windy days where the trees blow and bells chime and villagers comment about being swept away
sunflowers! water lillies!
more ways to group things like the fruit baskets such as bouquets of flowers
keep all your tools on a tool belt that takes up one slot
being able to choose where villagers live or bring back something like the signposts
more conversations+replies! Just more things for villagers to say in general i’m tired of the same thing every day
letter system that recognizes key phrases/words and has villagers reply to it (like if you say “how are you” they would respond, if you write something mean they would get upset and not just thank you lol)
DAILY MAYOR DUTIES
duck villagers like the rain as well as frogs (i think ducks like rain?? not entirely sure tho)
meet villagers at the café, museum, beach, etc for a date sort of thing, like instead of meeting at your house meet at the café.
bring back constellations, or at least be able to tell Celeste she’s adorable again I miss flirting with her.
become friends with npc like u do with sable/ once you become good enough friends they get their pictures (ik u can get some special character pics but I want blathers and the able sisters and pete etc etc) at a certain level they can pop into your house uninvited
be able to send kk slider fanmail/ send mail to other npcs
a way to plant grass. Please.
fruit bushes, berries and things like that
MORE FLESHED OUT VILLAGER PERSONALITIES. I want villagers to be mean to me again and yell at me!! villagers that are cold at first and then build up a friendship with them! I want this more than anything else on the list tbh
christmas lights on houses and buildings!!
a main street similar to the one in HHD with more shops!
basically everything from HHD: furniture outside, furniture closer together you can squeeze through, middle slots for items on tables, villagers holding items like ice cream, ceiling decorations and curtains and windows oh my, possibly furniture outside but with a limit
resize things as a form of customization
ability to turn furniture in more directions
a big hide and seek competition like the fishing tourney where you have to find every villager or something?
give isabelle time off! Maybe a new character that takes her place when she’s on break, like phyllis in the post office
when isabelle has time off (sundays? Lunch time?) u can see her roaming around town
more colors/options for pwp, like the police station has two options. different color scheme choices for the campsite, café, any pwp could have multiple color choices basically
brewster stores gyroids again I loved seeing him geek out over them
something (like thanksgiving) where you can gather certain food, fish, other things, bring to a piece of kitchen furniture and make them into a food to bring to your villagers or sell (ex: gather a bunch of apples and make a pie) maybe a grocery store to go along with this? And you could buy exotic fruit from that store as well?
more stories like able sisters+tom nook, maybe blathers and brewsters gay lovestory or something
buy different styles of fish tanks and bug boxes, a big tank for a lot of fish, ability to throw fish food in
a new way to make paths instead of patterns with options for cobblestone, brick, asphalt, and sidewalk materials
in your encyclopedia an icon that shows if you’ve donated it to the museum
ability to rotate pwps/houses
more animations, for example Jock villagers can jog around town
library pwp with a new uptight librarian character that likes you because you’re so quiet
pwp on beaches+ ones made specifically for it like beach umbrellas
villagers contribute to museum and donate more to Pwp
areas away from the village you could travel to and explore, similar to the island, like woods, a winter world, maybe even some sort of planet you could unlock! Each have a few villagers or npcs living there, like the islanders in older games
Feel free to reblog and add any more of your own ideas or tag your favs :)
okay, so in the very early stages of the original beauty and
the beast, gaston was an aristocrat. that eventually got scrapped, but oh what if it didn’t
so say gaston is the son of someone very high up in the
royalty chain, someone who’s parents are important enough that he spends an
awful lot of time at the castle? and our prince adam isn’t really down with
this whole ~being a prince~ thing, he’s a brat, like so many other kids are
brats (but these kids don’t get turned into beasts by random witches, like i’m
sorry but i’ll never not think that beast didn’t get the short end of the stick
there) and so he spends the least about of time possible parading about with a
crown on his head. he likes going outside, like riding his horses and playing
in the woods, and all sorts of other things that make his parents shake their
heads and despair at the inability to have another child, because their son is a small disaster.
and here comes gaston, who’s older and more long suffering.
gaston in naturally dramatic, okay, he likes being flashy and fun and loud, all
the things the son of a noble shouldn’t be. so by the point he meets adam he’s
listened to his parents, folded himself up nice and tight into this quiet boy
who just doesn’t want any trouble. adam loves
trouble. if he can’t find it, he invents it.
