My personal space on tumblr. Subject to geekouts, random obsessions, and sudden changes of fandom.
Reblogged from dduane  4,038 notes

In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social structure, the real enigmas started not to be outside. The rain and the thunder were logical now. But the real enigmas became social. All those impulses that we were repressing: cannibalism, murder, these things needed an explanation. The sex drive, the need to hunt, the need to kill, these things then became personified in monsters. Werewolves, vampires, ogres, this and that. I feel that monsters are here in our world to help us understand it. They are an essential part of a fable. By Guillermo Del Toro (via iwearthecheeseyo)

Reblogged from aiffe  31 notes

Arabian Mythos Setting 1: Jinni

jdtcreatesme:

So, several times over the last few months I’ve seen threads asking for advice on how to build desert/Arabian Nights style settings. Seeing as this is a field I am interested in and have a number of books on, I thought I’d post a starter kit of sorts.

Understand that the following is by no means comprehensive. It is intended merely to be a collection of ideas from myth, legend, and traditions that might jog your imagination.

I’m mainly going to focus on 1001 Nights sort of stuff. We’ll start with djinn. If you’re in a TL;DR mood, now’s the time to leave.

Jinni

The traditional view of djinn as individuals is that they are like humans, but have very poor impulse control. Being made of fire, they’re supposed to be as mercurial, dangerous, and unpredictable as fire is. Consequently they get bored with things very quickly, and sometimes fail to properly think through their actions. There are many stories of djinn falling in love with humans, but failing to realize how destructive their affections can be.

As for their society, it is more or less like ours. Djinn can be good or bad (though even the good ones can be dangerous and unpredictable). Often in folklore “good” is associated with “has converted to Islam,” but the point stands that they can choose to be good or bad, and even that they can choose their religion. The idea of “good” djinn usually involves them realizing how destructive their nature can be and consciously attempting to practice self-control, with varying degrees of success.

One thing you may have seen is references to different classifications of djinn. In D&D, for example, they are regularly divided amongst the elements, with djinn being associated with air, ifrit with fire, and marids with water. This has little to do with actual folklore. All djinn were thought to be made of “smokeless fire,” while mankind was made from (depending on the source) mud or a blood clot. In the folklore these terms have different meanings. A “marid” is merely an exceptionally strong and powerful djinni. The term for malicious djinn is usually “shaitan,” though “ifrit” is sometimes used in this way as well. Ifrit, however, has other connotations, which I will mention later.

What precisely djinn can do is rarely spelled out in the Arabian Nights, but then the stories don’t go into much detail in general. This is because they are folktales, and folktales often are light on details because they are really just the skeletons of a story, a summary provided for the storyteller, who will creatively inject his own details.

So what can djinn do? Well, if you pay attention, they usually display the same powers in their stories: flight, invisibility, great strength, possession, and shape-shifting. “Wishes” are based less on djinn conjuring something from nothing (a power reserved for god) and more on the idea that they used these aforementioned skills. For example, Islamic tradition has it that King Solomon commanded the djinn and ordered them to build the great temple of Jerusalem. They had to actually assemble it, not just make it appear, but due to their powers they could assemble it very quickly. The djinni in the original version of Aladdin does the same thing when ordered to construct a palace.

If you order a djinni to do something too complex for him to accomplish, he may call up his family members or friends to assist him. He may also just bully lesser djinn into it. If you order a djinni to make you rich, he may give you some of the vast treasures he has accumulated over his long lifetime (in stories djinn often guarded hidden treasure caches) or he may simply take the riches you desire from somewhere else. The point is, djinn can’t just pluck whatever you want out of the ether. They have to find it and bring it to you. This can lead to complications, especially if the mountain of gold they just gave you came from the local sultan’s treasury.

Reblogged from tyvian  289 notes
demisnowflake:

