May 26, 2017, 10:16:33 AM

Author Topic: LGBT Fantasy?  (Read 26516 times)

Offline betsdavies

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #75 on: September 03, 2011, 10:27:24 PM »
Being straight is not a reason not to write about LGBT issues.  We write about sword fights and magic.  We constantly stretch ourselves.  LGBT people are just people.  Treat them so.  Maybe in your culture they are treated different, specific ways, but that is great that you are grappling with the issues.  Man up and stop whining.  It sounds a little phobic, to me, if you will forgive me.

And thanks for bringing up the issue.  It is important.

Not sure if you were responding to me...

I'm not whining. I am saying I think I need to work at it harder(in the same way I do when I'm writing a male POV, cos, like, I'm not a guy. But then, I've lived with plenty of straight guys, so I know what affects them/how they think to an extent. While I do know plenty of LGBT, you don't know anyone/what they have to deal with daily until you live with them), and I can see why some writers shy away from the whole area because they just don't want the flack, you know? I very nearly subbed something that would have been fairly offensive to a US reader (or some at least). Because I used a couple of terms that for them have HUGE connotations, but absolutely none for me. I would like to avoid that on this issue, or any issue. Well, okay, at least unintentionally. If I'm going to offend someone, I want it to be on purpose!

What can I say? I just want to do it right. I am writing my guy just as the person he is inside. But it's too simple to say 'Just write/know your character'.   Plenty of male writers do that with their women, and as I said upthread, make such a hash of it I'll never read anything they write again. EVER. Just thinking about some of them brings me out in an indignant rash<-- one of these is mentioned quite a lot on these boards as a favourite writer. ><  Many of my LGBT friends have writers they won't read because of the way LGBT are portrayed. Heck, I've sworn off a couple of writers for that too. I would rather not have that happen to me/my books :D

Does that sound phobic? Or should I just say 'screw it' and write something that may inadvertently really piss off people I happen to like? I never say 'just screw it' with my writing - the one thing in my life I take seriously is my writing.

In summary:

Yes, I always write my characters just as they are
I work very hard on my characters as people first gender/race/sexual orientation/religion/whatever second, the same way I am with people IRL - they are people first.
That doesn't mean I won't unwittingly cock it up.
also, I know that there are things that LGBT find offensive that I am not aware of
I should incorporate this into my writing,and will
I could still get shit for it a la #racefail (because I could still cock it up - I can ask lots of my LGBT friends to beta, but frankly, they don;t find much offensive. Other LGBT do) in a way that I probably won't if I screw up a straight male POV for instance
Because the issues are very much in peoples' minds these days
Because there are people I value and care about I don't want to upset
All of which makes me just that tad more careful (same as I was careful with my research into Vikings for my next release).
And which makes some other writers not put LGBT/ethnic minorities in their works
Which is a shame.
And more LGBT characters will probably come forth as more LGBT writers come forth. Which is a good thing.


Hey--I wasn't responding directly to you.  Sorry if it came across that way.  I think you are thinking hard about this and in an honest quandary.  You want to do the respectful thing, which I respect.  I know you don't want to just screw it, but your holding back--all of us holding back is part of the problem.  Expecting the only books with LGTB characters to be written by LGBT writers is like having Jim Crow laws (sorry.  USing it--like separate but equal race rules).  You know your friends.  They are smart, and funny, and at times petty or mopey just like anyone else.  Cause they are.  The differences come into play in our cultures.  If you are creating a different culture, different pressures or acceptance will come to bear anyway.  And you will have tried.  No matter what you do in life, someone is going to hate on you.  Don't worry about that.  Get into your characters' heads and write what their world would be like.  I know you can do it.  You write well and you obviously care.



Offline Nighteyes

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #76 on: September 04, 2011, 04:53:41 AM »
@JuliaKnight I totally understand your concerns. Look at the reaction one person on this forum had to Mark C Newton on this forum, and he writes about LGBT issues in an intelligent manner! I dont know who said it, but if you re not offending someone, you are not writing well enough!someone somewhere will always be offended, so just write the best book you can, and use your intelligence not to actually be offensive, and screw the super sensitive people. They are the people who got Ba Ba Black Sheep banned from schools for being racist! 
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Offline AnneLyle

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2011, 08:42:47 PM »
I dont know who said it, but if you re not offending someone, you are not writing well enough!

That's what I keep telling myself. There are bound to be people who pick up my book and stop reading when they find out several of the main characters are non-straight (and I'm sure they won't be slow to complain on Amazon!), but short of putting a big pink sticker on the cover, there's no way to "warn" readers - the characters' sexuality isn't relevant to the main plot and there just isn't space in the cover copy to mention it.

