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Old 07-29-2012, 08:22 PM   #91
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Don't be too heavy handed.
On virgins, consider the age and exclusive one sex schooling.
On tortured heroes I more or less agree, but then when you add "should be in therapy" I think you go too far. There aren't many left if you say that. Suffice it to say, he isn't in therapy.

Being tortured by ambition, by self doubts, by lust, by lost or unrequited love, by memories or fears of abuse (sexual or physical), memories of loss, failure, responsibility, and ""allergies"" or physical problems for example in that genre, sexual arousal or completion are all fair game.
(Pardon my grammar.)

I don't want a virgin heroine. They can't make informed decisions about stuff like kinky sex. To my mind, it's a form of abuse. And I'm a product of a convent boarding school, and you seriously don't want to know how early I ceased to be a virgin.

We're giving the hero a bit of torture. A previous encounter went bad, he got arrested and put into jail, facing years of prison (and he's claustrophic) and he had to leave the country.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:40 PM   #92
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Yes, thank you. Virgin heroines rub me up the wrong way for about 8 zillion reasons. Informed consent being a big one, but also just the implied (by tidal waves of virgin heroines) that that's the ONLY way to be a protagonist. It's seriously annoying.

There's nothing wrong with being a virgin, but not all protagonists should be one.

(And don't get me started on Edward Cullen. Nobody wants to see me rant about that here. LOL.)
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:30 PM   #93
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I don't want a virgin heroine. They can't make informed decisions about stuff like kinky sex. To my mind, it's a form of abuse. And I'm a product of a convent boarding school, and you seriously don't want to know how early I ceased to be a virgin.

We're giving the hero a bit of torture. A previous encounter went bad, he got arrested and put into jail, facing years of prison (and he's claustrophic) and he had to leave the country.
OK. I got 2 cents worth also.
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A previous encounter went bad, he got arrested and put into jail, facing years of prison (and he's claustrophic)
He was shot by (girl/father/jealous boyfriend/cop) and the bullet shattered in his skull and there is a fragments in his brain that may be shifting. These means MRIs and he hates them. I can tell you there is nothing worse than being strapped on a frame in that little tube for half an hour and trying not to move.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:19 AM   #94
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Glad to hear the virgin heroine is not popular.

It's a kinky sex thing. So he had a previous encounter with an enthusiastic girlfriend which left some bruises on her. Her mother saw them, kicked up a fuss and girlfriend was too chicken to say it was all consensual, so he was arrested and charged with assault. Since then, he's had all sorts of issues with trust and getting involved with anyone who isn't experienced.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:46 AM   #95
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(And don't get me started on Edward Cullen. Nobody wants to see me rant about that here. LOL.)
I kind of do....
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:52 AM   #96
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I kind of do....
Ha, check my website; I blog about Twilight every Saturday, almost without fail. Two years in the running and we're finally up to Chapter 10!

But more on-topic, I hate-hate-hate the sexual politics in Twilight. I know it's abstinence porn, but I am strongly adverse to the Hero who keeps the Heroine a virgin "for her own good". No one should have sex they're not comfortable with. But he should own that that's HIS needs speaking ("I don't want to have pre-marital sex") and not fob those needs off onto her ("You shouldn't have pre-marital sex, so I'm doing this for your own good"). Ick ick ick.

Re: your hero, I always flinch a little at the woman who won't own up to it not being rape because there's a stereotype out there that all woman are like that when usually it's the other way around (women frequently refuse to label actual rape as rape because of social stigma). I wonder if a dash of "lived in a non Romeo-and-Juliet state" would add to the personal tragedy without perpetuating the stigma? That way, even if the girl did finally come forward when things got Serious, legally-speaking, the jury would have convicted him anyway if she'd been 17 and he'd been 18, or whatever.

A lot of states still don't have R&J laws and it irks me, to say the least. My two cents, though -- no need to edit your story on my account.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #97
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Everyone in my story is of age at all points. I have enough sexual politics without adding in the age of consent.

There is still a bit of a stigma about admitting you are submissive and like getting spanked or caned. It's fine to say you like to dress in black leather and have men kiss your boots, it's another to say you want to do the boot kissing.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:57 PM   #98
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Everyone in my story is of age at all points. I have enough sexual politics without adding in the age of consent.
Fair enough. After Twilight had imprinting on infants, I forgot that publishers cared about stuff like that. But good point.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:25 AM   #99
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Fair enough. After Twilight had imprinting on infants, I forgot that publishers cared about stuff like that. But good point.
I would NOT like to have to write my fiction so that all characters and situations gave positive, (currently) politically correct, lessons to all readers - just in case the work became popular enough that someone might hold it up as providing poor examples to the community.

