i may have only a vague idea of what i'm writing

13luecloud  asked:

Hi! (LOL, I'm so awkward. 😂) I have a question: do you have tips on writing striking first (and last) sentences? Whenever I try to start writing I always stress a lot on the first sentences (and the last ones) because I believe readers remember them the most. Often I back down from writing because I don't believe the first sentence is good enough. I've been reading stories and books and observed how they do it to help myself to do better, but I still end up with the same problem.

Writing Striking First and Last Lines

Listen up, and listen well: the first sentence of your first draft is allowed to be terrible.  It is not a reflection on your skills as a writer, and certainly not any indication of how the rest of your draft will be. Beginnings are stressful as hell, but you shouldn’t let it get in your way. 

Some people have first sentence block, some people have first page block. They start writing, can’t think of anything good enough, and end up staring at a blank document for hours, waiting for inspiration to strike and a perfect first sentence to appear on the screen. My advice? Don’t wait for inspiration, you’ll never get anything done that way. 

Let’s look at the function of first and last lines. I’ll use examples from one of my favourite books, Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

First Line:

The first sentence needs to pose a “why” question to the reader. 

Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley.” 

So, this tells me that the protagonist lives in a valley with a somewhat notorious Dragon. This Dragon takes girls away, but doesn’t eat them. 

I’m immediately left wondering, who is this Dragon and why doesn’t he eat girls? Why does he take girls if not to eat them? 

I’m left curious, but not confused. I want to know why, and so I’m going to read on. This is an excellent first sentence that does its job of hooking the reader. 

Last Line (!!Spoiler Warning!!)

The last sentence needs to answer that question, or if there is a sequel, hint at a new question. 

““Come and meet my mother,” I said. I reached out and took his arm.”

 These are the last two sentences, but they’re short and work well together. 

Throughout the novel, we’re presented with many questions. The initial “Who is the Dragon?” quickly develops to a “Who will Dragon become to our protagonist?” and this last line answers it. (Of course, there are questions of the “Will the world be saved?” variety in the middle).

This ending is also a reflection of the beginning. The story starts when the Dragon unexpectedly takes our seemingly unremarkable protagonist into his world. The story ends with our protagonist taking the Dragon into hers. We’ve come to full circle, and this last line gives us closure.

When we first start writing our story, we often only have a vague idea of the questions that we’ll be presenting to our readers. These questions become clearer as we write on.  

And remember, people often start their story in the wrong place. They start it too early, or maybe too late. They’re looking for a perfect first line in the wrong place. Imagine that, the first line that you spent days and days on being scrapped in revisions. 

The best advice I can give is this: if the first sentence/paragraph/page is holding you back, then start at the second. Put it aside, start writing your your story at a place you feel comfortable and confident, orient yourself and then come back later. The most important thing to do is write.

Don’t stress it, give it a go, and you may find that somewhere down the line, a perfect first line may come to you. 


Caffeine Challenge 10 June 2017

The ship cuts an elegant path through the asteroid field until, abruptly, an asteroid cuts an elegant path through it.

This is unusual for two reasons, Lorena thinks absently: 1) the actual density of asteroids in an asteroid field is much, much smaller than your average person thinks, and 2) asteroids don’t generally do “elegant”. Outside the ship, when they’re hurtling through the void at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour and still managing to look like they’re doing it slowly and majestically, yes. Inside the ship, no. But the fact of the thing can’t be denied: an unidentified asteroid has just shown up in the middle of the ship. The scanner says it’s still in the ship, too, sitting in an unused cargo hold.

Lorena gets up from her desk chair, shuts off the scanner, and starts to put on her space suit. This is too weird to be ignored, and plus, if the asteroid had really cut through the ship like that, there’s going to be issues. Of course, there are safety measures in place in case of leaks, but a hole that big opened straight onto the vacuum of space is bound to cause some issues. Luckily, the scanner wasn’t showing any loss of life, so that shouldn’t be a problem. At least, not yet.

Spacesuit on, Lorena grabs her tool box and heads for the air lock nearest the crash site. Strange, too, she thinks, that she didn’t feel anything when the asteroid hit. She’d have thought she’d feel a jolt when the ship took the force of a crash that big.

She’s getting weird looks as she walks through the ship in her space suit. This part of the ship, the only people she’s passing are maintenance people and engineers like herself, and they all know that there isn’t any external maintenance scheduled, and that if there was, she wouldn’t be the one doing it. Ah well. Let them look. She considers grabbing a maintenance person for backup, but decides against it. Better to figure out what the problem is before asking someone to solve it.

When she reaches the air lock, Lorena puts her helmet on and clips her tether to the ring inside, then presses the button to open the external doors. The air lock is closed, thank God. Sometimes people like to leave the air locks inside the ship open for convenience, but someone must have put safety before convenience for once. She makes a mental note to find that person when she finishes here; they may have saved the lives of the entire ship.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. The air lock doors open.

Keep reading

Anonymous requested: “Tony being a trans guy has been my headcanon for a long time and I would absolutely die if you would write about him supporting Peter…”

Anyway I’ve gotta say I love writing Peter, like idk if I’m doing it in character but I love this

Also I’m definitely down for doing more of this with Peter coming out and stuff if someone requests it, but I wanted to do this scene like the moment it popped in my head

ALSO brevity is NOT my forte and I loved this prompt so it’s long beware of that

Keep reading

sakuraerza1  asked:

I have been following you since I got my Tumblr, and I have noticed the variety of questions you have answered. I don't know if you have already answered this one, but I would like to ask about outlining a series. I'm trying to write a novel series, but I don't know how to have an effective outline for it. I have seen many tutorials on outlining a novel but not a series. Any advise you could give me would be appreciated. Thank you.

Thanks for asking, and thanks for following my blog <3 :)  I do try to answer every question I get in the inbox, either with my own advice or with resources from people with better knowledge.  And I probably need to create a masterpost/FAQ to help people navigate my posts in the future >.<

So I’ve only written one series (technically a trilogy) and it was not of full-length novels, but I did have an outline method that might help you.  I’m a crazy-hard planner so if it’s a bit too thorough for your tastes, you can winnow it down to what suits you:

  1. Start with the first book.  Remember, if you don’t have the first book, you don’t have any books.  Really devote time to creating complex characters, an engaging and in-depth plot, and a solid setting that complements it.  You won’t really be able to outline anything else until this is done – because no matter how well-laid your plans are, the story will turn out different by the time it’s done.  That’s mainly because you’re discovering the characters in that first story, which makes everything tentative.
  2. Once you’re about halfway through, develop the ending.  By halfway through the story, you’ve got a solid cast of characters, a defined plot, and plenty of decisions left to make.  You probably only have a vague idea of how you want the first book to end – so now is the time to stop and plan the ending.  Make sure you’ve got a satisfactory finale that leaves an opening for the next book, but brings the plot to some sort of satisfactory conclusion nonetheless.
  3. Once you’ve got the ending, define the point of your series.  Is it plot-driven or character-driven?  If it’s plot-driven, what is the final point in the plot that you wish to achieve (e.g. the Hunger Games trilogy encompassed Katniss’s enemyship with President Snow)?  If it’s character-driven, how do you want the characters to evolve by the end of the series (e.g. Friends was about six young adult friends figuring out their lives and supporting each other UNTIL they found family, stability, and new support systems)?  This definition will help you to develop everything in between.
  4. Write a loose few paragraphs on what you definitely want in the stories.  Plot twists, character developments, big scenes – put it all in there.  Brainstorm a bit until you have plenty of story fodder, and then play with the order a bit.  Group together things that complement each other or are similar in theme/timing.  If there are holes, take the flexible subplots (e.g. a romance arc) and fit them in there.  It’s basically like going to the grocery store, grabbing 50 ingredients, and then rationing them out to make 5 delicious, whole meals.  Take your ingredients and make 3+ separate, full plots.
  5. Outline each story individually (or at least the next two for now).  This will be where you do the final shifting, getting things in order and seeing if they make good stories.  Some things will fit together and make for a compelling whole project – and from my experience, I’d guess you’ll wind up with a few extra plots/subplots/plot bunnies that don’t find a home.  Do the hard thing and cut them out.  If they don’t fit in any story, and they’re not enough to make their own story, they’re just a necessary casualty.
  6. Adjust as necessary.  As you develop characters and plots, things may change.  You may find that some subplots don’t fit with the theme of a certain book.  You may wind up cutting more and bringing back stuff you previously cut out.  When in this process, make sure you don’t delete any ideas.  Ever.  Anything might make a reappearance.  A series means you have a lot of space to fill with only a basic idea, so anything could be the difference between a bunch of books and a true series.
  7. Don’t get attached to anything especially the ending.  No matter how wonderful you think your ending is, by the time you actually get there, the odds are good that it’ll change completely.  Plans are great, but they’re never followed 100%.  Don’t get so attached to certain ideas that you’ll bend the true story – the best story – into knots trying to keep your favorite ideas in there.

That’s the best I could remember from my time writing a series.  In point #5 I left a link to my outline tag, with different reblogs of outlining techniques for your individual stories.  Outlining is so different for every writer, so I figured that’d be your best bet.

I hope this helps!  This is just my method, and there are thousands of other methods out there.  If you still need help or have other questions, my inbox is always open! :]  Good luck!

If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

anonymous asked:

Hey Hey! So any tips on how to write Levi in fanfiction as close to cannon as possible without ruining his prominent characteristics? I'm in the process of creating a fic that is Levi centric and honestly I'm slightly paranoid of the whole thing ;_;

Ahh this is a complicated question with a complicated answer lol. 

There are three things I think can most definitely help you out when it comes to keeping Levi as close to his canon personality as possible while writing him in a fanfic which contains scenarios that we would never actually see happen in canon. 

Number one being murder 90% of the FANon character tropes you think of when it comes to Levi in fanfic with fire. Try not to go overboard when it comes to those. Certain canon tropes need to be present, like his preference for extreme cleanliness and his insomnia bouts but, a lot of his tropes you can forfeit. Examples being:

  • “Tch. Brat.”
  • “Shitty Brat”
  • Basically overusing “Brat.”
  • Making him out to be a total asshole
  • Making him out to be an abusive POS who kicks puppies in his free time
  • Portraying him as overly angry

Things of this nature. I have seen this done WAYYYYYY too many times, and truthfully, it’s really not accurate to his character. Sure, him saying brat happens in the manga like, maybe three times but, don’t turn it into an overly used pet name. I promise you’ll throw 90% of your readers off if you do. 

