they are his greatest strength

It’s really interesting to me that what is arguably Lance’s greatest strength is also his biggest source of insecurity. 

Like, this boy is so adaptable. You can throw him into space, into a war, into a new lion, and he’ll essentially shrug his shoulders and slot himself into place. What makes the kid a powerhouse is that you can put him in any circumstance and he’ll find out where he fits and pretty much be able to hold his own there. He can integrate himself into basically any group dynamic (see: rebel mermaids, Hunk + Lance + BoM, and Team Voltron after Shiro). What Lance brings to the table is an ability to do what’s needed, to fill roles that need filling, and to mesh with anyone. 

But, for someone who values standing out, that would be seen as a negative trait. Lance wants to carve out his own place in the group– it’s why he’s so attached to the idea of being the “sharpshooter” (though, that does appear to be a niche of his!!). To him, it seems like everyone else around him has this “thing” that makes them special and unique– and, since he doesn’t (or, at least, he thinks other people don’t think he does) he feels sort of average and unskilled by comparison. 

The creators have said before that Lance’s character is about “providing what’s needed at the time” and like. Exactly. His “thing” is that he can essentially take on any “thing” you need him to and do it at least decently. That’s what makes him unique, and I can’t wait to see him realize it.

Important facts about the paladins based off the Which Lion Will You Pilot Quiz

-Favorite food is hearty, home cooked meals
-Favorite animal is a cat
-He’s such a dad, if he went to the space mall he would want to buy SOCKS
-His greatest strength is his leadership (duh)
-Spend his free time stalking Zarkon.
-Shiro would rather defend the universe then spend his life in a peaceful paradise
-Values teamwork the most

-His favorite food is fast food
-His favorite animal is a hippo?? Go figure
-His greatest strength is his instincts
-If he went shopping in space he wouldn’t even buy anything
-he’d just browse the mall directory
-Loves to swim!
-Would literally want to live out the rest of his life inside a volcano what an edgelord
-Hates studying/ never studies yet was top in his class
-Values honor the most

-Fav food is pb and j sandwiches
-Pidges fav animal is an owl!
-Her greatest strength is her creativity
-In the space mall, she would buy an outer space video game
-Reads as a hobby
-Values wisdom the most

-Lance just really likes cheese??
-Lances fav animal is Sharks
-His greatest strength is his boldness
-If he could have any super power he would want flight
-If Lance went to the space mall, he would buy fuzzy space slippers
-His favorite hobby is sleeping
-If he could go anywhere to spend his life in peace, he would go back to earth.
-Values confidence the most

-fav food is everything. It just says ‘all of it’
-Hunk lovesss dogs
-Hunks greatest strength in battle is his compassion!
-Hobby is cooking, duh
-He doesn’t care where he’s at or which planet he’s on as long as he’s with those he loves
-Gets so nervous during tests that sometimes he throws up):
-Values quick thinking the most

Internal Conflict:  Five Conflicting Traits of a Likable Hero.

1.  Flaws and Virtues 

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but characters without flaws are boring.  This does not, as many unfortunate souls take it to mean, imply that good, kind, or benevolent characters are boring:  it just means that without any weaknesses for you to poke at, they tend to be bland-faced wish fulfillment on the part of the author, with a tendency to just sit there without contributing much to the plot.

For any character to be successful, they need to have a proportionate amount of flaws and virtues.

Let’s take a look at Stranger Things, for example, which is practically a smorgasbord of flawed, lovable sweethearts.

We have Joyce Byers, who is strung out and unstable, yet tirelessly works to save her son, even when all conventional logic says he’s dead;  We have Officer Hopper, who is drunken and occasionally callous, yet ultimately is responsible for saving the boy’s life;  We have Jonathan, who is introspective and loving, but occasionally a bit of a creeper, and Nancy, who is outwardly shallow but proves herself to be a strong and determined character.  Even Steve, who would conventionally be the popular jerk who gets his comeuppance, isn’t beyond redemption.

And of course, we have my beloved Eleven, who’s possibly the closest thing Stranger Things has to a “quintessential” heroine.  She’s the show’s most powerful character, as well as one of the most courageous.  However, she is also the show’s largest source of conflict, as it was her powers that released the Demogorgon to begin with.  

Would Eleven be a better character if this had never happened?  Would Stranger Things be a better show?  No, because if this had never happened, Stranger Things wouldn’t even be a show.  Or if it was, it would just be about a bunch of cute kids sitting around and playing Dungeons and Dragons in a relatively peaceful town.

A character’s flaws and mistakes are intended to drive the plotline, and if they didn’t have them, there probably wouldn’t even be a plot.

So don’t be a mouth-breather:  give your good, kind characters some difficult qualities, and give your villains a few sympathetic ones.  Your work will thank you for it.

2.  Charisma and Vulnerability

Supernatural has its flaws, but likable leads are not one of them.  Fans will go to the grave defending their favorite character, consuming and producing more character-driven, fan-created content than most other TV shows’ followings put together.

So how do we inspire this kind of devotion with our own characters?  Well, for starters, let’s take a look at one of Supernatural’s most quintessentially well-liked characters:  Dean Winchester.

From the get-go, we see that Dean has charisma:  he’s confident, cocky, attractive, and skilled at what he does.  But these qualities could just as easily make him annoying and obnoxious if they weren’t counterbalanced with an equal dose of emotional vulnerability. 

As the show progresses, we see that Dean cares deeply about the people around him, particularly his younger brother, to the point of sacrificing himself so that he can live.  He goes through long periods of physical and psychological anguish for his benefit (though by all means, don’t feel obligated to send your main character to Hell for forty years), and the aftermath is depicted in painful detail.

Moreover, in spite of his outward bravado, we learn he doesn’t particularly like himself, doesn’t consider himself worthy of happiness or a fulfilling life, and of course, we have the Single Man Tear™.

