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4024 No. 4024
There's something I don't really understand. You see, we agreed to say that writefags can only write about what they know.
This is logic, I think, since writing about sex if you're a virgin just doesn't work.

But, I don't really understand how writefags are considering their characters. In other words, when you're writing a story, do you need to love your characters? I don't understand that, and I think that's almost philosophical.
And I think I'm quite hard to understand again.

And, of course I had to mix the name field and the subject field.

No. 4025
>writing about sex if you're a virgin just doesn't work.
Karl May wrote about the wild west even if he never saw it.
No. 4026
You can write porn if you've read/watched enough porn. Even if you are a virgin.

As to the characters... well, there's a few ways it can go. Motivation to write is easier if you love you characters, and your setting. You can also fuel a scene with your hate for a character, to make something bad happen. Either way, you also run the risk of biasing the story with how you feel about that character.

That's getting sidetracked a bit though. You don't have to love your characters, you just need a firm idea of how they act, what they would do in situation X. If you can make this consistent without making them totally one or two dimensional, then you've done well.
No. 4027
>we agreed to say that writefags can only write about what they know.
No.

I don't even need to read the rest.
No. 4028
>>4027
No. I don't even need to state my argument; it's correct and there's nothing you can do about it.
No. 4029
>>4028
Nice response, but I didn't argued because the reason of your mistake should be obvious. Per example, do you think the writefag of 'Do the right think' is mentally retarded?
No. 4030
>>4029
I don't know him, so maybe he's insane.
No. 4031
>>4029
How could he write if he isn't using his knowledge? He can't make shit up, because he'd be using what he knows to make shit up.
No. 4032
>>4030
Hint: he is not. And therefore, he can't write about crazy or insane characters.
Do you think that the write of Creeping Shadows has a multiple personality disorder? That half of the writefags in this site have/had amnesia? Do you think that Stephen King is a Maine-based hellspawn?
No. 4033
>>4032
You seem to think knowing something means having firsthand experience. This is wrong.
No. 4034
>>4033
You can't really know how crazy people think, unless you've met one. It's not something you can learn from a book, or from a movie.
No. 4035
>>4034
But you can learn what everyone else thinks they're like. Close enough.
No. 4036
>>4035
Yeah. As an example you don't need a degree in theoretical physics to write good science fiction. You just need a compelling and internally consistent world around which you write.

Consistency is the most important thing to me. A character can lack the variety of traits that others do, but still be a good character so long as their interactions and thought process are consistent with a base idea.
Likewise a world that defies the laws of physics can be ill defined, but so long as the rules are displayed to be consistent and somewhat understood by the characters the audience will accept them.
No. 4037
>>4033
That flawed logic is not mine. See the original post:
>This is logic, I think, since writing about sex if you're a virgin just doesn't work.
No. 4038
>since writing about sex if you're a virgin just doesn't work.

Not OP, but if I were to try to write a sex scene, I'm sure it'd come off as awkward. All of my experience would come from porn/other writers on here, so I have no idea how it feels to penetrate a woman, only how other people have described how it feels. I have no idea how an anus would feel compared to a vagina, or a mouth, or a good blowjob from a bad one.

In that sense I am restricted by what I know. The alternative is to use my imagination, but the accuracy of that is probably going to be worthless. The problem with not having first-hand experience is that there's a pretty good chance the other writers don't have first hand experience either and are also just emulating other people with no first hand experience, turning the human body into a game of telephone.
No. 4039
>>4038
Why so obsessed with reality? Sever your ties and join us in the Holy Land.
No. 4040
>>4025
>Karl May wrote about the wild west even if he never saw it.
ACTUAL PROTIP from someone who ACTUALLY knows his shit: the real Old West was NOTHING like you read in fiction. Your argument is VOID.
No. 4041
So, in short, you're saying that it's possible to write a good story, even without loving your characters?

Because I tried several times to start a story, and, each, I grew tired of my characters, and I end up erasing everything.
How can I not be tired of my own stories?
No. 4042
>>4040
It's not void at all. A single author's accuracy does not matter. For example, I imagine that most mystery/murder novelists have not actually killed anyone nor been directly involved in the types of situations they describe. Certainly a lot of writers do research before writing but by no means does that constitute a full experience.

