writing-villains

i uhhhh if i were writing an overly cartoonish villain i would absolutely give him the line “angels in america won too many awards”

anonymous asked:

After watching Naruto one thing I learnt is how important the characterisation of main character is to the plot. In my opinion writing a hero character with ethics is much more difficult to write than Villains or antogonists. If the mangaka or a writer or director doesn't establish a mc property then this will totally effect the series and it will gradually fall down like Naruto. What do you think?

I think it’s better to decide the plot before you think about what kinda MC can carry a story like that. When you’re thinking about the plot, you’re already thinking what kinda moral conflicts you want to write, and how your protag and villains would represent the clashing moral views.

Kishimoto’s problem is he doesn’t see naruto as the hero in moral conflicts, the one who represents moral decency. Kishimoto’s vision of naruto is actually very trivial, his struggles are fighting for people’s recognition, triumphing over the popular guy etc. This wouldn’t be a problem if naruto is a sports manga and there’s no good vs evil conflicts involved. But if it’s moral conflicts that you want to write, then it’s paramount you figure out where your hero stands on these moral issues when you plan his character, cos his values will decide his actions.

My Personal Top 10 Villain and Hero Prompts so far List

10) “Such faith…” the villain looked at the other in wonder, reverence, shocked awe that quite stole their breath. Such beautiful, stupid, blindness. They were the most perfect creature the villain had ever seen. “Tell me, if I asked you for your heart, would you give it to me?”
“You have it already.” As if they hadn’t just met. “Or do you mean literally?
”It was all the villain could do not to grin, wolfish. They didn’t want to scare this miracle, after all. But oh, how strangely ensnaring it was to be trusted so completely.“Come with me.” X


9) “So protective…” the villain murmured. “You were never so protective over me.”
“You never needed anyone to protect you!”
The look on the villain’s face stopped them dead. X


8)   They knew it was wrong, they knew they shouldn’t like seeing the antagonist like this. A shell of themselves, fragile, held together by stitches. But oh they were so pliant like this. So scared of doing wrong and so desperately needing reassurance.
“I forgive you.”
“It’s going to be okay.”
“You’re not a monster.”
The hero had never felt so addictively needed in their life, so redemptive, so powerful to have the villain breathless and overwhelmed with the smallest of kindnesses. They felt like god. X


7)  The villain prowled closer, gaze intent.
“Mm. The last time someone looked at me like that we didn’t get out of bed all weekend, good times.”
“Cute bravado, it won’t save you.”
“You’re blushing.” X


6) “Fix it.”
“I can’t.”
The protagonist dropped to their knees, a sick feeling curdling in the pit of their belly. “Please - see, I’m begging and everything - fix it.” They swallowed hard. “Please.” Their voice voice cracked.
“I can’t,” the antagonist said. They tugged one hand through their hair, jerked the other in a gesture for the protagonist to get up. “I’m not saying it to spite you, I literally can’t. This is beyond my power. I’m sorry.”
The protagonist stared at them in numb disbelief. X


5) “Go on,” the antagonist rasped. Their eyes were intent upon the protagonist’s, their lips startlingly red with blood. Breath panting. “Finish it.”
The protagonist’s hand wavered, head spinning, adrenaline coursing nauseously through their body. Some distance away, their allies were starting to approach. The antagonist’s expression softened. “Finish it.” They reached up a hand to steady the protagonist on their weapon. “You’ll be a hero, everyone will love you, the world will be yours for the taking. You’ve come so far and grown so much, you’ve fought so hard. You can do it. It’s alright.”
“You want to die?”
“Don’t ask me that. I’d rather it be by your hand than theirs.” X


4)  “Let me tell you something,” the antagonist said. “You want to get away with being a monster, you act like a hero.” X


3)  “Dearest. Darling. Sweetheart,” the protagonist flatly recited the list of endearments the antagonist was most likely to wield in their conversations. “You’re play acting at intimacy again. God, it must be desperately lonely being you.”
“Oh, love. I’m not the one play acting at anything – if I wanted to be intimate with you, baby, I’d bother to learn your name.” X


2) “Beautiful girl in need of saving, you’re predictable,” said the villain. She circled the hotel room, removing the silken scarf from around her neck and letting it drop.
The heroine set her weapon slowly down on the bed beside them. “Compulsive need to play act a girl in need of saving,” she returned. “You’re transparent.” A smile flickered across the villain’s lips. “I like pretending to be you. It’s intimate.”“You think I need saving?”
“Of course,” the villain purred. “I know who you’re up against.” X


1)  “Shh, it’s alright,” the villain said. “You’re doing beautifully and I’m so proud of you. But that’s enough now. It was cruel of them to make you fight me - you could never have won. It’s not your fault.” X


+ 1; AKA the first heroes and villains prompt I wrote, of the classic style you might know me for (I wrote villainous prompts before this one, but they wouldn’t be what you guys call my villain and hero prompts in the same way)

“What happened to you?” He strained against the cuff, face twisted up and flushed. “You’re not like this - this isn’t you.”

“And how would you know what I’m like?” he drew the knife, caressed it along Marco’s cheek. “You left. And now you want to leave again…but the boss won’t be so happy about that, old friend.”

