and all the heists and cons

anonymous asked:

Any advice on how to write a heist story something like oceans Eleven?

Well, you can start by watching Ocean’s Eleven, and Ocean’s Eleven, and then Leverage, and then Burn Notice, and then The A-Team, and then Mission: Impossible, and then all the other heist stories like The Italian Job or Heat. Watch, read, uncover as many stories about criminals as you can from fiction to nonfiction to reading security analyst blogs. Read the spy memoirs, the thief memoirs, the fake ones and the real ones. Check out magicians, hypnotists, card tricks, and sleight of hand. Watch the making ofs and director’s commentaries looking for clues behind the thought process of these stories. The hows and the whys as you look into the research they did. Burn Notice, for example, is famous for using stunt props and technological rigs that work in real life. Like using cell phones to create cheap bugs on the go.

The worlds of criminal fiction and spy fiction rely on being able to present (or convincingly fake) a world which feels real. A heist is all about exploitation. So, you need a world with security structures to exploit. You’ve got to know how things work before you can craft a way to break them. Social engineering, hacking, and every other criminal skill is about breaking the systems in place. So, you’ve got to get a baseline for how law enforcement and security analysts work. What security systems are set up to look like. The ways we go about discouraging thieves. Better yet how people behave. Real, honest to god human behavior.

So, you know, pick somewhere in order to start your research. Get an idea of what you want write about stealing, then learn everything about the object, the museum, the city, the country, and its customs as you can.

If you’re setting a heist in a futuristic or fantasy setting then luck you, you get to make all of it up.

Learning the plot structure and conventions of the heist genre is the first step. This means watching lots and lots of heist movies, shows, and reading books. Over time, as you become better at critical analysis, you’ll begin to see specific story structures and character archetypes emerge.

The Heist Story is a genre. Like every other genre, it comes with its own structure, cliches, archetypes, plots, and genre conventions which necessitate the narrative. The better grasp you have of those, the better you’ll be at writing a heist.

For example, a heist story like Ocean’s Eleven relies on a collection of thieves rather than a single individual. The character types are as follows:

The Pointman - Your planner, strategist, team leader, and the Jack of All Trades. Can also be called the Mastermind. They’re the one who can take the place of anyone on the team should they fall through. They’re not as good as a specialist, but they’re very flexible. Narratively, he plans the cons and subs in where he’s needed.

The Faceman - Your experienced Grifter, here for all your social engineering needs. These guys talk their way in.

The Infiltrator - Your cat burglar or break-in artist. Basically, the conventional genre thief. Your Parker, Catwoman, Sam Fisher, or Solid Snake. The stealth bastards, they’re all about silent in, out, and playing acrobatic games with the lasers.

The Hacker - The electronics and demolitions specialist. Usually this is the guy in the van overseeing stuff remotely. Your Eye in the Sky. Their skill set can be split up and swapped around as necessary.

The Muscle - The one who is good at fighting. They’re combat focused characters, usually with mercenary and special forces backgrounds. Though, that’s optional.

The Wheelman - The one who handles the getaway. They’re your often overlooked transport specialists. It’s not just that they can drive, they’re skilled at getting lots of people around, figuring out how to move your valuables, and exiting hostile cities or countries undetected. They get the team in and they get them out.

For an example of these archetypes, I’m going to use Leverage. Nathan Ford, The Pointman (technically, he’s written like a Faceman). Sophie Devereaux , The Faceman. Parker, the Infiltrator. Hardison, the Hacker. Eliot, the Muscle. They all take turns being the Wheelman.

Other examples like Burn Notice: Michael Westen, the Pointman. Sam Axe, the Faceman. Fiona, the Muscle. They all take turns with explosives, Michael will invariably take all the roles during the course of the show.

Ocean’s Eleven has multiple variants of these archetypes, all broken down and mixed up.

You can mix and match these qualities into different individuals or break them apart like in Ocean’s Eleven, and more than one character can fill more than one role, but that’s the basic breakdown. For example, your hacker doesn’t need to be a guy in a van overlooking the whole security grid. One guy or girl with a cell phone can sit in the lobby of a building with an unsecured wireless network and crack the security. Welcome to the 21st century. The skills don’t necessarily need to take the specific expected shape.

What you do need is the basic breakdown:  You need someone to plan the con, you need someone to be your face or grifter, you need someone to break in, you need someone to watch the security/electronics, you need muscle to back you up, and someone’s got to cover the getaway.

These shift depending on your plan, but this is the expected lineup for a heist narrative. The first step of a heist narrative is not the plan because we don’t have one yet. We’ve got an idea. Pick your target. Maybe it’s a famous painting. Maybe it’s a casino. Maybe it’s a rare artifact from a private investor’s collection loaned to a museum for a short period of time. Maybe it’s art stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Whatever it is, figure it out.

The next step is simple. If you want the thing, you’ve got to find a way to get it. This is a big job, your standard thief won’t be able to pull it off alone. So, you gotta go recruiting. Get your team together. Make sure to establish the goals of the different members for joining. Who they are. Their pedigree. One might be an old flame or an old enemy. This is where we lay out some character driven subplots.

When everyone’s together, we’ve got to lay out the plan. Before we have a plan though, we need to establish where the object is and the issues in getting it. Why this has never been done before. So, what are the challenges? Invariably, an object worth a great deal of money will have a lot of security protecting it. Figure out what that security is, who the item belongs to, what sort of retribution do the thieves face beyond what they might expect. Lasers, pressure plates, cameras, security, other career criminals, mob bosses, the rich and powerful, whatever.

