this list subject to change on a second by second basis

Things We Left Behind

Summary: It wasn’t that you expected to live with him forever; you simply forgot that ‘not forever’ meant ‘someday it will end.’

Genre: angst/smut (but with a happy ending)

Rating: mature

Word count: 8.2k

Warnings: light smut, swearing

read on ao3


All in all, the whole thing is a lot less dramatic than you expected.

Years ago, when your friendship with Phil was relatively new and you still relied on each other to maintain your rapidly growing audience, you spent more time than you should have imagining everything going up in flames. There was still the matter of your crush and possibly his, the pull towards each other lying dormant in your chests and waiting to blow up in your faces with every awkward glance and poorly-timed comment by a stranger on the internet. And even if you could ignore that like you planned, there was no guarantee that your friendship would withstand becoming flatmates.

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Movie AUs!

A year ago, you couldn’t have convinced us that we’d be running a writing blog that just just hit 3,000 followers, but here we are! Thank you guys so much, each and every one of you, for sticking around here with us through the craziness that the past year has brought to this blog. We love y’all! (Please excuse the banner that was made in like two seconds omg I’ve never made one before lol)

Anyway, in light of our most recent follower milestone, we’ve decided to host a writing challenge! We’ve seen so many different, super cool challenges floating around lately, so we came up with the idea to do movie AUs! Below the cut, you’ll find the rules for this particular challenge, followed by a list of 75 movies that we came up with off the tops of our heads in like 20 minutes. This is a long post, our apologies; but in order to avoid everyone asking questions and general confusion, we tried to include everything we could think of. Please read entirely before entering the challenge, thanks!  

Hope y’all decide to join and have some fun with us here at Stark Tower! 

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Project Rikleimt Universe

“You should come with me to the capital.” Lexa forcibly swallowed to keep her composure and turned to the blonde. Maybe she could reveal to Clarke another side of her people.  “Polis will change the way you think about us.”

Polis, though, was only the beginning of the world Lexa would show Clarke. Roads bustling with people, only moving aside for horse-drawn carts to pass. Just outside the city walls, farmers were working in the waning heat of the autumn sun, harvesting the last of their produce. Behind the city, you could see the far end of the harbour with small wooden rowboats unloading crates from merchants of the Floudonkru.

There is so much world building potential for this story just with the interactions of the twelve clans alone. Think about it, clashing cultures and an exchange of traditions. A place where the people could flourish under a peaceful rule. The possibilities are endless, and with this project, we want to explore the territories of the twelve clans. We want to meet the different clans and discover how they survived, what their cities look like, and their food tastes like. We want to explore everything - the history, traditions and economics, the landscape of their territories, the weather during the seasons and how nature evolved from what we would consider normal butterflies to ones that glow in the dark.

Are you ready to explore this world with us?

Our vision

This world building team forms the backbone of the writers, in giving it a strong basis in which the Clexa Rikleimt adventures take place. The team will explore in detail the places that the story will take us and slowly build the world around it. There will also be a list of advisors that may be called upon by the writers to give their input on specific subjects. A military advisor may be able to give input on battles and strategies to add more realism to the writing. A medical advisor may be able to advise on procedures and wounds, what is fatal and how long some wounds take to heal.

This team of world builders, mainly consisting of those interested in expanding the world and experts in chosen fields, will be assisted with a team of writers who will write about these features, sites and cultures. Ideally, together, this team would make several informative writings on the Rikleimt universe. One of those writings would contain all the info on the history and workings of the 12 clans. To complement these articles, the team of artists may be able to work on creating sketches, landscapes and/or scenes of the subjects.

Another writing may be more scientific in nature, written by specialists on the subjects of how the apocalypse changed the world. From the nuclear winter to the climate changing effects in the span of 97 years. How nature slowly adapted, sometimes with strange results like the glowing butterflies and the ongoing effects near hot zones, where radioactive material is still highly concentrated. Articles with subjects relatable to past events may teach us more on the effects of radiation, think of Hiroshima and how it might relate to the early years in the fictional world after the first bombs dropped, or how the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl could relate to radioactive hot zones still present in the Clexa Rikleimt story.

The writings, depending on demand, could possibly be made into physical copies, much like the Clexa artbook and the proceeds going to a queer oriented charity. Or we could make a digital copy of it in a pdf document which can be read on your laptop or phone. A third medium is to use the Clexa Rikleimt website where the story can be read and incorporate it there in some way. 

A different final product would be an interactive map of the whole region with all the locations the world building team created, including borders dividing the region into the clans. Perhaps it could even feature common routes and the possibility to calculate how long it would take to move from one city to another per horse, car (skaikru), or just walking.

