surface plot

That was really astonishingly fucked up. That was an extremely dark episode pretending to be a lighthearted one, and the worst part is that no one noticed. There was no recognition of how horrible everything about the clones’ mentality was, because only Dipper saw them and hey, they’re basically him except fake, right? I don’t think Dipper comes across very well from an ethical standpoint here, and while I don’t really know what the right way of dealing with this situation is, there’s got to be a better one than the way he picked. I don’t know.

I think this one gets a 7/10. It was better than the Gobblewonker, certainly, but ultimately the surface plot was still annoyingly formulaic and the dark side of the episode got swept under the rug. We met Pacifica and Mabel’s new friends, who I presume are important, and we discovered the magical copy machine that is still in working order and had better not just get ignored for the rest of the series. Ethical concerns aside, and Dipper seems quite eager to put the ethical concerns aside, that thing is useful as hell and I hope to see it again in less stupid circumstances. The cipher key seems to have changed as well, unless HWHSF NWK means anything to you. Signing off!

The Element EVERYTHING in Your Story Needs

To all the writers who have ever felt lost, alone, and completely confused during the labyrinthine journey that is writing anything, and felt like screaming this at your story …

There’s hope.

There’s a light at the end of that darn tunnel. First, let me describe how I used to fight my way out of these periods of confusion and hopelessness. 

Usually, I would try to force myself to get back into the groove of the story. I would reread it, and be yelling at myself in my head, “Remember why you love it! LOVE your book again! Keep reading and FALL IN LOVE, damn it!” I’d go over descriptions, bits of dialogue, banter between the characters. I’d go over settings and imagery, and try to make myself remember how much they’d once excited me. I’d read things that had made me laugh when I typed them, sentences that I was particularly proud of, paragraphs that made me feel particularly clever. But the thing was, it didn’t work. 

I didn’t care.  

What was the problem? The problem was some of those descriptions, settings, images, and witty episodes of bantering had no Story Reason to be there. They were just there because they amused me. Just because I found the imagery beautiful. Just because I found a sentence or joke really clever and wanted to share my wit with the world. But the world didn’t care about my wit. Because the world (the people reading my book) knew subconsciously that there was no story to give that so-called witty sentence substance and meaning. I could create the most breath-taking images, I could make the most well-rounded living and breathing character, I could make a setting that you wanted to run away from home and live inside … and it didn’t matter. If the thing didn’t have a purpose for being there within the narrative, nobody cared. And I didn’t either. 

So what is a Story Reason? 

Everything in a story exists to support one of three things. 

1. The A-story: The surface plot, the quest of the main character to achieve a specific tangible goal. What the story is about on the surface. 

2. The B-Story: The love story, or relationship of the thing. Usually this relationship is instrumental in causing the third element, which is …  

3. The Character Arc. The theme of the story, the purpose, the piece of truth the story seeks to prove to the main character and the audience. 

If something in a story doesn’t contribute to the progress of these three, there’s no reason we should care about it. It has no point. Because in the end, all we care about is the story!

When it comes to scenes, story reason means continuity. It means the way the story unfolds logically. If every scene is there for a darn good reason, the scenes after and before will make total sense, they’ll connect seamlessly, a steady progression of events. Every scene’s turn triggers the next scene. 

And to do this, every scene must be able to be linked with three words: Because of that.

Because of the turn of one scene … 

The next scene happens. 

And because of the turn of that scene the next scene happens.

To illustrate how this works, let’s look at a small movie you might have heard about called Zootopia. (Thanks to @inked-withlove for the movie suggestion!)

So let’s start at this point, the turn of the scene with Clawhauser and Judy searching the file on Emmitt Otterton. 

Turn: “I have a lead." 

Because of that …

Judy has to get Nick to tell her what he knows about Otterton.

Turn: It all goes poorly, and now Nick and Judy are stuck together by an incriminating adorable carrot recorder. (The B Story, the relationship, has intertwined with the A Story.)

Because of that …

Nick takes Judy to the place he saw Otterton go, a place he thinks will cause her to give up. 

Turn: She doesn’t quit, she marches right in. (B Story: Nick sounds surprised, and a little impressed, that she didn’t back down.)

Because of that … 

She has to question a rude yoga-performing elephant. 

Turn: Though the elephant is absolutely no help, the seemingly addled yak is more than helpful – he even remembers the license plate number of the car Emmitt left in. 

Because of that …

Nick thinks his part in this endeavor is complete. But Judy remembers that she’s not in the system yet, and thus can’t run a plate. Nick, however, can. And he’s going to, or else. 

Turn: It just so happens that he has a pal at the DMV. 

Because of that …

Sloths. He takes her to a DMV run by sloths and wastes as much of her precious dwindling time as he can.

Turn: “It’s night?!”

Because of that …

Legitimate Enterprise Car Service (at least that’s what it’s called in the screenplay) is closed. Judy doesn’t have a warrant and Nick is enjoying her suffering tremendously. After a spat, she tosses the carrot over the fence instead of handing it to him.

Turn: Because she has now seen a shifty low-life climbing the fence, she has probable cause, and doesn’t need a warrant. She can go in. (B Story: Nick is looking at her with more respect.)

Because of that …

They find the car and begin investigating. The car is a crime scene; claw marks everywhere, the missing otter’s wallet … and a cocktail glass etched with a "B”.

Turn: And it all adds up for Nick. This car belongs to Mr Big, a notorious crime boss. And his polar bear henchman are right outside. They grab Judy and Nick and yank them off screen. 

Because of that  …

Judy and Nick are wedged between the bear henchman, on their way to face Mr Big. 

Turn: Nick sold him a very expensive rug that happened to be made from the fur of a skunk’s butt. Or in other words, Mr Big really doesn’t like Nick.

Because of that …

They wait fearfully for Mr Big to appear, and even when he’s revealed to be a tiny shrew, Nick still launches into obsequious and panicked mode. He tries talking his way out of it, but Mr Big really REALLY doesn’t like him. And when Judy shouts at him that she’s a cop and she has evidence on him –

Turn: “Ice ‘em.”

Because of that …

“No icing anyone at my wedding!” Fru Fru Shrew is not a happy camper. Father and daughter bicker about his promise of no murder on her wedding day, and the fact that “I have to, baby. Daddy has to.” Until – 

Turn: “She’s the bunny who saved my life yesterday. From that giant doughnut!” Well, Judy is now in Mr Big’s good books. He’s going to pay her kindness forward. Nick is floored. 

I’m gonna stop there.

SO! After going through that analysis of how the scenes are linked together, let’s abandon the “everything needs a story reason to be in there” rule, and see what happens. 

After the scene where Judy and Nick reluctantly join forces, we could add a scene where Nick is trying to remember the name of the place, and where it is. Then we could have them asking around, searching the city, refusing to ask for directions, lots of banter. THEN we can finally get to The Mystic Springs Oasis.

