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MrNumbers


The magical psychic socialist

More Blog Posts270

  • Today
    Positivity

    Just a followup to the last one, in much more positive terms.

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    22 comments · 486 views
  • Thursday
    Doesn't feel worth it anymore

    This one's the big downer. I want to talk about why I don't write for this community anymore, even though I used to love it and have so much fun being a part of it. I haven't written a word of fimfic since December, and I don't think that's going to change. And that sucks for me too.

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    110 comments · 1,380 views
  • Tuesday
    Some Levity

    A recent blog by the inimitable JediMasterEd sent me down a rabbit hole of reading Cory Doctorow's takes on old science fiction, and specifically to this paragraph;

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    21 comments · 323 views
  • 3 weeks
    so anyway sometimes I do photography

    more after the break

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  • 4 weeks
    New video

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Feb
23rd
2017

Rape, drugs, suicide, abortion, depression and other hazardous materials · 6:36am Feb 23rd, 2017

I keep saying these should be a weekly Wednesday thing. The problem isn't that I'm unwilling to sit down and write these, but rather that I frequently lack the inspiration. However, stalking the FimFiction Discord channel's Writers' Help chat has given me an abundance of it. I'm brimming over with it, and no small amount of frustration.

Beginner storytellers -- film students, poets, authors, songwriters, all of them -- seem to have a fixation on making their first stories about the most powerful things they can think of. Almost always, it boils down to the list above. Throw in stuff like child abuse and PTSD, why not? People coming out to an angry, homophobic family when you've never gone through the same? More often than not, they don't have much personal experience with the subject matter, but they think that this is what makes for a great story, because it's powerful subject material.

This is the only time my advice stops being about how to fix elements, how to improve, and just becomes a single word; Don't.



I think the best way to explain this is to remember that writing isn't just an art, it's a skillset. It's technical knowledge and experience and practice. While not everyone agrees what makes for a good story, we can at least understand that there are wrong ways to do it.

Right? Can we at least agree on that? Good.

Usually I compare writing to carpentry. It's how I visualize it. Instead, I'll be comparing it to a science, specifically chemistry.

Right now, the subject matter I described is pentaerythritol tetranitrate. It's a plain white powder, and you want to figure out how it ticks. You know it's one of the most effectively powerful materials out there, and you can't wait to play with it. You saw your lab professor messing about with it, and he made a hell of a show out of it, he didn't freak out when it got on his skin, awesome.

Then he sees you even looking at it and he panics. Why?

Because he's at the third stage of what I'm talking about here, and you're still at stage one, not realizing there are stages at all.

So I just bounced from writing to carpentry to chemistry to stages. I'm sorry about that. Bear with me a moment.

The first stage is simply knowing what you're working with at all. A white powder you saw your professor fuss about with. Rape, drugs, suicide, abortion, depression, etc. is that white powder. It's the same stuff you see your professor working with, you know it's powerful, you think this is the good stuff. You don't understand why they're freaking out that you're doing the same stuff he was doing.

Second stage is knowing that pentaerythritol tetranitrate is the raw form of Semtex and is the least stable of the modern military explosives. This is what landmines are made of. This will blow your goddamn hand through your lab partner's sternum. Second stage is when you're genuinely goddamn scared of it. This is when you start to comprehend the severity of what you're working with, when you actually appreciate the dangerousness of it, and you realize I probably shouldn't be touching this. Holy fuck, you were about to hold it over a bunsen burner without safety equipment just to see what would fucking happen. What is wrong with you.

I would argue, and I would argue it passionately, that the first time you're ready to deal with the hazardous materials is the first time you no longer want to even try. When you finally understand how just not ready you are to do it. Don't touch that shit until you are legitimately scared of what might happen.

The problem is, there's three stages. The professor you saw fucking about with it, that made it look awesome, that made it something you want to try. The reason you took this class in the first place. Why'd he panic when you tried to do the same thing? He even took his safety goggles off to rub his eyes at one point!

You're looking at the veteran. The guy who's had so much practice he makes this look easy. And here's the trickiest part of all; He makes it look easy not just because he knows exactly what to do, but what not to do. And all you're seeing is what he does, it's much harder to study the things he's not doing because you don't think to look for it, you don't even know enough to look for it at stage one. You can't see what's not there, and what's not there is the mistakes he's figured out after years and years of practice. He knows it doesn't detonate if you drop it, he knows it doesn't catch fire easily if you handle it right, but more importantly, he knows exactly when to stop.

And if you try to copy him without the same experience, you're going to get yourself hurt and maybe a lot of other people too.

Words are powerful.

Make sure you're only working with the materials you're qualified to handle.

Report MrNumbers · 2,044 views · #Writing Advice
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Comments ( 45 )

*glances at first fic*

…Well fuck.

I agree wholeheartedly. I've been writing pretty much my whole life, so I don't have a super edgy first story (My first story, incidentally, was about Box Man, who was a super hero made of boxes), but I certainly tried to write about this stuff before I was ready. The results went about as well as you'd expect, and I'm thankful that none of these old embarrassments can be linked to me today.

I'm an obstinate bastard though, so I wound up writing another story with rape as a major aspect here on Fimfiction before I was really ready to tackle a subject like that. I suppose I'd say I was stage two; I knew I shouldn't and was rather terrified of getting it wrong. I probably would have been better sticking to the voice of reason on that one, as looking back on it I can see many faults in my portrayal there. The buildup is fine, the reveal (it happened in a character's back story) was decent, but the aftermath was awful. I was so afraid to linger on such a subject that after the character reveals she was raped it's practically never mentioned again

My point is really just an agreement. Simply knowing something needs to be handled carefully is not enough to actually do it right.

Sadly, I'm in the Archie Andrews, Konosuba Megumin, or Invader Zim school of chemistry. Just because mixing the wrong ingredients together inefficiently makes something more volatile, dangerous, seductive, or incredibly stupid doesn't mean that leveling up your crafting ability through inherent knowledge, professional skill, or otherwise will make a better final product. And, Keep in mind, we live in a time where most stories have exceptional beginnings with schlocky endings. After the climax, it seems many creators have forgotten that you want to leave the reader or audience (in this case) with a sense of awe and wonder at the end. Sure, the physics of it might not make sense but everything is better with muppets; And, that's exactly what characters in a novel are created with in mind they are toys to be manipulated and played with. Muppets, paper dolls, and figurines are there for the writer's amusement to explore their internal world or shared on a stage with others supplying the needed imagination to see it through or to develop a better more empathic sense of wonder about what does and does not work when crafting the process externally or kinesthetically.

It's unfortunate capturing the imagination of others requires the willing suspension of disbelief, but that is the nature of crafting a story. Just becasue wise poets wrap the truth in tales and see her through all her many veils doesn't mean the truth doesn't fall on anyone and everything when she pleases. It's not necessarily about knowledge, ability, or skill. While I'm sure the aforementioned things help speed the process along, the most important part of the creative process isn't about attitude so much as being persuasive and believing well, hence the term Make Believe when referring to the difference between fantasy and reality. If someone want's to live in the past and play with zombie powder, more than craft Mc Guffin's in the present, or look forward to the future and develop the next flavor of ice cream, then there's nothing wrong with wanting to be a pepper too.

becasue commonality doesn't always equal story fatality.

This sort of thing is true in most aspects of life. Black Belt techniques are not taught to beginners because crippled students won't pay dojo fees. Nobody begins learning to fly in a jumbo jet full of passengers. Artists who will eventually become great, start with anatomy and shading, not Photoshop filters.

I thought a bit about your model and tried to find something to object, but in the end I agree with you and like your analogies. Powerful stuff should be treated with care and insight into safety procedures. You can it do even in phase 2, but it will be a long and difficult, if learning, experience.

Hmmm. Overall, I agree. But art is one of those things learned by doing, again and again and again. I certainly wouldn't publish until I hit stage three, but then again, I'm led to understand that many truly skilled artists never actually leave stage two; they never stop fearing that their work isn't "good enough".
So yes. I agree. You should not come out of the gate trying to publish certain content. I don't think that means that you should stop trying to write it, though. Just that you should get used to stroking it out as a story element that you can't yet seem to get to work.

4433409

I considered that, and the problem I came up with is that work unread by an audience is a work closed off to criticism, and I think the feedback you get from fans is inifinitely more useful than the criticism you get from a writer's group.

One of my very favorite poets—who is Redactstani-adjacent, which is why I don't mention him—has, as his epitaph: "I was felled by too strong a word."

Something to consider.

