between the two characters

Natsu goes absolutely crazy anytime Lucy is in danger. He didn’t want to live and was going to throw his life away fighting zeref because he thought she was dead. It’s canon. 


Mashima drew Natsu getting a boner over Lucy (and only her). Omake or not, whether you like fanservice or not, I don’t give a sh*t.

At the end of the day if Mishima didn’t think it was within Natsu’s character to see Lucy as ‘his’  then he wouldn’t draw it. It’s canon.

Natsu chickened out of confessing but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Do people have memory loss of the last 545 chapters of the manga and the character building and moments between the two? 

Expecting to have a shojo moment in a shonen manga is an unrealistic expectation. Compared to other shonen manga’s Mashima has spoiled us rotten for ship moments. Nalu, in particular, got over 40 panels centred around them in the last chapter, so we did pretty well. 

Plus, waxing lyrical about his love for Lucy is OOC for Natsu. In that kind of moment and the vibe of the scene, it wouldn’t happen. 

I am anticipating a short sequel or omake’s that clarify and expand on the ending - Mashima did leave it suspiciously open.

I’m going to do a detailed post later but these are my initial thoughts. 

Oh and before any one messages me saying ‘it depends on how you look at it’ you can save yourself the effort. Anyone can look at something negatively and deny something until their last breath, I’m well aware of this. Hell, if other fandoms have taught me anything, it’s how well people can stick their heads in the sand. 

  • yet another series: here's another weird forced het romance between two characters who start out viscerally hating each other's guts! my treat
  • me: cool! great! appreciate the sentiment! but keep it

xc0nqu3rorx  asked:

How do you properly create a romance between two characters?

Hey there, and thanks so much for your question! Romance can be difficult to write, and many struggle with making it seem realistic. This is a bit of a tough question to answer, though, because there is no ‘correct’ or ‘proper’ way to write romance. It depends on the characters, the setting, the plot, other characters, and the writer. What may work for one story may not work for another. So I’ve compiled a list of resources about writing romance for you:

I hope these resources help you out, and good luck!

-Mod Gen


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask us!

TTVJ: Nicole isn’t the first person you’d guess as Wynonna’s companion on this journey, but I know that’s a relationship Emily has mentioned you guys wanted to grow this season. What’s fun for you about the dynamic between those two characters, those two actresses, and getting to write scenes for them?

BY: Obviously, the Wynonna/Waverly sister relationship is the core of the show. But sometimes there are things Wynonna might want to talk about with someone who isn’t her sister. Maybe there are things she’s ashamed of having done that she can’t admit to Waverly, who is as tied up in the Earp curse as Wynonna is.

It’s also fun to play around with the “in-law” type of relationship since all of Wynonna’s mixed feelings about Waverly (love, guilt, admiration, concern, etc.) can bubble to the surface. As Waverly’s feelings for Nicole become stronger, Wynonna can’t help but feel jealous that someone is taking her baby sister away from her. At the same time, Nicole coming to Wynonna’s aid without necessarily telling Waverly what that involves can test the loyalty in their relationship. It’s fun! And having Melanie and Kat bring these characters to life is a joy to watch.

So I’m not sure about all of you in bughead land but I need a Notebook-esque type fic. Not the whole story where he relives every day of their love story because Betty has Alzheimers Disease. No.

I want the carnival scene. I want Jughead to jump onto a fucking ferris wheel because he can’t bear the thought of never seeing Betty again without at least speaking to her.

I want the scene where the lay in the middle of the street and watch the stoplight change from green to yellow to red over and over again discussing their lives and their hopes and their dreams.

I want the mad, passionate love affair between two of the most beautiful characters on TV.

Please someone write this. If you don’t I will. But I prefer to read this particular story instead of write it.

No but forreal though, how many movies and tv shows go out of their way to show how much two characters of the same sex love and are willing to sacrifice their livelihood for each other, but give them mediocre love interests because “no homo?”

Seriously, it happens all the time. 90% of the show or movie has this build up between the two characters, and then their actual, opposite sex love interests just glide in towards the last 5 minutes, and *that’s* supposedly the person they’re so in love with?

Yeah, fuck all the history they had together. This dude gave this girl a sandwich and called her pretty. That’s love, apparently.

