future alternative history

It’s May 3, time for the promised announcement!

The long story short - me and my filmmaker friend are currently in a pre-production phase of a short film set in space, in alternative history. Can’t tell you all the details yet, but please keep following this tumblr for future updates on the project. 

Attached to this post is one of the first concept illustrations done for this project. I will be posting more every week, along with some more “regular” posts and images not related to the film. That means at least 2 posts per week (usually on Tuesday and Thursday, but that may vary a bit) in the upcoming months. 

So, to sum up - exciting times ahead! See you on Thursday!

onemillionwordsofcrap  asked:

Tumblr just recommended me your blog and Bam, insta-follow! I was wondering if you have any thoughts on inventing fictional youth subcultures, e.g. for a story set in the future or with an alternate history. Are there any common pitfalls you tend to see in that regard?

Ahhh, thank you! That makes me happy. ^.^

Youth subcultures are pretty interesting, really. When it comes to very small children (like, 3-8), the subcultures tend to be tiny versions of cultures they experience day-to-day - from their parents, from TV and movies, from ads. They’re mostly focused on understanding the world, replicating what they see around them, and they really do not like it when people do something that they view as being deviant. The culture little kids create tend to be more totalitarian than any other age group.

Preteen and teenage subcultures are different. Less rigid, more open, depending on the subculture. They’re a little more forgiving of deviancy among the groups, but still rigid about deviancy outside of the group. The biggest pitfall I’ve noticed is people who think that teenage subcultures could be simplified down to high school stereotypes: popular/unpopular, jock, nerd, cheerleader, etc. Teen subcultures, like any other subcultures, tend to be a lot more nuanced and complicated than that. The second pitfall is the assumption that teen cultures are either a) always a counterculture to fight their parents or b) completely new creations by the teens.

The fact is, youth cultures take pieces from previous generations’ cultures. You can trace current hipsters back all the way to the start of the jazz age in the 1940s - fashion, action, beliefs, values. Youth cultures are never new, they’re just an evolution of their parents’ and grandparents’ cultures. So when inventing youth cultures, you’ll need to know what sort of subcultures came before them, and how they may have changed.

The other thing you’ll have to keep in mind is that there are different forms of subcultures. A subculture is just the overall term of a smaller culture within a culture - but inside that there is popular culture and counterculture. Pop culture is the most widely disseminated, and reaches across nations (think memes and viral posts). Even little kids have pop culture elements in their subcultures - you ever make that weird s symbol as a kid? Well, so did a lot of other people around the world, and no one actually knows the origin of it (even if they claim they do).

If you want a good example of youth subcultures, read or watch A Clockwork Orange. The story is real messed up, but it’s an example of a very well-done future youth counterculture. It takes you through the counterculture the young have taken on, and follows some characters through growing up and leaving the culture, so you get an idea of how cultural identity can change with age. The course is similar to teens in the 70s who were heavily involved in the punk rock scene, to the point of being anarchists, only to drop it in their 20s to conform to the larger society.

Which brings me to one last thing - if you have a character do that, go from rebellious to conforming, try not to paint it as “selling out” like so many authors do. Changing cultures, or rejoining the larger society’s culture, doesn’t mean you’re selling out or bad - it just means you’re human, who encountered human pressures. It happens. Adults who don’t conform lead rather segregated, and sometimes very shortened, lives.

-Mod Mix

MMFD Fic: "No Alarms and No Surprises" - Chapter 1

Finn never told her he loves her outside the chippy, and the Friends Zone closed in on them with the slam of a prison door. Now it’s four years later and things are changing whether he likes it or not.

Chapter 1

There were many moments in which he could have told her along the way. He’d let them all go. Wasted. He could have told her at the very beginning, when she broke his heart in the cupboard, or at his nan’s funeral, when she found him crying behind the trees and held his hand, or after she stood up in front of an entire wedding party and told them all the truth about herself, but he had been struck by how brave and lovely she was, plus the fact that she had basically looked straight at Archie and confessed that she’s been fantasizing about him… so Finn did nothing. And The Friends Zone closed in on them with the slam of a prison door.

