suspended disbelief

Either explain it or don’t.

When authors include things that don’t fit within the real world–magic, time travel, anachronisms–there is an impulse to explain how it works. Which can be fantastic for worldbuilding, but if you don’t know what you’re talking about, it can make more problems than it solves.

Stephenie Meyer tried to explain some bizarre thing about chromosomes, and it made the biology of vampires and werewolves make no sense. Suspending disbelief worked better in that case before she tried to ground it in the real world.

Lemony Snicket, on the other hand, just has random anachronisms that are never explained, but because there’s nothing even close to resembling an attempt at an explanation, we can just shrug and go, okay, that’s how it works. The magic in Harry Potter seems to basically not be grounded in anything, but we can believe it within the context of the story because she doesn’t try to ground it in anything.

In Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, on the other hand, he goes into a lot of magic theory, and it gives us a strong feeling of worldbuilding. There’s enough logically coherent explanation for it to feel grounded within itself.

It is possible to go too far (see: Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide and Children of the Mind) where the plot ends up so tied in the reader understanding intricately detailed scientific and pseudo-scientific minutiae that the story is incomprehensible without it.

Generally, though, if you’re going to make something up, either say it exists and leave it at that, or entirely figure out how it works. Halfway is always less believable than nothing at all.

One of my favorite phrases my Creative Writing professor had for when you’re writing fantasy is ‘giving your story a Flux Capacitor’.

Because it’s not real, it doesn’t exist. But the way it’s thrown into Back to the Future, at no point does it throw the audience off or suspend any more disbelief than time travel would. You believe Doc when he says he created the Flux Capacitor - the thing that makes time travel possible, because the universe never questions him. 

So it essentially means like, there are going to be elements to your universe that are just not gonna make any sense, even if you set up a whole system based on it. And the only way to make it work is completely own it. You cannot second-guess your system or else the reader will too. You can give it the strangest explanation, but write it like you own it.  

Jimin: *Is worried about not having abs*

Jungkook: *Comes over and rests his head on Jimin’s stomach*

Jimin: Why?

Jungkook: It’s so soft now. Like a pillow. Much better than abs.

Jimin: *Suddenly doesn’t want abs*

masterofenthropy  asked:

Hi HeyWriters! I was wondering: do you have a tip to create a weak point on main characters? I´m making a story, but I´m having trouble since my main character is TOO overpowered. Could you help me with this?

(All of this is written under the assumption your character has superpowers or “special” abilities, so forgive me if you meant a different kind of power.)

I created a character concept when I was twelve. She had all the superpowers of my favorite heroes and then some. As time wore on she gained more and more until eventually my adolescent brain invented logic and realized she was actually ridiculous. Here’s how I depowered this character, who’s name is Ace, without completely ruining her coolness.

Step One:

Don’t be greedy. Any ability that does not contribute to the story needs to go. It’s taking up space that could be filled with credibility. I decided early on that Ace didn’t need most of her abilities, and by the end of the story she only relies on a few to get the job done. Also, if a character can do more than one thing that are all basically the same thing some of those should probably go (invisibility and camouflage, superspeed and teleportation, etc.). 

Step Two:

Apply real-world science. If you try to make your depiction realistic, you’ll want to have an idea of how these abilities might work and how they might not. Of course, you should suspend disbelief for some things if they’re truly essential to your character, but others can be adapted. For Ace there are some powers that only work under the right circumstances, and others that her body rejects or that give her physical pain when she uses them. Most importantly, special strengths come with special weaknesses. Sensitive hearing means loud noises are more jarring or harmful, regeneration means metabolism speeds up and the person needs to eat as much as a body builder. Any superpower you pick out will have a drawback, I guarantee it; if not a physical one than a social one (I’ll get to that).

This scene from The Incredibles is an excellent demonstration of superpower drawbacks.

Step Three: 

Consider how the character feels about all this power and why they obtained it in the first place. Ace was not born with abilities, but over time she chose certain powers for the purpose of defending herself or others. Some of her powers fade away when she stops using them, like any skill you fail to practice, and some abilities she just plain old refuses to use for personal reasons. Some are too difficult or time-consuming for her to master, and some even trigger memories of her traumatic past thus she discards them. This way she has a choice in the matter and her choice is not to bite off more than she can chew or what she doesn’t want in the first place. 

Step Four:

How do other characters feel about all this power? Perhaps some or all of your character’s powers intimidate, frighten, or anger others in the story. One of Ace’s friends dislikes how unstoppable she is, and others are taken aback by some of the things she can do or how she looks when she does them. On the whole, she hides what she can do or picks small things to do instead of big things, downplaying her own power when necessary. How your supporting characters react to the force of nature that is your MC is the most important aspect of her power.

