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Text: We form our own sort of twisted community, those of us desperate enough to fish in the River Styx.
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arkelyon · a day ago
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i finally started having ideas for making a species in the que'arsaeb (meaning "hard skin") group.
On altuyur if an animal has 4 limbs and an internal skeleton they are part of the silieus reign, if one has 6 limbs and an external skeleton with a sort of skin covering it then they are from the que'arsaeb reign. Like this one right here
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phoenixyfriend · 2 days ago
Worldbuilding: The ASPIRE Method (Introduction)
Read here
Now available to all patrons!
I will likely make a version of this available in full on tumblr for free at some point. However, as this is currently my only source of income, I would like to keep it limited to just patrons. If you are a patron, please do not share to large groups of people; encourage them to subscribe (even just a dollar a month!) instead.
So you’ve figured out your main character. You’ve designed an alien species and planet, or you’ve reinvented the vampire, or you’ve just set up your latest fantasy world. Maybe your characters are purely human. You’ve got a few cities named, a few maps, and a basic idea of how you want society to work… mostly.
It’s time to start building your world.
There are many ways to approach worldbuilding, especially when you dabble in both original fiction and derivative.
One of my preferred approaches is what I refer to as the ASPIRE method. It is derived from the PERSIA method of historical analysis, a tool taught in the International Baccalaureate and American AP courses.
A – Arts S – Social P – Political I – Intellectual R – Religion E – Economic
I’ll be going through these in order and providing both historical and fictional examples of how they apply.
A key part of this tool is to remember that any aspect of a society is influenced by any or all of the others. Any aspect you want to analyze will be through multiple lenses, and the process of building your world will be influenced by all of these.
Not every story needs to have incredibly complex worldbuilding, but the more complex you want it to be, the more use you will get out of this tool. It is somewhat biased towards a Western perspective, as I grew up in the United States.
The Power of the ASPIRE Method
Why should you use this format to develop your fictional setting?
I hesitate to describe any approach to a creative act as ‘should.’ What I do believe is that this is a process worth attempting, to see if it is one that helps you understand your own setting, and finding the possible loopholes that your readers may find distracting.
This is a process that is primarily structured to help you break down what makes for a society, and build it up on the basis of what makes for a society or culture in a real world. The bones are built on an analysis method for historical studies, and so this creative method works heavily through analysis and formalization. You very likely are already thinking of some of these things—you may have decided that this is a monarchy, in a temperate climate, following a polytheistic religion—but this process helps you refine what you’ve already decided on, and then build out the logical consequences or expansions of those decisions.
What this allows you to do is take your vague thoughts or bare bones, and build on them until you have something that, even if you do not include it in your narrative, will hold up if you do touch on one of them, or will let you hide those little easter eggs that an eagle-eyed reader will delight in. Who doesn’t enjoy recognizing that an author did research on a subject close to the reader’s heart, even if it’s just noticing that two seemingly unrelated details mean a third, cohesive thing that suggests a wider world of thought in the background?
Why is the method based on these six topics?
As mentioned, this is a reformatting of a tool that I learned as a student in high school. There are things that are invariable facts in your story, like how your main species reproduces, or what your geography and basic weather are, but the things we build on those basics are all based on the ways that people interact with one another, and that is a different beast.
I believe that a world that has thought put into the ways its people function socially will feel more ‘real’ than one that has an extensive and complex rulebook for the laws of magic or the geological history. This will vary by the genre and the consumer, because a geologist playing a tabletop game with complex magic rules will likely prefer the latter, but for someone that is consuming a narrative, character interaction is a central part of the draw.
Society is just the wider net of interaction.
The nature of a society, and thus of the world you build, is in how people relate to one another and to the world around them. These things are either greatly formalized, like politics or academia, or vague and often undefinable, like arts and social dynamics. Others are somewhere in between, like economics and religion.
Most elements of society fall into more than one of these fields. Something like fashion or textbook design will be impacted by all six in obvious ways. Other things, like banking interest rates or agricultural trade, are obviously in one field, with less obvious ties to the others.
We as a society are rarely, if ever, without connection to one another.
We communicate thoughts and feelings in words and pictures.
