Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

OOC -- Wrath of Trees poll

I don't know that this is a problem at all, but it showed up in today's writing and it kind of bothers me a bit, so ... poll.

First, a few characters:

Character Type Role Sexuality
Melyl Narrator The narrator. The sentient and understandably eponymously wrathful tree. She does a few things that could be considered evil, for reasons that I think readers will appreciate even if they might not do the same thing. Chaste. No interest in dating either (a) nonsentients, or (b) outside her own phylum. That leaves nobody.
Pyzot Melyl's archenemy The arrogant, reckless natural philosopher who summoned and enslaved Melyl. On the good side, she's clever, smart, loyal to her same-species friends, and honorable. I was trying to set her up as the villain, but she's coming out as more of a flawed hero. Faithful to her husband.
Ffip Melyl's friend; Pyzot's protege A kid (initially), psychically bound to Melyl as her master and interpreter. Melyl's friend. Pyzot's protegee. Smart and devious and weaselly. Chaste, so far.
Ikik Ffip's personal enemy; everyone's enemy Originally a minor character who was going to get written out 1/4 of the way through, but he found a good job among the other characters' actual enemies. Brave, charming, brutal, sluttish. In the section I just wrote, he does something that would be considered sexual harassment, in 21st century America. Slut.

All the characters but Melyl are lakku, a not-quite-human species who seem pretty lecherous on the whole. Lakku women go on heat (though the ideal is to be grimly chaste (if single) or faithful (if married) when on heat). Lakku are supposed to be kinda like humans, but a bit worse.

Anyways, I have noticed that the characters I think are morally better (excluding sexuality) are generally chaste or faithful, and the ones I think are more wicked are generally more slutty. Which isn't at all what I was trying to do -- I originally and consciously intended Pyzot to be chaste and wicked.

Does this seem trite?

Yes -- I'm really tired of chaste/faithful heroes facing slutty villains.
Yes, but it's not something most readers are likely to notice or care about.
Only if it's written tritely.

Is this something to worry about?

No -- let the characters do what they want to do.
No, it's a silly topic to worry about.
Yes: don't fail to do something different when you write. (If you try, you must succeed)

If Ffip and Nyzhi establish a long-term adulterous relationship (verging on polyamory, but a long way from the best polyamory community standards and practices), will it still seem "faithful" because they were childhood sweethearts?

Yes. Sticky-sweet yucky yes.
Yes, but yay! Polyamory in fiction!
No; adultery is not faithful.

And what about the increasingly villainous Ikik doing the sexual harassish thing?

Trite. No matter what your motives, it'll look like you're unskillfully tossing it in so that Ikik looks more villainous.
Sensibly in-character. He got doom from the attempted rape in the first half of the book, after all.
He, why risk it? It's a throwaway paragraph anyways. Throw it away.
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