cest_what: (supergirl)
Firstly, if there's a story you already have in your head for whatever pairing we got matched on, please feel free to ignore my letter and go for that! An idea you're excited for is almost always going to be a better story than one written when you want to be writing something else. But if you're looking for ideas to spark off, here are some things I like.

Generally: I love AUs, especially with self-indulgent tropey settings - highschool, space, coffeeshops, flower shops, band AUs etc. I love canon fic too, but just to say that if you were wondering about AUs, I am cool with them :) (The one caveat I'll add there is that I don't like seeing characters' nationalities changed for AUs.)

I love happy or somewhat hopeful endings, and pining, and first kisses. I love clever magic and plottiness and monsters and desperate codependent huddles. I love amnesia and memory shenanigans, and communication troubles, especially with a magical or SFnal bent, and In Vino Veritas and truth spells and deception and telepathy. I love charming plot-lite banter and cute animals, especially if they're a little weird. I love robots and AIs. I love listfic - 20 facts, care and feeding instructions, fic in the form of recipes etc.

I don't mind about rating - you can go as high as you like, or you can restrict them to a kiss on the hand, whatever works for the story.

I would rather not get tragic or unrequited endings, noncon or dubcon, omegaverse, infidelity, pregnancy and babyfic, marriage and weddings, or domestic established relationship/curtainfic (I don't object to it or anything, it's just a harder sell for me personally?)

Chihayafuru, AtLA, Gunnerkrigg, Shingeki no Kyojin, xxxHolic )
cest_what: (Default)
I'm not quite sure if I'm doing the between-fandoms-butterfly thing or if "Anime and Manga" in the monolithic sense really is my fandom at the moment. Possibly I would be writing more if that were true. The only thing I've written lately-ish is 3000 words of an unfinished Shingeki no Kyojin space AU. (Why. Nobody asked for one. And I hate SnK.) (I mean I kind of love it but I also genuinely think it is terrible and would not recommend it to anybody, except for the times when I would because it's so good.)

I actually had a conversation with [personal profile] blottingtheink yesterday about why SnK is so traumatising. I just finished reading No. 6, which also features dystopian bleakness and a certain amount of body horror, and some of the things that happen in it are really terrible, but it doesn't get at me the way SnK does. And partly that's because it's not nearly as terrible, and there are a lot more interludes with adorable mice and impromptu dancing lessons that are only sort of heartbreaking, and general joy to go with the emotional precipices and bleakness.

But also, really importantly, it's because No. 6 deals with horror and traumatic events the way you expect them to be dealt with. When something horrifying and tragic happens then it is the only thing happening on the page. Darkness creeps in at the edges and there are ominous sfx and you cut to the POV character's wide horrified gaze. And after it has happened they fall to their knees and process it.

In SnK, a named character will have their legs torn off and it will happen in a corner of the page, with no build-up and no fanfare. Nothing stops for the terrible things in SnK. There's never any time to process, and never any way to prepare. It's really effective in conveying the characters' overwhelmed horror and sense of dissociation, but it does it by forcing you to feel overwhelmed with horror and dissociated.

Wow, ok, things that are not traumatic: swimming anime episode tonight! I started watching Free! because it was hilarious, and now I'm watching because I love it in terrifyingly unironic ways. Seriously, though, I love that it's a show that knows its audience is slashy fangirls, and has no intention of backhanding that audience in the name of trying to get the teenaged boy demographic as well. And I love how kind the whole aesthetic is. There's a massive amount of fanservice, but it's not mean fanservice, the ways shows full of e.g. upskirt shots often are. There's affectionate laughing at everyone, but you never get the impression the show doesn't respect its characters and their arcs, and they're never forced into uncomfortably suggestive situations or made to be undressed when they don't want to be. Other than the shirtlessness and the female gaze-iness, most of the fanservice is about feelings, and they're real feelings, the kind that matter.

It's just not the show I would have expected from "fanservicey slashy sports anime created by popular demand from shippers about boys who can't keep their clothes on".

Anyway, I thought I might try doing some kind of weekly rec of the best fanwork I've come across from the week. This week's is a fanvid:

Stray Italian Greyhound by [personal profile] zazzle

It's No. 6, and it's Nezumi/Shion, of course, because all of the No. 6 story is about their love really. It kind of kills me: it hurts, watching Nezumi deal with being in love hurts, and then it's joyful and gentle and I can't really deal. And I love this song anyway, but the vidder relates it to this canon beautifully, throw open windows, ugh.

