#love the story love the character designs love the character dynamics
Creating Relationship & Approval Systems
Creating a system to manage character relationships is one of the most popular game mechanics in interactive fiction games. While not every game needs a relationship system, it may be a good idea to implement one if the player character’s relationships with others are an important dynamic in your game.
This is an informal tutorial written for Twine and SugarCube. While the coding aspects will only work in SugarCube, the principles should be applicable to other story formats or IF engines. Even if you don’t work in Twine/SugarCube, this may still be helpful if you’re struggling with relationship stats!
What Is An Approval System?
An approval system is the mechanic that tracks how one character feels about another. This is typically the player character (PC) and the main NPCs. Most of the time these NPCs are romance options (ROs), but they could also be friends or party members. The higher the approval, the closer the PC and NPC become.
Choosing which characters will have an approval system and which ones do not is important. Unless you’re making a very small game (i.e. six or seven characters max, with no other characters involved in the story), not every character needs to have their approval tracked. These should be the characters whose relationship to the PC directly impacts the narrative and opens up different paths, routes, and outcomes.
How you build your approval system will depend on the scope and style of your game. A romance game where the PC follows the story route of their desired love interest will have different needs than an action/adventure game where the PC’s best friends can turn on them.
Before you design your approval system, there’s a few things you’ll want to think about:
Which characters will be affected by the approval system? How many? Keep in mind that every character who has a relationship/approval stat will need their own relationship/approval variable.
Do you want the approval system be linear? The approval system only ever moves forwards, with the player taking certain actions/dialogue options to gain approval points with an NPC, and they can never lose that progress.
Do you want the approval system to be bi-directional? The approval system can progress and regress. The player can take certain actions/dialogue to gain approval points with an NPC, but they can also take other actions/dialogue to lose points.
What is the impact your approval system will have on the game’s narrative? What types of things do you want it to lock or unlock? How will it shape the player’s experience?
What does your approval system measure? Friendship? Romance and friendship? Friendship and rivalry? Depending on your game’s needs, you may want to have more than one approval system to track different relationship names (for example, a separate system for friendship and one for romance, one for friendship and one for rivalry). You’ll want to think very carefully about using multiple relationship systems. If all of your desired outcomes can be controlled through one approval bar, then you probably don’t need more than one. However, if you want to do something like having a romance between a PC and an NPC who hate each other, you may want to split romance and friendship into two separate functions.
Linear Approval Systems
Linear approval systems measure the PC/NPC relationship in sequential order. The player can only ever gain approval points with an NPC. One gained, points cannot be lost. Usually with linear systems, the player needs to select the right dialogue and action options in order to progress the relationship, but they are not punished for selecting the wrong ones. Once the player achieves the right amount of points with the desired NPC, a special romance or friendship scene will unlock or they will attain some kind of additional content or flavour text.
When creating a linear system, you will want to decide how numerical values (the approval points) define the PC/NPC relationship. Here’s an example of a combined friendship/romance system, using units of 10:
0 – 9 – the characters have just met each other. They’re getting to know each other, but they’re not friends yet.
10 – 19 – The characters are warming up to each other. They are more friends than acquaintances and they are starting to flirt with each other.
20 – 29 – The characters know each other quite well. They are openly flirtatious; maybe they have started dating.
30 – 39 – The characters care a lot about each other. They have officially become a couple.
40 – 50+ – The characters know everything about each other. They are deeply in love and trust each other completely.
Here, the ranges are the same for every approval “level”, but they don’t have to be. Some levels could require fewer amounts of points (i.e. the “getting to know each other” range could be accomplished in 5 points, and the “caring a lot about each other” range could take 20 points). It could also change depending on the character, with some NPCs being more open to the player character right away and others taking more time to warm up to them.
How large your ranges are will depend on how many opportunities you plan to give the player to raise their approval level. If you only intend to provide a handful of opportunities to raise approval, then you won’t need ranges quite as large as this one.
Consider the scale of your game and what the long-term progression of the PC/NPC is; that will help you determine how many approval points you are working with. You should always know where the end point is.
Bi-Directional Approval Systems
Bi-directional approval systems are more difficult to implement than linear ones, but they are much more flexible. If you intend your PC and NPCs relationships to have any kind of rivalry, for them to fall in and out of love, or for them to end up hating each other over the course of your game, a bi-directional approval system may be better. This system creates a scale. The player can gain and lose approval over the course of the game, and depending on their actions, the PC/NPC relationship will either increase or decrease.
For this kind of system, you will want to think about your minimum point and maximum point for your scale (i.e. where does it start and where does it finish?). While you can set 0 as the neutral point and work with positive and negative numbers (anything above 0 being in the “like” range, anything below 0 being in the “dislike” range), this can be difficult to indicate visually later on if you want to use a meter or a progress bar.
I like to use 0 and 100 as my min and max points for sake of ease, but you can really set it to whatever you want.
Similarly to the linear approval system, you will want to define the numerical ranges that your PC/NPC relationship falls into. Here, it’s important to know where the where the mid point is—what value indicates the neutral ground between like and dislike.
It could look something like this:
0 - 19 — Extreme dislike
20 - 39 — Dislike
40 - 59 — Neutral feelings
60 - 79 — Friendly
80 - 100 — Loving/close friends
Here, I’ve divided the approval stat (0-100) into 5 approval ranges that increase in units of 20 points. 50 is the center—it is the mid point of the approval bar and the mid point of the neutral range.
Just like the linear system, how big your ranges are will depend on how many opportunities you plan to give the player to increase/decrease their approval stat.
Why Work in Ranges?
Having ranges in your approval system allows for more flexibility and control over the approval stat. It increases the amount of opportunities the player will have to change the course of their relationships, which makes for a more satisfying roleplaying experience.
For example, here’s a ten point approval system:
1 – We hate each other
2 – I can’t stand you
3 – I dislike you
4 – You bother me
5 – Neutral
6 – You’re okay
7 – I like you
8 – We’re good friends
9 – We’re close friends
10 – We unconditionally love each other
If gaining nine approval points is all it takes to go from “we hate each other” to “we unconditionally love each other”, then it only takes the player nine interactions for that growth to happen. The pacing of the relationship is going to feel off. When there’s less room for growth, growth between these extremes will happen very rapidly.
Working in ranges let’s the PC sit in different stages of the relationship for a longer amount of time. Because it takes more points (and therefore more time), any relationship progress or regression will feel more natural. At the same time, you don’t want the ranges to be too big, otherwise it will feel like no progress is happening. This will, of course, depend on how many points you are adding/subtracting with each approval gain and loss.
Adding/Subtracting Approval and Using Conditional Statements to Control Flavour Text, Dialogue, Choices & NPC Behaviour
Once you have your system established and you know your ranges, approval stats work very similarity to any other stat. You can use conditional statements that check the numerical value of the approval stat to show different flavour text, dialogue, choices and options.
I’m going to use the bi-directional system as an example here, with a range of 0-100.
Let’s say we have a character named Eliza and her approval is stored in a variable called $eliza_approval. Because she has just met the PC, let’s set her approval to 50, so she is in the exact centre of the neutral approval range.
<<set $eliza_approval to 50>>
If the player selects an option that coincides with something she approves of, you can add approval to her approval stat with:
<<set $eliza_approval +=1>>
(This adds +1 to her approval stat.)
<<set $eliza_approval -=1>>
(This subtracts -1 from her approval stat.)
You can accomplish the same thing inside a link, using SugarCube’s link markup:
[[1. Nice choice.|Next Named Passage][$eliza_approval +=1]]
[[2. Mean choice.|Next Named Passage][$eliza_approval -=1]]
In the text of your game, you can control what options and flavour text the player sees depending on Eliza’s approval stat by using conditional statements.
<<if $eliza_approval >=80>> Shows text/options for a loving/close friends relationship.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=60 && $eliza_approval <=79>> Shows text/options for a friendly relationship.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=40 && $eliza_approval <=59>> Shows text/options for a neutral relationship.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=20 && $eliza_approval <=39>> Shows text/options for a relationship where they dislike each other.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=0 && $eliza_approval <=19>> Shows text/options for a relationship where they hate each other.<</if>>
You could also close the statement with an <<else>> instead of the last <<elseif>>.
Depending on the context of the scene and options, you may not need flavour text or choices for all of your available ranges. Often when working with a bi-directional system, you may only need to have two options (one for low approval, one for high approval). What counts as “low” and what counts as “high” may change depending on where you are in the game, the current tensions, and what’s at stake.
To divide your ranges into low approval and high approval, you could do something like this:
<<if $eliza_approval >=60>> Shows the high approval option.
<<else>>Shows the low approval option.<</if>>
Here, high approval counts as anything that is 60 or over (the “friendly” range and above).
Later on, I may run into a situation where I want “high” approval to count anything in the neutral range. So I may change the code to this:
<<if $eliza_approval >=40>> Shows the high approval option.
<<else>>Shows the low approval option.<</if>>
How much differing flavour text and options will depend on the context of each individual moment in your game. Sometimes you will want to have more restrictions and more flavour text; other times, you’ll want to simplify.
A basic rule of thumb is that if the flavour text for a neutral relationship and a friendly relationship in a given scenario is basically the same, then you probably don’t need to separate them out (for that scenario). Even if you have your relationship stats divided into five ranges, you don’t always need to come up with text and options for all five.
I think the most important part of creating a relationship system that feels organic is pacing and offering a broad selection of player choice. One of the challenges with approval systems is crafting a system that allows the player to feel like they’re roleplaying their character. Sometimes, the choices that gain approval are out-of-character for the player and they won’t want to select them, even if they want to form a relationship with that NPC.
This can be frustrating for the player in games that have romance. Systems that don’t have enough varied opportunities for the player to gain approval can significantly hinder roleplaying and cause players to take out-of-character actions to get the RO they want.
However, developers may not want to offer a lot of opportunities for approval gain because players could max out (or deplete) their relationship stats too early. To circumvent this, I highly recommend clamping your approval.
Clamping keeps your relationship stats between a min/max range and prevents it from exceeding the limit. SugarCube can clamp numerical variables with a function called Math.clamp.
If we take Eliza’s approval variable from earlier and clamp it, it will look something like this:
<<set $eliza_approval to Math.clamp($eliza_approval + 5, 0, 100)>>
<<set $eliza_approval to Math.clamp($eliza_approval - 5, 0, 100)>>
The first code adds +5 to $eliza_approval, the second subtracts -5. Both clamp it between the range of 0 and 100.
This means that if $eliza_approval was at 98 and the game added +5 to it, it would max out at 100. And if $eliza_approval was at 3 and the game subtracted -5, it would only decrease to 0.
To clamp inside SugarCube’s link markup, you can do it like this:
[[1. Nice choice.|Next Passage][$eliza_approval to Math.clamp($eliza_approval + 5, 0, 100)]]
[[2. Mean choice.|Next Passage][$eliza_approval to Math.clamp($eliza_approval - 5, 0, 100)]]
You can use clamping to manipulate approval gains and loses at different stages of your game.
For example, in Wayfarer, the player has the opportunity to set the approval level of a major character with whom they have a pre-established relationship. If the player sets Aeran’s approval level to 80, then the game treats them as very close friends.
