After I revealed that Moses and I are trying to have a baby, my friendship with Levi quickly dissolved. I thought that sharing the news with him and Dana would be for the best and give me the feeling of support I needed from my closest friends. Humph unfortunately, I found out the hard way that doing that shit would only lead to bigger issues. While Dana was still on the fence about our decision, she continued to stand by me. Once she gave her “two cents”, she let it go and said she had my back no matter what. Levi, on the other hand, lost his mothafuckin mind. When I came into work that Monday, his extra ass abrasively approached me with more of BS, trying to get me to change my mind. This went on for the rest of the week and progressively got worse each day that passed. He wouldn’t let that shit go, even after I asked him to drop it several times, and continued to make working with him virtually impossible. By the end of the week I had enough and told him that if he didn’t stop, I would have to put him on leave, (paid of course), until he either got it together or found another studio. He felt as though I crossed the line giving him an ultimatum and decided to quit. At first, guilt set in and even though he was clearly in the wrong, I felt terrible. We were friends for years and for shit to end the way it did, bothered me to no end. As much as this situation hurt, I couldn’t let it bring me down.
I landed an appearance on a popular modeling show for one episode as a stylist and guest judge. Moses and his old assistant Shea, who is now working for him again, came with me to Bridgeport. These past few days have been heaven thanks to Moses. Enjoying my time out here with him made me forget all about Levi and Nica’s phony asses.This trip was beyond perfect. I nailed my appearance on set today and even booked two of their supermodel hosts for major red carpet events. I was feeling great and couldn’t wait to share everything with my man. I practically ran in our suite, taking off my jacket and heels, and hurried into the kitchen where I figured he would be. He was there, looking pissed as shit though, accompanied by a worried Shea and a open bottle of Hennessy.
why do straight people think that being lgbt is like a secret clubhouse we won’t let them into. no, it’s fucking NOT “about love and inclusion” no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no. IF YOU ARE A CISHET PERSON YOU DO NOT BELONG IN LGBT SPACES.
My headcanon is that all the other gods in America that aren’t in the book or the show are just calmly sipping their beverage of choice in their own little exclusive no drama, no violence allowed secret clubhouse because they needed peace and quiet away from the drama-causing war gods vacation.
After they hear about what happened they’ll just go:
“we left you alone for like five decades minutes and this is what you do?!!”
You weren’t really a fan of baseball, if you were perfectly
honest. It just wasn’t that interesting to you. However, if you were talking
about the men playing baseball, it
was a completely different story. Your older brother was a huge minor league
baseball fan, for no reason you could discern. They weren’t famous and most
games were basically the same. He’d drag you to a game every once in a while,
if you weren’t working, and you’d eat your overpriced hotdog, pretending to
So it seems to be a pretty much universally accepted fact that Helga Hufflepuff was the last one to say what kind of students she’d like, and we know that was students who are just, loyal, and unafraid of hard work.
But what if she wasn’t the last? What if it was Rowena Ravenclaw, and she was like, “well fuck I’m stuck with all the nerds and artsy types. Guess I’ll stick them up in a tower and make it really fucking hard for them to get into their own common room because I’m bitter about this.”
Or everyone’s calling dibs and Salazar Slytherin’s not paying much attention and is suddenly left with a bunch of kids, and the only uniting factor happens to be that they’re purebloods, so with his flair for the dramatic (big fancy snake in the plumbing) he goes completely over the top with it and is all like “perfect! These are the kids I wanted anyway! Look at them, they’re so ambitious! And cunning too! We’ll be in our secret clubhouse under the fricking lake!”
Or Godric Gryffindor is thinking really hard about it and looks up to find he’s too late, and is just like “eh, fuck it. Let’s go on an adventure kids!”
I just really like the idea that these characteristics we obsess over that identify us as belonging to our houses, could really just have been a bit of an accident.
If you thought adaptation Enjolrati are a funny-looking lot, you haven’t seen adaptation Combeferres yet. An eclectic bunch, to say the least. At least, unlike Enjolras, Combeferre isn’t specifically given a physical description in the novel, so the variation is a little more explicable. Now, their takes on the character, on the other hand…
These guys definitely aren’t as hilariously bad as the Enjolrati, though, and sometimes there’s not much to say about them. I’ll say what I can.
Again, in chronological order:
^^^1925 French silent movie. I think this is him, but not completely sure, since none of the students but Enjolras are explicitly named in this version. I mean, it’s a silent movie. In the earliest versions, Combeferre is often next to impossible to pick out from the crowd. He will soon learn that this will often be his fate over the years.
