i so need to read the book before the movies comes out

anonymous asked:

What sort of questions should I be asking my beta readers?

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR BETA READERS:

When I send out my chapter to be read over by my beta readers, I always include a set of questions typed out at the bottom, grouped into different categories such as: plot, pacing, character, setting, etc. 

You might want to tailor the questions depending on the genre or which chapter it is. For example, if it’s the first chapter you’ll want to ask them about how well your story managed to hook them, or if they managed to easily get an idea of the world you’ve introduced them to. If it’s the climax you might want to ask if the action scenes are fluid, and if the plot twist/s were predictable or surprising. 

Here’s some example questions that you could use:

Opening Chapter:

  • What is your first impression of the main character? Do you find them likable? Annoying? Boring?
  • After reading it for the first time, what is your first impression? Was it cohesive and compelling? Boring and confusing?
  • Did the first sentence/paragraph/page efficiently grab your attention and hook you in?
  • If you were to read this chapter in a bookstore/library would you be convinced to buy it? Or would you need to read further before deciding? Why or why not?
  • Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, what’s going on, and where and when it’s taking place? If not, what were you confused about at the beginning?
  • Does the first chapter establish the main character efficiently? Do they feel believable?

Characters:

  • Could you clearly imagine what the characters looked like? If not, who?
  • Who was your favourite character and why? Has your favourite character changed? (if this hasn’t changed feel free to skip this question) 
  • Are there any characters that you do not like? Why do you not like them? (Boring, annoying, problematic, etc.) 
  • Was there ever a moment when you found yourself annoyed or frustrated by a character? 
  • Could you relate to the main character? Did you empathise with their motivation or find yourself indifferent? 
  • Were the characters goals/motivations clear and understandable? 
  • Did you get confused about who’s who? Are there too many characters to keep track of? Are any of the names or characters too similar?
  • Do the characters feel three-dimensional or like cardboard cutouts? 
  • How familiar have you become with the main characters? Without cheating could you name the four main characters? Can you remember their appearance? Can you remember their goal or motivation? 

Dialogue:

  • Did the dialogue seem natural to you?
  • Was there ever a moment where you didn’t know who was talking?

Setting/world-building:

  • Were you able to visualize where and when the story is taking place?
  • Is the setting realistic and believable? 
  • How well do you remember the setting? Without cheating, can you name four important settings?

Genre:

  • Did anything about the story seem cliche or tired to you? How so? 
  • Did anything you read (character, setting, etc.) remind you of any others works? (Books, movies, etc.) 

Plot/pacing/scenes:

  • Do you feel there were any unnecessary scenes/moments that deserved to be deleted or cut back?
  • Do the scenes flow naturally and comprehensively at an appropriate pace? Did you ever feel like they were jumping around the place? 
  • Was there ever a moment where you attention started to lag, or the chapter begun to drag? Particular paragraph numbers would be very helpful. 
  • Did you ever come across a sentence that took you out of the moment, or you had to reread to understand fully? 
  • Was the writing style fluid and easy to read? Stilted? Purple prose-y? Awkward?
  • Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in facts, places, character details, plot, etc.?

Additional questions:

  • What three things did you like? What three things did you not like? 
  • Can you try predicting any upcoming plot twists or outcomes? 
  • Was there ever a moment when your suspension of disbelief was tested? 
  • Is there anything you’d personally change about the story? 
  • Was the twist expected or surprising? Do you feel that the foreshadowing was almost nonexistent, or heavy handed? 

Feel free to tailor these to your needs or ignore some of them if you don’t think they’re useful. Basically, your questions are about finding out the information about how others perceive your own writing and how you can improve your story.

Have a question you want answered? 

(Dear mom and dad, please don’t kill me over this permanent choice. I want you to hear me out.)

Today, I am coming out with something that only few of you know. I am ready to have a conversation about my mental illness.

Last year, I was diagnosed with depression. And in all honesty, I believe it was a problem for quite a while before that, but I think it just got worse to the point of hardly functioning.

So today, I got this tattoo. I feel that my leg was the best place for the meaning behind it. When everyone else sees it, they see “I’m fine,” but from my viewpoint, it reads “save me.” To me, it means that others see this person that seems okay, but, in reality, is not okay at all. It reminds me that people who may appear happy, may be at battle with themselves.

To me, depression is the days that I feel sad for no reason.
Depression is the mornings that I don’t feel capable of getting out of bed.
Depression is the sleeping too much, or sleeping too little.
Depression is the homework that I never completed, simply because I didn’t feel like I was capable.
Depression is the break downs I have over absolutely nothing.
Depression is the eating too much, or eating too little.
Depression is the nights I begin to cry because I feel so overwhelmed, even though everything is going right.
Depression is the 50 pounds I carry in my chest at all times.
Depression is the need to constantly be distracted (being on social media, playing video games, watching movies or shows, or working all the time) because I can’t trust myself with my thoughts for longer than 3 minutes.
Depression is the friendships that have suffered because of my inability to function.
Depression is the hurtful thoughts and actions I have towards myself.
Depression is the tears I have because I don’t know why I feel so worthless, when I know I should feel happy.

This is one of the most difficult things to open up about because it’s extremely hard for me to feel vulnerable…but this needs to be talked about. Mental illness is serious, but so shamed in our society. We care so much for our physical health, but hardly a thing about our mental state. And that is seriously messed up. Mental illness is not a choice and will likely hit everyone at some point in their life. If it’s such a huge issue, why aren’t we having this conversation about it?

That’s why I got this tattoo; they are great conversation starters. This forces me to talk about my own struggle, and why the awareness of it is important. You’d be surprised by how many people YOU know that struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. I may only be one person, but one can save another…and that’s all I could really ask for.

Maybe this is part of why I am so interested in psychology. I want to help people who feel the way I have—and still do—because it’s hell. And I don’t wish that upon anyone.

“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
—Robin Williams

**Also, THANK YOU to the ones who have helped me in this battle. I would not be where I am without you.**

The Element EVERYTHING in Your Story Needs

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

There’s hope.

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

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

I didn’t care.  

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

So what is a Story Reason? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because of the turn of one scene … 

The next scene happens. 

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

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

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

Turn: “I have a lead." 

Because of that …

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

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


Because of that …

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

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

Because of that … 

She has to question a rude yoga-performing elephant. 

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

Because of that …

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

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

Because of that …

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

Turn: “It’s night?!”

Because of that …

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

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

Because of that …

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

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

Because of that  …

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

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

Because of that …

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

Turn: “Ice ‘em.”

Because of that …

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

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

I’m gonna stop there.

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

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

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

And you know what would have happened then?

Zootopia would have made everyone bored. 

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

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

I hope it works for you too.

Art School Stereotypes I’ve observed*

Animation

  • N e r d s
  • Unhealthily obsessed with video games, anime, Disney, or some sick combination of the three
  • One of the most sleep-deprived majors, but also surprisingly chipper (there are exceptions)
  • Instantly recognizable by their triforce t-shirts or Pokemon Go snapbacks
  • In spite of everything, they have the highest population of straight-edge asexuals
  • If you weren’t straight edge and celibate before, then prepare to be, because you’re about to disown all bodily urges and dedicate your life to drawing cartoon animals

Illustration

  • Like Animation majors, but cooler and much better taste in fashion. A little less tech-savvy, though
  • Comic book nerds

Painting & Drawing

  • A friend of mine once said, “People who love animation go into animation. Then they realize it’s a ton of work and switch to illustration. Then they realize THAT’S a ton of work and switch into Painting & Drawing.”
  • Highest percentage of colorful hair and weird tattoos/piercings
  • grunge
  • Listen to music you’ve never heard of
  • Smoke a LOT, asthmatics beware

Ceramics

  • Kinda stereotypical stoners or high level artsy kids, but not that pretentious 
  • Somehow even more conceptual and indie than P&D
  • Behind the ceramics building, there’s a sculpture garden of all the sculptures of students past. Every night, the campus closes at 4AM. They say it’s for security, but I say it’s because the sculptures all come to life at that point. I mean, think about it. The whole “spooky midnight hour” is so cliche, I don’t know anyone who DOESN’T stay up till midnight at least once a week. But 4AM? That’s the true witching hour. The hour that belongs only to the living sculptures (and architecture majors I guess)

Glass

  • Frankly, the least hygienic major
  • All the males and most of the females have a rank odor after being sweatily hunched over the steaming hot forges for too long
  • Might be stoners, but the chill, easy-to-hang-out-with stoners
  • Probably the most like a real family. I always walk by the Glass Studio at night and feel the breeze of warm air from their fire, catch a riff of tasteful classic rock, and hear the echoes of genuine laughter from within. It must be nice to have a home.

Jewelry

  • I dunno, I’ve never met one. They put on some sick gallery shows, though.

Graphic Design

  • In spite of Graphic Design as an art not being super emotional or indie compared to, say, Painting, the GD majors are probably some of the most tortured souls I’ve met
  • I used to be best friends/date a GD major and watched before my eyes as she was crushed by the world around her from Freshman to Junior year. Honestly I’m not sure if she still goes here. We don’t talk anymore, it’s too painful. I miss her, or rather, I miss the person she used to be. The person she used to be before Graphic Design.
  • I’m now roommates with a poor little GD Freshman, and I worry about her every day. Not as a lover like with the last one, but as a parent. What will happen to her? How long will she last? Cheyenne, if you’re reading this, run away while you still can.
  • Gets excited about fonts and kerning.
  • I don’t really know what kerning is.