Because there are multiple opportunities to raise that approval level throughout Chapter 1, Aeran’s approval is clamped between 5 (as the minimum) and 90 (as the maximum) as I did not want players to fully deplete or max out his approval bar in the first chapter of a 14-chapter game.
It doesn’t matter if the player hits all of the possible approval gains available in the chapter, Aeran’s approval will always stop at 90 in Chapter 1.
Clamping approval gains and loses at different points in the game can be helpful for allowing more opportunities to affect approval. Instead of preventing players from maxing out their stats too soon by offering fewer choices, you can offer more choices and let the engine do the work for you to keep the player’s relationships within the desired range.
How Many Points to Add?
How many approval points you add or subtract will depend on your system’s range and your game’s needs. Approval gain/loss can always be static (+1 or -1), or it could depend on the action taken.
If the PC does something an NPC really likes, it could garner more approval points – +5, +10, or even enough to put them into the next range. Likewise, if the PC does something the NPC despises, it could net greater loses.
If the PC does something the NPC believes is unforgiveable, sometimes an approval loss is not enough because the PC could gain those relationship points back. You may want to add an additional check to control the NPC’s behaviour in regards to the Unforgiveable Event that supersedes the approval, or block the PC off from gaining approval with the NPC all together.
In SugarCube, this bit of code could look like this:
<<if $UnforgiveableEvent is true>>Unique flavour text that shows that Eliza is upset with the PC
<<elseif $eliza_approval <= 39>>Unique flavour text for a generic low approval interaction with Eliza
<<else>>Flavour text that isn’t covered by the above two situations (so, in this case, unique flavour text for a generic medium/high approval interaction with Eliza).<</if>>
If relationships are a crucial element of your game, you may want the player to access that information so they can track where their approval level is at.
There are multiple ways to do this, so it all depends on the design of your game and how much time you want to spend on it.
You can use conditional statements show relationship status through words, with no visuals. Something like this:
Eliza <<if $eliza_approval >=80>><b>loves</b> you.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=60 && $eliza_approval <=79>>is a <b>close friend</b>.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=40 && $eliza_approval <=59>>is <b>indifferent</b> towards you.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=20 && $eliza_approval <=39>><b>dislikes</b> you.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=0 && $eliza_approval <=19>><b>hates</b> you.<</if>>
You could also create an approval bar that visually indicates approval level. I prefer using the progress element for this (explained here), but you could also use Chapel’s Meter Macro to accomplish the same thing.
Th progress element and meters cannot show negative values, which is why I recommended having 0 as your lowest value on any given relationship stat.
You could do a combination of the two, or even use image assets (controlled by conditional statements) to indicate approval. Visually indicated approval level can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be.
Using Multiple Relationship Stats
Depending on the complexity of your relationship system, you may end up splitting your approval systems into multiple parts. For example, you could have separate variables for:
This would allow you to have greater control over a wider arrange of combinations. A relationship that is high friendship and low romance would be different from a relationship that is high friendship and high romance. A relationship that is low friendship, high romance and high rivalry would again be different from a relationship that is low friendship, but high romance and high rivalry.
All of this can be controlled with effective use of conditional statements. For example, if you were working with separate friendship and romance systems, you would need to set two stats: one for friendship and one for romance.
Conditional statements would then look something like this:
<<if $eliza_approval >=40 and $eliza_romance >=80>>Options for a neutral or friendly Eliza who is romanced.
<<elseif $eliza_approval <=39 and $eliza_romance >=80>>Options for a hostile Eliza who still has feelings for the PC.
<<elseif $eliza_approval >=40 and $eliza_romance <=79>>Options for a neutral or friendly Eliza who is not romancing the PC.
<<elseif $eliza_approval <=39 and $eliza_romance <=79>>Options for a hostile Eliza who is not romancing the PC.
<<else>>Options for if none of the above is true.<</if>>
The more in-depth you make your system, the more complex it will be to maintain and the more variations you will have to manage. You will want to be careful about adding too many of these. Think about what your game needs and how you can make it effective; if something can be managed with fewer systems, then it probably should be.
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best parts of this interview that just dropped
Next year you've also got two original graphic novels coming out. After Through the Moon got to explore Rayla more, what did you want to do with these next two graphic novels?
The next two graphic novels are giving us a bit more emotional depth to better understand the characters' arcs who we're going to watch unfold in the coming seasons. Bloodmoon Huntress has some stories of a younger Rayla and gives you more context on her relationship with Runaan and Ethari and what happened to her parents and some unusual things that happened as she was growing up that helped define her as a character. They're absolutely at the core of who she is and why her impact on the world has been what it is. I see a direct connection there.
Rayla and Claudia are opposite sides of the same coin, especially in their dynamic with Callum, and both at major crossroads coming out of Season 3. What can you tease about them going into Season 4?
Some context about what's going on with Rayla between Season 3 and Season 4 is in Through the Moon which is really important. That's an excellent observation that they have some interesting parallels in the family and emotional traumas they've been through with their parents and seeing how they've emerged from it with different sets of values and views on how to approach others. I think there's a lot similar about them and how they've grown as characters.
You're bringing in a new character in Season 4 with a Sunfire elf named Karim, voiced by Luc Roderique. What made you want to bring back Luc as a new character following his previous role as King Harrow?
He's awesome and a great actor to work with! He's one of those people who comes in with an idea of what the character might be feeling and experiencing but also an idea of what you might be thinking you want from the performance and other ways of interpreting it. Exploring a character with Luc is exciting and you discover things and sometimes go in a different direction than you had planned. He's just delightful to work with, a great performer and we knew for this character -- who is going to play a really important role and have a huge impact on the saga -- we knew we needed a great actor who could bring him to life right away and Luc does it. People are going to love this character and find this character extremely complicated and compelling.
What can you say about Season 4?
I can tell you a little about production progress which is that all the scripts for Season 4 have been written and recorded and it is in the process of being designed and storyboarded and brought to life by the team at Bardel Entertainment right now. We're well underway, being wowed every day with new designs, art, music, and things that are all coming back to bring it to life and people are working hard. Hopefully, we'll have more to announce about that very soon!
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Apparently there's a Iron Man/Cap team up miniseries coming out on Nov 24th and I am so excited. Quote from the writer:
“The natural instinct for a writer would be to immediately put them at loggerheads. Nothing generates drama better than tension, after all,” Landy said. “But Tony just wants to protect people, and Steve is one of the kindest characters in comics, so I pretty much embraced the opportunity to step away from the tension and explore that friendship."
There is, and I am so excited! I already subscribed to it.
It sounds like the writer really likes Steve & Tony's friendship so I am very hopeful that we will get some nice canon out of it, and even I don't end up liking the writing it will be an entire miniseries where Steve and Tony appear on the page together. (The bar, it is set so low. And yet.)
I think that we've actually gotten a lot of fairly nice Steve and/or Tony recently in canon, albeit not in the ordinary places you might look, so if you only follow Avengers, Cap, and Iron Man ongoings, you might have missed the following excellent things that have happened/are still happening:
Infinite Destinies: This is a series of eight linked annuals that came out earlier this year; the main stories in each annual can be enjoyed standalone, and three of them are Iron Man, Captain America, and Avengers. The Cap annual is by Gerry Duggan and is decently fun, IMO; Iron Man and Avengers are by Jed MacKay and are superb. The Iron Man one is one of the best Iron Man solo books I've read in a long time -- honestly, the characterization is great -- and the Avengers one is a must-read if you like Steve & Tony because it is pretty much them hanging out and being friends and fighting the villain together.
Dark Ages: This is an out-of-continuity miniseries event thing by Tom Taylor (of Superior Iron Man fame) where electricity no longer works, and while it doesn't focus exclusively on Steve and Tony we do see them and they seem to have an intriguing dynamic and some cool character design. Steve's rocking a Post-Apocalyptic Beard.
Darkhold: This is a horror miniseries whose most recent issue is about Iron Man and is also by Ryan North, who I think wrote Tony very well in Squirrel Girl. I absolutely love how he writes Tony here but it is very, very body horror and, alas, I had to stop reading it because it was too much for me. But the characterization was great and it was a lovely take on early-canon Tony.
Captain America Infinity Comic: I know I've talked about this multiple times before, but if you like Captain America you need to find and read Jay Edidin's Cap comic here without delay. It is the best Cap comic I have read in years, and Jay just 100% nails Steve, as far as I am concerned. It's so good. It's so so good.
Death of Doctor Strange: If you don't read Strange comics, you probably didn't pick this series up. But it's by Jed MacKay who gave us the excellent Avengers annual and the most recent issue this week (#2) is fun and has a nice cameo by the Avengers, including Steve and Tony, and I liked it a whole lot. The way he writes the Avengers is basically how I would like the Avengers to currently feel. The next issue in the series is an Avengers tie-in (Death of Doctor Strange: Avengers) and it's by someone else, I think, but the preview just came out and all of the preview is Quality Tony Stark Content. (There are a few pages of him talking with Strange in a flashback about his hatred of magic, and then a page of very very angsty Tony angst.)
So, yeah, I am excited for the team-up miniseries but also I think there's been and hopefully will continue to be some very nice Steve and Tony content even other than that.
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I know some of you are tired of hearing about Nancy Drew. But - but! I know a lot of people are planning to pause or scale back their engagement with Riverdale, and I just want to make the case for why ND can help scratch the lingering itch left by RD. A source of well-deserved joy. ❤️✨
Obviously, if you're looking to fill the gap very generally, there is more TV than ever, and you have no shortage of options. But if you're looking specifically for a CW-style escape, where it's good fun with shenanigans involving gorgeous twenty-somethings ... it just checks all the boxes and then some.
Many of us have been vv frustrated by a show that struck gold with character chemistry and pairings (romantic and non-romantic) and then just completely lost the thread over time, relying heavily on the pull of the romantic ships to keep people coming back and being thoughtless/sloppy in basically every aspect of writing the show. (Kudos as always to the folks responsible for set design, costume design, cinematography, music, etc., because they always kill it.)
Nancy Drew gets you hooked with great character chemistry and pairings that continue to develop and be enriched over time. It's a primary draw of the show! There is a core group of five friends, and you get to see all of them interacting on a regular basis - one on one, in small groups and as a whole group. Each friendship has a unique dynamic, and secondary/tertiary characters are brought in meaningfully but in ways that enhance the characters/storylines you came to see, rather than pulling focus.
And, even better, the storylines are interesting! They make sense! The primary and secondary story arcs are so incredibly well planned out and executed. I honestly can't wait to go back and do a full rewatch now that I know what happens, because they do an incredible job planting seeds and laying the groundwork for their stories. The twists and reveals are genuinely surprising, but once you've had a moment to catch your breath and think about it, you realize that they make sense! They've been building to those moments all along! As it's supposed to be! They explore some really creative episode formats that keep things interesting, too.
And yes, for most of the series to date there has been one excellent romantic ship sailing, but another extremely popular ship is still in the "idiots pining" stage. It feels so good to say this, but I mean it: even if that ship never actually sails, I will have no regrets about watching the show, because that ship is only one of many compelling reasons to watch.