+++

It would have been perfect to tell her on her last night before going to Uni, when they spent the entire evening walking around town, talking and being sentimental, trying to prepare themselves to be apart from each other for the first time in three years. They were standing on the bridge, looking down the River Welland rushing by, Rae leaned over to look further down, and her hair seemed to be taking flight. Finn’s fingers reached, of their own accord, to touch the ends of it, but then she turned to him and he shoved his hand inside his pocket instead. Her eyes were shining with unshed tears.

“Shit,” he said. “I was gonna cry.”

Rae shook her head and wiped her eyes. “Well, you can’t, you know the deal. Only one of us is allowed to fall apart at any given moment.”

“Yeah, tha’s the deal.” It only took a small gesture of invitation from him to have her tuck herself into his side in a hug. “Wha’ you crying for, silly girl?”

“Just can’t believe I’m finally out of here, and already I want to be back.”

“Just wait, you’ll get to London and you’ll forget all about us little people.” He always said these things jokingly, but inside he was terrified that it’ll go exactly like that. She’ll go and be brilliant in a place where they appreciate brilliant people like her, and he’ll be just a boy she knew once, who isn’t all that brilliant, who doesn’t really do anything much or knows where he’s going.

“Hey, so, I got this for ya.” She said, pulling something from her coat pocket and dangling it in front of him.

“What’s this? We didn’t say we’re doing presents.”

Rae shrugged, still attached to his side, then nudged him teasingly. “Guess I’m a better friend than you, ey?”

Reluctantly, he let go of her so he could unwrap the crappy wrapper and silly bow. Inside he found a pack of a dozen cheap plastic cigarette lighters with naked ladies drawn on them. He barked a laugh. “You nutter!”

“That way when you lose them every fucking where, you’ll always have a spare.”

He looked up at her, his eyes were probably a little shiny. “I liked it better when you were the one always finding them for me.”

Rae’s eyes left his, she looked down. “Well… now we need a plan B.”

He looked at the naked ladies again, then hugged her to him hard. “Thanks, Rae. I’ll take care of them as if they were my babies.”

“Yeah… you’ll lose them all within two months.” She joked, and he protested, and they both laughed even though it wasn’t that funny. The whole moment felt unstable and desperate. Then Rae sighed, “Finn…?”, and her voice shuddered on that one syllable. Finn didn’t know why, but his heart, already beating fast, began to really pound then.

“Yeah?”

But she didn’t continue, and she moved out of his embrace and grabbed the banister with both hands, turning her face from him.

“Rae?”

“What if I told ya…” Her voice died down, then she took a deep breath and tried again. “What if I– what would you say if I told ya…”

Finn wasn’t even breathing. He just stood there like a complete knob until she finally turned, her face flushed, and she shook her head and laughed a little. “If I told you I plan on calling you in all hours of the day and night, whenever the mood strikes me. Like, if I’m in a swanky London club and it’s 3AM and they’re playing our song, I’m calling you and I don’t even care.”

He played that moment in his head over and over, for months after that. How he froze, half way between amazingly relieved and excruciatingly disappointed, knowing full well that she’d bottled it and didn’t say what was really on her mind, that he only had to prod a little bit, to ask her one time, and she’d tell him the thing she didn’t say. He remembers vividly letting the moment go. Remembers how she looked on that bridge, with the wind lifting her hair and waving it about. His eyes focused on her smiling lips, he took a step closer with a surge of intention he couldn’t name… and the thoughts came rushing - this is stupid, she’s leaving in the morning, what was the point. He kissed her cheek, and spent the following three weeks trying not to throw himself off that bridge.

+++

And there were a million other, less perfect but totally legitimate moments that had gone past since the 20p all those years ago, where he could have turned to his best mate, the person closest to him in the world, and tell her what’s really on his mind.

