TV Tropes Org

Forums

search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [26]
1
2

Writing an Androgynous Character:

 1 chihuahua 0, Sat, 19th Feb '11 6:54:48 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Today I have this idea for a character. The character is a "odd-jobs" person in a fantasy city setting, who has a vague age (from sixteen to twenty-four) and of Ambiguous Gender.

What is the best way to write such a character without resorting to first person?
 2 Sand Josieph, Sat, 19th Feb '11 6:57:48 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
Hmm, base it on Jinxed Blackcat just have the characters refer to the person as "Hey you!" and have them not really go into detail about her gender.
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
 3 chihuahua 0, Sat, 19th Feb '11 7:05:44 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
The main problem is what pronoun to use in the narration. Should I altranate? Should I use multiple limited third-person and use the pro-noun that the POV perfers to apply on the character? Should I use a fictional pronoun like "hes" (he, his, she) and hem or hir (him, her).

I want to use some form of pronouns.

EDIT: Who's Jinxed Blackcat?

edited 19th Feb '11 7:06:51 PM by chihuahua0

You can use gender-neutral pronouns for such a character.

JinxedBlackcat is one of the tropers on this site. If you see his (whoops!) her photos, you would know.

edited 19th Feb '11 7:13:39 PM by QQQQQ

 5 Sand Josieph, Sat, 19th Feb '11 7:16:41 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
You could just refer to her as her and just have the other characters mistaken her for a man. That's what I do with my character of Junior. There is even a moment where a boy is surprised to find out she is a girl (they don't get together in the end).

[up] Nice one on the slip up. [lol]

edited 19th Feb '11 7:17:14 PM by SandJosieph

♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
 6 chihuahua 0, Sat, 19th Feb '11 7:22:37 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
[up][up] Can you give some links to his/her photos?

I'm thinking of doing the muliple third-person limited approach. The androgynous character's POV is still a problem. I don't want to use 1st person, because I want a mysterous air to the character.

If worst comes to worst I'll either make up pronouns or use pronouns like (s)he, but I want to use "hes", but it might sound awkward.

@Sand Josieph: I don't want to assign a gender. The character's gender is suppose to be under wraps for the entire series. Trying to find out the person's gender is a Berserk Button of sorts. Only a few characters would know the character's gender.

From now on, I'm referring to this character as Jamie.

edited 19th Feb '11 7:25:32 PM by chihuahua0

 7 Sand Josieph, Sat, 19th Feb '11 7:26:09 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
Androgyny is just an appearance thing, not really a character thing. You can have her be incredibly girlie at heart yet still looks an awful lot like a boy.
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
 8 chihuahua 0, Sat, 19th Feb '11 7:29:04 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I want Jamie to have a demenor and personality that doesn't fit in a certain gender, because "hes" doesn't idenify with a gender at all.

Also, I'm considering having Jamie swinging both ways and wearing baggy clothes.
[up][up][up] Try looking up in the Photo's thread for some of her pics. I feel too lazy to go through 1, 000+ pages at the moment. (I think she looks like Viola from She's The Man.)

edited 19th Feb '11 7:29:28 PM by QQQQQ

 10 chihuahua 0, Sat, 19th Feb '11 7:32:25 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
[up] *looks up Photo's thread*

AHH!!!

...Jinxed Blackcat looks a little like a boy...
 11 chihuahua 0, Sun, 20th Feb '11 9:26:58 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Don't use gender specific pronouns. "It" and "they" work fairly well in the place of "he" or "she". If nothing else, son't use pronouns at all.
 
 13 chihuahua 0, Mon, 21st Feb '11 2:52:08 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Lurker
Do you have varying PO Vs? If so, just use whatever pronoun the narrating/POV character finds appropiate. If your narrator is omniscient, then settle for either he or she (or possibly they), and have other characters refer to Jamie differently.

Quote: "Should I use multiple limited third-person and use the pro-noun that the POV perfers to apply on the character?"

So yeah, do that.

Made up gender neutral pronouns like "hir" would be ideal, but will make the text seem awkward because they're so uncommon. You could try using no pronouns at all, but I talk from experience when I say that's really hard.
"Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane"
 15 JHM, Tue, 22nd Feb '11 4:20:03 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up][up] Not "they, " generally, although it is peculiar.
At least in my area, "they" is a fairly common pronoun used by people who prefer not to identify as "he" or "she." It isn't considered rude or dehumanizing, and if you think about it it's a very reasonable extension of the word's meaning, since people already use it commonly when referring to an unspecified person or someone whose gender they don't know. As in "Did the culprit get away?" "Yes, they did, so we don't even know if they're male or female!"

"But It Is Unhumanising."

Depends on point of view. You could easily characterize Jamie as being just fine with the pronoun it, and using that pronoun for itself.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
 18 Sand Josieph, Thu, 10th Mar '11 10:00:09 AM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
My suggestion now is to just have the characters bounce back and forth between saying "Him", "Her", and "It" when referring to said character.
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
[up] Sounds 'inconsistent.' People like to give other people pronouns like him or her, because they're so used to social convention. Unless they're feeling spiteful in which they can call nir an 'it.'

Using "they" for a single person is bad grammar. At least, that's what my English teacher told me in High School.

edited 10th Mar '11 11:41:39 AM by RTaco

^ Language evolves. English teachers don't seem to understand that.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
 22 chihuahua 0, Thu, 10th Mar '11 2:35:43 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Maybe I'll have the varying POV approach and have each character have their own pronoun for Jessie (the main narrator uses "he", another character uses "they", a non-human uses "it", the character him/herself avoids pronouns, and the Yandere uses "my love").
 23 Sand Josieph, Fri, 11th Mar '11 5:00:24 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
Are you also going to have one character use the pronoun "she" just for kicks? Because if you don't people will automatically think such a character is a "He" which would actually ruin that androgynous nature since people will think that the character is canonically male.
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
 24 chihuahua 0, Fri, 11th Mar '11 6:01:46 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
[up] Oh, I will. Maybe for at least one recurring or supporting character, and a few one-off characters who just finds him/her attractive.
Trolling Swordsman
@Pronoun Discussion: Rich Burlew has different characters refer to Vaarsuvius as whichever gender they think s/he is. So you can have certain members of the team refer to Jamie in the masculine, while others refere to "it" (I really don't like that TBH) in the feminine.

Total posts: 26
1
2


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy