this is what great characters are all about

does anyone know any gen LOTR fic with great worldbuilding?

All I care about is not shipping+focused and big on developing more about Tolkien’s world but I’m most interested in
-Third and Fourth Age stuff
-Hobbits
-Dwarves
-Human cultures we don’t know much about
-even orcs/trolls/etc

It doesn’t have to focus on the canon characters but if it does that’s cool too

Everyone’s all “Bellarke s5 is gonna be great and epic!” and “Don’t worry about the six year time jump, or other relationships, Bellamy and Clarke are what’s keeping each other same/alive” which is a great thing to think, but I don’t trust these writers as far as I can throw them and I have very little faith in them delivering what I want in s5.

Srsly guys, while I love, love, love the LGBT+ representation in podcasts - I adore it, I’m awestruck again and again - what always, again and again, has me at the brink of tears is something else.

Representation of mentally ill characters. Depressed characters, characters with anxiety disorders, characters with abandonment issues as huge as Texas (Texas is big, right?), characters with suicidal ideation, …
And it’s not just *there* - it’s part of the plot. It’s getting in the way of characters, it’s being addressed and talked about, there are characters who are great at coping, there are characters who are the literal worst at self care, there are all kinds of mentally ill, diverse characters and I wanna hug them all. I’m so, so thankful for the representation of mentally ill characters in podcasts.

So I watched this masterpiece yesterday and what can I say..Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Men Tell No Tales was SO SO AWESOME REALLY. AND I’M CRYING SO HARD ‘CAUSE ALL THE FEELS. Okay I’m writing more specifically about the movie now… (I know that most of you didn’t watch it already so I try not to spoiler.)

Keep reading

Honestly every time I get attached to a show and it brings me some measure of happiness it gets cancelled and I’m more attached to kuro than I have been about anything else so I swear to god the next person who goes on about how Yana should just end it already and it’s gone on too long because of money etc needs to shut the fuck up. for the record I think her writing is still great but you know what even if it does get bad even if the story becomes completely terrible and dragged out far too long etc etc whatever y'all complain about happening I literally don’t care like it could be god awful and I’m still loyally reading every chapter because I get to see the characters I love and writing that makes me happy and it’ll be something to look foreword to every month and something to be excited about and it’ll be good and familiar and comforting and what I’m getting at is y'all need to get off your high horses about high art and things being perfect and perfect to your tastes, and just sit down and enjoy nice things.

Fanfic Ask

@shortsandramblings sent me the following:

3) what order do you write in? front of book to back? chronological? favorite scenes first? something else?

See my previous answer on this one.

4) favorite character you’ve written

That’s actually a really hard question.  I love all my characters, even the villains.  J  A lot depends on what you mean by favorite there, too.  Hmm.

Of my major characters, Sansa, definitely.  No surprise there.  I love her for her intelligence and determination and her type-A personality. I love her talents, I love her quirks, I love her flaws … She’s my bae.    

Of the various others … back in the DS9 fandom I used to love writing Gul Dukat.  He was such a great villain.  Tyrion is always a joy to write – he’s a character I have very mixed feelings about, but he’s always interesting.  I’ve enjoyed writing Jeyne Poole and Beth Cassels.  That whole world of the lower nobility women is such a deep well.  Of my OCs, Robter Storm is probably my favorite.

I don’t know though, as I write this, I’m feeling like I short change so many others, like Stannis, Jon, Aegon, Addam Marbrand, and of course, Littlefinger.  

5) character you were most surprised to end up writing

Maybe Ermensand Hayford in Ties – I really did not expect her to show up in the fic or to take such an important role.  Bran has crept up on me as one of my regulars, which I definitely didn’t expect.

15) why did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. It is part of who I am.

16) are there any characters who haunt you?

All of them?  LOL.  Maybe Jeyne Poole.  I’ve always felt like there was so much more to her than is often shown in canon or in fanfic.  And Obi-Wan Kenobi.  He sees the destruction of everything he knew and loved.  (But never lost his sass.).  

18) were there any works you read that affected you so much that it influenced your writing style? what were they?

Patricia McKillip. She’s one of the most amazing writers I’ve ever read, in or out of fantasy.  She’s got amazing lyrical prose and she writes the most wonderful heroines. She lets women be beautiful and intelligent and *know it*.  They can be arrogant and make mistakes and still be heroines.  I love that.  All her stuff is wonderful, but I particularly love the RiddleMaster of Hed trilogy, the Forgotten Beasts of Eld, and the Sorceress and the Cygnet.  

Writing Tip: Don’t Be Afraid of Mixing Dialogue and Action

So I’ve been reading a lot of amateur writing lately, and I’ve noticed what seems to be a common problem: dialogue. 

Tell me if this looks familiar. You start writing a conversation, only to look down and realize it reads like: 

“I’m talking now,” he said. 

“Yes, I noticed,” she said. 

“I have nothing much to add to this conversation,” the third person said. 

And it grates on your ears. So much ‘said.’ It looks awful! It sounds repetitive. So, naturally, you try to shake it up a bit: 

“Is this any better?” He inquired. 

“I’m not sure,” she mused. 

“I definitely think so!” that other guy roared. 

This is not an improvement. This is worse. 

Now your dialogue is just as disjointed as it was before, but you have the added problem of a bunch of distracting dialogue verbs that can have an unintentionally comedic effect. 

So here’s how you avoid it: You mix up the dialogue with description. 

“Isn’t this better?” he asked, leaning forward in his seat. “Don’t you feel like we’re more grounded in reality?” 