We find ways to be better than each other, just as often as we find ways to better each other.
We set rules and regulations for our safety, and find people who do that as a job so the rest of us can focus on making the things we need to survive.
We learn, and invent, and teach.
We find things we can’t explain, in our minds and in our worlds, and come together to tell stories of something bigger than what we can see.
We take what we have, turn it into something new, hoard and share and trade, and tell ourselves that innovation is built on the backs of the search for more capital.
(You may want to put a pin in that one.)
This is all a very flowery way to say that humans are a communal species, and the ways in which we build and then define that community mean something.
(Continue on Patreon)
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howgalling · a day ago
grimlock humanformer cp au post to tie in with wheeljacks -
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this is much more disjointed enjoy my thought process. so. grimlock. gonna do a slight redesign of her outfit/mask but for now reusing this design hehe (just going to make her look a bit cooler dont worry body wont change). alright so, i said in WJ’s post that grimlock is her adopted daughter lol. now context. bit more cyberpunk lore for u guys. im mishmashing a bunch of different sources for my own entertainment so some of this stuff is cybergeneration, basically its not in the game but i love it so i couldnt ignore it
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am i making the dinobots a kid gang. YESS.  grimlock is big even before her modifications. dependable. blunt to a fault, incredibly perceptive. 
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these are some of the categories, i adore them hehee. in my opinion these are fucking sick AND JUST THINK how many characters could fit into these easily. goldenkids, mirage. ecoraiders, HOUND!!  not quite the plot im using for them but you get tbe gist of it! i think its a fun little way to contextualise them :D <3   i know the names are a bit on the nose but honestly i adore the cheesy cyberpunk slang <3 <3 AND!! you cant get mad at these names when we have every transformer name ever. like that.
i digress. anyway, the dinobots are sort of a gang- in the sense that they are a tightly knit bunch of kids who formed a group to survive the hostile environment the frequently orphaned kids of cyberpunk  have to endure. do they sometimes commit petty crime, and not so petty crime? perhaps perhaps... slag (im keeping her name as slag because im british and its funny sorry. imagining someone yelling slag like they are looking for someone is amazing) & sludge/snarl/grimlock have a long record- juve kids hehe. swoop is the skinny smart kid they keep under their wing (hehe) 
anyway. grimlock as pictured above is mid 20′s. wheeljack and grimlock meet when grimlock is in her teens. jackie’s workshop (post. escaping her employers LOL) is below a chop shop, various characters can work in the shop so it’s a ‘real’ business while wheeljack is in the basement cooking up a storm of chaos as usual!! anyway. grimlock as a teen gets into trouble- as she is wont to do!!!, typical type of teen knife gang violence you are likely to see within cyberpunk, nothing special u know the drill. grimlock happens to be away from the squad and gets cornered outside of jackies shop (cut to grimlock beating the fuck out of them). grimlock comes out as the winner but takes some damage and needs medical intervention. solution? she breaks into jackies shop in search of first aid (the actual equipment not the character kdjhdfg)- Wheeljack during this is in the Actual workshop underneath the front repair shop. she gets notified as she ofc has cameras all over the front shop. sees someone going ham opening cupboards etc- grimlock is already unusually large for a teenager at this point so jackie goes upstairs with a weapon expecting an adult intruder. comes face to face with an injured yet very imposing teenage girl bleeding out in the employee break room. and while jackie has been mugged by children at least 5 times (actually maybe it would be funny if she has been mugged by grimlock dfkgjhksdhgr), she immediately lends a hand.  wait hold on im getting distracted so im going  to post this as is before i forget i was doing this post . i have many thoughts on wheeljack gaining grimlocks trust which then gradually extends to the rest of the dinobots, i just want to create a nice little found family (which involves wheeljack getting a gaggle of heinously intelligent/beefy teenagers watching her shop dsfjkghdsfg) LMK WHAT U THINK!! LOVE U IF U GOT TO HERE SJSJS
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raayllum · 2 days ago
TDP and Tarot
So back in like 2016 I did a surface deep dive into the main arcana of Tarot because I was building a fantasy version of Chess and also wanted to take some Tarot associations. Then around S2 of TDP I realized that there were certain elements and inspirations the show seemed to be taking from Tarot, ones that I knew for sure and ones that were fuzzier. Upon taking another at Tarot, a series of cards and choices amid associations, this weekend, I realized there were far more similarities than I’d caught at first glance.