10

“The moment we sat down and talked to each other, we had like a natural connection right away. He said to me afterwards that the most important thing for him was to feel comfortable. He had to be comfortable with me and I had to be comfortable with him to do all the stuff that we did this season. I think we just clicked and he felt as much as I did.” (x)

6

How did this scene come to be?

Barry Jenkins: The scene is interesting to me because it’s like a turning point. These characters are essentially strangers to each other. And this scene is just after they’ve reconnected. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s original piece, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” was kind of the starting point of this. Tarell wrote it as an undergrad at DePaul and passed it to me like a baton in a relay race.

He had this scene where Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaches Little (Alex Hibbert) some self-sustainability. Miami is surrounded by water. It’s always present. And I felt like there needed to be a moment of spiritual transference between these two characters. This idea of a swimming lesson seemed like the right place to do it.

5 Reason’s Why Supernatural is the Gayest Show on Television (That’s Still Stuck in the Closet)

To start with, I’m not delusional.  I’m fully aware that the studio and execs have settled into a comfortable pattern with Supernatural, and especially considering it’s heavily mixed demographic (interestingly, it was ranked a favorite among republicans and democrats in 2016) they’re unlikely to rock the ship with a canonically queer relationship between two of it’s main characters.  

However, it’s important to understand exactly how much queerness is bubbling beneath the thick surface layer of “no homo:”  from the orgies of male-on-male eyesex to the inspiration for most of its main characters, Supernatural is queer to its very core. 

Here are five (blaring but stubbornly unacknowledged) reasons why:


1.  Dean’s gratuitously bisexual inspiration. 

Whenever someone claims a queer interpretation of Dean is baseless, I’m always happy to direct them straight to his flamingly bisexual source:  Dean Moriarty, his namesake and direct inspiration, a la the novel On the Road.  

Admittedly, I read On the Road and didn’t particularly enjoy it, as I found it to be a somewhat masturbatory reassertion of masculinity for its narrator, Sal Paradise.  Sal idolizes and fixates the charismatic Dean and his promiscuous lifestyle, openly having sex with and impregnating multiple women, and is all around a heterosexual power figure…right up until the point at which Dean propositions a male prostitute.  

Though he’s never shown doing anything gratuitous with male characters (since the book was published in the 1960s, it wouldn’t have been legal to) it’s clear that Dean is very much bisexual, not ashamed of it, and in terms of personality, very similar to Dean.  There are a few key differences (Dean Moriarty, for example, legitimately gives zero fucks about anything, whereas Dean Winchester is secretly a little ball of anxiety with the weight of the world on his shoulders) but it’s clear where Eric Kripke got his inspiration from.

Moreover, Dean Moriarty was in turn based off of the real life bisexual counterculturist Neal Cassady, who among other things had a twenty-year sexual relationship with a male poet.  Here, he is pictured in a Denver mugshot: 

So next time someone tells you the homoerotic subtext of Supernatural exists only in the imagination of rabid fangirls, remember that Dean is the direct descendant of two ragingly bisexual icons.

2.  Castiel (or at least his wardrobe) was also based off of a bisexual character.

For a show so aggressively devoted to a “no homo” interpretation, it has a real propensity to drawing inspiration from queer characters:  everyone’s favorite baby in a trench coat, for example, was modeled after the demon-busting John Constantine from the Hellblazer comics.  Yup, another bisexual.   

Though in true assbutt fashion, his love of men is censored in movie and TV adaptions, Constantine unabashedly swings both ways in paper form – a.k.a. where Kripke found inspiration for Castiel’s look.  Here, we see him platonically receiving a man-hug from one of his bros:

So I’m not saying the fact that two out of three main characters are modeled after canonically queer figures could have anything to do with Supernatural’s gratuitous queer subtext, but y’know.  It might.

3.  Cas himself is sexually complex (and literally cannot be straight.) 

Dean has made reference to the fact that he “doesn’t swing that way” (ironically, both of which times he was literally in the midst of blatantly flirting with men.)  

Cas, however, has no such reservations:  he’s never indicated, vocally or otherwise, a preference towards either gender, so much as outright declaring that he doesn’t give a damn.  