Yep alright, there's an update for one of my favourites of the many ridiculous BL manga I've started tracking, so I'm gonna go do that now.

Ficlet Meme

Aug. 2nd, 2013 10:49 am
cest_what: (Default)
Cross-posting from tumblr, on the chance!

Give me 2-3 characters from one of the fandoms below, along with either:

* a trope (e.g. locked in together, unwanted telepathy, etc etc), or

* a “3 things" prompt (e.g. three secrets X kept from Y, three times X injured herself on stage, etc)


and I will write a ficletty thing that may or may not be shippy!

Fandoms

Chihayafuru
Free! | The Swimming Anime
Ookiku Furikabutte
Tsubasa/xxxHolic/Drug & Drop/Gate 7
Shingeki no Kyojin
Hikaru no Go
Harry Potter
Disney Animations (any combination from Mulan, Princess & the Frog, Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, Hercules, Tarzan, Little Mermaid)

AND ON MATURE REFLECTION I AM GOING TO ADD:

Adventure Time
cest_what: (supergirl)
This live Doctor Who podcast series covering each doctor in chronological order plus various thematic discussion points is completely darling and very professional, you should check it out if that's your thing. The most recent episode is the fifth doctor (the crickety one with the stick of celery on his collar) and the theme of Fear.

Do you have podcast recs? I would love to hear them. Any subject other than sports is cool. My regular listening list has dwindled awfully.
cest_what: (Default)
Somehow Elementary became my actual favourite show. I spent so long approving of it in a somewhat distant way, I can't even remember when that turned into genuine delight at each and every thing it does. The finale - every part of the finale, even before the central reveal - made me so happy that I'm not even sad about the long wait for more.

Anyway, spoilery stuff )
cest_what: (Default)
I just got a new power pack for my laptop delivered at work, and I am hoping so hard that it's going to mean I get to actually move my laptop off my desk, oh my god. Give me a portable computer again.

That 1D fic is now in my top 5 most popular fics at AO3, of course. Which doesn't even mean it's doing particularly well, for the fandom. I'm always a weird mix of pleased and embarrassed when I write fic for a popular slash pairing, because of course it's lovely when lots of people want to read what you wrote, and I can never keep myself from tracking hits and kudoses, but also so much of 1D fandom is terrible and so much of Harry/Louis fic is even more terrible than that and most of the people who have read it would have read it just the same if I'd written it entirely in lower case, made Louis's girlfriend evil and referred to Harry exclusively as "the curly-haired younger boy". I mean, probably.

I am feeling really pro-slash at the moment, though, more than I have for ages. Which I think just means that I'm riding the same waves of fandom sentiment as a bunch of other people, because baa etc. It just feels really powerful to me at the moment that we've created this space in which the mainstream is depictions of boys behaving in ways designed to appeal to the female gaze (largely), whether that gaze is queer or straight. I've seen a lot of arguments that of course girls in fandom write about boys, because the male characters in our canons are better written, more relatable, more accessible, so gravitating to writing about boys is natural. But the truth is I'm pretty sure most of us who were writing before we got into fandom started out writing about girl protagonists. That was what we felt we had the authority to write, because we were girls; if we wrote boy protagonists, probably we would get them wrong. Slash is pretty liberating, because it lets you claim these popular male characters, and you don't have to worry about getting them right or wrong, they don't have to be authentic, they're ours. Male writers have been writing fantasy girls for centuries, and all they had to ask was "will this depiction appeal to the men in my readership". With slash we get to do the same thing. And some people will still say you got it wrong, slash gets it wrong, this subsection of slash gets it wrong, but in the end you've got an audience of people who love your fic about sixteen year old boys cuddling and talking about their feelings, and it doesn't have to be vetted by anybody but them.

I'm starting to think I won't be doing anything for the female character trope fest, which is a bit sad because in concept it's basically my favourite thing in the world. I'm just not feeling, I don't know, the sense of community I need to actually want to write a fun tropey story for the sake of fun tropeyness? I could write something more serious, of course, but I don't really want to start another wip I'm taking seriously.
cest_what: (Default)
One Direction | Harry/Louis | 6500 words | PG

Summary:
A Sixth Form AU. Harry and Louis have always done things like this, always messed around. Louis doesn't know why it's not funny this time.

