my ish: history of the world

anonymous asked:

As an author setting out to create unique fantasy cultures, do you have any recommendations about how to avoid cliches and tropes? I don't want to fall into the pattern of 'medieval based country' 'Asian based country', etc when creating, but don't know where to look for inspiration.

Originality is damn hard, isn’t it?

And the thing about it is, every element of your story has been done before. That’s the hard truth. Somewhere, someone has already written that character or that setting or that plot or that voice…And about 90% of it you could find on a list of tropes. You think, “Well, this idea is an overused trope…so I’ll just do the opposite!”

Well, too bad. That’s a trope, too. And so is half way between those two extremes.

Originality isn’t about coming up with new ideas. It’s about taking existing ideas and sticking them together in new, fun ways. 

But it’s also about your writing voice, too. Because you could give two writers an identical list of characters, settings, plot, etc. and they would likely write two very different stories that are enjoyable in their own rights. 

So don’t stress out too much about utilizing tropes or borrowing ideas. 

Now, that being said. Developing cultures can get tricky because you have to balance several things:

  • Familiarity - giving your readers something familiar to relate to is rarely a bad plan and usually helps to give them more to relate to 
  • Usefulness - abitrary choices that add nothing to your story might be fine for you to know in the background, but can be distracting if they don’t serve a purpose
  • Originality - obvs

And you have to do that without crossing into any cultural appropriation. One reason it’s so easy to use medieval Europe as a setting is that a.) it’s familiar, and b.) you will offend literally no one (at least not for cultural reasons). 

I find that the easiest way to develop an original-ish culture is to start from the ground up, time-wise. I start with the origin point and figure out a summary of the history that led to the current culture. The motivation, the why behind culture, is often what sets it apart. If you have specific elements you want to have in modern day, then work those in. Figure out what happened in the past that made that thing exist. 

Here’s a quick example:

Three random headshot sketches of female characters from one of my worlds. Not a lot of similarity here (they’re all from different tribes) but there is one thing they all have in common. Their shoulders are showing. This isn’t a fashion statement, though honestly two of them might think so (one would know better. lol). 

This is a tradition that stuck around from ancient warring times. Male warriors took pride in the bulkiness of their armor, perhaps because it made them look physically more intimidating, but female warriors not only found this practice tedious, they also liked–you know–the ability to freely move their arms in battle. So it became a symbol of fearlessness to leave the shoulder plates off of their armor, sort of as a stab at the men and their insanity. Over time, leaving one’s shoulders exposed became a symbol of feminine solidarity (with female warriors and with women in general) and, eventually, just a thing. 

It’s not the bare shoulders that are interesting, but the history behind the style. I think that’s true about a lot of things in culture. And if it’s rooted in the history of your fictional world, not in the history of a real culture that you decided to borrow for no reason, then it tends to come across with that more original spirit. 

If you haven’t already, you can check out my brainstorming new cultures post. It gives you some aspects to think about that really help shape society. 

Thanks for the ask, anon. Hope that was helpful. 

Happy writing!

guysisolvedititwasgregagain  asked:

Hi! I was considering writing coffee shop AUs of some of my ships, and I was wondering if there were any tips/pet peeves/logical mishaps usually found in coffee shop AUs that you could give me. Sorry if you've answered this already.

TBH I AM NOT SURE if I’m the best person to ask for unbiased advice on coffee shop AUs. I have a history of taking pot shots at them in a really childish way.

If I put on my editor’s hat and put my personal feelings about them to the side, I would say the biggest issue with coffee shop AUs is that people don’t push the envelope far enough when it comes to the AU elements or the plot itself. With a majority of fics X is a Barista and Y is a customer, usually someone suave and hipster-ish. Most of the time it’s set in our world in the current time and Y falls in love with X, coming back with increasing frequency to the shop. Not much happens beyond this small slice-of-life narrative filled with shy, fleeting glances. And like, this is fine in isolation, but when upwards of 75% of the fandom(s) is writing the exact same setting and exact same sequence of events, it can get redundant real fast.

