Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,
Sythyry
sythyry

Writing filter: Appendices, Homosexuality

Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

And there’s the appendix.

I do need an appendix, actually. I think I’ve managed to
get almost all this material in the text, but I’m a red
legged pademelon if I can figure out how to textify the
months of the year in a way that the user can refer to
conveniently (and hence understand the date-markers in front
of the chapters).

Oh, and I’ve got a glossary and dramatis personae, too,
rather like the ones I have for Sythyry’s Journal. I’m
not worried about those.

But … there’s some material I sort of want to say
explicitly, and sort of don’t want to say explicitly. I’m
pretty sure I’ve said it implicitly in the main text, but
I’m an anthropology geek and I like saying this stuff
clearly. So I’ve written a couple notes on the language,
like this:

Pronouns, in Aradrueian, go by species rather than by sex.
A male Rassimel and a female Rassimel would be given the
same pronoun. A male Rassimel and a male Cani would be
given different ones. This is too confusing, so we use ‘he’
and ’she’ in ordinary English usage. Unfortunately, not all
people are male or female. We use ‘zie’ for the equivalent
of ‘he/she’ and ‘him/her’, and ‘zir’ for ‘his/her’.

Reasonable enough, I suppose, but I could let the
glossary handle it for me.

Then there’s the matter of proper romance. Almost all the
liaisons in the book are pretty much acceptable in local
standards. Sure, Zallarilla’s father gives Zallarilla a
hard time about getting involved with Nethry, but that’s
because Nethry is foreign and appears to be lower-class (and
Nethry keeps arguing with him), not because they’re both
women. (The Herethroy triad, of course, is entirely proper
and conventional, but I think the reader will get the point
of that just from having a 3-sexed species.)
Still, homosexuality is an emotionally charged topic for
human readers, if not for prime characters, so I am tempted
to say something glike this:

On Homosexuality: Homosexuality is not a topic of
much concern in Araldy. A few people prefer it; more try it
once in a while; most aren’t interested. Same-sex couples
are not particularly remarkable, though same-sex matches are
not generally considered as good as opposite-sex ones.
There are no common words for “homosexual” or “lesbian”,
rather in the same way that there are no English (or
Araldean) words for “a person who prefers lovers a few years
younger than him-or-herself”. or “a person who prefers
foreigners for lovers”.

But that’s sounding more lectury or even preachy than I
think this needs.

Doctors have the slogan, “Intervention begets
intervention”. When you induce labor, you are likely to
need to give painkillers, and then you need a catheter, and
so on…

So, if I’ve said that very neutral bit about the Araldean
[non-]conception of homosexuality, readers may think I’m
trying to write a carefully concealed pro-gay tract. Or
even an anti-gay tract, considering what Nethry is up to.
So that would lead to writing an out-and-out disclaimer,
like

The author makes no claim about how appropriate or
inappropriate these rules are for Araldy, much less for
Earth.

And now it’s gotten messy.

The appendix should:

Be omitted entirely
1(3.6%)
Just include the calendar and that sort of very objective in-world information.
1(3.6%)
Include calendar and translation notes.
14(50.0%)
Include those, and the discussion of romance including the "Homosexuality" paragraph above.
6(21.4%)
Include everything.
4(14.3%)
Do something else; see the comments.
2(7.1%)

And, because I do know that homosexuality is a charged topic for many humans ... Check all that you think apply. People worthy of respect can, I think, hold all of these opinion.

It's fine to have it in the book; no further discussion is necessary.
13(46.4%)
It's good to have it in the book to emphasize the difference between Araldy and Earth
0(0.0%)
It's politically useful to have it in the book in a very uncharged role.
0(0.0%)
Having it in the book makes it eligible for various literary awards.
0(0.0%)
It's bad to have uncharged homosexuality. (This answer is for people who have strong opinions on the topic but don't want to be seen being pro- or anti-.)
0(0.0%)
Homosexuality is bad in RL; literature should not encourage it by presenting positive (or fairly-positive) role moldes for it, so you should get rid of it. Turn Nethry into a boy at once, before it's too late.
0(0.0%)
Homosexuality is good in RL; literature should encourage it. Given that Nethry is the antagonist/villain, she should not have a homosexual relationship; that hurts the cause. Turn Nethry into a boy at once, before it's too late.
0(0.0%)
It's literarily harmful to have it in the book (in the sense that readers will get distracted from the story by it). Turn Nethry into a boy at once, before it's too late.
0(0.0%)
It's literarily OK, but does sort of marginalize the book...
1(3.6%)
It's literarily OK, but does sort of marginalize the book... and, as furry game-based fiction, it cannot afford any more marginality.
0(0.0%)
Remember that this is a furry book? Do you want to re-emphasize that furry sterotype?
0(0.0%)
See my comment, please.
2(7.1%)

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