Discussion in 'Character Development' started by KhalieLa, Apr 29, 2016.
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For me, not at all.
Speaking personally, I don't like casual embraces or touching but I love it if it comes from my partner. A whore would have to differentiate between what she does/did as her job and what she is emotionally involved with - so no, for me there would be no inconsistency. You just have to explain the character well, but in itself it makes sense to me.
I don't think so, during major life events, people often act in ways that are inconsistent with their long-term behavior.
I, I don't think you have a good writing group. They don't seem to understand the difference between sex as a job, a purely financial and physical act, and the emotionally intimate act between two people who have feelings for each other.
I don't know exactly how you expressed her dislike for sex early in the book, so maybe it felt generic and you need to make it more specific to disliking sex with someone who isn't a chosen partner. Maybe.
But re the second example, someone who can't figure out that the same woman can (1) choose to have sex with a partner of her choice and (2) object to being raped, is too stupid to be allowed to go outside on their own.
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Hm. 'Everyone' is a broad definition. Maybe give out this specific chapter to an Alpha who is not of your critique group? It should be pretty obvious even in this one chapter if it works or not..
Not to say anything against your group, but I wonder if they are right for you?
How much time passes between chapter 11 and 14? I think the issue might be your writing group may believe that it's inconsistent for her to have sex with Jim, because such a small time has passed between her being a whore and then developing a relationship with Jim. Depending on the type of character Jane is it might be wise to go back and re-evaluate the relationship between Jim and Jane, but focus more on Jane's perspective of the relationship than Jim's. Perhaps you'll be able to pinpoint details about Jane as a character that don't make sense.
However, in my personal opinion I don't see what the issue is. Some people are just naturally more adapt to change than others. Maybe make this more obvious about Jane as a character? Although I have no clue how your story really goes, so my opinion may be of no use. These are just some things to think about though.
I'm with pickleman - could be a transitional thing. You either have to develop backstory that she doesn't like sex with clients but her feelings have been stirred by other men and they're stirring for this guy Jim. Or she indifferently agrees to having sex with Jim because she likes him and then grows to appreciate their relationship on a more intimate level.
I don't read those as a general objection to sex, no. Not even the last one, because she spoke it--if it were a literal thought, I might see it as more general.
I think that you can't tell whether this is a real problem until you have readers who aren't, well, idiots.
Seriously, just quit that writing group. I don't belong to any and it's fine, you can still write, and you can still get critiques and betas! If all fails and you really want one, start one online to widen your net. Just please, quit that group! Getting poor feedback like that can be more damaging than not getting feedback at all.
The difference between consistent and inconsistent is motivation and reward. Give Jane (I'm assuming we're inside her head at some point?) a good enough reason for wanting to sleep willingly with Jim and readers will accept it.
With that in mind:
What does she want/expect to get from sleeping with Jim?
Make it clear that she won't get that from sleeping with anyone else.
Haven't read the whole thread, but my 2 cents.
This isn't inconsistent at all. I'm not a whore, and neither am I a woman, but still;
I can imagine there is a huge difference between having sex for profession or having it with someone you actually like. A salesman may hate his daytime job of selling computers, but may be passionate about any off-time selling of books or jewelry, just to come up with an example. Just because your character doesn't really like to have sex for money with men she doesn't know does not mean she cannot like sex with a guy that she actually cares about. If your writing group can't understand this, you might want to think about switching your audience. Character inconsistency can be a major fault in writing, but that only is so when the motivations, goals, or events in that characters life are actually inconsistent. When it is emotions and feelings though, humans are complex, and any good writing group should at least be able to realize this. I say you go for it, there is nothing wrong with this in my opinion!
Edit PS: And if that group really sends signals like "It's just a woman", they are probably some frustrated geeks that haven't spend enough time with women to realize that women are actually human. This should set off all alarms in my opinion. I mean, it's a writers group for crying out loud. What is a writer that can't emphasize with both sides of the human sexes? If this is really what these guys say, I rest my case..
In short, what everyone has said. This does not sound inconsistent, it sounds like your writing group doesn't understand how females work.
70+ year-old unpublished asses who haven't gotten laid since the 1960's.
Sorry couldn't resist.
I don't like the quid pro quo idea. Well, except if I turn it to say that the thing that she can only get from Jim is: Sex with a person that she likes, trusts, and finds attractive. The sex that she dislikes is sex with people that she doesn't like or trust or find attractive. But most people are wired to want sex, so the fact that it's been tarnished in other contexts doesn't mean that the appeal is entirely lost on her.
Sounds like you need to go for a long walk and think outside the box. All the reasons you listed are standard reasons we see in a lot of stories, clichés if I may be allowed to go that far and it makes sense you want to stay away from them.
I do my best not to make direct suggestions to other writers because I think half the fun is coming up with ideas on your own. Your ideas will always have a bit of you in them whereas mine will always be tainted with bits of me. That's why I encourage you to find the answer on your own. Then it's yours and you'll be far more proud of the solution.
This feels a bit too rational for me. Jane's previous sex has been transactional, but you want to distinguish the current situation from the past.
In so far as you need a rational motivation, I'd say Jane's question isn't what she can get from Jim that she can't get from the others, it's what can she get from Jim that she can't get from herself. Right? She's not been kidnapped by aliens and forced to chose one man to have sex with; she's a free agent, and she's chosing between sex with Jim and not sex at all. And then her big character realization can be that sex doesn't have to be about getting something for herself, it could be about giving something to him. He's discouraged or sad or otherwise in need of comfort and as a sign of her character maturation she offers it to him, no strings attached. And then, I assume, she finds out she actually enjoys sex when it's being treated as a gift rather than a transaction?
I don't follow this. Why does a character need fancy reasons to have sex, if that decision isn't a core part of the story? Sex is a part of many people's lives. It doesn't need an extra excuse to exist. If it is a core part of the story, that's different, but I see no reason why this character couldn't have always enjoyed sex with chosen partners.
Characters wear shoes because they're expected, and because otherwise the ground makes their feet hurt. Those are standard reasons, and you could argue that they're cliches. But most authors don't come up with some other reason for their characters to wear shoes.
I'm guessing you haven't known many prostitutes.
And I wasn't saying the reason had to be fancy, per se, it just has to be a reason the average person wouldn't come up with. Prostitutes aren't average people.
What POV are you in? If hers, you can just have her thinking about it - thinking about her clients with resignation or disgust, and then thinking about how things are different with Jim. I don't think it's a point that needs to be belaboured--it seems pretty obvious, really, kind of like the "woman can like sex without liking rape" thing.
Honestly, my instinct on this is that either you're fine as you are and this was just another example of your readers being less than optimal, or, alternatively, that you might have overstated the "hates sex" part at the start of the story. I feel like there's enough of a societal bias in favour of sex that most readers would accept that she enjoys it, unless they were told, really too clearly, that she doesn't.
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