So yeah, make your characters beautiful, cocky, sex gods.  Give them swagger.  Just, y’know.  Hurt them in equal measure.  Torture them.  Give them insecurities.  Make them cry.  

Just whatever you do, let them be openly bisexual.  Subtext is so last season.

3.  Goals For the Future and Regrets From the Past

Let’s take a look at Shadow Moon from American Gods.  (For now, I’ll have to be relegate myself to examples from the book, because I haven’t had the chance to watch the amazing looking TV show.) 

Right off the bat, we learn that Shadow has done three years in prison for a crime he may or may not have actually committed.  (We learn later that he actually did commit the crime, but that it was only in response to being wronged by the true perpetrators.)  

He’s still suffering the consequences of his actions when we meet him, and arguably, for the most of the book:  because he’s in prison, his wife has an affair (I still maintain that Laura could have resisted the temptation to be adulterous if she felt like it, but that’s not the issue here) and is killed while mid-coital with his best friend.

Shadow is haunted by this for the rest of the book, to the point at which it bothers him more than the supernatural happenings surrounding him.  

Even before that, the more we learn about Shadow’s past, the more we learn about the challenges he faced:  he was bullied as a child, considered to be “just a big, dumb guy” as an adult, and is still wrongfully pursued for crimes he was only circumstantially involved in.

But these difficulties make the reader empathize with Shadow, and care about what happens to him.  We root for Shadow as he tags along with the mysterious and alternatively peckish and charismatic Wednesday, and as he continuously pursues a means to permanently bring Laura back to life.

He has past traumas, present challenges, and at least one goal that propels him towards the future.  It also helps that he’s three-dimensional, well-written, and as of now, portrayed by an incredibly attractive actor.

Of course (SPOILER ALERT), Shadow never does succeed in fully resurrecting Laura, ultimately allowing her to rest instead, but that doesn’t make the resolution any less satisfying.  

Which leads to my next example…       

4.  Failure and Success 

You remember in Zootopia, when Judy Hopps decides she wants to be cop and her family and town immediately and unanimously endorse her efforts?  Or hey, do you remember Harry Potter’s idyllic childhood with his kindhearted, adoptive family?  Oh!  Or in the X-Files, when Agent Mulder presents overwhelming evidence of extraterrestrial life in the first episode and is immediately given a promotion?  No?

Yeah, me neither.  And there’s a reason for this:  ff your hero gets what they want the entire time, it will be a boring, two-dimensional fantasy that no one will want to read.  

A good story is not about the character getting what they want.  A good story is about the character’s efforts and their journey.  The destination they reach could be something far removed from what they originally thought they wanted, and could be no less (if not more so) satisfying because of it.

Let’s look at Toy Story 3, for example:  throughout the entire movie, Woody’s goal is to get his friends back to their longtime owner, Andy, so that they can accompany him to college.  He fails miserably.  None of his friends believe that Andy was trying to put them in the attic, insisting that his intent was to throw them away.  He is briefly separated from them as he is usurped by a cute little girl and his friends are left at a tyrannical daycare center, but with time and effort, they’re reunited, Woody is proven right, and things seem to be back on track.

Do his efforts pay off?  Yes – just not in the way he expected them to.  At the end of the movie, a college-bound Andy gives the toys away to a new owner who will play with them more than he will, and they say goodbye.  Is the payoff bittersweet?  Undoubtedly.  It made me cry like a little bitch in front of my young siblings.  But it’s also undoubtedly satisfying.      

So let your characters struggle.  Let them fail.  And let them not always get what they want, so long as they get what they need.  

5.  Loving and Being Loved by Others

Take a look back at this list, and all the characters on it:  a gaggle of small town kids and flawed adults, demon-busting underwear models, an ex-con and his dead wife, and a bunch of sentient toys.  What do they have in common?  Aside from the fact that they’re all well-loved heroes of their own stories, not much.

But one common element they all share is they all have people they care about, and in turn, have people who care about them.  

This allows readers and viewers to empathize with them possibly more than any of the other qualities I’ve listed thus far, as none of it means anything without the simple demonstration of human connection.

Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite caped crusader, for example:  Batman in the cartoons and the comics is an easy to love character, whereas in the most recent movies (excluding the splendid Lego Batman Movie), not so much. 

Why is this?  In all adaptions, he’s the same mentally unstable, traumatized genius in a bat suit.  In all adaptions, he demonstrates all the qualities I listed before this:  he has flaws and virtues, charisma and vulnerability, regrets from the past and goals for the future, and usually proportionate amounts of failure and success.  

What makes the animated and comic book version so much more attractive than his big screen counterpart is the fact that he does one thing right that all live action adaptions is that he has connections and emotional dependencies on other people.  

He’s unabashed in caring for Alfred, Batgirl, and all the Robins, and yes, he extends compassion and sympathy to the villains as well, helping Harley Quinn to ultimately escape a toxic and abusive relationship, consoling Baby Doll, and staying with a child psychic with godlike powers until she died.

Cartoon Batman is not afraid to care about others.  He has a support network of people who care about him, and that’s his greatest strength.  The DC CU’s ever darker, grittier, and more isolated borderline sociopath is failing because he lacks these things.  

 And it’s also one of the reasons that the Lego Batman Movie remains so awesome.

God willing, I will be publishing fresh writing tips every week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future advice and observations! 

The Seventh Wheel: A Case for Black Lion Lance

Alternatively titled: Lance Deserves The World Because He is My Son and I Love Him

Okay, so Shiro’s gone and someone’s gotta fill his big ass shoes. In the toss-up between him, Allura, and Keith, I’m going to be arguing in this post that Lance could be the guy to do it. And, fair warning, this is going to be ridiculously (like, ridiculously) long lmao so here’s the TL;DR right now: I think that a) Lance already shows the character traits of a good leader, and b) there’s a good chance of him becoming one, given his impending character arc. 

