one of the few villains who's cause you can actually sympathize with

anonymous asked:

Let's say I have a friend who's about to do something stupid dangerous and I have to knock them out as quickly as possible without risking death/permanent damage. What would be the best (least damaging) way to render them unconscious?

Knock a friend out to keep them from doing something stupid and dangerous, like knocking a friend out?

I will say again, in fiction the knock out is mostly just a cheap problem solver that often has no consequences. One of the things you need to start embracing is that violence is not only a limited method of problem solving but it is also about hurting people. It doesn’t respect intent, only results.

You’re always at risk causing death or permanent damage. No matter what it is you’re doing with violence or how safe you try to make it, the danger is always there. It is real, it is present. No matter how skilled you are, there is a great deal about what may or may not happen that is outside of your control.

A person who cracks their friend over the head with a mallet or a glass bottle on the way out the door to do something really stupid is one who is on some level willing to risk them never waking up again.

Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. But the chance? The possibility they won’t is always there. This is also true in situations where they try to drug them. This is why truly peaceful solutions which put no one at risk do not involve violence at all.

It is also incredibly difficult to put someone under in a high stress environment, even when you know what you’re doing. The question is not: do you want to kill them? It’s: are you willing to risk it?

They call it a dirt nap for a reason.

Oftentimes in fiction the “cool” response like knocking out a friend doesn’t match or merit the severity of the situation. Especially since it’s used as a means to sap out the sense of danger.

Lastly though, honestly?

It’s cheap.

You take your drama and you bitch slap it into next week. It’s even worse when it’s treated like an actual solution. Unless the stupid thing is time sensitive, you’re not stopping anything. You’re delaying it. In the end, the only one who can choose to stop themselves is the friend.

You have this scene in your story, two friends. One character decides to attack the other in order to stop them, they manage to knock them out and it works like it does in the movies where they’re out for hours instead of a few seconds. Then what? Is that the end? It’s that easy? Instead of popping the balloon, it sort of lets out a flatulent wheeze and flops over.

It’s a painful inverse of another common scene, which is one person tries to talk the other down and think they’ve succeeded. They relax. Then when they turn their back, the other person cracks them across the back of the head with a beer bottle and walks out the door.

One of these is escalating, the other is ending. In one, the character doing the stupid thing shows how committed they are to the cause of stupid thing. It can be either an anti-hero or villain moment depending on who the audience is asked to sympathize with and what the “stupid thing” is. Either way, it’s the character showing that they’re willing to hurt anyone, possibly kill anyone, even people they care about to see it achieved. It builds worry over what will happen next and what just happened to the character they care about.

You’ve already sapped whatever drama you had by wanting a “safe” knock out solution. The character drama in this scenario doesn’t come from the action itself but the decisions, the drama comes from being willing to risk harming another person, possibly permanently, in order to stop them from doing the “bad thing”. The drama isn’t in the knock out and neither is the solution, it’s in the character deciding that the risks inherent in violence are acceptable given the circumstances. It’s even more poignant between two characters who care about each other, possibly deeply. One character deciding that whatever the other character is going to do and the lengths they’re willing to go to in order to stop them is worth possibly destroying them over or, at the very least, their friendship.

That’s the drama in the scene, that’s the gray area, and that’s where all the moral questions are.

What is about to happen that is worth the risk of killing or destroying someone you care about? What happened to make you even think about going there?

You don’t get to take violence back. Once you go there, that’s it. The other options are closed off. You embrace the fallout and all the consequences which come with it. You can only hope the other person is willing to forgive you, if you even want forgiveness at all.

Either way, in the end, violence is just a stop gap. It’s not an actual solution.

This is where the arguments about violence being a solution actually come from. Where the arguments for genocide and life sentences in prison are born from. Unless we kill them all, it will never end. If we let them back out of the cage and onto the street then they’ll just go back to their old ways. Where the central moral theme between the Punisher and Daredevil in Daredevil’s Season Two has it’s heart. Do you believe in the inherent goodness of people and try to rehabilitate the monsters? Or do you just murder everyone in the name of keeping innocents safe? And, honestly, is that really a solution? How many people do you have to kill until there are no more people?

Violence is not a permanent solution. It is a stop gap. It is a deterrent.

It solves nothing.

Unless the people involved change their minds about their own course of action, the danger will repeat itself. Over and over and over again, ad naseum on both a personal and global scale.

Commit to your course of action as a writer and be honest, but don’t look for a trick-ety trick solution that let’s you get what you want while bypassing reality or the legal, physical, moral, and emotional consequences which make the setup interesting to begin with.