And after they get the plate number, maybe Nick grabs the carrot pen and makes a run for it. Then we can have a chase scene, but he gets away. Then we can have Judy trying to run the plate on her own, before realizing she isn’t in the system, and failing. Then we can have a scene where she has to track down Nick again. Then a scene where she figures out how to blackmail him into it. THEN they finally get to the DMV. 

And you know what would have happened then?

Zootopia would have made everyone bored. 

All of these inserted scenes are unnecessary. Sure, they might add conflict, add complications to Judy’s quest, but they’re ultimately just filler. They’re just there for the sake of bulking out the story. This is why that tip I hear so often in writing circles always perplexes me: “Figure out the worst possible thing that can happen to your character, then do that.” If people went with this rule, they’d just keep throwing terrible things at the characters for no apparent reason, one after another, and the reader or audience would be expected to be entertained by it (but wouldn’t be). It would be like cartoons before Mickey Mouse came along and applied story to animation: before, cartoons were just gag after gag, slapstick situations mashed together like a funny video compilation. Except with books and movies, it would just be conflict-heavy situations strung together, taking an inordinate amount of time to make any actual progress.  

Once you make sure everything has a purpose within the narrative, things get so much better.  And I find, when I reread my work I don’t have to scream at myself to “love your book or else” if everything has a reason for being there. And instead of feeling like yelling at my story like an angry overworked crab, I feel a lot more like this gif.

I hope it works for you too.

A white guy’s thoughts on “Get Out” and racism

This weekend, I went to see a horror movie. It got stuck in my head, and now I can’t stop thinking about it—but not for any of the reasons you might think.

The movie was Jordan Peele’s new hit Get Out, which has gotten rave reviews from critics—an incredible 99% on Rotten Tomatoes—and has a lot of people talking about its themes.

First of all, I should tell you that I hate horror movies. As a general rule, I stay far, far away from them, but after everything I’d read, I felt like this was an important film for me to see. This trailer might give you some inkling as to why:

Creepy, huh? You might know writer/director Jordan Peele as part of the comedy duo Key & Peele, known for smartly tackling societal issues through sketch comedy. Get Out is a horror movie, but it’s also a film about race in America, and it’s impressively multilayered.

I left the theater feeling deeply disturbed but glad this movie was made. I can’t say any more without revealing spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and you don’t want to have the plot spoiled for you, stop reading now and come back later.

Seriously, this is your last chance before I give away what happens.

Okay, you were warned. Here we go.

Our protagonist is Chris Washington, a young black man who has been dating Rose Armitage, a young white woman, for the last four months. She wants him to meet her family, but he’s hesitant. She acknowledges that her dad can be a little awkward on the subject of race, but assures Chris that he means well.

After unnerving encounters with a deer (echoes of The Invitation) and a racist cop, Chris and Rose arrive at the Armitages’ estate. On the surface, the Armitages are very friendly, but the conversation (brilliantly scripted by Peele) includes a lot of the little, everyday, get-under-your-skin moments of racism that people of color have to contend with: Rose’s dad going on about how he voted for Obama, for instance, and asking how long “this thang” has been going on. Chris laughs it off to be polite, though he clearly feels uncomfortable.

There’s a fantastic moment here, by the way, when Rose’s dad offhandedly mentions that they had to close off the basement because of “black mold.” In the midst of the racially charged atmosphere of the conversation, it’s nearly impossible not to take this as a racial remark, and Chris certainly notices, but what could he possibly say about it? Black mold is a real thing; his girlfriend would surely think he was crazy and oversensitive if he said it sounded racist. Chris never reacts to the remark, but that one tiny moment is a reminder to the audience of a real problem people of color often face, when racism can’t be called out without being accused of “playing the race card” or seeing things that aren’t there. (Incidentally, it turns out that the basement is actually used for molding of a different sort.)

There are other reasons for Chris to be unsettled: The only other black people on the estate are two servants, Georgina and Walter (Rose’s dad says he knows how bad it looks, but that it’s not what it seems), and something is clearly “off” about them. Later, more white people show up—and one more black character, and he, too, feels “off.”

By the end of the film, we learn the horrible secret: Rose’s family is kidnapping and luring black people to their estate, where they’re being hypnotized and psychologically trapped inside themselves—Rose’s mom calls it “the sunken place”—so that old or disabled white people’s consciousnesses can be transplanted into their bodies. The white people are then able to move about, controlling their new black bodies, with the black person’s consciousness along for the ride as a mere “passenger.” In a shocking twist, it turns out that even apparently-sweet Rose is in on the plot, and Chris must fight her and the rest of her family to escape.

This isn’t a “white people are evil” film, although it may sound that way at first, but it is a film about racism. I know many of my friends of color will connect with this movie in a way I can’t, so I won’t try to say what I think they’ll get out of it. I do want to say how I connected with it, though, because I think what Jordan Peele has done here is really important for white audiences. 

If you look beyond the surface horror-movie plot, this film actually gives white people a tiny peek at the reality of racism—not the epithet-shouting neo-Nazi kind of racism that white people normally imagine when we hear “racism,” but the “Oh it’s so nice to meet you; I voted for Obama” kind of racism, the subtle othering that expects people of color to smile and get along and adopt white culture as their own whenever they’re around white people.

So many of the moments in Get Out are clearly intended to work on multiple levels. When Chris confronts Georgina about something being wrong and she smiles and says, “No, no no no no no,” with tears streaming down her cheeks, the symbolism is blatant. How often do people of color have to ignore the subtle indignities they face and hide their true emotions in order to avoid coming across as, for example, “the angry black woman/man”? How many times do they find themselves in social situations—even with their closest white friends!—where people make little comments tying them to an “exotic,” supposedly monolithic culture, where they have to respond with a smile and a laugh instead of telling people how stupid and offensive they’re being? 

I can’t tell you the number of these stories I’ve heard from my friends, and I’m quite sure that the stories I’ve heard are only a tiny fraction of the stories that could be told. So there’s something in that moment that speaks volumes about the experiences of people of color in America.

The same is true for so many other moments. The black characters Chris meets at the Armitages’ have all symbolically given up their identities and conformed to white culture; when Chris meets one character, he turns out to be going under a new name, with new clothes and new mannerisms; when Chris offers him a fist bump, he tries to shake Chris’s fist. Again, within the story, there’s an explanation for all this, but every moment here is also about assimilation and culture differences. 

For me as a white audience member, all of these moments did something remarkable: They showed me my own culture—a culture I’m often blissfully unaware of because it’s all around me—as something alien. They reminded me that I, too, have a culture, and that expecting everyone else to assimilate to my culture is just as much an erasing of their identities as it would be to expect me to assimilate to someone else’s culture.

And that’s a big part of what Get Out is about—the erasing of identities, and the power of racism to destroy people. I think it’s really significant that racism is portrayed here very differently from how it’s normally portrayed in movies written by white people. In most Hollywood movies, you know a character is racist because they shout racial epithets or make blatant statements about a certain race’s inferiority. That allows white audiences to say, “I would never do/say that, so I’m not racist!” We really don’t want to think we are.

