May 28, 2017, 01:16:42 PM

Author Topic: LGBT Fantasy?  (Read 26582 times)

Offline Peat

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #150 on: May 14, 2016, 08:57:51 AM »
Since cupiscent/ScarletBea have me thinking...

With LGBT characters, do people prefer it if they simply have that sexuality but the story goes on without it really coming up much apart from who they snog, or do people prefer it if their sexuality actively colours the story?

The article seemed to be pushing mainly for the former, and I can certainly see how that would be a lot easier to write, but if the aim is to provide role-models and give people in that community characters they can relate with, which is better? If there is a better one, that is. Which gives better characters?

This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Rostum

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #151 on: May 14, 2016, 10:09:36 AM »
Quote
Since cupiscent/ScarletBea have me thinking...

With LGBT characters, do people prefer it if they simply have that sexuality but the story goes on without it really coming up much apart from who they snog, or do people prefer it if their sexuality actively colours the story?

The article seemed to be pushing mainly for the former, and I can certainly see how that would be a lot easier to write, but if the aim is to provide role-models and give people in that community characters they can relate with, which is better? If there is a better one, that is. Which gives better characters?

I would say you as the writer have to determine what is right for your story.  Nobody is entitled to determine the sexuality of your charactors and there is no amount of accomodation that will ever satisfy everbody. So write your charactors true to who they are. Pitch to your audience and YA will be a minefield.

 I would disagree with you about the article as Leo Goes after J.K. Rowling for not defining Dumbledore as gay enough. Rowlings got a generation reading fiction gay charactors or not? In Leo's opinion the books would have been better if.... Well I would disagree as presumably did the author and their editorial team.
Having caused upset by stating that if you write full on gay sex scenes with predominently gay charactors you risk limiting your market because someone will instantly pidgeonhole you into a gay subgenre so I won't mention that again.

Offline ScarletBea

  • Positive Invisible Fighter - and bringer of Cake. 2nd in Command of the Writing Contest
  • Writing Group
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ******
  • Posts: 7499
  • Total likes: 4486
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #152 on: May 14, 2016, 04:17:18 PM »
With LGBT characters, do people prefer it if they simply have that sexuality but the story goes on without it really coming up much apart from who they snog, or do people prefer it if their sexuality actively colours the story?
There's a place for both, but we were mainly talking about the former.

For example, a group of men, fighters, talking around a fire. In most (all?) of the books I've read they talk about the wives they left at home - you could simply have one of them talking about his husband who's a smithy, or a fisherman, or whatever.
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!
"There is no way to kill someone mercifully. (...) They may claim that their victims did not suffer. They lie. All they may truly say is that the victim's suffering was invisible to them." Robin Hobb ("Fool's Assassin")

Offline cupiscent

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #153 on: May 15, 2016, 12:59:15 PM »
Yes, exactly as ScarletBea said. I find that an awful lot, when writers say that character sexuality isn't important, what you find is that every single character is heterosexual - often only denoted by reference to a spouse, or a passing comment about what they find attractive, or some other throwaway element that is barely distinguishable from background noise. But it is distinguishable, especially when you're desperately looking for yourself in this universe and finding nothing.

There are so many ways to indicate that a character is not heterosexual other than including a romance subplot or having it be significant to the character's story in some other way. In fact, I remember reading a book where I could tell the main character was at least bisexual by the way he described another male character. It wasn't a sexualised description, the hero wasn't at all interested in this other guy, but the nature of details he noticed and the way he noticed them suggested strongly that he did find some guys attractive. (I stopped reading the book for other reasons before I found out whether his sexuality was important to the plot, though.)

And, of course, consider the ways in which sexuality matters in the world that you're writing. In our present day, age and society, people may not refer to casually to their same-gender significant-others or otherwise demonstrate their sexuality because they fear adverse reactions. I know gay friends of mine have been afraid to hold their partner's hand in public because it may lead to hostility or outright violence. But we're creating our own societies, so we get to decide how sexuality is viewed, and why.

However, if the society being written does view non-heterosexuality negatively, for whatever reason, then sexuality is possibly more important a trait for a character, and having a character who is "incidentally" gay is not doing full justice to the repercussions of that trait - in a similar way as having a pale, blond character in a desert world who never gets sunburnt is not doing full justice to the repercussions of that trait. There are some times when a sexuality sort of had to actively colour at least that character's story and other personality traits.

But in general, sexuality is just one more character trait. People can be blonde or dark (or redheaded). People can be tall or short (or somewhere in between). People can be male or female (or trans or intersex). People can be straight or gay (or bi or asexual). Having all one kind of person in a story is sort of odd. Having all one kind of person in most stories is definitely rather boring.

One thing I will note in closing, however: the original point was about centring queer characters in the narrative. Pushing queer characters to the expendable margins is cliche and counter-productive - cliche inasmuch as the gay-character-who-doesn't-survive is a whole trope by itself (warning: Television Tropes link) and counter-productive inasmuch as the point of this is argument is about showing that queer characters get to be the hero of a story too.

Offline carjug

Re: LGBT Fantasy?
« Reply #154 on: November 02, 2016, 02:14:30 PM »
Tanith Lee. Pick up her early works, and watch gender twist like Chubby Checker. (Flat Earth series, Night's Master. ) She is my favorite  writer.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
112 Replies
19792 Views
Last post January 12, 2013, 09:35:09 AM
by Jian
2 Replies
571 Views
Last post January 11, 2016, 10:12:38 AM
by David Finn
0 Replies
381 Views
Last post January 17, 2016, 07:57:38 AM
by David Finn
44 Replies
3061 Views
Last post December 22, 2016, 02:12:28 PM
by Eli_Freysson
55 Replies
4607 Views
Last post April 22, 2017, 04:21:59 AM
by Lady_Ty