She nodded, looking down at her freshly manicured nails. “I don’t feel like a talking head anymore.” 

“Right!” that annoying third guy added. “And now you can get some characterization crammed into the dialogue!” 

The rules of dialogue punctuation are as follows: 

  • Each speaker gets his/her own paragraph - when the speaker changes, you start a new paragraph. 
  • Within the speaker’s own paragraph, you can include action, interior thoughts, description, etc. 
  • You can interrupt dialogue in the middle to put in a “said” tag, and then write more dialogue from that same speaker. 
  • You can put the “said” tag at the beginning or end of the sentence. 
  • Once you’ve established which characters are talking, you don’t need a “said” tag every time they speak. 
  • ETA: use a comma instead of a period at the end of a sentence of dialogue, and keep the ‘said’ tag in lower caps. If you end on a ? or !, the ‘said’ tag is still in lower case. (thanks, commenters who pointed this out!) 

Some more examples: 

“If you’re writing an incomplete thought,” he said, “you put a comma, then the quote mark, then the dialogue tag.” 

“If the sentence ends, you put in a period.” She pointed at the previous sentence. “See? Complete sentences.” 

“You can also replace the dialogue tag with action.” Extra guy yawned. “When you do, you use a period instead of a comma.”

So what do you do with this newfound power? I’m glad you asked. 

  • You can provide description of the character and their surroundings in order to orient them in time and space while talking. 
  • You can reveal characterization through body language and other nonverbal cues that will add more dimension to your dialogue. 
  • You can add interior thoughts for your POV character between lines of dialogue - especially helpful when they’re not saying quite what they mean. 
  • You can control pacing. Lines of dialogue interrupted by descriptions convey a slower-paced conversation. Lines delivered with just a “said” tag, or with no dialogue tag at all, convey a more rapid-fire conversation. 

For example: 

“We’ve been talking about dialogue for a while,” he said, shifting in his seat as though uncomfortable with sitting still. 

“We sure have,” she agreed. She rose from her chair, stretching. “Shall we go, then?” 

“I think we should.” 

“Great. Let’s get out of here.” 

By controlling the pacing, you can establish mood and help guide your reader along to understanding what it is that you’re doing. 

I hope this helps you write better dialogue! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to drop me an ask :)

The 10 Elements of a MAIN CHARACTER

To all the writers who have ever been told “Your characters have to be three dimensional!” or “They should be well-rounded!” and just felt like saying: “What does that even MEAN?! What goes into a 3-dimensional character? Specifically? And how do you go about creating one?!”

Good news. There’s a way. 

Great main characters – heroes, protagonists, deuteragonist, whatever you want to call them – have ten things in common. Ten things that are easily developed, once you know what to create within your character. So no one will ever be able to tell you “needs to be more three dimensional!” ever again. Ha. 

1) Weaknesses: Main characters should be flawed, but I’m not saying this because it will make them more realistic (though it will) – I’m saying they need to be flawed because if they’re not, they shouldn’t be a main character. Story is another word for change, or more accurately, character growth. Not character as in “fictional person”, character meaning “heart and soul”. Story is someone’s character changing, for better or worse. Main characters at the beginning of the story are lacking something vital, some knowledge of themselves, some knowledge of how to live a better life, and this void is ruining their lives. They must overcome these weaknesses, if they’re going to become complete, and reach a happy ending. There are two types of weaknesses: Psychological and Moral. Psychological ones only hurt the main character. Moral ones cause the main character to hurt other people. Easy.  

2) Goal: Characters exist because they want something. Desiring something, and the fight against opposition for that desire, is the lifeblood of story; and because character is story, it’s also desire that can breathe life into words on a page, and begin the process of creating a real person in a reader’s mind. It’s this ‘desire for something’ that sparks that first connection between reader and character. It makes us think “Well, now I have to find out if this person gets what they want.” This is a powerful link. (How many mediocre movies do we suffer through, when we could easily stop watching, because we’re still trapped by that question of “what happens?”) So if this is powerful enough to keep people watching an annoying movie, imagine how powerful it can be in an excellent story. 

Like in Up, the goal is to get the house to Paradise Falls.

3) Want: If the main character wants something, they want it for a darn good reason. Usually, they think that attaining the goal will fill the void they can sense in their lives, the deficiency they can feel, but don’t know how to fix. And they’re almost always wrong. Getting the goal doesn’t help anything; which is why, while pursuing that goal, they discover a deeper need that will heal them. Which brings us to …

4) Need/Elixir: Main characters are missing something, a weakness in their innermost selves is causing them to live a less-than-wonderful life. Through story, these main characters can be healed. Once they discover what’s missing, and accept it, and change the way they live to include this truth they’ve uncovered … they’re healed. Learning this truth, whatever it is, forms the purpose of the story for the main character. The reader, and the character, think the story is about achieving that big tangible goal the premise talks about; really, underneath it all, the story is about someone achieving a big intangible truth, that will ultimately save their life and future. Often, this need is exactly what the character fears or professes to hate. 

Like Finding Nemo, where Dory states exactly what Marlin needs to learn. 

5) Ghosts: 

Not this kind of ghosts.

Ghosts are events in your character’s past which mark the source of their weaknesses and strengths. Because these happened, the character became who they are. All we need to know about backstory are these moments, because who the character became is all we care about. There’s really only one ghost you absolutely need: the source of their moral and psychological weakness. Something happened that knocked the character’s world off kilter, and everything from that moment onward has been tainted by what happened. This moment haunts them (hence the name), and holds them back from uncovering that need that will heal their weaknesses. Pixar are masters of this: the source of Carl being stuck in the past, curmudgeonly, unable of loving anyone new? Ellie dying; his ghost. In Finding Nemo, the source of Marlin being suffocating, protective to the point of being harmful, possessive, and fearful? His wife and 99% of his children being eaten in front of him; his ghost. 