Like sure, X and Y can meet in a coffee shop, with one a Barista and the other a patron, but why does it have to be in our time? Why does it have to be in our world? Like what if this coffee shop is set in 1980s Miami, or a coffee shop that happens in-universe, for example? What if the coffee shop is not actually a coffee shop? What if it’s a front for money laundering, or while serving coffee a terrible disaster happens and our X/Y couple has to band together out of convenience to survive it? What if there’s a secret entrance to the sewers beneath this coffee shop that leads to a secret nest of mole people and one of our characters is the first to discovers it? Like, some of these ideas seem far more ridiculous than others, but fiction should be to push the limits of our imagination while working within predefined spaces (i.e. fantasy genre). Narratively all of these ideas could be pulled off.

So my biggest advice for coffee shop AUs is the same advice I would give for any trope, really. Subvert that trope and push the narrative further.

docs.google.com
History of Atmos - Tales From a Torn Atmos Version

I can’t believe I typed out the entire history of Atmos. Like apparently this is how bitter I am that the show is done, conjuring up a breif(ish?) history of the world from a show that ended eight years ago. What the hell.

Anyways, just thought I’d leave it here in case anyone’s interested. I know there’s a lot of fan-written history for this show, but I thought I’d share my broad version with you all.

Will reblog when I update it with new ideas!

ya boy just took the ap world history test!!! little unsure abt how my scores gonna go, but i think itll be pretty ok!!

i got some updates
-softball is really kicking my ass, but will be done by the end of may ish
-umping will be done in june
-school is out in two weeks
-i will be working over the summer so once i kick up the content on this blog itll probably just be slower 
-thanks for hanging with me y’all!! its been absolutely crazy but im glad you guys stuck around!!!

pimeydenreuna  asked:

your world seems so interesting!! do you have a map of your world? and have you thought about the history of the different countries? (how did they form? have they fought wars with each other? are there any heroic tales of their birth? how are they different from each other?) also what languages do they speak? (hope you don't mind the ton of questions 😆)

you said your story takes place in a medieval-ish world, so what is it like? have they developed technology more now that they didn’t have magic for so long?was there technology before the event that eradicated magic or was it more or less useless because of magic? do they have horses? what is the general attitude towards magic now?            

thank u thank u thank u!! i definitely don’t mind the questions!

i DO have a map, but it’s probably going to undergo some revisions, so i won’t share its rn. but yeah, so there’s six main countries in the empire, and they have some unifying qualities (what with being part of the same empire) but they have unique cultures and histories, and they’ve definitely definitely gone to war against each other.

putting this stuff under a cut ❤

Keep reading

Interview Between Rami Malek and Robert Downey Jr.

Rami MALEK

If the recent golden age of prestige television has foisted the antihero upon us, the Golden Globe-winning, visually stylish Mr. Robot, which premiered last summer to much acclaim on USA and is now back for its second season, delivers an unreliable, morphine-addicted, paranoid protagonist destined to join the canon of TV’s most memorable rebels. But this time, he lives by Occupy ideals, dresses in a black hoodie, and is set on smashing the corporate power structure. Elliot Alderson, a cyber-security engineer by day, vigilante hacker by night, and leader of the Anonymous-like collective fsociety, is the eyes, ears, and sentience of the series. Played by Los Angeles native Rami Malek with a nuanced intensity, it’s the kind of role most up-and-comers would kill for—gritty, multi-layered, and a career definer.

Malek, 35, has been acting professionally for over a decade. He established himself as an edgy character actor in acclaimed indies like Short Term 12 (2013) and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), and has worked with the heavy-hitting directors Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master, 2012) and Spike Lee (Oldboy, 2013; Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, 2015), but as he tells his friend and Mr. Robot superfan Robert Downey Jr., playing Alderson has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, including his first leading film role, in Sarah Adina Smith’s mystery Buster’s Mal Heart, which he recently completed filming. Downey Jr. caught up with Malek by phone in early June, a few weeks after he visited the Mr. Robot set in New York.


ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: Mr. Malek, how are you feeling? What’s going on right now?

RAMI MALEK: Right now, I am home doing a bit of press. We have one of those hiatus weeks because, as you know [Mr. Robot creator], Sam [Esmail] is directing everything. He gets a week of prep before we complete season two of Mr. Robot.