(The ship had damn well better sail, but ykwim. Also: I believe it will sail eventually, because they've been setting it up, and so far these writers pay off what they set up! I trust these writers so much!)
In that vein, I have to say that they treat difficult topics with much more care. They have diverse characters on the show, and their identities factor into the show both in terms of day-to-day moments and major plotlines. When they developed a plotline involving refugees, they consulted with Amnesty International as a means of trying to portray the characters' experience authentically and respectfully. Again, you can feel the care and investment in the work.
Anyway, I will love Bughead forever. I'm not going anywhere, and Nancy Drew/Nace are not replacing them. But in a time where I've felt so let down, this show has been so rewarding. It actually has taken the pressure off and helped me enjoy Bughead content more.
Nancy Drew takes a little time to find its groove in season one, but even in those early episodes, it's an easy, enjoyable watch. When it really takes off, it's so compelling. A lot of us are hooked already (even those of us who don't normally go for supernatural/lightly scary stuff), and I think many of you would find joy in it as well. <3
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suffering from Ennead brainrot (do not cure me)
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You know when a movie has a beloved side character, someone who’s just funny and caring and interesting, and the audience gets really attached to them? Maybe even more than the main character?You know how sometimes that character gets a spin-off or sequel because everyone loves them so much, but it doesn’t work because the reason they were so effective in the original movie was because of how they supported and enhanced the protagonist? You know how sometimes it’s a bad idea to put incredible supporting characters in the main character role because it’s not what they were built for?
Yeah. That’s why shifting the protagonist of Supernatural from Sam to Dean was a bad fucking idea.
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A couple of scrawny mfs who shouldn’t be trusted with alcohol
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first ep of bakuten!! had no business being as good as it was, like its the opening for an original anime by a studio thats never done a sports show before, and it uses 3dcg, but still manages to look cool + totally get you hooked on the story and main characters in just 20 mins, hella excited for where its gonna go
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fresh out of the factory!
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"I had a brother, his name was Cyrus. He was smart, and brave, and kind. You're not him."
"Why- why is your face the only thing I can remember? It makes me sick."
Tragic sibling angst? In MY story?? It's more likely than you think!!
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Vestiges are such concepts both narratively and in terms of gameplay and I adore them so much
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Writing Tips Masterlist
Last updated May 28, 2021.
4 Tips for Writing Magic
Creating a Culture
Creating a Distinct World
Creating (Fictional) Medicine
Describing New Settings
Writing a War
Writing a War with Superheroes / Magic / Fantasy
70 Questions for World-Building
49 Questions for Creating a Religion
The Tie Between Characters and World-Building
34 Questions for Creating a Government
36 Questions for Music in World-Building
Creating a New Species
42 Questions for Creating an Education System
An Introduction to Creating Fantasy Races
Developing Character Appearance
Developing Character Personality
Creating a Wardrobe
How to Name Your Characters
Your Characters vs. Already-Established Characters
Effective Point-of-View Character
Writing an Impactful Death
Writing with Archetypes
Designing Your Characters
Thinning Your Cast
Not Enough Characters?
84 Questions for Developing Plot and Character Roles
Sexuality without a Relationship
Skills and Knowledge
Name vs. Pronouns and When to Use Them
Creating Character Voice
Characters Who Are Learning Another Language
Creating Character Flaws
Introducing Your Characters
List of Character Aesthetics
Characters Who Don't Know How to Relationship
Complementary Character Traits
Writing a Slow-Burn Romance
Characters Who Fall Out of Love
Groups of Characters
Making Compatible Characters
Planning & Plotting
Planning a Series
Writing an Outline
Tips for Writing Subplots
Non-Point-of-View Romantic Subplots
Avoiding Generic Plots
Planning and Pace
Plotting vs. Pantsing
The “Downer” Chapter
Changing Your Story’s Length
How to Start Your Story
Editing & Prose
Writing with Emotion
Controlling Pace with Detail
Steps of the Editing Phase
Descriptions in Context
Showing vs. Telling
What is passive voice?
Reworking Moments of Exposition
When to Cut Your Content
Avoiding Cliches in Your Story
The Importance of Vocabulary
Writing Beginning Paragraphs
How to Establish Tone
Making Exposition Natural
How to Balance Multiple Projects
How to Fall Back in Love with Your Story
Writing Every Day?
Sticking with Your Story
Getting (Back) Into the Writing Habit
Setting Realistic Goals
Shiny New Idea Syndrome
Positive Writing Mindset
Staying Motivated on Your Projects
Getting in "The Zone"
Keeping Writing Logs
Breaking Out of Writer's Block
How to Deal with Not Achieving Your Goals
Breakdown in the Shower
General Writing & Miscellaneous
The Joys of the First Draft
A Word to Young Writers
Making a Moodboard
Consuming with the Producer Mindset
For First-Time Writers
Building Your Writing Skill
Advice for Student Writers
How to Do Research
How to Maximize Your Writing Time
How to Make Your Book Look Like a Book
On Experimenting in Writing
When to Use Multiple Points of View
Becoming a Beta Reader
Background Music While Writing
Why Committing to a Project Can Be Stressful
Warm-Ups for Writers
Determining Your Story's Genre
Why do we get stressed when we don't write?
Writing Short Stories
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Winter 2021 Anime Worth Watching!
Since 2020 basically sacrificed itself to give us the most stacked anime season of all time, I’m currently buried under the weight of almost 20 shows airing per week. So for anyone who’s looking for some anime to watch this winter, here’s some first impressions! I’m speed running my list this time by only talking about the new shows...because otherwise this would be my great American novel.
If anyone’s interested, I have master lists for both 2020 anime and 2019 anime, because there’s no shortage of fun things to find.
And before anyone asks, So I’m A Spider, So What? isn’t on here, because CG spiders freak me out.
Cells At Work Code Black: This...less comedic spin off of Cells At Work (made by a different studio) takes the wholesome concept of Osmosis Jones meets cute anime girls and turns it on its head. In this much more depressing version, we follow a rookie red blood cell who works in the body of an overly stressed, alcoholic smoker who puts every strain on the body imaginable. I love Red Blood Cell AA2153 and his co-workers, but man am I glad we get the regular Cells At Work airing this season too, because I need something fun and uplifting after seeing my sweet son go through hell every episode.
*Heaven’s Design Team: Have you ever wondered how God came up with some of the weird ass animals that live on this planet? Like, what’s the deal with giraffes? And why can’t we have dragons and flying horses? Well this is a comedy about the engineers and designers in heaven creating the new animals that are going to inhabit the Earth. That’s it, that’s the show. It’s kind of in the same vein as Cells At Work, having comedy blend with a surprising amount of educational information. If you want something light and funny, this is the show for you (though I don’t think it needs to have full length episodes). I’m just hoping there’s an episode about how the hell the platypus was created. Also it’s the only new one available on Crunchyroll.
Horimiya: A romantic comedy about a girl named Hori who fits the image of a perfect queen bee and a quiet bespectacled boy named Miyamura who never makes an impression at school. When the two meet by chance outside of the classroom, we see that Hori is practically raising a younger brother by herself, and Miyamura is actually a sweet guy who happens to be covered in tattoos and piercings. This show is an exercise in breaking down the images people have of others in their minds, and it’s a concept that really hits home in a fun and meaningful way. Honestly, this has become one of my immediate favorites. The characters have great chemistry, and I can’t wait to see more of them!
Monster Incidents (Kemono Jihen): When big shot Tokyo detective Inugami is called to a rural town to investigate a series of strange animal deaths, he finds a mysterious boy with the nickname Dorotabo who has been shunned by the other children in town. As the detective gets closer to Dorotabo, he discovers that there may be more...inhuman secrets to the boy than he realizes...and Dorotabo discovers that Inugami has some secrets of his own. This is a hard show to sell without spoiling the first episode, but it had twists and turns that kept me engaged from start to finish. I’m really interested to see where the plot goes, because I thought this was going to be something totally different just from the PV and series summary. If it plays its cards right, this could be a great paranormal detective show!
Wonder Egg Priority: A psychological drama about a girl named Ai who starts having dreams about a mysterious egg that promises to give her what she wants most in the world...a true friend. Before long, she begins to see how the dream world and reality are tied together, and trippy antics ensue. It’s hard to say more without spoiling anything, but I had to go back and add this one in because I made the mistake of thinking it was an OVA when it’s actually a full series. And what a series it’s starting out to be. This anime has all the psychological discomfort of a Satoshi Kon product with the beauty and style of something from Kyoani (even though it’s made by Clover Works). It’s really one of those anime you just have to see to understand.
Sk8-∞ (Skate the infinity): An original skateboarding anime from Bones, featuring a typical sports anime protagonist who takes a new transfer student who has never skateboarded in his life under his wing. Together they compete in dangerous races and take the skating community by storm. The character designs rival Appare Ranman’s in outlandish creativity, and I can smell the main characters’ ship dynamic a mile away (considering they’re exactly the same as the protagonists from Robihachi). If you’re looking for some wild and crazy fun with top notch skateboarding animation, don’t skip this!
2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu (Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Club): Yes, it’s another volleyball anime. And no, it’s not just a clone of Haikyu. This story follows Yuni Kuroba, a physically built but emotionally weak teenager who finds out his childhood friend Hajime is moving back to their hometown for high school. Yuni discovers Hajime has become an exceptional volleyball player and they join their school’s volleyball club hoping to turn the unknown team into a rising star. If anything, this anime is much more like Stars Align or Free, where the sport is a backdrop for letting the characters explore their personal problems. Or at least it seems that way after the first episode. I went into this show ready to throw it in the trash because how could anything compete against my beloved Haikyu, but I found myself really enjoying the dynamics of the main duo and I’m curious to see what the rest of the team is like.
And speaking of sports anime rip-offs…..I can’t believe I’m including this but…
Skate Leading Stars: The show where the animators clearly wanted to design another throw away idol anime but saw how popular Yuri On Ice was so they decided to make whatever the hell this show is instead. It revolves around a fictional team sport called skate leading, and we follow the world’s most insufferable main character, a former figure skater named Kensei who wants to return to the ice and join his school’s skate leading team after he finds out his childhood rival is going to compete in the sport. Look, this show is just trashy enough to get a certain type of audience hooked, and it mainly has to do with the best boy of the winter season, Hayato Sasugai, the aspiring team “coach” who pulled most of us into watching this show with his punk appearance, snide comments and smug personality. He’s basically the lovechild of Izaya Orihara and Shizuo Heiwajima in a high school sports anime setting. The show treats itself with the perfect amount of sincerity to get away with being absolutely ridiculous most of the time without making you feel like you’re watching it from a dumpster...like Try Knights. You will know after one episode whether this show is for you. All I can say is, Hayato is worth the watch, and I haven’t seen any 3D animation used for the skating scenes (yet) so that’s a win for me.
