when people change things from the book and it actually works out

The 8 Steps of a CHARACTER ARC

You know that moment as a writer, when you’ve been charging through the story, high on how fantastic it is, and then suddenly…it all STOPS.  The next scene doesn’t form in your head. You’ve got nothing. 

Behind your characters, a string of bright and captivating scenes mark the trail of that rocket of inspiration; ahead of your characters, a foggy expanse, stretching to who-knows-where, a few shapeless blobs that should be scenes floating in the nothingness. The rocket is dead, and not refueling any time soon.

Well, to everybody who’s suffered this, or is currently suffering it, there’s a way to navigate through that fog. A map. Directions and a destination.

Or, more specifically, events that form the underlying structure of the story. 

This post is going to focus on one facet of story structure: character arc. Structure is something people subconsciously recognize and expect, and if the story doesn’t match those expectations, they feel cheated (though usually can’t explain why). Every good story follows a structure. So if you know structure, you’ll always know where to go next, and won’t get lost in the fog. 

So here are the 8 steps of a character arc:

1) Hero: Strength, Weakness, and Need

This happens in the setup of the story, when the main character’s ordinary world is being introduced. First, the main character’s strengths must be displayed; we must be given a reason to like them, or if not exactly “like” them, empathize with them, and be fascinated by them. The reader needs to bond with the character, feel concerned about how it all turns out for them. Or in other words, feel that the main character is worth experiencing the story. There are easy traits that do this: courage, love, humor, being in danger, being unfairly treated, being highly skilled at something, having a powerful noble goal. (Courage is the one they all need. If the character doesn’t have the gumption to actively pursue what they want, they are automatically a background character.) 

After this, still in the beginning of your story, let the character exhibit what needs to change. Show their weaknesses of character and self awareness.
And lastly, hint at what they NEED to learn. Sometimes this is even stated to the character, and they don’t understand it, refuse to believe it, or condemn it. Like “A Christmas Carol”, when Scrooge’s nephew says his speech about Christmas and how wonderful it is, and Scrooge replies “Bah Humbug!" 

2) Desire: This is the moment when the character knows what they need to pursue, in order to obtain what they inwardly want. It is not the inciting incident or catalyst, the event in a story that disrupts the ordinary world and calls the hero on an adventure. This is a separate step entirely, occurring after that catalyst has shattered life as the main character knows it. They believe obtaining this goal will calm whatever inner turmoil or conflict they’re battling. And always, they’re not quite right.
Think of Mr Fredricksen: His goal is to get the house – a  symbolic representation of Ellie and the life he shared with her – to Paradise Falls, which he believes will heal his grief and guilt. It won’t. Once he obtains it, the achievement feels hollow. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So on we go! 

3) Plan: Once in Act Two, the character is going to scramble for a plan of action. The inner want has solidified into a tangible goal, but they need a strategy to achieve it. This also spells out for the reader what to expect in that second act.  

4) Conflict: What’s going to try stopping them? A hero with a goal is one thing, but to make it a story we need something that stands in the way. An obstacle. A force of opposition. If we didn’t have obstacles, books would be as interesting as "Harry Potter and the Trip to the Grocery Store.” (Although honestly, I’d probably read that.) After the catalyst has changed everything, after the character crosses the threshold into Act Two, everything from here on out will be laden with conflict. This is usually when enemies, or more accurately forces of opposition, begin to appear. Everything is accumulating to complicate the main character’s pathway to achieving what they want. The forces of opposition come from not only the villains, but from the actions that have to be taken to achieve the desire. Whatever this action is, it’s exactly what the main character is not suited to do, an action that pressures their flaws, exposes them to exactly what they need to become but can’t right now. 

Like Stitch being forced to be the family dog. He’s not suited to this task.

5) Battle: The forces of opposition are amping up, growing stronger, fighting with greater intensity. The main character is taking the punches and working around them, relentlessly plowing forward. Hero and allies are usually punching back too.

6) Midpoint: This is the event where they first encounter what they need to learn, what they need to become. Something happens that forces them to behave in this new, life-saving way. But once they’ve seen it, they don’t know what to do with this knowledge. 

7) Dark Night, Revelation, Choice:
This is always the darkest point in the story, where all seems lost, and death – of a literal or spiritual nature – is in the air. And in this moment, something usually happens that makes the main character wake up to what is wrong, and what they need. More often than not, this revelation will arrive from the “love story” or relationship of the plot, and will be the thing that helps them pull themselves out of despair and see the light. And once this is uncovered, once the revelation of the truth about themselves is recognized, they are faced with a choice. Of course, they’ve been faced with choices in every beat of every scene, but this is the big choice that is going to determine if their story has a happy ending or a tragic one. The choice is this: “You are being faced the truth that you need to heal. Are you going to choose what you need, let your old self die, and become someone better?” And always, always, always this is a hard choice. The revelation must be significant to them. And it’s never easy. It can’t be. We don’t write stories about heroes who make easy choices. Villains have it easy. Are you going to adopt this new way of living, adopt this truth, and let your old self die? Or are you going to stay the way you are (which feels safer and is much less challenging) but end up stuck in a sort of living death? Most of the time, of course, they choose the right thing. 

This moment is usually always the saddest scene in the thing. Like this scene with Stitch.

8) New Life: This is their changed life. After experiencing the trials of the story, after realizing what they need and choosing to be reborn, they are going to be different people – and are going to live a different life. This is what follows the statement “And every day after …” What has changed? Show the audience how things are different, how things are better, because they want to see that. This is the resolution, the wrapping up of everything we’ve been through with the main character, and having this in the story is often what gives that feeling of satisfaction after seeing a really well-told story. 

So! To show off how this works, I’ve chosen the character arc of Carl from Up. 

1) Hero: Strengths, Weakness, Need

Strengths: Reasons to like Carl are packed into that heartbreaking opening sequence. By the end of it, we love him, love Ellie, and are crying our eyes out.

Weaknesses: Now Carl is curmudgeonly, grumpy, cold, and won’t pay attention to a living soul. He’s also plagued by grief, regret, guilt, and loneliness. (Which we are all 100% okay with, because we already like him.)

Need: He needs Russel. The statement of what he needs to learn isn’t outright said (as it will be later) but Russel represents it. 

Step Two: The catalyst was when a truck knocked down Ellie’s mailbox, Carl hit a construction worker in the head with his cane, and for this a judge declares him a public menace and orders him to go to Shady Oaks Retirement Village. The DESIRE is this moment. 

Carl escapes in a flying house, thousands of balloons lifting him skyward. He even says the desire of the whole story out loud, “So long boys! I’ll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!” The tangible goal is “live out the rest of his days in his and Ellie’s house, on the edge of Paradise Falls, South America.” (“It’s like America … but South.”)

Step Three: The plan and the conflict overlap, as they are wont to do. We have a scene where Carl is unfurling sails, setting a compass, and settling back in his chair for a smooth journey. But later on, after some conflict has arrived, we have Russel figuring out how to actually make it there. And after even more conflict has arrived, we have him telling Russel “We’re going to walk to the falls quickly and quietly, with no rap music or flash-dancing.”

Step Four: The moment he settles back into his armchair, high above the city, and here’s a knock on the front door, nothing is going to be easy for Carl. First, we have opposition in the form of Russel. Then we have a storm. Then the house lands miles away from the Falls, so they’ll have to walk it. Then we have Kevin, the giant bird. Then we have Dug. Which means they’re also being chased by a legion of talking dogs. Which brings us to Muntz, the main villain, and Carl’s shadow – the representation of Carl’s flaws, and the consequences of refusing to let go of the past. 

Step Five: This is the trek to the Falls. It’s also the battle with every complication that arises. And it’s also exactly what Carl is not suited to do. He’s a curmudgeonly old guy, bent on living out the rest of his life alone. Well, the story says “Nope, Carl, that’s not how it’s going to be” and promptly gives him a surrogate grandson to take care of, a dog who adores him, and even a giant mythical bird. And he has to lead them all, if he’s going to get to the Falls. 

Step Six: The moment when Russel invades Carl’s heart. Which is what he needs, but he doesn’t understand. (I have the scene beated out in the previous post.)

Step Seven: Finally, he gives in to the worst of himself and chooses his goal of living in his broken house on the edge of Paradise Falls. But somehow this doesn’t feel like victory. He’s still alone, next to Ellie’s empty chair, and she is still beyond his reach. 

He picks up her adventure book, and leafs through the photographs, missing her; he pauses on the page scrawled with the words “Stuff I’m Going To Do”, lets his hand rest on it, grief and regret overwhelming him. He begins to close the book, and the page shifts … revealing the edge of another picture. Surprised, he turns the page. It’s their wedding picture.

Ellie added picture after picture of their happy marriage, the whole wonderful life they shared, all the things she did. And on the bottom of the last page is her last message to him: “Thanks for the adventure! Now go have a new one! Love, Ellie.” Exactly what Carl needs. He doesn’t need to be guilty, he doesn’t need to regret the past. The past was beautiful, and she will never truly leave him. 

Choice: So, Carl can make the choice to throw everything out of the house to go save Russel. 

New Life: Sitting on a curb, eating ice cream with Russel.

In the credits, we see a whole new life – or new adventure – with Carl, Russel, Dug, and even a bunch of new puppies.

So, it’s actually pretty simple. And once again, it’s fun to develop your own stories like this, but it’s surprisingly fun to analyze movies and books with it too. It improves your storytelling ability, I’ve found. Practice makes perfect.

I hope this post helps somebody out. It’ll make the ten times I cried while writing it, while watching scenes from Up, worth it.

prongswhatthefuck2  asked:

What are some good tips for getting started with writing a book? I have a concept but i can't put it into place.

Getting Started with Your Story

There’s no one way to start writing a book. For some people, it’s enough to just jump in and start writing to see where the story takes them. If you’re not too keen on that idea, then here is one process (as in, not the only process) that might help you move beyond your concept. 