He reacts to male and female flirtation much the same way:  just try and tell me his suspicious glower and Mick wasn’t similar to Mandy the waitress (and try and tell me they both weren’t acting like they’d like to eat him for dinner.)

Moreover, the only time we’ve seen him ever achieve some kind of intimacy with female characters is when they’re literally throwing themselves at him.  Hey, he’s an aesthetically pleasing fellow – or rather, an aesthetically pleasing something.  

Which brings me to my next point that he isn’t really a fellow at all:  Cas not only gives zero fucks about sexual orientation, he also gives zero fucks about gender.  Sure, he’ll spend seven years in the same ill-fitting trench coat, but he’ll also rock a petticoat like nobody’s business.

I’ve discovered that the writer for “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets,” Steve Yockey, is a gay man, which honestly makes it all the more perfect:  not only does it establish the Orlando-esque flexibility (or nonexistence) of Cas’s gender, but it eliminates the possibility of his straightness.  

And I want Destiel to be canon as much as anybody, but am I opposed to Cas being a genderfluid lesbian?  No.  No, I am not.    

4.  Dean can textually be interpreted as bisexual (and probably should be.)

For anyone who questions whether Dean not being straight as an arrow, I’m happy to point out some very canon things that happened on the show:

(Examples courtesy of @some-people-call-it-tragic!)

And yes, when feeling threatened, he’s professed not to swing that way.  But you know how many queer people I know who have at one point felt compelled to lie about our sexual orientation?  Every single one.  And I live in the bluest of blue states – Dean was raised in Bible Belt America and spends most of his time in the Southwest.  Not to mention the fact that he was raised during the heat of the AIDS academic.

In other words, he has every logical reason to be wary at the prospect of coming out of the closet, or even acknowledging same sex attraction at all.

Moreover it’s been canonically established that Dean has a habit of lying about himself to protect his image of masculinity:  according to Dean, he doesn’t do shorts, chick flicks, cucumber water, skinny jeans and sunglasses, and Taylor Swift music.  You know how many of those things he loves?  All of them

Finally, not every member of the cast or crew might agree (though I know for a fact that some of them do) but their interpretations do not effect textuality.  And Dean can textually be interpreted as bisexual.  

5.  Dean and Cas make a better couple than any of their love interests.

I’m going to state something I feel is obvious:  Cas and Dean have more buildup, tension, chemistry, emotional connection, and romantic history than literally any of their other interests.  

Take Lisa, for example:  she’s Dean’s longest lasting introduced as female partner, and she’s introduced as the “bendiest weekend of his life.”  

Furthermore, I’d argue that sexual attraction notwithstanding, Dean was never romantically in love with Lisa.  To him, she epitomizes his desire for a mother figure, a home, and his lost childhood, as is best demonstrated in his fantasy from “Dream a Little Dream of Me:”  Lisa isn’t a seductive or romantic figure here – she’s a maternal one. 

Though since Dean has never had a long lasting relationship (or, to my belief, been completely in love with a girl) it’s easy to see how he’d misinterpret these feelings as romantic love. 

Then we have Cas, who’s introduced by pulling Dean from the depths of hell, who makes most one-on-one scenes with Dean look like a soft core porno, and who recently (canonically!) declared his love for Dean.  

I don’t dislike Lisa, but it’s easy to see which of the two relationships is more three-dimensional, more original, and more worthy of screentime.

History of YOI fandom

As a YOI fandom grandparent, I felt it was my duty to write out all the fandom explosions for the newer fans who weren’t there to witness the big bang and gradual week-by-week creation of this universe. All the arguments, people blowing things out of proportion, blaming characters, death theories, awesome fans clearing up miscommunications, YOI breaking the internet… 

This isn’t a post to call out specific people on their arguments and theories - I’ll stay respectfully away from restarting flames and picking fights, thankyouverymuch. Rather, this is an overview of the topics and conflicting views that swept across hundreds and thousands of people and prompted strong reactions. I’m doing this now, because I know that 6 months later, 1 year later, 3 years later, etc. there will be new fans who will have many of the same exact arguments. We’ve been there and done that. I see fans now who say things without knowing where the spelling/quote comes from, or who don’t realize how much has changed, or don’t know why there are certain perceptions of characters. So here’s a little bit of passing down history.