Number two is when you write Levi, Keep his dialogue pretty blunt and to the point or round-about and vague DEPENDING ON WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT AND HOW FAR INTO THE FIC YOU ARE WITH HIS DEVELOPEMENT. Case in point:

  • Witty comback - Blunt
  • Expressing feelings - Vague
  • Response to a basic question - Blunt
  • Response to an insanely personal question - Vague
  • Insults - Blunt
  • Compliments - Vague and hard to understand

Obviously you should evolve this as the story moves but, just try to keep the flow natural. Also, when it comes to vague responses, try to write his body language in express detail. Don’t go overboard with this either because if you do, you can end up making your story a bit boring to read. Simply add sensory details that help emphasize what Levi is thinking, trying to say, etc. Plus, try to write his thoughts as well. I’m going to take a exert from one of my fics here to use as an example:

Levi sighed heavily. Pinching the bridge of his nose and squeezing his eyes shut tightly while muttering a quiet curse under his breath. Now it was your turn to be baffled. Did he honestly not remember meeting Mike more than once? Or was he putting on a show? Lying to you yet again and keeping whatever secrets he did have close to his chest. The thought put you even more on edge. Though, you’d be lying if you said you weren’t idling on the fence with your stance on the matter. If Levi really was putting on a show, it was an Oscar winning performance. He was more than a little convincing and knowing Levi as well as you think you did; you were pretty sure he was a shitty liar.

“How in the hell could you forget meeting Mike more than once?! The man is 6'5 and built like a brick shit house. He may not talk a lot but, he’s next to impossible to forget.”

Levi sighed again. Opening his eyes to look at you in mild defeat while lifting his hands and shrugging his shoulders as his only form of an answer. It was clear he was just as frustrated by it as you, but it was also quite clear that Levi had an idea as to why and how that would be possible. The bob of his adam’s apple as he swallowed hard and the tapping of his fingers against his knee spoke loud enough for you to register that much. He wanted to tell you something but, he didn’t at the same time. All of this secrecy was getting on your last nerve.

The small details in his body language can really add emphasis on what he’s feeling and so on. I understand that this can be hard to do in a lot of situations involving him as a character but, the more you practice; the easier it becomes. Plus, it definitely helps keep him in character considering he is one to use body language more than words and dialogue for him can be a BITCHHHHHH to write. Writing details like this can definitely save you a lot of headache when trying to figure out what he’d say because a lot of the time; he wouldn’t actually say much.

The third thing is, if you get hung up trying to think of how Levi would react, speak, carry himself, etc, in a certain situation and for the life of you, you cannot figure it out; REREAD MANGA CHAPTERS WITH HIM IN THEM OR REWATCH ANIME SCENES WITH HIM PRESENT. 

It helps, I promise. Specifically pay attention to him. See his expressions and the way his speaks to people in canon situations and then try to morph it or see if it relates in anyway to what you are trying to portray. I cannot tell you how many times this has point blank revived entire chapters for me that I almost gave up on and rewrote. 

And finally, if you ever get to a point in your fic where you want an outside opinion; HIT ME UP I WILL HAPPILY READ IT AND GIVE YOU FEEDBACK :) 

I hope this helps even just a little bit, anon. Happy writing and good luck to you. I know how hard Levi is to write but, he is also sooooooo much fun to write too.

wolffyluna  asked:

I'm currently writing a fan fiction, and I'm trying to reconcile the original author's depiction of torture with something that at least makes *some* real life sense. A character is tortured and bribed into giving up the location of a secret city, and he does tell his interrogator the secret. I know you mentioned that the London Cage likely had an unusually high false confession rate because it also bribed people, but I don’t know how plausible that would be in the case of information? (part 1)

The bribe is something the character really wants, like ‘this is almost this character’s defining motivation’ level of want, though it’s arguable that the interrogator could actually give it to him. This character is also ambivalent about the secret city/keeping the location secret. (His father was killed to preserve the secretness of the city, and this character’s movement is severely restricted also to keep the secret safe). (part 2) The interrogator has also tortured + bribed a lot of people unsuccessfully before finally finding out the location from this character, so it would be possible to narratively portray this character’s confession as unusual or ‘torture may only have 0.001% chance of getting correct information, but if you torture enough people, it might happen.’ (part 3) I was wondering if this combination of factors make the giving up the secret at least vaguely plausible, especially if the narrative (if not the characters) makes it clear that this situation is unlikely? (part 4. Sorry about the extra long ask, I didn’t expect it to be this many parts.) 

It’s OK, I actually prefer to have something long like this so I have all the details of the situation. If you’d tried to summarise this in one ask I’d probably have gotten completely the wrong idea about the situation.

Now the way I would play this situation would probably be by skipping the torture entirely and relying solely on bribery. But you’re working with an unrealistic piece of canon so that’s probably not an option.

Because without torture I’d say that it’s perfectly realistic for a character to give away information under these circumstances. It seems as though this character wants to. He has no real ties to the people he’s protecting, he might resent them for limiting the way he lives his life and (from his perspective) he has a chance at something he wants above everything else if he betrays them.

That’s a perfect scenario if you want a character to change sides.

But torture really changes that. We know it makes people who are willing to give up information both less willing and less able to do so.

I’m going to go on a small tangent for a moment regarding giving away accurate information under duress.

We don’t really have data on accurate information obtained under torture. There are a lot of anecdotal accounts that apologists (and torturers) love to point to in order to ‘prove’ that torture ‘works’.

I found reading Rejali’s analysis of these quite interesting partly because I hadn’t realised how much torturers manipulate their data.

One particular ‘success’ story that comes to mind is a case where a young man was arrested and the police got hold of his phones and computer equipment. He was tortured and after he found out the police had his computers he gave up some useful information. Now the torturers claimed this as a ‘success’ but the key point is that all the information the victim gave away was on his computer.

The victim assumed that they’d actually checked his emails. They hadn’t. The police had wasted weeks torturing him, when they’d have found the information they wanted if they’d bothered to boot up a computer. It was a terribly botched operation with a lot of wasted time; a classic example of police departments losing basic investigation skills when they resort to torture.

But the torturers portrayed this as a success.

Depending on how the author wrote these scenes I think you could do something similar. Because torturers are extremely unreliable narrators and tend to have a very inflated idea of their importance.

If the scene is written from the victim’s point of view, or if it’s described in a detailed blow-by-blow fashion….then you probably won’t be able to use this without contradicting canon.

But if there’s a fade to black, if the scene is written from the torturer’s perspective, if the scene skips over a lot of the details- then there’s room for you to work around the author’s mistakes.

What I’d suggest is that the victim character is tortured, says nothing and the torturer goes away in a huff after attempting to bribe the victim. The victim then gives all this information to someone else who works with the torturer (it could be an interrogator who doesn’t torture, it could be a cleaner or a guard). The torturer then takes the credit because of course the victim was only willing to give up this information after being tortured.

You could then use the victim’s point of view (or indeed the person they gave the information to) to emphasise that the victim would have told these people anyway. If the people who’ve captured this character had asked nicely they’d have gotten the information more quickly.

Another possible scenario (and again this depends on how the author wrote their scenes and what exactly happened) is that the victim agreed to be tortured.

This is something that occasionally happens in conflicts- an individual with sympathies for the ‘enemy’ wants to give up information (or act as a double agent) for their own reasons. In order to protect themselves from reprisals they ask to be obviously beaten (or otherwise hurt) by their ‘enemies’. When they go home they then show off the bruises, claim they were captured, tortured and ‘forced’ to give up information.

This is a strategy double agents have used for a long time.

Either of those would be perfectly reasonable, realistic scenarios that could fit with the kind of canon you describe. Torture doesn’t obtain accurate information in them and you should be able to show that clearly in your own fiction.

Personally I like the first scenario, where the victim gives the information to someone else and the torturer takes the credit. It’s realistic, I think it’s versatile enough that it can be slotted in to canon as if it’s a deleted scene and well- fiction doesn’t really show torturers taking the credit for other people’s successes very often, which is something they do a lot in real life. Fiction also tends to assume that torturers generally tell the truth about their success rates and circumstances, when usually they don’t.

I think it’s the closest to realism the scenario you described can get and probably the best way around it.

We know torturers lie and are unreliable narrators, so assume anything from the torturer’s perspective in the canon is inaccurate and reported in a way that makes the torturer look more competent, powerful and intelligent. (As an example of how out of touch with reality torturers can be Les Centurions is a novel by a French torturer from the Franco-Algerian war in which the ‘heroic’ torturer not only saves lives by torturing accurate information out suspects but also uses torture to make a beautiful Algerian woman change sides and fall in love with him. They are honestly that deluded.)

If the victim character is willing to give up information then torture would make him less willing to do so. But worse than that is the effect on his memory, he’d be less capable of giving accurate information after torture. There’s a real life account I read a while ago with a victim who tried to give her torturers the address they wanted, but after torture she honestly couldn’t remember the address.

I strongly advise you try to work memory problems and difficulty actually remembering the relevant information into your story if you can.

Basically- most of the time canon leaves some wriggle room for interpretation, use every inch that’s there. There should be some.

If there’s no absolutely way around it: if the author gave a clear, blow by blow narrative of torture producing accurate information, well even with all the circumstances you’ve described it’s unrealistic. The best you can do in those circumstances is probably exactly what you suggested, emphasise that torture isn’t what made this a success.

The personality, beliefs and motivation of the character are what made it a successful interrogation, they got their information despite not because their interrogator tortured. It would also be reasonable to reduce as far as possible the amount of information the torturers actually got.

The final option is to ignore some of the canon and go with something more realistic. It’s the simplest solution but I get the impression from your ask, not one you’re comfortable with. I can understand that.

I hope I’ve given you a variety of solutions and one of them at least fits your story and the canon you’re working within.

