think of this as a present for all of you lovely people following me

spontaneodancer  asked:

Hey There! I'm from Brazil and I love your texts so much! <3 <3 If you wish, can you make a scenario for Domestic!Eiji with his kids? I've read all those stories with dad Baku but just uncle Eiji. This boy need some love

Hello, from the USA! Thank you for the support, my dear! I love my international followers. I hope you enjoy this~ also psa this trash is what happens when you have an exam but you still wanna put something out for best boy’s birthday


Kirishima trudges through the door with tired heavy shoulders. He kicks off his shoes, haphazardly throwing them by the door. A heavy sigh fall from his lips. He scratches his scalp, ruffling the red locks that had fallen out of their gelled stated hours ago. Kirishima drags his feet through his house, weighed down by the fatigue stinging in his muscles. He groans when he falls face first into the living room sofa. It’s strange. He’s been dreaming about this moment all day, this exact moment, falling into the plush cushions and letting out a low groan.

He can’t even move, much less think as his eyelids become heavy with sleep. He sighs again. This day … this damn day.

“Papa.”

Soft snores falling from his lips as his chest rises in an even pattern. Kirishima can’t remember a time when he’s been this tired … exhausted … drained. He can’t drum up a recent memory. 

“Papa.”

At least the agency let him go home early today. In fact, they insisted upon it, nearly pushing him out of the door with his bag in hand. Although Kirishima had no idea why, he didn’t object even though he normally would’ve. He just wanted to get home today … home to you, his son, his sofa …

“Papa!”

He groans feeling the pressure of two little hands pushing on his side. Kirishima’s blearily opens his eyes to the messy black hair and (e/c) eyes of his little boy.

“Hey, Yuu,” he yawns as he brings a hand up to ruffle Eiyuu’s hair, “What’s up, little man?”

“Papa, wake up!”

“Ah, Yuu, let Papa sleep, please. I’m really tired, buddy. We can play later if you want.”

“No, Papa. Wake up now!”

“Yuu …”

“Papa!” Eiyuu whines, pressing on Kirishima’s side harder, “Mama has cake! Wake up!”

“Wait, why does (Name) has cake?” he mumbles, rubbing his eyes, “And wait … why … why did the agency let me off early today …”

Kirishima bolts upwards when he sees you walk into the living room with cake in hands and a gentle smile on your face. He pales. He forgot. How could he forget? He immediately hops to his feet, stumbling slightly as his aching legs struggle to support him. He scratches his the back of his head nervously as he fumbles for words. You hold your hand up, and your husband silences. 

“Before you start freaking out, it’s not our anniversary,” you say, setting the cake down on the coffee table, “It’s your birthday, silly.”

He blinks, “My … my birthday?”

“Cake!” Eiyuu cheers, staring at the white and red frosting.

“Yes, it’s your birthday,” you grin as you peck him on the lips, “Eiyuu, why don’t you give Papa the gift you made.”

Your son looks at you then back at the cake once more before trotting off to his room. Kirishima sighs, plopping back on the couch. You sit next to him and rest your head on his chest. His arms wraps around you, drawing you closer to him. You turn his head with your hands and place a sweet kiss on his lips. Kirishima blinks at you with wide eyes like he doesn’t really believe that today is actually his birthday.

“Did … did Yuu really make me something for my birthday?”

“He did.”

“And you didn’t tell him to?”

“I did not. Just wait. I think you’re going to love this.”

Eiyuu returns with a piece of paper carefully held in his hands. He stands before the sofa, unmoving and looking from parent to parent. Kirishima removes his arm from around you and rests his elbows on his knees, suddenly feeling the fatigue lift from his body as he looks down at Eiyuu

“Yuu, do you have a present for me?” he asks. 

Eiyuu doesn’t respond. He climbs onto the couch, wedging his way in between you and your husband, still holding the his paper as delicately as his three-year-old hands can. 

“Here,” Eiyuu says, presenting paper, “I drawed it by myself.”

Kirishima gently takes the drawing from his tiny hands, staring at it lovingly. Well … “drawing” is a bit generous. It more resembles three messily drawn scribbles. One, with crazy red spikes sticking from the top, the other with unruly (h/c) squiggles, and the final blob in middle with wild black strands popping out. Eiyuu looks at Kirishima, trying to gauge his expression. 

Kirishima grins, “You did this all by yourself? For Papa?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Yuu! This is so good! I love it! Wow, I’ve got to show everyone at work!”

“R-Really?”

“Absolutely, buddy! This is my favorite gift ever and I’m gonna put this on my desk so everyone can see my awesome family!” he praises, wrapping his arms around the you and his son. 

Eiyuu grins back and shows off the razor sharp teeth he undoubtedly inherited from his father. Kirishima laughs, squeezing his family. He can’t even feel the heaviness in the arms. He doesn’t even remember feeling tired. All he can feel is the warmth spreading throughout his chest and the two people he loves most in his arms.

“Mama, can we have cake now?”

“I don’t know, baby. It’s Papa’s birthday cake so you should ask him.”

“Papa, can we have cake now?”

“Absolutely, little man.”

“Eiyuu, remember what we say to Papa first?”

“Oh, yeah! Happy birthday, Papa!”

“Happy birthday, Eijirou.”

“Thanks, guys. This really is the best birthday ever.”

PSA

I follow a lot of awesome vegans and a lot of vegan posts pop up on my dash. I’M NOT GETTING INTO AN ARGUMENT ABOUT VEGANISM WITH ANYONE. THAT’S NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. I just feel like I need to address a trend I see pretty frequently:

Anthropomorphism of farm animals.

This is DANGEROUS, for both the animals and the people who believe what’s being said about these animals. 

For example, cows. 

For obvious reasons the images of cows in posts talking about how cows aren’t dumb, unfeeling hamburgers in waiting are generally like this:

And usually they’re accompanied by talk of how they can be trained, how they have best friends (which is actually true!) and how sweet they can be. 

On the other side, there are posts like this going around 

Thing is, cows do not cry tears like humans do. In fact, there are a lot of posts claiming to present animals weeping like humans do (and not always by vegans).  In fact watery discharge can be a sign of early eye infections in cattle. Claiming they’re tears of sadness normalizes signs of ill health as normal animal emotions. This is also I why I get so worked up over people saying a stressed out dog with its lips pulled back is ‘smiling and happy’. 

All of these posts combine to make the popular perception of cows something they’re absolutely not and is very dangerous for people with their hearts in the right place looking to help the world out. 

Cows are dangerous. I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell people that a thousand pound animal is dangerous, but I do. Not the people I see on my dash, but actual people looking to interact with actual cows (I work with them). Yes, they can be lovely and docile when socialized and handled correctly and consistently but if you have no way of knowing the cows background you have no way of knowing their temperament. If you decide to volunteer at cattle rescues, this will very likely be the case. Moreover, well socialized and docile cattle ARE STILL DANGEROUS AS FUCK. Even the most tame animals can lash out if in pain, under stress or “out of nowhere” (read: lashing out because from their judgement of a situation in makes sense to them, but you misread their judgement). So you get things like this:

With the huge emphasis on docile cows who are good, loving, devoted mothers it’s understandable someone would want to give her a calming and congratulatory stroke after giving birth. 

That cow could have killed her. 

This is obviously dangerous for humans but it’s also dangerous for cows. Aggressive animals are often euthanized, no matter what provoked the aggression and it also inflates statistics that could be used as a counter argument to veganism. 

The same sort of thing happens to pigs. 

The vegan info posts about pigs tend to use images like this:

Cute, eh? The posts also talk about how intelligent these animals are and how they can be kept as pets. Who wouldn’t want one? Usually people who look into pigs as pets look into ‘mini’ pigs or ‘micro’ pigs. Pigs that will stay small forever. Except even ‘mini’ pigs can grow to a hundred pounds in size and they’re STRONG. I say ‘mini’ because sometimes people are duped into buying regular piglets that are claimed to be fully grown. 

Which brings me back to warning anyone who wants to volunteer at a pig rescue that pigs. are. huge. People mislead into thinking they’re not will likely not keep and care for their little pig once it’s not so little and I don’t know anyone who would/could keep a 500 lb hog in their home and/or backyard. 

And, like with cows, they are DANGEROUS. 

And, unlike cows, they are not herbivores. 

PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED AND EATEN BY PIGS. Yes, eaten. One could argue that this happens when pigs aren’t well socialized and habituated with humans, but if you’re working with a pig you don’t know you have no guarantee that they’re tame. 

I could go on, but cows and pigs are the animals I see most represented in these posts (chickens too, but they pose less of a threat, unless you count avian flu) and another thing I see very frequently are cute pictures and videos and cows, pigs, and chickens interacting with dogs. If you’re under the impression that these animals are sweet and docile and your dog is also sweet, what could go wrong?

A lot. 

Odds are your animals will not be used to interacting with an animal of that species and these animals ‘languages’ don’t always translate! Animals get things mixed up all the time! The most common one I’ve seen is a dog misreading a cat’s irritated swishy tail as a wagging ‘I want to play!’ tail. Claws to the face aren’t fun, but attacked by a large animal? Possibly deadly. Dogs do not comprehend size and strength and potential for an aggressive strike in the same way that we do. That’s why you end up with things like this:

Again, that dog could’ve easily died OR MIGHT HAVE DIED LATER. 

This little trooper was kicked by a cow

Projecting your feelings and ideas onto an animal can potentially kill them. Again, if you have the opportunity to work with these animals KEEP YOUR OWN ANIMALS AWAY. 

All of these things remind me very much of the people who claim wolves are nothing but big puppies, or who cohabitant snakes so they don’t get ‘lonely’. 

You can’t love and advocate for the protection of an animal when you only love and advocate for the protection of your fantasy of that animal because when real animals fall short of that, real animals get hurt. 

Horses, cows, and pigs are big. Respect their size. Horses, cows, and pigs ALL have the potential to become aggressive. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Respect their potential to become aggressive. 

Thank you, 

Signed, a person who is sick to fucking death of watching adults assume every farm animal I work with has the personality of a bowl of whipped cream and the patience of a saint and encourage their children to interact with them as such. That’s how animal “attacks” happen, that’s how lifetime fears and hatreds are born. 

6

OKAY
I have been meaning to do this for MONTHS but hey, there’s no better time than the present so buckle up, here we go!

THESE BOOKS ARE A GODSEND.

I am ALWAYS on the lookout for writing aids that ACTUALLY HELP. If you’re like me, and occasionally venture out to buy books on, let’s say, showing vs telling - you will always get the same rehearsed speeches on what that means. -summons pretentious writer’s voice- You’ve got to shoooooow what’s happening in the scene, not teeeeeeell~~ BAH! What you NEVER get, however, is how to do it, or how do it better.

