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thewriterswitch · a day ago
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Types of Fanfic Writers
The spontaneous writer, who has no idea what their fic is about or what happens next.
The planner, who has a very detailed outline about everything and anything that happens in the story.
The patient writer, who will finish a story before posting any of it.
The abandoner, who keeps posting new fics but never finishes them.
The multitasker, who works on multiple fics at the same time.
The fix-it writer, who shuns canon and shoots it in the face
The angst writer, who stabs the characters in the gut, twists the knife while it’s in them, and murders everything good in life
The hurt/comfort writer, who annihilates everything good before stitching it back together
The fluff writer, who loves the sweet and cute moments of their OTP.
The romance writer, who will make sure the characters get a happy ending together
The porn writer, who will ensure the characters get their much needed sex.
The dark writer, who takes angst and levels it up by 1000 before dragging the characters deep into the abyss
The tragedy writer, who makes the hurt/comfort writer look kind
The slow burn writer, who will put their readers through the worst kind of agony that exists
Which ones are you?
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pens-swords-stuff · 2 days ago
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One of the things that I get told by a lot of people is that the writeblr community is ignoring them. They are putting out their posts and original works, but because they are not getting the notes and responses they were hoping to receive, they think that they are being ignored.
This is such a deeply damaging and painful mindset for you to have, and it's also really unfair to the people around you.
I get it. It hurts when we don't get the validation, response, and encouragement we were hoping to have. It really, really sucks, and I'm so sorry that you're feeling lost and alone and confused about why people aren't reading your writing. Your writing is wonderful, and deserves more love than you feel like you're receiving right now. You're definitely not the only person feeling that way, and most of the people here can empathize with you. We're all struggling to get noticed.
But here's the thing: most people here aren't ignoring you.
*This post isn't talking about any malicious acts of bullying that might be happening which unfortunately does exist on Tumblr. This is talking more generally about the content and engagement on this website.
Here's the definition of the word ignore:
refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally.
Ignoring someone means that we see someone, and we pretend not to see them. It means going out of our way to exclude someone because we don't like them.
I promise, most people in the writeblr community aren't seeing your URL and your posts and saying "Oh ew, it's this person again. I hate them and I think they suck, so I'm not going to interact with them."
The Writeblr Community is massive. There are easily hundreds and thousands of writeblr blogs that use the tag. With the wonky tagging system, and the tumblr algorithm, it is so, so easy for posts to fall through the crack. There are thousands and thousands of posts with the #writeblr tag that you are competing against for attention.
When you scroll through your dash, do you like and/or reblog every single post you see? Do you remember every single blog that pops up on it? Do you follow every single writeblr blog you see? How many times are you actively choosing to ignore posts? I would guess not very often. You're just scrolling on through, and sometimes a posts catches your eye, and sometimes it doesn't and you forget about it by the time you're two posts down.
Even with DMs and asks — people have a lot on their plates. Tumblr isn't always a priority for people, and maybe they don't have the time and energy to respond. Maybe they never receive it because it got lost. Maybe they intend to reply and forgot to, and now it's too late to respond and they feel super awkward and bad about it. There are a lot of reasons why you might not get a response, and as much as it sucks, chances are, it's not done maliciously.
You have a lot of love and support to give, and some amazing creativity and writing to offer. It's really unfortunate that it's not being noticed, and it can really hurt to see something you've put a lot of effort into and have it not get the response that you're hoping for. Tumblr is a fickle place, and with engagement dropping lower, it can be really hard to get the community that we're all hoping to find here.
That being said, I can't help but feel like people who say that they are being ignored are carrying a lot more hurt than they need to. Feeling like you are being ignored or excluded can hurt your self-esteem, or build up a lot of anger and it's a really awful feeling.
Chances are, most people aren't ignoring you. Most people are not out to get you, and they are not trying to exclude you specifically from the community because they don't like you. It's much more likely that you're just getting a little lost in the shuffle because there is a lot going on in tumblr at any given moment.
This isn't your fault, and this isn't anyone else's fault either.
It hurts so much to feel like you're not being seen, and that's absolutely valid. I'm sorry that you're feeling that way, it's a terrible, awful way to feel. I can reassure you however, that most people would love to get to know you; they just might not have noticed you yet. I can reassure you that most people are not purposefully excluding you either.
The community doesn't hate you. People don't hate you. You are wonderful, your presence here should be cherished, you have so much to offer to the community, I think that you absolutely belong here, and I'm sure that other people would agree too.
I hope you find the friends and the interaction that you're hoping for someday soon! It might take some persistence, luck, and some shaking of your fists at the tumblr algorithm, but I know that your people are out here somewhere.
Until then, try to remind yourself that people are most likely not ignoring you. They're just missing a lot of the cool stuff you're doing because it's really easy to miss things on this website. Someday, someone will notice and will appreciate it as much as you do. You just need to keep trying until then.
Good luck! I'm rooting for you.
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telltaletypist · a day ago
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honestly those dumb "your ocs pull up to mcdonalds" type memes have been more helpful to me for conceptualizing characterizations and dynamics than any profile sheet i've ever filled out
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skriveting · a day ago
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OTP Questions pt. 7
Who's the best at throwing axes?
Who's more likely to buy some stupid NFT just because it looks cool or cute?
Whose grammar is so bad it's a miracle they graduated 5th grade?
Who starts gearing up for Christmas first?
Who's got the most scars (physically)?
Who would survive the longest in the wild?
Who's the most spiteful?
Which of the two would you choose to be stuck with in an emergency situation?
Who's the most likely to hurt the other's feelings unintentionally?
Which of the two has the most dominant traits, aka., which of the two would their child end up resembling the most?
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nuttynutcycle · 22 hours ago
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hello :) could i request a snippet where the villain’s captured the hero and is trying to get information from them with their mind manipulation?? powers?? and so they can see the hero’s memories through skin to skin contact or something but accidentally see me worries of past trauma and abuse that the hero endured? i think you’d do it really well <3
I don't know if I did it well, but I did my best. Thanks to @madd-creations for pre-reading!
Tw: Trauma.
The warehouse's swinging lights cast a dim glow over the contrasting pair. The hero, bound to a chair with a fierce glare. The villain, eyes wide and hands clasped tightly over the hero’s head. The cement floor and plain metal walls were their only company.