Jobless Reincarnation ( Mushoku Tensei): Yet another isekai where the main character is hit by a car (big surprise) and gets reincarnated into a fantasy world...but he happens to remember his previous life and narrates himself growing up as a jaded adult. I’m only including this because it looked amazing animation wise, and I love the opening where getting hit by a car and dying is actually traumatic. And I love the protagonist’s parents (who are retired adventurers who just want to bang all the time). But honestly...the main character is the fucking worst, and I don’t know if I want to keep watching it because of how creepy and weird he is. Like...he’s the hit on your fantasy mom as a baby kind of creepy and weird. But for anyone who wants a cool looking isekai that had an amazing PV, it’s worth checking out.
Because the real gold of the season is in all the established anime getting their next seasons, I’m just going to list some of the things that are also amazing and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already (because I’ve already talked about most of them at some point and don’t know what else to say).
Attack On Titan season 4
The Promised Neverland season 2
Beastars season 2
Log Horizon season 3
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime season 2
Re: Zero season 2 (second cour)
Dr. Stone season 2
Cells at Work season 2
Osomatsu-san season 3 (second cour)
Higurashi New (second cour)
Jujutsu Kaisen (second cour)
Not to mention all the shows I don’t watch that everyone else loves...like World Trigger (which I have seen quite a bit of, but long shounen shows are too much for me now) Quintessential Quintuplets, and Non Non Biyori.
So there’s just some of all the anime airing this season. Hopefully, someone can find something they like. Here’s to a great year...well, of anime at least...
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ORIGINAL CHARACTER ASKS
I always want people to ask me about my OCs but they never do SO WHY NOT MAKE A LITTLE GAME so we can answer some stuff!
Reblog this with your own OCs! I'd love to see people use this, these games are so fun- as someone who writes a lot I always wanna talk about this stuff
Send an ask with the corresponding number to get an answer for it
If you're sending an ask, feel free to ask about a specific OC or OCs!
Have you ever picked up a habit from developing/writing one of your own characters? And if so, who and what?
Who was the first OC you made?
What inspired you to make a certain character?
How did you find the name for a certain character?
Do you have any voice claims for your OCs?
Are there any other preexisting characters that inspired an OC?
What things in real life make you think of an OC?
Is there a certain song or playlist of songs you have that make you think of an OC/your story for them?
What is one of your character's theme songs?
Do any of your OCs contain any symbolism in themselves/their story?
Which character has been through the most design changes?
Which OC is most likely to kill somebody?
Which OC do you make art/media with the most?
Which OC/s do you relate to the most?
Which OC/s make you think of yourself the most?
Do you have a written story including your ocs? If so do you think you'll ever publish it?
Who is your favorite OC?
Who is your least favorite OC?
Who is your most recent OC?
Do any of your OCs have pets? What kind? NAME?
What is one of your character's biggest fears?
Do your friends and family know about your OCs/story? How much?
Have you ever seen something/someone that looks like one of your characters IRL? What was it like?
Are there any preexisting characters that your OC gets compared too a lot?
Are there any two characters that are like a dynamic duo/group?
What's your favorite relationship/dynamic between a set of OCs?
What's the nicest thing someone has ever said about an OC/OCs?
What's the meanest thing someone has ever said about an OC/OCs?
Do any of your OCs have AU designs/stories?
Which OC has been the hardest to develop/design so far?
Which OC do you wish you had more art of? (Recieved, making yourself, etc.)
What's been the most ambitious project you've made/are making surrounding your characters?
Have you ever had to kill off an OC? How hard was it?
What scene that you've written/imagined is your favorite?
Which OC would beat you up if they met you IRL?
Which OC would probably be your friend if they met you IRL?
On a scale from 1-10 how angsty are your OCs?
Do you like telling random people about your characters, or is it a more private thing?
What's your favorite part to draw on a certain character?
What's your least favorite part to draw on a certain character?
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It’s That Time Again
More webcomic recs! (The first batch is here.)
Thank you for your submissions! I’d like to mention that all of these comics are queer and anybody who gives a shit about my opinion is probably also queer so like, all that shit goes without saying even if it’s not explicitly listed in the blurb from the authors. anyway let’s get right to it.
Brainchild is a story about paranormal phenomena, bad first impressions, wide-scale conspiracies, a whole bunch of mutants, and everything else your senior year of college can possibly throw at you. It is written and drawn by Suzanne Geary and updates on Sundays.
Brainchild’s equivalent rating is “TV-14” to “TV-MA” for profanity, drug and paraphernalia references, potentially violent/frightening imagery, and sexually suggestive scenarios. (Think “Adult Swim.”) Now imagine a scary voice telling you “VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.”
Real nice dialogue, the art style and monster designs are super fun, and the plot is just starting to get rolling where the archive stops so now’s a great time to hop on I think!
Into the Midnight City
Wyatt Finch has been a vampire for three months, and he’s just moved to The Midnight City - a town of ghosts and ghouls and magicians of all sorts! Together with Archibald Hawthorne (a soft-spoken gentleman detective) and Circe (an eccentric scientist witch), they solve magical misdeeds of all kinds, in a story about friendship, finding your destiny, and occasionally stopping for tea!
This one’s SO cute lmao. If you’re into Job Satisfaction you’ll probably like this one too, it’s more Pastel Victorian rather than Elegant Goth and significantly more saturday morning cartoon flavored.
Ask the Ether
Ask the Ether is a slice-of-life comic primarily focused on three witches: Sable, Dax, and Meisha. Their stories center around their individual journeys to hone their magic, as well as balancing the struggles of being a young adult in a major metropolitan area. They all share common threads of having a difficult family background, being people of color deprived of their culture, and struggling to find an individual voice with their own witchcraft. All of the characters are LGBTQIA+.
This one’s a bit experimental compared to the others but honestly I loved it because I feel like it’s a good example of what a webcomic ought to be? One Weird Artist making things on their own terms, you can really feel the fingerprints on it. Starts out as more of a strip, keep reading for bigger stories! Stellar dialogue, really fun and dynamic art, also funny in a genuine sort of way that’s kind of rare in comics.
and now for a segment called Baby Comics With Archives Too Small To Make A Call About That I Think You Should Follow Anyway
Red Sky at Morning
After a capture gone wrong leaves their fates quite literally entangled, a pirate captain and a mermaid must traverse a vibrant and diverse world to find answers – though the hardest challenge might be putting up with each other.
Red Sky at Morning is a queer story about fish puns, self-discovery, and proving your place in the world.
Can’t talk about the comic rn obviously BUT I will say I followed this artist instantly after I saw this unrelated short comic they made, for reasons that are probably obvious if you’ve been here for more than five minutes lmao. Really looking forward to getting my teeth in this one!
There You Ain’t!
When a powerful relic goes missing in the wild west of Bouquet, bounty hunters Grey and Blajo, along with saloon owner Posie and wanted outlaw Eustace, find themselves swept into a struggle to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.
Using movie ratings as a reference, I’d rate this comic somewhere around the PG end of a PG-13 rating, for various events of gun and magic-related violence, a bit of foul language, and mild body horror later on.
listen, i’ve been following garagoose since the fuckin dacademy days and i gotta say i’m just psyched they’re finally making a comic hehe
Honorable Mention that doesn’t really need the advertisement is the comics on Skelehime because I read them and they kicked my ass.
also mine! read my goddamn comic
It’s a world at the mercy of uncaring gods, and Phineas Kidd is a heretic with a chip on her shoulder and enough fury to outshine a supernova. Armed only with aggressive enthusiasm (and an explosive left hook), Phineas sets out to gather up a merry crew and travel to Kairos Crossing to catch the sun, an urban legend that has tempted countless dreamers to a bloody end.
Kidd Commander is a romantic comic that’s mostly concerned with ambitious characters doing cool anime stuff while being subjected to trauma and dealing with said trauma! Rated T for lots of (cartoon) violence and swearing, and a good deal of irreverence for topics some folks might prefer to leave revered. If any of that sounds like it might make you uncomfortable this comic may not be suitable for you!
If you’d like a comic (yours or otherwise) to end up in one of these, send me an ask or whatever and I’ll add it to my list of stuff to check out! The only requirements I have are I’d prefer for it to be a bit lesser known and it needs to be accessible in places other than tapas or webtoon because I am physically and emotionally incapable of engaging with either of those sites lmao. Happy reading!
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So I'm trying to get into Sam/bucky now because of the show and all the content and I just don't see it. What am I missing? It just feels like they're both in love with Steve and don't even like each other. I want in on the secret help a long time follower out
i mean sometimes it’s just vibes and if you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it, and that’s fine. don’t try to force it.
but for me with sambucky it’s about the potential. sa/msteve and st/ucky are both fine and i get the reasons people ship them but they’re both lacking something for me. sa/msteve is nice and quiet and full of mutual respect and love but i ultimately find it incredibly boring. there’s no conflict. they are just a 15k coffeeshop au full of fluff. which is fine and dandy but ultimately not for me.
st/ucky, on the other hand, is basically the angst ship of dreams (particularly unrequited st/ucky—bucky having steve all to himself for so long and then the serum changes that and suddenly steve belongs to the world and then there’s peggy and steve is looking at her like he’s never looked at anyone else and bucky just has to quietly watch steve slip through his fingers) and for that reason alone i very much get why people ship it (and i even ship it a little bit too). plus, there was the way that steve was basically like “well i guess i’m not even gonna try to keep living” after he thought bucky was dead and then the shot of steve just staring blankly at the ground after the “who the hell is bucky?” line while rumlow was arresting him was like A LOT. it still makes me feel things. and then the “but i knew him” line. like all of it. it’s all very angsty and romantic and full of feelings. but that’s also kind of all it is. it’s not.. fun. there’s no levity. there’s no laughter. there’s just sadness and nostalgia and the knowledge that they can never go back. it exists in the past, completely. do they deserve a soft epilogue, my love? yes, of course. but they’re never gonna get it and even if they could, i think it would ultimately be a bittersweet illusion. when i imagine them growing old together in a house, it feels more like a mausoleum: surrounded by their past, and longing for a life they can never get back. they’re not the same people they used to be. too much has happened. they can never go back.
which brings me to sambucky: it’s just pure unadulterated potential. it’s the antagonistic dynamic they have right now, but with the capacity for more. it’s the possibility of a future. it’s the fact that they claim to not like each other, but continue to work together, trusting each other above everyone else. for as much as they bicker and argue, they are very much a team, and they have been since the warehouse scene in civil war. they gripe at each other while they’re taking bullets for each other.
i also really enjoy that they kind of sort of get to be free with each other, in a way they don’t seem to be with anyone else. sam is the first person who didn’t treat bucky like a fragile ball of trauma or an unstoppable killing machine. he treated him like a person just by being annoyed with him and that’s.. huge? for a few minutes in a volkswagen beetle, bucky got to be a person instead of a tragedy.
and sam—who, up until that point was portrayed mainly as steve’s sidekick, just along for the ride, always upbeat and ready to go—got to be annoyed. which... is kind of a big deal. i cannot even begin to imagine the backlash sam would get if he was “rude” to anyone else. but with bucky it’s just funny. with each other, they get to be more than their designated roles in steve’s story. and it quite literally got them their own show.