^^^1934 French movie. Again, he’s never specified by name, but I think this may as well be him; right here he’s busy singing Combeferre’s song (”Si César m’avait donné…”). But then again, in this version Grantaire is some Courfeyrac-ish confidant/teaser of Marius as well as a super-dedicated patriot, soooo……I love how unimpressed Marius (bottom right) looks here, as if he somehow knows that this song is against him in the book. (Also, a bit off-topic: did people ragging on Tom Hooper for too many dutch angles in his Les Mis even watch this version? Good grief! When I watch this I feel like someone knocked the camera askew and just never bothered to right it again…….for the whole movie. But it’s French, so that’s “art,” right…? :P)
^^^1957 French movie. Definitely him this time. But…um…okay, can’t think of any reason why he’s not cool, but is it too shallow to protest against balding Combeferre? He does get to visit Gavroche at the latter’s hang-out, though, so he must be all sorts of cool to be able to score entrance into the secret kid clubhouse. And there he gets introduced to Eponine and Azelma and is every bit the gentleman, so there’s that. :) (Though he does have the indignity of being called “Monsieur Fauchelevant” in the subtitled version of that scene, despite Gavroche clearly saying “Combeferre”…)
^^^1964 Italian movie/miniseries, I Miserabili. Ugh, so hot it hurts. The makers of this miniseries obviously had a soft spot for Combeferre, because they’ve made him of the “assertive Combeferre” variety, the sort who is more like a joint leader with Enjolras than a follower of Enjolras. They’re also a little flirty, in basically the same vein as 2007 Shoujo Cosette (see below).
^^^1971 Spanish (Castilian) telenovela. He’s never explicitly named as Combeferre, but he does have a mini-version of Combeferre’s plea at the barricade for the five family men to save themselves. He also pretty much acts like a Combeferre throughout (i.e., as a second to Enjolras). Must be some kind of superhuman badass, because he’s basically the last person alive on the barricade (not counting shirtless Russell Brand, but that’s a story for another day). He insists on wearing a phrygian cap 24/7 and looks pretty much like the most obvious rabble-rousing socialist republican ever–surprised the cops never picked him up on that alone. Police profiling not a thing back then?
^^^1972 French miniseries. Enjolras’ evil twin. Also, does not believe in wearing sufficient clothing on barricades. Also, inexplicably pissy all the time (see also: Angry Peter Jackson below). There aren’t words for how wrong-headed I think this version’s interpretation of Combeferre is. A Combeferre is serious, but not grumpy. A Combeferre gently speaks up if he disagrees with someone, he doesn’t glower. Even beyond general demeanor, the whole role is just wrong. It’s like everything this Combeferre says and does is designed to be the polar opposite of what book!Combeferre would say and do:
Book!Ferre, when told that barricade will fail: *gives impassioned speech to try to convince fathers of families to save themselves*
1972!Ferre, when told that barricade will fail: “Let us make a protestation of corpses!”
^^^1980 French comédie musicale. Yeah, apparently that’s him………Wow, is it just me, or is he, like, incredibly sexy…? I mean, no offense, book!Ferre, but…wow…….To be fair, his character in this version was apparently some kind of amalgamation of himself and Courfeyrac (i.e., Combeferre was Marius’ BFF). I’m assuming it was in the musical’s transition to Britain that Enjolras took on the tasks of Courfeyrac, and Combeferre went back to being, well, Combeferre. But in the meantime, let’s just bask in his velvety-coat, guyliner, shaggy-haired glam rocker hotness.
^^^1982 French movie. You’re perfect, sir, don’t change. There’s a scene where he’s playing chess and reading a book at the same time on the barricade (like, literally on it), and only pauses in his match/book to gently but firmly scold Marius while fumbling awkwardly around with his spectacles. Nuff said.
Speaking of which, is this the first appearance of Combeferre with spectacles…? Unbelievable that it took that long!
^^^1985-present, British stage musical. Little more than an ensemble role. (Pictured above: Graham Rowat, American 3rd National Tour, probably one of the best musical!Ferres ever, or at least the only one I ever saw who actually cared deeply about book!Ferre.)
^^^1988 wtf i don’t know. Known in my house as Angry Peter Jackson. In this version, there was no Enjolras (!) and Combeferre took over that role of barricade leader (!!). This whole version is probably one of the worst examples of animation I have ever had the displeasure of watching.