You can embrace the fantasy and kill the drama or honestly look at what you’re trying to do in your narrative instead of going for the cheap way out, especially since similar sequences amount to very little for the narrative unless you work at making them interesting.

There are a few things you can do:

1) Talk to them.

It starts here because if the stupid/dangerous thing isn’t time sensitive then nothing will convince them to go right back to it after they regain consciousness or the minute you turn your back. Physical domination itself is a temporary solution, it solves nothing in the long run. The same danger will still be present, it’s just been delayed or they simply won’t mention it to you the next time.

The only way to get them to actually give up is to convince them to and that requires words, not fists. Make your choice between the stop gap of a few seconds of unconsciousness versus the actual end of the issue.

2) Physically restrain them with your body.

Sometimes, in order to get someone to listen, you need to corral them. Engaging in a physical confrontation that ultimately ends with you trying to physically stop them from leaving is valid. It’s also less dangerous and, ironically, less likely to result in permanent injury.

This is basic grappling, grabbing hold of the other person and not letting go. Pinning them to a wall, the ground, whatever. It can go wrong, but it’s one person trying to physically keep the other person from leaving. This can be anywhere between standing between them and the door, getting back in the way, trapping them in another room until the opportune moment has passed, or even grabbing hold or physically engaging.

You can actually get some really great drama off two friends beating each other up to the point where they exhaust themselves and actually have to discuss their issues. It works.

3) Be a friend to the friend

Get friend the help they need. Don’t resort to giving friend brain damage.

Brain damage bad. Friending good.

Help friend.

Support friend.

Call cops.

Real Life Notice:

If you have a friend who is going to endanger themselves or others in a serious way, please, please, please reach out to those with more training and ability than yourself to handle the situation. Whether that is the police or counseling services, please help them get the help they need and protect others without endangering yourself or at the risk of worsening the situation.

How much you involve yourself will always be a judgement call that you have to make on the spot and I do respect that, but it’s important to do what is best for them and yourself and to stay safe.


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Things I Love About Collar X Malice

The busy summer is over, and so are all my runs of Collar X Malice. I finished it yesterday. A few people have reviewed the game already and I don’t have that much time to write a full review (blame my dissertation and two RA jobs), so to keep this short, I’ll just list my favorite parts of this game, and the various ways this game could possible improve (or things that otome game writers can take note of if ever they are reading this).

Let’s start with the things I love:

1. Ichika

I did mention my preference for independent otome game heroines, with Code: Realize’s Cardia and Princess Arthur’s Alu, being some of my favorites despite some problems. Ichika too is not perfect.

She’s not exactly the most badass (but she’s an excellent shot though), or the most intelligent, but she is a girl who makes the most of the situation. While it is true that there are certain routes where she gets saved (a number of times in Okazaki’s route), she also does a fair amount of the saving.

She has a family and a life of her own. In the game, one does see her do normal stuff—cooking, her dayjob as a rookie cop, and has occasional spats with her tsundere brother.

Unlike many other otome game heroines, she is not too shy about being the first to admit her feelings to the guys she like. In most of the routes, she is the one who confesses first.

Above all, the story hinges on her unwavering conviction that she can uphold justice without causing malice or sorrow.

She’s a very unique otoge heroine and I wish there were more like her.

2. Datable characters are not easily reduceable to types

Sure, there is the recognizable tsundere in Sasazuka, but not everyone is can be summed up via a type. Mineo, for example, is also slightly tsundere and baka, but there is more to him than his love for history and theatrics. It’s the same with slightly yandere Shiraishi, but Shiraishi is not exactly the possessive yandere, as he actually does encourage Ichika to spend some time with her girlfriends. They all have interesting backstories that challenge one’s idea of “type” casting characters in the first place.

3. The ethics of the game are on the gray side

As one plays the game, one may find oneself sympathizing with the villains. That, I think, is the point of the game, because the villains themselves also suffer injustice. It makes one ask interesting questions: how does one deal with injustice?

4. Getting bad endings are not too bad

There are a lot of bad endings in this game, but one may find that getting a bad ending can clue one in to other plots of the game. In many ways, getting bad endings can also function as hints on future narrative choices. Getting bad endings too is can be a way of piecing together a larger narrative, that involves multiple characters with their own subplots.

5. It makes you question the nature of a “good” ending

*Spoilers in Shiraishi’s route*

A lot of people have noted how bittersweet the “good” ending of Shiraishi’s route is. But it can lead one to ask though: is a good ending about the heroine being happy with the guy she falls for, or is it about serving justice to its characters? This game definitely thinks it is the latter. And I agree.