6) True Character: These are the strengths, values, convictions, fears, faults, beliefs, worldview, and outlook on life that make the main character who they truly are. 

7) Characterization: This is everything on the surface of a main character. The way they look, talk, act, etc. All of this originates from those deeper elements of their being, the strengths, values, ghosts, weaknesses, needs, that make them who they truly are. So often, you can think of this as a facade they’re projecting, a way to shield the the truth about themselves, how they wish to be perceived. The story, and the other characters, are slowly going to see deeper than this characterization, revealing more and more of the reasons it is the way it is. 

8) Arc: If the character is going to change from “Incomplete Person” to “Complete Person” there’s going to be a journey they go on to make that possible. The external story, the pursuit of that big tangible goal the premise is about, is causing an inner journey to take place. What they have to do in pursuit of that external goal will apply pressure to those weaknesses, and pressure causes change. This process has seven steps, but if I write it all here this post is going to be obscenely long. So I might wait and give this its own post.

9) Changed Person: Who is the character going to be at the end of this story? They better be different, or else the story didn’t work. How do they show how different they’ve become? What is the moral choice they make, that spins their trajectory from “the future doesn’t look so great” to “happily ever after”? This should be known right away, maybe even before anything else is settled about the character. This gives a distinct end goal, a way to work backwards, a destination in mind that you can navigate towards.  

10) Fascination and Illumination: The surface characterization, and the brief glimpses of the true character underneath create curiosity in the reader/audience. What the character says, and the implied subtext beneath the dialogue, creates a puzzle the audience wants to solve. Actions they take work the same way; if the writer indicates there’s deeper motivation behind why a character behaves in the way they do, we buy into solving that mystery right away. We can’t help it. “Who are you really? Why are you the way you are? And how is that going to effect the story?” These are all the unspoken, almost not consciously acknowledged, questions that fascinating characters provoke. Searching out meaning, connecting the dots to find the truth – we can’t resist this. We’re not fascinated by tons of backstory and exposition about a character; we’re fascinated by story, by mystery, by the technique of withholding information and having to interpret and hunt out the truth on our own.  So gradually, the story and the characters will force that character to reveal a little more, and a little more, until we have a complete picture of who this person is. Crucial that this information isn’t told up front. Gradually illuminate it. It’s just like getting to know a real person. 

So how does this work in a real character? Let’s take a look at Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert, because almost everybody has seen that movie. 

Moral Weaknesses: He’s selfish. He’s a little greedy. He’s a little rude. He uses his charisma and bravado to keep people at a distance from the real him. 

Psychological Weaknesses: Insecurity, fear of vulnerability, feels like the real him (Eugene) would be unwanted, unlovable, and have nothing – just like when he was an orphaned kid. Also, he doesn’t know who he wants to be, what he wants to live for. 

Goal: Flynn wants to get that crown. So he has to get Blondie to see the floating lights, so she’ll give it back to him, and then they can part ways as unlikely friends.  

Want: Why does he want the crown? What does it mean for him? He actually states it (reluctantly) in song: “I have dreams like you, no really. Just much less touchy feely. They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny. On an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone. Surrounded by enormous piles of money.” He senses there’s something off in his life, something is missing. But he mistakenly believes this missing piece is money, which will allow him to buy a lonely island, where he can live out his days as Flynn and no one will ever know Eugene. 

Need: “All those days chasing down a daydream. All those years living in a blur. All that time never truly seeing, things the way they were. Now she’s here, shining in the starlight. Now she’s here, suddenly I know. If she’s here, it’s crystal clear, I’m where I’m meant to go.” He wants a crown … he needs to fall in love with Rapunzel. He needs to love something more than himself, and find out that love isn’t something to fear and push away. He needs to abandon the 'Tales of Flynnagin Rider’ ambition, and get a more worthwhile, new dream. 

Ghost: The source of all of his weaknesses can be linked to his “little bit of a downer” childhood as an orphan. Interestingly, he isn’t aware of another facet of that ghost, and Rapunzel points it out to him. “Was he a thief too?” she asks. He looks taken aback, before answering “Uh, no.” Something’s gone wrong. The choices he’s making are not living up to that original role model.  

Characterization: Flynn’s charming, funny, smart, charismatic, and arrogant (in a somehow charming sort of way). He’s also rude, contemptuous, and sarcastic. All traits that help him keep up that 'swashbuckling rogue’ facade, and push people away from the real him. 

True Character: Underneath all that, he’s a Disney prince. That pretty much sums it up.  

Changed Person: “Started going by Eugene again, stopped thieving, and basically turned it all around.” He started the story as the guarded and evasive Flynn, he ends as the selfless and thoroughly-in-love Eugene. 

Fascination and Illumination: Imagine if everything about Flynn had been told, right up front. We know he’s an orphan, we know he’s upheld a fake reputation, we know he’s a kind and loving guy underneath it all, we even know about his “tales of Flynnagin” childhood dream. You know what happens? We like him … but we’re not interested in him. There’s nothing we need to find out. There’s no curiosity. And if there’s no curiosity, and nothing being illuminated, your story’s not going anywhere. So instead, we find out – alongside Rapunzel – more about Flynn as the story progresses. And that is how it should be. 

So!

