the nicelanders

The 3 Elements of a CHARACTER GOAL

You know that moment in a book or movie, near the end, where everything has gone terribly wrong? All has been lost, the main character appears to have been brutally defeated, the mentor has probably kicked the bucket, and generally things couldn’t look bleaker? 

Writing feels like that moment.

Or more accurately, one point in the writing process feels akin to that dark night. It’s that time after the intrepid writer has pushed through the first draft of the story – they’ve brainstormed the development process, sailed through the beginning, blazed through the middle – and then quite suddenly …everything falls apart.

And this despair can be summed up in one soul-crushing sentence: “What happens at the end?" 

The writer realizes that they don’t know. A giddy optimism has propelled them thus far, a chipper little voice in the back of their head assuring "Don’t worry about the end yet! It’ll sort itself out!”

That little happy voice, it turns out, is a liar. 

But your reign of terror is over, lying voice. There’s a way to fix it so you can never trick another writer again. Because knowing what happens at the end comes down to knowing something right in the beginning: knowing three integral facets of the main character. If you know this golden trio, you’ll have a much better chance of knowing exactly what happens at the end: because the end is all about these three. 

So what are these three things? 

GOAL: What the main characters wants, and will pursue throughout the story, overcoming all obstacles and enemies to obtain. 

WANT: Their reasons for wanting it, which is usually to fill some emotional void they sense in their lives, something they believe will fix life and make it complete.

NEED: What they TRULY require to fill that emotional void, to be complete. 

Yup, three of the things listed in that other post “10 Elements of a Main Character”. But now, we’re going to delve into more detail, the elements of a good Goal, a good Want, and a good Need. 

So what goes into a story GOAL? Goals should be …

SINGULAR: The character must have one objective, and only one. A desire, and the overcoming of obstacles to achieve it, form the spine of the story. If there are two, the character is split between two storylines; they are trying to balance two stories at once, confusing them and confusing the reader. 

TANGIBLE: The goal must be something REAL. Something we can see and feel. 

SPECIFIC: In addition to being tangible, it must be highly specific. If the goal was to “escape” it would have to be “escape to a definite destination”. It can’t be at all vague or easily fulfilled by many objects: it must be finding a specific object, winning a specific prize, getting to a specific destination, etc.  

Like in Tangled: The goal is “see the floating lights.”

NOT EMOTIONS/STATES OF MIND: The goal can’t be something like “happiness” or “belonging” or “love.” Those aren’t tangible, they’re not specific, and most of all the reader can’t envision it being achieved. The goal CAN be a physical representation of an emotional state; obtaining this specific and physical objective will mean achieving the emotional state. 

IMAGINABLE: We should be able to easily envision the main character achieving the goal. When we see it, we know it’s happening, know that everything has been building to this moment.

Like in Monsters Inc, we know what getting Boo back home is going to look like (though in the beginning, we don’t know that it’s going to be heartbreaking.)

NOBLE: The goal should be something the reader can cheer on. The reader understands why the main character wants it. The reader can relate to the goal, and the emotional reason behind it.

Cheer like this.

STAKES: If they fail, something will be lost. If they choose not to pursue the goal, things will be very bad. There can’t be a sense that if they stop going after the goal at any point, life could just go back to how it was. When the catalyst came in and shattered their ordinary world and everyday routine, the story entered the realm of “nothing will ever be the same” and the only way to restore order to their universe is to achieve this thing. And that thing that will be lost must be something we can relate to, something significant: love, safety, family, life, future, freedom, loved ones. 

What goes into the WANT? The want is…

CONNECTED TO GHOST: The ghost is a moment from their past that still haunts them, and is the source of their moral and psychological weaknesses. Their reasons for wanting the goal should be connected to this moment. They believe that if they achieve it, their world will be fixed, life will go back to how it was before this haunting moment occurred.

MISGUIDED: And they’re usually always wrong. Achieving the goal just as it is will never fix what’s broken in their lives. 

SAVING GRACE: It’s often this Want behind their goal that acts as their saving grace in the eyes of the reader. Sometimes it’s hard to connect with a character – they’re difficult to understand, easy to find unappealing, even downright unpleasant – until we know why they are the way they are. (Think Marlin from Finding Nemo; he’s pretty unlikable and frustrating half the time, but we know why he’s behaving that way, so it’s easier to forgive him.) 

What do all of these character NEEDS have in common?