The villain exhaled slowly. He hadn’t expected such dark feelings from a low-level hero. “Who-”
“I’m fine.”
The villain slowly dropped his hands from the hero’s temples. “Was it one of the other villains?”
“Stop it.”
“Was it me?” How unfair, for such a cruel question to be asked so softly.
The hero shrugged off the question. “You’re not getting any information out of me. Leave me alone.”
“Shan’t,” the villain responded tightly. “What happened?”
His powers were never clear. A flash of colour, an emotion, a feeling, maybe a clear image if they were lucky. When the villain drugged and dragged the hero to his warehouse, he had hoped to learn some codes or locations. Maybe pull some information about the challenging heroes, the ones that were a threat. This hero was foolish for ever fighting against the villain. The capture was embarrassingly easy.
The villain knew that his line of work came with trauma. But when he laid hands on the hero’s writhing form and probed past his flimsy mental walls, the surge of darkness and pain laced with panic made him hesitate. The numbness that followed made him stop. “I won’t ask again. What happened?”
The hero glared at his captor, a drop of sweat beading on his temple. “I didn’t know you were sadistic. Either kill me or let me go.”
“I’ve done this to many people.” The villain pulled over a chair and sat across from the bound hero. “I rarely see trauma this severe. I can’t see anything else within you.”
“Pretty good defence mechanism, right?” The hero grinned, and the villain remembered an image of the same grin coated in blood from the hero’s memories. “You won’t get any information out of me.”
When the meaning of the words hit, the villain was left speechless. His hands squeezed into fists.
“My boss assigned me to you for this reason. Probe all you want,” The hero met the villain’s stare with defiance. “You’re going to lose.”
“Trauma shouldn’t be weaponized.” The villain thought he was going to throw up. “It’s not trivial. You… you really need help.”
“Unlike some people,” the hero mustered up a glare. “I don't have powers. I use whatever I have as protection.”
The villain’s heart dropped to their stomach. “Do any of your friends know? Your family?”
“It was a long time ago.” The hero didn’t answer the question. “I don’t want to talk about it. Are you going to kill me now?”
“I don’t know what I’m going to do with you.” The villain admitted. He studied his captive. “In good conscience, I can’t let you go back to your work.”
The hero looked up in alarm.
“But,” the villain continued, “You can’t stay here either. Captivity feeds negative emotions. What do you want?”
The hero stared, his jaw clenching. “Stop trying to help me. You’re my enemy.”
“I have thirteen enemies, and they earned their spots. You’re a pesky neighbour at most,” Confidence returning and decision made, the villain rested his chin in his hand. “I repeat: What do you want?”
The hero didn’t respond.
“No answer? I’ll tell you my plan. I’m the villain, so I get at least one evil monologue.” The villain counted off on his fingers. “One: I have a berry farm outside of the city. It needs someone-”
“You have a berry farm?” The hero interrupted, the corners of their mouth twitching.
“It’s a backup career plan. Don’t interrupt.” The villain continued with a chastising glare. “Two: I will blow up a stadium at the end of this year.”
The hero’s grin faded.
“Three: For every day you tend to my farm, I will spare one person from the stadium. For every trauma-focused therapy appointment you make, ten are saved.”
“…You can’t be serious.” Now it was the hero who looked like they were going to throw up.
“Four: If you want to bring some people with you to help tend the farm, they must have my approval.”
The warehouse’s dim light added to the bags under the hero’s eyes. “Why are you doing this?”
The villain shrugged. “Who knows? Maybe I’m secretly an amazing person. Or maybe I’ve seen this happen before. Maybe I know what can happen if no one helps.” The villain’s gaze dropped to the floor. “Maybe I need to redeem myself." He added softly.
The hero’s mouth opened slightly.
The villain shook himself. “Don’t ask stupid questions. I might change my mind. Do you accept?”
“What happens if I say no?” The hero asked, pulling loosely at his bonds.
“The stadium blows up. People die. I do a villainous laugh.” The villain stuck out a hand. “Do you accept my deal?”
“Deal.”
The hero stared at the outstretched hand, then back to the villain’s gaze. For once, they understood each other. The need to save and the need to be saved.
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prompts-in-a-barrel · 2 days ago
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“Ah yes, [X], my favorite archenemy.”
“Why am I your favorite?”
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A Hero knows Villain well. They know all of Villain’s flaws and annoying habits. Yet, despite being very aware of the type of person Villain is, they still love them.
Their love isn’t a blind one, but an accepting one. 
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chaotic-queer-disaster · 5 hours ago
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ok i REALLY like making wip/oc playlists. but also. how do people find more than, like, 10 songs??? i cannot for the life of me gather more than 5-10-ish songs per playlist and it saddens me
like for real. this is an actual question i have. how are all of u finding so many fuckign songs that fit
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leighsobczak · 2 days ago
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I've been inactive for a few months but looking to be a bit more active around here.
Reblog if you're a fairly active writeblr who likes talking about writing things.
I primarily write SFF but I can talk about whatever. Most of my content is very adult oriented so please be 18+.
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LOOKING FOR BETA READERS
Do you like High Fantasy Worlds? What about Majority Queer Casts? Rebellion Narratives? Analyses of Vengeance vs. Justice vs. Atonement? Family, both found and established? Neurodivergent and/or Nonbinary Main Characters?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above, I have just the beta-ready WIP for you!
My novel Firebreathers has reached an editing stage where I’m ready for a few outside perspectives!
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Ember Timber has grown up with one death after another painting the backdrop of their life, and it’s left them and the remainder of their family struggling to keep their grip on the frayed edges of Ehlven society they call home. Ehlven society, where militarism, fear, and poverty are woven deep into the fabric of life. When they join a rebel group known as the Firebreathers, they find an opportunity to change their life--and those of others--for the better.
And just when they think they’ve found their footing, the world calls their bluff, whisking them into involvement of a much grander scale than they ever wanted, because stories never actually end with the rebellion, do they?
Narration Style: First person, present tense. Multi-POV Target Audience: New Adult, Adult Blend Pitch: Mistborn x Avatar: the Last Airbender x Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Themes: Anti-Imperialism, trauma and recovery, the pitfall of idolization, identity, stigma surrounding mental illness, and the differences between vengeance, atonement, and justice.