Good luck. :)


happilyminiaturetastemaker  asked:

Can you please write 084 + 076 with Starmora? The numbers are from the new list. I'm such a sucker for domestic fluff and babies! And also I love your writing skills :D

76. “I could really use a foot rub right now.” // 84. “I think you might be pregnant.”

happy father’s day to the usa readers!!!! i personally think peter quill would make a p cool dad. yay!!!! ((also fuckkkkk the wifi is acting up hope i can get this up before i leave,,,,))

send me a ship + a number!!!

Gamora sighs as she sits down at the dining table, relaxing into her chair.

“Hm, was that an it’s so good to be done with this mission-sigh or an it feels insanely good to sit down right now because I’m incredibly exhausted-sigh?” Peter asks, looking at her over his shoulder as he works on dinner.

“The latter.” She closes her eyes briefly. He grabs a cup and fills it with water for her, placing it on the table in front of her, prompting her to open her eyes.

“What’s got you so tired lately?” he inquires, returning to his place by the stove. “Not that our job isn’t insanely demanding, because sometimes I feel like I literally can’t move, but nothing’s been too crazy lately. Are you feeling okay?”

“I’m fine,” she reassures him, sipping at the water. “Whatever this is, it’ll pass, soon enough.”

“Anything I can do to help?”

“Well,” she teases, “I could really use a foot rub right now.”

“Uh, you try explaining to the others why their food tastes like your feet.” He gives her a look, and she just ducks her head, trying (and failing) to hide a smile. “But I’ll see what I can do after dinner.”


Despite her words to him, Gamora’s not really sure what’s up with her lately, because the exhaustion she’s felt the past few days is dangerously close to rivaling what she felt when saving the entire galaxy—against Ronan, Ego, and Thanos, namely—with the team in the past. She hopes more than actually knows the feelings will pass, because it’s making her already tedious, busy life that much more complicated to keep up with.

She doesn’t even notice she’s nodding off in the chair before Rocket’s voice suddenly greets her.

“There you are, Gamora,” he’s saying, walking into the kitchen with his latest project.

“Huh?” She blinks quickly, trying to wake herself up before either Rocket or Peter can notice. “What do you need, Rocket?”

“Oh, nothin’,” he says casually, sitting across the table from her. He sets his tools and work-in-progress down to continue his tinkering. “I just wanted t’see how you were doin’, since you seemed kinda outta’it earlier.”

“Are you sure you’re not sick?” Peter inquires from the stove.

“I’m sure,” Gamora says. “Even if I am, it’s just minor. Nothing to worry about.”

“Hm.” Rocket studies her for a moment before returning to his work. “If ya say so.”

Rocket’s a curious character. He’d started out as somewhat of a professional asshole when they saved the galaxy the first time around, then, while maintaining his asshole-ness, developed into a more open, dependable teammate and friend. Gamora’s only direct qualm with him had been because of his decision to forcefully prevent her from going after Peter on Ego’s planet, but now, years later, they’ve moved so, so far past that.

(And, yeah, Gamora may still not agree with his decision, but it’s a miniscule anger in comparison to her overall close friendship with him.)

Anyway, Rocket’s been acting strangely lately, as her health’s been acting up. She feels as if she’s suddenly spending more time with him—not that she’s against that, she enjoys Rocket’s company—than usual. Even Peter’s noticed, pointing out how Rocket’s occasionally directly followed her, around the ship, on a mission, wherever.

Whatever it is, she doesn’t think much of it.

“What are you working on?” she asks after watching Rocket work in silence for a minute or two.

“New baby monitors, or whatever-the-hell, for you’s’two,” he answers, not even looking up. “Quill’s idea.”

“I just want to make sure we have the best surveillance possible when Mer goes down for a nap or to play by herself or whatever,” Peter explains, looking at them. “She’s a toddler, and toddlers are trouble.”

“Terrans,” Rocket grumbles, gesturing vaguely to the air beside him.

Zen-Whoberi-Terrans,” Peter corrects proudly.


They sit in a comfortable silence once again, only the sounds of Peter’s cooking and Rocket’s tinkering filling the air. Gamora finds herself struggling to stay awake again, her eyes slipping closed and head tilting slightly to the side.

A few blissful minutes pass before Rocket announces the completion of his project and leaves the room.

By then, Gamora’s given into her exhaustion, crossing her arms on the table and resting her head against them, ready for a quick nap before—

Quiet, tiny footsteps fill her ears all too quickly, followed by Mer calling out to her parents from the doorway.

“Hi, Daddy!” Mer scampers over to Peter first, hugging his legs.

“Hey, Mer-bear, be careful, the stove is hot.”

Gamora just barely manages to pull herself together in time for Mer abandoning Peter and approaching her, holding her arms up toward her. “Hi, Mommy!”

“Hi,” Gamora mumbles sleepily, exhaling softly as she pulls Mer up into her arms, setting her on her lap. She presses a kiss to Mer’s head. “How was your nap?”

“Good,” she answers, wrapping her arms around Gamora’s neck and resting her head against her chest. “Dinner?”

“Soon, kiddo,” Peter answers, turning off the stove. He turns to Gamora and Mer at the table. “Be gentle with Mommy, she’s tired.”


“I’ve been busy,” Gamora says with a shrug, laying a hand on Mer’s back. “But it’s okay, I’ll be better soon.”

Peter approaches them then. “Here, sit with me, Mer.”

Mer, as easygoing as ever, releases Gamora and turns her arms up to Peter. He picks her up, then sits in the chair beside Gamora’s, settling Mer on his lap. Wrapping his arms around her, he hugs her closely to him, prompting a giggle from her.

“Rocket’s still acting funny,” he comments, letting Mer play with his fingers. “Did you do something to make him really like you all of a sudden?”

Gamora shakes her head. “No, I’m not sure what prompted it, honestly. He’s just been more interested in whatever I’m doing lately, I guess.”

Peter laughs a little then. “His behavior kinda reminds me of when you were—“

He cuts himself off with a look of bewilderment, staring at her with wide eyes.

She stares back, unimpressed. “When I was…?”

“The fatigue!”


“Your fatigue lately, how you’re just randomly tired for no reason,” he says, gesturing to her. “And Rocket’s acting super…super protective of you! It all makes sense!”

“Peter, what—“

He quickly covers Mer’s ears, whispering harshly, “I think you might be pregnant!

Now it’s her turn to widen her eyes, her mouth hanging open as she comprehends his words. After several moments of stunned silence, she manages a “What?

(Because, as much as she’s too shocked and confused to outright admit it, Peter’s reasoning makes sense, and, oh, my god, she probably is pregnant again, what the fuck—)

“That has to be what’s happening here,” Peter says, determined. “See, back on Earth, people said animals—like Rocket, since he’s a raccoon, even though he swears he’s not, he’s a freakin’ raccoon—could sometimes sense it before people could, so they’d be more protective around the people they cared about, and, and—oh my god, you might actually be pregnant again, holy shit.”

“Daddy,” Mer protests, pushing at his hands over her ears.

“Hey, Mer-bear, can you go play with Groot for a bit? He’s in his room,” Peter says, turning her in his lap to meet her eyes. “I need to talk with Mommy real quick.”

“Okay.” He lowers her from his lap and she scampers off down the hallway.

“You…could be right,” Gamora finally admits. “It would make sense.”

“We should get this tested, like, now,” he says, somewhere between frantic and excited. “As soon as possible.”

“And if that’s what this is?” she asks, because, what the hell, they hadn’t had much of a talk yet about a second kid. It was never completely off the table, but they hadn’t planned for it, at least not specifically. This changes a lot of things, like the dynamics of their families, her ability to contribute physically to the team, the amount of time either of them can contribute anything to the team, not to mention Mer’s going to have to adjust to being one of two children.

“Well…we made it out safely after Mer surprised us,” he points out. “I mean, we’re definitely going to need some serious time to process this and actually talk about it, but I think we can handle it. You’re the one doing most of the work, though, so what do you think?”

She absentmindedly sets a hand over her flat stomach, trying to process everything.

Is she ready?

Probably not, but is anyone really ready when things like this happen?

Does she even want this?

“I think,” she says slowly, reaching a hand out under the table to grasp one of Peter’s hands, “this is good.”

“Yeah? Yeah. It’s good. Really good.” He nods along to his own words, smiling carefully. She mirrors his expression. “Yeah. Okay. Awesome. We can totally do this. Second time’s the charm. Let’s do it.”

He seals his words with a quick kiss, and, honestly, with him by her side, Gamora knows they can do this again.

send me a ship + a prompt about your ship sharing a bed!!!

anonymous asked:

So I was working on a fic, stopped about a year ago because of an issue I was having; I'm basically going through the events of the game and I don't know how to make it more interesting. I'm worried about pacing, making things go too fast or too slow, not having enough going on between fights/plot points to warrant enough time between them. I don't want to go too fast or too slow. Do you have any advice? (I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself well)

You’re explaining yourself just fine, love!  I understand this feeling >.<  I’m always hyperaware of pacing, and it can really harm my first-draft productivity!  But it’s always for the same reason for me, and knowing that reason helps me to solve the problem.