Something Real (AO3)

... and on that day I finally gave up on double posting, welp.

*

Posting fic for a massive OTP in a massive fandom is this weird mix of attention and anonymity. I uploaded this to AO3 three days ago, and it got 600+ hits in the first twelve hours or so, and then immediately dropped to a handful. Which I sort of expected, on both accounts, but it still feels a bit strange.

Anyway, despite the fact that this is the worst ship for the worst fandom, I enjoyed writing this seriously a lot, and I'm really fond of it now it's done. I adore this kind of high school AU, in all its tropey shamelessness.
cest_what: (Default)
That AO3 stats meme is going around again, I guess? This kind of meme always seems most attractive to me when I'm not really writing. Because sure, I added maybe 200 words to each of my WIPs in the last fortnight, but look at all these other things I wrote once. Things that people liked, even! Look, they read them and everything.

By Hitcount )

By Kudos )

It's actually kind of interesting the way these start out as basically the same list, and then diverge sharply halfway through. The Hitcount list is basically "Here are all the fandom OTP slash pairings I have written in currently popular fandoms, plus those two times my Yuletide was for a juggernaut fandom". Plus two of my favourite stories I've ever written - the Bandom/Disney co-write and the Jane/Mulan one I wrote for [tumblr.com profile] toujoursgai's birthday. The Kudos list is basically, "Some of those things, but also HOMESTUCK, wow, Homestuck fandom sure likes to kudos". It has a lot more femslash and gen, and swaps out the older (better) Jane/Mulan fic for the Yuletide Belle/Mulan fic.

I'm a bit delighted those two Homestuck gen fics made the list. One of my favourite things about Homestuck fandom is people getting excited about relationships between characters who don't want to kiss each other.

I worked out eventually why that one Thor/Loki fic was so popular. Apparently it got recced on /report? I have occasionally conflicted feelings about /report, but hey, thanks guys. Anyway, it looks like it's going to be overtaken by the John/Karkat one soon, so I guess actually being in a fandom and writing more than one story for it does count for something.

Other than the Disney fusion and a couple of co-writes with [archiveofourown.org profile] softlyforgotten that don't quite make the top 10, my Bandom fic continues to be persona non grata at AO3, ahaha. I don't know if Bandom is very active at AO3 these days, but if so it certainly isn't reading my old OTPs.

I find it kind of interesting that 'Earthbound Spook' is now my most popular Harry Potter fic at AO3. I don't know if it got a high-profile rec somewhere or if it was just the effect of taking the Major Character Death warning off and putting in an author's note instead, lol, because it never used to be. I'm glad, though - it's one of the fics I'm most proud of writing, still, six years later or however long it's been.
cest_what: (Default)
Cross-posted from Tumblr.

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Historical queer YA.

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove’s ambition is to be a doctor. A post as companion to the sister of one of her brother’s friends is a far fall from that, but when Louisa reaches what she thought was her new position, she finds something much more terrible. Her destination is an asylum for the insane, and they greet her there as Lucy Childs, a new patient. Protesting that that’s not her name only appears to confirm them in their opinion of her madness. Her only ally is Eliza, a young attendant who seems to believe her story. Louisa is determined to escape by one means or another, but she’s beginning to realise that it’s no accident that she’s here, but a betrayal.

Oh, this is good. For the first half of the book it didn’t seem as though it was really going to be a love story, or only peripherally, despite the tagline (Treachery locks her away. Love is the key). And it is primarily the story of Louisa’s incarceration and escape. The terrible stifling panic of losing liberty and voice – when nobody will listen to her and other people’s versions of reality are believed over hers – is difficult to read at times, but made a lot less so by three things. One is that the tagline lets you know some kind of escape is coming, of course. One is that the asylum scenes are interspersed with flashback scenes of her life before, which despite being in an awkward font help make Louisa’s medical ambitions as important a part of the story and her character as her current incarceration. (And also contextualise her queerness.) But most of all, despite the increasing constriction and confinement and silencing that’s closing around Louisa, this is not a passive narrative, or a passive heroine.