True, Shiraishi and Ichika have to part in that ending, but it does prove that Shiraishi has truly moved beyond being just a pawn of Adonis, and has learned Ichika’s form of justice. Compare that to the tragic ending where they remain happy together, but Ichika is not aware of who Shiraishi really is because she loses her memory. So while the “good” ending does have a bitter aftertaste with not a lot of closure, it is the better ending of the two.

*End spoilers*

6. The yandere route leaves some room for the heroine to be badass

*Spoilers in Shiraishi’s route*

Yes, Shiraishi is the yandere. But unlike in other yandere routes, where the heroine has to comply to the other character’s yandere-ness (ie. MC with Jumin in Mystic Messenger or Toma in Amnesia), it is the opposite here. Ichika sees the signs of yandereness, and does what a reasonable heroine should do: GTFO. And other times when Shiraishi turns yandere, she snaps him right out it. The story makes it super clear that it is Ichika who really saves the day, even if she loses her memory at the end of it.

I usually hate yandere routes, but this is one is not bad.

*End spoilers*

7. It passes the Bechdel test

Okay, it barely passed it, but at least it did! Apart from Ichika, there are three other female police officers in the game Eriko and Kotoho. Sure, they are part of the Shiraishi Bashing Coalition, whose sole purpose it to shit talk about Shiraishi, but they sometimes talk about other things. After all, they do have cases to solve, and lunches to eat. Kotoho especially loves meat.

In addition to those, Ichika also discusses some other matters with other female suspects. Those contributed too.

8. Characters sleep together and are not too ashamed about it

Yes, Ichika does end up in bed with some characters, but the game does not cast her off as a slut. She is still very lovable as she is.

9. Getting the villain route does not involve the heroine getting into a creepy relationship

Yes, in a way, the villain has a route. And one gets to see the villian’s side of the story. But at least Ichika does not have to date said character in order to get that side of the story (ie. Sweet Fuse as much as I also love that game)

10. Your perfect husbando can do feminine things.

This game pretty much casts Yanagi as the almost-perfect husband type. While he used to be a delinquent and has his own dark backstory, you also see him do feminine things like cooking and cleaning. While everyone literally calls Yanagi the Dad of the group, in many ways, he is also their mom.

But of course, Collar x Malice is by no means perfect. Here are some ways the game can improve:

1. Ichika still does a fair bit of emotional labor

Emotional labor is the job of managing people’s feelings. It is highly gendered because women are often the ones expected to do this job. While Ichika is definitely a wonderful heroine, key parts of the game is still about her managing mens’ feelings. Sometimes, I think a heroine should not be made to deal with too much BS in order to be a wonderful.

Moreover, In many of the routes,there seems to be a lot of focus on Ichika’s domestic abilities in the form of her cooking and cleaning skills. While it is not wrong for a heroine to have these and be feminine, writers have to keep in mind that historically, women have been told again and again that they have to excel in these things too in addition to the other jobs that they do.

2. Trigger mode allows one to feel a bit badass for a few seconds, but they are super limited.

Trigger mode is a timed-mechanic, wherein Ichika has to shoot at the right time. They are found in key parts of the plot, but they are very limited. Usually once per route. While it is true that it drives the point that Ichika only uses her gun in times where it is really necessary, surely the game can think of other ways where Ichika can be proactive and a bit more badass than just that and narrative choices. Also, trigger mode preselects your target for the player. It would actually be interesting if one actually gets to decide who the target is.

3. Investigate mode does allow one to interact with some objects, but this is also limited.

One could get great deal of story via environments, case in point being Bloodbourne. I am not saying that an otome game has to be Bloodbourne, but more objects to interact with can allow for better world and character building

4. Map is also limited

There are moments where one can select areas in the police station to go to, but the problem here is that it only allows you to select where one is supposed to go to. Other places are locked. It would be nice to be able to explore other places other ones where one is supposed to go to. Being able to explore the station at least would have given the police station a sense of place.

5. All the characters are straight

There are many other genders and sexualities out there. There’s a problem if all the characters are all deemed to be cis-characters.

6. Stereotypical representation of gamers

One route features a gamer as a villain. Sure, otome games are not really that great with representations of gamers from Yoosung in Mystic Messenger to the MMO players of Period Cube. But it does not help if most gamers in otome games are addicts.