^^^1992 French animated series. Shouldn’t you and Enjolras exchange character designs? In this scene, he’s all bummed cuz he’s being scolded by Gillenormand at the barricade–that should say everything that needs to be said about the absurdity of this adaptation.
^^^2007 Japanese animated series,
Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette (レ・ミゼラブル 少女コゼット). Too cool for his own good (see also: 1964 Italian above). To be precise, a kuuru megane anime stereotype:
(Pictured above: the same damn character, even practically the same character design. I could probably give half a dozen other anime/manga examples exactly the same.)
For all his coolness, Shoujo Cosette Combeferre is attached at the hip to Enjolras, and is a bit of a flirt moreover. “Hey, Enjolras, you’re totally coming to my place for a sleepover, right?” It must be a committed relationship, though: he wants Enjolras to meet the parents. Enjolras doesn’t seem so keen on it…
^^^2009 Japanese manga. I am just going to be a stereotyper and assume this background dude with spectacles is Combeferre. He does absolutely nothing in this manga.
^^^2010 French bande dessinée. Whoa. Mario, shouldn’t you be out plumbing my toilet or fighting Koopas or something? (Srsly, tho, is this how the French see Combeferre………? I mean, really??)
^^^2012 American-British movie musical. KillianFerre. Inexplicably pissy/excitable all the time. The Courfeyrac of Combeferres. At least he is pretty indisputably good-looking. Also dat coat…!
Actually, his whole costume kinda rocked, but more on that some other time…
^^^2014 American manga. The “him” in this speech bubble meaning Enjolras, of course–nothing like a Combeferre hanging around ready to undermine everything Enjolras says. This Combeferre is actually pretty cute. He’s like Enjolras’ nice friend, who, when Enjolras is done verbally abusing Marius, is there to dry Marius’ tears.
^^^2014-2015 Japanese manga. He wears a straight-jacket because, well, Enjolras. So far he seems to be on the kuuru side of Combeferres again, because if the French see Combeferre as Mario, the Japanese see him as some kind of quiet badass aniki. (On that note, I’m actually really surprised he doesn’t have spectacles in this version.) It doesn’t hurt that he also had to shut down Marius’ bonapartist ranting in this version, so that immediately upped his kuuru factor.
Final thoughts? Hm. Some are very good, some are…not. Many never existed at all or are simply hypotheses. Such is the step-down from an Enjolras to a Combeferre: you have a greatly lessened probability of making it into a Les Mis adaptation. Even when they make it into a version, they’re rarely allowed to actually develop a consistent character. I think 1964Italian, 1982French, and (sigh) Shoujo Cosette were probably the best versions for Combeferre. 1972French is the most actively painful (though Angry Peter Jackson sucks too). The rest are non-entities. So…not a bad average…?
Hi! I love your writing so much! I've read all of your Scorbus fics and I was wondering if you could write one where they are younger and they discover they have crushes on each other and it's super super fluffy. :)
Scorpius chased Albus around the playground wearing his mother’s lipstick, ready to smack a big kiss on Albus’ cheek. They were playing kiss chase, but because they did’t know any girls (Rose refused to play with them) they had to pretend.
Albus run under the slide, giggling as Scorpius jumped over it to try and shorten the distance between them. He shrieked and ran faster as Scorpius started gaining on him. “I’m going to kiss you!” Scorpius shouted, puckering his lips and making kissing noises at Albus.
They crashed into each other by the tire swings and fell onto the ground in a heap. They both were laughing uncontrollably with their limbs tangled together like a pretzel. Scorpius went to kiss Albus’ cheek but Albus turned his face at the last moment and Scorpius’ lips landed against Albus’ own.
“Oh,” Albus said, staring up at Scorpius in surprise.
“I’m so sorry,” Scorpius said quickly. “I didn’t mean too.”
“It’s okay,” Albus said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand to get the lipstick off. “Don’t worry about it, Scor.”
Scorpius smiled shyly and nodded. He untangled himself from Albus and helped him up.
“My turn!” Albus said, making grabby hands at Scorpius, who cried out and took off running.
Albus and Scorpius had a secret clubhouse, a treehouse that Mr. Potter had built for them. It was technically James’ first, but he said he was too old for a treehouse and was more interested in playing rugby.
Albus and Scorpius had taken it over happily, making sure Lily didn’t disturb them. Albus would play music while they continued their ongoing monopoly game.
“I’m bored,” Albus said, throwing down his money in a huff. “Let’s do something else.”
“We could see if Rose wants to hang out,” Scorpius suggested.
Albus made a face. “No, girls are gross.”