Why Your Story Feels Too Fast

There are a few different reasons a story may come off as too fast – like your characters are teleporting from scene to scene, from emotion to emotion, with no real continuity or meat in between the Big Moments.  Some common problems include:

  1. There isn’t enough plot.  When you start a draft with too vague an idea of what you’re writing, it can create a checklist effect: you look at your outline and use it as a map, but don’t have any idea what happens in between.  That’s like going on a road trip with your car windows blacked out!  You only know what’s happening when you get out of the car – not how you got there or where you’re going next.  It’s disorienting for the reader, and pretty boring.
    Solution: Look to your characters.  They’re going to be the source of all plots, because they’re the ones calling the shots and changing the story.  Develop their personalities – their pasts and their goals and their conflicts and their own individual plots.  Then work out how all these characters fit together; ask yourself why these particular characters were hand-chosen to tell this story.  Once you transform your characters into people with lives, they aren’t as easily stowed in the toybox between plot points.
  2. There’s too much plot.  I know, I’m contradicting myself, but these are both possible reasons for this racing-through-the-plot feeling.  Your story should be like a vacation – well-planned, so you don’t just sit on the couch all day, but still maintaining breathing room.  If you stuff the story with too many subplots, conflicts, backstories, romances, and character arcs, there’s no room for anything natural to take place or change the plot.
    Solution: Take stock of your plots/subplots and decide which ones you really want.  Which plots fit your story’s theme, message, and pacing?  Which plots are unique, enjoyable, and inspire empathy in readers?  Which plots are you writing because you want them, not because you feel obligated to add them in (*cough* needless love triangles *cough*)?  Which plots feel natural and realistic for your characters?  Whichever of your plots don’t fit these categories… detach from them.  Throw them into the ocean.  Change your name, dye your hair, and run to Mexico before they can catch you.  Whatever it takes.
  3. Your scenes are too short or long.  Again, two ends of the spectrum: if your scenes are too short, you may be lacking some dialogue, character-building moments, or lasting/realistic conflict.  If your scenes are too long, you may be exhausting certain plot points, winding up with such long chapters that you can’t fit the non-climactic scenes.  Both tendencies can stem from weak chapter arcs (hook, meat, resolution, and hook for the next chapter) or a lack of development/confidence in your storytelling voice.
    Solution: Take some extra time to plan your chapters out – try to develop a more-or-less uniform chapter structure.  If you find that no matter how structured your chapters are, they still come out too long or short, you may want to assess your author voice for lacking or having an excess of dialogue/description.
  4. Your fictional timeline isn’t working.  I’ve been guilty of this time and time again – planning a story spanning three months, then wanting to add in characters getting married or graduating college or taking down a dictatorship, until three months just isn’t feasible anymore.
    Solution: Decide which plot is the most important to you, and base the timeline around that. It may mean having to let some good subplots go, but in the end, a cohesive story is the more important victory.  Otherwise, your readers will get lost, and every plot will suffer.
  5. You’re unconfident in either your main plot or your filler.  If you feel uncomfortable with the plot itself, you may throw all your chapters into advancing it, because you want to prove and improve it.  If you feel uncomfortable with writing filler scenes, you may drive the plot forward in order to avoid filler.  Neither of these is a matter of personal style.  As writers, we are both the playwrights and the actors – we have to create a solid plot, and then go up on stage and add the flair and make the jokes and draw people in.  We don’t get the option of being one or the other.  We have to be both the cast and the crew, the architect and the realtor, the main course and the side dishes and the whole Thanksgiving feast.
    Solution: Get comfortable with it, as soon as possible; and that means you need to write.  Go ahead and write the plot, and write the filler, and even if you think it all sucks, keep it in there.  Write all the way through the first draft until the story is out and you’ve gotten some practice.  Then go back, use that knowledge, and rewrite/edit those awkward scenes where you didn’t know what you were doing.  Practice will make it better, I promise.

Of course, your problem may be something entirely different, so you can message me again with more information if you need!  I’ll gladly take your question :)

But I hope this did help you and anyone else struggling with this!  Thanks again, and happy writing <3

If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

anonymous asked:

Hii!! I'm not sure if you take prompts but I was just wondering if you could maybe write about Isak and Even having a really bad argument but then later talking through it and making up for it. Thank you!! ❤️❤️

a/n: my lovely anon you sent this weeks ago and i’m sorry for leaving you hanging for so long, may was a really busy month for me.

It’s not an ugly fight. There’s no yelling, no thrashing at things. It’s more of a heated argument, one that never really reaches its full crescendo, but leaves Even feeling numb and hollow either way.

Okay so, rewinding, it started with this: Isak sneaking unsure glances at him while he took more than a couple of drinks at some second-year’s party. He didn’t scowl him, he didn’t tell him to take it slow, but his worried face was there, and Even didn’t miss it.

It started with Isak wanting to say something, ask something, but backing down at the last minute.

(And that’s on Even too. Maybe he should’ve asked what was up instead of letting it go, but he’d had a vague idea of what was it though, and maybe that’s a reason why he hadn’t been able to bring himself to talk.

Because here goes a fact: the hotel incident is something they’ve pretty much avoided. Isak, because he surely didn’t know how to bring it up, or if there was even a need to; and Even, well, because he didn’t see why they would need to.

And that? That’s also on the two of them).

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

a walking dead au with Sam and Dean? The two of them hiding out in an abandoned house or barn, and maybe with some "let's forget about the world ending for a second" kisses?

Dean is humming, soft and quiet. The tune is familiar, something mom used to sing when they were young—the headlights were bright, but soon the sun came through the trees. His fingers are in Sam’s hair, soothing through the tangled strands and scratching at his scalp, easing him gently back to wakefulness.

Sam struggles to open his eyes. They feel heavy, tacky and itchy like they’re glued shut. The air is close and stifling. Sam can feel sweat sticky on his neck, in the hollow of his throat. He tries to wet his lips to speak but his tongue is swollen and dry in his mouth and the most he can manage is a weak, stuttering cough.

“Hey.” Dean’s voice comes low and pleased, and then those fingers are wiping away the grit in Sam’s eyes, supporting his neck and bringing a glass of water to his lips. “Take it slow, Sammy.”

It’s then that Sam realizes he’s parched. He gulps the tepid water greedily, but Dean takes the glass away after what feels like only a few sips. Despite Sam’s efforts to chase it, his head drops back against the thin pillow without Dean’s support, neck lolling uselessly.

When Sam finally manages to get his eyes open, he finds himself staring up at the aged wooden slats of the barn ceiling, the billion dust motes shimmering in the still air. And Dean, hovering pale and drawn and worried above him, eyes rimmed with red.

Keep reading

ᴀ ᴅᴇᴍʏx/ᴢᴇxɪᴏɴ ғɪᴄ ʀᴇᴄ

Because obviously all the best ideas come before 8am, I decided to be brave and open fanfiction.net again to look for all my old favourite fics. I have no idea if these are as good as I remember or if memories simply grow sweeter with time.

The bolded ones are my absolute favourites. Also, if you have triggers I suggest you read with caution; it’s been years and honestly I can’t remember. Some of them include stuff like noncon/dubcon, gore, character death, mentions self-harm and suicide, abuse and violence. Hello I am trash.

Anyway, fics:

The Violet Room
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 13/?
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: drama, romance

While working a psychology internship, Myde is given the challenge of analyzing Ienzo, a mysterious patient who spends his days writing on the walls of his hospital room. But when the story of ‘Zexion’ and 'Demyx’ starts to sound familiar…

Lost and Found
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 9/9
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance

I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry, Demyx. I’m a joke, a fraud, a phony. I don’t know how it all happened; I hadn’t meant for it to. I found a notebook on the bus, I read it, I became hopelessly obsessed. It wasn’t something I’d meant to go so far.

Silence is Golden
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 9/9
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance

When Demyx goes to college, he wants to learn and get his degree. He doesn’t want to have a roommate who refuses to speak, a drifter who decides to live in his room, or fall in love. Too bad what Demyx wants is not what Demyx gets.

Tainted But Beautiful
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 32/32
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: supernatural, romance

Axel is a powerful vampire slayer who’s captured Zexion, a vampire, as his pet. What Axel doesn’t bargain on is Demyx, his former student, developing a strong attraction to Zexion…

*I’m pretty sure this one has almost every trigger warning mentioned above.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 1/1
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: humor, romance

After a slightly traumatising encounter, Demyx fears his gaydar to be broken. So he comes up with a new way of identifying gay people. By selling perfume.

The Laws of Motion
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 3/3
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: humor, romance

Demyx is all about graduating without ever stepping foot inside the band room, but that’s out the window faster than you can say “HUT” when he sees that gray-haired drummer. It may be social suicide, but it’s also the boy of his dreams.

Razorblade Shine
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 18/18
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance, hurt/comfort

After Zexion’s brother dies, Demyx is what little consolation he has left.

*self-harm tw

Dear Diary
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 1/1
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: friendship, romance

I started my blog in sophomore year of high school. During the three years that I actively wrote, only one person ever commented on my posts. I fell in love with this formless, anonymous individual. I'm such a fool.

Keys and Kissing
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 22/22
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: mystery, romance

Demyx is your average rookie detective, hoping to make a difference, but what happens when a new murderer emerges and Twilight Town’s only hope lies within the hands of a convicted killer? 

You’re My Guitar Hero, Sort Of
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 8/8
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance, hurt/comfort

Demyx is the resident bully and Zexion is your typical teenager being bullied…sorta. When Zexion is given a chance to escape it all, does he take it?

D says Z says
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 7/7
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: friendship, romance

They met in the most unlikely of places. YouTube. A comment left, a friendship started…But will they ever meet?

Trains and Sewing Machines
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 21/21
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance, tragedy

Somewhere in the distance, a train blew its whistle. He made the puppets dance. When you’re dying, hope is all that’s left.

Pants 'R’ Us
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 1/1
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: humor, romance

Demyx, an up-and-coming rock star, has tons of adoring fans. But he doesn’t seem to care about his personal safety, so his best friends Axel and Roxas decide to put a stop to Demyx’s carefree attitude towards his fans. By hiring a…stalker?

It Started With A Deceased Fish
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 1/1
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance

Zexion is bored at work one day when his most regular customer comes in looking for a coffin…for a fish! Will he be able to comfort Demyx after the loss?

Journey To Water’s Edge
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 2/2
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: drama, fantasy

Prince Zexion must travel to a lost water temple in order to end the worse drought the kingdom has ever seen. Along the way, he learns a lot about the minstrel who is his guide, but more about himself.

Well, You Know
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 1/1
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance

In which Zexion represses a lot and Demyx is vaguely suggestive. And then there is much in the way of cliched stupidity.

One Day More
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 5/5
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: T
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: drama, romance

In a school where secretaries are whores, principals try to molest students, excited blonds are incapable of coming out of the closet, and the counselor is kissing the choir teacher… who knew the fall musical would be a success?

*that summary… leaves a lot to be desired. idk like i said i haven’t read these in years.

Wonderwall / the rewritten version
ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs: 18/18 / 13/13
ʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ: M
ɢᴇɴʀᴇs: romance, adventure / romance, drama

The Org has taken over the Islands and the only way for Axel, Roxas, Sora and Riku to take them down is by making Demyx befriend #6. Demyx isn’t too jolly about being the key…

Darkness is only the absence of light. For Zexion, Number Six in the Organization, there is no light until he meets the eccentric music store owner, Demyx. But is Demyx the key to unraveling the Organization’s control over the Islands? And can the agents of the Lustitia keep him safe long enough for him to save Zexion?

