and even then you can see the end in the beginning of their love story

what's a fire and how does it - what's the word? - burn

so i have this disney playlist i listen to usually when i’m driving and i was blasting poor unfortunate souls this morning and i was thinking

what if ariel didn’t sign the scroll?

because she’s about to, okay, and she looks at the paper. the parchment made of seaweed, the ones that’s specially treated to survive underwater. and she thinks of her cave of treasures, her books that remain perfectly preserved underwater. “no thank you,” she says slowly, becoming keenly aware of air of this place, of the not-people she’d seen who hadn’t been able to pay the price for sea witch’s bargain. “i – no. thank you. but no.”

ursula tries to convince her otherwise, but ariel runs. she goes back to her cave, destroyed as it was by her father’s anger, and thinks.

she’s the daughter of triton. her books never got wet, though she lives in the ocean. she feels a pull inside her, to the land, to somewhere else, but what if – what if –

what if she doesn’t need the sea witch or her father to perform magic for her? what if she has her own?

ursula had wanted her voice because that’s how she performed her magic. singing in this cave had given it powers and protection, and when she saved her prince from the sea – she sang then too, to keep him safe, to guide him back to life and away from death.

so she has magic. she only needs to figure out how to use it.

so that’s what ariel does now. she’s quiet and keeps to herself, and her father and sisters think that it’s because she’s upset with her father, that she’s busy licking her wounds. she’s moved on from that. she has no trident, and is uninterested with fueling her magic with the souls of the damned like ursula has. so she needs to figure something else out.

she does what she’s not supposed to do, and goes where she’s not supposed to go, slipping past the guards and patrols to the one place in the sea that is forbidden to all of them.

the crevice in the earth where what remains of her grandmother lives.

ariel goes to amphitrite, and the sea goddess is so much bigger than ariel, the size of great whale as she curls at the bottom of the sea floor, too old and too tired to do anything more than sleep. “granddaughter,” the great being croaks, opening an eye as blue and as unfathomable as the sea, “you look like me.”

“they say i look like my mother,” she says, and to herself adds: that’s why father can barely stand to look at me.

“you have more of me in you than your mother,” she says, and she shifts and pulls her mass of red hair over her shoulder. “more of me in you than your father does, even.”

“i have magic,” she says, pulling her bravery to the fore as she swims closer to her grandmother, “i want you to teach me how to use it.” amphitrite pushes herself up, and it’s the first time she’s moved in a millennia, and ariel notices for the first time that her grandmother isn’t a mermaid – she has legs.

she has legs.

“you have power,” amphitrite corrects fiercely, “and i will teach you to wield it.”

and so she does. ariel spends her nights by her grandmother, learning to harness the power of the sea that runs in her veins, and sleeps her days away while her sisters and flounder and sebastian grow more and more concerned, but she refuses to tell them why. she refuses to be stopped.

but her heart still aches. she fell in love with her prince, and she wants him still. so she swims to the edge, goes to the beach where his castle resides in the dead of night when her lessons with her grandmother are complete, and sings

. she’s careful not to let any magic leak through, only her voice. she does not want to enchant him. she wants him to love her as she is. so she sings, her voice clear and powerful and cutting through the air. she hopes he can hear it.

then one day a figure walks to the beach, and it’s him, her prince. “hello?” he calls out, “are you out there? are you – please, it was you that saved me, wasn’t it? won’t you come out and let me see you?”

so she does, waves her tail at him until he catches sight of her and takes hesitant, disbelieving steps closer.

“you’re a mermaid,” he says, eyes wide, “i thought i saw – but it couldn’t be.”

“i am, and it can,” she says, heart beating wildly in her chest. he’s just as handsome as she remembered, and she wants him just as much. “my name is ariel.”

“ariel,” he repeats, and pulls off his boots and goes wading into the water, watching her to see if she flinches away from him. she doesn’t, and his strides grow bolder. “my name is eric.”

“eric,” she whispers, and when he’s close enough he touches her, trailing fingers across the bare skin of her shoulder and tangling them in her hair.

when he kisses her, she feels powerful enough to undo the world.

so there’s that now, spending her nights with her grandmother and her prince, and she knows how to make her own legs now, could walk onto land and be made a queen among the two legged men.

but she’s a princess here first, and before she can do that she needs to take care of something.

ursula.

the rotten sea witch with her rotten sea magic won’t be allowed to torment her people any longer.

she tells her grandmother, and amphitrite smiles and says, “an excellent decision, child. i’ve enjoyed our time together, but i think it’s time for me to sleep once more. i’ve taught you everything i can.”

and tears prick ariel’s eyes, but she holds them back. she knew that it couldn’t be forever, that her grandmother can’t die but no longer desires to live and this is the in-between.

“you’ll be an amazing queen,” amphitrite murmurs, and closes her eyes for a millennia more.

this isn’t something to be done in the dead of night, although it would be easier to do it then.

she will make a spectacle of it, she will remind the sea that her people are not to be trifled with.

once upon a time they feared a blue eyed, red haired sea queen with the power to destroy them all. it’s time for them to do so again.

so she drives ursula to the center of the city. her sisters cower and people hide, and her father comes rushing forward to save her.

“you’ve committed great crimes against my people,” she says, not flinching as lightning gathers in the sea witch’s hands, “so now shall a great crime be committed against you.”

“foolish girl,” the sea witch snarls.

triton is yelling. he won’t get there in time.

he doesn’t have to.

she doesn’t need to sing anymore. instead she lifts her hands and pulls ursula apart without ever touching her, not only renders flesh from bone but also sets free the souls she’s been hoarding, reverses the magic done to those who’d fallen into the sea witch’s trap.

they all stare at her, her people, her father, and her sisters. she looks to triton and says, “i’m not a little girl anymore.”

he opens his mouth, closes it again, then says, “i can see that.”

all at once everyone’s perceptions are turned sideways about their youngest princess. she commands a power that even her father doesn’t have access to, she’s not depressed and dreamy – she’s powerful young woman who knows exactly what she’s doing.

so she does what she wanted to do, she gives herself legs and steps onto the sand and launches herself into eric’s arms. she becomes his bride, and the rumors run rampant of what she is, of where she came from, but they can’t prove anything and so they rule.

they live long, happy lives. ariel is his consort, his advisor, his wife, his tactician, and his best friend. all those years reading drowned books have certainly paid off. she ages herself along with her husband, bears his children and then teaches them they ways of her – their – people.

her husband dies, and she disappears, like the stories of selkie women that everyone whispers around her. their children give their father a sea burial, and vow to see him again one day. what they know and none of their subjects do is this – their father’s body isn’t in that casket.

she returns to her ocean, her legs form into her glittering green tail, and she goes home. she uses her terribly powerful magic, and brings her husband with her. she went from princess ariel of the sea to queen ariel of the land, and now she’s back again.

she’s not quite a teenager, but neither is she the old woman she pretended to be on land. she’s returned her and her husband to the prime of their life, and as she gained legs to be with him, he now gives his up to be with her.

eric becomes a merman, and a prince by virtue of being ariel’s husband.

she returns to her family and her world without missing a beat, and they all welcome her as if she never left, treat her husband with kindness and respect.

because they all know.

it doesn’t matter that she’s the youngest. when, far in the future, triton’s reign ends –

ariel’s reign will begin.

Can Tumblr Just Stop

Listen up y’all! Because when it comes to this topic:

Originally posted by blackbeak

I have had it with people saying you can’t enjoy something that doesn’t ‘belong’ to your culture. Apparently you’re racist if you’re a white girl dressing up as Tiana for comic con. Or if you’re wanting to adapt a story from China into a blockbuster movie. Or if you’re trying to cook an ethnic meal even if you have no experience. Because according to Tumblr (and alarmingly a lot of colleges) it’s ‘culture appropriation’ to even be curious about another country. Seriously. I had to write a paper to explain that you can still enjoy Mexican food even if you’re not from Mexico. And people argued with me. My professor argued with me! They all claimed that if you enjoy food from other cultures that you were stealing from that culture! Really?

I see this kind of attitude all the time about media too. Like, people flip out when they see a black girl playing Eponine from Les Miserables. Or when a predominately white school is performing The Wiz. People just jump into blind hate and claim that these performers are racists… but most of the time these performers are doing a role or a show because they love it. Because they connect with it in some way. 

Here’s a quote we all need to read:

“You don’t need to be the same ethnicity as the story you’re watching in order to identify with it. If the story is told well. It [a good story] is about relating to people that you may not necessarily think you’re going to relate to in the beginning, but by the end you’re going ‘That’s me.’ ”

You know who said that?

Lin-Manuel Miranda

AKA:

The guy who wrote In The Heights and Hamilton, which did WONDERS in including people of all different ethnicities in mainstream musicals. AND in the interview he said that he was inspired from when he saw Fiddler on the Roof when he was six years old. Even though he was Puerto Rican and the show was about Jews and Russia- he related to the story about the sacrifices you make for your family. Because that’s something that everyone can relate to.

In other words, a good story can speak to anyone regardless of culture and that’s okay!

It’s okay for a Japanese cast to perform In The Heights. It’s okay for an African American to play Éponine in Les Miserables. It’s okay for people to adapt a J-Pop song into English. And it’s okay for a predominately white school to perform Hamilton or The Wiz.

If people are doing something because they genuinely love it, then there is nothing wrong with that. And this applies to everything!!!

If you’re a white girl wanting to wear dreads in your hair because you think it looks cool- GO FOR IT! If you’re a Korean man who loves listening to Latin music- GREAT! If you’re an Irish kid obsessed with learning Japanese- AWESOME! If you’re British and want to try out for Hamilton- NICE! If you’re an African American who jams out to K-Dramas- SWEET! If you’re an American who has moved to South Africa because you want to learn more about local tribes- THAT’S SO COOL!

Look:

People shouldn’t be guilt tripped into staying in their own cultural norms. I hate it when people say “you can’t enjoy this thing because it belongs to another culture.”

Doesn’t that sound a bit racist? Scratch that. IT SOUNDS A LOT RACIST!

Yo, I can kinda see where the anger comes from. I know there are people who claim to know a lot about a different culture… when they obviously don’t by their actions or mistreatment to those who actually belong to that culture. But there is a HUGE difference between those who are being “entitled” and those who just haven’t learned enough yet. Learning about a different culture takes time! Man, it takes several years just to learn a different language. Much more to learn about social norms and values. 

And if they get a few things wrong… for crying out loud, show some mercy! No one is perfect. Stop with the “all or nothing” mentality. Show some compassion for those who genuinely want to know more about your amazing heritage/culture. 

Because most of the time these people are trying their best to learn! In fact, 99% of the time, they’re self conscious because they know they are an outsider to your thing. But you can teach them. Share your culture. Let it thrive! Give people a chance! If you treat outsiders harshly for learning and enjoying your culture, then you’re harming your own representation. 

THIS KID IS OUT!

100 Dialogue Prompts: Part 5

Great team work, amigos. Here’s is part 5! 