It also has a chance of not happening, of course, but who cares?? I already started writing this thing, so:

Alright, let’s begin at the beginning, because that’s always a good place to start.

Lance is first introduced to the audience as the classic loud, arrogant, goofy flirt. The perfect comic relief character. He rescues a guy because his “rival” was gonna do it first and he can’t have that, the first thing he does in the giant robot cat is fart, and he hits on a girl who just fell out of a pod in a magic castle. He’s there to make you laugh.

I can’t imagine anyone looking at a character like that and “You know what? This guy could be a leader.” Allura says it herself in episode 1. The black lion is supposed to be the decisive head of Voltron, a person who’s a natural born leader, who’s in control, and,

Basically, calm, collected, and respected. “A natural born leader.” So, definitely not Lance. Case closed.

But, not really. Because Lance actually is calm and collected. He’s just not respected. He has all the leadership traits– the problem is that he’s not treated as someone who could be a leader.

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snapdragon-princess-deactivated  asked:

Do you know of any au/alternate canon fanfic where Yuuri is a more confident person? Can be due to time-travel, or any other reasons.

Thanks for these requests! I think I have a few here that may fit what your looking for! I love confident Yuuri! (Psst… you can find more confident!Yuuri fics on my role reversal AU list!)

Confident Yuuri

Escort Me by lucycamui, Explicit, 5k
On a ‘business’ trip to Tokyo, Victor picks up a captivating escort… ft. Confident Yuuri! Thumbs up! (The ending is not what you’d expect hahaha)

Surprise, Motherfuckers by LazyPotatoo, Gen, 5.3k
When Yuuri and his friends stumble upon an unusual bar, Yuuri is forced to showcase a skill of his past. Oh, and then he accidentally becomes an urban legend. Thumbs up!

I Want to Skate like Him by IdunAurora, Mature, 27k
At age 27, five time consecutive world figure skating champion Yuuri Katsuki decides to retire. He has barely made it home to Hasetsu before he finds an eager and all too enthusiastic silver-haired Russian on the doorstep of Yu-Topia Akatsuki, demanding Yuuri to coach him. Well, it’s not as if the Japanese legend has been able to get 23-year-old Viktor Nikiforov out of his mind since the young man enchanted him at the GPF banquet in Sochi months earlier, anyway. Role swap AU!

Faded by martialartist816, Explicit, 6.2k
Victor knows only two things: that he’s very drunk and that Yuuri looks very good in that suit.

Exactly What I Wanted by SharkGirl, Teen, 722 words
“That depends.” Yuuri scooched closer, bumping their noses. “Are you hungry?” Quick, cute one shot!

Bedroom Warfare by RedishBlueRose, Explicit, 2.1k
In the middle of the night, a war commences inside a hotel room. SPICY KATSUDON

Drape me in your warmth by Miiika, Teen, 27k (WIP)
So Victor being Victor, he kidnapped Chris, bought less aristocratic clothes to wear and went to the brothel. It wasn’t his first time in a brothel, god no, but he heard that the dance, which was performed there, was something to die for. Prince AU!

Weakness by Flightless_Bird, Teen, 1.8k
“Some might have thought it was a poor choice, pointing out a skater’s flaws. But to him, it was a symbol of both his biggest weakness and his greatest strength. It was something that could push him to do better or bring him to his knees. And that something was watching him from across the ice right now.” VERY sweet!

stay young (go dancing) by ryuuzaou, Explicit, 7.2k
“Do you do this with every pretty boy that serves you champagne?” Yuuri asks, finally a touch of humor in his tone. “I’ll admit, I’m the flirty type,” Viktor says, “but I haven’t asked to kiss any.” Oh, fuck it. Yuuri throws caution to the wind and says, “You won’t have to.” Shy on the streets, eros in the sheets… ;)

Age as Fireflies at Dusk by Adel Mortescryche (Mortescryche), Teen, 4k
In which it’s more than obvious to Lilia Baranovskaya that Yuuri is trained in ballet, and Yuuri proves to have more of a backbone than anyone in the Russian contingent except Yuri expected to see. Especially when Victor isn’t around to act as a buffer. Great fic!

last year’s offer (this year’s guarantee) by persephoneggsy, Explicit, 3.5k
When Victor gives Yuuri more details about what happened the night of the banquet, the Japanese skater ends up finding out that he did one more embarrassing thing before he inevitably passed out. HOT!!

Live, Laugh, Love by Lucien_King, Teen, 9.4k (WIP)
Yuuri Katsuki, a 23-year-old Japanese actor, was a veteran top star. He has been in various popular movies as both main and supporting actors, creating a massive fan base. And then, he met the Viktor Nikiforov. WOW!

Love Wins! by QuinnTuha608, Explicit, 4.6k
After Yuuri ends the Cup of China short program competitions with a new personal best and a spot at the top Viktor decides to celebrate by going out on a date; later in the night Yuuri explores his more dominant side in the bedroom. HOOOO BOY IT’S HOT UP IN HERE

Masquerade by Ashida, Explicit, 60k (WIP)
Yuuri is part of Japan’s most notorious mafias. Victor is the head of the Russian mafia. After brief meetings throughout the span of five years, they decide to go off together and leave everything behind. I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS FIC!

y'all: superman’s greatest strength is his heart and his ability to feel :)

DCEU superman: is literally hurting by feeling too much because the world sucks ass and keeps throwing every horrible thing at him as if he owes them anything


Although many Fereldans knew of the Warden’s Crow companion, it was not until 9:34 that the court recieved a formal introduction to Zevran Arainai. Brought into the palace as the king’s official spymaster, most dismissed him at first, given his rather easy-going speech, flamboyant mannerisms, and general relaxation in his interaction with the nobility. But then one enemy of the king and queen toppled after another, and try as they might, the few idiots that attempted to eliminate him met with absolute failure. Although Lord Arainai’s methods are questionable, his loyalty to King Alistair—and his Queen, Inverna Cousland, is not.

