there are so many more scenes and characters i wanted to include :((

Avatar Aang, Feminist Icon?

“Who’s your favorite character?” I hear that question come up a lot over Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show particularly near and dear to me. Iroh and Toph get tossed around a lot. Zuko is very popular. Sokka has his fans. But something I’ve noticed? Aang very rarely gets the pick. When he comes up, it’s usually in that “Oh, and also…” kind of way. Which is strange, I think, considering he’s the main character, the titular airbender, of the entire show.

I never really thought much about it until a couple weeks ago when I finished my annual re-watch of the series and found myself, for the first time, specifically focused on Aang’s arc. Somehow, I never really paid that much attention to him before. I mean sure, he’s front and center in most episodes, fighting or practicing or learning big spiritual secrets, and yet, he always feels a little overshadowed. Katara takes care of the group. Sokka makes the plans. Zuko has the big, heroic Joseph Campbell journey. Aang…goofs around. He listens and follows and plays with Momo. And yes, at the end his story gets bigger and louder, but even then I feel like a lot of it dodges the spotlight. And here’s why:

Avatar casts the least traditionally-masculine hero you could possibly write as the star of a fantasy war story. Because of that, we don’t see Aang naturally for everything he is, so we look elsewhere.

To show what I mean, I want to talk about some of the show’s other characters, and I want to start with Zuko. Zuko is the hero we’re looking for. He’s tall and hot and complicated. He perseveres in the face of constant setbacks. He uses two swords and shoots fire out of his hands. He trains with a wise old man on ship decks and mountaintops. Occasionally he yells at the sky. He’s got the whole 180-degree moral turn beat for beat, right down to the scars and the sins-of-the-father confrontation scene. And if you were going into battle, some epic affair with battalions of armor-clad infantry, Zuko is the man you’d want leading the charge, Aragorn style. We love Zuko. Because Zuko does what he’s supposed to do.

Now let’s look at Katara. Katara doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do. She doesn’t care about your traditionally gender dynamics because she’s too busy fighting pirates and firebenders, planning military operations with the highest ranking generals in the Earth Kingdom, and dismantling the entire patriarchal structure of the Northern Water Tribe. Somewhere in her spare time she also manages to become one of the greatest waterbenders in the world, train the Avatar, defeat the princess of the Fire Nation in the middle of Sozin’s Comet and take care of the entire rest of the cast for an entire year living in tents and caves. Katara is a badass, and we love that.

So what about Aang? When we meet Aang, he is twelve years old. He is small and his voice hasn’t changed yet. His hobbies include dancing, baking and braiding necklaces with pink flowers. He loves animals. He doesn’t eat meat. He despises violence and spends nine tenths of every fight ducking and dodging. His only “weapon” is a blunt staff, used more for recreation than combat. Through the show, Aang receives most of his training from two young women – Katara and Toph – whom he gives absolute respect, even to the point of reverence. When he questions their instruction, it comes from a place of discomfort or anxiety, never superiority. He defers to women, young women, in matters of strategy and combat. Then he makes a joke at his own expense and goes off to feed his pet lemur.

Now there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, and it’s the one that shielded Aang from the heroic limelight in my eyes for ten years. The reasoning goes like this: Aang is a child. He has no presumptuous authority complex, no masculinity anxiety, no self-consciousness about his preferred pastimes, because he’s twelve. He’s still the hero, but he’s the prepubescent hero, the hero who can’t lead the charge himself because he’s just not old enough. The problem is, that reasoning just doesn’t hold up when you look at him in the context of the rest of the show.

Let’s look at Azula. Aside from the Avatar himself, Zuko’s sister is arguably the strongest bender in the entire show. We could debate Toph and Ozai all day, but when you look at all Azula does, the evidence is pretty damning. Let’s make a list, shall we?

Azula completely mastered lightning, the highest level firebending technique, in her spare time on a boat, under the instruction of two old women who can’t even bend.

Azula led the drill assault on Ba Sing Sae, one of the most important Fire Nation operations of the entire war, and almost succeeded in conquering the whole Earth Kingdom.

Azula then bested the Kyoshi Warriors, one of the strongest non-bender fighting groups in the entire world, successfully infiltrated the Earth Kingdom in disguise, befriended its monarch, learned of the enemy’s most secret operation, emotionally manipulated her older brother, overthrew the captain of the secret police and did conquer the Earth Kingdom, something three Fire Lords, numerous technological monstrosities, and countless generals, including her uncle, failed to do in a century.

And she did this all when she was fourteen.

That last part is easy to forget. Azula seems so much her brother’s peer, we forget she’s the same age as Katara. And that means that when we first meet Azula, she’s only a year older than Aang is at the end of the series. So to dismiss Aang’s autonomy, maturity or capability because of his age is ridiculous, understanding that he and Azula could have been in the same preschool class.

We must then accept Aang for what he truly is: the hero of the story, the leader of the charge, who repeatedly displays restraint and meekness, not because of his age, not because of his upbringing, not because of some character flaw, but because he chooses too. We clamor for strong female characters, and for excellent reason. But nobody every calls for more weak male characters. Not weak in a negative sense, but weak in a sense that he listens when heroes talk. He negotiates when heroes fight. And when heroes are sharpening their blades, planning their strategies and stringing along their hetero love interests, Aang is making jewelry, feeding Appa, and wearing that flower crown he got from a travelling band of hippies. If all Aang’s hobbies and habits were transposed onto Toph or Katara, we’d see it as a weakening of their characters. But with Aang it’s cute, because he’s a child. Only it isn’t, because he’s not.

Even in his relationship with Katara, a landmark piece of any traditional protagonist’s identity, Aang defies expectations. From the moment he wakes up in episode one, he is infatuated with the young woman who would become his oldest teacher and closest friend. Throughout season one we see many examples of his puppy love expressing itself, usually to no avail. But there’s one episode in particular that I always thought a little odd, and that’s Jet.

In Jet, Katara has an infatuation of her own. The titular vigilante outlaw sweeps her off her feet, literally, with his stunning hair, his masterful swordsmanship and his apparent selflessness. You’d think this would elicit some kind of jealousy from Aang. There’s no way he’s ignorant of what’s happening, as Sokka sarcastically refers to Jet as Katara’s boyfriend directly in Aang’s presence, and she doesn’t even dispute it. But even then, we never see any kind of rivalry manifest in Aang. Rather, he seems in full support of it. He repeatedly praises Jet, impressed by his leadership and carefree attitude. Despite his overwhelming affection for Katara, he evaluates both her and Jet on their own merits as people. There is no sense of ownership or macho competition.

Contrast this with Zuko’s reaction to a similar scenario in season three’s The Beach. Zuko goes to a party with his girlfriend, and at that party he sees her talking to another guy. His reaction? Throwing the challenger into the wall, shattering a vase, yelling at Mai, and storming out. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s also what we’d expect to an extent. Zuko is being challenged. He feels threatened in his station as a man, and he responds physically, asserting his strength and dominance as best he can.

I could go on and on. I could talk about how the first time Aang trains with a dedicated waterbending master, he tries to quit because of sexist double standards, only changing his mind after Katara’s urging. I could talk about how Aang is cast as a woman in the Fire Nation’s propaganda theatre piece bashing him and his friends. Because in a patriarchal society, the worst thing a man can be is feminine. I could talk about the only times Aang causes any kind of real destruction in the Avatar state, it’s not even him, since he doesn’t gain control of the skill until the show’s closing moments. Every time he is powerless in his own power and guilt-ridden right after, until the very end when he finally gains control, and what does he do with all that potential? He raises the rivers, and puts the fires out.

Aang isn’t what he’s supposed to be. He rejects every masculine expectation placed on his role, and in doing so he dodges center stage of his own show. It’s shocking to think about how many times I just forgot about Aang. Even at the end, when his voice has dropped and his abs have filled in, we miss it. Zuko’s coronation comes and we cheer with the crowd, psyched to see our hero crowned. Then the Fire Lord shakes his head, gestures behind him and declares “the real hero is the Avatar.” It’s like he’s talking to us. “Don’t you get it?” he asks. “Did you miss it? This is his story. But you forgot that. Because he was small. And silly. And he hated fighting. And he loved to dance. Look at him,” Zuko seems to say. “He’s your hero. Avatar Aang, defier of gender norms, champion of self-identity, feminist icon.”

My top 10 yuri / shoujo ai anime series

(not including the current airing series from summer 2017 & upcoming yuri anime series) + this is entirely my personal opinion.

1. Yuri Kuma Arashi (2015)

Now this one was a masterpiece, the symbolism in this one was just wow; not only does it criticize the portrayal of lesbians in japanese media (sexualization and so), but it also portrays the way lesbians are seen in society, the struggles of coming out in a homophobic society, the struggles of purely loving a person of the same gender. As expected this is pure yuri, lots of yuri moments, and if you want to watch it, do not watch it literally, look up the meaning of the symbols if you can’t catch on it on your own (that’s what I did)

10/10

2. Strawberry Panic (2006)

Honestly, if you’ve never watched this (which would be impossible), WHAT are you doing? Two main yuri couples, one supporting… or shall I said “villain” yuri couple, not one man, pretty good and interesting plot that just keeps you watching, focused on the girls’ relationship, it’s a great series that I wish the anime industry would still make today.

10/10

3. Sakura Trick (2014)

Well… this one is this high on the list purely because of the amount of yuri this series delivered. We’ve got more kisses in this one series alone than the entire yuri anime industry has shown in YEARS. The plot is barely there, but it’s worth the watch for how cute and fun it is.

9/10

4. Flip Flappers (2016)

Oh yes, this anime. Just like Yuri Kuma Arashi, this one has a lot of symbolism, mostly revolving around one of the main characters’ sexuality and what she feels for this one girl she spends all of her time with. It is more than just obvious that by the end of the series she comes to realize what her feelings are and is finally able to embrace her true self. Don’t take the series literally! It will only seem childish and not worth the time if you do.

9.5/10

5. Shuumatsu no Izetta (2016)

The main plot isn’t the girls’ relationship, BUT their relationship, their feelings for each other is what directly supports the main plot. The series in general was extremely entertaining and the fact that we’ve got the main characters being all lovey dovey just made it twice as good. You’ve gotta be lying to yourself if by the end of the series you don’t think these two are dating (especially with THAT one scene, you know WHAT scene!!)

9.5/10

6. Blue Drop: Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku (2007)

I’m not sure how many know of this, or how many watched it, or how many enjoyed it, but I was in tears by the end of this series. The story revolves around a bunch of lesbians basically… I don’t know how to explain the plot properly without spoiling anything, but this one sure left a huge mark on my soul.

8/10

7. Kannazuki no Miko (2004)

If you’ve watched this one, then you’ll understand why I’ll give it a slightly lower score than the others. This one sure has a lot of yuri and is obviously focused on the girls’ relationship. It had a lot of potential, it kinda slipped along the way tho. Still a nice series, either way.

