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Imagine your OCs

Social Media Edition

-What platform does each OC use? (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, ETC)

-Which OC has the most Followers? Which has the least? Which OC is competitive for followers (and easily gets jealous) and which doesn’t care?

-What would each of your OCs choose as their username? would it be something personal, their name and a bunch of numbers, a pun, other??

-Which OC is the Viner/youtuber who does crazy and dangerous stuff just to get views?

-Which OC is the cinnamon roll who has a pinterest and posts recipes and inspirational posts? 

-Which OC runs a pet account?

-Which OC has an aesthetic blog?

-Which OC is full of anger and gets into heated arguments with people on Facebook/ in YouTube comments?

-Which OC still uses MySpace?

-Which OC falls for a clickbaits?

-Which OC stalks a celebrity? (OTP BONUS: Person A stalks Person B because they don’t have the courage to talk to them in real life)

-Which OC would spend 4+ hours on buzzfeed taking random quizzes

-Which OC would the most embarrassed about their search history? which would be the least?

-Which OC is obsessed with Snapchat? Which OC has gotten the 100 Emoji?

-Which OC runs a popular AO3/Fanfiction account?

-Which OC runs a popular how-to/instructional youtube

-Which OC hates social media and complains about it a lot

-How likely to/how often does your OC post selfies? Which OC is addicted to selfies?

-OTP BONUS- Imagine Person A taking selfies with Person B, who’s really grump and usually hates having pictures taken of them, but makes an execption for Person A because they love seeing them smile

-Which OC would be a secret (or not secret) Furry?

-What does each of your OCs think about Memes? which OC hates them? Which OC is the meme lord? Which OC hates old memes? Which OC uses old memes ironically? Which one uses them unironically? 

-Which OC would run a fan account? what would they be a fan of and who would they ship? 

-Imagine Person A running a mock fan-account for the ship of Person B and Person C. Person B gets really upset but Person C thinks it’s cute 

-OTP BONUS- Imagine Person A and Person B hating/disliking each other, and they end up unknowingly becoming mutuals on tumblr because they are in the same fandom. They end up messaging every day, and eventually decide to skype. 

-What kind of Tumblr blog would your OC run?

-OTP BONUS- Imagine that person A runs a personal blog, and keeps posting those “send me a number and i’ll answer your ask” posts, but nobody ever sends any. Person B sees this, so they send twenty different asks pretending to be different anons

-Which OC draws amazing fanart? 

-Which OC roleplays?

-OTP BONUS- Person A sees a selfie that Person B took, who just happens to look like Person A’s OC, and gets really excited. Person A then begins stalking Person B and ends up falling in love with them

-OTP BONUS- Person A runs a mock fan account for Person B, but to their surprise they suddenly get a ton of followers and they don’t know why

-imagine your squad’s group chat. who sends weird pics/memes? which two chat during ungodly hours of the night? which one never says anything but looks at every text? 

-which OC cares about their snapchat/instagram story more than anything

-which OC takes pictures of all their food

Currently:

In a tank top and shorts, trying to start my homework but can’t get my mind off Tumblr and fanfics, knowing after homework I have chores. Then, I’m probs gonna get on my trampoline and miss a ship war, party, and a marriage cuz I don’t have my phone.

Tag Yourself: Fanfiction Authors Edition
  • the newbie: has written like 1 super cliche fic, doesn't space paragraphs, everyone secretly hates them but doesn't want to be rude
  • the high schooler: only writes high school aus, is actually a middle schooler, writes 3 chapters then gives up and writes a new fic, wants to be more creative but nahhhh
  • the firecracker: CRACK FICS, just writes weird shit, usually only writes one shots but when they do go for chaptered it's super creative and well done, likes body swap a lot, always uses overdone memes
  • the fluffmaster: their stuff is short and sweet, always G rated, but they secretly have ten million kinks
  • the texter: can literally only write group chat fics, not creative enough for anything else
  • the infamous: wrote only one fic ever but it was super long and it's the most popular in the fandom
  • the smut addict: only writes smut, probably really kinky, seriously though you haven't even heard of half of these, this is messed up
  • the nonexistent: writes such average fics that you forget them, but they're actually really creative
  • the procrastinator: chapter 2??? what chapter 2???
  • the wattpad: writes self insert fics for one direction, uses wattpad, probably 9 years old, always adds vampires, generally hated
The 7 Elements of a SCENE

There are few things as soul-crushing in the writing process (at least to me) than getting a bunch of characters in a room with the intention of something happening, then the characters proceed to stand around and stare at each other.  