THE EXTENDED PROJECT

While all the above is related to the territories of the twelve clans, that region is not the only one affected by the apocalypse with surviving people. Eventually, regions outside of the coalition’s reach may threaten a newfound stability. There may be nomads or banished people crossing the southern borders into the lands of the 12 clans, causing a severe uprising - prompting Clarke & Lexa to become involved in yet another threat to their peace.

The story may lead us eventually in this direction, but a second world building team could already start building this region with unique groups of survivors with different histories and resulting cultures, perhaps even related to old local traditions and belief systems. Also, imagine a post-apocalyptic world with queer/POC/etc. leaders at the top around the world.

(The gay agenda homophobic people fear so much; “the gays take over the world”)

Our vision

The world is large and has room for so many more interesting stories. And one by one we can add to that. We can write the sorely needed representation for each person in the community and see them rise to power, or try to hold on to their seat. This isn’t just about queer representation, but other types of minorities too. Mainstream media is still failing many groups, we’re here to do them justice, not just the LGBTQ+ community. We’re strong, we’re able and we definitely can lead.

Similar to how the first world building team is set up, a second team of experts, interested people, and writers will delve into these regions and create a playground where we can shape a new story, with a whole new cast, perhaps even experiment with a new medium in which the story is told.

Again, there might be an interactive map of the regions and a book on the history and workings of these other regions to accompany the main narrative of another LGBTQ+ leader.

FORM

Fill in a form to become world builder here.

REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN THE KRU

You need to be interested and you need to be able to work in a team. That means a willingness to resolve any arising conflicts, be they project related or otherwise, in a reasonable manner.

You need to have enough time on your hands to participate and not be too busy already. We would like to deliver the fandom new content in a timely manner. We understand that situations may arise where you might be more busy for some period of time. We certainly are not asking you to sacrifice important professional or personal commitments. All we ask is that you be willing to commit to this as an ongoing project for the duration your part takes, the details and schedules of which would be discussed.

Obviously individual circumstances will be taken into account and we will try our best to accommodate everybody. This is meant to be a fun experience, not a dictatorship.

Previous: Revising the second draft

My five tips:

  1. Don’t assume you can work without consulting story structures. They give you logical ways to order and pace the scenes in your story so that it flows well.
  2. Don’t define chapters by length. Forcing yourself to follow a word count will probably result in a lot of filler and mess up you pacing. 
  3. Don’t add scenes just to increase your word count. Each scene needs to add value to your story, so if you want to increase your word count, you need to brainstorm ways to create new scenes that benefit the narrative.
  4. Not each action scene needs to be meticulously followed by a reaction scene.
  5. Use you word count as a guide, not a rule. 

Remember that I said you can have multiple revisions of one draft, meaning that while you would have only just finished your second draft, it would have taken several revisions to do so. When you think you’ve got your story sorted, all of your scenes are in place, your characterisation is pretty spot on, etc., you can progress to this stage.

This is where we start splitting things into chapters, assessing the relevance of scenes, and ensuring we’ve got the right pacing and tension. How do we do this?

Step one: Make a list of scenes

It’s probably best to do this on a spreadsheet so you can fit more on a page. Make a list of scenes, using a sentence or a few words to describe the point of each. 

Step two: Identify your plot points

In Part Five we talked about figuring out the first plot point. Rather than structuring our novel, this was just to give us something to work towards so we didn’t get writer’s block 2k words in.

*Side note about story structure*

I’ve known a lot of writer’s who don’t think about structure at either the writing or revising stage. It’s perfectly find to write without a structure if that’s your process, but you need to consider it at some stage. Whether you think you’re too good for structure, or it takes the creativity out of your work, or you even think it makes your work predictable and formulaic, you still need to think about structure. Story structure is not a way to try to compartmentalise or commercialise your story and you’re probably not above and beyond the need for it. Story structure is imperative for pace and tension. If you don’t structure your story properly, it will not flow properly.

I don’t use the following story structure because it’s popular or straightforward, I use it because it’s the most logical way to structure most narratives. This particular structure is a tried and true indication of how far apart contextual shifts should be, how much time should appropriately be given to certain aspects, at what point tension can be increased to good effect, and how much tension should actually be included.

Don’t be one of those people who thinks they’re too good to follow advice or that they can do all of this naturally. You might end up dedicating half of your story to your set-up, which is not going to sit well with your audience. You might not increase the tension appropriately, which will lead to a sagging middle.

