Do you ever forget to breathe? Every passing day feels like a repetition of every other day. You’re tired. You think it’s because you might be getting sick or maybe you don’t give your body the proper rest. But the truth is you’re just tired of reality. Your bones feel weak and your mind feels heavy because you want to get out of the expected. You want to fly to the moon and bring a piece of it with you. You want to fly to the sky at night and steal a star to light up your heart when it gets dark. Do you ever forget to breathe because you feel like you’re not really living, and your mind is always being swallowed by fear.
Alexa Evangelista, the book I’ll never finish writing
In my poetry class, someone asked, “How do you know if a poem is done? Like, how do you know when to stop revising?”
In answer, my professor showed us this:
It was a page in a poetry book that she’d had signed by the author and when she’d handed her copy to him he was like “ahhhhh I can’t stand it” and wrote in the printed copy of the book to change his poem to what he wanted it to be
i was hungry for everything when i was younger. i was like an ocean. i wish i could remember being a child. i wonder if the world knows when someone is about to die. if something is holding its breath for me. i don’t want to think about backup plans or second chances or ever ending things with anybody. i was too young to love her in the right way, too desperate to love him now. i don’t want to be anybody!! i just want to hold you!
Okay I'm not sure if you've posted something like this before but how do I go about designing a character that I have the foundation of in my head but nothing else? Where do I start? How do I keep momentum going?
Hmm. I think I have the perfect set of resources for you:
Let me know if it helps, and if there’s still some things you need some extra input on!
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I was falling to pieces quite beautifully I might say when she made her way over the hill. She had a pale face the color of paste and ashen as a forest after the flames. She had to be only nine or ten, though you never know with people walking in from the past. They always were a bit smaller back then.
The biggest way I could tell she was dead besides the grey skin and the bruises under her little eyes was the way she walked. She strode like a very inebriated elementary school student, all knees and dragging her toes and swaying back and forth as she made her way over the hill.
I was sitting in a graveyard so I don’t know what I expected. I peaked over the top of the pages of my book as she drew ever-closer.
“I’m not your mother,” I snapped at the creature since I had been a governess to enough children as it was.
She lumbered and teetered and slowly made her way toward the bench I was sitting on. She was wearing a very fine blue dress with a pink bow tied in the back and little black shoes. Her parents had probably been wealthy enough to bury her in that, the posh bastards.
“I have nothing for you.” I articulated and tried to turn away.
She took a seat next to me on the bench. I noted how her little nails were covered in dirt and splinters. I wrinkled my nose and she settled beside me.
“Took the nasty way out I take it?” I said conversationally, though by then I had a feeling her tongue had rotted in her mouth and she wouldn’t say anything to me.
She turned to me with her blurry-wide eyes and I stood up with a jerk. “I come here to be alone, little cretin.” I sniffed loudly and turned away, “as I said, I have nothing to offer you.”
I got up and moved to the next bench under two large beech trees on the outskirts of the graveyard. It was a fine day in March with the winter chill barely a memory on the land and the earth soft and almost mud under my shoes as I moved.
The little girl heavily picked herself up and took her time plodding all the way over to my new bench. My eyebrow twitched and I huffed, “I was just fired you know. Fired from my job. Do you know how inconsiderate it is to bother people who have just had major life events?”
She was only 9 or 10 so she obviously did not grasp this concept. She just stared at me.
“Fine,” I opened my book a crack, “but I’m only doing a chapter or two and then you have to move on. And I’m not doing any voices.” I promised.
She continued to stare and I cleared my throat.
“This is Virginia Woolf, one of the greats,” I continued, “so mind yourself. I won’t tolerate any tongue-wagging at this point.” I smirked at my private little joke at the corpse’s expense.
I chose a fitting story to read her.
“Moths that fly by day are not properly to be called moths; they do not excite that pleasant sense of dark autumn nights…” She watched in awe as I got to my favorite parts. It was rather nice to have a captive audience, “nothing, I knew, had any chance against death…” I read that line and then flicked my eyes over to the corpse. “Except you I suppose. You are quite the abomination.” I said before continuing the story.
I closed the book when we got to the end and the sun was slanting sideways across the sky and I sighed heavily. It wasn’t exactly the ideal atmosphere for the dead to be walking. There was too much sunlight and bright skies in the favor of joy and frivolous things.
I put my book in my bag, “Was that enough?” I asked as I stood and the creature scrambled to get down and take a place by my side. We stared at each other for a full minute before I relented. “Oh alright.”
I put my hand out and she took it just as she would have in life. Her skin was bone-cold and the flesh was terribly soft and loose. I cringed and bit down on my cheek, “I hope someone loved you dearly in life.” She said nothing, “because I’m not doing anything more for you.”
I walked her stiffly right back over the hill where a squirrel skittered out of the way like a train was barreling toward him. He ran zig-zag away from me and the abomination.
She followed me like a docile lamb down the hill until I spotted dirt piled up around an enormous hole. I didn’t pull her toward it or drag us there, but I veered our path toward the open grave.
“The authorities will be looking for something like you.” I said neatly. “They’ll want to see if there’s an infection in this graveyard. Probably feed your bits to a holy fire or what have you,” I glanced over at her, “are you prepared for that?”
She took her strange, ungainly steps and I sighed. “Yes. Fine. I’ve crossed worse people before anyway.”
I took her gently toward the open grave that she had desperately scratched and dug her way out of. Her wide eyes became even wider and she edged behind me as we approached it.
“Be a brave girl now,” I chastised but studied her worn gravestone. “MaryAnne.”
She had only been nine when she died over two decades earlier. I turned toward her as she hid behind my skirts. “Don’t be difficult,” I said as I did to all the children I taught. “It’s only eternity and we all have to do it.”
She glanced up and shook her head. Her dull brown curls bounced as she did.
I studied her for a moment and considered forcing her back down into her resting place. My eyebrow twitched. “Goddammit,” I took a seat on the mushy ground that would probably stain my skirts. “I won’t wait forever though.”
I let go of the little girl’s hand and she quickly inched away from the grave. I took out my book and set my mouth into a furious frown as I started to read again. I pretended not to watch her.
