beauty-story

anonymous asked:

1/2 (While i do NOT ask this to be negative at all, i realize it could be a controversial topic so feel free not to answer!) I have a friend who stopped watching SPN a few years ago after, according to her, they jumped the shark to the point she just couldn't take the show seriously anymore. Now, i'm so deep in fandom it's hard to step back and be objective, but that's not the first time i've heard that complaint, and it got me thinking; obviously i love the show.

2/2 But it did make me casually wonder what keeps me coming back to it specifically, because ibr if any other show had made some of the same writing, plot, etc. choices as SPN has, i’d diagnose it with a serious case of the trope “seasonal rot” and move on. But i haven’t. And i think it’s because SPN is SO character driven. Like, these characters make the show and the genuine heart and love shows through in the writing. I think that’s what balances out the at times questionable quality for me.

Hi there. I just reblogged this post over here that mostly expresses my feelings about this:

http://mittensmorgul.tumblr.com/post/160986841910/hey-i-stopped-watching-spn-like-during-season

I think it’s really not accurate (nor fair) to describe the character growth and narrative progression as “seasonal rot.” I think that’s sincerely missing the point.

From a podcast interview with Davy Perez shortly after 12.04 aired (Not About The Weather, episode 8):

(Sorry, y’all, I started transcribing this two hour long interview, spent two days transcribing the first hour last November, got to 7.5k, and haven’t had a chance to finish… )

N: It’s really interesting, because what you mentioned as well with Dean when he was living his sort of normal life with Lisa and Ben, it’s interesting as well because we’re six years on from that. So how do you look at that kind of thing and then go okay. How do you stop it being regressive, if you know what I mean? How do you go like, oh, he’s actually grown from that, or if he hasn’t or if he has. How do those decisions get made?

DP: For me I think it’s funny because I might have read it in a book somewhere, or maybe it was advice I got, in regards to writing television versus writing film. When you’re writing a film, you’re writing what is hopefully a complete journey, where a character gets called to action, where they go on their journey of discovery or their journey of tribulation, and then they arrive to an end point and you find, “Oh, I’ve learned this lesson,” or “I’ve grown so much.” And that was a satisfying, closed-ended story. Television doesn’t work that way. Television is about a character that you become invested in, and that you fall in love with. That character grows in incremental ways. Not only do they grow in tiny little increments, and sometimes don’t even grow, they go backwards. You don’t close the loop. You keep the loop open, so that hopefully when you know that okay, this is our final season, this is our final run of episodes, that’s when you can find those landing points, and that’s when you can sort of say this is the end of this journey.
As far as having to imagine what Dean might be eight years ago, well all I can say is that’s who Dean is. There’s a well of knowledge to watch, and you can see that that’s who he is. Maybe they’ve grown in some small way. Maybe Sam can talk about the psychic stuff where maybe before he didn’t even want to talk about it, but he’s not a completely different Sam in that he’s learned from his mistakes and will never make the mistakes again. You want to make sure that you’re staying true to who they are, and allowing the characters to just live in those moments, and to of course grow and have that journey, but to really take time. In an essence you really enjoy those incremental growths and they mean so much more.

This is exactly what I’ve described as the “spiral narrative” where the same things come up over and over again, putting the characters in similar situations. But this has become a character-driven narrative. The mytharc is entirely secondary to what the characters are going through.

Playing “spot the difference” each time you see a “wait, that’s really familiar” moment is where you really SEE those incremental growths. This is not “seasonal rot.” I find myself irrationally offended on behalf of the writers here… like, got up and stormed around the house ranting out loud to myself.

So when meta writers talk about how the writers are doing all of this intentionally, we literally really truly do mean the writers are DOING THIS ALL INTENTIONALLY. They have even TOLD US THIS IS THE CASE IN ACTUAL WORDS.