Quick disclaimer: As previously stated, this is surface level research mostly based off citations amongst Wikipedia’s collection. I also mostly focused on the major arcana suite and not as much for the wands, cups, swords, etc. I could miss something or get something very wrong. Please free to chime with your own thoughts, speculations regarding TDP and Tarot in the reblogs, replies, my inbox, etc. 
Also, not a 1:1 sum. Not every Tarot card matches, some could apply to more than one character, etc etc. This is just a collection of thoughts and similarities I found personally interesting.
With that out of the way, let’s get into it.
TDP’s Themes and Tarot
So the clearest similarities between Tarot and TDP are found in the two’s shared thematic associations and some of TDP’s worldbuilding. We can see this clearly in the card of The Tower, which is the card of calamity, and sometimes also seen as “a lightning struck tower.”
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The Tower is commonly interpreted as meaning danger, crisis, destruction, and liberation. It is associated with sudden unforeseen change. Given that 1x01 is called “Echoes of Thunder,” the storm motif is strong. Add that to the King being felled in a tower, and it’s a decently apt comparison (in symbolism and literalism, if nothing else). It’s also largely our heroes’ secondary catalyst since they must take up the quest themselves, after finding the egg itself. It’s worth noting that Callum’s journey into the storm in 2x04 and even the Storm Spire can hold similar motifs (monarchy, change, destruction) largely at the risks Callum and co. are taking at each location. 
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Death in Tarot is a more varied card, visually, with the one consistency being the skeleton. Sometimes atop a horse (reminiscent of Death as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) and sometimes with the scythe we tend to associate with the Grim Reaper. However, Death in Tarot is not a negative card at all. Rather, it’s a signifier that a great change or transformation is on the way, appealing to symbolic and metaphorical death -> rebirth over any literal idea of death.
We can see this in the series by the way Harrow believes his death will be a new chance for his sons to make a difference, Callum’s dark magic dreams that help lead him to the Sky arcanum, Rayla’s three coined parents, and particularly in the character of Viren in just about everything about him. Death and near-death experiences often force people to re-evaluate and reconcile with the choices they’ve made in their lives, both in real life and in the realm of fiction. This is one of the reasons why I’m more and more sure Viren will have a sort of atonement arc starting in season four and why I haven’t let go of the “Harrow’s soul in Pip” theory just yet.
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The Moon is perhaps the card that has the most similarities to TDP with how the show develops, frames, and discusses the Moon arcanum, and why I feel decently confident saying Tarot must’ve been in the back of the writing team’s minds at least a little while crafting the story. The Moon is a card of illusion and deception, and therefore often suggests a time when something is not as it appears to be. Perhaps a misunderstanding on your part, or a truth you cannot admit to yourself. This, plus Plato’s understanding of reality, is basically where we get Lujanne’s speech from in 2x01. The card also furthers the theme of duality and lingering concepts of madness, with the dog and wolf on either side of the card representing a dual ‘tamed and wild’ nature inside all of us (citation).
Additionally, the Moon card also has keywords that heavily relate to themes we see running through Moon arcanum characters, such as illusion, fear, anxiety, subconscious, intuition, deception, difficult period, Hidden things, insecurity, and mental confusion. 
Now for the lengthier more speculative portion:
TDP’s Characters and Tarot
When it came to assigning characters to the different Tarot figures. Harrow and Sarai, with their parental and royalty statuses, were easy fixes for the Emperor (masculinity, fatherhood, kingliness) and Empress (motherhood, femininity, stability) cards respectively. There were other characters like Opeli, who could fit possibly the High Priestess or the Hierophant cards, although the latter and the card labelled Justice could easily go to actual Lady Justice in show as well. The Cycle could be the Wheel of Fortune and perhaps even Rayla partially symbolized by the Two of Swords (“indecision, duality, am impasse,” crescent moon in depictions, needing to trust her own intuition). 