  • Concept ≠ Plot

Many writers mistake concept for plot, but they’re actually two very different things. A world where everyone grows up with superpowers is a concept; the plot is what you decide to write about within that concept - the specific characters and what happens to those characters; who your antagonist is and what conflict arises when that antagonist goes after what they want. All of these things contribute to your plot. 

So first, define what it is you actually have at this particular point. Do you just have a concept? If so, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to develop that concept into a plot. 

  • Concept >>> Plot

If you’ve decided that all you really have is a concept, then how do you take it and turn it into a plot? You brainstorm. All brainstorming really amounts to is expanding your ideas. All you’re doing is asking questions about the concept and delving deep into the answers. 

The most simplistic way to start this process, especially if you’re struggling, is to ask one of two questions (or both, if applicable). These two questions: What could go wrong? What could go right?

Going back to my example about a world where everyone grows up with superpowers. If I were to ask the question “what could go wrong,” I’d end up with a whole list of possibilities. 

  • The powers suddenly disappear
  • People start abusing their powers
  • Someone figures out how to steal powers
  • A hierarchy of strong vs. weak powers develops, creating superiority/inferiority dynamics
  • Someone is born without a superpower

There are many more possibilities I didn’t even think of here, but any one (or more) of these could become a plot. Choose one that sounds interesting, and then ask yourself “and then what?” 

Say I choose: Someone figures out how to steal powers. Then what does that person do? Do they recruit people to do the dirty work for them? Do they work alone? Do they hoard these powers and barter them for other goods? Do they attempt to enslave people? Do they attempt to take control of institutions? What do they do?

Your goal is to take your ideas and turn them into actions taken by characters. People doing things. And each piece you add will usually lead into another. If you went with the idea that this character is stealing powers and essentially selling them for other goods, you’d have to ask yourself follow-up questions. First, who are they selling to? Why would anyone buy a new superpower if they already have one? What uses would they have for additional ones? What is the key demographic that this person is trying to reach? Secondly, what are they selling them in exchange for? Money? Favors? Souls? What is this character getting in return?

Now that you’ve examined potential actions that the character takes, you’ve also exposed potential new characters. 

  • People they’re stealing from
  • People they’re bargaining with
  • People that try to police these crimes
  • People that try to copy this character’s process

At the beginning of this section, I talked about using “what could go right” as another optional jumping off point. This is a good path to follow if your concept is already really negative. For a concept where someone is killing people for some pointed reason, you might ask “what could go right” and explore ideas where the killer is caught and brought to justice. 

The point of all this is to think about change as a means of taking your idea from concept to plot. A concept is static - it doesn’t move, evolve, or change. By developing a plot, you’re forcing the concept to be challenged in some way. If you think about it that way, you’ll be able to formulate conflicts, and the people that orchestrate and fight against those conflicts. 

On that note, I think we’re ready to move onto the third piece of my graphic above. 

  • Plot = Character Actions and Consequences

At this point, you have sketches for characters. You’ve got this nameless, faceless person that is stealing the powers, and all these other nameless, faceless people that I listed above. In essence, we have character concepts. And just like we turned our initial concept into a plot, we have to turn these character concepts into actual characters. 

The basics are the easiest way to start. You figure out their name, their gender identity, their age, their appearance, some brief backstory and personality traits. I personally prefer the simplest questionnaire that I put together back in the early days because it hits on the poignant pieces of a character without overwhelming you with 100s of questions. 

Now that you’ve given your character concepts names and faces and potential behaviors, you start to consider how one character’s view of the world inspires them to take certain actions, and you then think about how those actions affect your entire story. 

We already kind of talked about the motives of the power thief in our example, but definitely delve deep here. On the surface, this character seems bad - stealing from people and then selling what they steal. But depending on what it is they’re getting in return, could we not argue that this character is a supernatural Robin Hood? Maybe instead of selling, they’re giving, and maybe the characters they’re stealing powers from are people that abuse and misuse their powers. Character motives can take a plot and turn it on its head, forcing you to reconceptualize everything. And that’s okay! That’s part of the process.

But separate from that idea, if we have a character concept of someone whose powers were stolen, and after developing their basic backstory, we discover that person’s name is Rose, and she has an especially close relationship with her brother. So when her powers are stolen, how does this affect her life? Was she using her powers to keep her brother alive and protected? What she using them to keep a roof over their heads? Was she using them as part of her job, as a means of providing? What happens to her life when her powers are stolen? And what will Rose do about it? Whatever Rose does will impact the story. If she does nothing to get her powers back, how does she solve her problems and does that make for a good story? If she does decide to act, then you’ve moved onto a new plot point to dive deeper into.

My point is, character concepts come from plots, but characters themselves often create plot, as their decisions and mistakes and successes create new outcomes. So if I could modify my original flow chart:

Before you develop something, you conceptualize it. You have a concept, then you make it a plot. You have concepts for characters, then you make them characters. And those characters end up driving your plot, to the point that this happens:

Plot inspires character. Character inspires plot. And it just keeps going around and around and around. Breaking it down into these pieces helps organize the process, but developing a story is rarely this neat and tidy. You’ll get ideas that don’t make sense, ideas that aren’t cohesive, characters you don’t need, characters that piss you off, problems you can’t solve, or plot points you’ve committed to that you no longer like…it will be messy. But it’s your mess, and the more you work on developing your own process, the more it’ll make sense to you. And it’ll become easier to know how to go about fixing it when something’s not right. 

Have fun with this process! It’s supposed to be fun. When the pieces start to become clearer, you’re able to put them together in a rough outline. And once you have a rough outline, you can start writing, and really see it take shape. 

-Rebekah

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Note taking tips

Notebook for each class. 

Have a separate notebook for each class. It keeps things organized. Plus, if you keep all of your classes’ notes in the same notebook and you lose that notebook, you’re pretty much SOL. Write clearly. If you’re going to handwrite your notes, make sure you can read them later. PenMANship. It’s got the word “man” in it, so it’s manly. Let go of perfectionism The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you study better and more quickly. First, what’s new to you? There’s no point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know you can leave out of your notes. Second, what’s relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds of information to pay special attention to are: 

* Dates of events: Dates allow you to 

  • a) create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and
  • b) understand the context of an event. For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century.

 * Names of people: Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

 * Theories: Any statement of a theory should be recorded — theories are the main points of most classes. 

* Definitions: Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, should be written down. Keep in mind that many fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us. 

 * Arguments and debates: Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate related in class or your reading should be recorded. This is the stuff that advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development within the particular discipline you are studying. 

* Images and exercises: Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, or when an in-class exercise is performed, a few words are in order to record the experience. Obviously it’s overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement about what the class did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience. 

 * Other stuff: Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand; I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (it’s often useful for research papers, for example). Pay attention to other student’s comments, too — try to capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding. 

* Your own questions: Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding. 

* Note-Taking Techniques: You don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few techniques that seem to work best for most people.

* Outlining: Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. In a history class, you might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on. Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes.For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either 

  • a) flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in) 
  • b) risk losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before. 
 

* Mind-mapping: For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Here’s the idea: in the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the center. And so on. The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches. If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up 

 * The Cornell System: The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes. About a quarter of the way from the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet. You’ve divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally — you can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of “cues” into the skinny column on the right, questions about the material you’ve just taken notes on. This will help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the questions. In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of the material you’ve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when you’re trying to find something in your notes later. Charting Method If your professor’s lecture will be focused on comparing and contrasting two or more ideas, you might consider using the charting method. Create a table in the note-taking program you’re using. Make as many columns as there are categories that you’re comparing and contrasting. Label each column with a category. As you listen to the lecture, record the notes under the appropriate category.

Laurel’s Guide to Grimoires

A while back I made a post about how I organize my Grimoire/Book of Shadows and for a long time since then I’ve wanted to a sort of 101 for creating a Grimoire/Book of Shadows. Be warned, this will be a long post! As always, this is merely my opinion, my word is not law.

(UPDATED 4/24/17; All updates are marked)

Originally posted by ephemeralsyzygy

-The Grimoire Basics-

What is a Grimoire?

As my own personal definition, a Grimoire is simply any book used by a witch in his/her/their own personal practice. There is no limit as to what a Grimoire can or cannot be, as each one is as unique as the witch who wrote it.

How do I use a Grimoire?

A grimoire is used to document, or keep track of, any magickal information that is relevant to the practitioner.It serves to log everything you need to know in your own personal craft. 

-Types of Grimoires-

These are my own personal “styles” of grimoires that I have made over the years. These are not the only “kinds” of grimoires, merely suggestions.

- “Textbook” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that is set up to serve as a reference book, a book strictly for spiritual or magickal information. 

- “Practical” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that can serve a practical purpose, such as a recipe or spell book. Often more portable than a standard grimoire.

- “Inspirational” Grimoire: These are often called inspiration journals. They are filled with spiritual images, quotes and writings to serve as a sort of “bible.”

- “Memory Keeping” or “Journal” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that serves to be a personal record of thoughts and feelings pertaining to spiritual activity in your life. 

-Grimoire Keeping Methods-

- Blank bound or spiral bound Notebooks
    - I’ve actually seen someone tape composition notebooks together to get             a “thick” book.
- Recycled or used hard/soft cover books
- Binders
- OneNote/Tumblr/Internet
- Computer Folder/Flash Drive/Memory Card

-How to make a Grimoire-

I recommend that if you are starting a grimoire or are a relatively new witch, don’t even bother buying a nice, expensive, fancy journal. Most of the time (unless you’ve already done one or two grimoires before and you know exactly what you’ll be putting in this grimoire), that book will sit on a shelf and collect dust. Many new witches get excited to have a “fancy” grimoire and then become terrified of “messing up” in it which results in that book never being used. We’ve all been there, done that.

That being said, here are the basic steps I followed when making my “permanent” grimoire.

- Decide on your Grimoire Keeping Method
 - Gather the information that you would like to put into your grimoire (this can sometimes take a very long time, it took me years), although if the “write as you go” method is more comfortable for you, then go ahead.
- Organize your information. If you’re a perfectionist like me, this might take a bit. It’s also completely natural to change up your organization style later on.
- Protect/Consecrate your Grimoire. This is completely optional, but it can also be a fun “witchy” way to bond with your grimoire.
- Put all your information in your book in anyway that you desire. I found it useful to “plan” out the book before I started writing in all the information. This way I knew exactly what pages were going where.
- Decorate your Grimoire. Also, completely optional. Some people like decorating with flowers and ribbons and pictures and stickers. Other people prefer straight to the point text. Either way works perfectly fine.

A quick note for those who suffer from the perfectionist complex: don’t sweat it. We all want our books to be “perfect” but after writing about six grimoires I’ve learned that grimoires really don’t ever become “permanent” because our preferences change as we grow. If you’re worried about it being perfect, starting “planning” pages in a cheap journal. Take note of any mistakes or things you want to change. You can always create another grimoire later. Don’t let that pesky perfectionism hold you back. And if you make mistakes, try to work with them and turn them into something else instead of scrapping your book to start over.

I used to dream of having a huge, Charmed-like Grimoire, and now I prefer the small, sloppy, scrap book, messy-writing kind of grimoire. Don’t sweat it.

Things to put in your Grimoire

- Correspondences
- Sabbats, Esbats and any Holidays you celebrate
- How to cast spells
- Spells and Rituals
- Divination
- Astrology
- Herbs and Recipes
- Crystals
- Topics you’d like to learn about later.

@cosmic-witch has a HUGE list of topics here

How to organize your Grimoire

This post details my own personal Grimoire Index. However the best way to organize your grimoire would be whatever works best for you. I personally like having everything divided into matching sections. However, if you write spells a lot, you may want spell writing notes in the front, while correspondences would be better in the back. It’s all up to personal preference. 

 Witchy-Woman’s Grimoire Organization

TripleVirgo’s Grimoire Index

 My Tips on Grimoire Organization

(UPDATED 4/24/17)

Other Grimoire Tips

- Intention Cheat Sheets. When you want to write a spell, nothing sucks more than having to flip back and forth all over your grimoire to find the information you need. My advice is to make “cheat sheets” for each of your intentions. Pick an intention, such as Money, and write down anything that corresponds to that (colors, herbs, moon phases or zodiac signs, crystals, incense, etc) this way the next time you want to do a spell for Money, you can just flip to your cheat sheet and be done. (UPDATED 4/24/17)

- Incognito Grimoire: Find a generic book that you like at a Goodwill or second hand shop. Write your witchcraft notes/correspondences in the margins and spacing. Use markers or crayons to draw pictures and symbols. You can also glue blank pages into the book so you have more space to write anything you want. This way your Grimoire can sit in plain sight on your bookshelf when you have company over and no one will be the wiser.

- So You Don’t Think You Can Grimoire: Tips and ideas for witches who struggle with the “My handwriting is terrible and I can’t draw” complex. (UPDATED 4/24/17)

- Scrapbook Altars

- Create a Magickal Memories Folder

This post will probably be a “masterpost” of sorts that I’ll continue to add to as the inspiration strikes. If anyone has any ideas or grimoire-related topics they’d like to see, feel free to share!

~L

The 5 Elements of a LIKABLE Main Character

“I don’t like your main character. He’s kind of obnoxious.” my beta reader laughingly told me, after reading the first chapter of my novel.

On the surface, I looked like this: 

Inside, I looked like this: 

Aloud, I said “Oh, well, he’s kind of hard to understand. He changes by the end.”

Inside, I screamed “How could you not like him?! Do you have a heart?! Is there a void where your soul should be?! Are you actually a Dementor that’s really good at makeup? Well, I guess this is what the Dementors are doing after getting kicked out of Azkaban!”

Outside: “But I really enjoyed it!” *Hugs between broken writer and Dementor in disguise* “Thank you for reading!" 

But you know what? That person that might be a soul-sucking cloaked demon creature? They were right. The character was unlikable, or more accurately, there was no reason to cheer him on. There was nothing to make the reader connect with him, relate to him, transfer themselves into his story, feel affection towards him. 

And if the reader doesn’t connect with the character through empathy? Nothing else in the story can work. Everything relies on this one fictional person. The basic definition of story is "A flawed hero with a goal overcoming obstacles to reach that goal, and how that journey changes them.” So without character, you don’t have story. Without empathy from the reader, you don’t even have character. 

So what is empathy when it comes to characters? 

It’s the process of a reader transferring their own lives onto the character. When this happens, the character’s goal and inner desires, values and weaknesses, everything about them, become proxies for our own. We learn of a shared piece of human nature between us, something we have in common on a significant inner level, and suddenly we want to see this character succeed. Because now, they are us – and we want to see ourselves succeed in real life. We feel what they feel, we experience what they experience.  

The best way to sum up character empathy in my opinion, is this quote from C.S.Lewis: “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another ‘Really? You too? I thought I was the only one!’”

That’s empathy. 

Which doesn’t mean the character has to be an angelic little cherub …

There are characters that operate in a moral gray area, there are characters that are downright awful, there are characters that shouldn’t be lovable …but we love them. So this is NOT saying that a main character has to be a perfect angel that rescues baby squirrels when they’re not busy volunteering at the local soup kitchen, it just means there’s something WORTHWHILE in the character that persuades the reader to stick around. We need a reason to relate with that at-first-glance unlikable character. Just as we have flawed people in our own lives who we can forgive and love.

A good quote for this one would be this, by G.K.Chesterton: “That’s the great lesson of Beauty and the Beast; that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”

So how does a writer accomplish a good empathetic connection?

Luckily for us, establishing this only takes a little planning in the beginning of the story. Certain elements foster empathy, elements which you can give to your character and display in the story. Making sure to incorporate a few of these will ensure that first connection between reader and character. A connection which you, the author, will then be able to grow. It’s this tiny first note of shared humanity which deepens into those important links we hold with characters. We’re living people, they’re imagined and comprised of words on a page; yet these people can be friends to us, family, mentors, role models, and become some of the most influential people in our lives. 

And how does that begin? Evoking empathy. 

And how do you evoke empathy? Well here are the characteristics that human beings instinctively identify with and admire … 

– Courage (This is the one EVERY main character should possess. Gumption to pursue what they want separates main from background characters.)

– Humor (Wit charms us without fail.)

– Goal-Obsessed 

– Hard-working  

– Noble motivations

– Loving

– Loved by others

– Kind 

– Treated unfairly

– In imminent danger, physically

– In imminent danger, emotionally

– In a sorrowful situation

– Smart/Expert at something

– Suffering from psychological weakness  

– Haunted by something in their past

– Dissatisfied with current state of their life

– Lacking something like love, friendship, belonging, family, safety, freedom, etc

It’s a good plan to give your main character at least FIVE of these empathetic little “virtues.”

If this sounds like a resume, that’s kind of what it is. “Dear Potential Reader, I’m applying for the job of Main Character of this book series. I aspire to consume your every waking thought and drastically change your life, for better and worse.” It’s a diagram of the worthwhile traits of the hero, the characteristics that win us over, which promise the reader “If you follow my story, knowing me – and experiencing the story through me – will be well worth your time.”

These traits will be displayed in the set-up of the story, the first ten pages or so. But the story CANNOT stop to let the character exhibit these winning behaviors; the story must KEEP PROGRESSING, every empathetic element must be shown with a story reason for existing within a scene. Like exposition, empathy needs to be added in subtly, as the story motors onward, slipping into the reader’s knowledge without them noticing. If it’s a scene created for the express purpose of convincing the reader “This character is lovable! Love them! I said love them!” then it will be glaringly obvious and the reader will feel the exact opposite. (They’ll also feel that way about the author, incidentally.)

Now! How does this work? 

Harry Potter: 

Harry is the poster child for being treated unfairly. Yet in the face of the abusive treatment of his childhood, Harry is courageous. He does not succumb to the Dursley’s relentless campaign to stamp the magic out of him, and become a proper Dursley; though this would’ve won their approval, put him in their good graces, and made his life exponentially easier – but he didn’t do it. He knew they were wrong, knew what was right, and refused to become like them. So heck yes Sorting Hat, there is “plenty of courage, I see”. He was loved by his parents, by the three that dropped him off at his Aunt and Uncle’s, and by the majority of the Wizarding World. He’s also snarky, loving, and in constant danger. 

Judy Hopps: 

Every reason why we care about Judy is established in the first few scenes. She’s courageous. She’s funny. She’s loved by her parents. She’s motivated by noble values. Definitely goal oriented, hard working, and smart. She’s also in imminent danger, and being treated unfairly.

If we took out the pieces of the story meant to evoke our empathy, what would happen? 

Nobody would care. Judy Hopps would have been an annoying, smug, and consumed by ruthless ambition. Harry Potter would have ceased to exist because everything about him is empathetic. 

Establishing these early allows us to begin the process of temporarily transferring our lives into a story. Or in the case of some life-changing stories, not temporarily transferring, but letting them become part of our souls forever. 

Yup, having your story connect with a reader forever starts with just a little empathy. Pretty useful.

Oh, and speaking of souls, give me mine back, Dementor reader. I learned how to make people like my characters. Now you’re out of the Azkaban job and the beta reading job. 

Kiss Scenes 101: How To Write The Perfect Kiss

Anonymous said: Hey there. Not sure what kind of questions you accept but…here goes. Do you have any tips for writing kiss scenes? Not fluffy kiss scenes but really passionate ones. Thanks!