Here’s an example from the X-Men of how other characters might react. 

For additional opinions and advice, read this https://mythcreants.com/blog/five-characters-that-are-too-powerful/ and take to heart its ending line: “There’s only one fix that avoids all the pitfalls of overpowered heroes: refrain from making them really powerful in the first place.”

Yes, Ace is a flawed concept and all the advice I just gave is only a patch kit for that flaw. However, overpowered characters continue to excite readers and viewers alike, so I would never suggest we dispense with them altogether. Just, when you’re getting a headache from how overwhelming your character is, it’s good to consider dialling it all back and focusing on the power of their personality instead.

—————————————————-

Super apologize for taking so long to respond, and thanks for asking in the first place.

Book review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

He has sipped the mead of poetry, conversed with Mimir, and cavorted with norns. There are no other rational explanations, because otherwise Neil Gaiman might actually - secretly - be a god himself, and I can only suspend my disbelief so far.

It isn’t difficult to argue that Norse myth is easy to present as a continuous story. Much of that reputation is the fault of Snorri Sturluson, the Icelandic poet and politician, who committed a selection of stories (known as sagas) to paper and codified what we now collectively refer to as the Nordic mythos. Retellings of these sagas are rare - you’re more likely to find translations of Sturluson’s work - and it is for that reason that this book is so special.

Gaiman brings his wit and strong character writing, as well as his unashamed love of the mysterious, to an enormously entertaining retelling of his favourite mythological universe. I should mention now: this mythos happens to by my favourite, too - so I’m perhaps, maybe, possibly 100% biased in favour of this book from the very beginning. Speaking of the beginning, that’s precisely where we start: a vibrant, expansive and imagery-rich opening sequence covering the life and death of the giant Ymir and the formation of the nine worlds.

From such lofty heights of literary prose one would, probably, if they were a pessimist, suspect that the writing would necessarily take a quality dip as more characters and events are introduced to the story. I am pleased to report that this is not the case - pleased because this has happened, previously, with other works on the same topic. Grand prose has a habit of giving way to the rote. Gaiman manages to strike the perfect balance between intellectual interest and joyous storytelling. His fiction background, naturally, has helped with this task enormously. 

Best of all are the characterisations of the gods themselves. Thor is a bounty of hard-headed brashness and implacable optimism…when he has Mjollnir, anyway. Odin is a wise and steadfast figure, if perhaps prone to his own brand of trickery. Freya is an unashamed feminist, constantly berating the Aesir for their unthinking folly. Loki is a proud and egotistical problem-solver with delusions of grandeur. Each character, be they god or elf or dwarf or giant (or eagle or wolf or snake) are presented with unique character traits and mannerisms. And to top it off, these gods do not speak in thees and thous: instead, Gaiman treats the gods as if they were real people with extraordinary abilities and responsibilities, and they speak accordingly.

Gaiman collects the best known stories and a few lesser, harder to research myths, and presents them as one cohesive story with an ease that Sturluson couldn’t possibly have dreamed of, and which few academics have replicated. From the beginning to the Ragnarok, the reader is completely transported.

@neil-gaiman has given the world an incredible gift, and we are not worthy.

Should I buy this book? Yes, a thousand times yes.
What do you rate it? 5/5 stars.
Favourite part? Every single time Freya snaps at Loki.

Death Note (2017) and the Comparative Lens

I’ll be honest. When I found out that Death Note was getting an Americanized live action adaptation, I wasn’t too thrilled. In fact, I was terrified that something I loved was going to be straight up murdered before my eyes  — and I wasn’t ready to give it a shot. In fact, I was really unwilling to budge on this until recently.

However, about three hours ago, the movie came out on Netflix. Sitting there with my housemates, I decided to give the movie a shot and check it out. for those of you who would like to avoid spoilers, this is the cutoff point for spoilers. There are an awful lot of them beyond this point.

Death Note is not a particularly new thing to many of us. If you’ve spent an hour talking about anime or reading manga, you know that Death Note exists. Finding out about the series or the source material that preceded this movie is not particularly hard; the hard part comes in discarding the source material to give the movie a fair shake.

When you look at something like this, you have to discard your comparative lens at the start of the movie to suspend your disbelief. When you sit down to watch something like, say, Game of Thrones, you are undertaking that viewing with the understanding that it’s not going to be exactly like it was in A Song of Ice and Fire.

The same thing must be done for Death Note (2017). When you sit down to watch this movie, you have to decide if you want to give it a fair shake. If not, that’s fine, but that’s what I set out to do.

