speak novel


Faith + the world

Stop Living In Your Mind

Something I dealt with in real life–always wanted to write a story about it, but it’s too close to home.

When your character meets with a stressful situation, they ‘fragment’ and retreat into their mind. The situation becomes a person they can reason with. Their loyalty, their honesty, their depression are all different people in their mind, with rooms and a maze of hallways. It’s like they can’t hear anything in the real world, and they’re just letting their ‘people’ take control.

kajuned  asked:

Hey, I'm curious. Is there anything psychologically different between Novel-Izaya and Anime-Izaya, and is there any difference between Novel-Shizuo and Anime-Shizuo?

Oh my, where do I even begin?

There are definitely things psychologically different from Novel-Izaya and Anime Izaya. 

(Fun fact - Anime is an anagram of Namie, I just mispelled it lol) 

I talked about it in this post some time ago. Generally, anime Izaya is made to seem invincible especially in the first season. And because they left out important novel scenes, there’s inconsistency in his character. For example, how did he get knocked out so easily by Slon while talking to Kujiragi when he had the advantage before? It was actually because Kujiragi mentioned Shizuo and Izaya ‘fell silent’. She spoke about Shizuo being a hindrance and thanked Izaya for landing him in jail. 

Whether he was worried about Shizuo or not, Izaya’s moment of silence and the description of his bad feeling shows that he’s not invincible even though he suddenly seemed to gain the upper hand. He was affected by his human feelings and emotions when Kujiragi mentioned Shizuo, for whatever reason. 

I took that as a Shizaya moment because it was very unusual for Izaya. But the point is, Izaya has human feelings and emotions that can render him vulnerable to unexpected consequences and is definitely not invincible, even though he may seem like it. 

This link was something the anime left out, the novels expands on this further with his conversations with other characters and the telephone pole scene where he punched a telephone pole as he thought of betraying Shinra. 

In retrospect Shinra, who lived confidently above this world, did invoke some jealousy in him.

Yet he was attempting to betray even a friend like that. Not a friend by Izaya’s standards, but a “friend”  as defined by most people in the world.

He’ll probably be mad at me if he finds out that I went to meet Celty taking the head with me.


Izaya couldn’t help but laugh slightly as he pictured his only “friend” by the world’s standards getting mad at him.

There is nothing to be afraid of.

This is the way I have lived my life all along, he laughed as he thought  –

                                                                                                     Laughed  –

                                                                                                       Laughed –                                                                                                            
                                                                                                         Laughed –

He clenched his right fist and slammed it hard into the telephone pole next to him.

- Durarara Volume 9

This was a very important scene in Izaya’s character development especially after they showed his past with Shinra, his only friend. It shows Izaya’s conflict over his own desires which has governed the way he has lived all along and one of his only two relationships - the friendship he has with his only friend. Izaya was affected by a human relationship, and it really shows he isn’t some villain but just an abnormal human who is eternally true to his own desires (but is still affected by relationships like everyone else)

I’m working on a theory for Izaya’s attachment to humanity. It’s taking much longer than I thought since I lack the time to sit down and finish it. But I intend on showing how Izaya is actually very human. It will of course include reference to the Shinra stabbing incident as Izaya said himself it was probably the only thing that affected the formation of his personality in a significant way. I’ll also refer to the interviews about Izaya in his novel. So I’m currently integrating all the information together, both old and new about Izaya to formulate a theory that may explain Izaya’s attachment to humanity. You might want to look out for that if you’re interested in the psychology of novel Izaya. 

Other than novel Izaya not being invincible (both psychologically and outwardly), I guess another psychological difference would be that Izaya is actually a very private person. The impression I got from the first season was that Izaya was a very open person (not open-mindedness, as in socially open). 

But Izaya behind all his talk and interaction is actually very private. You don’t see it in the anime, but in the novel he thinks to himself a lot, reflects quite a bit, and generally is…very confident in his own identity internally. For example, Mikado’s first impression of Izaya was not that he was a weird person, but that he looked like an ‘intellectual that gave tuition in some remote district’. It speaks to the demeanor novel Izaya has that Mikado would form such an impression of him. 