I was hoping to post this on Valentine’s Day, but I got a little busy so it got pushed back. Happy (late) Valentine’s Day, and enjoy!

|| 1 || Detail. Remember that describing a kiss means including more detail than just what is happening and when. Be sure to include description of how the protagonist’s five senses are being affected, as well as some other elements such as:

  • What the protagonist smells
  • What the protagonist tastes
  • What the protagonist hears
  • What the protagonist sees
  • The inner monologue of the protagonist, if the point of view in your story allows it.

|| 2 || Make the kiss(es) realistic. Situational details are a key factor in making the scene more satisfying and memorable. Pay attention to details like the character’s physical characteristics, such as glasses, braces, messy hair, etc. and incorporate those tiny details into the scene.

She turned her head to the left, leaning in to brush her lips against her partner’s, but was interrupted when their noses bumped together, making them both giggle, and the awkwardness fade away.

I mean, sure, that’s not the best example, but at least it’s better than:

Their lips collided, and they made out flawlessly, as if they were in a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Little details like bumping noses, giggling, grinning like an idiot, stumbling, hesitating, etc. can make the scene so much better.

|| 3 || It doesn’t always have to be a full on make out session every time two characters kiss. A lot of the time, kisses are short and sweet and that can be enough to send a substantial spark to the fingers and toes, and send the reader out smiling. Pecks, if only on the cheek, can be more than enough and are extremely underrated.

|| 4 || Pay attention to what your characters do with the rest of their bodies. Kissing is in no way just about the mouth. Keep in mind that most of the time, people don’t just lean forward and mush their faces together. Grab the face, caress the lower back, hold their hand, hell, sweep them off their feet and carry them into the sunset! Don’t just stand there!

|| 5 || Lastly, but not least..ly.. VOCABULARY. Using the right wordage can improve your kiss scene-no, scratch that- ANY SCENE a million times better. I’ve made an entire post on vocabulary and synonyms to use for your sex/kiss scenes {shameless plug} and you can find it: 

HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE

|| 6 || Read kiss scenes as a writer would. Read kiss scenes that you’ve enjoyed and nitpick them to find what you do and don’t like about them, adding the good things to your own scene and being wary of the bad. 

And now, here are some extra tips to get you going:

 I. Practice - If you’re in a relationship or have a really great friend {;)}, practice the act and take notes on how it actually feels! A lot of people who read these kiss scenes take it as the reality because some have never kissed anyone, so teach them how it’s done!

II. Know your characters - Would they actually bite their partner’s lip like that? Would they actually go as far as caressing the majestical inner thigh? Think about it.

III. Add elements of the setting - Are your characters standing in the middle of a crowd? In a high school hallway? Elevator? Include details like sounds and smells and lighting to give the reader a more full-sensory experience.

IV. Dialogue can be fun to play with - Kissing doesn’t always have to be silent. Maybe they break for a second to say “You’re so beautiful” or “Did you pop a mint when I wasn’t looking, oh sneaky one?”. Include those little mutterings or comments because they are some of the best parts.

V. Have someone you trust read it - If you’ve got a good friend who will be honest, have them read and suggest edits. Google docs is fantastic for having your friends read and help you edit your work, because you can change the setting to “suggest edits” and you can see everything they’ve suggested without permanently altering the scene.

Talks Machina Highlights: Episode 94
  • Denise message: “MY WORDS ARE A SPELL I’M CASTING ON YOU ALL”
  • Everybody will be in next week’s ep for the continuation of Liam’s one-shot!
  • If Pike had been in the Nine Hells, Percy probably would’ve signed the contract secretly as opposed to up-front. She’s the only one who can actually evoke shame in them at this point.
  • Taliesin was planning the entire time to scry on Scanlan and has been trying to make an excuse to steal the Scrying Eye for weeks.
  • Pike’s moment with the earring, talking to Scanlan, was 100% improv.
  • Laura suspects Sam wouldn’t have been able to pull off Scanlan’s departure if Pike had been there. As it was, after the show went on break, Sam felt so bad that he ran over and gave a hug to everyone. If he’d made Pike cry, according to Laura: “he’d be UNFORGIVABLE.”
  • Taliesin semi-bullshitted the Grey Hunt stuff and Matt rolled with it. Taliesin gave him a ride to the airport the next day and they talked about how much they enjoyed how it worked out.
  • Laura points out that she’s the type of gamer who reloaded the game 20 times in ME3 to try to find a way to get a resolution that would be good for everyone when one didn’t exist, and she had that same sense of frustration when she got home after the game. She was really upset over the resolution of the Grey Hunt, but is feeling a bit better knowing it at least wasn’t failure.
  • Ashley and Travis both briefly thought the Grey Hunt was gonna be a weird proposal. Taliesin: “I feel like in our friends group the proposals have been getting more and more ridiculous. That would be the meta-continuation.”
  • Taliesin points out that Percy has a problem with abandonment and the whole thing with Scanlan is hitting his “really serious anger management issues.” Percy was hoping to get Vex’s vague permission/help over the Scanlan thing, and when it wasn’t forthcoming, he changed his plans to be less extreme. Percy’s also dealing with guilt over not feeling useful in the underwater fight, and is displacing that as anger over Scanlan not being there to mitigate that issue.
  • Pike’s got a lot of lingering resentment over Scanlan leaving.
  • Vex would’ve approached the Hunt differently if she’d known more about the creature ahead of time. Everyone decides that it probably killed a lot of small, cute woodland creatures when it threw the tree at Vex.
  • Percy’s most angry about Scanlan leaving the group and abandoning his responsibilities. Everyone else has to deal with the horrible shit going on, but he’s the one who gets to fall apart.
  • Ashley was disappointed not to be in the Hells—she was wondering if she might’ve had a permanent shift in her personality as a result of staying there. Ashley really struggled with playing Pike as a good character early in the home game.
  • Vex was at 10 HP at the end of the Hunt. Taliesin didn’t think there was a real chance of death there, because Matt’s great at building tests that are terribly difficult but not fatal, but was more worried that she was gonna fail. Laura: “God, I would’ve felt like a loser!”
  • Ashley and Laura have both kept themselves from watching the scene that was just Taliesin and Sam and Matt in the room.
  • The idea of leaving with Scanlan crossed Ashley’s mind when she watched the episode, but it’s tough to tell what would’ve happened if she’d been there, because so much of the show is in-the-moment.
  • Vex thinks of Whitestone as home, more than Greyskull.
  • Pike feels some guilt over Scanlan’s departure because of the pranking. “I never thought he would be mad at something like that, of all people.” Percy didn’t feel bad about it, because that’s not where Scanlan’s anger really came from. Pike still feels bad, knowing that.
  • Poor Brian has food poisoning and had to run off-set midway through the show. Ashley jumps in to take over. “Okay, Laura and Ashley. Uh. Me.”
  • Taliesin says Percy and Cassandra don’t really talk about personal things—she probably doesn’t know about Vex, although she suspects. They love each other and all, but they’re not a very warm family. “It’s cold and we live in a castle, for god’s sake.” Laura sums it up: “Cassandra is no Vax.” Percy and Cassandra weren’t super close as kids. “She was a brat.”
  • Brian judges Ashley for not coming up with a funnier excuse for his running off-screen.
  • Vex and Vax have been growing into their own people over the past few months, but Laura doesn’t know how Vex will deal with being in Whitestone without having Vax around, without the comfort of knowing the person she loves most is nearby.
  • Percy has come up with contingency plans for if the other party members go rogue. Brian: “Tell me about it.” Taliesin: “No. They’re in the room.”
  • Vex has an affinity for nature, and while she’s growing accustomed to Whitestone, she’s more comfortable not being around people, because it lets her keep from putting on an act.
  • Before Pike died, her hair was black (with a purple streak), and after she died, her hair turned white.
  • Ashley gets asked about Pike’s parents and grandparents, and there is a story there, but she refuses to answer in case it comes up in the game.
  • Someone asks about Percy breaking his "honesty streak.” Taliesin: “It’s not an honesty streak, it’s just a period of not being caught lying.” Laura: “People think [Percy]’s much better than he is.” 
  • Blurbs on the back of Tary’s book. Percy: “A fascinating addition to the Audubon chronicles of Emon.” Vex: “Don’t believe the lies.” Pike: “I enjoyed the artwork in particular. Great read, but the artwork is fantastic. By the late and great artist, Doty(e), someone whom we used to know.”

Talks Machine in the Dark:

  • If Pike had a companion along the lines of Trinket, it would be a baby snow owl.
  • Taliesin wants fanart of Strawberry Shortcake-esque little animal pets for all of them.
  • Taliesin hasn’t thought about what Grog’s title would entail. “Now that you’ve said it, I’m having thoughts, and they’re all ridiculous and a little mean.”
  • Favorite spells outside their class: all agree that Chromatic Spray is cool. Taliesin misses using Prestidigitation. Brian: “I don’t have that spell because I can’t pronounce it.”
  • Percy smells like sandalwood and gunpowder.
  • After a long debate over which character would win in a Survivor AU, they eventually decide everyone would survive and they’d all do just fine together.
  • Ashley and Laura have matching compass tattoos, along with two more of their friends—they each have a direction.
  • High-school superlatives. Pike: “Best legs.” Percy would have a series along the lines of “President of chess club, president of yearbook club. Most likely to help make the yearbook.” 
Trouble in Canada

Request: “I’m your husband, it’s my job.”

a/n: I hope you enjoy this itty bitty 10 page writing that I’ve been working on for a few days now ! 😉 ALSO @whitechocolateperfection wanted some angst so I wrote some angst and I hope y’all enjoy and I’d love to know your thoughts!!!

Your name: submit What is this?

“I’ll see you at the next session?”

            You picked your head up from rummaging in your bag and smiled at Ethan, your cooking class instructor, “My husband might be back in town, but I’ll see,”

           Ethan nodded his head steadily.  After a while of looking at each other, you diverted your gaze down towards the wooden table.  You saw his tapping fingers slowly make their way towards your hand that was rested on the table.