7.5/10

8. Akuma no Riddle (2014)

The anime surely cut a lot of the yuri moments from the manga, but it was still pretty good. There’s a lot of shipping material and also two obvious canon ones, that only in the anime, the manga gives us a lot more yuri, a lot more canon material. My advice is to watch the anime, then read the manga to fill in the yuri gaps the anime left. As for the plot…? badass.

8/10 (for the anime)

9. Sasameki Koto (2009)

I get a headache whenever I think of this anime tbh, they barely animated half of the manga. The anime stops right where the true yuri starts coming out of this story. I’m adding this to the list just because, just like for Akuma no Riddle, you should first watch the anime, then read the entire manga. The yuri is very strong in the full series.

7/10 (for the anime)

10. Aoi Hana (2009)

Just like other anime yuri series out there, this one didn’t do much justice for the manga. As for yuri? there is yuri. Like I said before, it is wise to first watch the anime, then read the entire manga.

6.5/10

Bonus:

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku (2015)

A lesbian protagonist who flirts with any girl she finds cute and has a love interest?? plus, there’s a lot of funny moments?? yeah, worth the watch if you want to relax and enjoy yourself.

Marco is a Trans Girl - The Megapost 2.0

So you’ve likely seen my big post on the theory that Marco Diaz from Star vs The Forces of Evil is a Trans Girl. It was made back in July of 2016 when Season 2 was just starting, and since then a lot of things have changed and we now know a lot more about what’s going on behind the scenes.

This post is meant to be an updated explanation of Trans Girl Marco theory, but now more in line with how things are actually happening. The gist of it being that Marco Diaz is coded as a closeted transgender girl.  Expect less theorizing and more meta talk. I’ll be going over all the clues that indicate Marco is trans, as well as how the starcrew came to the desicion as Marco developed as a character.

I can’t give enough thanks to the members of the crew such as @arythusa and @hug-bees​, whom have both done as much as they possibly can to communicate with the show’s growing LGBT fanbase, and given us so much insight into what’s going on

Full post below the cut.

Keep reading

Maladaptive Daydreaming is:

I’ve seen a few time of people saying how they go into daydreams so specific that it often affects their concentration etc

Maladaptive Daydreamers often:

-Can daydream for hours at a time. Some can daydream an entire class period or event period.

-Find concentration very difficult. Their attention get turned away from the subject even if they want to listen and sometimes don’t realize they do it right away.

-Lose amounts of sleep through daydreaming. When you say you’re going to bed it somehow turns into making a new novel in your head.

-Puts most of their day into daydreaming. Daydreaming is commonly used as a fun thing to do-to go into your own little world. But with MD, it becomes almost addicting as if you feel the need to daydream.

-Don’t seem to care if being ignored or being alone. MDers like to be alone most of the time and put that time to more daydreaming.

-Forget what they are doing or where they place things. You tend to doze off for a long enough time that you can’t remember what you’re doing or didn’t know what you were doing in the first place. You could place something down and forget as you weren’t fully aware of what you were doing.

-Stops things they are doing like watching a video or reading a book as they will fall into a daydream, usually triggered by something that was watched or read, such as an event you created in your fantasy or storyline that related to the thing you watched or read.

-Things such as something you read or watched may influence future day dreams. For example: “this scene would go great with my story”.

-Sometimes even research things to make the story more realistic. Someone might research something like historical events, names, designs of houses etc.

-Storylines that include characters, plot, setting, and more. These people often get attached to their characters and find more story inspiration to put with them. Some people may also draw their characters.

-Acting out while daydreaming. Los of people including myself will find themselves in situations where they would laugh at something they would have their character do or even talk or use movement like moving their hands or whispering.

-Sometimes experience “deja vu”. Where something will seem familiar even if it’s something new.

-Very good at visualizing things. A good thing that comes with MD is that you can easily get a visual of something, like if someone told you to imagine the ocean, MDers would be able to imagine a perfect scenery and may even hear things like the waves crashing.

-Even though daydreaming comes as a fun activity, people with MD have a greater risk of safety hazards. Such as walking into a busy street or getting into a car accident.

-Procrastination at its finest. MD usually can cause procrastination, like waiting last minute to do an assignment or a task at work. Sometimes somethings as little as not wanting to do the dishes or the laundry. And often may have a messy room or apartment/house from procrastinating cleaning.

-“What are you thinking about?” Dreading the question that’s suppose to come off as innocent becomes a problem. When most people would say “oh just my after school activity” or “a funny video I watched today” MDers have to find a way to easily explain “My 50 chapter long novel that some how created in my mind in the last 10 minutes”

-Never seem to be bored. With an imagination and a daydream that MD has never seems to keep you bored as the main activity is the daydream and find enjoyment through the daydream.

-May get irritated when their dream is interrupted. Like being in a good spot in a tv show, you don’t don’t want the scene to be interrupted and may ignore or get frustrated with someone/something that interrupted you.

-Can’t seem to turn it off. As some people find it easy to revert their attention back to what they were originally focused on, people with MD can’t seem to turn the daydream off and can’t control it.

There can be many more things that comes with Maladaptive Daydreaming, but hopefully this helped anyone who was curious about why they were doing these things and couldn’t understand why.

Also MD is usually caused for a reason and uncovering that reason can result on how to stop MD. Seeking help from a professional would be advised.

Also if you experience this and just want someone who can relate feel free to message me :).


(I’m also putting this under multiple tags to get the attention of more people)

SDCC Steven Universe Panel Highlights

I thought I’d summarize some details on the San Diego Comic Con panel for anyone who wants it.

The panel at SDCC opened with a live singing of the theme song.

Zach Callison is the moderator. He introduced the guests: Michaela Dietz (Amethyst), Deedee Magno Hall (Pearl), Estelle (Garnet), AJ Michalka (Stevonnie), and of course Rebecca Sugar. He gives her congrats on the Emmy nomination (which is for “Mr. Greg” if you didn’t know). Then he asks the other cast members some questions. This is all paraphrased, not direct quoting.

Zach to Michaela: What Amethyst quotes do you use most in daily life?

Michaela says that when she wakes up, she makes noises that sound like her Gem is cracked. Then she says maybe she should change her answer to “womp womp.”

Zach breaks in with “Which way to the baby war?” as his favorite.

Zach to Deedee: What songs do you sing around the house?

She responds “Which do I NOT sing?” She likes “Love Like You” in the shower. “Steven and the Stevens” when she’s doing dishes, and “Peace and Love” a lot lately. Her kids are learning the songs on piano and ukulele, so there’s lots of SU tunes happening in her house.

Zach to Estelle: How has the popularity of the show affected your music career?

Estelle basically says a new generation of people are noticing her music and realizing she is the singer on songs they encounter in the wild. Zach says he grew up on “American Boy.” ;)

Zach to AJ: How has Stevonnie changed since their first appearance?

She says Stevonnie has learned a lot, and has more confidence now.

Then the cast does a great little line read of the scene when Stevonnie first appears, beginning with them barging in with “Pretty cool right?” The voice actors all say their parts and perform it slightly differently, which is cute. Then they do a version of “Here Comes a Thought” with Estelle and AJ!

Zach to Rebecca: What’s next on Steven Universe?

(Of course she laughs.)

Rebecca says the show has recently had so many huge events, so there will be lots of fallout, like a roller coaster from here on out. Then they show a clip. It’s sort of like a trailer. It’s all about Lapis’s conflictedness not wanting to get caught in another war, Homeworld’s future actions, Pearl being unable to properly explain the context of everything even though she wants to, and Greg not knowing his place in all this.

Zach says he hadn’t seen it yet.

Then they talk a bit about the Save the Light game coming out. A trailer for the game pops up and it includes footage that hasn’t been seen. Including a new character: Squaridot, a Peridot from Homeworld.

Rebecca was very involved in the making of the game. She says having a console game is a dream come true because they could do so much more than with the small mobile game, Attack the Light. There are Fusions and original characters, and the mechanics are relationship-based, and Greg is a player character who can play guitar. She likes that Squaridot is a Peridot who hasn’t made the kind of progress that Peridot has made. They segue to say Shelby Rabara (Peridot’s voice actor) is taking over social media for the week.

Then they talk about the Art and Origins book being out, and how there’s a SDCC-exclusive version. Launching also is the podcast, a 10-episode production, about the production of the show. McKenzie Atwood is the host. Rebecca and Steven were Episode 1–I’ve already heard this (and I seem to recall there wasn’t really a lot of new info except that the Gem writing in the Kindergarten will say who each section belongs to if you can read it, and that a lot of Ishtar imagery was used, including the 7 lions and the stars). Rebecca did episode 1 of the podcast with her brother, and says she wishes she could do everything with Steven. Zach and Grace are Episode 2.  

They talk about how the soundtrack Volume 1 is out, and announce that a vinyl version is out in fall! A limited-run Stronger than You and Love Like You vinyl single is out for SDCC.

Then they play a name-the-song game with SU cosplayers. They complimented a Pearl cosplayer’s cool spear too. They read lyrics, tell what song it’s from, and if the player gets it right, they win a vinyl single. Quiz songs included “Love Like You,” “Wailing Stone,” “Let Me Drive My Van Into Your Heart,” “Steven and the Stevens,” “It’s Over, Isn’t It,” “What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue),” and “Comet.” Most people got them right, but if they got it wrong they got to try another one.

Then there’s a Q&A, which I’m paraphrasing the 12 questions:

1. Audience member: Fluorite is a polyamorous relationship, right? What inspired it?

Rebecca said she went to an LGBTQ center in Long Beach and chatted about what stuff they really wanted to see. Poly relationships came up. (So yes, that’s confirmed, though in my opinion it really didn’t have to be since they were pretty clear about it!)

2. Audience member: Fan theories–do they influence you or do you have a master plan?

Rebecca says she loves fan theories, but they work way further in the future, so no, they really don’t influence what the story does. She has loved reading the theories about the trial, because some are onto something, and some are like way off. Zach says the good stuff gets downvoted a lot.

3. Audience member: Says a favorite character of theirs is Rainbow Quartz, and wants to know will we see a version of her with Steven?

Rebecca says of course she can’t give spoilers, but that Rainbow Quartz 2.0 would inevitably be different. Then she quickly says, “Forget I said that.”

4. Audience member: How old is Lion? Have we seen all his powers?

Rebecca says it’s a good question and can’t say exactly. The episode “Buddy’s Book” gives a hint at the general time when Rose was spending time with seven lions. That’s a gauge for how old Lion is. She implies that Lion does have more to show us about what he can do.