With that, I would say that this could easily be one of the best otome games of the year. That is, if Bad Apple Wars does not upstage it on October.

anonymous asked:

Every time I see your art of a rare pair I somehow become a huge fan of that rare pair. I have too many otps...,

…is it okay for me to be happy I’m dragging you down with me on all of my weird ships because tbh I am for a lot of them there’s just a handful of people shipping them I’m happy you’re joining us hahaha

Anon said: because of your tags on that kamisero post i now love the hc that kirishima just uses loving bakugou as an excuse to get out of conversations that make him uncomfortable, even if it makes no sense. Like ‘any advice on how to confess?’ 'I’m dating bakugou, you probably should ask someone else.’ or 'how do you think snow works?’ 'Dude I’m dating bakugou, i don’t know.’

I’m in love with this ask because this has been my most ridiculous headcanon for an age I’m glad I could subtely make you share it, anon - Kirishima being perfectly aware of the fact that aside from the face there is no objective reason why he should be that smitten with Bakugou? That’s my jam, he’s as surprised as anyone else so when people ask him anything love related he’s like “do I look like a reliable source man DO I I think it’s hot when Bakugou yells there’s obviously something wrong with me you don’t want my advices”

But also for however aware of it he might be he’s still in love with the dude so people pointing it out to him gets old really fast, like, “it’s one thing if I say it myself and another it’s you talking shit about my boyfriend stop that”, which is why he just starts using “what do I know I like Bakugou” as an answer to anything - it starts with him being a smartass and it becomes just habit by the end of it, sometimes he uses it when Bakugou is around or with Bakugou himself and Bakugou doesn’t understand, doesn’t want to understand, has pondered the option of getting angry/offended/demanding an explaination and has deemed it not worth his time because the answer is most probably just gonna be that his boyfriend is an idiot anyway

(also he might or might not like how Kirishima’s pretty much just going around telling people he likes him over and over again, tbh)

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deliriumight-remade-deactivated  asked:

Hello I am sorry if you already answered this somewhere but I couldn't find it (I may just be bad at finding things I am horrible at navigating tumblr) but I am trying to find the grrm quote about how he doesn't write villains or ~good guys~ he writes characters with both aspects? I know you have almost encyclopedic knowledge of this stuff so I thought I might ask. (Also I would like to compliment your almost encyclopedic knowledge on ASOIAF, it's pretty amazing.)

This is a topic GRRM has discussed quite a few times. I’ve posted one of his quotes on the subject, which may be the one you’re thinking about. (edit: And there’s this one too.) But here’s some more quotes, some indirect:

Q: Another element I liked about the series was the moral relativism of many of the characters. Too many Fantasies rely on the shorthand of truly evil villains in the absolute moral sense, but your characters, while they might commit terrible acts, generally do so either from short-sighted self-interest or because they truly believe they are acting for the best. Was this a deliberate decision, or is it just more interesting to write this way?

A: Both. I have always found grey characters more interesting than those who are pure black and white. I have no qualms with the way that Tolkien handled Sauron, but in some ways The Lord of the Rings set an unfortunate example for the writers who were to follow. I did not want to write another version of the War Between Good and Evil, where the antagonist is called the Foul King or the Demon Lord or Prince Rotten, and his minions are slavering subhumans dressed all in black (I dressed my Night’s Watch, who are basically good guys, all in black in part to undermine that annoying convention). Before you can fight the war between good and evil, you need to determine which is which, and that’s not always as easy as some Fantasists would have you believe.

interview, September 2000

Tad: Question: Do you purposely start a character as bad so you can later kill them?

GRRM: No. What is bad? Bad is a label. We are human beings with heroism and self-interest and avarice in us and any human is capable of great good or great wrong. In Poland a couple of weeks ago I was reading about the history of Auschwitz – there were startling interviews with the people there. The guards had done unthinkable atrocities, but these were ordinary people. What allowed them to do this kind of evil? Then you read accounts of acts of outrageous heroism, yet the people are criminals or swindlers, one crime or another, but when forced to make a choice they make a heroic choice. This is what fascinated me about the human animal. A lot of fantasy turns on good and evil – but my take on it is that it’s fought within the human heart every day, and that’s the more interesting take. I don’t think life is that simple.

Q&A session, July 2011

The concept of heroes and villains is a false dichotomy, in George’s opinion. Real human beings are a mixture of good and evil.

con report, July 2007

More under the cut:

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So What Do We Know About Boom!Shadow?


