1. Goldie
    Offline

    Goldie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lafayette

    A body-type issue

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Goldie, Oct 28, 2009.

    I'm writing a novel. The main character is skinny, and that I can easily relate to. She's got self-image issues where society glorifies plus-size women and labels them as "real women."

    My problem is writing about these plus-sized women without really dwelling on it too much. I've never been plus-sized, though all of my "BFFs" have been that body type. I just don't want to over-do any one stereotype. Her rival is, in fact, a woman with curves and she likes to shove it in the FMC's face.

    I just don't want any bitterness in the FMC's voice to leak into the dialogue of the secondary characters who happen to be plus-sized.
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    so, what's your question?
     
  3. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    a question would be nice lol
    maybe this was a venting thread?
     
  4. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    I agree to the question.

    Oh and, if it's about hating your characters, get over it. If you create scapegoat characters and throw your hate at them, then chances are your readers will side with that character. I already like the plus-size girl better.
     
  5. Smithy
    Offline

    Smithy Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't, she sounds like an arrogant bitch.

    I think your question was how do you make it so that in the main character's POV she convincingly hates her rivals, but when they are actually talking its clear that they don't sound like they hate themselves? is that at all close to what you meant.

    I'd say write them stuck up: they're fit and don't they bleeding well know it. Plus it will make the readers dislike them.
     
  6. Dreamers World
    Offline

    Dreamers World New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your having troubles with not dwelling on their sizes then don't write about it at all. I've found that if I write the description of the character once and only once then the reader will make their own assumptions about the character. Forget about there image and write about there persoality. The saying goes that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, it's the same when your writing about your characters.
     
  7. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    That would make them stereotyped targets for the reader to hate, because the author tells the reader to hate them. And then the author wants us to side with the bitter one instead? I say that's poor writing. Propaganda, in another word. It's a refusal to dig into the psychology of the other person and instead reduce them to a scapegoat. Writers should be above this.

    The movie 'American History X' is an anti-nazism movie, but would it have worked if the writer had just pointed fingers at Derek, calling him a bad nazi? No. Instead, the author made him the most sympathetic and fully rounded character in the story, and he's allowed every opportunity to defend his standpoints. The end result? All kinds of hate and prejudice is bad, all sides do their part to keep the endless spiral turning.

    How if the author here let the bitter MC contribute something to the gap between the groups, too? Maybe the plus-sized girl sees the MC as an annoying, bitter and jealous person who hates on those who happen to have something she doesn't. Both sides in a conflict are to blame. Now, instead of propaganda, you have drama.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i think we've scared off poor goldie, who may not have realized she wasn't asking a question, thus not giving anyone anything to say about her post...

    goldie, come back!

    we're not mean, just puzzled...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  9. Goldie
    Offline

    Goldie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lafayette
    It was more or less how to write dialogue for the plus-sized girls without falling into a stereotype. The MC is, yes, bitter and all of that because a lot of society hates on her body-type of thin. So she's bitter about that. Maybe the plus-sized girl is angry at the MC because she's thin.

    I don't want either one to be snippy and snarky all the time, but the plus-size girl makes it a point, when guys are around, to show off that she has curves. The MC has your typical tiny waist, but also smaller breasts, as the body type usually does. It affects the MC's confidence level to be constantly reminded that she has a smaller chest than the other girl.

    It does go deeper than just society. Her mother compared her and her sister to each other in a lot of ways, including bodily. But not all plus-sized girls are the same way as the rival one. The MC's friend is a little heavier than the MC herself, but she's confident without being cocky. She feels good about herself and doesn't understand why the MC doesn't.

    I guess my question would be, how do I make the rival be overpowering with her body image without everyone thinking that the voice of the author feels that all plus-sized women are this way?
     
  10. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    By giving her a personality. ;)

    You could let them be enemies because of the ways their personalities clash, and make the body-type thing subconscious and only hinted at. Feeling like jealousy, recentment, etc, often mask their true origin.
     

Share This Page