The cover is actually terrible, even though it’s quite pretty, because it doesn’t suggest an active or vigorous story and heroine at all. Louisa is affected by the asylum and its petty and great tyrannies, she’s not special, she doesn’t have any extraordinary ability to resist that the other patients don’t have. But she acts, and she thinks, and she tries, and the story is shaped by all the little and big ways she’s trying to think and act her way out of this. There’s suspense and excitement and yes, at about the halfway mark there begins to be romance.

Subverting the spirited heroine trope )


Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones

Children’s/YA fantasy.

Twelve-year-old Gair, middle and most ordinary child of famous parents, has been brought up to fear and hate the other two peoples who live on the Moor: the water-dwelling, shape-shifting Dorig and the warring Giants with their strange magic. But thanks to a wrong done to a Dorig by their uncle when he was a boy, everybody on the Moor is living under a curse of misfortune. And Gair may be the one with the key to lifting it.

I remember reading this at the same time as The Homeward Bounders, about ten years ago. At the time I liked it better because it wasn’t horribly sad (my tolerance for sad things: even lower ten years ago than it is now), but I can see why it took me so long to reread it, all the same. It’s a little bit of a mess. (Not that I reread books a lot in general, but Diana Wynne Jones books are a special case.)

I really like the first half. DWJ does family so well, and the three siblings have a lightly drawn but wonderfully believable dynamic with each other and with their parents. The tone is great too: the realism and humour of the character voices melded with a more folkloric kind of world than DWJ often writes reminded me a bit of Alan Garner’s Weirdstone of Brisingamen or Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books.

The tone is the problem, though )


Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Folkloric fantasy.

(Also apparently YA? I would not have classified it YA, but the Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlist would not lie to me.)

Miskaella’s island village has a heritage it doesn’t talk about. In times past there were men who took sea wives: enchanting women drawn out of seals. There are still children born with the look of the seal women about them. Unlovely Miskaella is one, and she grows up a pariah as a result, within her family and the village, friendless and loveless; and even more so on the day she wakes to find that she has a new, terrifying awareness of the world around her. Among other things, she can see now how you would take a woman from a seal. And in it, how she might make her village pay for its treatment of her.

This is a disarmingly lovely story. The themes are ugly – rejection, revenge, abduction and coercion, selfish cruelty in love – but somehow the human sympathy and the imagery keep it something beautiful all the way through. When a seal woman is drawn from the sea for a man, the spell of love is cast both ways, and is almost as costly for both. As a result, at the centre of this story is a knot of love and misery and yearning. The abducted seal women yearn for the sea and can never be happy away from it, but are trapped first by love for their abductor-husbands and children, and second by their husbands concealing their shed skins so they can’t return to the waves. The husbands of the island are also trapped by their love and can’t bear to let their wives go, but see and keenly feel their unhappiness and are helpless against it and unhappy themselves. Minor spoilers here )
cest_what: (Default)
I hung out at the 3-Sentence Ficathon for a bit a while back, and ended up liking a couple of my fills enough to post the lot to AO3, so:

30 Sentences, feat. various micro fills for Hikaru no Go, Anne of Green Gables, Gunnerkrigg Court, Code Name Verity, Calvin & Hobbes, Harry Potter, Adventure Time, Homestuck and due South.

____

Here is my latest fannish pet peeve. It's bothering me enough that I've started slipping passive-aggressive references to it into pinboard notes and conversations with non-fannish friends, so perhaps it bears saying so that I can, you know, stop:

I am so over AUs in which European characters are inexplicably American.

Obviously this all ties into the weird set of expectations and assumptions that we all have about what are acceptable changes to make to a character in an AU setting. Turn a rockstar into a librarian but don't change their surname. Turn a bunch of canonically adult characters into teenagers in high school, but don't change their ages relative to each other. Turn a human character into a vampire but don't change their freaking nationality.

I know that those are subjective lines, and that there are plenty of people who are bothered by none of those things, or completely different things that don't trip me at all. So I guess what I'm actually complaining about is the mindset that makes what is starting to feel like far too many people not tag or in any way signal the nationality change in the headers.

If you're writing One Direction, you can't just call it a bookshop AU and leave people to work out two thousand words in that the reason it's so badly britpicked is that it's a bookshop in freaking New York. If you're writing Les Mis, you can't just call it a Modern AU and expect people to understand by that that the reason none of the street names sound very French is because everyone is supposed to be Californian. I am not going to assume that Enjolras is American just because he's in a modern AU. That isn't a natural assumption to make! Paris is also a place that exists in the 21st century! And has university students and social justice clubs and cafes!

