Author Topic: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves  (Read 17533 times)

Offline Wordmaker

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #90 on: June 28, 2013, 06:20:44 AM »
I'm also tired of "bitchy" as being synonymous with "strong".

Hear, hear.

Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #91 on: June 28, 2013, 07:44:04 AM »
I once had this discussion with another writer about how I
was very, very tired of strong, eccentric women in scripts being portrayed as 'bitchy'.
A guy can be cantankerous and eccentric and he's just a character - a woman with the same
characteristic is usually portrayed/written as a bitch.

Many, not all, male writers don't seem to see or attempt to find the difference
between the personas.

One of the better male writers of female characters is/was James Schmitz.
(I particularly like the story - The Demon Breed also published as The Tuvela.)

Offline Quantus

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #92 on: June 28, 2013, 01:21:10 PM »
I once had this discussion with another writer about how I
was very, very tired of strong, eccentric women in scripts being portrayed as 'bitchy'.
A guy can be cantankerous and eccentric and he's just a character - a woman with the same
characteristic is usually portrayed/written as a bitch.

Many, not all, male writers don't seem to see or attempt to find the difference
between the personas.

One of the better male writers of female characters is/was James Schmitz.
(I particularly like the story - The Demon Breed also published as The Tuvela.)
Im with you, I think it is an important difference that more writers need to be aware of and strive for.  That being said I think it is an important difference more /women/ need to be aware of and strive for.  Too many people in literature and out of it dont seem to get that a woman can be one without the other.
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Offline The Deposed King

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #93 on: June 28, 2013, 01:35:43 PM »
That's definitely something to be aware of and concerned about.  Its not fair to portray one gender as raging and out of control for no reason and give the other a by for what is essentially the exact same behavior.  That said there is a double standard at play we have to be aware of.

I mean if you had some of these 'raging' characters in the middle of their rant and you magically changed the gender of the character from female to male.  I'd expect the other male characters to plant a knuckle sandwich in the face of some guy who went around emoting on them like that during certain high stakes situations.  Whereas if you did that to a female character with anyone other than another female character you'd rapidly lose readers.  No one want to see guys beating up on gals for being a (what was the wanes world term) psycho hose beasts  :D  Call it stereotypical because it is but its also the socially required thing to do.  Whereas conversely if the 'eccentric' guy got a female beat down people might cry unrealistic but other than that you probably wouldn't get the same kind of abandon ship mentality.

With my character I try, as best I can, to play to the man woman differences as close to reality as I can and not to pick on any one side.  The genders are different and if you embrace that in an everyone wins philosophy of looking at it, you can write a richer more fullfilling storyline.

I remember hearing about authors like c.j. cherryh who used to complain that there were no books for women out there.  She had to mentally change the gender of the characters in order to put herself into the book and have fun.  And then recognized in her own writing how she'd gone too far the other way when she observed that there were almost no male characters in her early books and the ones that were there, twirled on stage and left it just as quickly as possible.

People are different.  Genders are different.  Embrace the differences in no picking on way and I believe the stories will be a richer and better for it than if we try to 'norm' everything to the most common denominator.



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Offline Quantus

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #94 on: June 28, 2013, 04:22:32 PM »
That's definitely something to be aware of and concerned about.  Its not fair to portray one gender as raging and out of control for no reason and give the other a by for what is essentially the exact same behavior.  That said there is a double standard at play we have to be aware of.

I mean if you had some of these 'raging' characters in the middle of their rant and you magically changed the gender of the character from female to male.  I'd expect the other male characters to plant a knuckle sandwich in the face of some guy who went around emoting on them like that during certain high stakes situations.  Whereas if you did that to a female character with anyone other than another female character you'd rapidly lose readers.  No one want to see guys beating up on gals for being a (what was the wanes world term) psycho hose beasts  :D  Call it stereotypical because it is but its also the socially required thing to do.  Whereas conversely if the 'eccentric' guy got a female beat down people might cry unrealistic but other than that you probably wouldn't get the same kind of abandon ship mentality.

With my character I try, as best I can, to play to the man woman differences as close to reality as I can and not to pick on any one side.  The genders are different and if you embrace that in an everyone wins philosophy of looking at it, you can write a richer more fullfilling storyline.

I remember hearing about authors like c.j. cherryh who used to complain that there were no books for women out there.  She had to mentally change the gender of the characters in order to put herself into the book and have fun.  And then recognized in her own writing how she'd gone too far the other way when she observed that there were almost no male characters in her early books and the ones that were there, twirled on stage and left it just as quickly as possible.