But notice something important about Get Out’s treatment of racism: This is a film about the literal enslavement of black people—racism doesn’t get more extreme than that—and yet Peele doesn’t go for the obvious by having the white characters admit that they think black people are inferior; instead, they subjugate and dehumanize people by claiming to admire things about them. They turn them into fashion accessories. 

When Chris asks why only black people are being targeted for this procedure, the response is telling: It’s not (supposedly) because the white characters think African Americans are bad, but rather, because they like certain things about them and they want “a change” for themselves. They want to become black—it’s trendy, we’re told!—but without having had any of the actual life experiences or history of African Americans. White people need to see this: to experience the ways in which Chris is othered by people who tell him all the things they like about him—isn’t he strong? Look at those muscles! Does he play golf like Tiger Woods? And he must be well-endowed and have such sexual prowess, right, Rose?

The white people in the audience need to be reminded that just because you’re saying positive things about someone doesn’t mean you’re not being racist, that turning someone into an exotic “other” may not be the same as shouting an epithet, but it’s still taking away someone’s identity and treating them as a commodity.

The film is filled with these kinds of moments. When we realize that Rose’s white grandmother has inhabited the body of Georgina, the fact that she keeps touching her own hair and admiring herself in the mirror takes on a whole new level of significance. (White people, please don’t ask to touch your black friends’ hair.) When Chris connects with a dying deer on the side of the road and later sees a deer head mounted on the wall at the Armitages’ estate, the symbolism is hard to miss. Black people are being turned into trophies in this house. And, oh yeah, they’re being literally auctioned off—as they were in real life in the not-too-distant past.

One day, I’d like to see the film again to pick up on all the ways things read differently the second time through. I noticed several things in retrospect that gain new significance once you know the ending, and I’m sure there’s a lot I didn’t notice. For example, Rose’s dad says he hired Walter and Georgina to care for his parents, and when his parents died, “I couldn’t bear to let them go.” The first time you see the film, it sounds like the “them” is Walter and Georgina. But in retrospect, it’s clear the “them” he couldn’t bear to let go was his parents, so he sacrificed Walter and Georgina for them. Which, again, is an example of how the supposed care of the white characters for the black characters (his care for Walter and Georgina, Rose’s care for Chris) is really all about caring for themselves and treating the black characters as completely interchangeable objects.

The message of the film isn’t simply that the black characters are “good” and the white characters are “bad.” There are presumably—hopefully—many good white people in the world of this film, and many others who wouldn’t do what the Armitages are doing but also probably wouldn’t believe Chris or make the effort to stop it. Peele’s mother and wife are both white, so he’s clearly not trying to paint all white people as villains. 

But I admit, as a white guy, I really, really wanted Rose to be good. I’ve been the white person in an interracial relationship introducing my black boyfriend to my family. I’ve been that. So I related to Rose, and I really wanted to believe that she was well-intentioned and just oblivious; even though she misses the mark on several occasions, there are times that she seems like she gets it and she really does listen to Chris. When a cop asks to see Chris’s ID early in the film even though he wasn’t driving, Rose stands up against the obvious racism, showing us all what it looks like for white people to do the right thing. “That was hot,” Chris says to her later, and I thought, yeah, that’s who I want to be.

So I have to admit, it was really upsetting to me to see Rose, the only good white character left in the film, turn out to be evil. But I realized that part of that is that I really wanted her to represent me, and that’s really the point. Just think how often horror films have only one black character who dies early on, and how many films of all genres have no significant black characters for audience members to look up to or identify with. I think it’s really important for white audiences to experience that.

As I’ve reflected on the film, it seems to me like there are three kinds of popular movies about people of color. There are those that feature POC characters that are essentially indistinguishable from the white characters—as if they just decided to cast Morgan Freeman instead of Tom Hanks without giving any thought to the character’s race. Then there are the movies that deal with racism, but in a way that allows white people to feel good about ourselves, because we’re not like the characters in the film. (This is especially true for movies about racism in the past; some of them are very important films, like Hidden Figures, which I loved, but we need to be aware that it’s still easy for white America to treat it as a feel-good film and think that we’re off the hook because we no longer have separate restrooms.) And finally, there are movies that focus more directly on the lives of people of color but tend to draw largely audiences of color; not many white people go see them, because we think they’re not “for us” (even though we assume films about white people are for everyone).

Get Out isn’t any of those. It’s drawing a broad audience but it’s not afraid to make white people uncomfortable. And if you can give me, a white guy, a chance to have even a momentary fraction of an experience of the real-life, modern-day, casual racism facing people of color in America, I think that’s a very good thing.

Character-Building Tips

- Unopinionated characters might seem likeable or diplomatic to you, but they’re boring to the audience. Your characters may choose not to take sides in certain matters (ex. their parents’ divorce, a fight between friends, etc), but they have to believe in some things. And opinionated characters make opinionated audiences, and that means interested and emotionally-invested audiences.

- Write any scenes that stumble into your mind and enchant you, even if you think (or know) those scenes probably won’t end up in the final draft. No matter what you do with them, those scenes will still tell you something about your character(s), and that will enrich the rest of your story.

- Make risky characters. If you think your character might offend your audience or a certain part of it, write your character anyways. It could be a bad character with good views about certain subjects or vice versa, but either way it will show three-dimensionality.

- If you’re having trouble with your character being realistic or 3D, get to the root of their person. Don’t ask “what drives them as a plot device?” but “what drives them as a person?” – if you know their motivations as a person, their purpose in the plot will surface.

- Stay away from stereotypes, unless you’re writing a comedy.

Hope this helps. - @authors-haven

Steven Universe: Why You Shouldn't Get Too Attached to Episode Predictions

95 episodes ago, people thought Mirror Gem would just be a delightful go-nowhere romp.

61 episodes ago, people thought Rising Tides/Crashing Skies would be about Malachite.

37 episodes ago, people thought Hit the Diamond would be a serious story about the Diamonds attacking.

16 episodes ago, people thought Kindergarten Kid would be about Amethyst or Jasper.

11 episodes ago, people thought Last One Out of Beach City would involve evacuating the city because of a Homeworld invasion.

9 episodes ago, people thought Gem Harvest would be about the term Peridot used back in Catch and Release.

7 episodes ago, people thought Steven’s Dream would be about corruption.

And one episode ago, people thought Storm in the Room would explicitly give Steven the ability to peer into Rose’s memories, and that we would see Pink Diamond.

Imagine what you’ll think the next time an episode title leaks, or an image surfaces, or a plot tease comes about.

I’m not knocking episode predictions, I’m just saying you shouldn’t get too attached to them, or else you’ll get disappointed when its not what you thought it would be.