5. Audience member: Regarding the “Off Colors” episode, which Off Color do you relate to?

Rebecca immediately says “Rhodonite, the neurotic.” Then Zach says he relates to Padparadscha because he’ll trail off in the middle of a sentence. Deedee says she relates to that too.

6. Audience member: On writing music for the show–any challenges?

Rebecca says it’s very challenging–they’re given no extra time to work on the songs. “Mr. Greg” was most challenging of course. Zach is glad the Emmys recognized Rebecca’s extra hours. He said he had a hard time when his voice changed. “Puberty is a thing,” he says, while talking about some songs he struggled with.

7. Audience member: Will there be a Blu-Ray?

Rebecca would like it. Making it happen will take more moments like this (the panel, people showing up for the show).

8. Audience member: Did Yellow Diamond shatter Pink Diamond?

Dude.

Zach: “We won’t tell anyone what you say Rebecca.”

Rebecca just says she’s really excited about the next run because it was a chance to do a real murder mystery.

9. Audience member: What inspired you to use gems/rocks?

Rebecca: “Aesthetic! It’d look cool!” But she learned a lot about myths. Smoky Quartz was fun to learn about gem trivia for, building important symbolism into their character. Estelle said gems are just really pretty, that’s enough of a reason.

10. Audience member: How often do you write a song and then build an episode around it or vice versa?

Rebecca says it depends. Character stories will need a song when dialogue just isn’t enough. “Here Comes a Thought” was unusual since it came before the episode. She wanted it to be a tool to teach kids about mindfulness meditation.

11. Audience member: Do you anticipate what’s going to be popular on your show?

Rebecca says on the inside they focus on loving what they’re making. Team ideas that are spur of the moment seem to catch on most with the fans too. They discuss Padparadscha’s immense popularity. Sapphires are sort of Zelda-like, Rebecca says, and she wanted one who reminded her of Peach. Lamar Abrams came up with the idea of making her hair kinda look like a crown to increase the feeling that she has a matching vibe.

12. Audience member: On Lars’ development: was it planned initially?

Rebecca says it happened naturally. He’s one of the oldest characters in the show, and she was drawing him in college. Lars-n-Sadie comics are older than SU. (This was already known but apparently some people didn’t know they predate the show.) So of course they were always going to be important. (Zach says Lars was important in the pilot for calling Steven names.)

Some things in the book that may point to Eddie being gay

A bunch of people sent me asks and messaged me asking to make a post about the scenes in the book that code Eddie as gay. Of course, there’s nothing in the book that straight up says “Eddie is gay,” but there are some things that may imply it:

- The most talked about thing is Eddie’s encounter with the leper. This scene in the book is a bit different than in the movie in that instead of just chasing Eddie looking super gross and disease ridden, the leper in the book offers to give Eddie a blowjob. 

This, being Eddie’s biggest fear, can be interpreted in several ways. Of course, the most obvious is the leper itself represents Eddie’s fear of disease and dirtiness. He feels that if he touches it, he will instantly begin to rot from the inside out. However, the offerings of a blowjob at first for a dime and then for free not only shows Eddie’s fear of sex in general (with how much his mother likely repressed him sexually, but also instilled a fear of sex) but also of his fear of sex with men. 

- At a point in the book, Eddie talks about how he suddenly began fearing going to church and celebrating communion. He says this fear began after a story that his Sunday School teacher told, but it definitely appears to reach much deeper than that. 

He says that he feels “not worthy” and as though he’d be “damned to Hell” which he, seemingly, has no reason to feel that way. It seems as though he knows he’s doing something “wrong” in the eyes of God. 

- The very first thing we learn about Eddie when we’re introduced to him as an adult in the beginning of the novel is that he does not love his wife, and that she is nearly a carbon copy of his mother. It is made very clear that Eddie did not want to marry her, and that he only did so because he found the same comfort and safety in her that he found in his mother. This can easily be taken as him marrying a “beard” or a woman just to have a wife. 

- In general, Eddie’s mother is very repressing and homophobic throughout the book. That seemed to be obvious, but I just thought I’d make that point clear. That definitely would have added to his internalized homophobia as a child.

- Eddie has many notable similarities and parallels to Adrian Mellon, one of the only openly gay characters in the book. They were both described as fragile, and suffered from asthma.  

Another small thing to note between Adrian and Eddie is that they’re called the same nicknames Don Hagarty (Adrian’s boyfriend) and Richie respectively. 

- Eddie only talks about having a “crush” on a girl once, and when he described why he liked her he only described her physical appearance. This is typical for gay kids, who want to seem as though they are attracted to the opposite sex but can only describe why they like them in the most obvious senses: the way they look. 

- There are some weird sexual innuendo scenes between Richie and Eddie that King decided to put in for whatever reason. I made a post about it. Oh, and while we’re here, here’s my post about scenes with Richie and Eddie in book if you’re interested. 

- I don’t know if this would count as something pointing to Eddie being gay, but I wanted to include it anyways. During the sewer sex scene with Bev, Eddie is very much not consenting and seems very not okay with the whole thing. Here’s my post about this that I made a while back and want more people to notice. 

- In the miniseries and throughout the whole book, he’s often called a girly boy, a queer boy, a fag, etc. 

- Finally, Stephen King gave Eddie characteristics that are often stereotyped with gay men. He’s small, fragile, feminine, clean, and easily frightened. As always, I’m not saying gay men have these characteristics, they’re just characteristics that people stereotype gay men to have, including the other gay men that King wrote in this book and in others. 

Sorry this post is so long. I wanted to make sure I could add quotes and references to as many of these as I could to back up my claims. Please feel free to add anything else from the books/miniseries/movie/etc. that you think show this as well!

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I’ve been thinking about this game. Personally to me it represents a lot of lost potential - it’s a great concept but it’s brought down by a less than stellar execution. The cartoon designs look more like stickers than anything, just barely resembling a stereotype of a stereotype of the 1920′s-30′s cartoon style. While I don’t like complaining about people’s choices in design and art, I guess the theme is one that I’m rather passionate about, and a little bit of research from the developers would bring the game to a much greater level of quality than it is at the moment. The monsters in the game are also just unimaginably lame, and to me represent just plain blowing off the original idea in favor of more “serious” horror.

(Continued under a readmore because I say a lot; tl;dr I talk more about where the game went wrong in my opinion and how I would recommend changing it.)

Keep reading

20 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Young Adult Fiction/Romance

Originally posted by kallieburgers

YA Fiction is an incredibly popular genre of literature, and most people have picked one up and devoured it in less than a day, but there is a trend in the genre where in certain instances, people forfeit quality for a cheesy dramatic plot. A lot of these stories are just regurgitated cliches with vaguely interesting characters and just enough drama, fluff, and mildly (or extremely) sexual content to keep the reader paying attention. (No shade to the authors, because obviously, any author who writes and publishes a book works hard, no matter the end product.) 

There are a lot of aspects of YA Fiction that repeatedly rear their ugly heads and annoy readers or flat out scream dangerous messages to the young people that indulge in them. I thought I’d put the spotlight on a few in the hopes that it will help clean up the genre’s reputation as new and more awakened authors contribute content to it. 

Below you will read about some common mistakes that YA Fiction/Romance writers make that either ruin the story, promote dangerous messages, or unrealistically portray teenagers.


Making A Good Story

These are some things you should avoid doing when writing YA fiction/romance in order to make a generally enjoyable and enticing story.

Forgetting The Supporting Characters

The supporting characters are an important part of any story, even if the main plot revolves around two people. Supporting characters provide subplots, information to the reader, and more opportunities for your audience to connect and relate to your story. It’s always good to give your supporting characters love and attention when creating and writing them. Sometimes they end up carrying the story.

A mistake that a lot of authors make is that they give the reader a couple defining characteristics, a name, a relationship to the main character, and then just make that character pop into the reader’s view whenever the main plot needs them to. No backstory. No life of their own. Just support to the plot, and that’s a huge waste of potential. You don’t want your readers to put down your book and either forget the supporting characters existed at all, or believe that they were extra pieces of a puzzle.

Using Slang Badly

Writers should not feel the need to include current slang in order to make their story more relatable or popular amongst their targeted demographic. Slang is constantly changing, evolving, and most importantly, dying. Not to say that you should only write in traditional terms or put “thy” and “thee” everywhere, but using standard English and avoiding the trendy but temporary slang words is key. 

If you must use slang, try to use the bare minimum and only in fitting circumstances. If your character is the type to say “OMG her dat boi memes are on fleek” then, by all means, go right ahead, but you probably cringed when you read that. That would have been totally normal 2 years ago, but every bit of that sentence has died over time, and no matter how much you think a slang word will stick, don’t risk it.

Sympathy and Envy Mongering

Two emotions that YA Fiction and Romance always try to invoke in their readers are sympathy and envy. The author either wants the reader to feel bad for one or many of the characters, or they want them to be jealous of the awesome (and usually unrealistic) lives the characters have. Don’t be one of these. It’s tired and boring and not original in the slightest.

Are sympathy and empathy both totally okay emotions?

Yes. 

Are they all you need to write a good story?

Nope. Not at all.

The reader needs and wants to feel more than jealous of and sad for the characters in the story. The best stories are the ones that trigger a complex whirlwind of emotion. Sympathy and envy are the easy way out, and you get out of those emotions what you put into them. 

Unrealistically Portraying Teenagers & Teenage Life

Teenagers look up to and compare themselves and their lives to the characters and lives of the characters in your story. Keeping in mind that your audience is young and impressionable is essential for authors of the genre.

Love At First Sight

Love-at-first-sight does not happen. Infatuation, maybe, but love is more complicated than that. Writing a plot based on “love at first sight” can leave a bad taste in your readers’ mouths from the start, and that is something you should avoid at all costs. On top of that, love-at-first-sight is a very easy-way-out move and if you’re dedicated to your characters and your story, there’s a good to fair chance that you can come up with a more satisfying build up.

Unrealistic Romantic Situations

If you’ve ever opened a YA Romance, chances are you’ve read a scene in which the protagonist and the love interest end up in a stunningly beautiful place and the love interest sweeps the protagonist off their feet prior to riding into the sunset. This, unfortunately, does not happen very often, especially in teenage relationships. The most romance you’re going to get (usually) is the love interest offering to pay for the protagonist’s bag of skittles with the leftover money from their paycheck they earned at McDonald’s.

Just because teenagers don’t really go to great lengths to rent an entire ice-skating rink in the middle of the night so they and their crush can skate to Ellie Goulding music doesn’t mean there can’t be cute and memorable moments. Great doesn’t always equal grand and that’s important to remember. A lot of the time, teenagers appreciate fantasizing about things that are actually possible.

Happy Endings

Not all stories have to end happily, and you’ve definitely been told this before, but nobody ever takes into account how stories about teenagers have so much potential when it comes to endings. Teenagers read books about teenagers and unfortunately, this means that a lot of them will take what you’re writing about and try to change their own lives to match. Be honest in your depiction about what actually happens when you leave high school. 

