and things that are relevant at the moment

The Seventh Wheel: A Case for Black Lion Lance

Alternatively titled: Lance Deserves The World Because He is My Son and I Love Him

Okay, so Shiro’s gone and someone’s gotta fill his big ass shoes. In the toss-up between him, Allura, and Keith, I’m going to be arguing in this post that Lance could be the guy to do it. And, fair warning, this is going to be ridiculously (like, ridiculously) long lmao so here’s the TL;DR right now: I think that a) Lance already shows the character traits of a good leader, and b) there’s a good chance of him becoming one, given his impending character arc. 

It also has a chance of not happening, of course, but who cares?? I already started writing this thing, so:

Alright, let’s begin at the beginning, because that’s always a good place to start.

Lance is first introduced to the audience as the classic loud, arrogant, goofy flirt. The perfect comic relief character. He rescues a guy because his “rival” was gonna do it first and he can’t have that, the first thing he does in the giant robot cat is fart, and he hits on a girl who just fell out of a pod in a magic castle. He’s there to make you laugh.

I can’t imagine anyone looking at a character like that and “You know what? This guy could be a leader.” Allura says it herself in episode 1. The black lion is supposed to be the decisive head of Voltron, a person who’s a natural born leader, who’s in control, and,

Basically, calm, collected, and respected. “A natural born leader.” So, definitely not Lance. Case closed.

But, not really. Because Lance actually is calm and collected. He’s just not respected. He has all the leadership traits– the problem is that he’s not treated as someone who could be a leader.

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I’ve wanted to talk for So Long about the portrayal of anxiety in YOI but I’ve been having so much trouble putting together what I want to say in the most effective manner. I kept trying to come at this in a more analytical fashion, but considering that this is such a personally important topic to me, I’m going to try a more emotional approach. Something I don’t normally do.

So really, to start off, I wanna say that I’m so damn thankful for the way Yuuri is written. Really, seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever had the ability to relate more to character; Yuuri is close to a mirror of my own experiences with anxiety and it’s so fantastic to have a model of development and growth for me and people like me. I found the portrayal to be frighteningly accurate, from types of thoughts, behaviors, mannerisms… I think the episode that stood out to me the most in terms of Yuuri’s anxiety was ep7, aka Yuuri’s on-screen panic attack episode. 

The first thing I noticed was this: 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in that exact position. I bounce my legs when I panic, just like Yuuri is doing here. Head in his hands, breathing heavily, bouncing and jostling limbs. This isn’t the Mary-Sue cutesy portrayal of anxiety–this is a real anxiety disorder. It’s not pretty. It’s not easy. It can’t be fixed with a single word or a touch or a person. Quite frankly, it’s ugly and you lose control of your body. 

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On trauma aftermaths that don't advance the plot

The way TV shows trauma can lead people to expect every reference to trauma to be a plot point. This can be isolating to people coping with the aftermaths of trauma. Sometimes people treat us as stories rather than as people. Sometimes, instead of listening to us, they put a lot of pressure on us to advance the plot they’re expecting.

On TV, triggers tend to be full audiovisual flashbacks that add something to the story. You see a vivid window into the character’s past, and something changes. On TV, trauma aftermaths are usually fascinating. Real life trauma aftermaths are sometimes interesting, but also tend to be very boring to live with.

On TV, triggers tend to create insight. In real life, they’re often boring intrusions interfering with the things you’d rather be thinking about. Sometimes knowing darn well where they come from doesn’t make them go away. Sometimes it’s more like: Seriously? This again?

On TV, when trauma is mentioned, it’s usually a dramatic plot point that happens in a moment. In real life, trauma aftermaths are a mundane day-to-day reality that people live with. They’re a fact of life — and not necessarily the most important one at all times. People who have experienced trauma do other things too. They’re important, but not the one and only defining characteristic of who someone is. And things that happened stay important even when you’re ok. Recovery is not a reset. Mentioning the past doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in crisis.

On TV, when a character mentions trauma, or gets triggered in front of someone, it’s usually a dramatic moment. It changes their life, or their relationship with another character, or explains their backstory, or something. In real life, being triggered isn’t always a story, and telling isn’t always a turning point. Sometimes it’s just mentioning something that happened to be relevant. Sometimes it’s just a mundane instance of something that happens from time to time.

Most people can’t have a dramatic transformative experience every time it turns out that their trauma matters. Transformative experiences and moments of revelation exist, but they’re not the end all and be all of trauma aftermaths. Life goes on, and other things matter too. And understanding what a reaction means and where it came from doesn’t always make it go away. Sometimes, it takes longer and has more to do with skill-building than introspection. Sometimes it doesn’t go away.

On a day to day level, it’s often better to be matter-of-fact about aftermaths. It can be exhausting when people see you as a story and expect you to advance the plot whenever they notice some effect of trauma. Pressure to perform narratives about healing doesn’t often help people to make their lives better. Effect support involves respecting someone as a complex human, including the boring parts.

The aftermath of trauma is a day-to-day reality. It affects a lot of things, large and small. It can be things like being too tired to focus well in class because nightmares kept waking you up every night this week. TV wants that to be a dramatic moment where the character faces their past and gets better. In real life, it’s often a day where you just do your best to try and learn algebra anyway. Because survivors do things besides be traumatized and think about trauma. Sometimes it’s not a story. Sometimes it’s just getting through another day as well as possible.

A lot of triggers are things like being unable to concentrate on anything interesting because some kinds of background noises make you feel too unsafe to pay attention to anything else. For the zillionth time.  Even though you know rationally that they’re not dangerous. Even though you know where they come from, and have processed it over and over. Even if you’ve made a lot of progress in dealing with them, even if they’re no longer bothersome all the time. For most people, recovery involves a lot more than insight. The backstory might be interesting, but being tired and unable to concentrate is boring.