I  wrote a thing recently that sort of touches on this a bit, that started out as a reply about character driven vs plot driven narratives, but I think it also goes a little way toward explaining some of the reasons why people are having difficulty understanding what the show is doing now:

http://mittensmorgul.tumblr.com/post/159511693805/a-very-random-question-but-in-your-opinion-whats

If folks are still looking at the show as if it was actually a plot-driven narrative, there’s bound to be some sincere disappointment. But if you see it as a character-driven narrative, everything begins falling into place. I don’t mean to say that someone might be “watching wrong,” but if your impression is that the narrative is inconsistent and has made questionable plot choices, then I feel at least slightly obligated to politely suggest maybe watching it from THIS perspective and see if the entire picture doesn’t become perfectly clear.

Like this sculpture illustrates, look at it from the wrong angle and it all seems random. It’s supposed to inspire you to walk around looking at it all from DIFFERENT angles until the entire picture clicks into place.

This is the amazing beauty of the story Supernatural is telling us right now. I just want as many people as possible to realize this, because I think a lot of people right now are just seeing the random scattershot dots and feeling like they aren’t telling us a full story… I’m just trying to drag as many people around to the other side, to see what it looks like from where I’m sitting. Because it looks like art to me.

So today I was suppose to have a date(my first date in years) but the guy cancelled on me (second time it’s happened with the same guy). Needless to say, I was hurt. I ended up staying at work longer than I planned since I had nothing better to do.
BUT THEN
A friend/co-worker stopped by my office for coffee (because I’m the only one that has a full functioning coffee bar) so as I’m making her a macchiato, she starts sharing her vocation journey with me and about her experience at her 8 day Ignatian Retreat that she just got back from. IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL STORY and she told me things that my heart really needed to hear. Their was so much joy in her eyes as she shared the journey the Lord placed her in and how she knows where she is being called (MARRIAGE). And I was able to chat with her about my own heart ache with discernment cause let’s face it…discerning your vocation can be frustrating! But she was able to share a lot of insight and wisdom that I will forever be grateful for.

Moral of the story: God desires us to be filled with J O Y. He works for our good. We are His children and what father doesn’t want his children to be happy?? I felt sad when my date was cancelled but I don’t believe that was God “trying to teach me a lesson”. No. I believe God turned the situation around and brought this friend into my office that led to some much needed peace and clarity in my heart. We have a GOOD FATHER that desires us to be filled with J O Y. Thank you thank you thank you God for being their in the midst of my heart ache.

anonymous asked:

Beast's redemption arc or LeFou's?

….hm.

That’s actually a lot tougher than I thought it’d be.

I mean, Adam’s struggle and redemption makes the movie what it is.  The whole franchise wouldn’t be what it is without Adam tossing aside his selfish and unkind nature and embracing his inner goodness through Belle.  It’s so iconic and beautiful…and the story is one that I’ve grown up with, my entire life…

…but it’s also…kinda…expected.

If you’re talking about the 1991 Adam struggling and redeeming himself, then yeah, Adam all the way.  But LeFou’s redemption was something that we weren’t expecti—well, okay, I made a theory about it based off pictures I saw, but I certainly didn’t expect LeFou to witness Gaston’s raw brutality (y’know, when he knocked Maurice out cold).  He remained loyal enough, but then during the fight scene he switched sides, which was a pleasant surprise for everyone.  And he even had his own happy ending, which was really sweet.

So…I think I’m gonna pick LeFou.  He barely clears Adam, though.  And if this were 1991, then Adam all the way.

anonymous asked:

I think I spend too much time on tumblr atm, spn has just completely taken over my life with the finale. I already dreamt of some real fresh first episode next season but also just recently a lame one which made me sad. Gimme all the confirmation that the writers are fricking geniuses and built a beautiful story year after year. That would be great. Also thanks for posting so frequently, it always makes me smile. :)

Aaaah you think you have a problem - I am also on tumblr way too much for my own good and I’m trying to get through my asks and new ones keep coming in and its awesome but also I can’t keep up!!! But thank you so much for the encouragement!!!!!

I NEED HELP!

