To all the writers who have ever been told “Your characters have to be three dimensional!” or “They should be well-rounded!” and just felt like saying: “What does that even MEAN?! What goes into a 3-dimensional character? Specifically? And how do you go about creating one?!”
Good news. There’s a way.
Great main characters – heroes, protagonists, deuteragonist, whatever you want to call them – have ten things in common. Ten things that are easily developed, once you know what to create within your character. So no one will ever be able to tell you “needs to be more three dimensional!” ever again. Ha.
1) Weaknesses: Main characters should be flawed, but I’m not saying this because it will make them more realistic (though it will) – I’m saying they need to be flawed because if they’re not, they shouldn’t be a main character. Story is another word for change, or more accurately, character growth. Not character as in “fictional person”, character meaning “heart and soul”. Story is someone’s character changing, for better or worse. Main characters at the beginning of the story are lacking something vital, some knowledge of themselves, some knowledge of how to live a better life, and this void is ruining their lives. They must overcome these weaknesses, if they’re going to become complete, and reach a happy ending. There are two types of weaknesses: Psychological and Moral. Psychological ones only hurt the main character. Moral ones cause the main character to hurt other people. Easy.
2) Goal: Characters exist because they want something. Desiring something, and the fight against opposition for that desire, is the lifeblood of story; and because character is story, it’s also desire that can breathe life into words on a page, and begin the process of creating a real person in a reader’s mind. It’s this ‘desire for something’ that sparks that first connection between reader and character. It makes us think “Well, now I have to find out if this person gets what they want.” This is a powerful link. (How many mediocre movies do we suffer through, when we could easily stop watching, because we’re still trapped by that question of “what happens?”) So if this is powerful enough to keep people watching an annoying movie, imagine how powerful it can be in an excellent story.
Like in Up, the goal is to get the house to Paradise Falls.
3) Want: If the main character wants something, they want it for a darn good reason. Usually, they think that attaining the goal will fill the void they can sense in their lives, the deficiency they can feel, but don’t know how to fix. And they’re almost always wrong. Getting the goal doesn’t help anything; which is why, while pursuing that goal, they discover a deeper need that will heal them. Which brings us to …
4) Need/Elixir: Main characters are missing something, a weakness in their innermost selves is causing them to live a less-than-wonderful life. Through story, these main characters can be healed. Once they discover what’s missing, and accept it, and change the way they live to include this truth they’ve uncovered … they’re healed. Learning this truth, whatever it is, forms the purpose of the story for the main character. The reader, and the character, think the story is about achieving that big tangible goal the premise talks about; really, underneath it all, the story is about someone achieving a big intangible truth, that will ultimately save their life and future. Often, this need is exactly what the character fears or professes to hate.
Like Finding Nemo, where Dory states exactly what Marlin needs to learn.
Not this kind of ghosts.
Ghosts are events in your character’s past which mark the source of their weaknesses and strengths. Because these happened, the character became who they are. All we need to know about backstory are these moments, because who the character became is all we care about. There’s really only one ghost you absolutely need: the source of their moral and psychological weakness. Something happened that knocked the character’s world off kilter, and everything from that moment onward has been tainted by what happened. This moment haunts them (hence the name), and holds them back from uncovering that need that will heal their weaknesses. Pixar are masters of this: the source of Carl being stuck in the past, curmudgeonly, unable of loving anyone new? Ellie dying; his ghost. In Finding Nemo, the source of Marlin being suffocating, protective to the point of being harmful, possessive, and fearful? His wife and 99% of his children being eaten in front of him; his ghost.
6) True Character: These are the strengths, values, convictions, fears, faults, beliefs, worldview, and outlook on life that make the main character who they truly are.
7) Characterization: This is everything on the surface of a main character. The way they look, talk, act, etc. All of this originates from those deeper elements of their being, the strengths, values, ghosts, weaknesses, needs, that make them who they truly are. So often, you can think of this as a facade they’re projecting, a way to shield the the truth about themselves, how they wish to be perceived. The story, and the other characters, are slowly going to see deeper than this characterization, revealing more and more of the reasons it is the way it is.
8) Arc: If the character is going to change from “Incomplete Person” to “Complete Person” there’s going to be a journey they go on to make that possible. The external story, the pursuit of that big tangible goal the premise is about, is causing an inner journey to take place. What they have to do in pursuit of that external goal will apply pressure to those weaknesses, and pressure causes change. This process has seven steps, but if I write it all here this post is going to be obscenely long. So I might wait and give this its own post.
9) Changed Person: Who is the character going to be at the end of this story? They better be different, or else the story didn’t work. How do they show how different they’ve become? What is the moral choice they make, that spins their trajectory from “the future doesn’t look so great” to “happily ever after”? This should be known right away, maybe even before anything else is settled about the character. This gives a distinct end goal, a way to work backwards, a destination in mind that you can navigate towards.
10) Fascination and Illumination: The surface characterization, and the brief glimpses of the true character underneath create curiosity in the reader/audience. What the character says, and the implied subtext beneath the dialogue, creates a puzzle the audience wants to solve. Actions they take work the same way; if the writer indicates there’s deeper motivation behind why a character behaves in the way they do, we buy into solving that mystery right away. We can’t help it. “Who are you really? Why are you the way you are? And how is that going to effect the story?” These are all the unspoken, almost not consciously acknowledged, questions that fascinating characters provoke. Searching out meaning, connecting the dots to find the truth – we can’t resist this. We’re not fascinated by tons of backstory and exposition about a character; we’re fascinated by story, by mystery, by the technique of withholding information and having to interpret and hunt out the truth on our own. So gradually, the story and the characters will force that character to reveal a little more, and a little more, until we have a complete picture of who this person is. Crucial that this information isn’t told up front. Gradually illuminate it. It’s just like getting to know a real person.
