personal testament

on fanfic & emotional continuity

Writing and reading fanfic is a masterclass in characterisation. 

Consider: in order to successfully write two different “versions” of the same character - let alone ten, or fifty, or a hundred - you have to make an informed judgement about their core personality traits, distinguishing between the results of nature and nurture, and decide how best to replicate those conditions in a new narrative context. The character you produce has to be recognisably congruent with the canonical version, yet distinct enough to fit within a different - perhaps wildly so - story. And you physically can’t accomplish this if the character in question is poorly understood, or viewed as a stereotype, or one-dimensional. Yes, you can still produce the fic, but chances are, if your interest in or knowledge of the character(s) is that shallow, you’re not going to bother in the first place. 

Because ficwriters care about nuance, and they especially care about continuity - not just literal continuity, in the sense of corroborating established facts, but the far more important (and yet more frequently neglected) emotional continuity. Too often in film and TV canons in particular, emotional continuity is mistakenly viewed as a synonym for static characterisation, and therefore held anathema: if the character(s) don’t change, then where’s the story? But emotional continuity isn’t anti-change; it’s pro-context. It means showing how the character gets from Point A to Point B as an actual journey, not just dumping them in a new location and yelling Because Reasons! while moving on to the next development. Emotional continuity requires a close reading, not just of the letter of the canon, but its spirit - the beats between the dialogue; the implications never overtly stated, but which must logically occur off-screen. As such, emotional continuity is often the first casualty of canonical forward momentum: when each new TV season demands the creation of a new challenge for the protagonists, regardless of where and how we left them last, then dealing with the consequences of what’s already happened is automatically put on the backburner.

Fanfic does not do this. 

Fanfic embraces the gaps in the narrative, the gracenotes in characterisation that the original story glosses, forgets or simply doesn’t find time for. That’s not all it does, of course, but in the context of learning how to write characters, it’s vital, because it teaches ficwriters - and fic readers - the difference between rich and cardboard characters. A rich character is one whose original incarnation is detailed enough that, in order to put them in fanfic, the writer has to consider which elements of their personality are integral to their existence, which clash irreparably with the new setting, and which can be modified to fit, to say nothing of how this adapted version works with other similarly adapted characters. A cardboard character, by contrast, boasts so few original or distinct attributes that the ficwriter has to invent them almost out of whole cloth. Note, please, that attributes are not necessarily synonymous with details in this context: we might know a character’s favourite song and their number of siblings, but if this information gives us no actual insight into them as a person, then it’s only window-dressing. By the same token, we might know very few concrete facts about a character, but still have an incredibly well-developed sense of their personhood on the basis of their actions

The fact that ficwriters en masse - or even the same ficwriter in different AUs - can produce multiple contradictory yet still fundamentally believable incarnations of the same person is a testament to their understanding of characterisation, emotional continuity and narrative. 

Character Concept for FFX-3, Part II! 

🌟  For my Last Will & Testament fic~ 🌟

This time it’s Baralai! Drawn by the ever prolific and magnificent @kingcael!

For Yuna’s FFX-3 Concept, click here.

His weapon arsenal includes his trademark Razor Rod (new and improved, customized by Rikku herself), daishō (a katana and wakizashi) for quick draw fighting, and a handgun christened Razorwing!

His bolero jacket includes the phoenix crest in association with the Spiran Council, and strapped on his right bicep is the Yevonic “G” letter! (A small detail connected to the Warrior Monks of Bevelle.) I wanted to emphasize his departure from the Yevon name by dropping his religious vestments and emphasizing a military-esque look. 

A note by the artist who personally customized his Razor Rod:

“There’s buttons on the connection point of the rings that would activate a sliding mechanism inside to make the spikes stick out… magnets on the pole connection points, as well as a cord inside.

So the blunt part is for heavy jabs that could crack bones with enough pressure, but then the spikes come out for slashing! …The rings detach completely and lock into the ends when they’re in use, but are easier to pack around when they’re not. He could even use the rings as chakrams if he so wished.”

anonymous asked:

Do you have any tips for getting over someone?

This is a tough one. But the best thing that I can think of is to focus on yourself. I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t know if I articulated it the way I have been thinking of it lately. You don’t need to be the same person that loved them. 

That doesn’t mean changing who you are. It means taking that energy and that emotion and using it as food for your own self-growth. Forget the things that held you back. Read that book that you have been putting off. Join a club. Start learning a language. The only way to get past someone is to move forward. Someone said to me once that some people react to a breakup with knowing that sometimes things don’t work out, and some people who react by getting drunk at the same bar for nine years. And that’s a bit of a comical way to put it, but it’s true.

You’re going to be the constant factor in the rest of your life. And you don’t want to take your feelings and just transfer them onto someone else. That just leads to repeating the same patterns over and over. You’re the woman in your life, so treat that woman well. You don’t need to be with anyone else for a while.