Originally posted by justanotheridijiton

What we really need is an adaptation of the original 1740 The Beauty and the Beast

So were you aware that the The Beauty and the Beast story we all know is a heavily abridged and rewritten version of a much longer novella by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve?  And that a lot of the plot holes existing in the current versions exist because the 1756 rewrite cut out the second half of the novella, which consisted entirely of the elaborate backstory that explains all the weird shit that happened before?  And that the elaborate backstory is presented in a way that’s kind of boring because the novel had only just been invented in 1740 and no one knew how they worked yet, but contains a bazillion awesome ideas that beg for a modern retelling?  And that you are probably not aware that the modern world needs this story like air but the modern world absolutely needs this story like air?  Allow me to explain:

The totally awesome elaborate backstory that explains Beauty and the Beast

  • Once upon a time there was a king, a queen, and their only son
  • But while the prince was still in his infancy, in a neat reversal of how these fairy tales usually go, the king tragically died, leaving his wife to act as Regent until their son reaches maturity
  • Unfortunately, the rulers of all the lands surrounding them go, “Hmm, the kingdom is ruled by a woman now, it must be weak, time for an invasion!”
  • And the Queen goes, “Well, if I let some general fight all these battles for me, he’ll totally amass enough fame and power to make a bid for the throne; if I want to protect my son’s crown, I have no choice but to take up arms and lead the troops myself!
  • (Btw, I want to stress that this woman is not Eowyn or Boudica and nothing in the way her story is presented suggests that she had any interest martial exploits before or in any way came to enjoy them during these battles.  This is a perfectly ordinary court lady who would much rather be embroidering altar covers for the royal chapel and playing with her child until necessity made her go, “Oh no, this sucks, I guess I have to become a Warrior Queen now” and she just happened to kick ass at it anyway.)
  • And the Queen totally kicked ass, but the whole “twice as good for half the credit” thing meant that no matter how many battles she won, potential enemies refused to take her and her army seriously until she had defeated them so no sooner would she fend off one invasion than another one would pop up on a different border.
  • So she spent the majority of her young son’s life away from the castle leading armies, but it was OK because she left him in the care of her two best friends, who just happen to be fairies!  This was an awesome idea because a) fairies have magic, and therefore are like the best people to protect the prince from any threats and b) fairies consider themselves to be so above humanity that the lowest fairy outranks the highest mortal, so they’d have no interest in taking a human throne.  Good thing they were both good fairies instead of one good and one evil one!
  • (Spoiler:  they were not both good fairies.)
  • So the two fairies basically take turns raising the prince until he’s old enough to rule.  And on the eve of his twenty-first birthday, the evil older one comes into the prince’s bedroom.
  • “So listen, kid.  You’re about to become king, your mother’s on her way home from the war to see you crowned, and I have a third piece of good news for you!  You see, I’ve actually been spending so much time here lately because Fairyland’s become a bit too hot to hold me for reasons totally not related to me being secretly evil.  And if I have to hang in the human world, I might as well reside in the upper echelons of it, so even though as a powerful fairy I completely eclipse your puny human status in a staggeringly unimaginable way, since you’re about to be king and since my premonition that I should stick this whole guardianship thing out because you would be hot one day has totally proved accurate (go me), I will graciously lower myself to allowing you to marry me.  Please feel free to grovel at my feet in gratitude.  (Btw, we can totally start the wedding night now, we’ll tell your mother about it when she arrives tomorrow.)”

Keep reading

  • Phichit: I don't like you
  • Chris: the feeling is mutual
  • Victor and Yuuri: *do something cute*
  • Phichit and Chris: *taking pictures* oh my gosh they are adorable I have to post this
  • Phichit: Wait. You love them too?
  • Chris: Of course.
  • Phichit: Where are you posting those pics?
  • Chris: to Twitter, Instagram and my
  • Chris and Phichit: Victuuri Tumblr blog
  • Chris: Did we just become best friends?
  • Phichit: I think we did
5

An Ohio mother is sharing a magical surprise her teenage son planned for his younger sister.

Photographer Christina Angel said her 13-year-old son asked her to get him a Prince Charming costume so that he could do something special for his 5-year-old sister and best friend.

Angel told ABC 7 Chicago her son suffers from depression and his sister has become his biggest cheerleader, so he wanted to thank her with a princess photo shoot.

Angel bought the costume and her son found a pair of black dress shoes at a thrift store. He wanted to get the details perfect, she said, even shining the shoes the old-fashioned way with polish and a rag.

When they were ready, the mother and son surprised the little girl with a brand-new Snow White dress.