Starting from the top, the movie itself isn’t bad. If you hadn’t seen the anime before watching it, it holds up to a 6/10 or a 7/10, but likely doesn’t pass an 8 on most scales. Let me explain by starting with some discussion on the main cast before getting into the actual synopsis and response.

The casting of Lakeith Stanfield as L is great, and he dramatically outperforms the rest of the cast; his take on L is both familiar to those who want similarities to what they know and slightly more emotive and human to appeal to the audience. His grasp of the character is magnificent, and I’m sure he studied for this role. I’d highly recommend watching this movie just to watch his performance if nothing else.

There’s only one problem with this: his performance feels slightly hollow when put next to Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe. Willem Dafoe is a great man and a talented actor… but this is by no means his best showing. 

Nat Wolff, comparatively fresh to the silver screen (or technically not, since it’s closer to a direct to DVD release), paints a picture of a very fragmented Light. At times too comedic, too frustrated, and too unbelievable, his portrayal of his character comes across as transparent. It surprised me to find that his version of Light didn’t hold up to the “judge and jury” that the film tries to make him.

Light is at times frustrating and all said, a little annoying. My favorite moment of his in the film comes three minutes in, when a bully punches him in the face and knocks him out.

The funny thing about the casting, though, is that it gives Margaret Qualley, playing Mia Sutton (analogous to Misa, from the series) the chance to shine in a dark way.

Since we’ve now discussed the cast, it’s important to note that the casting for this movie is not to blame or to praise in its success or failure. Whether or not this movie is good does not depend entirely on the choices made in its casting.

The movie itself revolves around Light Turner (an Americanization of Light Yagami), the son of a “hippy” and a police chief. Light, after passing off some homework for money to one of his fellow students, finds the eponymous Death Note when it falls from the sky in the middle of a storm. Light, after meeting Ryuk, is forced to come to terms with the power he now holds… and the consequences that accompany that power.

One of his first confidantes is his fellow student, Mia Sutton; Mia is initially skeptical, but after Light kills a criminal on a live stream, she comes around to his side and the two quickly enter into a strange love affair based on his ability to kill these criminals. Light takes the name “Kira” in order to make law enforcement suspect that he’s actually based in Japan, as “Kira” is a true cognate for the English word “killer.”

Hot on Kira’s heels are his father, who doesn’t know his son is involved, and L, a young detective with a murky past. L quickly deduces that Light is based in Seattle based on the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a hostage taker, whose name was only released in the Seattle area.

Correctly linking Kira to Light’s father, L begins the investigation in earnest, accidentally pushing the inexperienced boy and his new powers too far. After quick, dazzling victories over the danger known as Kira, L confronts Light in a coffee shop one night, convinced of his foe’s identity.

It’s at this point that things take a sharp turn. Light, in the films, is just a schoolboy in over his head, eager to impress his girlfriend with his “wicked cool” murder powers. He is not the character most loved in the manga or the anime, and this is why the adaptation must be viewed differently. Light’s identity is discovered after the death of several task force members and the public revelation of his father’s name and face on TV. Unbeknownst to Light, Mia murdered those men with a page from the note, attributing it to Ryuk.

When Mr. Turner isn’t killed, L confronts Light in a cafe at night, revealing to him that he’s aware of the high schooler’s alter ego. After Light tries to explain that he didn’t kill the task force members, his pleas fall on deaf ears, and L tersely informs him that he’ll be brought to justice.

After this, things take a steep, steep increase in pace. Light and Mia manage to take control over Watari using the Death Note, with the rule in place (via the notebook) that a person can be controlled for two days before their death. Light, in order to circumvent Watari’s death, intends to burn the page containing Watari’s name before he dies, sparing him.

Unbeknownst to him, Mia takes the page from his notebook… throwing a spanner in the works.

After the death of Watari, Mia reveals that she’s been planning to take the Death Note for herself. Light is then forced to flee by a vengeance driven L, given the ultimatum that if she doesn’t get the notebook by midnight, that he will die (as she’s written his name on her page).

L catches up to Light in the back of an alley as Light tries to meet Mia at the spot of their last date to hand over the notebook. He tries to explain what happened, but L doesn’t listen… and despite having Light at gunpoint, is knocked out from behind by a nearby citizen who overheard Light admit to being Kira. Grateful for what Kira has done, he lets Light go.

Light makes it to Mia atop a ferris wheel at the pier… and tells her not to take the book, as he’s written her name in it, putting them at a stalemate. Only one page of the book can be burned by its holder (Light), and unbeknownst to Mia, Light has made her death conditional. If she takes the book, she will die.

She takes the book and dies.