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Important Info:
Firebreathers clocks in at 148k words (or about 600 pages)
The reading period is from Dec. 15th, 2021 to Feb. 28th, 2022
I am mainly looking for feedback on pacing, character likeability/memorability, and narrative inconsistencies, though I am open to all kinds of things you might bring up!
Trigger warning information for Firebreathers can be found on the sign up form. As this is a story with a strong focus on mental health (especially trauma and abuse) and imperialism, please keep in mind that it gets quite dark at times, even if it starts out lighthearted.
If it sounds interesting but you want more information, here’s the tag (excerpts are almost all pulled from first draft, if that’s important to you) and the official intro!
How to sign up:
Fill out this form! All you need to beta read is an ability to read the draft somehow (including Text-To-Speech!) and availability during the reading period. I’ll also have questionnaires to fill out to help you organize your thoughts, if you need them!
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ghostly-prompts · a day ago
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Prompt #114
“I have five potential plans to—”
“No. water. balloons.”
“Fiiiiiiiine. I have two and a half potential plans to get us out of work this afternoon.”
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qannibalism · a day ago
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Orro and the Silver Wolf
1, 3, 4, 5, 6
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What are underrated tropes you would like to see more in books?
Hello Anon!
My answer is W O M E N. I could write a whole novel about how angry I still am to have discovered I genuinely, whole heartedly believed that male characters were better and more believable to tell stories with. I mocked, belittled, abused and ignored female (and any other gender) characters or relegated their stories to romance and/or domestic nonsense because I thought those were the only stories women were fit to tell.
So I crave every well-done trope about women (and/or any gender not male).
My favorites:
Not a Housewife - a woman how had, at some point, made the attempt to be married/a mother/a wife but realized that her dreams and aspirations lay in not doing that and she unapologetically leaves to live her dreams.
The Beefcake - any woman who works manual labor jobs and is strong, muscled, possibly vaguely dirty.
The Wild Woman - lives in a forest, built her own house. Will help you track down your missing relative and probably unnerve you because she doesn't look that impressive but then she saves you from a wild animal attack and defeats three burly type men in hand to hand combat
Bad Moms - BUT NOT IN THE WAY WHERE THEY ARE SHAMED FOR THEIR FAILURES, just like take all those tropes you've ever seen where the father is busy with everything else and rarely home and replace it with the mom. she's busy but she loves her kid mostly. I think there's a huge well of interesting stories to tell here
Plant Witch - woman who is or is not a witch but is constantly 100% surrounded with plants at all times and is secretly sought out to heal everything.
Better than all the rest - a woman who has worked her ass off to prove that she is the best, and is still considered less than the mediocre male counterpart and her entire story of finding a way to push him down a flight of stairs (not literally) and finally take her place at the top. That moment when she gets to tell everyone to shut up and listen to her and they do because they realize she's better than them? OR even if they're a little afraid of her? Poetry. Perfection. Beautiful.
An old time favorite not related to just women is found family. I could read 100% books about this. Its just so good.
You didn't ask but my least favorite is the redemption arc and not because it can't be amazing (Zuko from Avatar) but because its usually rushed and unfulfilling.
Thanks for the ask!
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nikasholistic · a day ago
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Write something you’re passionate about. It’s such an important part of the writing process. Find a genre you love, and write something that sets your soul on fire. That’s how you avoid burnout, that’s how you find the motivation to work on your story.
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nuttynutcycle · 2 days ago
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Prompt 299
The villain laughed at the lithe figure before them. “Am I supposed to be scared of a threat?”
"It's not a threat," the prophetess raised her sword. "It's a premonition."
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prompts-in-a-barrel · 23 hours ago
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“It’s been a while since there was a fresh face around here.”
“Not as fresh as you think.”
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Hero accidentally injured Villain's during a fight. Villain isn’t particularly upset about this as it’s an occupational hazard, but Hero has never felt so guilty. 
It’s a very minor injury and Villain recovers quickly. However when Hero shows up to their door with a bowl of soup and a care package, Villain fakes being in pain so Hero doesn’t go back on their gift.
They fake their injury a little too well, and the next thing Villain knows Hero is inviting themselves to stay and take care of them as an apology. 
Now Villain is faced with a dilemma, awkwardly admit they were lying to keep Hero’s gifts, or let Hero stay and take care of them.  
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starknstarwars · 2 days ago
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Smuggler’s Run: Chapter Thirty-Four
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Awesome art by @commander-sarahs-art Taglist: @ocfairygodmother
Read the previous chapters of Smuggler’s Run on AO3
Smuggler’s Run Chapter Thirty-Four:
There wasn’t time to ponder or add to the list of all the ways Zallia had misinterpreted his confession. Something he would happily enumerate for her on an itemized list once she switched her comm on again. Powin and Kerrilyn had arrived from the north side of the planet, filthy, stinking of swamp water, and demanding of answers.
Kerrilyn stood by the fireplace mantel, staring deeply into the flames with her pinched look; there would be a flimsi list in his future. Powin sat ensconced in one of the large overstuffed leatheris arm chairs, with his long arms and legs sprawled out across all four points of the chair, clutching a minuscule intricately decorated with gold leaf hand blown glass filled with Powin’s beverage of choice: Toniray. Powin savored his first sip with a tired air. Scratches lined his face. He had a purple bruise on his jaw, and Powin’s ordinarily pristinely kept hair had gone shaggy. In short, Kerrilyn and Powin’s mission to retrieve the second datacron on the planet, successful as it was, had not been without its challenges. Perhaps he was not the only one who struggled to vanquish Hutta’s rough and tumble offerings.
“If it isn’t the fabled hero of Jiguuna.” Powin mocked without getting up from his chair. “Master Praxis, we are suitably unworthy of your presence.”
On any other night, Powin’s antics might have been excruciating, but tonight? Positively unbearable. Morff didn’t reward Powin’s snark with a response. Every ounce of his focus went to Master Nightstar, who looked up from her musings with a grim smile.
Powin continued with a grandiose, mocking bow.