  1. “Why is there a naked Ken Barbie doll tied up in your room?” “Goddammit, ____! I told you not to go in there!”
  2. “No Candice, I am NOT selling you my soul again.”
  3. “why is the fairy holding a gun.”
  4. “Jesus Christ on a boat made of crackers, what are you doing outside of the pod ship again?”
  5. “WHY THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT” “He said I couldn’t… and I thought it was a challenge…”
  6. “How the fuck did you dye the ocean ORANGE?!”
  7. “Why are the roses green?”
  8. “Great, you made death angry.”
  9. ”この___だ!”
  10. “That better be a press on tattoo.”
  11. “If you only listened to the nature, you could learn more than humans ever passed to us.”
  12. “So, we’re dead?” “Well, kind of… yeah.”
  13. “Remind me again why you have a centaur tied up in your truck?”
  14. “Can you stop staring into my soul every time we meet? I feel exposed.”
  15. “You do realize that he wasn’t breathing when he spoke to us, right?”
  16. “I liked you better when you where possessed by that demon friend of yours”
  17. “You’re absolutely in love with him and have been for at least 2 years if you don’t go tell him how you feel I swear to god I will”
  18. “There are worse things in life than death.” “Nobody asked you,Lucifer.” “Just saying.”
  19. “Well, it’s wonderful that you’re having a sexuality crisis, but in case you forgot, we’re kind of in the middle of STOPPING THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!”
  20. “Why is there a horse crashing on our couch?” “Oh, that’s Satan.”
  21. “Why would I hang out with you? You’re so incompetent! Your sacrifice to the faeries was so insufficient!”
  22. “Where the hell did the dragon go?! He was right here!”
  23. “Ok, the recipie calls for two cups of lemon and a cup of sugar, but all I see are cough syrup and battery acid…”
  24. “What do you mean today’s not a Tuesday?!”
  25. “So everyone on Earth had the same dream as me?”
  26. “you know what will solve that? Scotch.”
  27. “I didn’t ask for this!” “… you didn’t?”
  28. “How is it that the least likely outcome is always the outcome I receive?!” “You should go buy a lottery ticket.”
  29. “Guys, i know you’re all busy, but if any of you wants the dinner done, i will need my arm back”
  30. “Of COURSE I care about you. That’s why I sold your soul on the black market.”
  31. “JOHN I AM BEGINNING TO QUESTION THE VALIDITY OF YOUR PLAN” “AS AM I ALEX, AS AM I”
  32. “What?”
  33. “I will take the concept of my rage, transform it into a physical weapon, and use it to BEAT YOU TO DEATH!”
  34. “Did you really HAD to slap the shark?!” “I mean… If you want me to kick it-”
  35. “I don’t care, your tamagotchi dying is not an excuse to wake me up before noon!”
  36. “You are telling me that the socks with hearts that I’ve been mocking since the first day you arrived are, in fact, what keep you alive?” “Yes!” “What?”
  37. “So you really want me to believe that you’re actually from the future?”
  38. “Dude. What have you done. Now we HAVE TO save those aliens!”
  39. “Can you just stop?” “God no, why would I do that?”
  40. “Hey at least I get laid doing it”
  41. “While that’s a lovely story, it doesn’t quite explain the fires.”
  42. “Dude, please tell me that you planned to deal with her guardian angel when you killed her.”
  43. “That’s such a stupid idea… let’s do it.”
  44. “What do you MEAN this just HAPPENS?!” “All the time, actually.”
  45. “I swear, one day you’ll kill us both.” “Oh please, I’ve never been that reckless.” “…” “That was ONE TIME!”
  46. “Why did you buy a nuke?!” “Why wouldn’t I? It was on sale”
  47. “I am fueled purely by rage and instant coffee.”
  48. “How are you a million years old, bit you can’t even remember who George Washington is?”
  49. “Because I gave not, a single shit.”
  50. “Is that a marijuana? In my good  Christian suburbs?!”
  51. “WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT KILLING PEOPLE?? YOU NEVER USE THE DRAGON, YOU IDIOT”
  52. “I don’t care if he’s a unicorn, NO ONE EATS MY MINI EGGS!”
  53. “Jesus Christ Lewis! *Again* with the Snails?” “It’s Thursday! You said Thursday’s were okay!”
  54. “Here’s a story for you. I woke up in Vegas as a makeup guru. I was REALLY drunk.”
  55. “If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you…WAIT, NO IT WAS A JOKE, STOP!”
  56. “You’re kinda like hitchhiking Ghost Busters, aren’t you?”
  57. “For gods sake, ditch the fanny pack”
  58. “Take the tomato!” “No, I don’t want the tomato” “JUST TAKE THE TOMATO”
  59. “‘That’s no moon!’ Everyone  remembered Jimmy’s words that night as he scolded his friends for half-heartedly pulling their pants down.”
  60. “WHY IS THERE A BEAR IN MY BATHROOM”
  61. “Can you believe it?” “Just barely.”  "Man, I never thought he would ACTUALLY throw the chair.“
  62. "What did you THINK girl scout cookies were made of?”
  63. “Really? That’s not what I heard from Mrs. Sanchez across the hall!”   “Mom she’s literally a possessed cow, why do you listen to her?”
  64. “You got the rubber chicken, cheese whiz, and dish soap?” “Yep” “Ok, let’s do this!”
  65. “Are you building a life-sized Godzilla at 3am again?”
  66. “Don’t get pissy at me, YOU’RE the one who didn’t say what kind of tea bags to get for the clown!”
  67. "So YOU’RE the guy the math textbooks warned us about.”
  68. “Where’s our cat?” “I thought you were responsible for it?..”
  69. “What do you mean I’m half demon”
  70. “why are you duct taping a cat to the ceiling?” “aesthetic.”
  71. “Hope is a lie. So is philosophy, morality, language in general, the sky, dogs, and about a third of the population of Michigan.”
  72. “So let me get this straight. You filled a Darth Vader costume… With cats?”
  73. “How did I die this time?” “Well, it was pretty quick. I missed it, but from what I can tell, you convinced an entire school of 4000 people to throw watermelons at you all at the same time.” “…And?” “The impact of the watermelons threw you back a couple hundred kilometers and you landed in the ocean…inside the mouth of a particularly hungry shark.” “Goddamn it I wanted this death to be metal!”
  74. “Yesterday I learned that my childhood friend was a demon.”
  75. “Please tell me you said 'What bothers me most.’ "Yes? What the hell did you think I said?” Well….it kinda sounded like “His father’s meatloaf.’
  76. "Goddammit, why won’t you die?!”  "I DON’T FUCKING KNOW! “
  77. "I’d appreciate it if you fucking stopped, thanks.”
  78. “What the hell is this?” “It’s jello, you eat it”
  79. "You didn’t” “I did and I made them watch”
  80. "Why in the hell did you think this was a good idea?” “Look, YOU try saying 'No’ to not just a primordial deity, but my little sister as well.” “…Ok, you got me there.”
  81. “How do you know that it’s supposed to look like this?”
  82. “Are you making *tea*?!” “Well what else am I supposed to do?” “I don’t know maybe STOP THE MONSTER THATS RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!!”
  83. “Why are you in a dress?” “Lucifer wanted to have a tea party. You don’t say no to Lucifer”
  84. “So you’re telling me that aliens invaded while I was on vacation?”
  85. “I appreciate the gesture but I prefer my horses fried rather than alive.”
  86. *whining* “But Mooommm, I don’t want to save the woooorrld!”
  87. “Now I know not to cry there”
  88. “What if we DIDNT kill the king every Thursday” “Good idea we’ll kill him on Fridays instead.”
  89. “So you’re a zombie now?” “I guess I am” “So what are you gonna do about it?” “*shrug* I don’t know….”
  90. “I guess you weren’t joking when you said that the world is ruled by ants”
  91. “When I die, tell everyone 'I told you so.’”
  92. “You’re not real… You’re only in those silly books!” “Correction, my dear, you’re the fictional one.”
  93. “There was no 'free pie’ you moron! You stole it!”
  94. “Okay, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that my pet rock has gained sentience, just like we planned! The bad news is that it turns out he’s evil and is currently building a rock army with the intent of taking over the world. aaaand, he’s trying to get Mt. Everest on his side.”
  95. “Why is our baby on a wanted poster?”
  96. “Zombies are people too, Mom!”
  97. “… I’m gonna go for it. Hold my head for me real quick, and don’t put it on a mannequin like you did last time.”
  98. “Fascinating… I was unaware that was physically plausible.” “I know right.”
  99. “ACHOO!” “Bless you.” “No sorry, that won’t work on me.”
  100. “Bye, Felicia. Take you and your cat ears! GO!”

Prepare yourselves, because starting from tomorrow we will be making ‘100 Prompts That Will Make You Cry’ lists. Hope you enjoy this one. Which prompt do you like the most?

look at me - i will never pass for a perfect bride

so i know i already made a retold mulan post but i just LOVE MULAN SO MUCH so here’s another

in the original myth mulan isn’t really a clumsy fish out of water. she’s strong and smart and the reason she goes to war is because she’s the most qualified person in her family to fight, regardless of gender.

so how about this: mulan’s a fighter. she knows exactly who she is, like in the original myth, she’s knows how to be the blossoming flower and the great stone dragon. she’s still mulan though, so she still doesn’t memorize the silly ways she’s supposed to be a good wife and has little patience for appearing graceful while pouring tea. she’s innovative and courageous and beautiful, but no one is under any illusions about what kind of wife she’ll be.

and the matchmaker is the matchmaker for the li family as well, for this great big part of china. and general li wants his son to be married before he goes off to war, wants his son to have a reason to fight to live, like a wife waiting for him. and the matchmaker reads the stars and the tea leaves and the astrology charts, and no matter what all the signs point to one thing: the honorable li shang is destined to marry the insolent, arrogant fa mulan.

the matchmaker isn’t going to let that happen, she refuses to be responsible for that disaster of a wedding. so she sends her most beautiful girls, the ones that are obedient and quiet and know their roles, the ones that are eager to marry into the li family.

and each of them are entertained and met and sent back. shang is many things, but smooth isn’t one of them, he has nothing to say to these quiet girls who smile at him, feels large and awkward around their polite smiles. so he and his father go to the matchmaker’s village, shang reluctantly and his father to demand she stops messing with them and provides a proper bride.

it’s on the day that mulan and the other girls are parading in the street. shang sees a girl - mulan - hurry into the end of the line, jumping over a bench and darting around a careening wagon to get there, and stifles a laugh.

then there’s no reason to laugh at all, because a group of huns have decided that this village is in their way, and attack.

everyone scatters, women hide, children hide, and most of the men do too. shang and his father join the fight with some of the other men who hadn’t hid, and these men are starved, clearly not with shan yu, so even though they’re outnumbered they’ll likely win.

shang sees a hun go to attack the girl he’d seen earlier, the girl for whatever reason hadn’t run and hid. the hun raises a sword above his head to strike her down, and shang is so sure he’s about to see this pretty girl lose her head.

but she doesn’t. instead she rolls out of the way, and pops up, headbutting him in the stomach. she takes his sword from his now-slack grip and plunges it into his chest. without hesitation or pause the girl joins the fight, swinging the sword expertly and cutting down every man who stands against her. soon they’re fighting back to back, and shang has never felt more in sync with another person. she cuts off the head of the last hun, and shang has never seen anyone more beautiful than this girl, dress ripped and make up smudged and covered in blood that isn’t hers.

“mulan,” one of the other girls says, peaking out of a store front, “is it over?”

the girl, mulan, looks out over the dozen dead men and says, grimly, “it’s barely begun.” she searches the crowd, finding and old man and yelling, “gather the bodies, we’ll burn that at dusk outside of the village. everyone else,” her eyes sweep across the gathered people, and shang is struck by the fact that this girl isn’t well liked. there’s anger and disapproval in many of the faces, but they’re listening. these people don’t like her. but they do trust her. “let’s clean this all up. these were bandits, not soldiers. there’s nothing more to fear.”

“what if there are more?” the other girl asks, arms wrapped around herself.

mulan raises her stolen sword and says, “then i will slice them to ribbons. this is our village, and this is our country. any who would try to take it from us - from me - will suffer the consequences.”

and it shouldn’t be comforting, hearing words of violence from this young girl, yet everyone around them relaxes, and gets moving, gather the bodies and tending the wounded.