THESE BOOKS ARE THE STUFF OF DREAMS

Each of these is so freaking helpful, I can’t even convey. They all follow the same format as the pictures I’ve shown above, so you get one detailed page of descriptions followed by tons of more in-depth, thought provoking concepts.

I’ll do my best to lay out the five that I have and if you are interested, hop on over to Amazon and buy these suckers up because they are AMAZING; I have NEVER used a writing resource more than I use these.

Negative Trait Thesaurus & Positive Trait Thesaurus
-gives you a definition of said negative trait
-gives you similar flaws also found in the book
-gives you possible causes of WHY the character might have this trait
-gives you a list of other behaviors the chara might have
-gives you examples of the chara’s thought process
-gives associated emotions
-gives positive aspects of the trait, as well as negative
-gives examples of well known chara’s that have this trait
-talks about how the chara might overcome it
-gives traits that, when combined with this one, might cause conflict
How I use this information:
Chara building, or when I get stuck on what I want a character to do. Man, I just can’t decide what they WOULD do. Well, awesome, I have a little guide to help me think through the character’s possible motivations. Also, I get help building a potential backstory because I get a framework of which to think, why is the character this way?

Urban Setting Thesaurus & Rural Setting Thesaurus
-gives a whole lot of examples of sights, smells, tastes, and sounds
-gives examples of textures and sensations (ie at an ‘antique shop’ you may encounter chipped paint, distressed wood, etc)
-gives you possible sources of conflict (ie at a ‘hotel’ you might have noisy neighbors)
-gives list of people you might expect to find at said location
-gives related settings
-gives tips on this type of setting
-gives a setting description example
How I use this information: IMAGERY IMAGERY IMAGERY

Emotion Thesaurus (aka MY FAVORITE)
-gives a definition of the emotion
-gives physical signs and signals (ie chara may look pale, might fidget, etc)
-gives internal sensations (aka, blood pounding in the ears, dry throat, adrenaline rush)
-gives mental responses (ie fight or flight)
-gives cues of acute or long-term impacts of the emotion
-gives ‘may escalate to _______’ and directs you to other emotions
-gives cues of suppression (ie cues of suppressed rage)
-gives writer tips
How I use this information: I love this book so hardcore, it’s so helpful with internalizing. It’s great because I get to step outside of that box of using the same five responses to a certain emotion and start really thinking about, what can a character do instead to show that they are feeling this, rather than me using adverbs or his adrenaline pumped fifty gazillion times.

These books are all co-written by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (bless their souls) and if this sounds of interest LOOK INTO IT!! I get such buyer’s regret after buying writing guides but these are legit the best ones I have found and I reference them so, so, so much.

Hope this helps anyone out there looking for something life-changing!!

anonymous asked:

Hey, you're awesome, thanks for existing, basically ^_^ Anyway, I wanted to know if you have any tips on how to write different personalities? My characters (all of them) always end up with the same default personality that I fall back on. Thanks!

Thanks for your question, darling!  I think most of us have struggled with this – after all, we’re conditioned to one way of thinking, feeling, and acting for as long as we live.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we write characters like ourselves, though.  In fact, many of us have a “default character” that’s sassier than we are, sweeter than we are, or in some way different enough from us that we still feel like we’re writing a character.

The problem, then, isn’t that we can’t visualize a different personality than ours.  On the whole, we can.  What we’re missing are the small details that make it feel whole – otherwise, it’s like painting the same room six different colors and trying to pass it off as six different rooms.  Different dominant traits can’t hide the fact that you’re working with one template!

So the question we’re left with: what are the traits we’re missing?  And how can we change them to create a unique and whole personality?


Three Types of Character Traits

There are, as the title suggests, three major categories of personality traits as I see it: fundamental traits, acquired traits, and detrimental traits.  A well-rounded character needs some of each to be three-dimensional and realistic.

Fundamental Traits

The fundamental traits of a person’s character are not as simple as interests and preferences; they are the very base of all decisions and desires.  They are either learned in early life or developed over a long period of time, rooting deeply into the personality.  A few examples of fundamental personality traits include:

  • Upbringing – The word choice here is conscious, as upbringing encompasses many different aspects of a person’s development.  Consider who raised them, and with what morals and practices they were raised to adulthood.  Consider their influences, both familial, social, and in media; consider the relationships that were normalized during their development, as well as the living conditions (financially, emotionally, environmentally, etc.).  The people, places, emotions, and conflicts made common during a person’s developmental period are essential to their personality in adulthood.  This is why psychologists often draw present-day problems back to a person’s childhood memories – because those formative years can subconsciously dictate so much of a person’s future!
  • Values – These may not coincide with the values a person is raised to hold, but upbringing certainly has an influence on this. A person’s values will direct the course of their life through every decision, large and small.  You don’t need to outline everything your character believes is important – every moral and every law they agree/disagree with. But those values which stand above others will give your character purpose.  A few of my favorite examples are: Jane from Jane the Virgin (whose initial storyline is heavily based on her religion and desire for a beautiful love story, as well as her childhood influences who inspired these values) and Han Solo from Star Wars (whose character development rested upon his values shifting from money and gratification to more honorable things).
  • Beliefs – Different from values, beliefs are a more general set of guidelines for how a person believes things are supposed to be.  Beliefs can also be a source of great conflict, as a character tries to stay aligned with their beliefs despite other values or desires.  These beliefs can be established systems, like religion or politics; they can also include more personal belief systems, like nihilism or veganism.  A characters beliefs, like their values, can change over the course of the story – but even if a character is questioning one system of belief, like religion or pacifism, they should have other belief systems in place to govern some of their activity.
  • Reputation – A lot of human activity, whether consciously or not, is dictated by how others perceive them (or how they believe others perceive them).  There are two types of reputation: personal and passing.  For instance, a woman named Sally who gains a personal reputation of sleeping around will behave in reaction to this reputation – either sleeping around because everyone already expects it of her, or specifically not hooking up because she wants to shake this reputation, or developing a thicker skin to deal with the rumors until it passes.  A man named Billy who, because of his tattoos, bears a passing reputation as an intimidating man will either try to soften his demeanor with strangers, own up to the image, or at least learn to expect judgment from strangers as a consequence.
  • Self-Image – Also relevant to a person’s behavior is the way they perceive themselves, which can often have little to do with their reputation.  A lot of self-image is based on definitive moments or phases in the past.  For instance: for several years after I started wearing contacts and cutting my hair, I still saw myself, in dreams at night, with long hair and glasses.  One of my friends, similarly, could not seem to notice when boys would flirt with her during sophomore year – because she still saw herself as an awkward middle schooler with braces, and not as the charming cheerleader with the great smile.
    Inversely, self-image can be inflated, causing character to behave as though they are funnier, smarter, or more prepared than they truly are (see: the rest of my sophomore acquaintances).  This can be an overlooked character flaw opportunity – or flawportunity…

Originally posted by alliefallie


Acquired Traits

Now we move on to the acquired traits of personality, which are the ones you’re more likely to find on a character sheet or a list of “10 Questions for Character Development”, alongside a million other things like their zodiac sign and their spirit animal.  But the traits I’m about to outline are a little more relevant to a character’s behavior, and more importantly, how to make this behavior unique from other characters’ behavior.  The following traits will be learned by your characters throughout their life (and their story), and are more likely to shift and grow with time:

  • Interests – I know, I had to reach deep down into my soul to think of this one.  But it’s true!  Interests, both in childhood/adolescence and in adulthood, are an important part of a character’s personality and lifestyle.  Childhood interests both reveal something about the character (for instance: my nephew loves trains, Legos, and building, suggesting a future interest in construction or engineering) and create values that can last for a lifetime.  Current interests affect career choice, social circles, and daily activity for everyone.  Forgotten or rejected interests can be the source of pet peeves, fears, or bad memories. There’s a reason I’ll never play with Polly Pockets again, and it 100% has to do with bloody fingertips and a purse that wouldn’t open.
  • Sense of Humor – This can be a little hard to define, understandably.  If you were to ask me what my sense of humor is, I’d probably start with a few stupid memes, pass by Drake & Josh on the way, and somehow wind up telling you bad puns or quoting Chelsea Peretti’s standup comedy. A person’s sense of humor can be complex and contradictory!  Sometimes we just laugh at stuff because someone said it in a funny way.  But anyway, to help you boil this down to something useful: take a look at a few kinds of comedy and relate it to your character’s maturity level.  Do they laugh when someone lets out a toot?  Are they the kind of person to mutter, “That’s what she said,” or simply try not to laugh when something sounds dirty?  Can puns make them crack a smile?  Do they like political humor?  Do cat videos kill them?  Is their humor particularly dark?  Can the mere sound of someone else laughing make them laugh?  Figure out where your character’s sense of humor is, and you’ll feel closer to them already.
  • Pet Peeves – For every interest a person may have, and everything that makes them laugh, there’s something else that can piss them off, large- or small-scale.  Are they finnicky about their living space and neatness? Do they require a lot of privacy? Do certain sounds or behaviors drive them crazy?  What qualities are intolerable in a romantic interest for them? What kind of comments or beliefs make them roll their eyes?  If you need help, just try imagining their worst enemy – someone whose every word or action elicits the best eye-rolls and sarcastic remarks and even a middle finger or two – and ask yourself, what about this person makes them that mortal enemy?  What behaviors or standards make them despicable to your character?  That’s all it takes.
  • Skills – Everybody has them, and they’re not just something we’re born with.  Skills can be natural talent, sure, but they’re also cultivated from time, values, and interests.  What is your character okay at?  What are they good at?  What are they fantastic at?  Maybe they can cook.  Maybe they have a beautiful eye for colors.  Maybe they have an inherent sense of right and wrong that others admire. Maybe they’re super-athletic or incredibly patient or sharp as a tack or sweet as a cupcake.  Maybe they know how to juggle, or maybe they’re secretly the most likely of all their friends to survive a zombie apocalypse.  Where do they shine?  What would make someone look at them and think, “Wow, I wish I were them right now”?
  • Desires – A good way to “separate” one character from the next is to define what it is they want, and then use every other detail to dictate how they pursue that goal.  Every real person has a desire, whether they’ve defined it or not – whether it’s something huge, like fame or a family of five with triplet girls and a beach house on an island, or something small, like good grades for the semester.  These desires can cause a person to revise their values or forsake their morals; and these desires can conflict with other people’s desires, influencing how people interact with each other.  Remember that every character is living their own story, even if it’s not the story you’re telling.
  • Communication Style – A majorly overlooked character trait in pop fiction is unique communication styles.  Having every character feel comfortable arguing, or bursting out with the words, “I love you,” is unrealistic.  Having every character feel paralyzed at the idea of confronting a bully or being honest to their spouse is also unrealistic.  There should be a healthy mix of communicators in a group of characters. Some people are too softspoken to mouth off at their racist lab partner.  Some people wouldn’t see their girlfriend kissing another guy and just walk away without saying something.  Some people just don’t react to conflict by raising their voice; some people enjoy sharing their opinions or giving the correct answer in class.  Boldness, social skills, and emotional health all have a part to play in how people communicate their thoughts – so keep this in mind to create a more realistic, consistent character.
  • Emotional Expression – Along the same lines but not the same, emotional expression is more focal on feelings than thoughts.  If you’ve ever heard of the fight-or-flight response, the different types of anger, the stages of grief, or the five love languages, then you’re aware of different “classifications” of emotional expression and management.  Read up on some of those things, and think about how your character handles emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, paranoia, and so forth.