(All that said, I will freely admit that it hasn't actually bothered me much in the past when American or Canadian characters in historical AUs were inexplicably English. Hypocrisy, it's a beautiful thing? ... I think that it would bother me to read it now, though.)

Just ... tag it. Mention New York in the summary. Do something to warn me that if I want to read this fic, I'm going to have to read all of Louis Tomlinson's dialogue with a New York accent and nobody's going to drink any tea.

ETA: Just to clarify, as with all rants, the "you" here consists probably entirely of people who will definitely never read this.
cest_what: (Default)
* So I ran away to northern New South Wales for my birthday, and it was p. much great. I skipped out on Melbourne's heatwave and spent a week drinking gin and playing 500 with my mum, kicking through rainforest creeks in the rain, watching old episodes of Leverage, attacking my fingers with a guitar and lounging about in the sunshine on my dad's yacht (this is such a misleading statement: it is a yacht and it's awesome, but he built it himself over a span of about 3 decades and is now spending more than he can afford to moor it, but it's so stupidly exciting to finally see it out on the water with the sail unfurled). Check it out, I am no longer a twenty-something. I am ... mostly cool with this.

(I spent the weeks leading up to my birthday thinking about my early twenties, and realising that I am so glad I'm not there anymore. I had a lot of fun, it was so much better than being a teenager, it was amazing really, but fuck I made everything so much harder than it needed to be. Everything. Everything was harder than it needed to be, all of these imaginary neuroses and insecurities and just working out how the fuck to do things. It's so much easier to be me now. And I'm so much less of a tool.)

* I haven't played guitar regularly since my early twenties. I picked it up again about a week and a half ago and promptly spent fifteen minutes tuning it on the wrong fret, welp. Then I spent the next five days tormenting my poor callus-less fingertips with unforgiving steel strings, and now I have calluses again. Thin ones, but it's amazing, last night I played until I felt like doing something else rather than until my fingers hurt too much to use. It still hurt a little to type afterwards, I suffer for my art etc, where art = sitting against the headboard of my bed strumming Leonard Cohen songs with a little hiccup pause before every F. I really hope I keep up with it, it would be great to be more than "a bit of". A bit of a singer, a bit of a guitarist, a bit of a keyboard player, a bit of a songwriter. I don't aspire to be more than a social musician, but I'd like to be that.

* I do want to write songs again. I used to do it all the time, and ... I think I've forgotten how? That seems like such a strange thing to forget.

* Fannishly my main activity seems to be linking, lately. Reccing at [community profile] fancake or updating [tumblr.com profile] hellsyeshomestuckfemslash and [pinboard.in profile] kudostest. The hellsyes tumblr is a bi-weekly newsletter of new Homestuck f/f fic and I honestly have so little idea why I'm doing it. It's picked up 50 or 60 followers (... hi [personal profile] gloss? ♥) since I started it so I guess people are finding it useful, but I'm not totally sure why? Almost all Homestuck fic is posted at AO3 or occasionally on the kink meme (or on tumblr, but there's no good way to track new tumblr fic, so I don't bother), so it's really just an AO3 scrape, which anybody could get for themselves by going there and having a look, every few days.

I started it mostly because ... well, I have low impulse control when it comes to starting side blogs, and because I was thinking again about how incredibly un-useful I find [livejournal.com profile] femslash_today. It should be such a great resource, but the fact that they don't include summaries - and I understand that space would be an issue - makes it impossible to tell if something is worth clicking through to. I'm not going to click through to 46 stories every day**, in case there's something cool in a fandom I don't follow. So I thought, with a single fandom, even a prolific and femslash-friendly one like Homestuck, you could include summaries and content tags and it wouldn't be very much work to keep up at all. Which it isn't, honestly, but 85% of everything is terrible and it's killing me to meticulously archive titles and summaries with grammatical errors and horrible punctuation decisions and gratuitous fourteen-year-old angst, a little bit. I've been trying to calculate when is too soon to advertise for a new mod to take it over basically since the day after I set it up.

** Wow, I just checked the comm for the first time in a while, and their daily lists have shrunk so much. What happened there?