“who are you?” his father asks, and someone who doesn’t know him might think he was angry, but shang can tell he’s impressed.

mulan turns to them and bows, “my apologies. i am fa mulan, daughter of fa zhou. thank you for helping us.” she stands, and shang meets her eyes for the first time.

he swallows, and blurts out, “you - you fight good.”

his father coughs to hide his laughter, but mulan’s eyes crinkle at the corners. “thank you. you do as well.”

and they just keep standing there smiling at each other until his father claps his hands and is like okay - they’ll have to report this to the emperor, no time to dawdle, have to go now.

so they take their leave, and shang thinks this is the last time he’ll see fa mulan.

except there’s still the draft, and this time mulan doesn’t take no for an answer, won’t hear of it. her father is injured and old and she is young and fit to fight. she will go in his place.

so she arrives at the camp, prepared to pretend and lie - except she goes to meet her commanding officer and it’s him, that boy who had fought with her. shang’s eyes widen, but they’re in front of too many people. he can see it on her face, her fear, and she hadn’t shown any fear when she was facing down over a dozen huns, but she does now. so he makes his choice and says nothing, pretends he buys her story.

she tracks him down that night and demands an explanation. he says this war is too important to kill good warriors, whatever gender they are. he swears to keep her secret. mulan is his best soldier from the beginning, and means to treat her like anyone else, but it’s impossible. she isn’t like anyone else, is strong and smarter and braver than them. they argue tactics, and she’s the only one who can give him a workout in hand to hand, and he doesn’t have trouble finding his words with her. he finds himself falling in love with her, but doesn’t say anything. she’s not here for love, she’s here for a war. he vows to say something if they survive this, but it’s unlikely that will happen.

they head to the front earlier. they get there in time to provide back up for his father and his army, and it’s a loss but not a slaughter. his father is too distracted to notice ping is the girl from the village. all he knows is this soldier had led the second wave of attacks, and it was thanks to her any of them were alive at all. they prevent half of the huns from getting through the pass, but that’s still an army heading for the imperial city. the general is injured, so mulan and shang lead the army after him.

they find him at the mountain, and just like before mulan uses the cannon to destroy the army. she knew it would spell their death, but it was worth it, for her people, for her country, for her family. this time it’s shang that won’t accept her death, that tries to drag her unconscious body to safety. only he fails, and mulan becomes buried under the snow.

they return to the city, and shang is besides himself - the woman he loves is dead, she saved them all and she’s gone, and he’ll never recover from this. only he can’t tell his father this, their friends. they think he mourns a friend, not the woman he wanted to make his wife.

except mulan survives, and sees the other huns as well. only she kills them there before they can get to the city, and decides this is for the best. fa ping dies honorably in battle, and fa mulan is free to return home to her family.

so general li decides that it’s time to go to that matchmaker again, and demand she stop playing games. the matchmaker confesses that she thought the bride was unsuitable, and the general demands she send her anyway.

so mulan has barely had the chance to settle back home when the matchmaker shows up at her door saying she’s sending her to see a potential husband, but not who. so mulan shows up all made up to li household and shang drags himself into the room, already resigned to a loveless marriage, when they see each other. “mulan?” he demands, and his father is all pleased because it’s the fighting girl from the village.

but then his son starts crying and they run to each other. shang picks her up in his arms and she clings to him, and shang is babbling about how he thought she was dead, and mulan is so overjoyed that she’s with shang, and shang wants her, that she kisses him without explaining.

except now shang’s father demands an explanation. so they give it to him, the whole story comes tumbling out, and he stares hard at her, and remembers her as ping, the brave soldier that had saved them all. he’s not upset - he ecstatic. he goes to the emperor and tells him everything, and the emperor officially offers mulan an officer position in the army. she accepts, as long as shang is by her side. shang seconds this, and they set in motion the plans for the wedding.

fa mulan and li shang get married and lead armies and live happily ever after, just like the stars intended.


read more of my retold fairytales here

Alright kids. It’s been awhile, so it’s time to buckle up for another one of my Patented Mob Psycho 100 Essay/Meta posts (patent not pending).

As much as I love and appreciate how Studio BONES adapted Mob Psycho 100, one of the things that always bothered me is how they adapted 100% Sadness.

Y’see, in the anime, it’s a fairly quick buildup. It’s clean and it’s pretty.

Mob wakes up to rubble where a school once stood.

The beautiful Ghibli tears roll down as he realizes what’s happened.

He curls up as the emotions well up within him.

And he unleashes 100% Sadness as sparkling tears cascade down towards the audience.

It’s so sad, right? Super sad! Poor Mob!!

But in the manga, things are….slightly different.

Mob wakes up not sitting neatly with his feet folded underneath him, but instead sprawled out on his hands and knees, hair in a frenzy from his psychic powers still being active. He’s not looking straight ahead at the remnants of the school, but upwards at the destruction still going on in the sky above, like some kind of giant looming over him. Mob doesn’t just look small. This shows how he feels small.

The narrator explains Mob’s thoughts in further detail here. It’s not just “Mob wakes up, realizes he Hecked Up, and feels Really Sad about that.”

This is Mob’s trauma, a thing that has made him feel helpless and alone. It’s the thing he hates about himself. And while the audience can certainly infer this from the animation alone, hearing it (or reading it, in this case) helps compound this fact and draw it out. It’s not just sadness Mob feels, it’s many, many complex negative feelings he’s been storing away inside himself for 4 agonizing years.

His percentage meter slowly ticks up and the thoughts and feelings build up–

And he begins to bawl.

Not dainty fat dollops rolling neatly down the middle of his cheeks. Not cutesy sparkly anime shoujo tears.

This is some absolutely unrepentant ugly crying.

This is Mob feeling so overwhelmed, that the careful control he’s practiced his entire life isn’t just gingerly removed, but absolutely smashed to smithereens. His tears pool and drip out of his mouth like drool. He can’t even fathom how gross it must look because he is so overcome with built-up negative feelings that he has never allowed himself to express.

His percentage meter peaks at 100% and then–

It’s panels like these that really tick me off when people say ONE isn’t a good artist. Because in comics, good art isn’t just drawing people realistically or with proper proportions. Good art is utilizing the space in a panel to convey meaning and symbolism to help tell the story.

Mob isn’t just curling up into a ball here. He collapses into a bow before his own powers that overwhelm him from a story standpoint and also overwhelm the panel.

Rubble cascades down from the sky, mimicking his own tears and the likes of rain. It is so powerful, it encroaches past the black border at the top of the panel, dominating the scene. The weight of it and his own sadness presses him into the earth.

This panel, this expression, shows how not just miserable this whole affair has made him, but how absolutely terrified he is. Mob at this point has been under Reigen’s tutelage for 4 years.

He never knew any other espers growing up. Reigen was his one hope at learning to control and stop this aspect of himself, and he is currently watching that hope churn amidst the remains of the school, shredded to pieces all around him.

The contrast of the calm emptiness of the bottom left only intensifies the sheer chaos of his powers at work around him in the top and right.

This is Mob’s duality.

The anime ends the scene with Mob watching as he neatly mends Teru’s school back together, his back turned to the audience. It’s nearly identical to the panel in the manga, but there are several key differences:

1. You can still see the cracks and tears in the school, despite Mob fixing it

2. Mob has his back to the school, turned away from it.

3. The lightning flashing in the background.

Let’s break these points down.

1. The cracks in the school stood out to me the first time I read this scene. What it portrays is that although Mob certainly “fixed” the school, he can never totally “undo” what has just happened, no matter how hard he tries. The narrator even makes this point–this was Mob’s “meager” attempt at fixing the situation. Even if he did somehow manage to repair the school to functionality, there will no doubt be remnants of damage and evidence of the destruction it went through. Contrasted with the anime where the school is neatly glued back together, it feels at odds, and even contradictory to the narrator’s previous insertion.

2. Mob is not looking at the school. He does not want to face the aftermath of what he’s done. He can try to mend the situation all he likes, but ultimately the end result is the same: He failed to change. In yet another spectacular use of composition, the destruction directly looming over his head in the background is a perfect mirror to his current mental state. Where Mob expresses, things are broken.

3. The grey overcast of the anime coupled with the soft strumming of the guitar carries sadness, but in a cathartic way. (After all, crying is known to help bring back chemical balance when our brains are overwhelmed with emotion.)

The manga, by contrast, feels foreboding. The framing of the scene shows Mob just below the chaos of his powers returning the school to its prior shape, him large and especially prominent, as opposed to smaller and meeker in the anime. Most importantly, there is lightning flashing in the background. There are no gentle sunbeams peaking through after a harsh rain, there are no soft painterly textures in the clouds.

It is still dark. The clouds are not soft nor comforting. Lightning flashes to signal continuing storms and danger. It is a warning:

This is not the last time we will see such cataclysmic destruction.

History of YOI fandom

As a YOI fandom grandparent, I felt it was my duty to write out all the fandom explosions for the newer fans who weren’t there to witness the big bang and gradual week-by-week creation of this universe. All the arguments, people blowing things out of proportion, blaming characters, death theories, awesome fans clearing up miscommunications, YOI breaking the internet… 

This isn’t a post to call out specific people on their arguments and theories - I’ll stay respectfully away from restarting flames and picking fights, thankyouverymuch. Rather, this is an overview of the topics and conflicting views that swept across hundreds and thousands of people and prompted strong reactions. I’m doing this now, because I know that 6 months later, 1 year later, 3 years later, etc. there will be new fans who will have many of the same exact arguments. We’ve been there and done that. I see fans now who say things without knowing where the spelling/quote comes from, or who don’t realize how much has changed, or don’t know why there are certain perceptions of characters. So here’s a little bit of passing down history.

I also don’t want to forget the crazy ride this was. Laugh with me at the silly theories; smile with me at how deeply YOI has impacted our lives.
For those of us old-timers, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Remember when…

—————-
(Large arguments will be italicized or bold. Special thanks to @sachiro for reminding me of a bunch of stuff I missed, and looking over the draft in its various stages of being written and edited.)

Pre-series

  • Idea that there would be a love triangle (Yuri P.–Yuri K.–Victor)
  • Some fans started spelling Yuri Katsuki with two “u” in order to tell them apart.
  • Victuri ship name created for Victor x Yuri K. (in a comment to the PV)
  • The title
    • “lol ‘Yuri’ on Ice? Where are all the lesbians?”
    • “When it said Yuri on Ice, I thought we would get girls. Y’know what I mean?”
    • “Yuri on Ice? More like Yaoi on Ice! amiright?”
    • etc.
  • J.J. misspelling (English spelling “Jean Jack” instead of French Canadian “Jean-Jacques”)
    • you can see the remnants of this in the audience banners during the episodes, but it was corrected to “Jean-Jacques” on the official website and the in-show text
  • Phichit x Seung-gil ship created (there was more art for this than for Victor x Yuuri)

Episode 1

  • Victor vs. Viktor spelling arguments 
    • Although “Victor” is the official spelling and seen in-show, people argued that the creators are wrong and that we fans know better than them about Russian culture - thus the “Viktor” spelling was born.
    • People argued back that spelling is subjective and you can spell a name multiple ways and still be correct - thus transliterating his Russian name into English as “Victor” would be just as acceptable.
    • The YOI wiki held fast for a time on using official spellings and information from the official website, but the transition of power led to a new team that started using agreed-upon info rather than solely using official info. “Viktor” replaced “Victor” on the website.
      • this change from “Victor” to “Viktor” on the wiki happened around episode 2~3, but the arguments were in the page comments since episode 1 – with moderators explaining their reasoning with sticking to official sources.
  • Victor is a flirtatious over-the-top character who will seduce Yuuri
  • Victor is the overwhelming seme and Yuuri is the shy whimpering uke.

Keep reading

The 3 Elements of a FLAWED Character

You know that moment when you find an old notebook, and you start reading the story you were writing years ago, and after about one page…  

And then after a few more paragraphs … 

This has happened to me several times. On every occasion I want to curl up in a small box and wait until everyone forgets I was ever a writer. And every time, no matter which old story it is, what sends me crawling into that box is the same thing: the main character. Even after I had learned to incorporate empathetic qualities into my heroes (as listed in the last post), my protagonists were still deeply annoying – if not more unbearable than before. 

Why? What made them this way? They had winningly empathetic traits! Were they terrible people still? No, and that was the problem. They were perfect. Smart. Noble. Brave. They had dazzling martial arts skills. They loved people and people loved them. They were Chosen in some way and destined for greatness. Angst-plagued though, of course. They were tragic little heroes, misunderstood and abused, driven by the desire to vanquish all who caused them suffering.  

I could’ve composed a Gaston-like song enumerating their virtues and sorrows. 

And the only thing that would’ve made them more punchable is if they did use antlers in all of their decorating.

Characters can’t be completely likable. Yes, they must possess strengths that win the reader’s empathy, but without an equal amount of flaws … they can’t function. If they’re not flawed, they shouldn’t be the main character. Story is about someone changing, for better or worse. Under the surface, all good stories are about this process of human growth or decline. So if a hero is perfect from the beginning, there’s nowhere they need to go. And consequently, there’s no reason for a reader to follow. 

The inclination to follow a story is begun with interest in the premise, of course – but it is locked in when empathy occurs, when we begin to care – the moment the reader transposes their own external and internal lives onto a character’s life. A process which starts when a reader recognizes a shared something between themselves and the hero. Sometimes, this is a goal or strength or situation. And sometimes, it’s a flaw. We meet a character that is weak in the same way we are, and a strong internal connection is born between the reader’s life and the life on the page. On a deep level we’re thinking “This person is like me. What happens to them? How do they deal with it?” And because of this connection based on what is lacking in our lives, we want to live the story, see how it ends, and find out how the main character – who is just like us – reached that ending. Because it’s our lives we’re reading about, and if we play it out in advance, maybe we can reach a positive ending too. 

So! In what way should a main character be FLAWED? 

1) Weak in a way that only hurts themselves. 

Let’s call these MIND.

2) Flawed in a way that hurts others. 

Let’s call these MORAL.

The most realistic – and most compelling – characters have both types.  

And if a character has these flaws, the story must be steering them towards what they NEED to overcome them. The main character needs to learn something, a truth, a new way to live. This is the theme of the story. Theme is a statement the story seeks to prove, to the main character and the reader, about how to live a better life. It’s the solution to whatever moral and mental conundrum they’re facing. So … 

3) The SOLUTION to their moral and mental weaknesses. 