Detrimental Traits

While acquired traits are certainly more enjoyable to brainstorm during the creation process, detrimental traits are as important – or even more important – to the character’s wholeness as well as their role in the story.  Not only do these negative or limiting traits make your character realistic, relatable, and conflicted – they create a need for other characters and their strengths to move the plot forward.  A few examples of detrimental traits include:

  • Flaws – Character flaws are probably the first thing that came to your mind while reading this, but they’re the essence of the category.  Flaws in a character’s personality, morality, or behavior can be a source of character development; they set an individual on their own path and provide a unique motivation for them.  Having Character A struggle with sobriety while Character B learns to be a more patient mother can do a lot to separate their stories and personalities from each other.  Even if certain flaws don’t reach a point of growth, they create a third aspect to personality and force us, as writers, to be more creative with how our characters get from Point A to Point B, and what they screw up along the way.
  • Fears – Everyone has fears, whether we’re conscious of them or not – and I’m not talking about phobias or “things that give you shivers”.  Just like everyone has a primary motivation throughout life (romance, family, success, meaning, peace of mind, etc.), everyone has a fear behind that motivation (loneliness, failure, emptiness, anxiety).  We all have something we don’t want to happen places we never want to be and things we never want to do.  We’ve all been in situations that mildly bothered others but wildly affected us at the same time.  For me, it’s a lack of autonomy, or in any way being forced to do something or be somewhere against my will.
    What does this mean for me?  It means that when other people have nightmares about being chased by an axe murderer, I have nightmares about being kidnapped and locked up.  It means that I’m continually aware of my “escape plan” if something goes wrong in my living situation, and I’m hypersensitive to someone telling me, “You have to do this.”  It means I struggle to follow rules and usually don’t get along with authority figures because I have to assert my independence to them.  It’s irrational and continual and doesn’t just affect me in one situation; it subconsciously directs my steps if I let it.  That’s how real, guttural fears work. Phobias are only skin deep, and they don’t make you feel any closer to the character.

Originally posted by giantmonster

  • Secrets – Even goody two-shoes Amber from the swim team, with her blonde blonde hair and her good good grades, has a secret.  Everybody does, even if it’s not a purposeful, “I have a deep, dark secret,” sort of secret. We have things we don’t tell people, just because they’re embarrassing, or painful, or too deep to get into, or they don’t paint us in a good light.  While the secrets themselves tell a lot about a person, so do the reasons a person keeps a secret.  Hiding something out of shame suggests a person is prideful, or critical of themselves, or holds themselves to a higher standard than they hold others.  Hiding something painful suggests that the person struggles to handle sadness or regret, or that they feel uncomfortable showing raw emotion in front of loved ones. And so on and so forth.
  • Conflict – Whether internal, interpersonal, legal, moral, societal, or what have you, conflict will limit your character’s actions at every turn.  A story is nothing without conflict driving the plot in different directions and causing your character to rethink both their plans and their lifestyle.  Without Katniss’s moral conflict over killing other tributes, The Hunger Games would be the story of a girl who entered an arena, killed a lot of people, and lived the rest of her life rich and comfortable.  If Luke Skywalker didn’t have interpersonal conflict with Darth Vader, Star Wars would be the war-story of a guy who joined a rebellion and then… yeah.
  • Health – Physical, mental, and emotional health is a huge limiting factor for characters that often goes untouched, but it’s valuable nonetheless.  Not everyone has a clean bill of health and can jump off trains without pulling a muscle, go through a traumatic life experience without any hint of depression or anxiety, or watch a loved one die in gunfire and shove right on without emotional repercussions. Consider creating a character who’s not perfect – who isn’t perfectly in-shape or abled, or neurotypical or stable day-to-day, or completely clean and clear of residual heartache, unhealthy relationships, or bad emotional habits.  Don’t define them by these traits, of course – but don’t feel that you can’t write a character with health issues without writing a “sick character.”

So this post got ridiculously long, but I hope it works as a reference for you when creating unique characters.  Remember that you don’t need to outline all of this information to create an individual, realistic character.  These are just some relevant ideas to get you started!  It’s up to you, as the writer, to decide what’s necessary and what’s excessive for your creative process.

Still, I hope a majority of this is helpful to you!  If you have any more questions, be sure to send them in and we’ll get back to you :)  Good luck!

- Mod Joanna ♥️


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask us!

There are definitely many things worth criticizing in Steven Universe, but it’s weird because one of the biggest criticisms I see is something I personally love about the show?

It’s a lot of criticisms that basically boil down to “pacing”. 

Like “They keep setting up this big mysteries and then not paying off on them!” or “A big thing happens and then we get right back into filler episodes!” and like

Yeah? Exactly. IDK what to tell you. 

Rebecca Sugar is like reverse Steven Moffat, I almost feel like. She sets things up without you even knowing anything is being set up, so it doesn’t build tension, but then when you get the payoff it’s satisfying and obvious. Or, alternatively, she introduces a big plot element, and it’s like “Are we ever going to address this?” and then, eventually, when it naturally comes up, we finally do. 

We saw Connie’s glow bracelet in episode 1, and didn’t even know it was foreshadowing until we me Connie 8 episodes later. We didn’t learn Garnet was a fusion until 50 episodes in. 

We met Lion in episode 10, and there were SO MANY QUESTIONS. What is he? Where do his powers come from? What is his connection to Rose? And we never directly got answers to those questions - instead they were indirectly answered in a “filler” episode about a historical Beach City in episode 106 that really only raised more questions than it answered, followed by the most recent episode, 132, which was about Lars and Homeworld and also, you know, incidentally answered the entire Lion mystery. 

Over three years after it was introduced we finally learned what Lion’s deal is, and it wasn’t even in a Lion-centric story. But you know what? It was still satisfying. At least, I thought so. 

I don’t get the feeling that that explanation was made up. Watching it, I get the feeling Rebecca Sugar knew three years ago what was up with Lion. She just wasn’t going to incorporate it until it became immediately relevant. 

It’s slow, honest, sprawling worldbuilding that I can really fucking get behind. The writers know what this world is and who these characters are, they just aren’t going to force exposition or explanations where they wouldn’t naturally occur if they can avoid it. 

IDK, the whole “we just introduced this big new thing, but now the characters are just dinking around? Living their lives? Why???” thing is, to me, at least a solid half of the draw. I like the show is approachable, that the tension is present but not overbearing. 

It feels like life. Big, life-changing, worldview shifting things happen. And at the same time that it changes everything, it doesn’t actually change very much at all. 

A good friend dies suddenly, you still have to make yourself lunch. Your parents are getting a divorce, you still hang out with your friends and maybe even act like everything is normal. And maybe even forget while you’re hanging out with your friends what is going on at home. You get arrested, get out on bail, know you have a huge case coming up that could determine your whole future, you still play video games for a couple hours the next night, you still go to work the next day. You’re working with your lawyers and everyone to put together your case, of course, but normal life doesn’t stop. It rarely ever does.

IDK, I see these criticisms like “They introduces Bismuth and then just benched her!” or “They introduced the cluster and then it didn’t actually do anything” and it’s like, yet. I have no reason not to trust that those things won’t be coming back around. Everything else in this show has, in time, come back around so far. From seemingly insignificant side characters, to weird locations, to random trivia. 

There’s an old saying, “things change slowly, until they change all at once”, and it has, in my life, generally proven to be true. And it seems to be the Steven Universe approach to story pacing. And I, personally, really really like it. And it’s cool if you don’t. But I don’t think I’d like the show as much if it weren’t so chill. It’s a show that drips along in tiny, soothing, sentimental increments. 

It’s fine if that’s an aspect of the show you don’t like. I have preferences and there are things I don’t like even though they’re arguably good. But I keep seeing people propose it as an aspect of the show that is bad writing. And, I just can’t wrap my head around that? It’s perfectly fine writing. It’s even, often, great writing. I prefer a slow and quiet accruement to a plot-heavy infodump any fucking day. Not that there isn’t often call for the latter, depending on the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it. But I prefer the former. 

So far I haven’t been given any indication there isn’t a planned followthrough for all the many, many threads Steven Universe has laid. They’ve successfully followed through enough times before, often on things we weren’t even aware we should be looking out for, that I imagine they’ll keep doing so. The only reason I ever see the show failing to do so, and having a rushed and unsatisfying end, is time. If they get prematurely cancelled, or prematurely decide to end things out of personal desire to work other projects, then yeah, SU could end badly. Lots of stuff could end up unexplained or given a quick unsatisfying end. But there’s no evidence of that yet, so right now I’m going to take the pacing choices as just that. Choices. Good ones, that I like. Even if they aren’t to everyone’s taste. 

and then there was me, a queer girl in the catholic church with traditional parents. i grew up with a fingernail caught in my throat. i changed the words to songs so i’d be singing about boys. i was scared of “gay”. my mother told me it meant happy but i knew it meant being pushed to the floor of the bus. i remember my bible school teacher telling us that the greatest sin a woman can have is not giving a man her love. i remember realizing i liked girls and putting it in a box i labelled dirty and couldn’t bring myself to touch. when i came out i had to ask if my parents still loved me, like the idea of their acceptance ended where my sexuality began. they pull back when i accidentally slip and admit i like a girl. they promise the church doesn’t hate us, just doesn’t let us get married under god’s roof with god present. oh it’s a fine marriage, we accept it, but technically in the eyes of the church i’m living in sin. it would be better if i liked men. when i was 7 i was sure i was going to unhappily marry a man just to make my parents happy. at 23 i might marry a man just to make my parents happy.

god was this hard thing we couldn’t figure out how to handle. god came beyond the doors of the church. my god answered me at night but reminded me to cower. my god killed my brothers and sisters in the hands of others. how am i to reconcile that god that felt like love and belonging with the god called down in conversion camps. how am i to say i love the light of god when i have seen it burn the flesh of others.

i watch it still. for a while i was spitting and hissing and wouldn’t let god near me. i think it was better then, when i had shut my doors to the idea of it. once i tried to find god again i found myself desperately lost in the forest.

i was always so alone in church. always different. it wasn’t until i mentioned it once in an online chat that i found someone else who had gone through the same thing. how terrible, to form a community of people who have all been cast out. how powerful.

we, together, discussing at two a.m if god is real and if she is where she begins and ends. my brothers and sisters and family - we are all so strong for having survived this. for having been spat out by what should have accepted us. that first community. that first slap. the book that taught us not all books are homes. the book that i spent hours combing over looking for where my flaws were entombed. that curse that keeps following us, doggedly, just when we thought we shook it off - watching others take god as an excuse to punish us, to put into law our discrimination, to enact and enforce violence against us. “god loves you,” we were told. is this what god looks like? our first relationship with abuse?

i am stuck with an eternity of questions. can we find our own god? can we find her in each other? do we leave god entirely, and just find love in the stories of us lost lambs? is god worth it? was the word of god really to ruin us? is god even to blame for any of this, or is this how humans are when they find something to hit? 

all i know is this: i am not alone. and if you’re like me, come to me. talk. i’ll listen. god only knows nobody else did.