Darkness Incarnate

The Fable series has always been one of my favorites for more reasons that I can list. The beautiful imagery, quirky art style, and humor (particularly the humor that’s easily missed) cement it as one of my favorite game franchises. Despite the lighthearted nature of the series, however, it also has moments of darkness that are intensely effective in creating pathos. In Fable II, for example, the Banshees would whisper secrets about Sparrow’s dead sister to them during fights. In Fable III, the dark themes present in the previous games takes a more prominent place in the story, with the Darkness occupying the spot of antagonist for the latter half of the game. The quest where the Darkness is introduced, Darkness Incarnate, is one of the most beautifully horrifying and deeply unsettling depictions of darkness that I’ve seen in a game to date.

Fable is not a horror game. The quest does not feature jump scares, body horror, or splattered viscera. This does not mean that the quest is not deeply unsettling. The quest begins when Walter and the Hero wash up shipwrecked on the beach of what they presume to be Aurora. Right away, the quest shifts from what the player assumes is a triumphant escape from Logan’s clutches to an atmosphere of solitude and quiet desperation. Ben Finn and the hero’s dog are nowhere to be found, although the dog reappears shortly to guide the player to the next phase of the quest. In this introduction to the quest, Walter and the Hero wander through desert caves, while Walter comments on his hatred of darkness and confined spaces that has been mentioned previously in your interactions with him. Here the soundtrack is subdued and eerie, but not overtly suggestive of horror. The dog leads them to a hole in the floor of an abandoned temple, covered with a gently-shimmering pink-purple light. The skeletons of adventurers nearby tell of the dangers of the light, but their lack of options leads the Hero and Walter to investigate. Walter stumbles upon a fragment of parchment upon which an incantation is written, which he then reads. The barrier vanishes, which would be a sign that something is going correctly in any other quest, but the player is left with a sense of unease at the simplicity by which they were able to dispel the barrier supernaturally. This is one of the few cases in the game where magic is not obviously powered by Will - the player assumes that it is a relic of the Old Kingdom, but the light is not the bright blue of typical Old Kingdom relics, which adds to the sense of alienation and “otherness” of Aurora. As the hero and Walter descend into the hole (confronting Walter’s fear and the player’s trepidation) the barrier is shown reappearing, trapping the two inside. This is a reinforcement of the “trapped” and “hopeless” motifs showcased here.

As the two enter the hole, a loading screen is shown, which differs from the style of the screens for the rest of the game. Instead of a collection of amusing posters, the screen is dark, save for a section of the darkness which appears to be carved away to house a candle bathed in purplish-blue light. This candle, surrounded by darkness, foreshadows the thematic significance of inner light in the midst of darkness that is further signposted in the rest of the quest. The coloration of this screen continues the motif of purple. It is also on this screen where the player is intended to notice the title of the quest: Darkness Incarnate.

As the Hero and Walter enter the temple, the darkness is immediately apparent. A torch is quickly granted to the pair, in the tradition of horror games, but instead of the player controlling the light, the player is forced to rely on Walter for illumination. This play mechanic leads the player to rely on the torch, further cementing the symbolic importance of light. Here it is made apparent that the quest is entirely linear, which, far from limiting the player, actually places the story elements of the quest at the forefront, instead of the player focusing on loot and collectibles. The cutscenes and scripted dialogue are also executed significantly better than the rest of the game. The cutscenes appear in natural places, instead of breaking the flow of the quest. The dialogue between Walter and the Hero feels natural, and further enhances the relationship between the characters. The Hero’s responses in this section also give them emotional depth in this situation, which is something that the rest of the game lacks, but is particularly significant here, as their reactions to the following events hold importance in the quest to follow.

In the next area, a large temple room is revealed, with broken-down pillars and a bridge that the player must find a way to extend in order to cross. This room is the first appearance of the pools of darkness that appear for the rest of the game. The floor of the cavern is obscured by darkness that appears to resemble a galaxy, with bright starry points creating depth in an inky blackness that is tinged with the same purplish color that made up the barriers before. The darkness appears to drip upwards and defy gravity, which creates a sense of inherent wrongness. The dark imagery of a galaxy seems to indicate that the forces at work in the temple are those of a power far beyond the scope of normal Heroism. The purple in the darkness combined with the stars, while beautiful, makes the atmosphere seem otherworldly. This indication of power reminds me of the pulsing of the Spire in Fable II as a signpost for the sheer power of the Old Kingdom relics. Purple, in addition to these signified meanings, has also been used throughout the game in association with Logan and royalty, the game’s main enemy up to this point, which adds to the sense of danger. The unease created by this imagery is fear.

If the player attempts to go to the Sanctuary at this time, they find that it has also been invaded by the pools of darkness. Jasper is nowhere to be found, and the player is unable to switch weapons. This again alludes to the power of the darkness, in that it is able to invade the Hero’s private sanctuary, which is suggested to be associated with Old Kingdom magic and Heroic bloodlines. The darkness is able to corrupt the one safe place for the player (and is also powerful enough to interfere with the base game mechanics).

Another barrier is encountered, which is dispelled by Walter. In the next area, the Hero and Walter are assaulted by shadows similar to those found throughout the series, notably in the Shadow Court in Fable II. These shadows are assumed to be Darkness Incarnate, and come in waves that continually assault the pair. While they are fighting, there are whispers  in a demonic voice that speak of darkness’s power and the inevitability of darkness. A combination of the shadows and the voice drives Walter into a panic. This is where Walter’s fear of darkness begins to rise to the surface of the plot - Walter is much more unsettled by the Darkness than the hero.

Once the small shadows are defeated, Walter is left shaken and looking for an escape. An unfortunate gust of wind blows out the torch the Hero and Walter (as well as the player) have been using as a lifeline, which throws Walter into a full panic as he attempts to desperately light the torch. The hopelessness and the psychology of the characters replicates the sense of desperate fear in the player - the player has so far been led to fear the disappearance of the light as much as the characters. The torch is re-lit, creating a brief moment of hope that is quickly shattered by the appearance of the real Darkness Incarnate. This prompts a panic attack in Walter who is wracked by despair, but the player’s innate fears are also played upon. Humans have an instinctual fear of darkness, and the concept of darkness made flesh is horrifying. Darkness incarnate represents the cold extinguishing of all energy, light, and heat - all things that humans rely upon.

The Hero and Walter are assaulted by shadows again, but this time the assault is much more psychological than physical. The whispers from the Darkness continue again, telling Walter and the Hero their greatest fears come true. these utterances include the fact that Theresa knew about the Darkness and has been using both Logan and the Hero for her own ends. This, as well as the other whispers of the Darkness, isolate both Walter and the Hero and draw them into internal torture. The player is also affected for many of the reasons mentioned previously, foremost of which are the sense of hopelessness and the lack of agency in addition to the general unsettling atmosphere. The music in this sequence is also significant. The song associated with this section (“Shadelight”) takes screeching strings and metallic sounds combined with an ominous chorus to create a distinct sense of fear and unease, while still retaining the subtlety of the art direction for the rest of the level design. The track also features a music box, a staple of the Fable series, and presents it in a slightly distorted sound that signals the player that they are meant to be afraid.