Developing characters in this way, I’ve found, really reduces worries about how “well-rounded” and three dimensional I’ve made them. They feel real to me. And besides helping me create characters, this ten element technique has also let me analyze characters I like, which is strangely fun. It’s a great way to figure out why a character works, what causes them to be so effective, and how you can go about creating them yourself. 

Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd. 

But if you want, try it out. Develop a character. Analyze a character. You might find it as useful/fun as I do.

greysasksendinblog  asked:

If possible please show off some more of pet shops SSStier bullshit nonsense. People need to know this bird is NOT NICE

ye, so there’s a plethora of reasons why petshop is considered “petshop tier”, and is usually super-duper banned when the game is played competitively, probably a lot more than i’m aware of but i’ll tell you what i can

much of petshop’s bullshit revolves around this move right here, these ceiling icicles. it’s performed by holding down Light, Medium or Heavy and releasing. all 3 can be held down at the same time

these icicles hit high, is an important thing to keep in mind here

being able to charge up these icicles by holding down the buttons you’re not currently using basically means you always have some way to apply pressure and scare your opponent into blocking, which is what you want because that means you can do this shit

if timed properly there is zero way to block this, and it leads into petshop’s basic bread-and-butter combo

did i mention his bread-and-butter combo does 100% damage, by the way? because that’s a thing, and is probably the #1 reason he’s banned

if his opponent isn’t in the corner he can’t do the unblockable high/low shit as effectively, but he can still get left/right mixups thanks to his “teleport”

but even without this “teleport”, the icicles still leave him with an effective way to keep the opponent away from him, and SPEAKING OF

his keepaway can be really strong and really annoying, because his primary projectiles are done with the Stand button, i.e. NOT any of the buttons used for his ceiling icicles. this allows him to use both at the same time, and it can make him really hard to approach

capcom must’ve been at least somewhat aware of how good he was, because petshop’s projectiles do not deal chip damage. that’s not much of a fix when his actual combos do 100%, but it does at the very least incentivize him to come to you when you have a life lead. this is what you want, because if you hafta chase after him you’re gonna hafta wade through a minefield

petshop also has crazy mobility, moreso than any other character. he can freely fly around (he has no jump, though), dash in 6 directions and can pretty easily escape from danger when he manages to get trapped in a corner. it’s a big problem. 

he also outright avoids a decent amount of low attacks just by floating there, so he can be hard to even land hits on once you DO get close enough, especially if your character’s reliable combo starters happened to be lows

a character having one or two of these qualities would be great, but petshop has all of them. he can do whatever the fuck he wants and there’s not much anybody can do about it. my advice is to main petshop–that’s what i did!

i probably missed some shit, truth be told i’m not super knowledgeable about this game (or jojo in general). if anyone wants to know more, i recommend asking @grooveonfight, they can tell you a lot more than i can!

anonymous asked:

I'm very confused is there some new show in which Betty and Veronica from the Archie comics make out? What is happening? What is

oh buddy YOU HAVEN’T HEARD OF RIVERDALE? where to even BEGIN.

so once upon a time some CW executive was like “you know what The Kids like? those wholesome Archie comics in which people actually go by names like jughead and moose and two incredibly amazing women fight over a thoroughly mediocre boy”

look at how precious and innocent they are, god bless.

“… but you know what else The Kids love???????” the exec said, speaking aloud because why not?

HERE’S SOME STUFF KIDS LOVE

“WHAT IF” says this executive, eyes gleaming in a way that’s a little more than manic, now, “we have ALL THE SAME CHARACTERS FROM ARCHIE only instead of keeping that feel-good tone we turn it into TWIN PEAKS meets GOSSIP GIRL meets VERONICA MARS but like not the good veronica mars, awkward middle of season three veronica mars.”

that sounds terrible, i can hear you thinking. are you endorsing this?

it IS terrible, pal, but let me tell you

let me just say

they have gotten one thing– 

or rather, two things–

very

very 

right

are veronica and betty going to be endgame?

NO!

do they even legit like girls?

DON’T BE RIDICULOUS

is this show actually, like… good?

HA HA NOT REALLY

but then why…????

look man.

sometimes you want to watch a show that’s going to change your life. a show that gets at the heart of what it means to be human, that really thinks through every twist and turn, that cares about its characters like they’re real people. a show that you then judge all others against.

and sometimes

you want to watch a show that is then judged against those other, actually good shows.

the bad news is that Riverdale is garbage

the good news is that it’s the best kind of garbage

the GREAT news is that IT’S ONLY SIX O’CLOCK AND YOU CAN STILL CATCH UP ON THE FIRST TWO EPISODES BEFORE THE THIRD ONE AIRS TONIGHT AT 9/8C ON THE CW

if i go down i’m taking you all with me

8

And all I was supposed to feel was grateful. I was supposed to just shut up and be thankful that I had these great parents who wanted me when my birth parents didn’t. But the truth is you never wanted me, either. What are you talking about? I was a replacement for your dead baby. That’s all I’ve ever been.  You got it all wrong, son.  No, I’ve spent my life striving for perfection, and you know why, Dad? ‘Cause I live in fear. That if I let up for a moment, I will remember that I am unwanted.

loverboy-lester  asked:

How are you able to do so many different voices so well? Voice acting is something I think I'd want to pursue, so do you have any tips for doing voices? What is it about a character (for example, Mae) that helps you to choose their voice?

Well the thing is voice acting isn’t really about doing lots of voices, it’s about making a character believable and being able to act out a characters lines like they would if they really existed. 