Triggers can also mean having to leave an event and walk home by yourself while other people are having fun, because it turns out that it hurts too much to be around pies and cakes. Or having trouble finding anything interesting to read that isn’t intolerably triggering. Or having trouble interacting with new people because you’re too scared or there are too many minefields. Or being so hypervigilant that it’s hard to focus on anything. No matter how interesting the backstory is, feeling disconnected and missing out on things you wanted to enjoy is usually boring.

When others want to see your trauma as a story, their expectations sometimes expand to fill all available space. Sometimes they seem to want everything to be therapy, or want everything to be about trauma and recovery.

When others want every reference to trauma to be the opening to a transformative experience, it can be really hard to talk about accommodations. For instance, it gets hard to say things like:

  • “I’m really tired because of nightmares” or 
  • “I would love to go to that event, but I might need to leave because of the ways in which that kind of thing can be triggering” or 
  • “I’m glad I came, but I can’t handle this right now” or
  • “I’m freaking out now, but I’ll be ok in a few minutes” or 
  • “I need to step out — can you text me when they stop playing this movie?”

It can also be hard to mention relevant experiences. There are a lot of reasons to mention experiences other than wanting to process, eg:

  • “Actually, I have experience dealing with that agency”
  • “That’s not what happens when people go to the police, in my experience, what happens when you need to make a police report is…”
  • “Please keep in mind that this isn’t hypothetical for me, and may not be for others in the room as well.”

Or any number of other things.

When people are expecting a certain kind of story, they sometimes look past the actual person. And when everyone is looking past you in search of a story, it can be very hard to make connections.

It helps to realize that no matter what others think, your story belongs to you. You don’t have to play out other people’s narrative expectations. It’s ok if your story isn’t what others want it to be. It’s ok not to be interesting. It’s ok to have trauma reactions that don’t advance the plot. And there are people who understand that, and even more people who can learn to understand that.

It’s possible to live a good life in the aftermath of trauma. It’s possible to relearn how to be interested in things. It’s possible to build space you can function in, and to build up your ability to function in more spaces. It’s often possible to get over triggers. All of this can take a lot of time and work, and can be a slow process. It doesn’t always make for a good story, and it doesn’t always play out the way others would like it to. And, it’s your own personal private business. Other people’s concern or curiosity does not obligate you to share details.

Survivors and victims have the right to be boring. We have the right to deal with trauma aftermaths in a matter-of-fact way, without indulging other people’s desires for plot twists. We have the right to own our own stories, and to keep things private. We have the right to have things in our lives that are not therapy; we have the right to needed accommodations without detailing what happened and what recovery looks like. Neither traumatic experiences nor trauma aftermaths erase our humanity.

We are not stories, and we have no obligation to advance an expected plot. We are people, and we have the right to be treated as people. Our lives, and our stories, are our own.

one more thing i wanted to say about jasper today:

“is it sinking in yet? you never… had a chance…”

this moment. this moment here, when she lets amethyst just… whip her as much as she wants. it’s one i never know how to feel about, because it still feels a little ambiguous. 

jasper says her line seriously. there’s no sardonic humor to it, no fighting back. she just… takes it quietly, as if she genuinely just wants amethyst to get it. 

well, for context’s sake, it may be relevant to note this happened right before:

after that interesting little moment, where amethyst suddenly uses her whip and jasper shows a rare, genuine moment of shock and fear not shown since she saw rose’s shield, she shuts up and plays tough.

she decides to let amethyst wail on her for a while. her following line (bolded above) isn’t really derogatory or attempting to to insult her, like she did before. it’s more “just… accept that you can’t do this”. i think jasper just feels it’s… pointless now. 

jasper believes in the concept of moral destiny - either you’re good, and good things will eventually happen to you if you try hard enough, or you’re evil and weak, and you will only fail and suffer until your inevitable end. she’s always been fighting against what she perceives as her own destiny: she failed in the war she was made for. she can either try to fix it, forever, or give up and be a failure who will never avenge her loved ones or find closure. that’s all she thinks about herself, in the end - rebecca sugar told us she hates herself, and that it’s rooted in her origins on earth. she won’t accept help, because she doesn’t think she deserves it.

it may be psycho-analyzing too hard to say that jasper saw something of either her own failure in amethyst, or perhaps her sisters’ fate (well, at least the ones who died + those whose destiny she doesn’t know), but… one complicated part of jasper is that she simultaneously wants to believe in her own redemption (by homeworld’s standards) and that those who suffer were always destined to. in the end, it’s really about convincing herself that her own traumas were because she deserved it, and that’s how she copes. 

at the same time, she doesn’t really believe in unnecessary suffering… she wants amethyst to understand that, from jasper’s perspective, she shouldn’t even try. you either win or lose in life, and amethyst has already lost… which isn’t what happens, of course. amethyst has friends, and a life outside her fight, so she was always going to be ok. love saved her - steven and peridot’s love, as well as everyone else, which let her find comfort in steven and form smoky quartz. 

but jasper… jasper doesn’t have anyone, and so she lets herself be consumed. all it takes is losing the only thing she’s been living for - the chance to avenge those who died, the chance prove that she’s more than a failure, the chance to consider herself a worthwhile person. so of course she just laughs at herself. she has no one, and she doesn’t think she deserves anyone, either.

maybe her own words are what she’s hearing in her head: “is it sinking in yet? you never had a chance”.

3

Things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.

A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara.  