So how does this work in a real character? Let’s take a look at Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert, because almost everybody has seen that movie.
Moral Weaknesses: He’s selfish. He’s a little greedy. He’s a little rude. He uses his charisma and bravado to keep people at a distance from the real him.
Psychological Weaknesses: Insecurity, fear of vulnerability, feels like the real him (Eugene) would be unwanted, unlovable, and have nothing – just like when he was an orphaned kid. Also, he doesn’t know who he wants to be, what he wants to live for.
Goal: Flynn wants to get that crown. So he has to get Blondie to see the floating lights, so she’ll give it back to him, and then they can part ways as unlikely friends.
Want: Why does he want the crown? What does it mean for him? He actually states it (reluctantly) in song: “I have dreams like you, no really. Just much less touchy feely. They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny. On an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone. Surrounded by enormous piles of money.” He senses there’s something off in his life, something is missing. But he mistakenly believes this missing piece is money, which will allow him to buy a lonely island, where he can live out his days as Flynn and no one will ever know Eugene.
Need: “All those days chasing down a daydream. All those years living in a blur. All that time never truly seeing, things the way they were. Now she’s here, shining in the starlight. Now she’s here, suddenly I know. If she’s here, it’s crystal clear, I’m where I’m meant to go.” He wants a crown … he needs to fall in love with Rapunzel. He needs to love something more than himself, and find out that love isn’t something to fear and push away. He needs to abandon the 'Tales of Flynnagin Rider’ ambition, and get a more worthwhile, new dream.
Ghost: The source of all of his weaknesses can be linked to his “little bit of a downer” childhood as an orphan. Interestingly, he isn’t aware of another facet of that ghost, and Rapunzel points it out to him. “Was he a thief too?” she asks. He looks taken aback, before answering “Uh, no.” Something’s gone wrong. The choices he’s making are not living up to that original role model.
Characterization: Flynn’s charming, funny, smart, charismatic, and arrogant (in a somehow charming sort of way). He’s also rude, contemptuous, and sarcastic. All traits that help him keep up that 'swashbuckling rogue’ facade, and push people away from the real him.
True Character: Underneath all that, he’s a Disney prince. That pretty much sums it up.
Changed Person: “Started going by Eugene again, stopped thieving, and basically turned it all around.” He started the story as the guarded and evasive Flynn, he ends as the selfless and thoroughly-in-love Eugene.
Fascination and Illumination: Imagine if everything about Flynn had been told, right up front. We know he’s an orphan, we know he’s upheld a fake reputation, we know he’s a kind and loving guy underneath it all, we even know about his “tales of Flynnagin” childhood dream. You know what happens? We like him … but we’re not interested in him. There’s nothing we need to find out. There’s no curiosity. And if there’s no curiosity, and nothing being illuminated, your story’s not going anywhere. So instead, we find out – alongside Rapunzel – more about Flynn as the story progresses. And that is how it should be.
Developing characters in this way, I’ve found, really reduces worries about how “well-rounded” and three dimensional I’ve made them. They feel real to me. And besides helping me create characters, this ten element technique has also let me analyze characters I like, which is strangely fun. It’s a great way to figure out why a character works, what causes them to be so effective, and how you can go about creating them yourself.
Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd.
But if you want, try it out. Develop a character. Analyze a character. You might find it as useful/fun as I do.
i adore adoreadore the fact that the four main characters of skam are so significant for teen culture of this day? as a teacher in secondary school, these are genuinely teenagers’ struggles that i’ve seen in everyday life.
with eva, we saw the loneliness and loss of identity of teenagers (specifically girls!) within a peer culture that requires a lot of social interaction: you need to “know” where your place is and that is your identification; through dating, but also through friendships. but, as eva said, maybe it’s okay that she doesn’t know right now, and that she has to find it.. on her own. one of her biggest strengths in the end is how honest she has become; with herself and with others.
with noora, we see a character who explicitely identifies herself as feminist and finds a lot of value in being morally upright. but what happens when situations aren’t as black and white as we think they are? moreover, what happens to a girl who has been sexually harassed, and violated, possibly even raped? noora shows us that at the very least, it is important to communicate with people about your experiences to be able to get through those horrible experiences, even if it is only a little bit.
with isak, we delve into the psyche of a lgbt+ teenager who has seen representations of lgbt+ culture in the media and has enormous difficulties with identifying himself as such. but his story doesn’t end there even though other shows might have stopped there; his misconceptions about religion (god doesn’t exist!!) and mental illness (i don’t want them around/ they are crazy) are real thoughts that go through people’s heads (especially in western culture). these are all perceptions that are formed by society, but it is important that isak was never demonised for these ideas; through communication with different kinds of people he got educated on things he thought he knew about and that changed him into the mature person he is now.
and now, with sana, a muslimah with one leg in the Western culture and one in her religion which is seen as “unwestern” by many who critique it, has the time come to delve into a deeper understanding of those who experience (daily?) hatred in their lives through media and society. once again, communication seems at a forefront: “don’t let me be misunderstood” – listen to my experiences, to my life, to my explanations. she has been so infallible before, that it will be interesting to see what is going to be her challenge in her season; a character who is so focused on being right in everything she does – i think her unintentionally making a mistake having an effect on her and the people around her would be an excellent story.
i guarantee that this series will have a long lasting effect on how teenagers, and people, are going to view each other in the long run. media teaches us to be afraid of each other; skam is that small light that shows there is more than fear.
there’s also love. in compassion, in understanding, in educating.
and i can’t wait to look back on it all and say: you know, that norwegian series for teenagers in 2015? i felt validated, i felt heard, i felt loved by that series. i’m gonna show my love in return to other people. because we have learned something from it.