I also don’t want to forget the crazy ride this was. Laugh with me at the silly theories; smile with me at how deeply YOI has impacted our lives.
For those of us old-timers, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Remember when…

—————-
(Large arguments will be italicized or bold. Special thanks to @sachiro for reminding me of a bunch of stuff I missed, and looking over the draft in its various stages of being written and edited.)

Pre-series

  • Idea that there would be a love triangle (Yuri P.–Yuri K.–Victor)
  • Some fans started spelling Yuri Katsuki with two “u” in order to tell them apart.
  • Victuri ship name created for Victor x Yuri K. (in a comment to the PV)
  • The title
    • “lol ‘Yuri’ on Ice? Where are all the lesbians?”
    • “When it said Yuri on Ice, I thought we would get girls. Y’know what I mean?”
    • “Yuri on Ice? More like Yaoi on Ice! amiright?”
    • etc.
  • J.J. misspelling (English spelling “Jean Jack” instead of French Canadian “Jean-Jacques”)
    • you can see the remnants of this in the audience banners during the episodes, but it was corrected to “Jean-Jacques” on the official website and the in-show text
  • Phichit x Seung-gil ship created (there was more art for this than for Victor x Yuuri)

Episode 1

  • Victor vs. Viktor spelling arguments 
    • Although “Victor” is the official spelling and seen in-show, people argued that the creators are wrong and that we fans know better than them about Russian culture - thus the “Viktor” spelling was born.
    • People argued back that spelling is subjective and you can spell a name multiple ways and still be correct - thus transliterating his Russian name into English as “Victor” would be just as acceptable.
    • The YOI wiki held fast for a time on using official spellings and information from the official website, but the transition of power led to a new team that started using agreed-upon info rather than solely using official info. “Viktor” replaced “Victor” on the website.
      • this change from “Victor” to “Viktor” on the wiki happened around episode 2~3, but the arguments were in the page comments since episode 1 – with moderators explaining their reasoning with sticking to official sources.
  • Victor is a flirtatious over-the-top character who will seduce Yuuri
  • Victor is the overwhelming seme and Yuuri is the shy whimpering uke.

Keep reading

This scene is interesting to me because it’s a turning point. In this scene, these characters are essentially strangers to each other and have just reconnected.  Miami is surrounded by water, it’s always present, and I felt that there needed to be a moment of spiritual transference between these two characters and this idea of a swimming lesson– of Juan teaching Little how to swim, how to sustain himself– seemed like the right place to do it. I told Mahershala, “This is a baptism, and I need you to teach him how to float. Teach him how to swim.” Alex Hibbert actually did not know how to swim. He’s learning how to swim as you’re watching the scene. And it’s beautiful, because in this moment, where I want this element of spiritual transference to occur – you watch a grown black man teach a young black boy how to swim in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

– Barry Jenkins on Moonlight

The 3 Elements of a CHARACTER GOAL

You know that moment in a book or movie, near the end, where everything has gone terribly wrong? All has been lost, the main character appears to have been brutally defeated, the mentor has probably kicked the bucket, and generally things couldn’t look bleaker? 

Writing feels like that moment.

Or more accurately, one point in the writing process feels akin to that dark night. It’s that time after the intrepid writer has pushed through the first draft of the story – they’ve brainstormed the development process, sailed through the beginning, blazed through the middle – and then quite suddenly …everything falls apart.

And this despair can be summed up in one soul-crushing sentence: “What happens at the end?" 

The writer realizes that they don’t know. A giddy optimism has propelled them thus far, a chipper little voice in the back of their head assuring "Don’t worry about the end yet! It’ll sort itself out!”

That little happy voice, it turns out, is a liar. 

But your reign of terror is over, lying voice. There’s a way to fix it so you can never trick another writer again. Because knowing what happens at the end comes down to knowing something right in the beginning: knowing three integral facets of the main character. If you know this golden trio, you’ll have a much better chance of knowing exactly what happens at the end: because the end is all about these three. 

So what are these three things? 

GOAL: What the main characters wants, and will pursue throughout the story, overcoming all obstacles and enemies to obtain. 