Let’s face it, Zevran would make a terrifying spymaster. And his greatest strength is that people do not believe he is a threat. As for the glowiness of Zevran’s eyes; we know for a fact that his mother was Dalish. I’m of the opinion that Dalish have the more prominent glowing eyes than city elves, due to a deeper connection with nature (or…magic. Whatever), so Zevran got that from her. 

This is my personal headcanon. As I’ve said before, I usually disregard some of Bioware’s canon, because…well, because I can. 

For You

Thank you @viviena for this amazing animation!!! It is perfect :))                   In celebration of such amazing work, I present a fic

  Stiles was a very easily distracted five year old. Example A - he had managed to wander off seventeen times in the past hour, constantly caught up in his need to more closely examine every flower or bug that caught his fancy.

  He had been taken on the hike to expend some energy, to relieve the restlessness that seemed ingrained into the kid’s bones. It was a common occurrence for Sheriff Stilinski to have to revert back to countless websites that he had bookmarked to look for a new babysitter willing to look after his little bundle of spaz.

 It had been almost fate, meeting the Hales. A simple accident, one that the families had long since moved past seeing as a negative. The sheriff and Stiles had gone to the grocery store, his dad looking worn out and tired, staying up too late looking for a new sitter. It seemed like if a person hadn’t already babysat Stiles, they had heard rumors about the boy and his difficult to handle nature. So, for now, the sheriff took the boy everywhere, cashing in favours the receptionists at the precinct owed him when he was called out on duty. But even their patience was growing thin.

  It was in the grocery store after John Stilinski and Talia Hale had exchanged pleasant smiles that all hell broke loose. Or well, Stiles broke loose. He had managed to climb out of the back of the cart and wandered the aisle before running head first into a pair of legs. A boy of about nine or ten years looked down at the stumbling mess of a kid by his knees. The boy looked up, saw the man talking pleasantly with his mother and smelled the familial scents.

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hc that nursey and dex are secretly really good at what the other person is majoring in

nursey secretly is a genius and is actually super good at pretty much all STEM subjects, but he grew up reading a lot and while he’s great at all of those typical nerd subjects he’s only really passionate about lit and poetry which is why he chose english as a major

meanwhile dex is actually a literature NERD and he did really fucking well in high school english and he really loves writing, and for the longest time he wanted to pursue that, but because of his upbringing he decided to pursue comp sci as a major. and he isn’t even particularly good at comp sci and engineering and maths??? but he chose a major that was ~practical~ and would give him the most job prospects bc after his childhood in a small town where everyone knew everyone, he wanted out, he wanted to leave, and he knew to do that he needed a steady source of income, had to earn enough money to actually sustain himself.

so on top of nursey being attractive af and kinda annoying, dex kinda resents him for basically going after the future that he really wanted. dex HATES that nursey essentially has everything he wants

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Steve Rogers’ real superpower isn’t his strength. It isn’t his speed, or his agility. It isn’t his accelerated healing or metabolism, or even his tactical mind or perfect recall.

The greatest and most mind-blowing strength Steve has is to have lived through that much trauma, that much loss, that much pain – to have borne witness to some of the greatest evils in human history – and to still have hope. To still believe in goodness and humanity’s potential to be better. To still have the strength to get up each morning, keep fighting the good fight and not give up and sink into grimdark despair. 

The sheer strength of will, purpose and dedication Steve Rogers has, to survive all of what he’s been through and to keep going and be good, is superhuman. 

(And THAT is why Captain America is my favorite superhero.)

I’ve seen spoilers about Cas becoming more powerful, and that Cas will go through something transformative towards the end of the season. One of the ideas my brain landed on is what if the reason behind cas transforming and gaining more power is because he grew a soul while he was human and it’s combined with his grace? It falls back onto the whole ‘souls are power’ theme. Perhaps his soul been lying dormant inside Cas all this time and something happens to ‘awaken’ it, or that Cas somehow becomes aware of it and can finally harness its power to help him.

I’m just really struck by this idea because Cas having his own soul and his soul powering him up because it would be a literal representation of his humanity and heart being his greatest strength. How awesome would that be? Especially since it’s Cas’ heart that sets him apart from other angels. One of the central conflicts we’ve seen affecting Cas is that push and pull between his angelic identity and his humanity; it’s often placed him in this difficult in-between state that’s left him feeling isolated and unsure of where he belongs. It would be amazing to see Cas finally realizing that ‘crack in his chassis’ isn’t something that is ‘wrong’ with him (as characterized by the angels), but something that is amazing and beautiful about him, something that he should be proud of.

Tying the knot

Let me start by saying, it’s not what it sounds like. :P

Didn’t mean to turn this into an actual one-shot, but it just got away from me. @msmanga14 sent her request in a message, so I couldn’t post an ask, but here’s the request: How about 22 & 27? If that’s okay? 22 (tie a cherry stem with your tongue) 27 (go commando) with NaLu! 

Hope you like this! Sorry it doesn’t focus a lot on the commando part, mainly the cherry stem thing. I got so carried away I almost forgot to even add that part. 

Summary: Fairy Tail was known for its teamwork. So, why was Lucy surprised when Natsu asked if she wanted to work together to tie a cherry stem with their tongues? I don’t own Fairy Tail, Hiro Mashima does. 

Rated: T, for foul language and adult situations. 

Pairing: Natsu/Lucy

Genre: Friendship/Romance

Word Count: 2.4K

Read on or AO3.

“Okay Natsu, truth or dare.”