Even though he might seem open with humans, Izaya actually keeps to himself a lot. Shinra said himself in his interview that Izaya’s not the type to stand in front of people. You can see that in both the novel and anime version of middle school Izaya. While he was portrayed like a rebel in the anime, in the novel he was just distant and enjoying observing humans. He was actually a model student, not a rebel, so that’s another difference in portrayal there. 

What a strange guy. 

I’ll just keep observing him in the future.

But I have to watch out. Getting too close to him might be dangerous.

So this is just a small scene when Izaya thinks as he watched Shinra leave to go home to Celty (though he didn’t know that yet). But even with Shinra Izaya is already distancing himself. He tells himself he can’t get too close to Shinra, can’t let himself be too affected and involved in their friendship. Perhaps he’s apprehensive Shinra wouldn’t satisfy his expectations, perhaps he just doesn’t want to become like everyone else - whatever the reason is, Izaya has, since young, kept a distance between himself and humans. So much that he has to be ‘wary’ when he feels himself getting closer to Shinra than necessary.

At first sight, he looked like a gentle-natured man of slender build, but his features had a relative sharpness in them, making him the perfect exemplification of the word “handsome”. He was smiling as if willing to accept anything in the world as part of him; yet at the same time his eyes shone without mercy as if he held contempt for everything except himself. The way he dressed was idiosyncratic, but it was hard to point at why. Overall, he gave an elusive and mercurial vibe.

- Durarara Volume 5

What are the implications of this? Well, it just shows how distant Izaya is from humans. And how he keeps to himself. Even though he’s handsome, it doesn’t matter to him, and he may only use his good looks for human observation and not any socialization. He has a stable internal perception of his love for humans, so he’s willing to accept anything, but at the same time he’s the only one who understands his love for humans so he holds a contempt for everything except himself. 

One reason why could be his tendency to keep things to himself and how he’s a private person. Like, he says he loves humans and declares love for humans but except with Shinra (and a reluctant Shizuo), doesn’t try to form any sort of relationship with them. He doesn’t try to connect to them in a way they can understand (maybe because he can’t because of his upbringing) and so they can’t understand him. And so he’s left with him only understanding himself and being shunned and outcast from society, which will naturally breed contempt.

That might be why Izaya seems mysterious and ‘elusive’ - because he’s such a private person. He’s more introverted in the novels, in that it seems natural for him to be alone with his thoughts. I guess you can kind of see this in Volume 5 where he’s shown to have stayed at an internet cafe alone while working on his plans for the city, left alone and walked away alone, he basically just does things alone.

Novel Izaya is also not in control of everything. Well you can see that in the anime as well when he got knocked out twice. But I mean, he’d move the piece that will give him the most advantage, but generally he’s open to any result. He just seems like he’s in control all the time because he accepts everything that happens (except with Shizuo). Because he loves humans unilaterally and doesn’t have any personal feelings or relationships with them (except Shinra and Shizuo) So again, he’s not invincible in his predictions. He does have some idea of how things will go and what he wants to see, but he’s less of a ‘mastermind’ in that sense. He’s still a mastermind, but has less of the ‘mastermind mindset’? In that he doesn’t expect everything to go according to plan. 

And I suppose novel Izaya is more sensitive. You don’t see it in the anime, but when he was left out of hotpot, it was mentioned he ‘felt more lonely than usual’. Tsukumoya said that he’s lonely but accepts that loneliness. And he was not happy at being left out of the events of Volume 4, which is part of the reason why he wanted the ‘city’s holiday’ to be over. He’s more human in that sense. Like, he’s a logical minded man, but he actually acts on his feelings quite a bit. He is affected by his feelings, sometimes even driven by them (like in the death match with Shizuo) and is definitely human.