I mean, you wouldn't introduce a straight character in your book description as "Heterosexual swordsman Conan the Barbarian", so why would I bill mine as "Bisexual swordsman Mal Catlyn"? In fact it all comes down to a couple of "blink and you'll miss it" moments - he's not flamboyantly promiscuous like Jack Harkness!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 08:45:45 PM by AnneLyle »
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Offline Francis Knight

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #78 on: September 06, 2011, 11:46:46 AM »
Oh, anyone who'd be offended just by the mere inclusion of LGBT characters isn't someone I'm worried about offending :D
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Offline AnneLyle

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #79 on: September 06, 2011, 01:12:41 PM »
Oh, anyone who'd be offended just by the mere inclusion of LGBT characters isn't someone I'm worried about offending :D

Me neither. I'm just bracing myself - I fear I may laugh myself silly at the idiots! :)

There will no doubt be some others who think my characters should be more/less (insert pet peeve of choice), but one can't please all of the people all of the time.
Elizabethan fantasy trilogy The Alchemist of SoulsThe Merchant of Dreams and The Prince of Lies out now from Angry Robot Books!

Offline Dornish First Sword

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #80 on: September 11, 2011, 04:23:23 PM »
I'm sure there will be a few who think the inclusion of lgbt characters or issues in fantasy novels is obviously going to ruin the entire world... and then two days later those same fools will be up in arms about some other perceived threat to their sorely warped worldview.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #81 on: December 19, 2015, 05:23:20 PM »
Malinda Lo's Ash and Huntress get my votes. Loved 'em. Again, I've got to mention Jim C. Hines' Princess books, which form one of my favourite series, and in a more urban and contemporary setting, there's J.A. Pitts' Black Blade/Sarah Beauhall books.

I'm struggling with the Princess book atm don't know why I should like it but just not clicking for me yet
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Offline Nora

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #82 on: December 19, 2015, 09:47:23 PM »
Read Ariah it's awesome.
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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #83 on: January 29, 2016, 01:43:32 PM »
I happily recommend Jen Williams' Copper Promise and its sequel. Sexuality is not structural to the plot, but it's a big part of one character's story and development, and plays a bigger role in The Iron Ghost. But they are great books anyway, whether or not you're purposely seeking something with LGBT characters in it  :)
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #84 on: January 29, 2016, 02:34:02 PM »
I happily recommend Jen Williams' Copper Promise and its sequel. Sexuality is not structural to the plot, but it's a big part of one character's story and development, and plays a bigger role in The Iron Ghost. But they are great books anyway, whether or not you're purposely seeking something with LGBT characters in it  :)
Ahhh this is already on my TBR list, now it's been bumped up even further. :)

Also apparently House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard has a lesbian couple/romance in it, which I'd not heard mentioned at all in its marketing.

Maybe its only the 'tragic queer' stories that get publicised a lot...

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #85 on: January 29, 2016, 02:40:59 PM »
Oh J, I thought I'd already mentioned it to you.

Yes, person X is amazing :D
(sorry it was a bit of a spoiler)

And book 3 (Silver Tide) is coming out really soon (although I'll have to wait to buy the paperback :( )
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Offline Raptori

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #86 on: January 29, 2016, 02:45:01 PM »
Yeah that was a plus point of the Copper Promise, treated really well. Can't wait for the new one!

Don't think I've seen the Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wexler mentioned here? That has a LGBT protagonist who is brilliantly done imo, and does a great job of exploring gender politics too. Probably the last thing I was expecting from a gunpowder fantasy, but it adds a ton of depth to the story.
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Offline Hedin

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #87 on: January 29, 2016, 04:20:31 PM »
I completely forgot Shadow Campaign would work in here.  I think part of the problem is that I really dislike Jane and her relationship with Winter.

Offline Mr.J

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #88 on: January 29, 2016, 05:01:07 PM »
Thanks for the Wexler rec, I'd not heard of that before, another to add to the list I think!

Offline Raptori

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Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #89 on: January 29, 2016, 05:35:39 PM »
I completely forgot Shadow Campaign would work in here.  I think part of the problem is that I really dislike Jane and her relationship with Winter.
Yeah, Jane is a really irritating character. Winter, on the other hand, was excellent.

Thanks for the Wexler rec, I'd not heard of that before, another to add to the list I think!
They deserve more recognition! Same goes for Powder Mage, which is just as good.  :D
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

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