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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » How far are you willing to go, and will you respect me in the morning? (Page 3)

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Author Topic: How far are you willing to go, and will you respect me in the morning?
JFLewis
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Mark,

This topic has already become to incindiary. As a fellow Christian... I am begging you. Let this go or take it to another board. Pretty please?

Jeremy


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mfreivald
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Why should it be incendiary for me to simply correct the Christian view on sexuality?
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JeanneT
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Honestly, I apologize to those of you who were interested in continuing the discussion. When I mentioned the practice in passing I had NO idea it would totally hijack the thread. That was never my intent. I am SO SO sorry.

*sighs*

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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mfreivald
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quote:
But are you telling me that Catholics (as individuals) have never done bad things? Is THAT your position now?

Please. Is there anyone else who interpreted my words to mean anything close to that?

quote:
Can you PLEASE give it a rest.

Um. Who should give it a rest?

quote:
I have NOT said you can't discuss religion. If something matters to you then you are quite free to discuss it.

Then why are you brow-beating me just because I made a correction and wanted to put your mention of Catholics in perspective?

quote:
If you want to discuss religion please go make a thread on the subject.

I was discussing sexuality--and I was directly responding to someone who mentioned sexuality in the context of religion. Excuse me for participating. What an evil person I must be. And then I responded to something specific you said--in a peaceful way, I might add. But, then, it isn't wrong when *you* talk about religion--just when I do.

Cheers,
Mark



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mfreivald
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quote:
When I mentioned the practice in passing I had NO idea it would totally hijack the thread.

I have genuinely tried to stay on topic here. The hijacking started when you decided I should shut up.


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annepin
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Phew! My internet connections been down... and back up just in time to pick up this thread.

quote:
Did you feel they revealed something about him as a character (ie. demonstrating how much he really wants to love and be loved, to be treated normally instead of as a dwarf or a monter) or did they strike you as pornographic?

I sort of flip-flopped about this. Sometimes it felt gratuitous. Sometimes it felt real. I like that he has to struggle with it, and that his relationship with Shae is an important part of his character. I do think he kept it "real", though--couching it in Tyrion's POV and not falling into a clinical description.

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JeanneT
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That is the important point and not necessarily easy--staying very firmly in your character's PoV. It seems that way to me anyway.

I agree that Martin did a good job with that.


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lehollis
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This thread reminds me of Johnny Storm (aka The Human Torch) of the Fantastic Four....

"Flame On!"


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skadder
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I am bored with this argument. To be honest, I have learnt to ignore all the posts with excessive numbers of
quote:
quotes
and CAPS.

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wetwilly
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Are you guys kidding me? You're still going?
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lehollis
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Yes, they're still going. Brilliant, isn't it? It's more interesting if you start making up backgrounds for everyone involved, trying to make up reasons why they're so heated about the topics involved.

Honestly, it's a bit educational. I've learned a lot. Mark and Jeanne are like fencers. Jab and retreat. The retreat is that after they attack they pull back and feign innocence. You were offended? Must be something wrong with you then, because I sure didn't attack. What I said wasn't offensive. I just made an innocent comment about an inconsequential matter. I just want to be understood. What's wrong with that? I'm exaggerating, but....

Working in technical support for many years, I heard loads of funny things. One of my favorite was a technician who said, "No sir, I didn't say you were an idiot. I said only an idiot would do what you just did." This thread reminds me of that.

Can we start a thread where we can practice arguing on the internet?


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jaycloomis
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I foresaw this, you see?

quote:
If you're defending your church or your beliefs, there's something that can possibly become hostile.

Behold!
-Jay


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JeanneT
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Since your concerned about it being off topic, perhaps you'd like to make an on topic comment?

Then I'll respond on topic and there ya go...

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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RMatthewWare
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How bout we all just agree to ignore those who threadjack? It usually takes two to argue. If one person wants to constantly pick fights, if we all ignore him, maybe he'll go away.

Frankly, I'm surprised that this discussion can't stay on the sex subject. That would seem to be pretty easy.

Can we also agree to take a breath and a few seconds after someone offends us? While we're taking that breath we can decide if what they said is on topic, and if what we're about to say is on topic. If neither are on topic, then can we just not say anything?

This post wasn't meant to be a discussion about religion or Catholicism, or even genital mutilation. But out of the three, I think I got the most out of the last subject because it does seem to have something to do with the woman's role in the world. But for the purposes of this discussion, it should probably be moved to its own topic.