The proud mom said her little girl loved every second of her photo shoot with her “favorite boy in the world.” And it shows!

A letter to every fanfiction author

Yes, this post is for you, the person who just spent another night writing a chapter for their fanfiction, writing for hours for those hungry fans who are following your work. 

This goes out to those amazing fanfiction authors who write amazing pieces of work. You have an amazing plot, beautiful descriptions and your characters are always perfectly in character. Reminding us all of the stories we love so much.

You make me laugh out loud. You make me cringe in embarrassment. You even make me mad enough to rant for hours. 

Originally posted by staycuteandcozy

But then, with your beautiful words and imagery, you make me sad. 

You make me cry and scream for those characters I love. You make me want to throw my tablet across the room while still wanting to hold it tightly to my chest. You make me feel emotions for these characters, emotions only the true creators have managed to pull from me.

Originally posted by a-chaotically-peaceful-soul

Why would you do this? Why break my heart into a million pieces and throw them to the wind to scatter my sadness around? I’m sure it hurts you more to create these stories. To see those characters you have loved, just as much as I, hurt or get hurt. It must break you bit by bit to write the words to complete that one scene. 

Originally posted by sooper-dee-dooper-natural

But also, thank you. Thank you for the beautiful story you crafted for hours. And thank you for making me feel those beautiful emotions. Thank you for letting me live with these characters for a little while longer.

Originally posted by behindthezenes

                                              Just, thank you. 

Bestowed upon by Japan’s native son. The successor of the sword. ALL. HAIL. SAMURAI. ASHI 

Been wanting to do some thing like this for a while after watching the season. I took some time away from the divide and stepped outside the romance that was created by the fandom  to really look at the story and honestly, it seems to be a story of generations and a story of children. I honestly think the most beautiful end to this story is for Jack and the Scotsman to rest and celebrate in a quest and life well lived and fought for and let their daughters take up the sword. I truly believe Ashi is now pure of heart and will be Jack successor.

What a beautiful and fitting way to end the series with people who watched it as kids now watching it with their own. 
These last 3 episodes are truly the determining factor and I have faith it’s going to be a story of redemption, tragedy, and YES love. Maybe not the love story that’s preferred, but just as powerful. 

Friendship Comes First:  What (Good) Fanfiction Can Teach Us About the Romantic Subplot.

I love all forms of storytelling:  television, books, movies, you name it.  As long as it’s quality, its ripe for the picking.  

It’s so easy for me to become engrossed in the lives and psychologies of fictitious characters, to care for them as though they’re people I really know.  Which, on some metaphysical level, I suppose is true, but that’s a topic for another essay.

However, in the midst of all my possibly Asperger’s-fueled hyper-fixation and nerdery, there’s one inevitable aspect of seemingly every plot to which I will almost always role my eyes and click the fast-forward button:  the goddamned romantic subplot.

So many times have I seen the exact same variation of romantic love between fifty homogeneous couples, and each time, I failed to see the appeal:  in books, the smirking, obnoxious male love interest will woo the object of his desire through flagrant disrespect, the same toned bodies will copulate furiously on my television screens (typically at the exact same moment my parents or small siblings will walk into the room), the same vapid, flirtatious stares and generic dialogue will be exchanged. 

But where’s the basis for it?  Yes, these people are stressed to be attracted to one another to the point of obnoxiousness, but do they even like each other as individuals?  Are they even friends?  Is there any three-dimensionality to their relationship besides sizing each other up and deciding to bump uglies? 

Simply and also sadly, the answer is very rarely.  And so, it seemed to me that romance was not my cup of tea, both in the fictitious world and out of it.  Or so it seemed.  

Because it was then, at approximately seventeen, that I discovered a remarkable phenomenon that would change my life forever:  fanfiction.  

Never before had I been so enraptured in the relationships of fictional characters, and I was baffled as to why.  Yes, I’ve read a tremendous deal of fanfiction that is, in fact, book quality, but as an avid bibliophile, I was perplexed as to why I’d never been so captivated by the romantic endeavors of a published author as I was by the passion-projects of writers not much older than I was.     