X

rp pet peeve ; when writing with a villain, one continues to poke the bear but once said villain retaliates, other’s grow upset or perturbed.

always remember ; if you choose poke the bear, you will get bitten. 

VILLAINS are not punching bags, they are opposition that pose a TRUE & REAL THREAT. antagonize one & you incur the wrath. do not smite the writer for their chosen direction as they are simply reacting as their muse commands. ( & believe me, if you’re writing a villain, the muse is in control ). villains are not teddy bears. villains are complex, multi-faceted. perhaps they react in one way to one & differently to another. bonds are formed different. villains can sometimes be unhinged mentally where reasoning is skewed or twisted. they are not to be underwritten as little puppies with attitude issues. they are rabid dog most tend to shy away from. they don’t need a little love or a sprinkle of fairy dust to feel better, to be good. some villains don’t want to be redeemed. some villains don’t want emotional connection. many are selfish & if an emotional connection is sought after the villain will usually ( ALWAYS ) put themselves first. always talk to the mun, get a feel for the muse, get to know the limits - what lines to cross, what lines to avoid like the plague. 

dragoninsideafox  asked:

How would you go about writing a character (villain) that is becoming more insane as the story progresses? Kinda starts off sympathetic, but it becomes increasingly harder to sympathize with said villain

Hi! I love the idea of this kind of character arc by the way.

Here’s what I’d gradually change:

• Motives- At first, the villain has an understandable motive, like avenging a dead relative by killing their murderer. It’s still wrong, but it’s reasonable. Then, the motive morphs into something that isn’t justifiable. Using the previous example, perhaps the villain is now set on killing the entire, innocent family of the murderer.

•Actions- In the beginning, the villain does illegal/immoral acts that aren’t considered to be terrible in the scheme of things (theft, fraud, etc). If the villain needs to start off more intense than that, then have them do obviously bad things that readers are pretty desensitized to because they’re common crimes for the villanous/bad characters (assassinations, arson, mild torture, etc), but not emotionally repulsive (ex: abusing a dog). Then, work the villain up to doing blatantly, disgusting crimes that readers can’t help but hate to the bottom of their heart.

General tips:

• If you really want a villain that’s hard to sympathize with, then don’t hold back.
•At the same time, you still need an explanation behind the way that villain is acting/thinking. Sure, they can find it fun to cut off butterfly wings, but why? Do they like destroying beautiful things because it subconsciously elevates them? Do want the attention they receive when others see the wings? Does it make then feel powerful and in control?
• Research clinical insanity and related mental disorders along with their roots.
• Little clues or events will help contribute to the feeling that the character is getting worse. For example, they break their favorite object in a fit of rage. They are envious of other criminals/bad people and their actions. They show emotions inappropriate for the situation ( ex. there’s a dead deer on the road, and they feel a spark of joy). Their emotions are more touchy and more strong, regardless of what it is.

Villain x Villain Prompts

1) “You’re hurt,” the villain said in a neutral tone of voice. “Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” 
“I can still work.” 
Their breath caught as a hand brushed over their injured ribs, though they did their best to keep their expression composed. Hyper-aware of the feel of the villain close behind them, breath on the side of their throat. The closeness left them dizzy. Their skin felt oddly hot. 
“You thought I wouldn’t notice,” the villain murmured against their ear. “Tell me, is that because you think me unobservant or simply that I don’t care enough to pay attention to you?” 
Their mouth went dry.


2) There were very few people in the world that the villain trusted and even the one they did was probably more than they could afford. The one they did was probably the last on anyone’s list for trustworthiness - they were the perfect team. One, a brilliant mind. The other, a perfect warrior. 
“You always do this,” the warrior villain said. “You get your little obsessions, your pets, and you let them ruin you. You get too attached to your toys. You think I didn’t see you kissing them?”
“It’s not like-”
The other villain pressed a warning finger to their lips. “For someone with such a pretty brain, you really are an idiot. And I’m not going to let you make a fool of yourself this time.”


3) “You know what I like doing with monsters?” the villain murmured. They traced their finger down the line of the other, younger villain’s neck. “I like to collar them. That’s what you do when an animal misbehaves. Such a spoiled, vicious creature - I bet no one’s ever dared tell you what to do in your life.” 
“You won’t be the first.” The younger villain did their best to sound dangerous, it came out breathless. “I know what people like you are like, you don’t scare me. I’m a monster, remember?”
The villain grinned, an angler fish’s smile. “Oh, you’ve never met people like me before.”


4) It was a crippling thing, really, to not even have the guts to ask out one’s own sidekick. They were one of the most powerful beings in the world - dinner and a movie should have been the simplest thing in the world. In the end, as with all things, their lieutenant took deftly care of it for them and reeled them in for a kiss.

Write Your Villains Like You Write Your Mains

Villains come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got your cunning villains, your handsome villains, your powerhouse villains… You get it. There’s a lots of ways to stop your character from completing their mission.

But your villain shouldn’t be just a simple brick wall. Unless your character really despises construction. Instead, your villain needs their own motivation, but what makes them a villain is that their motivation conflicts with your main’s.  This can be as simple as your villain wants to Destroy the World, and your main wants to Save It. Or it can be more complex. It’s all up to you and what fits your characters.

