“One thing I’ve said in terms of the word likable, and Netflix got mad at me for saying it: Fuck likability. I don’t give two shits if someone likes my characters. I do care whether they’re attracted to them. And there’s a big difference. I don’t mean sexually attracted. I mean attracted so that you can’t keep your eyes off them, you’re invested in them. He’s not likable, but you have to know where he ends up, you have to follow his path. I’m interested in the tension where one moment you might like them and the next you abhor them, or maybe simultaneously.”
Beau Willimon, screenwriter for House of Cards, in a panel discussion covered by The Atlantic.
This is what I mean when I say characters don’t have to be “likable”, but they do have to be “sympathetic” (the word sympathisch in German has a slightly different meaning from our “sympathetic”, so I think that’s why I choose that term over another one, such as “attractive”). How else would a character like Humbert Humbert be a protagonist?
is it wrong to write a romantic relationship between gay characters and then have the other half die at the end of the story for the sake of character development and bittersweetness? this troubles me since many lgbt+ supporters seem to hate the idea since "gay characters have the right for happy endings just as much as straight characters do!". the story is not about their orientation and it is considered normal and accepted in this universe to be of any sexuality.
If your character dies for the sake of character development and pushing the plot along, then so be it! It’s only a problem if your character is dying because you think lgbt+ characters can’t have happy endings or for the sake of having a character die. If there’s a good reason for the character to die, and that’s what you feel would work best within your story, then go ahead and kill your character. At least, that’s my opinion.
I think it’s really important that you keep in mind that no story exists in a vacuum. Just because your story is set in a universe where sexual (and romantic etc) minorities are 100% accepted, and thus are probably given a wide variety of roles and stories of their own, does not negate the fact that your story exists in a world where that isn’t the case.
The truth of the matter is, LGBTQ+ people are overwhelmingly attributed angst-ridden and tragic stories, and the fact that that’s the majority representation right now does do harm. It’s up to you to decide if you want to contribute to that majority representation or not.
To be clear, if you do choose to go that route, you are by no means a terrible human being. The fact you’re asking these sorts of questions indicates that you’re trying to write in a culturally intelligent way. I just wanted to point out that your choice here is loaded in more ways than the one you may be thinking about.
The Doorway Effect: Why your brain won’t let you remember what you were doing before you came in here
I work in a lab, and the way our lab is set up, there are two adjacent rooms, connected by both an outer hallway and an inner doorway. I do most of my work on one side, but every time I walk over to the other side to grab a reagent or a box of tips, I completely forget what I was after. This leads to a lot of me standing with one hand on the freezer door and grumbling, “What the hell was I doing?” It got to where all I had to say was “Every damn time” and my labmate would laugh. Finally, when I explained to our new labmate why I was standing next to his bench with a glazed look in my eyes, he was able to shed some light. “Oh, yeah, that’s a well-documented phenomenon,” he said. “Doorways wipe your memory.”
Being the gung-ho new science blogger that I am, I decided to investigate. And it’s true! Well, doorways don’t literally wipe your memory. But they do encourage your brain to dump whatever it was working on before and get ready to do something new. In one study, participants played a video game in which they had to carry an object either across a room or into a new room. Then they were given a quiz. Participants who passed through a doorway had more trouble remembering what they were doing. It didn’t matter if the video game display was made smaller and less immersive, or if the participants performed the same task in an actual room—the results were similar. Returning to the room where they had begun the task didn’t help: even context didn’t serve to jog folks’ memories.
The researchers wrote that their results are consistent with what they call an “event model” of memory. They say the brain keeps some information ready to go at all times, but it can’t hold on to everything. So it takes advantage of what the researchers called an “event boundary,” like a doorway into a new room, to dump the old info and start over. Apparently my brain doesn’t care that my timer has seconds to go—if I have to go into the other room, I’m doing something new, and can’t remember that my previous task was antibody, idiot, you needed antibody.
I finally learned why I completely space when I cross to the other side of the lab, and that I’m apparently not alone.
this is actually kind of great and it’s nice to know there’s something behind that constant spacing out whenever i enter a different place
There’s a notorious corner (or possibly the doorway before it) where all the art teachers just stop and stare blankly for a while before going on with our day.
Need more variation….! Quick little break doodles every now and then from the monitor, otherwise my eyes will tire out a lot faster.
It might be a while before I have any fleshed out digital posts, so I’ll keep my blog alive with sketchbook draws every now and then! Adult life is busy @__@;;