Or worse, look at you like this. 

My characters didn’t know why they were there. I didn’t know why they were there either. I had no clue what they were supposed to be doing, so I’d start throwing random instructions at them: “Fight, characters! You guys should fight now! Maybe fighting will make this event have a purpose!” Which inevitably resulted in characters going through the motions of battle for no apparent reason, like they had all lost their minds.

What was the problem? I didn’t know how to write a scene. I didn’t know what a scene was. I had a vague definition that it was something about changing scenery, or just “something happening”.

It’s not. And once I learned what a scene was, my characters got to stop pummeling each other, while wishing they could pummel me. 

So what is a scene? 

The definition of a scene is kind of like the definition of a story. Story is change, a massive change in the life of your main character. A scene is change too, but much smaller, and part of that huge story change. You couldn’t have the BIG change without these tiny changes. Thus, a scene is not switching scenery. It’s not flipping to a new Character’s POV. It’s one segment of change, which triggers the next change, which triggers the next, which gradually build into sequences, which build into Acts, which build into story. 

So what goes into a scene? How does it work?

1. Alternating Charges

If a scene opens positive, it will turn negative by the end. If it opens negative, it will end positive. Simple. 

2. Character Goals

Everybody in a scene wants something. If they don’t want anything, they shouldn’t be in the scene. And these characters, with their often opposing goals, are going to employ different tactics on each other to get what they want. Which creates …

3. Escalating Conflict

Conflict is created when one character wants one thing and another wants something else, right? So the characters in the scene are each pushing for something different, each new tactic increasing in determination. And what are these actions called?  

4. Beats

The beats of a scene are exchanges of action and reaction. One character does something, another character reacts. All exchanges (beats) are pushing the scene onward, building tension and conflict, until finally …

5. Turns & Revelations

The scene turns. The positive has changed to negative. Something has been discovered. The story has spun in a new direction.

6. Connection to Story Objective

Every scene must be connected to the BIG goal of the story, the main character is taking small actions to reach that big goal. If it isn’t obviously connected to this big plot, it won’t make sense. Your reader won’t know why the heck they’re reading the scene. Which brings us to … 

7. Logic & Necessity  

Every scene must be necessary. It must be able to be linked with the previous scene. “Because that happened in the previous scene, THIS must happen in this scene.”

So! To see how that all works, let’s break down a scene from Tangled. (Because I used it in the last post to map out how a premise works, and my little writer heart can’t resist symmetry.)

Which scene? The one right after this happens: 

Opening Charge: Positive. She’s realized everything. 

Rapunzel’s Goal: Rise up against her mother – finally. 

Gothel’s Goal: Regain control.

Escalating Conflict: They’re fighting over who controls Rapunzel, and this battle causes them to go from “mother and daughter” to “enemies”. The conflict builds nicely in this scene, causing the story turn.

Connection to Story Objective: Throughout the movie, the big thing Rapunzel wants is freedom, she wants her life to begin, she wants to have a new dream. This is the moment she figures out how to do that; it’s not escaping the tower, it’s escaping Gothel’s control over her.

So! Here’s the scene.

Beat 1

“Rapunzel? Rapunzel, what’s going on up there?”

Ignores her. Still processing the tremendous implications of this revelation. 

Beat 2

“Are you alright?" 

"I’m the lost princess.” (Dumbfounded. Almost whispering it to herself.)


Beat 3

“Oh, please speak up Rapunzel! You know how I hate the mumbling.” (Bullying.)

“I am the lost princess! Aren’t I?” (Fighting back. She will not be bullied anymore.)

