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Tanuki Racoon

The Gay Cliche

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See, that kind of thing is useful, Des. At least we can point to that and tell new writers, "don't do this!"

BTW, I just bought a published book from Star Books Press, Country Boys/City Boys, and most of those stories were just wretched -- with many of the cliches and flaws we've been talking about. So it's not just online fiction that suffers from this stuff.

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er, thanks Pecamn...?

I have long recognised the cliched speech patterns in movies.

It would make for an interesting short article. I'll put it on my to do list.

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So many of my favourite clich?s have already been listed. So if I may veer irritatingly away from the original topic, I'd first like to point to instances of proving the rule where clich?s are concerned. One of my very favourite stories is Karla's Carrots and Celery. It's a sweet story to begin with and one of the lovely things about it is that her narrator has a plausible voice and credible diction. In general Karla can write dialogue you can imagine people speaking, which is a very rare talent in net.fiction. If in the early stages of the story there are discernible clich?s then I'd wage money that Karla is the originator at least some of the time. But then, as the story matures one of my most favourite clich?s rears its ugly head (tu quoque sumbloke): sudden death of parental units and (although hardly mentioned) hence inheritance. But as other people have said the manner in which Karla handles this is far from hackneyed. It's not done as a cheap resolution to a narrative problem (awkward parents getting in the way of teen romance and avoidance of boring grown up stuff like careers etc) but rather to force the nature of the relationships between the main characters into sharper relief and in this way to darken the lens on what would otherwise be pretty idyllic. The development of the story after the trauma is compelling and heart rending. Of course, what I'm really saying is that this has nothing to do with clich?!

Oh! Oh! I just thought of one that nobody mentioned! The gay kid is a martial arts expert! He's 14 and has been doing taekwonjitsudo since he was three and is a 29th dan black belt who studies with his inscrutable Okinawan sensei...come on, admit it - you recognise this one!

[personal rant]Now, I'm all for liberality in juding net.fiction. Generally where I can't love I prefer to pass on by, but please if anyone out there is going to dust this one off for one more time, could you at least find out something about martial arts first? If someone wrote a story about baseball and explained how the quarterback on the second line scored a home run just before the face-off, you'd be hard put to keep reading. If you are going to write about anything, make sure you have some basic knowledge first! It grates achingly to read nonsense about martial arts. Ok, I'm guilty of a similar sin. I wrote a story set in a country (the US) I'd never visited that prompted people to write to me explaining in great detail that my setting was utterly unrecognisable to them![/personal rant]

Now that I've started, I'm tempted to rant on relentlessly off topic, especially about ludicrous dialogue. Listen up people! If you are going to have dialogue between teenagers then try this: abandon your hard-won grammatical knowledge about the conjoined pronouns "you and I" and instead write by default "me and you". Since, in my estimation 90% of of the time 90 % of writers who write "you and I" use it where they should in fact have written "me and you", you'll be getting it right more often. Hypercorrection in dialogue is cringe-making. People in real life don't speak in the register of formal writing. Teenagers don't say "we can exit this way", they say "we can get out over here".

Anyway, enough of my judgmental rambling.

Peace OUT!

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If you are going to write about anything, make sure you have some basic knowledge first!

And now everyone knows why I don't write sex scenes.

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Book learning isn't nearly as good as practising the real thing. Will there be 'hands on' instruction? :hehe:

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A new story has been submitted. I had started it the day I made this topic and is directly related to this topic.

I am forced to comment that it's much harder to write a purposely bad story than I thought. It's not actually bad, technically, but, well, you'll see.

I hope it will be posted with the Wednesday batch.

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The gay kid is a martial arts expert! He's 14 and has been doing taekwonjitsudo since he was three and is a 29th dan black belt who studies with his inscrutable Okinawan sensei...

Damn! I'm guilty of that one, too. So you see, the cliches happen to the best of us.

I did at least still have the "karate kid" in my story wind up getting the crap beat out of him, so his martial art skills didn't win the fight. In fact, the hero was a wimpy gay kid with a baseball bat. :-)

Can't wait to see WBMS' story. See, this kind of thing can be useful.

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Damn! I'm guilty of that one, too. So you see, the cliches happen to the best of us.

I did at least still have the "karate kid" in my story wind up getting the crap beat out of him, so his martial art skills didn't win the fight. In fact, the hero was a wimpy gay kid with a baseball bat. :-)

Can't wait to see WBMS' story. See, this kind of thing can be useful.

If only to find out who are the best of us. :hehe::lol:

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. I know you don't mean it like that.