           Quickly, you moved your hand, and placed your engagement and wedding ring back on your left hand.  You did’t like cooking with your rings on in fear that they could fall down the drain if you were washing your hands, “Uh, Thanks for the lesson, I’ll see you later.”

           You heard an audible sigh escape his lips, “See you next week, Mrs. Mendes.” 

           As fast as you could, you scurried out the door and saw your friend, Jessie, waiting for you outside.  She saw your flustered expression and smirked, “Looks like the teacher has a crush on the student.” 

Keep reading

vld cast as monsters

WHY DO I DO THESE????!!!

  • So Keith’s a witch 
    • “Not a warlock, you dumbass, a witch. I don’t need entrails to actually do things, read a book for fucks sake.”
    • In case you didn’t notice, he gets all miffed about the comparison 
  • Allura’s a sorceress
    • The main difference is Keith basically needs a spell book (Lance calls it his cookbook, since he never really ‘casts’ things, just bakes potions) 
    • Allura doesn’t need a book, but she does have to say enchantments
  • Shiro’s a zombie
    • His family adopted Keith
    • Then a few years later he died
    • Keith went all witchy tying to get him back.
      • Obviously, Mr. and Mrs. Shirogane flipped but, eh, they got their son back so no biggie
    • TBH tho Shiro’s lost his arm so many time’s now that Keith’s given up on sewing a new one on him and just got him a prosthetic
  • Hunks a werewolf, comes from big family of them
  • Shay and her brother are were’s, too, but they were Turned, not born
    • Hunk’s family (nobles) don’t give a crap about all that
    • So they took Rax and Shay in when they could
  • Coran’s a seer
    • He’s prophetic and can actually tell what’s going on past all the illusions and glamour thrown around
    • Save for that, Coran’s normal
    • He met Alfor a little after Allura’s mom died and they kind of hit it off
      • He’s pretty much her second dad
  • Lance is mer
    • No, they don’t have tails 
      • they evolved from that eons ago, duh
      • They just control water and have gills, so they move the currents underwater to swim
    • His family lives by the beach near campus so everyone visits often
      • It’s funny cause Allura and Lance’s twin often try and see who can bewitch more people during parties
        • It’s crazy and Coran nearly dies every time
  • Matt’s a ghost
    • He didn’t die, he’s just in a coma, has been in one for a year or so now
    • He hangs out everyone since…
    • …Well…
    • …Let’s just say Keith done fucked up 
    • So now Matt’s tied to the college campus!
    • And he can’t leave whatsoever!
    • Great, huh?
      • “Keith, what the fuCK?!!!”
  • Speaking of college, everyone’s in the same fraternity … sorority … thing ..
    • Well, there’s no gender separation 
    • So it’s just everyone in the same building 
      • As they try not to kill each other and
        • Or blow up the entire campus
  • So one of the most annoying things they all have to deal with is Pidge
  • Kinda
    • So, Pidge is human and doesn’t know about the supernatural
      • Obviously
    • But because Pidge is mortal, they can’t find out about, well, everything
    • But they kinda did?
    • Oops
  • Anyways, it all started when Hunk and Lance brought Pidge home for a project
    • And Matt flipped his shit
      • “…Huh, now that you mention it, she does kind of look like you.”
    • So of course now everything is awkward
    • Hunk is all careful around Pidge, never really talking about his dorm and shit
    • Lance honestly didn’t change cause he’s an awesome liar 
      • Siblings + blackmail = a 100% guarantee he won’t spill the beans 
      • But Pidge will just suddenly look at him, all judgmental and stuff and he’s just like
      • Sweating bullets, like, what the fUCk Hunk how do you deal with this??
      • “I’m feeling something?? is this guilt??? why do I feel guilt?!?!?!”
    • Then there’s Allura and Shiro, who happen to be in a poly relationship with Matt as of second semester
    • One time Shiro almost spills the beans
      • “Honestly, your nothing like your broth - brochure! ….You’re nothing like your brochure?”
      • “…Thank you?”
      • *Allura screaming in the bg*
    • Eventually they all get over it and Pidge is allowed back in the dorm
      • Cause, ya know, they kicked them out for a bit
        • “This place is awesome! How do you apply?”
        • “………. Uh, I don’t really know, Hunk, uh … Lance?”
        • “Ya know, Hunk’d know more about it. He’s the one that got Shay and Rax in.”
        • “What?! I … RAX! Come explain?”
        • “…..fuck.”
    • And now Pidge just frequents the place
    • Sure, there’s weird things going on every other second
      • Like that one closet that Keith won’t let anyone into
      • Or when Shay and Rax get all crabby at random times of the month
      • Or like people including non existent entities in on conversations
      • Or perhaps those moments when random things start to move 
      • “… Why did that mug just … ??? … you know what? Fuck it. Hunk! Come here, I wanna blow shit up!”
    • Everyone manages to keep them in the dark for a whole six months
    • It’s a big project, just keeping Pidge from figuring things out
      • The main problem is because they’re fucking smart and don’t believe in coincidences
        • “No, Pidge, that glass didn’t move. Are you feeling okay?”
        • “No, Pidge, you didn’t just see Allura jump from the second story down without breaking a leg.”
        • “No, Pidge, Keith just really likes his book. Okay. He really likes his book.”
          • “…Is it some kinda kink?”
          • “…Sure. Yeah, let’s go with that.”
            • “Lance, why the fuck does Pidge think I have a fucking book kink?!!”
    • Allura casts a few masking spells and Keith manages to brew a few sealing potions for certain … areas of the dorm
      • But Pidge is sneaky
      • Not to mention immune to Wolfsbane
        • “What the literal fUCK?”
        • “Come on, it can’t be that bad.”
          • Te-he, it’s that bad
            • “Wolfsbane is the basis of all things, the foundation, the - the - the … the flour in cookies!! You can’t just leave the flour out of cookies!!”
            • “…You can still make cookies without flour.”
            • “But they’ll be fucking terrible cookies!”
    • Lance smooth talks them out of a few things, too
    • Turns up the charm and Mer’s his way outta things
      • At least, he tries to
      • But Pidge is ace
      • They don’t feel sexual attraction
        • “I can’t do anything! My voice doesn’t work, my charms don’t work, hell, I could flash them and they wouldn’t react.”
        • “Oh trust me, they’d react.”
    • And now Shay and Rax have to come up with stories about all their pills
    • Hunk, the lovable jerk, doesn’t need pills
      • But he does need to explain how he can grow a full on beard in two days
        • “…Blame my mom?”
    • Coran stops doing his freaky glowing eyes thing 
      • Well, he tries
      • He has a few … episodes when Pidge is around and boy
      • Those were fun to cover up
      • Turns out Pidge now thinks Coran’s big into theater and bright blue contacts
    • Even Shiro takes a few precautions
      • He re-sews his stitches nightly so they don’t fly off in the middle of Taco Tuesday
      • He drinks those disgusting potions Keith makes
        • “They keep your body healthy!”
        • “They taste like butt, Keith, like butt.”
      • He spritiz himself in perfume after Pidge notes that he “kinda smells like the earth
        • “Pfft! Smells like the earth? Yeah, that’s eau de coffin.”
        • “Matt, shut up.”
  • In the end, it’s actually Keith who finally spills their secret
    • You see … he and Lance were kind of making out
    • And Mer’s kinda … sorta … glow when they release endorphins
    • So Pidge walks into the living room unannounced and there’s Lance just
    • Sitting there
    • Glowing like a fucking angler fish
  • Covers blown just like that
  • They actually take it really well
    • “… So Lance is a mermaid?”
    • “Kinda.”
    • “And Allura’s a sorceress who’s over ten thousand years old?”
    • “Sort of.”
    • “And Shiro’s dead?”
    • “Oh definitely.”
    • “…Okay.”
  • So, yeah, Pidge now knows what’s going on around the house
  • And after a few quick spells, courtesy of Allura, they can see all the ~magic~ (rainbow, shiny, sparkly) they couldn’t before
    • That also means they can now see the fact that Keith has freaky ass veins after he brews a few potions
    • He can also see Lance’s gills
    • Oh, and the fact that Allura’s hair is fucking silver
      • “Holy shIT! ow the hell did I miss this?!!!”
        • “Uh, hello, Pidge, it’s me, Matt, you haven’t seen me in a year.”
  • But, of course, since Pidge knows now….
    • Hehehe
    • Oh boy
    • Buckle up, everyone
  • First come the questions
  • Everyone, and I mean everyone, had an hour long interrogation interview on how the hell they got away with all this shit
    • It involves lots of secrets, the occasional assassination, and  ~magic~ (rainbow, shiny, sparkly)
  • After that, Pidge pulled Shiro aside and had him explain how the fuck he’s alive
      • “So Keith … dug you up and force fed you a radioactive cockroach?”
  • Then comes Lance’s weird ass explanation of his powers
    • “Let’s see, I can make myself seem beautiful, though I already am~~~, I can breathe underwater, I can force involuntary drownings-”
    • “WHAT?!”
    • “-I can pitch my voice up to a C9, which is awesome cause it’s not even on the keyboard, and …. oh! And I can make people fall in love with me! That one’s fun.”
      • Which then, of course, leads to the awkward explanation of how he and Keith got together
        • “So, let me get this straight, you had a crush on him and he had a crush on you.”
        • “Yup.”
        • “But neither of you knew so Keith gave you a love potion, which then spurred you into pulling your charms and forcing him to fall in love with you.”
        • “Uh-huh.”
        • “And then he thought you didn’t like him so he voodoo’d you both?”
        • “Yup.”
        • “And now you’re technically soulmates with bound hearts?”
        • “Yeah … is that weird?”
        • “No, no, it’s perfectly normal - of course it’s weird, good god what the literal fuCK Keith?!”
  • They question Hunk next
    • The most they manage to get out of him as to how he does what he does it magic (~rainbow, shiny, sparkly~)
    • Shay and Rax don’t fair well, either
      • “I think I’d be more concerned about turning into an over glorified Chihuahua rather than exactly how it happens.”
      • “Speak for yourself. I always thought of myself as a Shih Tzu.”
  • Pidge tried with Allura but she dove right into runes and spells and they just zoned her out after fifteen minutes
  • Keith didn’t fair well either
    • “Why are you purple again?”
    • “…It’s an after effect.”
  • All in all:
    • Everyone is crazy
    • Allura and Lance blow up half of campus trying to make magical lush products
      • “Too much bomb, not enough bath.”
      • “Shut UP, Lance.”
    • Keith raised the dead
    • Again
    • Hunk accidentally runs around campus as both a wolf and a very, very naked man in the same night
      • Pidge was chasing after him with a net
    • Shay and Rax convince everyone to play spin the bottle and it ends with Keith and Lance actively making out in the corner while Shiro strips
    • Matt has managed to accidentally get kids ‘expelled’ ten different times due to his inadvertent need to poltergeist
    • Coran sees the future twice in one day and each time it included chicken nuggets, a thong, and one of Shiro’s detached limbs
    • They nearly destroy the world five times and save it once
    • That involved ketchup, a fourth wall break, and a klance fanfic written by Shay and Pidge
the bike shorts incident