And your villain (or your antagonist, if you prefer) is one of your characters. So treat them like you do your protagonist! Try this lil activity: for every trait you give your character / have given your character, develop that trait for your villain!
So if your character has red hair and hates mushrooms, then you need to decide what color hair your villain has and what food (if any) they dislike. This can give you a good starting point if you’re having trouble developing your villain. 
These parallel traits can totally conflict, too. This will add drama! tension! possible hilarity! Maybe your Villain cannot for the life of him understand why people insist on dabbling in magic, and seeks to eradicate it; this would contrast really well with a character who uses magic.

They are, of course, still a villain. More specifically, they’re your villain. So you obviously need to make them unique. But throwing a scar on their face isn’t really unique, and is probably pointless (unless, of course, there is a Tragic Backstory behind it). What I mean is, your villain’s backstory and character details should be as richly planned as your main’s. Let them be their own person! If you dive into them you might find that it’s a lot of fun, too.

Cuz that’s what this is all about, you guys. Have fun with your writing. And especially have fun with your villains! You need to enjoy them (even if all you’re enjoying is making them despicable). So go out there and make spectacular villains!

If there’s something you want to see me post about, a writing problem you’ve come across that you need help with, or you just wanna say hi, go ahead! I’d love to hear from you.

i feel like we went straight from straight writers writing villains as gay because they think gay people are evil to straight writers writing villains as gay because they think it’s ~surprising and ~original and ~ironic with like nothing in between

Superhero AUs #13

- ‘You’re my arch nemesis but our best friends are dating…I guess I’ll play nice in civvies, for now’ AU
- ‘So what about a double date?’ AU

- ‘I will burn down this city and everyone in it’ AU 
- 'Good job I brought a fire extinguisher then’ AU

- ‘I can’t believe I finally got into the superhero academy, this is the best day of my life and- …What are you doing here? You’re not a hero’ AU
- ‘My application was mostly ironic, I swear’ AU

- ‘I’m a superthief…is it too cliche if I make it my mission to steal your heart?’ AU
- ‘If you come anywhere near my heart I will cut your goddamn hands off. You are not selling my organs on the black market’ AU

- ‘My mail keeps getting switched with my neighbour’s, which would be fine if it wasn’t full of two-for-one offers on death rays’ AU
- 'Why on earth do I keep getting coded letters asking me to join the League of Heroes? Is this a mistake or some kind of backhanded compliment?’ AU 

 - 'I accidentally admitted that I’ve never seen the Harry Potter movies and now you’re dragging me back to your place for a marathon and I have no idea what to do’ AU
- 'I knew you were evil but this is a step too far! Maybe the reason that you’re the bad guy is that you’ve never seen Harry Potter, because that’s some childhood deprivation right there’ AU 

 - 'Every Tuesday I take the night off from committing crimes to go and sit in my favourite restaurant for a few hours. I absolutely do not have a crush on the cute waitress’ AU
- 'I was getting harassed by two dickheads and my favourite customer stepped in to protect me…aaaand he’s a supervillain. Great.’ AU

- ‘Look, I really need a date to take to this superhero get-together, but I have no-one to ask…will you come with me?’ AU
- ‘Are you seriously asking me to walk into a room filled to the brim with superheroes? …I can’t believe my archenemy is such a sad, friendless person. Of course I’ll come’ AU

- ‘Look after my dogs while I’m in jail, would you?’ AU
- ‘When I said I’d look after your dogs, I didn’t realise they were actual hellhounds!’ AU

- ‘I work in airport security for a city with one of the most famous heroes around. Villains frequently fly in to challenge her. It’s my job to stop them getting out of the airport’ AU
- ‘Jesus Christ, I thought this place was an airport, not a death trap. Who are you?’ AU
BONUS: ‘I am a minimum wage employee drugged up on caffeine and loathing. I have nothing left to lose.’

Darker Hero Prompts

Anonymous said: Oh damn! More possessive!hero prompts plzzzz!

Anonymous said:Oooooooh! I like the role reversals where the villain is the hero’s prisoner! More prompts like that please!

Anonymous said:Some prompts about how a hero has gotten so out of control that they have to be stopped by the villain? Thank you very much!!

Anonymous said:You did a prompt a little while ago about the hero with unstable powers and how the villain found out about them; do you think you could maybe do a couple prompts about the villain either exploiting this weakness or helping them with it? Thank you for your time!


1) “Leave them,” the hero said. “I have to do this on my own.”
Most would find that noble, self-sacrificing, but from their panting vantage point the villain could see the shine of fervour, of obsession, lasered in the hero’s eyes that so mirrored their own. It would have been insulting if anyone else got involved. Not part of the game. They’d been chasing each other for so long now, playing cat and cat. This wasn’t about heroism. The only difference between hero and villain was who got to tell the story.