This makes me genuinely angry. Look, I know first hand how important representation is. Fuck, as a queer person, I wish we had MUCH better representation for queer character, women, and people who aren’t typical white straight men. I fucking THIRST for more shows I can watch without them dropping a “tr*nny” joke, making bi/pansexual people out to be sexy sex objects for male consumption, and reducing queer people and non-white/Western people to ridiculous stereotypes. 
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, COMPARING ART AND MEDIA TO A GOODS AND SERVICE IS THE MOST ENTITLED THING I’VE EVER HEARD IN MY ENTIRE DAMN LIFE.
Art and media creators do not owe their audience anything. Yes, creators SHOULD put in more representation. They SHOULD think before writing something hurtful and offensive that upholds harmful stereotypes, and they SHOULD own up and apologize when they cross the line. But they are not obligated to tailor their creation to you.
I don’t think concerns should be dismissed offhand with “go make one yourself,” but at the same time, I do heavily encourage people with liberal views to make their own art because as I said earlier, I want to see more good solid representation of what this kaleidoscope world of sexuality, gender, and real people actually looks like. Hell, it’s half the reason why I’m getting into a media field.
But art - and film and media is art, damn it - is fundamentally different from selling couches. A lot of art is personal expression - a writer sits down to plot a story, a painter sits down to paint. Yes, sometimes that personal expression is going to be really shitty, and if it’s something you really care about that sucks, but it’s entitled as hell to think that an artist should tailor their personal expression down to something that checks all the boxes of what you find acceptable, or worth watching. Especially since everyone has a bunch of boxes of their own.
NO PIECE OF ART IS GOING TO BE EXACTLY PERFECT FOR YOU. This is why creating your own is often what creators say, I’m sure with the best of intentions, to people with multiple concerns. Clearly you have a good solid vision of what you want if you’re able to write essays on why such and such a plot point was offensive and hurtful to you, so build from there. If you don’t feel you have the drive to do it on your own, find a partner. Talk about it. Create.
And I hope people do, you know. I hope to see many more shows and books that I can pick up and feel satisfied reading.
But guess what? There are always going to be people who aren’t satisfied with what I think is satisfying and wonderful. And it would break my heart if a piece of media I’ve fallen in love with changes to suit someone else’s vision in an effort to please everyone. And I bet it would break yours, too.
So unless you think you have the absolute most perfect handle on what makes a show or book or movie worth consuming, that EVERYONE is going to find unproblematic and wonderful and enjoyable, then please park your ego and accept that the world is not going to change itself to suit how you think it should look. And maybe think about how it’s a little scary that you think it should.
Snow: Bam, thank you.

demisnowflake:

This makes me genuinely angry. Look, I know first hand how important representation is. Fuck, as a queer person, I wish we had MUCH better representation for queer character, women, and people who aren’t typical white straight men. I fucking THIRST for more shows I can watch without them dropping a “tr*nny” joke, making bi/pansexual people out to be sexy sex objects for male consumption, and reducing queer people and non-white/Western people to ridiculous stereotypes. 

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, COMPARING ART AND MEDIA TO A GOODS AND SERVICE IS THE MOST ENTITLED THING I’VE EVER HEARD IN MY ENTIRE DAMN LIFE.

Art and media creators do not owe their audience anything. Yes, creators SHOULD put in more representation. They SHOULD think before writing something hurtful and offensive that upholds harmful stereotypes, and they SHOULD own up and apologize when they cross the line. But they are not obligated to tailor their creation to you.

I don’t think concerns should be dismissed offhand with “go make one yourself,” but at the same time, I do heavily encourage people with liberal views to make their own art because as I said earlier, I want to see more good solid representation of what this kaleidoscope world of sexuality, gender, and real people actually looks like. Hell, it’s half the reason why I’m getting into a media field.

But art - and film and media is art, damn it - is fundamentally different from selling couches. A lot of art is personal expression - a writer sits down to plot a story, a painter sits down to paint. Yes, sometimes that personal expression is going to be really shitty, and if it’s something you really care about that sucks, but it’s entitled as hell to think that an artist should tailor their personal expression down to something that checks all the boxes of what you find acceptable, or worth watching. Especially since everyone has a bunch of boxes of their own.

NO PIECE OF ART IS GOING TO BE EXACTLY PERFECT FOR YOU. This is why creating your own is often what creators say, I’m sure with the best of intentions, to people with multiple concerns. Clearly you have a good solid vision of what you want if you’re able to write essays on why such and such a plot point was offensive and hurtful to you, so build from there. If you don’t feel you have the drive to do it on your own, find a partner. Talk about it. Create.

And I hope people do, you know. I hope to see many more shows and books that I can pick up and feel satisfied reading.

But guess what? There are always going to be people who aren’t satisfied with what I think is satisfying and wonderful. And it would break my heart if a piece of media I’ve fallen in love with changes to suit someone else’s vision in an effort to please everyone. And I bet it would break yours, too.

