secretsolstice
secretsolstice
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“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” I read books sometimes
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secretsolstice · 2 days ago
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SHADOW AND BONE 1.02 We’re All Someone’s Monster
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secretsolstice · 3 days ago
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We need to talk about comments, y’all. 
Today I got this comment on a fic I wrote and posted last year. 
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It was a fic that a lot of readers dislike. This is not nearly the worst thing said in the comment section of this fic. What really stands out about this one is it’s the fourth comment left over several months on the same fic by the same reader. It was left in response to my own comment when the reader asked me to clarify and edit/expound on a few (major) plot points within the story: 
I’m going to reply to this because it’s gonna annoy me if I dont: I wrote a story I love and it’s going to stand or not, without me explaining anything. What the reader takes from it, or emotions drawn by it are the reader’s. Crit is never fun and franky wasn’t asked for and no, I won’t explain anymore. The readers can and should draw their own conclusions and emotions from the story as it was written.
I want to be SUPER FUCKING CLEAR here about the sequence of events: 
I wrote a fic that’s 35k+. I spent my free time writing a story I like and shared it with fandom because I’m nice like that. And a reader requested I change it. Then demanded I change it. Then insulted me when I said no. 
That’s like getting pissy when someone won’t take back and buy you a different gift. That’s what fic writers are. That’s what we do. Artists and authors are giving gifts to the fandom.  
Unless you’re writing for a commission–to date something I’ve never done–you aren’t hired for this. Unless it’s a fill for a charity auction–this was not–or a reverse bang–this was not–no one else gets a say in the story process. 
Lemme repeat that: 
No one else gets a say in the story process. 
You don’t like a fic, don’t fucking read it. I don’t care if you don’t read my stories. I write them for me and hope that other folk like them but at the end of the day, I’m gonna write them either way. 
So why is this kind of shitty comment so fucking annoying, arei? 
I am so fucking glad you asked!
Because if asshat reader is saying that to one fic writer–they’re saying it to others. And me? I’ve got a thick skin. I don’t care what people say about my stories or my characterization or if they want me to explain XYZ and change a huge plot point. 
But a baby fic writer who just published their first piece and gets this commentary? That person cares. 
The seasoned fic writer who is mentally exhausted and running on comments/kudos and coffee and hoping for a pick me up? That person cares. 
The fic author who is convinced no one reads (Because let’s be honest, comments are hard to garner these days), who is thrilled because hey COMMENT? That person cares. 
And maybe this kind of asshole comment is why they quit. 
This is the kind of shit that makes fandom creators stop creating. It’s entitled and it’s rude and it needs to fucking stop. 
We write for ourselves and we’re happy to share, but check your entitlement, dear readers, because that’s not cool at all. You are owed exactly nothing in fandom. Everything you find from artists and authors? Is a gift. Treat it like one. 
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secretsolstice · 4 days ago
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Hey yall who wants to know another thing I love about FMA.
There are a lot of shonen shows that fall under the category of “protagonist joins some organization, travels around the world on missions, is working toward some general Ultimate Goal™ that falls in and out of focus.” And this format makes writing a lengthy shonen story easier because it allows the main characters to be passive in moving from one arc to another. The characters get sent on their missions by third parties, and the author can write as many non-sequitur mission arcs as they want, or until the Jump money runs out.
Naruto gets assigned one ninja mission, then the next, then the next, filler, non-filler, filler, non-filler. Kentaro Monjiro Tanjiro gets assigned new demons to target and kill by the master of the demon slayer organization, one arc ends, a new order comes down, the next arc begins. Deku is literally in school his teachers just tell him what’s next. And sure, sometimes the main characters are the instigators. Sometimes Naruto goes after Sasuke of his own will. Sometimes Deku goes after Sasuke Bakugou of his own will too. But those are the exceptions, rather than the rule.
And again, I get it. It’s strategic to keep a series running indefinitely. You can stitch together as many unrelated arcs as you want. And it’s probably a necessary crutch to have when forced to produce manga at the rate these publications need to.
But then there’s FMA
Which, mind you, set itself up in the exact same manner. Ed joins the Goddamn Alchemist Military. That’s absolutely the FMA universe version of the Ninja Alliance/Pro Heroes/Demon Slayers. All of FMA’s arcs could have been the military telling Ed “this is your new mission go do this” while Ed and All just stumble through 200 chapters, following mission orders, vaguely acting with the ultimate goal of regaining their original bodies.