So Jeanne, while your opinions are wonderful, if something goes off topic, can we just start a new discussion on that and keep them separate? Unless, of course, it's closely related to the question at hand.

And MFrievald, if you feel like you need to talk religion yet again (or anything off topic for that matter) can you just make a post saying "Some of the things discussed here I would like to address, but since they really have nothing to do with THIS thread, I would like to direct you to a new thread I'm starting" and just leave it at that. Anyone who cares about what you have to say can go there and have a friendly discussion, and the people in this discussion can keep going with want the original post had to do with.

I think the original question was a valid writing question, but very few of the responses actually addressed it. I do thank the ones who did reply to the question and I'd like to hear more. But when people start flaming each other I think anyone who would have wanted to take a part in the discussion becomes disenchanted and leaves.

Thank you for your consideration,
Matt

[This message has been edited by RMatthewWare (edited December 05, 2007).]


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ArCHeR
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Hey, Mark, as a fellow Christian I happen to know that Hebrew law had nothing against a man having sex with as many unmarried women as he could find, no matter what marital status he had himself...

The fact is that "marriage" has little to do with sex in Christianity. It's a matter of if you're doing it out of love, or out of lust.


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JFLewis
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Just getting back online (day job) so I'll refferring back to the George R. R. Martin portion of the discussion.

I have to say I agree that though close to the line for me in spots, I also found the sex scenes involving Tyrion to give an insight to the character. They also served to make scenes later in the book far more poignant when it became clear that his partner did not feel the same level of emotional attachment that he felt. I'm not sure the level of betrayal reached in those later scenes could have been achieved as effectively without the setup.

And as some have already pointed out, keeping the scene firmly in Tyrion's POV was instrumental.


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Pyre Dynasty
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I think it would be a good idea for you two to ignore each other. Just read the name before you read the post and if it says JeanneT or mfreivald, just don't read the thing. That way you can't offend each other. (And I think it has been pretty well established that you two are enemies that are too clouded with rage to really read what each other writes. Not that you two aren't adding inflammatory bits to fuel that.)

mfreivald, if you have an issue with something that has gone on here you don't go and attack someone to prove a point. If you feel you have been wronged send a message to She Who Must Be Obeyed. (Otherwise known as Kathleen.)

Another thing I'd like to say, to everybody, is don't take anything on a message board too personally. I doubt it was meant that way, and even if it was it doesn't deserve your credence. We come here because there are people who will say things we never would have thought of on our own, sometimes those things will offend you and your perfectly allowed to give your side. But don't take it too personally.


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JeanneT
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Pyre Dynasty, I happen to think you are pretty close to correct. I am going to follow exactly that mode in the future. There is no going back to change what happened before. So let's let it go if we can. And get back on topic here.


Speaking of which, what other authors and what books do you think this kind of thing has been done well? To tell you the truth, I'm having trouble thinking of any, but I'm sure there must be others. I'm interested in looking at specifically how authors have handled writing about sex successfully.

Edit: Matthew, I agree that genital mutilation would have appropriately been its own topic. I just didn't expect it to be more than a one comment thing--I was kind of saying hey this relates and didn't expect more comment than that. Otherwise I would have started a new thread. I apologize for bringing up something that ended up as a threadjack.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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There needs to be a smiley that is banging its head against a wall.

Things come up so that I can't get to Hatrack for over a day and what do I come back to?

<SIGH!>

Okay, let's do it this way.

First, if I come across any post in ANY topic in which mfreivald is responding to Jeanne T or any post in ANY topic in which Jeanne T is responding to mfreivald, I will delete those posts regardless of what they say or what else may be in the posts.

Second, I apologize for not being around to do this sooner. I am grateful that there are those who can help calm things down. I hope you all realize how valuable you are to me.

Third, I fully support Pyre Dynasty's suggestions that the two above-named parties not only ignore each other, but stop taking posts from ANYONE so personally. And as Pyre Dynasty said to EVERYONE:

quote:
don't take anything on a message board too personally

Don't take anything on a message board personally at all!

PLEASE!


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JeanneT
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Thank you, Kathleen. That saves me from myself since I obviously have trouble resisting temptation to argue with an unnamed person.

I did wonder why you weren't hear yelling at us. But you shouldn't have to be so you shouldn't apologize for being gone. We should do better.


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Zero
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We can't let your job get boring now can we, Kathleen?
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Alye
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*cough

When I have two people with a sexual attraction to each other, I write where the scene leads me. If that happens to be a ruff and tumble sex scene I write it. That doesnít mean it will stay. I may very well edit it out as not being necessary, or to excessive for what Iíve written. But, I feel I owe my characters the chance to express there love they way I feel to be natural to them.

