Femslash Central
Lesbians in love, such a misunderstood topic in modern culture. It's not just about the color pink, or magical kisses in the rain. It's about two people in love who happen to be women. If you're a writer of femslash or simply a reader, stop in.
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all you need is oxygen
meh... i've been owned _

It's still a matter of opinion for me, though. Having a butch/femme is kind of like... it doesn't mean that the butch is like a guy who just so happens to be missing an organ (it could), it's more like... um... like their personality. A girl can like sports and it doesn't mean that they're a tomboy. A boy can like pink, doesn't mean he wants to be a girl. So if a girl with short hair likes wearing jeans, T-shirts, big skater shoes, and basketball, it doesn't mean that she's "butch". It just means she's unique. I don't think I'm making any sense, but... still. It's just a matter of opinion. And still, I'm biased because I normally write butch (soft butch?)/femme. Eh.

6/18/2007 #61
Knightmare Elite
Maybe it shouldn't matter what 'classification' of lesbian she is as long as she's a believable character and the story's well written.
6/18/2007 #62
as beauty dies
^^; I didn't mean for you to be owned. I really didn't.

Ah. You see; I was thinking asthetically, not in character--there is a difference (though it still falls into steareotype). :D

Any way, I agree with Knightmare; it all comes down to the writing, anyway.

- as beauty dies

6/18/2007 #63
all you need is oxygen
I guess in the end, opinions set aside, it does boil down to the writing. If the character isn't believable, the story doesn't work.

It was a good debate, thought :)

6/19/2007 #64
sneekie
woo hoo bitchy as. A lez cliche story either one of two things. A happy ending or suicide. I like happy endings which is why most of mine are clicheeeeeeeeeeeee. I love to find a point, get to it and finish it. Just fiction, a perfect world for my phantasies.
8/8/2007 #65
if you're going downtown
A happy ending or suicide.

I can deal with suicide, but only if it's handled really well -- like, the character has been insane for a good portion of the fic, something like that. Not "OMG NO1 UNDERSTANDS MY LUVVV I SLIT MY RISTS NOW!!"

8/17/2007 #66
Knightmare Elite
Something that really bugs me, (this is actually related to lesbian portrayed in TV) why is it that once a lesbian character breaks up with her girlfriend, another 'replacement' girl almost immediately pops up?
8/20/2007 #67
sneekie
because its tv, because in real life some women have to be pertpetual relationships (ie can't be alone with themselves), but mainly its TV because it boring to have someone moaning and groaning about a break up for too long.
8/20/2007 #68
hypocrite extrodinare
I think its quite ridiculous when people try to heterosexualize lesbian relationships.

In stories AND in real life.

I mean "Which one of you is the man?" Seriously? If I WANTED a boy, I'd be ATTRACTED to them, I'd date them.

Obviously, I dont want a man in my relationship.

rawr rawr rawr

-rambles-

12/5/2007 #69
as beauty dies
I actually completely agree with you on that point. XD

- as beauty dies

12/5/2007 #70
Knightmare Elite

You're right and that is partially true to new writers of lesbian stories. Many lack the understanding and experience in the situations and do portray one of the women as the dominant one in the relationship. It's hard to relate the fact that two people can simple coexist in a loving and completely normal relationship. But that's something that's never going to go away for a long time.

12/6/2007 . Edited 5/10/2008 #71
Knightmare Elite
Something else I wanted to add. I really can't stand when authors force happy endings in lesbian stories. I mean the all too convenient wrap up types. I get the whole trying to put a positive spin on things, but if the story is drama and angst filled for the most part, things don't magically fall into place and end with kisses and giggles like a half hour teen show. If the story is heading toward a sad ending then being realistic about it, don't write it to please those who wants Tammy and Mandy to get together, or whoever the characters are. Write the story as you see it in your mind!
12/6/2007 #72
Midnight Horizons
There's this new ONESHOT story by fuckingloner. Its called, "My Sister's Bestfriend" and I think its pretty good for someone who's only a beginner, writing his or her story that original. You guys should really go check it out.
1/13/2008 #73
Divinefallacy
I see a lot of bad blood re: teacher/student type of w-w-l-w (women who love women; hate the world lesbian ;) relationships :) I guess most people here would have seen Loving Annabelle.. well.. I *did* love the character of Annabelle.. though Simone was too timid for me :)

Cliched characters in an sort of stories.. why just w-w-l-w, tend to turn me off in general..:)

3/5/2008 #74
Divinefallacy
Ditto to that. I hate the fact that people just *presume* man/woman thing between two women. Oh, and subconsciously even the women in the realationship are conditioned to believe the same.

I guess this calls for some serious conditioning breaking!