The [pinboard.in profile] kudostest pinboard is much cooler, in my opinion, but also apparently massively less appealing to people who aren't me? In that it has exactly three followers, one of whom is [personal profile] blottingtheink. I actually started it on tumblr as another roundup newsletter, but it picked up no followers at all no matter how I tagged it, so I moved it to pinboard where I could tell myself that at least it might be useful in the future, as an archive or for stats.

It's basically a skim of all f/f fic posted to AO3 (in all fandoms) that picks up about a 10% or above ratio of kudoses to hits in the first few days. It's not any kind of absolute quality test - some fandoms are much more kudos-happy than others, and some fandoms are so small you can't get any kind of data at all in the first few days, and people are much more likely to kudos a drabble than a novella, and I still haven't worked out a good formula for multi-chapter works, and etc but all the same, kudos/hitcount is the best objective quality test we have available. And if you're into femslash you pretty much have to be multi-fannish, at least if you only want to read good fic. So it feels like a potentially cool resource? Idk, I'm still evaluating.

* I am writing a little. I have I guess about 3000 words of 1D high school clichefic (oh noes drunken kissing at a party does it ~mean anything) and probably about the same of John/Karkat Hogwarts clichefic (oh noes potions mishap now they can't let go of each other). Plus various other bits and pieces. I had a vague plan to write something for Femslash February, but I couldn't get excited enough about any of my ideas. It would be cool to not work on tiny little ficlets, in any case; I haven't posted longer fic in a frighteningly long time. Homestuck doesn't seem to inspire length in me, only eternally remixed character interactions in bite-sized pieces.
cest_what: (Default)
I finally read Captive Prince last week, after years of refusing to because I thought the WIP posting model would be too painful for me for that kind of story.

I was expecting epic hurt/comfort and ... I guess more in the way of emotions-porn? The way fandom typically does slavefic?

Really it's more like Game of Thrones if everybody was queer and the OTP was a Stark hooking up with a Lannister.
cest_what: (supergirl)
Almost every 1D fic idea I have is a high school AU, I've realised. None of them need to be, either, it's like my mind just appends in high school! to every idea, regardless of what it is.

I'm not even writing, really, I'm just filling a notebook with high school AU ephemera.
cest_what: face the world (face the world)
I listened to the new FOB song, and man, I'd forgotten how much fun Fall Out Boy music is. I took most of it off my iPod when I fell out of bandom, because fandom burn-out hits me that way. I get self-conscious and discomforted by even reminders of this thing I was so massively enamored of, and need to insulate myself for a while before I can get free air again.

With Harry Potter it took about two (three?) years, and then I hit the delighted nostalgia stage and started reading HP fic again. I still didn't properly go back to my old OTPs, but there was new fic to read and there were worlds of old fic for ships I hadn't been into at the time, and the HP world was this fondly familiar but also novel space to kick around in.

I think I'm maybe getting close to the nostalgic stage for bandom now too. I've been eyeing some of my old recs at pinboard, and wondering if I'd like to reread them. Especially the femslash that I got into right at the end of my bandom stint. I was thinking maybe even some My Chem, since that was less my haunt than Panic, but then apparently My Chem fandom had some kind of meltdown about Mikey Way and I thought lol no. Not right now.

Stilllllll. Bandom. It was pretty great.

_______

Unrelated Homestuck upd8 chatter: Oh my god the Rogue outfit is ace, Roxy you are stylish as hell.
cest_what: (natasha in sunlight)
I've been thinking about movie-verse Black Widow in relation to this excellent blog post lately. In particular the idea that because women in comics/video games/geek media tend to be portrayed as unrealistically sexy and eye-candy-esque in their clothing and poses while doing kickass masculine-coded things (being amazing fighters, hackers, engineers etc), people often consider that that competence itself is part of the fantasy, rather than a quality that's realistic for a female character.

I have mixed feelings about parts of Natasha's arc in Avengers. On an individual character level, the fact that Natasha is afraid and deals with it is great: it's part of what gives her the human depth that's missing from her role in Iron Man 2. On a broader level, the fact that Natasha, the only female Avenger, is also the only one of them we see frightened and running scared, is unfortunate.

