strung out in

Internal Conflict:  Five Conflicting Traits of a Likable Hero.

1.  Flaws and Virtues 

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but characters without flaws are boring.  This does not, as many unfortunate souls take it to mean, imply that good, kind, or benevolent characters are boring:  it just means that without any weaknesses for you to poke at, they tend to be bland-faced wish fulfillment on the part of the author, with a tendency to just sit there without contributing much to the plot.

For any character to be successful, they need to have a proportionate amount of flaws and virtues.

Let’s take a look at Stranger Things, for example, which is practically a smorgasbord of flawed, lovable sweethearts.

We have Joyce Byers, who is strung out and unstable, yet tirelessly works to save her son, even when all conventional logic says he’s dead;  We have Officer Hopper, who is drunken and occasionally callous, yet ultimately is responsible for saving the boy’s life;  We have Jonathan, who is introspective and loving, but occasionally a bit of a creeper, and Nancy, who is outwardly shallow but proves herself to be a strong and determined character.  Even Steve, who would conventionally be the popular jerk who gets his comeuppance, isn’t beyond redemption.

And of course, we have my beloved Eleven, who’s possibly the closest thing Stranger Things has to a “quintessential” heroine.  She’s the show’s most powerful character, as well as one of the most courageous.  However, she is also the show’s largest source of conflict, as it was her powers that released the Demogorgon to begin with.  

Would Eleven be a better character if this had never happened?  Would Stranger Things be a better show?  No, because if this had never happened, Stranger Things wouldn’t even be a show.  Or if it was, it would just be about a bunch of cute kids sitting around and playing Dungeons and Dragons in a relatively peaceful town.

A character’s flaws and mistakes are intended to drive the plotline, and if they didn’t have them, there probably wouldn’t even be a plot.

So don’t be a mouth-breather:  give your good, kind characters some difficult qualities, and give your villains a few sympathetic ones.  Your work will thank you for it.

2.  Charisma and Vulnerability

Supernatural has its flaws, but likable leads are not one of them.  Fans will go to the grave defending their favorite character, consuming and producing more character-driven, fan-created content than most other TV shows’ followings put together.

So how do we inspire this kind of devotion with our own characters?  Well, for starters, let’s take a look at one of Supernatural’s most quintessentially well-liked characters:  Dean Winchester.

From the get-go, we see that Dean has charisma:  he’s confident, cocky, attractive, and skilled at what he does.  But these qualities could just as easily make him annoying and obnoxious if they weren’t counterbalanced with an equal dose of emotional vulnerability. 

As the show progresses, we see that Dean cares deeply about the people around him, particularly his younger brother, to the point of sacrificing himself so that he can live.  He goes through long periods of physical and psychological anguish for his benefit (though by all means, don’t feel obligated to send your main character to Hell for forty years), and the aftermath is depicted in painful detail.

Moreover, in spite of his outward bravado, we learn he doesn’t particularly like himself, doesn’t consider himself worthy of happiness or a fulfilling life, and of course, we have the Single Man Tear™.

So yeah, make your characters beautiful, cocky, sex gods.  Give them swagger.  Just, y’know.  Hurt them in equal measure.  Torture them.  Give them insecurities.  Make them cry.  

Just whatever you do, let them be openly bisexual.  Subtext is so last season.

3.  Goals For the Future and Regrets From the Past

Let’s take a look at Shadow Moon from American Gods.  (For now, I’ll have to be relegate myself to examples from the book, because I haven’t had the chance to watch the amazing looking TV show.) 

Right off the bat, we learn that Shadow has done three years in prison for a crime he may or may not have actually committed.  (We learn later that he actually did commit the crime, but that it was only in response to being wronged by the true perpetrators.)  

He’s still suffering the consequences of his actions when we meet him, and arguably, for the most of the book:  because he’s in prison, his wife has an affair (I still maintain that Laura could have resisted the temptation to be adulterous if she felt like it, but that’s not the issue here) and is killed while mid-coital with his best friend.

Shadow is haunted by this for the rest of the book, to the point at which it bothers him more than the supernatural happenings surrounding him.  

Even before that, the more we learn about Shadow’s past, the more we learn about the challenges he faced:  he was bullied as a child, considered to be “just a big, dumb guy” as an adult, and is still wrongfully pursued for crimes he was only circumstantially involved in.

But these difficulties make the reader empathize with Shadow, and care about what happens to him.  We root for Shadow as he tags along with the mysterious and alternatively peckish and charismatic Wednesday, and as he continuously pursues a means to permanently bring Laura back to life.

He has past traumas, present challenges, and at least one goal that propels him towards the future.  It also helps that he’s three-dimensional, well-written, and as of now, portrayed by an incredibly attractive actor.

Of course (SPOILER ALERT), Shadow never does succeed in fully resurrecting Laura, ultimately allowing her to rest instead, but that doesn’t make the resolution any less satisfying.  