>do you need to love your characters?

No. It's not necessary to fully understand them either as it's possible that no one can fully understand another person anyways. That said, when you've reached a point where you can imagine a situation and a character's reaction consistently you know you've got it right.
No. 4043
>>The alternative is to use my imagination, but the accuracy of that is probably going to be worthless.

If you're worried about accuracy when writing a sex scene, I think you're missing the point of what you're doing. The point of porn, and entertainment in general, is not typically to give a 100% accurate and realistic portrayal of how things happen, it's to appeal to the imagination of your audience. Porn isn't meant to provide a completely accurate portrayal of sex any more than your average courtroom drama is meant to be a true-to-life depiction of how the legal system works. In either case, you're dealing with things based on reality, but they're typically only as accurate as they need to be to not pull you out of the action, and even then you have a lot of leeway if your audience isn't that knowledgeable about the subject in the first place.

That's the thing you need to concern yourself with. It's not about whether or not your writing is "realistic", but whether it's "realistic enough" for your audience. All you really need to know about what you write, at the very bare minimum, is what your audience knows. Beyond that, you can pretty much bullshit all you want, and no one will care so long as you make it entertaining and sound plausible within the context of the story.

For example, most people, virgin or not, have at least a basic understanding of how reproduction works. Thus, they would think it was fairly ridiculous for characters to worry about getting pregnant from having anal sex. On the other hand, sex with supernatural entities is something you can safely assume no one has any actual knowledge or experience in, thus allowing you a lot more freedom play around without fear of doing something your readers won't buy into.

In matters of basic biology, people might know enough to recognize when you're wrong about something, but no one can tell you you're unrealistic in how you portray getting a titjob from a ghost.
No. 4044
>>4040
Sorry dude, nobody cares about canon. We only care about the Old West fanon.
No. 4046
>>4043
>For example, most people, virgin or not, have at least a basic understanding of how reproduction works. Thus, they would think it was fairly ridiculous for characters to worry about getting pregnant from having anal sex.

Have you read SLDT's Aya thing on /at/?
No. 4047
>>4043
>It's not about whether or not your writing is "realistic", but whether it's "realistic enough" for your audience.
Yeah, that's probably true. I'm sure I'm unnecessarily concerned with accuracy. For some reason it just feels "wrong" to write a sex scene without any kind of first-hand experience. Even if the scene in question involves tentacle rape or anything else that couldn't possibly occur.

On the other hand accuracy is just one of the reasons I don't write. The main reason I don't write is because I'm terrible at it.
No. 4049
If everyone would write just about what we know, the Gensokyo in every story would be very empty. So would be the characters. Zun gives only a very vague description about everything, and has said that filling the blanks is allowed, even encouraged.

Do I love my characters? In a way, yes. You don't need to love your characters, just liking or even dislinking or hating is enough. I would avoid writing about characters you feel nothing towards, it's a bit difficult to come up with a personality for them. But that's just my ramblings, ignore them if you feel like it.

If you're worried about how to write sex scenes: Remember that you don't have to. "camera rolls to the roof and the screen fades to black" is fine too. (Anon may be a bit grumpy at you for denying their fap material, but oh well. You can't please everyone.)
No. 4050
>>4049
In short:
"No fap material is better than awful fap material."
No. 4051
>writing about sex if you're a virgin just doesn't work

It does if you mention mollusks. Mention them frequently and almost exclusively and you have a winner. A good sex scene sounds like you're describing a seafood buffet. Just don't go into detail on crabs. Trust me.


>when you're writing a story, do you need to love your characters?

Love them too much and you get Mary Sue type characters. People hate those. Love them too little and nobody gives a damn about what happens to them. So either way people will hate your characters or just not give a damn. Best go with your best judgement on which end of the spectrum you'd prefer.
No. 4054
>>4051
>Love them too much and you'll get a Mary Sue.
I'm not following. Maybe because I'm a bit of a sadist and enjoy tormenting characters I like.
No. 4055
>>4054
I suppose the thought process is if you love a character too much you'll never want anything bad to happen to them or anyone to disagree with them.
No. 4058
>>4055
That though process seems deeply flawed to me.
But, I'm not an expert writefag, so maybe I'm wrong.
No. 4059
>>4058
Well, yes, and that's why it leads to Mary Sues.

