what compelled me to make this

thewillowbends replied to your quote “¦ the Jedi who felt compelled to test the limits of the Force rarely…”

I mean…that would be a question of how far into darkness we’re talking because self-policing in that regard actually makes sense to me. The OT is one long study in what happens when dark side users are allowed free reign without consequence.

My problem with this is: they are not talking about Sith. They are talking about Jedi who were questioning the views of the Order and how the force works. It gave me some serious cult vibes.

What I got from this is that some earlier Jedi began questioning how the Dark Side operated. i think it was healthy questioning of Jedi wanted to know more, instead of Palpatine-like Jedi wanting unlimited power.

This gave me major cult vibes. Questioning the Order’s views on the Force was deemed dangerous. They are not talking about people joining the dark side or experimenting with it.

perceived the dangers of their explorations.

It’s like questioning is wrong. It doesn’t look like they are condemning how people were exploring the dark side, they were condemning any exploration, period. Considering how little the Jedi of the PT-era knew about the dark side, this makes sense. “Good Jedi” don’t go anywhere near the dark side or show any interest in it.

“came back willingly” so some of them didn’t come back willingly? This whole “they saw the error of their ways” reminds me of every movie/book scene when an abused character goes back to their abuser after an attempted escape and the abuser condescendingly says “you were right to come back, I’m glad you saw the error of your ways”. Idk, it looks shady to me.

“Mistaken beliefs.” That’s is dangerous. the idea that any belief other theirs is a mistake doesn’t look good. Borrowing from this post by @redrikki on cults:

Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or “fundamentalism;” hostility towards relativism and situationalism.

So, my first exposure to Suicide Squad was the extended version. Lots of good scenes developing the characters. I enjoyed it a lot, partly by disassociating the characters from what I know, thinking of them as new characters. The Harley character is very interesting, though nothing like the character I know. Being a psychologist has nothing to do with the Actual Harley Quinn character, as compelling as she is (when not randomly having an accent.) Joker is basically ‘a Jim Carrey villain’ to me. Deadshot is not believable as a villain whatsoever, it is kind of jarring. Boomerang is a typical sidekick. Killer Crock you can tell they tried to make him like the Arkham Games version, but his look was un-intimidating, they needed someone huge to play him or CG.

The 3 Elements of a FLAWED Character

You know that moment when you find an old notebook, and you start reading the story you were writing years ago, and after about one page…  

And then after a few more paragraphs … 

This has happened to me several times. On every occasion I want to curl up in a small box and wait until everyone forgets I was ever a writer. And every time, no matter which old story it is, what sends me crawling into that box is the same thing: the main character. Even after I had learned to incorporate empathetic qualities into my heroes (as listed in the last post), my protagonists were still deeply annoying – if not more unbearable than before. 

Why? What made them this way? They had winningly empathetic traits! Were they terrible people still? No, and that was the problem. They were perfect. Smart. Noble. Brave. They had dazzling martial arts skills. They loved people and people loved them. They were Chosen in some way and destined for greatness. Angst-plagued though, of course. They were tragic little heroes, misunderstood and abused, driven by the desire to vanquish all who caused them suffering.  

I could’ve composed a Gaston-like song enumerating their virtues and sorrows. 

And the only thing that would’ve made them more punchable is if they did use antlers in all of their decorating.

Characters can’t be completely likable. Yes, they must possess strengths that win the reader’s empathy, but without an equal amount of flaws … they can’t function. If they’re not flawed, they shouldn’t be the main character. Story is about someone changing, for better or worse. Under the surface, all good stories are about this process of human growth or decline. So if a hero is perfect from the beginning, there’s nowhere they need to go. And consequently, there’s no reason for a reader to follow. 

The inclination to follow a story is begun with interest in the premise, of course – but it is locked in when empathy occurs, when we begin to care – the moment the reader transposes their own external and internal lives onto a character’s life. A process which starts when a reader recognizes a shared something between themselves and the hero. Sometimes, this is a goal or strength or situation. And sometimes, it’s a flaw. We meet a character that is weak in the same way we are, and a strong internal connection is born between the reader’s life and the life on the page. On a deep level we’re thinking “This person is like me. What happens to them? How do they deal with it?” And because of this connection based on what is lacking in our lives, we want to live the story, see how it ends, and find out how the main character – who is just like us – reached that ending. Because it’s our lives we’re reading about, and if we play it out in advance, maybe we can reach a positive ending too. 