After that: How do you get it? Then you’ve got to plan the con, while taking everything into account.

Then, We prep the Con. There will be steps to take before the con can be put into place, your characters taking their positions in plain sight. Stealing whatever pieces you need to make it work. Casing the joint. Etc.

Then: Run the Con. This is the part with the actual stealing. Better known as the first attempt. Things go well, there may be a few mistakes, but things are going well and then we…

Encounter Resistance. While running the con, something goes wrong, pieces fall apart, the thieves come close to success but the object gets moved and they suddenly need a new plan. New information may pop up, it may be one of your artists was running a con of their own separate from the rest. If there’s a double cross in the works then this may be when and where it lands.

We’re ready now, so it’s time hit up: Steal the Thing, Round Two. Your characters put their new plan into play and get about thieving the object of their desire.

Lastly: The Get Away. This is the part where your thieves make for the hills with their stolen treasure. This can be short or long depending on the kind of story you’re telling and other double crosses may occur here. It could be the end of the story or the beginning of a new heist.

Heist stories are like mystery novels. They’re all about sleight of hand and misdirection. You’ve got to keep just enough information on the table to keep your audience on the hook, and just enough information off the table to surprise them later on the twist. Yet, when they go back to re-read the novel again, they’ll find the answer was there all along. They just didn’t see it coming.

If anything, learning how to write a well-done heist or a mystery or any kind of novel in this genre will teach you a lot about how to manage your foreshadowing and create superb plot twists. Like any good con, you need to lay out all the conflicting pieces where people can see them, let them draw their own conclusions, withhold the critical context, and then hit them with the whammy.

Like lots of audiences, new writers (and even some old ones) can get distracted by the shock and awe. They see they’re impressed by the conclusion, not the lay-up. If you want to write any kind of fiction, you need to learn to see past the curtain and pay attention to the critical pieces leading into an important moment rather than the moment itself.

Good writing isn’t modular, you can’t just strip out pieces and run with them because you’ll end up missing the crucial, sometimes innocuous pieces that ensured the scene worked. Like the Victorian Hand Touch, every moment between the two leads and most of their scenes with secondary players are working for that singular instance of eventual, gleeful catharsis.

If you’ve got a plot twist coming in your novel, every sentence from the second you start writing is working towards it. You start laying out your pieces, funneling in your tricks, and playing with misdirection. You may have multiple twists, to cover yourself, divert your audience, congratulate them for successfully guessing your ploy, and reassure their initial suspicions before catching them again on the upswing.

The clever writer is as much a con artist as their characters. The only difference is the target of their con is their audience. The tricks in their bag are narrative ones, and they work with the understanding that it doesn’t matter if someone guesses the end so long as they’re entertained by the journey. A great story stays entertaining long after the audience has figured out all the twists.

So, don’t get caught up in Red Herrings and frightened about not being able to outsmart other people. Tell a good story with conviction and heart about a bunch of crooks out to steal their heart’s desire.

That’s all there is to it.

-Michi

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The six of crows duology is honestly one of the best series in ya. You have all this crazy heist shit going on, the con men are being conned, and so on. But then, Leigh also deals with problems like human trafficking, racism and racial prejudices, positive self-image, disabilities, lgbtq+. And that’s not even all.

One of my favourite aspects is kaz and inej’s relationship. Kaz is a broken boy who needs fixing before he can be in a healthy relationship, and throughout the two books, he’s gone through a lot of character development and he’s getting closer to being better. He is not, however, an entirely changed man. And inej knows that and she’s not settling for that shit. Yes, she’s willing to try and help him heal. But she won’t let herself be dragged under with him. She knows when to put herself first and not give him everything of her. She knows she can try to help fix him but at the end of the day it’s kaz who needs to make the final decision to really try to heal himself and become a better man. Not just for inej but for himself. And it’s makes me so glad to see a heroine who doesn’t blindly want to give everything of themselves for the boy they love even if it may hurt them in the process. It makes me happy that inej is willing to wait for a healthy relationship. And it makes me happy that kaz knows this too and is trying to move forward.

Idk. I just have a lot of feels about my little crow children. Plz feel free to add on your thoughts

anonymous asked:

Okay okay but like imagine inej comes back after being gone for a while catching slavers and stuff and then kaz is at the docks waiting for her and he's like I need ur help for a heist and she's kinda disappointed cuz she thought he'd be more kaz than dirty hands towards her when she got back but she's like sure I'll help but really it's all made up and he comes up with this elaborate plan for a heist but it really leads to a spot that has like a date set up or something like that

This is so adorable and all I need in my life. Kaz with a secret romantic side, I’d die. But look since Kaz is an awkward seventeen year old after all—whose most complex con is his own veneer of detachment—I imagine it differently. 

I mean this is the same kid who waited to talk to her because he didn’t know what to say. And then when he finally did he started going over plans they’d already established. The same boy who found her parents but didn’t know how to take her reaction so he started on about if things didn’t go as planned they’d be picking up her corpse instead. 

This boy has no idea what he’s doing when it comes to Inej. So imagine he tells her about a heist but it’s real. Except it’s not complicated and he could’ve done it alone. They’re only breaking into some rich guy’s place. Knowing the homeowner is out of town and there are only two men guarding the front entrance, Kaz anticipates the empty mansion. 