Scorpius blinked. “All girls?”
“Yeah, all girls,” Albus said insistently. “They’re a bunch of moody know-it-alls.”
Scorpius brought his knees up to his chest and hugged them. “I don’t think you should make generalizations like that. I mean all girls aren’t the same.”
“Well I don’t like girls,” Albus informed him stubbornly.
“What about boys?” Scorpius asked with interest.
Albus shrugged and fiddled with his iPod to change the music. “Boys are okay, I guess.”
“So you don’t like anyone, then?”
“I like you.”
Scorpius blushed and found a wide smile spreading onto his face. “You do?”
“Of course I do, dummy,” Albus said, rolling his eyes. “You’re my best friend, aren’t you?”
“Oh,” Scorpius said, his face falling and a feeling of disappointment welling in his chest. “Yes, of course I am.”
“Who else was I going to fall in love with?” Albus challenged.
Scorpius glanced up and suddenly Albus was there. Scorpius blinked a few times as Albus reached out to touch him, cupping his face in his hands. “We were each other’s first kiss,” Albus said gently.
“I know,” Scorpius said, swallowing around the lump in his throat. “I was there.”
Scorpius laughed nervously and looked at Albus’ bright green eyes. Then his own eyes were closing and Albus was leaning in. Their lips pressed together tentatively and Scorpius gasped at the feeling. He unraveled his body so that Albus could scoot closer.
When they pulled back, both of them were smiling. “Want to do that again?” Albus asked, tracing Scorpius’ lips with his thumb.
“Yeah,” Scorpius said with a nod. “Not bored anymore?”
Albus shook his head. “Definitely not bored.”
Scorpius inhaled and let out a shaky breath. “I love you too.”
Albus rolled his eyes. “I know that.”
“No you didn’t,” Scorpius said, poking him in the side.
Albus smirked. “Sure I did,” he lied, pulling Scorpius into another kiss. “But thanks for telling me anyway.”
Scorpius snorted. “You’re welcome.”
“I think there’s meant to be tongue involved with snogging,” Albus said, pulling away thoughtfully.
“Oh, did you want to try that?” Scorpius asked, feeling his face flush at the idea of Albus’ tongue in his mouth.
“I want to try everything with you,” Albus said, lacing their fingers together. When their lips came together again it was with open mouthes. It was warm and wet and a lot awkward. They pulled away and both made faces at each other before bursting into laughter. The kissing would get better. Everything was only going to get better.
Story Type: Short story. Length: Medium. Trigger Warnings: None.
Every summer, when my sister and I were young, my dad would set up a
tent in the backyard. I have fond memories of afternoons spent playing
in our super-secret clubhouse. To enter, visitors have to either recite
the password, or pay a reasonable entrance fee: one cookie per club
member. The tent was ours and ours alone, and we could leave it in as
big of a mess as we wanted to without getting scolded. Comics, toys,
blankets, and even clothes were scattered about on the floor, but
neither of us minded the chaos. On rare occasions, dad would let us
spend the night alone in the tent. Those nights were particularly
special to us, as they were the only times we got to do anything
“outdoorsy”. We lived in the city, and the closest we got to nature was a
small forest separating our yard from the neighbor’s home. The trees
were so thin and far apart from one another that we could clearly see
through to the other side. It barely qualified as a forest, but despite
this, I learned one night that something could hide in it, just out of
sight. That night was the last I ever spent in the tent.
Now I'm superstitious. I feel like all this talk about Quinn still being alive is going to somehow get to Gansa. We know that he prides himself on being original, edgy, and going against what the viewers want. If he reads or hears about our Quinnspiracy theories, he'll laugh in all of our faces like "The Joker". That's how evil he is. And then it's definitely goodbye, Quinn for real. (I can't believe I've turned into this paranoid, borderline insane, needs-to-get-a-life freak!! FU, AFG!!)
Yeah, I feel like we’re jinxing it. We need a secret clubhouse.
So, this is a matter I’ve thought about a lot and it encompasses quite a few thoughts so bear with me here.
Lars and Sadie. I get asked why I don’t ship it (at least outside of AUs where I actually do ship them) and I have plenty of reasons, but I think this sums up the biggest crux of them.
(Broken down into two parts for ease of reading.)
Point One: Lars is Gay (or possibly Bisexual)
This one is important and I’d like to address it first. I’ve gotten this impression for a very long time now. A lot of Lars’ behaviour and dialogue hints toward it.
