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Tips for Writing Romance from A Passionate Defender of the Genre

Here’s the thing: romance is not inherently interesting.

It’s not automatically compelling.

Romance is one of the hardest things to write, but if you’re clever and careful and pay attention, romance can also be one of the most powerful tools a writer can wield. Not only because love is a powerful and complex emotion worthy of exploration—although it is that—but because romance can function as plot, conflict, character motivation, development, world-building, etc. It can do so much heavy lifting for you, and in a way that is engaging, evocative, and tone-setting.

But you can’t simply cry “Love!” and wait for the applause. You gotta earn it. 

Keep reading

The daydream that never stops
When does living in a fantasy world become a problem?

This is mostly about maladaptive daydreaming but there’s a part I really want people on this site to pay attention to, particularly young people who are confused about fiction. 

In 2002, an Israeli trauma clinician named Eli Somer noticed that six survivors of abuse in his care had something in common.

To escape their memories and their emotional pain, each would retreat into an elaborate inner fantasy world for up to eight hours at a time.

Some imagined an idealised version of themselves living a perfect life. Others created entire friendships or romantic relationships in their heads. While one man pictured himself fighting in a guerrilla war, another conjured up football and basketball matches in which he displayed his athletic prowess.

Their plotlines often involved themes of captivity, escape and rescue – being chained up in a dungeon, for instance, or leading a prisoners’ revolt.

My mother sent me this article because it reminded her of me. I saw why immediately. Even as early as age 5 I remember having elaborate fantasies about stuff like that. Being captured, escaping, adventures, scary things, torture. My first fanfic was literally about an Oddworld OC being tortured and killed. I was 7 when I wrote it. I talked to my mom a bit how a lot of people like me (abused, disabled, different) absolutely have grown up with fictional characters and stories as our reference for experiences, as the way we can try to make sense of our lives and the things that have happened to us. There’s a reason I feel more at home and with family when watching a favorite animated show with all the characters I love so much than in a big group of my actual family. Through these characters I was able to not only survive everything the real world threw at me, but learn very valuable things about myself, dissect my own experiences and feelings, even if at a younger age I wasn’t aware that that’s what I was doing. That’s the beauty of fictional characters. They really allow us the safety to go scary places with them. Even if that place is morally horrifying. 

A lot of us survivors explore these kinds of themes. Dark things, unpleasant things. 

Just keep that in mind before you get too deep into the purity culture of this site that states that anything dangerous, dark, or twisted being explored in fiction is worthy of, uh, telling that person to kill themselves. 

Most of the time, you’re telling a survivor that it would have been better for them to have died than to have survived their trauma, and that’s really dangerous considering most of us struggle with suicidal ideation in the first place. 

Not all of us like to deny the darkness that we came from. There is nothing wrong with that.

anonymous asked:

:D Could i ask what a fusion between UT UF MT and HT Sans would be like with their s/o please

these are written from the fusions pov - M.M.


You’re almost immediately overwhelmed by the exhaustion. You’re excited, sure, but you’re tired. Stars, you’re so, so tired. But this is new, & there’s no time to sleep when there’s a whole new you to explore. Maybe after a few experiments, then you could take a nap.


What the fuck. What the fuck. Ohmygod!! You’re…you’re…you. You’re big & new &…ohmygod you & Sans fused. You & the gem. Sans. You. You’re both you. & you fused. Haha. Hahaha. You’re laughing. You’re laughing so hard that you’re crying. No. You’re not crying. He is?? You are?? You’re both crying, everyone’s crying. But the tears are happy ones.


You’re overflowing with energy, but there’s an underlying tiredness wriggling at the back of your mind. You can’t believe it. This is…incredible!! Worthy of exploration, investigation–but first, to measure your abilities!! What can you do?? What can you both do??? It’s all so new & exciting!!!


Well that’s…new. Actually, this is all pretty new. Unexpected, sure. Definitely worrying. Possibly? But what’s to be worried about, when there’s so much time to spend being you? No use thinking about the “if & when,” when there’s so much “now” to focus on!


Stars no. No no nono nonono you’re frightened. You’re terrified. He’s terrified. Your nerves are racing & he’s screaming you’re screaming everything is screaming that this is wrong & bad. No. No not so bad. You assure him. Yourself. It’s not too bad. Relax. Calm. Think things through. It’s okay. You’re okay.

'Grey's Anatomy': Will Jackson and Maggie Really Get Together? | EW

A new romance might be in the air when Grey’s Anatomy returns.

After the season 13 finale hinted at a potential romance for Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary), fans of the ABC medical drama have spent the hiatus wondering if Japril is out and Jaggie — Mackson? — is in. April (Sarah Drew) pointed out the potential in the finale, telling Maggie she believes her ex-husband and the cardio doc — who grew close when Jackson treated Maggie’s dying mother — have feelings for one another.“What April said to her literally had not crossed her mind, so I think it’s a question she’s grappling with — whether there’s any truth to that, and if there is, what to do with it, and if there’s not, how to manage if there’s truth for Jackson in that,” McCreary tells EW. “She’s on fertile ground trying basically to find out whether April was onto something she’s unaware of.”

When Grey’s Anatomy returns this fall, the series will pick up right where the finale left off following the hospital explosion, which means April’s words will still be ringing in Maggie’s ears. So, will Maggie take a shot with Jackson? “The truth is that still remains to be seen,” McCreary says. “What’s ironic is that all of the reasons the fans might not want Jackson and Maggie to get together are the exact things that make really great drama. That’s true of life, too, the stuff that makes things a little bit messier is the stuff we think we don’t want, but ultimately makes us stronger, so if that’s where it goes, then there’s probably good story to mine and good lessons to teach there about humanity and god knows what else.”

“And if it doesn’t go there,” McCreary continues, “there’s still so much potential in that relationship because Jackson and Maggie haven’t spent a lot of meaningful time together, April and Maggie haven’t spent a lot of meaningful time together — those are new relationships that are absolutely as worthy of exploration as Amelia and Maggie and Meredith and Maggie, so why not?”

island-in-the-shadows  asked:

Any good MattElektra fic recs?

I do, I do!!

I get pretty bummed out that this ship doesn’t have the quantity of fic that it deserves, but I do have to say that when people end up writing for it, it’s mad quality. Here are some of my personal favorites that span the range of fluff to angst to smut so…yeah, a little bit of something for everyone LOL:

  • Escalation by marmolitaMatt and Elektra have sex in the university library. That’s pretty much it. …yup, she’s right, it is. But damn it, I have a weakness for sexy smutty college!Matt and Elektra fluff and this really hits the spot. May I suggest pairing it with the fic immediately below to get a really good college!Matt and Elektra fix :D?
  • In Blood and Breath (and Bone) by significantowlIt won’t be long now - she’s on the stairs. Her feet are light and quick; her heart’s thrumming fast. Elektra’s blood has become part of his lexicon, a new point of reference for words like dazzling. For bright. @significantowl​ writes for so many ships but whenever she writes for Matt and Elektra my heart does a double flip and my mouth lets out a lot of squeeing sounds. This one is more pure, sexy college fluff and I love it to pieces. 
  • Test Drive by Julia_Fractal – “Let’s go Matthew,” Elektra says after downing his drink in one long swallow. It’s a command, an invitation, and a challenge rolled into one, and Matt is happy to accept. A new favorite and if you haven’t been able to tell, I’m a sucker for College Matt and Elektra! This one imagines what happens after Elektra and Matt leave the Columbia party. I don’t think I have to warn you that sexy shenanigans soon follow??
  • Same Time Tomorrow by significantowlMatt doesn’t let Elektra touch his stupid tie, not this time. She’s already wrapped around him almost everywhere it counts… Ummm, I am unabashedly in love with this one. It’s filthy-sexy-but-oh-so-much-fun kink that spins off of the events of DD 2x06…it was one of the first Mattelektra fics I read on AO3 and remains a fav :D.
  • Supernova by Magical_Destiny – Her problem, Elektra thinks, is always wanting too much. She’s a fire that burns too hot and fierce — and fire consumes. A painful but wonderful fic that fills in some of the emotional beats of the Matt/Elektra relationship in DDS2. 
  • Out Of The Miry Clay by marmolitaAU from the finale where Matt dies instead of Elektra, and gets resurrected by The Hand. This is super dark but interesting spin of the DDS2 finale, being one of the first role reversal fics out there prior to uptick in role reversal fics that came out post-Defenders. It’s a bloody and violent Matt POV so if that’s not your thing, best to avoid. But it’s violently bittersweet if that makes sense?
  • The Legless Dancer by Katbelle – Dancing is in her blood the same way fighting is. Not completely Matt/Elektra but a gorgeously written piece that explores Elektra’s life. A worthy read!
  • Half Goddess, Half Hell by extasiswingsThe woman in white calls her the Black Sky, tells her she is everything, treats her like a daughter and a weapon in turns. A beautiful fic that explores Elektra’s post-resurrection POV up to Defenders 1x06. 
  • Absolution by extasiswings – In this universe, Matt is both a lawyer and a SHIELD agent, at first undercover within Fisk’s organization (inspired by Murderdock in SpiderGwen universe). Elektra is the leader of her own organized crime operation (the Hand), and her alias is Black Sky. She and Matt end up working together to take down Fisk, Matt gets new orders to stay undercover within the Hand, and eventually things just happen. As they do. An organized crime AU oneshot (meant to be one in a series of oneshots) that’s deliciously well-written. @extasiswings​ creates such wonderfully specific worlds with her words and er, consider this my not so subtle plea for you to add more to this universe again in the future :D??
  • A Little Misbehaving by silbecoo aka thekastlediaries – Matt Murdock is a lonely single parent, struggling to figure out what makes his six year old daughter happy, and Elektra is her new teacher, set on using some unorthodox methods to shake up Matt’s conventional ideas. Only one chapter and it may stay that way but I still love it so much and want to share it? Because Matt as a single dad and Elektra being his daughter’s unconventional Catholic school teacher is just so ripe for some fun storytelling! And because I’m mutuals with Beth, I just want her to know that I would love for her to dip a toe back into Mattelektra waters any time she wants :D. 

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest checking out the fic that was posted as part of #mattelektraweek! They are all wonderful and you can find them organized in this round-up post, which also includes a beautiful little number written just for the week by @island-in-the-shadows that I HIGHLY recommend!

Thank you for the ask, both of you, and hope some of you discover some new reads today! 

I think one of the big reasons someone gets a photoshoot done is the way it should make you feel. I think the photography team would agree that much of their work is less in the physical creation and more in the intangible goal of “creating something that makes you feel good about yourself.” And images like this last longer, certainly, than the vague memory of “one night ten years ago I looked really good.” Pictures are documentation of that brief feeling and expert aids at supporting the recall of that feeling.

The shoot was fun. I enjoyed myself. As a transman, it’s always fun to play dress up. My dysphoria loves to rear its ugly head at the most inopportune times though and did so because it was my project (it’s worlds better when I don’t have the expectations). But overall, it was easy and nice to work with talented people. And the response of others has been to say how lovely, that I should be so happy with it.

But… I am not.

It is through no criticism or fault of the photography team that made magic happen. But I look at this image and feel disappointment. I see this picture and think “I failed.”

And when I say “I failed” it is not that I failed at being what I set out to be. When I say “I failed,” I mean something far more personally nuanced than mere visible results. I look at that image and say, “if you are so (lovely, stately, photogenic, etc etc etc, choose your own adjective), then why could you never be enough?”

I wanted to be enough for my family. That image is what they always wanted of me (at the cost of my health and happiness), but even when I delivered, it wasn’t good enough. They would find something else to nitpick and criticize and tell me I didn’t bother to try.

