Making a Strong but Damaged Female Protagonist

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Roxxsmom

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What unimportant said. Some words and names get so strongly associated with a particular franchise, or with a particular well-known social/cultural concept, that using them in a different way simply won't work, even if it's not technically proprietary.
 
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Woollybear

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I love learning these sorts of etymological connections, so some small tweaks at fist mention of sith would make it cool in my opinion.

My world's continents, planet name, and an important mountain all have gaelic roots. :)
 
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SamanthaDrake

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True. I'm not worried though. I don't think anyone who reads my book is going to mistake Kiva for a Sith lord. Spoiler alert lol... their dragons! They are also called storytellers because of their long memory. I think they are different enough that it won't be an issue. And there is so much to my more to my story than Kiva that it's almost a non-issue because of that. The sith in my book don't come into play until the second book and by then it's pretty clear what they are.

Also, I think I have more to worry about when I say Urban Fantasy and shapeshifters, alot of people are going to say nope. I figure i better make the first five chapters riveting. Really what I need is a fantastic blurb. Maybe I should just leave the word shapeshifter out of the blurb.
 

Cyia

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Also, I think I have more to worry about when I say Urban Fantasy and shapeshifters, alot of people are going to say nope. I figure i better make the first five chapters riveting. Really what I need is a fantastic blurb. Maybe I should just leave the word shapeshifter out of the blurb.


INAL, and I'm definitely not a trademark expert, but remember that Disney sued a family over putting Winnie the Pooh on their toddler's tombstone.

According to this link http://www.trademarkencyclopedia.com/sith/ , Disney did file a trademark in 1997.

The "SITH" trademark, serial number 75307151 , was filed on 11th of June 1997 with a mark drawing code of 1000 and its transaction date is 75307151. The attorney assigned is Rosemary S. Tarlton, attorney docket number 14332-624900. Since 25th of September 2012, the document can be found in the M10 law office in the publication and issue section. The employee responsible is SONNEBORN, TRICIA L and the date it was published for opposition on 06/29/1999. The date when we last checked the status of this trademark was 10/28/2008.

The "SITH" trademark, serial number 77754740 , was filed on 8th of June 2009 with a mark drawing code of 4000 and its transaction date is 77754740. The attorney assigned is Rosemary S. Tarlton, attorney docket number 14332-6249.0. Since 6th of July 2012, the document can be found in the L70 law office in the publication and issue section. The employee responsible is DINALLO, KEVIN M and the date it was published for opposition on 05/04/2010. The date when we last checked the status of this trademark was 07/05/2012.

Obviously, it's been a while since the site updated their info, but it's something to keep in mind. If there is one company on this planet that defends its trademarks and copyrights, it's the House of Mouse.
 

SamanthaDrake

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I have gotten great feedback. Thank you everyone! What I need to do is focus on ways to show her strengths despite her issues.

What unimportant said. Some words and names get so strongly associated with a particular franchise, or with a particular well-known social/cultural concept, that using them in a different way simply won't work, even if it's not technically proprietary.

What do you mean by won't work? Someone will throw my story down because I used the word sith? I'm honestly trying to understand because I don't think it's a big deal. And I started a new thread that we can move this discussion to so people who want to know about how to make a strong female protagonist don't have to participate in our discussion. I put it under the am I obligated to use the word shapeshifter.
 
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SamanthaDrake

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What do you mean by won't work? Someone will throw my story down because I used the word sith? I'm honestly trying to understand because I don't think it's a big deal. And I started a new thread that we can move this discussion to so people who want to know about how to make a strong female protagonist don't have to participate in our discussion. I put it under the am I obligated to use the word shapeshifter.

Honestly want to discuss it. No disrespect intended whatsoever. Thank you for taking the time to share your opinions:D
 

SamanthaDrake

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INAL, and I'm definitely not a trademark expert, but remember that Disney sued a family over putting Winnie the Pooh on their toddler's tombstone.

According to this link http://www.trademarkencyclopedia.com/sith/ , Disney did file a trademark in 1997.





Obviously, it's been a while since the site updated their info, but it's something to keep in mind. If there is one company on this planet that defends its trademarks and copyrights, it's the House of Mouse.

I think that only applies if i put the word sith on a tshirt and didn't explain what I meant it could get me in trouble. and the thing about the gravestone is messed up.