Zimbits | Fluff & Crack | 3.2k | AO3

Bitty gets a series of texts from Jack just minutes before their shared class is due to start. Bitty is alarmed for several reasons—Jack’s preference for sending single texts, and the fact that Jack is normally in class before Bitty at the top of the list.

Jack 9:56 Are there seats in the back row?

Jack 9:57 Can you move to the back row and save me one

Jack 9:57 Near the door on the east side

Jack 9:57 Please

Jack 9:58 ??

Bitty isn’t sure what’s going on, but he gathers his stuff quickly, dumping it into his bag, and heads to the back row near the specified door, trying to type as he goes.

Bitty 9:59 I’ve moved. Got a seat for you. Everything okay?

Jack 9:59 Is anyone near you?

Bitty looks around.

Bitty 10:00 A few people further down the row, and about five rows in front. Teacher just walked in and is setting up.

Bitty looks around to the door, holding his phone in case it buzzes again with a message from Jack.

The teacher calls the class to attention and there’s still no sign of Jack. It’s not like him to miss class. Bitty wants to go out and find him to see what’s going on, but he can’t now that the teacher has seen him. He gets out his books and pen again, and focuses to the front, keeping his phone visible on the desk just in case.

He keeps an ear out for the door, and just as Professor Miao begins her lecture, he hears it opening. It’s almost like Jack was waiting until he knew she’d started.

Jack sticks his head through the gap and looks around nervously. He meets eyes with Bitty, who raises eyebrows at him, trying to get some clue as to what Jack’s been texting him for. As Jack pushes the door open slowly, and hurries quietly in, practically tiptoeing over to the seat Bitty has saved for him, Bitty thinks he knows what Jack’s been worried about.

Keep reading

10

SKETCHY BEHAVIORS | Heather Benjamin (RH)

Through her dense and detailed packed line drawings to her more focused ink brush pieces, Rhode Island based artist Heather Benjamin’s work is visceral, cathartic, and autobiographical. It offers a completely unapologetic and unflinching look into an artists’ own struggles with life, body image, self confidence, and sexuality.  We find her and her art to be inspirational, honest and badass.

We recently ran into Heather at her booth at the LA Art Book Fair and caught up with her a few months later to ask about her art, her experiences at RISD, her influences, and her thoughts about her work and her life. 

Photographs courtesy of the artist.

Keep reading

Books you should read because I LOVE THEM

Dedication: For @kissmybruisedknuckles who told me to make this because she’s too lazy to make one lol

1. Strange The Dreamer - Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

2. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

3. Unwind - Neil Shusterman

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

4. Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

5. This Savage Song - Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

6. The Darkest Part of The Forest - Holly Black

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

7. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

9. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more

10. Legend - Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

11. Angelfall (Penryn and the end of days) - Susan Ee

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

12. Caraval - Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

13. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

14. An Ember In The Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

15. The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.


16. The Wrath and The Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Seeking Paintings | Draco Malfoy x Reader

Summary: You, a muggle-born artist, have been hiding your feelings for Draco Malfoy for years now. Though, after an unplanned meeting in the astronomy tower things between the two of you start to change. Even more so after finding each other in the Room or Requirement.

Word Count: 3,573

Warnings: None

Disclaimer: not my gif credit to owner


You stare out into the vast horizon from the astronomy tower. This was your favorite hideout during your free period. You much rather enjoyed the view when it was light outside. Sure you love astronomy class and looking up at the stars but this was just different. Better.

You pulled out your old, hard-cover, weather-beaten sketch book and began to draw the landscape before you. You made sure to grasp and add every detail to your drawing. You began shading in the sunset when you heard a voice behind you.

“What are you doing here?” He asked in a rotten tone and you already knew who it was.

“You don’t own the astronomy tower, Draco,” you say blandly while continuing your work.

“You know this is were I go in my spare time,” you hear him huff.

“I know,” you blush, hoping he doesn’t know that besides the view one of your favorite part of this spot is that it’s that it’s his spot too. Then again, how would he even know that, it’s not like you two are exactly close.

You hear him start to walk away and your heart sinks. Just once you’d like him to stay up here when you’re here. Maybe then, you too could become close. You’d had this battle with having a crush on Draco since first year. Now here you are, sixth year and the most interaction between you two is fighting over the astronomy tower.

“You know you can stay right?” You boldly say. You swallow hard when you hear him stop in his tracks.

You hear his footsteps begin again but this time coming back towards you.

He sits a few feet from you, “Just don’t expect me to talk to you.”

You just smile and shake your head continuing to look down at your sketch book. For a few minutes you two stay like this, you drawing, him (probably) thinking. You wonder what could be going on in his head, he seemed to be thinking pretty deeply.

You feel him inching towards you at a snail’s pace, from the corner of your eye you can see him watching you draw everything from here to the horizon. You hate yourself for the blush creeping up on your face, by the time he’s within a foot of you your face is bright red.

“Why are you blushing?” You look up at him and see he’s smiling, a genuine smile.

Because I’ve been hiding my massive crush on you for nearly six years.

“I just get embarrassed at people watching me work,” you shrug.

“Why?” He asks seeming genuinely interested. “You’re really good.”

“Thanks,” you’re blush gets even deeper.

You break eye contact and look back down at your sketchbook. The rest of the period is made up with you finishing your sketch and Draco watching intently. He’s completely mesmerized at how you can just see an image and recreate it perfectly on your page.


It’s Saturday and you aren’t needed nor expected anywhere, which is why Saturdays are your favorite days. You usually spent these days roaming around looking for inspiration for a new art piece. Which is exactly how you plan to start today.

You roam the school grounds aimlessly, constantly moving your head around to grasp every aspect of the school. You step into the one of the many courtyards and feel inspired to sketch it, until you realize you’ve already done that… Ten times…

You sigh and realize that after six years of constantly working in the same space it’s going to be hard to find a completely new area for your art. Just this year and the following before you can finally start travelling and finding more inspiration worldwide.

In your attempts to find a new spot you’re again not looking forward. causing you to slam right into someone.

“Hey, watch where- oh, hey Y/N,” you hear Draco’s voice quickly turn from intimidation to delight.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t paying attention,” you ramble.

“Don’t worry about it,” he laughs at how cute he thinks you are when you ramble.

A blush creeps onto your face, “Well, I best be going.” As you turn to walk away he grabs your wrist and turns you back to face him.

“Hey, are you going to the Quidditch match today?” He inquires.

“Um I wasn’t really planning on it,” you scratch the back of your neck.

“Oh,” his face slightly falls. “Well, I’d like it if you went,” he says his cheeks turning slightly pink. “Even though you’d be rooting for Y/H and not Slytherin,” he looks at the ground.

“I mean I probably should go, it's sixth year and I haven’t gone to a single match,” you shrug and he looks at you dumbfounded.

“Not a single match? Well, you definitely have to go now,” he laughs and so do you.

“Well, I guess you can count on me being there,” you say before turning and walking away. You look over your shoulder, “And I guess I can root for Slytherin just this once,” you wink and quickly face forward as your face turns crimson red. A crazy amount of adrenaline must’ve been rushing through you for having the courage to wink at Draco Malfoy.


You take a seat in Y/H’s section for the Quidditch match, all your housemates do a double take when they see you arrive. Which were followed by ‘finally’, 'it’s about time’, 'I didn’t even know you knew how to get here’ and more sayings around those lines.

You don’t know to much about Quidditch, especially since you’re a muggle-born. Not that you know much about muggle sports either. Your friends have explained the game to you many times, you got the logistics but you just didn’t know why it was such a big deal. Maybe you’ll actually figure it out through watching a match.


Draco rose up into the air on his broomstick to prepare for the start of the game. On his way up he scanned the crowd for you and a smile creeps onto his face when he sees you sitting in Y/H’s section. He can tell you look slightly out of place in the stands and is glad to see you actually showed up. He keeps up the hope that you’re actually here for him.

He has been trying to convince himself since second year that he doesn’t have feelings for you. That he could never have feelings for a muggle-born. Except as he’s grown older through his school years he’s realized that muggle-borns aren’t that bad. He’s realized he was just told to think that way, not that he actually believed it.

He’s pulled out of his thoughts by the blow of the whistle signaling the beginning of the game. Slytherin immediately takes hold of the Quaffle and manages to score within the first minute. A chorus of boos and angered shouts comes from Y/H’s section. Draco looks over to see you remaining silent among your peers. He smiles, hoping you may be rooting for Slytherin…for him…silently. Even if you’re not, at least you aren’t booing.