Personally gratuitous sex scenes are usually story stoppers for me, some times they are not. If it fits your characters and it works with the story then put it in, but donít just have a Hustlerís letters page in the middle of your story.


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RMatthewWare
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There is an award that goes out each year for worst sex scene in a novel. I don't remember what it is, but I've seen a few of the offending phrases, and they're pretty bad. They usually have something to do with silly metaphors for sexual parts.
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Zero
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Well if this thread was the example of a particularly cheesy writing device that I avoid using, but a common one, then JeanneT and Mark falling in love is imminent. So watch out.
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skadder
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That is funny...I hate it when I they do that. I watch movies with my partner and point out these sorts of things and she never believes it.

Probably I am being annoying and need to shut up being a smart arse.


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KStar
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Write it Zero!

Wasn't there a movie out recently (or five) which followed that exact plot line?


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JeanneT
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Somewhere I saw a list of the cheesiest metaphors for body parts. I forget where. Some of them can be pretty amusing.

One of the more AMUSING ones I ran into recently was that a certain male was good for his age at chasing a snake through the grass. I choked on my coffee.

And I'm sure if I looked hard enough there is an insult in there somewhere. I'm just not sure if it is to Matt or me. I'm sure we would both be great for hot love scenes.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 08, 2007).]


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ArCHeR
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KStar: All of them?
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Zero
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Matt? Don't you mean Mark?

And no insult was intended. Only an ironic laugh.


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JeanneT
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LOL I misread the post. Yeah... no comment. I knew you were being sarcastic. I was joking about it being insulting.

I'm sure that Kathleen's prohibition against responding to each other includes commenting on each other as well. So I'm not allowed to say...


[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 08, 2007).]


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meg.stout
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I think Dave Wolverton's daily e-mail touched on this nicely. Why risk pissing off an audience when you can convey the necessary information in a way that skirts offense?

His particular example was use of an offensive epithet versus writing "he swore."

Of course plumbing doesn't change, but the way we talk about plumbing and the particular ways in which plumbing gets primed change over time. So I would argue that skirting explicit discussions of plumbing also gives you the benefit of extending your readability, as well as retaining a larger audience when your piece is originally published.


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JeanneT
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I guess I disagree with the concept that some people won't be put off by plot points. But the explicit words may well carry a lot more strength. I find "he swore" a bit wishy washy. If it's not an important plot point, then I can see using that. If I need to convey real strength of feeling, that won't do it in my opinion.

For instance, some people are put off by my female warriors. She is supposed to be home tatting or certainly too weak to swing a sword. I live with that to tell the story I want to tell. As I have mentioned a number of times, I refuse to read Donaldson's Covenant books. He offended me so seriously with that rape (and his explanation for why it took place) that I will never read another one of his books. He has plenty of readers without the ones who won't touch his work like me.

Two of the very important secondary characters in one of my novels are homosexual. This also will offend some people. I guess I don't think there is any way around this happening.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 08, 2007).]


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annepin
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I tend to agree with JeanneT here. Also, what words you use, or don't use, goes a long way towards showing character. I.E. "He swore" could mean anything from "Land's sake" to "By Jove" to stronger expletives... each displays a significantly different personality.

The same argument could be made about descriptions of sex. Take Tyrion Lannister's case. We could just be told he had sex and risk offending a lot of people. But then we'd miss out on the poignancy of his relationship.

[This message has been edited by annepin (edited December 08, 2007).]


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RMatthewWare
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I'm comfortable enough with the Harry Potter level of swearing (hells and damns). I could go a little farther with sex, though. At Hogwarts you have a thousand students split into four houses. Each house has minimal supervision in a huge castle with lots of hiding places. If the story were more true to life, there'd be a lot of little witches running around each year. It'd make Madam Pomfrey's job more interesting. Unless there's some sort of magical contraceptive.

I think a lot could happen in a sexual encounter that could help the characters develop. But we don't need to be told where the plumbing is going, we can instead look at what the characters are thinking.


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JeanneT
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Ok, I have no idea what you are saying about HP. That they aren't capable of birth control? That we have to confine what we write to what was done in HP? I don't think that's what you mean, but I really don't know what you are saying.

I do agree on one thing. Sexuality goes a bit beyond "plumbing" and silly metaphors for body parts. There are a lot of important emotions involved.

However, I think that there should be SOME discussion of what is going on. I mean it's like describing a fight and you can only say he's frightened but not what of.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 08, 2007).]