Babygirl

Summary: Dan is an innocent virgin and Phil is the bad-boy who likes to make him flustered. High school Pastel!Dan and Punk!Phil AU

Genre: Smut that’s kinda kinky but mostly cute

Word count: 4,039

Kinks: Feminization, daddy kink, dirty talk, a little verbal humiliation

You can also read on AO3 here.

Keep reading

Let Me Protect You - Mitch Rapp

Author: @mf-despair-queen

Characters: Mitch Rapp/Reader

Word Count: 11,337

Warnings: WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? 18+, NSFW, Oral (both receiving), Orgasm Denial, Multiple Orgasms, Daddy Kink, Shower Sex, Wall Sex, Bondage, Mitch’s Scruff, Mitch’s sexy ass arms and muscles and abs and face and MITCH’S ENTIRE BEING

Notes: Holy. Shit. It’s long overdue but THAT WORD COUNT??? I am dying inside from this. I hope you dirty people like this. Please let me know because this literally killed me inside to write. 

Keep reading

Lana Del Rey says Donald Trump helped shape her album ‘Lust For Life’ — and the world needs feminism more than ever.
The singer has returned to the world of music with her fourth studio album in five years.

By Jacqui Swift for The Sun (UK).

LANA DEL REY’s latest album glitters with an all-star cast.
On ‘Lust For Life,’ her most impressive album yet, Lana teams up with heavyweights such as The Weeknd, Stevie Nicks, Sean Ono Lennon and A$AP Rocky.

They are the first collaborations in her career so far, which spans five studio albums, including four in the past five years — an impressive work rate for the Los Angeles-based star.

Keep reading

Talking to the Moon: How to Get Somebody to Change Their Mind

We’ve all got one in our lives: that person we love dearly but for some reason, they just don’t seem to hear us when we talk. If you follow astrology, you probably know that Mercury is the planet of communication, but even more so than that it shows how we process information and how our thought process works. Now, perhaps you and the person that comes to mind have compatible Mercury signs, perhaps you do not, or maybe you don’t even know what the person’s Mercury sign is. The point is that when you want to get a message across to somebody, particularly one of an emotional nature i.e. “this really hurts me when you do that”, “I need this to feel happy”, “you’re not hearing my perspective”, or anything similar to those statements you don’t want to talk to the person’s Mercury.

Mercury is our analytical brain and even when it is in a water sign where it tends to be more emotional, it still is an objective, logical process. If you REALLY want to get a message across to somebody when they just don’t seem to “get it”, you talk to their MOON. Now, I typically don’t advise using astrology (or any other metaphysical practice, for that matter) to pretend to be something we’re not, but in cases of communication, sometimes we absolutely MUST get a message across to somebody and the ONLY way to do that is to phrase it in a way that they can understand. Here is a guide on communication styles that are compatible with each Moon sign. I recommend trying more than one, as other factors in the chart, such as aspects to the Moon, can change the results of using each style.

Fire Moons: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Now, I don’t want the fire Moon people out there feeling like I’m bashing them, because we need fire Moons to inspire us and provide us with a sense of directions. It is imperative, however, that when you want a fire Moon to understand something, you have to make it about them. The fire element responds really well to arguments and ideas formatted in a way that it reminds them of how they do something, how they feel, or how they are affected. They tend to be able to empathize best if you can give them a scenario in which they would feel the same way. Using a fire-based way of talking generally requires a bit of rallying where you present your argument in a way that gives them something to do.

Specifically for:

Aries: Give them an action correlated with your argument. If you want them to do something, tell them EXACTLY what it is you want them to do and why they should do it. Don’t expect them to know any of it, lay it out for them. They instinctively crave direction and do well with open doors. Aries Moons are notoriously hard to get to change directions once they’ve picked something and patience can go a long way since they tend to change paths from time to time. Often times, they’ll spontaneously start following your idea as if was theirs if you give them enough time.

Leo: Appeal to their sense of dignity. Leo wants to feel special, and if you explain how seeing the way you do or acting the way you want them to makes them more magnanimous, they will likely oblige you. They instinctively do not want to be like everyone else or average. Challenging a Leo Moon by saying you know better is the biggest mistake you can make, so if you can lead them to making the decision themselves you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.

Sagittarius: Ask them why they think things should be done a certain way and challenge them to expand their horizons. Sagittarius moons are likely to feel like they’ve figured life out, but they’re always intrigued by the possibility that they haven’t and if you offer them an expanded view they will likely hear you out. You cannot, however, treat this expansion like it your doing. Sagittarius Moon must connect the dots for itself to feel like it can truly follow the path you’ve presented. Using an analogy so they can make the jump themselves is often very helpful.

Earth Moons: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Now, I don’t want the earth Moon people out there feeling like I’m bashing them, because we need earth Moons to ground us and keep the world running. It is imperative, however, that when you want an earth Moon to understand something, you have to make it about what’s best. The earth element responds really well to arguments and ideas formatted in a way shows them, in practical terms, how something is more reasonable or realistic. They tend to be able to empathize best if you can tell them why, with real-world examples and a plan, why your idea is worth hearing. Using an earth-based way of talking generally requires a bit planning and thinking through the steps of what you’re suggesting so that the earth Moon can take you seriously.

Specifically for:

Taurus: appeal to their sense of materialism and be consistently patient. Taurus Moons are notoriously stubborn when they find something that works for them, and getting them to change their mind is not an easy task. Taurus moons, when they care about you or anything else, want you or it to feel valued and if you explain to them that doing what they’re doing will yield no harvest, they will slowly but surely change. The harvest does not have to be literal food, but if you explain to them that they won’t fill up your “love tank” or get what it is they want by staying stubborn they are capable of immense change.

Virgo: appeal to their sense of order. Virgo Moons like things to be neat and tidy so they may instinctively reject information that has to do with anything other than worldly affairs. If you want a Virgo moon to change its mind, be prepared to give them a list, in order, of your arguments. They respond well to formatted, organized arguments (even about things like emotions and zest for life) so providing them with cause and effect arguments works well.

Capricorn: appeal to their sense of discipline. Capricorn moons are often the tough-love type and are naturally ambitious. Getting these ambition-focused people to hear your point often requires that you explain the benefit of what you’re proposing to the overall bottom line. While not all Capricorn Moons go into business, they often act as if they had, so if you haven’t thought ahead about the consequences of what you’re proposing they don’t want to hear it.

Air Moons: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Now, I don’t want the earth Moon people out there feeling like I’m bashing them, because we need air Moons to keep ideas in circulation. It is imperative, however, that when you want an air Moon to understand something, you have to be very careful how you phrase it. The air element, since it tends to understand emotions by observing them rather than feeling them, responds really well to arguments and ideas formatted in a way shows them what something looks like and why it looks that way. They tend to be able to empathize best if you can tell very concisely and using step-by-step logical descriptions of how an idea takes place. Using an air-based way of talking generally requires a lot of clarifying, so if you want to get your point across to an air Moon, be prepared to make your point multiple times in multiple ways until they can understand it on an intellectual level.

Particularly for:

Gemini: appeal to their sense of curiosity. Gemini Moons are constantly updating their vocabulary, so don’t assume that just because you know what you meant that they do. They need you do not only tell them, using words, how you feel but they also require that you use comparisons. Gemini thrives on information, and while they’re likely to point out differences in any analogy that you use, with enough of them they will likely isolate what it is you are trying to get across to them. Be patient, as Gemini Moons can be infuriatingly full of questions, but it’s just because they want to really truly hear exactly what it is you mean.

Libra: appeal to their sense of balance. Now, of course, many people think that Libra is an empathetic sign, and while it is incredible at observing and figuring out how to blend in, its understanding of other people is still air-based rather than water based. Libra is incredibly sweet and of all the Moon placements is the most likely to want to hear you out if you tell them that they’re not hearing what you’re saying, but they may feign understanding to avoid conflict. To avoid this defense mechanism, ask them how they feel about something and to explain it and they’ll return the favor by listening to you.

Aquarius: appeal to their sense of humanity. Aquarius Moons are objective, but they’re objective in the sense that they think everybody should be included, so they don’t want you to feel left out. If your argument explains what you need to feel included or that your argument has a place in the grand scheme of things, Aquarius Moon is much more likely to hear you out. They may not implement your idea in exactly the way you want them to because of this placement’s natural inventiveness, so you may have to give them a few tries to get it right through trial and error. But, make no mistake, they will continue working until you or your idea has a place.

Water Moons: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Now, I don’t want the water Moon people out there feeling like I’m bashing them, because we need earth Moons give our lives meaning and feeling. It is imperative, however, that when you want a water Moon to understand something, you have to make it about how something feels. The water element responds really well to arguments and ideas formatted in a way shows them why something affects somebody on an emotional level. They tend to be able to empathize best if you can tell why something means as much to you as it does. Using a water-based way of talking generally requires a bit of acting and showing some emotion about a topic so they know you’re serious about what you’re saying.

Particularly for:

Cancer: appeal to their sense of nurturing. Cancer moons are natural mommy-types and want to take care of how you feel. They’re generally care less about what you’re saying but more how you’re saying it. Showing tears of frustration will almost inevitably get Cancer Moon people to at least slow down enough to hear you out and they’ll want to do what they can to help you feel better. They may not be able to understand super logical arguments, but if you can express to them importance they can understand that.