The majority of the time, high school sweethearts won’t stay together. Long distance won’t work, they’ll find someone else, the spark will die out, their personalities will undergo drastic changes, and their goals and plans for the future will turn out differently than they expected. “And they lived happily ever after” is criticized harshly for a reason, especially in YA and YA Romance. Most stories don’t end happily, but there is more than one story in a person’s life and giving a person their happy ending as they graduate high school is a great injustice, to your character and your readers.

Avoiding The Dark Parts Of Teenage Life

Teenagers, despite what a lot of the media claims, go through some really serious and stressful and damaging things. Teenagers suffer from mental illness and deal with the intense pressure of the education system and hold their heads high in the face of stigma over every little detail about them. They suffer from eating disorders and body dysmorphia and self-harm tendencies, and that doesn’t even bring into account the bullying and family issues and the stress of constantly learning and feeling things for the very first time with little to no guidance or assurance or resources to ask for help. It is hard being a teenager. Do not forget that, and don’t leave the actual teenagers reading your story feeling underrepresented and/or abnormal because they aren’t as stress-free as the characters they look up to.

Exaggerating How Teenagers Interact With Each Other

A lot of teenage interactions are short, awkward, and uneventful. Teenagers aren’t super eloquent and socially apt, but YA Fiction seems to believe they are. It’s quite rare that a teenager will just walk up to someone they like, say “wanna go to dinner on Saturday?” and all will be fine and dandy. It’s quite rare that a teenager will saunter up to someone who talked about them behind their back, say something super clever and damaging to their enemy’s ego, and saunter off like the king/queen of the world. Those interactions look great in our heads, but they usually contain a few stuttered words and “um”s and blushing. Confidence is usually a trait that people develop later in life, so try not to push it if you’re trying to be realistic.

Maturity of Teenagers

Teenagers are underdeveloped human beings with minimal experience in most areas of life. They do not have it all figured out. A lot of YA books revolve around characters that are extremely intelligent, disciplined and ambitious at a level of maturity a 25-year-old be on. This is not accurate. Making characters “awkward” or “childish” does not have anything to do with how mature they seem to readers. There is a distinct difference between an awkward girl with childlike innocence and a girl who makes mistakes, does not have her life figured out, and is not yet comfortable with casual social interaction. The latter things I mentioned are pretty universal when it comes to teenagers. 

Unfitting Aspirations

There are more than two paths in life. It seems that in YA you’re either going to graduate, get married, pop out a couple kids and live the rest of your life in the suburbs, or you’re going to leave home, go to college, travel for 20 years and settle in some random country in Europe writing poetry until the end of your days. There is no in between, which sucks. There are a lot of interesting things you can do in life, not to say that either of the two life paths I mentioned are uninteresting. You could take a gap year and travel the world, go to college, move back home for a couple years then maybe get a job that has you traveling and exploring new things for the rest of your life. You could meet the love of your life in college and have some kids but put them in online school so you could travel with them. You could live your whole life in an awesome cabin in the forest casting spells and adopting wild squirrels. There are so many ways life can be and restricting it to opposite extremes takes the imagination out of the future. 

Not All Teenagers Think Their Relationships Will Last Forever

This one is pretty self explanatory, so long story short, not every relationship a teenager enters into is with the end goal of staying together forever, or even more than a few months. Most teenage relationships are pretty short and not very meaningful, and portraying every single couple in your stories as “we’ve been going strong for 2 years and plan on getting married right after graduation” is inaccurate and will probably cause your readers some disappointment in the future.

Relationships Aren’t A Teenager’s Only Concern

Most teenagers are more concerned about the F they got on a History test than they are about who they’re going to stare at next period. Everyone has more than just their crush to worry about. Some teenagers have to worry about where they’re going to get their next meal or how they’re going to get a ride home from school or even how they can apologize to a friend they’ve hurt. It’s not all about relationships for teenagers, in fact, relationships are a pretty small part of teenage life. If all your character has to think about is the hottie they sit next to in Biology, perhaps you should work a little more on character development.

Unnatural Appearances

Most teenagers are not model-level attractive. All teenagers have break-outs and leave the house late with greasy hair or with their shirt on inside out. No teenager shows up at school every day looking absolutely flawless, as if they’re about to walk down the runway. Please keep that in mind, because portraying teenagers accurately, especially when it comes to physical aspects such as weight, acne, etc. is super important. In YA and YA Romance, you must keep in mind that the teenagers you are trying to appeal to should not feel like a piece of trash because they aren’t as perfect as your characters. Yes, YA Fiction is Fiction, but just because you know that it’s unrealistic doesn’t mean your readers do. Readers of YA Fiction compare themselves to the characters in your books whether you like it or not. It is not hard to realistically portray physical appearances of teenagers. 

Avoiding Dangerous Messages

A common problem found in YA Fiction is the lacing of dangerous messages found in the smaller details. You may miss them the first couple times you read a story, but if you go looking for them, you will find them, and perhaps you will find the source of a lot of mistakes you’ve made. YA has a bad habit of endorsing mindsets that lead to bad decisions. Some of them, however, can be avoided in your own writing.

The Need To Change The “Flawed” One

Nobody in this world is perfect. Expecting the person you supposedly love to be flawless all the time is not realistic. People make mistakes. People are not always happy and bubbly and confident about themselves. People do not always act the same one day as they did the day before. Human beings are flawed and should be portrayed as such, especially in the stage of their life which is the most confusing and scary. Teenagers are underdeveloped human beings, and for some reason, teenager girls in YA Romance expect teenage boys to be charming and loving and never ever make a mistake, which is ridiculous. Creating love interests that appear flawless and can make no mistakes is detrimental to your audience. It raises your readers’ expectations to an unattainable level which causes them disappointment and might cause their future partners unrepairable damage to their self-esteem because they’ll think that in order to find a partner, they cannot be flawed and cannot make mistakes. 

Glorification Of Illegal Activity

It’s not “cool” or “edgy” to pump yourself full of deadly and mind-altering substances you know absolutely nothing about. It doesn’t make you “badass” and it isn’t a personality trait unless that trait is stupid. Whatever your position is on drugs or alcohol or whatever, there is no excuse for putting the idea in the heads of young readers that doing things that are illegal and addictive and that might even get you killed is ok. Not only because most of your readers are younger than 21, but because it will always be dangerous to take drugs, commit crimes, and drink. Your choices are your choices. Don’t impose your habits and excuses on kids who don’t know any better.

Slut Shaming

News flash: it’s 2017, people. Nobody cares who you’re kissing or dating or having sex with. People are finally getting used to the idea that maybe, just maybe, it’s not the end of the world if you do whatever you want, as long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else. This recurring theme of “I hate this person because they do what they want with their body” is getting old and annoying. Believe what you will regarding religion and morals and what is right or wrong or whatever you want to believe in, but the second you start turning your story into a commentary on the decisions and beliefs of other people, you’re in the wrong. There are other, more creative reasons to make your characters hate each other than their sexual activity. 

Forgetting The First Times

One of the most exciting parts of being a teenager is that everything you’re experiencing, you’re experiencing for the first time. Everything is confusing and exciting and 10x more painful or memorable or enjoyable, and that’s neglected all the time in YA. I don’t mean the common trope of the first kiss or the losing of virginity. I mean love and infatuation and loss and heartbreak; it’s all happening to them for the first time in their lives, and these events make up their memories that they will carry with them forever. Teenage years are incredibly heavy times for people. It is, after all, the years in which they learn the most and the fastest and where the majority of their brain development takes place. These moments that you’re writing, the first kiss, the first time having sex, the first time your character loses someone they love, they’re all going to determine how your character will develop in the future. Treat them that way. Teach young readers that it’s normal and perfectly okay to be scared and inexperienced and lost. That’s the bitter-sweet part of youth and it’s beautiful.

Bad Boys And Boring Girls

Bad Boys are, in reality, bad news. The real “bad boys” in this world are slimy, manipulative jerks who trick girls (usually more than one at a time) into thinking they have feelings for them, using them for things like sex or money, and then either end up controlling their entire lives, introducing drugs and problems, or breaking their hearts. It’s sad, but it’s reality. Yes, there’s always a cause for this behavior, and sometimes these bad boys grow out of it, but that’s not always the case. Portraying these bad boys as “changeable” is not only dangerous for the female readers but also the men in their future. If you make girls think that they can change whomever they’re with to be the perfect prince charming, they will never be satisfied with someone who is flawed (spoiler alert: everyone is flawed) and they may destroy the self-esteem of whoever they’re with by making them think they need to change to be lovable.

Boring Girls are, sort of, connected to bad boys in this sense. They show up in every story, which makes sense financially because authors who make more relatable main characters sell more books. It’s just demographics. But at the same time, this stretch for a wider audience can end up influencing girls’ expectations of themselves and their love lives. If you make every protagonist completely boring, compliant, and devoid of strong, defining traits, girls will take that as advice. They will learn that all a girl has to do to make people fall in love with them is sit quietly and be pretty, which is horrible, in case you hadn’t noticed. Teach girls to look up to strong characters with rich personalities. Nowadays, that counts as an original idea.

Generalization

Portraying every aspect of teenage life and teenagers themselves as if you opened a book full of cliches, closed your eyes and pointed at something is not ok. High schools and families and personalities are different wherever you go, and making blind generalizations about aspects of teenage life can not only change how your reader interprets their own lives, but how adult readers assume teenage life is when they’re not around. It is important to not reinforce the assumption that there is always a popular clique and mean jocks and awkward nerds and dead-beat stoners because these stereotypes are a way for people to justify their snap-judgements, and not only does that say a lot about you as an author, but that will breed a whole new generation of judgmental, close-minded people.

Glorification Of Unhealthy Relationship Behaviors

I’m gonna say this once: It is not “hot” to have the love interest constantly putting restrictions on their supposed loved one. It’s not okay to borderline stalk someone and use “I love you” as an excuse, even if the person reciprocates your feelings. It is unhealthy to ignore someone when they say “no, no, not now” or “no, stop, not here” when you’re in the middle of initiating sex or even just kissing. It is disgusting when romance, especially YA Romance, which has mostly young, impressionable readers taking in your messages, promotes these behaviors like they’re something to strive for. Like it or not, your writing is going to alter the way they imagine a “perfect” relationship. If you aren’t willing to take that responsibility seriously, you should not be writing YA, and especially not YA Romance.


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How to Write a Novel:  Tips For Visual Thinkers.