The dragon slayer tapped at his chin as if he was thinking, but judging by the glint in his eye, Lucy knew he wasn’t going to pick truth.


Lucy looked around her apartment, wondering what she could make him do. Her eyes landed on her fridge, remembering there was something she always wanted to try. ‘Maybe I should have him try first? See how hard it is…’

Getting up, Lucy made her way over to her fridge to remove a jar of cherries. She brought it over, smiling as she set it on the ground. “I want you to tie a cherry stem with your tongue.”

Natsu snorted, clearly underestimating the challenge. “Piece of cake!” He opened the jar, taking out a single cherry. Lucy watched as he popped it into his mouth, pulling out the stem as he chewed on the small fruit. After he swallowed, he put the stem back in her mouth.

Lucy didn’t bother holding back her giggles as Natsu grew more and more frustrated with the stem, his lips twisting as he moved it in his mouth, trying to maneuver it with his tongue.

She fell backwards in a fit of laughter when she saw fire coming from his mouth, the stem disintegrating in the flame. Natsu let out a roar as he picked out another cherry, trying again.

By the time Natsu went through five more cherries, Lucy was crying from laughing, her stomach cramping in the process. She couldn’t help it. Natsu looked too cute trying to tie that knot.

“H-here,” she giggled, taking a cherry for herself. “I’ll try.”

“It’s impossible,” Natsu muttered, tempted to knock the whole jar over in his aggravation. The only thing stopping him was the knowledge that Lucy would kick him if he messed up her floor… again.

Natsu turned his glare to Lucy, watching as her mouth moved, her lips pressed tightly together. His cold stare slowly faded, replaced with a lazy grin as he watched her struggle. Somehow, knowing Lucy couldn’t get it either made him feel a little better, even if that thought made him feel guilty at the same time. What could he say? Sometimes he could be a sore loser.

“You’re right, this is impossible.”

She pulled the stem from her mouth, seeing the bends along the red line. She was about to get up and throw the stem away when she froze, unsure if she heard Natsu correctly. “What did you just say?” she asked, shooting him an incredulous look.

Natsu raised a brow, as if he was wondering why she was looking at him like that. “I said, maybe we should try to work together to tie it. Isn’t teamwork our best strength?”

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How to Save the MIDDLE of Your Story

Here’s a comforting hug for any writer who’s had to suffer the pain of knowing the middle of your story is dragging.

If I’m going to use a hug gif, I’m using this one. 

For a writer, is there any experience worse than writing the middle of a story? Unless it’s knowing that the middle is dragging? Knowing it, yet not knowing how to fix it? This is the epitome of writer despair for me, so I’m guessing there are other people like me.

But after a while, you have to stop wasting time on writer tears, and start figuring out what to do to fix that dragging middle. So you ask yourself: “Why is it boring?” Then you ask yourself: “What’s the opposite of boring?” Then you answer yourself: “Action.” (Maybe only my train of thought takes that route …)

Yup, action. What is your main character DOING in the middle?

Main characters take a lot of actions to achieve their goals. And they take the majority of those actions in the middle of the story, the part that can either feel like riding a roller coaster, or feel like driving a golf cart through a peanut butter river. How do you keep readers from feeling like they’re stuck in the contents of a Reese’s cup?

Identify the MAIN ACTION of your story, and make sure it’s darn enjoyable. 

So what IS the Main Action? To identify it, locate the goal of the story. Like these:

Star Wars = Save Princess Leia. 

Hamilton = Be an integral part of the founding of a nation. 

Harry Potter = Defeat one of the most powerful wizards of all time.

Ratatouille = Become a great French chef. 

When you think about it, all main characters are like Disney princesses with “I Want” songs. 

Then after you’ve identified what they WANT,  figure out what that main character DOES to achieve that goal. For example:

Star Wars = He learns and uses the skills of a Jedi.

Hamilton = He writes and he fights.

Harry Potter = He goes to school to become a wizard.

Ratatouille = He goes to work at Gusteau’s (by using a human puppet) and works his way up through the ranks.

You need to figure out the lovely catch-all term that encapsulates ALL of your hero’s actions throughout the plot. Yeah, they’re going to take A LOT of actions, but every one of them is going to be a part of this wide overarching BIG action. It’s not enough to just figure out the goal, then figure out the obvious strategy a person would take to reach that goal, then call it a day. These work for two distinct reasons. 

Reason One: These actions are IRONIC. 

If the Jedi council were holding auditions for new little Padawan’s, there’s a good chance this guy wouldn’t have gotten a callback:

In the beginning, Luke’s whiney, naive, kind of annoying, and a bunch of other adjectives you could apply to an obnoxious nine-year-old.

When it comes to Hamilton, honestly, at first glance he looks perfectly suited to the main action of “fighting and writing”; those are two of his greatest strengths. That is until you realize that he has zero self-restraint, impulse control, and pushes ALL of his strengths to such extremes they inevitably ruin his life and the lives of others. So, nah this action ISN’T actually perfect for him.

In the beginning of the story, Harry is completely ruled by his abusive Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin: he lives in a pest-infested closet, wears glasses held together with tape and a prayer, and a good day to him is not getting beaten up by Dudley’s gang. In other words, he is utterly powerless. 

And Remy … Remy’s a rat. Rat, plus food. Rat putting his little rat feet on food. 

Or in other words: Irony! The heroes are NOT SUITED to perform these actions. In fact, they’re the exact opposite of what would be easy for them to accomplish. And if the main action is exactly what they’re not suited to do, that action will apply pressure to their weaknesses. And what does pressure do to weaknesses? Forces you to confront and overcome them. Which makes things interesting. Which makes readers and audiences curious. Which are essentials to a good story.

And what’s the second reason these work? 

