Jump to content
Cynus

Switching genders

Recommended Posts

How would you handle a character that can change its gender when you don't want to reveal that it is technically without gender? For instance, a character is playing one role at one point but plays a different role in the next, but the genders are different. How do you handle the pronouns? Do you refer to it as 'she' when it's female and 'he' when it's male? And when it is finally revealed to the audience that it's without gender do you start calling using the pronoun 'it', or do yo stick to the pronoun that comes with the role.

Shape shifters are confusing...

Link to comment

As my editor will tell you, I've got a bad habit of writing things in gender-neutral terms, especially when referring to someone else. "They" and "them" can work well. For example (using Cole's suggestion of Robin):

Robin's curiosity was aroused. It wasn't often that that happened. Before they could do anything about it, though, the tavern erupted in a ball of flames. Robin's fur was singed, but otherwise was unharmed.

Hiding behind a wagon gave Robin the chance to overhear the town guard's questioning of the bystanders.

"There was a stranger here earlier this evening. Did you see which way they went?"

"Yeah, I did. They were pretty quiet. Kept to themselves, but I saw them head over to the Blue Oyster. I don't think they were going there for a drink, though, if you know what I mean."

Link to comment

That will almost work, though this character is constantly in the process of switching roles mid conversation, and he only gives a name once, which isn't his real one. I say he because he's male almost the entire time...

Which actually might solve my problem, now that I think about it... I could switch his one female role(Which is very minor) to a male one, and it would work almost as well.

Okay, related question. So this character shifts to being a different person. Do I start using his new name, or do I keep calling him, "the shape shifter"? I'm so confused as a writer that I can only imagine how my readers will be.

Link to comment

That could work, as it was kind of what I was defaulting to already... Well it's at the editor now so we'll see what happens. Hopefully the way I applied what the two of you have suggested will work well enough.

Link to comment

How would you handle a character that can change its gender when you don't want to reveal that it is technically without gender? For instance, a character is playing one role at one point but plays a different role in the next, but the genders are different. How do you handle the pronouns? Do you refer to it as 'she' when it's female and 'he' when it's male? And when it is finally revealed to the audience that it's without gender do you start calling using the pronoun 'it', or do yo stick to the pronoun that comes with the role.

Shape shifters are confusing...

I posted a story under transgendered on Nifty. Keep in mind that I don't know anything about dresses, make-up or breast implants and I did not intend to go in that direction. In short the story is about femininity emerging naturally in a boy, living with his mother. The story isn't so much about the central character as much as it is about the reactions of the people around him over a period of time, which were mixed to say the least.

When the main character got to the crossroads of life in deciding about a transformation, that is where I ended it.

I got letters wanting me to continue it but I couldn't because I didn't understand enough to be sure that I was authentic. I wrote about what I did know anything more would be fraud. I offered the story up to whoever wanted to carry it on.

I hope this helps

I used masculine pronouns from the beginning. When he entered into sexual experimentation that was positive and non-judgmental I gradually began using feminine pronouns.

If the sexual situations were abusive hostile, I kept the masculine pronouns as an example of cruelty between boys

In neither of these two cases where the choice of pronouns the result of affectations but instead were internally descriptive.

Link to comment

I posted a story under transgendered on Nifty. Keep in mind that I don't know anything about dresses, make-up or breast implants and I did not intend to go in that direction. In short the story is about femininity emerging naturally in a boy, living with his mother. The story isn't so much about the central character as much as it is about the reactions of the people around him over a period of time, which were mixed to say the least.

When the main character got to the crossroads of life in deciding about a transformation, that is where I ended it.

I got letters wanting me to continue it but I couldn't because I didn't understand enough to be sure that I was authentic. I wrote about what I did know anything more would be fraud. I offered the story up to whoever wanted to carry it on.

I hope this helps

Back when I was originally working on Ashes of Fate, which is the story in which I faced this problem, I wasn't worried so much about the transgender aspect as I was about keeping the pronouns consistent and logical to the reader. I've handled it with my best instincts whenever it came up, and I didn't receive any complaints about how it was done, so at least it wasn't appalling. :)

I've since done significantly more research into the subject in the hopes that I would portray Peter, my transgender doctor in Ashes of Fate, more convincingly. At the time I was writing it I had recently ended a relationship with my trans girlfriend,(for reasons completely unrelated to her gender identity) and I knew that she was going through a tremendous amount of pain and anxiety in regards to her dysphoria. I've since become an advocate for transgender issues, and hope to bring more awareness to the struggle they go through to be accepted.

At the time, I was concerned about pronouns. Now I'm concerned about people, and pronouns be damned. :) But I understand that it is a daunting thing to approach when you've never felt the way they have. I still have to ask questions of my trans friends every time I decide I'm going to write a new section that deals with one of my trans characters, just to make sure I'm portraying the emotions correctly, or as well as I possibly can.

Link to comment

Back when I was originally working on Ashes of Fate, which is the story in which I faced this problem, I wasn't worried so much about the transgender aspect as I was about keeping the pronouns consistent and logical to the reader. I've handled it with my best instincts whenever it came up, and I didn't receive any complaints about how it was done, so at least it wasn't appalling. :)

I've since done significantly more research into the subject in the hopes that I would portray Peter, my transgender doctor in Ashes of Fate, more convincingly. At the time I was writing it I had recently ended a relationship with my trans girlfriend,(for reasons completely unrelated to her gender identity) and I knew that she was going through a tremendous amount of pain and anxiety in regards to her dysphoria. I've since become an advocate for transgender issues, and hope to bring more awareness to the struggle they go through to be accepted.

At the time, I was concerned about pronouns. Now I'm concerned about people, and pronouns be damned. :) But I understand that it is a daunting thing to approach when you've never felt the way they have. I still have to ask questions of my trans friends every time I decide I'm going to write a new section that deals with one of my trans characters, just to make sure I'm portraying the emotions correctly, or as well as I possibly can.

We are not talking about two queens hurling fem pronouns at each other.

We are discussing a character who is on a gender borderline. The switch could be fleeting, gradual or abrupt. I think that you have to make up a set of rules that apply to that character and they should be decipherable to the reader.

Link to comment

Back when I was originally working on Ashes of Fate, which is the story in which I faced this problem, I wasn't worried so much about the transgender aspect as I was about keeping the pronouns consistent and logical to the reader. I've handled it with my best instincts whenever it came up, and I didn't receive any complaints about how it was done, so at least it wasn't appalling. :)

I've since done significantly more research into the subject in the hopes that I would portray Peter, my transgender doctor in Ashes of Fate, more convincingly. At the time I was writing it I had recently ended a relationship with my trans girlfriend,(for reasons completely unrelated to her gender identity) and I knew that she was going through a tremendous amount of pain and anxiety in regards to her dysphoria. I've since become an advocate for transgender issues, and hope to bring more awareness to the struggle they go through to be accepted.

At the time, I was concerned about pronouns. Now I'm concerned about people, and pronouns be damned. :) But I understand that it is a daunting thing to approach when you've never felt the way they have. I still have to ask questions of my trans friends every time I decide I'm going to write a new section that deals with one of my trans characters, just to make sure I'm portraying the emotions correctly, or as well as I possibly can.

We are not talking about two queens hurling fem pronouns at each other.

Forgive that statement I was not thinking of your post. The thought about affectations just popped up.

Please accept my apologies.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


×
×
  • Create New...