This isn’t the same thing as giving up on love or anything like that. The more you focus on your goals and what you want out of life and self-love, one of the side effects is actually you becoming a much better future partner.

And don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to the people in your life that you love and that love you. In fact, you can be quite honest–tell them that you’re getting over someone and you want to focus on relationships that make you happy. Everyone loves to hear that they bring people joy. 

And be patient with yourself. It takes time, honestly, it really does. It isn’t a personal failing. It’s a testament to your capacity for emotion. In fact, trying to bury the feelings will only prevent you from dealing with them in a healthy way. It hurts sometimes, I know it does, but think of it like a fever: your body tries to burn out what hurts it. Your fever will break. One day you’ll wake up and you won’t think about them at all. 


It’s just now 8:00PM but guess who’s in bed already?? This gal! Also. Mark 3:34-35 is where it’s at. I just keep reading these verses over and over and over. Thank you all so much for being my brothers and sisters and mothers. 💙

fyi to those of y’all who’ve been following me for a while (and i guess to everyone?) i’m going by julian both on and offline now! it’s my middle name and a name i feel more comfortable with

i think there might still be a handful of you who know my family so just in case: they don’t know, they’re not going to, please don’t refer to me as anything but hannah to them

pronouns are still they/them! 

Open letter to the Bible Belt South

I am from Mississippi. I was born in Florida. Raised all over the country but Mississippi was always the place I came back to. It was my mother’s birthplace. It was the consistent home that I knew had welcoming arms and delicious gumbo. It was the place where I first fell in love and first felt grief. It is my home. 

My mother was very southern. She had a Confederate flag hanging in her car to prove her pride. But one day, one of her black friends turned to her and explained to her what the flag meant to the black people in this country. My mom immediately took it down. That day, my mother chose love over pride. 

I am confused as to why the South that I love so much cannot make that same decision. Over and over again, I see people argue that the Confederate flag stands for “values.” I don’t know what values you are referring to but you better not be insinuating that those values reflect on my Jesus. 

A few years ago, I took the time to read the entire Bible, cover to cover. Throughout that journey, I discovered that one of the most consistent messages in the Bible is God’s stance on pride versus love. Throughout the New and Old Testament, God actively condemns the proud who refuse to recognize the needs of those different than them, those who, by the harsh blows of this world and our societies, were dealt a hard hand. In the Old Testament, God levels the Israelites time and time again for this sin of pride over love. He adamantly calls His people to break their hardened hearts and help others.  In the New Testament, Jesus calls the Pharisees snakes. 

Okay, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Jesus is a really nice guy. So if He’s going to come out and tell someone who chooses pride over loving their neighbor pretty nasty names, I’m gonna listen and probably take notes. 

By choosing to remain prideful behind a flag that for so many people causes so much pain and inequity in this country, you are not choosing the simple act of love. So don’t say that your flag represents my Jesus. Don’t even say that your flag represents my South. My South is place of friendly neighbors and sweet tea. It is a place of real gentlemen, a good story and a hearty welcome. It is not a place that holds onto symbols of hatred. Keep your flag. The only emblem I will stand behind is the cross. 

I spent like five hours today deep cleaning the house and singing to Liv’s kitty while waiting for a client to get back to me and you know what? He stayed by my side the whole time. Did not want food or to go out. Just my attention. Followed me around every time I changed rooms too…. That is love in its purest form.

Fellas, take notes, it’s only real if your man* (*cat) follows you around the house (occasionally walking in front of you to block your path and flop on his back to demand attention.. like a fluffy Snorlax..) for several hours of attentively watching you dance-hop around and singing along to 80’s pop songs but with all the words changed to ones about what a pretty kitty he is or how sliding around on socks is great or how u wish u had more weed. 5 hrs by my side through it all. That’s devotion. That’s #Real.

Keep reading

The coffee is brewing and I, after almost two years in the Old Testament, am beginning the New Testament this morning.

If you ever have questions or want to talk Scripture with me, feel free to message me! God has totally changed my life. This book–HIS book–has totally changed my life. I can’t wait to see what else He’s got in store for me. I can’t wait to see what else He’s got in store for YOU.

anonymous asked:

How can I be a witness to be people without it seeming like I'm shoving it down their throats?

I’d say, first off, if you want to be a good witness to the gospel, live it. Don’t be a slave to your desires. Don’t insult people. Don’t be cruel depending on how much you can get away with. Don’t lash out because you’re upset. People can see hypocrisy a mile away, and they don’t like it, for good reason. Preaching your message will mean nothing if people can see that you yourself don’t believe it or act it.

Secondly, don’t try to push it on people. Mention it only when it’s proper. You can offhandedly mention a tradition or a belief or bring it up when the subject is being discussed, but don’t insert it into every conversation or interrupt to mention it. Be polite.