He set this entire thing up because he doesn’t know how to ask her out on a real date.  

While they’re there he starts to uncharacteristically linger. He appraises each piece of art in the extensive collection even though he’s not interested in stealing either of them. He just wants to hear her opinions. And when they get upstairs to rummage through the wife’s jewelry his quick lock pick fingers clasp a bracelet on her wrist while she’s not looking. When she feels the cold links draping her wrist, he walks away as if nothing happened. (Inej decides not to keep it, but doesn’t mean she isn’t flattered)

When she catches up with him she’s still blushing bright red and he’s raiding through their food. This is the most time they’ve ever spent in someone else’s place and it becomes clear to her then he’s after alone time with her, not anything in the house.

They end up sitting across from each other on the marble floor in the kitchen. With only the glow from a small candle, they pass a plate of fancy desserts, catching up on things they’ve missed.

It’s not long before the wife and kids come home and they have to leave. They climb out of a window, stumbling over the box of hibiscus that hung from the ledge. Laughing, they sprint down the street as they dust dirt from their clothes. They run all the way to Wylan’s because that’s where she plans on staying. When they say goodbye and she shifts through her pocket for her spare key, she pulls out a handful of the flowers and gasps. When did he even pick them up? How did he slip them in her pocket?

She watches him walk away, shaking her head. He turns and smirks before disappearing into the billows of smoke. She buries her nose in the flowers to breathe them in, smiling as she pushes into the house.

6

“Peter doesn’t giggle, but when he goes he REALLY goes.” - Jenna Coleman at Oz Comic-Con (x)

And this is something we’ve all been blessed to see happen many times. Just another reason to love this man even more! 😊

The MBTI Heist
  • ENTJ- The Backer: The one who's paying for the heist to be done. Enjoys bossing everyone around by stating they're in charge of the operation, but everyone knows INTJ designed the heist.
  • INTJ- The Mastermind: The one who comes up with the entire scheme and makes the diagrams and writes up the roles. Would be the "Boss" but is too socially awkward, so they sit in the dark, scheme, and refer everyone to ESTJ for answers.
  • ENTP- The Source: The one who found the job. Typically the one to find the jobs in general. Has really good online connections and is typically able to get us the best price for the job.
  • INTP- The Hacker: Content to sit in the back of the van controlling the alarms, security cameras, lights, etc... INTJ wants you to hack into the police database to alter information? About time you had a challenge!
  • ESTJ- The Boss: Technically not the one who planned the heist, yet everything goes through them. Their unofficial job is to manage the crew and make sure they know their roles flawlessly.
  • ISTJ- The Informant: The one who knows about everything. They have gathered all the information concerning everything about this heist, and could ESTJ please explain that once more, it doesn't seem like sound logic.
  • ESTP- The Conman: The one doing the actual conning. Being the actor, doing some people manipulating, creating some useful relationships.
  • ISTP- The Gadgets Guy: Job description is to create or obtain what ever the crew needs. In charge of all the gear, from earpieces to explosives. Enjoys planting bugs on INTP to hear them talking to themselves while in their van.
  • ENFJ- The Mole: The one already on the inside. Everyone likes them and sure they'll listen to your problem... and then leak your weaknesses to the crew.
  • INFJ- The Pickpocket: Somehow able to get you to start telling them your life's story in the bus. When you're done it'll be more than your conscience that's been lifted. Enjoys secretly planting little notes of encouragement on all the crew members.
  • ENFP- The Acquirer: The one who everyone seems to like and has limitless contacts. ISFP needs a better motor for their car? Yeah, I have a friend whose dad's cousin runs a car shop in New York, so of course I can get that.
  • INFP- The Person on the Inside: Unlike the Mole who was placed in their position, the insider doesn't know they're going to help until they are. They really are just trying to help, and ESTP made it clear that it would be a big help ($$$) if you just left that one door unlocked.
  • ESFJ- The New Kid: The one with potential in everything, but not great at anything. A little lost but ready to prove themselves. Is super hyped that to know the INFJ believes in them.
  • ISFJ- The Muscle: The sweetest person... until you mess with their crew family! They're super devoted to the crew and have no qualms backing that statement up with some force.
  • ESFP- The Distraction: The one causing the social commotion. Keeping everyone's eyes fixated on them, not the other crew members. Their job is to be more exciting then the surroundings.
  • ISFP- The Driver: They've taken driving to a whole new level, it's become an art form. Yes, all those cars are theirs.
Something Just Like This | Kanej oneshot

Inspired by the song Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay. Set after Crooked Kingdom’s ending.

-

It was the night before Inej left.

Kaz Brekker was standing on the windows of the ground office - his office, he had to remind himself - lost in thought. The rain gently pattered against the windowsill, blurring the streets of Ketterdam, the cobblestone streets looking like gray rivers and the windows lit by candles looking like blobs of kaleidoscopic lights.

The bastard of the Barrel’s gloves sat idly on his desk, as if taunting him to wear them, to give in to his fears and temptation. Dirtyhands would not. He raised a finger and pressed it against the window, a shiver running through his skin at the feeling of the cold glass. He was trying. Trying for her.

He could sense her presence even before she said, “Kaz.”

He turned around and there she was, in all her glory, dressed in a purple tunic with that same old hood hiding parts of her face. Why was she so fond of that hood?

“Inej.” He was trying to stop calling him The Wraith. He needed to remind himself she wasn’t bound to The Dregs anymore - that she was no longer his spider, his spy, his Wraith queen. “What business?”

