also the mirror universe

things in Star Trek that I am also offended by

  • the fact that everyone in the mirror universe weren’t wearing crop tops
  • Spock never wore those red tights
  • Chekov’s hair in the first season
  • that time Kirk jumped over the rock instead of running around it
  • not enough unicorn dog
  • Spock’s hair in TMP
  • the lack of evil tribbles
  • men didn’t wear the miniskirts too
  • there was probably room for more glitter

On this day in music history: February 4, 1968 - The Beatles record “Across The Universe” at Abbey Road Studios in London in Studio Three. Written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon and McCartney), it is originally in contention to be the bands Spring single release, though it is passed over in favor of “Lady Madonna”. Lennon writes the song in late 1967 - early 1968, during his initial interest in Transcendental Meditation, adding the mantra “Jai guru deva om” as a central part of the song. The basic track is recorded in seven takes during a marathon run of sessions prior to The Beatles trip to India. Paul McCartney selects Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Pease, two female fans standing outside the studio, to come in and sing the high harmony vocals on the song. “Across The Universe” initially surfaces in December 1969 on the charity album “No One’s Gonna Change Our World”. The track is originally released in mono only, with bird sound effects added to beginning and end of the track. It is dramatically remixed by Phil Spector and included on the Let It Be album in May of 1970, removing the female background vocals, sound effects and slowing the song down to more closely mirror its original speed. “Across The Universe” is also the inspiration for (and title of) a musical film centered around The Beatles’ music, released in 2007.


im trying to catch up with the Youth and practice selfies, this was the best I could do

somebodylost-chan  asked:

Seasons greetings to you! Q: how do pull off the Reveal of the Hidden Villain? The heroine didn't know she was the Big Bad 'til Part 3, nor was she visible or near the heroine. They do have a personal connection, but my trouble is showing that. D:

I don’t usually nitpick the way a question’s phrased, but in this case, “The heroine didn’t know she was the Big Bad,” is an ambiguous way to phrase it. This could mean either that your protagonist didn’t know who the villain was, or that she didn’t realize that she was in fact the antagonist all along. Of the options, the latter is more of a head trip, so I’ll hit that too on the way out.

When it comes to structuring a story, where the villain is ambiguous, identifying them will be a persistent thread through the story up to that point. It may be the entire focus. A very loose structure these kinds of stories work with is that your protagonists spend their first act working to identify their foe, the second act learning about them and formulating plans to go after them, and the final act putting their plans into motion, and scrambling to pull out a victory.

I say, “very loose,” because you can step back and really mess with the structure. Such as having your characters know who they’re going after from the beginning but working to prove it, or learning a lot about who their foe is without actually putting a name or face to them (which is what you’re describing).

If you want to look at this in an overly mechanical way; your characters are going to be spending the story trying to collect information. That’s the currency that drives their story. They need pieces of it to put together who is responsible. Missing even a few pieces along the way can critically undermine their ability to accurately anticipate who they’re working against. This has a knock-on effect of further distorting their expectations and perceptions of what’s to come. One mistaken assumption or missed clue can lead to erroneous assumptions that form the basis for theories that are further removed from the truth.

Most good mysteries operate off a very careful formula: The author drops the evidence about what really happened in front of the protagonists and the readers, mixed into a larger collection of red herrings, and relevant information that the characters do seize upon initially.

Bad mysteries will usually withhold the information necessary to contextualize the rest, and then pull it out in an effort to keep the audience off balance. Often with the intent of making the protagonist seem preternaturally intelligent. Really, all the author did was lie to the audience, and then stick their pet in the spotlight.

In case it’s unclear: Please, do not do this. Having your audience get ahead of your biggest reveal is not the end of the world. Sure, some will be smug about it, but realizing the author was, in fact, playing fair with their puzzles can make the material infinitely more interesting on a return trip.

Also, it’s basically impossible to hide anything from your audience. If you have a character who’s secretly the villain, a savvy reader will realize it due to Ebert’s Law of Conservation of Characters (assuming you’re writing with that in mind). The easiest way around this is to make sure that your secret villain is actually pulling double duty, and not just there to be the antagonist, but we’ll come back to that in a second.

Roger Ebert’s Law on Conservation of Characters holds that every character in a film (or any media, really) needs to serve a purpose, so by eliminating each character who serves a necessary narrative function, you can immediately identify the killer/traitor/secret santa/whoever you’re trying to hide from the audience.