Do you know what makes Rick and Morty such a good series?
The humanistic approach to each story and character and the savage portrayal of real emotions felt by believable characters. The characters in Rick and Morty are not over the top caricatures, such as they are in Family Guy and now the Simpsons, they are real.
When Beth shoots Mr poopybutthole, she shakily sobs into a glass of wine while he lays bleeding. Jerry is whiny but also tries hard to be the man of the house. Summer is not only believable as a teenage girl, but she is also complex and has layers to her character that other equivalents do not.
Morty suffers real trauma throughout the series and it wears on him as it progresses. Each character has real flaws, real developments and strengths.
Most of all, the protagonist Rick is as layered, complex and indecipherable a character as you can get. He is truly a toxic person who struggles between loving his family and yet remaining distant. You feel every single emotional blow he is dealt and you can empathise with how he reacts to it, because we have all done the same.
There’s real drama in the series, better drama than seen in most TV shows today and all the while there is drama, the action is excellent, the stories are great and the laughter is genuine. It doesn’t try to be funny all the time, it doesn’t try to be sad all the time. Behind every laugh is real pain and that makes the comedy in the series so much more effective, because we can relate to it on a human level.
For a series that is based on science fiction and fantasy, it is awfully real.
That we were the generation that was fortunate enough to grow up with AMAZING shows with AMAZING characters that we could look up to.
These characters weren’t grown ups.
There was no corny humor.
Okay, a tiny bit.
But we were provided with well thought-out scripts, with excellent stories that had great casting from kids that loved to act and were passionate about what they did.
Also, they didn’t just play their part, they became that character that still lives on in our hearts to this day from our childhood, and I’m thankful for that.
I want kids to grow up with shows and movies that can inspire them to create-to want to become those characters when they’re outside playing with their friends or writing a story that can come from that world.
For the kids to inspired and to be grateful for the hard work those people did to create a show that helped them get through school, or a hard time in their life.
Because maybe one day, one of those kids will make a story, and it will be because of those characters that they grew up with, that contributed to creating a new story to tell to a new generation of kids, yearning to hear, look and listen to what the world has to provide to them.
I Know Too Much about how libraries and librarians work. This resulted in complicated headcanons about job roles and org charts, trying to figure out how the behind-the-scenes of all the accumulating bits of canon and fanon would work. Hope it’s okay to share this here.
Libraries contain vast amounts of information that create possibilities, and stories, that have an immense amount of narrative weight and power. They are basically one giant liminal space, but one that exists for the people that use it. And it’s the people that work in the library that create that connection.
The Fair Folk have opinions about librarians. There’s a certain amount of idealism involved that would make them vulnerable, but so much of what they know and do is dangerous. They are accorded a certain not-inconsiderable amount of respect and caution, let’s say, and leave it at that.
There are two kinds of librarians at Elsewhere University, two sides to the same coin. There are the librarians who have an employee ID number, and a title on their nametag. They have lunch breaks, vacation time, and salt and iron in their pockets and stashed in odd corners in their desk drawers and offices, just like the rest of the staff and faculty. And then there are The Other Librarians. The other librarians can be found on floors ten through twenty-three. Officially, there are nine floors to the library. (This does not include the rooftop garden that is not accessible by stairwell or elevator.) The sub-basements are officially recognized. The tunnels are not.
The other librarians also have officially-issued library nametags. All they say is “librarian.” Some of the other librarians may have been human once. They may have officially retired. They may have learned too much, or willingly given up something that held them tethered to mundane cares outside of The Library, or made a bargain for something the library needed.
There are stories of a cataloguer, best of his generation, who reached a point where he could recite chapter and verse of the standards, never misjudged a subject heading or used the wrong cutter number. The arcanest of arcane inscriptions held still for him while he captured the true author and all relevant cross-references. There was not a text he could not read, or element of biliographic control that he could not master. The years went by, and the standards changed, Anglo American Cataloging Rules superceded the Rules for Descriptive Cataloging, ISBNs were introduced, AACR became AACR2, and a switch from cards to computer records loomed large. He knew so much, but was afraid so little of it would still be relevant. He made a deal.
He wasn’t the first. There are still cards appearing in the card catalogue today written in copperplate Library Hand script, as proscribed by Melville Dewey, with a pen and an inkwell.
There are still memories on the lower floors of a reference librarian who could find anything. There are people on staff who worked side-by-side with her on late night reference desk shifts, and tell stories of how she had an infinite command of Boolean logic to wring every penny out of the paid-by-the-second online search services. There was not an annotated bibliography or index that she didn’t have at her fingertips, and she could walk a student though the reference interview from “I need a book, I guess” to “help me find three print sources for my introduction to pre-confederate Canadian literature mid-term paper” in twenty seconds with a smile. Rumour has it that she bargained away the memory of every childhood pet she ever had to get internet access in the library for undergraduates. Officially, she retired in the late nineties. But in the Deep Library, there are those who can coax the dial-up modem into connecting to a Dialog subscription that the university hasn’t paid for in two decades, and bring back an answer in seconds every time.