1.  Plotting is your friend.

This is basically a must for all writers (or at least, it makes our job significantly easier/less time consuming/less likely to make us want to rip our hair out by the roots), but visual thinkers tend to be great at plotting.  There’s something about a visible outline that can be inexplicably pleasing to us, and there are so many great ways to go about it.   Here are a few examples: 

  • The Three-Act Structure
    • This one is one of the simplest:  it’s divided into the tried-and-true three acts, or parts, a la William Shakespeare, and includes a basic synopsis of what happens in each.  It’s simple, it’s familiar, it’s easy to add to, and it get’s the job done. 
    • It starts with Act I – i.e. the set-up, or establishing the status quo – which is usually best if it’s the shortest act, as it tends to bore audiences quickly.  This leads to Act II, typically the longest, which   introduces the disruptor and shows how characters deal with it, and is sandwiched by Act III (the resolution.)  
  • The Chapter-by-Chapter
    • This is the one I use the most.  It allows you to elucidate on the goings on of your novel in greater detail than the quintessential three act synopsis generally could, fully mapping out your manuscript one chapter at a time.  The descriptions can be as simple or as elaborate as you need them to be, and can be added to or edited throughout the progression of your novel.
    • Can easily be added to/combined with the three-act structure.
  • The Character Arc(s)
    • This isn’t one that I’ve used a lot, but it can be a lot of fun, particularly for voice-driven/literary works:  instead on focusing on the events of the plot, this one centralizes predominantly around the arc of your main character/characters.  As with its plot-driven predecessors, it can be in point-by-point/chapter-by-chapter format, and is a great way to map out character development.  
  • The Tent Moments
    • By “tent moments,” I mean the moments that hold up the foundation (i.e. the plot) of the novel, in the way that poles and wires hold up a tent.  This one builds off of the most prevalent moments of the novel – the one’s you’re righting the story around – and is great for writers that want to cut straight to the action.  Write them out in bullet points, and plan the rest of the novel around them.
  • The Mind Map
    • This one’s a lot of fun, and as an artist, I should probably start to use it more.  It allows you to plot out your novel the way you would a family tree, using doodles, illustrations, and symbols to your heart’s content.  Here’s a link to how to create basic mind maps on YouTube.

2.  “Show don’t tell” is probably your strong suit.

If you’re a visual thinker, your scenes are probably at least partially originally construed as movie scenes in your head.  This can be a good thing, so long as you can harness a little of that mental cinematography and make your readers visualize the scenes the way you do.

A lot of published authors have a real big problem with giving laundry lists of character traits rather than allowing me to just see for myself.  Maybe I’m spoiled by the admittedly copious amounts of fanfiction I indulge in, where the writer blissfully assumes that I know the characters already and let’s the personalities and visuals do the talking.  Either way, the pervasive “telling” approach does get tedious.

Here’s a hypothetical example.  Let’s say you wanted to describe a big, tough, scary guy, who your main character is afraid of.  The “tell” approach might go something like this:

Tommy was walking along when he was approached by a big, tough, scary guy who looked sort of angry.

“Hey, kid,” said the guy.  “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to a friend’s house,” Tommy replied.  

I know, right?  This is Boring with a capital ‘B.’  

On the other hand, let’s check out the “show” approach:

The man lumbered towards Tommy, shaved head pink and glistening in the late afternoon sun.  His beady eyes glinted predatorily beneath the thick, angry bushes of his brows.

“Hey, kid,” the man grunted, beefy arms folded over his pot belly.  “Where are you going?” 

“I’m going to a friend’s house,” Tommy replied, hoping the man didn’t know that he was ditching school.

See how much better that is?  We don’t need to be told the man is big, tough, and scary looking because the narrative shows us, and draws the reader a lot more in the process.  

This goes for scene building, too.  For example: 

Exhibit A:

Tyrone stepped out onto his balcony.  It was a beautiful night.

Lame.  

Exhibit B: 

Tyrone stepped out onto his balcony, looking up at the inky abyss of the night sky, dotted with countless stars and illuminated by the buttery white glow of the full moon.

Much better.

3.  But conversely, know when to tell.

A book without any atmosphere or vivid, transformative descriptors tends to be, by and large, a dry and boring hunk of paper.  That said, know when you’re showing the reader a little too much.

Too many descriptors will make your book overflow with purple prose, and likely become a pretentious read that no one wants to bother with.

So when do you “tell” instead of “show?”  Well, for starters, when you’re transitioning from one scene to the next.

For example:

As the second hand of the clock sluggishly ticked along, the sky ever-so-slowly transitioning from cerulean, to lilac, to peachy sunset.  Finally, it became inky black, the moon rising above the horizon and stars appearing by the time Lakisha got home.

These kind of transitions should be generally pretty immemorable, so if yours look like this you may want to revise.

Day turned into evening by the time Lakisha got home. 

See?  It’s that simple.

Another example is redundant descriptions:  if you show the fudge out of a character when he/she/they are first introduced and create an impression that sticks with the reader, you probably don’t have to do it again.  

You can emphasize features that stand out about the character (i.e. Milo’s huge, owline eyes illuminated eerily in the dark) but the reader probably doesn’t need a laundry list of the character’s physical attributes every other sentence.  Just call the character by name, and for God’s sake, stay away from epithets:  the blond man.  The taller woman.  The angel.  Just, no.  If the reader is aware of the character’s name, just say it, or rework the sentence. 

All that said, it is important to instill a good mental image of your characters right off the bat.

Which brings us to my next point…

4.  Master the art of character descriptions.

Visual thinkers tend to have a difficult time with character descriptions, because most of the time, they tend to envision their characters as played their favorite actors, or as looking like characters from their favorite movies or TV shows.

That’s why you’ll occasionally see characters popping up who are described as looking like, say, Chris Evans.  

It’s a personal pet peeve of mine, because A) what if the reader has never seen Chris Evans?  Granted, they’d probably have to be living on Mars, but you get the picture:  you don’t want your readers to have to Google the celebrity you’re thirsting after in order for them to envision your character.  B) It’s just plain lazy, and C) virtually everyone will know that the reason you made this character look like Chris Evans is because you want to bang Chris Evans.  

Not that that’s bad or anything, but is that really what you want to be remembered for?

Now, I’m not saying don’t envision your characters as famous attractive people – hell, that’s one of the paramount joys of being a writer.  But so’s describing people!  Describing characters is a lot of fun, draws in the reader, and really brings your character to life.

So what’s the solution?  If you want your character to look like Chris Evans, describe Chris Evans.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Exhibit A:

The guy got out of the car to make sure Carlos was alright, and holy cow, he looked just like Dean Winchester!

No bueno.  Besides the fact that I’m channeling the writing style of 50 Shades of Grey a little here, everyone who reads this is going to process that you’re basically writing Supernatural fanfiction.  That, or they’ll have to Google who Dean Winchester is, which, again, is no good.

Exhibit B:  

The guy got out of the car to make sure Carlos was alright, his short, caramel blond hair stirring in the chilly wind and a smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose.  His eyes were wide with concern, and as he approached, Carlos could see that they were gold-tinged, peridot green in the late afternoon sun.

Also note that I’m keeping the description a little vague here;  I’m doing this for two reasons, the first of which being that, in general, you’re not going to want to describe your characters down to the last detail.  Trust me.  It’s boring, and your readers are much more likely to become enamored with a well-written personality than they are a vacant sex doll.  Next, by keeping the description a little vague, I effectively manage to channel a Dean Winchester-esque character without literally writing about Dean Winchester.

Let’s try another example: 

Exhibit A:

Charlotte’s boyfriend looked just like Idris Elba. 

Exhibit B:  

Charlotte’s boyfriend was a stunning man, eyes pensive pools of dark brown amber and a smile so perfect that it could make you think he was deliciously prejudiced in your favor.  His skin was dark copper, textured black hair gray at the temples, and he filled out a suit like no other.

Okay, that one may have been because I just really wanted to describe Idris Elba, but you get the point:  it’s more engaging for the reader to be able to imagine your character instead of mentally inserting some sexy fictional character or actor, however beloved they may be.

So don’t skimp on the descriptions!

5.  Don’t be afraid to find inspiration in other media!

A lot of older people recommend ditching TV completely in order to improve creativity and become a better writer.  Personally, if you’ll pardon my French, I think this is bombastic horseshit.  

TV and cinema are artistic mediums the same way anything else is.  Moreover, the sheer amount of fanart and fanfiction – some of which is legitimately better than most published content – is proof to me that you can derive inspiration from these mediums as much as anything else.

The trick is to watch media that inspires you.  I’m not going to say “good media” because that, in and of itself, is subjective.  I, for example, think Supernatural is a fucking masterpiece of intertextual postmodernism and amazing characterization, whereas someone else might think it’s a hot mess of campy special effects and rambling plotlines.  Conversely, one of my best friends loves Twilight, both the movies and the books, which, I’m going to confess, I don’t get at all.  But it doesn’t matter that it isn’t good to me so long as it’s good to her.   

So watch what inspires you.  Consume any whatever movies, books, and shows you’re enthusiastic about, figure out what you love most about them, and apply that to your writing.  Chances are, readers will find your enthusiasm infectious.

As a disclaimer, this is not to say you get a free pass from reading:  I’ve never met a good writer who didn’t read voraciously.  If you’re concerned that you can’t fall in love with books the way you used to (which, sadly, is a common phenomenon) fear not:  I grappled with that problem after I started college, and I’ll be posting an article shortly on how to fall back in love reading.

So in the meanwhile, be sure to follow my blog, and stay tuned for future content!

(This one goes out to my friend, beta reader, and fellow writer @megpieeee, who is a tremendous visual thinker and whose books will make amazing movies someday.)

OKAY SUPERCORP/KARAMEL RANT

**Please read** This all really needs to be said. However, before I go further I want you all to understand that this isn’t meant to be a hate paragraph or to purposefully put those who like Mon-El and/or Karamel down. At this point, all the disagreeing and fighting will do nothing. So I’m asking kindly that if you’re going to add something to this post- that it is filled with positive intent. 

 Anyhow, to my point:

I do watch Supergirl by the way, but I truly believe this concerns a wide variety of people. Whether you’re a fan of The 100, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Walking Dead, or just a person living your life… All I hope is that we all try to grasp the reality of what is truly going on. Now I will centralize this long rant towards Supergirl however. For those of you who don’t know what is going on there is a conflict between fans who ship this character, Mon-El, together with Supergirl/Kara and fans who ship Lena Luthor with Supergirl/Kara. Now, in my humble opinion, the big issue isn’t about straight v.s lgbt people and I will go on about that later… but the fact that she is with someone like Mon-El. Now what do I mean by ‘someone like Mon-El’… before certain people get mad I want to emphasize that I’m simply pointing out what happened in the show. 

This is long as hell just fyi.

1) The way Mon-El reacts to most things is through violence. In fact, the moment he wakes up he chokes Kara. And there’s this: 

(his words in white)

And the scene where Mon-El robs Brian; using his powers for selfish reasons.