“When we chose our assignments, I thought you had drawn the shorter straw, but this room is the height of sophistication and luxury. I feel duped. Six days, Master Praxis. Six days of sleeping in the outdoors, with creatures that crawled over my face at night, no suitable place to bathe, and a serpent, a SERPENT, coiled itself into my boot and made itself at home for two days. Next time, you’ll be the one that takes the outdoor assignments.”
“We’ve seen Theron.” Kerrilyn interrupted Powin’s tirade with a brisk tone. “Things are more serious than when you first contacted us.”
“Yes, the situation has escalated considerably.” Morff replied with an apologetic tone. “You’ll forgive that I didn’t make contact. I was otherwise occupied.”
“Ask him who he was otherwise occupied with.” Powin prompted Kerrilyn from his chair.
Powin was the picture of repose, with his head tilted back to rest against the billowing stuffed comfort of the chair, his eyes closed while he basked in the fireplace’s warmth. Meanwhile, Morff was quite on edge, sharp edges and lines, every muscle in his body tense. He shot Powin a withering scowl, which he quickly adjusted when he noticed that he’d attracted Kerrilyn’s attention.
“Our primary aim should secure Theron’s safety and prevent future attacks. He should have a round-the-clock guard and we should all of us travel in pairs. When is the next race?”
“Two days from now.” Morff said with a burgeoning sense of relief at Kerrilyn’s level-headed approach. “That should be enough time to allow Theron to heal his injuries, and for Captain Thane to repair the damage to the swoop bike…”
And this, he thought to himself, in a continued mental disagreement with Zallia about the finer points of why he’d been correct to call Kerrilyn and Powin to Jiguuna, was why he had made the call. With three of them, they could provide ample protection for Theron, ensuring that he remained in the race, all the while freeing him up to keep a wary eye out for the vibroknife that Madam Kitcan inevitably planned to stick in Zallia’s back. His plan was positively perfect, even if Zallia was too short-sighted to see past her pride to recognize it.
Kerrilyn appeared troubled; her eyes searched the room.
“Where is Captain Thane? I don’t see her here.”
Morff drew a breath while his mind displayed a single image; the look of quiet disappointment on her face before she walked out his door. His haughty sense of superiority faded. She’d been so angry with him, she’d walked out of his room alone, her blasters still on the table.
“She went out for ‘air’. You know how she values her independence.” Morff winced; the lie came out with all the awkwardness of a lumbering Bantha. “I assumed she went to work on the swoop.”
Powin leaned forward abruptly, body straight with interest as he studied Morff with a knowing gaze. Very well, Powin had seen through the lie. What about Kerrilyn? Kerrilyn wore her alarm plainly on her face.
“That was a foolish decision, given the circumstances. What’s preventing this Madam Kitcan from attacking her again?”
Morff’s frustration cooled, the silent argument in his head forgotten. His primary aim, beyond retrieving the Datacron and for providing much needed protection for Theron, had been to dedicate himself to protecting Zallia. All he’d done instead was to alienate her and put her back into a dangerous situation. A raw, anxious feeling coiled in his chest. 
“Master Praxis and I will find the Captain and ensure she remains unharmed, if you will take the first watch with Theron.” Powin volunteered as he pushed himself wearily up from his chair.
With a regretful look at the warm fire, he drained the last of the Toniray with one gulp, and smacked his lips with a satisfied ‘Ah’. He motioned to Morff with a large sweep of his hand, a mocking ‘after you’ that Morff resented. He picked up Zallia’s blasters and tucked them into his tunic with a weary sigh.
They were two steps into the hall; Powin’s grandiose demeanor dropped.
“Where is the Captain, really?” Powin queried with a shrewd frown. “And don’t tell me she’s getting air. You and I both know no one would willingly breathe the toxic air of this abysmal planet unless they had to.”
Damn Powin’s perceptive eyes! Morff opened his mouth to repeat the lie, then relented.
“Truthfully, I don’t know where she is.”
“You don’t know where she is?” Powin’s head recoiled, taken aback by this seemingly small confession. “That can’t be right… unless…”
Powin scrutinized Morff’s face, the guilty look he couldn’t hide, the flush of shame that crawled up his neck and into his ears.
“We quarreled.” Morff mumbled softly as they stepped into the casino lift.
Though he couldn’t bring himself to meet Powin’s eyes, he felt the change in his posture, the smug lift of the shoulders, the straightening of the spine. Powin lived for his conflicts with Zallia, loved to allude to some hidden undercurrents of tension between them. This would be yet another tiresome opportunity for Powin to prod and poke with insinuations and innuendos. To his surprise, whether it was the seriousness of the situation in which they found themselves, or perhaps the fatigue of his portion of the mission, or, that Powin had seen how little Morff had wanted the quarrel with Zallia, no teasing words came.
“What did you say to upset her?” Powin prompted; a genuine question without a trace of malice. “I can see you’re deeply troubled by it.”
“Why do you assume it was something I said?!”
Powin arched a single brow so high that, if the situation weren’t dire, would have almost been comical.
“Very well, you may have a point.” Morff conceded; it was ever his oafish turn of phrase that provoked her temper. “I had something important to tell her and I think I may have bungled it, though I don’t have the foggiest how.”
“I suspect you may very well have been your charming self. Why don’t you tell me what you said? I could shed some light…”
Morff drew himself up and turned to Powin with a queasy look as he checked over his shoulder to ensure they were alone.
“What I’m about to tell you is strictly between us. It must never reach Kerrilyn’s ears…”
***
Morff finished recounting every detail of his mission to Jiguuna, from the moment they met Madame Kit, to his confession about the Force bond by the time they reached the Jiguuna marketplace. The market was empty, save for a few travelers passing through to reach the spaceport. Powin said not a word. He had a vacant look as he pondered the conversation, though as Morff recounted his actual confession, and Zallia’s reaction to it, a dry smile teased at the corners of his lips.
“She doesn’t appear to be in the marketplace. Do you have any other idea where she might be? Why don’t you use the bond to find her location?”
Morff shook his head vehemently.
“No, I don’t think that would be prudent. She’d be furious if she found out I broke her trust again. She’s not in danger, that much I know. The bond is too strong to block in those circumstances.”
He’d put that much together during their walk. The bond seemed to function at its peak whenever she was in jeopardy, and, based on what little she’d said about Tatooine, seemed to alert her about his well-being as well.
