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News via other people's blogs - The Lyorn's Den

Mon Aug. 18th, 2008

03:46 pm - News via other people's blogs

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According to The Telegraph, the heirs of the Knights Templar (they have heirs? I thought they were a celibate order... nevermind) are sueing the pope for damages. I guess the heirs of Philippe IV le Bel didn't have enough money to be worth sueing and the Fifth Republic would point to the segration of church and state and send them to Rome. (Via Charles Stross, who is wondering about who is writing the scripts for this century. Comments are fun, too.)

Also, Stross talks about The Bechdel Test, a topic which always reminds me most painfully that (excepting stories told in first person by a male) I yet have to write a scene where two named male characters talk about anything other than a woman. OK, in some cases the woman they are talking about has just blown up their headquarters or something simliar... not sure if that counts. Also, I feel that because tight third is commonly in fashion, followed by first person, every book with a male protagonist is likely to fail and every book with a female protagonist likely to pass. For a reasonable evaluation, it has to be third person with switching POV characters, omni or camera. (Doesn't help me much.)

The Daily Mail (yes, I know), has something about women taking 1950s re-enactment maybe a little too seriously. (via Pandagon)

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From:kazaera
Date:August 18th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Trying to use the Bechdel test on my as-yet-unwritten book, I wonder - if two named female characters talk about abortion (and, in fact, /perform/ an abortion), does it count as talking about kids?

That said, it does make me realise that although I have /one/ strong, kick-ass female character, I could probably give some of the others more screen time.
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From:lyorn
Date:August 20th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
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I feel that, considering that scenes that do not advance character or plot should end up on the (real or metaphorical) cutting room floor, having a scene in which two named female characters talk about anything other than men means that not only there are two female characters, but also that they are both relevant to the plot. Two unnamed characters talking can just be part of setting the scenery.

And if you don't have such a scene, it might be helpful to ask yourself why. (i.e., "they are all hermaphrodites", "it's set in a medieval monastary", ...)

I know exactly why I fail the genderswap-Bechdel: I cannot write men. No idea why, it always comes out strange. Even Sayer's "I just write them as human" doesn't help me much. Lately I've taken to genderswapping some of my secondary characters just to make the numbers look better. I'm weird.
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[User Picture]
From:kazaera
Date:August 20th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
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Come to think of it, miscounted - I have two main female characters and *counts* five main male ones. Most of my secondary characters are female, though, and I want to see if I can get some of them to more main-ish character status. (Come to think of it, I think if one of your plot points is an underground feminist movement the Bechdel test's a bit superfluous.)

...and funnily enough, with some of the male characters I might also have trouble with the reverse Bechdel.

I can actually sort of understand problems with writing male characters - I think fandom beat it them of me, though, because 99% of the characters I'm interested there are male and I had to learn. :( I still generally give female characters a few plus points on interest and likeability due to being female, and in RPing I /never/ play a male character.
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