So! In what way should a main character be FLAWED? 

1) Weak in a way that only hurts themselves. 

Let’s call these MIND.

2) Flawed in a way that hurts others. 

Let’s call these MORAL.

The most realistic – and most compelling – characters have both types.  

And if a character has these flaws, the story must be steering them towards what they NEED to overcome them. The main character needs to learn something, a truth, a new way to live. This is the theme of the story. Theme is a statement the story seeks to prove, to the main character and the reader, about how to live a better life. It’s the solution to whatever moral and mental conundrum they’re facing. So … 

3) The SOLUTION to their moral and mental weaknesses. 

How does that work? To illustrate, let’s look at Stitch and Alexander Hamilton. (What a combination.) 

STITCH

Moral: He’s destructive. Violent. Rude. Vindictive.  Manipulative. Enjoys the suffering of his enemies.

 And in general, pushes everyone and everything away.  

Mind: Despite his violent ways, he yearns to belong, and senses that he can’t.

He believes he’s alone, he’s unlovable, he’s monstrous, he’s never had a family and never will – he’s lost, like the Ugly Duckling. He’s missing a family he’s never had.  

Solution: He just needs to start treating people like family to be accepted into one. 

HAMILTON

Moral: He’s selfish. (“Be careful with that one love, he will do what it takes to survive.”) He’s arrogant. He’s self-centered. (Think of the entirety of Burn.) And in his obsessive journey to succeed, he pushes everyone out of his path.  

Mind: He has a fixation on death, on time running out, which drives his manic desire to achieve. (“I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.) He’s insecure. ("Graduate in two and join the revolution. He looked at me like I was stupid. I’m not stupid.”) 

Solution: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? Eliza tells his story. Hamilton’s goal throughout the story is a legacy; he strives to achieve this immortality in any way possible, even if it means neglecting his loved ones, or even ruining their lives. He needs to learn that his loved ones are enough. Eliza is enough. And through her, he will live on. 

What would have happened if they weren’t flawed? The stories would have been boring. What would have happened if their flaws had been treated like attributes that didn’t have to change? The stories would have ceased to be. Progress couldn’t happen, because by accepting the status quo of their mental and moral states, we’re refusing the call to adventure outright. They’d just exist in the same state they were in the setup, stagnant, somewhat lifeless. Flawed characters must motor towards that NEED, or solution, that will save their lives. 

(I realize this “need” element is rather vague, so it’ll get its own post.)  

But in conclusion, this balance of strengths and flaws – and how this fictional person deals with the adventure they’re thrown into – is what makes a main character compelling, empathetic, and real. 

So when I unearth a notebook years in the future, containing one of stories I’m writing now, maybe the main character won’t make me feel like this:

Maybe it’ll even be like this: 

And best of all, maybe one of those characters will make a reader somewhere feel understood and helped and not alone. Wow. That would be amazing.

Well, there’s my writing motivation for today. I’m going to go make my main character more of a lovable jerk.

How to be good at interviews:

I’m having next Wednesday my first professional interview (eeeeek) so I decided to share the research I’m doing. I googled all of this and chose the information I found most important, and organized it. I truly hope it’s helpful for someone out there :)

PLAN AND PRACTICE:

  • always do your homework: learn about the organization, its ideas and story 
  • don’t necessarily memorize responses, but try to have a planned general strategy for answering common interview questions
  • practice in front of the mirror
  • be ready to briefly describe related experience
  • compare your qualifications to what the organization wants from you

COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s your biggest weakness? Think of a genuine issue you have as well as ways you have managed to work with/around it.
  2. What’s your biggest strengths?” Stand out from the crowd and don’t be afraid to speak about your strengths in an authentic and compelling way. See if your strengths align with the company’s needs.
  3. Why do you want this job?”/ “Why should we hire you?” Stay focused on why your background makes you an ideal candidate and tell them how you are going to contribute to that department and that company. 
  4. Tell me about yourself.” Don’t tell them your life story, instead discuss what your interests are relating to the job and why your background makes you a great candidate.
  5. Why did you leave your last job/position/school?” Do not go into details about your dissatisfaction, tell them that while you valued the experience and education you received, you felt that the time had come to seek outo a new opportunity, expand your skills and knowledge, and to find a company with wich you could grow. Try to put a positive spin on things. Be honest if you were fired but don’t trash your previous boss.
  6. Where do you see yourself in five years?”  Be honest about what your greater aspirations are.

