narrative strategies

More meta: But, if it was a fantasy inside Sherlock’s Mind Palace™ and he is so obviously in love with John, why hasn’t he imagined himself kissing him?

@sherrydcherry​ and me were having this fascinating conversation (which was basically babbling about how amazing the special was and when the f#ck are they going to make this sh#t canon because it’s about motherf#cking time), and then she asked me: 

“I was thinking, why hasn’t Sherlock brought himself to imagine (or see) in his mind palace a kiss yet? I mean he obviously loves him!“ 

So I started to write down my answer going as far back as the beginning of Series 3, and somewhere along the way it turned into a very fruitful piece of meta, so I’m sharing it.

Do y’all know how in TEH, when the Sherlock Fan Club (The Empty Hearse, but to avoid confusion with the episode’s name I’ll keep calling them that) started speculating about how he could have survived The Fall, they fantasized about Sherlolly and Sheriarty?

Well, there has always been one thing nagging at me about that.

There were enough fans in the club for both Sheriarty and Sherlolly shippers to exist among them.

Originally posted by it-s-bread

Originally posted by gifystuff

And yet, do you mean to tell me, considering all the comments the media made about John’s ‘bachelor’ status…

…as well as the fact that John and Sherlock had been living together for years…

 …the fact that they stayed in a hotel together during the case in Baskerville…

…despite John always being used as a way for criminals to get to Sherlock…

…the fact that they ESCAPED from the police together…

…Despite ALL OF THAT, do they really mean to tell us there was not a SINGLE Johnlocker in the Fan Club, no one that could have come up with a fantasy about Sherlock’s survival that involved Sherlock and John fleeing the country together?

Because I mean, the fans being the Sheriarties and Anderson being the Sherlolly (lol, I’m still not over how hilarious his heteronormative mind is) implies that the fans ARE aware of the fact that Sherlock IS, indeed, very much gay. 

And do you know what other things the fans knew that could have confirmed the “Johnlock escaped the country together” theory for them? They knew that John wasn’t living in Baker Street anymore. They probably had no clue as to what his new address was, but they knew the flat was empty. 

Granted, John didn’t leave the flat until months after The Fall, but they could have come up with some explanation for that, something like “well, John couldn’t just LEAVE the flat in the SAME day that Sherlock ‘died’, that would have been too obvious.. So he waited for a reasonable amount of time before he went to meet Sherlock in… say… Amsterdam for example, so that no one would be suspicious, and then they started a new life together under false identities…”

*clears throat* 


There was enough material for the Fan Club to put together a story about forbidden love and eventual eloping (and I, in fact, think someone must have done it), the same as there is enough material in Sherlock’s Mind Palace/drug-induced fantasies that it would be possible for him to hallucinate about finally banging John.

So the big question remains: Why the HELL wouldn’t they all do it? Sherlock, the Fan Club, the writers, whoever, why wouldn’t they simply show us what is obviously in their minds? Here’s what I think:

Because the Sherlolly and Sheriarty fantasies were a discard method. 

This was the writers going, "Look at how weird and out of the blue this would be, there is no way that we could organically include this in the plot, just scratch it, lol!”. This was their way of “invalidating” both ships. 

You don’t simply show the culminating moment of a ship (aka passionate kiss), laugh at it, dismiss it as a stupid daydream and still manage to keep that ship’s validity status. 

So, this was really a discard method. Something like, “Hey, Sherlollies and Sheriarties, have this consolation prize and go home; there is nothing left for you here”.

So if we continue along that line of thought, it makes sense that, if they indeed are going for Johnlock as the endgame, they don’t use their way of TAKING THE TRASH OUT in order to hint at John and Sherlock becoming canon.

If they did, it would send mixed signals, and honestly, when you’re going for the endgame in a slow-burn story that’s been unfolding for the past six years, you don’t simply give away one of the most important moments (the kiss) just to hint at the chance that it may, indeed, happen one day.

And that’s as far as my theory goes concerning why we aren’t being shown what is clearly on everyone’s mind these days.

edit: tagging @malinwolf because she’s always ready to hop on the crazy train :D

tolhinata  asked:

Hi, How are you so smart? Your analyses are amazing! Did you take any formal training in story telling or something? Im very curious. Sorry if I sound like a creep.

Too smart for my own good, I sometimes think, but thank you. :)

Yes, I do have formal training in storytelling. I have a doctorate in creative arts, with creative writing as my field of interest. My thesis focused on genre, and especially generic hybridity in speculative fiction.

It’s why I’m so interested in the narrative patterns Davis uses in Teen Wolf, as they are a lot more sophisticated than I was expecting of this kind of show.

His use of theme is really superb and is definitely his biggest strength as a writer; I’ve rarely seen better in TV storytelling. His narrative is also very ambitious, which I admire, and I wish he’d stop undermining that aspect by lying about it. His lack of signposting is probably his biggest weakness as a writer, as it makes the story hard to follow, especially for casual viewers, and it also has a tendency to make foreshadowing look like mistakes.

A lot of TV shows bore me pretty quickly, because everything is telegraphed miles ahead and there’s no surprises. In contrast, Teen Wolf is basically a logic puzzle in story form. They are my favourite type of puzzle. One of the reasons I fell in love with science fiction, and especially time travel stories, is because they are often story-form logic puzzles; not many other genres do them. Even crime shows tend to be more linear and wrap up in a single episode, and the twists are by-the-numbers, happening at certain beat-points every time.