“You actually said all those things to Lia?” Powin asked slowly, as though he was struggling to shape his opinion. “You aren’t paraphrasing?”
“Everything I’ve told you is a recounting of our conversation to the letter.”
“And you’ve really no idea why our beloved captain is angry with you?”
“No. I know she’s cross with me for calling for Kerrilyn’s help. I suppose I may have irked her pride by not fully putting my faith in her plan.”
Powin threw his head back, laughed, and rested on his large hand on Morff’s shoulder in a friendly, and yet condensing way. Morff pushed the hand away with a bitter churlishness that grew as Powin shot him a mischievous look.
“Out with it, Powin. I can see you want to lecture me. Let’s get this over with.”
Powin straightened and struggled to reign in his gloating smile.
“Do you recall the fable of the Jedi Master and his blind Padawan?” Powin asked, much to Morff’s surprise.
“You mean the Sith propaganda meant to frighten acolytes away from seeking the light? Yes, I’ve heard of it.”
“You mean the Sith bed-time story, and favorite of Vexa’s.” Powin tucked his hands behind his back and warmed to the topic. “To Vexa, the tale is less about avoiding the light, and more about the wisdom of the Jedi Master. She rather enjoyed that while the Master is himself, a Miralukan, it is the Padawan who can’t see past his duty to his mission. In that, the question becomes who is the true blind man?”
Morff’s eyes narrowed. He studied Powin’s guileless expression, wondering why he’d chosen to dredge up this nonsense.
“I hardly think that story applies in this situation…” Morff scoffed with a glowering look. “Are you saying that I’m the blind Padawan?”
Powin rubbed his face with a tired hand and let out an exasperated sigh.
“You spend the whole of your days with her,” Powin observed in a low voice. “From the time you wake in the morning until your eyes are heavy with sleep. That’s quite a lot of effort from a man who claims to care so little about her. Why do you do it?” 
Morff ruminated over the question. A thousand small moments between them surfaced from the depths of his memories.
“She’s good fun, I suppose. Funny. Smarter than all of us put together. She has a sharp, unyielding wit, though she’s mindful of it and chooses wisely when to apply it. She’s kind to those who need it most, can see the best in people when they can’t see it in themselves, but can also be stubborn to a fault.” 
“A thoughtful and well-curated list, Master Praxis. You think highly of her.” 
“Yes, of course I do, though I’m not alone in that. Few who meet her can resist falling under her spell.” 
“You seem to have managed. Or am I too hasty in my assumptions. Have you fallen under her spell? Do you secretly desire her and have hidden it better than most?”
Powin threw the sentence into the wind with the casual air of a gambler throwing the last of a winning hand onto the table. Morff’s lips parted, his chosen denial of ‘not having noticed her in that way’ poised on the precipice of his lips. 
“No. Of course not… that’s absurd.” Morff’s objections faded away to nothing. “… I can’t bear the lie anymore. Yes, I desire her. To the point of distraction—it’s maddening. Our time together on Hutta and the strength of the bond has made it worse. Do you think less of me?”
“On the contrary. I’m relieved you finally came to your senses. The last we spoke on the subject, you were adamant you felt nothing for her. When did it change?” 
“Alderaan.”
***
Durasteel cut deep into flesh and bone; Morff tugged at the binders around his wrists to test the tensile strength of the chain that tied him to the wall. No use! He hissed out a slow frustrated sigh as his body sank despondently into the wall. He supposed this is what he deserved.
 A Jedi Master did not lose patience. A Jedi Master did not make a bet with a spirited Captain about who would be the first to retrieve a Datacron, and then subsequently, lose mindfulness of his surroundings in his haste to win the bet. Now he was trapped in a cell, deep within the parapets of House Thul, with nothing to show for his effort except a bruised ego and a steadily purpling black eye. 
Weariness weighed at his shoulders. His mind was clouded, though he hardly knew why. Well, he knew exactly why. Zallia had egged him on with a disarming smile and a one-liner and he’d taken the bait. Well, there was no sense lingering in the past, another sign that his mind was not where it should be. If he could center his thoughts away from the Captain and their bet, he could manipulate the door panel. Morff closed his eyes and reached out through the Force. 
He focused first on what he could hear. The distant tinkling of glassware, an obnoxious twittering laugh, and the melodic sounds of instruments flooded his senses. Ah yes, the party for Lady Thul’s birthday was well underway. With a hint of disgust, he thought of the Datacron, sitting on a lone pedestal inside of Baron Thul’s office. A gift for the lady of the house and the crowning event at tonight’s festivities. Neither the Baron nor his wife knew of the power it possessed—they collected it because it was a ‘shiny bauble’. Morff’s lip curled in disgust at the frivolity of the Alderaanian well-to-do. 
He sighed again—another distraction. Morff curled his legs into a more meditative pose and tried to refocus his mind. This time, he directed his energy toward the door panel. He saw the consol clearly, with its glowing red and blue buttons. The energy field flickered—yes, that was it. Just a little more and he’d have it short-circuited in no time. All at once, he heard it. To his right and down the hall, he heard the sudden echo of running footsteps against the stone floor. Then, there was a scuffle of boots, a thud of a metallic blaster to bone; the guard outside his cell crumpled to the ground. The body slid out of sight amidst several grunts of exertion. 
“You know,” Zallia’s voice wheezed out of sight between labored pants. “If I keep having to save your Force-sensitive skin, I think I’m going to have to double my rate,” 
“Captain!” Morff straightened his posture in surprise, then winced as his binders cut painfully into his wrists. “What are you doing here?” 
“You lost the bet.” She peeked around the corner through the force field at him with a wry, gloating smile. “I’ve come to collect,” 
Relief flooded his weary body, and he didn’t bother to fight the smile that crawled up his face in response. Perhaps his mission was salvageable after all. Still, there was a part of him that disliked that he had lost the bet — it meant extra ship duties for two weeks, plus enduring an exorbitant amount of teasing from the Zallia. He quickly rearranged his features into a defiant scowl. 
“Nonsense. I found the Datacron. You didn’t specify that I couldn’t get caught,” 
“Are you exploiting a loophole?” Zallia stooped to inspect the force field control panel, then stopped to fix him with a perceptive stare. “That doesn’t seem like the Jedi way, Master Praxis,” 
She clicked her tongue at him with a chiding shake of her head, then went back to work to disable the door. After studying it for a minute, she shrugged, pulled out her blaster, and opened fire. The panel exploded with a bevy of sparks, then with hum, the force field faded away. 