The thing about this is, it is really good advice. Good writing is, usually, concise, clear, and easy to understand. You’re communicating with people, and presenting as little unnecessary information as possible is a strength. (The red herrings in mysteries are an exception to this, but you should still strive to deliver them as quickly and concisely as you can.) It’s worth remembering, some of the texture for your material is necessary for selling the scene. But, you need to be asking yourself, “do I really need this line?”

The same is true of characters. If a character doesn’t need to be in your story, they probably shouldn’t be there. This is more pronounced with films, where each character indicates that they were important enough to include in the story and pay an actor to stand there and deliver the lines. It’s one of the reasons why you’ll often see minor characters excised from adaptations, while their only critical dialog is migrated to one of the more important characters. With this in mind, Ebert would run through the cast and simply look for someone who wasn’t doing anything useful. Thing is, this does work in writing as well.

This is what I meant about the antagonist pulling double duty. It’s not enough to show that they’re the villain, if you really want to hide it from the audience, they also need to be the mentor, love interest, perky sidekick, CGI “comic relief” atrocity, or the protagonist.

Once you know what their role in the story is, and the fact that they’re also secretly the villain, you have a lot of room to work with, and you can set up some fantastic subtext tension for your villain, that is only obvious on a second reading.

For example: if your protagonist is being mentored by the villain, and the villain genuinely cares about the protagonist’s growth as an individual. They have an immediate conflict of interest. They may honestly want the protagonist to grow, learn, and have a better ability to understand what they’re looking at, while still advancing their own agenda that the protagonist opposes.

When you’re working with something like this, it’s important to remember that people can want two separate things, and due to the actions of others, those goals can come into conflict with each other. It doesn’t mean that you immediately pick a side, but it will put some hard decisions in front of you. Or, your characters in this case.

If you’re still wondering how to tie your characters together, it’s the connections like this that you’re probably looking for. At a very simple level, “how do you show a connection between two character?” You put those characters in a room and have them interact. You let them show their relationship with each other. Whether that’s romantic, platonic, mentor/pupil, patron/client, or just shared history. But, you show that.

The other option is, of course, that your heroine is also the villainess. There’s a lot of ways you can run with this idea, that range from cheesy to profound. The cheesy end includes things like a character who swaps between two separate persona. Without something to justify it, this specific approach tends to undermine the whole, “I didn’t know I was the villain all along,” thing. There are ways to pull it off, where someone ends up investigating their own under the table operations, without realizing it, because they’ve insulated themselves from that level of their criminal enterprise. For instance, you could have a corrupt cop, who knows they’re a corrupt cop, but doesn’t realize that the drug dealers they’re investigating actually work for their proxies. A situation like that wouldn’t, usually, last long, because one of their minions would ask them what they’re doing.

Another classic option is the doppelganger. This may simply be a copy of the character from somewhere else, a supernatural simulacra, an alternate version from the future, whatever. There are uses for stuff like this, but it’s tricky to work with. I’d scratch it off the list entirely if things like mirror universes didn’t also allow you to play around with a radically different interpretation of your characters. In traditional folklore the doppelganger was a sign of one’s impending death (though not at the hands of the doppelganger itself). Make of that what you will.

Finally, you can have a protagonist who is, in fact, the villain, as a result of their actions. Heroes and villains exist on a very fine line. The actions of the hero are sanctioned based on the context of those actions. When you start to strip that context, or reveal it as a lie, it becomes very possible to present someone as the hero only to realize, at the end, that they really were a villain all along.

There’s two ways to approach this. The first is that your character comes to their villainy over the course of the story. By abandoning their principles in pursuit of victory. The cliché is, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” though I much prefer Buckminster Fuller’s, “Those who play with the devil’s toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.” However you want to abstract this, the arc is that your character grows from a hero into the new villain. It’s one hell of a third act revelation, when they can step back and in a moment of introspection, realize they’d become what they fought against.

The other approach is that your character was always the villain. This may be that your noble freedom fighter was, in fact, a ruthless terrorist, who distorted the facts to soothe their own conscience. They may have viewed their actions as justified, when they actually violently overreacted at every turn. Their casual cruelty may have been the very thing that fed the movement they were working against, justifying the group they perceived as the villains.

To quote Michael Douglas’ Bill Foster in Falling Down (1993), “I’m the bad guy?” “How’d that happen?”


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just because ur new friend locked herself in your bathroom and won’t come out don’t mean you can’t still have fun


she’s gettin the hang of it