Teen Wolf does two other things I especially enjoy. It regularly inverts cliches in order to highlight oppressive cultural narratives which are usually taken for granted; and it’s being told in a spiral, which is another favourite of mine, and also fairly rare except in time travel stories. :)

I can see why maybe the show doesn’t appeal so well to more casual viewers, because these kinds of narrative techniques and structures just aren’t that common in TV, and with the sketchy signposting it does take some work to follow. It’s become harder as the spirals have layered on top of each other too, expecting you to make connections with what has gone before and draw conclusions from the similarities and contradictions. I really like it, though. It expects viewers to be smart and work to understand the plot. It’s refreshing.

If Sterek goes canon, I think Teen Wolf might become my number one favourite TV show of all time, despite its flaws (or maybe even because of them). Right now, Princess Tutu and SeaChange are ahead of it, and it’s about neck-and-neck with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

To be permanently sentimentally involved with the inhabitants of a
fictional possible world we must then satisfy two requirements: (i) we
must live in the fictional possible world as in an uninterrupted
daydream; and (ii) we must in some way behave as if we were one of
its characters.
        It can thus happen that, when we enter a very absorbing and captivating possible narrative world, a textual strategy can provoke something similar to a mystic raptus or to a hallucination, and we simply forget that we entered an only possible world. It happens especially when we meet a character in its original score or in a new enticing context. But since these characters are fluctuating and, so to speak, they come and go in our mind, like the women in the James Prufrock’s world, talking of Michelangelo, they are always ready to mesmerize us, and to make us believe that they are among us.
—  Umberto Eco, “On the Ontology of Fictional Characters: A Semiotic Approach”
6th Annual Cristal Connors Film Awards: BEST DIRECTOR


Andrea Arnold- American Honey

American Honey feels like Andrea Arnold’s opus, seeing her greatest strengths as a director coalesce into a rollicking, sweeping portrait of America that’s celebratory, thoughtfully observational and slyly critical, coaxing fine performances from a slew of non actors and recontextualizing commonplace Americana. 


Miguel Gomes- Arabian Nights

An inspired bending of the medium, challenging the concept of what a film can or should be, deftly utilizing disparate narrative strategies and genres to craft a delightful, scathing critique of contemporary Portugal that impressively stretches a wholly engaging 6 ½ hours.

Ciro Guerra- Embrace of the Serpent

A bold and ambitious piece that feels as culturally specific as it does universal, guiding its viewer through a winding exploration of colonialism and tradition that veers off into psychedelia to arresting results, showcasing Guerra’s visionary eye.

Jim Jarmusch- Paterson

As observational and restrained as Jarmusch has ever been, crafting a quietly staggering ode to poetry, the mundane, and supportive relationships that warms the soul, making for his finest efforts in years, standing tall among his very best, affecting films. 

Pablo Larraín- Jackie

A masterful, dizzying trip into hysteric grief that thrillingly throws rules out the window, deftly riding the line between authenticity and artifice, throwing Far From Heaven, 2001, and Mommie Dearest into a blender to startlingly singular results. 

Mike Mills- 20th Century Women

An actor’s director at the top of his game, challenging narrative tropes and approaching filmmaking almost as collage, exploring the medium’s capability to reach across time, convey memory, and create compelling juxtapositions between what is known then and now, finding brilliant, collaborative ways to bring them to life. 

Kelly Reichardt- Certain Women

Reichardt takes on comedy unexpectedly, in the kind of simultaneously austere and heart renchingly sentimental way that only she can, crafting a compelling, devastating, and occasionally hilarious celebration of the rough edges of womanhood that shouldn’t be apologized for.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul- Cemetery of Splendor

Weereasehtakul’s serenest, most accessible piece, uncompromising in its sly political commentary and captivating in its dreamlike imagery, showcasing his unparalleled gift for marrying the mundane with the mystical, guiding his viewer through his singular, distinctly national cinemascape. 

My second reason for wanting to direct attention to Afrofuturism is political. From the ongoing war on terror to Hurricane Katrina, it seems that we are trapped in an historical moment when we can think about the future only in terms of disaster – and that disaster is almost always associated with the racial other. Of course, there are many artists, scholars, and activists who want to resist these terrifying new representations of the future. As a literary scholar myself, I believe that one important way to do this is to identify the narrative strategies that artists have used in the past to express dissent from those visions of tomorrow that are generated by a ruthless, economically self-interested futures industry. Hence my interest in Afrofuturism, which assures us that we can indeed just say no to those bad futures that justify social, political, and economic discrimination. In doing so this mode of aesthetic expression also enables us to say yes to the possibility of new and better future and thus to take back the global cultural imaginary today.
—  Lisa Yaszek, “Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, and the History of the Future”

The difference in narrative strategies right now is so funny. 

Typically, at invite-only industry events, asking the famous people for pictures is frowned upon. Some might do one or two, but most most don’t put themselves in a position to be around fans and get asked for pictures throughout the night. It’s why we didn’t get fan pics of Harry inside the Clive Davis event. It’s much more exclusive. 

But Louis went to the Pre-Grammy party crawling with young female types not afraid to ask the celebrity for pictures. Amazing!

  • Harry: Exclusive rock star friends; Parties with the Azoffs and Ringo Starr
  • Louis: Totally approachable; Stands in front of fan for pics; takes 10 fan photos inside industry party

Everyone got it yet?