Most voices I choose for characters is based around how they look or if they have a sound clip that sort of hints at their sound. Like in undertale, most characters had sound bytes for their font that dictated it where as NITW was all about how they looked and what animal they were. Gregg being a Fox meant he had a more shrill barky sound, bea being an alligator meant everything was sort of a growl (and also she looked like a stereotypical goth kid)

There’s lots to it and I’m by no means great at it but I just love the process so much and really love learning more about it. 

somebodylost-chan  asked:

I'd like to ask, how do you know when fight/smut scenes are necessary? Or how to make them effective & not simply as fanservice or just for word count? Usually, I find myself skimming through fight scenes as a reader, bored. As a writer, I'm inclined to just 'fade to black' and imply stuff at the next chapters. I'm not really a fight/smut-scene writer, even though my characters know & need to fight. Thanks for keeping this blog. :D

A good fight scene (and a good smut scene for that matter) always works in the service of the narrative. It works toward the cohesive big picture.

From an entertainment standpoint, violence is boring.

You need your audience invested in the characters participating in the violence, in the actions and events leading up to the fight, in the aftermath and how this will effect the character’s overall goals.

In a narrative context, if you’re bored during a fight scene or a sex scene it’s because the build up to that moment failed. The scene itself may also have failed. However, your foundation is what makes your story sing.

Think of a story like building blocks. You’re playing Jenga with your reader on a homemade house, they’re slowly pulling out the pieces and you’re betting you built your blocks well enough to withstand scrutiny. You’ve got to keep them interested long enough to get to the end before the whole thing comes tumbling down.

A fight sequence which works in concert with it’s narrative is enjoyable, doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, and ultimately works to build up the story it’s telling. Fighting isn’t fighting, you see. Combat is a form of problem solving, the fight itself is an expression of the character’s individuality. Everything we’ve been learning about them, their goals, and their behaviors are being put in a pressure cooker and dialed up.

You should be learning about the character as the fight progresses, the fight working on multiple levels in concert with its narrative to get the story where it needs to go. Often, a first fight is like an establishing shot in film. You get a feel for who this character is when under pressure, who they are. Peril can be a great way to get the audience invested, but its up to the author to prove why they should.

Poor fight sequences don’t tell you anything. They’re there to establish the character as capable of fighting but don’t even do that because their concept of combat is generic.

The combatants aren’t individuals expressing themselves, the fight isn’t proving anything except fighting, it doesn’t have meaning except for its attempts to prove the narrative’s poor concept of badassery. This often happens with no regard for the setting’s rules, the aftermath consequences, what the character’s actions will effect in the long run.

It doesn’t mean anything and, while violence is shocking and terrifying in real life, in fiction violence has to mean more than just an exchange of blows.

How many times have you read a book where several mooks show up to get their ass kicked by the protagonist? They limp off at the end and while they’re often in a perfect position to be seen again due to their connections, we never do.

In even just a moderately competent narrative, those same mooks are characters. We’ll see them again in bit roles. They’ll play a role, either to help or hurt later as an aftermath consequence of the protagonist’s earlier actions. These are callback characters we can use to remind the audience of what happened previously in the narrative, and offer up some catharsis.

In a really well written scene, these mooks serve an important purpose when it comes to establishing the protagonist’s character in a quick snapshot. Like the moderately competent character, they come back later to the aid or the detriment of the protagonist. The mooks’ response actions are a direct result of their encounter with the character, often acting as an inciting incident. The protagonist suffers direct consequences as a result of their actions, whether its injury, loss, or the attention of the villain which causes them to lose something. In these fight scenes, you can see the story’s trajectory because it acts as another way to get to know the hero, the secondary characters, the tertiary characters, and whoever else is participating. It’s working on five different levels.

What you often see in a good fight sequence, whether it’s in a written medium or film, is the culmination of a great deal of hard work on the part of the author. A smut sequence is a reward, it’s a way to pay off on the reader’s investment in the relationship between these two characters and the narrative’s investment in them. It doesn’t matter if that’s hardcore sex, or a Victorian hand touch, or a knockout blow to the jaw, the end result is the same. It’s entertaining, satisfying, and even cathartic.

A poor sex scene is just dolls bumping bits. A poor fight scene is just dolls trading blows. Nothing occurs, nothing happens, there’s none of the underlying satisfaction or catharsis in the outcome. You don’t have any investment, no consequences, it overstays its welcome and tells you nothing about the characters.

You’ve no reason to care, so you don’t.

As a reader, you don’t owe a writer attention when reading their work. They’ve got to earn it. If they aren’t, then it may be that the story isn’t for you and that’s okay. Take into account your tastes,

It takes practice to choreograph a fun fight scene. Writing sex and violence is mostly about learning to find your limits (i.e. what you’re comfortable with writing), and overcoming embarrassment. Determine the difference between need and want.

Are you avoiding writing these scenes because you’re scared of being bad at them or because they just don’t interest you?

These are two very different issues, and it’s easy to hide from the first behind the second. Be honest with yourself. If it is fear, then don’t give into it. The easy solution if you’re afraid of being bad at something is to practice. Start looking critically at the media you consume, when you start to get bored during a fight scene or a sex scene, when you want to skip ahead, ask yourself, “why?”. Check out the sequences and stories where this doesn’t happen, and try to figure out the differences between the two.

When it comes to the mechanics of both violence and sex, the more you learn the better off you’ll be at writing it. The more you practice writing violence/sex/romance then the better you’ll be. Like with everything, it’ll probably be pretty terrible in the beginning but the more you practice, the better you get. Writing itself is a skill, but its also a lot of sub-skills built in underneath the surface. Being good at dialogue doesn’t mean you’ll be good at action, having a knack for great characterization doesn’t mean you’ll be good at writing setting description. Putting together great characters doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be good at worldbuilding.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

All it takes to figure out whether or not the time to fight is right is by listening to your gut.