Which leads to my next example…       

4.  Failure and Success 

You remember in Zootopia, when Judy Hopps decides she wants to be cop and her family and town immediately and unanimously endorse her efforts?  Or hey, do you remember Harry Potter’s idyllic childhood with his kindhearted, adoptive family?  Oh!  Or in the X-Files, when Agent Mulder presents overwhelming evidence of extraterrestrial life in the first episode and is immediately given a promotion?  No?

Yeah, me neither.  And there’s a reason for this:  ff your hero gets what they want the entire time, it will be a boring, two-dimensional fantasy that no one will want to read.  

A good story is not about the character getting what they want.  A good story is about the character’s efforts and their journey.  The destination they reach could be something far removed from what they originally thought they wanted, and could be no less (if not more so) satisfying because of it.

Let’s look at Toy Story 3, for example:  throughout the entire movie, Woody’s goal is to get his friends back to their longtime owner, Andy, so that they can accompany him to college.  He fails miserably.  None of his friends believe that Andy was trying to put them in the attic, insisting that his intent was to throw them away.  He is briefly separated from them as he is usurped by a cute little girl and his friends are left at a tyrannical daycare center, but with time and effort, they’re reunited, Woody is proven right, and things seem to be back on track.

Do his efforts pay off?  Yes – just not in the way he expected them to.  At the end of the movie, a college-bound Andy gives the toys away to a new owner who will play with them more than he will, and they say goodbye.  Is the payoff bittersweet?  Undoubtedly.  It made me cry like a little bitch in front of my young siblings.  But it’s also undoubtedly satisfying.      

So let your characters struggle.  Let them fail.  And let them not always get what they want, so long as they get what they need.  

5.  Loving and Being Loved by Others

Take a look back at this list, and all the characters on it:  a gaggle of small town kids and flawed adults, demon-busting underwear models, an ex-con and his dead wife, and a bunch of sentient toys.  What do they have in common?  Aside from the fact that they’re all well-loved heroes of their own stories, not much.

But one common element they all share is they all have people they care about, and in turn, have people who care about them.  

This allows readers and viewers to empathize with them possibly more than any of the other qualities I’ve listed thus far, as none of it means anything without the simple demonstration of human connection.

Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite caped crusader, for example:  Batman in the cartoons and the comics is an easy to love character, whereas in the most recent movies (excluding the splendid Lego Batman Movie), not so much. 

Why is this?  In all adaptions, he’s the same mentally unstable, traumatized genius in a bat suit.  In all adaptions, he demonstrates all the qualities I listed before this:  he has flaws and virtues, charisma and vulnerability, regrets from the past and goals for the future, and usually proportionate amounts of failure and success.  

What makes the animated and comic book version so much more attractive than his big screen counterpart is the fact that he does one thing right that all live action adaptions is that he has connections and emotional dependencies on other people.  

He’s unabashed in caring for Alfred, Batgirl, and all the Robins, and yes, he extends compassion and sympathy to the villains as well, helping Harley Quinn to ultimately escape a toxic and abusive relationship, consoling Baby Doll, and staying with a child psychic with godlike powers until she died.

Cartoon Batman is not afraid to care about others.  He has a support network of people who care about him, and that’s his greatest strength.  The DC CU’s ever darker, grittier, and more isolated borderline sociopath is failing because he lacks these things.  

 And it’s also one of the reasons that the Lego Batman Movie remains so awesome.


God willing, I will be publishing fresh writing tips every week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future advice and observations! 

anonymous asked:

So I have a character who learned how to use a longbow when she was a child to hunt. My question is two-tiered: one, in what ways would that impact her physical development; and two, would this help her if she needed to use a bow against people?

Strong shoulders, strong arms.

In all honesty, the bow is a weapon you build to as a hunter. The first weapon she’d have learned was the sling. More useful for small game, and you can be deadly accurate with it. The David versus Goliath story in the Bible isn’t actually a joke or overblown. A child taking down a grown adult with a rock and a sling is entirely plausible if said adult isn’t wearing a helmet. The sling is the weapon of children everywhere, shepherds and hunters. In many parts of the world, they still use it. It’s also better for small game. Katniss would’ve done better braining the squirrels with a sling rather than a bow, like children do.

As a child, she’d be trained on a child’s training bow and work her way up the different types of bows practicing on a single target. The longbow is a weapon that requires a fairly hefty amount of upper body strength to wield, and she’d have to work and train up into her early teens before she was allowed to use it for hunting. The amount of strength you can draw dictates how far the arrow flies and how deep it penetrates. Depth of penetration is important, as is how far the arrow flies. Both define how close you need to be to your target in order to be successful. Herbivores don’t stand around waiting for a predator to kill them, and carnivores might just decide turnabout is fair play.

So, most of her childhood was spent on dummy duty with her bow as she learned to clean and care for it. Learning to stand, and that’s a whole series of lessons. Learning how to string the bow, learning how to hold it, learning to draw before she was ever allowed to shoot.