*heavy breathing because i had no idea there was a new version bYE

anonymous asked:

Oh my goodness I was so shocked to hear about the Cassandra Clare plagiarism thing, I've only just started reading her books. The mortal instruments characters are supposed to be parallels of the Harry Potter characters, from what I gather, but I can't really find many similarities? Please explain. It's awful that she plagiarized for her fanfic but could you pretty please explain how it connects to her published work because I'm really confused and would like to know the truth before reading mor

All righty i’m off mobile and back on my laptop so here goes. Like I’ve said in some tags, please don’t feel like you can’t enjoy her works! It’s just good to know their origins.

Here’s some posts about the current law suit against her, which alleges that her entire Shadowhunters premise and the main cast of characters have been stolen from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series:

  • A post that includes links to the full court document, which outlines in detail every aspect Kenyon alleges Clare stole from her series. The ‘similarities’ fill up close to thirteen pages and are far too close to be just coincidence. I highly recommend at least skimming the whole document, so you can see them for yourself. They’re outlined pretty clearly by being put side by side.

  • This post which discusses what the outcome of the lawsuit could be.

  • The post that broke the news, and which includes this gem of a line: “The Dark-Hunter Series and the Shadowhunter Series are so similar that CLARE’S own publisher mistakenly printed 100,000 copies of a Shadowhunter Book referencing the DarkHunter Mark on the cover.”

And now we delve in to the dark days of the Harry Potter fandom, where Clare’s fame began, and where she was first called out for plagiarism:

  • An introductory summary from fanlore.org: “The Draco Trilogy was posted in instalments over a period of six years (2000-2006). In each instalment, Cassie deliberately inserted unattributed quotes from various science fiction television shows and may have expected her readers to identify them, but many readers were not aware that the quotes were not her writing. Not everyone thought that this practice was ethical. Matters came to a head in 2001 when Avocado [a reader] identified extensive sequences of action, description and dialogue from Draco Sinister, Chapter 9, as having been lifted from The Hidden Land, an out-of-print fantasy novel by Pamela Dean. Cassie was subsequently banned from Fanfiction.net for plagiarism.”

  • This link has a full rundown of the paragraphs and lines Clare stole from Dean. it’s about as damning as the court document issued by Kenyon.

  • @alli6​ has written an absolutely glorious post which sums up the plagiarism and the consequent cyber-bullying.
    This paragraph of hers excellently conveys my thoughts on the issue: “The problem with the TMI series isn’t that it’s based on a fanfic, but that it’s based on a fanfic that was about 90% plagiarized. CC was hailed for all her clever dialogue and how original she was with The Draco Trilogy. The problem was that all those witty one-liners probably came from someone else. She would give really vague disclaimers that led the reader to believe that most of the writing was original with just an idea borrowed or one line used when in reality it was entire paragraphs and entire conversations that were being copied with either no or very little change to the original source.”

  • You’re right in saying that similarities between the TMI characters and the HP characters are hard to see, and that’s because Clare travelled so far from the source material in her fanfic. 
    This is explained well by The Draco Trilogy tvtropes page: “It used many of the same tropes found in The Mortal Instruments, and deviated wildly from Harry Potter canon because it was begun before the fifth book was released.” “Notable for beginning the Draco in Leather Pants phenomenon, the story took Harry’s rival Draco Malfoy and turned him into a sarcastic, leather-clad Anti-Hero”

  • From the fanlore article on Cassandra Claire (her fandom alias): “Clary and Jace are based on Claire’s fanon versions of Ginny and Draco. Additionally, one passage from Draco Veritas, which tells the story of Draco’s pet falcon, appears word-for-word in City of Bones; the only differences are minor punctuation changes and the amendment of “Draco” to “the boy” (now referring to Jace).”
    Anyone who’s read TMI knows how important that scene is in regards to Jace’s background and character development; the fact that it’s lifted straight from Draco’s story speaks volumes to the fact that the characters are essentially one and the same.

  • A stack of reviews on the City of Bones Goodreads page testify to the similarities between Clare’s versions of the HP characters and the cast of TMI:
    “But here’s the problem. Jace is really just Draco from DT [Draco Trilogy]. Simon is really just Ron and Harry amalgamated into one. Clary is really just Ginny. The bad guys seems too much like good ol'Voldie. The plot is painfully similar to DT. It was like reading her old work all over again. And I think, because she was really just redressing her old characters, she didn’t even both to give them any growth in this story.”
    “It is painfully obvious that your dopey red-haired ingenue and snarky blond asshole were essentially Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy in Original Character clothing. Ditto Simon being a hybrid of Harry/Ron and maybe Isabelle being a slutty Hermione. But wait, you didn’t stop there! Hodge is Lupin/Peter Pettigrew 2.0 and Luke is better known by his other name, Sirius Black, and I am not entirely sure why you didn’t just call Valentine by his true name - Voldemort. And seriously, though, why not just call the Mortal Instruments by their true name - the Deathly Hallows? But wait, it gets better”
    “She borrowed so heavily from Buffy, Harry Potter, and Star Wars that it sticks out like a sore thumb. It reads like altered fan fiction. And I love fan fiction, make no mistake, but it’s not attempting to make a buck off someone else’s world, either. Which is essentially what the book is. Cobbled fan fiction that has no cohesion.”

  • If you’d like to read The Draco Trilogy and see the similarities for yourself, you can find the three fics here, here and here.

A disclaimer:

I don’t have an issue with the fact that Clare took a successful fanfic and turned it into a novel. I’m all for fanfic writers having their talents recognised and getting published!!

And in the spirit of full disclosure: if my novel ever gets published, some of you will notice that it includes scenes and dialogue that also feature in my Skateboards and Snapbacks fic. But the difference is that all of that writing - the scenes, the dialogue, the small character interactions - came from my own imagination.

Clare’s dialogue and scenes were plagiarised, and that’s the issue. She branched so far from HP canon that it’s almost unrecognisable, but in the process she stole lines and scenes from other sources, and it’s those aspects that are still present in The Mortal Instruments, works which she is profiting from. That’s the core of the problem.


The characters of The Mortal Instruments have their origins in Clare’s old Harry Potter fanfiction. Jace, particularly, is her sympathetic anti-hero version of Draco, as evidenced by his backstory and some dialogue being transplanted line for line from the fic into the published book. (This would be fine, in and of itself, if that fanfic didn’t consist of dialogue and individual scenes that were plagiarised from sources like Pamela Dean novels and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

And the plot and character relationships are so similar to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series that the parallels are enough to fill a thirteen page court document.

So really, there’s nothing all that original about Clare’s Shadowhunters universe at all. 

bubbleteamp3  asked:

Hey, I want to become a Wiccan and I'm not sure how to start. How do I get a BOS? Do I have to make it or can I buy one? How do I make an altar? How do I do a dedication ritual? Do I wear a pentagram? Thank you so much

Hi lovely!

Wicca is, first and foremost, your journey. Nobody else can take it for you, but that also means that nobody else can, at the end of the day, really criticise much about how you do things. Everyone practices differently, and everyone’s path takes them by a different way, but the destination is the same, which is connection to the gods and connection to oneself. It’s completely OK to be unsure of your destination, or to be unsure you will get there - however, if you know that this is not why you wish to enter Wicca then perhaps you should reconsider. Secular witchcraft has many of the same features of Wicca’s magickal practice, but it doesn’t have the religious aspect to it.

However! I’m sure you’ve already been through that, so I’ll move along!

Book of Shadows

Book of Shadows, also known as a BoS, is a very common tool for Wiccans. It’s rather like a Wiccan’s diary, and contains in it any aspects of their practice or ritual or even life that they think is relevant or that they’d quite like to put in it. I’ve

already written about it in more depth here

, but I’ll summarise it here too:

  1. Handmaking a BoS is fine. So is buying it, because at the end of the day it’s YOUR choice what you do. If you’re crap at making things, don’t make a shoddy product because you have some vague sense of duty.
  2. Use a loose-leaf binder, you have no idea how useful this is.
  3. Decorate it in a way that is meaningful to you, don’t decorate it with skulls and black just because you think that’s “witchy”. If you like skulls and black though, go ahead.
  4. Coven books should not be the high priest/esses personal book. It just makes things confusing when they leave.
  5. A book of shadows isn’t some kind of rule. You don’t even have to have one.
  6. It’s acceptable to write your BoS in some flowing, runic script… provided you can actually read it. You have no idea how many people I’ve seen going “I wrote my BoS in Elvish, and now I can’t read a damn word”. 

As for obtaining one, I went down to OfficeWorks, found a loose-leaf binder with a white cover, bought 500 sheets of loose-leaf paper, and went home. Then I doodled on it with pencil, and filled it in with permanent marker. I don’t use it much, since my brain holds almost all of my witchy stuff, but it’s good for sigils and herbalism. 


Another one that often stumps beginner Wiccans (so don’t feel bad about it, you’re asking the same questions as everyone else at this point) is the altar.

What is an altar? How do I make one? Do I need one? How can a hidden witch or a witch living with unaccepting people make an altar and keep it safe?

These are all really involved questions, and I may simply make a big post about it pretty soon in order to answer all these common questions. However, I’ll write a quick summary here and then later post a big, big thing about altars to clarify more fully.

What is an altar?
First of all, an altar is many things but at its core it is a sacred space in which you practice and are most connected to the Gods. It is usually tied to a physical object, but this is not always the case - I myself have been working with converting my herb garden into a big, walk-in altar space, in addition to my small altar in the house. 

One can have as many altars as they feel they require, though I do recommend that if you don’t USE that altar very often, you consider not making it an altar or closing the circle for good. This is because unused altars are a bit like unused houses, because they provide ready-made shelter for lots of smaller creatures, not all of which are beneficial. Unused houses attract black widows and snakes; unused altars attracted negative spirits. Though, bear in mind that like black widows and snakes, negative spirits are not evil, they’re just not good for humans. They’re still a necessary part of the magickal world. 