Hah. Just recently I was building a character in my head, and she was supposed to be a nervous-quiet-type. So then I go to the stage of 'why is she nervous and quiet?' And my brain just up and started, like, dancing gleefully through the whole gamut of trauma. Oh, she must have been bullied as a kid and her parents were ashamed of her and started to abuse her and then she let people talk her into drugs and then crime and then everything fell apart and -

NO. FUCK YOU, BRAIN. FUCK YOU. PEOPLE CAN JUST BE NERVOUS SOMETIMES. THIS IS A THING THAT HAPPENS TO NORMAL PEOPLE. GOD DAMMIT.

Aragon #10 · Feb 23rd, 2017 · · 3 ·

The way I see it, another problem is that to write hazardous materials, you need to have a certain degree of emotional maturity.

And the people who immediately think that this kind of shit adds to a story for its inherent 'deep' nature are also the least emotionally mature people on Earth.

So yeah. Great advice. Shame the people who always do this won't listen to you, because they'll immediately assume this doesn't apply to them. Rule of thumb: if you're not sure if this blog is about you? Chances are it is.


4433383


I have the feeling you started saying one thing, and then promptly forgot what the hell it was, because I can't for the life of me understand your comment, man. At all. Are you even talking about the blog?

Honestly, I avoid all of these. I've only just started toeing the line into approaching genuine mental illness, and even then I'm treating the subject very cautiously. Besides, it's just not fun for me to write about these topics, giving me no incentive to explore them.

Someone else can play with landmine powder. I'm happy with my oobleck.

4433412
Yes, my position is neither infallible nor unassailable. This is why, overall, I agree with you. I was just expressing my misgivings with the stand that we are both taking. "These are the the weaknesses in the position that I hold" sort of thing.

I knew I would never be able to live up to all the grand visions when I started writing. That's why my first real fic was about Captain Kirk breaking wind and trying to cover it up by blaming everyone else on the ship.

Professor Plum
Story Approver

4433615
Live reading on the next stream. I demand it.

...so what you're saying is I should write a story about Twilight Sparkle's Semtex Adventures?

I agree with this to an extent.
And... yeah, that's it. Nice blog.

Sh-boom! Sh-boom!

("Not mambo--MUMBLE!")

(Stella! Stellllaaaaaa!)

I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet, but there are many amateur writers who use a story as a form of self therapy. They may be storying out some issue or trauma, perhaps in a hyperbolic manner.

This method is actually used by therapists.

Now in formal therapy this may be an entirely private affair, but I can well imagine a bullied teen, craving membership of some group, unselfconsciously producing fanwork of this type.

It's even suggested that the relationship between writer and readers in such circumstances may have therapeutic value.

Though I must confess I can't stand gore stories that involve ponies.

Anyway that's my two bits worth.

Actually, professors are either in their office all day writing grants or papers or in meetings. They probably have not run a reaction in years. The senior grad students and postdoc are the ones with the technical skills to synthesize and handle the dangerous materials. However, the professor is the one with the large body of knowledge to know what dangers or problems might occur.

In this way, professors are a lot like good editors, who can review your plans and tell you if your idea is likely to explode in your face (you probably shouldn't use acetone as a solvent for that reaction involving hydrogen peroxide), point out potential hazards (remember to purge your hydrogenation reaction with nitrogen before opening it to atmosphere), and suggest potential fixes (next time, use the anhydrous solvent). Of course, a lot of this wisdom comes from having made these mistakes themself or seeing others make the mistakes.

While it's possible to read up how to handle certain hazardous reagents, I will always try to consult with someone who has successfully used the material in the past. Similarly, writers should run hazardous writing subjects by experienced editors before releasing them to the public.

4433806 alas, it is gone. Seems to have disappeared in the move.

I actually disagree. People learn how to use these things well by playing with them, at least to some extent. Your first work is probably going to be bad regardless of what it is about.

Writing is very low stakes. You can't lose an arm while writing; the worst consequence of writing a bad story on FIMFiction is getting a downvote and maybe getting a handful of snarky comments, and maybe some Old Shame about that angsty story you wrote when you were first starting out.

Comment posted by Everglue Horace deleted Feb 25th, 2017

I think this is an excellent analogy and very useful for making technical decisions in storytelling.

I would caution against taking it too far, however: as has been pointed out, there is an immediate and substantial moral consequence to mishandling Semtex--injury, destruction and death--that does not attach to mishandling words about themes of victimization (for that is what these themes are).

