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Re: Am I Sexist?: Males reading female authored fantasy

I think a point that needs to be made regarding complaints that the book is overtly 'preachy' or political, is that writing the status quo is in itself a political act.  So all those writers portraying a world that is either strongly representative of current societal norms or some supposedly-historical social situation are (perhaps unconsciously) supporting a system that many people find problematic.  Yes, some present it in order to examine it, subvert it, etc, but others try to pretend it's 'just the way things are'.  Just saying we shouldn't present that as a sort of 'neutral' position.

This. I'm surprised how often people assume that there's a way we can world build, characterize or spin stories that is neutral or value free.

March 17, 2015, 09:41:25 PM
Re: The Expanse: Game of Thrones in Space? Watched the third episode tonight. I actually dug it even more than the first two - I think the first two had a lot of worldbuilding to get out of the way, and in this one, they could just focus on suspense/plot. Good stuff. I will continue to post my random suppositions because this is kind of fun. :)

Spoiler for Hiden:
Totally called the "someone else is trying to start a war" thing, but since that was pretty well foreshadowed, I'm not that impressed with myself. It's a pretty standard way to go, especially in a cold war type situation. They've also cleared that up pretty quick, which tells me it's the start of a big twist, rather than their whole twist. Which is good.

My favorite element from this episode is "I take drugs and I can tell if you're lying" guy. I like that they didn't spell it out for us in an "As you know Bob" and just showed the way the guy was focusing on all the classic tells - eye movements, lip movements, breathing. Maybe he even heard heart rate. And then he just knows everything. Good acting as well. I hope we're not done with that dude, because he was interesting.

I dunno why, but meathead dude (who works for counterculture lady) is giving me a strong Chief Tyrol (from BSG) vibe, especially when he goes unhinged. I think it's just because the actors look similar. I haven't seen much from him other than his loyalty to counterculture lady, so I hope he gets an interesting twist soon.

Also liked that pilot guy was former Mars navy, and pointed out pretty quickly that Mars nuking the Canterbury made no tactical sense. And doctor guy continues to have good lines, especially when he was taking about how much he told the Mars interrogators. They're doing a good job of contrasting the characters well enough that they don't all feel like the same person.

Also like that XO guy was willing to consider that he might have been wrong in accusing Mars after being confronted with all the arguments, and how he's started doubting counterculture lady. I don't think he'll turn on her, though. I think he feels guilty about the Canterbury getting blown up (since he logged the distress call) and saving "his" remaining people is his focus now. So he won't turn on her, but may end up doing something equally as dramatic as his earlier message.

As for counterculture lady, I'm on the fence about her being in OPA - she might be, she might not be - but I don't think she was involved in setting up the Canterbury or the ambush. She had no way of knowing XO guy would recruit her for the away mission, thus saving her from being nuked, so either she's playing a VERY deep game (and somehow guessed XO guy would ask her along) or she's in the clear. So if she is OPA, there's multiple factions in OPA (which makes sense) and hers wasn't involved in setting up the ambush.

I was not sure if XO guy's transmission would make it to Ceres. I thought, as suggested, Mars had jammed it. But it did, and it's having exactly the effect whoever blew up the Canterbury wanted.

Stuff with the Detective in the Amazing Hat was also proceeding this episode, but it didn't hook me as much as the stuff going on with the Mars Navy. It seems like they're spinning their wheels a bit because whatever is going on with Heiress Lady is going to be a big plot point. So it was pretty much what I expected - trying to keep a lid on tempers in the belt. I did not expect Nice Earth Guy to get staked through the heart though ... ouch! I was just starting to like him. So if the show has nothing else in common with GoT, given it first nuked all the people we'd gotten to know on the Canterbury and now staked Nice Earth Guy, even after he was doing that cool "learn the culture" thing, they aren't afraid to kill people off. I expect Detective in the Amazing Hat will be on the warpath next episode, avenging his partner.

So far, I am enjoying the subplot with Ambassador Lady, and though it was predictable, I did like her gambit to very quickly clear Mars of suspicion in blowing up the Canterbury. She's ruthless, but sees herself as trying to do what's best for everyone. Characters like that generally end up crossing a line eventually, so I imagine we'll see her continue to make moral compromises for the "greater good" until suddenly she realizes she's made one too many. I look forward to that, but I may be wrong.

No further clues or speculations as to what happened with the Scopuli or the Heiress lady yet. Still thinking she's either working with the people trying to start a war or captured by them, but leaning toward captured still, because she looked freaked out at the start of the first episode, which meant she probably wasn't expecting that ship to come under fire. So even the OPA is probably being manipulated by a faction we haven't seen yet.

Looking forward to the next episode!

December 23, 2015, 05:12:50 AM
Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources I'm a bit late to the party with this one but I've put together a massive list of resources at my blog/website:


It's got some things already mentioned here but hopefully some new ones too :)

January 14, 2016, 09:48:22 AM
Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists There are so many fantasy books being published these days - and I have sadly so much less reading time than I used to - that I admit to using pretty arbitrary measures to decide which books I will add to my to-read list. I used to say, "I don't read books that don't have a named, important female character in the blurb," but I think what it really is is that I want to see in the blurb something I haven't seen a hundred-thousand times before in the genre. Sadly for the genre (though this is improving), having a named, important female character automatically makes you stand out, but there are also points to be gained for sexuality, ethnicity, and other diversities.

