insight is king
Ten things I learned about writing from Stephen King
The novelist James Smythe, who has been analysing the work of Stephen King for the Guardian since 2012, on the lessons he has drawn from the master of horror fiction
By James Smythe

Stephen King is an All-Time Great, arguably one of the most popular novelists the world has ever seen. And there’s a good chance that he’s inspired more people to start writing than any other living writer. So, as the Guardian and King’s UK publisher Hodder launch a short story competition – to be judged by the master himself – here are the ten most important lessons to learn from his work.

1. Write whatever the hell you like

King might be best known – or, rather, best regarded – as a writer of horror novels, but really, his back catalogue is crammed with every genre you can think of. There are thrillers (Misery, Gerald’s Game), literary novels (Bag Of Bones, Different Seasons), crime procedurals (Mr Mercedes), apocalypse narratives (The Stand), fantasy (Eyes Of The Dragon, The Dark Tower series) … He’s even written what I think of as being one of the greatest Young Adult novels of all time: The Long Walk. Perhaps the only genre or audience he hasn’t really touched so far is comedy, but most of his work features moments that show his deft touch with humour. It’s clear that King does what he wants, when he wants, and his constant readers – the term he calls his, well, constant readers – will follow him wherever he goes.

2. The scariest thing isn’t necessarily what’s underneath the bed

Horror is a curious thing. What scares one person won’t necessarily scare another. And while there might be moments in his horror novels that tread towards the more conventional ideas of what some find terrifying, for the most part, the truly scary aspects are those that deal with humanity itself. Ghosts drive people to madness, telekinetic girls destroy whole towns with their powers, clowns … well, clowns are just bloody terrifying full stop. But the true crux of King’s ability to scare is finding the thing that his readers are actually worried about, and bringing that to the fore. If you’re writing horror, don’t just think about what goes bump in the night; think about what that bump might drive people to do afterwards.

3. Don’t be scared of transparency

One of my favourite things about King’s short story collections are the little notes about each tale that he puts into the text. The history of them, the context for the idea, how the writing process actually worked. They’re not only invaluable material for aspiring writers – because exactly how many drafts does it take to reach a decent story? King knows! – but they’re also brilliant nuggets of insight into King himself. Some people might think that it’s better off knowing nothing about authors when they read their work, but for King, his heart is on his sleeve. In his latest collection, The Bazaar of Broken Dreams, King gets more in-depth than ever, talking about what inspired the stories in such an honest way that it couldn’t have come from another writer’s pen. Which brings us to …

4. Write what you know. Sort of. Sometimes

Write what you know is the most common writing tip you’ll find anywhere. It’s nonsense, really, because if we all did that we’d end up with terribly boring novels about writers staring out of windows waiting for inspiration to hit. (If you like those, incidentally, head straight for the literary fiction section of your nearest bookshop.) But King understands that experience is something which can be channelled into your work, and should be at every opportunity. Aspects of his life – addiction, teaching, his near-fatal car accident, rock and roll, ageing – have cropped up in his work over and over, in ways that aren’t always obvious, but often help to drive the story. That’s something every writer can use, because it’s through these truths that real emotions can be writ large on the page.

5. Aim big. Or small

King’s written some mammoth books, and they’re often about mammoth things. The Stand takes readers into an apocalypse, with every stage of it laid out on the page until the final fantastical showdown. It deals with a horror that hits a group of characters twice in their lives, showing us how years and years of experience can change people. And The Dark Tower is a seven (or eight, or more, if you count the short stories set in its world) part series that takes in so many different genres of writing it’s dizzying. When he needs to, King aims really big, and sometimes that’s what you have to do to tell a story. At the other end of the spectrum, some of King’s most enduring stories – Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption, The Mist – have come from his shorter works. He traps small groups of characters in single locations and lets the story play out how it will. The length of the story you’re telling should dictate the size of the book. Doesn’t matter if it’s forty thousand words or two hundred, King doesn’t waste a word.