Beat 4

Gothel stares, stunned. She’s rendered temporarily speechless, because her secret’s been revealed finally, and her victim is actually fighting against her.


“Did I mumble, Mother? Or should I even call you that?” (Accusing. Drawing herself up taller. Looking down on Gothel and glaring. She’s seeing her clearly for the first time in her life.)

Beat 5

After a pause, thinking up a tactic. “Oh, Rapunzel, do you even hear yourself? How could you ask such a ridiculous question?” (Laughs. Ridicules. Attempts to make her feel childish, dumb, worthy of being mocked. Tactics which have always worked. She even begins to hug her.)


Rapunzel pushes her. “It was you! It was all you!” (Still accusing and angry, but pain is beginning to show. It’s almost like she’s giving her a chance to explain herself.)


Beat 6

“Everything I did was to protect you.” (And Gothel doesn’t say anything redeeming. She’s holier than thou, regal, bestowing kindness on an ungrateful, stupid child. Trying to control through guilt.)

Rapunzel rams her out of the way. 

Beat 7

“Rapunzel!” (Shouting. Now trying anger.)

“I’ve spent my entire life hiding from people who would use me for my power …” (Leaves her.)

Beat 8

"Rapunzel!” (Still trying the anger angle.)

“But I should have been hiding from you.” (Throwing the truth at her.)

Beat 9

“Where will you go? He won’t be there for you.” (She’s tried everything else. It’s time to attack her heart.)

“What did you do to him?” (Fear)

Beat 10

“That criminal is to be hanged for his crimes.” (She’s keeping up the disapproving mother act, but striking her right where it will hurt her most.)

“No.” (She’s stopped. Shrinking in on herself. Staring, horrified. And Gothel thinks she’s won.)

Beat 11

“Now, now.  It’s alright. Listen to me. All of this is as it should be.” She goes to pat Rapunzel’s head, a gesture symbolic of her superiority, her physical, mental, and emotional control over her victim.


Rapunzel grabs Gothel’s wrist. “No! You were wrong about the world. And you were wrong about me! And I will never let you use my hair again!" 

Beat 12

Gothel wrenches free, stumbling backwards in shock and anger, breaking the mirror in the process. 

Rapunzel walks away. She’s escaped Gothel emotionally now.

Beat 13

"You want me to be the bad guy? Fine. Now I’m the bad guy.” (Well, now emotional control is over. It’s time to start stabbing Rapunzel’s boyfriend.)

This action has no reaction, interestingly. It leaves us hanging, a cliffhanger created with only beats. 

Closing Charge: Negative. She’s now a full-fledged villain, the motherly persona shed, and she’s determined to get what she wants whatever the cost. 

Turn: It changed from positive to negative,  and now we’ve got a Flynn-stabbing witch to deal with.  

Revelation: She’s always been evil. She has always been the bad guy. The motherly act was just that, an act. 

Logic & Necessity: This scene fits with the previous scene, and the one that follows.     

Though I’ve seen these concepts in many books, the place I first learned about it (and the best resource for scene design in my opinion) is the book Story by Robert McKee. It’s helped me countless times, is one of my favorite books on storytelling, and I highly recommend it if you write anything.

I realize that these definitions were a little vague, so I’ll be explaining things more thoroughly in subsequent posts. 

Yap, that’s us.

OTP Drabble Challenge!

Rules: Followers send a number to your ask, along with a pairing, and you write a drabble using that dialogue in your piece! Try to keep up! Expect a TON of requests!