and the show is exploring how their roles in relation to steve are hurting them: bucky is struggling with the weight of what he’s done and is clinging desperately to steve’s faith in him as the only thing that can redeem him, and it’s hurting him. the fact that he can’t let go of steve is a problem for him. it’s holding him back. it’s making him obsessed with this piece of metal and causing him to lash out and act irrationally and put himself in danger.
sam is struggling with the weight of this responsibility steve thrust on him. because he’s not steve and he never will be and the world works very differently for him than it ever did for steve. and, most importantly, he’s not steve’s sidekick. that’s the point. he is a hero in his own right, with or without steve, and with or without the shield. but steve thrust a legacy on him and now he has to contend with that.
and over the course of the show, we’ve watched these parallel paths they’ve been on start to converge, even on a meta level. the first episode didn’t even have them on screen together. it just showed us where they’re at, specifically in relation to how steve left them—both struggling, both alone in that struggle. and they ARE very much alone in it. the camera even frames it that way. sam is alone in his apartment when he’s looking at that shield. bucky is alone on that couch in the therapist’s office. they talk to other people but there’s still a disconnect. they’re boxed in by steve’s absence.
then, walker is given the shield, and suddenly their stories collide into each other. they’re on screen together. they’re arguing. they’re sniping at each other. they don’t want to be doing this together but there is nobody else in the world that is in this the way they are. it’s like they’re fighting to pull their stories back apart but they keep smashing back into each other because there’s nowhere else for them to go. by the end of the second episode, we watch them physically push their chairs together so that their limbs are tangled, and we get to the root of their individual struggles that i laid out earlier. and bucky is a dick and he feels bad about it. he feels bad about it because he hurt sam. and here’s the thing: that doesn’t work if they don’t already care about each other. sam wouldn’t be hurt by what bucky said if he didn’t care about bucky. bucky wouldn’t mind that he hurt sam if he didn’t care about him. so now here we are: they care about each other. they’re hurt and they’re struggling but they do care about each other.
so we move on to episode three, where they’re finally working together, not just in tandem. they still argue, they still gripe, but they’re doing it together. their bickering has moved past outright resentment, and into more playful territory (see: the trouble man conversation). they start checking in on each other. “you good?” “you okay?” bucky moves in front of a bullet for sam. sam yells, “buck!”
and this shift in dynamic progresses even further in episode four. bucky denies that sam is his partner, but both times walker says it, bucky’s reaction is significant. the first time, his automatic response is “he’s dealt with worse,” meaning that bucky has faith in sam, that he trusts him (and then, as an afterthought, he adds in the denial about the whole partners thing). the second time walker says it, it has enough of an affect on bucky that he actually convinces himself that sam might be in danger and ruins the whole damn operation over it. there’s also sam defending bucky’s very existence to zemo, sam telling bucky to stand down with zemo and bucky listening!, AND bucky doing what sam wants (stepping in between the ayo/walker fight) just because sam says his name in a certain tone. that’s boyfriend behavior, your honor!
and most significantly we get “she said to come alone” “i’m coming with you.” this particular exchange matters to me for three reasons:
1. it’s bucky’s way of saying you’re not alone. i’m here for you. i care about you and i’m not going to let anything happen to you or your family.
2. it’s the affirmation that they are a team. they’re in this together, no matter what. sam doesn’t have to ask bucky to be there. it’s a given.
3. it’s a parallel of sorts to that scene in catws when steve says, “you don’t have to come with me” and sam says, “i know. when do we start?” that conversation put sam and bucky in each other’s lives, tethered by steve. but this conversation moves them past him. it’s the first time that their partnership has absolutely nothing to do with steve or the way he ties them together. this is just about them.
i don’t know what the next two episodes are going to have in store for them but there is an obvious progression here so far. and there’s a lot they still need to work through. (there’s a lot bucky needs to apologize for.) but there’s possibility. there’s a future. there’s potential.
they already care about each other. they already trust each other. and they have the capacity for so much more! their bickering could turn to teasing and then to flirting! their partnership could turn to actual friendship and then to feelings! nothing is off the table with them: friends with benefits. pining. angst. fluff. hurt/comfort. fake relationship. there’s only one bed. pwp. being in denial. all the possibilities work! they could be all of these iconic otp posts:
missionary so we can continue our fight from before.
surprise! we’re making love!
character A gets hurt and character B realizes they’re in love when they lose their fucking mind about it
I’ve decided that my favorite ships are those ones where you don’t care if they’re together romantically or not, as long as they're together. It doesn’t matter if they’re kissing, as long as you know they’ll have each other’s back through everything, and really it’s a stronger bond than if they were banging anyway. Because it’s all based off of trust and loyalty.
no trope fucks me up more than when person A watches person B with softness and wonder, all while person B is unaware
‘you’re a disaster i can’t believe i’m dating you.’ ‘i am irresistibly charming. or w/e’
which member of your otp says “no” right after the other takes a deep breath
In your OTP who gets tangled in their clothes during a strip tease and who sits there and watches them struggle.
Ok but which part of ur otp unironically calls themselves “a fucking delight” and which one immediately snorts
they’re both stubborn and it’s complicated
for your otp thing: who dies and who destroys a fucking city in grief
Which one is nervous before their first kiss / first time And Which one whispers ‘its just me, relax’
one time when i was a little drunk and laying in bed with a guy, i kissed his neck and mumbled ‘i could beat the shit out of you’ in his ear. he said ‘i know’
character A is pretty much 85% of character B’s impulse control
as much as i love the trope of a character falling fast and hard for someone, i also love the subtle descent where they don’t really think about it; where that person is just kind of there until one day they realize that person is so ingrained in their lives and they cannot do without them. where there is no conscious effort on either ends to become romantically involved but somehow the thought of them being with someone else is disconcerting. where ‘i enjoy being with you’ unwittingly turns into ‘i want to be with you’
The best ships are ones where feeling are confessed not during romantic and tenderly picturesque moments, but in the middle of a heated argument when one of them, in a fit of frustration, bursts out with ‘because I LOVE you, you dick!’
Who in your OTP asks the weird questions in the middle of the night and who hits the other in the face with a pillow
Imagine your OTP making out on a couch, but then one of them accidentally rolls off and the other one is either frantically asking if they’re okay or laughing at them
when you ship that couple that stubbornly refuses to say “i love you” to each other even tho they’ve had like 5 tearful “disaster is coming and i may never see you again” moments
pairings where they “hate” each other but would be devastated if anything happened to one another aRE MY FUCKING WEAKNESS
and on and on and on.
in summary: it’s the potential.
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have you ever thought about doing another supernatural au/series/blurb/story, but y/n is the supernatural character? it could be whatever you want, but it might be nice to see that shift in dynamic!
this was really fun to try and actually super inspiring!!!
It had been a long week.
Harry tried his best to eradicate thoughts from each inconvenience and fuck up the past seven days had offered him as he packed his backpack. Although he failed miserably on that front, it only pushed him to pack up faster, gathering each small thing he needed for his sunny hike. All week, he had fantasized during his hours at his desk about when he would finally be able to slip away and conveniently lose cell service while he indulged in fresh air and sunshine on a hiking trail he had been itching to explore. He even planned to have a small picnic once he reached the picturesque meadow that was broken off the main path—a quiet, little known place his co-worker, Adam, had shared the knowledge of with him.
When he finally arrived at the mouth of the trail, his backpack filled with water and his small picnic tucked into the bottom slung over his shoulder, he was much too excited to be completely cut off the from the world for the rest of the day. The trek through the wooded area was cleansing, each breath of sun-scented oxygen and whiff of flora that hit him was enough to act like a drug to help him forget the rough week he was leaving behind. The trail wasn't busy at all, not the kind of outcome he had been expecting with how wonderful the weather was, but he'd take it; he'd take the solitude he found in the barren trail where his only companions were the shrubs dotted with flowers by his feet and the skittering of small animals he heard in the trees above his head.
But, nothing could compare to the feeling that swathed over him when he stepped foot into the forgotten meadow. Adam had given him perfect directions ("make a sharp left when you see that big tree that has a knot in the shape of a heart, then go straight until you see the bunny burrow, then go a little to your right and if you see those purple wildflowers that look like lavender but aren't, go straight from there, and you're in!") He hadn't been kidding when he had boasted about how beautiful it was, Harry could have argued it was a movie set with how perfect the entire scene was. He carefully stepped into the lush of the green grass that colored the clearing, the hue only broken by the countless bushels of wildflowers that acted as stars in the pastel sky of the meadow. The centerpiece of the clearing was a completely unperturbed willow tree smack in the middle. The vines draped themselves freely over the winding branches, allowing large shafts of light to peek through the flora and create flower shaped shadows on the grass below.
If he hadn't been there himself, Harry would have thought it was all fake; some revolutionary kind of photoshop that looked so real but too perfect to be anything of the sort. This place couldn't be of this realm. This couldn't be of the same universe that had granted such an awful week.
But, god, was he happy to be here.
He reveled in the clean sunlight that bathed his body as he approached the willow. Once under the shade of the nurturing vines, he settled against the trunk and pulled out the items he'd brought along with him: a paperback copy of a romantic novel he'd been dying to crack the binding of since he bought it last week, his worn journal, and the homemade picnic he had tucked away at the very bottom.
With a small Tupperware container of sugared strawberries by his side, Harry opened his previously untouched book to the first page. It was all too easy for him to lose himself in the literature as he absently snacked on the fruit beside him, each bite sweeter than the last. A world not unlike the one he found himself in that day was being crafted from the words on the page, capturing his attention until the strawberries ran out and an afternoon breeze blew through the tranquil meadow.
It couldn't have already been hours since Harry had arrived to the clearing, but when he checked the time, he'd spent most of his Saturday under the nurturing vines of the willow. The sun was still glowing high in the sky, bathing the scene in buttery hues that reflected like honey over the sky. It had never been easier to breathe than in that moment as Harry took in the scene before him, still as beautiful as when he had arrived, his presence seemingly disregarded by the natural order of the gentle ecosystem around him. The blades of grass whispered around him like a lullaby, cooing to him to lay down, that the vines of the willow would keep him company as he rested. His drooping eyelids seemed to the agree with the sentiment, the hike having taken its toll on him, and what better place to have a nap than the untainted, Bambi-esque clearing where he found himself?
Harry contentedly shut his book, dog-earing his page for when he woke up. He figured twenty minutes tops, he would wake up and spend his last few hours before being ushered out by the waning sun. The same grass that had sang for him, embraced him as he laid down beside the trunk of the willow, using the extra jacket he had stuffed in his bag as a pillow. His book was within reach, having read the conclusion of a sweet chapter to ensure is dreams would be as loving as the words he had read before his eyes fluttered shut.
Just as quick as the world turned dark for him, Harry was transported into the cushions of his dreams.
A touch as soft as a butterfly's wings grazed over the tip of Harry's nose, assuming it surely had been the fluttering creature that had woke him. He stirred slowly, taking his time to exit his dreams and rejoin the conscious realm. He felt the feather soft touches brush his skin again, slightly more firm and tickling than what he had perceived as a butterfly before. It must be the blades of grass that had cuddled him as he napped, which is exactly what Harry had expected when he opened his eyes.
Instead, he was met with the gaze of another.
