central fountain

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Four: Parents on the Page

So you’ve accepted the challenge, huh? You want to actually include your character’s parents this time around. Excellent. Since the tendency over the years has been to exclude them, you may be finding yourself a bit stumped on how to write them. Good news - I’ve got some tips for you.

Personality

When we imagine our own parents, we mostly think about our interactions with them–the PARENTING part of being a parent. While it’s pretty common for parents to deal with loss of identity as part of becoming parents, don’t forget that these are still people. They have fears and loves, wants and needs above simply making sure they can support the family. What are their hobbies? If given a week to themselves, how would they spend it? When faced with their greatest fear that is not wrapped up in their children’s well-being, how do they face it? What kind of teenager were they, and what’s the most illegal thing they’ve done? (It doesn’t have to be a big dark secret like they killed a man. Maybe they just put soap into a central fountain or removed the C off a sign for crude oil.) What kinds of trips did they used to take prior to their children? What’s a phrase that the child would shake their head upon hearing and just mutter, “Of course you would. That… that’s such a [parent] thing to say”? What are three or four words that sum up who this person is that don’t include “parent”?

Relationship with their children

Once you have an awareness of who these people are as people, add in their children and think about parenting skills they might employ. How they speak to their children will cue a lot off of the respective ages, so take into consideration whether this is an adult speaking with an adult, or an adult speaking with a child. That relationship between parents and their adult children really does change, despite the couple of years of transition when the parent still thinks they’re talking with a child. That location within the relationship is important to figuring out how to write parents and children in scenes together. It doesn’t always have to be either knocking-heads-antagonistic or sickly-sweet-friendship. It can be as simple as two characters talking who simply have a long history with each other.

Parents are often concerned about well-being in regards to their children. They want to make sure that the child doesn’t need assistance whether monetarily or emotionally. That long history can create either a very clear-headed ability to assess what’s going on with the child or a blinding effect where they don’t see as well as they think they do. Generally, the blindness is also well-meaning, but can end up creating tensions between parent and child. Dialogue between parents and children will often reflect this. Long history provides inside jokes and memories, resulting in references to each other or avoidance of certain topics because they both know.

Story Function

When writers decide not to include the parents in a story, usually their only focus is on eliminating extraneous characters to streamline the story down to only those who are most integral to the plot. In theory, we’re taught that this is the best way to handle stories: keep it simple and make sure the characters you choose to include are worth including, right? If a character’s not pulling their weight, see if there’s a way to combine their purpose with another flimsy character to create a more substantive character, right? This, alongside ideas like “This character would never be able to go on this adventure if their parents were around!” leads writers to take advantage of the close relationship inherent in parent-child relationships by forcing the parents to leave and putting that angst to use as character backstory. It makes characters more sympathetic, right? Consider, instead, that parents can become hugely helpful to your story by providing an easy reason for something to be discussed or providing excellent tension.

Long story short: Parents don’t have to be a burden to your tale, but rather can have a function if you bother to develop them into full and rounded characters.

Consider what kind of agenda these people might have–what are they up to? And don’t just think about it in regards to their children, but also in regards to the wider world. Think about how they would react to the things going on in the city due to the wider world machinations. It’s so tempting to think they’d be oblivious, but what if they’re also taking action? What if they’re preparing for something? Think about what kinds of facets that might add to your story.

Remember to take into consideration the parents’ hopes and dreams in regards to their children and family, too, of course. How far are they willing to go to protect them? What does protection mean to them? Where would they like to see their children in the future, and how involved do they feel the need to be in order to get them there? How much space is there in their agenda to allow for road bumps and input from the child?

What kind of foil or new perspective could having the parents in the story provide? What opinions or worldviews/understanding do they have that could be a benefit to your character? Part of the common plot for adventure/quest stories is the hero’s reluctance to join the adventure at all. How much more fun could you have if you put the trope on its head and involved the parents. Yeah, your character wants to go, but it’s family game night; or your character would never be able to sneak out of the house without attracting the parents’ attention, so think about how a character might achieve that and the fun situations your characters can get into before you even get started with defeating the Dark Lord.

Not all parents have to manifest as obstacles, or even as obstacles all the time. Consider taking another perspective with them that allows them to be part of the picture, even if they’re not on the team fighting the Big Bad.

Next up: Starting in on the siblings!

It has come to my attention that I maaaaaaay have gone a little far with that last bit of sad meta.

Just a tad.

So in honour of @fireflyfish I would like to tell you all how the Clone Wars ended with Peace Kittens and Cupcakes and everyone lived happily ever after.

So first of all you need to understand that it is all Qui-Gon’s fault. Sure, he may have been incorporeal for over a decade but it still comes back to him. And his strays.

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10

No trip to NYC is complete without visiting 30secondstomars’s Hurricane video locations 😜

my pics w/ a side by side comparison

Happy AU Week! So, this is my take on a Klaroline fusion with the Bold Type (which is an amazing TV Show if you haven’t seen it yet, and btw I’m so excited they got another two seasons). Image not mine FYI. 