Light, having written his plan out in advance before fleeing L earlier, is saved when he falls into the water below the pier and is rescued by an old man, whose name he wrote in the book earlier. At the same time, another old man (both criminals) takes the Death Note for two days while Light recovers, filling out pages for him to give him an alibi.

This is explained to Light’s father while Light recovers in the hospital. The movie comes to an end as L realizes the meaning of a clue Light left him during the movie’s main chase scene; finding a stray page of the Death Note, L contemplates writing Light’s name… and Ryuk comments on the interesting nature of mankind.

Back to the review, though. The narrative pacing of the movie is rushed in the front half, for obvious reasons. The pacing that ensues around the climax of the movie, though, is great. The reveal that Mia is actually the antagonist of the movie makes sense and was well thought out. It’s not blatant, but it is foreseeable if you pay attention to her character throughout.

The cinematography is… amateur. It’s not very refined, and most shots make up for in color what they lack in substance. The camera work, for the most part, resembles a college student’s final short film.

Characters often abandon the rules established for them by their characterization in the first half of the movie in ways I’m unsure of. L turns into an action star in the last thirty minutes, and Light is… well, he’s annoying all the way through, but he never really gets a solid definition. The only way to sum up his character in the film is “inept,” but it does bring you to mentally treat him like a villain, which is good.

Its ending is vastly different from its source material (as L is alive), but ultimately more satisfying. The problems that plague the movie throughout, though, never really go away.

Despite this, most cast members put on a strong performance at least once in the film, and the movie follows a nice, neat arc. Reveals are carefully done and at multiple points, I was on the edge of my seat. Gorey action scenes (usually gratuitous deaths) aren’t cheap; they reinforce the notion that what Light is doing is wrong, even if he’s doing it for the right reasons. At no point do I sympathize with the character, which is a little frustrating, but also familiar.

The soundtrack… I don’t like it. It’s too “eighties” for me. It tries too hard to sound like Miami Vice, for unknown reasons. The music is too heavy handed, and often too easily applied to each scene. At no point am I left to wonder the nonexistent subtleties of its soundtrack.

This movie is a solid thriller, with a satisfying ending, a decent cast and a good narrative arc. Despite this, Death Note (2017) does not follow well with its source material, which it uses primarily as a guideline. If you’re expecting to see familiar faces from the manga (or even the anime), you will be disappointed.

Lakeith Stanfield kills it, though. 

The Lost Special: The One Way to Tie Up Every Loose Thread

In the last month this corner of the Sherlock fandom has thrown out a multitude of ideas for a narrative that could potentially resolve every last inconsistency in Sherlock series 4. Not knowing it, this community has debated different readings – all perfectly valid with only minor holes in logic – but have missed how they might all fit together into an intricate puzzle, each reading validating the other.

I have found one way to connect every loose thread.

Topics resolved include:

– EMP Theory vs “TFP as John’s TAB”: why both readings are meant to be exposed to the viewer (but we just found them too early)
– Benedict’s insanely long monologue they mentioned him having in Series 4.
– How another episode would only be comprised of a few new scenes
– Mary’s character development drifting far from her original plotline
– Moffat’s Doctor Who narrative that includes Toby Jones as a Dream Lord and what that means for Amy in “Amy’s Choice” and Sherlock in The Lost Special.
– How POVs intertwine in TFP, and how TPLOSH inspired the way The Lost Special would end.
– The entire bizarre nature of Series 4
– Breaking the 4th Wall
– The focus in The Six Thatchers on “The Duplicate Man”, “Twins”, “Two places at once”, and “Dead AND alive”.
– Three Garridebs
– Benedict claiming “Love conquers all” while Steven Moffat facepalms.

So if you want to know the one way this could all work, check out the rest of this post. But hear me out until the end, suspend your disbelief until you’ve finished, because regardless of whether or not you believe we’re getting The Lost Special, this reading which combines everything we’ve talked about for the last year is definitely arguable and until something else gets proposed, it is the one I’m sticking with til the bitter end.

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‘Orphan Black’ has revolutionized TV visual effects, and you probably haven’t noticed half of them

Orphan Black debuts its fifth and final season on June 10, and while the show will always be remembered for introducing us to the incredible, multifaceted performances of star Tatiana Maslany — who has brought almost a dozen clones to life over the course of the series — some of its greatest achievements are moments that you never realized you saw.

Visual Effects Supervisor Geoff Scott and his team at Intelligent Creatures have been in charge of bringing Clone Club to life across the show’s 50 episodes, and like a magician performing up-close tricks, much of their work is designed to be invisible.

