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General Writer's Block thread:

 1076 Septimus Heap, Thu, 12th Jul '12 5:34:06 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
[up]Having them keep their sexuality secret is probably a thing to avoid - it will come off as Unfortunate Implications, unless the society is homophobic

 1077 Slendid Suit, Thu, 12th Jul '12 5:37:51 AM from North of the South and South of the North
Has Spiffy Shoes
I think I should be okay with that. In the first story arc it's more implied than anything else, but there's a few good reasons that he has to not feel up to discussing romance or his sex life.
"Hey, you could tweet people's sigs!" "...but why would you want to?"
the Inceptor
Just treat the gay guy as if he was straight, except search and replace (you know what I mean) all the references to being after women into being after men.

Any time you want to avoid Unfortunate Implications, just write as if it was the "default" option, only with the switched object of interest.

 1079 Slendid Suit, Thu, 12th Jul '12 6:24:18 AM from North of the South and South of the North
Has Spiffy Shoes
Well I mainly started thinking about him as gay when I read back through some of my initial stuff and thought "hey, he and this guy really seem like a couple."
I suck at romance, so it's otherwise gone unmentioned so far. The one thing that's really got me lost is how I just drop it into a conversation. Just have him point out a guy's cute or something?
"Hey, you could tweet people's sigs!" "...but why would you want to?"
 1080 Mr AHR, Thu, 12th Jul '12 7:29:56 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
look at how you treat everyone else. monitor how you reference people's straightness. Replicate for him.
 1081 Collen, Thu, 12th Jul '12 7:41:37 AM from it is a mystery
vilent waler
It is very rare that I see a story where a male character points out that a female character is 'cute' flat-out. Usually the beginning of a relationship is more subtle than that. I don't see why it would be different if the female was a male instead.

Mr AHR's advice is the best to follow in this situation.

the Inceptor
Keep writing him as you always did. If those two guys do seem like a couple, it should be obvious enough without throwing in labels.

 1083 Slendid Suit, Thu, 12th Jul '12 11:07:25 AM from North of the South and South of the North
Has Spiffy Shoes
This is true. I'm probably just worrying too much.
Thanks for the advice!

edited 12th Jul '12 11:07:36 AM by SlendidSuit

"Hey, you could tweet people's sigs!" "...but why would you want to?"
Pro-Amateur artist
I've recently decided to place my comic in it's own unique world, however, a large component of my comic involves real world objects such as existing guns. The world itself is not explicitly stated as being another planet, but is clearly not Earth. Would using a real world name brand gun, and simply changing it's country of origin to fit the world, seem out of place to the reader.
Sometimes I think everything I draw is just a combination of all of the millions of drawings I’ve seen.
 1085 Crystal Glacia, Thu, 19th Jul '12 1:12:24 PM from Cedarpointland
listen
Using a real-world trademarked brand might be a form of copyright infringement in addition to being out of place, but making up an in-universe brand name might even enhance your world. There's nothing stopping you from making these guns have similar tech specs to a real gun, though.
Agent of Light
I concur with Crystal Glacia

I have a question/request for advice. It seems like in my current story my main character fills the Obi-Wan archetype more than the main protagonist-y hero archetype. I still like him as a character, and I do have a slightly younger more inexperienced supporting main (though he's no starry-eyed idealist). My question is as follows: Are there any pieces of character development or interaction that would have to be handled differently with a character who would normally be the mentor as the main?

Hope that wasn't too confusing. It's in a fantasy world, and this character is a devout (though not fanatic) monk, if either of those details help.

Seeking for Light
[up] I don't think it would matter. Character development is character development. Ditto for character interaction. What determines which character is the main character is which character the plot/narrative focuses on, not how they develop or interact.

 1088 Jabrosky, Fri, 20th Jul '12 3:06:59 PM from San Diego, CA
Madman
I edited the opening scene for one of my recent stories so that it has a higher word count and more description of the setting. I love describing my settings and creatures but feel afraid to because I don't want to be accused of infodumping or purple prose. Both the original version and the new, edited version of the opening have been uploaded on my deviantART page (linked to in my sig).
Regarding the point about gay men in fiction, how other characters react would depend on the setting. It would be great to read about a world where all sexualities are held in equal regard!

@ Zanshei; I suppose a difference between a mentor role and a main protagonist is that the main protagonist really needs traits which readers can identify with? They require more character depths, certainly.

@Everyone else; I already posted a thread on the topic of female on male abuse, but I would like to address the tropes mentioned on this site about a double standard in popular perceptions between male abusers and female abusers. Why do you think depitcions of sexual and physical abuse by female perpetrators cause significantly less outrage in many audiences than depictions of abuse by male perpetrators? If you were creating fiction in whatever medium, would you play to the double standard in perceptions?

Thanks.
 