3/5/2008 #75
unknown'writer'loved
Yeah, I know what you mean.

Am I the only one who's really bugged about how (it just seems to me that)

A : If people write lesbian stories, the character's figured out that she's a lesbian for all her life. I mean, I've read gay stories where you've got people who are having trouble figuring out where they belong, but never found a lesbian one. Spare for Falling For Summer by Knightmare Elite (yeah, I've read your stories).

B : Pretty much all of the slash on here is MxM. I mean, I can't claim that I've posted anything femslash because I'm still working on it at the moment, but literally nearly everything on here is about cute little teenage boys who are angst-ridden having sexy time with each other. I mean, c'mon people, write some more femslash!

C : In lesbian stories, the characters always seem to be...I don't know. They always seem to have "hot" bodies and get people simply by looking their way. I don't get that. I mean, I have no personal prejudice myself, I'm not overweight or underweight or achne-ridden, but it just seems a kind of cop-out.

Does anyone else get that?

3/22/2008 #76
Knightmare Elite
I agree with you 100% on the flawless characters. That works to a certain extent in fiction, but also removes an element in which a reader can relate. Not everyone can let down their hair and look like a model, and not every lesbian turns down Playboy spread offers on a daily basis. We need more focus on real looking characters, yes some people are short, fat, pudgy, tall, have acne and lots of other things. You can relate more to flawed characters and I think feel for them just a bit more.
3/22/2008 #77
Divinefallacy
Hi guys. I have written a lesbian story - well, it borders abstract. I'm new here, dont know much people. Maybe you guys can read it! :)
3/23/2008 #78
ibmc2146

My characters aren't perfect. They're pretty average looking, I suppose I sort of left out a lot of the main details, but there's a lot of space for the reader to imagine what they look like... outside of hair/eye color and height. They are pretty average looking. But they're still portrayed as beautiful; this just reflects how I see people anyway.

On television, I can look at someone and say easily "Unattractive," or "Attractive," because there's a distance there, mentally and physically. Being around actual non-acting people, I can find almost every person beautiful. (Very rarely, I'll find a male or two attractive... though, they're pretty... feminine when I do. .) I might not find everyone attractive enough for me to date them, as I still have my 'preferred type,' but they're still beautiful.

I guess my point is, there's a difference between your characters finding each other beautiful/attractive(and portraying them that way, depending on who's point of view you're in), and having every peer drool over them.

I guess, after reading so many straightforward stories... I got tired of the whole idea where the reader knows exactly who's going to end up together. It's like they're stuck on a subway train going to the nearest station with a big map on display, it's so straightforward. (It needs to be gayforward or something.)

Obviously, the whole romantic fictional "true love" thing isn't as easy in real life as it's portrayed in fiction... and that shouldn't be changed completely. ( It's probable the only place where most of us can get it. ) But at the very, very least, I think characters should derail off the track a few times with some kind of struggle. A struggle that actually makes the reader question where the story is going to end. Angsty-near-break-up arguments soon after the characters get together are a bit cliche... and so they don't work as well as they should anymore.

Let's face it; none of us know exactly where we'll be in a year or two... and we all have some hesitation about decisions, and we all make regrettable decisions at some point or another. People get together, cheat, break-up, have a slew of unsafe sexual encounters... maybe not in that order, or maybe not even all of those things... but people do them anyway. (not everyone. but we'll all have our fair share of mistakes at some point) People screw up their lives... sometimes they're irreversible screw-ups and sometimes they're just temporary set backs.

Yeah, knowing that Chara1 is going to end up in a happy loving relationship with Chara2 is pleasant and all, and it can be nice to read something simple every once in a while... but one of the reasons I personally keep reading some stories is because I'm drawn to the end. I want to know whether or not my predictions were right. Giving that answer away too early can take the urge to get to the end away. Creating a justified struggle or twist can make the reader question their predictions and stick to the story with renewed vigor.

The only thing that I worry about sometimes: do the readers get disappointed if they don't get the ending that they predicted? ** and if so: are cliches a (possibly subconscious) crutch to avoid reader disappointment?

4/15/2008 #79
Knightmare Elite

First let me say excellent post!

Now you do bring up a good point about authors basing their characters of what they find attractive. Normal is a relative term these days because everyone has their own measure of beauty. One author might think skinny girls with long hair are HOT, and another might like curvy women with short hair. The reader in turn compares that to their own measure and if they're in the same range that adds a bit more to the story for the reader if not, maybe it detracts or is negligible.