BUT! There are some things we do know or can interpret by observing his character (and how he differs from Legacy!Shadow). I’ve been picking apart Boom Shadow’s characterization for a while now for one of my projects and these are a few of the key things I’ve determined.

1. Sonic and Shadow Know Each Other

Obvious, I know, but in every encounter we’ve seen between them they’ve always given that impression. We’ve never seen them introduce themselves to one another, so we can assume that they’ve known each other since before any of the events in the games or the show take place.

Now what’s interesting about them knowing each other is how they act in regards to one another. Sonic never seems off-put by Shadow. Heck in Shattered Crystal he’s downright excited to see Shadow and knows him well enough to know he’s not behaving normally. He jokes with (a mind-controlled) Shadow and only gets upset when he thinks that maybe Shadow knows something about what happened to Amy. But even then he’s quick to bounce back and take up Shadow on a challenge. At the end of Shattered Crystal Sonic laments Shadow being a hard-ass because he’d like to work with him and have him join the Boom Crew. (Seriously.)

Now as for how Shadow reacts to Sonic, he’s very clearly angry but also respects Sonic’s abilities (and thinks he’s wasting his time working with others, go figure). Which makes me think that something happened that doesn’t bother Sonic but Shadow clearly resents. What that is? I WISH I KNEW

2. Shadow is Still Very Closed Off.

Boom Shadow doesn’t have a support system in place it seems like Legacy!Shadow eventually has. No sign of Rouge or Omega here in Boom so he’s without his best friends and teammates and very clearly doesn’t play well with others. His body language outside of when he’s fighting is always closed off (crossing his arms over his chest & the thousand-yard-death-stare) and he talks even less than Legacy!Shadow. Although, they’re still both very wordy when you get them going.

3. Shadow is Still Very Formal

He has a very formal way of speaking, rarely using conjunctions and taking the longest route possible to say the simplest things. He either ignores those around him when they annoy him or when he gets fed up he belittles them. Also, it may just be because he’s had limited interaction with other characters but the only people he’s referred to by name are Sonic and Lyric (and with Lyric, he tacked on “you snake”). Everyone else he’s simply given insulting nicknames. That’s something that’s very at-odds with how Legacy!Shadow addresses people, either by their name or by their title (Doctor, Professor, Commander) and Sonic’s the only one with the insulting nickname of “Faker” which he initially parroted back from Sonic.

4.  He Still has Chaos Powers

I don’t know how, but he does. He can still teleport/chaos control and it threw me for a loop initially when in RoL he attacks you using Chaos Spear.

That being said I don’t think he’s “The Ultimate Lifeform” in Boomverse. For two reasons. His Legacy origin is very at odds with what we’ve seen in the Boomverse. There aren’t that many humans around (I’m guessing they live separately from other sapient lifeforms, whereas “Mobians” seem to mingle with one another). Also, he’s never said it. With Legacy!Shadow “the Ultimate Lifeform” is like an extension of his name; he almost always says it following his actual name when introducing himself.

(His “Toy” in SC also makes no mention of it. Simply calling him “Sonic’s Arch-Rival, he is also Sonic’s match in speed, abilities, and dashing looks.” No, I did not tack that last bit on, it’s actually in the game XD)

5. Sonic and Shadow are On Equal-Footing

We’ve seen them fight 3 times now and each time (especially in the season finale) they’ve been equally-matched, which is fitting if they’re rivals. I also noticed in the season finale when they were fighting Sonic started fighting more like Shadow that his usual style. Sonic usually fights with his legs, rarely ever throwing a punch (ignoring the werehog, that’s Legacy, not Boom). Whereas Shadow fights with his whole body fairly equally. But maybe that doesn’t mean much, maybe Sonic just wanted to sucker-punch Shadow to get back at him. But if it does mean something this could go back to how they know each other. Perhaps they learned how to fight together or from the same teacher. Who knows…

6. Most Likely Still and Anti-Hero

This is coming from SC and the season finale. In SC he meets and approaches Lyric and while he ‘sympathizes’ with his cause, he doesn’t seek to work for him. He’s instead forced and once he’s back in control of himself he’s furious and goes off to “hunt him down” and “make him pay for using me.” He also doesn’t affiliate himself with the Villain crew in the SF, he’s simply there looking bored and derisive for the most part until he leaves. He also takes a few pot-shots at Eggman for annoying him while he’s fighting Sonic. He maintains that he doesn’t work with or for anyone. So while we don’t know what he’s up to on his own aside from building immaculate furniture we at least know he isn’t working for some Evil Overlord TM bent on taking over the world.

katkayluvsu  asked:

How do I create a lovable villain? My main character can be a very cruel man who kills for fun but I also want him to be charming. Someone that people will love to hate but never fully understand. Any ideas?