so he grabs onto gaston like glue, and gaston is irritated,
but he’s the prince, he can’t say
anything or his parents will kill him. so he lets adam keep dragging him out
horseback riding and hunting and rock climbing and all sorts of things little
noble boys aren’t supposed to do. they spare, and no matter that gaston is
bigger and older he never wins, adam always ends up pinning him to the ground
with his arm to his throat and he’d more irritated about it if the prince didn’t
look so delighted every time he won. adam loves all the animals that he’s not
interested in eating, and gaston tries to point out that it’s a little weird
how thrilled adam is to take down a deer when two minute later he’s trying to
entice a wolf to come closer so he can pet it, and also holy shit adam that’s a wolf what’s wrong with you
adam loves his staff, the people who do their best to reign
in this little terror but don’t try that hard, because the thing about bratty
kids is that they’re rarely brats all the time, as an adult you swing between
wanting to strangle them and finding them so adorable and charming your chest
hurts. so mrs. potts indulges him, likes the way he’s only ever really patient
while he’s playing with her son chip when he’s snuck into the kitchen to beg
her for some extra cookies. lumiere and cogsworth are his tutors and spend more
time arguing with each other than teaching him, and he’s delighted by that.
and so adam is this loud, exuberant little prince who slowly
but surely picks at gaston’s barrier until gaston almost feels like himself again,
and adam doesn’t do what his parents did. adam doesn’t make fun of him for how
much he cares about his hair, about how he hates dirt under his fingernails. as
long as gaston keeps following him into dangerous situations, adam doesn’t care
about much of anything, and gaston loves him for it.
and gaston’s on the cusp of teenagerhood when he realizes he loves adam, the prince, this is awful
and he immediately has a panic attack over it, he’s to be lord and adam is to
be king, it will never work, oh, and adam probably doesn’t like boys, and – oh my
god, all those schoolyard taunts about him being gay we’re right this is a nightmare.
he’d freak out about this properly and probably go charging
to the castle to confess his love in true embarrassing 12 year old fashion –
except his parents set him down, pale, and say, “they’re gone, they’re all
gone, the king and queen were found dead and the prince is gone and now a
monster lives in the castle.” and of course gaston takes this to the most
logical conclusion – a beast broke into the castle, killed the love of his
young life, and now he’s claimed the castle for his own.
this is gaston’s defining moment okay, this is the point
where he snaps and never goes back.
he rebels against his parents, refuses to fit himself back into the mold of the
perfect son, tries to live his life like adam would have wanted him to. that
means being exactly who he is and damn the consequences. he focuses on his hair
and his clothes and his looks, he pursues hunting because it reminds him of
adam, because so much of their friendship took place in the woods, covered in
mud and laughing. he pursues hunting because, one day, when he’s the very best
he’s going to go the castle and kill the beast that killed adam. and his
parents are furious about all of this and they disown him in favor of his young
siblings and he just. doesn’t give a shit.
so he moves to the town, and everyone loves him, of course
they love him. he’s loud and arrogant, but – he’s not cruel. he’s beautiful and brings in more pelts and meat than any
other hunter and gaston doesn’t miss the days of being a young lordling in the
slightest. but girls keep throwing themselves at him and he doesn’t know how to
keep refusing either outing himself or hurting their feelings, so he goes to
belle. belle, who is every inch as pretty he is. belle, who is smart and quiet
and kind in a reserved sort of way. if there’s anyone who won’t judge him, it’s
so he goes to her, and tells her the truth – that he only
likes men, that he’s not interested in advertising the fact, and asks her to
pretend to be his lady. and belle, kind sweet belle, agrees. she does it out of
sense of duty to help those in need, because nothing she knows of gaston says
she will enjoy this. but she’s proven wrong, because gaston was raised to be a lord of course he’s educated, just
because he doesn’t really care about any of that stuff doesn’t mean he doesn’t
know it. and belle can speak with him like she can no other, because gaston has
more formal education than anyone else in this village. and to their surprise,
gaston and belle become friends, become the closest of friends, and gaston hasn’t
known this closeness since adam, although it’s different because he loves belle
but he’s not in love with belle.
and one day belle and her father are out traveling and
sudden snowstorm forces them into the castle. belle knows there’s some sort of
monster that supposedly lives there, but it’s either the castle for refuge or
dying of cold outside, so into the castle they go. and instead of a hideous
monster there’s adam, the beast. he’s rude and gruff and calls them twelve
kinds of idiots for getting caught in a snowstorm in the first place. he offers
them a room before sulking back into his study, watching the last petal
threaten to the fall from the rose.