Marawi City (Philippines) is currently under siege by an ISIS-affiliated group and most of us are worrying about irrelevant things. The group has burned buildings, schools, took over a hospital, blocked roads in and out of the city and who knows what else. I’m scared, terrified. I’m shaking, to be honest. The world is a scary place. I’m worried about the innocent people caught in between, their families, their lives. This is too much. Let’s take a moment to pray for everyone’s safety. Lord, help us! 😭

Does the past take up a great deal of your attention? Do you frequently talk and think about it, either positively or negatively? The great things that you have achieved, your adventures or experiences, or your victim story and the dreadful things that were done to you, or maybe what you did to someone else? Are your thought processes creating guilt, pride, resentment, anger, regret, or self-pity? Then you are not only reinforcing a false sense of self but also helping to accelerate your body’s aging process by creating an accumulation of past in your psyche. Verify this for yourself by observing those around you who have a strong tendency to hold on to the past.

Die to the past every moment. You don’t need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being. Feel your presence.
—  Eckhart Tolle
Nothing else mattered

It’s been quite a while since I wrote my last Supernatural meta. Some days ago I answered an ask where I said that time constraints were among the reasons why I hadn’t written much lately. The other powerful reason was lack of inspiration. The thing is that after watching episode 12x14, I felt that I simply HAD TO write about something in particular, no matter what. I haven’t had time to read any meta for this episode, and that’s a good thing because it means this is my opinion without anybody else’s influence. Without further ado, let’s talk about the part of the episode that inspired me to write again.  

Other more talented meta writers have previously stated that Mary’s arc this season parallels Cas’ arc in season 6. I totally agree. The whole “Mary is working with the BMoL and keeping it from Dean and Sam” is the same thing Cas did when he was secretly working with Crowley. At least, the writers are trying to undo some things from season 6 because in this case Mary decided to confess to her sons what she was doing without being forced. However, if somebody still had doubts that Mary is a Cas parallel, in this episode there was a very explicit shout-out to a memorable scene between Dean and Cas: Mary literally told Dean, “I’m doing this for you.” I know she meant both Winchesters, but she was talking directly to Dean in that scene. Besides, where have we heard those exacts words before?

There was something else that was very relevant almost at the end of the episode. If we’re keeping in mind that Mary is a Cas parallel, how much of what Dean said to Mary applied to Cas around 6 years ago? The thing is that Dean never expressed what he felt at that time, but he did it now. The fact that he’s trying to talk about his feelings is huge character development for Dean.

What did Dean say to Mary?

“The moment I thought something bad had happened to you, nothing else mattered.”

That pretty much explains this from episode 7x01:

It also explains why Dean was so worried and desperate when he thought Cas was dead, to the point where he told Bobby that maybe angels didn’t need to breathe. It explains why when Dean realized Cas was alive, he didn’t focus on being pissed.

Dean didn’t tell Cas there was no way to redeem himself. He didn’t decide to leave him right there; Dean actually wanted to take Cas with them. Why? Dean was hurt deeply by what Cas did, and didn’t like the choices Cas made. The same happened with Mary. Dean didn’t like the choices she made and was really hurt by them. However, when Dean thought that something bad could happen to Mary, nothing else mattered. There was no betrayal important enough to prevent him from running to her rescue.

That’s what happened back in season 7’s premiere. The moment Dean thought that something bad could happen to Cas, nothing else mattered. Nothing Cas had done was beyond redemption. The idea of losing the person he loves hurts Dean a lot more than accepting the choices the person makes. That’s why Dean forgave Cas in season 7, no matter what.

Of course, many of us already knew that Cas meant a lot to Dean even back then. I’m just glad the subtext of season 12 is somehow explaining things that happened so long ago in the show. If season 12 continues like this, I might feel inspired enough to keep writing as often as I used to. 

Strategies for Adding Depth to your Novel

Anonymous asked, “I’m planning my story and I’ve actually already done the basic parts, like characters, settings and plot, but I want to add more too it. Like, I have things that need to happen, a page for word count and progress, and I write down tips and research but I want to do more. Could you help me? Any tips? 

It sounds to me like you are looking for something a number of friends of mine call “discovery.” These are the moments where your story comes alive, your characters do things you didn’t know they could do, they end up being much deeper than you’d imagined from the outset. There are a few things you can do to try to spark this.

  • Dwell in a scene longer than you need to. While you may know what happens next, linger a little longer (and you may end up getting rid of this extra writing) and just give the characters things to talk about. Get them to open up about things that may or may not be relevant. You may end up seeing something in a character you hadn’t thought of that will tie nicely into the plot or you might get a main character to open up about some inner desire that they hadn’t previously had the opportunity to express. (For instance, it never was relevant in the 7 book series of Harry Potter to mention Harry’s fear of pigeons. Came up in the play though and shocked us all! But more seriously, there could be some deeper element of the character that hadn’t come up and could bring something more to your story.) Be open to anything. You won’t know what’s an important theme until you’re editing later. 

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Things I’ve learned writing and reading fic:

If a descriptive word in a sentence or an action in a scene doesn’t add to the imagery, cadence, emotional weight, plot, cut it. More isn’t better.

If a touch is emotionally significant, don’t just tell what they did: tell how it felt. Mention the warmth of the other’s hands, the weight of their head on the lover’s shoulder.

Keep in mind whose point of view you’re telling the story from, and don’t describe their partner’s unspoken thoughts or feelings, unless they’re visible in their partner’s body; then you can mention the hesitance in their smile, the fear in their eyes, the sudden joy clear in their tone.

Don’t use verbs that create contradictory imagery; don’t evoke violence in a tender scene. If they’re kissing, they’re not crashing together; that means hard surfaces and noise and unpleasantness. They’re not crushing each other’s mouths, unless they’re jealous or angry or frightened. Use words that bring up the emotions they feel; two people in love and at peace sink into each other, they press into the touch, they taste and savor and drink each other in.

Try to create the space they exist in, the sounds and the scents, the light, little things in the room–not every detail, just a few relevant to the mood of the space; the reader will fill in the rest.