So really, an altar space (not spelt “alter”!) is just an area that you have made magickal and sacred through your use and dedication of it to a specific goal. Objects on the altar can be important to your practice, but they are not important to the altar space itself because this is just “sacred ground”.

What about the objects and the altar table though?
Whilst an altar space is simply sacred ground, the altar itself can feature a number of objects, both decorative and functional. The most common functional objects are the athame, the chalice, and the offering dish - the athame being a ceremonial knife, the chalice being a ceremonial cup, and the offering dish being something on which to place offerings to the Gods or the spirits. 

What objects you use are entirely up to you. For the sake of keeping it short, I won’t go into them, but some people want only a simple altar with a few crystals and a knife and a bowl, and others want expansive altars with real deer antlers and black velvet for a cloth and 5 sizes of candle with a full size God and Goddess statue or whatever. Both kinds of altar are completely fine, because an altar is what matters to YOU, not what matters to someone else. My most used altar is simply a ceramic bowl, filled with a few small ritual items and a pentagram necklace, which is only a few inches across and allows me to have an altar wherever I go. 

What about altars for hidden witches?
In this case, I recommend an altar that is not an altar. I recommend you find a shoebox or something similar, and simply place within it all the elements of your practice that you cannot do without. A letter opener for an athame, a mug for a chalice. Small, innocent things that appear to simply be random objects. Don’t use pentagrams or skulls - they’re not necessary parts of your craft, and they’re indisputably witchy. To be fair, NO physical objects are “really” necessary, because at the end of the day it’s our will and our minds that truly matter. However, it can be hard to practice without at least a few objects. Perhaps a candle too, a box of matches, and underneath it a tea-towel or an old bit of cloth, to act as your altar cloth. An altar is what YOU make of it, after all. 


Ah yes, that most quintessentially witchy object of them all, the pentagram (or more accurately, the pentacle). A pentagram is any five-pointed star, a pentacle is a five-pointed star encapsulated by a circle that touches all 5 points.

This object is really common in Western witchcraft, and many Wiccans claim it as being a Wiccan symbol. However, it’s no more Wiccan than it is any other form of practice. The pentagram represents the 5 elements, which are spirit (the top point) and the other points are fire, water, earth, and air. 

Many Wiccans wear pentacles as necklaces or bracelets, but this isn’t mandatory! I carry one in my bag, but I don’t wear it or even bring it out that often. I just feel better for having it, you know? If you think wearing one is right for you, go ahead <3 It doesn’t make you less of a witch NOT to do so.


A dedication is a personal choice to “dedicate” oneself via a special ritual (often one related to coven practice, but many solitaries also self-dedicate) to a deity or to a group of deities. I am dedicated to the Goddess, because I was called to serve Her, but since this is not a Wiccan-exclusive thing many people are dedicated to all manner of deities or pantheons. 

I recommend you decide for yourself whether you wish to dedicate your worship and study to a specific deity/pantheon, and then if the answer is yes do some research. Find out what the historical dedication has been - I used a dedication to Artemis which I identified from a Greek text, and then I performed a similar Celtic one to honour my Celtic heritage. 

It’s up to you to whom you dedicate and how you do it. Covens may require you to be dedicated to a specific deity in order to join, but if you are not ready for that then don’t allow yourself to be pressured into it. It’s a big decision! You CAN practice Wicca without dedicating yourself to anyone, it’s completely OK!


I hope this helps anyone who needs it!

– Juniper

on the subject of the blue lion paladin’s specific traits

ok so i need to know what lance’s traits in relation to his lion are. allura explained why everyone else had their respective lions but because lance made that joke we never found out his?? and i need to know because obviously there was a reason

and though i could definitely be wrong, i think i might have a vague idea

to start off, lance wasn’t too fazed at the idea of piloting the lion, and the fun he has piloting his lion is much more visible for him than any of the other paladins. 

take a look at paladins in the opening sequence, for example:

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anonymous asked:

I'm doubtful of Half Galran Keith because of Lotor. Lotor was Zarkon's Half Drule(Galran), Half Arusian(Altean) son from the original, who appears in all other continuities? I don't see the series having two unrelated Half Galrans, unless Keith is Lotor's brother, or IS the series versions of Lotor. Lotor is a major character who appears in all versions of the series in a major role, he's like the shredder of Voltron, you can't have Voltron without Lotor. He's confirmed for VLD.

A plot element in Golion was Daibazaal(Zarkon equivalent) enslaved a woman from Altea as his concubine, having Sincline(equivalent to Lotor) with her, when she pleaded for him to pardon some women & kid slaves, Daibazaal killed her. Sincline had no memory of his mother aside from vague dreams, but it was implied his attraction to Fala(JP Allura) was somehow rooted in her resemblance to his mom. This was cut in Voltron due to cultural differences between US & Japan on acceptable entertainment.

Though fandom often compare Galrans to cats, this isn’t the case in Golion, DOTU, or VLD. While Sendak has fur, & pointed ears, this doesn’t apply to many other Galrans who display features like Horns, scales, ridges, & such, even in VLD. Sendak/Sadak’s character model also compares his ears to a bat. It seems Galrans have traits based off of animals, people consider creepy, or are culturally associated with"Evil.“

Golion’s artists probably just thought, Daibazaal(Zarkon) needs to look powerful & resilient, so we’ll give him reptilian traits. Sendak is savage, & alert, so lets give him fur, & batlike ears. Many other galrans have different features as well. Speaking of Sendak, his name was spelled Sadak in the Golion subs, & the Voltron dub called him Yurak. He looks almost exactly the same in VLD as his original version, only differing in his robotic arm being bigger, & more prominent in VLD.

This is very informative, and there’s a lot to unpack here, so I guess I’ll just go in order. (I’m assuming these were meant to go together, even with the lack of numbering in the asks.)

This gets kinda long, but read more on mobile is busted, so I had to take it out. (Spoilers Ahead)

1. Regarding Keith as sibling of or as VLD’s Lotor.

While there’s been no official confirmation (that I’ve seen, link it to me if you’ve got a source) of Lotor as an independent character in VLD, he is likely to appear in some form or fashion. I’ve briefly touched on that here, but I’m up for going a bit deeper. 

Keith very well could be this series’ incarnation of Lotor. 

Visually, they’re somewhat similar, but that’s not much of a basis for theory. It mostly just says they’re both pretty, in very similar ways. However, they both share the characteristic anger and the tendencies to go into rage. Keith is also the only Paladin to fight with a sword, a favored weapon of the Galra, and Lotor in particular in the original series. They’re also both prodigies, Lotor militarily, and Keith as a pilot. 

Keith’s parentage is very open, his bio only stating he’s an orphan, and even then not detailing anything else about the missing/late parents. It wouldn’t take much manipulation at all to make it fit within the bounds set by the past Lotor’s parentage. 

I would also like to see what the writers could do with Keith as Lotor’s brother (half, adopted, full, whatever the case may be).

Family has been a huge theme in VLD, and Keith’s hasn’t even been touched on. Separating the team gives the writers a lot of room to work with. I’ve said before that Lotor could be invaluable with ‘helping’ Keith with his possible Galran identity, and could use this to later undermine his ties with the team or betray them. 

There’s just so much potential, that, speaking from a writer’s perspective, I don’t see why Lotor’s existence would diminish the possibility for Galra Keith. Even if they’re not directly related, who’s to say that Lotor wouldn’t use their similarities to his advantage. 

Another thing to consider is that not everything perfectly mirrors past shows, this is a reboot and the writers can twist and combine and remake characters as they please. They’ve already made significant changes, such as with Pidge, as well as the Black Lion and its Paladin(s). 

2. Comparing Galra to cats.

I agree that the fandom does fixate on this, which, while cute, does disappoint me slightly. My initial idea of what Galra Keith would look like was very close to Lotor (though I didn’t know who he was at the time) just with dark purple fur colored hair. The cat idea sprung up likely because it’s cute, and it’s similar to the appearance of who could be Keith’s potential father, Thace: 

For variety’s sake, here are some other Galra commanders, including Sendak, Prorok, the ‘weakness’ commander, and the squad that Zarkon calls on in the final confrontation. 

From the side, Sendak looks like a particularly fluffy mouse or chinchilla (which aren’t too different from bats), while the other commanders look like owls, apes, cats, and some sort of fish people. Zarkon in particular, is indeed very reptilian. 

I give props to the design team for making them diverse within their own species, and it raises a whole horde of questions about how the Galran race works. 

Design-wise, they are meant to look ‘evil’, hence the dark coloring, creepy glowing eyes, etc., but that doesn’t mean all of the Galra are inherently evil. Writers tend to explore the grey areas of dark societies, which I have little doubt VLD will at one point address, or has already begun to address with Thace’s actions in the final episode. Writing off characters as villainous just because of where they come from is boring and old-school. Relating to the ‘evil’ characters, like this dude:

opens up more room to world-build and explore redemption possibilities. Particularly, if Keith does end up being part Galra, the door flies wide open to look more closely at this. 

Paper-Thin Disguise — Eisuke Ichinomiya (Chapter 4)

Chapters 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Summary: Denial clearly didn’t suit him anymore, so he stopped.

Genre: Romance, Fluff

Pairing:  MC/Eisuke

a/n: This took way too long ughgughughughugh. Here we are for the latest chapter update of shoujo protagonist Eisuke haha

@prettyladyxbird @mareecesnpieces @aiyunique @mrszala @tsundere-eevee @zyglavisss @sherlynteoh @otomejesus @carinecaldre69 @humorcomchantilly  @otakisakis @celebranehelyanwe @themysticaldaydreamer @otomefromtheheart @lifestyle-of-an-otaku @scorpybaby @singer-azura Here you guys, go :^D

               Eisuke barely got a wink of sleep that night.

               He couldn’t stop his mind from imagining the worst-case scenarios. She was sick, possibly writhing in pure agony all alone, and he was nowhere near her. Despite his esteemed position, he wasn’t free to do whatever he wanted. Damn social protocols.

              At the very least, Kenzaki had given her the goods. He was able to help her, if only a little bit—

               For a moment, he laughed at his own unexpected concern for her. He already knew there was something brewing within him, but he didn’t think he was already this far gone.  Strangely enough, what bothered him the most about the whole thing was the fact that he wasn’t bothered at all.