:icon4:

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*Ahem!* As the self-appointed site sex educator, I think it is within my perview to choose the venue for signups...*Points to his own chest and hands the first person in line a grease pen* As with any good sign up sheet, when the front is filled up, just flip me over and start on the back.

cheers!

aj

addendum: Yes Trab, there will be hands on workshops offered.

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If only to find out who are the best of us.

Oh, no -- I meant that Wibby is a terrific writer with a very sly sense of humor. He's exactly the sort of person who could really do justice to this idea.

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Oh, no -- I meant that Wibby is a terrific writer with a very sly sense of humor. He's exactly the sort of person who could really do justice to this idea.

I would, indeed, be interested in seeing what y'all think of this when it appears. I was unable to use EVERY clich? but I got damned near most of them. It doesn't suck except for the fact it's pretty clich?d. And I've got some humour well hidden. And other goodies for the especially clever.

I will admit to having some FANTASTIC suggestions from the person(s) who volunteered to edit this travesty. The trick was to fix the grammar and such without fixing what was intentionally done wrong.

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I would, indeed, be interested in seeing what y'all think of this when it appears. I was unable to use EVERY clich? but I got damned near most of them. It doesn't suck except for the fact it's pretty clich?d. And I've got some humour well hidden. And other goodies for the especially clever.

I will admit to having some FANTASTIC suggestions from the person(s) who volunteered to edit this travesty. The trick was to fix the grammar and such without fixing what was intentionally done wrong.

So bad grammar and spelling and word choice and punctuation aren't part of the Gay Clich?s. In a way, that's almost too bad. They sure are part of the Nifty Clich?s though, aren't they!

Colin :icon_geek:

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So bad grammar and spelling and word choice and punctuation aren't part of the Gay Clich?s? In a way, that's almost too bad. They sure are part of the Nifty Clich?s though, aren't they?!

Right, but I just can't bring myself to write: "Your going to be late to they're party." Oh, and this gem: "I bet that is your's." I read that very sentence last week. I'm seeing a therapist to recover. Worse, I was afraid some people wouldn't even know I made errors.

I may post this story on Nifty in a month or so and see what sort of replies it gets. Maybe even post them here without the names.

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Right, but I just can't bring myself to write: "Your going to be late to they're party." Oh, and this gem: "I bet that is your's." I read that very sentence last week. I'm seeing a therapist to recover. Worse, I was afraid some people wouldn't even know I made errors.

I may post this story on Nifty in a month or so and see what sort of replies it gets. Maybe even post them here without the names.

Is there something wrong with any of that? Looks fine to me. I'd even suggest you wrote it. Looks exactly like your writing.

Oops. I meant: Looks exactly like you're writing.

You know, it is difficult to write wrong.

C

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My personal pet peeve which I've addressed before: the perfect gay protagonist.

He's always cute/adorable/hot. He's hung like a horse. He's got all A's. He's popular. He's rich. His family supports and understands his sexuality. He's got the PERFECT boyfriend. He never cheats or if he does, he is forgiven. If he makes a mistake, it's with the best of intentions. He never f*cks for the sake of f*cking. He never gets a stress BJ because he's had a rough week. He doesn't drink/smoke weed or does any kind of drugs despite enormus social and psycological pressures. He's perfectly moral and takes it up the ass. He's never selfish or greedy or lustful.

In short the sort of motherf*cker that is simply too good to be true. Come on admit it! You hate him already!

Authors please! Throw us a bone. A few weaknesses or human frailties can make the difference between an insufferable arse and a sympathetic character.

Perfect people like the one I described are closet serial killers-- with chain saws and meat hooks. Being perfect, they have nothing in common with us mere humans and they see us as insects for their amusement.

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Niether was mine much to the relief of readers everywhere. :icon11:

Ah! Self-deprecating humour is my personal favourite. The only subject I would make mandatory for every student. :lol:

My personal pet peeve which I've addressed before: the perfect gay protagonist.

I don't find this as annoying as the fabricated evil character with no saving graces whatsoever.

The perfect hero is frustrating, but at least he is a worthy fantasy.

Better if he has a fault or a vulnerability, I will agree.

But I would rather read about a fantasy Robin Hood, than the drug-crazed, raping, murderer, thief who has no quality with which I can empathise except the outward appearance of being related to the human race.

I just don't give a hoot if this fellow gets himself in a jam or killed or not.

But give him just an ounce, (or a gram), a smidgen of compassion for even just his pet mouse and I will watch/read.