Scorpio: appeal to their sense of healing. Scorpio Moons get a reputation for breaking people down, but their intent isn’t to obliterate somebody; it’s to give them space to rebuild. Because of this, Scorpio Moons may test ideas that come their way in ways meant to elicit a frustrated response from the messenger. Changing the mind of a Scorpio Moon is a long-term goal, as if requires that you show endurance and belief in what you propose to them. Once they see that you’re committed and there is nothing left to break down they can change their mind.

Pisces: appeal to their sense of empathy. Pisces Moons can be frustratingly difficult to get an opinion out of, but as a result their also very non-combative. Pisces Moon will generally give in simply by you asking. The trick is you have to consistently remind them because other people can change their minds too. Pisces Moons really don’t want to upset anyone, so showing them that them not changing their mind or behavior is upsetting to you will almost always elicit a response.

As with anything in astrology, always remember to take the whole chart into account, these descriptions do not account for aspects to the moon or the house the moon is in. Be sure to subscribe to my page for more astrology content and if you have anything you’d like to ask me about, send me a message.

-Ralph

anonymous asked:

Wait what happened with supergirl? Never really watched it but as usual theres chaos. I know theres an lgbt couple there did they die or something soph?

Well there’s two LGBTQ+ pairing in the show, one is canon “Sanvers” (Alex Danvers + Maggie Sawyer) and one is non canon “Supercorp” (Kara Danvers aka Supergirl + Lena Luthor)

This week-end was the Comic con and during an interview a member of the cast was asked to make a singing recap of the season, but while singing that recap he isolated the Supercorp ship and sang the words “They’re only friends! They’re never gonna get together!” while laughing hysterically, a majority of the cast present there laughed with him, including Melissa Benoist who plays one half of Supercorp - basically mocking the ship. 

Songs starts at 1:30

Later in the interview Katie McGrath who plays the other half of Supercorp tried to defend the ship (7:15) but she was rudely interrupted, which pissed everyone off even more.

Now what those actors don’t understand is that an LGBTQ+ fandom, whether their pairing is canon or not, is always gonna be a very sensitive and vulnerable fandom. Because there are so little representations of the community, those ships are extremely important (you can include Camren there), and a LOT of fans felt attacked and ridiculed by the “joke” that this actor made. 

After that things escalated quickly, the actor in question, Jeremy Jordan, send out a message to apologize but basically didn’t, he made it about him and not about what the real issue was,

He later understood his mistake and send another message :

Also a few tweets - I think he got it

Other members of the cast also responded, using the basic “I can’t be homophobe, I worked in theater, I have gay friends, the show has a canon gay ship…” etc - trying to defend their behavior.

Then a fan (https://chloeniccole.tumblr.com) send an fucking incredible email to Melissa’s rep to explain why the fandom was so upset and what an important thing shipping is for the community

To which they responded, completely missing the whole point 😒😒😒

Hi Chloe,
Thank you for your email.  
As someone who was present in the room yesterday during the impromptu, musical recap of S2 during MTV’s live stream with the cast of SUPERGIRL, I can speak as a voice of reason and with objectivity as this situation requires.  It’s entirely up to you to accept or deny the following…
I will not undermine your feelings or those of anyone who took issue with what you’ve perceived to be offensive.  However, as an activist, it’s very important that you take a step back before inflicting public scorn.  As a role model, it’s incumbent upon you to shape your understanding and engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue based on fact and motivation, and not just on whether your feelings were bruised.
You cannot fairly denounce Melissa or Jeremy or the cast for what they DIDN’T say. You cannot fairly characterize their verbiage or actions as “aggressive,” on the contrary.  They were having fun in a riff session and hardly at the expense of the LGBT community. You cannot fairly assume or rationalize why David Harewood or Katie McGraff didn’t participate so to substantiate your argument.  To enter into a sensitive debate, you have to be really careful about making baseless claims based solely on emotion.
Chloe:  neither Melissa or Jeremy or any of the cast members marginalized any individual, regardless of orientation, by saying “Kara and Lena” are just friends. They didn’t say “can’t be friends” or “shouldn’t be friends” OR remotely imply that “two female characters would never see each other in a romantic light in their whole lives.”  Then you take it one step further to accuse them of declaring “the incomprehensibility of a woman loving another woman” and “blatantly made a mockery of non-heterosexual women.”  It’s wholly irresponsible to publicly admonish anyone, as you have on your social media platforms, and I mean anyone, for such a broad and unsubstantiated interpretation of the S2 recap.
That, Chloe, is actually the definition of defamation.
Allow me to also clarify for you that other than Melissa who MTV brass placed next to host Josh Horowitz, the cast seated themselves. As did all 13 casts of films and television shows that I guided through MTV.  Unless David and Katie said they felt “isolated” in their positions in the back, I would recommend you walk back these statements as well.  
There are gross injustices globally of the LGBT community. This was not one of those occasions. You may feel slighted because the creatives behind the SG series didn’t lead the Kara-Lena relationship in a direction that would have made you happy and proud in S2. You cannot therefore accuse them of being anti-gay.  If Josh Horowitz instead engaged in a serious Q&A with the cast as to why they didn’t take that path and Melissa, Jeremy and the cast responded “Kara cannot be in a relationship with Lena because she’s SUPERGIRL” then I invite you to protest loudly and with far more aggression and passion than what you perceived from the cast yesterday.
You’ve indicted people who are genuine ambassadors of acceptance, compassion and equality and have proven as much, not on only Glee but on SUPERGIRL and in their own personal lives.  
As you continue your mission to right the wrongs in society and especially those inflicted on the LGBT community, I highly recommend you postulate your arguments soundly.
Thank you Chloe for reaching out.
Kindly,”

And now apparently Melissa’s team is threatening to sue her for defamation…

Also other people who are in the LGBTQ+ tv-show horizon responded to the whole thing - Kaitlyn Alexander from Carmilla 

And Emily Andras who’s the showrunner of Wynonna Earp 

Anyways this whole thing has just reached the medias, so I think we’re gonna be hearing about this for a little while.

The issue here is a very common one unfortunately - public figures just don’t take the time to think and educate themselves - even if it doesn’t look like it, this is homophobia, a very latent, unintentional, type of homophobia, but still homophobia. 

It might seem silly and taken out of proportion, but the community has been shut down and mistreated for so many years by the television industry that now even the smallest thing matters. Those ships have such a huge impact on people’s lives, it’s important, and it has taken fucking years for showrunners to understand that, and some still haven’t caught up #fuckyoujasonrothenberg. Showrunners like Emily Andras and a cast like the one of Wynonna Earp are what this community needs - people who take the time to educate themselves, learn from other’s mistakes and most importantly listen and respect the fans. Because at the end of the day the fans are the ones calling the shots, I know for a fact that a majority of the fandom would stop watching Supergirl right now if it weren’t for the Sanvers storyline. The LGBTQ+ community is one of the most loyal source of fans a show and an actor can have, we’re the fucking bomb, we get shit done and we love and ship harder than any other fans, but if you betray us or disrespect us, there’s no coming back, and we will fucking roast you.

Princess of Hearts

Originally posted by lavendertitties

Pairing: Harry Hook x Reader

Word count: 2,221

A/N: this is my first descendants imagine, I hope you enjoy!!


No one dared enter the fish and chips shop after Uma returned from her failed attempt at getting revenge on Mal.  Only her and her crew went inside, hence causing business to be at an all-time low.  Not that it was usually busy, but Uma needed the money to satisfy her mother, and Harry’s petty theft was not enough to sustain them.

So when a girl in a torn up, bright red dress and white leather jacket walked into the shop, it took everyone by surprise.  All the pirates suspiciously eyed her as she entered.

It wasn’t a mystery who this girl was: (Y/N) Heart, the daughter of the Queen of Hearts, was notoriously different from her mother.  While the Queen of Hearts was tempestuous, loud, and violent, (Y/N) was a mysteriously quiet and patient girl.

“Well, well,” Harry was the first to approach her, wearing his iconic smirk. He leaned against the wall and brushed a strand of her hair out of her face with his hook. “What ‘cha doin’ here, princess?”

“Just getting some lunch, Hook,” she answered simply as she grabbed his hook, moving it away from her face.

Harry chuckled to himself as he stepped out of her way, mockingly bowing as she walked past him.  She sat down at an empty table.

Uma stormed up to Harry and grabbed his collar to whisper in his ear.

“I don’t trust her,” she muttered.

“She’s just getting some food, Uma,” Harry quietly countered her, keeping his eyes glued to (Y/N).  "There’s nothing to be suspicious of.“

“She used to be friendly with Mal,” Uma spat.  "I don’t care if she’s just here for the chips.  Keep an eye on her.“  She slammed a tray with fish and chips on it in Harry’s chest and pushed him towards (Y/N).  He approached her table and carelessly tossed the tray onto the table.  When she looked up at him, she watched as Harry turned around the chair across from her and sat down in it.

"The waiters don’t usually keep the customers company,” (Y/N) noted as she grabbed a chip.

Harry smirked.  "Do I look like a waiter to you, sweetheart?“

"You did bring me my food.”

“Touché.”

They sat in silence as (Y/N) ate her fish and chips with Harry occasionally stealing a chip.

When her meal was finished, (Y/N) nonchalantly tossed a random amount of cash on the table and stood up.  Harry immediately followed suit and shot up from his seat.

“Thanks for the food,” she sarcastically thanked with a tight smile, and she turned on her heel, exiting the shop.  Harry turned and glanced at Uma, who signaled for him to follow her.  He groaned as he went after her.

“You know, villains don’t normally use manners,” he said once he caught up with her.  He attempted to wrap his arm around her shoulder, which she immediately shrugged off.

“I’m not a villain,” she responded.  "My mother is.“

"But you’re her daughter,” Harry replied, furrowing his brows.  "Don’t you at least think you’re evil?“

"Evil?  No.” She shook her head.  "I’m unpleasant, sure, but not evil.  I’m not gonna try to fool myself like Mal did and try to convince myself that I’m evil.  I’ll do what I have to do to protect myself in this place, but that’s it.“

"Then I guess you’re on that list to get more VK’s into Auradon,” Harry snorted, rolling his eyes at the mere thought.  To his surprise, (Y/N) laughed.

“Oh god no,” she scoffed.  "Just because I’m not evil doesn’t mean I’m gonna go to the land of preppy princes and princesses.“

Harry found himself genuinely laughing at that.  Before he could utter a response, (Y/N) stopped in her tracks.

