“I do not regret being who I am, being as open as I’ve been. And I am proud of myself for not apologizing for it. I don’t fit into any of the boxes that so many petty-minded little motherfuckers love to put me in, and I don’t really care.”
People were interested in me doing a thing like this, so here we go! I figured I’d do a short little blurb about each writer, including one or two of my favorite works by them. So, in no real order (like, I literally randomized the list) here are some of the most talented people* whose art I’ve had the pleasure of reading:
*Please note that some of these people haven’t written for bellarke in a while! That doesn’t mean you should pester them about it! Appreciate the heck out of what they have written instead. Cool? Cool.
Maria’s written a good variety of longer and shorter fics, and each of them is excellent. (She’s also an amazing human/friend, but that’s more of a side perk.) She’s currently writing Things We Shouldn’t Do which is what everyone wants out of a multi-chap, fake-dating, actors AU. Or for something shorter, check out T.O.P. S.E.C.R.E.T. for some friends-with-benefits/feelings-reveal goodness. And maybe if she loves me she’ll finish Let’s Go to the Mall but it’s nbd.
I read The Squire (multi-chap, medieval AU) when I was pretty new to the fandom, and I’m still completely in awe of it. Steph’s also written a million other amazing bellarke fics, like this fluffy-af youtubers AU (and, recently, some fucking amazing Jyn/Cassian stuff, if you’re into that) so make sure to check out all of her incredible writing.
Chash has written a million and one amazing fics, so obvs read everything she’s written, but one of my particular faves is Some Cheese With That Whine. It gives me all the best-friends-to-lovers feelings. Amazing. Plus she likes all my posts when I’m flailing about ffx <3
Lana’s another one of those writers where I know I’ll like everything she publishes. She’s like, the queen a soulmate AU’s. Her most recent one is here–a cool iteration where you feel whatever pain your soulmate feels. As with all the other authors here, don’t forget to check out all her other stories!
I discovered Kacka this summer, and her stories saved me from boredom on the countless train rides I was taking across Europe. By which I mean you should just read through everything on her AO3 page, like I did. Everyone loves a good coffee-shop AU, right? Check out Got to Find Those Extra Cups to Fill. She’s a fantastic, inspiring writer and an even lovelier human being.
Bri’s another one of the authors I first read when I joined the fandom! She doesn’t write much bellarke anymore, but it’s all still up on her AO3 along with a ton of quality Jyn/Cassian fics, if that’s your jam!
Kayla’s the first person I ever considered my “favorite fanfic author” and the title still fits, even if I do have about a million “favorite” authors now. Full Circle is an older, post s2, fic of hers, but it’s undeniably still one of my faves. A more recent fave is: this is your heart (can you feel it). These are both canonverse, but she writes amazing modern AUs as well. <3
Is it getting old for me to keep saying I like everything insert-name-here writes?? I’d stop, except that it’s TRUE. Mel is fantastic. Her last installment in Good Times Gonna Come is so cute I can’t actually stand it. Something In The Air (That Night) is also super good. (She also writes Sethkate and Jyn/Cassian!)
(Okay I’m running out of time for these last few–gotta get to class–so I’ll just do one fic rec from each writer, BUT they’re all such fucking talented authors. Everything they write is amazing.)
OKAY PHEW. I think that’s everything. As a last note, don’t forget to appreciate your favorite authors! A comment or reblog here and there goes a long way. Kudos and likes are lovely, but not quite as tangible as comments and tags.
here’s the thing about villain fandom: there’s nothing wrong with liking villains!! there’s nothing wrong with appreciating a complex, well-written, evil (or even just morally grey) character!!! no one is saying that you aren’t allowed to like villains, whether you like them because you think they’re interesting, or because you’re intrigued by their backstory, or just because you think they look cool! there’s nothing wrong with the villain of the series being your favorite character!!
when things become problematic is when you start making excuses for that villain’s actions, or even going so far as to say “I don’t think this character did anything wrong.”
I’m gonna use kylo ren as an example, because he’s one of my favorite villains and because he’s a character most people are familiar with. I love kylo ren!! I like his aesthetic, I love how he and rey serve as foils for each other, I love the way that the filmmakers showed him being torn between his family and his thirst for power, before eventually choosing power (obviously). but, as much as I love the character, I still recognize that he’s a really, really bad person. like, part-of-the-leadership-of-an-order-of-literal-space-nazis bad, literally-aided-in-a-mass-genocide bad, murdered-an-entire-temple-full-of-children bad. he’s evil, and just because I like the character doesn’t mean I’m going to make excuses for him or try to pretend he isn’t a monster. because he is.
and yet, I see a lot of star wars fans on tumblr doing exactly that. there’s a whole sub-fandom of people who identify as “first order sympathizers.” (again, the first order are LITERALLY NAZIS.) I see so many people, especially young, female fans, trying to explain away kylo’s villainy or rewrite canon to make him out as some kind of victim, even though that goes against everything we’ve seen so far in the movies.
I think a big reason for that is because these fans are afraid that if they openly admit to liking a villain, people will think that they agree with that villain’s ideals or think that their actions were justified. and, ironically, in trying to prevent people from thinking that they sympathize with an “evil” character, they end up doing exactly that – making excuses and trying to justify the atrocious things the character has done, rather than just taking a step back and saying, “okay, I know this guy is evil, but I still like the character.”
so I’m going to say it again: there’s nothing wrong with liking villains!!! these characters are works of fiction, and fiction is not real life. you can be a good person and like villains. I promise it doesn’t make you “problematic” or “bad” or whatever, as long as you’re able to admit to yourself that, even though you like this character, they are evil and have done evil things. you’re still allowed to enjoy them!
When you’re around me I can’t help but linger my gaze on you. No matter how hard I try it always ends up right back on you. I notice the little details most people don’t care enough to look at. Like the little freckles spread across your cheeks like cities across a map. I notice the way your eyes light up when you talk about something that excites you. As well as the little smile that follows. Or how your cheeks turn red over the littlest things. My favorite color used to be blue but that changed the second I looked into your eyes. Now your eyes are my new favorite color. And you, you’ve been my favorite person since the very first day I met you