the castle is so excited to have guests, to have a young
girl that may be their saving grace, and beast doesn’t know how to tell them
that he likes girls well enough, but the only person he’s ever loved is a
prickly, stuffy little boy who used to wring his hands together whenever they
went looking for wolves. the storm doesn’t abate, and belle and her father
stay. beast likes belle, likes how much she loves his library and the courteous
way she speaks to all his staff even tho they’re all furniture, and he wishes
he could love her, she is a woman that deserves to be loved. but he can’t.
back in the village, gaston has had it. the beast took adam from him, and he wont allow that thing
to take belle. he rallies the villagers and goes marching to the castle,
determined to save belle and her father, determined to kill the thing that
so they storm the castle and he and the beast fight. belle
and her father rush forward to stop the rest of the angry village men, and
belle is screaming at gaston to stop, that things aren’t as they seem. but he’s
mad with bloodlust, with revenge, and he’s about to take the beast’s head off
with his axe when the beast lunges and pushes him to the ground, pinning him
with an arm to his throat. and the muscle memory is so sudden and visceral that
gaston freezes and stares at the snarling beast and whispers, “adam?”
and the beast blinks, and pulls back a little, and goes …… “gaston!?”
literally everyone is so confused, but they only get more
confused when gaston throws himself at the beast and there’s a rush of magic as
the last petal falls and the spell is broken. gaston sees beast for who he
really is, loves him wholly and completely in the way only children can, and
the curse is broken.
so gaston goes from having the beast in his arms to having a
man, and he kisses him, outing himself in front of the whole village and not
caring in the slightest. “i’ve missed you,” adam says, reaching out a hand to
cup gaston’s cheek.
his staff are people again, and the cloud of darkness that
had fallen over the castle is lifted. the old and irritable third cousin twice
removed who’d been running the country is more than happy to hand it back over
to adam, so happy in fact that he doesn’t question anything about this
incredibly weird situation.
gaston and adam were children with a children’s love, but as
adam gets his castle and kingdom up and running again, gaston is there. and
their love deepens, and strengthens, and becomes something much more real and
true than it ever was before. and gaston knows he can’t keep this, that adam
will need to take a queen and gaston won’t be able to be with him after that.
except no one told adam that, because he goes to belle who
just, never left the castle because she likes it and it likes her and her two
favorite people are here. and also they’ll pry her from that library over her
dead body. “hey,” adam says, “so, i’m kind of the king now.”
“i noticed,” belle answers, and doesn’t look up from her
adam considers closing it, but also considers that he likes
his hands attached to his wrists. “want to get married? we’ll need to produce
an heir or two, but beyond that you’ll get all the books you want and a whole
country to boss around.” one of the things adam had quickly learned was that
belle loved bossing people around.
belle doesn’t look up from her book. he hadn’t honestly
expected her too. “okay. I’m dating plumette. im going to keep doing that.”
“nice,” he says, because plumette is a lot prettier now that
she isn’t a feather duster.
so adam find gaston and tells him that he’s marrying belle,
and gaston’s whole heart breaks but it makes sense, adam and belle make sense
together, and he wishes he could make himself hate either of them but he can’t
because he loves them both. but then adam is talking about how belle will have
the rooms next to theirs, and gaston should probably stop paying rent for his
house in the village, he lives in a literal palace, come on now.
and gaston figures out that adam is planning to stay with him, that belle is his wife and queen in name only and and gaston will
continue to be the one in his heart and in his bed. adam is talking about how
they all really need to sit down and do something about the redistribution of
tax revenue, and they should probably do it before the wedding because
otherwise their subjects will only show up to throw fruit at them. gaston cuts
him off by pressing his king and love of his life against the wall and kissing
cogsworth and lumiere walk by and pause mid-argument to wolf
whistle at them before continuing on their way. gaston and adam end up having
to hold each other up as they laugh so hard they can’t breath.
Things I loved about Beauty and the Beast (spoilers obvs)
I have to say that, being a huge fan of the original , I was very sceptical about this live action version. But it completely won me over. I’ve seen it twice (once in IMAX which I definitely recommend) and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat for 3 days. The movie was an absolute delight and I wanted to highlight my favourite bits :)
The fact that the Prince is an adult (and no mention of how long ago he was cursed)
The memory charm!