6. Write all the time. And write a lot

King’s published – wait for it – 55 novels, 11 collections of stories, 5 non-fiction works, 7 novellas and 9 assorted other pieces (including illustrated works and comic books). That’s over a period of 41 years. That’s an average of two books a year. Which is, I must admit, a pretty giddying amount. That’s years of reading (or rereading, if you’re as foolishly in awe of him as I am). But he’s barely stopped for breath. This year has seen three books published by him, which makes me feel a little ashamed. Still, at my current rate of writing, I might catch up with him sometime next century. And while not every book has found the same critical and commercial success, they’ve all got their fans.

7. Voice is just as important as content

King’s a writer who understands that a story needs to begin before it’s actually told. It begins in the voice of the novel: is it first person, or third? Is it past or present tense? Is it told through multiple narrators, or just the one? He’s a master at understanding exactly why each story is told the way it’s told. Sure, he might dress it up as something simple – the story finding the voice it needs, or vice versa – but through his books you can see that he’s tried pretty much everything, and can see why each voice worked with the story he was telling.

8. And Form is just as important as voice

King isn’t really thought of as an experimental novelist, which is grossly unfair. Some of King’s more daring novels have taken on really interesting forms. Be it The Green Mile’s fragmented, serialised narrative; or the dual publication of The Regulators and Desperation – novels which featured the same characters in very different situations, with unsettling parallels between the stories that unfolded for them; or even Carrie’s mixed-media narrative, with sections of the story told as interview or newspaper extract. All of these novels have played with the way they’re presented on the page to find the perfect medium for telling those stories. Really, the lesson here from King is to not be afraid to play.

9. You don’t have to be yourself

Some of King’s greatest works in the early years of his career weren’t published by King himself. They were in the name of Richard Bachman, his slightly grislier pseudonym. The Long Walk, Thinner, The Running Man – these are books that dealt with a nastier side of things than King did in his properly attributed work. Because, maybe it’s good to have a voice that allows us to let the real darkness out, with no judgments. (And then maybe, as King eventually did in The Dark Half, it’s good to kill that voice on the page … )

10. Read On Writing. Now

This is the most important tip in the list. In 2000, King published On Writing, a book that sits in the halfway space between autobiography and writing manual. It’s full of details about his process, about how he wrote his books, channelled his demons and overcame his challenges. It’s one of the few books about writing that are actually worth their salt, mainly because it understands that it’s about a personal experience, and readers might find that useful. There’s no universal truths when it comes to writing. One person’s process would be a nightmare for somebody else. Some people spend years labouring on nearly perfect first drafts; some people get a first draft written in six weeks, and then spend the next year destroying it and rebuilding it. On Writing tells you how King does it, to help you to find your own. Even if you’re not a fan of his books, it’s invaluable to the in-development writer. Heck, it’s invaluable to all writers.

“’Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon,’ Ser Joreh had said.” 

*COUGHS* *COUGHS* *Pushes up glasses* You seem to be forgetting the great Queen Rhaella Targaryen, mother of Princess Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen and her bitch of a son, Ragger. The Grandmother of the sweetest children ever, mother-in-law to Elia Martell, the sweetest princess ever. The woman who protected Viserys from his father’s madness, the woman who had to deal with sexual abuse from her own brother. The badass Queen of the Andals, Rhyonar, and the First Men,  the granddaughter of an actual egg. 

She was the last dragon of the Royal House of the Iron Throne, not that fuckboy, Raggar. 

Before I totally forget to talk about it: I loved it, when Zhan Xinjie “exposed” how terrifying the Ye Xiu/Su Mucheng combo is. How he feels about it and all. That chapter was really great and it made me feel so much.
I just wish we had seen/read more about Ye Xiu and Su Mucheng. Yes, there were some chapters before in which those two worked together (like the Christmas one or when they set records), but I think the chapter with Zhang Xinjie had more impact on me, because it focused on the combo of those two and it was from the view of a (former) rival/opponent. Somehow this chapter made me realize how much I want to know (read) more about Ye Xiu and Su Mucheng working together and defeating the enemies. (I am so impatient to read more about all those wonderful characters and there will probably never enough interaction and focus on all of them.)

Im here again to write my unnecessary thoughts. I thought i should not write, because most things are so obvious that we dont even need to talk anymore. My post has a salt in it. But dont worry im respectful salt. It is so long, i dont know if people read it but write it anyway. Continue:

Which way is the Wind Blowing?