And much much much more (from your behaviour to work experiences, education, interests and motivation or problems and challeges you’ve faced previously), I would encourage you to try to write down some topics for each questions that work for you. Being prepared is everything.

THE DAY OF THE INTERVIEW:

  • sleep and eat well so you look rested and healthy on the big day
  • give yourself time to calm down/meditate/relax
  • don’t noodle around on your phone or electronic device while waiting - it may communicate boredom and frivolousness, maybe stick your notebook/notes

What to wear: normally it’s best to dress neutral, professionally/formal, not overly fashionable or trendy, and brightly colored clothing is bad. Make sure your clothes are neat and wrinkle free, and make sure your image is very clean and neat.

What to bring: if revelant, extra copies of your resume on quality paper, a notepad or professional binder and pen, information you might need to complete an application.

IMPORTANT TIPS:

  • make eye contact
  • show courtesy to everyone during the interview, this means everyone from the reception staff to the interviewer herself
  • smile
  • have good posture
  • avoid fidgeting too much or playing with your hair/touching face
  • have a good handshake
  • don’t cross your arms over your chest
  • walk, act, talk with confidence
  • be comfortable and relaxed
  • choose the words you say
  • don’t place stuff on their desk
  • manage your reactions - facial and body expressions give clues on how you feel: project a positive image
  • show interest and enthusiasm
  • show warmth and personality - being personable is about getting the interviewer’s emotional side to like you and believe in you
  • don’t lie to make it seem like you know something you don’t. You probably won’t fool your interviewer, and admitting to not know something is much more impressive than lying
  • be honest
  • keep things simple and short, talk in 30-90 second chunks. Any less and you’re likely to seem unqualified; any more and your interviewer is likely to lose interest in what you’re saying

THINK OF QUESTIONS TO ASK: participating actively during the interview gives a good impression of your level of interest in the job. Most of times it is more adequeate to ask in the end of the interview.  But I feel like you really need to make sure your questions are adequate. Examples:

  • “What types of training opportunities do you offer?”
  • “What are the chances for professional growth in this job opportunity?”
  • “Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?”
  • ALWAYS ask the “ When can I expect to hear back from you about the position?” question if  the interviewer does not tell you

Good questions are open-ended, and thus cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Better questions are behavioral: they ask how things are done or have happened in the past, because current and past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW:

  • shake hands with the interviewer - try to invest some feeling into the handshake and pleasantries, even if you think you bombed the interview
  • hold your head high and keep your cool
  • your emotions are probably teetering at the highest of highs or the lowest of lows, but try to stay measured
  • project a cool confidence, not cockiness, and walk out of the interview with your head held high

SOMETHING TO ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND:

  • when you know in your heart and your gut that you bring to the table something just as valuable as a paycheck and maybe much more – your tremendous experience, intellect and instinct – you’ll carry yourself differently. You won’t trip over your words in an effort to please His Majesty or Her Highness, because you’ll see yourself and the interviewer as equals on a level playing field. 
  • you are valuable and unique. You have something very special in you and you deserve to be given a chance. good luck!

in any friend group i always get really into figuring out which person is the glue that holds ‘em together y'know?? 'cause there’s usually a person like that.

and i used to think it was remus for the marauders in two senses. his lycanthropy is the genesis of their animagus transformations and therefore he’s the reason they’re A Pack (for those uninitiated into the full world of marauders tropes, The Pack is one. and it’s important 2 me), but also. remus has uncommon kindness, and thoughtfulness, and i firmly believe that the others saw that and valued it. so remus as the glue made sense.

i’ve never thought it was sirius or peter – sirius is sort of a tornado in his own right y'know, too big and too loud and a complete raging disaster. he doesn’t bring people together so much as he brings them in. and peter, peter couldn’t hold anyone together. in the end, peter couldn’t hold himself together.

i can still make a compelling argument for remus, but really, really, i believe it’s james.

i think about what remus says in deathly hallows all the time, that he would have considered it the height of dishonor to mistrust a friend. james, young, brave, brilliant, bright james. james would never do wrong by a friend, and at their heart that’s what the marauders are about: sticking by your friends, no matter how hellacious or miserable the road becomes. james had faith.