* Lars often seems confused about what to do with Sadie’s interest in him. This could be a teenage thing, as he is an awkward teenager, but he doesn’t seem much interested in actually going anywhere romance-wise with Sadie. It is implied that the two of them have done something sexual together in the past (Joking Victim) but whatever it was seems to have left a way bigger impact on Sadie than on Lars.
* Lars’ crush on Buck. Whew… I think this one is painfully obvious, and I say that as someone who totally does NOT ship this as a pairing. Lars is desperate to get Buck’s attention. While initially he talks about the cool kids as a whole, his specific attention toward Buck becomes more obvious over time. In Shirt Club, he was falling all over himself to try and get Buck to notice him. Lars and the Cool Kids marks the first (and only) time we’ve seen Lars take off his shirt in canon, which is when Buck and co wanted to go swimming. He didn’t even hesitate. Contrast to Sadie who he was stranded with on an island for days (possibly a couple of weeks) and still never took off his shirt.
It’s even present in this newest CN clip. Lars says he has no plans for the day off. Sadie describes a date, basically inviting him over for movies and dinner. Lars is like “Not interested. But you know who that’d be great with? BUCK.”
So… Sadie talking about going on a date makes Lars immediately think of Buck. Someone’s crushing pretty hard here.
* Rebecca Sugar ships M/M stuff all the time. Okay, this one isn’t based on the show itself, but Rebecca Sugar and at least one of the storyboard artists (if not more) are active m/m shippers (First in the EEnE fandom, but I point out that Rebecca’s comic, Pug Davis, has a very gay male character who is in love with his companion). With that in mind, I’ve been surprised there’s been no overtly gay male characters on the show. Now it’s a little harder to get away with when all the male characters are humans and they can’t easily handwave it as ‘perceived’ gender, but I’d wager anything that there’s some gay or bi males on the cast and Lars seems a prime candidate for it.
*Lars’ past relationship with Ronaldo. This one is a whole can of worms… I’m gonna have to break it down into two parts
-pt 1 - Their interactions as kids. We see very little of this and yet it’s so rich in information. The two of them were friends. The scene involves them in their new 'secret clubhouse’. Lars is the one who emphasizes how this is secret and no one can know and it comes up a lot. Even more than that, upon first seeing the photo, Lars seems genuinely terrified and blurts out “you said this was secret”. Ronaldo doesn’t utter that word once during this entire sequence, by the way.
But even with Lars’ worry about things being secret aside, his reactions with Ronaldo are fascinating. I tend to gauge some things by heteronormative subtext (ie: if these characters were a boy and a girl, what impression would this scene give). If Ronaldo were a girl in this flashback, I think there’d be a lot of people assuming they’re a cute little couple. Lars’ behaviour is downright flirty in some ways, his efforts to go out of his way to be silly and make Ronaldo laugh with his gestures is something I don’t see him doing much of in modern times. Plus when he carves his name and Ron is confused, he says “I’m carving our names in”. Not “mine”, but “our”. Carving your own name and someone else’s into wood is such a commonly associated thing with Romance that it even has its own trope on TV Tropes (Sweetie Graffiti). There’s a reason that a lot of people who aren’t even fans of either of these two characters make comments about them getting together… it’s because a lot of their interactions would read as romantic if they were a m/f friendship.
-pt 2 - Lars’ current relationship with Ronaldo. Frankly they avoid each other like the plague. But when forced to interact things get interesting. A lot of Lars’ interest in the episode seems focused on Ronaldo. His behaviour around Ronaldo actually does a 180 to his behaviour around most folks. A lot of the time Lars slumps, but in this episode he stands up straight and Ronaldo is the one who continually is backing down. Lars has put himself in the dominant/power position and Ronaldo seems to just accept this. Even times when Sadie and Ronaldo are interacting, sometimes seems like more of his focus is on Ronaldo than Sadie (is Ronaldo 'moving in’ on my territory, etc). Towards the end of the episode, Lars seems to even forget that Sadie was there until Ronaldo asks her if she’s okay.
That also doesn’t get into the way Lars invades Ronaldo’s space. His action of flicking Ronaldo’s hair is jarring for both characters because neither of them seems to initiate physical contact much (but especially Lars).
Of particular note are some of Lars’ statements. Especially when Sadie and Steven talk about the gem 'lashing out from feeling hurt and trapped’ and Lars immediately thinking it’s about him. Many closeted folks describe feeling 'trapped’. But also Lars’ almost throwaway line “We’re all just hearing things and seeing things and FEELING things that aren’t real.” Feeling what? I’m pretty sure Lars is talking about emotional feelings not tactile ones from the way he says it. I suspect he’s got some lingering issues with Ron that go deeper than just thinking Ron is a dork.