               Looks like medicine won’t cure whatever the hell’s going on with me…

               “Huh, that’s strange. I don’t see Koro here today,” Ota curiously piped up, expecting his usual penthouse accommodation from her.

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bridgit  asked:

I've been thinking about this ever since the IKEA piece but I'm a lazy crap to write it. Maybe you'll have more fun with this? How would things play out if Sousuke's s/o surprised him with "if lost return to ..." And "I am ..." Shirts as a light joke? Also, great job on the blog! You're the best 😘

no but wait i found this post and does anyone know what MBTI type Sousuke is because reasons

Sousuke’s little habit had become an inconvenient daily occurrence. If you could even call it a habit… Did getting lost constantly, without fail, count as a habit? At this point, it didn’t really matter. Ok, so maybe bringing Sousuke to IKEA, of all places, was a mistake, but you’d taken literally every single precaution to ensure he’d just stay in one damn spot. It wasn’t your fault he completely ignored you, and, ultimately, ended up getting dragged back to reception with his tail between his legs.

It was only after that incident that you had an idea. You needed some way to keep a track of Sousuke, and supposed that fitting him with a tracking device might be a little too problematic. He refused to speak to you for the evening when you jokingly suggested getting him a collar with a name tag and address on, and the suggestion of a tattoo didn’t go down all that well either. Everything you suggested was in good humour, of course, but the only half-decent idea you managed to come up with was purchasing a portable phone charger - and for that matter, how on earth did his phone always run out of battery when he was lost?

A few nights after the episode at IKEA, snuggled under the warm quilts and blankets of your bed, waiting for Sousuke to finish showering, you waded through the dregs of the internet, mindlessly flicking through numerous products marketed to the masses. It was something that occupied the time, at least, and, occasionally, you’d find something vaguely amusing. Last time, it had been a giant hamster ball, crafted with the intention of being able to “walk on water”… Sousuke hadn’t exactly approved of the idea. Chuckling at the memory, you briefly wondered if, in your own way, you’d be lost without Sousuke by your side.

Stretching out on the bed and yawning, you couldn’t help but be thankful when the noise of the shower quietened - it had been quite a long day, after all, and cuddling up with Sousuke was the best way to wind down. Just as you were about to put your phone aside for the evening, a pair of t-shirts caught your eye. The subsection of ‘Couple’s T-shirts’ was always something you pointedly avoided, but these… It was all you could do to not burst into laughter upon seeing them - they were perfect!

The adjoining door to the bathroom creaking open, you hastily made the purchase before Sousuke could see what you were doing. This would be a rather amusing surprise.

“Hey, ____. There’s a package for you.” Sousuke didn’t give you much warning before he chucked the object towards you on the sofa, and, unable to react in time, it hit you square in the chest.

“Y'know, if this was priceless china, or, I don’t know, the crown jewels, you would be entirely responsible for it getting all smashed up.”

“Yeah, but it’s not.” Huffing at his reply, you stashed the package besides you, waiting for the opportune moment to reveal your surprise. “What is it, anyway?”

“Nothing.” Probably not the best reply, really, but you figured he was going to find out sooner or later.

“Oh?” His head perked up, gaze lingering on you for a while from where he sat in the kitchen. “Now I’m curious, ____…”

The grin on his face told you that there’d likely be no escape from this now; when Sousuke wanted to find out what you were doing, he could be incredibly persuasive. Even now, the mischievous glint in his eyes told you that he wasn’t going to be patient with you. Feeling your eyebrow twitch, you sighed, gesturing for him to join you on the sofa.

“Fine, fine. C'mere, I’ll show you.“ 

Pushing himself off the kitchen counter, Sousuke swiftly made his way over to where you were lounging on the sofa, pushing your legs out of the way so that he could make room next to you. Tearing into the wrapping, you made a point of hiding moving it about so that the excess material blocked Sousuke’s view, allowing you to get the first look at your new t-shirts. Upon glimpsing the material, you realised that you may have made a rather hilarious mistake - after all, you had been in a rush to buy them… 

“Don’t ask, just put this on.” You thrust the appropriate shirt in Sousuke’s face, and when he realised what it read, he raised an eyebrow. 


“Just do it!“ 

Shedding your own top, you shimmied into the new one, surprised to find that it fit perfectly. Looking over at your boyfriend, however, you realised that this wasn’t quite the case. Looks like you had made a mistake. 

“It’s a little small…” He grumbled, and, sure enough, as if the text on the shirt wasn’t comical enough on its own, the fabric was stretched tight across his muscular chest. You were shaking with the effort to hold in your laughter, by this point, the disgruntled look on his face only contributing to the hilarity of the situation - he was outright glaring at you, and honestly, if you didn’t know him better, it might have scared you a little. 

“I am not wearing this.” You could tell that behind the thunderous glare and harsh words, Sousuke was making an attempt to stifle his own laughter, the corners of his mouth twitching slightly as he glanced down at your matching t-shirt. “You’re the worst, ____…" 

You really couldn’t hold in your laughter anymore, doubled over in hysterics as Sousuke chuckled at you. Honestly, he couldn’t bring himself to be angry when you were getting such a kick out of it, and, looking down at himself, he really did look priceless. The shirts themselves weren’t awful, he guessed - not that he’d be telling you that any time soon. He definitely wouldn’t wear this one out in public, but… Maybe if you got a larger size… He might just consider it.

cadenlovesbands-deactivated2016  asked:

What do you recommend when writing a scene with a character that's very analytical, something like a modern day Sherlock Holmes. A character that loves both mind games and fighting and mixes them together is a dangerous character to deal with but it's an interesting concept though I'm not sure how to get a scene going without being either to descriptive or to vague. Any ideas on how to do so?

Specificity is key.

The ability to think from entirely logical and reason driven perspective, relying only on observations made about your opponent and the environment, empirical data and authoritative knowledge. In this sense, intuitive knowledge drawn from your beliefs, faith, or intuition fall secondary to logic and hard facts during the decision making process.

You also need to know your shit.

The trick to writing a Sherlock Holmes is, in large part, being a Sherlock Holmes. Not in the sense that you yourself are a highly intelligent individual (you may be, you may not), but in that you are accumulating vast stores of seemingly random information. Some may seem useful, some may not. The good news is that this is a large part of what you should be doing already as a writer. Constantly learning, constantly developing, constantly seeking out new kinds of information to aid you in your quest to tell the best stories you possibly can. Whether that’s learning about forensics, going to the gun range and studying different kinds of firearms, accumulating massive medical textbooks, developing a grasp of a multitude of poisons, learning how to break out of handcuffs, or simply picking the brain of a local martial arts instructor or ex-Navy Seal.

The issue with writing a convincing Holmsian character is that one must be precise. In order to precise, one must know. Knowing requires advanced knowledge, knowledge you may not yet have access to. In terms of combat, advanced knowledge that is difficult to come by (though in the advent of the Internet far less so than it used to be).

Be efficient.

These two fight sequences from the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes are excellent examples to get you started.

From the opening.

The boxing matchAlso with subtitles.

The reason why I suggest these (more so from the first movie than any of the others) is because it’s exactly what I’m talking about. Holmes makes observations and suppositions about his opponent both in terms of their physical condition, mental outlook, and emotional state, then acts on those in a exceedingly specific way utilizing a greater understanding of the human body and medical knowledge, he tells the audience what he believes the results will be both for short term and long term recovery, he tells us why he is doing this very specific thing and what this attacks purpose is then how it leads to create openings for the followup X, Y, and Z.

He understands precisely what he is doing to the other person, and so we understand that he knows what he’s doing. In doing so, he takes the blame for it and is not shunting blame off to anyone else.

Understand, the more a character knows then the more responsibility they take for their actions. This is true for people in real life too. The more you know, the more capable you are at hurting someone else, then the more responsibility one has morally, ethically, and legally not to go too far.

Mind Games versus Baiting

Mind Games

A character who loves mind games is usually a character in love with their own cleverness or the author is in love with theirs. That or they’re a sadist. The issue with mind games primarily in a combat context is that they’re cruel. The more damning for the analytical character is that it involves provoking an opponent to do something, challenging them to be inventive and creative, which means they will act in a way that the analytical fighter does not expect and did not plan for.

There is no way to account for all possibilities or prepare for them. If you are writing a character who is purely driven by logic then they will not up their own chances of failure for what will most likely be a very minor soothing of their own ego.

The truly confident do not need their opponent to know how clever they are because they know already. The one who lords their intellectual superiority over someone else by actively antagonizing those they know to be inferior is a bully. Too often characters of this type fall into the latter category, especially when they are engaging in mind games.

The key term here to understand is “game”. If your character is thinking about combat and the act of harming others as a game then, no matter how skilled they or their author think they are, they are not a very good combatant. (Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a game and having fun. A character can approach the killing of someone else as a fun activity that they enjoy while still taking the act itself very seriously. The term “game” denotes the act of killing or harming someone as a safe and consequence free environment where one is able to play. Part of where game becomes sinister in the context of violence is that it dehumanizes the victims into toys. Objects. Mind games are ultimately about dehumanizing other people, turning them into vessels for your amusement.)

The Sherlock Holmes of the Arthur Conan Doyle short stories had a brusque and abrupt manner because he rejected Victorian social niceties/polite society behavior as unimportant. He saw no point in engaging with those who did not intellectually interest him. By and large, Sherlock Holmes was not a bully. His brusque attitude was off-putting because, again, he was not engaging in cultural niceties. He also wasn’t cruel. He never forgot his humanity or that he was dealing with real people and real feelings. He simply refused to let rigid social stratification define who it was acceptable for him to care about. He was rude but he didn’t fuck with people, and there is a difference between A and B.


Though they may seem like the same thing, baiting is different from playing mind games. The primary reason being that you’re not playing. Mind games are prodding the bull to see what it’ll do or how far you can go before you get some kind of reaction. Baiting is performing a very specific action in order to engage a very specific kind of response from your opponent.

Baiting is about control. It’s also, usually a single action.

Think about it this way: in fishing, you need different kinds of bait to attract different kinds of fish. If you provide the wrong bait or a poorly made lure then the fish won’t go for it. You want your fish to bite so you can get them on the line and reel them in. What you are doing when you bait a person is setting a trap.