2) It was a sort of agony, waiting for the two of them to be left alone. The villain wasn’t quite sure when exactly they started reading ‘alone’ with the hero as a dangerous situation - once upon a time they’d laughed at the thought of the hero even being considered a threat. But they were dangerous. Their forgiveness, their salvation, was dangerous. Suffocating. There was no way to fight against mercy, to snarl against kindness, when the weight of gratitude bowed the villain’s head as heavy a ball and chain around their neck. When they knew damn well that the hero was the only thing standing between them and the retribution of a lot of furious people. The worst part? The hero knew it too. And alone, just the two of them, there was no crowd to hide in bluffing and pretending otherwise. And staying alive meant playing nice.


3) Everyone watched the hero in horror as their powers spiralled, wrenched howling out of the chest. 
The villain lunged. 
They toppled, skidded, scrabbling. Nothing dignified to it. 
“Now, now. Stop trying to take my job - take a few deep breaths.” 


4) “You have to stop me,” the hero begged. The power lurched violently out of their hands. Their shoulders shook. The magic ate at them, nibbled on them, slashed into the walls. 
The villain watched the destruction, the devastation, with a hungry and unconcealed delight. “Is this you admitting I’m the only person in the world who could get you on a leash?” They ducked the next swing of power, laughing. Really quite enamored with this savage, magnificent, thing. So sue them, they had always had a weakness for power, and the hero liked to play the role of sheep so very well normally. The villain wet their lips and moved closer, lashing out with their own equal and matching power. Much more controlled, though. Not being scared of one’s own darkness did tend to lend a certain control that frightened light didn’t. 
“This is me saying you’re going down with me if we don’t get this under control!” the hero snapped. 
But the villain heard the ‘please’ in their tone quite beautifully.


5) “Come at me.” 
The hero gaped.
The villain raised their brows and made a beckoning gesture. “Come on, you need to let some of that tension out. A way of venting. It’s why your power keeps exploding, you spend too much time trying to control it. Let go. I can handle you, trust me.”
“Trust you? I’m not that stupid.” 
“You’d rather lash out at your friends?” 
The hero faltered, and then pounced. 


6) “You can’t just keep me!”
“Why not?” the hero leaned in, and flashed a smile. “You’re the one that kept telling me to be more like you, baby.” 
The villain fumed, cheeks flushed.


7) “You’re up to something.”
“Are you jealous that I’m spending time with someone other than you?” The villain flashed a smirk. Expected to watch their enemy fluster, squirm, unable to bear any such insinuation. They didn’t expect to watch their eyes darken as the hero took several steps closer, tossing a smirk right back. 
“And what if I was jealous?” the hero asked softly. “What then?”
The villain froze. They didn’t have a plan of attack prepared for this. 


8) “I created you,” the hero murmured. They looked truly sorry about that, agonized, but there was a hint of steel. “I reckon I can uncreate you too.” 
“No one’s going to let you just - just -”
“You’re a criminal. A monster. I could break you into a million pieces and put you back together again and they would call it rehabilitation. Reformation. A success.”
The villain swallowed. Bit back the ‘will you?’ as if voicing the mere thought might give it power. “You won’t do that,” they tried for bravado. “That would make you too much like me.”
They stared at each other, each trying to puzzle where the lines were in this new world. 

Writing Antagonists: (Aka, Your Villains and Bad Guys)

The antagonist is often either one of the most fun things to write, or the most dreaded. But either way, they are a key element of the story, and that cannot be ignored. So, let’s talk about how to make a really great antagonist.

You may have in the past met a writer or teacher or whomever who insists on using the words “protagonist and antagonist” over words like “hero and villain.” Personally, I am not so stingy about it, I feel that I know what you mean anyway so it doesn’t really matter- what there is a legitimate reason as to why you should at least try to think of your villain as your antagonist instead.

And that reason is connotation. Well, denotation too, really- villain and antagonist aren’t completely the same thing, but I’m bringing it down to connotation. 

Simply said, when you think of the word “villain”, you’ll think something like “that’s the bad guy in the story.” And when you think of the “antagonist”, you probably think “that’s a fancy word for villain, aka the bad guy in the story.”

But antagonist isn’t just a fancy word. It’s a fancy concept. It means “the guy that opposes the good guy.” That can be on any argument or view. When writing your antagonist is to remember that nothing is black/white, good/bad thinking, and that includes your antagonist.

Let’s map out the steps to making a complex villain- aka, an antagonist.

First, remember that your antagonist (usually) is a person, just like your protagonist. It might help to develop them outside of their intentions first, and put a person to the upcoming reputation.

Background:

Chances are, your antagonist didn’t just rise up out of the ground ready to kill. They came from somewhere. Your readers don’t even have to know everything about your antag’s backstory, but you do, if you want to really understand them. It often holds the key reason as to why your antagonist is where they are. The drive behind anger, revenge, change, or pleasing someone else can come from the events in their background.

Why do they hold the beliefs they hold? Were they raised that way? Were they taught by some mentor figure? Were they cover from a reality they couldn’t bear? Are they trying to please someone, or get revenge on someone who displeased them? The answer should be in their background.

Motives/Beliefs:

Remember, every villain is a hero in their own mind. They believe that what they are doing is necessary, even if they recognize that it is unpleasant. What are they fighting for? Why does it matter to them so much, that they are willing to overlook all the harm they do?