Photography

  • Outdoorsy and nature loving hippies
  • The chillest major, I envy them
  • Photography IS hard work, don’t get me wrong, but come ON! You travel to a beautiful mountain spring, snap a few pictures, and call it a day
  • Never need to pull all-nighters
  • Seriously, I deeply respect Photography as an art and all BUT

Film

  • Some of them are also outdoorsy and nature loving hippies, the rest are hipSTERS
  • “I don’t watch ‘movies.’ I watch Films.
  • Apparently they have something of a drug problem, i.e., half the class comes in stoned
  • My friend Chris said one of the film teachers plays Porno he made in class, I’m not sure if he was messing with me or not

Architecture

  • Oh boy, Architecture
  • The coldest hearts of any major
  • The only nice Architecture majors are the first years. After that last final, something inside of them breaks. At that point they either crawl to a different major in submission, or become as sharp, straight, and lifeless as the buildings which they spend so much time designing
  • They literally do not sleep
  • Seriously, I was pulling an all-nighter last week (since the Architecture place is the only place open 24/7) and I swear to god there was an entire CLASSFULL of the Architects up and jamming from 10pm to 7am. I tried to sleep, but the Architecture majors just wouldn’t quit. Also, it was so cold there. So cold. Cold from the hearts of fifth-year Architects. I’m bringing my winter backpacking sleeping bag next time.

Industrial Design

  • Mostly foreign exchange students, especially Chinese, Indian, and Korean
  • I don’t speak Chinese, Indian, OR Korean so I can’t say much else
  • Vaguely like Architecture majors, only they appear to have a normal spectrum of human emotions 

Interactive Design

  • What is Interactive Design? Honestly I don’t really know. Like making Apps or some shmuck.
  • Tech
  • Graphic Designers who love themselves

Fashion

  • Mostly female
  • Obviously they’re very very VERY nicely dressed
  • Calm, confident, but also have fun sides

Textiles

  • Most of the textiles students I’ve met are just stop-motion loving Animators
  • I think the ones that aren’t are probably like grandmas that love knitting or something

Furniture

  • Honestly I didn’t know this was a major until like last semester
  • The only furniture major I’ve met was this Norwegian dude who looked like a greek god 
  • We were once assigned to do a group project together but then he blew me off to go surfing so I had to do it myself. Seriously? Surfing???? Like I’d be mad but that’s a cool reason to blow someone off. Hell, I’d blow people off surfing if I had the easy life of a non-animation-major

Writing

  • “We have a writing program?”
  • They’re cool though
  • Get really excited about books. I’ve read only about three or four books so I kind of just smile and nod while they talk
  • Seem genuinely interested in other people’s stories

Community Art

  • I’m not entirely sure what this is
  • Passionate about social justice and teamwork

Disclaimer: No offense to any of them (except architecture majors)

*At California College of the Arts from my relativley limited perspective as an animation major who frankly has only had minimal interactions with the others

on the new Iron Fist series

So after binge watching a ton of Marvel’s new Iron Fist series, I went onto tumblr, wondering what the fandom was up to now, what with all these new gifs and stuff to make. ‘Maybe I would find some fan art or something’ I thought innocently to myself,

BUT BOY WAS I WRONG

instead, I was greeted with SO MUCH DISCOURSE on how Iron Fist ‘needs a chinese-american actor’ or ‘has terrible dialogue and is slow’.

the best part is when I found out that some of y’all are trying to get this show boycotted like ‘????’

Now as a Chinese-speaking Asian female, living in Asia, with an Asian background and a good know-how of Chinese history, as well as a decent knowledge of comic books, (although I confess I got into the animated series first) I’m here to end the discussion before y’all get your full rage on and start fighting fans of the show like it’s Lord of the Flies up in here

So keep reading if you want to be educated or if you just want to fight me before you know what you’re even talking about

“THE SHOW INSULTS CHINESE CULTURE”

Uhhhh…no? I’ve seen a few episodes and I mean so far there isn’t really anything that screams ‘insult’ or even offensive in the slightest. Besides maybe the fact that they take the beliefs and twist them a little bit but honestly even that ain’t that bad as to what I’ve seen elsewhere.

I’ve read the boycott post and let me say that yea, they dressed him with an eye for Asian elements, but maybe that’s because it’s supposed to be resembling Asian clothing? I mean how is that offensive? Is it the part that it looks Asian? Or that you simply feel that white people that direct these shows should not be using Asian stuff for entertainment? Because I hate to break it to you but it’s still not offensive. Even the dragon tattoo is totally fine because it’s supposed to resemble Asian elements yea but also have y’all read the comics? Because he punched through a dragon and basically took it’s heart. So I mean a dragon tattoo kinda matches the theme.

I mean in the first episode they speak almost flawless Chinese for Pete’s sake! Hell, I was surprised that they even had it in them to have a non-Google translated line. Sure the accent was a little overdoing it cuz not even I have that thick a Chinese accent but I’ll excuse it since he was apparently learning and speaking 15 years. (I speak it maybe a few times a day for like the last 14 years or so only)

So no, the show doesn’t really insult Chinese culture, sure they might be ignorant, but you must understand that after generations of stereotypes and misconceptions that that can’t just go away with one show

“Danny Rand should be played by an Asian guy/be a Chinese-American”

I can’t even begin to tell you my frustration about this.

Y’all do know this show is based on the comics right?

You know, the one with the white guy.

I know Marvel is infamous for not including enough representation in their shows but seriously? This is like the Harry Potter thing all over again with Hermione being black, it’s not that we don’t want representation or anything, but it’s the fact that this hero that us comic fans have come to already love has been replaced. Or at least it feels like it. Like when a movie is made from a book and people go crazy because character XYZ suddenly has different traits or isn’t quite what was described as compared to the book.

Frankly, it sucks.

So even though yes, Marvel should have more Asians in their shows, don’t expect them to completely give the main character a makeover, even if the makeover was supposed to provide representation. And honestly? I don’t want them to change him because I really freaking love Iron Fist, just as he is.

“This show just villainizes Asians”

So you tell me that my race is being made villains because Marvel decided that most of their Asians on their shows are evil ninjas (aka the Hand) and at most there are like 3 sorta good Asians. Oh and I’m sorry, you want more Asian men that are good guys? You want a balance of Asian heroes?

Well I guess that would be kind of hard to fit into the story since, oh, I don’t know, everything happens in the USA?

If you want more Asian characters well then look no further because you do have them. Daisy Johnson from Agents of Shield? What about her extremely brave mom? Or maybe Colleen in Iron Fist? Everyone seems to be blatantly ignoring her badassery and only seeing the part where she’s a sorta love interest.

Facts are, there are Asian characters, you’re really just looking hard enough. I agree wholeheartedly when you say that more Asian men need to be in the Marvel universe that aren’t part of the bad guy team but you gotta say that they are still awesome.

Does anyone even remember the Japanese ninja yakuza guy from Daredevil? Dude got set on fire and STILL came back to kick ass. That’s a plus in my book because even though he’s considered bad, he’s been proven to be cunning, smart, and overall awesome.

“The show has terrible stunts/acting/dialogue/fight scenes”

From here on out it’s mostly just me trying to explain why the directors and writers of the show made decisions in the show to make it what it is, so let’s dive right into it.

  • STUNTS

Actually the stunts weren’t half-bad. If you’ve seen other shows or movies that are heavily reliant on stunts and action, and compare it to this show, they really aren’t that much different. Sure it might seem a little unbelievable sometimes like they’re breaking physics or something, but he already has a glowing fist. I think we’ve crossed the line of believable long ago.

  • ACTING

I have nothing to say about this except that go and take some acting or drama classes before coming and criticizing these awesome men and women who did indeed try their best

  • DIALOGUE

Now I get the dialogue might be a little weird at times and what not, but you must understand that this show was partially written with the Defenders series in mind. So almost everything that was said in the show is meant to lead to something more. Thus, you must take it as a bigger picture. Sorta like how everyone said that Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them wasn’t as good as they thought it would be, that movie was also meant to lead on to a bigger story so you might want to excuse the weird speech and cryptic lines at times.

  • FIGHT SCENES & ACTION

Okay seriously people, please read the comics. Danny Rand is supposed to be an accidental hero, one that doesn’t want to fight unless he really has zero choice in the matter. So yea, the fight scenes won’t be that interesting, but only because the character in question is more interested in ending the fight than anything.