He even calls her names. And notice how he does this the moment Kara disagrees with him. A reaction that does more harm than good. On the other hand, when Kara and Lena disagree on something (in ep. 2x03) they simply talk it out. They ask questions, explain, clarify, and come to an understanding.

Now, I’m not here to say that I have NEVER agreed with anything Mon-El has said, actually I applaud him for accepting Maggie and Alex’s relationship the way he did, but that’s just the thing. The opinions/beliefs he has don’t come from himself. Most of what he thinks is based off of what he’s seen on Daxam. He really isn’t at all mature. He isn’t by any means and it’s simply the truth. Now hear me out-

This is what I mean by he isn’t mature: How many times has Kara asked him politely and specifically not to do something but without hesitation still does it? And how many times has he had to beg for forgiveness? 

In addition, he doesn’t have knowledge of what respect truly means. What’s interesting though about this scene in particular- is how it’s supposed to be a ‘funny’ scene. Mon-El’s character is written in as ‘funny’ and ‘aloof’… but it sends a poisonous message- that Kara’s feelings aren’t to be taken seriously. And this show is literally supposed to be about her. Not a guy who thinks it’s his duty to ‘defend her honor’ and then complains about it.

Now I know that this was how people on Daxam acted and their way of life was for the most part, sexist, racist, etc. But that still doesn’t give him an excuse to act the way he does. 

2) Lena herself comes from a family with twisted values as well. She is adopted into the Luthor family and has had close to no friends most of her life. And yet she’s still capable of being a perfectly decent person. 

She does save the alien population not once, but twice. So not only is Lena proved time and time again that she’s a good person, but her relationship with Kara (btw I call it a ‘relationship’ just like the writers do)… is not even close to toxic, detrimental, or abusive. It’s the complete opposite.

Protect yourself”

“I can take care of myself”

3) Being in a healthy relationship is about the effort between two willing people… at the same time, knowing your boundaries whilst encouraging one another.

4) Kara deserves someone who fully acknowledges her efforts and is grateful for them



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Mystic Production

Welcome to Mystic Production! A Youtube channel featuring a group of people with a multitude of talents!

This alternate universe where Mystic Messenger characters band together to form a YouTube channel was inspired by the many amateur production teams on YT. For my sake and selfishness, many things have been changed from the original timeline because what’s an AU if everything is the same, right?

Introduction,

Mystic Production was originally called RFA (Rika’s Fashion Assemble) that was started by Rika and V as a sort of makeup/fashion vlog channel but, inspired by the hidden gem, Zen - who later joined her team, Rika wanted to delve into short skits and they needed more people as it grew to include other things.

The name Mystic Production came about from a very early skit where they tried to fit as many mystical puns into a 10 minute video and the fans made it a meme and they laughed for 3 days before adapting it.

Rika and V were originally the face of the channel but Rika stepped back to get treatment as well as focus on fundraising efforts for the channel and other PR stuff. V naturally followed to care for her. Although their appearances in videos have dropped significantly, their hard work are still felt throughout the production. They are Mystic Production’s Mom and Dad.

Jumin is their producer of sorts. He has a full-time job as C&R’s director but due to V’s wish to include him, he provides funds if needed (that will later be refunded over time) and joins the production meetings whenever he can. Rika and V values his unique ideas even though he often clashes with Zen. He sometimes drops in for random videos so he became Mystic Production’s Easter Bunny (or Easter Kitty as Seven likes to call it)

Jaehee is a full-time Mystic Production staff. She handles script writing, timetable, casting, prop making, set building and lots of other stuff. She rarely appears in videos outside of behind the scenes and special group sessions. Despite that, she is mentioned a lot in the video because of how hardworking and amazing she is. She is Mystic Production’s Brain.

(brief reminder Canon In-game Jaehee DOESN’T need glasses and only cut her hair because it was a requirement to be Jumin’s assistant - thus this appearance)

Zen is their main actor. He is in all their skits and is the current face of the channel. Despite how the channel makes it out to be, theater and musical is still his major occupation. He sometimes appear on Makeup Monday to show theatrical make-up tutorials. Absolutely no fans believe that he’s still single. He is Mystic Production’s Casanova.

MC is the newest member of the team and taking on Rika’s place as the female face of the channel. She is nice and playful and adapted very easily into the team. Outside of skits, she helps Jaehee with props and does most of Makeup Monday. She is Mystic Production’s Sweetheart.

Seven and Unknown dabble mostly in the background. They handle the sensitive equipments and help edit the videos. On Friday Nights, they will hold a Gaming Night with Yoosung where they post a video in which they review and discuss about a game while they play it. Seven also sometimes appear on Makeup Monday to do character cosplay make-up tutorials. They are Mystic Production’s Twins.

Yoosung is Rika’s cousin who is still in college. He appears in Skit videos as an additional character. He mostly is part of the background team, helping with lighting or sound. He is the main face of Gaming Night and even has his own personal channel for Let’s Play series. Because of his bright personality and being the youngest, he is Mystic Production’s Maknae.

Vanderwood is an extra hand Seven can somehow summon whenever they are in need of extra help. He never appears outside of behind the scenes videos and never tries to interact with the camera. He is dubbed Mystic Production’s Ghost.

The channel posts content 4 days a week, Make-up Monday, Short skits on Wednesday, Gaming Night on Friday and a compilation of behind the scenes on Sunday. Every last Saturday of the month, they will hold a group livestream to help raise funds for several causes.

There are moments where several members appear in videos outside of their main one like Zen teaching Yoosung to put on makeup or Jaehee and MC try to play Resident Evil while Seven is laughing like a madman in the background. The most memorable one is when Jumin plays as MC’s protective father refusing to give Zen MC’s hand in marriage because Zen ‘doesn’t respect cats enough’.

All in all, everyone has a great time and is happy. That’s all I ask from this Youtube AU done for Aurora weekly challenge.

This may have had a horrible execution but I thought a lot about this, as you can see from the wall of text. Wish I had more time to do gifs but oh well. Hope you enjoyed this and big kudos to you if you’ve read this far.

15 things about Ishval that Brotherhood cut out

After rewatching Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood recently, I was once again extremely disappointed at the amount of content the anime cut out when it covered the Ishval war in episode 30. Volume 15 of the manga (which was entirely dedicated to showing the war in detail across four chapters) still remains my favourite volume of the whole series, so I wanted to talk about 15 things that Brotherhood cut out. Some of them are minor scenes and some are more major plot points.

The images I’ve included in this post have been taken directly from the Viz Media manga, as I really dislike the poor quality scanlations of FMA that are out there. I would highly recommend buying Volume 15 for yourself, even if it’s the only volume of FMA you ever own.

The things I’ll be covering are:

  1. Neighbouring country Aerugo’s role in the war
  2. The Ishvalans as people - their lives and strengths
  3. The Rockbells’ extra scenes
  4. The military’s order to kill the Rockbells
  5. Roy, Hughes, and Hawkeye’s extra scenes
  6. Hughes’ extended scenes as a squad captain
  7. Corruption of high-ranking officers and internal assassination
  8. Armstrong’s extra scene
  9. Torture & human experimentation of Ishvalans
  10. Doctor Marcoh & Doctor Knox’s extra scene
  11. Roy’s role as the Hero of Ishval
  12. Scar’s brother’s scenes
  13. Roy’s squad
  14. Children as the victims of the war
  15. The overall portrayal of the war, and how Volume 15 was written/illustrated

** VERY LONG POST UNDER THE CUT, VERY IMAGE HEAVY **

Let’s begin!

Keep reading

I’m gonna go on a quick rant on feminism/femininity and Disney here.

Originally posted by disneylandwheredreamscometrue

It just riles me up when people seem to get the idea that femininity means a lack of feminism. When people take a look at the girl in the pants and the girl in the ballgown and says the one in pants is more feminist and empowering than the one in the dress. The whole point of one of the many aspects of feminism is that as women we have the right to choose to be and wear whatever we want. A woman in a dress is just as feminist as a woman in a burqa, and they’re both just as feminist as a woman in a suit or a woman in a bikini. And beyond clothing, a woman who’s married and in love is just as feminist as a woman who’s single. Here’s where Disney comes in, no one princess is a better more feminist role model than another. It’s important to have more than one type of role model yes, but just because one girl likes to fight and another girl likes to sew, it doesn’t mean that one is a better role model. All the princesses and other Disney ladies have good values to teach us and our kids in different ways and I’m gonna go through them with you.

Originally posted by badxbaby

Snow White:

For one thing this girl is 14. She is a child and her outlook on the world and her dreams in life shouldn’t be measured up to an adult’s. She’s kind, caring, and yes, she does dream of true love’s kiss. But she’s 14. When I was 14 I was dreaming of the same damn thing. But what we can learn from her is that when you care for everyone, even strangers, you’ll see that kindness returned. When she’s lost in the woods and scared for her life, she still finds the strength to be kind to the animals. In return they show her to the Dwarves’ cottage. She’s sweet and decides to clean up the place and take care of the dwarves out of the kindness of her heart and they return the kindness by giving her a home when she had none. At the end she’s rewarded with the true love’s kiss she wanted. We can even learn from the Evil Queen that vanity is a terrible thing. 

Originally posted by snowwhitecinderellaaurora-blog

Aurora:

The main thing to remember about Aurora is that for one thing, she met Phillip when she was a baby. The other thing is that while the good fairies did love her and take care of her, she grew up isolated and alone. She’s always had these dreams of meeting someone (anyone) else to break that isolation. But in that isolation she’s still strong, kind, and trusting. She loves her adoptive aunts, and for a side character(might make a post about that later) I would still count her as a good role model because of that kindness. 

Originally posted by goldensilverdisney

Cinderella:

Her, I’m definitely going to expand on in another post. But, she’s one of my favorite princess. Ironically, not one of my favorite movies, but she’s an amazing character and I love her. She’s a survivor of child abuse. That’s the very first thing that you need to understand about her. She doesn’t stay happy and content with a grin and bare it attitude, she got mad. She was snarky, and she only found happiness in the little free time she had and in her pets/friends. All she wanted that night was to go to the ball. All she wanted was one night to have fun and get out of the house. She wanted one night where she wouldn’t be berated and yelled at and ordered around. And when she met the prince, she didn’t even know who he was. She didn’t even mind that she would probably never see him again. And at the end she more or less saved herself. She didn’t wait around and sing a song from her tower to get rescued, she asked her friends to get the key and help her out. She was smart enough to pull out the other slipper. There’s nothing wrong with getting help from those around you and there’s no shame in asking for it. There’s nothing un-feminist about getting help, especially when you’re an abuse survivor. And that’s what Cinderella is about. Her fairy godmother coming to help her. Women helping women. 