After the fight, the Darkness reappears, and Walter throws a torch at it, driving it back into the shadows. This creates a sense of hope in Walter, the Hero, and the Player: the Darkness had been established as an unstoppable force, and the concept that light can drive is back is comforting. But in the next room, despair resurfaces. Walter and the Hero are separated as Walter is evidently kidnapped by the Darkness. The Hero is forced to frantically search for their mentor, only to find that the worst has happened. Walter, who throughout the game has represented a father figure, full of strength and courage, has been broken down. His slow disintegration throughout the quest is finalized by his literal envelopment by the Darkness, the same inky, starry blackness mentioned earlier forcing him prostrate. The darkness seeps out through his eyes and mouth, showing the darkness’s permeation into his soul and the evaporation of his Strength and Will. This breaking of such a strong character is the climax of desperation for the Hero and serves to show the true strength of Darkness Incarnate.

Here the hero has to fight things that have occurred throughout the temple up to this point: statues that take the form of birds and angels. These statues have led to a sense of otherworldliness in the temple due to their religious imagery, but their corruption by the darkness further cements the power of the shadows. Creatures as pure as angels are driven to the darkness, which is indicative of the hopeless situation of the Hero. During this fight, it is unclear how the Hero will free Walter from the Darkness, as they are seemingly fighting just to buy time. The Darkness retreats, and the Hero manages to support Walter outside, but it seems that their freedom is just another way for the Darkness to play with them. Because of Walter’s blinding by the Darkness, the Hero is forced to abandon them on the steps of the temple. This reflects the first of the hero’s failures that is used against them later when the Darkness attacks Albion. Both the Hero and the Player are intended to feel a huge sense of remorse and loss at having to leave Walter, as it is implied that they are leaving Walter to die.

The Hero is left to wander aimlessly through the desert, aptly named the Shifting Sands, for they do not escape the influence of the Darkness just yet. The Darkness uses illusions to strike fear in the heart of the Hero and guilt them regarding their failures. This desert sequence is again full of hopelessness, but instead of making their way through a linear cave, the Hero is forced to walk through a seemingly endless desert without any sense of direction and no companionship. This loneliness reinforces the sense of guilt that the Hero and player have about leaving Walter to die. The illusions featured here are brief and fleeting, but include scenes from the hero’s memory and the prospect of being forced to fight Walter. These are shown using a color scheme of contrasting colors: the purple associated with the darkness and the complimentary color of the yellow-orange sand. Despite the generally pleasing visual combination of these colors, they are shown as washed out, creating a further sense of aimless discomfort.

The quest ends with the Hero passing out in the desert and being found hours later by Finn, but they are not saved by a society of light and healing: they are thrown into the tragedy-stricken city of Aurora, with Walter still unconscious from the effects of the Darkness and no foreseeable light on the horizon. 

@universeuser @anti-cosmofangirl @brobachev Here you go, friends

maltedmilkchocolate  asked:

Holy cow your SE AU is just amazing. It's made me want to re-watch the anime. Oikawa going slowly insane is killing me inside, but oh whoo boy it's gotta be worse for Iwa who's just noticing little things slowly going tits up and Oikawa wont communicate this issue with him. O A O

(Aaa thank you so so much for liking the AU! friend :’D)

Ever since Iwaizumi was released from the hospital, Oikawa had been waist deep in research papers and articles about the elusive witch ‘Ushijima’. It was to be expected – that same witch had left his partner heavily wounded, and himself traumatized (he couldn’t risk losing Iwaizumi like that again). He was going to take him down on their next encounter no matter what. 

On the other hand, Iwaizumi knew that revenge mixed with Oikawa’s obsessive personality was never a good thing, but he also understood the importance of pride and how fragile his partner’s self-esteem is – about how much getting back at Ushijima means to Oikawa. Despite his gut telling him otherwise, Iwaizumi did not have the heart to say no, so the most he could do is to keep him in check. Maybe the nightmares were his guilty conscience keeping him awake at night and not any significant foreshadowing whatsoever. 

This was before they were invited into the DWMA as professors.

Soul Eater AU! HQ!!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,21, 22,23,24,25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40,41, 42, 43,44,45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50

gormengahst  asked:

hey can i ask a black sails question? (feel free to ignore if annoying) so i Love pirates and the mere concept of pirate gfs and bfs is almost enough to make me physically cry so, needless to say I'm v much incentivised to watch it. But in terms of something to get properly invested in (emotionally ofc, but i'd be buying the dvds as well) how objectively good would you say it was? Like quality of writing, plot, production, character development etc?

Disclaimer I’m not sure I CAN be objective here because I find this show EXCELLENT but it’s possible other people don’t see what I see in it. I can understand that especially if you watch it casually because I think it’s the kind of show that gets better the more you think about it or if you rewatch it. The “surface plot” is good but that’s not what’s groundbreaking, what makes it groundbreaking in my opinion is the writing that’s a little bit deeper, the way it’s literally constructed around gay love (but you only understand this after 2x05 and 4x10), the themes of the show (love in all its forms, what love drives you to do or give up, the power of stories and who tells the story, revolution, difficult choices and dilemmas etc). So to me the writing is truly great in this way. 

On surface level the plot is good too tho, but there are some things I’d just scratch out or do another way (especially the rape issue in s1). To me the plot gets better as the show evolves, it gets bigger and bigger and more intense. And I thrive on things that feel epic, so,,,,

It’s very well-made, I don’t think anyone can say otherwise, the cinematography looks amazing, the soundtrack is great, the acting is… WOW… 

There is… insane character development, especially for Silver. But what drives the show is the relationship between Flint and Silver and the way it develops is just. so well done.

SO yeah am I objective? I don’t know, I’m just saying how it feels to me, and this is now my favourite show. I’d say it biggest flaw is that it’s very violent but that’s to be expected tbh. and I don’t completely like what they did with s1 but it learns from its mistakes imo.

I wasn’t even into pirate stories before this show, i used to love pirates of the carribean like everyone else but otherwise I just didn’t care. This show proved to me that I just didn’t know pirates tbh :)

White Team and the Lunar Eclipse

(This is a collaboration between myself and @linkspooky and is as much her work as mine, both in ideas and in making them flow together into a cohesive whole.) 

In the latest chapter of Tokyo Ghoul, you could easily be mistaken into thinking things are setting up for the final arc. However, there are a few discrepancies people have been noticing. Characters seem to be letting go of old grudges too easily, Kaneki might have returned to Anteiku far too soon for what was, the final objective of the last series. While these might set some readers at ease who expect Tokyo Ghoul to be a much tighter written series, these flaws within the current group structure might be intentional.

As we are in the arc of the moon. With the arc just beginning, tensions and unease on the surface is an essential part of the moon card. Moreover, this arc seeming like it’s final, but in truth only being penultimate, as well as the conflicts that might show up in this arc, have been set up in the manga before this.