~

So there you have it, my whole slightly angry info-dump on Iron Fist and Marvel’s representation problem in general. If you want to correct me or scold me even then by all means message me or shoot me an ask. But just keep in mind that Marvel can’t make all your problems go away in one show, and please for the love of all that is good read the comics before coming to rant okay?

general li mulan

okay so i LOVE mulan okay. as far as i’m concerned it’s a Perfect Movie and doesn’t need any fixing. but i was thinking today and -

- what if mulan didn’t go to war to save her father?

say her father is dead, okay, killed by the previous war. so she’s raised by her mother and grandmother, women who’s complacency and softness has been worn away by necessity. she needs to marry well, for her family’s sake, because her mother has refused the hand of every man who offered. but mulan is even more rough around the edges than before, is educated not only in books (her mother said men wouldn’t find smarts attractive and grandmother pointed out that men aren’t always around and off to school mulan went) but in the sword too, taught to her by her classmate, ping.

mulan is considered in the lower end of the upper class, coming from a family of military men and scholars and successful merchants. ping is near the top, the son or nephew of an advisor to the emperor. his family is very rich and very important, and the reason they become friends is because mulan manages to notice something about him that he’s been hiding from everyone else - he’s going blind.

not totally blind, enough to get around, but blind enough that reading is difficult and swordplay is even worse, although once he has it down he has it. ping is no fool, he’s not weak or bumbling. his eyes just don’t work. so mulan notices and confronts him about it. she promises to keep it a secret, and hey, she’ll even help him with his assignments by reading the books out loud and helping him study. but in return he must teach her the sword, must teach her about military and tactics. he agrees.

ping and mulan become very good friends and there’s some raised eyebrows about it but they are TOO far away in class for it to be inappropriate, so they make tutting sounds and disapproving faces and let it go.

then the draft happens. ping can’t go to war, he won’t survive it. not with his eyesight like it is. so mulan offers him a deal - she’ll go to war for him, in his place. in return, if she survives, he must marry her. if she dies he must take care of her family.

ping can’t make this kind of family decision on his own, so he goes to his mother and tells her everything, about the eyesight and how he’ll die if he goes and mulan’s offer. his mother says he must keep it a secret from his father, but agrees - if mulan fights in her son’s place and survives, a wedding will be arranged. either way, mulan’s family will be taken care of. ping will be sent to live with some cousins in the meanwhile.

“you’re not in love with me, are you?” ping asks, helping mulan saddle her horse in the middle of the night. she scoffs and rolls her eyes, “not even a little. but marrying you will make my family happy, and besides, you’re my best friend,” she says, smiling, “better you than some grabby old man.” he smiles and hugs her and says, “i’m not in love with you either. but don’t die out there. we have a wedding to plan.”

so mulan goes to the camp, pretending to be ping, and she’s a little bit less lost but things still go as they go. she’s educated and trained, so it’s not hard for her to pass as ping. shang is keeping a special eye on her, thinking that she’s the son of an advisor, one of his father’s friends. and he sees how easily she excels, how quick thinking and smart she is, and starts giving her more and more responsibilities. by the time they’re called out, shang considers ping ie mulan to be his right hand man, and possibly his best friend.

he’s also a little bit in love with ping, and he’s long known he’s attracted to both genders, so he watches ping laugh and smile and the crease between his eyes when he frowns and does his best to let his feelings chase away the best soldier he has. every time shang looks at ping his heart clenches and he things to himself: i wish i could have you, i wish this was a time and a place where one man could have another, i wish you were a girl, is wish i was a girl - i wish we could be together. he’s literally a step away from doodling ‘li ping’ with little hearts over his battle plans. 

so the battles happen. shang and ping lead their men together, respected and loved. they each get promoted, and promoted, and promoted. it’s been years, and it comes to a point where they’re both generals in their own right. they trust each other, care for each other. and are both secretly in love with the other.

mulan is so conflicted. because she wants this war to end and to go home and settle back into life and become ping’s wife, so she can have an easy life spent studying and learning with her family taken care of. that’s what she’d wanted. but now what she wants is shang, her best friend, her brother in arms, her fellow general. she wishes to be everything to him, aches to be the woman on his arm and in his bed, but knows it’s the one thing she can never be.

then that final battle happens. mulan’s quick thinking saves them all and ends the war - but she’s injured.

shang finds out the ping has been a girl all along. he demands explanations - so she tells him everything, that she traded places with ping to save him, to become his wife.

and the lies should sting the sharpest, but they don’t. she’s still the same person, after all. it’s that she’s promised to another man, for one second he’d thought he might have her, but no. so he agrees not to reveal her but he’s furious and furious at himself for being furious and they’re not the same now, broken and splintered and neither of them know what to do.

the war is over. they leave. mulan returns home, and thanks to her ping is now known as a respected general. she’s done her part and survived, and now she gets her reward - ping’s hand in marriage.

but she sees ping for the first time and flings herself into his arms and starts crying. she tells him everything, because he’s still her friend, her very best friend besides shang, the man whom she lied to and betrayed and loves. and ping listens and takes her by the shoulders and says - i’ll uphold our bargain, if that’s what you want. you can be my pampered wife, you’ve more than earned it. but if you want to go to shang, i won’t blame you. you deserve your happiness.

and mulan goes back and forth, but ultimately she decides she has to try. if shang rejects her she’ll return and marry ping and uphold her family honor. but if shang wants her - he’s not as high up as ping, but he’s high up enough to satisfy her family, and also she would love him and want him if he was no more than a farming peasant so it doesn’t matter much anyway.

she rides to the capitol. she finally meets ping’s father, running into him while looking for shang. “ah mulan,” says this man who was never supposed to know of her until she became his daughter-in-law, “i didn’t expect to see you here. how fortuitous. walk with me.” she does, wary, and that’s how she discovers - he and the emperor had discovered her deception a year in, but at that point she’d already proven herself too skilled and valuable to lose. he tells her that he will uphold his son and wife’s deal and gladly welcome her to his household - but that she’s earned her rank as general, and that he and the emperor have no problem with letting her keep it.

she says thank you, shocked and joyful, but that she has to talk to someone first. “ah, yes, young general li,” he says, eyes twinkling, “i do believe he’s around here somewhere.”

she has no idea how he seems to know everything, but she finally tracks down shang who’s ecstatic to see her and hates himself for it. she confesses - says she loves him, that she’s engaged to ping but willing and able to break this engagement for shang. who is dumbfounded and elated and says yes, of course, finally and forever.

and mulan accepts her rank and marries shang, and they become the literal power battle couple of the general li mulan and general li shang. ping becomes a scholar and marries a very nice young woman who loves reading and is happy to read aloud to her husband with his failing eyes.

and they all live happily ever after.

Get Out.

Originally posted by tess453

Peter Parker x Reader

Request: Yes

Summary: Deciding to stay in for a date, Peter and the Reader are faced with annoying and embarrassing comments from the whole team, who are unaware of their relationship.

Word Count: 2,428

Warnings: language, fluff, annoying avengers (??), embarrassed!Peter, embarrassed!Reader, cuteness, LOTR trilogy. (Let me know if I missed any)

A/N: Alright homies, I apologize it has taken me so long to upload something. I’ve been reaally stressed. So hopefully this is okay? For the anon that requested this, I hope you like it. I’d love some feedback, as always. Enjoy reading!


Dark, gray clouds blocked any source of light from shining through the big, thick glass windows surrounding every inch of the building.

The entire tower was filled with a solemn mood that spread into every corner and room.

Most of the team dreaded days like these, since it put a damper on their mood, (especially Steve).

You, however, cherished days like these the most.

It’s where you find your peace and inner self, no matter how depressing that may sound.

It helps you relax and release any stresses that corrupt your thoughts.

But the best reason of all is that you don’t have to leave the house, even if you had a date with Peter tonight.

However, thinking that idea through, you realized something.

The whole team would be here.

With Peter and you.

During your date.

Well, fuck.

Keep reading

Glow Up tips

this summer is a great opportunity to glow up on the asses of those who have slept on you. Hope everyone has an amazing come back and that you all get that “ they got hot this summer”


1. drink plenty of water: i know that this is any every “tips post” but it’ll help you maintain a beautiful complexion, fresh breath, help with weight loss, and so so so much more 


2. coconut oil: this is the shit! use it for your hair, your face, your legs ….everything. 


3.exercise: do your squats, eat healthy food. best form of revenge is a super hot body.


4. post so many selfies on social media …. make sure the photos are super dope and look very luxurious and mysterious and fancy and work on getting more followers. i suggest you look through Russian Instagram to find poses and study selfie angles.


5. have a stunning wardrobe: you don’t need lots of money to dress like you’re rich. it’s all about how you combine your clothes together. chose neat, fshionable clothes. velvet is really in this year and so are lace up dresses and t-shirts. Asos has a very wide range of trendy clothes and it’s not too expensive. You also get 10% off if you’re a student. /p>


6.read and watch lots of movies: get educated and informed over the summer. feed your soul with sophistication. read philosophical books or whatever kind you like . watch old movies. 


7. step OUT of your comfort zone: don’t go to bed unless you’ve done something each day that you have never done before. it’ll be a great t boost for your self confidence. i promise!


8.go out, have fun, takes lots of pictures and post them. it doesn’t have to cost much, a simple trip to the beach will do .. just flash that hot hot summer body.


9. be humble, but still, let those bitches know. 


10. meet new people and post selfies with them.


11. get a haircut or change your haircut or whatever as long as you change something, have a makeover.