There are fading echoes of the year that the entire cataloguing department and half the reference librarians vanished in the stacks in the early 1940’s. The university was smaller then, and the protections that were needed to balance a tumultuous time in world history took a terrible toll. It was said that if you stood in certain parts of the stacks, you could hear the air raid sirens, and watch the collection grow as refugee books were taken in. There were dark whispers that some of the staff disappeared into the library in a trade for safety for family members or one of the other desperate bargains made in wartime, but some were promoted to the upper floors without warning because the library didn’t want to lose their valuable talents to conscription or worse.
If the Library needs you, it will take you. If you are lucky, it will be on your terms, at a time of your choosing. In most cases, a masters’ degree in library and information sciences from a nationally-certified graduate program is required, though in some rare cases, an equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
Most undergraduates and visitors (both the mundane kind that come from outside the campus, and the Visitors), and some university support staff, will leave with a vague impression of any of the librarians as an ominous yet helpful shape, and an overwhelming sense of sameness. This is a type of protective camouflage that the library generates, and it extends to cover all the librarians, the one that leave at the end of the day, and the ones that do not. They cannot all be the same. It is, of course, impossible to run a library without a wide and varied pool of skill sets and personalities, all of which contribute to the, shall we say, unique personalities, egos, interdepartmental rivalries, feuds, and alliances that are the lifeblood of an academic library.
This protection waxes and wanes depending on the year. During the spring and summer semesters following the Chemistry Majors’ Revolt, anyone remotely associated with any of the science departments would find themselves on the doorstep of the library with a ringing in their ears like the sudden absence of a loud noise, holding the books or other information they’d gone to the library to find, with no memory of how it got there. An entire spring-semester introductory chemistry class knows the structure of an APA-style bibliography inside and out, but could not tell you when or where they learned it.
In more recent times, sufficiently motivated undergrads, graduate students, and faculty will have little trouble differentiating one librarian from another, if they are on floors one through nine. (They must, of course, be referred to by job title as they do not have names.)
There are operational needs that must be met. It’s hard to plead your case as to why the library really should keep that critical music theory database for your graduate level seminar course that currently costs as much as all of the journal subscriptions for the art history department combined when you’re not sure if you’re talking to the subject liaison librarian for fine arts, the head of interlibrary loans, or an eldritch creature with no face but a really excellent recall for geopolitical boundaries in medieval Africa, and a working knowledge of twelve dead languages, seven of which were never spoken by a human tongue.
(Interlibrary Loans and Fine Arts–the subject librarian, not the department–have been in the midst of a prolonged feud for the past decade over a hiring committee disagreement regarding practicum student placements and a botched exorcism. It is rivalled only by the cold war between Interlibrary Loans and Cataloguing over supply budgets that’s been running since the late nineties. Confusing one for the other would be unhelpful, to say the least.)
The Other Librarians generally do not encroach on their colleagues’ responsibilities. They are still librarians with all of the professional ethics that entails, and are generally orderly and rule-abiding, unless a fundamental principle of librarianship is at risk. (Do not speak of internet filtering within the library walls if you wish to leave with all of your fingers intact.)
The Deep Library should be approached with utmost caution, regardless. Some people in the profession say, your library should have something in it to offend everyone. EU’s library would agree to that statement, with some extensive additions, explanatory footnotes, and cautionary appendices. Respect the Library.
Your Rising, also known as Ascendant, is one of the most personal to you. This is the sign that changes the most, as it will go through all twelve signs within the 24 hours of a day.
Where is it? What does it control?
It marks the beginning of your 1st house, the house of self, and also dictates your chart’s ruling planet. This is different from your dominant planet, as your ruling planet is the one lying behind every aspect of your chart, whereas your dominant planet is the one taking charge of it all. For example, someone with Virgo Rising will have Mercury as their chart ruler as this is the planet which rules Virgo. Mercury signifies communication, work ethic, and speech. Someone with Mercury as their chart ruler may find it easier to explain themselves, or push themselves in work based situations. Obviously, this is not always strictly true as other areas of the chart may affect this. In this example, having Pluto - a planet of renewal and rebirth - in the 10th house - the house of work - may sway the Mercury ruler to be less able to push and stay driven in work based situations.
What does it show within me?
The Rising sign is like a public front. It can be regarded as the more personal version of your Sun sign, but it is in itself unique and important. It is what your friends see in you, it is what you put across within a group. It underpins you at parties, you chatting to your friend, or you answering a question in class.
How does it work with other placements?
It can often work alongside your Sun, or show how you may act in different situations. For example, you usually appear as your Rising, but then will appear like your Venus around your crush. For example, Leo Rising and Capricorn Venus. Leo Rising will usually appear loud, bold, magnetic, but with Capricorn Venus would switch to quiet, polite and a little bit mysterious around your crush. So, the Rising sign can often show your basic set aura or way of being (like the Sun sign).
Can it say something about what I look like?
It can! However, what you look like and your fashion sense also relies on other parts of your chart, namely: planets in the 1st house, venus, house of your venus, dominant sign and dominant planet. Your Rising can, however, depict what type of colours you like to wear, or maybe what kind of look or facial expression you seem to give off.