HOW TO FIX LIFE: In their pursuit of the tangible goal, something else is revealed that will truly save their lives. This is some truth that will banish the power of the ghost, let the character see themselves clearly for the first time, and show them what needs to be done to live a better life in the future. This usually arrives right after that “Dark Night” moment, which is usually when the goal has been achieved or lost; the truth revealed in this moment will allow them to snatch victory from this darkest defeat, renew their courage, inspire them to soldier on and pursue the story goal once more. 

NEW WORLDVIEW: This crucible of battle and revelation of truth changes them. They’re not the same person anymore. They’ve conquered the thing that haunts them, overcome weaknesses, have greater knowledge of themselves and life.

Okay! So how does this work? Let’s use Wreck-It Ralph, because I’m in the mood.

What is Ralph’s Goal? 

A medal. 

A single medal will suffice. A tangible medal that we can easily envision. A specific medal, namely the one he got from Hero’s Duty.  A medal that we can imagine him obtaining, bringing to the Nicelanders, and using to change his lot in life. 

It’s easy to cheer on because it means Ralph doesn’t have to live in the garbage, alone anymore. We can relate to it, and cheer it on, because nobody wants to be alone (especially not while living in garbage). 

And the stakes for this are obvious: ___.

Now how about what Ralph wants?

This medal is connected to Ralph’s ghost which is years and years of being the bad guy. The bad, unlikable, unloved, unworthy, friendless guy. 

He thinks if he gets it, he’ll become the good guy at long last, and his loneliness and lack of self-worth will end. 

How is this his saving grace? It immediately makes the audience empathize with Ralph. Everyone, at some point, has felt alone and unloved. 

What about what he Needs?

Getting the medal doesn’t work out for Ralph. It doesn’t fix anything. What he NEEDS is this medal:

To become a hero, he needs to be the hero for Vanellope. 

New Worldview: 

“As long as that little kid likes me … “ 

So these three are the destination. These are what everything is going towards. If you know these three elements, you’ll have a much better chance of an ending forming in your head. So take that annoying little liar voice.

You know what that voice looks like?  Her. It looks like Umbridge.

Sorry I wanted you to hate it as much as I do.


Peter Capaldi tribute - That’s Life

Tribute to the life and career of Peter Capaldi.  

Not my usual tribute.  I blame the BBC.  At the end of the 9th series they made the 12th my favorite Doctor, The Husbands of River Song sealed the deal, and then they went and left me with no new Doctor Who for a whole year.  I spent 2016 mining Peter Capaldi’s past filmography.  He has had a remarkable career and is a remarkable actor.  This is one of the few times I’ve become a fan of an actor rather than a character or show and I am looking forward to seeing what he does next.

Song: That’s Life
Performer: Frank Sinatra
Writers: Dean Kay, Kelly Gordon

This was just done for fun, no copyright infringement is intended.
There are so many different movies and shows I’ve taken clips from I have no idea who has the rights to them.  I hope nobody minds that I’ve used them for this little tribute (considering how few views I get, it really shouldn’t matter).  Thanks much.

0:00  Letters Live (2016)
0:02  The News at Bedtime (promo photo) (2009)
0:03  The Singing Cactus (2005)
0:04  Hotel! (2001)
0:05  Psychos-S1E6 (1999)
0:06  Soft Top, Hard Shoulder (1993)
0:07  Stay Lucky-S4E2-The Driving Instructor (1993)
0:08  The Treasure Seekers (1996)
0:09  Titmuss Regained (1991)
0:10  Minder-S6E2-Life in the Fast Food Lane (1985)
0:11-0:19 Local Hero (1983)
0:20  Crown Court-S13E33-Big Deal (1984)
0:23  Travelling Man-S2E6-Blow Up (1985)
0:26-0:30 The Lair of the White Worm (1988)
0:31  The Ruth Rendell Mysteries-S4E1-3-Some Lie and Some Die (1990)
0:38-0:51 Soft Top, Hard Shoulder (1993)
0:52  Prime Suspect 3 (1993)
0:58  Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life (writer and director) (1994)
1:01 Academy acceptance speech (1995)
1:03-1:04 Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
1:04 Lost For Words (1996)
1:05 Shadow of the Noose-S1E7-The Camden Town Murder (1989)
1:06 The Vicar of Dibley - Christmas special (1996)
1:08 Mr Wakefield’s Crusade (1992)
1:09 Neverwhere (1996)
1:11 The Greatest Store in the World (1999)
1:13-1:16 The Crow Road (1996)
1:17 The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997)
1:24 Fortysomething (2003)
1:27 Shotgun Dave Rides East (2003)
1:31-1:33 In Deep-S3E7/8-Character Assassins (2003)
1:34 Judge John Deed-S3E3-Conspiracy (2003)
1:37 Niceland (2004)
1:40-1:54 The Thick of It (2005, 2009)
1:56 Torchwood: Children of Earth (2009)
1:56 Skins-S2E3-Sid (2008)
1:57 Waking the Dead-S6E5/6-The Fall (2007)
1:58 The Field of Blood-S1 (2011)
1:59 Accused-S1E3-Helen’s Story (2010)
2:00 The Devil’s Whore (2008)
2:03 The Cricklewood Greats (2012)
2:04 Inside the Mind of Leonardo (2013)
2:07 The Musketeers (2014)
2:09-2:13 The Hour-S2 (2012)
2:15 Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor (2013)
2:21 Doctor Who-The Time of the Doctor (2013)
2:25 The Graham Norton Show-S16E1 (2014)
2:28 Peter Capaldi at Wizard World, Minneapolis (2017)
2:34 Doctor Who-S8E4-Listen (2014)
2:39 DWWorldTour-South Korea (2014)
2:45 Doctor Who-S10E6-Extremis (2017)
2:51 Doctor Who-S10E12-The Doctor Falls (2017)
2:54 SDCC Imdb boat (2017)
2:56 Inside the Mind of Leonardo (2013)