What whoever was training her would set her on before that is the other skills, and she’d act as a gopher for them the way all apprentices do. Following behind the older hunter, carrying their equipment, watching them and acting under their direction. You can’t hunt if you can’t find game, and you can’t eat it if you can’t clean it.

Hunting comes with a necessary subset of skills which allow the hunter to work. They don’t just go out into the woods and kill shit then come back. It requires patience. It involves waiting in one place for an animal to come by, sometimes for days. Traps, tracking, reading sign, learning to move through the underbrush without disturbing it, hiding your scent, etc.

Your hunter will catch more food that they eat on the regular with snare traps set for rabbits and other small game than they will with the bigger game like deer. Bigger game takes more investment, more energy, and a lot more luck. There’s also a higher chance of injury.

There are plenty of herbivores that won’t go down quiet, deer included. If your hunter hits wrong and they sense/smell them, there’s always the chance they won’t run and will come right in after the hunter. Animals have “fight or flight” too, and a doe can gore you just as well with her hooves as a buck can with his antlers. Any poor soul chased up a tree by a moose or just gut checked by a horse can tell you, herbivores are assholes. On an unlucky day, they’ll kill you just as well as a carnivore and that’s if you can find them at all.

The chances of managing a “one hit kill” with an animal like a deer are low and, even if you land a killing blow, they’re not just going to fall over dead. You’ve got to be able to follow it, recover the body, and kill it as it lies there bleeding out on the ground if necessary. You’ve also got to have some way to carry it back. Then, there’s the risk you run with whether the herd animals will return to the same place or move somewhere else if too many of their number die. If they do, and they’re your primary source of food, then you’ve got to move with them. Nevermind that there are quite a few animals a bow is simply no good for, like bears and boars. Where you need other tools like dogs and spears.

Hunting is a complicated business, and it doesn’t come with any guarantees.

Now, those skills do translate over well on a certain level to dealing with humans. Though, it’s not the weapon skills so much as the other less flashy ones. Many scouts in medieval armies, for example, were hunters of one sort or another. As were the foragers tasked with feeding them. The ability to tell how many people passed, where they passed, and what they brought with them from the tracks left on the roads or in the hills was a valuable ability. The ability to move through the woods without being seen, to hide your passing, to tell who is breaking trail, and to find their camps was also helpful.

The Ranger class in DnD is built on the hunter. You want a character who has more in common with Aragorn than Katniss. Aragorn uses a bow, but it’s not his only weapon.

The reason for this is that the bow isn’t a great weapon for close quarters. More importantly, it takes time to prepare. You don’t travel with it strung, as that wears out the string. If the string is no longer taut when strung then you can’t fire the bow. You don’t travel with the wood left to the elements. It needs to be wrapped, and packed away. Constantly be oiled to maintain its elasticity/limberness so it can be drawn. A dried bow is a bow you can’t pull, no matter how strong you are. You also can’t get it wet. It’s a weapon which takes a lot of prep in order to be used, a lot of care, a lot of maintenance, more than average, and a lot of hard work.

When you’re in, say, a military or part of a raiding force that knows its attacking then that’s great. Or someone who is on watch for certain periods during the day and will be relieved by another, that also works. Or when you’re sitting alone in the woods waiting for an animal to come by. However, the necessary prep time a bow requires is a lot less helpful when you’re taken by surprise.

By the time you’ve taken it out, unwrapped it, strung it, you’re dead. The enemy was also probably too close for the bow to really be of help anyway. Its a weapon which requires distance. Awesome when you’re pegging people from the ramparts, halfway up a tree, or fifty to a hundred feet off. Less so when they’re standing over you, axe in hand. The traditional role of archers in a military structure is artillery, and not that different from how we use the modern one. Their purpose is bombardment, they soften up the enemy so the vanguard can break their lines and kill them.

There is one kind of single combat the bow is useful for: stalking.

The bow is a silent weapon, and when used in a hunter-stalker mode, can be terrifyingly effective. It’s a stealth weapon, meant for ghosting in and ghosting out as you pick your enemies off. However, this kind of combat requires a proactive mindset and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

It’s also vindictive and, from the perspective of most modern morals, it’s cruel.

Humans are no more lucky than animals when it comes to hunting. The bow is the slow death. No character, no matter their skill level, is going to be guaranteed clean kills. However, what they do get is debilitating blows. An arrow through an arm, a leg, or better a lung, is going to take enemies out of the fight and if they’re not dead yet then potentially another one with them. Harassment is the order of the day. The slow path of carving off opponents, damaging them so they can’t fight back, following as they try to run, before moving in for the kill.

It’s a predatory style of combat, it is (really) just hunting. Hunting humans instead of animals. The terrifying form of combat that haunts so many horror movies. It’s psychological warfare.