The little thing ran sloppily back and forth across the wet grass. She chased the animals which fled from her with wild fear beating in their tiny hearts. She spun around in lopsided circles and seemed to stare at the sun for at least an hour.
I was meant to take the 4pm train back to my little house and write a very strongly worded letter to the Denise’s for firing me. I stayed in the grass instead.
The sun was kissing the treetops when the little girl came back to me. She was holding something between her ruined fingers and I put out my hands. “Give it here.”
She offered a large brown moth. It was still twitching and alive, but she held it ever so softly between her dirt-covered hands.
“So you have been listening.” I tried to catch her eyes. “Then you know what you have to do.”
She handed me the moth and I quietly pushed it back into the sky where it flapped once, twice, and fluttered off to probably go tell its colony-mates that it had the worst possible day.
I bent forward and kissed her on the forehead. “It’s late.” I said. “And isn’t one afternoon enough?”
She took my hand again and I laced our fingers together. I guided her toward the gaping wound in the earth. “I know it’s not fair.” I muttered, “but few things in life,” I eyed her, “or death, are.”
She was still staring up at me and we took another moment to clear off the splinters and torn pieces of wood in the hole before I positioned her in front of her broken casket again. There was a shattered bottle nearby where I assumed someone had poured the virus elixir on her grave.
Perhaps it was a prank or a body-snatching scheme or some drunken hijinks where they hadn’t been patient enough to stick around and dig her up later.
“Stupid.” I shook my head, “Adults can be so stupid, MarryAnne.” I bent down toward her. “It’ll be over soon.” I crooned, “and comfortable again…”
She nodded and I slipped my hands under her armpits and gently lowered her into the hole. She lay back down in the velvet bed and closed her eyes as the sun set. I huffed. “Someone loved you dearly.” I watched as the virus was finished with her spirit and what was left of her body. “Don’t think that didn’t mean something for your short time up here. Even if it was… too short.” I pretended my voice didn’t break on the last words.
I spent the rest of that evening pushing and digging and filling the hole back up with dirt. I couldn’t bear to look at her small face again after the sunset. I just knew I saw a moth crossing the moon as it rose and I had to take a break to find my handkerchief.
I wasn’t weeping over one dead child of course. You would spend the rest of your life weeping if you were going to mourn each one.
But her name was MarryAnne and she had gotten one last afternoon in the sun. I heaved dirt back onto her with my bare hands and went home aching and filthy and with people openly staring at me as I passed.
I would never be a governess or teacher again after that night. But I did visit a small grave from long ago and read a story about a moth to it each year after that.
There really appears to be a bigger issue at play here. So bare with me as I lay it all out real quick before I head off into my day. IF they’re doing what it appears they’re doing, then here’s my thoughts on it all. And if I’m wrong and this is not their intention and they have a better endgame in mind, then hey - that’s awesome. But it still doesn’t help how things look right now. So here goes…
As of now, especially with them cutting that line, we only know that Kara was open to liking William or at least just liked him enough to be ready to accept a date and see how it went, after repeatedly being pushed to do so. Which she’s done with men every time in the past, and it’s never worked out.
Here’s the thing. Had they spent a few episodes showing her noticing him, showing her developing a deep affection for or attraction to him, always enjoying or at least responding to his presence with something other than blank, disinterested expressions, then I would say “Oh damn. She really likes this dude. Welp, Kara/William is apparently the show’s endgame. Yikes.”
Instead, what we got was a woman who initially couldn’t stand this man who treated her poorly, who has less than no chemistry with him, who was consistently annoyed by him getting in the way, who said there was nothing there, but then after two lighter interactions and him asking her out said maybe she might like him but didn’t know, then had to, repeatedly, be talked into accepting a date by two of her closest friends. And then she quickly and easily let him go as she was more upset at the idea of starting another relationship with a lie and not having a chance at love than being upset that she lost a chance with William in particular. And this was a woman who, both times when talking about him as a possible romantic option, couldn’t stop talking about her relationship with someone else.
If they’d left that line about “not feeling this way in a long time” in or had her say to Winn “Yes I guess I do like him, okay? But it doesn’t matter!” or said to Alex at the end “I liked him, Alex. A lot. Or at least I think I really could have. I mean here was this great (🙄) guy asking me out and I had to turn him down because of my secret.” Then we would all be forced to buy into it fully or we’d be ignoring Kara’s current reality and feelings, however irritating for some. But they didn’t do that. They had her show zero interest for half a season, then after a long show hiatus SUDDENLY show absolute bare minimum interest after being forced to, then focus on her situation more than the man himself. And in particular, her situation withLena.
And this is where the ultimate problem seems to lie with how this show is being run and handled by the higher ups (and by extension, what appears to be the poor writers room trying to execute this clouded vision and now seemingly getting frustrated with the audience being frustrated instead of being frustrated with those pulling the strings or whomever is leading or forcing or fearfully skipping down this path - even if that includes themselves).
There now exists this corner they’ve back themselves into where if they have Kara be OBVIOUSLY, visibly, openly and irrefutably falling HARD for some random, yet again poor choice of a guy - or honestly at this late in the game, any guy - they know many fans would riot. So it appears as if they half assed it, rushed it, and only toyed with it. They acted like “eh she maybe likes him at least enough to be talked into a date” as opposed to making it CLEAR she’s VERY much into him and him only and hammering home how it’s so heartbreaking that she won’t let herself be happy with a wonderful (🙄) person like him. I saw someone joke how it’s like “they’re heterobaiting AND queerbaiting”. While obviously hb isn’t really a thing because there’s no inherent damage being done there versus with qb, in a bizarre and inexplicably insane way, they really are doing both.
If this is the direction they plan to keep going, then they’re clearlyso terrified and hesitant to just lean into a bi or pan Supergirl. But yet at the same time they’re so scared of losing a huge chunk of their dwindling audience that they also won’t let her show any undeniable, deep, obvious feelings for a man. But then they also won’t let her stop talking about Lena. But then they also won’t let her be with either of them, except maybe in the future William, since that’s ‘safer’’. But also maybe not anyone. See the problem here?