1.Jeanne, Onyx Captain, Alessand

It is Jeanne De arc, saint that lead everyone in the past so many times , saint that can lead everyone to right way. Her son, her only light taken from her. She cant just sit like this anymore. But also it is people’s respectful saint that should have been lead everyone all this time. Whats triggered her is that her sons death, not many others. Jeanne isnt to blame, but Jeanne showing her desire just any others do. Even in Genesis, she thought her Gods abandoned her and manipulated by her own hate and become Demon. But different from that time, she is fully in her control but same thing is that she is still controlled by her own desire. Question is if there is glimpse of her light returning again, does she still gonna be act around like this? Does she maybe abandon everything because her light revived again? So many people believe in her, she cant fail them. But also her choosing another decision. No matter whats the result it will be choice that human character would do. It is understandable.

I loved this scene a lot. I know it is just small dialogue for Onyx captain. Just for that line alone, i thought about every situation in this series. “ We are up against humans.” It show cased Onyx Captain not pleased about the fact that humans are fighthing with each other. As if it is so unnecessary because he is living and fighting for the future of Mankind. But now they are fighthing with each other for freedom and live. It is so ironic that what they were trying to do for Mankind bring more destruction. Especially for the Mankind itself.

It is Alessand, i loves to talk about him too. I want more traumased Alessand, The thing is it seems he dont know about many others might suspect him. If  he did know others already suspected him he would have already broken. Since in his deepest part, he know that he fucked up. Alessand will face to face Jeanne de Arc, the person that once he was respected. The person that his reason to join the soldiers is now in different side, here to kill him. It is more interesting when Alessand now become captain of Orlean Knights, the knights that Jeanne once lead. And Alessand took that position killing her son. 

2.Kaisar and Jeanne

I have seen that or predicted many would blame Kaisar for this decision. But it is Kaisar we are talking about, it is expectable decision from him. Kaisar is the one who believe in Coexistence, Kaisar is the one who understands every sides. What a kind hearted he is, and when he shows up his side more. He is here to blame, because he is trying to stop Jeanne from killing Charioce? It is not about Kaisar stop Jeanne because he cares about Charioce or anything. Kaisar respects Jeanne, he cares about her. But why do you think he is trying to stop her? it is because his character ruined? Nah, it is his nature, it is his character. He knows the consequences. He knows what he is trying to do. Stopping Jeanne has many reasons. But all we care is his character ruined? 
Whats Kaisars meaning to stop Jeanne: 1. He cares about Jeanne, he doesnt want her to make her hand dirty again. 2. He believes in Coexistence, it is same as Azazel do reckless things in the past and Kaisar tried to stop him. 3. Jeannes rebellion filled with more revenge and others suffering, it will bring more destruction. 4. It is what Kaisar do always, try to stop people who is doing reckless things. 5. Coexistence, coexistence - the conversation between Charioce and Kaisar. Do you believe in Coexistence? Do you still believe in Coexistence? Kaisar believes it and he will do. He is doing what he always did. It is nothing new, nothing happened with his character ruined or such a thing.
No matter what Kaisar says Jeanne is already determined about her decision, this world already took her light away. It doesnt matter who has done. Since all she knows about is that Charioce was trying to kill Mugaro, thats all she care now, thats all reason that she need know. Reckless yet understandable decision.

3. Favaro, Charioce and Nina

So many of us predicted that Charioce is trying to slay Bahamut, or did know that he will, around episode 18, 19 spoiler.  

Nina my dear Nina, you know whats so brilliant about her she is unique character and yet she is very human. Also she has a role to play as a main heroine, who protects everyone and who burdens everyones desire. But thats not the case, Nina is heroine of her own. If she has still role to  play love and hug, thats what she will do, If she has role to play protect and care people who around her, thats what she will do. Slaying Bahamut, Bringing Coexistence is not Nina’s fate nor her things to do. You know who knows that more than anything. It is Favaro, Favaro understands Nina more than anything or anyone. Just like what he did to Amira, his important ones. Favaro is very strict and smart, he knows the consequences and whats happening around him. He is not dumb but also just because he was trying to do something for his important one is not called his character ruined, but show casing his character more. Nina was determined to stop Charioce in recent episode. But as soon as she faced with that, she cant control her feelings. Because Charioce is important one too. 

