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Writers' Workshop General Chat Thread

Thesaurus rex
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Interesting question ... I think male characters are less prone to being pigeonholed into archetypes, on average. Or, perhaps, that readers are less likely to be irritated by men being written as archetypes.

It seems that in modern media male characters can't be portrayed as having close, even loving friendships with other men, and when they do, too often fanfic writers insist on interpreting it as gay. The problem isn't in writing characters as gay, in fanfiction or otherwise. Fanfiction has done a lot to showcase a the diversity of male sexuality that has often gone ignored in media. It comes down to pigeonholing characters; ignoring the diversity of mankind, so to speak, in favour of stereotypes.
 
Thesaurus rex
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Well, I won't mislead you, it is predominantly Pokémon fanfics that get attention here. I don't see that there's any downside, beyond the new minutes it would take to Rate and post it
 
A cat who writes stories
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Had the most brilliant solo session of D&D yesterday. I played my gruff paladin dude, desperately trying to save even a single person as his town comes under attack by a rolling horde of undead and demons. It was rough, and I think the guy has got to be seriously traumatised by now. If I knew you could have such a good time with one player and a GM, I'd have done it years ago. I wrote up a summary in minimalist prose if anyone's interested in having a read.
 
This, too, shall pass...
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Had the most brilliant solo session of D&D yesterday. I played my gruff paladin dude, desperately trying to save even a single person as his town comes under attack by a rolling horde of undead and demons. It was rough, and I think the guy has got to be seriously traumatised by now. If I knew you could have such a good time with one player and a GM, I'd have done it years ago. I wrote up a summary in minimalist prose if anyone's interested in having a read.
I'd be interested. I've never played a tabletop RPG myself but I like reading about sessions.
 
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What are some common pitfalls people make when writing male characters? I see people talk about pitfalls for female characters often, but not the opposite.
One I see crop up fairly often is the reluctance to write male characters who can be physically affectionate with other men without there being a romantic or sexual implication. Female characters are always allowed to hug and hold hands, but male characters are often depicted as stoic - a nod to each other here and there, a smirk, an imperceptible smile, etc. The most physical contact tends to be a handshake. On a similar note, male characters can also talk about their emotions with other men.
 
Ace Trainer
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One I see crop up fairly often is the reluctance to write male characters who can be physically affectionate with other men without there being a romantic or sexual implication. Female characters are always allowed to hug and hold hands, but male characters are often depicted as stoic - a nod to each other here and there, a smirk, an imperceptible smile, etc. The most physical contact tends to be a handshake. On a similar note, male characters can also talk about their emotions with other men.
Thank! You!

I have been saying this for so, so long.
 
To all children of the world - congratulations.
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On a similar note, male characters can also talk about their emotions with other men.
Would they approach it differently than two women talking about their feelings? (Sorry if this is a dumb question; I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything out.)
 
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Would they approach it differently than two women talking about their feelings? (Sorry if this is a dumb question.)
I wouldn't say so. In reality, the major difference is willingness, with the stereotype being that men tend to not talk about their feelings because it's seen as weak by their peers. But once you get over that, I rarely see a difference in how people talk about it that can't already be attributed to personality differences.

In fiction terms, I find it easier to remove gender from it entirely, and focus only on what the character would do and say in any given moment.
 
To all children of the world - congratulations.
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Thanks - I'm going to follow your advice and think about what the character would do, rather than focus on their gender too much. Seems like solid advice. :p
 
Thesaurus rex
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There is such a thing as general trends, and I think it's ok to acknowledge that, so long as you remember it's really more a product of culture, how we think about gender. Men tend to dance around the issue more, often downplaying the impact of emotions in their tone even if their words say otherwise. The question you have to ask is, to what extent if your character affected by, and prepared to conform to, what's expected of their gender? You could, for example, have a man who doesn't like to think of himself as a typical man, but when it comes down to it he nevertheless finds it easier to buy his mate a beer in lieu of talking to him about bereavement
 
Princess of Dorkness
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Would they approach it differently than two women talking about their feelings?
At it's core, not really. Both genders are equally capable of asking the same tough questions, though one may be a little bit more hesitant.

Now, would it be approached in the same manner? Probably not. I doubt two stoic guys are going to get comfortable in blankets with hot cocoa as they talk about what's troubling them. They'd probably sit around a table, try to figure out what went wrong, how to fix it, and be thoughtful and calculating in their responses (rather than carelessly shit talking each other as they might usually do). That's been my experience, at least, having had numerous talks about emotions and personal problems with both genders.
 
A cat who writes stories
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I'm currently dealing with that. I have the constant desire to go back and redo things, and it's important to just keep pushing on, or you'll never complete anything. Incidentally, I've been doing just that, and might have a couple chapters ready to publish soonish.
 
Aqua Ninja Frog
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Yeah, I don't know why people say start at the end of it.. That makes no sense to me. How can you start at the end when you have not even built the world yet. Worldbuilding is important, I feel that it's best to build it over time as you write instead of doing it all at once.
 
Given power
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That's what planning is for. AIf you have the whole thing in your head, you can jump around wherever and however you want in the writing process. You know, just like a real writer. Also perfecting it in the process of editing before publication. Some like Stephen King go as far to not look at something they've written for a year before going back to editing.

Big advantage to this sort of flexibility of not writing in order: if you're stuck on a scene? You can just go on and around and come back later and instead of being blocked. Here's another thing to consider too: if you do have some ideas that are at the end of it and write a bit of that? It's easier to set it up more strongly in the beginning.

Just some random thoughts from me, anyway.
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
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Should I make a thread where people ask for ideas for what Pokémon to use in a fanfic?
 
Dragon Enthusiast
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I can see how that sort of threat might be useful to some folks who can't decide on, for example, a few extras or some random Pokemon archetype they need for a quick scene. Why not?
 
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