You NEED TO ANSWER the REAL QUESTIONNNN
you and your cliffhangers that you rarely leave us on! lol
@TheSilverLeague: Lol! It's less a cliff, more like a gently rolling hill... XD
Cecilia puts it as it is as usual!
It's weird now that I think of it, while my family tried to put some pressure on me when it came to picking a career and never tried to tell me who to get acquainted with (like, mum would tell me if she disliked some of my friends but it was sharing an opinion not telling me to never talk to them again) I can understand parents trying to influence their kids career choices (though there's a difference between telling a kid that "rockstar" is not a profession and saying that it's accounting degree or bust) but not relationship choices - that seems about as personal as it can get.
@Oly-RRR: Yeah, I know what you mean! In Cecilia and Joseph's case, there's a lot of concern on the part of her family whether Joseph would be able to continue to support her in the lifestyle to which she has been accustomed- aside from just regular socioeconomic status judgments and so forth. In chapter 7, I aim to address a bit of that, though I don't think I'll cover the full extent until much later.
I can understand also if the person seems to be somewhat of a danger or just "bad news"- when my sister was just starting high school she started dating this older boy we were all convinced was "bad news" because she was hiding it from us and he was kind of a troublemaker. Surprise surprise that they're still together now three years later despite him having gone away on military leave even over seas for the majority of the months in the year! So there's something to be said about first impressions not always being the right ones, but I can also understand the hesitance when a parent just gets a weird vibe from someone.
But if the son/daughter has a relatively good head on their shoulders, I think it's okay to trust that they've made a decent joice, you know? I don't care for the friends of some of my friends, for instance, but that doesn't mean I need to intervene unless I sense the person is like an abuser or a secret murderer or something.
@mitchellbravo: Yeah, definitely - there can be extreme cases of actually dangerous people. And there can be wrong impressions - especially around that age, I mean everyone frowns on teenagers who skip school, get into trouble and such but most of them grow out of it. Though those that don't...
Cecilia seems the most level-headed person in their group but I suspect her family might downplay it because of stereotypes that women can't have anything to do with logical thinking and just swoon all over the place randomly?
@Oly-RRR: In Cecilia's case, there's definitely a bit of sexism at play but there's also some pretty significant motivation to protect her that I intend to unwrap at least half of in the scenes I was refering to in the previous post. It's funny to read what you said there seeing as between Cecilia and Cal being "the rich girls" in the group, Cal definitely embodies the emotional fainting stereotype and Cecilia just angles away from it almost entirely. I think that's something that draws Joseph to her, as well- she's someone he can count on to be reliably less firy than he is.
@mitchellbravo: Ooh, I see! It's something to look forward to - I like getting to see a fuller picture! And hehe, Cal is definitely emotional but still in a very likeable way - I often end up having trouble identifying with female characters or just being annoyed with them (probably because in a lot of fiction they are either damsels in distress or in-your-face bossy) but your girls are really likeable and easy to relate to!
Actually it's something I struggle with a bit - Cop Story cast was always supposed to be more male BECAUSE COPS but I often feel sort of nervous developing new female characters. Like I feel that I have a grasp on the ones I have at this point (and some of them will pop up in comics soon) but when I'm coming up with a new character and there's nothing in the story to determine their gender either way most of the time they end up male. But making every second character female just to tick a box doesn't feel right so I keep it as it is.
@Oly-RRR: Aww I'm so glad to hear the girls are relatable! I've run into that problem a lot with other female characters where sometimes they start off being interesting and well-written, but then the writer gets to a GIRL-CENTERED plot and suddenly everything gets thrown out the window because they don't know how to write that.
I know what you mean. In your story it makes sense though, since cops do tend to be men. It's kinda weird in my case, actually, when I first hatched the idea for Loud Era I had all these male characters in my head and I realized I had this weird habit- if I was telling a story in the first person, the narrator was female, but if it was told in the third person, the characters were male. I realized I had trouble writing female characters that weren't myself, and so I decided grudgingly to make the cast exactly evenly split, gender-wise. It sounds kind of forced and dumb but, like we talked about writing to understand instead of to be understood, the characters managed to come into their own and what do you know, I wound up being able to write not-me female characters after all! As I've added more characters to the comic, they tend to swing male though. Since I want to kind of maintain at least a bit of this weird gender-harmony, there's been a few characters coming up who were supposed to be dudes originally, then I switched them to ladies, and found a surprising wealth of story to be tapped there.