Their eyes were wide, framed by long, glittering lashes that couldn't be real, not with the glimmering sheen they held like diamonds had been woven into the DNA. When this... person realized he had awoken, she jumped back with a delighted gasp, three fingers coming up to cover her mouth.
"You're awake!" she bubbled, bouncing in her spot in front of him.
Harry didn't know what to say, he was completely spellbound while also being a bit terrified. She—this... person, girl, creature?—was decidedly not of the same place as Harry. Along with her glimmering lashes, her face was dotted in what one would think were freckles at first, only to realize each spot was a tiny fluttering flower that would blow away when the breeze hit it just right. Her skin held a glow like the sun itself had lent her its rays, a drawing beacon that did its prescribed job of leading Harry's eye to trace over her. Her hair was studded with daisies, some the pristine white florets he was familiar with, while others were of a psychedelic color palette that popped against her strands. Her body was adorned in nothing Harry had ever seen before, not even from the more outlandish designers he had become familiar with from his job. It didn't seem as if any of it was even made out of any actual fabric—or any that he recognized anyway.
Something akin to a dress was draped over her form. He had been right in his assumptions that a butterfly had been close to him when he woke, but he hadn't ever imagined it would be adorning the body of a girl he wasn't even sure was human. The butterflies that he had pictured were dotted along her body, clusters covering her most intimate areas before dispersing and finding home on a fabric that didn't seem as if it were a fabric at all. Strings of reflective, starlike silk were twined together and created a translucent skirt that surrounded her as she sat on her heels in front of him. The bodice conformed to the shape of her body as if it were a second skin, only this layer glimmering in warped shapes like the bottom of a pool. Harry was only able to see it by the way the light caught it and rainbows of light were dancing off her body, almost as if she were veiled in a prismatic halo.
But, the most jarring part of her appearance were the iridescent wings fluttering behind her.
Harry couldn't help but to stare at the extra appendages as they flapped gently behind her. They looked like the pair you would find attached to a butterfly, but almost completely transparent. Root like veins acted like the mortar between the mosaic-like stretches of her wings. They glinted like mica in the light, a pearly sheen showing hues of baby pink and a light green every time they caught the sun's rays.
"Are you okay?" Her voice brought Harry back from the confused admiration he found himself in.
He flicked his gaze to match hers, trying to ignore the glimmering points of light that were her lashes. Harry didn't even know what to say. This girl was obviously not human, and he had no idea how she found her way to him in this completely secluded area.
"W-Who are you?" was the genius thing that left his mouth first.
She didn't seem at all perturbed by his line of questioning, instead her lips turning to petals around the smile that bloomed on her face. Her wings fluttered behind her but Harry really tried to focus on one thing at a time as she spoke, "I'm (Y/N), silly! Did you know you're very pretty? I thought you were cute when you were sleeping, but your eyes are so pretty I think I prefer you awake. Even if you are looking at me like I'm some sort of beast."
Her mouth moved a mile a minute, and Harry's brain was overloaded in record time with the amount of information he tried to process. She—(Y/N)—didn't share any bit of his confusion over his sudden appearance in whatever realm that she came from. While the area around them looked just as it was when Harry fell asleep, he feared he somehow found himself in a completely different dimension that allowed for people—creatures? butterflies? things?—like (Y/N) to exist.
He tried his best to reorient himself while he felt (Y/N)'s following gaze take note of each of his movements. He patted the space around him in an effort to find his phone, and take stock of all of his things. When he reached for his backpack, he found each pocket unzipped with his polaroid camera laid askew in the grass, the Tupperware containing only the stems of his strawberries opened and turned upside down, and extra snack he'd made of a fruit salad with honey having been completely picked through.
He scrambled to pick up each of his belongings, stuffing each thing back inside before he was stopped with a delicate hand on his arm. "Hey, wait! I wasn't done with that," her pouting voice griped as he swiped his fruit salad out of her reach.
"Y-You went through my things?!" he accused, backing himself against the trunk of the tree as he zipped up his bag. He covered his jacket and book with his body, preparing a swift exit plan where he would grab the two before running out of the clearing.
"I got bored waiting for you to wake up." She spoke as if it was the most simple answer, like he couldn't blame her for her actions.
"How long have you been here? Where are we?" The panicked questions didn't wait for permission before falling from his lips.
"I don't really know actually," she said, shrugging her shoulders which disrupted some of the butterflies on her shoulders and fluffed her dress around her. The wings attached to her back flapped themselves, catching Harry eye's despite the way he tried his best to disregard their presence. "I was hoping you could tell me where we are, I just woke up here and figured I'd stick with the first person I saw—which is you!"
How was she not off-put by the fact she had no idea where they were or who he even was? She helped herself to a stranger's food, and didn't have any reservations over waiting for him to wake up in a completely unfamiliar setting.
Harry dropped his face into his hands. She was obviously not a threat as it seemed she was filled with more naivety than was safe for her, but what was he supposed to do? He needed to leave, but how was he supposed to do that when he's felt her eyes glued to him since the second he woke up?
"What's your name? What do your people call you?" When Harry peeked up to look at her again, he found her having shuffled closer to him. She was now close enough that Harry could have counted each petal of the daisy-like freckles on her face before they blew away in the breeze.
"M-My people? I don't have any people. My name is Harry." Despite the way his body called for him to pick either fight or flight, he found himself stuck in his proximity to her.
"That's funny," she bubbled, her smile bright as she gazed at him with fluttery lashes and wide eyes, "Where I come from, only royalty has access to those." She pointed at the book that laid at his feet.
She obviously had no reservations to go through his things, boundaries practically nonexistent, but she didn't dare get too close to the book. Her star dotted fingernails hovered over the cover for just a moment before she retracted her hand completely.
Harry took in a deep breath. "And where are you from?"
"We call it The Lilly at home. It's this huge island, surrounded by the prettiest water you'll ever see. Nothing like here, wherever here is." For the first time, she pulled her eyes away from Harry and cast a look around her. "Although your home is very pretty, I think I prefer The Lilly. The daisies tell better jokes there." His face must have given away the confusion Harry felt as (Y/N) let out a peal of laughter. "Oh, have you never heard them?"
She didn't wait for a response before leaning down towards the closest patch of wildflowers growing beside them. She tugged her luminous hair behind her ear and apparently listened in to whatever the tiny, white blossoms had to say. Another tinkling peal of laughter fell from her mouth before she gazed up at Harry, motioning for him to join her in hearing what the daises had to say.
Either she was crazy, and Harry was about to find out the hard way, or she wasn't and his world was about to shift in a direction he wasn't sure he was stable enough to face in the moment. Despite his better judgement, Harry lent down, holding this breath as he kept his ear open for whatever she thought these flowers were about to tell him.
Everything was quiet for a moment before the smallest, chiming voice spoke up from under his ear, "Why couldn't the daisy ride her bike?"
Harry backed up in surprise, his eyes nearly popping out pf his head as he tried to keep his breathing even. What the fuck was that?!
"You're supposed to ask her why," (Y/N) called up to him, delicately tugging him back down to his previous position with her hand on his shoulder.
A heavy exhale flared through Harry's nose as he found (Y/N)'s gaze across from him. Nothing was phasing her. Was she sure they weren't in her dimension?
"W-Why?" Harry peeped.
"Because the pedals fell off!" A round of laughter followed after the punchline, all small and tinkling like bells all around him. He could pick out (Y/N)'s much more realized laugh from across from him, but the rest had to be coming from the sentient flowers all around him that had been listening in on the interaction.
God, he needed to get out of here. Adam was going to get an earful on Monday for this fucked up joke.
"Did Adam put you up to this?" Harry accused, a cinch pulling at his brows as he pointed a finger at (Y/N), "You can tell him its over now. I get it, I need to loosen up more."
He didn't know if he was still in denial or if he really, truly thought this was some practical joke his coworker was playing on him. Harry wanted to believe in his realistic mind, all of the logistics having been played through, that despite the obvious holes in his explanation, that none of this could be real.
A pout settled over the butterfly's lips. "I don't know who Adam is, but this would be a very odd way of having a conversation."
Harry liked to think he was very observant and good at reading people, and, as far as he could tell, (Y/N) was telling the truth. That only left one storyline for him to realize, one he was scared to fully immerse himself in.
"S-So you're real?"
"Of course, I'm real, Harry! Are you real?" She leaned towards him with a playful smile on her face, playing into what she thought was a joke.
"I-I need to go," Harry breathed, rushing to pick up his things. He slung his backpack over his shoulder and felt around for his phone in his pocket before making his swift exit from under the haven he thought he had found under the willow.
He couldn't stay here, this was more than he could process. Maybe he was still dreaming, and if he wasn't, he wanted to come to that conclusion while in the safety of his home. While she seemed to be of the more gentle variety of all the things that could have found him in the wild, he was not planning on spending his weekend having a breakdown over trying to comprehend any of what he was seeing.
Harry only made it a step away from breaking through the vines of the willow before she called out to him.
"You're—Wait! P-Please don't leave me."
A crack rippled through her pleading words. Harry froze, the air changing around him as her words hung between them. He swears the color in the wildflowers drained down a few shades, the sun dimming and the air cooling just as she deflated from behind him. Against his better judgement, he cast a glance behind his shoulder to look at her.
Her previously proud wings hung low on her back, the perky flowers that dotted her hair and acted as freckles on her face had wilted and shriveled in a matter of seconds. The butterflies adorning her body even drained of color, the previously pasteled hues that brightened their wings now softened to just a hair away from becoming black and white moths. The hardest blow was the way crystalline tears filled her waterline, completely outshining the glimmering lashes that framed her irises.
Cracks in her playful facade were quickly identified as she reached for him from her position still on the soft grass beside the trunk of the willow. "I-I don't know where I am, please don't leave me here. I-I promise I won't bother you, I just want to go back home."
Maybe he wasn't as logical as Harry thought he was, because that was all it took for his bleeding heart to accept her. With a sigh, he tightened his grip around the straps of his backpack and turned around fully to face her.
(Y/N)'s face had dropped to fix her gaze on her hands delicately brushing over the blades of grass at her lap. Harry took gentle steps towards her, not allowing himself to get too close to the wilting butterfly in fear of damaging her.
She immediately perked up at the sound of Harry's voice, the smallest bits of color returning to her flowers and the butterflies on her body. "Yes?"
"We can't stay here." He wanted to start careful with her, knowing he would most likely need to gently coax her into the next steps of his messily constructed plan.
"I know," she peeped, dropping her eyes down to her hands again, taking his words as another rejection of her presence.
"But," he pointed, his knuckles turning white around the straps of his bag, "We can go to my place, if you're okay with that. We need somewhere to figure out how to get you home, and we can't stay out here after it gets dark."
"You—You want me to go to your cottage?!" Her wings fluttered wildly behind her, practically lifting her from the ground as she rose to her bare feet. Her dress fluttered around her knees, falling in a way that Harry could only reminisce to that of the poodle skirts that dominated the fashion of the fifties. Rings of soft green leaves wrapped around her ankles, dotted with the smallest of pink roses.