“The guards couldn’t have missed that. We’ll have to move quickly.” Zallia peered down the hall and listened for the sound of emerging footsteps. “Powin and Kerrilyn have the relic. They’re waiting for us upstairs. We didn’t want to risk breaking you out until it was dark. Boy, for a fancy party House Thul sure likes to use a lot of guards. I can’t tell if they’re to keep people from crashing the party or to stop them from leaving early,” 
“Probably the latter,” Morff retorted with a sardonic snort. “Baron Thul is a garrulous buffoon,” 
Zallia swept into the cell with a whisper of a fabric train trailing in her wake. Morff blinked and shook his head, not trusting his eyes or the dim lighting in his cell—was she wearing a dress?
“Uh oh. You used two words I’ll have to look up on the holonet later. Now I know you’re mad. He must have offended you,” 
 Morff’s eyebrows nearly shot through the roof in disbelief. He blinked one more time to make sure his swollen black eye wasn’t playing tricks on him. It was indeed a dress, quite a nice one, in fact. The shimmering dark green fabric rippled in the low light, making it appear that her skin was glowing. The silk folds floated around her as she walked, giving her entrance a delightful, uncharacteristic cloud-like softness. 
Zallia crouched next to him with a critical expression, then reached out and put her hand to his cheek and let out a low, soft whistle. 
“That’s a top-notch shiner, pal. Did you forget you were a Jedi and fight the guards with your face?”  
His shoulders wound up to fire back a sarcastic retort, but as he did, her thumb traced the line of his cheekbone just underneath the bruise. White-hot shock sent chills down his spine. He didn’t think the guard had hit him that hard, but if the bruise was that sensitive to her touch, he must have packed quite a punch. 
“Ouch—no,” He flinched and moved to pull his face away from her inquiring hands, then felt the keen absence of their warmth. “I lost focus. The guard surprised me as I ran around the corner,” 
Zallia eyed the binders mounted to the wall. She reached underneath the hem of her dress and pulled out her set of lock picks from her wear worn boots. At least that much hadn’t changed. The rest of the transformation was too jarring for him. He eyed her with a shy look then guilty forced himself to look away, though why he felt guilty he didn’t know. He couldn’t recall a time when he hadn’t seen her in anything less than practical attire—boots, a vest, always stained with grease and dirt from maintaining her ship. His tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth as he tried several times to form words and then failed. Finally, after a moment of flabbergasted silence, he managed a strangely hoarse sounding: 
“What are you wearing?” 
“Powin’s idea of a cruel joke,” Zallia said with a sigh as she tugged uncomfortably at the elegant dip in the neckline to pull it up higher. “He picked out our disguises. Said that if we were infiltrating House Thul that I’d have to look respectable. Jokes on him—nothing can make me look respectable,”
“You don’t like it?” 
“It’s not my style. Besides, it’s too tight, it itches and I can’t find a spot to put my blasters,” 
“Oh… I think it looks respectable,” Morff gulped; his mouth felt like he had swallowed ash before he added: “You, uh… you look lovely,” 
“Haha, you’re hilarious.” Zallia rolled her eyes at the ceiling and waited with a wince for a sarcastic punchline to an unspoken joke. “Oh… You’re serious? Thanks… I think…”
With a click, the first binder gave way; they lapsed into an awkward silence. Morff instantly regretted the compliment. It wasn’t his place to make any sort of comment about her appearance. What possessed him to say that? He added it to the long list of strange impulsive choices he had made that day. Zallia leaned over him to pick the lock of the second binder cuff; a wave of intense dizziness washed over him. His heart raced inexplicably—something was very wrong. The closer she moved, the more intense the symptoms became. Odd; he had had nothing to eat or drink—it couldn’t be poison. His health was unimpeachable… The second binder released with a click. Zallia rocked back on her heels and tucked her lock pick kit back into her boot—his pulse slowed to an even rate. 
With a frown, Morff gingerly massaged his aching wrists while he absorbed the change in his physiology. It was almost like it was connected to the Captain. Zallia stood and smoothed the creases out of her dress with her hands. His eyes were drawn to her against his will. His pulse pounded in his temples this time. He shouldn’t have such a visceral reaction to the sight of Zallia in a gown unless he found her… A suspicion formed in his mind, just an inkling, like the last glimmering rays of sunlight before nightfall. 
***
They danced that night to an Alderaanian folk dance she knew the steps to — her mother had sent her to finishing school as a child, she’d confessed to him in a whisper with a humiliated air — it didn’t take. He followed clumsily along, tripping over his feet like a gangly youth. It was the first and if his current self-implosion continued possibly the last time he’d held her in his arms, and, something about that moment, when his arm curled around the curve of her waist and his palm rested against the small of her back opened his eyes.
 Most days, it was the peculiar tilt of her smile on the right side of her face when she teased him, or the twinkle in her eye when she had the upper hand and knew it. Other days, it was the crease of her brow and the strength of her arms and shoulders when she pulled her coveralls down the waist while working in her filthy undershirt to tackle a troublesome repair on her ship. She was ever at her best in those moments. He was fond of how she would re-emerge from within the bowels of her ship, holding a faulty part in one hand, her hydrospanner in the other, face caked with dirt, sweat, and grease always accompanied by an indelible look of satisfaction on her features. He might have been able to dismiss all of this as the admiration of one friend to another, but that was before tonight, before the tunic.
The glow of the hearth illuminated her in an otherworldly light, with the translucent fabric of his tunic both alluding to and frustratingly obscuring the subtle curve of her hips. The sight of a plump pair of breasts barely visible beneath the tunic when she stood in just the right way in the light was enough to, even now, hours later, drive him to distraction. Before he tore his eyes away in the name of decency, he’d indulged in imagining what it might be like to slip his hands underneath his borrowed tunic to explore her bare skin with his fingertips, to cup her breasts in his hands while he buried his lips into the elegant line of her neck. To press his lips to hers, not by accident this time, until the dull ache of his unanswered questions about his burgeoning feelings about her were quenched. Yes, he desired her. If Alderaan had been the question, the tunic was undoubtedly the answer.