Unless this is all a part of some bigger, better plan then it comes off as if their fear - fear of a bi/pan lead and wlw core soulmates, fear of losing viewers, fear of backlash from both sides of the ‘debate’ - is driving every creative decision they make and all it’s doing is making the character, show, and fans suffer.
If they were going to lean into Kara/William, they should’ve just had the balls to make her feelings for him abundantly clear, and set it all up better. Not murky and debatable and laced with Lena talk. But they didn’t. They left it open to a lot of debate and open-ended in general, they gave lots of reasons for the audience to doubt a lot of it, especially in lacing it with constant Lena talk.
It does seem like they really are trying to ride a balance that can’t be ridden. To have their cake and eat it too. I can’t help but think, based on what they’ve shown us, that they think they can sorta maybe kinda probably have this new romance with a man for Kara but also still maintain her all-encompassing obsession with and heartbreak over a woman, thinking it’ll make everyone happy and spare themselves any backlash of any kind.
Except that hasn’t worked out. It’s had the exact opposite effect. I’ve noticed even many non-SC/non-LGBTQ viewers don’t support this W/K relationship, meanwhile SCs are pissed off, FED UP and tired as hell of being used and baited - which no one can blame them for because they have been - and again, it’s the character and show that pays the biggest price. They’re making Kara, and themselves, look ridiculous. Even if that’s not their intention.
If they’re ever going to lean into Supercorp they should just fucking do it. But if they’re never going to and they want Kara with a man then they should have just done that (but done it better). I understand the reasons why both of those things scared them, but they’re seeing now that half-assedly trying to do both and especially do the latter so poorly is only blowing up in their face. At this point, if they want to avoid any further loss of viewership and backlash they really truly do have no viable option but to dive head first into Supercorp, or keep Kara single forever. And the latter is pretty sad because while she doesn’t need anybody, it’s also unfair and inherently sexist that she can’t have a deep love in her life the way Clark can.
It’s just. Such. A mess.
And disclaimer: IF this is in fact NOT what they’re doing, if they have some bigger better endgame in mind and everyone (including the media, other writers and big chunks of the fandom) is just overreacting or misinterpreting what they’re doing… then it still speaks to a massive disconnect from the audience in how they’ve gone about it. There’s still so many inexplicable or just plain offensive things that could’ve been handled so much better. Even if SC becomes canon one day and suddenly Alex gets a storyline and Dansen gets some love and Nia is treated like she’s actually on the show… it doesn’t erase the glaring writing issues they’ve displayed the last few weeks and how they’ve chosen to present this story, and these beloved characters, to the audience. There’s a big difference between surprising people versus torturing them. Especially when a big portion of those people consist of marginalized groups who so often have been trained to expect the worst because of past, horribly dismissive if not outright hateful behaviors in real life and in media.
It has been brought to my attention that a lot of tumblr authors works (mine included) has been taken, translated and posted somewhere else - with or without credit to the og author.
Now lets get this straight; that is a CRIME. Just because we did not publish it like a book/novel or don’t get money for it doesn’t mean we dont have authors rights from it because we do.
START RESPECTING TUMBLR WRITERS. if you are not a writer yourself you don’t understand how much blood and sweat goes into writting ; sometimes it comes easy and sometimes we are unable to write for days, even weeks.
We decided to share a piece of our mind with you and we DO NOT APPRECIATE you stealing it and reposting it on other social media. We do it out of hobby and not as a job(we get no money our of it, just satisfaction when you like our work) , and in my opinion that deserves even more respect.
You are always ALLOWED and WELCOMED to like, reblog, comment and even share our work with your friends; but under no circumstances are you allowed to steal it.
If you do not understand the seriousness of this let me set an example: Harry Potter books - lets pretend they are not translated to your language (which ever that may be) and you take it upon yourself to translate it and post it somewhere. You would be in court within few weeks or even days, with a high fine to pay. And you also wouldn’t do it because you respect the author. We demand and deserve the same treatment.
So just because our work on Tumblr isn’t that harshly protected, doesn’t mean you could use it to your own advantage.
Writing is hard. Give writers credit.
If you still don’t get my point, imagine this: you wrote an essay with which you were so proud of you decided to share it with others, yet you come back later and see people using it without crediting you, and some even pretending they have written it. I can assure you, you would not like the feeling.
Ink: No, not really. Mostly it’s just me dodging attacks and annoying him.
Domino: Fine! I’ll look elsewhere!
Domino: FIGHT ME!
PJ: *walks away*
Domino: Ah, yes, how very typical of you, rival! One day, though, we shall have our epic battle!
Domino: FIGHT ME!
NM, throwing them out of the AU: No, get lost.
Domino, returning to the castle with a vengeance: FIIIIIGHT MEEEEEEE!
NM’s Gang: Uh okay-
Cross, sharpening his daggers: *glares*
NM’s Gang: *lets him win*
Domino: NOW THAT I HAVE DEFEATED THEM, YOU SHALL FIGHT ME!
Epic: Nah, Bruh- I couldn’t do that to ya, bruh. Sorry, bruh.
Domino, pouting: Awwww~, come on!
Domino: YOU! FIGHT ME!
Reaper: I will literally kill you.
Domino: NO YOU WON’T! I HAVE PLOT ARMOR AND PROTAGONIST POWERS ON MY SIDE!
Cross, grabbing Domino by their hood and dragging them away: No.
Domino: What?! But mom-
Domino: FIGHT ME!
Error: What the-
Cross, rushing over and snatching up Domino before they can do anything else: nOPE!
Domino: Ugh, it sucks! No one will fight me! I’ll never be able to fulfill my dream~!