Draco circles around the field, scanning for the snitch. He’d be lying to say that he wasn’t losing his interest in Quidditch, squinting into the distance searching for a flying ball of gold gets boring after awhile. Of course, he didn’t know if the sport itself was actually starting to bore him or the stress recently rested upon him was making him lose interest in the things he loves. Apparently stress can do that. 

He sees a flicker of gold in the distance, shocked at how early on he’s spotted it he doesn’t fully believe he saw it. That is until he sees the seeker for Y/H dive in the direction of the flash of gold. He quickly follows and the two chase after the golden blur, neck and neck. Draco shoves the other seeker, causing him to spin off course and leaving Draco to be the only one in pursuit of the snitch.

He’s extremely close, he takes a hand off his broom and reaches towards the snitch. He feels cold metal on the pads of his fingers, he just needs to get a grip around it. Almost…

Wham!

He’s nearly knocked off his broom as pain seers through his ribcage. He got hit with a bludger milliseconds before he could grab the snitch. He holds a hand over his ribcage and groans in pain. He rises back into the air to find he’s near Y/H’s section. He looks over at you and you mouth to him, 'Are you okay?’. He nods and manages to give you a faint smile as reassurance.

When he starts to move upward he hears many whispers, “Did Draco Malfoy the Draco Malfoy just smile?”, “Did he smile at you, Y/N?”, “Is there something going on between you two?”, and things of that nature.

He looks back in your direction to see your cheeks turning pink while multiple people start to question you. Though more importantly he sees a smile on your face at the thought of people thinking something is going on between the two of you.

Suddenly, his interest for Quidditch returns. Except rather than loving the sport, wanting to be the best, and move towards winning the House Championships, his goal and motivation to win comes from you. He wants to impress you, and suddenly he finds himself squinting at the field and scanning it as if his life depended on it.

Ten minutes pass with no sign of the snitch. Y/H is currently in the lead, sixty-twenty. Draco continues to scan the field, keeping an eye on the other seeker to see if they look to be in pursuit. He finds himself glancing over at you often as well, trying to make sure you aren’t growing bored. Good thing he’s doing this because it is when he shifts his eyes to you that he spots the snitch once again.

This time determined to get he speeds off in the directions of the flicker of gold. He soon gets close enough that the snitch is hardly a blur anymore. He stretches out his arm when he feels someone bump his side, not strong enough to knock him off his path though. It’s Y/H’s seeker, Draco gives them a menacing stare before turning his eyes back to the snitch. The two race around the field with their arms reaching towards the snitch, they’re neck and neck. Draco, determined to win, jerks his hand out so roughly he fears he might’ve dislocated his shoulder. It would be worth it though, he feels his hand close around the snitch.

He slows down and waves the snitch above his head, wearing a proud smile. The rest of the Slytherin team flies over to congratulate him. He hardly notices their presence as he starts to look for you, to see your reaction. His smile fell, you weren’t in the spot you had previously been in. You weren’t anywhere to be seen.

A look of disappointment washes over Draco’s face as he moves back to the ground. Where did you go? Why did you leave? Did you just not care enough to stay? Did you leave because Slytherin won? Was it foolish of him to think you were here for him? He was disappointed that he ever let that thought into his head.


The rest of the Slytherins were celebrating in their common room, but Draco was in no mood for a party. Though every time he tried to move towards the dorms one of his friends would pull him back to the center of the crowd.

“Dude, what up with you,” Blaise leans onto Draco. “You know you can’t vanish from a party after a win.”

Vanish.

He hadn’t been to the room of requirement in ages. If he was already disappointed with himself he might as well make it even worse by working on that cabinet.

“I actually have to go do something,” Draco mutters before peeling away from the crowd, this time being successful.

He begins the journey from the dungeons all the way to the seventh floor, left corridor. Constantly, he finds himself dodging behind corners at the sight or sound of a teacher. When he makes it to the entrance of the Room of Requirement unscathed he begins to pace and think deeply about what he needs.

I really need to work on this cabinet. If I don’t fix it in time I’ll probably get myself and my family killed. To work on this cabinet though I’m really going to need some privacy. No one else should be able to go in or out. I really just need to be alone, even though I’d rather be talking to Y/N, figuring out why she left the natch early… But I really need to go work on this cabinet in private.

He thinks to himself, allowing him access to the room. He steps inside and begins to make his way to the vanishing cabinet. He examines a feather from the last time when he used that cabinet on a small bird. He begins to realize it’s spending days on end staring at this cabinet that he truly begins to hate what he’s become. He knows he had no choice, it makes him hate all those who did. All who didn’t have people pressuring him to be evil. To kill or be killed. It makes him hate all those who had good people in his life.

He just wanted one good person in his life, he needed one good person in his life.

Where am I going to find a good person who wants to be in my life?

He’s pulled out of his thoughts when he hears a crash from somewhere in the room, faint whispering follows. Someone else is in here.

He draws his wand from his pocket, becoming extremely alert. He swallows hard, the last thing he needs is to be caught in here. He slowly moves towards the sound of the crash, pashing piles and piles of randomized objects. The faint whisper becomes a distinct mutter, a girl’s mutter.

He jumps out from behind the last pile of things before him and the unknown girl and raises his wand. However, he immediately lowers it at the sight before him.

“Y/N?” He questions putting his wand back in his pocket.

You look up at him and gulp. You are kneeling on the ground in front of a puddle of spilt paint to the side of a canvas. Your face turning a bright red to match the paint covering the floor.

“Draco,” you say wide-eyed. “What are you doing here?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” he tuts.

“Well, I needed a canvas and some oils,” you shrug. “So, I went to the room that would supply me with my needs.

"Well, I needed privacy as in no one else being in here,” he says coming off more hostile than he wants to be towards you.

“Maybe you don’t know what you’re actually needs are,” you look down at the ground, saddened at his hostility towards you. Just when you were beginning to think he could actually like you, how silly.

He remembers what he was just thinking about. Where am I going to find a good person who wants to be in my life? “Maybe you’re right,” he admits.

You look up at him and try to suppress any thoughts of him needing you from your head. You look back down at your paint puddle and go back to cleaning.

“You know there’s this thing called magic,” he chuckles before pulling out his wand. After giving it a little flick all the paint moves back into the container.

You tut before letting out a muffled thanks and standing back up. A slight frown forms on your face as you dip your paintbrush into your now unspilt paint and get back to working on your canvas.

“I thought you’d be a little more thankful,” Draco raises an eyebrow.

“I don’t like to mix magic and art,” you huff.

“How come?” he presses on, sounding as though he genuinely cares.

You sigh, not sure if you’re completely comfortable about divulging your childhood to Draco, your muggle childhood. If you even wanted to dream about having a chance with him you figured it wouldn’t be best to remind him you’re muggle-born. However, he’s expecting an answer and you only have the truth.

“It just when I was younger I was told I had a gift when it came to art,” you sigh. “They said my art made my talent seem like magic,” you smile at the memories. “I guess I wanted to keep it all down to talent not literal magic,” you shrug,

“Oh,” is all he has to say. “Well, can I see what you’re painting?”

At that you freeze, brush in midair dripping paint onto the ground. You swallow hard and your face becomes a deeper red than Draco, or anyone has ever seen you as. You slowly turn your near paralyzed head to look at him wide-eyed, You do not even want to imagine Draco’s reaction to your current work, yet alone see or hear it in reality.

He chuckles, “I’ll take that as a no.” You slightly nod and turn back to your work. “If I can’t look at it can you at least tell me what it is?” Your face is burning at this point, it feels so hot you fear you may need to go down to the hospital wing.

He appears next to you and you nearly choke on the lump forming in your throat. You set your brush down and timidly turn your head to look at him. You get a side view of his head, slightly tilted with a flattered expression resting on his face.

“Is that me?” He smiles brightly and you swallow hard.

“Is that weird?” You timidly ask.

He turns his head to look down at you, a smile still plastered on his face. “Not at all.”

He looks back to examine the painting even deeper as you rock on your heels as an anxious tick. The painting is a site you captured in your head at the match. Draco with his hand outstretched towards a golden blur, you seeker right at his heels. You painted the world around them as a fuzzy haze to show they were moving at top speeds. In the background one could distinguish the field, goalposts, stadium full of students, as well as the other players flying about.

“Is this why you left the match early?”

“Yeah, I just got the idea and rushed here to go and paint it,” you shrug. Then, you fully process what he just said. “You noticed I left?” Your eyebrows knit together and you move your gaze to him.

“Of course,” he says looking at you. “I did it for you,” he states. “I woke up this morning and the last thing I wanted to do was go looking for a golden blur. Then, I remembered you said I could count on you being there and I knew I had to play.” You open your mouth to speak but no words come out, so Draco continues. “I was planning on inviting you to the after party as my date but you weren’t there,” he shrugs. He’s trying to play it cool but truly he heart is beating a mile a minute. He was not intended to profess his love for you but before he could stop himself the words were slipping from his mouth.

“D-date?”

“Yeah, is it so weird for me to take the girl I’ve liked since second year to be my date?” There’s no going back now. It’s out, the secret is out. Draco Malfoy has feelings for Y/N Y/L/N.

He waits for you to say something, anything. He heart is racing and his cheeks are turning pink. He hopes you’ll say you feel the same but you just stay silent.

Your mouth hangs agape, you can’t believe what you’re hearing. “You’ve liked me since second year?”

“Is that weird?” He timidly asks as you did previously.

“N-not at all,” you smile wider than ever, your face only turning slightly pink. “I mean I’ve liked you since first year.” You see his eyes light up at that, he looks as if this is exactly what he needs to hear.

You two stay silent for a moment, gazing into each others eyes. Both of you wondering what to do next. His eyes slowly move down to your lips, linger for a second, then dart back to your eyes.

“Can I kiss you?” He breathes out so quietly you barely hear.