- - - Updated - - -

I love learning these sorts of etymological connections, so some small tweaks at fist mention of sith would make it cool in my opinion.

My world's continents, planet name, and an important mountain all have gaelic roots. :)

please expand in my new thread.
 

Cyia

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What do you mean by won't work?

When most people hear/see the word "sith," they're going to think "Star Wars / red light saber / villain / Dark side." Even if you mean it in a different way, that ingrained understanding of the word is hard to overcome.

Think of it like Kleenex meaning "tissue," even if it's a Puffs, or store brand. People ask for a Kleenex.

Now, try to imagine how you'd envision an alien overlord called Kleenex. He might be the most feared alien in 12 galaxies, bathing in the blood of his enemies, but to your average reader, they're going to see something paper thin and easily destroyed.
 

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What do you mean by won't work? Someone will throw my story down because I used the word sith? I'm honestly trying to understand because I don't think it's a big deal. And I started a new thread that we can move this discussion to so people who want to know about how to make a strong female protagonist don't have to participate in our discussion. I put it under the am I obligated to use the word shapeshifter.

If you have a superb, gripping, beautifully written, incomparably good story that transcends all of the written word in human history -- yeah, nothing else will matter. And if that's what you've got, then never mind what any of us have to say.

If you are like the rest of us, you're doing your best to write for the reader. And that means examining all of your choices.

In the end, every choice is yours. All we can do is advise, based on our experience and knowledge. And you can act on our advice, or not, as you choose. None of us other than you have anything invested in your story or your prose or your word choices; we are simply writers and readers, in a community of writers and readers, sharing our knowledge and experience, which may or may not be applicable.
 

Roxxsmom

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What do you mean by won't work? Someone will throw my story down because I used the word sith? I'm honestly trying to understand because I don't think it's a big deal. And I started a new thread that we can move this discussion to so people who want to know about how to make a strong female protagonist don't have to participate in our discussion. I put it under the am I obligated to use the word shapeshifter.

Meaning that readers will scrunch up their collective brows and think, Jeez, this reminds me of... and maybe laugh, or shake their heads, or simply be left with an unsettling reminder of something they probably already have a strong opinion about each time they see it.

Or worse yet, they might think, This is a rip off of...

It's not just a thing with names associated with well-known work, either. I was once critting something where the person had a country called "Crustacea" and the (human) people who lived in it were "Crustaceans." I couldn't NOT giggle and think of a civilization of lobsters, shrimp, and crabs when I read it.
 
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Marian Perera

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If i told you it was urban fantasy/romance would you believe me lol...

Why wouldn't I believe you?

I'm trying to take the genre and do something meaningful...but there will be shifters, magic and eventually undead... the is lots of violence, guns, sex, but also a story about a girls journey to womanhood and freedom. The whole power of love thing.

I hope you're reading plenty of urban fantasy romance, as well as urban fantasy with strong romantic subplots. You may discover that what you find meaningful has already been done.
 

Cyia

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I'm trying to take the genre and do something meaningful...but there will be shifters, magic and eventually undead... the is lots of violence, guns, sex, but also a story about a girls journey to womanhood and freedom. The whole power of love thing.


I hope you're reading plenty of urban fantasy romance, as well as urban fantasy with strong romantic subplots. You may discover that what you find meaningful has already been done.

Yikes. I missed this part.

If you think there's nothing meaningful in shifter stories (or supernatural ones), then you definitely need to read more of them. "The whole power of love thing" is a central feature in many, many, many, many.... many paranormal stories, even the ones generally considered frivolous by those who don't like the genre.

(Even Beauty and the Beast - while not a conventional shifter tale - tackled the idea of feminine strength and the saving grace of love, and that story's ancient.)
 

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Yikes. I missed this part.

If you think there's nothing meaningful in shifter stories (or supernatural ones), then you definitely need to read more of them. "The whole power of love thing" is a central feature in many, many, many, many.... many paranormal stories, even the ones generally considered frivolous by those who don't like the genre.

(Even Beauty and the Beast - while not a conventional shifter tale - tackled the idea of feminine strength and the saving grace of love, and that story's ancient.)

