Sometimes when I am editing, I have to wonder if other Brits go through the same disconnect that happens when a US writer refers to women’s underwear as “panties”.
It’s especially jarring when I read it in fic meant to be set in the UK, and I just know the words “take your panties off” just wouldn’t fly, especially in Scots. Knickers, yes, and even briefs and drawers. But panties, not so much.
Like I know it’s in our vernacular too, and maybe I’m just showing my age (what do I know what the kids are saying these days, old thing that I apparently am), but panties just has such a juvenile and patronizing quality to it that the word just makes me want to shrink in on myself. I dunno, maybe it’s just me being to finicky. Which I suppose is kind of the point when you hire me to make accurate cultural edits like Brit Eye for the Yankie but whatever, I feel certain in telling you the word “panties” would not have been used in 17th century Scotland.
Although if you want to tell someone not to get their pantaloons in a twist, I’m 100% here for this.
I think I can speak for many fanfiction writer’s out there…If you’re reading a fic, please, PLEASE leave a little comment in the reply or in the writer’s askbox/message.
Yes, of course we love that you give the story a like, but still…as much as I hate admiting it, we writer’s crave that extra verification, the extra support that says that what we do actually matter to people.
A simple; “I really loved this!” Or “I love your writing!” is enough to put a smile on our lips and brighten our day AND give us that extra inspiration to continue doing what we love so much and want to share with people in the fandom.
So please, give those amazing writer’s out there the love and support they deserve. And if you’re shy, remember, there is often a anonymous option in the askbox…
Okay, but if a writer shows you their writing - their work, don’t ever take it for granted.
I don’t care if it’s every day, every month, or if it’s every five fucking minutes.
If a writer shows you something they are working on, don’t question why their topics are always the same, don’t groan in frustration or judge the art before even reading it.
Do you know how difficult it is for a writer to show someone their work? To show someone their thoughts and feelings formulated into words?
It’s fucking hard.
We feel emotionally vulnerable in the moment it takes you to read whatever we’ve written.
We feel as though we are bearing a part of ourselves. A part that often goes unseen. It’s like we’re showing you a piece of our soul.
That’s a big fucking deal.
So if a writer shows you their work, or even considers it — it’s a sign that they trust you enough for you to see an emotional part of them.
Don’t take it for granted
Don’t fucking disregard or downplay how big a decision like this is. Because trust me, it only takes one bad reaction to change a writer’s mind. To change the way they view you. To break a once formed trust.
There’s a good chance you’ll spend the rest of your friendship or relationship with them trying to get them to reopen up, only to never have it happen again.
All characters are self-insert characters. They are you a little to the left, or a particular piece of you dialed up to 11, or the you that you would have been if the path of your life had angled just slightly differently, or you if you never learned this one important thing.
Every character is part of you, but more than that every character starts with a piece of you, big or small, it’s you in one way or another at the beginning. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact it’s essential. That seed of you, that lives in them, it’s what gives them life, breath and blood and bone. And then you tend it, growing it, shaping them along paths you could never have walked nor imagined for yourself. Until they become someone else entirely. A wholly fictional character. But also you, a little bit, somewhere in there in the heart of themselves.
Every character is a self-insert character. It’s only a matter of degrees how much of yourself there is in them when you finally put them out into the world. Stop worrying so much about self-inserts. Worry more about putting that little you into a story that will shape them into a big, beautiful character.
I always thought that you would chase me if I ever left. I thought that you’d care too much to let me go so easily. Your pride just happened to be greater than your love for me, I guess. But love shouldn’t be prideful. As a matter of fact, I long to be the victim of a love that doesn’t know those sorts of petty limits. I wait to crest the tops of an affection so sweet, that distance isn’t an issue but too far is still too much. I want the love I share with someone else to be strong enough to support the weight of tears that were never supposed to be shed. I want the love I receive from someone to be what makes it impossible to feel so lonely, so desperate, anymore, to be what makes this bitter world warm.
i thought about death last on a tuesday. i thought about how decay is supposed to smell sweet and i wondered what that meant for its taste. i have no intention to find out, though i know curiosity, like cat to mouse, has a way of digging her claws in.
i thought about life last night. not just the sunrise, or the stars. not just the way the world goes dizzy at the edges when you hold your breath, but the way that the air feels in the aftermath of a storm. particles lightning-charged with the same kind of life that lingers in the synapses of a brain at the edge of discovery.
this morning i thought about you. you. you are hard to fold into words. i find that your curves do not like the way sentences feel when i try to hold them up against you, to see if i caught your image within them. the comparison is as weak as i was when i saw you last tuesday, or when you smiled at me last night.
tonight? who knows. the thing is, i think these days i laugh more than i cry, but i still think about death. i haven’t looked at the stars in a while but i still see them, and i will always watch for storms. you do not complete me as i was a person before you, but i like that we could live alone. it means we choose not to.
To be perfectly honest, I am very excited to see how the current arc will affect Night Vale.
Previous arcs have mostly focused on the people; their stories, their development, and their relationships. The town has remained a constant. A weird, dangerous constant, but a comforting one, as it’s so familiar to us after five years.
Even after the Strexcorp takeover, Night Vale reverted back to the same odd desert community with mysterious lights passing overhead. A little more cautious, but the same Night Vale.
However, in that arc the citizens were united against an outside force threatening their town. Like they were with the shadowy strangers, demonic beagles, and so forth. This time around we have characters choosing to leave in favour of alternative realities, or old friends passing away.
There is uncertainty.
People are leaving. Time is weirder than ever. Space is ripping itself apart. Night Vale is not the only Night Vale. Cecil is not the only Cecil.
The town is no longer a constant, and there is a whole lot of change occurring.