I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now. This is not necessarily about the ways my beliefs should be affecting my writing, but just about small things. Little unnecessary things that are sometimes good, but sometimes annoying. It fits in well with a Writing Excuses podcast of a few weeks ago about examining unconscious biases.
Many of them are actually somewhat important beliefs but might not actually benefit from the way they come through in my story. To make a point, bad examples are important as well good ones. Other points might actually just be tendencies I have for other reasons.
- I have trouble making my main characters bad
- I prefer to show the society I like
- I try to invent food I consider healthy
- I write minimal romance
- My characters tend to be private about their feelings
- Clothing is practical and modest
- There is always a chivalrous young man who doesn’t talk to girls much
- Fathers are important
- Parents are wise
To be exact, I’m not right stories about people who you could call villains, but I do want them to be flawed. But with some of the flaws I shrink back and think that I’m making them into a person who isn’t nice enough. Of course that might actually be a legitimate concern, I don’t want my characters to be unlikeable. But that doesn’t mean that Natalia has to be the perfect sister. Especially if the story is partly about the fact she isn’t the best sister.
Lady of Courage was intended to be set in a very feministic society. But I don’t like feministic societies, so despite the fact I was trying to show some of the problems in one, it keeps creeping towards being more equally governed. I think I’ve found a balance I’m comfortable with now and a good reason for many of the people in power to be women. There was this very terrible war about 20 years before… But I’m not here to explain my backstory, that’ll have to come some other time, when I’m actually working on the story.
This one is slightly ridiculous, since I still haven’t figured out diet and nutrition stuff for myself and the lifestyle and amount of physical labour of my characters is somewhat different to my own. I was going to give them beans as the main staple instead of a grain. Fortunately I did some research and realized that every civilization has a grain or other starch as a main staple. But my characters still won’t be getting much sugar.
I’m not actually sure why this is, but I cringe from to much focus on romance. I value the commitment side of relationships over the emotion side.
Lady of courage has a major focus on Natalia needing to marry someone. But it’s not so much a story about love as it is about respect and working together. The romance might come in more when I actually write it, but it might not. In Girl of the Rumours one of the relationships have very strong parental involvement. And it’s barely at a subplot level.
I may also being avoiding it since I have no experience and therefore little skill. If I were to write any more romance it would probably be terrible.
This one is simple. I’m private about my feelings, and if I let my characters spill a lot out I feel uncomfortable. But I know I need to do it sometimes. Not everyone is like me.
I tend to design clothing for my characters (the female ones) that I would wear myself. And I think about the technicalities of how it’s made and where the material comes from. So I have nothing overly fancy or complex. It’s still pretty I think. but very practical. That’s something else I need to talk about in more detail someday.
Always doesn’t mean much considering the little I’ve written, bit does seem to happen. It’s probably based more on observation than beliefs though. But I must have a character of that sort. And since the heroine isn’t much like me she finds him annoying. And because she is like me she wishes he wasn’t so withdrawn. But unlike me she tries to talk to him, that’s why she will find him annoying.
At one time Aydel didn’t have a father at all, but it didn’t feel right. So she has a father though he isn’t around as much as I would like. I wish I could have him their more but the story wouldn’t work. And in both Lady of Courage an the other book that I never actually wrote, my MC’s father had died, but she’d had an amazing stepfather for most of her life. Natalia’s father wasn’t supposed to be quite to wonderful but I couldn’t help it. He’s got to be a good man, even with the faults he has.
Woe to any of my characters who don’t listen to their parents. Even when they might be wrong about some things their advice is usually good. But it usually takes my characters, especially Aydel, quite a while to figure that out.
And that is that. For a bit I thought this list was going to be too short but more ideas keep popping up. Now I had better click the publish button because I’m behind on my word count and spent the bits of yesterday when I wasn’t working or procrastinating, writing fiction not blog posts.