How does that work? To illustrate, let’s look at Stitch and Alexander Hamilton. (What a combination.) 

STITCH

Moral: He’s destructive. Violent. Rude. Vindictive.  Manipulative. Enjoys the suffering of his enemies.

 And in general, pushes everyone and everything away.  

Mind: Despite his violent ways, he yearns to belong, and senses that he can’t.

He believes he’s alone, he’s unlovable, he’s monstrous, he’s never had a family and never will – he’s lost, like the Ugly Duckling. He’s missing a family he’s never had.  

Solution: He just needs to start treating people like family to be accepted into one. 

HAMILTON

Moral: He’s selfish. (“Be careful with that one love, he will do what it takes to survive.”) He’s arrogant. He’s self-centered. (Think of the entirety of Burn.) And in his obsessive journey to succeed, he pushes everyone out of his path.  

Mind: He has a fixation on death, on time running out, which drives his manic desire to achieve. (“I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.) He’s insecure. ("Graduate in two and join the revolution. He looked at me like I was stupid. I’m not stupid.”) 

Solution: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? Eliza tells his story. Hamilton’s goal throughout the story is a legacy; he strives to achieve this immortality in any way possible, even if it means neglecting his loved ones, or even ruining their lives. He needs to learn that his loved ones are enough. Eliza is enough. And through her, he will live on. 

What would have happened if they weren’t flawed? The stories would have been boring. What would have happened if their flaws had been treated like attributes that didn’t have to change? The stories would have ceased to be. Progress couldn’t happen, because by accepting the status quo of their mental and moral states, we’re refusing the call to adventure outright. They’d just exist in the same state they were in the setup, stagnant, somewhat lifeless. Flawed characters must motor towards that NEED, or solution, that will save their lives. 

(I realize this “need” element is rather vague, so it’ll get its own post.)  

But in conclusion, this balance of strengths and flaws – and how this fictional person deals with the adventure they’re thrown into – is what makes a main character compelling, empathetic, and real. 

So when I unearth a notebook years in the future, containing one of stories I’m writing now, maybe the main character won’t make me feel like this:

Maybe it’ll even be like this: 

And best of all, maybe one of those characters will make a reader somewhere feel understood and helped and not alone. Wow. That would be amazing.

Well, there’s my writing motivation for today. I’m going to go make my main character more of a lovable jerk.

[!] Please Read.

To say that we wish there was another much nicer way that we could do this is an understatement. Though a group of writers involved in this incident have come to the agreement that this must be done not only for the sake of the people who are a part of these networks, but also to let the general public, their and our readers, know of this situation and who the people that they are idolising really are.

So, without further ado, welcome to the truth about the Penetration Station:

Keep reading

between the devil & the deep blue sea (m)

cr. 

Words: 28,455. (rip)

Genre: Pirate Jimin au + smut, fluff, angst.

Pairing: Jimin x Reader.

Summary: “No matter the endeavour you were on, no matter the storms you encountered on rocky seas, or the possible threat of encountering blood-thirsty pirates, no one intrigued you or intimidated you more than the thought of him, of Park Jimin, the most notorious of pirates, the most brutal of men, the devil incarnate.”

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Long Live Octopus Pie

Three cheers!

I check the webpage out of habit, but Meredith Gran’s comic work Octopus Pie is over.  I feel like this is how sports fans feel when a jersey is retired and lifted to the rafters, forever in its untouchable place, time divided between when it was active and whatever comes after.  

That might sound grandiose, but in my mind, nothing tops the ten year run of Octopus Pie.  And in the lifespan of what we call Webcomics, 2007-2017 is a granddaddy of a run, worthy of names like “pioneering,” “influential” and “groundbreaking” because in the space of those years, in this new medium, there was room to be those things without any hyperbole.  The comics landscape of the past decade needed filling out and Meredith carved her space out with precision, showing a polish and drive and a talent from the beginning that set a high standard.  

I’m guessing that I started Hark a Vagrant about six months after Octopus Pie began, but Meredith’s was already a name to be reckoned with, due to the solid reputation of her previous comic Skirting Danger and because she was an honest to god trained animator in a sea of stickmen comics or two-dudes-on-a-couch comics (RIP forever *kisses fingers, holds them to the sky*). I was intimidated by her sheer capability.  But inspired too.  I did not need to be intimidated, she was one of the first people I met in comics, and easily one of the best.

Meredith and I briefly shared an apartment and a studio, and I can tell you, she can draw circles around everyone you know.  I later shared a studio with Mike Holmes, who could also draw circles around everyone, and now the two of them are married in some sort of talent supernova.  I am happy for them, even though I feel like I make grade three crayon pictures next to them.  But the other thing that being friends with Meredith for a long time has shown is the cutting wit, the care for stories done right, the love for a medium that will take you through highs and lows that come with comics, and lately through her job as a comics professor, the nurturing of upcoming talent.  I see all of this in Octopus Pie, a comic where character was paramount, where plots were expertly moved, a fine balance was found between the messiness of people and the fun you can have with stories, where subtle emotional movements where rendered with room to breathe, where I felt like I could reach deep into the hearts and minds of the characters on the page because they had been fleshed out so well over the years that they seemed as real people, people that I loved.

I don’t really like that phrase “comics will break your heart,” commonly attributed to Schultz, or Kirby, it doesn’t really matter.  You see it all the time, mostly when people are reckoning with the fact that they work in an unforgiving medium.  I don’t even know what it is about the saying that I don’t like.  Maybe it’s because we all know that comics are hard work, we all know that you might put your life and blood and heart into something and you might get nothing back.  There are no surprises to be found there - it’s not a bad day you had, it’s a life you’re well aware of living, if you do.  But we love the perserverers in comics.  The people who live the phrase are the ones who inspire us the most.

I’m saying all this, and pardon the segue, because I have seen Octopus Pie, some of the finest story work of my generation, passed for recognition time and again and it confuses the hell out of me, truly.  I don’t want to turn a tribute to a work I hold dear into sour grapes, that’s not the intention here, but lord above, if I can’t point this out now, then when can I?  We all know that there are no guarantees in this life (comics will break your heart) but I’ll say this once and then leave it: this is a comic of quality that was miles ahead of so many of its peers, and it deserved better, industry wise.  To wrap up the earlier point, maybe I don’t like CWBYH because it implies that you should shrug your shoulders and not ask for better every time, that a short end of some kind of stick is expected even.  That’s easy when it’s yourself, but speaking as a fan now, I say to heck with shrugging, I want to put Meredith on my shoulders and parade her around and dump her into a Scrooge McDuck thing full of awards.  

Actually that sounds pointy and bad and the Ignatz awards are bricks to begin with so maybe forget that analogy but you get the idea.

I hope you read Octopus Pie, I hope you buy the books.  I hope the legacy of it is long and full, because it always will be for me.  And I think readers will agree, because I know this devoted fan base pretty well.  I read the comments, I’ve sat next to Mer at comic shows, I’ve listened to some of the emails that touched her.  I know this is a comic that meant a lot, to a lot of us.  In this world of work we put our hearts and souls into to begin with, that is a wonderfully worthy thing.

I do not know what Meredith will do next, but whatever it is, I am here for it, seat pulled close to the stage.  The retired jersey is in the rafters, the game is still being played by the people who dreamed better because it was there.  Aw what can I say, I’m sentimental!

 Thanks, Meredith. <3

Beauty and the Beast is the Hobbit

really though. it’s kind of bizarre

We begin with a prologue. A male narrator tells us the story of a secluded kingdom/palace that fell into decay..

The narrator then tells us how his kingdom/palace fell into ruin. The ruler of the kingdom/palace became selfish and heartless, obsessed with one of the “seven deadly sins”: (vanity or greed).

Their selfishness drew a powerful evil magic (an enchantress or a dragon.)

It also drew a curse. The enchantress caused the Prince to turn into a beast. There’s a similar concept in the Hobbit. The gold   in Erebor causes the people who obsess over it to get “dragon sickness”– a sort of curse which turns them into gold-obsessed  “dragons” (beasts on the inside )….

After this dark prologue, we transition to a beautiful sunny provincial town. It’s a lovely place, but every day is the same as the day before. These hobbits/ townspeople are fussy and simpleminded. They care a lot about tradition and being “respectable.” They deeply mistrust anything new, exciting, or unfamiliar…..

We meet our second hero- a naiive and very bookish person whose name starts with a B. They can have a snarky sense of humor. They “don’t take anyone’s shit” and are far stronger than they look. They can be proud, even a little arrogant at times, but they’re very soft-hearted. They are a “pure cinammon roll.”

This person’s greatest, defining strength is their compassion. They can see the good in everyone, even in creatures who look like monsters (Belle falls in love with the Beast; Bilbo takes pity even on Gollum)

They also have a parent known for being crazy/unconventional– Belle has her father Maurice, Bilbo has his mother Belladonna Took.

Both the protagonists are different from the other simple farmer-villagers because they want more than just a simple  life.

They long for adventure….

And they’re eventually dragged into an adventure, against their will.

Our protagonist is forced to meet the The Dwarf-King/the Beast-Prince. This person is brooding, intimidating, and glowering. He rarely smiles. He has a dramatic cloak and an uncontrollable temper. He has a Tragic Past, a bizarre troop of followers, and (secretly) a good heart. 

Deep in this King/Prince’s castle is his special glowing Secret Artifact you really shouldn’t touch (Seriously don’t he will FREAK OUT). The reason why the King/Prince needs the protagonist has something to do with this enchanted artifact….


The protagonist makes an agreement to stay with the King/Prince (Belle makes a promise, Bilbo signs a contract.)

They get to know the Prince/King and his more approachable but still very weird group of followers. When the King/Prince isn’t there,  these followers sing an upbeat song to the protagonist as they expertly prepare/clean up after dinner (Be our Guest and That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates.) Their song is so upbeat you forget they’re singing it to a captive audience.

Meanwhile, the relationship between the Prince/Dwarf-king and the protagonist gets off to a very rocky start. The Prince/King secretly cares about the protagonist (later risking his life multiple times for them) but refuses to show it. Instead he acts cold, dismissive, and controlling. The protagonist, meanwhile, doesn’t know that beneath his cold facade the Prince/King really does have a heart.

Their relationship reaches a breaking point when the protagonist makes an innocent mistake, and The Prince/King lashes out at them….

The protagonist decides that, even though they promised to stay/signed a contract, they can’t do this any longer. They try to leave….


But a wolf attack changes everything.

The Prince/King defends the protagonist from wolves (or guys riding on wolves).He’s gravely injured by one of these wolves.

 The protagonist then saves his life in return.

This near-death experience brings them closer together.

The Prince realizes he was wrong about the protagonist, and about himself…

”Bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong!” Versus “I have never been so wrong in all my life.” 


There’s a lot of bonding between the Prince/King and the protagonist. The Prince/King becomes kinder, gentler. Their affection for the protagonist, and the protagonist’s kindness to them, makes the Prince/King more openly compassionate. Things are really looking up. It looks like the curse will be overcome (the Beast will become human, and Thorin won’t get the “dragon sickness” that drove his grandfather mad.)

But there’s another force to be reckoned with– a handsome, vain antagonist who loathes the Beast/the Dwarf….

(“I use antlers in all of my decorating!”)

This antagonist convinces everyone the Beast/Dwarf is evil and subhuman. (He’s very against the film’s Beast/human or dwarf/elf relationship).  He rallies a massive force to kill the Prince/King.

The protagonist, armed only with one of the Prince//King’s prized sparkly artifacts (the Mirror/the Arkenstone), tries to convince them to stop. But this only makes things worse.




At one point the Prince/King tells the protagonist to leave. Then the Prince/King, feeling betrayed and hopeless, becomes “beast-like” again. The enemy is at his doorstep but he refuses to fight,  resigned to his fate. One of his servants/followers tries to convince him to join the battle, but fails. Let them come, the Prince King thinks, let them destroy everything– he’ll remain holed up in his castle. He lets his servants/Dain’s troops fight his battle for him.

His servants/Dain’s army does well without him at first, but eventually he’s forced to join the fray. He fights one-on-one against an army/mob’s leader. There’s a moment where he thinks he’s defeated his foe….but then his enemy launches a surprise attack, stabs him, and mortally wounds him. Yet by killing the Prince/King, the evil guy also ends up killing himself. 