FMA doesn’t do that. FMA doesn’t take the easy route. Hiromu Arakawa pointed to Ed and said “see this fucking 15 year old gremlin? He’s gonna go instigate everything that happens to him, and he’s gonna like it.” The military tried asking Ed a favor once and Ed hated it so much that instead of following orders he fucked off down a mineshaft.
DOWN A FUCKING MINESHAFT. 
Leore? Ed and Al went there on their own. Robbery on the Train? They just happened to be on the same train. Shou Tucker? Mustang introduced them as a favor for Ed handling the train incident (Brotherhood says it repayment for Leore since they cut the Train Robbery, shame). Dublith and Greed? they were there to see Izumi. Central? There to see Hughes, then saw too much, got dragged to Xerxes, stopped by home to do some grave robbing, decided to catch a homunculus for the lulz, got eaten and went to hell, met god, came back. Briggs? They decided alkehestry was their best lead so they followed Mei to Briggs. Leore again, cuz Al wanted to. Resembool, cuz Edward needed to hide after fucking off down a mineshaft. Slums of the Kanama region. Central again. Hell 2.0. God 2.0. Central. God again but the first one. Xing. Resembool.
Every SINGLE place these two chaotic hell-mongers go, every SINGLE mission they take up is a self-motivated, self-imposed, self-actuated logical follow-up to however the previous arc ended, to the point that the lines between the “arcs” begin to blur and transition into a brilliantly woven narrative of cause and effect. Where the instigators are never “mission-assigners said so” and instead are always the characters themselves spinning strategy, forming covert alliances and plans, making use of gathered knowledge to be their own driving force of actions, sieges, subterfuges, and the occasional overthrowing of the government from an Ice Cream Truck.
And I respect that a goddamn hell of a lot, cuz FMA has to go above and beyond in every facet of every single thing it does.
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secretsolstice · 4 days ago
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Guys I found the trinity of tall dark and handsome in fantasy and our childhoods
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secretsolstice · 4 days ago
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Ben Barnes showing up uninvited on the set of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, two years ago:
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secretsolstice · 4 days ago
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just wondering how Zuko and Druk might have met..
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secretsolstice · 4 days ago
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secretsolstice · 4 days ago
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If I see the take “but Dany freed slaves” as a defense for her character’s actions one more time, I’m going to lose my mind…
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secretsolstice · 5 days ago
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nina and matthias: i don’t like you
also nina and matthias: 👁👅👁
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secretsolstice · 5 days ago
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Writing advice #?: Have your characters wash the dishes while they talk.
This is one of my favorite tricks, picked up from E.M. Forester and filtered through my own domestic-homebody lens.  Forester says that you should never ever tell us how a character feels; instead, show us what those emotions are doing to a character’s posture and tone and expression.  This makes “I felt sadness” into “my shoulders hunched and I sighed heavily, staring at the ground as my eyes filled with tears.”  Those emotions-as-motions are called objective correlatives.  Honestly, fic writers have gotten the memo on objective correlatives, but sometimes struggle with how to use them.
Objective correlatives can quickly become a) repetitive or b) melodramatic.  On the repetitive end, long scenes of dialogue can quickly turn into “he sighed” and “she nodded” so many times that he starts to feel like a window fan and she like a bobblehead.  On the melodramatic end, a debate about where to eat dinner can start to feel like an episode of Jerry Springer because “he shrieked” while “she clenched her fists” and they both “ground their teeth.”  If you leave the objective correlatives out entirely, then you have what’s known as “floating” dialogue — we get the words themselves but no idea how they’re being said, and feel completely disconnected from the scene.  If you try to get meaning across by telling us the characters’ thoughts instead, this quickly drifts into purple prose.
Instead, have them wash the dishes while they talk.
To be clear: it doesn’t have to be dishes.  They could be folding laundry or sweeping the floor or cooking a meal or making a bed or changing a lightbulb.  The point is to engage your characters in some meaningless, everyday household task that does not directly relate to the subject of the conversation.
This trick gives you a whole wealth of objective correlatives.  If your character is angry, then the way they scrub a bowl will be very different from how they’ll be scrubbing while happy.  If your character is taking a moment to think, then they might splash suds around for a few seconds.  A character who is not that invested in the conversation will be looking at the sink not paying much attention.  A character moderately invested will be looking at the speaker while continuing to scrub a pot.  If the character is suddenly very invested in the conversation, you can convey this by having them set the pot down entirely and give their full attention to the speaker.