 1090 Collen, Thu, 1st Nov '12 2:27:22 PM from it is a mystery
vilent waler
Regarding the point about gay men in fiction, how other characters react would depend on the setting. It would be great to read about a world where all sexualities are held in equal regard!
I'm going to do that in my NaNoWriMo novel... I agree, there are too few novels with LGBT characters where their sexuality/gender identity don't take up the entire plot. I wish to change that. In fact, only a few of the characters in it are actually heterosexual. And a few of the heterosexual characters aren't cisgender. I'm sort of excited for this one.

[up][up] The assumption is "men are powerful, women are weak". Ergo "men abuse women". Sexism and male privilege works both ways: women are viewed as perpetual victims (though of course, given the unfortunate state of our society, they often are) while no man worth his salt would allow himself to be abused, least of all by a woman. It's a very ugly and complex stereotype. As I'm sure you're aware, men who've been abused have to go through hell twice, the second round to convince people that no, they weren't just playing along with their attacker. Women, meanwhile, are told at every turn that their role is The Victim, or The Victim-In-Waiting, because no matter how hard she tries a woman can never beat a man. So yeah...

Not sure what you mean by playing to the double standard. I try to make myself see all my characters as interchangeable people - ageless, sexless, faceless mannequins, with nothing but personalities to set them apart. That helps, but double standards are terrifyingly hard to get rid of, especially in your own work. It's like cleaning oil from a really dirty frying pan.

edited 6th Nov '12 4:50:16 PM by LongLiveHumour

Sanity is quieter, but madness is more interesting.

My tumblr
 1092 nrjxll, Wed, 7th Nov '12 12:11:00 AM Relationship Status: Not war
That helps, but double standards are terrifyingly hard to get rid of, especially in your own work. It's like cleaning oil from a really dirty frying pan.

I can't speak for you, but I certainly don't think so. As long as you're aware of their existence, avoiding double standards isn't really that hard.

[up] I don't know about that. Certainly it's easy to avoid the big obvious DS, but there's a lot of tiny assumptions following from them that we mostly just don't think about. Perhaps you're right and it's just me... sad
Sanity is quieter, but madness is more interesting.

My tumblr
 1094 nrjxll, Wed, 7th Nov '12 9:06:38 PM Relationship Status: Not war
[up]I suspect it's more likely to be just me, for a variety of personal reasons.

...And now that I say that out loud, it looks reeeeeally arrogant.

edited 7th Nov '12 9:12:10 PM by nrjxll

 1095 Loni Jay, Wed, 7th Nov '12 9:16:47 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I agree with Humour; I still have a lot of double standards floating around my writing, I'm sure.

One of the things that showed this to me was when I wrote a female character slapping her husband in the face; despite my efforts to get rid of all my biases, deep down I had difficulty having the same emotional response to that as I would to a man slapping his wife.
Be not afraid...
I'm so stuck at starting write some mythology/history for a fantasy setting. How should I write about these? Make a small timeline for history? Write out decently long history? What about the mythology? How should I start writing that?

 1097 Septimus Heap, Mon, 12th Nov '12 6:56:15 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Another Wizard boy
Knowing the setting can be of help.

[up][up] Bit late, but if you still need help try the following articles. They deal mainly with small things like culture and the way people think, and mythology and history follow pretty naturally from there.

Also try going through this list of questions: it's a pretty good guideline.

Question: Does it seem OK for a plot to revolve around the political situation but not deal with it in depth? There's a quiet three-way scrum going on between the government, the law enforcers and the people who think they're La Résistance. My main characters get caught up in it, but as it's a foreign country and they're state-supported mercenaries they're kind of out of their league. I don't want to go into a lot of detail on who's intriguing with whom because that's not really my thing, but I can't see how to deal with it otherwise. Kind of stuck. Help?

edited 3rd Dec '12 10:19:36 AM by LongLiveHumour

Sanity is quieter, but madness is more interesting.

My tumblr
 1099 kassyopeia, Mon, 3rd Dec '12 10:31:41 AM from terrae nullius

As long as your viewpoint characters don't fully comprehend the situation, it totally makes sense to keep the reader in the dark as well, IMO. Plus, per Nothing Is Scarier, a situation that is only suspected to be threatening, or at least only some of whose facets are ever glimpsed, can, if properly executed, actually instill a whole lot more of a sense of threat than one which is more concretely threatening but at the same time more transparent. Thus, if you do This well, its a twofer: More atmospheric bang for less expository buck!

Soon the Cold One took flight, yielded Goddess and field to the victor: The Lord of the Light.
Hm, hadn't thought of it that way. From the point of view of the spanner, the grinding cogs and gears of the works must be a frightening place... smile Thank you! (And love the avatar.)
Sanity is quieter, but madness is more interesting.

My tumblr
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