You nod and try to suppress the butterflies in your stomach. He takes a step closer to you and lightly grips your elbows. He pulls you close and stares deep into your eyes. He starts to lean in as do you, both closing your eyes. His lips gently connect to yours. He softly moves his lips against yours, his hands moving down to your waist as yours get tangled in his hair. Neither of you pull away until you both are gasping for air.

“So did you win?” You giggle once you’ve caught your breath.

“I have now.”

You Don’t Have to be Superman

(Put a read more in cause it got kinda really long oops)

  • Ladybug and Chat Noir are together
    • Like together together
    • Very much together
    • And everyone knows it
  • They don’t know each other’s identities because it’s not safe, not with Hawkmoth still out there
    • When they defeat him, that’s when they’ll tell each other, they promise
  • They defeat Hawkmoth when they’re twenty three and Gabriel Agreste goes to prison
  • Their Miraculouses are running down, or Adrien needs a minute to himself, or something, but the point is, they split up and are going to meet up that night and reveal themselves
  • Marinette doesn’t count on Tikki and the earrings disappearing as soon as she transforms
    • It’s awful, but she and Chat are in this together and they’ve got a hotel room booked so she’ll just meet him there
  • Adrien doesn’t count on there being a lot of paper work when it turns out your father is a supervillain
    • There’s a lot
    • Nathalie is handling it mostly but they still need his signatures and no one is letting him out of their sight
  • Marinette goes to the hotel room and waits for Chat to arrive
    • He doesn’t
  • Adrien glances at the clock every few seconds, trying to pull himself away from the mess of his life for long enough to get to Ladybug
    • He can’t

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Unexpected

I saw some people talking about the “Stiles comes back from college hot” trope, and it reminded me that I needed to make a seperate post for this fic!

Inspired by this post. (On AO3)


He’d been hoping for a reaction.

If he was being honest, he’d actually been anticipating a reaction.

While he’d been away at school, he’d started meeting people and making new friends. Some of those friends had turned out to be fitness guys, who loved running and working out. Stiles had ended up accompanying them on numerous gym trips, until eventually he liked it enough to just go, with or without them. He’d liked the feeling of being stronger, being able to trust his body to do what he wanted.

He’d become more confident with his looks, and started accepting invitations to parties. He’d started buying better-fitting clothes to show off his physique, and felt incredibly flattered when he was flirted with often. He’d kissed a lot of people, talked to a lot more, learned as much as he could, and even hooked up a few times.

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Victor Nikiforov Appreciation Post!!!

I just want to take a moment and talk about how much I love Victor Nikiforov and how he’s just such a refreshing character. I know everyone and their dog has done a post like this already but I’ve been crying over this lovable goof for months and this had been sitting in my drafts for too long now anyway and also I’m avoiding my textbooks AND THIS SORTA TURNED INTO A CHARACTER ANALYSIS I’M SORRY.

So as far back as the PV, there were assumptions flying around that Victor would end up being an antagonist of some sort. That either he was using Yuuri for his own gain, or was just straight up evil. Laughable now, of course, but the reason those rumors were prevalent was because we see it so often. How easy was it to think that Victor was “helping” Yuuri only to further his own goals in the end? We’ve seen this common mentor-betrays-student trope before and it’s no wonder that early on fans were afraid of this even as the show progressed. And honestly? This would have made for some great drama—for Victor to turn out to not be such a nice guy and for him to eventually become someone Yuuri had to defeat in competition. However the show did not go down that route at all. It turns out that yeah, Victor is actually just a really nice guy who cares a great deal about Yuuri and the people around him. He doesn’t show up in Hasetsu with any evil ulterior motives—he just wants to get to know Yuuri and help him take his skating to the next level, and maybe find inspiration (and love) along the way.

Also how could a man with a heart-shaped smile be evil???

(Continued under the cut.)

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ADHD: Living as a Liminal Space

Is this the way things have always been?
The question is always nestled in the back of your mind, smile carefully in place as you nod along with someone’s conversation. You don’t know who they are - their face feels familiar, but the list of remembered names in your mind is very small.
You stare at their cracked lips, trying to commit their words to memory. You wonder if they had ever used chapstick, and just as that thought bubbled to the surface, time slipped sideways. You awake from your dream to find seconds have passed, countless words lost in the haze of existing and you look up at the person speaking.
“I’m sorry,” you say, with that careful smile painted delicately across your face, “Could you repeat that?”
They do, but the words slide like quicksilver in and out of your ears, darting just long enough to hear, but not long enough to understand. You blink, trying to remember, but that moment is gone as if it had never happened. They are already talking about something else, addressing you by name, but their own name remains lost.
Conversations flow like a river around you, snatches of meaning caught here and there, but holding onto conversations is like trying to dam a stream with a bucket. You learn to scoop down as quickly as you can, snatching just enough context to divine meaning.

Is this the way things have always been?
The light bulb needs to be changed.
There are two bulbs, one broken, one not. The room is dim, but not so dim that it is untreadable. You see the light bulb, and it registers as something that Needs To Be Done. You look down to the warm mug in your hands, and consider that to change the bulb, you need to have your hands free.
And the thought is gone, the significance of room dimness lost as your thoughts fizz like static to wrap around the mug’s heat. You find the mug the next day, left on the corner of your desk, drained of coffee. The room’s dimness is remembered, but you should take care of that mug first, right? It could mold.
By the time you place the mug in the sink, your thoughts are already occupied by dish soaps and lipid breakdowns, and the bulb lies forgotten, nestled dead against the ceiling. 

One morning, neither bulb turns on, and you navigate the kitchen by the light of your cell phone before work.
That night, you use your cell phone again, because you’ve forgotten where the bulbs are, and need to get gas to get to the store.
The next night and the night after that, you ate early enough in the day that light bulbs weren’t needed, so the deadness never registered as a problem.
At the end of the week, your hunger draws you to the kitchen late in the evening, but it’s too late in the day to go to the store - they won’t be open.
When the problem of the bulb is not in front of you - is not making an active nuisance of itself, it’s like it doesn’t even exist.  
Nothing in this world exists, when it’s not in front of you. 

Is this the way things have always been?
“You’re so good at traveling!” your coworker said, “Aren’t you homesick?”
Belatedly, you realize that you’ve been away from home for a week and a half. Each day seems like an individual lifetime. They flow back-to-back never quite related, for all their similarities.
Like picking up a new novel every morning, each set of problems is unique to that situation.
Like picking up a new novel every morning, the previous book’s worries shed like water. They’re not here anymore, so they don’t matter.
“Do your parents know you’re in California?”
No, you think to yourself, I haven’t talked to them in months.
It’s not any malice or dislike that stops you from calling, and that’s what frightens you, a little.
You’d be happy talking to them, but you just…. Forgot.
Like all things, when they aren’t in front of you:
They just don’t seem to exist. 

Is this the way things have always been? 

“You know I was only joking!”
I didn’t, you think to yourself, forcing a titter of agreeable laughter.
Every word, unless emphasized deeply with emotive gestures and tonal changes, seems genuine. Flat-faced delivery of falsehoods always rings true to your ears. It takes effort to remember to parse out people’s wording - their delivery - and compare it against their previously stated opinions and choices.
It takes effort to remember to analyze again and again and again and again, until every conversation is a minefield of potential missteps, drawing close a handful of responses that could be interpreted a hundred different ways. At least with those, you can play along.
“How come you’re being so quiet?”
It’s exhausting to dance the dance of smalltalk, when your feet just seem unable to develop that muscle memory. So every conversation becomes mechanical, automatic, words filtering through keyword searches and tonal registers to find the ‘correct’ response that is both situationally appropriate, not emotionally hurtful, and hopefully accurate enough not to elicit guilt.
Like all automations, It doesn’t always work.
Like all machines, it doesn’t feel real.
The people of the world seem like a thousand NPCs, all demanding answers from an endless multiple-choice list of dialogue options. Humans become something like obsticals, and conversations like challenges, fights waged with memorized expressions and rote responses. You become accustomed to spitting back wisdom from books and television shows written by actual people, in the hopes that their words can make your forced empathy seem real.
None of it feels real. 

Is this the way things have always been?
“Do you have a crush on anyone?”
Should I?
Sexual and Romantic relationships burn brightly, all-consuming while they last. Obsessive is a word fit for the hungry hoarding of dragons, and the vicious consuming of ghosts.
It is an accurate adjective for your heart.
While things are here they are all that exist.
While things are elsewhere they may as well have never existed at all.
It applies to tasks,
To objects,
To people,
To relationships.
To your own emotions. 

Existence itself remains a fleeting experience of not-quite-real spaces. Each moment feeling the most important thing you’ve ever done, yet once that moment passed it leaves only the briefest of marks on your heart or memory. Often the memory slides away completely, leaving nothing but the memories of others, and whatever few pictures were taken.
Your self exists eternally on the outskirts of other peoples lives, recollection of what you’re like always reminded by pictures and stories told by friends. That perfect, careful smile painted delicately across your face slips to neutrality when alone.
You simply consume the world, experience it, and let it go again.
An eternal catch-and-release, where there is no fish more important than the one caught in your gaze NOW.

 Is this the way things have always been? 

Yes. 

And will always be. 

Your mind is a Liminal Space, and the world around you can only briefly visit. 

Caught (Spencer Reid x Reader)

One shot request for @damhunterofartemis! “Spencer has a girlfriend and the team doesn’t know about her until they catch him kissing her.” Un-beta’d! 
Requests are still open! :) 


“Honestly, Boy Wonder, you should come out with us tonight. You need to meet someone,” Penelope said as she was scurrying around in her heels, grabbing her purse and outfit change. She, JJ, and Emily extended the Girls Night invite out to the rest of the team.

“Garcia, I appreciate the offer but trust me, I’m fine.” Spencer said, rejecting yet another invite which was met with a pout from the blonde.

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