It’s an age-old writers’ question: What do I do about clichés and well-worn tropes? This month, we’ve asked authors about the clichés and tropes they find themselves falling back on, and how they fix, invert, or embrace them. Today, Susan Dennard, author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, asks you to keep three things in mind when writing this type of romance:
CLICHÉ: Hate-at-first-sight-then-fall-in-love romances
Confession: I’m a huge fan of the hate-at-first-sight-then-fall-in-love romances, so it always saddens me to hear people calling them a trope or a cliché. I mean, as the saying goes: “There are no new stories, only new ways of telling them.”
And therein lies the problem—the reason why I think hate-at-first-sight romances can so easily annoy rather than excite: we aren’t finding new ways of telling that tried-and-true story. We’re falling back on an old formula without actually studying what’s underneath.
In fact, I would even go so far as to say that we aren’t telling real hate-at-first-sight love stories at all. Let me explain.
Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself & a little less time trying to impress people.
— The Breakfast Club (1985)
Kacy Catanzaro: the first woman in history to qualify for Mt. Midoriyama.
I just need everyone to watch this video [x]. She’s a 5 foot, 100 lb gymnast and she beasts through this insanely difficult, heavily upper body focused course like it was her morning jog. The camera keeps cutting to these massive, musclebound men in the audience with their mouths hanging open.
Never underestimate a competitive gymnast. We are tiny. And we are strong.
This girl is a freaking hero. Inspiration forever.
There has been so much ninja awesome today I can’t handle it.
Don’t you dare, for one minute,
believe that my kindness makes me
anything but insurmountable.
I did not unzip my chest to every kind of hurt,
and stagger back, wounded and alive,
just to hear you call me weak for trying.
I opened my door to Heartache—
I gave her the fucking key.
My softness for wayward strangers
has made me nothing less
than a halfway house for aching soles.
So when you open your mouth
and call me ‘baby’
understand that I am not your next victim
in a laundry list of broken girls.
You think I don’t know you? People like you?
People with mouths for hands.
I’ve got skin like topsoil
and your teeth could never take root.
So when you go looking to make a plaything
of a sunburst,
you better look for someone with less fire
Because softness or no,
I will eat you alive
before I let you make a meal of me.
— Softness, by Ashe Vernon (via latenightcornerstore)
There’s something particularly eerie about an abandoned shopping mall. Perhaps it’s the stark contrast from its intended purpose: to see such a sterile place once designed to entice throngs of shoppers into its doors, now so completely devoid of any human life, dilapidated and darkened with time. It’s basically the very definition of post-apocalyptic. But in the case of the (now ironically named) New World shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, abandonment by humans doesn’t equate with lifelessness. The mall, which reportedly caught fire in 1999 (rumored to be arson by a competitor), has since flooded with several feet of water and become a paradise for koi and catfish.
As seen in these photos from chef / travel writer Jesse Rockwell, the resulting “urban aquarium” is at once delightful and surreal. Rockwell writes on his travel, photography, and food blog A Taste of The Road that someone deliberately introduced the fish (to probably reduce mosquitoes) into the vacant mall, but that locals in Bangkok’s old town “discourage people from visiting it.” He says he had to wait for a policeman to leave before entering, which makes his resulting images all the more breathtaking. (via The Verge)
Series of paintings made by Herbert Baglione discovered in an abandon mental asylum in Italy.