  1. “The doctor said it’s normal” - “Well that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”
  2. “Baby, you’re not a bother.” - “I’m too needy, you don’t deserve it.”
  3. “Come with me to the other room.” - “We’re not going to talk about this now.”
  4. “Did you just hiss at me?” - “Are you judging me?”
  5. “Don’t yell at me like I’m a child!!” - “DON’T THROW SCISSORS!”
  6. “Here, take me blanket/jacket.” - “I told you, I’m not cold.” *shivering*
  7. “Did you hear that?” - “I’m telling you, I’m haunted.”
  8. “I just wanted an easy day with my boyfriend/girlfriend. Is that too much to ask?”
  9. “Why are you awake right now?”
  10. “Come over here and make me.”
  11. “I want my best friend back.” - “Kevin is over there.”
  12. “H-how long have you been standing there?” - “Long enough.”
  13. “You’re lying, you’re blushing.” - “Shut up, no I’m not!”
  14. “No, I’m not talking to you.”
  15. “No more!” - “Okay, fine, I won’t send you any more selfies.”
  16. “What do you have?” - “Pizza rolls and Cup O’ Noodles…that’s about it. Popcorn?”
  17. “The salad here is really good.” - “Do I look like a fucking rabbit?”
  18. “Open this.” - “Can you say please?”
  19. “I just came to say goodbye…” - “Bullshit, you just feel bad.”
  20. “You’re on level 176.” - “Can you judge me harder?”
  21. “Jinx, you owe me a coke.” - *can’t speak until they buy a soda*
  22. “Please don’t leave me.” - “I don’t want to go”
  23. “Babe, I’m sorry.” - “Suck my ass.”
  24. “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” - “Seriously, you’re worse than a kid.”
  25. “You can’t ride a bike?” - “Why are we whispering?”
  26. “Is it that time of the month?” - “You literally ask me that whenever I’m mad at you!”
  27. “We’re going downtown.” - “There’s a strip club downtown.”
  28. “You weren’t supposed to hear that.” - “Well, you shouldn’t be saying it then.”
  29. “It’s not mine, I swear.” - “How is it not fucking yours!”
  30. “Take it off.” - “Like a bandaid?”
  31. “I told you…” - “Yeah, yeah, yeah, quit nagging.”
  32. “Boo?” - “You’re my boo.”
  33. “Don’t you ever do that again! You scared the shit out of me!”
  34. “You broke what?!?” - “Don’t worry, I’m okay.”
  35. “Why’re you dressed like that?” - “Does that mean it looks good or should I change?”
  36. “Fine, just do what you have to do.” - “Can you stop being so freaking cute so I can concentrate?”
  37. “…then I picked up your coffee by mistake.” - “All I want is an apology.”
  38. “Well, this is awkward.” - “Don’t touch me.”
  39. “You can’t make me.” - “What are you? Five?”
  40. “You’re a blanket hog!” - “Leave me alone and stop being so selfish.”
  41. “It’s not fair that you’re hot and funny.” - “Look who’s talking…just kidding, your jokes suck.”
  42. “I hate you.” - “No, you don’t.”
  43. “Should I be worried?” - “Is the grass green?”
  44. “You’re kidding me?!” - “Shush, my mom never taught me.”
  45. “I’m your lock screen?!” - “You weren’t supposed to see that.”
  46. “Will you go with me?” - “As long as you hold my hand.”
  47. “Baby, I’m scared.” - “You don’t have to be; not as long as I’m here.”
  48. “Come inside, I’m sorry.” - “Not until you apologize.” - “I just said I’m freaking sorry.”
  49. “Your voice is sexy.” - “Your ass is sexy.”
  50. “If I asked, you’d say no.” - “You don’t know that.”
  51. “Seriously, the chimney?” - “The squirrel can’t win!”
  52. “32?” - “I’ll prove it!”
  53. “It’s just so little and adorable.” - “That’s what she said.”
  54. “You’re not mature enough to be a parent.” - “Try me.”
  55. “Take a chance.” - “Umm…let me think…no.”
  56. “Game’s over, you son of a bitch!!” - “Okay, just don’t hit me.”
  57. “You forgot about my birthday!” - “In my defense, I forget about a lot of things.”
  58. “You need more stamina.” - “No, I need more steak and eggs. So…get on it.”
  59. “Can you dance with me?” - “You’re not mad?”
  60. “I’ll smash it, I swear.” - “You smash it and we’re done.”
  61. “Move!” - “Why would I move if I’m so comfy where I am?”
  62. “I’m not going in.” - “Then we’re not going to get a treat after.”
  63. “I really would’ve liked it if you told me your parents were coming to town.” - “I really would’ve liked it if you put underwear on before coming into the kitchen.”
  64. “I found it in the recycling bin.” - “Well, you’re the one killing the environment, so who’s really in the wrong here?”
  65. “We bet, and you lost.” - “But tattoos are permanent.”
  66. “Can you quit being so sassy?” - “Can you quit being so controlling?”
  67. “Are you getting jealous?” - “You’re changing your outfit, now!”
  68. “What time is it there?” - “We’re in the same time-zone.”
  69. “Quit flirting.” - “I didn’t mean to-”
  70. “I just don’t know what happened.” - “You’re too good for them.”
  71. “You have a cute nose, don’t make me break it.”
  72. “Tell me what I can do to help.” - “Sing me to sleep.”
  73. “You still need your baby blanket?”
  74. “Did you black out?” - “I feel like I’m gonna puke.”
  75. “Let’s just bury the hatchet.” - “Fuck your hatchet.”
  76. “I bet it’s a boy.” - “I bet it’s a turtle.”
  77. “Spare change?” - “You can’t be responsible, you don’t get your wallet.”
  78. “Cuddle or leave.” - “So is that a no to supper?”
  79. “Are you high?” - “I’m just so fucking tired.”
  80. “Why did I marry you?” - “It took a lot of convincing.”
  81. “Who’s texting you?” - “Umm. nobody.”
  82. “You have two choices.” - “Neither of which I like…”
  83. “I want a dog.” - “I want a cat.”
  84. “Chinese food?” - “Do we even know what that’s made of?”
  85. “These sheets are stained.” - “That’s disgusting.”
  86. “You don’t know how to change a tire?” - “Give it a rest, would you?”
  87. “That’s my ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.” - “Well, kiss me so they see.”
  88. “We got lucky. You’re not gonna do that again, right?”
  89. “Hey, babe, look what I found.” - “GET THAT OUT OF THE HOUSE NOW!!!”
  90. “You’ve been replaced.” - “Alright, we’ll see how you feel when you need me to kill a spider in the shower.”
  91. “Are those slippers?” - “Is that you being mean? AGAIN?”
  92. “You forgot your book.” - “No, I lost my book!”
  93. “You’re weird.” - “Or you’re just basic.”
  94. “We need a vacation.” - “You read my mind too much, it scares me.”
  95. “Why’d you hug him? You love him?”
  96. “Sorry.” - “Good choice.”
  97. “Luck? Nope. Skills.” - “If it’s skill then do it again.”
  98. “Why can’t you just believe me?” - “Because you lied about it before.”
  99. “This bath is too damn hot.” - “This is why we can’t do cute things. You complain too much.”
  100. *Make up your own*

Visit @prompt-bank for more prompts!!

Every Harry Potter fanfiction I’ve read and loved

Drarry-

9 times Harry kissed Draco and the 1 time Draco kissed Harry

Action Figures

Animus Nexus

Best Laid Plans

Beyond the Mirror’s Edge

Chase the Wind

Collecting Kisses

Dormiscere

Draco Malfoy and the Sleepwalking Saviour

Draco Malfoy’s Harry Potter Pickup Lines

Drarry 30 Day OTP Challenge

Eclipse

For Every Action

Get Some

Heart in a Blender

How I Met Your Father

If He Ever Becomes My Boyfriend

Kiss Me, Cure Me

Kiss the Joy (Until the Sunrise)

Marginal Notes

Mental

Seeker, Chaser, Keeper

So Worth the Yearning For…

Spin the Wand

State of Mind

The Incredible Race

The LipLock Jinx

The Ministry Olympics

The Moon Looks Lovely Tonight

The One Where Harry Proposes

The Proposal

Things I am Not Allowed to do at Hogwarts

Unexpected Consequences

Working it Out Like Adults

You’re Not Dead!

Zero to Hero

Wolfstar-

A Lone Wolf

Bandages

Dating Remus Lupin

Five Stories Over Four Years- The Jam Instances

Hopeless

In the Middle

James Potter Proposes Excellent Bets

Our Blood, Still Young

Punk Rock Suburban

Resolutions

Revelations In The Snow

Rumors and Patronuses

Stupid Cupid

Subtlety, Thy Name is Sirius Black

The Fire Whisky Interrogation

The Perfect Kiss

The stars in your eyes and the moon in mine

The Voice In His Head

The Voice, Louder

To Kiss a Bloke

DeanxSeamus-

Hiding Scrawl, Licking Freckles, and Other Average Wizard Things

Staring in the Great Hall

Tell me if any of the links aren’t working. Happy reading!

The Element EVERYTHING in Your Story Needs

To all the writers who have ever felt lost, alone, and completely confused during the labyrinthine journey that is writing anything, and felt like screaming this at your story …

There’s hope.

There’s a light at the end of that darn tunnel. First, let me describe how I used to fight my way out of these periods of confusion and hopelessness. 

Usually, I would try to force myself to get back into the groove of the story. I would reread it, and be yelling at myself in my head, “Remember why you love it! LOVE your book again! Keep reading and FALL IN LOVE, damn it!” I’d go over descriptions, bits of dialogue, banter between the characters. I’d go over settings and imagery, and try to make myself remember how much they’d once excited me. I’d read things that had made me laugh when I typed them, sentences that I was particularly proud of, paragraphs that made me feel particularly clever. But the thing was, it didn’t work. 

I didn’t care.  

What was the problem? The problem was some of those descriptions, settings, images, and witty episodes of bantering had no Story Reason to be there. They were just there because they amused me. Just because I found the imagery beautiful. Just because I found a sentence or joke really clever and wanted to share my wit with the world. But the world didn’t care about my wit. Because the world (the people reading my book) knew subconsciously that there was no story to give that so-called witty sentence substance and meaning. I could create the most breath-taking images, I could make the most well-rounded living and breathing character, I could make a setting that you wanted to run away from home and live inside … and it didn’t matter. If the thing didn’t have a purpose for being there within the narrative, nobody cared. And I didn’t either. 

So what is a Story Reason? 

Everything in a story exists to support one of three things. 

1. The A-story: The surface plot, the quest of the main character to achieve a specific tangible goal. What the story is about on the surface. 

2. The B-Story: The love story, or relationship of the thing. Usually this relationship is instrumental in causing the third element, which is …  

3. The Character Arc. The theme of the story, the purpose, the piece of truth the story seeks to prove to the main character and the audience. 

If something in a story doesn’t contribute to the progress of these three, there’s no reason we should care about it. It has no point. Because in the end, all we care about is the story!

When it comes to scenes, story reason means continuity. It means the way the story unfolds logically. If every scene is there for a darn good reason, the scenes after and before will make total sense, they’ll connect seamlessly, a steady progression of events. Every scene’s turn triggers the next scene. 

And to do this, every scene must be able to be linked with three words: Because of that.

Because of the turn of one scene … 

The next scene happens. 

And because of the turn of that scene the next scene happens.

To illustrate how this works, let’s look at a small movie you might have heard about called Zootopia. (Thanks to @inked-withlove for the movie suggestion!)

So let’s start at this point, the turn of the scene with Clawhauser and Judy searching the file on Emmitt Otterton. 

Turn: “I have a lead." 

Because of that …

Judy has to get Nick to tell her what he knows about Otterton.

Turn: It all goes poorly, and now Nick and Judy are stuck together by an incriminating adorable carrot recorder. (The B Story, the relationship, has intertwined with the A Story.)


Because of that …

Nick takes Judy to the place he saw Otterton go, a place he thinks will cause her to give up. 

Turn: She doesn’t quit, she marches right in. (B Story: Nick sounds surprised, and a little impressed, that she didn’t back down.)

Because of that … 

She has to question a rude yoga-performing elephant. 

Turn: Though the elephant is absolutely no help, the seemingly addled yak is more than helpful – he even remembers the license plate number of the car Emmitt left in. 

Because of that …

Nick thinks his part in this endeavor is complete. But Judy remembers that she’s not in the system yet, and thus can’t run a plate. Nick, however, can. And he’s going to, or else. 

Turn: It just so happens that he has a pal at the DMV. 