Their various assortment of Anime collectibles: …
Domino: No, you’re right! I can’t give up! I’ll never give up! Soon, everyone will see how powerful I am, and with my friends by my side, I’ll save the world! I just have to be determined! *runs off to challenge someone else*
Cross, still recovering from the last heart attack: Oh void help me-
late night thoughts: Crave holiness like you crave worldly acceptance. We are called to live in such a way that makes others ponder about the greatness of our Lord. Intentionality is not easy. We tend to shy away from the uncomfortable and fall back into the comfortable. But holiness is radical. In a society where living for yourself is the norm, living for Christ should be ours. God doesn’t simply call us into a relationship with Him, He calls us to step into the obedience that comes with it. And holiness is a part of that obedience.
yes i know it’s bad right now but imagine in a few years you’re sitting on a balcony in the middle of nowhere and listening to the ocean beneath you and drinking heavily watered down cheap margarita and reading sappho and the woman you love is sitting on the opposite side of the coffee table reading as well, and once every while you just read the prettiest passages to each other aloud and touch each other’s feet with your own cold ones and just feel so happy to have each other oh wouldn’t that be nice
Twenty minutes before Mrs Mooring was pecked to death by crows, we sat in Mother’s backyard where the tea was just warm enough and the books lay piled and unread on the coffee table.
I checked the time on my watch, discreetly, but with enough discretion of my discretion to make sure that Mrs Mooring saw me, and more importantly, my watch. Satisfied, I feigned a look at the kittens playing in the field. I wanted to be with them, but Mother had other plans.
“Oh, Wuthering Heights,” Mrs Mooring commented. She’d spotted one of the books, like you’d spot a bird on a tree with a monocular.
“Yes,” my mother said. “By one of the Brontë sisters.”
Emily Brontë’s name was right there, on the spine of the book.
This was fifteen minutes before Mrs Mooring was pecked to death by crows.
“I take it you’re the reader of the house?” Mrs Mooring grinned at me like a hag. She’s the sort who’d live in a house of candy and biscuits and desserts of all kinds. Hansel and Gretel would be goners if it were her.
“Yes,” I said. “But I haven’t read that one.”
It got a laugh out of Mrs Mooring, which bounced off of my mother. “Much too young, are we?” Mrs Mooring said.
I smiled politely, and very discreetly checked the time again. Thirteen minutes to go. I wondered if Mrs Mooring had ever heard of Turgenev, Balzac, or Eliot. No, she must have. She must think Turgenev was an officer of the Tsar, and Balzac was probably some American invention, and Eliot… well, isn’t that Mr Eliot from the law firm?
Mother and Mrs Mooring were chatting about something while I harboured these thoughts. My tea was getting cool. The steam had disappeared, just as I liked it, and Mrs Mooring shot a disapproving glance at my filled cup when hers was nearly empty.
Eight minutes left.
“You’re awfully fond of that new watch, aren’t you?” Mrs Mooring commented. Her frown formed creases that were a full right angle. You could draw her portrait and the artist would be called an impostor incapable of the most basic skill.
“Yes,” I smiled. This time, it was genuine.
“She got it from her father,” my mother said. “He in turn bought it in a Lisbon market, on his way back from India, you see.”
“That’s what he says, anyway,” I said, still smiling.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Mrs Mooring looked at me with mock horror.
Four minutes, and she was going to screaming, crying mess under a blanket of black feathers and blacker beaks.
“Oh, she means nothing by it,” my mother said. “She just says the funniest things, sometimes.”
The crows were starting to gather now, on the roof, in the trees, on the grass (as long as the kittens permitted them to). I watched them enough that Mrs Mooring turned around to look at them too.
“Awful lot of crows today, aren’t there?” she said, turning back to me and my mother.
“It really won’t do to keep looking at your watch so often,” Mrs Mooring groaned, putting her cup back on the saucer. “It’s poor manners, especially for a lady.”
“Do you think I’m a lady, Mrs Mooring?” I asked.
Mrs Mooring cocked her head and cooed an ‘aww’ at me. “Look at this one. So precious. What else would you be, dearest?”
Shoutout to all the writers out there who do worldbuilding on a small scale.
Big, sprawling fantasy worldbuilding for an entire original universe tends to get most of the attention in this community — for a very good reason! A lot of people do it, and it is all seriously interesting and impressive.
But this post is for all the people who do small worldbuilding too. This is for all the people that worldbuild original cities in a modern setting for their story. This is for all the people that put a lot of care and attention in creating a shop, restaurant, school, building, and come up with really cool backstories that may or may not make its way into the actual narrative. This is for all the people that discovered little details to weave into a culture on a smaller scale — like a local community, a school, a family, a person. This is for all the people that do worldbuilding — but a different type of worldbuilding than the kind we typically associate with that term.
Worldbuilding on a smaller scale is so cool and I really love seeing it! Every detail you guys include are so interesting and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Keep worldbuilding you funky dudes, it’s all super awesome to know that so much love and care was put into the small things.
The most efficient way to develop your characters is to make their actions count. Everything they say and do and think will reveal something that the reader should apply to their interpretation of them as a part of the story. Never underestimate how important a character’s choices will be to the reader’s impression of them, as certain actions will stick out as defining moments as you round them out over the course of the plot.
Actions Based on Motivation Push Forward The Plot
There’s a reason why a character’s individual motivation is such an imperative detail when mapping them out from the start. Everything they do should push the plot forward and reflect their ultimate goal. You need to know exactly why your character does what they do and why they are the way they are. This is the key to developing the plot and developing the characters all at once.
Setting Shapes The Plot & Challenges
The plot should not only be driven by the actions of the characters, but their constant adaptation to the environment they’re in. This includes political world building, physical features of their setting, and how they travel geographically. This will impact the timeline and the progression of events.
World Creates The Character’s Motivations
Characters are usually motivated by the need to change what is currently out of their control. This seems to manifest as a result of where they are or who they are, and these things are both shaped by the world itself and its foundations. Politics, geography, social norms, etc. These motivations are born out of conflict, whether internal or external, and the world you build within your story will provoke these conflicts.
Character’s Motivations Mirror The Theme
The theme of your story, whether you wish to show it explicitly or portray it between the lines, should be explored through the character’s journey through the plot and the conflict that shapes it. The conflict should be a series of questions that are answered as your character makes their way through it and grows from the reflection it provokes.
If you enjoy my blog and wish for it to continue being updated frequently and for me to continue putting my energy toward answering your questions, please consider Buying Me A Coffee, or pledging your support on Patreon.