Remember, the best scenes are based in narrative cohesion and emotional investment. They’re a pay off in and of themselves for your audience, dessert after dinner. They aren’t the meat and potatoes. If you set out to just write a fight scene or write a smut scene then it’ll get gratuitous. Then the focus is on the fight or the sex itself, hangs entirely on their shoulders, and you’ve just upped the ante for how entertaining you need to be.

It’s not “how do I write a fight scene”, it’s “how did my characters get to this point and why are they fighting”. If you start from a character place, it gets easier. The same is true with romance. “How do my characters participate in a romance (sex or not)”.

Make it about the individuals, that’s when it really gets fun.

And, if you get too stuck, try writing fight scenes with characters who don’t know much about how to fight. Sometimes, it’s easier to get into it when you begin at the beginning. There’s a lot less pressure convincing an audience with a character who knows nothing than one at the top of their field.

There’s a lot less stress about “is this right?” when you’re trying to get a feel for the flow if you’re dealing with a character who doesn’t know jack shit. Fight scenes with characters who know nothing can also be really, really, really fun. They’re wild, improvisational frenzies where all you have is the character sorting through their alternative, non-fighting skills trying to figure out how to survive.

Believe it or not, this will help you because you don’t get to cheat with the idea that your character already knows what they’re doing when you don’t. It’ll help you tap into the character, seeing scenarios from their perspectives, and writing to that instead of “generic fight scene”. When you’re unsure, characters who know nothing about the subject matter they’re engaging in but still have to engage are great. They teach you how to write from the standpoint and perspective of the individual. You need those skills just as much when writing characters who are professionals or at the top of their field.

If you don’t think you can write an interesting fight sequence with a neophyte, then that might be a part of the problem. A character doesn’t need to be good at something to be entertaining. A smut sequence where everyone’s fumbling, knocking into each other, embarrassed, stuck in their clothing, cheesy, corny, and laughing can be just as fun (if not more so and more honest) than the ones that generally get envisioned.

For me, good is entertaining and the entertainment is based in humanity but you need to define “good” for yourself in your own writing. Be honest with yourself about your fears and you’ll find a way to bridge yourself to the kind of writing you want to be doing.

Freeing yourself of your own internalized preconceived notions will help a lot, and produce stories that are way more fun.

-Michi

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Steven’s Mental Health in Season 4...

…and why he didn’t save the Rubies, unbubble Bismuth, or confront his feelings about Jasper.

Because there is a reason, brought to light by the events of I Am My Mom, and it fits rather well with Steven’s character as of late.

Throughout Mindful, he doesn’t want to think about what he’s gone through because his personal trauma from it is just too great. But then it all comes crashing down at the end, and he forces himself to confront it, right?

Well no, actually. At the end of the episode, Stevonnie just lands in the field and smiles at the sky. At the time, I criticized this for being a quick resolution, but now I realize that that was never a resolution at all: It was just Steven burying his emotional problems even deeper so that not even Stevonnie could be affected by them.

That’s why he doesn’t immediately go to make amends with Bismuth or Jasper or Eyeball: The traumatic stress he associates with their encounters override any sense of empathy he has towards them, and he subconsciously tries to forget so he doesn’t feel that guilt and can just go back to the way things were before (much like a certain singing Diamond he’s heard so much about…)

I think that once Steven’s mental state improves, he’ll consciously try to make amends.

Take a look at the next time Steven’s issues came to a boil, Steven’s Dream: This time, all it takes is a simple question from Steven and a panicked outburst from Garnet to drive Steven into an angry rant about “everyone lying” to him. The problems from Mindful were still eating away at Steven, he probably just didn’t realize it because he was pretty much avoiding those thoughts altogether, and for a while, it was working.

So, Steven goes to Korea, Greg gets kidnapped, and now Steven has a whole new set of things to be guilty over. No matter how justified his actions might have been, Steven’s biggest character flaw is his guilt complex, so he inherently feels responsibility for what happened. (And this isn’t recent, we saw a glimpse of it in Message Received when he blamed himself for Peridot’s supposed betrayal)

However, in the episode Steven’s just too busy worrying about his dad to hear “Oh Steven we’re so sorry” and he rushes them into space. They run into the Rubies and Steven does say “We’ll pick them up on the way back” but pay attention to his tone of voice: It doesn’t sound like he’s saying “Oh no they’re out here we have to save them,” he’s saying “Yeah yeah those guys yeah let’s get back to work and save dad okay” because Steven wasn’t exactly in the best emotional state at the time. I can completely understand his subconscious just NOT wanting to think about the Rubies at all because the events of Bubbled leaving a lingering negative connotation.

After Steven gets back, he’s forced to confront his demons yet again in Storm in the Room, but hey! Everything’s fine in the end because Greg got pizza and it’s all smiles…

Until we get to Lion 4 and he’s right back in the thick of an existential crisis. Sure, he gets a talk with Greg and this is resolved in the end…but is it?

Because by the end of that very week, Steven is giving himself up to be executed in his mother’s place. And all it took was a small mistake he made long ago, and a scenario in which there were no other immediate options.

So, to answer the question of why Steven supposedly let others suffer throughout season 4, it’s because he is suffering himself. He’s been wallowing in it all season, and he hasn’t done anything substantial about it because in his mind that’ll just make things worse and make himself a burden to others. I mean, look at what happened every time his true feelings rose to the surface:

- Mindful Education: Connie almost fell to her death.