I wanted to be enough for my prior relationships. For some, this image threatened them. They wanted the plain boy next door and this image most certainly is not that. It wasn’t enough that I tried to be what they needed because as long as this image existed, they were not partners; they were competitors.

I wanted to be enough for my ambitions. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do or how I train or how I try to represent. I am neither traditional enough nor avant garde enough. Even with the photo shoot, I realize – even for something that comes as easily to me and seems so much fun – I am neither beautiful enough nor handsome enough. I am not anything that anyone has found worthy of exploration or investment.

I see this image of me and think, “what do I have to do?” because everything I have done… it hasn’t been enough.

Makeup: Jennifer Pincelli
Hair: Cat Monster
Model: Valtinen
(me) Photography: Laura Biddle

Draft diving

It’s a blast from the past
and it’s rather sad
To see the stagnation of ideas I once had

A line or a title
Suggesting a theme
Worthy of exploration & expanding - instead idling

Unfinished, uninspired
Frozen in stasis of an end I can’t find
Lost the moment of creative momentum to time

Not quite terminated,
But not too far better than dead
If only ideas’ inspiration revived or revisited….

Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado spoke to Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs about their Netflix series LOVE. Ann Marie asks, what pop culture did you watch as kids that influenced your ideas about love and relationships?

Gillian Jacobs: I watched a lot of Katharine Hepburn [and] Cary Grant movies, so maybe I was anticipating more witty banter than I’ve actually experienced in real life. 

Paul Rust: Yeah, there’s no way anybody could top Cary Grant. Reality does not match Cary Grant in any way. For me early on I guess I watched a lot of bad TV. I’m sure I would love to say Cary Grant, but it was probably more like Tony Danza.

Hear more:

‘Love’, Maybe: Netflix Explores The Cringe-Worthy Beginnings Of A Relationship

Or the podcast episode.

Technology For the Blind and Deaf is Getting Pretty Cool

That picture above is a Blitap – an iPad for the blind. It uses a liquid-based technology to create raised Braille images to be read by the visually impaired. Pretty cool stuff. 

It’s just one of many emerging technologies that can be used by people with sensory disabilities. For the deaf, researchers at the National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center, Visual Language and Visual Learning at Gallaudet University, are using 3D motion sensors on a person’s body to help translate American Sign Language motions into nursery rhymes. 

Here’s how NPR explains it: 

Most kids learn their ABC’s through the classic song, but English nursery rhymes don’t translate well to ASL. The sign language grammar structure is much different from that of English…

To translate rhymes to a non-sound based language, she adds, the team keeps repetitive rhythms available through the use of common handshapes.

Motion capture tracks these “temporal rhythms” of hand gestures and reflects the data on a dual monitor like a polygraph, which acts as a blueprint for the 3-D signing avatar. (In ASL, signage and facial expressions work to translate what might be compared to vocal intonations in English.)

Technology has long been cited as a key resource for students with disabilities who are getting special education services. Some technology can be really simple – placing a three-paneled barrier along the edge of a desk can help kids with ADD stay focused. 

Other technology is a little more complicated, like the Blitap or this 3D motion capture. Obviously there’s a cost here. Special education is already costly and difficult to manage, especially for poor school districts. 

But these kinds of technology are worthy of exploring in an educational setting. 

A Love For The Ages: Chapter 1 - Chance

Submitted by: you-make-me-wander

Description: Lydia Martin is the princess and heir to the throne of the kingdom of Beacon Hills and Stiles Stilinski is the son of the Queen’s most trusted royal advisor. Because they grow up together, Stiles and Lydia become best friends, inseparable at all times until the little girl is kidnapped when she’s barely even seven years old.

The kingdom looks for her for years but with no luck, and eventually life moves on and Stiles grows up to become a knight, following in his father’s footsteps and working close at the Queen’s side even at his young age. Several years pass before Stiles is sent out on a mission to the edge of the kingdom and is shocked to find a familiar strawberry blonde haired girl working out in the fields as a peasant. Determined to save her, Stiles risks both their lives to escape her abductor and take the princess back home.