WANT: Their reasons for wanting it, which is usually to fill some emotional void they sense in their lives, something they believe will fix life and make it complete.

NEED: What they TRULY require to fill that emotional void, to be complete. 

Yup, three of the things listed in that other post “10 Elements of a Main Character”. But now, we’re going to delve into more detail, the elements of a good Goal, a good Want, and a good Need. 

So what goes into a story GOAL? Goals should be …

SINGULAR: The character must have one objective, and only one. A desire, and the overcoming of obstacles to achieve it, form the spine of the story. If there are two, the character is split between two storylines; they are trying to balance two stories at once, confusing them and confusing the reader. 

TANGIBLE: The goal must be something REAL. Something we can see and feel. 

SPECIFIC: In addition to being tangible, it must be highly specific. If the goal was to “escape” it would have to be “escape to a definite destination”. It can’t be at all vague or easily fulfilled by many objects: it must be finding a specific object, winning a specific prize, getting to a specific destination, etc.  

Like in Tangled: The goal is “see the floating lights.”

NOT EMOTIONS/STATES OF MIND: The goal can’t be something like “happiness” or “belonging” or “love.” Those aren’t tangible, they’re not specific, and most of all the reader can’t envision it being achieved. The goal CAN be a physical representation of an emotional state; obtaining this specific and physical objective will mean achieving the emotional state. 

IMAGINABLE: We should be able to easily envision the main character achieving the goal. When we see it, we know it’s happening, know that everything has been building to this moment.

Like in Monsters Inc, we know what getting Boo back home is going to look like (though in the beginning, we don’t know that it’s going to be heartbreaking.)

NOBLE: The goal should be something the reader can cheer on. The reader understands why the main character wants it. The reader can relate to the goal, and the emotional reason behind it.

Cheer like this.

STAKES: If they fail, something will be lost. If they choose not to pursue the goal, things will be very bad. There can’t be a sense that if they stop going after the goal at any point, life could just go back to how it was. When the catalyst came in and shattered their ordinary world and everyday routine, the story entered the realm of “nothing will ever be the same” and the only way to restore order to their universe is to achieve this thing. And that thing that will be lost must be something we can relate to, something significant: love, safety, family, life, future, freedom, loved ones. 

What goes into the WANT? The want is…

CONNECTED TO GHOST: The ghost is a moment from their past that still haunts them, and is the source of their moral and psychological weaknesses. Their reasons for wanting the goal should be connected to this moment. They believe that if they achieve it, their world will be fixed, life will go back to how it was before this haunting moment occurred.

MISGUIDED: And they’re usually always wrong. Achieving the goal just as it is will never fix what’s broken in their lives. 

SAVING GRACE: It’s often this Want behind their goal that acts as their saving grace in the eyes of the reader. Sometimes it’s hard to connect with a character – they’re difficult to understand, easy to find unappealing, even downright unpleasant – until we know why they are the way they are. (Think Marlin from Finding Nemo; he’s pretty unlikable and frustrating half the time, but we know why he’s behaving that way, so it’s easier to forgive him.) 

What do all of these character NEEDS have in common?

HOW TO FIX LIFE: In their pursuit of the tangible goal, something else is revealed that will truly save their lives. This is some truth that will banish the power of the ghost, let the character see themselves clearly for the first time, and show them what needs to be done to live a better life in the future. This usually arrives right after that “Dark Night” moment, which is usually when the goal has been achieved or lost; the truth revealed in this moment will allow them to snatch victory from this darkest defeat, renew their courage, inspire them to soldier on and pursue the story goal once more. 

NEW WORLDVIEW: This crucible of battle and revelation of truth changes them. They’re not the same person anymore. They’ve conquered the thing that haunts them, overcome weaknesses, have greater knowledge of themselves and life.

Okay! So how does this work? Let’s use Wreck-It Ralph, because I’m in the mood.

What is Ralph’s Goal? 

A medal. 

A single medal will suffice. A tangible medal that we can easily envision. A specific medal, namely the one he got from Hero’s Duty.  A medal that we can imagine him obtaining, bringing to the Nicelanders, and using to change his lot in life. 