“The Greater Good”: This is one of the more common and understandable villain motives. They believe that what they are doing now is paving the way to a better future. But keep in mind that what your antag views as a “better future” may be very, very different than the average opinion. Maybe a “better future” for them is a genocidal purge or the world ending in flames. Who knows.

That’s not the only type of motive. Be creative. Work with the information you established in your character’s background to find the most reasonable motive.

Tipping Point:

This is going to be related to your background and motive in an interesting way. Think of your antagonist as a character who has already completed their Character Arc and reached a negative end. Look at the points of change on the character arc- the ones that push your character farther down their path. What are those events? Those are the tipping points that prompted your character towards becoming they way they are now- those key moments where your character had a choice, and they chose to become bitter, hateful, vengeful, cold, or other negative things.

These could be the deaths of loved ones, the promptings of a mentor, or a moment of injustice that made them realize that the world isn’t always kind.

Personality/Actions:

This is the part where you develop them outside of their intentions. How do they behave? 

It’s tempting to just say that your villain is a villain because they torture and kill people. But those are not the only things that make a villain a scary or serious threat. Some characters might jump to violence easier than others. Some might be more into psychological torment. Some might actually seem really charming or persuasive, which is frightening in it’s own way- they might actually be tricky enough to confuse you into making bad decisions on your own. Think about your character’s background again. What makes the most sense for them as a person?

Presentation:

This is how your antagonist comes across to others. Keep in mind that your reader and your other characters don’t know your antagonist like you do. How does this person present to the world? 

-Are they open to discussion/negotiation?

-Are they open about their intentions?

-How quick are they to violence?

-What are their methods of war?

-When you meet them, are they charismatic, quiet, charming, vulgar? Do they have a sense of humor, or are they stoic?

-Do they seem to enjoy what they are doing, or do they express regrets even as they do it?

Moral Complexity:

What are they willing to do to achieve their goals? Do they have weaknesses in their personal lives?

1. Do they have noble ends behind their controversial means?

2. Is there a line even they won’t cross?

3. Do they have someone/something that they care about?

4. Do they prefer to do the killing/torturing etc themselves or do they just give the order?

Remember that if your antagonist does have any of these moral weaknesses, they are not going to want to show it. One has to keep up intimidating appearances, after all. 

Speaking of appearances…

Appearance:

This part is here to tell you what not to do. There are certain appearances that are getting really old with villains.

1. Dressing in all black. Why do they even do that? It’s time to stop associating black with “bad” and white with “good”. It just isn’t like that, so stop making villains all dark and stuff.

2. Scars. I think scars are pretty cool, don’t get me wrong. But if there is no relevant reason for it to be there, don’t talk about it all the time. That goes for all characters, not just villains. Like the color black, scars are not just a villain thing. Everyone has them. Don’t associate them with “bad.”

3. Sexy. I get the idea that making a villain attractive makes them harder to hate, but that can be kind of a cop out of actual complexity. Again, if there is no legitimate reason to make your villain sexy, then don’t. It’s not necessary.

4. Ugly. I hesitate to call any traits inherently ugly, but if you’re striving to make your character unpleasant looking just because they’re bad, then once again, you are associating feature=evil, which is not creative at best and seriously socially harmful at worst. 

Basically, your villains should be just as diverse as anyone else. You don’t need stereotypes to make them scary. Sometimes it’s scarier than anything else to just have an average person. It sort of adds to the idea that anyone could be a villain. And that’s pretty frightening.

Key Point:

- Complicate your villains. They’re not just Evil McEvilpants. 

That’s it for now, but like anything else in writing, antagonists have a lot of possibility and exceptions. But that was your basic rundown on the things to consider when making a complicated antagonist. 

~Penemue

Friendly Reminders

Things from THIS POST that are still relevant to us books later.

~

Throne of Glass

  • HOF was hardest to write
  • Manon’s POV is easiest to get into
  • “Definitely possible” for Fae to have more than one soul mate
  • Asterin Blackbeak is wanted for murder
  • Five year old Dorian would want 30 year old Dorian to be an “epic dragon-slayer”
  • If Sarah could bring back any character that she killed, it would be Nehemia
  • Influence for Rowan: “Rowan just walked into my head one day, and that was that”
  • SJM knows how ToG will end but “still many, many stories to be told in that world afterwards”
  • Manon likes to have her hair brushed
  • Yrene will be returning in future ToG books
  • Fleetfoot is 100% confirmed to survive the series
  • Nox will return (as of right now ) but not is QoS
  • “Nox has been off on some VERY fun adventures since TOG”
  • Ending of ToG won’t be like fiction press draft which Sarah considers to be “an entirely different book” of which “everything has been thrown out”
  • Dorian stole a berry pie from castle kitchen when he was 11, ate the whole thing and was sick for a day (random fact)
  • Dorian is 6′0, Chaol is 6′1, Celaena is 5′7-5′8, Aedion is 6′3, Rowan is around 6′4
  • Rowan would win in a fight against Legolas… “Duh”!
  • Ironteeth “witches have slits high up in their gums where the iron teeth snap down/over their normal teeth”
  • Piano is only instrument Celaena can play
  • Chaol has “the NICEST buns”
  • It was always the plan for Sam to die
  • “Sam is 1000% dead and never coming back”
  • Most important question asked (according to SJM): “who has the better bum, Chaol, Dorian or Rowan?” - SJM won’t answer except to say that Celaena definitely has an opinion on this