12. do weekly DIY spa days: you can make your own pedi, amni, body scrub, facial masks with ingredients from your kitchen. 


13.take good good care of yourself and make sure you’re stress free and happy.


14.stay away from people who make you feel like shit.


15. avoid seeing your fake friends and stick to the passive agressive braging snapchat/IG routine.


16.gloooooow from the inside out. 

 17. if you have super dry hair and split ends like me, for the love of whatever you believe in just ditch the hair Iron and hair curler and blow dryer…these are the enemy..I know it’s super hard to do especially if you always style your hair with heat but try to find an alternative and only use heat once a week if you must.


 18. You should probably consult with your doctor(don’t do this if you’re pregnant/breastfeeding/allergic) …I take biotin once a day and honestly my fingernails grow like crazy and they are super strong and long so I don’t put on acrylics…it’s also good for your hair and metabolism.


 19. dry hair ? almond oil and jojoba oil itchy scalp/dandruff ? add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo dull hair ? Mayo . and anything can be solved with coco oil.


 20. tea tree oil is a must for clearing ur acne.


 21. soak your feet in baking soda and water and then use a pumic stone to remove dead skin cells. 


 22. for a deep cleansing mask I mix 1 tablespoon with a few drops of tea tree oil and a tablespoon of cold water. If you have dry skin don’t use tea tree oil and add jojoba oil instead of water.


 23.moisturize your face twice a day after cleaning with grapeseed oil.


 24. for #teamnosleep.. if you have dark circles apply a mask from coffee grinds and almond oil twice a day then rinse witb cold water and moisturize with a good (preferably natural) eye cream.


 25. strech marks ? I’ve got the holy grail. if you have a coffee machine you can reuse the capsules/grinded coffee by emptying it to a container, adding brown sugar and a bit of sesame oil/coconut oil and mix …voila …you have your DIY coffee scrub. leave on for 10 minutes in the shower and use everyday and you will notice your skin begining to repair itself.


26. Your fake friends are treating you like crap and are forgetting your worth?

you are a goddess, you do not deserve to be slept on or even minorly disrespected. Don’t you ever forget that. You should not feel like shit when you are champagne in a crystal glass and they are lukewarm piss in a plastic cup.

do not send them messages wondering why they have changed or start a fight or even send them an angry text, they’ll think they have a worth and actually mean something to you. instead, you ignore them so hard they will even begin doubting their own existence and yet keep posting pics of yourself having fun ( or pretending to have fun) abd be all bougie and uninterested.


 send me your glow up pics dolls and send me more tips🖤🖤

some of my favourite bits/random thoughts from beauty and the beast (2017)

(Warning: spoilers ahead) (this is long and goes through the entire movie cause i need to talk about it alright

  • the pretentiousness of the prince at the beginning and his face when he handles the rose - amazing face by dan stevens might i add 
  • how the entire castle kinda looks like a rose and when it crumbles whenever the petals fall - that shit was wild man 
  • that the town was actually diverse??? amazing and beautiful
  • WHEN BELLE IS READING AND SHE’S SURROUNDED BY FLOWERS/ROSES 
  • “she hasn’t made a fool of herself to gain my favour. What would you call that?” “Dignity” (same)
  • ALL THE ROSE MOTIFS HOLY FUCK OKAY 
  • that mother fucking groan in ‘belle (reprise)’ that every woman can relate to
  • HOW DOES THIS ENTIRE FAMILY TRUST THE INSTINCTS OF A HORSE AND TALK TO IT LIKE IT UNDERSTANDS EVERY FUCKING WORD? AMAZING AND MIND BLOWING 
  • when cadenza had that ‘oh shit’ moment 
  • maurice trying to act all chill before freaking the fuck out 
  • lets be real - every moment between lumiere and cogsworth
  • “Who are you?” “Who are you?” - same adam 
  • why doesn’t this castle have any railings? like, i understand its a dungeon or whatever….but like,,,safety people???
  • “or as i like to call it, the only wing” nice save lumiere 
  • table dancing in gaston….so many feelings for it 
  • “You can’t judge people by who their father is, now can you?” YASSSS GIVE ME BACKSTORY I LOVE THIS SHIT
  • the fact that adam/the beast struggles with having a normal conversation cause he’s an idiot who hasn’t interacted with people properly in yearssssssss
  • the fact that mrs potts is okay with belle leaving. she’s so sweet and i loved her in this
  • WHY DIDN’T LUMIERE LET BELLE EAT AT ALL DURING ‘BE OUR GUEST’? FUCKING RUDE
  • also, the amount of extra lumiere was in this scene? amazing 
  • does the beast sleep in a nest or a bed? like….i have a lot of feelings about this okay
  • (dan stevens knocks me out every time he talks in this movie okay. SO MUCH EMOTION)
  • the fact that the castle has a doggy door????
  • The way that the beast fainted, was like…..so very human and i love it okay
  • do you think agatha was fucking tired of waiting for a girl to come around or do you think it’s destiny that led her there - too many rose motifs have forced me into these thoughts
  • how nuts is gaston tho??? like the fuck is up with him really??
  • DAYS IN THE SUN THO - LIKE….LITTLE PRINCE DIDN’T REALLY GET TO SAY GOODBYE TO HIS MUM. I WANNA DIE 
  • “My favourite is romeo and juliet” *beast eyerolls for days* (like same dude)
  • BELLE’S REACTION TO SEEING THE LIBRARY - LETS BE REAL, SAME
  • (also, highly sure the library scene is where beast realises he likes belle) 
  • the beast imitating the horse; beautiful and adorable 
  • snowball scene
  • THE BEAST UNABLE TO HOLD ALL THE BOOKS. AMAZING
  • BEAST TRYING TO PLAY THAT HE ISN’T READING A ROMANCE - DORK 
  • “What do you say we run away?” - YAS BITCH YASSSSSS
  • “too touristy?” - i love him 
  • “LET’S GO HOME” AND FUCKING BEAST’S FACE, SO TENDER AND SOFT I WANT TO CRY
  •  the water from the bath splashing on lumiere….brilliant
  • THE BEAST WEARING MAKE UP I’M CRYING
  • the dress was beautiful and i will fight everyone who says it isn’t great 
  • THE PART OF THE DANCE WHERE THE BEAST DIPS BELLE AND THEN HAS HER UP ON HIS HIP IN LIKE ONE MOVE - FUCKING BRO, HE IS AMAZING
  • AND BELLE’S FACE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE THING - SHE’S IN LOVE WITH HIM THE MOST IN THAT DANCE 
  • THE BEAST ASKING HER IF SHE COULD BE HAPPY THERE, THAT SHE MAY ACTUALLY FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM AND THERE’S ME CRYING IN THE CORNER 
  • The bit where the beast sees belle run away, that sharp exhale of like shock and sadness 
  • in evermore where the beast closes his eyes to go with the line “i close my eyes and she’s still there’ - LIKE, THAT ACTUAL HEAD SHAKE OF HIM REALISING HOW IN LOVE WITH HER HE IS. FUCKING RUIN ME
  • HE WAITED IN THE SAME SPOT HE LAST SAW HER. HE WOULD HAVE WAITED THERE FOREVER 
  • THE WAY THE BEAST’S VOICE IS SO DESPERATE AND SURPRISED TO SEE BELLE AGAIN AND HE IS SO HAPPY TO SEE HER 
  •  “I am not a beast” - YAS BITCH, YOU TELL HIM 
  • also…..adam fucking jumped across the castle to get to belle….goals 
  • the beast was shot 3 times in the back….i mean….tough as shit he is 
  • He just wanted her there, to say goodbye and he’s in love with her and i’m dead inside 
  • HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN, FUCKIG MORBID 
  • when all the servants transformed….i cried 
  • i love dan stevens so i will defend his ridiculous hair until i die 
  • plus that kiss was gold and i loved it 
  • (tho i do wish he had said something to her in that moment, just something) 
  • i loved lumiere and plumette - so cute (but also it should have been lumiere and cogsworth)
  •  that final dance tho….amazing 
  • the growl
  • i’m done. i am dead inside because of this fucking movie i swear to g 
Strip Tutoring // Jeff Atkins // requested

Request : please do a jeff atkins imagine but please dont let him die there iM BEGGIN U

This imagine doesn’t mention his death or the party or anything! Just a regular ‘dating Jeff Atkins’ imagine. Lol

Requests are closed. xx

Warnings : not really smut but… stripping ?…. cheeky!Jeff

Pairings : Jeff x Fem.Reader

Originally posted by jeffreysatkins

Originally posted by ardevaas88


Walking into the library, my eyes scanned over everyone’s faces until I saw my boyfriend sitting with Clay. He looked irritated and pinched the bridge of his nose. Taking a seat at the table, Jeff’s eyes lit up.

“Hey babe.” He smiled. 

I grinned, “How’s he doing, Clay?”

“Depends. Did Abraham Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence?” Clay responded smartly. 