What the moon Tarot card depicts is a lunar eclipse. The revelations of the star allow the fool to grow too confident in his journey and be lost in the illusion. Just as Kaneki right now seems to be ready to embark on an idealistic end to Arima’s request for him. Finally, always lost and ever confused Kaneki seems to have found his ultimate purpose. However, the moon depicts a lunar eclipse, the light which you see has been blocked out by the moon in front of it. An eclipse not only focuses on an overlying of opposites, light and dark, moon and sun, but the ultimate result of an eclipse is a shadow cast down on those below. The moon card plays heavily with this jungian idea of the ‘shadow’ or repressed desires that exist beneath the surface.

The symbolism of the eclipse has already been invoked before. The Tsukiyama building was known as “Lunar Eclipse” and Tsuki itself is a character which stands for moon. [x]

The phrase White Rainbow, which was used on the same chapter that depicted Kaneki’s mental world finally clearing also carries the Idiom ‘White Rainbow’ which considers White Rainbows as a bad omen, that something bad will happen to the king or a rebellion will occur. [x]

Now this could be all well and good with Kaneki’s new rebellion against the CCG’s order, but rebellions tend to run in circles.

Even without the invoking of the moon card, eclipses and white rainbows are both bad omens to be following Kaneki around.

Then look to the imagery even used in this chapter alone. An organization led by a white king is going to be named black goat, while alternatively they fight an organization led by a black king, consisting of white doves. White overlaid on black is an eclipse.

Kaneki names his team “the Black Goats” after “the Black Goat’s Egg,” following the metaphor of the world as an egg that Eto uses during the flashback in Cochlea. The plot of the book, and it’s primary conflict are of a son who has these deep, subconscious urges that mirror those of his violent serial killer mother. And he tries to deny them, but he cannot. As the novel goes on, he can no longer repress the parts of him until he, too, becomes a killer.

The novel is fundamentally a Moon Arc conflict, of the subconscious asserting itself - surfacing and refusing to stay buried no matter how hard the ego, the conscious mind, desires not to act on it.

These characters repressing their true urges and secret or not so secret desires in order to work together, while they simmer under the surface - that’s the plot of the Black Goat’s Egg. And in the book, like its set up in the chapter, like it should happen in the Moon arc, these repressed desires break free spectacularly and violently.

Therefore what exists between these characters right now is not true cooperation brought about by Kaneki having the kind of discussions he wishes to have, addressing his true feelings, but rather the appearance of cooperation. Stragglers with a vague common goal all trying to unite under the banner of the One Eyed King, but almost every single named character has an as of yet unresolved conflict.

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Comet Characters' favorite musicals
  • Natasha: big epic romantic ones: Doctor Zhivago, Aida, that kind of stuff
  • Sonya: Once and Fun Home
  • Marya: Maybe like Sondheim or something?
  • Anatole: Hair and maybe Spring Awakening but he never gets past surface understanding of the plots
  • Helene: Chicago, Heathers maybe, something like that
  • Dolokhov: Heathers and Assassins or Gentleman's Guide if he's feeling more upbeat
  • Mary: I don't know if she even listens to musicals
  • Bolkonsky: 1776 b/c it reminds him of the Good Old 18th Century
  • Balaga: Everything, or maybe nothing it's a mystery

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but classical Austro-Hungarian operettas would make great Raadchai entertainment. (And yes, I probably managed to create the crossover that is the least interesting or relatable ever, to people who are not me.)

But seriously: on the surface, operetta plots are about love and marriage, but behind that, they are invariably about status. They are about the contrast between high class and low class, noble and untitled, rich and poor (note that these are three related but different axes of power!) civilised and uncivilised, proper and improper, master and servant, central and provincial, military and civilian – basically the key concepts of the Imperial Radch books, and most socially-focused sci-fi.

Most of Emmerich Kálmán’s work fits the criteria pretty obviously. Die Csárdásfürtin/The Gipsy Princess is about a singer, who despite her low status secures a written promise of commitment from a high-status military officer. The officer’s house opposes the match, and the singer has to decide whether she even wants to collect on the promise, if success would be worth the trouble with her beloved’s relatives.

Countess Maritza is a story about a manor house, a plantation. The planetwide plantations of the Raadchai are an indirect depiction of depictions like the ones under absentee landlords in Ireland, under slave owners in the Southern states – or under the Hungarian feudal system. One of the plotlines asks whether a valued employee can be elevated to the position of a lover, and if an employee could love their employer without hoping for financial gain. Another plotline talks about turning one’s own cultural heritage into an exotic commodity. And of course the background is filled with peasants eager to serve their noble landowner, and gipsy musicians clamouring to entertain their patrons, and it depends on the direction, and the audience, whether any of that gets questioned.

The Duchess of Chicago is about cultural and economic colonisation, globalisation – annexation. A wealthy outsider comes into power over a locality she considers provincial. Now the inhabitants of that locality need to decide if they accept their provincial, peripheral status, benefit from the wealth of the newcomer and convey their own forms of status on them, or maintain that they themselves are the centre and the newcomer is the uncivilised barbaric outsider.

We shouldn’t underestimate Franz Lehár either: The Merry Widow is pretty much about provincials navigating existence in the cultural centre, plus the outcome of a previously low-status person becoming high-status.

Not to mention The Land of Smiles, although that one… did not age well. The plot is pretty much built for white actors performing in yellow-face, and the China in the story bears little resemblance to, like, China. I’d prefer to adapt the whole shebang out into space, and make it about the culture clash between two estranged human colonies.

[get to know me meme: seiyuu edition] || {04/05} favourite seiyuu of all time: eguchi takuya

Starbolt Five - 13

Adventures of a Tamaranian Boy Wonder. When Katarou’s power-switching gem sticks for Robin only, he is left to learn just what it means to be Tamaranian.

As imagined by Ya-ssui.


Kry’s note: Um. Hi. So. Um. Since it’s been so long, I totally forgot where I was going with the rage thing, so here’s a snapshotty thing of something which might occur. I’m sure the rage thing will come back into play, once I’ve figured out where I was.

Please note, I have been given permission to angst. Tempered though it may be by the wrath of Kater, I know I can appease her by the use of -Kry writes smut-. So angst ahoy.

Rumble. Purr. Bliss.

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Tokyo Ghoul vs Literature: The Metamorphisis

I read that story in eighth grade. At the time I thought ‘what would I do if I turned into an insect…’ It was something of a dark musing of mine.

Kaneki uses literature as a way of expressing feelings he cannot normally express in one way or another. However, because of his emotional shortcomings he can tend to come off as naive and romanticize, or fail to understand the deeper meanings of the works he’s reading and instead just relate to the dark surface feelings. For example, despite most agreeing ‘The Metamorphosis’ is actually a metaphor and the real horror of the story is how his family treats him when the main character becomes unable to provide for them, Kaneki considers the implications of literally turning into an insect.

So the same way Kaneki misses the subtleties of the metamorphosis, for the broader more emotional element, Tokyo Ghoul in it’s almost whole plot reference of the metamorphosis, disguises deeper themes. This same kind of deception is even apparent in Kaneki’s character development, where we learn his issues were present well before the ghoul surgery aggravated them. 