Last, but certainly not least, is when Ronaldo teases him at the end and he blushes. Note that Lars has dropped his aggressive stance and gone back to his normal one and the balance of power is no longer focused on him at that point. But there is still an emphasis on their interaction and relationship and I’m interested to know more about both.
Point 2: Sadie and Lars’ relationship is unequal and has some very toxic elements
There’s some issues with the Lars and Sadie ship that need some addressing right off, but I want to lead by saying that RonLarsSadie is my OT3 and I have no trouble with the CONCEPT of Lars/Sadie, just with the most frequent portrayals and the way certain things get ignored or brushed over when they should be addressed.
Most of the issues I have with the ship come when people forget that aspects of their relationship are bad and need work before it can be considered healthy. They’re both dumb kids who have a lot of growing up to do and they’re both great at ignoring the fact that you have to work at a relationship to make it work, whether it’s a friendship or romance.
So, with that out of the way, here are the concrete issues with their relationship
*It’s pretty one-sided. Sadie is obsessed with Lars. This is a whole big issue in itself, as Lars seems to be the main focus of Sadie’s attention all the time. Outside of work and hanging with Lars, we barely see her doing anything on her own - discounting the things her mom makes her do, of course. Other than Steven who makes himself friends with everyone, she seems to have no friends aside from Lars. She goes to things with Lars and doesn’t necessarily seem to be into them herself (ie: Tiger Millionaire, she is not really into the wrestling in the way that Lars and the others are). The only time she does a social event where Lars isn’t involved is the movie night in Horror Club and Lars winds up butting into that anyway. Also Steven was the one who invited her and probably badgered her to come.
Lars’ reactions toward Sadie are kind of hard to read. He does have a certain possessiveness, but his interest seems to be more in the respect of 'I need someone to make me feel good about myself’. He hangs around with her a lot less when he starts getting in with the cool kids.
*Sadie’s focus on Lars has disturbing parallels with Rose and Pearl, where Sadie would 'do anything’ Lars asks her even when it’s to her own detriment and she even seems to kind of glorify or revel in the fact. However, unlike Rose and Pearl’s relationship, Sadie also lashes out at Lars and is not above manipulating him. She becomes aggressive with Lars when he lets her down The fact that she didn’t even know for sure that Steven’s fire salt was safe and yet dumped a ton of it on Lars’ donut to 'punish’ him is not a good response and was really disproportionate, but that’s not the worst one, by far
Her lying and hiding the portal to strand them so he’d be forced to spend time with her is not indicative of a healthy relationship. Lars was there against his will for several days if not weeks. This is basically the equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome except he doesn’t know Sadie’s the person holding him hostage! The kiss scene is hard to gauge in terms of his actual emotional state because he’s been put under extreme stress for a while by that point. Also, immediately after the kissing/cuddling scene, Lars is in the midst of an emotional breakdown and can’t take it anymore.
Sadie’s response to this is to be frustrated. Why? Literally, he has to be at the point where he can’t take it anymore and she’s still seemingly not aware that what she’s doing is wrong and hurting him. I’m not sure Lars is in any mindset to be romantic with anyone at this point. Frankly I’m surprised he’s still maintaining a friendship with her at this point because some of the stuff that happened on the island could be considered torture in an attempt at coercion (lack of steady food, constant state of stress, etc).
And let’s not forget Lars’ negatives here either…
*Lars is leading her on. He is. At this point there’s no way he can’t know she’s romantically interested in him and he doesn’t seem interested in her in the same way. But instead of admitting it, he strings her along, makes her do his work and do nice things for him and basically uses her.
It may also be that he’s 'experimenting’ with her to figure himself out, which isn’t entirely uncommon, but the fact that he’s letting her think what she wants (I’m trying very hard to avoid quoting a spoiler here, but it’s basically confirmation that it’s to his benefit for Sadie to think whatever she wants about their relationship).
Lars may be uncertain about his own sexuality and what he wants and that’s fine, it’s part of growing up, but he needs to stop using Sadie to make himself feel better or more important, especially when it just causes her to get more obsessed with him.
All of that said, I think there are parts of their relationship that COULD WORK (at least they can work if Lars is bi and not just gay), but that they need to work around all of these other things to make it viable and not a problem where they’re both using and abusing each other in this disturbing cycle.
