Gender swap stories?

2 months ago | AdamBolander (Member)

Hey guys, got a kinda weird question for ya. I'm thinking about writing a story where one of the main plot points is that a man gets turned into a woman. I've done some research, and the only two types of stories I can find where that happens it's either a sexual kink or pushing a transgenderism agenda. What do you think, would this be a good idea?

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Responses

  1. speciousific (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    okay

    okay

    can you give more details about the story, and your motivations behind this character decision? because, as im sure you're aware, this is an incredibly touchy subject that's very politically relevant right now

    Silversmith, an urban fantasy mystery serial - https://silversmithserial.wordpress.com/
  2. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Well, I'm still working on the details myself, but... it's an offshoot of my Slayer/Sphinx series, taking place after the second book where magic and all the mythical creatures have been revealed to the world. There's one guy, a kind of magical salesman I guess you could say, who specializes in transformative spells, and he advertises that he can turn anybody into anything they want-- male, female, or even nonhuman. He chooses a guy to volunteer who doesn't particularly want to volunteer, and turns him into a woman (perhaps changes his species too, I dunno yet), and the proceeds to forget about him as he's swarmed with customers. After that the story is about the man-now-woman hunting the salesman down to get him to change him back.

    As for motivations, I just thought it might be an entertaining story. But I 1. don't want to be mistaken at a glance for a smut story writer, and 2. I don't feel like getting involved or having people claim I'm involved in politics.

  3. speciousific (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    okay then. what's the motivation behind this, from your perspective as an author? why do you want to write about this?

    Silversmith, an urban fantasy mystery serial - https://silversmithserial.wordpress.com/
  4. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    For fun, I guess. Same reason I choose to write any story.

  5. speciousific (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    so the first problem is that you apparently haven't put much thought into this story and why you're writing it. this isn't an issue to be taken lightly right now; there's a lot of garbage, hate and ignorance going around these issues, and writing about this without doing the research is just going to add to the latter of those at best, and all of them at worst. That's not to say you can't write about; i'd just suggest you do some research, and carefully interrogate your own motivations and viewpoints on the topic.

    Silversmith, an urban fantasy mystery serial - https://silversmithserial.wordpress.com/
  6. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Again, it wouldn't be written from the viewpoint of a transgender person. Or at least not a willing one. Not somebody who actually felt like they were a woman in a man's body and willingly had themselves changed to the other gender. He's a guy who was changed against his will, and now wants to go back. Are you sure that I can't write this without being lumped into the transgender agenda?

  7. Psycho Gecko (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    You'd be writing about someone who is physically a woman but wants to become a man because that's their true gender. I know that not everything's done for a bigger reason, but you're likely going to hit on some transgender topics related to gender dysphoria. You're kind of turning your character into a pre-transition transman, in a way. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on the terminology.

    Also, I don't know if it's changed any since I was reading it, but I never particularly took Misfile to be all that political or kinky back when I read it. A webcomic about a pair of teens who are changed because a stoner angel accidentally put their files in the wrong place in the big cosmic file room, causing reality and history to change to accommodate the mistake. It's been awhile since I read it, but one of the characters was filed as female instead of male, which changed both his body and his past.

    It's easy for me, as someone who isn't personally affected by the debate, to say that it may be ok to try such a story out just for fun and not trying to be all that serious. Might be a fun and thought-provoking exercise, but my opinion doesn't necessarily count a whole lot on this one. The opinion of someone more personally involved in it may vary, so that'll factor into the response you get. You'll almost certainly have someone mention politics, though. That's just a consequence of the times.

  8. speciousific (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    @Psycho Gecko yeah i agree with your last point. there's nothing wrong with the story idea in a vacuum, but nothing is ever written in a vacuum; every piece of writing is inherently political, if by nothing else than presenting the writer's view of the world.

    I think the thing is, Adam, that you're essentially writing about an experience that for many people is real, in general if not in specifics. Which is of course okay, you're allowed to write about things you haven't personally experienced (I'm assuming you're not trans, based on "pushing a transgenderism agenda"), but when you do, you have to do research and make sure you do it properly. And if you're trying to make a comedy about it, then you're essentially turning someone's lived experience and trauma into a joke.

    Silversmith, an urban fantasy mystery serial - https://silversmithserial.wordpress.com/
  9. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Again, this would be about as related to transgenderism as Pacman has with bulimia. Is it not possible to write a story like this WITHOUT turning it into a huge political commentary? I can't just use the man becoming a woman as a plot device to set the stage?

  10. speciousific (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    well there's not really any way to do it without it being related. regardless of how you intend it, it exists within our current cultural context, and you have to be mindful about it

    Silversmith, an urban fantasy mystery serial - https://silversmithserial.wordpress.com/
  11. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    I mean, I'll be honest. I usually keep my distance when people tell me my stories need to be more "diverse." I see that as a catch 22. As soon as I start adding in other races/skin colors/whatever, the same people who were complaining that I'm not diverse enough suddenly switch to complaining about how I'm not properly representing that race's culture, and cultural appropriation, so erase everything and change it to fit their views even more. I just want to write a fun story, and and suddenly everybody thinks THEY get to control how *I* write *MY* book.

    Point being: if writing about a man who becomes a woman is going to end up getting political no matter what, I'll just skip it and write something else.

  12. speciousific (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    that's probably for the best

    Silversmith, an urban fantasy mystery serial - https://silversmithserial.wordpress.com/
  13. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    "As soon as I start adding in other races/skin colors/whatever, the same people who were complaining that I'm not diverse enough suddenly switch to complaining about how I'm not properly representing that race's culture, and cultural appropriation, so erase everything and change it to fit their views even more."

    Ah, yes, I've been the "victim" of that, myself. I make fun of these people and basically say 'come at me, bro'. It was entertaining for a little while, then they gave up. Because they're pathetic, evil little cowards who don't actually *care* about the people they claim to represent... they just want to bully people, nothing more. Once they know you're stronger than them, they scurry away like... well... I was going to compare them to roaches, but that would be a slur against roaches.

    "I just want to write a fun story, and and suddenly everybody thinks THEY get to control how *I* write *MY* book."

    Then do it. Don't allow hateful bigots and identity politic totalitarians control what you do or how you live your life- because when you do, that means *they win*. If you think you'll have fun with this sort of story, then by all means have fun with it.

    There are plenty of examples of gender-swap stories that are done without pushing any sort of political or social agenda, and some of them have been quite successful. Some have been done for pure comedy, while others have been done for an entirely different kind of drama.

    I'm a fan of Exiern, myself... or I was up until the writer changed back in 2010 or so... the new guy just couldn't manage to find a balance between the dark comedy and the action-drama like Drowemos could. If you can't find a way to make your story either funny or compelling... you'll never have an audience... because 'boring' is perhaps the only thing that everybody hates.

    Political bullshit just that: bullshit. There's always someone who will love it because it is what they want to read. And there will always be people who hate for hate's sake. Inescapable truths of the animal which calls itself Man.

    The beauty of a free society is that people are allowed to disagree with one another, and the hallmark of a truly good society that we can all love things that other people hate.

    Author of Price.
  14. Dary (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Is it not possible to write a story like this WITHOUT turning it into a huge political commentary?

    Possibly, but I don't think you're displaying the right mindset for it. You need to be aware of the issues and implications even if you're planning on it being lighthearted, but you make it sound like you don't want to put that much effort in because "it's just for fun".

    I have trans friends and I've seen what they've been through (I don't identify with genders myself, which has its own share of issues, but nothing on the scale I've witnessed with them). They don't need someone with no personal experiences - or any interest in researching them - treating the issue as the setup for a comedy.

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