He wasnt resisting, it was as if he is admitting that he deserve this. Because he has done cruel things, no one can deny, even he admits about it. Dying by Ninas hands maybe the one thing he want. Dude talk a bit. I mean i know you suck at talking, but people need your answer. Old dude is mvp, he give us so many information. Also i dont think Oldman justified all their actions, it is just Favaro and many others needed answer, so he told about their reason. It is not about justify thing, it is about understand thing.  I love understand word and meaning, but it seems we all have too much different insight. 

“We needed a King who possesed incredible mental fortitude”. I totally loved this oldmans word. Not only he told about what we were always thought about Charioce but also told about “King” position. King is here for people and their Kingdom. Not for himself but for people. To make something better, to make something different. They needed “King” who covers their plan and actions. Charioce is not human who feels something for them but King who has a duty to fulfill something. 

What a suicidal creature you are? He seems to program himself that  I have been born for this, and die with this fate. And it also connects with oldmans word “King who possessed incredible mental fortitude”. He is already decided this fate, he shouldnt waver, he shouldnt regret for his decision also most importantly for his subordinates, for him it seems he is not human to feel but weapon to slay and be statue called “King”.

It is all about ruined character again. I mean, why would Favaro change just because he was seeking answer from Charioce? He never defended Charioce, he never justified Charioce’s action. Even in this scene, he only needed answer for Onyx captains recent act and Mugaros death. Not the things happened in the past. He dont know if Charioce ordered to kill Nina, which Charioce thought Red dragon was enemy until he realises it was Nina. Problem is we know that Charioce didnt take his orders away, we know that. He didnt take his orders away, because of his orders that we have this outcome. And Favaro was seeking answer to recent events like Onyx captain tried to kill Nina and Alessand killed Mugaro. Look at all of this from characters insight and position. Favaro didnt cared things that happening around Charioce. Ever since Kaisar wanted him to cooperate to all of this, he was concerned about Nina, because as a teacher, as an important person, it is his duty and what he always did. I dont know why it was so surprising for us that thinking his character ruined. When it is Favaros’s nature and character. 

Do you think Favaro will let it go, if Charioce slaying everyone? He needed answer for Nina, and he took the answer he seek by himself for Nina. Favaro is a character that would say “I dont give a fuck about world or unnecessary things happening, but i wont back down if my important people or many innocents are suffering.” Favaro didnt justified Charioce, he knows what he did more than anyone. But just because he give ease for Nina, he is now ruined? We know that he wont just sit there. But also dont want Nina to suffer. Because thats he care now more than the world itself. 
No one is justifiying Charioce, no one will forgot what Charioce has done. No one can erase what Charioce has done in the past. No one can forgive what Jeanne has done, or Azazel has done too. Past will never change. Past will not forgiven and forgotable. No matter whats the reason or how characters has changed. They cant change the past.

So that characters like Kaisar and Favaro are not justifiying all these things but just make all of things to change it better way. They are characters who sees the Tomorrow and the Future itself. It is just whole understanding things going on. Conversation between Kaisar and Charioce are still has its meaning through out the series. Do you believe in Coexistence? It is not about forgive and justify actions of someone, but think all possibility. You dont have to forgive and justify others to understand about them. Just for that alone both Kaisar and Favaro will never forgive Azazel what he has done. But they let it go, because it will bring them nothing. Their fathers not bring up just because they are in pain. Matured characters that sees World differently. See the tomorrow and believe in the better Future.


not yesterday.

anonymous asked:

Can you tell us other things on your list of most anticipated revelations in snk manga, besides 9th titan??

Here’s a bunch of them, in no particular order, and a lot of stuff is probably missing. Ofc there’s no guarantee any of these will happen, it’s just my personal wishlist

-Post timeskip main cast (ch 94 pls)

-Zeke’s real intentions 

-Jaeger reunion

-Marleyan invasion of Paradis, the “big battle” of sorts

-Coordinate reactivating, fall of the walls

-Insight into King 145, the great titan war and the creation of the walls (I blame the ED for that one)

-Anything about Ymir Fritz, the source of all organic material, their meeting and her “death”

-Assuming the 2000 year calculation is correct, Eren’s final year of life, set 2000 years after Ymir Fritz, and whatever comes along with that

-RBA flashback, seeing the fall of Shiganshina from their perspective (not holding out hope for that one though)

-Eren revealing his secret about royal titans being the key to his power. 