The protagonist rushes to the dying Prince/King’s side, blaming themselves for causing his death. The Prince/King, meanwhile, has finally redeemed himself. He apologizes for the way he acted in the past (“maybe it’s better this way”) and speaks lovingly about how wonderful the protagonist is, and how glad they are to see them one last time. The protagonist, meanwhile,  desperately insists that he will be all right.

But he isn’t. He dies. The protagonist collapses, weeping.

But then he comes back to life because love!!! In one of the films, anyway. In the other he is 50000 percent dead

BONUS:

Both films have animated and live-action adaptations. In the live-action adaptations, Ian McKellan plays one of the Prince’s allies (Cogsworth/Gandalf) while Luke Evans plays one of his adversaries (Gaston/Bard).

TL;DR: A Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Bilbo and the Dwarf (or: the Burglar and the Beast?)

From the Other Side of the Signing Table

“I don’t know what to say to you,” the girl said. “Um, thanks, I guess.”

“Thanks is good,” I replied.

Silence stretched, punctuated only by the scuffle of a Sharpie on a page.

We were in the same boat, the girl and I — both at a book festival, both at the end of a long day full of people, both in a signing line that had been going on for an hour already. There was only one big difference between us: she was on one side of the table, and I was on the other. Sometimes that difference seems to matter more than others.

Before I was published, I read a lot of accounts of what it was like to have your work out there, but I never read anything about what it was like to have yourself out there. I suppose I never really thought about it, to tell you the truth. I thought you wrote a book and hopefully people liked it and if I thought about book tours at all, I figured they involved standing on a stage for a bit before disappearing into a rental car. The truth, however, is that now — ten years and fifteen novels in to my career — most of my hours in front of people are spent in a signing line. Forty minutes on a stage or behind a table for a panel, and then two or three hours meeting a few hundred strangers. I had no idea what it would be like.

This is what it’s like.


Keep reading

The 3 Elements of a CHARACTER GOAL

You know that moment in a book or movie, near the end, where everything has gone terribly wrong? All has been lost, the main character appears to have been brutally defeated, the mentor has probably kicked the bucket, and generally things couldn’t look bleaker? 

Writing feels like that moment.

Or more accurately, one point in the writing process feels akin to that dark night. It’s that time after the intrepid writer has pushed through the first draft of the story – they’ve brainstormed the development process, sailed through the beginning, blazed through the middle – and then quite suddenly …everything falls apart.

And this despair can be summed up in one soul-crushing sentence: “What happens at the end?" 

The writer realizes that they don’t know. A giddy optimism has propelled them thus far, a chipper little voice in the back of their head assuring "Don’t worry about the end yet! It’ll sort itself out!”

That little happy voice, it turns out, is a liar. 

But your reign of terror is over, lying voice. There’s a way to fix it so you can never trick another writer again. Because knowing what happens at the end comes down to knowing something right in the beginning: knowing three integral facets of the main character. If you know this golden trio, you’ll have a much better chance of knowing exactly what happens at the end: because the end is all about these three. 

So what are these three things? 

GOAL: What the main characters wants, and will pursue throughout the story, overcoming all obstacles and enemies to obtain. 

WANT: Their reasons for wanting it, which is usually to fill some emotional void they sense in their lives, something they believe will fix life and make it complete.

NEED: What they TRULY require to fill that emotional void, to be complete. 

Yup, three of the things listed in that other post “10 Elements of a Main Character”. But now, we’re going to delve into more detail, the elements of a good Goal, a good Want, and a good Need. 

So what goes into a story GOAL? Goals should be …

SINGULAR: The character must have one objective, and only one. A desire, and the overcoming of obstacles to achieve it, form the spine of the story. If there are two, the character is split between two storylines; they are trying to balance two stories at once, confusing them and confusing the reader. 

TANGIBLE: The goal must be something REAL. Something we can see and feel. 

SPECIFIC: In addition to being tangible, it must be highly specific. If the goal was to “escape” it would have to be “escape to a definite destination”. It can’t be at all vague or easily fulfilled by many objects: it must be finding a specific object, winning a specific prize, getting to a specific destination, etc.  

Like in Tangled: The goal is “see the floating lights.”

NOT EMOTIONS/STATES OF MIND: The goal can’t be something like “happiness” or “belonging” or “love.” Those aren’t tangible, they’re not specific, and most of all the reader can’t envision it being achieved. The goal CAN be a physical representation of an emotional state; obtaining this specific and physical objective will mean achieving the emotional state. 

IMAGINABLE: We should be able to easily envision the main character achieving the goal. When we see it, we know it’s happening, know that everything has been building to this moment.

Like in Monsters Inc, we know what getting Boo back home is going to look like (though in the beginning, we don’t know that it’s going to be heartbreaking.)

NOBLE: The goal should be something the reader can cheer on. The reader understands why the main character wants it. The reader can relate to the goal, and the emotional reason behind it.

Cheer like this.

STAKES: If they fail, something will be lost. If they choose not to pursue the goal, things will be very bad. There can’t be a sense that if they stop going after the goal at any point, life could just go back to how it was. When the catalyst came in and shattered their ordinary world and everyday routine, the story entered the realm of “nothing will ever be the same” and the only way to restore order to their universe is to achieve this thing. And that thing that will be lost must be something we can relate to, something significant: love, safety, family, life, future, freedom, loved ones. 

What goes into the WANT? The want is…

CONNECTED TO GHOST: The ghost is a moment from their past that still haunts them, and is the source of their moral and psychological weaknesses. Their reasons for wanting the goal should be connected to this moment. They believe that if they achieve it, their world will be fixed, life will go back to how it was before this haunting moment occurred.

MISGUIDED: And they’re usually always wrong. Achieving the goal just as it is will never fix what’s broken in their lives. 

SAVING GRACE: It’s often this Want behind their goal that acts as their saving grace in the eyes of the reader. Sometimes it’s hard to connect with a character – they’re difficult to understand, easy to find unappealing, even downright unpleasant – until we know why they are the way they are. (Think Marlin from Finding Nemo; he’s pretty unlikable and frustrating half the time, but we know why he’s behaving that way, so it’s easier to forgive him.) 

What do all of these character NEEDS have in common?

HOW TO FIX LIFE: In their pursuit of the tangible goal, something else is revealed that will truly save their lives. This is some truth that will banish the power of the ghost, let the character see themselves clearly for the first time, and show them what needs to be done to live a better life in the future. This usually arrives right after that “Dark Night” moment, which is usually when the goal has been achieved or lost; the truth revealed in this moment will allow them to snatch victory from this darkest defeat, renew their courage, inspire them to soldier on and pursue the story goal once more. 

NEW WORLDVIEW: This crucible of battle and revelation of truth changes them. They’re not the same person anymore. They’ve conquered the thing that haunts them, overcome weaknesses, have greater knowledge of themselves and life.

Okay! So how does this work? Let’s use Wreck-It Ralph, because I’m in the mood.

What is Ralph’s Goal? 

A medal. 

A single medal will suffice. A tangible medal that we can easily envision. A specific medal, namely the one he got from Hero’s Duty.  A medal that we can imagine him obtaining, bringing to the Nicelanders, and using to change his lot in life. 

It’s easy to cheer on because it means Ralph doesn’t have to live in the garbage, alone anymore. We can relate to it, and cheer it on, because nobody wants to be alone (especially not while living in garbage). 

And the stakes for this are obvious: ___.

Now how about what Ralph wants?

This medal is connected to Ralph’s ghost which is years and years of being the bad guy. The bad, unlikable, unloved, unworthy, friendless guy. 

He thinks if he gets it, he’ll become the good guy at long last, and his loneliness and lack of self-worth will end. 

How is this his saving grace? It immediately makes the audience empathize with Ralph. Everyone, at some point, has felt alone and unloved. 


What about what he Needs?

Getting the medal doesn’t work out for Ralph. It doesn’t fix anything. What he NEEDS is this medal:

To become a hero, he needs to be the hero for Vanellope. 

New Worldview: 

“As long as that little kid likes me … “ 

So these three are the destination. These are what everything is going towards. If you know these three elements, you’ll have a much better chance of an ending forming in your head. So take that annoying little liar voice.

You know what that voice looks like?  Her. It looks like Umbridge.

Sorry I wanted you to hate it as much as I do.

Cosplay, Fanart and Plagiarism

(gif curtesy to Mel)


TL;DR: An artist traced (!) my cosplay photo without permission, gave me zero credits, sold the prints at a con and denied she’s ever seen my photo.

First, both of us, the cosplayer and the photographer, want to say that it would never have come to this if the artist would have immediately apologized to us in person, instead of being extremely rude to us and letting things escalate. A simple sorry and taking down the prints would’ve sufficed.

In the beginning of January, being hyped with the new SU episodes, I immediately fell in love with Blue Diamond and cosplayed her. Two months ago, a friend let me know that an artist she saw drew a fanart based on my photo. I was extremely flattered and happy, but also kinda sad the artist gave me zero credits. Us cosplayers and photographers work really hard to get a nice result, and everyone is happy when their photo serves as an inspiration for another artwork. I wrote a letter to her stating that I love her art, but I’d like her to credit me as a source of inspiration (adding the screen shot).

For two months, there was silence. I tried it again a few weeks ago, but again, no response. Okay, what can you do…



Last weekend we had a big con in Germany with a huge artist alley and both of us, the photographer and the cosplayer, attended. Suddenly, a friend came to us and said that there’s a girl selling this exact drawing. We were puzzled and decided to go to her booth and look at it ourselves.

Keep reading

Katsuki Yuuri is 22 and in college and disgustingly in love with Viktor Nikiforov, his boyfriend of two years.

They have a one-year-old puppy named Makkachin, whom they got from the breeder as soon as he was fully weaned. 

They live together in a gorgeous 2-bedroom apartment - with huge bay windows and what is technically a guest room, but which they’ve been calling “Phichit’s room” for as long as they’ve been living there, for how often the Thai boy stays over. Sometimes, Chris stays there too, when he’s in the country, and Phichit will complain for weeks afterwards that nothing is where he left it and someone has been rummaging in his personal belongings. (Yuuri and Viktor have long since given up questioning why he even keeps his personal belongings in their guestroom).

Viktor is a successful, best-selling author who insists on travelling to the places his books are set in the interest of accuracy even when the setting has next to nothing to do with the plot, because he’s just extra like that.

Yuuri and Makkachin travel with him whenever they can, but being a college student doesn’t give you that much free time, so most often Yuuri has to stay at home, or come home early. He doesn’t mind too much. He’s never actually alone for more than a few days at a time anyways (again, Phichit crashes at their place a lot).

They’re happy and disgustingly adorable and #couplegoals for literally everyone.

And then…they break up. And neither of them will say why. All anyone knows is that it started with a tiny little argument, and spiralled quickly into something monstrous and devastating.

And within the month, Yuuri moves out of his gorgeous 2-bedroom apartment with the huge bay windows and the guest room that they used to call Phichit’s room.

He leaves behind the boyfriend he was disgustingly in love with, and the puppy that whines pitifully after him, scratching at the door and begging to be let out.

He’s done uni by then, and so is Phichit. They have nothing left to tie them to that city, and because Phichit is beautiful and perfect and a way better best friend than Yuuri deserves, he convinces Yuuri to move with him across the country, to sunny beaches and towering palms, to a place as far away from home as they can possibly get, while staying in the same country.

And Viktor? He’s left behind in a too big apartment, with a heartbroken puppy that lies listlessly on Yuuri’s side of the bed and can only fall asleep when listening to Yuuri’s breathless laughter through old vacation videos on Viktor’s laptop.

Once their lease is up, Viktor decides to move back home to Russia, to parents who hug him tightly when they see him standing miserable and tired on their doorstep, and a little brother who barely recognizes him without his ex boyfriend attached to his hip.

He keeps writing his books (tragedies now, instead of the romance his fans have grown to expect from him), even sells his movie rights to some of them, and Makkachin starts running and playing again, tongue lolling happily out of his mouth and bouncing with excitement whenever Yura mentions the beloved “w” word. These days, Viktor always takes him travelling with him, ever since Makkachin got sick with anxiety the first time Viktor left him behind at his parents’ home for a week.

And meanwhile, Yuuri learns to live with a gaping hole in his chest where his heart used to be, so painful some days he can barely breathe.

Phichit is with him every step of the way, his partner-in-crime, his brother in all but blood, his platonic soulmate. (It’s a warm and sticky summer night when they lie on a sandy beach and listen to the waves lapping quietly at their bare toes, and they promise each other that if neither of them are married by forty, they’ll just marry each other. It’s not exactly what Yuuri had wanted from his future, but it still makes him clutch at his stomach in breathless laughter when Phichit suggests it.)