She was the one whose opinion mattered the most, the person he told all his secrets to. He could tell her anything. But he couldn’t tell her this. Once they’d become mates, he couldn’t see his way out. They went on like that, day after day, year after year, until what they had was this relationship, this… best–mate–dom, where he was spending all his energy keeping her from knowing. And after a while it just becomes what they do, what they are. She has Chloe and Archie and he has Chop, but it’s nothing like what they are to each other. They pride themselves on telling each other everything – every small insignificant thing and every big painful secret. Almost.

He always tells her about the girls he’s dating, looking in her eyes, looking to see if it bothers her to hear. He knew Rae thought he was good looking, she said it more than enough times (albeit while taking the piss, or in an off-hand kind of way, like – ‘course that girl will go for ya, how could she resist the fittest lad in all of Lincolnshire and the surrounding districts?), but that was just what mates do, and fuck that.

So he goes into detail about his dates, what they did, what made this one special. And Rae rolls her eyes and says – yeah, yeah, they’re all special. When she meets them, if it ever goes that far, she’s the kindest, nicest person to them, and he watches her befriending the girls when deep down he’s hoping she’ll throw a wobbler. From time to time comes along a girl that Rae thinks is a twat, or kinda dumb, or likes the wrong music, and then she’s snobbish and bitchy to her, and him and her have an argument about it, and secretly he loves that, he imagines that she’s sick with jealousy, can’t sleep and can’t think of him with any other girl but her.

Sometimes he fancies that she really does feel that way about him, but she’s just as good an actress as he is and covers her true feelings. When he shares his sex life with her, she reacts the way he would, if she ever told him anything about her sex life. Which she doesn’t. They can talk about her insecurities and how she feels like no one will ever love her, and he can reassure her that it’s bullshit and she’s beautiful, and they can talk about how she doesn’t believe him. And when he tells her she’s attractive she says – all evidence to the contrary – and they can go back and forth about that for hours, but they never talk about any real experiences she’s having.

He knows she goes on dates, very sparsely, like, once in a blue moon, and nothing much happens when she does. And he’s sad for her because she’s sad, but he’s glad for himself because he’s a petty little fucker.

He doesn’t get why on earth she would not have dates. Doesn’t know if it’s because no one is asking her, or because she turns them down for some reason. With all their mutual soul searching, they never go into that. Finn knows that Rae is considered “a big girl”, and she has a way about her, kinda loud and boisterous, and some guys don’t like that. So he kinda gets it but he doesn’t get it, ‘cause, yeah, she’s big, some people might call her fat (they just better not do it within his earshot), but can’t they see that she’s also, just… incredible? He thinks she’s gorgeous. The funniest, most interesting, fucking sexiest person he knows. Sometimes he doesn’t know how he got so lucky as to have her in his life, but sometimes he feels like fucking Job, cursed with this relationship, this fucking friendship with a girl that is perfect for him in every way, except that he’s a coward and he never told her, and she hates herself so she doesn’t even notice.

+++

And he can’t say anything now, it’s too late, it’s way past late. It’s been more than three years and she’s told him very intimate details about herself and all her little fears, and he’s so proud that he’s the one she tells, he’s the keeper of all her shit. All her insecurities about herself and how she hates her body, the way she used to hurt herself when she was younger – she’s doing so much better, and he’s a part of what changed for her. All that hurt was before she’d met him, he reminds himself some nights when she’s in a bad way and he can’t sleep with worry over her. He has to believe that their friendship made a difference, that having him and the rest of the gang in her life, constantly telling her in different ways how much she’s wanted and important – made her stronger, less sad, less likely to hurt herself if shit goes bad. She can come talk to him in the middle of the fucking night if she needs, and she knows that, and he has to believe that makes a difference. What makes that possible is trust, they have trust.

