: Instead of the flashback opening on a happy Nick, it opens on him getting beaten up by the evil children, and ends on him weeping with the muzzle strapped to his face. 

Scene 4: We snap back to the present. Judy staring, beyond tears at this point. Nick looking traumatized and bitter. He remembers he needs the pen. He thinks about the reward money if they had found all those missing mammals. He has the traffic camera revelation! He drags a dejected Judy into his scheme, which she doesn’t care about, but why the heck not? 

In this horrible alternate universe version of Zootopia, this sequence of scenes is negative from beginning to end. And what would have happened to the audience if the scenes had played out in this depressing way? 

They would have emotionally checked out.

The connection between emotions and story would have snapped.

We would have forced our emotions to abandon the story, and watched the rest of the movie feeling betrayed and cheated. 

Because in the end, all we care about are these characters. All we care about is story, and character is story. It’s no coincidence that removing the emotional changes of the scenes equated to removing Judy and Nick’s relationship in the scenes; that relationship, that B Story, or Love Story, function (oddly enough) as the heart of the movie: it keeps the story alive, it keeps us connected and invested in the narrative, it keeps the scenes emotionally turning. Before Nick showed up, and we had two characters to care about, what kept us emotionally involved in the story was our relationship with Judy, this plucky bunny that we really wanted to see succeed. Establishing that connection is a subject for another post, but in regards to scenes, this manipulation of the audience’s emotions is how you keep that connection going strong.

I just said to manipulate someone’s emotions. How villainous.