Inej smiled at that. “I leave early at dawn tomorrow, so I figured I would say my goodbyes tonight.” she took a step closer. She had spent three weeks in Wylan’s manor, yet her agility remained, her steps light as feathers, passing through as if the world was simply smoke. Her gaze skittered over to his bare hands, and her eyes widened a bit.

“I’m trying.” he said coarsely. “It wasn’t easy for you too, but… You pulled through.” had she really? Had Inej Ghafa, The Wraith, pulled through her past? Had she pulled through the feeling of clamoring hands all over her, bedsheets pressed against her, and the feeling of hollowness and insignificance each time it happened caused?

“And you will. The Saints honour one’s effort.” there she was again, with her religious Suli proverbs.

Kaz took a step forward, and they were inches from each other now.

“Inej,” he began, and her eyes perked up. “I… I…” Kaz Brekker did not stammer. Dirtyhands certainly did not stammer. The boy who could lead an army, a notorious gang called The Dregs, who could pull through heists and cons, did not and would not stammer.

But Kaz Rietveld did. The boy who believed in magic, the boy who tried to look for kindness in all the places he’d been and would go to, the boy who was convinced that one person could simply mean to be kind. And somehow, Kaz had let a tiny, slivering piece of his old self return. He clenched his fists.

“Return.” he finally let out. “Promise me you will return.”

“I will.” Inej nodded solemnly. She reached out a small, bronze hand, and Kaz knew what she meant.

The day they first held hands, Kaz felt like the very life he’d known was shaken to its core. The feeling of her warm, small palm against his was overhwelming, a flurry of warmth coursing through his skin at a rappid and shocking pace. But he yearned more. A part of him yearned more for her - for the touch she gave, the feeling of her skin.

So very slowly, Kaz drew out his hand as well. Their fingertips touched, and Kaz could feel tremor run through him. He was about to back away, but he would not let his shame and weakness overcome him. Dirtyhands intertwined his fingers around The Wraith, their palms forming the hands of that of someone who is praying - to Ghezen, to the Saints, to Djel, who knows. And it felt like a prayer. A prayer that someday, they would have more than this. More than just two hands becoming one.

This time, he reached out another hand, and grasped her other hand. Both of their hands were now pressed against each other, as if intertwined in a clash of light and dark, his pale skin against her bronze one. He gazed into her eyes, the brown eyes he’d gotten so used to in their heists and late night schemings, in their everyday life.

“So,” Inej began. “What were you going to say?”

“Hm?”

“Um, you were going to say something other than making me promise to return?” She remarked.

“Oh.” What was he going to say?

For a moment, he closed his eyes and got lost in the feeling. The feeling of the warm palms pressed against his, the aura of her body so close to his, and the warm flurry clamoring in his heart every time they touched. It coursed through him like a river, each drop of water whispering her name.

“I…” the feeling. He had to focus on the feeling. The warmth. When will he ever feel it again? He wanted this feeling. He wanted her. He wanted these moments. He wanted something just like this to happen over and over again in his life.

“I want something just like this.” He gently murmured, and ever so gently he pressed his forehead against hers. Everything inside him raged; fear, revulsion, the strong temptation to pull away, and yet there was a tiny, whispering voice; ‘more,’ it said. ‘More touch. More of her.’

Inej closed her eyes, and they stood there, eyes closed, intertwined hands, foreheads touching.

There were moments when even the smallest brush of fingers were impossible to him.

And there were moments like these. Moments where he felt infinite, moments where he felt warmth. Moments where he became the young boy who believed in magic again.

And there was a sort of enthralling, odd magic about the girl in front of him.

If you’re ever torn about what to write, please consider a Leverage AU:

Here’s why:

You get your modern Robin Hood jollies, where you can have your characters be heroes without having to get trapped by the law.

You can have both your Team Mom/Team Dad ship and your OT3. Or literally any OTP+OT3 set.

You get to give people roles, and I know that’s always popular:

  • The Mastermind: This is the person you see planning every con, every heist, every destroyed reputation. They know their team’s skills and they know their target, and they have a way to make it all end in success.
  • The Grifter: Someone’s acting their way into every situation imaginable. Faking your own death? Getting a free pass to the Oval Office? Convincing people you’re a head of state? Sure, why not. (Stage/film acting skills not required. Really, really not required.)
  • The Hitter: Every team has the muscle. In this case, the muscle is probably also the cook, has a number of very strange skills (which they probably picked up from listening to old S/O’s talking about their interests), and can identify a gun by the sound of it from three blocks away. It’s a very distinctive gun, after all.
  • The Hacker: TBH probably the best person emotionally on the team. Very good with computers. Not just hacking either, but also photoshop and whatever else is needed to create the identity of the day. May or may not include references to nerd media in said identities.
  • The Thief: They can steal anything. Anything. Had a very inconsistent upbringing. Emotionally complicated and has trouble understanding people. May or may not drive like they learned while driving getaway cars as a preteen.