The group scenes with real crowds (I get really annoyed when movies have street scenes etc. with only 4 people in them)
The priest giving her the books (makes much more sense than having a bookstore in that village)
Belle the tinkerer/inventor
Belle teaching the little girl how to read
Cadenza playing a bit of Be Our Guest when Maurice arrives in the castle (reminded me that the song was originally going to be for him)
Maurice stealing a rose
The entire Gaston song, but specifically:
LeFou paying the people to participate and sing along (Gaston is not blindly adored by all the townspeople)
The clapping/instrumental bridge
‘And his name’s G-A-S-T’ which was in the soundtrack for the original but cut for the movie so I was super happy to see it was included
The castle crumbling and the servants going through changes every time a petal falls (I remember that last bit was in the Broadway musical too)
Mrs Potts being understanding of Belle’s escaping
Belle not eating a thing during Be Our Guest ^^
The Beast reacting to Romeo and Juliette and also the King Arthur bit
Belle’s reaction to the library
The magical book literally lets her travel as a reference to her ‘travelling’ with the books she used to read at home (I only realised this two days after I saw the film…)
The Beast in make-up
Why is she running away in her yellow dress surely it’s not very practical oh wait it’s so he can see her in the distance as he sings Evermore (my heart!)
Speaking of, Evermore was so dramatic™ I loved it
Stanley’s reaction to being wardrobed
The servants changing back (and the heart attack I almost had with Chip)
The way the castle changed as the rising sun hit the different sections (I miss the glitter magic but this worked nicely)
The beard line (again, almost made it in the original so a nice touch to have it here)
The village being called Villeneuve (reference to Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve who wrote the original fairy-tale!)
The entire aesthetic really
Celine Dion and Josh Groban <3
Alan Menken’s score, oh boy had I missed his music!
Basically being such a big fan of the original only made me love it more. It feels like they added certain things specifically for Disney nerds. And it also feels like they had fun making it? I really was not expecting to love it was much as I did. I wasn’t expecting to like it at all really, so it was a nice surprise 🥀
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So after posting my first installment of post-curse headcanons I realized that I forgot a few characters. Given the positive response to the first post (and a few sleepless hours last night) I have come up with more. I hope you enjoy them.
-After the curse is broken, Chip makes a point of apologizing to Maurice for scaring him during his first visit to the castle. Maurice assures Chip that it wasn’t his fault and asks him to give him a tour of the castle. Chip happily agrees and proceeds to lead Maurice on a uniquely childlike tour. Much less (accurate) history of the castle. Way more hide and seek tips. “And what about this portrait here?” “That’s Monsieur Funny hat. I don’t know what his actual name is…but he has a really big funny hat. These curtains make a good hide and seek spot too. But make sure your feet are covered–Hey wanna see the cubboard I used to sleep in?!” Maurice called it the best tour he had ever had.
- Once Belle and Adam become engaged, Maurice offers to paint an engagement portrait of the happy couple. But dispite their best efforts, they have a very hard time working a long formal portrait sitting into their schedules. The sketches from their early attempts all felt a bit stiff. Then one evening Maurice decides to discreetly pull out his easel in the library while Belle and Adam sat curled up together reading, comfortably in their own element, aware only of their books and each other. This stealth portrait allowed Maurice to capture the tender look in Adam’s eyes when he would look over at Belle (a look he attempted to control–and usually failed–when he knew his future father-in-law was looking) and a look of bliss Belle seemed to only have in moments like this. The portrait is so successful, Maurice continues to make these candid portraits for other residents of the castle, capturing their happiest moments to last forever.
- Chapeau is a man of few words. He prefers to quietly observe in social situations, welcome guests with a wordless smile and nod as a greeting, and to play his violin. That said, he knows everything there is to know about the goings on of the castle. Lumière can’t think of what to get Plumette for her birthday? Ask Chapeau. Chip can’t find a toy he misplaced. Ask Chapeau. His answers are brief, but nearly always the perfect solution.
Cadenza and Garderobe
-Cadenza and Garderobe decide they want to try to teach FrouFrou to sing. This proves to be a very loud and comical task. The rest of the castle is not nearly as tickled by FrouFrou’s performance as a vocalist, but it makes Cadenza and Garderobe so happy they all play along.
-Garderobe has been known to dispense unsolicited romantic advice to Plumette and Belle, some of which makes them blush and look for the nearest exit. However, most of her advice really is helpful.
