Love and Sexism
What do you think about the relationship between the sexes in romance novels? I encourage you to express your honest opinions.
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ihrtbks
writerwithoutacause, was the story you were referring to HAOT?

Serom Kim, I know what you mean. If the story doesn't have a player-turned-loyal in it, people automatically ignore it. Of course, as we've been mentioning over the last few posts, a female player-turned-loyal is unread; if you have one, she's a cheerleader supporting character. Females are inevitably shy and inexperienced and maybe sarcastic; the guys are almost always arrogant rakes with zero conscience until they meet the female lead. Why can't the guys want to be virgins-until-wedding? Why can't girls have 'flavors of the week/fortnight/month'? Why must certain traits be feminine or masculine?

Stories which don't follow this plot aren't read. If you want high school drama, go watch a soap opera. If you want to read stories which don't belong in a 'grocery store checkout' magazine, be prepared to sift through 1427 pages of stories, the majority of which won't meet your wants. It's not that there aren't well-written cliches with stereotyped characters; it's just that most aren't.

I try to keep my stories somewhat original, but as Serom Kim mentioned, they aren't read nearly as much as the cliches. We expect trite high school clique drama. If the story doesn't mention it in the first chapter, few people read further. Maybe it's just that we like the comfort of a well-worn plot, we know it's going to end happy, and we know who's going to do/say what. We don't like having to wait to see how this original character is going to react to that original character or the original circumstances.

5/31/2007 #61
Serom Kim
It's exactly that! People don't like change, as you have been saying for a while. They want to know what's going to happen for sure and they don't like the unknown. Sad, really, because we're going to become a society where people think that originality is recyling an old plot. Good thing to see that somebody else feels the same way that I do.
5/31/2007 #62
writerwithoutacause
oh no! hate and other things is a total cliche. I will admit that. Actually I thought of it before I ever even heard of fictionpress stories so I didn't realize how much of a cliche it was.And then i loved the story too much to give it up, No though, while the plot is totally over done, the characters are fully dimensional, or they will be when its been more than 3 chapters.

My main female character is not shy bookish overly romanatic (or a romance hater)or someone who claims to be ugly when theyre really gorgeuos. She is a tad sarcastic but I can't help it, I'm a tad sarcastic. The main guy is not a jock or a player, and he will not be the doing all the pursuing. He does seem a bit like the atypical "babdboy" right now, I'll admit. But it's from my females mindset and has a tendancy to keep things simple while consequently making things way more complicated than they need to be.

Sorry I realize that most of you probably don't give a damn about my characters, but I dont want to seem like a hypocrite.

No The story I was talking about, I took down for a little bit just to work on it a bit. It was starting to become a little too cold and I realized I was trying so hard to be shocking and out of cliche, I was forgetting to give my characters heart. It will be back up soonish.

6/1/2007 #63
Serom Kim
I just realized something ... there was one part a few posts above this one where we were talking about people's looks and I said soemthing that sounded competely opposite of what I was trying to say.

What I meant in the few posts above was that I'm average looking (very average looking ... in fact, when I have neck-length or shorter hair, I look like a boy) and I'm not pretty at all. Boys who think I'm good-looking, attractive, cute, etc. need to get an eye examination test.

6/1/2007 #64
ihrtbks
I'm not your conventional beautiful either. I'm short and 'full-bodied'. I would become very wary if a guy ever told me, "You're hot" or something to that effect. Call it cynicism or self-protection.

Stupid instincts for making us think the 'hottest' people are the most compatible. The entire survival of the fittest and natural selection thing prejudices us against other possible more lovable people. Almost every story has a six-foot or over tall guy with amazing blue, gray, or maybe (rarely but more often than brown) green eyes. The majority of guys I know have brown eyes. My eyes are almost black but nobody writes stories with guys who have eyes so black "midnight without a moon would be considered noon if compared against them."

I believe if a guy likes you just for your looks, he's not worth it. Which is why I also believe intelligence and personality is way more important than body. It's probably just me whose mind works this way, but if a guy doesn't have at least like a 90 average in mostly advanced classes in school and can't laugh at himself, he is automatically crossed off my list of 'cute' guys. I hate it when girls who say "he is so cute" and swoon for a player jock j*** who's borderline passing every class just so he can stay on the football/basketball/baseball team.