After a lot of time, careful consideration, and the illuminating words of some of my fellow bloggers, however, I believe I can finally put words as to why. 


1.  Give your characters a narrative purpose (besides being The Love Interest.) 

Do you ever wonder what inspires Supernatural fans to tirelessly churn out fics about their favorite human-on-angel pairing?  I have, and this is someone who’s a proud proponent of the stuff.  

The sheer magnitude of free literature available, constantly repositing the pair in all manor of situations and walks of life, is absolutely baffling, and undeniably impressive.  Indeed, some of the best works of romantic literature – and yes, I do consider fanfiction to be a form of literature – I have ever come across were starring none other than this specific pairing:  from the infamous Twist and Shout (which I don’t recommend if you ever want to listen to Elvis Presley music, visit a beach, or feel joy ever again) to the charming Have Love, Will Travel (probably my personal favorite), some truly beautiful love stories have blossomed from a pairing that has never even been confirmed onscreen to have romantic connotations.  

Perhaps just as baffling is the other end of the spectrum:  Lisa Braeden.  Lisa, for those unfamiliar, is basically posited as the love of Dean’s life, with whom he lived for a year before being forced to give up his dream of a family life and return to full-time demon busting.  They’ve canonically kissed, had sex, shared a bed, and everything typically associated with an onscreen couple.    

Yet comparatively no fanworks exist about them.  When Lisa does appear in a fic, she is usual Castiel’s rival for Dean’s affections, or simply a hapless bystander. 

Why is this?  Well, a disillusioned observer might point to straight women’s apparent predilection towards fetishizing male homosexuality (I, for the record, am not straight myself;  I’m a proud bisexual who, thus far, has only dated women.)  I’m inclined to retort that this isn’t giving female fans nearly enough credit. 

For starters, remove all context from each relationship and examine them with a critical eye:  on the one hand, you have Castiel, Dean’s angelic savior from forty years in perdition.  Castiel is clearly fascinated with Dean, appearing in his bedroom, somewhat suggestively (advertently or otherwise) inquiring about his dreams, watching him sleep, routinely invading his personal space, and ultimately rebelling against heaven in accordance with Dean’s wishes. 

On the other hand, you have Lisa, a perfectly nice character who’s introduced as “the bendiest weekend of (Dean’s) life” and…well, that’s about it.  She’s later shown as a sort of amalgamation of Dean’s subconscious desire for a mother figure and normal life, but she, as a character, remains somewhat underdeveloped and hollow. 

You can’t expect fans to hold the two relationships to the same caliber and then cry internalized misogyny and fetishization of gay and bisexual men when they don’t.

The fact of the matter is, onscreen “friendships” are typically much more developed, much more three-dimensional, and much more ideal of what a truly epic romantic plot should be.  A character with a clear place in the narrative and three dimensional characterization all their own will almost always be more charismatic than a character who’s introduced as exclusively The Love Interest.  

This is not to say that what makes fanfiction so great is that it sexualizes or romanticizes friendship.  In fact, I’m inclined to believe it’s the other way around.  

Which brings me to my next point…

2.  Make sure your characters are friends.

It’s a romance for the ages.  A love like no other.  They’re soulmates, yin and yang, a match made in the stars.

But do they enjoy each other’s company?  Laugh at each other’s jokes?  Take part in each other’s interests?  Are they even friends?  

The sad fact of the matter is, romance and erotica are, as a whole, starved for values of friendship and camaraderie. 

This is something I realized only after my love of fanfiction took root, when I tried to return to my normal sources of adult entertainment (romance, erotica, and porn) and found them, by comparison, almost bafflingly lacking in warmth and camaraderie.  

What I think makes fanfiction so addictive is the fact that it’s built upon the established relationships of two or more characters (the Onceler and company notwithstanding) who, typically, care for one another as friends and compatriots.  

Look at some of the internet’s favorite pairings:  Dean Winchester and Castiel remain a classic.  Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers are always crowd-pleasers.  Kara Denvers and Lena Luthor are seeing a rise in popularity.  We all know Sherlock has somewhat fallen from grace, but the union of its two main characters still retains a devoted following.