Harry made a point to keep himself from getting distracted by the spectacle that was her existence, particularly the flutter of her lashes being something he had to keep from falling over himself for. "Its not really a cottage, but my neighbors aren't nosy so we'll have some privacy." He figured now maybe wasn't the time to double check if she understood the concept of apartment buildings.
"Okay!" Her smile beamed like fresh pearls, just another layer of her appeal that didn't belong in this realm.
Her fluttering wings caught his eyes again. That was going to be a problem if he planned on sneaking her in. She was already a complete spectacle, her enter existence drawing the eye, so he needed to figure a way to downplay her more... jarring features.
"I need you to put this on, okay?" he said, offering the bundled up jacket that was spilling from the large pocket of his backpack.
A pout immediately settled on her features, "Why? It'll cover my wings."
How could he put this gently? "Th-That's the point. People here don't have wings like you do, and it might be a little much if they saw yours. Do you know what I mean?"
Her face fell into a sympathetic frown, her features downturning. "Oh, how sad. I would hate for anyone to feel bad if they see mine."
The butterfly quickly complied to his reasoning, pulling his offered jacket around her form. She carefully tucked the fabric around her wings, furling them close to her body. He glanced at her still bare feet, rolling his lips into his mouth as he recounted the trek down to his car.
"Do you have any shoes?" Her skin looked much too soft to withstand the harsh gravel of the trail.
"No, why?" She shook her head in conjunction with her answer, the daisies in her hair fluttering between the strands as if they were waving at him.
"The trail is a little rough, and you might hurt yourself on the way down if you don't have shoes."
"Oh, that's okay, I'll just fly—wait..." She cut herself off rather quickly, adjusting her shoulders under the black of his jacket, "That might be a good idea, Harry."
Before he could offer any kind of solution, completely ready to even offer her his own shoes, she dropped to her knees in the soft soil at the base of the willow. She muttered quietly to herself as she brushed her fingers over the flowers, plucking a stalk of bluebells and a bundle of daisies. A forlorn expression tugged at her features, looking to almost be grieving over the small blossoms in her hand as she pressed a sweet kiss to the delicate stems. Only a second later, she stood to her full height and dropped them to her feet. Harry waited for whatever she had thought she was executing, only seeing the now plucked stems laying still at her feet. He watched on as she stepped on the flowers, and in a flash of pale green and pink—the same colors as the sheen on her wings—the bluebells curled around her feet and shaped into a pair of ballet flats made out of large version of the petals. The daisies she picked now dotted the toes, completely for decoration against the sweet blue of the flats.
"Is this okay?" Her wide, glimmering eyes looked up at him for approval.
He didn't even want to begin to question what he just saw come together before his eyes. Harry only offered her a small nod then checked the time on his phone. The sunset would start within the next forty-five minutes and he needed to get them out of there before he wouldn't be able to navigate.
Her sweet smile was stuck on her face as she bounced on her heels, waiting patiently for any direction from him. Harry needed to keep his focus, especially if he was supposed to be brainstorming a way to get her home tonight—wherever that may be—, but when there was an ethereal creature standing right in front of him as she waited on him to tell her what was next, his focus turned to mush.
"Uh, y-yeah, that's fine," he floundered, his mouth dry. He quickly tore his eyes away from her, like ripping a bandaid off in order to shorten the pain of the act. He called for her to follow him as he started towards the direction of the trailhead, parting the willow vines for her to walk through.
(Y/N) practically skipped passed him, brushing her fingertips over the flora of the vines as she breezed by. It was going to a mission for Harry to ensure he didn't get enraptured by her presence, so many questions swirling through his head and the undeniable draw of everything that is her, something he was going to have to find a way to ignore.
He silently led her down the trail, keeping only a couple beats ahead of her to make sure he was navigating them correctly back down. Every once in a while, a titter from behind him would sound, something of a giggle that most likely originated from something the plants around her said (something Harry was still trying to wrap his mind around), or a small gasp when a small squirrel or bunny was within eyesight before skittering away. She was relatively quiet compared to her bubbly nature that made itself known in the meadow.
Harry was grateful for the small coverup of lending her his jacket to cover her wings when they ran into another group on the trail. While she still garnered odd stares just with everything else that made her stick out (he's thinking he might have needed to have her zip up the front, too, remembering just how sleek and eye-catching the fabric of her dress was), (Y/N) seemed much more perturbed by something else.
"What's wrong?" Harry mumbled, catching the way her wide eyes followed the other hikers that had shifted into their own whispered conversation with idle glances being thrown back at her.
"You weren't kidding," she started, her words uttered under the guise of her breath, "Your people really don't have wings. How sad."
She genuinely seemed upset for Harry and 'his people' as she repeatedly referred to them as, and their lack of extra appendages. A sullen pout puffed out her lips as she trained her gaze on her shoes, doing much less of a walk like Harry was and moving almost in a delicate prance that he didn't think was possible to do while hiking.
"How do you all even get around?" she asked, peeking up at him through glittery lashes.
"Um—" Harry breathed, forcing himself to look straight ahead, "We use cars. We drive ourselves where we need to be if it's farther away, or we walk. Sometimes we fly in planes if it's really far."
"So you all can fly!" she bubbled, "Are wings optional in your society then? Used only when going to far away places?"
A crooked smile took Harry's features, only a single dimple denting his cheek. "Something like that," he half-explained. He'd tell her more if she really wanted to know.
It wasn't until they had made it down the trail safely, (Y/N) never stumbling once over the roughened roots sticking from the ground and uneven terrain from the large rocks in the path like Harry had, did he allow himself a longer gaze at his companion. He'd gently explained the concept of cars on the most basic level, how they would get to his home by using one and answering any other small questions she might have had. She was safely buckled into the passenger seat, gleefully playing with the knobs on the stereo and heat controls while the car wasn't even on.
The flowers in her hair fluttered at her motions, spots of daisies regularly fluttering from her face and landing onto the floor of his car with small butterflies flapping their wings as they adjusted to the environment. His borrowed jacket had been shed to the backseat, leaving her wings unfurled against he leather of his seats and open to Harry's admiring gaze. She didn't even seem to notice that he hadn't moved an inch after getting his seatbelt clicked into place, too wrapped up in her own world of discovering each and every new thing around her. Harry's lush gaze draped itself over each ethereal detail of the butterfly beside him, lingering over her wings.
What had he got himself into?
"Oh my goddess! What kind of fox is that?! She's adorable!"
Harry was left in the dust as he locked his front door, (Y/N), the butterfly, rushed past him in an effort to capture his calico cat named Penelope. His kitten only looked up at the creature that Harry had brought home with wide eyes, pupils blown out with curiosity. He couldn't help but liken them to (Y/N)'s wondrous gaze that was pressed against the glass the whole drive home.
"She's not a fox," Harry started, putting his things away as apart of his routine despite the interruption that stood in his living room with her hand outstretched for Penelope to sniff, "She's m'cat. Do they have those at the pad?"
A peal of laughter fluttered from (Y/N), Penelope jumping back at the sound before resuming her investigation of the new stranger. "You mean The Lilly! I think we have something like this, but they're definitely much, much larger. And we don't take them home, we keep foxes as friends like you do with her."
Penelope finally granted (Y/N) permission to graze her fingers over her head, still cautious of the stranger but never willing to turn down affection. The pair of them bathed in the contact, (Y/N) keening into the soft of the kitten's fur just as much as Penelope made it her mission to be pet by her graceful touch. Harry couldn't help but keep his eyes glued to the scene that played out.
The vision in front of him looked as if it could have been plucked straight out of a story book. His living room acting as a woodland setting, strategic beams of light shining on the fox and the butterfly as they made fast friends. But, that was what (Y/N) was: something straight out of a fairytale. Something that wasn't supposed to exist outside the realms of inked pages and intricate artwork.
He'd not allowed himself to think too hard about what he had come home with, refusing to look too into what it was that (Y/N) even was and how she found him. Harry could tell she was a genuinely gentle creature—especially with the way she treated Penelope—but there was so much more to the bubbling, curious girl that had followed him home. He couldn't even unscramble his thoughts enough to come up with a coherent list of all the things he wished to know about her.
But, first priority was getting her home.
"Harry?" His name popped in the bubble of her voice, drawing him away from the thoughts that seemed to only center around her.
"Yes?" Harry quickly answered, fidgeting under her gaze like he had been busy the whole time and not staring at her and his kitten.
"Do you have any nectar I could drink? Honeysuckle is my favorite, if you have it." She beamed up at him as Penelope rubbed her face into her fingers. Harry could swear there was a shimmer being left over on her fur each time the butterfly patted her head.
A cinch pulled at his brows, "'M sorry, what?" He should probably stop being surprised by her at this point, but there was no shortage of confusing material leaving her mouth.
(Y/N) mimicked his expression, fluttering to her now bare feet, having abandoned the petals as soon as she made it though his door. Penelope gazed longingly after her before getting distracted by another cat on the television. "Do you not have flower nectar here either? What do you even drink then?"
"I-I have water, or juice. We have flowers but we don't usually drink from them."
"Oh, Harry. Your people are so sad, I cannot believe you don't have honeysuckle nectar. No wonder you all don't have wings, you're not taking care of yourselves properly." (Y/N) looked genuinely hurt as she processed the new information, "I will have to show you where to get some, you deserve to taste how sweet it is."
"They're not m'people, we all—"
"I know, I know," (Y/N) cut him off, following after him as he stepped into the kitchen, "They're not your people and you're not a king, I know."
A small smile tugged at the corner of Harry's lips. This was the fourth time he's had to remind her he wasn't any kind of monarch, as she had assumed back in the meadow, but she seemed to forget the fact as soon as he reiterated it to her. Harry felt her presence right behind him as he dug through his fridge, knowing she was peering right over his shoulder. He plucked out a pitcher of apple juice, thinking this might be the best way to ease her away from her nectar, whatever that tasted like.
"This is apple juice, do y'want to try that?" he offered, turning around only to become chest to chest with the butterfly.
She looked up at him with wonder while Harry stared at her with wide eyes. A thumping akin to the pacing of a hummingbird's heart pumped through Harry's body at the contact, (Y/N) seemingly unfazed by the position they found themselves in.
He'd not gotten a close look at her like this since the short second he had when he opened his eyes after his nap. His vision had been clouded in sleep and the jolt of anxiety of having someone be so close to him when he was so vulnerable, so he felt like he was catching her details for the first time. The daisies that acted as freckles seemed to wave at him as her cheeks smiled. A dewy glow glazed over her gentle features, reflecting a buttery glow over the highpoints one her face. Sweet strands of hair framed her face in tender curls, directing his gaze to her lush eyes framed by glittering lashes. Even just this look at her screamed that she was otherworldly, something beyond what Harry knew as reality. He figured she is what goddesses looked like, a true child of mother nature.
"So you do have nectar! This is from the apple blossom, right?" Her wings happily fluttered behind her, reflecting their pearly sheen in small pastel shaded prisms that stole Harry's gaze.
His mouth was dry as he tried to flounder with an answer. If he wanted to be coherent, he needed to find a way out quickly. Harry sidestepped away from her, the loss of her contact leaving a coolness on his chest that he tried to ignore, "N-No, 's from the actual apples. 'S sweet, I think you'll like it."