An interesting notion about the idea of armageddon is that’s it’s not actually the end of the world, or at least the end of the physical world. In many cultures, it’s the end of the world as we know it, something that drastically affects the future, and can occur again.
“a podcast about the books you’ve been meaning to read” this one is really good for if you want the gist of classic and contemporary books that you don’t think you’ll get around to reading, and andrew and craig can both be funny and provide interesting and insightful analysis. this is one of my favorites, i highly recommend!
every episode is a different “ology” with ward interviewing an expert in the field. there are so many niche topics covered like bufology (toads) and eschatology (the apocalypse) that you can get such a well rounded, surface level knowledge of countless topics so you’ll always have fun facts or something to discuss. super interesting!
“a weekly short story podcast” every episode is a short story narrated by shawn ennis who just has the best, deepest voice. he also includes background on the author and story, so it’s great to catch up on classic short stories and authors as well as hear contemporary stories that get sent into the podcast. there’s a great variety and engaging storytelling!
another storytelling podcast, this is jeff wright skillfully recounting the odyssey. he is so funny and knows how to tell the story with amazing nuance. after each episode, he discusses different cultural topics about the story and the greeks of antiquity. i absolutely love how wright narrates, and if you love him too, he has another podcast about the trojan war!
this is a history podcast that “dives in past the cliffs notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives.” they cover both well known villains of history and ones you probably haven’t heard of. the hosts cover these topics with a great balance of respect for the victims and hilarious commentary and anecdotes. they also discuss contemporary people sometimes, like the alex jones episodes had me laughing so hard, so i recommend listening to those first!
(WARNING! This prompt contains mentions of child abuse and implied past starvation. Please be careful Darling ones.)
You’d always adored storms, something about them always able to make your eyes light up and your body fill with excitement and energy. Whenever the first hints of a storm would start to show, you’d be right up against the window, eagerly awaiting the deep rumbles of thunder and the bright flashes of lightning that would follow.
Today however, you couldn’t find it in you to enjoy anything, your mind lost to much darker thoughts.
Your fathers aggression had been building up for quite some time now, every day seeming to be met with an even fouler temper than the one before, his words and actions only getting more and more bitter and cruel as time went by. In all honesty, it was something you were depressingly use to, though you never would have thought that it would come to this.
Whilst you weren’t entirely sure what it was that had happened, something had set him off a few days ago, and as per usual, he had taken his anger out on you. In no time at all, you’d found yourself shoved roughly into your less than pleasant room, the door slamming and locking shut behind you, before you could even pick yourself up off the ground.
That in itself hadn’t been all too unusual… but this time…
He hadn’t come back.
It had been days now, since he had locked you inside your room, and so far, you hadn’t heard so much as a peep from him since. Hell, you weren’t even sure he was even in the house anymore, or if he ever intended to come back.
Whatever the case, you’d found yourself incredibly glad that you’d formed a habit of stashing away food over the years, as it meant you’d not had to sit there and starve for that entire time.
You were, however, finally beginning to run out.
In all honesty, part of you was starting to wonder if your father was going to be coming back at all, his absence unfortunately not something you could even be happy about, as it meant that you would have no way out of your “cosy” little prison.
It wasn’t like anyone was going to come searching for you, after all.
Almost as soon as that thought had crossed your mind, you heard an almost earth shattering boom of thunder, the entire house seeming to shake under the power of its deafening rumble. It was so loud in fact, that it completely masked the sound of the front door, being blasted off its hinges in a shower of broken shards and splinters.
It didn’t however, mask the eventual sounds of large, heavy, footsteps, thumping slowly down the hall towards your bedroom.
Footsteps, that you had definitely never heard before.
i do not know which 3 this was for but it doesn’t even matter bc i did not strictly follow either one of them oops lol ! & thank you 💙
percabeth 3. things you said too quietly / 3. why are you awake right now?
Percy wakes up to three quiet raps on his bedroom window, and although he doesn’t typically take very kindly to being awoken in the middle of the night, he has to concede that this is a much more pleasant alternative to how he has been waking up the past few weeks. He knows it is Annabeth before he is even fully awake, the same way he knows when there is a god in his apartment, or a monster out on the street. She is crouched in a squat on the fire escape in ratty white converse and sweats, bouncing on her heels, arms crossed over her chest, breaths coming in frosty little puffs. It is unseasonably cold for spring in New York, and Percy knows it has been torturing her: Annabeth makes more of a fuss about weather below forty degrees than about any quest they’ve ever been on. She flashes him a cheeky smile when she sees him coming towards the window, and Percy shakes his head at her in mock disapproval. Through the glass of the window, he sees her roll her eyes and laugh.
It took me five days before I realised I’d been carrying a weapon with me. It was locked away in a wooden box, and the the key was dangling in a locket around my neck. Vanita had given it to me privately. I had to deliver it to a very special person, she’d said.
The tobacco trader sat cross-legged, cleaning out a pipe she had in her collection. The bitter, earthy smell of tobacco surrounded her like the stench of a carcass.
“Did you really not know?” she asked, looking to make sure her son wasn’t back yet from the fish market.
“No,” I said. “I was just told to deliver the package to ‘The Will’.”
The trader stopped cleaning for a moment, like she’d become a statue for a moment. “That box, once opened, is going to destroy everything around it. It could blow up a house.”
I carefully wrapped the box in the off-white rags I’d been given. I wrapped it up just like Vanita had shown me, time and time again, back in the garden where we lived. I missed the fragrance of her marigolds and her jasmines. That was a more innocent smell, compared to the ugly and sinful tobacco.
“You’re still going to go do it?” the trader asked. Her wide-brimmed hat shaded her face from the sun, and I was a little envious of it. A hat like that could’ve saved me a lot of sweat.
“Yes,” I said. “Why wouldn’t I do it?”
A smile broke across her face. I’d clearly impressed her.
The trader’s son returned from his errand with the fisherfolk, carrying a basket half-filled with fish. He put the fish down away from the tobacco laid out on the mat in front of the trader.
“Tell me, how do you imagine The Will looks?” the trader asked.
The other traders and travellers had steered clear of us, perhaps because of the smell. The day was getting on, and soon we’d all be off on our way—an impromptu caravan.