Don’t create drama for drama’s sake; have reasons. If a character is cruel, or incommunicative, why? What are they afraid of, remembering, hurt by, too proud to admit? If they finally give in and kiss their love, what changed, or built up to the breaking point?–what made them brave enough?

At the moment of crisis, their thoughts should be blunt, breathless–short sentences; feeling, realizing, not analyzing. Analysis comes after, as they begin to calm.

The things you write and rewrite until you can’t read them anymore–they’ll mean something to someone. The things you write all in a rush and never rework will mean something too. Not everyone will love each phrase, but someone will. Be brave.

anyone else have those couple of things that you remember from childhood that you’ll never forget but have no relevance in your life but you keep remembering at weird moments

       Although I respect people’s opinions, I can never bring myself to understand why there is so much hatred for Hinata. She loved Naruto since the very very beginning. I think that itself is enough reason to adore her because she was never against him. He didn’t have to prove himself to her and she acknowledged his beautiful personality before anything else. Meanwhile, mostly everyone had to witness Naruto’s physical strength before actually taking him seriously. Hinata was on Naruto’s side even before he could summon a shadow clone properly, before he could call himself a ninja, when everyone was so fixated on the nine tails that they treated him like he wasn’t human. 

     Forgive me if it seems like I’m comparing but when people put team 7 before everything, I close my ears. Don’t get me wrong, I love team 7 but when I think about Naruto, I don’t just solely think about Team 7. When we put team 7′s bonds before everything else, we are demolishing the bonds that Naruto shared with others. We are demolishing the fact that Naruto was alone. Every aspect (even the bad ones) in Naruto’s life should all be taken into account and not just a fraction of it. The fact that he found the woman of his life, I would think that people would be happy because the manga starts with this…

And ends with…

     If you truly think about it, Naruto’s life is being told chronologically from his years as a boy, to a teen, to a young adult, to a full grown man. The ending is quite beautiful because it shows us just how much Naruto has grown; the fact that he found love! Who would have ever thought that knucklehead Naruto would get married… being the first one out of Konoha 11 at that?! It shows that in the very beginning, he was bereft of love… and the ending is basically his earned blessing because now, he’s united with the woman who loved him even when he was just that kid who sat on the swings and sadly watched everyone from afar.  It depicts his adulthood. When watching this wedding, we shouldn’t be thinking “Why did it not end with team 7!” Instead, we should be thinking “Naruto has grown up” or “He’s not that kid anymore!” It’s his wedding. That marks one of the best days of his life. 

     Meh, everyone’s entitle to think what they want. This is just how I look at it. This is why I truly adore Hinata and the ending. While I do feel like Kishimoto should have added more into the ending, I am still grateful for the results. In fact, it makes me want to cry when taking in the beginning of the manga to the ending. Watching Naruto as that lonely kid and seeing him now…Kishimoto did such a wonderful job with explaining the aspects of Naruto’s life. I am so proud of Naruto. He’s accomplished so much and now he’s gifted with a woman with such a beautiful heart.

   She even faced death for him. We see this puny little kunoichi fight a super strong evil shinobi like Pein and lost with the intent of  protecting and revealing her love for someone who has saved her from herself; someone who broke the chains of insecurity and self affliction out of her. That itself tells you that Hinata has a story of her own. She went through spiritual battles herself so you shouldn’t trivialize her feelings and the role she plays in Naruto’s life. She’s a person too… and she is not perfect. People spend so much time with expressing their hatred for her character when even Hinata herself admits her flaws and expresses her need for change; expresses how she doesn’t even like herself. 

    In a way it’s kind of like you tell someone “I hate you” and they respond “I hate myself.” She’s not ignorant of her character flaws and that itself makes her even more of an incredible character because this whole time, she acknowledged her bad sides and it gave her more of a reason to want to change into someone stronger. Naruto was the prime source of her strength because he is the perfect example of what she’s trying to become. He motivated her to pick herself up and continue to work hard as both a person and a ninja. In return, she felt like she owed him her life which is why she didn’t care if she died on the battle field. Her sacrifice confirmed how strong and genuine her love really is. This moment in the manga defines just how strong Hinata had become over the years as both a person and a ninja.

      I don’t see why it is a problem that she wants to be by Naruto’s side. We are already aware of the fact that she loved him since young. When you love someone, being by their side is more like an instinct. This is why she impulsively intervened in the battle the way she did… and other times…

    And, you wanna know something that I find hysterically hilarious? Is that she actually makes it her duty to be by his side. She legit wants to protect Naruto more than he does for her. She wants to be there for him more than she is actually capable… and she BLAMES HERSELF for why he always ends up being the one to save her in the end. It’s hilarious because this girl legit loves this guy and there are still people that don’t actually realize that (I respect your feelings though, but still). Even when she is tired and out of energy, she still tries to make a way to be by his side. Even when she knows she will die, she still tries to find a way. It is plain and simple… Hinata LOVES Naruto. Period, point blank.

    But then again, who’s to say that she’s the only impulsive one? 

              Those subconscious feelings are stronger than a bitch. 

—————————————————————————————————-

Every time she helps Naruto, it is suddenly a “problem”. But, the crazy thing is… every time she DOES help him, he BENEFITS from it completely.

   He even admits it every time. If it wasn’t for Hinata’s encouragement, he would have never had the confidence to defeat Neji in the final competition. In fact, he probably would have gotten his ass kicked simply put ^_^ He even THANKS Hinata for uplifting him so sincerely. Naruto’s depression vanished very quickly and now he is back to being himself… positive and full of energy; full of life and strength. Turns out, he actually likes Hinata as a person and understands her better.