So he can’t very well turn around and tell her that there was something else going on all these years, can he. That every time she’d climbed into his bed to cry on his shoulder, half of him was with her, while the other half was busy trying to conceal her effect on him. Forever aware that he can’t change things, Finn’s just watching his life unfold next to hers, completely miserable and completely happy at the same time. The moments come, and he lets them go.

TBC…

MMFD Fic: “No Alarms and No Surprises” - Chapter 3

A/N:
Thank you guys so much for the amazing response to this story. I’m sorry I haven’t responded to every comment and feedback - I appreciate and adore every line you wrote, I’m just new to tumblr and seriously have no idea how all this works yet…).

Tags are at the bottom (hopefully I do this right), if for some reason I’ve left you out – sorry in advance and please let me know. Also, if you would like to be tagged to other MMFD fics from me in the future, not just this one, let me know.

Now, on with the show.

———————————————————

They really never talked about these things, but she was away and it wasn’t like before, where he knew every boy that sniffed around her, so he had to ask.

Chapter 3

In all her phone calls and letters, Rae never talks about dating and never much mentions other guys other than Archie. Finn asked her once, when she’d been away for two weeks, if there’s anyone interesting around. She got all quiet (they really never talked about these things, but she was away and it wasn’t like before, where he knew every boy that sniffed around her, so he had to ask) and said no. Then she’d asked about him, does he have someone in his sights, and he had to tell her that yes, he’s started going out with this lass he met at the park. This conversation was so wildly uncomfortable, that he lost all appetite he once had for rubbing his dates in her face. So after that he never asked about her and she never did about him, and it was much better for his mental health anyway. 

But then, as her first year in Uni is coming to a close, she starts mentioning a name, a “Chris”. Every few letters he reads about how they went to this lecture on fractals (whatever the fuck that was, she tried to explain but lost him and he just skipped a paragraph), or visited this cool art show at the Tate Modern about light fixtures (she enclosed the program and he looked through it and he didn’t get it, but Rae gushed about it for three quarters of a page), Finn thinks on how she somehow managed to learn to enjoy new things without him, and he scans the letters to get passed the descriptions of exhibits, to the part about this Chris, who the fuck is this Chris now, what does he mean by taking his Rae to art shows.

 

She comes for a visit one weekend for her baby sister’s birthday, and they’re all meeting at the pub, and before the rest of the gang gets there, it’s just him and her and Archie, sharing a plate of chips. Finn is in heaven because she’s sitting right there, her side is touching his side, and he can talk to her, and watch her roll her eyes at every little thing he says, like he loves. He takes stock of the changes in her, how she’s different from the last time he saw her. Her hair is growing back, thank fuck, and he got used to the slight weight loss, and pleased that she’s not still doing that. She’s wearing this sort of girly, lacy top, that she never would have worn a few years ago, but she does now and she looks fucking amazing, but when did she ever not. 

“Tell Finn about the course.” Archie says suddenly, and Finn catches Rae giving the lad a warning look.

“Yeah, Rae, tell Finn about the course,” he says, reaching for the chips.

“’S no big deal, it’s just something I started lately…”

She tries to sound casual when she tells him about this Graphic Design program she’d started. She only goes once a week after classes, just to pass the time, like. Finn looks at Archie who is smiling slyly into his beer and he hates that they have this whole life away from him, with friends and experiences and secrets he’s not privy to (but as always, he’s really thankful that she had a mate to go with her to the big bad city, and he sleeps better at night knowing that Archie’s there to take care of her). Anyway, Rae continues, she kinda likes it, feels like she’s maybe good at it, whatever, it’s totally not a big deal, and Finn can tell that it is a fucking huge deal. She’s well into it, and when he asks what does it actually mean and she starts explaining and her face light up like a fucking Christmas tree, he kinda wants her to never stop talking about it.

“I can see you being good at that,” he tells her. “The way you always scribble and draw shit in every blank corner of a page. Like, you should see her letters, mate, more doodles than words sometimes.” She’s blushing and tells him to shut up, but yeah, she’s well chuffed.