Viktor had always been the author out of the two of them, the one that knew how to string words in just the right order to paint a vivid picture in the minds of his readers.

But Yuuri isn’t too bad at it himself, he thinks. He decides to give it a try.

He paints a story of a clumsy couple, charmingly naive, so in love, so perfectly imperfect. He paints a story of a couple that bickers and banters, fights and then makes up with whispered apologies and warm cuddles. He writes about a couple that fights and makes up, fights and makes up, fights and makes up until…quite suddenly…they don’t.

He writes about the couple that goes their separate ways. A couple that is too young, too inexperienced for this thing they have between them, this thing that’s so huge, so important, so beautiful, they’re both afraid to lose it, so they throw it away themselves.

And then, just because he wants to give them the one thing he’d long given up hope for, he ends their story with a question.

(Can we give this a second chance?)


Katsuki Yuuri is 26, and disgustingly in love with Viktor Nikiforov, the boy he broke up with three and a half years ago.

He has a cute little 2-year-old toy poodle named Vicchan, whom his roommate, his platonic soulmate (his potential fiancé?) had given to him as a present to get over his broken heart.

They live together in a cozy little 1-bedroom apartment just ten minutes away from the beach, with a sofa-bed that their friends, Guang-Hong and Leo, like to crash on sometimes when they’re in the middle of another lovers’ quarrel.

Yuuri is a best-selling author, with his one-hit wonder, On My Love, garnering international attention and countless desperate requests for a sequel.

Yuuri likes to take Vicchan for walks along the beach early in the morning, just as the sun is beginning to peek above the horizon and paint the sky in soft pinks and dazzling oranges.

They’re taking a break one day, with Vicchan splashing in the shallows a few feet away, when Yuuri is suddenly bowled over by a whining, panting, standard sized poodle, all soft brown fur and sloppy kisses.

He can barely breathe around the desperate affection, and not even Vicchan’s excited, curious yapping is enough to distract the ecstatic giant furball from his reunion with his long-lost and sorely missed human.

As soon as Yuuri can breathe again, fingers curled into his beautiful older puppy’s fur, he looks up, and his heart clenches at the sight of the Russian man standing a few feet away, a familiar paperback clutched to his chest with white-knuckled hands.

He still wears his heart on his sleeve.

A question tumbles out of his mouth.

And in that moment, Yuuri knows to start his next book with an answer.

(“Of course.”)

Yuri on Festival voice drama (detailed report)

I went to watch the next-day viewing of yesterday’s Yuri on Festival event, and this time I took notes for the drama so I’ll write a more detailed summary, also because this one isn’t going to be sold on DVD. I believe other people have probably written reports too, but in cases such as this I think “the more the merrier” because it’s not recorded so it’s better to have more accounts. Also, now you’ll start seeing more Japanese reports & art too. Most people were keeping quiet out of consideration for the ones who could only watch the viewing and didn’t want spoilers.

Official title of the drama: “Fundoshi da yo!!! Sekai Metsubou Daipinchi Hasetsu Kunchi Spiritual!!” which roughly translates to “Fundoshi!!! The world is in danger of being destroyed. Hasetsu Kunchi Spiritual!!”

It was in 3 parts, separated by game and information corners.
I hope it’s not too confusing, but especially the last part is impossible to summarize decently because they talked a lot and I couldn’t possibly take note of everything, not to mention what they say is mostly crazy stuff, lol. For some parts and lines I double-checked looking at other Japanese comments online. If something is not clear feel free to send me an ask.

Continue under “keep reading”.

Keep reading

I have some opinions/thoughts that I’d really love to get off my chest even if other people think I’m completely wrong.

Gaston did not deserve to die, Gaston was hardly a bad person, Gaston was basically forced into being the villian of this story.

[I’m referring to the 2017 remake of BATB rather than the original animation.]

Let’s point out some difference between the 1991 Gaston and 2017 Gaston
-2017 Gaston was not a misogynist
-did not abuse Lefou
-even verbally
-Like for fucksakes, the friendship between Lefou and Gaston was so genuine. I’m frequently seeing these things around Gafou is an abusive ship, buts it’s really not? He tells Lefou ‘thank you’ says ‘you’re the best Lefou’ sincerely asks ‘how has no woman snatched you up?’, messes around with Lefou like buds (wrestling bite marks, picking him up to demonstrate strength, gets on the table and dances with him), let’s Lefou calm him down and boop his nose, and not once does he insult or hurt even when it seemed like he would (after Lefou wrapped his arms around him, or when he couldn’t spell his name, when he said ‘who needs her when you’ve got us’, etc). They’re sincerely good, close friends, but don’t worry I’m not ignoring all the shitty things Gaston did to Lefou I will get to that in a second.
-I said he’s not a misogynist, right? Cause that’s important. Big step away from the OG.
-Doesn’t insult Belle for reading
-Instead he feigns interest in the book because he knows it’s her interest
-even brings her flowers, whataguy
-Has manners (“excuse me, please let me through” going through the crowd, didn’t push everyone out of his way)
-Goes to her rescue when the town’s people are being mean (sure this is because he wanted to be the hero to seduce her, but seriously he was one of the few people who didn’t harass or bully Belle for being different)
-Doesn’t call Maurice crazy and instead offers his help to soothe the men (again, seduction, but seriously he’s still being polite and helping the underdog unlike the OG)

I’ll probably think of more things to add to this Gaston-wasnt-an-asshole list but I think this basically gets the point across that, well, Gaston wasn’t an asshole. He was immensely vain, yes, but that doesn’t mean he was a bad person.
Cus ya know who else started out incredibly vain but still managed to be the fucking prince in this story?
Yep, the Beast/Adam of course.

Time to do some comparing of the prince and the villian because spoiler alert, they basically parallel each other.

I’ll begin this part with Belle’s comment of, “No one can change THAT much, Gaston”
Ahem

LITERALLY SHUT THE FUCK UP ARE YOU SERIOUS
This line pissed me off immensely, because that’s literally Adam’s entire character arc, changing himself completely, literally and figuratively.

Like I’m sorry you wanna do a repeat of the song “Something there” aka the song where the lyrics are basically “he was an asshole brute who I hated but now he’s c h a n g e d”
Literally so pissed off at that all.

But as I was saying, Gaston basically mirrors Adam’s arc, meaning to say they’re practically the same character things going on but sorta reversed.

Like okay
-Upon first meeting Belle, the Beast locks her father then her in a tower and is a huge dick but then they bond over books and he gives her flowers and he’s nice to her.
-Upon first interacting with Belle, Gaston is nice to her, gives her flowers, tries to bond over books, but then he’s a huge dick and locks her father and then her in a cart.

Do you see what I did there? Literally the same actions, but backwards.

Let’s do some more comparing.
-They both have terrible, terrible tempers.
But you know what? The Beasts is definitely a lot worse than Gaston’s.

Let’s review how both Gaston and Adam dealt with Belle’s dinner rejection
-Beast: literally motherfucking demands she has dinner with him, bangs his paws on the door, scrEAMS at her, and then announces she can starve if she won’t eat with him
-Gaston: [not direct quotes, can’t remember exact words but basically what he says] “oh, busy?” nope “okay, then some other time?” boom that’s that. Yeah he still is persistent on winning her over even after this rejection but the man handled it a lot better then Adam (and he brought flowers for her dinner table).

I’m about to move on from Adam and start talking about how Gaston treated Lefou in a sec, but I would just really really really like to put some emphasis on the fact that both Adam and Gaston were incredibly narcissistic men. The amount of self pride and conceded they have is in the beginning is completely parallel and it leads to both of their unfortunate fates. The point in this, is Gaston is not a bad guy just because he loves himself a bit much, just as the Beast was not a bad guy for loving himself too much. Like, the way Adam turns down Agatha for being ugly seems exactly like something Gaston would do, so why does the movie end with Gaston dying while the Beast learns his lesson and gets his happily ever after?
Because, the OG Gaston was truly an asshole who deserved to die and this 2017 remake of course had to stay true to the story. Even though this Gaston really wasn’t a true villian and didn’t deserve to die – rather he deserves a redemption arc just as Adam was given – he died anyway because that’s how the story goes.

Anyway, I’ll get on with this and bring back Lefou.

Some of you have probably been reading this while thinking “But Marley [das my name], Gaston was a shitty person, he wasn’t a good friend to Lefou at all because he manipulated him, let him get punched in the face, didn’t protect him at all, and threatened to lock him up. Plus, he was only into Belle because she’s pretty.”

Alright alright alright: Lefou.
He’s an exceedingly important character as he gives us insight to Gaston’s character.
Two crucial things he reveals about Gaston … .

-Gaston has anger issues. My father has anger issues, and so do I, and we both are on meds for it. Let me say, having anger management problems and getting angry are very different things. It’s just like he having anxiety and getting nervous are very different things. I think most of you can probably relate or understand anxiety more then anger issues, so just put yourself in Gaston’s shoes with that in mind. Anyway, back to Lefou. He shows us that Gaston has anger issues when he rushes to Gaston’s aid by saying “deep breathes” and then “think about the war”. He tells us that Gaston has coping mechanisms for when he gets like this. Does it matter if Gaston has anger problems? Does it make him less of a dick? Like, seriously Marley, does this information really make up for any of the things he did? Yes, yes it does matter. It’s like when you/someone your love is having an anxiety attack, or when you fall into a depressive episode, or when a loved one acts out of PTSD [which Gaston could totally completely have], or when someone with schizophrenia or delusions starts having episodes, it’s basically exactly like whenever anyone’s mental illness starts to act up. You don’t feel like yourself and you don’t so things you would normally​ do. This is definitely the case for Gaston; he acts out of character when he gets angry like this. And that’s my second point that Lefou proves in this movie.

-Gaston is not being himself when he starts doing all that terrible shit that leads him to his demise. Lefou makes it fairly obvious that that is not how Gaston usually acts. He does this in numerous ways which I will quickly try to summarize and go through:
1) Questions Gaston. Obviously if Gaston often tied up old men to trees or in general left people to die, Lefou would have just went with it instead of going “are you sure?”
2) doesn’t immediately lie to save Gaston’s ass. Again, if Gaston frequently had Lefou lie for him, then it would have came to Lefou like second nature and he wouldn’t have hesitated.
3) Once more, questioning Gaston. The scene I’m about to refer to is when Gaston locks Belle and her father in the carriage. Lefou grabs Gaston’s arm and goes to question him again, but before he can Gaston threatens to lock him up as well. Dick move on Gastons end, no? But this isn’t something he would normally do or say to Lefou, for if it was Lefou wouldn’t have bothered speaking up because he would have known what Gaston’s reaction would be. Instead, Lefou is used to being able to talk sense into Gaston and reason with him (refer back to nose boop scene).
4) Running to Gaston’s side for protection during the fight [castle scene]. Lefou is probably used to having Gaston protect him during fights (war time) and obviously didn’t expect Gaston to throw him to the enemy. Like, yous guys heard him shriek Gaston’s name before the piano fell on him, right? He was obviously expecting Gaston to rescue him. Even after he’s trapped under the piano, he still reaches and calls out for Gaston. The way Gaston is acting is not the Gaston he knows.
5?) “I was on Gaston’s side, but we are so in a bad place right now” [however he says it you know the line I’m referring to]. Aight I think this is the one line that really captures the point I’m trying to make. Lefou has switched sides because Gaston is being a major douchebag and Lefou’s not having it. Lefou doesn’t put up with being treated like shit [MrsPotts saying he deserves better and Lefou agreeing]. So o b v i o u s l y Lefou is not used to Gaston being so cruel and angry. If Gaston treated Lefou like this all the time, then Lefou wouldn’t be by his side [because he left his side once he started acting like this]. Lefou knows how he should be treated, and how he’s being treated is not what he’s used to.
You dig what I’m saying? I’m kinda rushing through these points because I’m getting tired of this.

*deep breathe* Alright, last point, as I mentioned above, ‘Gaston only wanted Belle because she was beautiful’ Alright alright alright I’m not even going to talk about the Gaston in this point, I’m just going to talk about the huge flaw that is Beauty and the Beast.