DOWNEY JR.: Do you draw any comparisons between a director/creative partner and a brother, both essentially named Sami?

MALEK: Yeah. I actually do. They both have, in the time we’ve spent together, pretty much told me exactly what to do with my life. [laughs] There are some striking similarities between the two of them: They’re both Egyptian, they both vaguely resemble each other.

DOWNEY JR.: It’s funny how that works. Now I’m not going to start asking you about relationships, in case you were wondering. I’m in this odd position of realizing that it’s somewhat a daunting task to appropriately interview somebody. What the heck is Buster’s Mal Heart?

MALEK: I read this very experimental script on the first season we were shooting [Mr. Robot]. It was really poetic and cool, and it left so much to the imagination. So much of it was just scene descriptions, and we would improv the meat of the dialogue. That was something I looked at and was like, “Well, I’ll probably never get a chance to do something like this again.” I think it’s done now. Sarah Adina Smith directed it and is editing it, and is probably submitting it to festivals right now.

DOWNEY JR.: Oh, I wanna see it!

MALEK: Maybe we’ll screen it together. It won’t be as elaborate as your Star Wars screening, but … Am I supposed to talk about that? Or maybe not?

DOWNEY JR.: [laughs] Listen, it’s a two-way street, pal. First of all, are you in town next Wednesday?

MALEK: I’m not. What kind of fun adventure do you have planned out?

DOWNEY JR.: I had some ideas, but whatever. I guess if I want to see you for the foreseeable future, I just have to come to set again.

MALEK: [laughs] That was amazing. You turned me into a hero when you came to set. I’m not kidding. They were like, “You know him?” “How do you know him?” I knew it was very cool to know you, but the world started paying me more attention on that day on set. Maybe I elaborated on our relationship too much and started fantasizing it was more than it actually was. No, I just told them how close we were and that we hang out, we celebrate holidays together, we watch movies together, all of which is true!

DOWNEY JR.: [laughs] I mean, it was great to see you, very nice to catch up with [Christian] Slater. And, without giving anything away, I was just happy that I was able to see a scene with you and Slater that left everything to the imagination.

MALEK: Usually I look behind the monitor and it’s Sam and Joe Schmo behind there. “Okay, film icon Robert Downey Jr., one of the greatest actors to have graced this planet, is watching the monitor as I deliver a slew of experimental takes before I get to one that might have possibly worked.”

DOWNEY JR.: Now, let me tell you something, that first take was the take. It’s probably not the one that’s going to be in the episode, but it was perfect in that you were going to try what you were going to try, you were going to commit to it fully, and then you were going to not be ashamed if you were directed away from it. I thought it was brave, and vital, and awesome. Without getting into details, you made some sounds that I have never heard made on the set of filmed entertainment before. And they were appropriate to the situation.

MALEK: [laughs] I felt that was the case. You know what’s funny, I remember you said, “What was wrong with the first take?” And I was like, “Yeah, Sam, what was wrong with the first take?” We were doing a scene about three weeks later, and Sam comes up to me, and I don’t know if it was the light—we were losing light that day—but he gave me a couple takes, and that was it, and we moved on. I wanted one more desperately. He goes, “I was talking to Downey when he was on set …” He asked you, I think, how many takes usually work for you, and you said something like, “The first one’s pretty good. The second one’s about perfecting it.” So he looks at me and he goes, “Well, you know, Downey only needs two takes.”

DOWNEY JR.: [laughs] Usually they’re just warming up technically, too, and usually they’re letting things happen that shouldn’t be happening on the first take because no one really takes the first take all that seriously. But I bet that a movie comprised entirely of cleaned-up first takes would be extraordinary.

MALEK: That is not a bad idea. That’s the film we do together!
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DOWNEY JR.: That’s what Buster’s Mal Heart is leading up to. This is beyond experimental. Are you going to hang out with your family while you’re in town? How is everybody?

MALEK: I saw everybody yesterday. They all stopped by the house. I was actually just working on some scenes for the show and reading a script and trying to get work done, and I realized quickly that was not going to happen because my sister is getting married, and she wanted help with finding some of my dad’s clothes to weave into her wedding dress. That was cool. We ended up getting nostalgic and reminiscing about the good old days. It was a fun little bonding experience, so that supersedes all work at some point.