It’s easy to cheer on because it means Ralph doesn’t have to live in the garbage, alone anymore. We can relate to it, and cheer it on, because nobody wants to be alone (especially not while living in garbage). 

And the stakes for this are obvious: ___.

Now how about what Ralph wants?

This medal is connected to Ralph’s ghost which is years and years of being the bad guy. The bad, unlikable, unloved, unworthy, friendless guy. 

He thinks if he gets it, he’ll become the good guy at long last, and his loneliness and lack of self-worth will end. 

How is this his saving grace? It immediately makes the audience empathize with Ralph. Everyone, at some point, has felt alone and unloved. 


What about what he Needs?

Getting the medal doesn’t work out for Ralph. It doesn’t fix anything. What he NEEDS is this medal:

To become a hero, he needs to be the hero for Vanellope. 

New Worldview: 

“As long as that little kid likes me … “ 

So these three are the destination. These are what everything is going towards. If you know these three elements, you’ll have a much better chance of an ending forming in your head. So take that annoying little liar voice.

You know what that voice looks like?  Her. It looks like Umbridge.

Sorry I wanted you to hate it as much as I do.

anonymous asked:

YOUR TAGS. I feel you girl. It irritates me when people pretend Dean hasn't found his perfect match. Even in S4 when Dean barely knew him Cas was gentle and wanted to understand Dean "you don't think you deserved to be saved", the park date, etc. He sacrifices everything for Dean, makes Dean laugh (HE HADN'T HAD FUN LIKE THAT IN YEARS), always comes back to Dean. I can boldly say Castiel is the one person Dean is the happiest around. It does help that he thinks Cas is devastatingly handsome.

Some people must be watching the show like this:

Because really? Dean hasn’t found someone who loves him fully and unconditionally?

A person who would be literally everything Dean would look for in a romantic partner if he allowed it for himself? 

Someone who sees who Dean really is and loves him for it? Who would always choose Dean? Who would give up things for Dean? Who would rebel and fall for Dean? Who would always look out for Dean? Who would always care for Dean? Who would even keep away from Dean if it would protect him? Who would care for him when he’s wounded? Who would also care deeply for Sam because he loves him like a brother? 

Someone who is his equal, a BAMF, who knows the life, who brings out his soft side, who brings him up when he’s at his lowest, who challenges him, who sometimes even frustrates him because he cares so much. Someone with no preconceptions of who a person ‘should’ be, who therefore has no comprehension of why Dean would repress certain sides of himself thanks to low self esteem and cultural norms and therefore accepts and loves him for who he is as a whole, even the sides Dean might not even like himself, helping Dean to learn to embrace them. Someone who helps him be the best him that he can be, who would always choose him and would theoretically stay at his side for centuries if need be, who, when he doesn’t stay it’s because he is trying to protect him from afar and keep him safe, but someone who always comes back to Mr Dean Abandonment Issues Winchester.

Someone who would watch over him as his mother, up on her pedestal, always said Angels would, but you know, literal Angels don’t exist so he would have to settle for a metaphorical romantic partner for this, like in all the love songs and fairy tales…

WE JUST DON’T KNOW WHERE THIS UTTERLY UNREALISTIC LOVE INTEREST COULD BE HIDING.

Originally posted by stardustcas

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! 

OK don’t get me wrong, I completely respect what the Voltron creators are doing and how they’re staying faithful to the original series, but in my opinion, I just really don’t think that they’re going in the right direction with putting Keith and Allura together. 

Now, I’m not saying I’m against the ship or that I hate it, it’s actually kind of cute, but there’s no chemistry there, all I see is a forced romantic relationship between two characters that I feel literally only have a platonic relationship/friendship. 

I just don’t feel what they’re trying to sell us you know?

But then when Keith is with Lance like dude, I feel like there’s so much more there.

They have this moment where they connect with each other and just the mood and the lighting is perfect

Then there’s the undeniable flirting

And him getting all impatient over Lance not coming out of the pod, because he wants to get closer with him

Those pining looks

THE FRICKIN JEALOUSY (How can you pair Keith with someone he gets jealous of Lance over???)