As for the portrayal of true love, well most of the readers here are admitted hopeless romantics, so they tend to go for the mush and picturesque romances. They want the escape from reality and in some instances logic for a chance to experience something pure, a cliche even, but that's what they want if only for a few moments engrossed in a world laid out on digital paper. I like love and its rooted in most of my writing if not all, but as to how far the cheesecake aspects of love 'should' go, well again that's what summaries are for :) If that's not your tolerance pay a quarter and keep going.

Now you hit an issue that I'm personally contending with, the awe inspiring happy ending. Personally, I feel that perfect endings aren't realistic. I mean if two characters struggle and there's an obvious issue driving them apart, then WHY must one of them make a sacrafice potentially destroying their prospective independence (ex: going off to college, or moving to another state with that six figure job) to stay with their lover and live out their lives 'happy' in a dinky little house living paycheck to paycheck. Okay that example is a little extreme but you get the point. If logically you know the characters are better off apart or something is driving them apart, why is it right to force them together in a patch job ending just to keep the reader happy? Should the writer's true vision and or creativity be pushed aside to gain the loyalty of a few more readers, or stay true and lose more?

Hard choice I say, but each has advantages and consequences. The question is do you please yourself or the ever influential reader?

4/15/2008 . Edited 5/10/2008 #80
ShinyMushroom

My biggest annoyance when it comes to cliches in femslash stories is the "What am I thinking?!" line. You know the one. Where the two girls are interacting in some way or another, or one of the girls is thinking about the other, and suddenly she has a thought related to some sort of attraction to the other girl, and does an overly dramatic and horribly corny, GASP, OH-EM-GEE WUT AM I THINKING?, which usually results in me rolling my eyes, groaning, and clicking the back button.

I can't even begin to count how many times I've seen that in a story. And seriously. Do people think that's how things go? I understand the whole not-understanding-why-you're-attracted-to-the-same-sex thing. Make it a little less corny. Make it more realistic. Or at least be original.

Other pet peeves:

+When there is little-to-no character development whatsoever. The story starts. Introduces two girls. Next chapter, they're confessing their outstanding love for each other and writing their vows. .... Seriously?! No plot whatsoever. And what makes it worse is that, usually, those type of stories go like this: Chapter 1 - Intro. Chapter 2 - Confession. Chapter 3 - Lemon. Chapters 4-and so on, random nonsensical idiocy and more badly written sex scenes.

+When authors throw in the parents-are-homophobic-bigots card, then decide to completely run it over later on so they can have a happy ending. Like, they'll have the main character thrown out of her house for being gay, but suddenly, near the end of the story, her parents come to her all sensitive-like saying that they love her no matter what and blah blah blah. Uh. Things don't always happen that way. Not even close.

+I don't like student/teacher stories either. I think it's...ugh. I mean. If the stories are tastefully written, then I suppose that it's fine. But when it's just a story that's expanding upon a certain author's fantasy or fetish, it disgusts me. The teacher/student relationship thing just reminds me far too much of pedophilia.

There's probably way more considering how long I've been reading fiction, but I can't think of them at the moment.

6/1/2008 #81
Knightmare Elite

THANK YOU!

"+When authors throw in the parents-are-homophobic-bigots card, then decide to completely run it over later on so they can have a happy ending. Like, they'll have the main character thrown out of her house for being gay, but suddenly, near the end of the story, her parents come to her all sensitive-like saying that they love her no matter what and blah blah blah. Uh. Things don't always happen that way. Not even close."

While not the exact situation, I'm currently battling people on this in one of my stories. Why do they want a cliche 'toss all logic out the window for the sake of happiness' ending. Think about it for a sec, WHY spend all this time creating realistic characters and relatable situations, an actual conflict leading toward a sensible resolution, and then toss that all out the window so that people don't pout? I do this to make them happy and then the other half complain that 'Oh look another cliche ending, can't anyone ever get that life isn't always 'an they lived happily ever after'.

But I think I've got a handle on this situation. I have to write this for myself, if I try to please everyone my blood pressure will go through the roof. And besides you can't please everyone. Sorry for going off topic.

6/2/2008 #82
Kore-of-Myth

*passes stress ball to Knightmare* Breathe in and breathe out. You'll make it through this. Go with your own opinion on this. *pauses* I've been over this already, haven't I?

Argh...I've now shamefully able to fall under a cliche category - I posted my first Femmeslash on Fanfiction, and the main character walked out on her parents...they never forgive her though.

I'm not a fan of student/teacher either, though I haven't read it. Sort of avoiding it...

6/2/2008 #83
ChocolateZombie

How about all of the lesbian/straight girl stories where the girl who's the lesbian is like the emo/goth/punk loner girl, and the straight girl is the pretty, friendly, athletic girl who believes that she'd never fall for another girl in her life? I tried to write a couple stories about that, but I lost interest.