This is no accident:  despite lacking onscreen confirmation, these characters have proven themselves to care for one another as more than objects of their sexual desire.  They’re friends, with relationships based in loyalty and warmth that are, unfortunately, sorely lacking in typical fictional romances.  

Once you get a taste of this brand of friendship-infused romance, in fanfiction or otherwise, it’s hard to go back.  

This isn’t just limited to quote-unquote “fanon” couples, either:  couples such as Mulder and Scully, Bones and Booth, Yuuri and Victor, and Ladybug and Chat Noir can all attribute their popularity to this strong basis in friendship, camaraderie, and mutual respect.

This is also the leading cause as to why the formerly booming 50 Shades franchise, and other arguably sexist, abusive dynamics, are struggling at the box office.  

Which reminds me… 

3.  Make sure your characters are equals. 

Unless you’re writing a Lolita-esque social commentary, it’s probably your best bet to keep your characters on fairly equal ground. 

I mean this in every sense of the word, too:  I have a difficult time getting invested in a romance when there’s a pretty blatant power imbalance, which oftentimes occurs due to the implicit sexism of the entertainment industry.

Disproportionately young actresses are assigned as love interests to much older men, such as Emma Watson’s twenty-something-year-old character lusting over a man almost twenty years her senior in Irrational Man.  

Physically mediocre or average-looking male characters are frequently pared with stunningly beautiful women who like them because they’re “nice,” fueling the existing mentality of all self-proclaimed “nice guys” who think society owes them a hot girl.

Furthermore, @popculturedetective just released an amazing video explaining the “Born Sexy Yesterday” trope, in which hopelessly naive, beautiful women are seen swooning over their more savvy male lovers.  (Found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=0thpEyEwi80)

I love Splash and the Fifth Element as much as anybody, but both films incorporate all these tropes in ample proportions, and it’s frankly ridiculous. (On the topic of Splash, however, I’m greatly looking forward to a subversion of this trope in its remake, starring Channing Tatum as the titular merman and Julianne Belle as his human love interest.) 

On the other hand, you have fanfiction.  I’ve read numerous essays professing that fanfiction is becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that same-sex relationships tend to be implicitly devoid of these sex-based imbalances, and I’m inclined to agree.  

However, I’ve read others stating that male-male pairings tend to be so popular because male characters are typically more well-developed by writers, making it perfectly understandable that fans would be more invested in a possible romance between two characters of equal multidimensionality (see point 1) than one that is sorrowfully underdeveloped.  I’m inclined to think that this theory is even more on point.   

Because look at some of the successful onscreen relationships I listed prior:  we root for Bones and Booth’s inevitable union the same way we swoon over slowburn fanfiction, delighting in Mulder and Scully’s banter and craving their interaction.  

These are, in my opinion, some examples of straight couples done right, because they’re portrayed as friends (see the previous point), and just as importantly, as equals.  

Last, but certainly not least, the male characters in both pairings are depicted as having nothing but respect for their female compatriots, depending on their intellectual know how and not being ashamed to say so. 

A more contemporary example that gets this wrong?  Well, not to offend any fans of the pairing, but Mon-El and Kara, a la Supergirl.  Mon-El was, at the beginnings of his arc, consistently disrespectful towards Kara, putting her down and insulting her in the very same episodes in which her female compatriot – Lena Luthor – is shown vocally admiring and praising her.  

Mon-El has since improved on his behavior, but the damage is done:  I still have a difficult time seeing him as a likeable character, much less a suitable love interest for my beloved Kara.   


These are just a few recommendations, based on the ways in which my somewhat obsessive love of transformative literature (i.e. good fanfiction) have helped me as a writer and helped me view the implicit problems with mainstream romance with a more discerning and critical eye.

Here, I could provide a counterpoint with the recurring problems I’ve noticed in fanfiction, or I could go into some recomendations for writing explicitly gay and lesbian relationships.  Both of these, however, are topics worthy of another essay.

Disclaimer:  I am assuming that any and all readers are trying for an enjoyable, healthy romantic subplot with equally charismatic, consenting, and likable characters.  Dysfunctionality can be just as interesting from a literary standpoint, but again, this is a topic for another essay.


There will be essays like this published at least once every other week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future writing advice and observations!