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RMatthewWare
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I'm frightened of intimacy.

Not really, but it seemed funny at the moment.

Okay, this post edited due to earlier rambling.

I compare a lot to HP because a lot of people have read it, and everyone's at least heard of it.

I listen to the "I should be writing" podcast, and she sometimes uses movies as an example to writing because more people have probably seen them.

[This message has been edited by RMatthewWare (edited December 09, 2007).]


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kings_falcon
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Goodness, see what happens when I'm away at a trial.

quote:
That wording really set me thinking, Kings falon. Her "final surrender..." I always wonder why sex when it comes to women is so often seen as such a negative and in so many cases even in erotica is written about in negative terms.

The "surrender" I was talking about wasn't the physical one. The MC has been trying to ignore her attraction to the antagonist throughout the story for lots of reasons. It's her willingness to admit that she does love him, and the implications of that on her life (giving up the life she wants for duty) that I was referring to. Without that surrender or submission to fate, the physical never happens.

Also, "surrender" doesn't have to be negative. All sorts of religious beliefs are based on a surrender to a higher authority.


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ArCHeR
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I think it's more a question of: Why are the women the ones always pursued and the ones that always must resist? The answer is simple evolutionary science of course, but this is the 21st century and it's about time we go for some different themes...

[This message has been edited by ArCHeR (edited December 11, 2007).]


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JFLewis
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Let's not forget harem animes like Tenchi Muyo and Ah, My Goddess. There is a whole genre in Japanese animation and light romantic novels devoted to more than one girl going after the same guy and thereby ensuring that no one will get him. There will be no physical aspect, because in these storylines, the male protagonist is too paralyzed by the available choices or too blind to them to act.

[This message has been edited by JFLewis (edited December 11, 2007).]


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JeanneT
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Well, I am not of the opinion that men are a "higher authority" or that surrender of one person to another in a relationship is a good thing. Many men and even some women to have that belief though. We can agree to disagree. *shrug*

This being evolutionary is debatable, Archer, but this isn't the place for that discussion.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 11, 2007).]


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Rommel Fenrir Wolf II
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LISTEN HUMANS.

THERE ARE MUCH BETTER AND INTERISTING THINGS OUT THERE THAN ARUGERING OVER THE SEX LIFE OF SOME DARN CHARICTER IN SOME STORY.

WRIGHT THE DAMN THING AS YOU SEE FIT AND DONT WORRY ABOUT IT.

NO WONDER THE HUMAN RACE IS FALLING APPART.

ROMMEL FENRIR WOLF II

PS: i just got fed up with seeing all the posts on this S#!@ sex is sex. love is love and sex dose not have to be appart of it.


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RMatthewWare
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Rommel, the reason we have these discussions is so we can have the perspectives of others to aid in the improvement of our writing. If you're not interested in that, feel free to go elsewhere.

Sex is such an important factor in humanity and human history that it is a valuable discussion. If there was no sex or sexuality, how different would our world be?


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Rommel Fenrir Wolf II, as RMatthewWare said, you don't have to read this topic if it doesn't interest you.

Stick to things you care about like being a werewolf and going after dragons in the winter. (By the way, I think that was a cool suggestion of yours, pointing out that if dragons are cold-blooded, winter is a good time to try to kill one. I don't think I've heard of anyone suggesting that before, but it makes a lot of sense.)


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kings_falcon
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quote:
Well, I am not of the opinion that men are a "higher authority"

That's not what I said.

I think the concept of the woman being pursued in romance novels comes from the fact that those novels are aimed at us - the women. After all, I'm less interested in a group of woman chasing one guy than the other way around.

Think about Gone with the Wind . The "most romantic movie moment of all times" when Rhett carries Scarlet up the staircase (Donning flame retardant suit) is prelude to a rape. Scarlet was clearly not happy about being taken to bed. In fact, she's kicking and screaming. Yet that scene is a cultural icon. The effect of that scene is watered down by the next when she's sighing contendedly in bed, but there is is.

Anime on the other hand is aimed at teenage males who would like to be pursued by scads of women, even if they don't know what to do with them all.

When deciding your scene and how much to show or when to fade to black, look to your audience. If you are writing a Victorian Romance, Chick Lit, Erotica or Amime/Manga, you need to show sensititity to the genre norms. You can exceed or flaunt them as your story dictates by what is the standard in the genre, IMHO, has to be your starting point.


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JeanneT
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quote:
That's not what I said.

I think the concept of the woman being pursued in romance novels comes from the fact that those novels are aimed at us - the women. After all, I'm less interested in a group of woman chasing one guy than the other way around.