   Even her intervention during his battle with pein benefited him seeing that Naruto was going to die on spot after all. Next thing you know, he was able to meet his father, he was able to defeat pein, rewarded the title of the village hero, and luckily for him, he is still alive.  He even acknowledges that Hinata’s sacrifice was a “save” on his part. He knows that Hinata wants to protect him hence he clearly assured her that she has already been doing that.

        You want to know what’s really interesting about this panel? It reminds me of this…

     Mind you, Naruto wasn’t exactly confident about his match against Neji (Like I mentioned before). Hinata uplifted him very quickly just like Naruto was able to uplift her as soon as he sensed how dejected she felt for being saved by him during the war. They are both very good at encouraging each other. It’s like an “eye for eye” sort of thing because they have the answer to each other’s insecurity. You would think that Naruto would have shared his worry to this team mates for those who believe that Team 7 is EVERYTHING. But apparently, he didn’t. For a girl that he considered weird, gloomy, dark , and timid , it truly amazes me that he entrust telling her about his weaknesses than the people he’s been “bonded” with throughout his early journey as a ninja. I’m not necessarily belittling the importance of Team 7 but rather proving that it is NOT the most important thing in the series. We have to be mindful of other characters too because they contribute a lot to Naruto’s character alone.

     He even acknowledges the fact that she saved him from falling into the traps of Obito.  He genuinely thanks her and also acknowledges that she “stayed at his side.” So, if Naruto can happily come to terms with that, then I don’t see the “problem.” In the end, he is back on his feet and being the happy knucklehead that we all know and love. We should be happy that Naruto has people like Hinata in his life that will sacrifice a leg and an arm for him; like his parents, like neji, etc. When putting Team 7 over everything, you are forgetting about those other precious people and things that were put in action to ensure his growth, his potential, and the extent of his passionate feelings as a character. Deny it or not, Hinata aligns with all of that and there is nothing no one can do about it. 

   “But Hinata isn’t relevant to the series because she doesn’t get a lot of                                                screen time.” 

Does the quantity of moments dictate how strongly Naruto feels about a person? Are we really going to let time away from a character dictate someone’s relevance to another person? Because, as far as I’m concern, Naruto has never spent a day with his mom or dad… but they are still upheld as important to him. Sasuke has been away from the leaf village for over 2 years. Even in their adult life, Sasuke has been away from the village for around 12 years (if I’m correct). It doesn’t change the fact that Naruto and Sasuke are very close. If screen time was genuinely relevant, then he would have let Sasuke go over the years that he actually spent time trying to find him. Jiraya has been dead for quite a long time… but Naruto’s feelings for Jiraya hasn’t changed. He still cherishes his god father with every drip of blood in his body. Gaara and Naruto are from different villages (we don’t get to see Gaara all of the time) but even that doesn’t dictate his bond with Naruto. Shikamaru is not even on Team 7 but he and Naruto are basically close as well… just like the of rest of konoha 11. Iruka hasn’t had all the screen time in the world but who did naruto ask to be his father in the wedding? Naruto even cherishes that sweet adorable ramen guy (the dude who NEVER gets screen time).  So, can we please stop making everything about screen time? It doesn’t necessarily matter. The QUALITY of the moments he share with another character is what truly defines those special bonds. Believe it or not, he shared quality moments with Hinata hence there would be no point in the genjutsu meaning anything to him. Once he was able to genuinely decipher those moments, that is when he came to terms with his own feelings for the Hyuga. He was able to realize how he felt about Hinata all along… and it didn’t take THOUSANDTHS of moments for that to happen.

anonymous asked:

oh and do u think that dean/cas could be interpreted as brotherly affection? its a complex question cos cas doesnt really know what (human) family is and dean has only really had sam as a long term family member (excluding bobby + we dont talk about adam lmao)

Dean and Cas: 

A brother/buddy or a romantic relationship?

I just literally just had this conversation with @godshipsit & @floralmotif today :)

So, according to Truby’s Character Technique we have a difference between a romance and a buddy story which are the 2 relationships he talks about (I take brothers as buddies as the key is the romance part and, just, no) that I will summarise here (full details follow the link):

1. Love story: The central concept of love stories is quite profound. Love stories say that a person does not become a true individual by being alone. A person becomes a unique and authentic individual only by entering into a community of two. It is through the love of the other that each person grows and becomes his or her deepest self.

(PS IM DYING AT THE USE OF THE WORD PROFOUND. I CANNOT FLAIL ANYMORE. IM DEAD).

2. Buddy story: The buddy strategy allows you essentially to cut the hero into two parts, showing two different approaches to life and two sets of talents. These two characters are “married” into a team in such a way that the audience can see their differences but also see how these differences actually help them work well together, so that the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. As in the love story, one of the buddies should be more central than the other. The buddy is a kind of double of the hero, similar in important ways but also different. 

These are quite similar but there is a clear line between the two:

The community of two: It is through the love of the other that each person grows and becomes his or her deepest selfThey have a deep, profound impact on the CORE CHARACTERISTICS of the other, not one or two top level changes / improvements to their character but it goes deep, to the CORE of what we characterise them as.

Note how relevant this difference between the romantic v brotherly/buddy relationship is to Sam/Dean who are kind of a weird amalgamation between the two for narrative reasons of this show, but remember that the endgame for Sam and Dean is different, they want different things (I could bang on about this for hours, but it’s canon, it’s repeatedly and consistently referenced on both sides through the years to hammer the point home) therefore their endgames are in fact to END the codependency and have a happy healthy relationship apart from each other, or at least, not on top of each other and not codependent. 

Thus they can’t enter a community of two and become their deepest selves together, which makes perfect sense because they haven’t yet done it in 12 years of being together, precicely because they’re both holding each other back (see every time Sam tries to get out of hunting and Dean drags him back in, see every time Dean gets close to Cas and looks warily at Sam before no-homo-ing his way out etc etc etc).