Keep reading

For anyone who ever falls in love with her or is lucky enough to get into a relationship with her. But hopefully she’s mine till the day I die. But take some of these things on board. - From someone who is in love with her and has been for 3 years. And always will be.
She loves FaceTime calls, especially video calls she’ll probably like seeing you because I definitely like seeing her. And hearing her voice. Her voice is special, and perfect to me because it’s hers. I could listen to her talking all day. Even if she’s complaining. She absolutely hates slow replies and being ignored, so reply to her as quickly as you can. And if you go out or you’re busy, make sure you tell her. Don’t allow her to overthink, and worry about you. It’s bad for her. Listen to her. Especially when she talks about something that makes her happy or inspires her. Listen. Even if she talks for hours , listen. Have deep conversations with her, about anything. She loves that. Talk to her for hours until 4am and you’re both tired , but happy so it doesn’t matter. Talk about weird things , like I do. Reincarnating into a tiger and a dolphin, so when we both die we can be happy together. Yes that’s weird but it’s us, and I love that. I’m sure she does too. Make her feel wanted, she absolutely hates feeling unwanted. I can assure you she’s wanted. More than anything by me. Send her cute messages and paragraphs , anything to make her smile, it’s difficult to make that girl smile. So it’s extremely precious to me when I see her smile. Be patient with her, it takes time to understand her. Wait. Wait a long time, as long as you need to wait until she’s comfortable to tell you something, for example if she’s in a bad mood. Don’t pressure her to tell you, don’t assume things. Yes I do that because I’m insecure and I overthink. But don’t make assumptions. Wait until she’s ready, but reassure her, so she knows you care. Please be patient and she’ll open up to you, if she trusts you. And it’s very hard to gain her trust. Appreciate her. Everything about her, how beautiful she is from head to toe. Her soul, her heart , her mind. I mean everything. This girl is special. Real fucking special. When she’s insecure and gets jealous of other girls , remind her she’s the best. To me she’s the best anyway. I wouldn’t want anybody but her. Admire every single thing about her. Emphasis on admire. She’s perfect. My perfect dolphin, I’d call her. That’d make her smile. All our little weird conversations mean a lot to me, and all our memories. I love her smile though, she hates it. But out of all the thousands of smiles I’ve seen hers is the best. I honestly can’t put into words how beautiful she looks when she smiles. The way her eyes glisten, sparkling omg. She hates her eyes too, because they’re “ boring brown” but to me they’re far from boring. They’re the type of eyes I could look into all day long and not for a second be bored. Even sitting in silence with her is perfect. The vibes off her are the besttttt. It’s unexplainable tbh. Don’t use her, never do that, she’s been hurt way too many times before and doesn’t deserve any more pain. Her happiness means the world to me. And if she ever becomes yours, do your best to keep her happy. This girl is different from the rest, NO ONE is like her. I swear you’ll never come across someone as perfect, precious, beautiful, amazing, out of this world etc. (I could go on) like her. Sometimes I have to ask myself if I’m dreaming, because the amount of love she shoes and all she does for me is unbelievable. And if you can ever call her yours , you’ll be very blessed to have her. This girl has her guard up too, a huge wall you have to break down bit by bit, for a very long time. Until you know her. I don’t know her to the full extent but I know her better than anybody else. And I lover her more than anybody else has or ever will.
She loves being called babygirl, princess or wifey. Or in our special kinda way she’s my dolphin. Something like that will make her smile. Don’t call her “B” or “baby” or “ babe” she thinks it’s cringe, or “ year 7 relationships” she’d say. And don’t put like 100 heart emojis or weird emojis when you text her, just be normal. When she’s happy she’ll put a lot of emojis. Pay attention to them. They represent her mood. It’s pretty important to me.
She’s passionate about reading and she’s soooo fucking good at writing. Anything. Literally. She’s the most intelligent, smart , brainy ( whatever you wanna call it ) girl I’ve met. No exaggeration at all. She absolutely loves getting new stationary, fine liners , coloured felts, glue, sticky notes, sexy note pads. You name it. And if she loves you she’ll spend hours and hours creating things for you. She’ll write you books if she’s 100% in love with you ( I’m lucky asf to get that ) even make a canvas of photos together. She will do a HELL of a lot. So appreciate that. If she’s ever yours. I appreciate her and I’m so thankful for every single thing she does.
She loves bright colourful sunsets ( purples and pinks , blues ) she likes it when they start to go dark though right at the end of them. She would spend ages taking photos of the sky , until it’s “ right ”. Sunsets are another thing that make her happy. Her happiness is key, remember that. And I hope In the future, me and her can sit and watch sunsets together. But if she becomes yours, please sit and admire the sky with her. Do anything you can to make her happy. She deserves happiness. And more. She loves romantic movies, tbh they’re her favourite, and horror movies. Lying in bed and watching a movie she’ll like, will make her happy. Some days she will push you away, and she’ll get angry at you for little things, but you need to understand that, that’s her. But try and stay, reassure her. Tell her how much she means to you, she loves when I do that. She will just stay in bed some days , not move at all, cry and hate herself. Those are the difficult days, don’t leave on those days. Do whatever you can to make sure she’s okay. Remind her that everything will be okay , the bad thoughts will go away. They don’t last forever. Better things will come.
She gets jealous too, very easily , if she loves you. Focus on her and nobody else, don’t ever take her for granted. Ever. And she doesn’t like going out, in crowded places , so don’t pressure her to go out. Whenever she’s ready you’ll know. She’ll prefer being indoors as long as she’s in the presence of someone she loves. That’d make her day, she’d say to me. There are a thousand of other things I could say, but hopefully this gives a decent idea. If you’re ever lucky enough to call her yours , protect her, love her, appreciate her etc. Take all of this into consideration. There’s much more but this is what comes to mind right now. But hopefully nobody else will ever have her and she’ll be mine until forever ends. If one of us die. But I will always love her no matter what. Regardless of anything, literally anything. I promise that.
—  for my wife.
10

Sketchy Behavior | Hellen Jo 

Never afraid to speak and/or draw her mind, Los Angeles based artist and illustrator, Hellen Jo and her characters can be described as rough, vulgar, tough, jaded, powerful, bratty and bad-ass - AKA her own brand of femininity. Known for her comic Jin & Jam, and her work as an illustrator and storyboard artist for shows such as Steven Universe and Regular Show, Hellen’s rebellious, and sometimes grotesque artwork and illustrations are redefining Asian American women and women of color in comics. In fact, that’s why Hellen Jo was a must-interviewee for our latest Sketchy Behavior where we talk to her about her love of comics and zines, her antiheroines, and redefining what Asian American women identity is or can be; and what her ultimate dream project realized would be.  

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Soulmates

Pairing: Harry and Y/N

Word Count: 1600

Prompt (AU) : Harry took his anger out in sex-and you weren’t supposed to do that. He would go to the bar and find others just as terrible and lonely as him, drink, and then sink his sorrows into anything with breast and a hole were to put it. Niall always rolled his eyes the next morning and say to Harry “you’re a proper dick, yeh know that right?”, to which Harry would lift his middle finger up and respond with, “if soulmates are real she would love me anyhow.”

“Harry when you meet her your life will change,” Anne says, handing him a cup of tea.

Harry rolls his eyes, “I don’t care to meet her. It’s all bullshit,” Harry grumbles.


Y/N was never much of a talker; she had maybe said eight sentences in her whole life time. She wasn’t sure where the fear really came from, the fear of saying the wrong thing, of being too loud, of not being heard, so she kept to herself. People didn’t seem to understand though, they couldn’t comprehend why she chose to not talk, so she was labeled as weird, freak, stupid etc. Then they labeled her as mute (and she was) but she hated that term, she really did, Y/N just hated being labeled. At first it hurt, it really did, but Y/N soon learned to ignore them, she could only really care about what her Soulmate would have to say, and deep down a part of her wished that they were like her, quiet.

Soulmates, Y/N had been waiting for hers for a long time. She could remember sitting in class in fifth grade, when the teacher explained the process. She explained how everyone was born with a mark, a mark that only their other half had and she made them find that mark. Y/N’s was on her wrist, it was small, and lighter than her regular skin color, she wasn’t sure what it was at first, it just looked like a stick. But the teacher explained how the mark gets more detailed as they get older and closer to finding their person, and Y/N had noticed how that mark slowly grew into a small flower, a petal or two still missing.

Her teacher explained how every person was made for the other, and that they would feel their soulmates emotions, pain, negative thoughts, happy thoughts. They were connected and no matter what the other would always feel what their person was feeling. Y/N had learned that her person always seemed to be grumpy.

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things people forget about the outsiders

these are some pretty important things i think people should know bc it could help them w/ their character development or story in general. enjoy!

• sodapop would’ve joined dally in dirty talking cherry and marcia. and if they were greaser girls, ponyboy would’ve joined in as well.

• daLLY IS A FUCKING ASSHOLE WHO HAS JUMPED LITTLE KIDS BEFORE AND AN OLD MAN FOR HIS RING. HE’S NOT GONNA CHANGE HIS ENTIRE FUCKING PERSONALITY FOR YOUR CHARACTER.

• johnny is really good at hiding his emotions. he’s also a brave little shit who can get real sassy sometimes. yes, he is meek and shy, but when he feels the need he can be tough.

• steve is still in school. repeat after me, stEVE IS STILL IN SCHOOL AND ONLY WORKS PART TIME.