I understandably settled on Lujanne as The Hermit (“a phase of introspection where you are drawing your attention inwards and looking for answers within. You are in need of a period of inner reflection, away from the current demands of your position; solitude, soul searching, etc”) and Soren as the Chariot (“about overcoming conflicts and moving forward in a positive direction. One needs to keep going on and through sheer hard work and commitment he will be victorious; positive associations are confidence, drive, ambition; negative associations are self-doubt, lack of direction”). I considered the Strength card at first for Rayla (or Janai and Amaya), but eventually settled on Claudia due to its imagery and associations: 
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“Strength predicts the triumphant conclusion to a major life problem, situation or temptation through strength of character. It is a very happy card if you are fighting illness or recovering from injury. 
Upright card: Confidence, Enjoying power, Inner strength, Potency, Self-belief, Virility, Vitality
Reversed card (keywords): Hedonism, Lack of self-control, Lacking courage, Self-doubt, Vanity”
There were also cards that didn’t seem a perfect fit for anyone or worldbuilding aspect, such as the Sun and The World cards. 
However, I want to talk about the three cards I think fit best and yield the most interesting results / implications, which is to say:
Callum and Viren as The Fool
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“Depiction: The Fool is usually depicted as a beggar or a vagabond, he wears ragged clothes & stockings without shoes, and carries a stick on his back.
Meaning: The Fool represents new beginnings, having faith in the future, being inexperienced, not knowing what to expect, having beginner's luck, improvisation and believing in the universe.
Upright card: Beginnings, Innocence, Leap of faith, Originality, Spontaneity
Reversed card: Chaos, Folly, Lack of direction, Naivety, Poor judgement, Stupidity”
Not only does Viren’s S4 look slightly resemble a downtrodden vagabond, the Fool is generally defined by his possibility to evolve into the Magician, a shared arc both Viren and Callum have in the first three seasons. Where Callum is the upright version of the Fool, Viren carries the reverse (or negative) connotations, with poor judgement and a long trail of bad decisions. 
“The Fool is numbered 0 – the number of unlimited potential – and so does not have a specific place in the sequence of the Tarot cards. The Fool can be placed either at the beginning of the Major Arcana or at the end. The Major Arcana is often considered The Fool’s journey through life and as such, he is ever present and therefore needs no number” (citation) with the Reverse Fool meaning that you are taking too many risks, not thinking things through, with possible consequence of hurting you and others, or having your naivety and goals taken advantage of. 
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Runaan as the Hanged Man
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Although perhaps a more positive card than Runaan’s imprisonment would earn, the perspective of the Hanged Man is one of “of ultimate surrender, of being suspended in time and of martyrdom and sacrifice to the greater good” which fits Runaan’s imprisonment in the coin to a T, literally imprisoned in time because he was unwilling or unable to consider any paths forward than the one he was on. Positive word associations are what Runaan needs to do, in “Breaking old patterns, Circumspection, Letting go, Metamorphosis, Suspension” (citation) with the Reverse word associations being what Runaan chose to do, with his (slight) “Egotism, Inability to change,” and “Missing an opportunity.” 
Aaravos as the Magician 
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As previously stated, this card is a key part of the Fool’s possible journey, which given Viren’s path in Arc 1, and Callum’s likely dynamic with Aaravos being explored in S4, continues to check out in more ways than one.
Meaning: When the Magician appears in a spread, it points to the talents, capabilities and resources at the querent's disposal to succeed. The message is to tap into one's full potential rather than holding back, especially when there is a need to transform something.
Upright card (keywords): Determined, Dexterity, Resourceful, Skilled, Strong powerful man (citation) / Manifestation, resourcefulness, power, inspired action (citation) 
Reversed card (keywords): Communication blocks, Confusion, Deceit, Ill intentions, Lack of energy / Manipulation, poor planning, untapped talents
This is probably one of the strongest Tarot associations, since it is so straightforward, and we’ve seen it also somewhat be integrated into mainstream understandings and archetypes of power, magic, and wizardry: 
“The Magician card is numbered One – the number of new beginnings and opportunities – and associates with the planet of Mercury. He stands with one arm stretched upwards towards the Universe, and the other pointing down to the earth. His positioning represents his connection between the spiritual realms and the material realms. The Magician uses this relationship to create and manifest his goals in the physical realm. He is the conduit that converts energy into matter [...] On the table in front of him are the four symbols of the Tarot suits, a sign that he has all the tools (and elements) he needs to manifest his intentions into being. Above his head is the infinity symbol, and around his waist is a snake biting its own tail (ouroboros) – both of which signal that he has access to unlimited potential” (citation).