Of course words can cause harm, even indavertently. So there is a moral component to handling them as well. It is just--usually--not as great, immediate, or irreparable a harm as that caused by an explosive powder. So the moral component of handling words, especially in a work of fiction, intended for a specific audience, is usually less than that of handling Semtex--even if those mishandled words address very real and terrible wrongs.

But then I'm arguing an outdated ethic: current thinking among a large number of people holds that bad or even ill-chosen words constitute violence, the same as an explosion does. This is the dominant belief in many writing communities--such as SF&F. So perhaps it is best for new writers seeking entry to such communities, to avoid such themes until they thoroughly understand how to handle them in a way that this dominant belief approves.

I don't like this but I can't change it.

Comment posted by Everglue Horace deleted Feb 26th, 2017

I love you for the chemistry analogy. I learned this the right way with t-butyllithium and 70% perchloric acid (admittedly less flashy than PETN but both still nasty) and watched as a coworker immediately followed up by learning it the wrong way.

Oh yeah, and had my own "don't" experience with homemade napalm.

*cough*

Right, I'll see myself out.

I think I get where you're coming from. That said most of the time the people who write that kind of stuff are either too emotionally immature to heed your advice OR...they're people who have been through that stuff. In the case of the latter they don't write it to be edgy. They write and share it because it's something they've been through. They share it because they want to give a middle finger to the universe for being so cruel and/or let others know they're not alone. Something like that.

I think you were better off sticking to your carpentry analogy. I think it's more accurate and a bit more realistic. Writing is a lot like building a cabinet. If you're unskilled and attempting it without instructions it's probably not going to come out looking good plus you could hurt yourself (or others) if you're not careful.

The odds of fan fiction causing irreparable damage are slim. The only way I could see a fic blowing up in someone's face is if they know full well how to go about lacing their fic with nitro in which case it's a matter of being mature enough to know better and doing it anyways.

Tl'dr yeah edgy fan fic gonna be edgy but at the same time some of the best known authors wrote terrible stories when they started out. It's sort of a right of passage.

4434602 I'll cordially disagree with this; not because they don't learn from mucking up (I agree that's true and ultimately necessary), but because you can easily write something that's going to hit your audience in the wrong way and make them think 'This bad thing is actually kind of cool'. Steven King's Rage is the best real-world example that leaps to mind, but we've seen a lot of it on Fimfic, too - I mean there are literally universes that now exist as reactions to all the universes that horribly fuck up BDSM practices, or go all the way to 11 with Rape, etc. And while someone at Stage 3 can point out why all those stories are fucked up, a reader at Stage 1 can't tell the difference.

4434776 While I'd concur that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of 'Don't try this', it also did arise out of reaction to all the stories in which certain serious subjects became MacGuffins for the protagonist/villain to provide motivation. And it really does suck when you're someone whose had to live <Horrible scenario>, and then you continually see movies/books/etc using <Horrible Scenario> to motivate the hero, only they conveniently fail to show all the other Fucked Up Shit that comes with it. Hence, Women In Refrigerators as an early-modern internet example of such blowback against that movement.

There's definitely an authoritarian strain on the left which needs to learn how to live & let live, but the core idea of 'Maybe you shouldn't muck around with serious subjects you know nothing about' is a decent one.

4436038
People like "the wrong things" all the time, and being annoyed by people enjoying crap is kind of futile. If people decide they like crap, that's on them, in the end.

Some people are seriously unhinged, but the idea that that means we need to preemptively round off the sharp edges on everything is much worse.

There's definitely an authoritarian strain on the left which needs to learn how to live & let live, but the core idea of 'Maybe you shouldn't muck around with serious subjects you know nothing about' is a decent one.

It's a terrible one. In fact, it is the worst one of all. It is the belief that there are certain Approved Thoughts, and only Responsible People are allowed to write about such topics.

It is censorship repackaged, and nothing more.

4436759

You're arguing black and white here. I find;

People learn how to use these things well by playing with them, at least to some extent. Your first work is probably going to be bad regardless of what it is about.

To be especially reductive.

If these topics are most likely to result in a negative reaction to a story by a new author, and other topics are not, rather than saying everything they initially write will be bad anyway,it seems a fair argument to me that they should be steered towards more-appropriate-for-skill-level topics, themes, etc. to learn the craft than the big, explosive, blow-uppy stuff. Walk before you run, etc.

