Sunday, April 22, 2012

Prosy Mumbling

My story is changing.  I can feel it.  My main character is changing.  Not "maturing" or growing in response to lesson or moral silliness.  But what she stands for in the story is changing.  The point of her existence.  Can you set yourself apart from your characters?  Or are they all reflections of different parts of you?  Can you dislike one of your characters yet still see the benefit of them in your story?  Or have you come to dislike a character so much that you do cruel things to them just so that you can laugh, like poke them in the eyes with a stick?

Have you come to care about a character so much that it is difficult for you to hurt them, even though the story calls for it?

Hmm.  My mind has been busy torquing of late.  Tightening.  Points meeting points.  Characters originating from a place that matters, ending at a point where another begins.

I steer clear of female machinations.   Such a convoluted, ridiculous industry.  Female empowerment.  'Anything you can do, I can do better.'  You know what happens when we travel that road?  This. 

Women are women for a reason.  Because the natural world requires us for 50% of human reproduction.  And men are men for the same reason.  We are different.  We think differently.  We look different.  We approach things differently.  We have different purposes.  And one gender will always have capabilities that the other does not.   There is nothing politically incorrect about that.  It is just natural fact. 

But it doesn't mean that a female, when cornered, cannot plunge a screwdriver into the base of someone's skull without pause.  It does not mean that a woman is incapable of purposely disposing of a weaker human in a survival situation because that human's weakness has become a threat to the lives of the group as a whole.  It does not mean that a woman is incapable of making the very inhuman, caustic, and primal decision to lay aside her own domestication in order to save her life.

But would readers see her as a hero?  An antihero?  A threat to the reader's sensibilities and therefore must be discounted?  Or would they be insulted that the author has attempted to push this unrealistic, disgusting female anti-archetype onto their morally righteous consciousness?

Men are not bad guys.  Women are not damsels in distress.   But the alternative is not a middle ground or the forcing of unnatural gender neutrality.  The alternative is a transcendent state where their strengths and weaknesses create an entirely new and different symbiont zeitgeist.

Not idealism.  Just a different reality. 

Or am I just totally full of donkey shit?   That's a serious question, by the way. 



  1. Methinks that 'realistic' or 'unrealistic' depends on the criteria of the very world you are creating. Sure, it corresponds with our 'real' world in certain ways, but for all intents and purposes it is you that defines what is possible and not possible in the world of your work. And if you make those criteria clear, your readers should not have a problem with gender plausibility.

    1. Funny. That's what my son says. It is my job as a writer to dictate what is real and what is not. Pft. Brat. But it could not be more true.

  2. How would donkey shit be in you? What have you been eating lately?

    When I was a kid, for the longest time, I was absolutely convinced I was a boy. Convinced my parents were wrong. Clueless as to my true identity. I even asked my older sister if she thought I was really a boy. She told me if I was I needed to start peeing like one. She told me boys sat backwards on the toilet, cowboy style, to pee and to wipe they were lucky enough to not have to wipe from behind but straight up front.

    I was such a hopeless clueless child. I doubt I would ever be able to, how did you put it? "plunge a screwdriver into the base of someone's skull" with or without pause. Icky. That would just be plain icky like slamming into a bowl full of worms...

    1. p.s. what is seppuku? It sounds like "it's a lot" said in French as in "c'est beaucoup".

    2. 1) Seppuku is an ancient form of suicide usually only performed by Japanese samurai where they take a sword and slice open their stomach. Disembowelment. Clearly, I am not actually a seppuku survivor. But it sounded good.

      2) I cannot even begin to quantify or qualify my gender confusion. Pervasive. Since I was muy little. My mom even told me the doctors were positive I was a boy after 3 ultrasounds. I did try to pee standing up. Several times. I thought it was so totally unfair. One of my very best friends is a guy who I have known since the 6th grade. Clueless is a great word to describe it. Of course, I don't think I'd be able to plunge the screwdriver without pause, although I can't say for sure since I have never been in a life or death situation. But what I wonder about is that if I couldn't, if I paused, if I was psychologically unable to do it, how much of that is due to the fact that I am female? I have no doubt that there are women who could do that, and men who could not.

  3. I'm female and I'd plunge it and twist it for good measure. I use to doubt if I'd be able to but life's taught me valuable lessons and today I have no doubt I'd definitely do. Without a second thought.