Also, novel Izaya is more like a child. As in, there are various times in which he’s described like a kid having fun. So in that sense he really doesn’t have any malice. He just wants to see, like a kid discovering more about the world. Shiki agrees with this, in both the novels and his interview for Izaya’s novel. I’ll be expanding on this with my Izaya attachment theory in the future. 

Keep reading

*Continual, endless pterodactyl shrieking*

So I just read the new Thrawn novel from cover to cover and let me just say that for all the shortcomings of my recent Star Wars reads, this one makes up for it a thousandfold. I fucking LOVE how Zahn writes the Empire, I fucking LOVE his new characters, I fucking love how he incorporated old and new, and while I still don’t give a shit about Pryce I FUCKING LOVE THIS BOOK OH MY GOD. THRAWN. MY MAN. MY BEAUTIFUL BLUE GENIUS WARLORD DEMIGOD. LET ME LOVE YOU. LET ME ADMIRE YOU FROM AFAR. LET ME DRAW YOU LIKE ONE OF MY FRENCH GIRLS. LET ME SERVE UNDER YOU LET ME WORSHIP YOU LET ME BEND YOU OVER THE NEAREST STAR DESTROYER CONSOLE I DON’T EVEN FUCKING KNOW FUCK I AM IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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ID #65856

Name: Karina
Age: 19
Country: USA

Hi there! My name’s Karina and I’ve always wanted to have a snail mail pen pal! I’m 19 and I’m currently a college student studying English. I loooooove reading works by John Steinbeck, Victor Villaseñor, etc. I’m into a lot of the more classic novels/Chicano literature. My music taste spans from Sam Cooke and Ritchie Valens (and many oldies) to Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, to The Beach Boys, and Spanish rock. I’m fluent and biliterate in English and Spanish and can talk about anything and everything that might interest you since I love learning what other people are into as well. Tell me your life story, your hobbies, schooling, jobs, etc. I love being able to communicate with others and would be open to exchanging more contact info like social media handles :). Another part about me is that I love swimming, hiking (lots of redwoods and beautiful trails where I live!), and water polo too. And I love studying Judaism since I’m interested in converting in the future! Talk to me :-)

Preferences: Preferably would like to communicate with anyone 15+; gender, sexuality, religion do not matter!


me: don’t draw lazytown fanart at the fancy restaurant, despite the tempting paper tablecloth
also me: but they have a purple crayon
me: fuck

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ok anyway, in im3, tony yells NO! right as, and maybe a little bit before, he fails to catch pepper’s hand (like as soon as that whole metal structure tilts), and not after. when rhodey’s falling in cap 3, tony yells NO! way before rhodey hits the ground, but not as soon as rhodey’s shot and starts falling

this makes me think of the im1 novelization: when tony uses the faulty flight power of the mark 1 to boost him out of the terrorist camp, he figures out mid-fall what his trajectory was and what would be the force of his impact against the ground or whatever. similarly, when that SI rocket lands right next to him during the ambush, the first thing he does is to consider the distance between him and the thing and he quickly concludes that he won’t be able to get out of the blast range

so now i’m emotional over tony’s seemingly preemptive cries of NO! in light of this thing where he’s constantly doing the math in his head. so for instance, with pepper, he’s ~relatively chill and reassuring and confident that he’s gonna catch her, up until that rig unexpectedly tilts – and that would be the moment when pepper veers off the trajectory tony had projected for her and he knows he won’t be able to adjust in time, so he starts crying out BEFORE we ever get the shot of him missing pepper’s hand. and then with rhodey in cap 3, he realizes rhodey is going down and goes back for him, and then the point at which he actually cries out would have been the point when the numbers clicked in tony’s head and he realized he wouldn’t be able to get to rhodey before rhodey hit the ground

and i’m in pain because if we’re to go with this, then we have tony grasping his failure before it even happens

I have to say I’m a little shocked to see a recent information post on Evillious that would claim Michaela fell in love with Allen and thus allowed herself to be killed by him.

And yet it links to one of my translation blogs.