More people you can choose to add:

  • Interpol: This person isn’t really a friend or an enemy. More like… an occasional opponent who’s legally obligated to attempt to arrest you at every opportunity, but still comes to you for help to get their child out of a bad situation.
  • The Sixth Ranger Grifter: The Grifter’s friend who got called in on a favor as a replacement when the Grifter went soul-searching. They’re very good at their job, even if their ‘characters’ are often quite different from The Grifter’s, and may or may not have trained at Quantico at some point.
  • The Ex: Actually still on good terms with the Mastermind, even after the divorce. Specialist in something tangentially related to cons, like art history. Slightly confused but willing to help when they think it’s a good idea.
  • The Rival Hacker: Kind of a misogynistic jackass, but played by Wil Wheaton, who makes it hilarious. Yes, Wheaton plays them even in your AU of another series. Trust me on this.
  • The Mentor: The Thief’s old teacher. Replacement parent. Made a lot of mistakes, but knows what they’re doing. Has a cane that has either a 10,000 Volt tazer, or a 6-inch stiletto, but they’ve forgotten which.
  • The Detective: the friend on the force. Officially, they know nothing about the team’s activities. Unofficially, they know a lot and would very much like to thank the team for taking out the guys that shot them that one time.
  • Those Two FBI Guys: May or may not be guys. But there are two of them, and they are completely and utterly convinced that the Hacker and the Thief are legitimate FBI agents who do a lot of undercover work. They sometimes collaborate.
  • Quinn: I’m not even sure what to say for Quinn. Gave the Hitter an ACTUAL fight on one job. They kicked each others’ asses, but are apparently on good terms a few years later when the Hitter shows up to ask Quinn for some help on a job (with a six figure payment, of course).
  • Various others that you can check out on TvTropes

I just really love AUs and would really like to encourage you all to consider a Leverage AU at some point.

Critical Role Buddy Cop Film

you can tell the quality of my blog is steeply declining. Anyway,

Scanlan Shorthalt and Grog Strongjaw are two loose canons on the Emon police force. When twin thieves come town, its up to them to catch them.

Starring:

Grog Strongjaw: the muscle of the Emon PD. Once took 6 bullets and still managed to apprehend some bank robbers. Barely passed the academy bc he isn’t very smart but makes up for it in enthusiasm. Can often get criminals to surrender through pure intimidation but is secretly a huge softy. Usually follows Scanlan’s lead

Scanlan Shorthalt: the shortest man to ever join the Emon PD. As a master of disguise, he usually does undercover work. Once single handedly took down a crime ring by convincing all of the bosses that one of the others was a police informant. Badass single dad. Always wears sunglasses. Plays music for the Emon PD picnic. the most flamboyant man on the force

Pike Trickfoot: a young doctor at a local hospital. Usually ends up being the one to treat the boys when they get injured (which happens a lot). Scanlan always flirts with her when he’s in the hospital (”Kiss me. I don’t think I’ll make it” “Scanlan it’s just you leg”)

Vex and Vax: Twin con artists/thieves. Came into town with the intent of pulling a heist on the museum. Have never been caught before. (pls just think of Vax in a catsuit). Smooth af, only steal from rich people. Vex is in it for the money, Vax is in it for the thrill

Percy de Rolo: the long suffering police chief. Used to be one of the best officers on the force until he was injured in a fight with the Briarwood crime family. Still the best shot in EPD history. Has pretty much given up on controlling Grog and Scanlan. Just wants Rest (and revenge)

Keyleth: the rookie of the force. Still very inexperienced and sometimes messes up undercover ops. She seems harmless but she can low key kill a man with her bare hands. Once they found a dog fighting ring and she beat up 12 large men by herself. She kept one of the dogs and she is named Minxy and she loves her.

@oddballsout

marnz  asked:

Hi Fahye, sorry for bothering you but I was wondering if you were willing to share your writing (and plotting) process for your novel? Or novels? I've just started mine and I'm trying to figure out how to work it because I've never written anything so long before! Thank you in advance.

there is a HEAP of advice out there about how to plot/structure a novel. google will throw most of it your way. three act structure? hero’s journey? poke around, see what feels like the kind of thing that makes sense to you; there’s no point having something in your toolkit if trying to adhere to it makes the whole process joyless and frustrating.

it will depend a lot on genre, and I decided to write a romance novel as my first because romance is one of the genres where following a rock-solid formula is not only approved of but expected. gwen hayes, hero of our times, even has a scrivener template for it.

so when I was planning my novel (and I am FOR SURE a planner rather than a pantser) I loaded that template up and mapped out the main points of the romance itself: why were the characters perfect for one another, how would they move and change over the course of the novel to a point where they could be together, what were the chewy internal conflicts that they would face, etc.

and around that, I plugged in some of the things from the mental list I’d made of ‘ridiculous shit I enjoy in stories’* including:

  • emotionally fraught sword fighting
  • thinly veiled obedience kink
  • dramatic showdowns at public events
  • cons and con artists
  • forced physical proximity for nebulous housebreaking reasons
  • fancy parties
  • sibling relationships
  • how did obedience kink get in here AGAIN, oh NO

eventually, after a lot of plugging and whining and scowling and watching youtube videos about the irish wool industry, I had a basic scene-by-scene breakdown. sometimes all I had was a brief description of what that scene needed to accomplish, and which character’s pov it was from; sometimes i had already sketched out a large chunk of the dialogue. but I needed that full breakdown before I could start properly writing.

my heist novel, which I have outlined on a large scale but not on a scene-by-scene one yet, was constructed the other way around: I spent a long time working out the backstory and the setup, and then worked out loosely what the three main ‘acts’ would be in terms of the heist/s and con/s. I’ve only just begun the process of layering over that the emotional and/or romantic journeys of my six main characters. when it comes to ‘what does this scene accomplish?’ I want to have noted down clearly how each scene moves the primary plot forward, but also which characters need to take what steps on their journeys, and how I’ll use the action in that scene to accomplish it.

