MOPNoWriMo Day 15: The Please Flame Me Post (13/2/2012)

Day fifteen: Target wordcount: Still 65000. Words written: 64900

Two long chapters today. In the first chapter, the minor sidekick and the character whose existence I had never even foreseen get married, rather to my surprise. I don’t know what’s going on here or where this is going to end, but it certainly wasn’t ever in the script. Maybe I have a secret discomfort at how white and male and testosterone this whole story was panning out to be, maybe that’s why the unplanned female protagonist and the ethnic minority character are making such a bid to steal the limelight. And now I say it like that, it sounds awful (Token woman? Check. Token racial minority? Check). I fail on the token old person and I haven’t even thought about the sexuality of most of the characters. They’re just assumed to be straight. I went through a period of worrying about that sort of thing quite a lot. Less now. Shoot me if you must for that.

It’s not that I don’t give a shit. The views of my characters are not necessarily my own doesn’t cut it for me – it may be true but the views of my characters are far from the whole story I’m telling, and if every character in my story views wasps as vile pests to be exterminated and that viewpoint is repeatedly validated within the story while others are either absent or are only there to be mocked and shown to be obviously foolish, why then the wasps might have a point when they swarm out of their nest and sting me a lot. However, it is also extremely difficult to provide a narrative that explores all possible attitudes to wasps with equal fairness while allowing for the inherent social bias against wasps (evil bastards), and if you then additionally aim to be treat butterflies, spiders, ladybirds, slugs, mosquitoes, moths and grasshoppers with the same importance then I rather fear that, if I happened to be writing a story that was largely supposed to be about spaceships, no one would buy it. I write within my limits. Small steps are better than none, after all.

The changes these two characters have wrought to my story in the first of today’s chapters are pleasing. The second of the day’s chapters was, sadly, an even bigger shambles than this post. Ah rewrites, how I love your healing ways.


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