"Well, this is my place,” she announced, gesturing to the building covered in red paint.  "Thanks for walking me home.  It was very gentlemanly of you.“

She walked into her house before Harry could argue that he was definitely not a gentleman.  For a moment, he almost forgot that the only reason that he walked her home was because Uma wanted him to follow her.


The next morning, Harry found himself wandering in the general vicinity of (Y/N)’s house, waiting to "accidentally” bump into her.  His opportunity presented itself when (Y/N) stood by a fruit stand, examining the apples.

“What a coincidence,” Harry whispered into her ear as he approached her from behind, “finding you here.”

“Didn’t think this was your area, Hook,” (Y/N) quipped, not looking away from the fruit.  She didn’t bother to tell him off as he wrapped his arm around her waist.

“I’m just full of surprises, aren’t I?”

“You certainly are,” she agreed with sarcasm dripping from each word.  She filled her bag with apples, not paying attention to Harry, who had his chin resting on her shoulder and his arm wrapped around her waist.  She handed some cash to the lady behind the cart and began to walk home, Harry’s arm still resting in the same place.

“Why do you always pay for things?” he questioned.

(Y/N) shrugged.  "Because people need it,“ she answered.

"That’s not a very evil-”

“Unpleasant,” she corrected.

Harry rolled his eyes.  "Right, unpleasant.  That’s not a very unpleasant thing to do.“

"It’s not my life mission to be an unpleasant person, Hook.”

Harry stopped before (Y/N), this time, upon recognizing her house.  She lightly smirked as he unwrapped his arm from her waist.

“You know,” she leaned in to whisper in his ear, “it’s not a very unpleasant thing for you to always walk me home, too.”  She quickly kissed Harry’s cheek before dashing inside, leaving him standing outside as he fought the blush creeping into his cheeks.


Harry continued to follow (Y/N), as Uma ordered, throughout the rest of the week.  Although, for him, it felt less and less like following every day.

He was about to leave the fish and chip shop that day to begin “following” (Y/N), but before he could exit, Uma stopped him.

“Where are you going?” she inquired.

“To follow (Y/N),” he answered as if it was obvious.

“You’ve been following her for a week,” Uma said, “and you’ve found nothing suspicious.  I think it’s safe to say she’s not a threat.”

“I said that to you when she came in, but you still made me follow her,” Harry argued.

Uma rolled her eyes.  "Whatever, it’s not a concern anymore.  Go train instead, you’re gonna get out of shape if you keep spending all your time following this girl.“

Harry longingly stared at the exit for a moment before reluctantly nodding and heading towards the ship, grabbing a sword on his trek there.

He trained with Gil for a few hours before declaring that he needed a break.  When he turned around to leave the ship, he spotted (Y/N) standing by the bridge.  He smirked as he noticed her gaze scanning his shirtless figure.

"What brings you here, princess?” he asked, grabbing a towel.

She bit her lip and avoided eye contact with him.  "I-“ she stopped, choking on her own embarrassment.

"Yes?” Harry couldn’t help but allow the grin that was exponentially growing on his face.

“I came here because you weren’t by my house today,” she muttered, keeping her gaze focused on the ground.

“What was that?” he questioned as he inched closer to her.  He knew exactly what she said the first time.

“You weren’t by my house today,” she repeated a bit louder this time.

“But why did you come here?” Harry pressed, continuously moving closer to (Y/N) until her back was pressed against a wall.

“I told you-”

“But that wasn’t really why,” he interrupted her.  Her gaze was still focused on the floor, so he grabbed her chin and tilted her head up.  "Look at me, princess.“

"I like walking around with you, okay?” she finally burst.

Harry smirked.  "That’s all I needed to hear, princess.“  He began to lean in, still gripping her chin, and their lips were millimeters apart when they were interrupted.

"Harry!” Uma yelled, storming towards the ship.  Harry groaned as he moved away from (Y/N), resting an arm above her head.

“Sorry, love,” he quietly apologized before turning to Uma.  "Yes, Uma?“

"What are you doing?” she demanded.

“Taking a break from training.”

“With her?”  She angrily gestured towards (Y/N).  "I told you that you don’t have to follow her anymore!“

"Follow me?” (Y/N) echoed, stepping back from Harry.  "What does she mean, follow me?“

"Princess, I-”

“You only walked with me because Uma ordered you to keep an eye on me,” she didn’t allow Harry to explain.  "You never wanted to spend any time with me.“

"No, no, sweetheart,” Harry tried to cup her face, but she tore it away. “I-”

“All that flirting,” she spat, backing away from him.  "God, I’m so stupid, I actually thought that meant something.“

"It did, (Y/N)-” He grabbed her wrist in an attempt to prevent her from leaving.

“Congratulations, Harry Hook,” she scoffed, and Harry watched a single tear roll down her cheek.  "You are truly evil.“  She ripped her wrist out of his grasp and ran off.

He stood frozen in his spot, watching her figure fade.  When she was out of sight, he started to scream incoherently, punching the wall that he pinned (Y/N) to minutes ago.


"Come on, Harry, you haven’t trained with me for days!” Gil exclaimed after Harry rejected his offer to train for the seventh time.  "Uma’s gonna be mad if you get too far out of shape.“

"This is Uma’s fault,” Harry seethed.  "If she hadn’t ordered me to follow (Y/N), none of this would’ve happened.“

"Dude, get over her,” he waved the thought off.  "Sure, she was hot, but she was kinda lame.  I mean, she paid for her food.  Who does that?“

"Someone who’s not evil,” Harry muttered and stormed out of the shop.  He headed towards the fruit stand that he knew (Y/N) went to, the stand he went to every day since that incident at the ship, hoping that one day she’d be there.  Once he arrived and scanned the area, he learned that she, again, was not there.

“Damnit,” he mumbled under his breath.  He bided his time by perusing the selection of fruits.  By the time Harry felt like he had examined every piece of fruit at the cart, he was starting to give up hope.  He was about to leave when a voice caused him to perk up.

“Yeah, we ran out of apples this morning, so I’m just running a quick errand and grabbing them,” (Y/N) was explaining to the lady running the stand.  Hook’s eyes widened as he silently moved towards her.  

(Y/N) reached into her pocket to pay for the apples, but Harry, who stood directly behind her, beat her to it.

“Allow me, princess,” he said, handing some cash to the lady.  Both the lady and (Y/N) stared at him with confused expressions, shocked that the notorious thief Harry Hook actually paid for something.  “Come on, love, I want to talk,” Harry whispered in (Y/N)’s ear before dragging her off.

They wound up in a dark, quiet alleyway.  When Harry finally stopped walking, (Y/N) found a chance to rip her arm out of his grip. She began to run away, but Harry caught her wrist.

“Just give me a minute to explain, please,” he begged her.  Taken aback by his usage of manner, she silently obliged and stopped trying to escape.  “I messed up.”

“Yeah you did.”  It was the first time she had actually spoken to him.

“I know, I know, and I’m a total idiot,” he agreed with her, “and I’m sorry.  When you walked in the shop that first day, Uma was suspicious of you. I told her that there was nothing going on, but she insisted that I follow you.  I didn’t want to, I swear, but I had to.  And every day that I spent with you, it felt less and less like following and more and more like… like-”

“Like what?” (Y/N) questioned, subconsciously inching closer to Harry.

“It felt like we were just spending time together, you know?  Actually enjoying it.”

“That still doesn’t justify you leading me on like that just as an attempt to get information,” she huffed, crossing her arms.

“Get information?”  He stared at her quizzically.  “I didn’t flirt with you to get information.”

“Then what was it?  Am I just a game to you?  Harry Hook, the infamous flirt on the Isle, just had to have a crack at me to see if he could do it. Well congrats, you did it.  Now you can move on and go pursue some other-”

Before she could finish her ramble, Harry frustratedly grabbed her face and smashed his lips against hers.  He slowly moved forward, backing (Y/N) into the wall.

“What,” she tore away from Harry, breathing heavily, “was that?”

“You never seem to let me speak, do you, princess?”  Harry grinned before pressing his lips on (Y/N)’s once again, this time allowing her to reciprocate faster.  She knocked his hat off his head and tangled her fingers in his hair.

“I’m still mad at you,” she reminded him after she pulled away, fighting a smile.  

Harry grinned.  “No you’re not.”

The possibility of Otayuri becoming canon

So in this post-Welcome to the Madness daze and with the information that has been released today, I would like to do some speculation about the character dynamic between Yurio and Otabek and the possible implications for this ship to become canon. I have already written a bit about this in a comment to another post here, but I would like to elaborate.

Again, this is just me throwing around ideas, with a good dose of wishful thinking.

-          Otabek enters the story quite late as a character. He is there from the beginning but we only get to see him interact with the others from episode 10 onwards. The focal point becomes what his relation is to Yuri. He whisks him away on his motorcycle, takes him to one of the most beautiful vistas in the city and then casually drops how he has admired him for the past five years. Then he offers Yuri his friendship, which has apparently never occurred in Yuri’s life before, they go for a coffee and Mari is stunned to see Yuri normally interact with another human being for a change. It’s up to you to ignore any fond gazes during this scene. What’s worth mentioning is that Yuri seems kind of perplexed by this whole thing. The “eyes of a soldier” line gets to him, because it is probably the first time someone sees him for who he wants to be.

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Just some fic recs...

I’ve read a lot of really good fic this year and I just thought the best of the best deserved some recognition.  I tried to weed out the super popular fics, but some still show up because I love them that much.  Also, the ships are numerous and varied.