-Cadenza also offers advice, but it is usually related to writing a song in some way or other. It can be hard to tell if he means metaphorically or literally.
-Cogsworth has developed the uncanny ability of knowing the exact time of day without looking at a clock. Lumière finds this hilarious and tries to prompt him to give the time without him realizing it. Dispite his accuracy as to the particular minute, Cogsworth often forgets what day it is.
-Once Cogsworth hears of the way Clothilde (Mrs. Cogsworth) treated Belle in the village during the curse, he demands she apologize, which she does (perhaps a bit too profusely.) Their reunion is the rockiest of the castle residents, having been a less than stable relationship to begin with. Somehow Lumière gets roped into acting as a sort of couples councillor for them. He isn’t quite sure how. But ultimately he is willing to do just about anything to help his friend find happiness.
-LeFou ends up being one of Belle’s most dedicated pupils when it comes to learning how to read and write. He uses his new skills to write a note to Stanley.
Belle and Adam
- Adam likes to turn little every day moments into opportunities to dance. Belle could be doing something as simple as sorting books in the library, only to be swept up in an impromptu waltz about the room. Once they have finished Adam helps her complete whatever task she was doing so that she doesn’t find his spontaneous dances too disruptive.
-He can’t get enough of hearing Belle say “I love you.” He goes completely weak in the knees every time. Every now and then he will ask her to say it “one more time” because he didn’t get to hear the very first time she said it.
- Adam is way more into wedding planning than Belle. Belle just wants a simple wedding, which means he has to reign himself in at times. His excitement can get the better of him. She said yes and he wants to shout it from the rooftops (and has.) He has learned Belle has a certain smile that she gives him when he starts to get an idea a bit too over the top. Ultimately Belle has the final say on everything, because her happiness is all he really wants. As long as she is his and he is hers, that is all that matters.
- As news of the engagement spreads, Agathe decides to pay a visit to the castle to congratulate the happy couple. Adam is a nervous wreck the entire time she is there (calmed only by Belle standing protectively by his side and reassuringly telling him she loves him) but is a completely gracious host all the while. Seeing the lasting trauma her curse had on the people of the castle, Agathe bestows a spell of protection over the castle and its residents as a wedding present, providing them with health and prosperity for the rest of their days. As she departs she tells them she will leave them in peace, but will return in a few years time with another gift. As Adam attempts to thank her for her generosity she cuts him off by saying “No your highness. This gift will not be for you. It’s for the baby.” With a wink she leaves Adam and Belle standing speechless, as she leaves to ponder a proper gift for her future fairy godchild.
- belle straight up sneering at the village by singing “it’s from the day me and my dad first arrived / that we thought / ‘this village is SO provincial’ ” like damn belle
- “how is your family?” “how is your wife?” is always translated in a cringe worthy way. So those two lines never really make any sense for the italians
- in “belle’ ppl sing "it seems like she has no virtue” LIKE CALM DOWN VILLAGERS roasting belle like… wow
- “lefou” is called “letont” which translates to “ledumb” and its honestly so cute
- “she is a girl who never has any friend / you are so alone mademoiselle” aka villagers roasting belle again
- ALL OF “GASTON”
- ITALIAN LEFOU IS SO MUCH SWEETER YOU CANT UNDERSTAND
- lefou straight up declares that gaston is “his hero”, “the man he cares the most about in the world” and “the perfect man”
- “so im roughly the size of a barge” in italian becomes “and i will lift even tWO OF YOU IF I WANNA”
- lumiere cant stop singing in fuckin french during “be our guest”
- like he keeps singing in french
- stop it lumiere
- how are the kids supposed to sing along lumiere
- cogsworth is called “tokins” because it’s easier to pronounce + it resembles the tick tock of clocks
- “be our guest” is called “do stay with us” …. they are basically begging her to stay because they …. are lonely….. dont touch me
- the amount of times the villagers shout “it will die” in 'the mob song’ is alarming. I was scared honestly
As Disney’s live-action reimagining of Beauty and the Beast continues to hold global audiences captive, Tokyo Disneyland’s Beauty and the Beast-centric Fantasyland expansion breaks ground. We’ve previously covered this area, which will feature new eateries, shops, an exciting new trackless E-ticket dark ride, and a new live show venue. This new piece gives us an overview of what it will feel like to walk down the streets of Belle’s Village, with the peaks of the Beast’s Castle looming above us beyond the trees. Based on the art, by the time this project opens in Summer 2020, we can expect this area to be a larger, more lush version of Magic Kingdom’s Beauty and the Beast area.
