Every day I handle more money than I will ever make. Every day.
At the start of my employment, my boss showed me videos of people stealing, and we both had a chuckle about it. How silly they were! There was a camera overhead, and it’s not to watch the shoppers. See, we can’t actually stop shoplifters. They get away with it maybe nine out of ten times. But we, who are watched and tallied and witnessed? We are always caught.
At first it was hard to hold one hundred dollars bills. An amount I had never seen before. An amount that didn’t exist in my household. It’s normal now. Here is something that is not for me.
“What the hell, I’ll take another,” says the man, pondering our 200 dollar watches. What the hell. Total comes to 580 and not even a flinch in his face. I have been working for 11 hours today and made only 110 dollars. It will go to my rent. Today I work for free, it feels. When I get my check, I will have 35 dollars left for food and saving.
The six hundreds he hands me go into the cash register. For a moment, I imagine having money. Then I put it away, counting out his change.
I know for a fact we sell our products for double what they are worth. That I could be making commission. That they could hand me those 580 dollars and change my life and not even mark the difference in their checkbooks. He’s not the only sale they make today, but I am the reason they made it. He’s not the only one spending 600 dollars, but if I hadn’t spent two hours with him telling me about his life, he wouldn’t have spent any. I go home. I don’t own a watch.
I have watched and rewatched a video on how to make salmon four ways. My shopping list is always the same. Pasta. Rice. Tuna. If I can afford butter it was a good week. I dream of the world I will never walk in, where I can throw the best fish fillet in the cart with a shrug. I hold hundreds in my hand and look up at the camera. I put them under the cash drawer.
I go to work. I scrap together my savings. I eat my bowl of rice slowly. My manager takes a paid week off from work just for his birthday. He owns a yacht.
Okay episode 4 was freaking AMAZEBALLS. And of course I HAD to draw Undyne being a badass haha. I remembered that Cami made a tu-toriel (Im not sorry) for animating fire so I decided to give it a try. It could be better but I tried my best. I dont have an animation program so I had to draw each frame individually in my art program :/
You know those lists we all see on how to writer *insert character type here* full of dos and don’ts?
Yeah, forget everything single and replace with a much simpler rule sheet that applies as a universal.
1)No matter the character type, writing people as people above all else is the number one rule. The number one way to avoid stereotypes is to write everyone in a three-dimensional human.
2)People do stereotypical things because stereotypes are created from exaggerating and generalizing reality. The difference between a stereotype and and a character that does stereotypical things is that for the later those traits do not define them. The stereotypical behavior is just facet of a complex personality.
A good example of this for people from the lower-class or Southern US is Finn on Bones. He has a lot of traits from his place of upbringing like his accent, southerisms, and tastes but isn’t defined by them. He’s still just as smart and well educated as any of his co-workers and people stereotyping him as “dumb white trash” is actually shown to be something he struggles with in an educated environment full of city folk.
Trying to hard to avoid stereotypes completely often results in alien and unrealistic characters that come off as cold and inhuman because they have no particular personality traits people from their real life demographic can relate to.
As someone from a lower-class area in Southern-Iowa, I relate to Finn because he likes “down-home” things like Country Music and Fishing while still trying his best to be educated and respectable. I relate to that more than i would someone having a generic intern college-kid intern and claiming he’s from a lower-class, American upbringing with no traits that actually show it.
3)Anyone can be a villain, the key just avoiding implying things like a certain minority status are the root of a characters evil. It can be a tricky dance because sometimes cultural things can lead to certain extremes, but for real people it’s often a case of a violent personality type twisting their beliefs around their evil desires to justify it.
4)No matter what people tell you: Tropes are not bad and in the hands of a skilled writer about anything can be done well. Some of the most beloved media is often built on the back of a well-used cliche.
That’s it, that’s literally the backbone of writing good characters that don’t come off as cardboard cut-outs or paper-thin stereotypes.
So I live in Texas, which, as most of you probably know, is filled with homophobes. Freshman year At my old high school (I transferred after one semester, I’m at a different school now.) I was very into theatre and had been doing it for around 5 years, so naturally I was in the Theater class. I was VERY openly Not Straight (I hadn’t defined myself at that point, I was just reaaaallllyyy into girls and let everyone know it) and I have had a few (a lot) of problems with classmates in the past, but there was this one guy (gonna call him Chad bc I honestly can’t remember his name) who kept being an issue. The theatre department was made up of 2 classes, tech, and performance. I was in performance and he was in tech, and we had it the same period. A lot of the times, when we had to perform something, we had tech come and watch. The assignment was to write an emotional monologue about an experience that we had faced, and I was like “ok, I’m gonna make it gay.” my teacher decided to have us perform our rough drafts for our own class before we performed for the other class, and besides my tiny circle of friends, no one in class really knew about my sexuality at that point, because I was more focused on my performance skills than shouting about how much I liked girls. As soon as I finished my monologue, the class immediately showed their support for me, and it was all good.
HERE COMES THE REVENGE PART:
This was around the time that gay marriage was legalized, (2-3 months after) and he was harassing me quite frequently about it, and even threatened to harm me if he saw me “being a sinner.” (I laughed at his phrasing) So I decided, “hey, why not call him out for his bullshit in my performance?” So I wrote my monologue about falling in love with someone named Alex (I chose a gender neutral name) and how I was harassed and threatened by someone with a name eerily similar to Chads name, taking care to only reveal at the end that Alex was a female. When I got to the part about Chad, I made obvious direct eye contact with him throughout the whole thing, and then people realized what I was saying.
He ended up getting a talking to by both of the teachers, and nobody liked him after that lmao. I also got an A on that assignment so yeet.