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Gay/ Lesbian Protagonist/ Antagonist???

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by phoenixwings, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Well put, phoenixwings. Connect your heart and mind and see where that leads you. I believe you're capable of telling a phenomenal story.
     
  2. Larkin

    Larkin Scribe

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    In an ideal world, 'having a gay protagonist/antagonist' would be the same as 'having a blond protagonist/antagonist'. That is to say, something not necessarily crucial to the story. In today's world, though, I'd just offer this one word of advice: Write your LGBTQ character the same as you would any other character. That is, there are positive and negative stereotypes that people can fall prey to when writing LGBTQ characters (as well as characters of specific ethnicities, races, religions, et cetera), and both sides of those stereotypes can be harmful to both your story and your portrayal of these characters.

    You needn't have their sexual/gender identity be crucial to the plot or even to their character. No matter their sexual orientations and gender identities, people will value those things differently amongst one another. But you should, as an author, be aware of all your characters' traits -- and that includes the LGBTQ ones as well as the 'straighter' ones.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  3. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Keep yer filthy blondes outta mah fantasy!

    A good point to stress, though. Though I'm not a big fan of the HP books, I do like how JK Rowling had said that Dumbledore was gay, but it just didn't come up in the books.
     
  4. Shadoe

    Shadoe Sage

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    Unlike everyone else, apparently, I see no problem with the lesbian being a Christian. There are lots of Christians out there who are gay. There are a couple of paths to take about it, though. Either she's very guilty about that aspect of herself and fights against it - providing the story with some conflict. Or, she's ignoring those bits and still considers herself a Christian (frankly, this is the standard there, so she's not really out of line). Or, she's done some reasearch and found out that original biblical beliefs weren't really against homosexuality. Or, she's just plain not that devout.

    Satanists, however, are all about indulgence, so probably don't have rules about anything. Perhaps she could live in a community of ultra-devout Christians? Or some other weird religion that we haven't thought of yet.
     
  5. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Talking about human characters now, in my Joan of England series I have a character called Kate that is a sixteen year old girl with magical powers =) She is Joan's adopted sister, and even though Kate clearly likes guys, she behaves in a rather strange way whenever that Katy (another friend of theirs) comes into scene... The readers could tell that there is a "something" between Kate and Katy, but that part remains a secret and it's not important for the story
     
  6. Larkin

    Larkin Scribe

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    Seconding this, which I meant to mention in my prior post.
     
  7. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I need to clarify that I never said that this character shouldn't be Christian or any other religion. I basically said that it might be easier to leave out mainstream religions, that's all. My main point was that phoenixwings needs to connect the heart and mind, to see where it leads, regardless of what others may think.
     
  8. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

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    Rules/ Guidelines for Dandelion Simes.

    - Any newborns who are born with any deformaties are to be killed in the most horrendous of ways.

    - If a form of disablity appears in either the twelve week scan or twenty weeks then the female is forced to drink harmful substances.

    - Gays, transexuals and transgenders don't have rights. They are used as slaves, are tortured and used for pure entertainment.

    - Murderers, psychollogically inadapt, pedophiles, etc are a tight knit community.

    - Cults are the norm. Mainly Satanic, witches, wizards performing black magic.

    - Poor people are exploited while those who are wealthier live in luxury and happiness.

    - Popular, good looking girls rule the schools while unpopular, not so nice looking girls are made an example of.


    Sorry if these offend anyone, that is not my intention. These are my main focus in my novel and i just wanted some feedback on any ideas you might have.

    I have spent the last couple of hours researching Nazi culture and can't see how it relates. It was an interesting topic to look up though, thanks Legendary Sidekick for mentioning it.

    Shadoe, the way i was going to do the Christianity religion was to make her feel bad, somehow condemned for being a lesbian and that contempt, the self hatred that she feels would lead to something more. Although i'm not sure what that could be as i haven't really thought about going in that direction for a while.
     
  9. Erica

    Erica Minstrel

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    The Satanist/Christian slant may be problematic for reasons that some have already mentioned in this thread. In general, I prefer fantasy to have 'made up' religions or religions that are spin offs of existing ones rather than 'real' ones (unless of course the story is set in our world). But that may just be my bias.
     
  10. Ghost

    Ghost Inkling

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    Maybe it would help to rename these religions? The satanic religion you've made throws me because I automatically compare it to the Church of Satan. (1 and 8 are particularly interesting for this thread, also the fact that they're called "statements" rather than tenets or rules.) I understand that some religions contradict themselves (thou shalt not kill? heh), but some of your rules are odd when real satanists' main motivation is living for themselves. I don't think anybody took issue with your character's belief in God, but the idea of Satan worshippers limiting others confuses people. I say just rename both religions and make them your own creations.

