Including Trans and Genderqueer Characters

So I have been moving towards making characters that are not cisgendered in my fiction. While none of the main characters in the Noble Bard are explicitly non-cisgendered, there are some minor characters that are, for example.  Largely there is a race that has four ‘genders’. Two ‘regular’ genders: Male and female. Then Two ‘other’ gender that lie someone in between. The simplistic version is that one is intersexed and one is gender-fluid. Gender and sex are relative and rather unimportant. The race, the Sidhe, is very fluid with gender, sex and sexuality.

For them, it’s more ‘You are whoever you want to be’.

But I bring this up because of Adrienne’s Story.

Rana Basira is a Cambian. Child of an Incubus, which, according to traditional mythology, are notorious for switching their sex. A Succubus will seduce a man, steal his sperm, turn into an Incubus and impregnate a woman.

I want Rana to be similar. She’s a shapeshifter, and she fancies switching genders, switching her sex. And when Adrienne explains it to someone she explains it like this: “I suppose Rana’s a women. Likes that form the most, but Rana’s a cambian, can change gender at will, so you might get confused calling Rana a women when ‘she’ is in a female form, and calling Rana a man when ‘he’ is in a male form.”

So I want to use a gender-neutral pronoun for Rana, but I’m not sure how to handle it.

Since there is not the same social implications for a Cambian as there are for a trans-person, it will be a little bit different. As it stands, since I am not trans (ad am not good friends with anyone that is), I don’t currently feel comfortable delving into the role. (Genderqueer I’m a little more comfortable with, mind you, but onto the point…)

So I would love any insights from readers on the best way to handle a gender-fluid character such as Rana. And also, which pronoun sounds the best. I’m leaning towards the Middle English ‘ou’.

 

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When to Introduce the Story

So I realized with Adrienne’s story, I have a question for my readers. So far, her story is set after she has already developed a good deal of skills. Her story is not a coming of age story. It is not about her become a stronger what-have-you.

Not that there isn’t any character development. It is as much character-driven as plot driven.

But. Perhaps I’m too used to writing fan-fictions.

I almost feel as if I -can’t- introduce her, introduce the story, at the point I intend to, because she would seem to powerful.

So, after all the preamble…

Do you have to introduce your character before they become ‘powerful’?

Sex Scene Without the Sex

So the title indicates a very odd scene I wrote recently for a fanfiction. It is for the fanfiction that is a Marvel cross-over, and I have to say I quite like it.

The character, Persephone, is the one indirectly narrating the scene, and her mind is hazy and indistinct from previous events, and as this is the beginning of the story, I did not want to start it with any spoilers, give-aways or overt sex.

However, the story starts with sex. There is no other way to put it, to start it. A lot of things happen because of this sex scene, and while I wanted to allude to it in more detail later on, I didn’t want to give the readers nothing.

So I wrote a sex scene without sex. In two ways, actually. Not only is there no graphic depiction of sex beyond the feelings of pleasure, Persephone’s partner’s sex is never mentioned.

Part of this is for story purposes, as I don’t wish to reveal her lover as of yet, but another part of it is simply how Persephone is.

She is pansexual, and has had partners of various sex and genders, and those things do not always register in her mind at first. Especially when her mind is already hazy and her body is moving by practice and nature.

It is in the first chapter of the story, Shadows Never Lie.

Another Fanfiction to the List

With a few fanfictions currently under works, I am reluctant to admit that there is another to be added to the list. Though this one is as much of an experiment in method and medium as it is a story.

It is a Marvel Universe fanfiction, one that has been revived and revised from years ago, with much more added.

It has three parts, and crosses a couple different already created plot-lines. It follows the life of a mutant named Persephone Grace Sullivan, who prefers to balance the fence between ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

The first part will be a shorter, simple fanfiction set during X-Men Evolution series. I am not going to try to hard on making it my best work, as this part will focus on method. The plot and the character are already there. I will simply be adding bits and pieces in. It will be a practice of simply completing it, revising it, and working with something to make it seem believable. Persephone must fit into the X-men Evolution world and become a part of the story without distorting it.

The second part is more an experiment in medium. I will need to find a helper with it, as I intend for it to be a short web-[fan]comic, set after the events of X-men Evolution. The parts of the story that were not told due to the cancellation of the series. While I am an artist, comics is not my forte, and I will likely be seeking another artist/writer to help with this part. If I do find that, it will also be an exercise in collaborating.

The third part ties the first two in with the new movie, The Avengers. Set after the movie by a couple years, it gives reference to the comic versions of the team, as well. This part is a practice in method: emotion and characterization are the key elements. After the events of ‘part two’, Persephone is a different character, and I want that to be obvious in the feel of the writing.

More information as it comes, as well as snippits of all my stories soon.

The third part of the story is called ‘Shadows Never Lie’, and it’s up right now.

The Animals of Fiction

Part of this post was inspired by the fact that just last week, my family got a new puppy. Just seven week old Boxer, full of life, named Brutus.

And it reminded me how undercredited the animal companions of fiction often are. My stories contain their own, after all.

Mairwen with her mare of black and brown, who is smarter than one would suspect for a horse. (Is it magic or is it nature that Mairwen and her kind can tap into? Or perhaps the mare is special?) The mare whose name is currently Kobolt, but that is subject to change as much as Mairwen’s name did.

Adrienne with her plethora of serpents. All with separate personalities, some magical, some mundane, but all of them unique. Shiroi, the python who acts more like an adviser than a pet. Benevueto, whose lazy disposition makes it far less of a threat than it looks, and Giada, the cobra quick to sense deception. Not to mention the other creatures she keeps. Not all of them as malicious appearing as her snakes.

The animal companions in my stories, and in many other stories, are sometimes just as much of a character in their own right as their masters. They have their own back stories, their own personalities, and their own limitations.

It is often when you see these sort of animal characters, however, that you can tell the writer is an animal lover.

Character Development

So last week I mentioned in my blog that sometimes, Characters Create Themselves.

As I mentioned, I now have three characters for one story that doesn’t have a very stable plot. Desarmement, however, is the newest story, and one that I want to wait before getting ready to publish. So I’d rather write the other ones first.

The issue with this however, is the opposite.

The Noble Bard and The Exiled have plot and purpose, but the characters lack the same depth as those in Desarmement.

I will be reading Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction and seeing if it has any advice, since balance is definitely what I need in both of the examples.

So in addition to readingPlot Versus Character, I am also going to be working on some character prompts, practices and whatever sort of things I can find. I’ll be adding links, and sharing some small snippits of these prompts.

Opinions will be appreciated, lovies. :3

Writing as the Opposite Sex

So in one of my fanfictions, as I’ve mentioned, I’m doing a fair amount of the writing from a male perspective rather than a female perspective. In this case I do specify sex instead of gender because I have written some female characters who were a little gender-off. Whether they acted more like boys or what isn’t the issue.

Actually writing from the perspective of a male character has been an odd experience for me.

Not bad, not necessarily hard, just really odd, and for some reason, a little uncomfortable. Which is probably why I don’t do it too often.

I’m not sure why it feels a little uncomfortable to write first person as a male, but I think it lies with a fear of getting it wrong.

I’ve never been a man (barring reincarnationist theory), so it is an odd experience. I don’t want to get it wrong, as I’ve seen before, perhaps more often with men writing female characters.

In the end, though, there isn’t really a ton of difference, I don’t think, if I avoid over stereotyping. We’ll see though.