-”See you later, Eren”

Discussion: Is Aaron homophobic or does his dislike of Neil and Andrew’s relationship stem from worry about what Andrew has been through? Or combination of both?


Bound in Blight and Bliss Chapter 4 - Anguish and Ardor

“Tell me again.” The Elvenking’s commanding voice rang low and lilting through the empty throne room, his normally stoic tone tinged with just a hint of uncharacteristic anticipation and a more than healthy dose of regal decree, enough that the servant cowering before him didn’t dare object her Liege’s order.

Still, Iôlhel couldn’t quite suppress her heavy inward sigh, careful as she was not to let the truth of her emotions show on her face, though genuinely she was heartily weary of this incessant repetition. Not that she’d let on anything of the ilk; she was much too respectful and afraid of her King to disobey. She shifted nervously where she stood at those dangerously mutinous thoughts, however fleeting they’d been, and tightened the hands she had clasped behind her back, her fingers toying nervously with the tie of the apron affixed about her waist, before she glanced bashfully at the foot of her King’s throne and then back to her scuffed boots once more. Something about the Elvenking had always made her skittish, had her nerves pulling taught, caused her voice to fail her at the most inopportune of times.

“She is quite unique among your guests, My Lord,” Iôlhel said after a lengthy heartbeat, her words notably softer than the Kings, though just as sure somehow; perhaps it was the subject, you, that helped to steel the bend of her spine and straighten the quaver of her voice, “She rarely ever asks for anything, and if she does request a service she makes it clear that I can refuse or object. She treats me with great kindness and fairness.” Iôlhel had almost said like equals, but she heartily suspected that was a prospect just of this King’s reach, a concept that he wouldn’t quite understand or abide, so astutely she held her tongue.

“What does she say of her status? Of her tasks here in the Kingdom?” The monarch asked, the stark interest sparking brightly behind his glittering eyes belaying the forced casualness of his stance, splayed as it was on the magnanimous seat of his throne. Iôlhel had been around enough nobles to know when they were trying to keep up appearances, to don the stony, diplomatic faces of their forebears, and now she could sense that very same concentrated aloofness in her Liege. Funnily enough, before your appearance in this court as one of her charges she had never really noticed that trait in the King. Now it was all she could see.

Iôlhel had to smile at the Kings latest inquiry, thinking fondly of how just last night you’d complained passionately about the captain, Tauriel she thought her name was, and her fierce training regimen as you’d peeled off the worn boots from your screaming feet, growling something to the effect of damn it all to the fires of Mordor, but for now Iôlhel thought she’d keep that particular amusing instance to herself.

“She is grateful for the rare opportunity that you have given her to prove herself in your court,” Iôlhel supplied, mentally patting herself on the back for such a diplomatic response; perhaps she was picking up a thing or two here in the courts of Mirkwood, “She is enthusiastic and eager to perform her tasks. However…” Iôlhel said before trailing off, wondering fervently if she should divulge a simple, but revealing, fact about her new Mistress.

“What?” The King commanded, leaning forward in his lofty seat as his resonant voice thrummed through the echoing chamber, looming over her as his celadon eyes flashed brightly, “Speak, child.”

Iôlhel gulped heavily before she replied, reasoning that she didn’t have much of a choice in the matter now anyway. Your words from the previous night flitted through her mind then, making fondness for you grow deep in her breast, I think we are both prisoners, Iôlhel. It just so happens that my cage is more gilded than yours….

How right her Mistress was.

“She longs for a taste of freedom, My Lord. She speaks fondly of the forests just outside the Kingdom’s walls. I think she yearns to see them.” Iôlhel paused then, glancing down at her boots, scuffed and worn by time and trade, weighted by the invisible fetters of her post, “It is a longing that I can understand.”

The King didn’t speak for long moments in which Iôlhel’s heart hammered fervently in her throat, pulse cloying her huffed breaths and sparking deep rooted panic to bubble in her chest. Had she misspoken? Had she angered her King? She’d heard the rumors of his wrath; though he was slow to it, once provoked he could easily strike down enemy or offender, friend or foe, without so much as batting a starlit eyelash. Iôlhel shivered from something very far from cold then, hoping fervently that she’d leave this audience in one piece.