What I don't have any mixed feelings about, though, is that in addition to seeing her scared, we see Natasha doing things that are fucking hard, and that we see the effort it takes. Natasha's coolest moment in Iron Man 2 is, undoubtedly, her fight scene in the corridor. It's well choreographed, her hair looks great, her outfit looks great, and basically the whole thing looks really cool. It's also effortless: she doesn't break a sweat, she never looks less than stunning, and every move displays her body in, not a hypersexualised way, but in an entirely photogenic way. It's not something you would look at and think "god that's so objectifying", but in the most literal way, that's absolutely what it is: there's nothing at all to take you inside the character's POV, you're just watching a beautiful kickass fantasy woman do cool shit.

I think the photogenic damn that's cool moments are really important for action movies and superhero movies in particular. Natasha gets as many of them in Avengers as the other Avengers do. But she also, like the other Avengers, gets the moments where effort makes her ugly. When she catches a ride on one of the alien planes, for example, you see her look incredibly cool as she jumps and then you see her with this brutal grimace of effort while she struggles with the aliens and wrestles the vehicle into submission.

In Avengers, unlike in Iron Man 2, Natasha's super agent competence isn't undercut by a need for her to be unrealistically attractive in every shot - especially during her fight scenes. Sometimes she is, sometimes she isn't, just like the boys. It's a pretty simple thing, but I almost think it's the most important thing the film did for her.
cest_what: (natasha in sunlight)
Avengers | Clint & Natasha, Clint & Loki | AO3

Song:
'The Crow' by Dessa
Summary: Barton's been compromised.

Password: budapest


Download from MediaFire.
cest_what: (due South)
I'm feeling weirdly hopeful about dreamwidth lately. Like maybe, just because my own experience of it has been so quiet and insular, that doesn't mean that all of it is quiet and getting quieter. I feel like there's stuff going on, or I'm getting glimpses of more of the stuff that goes on. Maybe it's just overflow from reading all the responses (to everybody) at that love meme, because people are great.

Anyway, I'm not going to make any resolutions or anything, but I might try to start posting every few days, or friending more people, or joining in on more comment threads. Or all of those things.

... also tonight I will definitely get around to cross-posting the vid I uploaded a week and a half ago, ahaha. Er.

Anyway hey, so, in my quest to fall for only the most embarrassing and isolating fandoms possible, I'm currently drowning and choking on One Direction love. It's awful. I have finally managed to start writing 1D fic, though, which is a dubious achievement but has been kind of killing me lately. I have ideas, and they're all ridiculous tropey indulgent ideas that should be the easiest things to write, but somehow I haven't been able to, and not being able to write those has stopped me from working on anything else in the meantime. I managed to write the first 500 words of a high school AU last night, though. I feel so accomplished, you have no idea.

I've been a lot less caught up in Homestuck fandom lately, but today's update has given me all the alpha kids feelings again. I'd forgotten how much I love them when they love each other. When they talk to each other. I'm so invested in every single relationship in that foursome.

/this has been a terribly random post written in bits and pieces in between doing my actual job. It's probably just as well I'm not making any resolutions.
cest_what: (antimony & katerina)
There's a variation on a love meme going on over here, hosted by [personal profile] staranise.

Leave a comment with your, or anyone else's, username in the subject and body. Once someone has a comment thread about them, leave a comment and tell them about something they've done or made that you liked. A kind word, a signalboost, a drawing, a story. This can be short or long. You can just name or link to something, or go into more detail.

I don't know that I know enough people over here, but here's my thread all the same. ♥
cest_what: (Default)
Sometimes I think that shyness as a concept was invented by extroverted people.

I still get mistaken for shy, which I should be used to, but I guess I assumed would change as I got older? Simply because surely the way people interpret your behaviour must change between the ages of twenty and thirty, even if the behaviour itself doesn't change so much.

The thing is that I'm reserved and quiet in a lot of real life social situations, sure, but I'm not shy. That implies that you want to talk to and be liked by strangers or acquaintances, but don't know how to make that happen. In most cases I just don't give a fuck, though. Which is kind of how introversion works? Most people you don't know well, just not that interesting. That's not shyness, that's being a self-absorbed jerk, as politely as you can.
cest_what: (Derse twins)
This is ridiculous. Just so you know. It's set early in the meteor journey, because that's when I started writing it, and it's somewhat AU as a result.

Homestuck | Rose & Karkat, Rose/Kanaya | 4300 words | PG | AO3

Summary:
Love hurts. It's supposed to.

Love Song no. 31 )

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c'est what

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