A Court of Thorns and Roses

  • Working on last names for Tamlin and co.
  • Potential companion novels!
  • Took 5 weeks to write first draft (”crazy fast”)
  • Rhys is favorite character to write in ACOTAR
  • Tamlin’s chest is so chiseled, “you could literally crack a nut on his chest”

TOG + ACOTAR

  • Celaena was harder to write than Feyre because “I had to rip open old wounds and dark parts of myself to write HOF”
  • Lucien and Dorian would be “bffers
  • ACOTAR cover might be favorite
  • Chaol and Tamlin would be good friends (but tense at first)
  • If Celaena and Feyre met, “they would be like two cats meeting for the first time”
  • ACOTAR men would not know what to do with Celaena, she would eat them all alive
  • Favorite villain to write = Manon’s grandmother
  • SJM’s advice to surviving SJM’s endings: “invest in tissues. and chocolate”
  • Cover color decisions are not up to SJM
  • “TOG and ACOTAR are in the same Megaverse. So you could technically open a Wyrdgate between their worlds.”

Character Personalities

  • Feyre would love Sophia Coppola films
  • Celaena would love Gone With the Wind
  • Dorian would love classics (films)
  • “Rhys wears black boxers… when he feels like wearing underwear at all.”
  • If Celaena were an animal, she would “10000%” be a velociraptor
  • Feyre’s sport is cross-country or swimming
  • Manon’s sport is ice-hockey (without pads preferable)
  • Celaena’s sport is soccer
  • Feyre’s most visited website = Pinterest
  • Celaena’s most visited website = Goodeads
  • Rhys’ theme song = “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred
  • Celaena’s unofficial theme song = “Back in Black” by AC/DC
  • TOG characters who would have tattoos (if modern day): Aedion, Celaena, Rowan, Nehemia
  • TOG characters who would not have tattoos (if modern day): Manon, Dorian, Chaol
  • Celaena is a “double-shot-espresso-hold-the-bs” type of person (not tea)

episode two :: Yuri realizes, suddenly and terribly, he might be a little bit in love.  


Victor doesn’t even try to go to sleep.  He just lays in bed with his laptop, watching the thirty-seven takes of Yuuri trying to get “hi, I’m Yuuri Katsuki, and I’m the Bachelor” out of his mouth.

Don’t they know who I am?” Yuuri slurs on screen.  

Yuuri, you have to put the champagne bottle down, you have to pretend to be sober,” Phichit says off camera, all authority gone from his voice.  He’s trying not to laugh.

Phichit,” Yuuri says, and he takes a big swig from the bottle, bubbles pouring down both sides of his lips. “You can’t tell me what to do.  I’m Yuuri Katsuki, and I’m the motherfucking Bachelor.

Keep reading

How to Keep Your Readers EMOTIONALLY Involved

Why is it that sometimes a book or movie can make you THIS emotionally invested  … 

And sometimes it’s more like this? 

My stories used to inspire a reaction similar to Hermione’s in my readers. And in me.  At some points I’d be reading my work, and a little honest voice buried somewhere in my head would say “I wouldn’t care if this character was hit by a bus right now.” Then I’d heap some denial atop the voice, silence her unwanted mutterings, and go back to trying to enjoy my story. Problem was, my readers appeared to have this little honest voice as well. And if she told them “Cartoon bus. Hitting this character. Wouldn’t that be funny?” they had a tendency to listen to her.

What was the problem? My scenes didn’t connect to my reader’s emotions. They didn’t change those emotions throughout the scene. They started out sad and they ended just as sad or even more so. And what came after that? Well, another scene that began with the main character feeling horrible, which ended with him just as downtrodden as before. Or worse: The scene began positive and just got better. The next one would start out absolutely giddy and ended effervescent. And this kept going until the characters were almost singing with joy. (Okay, maybe I’m being slightly snarky about my past self.) But after that, I’d follow it up with a long sequence of sadsadsad scenes. 

So what happened? My readers had only two emotions while enduring this: frustration and impatience. 

The scenes weren’t keeping my readers emotionally engaged. The scenes weren’t changing emotionally. And that is what needs to happen: The emotional charge of the scene has to change. Switch between negative and positive. The flow of the reader’s emotions has to be taken into account, and consciously adjusted. It’s that simple. 

How can this be accomplished? 

1) Determine what’s at stake in the scene. To the characters, something important is being threatened, something emotional or primal. Love? Safety? Friendship? Justice? Make sure the scene means something for the characters. (If it’s not emotionally significant to them, connected to the A Story, B Story, or Character Arc, it’s not a scene and the reader won’t care.) And since the readers are emotionally connected to the characters, the readers care about what’s at stake, and are conscious of what it means. 

2) Beats. The exchanges of action and reaction between characters and forces of opposition in pursuit of the goal … these carry that emotion, these are how emotions shift within the scene, gradually taking it from one to another. 

3) Emotional Charge. If the scene starts with what’s at stake in positive way, then it’ll switch to negative by the end. If if starts negative, the scene will change to positive. 