I’m going to explain a few points about the MC in a book I just read, called Flashman. Since it’s a similar situation, maybe you’ll get some ideas from it. I think a lot of these points can apply to making villains somewhat likable, even if we recognize them as awful people and are sometimes even disgusted by what they do.

The main character in that book, Harry Flashman, is an awful, good-for-nothing kinda character. He’s a selfish coward who rapes and lies and manipulates in order to get what he wants. People die because of the choices he makes. Granted, he has his limits—he doesn’t go out of his way to make people miserable; he just doesn’t care who gets hurt along his own path to success. Except no one really knows this side of him. To everyone else, he’s a brave, upstanding young man from a well-off family. An upper-class man such as himself couldn’t possibly be a weasel underneath.

  • Main Character—by default, your MC tends to get a little bit of automatic sympathy, just by the grace of being main character. I’m not saying it’s a free pass—you still need to work at it. But typically, readers will be willing to give your MC a bit more time to win them over. They are, after all, a sort of “ambassador” character who’s introducing us to this world, and we want to trust them to give us a good show.
  • Humor—Flashman is a humorous narrator. Honestly, I think humor would be the easiest way to get a reader to sympathize or soften to a villain. At the same time, humor doesn’t erase any of the evil we see in them, so it doesn’t make them any less of a villain.
  • Honesty—Flashman is told in 1st person, and he’s very honest and open with us, the readers. He readily admits to us that he’s a lying coward, even though he puts on a show for the other characters in the novel. This helps build a bit of relationship with him, since he opens up to us in a way he doesn’t for anyone else.
  • Redeeming qualities—Flashman is smart and clever. His quick thinking gets him out of a lot of situations. Even though we know he’s awful, at times we can’t help but feel a grudging respect for how often he manages to wiggle out of even the worst situations. We like a character who shows a lot of skill in an area or two. They seem almost “superhuman” in a way and worthy of admiration. (See #7 on this list! Honestly, that entire list might help you.)
  • Redeeming qualities kinda—Also, in the novel, he’s a British officer (bought his way into a respected rank, of course), who was sent abroad to assist in British colonialism in India and the Middle East. But even though colonialism by itself is an awful thing (basically enslaving the native people), he handles it differently that most others. For one, he actually cares about learning the native language and culture. He tries to learn their ways, as opposed to higher-up officers who have lived abroad for YEARS and still don’t speak a word for the native language. Granted, he doesn’t do it out of the goodness of his rotten heart. It’s just in his best interests to learn language and culture, since being able to blend in might help him (and does help him) get out of sticky situations. But still, I felt it made him a bit more sympathetic to see him take a step in the right direction, regardless of intention.
  • A different perspective—this leads me into the last point. In order to get by as he does (a wolf in sheep’s skin, almost) he needs to be observant. He only gets away with this stuff because of the flaws that exist in British imperialistic society—something he fully recognizes. He’s fully aware that what he’s doing is wrong (he just doesn’t care) but he also knows there are people who get away with much worse simply because of Victorian society’s priority of values.
    • He recognizes the competent and good types as being good—the ones who should be in charge—and thinks poorly of the people actually in charge who can’t do anything right. The people running the army in India and the Middle East either bought their way in, or were given the title because of their social standing. As such, they’re completely incompetent. One general ends up being the cause of thousands of deaths, and even Flashman is disgusted by how things turned out because of that general.
    • He comments on how much better British colonialism would be if only the generals learned the language and culture. Not only would it make it easier for the British to rule, but it also wouldn’t be nearly as awful for the natives (I’m not implying it would be peaches and daisies for the natives, just that it wouldn’t have been quite as bloody and cruel).

Flashman doesn’t really have a motivation, other than to stay alive, but that’s another area you should consider. What’s your MC’s motivation in all this? Does he just kill people for fun, or is there some other small reason for it? Does he do it to feel powerful? Does he do it out of vigilante justice? How does he get away with the things he does? You should avoid making him “the manifestation of true evil” if you want to make him semi-likable. If he’s nothing but pure evil, that makes him a rather flat and boring character. Give him some lines that even he won’t cross. Have him make judgements and have opinions of good/evil about other characters.