These main actions are fun. The main action – or the middle of your story – is also the fun and games of the thing. This is why we picked up the book! This is why we spent 14 dollars for a movie ticket! This is the stuff they put in the trailer! Which means it has to be fun. Fascinating. An answer to a longing that this world just can’t meet. Think of this C. S. Lewis quote: “If we find within ourselves a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” You’re a writer, you can CREATE other worlds. Do a good job.

So! To figure out the main action of your story, that will make or break the middle of your story, answer these questions:

1) What catch-all term can encapsulate all the actions my hero must take to achieve their goal? 

2) How is that action IRONIC? How is it exactly what my hero is NOT cut out for?

3) How is that main action FUN? Fascinating? Satisfying because none (or few) of us will ever get to experience it?

noct loves prompto so much you guys

(So I was going to attach this to this post but everything spun wildly out of control. I have too many feelings about this okay.)

Noctis has spent his whole life surrounded by people who have simultaneously babied him and pushed him to the limits of his abilities. Just look at Gladio and Ignis–always there to support him in his daily life at the same time that their job is, literally, to mold him into a flawless leader above any reproach.

And more than that, Noctis is never around anyone openly vulnerable. He grows up around war heroes and politicians and people whose response to failure or trauma of any kind is to shrug it off or grin and bear it. Even his own father has to be stoic despite pain and strife; he’s so endearingly awkward when he bids farewell to his son at the start of the game, unable to offer any comfort or show any grief beyond a small plea for Noct to remain strong in the face of adversity.

You can see how Noctis has internalized all of this; how he becomes emotionally remote whenever catastrophe occurs. When his father dies, when Luna dies, when Prompto is captured, he doesn’t allow himself to cry or seek comfort from anyone. He distances himself, puts up a front. Turns inward.

But then there’s Prompto.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

No you just want their relationship to be about racial divide with Alec apologizing to Magnus every five seconds because of his very existence. SUCH 👏 A 👏 HEALTHY 👏 RELATIONSHIP 👏

i’m not sure why the suggestion that an interracial relationship should address the differences of race troubles you so much; this is simply something that occurs when people of two different races come together. they do not share the same experiences and magnus’ experiences in particular are heavily colored by the oppressive nature of the society shadowhunters have been directly responsible for. ignoring this would be disingenuous. 

alec is in the active process of unlearning his racial biases and before he can continue to unlearn them, he should realistically make mistakes; you do not unlearn behaviors your parents and society have ingrained into you for the entirety of your life from childhood to adulthood without slipping up. it’s important to recognize he isn’t responsible for the way he was raised, but he is responsible for how he chooses to react when he’s called out.

that aside, his willingness to own up to his missteps so far and magnus’ willingness to put aside hurt feelings to hear alec out has been part of what’s allowed their relationship to flourish almost entirely without the petty drama we often see. so it strikes me as unusual that you would deride this aspect they’ve written into his character as unhealthy when it’s probably one of alec’s greatest strengths. it’s something we know his parents lacked (maryse accuses robert of undermining her authority by using isabelle, suggesting their relationship is rife with mistrust and lack of communication) which in 2A led to their relationship falling apart.

anyway, alec’s ability to self-reflect when he’s called out is a good thing. he doesn’t throw a pity party over it and there’s little fuss; he just admits he shouldn’t have done the thing and then they move on. and yes, i would like to see more demonstrations of this both in and out of his relationship with magnus. he’s come a long way from season 1, and he can go even further.

  • Forehead kisses
  • Long motorcycle rides
  • Long talks at three in the morning about your future and everything else in general
  • Passionate kisses
  • Bear hugs 
  • Him always being worried about your safety
  • So he would do anything to ensure that you are safe
  • Relaxing, candlelit baths after long stressful days
  • Him rolling up his sleeves when he’s working on a car, and you walk in, just so he can flex his muscles and show off
  • Him tucking your hair behind your ear and looking deeply into your eyes
  • Him picking you up after work and driving you home
  • You having your own helmet for Chibs’ bike
  • Having his crow tattooed on your side and he loves lifting up your top to look at it
  • You loving his Scottish accent and getting him to tell you all about his day, in great detail, just to hear him talk
  • He would help you with everything and anything because he loves you
  • Deep kisses
  • Hushed ‘I love you’
  • Cheek kisses
  • Lingering looks
  • He would literally compliment you out of the blue just to see you blush
  • Lots of PDA
  • Tracing is scars
  • Becoming super close with the club
  • Being a weakness of his
  • But also his greatest strength
  • Stealing his scarf
  • Him protecting you with all he has
  • Convincing him that you would never leave him because he is the best man for you
  • Always being by each others sides
  • Lots of flirting
  • Ass grabbing
  • He is always holding you somehow
  • He likes to hug you from behind
  • Him being so soft and sappy when you two are alone
Luke is Neither Particularly Naive nor Foolishly Optimistic

I have noticed that there appears to be a prevailing believe that a) Luke is bright and optimistic, and b) he is naive/foolish. I believe that both readings of his character are rather inaccurate. 

Firstly, let’s examine Luke’s optimism. In ANH, Luke is not optimistic at all. He complains that he’s stuck on the planet that is furthest from “the bright center of the universe.” Moreover, he says that that’s if there even is a “bright centre to the universe.” He’s skeptical, and quite cynical. Next we see him try to convince his uncle to let him join the Academy, but is shot down. He complains, “I’m never gonna get out of here!” Perhaps this is just frustration of being stuck on Tatooine, but if that were true we wouldn’t see this same attitude in ESB. When Luke is training with Yoda, Luke is admonished “do or do not; there is no try.” Those aren’t the words you’d be given if you were feeling optimistic about your capabilities. The entire Dagobah arc involves Luke being skeptical. You’re Yoda?! Is the Dark Side stronger? There is no happy optimism, just frustration, and gritty determination. Luke goes to Yoda to further his training. He wants to be a great Jedi, and here’s his chance, but we never see him get happy and smiley about it. Finally, in RoTJ, when Luke gives himself up to the Empire, he has hope, but it is not blind optimism. He says, “I have to try.” He has hope, but he’s not being foolish about it. He knows it’s a long shot.