However, it’s the kind of combat that takes time, patience, and a strong stomach. It’s up to you to decide if that’s the kind of combat you envisioned for this character to participate in. Or the kind of story you want to tell.

People embrace the Predator and Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (2013), and countless others that have this particular combat style.

It might, however, behoove you to consider coming up with other weapons this character has familiarity with. From knives, to traps, to fishing lines, to other more improvised weapons built on the fly. This character has a range of options within their skillset, and there’s no need to stick to just one.

Also we have a bow tag, and an archery tag for past discussion on this subject.

-Michi

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Ok I don’t have anyone to talk to right now, I just had to be socially trans in person for an hour while signing legal forms, and I’m strung out and tired. SO I’M GOING TO RANT ABOUT CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGES AND MAGICAL SCRIPTS.

Look, I get it. You want your conlang/magic script to look mystical, cryptic, special. You want it to look different than any other language while still looking like a language people write in. If you’re a spiritual person or magic-user this may even be a language you’re channeling and that you believe to be ancient in nature or otherwise pre-existing. But 95% of conlangs and magical scripts look totally fake and made-up, and this is not a judgment I’m casting on their actual grammatical structure or language theory or the languages they were based on. The thing that makes a language look like one people ever actually wrote in for hundreds of years, that makes it look like the letters/characters are all from the same language, is that it looks like a language that’s been written in whatever tools you are claiming or feel like it was traditionally written in.

Let’s take cuneiform:

Looks super-neat, right? Man, who’d ever think of having those wedges in an alphabet! It’s totally different than most modern languages out there and very distinctive, and the wedges are consistent across the letters, so it makes them all look like they’re from the same alphabet. This wasn’t just arbitrarily designed as a font style. There is a reason for this!

Cuneiform writing was pressed into wet clay with these shaped bits and that’s why it looks like that. It got stamped with wedges. That’s how (this type of) writing was done at the time. It’s a technological solution and that’s what makes the lettering get that peculiar stylization. You’ll get variants based on craftsmanship and tools, but basically the method is the same across various implementations. Once someone tried to write that in pencil, you could imagine it’d look different, and you’d see evidence of people’s hand-motion between strokes, becoming more of a tilt between letters.

For instance, English looks like it does, even in tumblr’s sans-serif fonts, because it can be constructed with a pen. When it gets fancy with a variable-width pressure-sensitive pen nib, you can get more complex and flowy, but notice the flow and arc still go with the movements natural for a hand to make:

Originally posted by heaven-knows-im-miserable-n0w

Those little trails between letters exist today because nib pens were drippy and left ink trails. The written language adapted to the tools to incorporate the trails and still make it look legible, and that’s why we have cursive writing at all. This is a simplified history but it’s basically there to make you think about the letter shapes in various traditional ways of writing in English and why it looks like it does instead of like cuneiform.

Which brings me to conlangs. If you want your brand new ancient-looking language to truly look like people have used it for eons, write it out with the tools you think those people would have used, and keep adapting the letters if you find that, say, a brush or nib pen can’t construct the weird arcs and whirls you’ve designed the language to have. Languages by and large are made to be convenient to write. If you don’t know how to write kanji, Chinese words probably look complex and arbitrary to you. But their shapes are logical when you see them written with a brush:

So if you have some arcane-looking swooshy script but it still looks kind of fake, think about where the weight should really be. It should be where the brush presses down heavier and the trailing marks are where the brush lifts up (and usually leaves the paper and ends the stroke). Where the stroke is wide on one end is where the brush initially met the paper. Above, you can see how one swish immediately flows into another, the strokes are like arrows leading across the page when you understand how they’re created. Pick up a brush and figure out an actual stroke order for your symbol. If logically the stroke seems like it’d leave someone’s hand smearing it trying to follow its arc, then logically that symbol would eventually get redesigned if it were in an actual language. Someone would figure out a better way to write it and everyone would adopt that way over time.

So practice writing your language with different tools. Consider a calligraphy course or even just a kit with a guidebook (or youtube training videos!). Written language is a tool that people use, magical as it can be. And if you’re using it for magical purposes such as woodburning it into tools or painting it onto things or writing it onto paper, consider that your symbols will change a bit according to the tools, just like with mundane languages. A wedge-shaped wood burner will get you something a bit closer to cuneiform. A brush will get you something flowy and not super-precise. Pencil will not leave ink trails and will get you something more technical and practical. Your written language logically should shift for that and adapt like a proper tool. And if you do that right, if you really use it, then it will look much more genuine because it will have experienced an actual evolution of form adapting to the physical tools it’s been worked with via.

And if you’re not using it for magic but are just using it for a fantasy setting where people use it for magic in the story, all the above would still apply to them.

Even with just one symbol not meant to be in a greater language, think about the tool you’re creating it with. It’s hard to make a realistic brush-style symbol in pencil. Use the tool that fits the symbol and you’ll produce something much more genuine-looking.