Running on Air–eleventy7; Drarry
Draco Malfoy has been missing for three years. Harry is assigned the cold case and finds himself slowly falling in love with the memories he collects.
*I would murder people to protect this fic.  It’s beautifully written, well-plotted, original, and it reuses certain sentences, making them more poignant the later in the story they’re used.  Like, fuck me up*

the ghost of you–kissmesexybatman; Klance
When Keith goes missing without a trace, all his family and friends are able to do is move on with their lives. When he shows back up after a year, they have to convince him they still want him back.
*I may be slightly biased because the coolest person in the world wrote this, but let me tell you, it’s emotionally heartwrenching, wonderfully written, and gives you a happy ending without sacrificing the needs of the characters*

My soul is an empty carousel at sunset.–dawnstruck; Otayuri
Yuri grows up and grows older and grows into himself. Otabek helps. It just takes a while to get there.
*I’m demi and this fic described exactly what that experience has been like for me, as it features a demi!Yuri.  Beyond that, it was sweet and genuine and I adored it*

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5 mile run new Boku No Hero thoughts are as follows:

  • this is my all-time favorite “previously on” section. it was highlighting Bakugou’s resolve to win by mashing together all the clips of him declaring his ambitions but because its Bakugou it was actually just a 2 minute montage of Bakugou fucking screaming
  • Todo acts naive but i doubt that more and more each day with the number of sick fucking burns he’s gotten in at people, case in point:
  • Bakugou: -storms on in to Todo’s room and starts yelling at him.-
    Todo: Hey Bakugou :))) you know what this reminds me of? :))) That guy you fucking hate. :))) Except he did this better. :)))) You really cant ever live up to him can you :)))))))
  • Bakugou calls Todoroki “IcyHot” in the dub and I watched the dub today specifically in hopes that he’d call him IcyHot again and he DID.
  • I’m not done with this scene because the PHRASING HAD ME IN STITCHES–Bakugou stormed in like “Hey IcyHot, is this how you fucking treat your opponents!?” while blowing up Todo’s table. And Todo responded with “That’s what Midoriya said too…” I dont think Deku said it quite like that, Todo. But too late now I can’t stop picturing:
  • Deku voice: “Hey you stupid piece of shit sore-muscle hot-and-cold sports pack you better fucking look at me while i stand here and break all my fingers and yell, because fuck you, you fucking icepack.”
  • Bakugou his table
  • His table Bakugou
  • This is the screamiest Bakugou’s been to date, I’m glad for him
  • ominous BOOM noises from inside the iceberg
  • dub!Sero called Bakugou a “moleman” and i want the world to know that Bakugou’s been canonically called a “moleman”. Moleman Bakugou.
  • Bakugou, grabbing Todo by the hair and piledriving him into the ground: “GIT FUCKING GUD, ICYHOT
  • Aizawa: -provides commentary on the strategy, strengths, and weaknesses of the children’s fighting techniques-
    Present Mic: -sees Todo surfing on an ice wave and says “Looks like fun!!!”-
  • Bakugou: “Use your full power IcyHot! I want the world to know you’re trying to destroy me!! THIS MEANS NOTHING IF I CAN’T SURPASS DEKU!!”
    Deku:
    (Regina George voice) Why are you so obsessed with me?
  • Bakugou, or better known by his full name, Katsuki “Fidget Spinner” Bakugou
  • Bakugou: -screams incoherently for 20 minutes trying to rile Todo up-
    Todo:
    Deku: -says one thing-
    Todo, heart racing, palms sweaty: holy fuck. holy shit. thats my fucking boyfriend.
  • Srs for a moment, I really adore and am moved by Todo’s character development here. The easy shonen answer would be for Todo to be “fixed” following his fight with Deku, but the poor kid’s sitting on like 10 years of trauma. He’s not fixed. He’s healing. And healing comes with pain and doubt sometimes.
  • Like I actually clutched my shirt while his fire unraveled.
  • Bakugou: -pulls of the coolest fucking spin projectile move in history-
    Bakugou: -lands like this-


  • IT’S HERE. THE GRANITE SLAB OF VICTORY
  • We are blessed with Dad Might in this house today
  • Todo: “My path forward isn’t as clear as I thought. There’s still someone I need to settle things with…”
    Todo: -steps off the podium, walks into the crowd, punches Endeavor in the face- “Fuck you Dad”
  • In the sub All Might calls Bakugou’s face “amazing” but in the dub he calls it “scary” and 4 years were added to my life when dub!All Might gave Bakugou the once over with the medal in his mouth and went “…still scary.”
  • dub!Bakugou is great here too with “I DON’T WANT THAT PIECE OF GARBAGE. KEEP YOUR TRASH AWAY FROM ME HHGNGNGHG”
  • I want to empahsize that several hours pass after that scene cut. It’s evening. The kids are changed back into their school uniforms AND back at the classroom. And Bakugou still has the fucking medal in his mouth. No one took it out. 
  • me: fuck…i hope iida will be okay
    also me, who’s read the manga: (hes not gonna be okay)
  • The hospital scene makes me kinda want to take back all the making fun of Todo I did because…god fucking this poor child…he deserved so much better
  • Protect Mama Midoriya she deserves the world

KATSUKI YOU CAN’T WAKE UP AT NOON AND START YELLING

One of the reasons Supergirl struggled all season is because they failed to juggle far more plot lines than they could handle. And this all came to a head in the finale, because despite all of these plot lines basically none of them paid off.

Jeremiah Danvers and Cadmus? No payoff there. We haven’t seen him since he fought with Hank Henshaw and the only time anyone seems to remember him is in the face of Lillian Luthor.

Speaking of Lillian Luthor? What about the whole Cadmus story line? Not resolved; she still runs Cadmus and it’ll likely still be a problem. But what about her and Lena? Okay, so they worked together to make the lead thing. But we don’t see them at all beyond this. Lena still doesn’t like her (rightfully so) and Lillian really didn’t cause any problems so nothing really came out of them in this finale.

But what about Lena? Like I said, there really was no payoff with her mother. No payoff with Rhea because they didn’t interact all episode. And her friendship with Kara/Supergirl didn’t really have a payoff either. They barely interact in the episode. You can’t even say that it paid off because she made Supergirl that remote. Because A) That could’ve just as easily been Winn’s doing and B) That seemed to more so come from a place of distrusting her mother.

So what about Winn? He helps, but does he really have his own plot? No. His biggest plot all season was Lyra and even though she got a mention this episode, she has been MIA for several.

Well, what about James? If you think James has had any sort of payoff all season, I could laugh at you. He was almost entirely absent from the finale. He’s barely been present for a plot all season to even have a payoff. The whole Guardian plot? I honestly don’t understand at this point. At the beginning, this was a big thing he really wanted to do. But these last few episodes it seems like they’re almost trying to undo this whole plot.

What about J’onn? Honestly, his story arc this season with M’gann might actually be the only one with a payoff. He’s happy to see her again, and he is not at all put off by the white martians she brings to help.

Cat Grant? Honestly, her return was one of the biggest things carrying these last two episodes. Her return was great and helpful to the plot, but because she has been gone it’s not like we’ve been following an arc of hers all season, waiting to see a payoff with her.

Alex? Alex had almost no impact in the finale. Honestly, had she not been in it nothing would’ve changed. And what about her big arcs this season? Her dad and Cadmus? All we got out of that was her distrust of Lillian Luthor which really didn’t affect anything. And Sanvers? They should have left it at “I hope so”. Sure that would’ve been a little disappointing for shippers but Alex’s proposal takes away from her whole arc this season with Maggie. Alex was really learning to grow into herself through this relationship and now it just feels disjointed with a rushed proposal that really doesn’t even make sense. They just said “I love you” like two episodes ago where not much time has passed.

But the lack of payoff that pisses me off the most has to do with Mon-El and Kara. And this really has nothing to do with shipping.

Do you like Mon-El? Then you should probably be pissed that they gave you so much of him all season only to take him away. Don’t like Mon-El? Even if you’re happy he’s gone, you should still be pissed that they spent so much time on him this season for him to wind up completely gone anyway.

So with him now gone, that begs the question of whether or not the entire Daxam plot had any payoff and the answer is no. With them being off of Earth for good, they won’t directly affect the show going forward.

As for indirectly? Mon-El is arguably the only Daxamite that had any impact on every other character, but I don’t think anyone expects Alex or James or Winn to be affected by him being gone.

The only person he was ever intended to impact was Kara. And for what? The purpose of breaking her? People may argue that he developed through Kara all season. But Kara didn’t develop through him all season and guess what? She’s the goddamn protagonist and he’s gone now anyway. So her lack of development all season really shines now.

The scene where Mon-El leaves is all about how “no matter where he ends up he’ll be better because of her”.

And I think that sums up the season pretty well. It’s all about him, not Kara. You can argue that he didn’t grow at all anyway, and really almost none of the characters have. And even if all of that were true, he’s gone anyway so it doesn’t matter. Just like how pretty much every plot of this season doesn’t matter because none of them paid off in anyway.

hugealienpie  asked:

I see prompts are open yay! Please tell me all about Ford finding out about Bitty and Jack.

Ooh, this is interesting, because I don’t feel like it’d be an announcement, but just something Ford finds out when Jack visits or the like. I mean, it could go the other way, like Lardo could be, “heads up, Bitty’s dating our ex-captain” and Ford would be like, “okay? why are you telling me?” (She’s a theatre background, what is a Bad Bob to her?) I think she’d be pretty chill with it, and coming from theatre, like being gay is not an issue, esp in college (and even at the professional level) and esp if we go with the oft reblogged “Ford is gay” headcanon.

But here is a small fic that is only half based on the above…

Ford double checks the dozens of pages Lardo has given her for the upcoming roadie. She thought dealing with dressing room allocation was hard (and it is, one hundred percent) but figuring out room allocations is somehow worse, particularly when she’s new, and hockey players are more superstitious than the girl who played Johanna in Sweeney.

“So, who was it I’m meant to pair Oliver with?” Ford asks, grabbing for the red pen she’d stuck into her bun earlier. She comes out with a green one. It’ll do.

“Wicks. But really, he’d be fine with any of the guys in his year.”

Ford makes a note on one of the pages. “Okay, then I think I’m–Oh, shit.”

“What is it?” Lardo looks up from her sketchbook.

Ford double checks through all her sheets before she says anything. She’s not worrying, because there’s no time for that, she’s just already hating the amount of extra work she’ll need to do to fix things.

“I’ve left Eric, um, Bitty,” Ford corrects herself, still getting used to hockey nicknames, “off the rooming list.”

“Oh, that. Nah, you’re good.” Lardo goes back to her drawing. “He stays with his boyfriend when we’re playing up there.”

“Boyfriend?” Ford double-checks.

“Yeah. He’s in Providence. And he’ll drive Bitty to the games and practices and stuff. Should’ve emailed you that. My bad.”

“That’s fine.” Ford grabs another pen from her hair, forgetting she already has one in front of her. It’s red this time. “Just thought I was going to have to redo an entire afternoon’s worth of work.”

“Right,” Lardo says. “I can see why the minor freak out.”

“Excuse you, I did not freak out.” It’s half a lie. Ford has so many notes on these sheets, but she’s not freaking out, she’s managing. It’s all part of it.

Lardo looks up and smiles at her. “Knew you’d be fine at this.”

Ford takes the compliment with a gracious nod, and goes back to ticking off the rooming list against the team names. All accept Eric.

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Critique, the oily beast

Hi, it’s me again.

Below is a text of personal opinions that I’ve decided to share, concerning a downside of constructive criticism, and it might read as an angry rant. I apologize for that. Before I begin, I also want to point out that I’m not targeting anyone specifically. What I am doing is sharing my views on a behaviour that I’m not fond of. Parts of it is tongue-in-cheek, but the subject might be touchy. Wall of words after the cut, if you want to read it:

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Inside Harry Styles’ Intimate First Solo Tour

Music director Tom Hull reveals how the One Direction star is launching a new phase of his career with help from a versatile live band

Just a half hour before doors open for Harry Styles’ first show of his debut solo tour, San Francisco’s Masonic is completely empty. Band and crew members are buzzing backstage, including Styles himself, not yet wearing the snazzy Gucci suit he would be seen sporting onstage just hours later.