It also calls the fanbooks “fan written novels”, claims Riliane forgot Allen due to growing up in luxury, that he revealed they were twins immediately upon being hired, that Germaine resented Allen for his royal connections, calls Gast Riliane’s “minister” (and says he was responsible for laying waste to Elphegort), and many other incorrect things.

That’s not even going into their basic lack of understanding the songs (ex, this person seems to think that Germaine is the one who said “you insolent man” in the Daughter of Evil song).

Not very encouraging when someone writing a guide on the series hasn’t done more than surface research. It’s like some strange union of purely fanon beliefs (fan PVs in particular) and canon facts. They are aware of the novels but don’t seem to know hardly anything about their contents.


Who would be interested in reading what I write?

I’m asking for all French-speaking (my apologies, my English is still not good enough for me to write texts worth publishing) people out there. I’m considering publishing my work and looking for people who would help me to proofread by senfing comments about it. So far, I had my novels read by several close friends but I like to have more opinions.

I still don’t know how about format (one chapter a week, just the short stories or everything at once?) but I’d like to see first how many people would be interested.

For your information, I mostly write science-fiction with some supernatural stuff in it (which could be considered magic). Adventures, battles and some humor.

* * * * *

Qui serait intéressé de lire ce que j’écris ?

Je m’adresse aux francophones (désolé, mais mon anglais n’est pas assez bon pour écrire en anglais quelque chose digne d’être publié). Je suis en train de réfléchir à publier une partie de mes travaux et recherches des lecteurs pour m’aider en envoyant des commentaires. Jusqu’ici mes romans ont été lus par quelques amis proches mais j’ai besoin de plus d’avis.

Je ne sais pas encore sous quel format je ferais ça (un chapitre par semaine, juste les nouvelles ou tout d’un coup ?) D’abord je voudrais voir combien de gens seraient intéressés.

Pour info, j’écris surtout de la science-fiction avec des éléments surnaturels (pouvant être considérés comme magiques). Des aventures, des batailles et un peu d’humour.

Alors… Bonne idée ou non ?

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Does ANYONE know any gay lit about the Revolutionary War?!?!? I NEED IT SO BADLY IM ABOUT READY TO WRITE A STUCKY AU FOR IT AND PLZ DON’T LET ME!! 

I need gay historical fiction something fierce!!

kajuned  asked:

A very random question but in your opinion, what's the difference between plot-drive and character-driven stories?

I’ve been staring at this message in my inbox for days now, and on top of being a long-debated question regarding writing in general, I think it’s also incredibly relevant to the structure of Supernatural specifically. And because of that I’ve been half excited about and yet half dreading trying to answer this.

Not dreading in a bad way, but dreading because I know this is gonna turn into some kind of patented Mittens Uses Too Many Words To Say The Thing sort of post. Because I have FEELINGS about this. :P

Let’s start with the basics, and I’ll explain why this is a much debated thing. Seriously, just google “plot vs character driven writing” and each link you click will offer a different assessment of what this means. I mean, just speaking about Romance novels as a specific, some people would characterize them as “plot driven” and others as “character driven,” depending on your understanding of what is meant by those terms. It’s… confusing.

Because a character driven story is one which obviously HAS a plot which advances throughout the story, but it’s the character’s emotions and choices and personal growth that DRIVE the plot forward.

A plot driven story is one in which the character may also experience emotional growth and make choices and everything, but in reaction to an external plot that draws the character along in its wake.

All stories incorporate both character and plot development (hopefully! or otherwise why would we bother reading them. This reminds me of my favorite English teacher who taught a class called Literature of Changing Times. I think I’ve mentioned her before *waves hi at Mrs. Proenza if you’re out there reading this. You are awesome, btw*. First day of class when we were going over the reading list, she said, “Ha! Jokes on the admins for approving this class, because ALL literature is about changing times, and this just gives me an excuse to teach y’all my favorite books!”

That was an awesome class, because it was obvious how much she loved every book we studied, and it definitely carried through in OUR enthusiasm for the subject. She basically was the one who taught me how to be passionate about stories.)