Adam is turned into the Beast because he needs to learn to not judge people by how they look, he needs to learn that it’s what’s on the inside that matters.
Right.
So why is Belle the one that learns this lesson?
Adam falls in love with a gorgeous girl, meanwhile Belle falls in love with a hideous monster who turns into a nice dude on the inside.
Belle is the character who learned to not judge a book by its cover [cover being a monsterous beast but inside he is a gorgeous prince].
As soon as Belle walked into the castle, all the furniture was like “yooooo she could be the one, master hit her up” and instantly Adam’s like “well I need a girl to fall in love with to break my curse and she cute yeah let’s do it”. Like of course there’s more to our then this, but what I’m trying to say is Adam had already planned to try to charm Belle before he knew what kind of person he was because he was desperate to break the curse.
So he and everyone in the castle just saw her and was like “she was a girl, he was a boy, can I make it anymore obvious?”
So anyway anyway anyway, Gaston was only interested in Belle because she was beautiful and he wanted a wife, but Beast was only interested in Belle because she was beautiful and could break the spell. See the parallels again? Like, Beast later fell in love with Belle for who she was and she made him a better person, Gaston could have totally done the same thing.
And okay, there’s no proof Beast cared that Belle was beautiful or not, but yo, Disney definitely should have made Belle ugly af so when Adam met her the snob in him would have been “ew she’s ugly, next” and then Lumiere and Mrs. Potts woulda been like “boi Imma whoop yo ass if you don’t give that girl a try, I don’t care how fucked up her teeth are smfh” and then Adam would have learned the lesson that the enchantress was trying to school him about in the first place [this applies to the 1991 animated film, not directly at the 2017 btw]

Well I was trying to keep this professional and moreso eloquently written but you can tell I’m coming out of my cage and I’ve been doing just fine gotta gotta be down because I want it all

Okay okay okay
Okay okay
Okay

I believe we’re nearing the end. I believe I’ve said all I needed to say made all the points I could [honestly definitely not because I’m constantly thinking about this and arguing with no one in my head, I have a lot to say and later I’ll be making toast and be like “anD ONE MORE THING”]

I’m very upset Gaston died because he wasn’t a terrible enough character to deserve death.

So Dear Disney, either make Gaston more of a shitty person, or bring him back to life. I’ll be waiting for an apology letter until this is done.

Of course I’m kidding.

I just have such a love and passion for Gaston and I’m truly sick of hearing people tell me that Gafou is an abusive ship and Gaston is a villian.

And if you refuse to see that Gaston wasn’t a bad guy but still believe that Adam is such a prince than you’re insanely hypocritical.

People just see what they want to see.

Also I’m terribly sorry for making this so diddly damn long, I honestly have no idea how to do the cutoff “Show more” thing, I’m on mobile. So sorry if you’re trying to rapidly scroll past all of this and it’s taking forever.

But honestly fuck you don’t scroll past my argument.

And also if you legit read all this then motherfucking congratulations to you. Like I don’t even want to read all of this shit to edit it.

Thanks for the attention. Marley OUTT
The 5 Elements of a LIKABLE Main Character

“I don’t like your main character. He’s kind of obnoxious.” my beta reader laughingly told me, after reading the first chapter of my novel.

On the surface, I looked like this: 

Inside, I looked like this: 

Aloud, I said “Oh, well, he’s kind of hard to understand. He changes by the end.”

Inside, I screamed “How could you not like him?! Do you have a heart?! Is there a void where your soul should be?! Are you actually a Dementor that’s really good at makeup? Well, I guess this is what the Dementors are doing after getting kicked out of Azkaban!”

Outside: “But I really enjoyed it!” *Hugs between broken writer and Dementor in disguise* “Thank you for reading!" 

But you know what? That person that might be a soul-sucking cloaked demon creature? They were right. The character was unlikable, or more accurately, there was no reason to cheer him on. There was nothing to make the reader connect with him, relate to him, transfer themselves into his story, feel affection towards him. 

And if the reader doesn’t connect with the character through empathy? Nothing else in the story can work. Everything relies on this one fictional person. The basic definition of story is "A flawed hero with a goal overcoming obstacles to reach that goal, and how that journey changes them.” So without character, you don’t have story. Without empathy from the reader, you don’t even have character. 

So what is empathy when it comes to characters? 

It’s the process of a reader transferring their own lives onto the character. When this happens, the character’s goal and inner desires, values and weaknesses, everything about them, become proxies for our own. We learn of a shared piece of human nature between us, something we have in common on a significant inner level, and suddenly we want to see this character succeed. Because now, they are us – and we want to see ourselves succeed in real life. We feel what they feel, we experience what they experience.  

The best way to sum up character empathy in my opinion, is this quote from C.S.Lewis: “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another ‘Really? You too? I thought I was the only one!’”

That’s empathy. 

Which doesn’t mean the character has to be an angelic little cherub …

There are characters that operate in a moral gray area, there are characters that are downright awful, there are characters that shouldn’t be lovable …but we love them. So this is NOT saying that a main character has to be a perfect angel that rescues baby squirrels when they’re not busy volunteering at the local soup kitchen, it just means there’s something WORTHWHILE in the character that persuades the reader to stick around. We need a reason to relate with that at-first-glance unlikable character. Just as we have flawed people in our own lives who we can forgive and love.

A good quote for this one would be this, by G.K.Chesterton: “That’s the great lesson of Beauty and the Beast; that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”

So how does a writer accomplish a good empathetic connection?

Luckily for us, establishing this only takes a little planning in the beginning of the story. Certain elements foster empathy, elements which you can give to your character and display in the story. Making sure to incorporate a few of these will ensure that first connection between reader and character. A connection which you, the author, will then be able to grow. It’s this tiny first note of shared humanity which deepens into those important links we hold with characters. We’re living people, they’re imagined and comprised of words on a page; yet these people can be friends to us, family, mentors, role models, and become some of the most influential people in our lives. 

And how does that begin? Evoking empathy. 

And how do you evoke empathy? Well here are the characteristics that human beings instinctively identify with and admire … 

– Courage (This is the one EVERY main character should possess. Gumption to pursue what they want separates main from background characters.)

– Humor (Wit charms us without fail.)

– Goal-Obsessed 

– Hard-working  

– Noble motivations

– Loving

– Loved by others

– Kind 

– Treated unfairly

– In imminent danger, physically

– In imminent danger, emotionally

– In a sorrowful situation

– Smart/Expert at something

– Suffering from psychological weakness  

– Haunted by something in their past

– Dissatisfied with current state of their life

– Lacking something like love, friendship, belonging, family, safety, freedom, etc

It’s a good plan to give your main character at least FIVE of these empathetic little “virtues.”

If this sounds like a resume, that’s kind of what it is. “Dear Potential Reader, I’m applying for the job of Main Character of this book series. I aspire to consume your every waking thought and drastically change your life, for better and worse.” It’s a diagram of the worthwhile traits of the hero, the characteristics that win us over, which promise the reader “If you follow my story, knowing me – and experiencing the story through me – will be well worth your time.”

These traits will be displayed in the set-up of the story, the first ten pages or so. But the story CANNOT stop to let the character exhibit these winning behaviors; the story must KEEP PROGRESSING, every empathetic element must be shown with a story reason for existing within a scene. Like exposition, empathy needs to be added in subtly, as the story motors onward, slipping into the reader’s knowledge without them noticing. If it’s a scene created for the express purpose of convincing the reader “This character is lovable! Love them! I said love them!” then it will be glaringly obvious and the reader will feel the exact opposite. (They’ll also feel that way about the author, incidentally.)

Now! How does this work? 

Harry Potter: 

Harry is the poster child for being treated unfairly. Yet in the face of the abusive treatment of his childhood, Harry is courageous. He does not succumb to the Dursley’s relentless campaign to stamp the magic out of him, and become a proper Dursley; though this would’ve won their approval, put him in their good graces, and made his life exponentially easier – but he didn’t do it. He knew they were wrong, knew what was right, and refused to become like them. So heck yes Sorting Hat, there is “plenty of courage, I see”. He was loved by his parents, by the three that dropped him off at his Aunt and Uncle’s, and by the majority of the Wizarding World. He’s also snarky, loving, and in constant danger. 

Judy Hopps: 

Every reason why we care about Judy is established in the first few scenes. She’s courageous. She’s funny. She’s loved by her parents. She’s motivated by noble values. Definitely goal oriented, hard working, and smart. She’s also in imminent danger, and being treated unfairly.

If we took out the pieces of the story meant to evoke our empathy, what would happen? 

Nobody would care. Judy Hopps would have been an annoying, smug, and consumed by ruthless ambition. Harry Potter would have ceased to exist because everything about him is empathetic. 

Establishing these early allows us to begin the process of temporarily transferring our lives into a story. Or in the case of some life-changing stories, not temporarily transferring, but letting them become part of our souls forever. 

Yup, having your story connect with a reader forever starts with just a little empathy. Pretty useful.

Oh, and speaking of souls, give me mine back, Dementor reader. I learned how to make people like my characters. Now you’re out of the Azkaban job and the beta reading job. 

honest kdrama reviews

these are all the kdramas that ive watched and im just gonna put them all here and what you should know about them 

THIS IS WORTH READING IF YOU WANNA WATCH ANOTHER GOOD KDRAMA TRUST ME 

*no particular order 

reply 1997

  • set in the 90s
  • follows a group of friends and how they stick together during this time
  • two guys that go after a girl and the drama is a guessing game on who ends up being her husband 
  • good life lessons 
  • good ost (original soundtrack) 
  • it’s hilarious 
  • not a typical kdrama, very original 
  • what stuck out with this drama is it’s creativity. you’ll never watch a drama like this bc of the setting 

reply 1994 

  • set in the 90s (this is a series but they are all different stories) 
  • follows a group of friends and how they stick together during this time 
  • once again trying to figure out who is the husband
  • good life lessons
  • good ost 
  • also hilarious 
  • very original 
  • if you don’t do well with second leads as in you have sls (second lead syndrome) then you will most likely fall for the guy that isn’t the husband but tbh it depends on you 
  • what stuck out with this drama is also the setting. all of these are different settings and they don’t have the same plot

reply 1988

  • set in the 80s-90s 
  • uGH this drama honestly gets to me it’s so fricking good. 
  • if you’re thinking rn that you dont want to watch these dramas bc it’s set in the old times WATCH THESE I GUARANTEE YOU WONT REGRET IT
  • this is the highest rated kdrama in history trust me it’s good 
  • it’s a little bit slow in the beginning but it picks up and it’s worth it 
  • same kind of idea as the previous reply series 
  • everything about this drama is amazing. everything. 
  • this one is different from the other reply series bc it’s not as easy to guess who the husband is. 
  • the director is really good and there is a lot of foreshadowing and clues that you’ll have to work hard to find 
  • this drama is so well put everything connects together 
  • you will fall in love with all the characters they’re so funny ok im done

queen in hyun’s man 

  • ok don’t skip this drama just bc it’s historical 
  • the plotline is basically this guy from the joseon dynsasty time travels to modern day and meets this girl (and obv you know what happens next) 
  • super cute drama and funny 
  • the couple actually ended up dating too!! they broke up but still 
  • what stuck out was the amazing chemistry for this drama 

city hunter 

  • this really smart guy who is also amazing at hunting meets this girl who works as the bodyguard for the blue house 
  • a lot of secrets 
  • it’s a very heavy drama as in there’s a lot to take in and understand 
  • highly rated drama tho 
  • what stuck out is the creative plot line 

rooftop prince

  • after the death of this crown prince’s wife, he time travels 300 years later and meets this girl who looks like the deceased princess 
  • the guys in this drama are so funny and cute and you’ll love them 
  • similar to queen in hyun’s man so if you watch that watch this 
  • what stuck out was the plot and the comedy 

you’re beautiful 

  • this girl who has a twin pretends to be her brother and ends up joining this kpop group lol 
  • she’s pretending to be a guy but she ends up falling for the singer 
  • super funny 
  • you’re gonna love the other guys in this drama they’re so cute and funny 
  • what stuck out was the cold main lead i love when it’s a cold guy falling for the girl lol 

innocent man

  • oh man this drama.. it’s a melodrama first of all 
  • honestly i don’t even like melodramas bc theyre sooooooo hard to keep watching like it’s just so ongoing 
  • this drama tho.. it’s got song joong ki and lee kwang soo so i mean cmon
  • it’s got funny moments 
  • it’s an amazing plot line. the guy takes the blame for his gf who murdered a man and when he gets out of jail she marries this sugar daddy. he’s obv pissed and tries to get back at her by “falling in love” with the girl who’s dad is the ex-gf’s sugar daddy (ik it’s complicated). but then he actually starts falling for the girl and yeah 
  • it’s worth watching im not gonna lie just try it 
  • what stuck out was song joong ki bc he’s amazing 