Originally posted by disneymoviesanywhere

Ariel:

The one big thing that made the Disney renaissance so great is they decided to follow the rules of Broadway musicals. One of the trademarks of this is the “I want” song. That’s the motivation for the main character and it’s the driving force for the plot. 

Ariel wants to live in the human world. That’s her dream. She desperately wants to be a human. Eric was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Ariel is strong willed and curious. She’s the undersea equivalent of an anthropologist. She’s 16, so of course she’s going to make stupid mistakes, but she gets to live out her dream in the end and become a human. The main point and what makes her a wonderful feminist role model is that she uses that drive and curiosity to pursue her passion. 

Originally posted by mkgaud

Belle:

I’m not sure I have to go into too much detail about her although I will mention, she is not a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. And to be honest how would being an abuse victim make her any less feminist? Anyway, of course she’s smart and loves reading. She loves adventure books and that’s what her “I want” song is about. She wants adventure and she wants someone who understands her and doesn’t think she’s weird for her interest. She’s a good role model not only for her love of reading but also of course for her kindness and seeing the good in people despite their appearance. 

Originally posted by moviewhorexo

Jasmine:

She. Is. Not. A. Prize. To. Be. Won. Moving on,

Kidding. But anyway she’s great because what she values is freedom and love. I feel like a lot of people forget is the line, “when I marry, I want it to be for love”. She wants to make her own choices in all aspects of her life and she decides to leave her life of privilege to pursue that freedom. You can hear and see it sprinkled in all around the movie (and the stage show). She sees herself as a bird in a cage and she’s happiest when she’s free and litteraly flying. And at the end she chooses Aladin. It’s all about her choice. 

Pocahontas:

Originally posted by anightmarefantasmic

So unintentional racism, stereotypes, white savior trope, erasing history, and pairing her with the horrible monster aside for a moment…

Let’s talk about 18 year old Disney Pocahontas as her own character. The main thing that comes to mind when I think of her is strength and bravery. She knows herself and she knows what she loves, and she’ll do anything to protect it. She also cares about the earth and environment. All of those are wonderful traits to have as a role model. 

Originally posted by magical-rasputin

Mulan:

Again, I don’t think I have to go into much detail about why she’s a great feminist role model. She’s usually who everyone thinks of when it comes to great feminist characters.

But what I will say is one thing not a lot of people mention in her great feminist role model-ness is that she doesn’t mind being feminine. She knows the ”perfect porcelain doll” isn’t her, but she doesn’t mind dressing up when she can make it her own. Another thing that I’m surprised get’s as ignored as it does especially since it’s scattered through the whole movie including her very first scene, she’s smart. She’s not a fighter, she’s a strategist. She makes her chores easier for herself. She wins the game of Go on her way to meet the match maker. She figures out how she can protect her dad. She uses the weights to her advantage. She does trigonometry in her head on the fly. She comes up with the distraction and using the fireworks. And the epitome of it all, she uses the symbol of femininity in the movie, her fan, to outsmart Shan Yu and take his sword. 

Originally posted by definite-disnerd

Tiana:

Can you believe I’ve heard people say Tiana isn’t feminist enough? Most people know how hardworking and practical she is, but she also learns a very important lesson that you’ll never be truly happy if you don’t let loose and have fun in reasonable amounts. She’s an amazing role model just as wonderful as everyone else in the line up and her morale is one of my favorites to try and live by. “Fairytales can come true, but you’ve gotta make them happen. It all depends on you.”


Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, Elsa, and Moana:

Honestly I feel like I don’t have to do much defending for these four. Everyone on this site has already pointed out what great feminist role models they are and many people regard them plus Tiana and Mulan as the “best” most feminist princesses. I love them all too, and of course they’re all great feminist role models, I just don’t think there’s much I could add. 

Anyway, I think a /lot/ of other Disney ladies are also wonderful feminist role models but this was supposed to be just the princess lineup. and I might make separate posts for them. But if you’ll notice I didn’t take relationship status, style choices, hobby choices, sexuality headcannons, or appearance into account when talking about what great role models they are because you shouldn’t. Of course women and girls deserve more than just one type of girl to look up to, but one type of girl isn’t any better or worse than another. You can be hyper feminine like Cinderella, Not feminine at all like Merida, or a little bit of both like Mulan. You can be smart like Belle, or naive yet kind like Snow White. All of them are wonderful. 

I’ll go ahead and leave you my favorite Disney feminist hero.

(she’s amazing. google her real quick)

anonymous asked:

I'm sorry,,,but STOP. YURI ON ICE DOESN'T DESERVE ALL ITS AWARDS ITS A SHITTY SHOW FOR FANGIRLS TO NOSBLEED ABOUT HOT YAOIZ!!!!1! literally the only reason it won b/c of all of its fujoshis and ur just one of them,,,

I don’t know about you, buddy, but unless you know, this anime was basically given a low-ass budget, had to go through hell to get greenlit, and then got popular.
Part of the reason is the healthy, beautiful, and consensual same-sex relationship (which, by the way, is not yaoi), and other reasons include the beautifully orchestrated OST, the non-stereotyped representation of POC, how the show humanizes every character in the end of just 12 episodes, the gender-fluidity of the characters. and how mental health is treated with actual respect. 
If you’re one of those fans who are yelling about how it won ‘best animation’, here’s some insight on how hard it was to animate (part of the reason why so many companies turned the idea down). 

22 skating programs. That’s already thousands and thousands of frames.  Given the lack of downtime in between competitions (episode 6 on must have been hell), the animators had to constantly be drawing these programs. Combine that with Yuri on Ice’s low budget and lack of time- of course it’s going to look a bit distorted. Yet it still managed to make the skating scenes presentable, and and even enjoyable, to the point where many ice skaters are able to recreate the choreography. Honestly, as someone who’s tried to animate,I can say that the animators really deserve some respect.
Should they have won? Maybe not. Did they? Yes. Should you go yell at a fan because of it? No and honey, you need to chill

You make it sound as if it’s only young females that watch this show. Like, it’s not as if a multitude of professional ice skaters such as Johnny Weir, Evgenia Mendvedva, Denis Ten, Michael Martinez, Stephane Lambiel, Deniss Vasiljevs, and Evgeni Plushenko and so many others have tweeted about it, some even spamming their followers about this anime. South Park referenced Yuri on Ice. The amount of men in places such as Indonesia and Malaysia, with a bit of a warped vision about homosexuality, stating that the show had opened their eyes and made same sex love look not so taboo.
So, just fangirls now?

Maybe, the reason why Yuri on Ice won was because of its way of drawing non-anime fans into appreciating anime because of its realism. Because it had an OST that was more than memorable. Because the POC were represented so well (especially with characters like Phichit, Otabek, Leo, etc.) and were normalized, instead of treated like stereotypes. Because it humanized every single character, like JJ, Chris, and especially Yurio. Because it allowed characters to explore their gender-fluidity (Viktor’s past, and Yuuri performing Eros). Because it didn’t shy away from mental health, with Yuuri and JJ’s panic attacks, and how the people around them did nothing but give their full love and support. Because it refused to ever make anyone look like a complete enemy, every skater had their own dreams, goals and hardships. Because when we’re presented with Yuuri and Viktor’s romance, we don’t just see them as two boys who want to get into each others’ pants. We see them as two people, people who developed a relationship through consent and talking their feelings with one another, and in turn, are now on their way to being married. Because two women had a dream, and even with a low budget, high expectations and a smaller studio, made it happen and people all over the world are more than ready to share it. 

Yuri on Ice’s Bluray and DVDs already sold 50,878 copies in the first week, and 0.5% of animes actually reach that kind of result. The OST is the third best selling CD and first best selling in digital sales in its first week. We’ve already topped more bestselling anime soundtracks than Viktor Nikiforov has records. 

For an anime ‘directed at fujoshis’

Originally posted by gameraboy

A Killer First Chapter

Anonymous asked:

Do you have any advise on how to open a story? I have all my characters and my plot and my conflict and everything but I don’t know how to start. How to keep a reader hooked and interested enough to keep going.

This is a little ironic, because I’m about to rewrite my opening three chapters for The Warlord’s Contact from scratch for about the tenth time. But practice does make perfect, and boy have I learned a lot through this process.

Sometimes you look at a story and you just know how it needs to open. It’s the most obvious choice in the world, and it’s clear why no other option would work.

Unfortunately, that’s not often the case. Usually, the beginning to your book will take preplanning and rewriting and replanning and bit more rewriting, and all the while you’ll never quite be sure you chose the best spot to open to, or the right characters to introduce, or the proper setting. 

Here are a few specific methods of thought for tackling your first chapter…

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What do you think about NISAmerica's localization of Ouma's lines in general, especially in chapter 5?

Both of these questions deal with pretty much the same issue, so I’ll be answering them both together. Also, Ouma’s localization in particular is something I’ve been wanting to discuss ever since I got to about midway through Chapter 4 in particular, so now that I’m finally finished playing the localization in general, I’m glad to have a chance to talk about it specifically. I’ll be saving my thoughts on the rest of the localization for other posts, but for this one in particular, I really do want to talk about what happened to Ouma’s characterization in particular.

First and foremost, I want to say: these are my personal thoughts on the matter. I’m not here to bash on other people’s translation work, moreso with the amount of effort and detail that’s required for translation. Some of the errors that occurred throughout the course of the localization were not, in fact, due to any one translator but were instead the natural result of what happens when you have four translators working on different characters—that is to say, a simple lack of context and communication. Several lines were drastically mistranslated simply because the translators didn’t know what the character immediately beforehand had said, and this caused some confusion in the process.

However, it is a fact that much of Ouma’s characterization, particularly in Chapter 5, suffered as a result of this localization and the translation choices that were taken. In fact, some of the most important, plot-relevant scenes concerning Ouma were translated in a way that I believe makes it much more difficult for people who have only played the localization (and therefore had no access to the original lines) to understand his motivations, his thought process, or his character in general.

This entire post is going to be very, very long, namely because I tried to go in-depth and double-check all the original Japanese text before writing. I’ve bolded some of the points I felt were most pivotal to what the localization messed up. Huge spoilers for the whole game are under the read more, so be careful if you’re trying to stay spoiler-free!

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10 Tips for Writing (Good) Smut

so. let’s do this.

About a year ago, I had to read a book for my school’s summer reading assignment called How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster. It’s not a bad book, pretty decent actually, but there was this one chapter about sex scenes in literature. And one of the first sentences was along the lines of “writing sex is boring.”

and I did a double-take. Bc in my experience, that is absolutely not the case, and if you do find yourself bored while writing smut, then you’re not doing it right. See, Thomas’s main argument was that there’s only so many ways you can write sex scenes, because there’s only so many sex acts you can choose from. (My boy Thomas is clearly a vanilla dude, but let’s not hold that against him.) 