A motivation is really important. Even if on the surface he doesn’t have one and doesn’t care about anything, there should be a secret motivation underneath. Even for someone like the Joker I would argue that he has a bit of motivation. He wants to create chaos for the fun, certainly, but I think he’s usually interested in the social experiment side of it, too. Perhaps his motivation is to bring out the worst in people, or prove that people are naturally evil/selfish (I’ve only seen the movies so if he acts differently in other medias, sorry for the bad example).

I also have a semi-villain who was seemingly apathetic about everything and killed people “for entertainment,” but there was more to it. He’d chosen the path of a demon by his own free will, and used to be excited about it. But when he started to regret it, he just gave up and stopped caring about anything since you can’t really go back once you’re a demon. He’s stuck with his situation, so he adopted a “make the best out of it, I suppose” stance on things and kept killing people out of habit and to fit the evil demon stereotype he’s supposed to have.

Hope this gives you some ideas!


So I just finished Jessica Jones earlier today and I gotta say (and I hope this doesn’t come across as being too DT biased lol), David Tennant NEVER ceases to amaze me in all of the roles that he has played. His portrayal of Kilgrave was SO SO unbelievably good. His performance seriously blew me away.

There were many times throughout the show that I legitimately felt conflicted and I know that there are people on here that would attack me for saying that I did feel a bit sorry for the bastard and I really get where David is coming from in all of the interviews he’s done in sympathy of Kilgrave. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I AGREE WITH WHAT KILGRAVE MADE OTHERS DO. Of course rape is terrible, of course murder is terrible, but I don’t believe heroes and villains are black and white. They are complex and both of them have their own background, motivations, and justifications for what they do good or bad (of which there are certainly shades of grey).


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Guys, I just had this great idea for a story listen up.

Okay, so it’s about this young kid, let’s say he’s about 10, and he’s from a long line of nobility who all have like, really crazy psychic powers that control people’s emotions and shit and have been known for their ruthlessness and stuff. He doesn’t know any of that stuff though cause like when he was really little, his parents all but abandoned him and left him to fend for himself. He basically raises himself in a big empty house all alone. He turns to drugs and religion as coping mechanisms for the various mental trauma his hard life has handed him, and eventually forgets he ever cared.

Three years pass, and he’s made a few online friends who are constantly sort of hard on him. They press him to start acting more “normal” and mock him for his addiction and his disconnect from the world, so he eventually caves to their interventions and attempts life with out the drug. He starts to make himself a more active member of their group and tries to be freindly with them, but he is just met with more malice and annoyance, but he’s a good hearted guy, so he doesn’t really care. He’s just kinda glad he’s alive at this point, since the whole planet has been wiped out by an evil supernatural virus of some kind, forgive me, the details are fuzzy still.

He’s basically living with his religion as his only way to cope, however, what he doesn’t know is that this religion was a trap made specifically to control him. What he thinks is his life and his hope is really a sham created by the evil god in charge of the supernatural virus to capture his soul and steal away his powers so that he can control people throughout the universe.

The evil “god” then sets up a way to reveal the coping mechanism for what it is- a lie- but does so indirectly, so that the kid has no idea that it was actually him that is to blame. The child is devastated and is sent into an emotional breakdown now that his only hope and peace has been yanked out from under him and everything is now awful. He can no longer cope because he has no crutch, but the dark lord swoops in and hands him a new one. He tells him to follow him in order to make his religion true again, and make things right.

I should mention now that this demon is basically a time god, and has already acquired the child’s powers in the future, and therefore, he uses them against the child to make him so vulnerable to suggestion that he literally cannot refuse. He’s forcibly made so desperate and so scared and so angry that his only choice is to serve the villain of our story, and so he does.

The evil the child does under the dark lord’s influence seem to the rest of he crew as him being an out of the blue turncoat. They don’t understand what’s happened to him, but they know they can’t trust him, so they all pull away from him and never even think to help. All the while, the boy is constantly under a brainwashing influence that eventually no longer needs psychic intervention to really control him. He’s beaten down until he has no free will of his own, and his friends don’t even notice because of the sneaky sinister ways of the dark lord.

Eventually, after years of neglect and abuse from his former friends in retaliation for his actions, he arrives to the true in-person service of his dark lord. He is then meant to raise his god so that he can become the demon that controlled him. It’s immediately clear that the demon is too much for him to raise, and he has to compromise in order to stay in good health long enough to see this through. He raises him up from a distance, dropping him necessities and awaiting his ascension to adulthood. Happily serving a master that has done nothing but use him

Finally, upon the child’s coming of age, he is met not with a gleeful respect for a dear servant, but vile abusive hatred. The demon is still as evil and monstrous as ever! He beats him and berates him constantly, but by this time the boy is so enraptured with his existence and so used to being hurt that he barely even cares.