Part 1: Whether you should explicitly call your character autistic, and how you should go about it
So, you have created an autistic character. You love them, you know their likes and dislikes and you are determined that this is going to be a positive and realistic portrayal of autism. There’s one problem though - how do you let your readers know that the character has ASD?
Actually explicitly calling your character “Autistic” can be awkward. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to interrupt the flow of the story, maybe it’s because you don’t want to risk backlash if people dislike your representation of autism. Maybe “autistic” isn’t a word that exists in the world or time period of your story. So, do you have to say it outright?
There isn’t a moral imperative to call your character “autistic”. One of my favourite autistic characters is never called autistic in-universe. But our blog is about encouraging accurate representation of autistic characters, and if you don’t actually call them autistic…is it actually representation?
Should I call my character autistic?
Autistic characters in media are very important for several reasons. The media we consume contributes to shaping us and our worldviews. If someone reads books and watch movies which contain complex, realistic autistic characters, they’re more likely to 1) be aware of what autism actually is, and 2) see autistic people as human beings, and treat them as such. These characters are also important to autistic people themselves: seeing characters like yourself portrayed in a positive light can boost your self esteem and help you feel less alone.
If you make a great autistic character and you don’t explicitly call them “autistic”, it’s not guaranteed that everyone will understand that they’re supposed to be autistic. Many people don’t have a very accurate working knowledge of autism, and they might not understand that a character is autistic if they don’t fit their narrow, stereotypical view of what an autistic person looks like. Thus the people that would benefit most from this representation might miss it completely.
Of course, the choice is yours, but we would strongly encourage you to explicitly call your character autistic so that you’re 100% sure your readers will pick up on it. Ideally, this would happen in the work itself, but at the very least we would encourage you to make it explicit when you, the writer, discuss the character (on social media, in interviews, in synopses of your work). Bare in mind that if you don’t say it explicitly within the work, you are very likely to end up with readers who deny that the character is autistic because they don’t behave in ways that match their perception of what autism is - they fall in love, they speak, they don’t behave in exactly the same way as their autistic nephew does. It is preferable for the reader to be able to identify the character as autistic without needing to pay attention to the author’s writing outside of the work itself.
So, it’s decided! You are definitely going to tell the audience that the character is autistic. When is the best time to let them know? Telling the audience does not have to be the first thing you do when you introduce the character - it depends what you want to do with your story.
Here are a few general possibilities:
When the character is introduced - immediately telling the audience that the character is autistic means that the character’s autism will play a big part in the audience’s interpretation of the character. You might choose this option if you feel it is important for the audience to understand the character is autistic. If you are telling a story “about being autistic”, the fact that the character is autistic is very likely to be one that you will want to raise at the start, but even in a story that is not “about” being autistic, knowing your character’s neurotype from the outset can help the audience to interpret their behaviour.
After the character has been established - your character has already been established and you have demonstrated their autistic traits; calling your character autistic at this point is a way of confirming it and making it explicit for anyone who has not realised so far.
A “big” reveal - this isn’t something that I have seen used, but there is the option of “revealing” that your character is autistic later in the story. This could be used a way of subverting the expectations of readers who have stereotypical views of autism (and confirming other readers’ “headcanons”) for characters who have atypical traits. Otherwise, it could be presented as the solution to a “mystery” about the character.
It is brought up several times - you don’t have to only mention the character’s autism once! Their autism might be referred to multiple times during the story.
In the description/summary of your story - This a useful option if the story takes place in a point in history before the diagnosis of “autism” existed. It can also be used to clarify the terms you use for stories set in the future/different worlds.
(The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time used this method,
only calling the main character autistic on the cover - but you need to
make sure that you actually do a decent job inside the book!)
OK, time to actually decide how to tell your audience that the character is autistic. Luckily, there are lots of options!
We are going to list several strategies. There are lots of ways of fitting these into context: try relating what you say to an autistic trait which is affecting your character at that point in the story: are they struggling with executive dysfunction? having fun stimming? looking up information about their special interest?
Here are some ideas of topics related to autism that might provide you with the opportunity to casually drop in the term “autistic”: sensory overload, stimming, executive dysfunction, alexithymia, difficulties with social interactions, problems with communication, special interests, eye contact, meltdowns and shutdowns.