Aries Rising is bold, impulsive, and a fun lover. The young nature of Aries is seen, and this person always seems to be looking to be positive and exciting. They appear to lead an adventurous life, always laughing with their friends and saying what they think. This person is loud, and somewhat flamboyant. Aries Rising prefers rouges, and dark nature colours, and seem to reflect wanderlust and questioning in their eyes. Famous Aries Risings: Rihanna, Shakira, Heath Ledger, James Dean
Taurus Rising is stubborn, well spoken and fashionable. They seem to like what’s good in life, whether it be food or a fancy new watch. They aren’t particularly extroverted, but will say what they think. Taurus Rising appear very composed, and true to their Earthy nature, somewhat business like. They may come across as being work or career oriented, and as rather intellectual. These people love to love things, true to their Venusian Rising, and will definitely have something in life they are proud of, often of a materialistic value. Famous Taurus Risings: Martin Luther King, Lana Del Rey, Salam Khan, Halle Berry
Gemini Rising is laid-back, sociable, fun. The airy nature of Gemini makes them appear detached and care-free, and whilst they are, they are also children of Mercury and thus house a more calculating side. These people are very chatty and extroverted, and seemingly get along with everyone. They seem very good at holding interesting conversations and including anyone in them. They often wish to talk about unique things, rather than the usual small talk, but are more than willing to do that too. They often have an array of hobbies, all of which they seem very good at, as Gemini Rising can be avid learners. Famous Gemini Risings: Amy Winehouse, Kristen Stewart, Mick Jagger, JK Rowling
Cancer Rising is nurturing, empathetic, and well mannered. They can often seem to put emotions and emotional ties at the forefront of their manner and beliefs. They seem to play a parental role in their friend groups, and always take others under their wing. They are the children in the playground who invite you to play with them if you look alone, or show you around the classroom on your first day. Their understanding of emotions and feelings can often make them well mannered. They try to remain polite and loving, as this is how they want others to be, but aren’t afraid to slide their Rising to one side and unleash their inner Mars side if you upset their friends and family. Famous Cancer Risings: Angelina Jolie, Albert Einstein, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tyra Banks
Leo Rising is bold, extravagant, popular. These are the people you think have it all. They come across as very confident and sure of themselves, and their energy can often rub off on you when you’re around them. They appear as a glowing light in a room, and often like to remain in a happy state. Although, due to their nature, drama can follow them anywhere and try to wreck their positive ambition. Leo Risings may seem to exaggerate a lot, as it is true they are rather dramatic, but this just makes them excellent story tellers. Their attitude and bold ways can often feel magnetic, and cause many to gravitate towards them as they appear to individual and unique. Famous Leo Risings: Marilyn Monroe, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, Freddie Mercury
Virgo Rising is quiet, analytical, observant. Whilst they are not afraid to share an opinion or add to a conversation, they do sometimes prefer to just watch and listen. They seem overly composed and a little mysterious to others, as well as intellectual and calculating. They make it seem as though every moment and word has been planned and practised. Virgo Risings, however, are more ambiverted than their fellow feminine signs as they are Mercury ruled. This makes them good conversationalists, and with their observant nature, they often have interesting and thoughtful comments to make on things. Whilst they don’t feel the need to be the centre of attention, or lead a group discussion, around their friends they are more than happy to let their quiet nature take a step back, and get involved in debates or conversations. Famous Virgo Risings: Madonna, Kurt Cobain, Emma Watson, Jay Z
Libra Rising is charming, flirtatious and a people pleaser. They like to keep a peaceful exterior, and be on good terms with people. Being a Venusian Rising, it can appear to people that they are flirting, or being incredibly charming, when they may not be doing so deliberately. It’s common for people with this placement to enjoy being friendly with many people, and avoid hateful people as this doesn’t keep in with their need for positive surroundings. Libra Risings may be less likely to share an opinion they have that they deem controversial as they like to avoid conflicts, or they are more likely to pad it out with words and phrases that will avoid hurting others. However, these people are likely to talk about making differences and changes in the world, as they are very concerned with peace and well being. Famous Libra Risings: Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Harry Styles
Scorpio Rising is mysterious, calculating and deep. They are the people who seem to have a lot on their mind and in their hearts. They care deeply for those in their circles, and whilst they may not let you in fast, once you are in, they become quite protective. Like Cancer Rising, they can often want to bring people under their wing, but the difference being they only do this once they believe they can trust you. They often have profound things to add to conversations, and notice the little things in anything, due to their investigative ways. Scorpio is a sign that may find it harder to trust people, so this Rising may often choose to remain a little distant in groups they are not 100% familiar with. Famous Scorpio Risings: Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Robin Williams
Sagittarius Rising is comedic, expansive and bold. They don’t ever seem to have a care in the world, and don’t seem to know restrictions. The chart ruler of these people is Jupiter and it shows in their happy-go-lucky and ambitious ways. They are often the class clown or joker of their friends, but also the one willing to argue and debate. They often have hobbies they know a lot about, and are knowledgeable about worldly and political issues. This can often be a surprise to others, as the comedic positive face turns sharp-tongued and domineering when faced with an argument or debate. Sagittarius Risings are also fine with making fools of themselves and facing embarrassment, as to them these are just more life experiences. These people are bold and adventurous, and this can often draw many to them as their nature is so unique and sometimes hard to understand due to this. Famous Sagittarius Risings: Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Lee