If Twilight had earned $500 of sales off Amazon no one would care what lessons it offered. Your deconstruction blog is an interesting way to analyse works such as Twilight and how they reflect what has become acceptable in society, but I do get uncomfortable when the phrasing (like that above) seems to suggest that the work or author is responsible for the way the book was received. (Oh, how we'd all love that!)
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:21 AM   #100
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I would NOT like to have to write my fiction so that all characters and situations gave positive, (currently) politically correct, lessons to all readers - just in case the work became popular enough that someone might hold it up as providing poor examples to the community.

If Twilight had earned $500 of sales off Amazon no one would care what lessons it offered. Your deconstruction blog is an interesting way to analyse works such as Twilight and how they reflect what has become acceptable in society, but I do get uncomfortable when the phrasing (like that above) seems to suggest that the work or author is responsible for the way the book was received. (Oh, how we'd all love that!)
I'm not sure that we're not talking past each other; I rarely criticize authors directly on my blog, preferring to criticize the text itself. (We all know that Unfortunate Implications can slip in whether we mean to or not.)

However, in a very general sense, yes, I do believe authors are responsible for what they write. Just as I believe we are all responsible for what we say. Authors are not stream-of-consciousness generators who cannot and should not be held accountable for the things they do and say, simply because Art.

[Insert mandatory reference to Orson Scott Card.]

But that's my opinion. As for what you "have to" do, I have never advocated laws to conform books to my standards, and I'm a strong opponent of censorship, so the only "have to" in this situation is what you as a writer want to leave yourself open for criticism. Since everyone on earth is entitled to their opinion, and I'm just one voice in a sea of billions, I wouldn't worry too much.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:24 AM   #101
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Fair enough. After Twilight had imprinting on infants, I forgot that publishers cared about stuff like that. But good point.
Well, there is the legal aspect to consider as well. Anything which could be construed as enciting or encouraging sex with children is a good way to get a book banned. Unless your book is about kiddie porn or something similar, no need to put it in.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:42 AM   #102
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Well, there is the legal aspect to consider as well. Anything which could be construed as enciting or encouraging sex with children is a good way to get a book banned. Unless your book is about kiddie porn or something similar, no need to put it in.
True. I don't think of R&J situations as encouraging children to have sex, but I can see why a publisher could be wary.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:12 AM   #103
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Well, there is the legal aspect to consider as well. Anything which could be construed as enciting or encouraging sex with children is a good way to get a book banned. Unless your book is about kiddie porn or something similar, no need to put it in.
Unless, perhaps, you wanted to tell a realistic story with teenage characters.

The idea that we can't or shouldn't have texts about acts that are entirely legal is ridiculous. People are not issued a sex drive on their 18th birthdays--and if we want teenagers to deal with sex *responsibly,* part of what they need is stories that show the kinds of situations they find themselves in, and how people can deal with those situations.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:56 AM   #104
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I'm not sure that we're not talking past each other; I rarely criticize authors directly on my blog, preferring to criticize the text itself. (We all know that Unfortunate Implications can slip in whether we mean to or not.)[...]
Yes, I think it is those "Unfortunate Implications". I would have said that often you are not even criticising the text so much as the social mores reflected in that text - and I think that is a good and worthwhile thing. But the risk is that such criticism carries by implication to the text and author - and yet the author is writing a story, often intentionally reflecting current mores rather than trying to influence them. So when you speak of "Twilight imprinting on infants" (as one example) you are, it seems to me, criticising a book, and by extension* the author, for a level of influence the book has gained (although cause and effect here are open to question).

* It is difficult to separate the author from criticisms like these. There is an inherent accusation that the author should have presented a better example for the readers - as if they knew they were going to be held up as an example (most aren't).
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:10 PM   #105
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Unless, perhaps, you wanted to tell a realistic story with teenage characters.

The idea that we can't or shouldn't have texts about acts that are entirely legal is ridiculous. People are not issued a sex drive on their 18th birthdays--and if we want teenagers to deal with sex *responsibly,* part of what they need is stories that show the kinds of situations they find themselves in, and how people can deal with those situations.

By all means, if your story is about the teenage characters. If your story is about adults indulging in BDSM and how far you can go before a consensual act becomes assault, then introducing underage sex in the past is a complication which is unlikely to be helpful.
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