*End side note*

We’re going to identify the major plot points now:

  • The first plot point – At what point is your protagonist no longer able to return to the status quo? (When Frodo discovers that the Ringwraiths are after a Baggins in the Shire, he must flee with the ring. He will not be able to go on with his life as normal.)
  • The midpoint – At what point does your protagonist actively decide to fight back against the conflict? (Frodo decides he will take the ring to Mordor. Until now he was just trying to avoid the Ringwraiths, but now he has decided he will actively fight against the antagonist, Sauron.)
  • The second plot point – At what point does your protagonist decide to go into battle with the antagonist/conflict? (As this is only the first leg of a three-leg journey, Frodo doesn’t go into battle with the antagonist. There is a contextual shift, though: the fellowship breaks. This occurs during the climax so it is not the second plot point; the second plot point (imo) is when Galadriel tells Frodo that Boromir will try to take the Ring. Frodo makes a last-ditch effort to get rid of his burden but Galadriel declines and he’s stuck with his fate, pondering the significant change that’s about to occur.) 

Mark these down on your scene list. Each is a separator for the parts you your story:

Or, if you like a different format:

These things often come naturally because, like I said, it’s a logical structure that increases the tension at appropriate intervals and assists with keeping an effective pace. If you don’t have these points and cannot find an alternative event that might not strictly follow these definitions but is significant enough nonetheless, then perhaps it’s time to revisit your story and assess the development of your plot. If there are no significant contextual shifts, is there enough tension to keep the reader engaged?

You’ll probably notice that there are fewer scenes in some parts, particularly in part 4. Don’t be alarmed, this is just because those really significant scenes are longer than the less important scenes and will take up a huge chunk of your story. Also, don’t be alarmed if this is not the case, especially if you’re writing in multiple POVs. Your high-tension points might be made up of a bunch of short scenes. Either way, don’t let the amount of scenes on your sheet bother you.

Step three: Identify pinch points

Pinch points are slotted between plot points. They can be big events or small events, but either way, they show the conflict/antagonist/consequences coming closer.

  • The first pinch point is between the first plot point and midpoint (Saruman is building an army; or, if you don’t check in with your antagonist, Frodo is stabbed and almost becomes a Wraith.)
  • The second pinch point is between the midpoint and second plot point (They partake in battle in Moria, and while their foes are not strictly the story’s antagonists, the fellowship are in Moria because of Saruman. They lose Gandalf, their leader and guide.)

Mark these down on your scene list:

Step four: Grouping together related scenes

Close up on your different parts now. What have you got going on between the points we’ve already discussed? Try to identify the really significant moments and group together the scenes that support those moments.

I’ve read several articles about scenes and chapters that say you should alternate between action scenes and reaction scenes. Don’t follow this strictly. ‘Action scene’ does’t mean 'car chase’, it means that a character is actively progressing towards something – that they are working toward a short-term goal that might be the subject of a scene or a chapter. You could have back-to-back action scenes leading up to the completion of a chapter goal, you could have two back-to-back minor goals achieved, you could deny your characters the chance to regroup to keep the tension high, it all depends on pace requirements. If your characters are doing too much without stopping for a breath, allow them to regroup; if they seem too passive, give them more to do.

These particular articles sometimes suggest that an action scene + reaction scene = chapter. Don’t follow this advice either. You need hooks at the end of your chapters, not nice resolutions. End chapters with an action scene. End them in the middle of an action scene if you have do. But don’t think about that just yet! I’m just trying to make you realise that you don’t need to be formulaic when it comes to structuring chapters.

So we group together scenes that relate to each other and use this as a basis to separate our story into chapters:

Step five: The word count

I’ll use the word count from one of my WIPs sans most recent edits as an example rather than the LOTR book because it would be inaccurate to use the word count to reflect the pacing of the movie:

  • Part one: 29,000 
  • Part two: 17,500
  • Part three: 15,000
  • Part four: 12,200
  • Total word count: 73,700

Convert these figures into percentages:

  • Part one: 39%
  • Part two: 24%
  • Part three: 20%
  • Part four: 17%

You can see straight away that these word counts are way off base. I have a few more scenes to write in parts 2 and 3 and pretty much have to write my entire climax, but even so, if I use Part 1 (which I’m relatively happy with) as a basis, then my total word count will 120k words, which is a lot longer than what I want. Additionally, I don’t have enough action to push the rest of my parts to 30k words. This means I’ll need to consider trimming down Part 1.

Question parts that have too high a word count. Are all the scenes necessary? Question parts that have too low a word count. Does enough happen to actually sustain this part of the story? Really assess your storyline here now that it’s complete. Is it actually complete? Have you upped the stakes enough at different intervals? Have you tested your character enough? This all affects the pace because the story needs to unfold with enough drama to keep the reader interested, but also not too much so that it can increase exponentially until the end of the climax.

But don’t stress too much about the word count. While you’re assessing the word count, you also need to assess the content. For example, there’s a lot of action in my Part 1, and while my protagonist doesn’t officially make his goal until 39% through (at this stage), the foundations for this goal are laid at 17,500 (24%). This means that I might not have to trim down Part 1 too much. My First Plot Point may occur very late, but my beginning is full of action so I’m confident that breaking this rule will not damage my story’s integrity.

Continued X