This leads me into my second point. Luke is neither naive nor foolish. Luke is the son and grandson of freed slaves. He cannot help but be aware of this fact, even if he knows little else about his family. He’s almost certainly faced a great deal of classism over it too. I firmly headcanon that he was a part of the freedom trail as well. In any case, he is more than aware of the cruelties that exist around him. He’s been exposed to a lot of it personally. He grows up on a lawless planet. We can already see in ANH that he is more than familiar with how to use a blaster, that he is more than aware of the dangers of Tuskens, (not surprising given how Shmi died), and has probably fought in a few battles already. Luke has a very pragmatic outlook on life. He dreams of getting away, but is well aware that it is quite possible he’ll never leave the farm: His family needs him. When he encounters Han, he isn’t fooled by his conning. He sees the price is outrageous and fights it. He’d rather fly himself than pay a price like that! As indicated above, Luke is often deeply skeptical, and quite cynical. He’s not about to let himself get taken advantage of, as a rule. He’s also used to a tough life. When his family dies, he buries the bodies, and keeps going. It is devastating, but, hey, that’s Tatooine! Were you expecting better? Pack your bags and keep moving! Luke grows up knowing he is free, where his father and grandmother weren’t. He grows up learning how to shoot a blaster to defend his home against Tuskens and pirates. He grows up making sure he isn’t gypped out of his water and produce. He grows up watching his back, and he just can’t afford to be naive. 

So what is he then? If he’s not foolishly optimistic and naive, how do you reconcile his going after the Death Star or his belief in Vader? His ceaseless daydreaming in ANH? It’s simple, really: It’s a deliberate choice that Luke makes. Luke knows that the world he lives in can be a horrible place. He knows  he may never achieve his dreams, (particularly in ANH), but he refuses to let life beat him down. He knows that if he gives up, he guarantees he will never achieve his ambitions. Thus, he dares to dream in a place that seems to exist to crush you. It’s one of his strengths. Moreover, he is also Shmi’s grandson: “The greatest problem in the universe is that nobody helps each other.” Luke knows this too, and tries to give the benefit of the doubt. Luke knows all too well what Jabba is, but he still warns the man not to “underestimate [his] power.” He knows Jabba will, but chooses to offer Jabba the chance not to be “destroyed” anyway. Likewise, Luke knows that it’s a long-shot that they can take down the Death Star, but if you don’t try, you 100% will fail. You have to believe. Luke knows that it’s quite possible, even very likely, that Darth Vader won’t turn back to the Light, but he has to “try.” It’s not optimism, or blind, naive faith, because Luke actually believes it is far more likely that his offers of peace will be rejected. He is well aware of this fact. Hence, rather than signifying his naivety, his actions indicate strength. This approach of compassion, friendship, and peace, against the worst sort of odds, is Luke refusing to let the world break him down. It is Luke refusing to perpetuate pain by giving as he has received. It is Luke turning kindness into a weapon of defiance. It is Luke turning it into a means of vengeance: He refuses to perpetuate the poison of cruelty that has hurt him and so many others. He won’t be dragged down into their world of hatred and despair. He will be kind, even if no one else will. He will believe and hope where there seems no point in it. The world has hurt people, and the world will continue to hurt people, but he will not add to the cycle. He will offer compassion even if no one else will, even if the recipient rejects it, and that is the deepest kind of strength: To offer love when you receive none, to maintain an open heart even after being hurt. It is extraordinarily admirable. 

The Morning After

This is for @mychakk‘s request for fan works featuring a sherlolly hug. It’s definitely fun to think about the night Molly stayed with Sherlock at the end of TLD, but for a little change this ficlet takes place that next morning. Enjoy! 😉 

Sherlock reached across his kitchen table, accepting the cup of coffee Molly’d made for him and bringing it to his lips for a comforting sip. His head still pounded, his body ached, and his mind was on fire. Not in a good way.

The coffee helped though.

She gave him a little smile across the table as she poured her own cup.

Molly helped even more.

This was one of those occasional moments where he was acutely aware that words failed him. His mind and his words were usually his greatest strength, but not right now. What could he say that managed to cover both his sins and his gratitude for the constancy of her friendship?

“John sent a text. He’s a little late but he’ll be here in just a few minutes,” she explained. “Apparently Rosie had a bit of a blow out right as they were leaving the flat and he had to get her into a completely new outfit. He’s bringing her but I think she’ll be staying downstairs with Mrs-“

“It’s fine,” Sherlock replied softly. “My schedule is hardly pressing at the moment.”

Molly chewed her lip, nodding as she took her own sip of coffee.

“And I’ve got work today, but I mean, if you need anything- or John or Mrs. Hudson- I’m just a phone call away.”

He met her gaze, responding quietly but pointedly.

“Yes, I know you are.”

A few minutes later they heard a cab pull up and John got out with Rosie. While he went to Mrs. Hudson’s flat and was getting Rosie settled in, Molly got her coat and shoes and prepared to head to work.

Sherlock stood a few feet away, his hands shoved nervously in his dressing gown pockets, watching her mundane but somehow endearing motions and again thinking of the myriad of things he should express, but couldn’t fathom how to begin.

How she’d been there for him exactly when he’d requested the other day but he’d been nothing but flippant and rude. Then despite that, how John had barely needed to do more than dial her number in order for her to volunteer to take shifts sitting with him at any free times she wasn’t at work. And how compassionate she’d been last night; catering to any needs he had, understanding and unfazed by any withdrawal symptoms, and even trying to create the most positive and pleasant mood possible given the situation.