People are inclined to believe what "everybody else" believes. "Everyone else" follows those in a higher clique the same way a farmer would follow the king in a feudalistic society. If they wear a certain brand, it must be in. If they trash talk a certain someone, he or she must be a loser. So if they think someone is hot, even if he or she are arrogant and shallow, he or she must be desirable. Since people do tend to befriend those somewhat similar to them, stupid sticks with stupid, smart sticks with smart, and atheletic sticks with athletic. Since schools are divided into society classes, those in a certain group/clique have significantly more influence than those lower down.

All of this is reflected in stories. How many stories have a female main character whose best friend is just like her and has been her best friend for years but whose crush and later boyfriend or suitor is that 'hot' guy higher up than her on the proverbial pyramid who would never in a million years notice her?

6/1/2007 #65
Serom Kim
I'm with you, ihrtbks. There's this one guy in my school who thinks that he so so "cool" and stuff. I heard once that he was on the football team but I'm not sure if he's anymore. My point is that he's a big j*** and all the advancement placement or smart kids hate him. And a few average kids who are not part of the "in" crowd. A lot of the main guys in cliched romance stories are the kind of guys like him, but they turn nice in the end. Girls in these kinds of romance stories are smart, maybe around the intelligence level that my AP friends and I are at. But the main girl is always beautiful (I could pass for a guy with short hair and am average with long hair) and non-Asian (I'm Korean American).

If you put a character who acts exactly like me and one who acts exactly like this guy I was describing earlier together,then tried to write a romance story that worked ... the world would probably blow up. It doesn't always work! Especially if said dumb guy keeps on saying, "I'm smarter than you!" to the AP kids and won't stop at all! Even when said AP kid says, "Whatever," or "Fine, you're smarter than me," to get said dumb jock to shut up.

People seem to say that their female characters of a lower clique are so "independent" and "modest" and "not arrogant" and "thinks for herself." If you ask me, they lose the "independent" and "thinks for herself" parts when they let some musclehead control them because they think he's "sooo cute." Blargh.

As for the physical aspects part, I agree with you. Most commonly, the main boy's eyes (as well as the girl's), are usually blue. They're also mostly green in my experience, I've yet to run into somebody with gray eyes or I don't remember. But brown is largely ignored. Maybe it's because not too many of the people whom we imagine as the "beautiful" people have brown eyes?

Asian (Americans), African (Americans), and Hispanics mostly have dark or brown eyes, don't they? In most cases, how many times do you read stories about minority characters or know that the characters are supposed to be minorities? In a lot of the cases ... and looking at names only works if the author isn't an anime freak and if the characters have a name as noticeable as Kasumi Aoki or Miguel Delgado.

Popular cheerleader types are "blond, skinny, fair-eyed (usually blue)" and stuff like that. Jocks may have messy dark blond or brown hair with "piercing blue or green eyes." In this Western (and maybe a few other) cultures, lighter tones are beautiful. I say not. Anything can be beautiful.

Most of my characters in my stories (real world stories) are some part Asian (usually Korean), intelligent, broad-minded, deep thinkers, not part of the "in" crowd, and have dark eyes and hair. It's because this is what I mostly know. I have some knowledge of how Asians (Koreans) act, what the "smart" kids in the school are like, and how it feels to be part of the "out" crowd.

People either embrace or reject what is familiar. Some people are bored with their mundane lives so they imagine up a fantasy world and create a girl whom they want to see themselves and the boy they would like to fall in love with, the roles usually turning up to be cliched. Those who embrace familiarity will either be cliched, original, or completely insane.

6/2/2007 #66
ihrtbks
In my experience the guys are usually described as having "blond/brown strands of hair falling into their stormy gray/shocking blue eyes that complement their deep tan." Blond and tan usually do not come together naturally due to genetics; blond(e) people tend to burn. The main characters and usually the supporting characters are all white Americans; in some places this is true, but American culture is based on minority cultures. Not everybody is a chiseled tan European imitation. Why can't we ever have real guys, the kind you actually see in schools? I want a black hair, black eyes hero who isn't an Italian player. In my school, a lot of the "hot" guys had brown eyes, but then again just about evryone in the school had brown eyes.