>>4043
>The point of porn, and entertainment in general, is not typically to give a 100% accurate and realistic portrayal of how things happen, it's to appeal to the imagination of your audience.
This. Appealing fiction is not real life: couples only need to fight once or twice before it becomes clear that there is an insuperable rift between them, nobody ever needs anything explained to them more than once or forgets anything unless it's a plot point, nobody ever goes to the bathroom unless something unusual is going to happen while they're in there, and nobody ever gets uncontrollable gas during sex. Real life experiences that relate to what you're writing about certainly don't hurt, but if you're a good writer, your readers will fill in the gaps with their own experiences without even realizing that they're doing so. There's a reason that 'evocative' is one of the stronger compliments that can be paid to a work of prose.
No. 4060
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4060
Eh, I dunno. I love the SDM and all of its characters. And yet, (if I still wrote,) Remilia would continue being a joke character, Meiling would continue being entirely neglected, Koakuma would likely never appear in a meaningful role again, and Patchy would have a pretty good chance of dying to her Soap Opera Disease. The one character who may or may not count as a Mary Sue is Sakuya.

And I love every single one of them.
No. 4061
>>4060
you can do it! you can be the writer again! i believe in you!!!
No. 4062
>we agreed to say that writefags can only write about what they know.
>This is logic
In the same vein, writing a male character while female just doesn't work, or writing a black character while east-asian just doesn't work, and writing about being a politician while not having ever been elected just doesn't work- oh wait.
No. 4063
>>4062
Ask a non-scientologist to write a story where the main character is scientologist.
No. 4064
>>4063

That's not hard, just start making shit up, take people's money, and laugh behind closed doors. Instant scientology.
No. 4065
>>4064
I wasn't speaking about Tom Cruise, I was speaking about the average scientologist. The one who thinks he's helping the world.

The fool, in short. The one who really believe that crap about some alien emperor cursing people by throwing them into volcano or some shit like that.
No. 4066
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4066
>>4065
What's your point?
No. 4068
>>4063
It really isn't hard, though getting an individual who is or previously was a scientologist would be useful in getting the details right.

A STORY is a work of FICTION. As such, writers are able to write what they want, and for it to be a good story it has to make the readers keep wanting to read it.

A good example would be the story Flatland, who's main character exists on a 2-dimensional plain.

I can assure you that Edwin (Abbot) Abbot was always pig disgusting 3D and never knew life as a 2D character. Yet it's a good story in itself.
No. 4071
>>4066
My point was: it's difficult to write from a religious perspective of the writefag himself isn't a believer.
No. 4074
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4074
>>4071
As long as you investigate a subject and have an open mind, you can write about any subject.

So, now that this sidetrack world tour is over, what happened to the actual question of this thread? The one about love? Do we have a consensus about 'Yes, but not so much lest you fall in Mary Sue territory?'
No. 4076
>>4074
tom clancy, michael crichton etc have/had assistants to help do research.
No. 4077
>>4071
Difficult to write a likable religious character, maybe. I doubt anyone has any problem writing your stock religious extremist.

And I wouldn't even say it's difficult, to be honest. I'm an atheist, and when I went to do a story for the Christmas thing that focused on religions (which I then proceeded to never finish writing because I'm so lazy), I felt like I had easy time understanding why my characters believed the religion they did because I've spent enough time in in-depth conversations with religious people to know why they believe what they do, even if I disagree with their reasons.

Which segues nicely back to the original question: I think the most important part of writing believable, engaging characters is understanding how they became who they are, and how their experiences formed the motivations behind the things that they do, say, and think. Now, understanding is a portion of empathy, and empathy is a portion of love, so I suppose you could love them and achieve the same effect, but loving people that don't exist is kind of a tricky business for sane people.
No. 4078
A character in my story is supposed to be religious so I just imagine what my second cousin Thomas would do if he were an idiot.
It's worked out pretty well.
Joking.