“That’s what we told her. She’d love it, she’s really into typography.”

Finn stares at Archie, then at Rae who rolls her eyes. “Apparently, all that scribbling I do of letters and words in all kinds of shapes, yeah?”

“Yeah?”

“Apparently that’s ‘typography’ according to Chris,” She clears her throat and reaches for her pint, laughing nervously. “It’s always like that with them two,” she gestures to Archie with her pint. “Like, it couldn’t just be doodles, it has to be some fancy thing.”

“Well, that’s what it’s called.” Archie tells her.

Guess this Chris guy is still around, not going anywhere. Not just taking her to art shows but actually changing her life. How far has this gone, though? Is she sharing music with this guy? Does she turn to him when she needs a shoulder to cry on? “So you and Chris are hanging around a lot lately, ey?” he says casually.

To his horror, and to Archie’s delight, Rae is fucking blushing. “Yeah,” she shrugs, “We’re friends.”

“Oh my god, Rae,” Archie laughs, “Would you give off? Just say he’s your boyfriend!”

She chucks a fist full of chips at him, still blushing furiously. “Shut up, Arch, no he’s not.”

“All I’m saying is, if he were my boyfriend I wouldn’t want to hide him, I’d march him up and down High Street –“

“He’s not my boyfriend, though!” she protests, but she’s laughing and her face is heated, and she never made eye contact with Finn during the whole exchange.

Of course this had to happen one day, someone was bound to notice Rae and actually go for it, but that doesn’t help Finn, because he’s not ready to be rational and even-minded about this. His fingers tremble on his tobacco pack, working their automatic routine. He can’t believe he’s still this petty and childish, but here it is, nothing really changed since that rave they went to a billion years ago, where Archie got to kiss Rae for the second time. It’s the same feeling of bile rising in the back of his throat, that ugliest of all emotions – Jealousy. Fucking Chris with his art and his broadening of Rae’s horizons and god knows what else. Was he the one responsible for the changes? Did she lose weight for this wanker? He wishes Archie would stop teasing her because he can’t stand seeing her blushing and squirming in her seat, and saying god, we’re just mates, would you let it go?

He can’t sleep that night. Because he knows about ‘just being mates’. And he knows not everyone will be content to just sit around like he does, and wait for some kind of divine intervention to make something happen with Rae, to change the situation. Even if this Chris is really her mate right now, he’s just biding his time until he can make a move. That artsy-fartsy, scarf-wearing, eagheaded, posh Uni bastard.

 

Next holiday, she brings Chris with her. She introduces the fucker to her mother and to Karim, then brings him over to the pub, where everyone can pass judgment on him. He is tall as a fucking poll, and infuriatingly doesn’t wear a scarf at all. In fact, he looks nothing like Finn had pictured in his mind. He’s not a stuffy posh arsehole, instead he’s fucking Grunge. His hair is long, he wears ugly torn jeans and a Soundgarden T-shirt, he actually looks like a dopey, frumpy Chris Cornell. Well, fuck. Chloe and Izzy’s voices reach new heights in the excitement, and Chop slaps the guy on the back, all friendly like, telling him he hopes he’s taking care of our little Raemundo.

“Raemundo?” Chris turns to Rae, laughing. “What’s that about?”

“A nickname you need not remember.” She answers, and gets another laugh.

“Duly noted.” He says. Finn hates him so fucking much.

“Finn, good,” she calls out to him as he approaches the table and takes his hand (no ‘hi’, no hug), “Here, I want you to meet Chris.”

“Hey there,” the guy beams at him and stretches a hand to shake. “Heard so much about you.”

 “Yeah, same.”

He knows he’s being rude, sitting there not saying a word, just drinking and rolling cigarette after cigarette. But he has nothing to say to this bloke, this "boyfriend”, and the way everyone else is looking at him like he’s the Second Coming feels like the deepest betrayal. He ignores the quick looks Rae gives him from time to time, knows she’s trying to judge his reaction. His black mood does not allow him to be generous, however, and when she gives him a small smile he doesn’t smile back. “Hey, broodington, what crawled up your arse?” She jokes, and Finn only looks at her through his eyelashes and shrugs.