I hope they can figure it out. Trust me, as two-thirds of my OTP, I want them to be functional, but that is a long road and not a point where they’re currently at.
I have more thoughts on different character interactions and relationships with these two, but I think this is long enough for now.
Suggestion topic: please write an advice post advising how to write good writing advice.
ok buddy I’ll take this seriously
Because it’s kind of serious? How many times have we seen something kind of “eh…” that we wanted to give advice about or suggest improvements but been like “but who am I to say anything?”
Except that’s exactly what many people want or need; getting “yay good keep going” reviews is all right and all but they don’t “prove” you read the story. Specific, detailed, targeted comments or references to the story and suggestions are not only helpful but give the writer not only that you read and comprehended what was going on but that you also liked it and have an opinion about it. Except, if what we have to say is advice or suggestions, then we fear sounding like we didn’t like the story or only see things “wrong” with it.
And in the general sense, we can fear sounding like too much the expert, being too restrictive, being too snobby, or otherwise just not feeling like we have the authority to share our perspective.
These are all feelings I’ve had at different points at my life, and I kind of got over them with help of wonderful and great friends— of ALL skill and relational levels. Peers, people who’ve looked up to me, and people I in turn have looked up to and aspired to be like.
But to maybe set a little groundwork down, here are some thoughts to get one started, if they struggle with giving good advice or giving good feedback.
Look at other’s feedback or if the author has responded in any way. This may not be easy to discern at all venues. But if it’s clear that the person is not writing this to get advice, or probably doesn’t want to hear your opinion (especially if you have to break it to them that you didn’t enjoy an element of the story or that it’s problematic or something made you uncomfortable or just otherwise probably needs fixing) then don’t bother. People might not want to hear from you for a variety of reasons— sometimes they’re doing this as a mental health thing, sometimes they’re just inexperienced with criticism and think it’s a personal attack or reflects on their quality of character, sometimes they’ve made a story as part of an exchange with their friends. But without evidence that you’d be received poorly, don’t assume it will be. Even if you feel anxious, you have never made a “mistake” by stating your interpretation or feelings. Not even if it was received poorly. You are not a bad person. They are not a bad person. We’re all just trying to get better, together.
Refer to specific things in the story or specific areas that you have advice on. Sometimes vagueness is impossible to avoid, but try to be precise. Things like “It’s too fast” or “I don’t like the voice/tone/???” or “Maybe you should add more X” don’t help the writer. Explain why you feel this way about specific elements that you can even cite if you have to. Be clear. I know this feels like Language Composition class, I’m sorry— but that’s just how it is; hearing specific feedback not only proves your readers read and understood the story but also is a tangible piece of advice they can compare with what they wrote.
Don’t be gentle or try to soften your advice for the sake of a writer’s comfort. Posting things online with the option of feedback or criticism is an agreement with readers that the writer consents to feedback. People who don’t understand this (the “secret clubhouse” effect, often seen when men get angry that women have things to say about their fanspace, for example!) are shooting themselves in the foot complaining about posting to an internet venue they consensually used; there are spaces where feedback is limited or restricted, and they can use those if they like. Your words are an important part of the writing process. You’re allowed to say your peace. Of course, I’m trusting you all not to behave like douchebags when I say this; your serious and honest criticism is what the author has agreed to hear by posting publicly, not actual harassment and bullying. No, “this story isn’t very good” or other negative feedback don’t count as harassment, either. You probably have your own moral guidance, I leave it up to your good judgement to know exactly what bullying and harassment is, and if you don’t know these things, you may be sort of dangerous or unpleasant to be around in the first place.
At the same time, be accurate in your advice. Don’t construe your interpretation or feelings as reality. Don’t say “this is” when you mean “I feel this is,” or “The way I read it, this seems.” Don’t do the opposite, either, using “I feel” or “maybe this is” when you’re talking about a serious reality or a factual event, or real detail of the story. If something is sexist in the story, you don’t feel it’ sexist. If you identify a problem, it’s a problem, not a perceived problem— this is when you give SPECIFIC examples and SPECIFIC advice about why it’s a problem and how to fix it.
Identify a real trend and comment on it— similar to being specific in an individual story above. Make sure you’re talking about something that’s real and occurs in more than one place.
Be thoughtful. It’s not often enough to just be annoyed or to say “Don’t do this.“ Think about why it bugs you and think about why maybe your advice is important to others.
Come up with a thesis (a simple summary of what you’re talking about) and a reason why it’s important. Try to include these things first. People often identify these trends, but not everybody may really think too hard about why they may be. This isn’t a bad thing. Everybody analyzes things in different ways.
