Okay - here’s a completely pointless blog post that’s a whole lot of hot air over a non-issue. But dammit, it needs to be said. Sort of.

Here’s a frequently heard bit of writing advice: one all-too-often neglected part of character design is the character’s sexuality; it crops up way too often in unexpected places.

Here’s another frequently heard bit of writing advice: if your fictional characters start talking to you, go see a shrink.

The big question: Are they trying to mess with my head? =)
First off, I’d like to say that what I’m about to discuss here is an issue that I’ve regrettably put a lot of thought into. Not into the issue itself, but the meta-issue. At this point, I don’t think I care any more how weird this sounds - I’ll just try to say it. Let’s just say that this is one of those issues that probably will make me yet another Eternal Virgin Geek® and this Certainly Doesn’t Help Dispelling The Stereotypes®. No, I don’t give a damn. I just want to put it on page and be done with it.

So here goes: My characters speak to me in various ways. And I’d probably want to go in bed with them. There.

(Now, obviously, I’m well aware the characters are fictional, and as such, it’s just me who’s finding the stories with the characters interestingly introspective, and I obviously can’t get in bed with characters who don’t actually exist. Don’t call the loonie house just yet. I’m perfectly aware that these are fictional characters. Thank you. =)

Honestly, I don’t know - is this a good thing or bad thing?

I know it’s weird, but at the same time, I can’t possibly imagine that this would be an unexpected side effect of a creative process. I want the characters to be somehow appealing and interesting and I want the stories they appear in to have some sort of an interesting message. I want the characters to provoke some sort of a reaction.

I keep thinking of the relationship between the characters and the environment they are in, because that is one of the things that makes the characters interesting. And one part I end up thinking about is the sex lives of the characters. Because that obviously affects the characters and their relationship with the world.

“There’s no need to think about it too much”, the wise advice on character sexuality said. “But do think about it in general terms. Because it does crop up.” (I can’t remember what page exactly said this, but it was probably this blog post, in Finnish).

So, I keep running into sexuality in the stories, even when it’s not exactly a hot-button issue, and I keep explicit sex scenes out of the short stories and comics.

I get weirded out because I’m not really sure what everyone else thinks of this issue. I’m… puzzled.

I guess the only reason I get really weirded out because this stuff could be classed pornography. Just because sexuality could play part in the stories.

I’m honestly afraid of the reactions, but at the same time, I know I’m worrying too much, and for no reason. This blog post may be completely pointless, but dammit I’m going to post it for the sake of my sanity.

So here’s a statement from me: I have a mission to create interesting characters. Part of that comes from thinking of the sexuality of the characters. It should be darn obvious when you look at the stuff the characters do. But still.

I care about the characters. Because if I didn’t, then the characters would be entirely pointless. I try to make characters with points in their favour.

I guess the biggest problem I have right now is that I have no way of telling whether my care for the characters shows outside or not, because I don’t get a ton of feedback from outside sources. I sure as hell hope it does show.

So I sort of care for the characters for variety of reasons. The real reasons why I’d want to sleep with my characters is usually some other reason besides their sexuality. For example, I wanted Faira to be smart and cheerful, Kara to be carefree, Quirierle to be smart and resilient… OK, I may just have a thing for tomboys and smart women who kick butt. I don’t really care much about the sexuality; it’s just a bit of backstory to somehow explain the character relationships.

As far as Kara’s concerned, her sexuality has only cropped up a few times. for example, there’s a couple of direct references that Kara’s into one-night stands; she’d just think the life is too short for another marriage that ends too soon. (Epic backstory says two of her husbands got themselves killed on the Docks.) Kara and Boris, the two primary protagonists of the comic, have a largely one-way relationship where Kara’s not quite sure if Boris, the eternal warrior monk, gets the point that sex is supposed to be fun.

Similarly, I had to go out and deconstruct how Quirierle’s psychology works, even when she’s only appeared in one story so far (and had a cameo appearance in the comic). She’s a former soldier in a world where soldiers are - as far as noble ideals go, not necessarily the practice - not supposed to really get married, just to leave broken families behind. So she’s kind of grumpy when one-night stands are hit-or-miss, and is a little bit averse of even making lasting friendships, let alone getting married - even when she’s no longer in the military.

That sort of things.

I’m not apologising for this stuff. It’s just one of the way I try to make the characters interesting.

Am I succeeding? I do hope so.