She turns to Chris, who’s answering Chloe’s many questions, a tinge of desperation colors her words as she suggests, “Chris, tell Finn about the radio station.”

“Oh, yeah, it’s pretty cool,” Chris turns their way, moving a strand of long dark hair behind his ear, in an infuriatingly manly way. “Just got this gig at the campus radio station, editing one of the late-night slots.”

“He gets to pick the music every night, isn’t that amazing?” Rae gushes, her eyes on him, and if she thinks she’s got an Ace up her sleeve, something he’s bound to be impressed with, then she’s wrong, because he isn’t planning on being impressed with this guy even if they tell him he’s in charge of the set list for The Rolling Stones European tour.

“That’s amazing, mate.” He drawls. “What will you put on once you go through all the U2 records?”

“Finn!” Rae’s face registers her shock at the harshness of the insult. Chris looks confused, then he relaxes and smirks, one hand placed lightly on the back of Rae’s chair, the other goes for his beer. “Naa, none of that crap on my slots. I got some tricks up my sleeve, might surprise you if you have a listen.” The grungy motherfucker takes a slow swig and locks eyes with Finn. “Though, do they get Blast Radio all the way in the back storage at the DIY Center?”

Finn doesn’t break the eye contact, manages a snarky smile. Yeah, he’s dead cool, him. Nothing can touch him. So confident about his life choices that you can’t throw them back in his face. At least he hopes that’s what his smile conveys, ‘cause fuck knows he got no clever come back. And a few seconds later Chris turns towards the others and joins is their conversation. Rae’s eyes are downcast, there’s a slight blush coloring her neck. She sits inside her boyfriend’s casual embrace and says nothing. Finn goes to the toilet, just to get away.

He stands outside the bathroom door, trying to relax, but it’s useless. He’s not cool, not even remotely. On the contrary - he is burning up. Can’t believe she let Chris say that. Can’t believe that’s what she told him. That Finn is just some loser, wasting his life away moving boxes around. Can not believe that’s what she thinks of him. He shakes his head, knows he has to pull his shit together, get over this and just go back to the table. Might even have to say some things. Otherwise this Soundgardenlookingtosser wins.
 

He makes his way back to the group slowly, taking in the scene. That outsider takes his place by her side and everyone just goes along with it, they sure are laughing at his jokes. And Rae’s eyes are sparkling as she leans into Chris, and he’s got an arm across her lap, his hand on her thigh, all the while talking to Chop. He touches her casually, naturally. There’s no doubt, they are together. They have an intimacy that is not new and not hesitant. And then he sees it, and a shock goes through him. He realizes something that he completely missed when he first entered the pub. With all his focus on the new guy, Finn didn’t see that underneath her purple dress, Rae is not wearing leggings or tights. Her skin is bare. Never, outside of his elaborate fantasies about her, had she ever gone without something covering her legs. There was always, always, fabric between them. And now, this guy, this guy is, his hands are all over Rae and he knows what her thighs feel like, probably knows much more.

There’s a ringing in Finn’s ears and the three pints he’s downed so far are traveling back up. This is more than he can be expected to bare, and yet his eyes can’t let go of the place where those strange fingers move, ever so slightly, against the smooth, pale skin at the edge of her dress. He turns back around towards the toilets and the back door and he’s out.

Cold air hits his face like a blessing. He kicks the wall outside and rubs at his temples to ease the pressure building there. The way home seems endless, but he wants to be away from there more than anything. “Duly noted,” He says to the pavement in disgust. “Duly fucking noted, mate.“

TBC…

Tagging….

raernundo mmirallegross bitchy-broken i-dream-of-emus kneekeyta
mmfdfanfic milymargot rinncincin fantasticab