That method isn't going to work for everyone of course. And I think you're doing the best you can in terms of just making sure whichever female characters you include are well-written and developed, and not just bland archetypes followed because you don't know how to write a character who ovulates sometimes XD
@mitchellbravo: Ah, I see! :] I think it makes sense as an exercise or something you know you want to do with the story, I just mean that in my case I couldn't see any reason besides getting rid of comments of the "I notice all the characters are male" which I get sometimes and that seemed not worth it. I'm pretty sure I'll add a few girls to the teenage part of the cast at least and with all the family members, teachers and other supportive cast appearing in the comic I guess it'll get closer to being even.
Now that you've said it I think I had that problem too and am not completely over it yet, making female characters like me while with male characters they can be -anyone-. Or vise-versa, like with male characters I like when readers try to guess the degree of "self-insertness" but with female characters I worry that everyone will assume they are supposed to represent me more than other characters. Though I guess it's just an irrational thing I need to learn how to drop.
It's interesting to think how gender affects writing - I don't mean it in some kind of bigoted "women can only write soppy romance" kind of way but I do notice that male and female writers sometimes handle similar scenes differently. I often guess if the writer is male or female accurately when it comes to crime dramas but I couldn't choose one way I prefer - I guess I'd like my gender to just not be obvious from my story but I suspect it might be. XD
@Oly-RRR: Oh yeah, definitely. Not every story has to be exactly 50/50- that would be silly and kind of a weird level of tokenism, I feel.
It was a difficult mindset for me to get out of, for sure. Even in other stories I'd written, female characters who weren't the narrator were in retrospect very underdeveloped. And even with Loud Era, after I had the boys mainly squared away, it took a while for some of the girls to come into their own. Before they all had names, for example, in scripts (for the "novel") I'd have them represented by little images- Joseph had a music note, Eddie had a piano, and so forth. Aggie literally had a question mark. Lol.
Gender definitely can come through in writing. I *think* most of my readers know I'm female, but there's people on the boards (both here and elsewhere) that, probably in part due to my man-avatar and man-handle (ha. ha.), think I'm a dude even after having read my posts for months, years. It doesn't bother me and I kind of think it's cute when people think I'm a dude so I rarely bother to correct them XD
Having the ambiguity is pleasant, I think, though. It seems like even nowadays there's still somewhat of a discomfort some readers have reading something written by a woman. I mean, it's changed a lot over the years, but I think especially some guys feel weird relating too much to something written by a woman because they think it implies something not-quite-right about their own gender identity. It's all silly of course because we're all just people when you get down to it.
@mitchellbravo: Heheh, I agree, I don't think there's anything bad about people not guessing someone's gender online - I miss the times when you could be mistaken and both you and that person would have a laugh about it, these days every second blog and gallery have "preferred pronouns" mentioned somewhere and while I have no trouble with referring to people how they like it annoys me that it became a great offence these days.
Good point about discomfort - I think it's easier with slice-of-life and even crime drama but some people still think women can't write science fiction or "real men" in general. Which is especially stupid considering that arguably the manliest webcomic I can think of http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/ is made by a lady.
But yeah. we all are just people. It's weird how people are generally into labels and sorting everyone into groups! I guess it's also a way of self-discovery and trying to understand others, it just goes terribly wrong a lot of times. :P
@Oly-RRR: Yeah. Honestly I can only understand the offense if the person has really gone out of their way to emphasize that they are one or another, or if it's in person and the person has transitioned or is in the process because I know that can also be a safety issue for people who get outed. With all the additional pronouns, it's like, it's not hurting anybody but for most people I just don't think it's necessary, you know? I mean, I can identify a lot with trans people because I never felt particularly in touch with my feminine side as a kid (and even now I kind of have weird reactions to getting called "pretty," even when I'm dressed up/got makeup on and that should be the desired outcome) and a very close almost aunt-like friend of mine is transgendered, but for a lot of kids online I feel like they're slapping badges on in order to seem interesting or make up for a lack of a personality, you know? Like the same for kids who go on about how they're crazy, psycho, OCD, bipolar, a sociopath, blah blah blah... We get it! You're very special and unique! You're not like other girls! Lol. I just don't get the need to co-opt real issues that really affect real people because you heard about it on the internet and thought it sounded awesome to have.
Aaahh great comic! I haven't given it a proper readthrough all the way but I love when I see it posted somewhere and am always sure, when I do see it, to load up the page so that she gets a pageview anyway :P I wonder if people would feel the same way about a man writing a very roly-poly romance comic. I'm sure there'd be some discomfort somewhere, by someone.