Three twenty-something girls working for a women’s magazine in New York City navigating their way through life and love. Although not expecting the heads of a rival publication to ruffle their feathers so much. 

Living Out Loud

Butter, Midtown – 70 West 45th Street

The magazine’s 30th anniversary party was in full swing. Caroline Forbes looked around proudly knowing that every element carried her signature style, even down to the colour coordinated macaroons.  

Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. She ran her palm along her lace, violet dress, thankful that even with her dismal salary the magazine had a perfectly stocked, designer wardrobe to borrow from in times like these.  Their Editor-in-Chief was in the middle of the room, champagne flute in manicured hand and from the satisfied smile on her face, Caroline knew she was pleased with the event she’d so meticulously planned for the past six months

If anyone could organise an event it was Caroline Forbes and, sure, she loved it but wanted more and after four years at Arabella Magazine, she was ready for a new challenge. Unfortunately, what she wanted was highly competitive to obtain. Positions in the magazine’s fashion department were extremely rare and even then they required some kind of relevant experience. Something Caroline, as a finance major, didn’t possess.  

“Kat is pissed,” Bonnie interrupted.  She turned to her friend; dressed in a stunning, pink, halter neck, floor length gown, her dark tresses falling in waves past her shoulders. As much as she loved her deeply thoughtful, writer friend Caroline knew she had a tendency to worry over nothing.

“So, what’s new?” Caroline asked, taking a long sip of her champagne. “Kat is pissed when the guy at Starbucks gets her coffee order wrong. Between you and me I don’t blame him given her long list of unrealistic demands.”

“She’s currently in a twitter war of words with GQ Magazine.”

“About what exactly?”

“She retweeted their article about dating a feminist and told them if the magazine was going to write something they might like to look up the definition in the dictionary first.”

“Ouch. Watch out GQ,” she chuckled. No one ever entered into a debate with Katherine Pierce about feminism and emerged unscathed.  She was Arabella’s Social Media Director and, although incredibly impulsive at times, their editor loved her passion and commitment. “I hardly think she needs our assistance, Bon.”

“You know who their new Editor-in-Chief is, right? That guy can hold his own.” Caroline gave her a look which plainly said she didn’t before she continued. “Enzo St John.”

“The same Enzo St John from Esquire Magazine?”

“Formerly of Esquire you mean,” she shot back. “He’s finally joined the Mikaelson family empire since marrying Rebekah last month.”

Mikaelson Publishing was well known, especially throughout New York City where their headquarters were based and had an impressive number of quality publications, including the highly popular Men’s Magazine GQ, in their stable. Although Caroline didn’t know the family personally she’d read an article in Time about their metaphorical rise from meagre beginnings in rural England to becoming media royalty in the Big Apple.

It didn’t hurt that they weren’t entirely bad to look at either. Elijah, the eldest, was the revered CEO and rumoured to own at least five hundred suits, Kol the Chief Financial Officer was often described as a cheeky womaniser and youngest sister Rebekah, the Communications and Marketing Director, was stunningly beautiful but incredibly icy. 

However, it was Chief Operating Officer and middle brother Klaus that made Caroline slightly weak at the knees. He was a Harvard Law and MBA graduate. She wasn’t quite sure whether it was the steely blue-eyed gaze, sexy stubble, sinful crimson lips or those deep set dimples. She’d come to the conclusion it was probably a mixture of everything, including the power and intelligence he exuded in the accompanying photographs.

Still, if Caroline knew anything looks and brains didn’t guarantee a winning personality and from all reports they were incredibly difficult. She figured you didn’t get that far career wise if you weren’t.  

“Lucky Enzo,” she joked.  

“Kat’s going crazy,” Bonnie said, holding up her cell and showing her the increasingly terse twitter exchange. “I’m not sure she can be responsible for her actions.”

“Fine,” she conceded, noting the tweets had moved on from decidedly terse to slightly offensive. “Where is she now?” 

“According to Friend Finder, she’s at the fountain in Central Park no doubt shouting insults and punching the cell keypad beyond repair.” Caroline rolled her eyes, gesturing to the exit as they made their way towards it.

“How many times have I told you not to walk around the park by yourself at night?” Bonnie offered as they approached their best friend, dressed in a stunning, gold gown that brought out her naturally olive complexion.

“I wouldn’t have activated ‘Find My Friend’ if I knew you were going to go all protective like on me, mom,” she scowled, not even bothering to lift her eyes which were focused on her phone screen intently.

“Someone’s in a mood,” Caroline teased, taking a seat next to her friend on the side of the fountain while Bonnie took the other.

“Whoever this guy is, he’s an ass,” she growled. “Apparently I’m the one who needs a dictionary, can you believe that? At least I stand by my convictions and my identity, this coward is hiding behind GQ’s twitter account. 

“You don’t know who it is?” 

“It’s probably best I don’t given I might be tempted to go over there and kick his chauvinistic ass.”

“Why do you care what some idiot from GQ thinks anyway? You’re Katherine Elena Pierce, the fiercest Social Media Director in New York City.”