• the guys only watch their swearing and behavior around cousin-type girls. if your character is a new friend of pony’s who’s coming over for the first time, the gang isn’t gonna be super-duper nice to her and accept her 100%. they will probabaly be jerk-faces for a lil while, then chill out after she proves herself.

• two-bit wanted to drive to texas to look for ponyboy and johnny.

• darry goes skiing with his friends sometimes and was voted boy of the year. he was a popular, fun guy before he became the dad figure in the curtis household. yeah, he’s hella mature and dad-like now, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to have fun.

• johnny was a good man in a rumble. i repeat : JOHNNY WAS A GOOD MAN IN A RUMBLE. HE COULD KICK ASS, OKAY.

• in the book, ponyboy kicked soc ass during the rumble. he is young and emotional, but he isn’t helpless. i personally hated the way the movie depicted him during the rumble; just letting the socs beat him up and crying out for darry the minute it begins. if you read the rumble excerpt, he obviously isn’t the best fighter but he can defend himself pretty well and can take a punch.

• johnny can take a whipping with a 2 by 4 without letting out a whimper. he isn’t gonna be on the floor unconscious after a punch to the gut, please and thank you.

• cherry is afraid of dissapointing her parents if they see her hanging with pony. i personally believe that cherry overcomes that fear and apologizes to ponyboy after ignoring him at school, and they become good friends. but the only true reason she doesn’t want to be seen with ponyboy is because of her parents. we see she clearly doesn’t really care about half of her “friends” or what she’s supposed to do as a soc (beer blasts and river bottom parties), so why would she care if her other friends saw her with pony?

Cuddle buddies

Originally posted by out-in-the-open

Pair: Dean x Reader (kind of)
Warning: none
Summary: Dean and the reader have an established relationship… as cuddle buddies. 


A small whimper escaped your lips as you stretched your muscles out, waking up. The room was pitch black and cold; the only warmth you got was from the strong body next to you, holding you dangerously close. 

Not ready to wake up yet, you turned over in Deans arms and nuzzled closer to him, resting your face in the crook of his neck; smiling when his arms wound tighter around your body. 
“Y/N” Dean whispered, lazily dragging his fingers over your skin, causing it to erupt in goosebumps.
“Not ready yet” you croaked, your voice a little more hoarse than usual. 
“Okay” he whispered, back closing his eyes and enjoying the feeling of your body pressed against his. 

You and Dean had been sleeping together for almost two months now. But that was it. You didn’t have sex or kiss or really do anything else, you just slept together. It all started one night, you two had fallen asleep together on the couch, watching some movie, and when you woke up you played it off as nothing until he told you it was the best sleep he had ever had in his life. 

“C’mon, Y/n” Dean begged, grabbing your hand and pulling you back to the couch. 
“Tell me that wasn’t the best sleep you’ve ever had” he pressed. 
“I’ve had… better” you mumbled, leaning back into the couch. 
“Y/nnnnnnnn” he taunted, knowing that you were lying through your teeth. 
“Fine! It was the best nap I have ever had, so what?!  It’s weird, Dean. We aren’t sleeping together anymore.”
But Dean being Dean means he usually gets what he wants, and that started your addiction for sleeping together. 


“I can’t go on this hunt!” you sighed, plopping down in one of the chairs in front of Sam and Dean. 
“Why?!” Dean asked, looking baffled. 
“I think I have a-” you sneezed into the tissue in your hand. 
“a cold” you finished, sighing. You had a small fever and had been sneezing since you woke up. 
“Shit” Dean sighed, “alright, well, we’ll keep you updated. We should be home in a few days, it looks like a simple vamp nest.” 
Grabbing his bag, Dean pressed a kiss to the top of your head.
“Bye kid” Sam smiled, giving you a pat on the back as they walked out the door. 

The first night was the worst night. You had grown so used to Dean’s warmth, no matter how many blankets you had nothing was ever enough. It had taken a strong dose of NyQuil and some Tylenol PM to put you to sleep; even then, it was a pretty rough sleep. 
You woke up early, before the sun had even come up and texted Dean 
I didn’t sleep for shit last night, come home. 
To which he responded:
Me either. We’re working on it, sweetheart. Should be home in the next few days. Just hold out for me. 

You had spent the most of that day soaking in a bath and eating tomato soup. You made sure that you staying in your actual room, not wanting to take the risk and exposing Dean’s room with your germs. 

The next day, you were really spent. You had no energy to do anything, so you just took your medicine and watched movies in and out of consciousness. Sam and Dean had both left you a few voicemails, telling you how the case was going and just keeping you updated which you greatly appreciated. 

By the fifth day, you felt better, having read that if you cut up white onions and place it around the home, especially in the room of the sick person they somehow absorb the bacteria and viruses and rid you of your cold. 

Even though you had been feeling better, you still were exhausted. You had no idea how awful sleeping was without Dean there to keep you warm and safe. 
Sitting in the library, you were reading a few lore books you had found in the basement of the bunker when they brothers walked in.
“Y/N” Deans voice called out for you as he dropped his duffel bag on the floor. 
“Yeah?” you asked, stepping out of the library and looking at him. 
“My room. Now, we’re taking a nap” his tone was so assertive and demanding, it turned you on a little bit.
“What was that about?” you asked Sam as Dean had disappeared down the hallway. 
“He hasn’t slept since we left,” Sam chuckled, winking at you. Rolling your eyes, you followed Dean down the hall and into his room. 

It was dark, just how the both of you needed it to be. Slipping your jeans and bra off, you climbed into bed with dean and softly moaned at the feeling of his arms around your waist. 
“Fuck, I missed you” you whispered, cuddling your head into his chest. 
“I missed you too, sweetheart” Dean sighed, running his fingers through your hair, basking in the feeling of you back in his arms. 

The 1 Element Your Flawed Character MUST HAVE

If you’re a reader, you’ve probably experienced this before: you pick up a book, it seems pretty interesting, you nonchalantly decide to read it – “whatever, might be good” – and then … 

A paperback explodes life as you know it.  

Encountering a book like this can give life sudden clarity, it can change the way you look at the world, it can help you overcome something and grow, it can give you new purpose, it can inspire you to change your life, it can transform your future. By the time you’ve finished that book, it has become a part of your life – and will probably remain that way forever. (*Holds up my battered copy of Narnia as evidence*)

This magical experience is pretty much the ultimate goal for a reader. But if you’re a reader AND a writer, the fulfilling moment is inevitably marred by one depressing thought:  

“I’ll never write anything that good.”  

To which I say:

I beg to differ, little discouraging voice. With dedication and persistence, anyone can write a story that will be deeply meaningful to a reader. 

The trick? It needs to be deeply meaningful to the writer first. 

If a writer is going to give a reader a life-altering piece of knowledge, that means the writer already has that knowledge to give. We have all experienced things worthy of a story. We are all characters, journeying through arc after arc, becoming better or worse. From living these stories, we learn and see things more clearly, just as protagonists do. Which means we have something to say, something to write about, something to give. 

But to do so, we have to shoot for art.

The word art seems terribly vague, unattainable, and intimidating. But I don’t think it has to be. By “art” I’m going by the definitions given in two of my favorites quotes about writing (writing is art, so these apply): 

“Art is born when the temporary touches the eternal.” – G K  Chesterton

and

“…It is an art. It is the best of all possible art, a finite picture of the infinite.” – N D Wilson  

Both quotes state the same thing, in different ways. Art is about depicting and communicating something true, something universal, something everlasting about life and humanity, through something tangibly created. A definition which sounds an awful lot like the definition of metaphor: “a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.” Which sounds a lot like storytelling, because story IS metaphor. It’s life, condensed and magnified, all of its components there for a specific reason – to represent and convey some deeper meaning. So storytelling is naturally suited to being art. Which is good news for writers.

But it can also mean trouble. Storytelling is proven to be one of the most powerful teaching methods there is; a story actually has the power to get into someone’s head and heart and change everything, because to a reader’s mind the events on the page are actually happening. They’re living another life, a life that seeks to prove whatever the author wants to say. So writers have a responsibility to make sure the meaning of their story is true, morally and logically. 

BUT HOW DOES THIS ALL RELATE TO THE MAIN CHARACTER?!

Your main character is flawed, both in ways that only hurt themselves, and in ways that hurt others. These flaws are causing them to ruin their own lives. If they don’t awaken to this unwelcome truth about themselves, they will be lost. What happens to them over the course of the story, as they go after their singular goal, is going to apply pressure to these flaws until someone new – and most of the time, better – is made. The journey will teach them something, and that knowledge will enable them to overcome their weaknesses and forge a better life. 

And I bet you can guess what that story will teach them. That thing that is deeply meaningful for you, so meaningful you want to share it with readers? Yup, that’s what your main character is going to learn.

It’s going to be the SOLUTION to their inner problems. When it comes to characters, the meaning can be wrestled into three parts, adding up into one concise sentence. 

1) To achieve *a better state of being*

2) One must *moral and mental requirement*

3) Or else *the inner stakes*

To see how this works, let’s look at a fairy tale, the most straightforward example of this concept: 

Let’s see Cinderella (the live-action 2015 version). 