THIS

There’s just so much more dynamic and chemistry here, more than I personally feel is between Keith and Allura. I just feel like as two really good characters, they deserve to be with someone that suits their other half (like in my opinion, Allura with Shiro, they definitely have chemistry)

But you know what, whatever the creators choose to do I’ll completely respect their decision in the end. I’ll love the show either way depending on who they put together.

A Stupid Way to come up with Original Characters and Stories (That Somehow Works)
  • Find a character from a work you admire. Any media will do, but Children’s media works the best.
  • Ask yourself a few questions about the character in question. I don’t have a complete list, and the questions are likely going to vary, and most of this is coming off the top of my head, but yeah, here are a few suggestions.
    • Was there anything about this character that ticked you off? Maybe this character did something that you thought was ooc? Or maybe this character is too perfect and could use a few more flaws.
    • Does the medium or genre prevent the character from performing certain actions? Furthermore, do certain aspects of the characters life, including sex, gender, social status, and age prevent this character from acting in a certain way?
    • Is there something you want to see the character do that you know will never happen in the show?
    • And finally, is there anything you want to change about this character?
  • Rant to yourself or to tumblr about everything the show apparently did wrong. Constantly switch between getting mad at yourself for nitpicking a show you love and being mad at the work itself for not being 100% perfect. 
  • Scream into a pillow, make yourself some hot cocoa, eat a full dinner, and then take a hot shower. 
  • Get out a sketchpad or a word document or anything else you use to brainstorm and start drawing and or writing about the character in the show. But write the character the way you think they should be, as opposed to the way their presented in canon. 
    • Take into account that changing some aspects of your character will effect the story in some pretty big ways, especially if what you changed is an action the character performed. Maybe that Magical Princess ran away at a young age under the stress of becoming queen before joining a gang and ultimately becoming a crime boss? Maybe that Alien supervillain can be reformed by showing them the good things about the planet Earth. When you change an aspect of a story, justify the change by having it affect every other aspect of the story. Whatever you do, though, don’t handwave the change. Instead embrace it… those changes are where the heart of your story lies.
    • Don’t be afraid to add in elements from other works of fiction other than the one you’ve chosen. Most of the plot elements of Gravity falls and Rick and Morty, for example, are just similar enough to make a meeting between Ford Pines and Rick Sanchez possible. 
  • Look over your work and note just how far you’ve drifted from canon. If you’ve changed the idea enough, it should feel kinda alien to the original work. If it’s too similar, then if might be a good idea to repeat the previous steps.
    • Some of the things to note include tone, genre, level of obscenity, and target demographic. Considering how fanworks typically go, we almost unconsciously make dark shows light and fluffy and light and fluffy shows dark and gritty. This can be a good thing when done right.
    • The humour of the work will also depends on the type of humour you feel comfortable writing. Sometimes your humour will be almost exactly like the original work, and sometimes it’ll be drastically different. Aim for the latter.
    • If you added in elements from another work of fiction, then certain patterns are inevitably going to be formed. using the Rick and Morty/ Gravity Falls fandom above, one can’t help but make Ford and Rick foils of each other; two interdimensional science dorks, but one has a stronger sense of morality. The character reactions between the two of them is dripping with potential that we’ll never see in canon, because these two shows air on different networks and are aimed at different target demographics.
  • If necessary, repeat the process again, but this time apply this to your version of the character. Continue until your happy with what you have.
  • Finally, rename the characters, and if you’re an artist, re-draw them as well. The new names and designs should reflect the character you wrote, not the character you were inspired by. 
  • And bam, you just made something original. 

Now obviously, this isn’t the only way to make characters or write stories… artists tend to draw from real life just as often as they reference other works of fiction. But the great thing about this process is that it depends entirely on your own personal interpretation of not only the work of fiction in question, but also of how the world around you works. I believe that we, as humans, are natural complainers and nitpickers, constantly believing ourselves to be the sole authority on how the world should work. On one hand, it might be easy to just rant about it and call it a day, but I believe these rants hold quite a lot of creative potential. Writing isn’t about coming up with something wholly new and original… story telling is pretty much limited to the human experience, and we’ll always fall back on something familiar (note the tropeless tale)… instead, its about writing about the familiar in a new way.

Thoughts?