In a TV landscape where viewers are used to screenshotting their favorite scenes to search for clues, this visual sleight-of-hand becomes even more impressive. Suspending our disbelief for dragons or zombies is one thing, but every one of the visual effects in Orphan Black needs to be indistinguishable from reality, and it’s a feat that truly takes a village.

Click here for more. 

Sherlock Series 4 as “Epic Theatre.”

Largely inspired by @toxicsemicolon‘s theatre related posts- here; here and here

“Why would you do this, this pantomime, why?”

Mycroft’s anger is in response to Sherlock creating a theatrical performance, a lie to scare him. The mention of “pantomime” makes me think of false stories, and many metas have been written on the unreliability of series 4 in general, to not take it as face value: it’s a false story, all smoke and mirrors.

What if we take Mycroft’s words as both literal and symbolic, though? Sherlock Series 4 is both literal theatre and a constructed false story.

toxicsemicolon’s posts are mainly about Sherlock and the Theatre of the Absurd (to me, it’s like ‘what would happen if Sherlock suddenly made no sense, the point is there is no point! etc etc). And I was taking a screenwriting course, and something called Brecht and Epic Theatre was mentioned. I didn’t know what it was, but it sounded interesting, so I looked it up!

^This video really helped me start understanding it- I’m by no means an expert! This quote from it was particularly helpful:

“And we’re not meant to sit comfortably and predict what’s going to happen, because that’s not what this play is about. And I think the more they throw in things that are unexpected, the more that they shake you up when you feel like you know where this is going.

Basically, I think Series 4 is showing what happens when the normal ‘rules’ of the story we’ve been watching no longer apply. Now, we’re in the land of (UNCONVENTIONAL) theatre, and reacting in similar ways to how the first audiences of the theatre of the absurd and epic theatre reacted: disorientation, confusion, resistance. 

Introduction from wiki:  Epic theatre (German: episches Theater) is a theatrical movement arising in the early to mid-20th century from the theories and practice of a number of theatre practitioners who responded to the political climate of the time through the creation of a new political theatre. These practitioners included Erwin Piscator, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold and, most famously, Bertolt Brecht.

Shared elements in Epic Theatre & Sherlock

While not invented by Brecht, the Verfremdungseffekt, known in English as the “estrangement effect” or the “alienation effect,” was made popular by Brecht and is one of the most significant characteristics of Epic theatre.[7] Brecht sought to “re-create the relationship between the actor and audience as dialectic” so that the audience would not longer “willingly suspend disbelief.”[8] The Verfremdungseffekt makes the audience feel detached from the action of the play, so they do not become immersed in the fictional reality of the stage or become overly empathetic of the characters with the hope that Epic theatre will turn “the spectator into an observer” and arouse “his capacity for action, force[ing] him to take decisions.”[9] 

This is what The Final Problem is all about to me. We’re encouraged to no longer view this as a ‘normal’ episode, to pay attention to the discrepancies- for example, the glaring ‘missing 10 minutes’ of John’s therapy appointment, and him apparently being shot by a tranquilizer gun. (x) And, there’s the general dissonance in tone of the entire episode- things that would normally give us a poignant, emotional reaction such as the burning of 221B are handled poorly (see If you want to make me laugh OR cry then do one, not both!This makes us resist our usual willingness to “suspend disbelief”, distances ourselves from emotionally investing like we usually would. 

And, that turns out to be a good thing, because now, we shouldn’t be emotionally investing in these particular portrayals of our usually beloved characters. They are deliberate caricatures of themselves. Turns out, that’s also part of Epic Theatre, specifically the way the “alienation effect” is achieved: 

Some of the ways the Verfremdungseffekt can be achieved is by having actors play multiple characters

This doesn’t happen quite literally in Sherlock- as in, say, Una playing both the role of Mrs Hudson and Norbury, or something like that. Rather, because our emotional investment has been removed, we are able to see the characters as stand ins for Something Else. For example, Mycroft is no longer ‘Mycroft’ but a stand-in for Mark, the writer watching his own creation crash and burn, and get high-jacked by The Final Problem story. 

More techniques:

rearrange the set in full view of the audience 

And yes, this one does quite literally happen. Our “set” of 221B is destroyed, and the audience gets to see it, “the stage”, re-made in front of their eyes:

And our own set designer of Sherlock, Arwel Wyn Jones, gets to have a cameo there- again drawing attention to the very fictionality of the show itself, its own set designer is doing work in front of our eyes that is usually reserved for off screen/on stage.

“break the fourth wall” by speaking to the audience.

Well, this phrase is definitely taken to the extreme… see this post:  Sherlock breaking the fourth wall by LITERALLY BREAKING DOWN FOUR WALLS AROUND HIM.