That’s it! I’m not a language expert, this is not meant to be A Real Factual History Of All Language, it’s just a rough primer in How To Make It Look Like A Language Is Actually Written With. It’s not meant to be a critique in whether your magical language is “real” enough or “magical” enough either. It’s simply some pointers in how to make a magical/constructed language that’s actually reasonable to write with and suits the tools you’re writing it with and the purposes you mean it for. Hundreds of years of written language evolution is hard to replace, but I believe in you.

Please don’t cave to fearmongering at the polls tomorrow. A vote for May is a vote for elitism, for throwing the poor under the bus so the rich can live just a little more comfortably. It’s a vote for dismantling a medical institution envied the world over, for cuts to already strung out schools, for tax breaks to the ultra rich and further chumming up with budding and established dictatorships worldwide. The media, the Right, the status quo are scared of Corbyn for what he stands for and they’ll say and do anything to project that fear on to You, to weaponise it for their benefit. Vote for unity Tomorrow, please. We don’t need more hate.

I didn’t think I was underrating Harry before — I always looked sideways at the critics who didn’t get his old band — but I have to admit I never expected this. The persona he gives us here feels so complete and distinct, developing hints dropped on 1D album cuts into a fully realized character you want to meet in the hallway and ask for a hit of whatever he’s on. He’s strung out on the 20th-century rock canon, mainly, as you’ve all noted — madly in love with The Beatles and The Stones, ready to make some noise in a hotel room but even more stoked to get bittersweet and acoustic afterward. And while he clearly wants his solo debut to be a major statement, he’s also smart enough not to get lost in the ego traps that snare some other male pop stars on their way there. It’s the little details that make these songs work: I like how he ends the refrain of “From the Dining Table” with a half-sighed “by the way,” trying to sound casual but only making it clearer how hurt he is. And I love it when he lists “she’s got a book for every situation!” as one of his crush’s top three most alluring qualities on “Carolina.” There’s something so charming to me about how giddy he is to be hanging out with someone more well-read than he is (that’s how I hear that line, at least), and it speaks to the album’s underlying generosity.
Where They Kiss You

simple as the title, where your avenger boo kisses you 

Bucky: Thighs. On your first few dates with him, you never pictured Bucky to be a thigh man. You more expected him to be an old fashioned kiss on the hand type, but that all went out the window the first night he slept over. He took what you thought were flaws and made them his favorite things about you. Bucky loves waking you up in the morning by trailing kisses starting at your collarbone and going all the way down to those thighs he loves. You have a small tattoo on your inner left thigh that he always traces over lightly with his fingers, and it drives you absolutely mad. When he’s had a long day of being an avenger, he loves coming home to already find you in bed. Bucky takes this time to climb into the king sized bed and rest his head on your lap, occasionally leaning over from his phone to place a kiss on your thighs and tell you little things about his day.

Steve: Forehead. It started when the two of you finally made your relationship public, and went to a baseball game together. People were around everywhere, most trying to pretend they weren’t staring as you walked to your seats hand in hand, but some were blatantly taking pictures and whispering to their friends. Steve’s grip moved to around your shoulder, and he pulled you closer to him while walking around inside the stadium. Being in the public eye wasn’t something you were used to, and Steve could tell. So instead of giving everyone a show, he sweetly placed his lips on your forehead in hopes of calming you down. After that came many more events where he did the same before you walked out into the public eye, and it stuck as a way for you to calm one another down. Plus it was a way for the two of you to avoid the whole gross PDA thing.

Natasha: Neck. It became a thing of good luck for the both of you whenever she would place a kiss on the left side of your neck before going off on a mission. You weren’t an active agent anymore, but there were times where you would be with Maria in the control room. Natasha had no shame in kissing you in front of whoever she wanted, whether it’s just the team, or on a red carpet for the whole world to see. Sometimes she would just kiss your neck out of the blue to get you flustered and red in the face. Even on game nights with the team she would lean over your lap just to get her lips on your neck before making any bets with the team, and 99% of the time her PDA payed off. Nobody in the public eye knew how much she really suffered from the trainings when she was a kid, and sometimes she would wake up in the middle of the night suffering from those memories. But you were there for her, leaving kisses across her jaw and down her neck, bringing her back to reality in your arms.

Thor: Hand. Albeit cliche, he truly loves making you feel like his queen. He was raised to treat women with the utmost respect, because he understood that he wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for them. So when Thor met you, he felt as if he had cracked the code to what life is supposed to be like. Everyone knows about how bubbly he is, but he was even more so after that first look into your eyes at the Shield christmas party. When Thor wakes up in the morning, the first thing he does is bring you closer to his body and kiss your hand. It’s his way of showing how much he loves and respects you, and without being too gross with the affection. But that sure doesn’t mean that he’s afraid to be affectionate.  