DOWNEY JR.: I automatically thought from the second I started watching Mr. Robot, “Oh, this guy is clearly a local hire.” It wasn’t the fact that you didn’t bother to pretend that you have to have a New York accent to be a New Yorker, because everything is so melting pot nowadays. I’m just saying, because the character is so identified with that kind of netherworld, East Coast, New Yorky vibe, do you feel a sense of being home when you’re there? Or is it more contingent on the fact that that’s Alderson’s rough place of existence?

MALEK: I’ve always felt like I belong there. Growing up [in L.A.] and having a family here was something that I, of course, adored because I was surrounded with that unit. But from the first time I went over there, I felt connected to the way things move, the pace, the ability to strike up a conversation with anybody. I know that people often say it’s hard to talk to people in New York. I think it’s harder sometimes in L.A. But I like the neighborhood vibe, I like getting on the train and going anywhere with that type of speed, having everything at my disposal. The culture, the pace, all of it. I like feeling like I’m in that concrete jungle. I know it’s not your favorite, but—

DOWNEY JR.: Well, you know, I’m from there, so I have a love/hate thing. Ask any New Yorker. Now, is it all right to ask a very general question about season two?

MALEK: Ask away.

DOWNEY JR.: This is probably the least interesting thing I could ask, but I’m trying to be vague. I feel like I’m doing like a Marvel interview right now, and I’m the person who’s not going to get any answers that I want.

MALEK: You would be the one person to get the most amount of answers, so I feel like you could get away with murder here.

DOWNEY JR.: [laughs] You know what, I’m a worker amongst workers today, and it suits me well. How strung out is Elliot when we find him this season?

MALEK: I’m going to say he’s very, very focused, if I may.

DOWNEY JR.: Great. And, as a guy who’s never been arrested or been brought up on any weapon or drug charges, how was it doing that whole first season playing someone who is an unreliable, strung-out-ish narrator? He was super-focused within that world, so this is a new kind of focused you’re talking about.

MALEK: Canadian customs might argue my personal history on that matter, but he was extremely focused last year. He had an agenda, and obviously he was using it as a way to facilitate numbing himself or furthering his agenda, making it a little bit easier to plot out, somehow. This year, he’s coming to terms with this reality of having this kind of dual existence, knowing that Mr. Robot’s existence is real. That creates an entirely different focus for him. I think he’s in a really guilty place when you first see him. As much as I thought that I had this guy down and understood him and was living in his skin, I realized there was so much of him that I had yet to discover.

DOWNEY JR.: That’s awesome. That that can be a really transformative thing when you realize everything that happened in this last run, it carries you a little bit, but you’re always starting at square one. I saw you on the show. I tracked you down. We became friendly. Then I saw that you didn’t get soft or fat, but you looked different. You looked like a guy who wasn’t working. Then I saw you in New York, and it was like you dropped all this weight; now I’m sure it wasn’t that much. But everyone thinks, “Oh, he’s just stressed out.” But that was a very specific choice of yours to get back to the exact fighting weight you were at. What was that challenge and what was that process for you?

MALEK: That’s a good question. If I gain, like, five or ten pounds, it makes a difference. For this, I remember Sam telling me early on, “You’re gonna be on morphine, you’ll be doing a lot of drugs, you’re gonna be very focused. I don’t see you eating much throughout playing this character.” I think the only time I ate during the first season was on the pilot, I ate some McDonald’s french fries. I hadn’t been eating much getting ready for that and going through the ringer of my own personal training. I was devouring fries during that scene like nobody’s business. They might have had to tell me to slow down at one point. I get on this regimen. I worked with Paul Thomas Anderson once, and he said, “It’ll do something to your face.” For a guy like that, if you can see that he’s going through something and everything’s a bit more sunken, it’s less work you have to do as an actor when the camera’s actually rolling. How about you? You’ve done it many times in your career. Look at how fucking built you were in Sherlock.