Capricorn Rising is reserved, calculating and orderly. In their Earthy nature, they appear calm and collected, as well as quite businesslike. These people may not always be the leaders of a conversation, as they are not overly extroverted, but they are still present and often add value food for thought to a discussion. They seem to process things very logically, and give advice from an objective place. Again, like their Earthy counterparts, they can see work oriented, but this is due to their ambitious and high-flying nature. This, to some, can make them seem competitive and superior, but Capricorn Risings don’t necessarily feel that themselves. They don’t answer questions in class, or tell you if you’re wrong to spite you, it’s just that they’re honest and objective. Why would they let you live a lie? Famous Capricorn Risings: Taylor Swift, Megan Fox, Ariana Grande, Lorde
Aquarius Rising is eccentric, individual, and characteristic. They are bored by normal, average things and are drawn to people or hobbies with something special about them. They’re good at keeping interesting conversation, and make people question what they thought they knew. Aquarius Rising doesn’t want to blend into the crowd and let others opinions wash over them, so they always speak their mind, or play devil’s advocate. They’ll be the one to question things or other another view if they feel things are very one-sided. Speaking out for themselves and others, they aren’t afraid to stand up. They may ask questions on the behalf of others, or call people out for behaviour they don’t agree with. Famous Aquarius Risings: Barack Obama, David Bowie, Nicki Minaj, Audrey Hepburn
Pisces Rising is sweet, sympathetic, and naive. These people like to put emotions into everything, rather than look at them logically. They often try to see how others feel or look at things, but may not ever truly understand, although this is something they try desperately to do. Like Libra Risings, they do enjoy keeping peace and thus try their best to be polite, but like Leo Risings, drama can often follow them due to their ethereal sweetness. Pisces Rising, whilst usually preferring to remain like an agony aunt or a helpful servant, can also be quite chaotic itself. These people can let the emotions they put into a situation get the best of them, and this can cause them to be petty or more gossipy than their usual positive selves. Famous Pisces Risings: Michael Jackson, George Clooney, Demi Moore, Whitney Houston
There’s a lot to say about Jingo, and I wish I was in the right headspace to really write coherently, but I’ve been sitting here with this text post open for about half an hour trying different sentences and finding that none of them quite fit what I’m feeling.
There’s a lot of anger in this book. It’s hard to notice, sometimes, because it’s also an incredibly funny and ridiculous book. There are a lot of jokes! But some of those jokes come to a sharp and unexpected point. That scene with Detritus and the Riot Act is hilarious; it’s got Vimes at his most dry and sarcastic and it’s got Detritus methodically picking up a man and using him to hit a bunch of other men. But it’s also got that sharp moment when one of the men claims that Klatchians have killed people, and Vimes asks “who?” and the man falters and says “…everyone knows they’ve been killing people!” and that’s such a familiar sounding phrase that it pulls you up short.
There’s so much of that in this book. Little moments, that betray the frustration and anger behind the entire plotline. When I first read it, I was thirteen, and didn’t notice most of it. But I distinctly remember reading for the first time that scene between Carrot and Goriff:
“We can tell which way the wind is blowing,” said Goriff calmly. Carrot sniffed the salt air. “It’s blowing from Klatch,” he said. “For you, perhaps,” said Goriff.
I’ve never forgotten that. That was how I remembered Jingo after reading the entire series and going back again. There are others that hit me harder now (the “they are us” passage in particular) but this was the scene that telegraphed perfectly to me the bitterness and frustration in this conflict, in watching it, in living it.
And then Jingo gives us what we all want so badly, the whole time, watching this play out. Vimes puts his foot down. He charges in. He arrests the leaders of the opposing nations. He arrests the armies. He stops it, he ends it. And there’s still frustration, there has to be, there’s no way everything can get better overnight. But he saw how stupid the whole thing was and he made it stop. There’s anger in that, too, because it’s what the angry part of us watching the conflict wants to have happen. We want to arrest the armies. We want to arrest Lord Rust and Prince Cadram and everybody like them. We want to end it, and we get to do that alongside Vimes. If only we didn’t have to put the book down afterwards.
I need to make some space for my own anger at the end of this tirade here. Reading the tags on some of these posts, a huge number of them echo the same core sentiment: “relevant.” And it is. It’s so relevant.And I’m so angry. Because it shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t still be here, watching the pebbles bounce. We shouldn’t feel an aching familiarity in the words of a bigot declaring that “everyone knows” something completely made-up, or in a family leaving their home because the people around them are claiming it doesn’t belong to them. Why are we still here. Why is this still happening. Why is this still relevant.
I’m extremely glad to have this book, as an excellent story and excellent social commentary, to be relevant in this time. But I still wish that it wasn’t.
Mercury in Fire signs People with their Mercury in a Fire sign (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) are bold thinkers and don’t necessarily have a filter. These people usually say the first thing that’s on their mind because they know they’re staying true to themselves. They enjoy having a crowd listening to them because they are loud and have a lot to say. They often make excellent story tellers because they tend to exaggerate and add excitement and passion. The Fire sign Mercuries are hands-on learners, they do best when they’re engaging all of themselves (mind, body and all) in a lesson.
Mercury in Earth signs People with their Mercury in an Earth sign (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) are grounded and structured thinkers. These people are the ones who have a filter, but will lay down the facts with you and give you a reality check. Often times, Earth sign Mercuries have a serious, slightly deeper voice than usual. They speak in a “professional tone” that demands the respect of others. They are able to connect the dots easily and can break down information and deliver it in a confident, simple way. The way their mind processes things is incredible because of how “matter of fact” they are; they need the facts.