So, now that we’ve established where the Tarot and its TDP parallels currently are, I want to also take a look at where it could be going (and anyone who’s scrolled through my theories post can probably guess) in the future. Again, could mean nothing, but I think the parallels are cool and interesting, so without further ado: 
TDP, Tarot, and S4 Speculation
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Callum and Rayla as The Lovers
So realizing how well Callum and Rayla fit, and could fit, the Lovers card is what sent me on this research spiral to begin with. At first, it was to see if there was a card that could suit one or both of them better, and to double check my own understanding.
Depiction: A man and woman stand in possibly the Garden of Eden, with "The Tree of Life" behind the man and "The Tree of Knowledge" behind the woman. Meaning: The Lovers represent relationships and choices. Its appearance in a spread indicates some decision about an existing relationship, a temptation of the heart, or a choice of potential partners. Often an aspect of the querent's life will have to be sacrificed. Whatever the choice, it should not be made lightly, as the ramifications will be lasting. Upright card (keywords): Being at a crossroads, Choices, Commitment, Falling in love, Partnerships Reversed card (keywords): Broken relationship, Infidelity, Relationship issues, Separation
Given that Callum and Rayla’s relationship is significant enough to the show, you can recommend it on the basis of romance, I feel pretty confident saying they have the criteria. I also thought it was interesting, given the Life Giver and Death seeker dichotomy that TDP often has that the man is accordingly associated with the Tree of Life and the woman with the Tree of Knowledge (and devil subsequently). 
The woman also looks up at the angel (who is sometimes also given Death associations). It is worth noting that in one of the most famous depictions of Genesis, John Milton’s Paradise Lost (which I’ve talked about before and will touch on again in just a second) has Adam being aware that Eve has fallen, but he eats the apple solely because whatever happens, he wants them to be together. Most notably, this shift is from the infamous Rider–Waite deck with the card’s inclusion of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil / the serpent is meant to invoke the symbolism of no return from making bad decisions, and the consequences of innocence lost, and intended to be more widely understood from this imagery (citation).
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But how does this relate to speculation and S4? Well...
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Aaravos as the Devil 
Depiction: The Devil card depicts the devil as the ancient goat-god Dionysius, shown sitting in his throne while watching over a male and female captive.
Meaning: It represents being seduced by the material world and physical pleasures. Also living in fear, domination, and bondage, being caged by an overabundance of luxury, discretion should be used in personal and business matters.
Upright card (keywords): Bondage, Enslavement, Fear, Feeling trapped, Materialism, Temptation, Unhealthy relationships
Reversed card (keywords): Breaking from addictions, Divorce, Freedom from restraints
“The Devil card shows Baphomet, or the Horned Goat of Mendes, a creature that is half man, half goat. Baphomet originally represented the balance between good and evil, male and female, and human and animal; however, more recently, this figure has been linked to the occult and has become a scapegoat for all things considered ‘evil’.The Devil has the wings of a vampire bat, an animal that sucks the lifeblood out of its prey, symbolic of what happens when you give in to your raw desires. He has a hypnotic stare which ‘magnetizes’ and entrances those who come near him, bringing them under his power. Above him is an inverted pentagram – a sign of the darker side of magic and occultism” (citation).
I’ve talked before about Rayla’s bindings as a metaphorical (and later) literal chain, and how the lines around Callum’s wrists in his S4 outfit also evoke chain symbolism. I also don’t think it’s an accident that the one dark magic spell we’ve seen Callum do is one that breaks chains (whereas Claudia creates them) and that he’s been routinely associated with freedom, with Rayla taking Eve’s place as the one who Falls first as she charges (unknowingly) right at Aaravos, while Callum will be the one battling more literal temptation. This is particularly apt as Aaravos has been compared to Lucifer (Satan / the Devil) and Prometheus, who also had a hand in crafting mankind and the first Lovers in Grecian mythos. 