Like with fish, baiting a human requires that the person baiting understands the other person. It’s predictive. “If I do this, then they’ll do that.”

For example, your character could make a crack about another character’s mother in order to offend them and then get them to lunge blindly out of anger. This will only work if that character is the kind of person who responds to that kind of bait and are not aware enough of their surroundings to see the basic trap for what it is. You see this all the time in movies. The mistake many writers and authors make is the assumption that because it works successfully on one kind of person that it will work on everyone. It will not.

When writing any kind of Holsmian/analytical character, your workload will double because the character must tailor each approach to the other characters they’re facing, even more so than a character who is less aware of their environment and their surroundings. There is no “general approach”, every approach is unique because every individual is unique and require different weaknesses be exploited.

In Summary:

You are writing a character who is on the cutting edge, who is highly knowledgeable about a great many things. One of the reasons why Conan Doyle used a Watson as his viewpoint character rather than a Holmes was so he wouldn’t have to do the extra legwork. It also gives the reader a character who is “more like them”, who they can relate to and who grounds them in what is familiar. It’s your choice whether or not you want to use this technique to make it easier on yourself. You don’t have to. Recognizing the character you want to write will be a challenge is part of the process of putting them together.

Check out good martial artists on the likes of YouTube that explain what they’re doing and why, what the techniques are for. Get an anatomy textbook. Criminology. Forensics. There are countless books out there for writers to help them write better crime fiction. You might want to engage with them. Check out your local precincts to see what they might offer.

Start by making observations when you’re writing about the environment and the characters. What does this analytical character notice about their environment? What pops out to them? When they’re studying another person, what do they see?

Practice this when you’re in your own environment. What do you see? What do you notice? What do you look for?

How is it different?

Learning to differentiate yourself from your characters, what you notice versus what they look for, is helpful for crafting a different persona and different headspace to keep “Me the Author” and “X the Character” apart for the purposes of storytelling. Recognize that they don’t, can’t, and won’t know everything. Sherlock Holmes made mistakes. Sherlock Holmes was fooled on more than one occasion. Highly intelligent and analytical characters are not infallible. Try not to romanticize intelligence too much.

Can this character be interesting, skilled, and very good at what they do? Yes. Can they also be a cliched mess of stereotypes like so many Holmes knockoffs (and more than a few adaptations of Holmes himself)? Absolutely.

This could be difficult for you if your brain is not already geared to think in an analytical way. However, the good news is that you can learn. You can teach yourself to think like Sherlock Holmes. If you haven’t read them yet, then the Conan Doyle short stories are an excellent place to start.


This blog is supported through Patreon by lovely people like you, who hope you’ll consider becoming one of them for additional benefits every month.

alaricehawthorne  asked:

i'm gonna chime in here on the discussion, i definetely believe there's some underlying racist/racial stereotypes around when people fancast ronan as black and blue as east asian. because if ronan were black he'd fit the Angry Black Man stereotype (even tho we know why he is that way), and i definetely think there are some negative reasons to why east asian blue is the most popular version of racebent blue in the fandom, i just can't put it into words. cont.

[cont’d] like i saw another blogger point out that nearly every racebent of the gang has some negative connotations, but clearly it just doesn’t work in canon either. like i don’t get racebent gansey because he’s the whitest guy to white, like the books only seem to talk about financial privilege and not white, but gansey is the epitome of privilege, so him being a poc is weird, and like you pointed out, blue is most definetely a white feminist, i mean her feminism is written so white and 1-dimensial tbh and (2/3)

im actually very fond of your reasons why you fc every trc group member as white because if you’d fc them as poc it’d sent the wrong idea, a while ago i saw someone ask for books with asian, preferrably east asian (female) leads and someone replied with “well i havent read the books but every trc edit i’ve seen featured an oriental girl as blue”, and like, people could easily find stuff which states the ethnicity of the characters but it could still happen they dont and get disappointed (3/3)

adel i am sorry this is such a long ass response. be warned it is long. like, SO LONG

two anons who sent me asks about reading blue as east asian: replies to you are in this text!!

before i address what adel is saying

i am not claiming racial diversity in the series isn’t possible, i am saying it is not written into the text. arguing it is canon that ronan is Black or blue is east asian is ultimately more harmful for pocs, in my opinion, for a number of reasons

  1. people who see edits and read the book on the assumption their heritage is represented will likely be disappointed when there is no canon evidence of this representation (proof that edits have influenced reader interpretations under the cut)

  2. it may give the impression that hints and vague descriptions of skin colour are adequate representations of minority groups which homogenises entire groups of people.

    a “brown” girl cannot represent south asians, and latinas, and Black women, and arab women, and some east asian women - like 90% of women in the world - and thus doesn’t accurately represent any woc.

    similarly, blue, who is not only never described to be a asian but also lacks any east asian cultural heritage, can also not be expected to represent east asian women accurately or well. while fans can interpret her any way they want obviously, she cannot be touted as great representation for woc in ya lit as it devalues actual explicit east asian/whatever characters in other books 

arguing racial diversity exists canonically in a series where is doesn’t is not the way to attempt to ‘fix’ the lack of racial diversity in ya. to some extent, it may take away the initiative to write explicitly diverse characters who go to mosque, or speak spanish to their colombian grandma, or are bullied for the colour of their skin and actually represent racial minorities’ appearances and experiences if “brown” and “dark brown” are seen to be sufficient descriptors in representing pocs. 

to summarise: i don’t want to give the impression that the characters cannot be poc. they can. this is a series where magic and dream things exist. Black and asian people can exist too so why don’t they. you can imagine them how you want. no one, including me, can stop you from seeing what you see. i would probably cry tears of joy if you made a “everyone is south asian” au fancast and i saw my culture represented in edits too 

but please don’t claim the canon represents me because i am brown-skinned, or any one else from ethnic backgrounds. ultimately it undermines the drive for explicit representation. 

under the cut i have also put an explanation for why “dark brown” and “brown” also don’t count as good representation if you are interested 

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anonymous asked:

Wait is there a big difference between brick and musical enjolras? I'm not that far in the book yet and I'm curious bc of that post you made

Hallo anon! There’s quite a significant difference, including some dramatic choices made for staging purposes. Movie Enjolras is a third character again. 

Hugo did slightly remove his Republican characters from the very specific circumstances around the 1832 uprising (e.g. only a passing mention of 1830 and Louis-Philippe is treated very kindly in the text) because by 1862 social and political events had moved on - what he stressed was more the general Republican aims of personal freedom, representation, suffrage and education rather than the assembly laws, suppression of the press, reneging on the 1830 attempts to integrate Republican institutions into the Monarchy etc. Indeed, the very strong stress on education really takes us almost into the territory of 19th century Utopian Socialism than 1820s - 30s Republicanism.

The stage musical, in its efforts to create a universal black box staging, takes that further and eliminates even a reference to the monarchy (something I’m glad was restored in the movie, as it was referenced in the OFC) - what we’re left with is a vague “cut the fat ones down to size” which sounds like a caricature of a 20th century Marxist slogan. The Amis are about raising people up, not tearing them down, and the Enjolras of the Brick - with his lofty ideas about honour, not to mention brotherhood - would not be sloganeering in that fashion. The closest he comes is a reference to parasites in his View from a Barricade speech. 

Depending on the direction and the acting, I’ve seen stage Enjolraii that come across as very hot-headed and impetuous to various degrees (some, like Thaxton, are more self-possessed and contained…others seemed almost unbalanced). They do things like charge to the top of the barricade and make themselves conspicuous targets in their red jacket. Brick!Enjolras is the opposite - he quietly settles himself in a corner of the barricade and picks off attackers as they charge in, many of them not even seeing them. He speaks little, and when he does it’s usually very brief and straight to the point (which lends a greater impact to those moments when he soars into speech). 

There are reasons Musical!Enjolras is so conspicuously front and centre stage - a musical Enjolras who spends most of his time concealed and firing from behind his redoubt, alertly keeping his eye on the street and calling out terse commands, would not translate well to stage (thus front-row-centre in his red jacket Musical!Enjolras). 

Musical!Enjolras does not have such scope to subtly convey Enjolras’ foresight and preparation - the closest we get is a reference to the fact that it’s “easy to sit here and swat them like flies/but the National Guard will be closer to catch”. Musical!Enjolras then goes on to act as if victory is their’s for the taking, and sometimes lapses into a sense of shaken faith when it becomes apparent it’s not. This is something that also bothers me about Aaron Tveit’s interpretation, and his reading of Enjolras as having “realised” he’s lead the Amis to their deaths. That has absolutely no counterpart in the book - quite the opposite. Brick!Enjolras is fully aware that this is a risk (a revolution is the act of kicking down a rotten door, and you don’t know if the door is rotten enough until you test it), and is already preparing for the possible fall of the barricade long before that happens, to the extent that he’s setting aside bottles of acid that, it’s hinted, were prepared well in advance. 

Musical!Enjolras (again, depending on the actor and staging) is charismatic and passionate, but he doesn’t have the ice cold determination and remorseless logic that drives Brick!Enjolras. At times he comes across as a bit generic revolutionary leader, and the whole “they were school boys, never held a gun” sets up a narrative of naivete that is not reflected either in the fictional Amis or in their real-life student counterparts. These Amis seem to owe more to the Mai 1968 protests than to the students that took to the streets in the 1820s - 1840s. They were experienced street combatants - not “school boys”. Enjolras was a born soldier and leader, not a naive over-reaching dreamer. 

Hope that starts to answer your questions - there’s a lot more I could write on the subject. I also have to stress again that it’s heavily dependent on how the libretto is interpreted - I’ve seen Les Mis performed in London, Paris, Melbourne and Sydney, and some of the performances differed almost unrecognisably. I used to drop in and see it often in London, and was transfixed the first time (Enjolras was more on the transcendent Revolutionary Priest end of the spectrum) and horrified the second (Second time Enjolras was swaggering around the stage like he was the Pirate King). I’ve seen an Enjolrai attack the barricade and have a hissy fit when people started dying, and I’ve seen him respond with ineffable dignity. Some Stage Enjolrai can overcome the weaknesses in the libretto, and the need for dramatic staging compromises, and reach back more to the Enjolras Hugo wrote.