The fact that, as Morning Sun mentions, the blowy-uppy stuff is more liable to really negatively portray members of its audience is just salt in that wound.

Negative results, even if it's "just" downvoted to oblivion, can also seriously hurt the chances the author is going to want to or try to improve in future. It feels like absolute shit. This is an argument I'm making for the authors of those stories, not for their readers.

4436770
People are more likely to actually write what they want to write, though. People feeling like they "have to" write other, more "boring" things is less likely to encourage them to start writing at all, if those things are their particular interest.

4436799

Sure. But again, that's still all or nothing; That if they can't talk about the hazardous materials above, they won't want to write about anything at all, when it strikes me as far more sensible to find the middle ground of a different, less tumultuous topic they could also enjoy writing.

4436811
Teenagers love to write about edgy shit.

Hell, people love to write about edgy shit.

A third of the population's first OC.

4436819

Sure. But again, that's still all or nothing; That if they can't talk about the hazardous materials above, they won't want to write about anything at all, when it strikes me as far more sensible to find the middle ground of a different, less tumultuous topic they could also enjoy writing.

4436759 I didn't say I was annoyed by them liking crap. Displaced fics are crap, and they annoy me, and I wish they would go away, but ultimately people are free to like dumb stories.

I'm talking about ones that, yea, hold dangerous ideas in them some people don't have the skillset to recognize. It's the story equivalent of like, Alex Jones - Infowars is full of shit, but there are gullible people out there taken in by its message, and when that happens en masse, shitty stuff can result.

However, I would note carefully that never once have I said someone shot not be allowed to write stuff like that. I am arguing that they should, in all likelihood, avoid doing so, or take additional care if they are going to. There's a huge difference there.

4436819
Part of why teenagers like to write edgy shit is edgy shit is what's culturally popular among teenagers. It's kind of a self-reinforcing effect here, and unless you want to point me to something study-wise proving it inevitable I'd argue that preference is somewhat mutable.

4436924
People in general in the US (and I think the West in general) like dark and edgy things because it is seen as mature. This is true for adults as well as teenagers. It is part of our culture - the idea that children are innocent and are to be protected while adults have to deal with the dark, troubled, and often morally gray world.

4437558 But I mean, then that seems we're agreeing that the dark-edgy is cultural rather than ingrained, yes?

4437729
Is there any culture in the world which does not see adults stuff as more serious business than kid stuff?

4437920

From Morning Sun's earlier post:

unless you want to point me to something study-wise proving it inevitable I'd argue that preference is somewhat mutable.

In which case, you're changing the argument again, or at least only arguing tangentially. Please address core points.

You're also changing definitions, or at least terminology: Morning Sun wasn't arguing for kid's stuff, and I never mentioned teenagers. Morning Sun was arguing for 'not edgy' stuff. You've now changed the argument so that the hazardous materials above are the bulk of 'adult' concepts, and everything else is 'childish', and speaking as if the people I'm referring to are strictly teenagers. I strongly disagree with these reductions.

Edgy isn't inherently adult, adult topics aren't inherently edgy. 'Edgy' being a shorthand here for the hazardous materials listed above. A lot of new storytellers are teenagers, but this is still a problem I've encountered taking college screenwriting classes with people double my age, helping them write their first screenplays.

With that in mind:

Morning Sun: However, I would note carefully that never once have I said someone shot not be allowed to write stuff like that. I am arguing that they should, in all likelihood, avoid doing so, or take additional care if they are going to. There's a huge difference there.

I think is the last truly salient comment that didn't get responded here. Forget teenagers, and edginess. This is the last response to your statement;

Titanium Dragon: It's a terrible one. In fact, it is the worst one of all. It is the belief that there are certain Approved Thoughts, and only Responsible People are allowed to write about such topics.

So knowing that neither Morning Sun nor I were advocating censorship, what would you say to the refined core argument; "These high risk topics are liable to end badly for new authors, and should be avoided until they have more experience, not because they shouldn't be allowed to write them, but because theses are bad topics to learn with, and other topics should not be seen as lesser when starting out."

I understand where you're coming from, but words on a page are not semtex. Nobody's hand will be blown off. That newbie author has got to write something, and unless she's S.E. Hinton, it's going to suck, whatever it is. Your argument presumes that for a newbie author to write something unrealistic about terrible things happening is more of a burden to society than newbie writer just writing something boring. This is not self-evident. The idea that a badly-written story will traumatize certain readers is, suspiciously, only ever applied to stories about rape, or maybe child abuse. Nobody ever worries that writing badly about murder, cancer, or depression will traumatize people whose relatives were murdered or died from cancer, or who are suicidally depressed, though those things are worse than rape. It seems to me rather that we give people cultural license and even the obligation to be traumatized by certain topics just in order to signal our cultural obsession with those topics, much as the Victorians conditioned women to actually physically pass out in stressful situations, or at the introduction of socially-offensive words or topics, in order to register social disapproval.

Moreover, I think the issue is out of balance in the other direction. There is more damage being done by people telling people they don't have the right to write about experiences they haven't had, than by people writing about experiences they haven't had.

I agree with you more when you express it this way:

These high risk topics are liable to end badly for new authors, and should be avoided until they have more experience, not because they shouldn't be allowed to write them, but because theses are bad topics to learn with, and other topics should not be seen as lesser when starting out.

In my post Crutches I wrote,

When I started writing, all I wrote was fantasy and science fiction stories that relied on technical ideas, or amazing fantasy settings, and the more I wrote, the more I began to suspect that I didn’t have anything to say about normal, everyday life.

So I read more non-genre fiction, where the author can’t rely on dragons or ray guns and has to talk about people. But again I found it full of crutches. John Irving has written some great things, but he has a tendency to kill someone off when the story gets boring and hope that will liven things up somehow. The other thing people do is talk about romance, which is a worthy subject, but it’s too easy to start spinning a tale about who’s sleeping with whom, or will she or won’t she, without proving that you really know anything about humans at all. The crutches of mainstream literature are romance and death.

I want to be able to write stories that have no dragons, no ray guns, no life and death situations, no romances, and are still interesting. It’s fine to write stories that have those things, but if all of your stories rely on those things to make them interesting, you’re probably not really connecting your readers with your characters, and not writing anything more than entertainment. I would like to be able, like Ray Bradbury, to write a story about getting out of the movie theater before they begin playing the national anthem, or the pleasure of running through grass barefoot.

Words on a page are not weapons, and the only danger to authors comes from those who loom over them making threatening comments about how dangerous writing is, and if you write something we don't approve of, you might end up getting hurt.

Because that's what this all comes down to, doesn't it? There's even a helpful list of "books which should not have been allowed" in the comments here and on Bookplayer's post!
And boy oh boy, the list keeps expanding every day as we invent new ways to root out the hidden heresies that pollute everyone's fun!
The entire worldview assumes that literature exists to twist the world in a way you approve of, and that "problematic books" with "harmful ideas" are nothing but mistakes to be corrected rather than things that deserve to exist in their own right.

That said, every story I've tried writing has been based around the inner lives of people doing utterly mundane things. It's very good advice, and I apologize if I'm reading far too much into your post, but I'm deeply suspicious of the motivations behind it.

4461067

Nope. I understand many people's suspicions that I'm doing this out of censorship, and I'm not. I mean, it's right there in the post that I expect these topics to be handled by people, and practiced with. The issue is more when than anything else.

It is largely my concern that beginners have a particular fixation with them, and in their hands it's a particular unstable mix and likely to blow up in their faces. That they're bad to practice with, and have a higher skill requirement to handle with care.

Really, this is just meant to be a more graphic explanation of 'walk before you run' than anything else.

4461099
Very sorry then. Reading the comments while already hypersensitive about the subject sent me off on a tangent.

It's just disturbing to listen to a conversation like this veer into "and if this advice were practiced, things I dislike wouldn't exist" (the Xanth novels and 50 Shades of Grey discussion in BP's comments, for example).

There's a prescribed way to handle semtex, and the metaphor seemed to imply that a writer's growth also entailed learning and not deviating from "correct" methods.

The discussion appeared to take for granted that this rule-following applied to writing: that writing about S&M at all necessitated following the currently-mandated "Safe-Sane-Consensual" rules, in the same way that gun nuts get very upset when movie characters don't handle guns according to modern fashion.

Even from your parent post, I got the distinct impression that there is a correct way to write about "coming out to an angry, homophobic family", and that any story that wasn't written with the correct intent and execution... shouldn't have been written in the first place.

Comment posted by Lofty Withers deleted May 22nd, 2019
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