Anyway! How does this work?  

To illustrate it, because I’m having a lot of fun reading the screenplay, here are five scenes from Zootopia. 

Let’s start with the scene right after this happens: Manchas has gone savage, and Judy and Nick are running for it.

Scene 1 

What’s at stake? Life

Opening Charge: Negative (They’re being chased by a jaguar who is about ten times bigger than either of them, and who seems quite keen to tear them apart. To the characters, this scene opens with a 95% likelihood of imminent brutal death. To the audience, this scene opens with two characters we’ve come to care about in this dangerous situation.)

Closing Charge: Positive (They manage to call backup. Judy manages to handcuff Manchas. Nick stays to help Judy, rather than hop on the gondola to safety. They fall but manage to survive. They fall again, but are caught by a vine just before impact. Bogo and the rest arrive, and Judy is full of confidence about her discovery in the Otterton case, and eager to show them. Everything in this scene ended in Judy and Nick’s favor.)

How has what’s at stake changed? They lived.

Scene 2

What’s at stake? Judy’s lifelong dream, the goal she’s worked towards since she was a child. 

Opening Charge: Negative (Judy tells Bogo that this is way bigger than a missing mammal case – Otterton and Manchas went savage. He scoffs at her. In response, Judy confidently sweeps back the leaves to reveal the wild jaguar … and he’s gone. With her proof nowhere in sight, what she’s told Bogo sounds insane and ridiculous. Which provokes him into demanding her badge.) 

Closing Charge: Positive (Nick stops Bogo from taking Judy’s badge. Nick also bluntly tells him that he’s been an unfair little jerk to Judy, they have time to solve the case, and they have much more important things to be doing than standing around dealing with these idiots. He even calls her “Officer Hopps” instead of Carrots. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? She still has a chance to achieve that lifelong goal. And Nick was the one to buy her more time. 

Scene 3
What’s at stake? Truth

Opening Charge: Positive (Judy, and the audience, are feeling thankful and closer to Nick.)

Closing Charge: Negative (But even though we are in a good place, Nick looks far away … he starts thinking back … and we can sense that this memory lane doesn’t end anywhere pleasant.)

How has what’s at stake changed? He’s about to share something significant.

Scene 4
What’s at stake? Innocence

Opening Charge: Positive (We see little Nick! Looking happy and excited. All he wanted to do was join the Junior Ranger Scouts, and his mother scraped together money to buy him a uniform. She’s even adjusting his tie for him, lovingly.)

Closing Charge: Negative (Nick, who had been so happy at the beginning of this scene, is now hiding from the evil kids,  struggling to pull the muzzle off, panicked, crying like his heart’s broken.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Traumatized

Scene 5
What’s at stake? Closeness

Opening Charge: Negative (Well that was a horrifying story. And now Nick is avoiding eye contact, while revealing the takeaways he got from that childhood episode, which have shaped his decisions from then on. Suddenly Judy, and the audience, understand Nick a lot more. We empathize and sympathize with him.)

Closing Charge: Positive (The traffic cameras would have caught whatever happened to Manchas! And Judy has a friend that can help them access those cameras. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Nick dodges out of further vulnerability BUT they’re back on the case – this time, together. 

So!

As you can see, the emotional charges of these scenes fluctuate smoothly, from a scene’s opening to its closing, from one scene to the next. In every moment, in every beat, we’re feeling something. And when the scene turns, we (and the characters) are feeling the opposite of what we were at the beginning of the scene. Our curiosity and minds are linked to the story by the question “What’s going to happen next?”; our emotions are connected to the story by the conduits Judy and Nick, these two characters we care about, as every emotional change pushes us closer towards the answer to the question “What’s going to happen to these two? Is everything going to end up alright for them?" 

Now, let’s see what happens when you stop paying attention to the emotional changes of your scenes. 

Scene 1: Manchas is gone. Bogo is berating Judy. Nick stands there and watches. Judy ends up handing over her badge. The real cops leave, and Judy stays behind, figuring she might as well try and complete the case anyway. All Nick wants is that carrot pen, so he tags along.

Scene 2: Judy has nothing to feel thankful about, and certainly doesn’t feel closer to Nick. He’s thinking back on his childhood, but doesn’t share anything with Judy… 

Scene 3: Instead of the flashback opening on a happy Nick, it opens on him getting beaten up by the evil children, and ends on him weeping with the muzzle strapped to his face. 

Scene 4: We snap back to the present. Judy staring, beyond tears at this point. Nick looking traumatized and bitter. He remembers he needs the pen. He thinks about the reward money if they had found all those missing mammals. He has the traffic camera revelation! He drags a dejected Judy into his scheme, which she doesn’t care about, but why the heck not? 

In this horrible alternate universe version of Zootopia, this sequence of scenes is negative from beginning to end. And what would have happened to the audience if the scenes had played out in this depressing way? 

They would have emotionally checked out.

The connection between emotions and story would have snapped.

We would have forced our emotions to abandon the story, and watched the rest of the movie feeling betrayed and cheated. 

