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  1. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    A Very Serious Question About an Elf Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Kirvee, Jul 29, 2009.

    Ok, so currently in the planning for my demon story/novel I've decided to space out the goals that my MCs have to accomplish (in order to not make the story go by too fast).

    The first goal they have to accomplish is finding an elf who knows how to use/activate the portal that would allow them to go home to their world.

    The question I have is: would making the elf gay be too cliche/stereotypical?

    I kinda need a gay character, because it's important for one of the themes, but I don't know if I should make the elf that character or not.

    Any advice/opinions?
     
  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you seen a gay elf or have you heard gay people ever referred to as elves? If yes, then it's a cliche or stereotype. If not...;)
     
  3. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I honestly can't remember. I don't think I've heard of gay people being referred to as elves. Fairies, maybe, but not elves.

    Though, my thinking was that Elf = Fairy = gay = stereotype/cliche.
     
  4. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    I've never heard a gay person being referred to as an elf, but I've heard of elves being referred to as gay...

    Besides, it's so hard to tell elf sexes apart, can you really blame them?

    I will say though that unless you really want the character to be gay, and it's an interesting part of their character, you shouldn't tack it on. Of course, if homosexuality and/or tolerance of it is a theme, then I don't see why this character can't be the one you need, even if it is a little cliche. As long as your stereotypical flamboyant elf isn't just a cliche'd flamboyant elf, then you should be fine.
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Those are totally unrelated definitions. The reason people have used the term fairy to refer to gay people has nothing to do with them being mythological creatures and has no connection to elves. The word being used that way was more the restult of the puny girly fairies from silly cartoons that don't look like they can do anything but fly and sparkle.

    The thing about the word cliche is that some people will use that word when describing 99% of what they read, so you might as well not worry. Anyone who cares that much about "originality" is not worth pleasing. One thing I learned is that you need to be yourself, and use the RIGHT idea without worrying about being "fresh" or "unique" or who has used it before. When you put too much effort into doing that, you get glittery vampires. I have yet to find a single person who thought that was a good idea. If you are true to yourself, pick ideas for the right reasons, and use them with skill, you will find an audience.
     
  6. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    @Edward: Is it? I never have problems telling which gender an elf is supposed to be (unless their chest is really hard to see or their face is deceptive).

    Also, I was actually planning on not making it very obvious (at first). I know for a fact that there are plenty of homosexual people in the world who you can look at and think "They couldn't possibly be gay!". So my elf wouldn't be very flamboyant, the hints would be in his dialouge and some of his actions.

    @Rei: You have a good point...

    I didn't think sparkly vampires was an intelligent idea either, lol.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The real question is whether you understand enough about being gay to write a gay character without making him or her an offensive stereotype.
     
  8. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think I have ever actually came across a gay elf or it being a cliche.

    Well actually thats not true. I have created 2 bisexual elves. Well Light Elves.
     
  9. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    @Cog: Yes I do.

    @Unit: Ah, I see...

    So for the most part, it wouldn't be a cliche or stereotypical thing to do? I just keep getting the feeling that once I reveal it in the story that a lot of readers would go "Oh, that was really obvious." instead of "Wow, I never saw that coming!"
     
  10. Blaidd Drwg
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    Blaidd Drwg Member

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    I don't really like having a character being gay just for the sake of being gay. Do you come right out and say in your text that the other characters are straight? If it comes up, go ahead and flesh out that aspect of the character. But don't go out of your way to make it known.

    Far too often, I see gay characters portrayed as just gay characters - no character development required beyond that. Writers seem to think that all gay men flirt with every other man they come across. Sexual preference is really just another aspect of them. Sorry to go on this little rant, but the novelty of having a gay character is something I'd really like to see people move past in writing. Just let them be a character.
     
  11. wiggons
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    wiggons Member

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    i agree with Blaidd Drwg. does it really make much difference to the story if hes gay or not?
    i mean, if hes persecuted because he is homosexual and it adds a layer to the story about oppression then yeah it could help out, but otherwise if its just for the sake of it...............
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is nothing wrong with having a gay character when it has nothing to do with the story. The problem is when the you insert a gay character the way they insert a visible minority somtimes in movies and TV for the sake of having a visible minority, like in the war and horror movies where the black guy dies first.

    I read a novel recently that had a gay character and it had nothing to do with the story. It took place a few hundred years from now, so the author must have figured it would be more openly accepted than it is now, because rights and social acceptance continue to improve even today. The character simply mentions her partner a few times, who also happened to be a women.
     
  13. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    What about a gay dwarf? Or a character with similar steriotypes. Just putting it out there. . could be fun.:D Some gay men are very masculine.

    Some people do say, "Elves are gay". . though I've never actually heard of a gay elf in any novel. And I've read a lot of fantasy.

    For some reason, non-traditional sexual themes are generally avoided in most fantasy, especially in anything even remotely tolkien-inspired. I don't really see why, though. . The first thoughts that come to mind are "demographics" and "family friendly," but that's not really it. . . is it? I mean, Disney animations have non-human gay characters. . Why haven't I encountered one in a fantasy novel?

    Grock, the Orc Jock could be fun.

    Hmm, where was I? Oh, right. So, I don't really see how a gay elf could be cliche, considering that I've never even heard of one. But I think it could be more interesting to do something a little different.

    What about a leprechaun? Friendly demon? (seen Reaper?) Giant? Gnome?

    When I think of a fantasy race for a gay character, elf is obviously the first on the list. . which I think is what you're concerned about. For that reason, I don't think the elf is likely to surprise anyone. . but I think the non-human gay character would. It would surprise me.
     
  14. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Am I the only one who finds this thread hilarious? "A very serious question" about gay elves.

    On a very serious note, though, I gotta agree with Rei. The plot of your story doesn't need to have a special reason for a character to be gay, any more than you need a reason for them to be young, alcoholic, or socially conservative. It can just be one more layer in the depth of their character. Just, as Blaidd Drwg noted, make sure it's just one of many layers.

    With regard to the extent to which homosexuality is accepted in your character's society, uh, it's fantasy, dude, and you're the author. You're creating your own universe; you're freakin' God. Society accepts whatever you want it to.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, and no, homosexual elves are not cliche. Not till your novel gets famous and everyone falls in love with your character and starts ripping him off, anyway.
     
  15. salatarian5*Gen
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    salatarian5*Gen New Member

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    It's a original idea my friend, or at least one thats hardly ever used. i think if it's realitive to the story, go for it. and i agree with the one who said, it's your world how the gay elf is seen and treated is all up too you.
     
  16. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    @Blaidd: I never said that was going to be all to his character, XD. It's another aspect of him and one that will help me in the themes of love and oppression. I'd be really careful when writing him not to make him fall into the "typically gay stereotype" you usually see on TV and other places. That'd be ridiculous on my part since I actively support the Rights movement.

    @Kas: Lol, a gay dwarf? That's a new idea, lol. Though Leprechauns would be almost equally as obvious as elves, imo.

    @Fork: You, sir, make a good point.

    Well, if the majority of you believe it's not cliche then I'll go with it.

    Thank you everyone for your opinions!

    Edit:

    Oh, and someone mentioned how the rest of the characters are straight? (or something like that) Well, orientation is more or less revealed through actions and dialouge, but never directly. It's how I roll.
     

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