(the trilogy I’m planning at the moment is comprised of three historical romance novels, each one containing a murder mystery, that build up to create an overarching fantasy plot. because having finished ONE novel I have clearly become drunk on power and decided I am capable of writing in four genres at once over three books. sure fahye. sure.)

…look, honestly, some people don’t do any planning at all and just make shit up as they go along, and then wrench apart and cheerfully rebuild their first draft with the inexplicable blithe ability of people who probably really enjoy watching home renovation shows. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY DO IT. plans. plans and lists. that’s how I roll.


*nb: making this mental list, and turning it into a PHYSICAL list from which to populate your plot, is a great way to make the writing process (and, hopefully, the reading process!) more enjoyable, because then you are constantly moving from one cool thing to the next.

VIA EW & LOVEBSCOTT.COM

After dramatic negotiation session at the Cannes Film Festival, Netflix has nabbed a film project pairing Grammy winner Rihanna with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, in a concept that began as a Twitter sensation. Ava DuVernay (Selma) will direct, and Issa Rae (Insecure) is in talks to write the screenplay.

According to sources, Netflix landed the project in a very aggressive bid, beating out multiple other suitors. Netflix had no comment.

The project began as a Twitter meme when the photo above — a shot that was taken in 2014 of the two women in the front row of a Miu Miu fashion show — went viral, prompting calls to turn it into a movie.

Twitter users went so far as to ask for DuVernay (who is in post-production on A Wrinkle in Time for Disney) to direct, with Rae (whose second season of HBO’s Insecure will debut on July 23) to write. All four women pledged their support to the project on the social media platform.

Since then, the buzz has only intensified, with some creating concept art of the “scammer story” they envisioned with Rihanna playing a woman who cons white men, while her brilliant co-conspirator (played by Nyong’o) orchestrates the heists. It’s unclear how faithful Rae will remain to the crowd-sourced concept.

But if she needs a suggestion for the ending, Rihanna’s appearance on the Cannes red carpet sparked inspiration from her fans.

Sources say Rae is already working on the script and the studio is eyeing a production start of 2018 after DuVernay completes her current film.

THIS is incredible. We hope the people who came up with the initial tweet idea get credited on the film in some way.

8

[get to know me meme] 9 TV Shows - Past (2/9): Leverage

mumaugh  asked:

i'm in love with SoC and CK but i can't find any new books that make me fall in love like yours. any recommendations? :)

If you’re looking for quality magical mafia and cons, I absolutely love the Curse Workers series by Holly Black. 

If you’re looking for dark antiheroes, I’m going to point you to The Young Elites by Marie Lu. 

If you’re looking for a romp-like heist, give Ally Carter’s Heist Society a try. 

If you want lush fantasy, try The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. 

Sea pirate hijinx with awesome ladies? The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

More lady pirates and shady characters to love? A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

More action? Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

These are all YA fantasy, so if you’re looking for something else, lemme know! I could do this allllll day. 

frostbite883  asked:

DC AU Question: If Captain Cold was a guest instructor for a students of basically a super villain school, how good would he be in teaching the kids the ins and outs of villainy?

See now this makes me think of something like an “Academy of Villainy and Evildoing” or something. And with a whole academy, I’d wonder what class Len is teaching?

Subjects that would exist are things like “Masterplans” with units on evil monologues and trapping the heroes; “Planning” with units on the importance of casing and organizing; “Henchmen Skills” which is sort of a mixed bag but teaches them all how to work on a crew; “Pirates / Rogues Codes” with all the understood rules and shared language and traditions of villainy, and some options for the later years like “Grifting / Conning”, “Hacking”, “White Collar Crime” and “Grand Theft Auto”.

But I think Len would be teaching “Stealing and Thieving”, with different grades/years focusing on units like pickpocketing, how to perfect the b & e, ATMs and bank robberies done right, burglary and jewel heists, and art theft (and pricing it). Things like “how to fence your wares” would be taught here too, but that would overlap with skills taught in some of the other classes, same with “the getaway” (overlaps with “Henchmen Skills”).

Anyway, all that silliness aside, Len would be a very hands-on teacher. He’d have a high expectation of people coming to his class ready to think and consider and do. Lessons would be demonstrations and practicing on each other, with practical homework like pickpocketing one item off a friend, etc. There would be longer (sometimes semester-long) projects for planning a whole job, and maybe even orchestrating the job at the end of term, and he’d be grading them all on-site at the heist. Of course before that, there would be field trips for casing jobs, like trips to museums or banks in small groups.

It couldn’t all be hands on. He’d want to teach them how to read blueprints and about things that will help them on jobs, like liquid nitrogen and other unexpected tools. Planning and designing really tight plans would especially be an expectation of his class, with points awarded for outside-the-box thinking. Research papers, omg. He’d probably assign research papers for the higher grades.

But yeah, he’d be a good instructor for the students who are there to learn, and/or the ones who listen. He’d be patient so long as they aren’t destructive to the overall plan, but would have very low tolerance for fooling around or any of the kids who fall out of line and endanger the plans (or even the casing of a job). He’d almost certainly play favorites, so I can’t say he’d be the most fair teacher. But he’d be good at it, on the whole, and not cruel, even if strict. Students would admire him, though some would probably be slightly afraid of him ^^;

tardisgrump  asked:

Hey sam hope you are having a good day ! Could i ask for some FAHC Jeremy/Reader where the reader has to pretend to be married to someone else during a heist

A/N - Oh man…every once in a while, I get a prompt that for some reason, my brain just takes and goooooooes with. And when that happens, we get a super long, rambling fic like this. So yeah, somehow I took this idea and made into a big ol’ action-y thing, but I swear, it does at least kinda stick to the original prompt you gave me! So hopefully this isn’t too out-there for you, buddy! Enjoy!