Because of that …

Sloths. He takes her to a DMV run by sloths and wastes as much of her precious dwindling time as he can.

Turn: “It’s night?!”

Because of that …

Legitimate Enterprise Car Service (at least that’s what it’s called in the screenplay) is closed. Judy doesn’t have a warrant and Nick is enjoying her suffering tremendously. After a spat, she tosses the carrot over the fence instead of handing it to him.

Turn: Because she has now seen a shifty low-life climbing the fence, she has probable cause, and doesn’t need a warrant. She can go in. (B Story: Nick is looking at her with more respect.)

Because of that …

They find the car and begin investigating. The car is a crime scene; claw marks everywhere, the missing otter’s wallet … and a cocktail glass etched with a "B”.

Turn: And it all adds up for Nick. This car belongs to Mr Big, a notorious crime boss. And his polar bear henchman are right outside. They grab Judy and Nick and yank them off screen. 

Because of that  …

Judy and Nick are wedged between the bear henchman, on their way to face Mr Big. 

Turn: Nick sold him a very expensive rug that happened to be made from the fur of a skunk’s butt. Or in other words, Mr Big really doesn’t like Nick.

Because of that …

They wait fearfully for Mr Big to appear, and even when he’s revealed to be a tiny shrew, Nick still launches into obsequious and panicked mode. He tries talking his way out of it, but Mr Big really REALLY doesn’t like him. And when Judy shouts at him that she’s a cop and she has evidence on him –

Turn: “Ice ‘em.”

Because of that …

“No icing anyone at my wedding!” Fru Fru Shrew is not a happy camper. Father and daughter bicker about his promise of no murder on her wedding day, and the fact that “I have to, baby. Daddy has to.” Until – 

Turn: “She’s the bunny who saved my life yesterday. From that giant doughnut!” Well, Judy is now in Mr Big’s good books. He’s going to pay her kindness forward. Nick is floored. 

I’m gonna stop there.

SO! After going through that analysis of how the scenes are linked together, let’s abandon the “everything needs a story reason to be in there” rule, and see what happens. 

After the scene where Judy and Nick reluctantly join forces, we could add a scene where Nick is trying to remember the name of the place, and where it is. Then we could have them asking around, searching the city, refusing to ask for directions, lots of banter. THEN we can finally get to The Mystic Springs Oasis.

And after they get the plate number, maybe Nick grabs the carrot pen and makes a run for it. Then we can have a chase scene, but he gets away. Then we can have Judy trying to run the plate on her own, before realizing she isn’t in the system, and failing. Then we can have a scene where she has to track down Nick again. Then a scene where she figures out how to blackmail him into it. THEN they finally get to the DMV. 

And you know what would have happened then?

Zootopia would have made everyone bored. 

All of these inserted scenes are unnecessary. Sure, they might add conflict, add complications to Judy’s quest, but they’re ultimately just filler. They’re just there for the sake of bulking out the story. This is why that tip I hear so often in writing circles always perplexes me: “Figure out the worst possible thing that can happen to your character, then do that.” If people went with this rule, they’d just keep throwing terrible things at the characters for no apparent reason, one after another, and the reader or audience would be expected to be entertained by it (but wouldn’t be). It would be like cartoons before Mickey Mouse came along and applied story to animation: before, cartoons were just gag after gag, slapstick situations mashed together like a funny video compilation. Except with books and movies, it would just be conflict-heavy situations strung together, taking an inordinate amount of time to make any actual progress.  

Once you make sure everything has a purpose within the narrative, things get so much better.  And I find, when I reread my work I don’t have to scream at myself to “love your book or else” if everything has a reason for being there. And instead of feeling like yelling at my story like an angry overworked crab, I feel a lot more like this gif.

I hope it works for you too.

  • my mom while asking for tips on how to easily find recipes on the internet: internet is really helpful. you can find absolutely anything you want on there. I wish we had that back in my days.
  • my ass, knowing that I use 99% of that time shitposting on tumblr, laughing at bad memes and reading gay fanfiction: yes I don't know how I'd live without it.