Though the grim realities of his naming the emotions that had plagued him for months came into stark review. He had no right to the desire that pooled in his gut, and he loathed himself for his weakness. Zallia would undoubtedly find his desires repulsive, and he swore to himself she’d never know his shameful secret. Morff blinked with a guilty look; he’d paused far too long in answering Powin’s question.
Powin grinned at him from ear to ear, a wide, toothy smile with a merry twinkle in his eye.
“Why… why are you smiling like that?”
“Was it the dress that piqued your interest?” Powin asked with a smirk. “Never mind, don’t tell me. I already know the answer. I picked out her disguise with you in mind. You’re welcome, by the way. Consider your acknowledging your desire for her as your first step into a larger world, Master Praxis…”
Morff stifled a sigh. He’d confided his two deepest secrets to the exact wrong confidant in a moment of weakness and now he’d pay for it every step of the way.
“You musn’t breathe a word of this to her. She’s already furious with me. This will only complicate matters.”
“Not necessarily so. Might I point out that perhaps she returns the sentiment? Have you considered bringing it up?”
Morff let out a mirthless laugh, long and loud.
“Bring it up? Are you mad?” Morff scoffed with a quizzical lift of his eyebrow. “What precisely am I meant to say? Hello Lia, I know you can’t stand the sight of me at the moment and that you probably hate me, but on the off chance that there’s a shred of our friendship left to salvage, I want to tell you I quite fancy it when you do your repair work in your undershirt. It leaves me quite hot under the tabard. Utter rubbish.”
Powin scrutinized him and fought a smirk, which, after a great deal of mastery, he posed his face so that his next question appeared innocent, even though Morff knew from experience that Powin was poised to make his point.
“Your discussion in which you reveal your burning desire for her would revolve around you telling her you fancy her undershirt?” Powin parroted back to him with a dull, unimpressed tone. “Ah, the tepid passions of a Jedi Master. You’ll forgive me for pointing it out, but these types of confessions rarely involve much in the way of talking. We can circle back to that later. I have a series of questions for you, but before we begin, you must agree to answer all of them.”
It was a trap. The bright gleam in Powin’s eyes revealed it to be so, but it was difficult to see where the attack would come from.
“Very well,” Morff said with a narrow gaze. “Proceed.”
“When the climate system in your room broke, and everything in it was frozen solid, who was the first person to volunteer to let you sleep in her bunk?”
“Lia.” Morff said with a perplexed frown.
She worked three days without sleep to repair the system because she’d seen him standing outside of it with his teeth chattering.
“And when you became ill on Taris, and were drenched with sweat from fever, who sat by your side to keep the cold compress on your head to help break the fever?”
Also Lia, but he didn’t say it aloud this time. From Powin’s questions, a pattern emerged. There had been Rishi too. She’d walked back to the market place after dark, amid dangerous thieves and pirates, to find a fruit he liked because he’d mentioned in passing that he liked it. Corellia. He’d taken a blaster bolt to the gut and was slowly bleeding out. She waded through semi-toxic waste to get him a medpac. She was sick for two days after that, retching in the sonic.
“What are you telling me, Powin?”
“There has not been a single moment of your friendship with her where she hasn’t shown you she cares about you. Ask yourself, have you done as much for her?”
“I’ve always expressed my gratitude for her…”
Morff’s mind jumped to his bungled confession, to the hurt quiver of her lower lip as she said:
“I thought you were my friend… but all you care about is the mission…”
“OH.” Morff gasped as he met Powin’s gaze. “Oh, dear.”
“The blind Padawan sees, it’s a miracle.”
Morff turned to Powin with a worried look.
“I’ve rather mucked it up, haven’t I? How do I fix this mess?”
“If you want to mend your friendship, start by showing her you care. And of course, include an apology. Sometimes the ghastly things you say shock even me. I don’t blame her for being offended.”
“Thank you, my friend. I trust you will keep what we discussed between us.”
“Yes, yes, of course. I won’t say a word to Lia, though, if I may, I have one last question to ask.”
“What is your question?” Morff asked, as his eyes narrowed with suspicion.
“Indulge me. It’s a hypothetical question. You are the battle master of the Jedi Order. You’ve faced many foes, Imperial and otherwise, and have never once called for aid. Yet, you asked for aid here. Why?”
“I am concerned that my distracted state with the Force bond, combined with Madam Kitcan’s ruthlessness, might leave me incapacitated.”
“Is that your concern? Or are you in love with Lia and you’re worried you’ll have to choose between her safety or your mission, so you called us to Jiguuna to avoid making the choice?”
If Powin had hit him over the head with the hilt of his lightsaber, it might have been kinder. The question sucked the air out of his lungs, stunned him into silence. In love with Lia? No… that wasn’t the cause of his distracted state of mind, was it? He chose after his debacle with Arelle to dedicate himself wholly to the Order. He could safely say enamored, but love? 
“I’m not in love with Lia.” Morff scoffed with a frown.
“You can continue to deny it, but when you look at her, your eyes tell a different story. There’s no shame in it. Why not admit it?” 
Morff’s frustrations bubbled to the surface. 
“Enough, Powin!” Morff snapped. “She’s a dear friend, and has a pretty face, but there simply isn’t more to it. I’m certain that with time, my desires will fade. Sometimes I think you make wild accusations to create something that simply isn’t there for your own game, perhaps because of your own regrets and crippling loneliness.” 
Powin’s head recoiled at the strength of his rebuke, and Morff realized, tardily, that in all their dealings, he’d never once shouted at Powin before. There was a shade of disappointment on his face, a sad look of acceptance.
“Perhaps I am lonely,” Powin began with a thin, lifeless smile. “We share that in common, I think. But I’ve known the cruelty of time wasted in doubt and denial. If Lia’s life ended tomorrow, would you have said everything you wanted? Were you as honest with yourself and with her as you could be? There is nothing so lonely and crippling as the regret of unexpressed affection. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll take my unwanted observations and put them to bed. Good night, Master Praxis.” 
Powin swept past him with a flourish of his cape and disappeared inside the casino without another word. Morff regretted his lapse in temper in an instant. Somehow, in the course of three hours, he’d wounded his two dearest friends. What was wrong with him tonight? 
Morff folded his arms across his chest, and pulled his cloak around him, more to protect from his thoughts than the chill. His conversation with Powin had been illuminating and confounding. All the while, a single question repeated in his head. Was he in love with her? 
Bah, yet another distraction! 
 In the three hours since the confession, he’d thought about his mission exactly once. Morff forced the question away and refocused his mind. If he couldn’t find Lia, he would put himself to use elsewhere… but where? He was of little use repairing the swoop bike, and given his fractured state, the last thing he needed was to see Lia again until he had time to clear his head. Theron! He could serve as Theron’s guard for the evening. It’d give him a concrete task to complete and Kerrilyn the opportunity to rest. Morff altered his course and went straight to the medbay. 
When he arrived, Kerrilyn sat outside medbay entrance, head bowed in deep meditation. Odd, why was she not in Theron’s room? She opened her eyes at his approach and offered him a tired smile. 
“No sign of Captain Thane. Why are you not in Theron’s room? Did something happen?” 
“There’s no need for alarm. Come and see.” Kerrilyn stood, with a touch more stiffness than her usual quick gait, and motioned for him to follow. 
Master Nightstar had injured herself retrieving the Datacron, and he’d not said a word to her about her mission, the challenges she faced, or the heavy fatigue of her body. He felt a surge of guilt; he shouldn’t have summoned Powin and Kerrilyn to Jiguuna. She waved him into the room with an eager look and with a sweep of hand gestured to a touching scene. 
In the farthest corner of the room, Theron laid in his bed, fast asleep, a collection of tubes and wires around him. Next to him, sleeping in a small chair with her legs tucked under her, was Zallia. Safe! Thank the stars. The tight coil in his chest loosened with relief. She cared so deeply for her friends. To his list of traits he found appealing, he added, loyal. Then, his spirits fell as he remembered one of Powin’s questions:
“Have you ever shown that you care as much for her? “
He’d tried; albeit his gestures were always small, cautious half-measures than open declarations. That didn’t make them less meaningful; he’d never denied her his help when she required it to make repairs, though as he thought about it further, that gesture had come originally from a disingenuous place. His first two months on the Nomad, he only offered to help with repairs because it helped to ease his fear that the ship would explode mid hyperspace lane. Oh dear, he ought never to tell her that unforgivable secret.
 He searched and searched for some gesture he’d made over the past five months to show her he cared. Mimi! He’d taken turns caring for the Kath hound with Zallia, to allow her more rest. Although, that was not without benefits for himself. He’d found Mimi chewing on his favorite pair of boots, and worked with her in secret while Zallia slept to train her not to do it again. After a minute, he came to the tragic conclusion: he couldn’t think of a single gesture he’d made that was not for the benefit of his mission or himself. Morff’s spirits sank. No wonder she’d been so quick to question the depth of their friendship. Powin’s powerful voice echoed in his head:
“Show her you care.” 
“I’ll keep watch until Powin’s shift, Master Nightstar.” Morff burst out without a second’s hesitation. “You look exhausted…”
Kerrilyn’s face stretched upward in surprise and a trace of confusion. Was it so unusual for him to share the burden of leadership with Master Nightstar? Morff marked this down as another blight on his record. In five months, his friends had never failed him. How was he so blind to the inequity of his treatment of them? 
“Truthfully, it was difficult to sleep.” Kerrilyn confessed in a low voice, with a hint of a conspiratorial smile. “Powin’s complaints about the swamp creatures and his snoring made for long hours. Thank you.” 
Kerrilyn stifled a yawn as she stumbled off to bed. 
When he was certain he was alone, Morff hesitated on the edge of the medbay. Then, with a decisive action, he crept into the room, swept his cloak off his shoulders, and with great care not to wake her, tucked the cloak around Zallia. She shifted in her sleep and smiled in gratitude as she sank into the warmth of the heavy fabric. The corners of his heart contracted at the sight. Face pink and resplendent with sleep, with a stray lock of her hair drifting wildly across her forehead, he struggled to recall when he’d seen a more breathtaking sight. 
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introvert-unicorn · 4 months ago
Text
Words to describe facial expressions
Absent: preoccupied 
Agonized: as if in pain or tormented
Alluring: attractive, in the sense of arousing desire
Appealing: attractive, in the sense of encouraging goodwill and/or interest
Beatific: blissful
Black: angry or sad, or hostile
Bleak: hopeless
Blinking: surprise, or lack of concern
Blithe: carefree, lighthearted, or heedlessly indifferent
Brooding: anxious and gloomy
Bug eyed: frightened or surprised
Chagrined: humiliated or disappointed
Cheeky: cocky, insolent
Cheerless: sad
Choleric: hot-tempered, irate
Darkly: with depressed or malevolent feelings
Deadpan: expressionless, to conceal emotion or heighten humor
Despondent: depressed or discouraged
Doleful: sad or afflicted
Dour: stern or obstinate
Dreamy: distracted by daydreaming or fantasizing
Ecstatic: delighted or entranced
Faint: cowardly, weak, or barely perceptible
Fixed: concentrated or immobile
Gazing: staring intently
Glancing: staring briefly as if curious but evasive
Glazed: expressionless due to fatigue or confusion
Grim: fatalistic or pessimistic
Grave: serious, expressing emotion due to loss or sadness
Haunted: frightened, worried, or guilty
Hopeless: depressed by a lack of encouragement or optimism
Hostile: aggressively angry, intimidating, or resistant
Hunted: tense as if worried about pursuit
Jeering: insulting or mocking
Languid: lazy or weak
Leering: sexually suggestive
Mild: easygoing
Mischievous: annoyingly or maliciously playful
Pained: affected with discomfort or pain
Peering: with curiosity or suspicion
Peeved: annoyed
Pleading: seeking apology or assistance
Quizzical: questioning or confused
Radiant: bright, happy
Sanguine: bloodthirsty, confident
Sardonic: mocking
Sour: unpleasant
Sullen: resentful
Vacant: blank or stupid looking
Wan: pale, sickly
Wary: cautious or cunning
Wide eyed: frightened or surprised
Withering: devastating
Wrathful: indignant or vengeful
Wry: twisted or crooked to express cleverness or a dark or ironic feeling
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