    I've never heard anyone say erotica is related to satire. Satire is meant to be humorous, and it's used to criticize something. There's satirical erotica out there, somewhere, but as genres they aren't too similar to each other. ;)

    And, um, why is there a rule in the religion about "popular, good looking girls" and why do they rule schools? Even the boys at school fall in line?
     
  11. ellianbaker

    ellianbaker Dreamer

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    Though I've been mia a bit, I have read this thread with great interest. In my other authorial guise, I have spent the past six years writing and publishing gay (m/m) romance. A lot of my stories fall into the fantasy genre, and as a reader, I devour any books with GLBT main characters.

    My current Ellian Baker series isn't romance per se, but there will be elements there. (And yes, my mains are gay.)
     
  12. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

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    I know there's an issue with having Satanists :S. I forgot to mention that it was an option i was considering but i am struggling to think of names for these religions.

    As for Satanists being all for themselves, i totally agree which is what made me think of them as the antagonists for my novel. They torture to make themselves feel powerful, terrorise their victims because they can. Satanists don't do anything for anybody. That was the point i thought was relevent. :).
     
  13. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    This is a bit off-topic, but I want to say that I think it's awesome that Phoenixwings added a smiley face after talking about Satanic torture. I always knew that evil lurked behind this happy facade: :)
     
  14. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    The series by Richard Morgan, The Steel Remains and followed by The Cold Commands, deals with GLBT (main) characters, and how they deal with it/religion/etc. So that could be interesting for anyone who wants to see one way in how it can be done.
     
  15. JBryden88

    JBryden88 Troubadour

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    I think when people say leave mainstream religion out of it, it's not that they have a problem with a lesbian being a Christian...

    More that, (at least IMHO,) if you're writing a full blown fantasy where there's a whole different way of thinking/structure/etc. in the world, then going with real world religions isn't the way to go. As a reader, I'm inclined to either find something that is historical fiction, or full blown fantasy - I'm not a big fan of say, fantasy that takes place in the real world, in a well documented time, but that uses full blown magic and fantasy under the real world's noses. As a reader, I prefer either, restricted to our world and our world's rules or a whole different world with it's own rules.

    Best example of this would be George RR Martin's Ice and Fire Saga. There are religions that are clearly inspired by real world religions but because it's renamed, and tinkered with quite a bit, it's its own believable entity.

    That's just my two cents :p
     
  16. Erica

    Erica Minstrel

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    When writing fantasy, you're always free to recreate/reinterpret cultures and their norms. It's part of what makes it fun in my opinion. It happens all the time in fantasy set in historic and quasi-historic times on Earth or parallel Earths. One could certainly write alternative universes where the 'real' religions of our world are different in fundamental ways than they have been historically. There's nothing wrong with that and it fits nicely into the 'what if' aspect of fantasy.

    The issue with writing about 'real' cultures and religions is that you run the risk of turning off, or even offending, potential readers and most especially people who have not actually read your work but have a chip on their shoulder about their religious beliefs and blindly accept whatever someone tells them. Also, non-religious readers may be offended by the story's characterization of the religion being more accepting of certain things that it has historically been (they'd accuse the writer of sanitizing it).

    Some writers do pull it off, and notoriety can move books, but it also can result in hate mail and negative press and even make the writer a target for extremist wackos (as a rule, those seem to target bestselling authors, maybe because wackos rarely seem to hear about the work of independent or even mid-list writers).

    BTW erotica is not the same as satire. :) Satire is essentially something that calls attention to weaknesses, silliness or shortcomings of something indirectly by creating a parody of it. Satire can be as 'light' as SNL's fake commercials or as 'deep' as George Orwell's Animal Farm.

    Now it should be possible to write something that is an erotic parody or a parody of eroticism, but that's another story.
     
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    If you are writing about themes surroundnig LGBT issues, you are going to offend some people no matter how you approach it. I recommend letting the story guide you, and staying true to your vision of the story, and being less concerned about who might or might not take offense to the work.
     
  18. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    I second that. I believe I've commented earlier on in this thread in a similar way.
     
  19. Shadoe

    Shadoe Sage

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    Seriously? The stuff you list kind of sounds like the Nazis. Or rather a Nazi utopia.

    Sounds like the world we live in now. ;)
     
  20. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "an evil force against God and against homosexuals. (Think Nazis.)"

    I meant that you had your evil group as people who hate God and hate lesbians. I was merely suggesting that a real-world group that's done that would be the Nazis. I always use real life as inspiration for fantasy.

    You're welcome...
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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