A demonstration:
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“I’m leaving,” Anastasia said.
“What?”  Drizella continued dropping forks into the dishwasher.
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“I’m leaving,” Anastasia said.
Drizella paused midway through slotting a fork into the dishwasher.  “What?”
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“I’m leaving,” Anastasia said.
Drizella laughed, not looking up from where she was arranging forks in the dishwasher.  “What?”
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“I’m leaving,” Anastasia said.
The forks slipped out of Drizella’s hand and clattered onto the floor of the dishwasher.  “What?”
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“I’m leaving,” Anastasia said.
“What?”  Drizella shoved several forks into the dishwasher with unnecessary force, not seeming to notice when several bounced back out of the silverware rack.
See how cheaply and easily we can get across Drizella’s five different emotions about Anastasia leaving, all by telling the reader how she’s doing the dishes?  And all the while no heads were nodded, no teeth were clenched.
The reason I recommend having it be one of these boring domestic chores instead of, say, scaling a building or picking a lock, is that chores add a sense of realism and are low-stakes enough not to be distracting.  If you add a concurrent task that’s high-stakes, then potentially your readers are going to be so focused on the question of whether your characters will pick the lock in time that they don’t catch the dialogue.  But no one’s going to be on the edge of their seat wondering whether Drizella’s going to have enough clean forks for tomorrow.
And chores are a cheap-n-easy way to add a lot of realism to your story.  So much of the appeal of contemporary superhero stories comes from Spider-Man having to wash his costume in a Queens laundromat or Green Arrow cheating at darts, because those details are fun and interesting and make a story feel “real.”  Actually ask the question of what dishes or clothing or furniture your character owns and how often that stuff gets washed.  That’s how you avoid reality-breaking continuity errors like stating in Chapter 3 that all of your character’s worldly possessions fit in a single backpack and in Chapter 7 having your character find a pair of pants he forgot he owns.  You don’t have to tell the reader what dishes your character owns (please don’t; it’s already bad enough when Tolkien does it) but you should ideally know for yourself.
Anyway: objective correlatives are your friends.  They get emotion across, but for low-energy scenes can become repetitive and for high-energy scenes can become melodramatic.  The solution is to give your characters something relatively mundane to do while the conversation is going on, and domestic chores are not a bad starting place.
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secretsolstice · 10 days ago
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Day 4: teamwork. "I'll protect you" 👊
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secretsolstice · 13 days ago
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The moment Inej says, “I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all,” in the tv show my soul will transcend this plane of existence.
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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SHADOW AND BONE (2021-) | “No Mourners” (1x08)
“She needs my help more than you.”
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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the darkling thought he was the most dramatic bitch on the block and then kaz brekker shows up and blows a street up in his face as a cool exit strategy
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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This made me actually ship them hardcore. BRB reading six of crows again
CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT HELNIK ??
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just look at my babies :( they were so happy
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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i don’t think y’all understand how obsessed i am with nina and matthias
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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NINA AND MATTHIAS ARE SO BY THE BOOK ITS INSANE THEY REALLY DID THEM JUSTICE
THE STUPID AS YOU ARE TALL LINE
LITERALLY EVERYTHING
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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I binged it and MISSED THAT PART 
“When our closest friend is in trouble, we do foolish things,” said mikhail about mal to dubrov, who’s so worried about alina and is ready to abandon his post to look for her and her safety. and then the camera cuts to kaz handing over the crow club’s shares to tante heleen, freeing inej from her indeture at the menagerie. 
genius. spectacular. show stopping. never in history before.
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar really went from enemies to reluctant allies to friends to contemplating running away to another country together to bonding over waffles to enemies again in one season huh
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secretsolstice · 15 days ago
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OMG I DID NOT THINK ABOUT THIS AHHHHHHH
the way inej refuses to kill because of her faith and asks jesper to do it instead. the way it makes kaz a little doubtful about trusting her in a life or death situation because what if she can’t do what needs to be done. the way inej’s first kill is when she’s saving kaz’s life because instinct takes over and having kaz’s back is what she needs to do in that moment and she erases any doubt about whether or not kaz can trust her with his life.. i am UNWELL
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