Another thing, everybody talks about how they want a caring, romantic boyfriend, but whenever you see those kind of traits in a guy in a story, he's homosexual. We all secretly want guys with traits considered feminine but we are still under the impression that a guy's masculinity has a lot to do with being "tough". I personally think a guy who can change my bandages and beat up the reason I got them would be a dream come true; a guy secure enough in his masculinity to do traditionally emasculating things is hot.

The guy every girl wants because he is the traditional "hot" is usually arrogant and stupid. We can write realistic stories from outcasts', nerds', and minorities' perspectives because we've been there and aren't writing the usual stereotypes. Not all outcasts are goths, not all nerds are bookworms with no life, and not all people are Caucasians.

About the cliche thing, people says they don't want to read cliches and are tired of the high school drama stories, but stories that aren't cliched aren't even read, forget reviewed. The high school drama is read much more, even better if there's a jealous girlfriend involved. The non-cliche "Eighteen Years" story I wrote about a couple with amnesia and a teenage son has only 132 hits; my other more cliche high school story "Childhood Betrothal" has 1479 hits and that's adjusted for chapter count. Even though people say they would love to read something new, they still want, read, and review the cliche.

6/7/2007 #67
writerwithoutacause
I think people don't like to stem out of their comfort zone.

I also think using the word cliche is a tad ridiculous. Writings been around for what? 2ooo years? You can say your story is the most original thing in the world, but it's been done before. Some of them are overdone though, for instance the brothers best friend and the nerd/jock are way overdone. Personally I will never write either of those. However I think cliches become annoying when they A. are too detailed, things like a hate /love relationship or best friends falling in love will never die because they're general. But one's where you fall for your sweet brothers friend who you've known forever, while you're trying to snag the hottie moron, well I hope they do go out of style. And yes a lot of stories that are badly written get alot of reviews, I can think of one in particular but I don't want to start a fictionpress fight. The worst thing about cliches to me though, isn't the overused plot, it's the lack of effort and flair. Yes you're plot isn't original but your 'voice' should always be!So many people on fictionpress seem to think that as long as they can actually put a sentence together, throw in some one dimensional characters, and have a cliche, they're a writer! It really bothers me, because if you can't take the time to put effort and yourself into your writing you don't belong doing it. This forum is about steroetypes and for me I don't really care if your story isn't the most out there story in the world, but show me a steroetype(I don't care if they have some repeating characteristics or good looks) and I'm pressing the x at the top of the screen.

About the repeating eyes and the caucasians: well in my cliched story(yes I admit one of my storys is a love/ hate, I'm not hiding it!) I will admit that my main male has gray eyes, but I honestly didn't realize that was such a cliche on this site, I write more than I read. And yes my main female has blue and her family members do, but I was drawing from my own family, we don't have a single brown eyed person. A lot of my other characters have brown eyes though, I think their beautiful.

The all white kids, hmm I'm not really sure what to say about that. I have to say this though, I have read stories where everyone was asain or everyone was hispanic or african american. It's odd because my best friend is muslim and her story contains all white kids! I also admit that my story thats currently up(others don't) also contains all caucasians,(And I'm not saying this in a rascist way, but I have about three white friends and well I'm white) So I don't really know what that is about...

Sorry for my rambling mess, I just refuse to come off as narrow minded or worst a bigot, because theres nothing I hate more.

6/7/2007 #68
ihrtbks
Okay, yeah cliche is a little strong. *looks guilty* Cliche by definition means overused. There are some cliches which you can read over and over and still adore; there are others which you read the first paragraph and "press the x at the top of the screen". Some of the people on this site try to write a completely overdone plot with predictable twists and characters and on top of it all with bad grammar and formatting. Cliched does not mean it's automatically a don't-write story; some cliches are beautifully written with great style and believable characters. A good writer knows the rules; a great writer knows how to break them.

But in romance it's almost impossible to not have some kind of cliche: There's "happy ending", "tragic ending", "guy girl runs into", "best friends", "sibling's best friend", "random hot guy", "loner/outcast", "mean step-parents/siblings", "abusive relationships with somebody other than love interest", "childhood enemies", "love/hate relationships", "nerd/jock relationships", "sarcastic girl", "goth/'bad' boy/girl", "jealous somebody" "arrogant guy", "forced/fake/sudden relationship", "evil b.tch/b.st.rd/ex tring to come in between", "different social levels,"...etc. Most stories I read actually have more than just one cliche in them!