“The Devil card represents your shadow (or darker) side and the negative forces that constrain you and hold you back from being the best version of yourself. You may be at the effect of negative habits, dependencies, behaviors, thought patterns, relationships, and addictions [...] The Devil card often appears when you have been tricked into thinking you have no control over your shadow self or these negative forces, and that you can never break free from their hold” with the Devil reversed being “can often appear when you are on the verge of a break-through or an up-levelling. You are being called to your highest potential, but first, you must let go of any unhealthy attachments or limiting beliefs that may hold you back [...] The Devil Reversed calls on you to confront your inner fears and anxieties to free yourself from the chains that bind you to your limiting beliefs and unhealthy attachments” which is exactly the arc Rayla needs to have in S4 as well.
Basically this is a long winded way of saying that my little Cube Hostage Exchange Theory, in which Rayla is captured and Callum trades the Key of Aaravos for her life, has merit in being attached to Tarot inspirations and associations that TDP has already heavily drawn from. The Magician and The Lovers are both cards interrelated to choice above all else, with the Devil clearly having ties to both as well. It is also worth noting that both Callum and Rayla arguably have more parallels to Aaravos than any other character in the show at this time (Callum-Aaravos tag here, Rayla-Aaravos tag here), mirroring the way the Lovers in the Devil’s card are becoming more like him and making ‘bad decisions.’
Make of all of this as you will.
I hope you enjoyed my meagre-ish deep-dive in Tarot, possibly learned something new, or discovered other possibilities of your own. Did I miss or overlook something? Could a cup or sword or wand card fit another character perfectly? Let me know in the reblogs, replies, etc., thank you for making it this far, and thank you for reading!
—Dragons out!
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thebiscuiteternal · a day ago
Okay, so, as I promised Anon, this is a short “official summary” of how I write regarding Nie Huaisang, chronic illness, and using flippant attitudes to mask very real disability insecurities.
For the sake of simplicity, this is Totally Serious, so no Roger Rabbit Principle in effect.
This centered more in the novel/manhua/donghua category since they have less variation between each other than the live drama has with all of them.
Also, this is thoroughly colored by my own experiences as a person with conditions of episodic/varying levels of disability. Just thought I should admit this up front.
Previous Posts on the issue (not counting Twitter because that’s what this summary is for): 1, 2, 3
Now, then!
These are the basic principles I use for characterization, which will probably come off as familiar/relatable for some of y’all:
Any embarrassment brought on by not trying at all is better than the embarrassment of trying and failing.
If someone sees you doing something once, they will never accept that you can’t do it all the time.
You can’t disappoint someone if you make sure they never expect anything of you to begin with.
Energy is a finite resource and shouldn’t be wasted on things that make you miserable.
People are going to look down on you anyway, you might as well own it/use it/pretend it doesn’t bother you.
If they think you’re doing it on purpose, they’ll just roll their eyes and leave you alone.
With these, you can see how the conflicts between him and those around him form, especially with his brother. Nie Mingjue is very much an all-effort-all-the-time type of person (and has to be, thanks to his own life circumstances), so because he knows Nie Huaisang can be capable if he puts his mind to it, he thinks Nie Huaisang should be putting his mind to everything, including the things he hates doing. It’s the same issue that causes Lan Qiren (and Lan Xichen, once the Headshaker comes into existence) to get exasperated with him so quickly. On the other hand, you can also see how easily Jin Guangyao would be able to get into his good graces because he (whether sincerely or to provoke Nie Mingjue, depending on how you read those in between years) seems to recognize and acknowledge his limits and pushes him instead to spend what capability he has on things he’s already good at.
Also, it’s easy to see how these can backfire! Because he projects an aura of “just doesn’t want to” instead of “can’t”, he’s considered lazy and fickle. He didn’t want to be an annoyance for being sickly, so he’s an annoyance for being a brat. There’s no actual winning the game here, and we do see moments in multiple adaptations where others’ view of him does sting, but as long as he can pretend he’s in control of how he’s perceived, that has to be enough (Ironically, a trait he shares with all three of San-zun).