So yes, all writing will have elements of a plot moving forward, and characters who are hopefully relatable and whose motivations we understand and/or sympathize with, and sometimes it’s hard to tell if a story is more driven by the external plot or the internal character motivations because both seem important.

Now, specifically relating to Supernatural. Taken as a whole, the series has used both character driven AND plot driven stories, sometimes simultaneously. I’ve heard one description in an old meta ages and ages ago that SPN was actually telling us two different stories based on whether you were looking at it through Sam’s perspective or Dean’s.

Short tangent to explain: Sam’s story has largely been plot driven, and that meta I mentioned above compared it to the traditional story structure of the Horror genre. An external force acts on a character, the character is forced to react, make choices based on those outside influences, and thus growth and change happens for the character. Dean’s story (aside from during the MoC arc, when Dean was literally acted on by an outside force) has largely been character driven, similar to a character in a traditional Fantasy genre story where the character is the one who goes chasing after the plot, and his emotions and choices drive that plot forward.

But it’s more complicated than that, because of course it is. :P

Obviously that’s reducing things to their absolute simplest form, but Sam’s narrative began when an outside force literally acted on him, with Azazel dripping demon blood in his mouth. That obviously drove the plot forward, setting up everything that’s happened in the entire series in the opening scenes of the pilot episode.

But Dean’s story really begins (again, in the pilot episode) because he has an emotional need for Sam to help him find their father. That ALSO drives the action of the story forward, because without Dean’s internal motivation, the rest of the plot wouldn’t have happened, either.

Using the Carver Era (s8-11), you can really see the difference between a character driven narrative and a plot driven one. See by my personal bias in the following description if you can tell which style of storytelling I personally prefer:

Early s8 began with a HUGE dose of character driven plots. Dean comes back from Purgatory without Cas and is basically pining or in mourning. Sam’s been on an extended vacation playing house with Amelia. Dean’s internal drive to “fix the plot,” i.e. find and save Kevin, drives the early part of the season while Sam feels a little resentful of being dragged away from his “normal” life.

Then Cas miraculously turns up, they find Kevin, and suddenly they’re learning about other tablets that exist in the world. In a plot-driven world, they would’ve sought out the tablets and probably destroyed them. They wouldn’t start making these huge universe-altering decisions based on the information they learn from Kevin Tran, Prophet of Chuck.

The whole Trials storyline begins as a character-driven story. It’s their united motivations (Sam and Dean), their internal desire to accomplish this thing, that gets the ball rolling. And Dean intends to be the one to carry this burden of the trials, until fate hands that burden to Sam. Once again, outside forces have turned the course of the story. So Sam is the one who again must react TO the plot. Dean spends most of the rest of s8 reacting to Sam’s reactions, supporting him through the trials, but also emotionally attaching himself to Castiel’s story.

Cas spent most of s8 in a similar narrative position to Sam, except he didn’t even realize it. He believed he was acting on his own emotional choices much of the time (turning off Angel Radio, deciding to be a hunter, and then deciding to reconnect in order to answer prayers– we see him healing a baby and generally trying to do good in the world). Yet all along, he’s being acted on by outside forces and is literally being mind-controlled. So he believed he was driving his own plot, when behind the scenes his plot was being driven for him.

At the beginning of s9, Sam is again put into a situation much like Cas’s during s8 where he BELIEVES he’s in charge of his story, while unbeknownst to him he’s actually got an angel in the driver’s seat. Sam’s being dragged along by that plot again. But it was Dean’s internal motivation that directly put him in that situation.

Finally it’s Dean’s turn to make a choice that leads to a self-sacrifice he believes is the only way to regain control of the plot (Abaddon! Must! Die!), and takes on the Mark of Cain without reading the fine print. Thus begins what we BELIEVE is an internally motivated story for Dean, because for A FREAKING YEAR the show was telling us through parallels and the narrative itself that the Mark was a curse and what we were seeing was a change INTERNAL TO DEAN. Heck, it literally turned him into a demon. He wasn’t POSSESSED by the demon, it wasn’t an outside force acting on him, it was his very own most internal soul that had been transformed.

