Reply To: Mini Prompt Wars

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Mini Prompt Wars Reply To: Mini Prompt Wars

K. A. Grey

Oh my word, guys, I’m so sorry, I haven’t been on here for like a week!

I think the prompt is fine, everyone was just busy. Yeah, maybe we can extend the deadline to Wednesday?  I still want to join if someone else does too.

I actually agree with a lot of what you said.

So what I meant by role model is that I don’t think they should be held up as an “exemplary” model.  What I mean by that is that they aren’t heroes that we want to pattern our own lives after. For example, Jay Gatsby is an antihero. He’s basically a deceiving, bootlegging, adulterer but somehow we still find an emotional connection to the character. We know he’s doomed from the start but somehow we still want him to succeed and we feel sorry when the consequences of his actions lead to his destruction.  But we wouldn’t really say we want to <i>be </i>like him.  He’s a flawed character.  And that’s exactly what a flawed character portrays, is the flaws of human nature.  Now someone like Robin Hood is where I have some issues with.  He’s a thief, but hey, he’s a good thief! He only steals from the rich to give back to the poor! But does that really make stealing right?  Yeah, he dies in the end, but he dies a hero. We don’t really see the true consequences of his behavior or any remorse for wrongdoing; the law, which is portrayed as the “bad guys” was just “out to get him,” and he got unlucky. (I’m referring to the original book by the way, I haven’t watched any adaptions or anything😅).  As a kid, I loved the swashbuckling romance of Robin Hood. The cool archery and sword fighting, the cheekiness of Robin, the camaraderie of the merry men.  But what kind of message does it send?  Yeah, the characters are cool, but there isn’t much of a positive message except maybe friends stick together and it’s okay to steal as long as it’s not for yourself.

So that was what I meant by “role model.” A good author makes the reader feel emotionally connected to the MC. But when a character is “morally ambiguous,” does it at least cause us to think about our own morals, or do we brush it off because we like the character enough to think it’s okay?  I definitely don’t think all characters should be squeaky clean to be a good “role model.” But do we view them as role models simply because they’re cool or different, or is there some underlying quality that makes us look up to them? If they’re flawed, do they portray an accurate representation of human nature, or are the flaws viewed as something to be emulated?

You said here

So, I don’t really think it’s so much that we wanna take so much care with representation or not want a queer character as a role mole as much as we don’t want to fall in love with a character and feel guilty about it because that character’s actions are condoned and they’re so fun and identifiable we hardly even want them to change. I think that’s what most people are against more.

which might be a better way of saying what I said above, just phrased a little differently. I don’t really have a problem with a queer or morally ambiguous character, but I do have a problem with an author presenting sinful behavior as “okay,” for whatever reason.  I can love the person, the character, but when bad behavior is condoned or repeatedly shown to have no consequences, that’s where I start to have problems.

I also like what you said here:

With my characters I want there to be a clear distinction between action and identity; accepting who they are, not what they do about it. I want my queer characters to be very identifiable and loveable because who would you rather listen to: someone who demands you change and hold up to the same bar as everyone else or someone who says ‘I understand what you’re going through and that you can’t be like everyone else, I want you to be the best you you can be but don’t do this because this is better for you.’? I love how Jesus became Man and human in everything but sin and I want to give that kind of representation for queer people; not what not to do but what you can do and still be Christian, and why these things aren’t right.


Pin It on Pinterest