All of these combine into the many references to Kafka’s most famous novel ‘The Metamorphosis’ that are present in Tokyo Ghoul, and the themes shared between the two works.

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Fan Spotlight - Geek Remix

Introducing our Fan Spotlight blog debut! We catch up with various members of the Life is Strange community and ask them their thoughts on the series so far. 

For our first Fan Spotlight, we talk to Mari from Geek Remix! Geek Remix have been producing in-depth fan theory videos for each Life is Strange episode and we’ve enjoyed watching every single one!

Hi Mari!

Thanks for taking part in our first fan spotlight. We’ve loved seeing all of your fan theories for Life is Strange so far, we’d love to ask you some questions about them.

Q: Your Life is Strange theory videos contain a lot of detail and cross references. What is your usual process for gathering all the content for each video?

A: If I see something like a symbol, quote, or mythical figure, I will google what that is. I put all those extra pieces of information in my head and write them down. So when I see something that pulls it all together, I can easily use the other crazy information to create a “theory”. I know that most of my ideas won’t be true, I don’t even believe half the stuff I say. But it’s really fun for me to do anyway.

I also have the benefit of editing our Let’s Play series, which forces me to look at each scene multiple times. This is part of the reason why I notice things easily. I can slow down, reverse, or distort footage to see if there is something I missed.

Q: You are clearly a big fan of the series. What would you say are the key themes or features of the game that you relate with and enjoy?

One thing I really like is that it focuses on female friendship, the experience of teen girls, and what the effects of bullying are. I also like that the game shows that people are more than one dimension. Someone can at first seem like a scary and selfish person, but turn out to be a very scared and hurt human being.

And then the part that really pulls me in is all the mysteries, hints, and foreshadowing. It just absorbs me when something can have a surface layer of plot, but there is so much more going on that you can miss.

Q: We really enjoy watching your videos with each new episode. Have you done theory videos for any other game series?

A: Yes, although for only a few select games. I prefer to focus on games that I know a lot about and are really passionate about - or at least know I have a very solid foundation to create ideas from. When people ask me to do a theory on a game I’ve never played, I don’t think they realize they are asking me to become obsessed with an entirely new world.

Other games I have made theories for are:

Dragon Age

Mass Effect

Broken Age

[working on Dreamfall and Last of Us. Still in research and scripting phase]

I’ve also done some tv show theories, like Adventure Time. I do Easter Egg videos for dozens of games, however.

Q: What character from Life is Strange would you say you are most like?

A: I was going to say Max. But then I realize I’m probably a lot more like Warren because we both like scary movies, and binge watching scifi. He also seems kind of weird, which I am too.

Chloe is so much like Stacy that sometimes it scares me. They act, look, and dress the same. They even move the same.

Q: What are you hoping to see in future episodes of Life is Strange?

A: Something completely out of control, but still not jumping the shark.

Q: Finally, what would you use the power to rewind time for?

A: To sleep in when I need to. Or get more hours in the day so I can get more work done (aka procrastinate more).

We’d like to thanks Mari & Geek Remix for taking the time to answer our questions. You can check out Mari & Stacy’s Geek Remix channel here (warning: contains spoilers).

Looking forward to seeing fan theories for episodes 4 & 5!

More Fan Spotlights coming soon!

anonymous asked:

(i love the dream scene too) but explain why you love it so much and why its the greatest thing? i understand that it implies heavily that he is dereks anchor, and he thinks of him while he was shot, but why else?

Well you just opened Pandora’s Box and since you did so I’m gonna actually make a huge post out of this where I’ll explain why The Dream Scene makes me wanna commit homicide. (I apologize for not putting this under a read more but it’s easier to read it this way)

Firstly, let me tell you where I’m coming from and why it had such a huge impact on me in the first place and how never in my life have I reacted so…bodily? to something? ever? to any series ever? I’m a pathetic piece of shit? 

For the whole of 3b I expected something out of sterek. The potential was huge, angst and tragedy everywhere, Derek was acting accordingly (concerned and trying to find solutions instead of downright killing him), Stiles was in mortal danger, all of a sudden Derek was the king, the stars were aligned for the best scene ever and then-

The loft scene was not what I expected, the derek vs nogitsune didn’t deliver, Aiden died and Stiles and Derek were in the same open space for the first time but I didn’t believe anything would happen anyway and so on. I put my whole faith in the last episode (much like I’m putting it now) because I knew that Derek and Stiles had to have some kind of interaction or some lines exchanged because all the Derek foreshadowing wasn’t for nothing goddammit. But then the episode was nearing the end and nothing happened and I started to panic because it was either nothing or the best sterek scene ever (because honestly last 3 minutes of a season, it had to be something good and important and I almost started losing hope because it would be too big even for sterek). But then LO AND BEHOLD

Full body shots, Stiles and Derek in a locker room with the pretty lights and I just- lost it.

At that point, their scenes weren’t part of the surface plot, didn’t have anything to do directly with their characters, it was all foreshadowing. But now, The Dream Scene was a huge step towards sterek and it cemented important things that had to do directly with Derek’s character.

Now I’ll go technical on this:

  • The Lighting

—-Warm hues (yellow, red, orange, pink) generally allude to happiness, security, lightness, romance, eroticism, you get the point. When combined with sterek, it’s about security, sense of safety, trust, lightness.

—-The fact that it takes place at sunset symbolizes the end of a cycle and the beginning of another, it’s about a positive change in one’s life (ie change of anchor, alliance, trust, sides you name it)

—-The light coming from behind Stiles and the sides means depth and salvation in this case (love interest is on the list too but we’ll get there)

  • Body language and postures

Stiles takes the adviser’s position (I’d love for this to be emissary foreshadowing), arms crossed, Derek has all his attention, he is uncharacteristically serious and still, he believes him and he’s patient with Derek (that ‘Okay. What happened?’ kills me). I’ll go overboard and ask you to notice how his hands are either hidden or he’s fidgeting, so you can’t count his fingers. In any other context this would mean that Stiles is hiding something or lying, but here the real reason is obvious. It’s a dream, the illusion is still there. 

Derek is showing distress, which is not something that he does in front of others. He’s open and vulnerable and he actually talks about his fears. Of course he has no reason to be afraid of Stiles but he’s unguarded, head down, fidgeting, standard Derek thinking position.  

When Stiles sits, it’s in front of Derek. Now let’s compare this to Scott and Peter.

When Scott and Derek have that heartwarming conversation in the locker room (I think it was 4x04), we see Derek taking the role of the adviser and sitting down next to Scott. This means equality, going through the same things, team work, understanding one another, partnership, you catch my drift.

When we see Peter and Derek’s exchange in the locker room, back in 3x08, talking about Paige, Peter is the adviser and he is standing, behind Derek, out of sight, looming over him. This is obviously manipulation, hiding and lying. The following events are a testimony.