I hear ya. I can understand the ideas behind finding labels to understand oneself and so forth, but it's like, people don't get that they're the only ones who will ever be as interested in all of their labels as they are (well, maybe a creepy stalker, but no one really wants those), so filling up profiles with overused & abused catchphrases and key words seems like a whole lotta wasted effort, instead of speaking for themselves, people try to get labels to speak for them.
@mitchellbravo: Yeah, definitely - when it's done to deliberately hurt someone it's bad but I don't think those situations can be easily mistaken for genuinely not knowing.
And aw, yeah, I also was that kind of kid, I spent a large chunk of childhood wanting to be a boy and at some point I just sort of saw that being a boy or a girl doesn't affect neither what I do nor people around me, like I can choose to do anything and like anyone no matter what my gender is (and I will still be disliked for being myself by some people no matter I am or am not but it's their problem not mine), which doesn't stop me from knowing people can be transgender (which is still news to spellcheck judging by red squiggles). I just think that it's like personality, more brain chemistry than active choice (whether you are aware of that process or not) and a lot of kids these days seem to think genders are like political parties that you can join after pondering which you like better. Like you said, badges to wear to look cool. And what really annoys me is those made-up pronouns that are not he, she or them - no, I'm sorry kid, you can't invent a word and say you are -that-, there's enough words available for this.
I'm also sure someone would feel discomfort about a man writing romance! I'm not a big fan of Tangled because it seems to have started a cascade of sameface in modern animation but I always liked that bit where ruffians sing about their hobbies - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bate_tvVUpk just because even though it's obviously comedic it's cute instead of mocking and that seems pretty progressive for Disney. :P
And gosh, I'm glad I'm not the only one annoyed by those profile descriptions. The ironic thing is that people actually affected by these issues are usually really tired to be seen as labels instead of people and then there are these kids who think seeing a label first is a great thing. I get that in a lot of cases it's just growing pains but I suspect kids used to grow out of it faster before the internet came along (even though the internet is brilliant and allows us to discuss buttsex from different sides of the world lol).
@Oly-RRR: I asked my mom once, when I was probably five or six, "Can I grow up to be a boy?" Oh well, it all turned out all right in the end. And you're right, it's less of determining what you are on the inside, and more the lens through which you project that and probably more importantly in society, how other people view you. The political party analogy is a good one. It's unfortunate because a lot of the gender identity stuff I see online seems to be with people who think they're being very progressive about it all, but much of it perpetuates kinda Bad Stuff and bad ways of thinking. The only example I can think of is people who want society to do away with gender identities entirely, which is great for people who *want* that, but for a large amoutn of the population, gender is a very important part of personal identity. Blah! Blah! Blah! Dicks boobs!
That is the most happy and upbeat song I have enjoyed in a long time XD And you're right in that, while it's meant to be funny, it's clear that it's *okay* for the guys to be liking those things, they're not being laughed AT, so much as the juxtaposition of them being so rough and tumble with their more delicate hobbies is what's actually funny :P I'd like to see more of that type of thing in stuff aimed at kids these days, really!
Aaaaagh exactly. Like the kids don't get that people who actually have those things don't put it on bumper stickers to get cool street cred, you know? That's not to say that people with conditions never get to a point where they accept them and can be like "Well, this is the hand I'm dealt in life, this is part of who I am." But the key is that most of them don't go raving "THIS IS LITERALLY MY ENTIRE EXISTANCE PLEASE VIEW ALL OF MY ACTIONS THROUGH THIS FILTER"
Yeah, I get that sense too. It's just easier to find people who are weird in the same way you are- which, like fire, can be very useful and beneficial, but can also fuck stuff up pretty bad. XD LOL YES. As much as I hate the internet more and more these days, a lot of VERY IMPORTANT TOPICS would have gone undiscussed without it!!!