Tony: Chest. Tony is all about chest kisses, and he places them with such love and care. He loves leaning into your chest while you are laying on the couch or in bed after a long day of being Tony Stark. You hold his head there, softly running your fingers through his hair and stroking his cheek. He feels his safest with his lips on your chest, even safer than when he’s in the iron suit that is damn near indestructible. It momentarily dispels all negative thoughts from his mind, and leaves him with nothing but pure adoration towards you. He feels like a giant weight is lifted off his shoulders as well. It’s at that point when he turns his head and absentmindedly presses a short, chaste kiss to your skin or the fabric that covers the area.

Peter: Temple. Whether the two of you were tangled up in each other on the couch watching a movie, or silently strolling down the street hand in hand, he always pulled you into a warm hug, and pressed a sweet kiss to your temple. Whenever he was struck with the opportunity, Peter would lightly peck your temple. It helped that you happened to enjoy being kissed there just a little bit more than straight up lip-locking. He wanted to make sure you knew how much he loved and was there for you, and felt that a soft kiss on your forehead or temple was the way to do it. Sometimes you even stretched up on your tiptoes to place a kiss on his temple whenever you saw him stressing out over something, especially new mission plans. Him leaving for said missions was a new thing, so it was always a toss up of who was going to be more strung out over the job that day.

Loki: Under-jaw. The two of always spent your down time wrapped up in blankets in bed, doing absolutely nothing aside from basking in each other’s company and body heat in silence. Loki leaned in to you and you leaned into him, becoming utterly obsessed with each other. He looked at you like you were the most exquisite thing in existence and peppered a million light kisses underneath your jaw and along the side of your neck. You always returned the favor by tightly holding him, eventually squeezing him till he was practically out of breath. You would spend all of your nights together exactly like this, much to both of your delight.

Pietro: Shoulder blades. Pietro craved skin to skin contact with you at all times of the day, mostly in the form of a kiss, which couldn’t happen often, much to your disappointment as well as his. So, he stuck to loosely slinging his arm around your shoulders and following you around like a lost puppy while you performed domestic tasks around the compound. Whenever you stopped bumbling about, doing whatever it was that you were doing, Pietro quickly peppered kisses all along your shoulder blades. They spanned everywhere from the shoulders to the nape of your neck.  As long as it didn’t interfere with your task at hand, you indulged him and stood still, eyes fluttering shut in content for a moment until he was inevitably pulled away from you to do important Avengers work. He always made it up to you, however, in the form of much more interesting activities.

Bruce: Nose. Your touch never failed to provide Bruce with much needed affection, and reassurance that you were still around and weren’t ever going to leave him. You always stuck around, glued to his side while he moved about his lab. He tried on multiple occasions to explain what he does in the simplest way possible to you. Most of the time, you just looked at him and smiled, which Bruce knew as your nice way of telling him to stop wasting his breath because you weren’t going to understand any time soon. He softly chuckled every time, quietly sighed with a light smile on his face, pulled your face close to his and pressed a soft kiss on your nose. This gentle of a kiss reminded him that he’s still just Bruce, and not the other guy.

Scott: Cheek. Scott woke up significantly earlier than you did every morning, but never failed to give you a sloppy good morning kiss on the cheek before he rolled begrudgingly out of bed. They always woke you up though, which you didn’t mind. You always pulled a sleepy smile anyway, and rolled over to his side of the bed and basked in the hot spot of sheets he left behind, instantly falling back asleep. You were awakened again about a half an hour later to another, less sloppy kiss on the cheek and a goofy smile from Scott before he left for whatever job he had acquired from his friends. He whispered a promise to you about taking you out to dinner that night, an offer you accepted, before hurrying out of the room and out of the apartment.  

Hm.

A Shawn Mendes oneshot.

A/N: hi this is cute and I’m dedicating it to my bb @illumninate cause she’s sad and I don’t want her to be!! She deserves sunshine and happiness!! Jealous shawn is the sexiest shawn xoxo


“I was a really dorky kid.”

Shawn and I were laying naked on the hotel bed somewhere in Europe. It was well past midnight, but neither of us knew exactly how late it was, and nor did we care. We were talking about our childhoods in the dim light from the city that poured in through the window, and he was telling me about the extent of his Harry Potter obsession. 

“You still are a dorky kid,” I reminded him. Shawn made a noise of protest and strung his arm out across my face as a form of chastising me. I giggled and pushed it off, intertwining his hand with mine and kissing it lightly. We looked at each other as he tried to fake unimpressed, though his grin was deceiving him. “I’m kidding baby, don’t worry. I bet you impressed all the girls with your extensive Harry Potter knowledge,” I assured him. Shawn shook his head at me, grinning still and giving a small squeeze to my bare sides that made me squirm and laugh. With his hands still on my sides, he brought me towards him, nuzzling his head into my neck. His hair was still a little sweaty from the sex we’d just had, and the silky locks tickled my jaw. 