Outside, more than 3,000 fans wait to see the 23-year-old perform in one of the smallest venues they may ever catch him in. They’re decked out in a variety of homemade merchandise as well as florals and pinks, a tribute to the singer’s fashion and album aesthetic.

“It’s funny because as this tour’s approached, I’ve been so nervous,” Styles’ music director and producer Tom Hull, known professionally as Kid Harpoon, tells Rolling Stonebackstage while clutching a chalice of wine and wearing a pin that reads “Muna Has Possibly Talked to Harry Styles,” given out for free by opening band Muna at their merch table.

Until this tour, Hull’s work with other artists had been primarily in the studio, producing and co-writing for artists like Haim, Florence and the Machine and Shakira. He had been introduced to Styles through a mutual friend and ended up working on the songs “Sweet Creature” and “Carolina.” Thanks to their musical chemistry, Styles ended up asking Hull to help him put together a live show to perfectly embody the rootsy, rock-tinged sound of his self-titled album.

“I’ve gone into it not knowing what I’m doing [and] learning on the job,” he admits. “We’re all sort of approaching it with a fresh perspective because we haven’t done it before, but it [has us] keeping with what the record’s about.”

To help translate Styles’ solo sound, the first goal was to get a traditional band together. Guitarist Mitch Rowland had been plucked from a pizza shop where he formerly worked to become a session musician for the album and has joined Styles’ touring band as well.

“Mitch has never really toured like this before,” Hull says. “He’s learning on the road as he goes.”

Joining Rowland are keyboardist Clare Uchima, bassist Alex Predergast and drummer Sarah Jones, all of whom had made their debut with Styles during the televised and small club performances around the release of his album. The band began to feel settled long before the tour launched, but Hull sees their relationship becoming further cemented with this trek.

“Bands become true bands on tour,” he explains. “Fans bought tickets [for this tour] before the album had come out, and the band wants to play to them. The idea is to cut our chops on this tour and get really good. Then next year, he’s got an arena tour.”

Still, on the first two nights, the band already felt like a cohesive unit. The first show perfectly bridged Styles’ past and present, demonstrating that he’s a star capable of holding his own outside of his boy band. Amidst the folk-y ballads and rousing rockers, he covered One Direction classics like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Stockholm Syndrome” as well as one of his lesser-known writing credits: an Ariana Grande piano ballad titled “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” off the vocal diva’s 2014 album My Everything. “Honestly, I didn’t know he had written it,” Hull notes.

Styles has released just 10 songs under his own name, but the vast amount of material he had from his pre-solo career helped to fill out the set. “When the Strokes first came out, their album was 35 minutes long and they had to do Talking Heads songs to fill out the set,” he adds. “It’s quite good to be able to do [Harry’s] record and have other songs in the set because he’s written so much music with [and outside of] One Direction. We’re presenting it in a way that sort of reflects the record and where he’s at now, which feels unique to Harry.”

In the months leading up to the tour launch in San Francisco, Hull, Styles and good friends of the latter sat around and began to formulate a vision. “It was like ‘Why don’t we do this? That would be fun,’” Hull describes of the process. “The thing that’s incredible about Harry that I don’t think people realize as much yet is that he drives it all. It’s very much his taste. He’s very musical; he plays guitar, plays piano and writes songs. He loves music.”

For Hull, working with Styles has disproven a common misconception of the pop megastar, one who is governed by his producers and label. Instead, the director paints a picture of a huge music nerd, one who is particularly passionate about classic rock and country, getting to explore his taste on his own terms.

“That was the hard thing, I think, in [One Direction] before,” he adds. “You’ve got a bunch of lads who all have different tastes in music and have their own personalities. Obviously it’s clear they’ve all done something different [as solo artists].”

Styles has been eager to share his tastes with Hull and the rest of the group. “He’s turning me on to music I’ve never even heard of from like 1978, and he’s texting people in the band 'Have you heard this? Have you heard that?” Hull says says, noting that on days off they go to guitar shops, looking at gear and “really geeky stuff.”

“For someone where he’s at, he just absolutely adores it, and it’s inspiring for everyone underneath.”

The next night in Los Angeles, the crowd is even more energetic as they filter into the Greek through the trees and hills of Griffith Park. A few glitches cropped up at the San Francisco gig — run-of-the-mill sound problems and a less expected fire alarm triggered by the theatrical smoke used during Muna’s set. For the Los Angeles show, the band feels even stronger and more focused.

“There was a bit of uncertainty, but I think everyone’s really happy and buzzing,” Hull updates from the Greek’s VIP section. That night, they were up against the added pressure that comes with a celebrity- and legend-filled audience, featuring everyone from Emma Roberts to Mick Fleetwood and Styles’ former groupmate Niall Horan. “You want to keep improving and getting it better. It feels like the first gig still.”

Even though he would perform a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” in front of Fleetwood himself, Styles was even looser at the Greek, dropping in cheekier ad libs and at one point halting “Kiwi,” the closer of the main set before his encore, to tease the troves of primarily female-identifying fans by highlighting the “I’m having your baby” line from the chorus. According to Hull, Styles was already prepared to start changing up the set list by night two, something the entire team collectively decided against as they were just starting out. (In Nashville the following weekend, however, they replaced the cover of “Stockholm Syndrome” with a rendition of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” the first of many possibly new covers to be introduced on the road.)

The cover of One Direction’s most memorable hit “What Makes You Beautiful” remains the most surprising element of the show, especially since young solo artists typically tend to distance themselves from their pop pasts on the road to a more “mature” sound.

“At first, he was definitely cautiously up for it,” Hull says of the decision-making process. “I feel like those [One Direction] songs are brilliantly written songs, and obviously it was a moment where we had a conversation. Beyoncé does Destiny’s Child songs, so we were like 'Let’s do some of the songs that people will all know and everyone will love.’”

Styles’ band made sure to adapt the tune to fit the flow of the show. Uchima suggested a “Ray Charles–y vibe” for the keys, while drummer Jones added a “Motown-y beat” during rehearsals, and the group continued tinkering until they found the perfect balance of old and new.

“We all have so much respect for what put him here,” Hull adds, emphasizing Styles’ own desire to not fully let go of his past. “It’s an important part of it. You can’t underestimate his fans.”

Darkiplier Never Left: A Theory

Okay, so this theory has been bouncing around in my brain since March, and I’ve briefly touched on it before, but I’ve never fleshed it out on here. Buckle in, homies. This is a long ride full of excessive bolding and italics, and we’ve abandoned the land of chill and “Read More”s.

As always, this connects to my other theories.They’re not required reading, but they will definitely help. I’ll link to the two most relevant ones (which are also the two most popular ones, so that’s neat!): The big bad, which explains the purpose of each of the egos in Markiplier TV; and this one, which explains why Mark is trying to undermine Dark.

In Markiplier TV, there are two heads to the table. One of them has already presented his plan to take back control. We’re about to witness the plan of the other. 

What is the plan exactly? Well, that much we’re not sure of, yet, except that one of the clues we’ve been given is a piece of what looks to be a ransom note. We’ve also been given a still from some security cam footage, which, when brightened, has a clear anaglyph (red/blue) effect. (You can view the brightened version here, courtesy of the lovely @amycampbell00.) This leads many to believe that someone (Mark, most likely) has been taken hostage, and that Dark is behind it. I agree with this, but I think that we’re making a mistake in assuming that this is a recent development. In fact, the point I’m here to make in this post is that Dark has had control of the channel since his very first official appearance in February. 

Let’s take a look at the psychology behind Dark as a character. He has two serious hyper-focuses: control and choice. Control is what he desires; choice is what he denies. During the Horror route of A Date with Markiplier, his obsession with the concept of choice is emphasized repeatedly. 

What’s interesting about this is that he follows this statement by, technically, giving you a choice– but what he presents you with is actually just the illusion of choice. It may seem like there are different paths to take, but only one will actually make a difference. The rest send you directly to dead ends. No matter what you do, you will, ultimately, have to make the “choice” that he has been leading you to all along. 

Immediately after this exercise in futility, he extolls the virtues of avoiding choice altogether and letting him have control. 

Okay, so why is this relevant? Well, consider this: we also know that Dark doesn’t exactly obey the laws of space and time. (Mark directly mentioned this fact in the February live stream.) Not only that, but he has some semblance of control over it as well– when you try to escape during the Exit video, he immediately creates a time loop and sends you back inside. He has complete and utter control of the situation at every moment, and if things don’t go the way he plans, he can literally manipulate the world around him. 

Knowing all of this, why would Dark then allow us to make this choice?

He wouldn’t. Of course he wouldn’t.

This man just spent the entirety of his time with us asserting that he was in control, and that choices are not only unnecessary, but dangerous. He set up a false choice to emphasize that point. There is no way he would give us a genuine choice after all of that. It goes against everything we know about him. Even if he was genuinely caught off guard (which I find hard to believe, but that’s a point for another post), he would not set himself up in a position of vulnerability that would immediately undermine all of his efforts up to that point. Any sort of “weakness” he would present would only be in the service of a greater purpose. 

Darkiplier can manipulate what we see. He can manipulate what we hear. He can manipulate the laws of space and time. He doesn’t need to give us any power over him. 

He’s tired of giving people a choice, and we are no exception. We don’t have the option to shoot Dark. We never did.

No matter what we choose, we will be shooting Mark. Mark didn’t escape on his own to confront Dark– if he had, Dark would have simply thrown him back in as he did in the Exit video. No, Dark let him escape. Dark let the gun fall at our feet. And Dark let us shoot him– except, of course, that he didn’t. The only difference your “choice” makes is how long he pretends to be the real Mark. 

 This all circles back around to his obsessions: he will give us the illusion of control over the situation and a choice in the outcome, when in reality, we have neither. And these things shape the most dangerous illusion of them all: the illusion of safety.

Mark isn’t in control of the channel. Mark hasn’t been in control of the channel for a long, long time. We already know that Dark can imitate Mark flawlessly, and he’s been doing so for months. Those brief moments in videos that appear to be Dark exercising the weak amount of power he has left? Those are simply to make us believe he’s not running the show. He’s practically taunting us.

He’s been pulling the strings for months now, patiently waiting for the right time to step out from the shadows and reveal his plan. Judging by the events of the past few days, he’s finally ready. The real question is, 

are we?