Now, Stiles and Derek are mirroring each other which is extremely important. Don’t forget that this is also all in Derek’s head so this means that he is the one that sees things this way. Mirroring happens between very close people, like family, close friends, couples and so on. So clearly, for Derek, Stiles is not only an equal, but also he’s the person that he latched onto (for lack of a better word).

Stiles’ stance is also very interesting, but it’s quite hard to speculate because we don’t see his whole body. I might be over-analyzing this, but hey, let’s have fun with it. Far as I can tell, he’s resting his elbows on his knees, while one of his legs should be between Derek’s legs because their facing each other. So his arms are paralleled and so are his legs, so basically this means wall or isolation.

Stiles is acting like a shield between reality and illusion.

The illusion is shattered when Derek takes Stiles’ hand and counts his fingers. It’s very interesting that he did that in the first place. Hands are very important in tw and they have a lot to do with anchoring (darachmoon made a post about it and you should go read it if you want to fully understand the extent of this scene and the importance of it).

  • Angles

I question my existence when Stiles sits down because who the ever loving fuck filmed that scene like that and thought it was ok to add that to the sterek ”platonic” chart.

My shippers goggles are off I swear, but jfc, this is so intimate. Why is it so zoomed in on their faces??? Is it there to give me heartache??? I think it is. 

No but for real. The angle here is too closed in on Stiles’ face for it to be anything but perceived as romantic. I’m sorry, I kept my mouth shut at the lighting, at the dream meaning (which I’ll cover in a second), at the context, but dude, give a dying girl a break. Then there’s the fact that Stiles is the emotional focus and while, that’s a very good thing, it shouldn’t make any sense here, because this is all from Derek’s pov and he’s not even looking at him. The audience is shown a very concerned and close to Derek’s face Stiles. I’ll take it. And you can pry it from my cold dead hands.

  • Locker room meaning as a dream and for Derek in general

The locker room has always been Derek’s safety place and cooling off place. He also had quite a few realizations here (about Paige and Scott mainly). So to have Stiles there with him, alone, and him being in such a vulnerable state, is an amazing testimony of trust. He was even shown to anchor himself in the locker room before (4x02).

Locker rooms, as far as dream meanings go, represent cooling off places, secure places, change, and surprise surprise, pursue of a love interest. So there’s that.

  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge or A Dead Man’a Dream

The very fact that this scene was inspired from somewhere, tells us that it’s important and that we should pay attention to it. The story is basically about a dying man that seeks out his wife and kids but it turns out that it was all a dream and in the end he dies. Who is Derek seeking out in his dream? That’s right. Canon.

  • Kate vs Stiles

Let’s talk about how this put Stiles and Kate at polar opposites. Derek is faced with his living nightmare and seeks out Stiles in his mind.

Bad vs Good.

Reality vs Illusion. 

Sucky real life vs safe dream.

Kate vs Stiles.

It’s also interesting how in this season we have two more instances where the focus is on the two of them.

  • The scene itself

Watch the last 3 minutes or so without the dream scene. Did you get the same information out of it? Of course you did because the dream scene doesn’t give us any information. At best this was an explanation for Kate being alive and she could have been introduced in any other manner, there was no use for the whole sterek let’s be honest. So the very fact that it exists is a huge deal.

So yeah. Say it with me.


mlhmoo  asked:

How do you write a story like insomnia SO WELL!!! I love how you wrote it!!! any tips and tricks to help? XD

This is a complicated question but I’ll try my best! Also keep in mind I’m not a professional writer, and I’m still learning myself.

I am of the opinion that with enough thought, any idea can become a great story no matter how absurd it sounds at first. Like, you know how there was that thing going around on the internet where people had to summarize famous or popular stories so the plot sounded as simple and ridiculous as possible? 

Keep reading

Plotting a Fantasy Story from a Cast of Characters

Sometimes having your characters all ready to go can reveal the plot without you trying too much, particularly if your characters have complex back stories that decide your setting. For instance, if you have a character who decided to be a chef, even though her family wanted her to be a doctor, you wouldn’t necessarily throw this character into a high fantasy setting (though you totally could adapt those professions to fit that setting).

However, if you’ve got characters, and you know you want to write something a little out there but you don’t know what, it all comes down to making decisions about your plot and then seeing how you characters will fit into it.

Rather than doing these step by step, choose a direction to start with. What decision is easiest for you to make?

Choose a World

Some fantasies take place within our existing cities, states, countries. Everything about our world is present, but with something a little extra hidden behind closed doors. Think Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This fantasy world exists, but most people don’t realize it’s there.

Other fantasies take place in completely different worlds. Lord of the Rings, for example, or The Chronicles of Narnia. Choosing this path requires a lot more world building, so if that doesn’t sound intriguing to you, then perhaps you should base your fantasy within our own world.

If you choose to create your own world, you can then decide if your characters will be in this world from the start, or if your characters will cross over into this new world from our world (like Narnia).

Choose a Time

Whether you include time travel or not, you can base your fantasy in the past, present, or future. Do you want to write about Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires? Or Pride and Prejudice with zombies? Well, they’ve both been done, but these are ideas based in the past with a fantasy twist to them.

A future fantasy may involve some science fiction, but it certainly doesn’t have to. If you decide to write in the future, think about more than just the existence of magic or paranormal influences. How does our world turn into what you’ve envisioned? Prepare yourself to write a history between our present and your future (it doesn’t have to be in the novel, but you should know it).

Of course, there’s also the present. Look at the world around you as it exists now, and ask yourself, “What if?” What if every car on the road was going in the opposite direction they thought they were? What if every curtain in your house was hiding a portal to another world? What if there was another species living among us, undetected? Start with objects and try to brainstorm something special about those objects. How could that object hold the fate of the world? Make the mundane into something magical. 

Choose a Mission

Most fantasies will eventually cross into your characters saving the world (or at least a large number of people), but it rarely starts out that way. What is a driving action that can become your character’s first mission? It could be to find someone or something, avenge a death, travel home, travel abroad, go to school, help a friend. Choosing any of these will trigger some questions for you right away. Build your end game around a “beginning game.” Challenge yourself to take something as small as the items on this list and turn it into an epic fantasy. 

In the end, we’ve only scratched the surface here. Plotting a fantasy takes a lot of time and dedication. Be patient with yourself and your story, and don’t give up when things get confusing or overwhelming. If an idea isn’t working, try a different idea. Maybe you’ll go back to that original idea when you come up with new ideas to make it work. Be flexible. 

Archangel's Enigma / September 2015

A Guild Hunter Novel by Nalini Singh
September 2015

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her world of dark passion and immortal power—and to one of the most seductive and impenetrable heroes ever to stalk the Guild Hunter landscape…

“Oh, Naasir. So weird, so bloodthirsty, so unique and wonderful…I have fallen for him…”—Fiction Vixen

Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required—those more common to predatory animals than to man.

Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets, is fascinated by his nature—at once playful and brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it’s too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows…and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare…