Tag Archives: problems

A Change of Direction

I’m now at the 60% mark in my third book, The Earl and the Artificer. I’ve already had my mid-book panic/meltdown and have overcome it through outlining and trying to maintain a level head since. Trying is the key word here since that involved dowsing myself in coffee, walking in circles until nearly wearing out the floor, and probably a bit of incoherent babbling.

Between freak-outs, I have decided that after this book is finished, the “direction” of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series will change slightly. I don’t know if the books will alternate between Eilian-and-Hadley and Immanuel-Emmeline-Adam anymore because I have a lot more stories in my head for Adam-Immanuel-Emmeline. Book four is definitely going to be for the trio, and book five more than likely will too.

The reason for this is that I really want to move toward the dark, paranormal side of the steampunk/historical-fantasy world. I’m drawn toward ghosts, mythical creatures, and paranormal entities lurking in the London fog.

Does this mean there won’t be more adventures for Eilian and Hadley after The Earl and the Artificer?

No, I am definitely leaving the possibility open for future stories with them. I love them dearly, but their relatives are calling to me more than they are. For now, they will be on hiatus after book three.

For the past few days, I toyed with whether or not to start a whole new series devoted to Adam-Immanuel-Emmeline. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to. Readers would end up coming to the world in the new series not knowing who the characters are or what the world they live in is like. I don’t really feel like doing that with a new series even if the characters are pre-existing. It makes more sense to go on with the series and simply shift the focus. Who knows if Eilian and Hadley will be the focus for book five or six.

Either way, I feel this is the right decision for me, and I just wanted to make my readers aware of the change.

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The Elusive Bi Character

In preparation for a fantasy novel I am planning to write in the near future, I decided to look up bisexual characters because my main character (actually two of my main characters) are bisexual. This proved to be easier said than done.

What I found was not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to find books with bisexual characters, or more importantly, characters who happened to be bisexual. In the media, bisexual characters are often treated as merely plot devices. Oh, is the drama ebbing? Let’s toss in a bisexual character who will come into the protagonist’s life and either steal their boy/girlfriend or to form a love-triangle. This has added to the prejudice society has against bisexuals and leads people to falsely believe that bisexuals cannot be monogamous, will cheat on their partner, or wants a threesome. Just because a person likes two genders does not mean they want both at the same time. I came across a lot of books that sadly used these tropes.

I then decided to go onto Goodreads and explore their Listopia section for books with bisexual characters. This lead to numerous lists of LGBT characters, which I was not willing to pick through. My attention span does not last long enough for me to investigate two hundred different books, but I did find a few lists that could be of use to my research. As I scrolled through, of course a number (probably the majority) were straight up romance novels, which I skipped past. It wasn’t surprising since it makes sense that a writer would focus on the character’s sexuality, but the amount of stories that I found with a character who just happened to be bisexual was a bit disappointing. Because my future project will be a fantasy story, I wanted to find some books in the same genre. Luckily, I came across Pantomime by Laura Lam on an LGBT blog’s list and am hoping to read it in the near future.

As I was doing my research, I began to think about my characters and some of the problems a writer may come across while writing a bisexual character. Because society tends to think in terms of gay or straight, sometimes it’s hard to solidify that a character does indeed like both men and women. How many relationships need to be mentioned to get that across? Do I need to show these relationships or can my character just say she is bisexual? Then, I was wondering if she will be judged by her latest relationship. She previously had a girlfriend, but now she is falling for a man. Will she be straight-washed by readers? Will they assume she is suddenly straight? The answer is, probably. If she was dating a woman most recently, would they say she was gay or would they say she was experimenting? On some level, I don’t think there is a correct answer. No matter what order I portray her relationships, she will probably be only identified by her last relationship. My male character will also face the same difficulties. Male bisexuals tend to be immediately deemed gay or assumed to be a gay man who cannot accept himself and therefore still has relationships with women.

When writing characters, I don’t go into it thinking they will be x or y, but as I get to know them, I learn more about their past histories and often their past relationships. As I have gotten further into figuring out these two characters, I realized both had had relationships with their own sex and the opposite sex. They pose an interesting challenge in terms of the way the public may potentially view them and how I can work around these issues or if I should pay them any heed at all and just write what I feel is right for them. More than likely, I will do the latter.

If you know of any books with bisexual characters, please send them my way.

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