Because in the end, all we care about are these characters. All we care about is story, and character is story. It’s no coincidence that removing the emotional changes of the scenes equated to removing Judy and Nick’s relationship in the scenes; that relationship, that B Story, or Love Story, function (oddly enough) as the heart of the movie: it keeps the story alive, it keeps us connected and invested in the narrative, it keeps the scenes emotionally turning. Before Nick showed up, and we had two characters to care about, what kept us emotionally involved in the story was our relationship with Judy, this plucky bunny that we really wanted to see succeed. Establishing that connection is a subject for another post, but in regards to scenes, this manipulation of the audience’s emotions is how you keep that connection going strong.

I just said to manipulate someone’s emotions. How villainous.

anonymous asked:

I love your fem villain/fem hero stuff, if you want to do more please do!

“If the world wanted me nice, if you wanted me nice,” the villain murmured, “you should have made it safe to be soft.” She stared up at the victorious heroine, something vicious twisting her face. “But you, god you…” She caught the hero’s wrists from where she rested crumpled on her knees. “You don’t even realise the devastation you cause. At least I own mine.”

The hero stared down at her in turn. Stayed gentle, compared to the bite of nails in her skin. “Oh,” she caressed her fingertips over the skin she could reach, tender enough that the villain flinched back. “I know, trust me. My mother never told me stories about angels as if they were sweet.”

5

July’s Featured Game: SLARPG

DEVELOPER(S): Bobby “ponett” Schroeder
ENGINE: RPGMaker VX Ace 
GENRE: RPG, Fantasy
SUMMARY: SLARPG is a short, turn-based RPG following the story of Melody Amaranth, a kindhearted but meek transgender fox who’s decided to learn healing magic and become a paladin. She’s joined by her adventurous girlfriend Allison, as well as their friends Claire (a sarcastic, rule-bending witch)(she is also trans) and Jodie (a dependable, somewhat motherly knight). Over the course of the story, our inexperienced heroes will meddle with forces beyond their control and find themselves responsible for the fate of their quaint little hometown. They’ll also fight some spherical frogs, travel to a forgotten land in the sky, befriend a robot or two, and anger the local librarian. But that should go without saying. 

Our Interview With The Dev Team Below The Cut!

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“Why do you like this villain?”

Fake answer: “I find the way they reflect a dark shadow to the protagonist and the way their ideology is portrayed to be fascinating.”

Real answer: ”This character is a total asshole, just like me.”

Writer Ask Game
  • 1 : What age-group do you write?
  • 2 : What genre do you write?
  • 3 : Do you outline according to big ideas or small details?
  • 4 : Which do you prefer--line-editing or plot-revisions?
  • 5 : Do you write better with or without deadlines?
  • 6 : What would be the biggest compliment you could hope to receive on your current WIP?
  • 7 : How long is your current WIP?
  • 8 : What author would you be most excited to be compared to?
  • 9 : What do you struggle most with as a writer?
  • 10 : Do you brain-storm story ideas alone or with others?
  • 11 : Do you base your characters off of real people?
  • 12 : Is your writing space clean or cluttered?
  • 13 : Do you write character-driven or plot-driven stories?
  • 14 : Do you have a favorite writing-related quote?
  • 15 : If you transport your original characters into another author’s world, which world would you choose?
  • 16 : Would your story work better as a movie or tv show? Why?
  • 17 : Do you make soundtracks for each story?
  • 18 : If you could assign your story one song, what would it be?
  • 19 : Would you rather live in your characters’ world, or have your characters come live in our world?
  • 20 : What book would you love to see adapted for the big or small screen?
  • 21 : Do you finish most of the stories you start?
  • 22 : Has your own writing ever made you cry?
  • 23 : Are you proud or anxious to show off your writing?
  • 24 : When did you start considering yourself a writer?
  • 25 : What books are must-reads in your genre?
  • 26 : What would you like to see more of in your genre?
  • 27 : Where do you get inspiration from?
  • 28 : On a scale of 1-10, how much do you stress about choosing character names?
  • 29 : Do you tend to underwrite or overwrite in a first draft?
  • 30 : Does writing calm you down or stress you out?
  • 31 : What trope do you actually like?
  • 32 : Do you give your side-characters extensive backstories?
  • 33 : Do you flesh-out characters before you write, or let their personalities develop over time?
  • 34 : Describe your old writing in one word.
  • 35 : Is it more fun to write villains or heroes?
  • 36 : Do you write with a black and white sense of morality?
  • 37 : What’s one piece of advice you would give to new writers?
  • 38 : What’s one piece of writing advice you try--but fail--to follow?
  • 39 : How important is positive reinforcement to you as a writer?
  • 40 : What would you ask your favorite author if given one question?
  • 41 : Do you find it distracting to read while you’re writing a first draft?
  • 42 : Do critiques motivate or discourage you?
  • 43 : Do you tend to write protagonists like yourself or unlike yourself?
  • 44 : How do you decide what story idea to work on?
  • 45 : Do you find it harder or easier to write when you’re stressed out?
  • 46 : What Hogwarts house would your protagonist(s) be in?
  • 47 : Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
  • 48 : Would you ever co-write?
  • 49 : Are you a fast and rushed writer or a slow and deliberate writer?
  • 50 : Would you rather be remembered for your fantastic world-building or your lifelike characters?