Actually, yes, you did say that sacrifice to a higher authority was considered good.

As far as romances and being aimed at us--please don't include me in that. I am totally uninterested in novels where a group of anyone is chasing anyone. I can't imagine anything more boring which is why I don't read or write romances.

Gone with the Wind? It was written 75 years ago when thinking was very different on the subject of rape. The assumption was pretty widely made that women enjoyed it. And legally a husband could not rape his wife as she didn't have the right to deny him sexual congress.

I hardly think that is a standard for the modern fantasy novel though. Even when it isn't rape, I don't find BDSM particularly appealing. Considering the popularity of Kushiel's Dart, I suppose some people do. Even there, I don't think outright rape is considered an acceptable mode of "romance." Even most erotica publishers generally put it in the realm of something they won't consider.

Since I don't write romance or have any interest in it, I possibly write from a different starting point than you do.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 12, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 12, 2007).]


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TaleSpinner
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"If you are writing a Victorian Romance, Chick Lit, Erotica or Amime/Manga, you need to show sensititity"

What a wonderful typo ... assuming it is indeed a typo ;-)

Pat


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ArCHeR
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And I wasn't talking about ratios, btw. I'm talking about when one person is pursuing another in almost ANY form of fiction, it's either a man pursuing a woman. If it's a woman pursuing a man, she's almost always simply a seductress and generally evil.

Oh, and by my evolution comment, I merely meant that it's better for the genetic health of a species for (at least in most mammals) the males to compete over females, and for females to be defensive when it comes to these things so that it is the strongest male that gets to pass on his genetic material.


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JeanneT
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I think you need to widen your reading, Archer. Strong women aren't always presented as the evil seductress any more--or as a seductress at all for that matter--although you can always count on Disney for that point of view.

Funny with the strong male passing on genetic material, since females don't compete does that mean that the female genetic material doesn't count? *raises eyebrows*

Yes, I know that's the traditional male inspired take on competition. I'm just skeptical about a lot of male dominated work that humors male belief in their own superiority. I suspect in a century we'll laugh at a lot of this stuff--just like we do now about many of the reputable ideas from a century ago.

In fact, in those romances that were brought up I believe that a woman does often pursue the man although I suppose she may try to keep him from knowing he's being pursued. Boring, though which is why I don't write them. I thought about it once, but I suspect you shouldn't write a genre that you literally cannot stand to read.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 12, 2007).]


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Igwiz
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I laughed out loud at "sensi-titity." I wonder if this is both a physical description and a sensory situation...

We seem to be talking a lot about the actual copulatory act here, and less about the emotional motivation and character development that can be a tangent to the sex act.

There seems to be a disconnect in this discussion about the emotional meaning of physical touch, whether sexual or not.

Take this rapidly thrown-together scene (apologies to all): "As she was standing at the kitchen counter pouring her second cup of coffee, I snuggled up close behind her. I reached up and ran my right hand from her shoulder, down past her ribs and nestled it in the curve of her hip. I tucked my chin on her left shoulder and leaned into her, whispering, 'Hey, babe.'"

In my opinion, this is more telling of their relationship, or provides a template to expand upon their relationship than any type of sexual act. However, this could easily be sexual if she was just stepping out of the shower. Change a couple of words, and she's naked with his "Hey Babe" more playful and suggestive and you have again painted the picture without the need to discuss the... um... plumbing fixtures.

I think this is the key challenge of these types of scenes. If you just have two people meet and they start going at it, then I'm going to have credibility issues. But if you show me some form of emotional intimacy (a character building effort) that is expressed through physical contact, then I will be more likely to believe it if there's something to key on beside just the sex act.


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annepin
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quote:
Anime on the other hand is aimed at teenage males who would like to be pursued by scads of women, even if they don't know what to do with them all.

No, this isn't true. There's lots of anime aimed at women. In the US, it seems to be mostly the male stuff that comes through, but in Japan, there's anime aimed at probably every demographic.

I've only read one romance novel in my life but i come across a lot of sample queries posted by romance authors. My conclusion is that romance is as varied as any genre, from the feisty, pursuing heroine to the heroine being pursued. So the woman is both attainer and surrenderer.

The word "surrender" is troublesome to me, too, though I'm probably taking it far more literally and seriously than kings_falcon intended (sorry). It implies a giving up, a compromise without receiving like in turn. As if love were something a woman would resist, and only when she has no options will she give up.


[This message has been edited by annepin (edited December 12, 2007).]


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