And then round about 10.15 the narrative pulled a 180, yanked the rug out from under a year’s worth of narrative buildup of an intensely INTERNALIZED (i.e. CHARACTER DRIVEN) story for Dean and said WHOOPSIE NOPE IT’S ACTUALLY AN OUTSIDE FORCE CONTROLLING DEAN! You thought he was actually growing as a character but nope we’re taking this one step below Fuckhands McMike territory and blaming EVERYTHING that’s happened on this big scary Dark external force! The plot basically pantsed us all.

Suddenly, after two and a half years of mostly character-driven storytelling, everything shifts and everyone’s chasing after the plot again. Dean loses ALL control over the thing inside him as he’s hopelessly dragged off by the Darkness.

And then in 10.23, Dean wrests control back over his own story by literally killing Death, while Sam and Cas have set events in motion that free Dean from the Mark of Cain and release it into the world at large instead.

Now obviously a huge portion of s11 is plot driven– their reactions to having released the Darkness and their scramble to fix what they broke as it spreads across the land. But even from the start of the season, the narrative gradually shifts into a nice balance between plot and character driven stories, where the two really begin to merge together (even on a subtextual meta level).

Another interesting aspect of Supernatural is the two types of episodes– the Mytharc (which are largely plot-driven) and the MotW (which are usually one-off monster hunts with an internal plot driven structure– MUST SOLVE THE CASE AND SAVE THE PEOPLE AND KILL THE THING!– but are generally propelled by a spurt of introspection and character growth. These are the episodes where they aren’t just acting and reacting to the Big Plot Things, but actually experience growth and change themselves).

And this is why I LOVE s12. It’s almost entirely character driven, even with the overarching plots. The main focus isn’t so much the motives of the Bad Guys and our Intrepid Heroes trying to save the world from them. It’s about the characters own personal emotional growth, how their choices affect the narrative (and yes, even Sam’s choice to work with the MoL is really a CHOICE and not something he was compelled by the plot to choose. His personal internal desires led him to that choice, and are now leading him AWAY from that choice, but it’s still been a real choice for him. Same with Cas and the choices he’s been making, and even CROWLEY, in choosing not to lock up Lucifer properly (or just kill him already ffs).

Dean is at the center of all of this, acting as that strange force of balance he’d achieved in 11.23. He’s not so much driving the story with his emotional choices, but sitting at a weird central axis while the story takes place all around him. He’s pulling a string here and there and waiting to see what budges.

I LOVE THIS. It’s glorious chaos, and I feel like Dean, sitting all zen-like in the middle of a huge unraveling sweater.

Okay, I confess. I don’t necessarily prefer one style of storytelling over the other (though I am a Dean girl, so I guess I probably do prefer a character driven story… and even Cas’s story has long been about his acquisition and proper application of Free Will, learning about humanity and making choices for himself, so while he’s experienced huge swaths of character development and growth it’s not entirely been character driven growth…). And I adore Supernatural’s complicated blend of the two.

I just really hated the bait and switch of late s10. You know that gif of Bart Simpson where he’s playing the video frame by frame and says something like, “you can pinpoint the exact second his heart rips in half?” Yeah. it’s like in 10.15 there’s a record scratch and suddenly we’re watching the freaking Stynes grab the plot by the short and curlies and yanking it in an entirely unforeseen direction. Like, out of left field. Like they picked up Baby off a coastal highway and plonked her down in a muddy field to spin her wheels, jarring. That’s what they did with the narrative.

After 10.23, once the plot had been suitably yanked around where they wanted it, the narrative structure AND the plot itself became about finding another way, a better way, a balanced and unified way. And since then it’s largely stayed on track.

How did I turn a simple question into this? It’s who I am as a person. I hope that’s okay. :P