@mitchellbravo: Totally - some people seem to be really intolerant with their tolerant views, if it makes sense. I sort of understand why it happens because speaking in playground terms beating up a bully is the quickest way to defeat them but that often just makes the person beating them up a stronger bully. :P Co-existing is difficult concept to grasp, I guess - there was this short film about a society where typical male and female social norms were reversed (girls cat-calling lonely men in the street and so on) and it made a point about ways women can be oppressed in our society really well but a lot of "feminism" blogs posted it with comments about how they'd love to live in a society like that - so you don't really want to have equality for everyone, you just want to be the ones on top? :/
And yeah, it's one thing to not feel the need to hide conditions like some TERRIBLE SECRET but I can't imagine people actually dealing with it that wanting to bring it up first thing out of any context. It's kind of like how I got to the point where I'm okay mentioning my mental issues that led to Cop Story when it comes up in a conversation with people I like but I don't bring it up if there's no reason for it to be mentioned same as I don't bring watermelons up if we're talking about computer hardware and so on. XP Though to be fair I wouldn't have a label to put on a name tag even if I wanted, I never got a final diagnosis and stopped caring about that at some point since it's just words which even medical professional redefine all the damn time (and there's a surprising range of mental issues that gets treated by the same stuff, really some doctors have it easy)... If my inner blogging teenage brat exists she must be very disappointed with me! XD
@Oly-RRR: I understand exactly what you're saying. I saw that film!! It was depressing to me to see some of the comments on it along the lines that you mentioned. Like, you're not supposed to watch that video and cheer that a man is getting his "comeuppance." I mean, I'm obviously a woman and watching that film still made me uncomfortable because it's *not supposed to represent an ideal!!!* It's using a role reversal to get people to open their eyes to something they wouldn't normally see. I consider myself a feminist but it's behavior like that that makes me have to be very careful who I use that word around, because so many people claim it applies to them and then go on to rhapsodize these deplorable opinions.
LOL. "Yeah, my laptop's just been acting up lately, I really need to take it in to the shop." "Have you tried thumping it?" "What?" "Speaking of thumping, what's the freshest watermelon you ever had?" You know, it's interesting, there's a theory and I forget what it's called but it's got to do with the idea that by labeling or naming a problem (or any concpet really), it kind of changes how we think about or treat that problem. But there's plenty of cases where it doesn't matter if what you have is called Bluefin Tuna syndrome or Pushkin's Palsy because either way you still have it, it's still part of the reality you deal with, and people will still find a way to make a judgment either way.
LOL. I don't know how I managed it, but I'm *very* thankful I didn't start dipping fervently into online communities until I was already in college and for the most part already past the point of trying to find others to reaffirm my special uniqueness XD Put it this way, I'd probably be a greater disappointment to my family than I am currently XP
@mitchellbravo: Yeah, that's the reason I put feminism in quotes - I like the idea, I understand what it represents, I know a few reasonable people who consider themselves feminists but but there's this angry loud group "stealing" the word so I don't even know how exactly to use it anymore.
Yeah, it depends! Like, if you think knowing a word to call a thing will help you sleep at night you should look for that word, if you start to suspect it won't matter then there's other stuff to do.
And same! Like you said, it's like fire, can be useful, can be dangerous. People talk a lot about making the internet safe for children these days and while I'm not a fan of weird fetish pictures showing up in top results when I'm googling cartoon characters I don't think the internet is a thing you should just uncontrollably expose children to either way, much like television.
@Oly-RRR: Exactly. It makes it really hard to have any kind of reasonable discussion on the matter. Which is sad because it's often worth discussing :/
I agree very much with that. In retrospect a lot of the reason I probably didn't get involved in weird internet stuff was because up until I went to college, we had one big desktop computer in the living room for the whole family's use. And it was next to the TV, so everyone's sitting there watching TV it's not like you're gonna pop a porn on or something. It never felt like a breach of privacy or anything like that- my family never read my instant messages or emails or anything that was ACTUALLY personal and WOULD have been a breach of privacy- it just kept me from going to sites I knew were going to be weird and difficult to explain to my mom. :P
@mitchellbravo: Yeah, that makes sense! I think I already had a separate desktop by the time I started using internet but it just never occurred to me to use it for something other than looking stuff up and I didn't think anyone would be interested in talking to me or looking at my art so I basically just looked at pictures and read stuff for a while.
Though LOL, your story reminded me of a childhood friend I had - our families were friends for a while and when he was finishing high school (he was a few years younger than me) and practically everyone had internet connection and he actually needed it for school his parents refused to get a modem and everything because they were worried he'd look at porn. So in the end when he was visiting with his mother my mum sat them both down in front of computer, googled porn, showed them the screen and said "There, now you can stop worrying and get a modem."
Pfff, this story sounds really weird now that I tell it but back then it made perfect sense. XD
@Oly-RRR: That is a great story and a hilariously efficient way for your mom to deal with that scenario XD XD