So, you must detail the needs of both characters at the beginning of the story…

~ Dean doesn’t have faith in God, Angels or himself 

~ Cas is a soldier and Angel of the Lord with authority issues, used as a soldier but he canonically just wants to help and save people when given the chance

~ Dean has abandonment issues 

~ Cas wants somewhere to belong

- Dean has codependency issues with his brother and sexuality / various character repression issues from his childhood

~ God makes Dean pancakes and has faith in Dean because Dean is the ‘firewall between Light and Darkness’, Dean represents Free Will and Humanity, Dean and Cas came to Chuck and Cas told him ‘we’re making up as we go’, because Dean taught him Free Will (the circle is complete, it completes me *satisfied face*). 

~ Dean starts to believe in himself and has faith in/textually prays to Cas 

~ Cas rebels and does it, all of it, for Dean  

~ Cas ignores God and has faith in Dean 

~ Cas always comes back to Dean

~ Cas knows he belongs with Dean and Sam (they’re his family). He becomes part of TFW: hunting things, saving people, the family business.

~ I also believe Dean’s codependency issues and repression issues are being addressed this season, these are more relevant to Mary though, but they absolutely are relevant to Cas and I really do see him coming into play around the sexuality issue of course but also as Cas is canonically supportive of Dean in his lowest moments and Dean opens to him more than anyone, see the Gadreel torture scene, the burger date etc etc (and Crowley to a point, who is a Cas mirror).

In conclusion, Dean and Cas are canonically central to each other’s CORE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and their endgames are INTERLINKED.

Originally posted by damon-in-rococo


Just deserts

There,  I fixed it.  For @thegladelf and her “boy thinks the worst of himself and is proven radically wrong by his loved ones kink” 6x13 continuation, aka SPOILERS


She couldn’t stop smiling.  And if he let himself forget for a moment, get lost in her delirious joy, in light giggles and soft kisses; In soft looks and her hand reaching for his-  

It’s what he always wanted for her,  and that he was the one to bring her such joy was an honor beyond anything he could have imagined in all his dark years.  But she’s burying her head in his shoulder on the couch, some movie or another long forgotten on low volume in front of them and he’s never felt like such a villain in his entire existence.  

His ring sparkles on her finger and he can hardly take his eyes from it.  It fit perfectly, a sparkling reminder that Emma Swan wanted to spend the rest of her life with him,  with a pirate.   With the man who murdered her grandfather.  He bent and pressed a kiss to the top of her head,  memorizing this moment.  He could let it go,  bask in her light for a while longer,  let her keep the unconcerned joyous smile on her lips for just a little while longer  She was saying something and he tried to focus on her words caching the tail end of a sentence.

“-we both know that mom is going to turn this into an extravaganza.   Dancing and dresses and sparkling lights and you know what Killian?  I don’t care.  I’ll wear the biggest fricken dress that she can come up with and throw all the stupid flower petals wherever she wants as long as at the end of the day I can be married to you.”

“Emma?”

“Hmmm?”  she hummed contentedly.  

“I love you.”

“Yeah.  I love you too,  got the ring to prove it-” she teased.

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Writing Lore within Fantasy

Anonymous asked: “Do you have any tips on writing lore? My series at the moment has a lot of fairly complex world building lore that isn’t relevant to the plot, but I’d like to arrange into another handbook to explain things.”

I am not really sure how I would suggest going about writing a “handbook.” Tolkien’s The Silmarillion is obviously the one that comes to mind as an example. While I’ve read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I can’t confess to have read The Silmarillion and from what I know, it has a fairly niche audience. Note: all things that follow are all suggestions. 

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ew.com
'Supergirl': Jeremiah's Return Divides Danvers Sisters

Jeremiah Danvers returns during Monday’s episode of Supergirl — but not everyone will be happy about that.

Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Alex (Chyler Leigh) are divided after Jeremiah (Dean Cain) suddenly and mysteriously returns from Cadmus. After all, Kara had basically rescued Jeremiah when she, herself, was trapped in Cadmus, but he declined to leave with them. So why is he here now?

“Immediately, it’s just a joyous occasion that I think blinds them to a threat there because he was gone for so long that they don’t know what happened to him while he was with Cadmus, so there’s conflict,” Benoist says. “One of them is adamant that he’s innocent, and that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt anyone. The other is more suspicious, so there’s some butting heads.”

It’s probably not hard to guess which role each of the sisters take. “They haven’t seen Jeremiah in over a decade, so Alex almost goes back to seeing daddy again,” Leigh says. “They’ve wanted to find him, so the prospect of it actually happening and then him coming is this crazy, emotional, amazing ride.”

But it’s unclear whether Jeremiah can be trusted, with Mon-El (Chris Wood) being the first to actually point that out. “Mon-El is more suspicious about Jeremiah coming back, and that pushes Kara into going, ‘OK, he raises some questions,‘” Leigh says. “Kara says, ‘Maybe we need to vet this out a little more before diving straight in,’ but Alex is like no holds barred, she’s like, ‘No, dad’s back, this is it, family is family, ride or die.’ It does divide them a bit because Alex believes so wholeheartedly that he’s completely innocent and just wants to be a part of things.”

Jeremiah’s return provides for a sweet family reunion, in which both Alex and Kara are able to introduce their respective significant others — which is especially daunting for Alex. “It’s one of these moments where you see Alex, one by one, having to cross this road and see how people react,” Leigh says. “She hasn’t seen him in over a decade and, ‘Guess what? I’m gay!’ It’s great. His reaction is so wonderful. It’s a great, sweet, endearing moment: ‘OK, I’m being accepted for where I am.'”