- Steven’s Dream: Greg got kidnapped.

These were things that were resolved in the immediate, sure, but long-term? Steven doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, and he’s been indirectly led to believe that by confronting his problems, he’ll just cause others harm.

So we get to I Am My Mom, and he’s given a way out: Sure, he *thinks* he’s doing it to save the Earth and his friends, but subconsciously he’s doing it because it’s his ticket out of the mess he’s been stuck living in for the past four seasons.

The takeaway I get from Season 4 is that Steven’s emotional issues are much bigger than anyone could suspect, and that a million “Sorry’s,” “It’s not your fault’s,” fusion therapy sessions, and sweet words & smiles can only help him so far.

This isn’t the season of Steven letting people suffer for no reason; It’s the season of Steven suffering himself without anyone taking enough notice to do anything, to the point where he inadvertently lets people suffer out of his own desire to not make things worse.

“Don’t worry,” Greg & the Gems probably told themselves after Bubbled, Mindful Education, and the Zoo arc, “Steven’s fine now. See? He’s happy, he must be fine. We told him it was alright, he must be fine. If there was something wrong, we would know about it. He’s doing fine.”

Well he wasn’t.

Yes hello, it is I, here to make a lengthier post about something I’ve been complaining over nonstop on Twitter!

So, Lefou is gay, and while I like Gaston/Lefou and always have, because look at my other ships, of course I do, I admit it’s not great. BUT, in the rush to score reblogs and retweets, a lot of criticism is ignoring something pretty important:


The man who said these things, Bill Condon (the director of the movie), is openly gay. He has a longterm partner and everything. He’s not Generic Straight Man talking about the gays. He is gay himself. Nearly all the posts I’ve seen about this issue make no mention of this fact, and a whole lot of them outright say things like, “This is the straightest thing I’ve ever read” or “ugh, heteros go home”.

Guess what: if you’re getting straight vibes from his interview, your gaydar’s malfunctioning just a bit, there. Making Lefou the only gay character in the movie is not an ideal situation, but the context of a gay man making that creative decision and talking about it to the press is very, very different from the narrative that’s being presented by all these hugely popular tumblr posts. So, you know, if we could criticize this in a way that doesn’t prioritize a fictional candlestick over an actual real-life gay man, that would be great.

characterization, filters, and characterization to be found in the lack of filters

Talking about Jane earlier got me thinking, you know, Jane is not at all the only character that uses this device to show off the less desirable traits lurking in the psyche of all these damaged teens. Like. So many characters have these lurking deep seated issues that stay hidden deep down because the characters are pretty good at projecting a less damaged and more together version of themselves. 

If that sounds familiar it’s because it’s a fucking outrageously relatable quality and part of what makes the Homestuck characters RESONATE so much. Why they feel like they have all this dimension and depth that makes us grab on to them and never want to let go. 

I’m just going to run through some examples here while I’m thinking about it. The first OBVIOUSLY since thinking about her is what got me going on this – Jane. Crockertier Jane removing the layers of self-imposed filter on Jane’s festering insecurity, entitlement issues, jealousy and so on. I’ve already talked enough about that today.

Grimbark Jade! You notice Jade says what she’s thinking WAY more easily while she’s mind controlled, and she still sounds like herself – she sounds kinda like she does when she’s owning Karkat repeatedly, doesn’t she? Because angry Jade has that same effect of pushing her nice girl filter aside and letting the angry witch (not a cutesy slur, her literal witch class) within fly free. Grimbark Jade tells us that behind that nice girl front Jade Harley actually thinks some pretty uncharitable thoughts sometimes, she just keeps a tight fucking lid on it because – well, don’t most people? Relatable as fuck. 

Jadesprite! Since we’re talking about Jade anyway. Jade likes to think she has everything together, that her visions from Skaia and her scientific prowess and the tools her Grandpa left her are more than enough to handle everything that comes her way, she’s independent, she’s capable, she’s certainly never LONELY oh no of course not certainly never CRUSHINGLY OVERWHELMED by the responsibility of her own existence nah those are weak feelings for weak girls who aren’t as awesome as Jade! And then – Jadesprite. Why do you think Jade got SO ANGRY at Jadesprite? Because she was being confronted with something she knew deep down was a reflection of weaknesses in herself (totally normal ones that her later arc reinforced were a mistake to pretend weren’t there – Loneliness and fear and regret are all tied in with Jade’s character progression and learning how to deal with those things is where I imagine her arc would have gone if Homstuck’s ending hadn’t been the literary equivalent of chopping off a limb and cauterizing the wound.) Jadesprite is Jade without the filter of implacable strength Jade imposes on herself to fuckin cope with living on a hell island with the stuffed corpse of her grandpa who she grew up thinking literally killed himself at BEST.  god damn

Davesprite. Dave Strider with a slow long agonizing depressing arc wherein he realizes his coolkid persona won’t make anyone think of him as their best friend anymore, and in the absence of the security that persona afforded him when he was The Real Dave he has no idea what to do with himself. He’s lost, he feels aimless, untethered, incapable of being happy – and yes, Davesprite is his own character, but you can still infer a lot from Dave’s character about him – for instance, how he completely ties his self worth up in how useful he is to his friends or how worthwhile they find him and has no idea how to even BEGIN the hard journey of looking within for worth instead of relying eternally on changeable external sources. Davesprite is Dave not WITHOUT a filter but certainly with a VERY DIFFERENT one.

Homestuck does this with almost every single damn character on its roster at some point. Shows a version of them with a different or lesser or completely missing filter to highlight flaws and issues and internal struggles of all kinds. 