Lighting can also be used to emulate the effect. For example, flooding the theatre with bright lights (not just the stage) and placing lighting equipment on stage can encourage the audience to understand that the production is merely a production instead of reality.

Such a moment happens in The Six Thatchers, where we see a camera in the right-hand corner of the screen as John confronts Mary:

Seen more clearly in this post.

For more posts showing how S4 draws attention to the very fact that it is FICTION, see:

Deciphering Mycroft at the Movies

Remind you of anything? A facade? (Please let the projector light be our smoking gun)

Double Team

Title: Double Team

Summary: Sam and Dean get rough when they double team you in the shower. Inspired by this imagine (x).

Author:  Dean’s Dirty Little Secret

Characters:  Sam Winchester x female reader x Dean Winchester (no Wincest)

Word Count:  1883

Warnings:  nsfw, threesome, explicit language, explicit sexual content, unprotected sex, fingering,

Author’s Notes:  Thank you @mamapeterson for the advice and being my always awesome beta. I wrote this because my brain needed a break from the plot driven piece I’m working on, so I hope you guys enjoy some gratuitous smut. Let’s just put it out there that this is going to be one seriously cold shower by they time they’re done, I know that. Suspend your disbelief and pretend it’s a never ending hot shower. :-)

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Prompt: I think you are beautiful and I would like to kiss you.  I can think up some clever lines, if you’d prefer.  But I wanted to say that, first. (None of those lines seemed to be about you or me.)
~1k, alternative meeting/meet cute, no warnings!
meme

Blaine sees him every morning. As his bus turns the corner at 8.36, the most beautiful man in the world is picking up flowers from a small stand, bill in hand ready to hand over. He always looks sad, Blaine thinks, his expression heavy and his shoulders a little too square, but he always thinks to himself that whoever it is that gets a small bunch of yellow flowers from the most beautiful man in the world every single day is a lucky person.

Blaine spends the rest of him commute imagining what a man that beautiful’s name must be. Something elegant, he thinks. Perhaps an Alexander. He’s so pale against the grey of the city that it almost makes sense to imagine that he’s Russian. Blaine imagines learning to make pierogi for him, and then bumps his head against the window and grins to himself. His mama always told him he was a hopeless romantic, and here he is, imagining a life with this man he sees for less than a minute a day.

(He’s given him many names and many lives over the weeks and months he’s seen him. Tomas is a Czech web developer who likes expensive wines and pretty Midwestern boys. Rhys is a Welshman who lives in London and working on an international contract for a telecommunication company. He likes French movies and American boys. Patrick is from Regina and is an international student. He’s brought his liberal Canadian politics with him and is buying flowers just to brighten his student accommodation with. Dicky is in family law, grew up in the Midwest and studied in New York and has never found a reason to go back. He loves fashion, scarves, and good Midwestern boys who love football. Blaine knows it’s ridiculous, but his own real life adventures in love have been more miss than hit, and a few seconds with the angel and his flowers has to be enough. His name is Anthony and he’s from Florida…)

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I never played the games but I get what “wall chicken” is about… it’s just not gonna translate well to the screen unless it’s more of a subtle nod than actually having prepared food hiding out in the walls of Daddy Vampire’s castle  :D

suspension of disbelief

@khorazir prompted: The boys watch some episodes of The X-Files together.


 Sherlock looked up from the microscope, blinked. John looked back at him, his face expectant.

 Clearly, he’d been speaking. Clearly, a response of some kind was required.

 "Of course,“ he tried.

 John raised his brows, looked both pleased and surprised. This—this did not bode well. Perhaps he should have asked John to repeat himself, but he did so loathe repetition.

 "Go on, then,” John said. He stepped over towards the fridge, perused the menus with a little frown of concentration.

 Sherlock hesitated. Go on?

 Judging by John’s preoccupation with the menus, he thought perhaps he may have agreed to dinner plans. Except, if that was all, then what was he meant to go on with?

 He stood up from the table, took a cautious step towards the sitting room. John had left the telly on. It was cycling through a DVD menu of some kind, eerie whistling music backed by piano. He frowned, looked back.

 John glanced up from the menus, made a shooing motion with his hand. Ah. It appeared that he’d committed to watching a film or—he paused, looked at the screen—a television series.

 He sighed, aimed a longing glance in the direction of his abandoned microscope, and settled himself on the sofa. He took up a bit more space than entirely necessary.

 The menu looped, started again. Piano. Whistling.

 John paced around the kitchen, phone to his ear, ordering the takeaway. Sherlock glanced at the menus, now rearranged on the front of the fridge. Chinese.

