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’?

CAW: Caalix by DeeDeeSteele

Here is Caalix again! Done by the same artist as last week, DeeDeeSteele.

This picture I also like better than the last Caalix picture I posted. The mace looks much more realistic, Caalix looks more demonic (as he’s supposed to), and again, the dynamic pose and coloring get to me.

You’ll notice the symbols on both pictures though. When he was created as a character for Forgotten Realms, he was a Cleric of Selune, the Moon Goddess.

This is no longer the case, and he has therefore obviously gone through an armor redesign, as I’ll show later. His coloring is also slightly different. More of a burnt red rather than the bright red in this picture. And his eyes are green instead of red now as well.

Again, make sure to visit DeeDeeSteele‘s website if you like it!

Character Art [CAW]: Alyse by DeeDeeSteele

Another piece of artwork of Alyse [first one here]. This time it’s an art request from a few years ago.

I requested this picture through GaiaOnline, I believe (or Menewsha, it has been a bit of time…) from DeeDeeSteele.

I’ll be honest, I like her artwork better than the last one I posted (my drawing). Partially because it’s coloured, and also partially because, well I just like it better.

The pose is dynamic, the color are soft, and the clothing flows well.

This was requested back when I was debating whether her hair was brown, black or auburn. She’s still in her ‘thinner’ stage in this picture as well.

Be sure to visit DeeDeeSteele‘s website! :3

Necromancy

I have an general ponderance regarding the general feel towards necromancy. I’ve noticed that necromancy is often considered a taboo, or an evil art. There are many stories where the art of necromancy is seen as nothing but evil or, at the very least, foolish.

Some stories have the follies or evils of necromancy be a vital part of the plot [Harry Potter and Full Metal Alchemist are two examples], while others display those who practice necromancy as evil.

Now, part of this, I believe is because of a misunderstanding of the word and the tradition of it. Traditionally, Necromancy refers to the act of communicating with spirits for the purpose of divination. It became one of the ‘black magics’ around the Renaissance era, associated with demons and the such.

But traditionally, a medium, is a necromancer. They speak with the dead. We do not, however, associate the two. It was largely the Christianity movement [where resurrection was thought of as impossible without the assistance of a Christian God] that blackened the name, as it is common in many pagan and shamanistic cultures. They associated the practice with demons and that’s where it became evil.

Hm.

Well, I had to do a little digging for that because one of the races featured in the Exiled/Noble Bard world [name pending…] is largely involved in necromancy. Not in the usual evil races of fantasy way, where they bring zombies to life and wage war against other races, but more in the traditional way, as well as some complicated resurrection and healing-type magic.

I’m not going to go into the specific details of what the magic is at the moment, due to my current attempts at making it sound plausible and my uncertainty in whether it will be included, but the magic would definitely be called necromancy without being evil.

So I ask you, my lovely readers, can there be necromancy in a ‘good’-aligned race? Or do you think that it would disturb many people and lead them to consider the race evil?

I’m mostly asking to know how much of it I let out to what audience as this setting is fantasy, but allows for various settings within it [including romance, horror, suspense, mystery, etc.].

Female Protagonists

I am currently on the hunt for books [specifically fantasy and science fiction, of any sub-genre] with strong female protagonists. Largely because my current in progress novels [two Epic Fantasy setting and one Historical Fantasy setting] all contain female protagonists.

What does that mean to me?

That the main character, or one of the main characters, is a woman who:

  • Does not constantly need saving. [If she is saved by a male character, it is ‘forgiven’ if she later saves a male character, especially the male protagonist.]
  • Does not display victim behaviour. Even if bad things happen, she is not waiting around for other people to fix things for her. [She’s allowed to ask for help, but she is doing so out of her own initiative and remains the driving force and main participant behind her ‘quest’.]
  • Is not obsessed with finding a “knight in shining armor” or some other man to come and save her. [She is allowed romance, but they must be displayed as either equals or close to it. She is not subservient to her lover. Bonus points for any sort of LGBT romances here.]
  • She does not fall perfectly into the typical virgin/princess archetypes. [She can be either, but she is portrayed as a balanced person rather than an extreme of either. Bonus for a strong female who falls into the ‘Whore’ archetype but isn’t portrayed as evil.]

I may add more as I think of them, and I will definitely start to make a list of the novels that I believe have strong female protagonists. Right now I am reading Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, Book 1) as recommended to me by a friend.

I’ll let everyone know how it is once I finish it!

 

Story Names… For Reference

So since I’m mentioning so many stories, I decided that it might be easier to name them for reference. So that nobody gets too confused. Especially me.

Original Stories:

The Noble Bard: A sword and sorcery fantasy novel featuring the tale of Alyse young woman trying to find her way through revenge, adventure and romance with the help of a young thief Kaine.

The Exiled: A dark fantasy short story series set in the same world as The Noble Bard, following the adventures of a thief named Mairwen who is looking for a place to call home while being branded as a criminal.

Desarmement: A dark urban fantasy, with a bit of a mystery feel. Adrienne, the proprietor of the Desarmement de Cupidon, a seedy brothel in London, starts uncovering a plot she quickly becomes entrenched in something even darker.

 

While titles may change, that’s what they are for now. The Exiled is a series of short stories set in the same world as Noble Bard, which is the novel that I’m working on.

Desarmement  is set in a separate world than them, with one of my longest standing and most developed characters, which will prove to be interesting. So I will be adding categories with the names of these stories. Fanfictions will be in their own category. 🙂

Which reminds me:

Fanfictions:

Dragon Age Origins: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

Dragon Age 2: Hawke Family Values