Homestuck is a damn deep dive into an exercise about analyzing nature vs nurture and what we’re predisposed to do and what comes from within and what is put upon us by forces out of our control, and how that line is blurry and messy and everyone has the potential to be either the worst or best version of themselves. Even Caliborn was given a choice. Hussie-The-Character explained it to him at great painstaking length. 

There are so many other examples. Jasprose is Rose without a filter, and the way Jasprose goes around gleefully calling every hot girl she sees hot and delighting smugly in knowing more than just about anyone else and lording over the information and playing smarter-than-thou games – that tells us a LOT about Rose! A LOT about what sort of urges Rose tamps down on every day in an effort to just be fucking cool! 

I bet you have things like this with yourself, right? Doesn’t everyone?

Tricksters! Look at how they act. They’re not themselves but there is plenty to glean from them. Jane immediately goes for Jake, the object of her desire, to pursue an exaggerated version of her idealized future. Trickster Jake is a passive fucking ragdoll who immediately acquiesces to everything everyone demands of him because their happiness becomes his happiness – Jake hates confrontation, so Trickster Jake is just a fucking doormat. Roxy goes for Jake AND Dirk because divorced from the guilt she normally feels for harboring desire toward either one of them she knows exactly what she wants! ETC ETC. Of course they would never do any of this shit if they weren’t high as balls and incapable of understanding the meaning of the word “consequence.” That’s the point. Seeing what they do in this situation is an interesting window in!

Brain Ghost Dirk is a version of Jake (yes, of Jake, not Dirk) without a specific filter Jake runs his own personality through before he’s comfortable presenting it to others, and you’ll notice, it’s EXTREMELY biting and critical sometimes. Jake knows what he’s about. He just buries it most of the time because that’s easier than dealing with it. 

I could seriously keep going. 

Homestuck loves to show us what our favorites do and say and ARE when basic filters go out the window. Those filters that most of us employ to make other people believe we don’t all have intrusive thoughts or bad desires or just plain old weaknesses we’re ashamed of and want to keep hidding at costs – or that we occasionally think things or think about doing things we would never ever ever do in real life are demolished or changed or temporarily suspended. 

It’s brilliant tbh. It lets us see facets of characters that would normally never really get full spotlight reveals by their very nature, especially with protagonists. 

Vriska vs (Vriska) – (Vriska) is just Vriska with some more self awareness and more willingness to let down her self-imposed filter and actually examine the shit she wants and why because watching Aranea fuck the timeline over out of motivations eerily similar to her own hardcore shook her enough to develop in that direction. (which makes sense since HER original motivations are copying Mindfang who IS alt-aranea lmao I love Homestuck)  (Vriska) is still Vriska, it’s just a very very different lens through which to view her character. 

blah blah blah blah etc there are so many examples

anyway I love Homestuck and good character writing what up

ok this isnt to poke sleeping bears or any of that shit but.

To any and all Hidekane shippers (or any other bloodthirsty kenxwhoever shippers). 

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Please dont attack Ishida for the newer chapters of TG:re

Its his story to do what he wants with his own characters. I get you would be mad about your OTP not being canon or whatever but its really not worth attacking the creator for his own story.

Dont make the poor man dislike his own fandom.

Honestly i think that if Ouran Highschool Host Club just made the mistake of being ahead of its time. Had it come out recently it would’ve been praised for all the great and nicely subtle things that it included. 

For starters, it had a nonbinary protagonist, Haruhi basically states that they dont care what gender the others see them as. 

Then it goes on to be crammed full of jokes about other shoujo and general anime tropes. yeah other shows do this too, but this one straight up calls out the Harem debauchery tropes in one episode. its great 

not to mention there’s a transvestite character who calls out the stereotypes that surround drag queens, an all girls’ school full of lesbians (which i can attest to is true to real life), points out that the fetishization of gay people is obnoxious and wrong (Renge as a character is shown in a negative light whenever she acts like this), and i just love it. 

I hold this show really close to my heart. i wish it had gotten more seasons. 

anonymous asked:

I want to create a character design sketchbook thats strictly for fleshing out my characters. How do i do that? What do I put in it? Like what type of stuff?

The great thing about sketchbooks is that there are no rules about how to use them— it’s all about what you want from it! 

Of course, that can also be a pretty daunting thing, especially if you’re just starting out with it. Here’s a slightly disorganized list of things to consider including in a character design-centered sketchbook in addition to basic design sketches:

  • Movement and body type gestures/studies
  • Facial expression charts
  • Hairstyle thumbnails and studies
  • Character turnarounds/reference sheets
  • The same character at different ages throughout their life
  • Detail drawings of jewelry, patterns/embroidery, tattoos, and other smaller elements that may not be clear in full-body sketches
  • Studies of real-life examples of clothes, accessories, weapons, etc. that are similar to what you’re imaging for your character
  • Annotations/notes about parts of the design, such as clothing/armor materials, meaning or significance of special accessories, the contents of a bag, how a magical items works, the story behind a tattoo or scar… really anything that you want to flesh out beyond the basic visual design
  • Family trees and/or non-familial relationship charts (e.g. who’s friends, who hates each other, who’s dating, etc.)
  • Height comparison/chart for the main characters of a story
  • Drawings of a character’s bedroom/apartment/dorm/other living space
  • Hand studies
  • Clothing layer breakdown (as in, how would the character get dressed in their typical outfit, from undies to finished design?)

Obviously there’s no way to list every single thing that you could possibly put in a sketchbook, nor do you have to do everything that is on this list, but hopefully it will give you enough ideas to get started!