“It’s probably like a cloud,” the son answered as he prepared a spit with his sunburnt and sinewy arms. “Maybe it sparks lightning every which way. It’s what’s inside our brains, but it’s not contained in flesh. It’s a mystery.”
The tobacco trader interrupted him there. “I was talking to her,” she said, and turned to me. “What about you? Who do you think are you going to blow up?”
I shrugged. “I’m not blowing anyone up,” I said. “I’m just delivering a package. What happens afterwards is not my concern.”
“What do you imagine the receiver to look like?”
I shrugged again. It was safe to shrug here. “Old, maybe. Someone with wrinkles all over their body. Skin like fish scales, hair like coconut fibre.”
The woman laughed with her head back, and if it weren’t for the strap below her chin, her hat would’ve fallen off. “Is that what you think?” she asked. “I think you’ll be very surprised.”
“Is it a woman?” I asked. Not that it made any difference.
“No, it isn’t,” she said, and she leaned forward. “I’ve been to the tower where they keep The Will. The Keeper can’t give up the pipe, you see, and she’s taken a particular liking to Scythian Blend. No, the Will isn’t a woman. It’s a boy. Ten years old, no more, no less.”
The trader’s son slid a roasted fish into a plate and offered it to me. I refused, but he didn’t take the plate back.
“The Will can’t be a ten year old boy,” I said. “The Will is constructing a reality that will save us from the doom that is to come. Something like that would take immense effort. It would take so much effort, willpower, imagination. It’s not something a child can manage.”
The trader took her own plate of roasted fish and grinned at me with her prominent canines. “On the contrary, that is the sort of imagination only a child can manage.”
It’s Valentine’s Day and that means it’s time to talk about romance. Specifically, shitty romances. Woo!
Disclaimer: This list is just my personal preference, and I don’t want to fight with anyone about it. You do you, boo.
I’ve also tried to avoid things that have been talked to death like romanticizing abuse or love triangles, because I want to keep things original. There’s also definitely going to be a part two to this post, since I came up with so many terrible tropes.
And third, but not last: this list specifically pertains to the genre Romance (whether paranormal, fantasy etc. the point is that the romance is the main plot or at least half the plot). There will be a seperate list for romantic subplots in other genres.
1. The Misunderstanding
If the entire plot of the novel can be solved by the characters having ONE (1) conversation, I’m just not interested.
Chances are these people should not be together anyway, since apparently they can’t even communicate properly. You can’t both/all be communication bottoms. One of you needs to suck it up and be the top.
I’ve seen people argue that this actually a good trope, because it’s “realistic”, but to me the whole point of romance is that it’s supposed to be escapist.
Otherwise, we’d all be reading about mediocre people going on mediocre dates and being boringly happy together - that’s realistic too. Do you want to read a book about it? I sure don’t!
2. First Love is The Best Love
This is more applicable to YA than any other genre, but I’m so tired of stories that make your first love be your one and only true love. I’m not saying it never happens, but it certainly doesn’t happen as much as the media says it does.
I feel like it’s both disingenuous, and possibly even dangerous, to raise such a cult around first love. Your first love is not going to be your one and only chance at love and that’s probably for the best. It’s likely, that along the way you’ll find someone who’s an even better fit for you and by then you’ll be more mature and better at handling relationships.
I just wish there was more stories that didn’t romanticize the magic of first love, as much as the showed how experience and knowledge can often be much healthier in the long run.
3. Fighting means Flirting
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about enemies-to-lovers or disdain-to-love, where the characters start out fighting and eventually grow to have a much healthier dynamic; nor am I talking about affectionate fighting, where they insult each other, but they don’t actually mean it.
I’m talking about cases where the love interests are actually fighting, but the author will have one of the side characters say something that implies that actually they are flirting. Fuck right off!
I’m not one of those people who thinks that if the characters have one fight, that’s an instant sign of a toxic and an unhealthy relationship. It’s fine if your characters fight sometimes. It’s also fine if they flirt sometimes. Just don’t try to tell me those two things are one and the same. It’s not cool to promote the adult version of the message that ‘boys pull on girl’s pigtails because they “like” them’.
If your characters are older than fourteen, I’m going to be expecting them to act accordingly.
4. Virginity Naïveté
This is a trope I see a lot in cis hetero romance and I’m so repulsed by it.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being sexually inexperienced, or writing about someone who is sexually inexperienced, but these characters are rarely just inexperienced. They are also so ignorant about sex, to the point of making me question of whether they are emotionally mature enough to be having iy at all. And not only that, but they are often paired up with the biggest sexpot character and it turns into this icky power imbalance, where the more experienced person uses their sexual experience to manipulate their partner.
It’s not realistic, and it’s gross, stop perpetuating the social construct of virginity. Just let women (and sometimes pretty feminine gay men, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms) have healthy sex lives. And if they are inexperienced, at least let them have a healthy attitude towards sex and sex-havers. And pair them up with someone who, if not at the same experience level as them, is at least at the same level emotional maturity.
5. Questionable Consent
Nothing puts me off a story faster, than if I have to wonder if the what happened was fully consensual.
I don’t know how to say this, but please stop having your big male characters groping strange women (or sometimes strange smaller man, but again - ‘nother can of worms) or even women (men) they know, who have not expressed any romantic interest in them; pressing them against walls/doors; giving them lovebites (yes, something I literally read once - though admittedly, it was in a fanfic) and any number of inappropriate physical behaviors without explicit consent.
Surprise kisses are fine if the other person responds, or if you stop, when they don’t - but anything other than that is weird, uncomfortable, and it makes me feel like this character doesn’t understand boundaries. And frankly, I don’t want to root for someone who in any other circumstances would be a rapist.
6. Insta Love
I’ve recently been exposed as a slow burn hoe, and that’s true enough, but even if you like faster-moving romances, what’s so compelling about Insta Love?
The whole point of romance is to see the development of the relationship (except for the rare cases the partners are already together at the start, or if it’s a second-chance romance) and see them falling for each other.