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone. But are there really any truly original ideas? It is nearly impossible to have an idea without someone saying that hey, this has been done. I can only go by my personal experience but there will be exceptions to every rule. I don't believe that I am the only person to ever want to write a meaningful story in the urban fantasy genre but it isn't a secret that most of the writing in the genre is bad and that it is in desperate need of more writers that want to tell a story that has action, sex, violence, and fantasy in the modern world, that actually has a meaningful theme that goes beyond I killed the bad guy and saved the day and my shapeshifter boyfriend is an abusive, psychotic jerk. I like this kind of theme if done well. The thread about the 'alpha-hole' syndrome is a good example of what is wrong with the genre and not the only problem. I am not pretending to be completely original, or have any idea that hasn't already been done. I am only saying that I am writing a meaningful story that is going to be entertaining in a genre that is sadly lacking in anything truly meaningful. There are stories in the urban fantasy that are meaningful but they are few. Almost every romance novel ever written is about the power of love.
 
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-Riv-

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If i told you it was urban fantasy/romance would you believe me lol... I'm trying to take the genre and do something meaningful...but there will be shifters, magic and eventually undead... the is lots of violence, guns, sex, but also a story about a girls journey to womanhood and freedom. The whole power of love thing.

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone. But are there really any truly original ideas? It is nearly impossible to have an idea without someone saying that hey, this has been done. I can only go by my personal experience but there will be exceptions to every rule. I don't believe that I am the only person to ever want to write a meaningful story in the urban fantasy genre but it isn't a secret that most of the writing in the genre is bad
FWIW, yes, this is highly offensive.

and that it is in desperate need of more writers that want to tell a story that has action, sex, violence, and fantasy in the modern world, that actually has a meaningful theme that goes beyond I killed the bad guy and saved the day and my shapeshifter boyfriend is an abusive, psychotic jerk. I like this kind of theme if done well. I am not pretending to be completely original, or have any idea that hasn't already been done. I am only saying that I am writing a meaningful story that is going to be entertaining in a genre that is sadly lacking in anything truly meaningful. There are stories in the urban fantasy that are meaningful but they are few.
Perhaps reading more would shift this view?
:Shrug:
 

SamanthaDrake

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I apologize for completely lacking tact and I invite someone to change my mind. If I can make it past the third chapter I will retract my statement about urban fantasy and possibly reapply it to paranormal romance.
 
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Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone. But are there really any truly original ideas? It is nearly impossible to have an idea without someone saying that hey, this has been done. I can only go by my personal experience but there will be exceptions to every rule. I don't believe that I am the only person to ever want to write a meaningful story in the urban fantasy genre but it isn't a secret that most of the writing in the genre is bad and that it is in desperate need of more writers that want to tell a story that has action, sex, violence, and fantasy in the modern world, that actually has a meaningful theme that goes beyond I killed the bad guy and saved the day and my shapeshifter boyfriend is an abusive, psychotic jerk. I like this kind of theme if done well. The thread about the 'alpha-hole' syndrome is a good example of what is wrong with the genre and not the only problem. I am not pretending to be completely original, or have any idea that hasn't already been done. I am only saying that I am writing a meaningful story that is going to be entertaining in a genre that is sadly lacking in anything truly meaningful. There are stories in the urban fantasy that are meaningful but they are few. Almost every romance novel ever written is about the power of love.
Wow. Just....wow.

Followed up by....wow.

I think we can safely say that pretty much everyone who reads the genre, and pretty much everyone here who's been trying to help you by sharing our knowledge of the genre we write in, do not agree that our genre is 'sadly lacking in anything truly meaningful' or badly written.
 

-Riv-

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I apologize for completely lacking tact and I invite someone to change my mind. If I can make it past the third chapter I will retract my statement about urban fantasy and possibly reapply it to paranormal romance.
This isn't about changing your mind, IMO. You're welcome to your opinions. It's about respecting your fellow writers in general and not making derogatory blanket statements about entire genres. Not to mention that there are writers of the genre reading this thread--and being lumped into this "bad writing" designation.
 
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SamanthaDrake

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Wow. Just....wow.

Followed up by....wow.

I think we can safely say that pretty much everyone who reads the genre, and pretty much everyone here who's been trying to help you by sharing our knowledge of the genre we write in, do not agree that our genre is 'sadly lacking in anything truly meaningful' or badly written.