The meaning of the movie is summed up in this scene, and the story seeks to prove it throughout: 

“Have courage and be kind… It has power, more than you know. And magic.”

The story revolves around this notion, and everything seeks to represent it and prove it, in true Fairy Tale fashion.  

So in one line, that Ella’s arc proves: To achieve victory over abusers, one must hold onto their courage, kindness, and goodness no matter what – or else succumb and turn into someone like them. 

Exemplified in her last words to her stepmother, that truly defeat her forevermore:

So! Constructing these sentences can help give our flawed characters a destination to motor towards. Which makes writing their arcs much easier. And maybe we can construct a character arc and story that will become one of those magical reading experiences for a reader. And then, maybe one day, we’ll get letters from our reader, telling us exactly what our stories gave them and how it has saved their life in some small way (or maybe not so small way.) 

If finding a book like this is ultimate goal of a reader, I think getting a letter like that is the ultimate goal for a writer. 

Well, there’s my motivation. Time to go figure out what the heck I want my book to say. 

Things that remind me of the houses


Gryffindor is being emotionally driven. It is the wild grin on your face as you charge head on into a wave. It is dipping your fingers into wax just after blowing out the flame. Gryffindor is bonfires and sparklers at the end of summer; it is windswept hair and running around in the rain with friends. Gryffindor is good YA novels, the gems hidden in the back shelves. Gryffindor is brightly colored lipstick and kisses that feel like electricity, like passion, like heat. It is belting “Don’t Stop Believin” at the top of your goddamned lungs. Gryffindor is comic books. It is power outages. It is talking back to people in positions of authority because they’re wrong. Gryffindor is racing your friend for shotgun. Gryffindor is earrings that swing when you turn your head. Gryffindor is sailing under a great blue sky; it is fireworks and ginger beer. Gryffindor is summer. Gryffindor is ripped jeans and flannels. Gryffindor is knowing that failure to stand strong all the time doesn’t make you weak. Gryffindor is jumping off a bridge into the ocean with your friends. It is the scream that gets punched out of your lungs on rollercoasters. Gryffindor is hot chocolate and sweatpants; it is naps during the day. Gryffindor is New York City. Gryffindor is hard cider and caramel apples. Gryffindor is stopping mid-sentence to point out a dog across the street. Gryffindor is getting an apartment with your friends after college. Gryffindor is Steve Rogers. Gryffindor is praying that your soda won’t explode. Gryffindor is sweaty ponytails and the shaky feeling in your muscles after a good workout. Gryffindor is road trips with your best friends. Gryffindor is turning your friends into family. Gryffindor is long summer days and even longer summer nights; it is feeling like nighttime can’t stop you. Gryffindor is life. Gryffindor is love. Gryffindor is friendship. Gryffindor is freedom.

Hufflepuff is being carefree of spirit and caring of heart. Hufflepuff is comforting a friend by singing a song you both love until they’re calm enough to sing along. Hufflepuff is blasting the air conditioner so it’s cold enough to sleep under a quilt in the summer. Hufflepuff is flower crowns. Hufflepuff is activism. Hufflepuff is sticking your feet under your friend’s legs when they’re cold. Hufflepuff is cotton candy and sunsets at the fair. Hufflepuff is kissing in the rain. Hufflepuff is the feeling of helplessness that comes from not having enough power to right the world’s wrongs. Hufflepuff is hammocks. It is tattered friendship bracelets. It is getting flour on your face while baking. Hufflepuff is big sweaters and leggings; Hufflepuff is side braids. Hufflepuff is the storm that breaks the heatwave; it is running around the house to shut all of the windows and then collapsing on the floor giggling. Hufflepuff is the Aunt Friend, for when the mom friend needs a mom friend. Hufflepuff is prom night with a group of friends. Hufflepuff is strawberry frosted donuts with rainbow sprinkles. Hufflepuff is Tuscany. It is sunlight reflected in the morning dew. It is the smell of smoke on a cold winter day. Hufflepuff is understanding the value of a child’s mind. Hufflepuff is the first day of spring. It is stopping to smell the flowers. It is warmed milk with spices and vanilla. Hufflepuff is the books from your childhood that you’ve read to shreds; it is the movies you can quote with ease. Hufflepuff is brightly colored eyeliner. Hufflepuff is sunrise over the mountains. Hufflepuff is festivals in the summer with maxi skirts and fresh-picked flowers in your hair. Hufflepuff is sitting under a tree with your friends. Hufflepuff is weighing yourself down with worries to lighten someone else’s load. Hufflepuff is digging in the dirt with your hands to find the cool earth underneath. Hufflepuff is leaving cute messages on your friend’s phone when you’re in different time zones. Hufflepuff is compassion. Hufflepuff is empathy. Hufflepuff is laughter. Hufflepuff is freedom.

Ravenclaw is asking why and using the answer. Ravenclaw is reading at night with a flashlight under the covers. Ravenclaw is lightning. Ravenclaw is fuzzy socks. Ravenclaw is lying on your back with a group of friends and looking at the stars. Ravenclaw is forgetting to eat and sleep because you’re in research-mode. Ravenclaw is French-press coffee. Ravenclaw is owning more books than you could read in a lifetime. It is quick messy buns with pencils stuck through them; it is sweatshirts and yoga pants. Ravenclaw is curling up on a window seat with a book as the snow falls outside. Ravenclaw is people-watching. It is old book smell. It is watches with interesting faces and the full moon through the trees. Ravenclaw is bronze eyeshadow. It is Paris. It is hard caramel. Ravenclaw is staying up until sunrise talking about the universe. It is lying on the floor talking to your significant other about anything and everything and then rolling over and kissing them. Ravenclaw is packing your books first to make sure you’ll have room. It is running your hand through your hair to calm yourself down. It is beanbag chairs in the library. It is spending time with people of older generations and trying to absorb all of the wisdom they have to offer. Ravenclaw is the best answers in Cards Against Humanity. Ravenclaw is twirling a pen through your fingers as you think. Ravenclaw is the feeling of freedom on a windy day. Ravenclaw is ornate bookmarks; Ravenclaw is antiques. Ravenclaw is well-disguised sass. Ravenclaw is asking the perfect question to send the class off on an hour-long tangent. Ravenclaw is flirting in other languages. Ravenclaw is doing personal research instead of homework. Ravenclaw is knowing that imagination outstrips intelligence. Ravenclaw is curiosity. Ravenclaw is wit. Ravenclaw is passion. Ravenclaw is truth.

Slytherin is knowing that there are still some things more important than success. Slytherin is being asked “what do you want to be when you grow up” and answering with the same thing you’ve been saying since you were six. Slytherin is the feeling of triumph when your hard work pays off. Slytherin is blazers and sleek ponytails, but it is also team sweatshirts and messy braids. Slytherin is dark chocolate. Slytherin is fog settling in the valley. Slytherin is the feeling of meeting your idol and having them live up to every expectation. Slytherin is the Mom Friend™. Slytherin is surviving on coffee. It is a river so clear you can see the bottom if you’re still for long enough. Slytherin is London. Slytherin is classic literature. Slytherin is knowing that respect is earned. It is reminding yourself that it’s okay to forget about the future and live in the moment. Slytherin is being the designated driver. Slytherin is tattoos is discrete places. Slytherin is “The Bullpen” by Dessa. It is whispering “can I kiss you” before leaning in. Slytherin is chilled fingers wrapped around hot drinks on a crisp fall morning. Slytherin is perfectly winged eyeliner; Slytherin is good posture and a firm handshake. It is the smile for people you don’t like all that much. It is rings. It is armchairs in the back corner of coffee shops. It is the power trip of walking down a hallway in heels. Slytherin is dressing nice to go nowhere. Slytherin is freshly brewed tea in a china set. It is not getting out of your pajamas on the weekends. It is forgive but don’t forget. Slytherin is knowing that intelligence is not all that it’s cracked up to be; it’s knowing that the key is the will to do something with your life. Slytherin is the euphoria of ballet. Slytherin is hunting down anyone who has ever hurt the ones you care about. It is staying up until 4 am and sleeping until noon. It is wing-back armchairs to curl up in. Slytherin is taking study breaks to go out and stand in the rain, letting it clear your mind. Slytherin is drive. Slytherin is protectiveness. Slytherin is hard work. Slytherin is self-confidence.

What’s up, it’s Alexei!

When Ngozi posted this picture yesterday of young post-draft Tater “trying his darnedest to answer press questions in English,” I thought, “You know, I could make a play fic out of that.” Which is what led to the following 2700+ words about Tater and his ESL tutor.

Many, many thanks to @ktheunready for being my Russian authenticity consultant and beta!


Georgia Martin stood at the back of the media scrum and watched Alexei Mashkov stumble his way through his post-draft interview, saw the way his fingers kneaded the brim of the brand-new Falconers’ cap he’d been handed for the initial official photos, saw the way his eyes widened and stayed intently glued to whoever was asking him a question, like he was afraid he’d miss some key bit of meaning if he blinked.

She pulled out her phone and made a call.

***

«No, Mama, I promise, my room is very nice. The family is very nice. Everything is very…»

«Let me guess, nice? »

Alexei sighed. «Yes.»