If they are already in love by the second time they meet, all that potential and stakes are lost.. And half the time, you can’t even figure out why they are in love to begin with, aside from the fact of being two people of similar ages, attractiveness levels and the right sexuality. It’s boring and lazy, do better.
This is probably because I work as a teacher, but no power dynamic will skeeve me out more than the teacher/student one.
It’s particularly awful if it’s a high school student / high school teacher, for a multitude of reasons I hope I don’t have to explain, but even if it’s college it’s still pretty gross. 18-19 year olds or even 21yos are just not mature enough to handle a relationship with their professor, who is a minimum of 35 btw, (unless they are some super-genius), and holds their future in their hands.
Maybe grad school would be okay, if I’m sure it’s a one off and that professor doesn’t make a habit of dating their students. Really, the most acceptable versions of this, are either grad-school student / professor, but the student is not that professor’s class, or a college student having a one-sided crush on their professor, and then they meet on equal terms, years after.
9. All in the family!
I’m not talking about actual incest, which should obvious - but specifically about dating your partner or ex’s sibling/parent/uncle/aunt/first cousin.
I mean, if it’s a one-night-stand, fine, everyone makes mistakes, but a prolonged relationship, that I’m supposed to root for? Yikes.
Your ex will always be there. At your wedding. At your anniversary parties. Every holiday from now on. And how awkward are family get-togethers going to be when everyone knows where your genitals have been, from now until the end of time. And especially currently, with the internet and how everything is forever? Once your kids /your ex’s kids grow up? They’ll know too! That’s gotta be uncomfy.
Look, if the romance starts with cheating… well, first of all I’m already rooting against this couple, because they are assholes and I prefer my romances asshole-free (when it comes to the main characters at least).
Not only is cheating such a gross and awful thing to do to someone, but frankly I don’t think any relationship that starts with cheating can last. I don’t think you can really trust a cheater - not just not to cheat again, but really for anything. They already broke their ex’s trust, who says they won’t do it to you too?
Now, I will say there are some borderline situations that I find more acceptable, where your milage would vary, if things with the third person beyond purpouse-less flirting (aka flirting for the sake if a confidence boost, rather than with the intention of starting something - some people are just naturally flirty) and/or at any point the people involved know that what they’re doing is wrong, but they keep doing it anyway - I’m out.
Some authors will try and justify the cheating MC, by having their partner cheat too, but I’m sorry - two wrongs don’t make a right. That just means everyone is an asshole, and i’m not rooting for any if them to be happy.
Hi I love your work so much it’s my favourite part of my day to come read your work ❤️ do you think you could do something a-sexual? Do they deeply love each other, but not in that way. Thanks so much! Take care of yourself!
On the good days, you don’t think that there is anything missing in you. You’ve grown enough to hear the word, to know the definitions, to take comfort in the fact that there are people in the world like you. You are complete and complicated, that’s just fine.
Most days, average days, you feel like something might be missing but maybe that’s just fine too. You like plenty of things that are broken - mosaics and stained glass windows and glow sticks shining so bright, so bright. They are your favourite. Being a bit shattered from the norm doesn’t mean you can’t be loved.
Then there are the days where you have read the stories about love, which are more often stories about sex though people don’t say it; but you know it’s true because they say it’s about love up until the point you say you don’t want to have sex, and then it’s just that you don’t love that person enough. There are the days when the future stretches and you know you can be happy with friends, and a sparkling career, and all the passions that make people whole that aren’t sex, but the voice in your head asks if you’ll be happy enough.
There are people you love deeply, but not in that way. You wonder what will happen when they find people that they love that way, and think it might be heartbreak. People like you aren’t allowed to talk about heartbreak. It’s normal for friends to drift in and out of your life.
There are people you love deeply, but sometimes you think people use that as a crutch to hand-wave that you’re one of the alright ones. If you didn’t love deeply, in a way that they could hold up like a nice comparison chart, would they still pretend to understand? Would they still like you?
You want to feel it. Sometimes you wonder if you’re simply not trying hard enough to feel it. Maybe you need to lower your standards a bit.
On the bad days, you think even if you fell in love with someone, you wouldn’t tell them. If you loved someone, it wouldn’t be very loving of you to straddle them with someone like you now would it?
“Do they deeply love each other, but not in that way?” You hear them whisper it. Speculate.
I love you. They’re big words. Don’t most people get time to think about it? Isn’t it alright if they don’t?
Disclaimer: Once again, this is my list ergo. my opinion. i’m not here to fight with anyone
1. Forbidden Romance
Look, I’m a simple gay. How can I not relate to a couple’s struggles when it’s society who is is against their love? I just can’t, it’s impossible!
And like @jennamoreci says: the best part of a forbidden romance has to be that the conflict is external, so you don’t need to come up with drama between the lovers. There’s plenty of things already working against them!
2. “There’s only one bed.”
I know it’s kind of a cliché at this point, but I’m such trash for it!
Oh, no there’s only bed!I guess you’ll both have to… sleep on it. Together. And if by morning you find yourself cuddling? Well, those are the sacrifices we all have to make!
3. Enemies to Lovers
Whether it’s a case of “I should be trying to kill you, but whoops I accidentally fallen in love with you instead”, or a case of two people who just didn’t like each other, but slowly came to understand the other better, I’m THERE.
It’s probably because this trope naturally lends itself towards a slow burn, and as we established in my previous post, I’m a slow burn hoe, but this dynamic appeals to me so much.
Now, much like any trope, there’s definitely a way to do this wrong, particularly if you skip the trust-building part of the relationship, or you make the hatred so visceral that it’s hard to believe they are now in love, but if done right, this is definitely one of the best dynamics out there.
4. Celebrities and Royals
I don’t know why billionaires became so popular, when the superior rich people are obviously celebrities.
First of all, who hasn’t dreamed of dating their favorite actor/musician/dancer/sports star etc.?
Second of all, you’ve got the element of trying to hide the relationship from the media, (especially if it’s an illicit gay romance), which always has inherent drama built-in.
And I don’t know what it is, but there’s definitely something inherently romantic and sexy about princes and princesses. Sign me up!
What’s better than starting a relationship by pretending to be in a relationship?