i think the animagus transformation was james’s idea. i think that for james, thinking about remus suffering like that tore him up inside and drove him to tears late at night and made him ache deeper than he knew he could. james was the one who stopped The Prank, and there’s no doubt in my mind that his first thought was of remus – what would happen to remus if one of them made a stupid mistake. james is the one sirius turns to when he runs away. james is the one who would do anything, anything, anything for a friend.

james was their backbone. their strongest point, their unshakable, impossibly stubborn friend. james directed them all towards the kind of friendship he felt so naturally, and in the chaos of the war, it’s james who never falters once.

We spend so much of our 20’s looking for the one. We are stuck at that age where half of our friends are engaged or married, some with children; the other half is drunk off their ass 90% of the time and never made it past their second semester of college. We find this compelling need to compare ourselves to everyone around us, “oh at least I’m doing better than her,” and “fuck. She’s about to be a doctor and I am not sure what I want to be.” We have to swipe left endlessly looking for what we want.

I’ll tell you what you want, it’s to be happy.

Happy is not the same for you as it is for the girl who sat next to you every day during 3rd period.

And for me? Happy is making sure I get to see the world while I’m young, experiencing different parts of our country before I pick and place and settle down. If I’m going to dig my roots so far into the nutrient rich ground I want to make DAMN sure it’s the right kinda soil to make me grow. At some point I woke up and realized I’m living life for myself and not others. I welcome their criticism but learned to filter out when it was helpful versus unnecessary. There’s nothing wrong with getting on a plane to anywhere or long road trips or moving around to figure yourself out. Cause let me tell you, I was looking for the one, and I found her. It’s me. I’m the one. But when I find someone else who can be my plus one to everything I’ve already given myself, I’ll be ready because I won’t expect them to give me all the love in the world. To always pick me up when I fall. I will not rely heavily on them because i know I’ve already done it for myself and deeply rooted myself in those capabilities. Whoever comes along will hopefully have done that for themselves and instead of 2 trees in a yard we can create a jungle that radiates so much life everything comes to live within us. You see I was born a queen with a throne, now I’m learning to make an empire.

And for you? I hope you find whatever your happiness is to be able to do the same. To be a source of life.

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Sketchy Behavior | Hellen Jo 

Never afraid to speak and/or draw her mind, Los Angeles based artist and illustrator, Hellen Jo and her characters can be described as rough, vulgar, tough, jaded, powerful, bratty and bad-ass - AKA her own brand of femininity. Known for her comic Jin & Jam, and her work as an illustrator and storyboard artist for shows such as Steven Universe and Regular Show, Hellen’s rebellious, and sometimes grotesque artwork and illustrations are redefining Asian American women and women of color in comics. In fact, that’s why Hellen Jo was a must-interviewee for our latest Sketchy Behavior where we talk to her about her love of comics and zines, her antiheroines, and redefining what Asian American women identity is or can be; and what her ultimate dream project realized would be.  

Keep reading

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“To me, we have a culture that is surpassed by no other civilization, but we don’t know anything about it…My job is to somehow make [the black youth] curious enough or persuade them by hook or crook to get more aware of themselves and where they came from and what they are into and what is already there and just to bring it out. This is what compels me to compel them, and I will do it by any means necessary.”
-Nina Simone, c. 1969

ok but you know what i like about sasha? She is wholesome. 

She is genuinely nice and gentle to people. She’s humble and you can see that she loves the art of drag with passion. Idk it feels to me that when it comes to her, is not about the stardom, or being the prettiest and the most fierce, she just want to be creative, she just wants to show more things about drag. I know a lot of people make fun of her bc she is “too smart” or whatever but there’s pureness, a idealistic way of seeing drag that is just so compelling and awesome.

I know that she is not “fierce” and has a huge personality like it is expected from a drag queen but if the rumours are true, of course i’ll be a bit sad for Shea (especially bc i’ve been rooting for these two since the cast came out and shea won more challenges at the end of the day) but i think Sasha will be an amazing s9 winner and i’m super proud of her, i think the kind of drag that she does and most of all the kind of person that she is will be an amazing addition to the winner’s circle. I think is what it needs to be more complete.