Sunday, April 20, 2014

RainbowCon 2014 Day Three

After a trip to the Wawa (a Northern chain of truly amazing convenience stores) and seeing the moss growing on the trees in both a picturesque and creepy way, I attended more awesome panels at RainbowCon.  I attended "Writing Trans and Genderqueer Characters", "The Vagina Dialogue: Women in Genre Fiction", "We <3 Pussy: Discussion of Lesbian Fiction", "Appropriation and Fetishization" "Behind the Curtain: An Inside Look at Publishing" and "Eww! I Don't Like Those Bits!: Going Beyond Your Comfort Zone in Erotic Romance". Here's some takeaways:
  • Writing Transsexual or Genderqueer fiction isn't as hard as marketing it
  • Some review sites have a problem seeing transsexual men as "real" men, which is totally not cool
  • You do not have to do a transition (hormones and surgery) to be transsexual --it's a personal identity
  • Visibility of transsexual characters is important. Writers need to write the characters and identify them as transsexual so that people of that identity can see themselves in literature
  • It's important to have stories where transsexual characters get a happily ever after because they deserve one too! 
  • Storm Moon Press would love to see a genderqueer character that transitions during the story or even back and forth
  • There are more real life brutalizations of Male to Female vs Female to Male transition individuals due to Western society misogyny against women. Men transitioning to women are "taking a step down" vs women to men are joining the dominant gender
  • It's important to have transsexual young adult category so both transgender and non-transgender kids see it's normal
  • You can never do enough research on transsexual genderqueer when writing it
  • Women writers have been slurred in fiction-writing throughout history
  • Often the writing is not in question but Women In Genre fiction are instead attacked personally
  • For centuries Women In Genre fiction-writing have taken male or neutral pseudonyms but the internet makes it hard to hide and that might be good
  • The opposite is men who write romance as men are also getting discrimination and being told they don't know how to love and therefore can't write about it
  • Women are buying children's books. They should encourage boys to read women authors
  • If you are a Woman In Genre fiction-writing you must remain professional in the face of criticism
  • Women characters in lesbian fiction deserve stories with romantic challenges and friendships that lead to relationships
  • Women are strong and we need strong fictional characters to represent us
  • Writers of lesbian fiction would love readers to come to a story and not worry about what their characters do in the bedroom or how they have sex
  • Gay men are worried women are appropriating the gay male experience
  • There is some objectification when porn is involved but most romance writers are not writing for that purpose
  • You should write what you feel called to write whether people are offended or not just write it well
  • Some gay men are just happy to see gay literature and gay characters and don't care if men or women are writing it
  • Fiction writers appropriate everything they write, in every genre. There will always be someone who is offended
  • Never respond to an offended person especially online as it only escalates
  • All romance objectifies no matter the sex but it can also educate and show that all people love
  • Gays in literature have gone from bad guy, martyr, comic relief, fetishization and will eventually just be guys
  • People don't complain if there's too little sex in a story but will always complain if there is not enough characterization
  • Publishers are no longer requiring sex scenes in order to get LGBTQ readers. Sex should only further the plot
  • Fiction doesn't hurt anybody as no real person is being harmed. Books don't compel people to do things--if they do something there are other problems in their life that are contributing not just their reading material
  • Readers don't always understand that the opinions of the character are not necessarily that of the author
  • All romance covers look the same because that's what sells. Becasue people like naked chests and overflowing bodices
  • Never engag on Goodreads but if a reader takes the time to email you from your website there's a chance for possible dialogue
  • Everybody brings their own experience to reading a book. Reviews are often about the reader not the book
  • If you can educate one person about LGBTQ issues then it will have a ripple effect on the people they know
  • Bad LGBTQ self-pubbed books will fail as the readership will abandon them and they won't make that quick buck
  • Anyone is entitled to write anything they want. No scifi would exist if we only wrote what we've experienced
  • Read everything in your publishing contract and negotiate
  • Three types of stories come in to publishing houses: one that will need only light line edits; one that will need a few changes; and ones that will need to be overhauled to be published
  • If a book requires lots of work, publishers will take it on if it fits a niche or is different or on a topic trending in the market
  • A successful publishing run can go from 100 to 2000 books a month depending on the type of book, the subject matter and whether the author is famous
  • A good author can pull off a difficult story that a reader might not always choose to read
  • There has been backlash on reviewers who refuse to review bisexual or transsexual characters
  • A vocal minority often tries to set the rules for fiction trying to step out of the box--writers can't let that minority's limited view restrict them. Writers can't let readers dictate what can and can't be in their book. If you allow a few readers to control what all writers write, there will be basically the same books written over and over
  • Writer can find kinks they don't enjoy and still find erotic elements that speak to them and help them write it
  • It's the responsibility of the reader not to seek out books that might trigger panic attacks--do not put that on writer. Goodreads reviews can warn you much better about what's in a book if you think you might be triggered
  • Apparently in an Mpreg (male pregnancy) story one of the partners needs a "duderus" to carry the baby--LOL!
  • If you attempt to read more widely it may make you less judgy about what other people like
  • If you don't like Swiss cheese don't eat it. Just because you don't like Swiss cheese don't say it sucks
Off to the pizza party and possibly a rainbow jello shot!  I'm so glad I wrote all this down in case I party so hard I forget it. ;)

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