It was just…everything. And quite honestly it was only a recent tiny piece of his long held privilege of calling Molly Hooper a friend.

“Ok, so I think I’m all set,” she stated brightly. “I guess I’ll be back at-“

Sherlock stepped forward abruptly then, and put his arms around her; a little awkwardly at first, just sort of pulling her against his chest. But being Molly, she very quickly and easily adapted, slipping her arms around his middle and pressing her cheek against his thumping heart.

“You’re gonna be ok,” she murmured after a moment of silence.

He relaxed a little more against her, resting his cheek on the top her her head.

“Thank you,” he whispered.

It sounded a little hollow to him and just…not nearly enough. But he meant it, more than she might realize, and then he gave her little body an extra squeeze before releasing her.

Molly smiled up at him as she turned to go, a beautiful touch of shy affection in her gaze.

He watched her leave, tying up his dressing gown as his chest now felt too cold from the lack of her warmth. And as he did, he couldn’t stop his mind from continuing to dwell on all the things that were still left buried deep and untouched, despite his new attempt at this sort of emotional display with her.

The harsh reality was that he’d barely scratched the surface.

Samuel McAllister: Day 38 - Fucking Crazy For You

Transcription of Day 38

Samuel McAllister:

It’s March 7th. I still can’t believe how much I have changed since the accident that led me to Doctor D. Prior to that I was an Average Joe with a lot of extra pounds around my waist. Moreover, I was a homophobe who thought that gay people were living in sin. I participated in demonstrations against marriage equality. I donated money to organisations that hurt our LGBTIQ community. I taught my children that gay people were doomed to go to hell. I repeated the words our reverend told us in our church that it was the right thing to do to hate homosexuals. Today, I have realized what a fool I used to be when I was condemning people for being different. I deeply regret what I did since finding out the gay man inside of me, and step by step I’m accepting my true self. I can’t apologize enough for my past actions. That’s another reason why I won’t hide myself in public. Yes, being dressed in leather and rubber does turn me on. But it’s also my statement against bigot people. It’s my ‘I’m queer! I’m here! I won’t going anywhere!’ It’s my way of provocation. All these people can look at me. They can stare at me. They can insult me. They can try to intimidate me. I can fight back! These muscles can beat the crap out of them! I am who I am - and I love myself! Although I am a power bottom I won’t mind giving you bigots a hard time! I’m stronger and more confident now than ever!

If it weren’t for Doctor D I would still be living in denial. That chance encounter has changed me for the better. I have never been sexually fulfilled. There is nothing better than being intimate with a man. Allowing him inside of you and enduring the strength of his thrust is the greatest gift you can give. Yes, I call it a gift because as a bottom I’m also giving him pleasure in return. I can controll the running time of the fucking. If I want I can end it by pressing my ass cheeks. Believe me, it makes a man cum within seconds. That’s the power I have as a bottom. Of course, it took me some time before I could enjoy the pleasure of Master - I mean - Derek fucking my ass until it’s sore. I used to scream in pain when his dick invaded me and made me feel overwhelmed by his manhood. Now, the pain doesn’t bother me anymore. Instead, I can’t get enough of it. I could have him inside of me for hours! Oh, what a pig I have become!

Every time Master - I mean - Derek pushes his tool in my hole with no mercy I moan in lust. Sometimes I even squeak like a pig. Then I shout at him to go deeper and to push harder since I want to feel him touching that button that makes me seeing stars and butterflies. 

Sometimes I throw him down on his back, wrap my legs around him and ride his cock like a cheap whore. I ride his hard and meaty pole until I cum on his chest without touching my cock. Instead I play with my nipples that always become so sensitive when I have something inside my ass. They get hard as though they were small cocks. They are pierced now because, trust me, the rings maximize the pleasure. 

When I cum all over his chest I clean him up with my tongue. I used to hate it but now a man’s hot juice is my favorite food. Every morning I go under out leather blanket and greedily suck on his tool. I am a professional cocksucker now. You won’t believe how many of Master’s friends I brought to climax with my mouth. I’m even better than my wife. Deep-throating is nothing to me. I can take any length without gagging. It’s child play.

Derek has turned me into an addict to cocks, an aggressive bottom. Yes, I love to take it up the ass and down my throat. I am not ashamed of saying it because it’s the truth. In addition to being my teacher, master and insatisable lover he is the man for whom I’m willing to leave my old life behind forever. Yes, I’m going to divorce my wife. I know that my decision will cause a lot of pain but it has to be done. I don’t know how to include my children in my new life as a gay leatherman. But I can say for sure that I won’t give up on them. Being gay doesn’t change the way I love my children. I told Derek that my children are a part of me I can’t abandon. He understands it. And he told me that he wouldn’t mind sharing me with my children. He even told me that he admires me because in his eyes being a dad is a man’s greatest achievement.

Derek, you make me the happiest man on earth. Please, allow me to be by your side forever. I’m crazy for you. If you ever asked me to marry you I would accept your proposal in an instant. However, I don’t want a traditional wedding. I want to have a wedding in which we are dressed in leather and rubber and have an orgy with a lot of hot leather men afterwards. 

You are the top of my dreams! And you would be a great stepdad to my kids! I love you! Oh boy, I’m getting all turned on just thinking of you! Derek! Let’s fuck our brains out!

Transcription of Day 38 #2

Samuel: Ah! Ah! Ah! Yes, Daddy! Fuck me harder! Please, make me all wet! I need your cum! Ah! You are such a great top! I love you! I love you so much!

Derek: I love you, too! Now, be ready for my cum! 

Samuel: Please, don’t cum now! I still haven’t enough!

Derek: You are such a pig!

Samuel: That’s it! That’s so… SQQUEEEAAKKK!

Derek: Yeah, baby! You are the best pig in the world!