 He looked back at the television. Opened his mouth to speak.

 "I’m betting you missed this entirely, yeah?“ John said, sitting down on the sofa next to him. The cushions dipped, and Sherlock found himself wanting to lean closer, to blame the motion on his shifted balance—but no, best not.

 "Missed–?”

 "The X-Files.“ John said with a nod at the screen. "FBI agents, government conspiracies, aliens…? Kind of a big deal in the 90s. Ringing any bells at all?”

 Sherlock scoffed, looked away. “I had other things on my mind in the 90s.”

 John cleared his throat, looked down.

 The menu continued to loop.

 "Right,“ John said, after a long moment. He reached for the remote. "Food will be here in about twenty minutes.”

 He pressed play.

 *

 "Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?“ asked the man on the screen. He was being altogether too dramatic about the whole thing, in Sherlock’s opinion.

 "Logically, I would have to say no,” his recently-assigned partner countered.

 "Actually—" Sherlock said.

 John picked up the remote, pressed pause. Stared at him.

 "Never mind,“ Sherlock said.

 *

 "Time can’t just disappear,” said the woman on the screen. “It’s a universal invariant.”

 "No it isn’t,“ Sherlock said.

 "Shush,” John said.

 "But she read physics at university, she would know that—"

 "Sherlock,“ John said.

 *

 For some reason, the woman had decided to bathe by candlelight. She had only just begun to disrobe when something frightened her and sent her rushing through the rain into the arms of her male coworker.

 Sherlock sighed, rolled his eyes. Looked back towards the kitchen, where his microscope beckoned.

 "Just watch,” John said, through a mouthful of lo mein.

 The scene did not play out the way he’d expected.

 *

 "Another,“ he said when it was over.

 "What, really?” John’s voice was incredulous.

 He wrestled the remote out of John’s hand.

 *

 "It’s really not that easy to break into a secret government base.“

 "Er,” John said. “Yes, actually, it is. We’ve done it.”

 "We had the proper credentials.“

 "Faked credentials.”

 "Still. It wasn’t as simple as ducking under a chain link fence for God’s sake.“

 John chuckled, leaned back against the sofa cushions. At some point he had migrated closer, his arm warm where it brushed against Sherlock’s.

 "Now he’s gone and gotten himself drugged,” Sherlock protested, looking away. “That didn’t happen to me.”

 "No, it happened to me,“ John said, and swatted at him. "Arsehole.”

 "Another,“ he said, when it was over.

 *

 "I’m expected to believe that this man sleeps in a nest of newspapers and bile and emerges precisely every thirty years to consume five human livers?”

 "It’s not really so much believing as it is suspension of disbelief, yeah?“

 "No,” Sherlock said. “The dichotomy between the two main characters—”

 "Wasn’t talking about them,“ John said. His voice had grown sleepy. "Was talking about us.”

 "What, precisely, are we meant to be suspending disbelief over?“

 "The livers,” John said, gesturing vaguely towards the screen. “The bile.”

 "The lack of a romantic entanglement in spite of the clear attraction and the fact that both main characters clearly have no one else in their lives of similar importance?“

 "That too,” John said. A faint smile flickered on his face.

 *

 "Another.“

 "Sherlock, I need to go to sleep.”

 "Mm,“ Sherlock said, distracted. He slid over on the couch to give John more room. The loss of John’s warm comfortable weight against his side was jarring.

 He reached over, snatched up the throw pillow from the coffee table. Held it up for a moment, weighing his options. He thought about the warmth of John’s arm, pressed against his own, the way his chest rose and fell with each measured breath.

 He set the pillow in his lap. Waited.

 John hesitated for a long moment, studying him, his face difficult to read in the blueish light from the television screen. Then he carefully, slowly arranged himself so that his head was on the pillow, resting on Sherlock’s lap. He held himself quite stiffly, his shoulders tense, his movements unsure.

 "Suspension of disbelief,” Sherlock said. He spoke in a low, quiet voice, dipping his head down. John’s face was very close, in the dark.

 "What, exactly, are you trying to say?“ John asked. His voice was little more than a whisper. He shifted, the leather squeaking under his frame.

 "Lack of romantic entanglement in spite of clear attraction. And—” he stopped, swallowed. Could no longer bear to look at John’s profile in the dark. Turned his head towards the window. “No one else in my life of similar importance.”

 "Clear attraction?“ John asked, his voice sleepy, fond.

 "Well,” Sherlock said, his throat suddenly dry. “Yes?”

 John chuckled, shifted again, rolling over onto his side. He reached up a hand, cupped Sherlock’s cheek.