There's a huge difference between cliche and stereotype. Cliche when you show the nerd with the jock; stereotype is when you show the jock as extremely muscled football player who goes through girls faster than normal people go through 30mm lead and the nerd as an outcast bookworm whom all the students tease the bullying kind of tease.

About the looks thing, I understand that certain traits tend to run in families and people write what they know. I draw from my family all the time for character traits like diplomacy or insanity. Everybody in my family has black hair, (almost) black eyes, and "Arabic-looking" tanned skin (a little darker than California/Mediterranean tan). The friends of my characters are based on my real friends in some way, be it pervertibility or sarcasm or just plain arrogant hyperactivity. Almost all of the characters I write are like me in at least one way, so I understand the desire to write familiar stuff. I understand that some people do really have gray eyes, blue eyes, and green eyes, but not everybody in the world does.

About the Caucasian thing, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it at all because some places do have an almost 100 percent white population. It's just that a lot of places do have some racial diversity, but you rarely see it in stories unless they're an interracial romance. Some of my stories have all Caucasian people too; I know hypocrisy is a vice but still.

And once again, I have absolutely no idea what any of the above has to do with sexist stereotypes, but I feel it's relevant.

6/7/2007 #69
writerwithoutacause
Hmm yes I do think we're all getting a little of the topic of stereotypes, but it's a fascinating discussion.

My only point was that sometimes there is a vast difference between cliches and steroetypes.

Actually speaking of stereotypes, I am planning on writing a satire about that. It will be written from an outsiders point of view and it Will all be about the "labels" teenagers oh so willingly throw themselves in, and how they grow past them.

Well i'm trying to point out that cliches aren't the destruction of wiritng, I do have to say some of the female heroines on this site are getting a little overdone. A lot of them are completly fully dimensional, but alot of them all seem to be that extremaly sarcastic loner whose secretly breathtakingly beautiful but just doesn't care enough. I honestly don't believe that this is just writers copying eachothers, well possibly some of them, but I also think alot of girls are like that or at least a little bit like that.

Like if you go to the core of teenagers girls, theres just this "every girl" you can relate to. And thats amazing, people who read my story are always saying that they can relate to my main female, and Its pretty easy to tell these are vastly different people reviewing; but still my character may be relatable but she has quirks. Like she's fashionista, but not in the way snobby cheerleaders are presented, and she rambles and she just has a history.

I think people just need to remember to put a part of themselves in the story, as corny as that sounds, and then the stories won't seem so repetative(I know I spelt that wrong, sorry). Because even though are characters just seem familar and connect with readers, everyones different, every writer is different even if they are alot alike.

This has nothing to do with what I said, but sometimes I feel like writers are writing about the Alpha them.

6/7/2007 #70
writerwithoutacause
okkkkk.

I have to fix this sentence, I must have been on crack when I wrote it.

Because even though are characters just seem familar and connect with readers, everyones different, every writer is different even if they are alot alike.

Our*

should instead of just*

familiar*

have similiar demeanors*

sorry that was bugging me!

6/7/2007 #71
Serom Kim
Wow, I leave for my graduation and grad night and this forum comes to life?

The majority of people that I know have a variety of eye colors: the only ones I have yet to see are a definite gray (I can't always tell gray from gray-blue or grayish green) or a person with heterochromia (eyes are two different colors) and I've seen everything else. Asian and African Americans will have black hair and brown eyes in almost all cases and Caucasians could have probably any combination ... it just works that way.

Ethnicity affects our writing whether we know it or not. Usually, in the fictionpress stories, I can't tell what race or ethnicity the character is unless it's stated or unless I can tell by the characters' name or behavior. For all the stories that I don't know the ethnicity, it almost always goes to Caucasian for me because that's what U.S. culture drills in our minds: overwhelming numbers of Caucasians.

Not all subcultures have to follow a stereotype, too. Cheerleaders don't all have to be Caucasian blue-eyed blonds who are backstabbers or dumb. I know cheerleaders who are smart with an honor scholar award, brown hair and eyes, different racial backgrounds, and more. I know guys on the sports team who are smart and easy to talk to (and one really dumb guy but nobody likes him) and my friends and I could be called the "nerds," but not all of us wear glasses, those who do have glasses with thin frames, and not everybody RPGs or plays card games.

On fictionpress, what are the age ranges and backgrounds of the writers? Are they female? Are they Caucasian? Are they high schoolers? Chances are, if you know absolutely nothing about what you're writing, like a Caucasian writing about a Hispanic character, and they mess up completely, then they're going to come under fire. People base characters on what they know and what they might want to happen to them. That's why things are so cliched. Yeah, we can say all we want that we want to read different stories. But for most people, they subconsciously want to go back to what they know.

6/8/2007 #72
ihrtbks
Serom Kim, congratulations on your graduation.

I've seen African Americans and Asian Americans with natural (not contacts) blue and green eyes, so it's not set in stone. But after a while of reading stories about tall, thin/buff, blue-eyed, blond(e)-haired characters, you start to feel odd and not-a-good different when you're not.

Not so much your ethnicity as your background shows in your writing. If you're from a small town or a big suburban area, it will show through in your style: the words you use, the sentence structures you use, the format you use (big paragraphs, one-liner paragraphs,...etc.). Culture also shows through in the values of your characters and the colloquialisms you use.

I agree with you on the stereotyped subcultures. A lot of my friends are athletes, and they had high grades in all advanced courses. A lot of the people who wear glasses aren't exactly A-honor-roll kids. In my school, the "average" (popularity, looks, grades) kids were more likely to always have a deck of cards within reach; not all immigrant kids have horribly accented English (I'm one of them and my friends say I have "no" accent).

When people try to write about people they don't know, they tend to use stereotypes to develop their character. Not all Asians are totally into school and have honors/AP/IB classes; not all nerds spend all their time playing video games or reading thick books; not all cheerleaders are b*** constantly surrounded by their posses.

6/8/2007 #73
Serom Kim
Seriously? You've seen African Americans and Asian American characters with natural blue and green eyes? Were they fully African and Asian American, or did they have something else mixed in them, or are you not sure?

Yeah, you're right about the culture and how it affects your writing. Not sure what people would say of me when they read my stories, but I'm sure some of it shows through. For one thing, I usually end up stating my characters' backgrounds eventually thoughout the story and at times readers can tell from the characters' names.

High school stereotypes really annoy me due to the fact that they give groups in school a bad reputation beforehand. Sometimes, I tend to do this too, but I'm trying hard not to ... As for foreign and immigrant kids having horribly accented English, we had five Chinese foreign exchange students last year and they were all in my classes. Their English had some of an accent (but that was from the fact that they speak Chinese more than English) and they knew more English than I thought they would.

Not all Asians are into school and have advanced classes, that's true. And those who are don't always end up on the honor roll. In my graduating class, there were several students who were either fully Asian or part Asian. We had two half-Japanese kids graduate as honor scholars, and at least two fully Japanese people and two other half-Asian kids graduate as regular students. The girl who sat next to me is part Japanese but I think she was less than half Japanese and she was an honor scholar too. Our graduating class has about seven Korean Americans and five of them were honor scholars. One of them was the number one senior of our school and his sister was also number one senior two years ago. But last year, one of my friends who is Korean wasn't an honor scholar and he graduated close to last because his name is so far back in the alphabet.

Point of this above paragraph is that people of similar racial backgrounds aren't the same and all Asians can't be smashed in as one. Culturally, there are slight differences. For a person whose parents were born in Japan or Korea or China or wherever in Asia, the parents will push the kid more because the parents respect their culture a bit more. For a parent whose own parents have been in the U.S. won't see things that way and will usually leave them alone. Korean parents are crazy when it comes to grades and more so than the other Asian parents.

What this also has to do with sexist stereotypes is just like how we us stereotypes for everything we write about because we're familiar with them, we use sexist stereotypes for the same reason. They're familiar and we don't want to break out of our comfort zone.

Oh, and you're welcome!

6/8/2007 #74
ihrtbks
I seriously have no idea; I didn't really know the people, but they were at least partially African or Asian.

We as people tend to cluster instead of acquaint with, but it doesn't really work because people are unique and there's no way to classify them into groups further than human, and maybe male or female, depending on your definition. People tend to view certain racial groups as inferior and certain cliques as inferior, but each of both has its own admirable qualities, like fierce loyalty or intelligence and diligence. But we are still raised believing being something, like a cheerleader or an athlete or tall, makes someone inherently better.

The sterotypes are there because they're somewhat true, but they forget the fact that people are multidimensional and unique. They cannot have just one trait. Not all desirable guys are buff and tall; not all desirable girls are meek and/or sarcastic; not all athletes are buff and stupid; not all cheerleaders are backstabbers with shrill voices; not all honor students are nerds with no life; not all kids who wear black are goths; not all hyper people are preps (I have semi-empirical[semi because it's opinions on friends] evidence to all the above claims).

People innately crave approval and are a little afraid to try new things. If you look at review numbers, stories which are cliched seem to have more than the somewhat original ones.

But like Jim Goodwin said, "The impossible is often the untried."

6/8/2007 #75
Serom Kim
Cliched stories are usually the ones that most strongly enforce the stereotype of men and women, right? Male jocks ends up with female nerd, male and female childhood friends hate each other then learn to love, it just goes on. Some of my readers didn't like Katrina in my story because she was too forward, but what's the problem with that? Not all girls have to sit around, waiting for the guy to make the first move ... especially if that guy is Bryan, who highly doubts that he will be a good match for Katrina anyway.

Problem with craving approval is that if nobody is going to break out of the shell, we'll all be the same. This is fictionpress, a story-writing website, for crying out loud! It's not like any of these people know you. Just as long as you're not prejudiced or something like that, who cares? Unless it's going to hurt someone or something, I think it's more important to go on with what you like than try to please everyone.

6/10/2007 #76
ihrtbks
I don't exactly think Katrina was that forward. Forward would have been something like taking somebody's clothes off. I love how you show Bryan doubting himself instead of Katrina. It's refreshing to see something like that.

I know there are some girls who would rather go up to someone and ask them out than wait for said someone to come to them. One of my best female friends would flirt with every guy she knew, even the ones with girlfriends. Then I also have some male friends who take shy to a whole new level. And then you have problems with people being oblivious. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is able to recognize flirting or knows how to read people.

If nobody tries anything new, then we'll never know what people do like. For instance, almost everyone likes ice cream. Somebody had to first make ice cream for anyone to try it enough to like it. If you keep writing your story even though nobody says anything about it, somebody will eventually read it and maybe like it. Changing stuff up a little makes it interesting. I'm really tired of seeing the same stories with the same characters, especially the brother's best friend or player best friend ones. It's not that those plots can't be cute; it's just that it gets boring reading the same situtation over and over.

Instead of trying to write about a cheerleading routine or football play you don't at all understand, you should try writing about stuff you do know and/or experience, like that devil's apprentice teacher or the slightly annoying but deathly loyal siblings. I've seen evil teachers who must have bribed the test administrators in college, and my siblings do nearly turn me homicidal sometimes but I know they have my back against anybody, even my parents. Most siblings are written as cruel if they're older or embarrasing if they're younger. I'm fairly sure most writers know people who are a cliched role, like cheerleader or athlete, who don't act anything like their stereotype. A lot of my friends are athletes who are friendly to everybody and take honors courses.

Like I said before, it's almost impossible to not write some kind of cliche into a story. But the best stories mix up the cliches and blend them into something original and readable.

6/10/2007 #77
Serom Kim
So Katrina wasn't that forward? Good to know, then. Yeah, I don't think it matters what gender Bryan and Katrina are. A spoiled rich kid is going to be more confident; a kid who gets picked on all the time is going to have low self-confidence ... in most cases.

My friends in the group that I hang out with are in most cases very out of the norm ... so I guess most of my characters act like my friends and me.

6/12/2007 #78
ihrtbks
High schoolers are vicious. They latch onto any weakness and magnify it while they take any strengths and play them up to their own advantage. Low self-confidence tends to make you a target for gossip and rumors which in turn lowers your self-esteem even more. It's not rich so much as confident; if you look like you couldn't care at all what the world thinks, people are going to want to be like you, therefore won't criticize you and instead falsely flatter you, making your confidence level even higher.

My friends tend to be different from what those stereotypes say. Maybe our friends aren't abnormal, they're totally average and our stereotypes are overly generalized and incorrect.

6/12/2007 #79
Serom Kim
You know what I've just realized? I went back to my completed story, Hurricane Wind, to remind myself what color eyes I gave most of my characters. I haven't gone over any other stories yet, just Hurricane Wind, but eighteen out of thirty main characters in my first story have brown eyes. Eighteen and a half, actually, because one character is heterochromic and has one brown eye and one blue eye. Maybe it's because the majority of the brown-eyed characters are some part Asian, but still. It's overwhelming to see how many characters I've given brown eyes to. Green-eyed characters were the next biggest group in Hurricane Wind, but there were still only eight. One character has gray eyes, so that means only two characters have completely blue eyes and the heterochromic character has one blue eye.

What is my point in talking about eye colors, you may ask. In an earlier post bu ihrtbks, I think, she said that most characters in these romance stories have blue eyes and stuff but most lead male characters don't have brown eyes. I guess I just brought this up because I'm surprised at how much I'm so far off from the "majority" of writers here: I prefer guys with dark hair (prefereably black or brown hair) and brown eyes.

One other interesting thing I've noticed is that in my upcoming story, Five Under Fire, none of the main characters (all males) are Asian and yet, all but one have brown eyes (the remaining guy has gray eyes). I'm just an oddball, huh?

6/14/2007 #80
ihrtbks
Not odd at all. Most of my characters have dark (brown/black) hair. The eye colors vary between blue, green, and brown/black.

About the high school social pyramid, does anybody know or go to a school that's actually like that or is it seriously just a made-up cliche that they've gotten us to believe happens at every school but our own?

6/14/2007 #81
Serom Kim
My school wasn't like that, and I'm pretty sure that the only schools in which the high school social pyramid exists is on TV shows and not real life.
6/14/2007 #82
Serom Kim
... Dude, where did everyone go? Nobody is showing up all of the sudden and I'm just wondering why there's this big void of silence where people used to talk a lot. I have no idea what I just said.

I just thought that I should tell anybody who cares that Life as a High School Fairytale (formerly Life is not a Fairytale) that it's going to go on a hiatus for a while. It's just not working for me, and I'm not feeling the same "feel" that my other stories such as Hurricane Wind and Five Under Fire do. So I'll be back to work on this story just as soon as I either get a good idea for it or until I finish Five Under Fire.

(P.S.: Neither Hurricane Wind nor Five Under Fire are in the romance section, they're in the general one.)

6/25/2007 #83
ihrtbks
That's what I was thinking.

This is totally irrelevant...but why do so many stories have players who suddenly become faithful to one girl? I mean, if he's as much of a player as the story says, then he would dump the girl as soon as he got her. And 'thrill of the chase' doesn't apply that well to these guys; they've been portrayed as the guys who would take anybody who comes their way. These stories tend to get the most reviews...it's almost as if your male lead isn't driven by lust, your story's not worth reading. Some of my absolute favorite stories are simple romances, but few people review them. It's not that there aren't exceptional player-turned-faithful stories, it's just that almost every story in the romance section has a player. Why is it considered so unattractive for a guy to be unexperienced but so acceptable if the girl is?

6/25/2007 #84
Serom Kim
Also, the males are tall and extremely handsome with experience. They're also controlling and seem to think that they can do whatever to the girls that reject them in the beginning. It's not as if your stories are bad because the lead guy doesn't satisfy these giggly preteen girls' desires, but it'll be much less read. I need some advice in refurnishing Life as a High School Fairytale, and I think I'm going to need your help, ihrtbks. The concept is the same: Bryan's a smart nerd who gets picked on, Katrina's a popular girl who likes him.

Honestly ... I don't know why it's unacceptable for the guy to be unexperienced and it's also unacceptable if the girl is. Same reason why people don't like guys who are shorter than girls ...

6/25/2007 #85
ihrtbks
But why are tall experienced players so desirable? I know I'm not attracted to them; instead I hopelessly crush on the stereotypical virgin nerds who ace (90 percent and up), not just pass (70 percent and up), the class without trying. That's why the main characters in almost all my stories tend to be overachievers.

The sterotypical leads are read more, which is why they become cliched. Everybody desires acceptance, and they'll make their stories the way they think readers will read them, as in outcast girl who's usually sarcastic approached by arrogant but still popular player who every girl in the school except female lead crushes on. Like I said, it's not that there aren't good stories like that; it's just that there's too many of them. I think one of the major reasons is most of the readers, which are teenage females, do have crushes on the popular guys in school. Since they're often in a different group, they tend to use stereotypes to flesh out their characters. And like we said many posts ago, people tend to express their desires in their writing.

About refurnishing your story Serom Kim, I'm probably gonna need your help and advice on "Of Variables, Frisbees, and Basketballs" too. Only difference is they know each other really well as in 'almost a sibling' well.

6/25/2007 #86
Serom Kim
Tall experienced players, huh? Not interested in them myself. I don't know why so many girls find this kind of guy desirable ... I would rather have a boy who's a virgin as well (it will mean more and you won't have to just be another girl he did it with). Generally, I like smart boys, too, but I can tolerate an average one. It mostly depends on the personality for me. Is he somebody I can get along with for a given amount of time? If he's not smart, then does he have other redeeming qualities ... such as easy to talk to, outspoken, or open-minded? I can't just name what I want in a guy, I'll know it when I get to know him ... unfortunately, those guys end up being more like brothers or friends and romance is out of the question because it'd feel too weird.

Cliches are repetitive and that's the main problem. They may be written differently and stuff, but how many stories of outcast lead girls who are the only ones at school who can resist the male player and are sarcastic but beautiful can we read before realizing that they're all the same? Unless you want to read all of those stories, that is. But you know what I mean.

I'll be happy to help you with your story as well. We can help each other with our stories, and it'll be all great. Do you want to start a new forum where we discuss our stories, or do you want to start emailing each other?

6/25/2007 #87
ihrtbks
I think it may be that girls just like the idea of being able to 'tame the beast', as in make him yours and only yours. The only problem with this is habits don't change like that. I mean...yeah, there are heartstoppingly gorgeous people out there, but they won't make you change your entire life philosophy because they're so pretty or 'cute'. You might change for a little while to 'conquer' them but you won't remain that way for long, at least I don't think you will.

Most of my friends are guys (or tomboys-trousers and loose T-shirts/hoodies, no makeup or skirts at all), so I understand what you mean by they're like brothers and romance would just be awkward. I could handle average boys, provided they have something to make up for it personality-wise...insightful, fun to be with, accepting, romantic.

It's not the main plot of your story, but what you put in it that makes it stand out. It's almost impossible to not have some kind of cliche in your story...happy ending is a cliche, sad ending is a cliche as well. Then there's divers character and plot cliches. What really gets annoying is when they use the exact same events in the exact same order.

A forum might let us get other people's input but emails will protect plot secrets, so both might be best.

6/26/2007 #88
Serom Kim
All right, I'll email you first since my fictionpress email is out of date and I can't change it.

Your theory of girls wanting to "tame the beast" is a good idea and you're also right about the problem. Habits don't change and the possibilities that the guy will stop for you and you alone are not high.

I have two groups of friends, acutally. One of them is my classmates, the smart AP kids who are mostly normal but who work harder and are smarter. The other consists of people I've had for one non-academic class, or have known before, or have met in another way. They're the ones I hang out with. In general, they're in average classes (about four exceptions who are in AP classes as well). They're interested in anime, videogames, and aren't very interested in starting a relationship, Guys in this group are easier to talk to, have less of the masculine traits in most cases, and have something in common to talk about. Girls are mostly crazy tomboys. Me included.

6/27/2007 #89
Serom Kim
You know what, I've been reading through some romance stories and I've found a major problem (well, for me, at least) with almost all of them.

Here's the story: the main characters (usually a high school boy and a high school girl) have known each other since childhood. But for some reason explained in the story, they hate each other. Now, something happens in the story that forces said boy and girl into a situation where they can't help but be together. Girl goes off on how much she hates boy, but yet can't help but notice that he's so handsome and starts falling for him (or should I say, his looks). Boy is arrogant and thinks he can get the girl to like him. Girl denies this and maybe slaps him once or twice, but she's still so caught up in his looks and they eventually end up together.

So what is wrong with this picture?

A lot of things, if you ask me. First of all, if the girl really hated that guy as much as she claims to have, then there is no way that she'd either fall in love with him or fall under his spell just because he's so freaking handsome. A person who does that in real life is weak, shallow, and you probably wouldn't want to be around that person anyway. For some reason, though, this is accepted on this website, and silly, squealing, preteen girls who read stuff like that think it's such a great story. It's not.

I've read through at least two stories on this website (and I'm sure there's plenty more where that came from) that do this, and I am sick of it! These story, although written by a female, make the lead girl seem too weak and shallow and everything we hate in a person. I'd like it to stop.

7/22/2007 #90
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