6/4/2008 #84
Jessica Pryce

I kind of have to disagree with the whole "butch/butch equals slash", that "to have a butch character destroys the idea of it being femslash", and "Seriously? If I WANTED a boy, I'd be ATTRACTED to them, I'd date them."

As an androgynous woman who dates only butch women, I get the question "if you like dating women who look like men, why not just date men?" pretty darn often. It irritates the hell out of me. Butch women, for one, aren't men. Butch women seperate masculinity from the male figure and make it their own. Masculinity ≠ male. All men don't have short hair, walk a certain way, dress a certain way, or talk a certain way.

Butch butch is kind of complicated because a lot of women didn't understand it when it first popped up back in the 60's. It was a pretty taboo subject back then. If I were a little more masculine I probably would be butch, and that would be my relationship.

Butch-Femme isn't a stereotype; it's just a preference for women, just like how some women might like their partner to wear skirts, or like people who are in the leatherscene, or not shave, or have red hair or long hair or be larger in size. They might like their partner to be taller, shorter, or more aggressive or submissive. It's all a matter of taste.

Plus, look at the show The L Word. No butch characters at all! (Shane and Ivan don't count.)

And I don't really think that butch-femme is very prevalent in the GLBT community at large (so how can it be a current stereotype?). It kind of went underground in the women's liberation era, and when it resurfaced the labels butch and femme quickly branched out into all sorts of variations on the words and ideas behind them.

7/30/2008 #85
Knightmare Elite

You do raise a good point about butch-femme relationships. From what I've seen, authors, a lot of new ones and some merely by preference use butch-femme to heterosexualize lesbian relationships. Sometime that's purely accidental. Or some want to avoid doing femme-femme or butch-butch because that would seem too generic. It's really hard to win on that end. No matter what classification the relationship is, there will always be some ire.

I think the biggest problem is that, as you have just done, most readers aren't that educated on lesbian life as a whole. Outside of two women, maybe one's 'cute' and one probably looks like a dude they just see it as that. Of course not all readers fall into that category but a good portion do, and I say it isn't worth the author's time to lecture the reader on why they used the particular paring. Nor should an author need to justify anything outside of what's said in the summary. Don't like it, don't click.

Ok, that was a little off topic but I agree with what you said, especially The L Word reference.

7/30/2008 #86
bloodyfangs

"My biggest annoyance when it comes to cliches in femslash stories is the "What am I thinking?!" line. You know the one. Where the two girls are interacting in some way or another, or one of the girls is thinking about the other, and suddenly she has a thought related to some sort of attraction to the other girl, and does an overly dramatic and horribly corny, GASP, OH-EM-GEE WUT AM I THINKING?, which usually results in me rolling my eyes, groaning, and clicking the back button."

Doesnt everyone fall when they learn to walk? Doesnt everyone scrap a knee when learning to ride a bike? Doesnt everyone second guess a big choice? While that may be over used, I fell it is becz ppl tend to write stories where it is the first F/F relationship...not the 4th or 5th. Doesnt EVERYONE worry that first time? Worry about other people? Worry about THAT person? Worry about ourselves getting in over our heads?

I dont think you can just roll your eyes and deem the piece not worthy of your time. The turth is EVERY! line has been used before. But w/e its your choice to pass up a story do to one line.

8/6/2008 #87
Double Plus Special

Cliches I don't like:

- A well developed story line, decent characters and once they have sex the plot is gone and the rest of the story is just them having sex. WTF?

- The main character reverting to dating guys after having a lesbian fling.

- rape, or murder of a gay character (I know these things sometimes happen but I just can't stand reading about them)

- in fanfiction having well established straight characters go yuri or yaoi with no explanation.

- badly written sex scenes (if its hard to write just leave them out)

- weird obsessions with the boobs of one or more characters.

The butch/femme dynamic is perfectly okay to me. Unless its horribly written. I don't like things that are horribly written in general.

8/8/2008 #88
Jessica Pryce

And, randomly, now that I've read Knightmare Elite's poll, twincest is also a cliche I dislike. Being a twin myself (identical), I find the idea of twincest more than mildly annoying. It's not like I find it revolting, but personally it just makes me think, and that kind of thinking is so not something I want to be doing. And I know that's slightly um, hypocritical since I've heard that exact same sentence come out of the mouths of homophobes, but it really is just plain gross for me. Not to mention all the interested questions I get after I mention that I'm a lesbian and have an identical twin sister.

8/8/2008 #89
Always Pencil

Wow. I missed like everything that was talked about in this topic. I should have read it but it took too long. I just skimmed through it basically. Who wants to break it down for me?? Please?

9/8/2008 #90
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