 He could not say with any certainty who moved in first. But his lips were pressed against John’s, warm and soft and utterly thrilling, sending electric shocks of sensation down his spine. His eyes slipped shut and he sighed, breath puffing against John’s face.

 "All right?“ John asked, quiet, pulling back. He no longer looked drowsy.

 Sherlock stared at him, at his eyes, gleaming bright in the television glow. At his face, expressive and endearing and so very dear to him. How? he wondered, and not for the first time. How had this happened?

 "Sherlock?” John asked again, his voice low, careful. He left his hand cradled against Sherlock’s face.

 Sherlock smiled. “Another,” he said, and leaned in.

  • Korra: Avatars receive meaningless threats all the time. It’s really no big deal.
  • Lin: Of course. Totally. I mean, why would a death threat be a big deal? Oh, that’s right, because it threatens death!

anonymous asked:

so i saw your post about fire weapons and you said flaming arrows don't work bc of totally logical reasons. i was wondering why they're so common in tv shows and movies if they don't actually work? historically, were they ever actually a thing people used?

It’s called Rule of Cool. They look good, they look neat, they look dangerous, and they make the audience go “oooh”. Hollywood is a terrible place to look if you want reality, Rule of Cool is the decision making process behind 90% of all combat in all movies ever made.

The most important thing you can ever learn when looking at and consuming any entertainment media (or any media, really) is that unless specifically stated it’s relationship to reality is tangential at best. Real violence, for example, is fast, brutal, confusing, often boring to watch, and provides little in the way of entertainment value. They just aren’t fun to watch. You know what is fun to watch on screen though? The crazy ass Flynning duels from the Errol Flynn movies. Those big, huge, wide sword movements which make zero sense from any rational combat perspective but are easy for the viewer’s eye to follow.

Television, movies, and even books are about creating an entertaining experience, that is their primary goal. Any relationship to reality they have is at the direction of whoever is in charge of production and dependent on how much they cared about being faithful to what they’ve drawn inspiration from. This isn’t just combat either, the vast majority of ships seen in science fiction would be unable to function in space because they’re relying on rules that require either liquid or an atmosphere.

Movies want to convince you that what you’re watching is real, so you embrace the setting. They want cool fights, not real ones. That’s their stated goal: entertainment. Never trust entertainment to show you reality.

However, that doesn’t mean these movies and television shows and novels are lacking in value. They have entertainment value.

There are entire subsets of weapon categories fabricated wholesale by Hollywood purely because they look good on screen. See the swords wielded during the Golden Era of Hollywood for reference. They aren’t “real” weapons, they’re fabricated. This doesn’t change the fact they are perfectly suited to their purpose which is to look good on screen.

Audiences have become obsessed with “realism” and “realistic” more as a means of pointing out why one piece of media is superior to another when in reality neither of them are connected to a world that actually exists. In fannish conversations, “realism” has about as much weight as “chemistry”, it’s a vague definition used to discourage conversation or alternate approaches that violate a specific worldview.

Unless the creator has specifically stated an intent toward historical accuracy (and is backed up by historians), you can assume nothing you see on screen is “real” or has a basis in reality. Outside, you know, the stunt team and the specialists they hired to put on the performance.

Entertainment is built on being enjoyable and fun with just enough basis in reality to convince you to buy in and suspend your disbelief. I just happen to like knowledge because the more I know, the better I am at creating and choreographing convincing falsehoods.

Writers are liars. Our primary purpose when telling stories is to entertain, and a flaming arrow to the neophyte’s eye seems a lot more deadly than a regular arrow. Also, flaming arrows mean the prop team gets to figure out how to “safely” set thatch roofs on fire.

The director gets an epic fire filled scene of rampant destruction to sell to the audience and the prop team gets to have lots of fun.

Win, win.

-Michi

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All of Humanity is Weird, not just the Earthlings

Fell down the “Earth is Space Australia” rabbit hole on Pinterest and now this idea won’t leave me alone.

What if Earthlings aren’t the only type of humans out in the universe? (not likely I know but suspend disbelief and use your imagination). 

What if there are other human species not from Earth but having evolved in more or less the same way as us Earthlings? Their living environments are less hostile than Earth; meaning they’ve only got one environmental problem (heat, snow, rain, tornadoes, tropical) to deal with if any. Earth, as the literal Australia of the humanity inhabited planets, has all the problems and then some. The different types of humans have never met until now.

How different would humanity be? How similar/identical? How do we react to each other and the things that we’ve had to deal with? What would the other aliens think, maybe having dealt with one type of human and then meeting an Earthling and discovering how utterly crazy we seem to be? 

Writers with more time and creativity than I, take this and run with it however you wish :)