bad stories

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Feels a Lot Like Death

They say that you’ll know when you’re going to die a few moments before it happens. You’ll feel a twinge of something on the back of your neck, your muscles tighten, and your breath will catch. That’s what they say anyway, whoever they are. That’s not how I died.

I was not forewarned and no held breaths. One moment I was in the back of an Uber on my way home from work and the next I watched as paramedics pull my body from a crumpled car. The driver survived, broken and scarred for life, but not me; not little Jenda. I died while on my phone reading an e-book. I wondered how it ends.

My surroundings changed from the wreckage to my family crying in the morgue. I was more surprised that my sister stood there and cried with my mom. She had always been the stoic one of the family. My father sobbed and mother prayed through her tears. I drifted over my cold body already cut and examined. I had a few cuts on my face and a broken neck. I shook my head and reached a hand out feeling just a chill but nothing solid as I touched my sunken cheeks and dry blue lips. I moved towards my family feeling something begin to pull me. I wanted to cry; I wanted to scream; I wanted to feel, but I couldn’t. Any emotions I had were distant. Any regrets I thought I’d have seemed so far away.

My mind felt like it was slowly slipping away. A piece fell on my sister, another on the floor, and some just falling through the walls. Soon, hardly anything was left of me, surely not enough to still be myself. I gave a low haunting laugh as the last bits of me shatter and drift away.

End

thesortofheartless  asked:

I finished ultimax not too long ago and i didn't find the story that bad. What exatly are your problems with it?

The story itself isn’t bad at all. It had a lot of potential. The problem is the incredibly poor execution.

OK, now let me say, I’m REALLY glad you enjoyed the story. I’m happy, really! Anyone finding enjoyment in something is almost always a great thing! It’s just, I can’t feel that way. While I initially was only “slightly disappointed” with the game, the longer I let it sit and simmer as I thought about what we could have had as opposed to what we got, the more and more I grew bitter, kinda like an Avocado in the fry-pan. It was just infuriating to me.

Now, first of all, I don’t blame that on Atlus being “Lazy” or anything. If you do the math, you realize they probably didn’t have a lot of time to focus on this game’s story mode, what with everything else going on at their company at the time, so they had to rush it. Still, they put 8 different writers on this game, which is more than twice the amount of writers any script can take without turning into a jumbled mess under average circumstances. Add in the fact that the person listed as the Scenario Director seems to have been busy with P5 at the time and you got a recipe for disaster.

How, what exactly went wrong?

*) The individual events in the story mode contributed little to its eventual development. 

Count all the scenes in the story-mode that could be cut without losing any information relevant to the overall plot or the eventual development of the characters. You’ll get a whole lot, right? Well, in a tight script, especially one as short as this, that should never happen. We call that “filler”. I have a good guess as to how all this filler came about too: With eight writers working on the script at once, one writer probably often had no way of knowing what another was writing at the moment, meaning they had to write their scenes in a way that ran as little risk of contradicting the work of a colleague as possible, meaning the scenes had to be inconsequential in the grander scheme. Well, they succeeded at that. Too bad that that’s not good story-telling. While a short game like this can have some filler, here it was a serious detriment, since it stole time away that could have been used to develop characters, like friggin’ Sho instead. Oh yeah, I’ll get to him. 

*) Plot threads are brought up, then dropped like hot potatoes on a whim. 

Marie is brought up and mentioned to be using her power to remove Inaba’s citizens’ transmogrified forms from Kagutsuchi’s Dark Hour for safety. Does she show up in the climax to help out Yu&Co with dealing the final blow? Nope, she just shows up twice in the entire game for little reason other than to say “Yeah, she exists!”. With her being Izanami, Kagutsuchi’s mythological mother, there were a MILLION ways her aid could have been worked into the plot that wouldn’t even have required a lot of screentime, but instead she was just kinda dropped in and fished back out again. What a pointless endeavor. Perhaps even more egregiously, Kagutsuchi planning to use Teddie as an element of his vessel, something that’s been foreshadowed as early as the first Arena if you pay attention, is veeeeery briefly brought up, it being mentioned that Teddie’s human-like consciousness could help stabilizing the vessel… And then, Kagutsuchi just goes “Nah.” and drops the plan. After one game of build up, with little justification other than “Curses, the bear has too much spunk!” This just feeds into my suspicion that the writers had lots of great ideas but far too little time and coordination to execute them right, so they were forced to half-ass about 50% of what they were doing.I get the feeling that Marie was originally supposed to tie into how Yu and Adachi managed to deal that final blow, and that the absence of Teddie within Kagutsuchi’s vessel was supposed to tie into why it wasn’t entirely stable, but due to all the writers’ limitations, they were unable to tie everything together right and we were left with disjointed plot-elements as a result.

*)Kagutsuchi

Oh my gooooooooood, Kagutsuchi. Just. Kagutsuchi. Where do I even begin!?

OK, so. He’s the deity born of human’s collective selfish need to abandon others. The most selfish archetype there is. Fed by the collective douchebaggery of Inaba’s NPCs. There’s, like, so much potential there. This is like, the ultimate embodiment of everything contrary to the characters of P3 and P4, the collective horribleness of people who abandon others, people who run to save their own hide, people who hurt others for their own gain. This could have served as such an amazing grand finale to both these teams, by proving just how supremely team-work and mutual trust prevail over selfishness. This character could easy have spoken to ALL their Shadows, all their selfish sides, reminded them of all the times they themselves have been selfish, made compelling arguments for how these characters are not above the selfishness they claim to despise, then they could all have taken him down as a symbol of conquering their own selfishness in a great, wonderful blaze of all their powers coming together.

That’s not what we got.

Instead, we got a ridiculous, barely intimidating Saturday-Morning villain (How do you fail to make someone posing as SHADOW TEDDIE scary!?) whose arguments were about as paper thin as those of a mainstream politician, who had no idea how to use his amazingly cool Shadow-Doubles right, using them as generic mooks instead of actually manipulating his enemy’s emotions with them, and then he was taken down not by everyone teaming up, but by either Yu and Adachi pulling a last-minute Fusion-Spell out of their butts or by Labrys because… reasons. Yeah. 

Now, while there perhaps is no better embodiment of the collective stupidity of Inaba’s NPCs than a Saturday Morning Cartoon villain, this was still a huge let-down to me, and I wish he’d at least been defeated in a more meaningful way. Yu and Adachi’s Izanagis being mythologically contrary to Kagutsuchi was nice, but really, this equation could only have fully worked if at very least Marie had been involved. Again, she’s friggin’ Izanami. And there’s NO reason why Labrys should have been able to beat him.

*) Sho’s screentime, by which I mean lack thereof. 

Now. Sho Minazuki. A character who seems to be based on the psychological studies conducted on delinquent children, recorded in Fritz Redl’s book “Children Who Hate”. He exhibits all symptoms of a “child who hates”; grew up without the sufficient amount of normal human contact, is unable to express his need for affection in any non-violent way, retaliates when you attempt to integrate him into a normal, societal lifestyle… He reads like an extreme example of the children written about in Redl’s book. This is a character with a genuine mental illness. In a Persona Game. There was SO MUCH potential there. However, how do we learn all of this about Sho? Do we watch him exhibit these symptoms naturally and characters draw conclusions? Do we see him bloom up in battle and other characters take note of that? Do we learn anything about him from the characters just interacting with him? NOPE! He barely even is on screen enough for that! Instead, we get Naoto, Mitsuru and Labrys dump onto us exposition dump after exposition dump, until his entire backstory is retold in the most bland and boring way possible. Compare that to Labrys herself in the first Arena, who got a lot of time to show her traits and quirks and for characters to understand how she ticks, the got an entire own story mode dedicated to people understanding how her mind works. Imagine we’d gotten that with Sho. Just imagine. 

“Show, don’t tell” applies to all forms of storytelling in different ways. It applies the least to books and the most to films. But that doesn’t mean that in a medium where you mostly read, it doesn’t still apply. Sho and Minazuki had ALL the makings of an amazing pair of fleshed out, faceted characters, whose ultimate reunion and merging into one whole personality could have felt incredibly cathartic and fulfilling to the player. Instead, we were given no chance to truly understand him, because all we learned about him came from exposition. It was a shamefully missed opportunity.


OK. There’s so much more I could go on and on ranting about here, but I think this should be enough for now. 

Hah…

something ive also noticed wrt media crit on the site is like, i feel like the discussion of the bury your gays trope (which was good to talk abt and still warrants more talking abt) lead to some people thinking any time something bad happens in a story w marginalized characters thats oppressive and the only Good n progressive type of story to tell is one where everyone is a cinnamon roll babie having a good time (which is, imo, bad). like this literally only leaves rooms for sitcoms and slice of life anime as the types of media u can make without being problematic. like i remember when there was an arc in wtnv where the 2 boys got separated for like, a little while, and everyone lost their shit abt how that was just “more exploitation of gay suffering” and like…. it wasn’t? its just that stories need conflict, at all, ever, and this sorta mindset rly freaks me out as a content creator whos been thru Some Shit and wants to make media abt those experiences without having to make all my characters cishet white men 

anonymous asked:

I always feel bad when stories try to scare you with something might be behind you, because typically I am reading leaning on a wall or in a chair against a wall, around people. I feel I let the story down, by not having any reason to be scared.

Is alright, there are plenty of other kinds of stories to get creeped out over

tacospankakes  asked:

Is Survamp good ? What's it about ?

^ what the name stands for. 

I’m gonna copy paste this summary from the wiki cause I’m bad at explaining. :|

“The story revolves around a 16-years old boy (15 at the beginning of the story) called Mahiru Shirota, who likes simple and dislikes difficult things. One day he picks up a stray black cat he finds in the middle of the road and gives it the name Kuro.  

(it’s not everyday you figure out your adopted cat is actually a lazy vampire)

“From this moment on a contract between the servamp Sleepy Ash and Mahiru is formed and Mahiru is being pulled into the Servamp war between the seven deadly Servamps and their eighth sibling Tsubaki.”

So yeah, and then chaos ensues.  It’s only 3 episodes so far and I haven’t read the manga yet so I don’t know how “good” it really is yet, but I find it pretty interesting so far and it’s pretty cool. Also a lot of people who have read the manga before this anime even aired are pretty hyped about it, so it seems promising. If the anime crew doesn’t ruin that is…. So yeah, go ahead watch it if you want. :D

alkthash  asked:

Let's spread it across all of those - what in the would you say is the biggest factor in creating good dark stories vs bad ones (Punisher Max vs Shadow the Hedgehog). You can't just say the creators having a brain.

See, you say that but a big part of what makes a good dark story is understanding how the darkness works. Batman and Punisher are good for dark stories because they have themes of crime and violence inherent to them. Sonic is designed to be bright and colorful for children to buy so it just doesn’t mix on a conceptual level.

There’s also an issue of acknowledging the gravity behind the darkness. It’s why I can have a hearty guffaw at the black comedy of Judge Dredd but feel kind of weird seeing the moe antics of the Hetalia crew set in WW2.

But not all dark stuff has to be super-introspective. Devil May Cry has a dark aesthetic and it’s more fun than a barrel of particularly perky goth monkeys. Spawn is fun (fun, not necessarily good) because it embraces posing and imagery over any kind of depth.

A good dark story is all about understanding what darkness means for the story. Is it just to look cool? Then ask if the images work! Is it about asking actual question of humanity? Then add that depth. Make sure you’re giving it the gravity it deserves.

Queen

by Jessica Spotswood

My stepmother hated me from the moment my mother’s magic curdled in my veins.  

The stories say that the new Queen was threatened by my beauty — my hair dark as a raven’s wing, my lips red as rubies, my skin white as snow — but beauty is not so uncommon. She had beauty of her own, though it was a pale and faded copy of mine.

No, it was my power that she feared.

Slowly, my stepmother began to drive a wedge between me and my doting father. She began with tales of perceived slights. It was natural enough for a girl to resent the intrusion of a new mother, my father said, blushing behind his whiskers, particularly a woman not much older than myself, a woman whose station had been suddenly elevated from my lady-in-waiting to Queen. Still, he urged me to redouble my efforts to make my stepmother welcome in my mother’s chambers.

And though I did resent her machinations — though I did resent this dull, chirruping child taking the place of my mother, who had been a great queen and a magnificent sorceress — I tried to please my father. I tried, but my natural disposition betrayed me. I was not a sunny, golden child content to prattle on about gowns and the gossip of our courtiers. I was dark and dour and prone to secrets. I lost myself for hours in my mother’s spell-books, deciphering notes scribbled in tiny cramped script. She had known she would not be here; she had known I would have only her words to guide me.

I bragged of my growing skill with poisons and potions, but my new mother only went pale and shuddered away from me. My interests were deemed too macabre for her taste — and for delicate condition, for she was quickly with child.

Our relationship worsened. When her ball gown began to choke and tighten and she barely escaped asphyxiation — when her pet hound was found dead with a pig’s head attached to  its body and her shrieks woke the whole castle  — when her pregnancy ended with a stillborn daughter —  I was blamed. Each time she accused me of using dark and forbidden magic.

Her ugly, tattling tales infuriated me. That my father sided with her — that he believed me jealous of his love, and her place as queen — made it ten times worse. Imagine the absurdity of it. Me, jealous of that flaxen-haired peabrain?

My father was avaricious as a magpie, and as attracted to pretty simple things, but I loved him. His sorrow over his dead child, so soon after his dead wife, moved me to pity — at least for a time. I withdrew from court. I spent days and nights alike cloistered in my tower, boasting only to the night wind and the wicked creatures that visited my window.  

The new Queen gave my father sons —  little boys who wrestled each other like the puppies in the courtyard. His beard grew gray and his steps grew slow, but his heart was gladdened by those useless boys, even as his wife longed for a daughter of her own.

When I was sixteen, my father, my regent, died suddenly. Whispers began to slither through the court, the Queen’s words dripping into my courtiers’ ears like poison.

Like the poison that had stopped my father’s heart.

Ladies who had adored my mother, who had come to her for love charms and healing draughts and other, darker purposes, began to look at me with suspicion. Gentlemen who had bounced me on their knees and sang me bawdy tales crossed themselves and spat on the ground.

I drew my skirts close and set my jaw and strode through the castle as though it were my birthright. It was. I was my mother’s rightful heir and only a crown princess could inherit the throne.

My courtiers turned from me and began to approach my stepmother for supplication, though her magic — like her beauty — was a weak, paltry thing compared to mine.  

I would have withstood this onslaught had the Queen not announced she was with child.

I doubted that the child, girl or not, was my father’s. Naught happened in the castle or its grounds that I was unaware of. I had stood in the shadows and seen with my own eyes my stepmother’s Huntsman sneak into her rooms late at night.

But who would listen to the truth when a girl everyone thought a traitor told it?

Then my baby sister Rosa was born, blond and blue-eyed and beautiful, magic flickering from her fingertips like a firestorm, and something in my heart shifted.

The Queen had taken my father and my courtiers and my kingdom? Let her have them. I would take her daughter in return. Rosa was the greatest weapon I would ever wield.

The stories say that the Queen’s Huntsman took me into the woods to kill me but, moved by pity, let me flee. That he slaughtered a deer instead and gave its heart to the Queen and she, being a poor excuse for a sorceress, did not immediately know the difference.

In truth, I lured the Huntsman beyond the castle grounds with a note revealing that I knew the truth of his daughter’s paternity. I packed a large basket, woven of reeds, cushioned with a soft woolen blanket. Inside, instead of cured meats and cheeses, a sleeping baby nestled against my mother’s spell-books and a sheath containing a sharply serrated knife.

I carved out the Huntsman’s heart while his daughter watched with her big blue eyes. When I finished, Rosa giggled and grasped my bloody finger and we set off deeper into the woods surrounding the castle.

The stories say that I lived in a cozy thatched cottage, protected by a dozen little men who worked in the mountain mines. There was a cottage, nestled in a dark valley between two mountains, and perhaps there was a visit, now and again, from a handsome silversmith. But I had no need of men to protect me. I had no need of anyone save Rosa.

The first winter came and went, and then another, and another. My stepsister grew into a curious, flaxen-haired child. During the mornings, I continued my studies, scribbling my own notes in the margins of my mother’s spell-books, and had little patience for interruptions. In the afternoons, we tended our plot of vegetables and our pots of herbs, and then we walked through the woods and named all the herbs and deadly plants. In the evenings, I cooked venison stews for our supper in one cauldron and deadly poisons in the other and I taught Rosa the difference between them. After we ate, we walked by starlight along the stream and gulped the cold mountain water, and I taught her to lie in wait and lure the venomous creatures close. At night, we curled up by the flickering light of the fire and I told her stories of powerful queens and desperate daughters and innocent babes who held the fate of kingdoms in their chubby little fists.

The concealment charm I had cast upon our little cottage was good. Too good, perhaps. Beyond the silversmith and the peddler, we were never visited, but worry still gnawed at me like a toothache.

Occasionally, Rosa slept the deep sleep of an enchanted drought and I stole into the nearest village. The villagers saw only a wizened old crone with a warty beak of a nose and a cloud of white hair. I bought mead and listened to their gossip, which was not so different from the gossip of the courtiers. It all centered around a wicked princess who had poisoned her father and then stolen her baby sister. The Queen, they said, would not rest until she was reunited with her daughter.