Here are some techniques for telling the audience that the character is autistic. Each suggestion is accompanied by at least one example to illustrate how it can be used:
The narration says “they’re autistic” - it can be slipped in as a sort of “aside” if that feels more natural in your story
“Karen swore loudly. The village church bells had been ringing for 45 minutes and her head felt like it was going to split in two. Of course being autistic didn’t help, but the main problem was the bloody eejit who decided it was a good idea to hold bell practice today of all days.”
“Ming looked down the guest list. Selvie was bringing Cheng Mae as her plus-one. Ming had only met her once: he knew that she was autistic, that she loved Criminal Minds, and that Selvie was trying to take the relationship to the next level, but none of this helped him with choosing what table to put the couple at. He called Helen in from the kitchen to ask what she thought.”
The autistic character says they’re autistic (in dialogue) - either explicitly telling another character, or mentioning in passing
“Sorry I went a bit weird yesterday - I’m autistic and crowds are really overwhelming for me. Can we try again next Saturday? You can come ’round to mine and I’ll cook a romantic dinner”
J: How did you choose your therapist? I’m trying to find one K: She specializes in working with autistic people. My dad helped me find her. J: Oh, is she expensive?
The autistic character says they’re autistic (as the first-person point of view narrator) They might mention it as a personal aside, or they may refer to it repeatedly throughout the narrative.
“I hate the store. I have been to every aisle at least twice already, but either two items are in the same aisle but not written next to each other on the list, or I can’t see the item I’m looking for. I know I struggle with finding things directly in front of my face because I’m autistic—my brain just doesn’t process the images my eyes are passing over fast enough—but it’s so annoying. I just wanted to find the cereal my sister likes.”
Refer to (or flashback to) a time in the past when it came up For example, the character could refer to to being in special ed at school, their parents might talk about the character having atypical development (eg. not speaking until a later age than usual), they could refer to the mental health professional who first suggested that they seek out a diagnosis, the character might make a comment comparing something to one of the tests they did while being assessed for autism, there might be a flashback to ABA sessions.
“Hey, Cam, you know that you are allowed to say when you disagree with something, don’t you?” “Yes.” Cam hesitated. “Um… I mean, yes, in theory. But I was taught in social skills that I had to smile and nod when people speak. It’s hard.” “Of course, I forgot. It was more important for them to teach the autistic kid to be compliant than to teach you how to communicate your needs,” he scowled. “Sarcasm,” he added “Thanks. I realised, this time.”
Another character discloses that the character is autistic (note: this is something that is not necessarily an appropriate thing to do in real-life — please don’t go talking about other people’s diagnoses behind their backs unless you know EXPLICITLY that this is ok with them)
“What’s the deal with Zephyr? Is he always such an arse?” Caroline sighed, “listen, Katharina, Zephyr isn’t trying to be rude. He’s autistic, he can’t pick up on your hints that you want to change the subject. Just tell him—nicely—that you want to talk about something else”
Chantelle looked the teacher in the eye, her face resolute. “Please, Mr Clive, Aaron is autistic, and I need to know that the school understands that. Things have been difficult for all of us since the earthquake, but the changes have been really hard for him. We lost our house, we’ve moved to a new area. Can I work with someone from the school’s SEN department to plan his induction?”
Another character mentions it when talking to the autistic character
“You know, when I first heard you were autistic I was expecting something different” “Robyn, this is not the time,” Enri snapped, “let’s fix the ship first, please”
From: K.Litchen To: I.Khan Subject: Favor please! <3
Hey, Ibby, you can definitely say “no” if you want to, but is it ok if I give your email address to my sister? She just found out that my nephew might be autistic and I think it would help her to talk to an autistic adult bc she’s panicking right now. Also, you left your dictaphone at the office on Friday, I can drop it off tonite if you like?
Thanks!!! Kim xxx”
Say it in the blurb/synopsis of your book/comic/film/etc
“17th Century France: The Beast of Gévaudan has been terrorising the area for two years. After two twelve year olds are killed in his village, Pierre, an autistic baker, begins investigating the attacks. He uncovers secrets, lies, and the terrible truth behind La Bèstia — but who will listen to M. Fournier’s oddball son?”
Include information in the background of a panel/scene (for a comic/film) Examples:
A panel shows a letter that is relevant for plot reasons, but you can see part of another letter behind it that references autism
The character goes to visit their therapist and there are posters about autism on the walls