When the King finally spoke it was with unexpectedly compassionate words that lacked their usual sardonic bite, “I suppose you would, bŷrath.” Iôlhel didn’t dare to look up, even as a blush spread hotly on her cheekbones, her heart fluttering down to its rightful place in her breast at the King’s unexpected softness. “And what-” The King paused his statement abruptly, making Iôlhel glance up hastily to ensure that all was well with him. She supposed the King looked almost nervous then, as if he was holding his breath, “What does she say of me?”

It was only due to her many years of dutiful service as a maid and loyal servant that Iôlhel managed to blink back her momentous surprise. To her budding amusement and incredulity she realized that the King was indeed holding his breath, fervently awaiting her answer. Recognizing an opportunity to grant her Mistress additional favor in this court, something that you alone deserved, she canted her head respectfully and replied.

“She speaks well of you, Your Majesty. She has inquired to me about your nature and disposition, and has seemed pleased with what she has discovered thus far.” The King sat forward on his carven throne as Iôlhel spoke, fully unmasked interest glittering clear and unveiled in his eyes. Iôlhel had to bite back a smile at the fervor with which he hung to her every word; it would seem that the King cared for her Mistress much more than his stoic, stony temperament let on, of that she was sure.

“And what did you tell her?” The King asked, voice sharp and edged with a dangerous warning of what would befall her if her answer was not to his liking. Squaring her shoulders, feeling steadied by the thought of you as her ally, she answered.

“I spoke truthfully,” Iôlhel said, raising her gaze to meet her Kings and barely suppressing the shiver that skittered down her spine in response to the intensity banked in his eyes, “I told her that you are fair and just, that your Kingdom is prosperous and your lands vast. I told her that you are a great King.” Iôlhel diplomatically chose to leave out the part about mentioning the King’s wife to you, seeing as she quite liked her head where it sat on her shoulders and didn’t intend to see it parted from her body any time soon due to a few careless words. Judging by the obvious approval glittering in the King’s eyes, she’d made the right call.

One of his pale, lithe hands rose from the arm of his chair to cup his chin, his long fingers stroking almost imperceptibly at the sharp cut of his cheekbones before he canted his head in a gesture brimming with regal intent.

“I thank you for your insight, bŷrath,” The King said, assurance firmly rooted in his tone once more, as if her words had steeled a yawning  tremor in him that he had been  steadfastly suppressing, a deep sense of unease that she’d managed to quell with her half-truths. “You are dismissed; go see to your duties.”

With a curt but sincere bow, Iôlhel all but ran from the overbearing, cloying presence of her King, deeply grateful when she could gulp in lungful’s of the sweet, fresh air that filtered through the cavernous hallway just outside the King’s throne room. Swiping a hand about her brow, Iôlhel couldn’t help but smile as she thought of the aid she’d provided her Mistress this day. You had proven to be an unexpected, but immensely welcome, companion to break up the dull monotony of Iôlhel’s  life, the very least she could do was put in a good word for you with their unruly, tempestuous King.

The very King whose eyes seemed to glint with curiosity and interest when you were the subject of conversation, sympathy and even a hint of mirth dancing in his cold gaze for the first time in many, many years. Iôlhel had seen very few miracles in her day, but that she was glad to count among them.

Legend of the Grain of Wisdom
An Ancient Story Retold
by K. E. Eduljee

Long ago, in the distant past, there ruled over Iran a great king whose name was Vishtasp. Vishtasp had immense wealth and many victories to his name.

One day Vishtasp was returning to his capital from a visit to the provinces, when his entourage passed by an orchard of exceptional beauty. The land around the orchard was desolate. It was clear to the eye that preparing the land for cultivation would have been a task beyond the abilities of most people. The people tending the orchard must have worked with great foresight, wisdom, dedication and diligence. Within the grounds, Vishtasp noticed a group of people engaged in earnest discussion.