DOWNEY JR.: A lot of that was luck. You’ll find that every ten years, it gets harder. So I want to do the follow-up 2036 interview with you, and we’ll see what kind of game we’re talking about then. So then, as far as eyes down the road, the real thing that a lot of us are going to be paying attention to is the choices you make and the challenges you bring on yourself. I know it’s impossible to plan for that, because you kind of know what you’re going to do when you’re going to do it. But if you had to shape roughly what sort of transition from this series into the next phase of your career might look like … Is that even a fair question to bring up at this point?

MALEK: It is, because it’s something that I think about daily. I don’t want people to look back and think, “This character was entirely in his wheelhouse, and he’s probably going to end up playing a bunch of paranoid guys who have conspiracy theories.” Which could easily happen! I’ve had my fair share of 1970s conspiracy movies delivered over. I would love to turn around and do something polar opposite, and that might actually be happening soon. If the right people are involved and the script is just as powerful, I’d like to make some even crazier choices.


ROBERT DOWNEY JR. IS A TWO-TIME ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE FOR HIS ROLES IN TROPIC THUNDER AND CHAPLIN. HE HAS STARRED IN THE ROLE OF MARVEL’S TONY STARK/IRON MAN SINCE 2008.

I DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO LOOK BACK AND THINK, ‘THIS CHARACTER WAS ENTIRELY IN HIS WHEELHOUSE AND HE’S PROBABLY GOING TO END UP PLAYING A BUNCH OF PARANOID GUYS WHO HAVE CONSPIRACY THEORIES.'—RAMI MALEK

9

What if: Fandom AU | Frostiron (Past Lives AU)
King Henry V-ish (Middle Ages AU) / For p0ohalicious! :)

“For you and our child, I shall do anything. I will conquer the whole world just to keep you safe.”

I feel like I should tell you what just happened. Do you want me to tell you what just happened?

I’m gonna tell you. I’m gonna tell you what just happened.

I had to stop my mother from fighting off a coyote with her bare hands.

A bit of background: my mother is made of those jumbo-sized marshmallows and cream puffs and love. She is the most mom-ish mom who ever mom-ed. She compulsively bakes and coos at my dog all day and has effectively adopted all of my friends and has a very easy laugh and a pretty, round, happy face. She is one of the sweetest human beings in the history of the world.

But do not fuck with her.

Don’t. Don’t do it. She will end you. She will end you while wearing her matching pink sweater sets and a string of pearls.

Even if you’re a wild predator.

Her mom, my grandma, is from Texas and even though she’s 82, she could legitimately still body slam a 260-pound man to the floor. She was a trapeze artist in the circus. She was often left in charge of the lions and the other big cats when she was, like, eleven and she frequently beat the crap out of anyone who bothered her sisters growing up.

And my mom, despite her insistence on the contrary, inherited the “don’t-mess-with-Texas” gene.

I was driving my sister home from the airport and Mom came along. I stopped at an intersection by our house when something darted into the corner of my eye.

“Oh, my God!” I yelled. “That dog stole a goose!”

What looked like a large jackal-shaped dog ran past our car with a goose flapping in its mouth. I kind of just stared, at a loss, but my mom was losing it.

“Oh, my God!” she shrieked. “That’s not a dog–!”

“That’s a coyote!” my sister finished. “That’s a coyote!”

“I–” I began, without a road map as to where my sentence was going.

Mom started banging on my car door. I have child-proof locks in the back and–good news–they work.

“Let me out!” she yelled, slamming her hand against the window. “Let me out, I’m gonna chase it away–”

“I–no! Mom, God, I’m not going to open the door for you to fight a WILD COYOTE–”

“I CAN TAKE HIM, HE’S SCARED OF HUMANS–OPEN THE–”

“NO!!!!”

“OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR!”

“No, don’t–” my sister interjected. “Don’t open–!”

My mom started banging on the lock, ready to wrestle a coyote to the ground with her bare hands to save the goose when a guy ran up and spooked the coyote, which dropped its dinner and bolted.

We were still screaming.

“I don’t–”

“WHY DIDN’T YOU OPEN THE DOOR?! THEY’RE SCARED OF HUMANS! I COULD TAKE HIM–!”

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT ME TO
DO!” I all but wailed.

Mom flopped back in her seat.

“Oh, just go home!” she snapped.