Pairing - Jeremy x Reader

Warnings - Swearing, violence, guns, knives, blood, death, general GTA AU schtuff.

Word Count - 3, 622

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20 Fics to Read Before the New Year

take my hand (and my heart and soul) by bananasandboots 45k 

Harry feels nauseous when he opens his mouth. “Hey. Um, hi. It’s me,” he mumbles before realizing with a jolt that Louis might not have his number anymore. “It’s Harry… Styles,” he tacks on, screwing his eyes shut and pinching the bridge of his nose. This was a terrible idea.
There’s silence on the other end for a long time. Harry understands. He shouldn’t have called. He tries not to let the static swallow him whole.
“I – yeah. Hi,” Louis finally answers, slowly, awkwardly. “I um. Sorry. I heard about your accident. You’re alright?”


Or, the one where Harry hasn’t spoken to his best friend in sixteen months and can’t remember why.

Bring Your Body Baby (I Could Bring You Fame) by theboyfriendstagram 84k

Eighteen year old Harry Styles just graduated high school and landed a summer job as a waterboy for his favorite football team. His job description is simple: be ready to hand water and towels to players if needed. That didn’t seem to include Louis Tomlinson though, a twenty-three year old, recently transferred Paris Saint-German player, who seems to like making Harry’s job much more difficult than it has to be.

OR  

A self-indulgent AU that takes place over the summer of 2015. 18 year old Harry hates pining after people he can’t have, and 23 year old footballer Louis loves flirting with people even though it never means anything.

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2

Robbaery Week. White Collar Criminals AU. In which both Margaery and Robb are con artists that keep tabs on each other’s work (and have this flirty-rivalry thing going on) until there’s a major heist opportunity and they team up.

“No” he says, roundly. Honestly, Margaery wants to slap him. “Look, I’m all about screwing Lannister Incorporated,” technically, they’d be stealing from Cersei Lannister’s private collection only, but she doesn’t point that out. “…but I’m not working with Tarly”.

“Why the hell not?” she demands. Granted, Dickon Tarly is not her favorite person in the world, and she much rather deal with his brother Sam (hell of a hacker, that one), but surely Stark must see the benefits of having him as the muscle.

“I’ll tell you why not. First,” he says, holding up his finger “I’ve worked with Dickon Dickhead before, he doesn’t like me. Second, what he does like are guns and using them. He will hurt someone, I assure you” Margaery starts to protest but he cuts her “His methods are tactless, crass and violent. To join forces with him would be an insult to both your intelligence and my abilities.”

Well, fuck. He touched a nerve there, and judging by his smile, he knows it.

“That heart of yours is gonna be bad for business” she says, suppressing a sigh.

“Oh, don’t I know it” He answers, and there’s a strange gleam to his eyes as he looks at her.

I'm so happy you found love (Trixya) - Lily

Turns out when you come to terms with loving someone, that doesn’t mean you are near your happy ending. It doesn’t mean your whole life crumbles, specially when you are in such a prosperous place professionally. Sometimes it hits you in the most inconvenient time for both of you. Turns out when you can make yourself say those words out loud, really mean them this time, the other person is tired of waiting. So he doesn’t say them. And for the first time ever, Brian does what’s best for Katya, and keeps it to himself.

A/N: hi! second fic is here because I was in an angsty place last week because of all the Trixya rollercoaster new information. Don’t trust the title referencing the glorious Miss Fame moment, and have in mind that this goes to an angsty, kind of self deprecating place and that I was experimenting with a new narrative format. Nevertheless I hope you enjoy it!  He/him pronouns and Brian for Trixie and Katya for Katya because to make matters worse these dorks in love are named the same.

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anonymous asked:

can you write more about mary and kayleigh's wedding?

alright, ive been putting this off for days because i’m an asshole but. but. i want to get this right, so i give you: the disaster that is kayleigh day and mary hatford’s wedding

  • the wedding is incredibly small, incredibly contained, and the ceremony itself lasts for a few hours at most
  • the guest list consists of: neil, kevin, andrew, aaron, nicky, dan, wymack, stuart, and a scattering of friends from both families that ends up with a total of 75 people in total. nathan wesninski cannot get within 200 feet of mary hatford without being arrested, so he was very clearly not invited to the affair
  • the trouble comes when neil and kevin have four separate realizations that they’ll actually have to be legal brothers from that point on, and are going to start their official sibling life with a bang
  • understandably, they freak out a little bit at first
    • neil: kev, we’re gonna be related. like, actually related. i’m almost on the same level as dan
    • kevin: shut the fuck up, i might puke
  • these first several realizations do nothing to deter them from wreaking havoc on both of their mothers mental stability on the already-stressful day of their union

so now that the basics are down, i’ll give you what kevin and neil will call ‘the great wedding heist of 2k17′ for the rest of their lives

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The Charity Heist (AU) - Part 2

Originally posted by dean-sam-winchesterbros

Summary: Dean x Reader - The reader and Winchesters’ heist group gets a new case that forces Dean and her to spend a bit of quality alone time. 