As they embark in a journey neither of them could have foreseen and as they start to learn about the other what they missed in the years that went by, Lydia struggles to find her place in a Court she doesn’t really fit in while Stiles tries his best to help her without overstepping his bounds. And even in all their misfortune and rough life, as they begin to grow up together again as fated, they can’t help but to fall hopelessly in love with each other.

Rating: M

Genre: Action, Romance, Medieval!AU, Princess!Lydia, Knight!Stiles

All Chapters

Author’s note: If you missed the prologue, go check it out first before jumping right to this. You can read it here.

Also, beware of a character’s death on this chapter (background character, you won’t even know who it is until later, though I’m sure some of you will guess!).

Please remember that this is a Medieval setting and that it was a bloodbath back then. It’s necessary for the story and I won’t refrain from it. I want it to be somewhat true to facts, though I won’t make it too graphic.

Keep reading

Dear Dean,


You and Dean have been hunting for a long time, you were meant to be a one night stand but when you both realised what each other was, the both of you decided to hunt together.

There was never really an official relationship between the two of you; sometimes you would do coupley things other times one of you would run off with a stranger.

Sam came along and the three of you would hunt together.

Then your pregnancy happened from careless night with Dean, the both of you talked that long night. You kept the child and thus your first child was born.

You kept hunting against Bobby’s wishes, Sam was weary and Dean didn’t seem to care.

Another careless night between you and Dean that put your second child into the mix, but you kept hunting you saw he same reactions over and over again from Bobby, Sam and Dean.

Your children were six and seven now; it was just your children and you in a motel.

Dean and Sam slept in different rooms to you and your kids.

Your children sat on the bed watching TV; your sister had just visited and gave you an earful.


How could you let this happen?

Sitting in front of your children they turned their attention to you and stared, “Would you like Mummy to spend more time with you? We can live in a nice permanent home; you can go to school and learn things…”

Your oldest was the first to react; she had her eyes and mouth wide open in shock. “We can be like normal kids!” She shouted.

“As normal as we can make it.”

She jumped and flung her arms around your neck crying in happiness. You hadn’t realised how much this would mean to them. She turned around to her baby brother.

“We’re going to be like those families on TV!” She shouted jumping up and down.

This excited your son and he jumped to hug you too, now they were both hugging you excited.

“We can get a puppy!” Your son cheered.


They didn’t have much things so it was easy to pack. You asked your sister to pick you, your daughter and your son up.

“You know that there won’t be any Daddy anymore right?” You asked them.

“No Daddy?”

“Why not?”

“Because he’s not going to want to settle down.” You explained sadly, sure Dean didn’t interact with them very often but you were sure he wouldn’t give up hunting.


While you waited you wrote a note to Dean and gave it to the front desk.

Your sister arrived, she couldn’t have been more proud of you in that moment.

Then your life and your children’s finally began for the first time.

Dear Dean,

We both know we were never officially anything and while that didn’t bother either of us it bothered the people around us.

A lot of things have been brought to my attention lately, one of those things is our my children’s childhood.

They don’t have one, as much as I would like to think that they were okay with this life, they weren’t.

We both know what growing up with hunter parents were like. Miserable.

That’s not how I want them to grow up; it’s time for me to finally be a mother to my children.

You may not understand or care but I’ll write this note anyway.

Call me within three weeks if you ever feel like being a father, if not I’ll respect your decision. I’m going to try and build them a white picket fence by myself.



(This was inspired by Wanda –Scarlett Witch- I saw this from a comic strip on my dash a few weeks ago and thought this would be something worthy to explore. PS!! I DIDN’T PROOF READ THIS AFTER I QUEUED IT BC IT WAS MEANT TO BE EDITED AND NOT POSTED TODAY BUT I USED THE WORD CHILDREN A LOT ITS CRINGEY SORRY!)