dream high

  • lol this drama well it’s got singing first of all 
  • basically all these people who go to this music school and everyone has an interesting story to them 
  • actually pretty inspirational 
  • it’s one of the dramas that you just must watch heading into kdrama 

boys over flowers 

  • well if you know anything about kdrama you’ve prolly heard of boys over flowers. if not, you’re in for a ride
  • it’s the kdrama that EVERYONE knows and has seen
  • the heirs is basically the same as this btw but this is the original
  • a group of elite boyz and this one poor girl and she falls for the rich boi
  • it’s much more complicated than that

playful kiss

  • this drama :)))
  • typical cold popular boy falls for dumb girl honestly she’s so dumb it kills 
  • basically this girl’s house crumbles after an earthquake (only her house bc it’s crap lol) and so they move into the guys house bc their parents are super close together
  • it’s so so funny lol and it’s very lighthearted through the entire drama 
  • it’s one of my faves you gotta watch it 

it’s okay that’s love

  • this man is a mystery writer and a radio dj. he meets a psychiatry student and they both fall in love but man they got problems of their own. he’s got an obsession and she also has an issue psychology wise 
  • it’s comedy but it’s also not at times it’s good 
  • the characters make it so entertaining once again kwang soo is in it 
  • what stuck out is the interesting plotline 

princess hours

  • so basically this normal high schooler gets to marry this cold hearted crown prince and they start off w a really weird relationship but then you see how the two of them grow together 
  • it’s so weird and funny 
  • the leads are very cute even though theyre super awkward at times
  • the guys are super hot so like yeah  

personal taste

  • another cold man warm hearted girl 
  • the girl thinks that he’s gay so she takes him up as a roommate 
  • it’s funny and it’s got lee min ho 
  • the second lead actors are kinda annoying but you can deal 

hi! school love on

  • this is one interesting drama let me tell ya 
  • it’s not as popular but it’s pretty good 
  • this angel becomes a human in order to save someone
  • it’s interesting bc you’d never find this kind of drama  
  • the actors and actresses are very cute 
  • it’s a cute innocent kind of show 

to the beautiful you 

  • oh this drama 
  • another cute kind of drama filled w delicious looking boys
  • this girl goes to a boys school and pretends to be a boy 
  • she falls in love w this guy who is super athletic but also cold hearted 

heartstrings

  • it’s set in an art university and it’s about pursuing your dreams
  • a music kind of kdrama 
  • good music in here obviously 
  • the lead actor is hot 
  • he is also cold god i love cold guys 

cheese in the trap

  • another cold guy drama heh 
  • basically this guy that has it all (looks money etc) has a dark side to him and he falls for this girl who is poor but she is v smart and he tries to help her 
  • it’s pretty interesting i dont think it’s similar to the normal kdrama 
  • cute actors everywhere 

emergency couple 

  • this is one funny drama 
  • it’s got song ji hyo from running man she’s perfect 
  • basically the two main actors were once married but then they divorced and years later they end up working in the same hospital 
  • there’s sls in this so be careful 
  • it’s a medical kind of comedy drama 

you who came from the stars

  • one of the most popular kdramas and highly highly rated globally
  • it’s quirky in the beginning but it’s worth it trust me 
  • this alien crashes on earth during joseon dynasty and he lives till modern day 
  • he’s perfect and all his senses are like 4x better than humans 
  • he meets this stuck up snobby actress and the rest is history 

the heirs

  • basically the same as boys over flowers (see above) except it’s not so dragging and the annoying parts/concepts aren’t in this one 
  • the actors are all cute and you’ll fall in love w so many people

the master’s sun 

  • this one is precious to me 
  • it’s got the best ost ever it’s so good 
  • this girl is able to see ghosts and they always bother her 
  • one day she meets this guy that is able to get rid of the ghosts when she touches him 
  • so she comes off as a stalker bc she’s always trying to touch him to get rid of the ghosts
  • this is so original and every episode is interesting 
  • it’s funny and you’ll love the secretary. the old man is the best 

my princess 

  • this normal average girl ends up being a princess after secrets of her birth come out and this man who is v successful gives everything up in order to serve and protect her bc of his grandfather’s creed 
  • it’s a typical kdrama but it’s good and it’s super cute 
  • you’ll love the main lead he’s so handsome and the drama is v cute
  • you get to watch how an average girl starts from the bottom and works her way up to become a princess 

secret garden

  • you will not watch a kdrama like this ever trust me 
  • basically this cold rich guy and this cool stunt lady meet at this weird place and drink some weird potion and the next day they switch bodies 
  • they randomly switch bodies and it’s super funny and weird and so they have to deal w each other 
  • it’s funny and it’s v interesting 
  • another one of the super highly rated dramas 

suspicious partner

  • an ongoing drama rn but it’s so good omo
  • this girl in training to be a prosecutor breaks up w her bf and later on is the suspect for murdering her ex. the main lead actor (my bae ji chang wook) is a prosecutor and he is able to save her but risks his job (it’s ok he builds his own firm) 
  • all the characters are super fun and quirky and this drama will make you laugh and will make you feel scared at times but it’s a real mystery and comedy and it’s super good 
  • good drama to make your friends watch for the first time. i did it w a girl who didnt think she’d like kdrama and she watched 17 episodes in one night soooo 
  • no annoying love triangles 

fight my way 

  • also an ongoing drama 
  • this is such an inspirational drama
  • a group of friends that once had dreams when they were younger are now working in average jobs and they live off of their paychecks. they still want to pursue their dreams even though it seems to be too late for them
  • it’s so so so funny and the main actor is so hot 
  • this drama is just perfect in itself 
  • it depicts real life REAL life!! it stays away from typical kdrama scenes and honestly this one will move you 

strong woman do bong soon 

  • highly rated kdrama 
  • the actors are so so cute 
  • and when i say cute i mean they are the definition of cute 
  • it’s a hilarious drama that’ll make you cry w tears 
  • this girl has superwoman strength and she becomes this rich guy’s bodyguard but it’s much more complicated than that 
  • she’s out to get the bad guys 
  • this girl is so independent you will love this drama if you’re sick and tired of the typical helpless damsel in distress

hwarang 


  • HOT HANDSOME BOYS EVERYWHERE
  • it’s a historic drama but it’s good
  • this no name guy goes to the capital and his best friend was just murdered so he’s out for revenge but little does he know he ends up being a part of the elite group of hwarang boys that are built to protect the kingdom 
  • the bromance is stronger than the romance and you will love the bromance trust me 
  • the SLS is really strong in this one so watch out 
  • sorry im too excited but the boys in this drama are all perfect and so cute
  • there’s a lot of secrets in this one 

healer 

  • another ji chang wook drama he’s so hot 
  • this is centered around a case that has a lot of secrets. it’s a big mystery and this man is trying to go after people related to this case in order to solve the mystery
  • you got a fighter boy who has a history himself and he meets this chill girl
  • she’s a strong independent woman and you will love the action in this drama 
  • everything about this drama is good 

you’re all surrounded

  • such a quirky funny drama
  • a group of people (best squad ever) are all detectives and theyre out to catch the bad guys 
  • a different case every time and you would think there’s no comedy but trust me there’s lots 
  • the characteres are all super funny and loving 

she was pretty 

  • first of all major SLS so fall for the right boy 
  • this girl that used to be super pretty turns “ugly” and then glows up again
  • the main lead used to be a super ugly and chubby boy but he would comfort the girl all the time 
  • they were supposed to meet up but he thought this pretty girl was her bc he didn’t think she would look that ugly 
  • it’s a funny drama and youll like all the characters
  • the ost is really good 

oh my venus 

  • oh man this drama 
  • similar to she was pretty, the girl has a major glow up
  • she also used to be the shit when she was younger but when she grew up she became really fat
  • this guy who is super successful ends up taking her in and helping her change into the person that she wants to be 
  • it’s funny and it’s a sexy and hot drama 
  • they’re super cute but man they really got it goin this couple 

kill me heal me 

  • orgjoiwejfor first of all if youre reading this and you havent watched it already, watch this. 
  • before i get to the plotline, lemme tell ya, this drama has all the genres. it’s a real comedy and mystery and it’s just perfect
  • SO. this man has DID (dissociative identity disorder) also known as multiple personality disorder. he has seven personalities that haunt him and in order to try to suppress it, he hires a personal psychiatrist 
  • this is such a good drama you will laugh and cry and it’ll get you 

  • lol this is gonna sound weird but trust me it’s good 
  • this popular comic series ends up turning into real life when the girl gets sucked into the comic and basically she’s livin a fake life in a comic
  • it gets complicated when the plot of the comic becomes real life and the villain is out to get them 
  • it’s super complicated bc this girl is literally falling for a cartoon character who isn’t real but this one is another must watch 
  • it won’t be boring at all during the episodes 

oh my ghostess

  • this is another drama that is super good 
  • this ghost takes people’s body and controls them and one day she takes this quiet and very introverted girl’s body 
  • she ends up being stuck in it and it sounds bad but throughout the drama, the ghost and the girl help each other in order to get what they want 

let me know what you guys think of the dramas and feel free to message me if you wanna know more about something :) i promise im nice 

ikke snakk til meg
  • we open with sana reciting this surah, which i see as an effort from sana to try and regain focus on her faith (but you should ask the muslims in the fandom <3)
  • very violent online abuse flashes before her eyes, apparently from when she was in middle school (here’s a detailing of the abuse)
  • once again, sana’s prayer is interrupted (it’s always interrupted either by an external character, or by her own thoughts…at the end of the series we’ll see her pray uninterrupted and it will be gorgeous)
  • we get this beautiful shot of literal and metaphorical self reflection. sana is broken after the latest events and she is now trying to pick herself back up (so, of course, she tries to go back to the beginning: the sana we first saw on the show, before it all started)
  • adding the above piece of art for reasons (like to charge/reblog to cast)
  • we’ve seen sana wear very loose hijabs this season, i remember people commenting on it. here, she tightens the fabric around her neck. i see it as her trying to protect herself. she needs all the extra strength she can get. all the extra fabric between her and the world.
  • she tries to reach out for the only friend (we know of) she could have left: jamilla. but we see they never got closure on the “sharmutta incident” and, when sana scrolls up, she is reminded of how much her and jamilla differ from one another. and she gives up.
  • quick note: i am not too happy too see jamilla painted as this hating muslimah but i’ll wait until the end of the series. her comment “i was just trying to protect you” reminds me a lot of sonja, who i hated really badly when she confronted isak during the hotel scene. but who redeemed herself and explained her behaviour in the end.
  • we see their last messages are from january 2016, so just after season 1 if i’m not mistaken? the tension started then and that’s probably why sana and her were already at war during season 2.
  • anyone knows what game the norwegians are playing at the school? it looks like a dance of some sorts: the way they’re placed and the couple is running in between the two groups…
  • isak is wearing a dandelion. from twitter: løvetannbarn (dandelion child) means person that has survived almost impossible upbringing.
  • this time, the lyrics are so on the nose even the beautiful subbers decided to translate some of them: an even song. to me, reminiscent of all the rumours spread about him paralleling the rumours spread about sana right now.
  • we see the pictures from the teaser: isak’s eye, sara (same jacket), noora…
    we’re missing the brown hair with a hand ruffling them and the carrot munching (but i feel like the carrot bit was more symbolic than anything)
  • sana is back to the beginning (see above) except, this time, it’s reversed: she’s not joining the girl squad and the russbuss. she’s leaving both.
  • liar liar pants on fire
  • and she’s not trying to show, like in her first clip where she sassed vilde and told her being a russ was punished by stoning, that she can and will become a russ. she’s instead using her faith as a reason for why she doesn’t want to be a russ. very flippening, much reversal.
  • sana goes to class and…
  • the book is open on a page about dandelions.
  • which brings me to the symbolism of the dandelion. according to google, dandelion translates to “dent de lion” in french which means “lion’s tooth” (i can vouch for that), summoning the symbolic meaning of lions: courage, pride, family (connection/communication). the dandelion is also a sun symbol (#sanasol).
  • we get this exchange that i LOVE but that, unfortunately, is getting misunderstood: sana and isak are awkward around each other but both really want to talk to each other. sana, after looking at isak’s very obvious blackeye, glances at the dandelion in his hair. isak scoffs and takes it off.
    you can’t take a black eye off. you can’t get rid of that barrier between two people. but you can take a flower off. i feel like the flower, here, is a perfect way for them to (in the sweetest way) break the ice. our attention is briefly redirected from the (devastating) black eye to the (hopeful) flower and, for a moment, everything is OK.

[cont. after the “read more”]

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