Vishtasp turned to a minister traveling with him and enquired about the orchard and the people. The minister told the king that this was the renowned sage Zarathushtra’s garden. The king had heard of this wise man and his growing fame. He decided to invite Zarathushtra to his palace to answer questions which the King’s many advisors had not been able to answer to his satisfaction.

When Zarathushtra was brought before the king, the king invited Zarathushtra to his palace to discuss how a person could gain wisdom. Zarathushtra asked the king to excuse him since his work in the orchard could not be neglected. However, Zarathushtra reached in to his satchel and gave the king a grain of wheat. Zarathushtra told the king the grain had been his teacher and had answers to many questions.

At first the king felt annoyed with Zarathushtra’s response. He nevertheless returned to his palace with the grain. On the chance the grain had some magically properties, the king placed the grain securely in a gold box. Everyday he opened the gold box and looked at the grain hoping to find the answers to his questions. Everyday he was none the wiser.

After some months of frustrated waiting, the king decided to visit the sage once more. The king showed Zarathushtra the grain in the gold box, and asked him what lesson the grain was supposed to teach. Whereupon Zarathushtra asked the king what would have happened if instead of placing the grain in a gold box, the king had planted the grain so that it could receive food and water.

Together they reflected on the many lessons they could learn from that simple act. First, in order to grow and transform, the grain would need to be removed from the gold box and grounded in the earth. As with the grain, the king realized he needed to step out of his comfortable surroundings. Then, in the same way the innumerable forces of nature would flow towards the grain to nurture its growth, so would he be nurtured with knowledge and understanding.

The grain was only as apt to teach, as the king was ready to learn.

The answers to the many questions he had, lay around him. The ability to understand them and grow in wisdom lay within him. Instead of just seeing, he would observe; instead of hearing, he would listen; instead of demanding answers from others, he would develop his own mind and seek answers through insight.

King Vishtasp’s quest for wisdom had begun.

But across the spectrum of attitudes towards violence that can be found among radicals is there a unifying thread? Whether they read Gandhi or Frantz Fanon, all radicals understand the need for action—direct, self-transforming and structure-transforming action. This may be their most creative, collective insight.
—  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was asked how structurally, lion king heads work with the ‘circle’ method, so I sketched out these real quick to give a little insight!

Of course, there are many different methods-I personally don’t use this EXACT method-but I know a lot of people find it helpful, so if anybody wants to try using the circle method to draw Lion King characters, I hope this gives a quick insight!

Thinking about Papyrus a lot lately and I actually feel bad for him. He seems like a character – perhaps the only character – you don’t need to feel bad for. He’s so lively and it takes so little to make him happy. But then he has moments like saying that no one else has ever liked his spaghetti when you claim you’ve eaten it, or referring to making a friend by giving them “terrible puzzles”.

I’ve half convinced myself he is amnesiac – there’s definitely something anyway, because he’s not incapable of learning but he barely knows anything. Even with the spaghetti the problem is who he’s learning from.

I don’t think he wants to give people terrible spaghetti, precisely, he just… doesn’t have anything else to give (except kindness, optimism and support but he gives them constantly and doesn’t value what he’s giving). And he wants so desperately to give something.

Some of the endings are interesting, for the insight into his character.

The King Papyrus one most obviously, where he’s not only uncertain of himself but makes sure Sans is out of the room before admitting it.

But also the one where Undyne winds up on their couch. He’s so quick to assure you he’s totally fine, even if he doesn’t know what to do with his life, he’s just worried about Undyne. But he’s probably having a bit of an identity crisis (how much of his life was based around trying to get into the royal guard?) at the same time as now dealing with two depressed monsters sharing his home.

And then there’s the one where Toriel is exiled back to the ruins and Sans and Papyrus befriend her and visit a lot. They convince her to leave if someone watches for humans and Papyrus loves it. It’s cute, and also kind of interesting, that this apparently replaces his ambitions for the royal guard. He doesn’t really mind whether he’s protecting humans from monsters or monsters from humans he just wants to protect someone from something.

Post-pacifist fics tend to have him remain very much the same, and yet he’s maybe the character I’d expect to change most, because so much of his character seems to be rooted in what he doesn’t know. Learning about the world, learning things from someone other than Undyne… I don’t think he’s going to be obsessed with spaghetti and the royal guard forever, although he’ll probably always want to nurture and protect people.