(Con man AU inspired by Leverage)

Word Count: 3279

Triggers: Language, as with all my fics and hints at some dirty daydreams.

Part 1 Part 3

— 

It was finally the night of the party. Or as you liked to call it, time to kick start the case and steal some money from some bad guys. Your little group was geared up and ready to enter the belly of the beast. 

All dressed in your finest clothes like you were fucking Cinderella and friends at the ball. If Cinderella had earpieces, button cams and guns…  And the closest you came to a fairy godmother was Bobby, who probably wouldn’t like you calling him your fairy godmother though you felt indebted to him for letting you stay in their little group.

Ok, so you were nothing like Cinderella… Your dresses were nowhere near as shiny and poofy.

You had opted for sleek, short(ish) and black whilst Charlie was in a stunning red dress that you’d helped her pick out. The boys, well the boys were sadly not in dresses, but in their usual high end tuxedos used for cons of this type. Lucky bastards even had flat shoes on. Damn how you hated the dressy undercover missions. You were much more comfortable in sneakers, infiltration clothes, and harnesses than stilettos, push up bras, and cocktail dresses.

“Are you ready?” Dean’s voice echoed as it reached you both directly and in your earpiece. His green eyes rested on you and you could feel the heat of the large hand that was softly resting on your lower back,  but you knew he wasn’t really speaking to you.

No, the question, that you still pretended to answer with a nod in case someone noticed, was meant for the younger of the Winchester brothers, situated across the street in the apartment you’d rented only days earlier to use as your base of operation for the night. Dean’s eyes only betraying that fact with a small, nearly missable glance to the side, in the direction away from the glitz and the glamour that was drawing the eyes of the crowd around you.

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Having Kids with Neal Would Include...
  • You’re the mean one that makes them eat their vegetables, but Neal is the mean one that never lets them have any of what he’s drinking, so you kind of balance out.

  • Don’t misunderstand, you love your children more than life itself, but you’re both excited for them to outgrow the stage where they have to sneak into your bedroom and weasel their way into their parents’ bed. You’d like to fall asleep and wake up with only your life partner sometimes.

  • Neal goes overboard spoiling them. Your daughter has jewelry made with real gems. Your son has tailored, kid-sized suits for special occasions. They both have any art supplies they could ever ask for.

  • After putting them to bed, you sit together on the couch for some quiet personal time.

  • Whenever you have a disagreement regarding them that you feel you absolutely cannot compromise on, you use your veto card: “Tell you what, Neal, let’s have another kid that you carry in your body for nine months, and then you can make this decision!”

  • There was a long period where Peter kept accidentally making your children cry. It would be up to Elizabeth or Diana to make it better until Mommy and Daddy got back from their special date night. (Mozzie can’t rub this in Peter’s face, either, because he makes them cry sometimes, too.)

  • But they both do so much for your babies that you always feel bad and remind them that, more often than not, they part ways with hugs. And if your kids still want Peter to play dress-up, then he obviously didn’t traumatize them too badly.

  • Neal wants to let your children explore and find their own religions, so you celebrate all sorts of holidays; along with commercialized Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, Neal tries to add in a few others from other faiths every year.

  • One of your favorite things to do is stand in the doorway and watch Neal put them to sleep. Sometimes he sings them lullabies. Other times, he tells them stories. When you’re really lucky, you convince him to read the narration of The Princess Bride. To your delight, it’s your kids’ favorite movie.

  • Neal is excited to show them things like the Bond movies and The Da Vinci Code. You’ve drawn the line on both of those, saying they have to wait until they’re old enough to have ‘the Talk.’ Then you’ll be willing to revisit the topic.

  • You were notably furious when your kids pulled off what they called a ‘heist’ and stole their future Christmas presents from where they’d been locked in your closet, utilizing a lock-picking set Mozzie had given them to train with.

  • That led to a long discussion where you all sat down and selectively explained that crime was serious, and daddy was an ex-con so they should really take his word for it.

  • You both want your children to feel like they can trust you with anything, so you try to be inclusive enough for them to notice without it being dumbly obvious or making a big deal out of it. You intentionally select media and music that has different religions, ethnicities, languages, sexualities, et cetera, normalizing these things in your household.

  • When your daughter declared that she had a favorite piece of classical art, Neal clapped his hands and got to work on making a recreation that spanned her entire bedroom wall.

  • You’re reasonably sure that all children want pets at some point, so you were prepared to gently redirect their attentions to something more manageable. You weren’t planning on them succeeding in getting Neal on their side. The next thing you know, you’re talking with El about why she chose a lab and on the phone with June about reputable vets and adoption clinics.

  • James tried to get to know his grandchildren when he came back into Neal’s life. You were hesitant, what with all of the drama going on surrounding him, but Neal was so hopeful that you stepped back.

  • When you all learned he was guilty and had just been playing Neal, you had not only a heartbroken lover to console, but crying, abandoned children who didn’t understand why their grandpa didn’t want them anymore. This just made Neal even angrier, and he started feeling even worse for letting James get to know his family.

  • Your household is full of bright colors and loud sounds on any given day, but the perpetrators of the loud noises are usually Neal and your little girl.

  • Your son is well-mannered. He learned from Neal’s example to be a gentleman. You’re very proud of him.

  • Neal is the best father ever. He throws himself into everything wholeheartedly. Even when you’re fighting, you know you couldn’t possibly have asked for a better family.

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