So unless you think you have the absolute most perfect handle on what makes a show or book or movie worth consuming, that EVERYONE is going to find unproblematic and wonderful and enjoyable, then please park your ego and accept that the world is not going to change itself to suit how you think it should look. And maybe think about how it’s a little scary that you think it should.

Snow: Bam, thank you.

If you write just about one type of person, not only is that boring, not only does that deprive people of other points of view, it is also just false. It’s not what the world looks like. You should try to write about the world that’s there, because that’s the interesting one. By

Joseph Fink, who’s p good at writing, I think. (from this week’s Philadelphia Weekly)

Yes. This.

(via ljcohen)

Reblogged from dduane  7,277 notes

raijumykaiju:

I am so entirely sick of people ragging on characters that want/try to do the right thing. see: Captain America, see: Superman, see: Scott McCall

It’s always so utterly transparent too. Like I get it, these characters make you uncomfortable because you see them in all the most awful, horrible situations, the kind of rock and a hard place that would break anyone, only it doesn’t break them, it doesn’t force them into the darkness, it doesn’t keep them from being good and kind, and that freaks you the fuck out because you know, were you in that same place, if you had to make those same choices, you wouldn’t be good and kind, you would compromise. (and I include myself here, I’m no Captain America, none of us are really, but why should that mean we shouldn’t try to be? where did we all get this idea that it’s wrong to try to be good and can we pls get rid of it)

And for some of you, it just infuriates you, how dare someone challenge you or your beliefs, how dare they make you question your actions. You hear things like “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun” and your reaction is I don’t want to join you in the sun, I want to drag you down to earth and make you just as twisted and wretched as the rest of us because I can’t stand the idea that I could ever be wrong about things, that I could ever need to grow and change and become better.

And I’m just so sick of it. I’m sick of people being enamored with darkness and amorality. I’m sick of people glorifying characters that are absolutely horrible (yes some of the most interesting characters, and some of my favorites even, are not always good guys, but jfc they are not who we should aspire to be like) and trashing characters just for having the audacity to be good people. I’m sick of people acting like being a giant asshole or even legitimately terrible wrong person is ‘cool’ or ‘edgy’, it’s not, it’s really fucking not. Being good is cool. Doing the right thing is edgy (don’t believe me, try doing it for once and see how much push back you get, it’s not so easy being good). Being better then you were a year ago, a month ago, yesterday, that’s cool. Captain America and Superman and all the other characters that challenge us to do better, be better, they are fucking cool.

Reblogged from terribleminds  139 notes

Most stories have at their core two critical components: The Fuck Up, and Trying To Fix The Fuck Up. Something goes wrong or something changes — a divorce, the Apocalypse, a lost child, someone puts ALF back on the air — and then one or several characters strive to fix that which has gone wrong. By Chuck Wendig (source)

Reblogged from referenceforwriters  881 notes

How to Write Fast

fictionwritingtips:

I never really thought it was a good idea to tell people to rush their writing, but considering we are in the midst of NaNoWriMo—now might be the perfect time to discuss how to make your writing time more productive. You want to make the most of the limited time you have with your work in progress, so hopefully this will help you out. Also, I’m a writer that likes to work fast, so this could help you during any project.

So, how do you write faster?

Outlining and planning ahead of time is the key. I’m not just talking about prewriting before you actually begin your novel, but you should spend a few minutes planning out your next writing session. Here’s how to achieve quick writing skills—

  • After every writing session, jot down what you want to start next. This is a great time to organize ideas for the next writing session/sprint. If you plan a little bit before you begin, you’ll have the motivation to tackle those ideas next time you sit down to write. Spending 5-10 minutes planning out your next scenes will make your writing time more productive. You don’t want to sit there stuck because you have no idea where your story is going. This is what takes the most time.
  • Keep your motivation up. If you’re writing a novel in a month or less, you need to always be thinking about it. This is somewhat easy if you’re writing a lot. You should be thinking about where you want to go next, organizing your ideas, and sneaking in writing sprints when you can. If you keep writing and you stay excited about your story, you’ll be able to write quickly.
  • Keep any “extra” ideas you have close by. If you have some ideas, or come up with some while you’re writing, keep them close by. Sometimes you don’t know where they’ll fit, but you really love them. If you keep this list of ideas somewhere accessible, you’ll constantly have ideas for scenes when you’re stuck. Get creative and think about where they’ll fit and how they’ll improve your story. This will also help keep you motivated because you’ll always have ideas that excite you in some way.

-Kris Noel