Wonderful tribute video for Peter! Love how each portion of the video is given a description of the show or film. That really helps!


((So AFTER NEARLY A FUCKING YEAR I got this done….sort of. I still need a quote for this one and will probally keep tweaking it but considering it was supposed to be a set with the Candlehead one (and that I had it nearly in limbo for a year, half finsihed) I didn’t want to make the coloring style so different than the original despite me wanting to make a better one than this.

Maybe I will do updates of both with better colors and lines and….EVERYTHING but I don’t know. What do you guys think?

Also including the blank Candlehead one, the one that I’ve had sitting on my laptop for a year, and the precolors for THIS one.




oh hey, it’s-a one more commission!
This is a sketchpage commission I did for @kittysfigurines24 on the usual theme she chooses - lil old Fix it Felix being down with a cold, and Sergeant Calhoun helping to take care of him! this time around she wanted a bedtime theme.

drawing this made me realize how difficult it must be for Cal to sleep over in Niceland. xDthanks for commissioning me, Kitty!

(psssst commissions post here)

10 New Vanellope Headcannons

1:  Vanellope’s memories are blurry, after the reset some of them have started to come back in a vast amount and whenever it happens the nine year old clutches her head since it gives her a headache

2: Vanellope is aromantic, was aromantic as a princess, was aromantic as a glitch, and is aromantic as the Sugar Rush president, period.

3:  Vanellope enjoys bullding things by herself wherever its little candy coated constructions to gliterry sugar syrup sticks all by herself and when nobody is watching she tries to see how many she can pile one on top of the other, it gives her a huge self esteem boost

4: Vanellope visits mario’s game more than once and has gone to a new mario kart version to test it, blue shells stil annoy her to death, her glitching doesn’t save her from them.

5: Vanellope has gone to bad-annon to visit Ralph’s pals more times than she can count and her conclusion was that they were all softies, she and bowser’s son bowsy sass each other to death and wrestle everytime they can.

6: The nine year old sucks her thumb, as strange as it sounds she does that just like most little kids do and she looks adorable while doing it.

7: Vanellope is one of the youngest racers, and also one of the shortest.

8: Vanellope knows she wont age, thats a well known fact, and whenever she wants to go to higher-rated games, Ralph chuckles and tells her  “We’ll go when you’re older” which makes Vanellope stomp her foot, point at him and exclaim “ im never gonna get older!” he never listens.

9  Ralph is protective of Vanellope but this goes both ways: Vanellope gets extremelly jealous if Ralph hangs out with anyone else.

while many could mistake this as selfishness its in factVanellope being scared that he will find another best friend and forget about her, 15 years of distrust and loneliess does that to you, something she of course will never admit, not only that, she doesn’t think anyone else deserves him as a friend due to how they treated him, she barked at many  “redeemed” nicelanders more than once….even at felix at the beginning.