Thirdly, and I guess finally, just be a good person. The best testament to Jesus is action, is living a life where people take notice and say ‘gee, that person is so kind, always helpful and rarely ever complains even though I know they sometimes have grounds to. I wonder why?’

Witness and belief are not things you can force on people; people have to come to believe themselves. All you can do is try not to do a disservice to Christ’s teachings in your life. Try your best to practice what you preach, and to hold yourself to a high standard. If you mess up, admit it and apologize.

anonymous asked:

How do you think God feels when we disagree with the Bible? Because I disagree with some aspects of it such and whipping your children and other things.. but I feel like God is right so I have to believe those things but I really just don't..?

Okay, it took me a long time to get to this because this feels like a baited question, but here I go. Wish me luck guys. 

Anyways, this is a very very complex question, because first of all you need to know where you stand on how the Bible was written. Forgive me as I don’t have my old notes on me, and I couldn’t find it in my book, so I’ve forgotten the exact terms, but one thing to think is about biblical inspiration. There’s a spectrum that different people believe, some people believe the Bible was 100% man, some believe it was 100% God, and some believe it’s somewhere in between. Here’s a resource with the different terms and what they mean involving the writing of scripture. These weren’t the exact same ones as I learned, but generally the same concept.

This means that some Christians believe there is room for error, some think it’s absolutely perfect. Personally? I fall in the middle. 

In addition to this you need to know if you want to read the Bible figuratively or literally. The Bible isn’t just history, it contains poetry, fiction, and other forms of literature. 

Then, you must understand something else - the Bible we read in the English language is an interpretation. Actually, if you’re reading it in English, I believe that would be at least the “third” translation (which is, interpretation) of the Bible as a whole. The Bible didn’t start out in English. The Old Testament started out in Hebrew and Aramaic, while the New Testament  started out in Greek. Eventually the OT was translated to Greek, and then into the English Bible. (This is a very rough overview of what happened. There’s also a mix of latin in here as well) This also was a translated to Old English. Then it was translated into Middle English. And then into Modern English. 

Even in Modern English we have tons of different translations where different passages mean different things. One example from the link above is  2 Timothy 3:16-17, in which some translations say that scripture is God breathed, some translate it as something like, all inspired scripture is useful. These can mean two totally different things. 

Then, you have to understand that there was a specific historical context to a lot of things. ANDDDD it has to be recognized that laws and rules from OT are NOT ones we are supposed to follow. Old testament laws were before the redemption of Christ. There were a lot of ridiculous laws in there that we do not have to follow since the death of Christ. Here’s some more on this, but I would encourage you to read more about how we are not called to follow Old Testament laws (especially those that don’t apply to our culture and only referred to a specific group of people.) 

So to your specific comment about whipping children - it is my belief that the Bible does not say that. I’m actually a little confused which passage you’re talking about exactly, but I’m going to go at it from the verses I do know and such. 

From my knowledge, the Bible never says to whip your children (if so please direct me, I’m having trouble trying to find a verse that says that but anyways) it does mention two things that possibly could be what are confusing you. 

1. It mentions in Deut. 25: 1-3 a max of 40 lashes as punishments for an adult.

2. It mentions in Proverbs 13:24 a rod and punishment for children.

For the first, please note that these are old laws, and that we are taught to be graceful. However, to explain this passage, I’ll quote William Webb “The forty lashes of Deut 25:1-3 must be understood against it’s ancient social context, which included beatings of up to 200 lashes or strokes, open wounds, bodily mutilations and other forms of torture.“ In that time, punishments were unruly and sometimes unfair. This put a limit, and I believe this is called the redemptive movement. 

So actually the first isn’t really arguing for corporeal punishment, but instead putting restraints on it. Please, still note, that this is old testament and personally I do not believe that any corporeal punishment notes in OT should be taken literally since the death of Christ on the cross. 

For the second, and maybe this is most likely what you were referring to, this passage doesn’t say to hit children. It mentions a rod. It mentions punishment. But it isn’t hitting children as punishment. You have to realize that proverbs is very poetic, and is full of metaphors. Here’s some more on this.

Michael Eric Dyson said this about people who use scripture as a justification for corporeal punishment “Proverbs 13:24 that says, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” But in Hebrew, the word translated as “rod” is the same word used in Psalms 23:4, “thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” The shepherd’s rod was used to guide the sheep, not to beat them.” 

Also, this is in Proverbs, which is not only an old testament book, but it is full of figurative language so it’s not, in my opinion, supposed to be taken super literally.

Anyways, all that to say, it’s up to you if you disagree with the Bible or not - but before you just disagree with someone, be careful to read deeply into into and the historical/cultural context. Evaluate what you believe. Evaluate what it’s saying. Honestly in my opinion it’s a lot different than what a lot of people believe. I feel like often Christians try to twist verses to their benefit. “Scripture must be viewed as a total work and grounded in context (exegesis), not used backwards to support man-made concepts (eisegesis).”

Mod Bethany