REMEMBER LEVELS OF ANALYSIS. Not every piece of advice is relevant to every level of analysis. There’s the personal level (one story), the community level (a fan community or circle of friends and writers connected by interest or topic), the single-venue level or single-section level (JUST on one archive or venue in particular, JUST FF.Net, JUST AO3, etc.), the fandom level (just one fan following), a multifandom level or a genre level (all fanfic, or all fanfic of one genre), and greater fan media level (all fan works everywhere) to consider. These levels might intersect (All the fanfic for one fandom, but only on one venue like Tumblr). They may also intersect with levels of analysis of other topics, or greater levels of media and social analysis (the level of literature in general, the level of culture, the level of society and its expectations for said literature, etc.) Basically, think about where your advice belongs and who would find it useful and for what, before writing it.
Try suggesting, not prescribing. There’s no way you can provide sure band-aids to help someone else fix something or write better work. Your perspective or solutions might not be the answer. But they’re what you can give— so being helpful rather than demanding is key. If you can’t help somebody, that’s okay. They’ll come to the answer eventually, even if they don’t know what questions to ask, if they look.
Remember that advice is about empowering others, providing new perspectives, and stimulating the thought of others. Never to think for someone else, or to take away their power or feelings of being powerful.
Talk about things you’ve seen, rather than assuming things about what you haven’t seen. If you’ve seen a lot of selfish people, describe them and describe what bothered you about your fanwork. Please don’t come up with a list of symptoms and say a person would be selfish for invoking them. Otherwise known as the “litmus test problem”, the urge to say that something is just the sum of its parts and predicting what that sum will be, it’s not helpful advice and it’s why a lot of “Is my character/story/writing bad?” tests fail. Report your experiences and the things you’ve seen, don’t project the future. WHILE YOU CAN make educated guesses at the experience or the feelings of the writer in some instances by paying attention to what they focus on, their authorial motivation or message, or what traits they emphasize… it’s too difficult use those “clues” to give general advice, you can only use them for context when interpreting a specific story (back to that levels of analysis thing.)
These are just some general tips. As you come to recognize yourself as not just a creator but a responder and a mentor (and this is not hubris; you WILL be one eventually even if it’s later when you’re older and more experienced. This is inevitable, SOMEONE will look up to you just as you may look up to someone else!) to others in your community you’ll find that being a good one is something that takes just as much thought as writing or making fanwork itself. And just like those things, you’ll find your style here, too.
guys help i can’t stop with the elementary school au HAVE SOME CHARACTER DESIGNS/HEADCANONS:
Matt has a giant head and I don’t know why. Every time I draw him I’m like “Okay, you got this, don’t give him a giant head this time” and then BAM, baby bobblehead. SORRY MATT, MAYBE NEXT TIME DON’T BE SO SCRAWNY. (Jack can’t figure out why Matt’s such a beanpole, he eats like a horse.) Anyway he lives with Jack and takes Coach Stick’s special ninja gym class with Elektra and Colleen and Danny. His super senses aren’t exactly a secret but only Jack and Foggy and Elektra and Coach Stick really get the extent of them. Also, that striped shirt is his favorite.
Foggy is Matt’s very most bestest friend and they have a secret clubhouse (Karen found it in like four seconds) and are gonna live together when they grow up in a big house with a swirly slide, they already decided. His parents are very big on personal choice and self-esteem so they let him decide how long he wants his hair to be and pick out all the weird t-shirts he wants. His favorite question is “But why?” Jack thinks he is super weird but is mostly glad Matt has such a good friend.
Trish is a child model and “aspiring” child actress (they are really her mom’s aspirations but she is very charming and articulate). She’s a natural redhead (I’ve decided) and her mother basically dresses her like a cupcake at all times, much to her annoyance because it makes it super hard to climb trees. Hence that expression. Her mom thinks Jessica is a bad influence, and is mostly right about that. (…Let’s say this is a universe where Trish’s mom is annoying but not actually abusive, shall we? Same for Stick, whatever Karen’s family’s deal is, etc.)
Jessica has never brushed her hair in her life. She is bad at following rules and gets into a lot of fights with Frankie Castle and her knees are always skinned. She will 100% PUNCH YOU if you mess with Trish or Malcolm (no one messes with Malcolm, messing with Malcolm is like bullying a kitten) and she knows everyone’s secrets. She is also MEGA STRONG and can fly a little but her bio-family’s alive and happy, don’t think about it too hard.