10:  Vanellope is idolized by almost everyone in the arcade, whenever she glitches around Game Central Station everyone waves and she either laughs and zips away or rolls her eyes, she’s also extremelly annoyed at the Surge Protector and glitches Ralph away from him when she sees him questioning the Wrecker, she made a name for herself and even though things ain’t even close to being peaches and cream, she’s starting to feel better.

anonymous asked:

I love your insight about cartoons and wondered, how do you feel about CG Disney animation? I am no expert at all but in previous films such as Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch I enjoyed their particular styles, drawings, lines, background... there was something beyond the generic Disney look. Is it me or Moana, Wreck it Ralph, Big Hero 6, Frozen... all seem to display the same combination of super realistic backgrounds and cartoony characters? I must be missing something... Thank you in advance

You’re partially right! CG tends to be more stylistically limited than 2D, but it doesn’t have to be…although the stylization is going to be different. Allow me to explain.

Keep reading

10 Vanellope Headcannons

1: Even though she lives in the land of sweets there are sweets Vanellope doesn’t like, especially sour ones.

2: Right after the movie Ralph invited Vanellope to burger time and other places since she’s never tried anything but sweets before, at the beginning she ranted about how everything that wasn’t sweet was yuck, as soon as she tasted burgers, spaghetti and chicken tenders she eats outside her game everytime she can

3: Vanellope glitches everytime she’s nervous, scared, or angry, even after the reset this hasn’t changed.

4: Vanellope has actually tried to eat sour bil once just like ralph did, she ended up vomiting the whole night and having nightmares about boogeyman cupcake Ralph chasing her again, how were those things related she doesn’t know yet.

5: Even though she’s forgiven them, Vanellope stil doesn’t fully trust the racers, sometimes she tries to engage in conversation before the random roster race, but it ends up making her feel incredibly awkard and nervous, she finds Rancis annoying and Taffyta amusingly childish. even though 2 of the racers have a crush on her she doesn’t like anyone for obvious reasons

6: Vanellope hates nicelander Gene with a burning passion, she hates him more than she hates turbo because she’s used to having pain inflicted on her, but the first time she saw the main reason of Ralph’s rejection she barked at him for an hour and left, leaving everyone in the room shocked, regretfull, and a little scared

7: Vanellope stil enjoys visitng diet cola mountain more than once, it brings her memories of the things she bulld herself and her accomplishments, she stil has her pink candy wrappers with her

8: Vanellope stil sasses everyone she sees no matter who they are, especially strangers, she humilliated wario in front of his gang more than once, he stil comes back for more which makes Vanellope’s day.

9:  Vanellope stil has nightmares about Turbo/King Candy, whenever that happens she hugs a Ralph Plush toy she (secretly) owns and eventually ends up feeling better again.

10: Vanellope’s coding as a princess gives her a pretty advanced code knowledge and she changed the password to a more complicated one with Callhoun’s help.


Master Post for the Peter Capaldi Annotated Filmography

(Big Update September 2015)

This edition of the filmography only has one new addition (can you guess which one it is?), but since I’ve now (once again) got new source material for a lot of the projects, I thought it might be a good time for a repost of the master post and just for the heck of it, make some (mostly) new gifs to illustrate it.  I originally created the Master Post so that no one would have to keep track of twelve separate posts and I’ve also finally done the sensible thing and linked each post back to this one:

Part 01: (1982-1987) Living Apart Together to The Love Child

Part 02: (1988-1990) Lair of the White Worm to Some Lie and Some Die

Part 03: (1991-1993) December Bride to Soft Top Hard Shoulder

Part 04: (1993-1995) Micky Love to The All New Alexei Sayle Show

Part 05: (1996-1997) Giving Tongue to Smilla’s Sense of Snow

Part 06: (1997-2001) Bean to High Stakes

Part 07: (2002-2004) Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War to My Family

Part 08: (2004-2005) Niceland (Population 1.000.002) to The Best Man

Part 09: (2006-2007) Pinochet’s Last Stand to Magicians

Part 10: (2007-2009) TTOI Rise of the Nutters to A Portrait of Scotland

Part 11: (2009-2011) TTOI S3 to When Peter Capaldi Met John Byrne

Part 12: (2012-2015) The Ladykillers to Doctor Who Series 9

As of this posting, everything has been checked and except for one entry which has been marked, everything should be working. The numbering is a mess that I can’t really fix without redoing all the pages (an enormous undertaking that I think I’m finally ready to, er, undertake fairly soon); but otherwise, everything is as up-to-date as I can make it at the moment — although I’m always hoping for new stuff, whether brand new, or old new like Coming Up Brussels and God’s Chosen Carpark and Runway One and anything and everything else that’s still missing.

(If something that should work isn’t working, please let me know and I’ll see if there is anything I can do.  Equally, if anyone has any information on any of the missing projects, PLEASE let me know!)