Whether Jeremiah can be trusted or not, Cadmus is still very much a lingering threat. “There’s continuing attempts to just rid the planet of aliens — mass exodus of anyone that’s different on Earth, they want them out,” Benoist says. “Their threat is really ominous, and also, I think, quite relevant to things that are happening in the world, which I’m proud of this show for. Lillian Luthor is a constant dark cloud over National City for everyone at the DEO.”

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Home, family & other herbs

Davy Perez is sort of filling the huge hole that Robbie Thompson left in my heart when he left. His last two episodes have been incredibly good, so I’ve decided to take advantage of the motivation that has apparently come back to me. As usual, most of the posts I write focus on the Dean/Cas relationship, so if that’s not your thing, you will probably not like this. There are five things about episode 12x15 that I want to point out as relevant to me in regards to Dean and Cas.

The first relevant thing was that Dean’s the one communicating with Cas. Dean was talking on the phone with Cas while Sam was doing the same with Mary. Of course, Sam had to become Mary’s direct line of communication, mostly after he agreed to work with the BMoL. And of course Dean was the one receiving updates of what Cas was doing –both at the beginning and at the end of the episode. It’s exactly what anyone would expect. I simply liked the visuals. For example, Dean’s and Sam’s conversations were simultaneous the first time we saw Dean on the phone with Cas.

The second time, it was obvious Dean was the one making the call even if he had Cas on speaker. 

I think these visuals reinforced the idea that when Cas isn’t at the Bunker, Dean keeps an interest in whatever he’s doing.

The second relevant thing was that Dean noticed something was off with Cas. Just as Dean was the one who noticed that something wasn’t alright with Mary in episode 12x13, this time he noticed that something felt off with Cas, too. As I mentioned above, Dean had Cas on speaker; that means both Dean and Sam heard what Cas was saying. However, Sam didn’t notice anything weird, whereas Dean did. The same happened last season when Lucifer was possessing Cas. Dean noticed that something was off, but Sam dismissed Dean’s suspicions. Dean is very perceptive with the people he loves.

 Another important thing regarding the Dean/Cas relationship had to do with Cas’ conversation with the other angel in this episode. The other angel asked Cas if he ever missed Heaven. He said that no matter how much he loved Earth, it wasn’t home. Cas made no comment about it. Don’t you think it’s interesting that an angel talked to Cas about home just three episodes after Dean Winchester offered Cas to go home?

(Source x

It’s even more interesting to think that both episodes were written by the same writer. Don’t you think it’s also very remarkable that this angel used the words “family” and “true family” to convince Cas to give himself a chance to be forgiven and welcomed in Heaven? It was Cas himself who called the Winchesters his family three episodes ago; it was Cas himself who confessed how much he loved them.

(Source x)

All of that happened in an episode written by Davy Perez, so I’m pretty sure what’s going on with Cas is on purpose, and I’m quite excited about it. I’ve spent more than 3 years waiting for the moment when Cas will choose the Winchesters (and by that, I mean Dean) not because he has to, not to save anyone’s life, but simply because he really wants to.  

The fourth relevant thing I need to mention is the fact that Dean thanked Crowley for saving Cas. Dean Winchester thanking the King of Hell himself for saving Cas was something I never expected to happen. I knew Dean was grateful; I just didn’t think he would bring himself to say it out loud. For some reason that reminded me of Benny. In season 8 we were shown that Dean learned to trust Benny because he saved Cas. Dean never said it textually, but the subtext was very clear. This time Dean used his own words to express his gratitude to Crowley for saving the life of someone that means a lot to him. That was better than I could have expected.

The last thing about the episode I want to point out is the foreshadowing we were given during the conversation between Sam and Gwen. I’m perfectly aware that the lying part Gwen mentioned was supposed to make Sam realize that lying to Dean was a bad idea, and that was why Sam told Dean the truth about working with the BMoL at the end. However, in this episode we had another person who decided to keep information from Dean: none other than Castiel. Cas didn’t tell Dean that he was going to Heaven to talk to Joshua, but Dean will find out sooner or later.

The thing is that the relationship between Marcus and Gwen doesn’t foreshadow anything good for Dean and Cas. Gwen is the one who survived, the one who felt that Marcus loved her more than she ever loved him. The one question she asked herself was: Why couldn’t I just tell him the truth? She lied even though she knew everything was over, but why was everything over? I suppose it was because of the long distance thing. What about Dean and Cas? Cas was tempted with the idea of going back to Heaven. He lied to Dean (or at least didn’t tell him something) probably to make things easier, just as Gwen. What can be more of a long distance situation than going to Heaven while the other person stays on Earth? Is it possible that season 12 will end with Cas going back to Heaven? (Of course, even if that were the case, I’m sure it wouldn’t be forever).

Some people might think that Gwen could be a Dean parallel. Truth be told, I thought about that possibility as well, but I discarded it because I don’t think lying to Cas is part of Dean’s arc. In this episode the one who had to leave was Gwen, so I see her as a Cas parallel because it’s more logical to expect Cas to leave. Nevertheless, I have to say that the “Why couldn’t I just tell him the truth?” could apply to both Dean and Cas. Dean hasn’t told Cas his feelings. What if Dean’s the one staying on Earth feeling that Cas loved him more than he ever did and feeling guilty for never telling him the truth about what Cas meant to him. This could be interpreted in both ways, and for some reason I consider the two options too painful to bear.

These are the things about the Dean/Cas relationship that caught my attention from episode 12x15. Dean is obviously the one communicating with Cas, the one noticing that something is going on with Cas, and the one being thankful for still having his angel alive. In addition, Cas’ arc about choosing to be an angel or human isn’t over yet. He still has to figure out what family he wants for himself and where exactly his home is. Finally, season 12 is foreshadowing more unrequited love between Dean and Cas (or at least that’s what they both think) and a huge chance that Cas ends up this season upstairs.  This episode has a lot of layers to discuss, so if I missed something, I hope someone else can write about it. All in all, I appreciate the effort Mr. Perez is making to keep his episodes consistent to the themes that are being developed. Now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season that will probably make me suffer too much.