He poured her a cup, not daring to hand it to her as he left it on the counter and only motioned for her to grab it as he moved back to the fridge. He found a moment of solace, alone in the light of the cooler, using the chill to clear his mind for a moment before he was thrown back into the in-between he found himself in.
"You're right, this is sweet!" (Y/N) bubbled from the island he had left her juice at, "And its from the apple blossom, but not the flowers?"
Harry lent against the sink after leaving the fridge, a distance large enough to keep his heart safe between them. "Y-Yes, from the actual apples. Do you have those at your lillypad?"
"Yes, we do have them at The Lilly"—a pointed look was thrown at him, still not having learned the proper name of her home—"but we usually just discard them for the animals. I never knew there were any uses for them." She brought the clear glass up to her eye level, already halfway drained from the large gulps she took of the liquid. The visage of her was distorted through the amber juice, her skin appearing to be glazed in bronze with her lashes looking like crystalline bubbles floating through.
"Harry, can I tell you something?"
"What is it?" Harry's mind was already whirling with what could come out of her mouth next, the possibilities endless.
"Although your cottage is odd, I really enjoy it here—especially your fox. I know I'm asking for a lot as you've already been so kind to me. But, could I possibly stay here tonight, or until I find my way back home?"
Harry didn't want to acknowledge the way his heart bloated at the sound of her request. She—a delicate butterfly that fluttered through his day and perched on his nose without warning—wanted to stay with him. He didn't want to analyze why it made him feel lighthearted.
But as he gazed at her, he knew there was no way he was going to be able to deny her, no matter how confused he was in her presence.
this was actually really fun to write and I have alot of ideas for something like this if anyone ever wanted me to continue this!!! I just really hope u guys like it as much as I do even if its pretty different from what I usually post!!! please let me know what u think!!!! thank u sm for reading and to whoever requested this, and sorry for any mistakes!! if u have any ideas of ur own please send them in!!
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who's your favourite top ten pro hero?
Do we even know 10 pro heroes altogether? It's not like we've had a lot of great characterization for them...
But here we go:
1. Aizawa -
Maybe it's cheating, but he's one of my fave characters and he's not only a teacher, but also a pro-hero who has grown a lot in both roles. Also, I'm including the entire Vigilante saga where he gets more backstory and characterization
2. Hawks -
I love his design, personality, backstory, inner contradictions; he's tied to my favorite part of the story (the Todo-fam plot), the last arc really sucked for him but otherwise I love his character and I hope he'll get an interesting endgame
3. Endeavor -
Yeah, he sucks as a person, but his character arc has been such a dynamic part of the story and I really enjoyed it. Same as Hawks though - current arc sucks for him a lot.
4. All Might -
I like how the story deconstructs All Might and the system he built, but I also find it profoundly frustrating how it always pulls back immediately and puts him right back on the pedestal. The reason why he's not higher on my list is because I really dislike how his character is so Deku-centric and how he has barely any interaction or thought for any other students. It feels like after 200 chapters of hibernation, he'll finally get to do something.
5. Mt Lady -
Sadly, she's probably the best written female character in the story, because she has a good arc, but it's so much in the background. Still, her story, how she grows with the world around her is really cool.
6. Fat Gum -
I love his design and personality, and the warm relationship he has with his interns, but we stayed very much at the surface with him. Best thing to come out of Overhaul.
7. Mirko -
Kickass lady with good design. She would be higher if we got some character arc or any substance to her.
8. Gang Orca -
I just freaking love his design. Also, plus point that he's behind the Remedial babysitting challenge which is one of my favourite arcs. Yeet!
Some of her personality is a bit over the top for me, but I still like Midnight for what she does in Vigilante for the Rooftop Trio and her really true care for her students. Her scene with Kaminari at the beginning of the war arc was an absolute highlight for me. She was a badass too.
10. Present Mic
He's grown on me during the war arc, which also showed quite well the potential of his quirk. His friendship with Aizawa is also great, but otherwise, he too often feels like a gag character.
Other pro heroes whose design I love, but feel like there is too little characterization to go on:
And special shout-out to WASH!!!!
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Hi I just saw Shang-Chi, immediately went oh holy shit this is awesome and then found out Marvel is using it as a test subject in a pandemic due to it being led by a predominantly Asian cast so here’s my spoiler free ten reasons to watch it.
1. It’s an origin story. This means you really don’t have to be super clued in on the MCU to watch it, unlike most of the upcoming projects of Marvel.
2. This movie is absolutely beautiful. I mean everything about its design is wonderful. The fight scenes actually made me squeal in enjoyment, the CGI and animation is both super realistic and it looks really cool. Not to mention set, costume and everything else.
3. The characters and writing are really well done. Including the villain. They’re endlessly compulsive and really interesting. I was a bit iffy on it due to being concerned that Shang-Chi’s mother had been fridged but she’s an intriguing background character and I think her death was worked in really well.
4. There are strong female characters and male characters being allowed to show emotion! Feeds my soul.
5. Characters who are very silly but also helpful with Disney Princess-esque sidekicks.
6. Despite being an action movie, it’s got a lot of humour and is a really entertaining watch.
7. Cool magical creatures. I’m going to start getting concerned if you haven’t been convinced by now.
8. Characters who aren’t super geniuses, aren’t insanely talented in whatever field, being helpful. Like I don’t know about you guys but I really love seeing side characters who haven’t been training their whole lives or have insane magical powers being able to survive.
9. Lovely cameos from Marvel characters from other movies. I would take several bullets for Wong.
10. All the dynamics and relationships between characters are both interesting and just realistic. You’ve got sibling rivalry, best friends bantering, feeling like you’d do anything to appease your parents and make them proud.
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The comprehensive guide for why absolutely everyone should read and watch this work of art.
First of all, Iruma is best boy! He loves his friends and his family, his instinct is to help others, and like… just look at him. So good, so pure. But what truly makes Iruma a protagonist worthy of having a slide to himself is his character development. He actually starts off as a completely selfless person due to how his awful parents groomed him, and his whole character arc is learning how to be more selfish. Of course, Iruma’s selfishness manifests as eating all the food he wants, holding on to his family and friends, and finding ambition.
Sullivan (the first guy) adopts Iruma as his grandson after his parents sold him. This dude radiates grandpa energy and his number one priority is to spoil his new grandson. He’s also the principal of the school he sends Iruma too. And one of the most powerful demons in the netherworld. Opera is Sullivan’s butler, and warms up to Iruma a bit slower than Sullivan (so like a few days). They’re not very expressive facially. Rather they mainly express emotions through their ears and tail. They’re a total Badass™ and surprisingly mischievous. Alice Asmodeus (on the left of the 3rd pic) swore his undying loyalty to Iruma after Iruma accidentally kicked his ass. This man is ride or die, and honestly my words can’t do him justice so it’s better if you just experience this gay disaster for yourself. Clara Valac (right of the same pic) is a gremlin and I love her. Her priority is to play with her friends All. The. Time. But she also has insecurities about her personality after it stopped her from making friends. I put Ameri Azazel (please step on me) in between them. She’s the student council president, a badass, and a huge romantic. Naberius Kalego is the homeroom teacher of the misfit class (the class Iruma ends up in.) He’s a Very strict teacher, but genuinely cares about his students and is good at his job. There are so many other characters, but I want to avoid spoilers and get sleep tonight.
14 year old Suzuki Iruma was raised by his parents to do chores and make them money. Eventually they decided that he wasn’t bringing in enough, so they sold him to a demon who takes him to the netherworld. Instead of eating him though, Sullivan (the demon) asks him to become his grandson, and Iruma, who’s unable to say no under any circumstances, says yes. He starts school at the demon school Babyls (pictured above) where he attends as the only human. Of course if anyone finds out they’ll eat him. While at school, he realizes that he doesn’t have an ambition of his own, so Ameri suggests that he try climbing the ranks (all demons are ranked by their power you know the drill).
This manga is hilarious! With such jokes as Iruma eating a ridiculous amount of food, every interaction between Asmodeus and Clara, and Ameri’s obsession with shojo manga. One of the funniest bits is that due to some unfortunate circumstances, Kalego becomes Iruma’s familiar, and you’ll learn all about this if you check it out, but for now all you need to know is that that fluffy chicken is Kalego. Crossdressing has been used for comedy like three times now, but not in a degrading way. It’s not the butt of the joke or anything. That’s Iruma, and he looks fucking amazing as many other characters have said many times 100% seriously. Moving on, cause explaining humor is difficult!
I adore how Clara is allowed to be a hyperactive gremlin, and I’m not talking “oh she’s quirky” I’m talking playing involves battle axes and acting like a demon bowling ball. You know the trope where the powerful girl isn’t actually that serious and instead is a huge romantic? Well Ameri may be a romantic, but her seriousness isn’t an act. She is 100% dedicated to her ambitions. And look at the designs for some of the recurring background characters! Too often in fantasy settings the female monsters, demons, etc are reduced to almost entirely human, with the exact same body type, and maybe horns or something. Not Here! There’s also the girls in the misfit class who all have their own motivations and interests. I’m also now realizing how many tall girls are in this series… awesome.
Ok so the fact that there’s even more than one queer character already make this amazing. But in addition to that, it’s never treated like a big deal. I mean look at the second picture “gender doesn’t matter to demons” love wins! So Eiko is a recurring character who has a huge crush on both Iruma and Ameri, and later becomes comrades with Asmodeus specifically when it comes to Iruma (they share photos of him it’s hilarious). Asmodeus having a crush on Iruma isn’t explicitly stating, but like I’d like to see someone argue that he doesn’t. Besides, his feelings are always treated the same as Clara’s and Eiko’s when it comes to Iruma. The holy grail of representation though is Opera who’s never referred to by gendered terms. The english dub of the anime actually specifically uses they/them pronouns. When I tell you I screamed! I could go on, but I’m I’m trying to avoid introducing too many characters.
In Mairimashita! Iruma-kun a good family supports and loves each other completely, regardless of blood relations. But it’s not either or. Sullivan, Opera, and Iruma are my golden standard for found family. I mean their love of Iruma is over the top and unconditional, which is what Iruma needs after a life without any such love from his parents. Biological relations are shown as something that isn’t always great, yet it’s not something to be expected either. Clara’s family is a gift, and Asmodeus’ family is one of the funniest dynamics I’ve seen.
These are typically considered negative traits, but here they are portrayed as desirable and useful. And it’s a convincing argument. Through Iruma we see that having your own ambitions and getting pissed is necessary for living a fulfilling life, and we see this because he starts out without having that. Every single time Iruma declares his own ambitions or says something selfish it’s just… chills. It’s always a powerful scene. Whenever Iruma gets truly pissed over something (which has legitimately only happened twice) we all cheer cause we’re so proud of him. I could write a whole essay about this one aspect of the story, but just know that I consider this to be an incredibly compelling narrative, and my favorite part of Mairimashita! Iruma-kun.
In conclusion, I’m posting this on my birthday, so as a present I would like more people to get into this fandom because it deserves a larger fanbase.
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