Keep reading

drunk boyfriend tag

summary: dan and phil get drunk and film the boyfriend tag (similar to what shane dawson did)

tags: alcohol, so much sweetness and cuteness your teeth will hurt, extreme fluff

by: angelboydjh on tumblr

word count: ~1.8k

first fic posted!! please, ignore any mistakes and reblog and like!! ilu!! send in requests for fics :-)

゚*。:(人´v`*)☆゚:。*゚

dan and phil got a little drunk. they originally got out some Ribena, which is completely unharmful, until dan spotted vodka on the kitchen counter, which they only keep for parties. its almost gone, with a half a bottle left, so dan thought of an idea.

“phil, lets get drunk.” phil looked at dan confused; dan never really likes drinking as much as he used to, hes grown, the satisfaction of being drunk doesnt really thrill as much, and its the same with phil.

“why?” asked phil, sipping his Ribena.

“because why not! we have no meeting tomorrow, we are bored out of our minds, and itll be fun! we’ll even be safe, we can control each other well.” phil thought about it. he never really likes hangovers, who does? he gets them bad, and he knows dan gets them worse, but dan was right, they were extremely bored and had no meetings tomorrow. phil shrugged, and replied with a sure, causing dan to jump up with joy.

dan grabbed the bottle and went to phils room, closing the door, and sitting on his bed. he opens to bottle and pours a lot in his drink, doing the same to phil. there is now many 4 shots full left of the drink and dan was happy he rationed out well.

“wanna do a toast?” asked phil.

“with our vodka filled ribena?” chuckled dan. phil nodded, giggling a little.

“why not?” phil responded, and dan nodded agreeing. they lifted their glass cups up and they look at each other. “to us!”

dan laughed at the cliché, but echoed phil, and a clink noise was heard when the touched glasses. dan downed about half of his drink in that one sip, phil only taking a baby sip.

phil made a face, hating the taste of vodka. dan hid his disgust, looking at phil.

“now we wait.” dan took another sip, already feeling slightly dizzy.

*:・゚✧

dan was fully drunk. he was giggling, putting his head on phil, slurring his words, all of it.

phil was only tipsy. he didnt drink much yet, only about half of his drink. dan, of course, drank all of it, even the rest in the bottle!

“phil!” dan slurred out, and phil glanced over slowly, so he doesnt get dizzy, and raised his eyebrow. “we should do a boyfriend tag.”

phil thought about this. is he that drunk that he doesnt really care if they do one or not? yes. he doesnt really care, its not like itll be posted. phil knows better than that.

“sure.” phil got up to get his camera from the other side of the room, and dan plopped on the bed laughing at who knows what.

it took phil about 2 minutes to set up everything for filming, and an extra 5 minutes to find good goddamn questions.

he finally found some question, a total of twenty. he can barely read them because of his blurry vision, and since he didnt have neither his contacts or glasses on. so he grabbed his glasses from the bed side and put them on to see if itll help. nope. he took another sip of his drink and locked his phone. he’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it. he gets up and turns on the camera, praying to god its in focus.

“dan, its on, we are filming.” once those words left phils mouth, dan shot up from phils bed and looked at phil.

“okay, okay, okay, okay,” he kept repeating that until he finally was next to phil on the bed facing the camera. phil giggled at dan, dan looking at him with his red cheeks.

“okay, ready, babe?” asked phil, seeing double of dan. dan nodded, and smiled at phil and then at the camera.

“okay,” phil breathed in and then ‘took in his persona’.

“hey guys!” he said cheerfully, but all it did is make him dizzy. dan was like, on top of phil, so hes grateful that he was, or phil wouldve fallen over.

“im here with dan.” phil pointed at him, and dan waved, his white oversized cat shirt being exposed, and you could even see his naked legs, since hes wearing shorts. “we are doing the boyfriend tag.” phil said slowly, and dan nodded jumping up and down on the bed.

“phil is my boyfriend! boyfriend phil! philip lester, boyfriend!” he yelled, making phil giggle.

“okay, want ask the questions, or do u want me go ask them?” asked phil to dan.

“ask me the questions! then we will do it back!” dan suggested, and phil nodded encouragingly.

“okay, first question.” phil unlocked his phone and read it very carefully.

“when is my birthday?” he asked. “bonus points for the zodiac sign!”

“january 30th, that makes you a……” he strung out the 'a’ to think. “an Aquarius! aquarium.” he laughed, and phil chuckled.

“correct baby.” he leaned in to kiss dan, and dan kissed him, tasting of vodka and ribena.

“okay, now,” phil was going to go to the next question, but dan protested.

“now do mine! do mine!” dan pouted, crossing his arms.

“june 11th! youre a gemini.” phil stuttered out, making dan laugh.

“lucky guess.” he muttered jokingly.

“next question,” phil scrolled down the page. “where did i grow up?”

“im too drunk for this phil!!” he moaned out. “the north! thats all youre getting.”