People are different.  Genders are different.  Embrace the differences in no picking on way and I believe the stories will be a richer and better for it than if we try to 'norm' everything to the most common denominator.



The Deposed King
Well said.  And if you have a character that is bugging you for being too much of a gender stereotype, introduce another character of the same gender to act as a foil for the first.  Stereotypes are overuse, but they come from somewhere; that psycho hose beasts certainly exists out there.  If you think it is making a bad statement for the gender as a whole, add a character that balances it out and shows that there is a full spectrum of people out there.
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Offline Wordmaker

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #95 on: June 28, 2013, 04:27:58 PM »
Yep. I was working on a YA book a while ago, and I'd made the main character's mother a single mom who was a fairly cold and unlikeable woman who treated her son badly because of a curse he was under.

His romantic interest was originally to have just her dad as a parent, and the town sheriff. But I realised that this could be read as saying that single moms can't handle the responsibility, so instead I made the sheriff a woman as well.

Offline Galvatron

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #96 on: June 28, 2013, 04:28:40 PM »
Quote
I'm pretty over the dom/sub, alpha/beta thing.  There's not much new that's being brought to the table on that topic, and very few authors truly explore the idea in a rational way (as opposed to shallow kink fulfillment).  I think Jacqueline Carey is the only one who has who I find interesting still.

I totaly agree, its not that its a bad idea but its been done so many times I just want something new
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Offline Dom

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #97 on: June 28, 2013, 08:29:55 PM »
Yeah, I've been using some of the same techniques with "foils" to balance out my character casts...if I have a "minority" character of some type, and I see they're turning into a bad person, I try to insert a foil for them.  So if I see my only woman in a certain set of characters is someone I don't like, I'll insert a foil for her.  Or in one of my novels, I have a lot of Deaf people, so I try to run the gamut of personalities for them so as not to imply I'm correlating [bad trait] with [Deafness].

To return to the original topic...I also get irritated with shallow Urban Fantasy that doesn't give things a new twist or have any particular strength or new aspect to bring to the table.  But I'm not sure there's much that can be done about it, because I recall when I was younger, you had the same thing going on with traditional fantasy, and also pulpy science fiction, where the shelves were flooded with mediocre work for whatever sub-genre was "in".
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Offline Mandy_The_Dandy

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #98 on: March 25, 2014, 10:21:24 PM »
Personally I'd like to see more protagonists that don't have all that many supernatural powers. I love underdogs, and there's no better way to create an underdog than put a regular guy up against sorcerers and monsters.


That actually sums up the premise of a story I'm working on. My main character works at the magical equivalent of an antique shop and is what you would consider a non-action guy (he's the bookkeeper) whose boss keeps dragging him along into dangerous situations so she can have someone do the grunt work. Doesn't help that she's got a history of being on the wrong side of the law and doesn't care much for staying on the straight and narrow, much to her lawyer's dismay.

Anyways, most of his antagonists are either physically or magically stronger than him, so he learns to defeat them through guile and trickery (a few times he learns it from being duped himself). I want to write it so that he'll get better at these methods as the story progresses, and the antagonists get more difficult to fool.
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Offline Wordmaker

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #99 on: March 25, 2014, 11:04:48 PM »
Well I'm sold. Write it, get it published, and I'll buy it!

Offline pcpoet

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #100 on: April 15, 2014, 08:06:04 PM »
the cliché I hate the most is the one of the evil vampire trying to be good unlike all other vampires. (I am sorry Thomas but you are a cliché)
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #101 on: April 15, 2014, 08:17:44 PM »
For me that one is just a matter of saturation.  Im tired of basically ALL the vampire related cliches and most of the werewolf and zombie ones too. 
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Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #102 on: April 15, 2014, 08:22:18 PM »
^
Yeah, verily yeah!
I'm with you on that one, Quantus.

Offline pcpoet

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #103 on: April 16, 2014, 12:38:39 AM »
it would be interesting to do a urban fantasy that all you used was the cliché. basically only use stereotypes.
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Offline Shecky

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #104 on: April 16, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »
it would be interesting to do a urban fantasy that all you used was the cliché. basically only use stereotypes.

Which is exactly how TDF began and got a publishing offer. It's not THAT you use clichés; it's HOW you use them. Jim's favorite example of this is Star Wars.
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