Okay, veering into the subject of shipping for just a moment. He is fully aware (and people keep making him be aware) of the fact that no matter which side of the spousal arrangement he would fall on, he is at the very bottom of the list of marriageable qualities. As I mentioned in a previous post, he has never been favorably compared to anyone in his life. And he tells himself it’s fine! He’s here for a fun time, not a long time, and it totally doesn’t bother him if a partner starts looking elsewhere when the question of “so when are you going to settle down?” comes up. It’s not a big deal. It’s not. He’s happy being the spoiled child who gets to spoil a partner for as long as they’ll put up with him. Noooo problems there at all. (Would it be different if he could let himself be vulnerable and admit what’s wrong with him? Would they be willing to work something out? Or would they not even believe him? Think he’s lying for sympathy? Better not to find out, haha.)
Now then, take all of ::waves at the above paragraphs:: and put it into the context of his brother’s death. All that pretense fueling their fights because Nie Mingjue would rather look like an asshole than make Nie Huaisang worry over his health and Nie Huaisang has spent so long lying about his own health that Nie Mingjue no longer believes him when he says he can’t do something. Take all of that and have it come crashing down on Nie Huaisang’s head when he thinks his behavior helped drive his brother into an early grave.
Yeah. Yikes.
So that’s where I get the post-death-pre-discovery characterization principle, and there’s only one:
I was such a burden that it destroyed my family and I have to fix this.
So this one might be familiar for some of y’all as well. If so, I’m sorry. It sucks.
I am firmly of the belief that in the time frame where he didn’t know his brother had been murdered, Nie Huaisang did try his damnedest out of a sense of obligation and guilt, and I’m talking in the completely self-destructive burning the candle at both ends way. There are reasons the sect didn’t dump him when he went full Headshaker and I think those are two-fold: 1) they thought he’d snapped under the stress, and 2) even though he had visibly burned himself into a little pile of ashes and melted wax, he still managed to do better by them behind closed doors than he pretended in public. And this is an element of characterization that I think he would never properly be able to shed, even after learning the truth and getting his revenge; the “I could have done this differently.” 
So. There you have it. The hows and whys of my take on Nie Huaisang.
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obsidianstrawberrymilk · a day ago
So I’m thinking about like. Elven subcultures. Because when you force people into molds of perfection and discard anyone you see as not fitting that people - especially young people - will be pissed as all fuck. And Elves don’t have social media like we do, so it wouldn’t even be commodified like subcultures now are.
Like, we all make jokes about how emo Tam is, but... what if that’s the point? What if he wears black, dyes his hair, gets angry and dark to separate himself from the light saturated society that was willing to leave his sister for dead just because she wasn’t perfect? Yeah, Elves ‘aren’t musical’ or whatever, but what about Dex, after he fixes Sophie’s iPod for her, getting curious about human music. Like, what if listening to human music becomes like an alt thing? What if people like, form bands with self made instruments that aren’t like the ones humans have because all they have to go off is sound?
What about art? I made a post a while ago about Linh being a street artist and Keefe being a surrealist, but what if they’re not the only ones? What about art movements as well, imperfect and flawed and messy, communicating issues everyone wants so much to cover up? What about messy clothes that would make nobles faint instead of the conservative cloaks and skirts and suits they’re all used to?
It really seems to me that the Elven world is very whitewashed as well. What about POC Elves reclaiming their own histories and cultures? What about new languages aside from just The Enlightened Language being rediscovered and learned or even made? What about people adopting forms of dress from Elven cultures long lost in what was either an unconcious or purposeful cultural cleansing?
Ofc, this would all be very underground. The Council is literally a dictatorship who control the media, education, everything. But people find ways. Someone sneaks a smuggled MP3 player from the Human world into Foxfire and some people get curious, get interested, and get deeper. People find ways to meet up and talk. Maybe that’s where the rebel organizations, Black Swan and Neverseen, find people to recruit? Like, how else do you find people both angry at the world around them and ready to rebel?
Idk. Reading about the growth of alt subcultures in Europe and America rn and I’m just very interested in subcultures in the Elven world. Even aside from alt ones which is what I’ve focused on here.