Too many of these evil characters have not been given a justification for their attitude problem. We don't even get informed of their motivation for any of their desires or actions. Without that human interest, I don't care if they rob, steal or cheat, because for me they aren't as real as the make believe hero, who at least wants to maintain his perfect world.

As for the fantasy, wish-fulfillment gay protagonist, well he has certainly been done to death in more ways than one. :icon_geek:

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Ah, James.

James, James, James. Where is your romantic spirit?

You would want us to write our protagonists with itchy balls, bad breath and insecurity issues?

You'd like them to trip when running, run when they should stand fast, and never, ever. falter in the face of adversity?

You want them to work a nine to five job, cavil in front of their boss and skip lunch if they think that'll curry favor with their superiors?

You want them to have a wart on their nose and get a pimple on their chin just prior to their first date?

You want them to be human. But aren't we already that? Do we really want to read about some schmoo who has the same faults we do? Wouldn't we rather read about some beguilingly handsome young man who is clever and resourceful and can think his way out of jams that would have us flummoxed, win the fair object of his dreams through his ineffable derring-do, and save the world while doing so?

I would. I already inhabit the world of ordinary people accomplishing mundane tasks in prosaic ways.

Isn't that why we write, so we can imagine feats we can't really accomplish ourselves? Isn't there incalcuable pleasure in doing so?

I can see plain people by going to the coffee shop. I can have insipid conversations with the woman who sits next to me on the bus. I can select a magazine when I sit for an hour past the time my doctor scheduled my appointment for a prostate prod and read about someone in Malasia who trains lemurs to fetch only ripe bananas for her breakfast and be bored out of my skull.

I kind of like the stereotypes your presented. I like the cute kid of fiction who has clever repartee and a winsome way about him more the kid next door who plays his rap or heavy metal too loudly and chirps his tires and toots his horn at six thirty in the morning just for the devilment of it and gives me the finger when I complain. I like the heroes who fill the stories we read.

I like them better that the real people I meet, for the most part.

You probaby know a better breed of cat than I do.

C

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I don't find this as annoying as the fabricated evil character with no saving graces whatsoever.

The perfect hero is frustrating, but at least he is a worthy fantasy.

Better if he has a fault or a vulnerability, I will agree.

But I would rather read about a fantasy Robin Hood, than the drug-crazed, raping, murderer, thief who has no quality with which I can empathise except the outward appearance of being related to the human race.

I just don't give a hoot if this fellow gets himself in a jam or killed or not.

But give him just an ounce, (or a gram), a smidgen of compassion for even just his pet mouse and I will watch/read.

Too many of these evil characters have not been given a justification for their attitude problem. We don't even get informed of their motivation for any of their desires or actions. Without that human interest, I don't care if they rob, steal or cheat, because for me they aren't as real as the make believe hero, who at least wants to maintain his perfect world.

I agree. I *HATE* uber wicked antagonists without any motivation at all. I would understand if he was actually a psycho who had the most traumatic childhood, but when he just does all those evil things just because the author needs an antagonist, it becomes unbelievable. The character becomes totally unnecessary.

As for the most believable wicked antagonists, for me, Grasshopper over at IOMFATS does them very well IMHO.

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As for the fantasy, wish-fulfillment gay protagonist, well he has certainly been done to death in more ways than one. :icon_geek:

Fantasy, wish fulfillment protagonist are comic book superheros.

That's fine when you pick up a graphic novel or a comic book- you know what you are getting going in. But even in the realm of the comic books: the most successful characters are the ones that reader knows intimately like the Punisher, any number of members of the the X-Men or Evie or V from V for Vendetta.

If I'm going to read thirty chapters in a novel format, I'm expecting something more.

Itchy balls and bad breath are unnecessary but some depth of character is expected. It doesn't have to be a dry, dusty psychological evaluation. Getting into characterization and quirks can be opening for all sorts of things.

Imagine a big, husky brute of a man who is deathly afraid of spiders seeing a black widow, screaming like a girl and running away.

How about the racist white guy with a secret desire to do non-white guys: talk about mixed messages/confusion!

The hyper-masculine gay man in the closet.

All three of these cases can be wide open and pursued from any angle: the humor of our arachnophobe, they hypocrisies of our racist and the utter craziness of our hyper-masculine closet case. Filling in the blanks is just a matter of imagination and knowing people.

Those people don't have to wear a cape to be interesting.

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Wow, Wibby...

I laughed out loud almost from the opening sentence. I take my hat off to whoever edited this story for you...how could his head not explode after reading this little thingy.

Brilliant job...probably your best story to date. Looking forward to more. *wink wink*

Wibby Rocks almost as much as Poets.

Jason

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