Mercury in Air signs People with their Mercury in an Air sign (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are the creative thinkers and the ones who usually have the best social skills. They don’t necessarily think for just themselves, but they think of others as well. They seem to draw a lot of people into their conversations and it’s no wonder because everyone wants to hear what they have to say. However, the Air sign Mercuries can get too caught up in the opinion of others and may struggle voicing their own. They are capable of coming up with hundreds of ideas and thoughts on the spot.
Mercury in Water signs People with their Mercury in a Water sign (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are the perceptive thinkers and they are prone to getting lost deep, deep in their thoughts. These people don’t think, they feel and with this, they are able of understanding and observing the human body and life for what it truly is. In a way, they are wise. Their emotions have a direct link to their thoughts and they won’t do or say things unless it feels right. The Water sign Mercuries and their mind is far beyond our reach.
THE BOOKS I LOVED SO MUCH I WANTED TO SEW THEM INTO MY SKIN AKA MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson Today I Am a Book by xTx The Three Woes by Casey Hannan A Bestiary by Lily Hoang Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee The Mothers by Brit Bennett Commonwealth by Ann Patchett The Red Car by Marcy Dermansky
THE BOOK THAT OPENED MY EYES AND MIND AND BROKE MY HEART WITH THE PAINFUL REALITY TOO MANY AMERICANS LIVE WITH
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
THE BOOK THAT WAS TOTAL TRASH AND I THINK THE WRITER HATES FAT PEOPLE WHICH IS FINE BECAUSE WE ALL HAVE OUR ISSUES BUT STILL, GIRL, WHAT….
Maestra by L.S. Hilton
THE COMING OF AGE PROSE POETRY THAT MOVED ME IMMEASURABLY
The Pocket Knife Bible by Anis Mojgani
THE BOOK THAT MADE ME THINK HILLARY CLINTON REALLY WAS GOING TO WIN THE PRESIDENCY
All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister
THE STRANGE BOOK ABOUT LONELINESS AND THE THINGS WE DO ONLINE THAT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Valletta78 by Erin Fitzgerald
THE POETRY BOOK I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND AT ALL THOUGH I COULD TELL THE POEMS WERE SUPER SMART
The House of Lords and Commons by Ishion Hutchinson
THE ACTION THRILLER THAT HAD LOTS OF HYPE BLURBS BUT WAS ONLY SO SO
The Second Life of Nick Mason by Scott Hamilton
THE RETELLING OF A CLASSIC THAT I REALLY ENJOYED, WHICH SURPRISED ME AND ALSO THE AUTHOR WROTE ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME, AMERICAN WIFE
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
THE BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY BECAUSE IT HELD SO MUCH I COULD RELATE TO AND THEN MADE ME A LITTLE MAD
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
EXCELLENT SMALL PRESS BOOKS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT
Pink Museum by Caroline Crew The Farmacist by Ashley Farmer The Voyager Record by Anthony Michael Morena Massive Cleansing Fire by Dave Housley
THE BOOK I READ TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE A COMIC BOOK SERIES EVEN THOUGH I WAS WRITING FOR THEIR MAJOR COMPETITOR
The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Dennis O’Neil
THE COMIC BOOK I LOVED AND RECOMMEND OFTEN
Saga by Brian Vaughan
THE COMIC BOOK ISSUE I READ AND THOUGHT WAS NOT SO GOOD SO I HAVEN’T READ ANY OTHER ISSUES IN THE SERIES
Wonder Woman Rebirth #1
THE BOOK I WROTE AN INTRODUCTION FOR (OUT IN 2017! FROM BEACON PRESS!)
Like One of the Family by Alice Childress
THE BOOK I REVIEWED FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
THE BOOK I WANTED TO LOVE THAT HAD GORGEOUS OBSERVATIONS OF WOMEN’S FRIENDSHIPS
Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam
THE BOOK ABOUT CHEFS AND THEIR TATTOOS WITH FASCINATING STORIES OF WHY PEOPLE PERMANENTLY INK THEIR SKIN
Knives and Ink by Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton
THE BOOK I READ BECAUSE I SAW A PREVIEW FOR THE TV SHOW AND LEARNED IT WAS BASED ON A BOOK SO I STARTED WONDERING IF THE BOOK WAS GOOD
Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte
SOME VERY GOOD BOOKS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT BECAUSE THE STORIES ARE WARM AND/OR INTELLIGENT AND/OR STRANGE AND/OR GRIPPING AND/OR INTENSE
Turner House by Angela Flournoy LaRose by Louise Erdrich The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang The Story of My Teeth by Valerie Luiselli You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
THE HEARTBREAKING BOOK ABOUT BEING GAY IN THE MIDDLE EAST DURING THESE TUMULTUOUS TIMES FROM A WRITER WITH A LOT OF POTENTIAL
Guapa by Saleem Haddad
GORGEOUS BOOKS OF POETRY I REALLY LOVED
Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong L’Heure Bleue by Elisa Gabbert The New Testament by Jericho Brown Look by Solmaz Sharif There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker
THE EXCELLENT BOOK I CHOSE AS MY SELECTION FOR BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB
The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel
THE BOOK I READ BASICALLY TO IMPRESS A GIRL AND IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD BOOK ALSO AND I HOPE THE GIRL WAS IMPRESSED BY MY DEDICATION BECAUSE THE BOOK WAS VERY LONG
The Fireman by Joe Hill
THE BOOK WITH AN AMAZING TITLE, SOME REALLY GOOD STORIES INCLUDING A RIFF ON ANTIQUES ROADSHOW AND ALSO SOME STORIES I LIKED LESS
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
THE BOOK THAT WAS EXCEPTIONALLY WRITTEN BUT I WANTED THE ACTUAL RAILROAD PART TO BE MORE FULLY REALIZED
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
FUN BOOKS THAT WERE FUN
The Assistants by Camille Perri China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