But one of the most important things to keep in mind while writing smut is that it’s not necessarily just about the act itself. So while Thomas is right that there are limits as to how many ways ppl can have sex, he failed to realize that writing sex is about a LOT more than that. And I’m gonna prove it to you.

Keep reading

The Dragon & The Wolf

Dragonpit scene - I love how Jon always wants to be on the front row when Daenerys arrives. 

When he said to everyone he already bend the knee. Danys face— she knew what that line meant. And was conflicted about how to react to this. They already know they are falling hard. At least she does and things like these doesnt make it easier. 

Ok I feel myself coming into a rant here. Its just so beautiful to me how Jon is so different for her than any other man she has ever met. I am rewatching GOT and she has never been around any man like she has been with Jon. 

He intrigues her so much and I don’t think she ever had or felt that for anyone. Her feelings for other men were always clear for her. 

She loved Drogo but it was set up and she fell for him during their relationship. But I feel like that relationship formed who she is now and she didnt really knew who she was back there. She loved -spending time with- Daario but she was always in control with him.

Jon is a completely different story for her. And Emilia plays that so well. He brings out this really special vurnable side of Daenerys we have rarely seen.

And she fell for it, and fell for it hard. 

She was so desperate to save Drogo and her decisions didn’t make any sense and I like how she was the same when she heard of Jon & co being in trouble. She didnt listen but just thought with her heart.

– k I am gonna stop here. I am not even close to Boatsex talk and I am already rambling —

“No one is less happy about this than I am” “I know” Love. Loved. LOVE this. How she just understands him. 

They are both people who ask for respect and honesty. She always asks people to follow her and wants their word and he is a man of his word so its only natural she understands it. Its like the scene he told her he was gonna go to the wall as well. She hates that he is this way but she also respects it. (and finds it extremely attractive).

Also, subtle handtouching. Like you touched last week and now you just wanna get more huh? 

THAT SCENE IN THE CORNER OF DRAGONPIT. They were like 2 schoolkids being all secretly. 

And again, I love how Jon kinda drops a cheesy line there and at any other man she’d roll her eyes but with him it just makes her heart drop.

And him trying to make a joke there. Like here they are, her dragon just died, his plan is going to hell and they share this beautiful bittersweet moment. 

Her whole speech about having to trust him sooner was so heartbreaking cause maybe then her dragon would still be alive. (I am gonna cry when she’ll see Viserion for the first time) 

Dragonstone scene - can they buy a mansion there?

THIS. THIS. Haha Jon, I am so onto you. First the cave paintings and now -Notherners like people who arrive together-trick. Yeah you just want her on that boat huh?

I felt so bad for Jorah tho’. She completely ignored his plan. And she knew she did that. At the end of the scene she leanded to the table a little like trying to hold her posture but full aware that many people, including Jorah, knows about her affection to the King of hte North. 

I find Jon much harder to read. But I think it is beautiful to see how he didnt trust her at first and really does see her for who she is. Like he told her. And how he is so amazed by her. He is so starstruck. I never really liked Jon with Yigritt she was definitely his first love but Dany is something he really pines for. Yigritt was also wrong and impossible but it happened anyway. Here he knows there is much more at stake. But he can’t deny his feelings any longer. And thats why he showed up at her door.

Now about Boatsex, I would have loved for it to go differently - well actually not different just - longer. More build up. But I understand why it went the way it went. Jon knew what he wanted and I love how they let the moment last for a bit with him standing at her door, looking in her eyes, waiting for her approval and she knew what he meant by looking in his eyes and let him in. She bend the knee. 

I was dying for a kiss here. And a little sad it didnt happen - there will be a lot of fanfic request about the missing part between the door and the bed – hint hint. 

But its like we are still gonna get our first kiss in season 8-kinda.

It was so beautifully brought yet stil hot. Jon’s ass was a nice distraction ASS-well. 

And him taking over control was so hot, not only for me but I think Daenerys agrees. Their bodies looked so beautiful together. Fire and Ice. They were so full of need and it was all lust and passionate and then my favorite part came and Jon broke the moment and we had time to realize that this isn’t just two character hooking up. No, they are in love. 

And he was so amazed by her and her beauty and how pure she looked. You can really feel he looks at Daenerys here, not with all the titles but just her and she realized this and she looks so vurnable and just so beautiful to him.

You can really see her kinda scared about what this is she’s feeling and it all just because so overwhelming for them. UGH THIS SCENE.

HOW HE STROKES HER HAIR. SO BEAUTIFUL. 

And how she hold his face. 

And then he just looks at her, when he looks at her, its like the first time I see clearly through his feelings and he just lets his guard down. He loves her. There’s no way to run from his feelings. No more excuses of -the great war is coming-. He never really let his feelings for her take over. Never fully thought with his heart and here he does and he just let it take over.

I just—-

Ps: Tyrion watching was odd but it just represented the scene Bran was talking about how their love ruined all kingdoms and how Tyrion cant feel but sad and confused about what he should do about this and if it is the right thing.

I am not sure how I will make it until 2019 to wait for more and I am so curious to see where all this will go. I am really curious how they will act after this episode and they will probably learn about Jon’s family name soon enough with only 2 episodes in and I do feel this will cause a problem for them. Jon will be all - wtf and Daenerys will be distrustfull about her claim to the throne. But I can suspect moments of Jon being all noble and telling her, by episode 5 probably, that he doesnt want the title but he does want her. Oh and she is definetely pregnant. BRING ON THE ANGST. 

Cant wait for Arya’s reaction to Dany btw. 

– Now I am off to fanfiction land – 

Thank you for an amazing 7th shipping season.

+ bonus

Gif credit 

5

everybody lives AU | AKATSUKI
• setting — the Last

Akatsuki becomes a mercenary group for hire, as they did in Road to Ninja. 
This is more appropriately named the “everybody comes back to life and somehow things work out AU”… but as promised, 10 Akatsuki members in the timeline of The Last! Designing is fun (esp the village flak jackets) (・∀・)

See more extensive character/AU details below the cut!:

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malec-go-to-hogwarts  asked:

hi cassie :) i've been a fan of the books since 2010 and it's been amazing to see how much they've grown in terms of popularity and audience. I would love to know whether you came up with the idea to write the eldest curses because of how popular Magnus became and the reaction to him or was the idea in your head from the beginning and you decided to finally write it :) also could i be cheeky and ask for a snippet from the lost book of the white preferably featuring Alec....

I was excited to write the story of Magnus and Alec Having An Adventure and Falling More In Love for a very long time, but my ability to do so was limited by the way publishing and distribution worked back in 2005, when I was initially trying to sell City of Bones. There was a lot more resistance to gay characters in YA at that time. A couple of publishers turned the book down because Alec, a gay character, was in it. The Barnes & Noble website page for City of Bones included a review from Commonsense Media where they gave it a content warning for “sexual content” just because of the presence of a gay character even though he never did anything sexual. A lot of big box stores refused to carry the book, and major children’s book clubs passed it over. 


I always hoped for systems to change. As the books grew more popular, and as times changed, I was able to include more of Magnus and Alec as the series went on. In fact, their presence in the story and on the page made a big jump starting in CoFA, at which point I received a surge of criticism from those who were upset that I was writing about Magnus and Alec more prominently. I remember having my books pulled from libraries; foreign translators cut scenes with Magnus and Alec in them; once I was standing in the middle of the street about to get into a car to take me to a school where I was going to do a talk about my books when my publicist came up and said we were no longer invited: the school had read about Magnus and Alec and they didn’t want me there. Or often, if I was at a school, I’d be asked not to talk about Magnus and Alec while speaking to the students.


I tried to walk a careful line, including Magnus and Alec (and later, Aline and Helen) as significant and meaningful characters, but still managing to keep schools, libraries, and reading groups from throwing the books out or locking them up where the kids who most needed to read them wouldn’t be able to access them at all.


I held onto the hope that attitudes would continue to shift, to allow for more freedom to write characters who accurately represent the population of the world we live in (and represent my own friends and family, on whom Alec and Helen specifically are based). Hope that I’d be able to expand roles for characters like Magnus and Alec, and over the past twelve years — partly as I’ve carved out my career in a way where I can take the sales hits that sometimes result from major LGBT+ inclusion, and partly because of so many brave writers, readers, editors and publishers who’ve pushed for change — I’ve been able to do so more and more. 


When I was writing CoFA, I purposefully left a gap where Magnus and Alec go on vacation, with the idea that someday I could go back and fill in that gap with a story focused on them. For a long time that wasn’t something that companies wanted to buy and publish. I could have self-published the series, but I wanted the books on the shelves in stores, on the “bestsellers” rack with every other book I’ve written, making a statement about how much people want this kind of book and these kind of characters. I chose to write the story now when I did because Simon and Schuster, my publisher, opened Saga Press, an imprint dedicated to expanding what you can do in YA and cross-publishing with adult fantasy/sci fi. It’s Saga that will be publishing The Eldest Curses.

I thought a lot about what to say here because of two things: one, that people don’t like to hear about pushback against writing non-straight characters — it’s depressing (it is), it seems distant, unreal, how can these old systems and thought processes still exist? We’ve had successful books with gay characters in them! We’re done, right? I guess all I can say is that I think there’s a value to illuminating the pushback because it underlines how important it is to keep supporting books with LGBT+ characters because we are not there yet; we’re not where those books are give the same budgets and marketing and push as books with straight casts, and it takes the support of readers and reviewers and bookstore and library buyers to get us there.

I’d also say that I know I’ll get criticism for saying I was careful in my portrayal of Magnus and Alec until I felt like I’d gotten to a place where even if the fact that they were in love, lived together, even had sex was shown or even just implied (as it is in CoFA) it wouldn’t mean the books were locked up in libraries and slapped with warning labels. I guess I can only say it’s hard to navigate a situation where you fear the very kids who need to read about Magnus and Alec won’t be able to. When you meet kids who say “This book saved my life” so many times, and you think “But what if you couldn’t get to it? What if your school wouldn’t carry it, or your library, or your Walmart, which in small towns is sometimes literally the only source of books?) I accept that criticism. We all face hard choices in life and we make complicated decisions we think are for the best, and being criticized for those decisions is part of living and learning.

I guess the only other thing I’d say is whatever shitty things were said to me over the years about Magnus and Alec, they pale in comparison to the shitty things said to writers like Malinda Lo and Scott Tracey who were writing their own lives and experiences in the form of LGB characters on the page — and as Malinda says, their pain at confronting homophobia/biphobia will always be more visceral and personal than mine.

If you go out and buy The Lost Book of the White of course I’ll be thrilled, and a lot of that will be because it’s a way to show publishers that this kind of media and these protagonists are wanted and desired by readers. But I’d be just as thrilled if you picked up any fantasy by an LGB+ writer with LBG+ characters in it. There’s a ton of wonderful stuff and I hope you’ll explore it.