“I am, aren’t I?” She murmured, finally lifting her gaze from the screen, a satisfied twinkle in her brown eyes.

“You’re also incredibly modest,” Bonnie chuckled, taking her hand and squeezing it affectionately. Caroline laid her head on Kat’s shoulder, enjoying the relative solace that came from being with her friends and listening to the rhythmic cascading of the water from the fountain.

“That fountain is really making me want to pee,” Kat broke the silence. So much for solace.

“Way to ruin the moment.”

“I came here straight from the party and have been a little a little preoccupied with…”

“How about we go back to our apartment, watch a really bad movie and stuff our faces with Chunky Monkey?” Bonnie suggested and Caroline nodded, there was no way they wanted to get her all riled up again tonight. 

Gigli?”

“Anything but that, Care,” Kat groaned as they made their way through the park. “Please? I can only take so much Ben Affleck before bed.” 

“Well, Bonnie did say bad.” Before either could respond, Katherine’s phone beeped signaling a new email. She lifted up her phone expectantly. “Kat, you need to get off that thing for your own good.”

“It could be important,” she said, the light from the screen illuminating her face as she read. “That’s strange.”

“Strange?”

“That it’s 11 PM and from the Magazine’s Legal Department.”

“What’s wrong?” They both asked in unison as Kat stopped in her tracks. 

“Mikaelson Publishing is suing Arabella Magazine for defamation,” she uttered in disbelief. Caroline stood there, mouth agape. And here she thought Gigli was the worst possible fate they’d face tonight. 

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“Well, it certainly could have been worse.”

“How, how could that have possibly gone any worse than it did, Robin-ya?”

The older woman smiles, a gentle upturn of her lips and it makes Law what to rip them right off her face.

When they arrived here five hours ago at this little island, everything had been looking fine.

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A Heart’s Thoughts - Part Four

A/N: Despite not having reached 30 notes on the last update, I wanted to get this out since today is fanfic author appreciation day. Don’t forget to send your favorite fanfic writer a nice message today!

Synopsis: Everyone has their own two powers, but it’s up to luck whether you’ll end up being tortured for it or not.

Welcome to our little Empowered village, the place where you’ll learn to use your powers for good- or, that’s what we were told.

Pairing: Chanyeol x (female) OC

Word count: 2354

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“I can’t sleep like this,” Cecilia got out of bed and threw a hateful look at her wall. That was the third time in a row that questionable sounds came from the rooms in the apartment next to hers and Clover’s, causing Cecilia to have very long nights.

She let out a sigh and walked to her closet, “might as well go for a walk to maybe get some energy running through this useless body of mine.”

She pulled up her nose as she poked herself a few times, throwing her reflection a disgusted look before letting out another sigh and throwing on her uniform.

The distance between the three different dormitories was even between all of them, as they formed a sort of triangle near the borders of their ‘campus’. Cecilia decided to just walk past all three dormitories to just burn those few extra calories while enjoying a book. Besides, she didn’t really feel like having breakfast today.

As she started approaching the big, red dormitory of the Element class, she saw someone in a red shirt slumping towards it, coming from the same way as she did. She easily recognized the figure as Chanyeol, and a small smile crossed her face as she sped up.

“Hey, Chanyeol!”

He stopped walking and turned around to see who’d called his name, and when he did, Cecilia slowed down, almost stopping. She’d clearly seen it go through his mind, he wasn’t happy to see her. She’d already called out to him, so it would be weird to just turn around and leave, so she plastered a smile on her face as she neared him.

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Name: Metheglin
Race: Aasimar
Age: Adult
Class: Oracle (City mystery) (Read: I could not decide between Streets and Intrigue and am cobbling together an unholy amalgamation of the two)
Curse: Site-Bound (The City Fountain)
Alignment: Chaotic Good

History: Metheglin grew up in the city nearest the guildhall, an odd child of entirely human parents, and when he was young he dreamed of traveling to distant lands. However, when he was old enough to leave home, he found himself physically unable to exit the city gates. When he tried, a wave of ill-ease and sickness came over him. It was a priestess at a temple in the Outer District who first saw what was going on with him: he was claimed by the city itself, bound to the central fountain in the main square.

While this dashed his hopes of being an adventurer, he strengthened his resolve and learned from the different temples all the stories of heroes. It was because of these stories that he recognized his opportunity to act when it arose.

A sickness had risen in the western slums, but several nobles refused to give their aid. So Metheglin quietly blackmailed them using information he’d gained with his oracular abilities. It wasn’t slaying a dragon, but he did eventually get gold flowing to buy medicines and healers for even the poorest of families.

He’s continued to work in subtle ways, tending to his city as best he can. Still, Metheglin’s recently found his metaphysical leash lengthening, enough that he might finally be able to visit the Collective and see what ‘real heroes’ look like.

Favored Weapon: a pair of handaxes that he calls Gentle and Tender
Favored Revelations: Whispered Glimpses, Eyes of the Streets
Other: Metheglin’s shadow has a very large pair of feathered wings, while the man himself does not.