“well, youre not wrong.” said phil. “ill give you the point.”

“what about me?” asked dan.

“the south.”

“ugh! exact place!”

“not fair, you didnt do that for me!”

“ugh, whatever.” dan pouted again.

“wipe that pout off your face princess.” phil whispered, grabbing dans chin.

“im just kidding philly!” dan kissed phil, getting him off guard.

“okay, next,” phil asked. “whats my middle name?”

“michael! these are too easy! i want harder ones. test me!” dan groaned out, and phil rolled his eyes.

“okay, okay,” phil said. he scrolled down to another website, which had different questions. “how about this: where was our first date?”

“EASY!” he yelled, throwing his hands up. “well, kinda,” he muttered. “its hard!”

“well, tell me.” phil said suggestively, leaning closer to dan.

“we first met of course at the train station,” he muttered out. “and then we went straight to your house, and, did things. does that count as a first date?” this took him way too long to say, as he was stuttering madly.

“yes, it does. great job, cutie.” phil said happily and leaned in for a kiss.

“okay, let me ask the question!” phil started to give him the phone, but dan refused, saying he wants go make one up.

“whats the first thing you notice about me?” he asked a bashful.

“your smile.” phil said simply. no explanation was needed to make dan feel all warm inside. dan covered his face and leaned on phils shoulder, grinning like mad.

once he got up, he looked at phil, seeing his wonderful, eyes.

“you know what mine is.” he muttered, almost inaudible. it was phils turn to blush. they lean in and kiss once again, but longer than before.

when they pulled apart, dan was seeing actual stars, and couldnt even understand what was happening, completely forgot about the video.

“oh my god, i love you so much.” he said in a shush tone, with phils hand on his cheek. they were only a few inches away from each other, and phil loved it. phil was exploding every inch of dans face, and so was dan. every moment phil made, it made him more dizzy and more dazed, but he didnt care.

within a few moments, they both locked eyes, and somehow, both remembered they were recording.

“uh, one more question,” phil stuttered out, as dan looked around for his almost empty drink. “okay, last question. what is my favorite color?”

“easy, blue.” dan said, as he drank his final sips of his drink before crushed it and threw it.

“hey!” phil protested, looking over at the cup.

“ill pick it ip later, babe.” dan slurred out almost incoherently. “whats mine?”

“easy, pink.” phil mocked. dan smiled softly, putting his arms around phils neck, phil put this hands on dans waist.

“what kind of pink?” he muttered, with his sloppy grin on his face, his curly hair perfect in tack still. (which surprised phil)

“pastel.” dan groaned jokingly, letting his head drop down onto phils shoulders.

“oh my god, i tried to trick you!” dan yelled.

“well, you didnt. 8 years of friendship pays off.” phil joked. dan put his head on phils shoulder, his head facing the camera.

“can we finish? i wanna cuddle with you watch disney movies.” phil chuckled and nodded.

“we’ll finish, lets do the outro.” phil tapped dan, so he can get up from his shoulder, but dan didnt move a muscle, indicating hes not moving.

“okay, well, goodbye everyone, please like a subscribe to me and dans channel, and our gaming channel! love you!” he waved and awkwardly looked at dan.

“i need to turn off that camera baby.” dan groaned and got up from phils shoulder. phil got up and turned off the camera, sitting right on his bed again next to dan.

“can we just cuddle?” phil can tell dan was getting tired, and getting all drained. he gets like this when hes drunk, but also after recording videos.

“of course, princess.” phil laid down, then wrapping his arms around dan who is not next to them. they peacefully fall asleep, with the lights on and phils snoring.

*:・゚✧

it was the morning, and phil is posting his premade video on lessamazingphil, just a quick vlog from florida. its taking surprisingly long to process, since its only 2 minutes, but phil didnt question it. its almost done, so phil went to go see dan, who has the worst hangover ever.

“how are you baby?” asked phil, laying next to dan.

“better, how bad was it?” he asked, and phil laughed.

“you were fine, not as bad as a few months ago, but you were not any better.” dan groaned, and at that moment his phone dinged. he unlocked his phone to see the notification, YouTube popping up, and it was phils new video.

“uh, phil.” dan said.

“yes?” phil hummed.

“you posted the wrong video.”

“what?” phil yelled a little too loudly for dan, as he backed away and gave phil his phone in just one beat.

“i uploaded our drunk boyfriend tag.” dans eyes widen.

“we filmed a video? no way, i dont remember this. did we kiss?”

“i was drunk too!”

“well, i would keep it up.”

“why?”

“we already made this mistake once, lets just let them have what they want.”

2

get to know me challenge: favorite male characters (2/?) - richard gansey iii

“gansey had always felt as if there were two of him: the gansey who was in control, able to handle any situation, able to talk to anyone, and then, the other, more fragile gansey, strung out and unsure, embarrassingly earnest, driven by naive longing.”