«You know I don’t doubt you, right, Alyosha? I’m not worried you can’t do this. You will be fine. But I know this is your first time to live in another country, with none of the boys from your teams here. It can be… hard, sometimes. I know.»

«Yeah, Mama, I know. You told me.»

«Are you telling me you’ve heard the stories of my youth too many times?» she asked in mock outrage.

«No, no!» he laughed. «Of course not.»

«Good. I should think not.» He could picture her face exactly, and it made him smile. «I’m glad your host family seems nice, Alyosha. I’m sure you will have many friends in no time.»

He flopped back on the bed again and stared at the ceiling. «I hope so.»

«We’ll talk again soon. Love you, son.»

«Love you, too.»

He hung up and let his phone rest on his chest. He’d been to America before. He’d thought he’d known what it would be like, that it wouldn’t be so bad. Different, yes, but there would be so many interesting new things to see, and new teammates, and he certainly knew how to play hockey. What he had failed to take into account, apparently, was how exhausting it was to try to function in English all day. For a US hockey team, the Falconers’ roster was shockingly low on Russian players, so his host family was one of the French Canadian ones. To their credit, they did speak some Russian, but it was hardly enough to have a real conversation. Alexei felt like he’d been practically mute all day.

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How to Keep Your Readers EMOTIONALLY Involved

Why is it that sometimes a book or movie can make you THIS emotionally invested  … 

And sometimes it’s more like this? 

My stories used to inspire a reaction similar to Hermione’s in my readers. And in me.  At some points I’d be reading my work, and a little honest voice buried somewhere in my head would say “I wouldn’t care if this character was hit by a bus right now.” Then I’d heap some denial atop the voice, silence her unwanted mutterings, and go back to trying to enjoy my story. Problem was, my readers appeared to have this little honest voice as well. And if she told them “Cartoon bus. Hitting this character. Wouldn’t that be funny?” they had a tendency to listen to her.

What was the problem? My scenes didn’t connect to my reader’s emotions. They didn’t change those emotions throughout the scene. They started out sad and they ended just as sad or even more so. And what came after that? Well, another scene that began with the main character feeling horrible, which ended with him just as downtrodden as before. Or worse: The scene began positive and just got better. The next one would start out absolutely giddy and ended effervescent. And this kept going until the characters were almost singing with joy. (Okay, maybe I’m being slightly snarky about my past self.) But after that, I’d follow it up with a long sequence of sadsadsad scenes. 

So what happened? My readers had only two emotions while enduring this: frustration and impatience. 

The scenes weren’t keeping my readers emotionally engaged. The scenes weren’t changing emotionally. And that is what needs to happen: The emotional charge of the scene has to change. Switch between negative and positive. The flow of the reader’s emotions has to be taken into account, and consciously adjusted. It’s that simple. 

How can this be accomplished? 

1) Determine what’s at stake in the scene. To the characters, something important is being threatened, something emotional or primal. Love? Safety? Friendship? Justice? Make sure the scene means something for the characters. (If it’s not emotionally significant to them, connected to the A Story, B Story, or Character Arc, it’s not a scene and the reader won’t care.) And since the readers are emotionally connected to the characters, the readers care about what’s at stake, and are conscious of what it means. 

2) Beats. The exchanges of action and reaction between characters and forces of opposition in pursuit of the goal … these carry that emotion, these are how emotions shift within the scene, gradually taking it from one to another. 

3) Emotional Charge. If the scene starts with what’s at stake in positive way, then it’ll switch to negative by the end. If if starts negative, the scene will change to positive. 

Anyway! How does this work?  

To illustrate it, because I’m having a lot of fun reading the screenplay, here are five scenes from Zootopia. 

Let’s start with the scene right after this happens: Manchas has gone savage, and Judy and Nick are running for it.

Scene 1 

What’s at stake? Life

Opening Charge: Negative (They’re being chased by a jaguar who is about ten times bigger than either of them, and who seems quite keen to tear them apart. To the characters, this scene opens with a 95% likelihood of imminent brutal death. To the audience, this scene opens with two characters we’ve come to care about in this dangerous situation.)

Closing Charge: Positive (They manage to call backup. Judy manages to handcuff Manchas. Nick stays to help Judy, rather than hop on the gondola to safety. They fall but manage to survive. They fall again, but are caught by a vine just before impact. Bogo and the rest arrive, and Judy is full of confidence about her discovery in the Otterton case, and eager to show them. Everything in this scene ended in Judy and Nick’s favor.)

How has what’s at stake changed? They lived.

Scene 2

What’s at stake? Judy’s lifelong dream, the goal she’s worked towards since she was a child. 

Opening Charge: Negative (Judy tells Bogo that this is way bigger than a missing mammal case – Otterton and Manchas went savage. He scoffs at her. In response, Judy confidently sweeps back the leaves to reveal the wild jaguar … and he’s gone. With her proof nowhere in sight, what she’s told Bogo sounds insane and ridiculous. Which provokes him into demanding her badge.) 

Closing Charge: Positive (Nick stops Bogo from taking Judy’s badge. Nick also bluntly tells him that he’s been an unfair little jerk to Judy, they have time to solve the case, and they have much more important things to be doing than standing around dealing with these idiots. He even calls her “Officer Hopps” instead of Carrots. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? She still has a chance to achieve that lifelong goal. And Nick was the one to buy her more time. 

Scene 3
What’s at stake? Truth

Opening Charge: Positive (Judy, and the audience, are feeling thankful and closer to Nick.)

Closing Charge: Negative (But even though we are in a good place, Nick looks far away … he starts thinking back … and we can sense that this memory lane doesn’t end anywhere pleasant.)

How has what’s at stake changed? He’s about to share something significant.

Scene 4
What’s at stake? Innocence

Opening Charge: Positive (We see little Nick! Looking happy and excited. All he wanted to do was join the Junior Ranger Scouts, and his mother scraped together money to buy him a uniform. She’s even adjusting his tie for him, lovingly.)

Closing Charge: Negative (Nick, who had been so happy at the beginning of this scene, is now hiding from the evil kids,  struggling to pull the muzzle off, panicked, crying like his heart’s broken.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Traumatized

Scene 5
What’s at stake? Closeness

Opening Charge: Negative (Well that was a horrifying story. And now Nick is avoiding eye contact, while revealing the takeaways he got from that childhood episode, which have shaped his decisions from then on. Suddenly Judy, and the audience, understand Nick a lot more. We empathize and sympathize with him.)

Closing Charge: Positive (The traffic cameras would have caught whatever happened to Manchas! And Judy has a friend that can help them access those cameras. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Nick dodges out of further vulnerability BUT they’re back on the case – this time, together. 

So!

As you can see, the emotional charges of these scenes fluctuate smoothly, from a scene’s opening to its closing, from one scene to the next. In every moment, in every beat, we’re feeling something. And when the scene turns, we (and the characters) are feeling the opposite of what we were at the beginning of the scene. Our curiosity and minds are linked to the story by the question “What’s going to happen next?”; our emotions are connected to the story by the conduits Judy and Nick, these two characters we care about, as every emotional change pushes us closer towards the answer to the question “What’s going to happen to these two? Is everything going to end up alright for them?" 

Now, let’s see what happens when you stop paying attention to the emotional changes of your scenes. 

Scene 1: Manchas is gone. Bogo is berating Judy. Nick stands there and watches. Judy ends up handing over her badge. The real cops leave, and Judy stays behind, figuring she might as well try and complete the case anyway. All Nick wants is that carrot pen, so he tags along.

Scene 2: Judy has nothing to feel thankful about, and certainly doesn’t feel closer to Nick. He’s thinking back on his childhood, but doesn’t share anything with Judy… 

Scene 3: Instead of the flashback opening on a happy Nick, it opens on him getting beaten up by the evil children, and ends on him weeping with the muzzle strapped to his face. 

Scene 4: We snap back to the present. Judy staring, beyond tears at this point. Nick looking traumatized and bitter. He remembers he needs the pen. He thinks about the reward money if they had found all those missing mammals. He has the traffic camera revelation! He drags a dejected Judy into his scheme, which she doesn’t care about, but why the heck not? 

In this horrible alternate universe version of Zootopia, this sequence of scenes is negative from beginning to end. And what would have happened to the audience if the scenes had played out in this depressing way? 

They would have emotionally checked out.

The connection between emotions and story would have snapped.

We would have forced our emotions to abandon the story, and watched the rest of the movie feeling betrayed and cheated. 

Because in the end, all we care about are these characters. All we care about is story, and character is story. It’s no coincidence that removing the emotional changes of the scenes equated to removing Judy and Nick’s relationship in the scenes; that relationship, that B Story, or Love Story, function (oddly enough) as the heart of the movie: it keeps the story alive, it keeps us connected and invested in the narrative, it keeps the scenes emotionally turning. Before Nick showed up, and we had two characters to care about, what kept us emotionally involved in the story was our relationship with Judy, this plucky bunny that we really wanted to see succeed. Establishing that connection is a subject for another post, but in regards to scenes, this manipulation of the audience’s emotions is how you keep that connection going strong.

I just said to manipulate someone’s emotions. How villainous.