She’s now alternating between kissing my dog and talking about how the guy who DID scare off the coyote was a wuss because he was scared of it.

I mean.

I know my mom grew up with frontier parents.

I wouldn’t put it past her to fight one animal in order to save another, honestly.

And yes, the coyote was probably scared of humans.

But I legitimately just had to barricade my mother inside my car to stop her from wrestling with a wild predator.

My cupcake-baking, giggly, sugar-and-cotton-stuffed mother was SLAMMING INTO MY DOOR so she could PRY A GOOSE out from the jaws of a WILD COYOTE.

……..It’s pretty metal.

anonymous asked:

Prompt (if you are accepting them): AU Olicity where Felicity looses her virginity to Oliver.

a closer look at what happened in this fic

My First, My Last, My Everything In Between

AO3 // MATURE // SMUT-ISH/ROMANCE/AU // 1,183 WORDS // MORE STORIES

They’d been friends for as long as either of them could remember.

Felicity was helping Oliver study for an upcoming History test. Despite their age difference, with Oliver at eighteen and Felicity barely seventeen, they were both in their senior year of high school. Oliver always said it was because Felicity would be president of the world someday. They in Oliver’s room, the books, timelines and flashcards scattered around on his giant king size bed.

“I think I’m in love.” He said with a sigh, lying on his back, history book forgotten next to him.

Felicity put her book down and glanced at him. That had caught her attention. She scooted a little closer to him and pushed her glasses up into her hair. Leaning over him, freshly-dyed blonde hair falling around her face like a curtain, she met his gaze with curiosity and excitement.

“Really? With who? Laurel?” She asked.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Is it just me or are there not nearly enough characters dying in the story? Since Origins the only characters with cards to die are Ulamog, Kozilek, Avacyn, and Brisela. All villains. These are huge, world-threatening conflicts and yet all the good guys live. It ruins the story for me because it's just so unrealistic. The worst part is so many near-death experiences but no real deaths. The Gatewatch plot armor is bad enough, but plot armor for every protagonist to have plot armor? Seriously?

I think the idea that characters always have to die to show stakes is a relatively recent one (within the last 20ish years). It is - quite frankly - an incredibly lazy way of illustrating stakes, one overused by the comic book industry these days. Many of my favorite stories are fraught without any of the characters ever actually having to die. If it doesn’t seem like the stakes are high, that’s a problem with the narrative, not the body count.

Now, it sounds like you’re talking recent history, which remember is only the last 18 months. In the eight-ish real-world years since the post-mending began, there have almost always been deaths of important characters. But death isn’t the only bad thing that can happen to a character.

 Avacyn (a protagonist) was corrupted and killed; Sorin was imprisoned in stone; Odric was destroyed as a person; Bruna and Gisela were corrupted and killed; Kiran Nalaar was killed; Lorthos was killed; Kiora was broken; Chandra is beginning to experience severe repercussions for overexerting her powers; and these are just some of the post-Origins things I can think of off the top of my head.

AND, we’re going to see Nicol Bolas’ pet plane next. The Gatewatch have experienced a string of muted victories that I don’t think have prepared them for Bolas, and I think we’re going to see some real consequences - potentially with Ajani having to gather allies to save them.

And yet I cannot content myself without sending you this present, praying God that I may have a joyful and comfortable meeting with you and that we may at this Christmas a new marriage ever to be kept hereafter; for, God so love me, as I desire only to live n this world for your sake, and that I had rather live banished in any part of the earth with you than live a sorrowful widow’s life without you.
— 

King James to George Villiers, in a letter, December 1623.

(And signed with ’master’ having been crossed out and replaced with ’husband[e]’.)

From a collection in the Bodleian Library and printed & transposed into King James and the Letters of Homoerotic Desire.

take me to the church; harry/louis; 3k-ish (unrated but contains oral sex and some other things mentioned in the author’s notes)

Harry and Louis are Horsemen of the Apocalypse- War and Conquest- but that’s not really important. They just like to fuck things up.

a stand-aloneish excerpt from a fic that will never be written.

Read the warnings in the author’s note and take them seriously. I know I don’t write anything big-S Serious, ever, and this is no different, but some triggery shit does happen so ~be careful~