I understand that it is very important to talk about Bellamy looking at Clarke in the prison cell. 

But I also really like the little moment where Kane is talking to Bellamy, and Kane knows that Bellamy might not be fully convinced of what he’s saying, so he pulls him over and speaks to him emphatically. And Bellamy is clearly moved, but can’t fully bring himself to fully believe what Kane is saying, because he hasn’t quite reached a place of self-acceptance, so all he can say is, “I hope so.” (With big puppy dog eyes, but ok, not relevant). 

And we have Abby and Clarke just waiting for them as they have their moment. We get a close-up of her glancing up at him before moving to go off with him.

With the cell scene, where I don’t think it’s conclusive what Bellamy feels (or if he is only thinking/feeling one thing at all), there’s a bit of ambiguity to Clarke here as well. But here we have a classic example that Clarke does pay attention to Bellamy as he does her. She has known from way back in 1x08 the way he can bear guilt on his shoulders. I don’t think his ‘I hope so’ is anything unexpected for her to hear.  But she listens, she takes note. She doesn’t rush him off in that moment. 

What she’s thinking could be a myriad of things. Comfort in seeing Kane being there for Bellamy? Conviction to get to saving the world so perhaps one day both she and Bellamy will truly be able to feel like they ‘deserve to survive’? 

And I know we sometimes joke about Kabby parenting their almost-married children Bellarke, but when she glances back at Abby, knowing that Abby heard the conversation too, it did strike me a little like - Hey mum, I’m leaving now, with him, and you know, he is still struggling, he is not perfect, but that’s alright yea? And Abby let’s her go. On a level, it does feel a like she’s marrying Clarke off. But hey, might be my shipper goggles eh? 

You May Say That I’m A Dreamer

Fandom Writing Challenge | envydean
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Destiel
Prompt: Ice Skating
Word Count: 2,362
Summary: Dean’s been a fan of the men’s figure skating for as long as he can remember. He’s always been fascinated by how the contestants move on the ice, contort their elegant bodies into beautiful positions and land each jump with grace – not that anyone at school knows this, they only know Dean as the tough-man soccer player. When Dean’s favourite under twenty-one’s figure skater transfers to his school, sparks fly.

[AO3]


Dean glances at the clock in the corner of his laptop screen only for a spark of panic to shoot through him. There’s still seven minutes left of the YouTube catch up video he’s watching and he wants to finish it, except that will make him late for school. Four lates in a row and he’ll end up getting a detention which means he’ll be even later watching the video. Dean wishes it would be a simple choice, school or men’s figure skating semi-finals.

Dean growls as he hits the pause button before slamming his laptop harder than he intended. He’ll watch it after school, he decides he would rather wait than get yelled at by his dad for the late mark letter he’ll no doubt receive. Dean grabs his backpack and heads down stairs before locking the door behind him and walking the well-known route to school.

*

There’s barely anyone around when he arrives, only the last few people filing into their classes for the start of the day. His English class is, unfortunately on the other side of the school grounds and he makes a dash for it. Mr. Crowley isn’t Dean’s number one fan in the first place and Dean doesn’t want to get into his bad books when he’s in his final year of high school.

When Dean sneaks into class, there’s none of the usual hustle and bustle that he’s used to at the start of the lesson. Instead, the class is silent and they’re all looking to the front of the class. For a moment, Dean wonders if all eyes are really on him and when he looks to the front, he’s expecting Mr. Crowley’s glare.

Except, he’s met with strikingly familiar blue eyes.

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nightlasting  asked:

Hey, I was wondering if you had any advice for using the words- second or moment. I feel like I use them a lot in my writing, like at least once a paragraph and I have to go back and interchange them to keep from sounding repetitive. Do you have any advice or recommendations for other words?

I’ve struggled with this exact problem and have found the best solution is to cut out the need for either word altogether. Consider “second” and “moment” to be crutches and try to write without them.

Here are some examples from my older writing.

1) Once he’s gone, I stand still for a moment resettling into my surroundings. The room smells like fabric softener, and the CD’s have a plastic and cologne scent. I check the boxy handwriting on the cases.

Okay, there’s actually a lot here I want to remove because very little of it is relevant to the character or storyline. She hasn’t been gone long enough for it to matter that she takes a minute to resettle into her surroundings.

Revision: Alone again, I sit down on the bed and read the boxy handwriting on the cases- they smell freshly unwrapped.

I’ve left in the relevant details and taken out any reference to the passing of time.

2) He stares at me for a moment then puts his gift down gently.

Here the male character is processing some surprising information the MC has just given him. However, my characters all “stare” too much, so let’s rewrite this sentence as well.

Revision: He blinks, then puts his gift down gently.

I’ve started substituting “blink” for a lot of things and know it too will become a crutch if I don’t find more creative ways to describe lulls in thought and dialogue.

3)  She shares a look with me and for a moment we have an understanding. I loosen my grip on the pen and relax in my seat. 

This interaction is between a teacher instructing the class and a student sitting at a desk. These elements were previously introduced, so there’s quite a bit in this excerpt that isn’t relevant including the length of time the look lasted. 

Revision: We share a look, and I relax my grip on the pen. 

The amount I shaved off is not an example every writer needs to follow. There was nothing wrong with the original sentence, but the repetition of information along with the “moment” crutch made it clunky in context.

So, if you find yourself using a word or phrase too often in your writing, hit backspace and decide if it really needed to be there in the first place. Some scenes may suffer without it, but most will be just fine on their own.