The last part I have for him is that he will die to have half of his soul taken from him in order to give the demon his psychic powers and ensure his own fate. The rest of the details are muggy but i’m hoping to redeem him or something i guess…oh right i even made a design for him look:

Oh, wait. This is gamzee.

Edit: Okay, since people have seemed to miss the fact that I’m totally not meaning to excuse him, here is a disclaimer to make this a little easier to digest. Gamzee’s actions whilst serving LE are EVIL HORRIBLE THINGS and he will NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO MAKE UP FOR THEM before he is no longer a villain. 

I understand this completely and if he makes you upset or isn’t your cup of tea cause of all he’s done then that’s a-okae. I’m not trying to be all apologist-y or whatever. This post was in response to “Gamzee is just a emotionless villain with no character arc.” and honestly I felt personally offended by the statement and had to say something. 

He’s not excused of any of his actions because he’s a victim. That’s not how it works and I am aware. To be honest, all i wanted to prove was that people who identify with gamzee aren’t just trying to pretend his actions aren’t bad, cause he has a LOT to sympathize with that isn’t really in the forefront of the story and people don’t pay attention to it. It’s just as okay to project you abuse story onto him as it is to do it to others, and that’s all I’m trying to say.

Sorry if me neglecting to add this before hurt anybody. I thought it went without saying but I shouldn’t assume.

The truth is... we just don't see Hook's behavior as problematic.

This post is in response to an ongoing conversation with a non-CS shipper that is looking to understand why we ship what we do.  Ultimately the question I am responding to is:

“How do you rectify the way Hook is represented, and the problematic issues with the way his dynamic with/feelings for Emma are represented on the canon of the show, and/or treated/ignored by a wider fan base/media, with the actual meaningful guts of the ship & its underlying value? Are there ways Captain Swan fandom does this/approaches this in general?”

my response is under the cut because it is insanely long. It may be hard to follow because it specifically addresses points from a longer post that was sent to me. it discusses a lot of things that CSers have already discussed ad nasuem, but if you like my metas and are interested in my response to the above question (and have a TON of free time) then by all means read on…

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Knee-Jerk Review: 5.12 Souls of the Departed

Trying something new for post episode meta just a quick initial reaction review. For new followers I ship CS, I am Regina neutral-ish and I LOVE to hate Rumple. Neal gets no love in this. Any really anti stuff will be tagged. 

Full disclosure I spoiled myself for this one by reading a write up by someone that saw a screener. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it much because of that read through but I actually found myself really digging it. As a 100th episode it had lots of cameos but didn’t feel overly forced or even smaltzy which I actually liked. Maybe for 200 they can do a musical episode though? 

We opened with Neal and the bug. I loved the scenery for that shot and the vividness of the colors and the return of the Swanfire theme got me a little nostalgic; mostly because it’s a beautiful piece of music. I am still not on board with Neal continually coming out of things smelling like a rose though. I don’t need an argument or recriminations I just want them to be real about what Emma and Neal were at the end. But I guess nobody speaks ill of the dead….except me….

Neal (on screen): I don’t have unfinished business
Me (in my PJs on my couch surrounded by people): Because you had no real life goals and a lack of moral compass and thus no regrets?
Neal: I’m happy where I am.
Me: With Tamara the woman you were engaged too and in love with or…? 
Neal: How is our son?
Me (whispering): Did you forget his name?

Literally these were the words that came out of my mouth. But I get it Neal is dead and his character is really only there for the warning. Which gave me pause. Who sent him? How does he know to warn her? Favorite part was the big red sign that said “Revelation” right over the bug. Subtle.  

Emma wakes up in the boat and tells not a soul about her revelation. Methinks her walls have rebuilt themselves a bit. 

Gotta love that the show doesn’t even bother to explain the “why” of the Underworld looking like Storybrooke. Rumple just Jedi mind tricks them into asking another question which he also kind of sidesteps. I think Adam and Eddy wishes we could be so easily put off. I found it interesting that Rumple said “this” Underworld because it implies others. Not that I think they will address that. It’s just an interesting word choice to me. Also Rumple’s snark was on point this episode. It’s good to have you back Rumple! I missed you! 

Quick everyone split up because we haven’t seen a single horror movie ever. And seeing obvious henchman leads us to the flashback! (sidenote you think Regina remembers killing him?) 

Random Question: What does Snow White smell like that’s so distinctive? Bird poop probably…

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