Again, I apologize for my opinion and appreciate anyone who is helping me. I just hope that this isn't one of those places where someone gets crucified for having an opinion that isn't popular. I honestly am not trying to offend anyone.
 
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-Riv-

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Again, I apologize for my opinion and appreciate anyone who is helping me. I just hope that this isn't one of those places where someone gets crucified for having an opinion that isn't popular. I Honestly,I am not trying to offend anyone.
I think folks are just trying to point out that words carry meaning and that what you wrote was offensive to an entire genre of writers. RYFW is the guiding principle of the forums. No one is crucifying anyone.
 

SamanthaDrake

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This is about changing your mind, IMO. You're welcome to your opinions. It's about respecting your fellow writers in general and not making derogatory blanket statements about entire genres. Not to mention that there are writers of the genre reading this thread--and being lumped into this "bad writing" designation.

Again, I apologize for my opinion. For future reference, I will keep any negative opinion I have about any genre to myself.
 
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Coddiwomple

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Again, I apologize for my opinion and appreciate anyone who is helping me. I just hope that this isn't one of those places where someone gets crucified for having an opinion that isn't popular. I Honestly,I am not trying to offend anyone.

RYFW > opinion

Your opinion is yours. Keep it! Feed it! Play with it! Whatever!

BUT. That's the AW formula, right up there. It’s what we agree to when we sign up.
 

Ari Meermans

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Again, I apologize for my opinion.

You're missing the point. No one cares that your opinion differs; if we all agreed on everything, AW would be bland and boring. Everyone is cautioning you about our "one rule": Respect Your Fellow Writer (RYFW). Stating "it isn't a secret that most of the writing in the genre is bad" violates that principle. Please read the Newbie Guide.
 

SamanthaDrake

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You're missing the point. No one cares that your opinion differs; if we all agreed on everything, AW would be bland and boring. Everyone is cautioning you about our "one rule": Respect Your Fellow Writer (RYFW). Stating "it isn't a secret that most of the writing in the genre is bad" violates that principle. Please read the Newbie Guide.

I am getting the feeling that there isn't anything I can say that will be a sufficient apology for everyone. That said, I am new and I understand I made an error. I am the one who is supposed to be learning about thick skin remember?
 

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I am getting the feeling that there isn't anything I can say that will be a sufficient apology for everyone. That said, I am new and I understand I made an error. I am the one who is supposed to be learning about thick skin remember?

With respect, you can say "all the examples I've found in the genre have been, in my opinion, poorly written." When you slag off a whole genre - on a board where you know there are going to be people who do indeed write in that genre, and may even have been well paid to do so - it's disrespectful.

Does that make it more clear?

ETA: Also, if you find yourself drawn to a genre you don't respect, odds are there are, indeed, published books in that genre that you'd like. You may just not have been exposed to them. For UF, my go-to is Daniel José Older, who writes absolutely gorgeous prose. If you don't want to invest in a whole novel, he's got a book of in-universe shorts out as well.
 
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I don't believe that I am the only person to ever want to write a meaningful story in the urban fantasy genre but it isn't a secret that most of the writing in the genre is bad and that it is in desperate need of more writers that want to tell a story that has action, sex, violence, and fantasy in the modern world, that actually has a meaningful theme thadst goes beyond I killed the bad guy and saved the day and my shapeshifter boyfriend is an abusive, psychotic jerk.

  • Dismissing an entire genre with "most of the writing in the genre is bad" is a gross violation of respecting your fellow writer.
  • It's pretty clear from your remarks that you are woefully uninformed about the wide range of fiction that fits under the urban fantasy umbrella. You might want to do some reading. (Neil Gaiman, Pamela Dean, Ben Aaronovitch, Jim Hines, Charles de Lint, Seanan McGuire; lots of others).
  • Attempting to write in a genre you despise or are less than familiar with about is a very very bad idea. Read a lot more.
  • I don't particularly care what anyone's opinion is; saying "I prefer stories where x doesn't happen," or "I really disliked this particular motif [where motif is described with examples] is fine. Trashing an entire genre is not.
  • It's equally clear that you have no clue about what Romance | Women's writing are (hint you posted in entirely the wrong forum).

I strongly suggest you stop posting for a bit and read a lot more. It's a large forum. Reading will give you an idea of the community.
 
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