There are so many cute parts of this trope, but the best is when one of the partners does something cute/sexy and the other has to wonder whether they did it to sell the relationship or if they truly meant it. It’s all good stuff!
6. Explicit Consent
Some people apparently don’t think that explicit consent is/can be sexy?? I guess they’re imagining some version that scene in One Day At a Time where Elena and her partner Syd sit across from one another and robotically say “I consent to have intercourse with you” - which was played as a joke for the record.
Whether it’s one person pulling the other’s chin up and asking “Can I kiss you?”, or obvious body language, or asking for permission before undressing them, there’s so many sexy and romantic ways to do write explicit consent. You’re free to disagree, but I’ll just assume you are an unoriginal hack.
7. Complementary Personalities
An extrovert who brings their introvert partner out of their shell and an introvert who brings more calm and order to the extrovert’s life? An rational, calvulting booksmart person with a irrational, street-smart person who jumps into action before they think it through? Yes! Gimmie!
8. Affectionate Insults
I don’t know what it is about this, but I just like it when characters can insult each other without getting offended. But only if it’s playful, not hurtful - therefore no slurs or insults intended to hurt their self esteem.
It’s even better, when someone else tries to get in the dynamic, and the character who is constantly teasing and insulting the other character suddenly becomes their biggest defender.
“What did you just say? Did you just call him an idiot?”
“You call him an idiot all the time!”
“Yes, but he’s MY idiot. You don’t get to say that. Now apologize, or I’ll break your arm!”
9. Healthy polyamory
This is something I just don’t see enough of, and as a poly person myself I really wish it was more normalized. Instead, often times “polyamory” would be portrayed as cheating, as a way to break off the relationship, the person who says they are poly is actually a liar etc., but it’s so rare to see see several people just in love with one another (or even one person in love with two or more people) and it just being healthy and consensual.
My favorite is when two are already an established couple and they are wooing someone new into the relationship, and they experience all the normal initial worries and jealousy of a new relationship, but and they talk about it and comfort one another. That’s just freaking adorable!
10. All the AUs!
I’m not talking about alternative universes in fanfic - although that’s definitely cute too - but rather when two people meet and fall in love with one another under difficult circumstances, and one of them - usually the protagonist, because that’s who’s head we’re in - starts imagining how easy it would be if they’d met under different circumstances.
I love this, because to me it shows that this relationship isn’t just a love of convenience, but rather that the people in it are soulmates, destined to be together no matter what. And is there anything better in a ship than that?
“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”
Au Synopsis: An Au of @tulipscomeinallsortsofcolors iconic Love and Other Fairytales. Where the cast is reversed. With the humans being Fair Folk and the Fae are human.
There is a witch in the woods.
Or maybe there is a woods round a witch. It’s hard to tell, when both have been near each other for so long, that it’s gotten hard to separate them. The woods and the witch.
The witch and the woods.
Both are old, so very very old. Was there a time before? No one in town can remember the woods without the witch. No one in town can remember. They’re not sure they want to.
If you ask the elders they might recall that their own grandmother grew up on stories about the cunning woman in the woods.
Stories that say she is older than the trees that grow in the heart of the forest- stories that say their roots are entangled within her bones. Wrapped around her in her soul. “That’s where she gets her magic”, they whisper to their children, “for you see, there is magic in the wild and green woods. That’s why you must never go there unprotected”
Of course not all of the tales make sense.
Some say that the witch planted the forest. Some say the forest planted her. Grew her deepin it’s dark soil, and spat her out a hazel tree. Some say the witch isn’t even a witch- but a faery. Others say she made a deal for her magic and now she must leave forever-trapped within the boundary lines.
Some say there isn’t a difference- between Witch and Wood.
But no matter how much they say, no one can ever seem to agree on who’s right. And everyone seems to think the other is wrong.
Maybe it’s because people are gossipy and talk too much to ever know what really happened. Maybe it doesn’t matter. The witch knows, even if she’ll never speak it.
She doesn’t speak much of anything. She doesn’t need to.
There is a witch in the woods, the locals know of her, because of course they do.
They don’t know her name, and they know better than to ask for it. She will never give it willingly. Because she was born a Wickhills girl first. Before she was a witch (before there was a town to be called Wickhills) and every Wickhills girl knows that names are power. And power is never freely given.
There is a Witch in the woods, they call her that, because she will not give them anything else to call her.
But she will give comfort, and she will give help, if you know how to ask for it. ‘It’s better than going to our Good Neighbors’ they say, ‘but not by much’.
Still, people from the town by the woods will come to her house, her small little house with spider webs by the doorframe and Queen Anne’s Lace by the window. They will knock three times and be welcomed in.
They will look past the clutter and the darkened room and wonder how such a fearsome legend could live in a space that is so out of place in time, but still so mundane.
Lavender drying by the door frames and the smell of nuts roasting on a fire. They will see an old woman with silver silk spun hair and a small smile.
She will offer tea, and they will drink it.
She will offer a listening ear, and they will use it.
And finally, once they have eaten her food and aired their troubles, she will offer a deal.
And they will take it.
There is a witch who lives in the woods. She has lived there longer than any other human in Wickhils- because she is still human, if only in her mind.
She is an old witch, a wise witch.
Wise enough to know that she will not live forever. Wise enough to not want to.
But she does not want to die without passing on her knowledge. She knows, more than she has ever known anything else, that she cannot leave her title unpassed.
There must always be a witch in the woods, to open their door for those lost, and protect them from the Wild Ones outside. Someone to guard the line between adventure and danger. Say what you will about the people in Wickhills, but even they know It is better to make a deal with the Witch and the Fae, because even at her most terrible, the witch calls herself human.
And she never takes much, just enough for the spell to work. A drop of blood, an old family ring. Something you will miss, yes, but something you can live without.
There is a witch in the woods and she is expecting.
You don’t need a man to make a child. Just a bottle of moonlight, three crow’s feathers and a handful of catmint flowers. Ground together and buried under the snow frost. Watered with her magic and blood.
When spring comes, there will be a babe, a boy. With hair just as dark and beautiful as the Faery Queen’s, and a heart made for love. His mother will name him Virgil, for she waited outside every night.