THE BOOK ABOUT BEING SINGLE TOWARD THE MIDDLE OF YOUR LIFE THAT PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE IS GOING TO LOVE WHEN IT COMES OUT
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
THE EXCELLENT SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS COMING OUT AROUND THE SAME TIME AS DIFFICULT WOMEN THAT MADE ME JEALOUS AND ALSO SCARED OF THE COMPETITION
Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh Always Happy Hour by Mary Miller
THE BOOK THAT WAS NOT MY CUP OF TEA BUT IT’S ME NOT THE BOOK
300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso
THE BOOKS I BLURBED (AND THEREFORE REALLY ENJOYED)
You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened by Arisa White In the Not Quite Dark by Dana Johnson I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan The Red Car by Marcy Dermansky Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy by Tressie McMillan Cottom Bruja by Wendy C. Ortiz Sing For Your Life by Daniel Bergner Made for Love by Alissa Nutting
Ruler of Gemini and Virgo Exalted in Virgo (or Aquarius) Detriment in Sagittarius and Pisces Fall in Pisces (or Leo)
Time Spent in a Sign: About 14 - 30 days
Mythology behind Mercury The speed and swiftness of Mercury; the messenger God, has always been associated with communication. In Greek Mythology, Hermes was the messenger God, able to quickly move between the world of humans and Gods. Hermes was also quite the trickster, often playing practical jokes on the Gods. Hermes was also called “Mercury” because Mercury is it’s Roman equivalent. In Egyptian mythology, Thoth was the God of Knowledge and the Mind and Egyptians credited Thoth for anything related to science, philosophy and religion. It was the Greeks who declared Thoth as inventor of astrology, astronomy and even mathematics.
Mercury in Astrology Communication is a daily thing and it’s an important one as well. Mercury, a rather underrated planet in astrology, is actually one of the most important ones. How we go on about our day, how we study, how we communicate, how we think is all based on our Mercury sign. Mercury is quick: quick thinking and a quick wit. Your opinions and your logic all stem from this small planet. The mind is clearly a powerful and precious thing. Mercury, on a deeper level, is about short trips, your siblings and your immediate surroundings. So how does the mind work, how does Mercury work when it’s placed in a specific sign?
Mercury in Aries The mind is swift and bold with Mercury in Aries. They usually think for themselves and can be direct people, in a way they stay true to themselves and their beliefs. You’ll find that they don’t have a filter.
Mercury in Taurus The mind is patient with Mercury in Taurus. These people are careful thinkers and they prefer to learn on their own time and at their own pace. You’ll find that they’re quite stubborn people.
Mercury in Gemini Mercury is domicile in Gemini. The mind is quick and fast paced with Gemini Mercuries. Their mind is restless, they’re highly curious and can be excellent conversationalists. You’ll find that these people know a little bit of everything.
Mercury in Cancer The mind is sensitive, but haunting with Mercury in Cancer. These people often have excellent memories, but may dig up memories that they prefer to be kept hidden. You’ll find that these people are soft-spoken and can calm you with their words.
Mercury in Leo The mind is loud and bursting with life with Mercury in Leo. These people love when everyone is all ears to what they have to say and they can be excellent story tellers. You’ll find that they are protective, stubborn even, over their beliefs.
Mercury in Virgo Mercury is domicile and exalted in Virgo. The mind is sharp and crystal clear with Virgo Mercuries. They are able to dig deep into what they’re learning about and crunching down information to make it easier to understand. You’ll find that these people possess a lot of information about many topics.
Mercury in Libra The mind is balanced, slightly critical in speech with Mercury in Libra. They are sweet, can be perfectionists, but they aim to be fair and open minded towards everyone they encounter. You’ll find that these people have a beautiful way of speaking and even lovelier way with words.
Mercury in Scorpio The mind is sensitive and the eyes are observant with a Mercury in Scorpio. They are seekers of the truth, human lie detectors and are usually deep in their thoughts. You’ll find that these people are fixated and private about their beliefs and opinions.
Mercury in Sagittarius Mercury is considered detriment in Sagittarius. The mind is broad and there’s a philosophical way of thinking with Sagittarius Mercuries. They are generally open minded, but they strongly stick to their own morals and beliefs. You’ll find that these people are rather blunt and full of energy.
Mercury in Capricorn The mind is structured and the speech if filtered with Mercury in Capricorn. They can come across as serious and authoritative with the way they deliver things, and they think before they speak. You’ll find that these people are practical and proud.
Mercury in Aquarius The mind is innovative and clever with Mercury in Aquarius. They are quite talkative and can be deep thinkers, but they are disciplined in their thoughts as well; they think before they speak. You’ll find that these people can come up with unique, genius ideas.
Mercury in Pisces Mercury is considered detriment and in fall in Pisces. The mind is imaginative and perceptive with Pisces Mercuries. They think deeply about what others say and could try reading between the lines. You’ll find that these people get lost in their thoughts.
i didn’t want to respond because the answer was “me and my friends are arguing over which one of us has the most sociopathic tendencies and I thought ‘hey I murdered my twin in the womb’ was an excellent argument”