Our fifth winter in the cottage, I waited for the snow to melt, the ground to thaw, and the paths through the mountains to become passable. Then I lifted the concealment charm.

I cherished the lessons I taught Rosa, and the blink of her blue blue eyes, and the furious grasp of her tiny hand, for I knew that, with spring, the Queen would come for us.

She did not bother with a disguise; she knew that my magic would slice through it as easily as my knife had once sliced through her lover’s heart. My wards alerted me the moment she stepped into our valley and I looked out the window to see her peacock coat shining in a patch of sunlight, her blond hair rippling in the spring breeze. Her beauty had grown with her power, as is the way of things.

It was still no match for mine.

I whispered instructions into Rosa’s small, seashell ears. “Give this to your mama,” I said.

She peered up at me with eyes the color of the far-off sea. “What is a mama?”

I thought of my mother — her own hair like raven wings, her lips like rubies, her skin white as snow. I thought of the sapphire dress she wore on my twelfth birthday and the stain that had spread across it like a great shadow while I clutched the pearl hilt of my dagger and drove it deeper into her chest. I had sobbed while I had done it, remembering the stories she had told me, curled up together like kittens by the hearth, of  queens and daughters and the blood magic that wound through our veins like a dangerous dark root.  

I looked down at Rosa. “Your mama is the woman you must kill to get your magic.”

She nodded, serious as a cemetery, and I concealed myself.

When the Queen knocked on our door, her small blond daughter greeted her.

“Hello, Mama,” Rosa said, and the Queen’s eyes, wet with tears, sparkled like sapphires.

I felt a moment of pity, but it was fleeting.

“May I come in?” The Queen asked.

Rosa nodded. “I’ve been waiting for you. I have a gift for you, Mama,” she said, in her lilting lisping voice, and she handed her mother an apple — temptingly plump, delightfully crisp, and perfectly crimson.

“What am I to do with this?” The Queen asked, and for a moment my heart faltered.

“It’s an apple, silly. You must eat it!” Rosa said, and Rosa smiled, her small ruby lips curling around her small pearly teeth even as her enormous blue eyes danced with excitement.

No mother could deny that smile. The Queen opened her mouth and took a bite.

And Rosa laughed. Rosa’s laugh had become a dark fluttering thing, made of the icy mountain stream and the shadows in our valley and the poison in that apple. The Queen’s eyes went wide with horror as she fell backward into the wet green grass.

Rosa prodded her with a velvet slipper. “Am I magic now?”

I smiled down at her. “You have been magic since the day you were born, my darling.”

“But now I haven’t got a mama.” She threw her arms around my waist.

“You don’t need one. You have me,” I promised, gathering her into my arms. “You have me for as long as you have need of me.”

“And then what?” she asked, her eyes owlish.

“And then, when you are ready to be queen, you will drive your dagger into my heart.”


Jessica Spotswood lives in Washington, DC, where she works as a children’s library associate for the DC Public Library. She is the author of the historical fantasy trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles and the contemporary novel WILD SWANS. She also edited the feminist historical anthologies A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS: 15 STORIES OF BELLES, BANK ROBBERS, & OTHER BADASS GIRLS and the forthcoming THE RADICAL ELEMENT (winter 2018).

Social media links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

“Your time belongs to Overwatch. It belongs to your duty. […] it belongs to your comrades. It belongs to me.”

Hang the Fool by AlmaMeDuele

Hey y’all, if you haven’t read this fic yet and ya like the McHanzo go read it (•‾⌣‾•)و ̑̑♡ the characters are perfect, the pacin’ is so smooth guh (it’s still in progress tho) - I was hoping to draw a scene that’s more interactive but uh here we are w/ grubby mcgrubster 

3

Kaui #1 (2015)  // Native Realities and INC Comics

“A Polynesian Tale of Beauty and the Beast

When a young woman is washed out to sea, she wakes to find herself on a mysterious island filled with magic, dangers, and secrets.  As she remembers the stories she was taught as a child, a new story unfolds around her, one that has dangerous consequences for those who don’t listen and those who don’t care. “

Story: Kristina Bad Hand , art: Kristina Bad Hand

Get it now here


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anonymous asked:

What's your opinion on the PH anime?

List of things we need:

Pandora Hearts: Brotherhood

9

So imagine the characters of fictional stories would get together at their own booth so that fans can hand them gifts and show their appreciation for their favourite characters. The villains, however, barely ever get anything, because nobody likes them.

Then you get people like me who always appreciate the villains in a story and find them more interesting than the main character.