So it's not that I only want to see female main characters, but I am looking for a reason why this book is going to be something new and interesting, not just the same-old straight-white-dudes-with-swords/cloaks having adventures that I've read a dozen times before - and enjoyed, but still: read before.

January 21, 2016, 07:27:03 AM
Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes This is a really complicated topic, that's hard to answer in the length of a forum post, so I'm just going to come at one angle.

One of the reasons why rape in fiction gets a lot of--lets say negative attention--is that because so often it's simply a lazy writing trick that relies on the idea that a) women exist to provide motivation for men and b) the only bad things that happen to women are things related to their gender.

Over and over and over again in books, on TV, in movies, if we are fortunate enough to have a female character in the story, if her story is to progress, it does so in one of three ways (or some combination): she gets married, she gets pregnant, she gets raped. These are the stories that women get. Men get lots of different stories.

Over and over and over again in books, on TV, in movies, one of the primary ways we bring pain to our male protagonists is by attacking their girlfriends. Usually either she gets killed or she gets raped.

Over and over and over again in books, on TV, in movies, one of the fastest and easiest ways to show some guy is a villain is to...you guessed it!--have him rape a woman.

The problem isn't that rape is worse than killing. It's that it's a trick used over and over by lazy storytellers and one of the few stories women get to have, and it gets pretty tiresome. It's a trick that gets used so often its to the point people expect it. At a con, Seanan MacGuire once got asked when her urban fantasy heroine was going to get raped, because that was what happened to women who ran around alone at night. A super-powered heroine. Does anyone ask that question about Batman? If so, I've never heard it.

The problem isn't that rape is A tool of writers, it's that, too often, it's the only tool.

January 21, 2016, 06:41:18 PM
Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes My female protag in the Duelists books isn't allowed to marry or have children (none of the duelists are). Luckily they have effective contraception :D But it did take away that expectation. It was kind of freeing
January 21, 2016, 11:39:11 PM
Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists Lanko, what exactly is a man with boobs and a bland asexual character?

There are interesting things to write beyond sex and sexuality and "man with boobs" sounds like some serious gender stereotyping. 

January 23, 2016, 05:23:23 AM
Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists Writing white male characters because it's "safe" is genuinely the worst reason I've ever heard. Writing anything because it's safe is lamentable, but I also think it's incorrect: I'm not the only person in the world who posts reviews saying, "ugh, all white males, shame about that." The bottom line of creating is that you're never going to create something that no one dislikes. Yes, it's about story quality over cast diversity, but you're going to write a good story anyway, right? Why not write one with a diverse cast too? The two aren't mutually exclusive, and indeed I find a variety of views in a story increases its depth and my enjoyment.

I must also admit to being disappointed in the "white male is the norm and doesn't need to be defended" reasoning. That is exactly the sort of thing that perpetuates it as the norm. It needs to be challenged because of that. Flip your thinking: is it important that the character be white and/or male? Then why can't they be something else?

Characterisation, like everything else in storytelling, is always a choice. Consider why you're making the choices you are. Because you enjoy it is totally a valid reason, but consider if perhaps you enjoy it because society has conditioned you to think those stories are more important, or because you feel ill-equipped to tell other stories - the latter of which can be remedied by engaging more with that sort of story, and will broaden your storytelling range!

January 27, 2016, 10:44:24 AM
Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists
Everything seems to be too "white-male" in society these days, according to the typical groups of naysayers. Funny, given the greats in the legacy of Fantasy are all white and have had the greatest influence. Let's just say I strongly disagree with this kind of condemnation and keep it at that. I don't want to derail the topic with political arguments.
Okay, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on that statement and assume you were trying to say the characters in the greats in the legacy of Fantasy were all white, rather than the authors, since that could easily be taken the wrong way. But it's still completely wrong (unless you want to claim tales like Arabian Nights all star white people) and ridiculous reasoning anyway. Lord of the Rings isn't considered a classic because of the colour of its characters. It's a classic because of its storytelling and worldbuilding. Most similar classic fantasy novels are considered classics in spite of being largely white-male centric, not because of. And, as a generation more aware and embracing of other cultures and diversities, we can and should improve on that. 

January 27, 2016, 11:18:08 AM
Re: World Building??
Does anyone have any advice/ideas on world building? I'm stuck and i really don't understand or where to begin. Like i have the outline of the world but i want to make it "real".

Perhaps you should take the time to read the  threads here regarding queries you are raising that are on subjects so vast as world building.  If you go to Search on the top menu here and type in 'world building' there are 19 pages of thread discussions which touch on the subject to look through. Many  will not  be relevant but several discuss how to world build and others have links to articles about it.

If you key in 'writing'  you will find threads that link to articles to help you and even free e-books on writing.

Also explore the forum thoroughly as you will find all subjects are covered somewhere - characters, myths, armour, weapons,maps etc.  If you give this a go you will find to help to you get started. :)

February 09, 2016, 10:46:15 PM