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writting-in-blood · 2 days ago
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I made a map of terraformed Venus for The Hunt For The Dying Word. The two white dots (cities Asteria and Leto) near the center are where most of the story takes place. Am I going to need this to write? I don't know but I had fun making it
Taglist: @writeouswriter @friendzonefrog
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highurbanfantasyjazz · a day ago
How to Name Locations During Worldbuilding
Definitely don't name a town after your grandmother, because what if, somewhere down the line, you make that town rob a bank or something?
Hilarious Miscommunications There’s, like, half a dozen rivers named Avon in the UK, and do you know why? Avon means river in Ancient Celtic. These Roman pieces of shit wandered in and were taking stock of the shit they now owned and they’d see a river and they’d go up to a local and they’d be like, ‘Hey, mate, what do you call that river over there?’ in their broken-ass Ancient Celtic or – far…
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arkelyon · 2 days ago
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concept ideas i keep in my head, planning on doing more 4 fun these
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marlynnofmany · 22 hours ago
Sometimes worldbuilding is like “Okay, they call themselves Rockbacks because of their shells, and the planet is Biggest Rock as a sign of respect, and their capitol city is called Sea Soul Harbor because of the crab thingies that live on the shore -- ‘Oh look, they have armored bodies just like us! They are kindred spirits and sacred!’”
Other times it’s like “Hey this is Roka; she’s a one-eyed, one-armed, hopping purple people alien. And a diplomat.”
(Yes, these are both examples from a book I wrote. Yes, I am absolutely making fun of my own choices.)
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solarskunks · 4 months ago
people are cowards about fantasy settings and not including some things in em. I get the aversion to not wanting too modern of tech, however dwarves would invent and fucking love metal folding chairs
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prokopetz · 9 months ago
I know I’m being an insufferable worldbuilding nerd here, but my basic metric for evaluating media with very inhuman protagonists is “how easily can one offer a complete and coherent account of this media’s plot without ever mentioning the fact that the protagonist is, for example, a talking car?”. The harder it is, the higher it scores.
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filibusterfrog · a year ago
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core classes as undead :)
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guttertongue · 3 months ago
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orcs orcs orcs! Some of my ocs from an original worldbuild. In this worldbuild, in order for a new orc to be born, a creature must be hunted and its blood used in a ritual. The resulting orc is blessed with the strengths and abilities of the creature which helped to make them. 
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homunculus-argument · 10 months ago
Worldbuilding stuff:
If your story has an idle nobility class, their culture shouldn't just be different from the general population, it should be an over-the-top caricature of the common folks' culture. Whatever the population generally agrees is ideal, fair, admirable, or good, the nobility will take into stupid extremes.
Contrary to the beliefs of many, people are actually not at all happy when they're idle - a person with no assigned task or duty will go out of their way to come up with one. And all around the world, whenever there's been an upper class with nothing to do, they've started to compete with each other over stupid shit, but always stupid shit that the culture they live in considers positive qualities.
From the noblemen in Europe challenging each other to a possibly lethal duel over insulting someone's hat, to a Chinese noblewoman being moved to tears by the beauty of someone's calligraphy, bored elites everywhere have always wanted to outdo each other in their expressions of possessing all the noble traits that this culture in particular holds in value.
You can, and should, use this as a way to highlight what the actual values of this society is. In a setting where being religious is held as an admirable trait, there is nobility coming up with new ways to one-up each other in their expressions of worship. Society that values art and music will have them competing over who hires the most artists, and who employs the most talented musicians. Aggressive, war-like people will have fuels to the fucking death over a stupid hat.
Literally anything can be competed in, and bored people with far too much time and money in their hands will become competitive over the most ridiculous things. This isn't just an useful tool in worldbuilding, but also a fun one.
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kjscottwrites · 3 months ago
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I was inspired by @jezifster's recent question about non-gendered royal titles, and I put together this graphic to serve as a jumping off point for people writing monarchies in SFF !
Obviously this non-exhaustive list contains mainly western titles, all in English. Feel free add any on additional gender neutral terminologies that you can think of, including those from different languages and cultures!
A small addition: I'm not a linguist or historian and put this list together based on some quick googling! While you're free to flex the usage and meanings of these words however you choose, researching the real-world context of each term before using them in your own writing is a best practice.
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