We are not the same – on Raphael, Jughead and Aro/Ace representation

Jughead Jones is a character from the Archie comics who has been coded as aromantic asexual for decades. Last year, he was finally made asexual in canon, and though the word “aromantic” is never used, it’s pretty clear he’s aro as well (the writer who made him ace in the comics already confirmed via Twitter that he is aro too). So: Jughead Jones is aromantic asexual.

Raphael Santiago is a minor character from The Mortal Instruments series. After the ending of the series, the writer, Cassandra Clare, confirmed via Twitter that he was in fact aromantic and asexual. Since it’s post-it/Word of God rep, it has problems, but it’s canon: Raphael Santiago is aromantic asexual.

Still with me? Good. Here’s where things get ugly.

Continue reading “We are not the same – on Raphael, Jughead and Aro/Ace representation”

Writing Diary #06 – Bumps on the road

(Yeah, I know, it’s Monday – I forgot to post this yesterday).

So, I had five days of heaven after my last update. I wrote SO much from February 28th to March 4th, as in, almost 9k words, which is more or less three chapters. Everything was going extremely well, and I was so sure I would hit 35k way before my self imposed deadline, but then… puff. Everything crumbled.

This is my fault. I mean, of course it is – it’s my story and my writing, but in this case it’s something I could have easily avoided. Somewhere between the fourth thousand and the fifth thousand, I started feeling that something was… off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I kept writing anyway, but the feeling grew and grew and grew… Until I just couldn’t write anymore yesterday.

That made me pause, of course, to try to find out what the hell was happening. After a few hours of banging my head against the wall, I thought I had solved the issue. Spoiler: I hadn’t. I solved part of it, but today I kept thinking about what I wrote/fixed yesterday and nope. The thing wasn’t done yet.

Cue more three hours of angry scribbling and whining and yes, people, I did. I think I finally have it.

Which is awesome! I think the story is much stronger now – I added new chapters and cut some that were weak/not fun, I fixed some plot holes that I was kind of trying to mask & some I hadn’t noticed, I gave my main character more agency and gave my trio more moments together. This pause to plan again was, without a doubt, a good thing to do.

But it’s also a bit sad, because I don’t think I’ll save much of these 9k, now 10k, words I wrote since last week. Maybe those first 4k, maybe a few here and there, but most of it will probably go to the trash, which will ruin my schedule.

But well, better now than when I’m done with the draft, right?

Review: The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley

29090844Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution.  As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion.

Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation – the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan’s new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion’s gravity well to the very belly of the world.

Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion’s destruction – and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it?

I have a complicated relationship with Hurley’s work – or with The Woldbreaker Saga, since I haven’t read her other stuff. On one hand, it helped me realize what kind of story I like, which in turn helped me on figuring out the stories I want to write – The Mirror Empire, the first book of The Worldbreaker Saga, and N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season were, in all honesty, the only books that made me go, damn, I wish I was the one who wrote that because they are exactly the kind of stuff I love.

On the other hand, though, I always felt a bit iffy about how Hurley deals with gender. Or rather, with non-binary genders. I won’t talk much about it here because this isn’t a review of the The Mirror Empire, but I wasn’t impressed with the Dhai’s five genders (four of which seem to be related to one’s personality, of all things, and none of which is ever brought up again in the narrative) and the lack of non-binary main characters in the first book besides the one whose body changes from “male” to “female” without them wanting it to do so and whose pronouns change to “fit” the body. So when I read the blurb of The Stars are Legion I was both excited and wary.

I’m afraid to say I was right in being wary.

Continue reading “Review: The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley”

Writing Diary #05 -Planning, planning, planning…

Okay, first of all, I have to do admit that I only worked on #aroaceprincess in the last two days, which means that most of my week was spent doing nothing but going to uni (it was a tiring week, in my defense). Still, I managed to plan the next ten chapters of the story (aka the first half of the second act) and am now ready to begin writing again, which is a bit intimidating. Like I said before, I rewrote #aroaceprincess’s first act three, almost four times, but I only wrote the rest of the book once, back on NaNoWriMo 2015.

I think I’ll do all right, though. I have a good outline/plan, and, what I think is just as important, I’m excited to write the next chapters. Sometimes I get all these doubts about this story because it’s the first I’m writing in English, the first I’m writing with all queer characters’ identities on the page, and it’s so different from everything I’ve ever tried to write. I’m a fantasy adventure kind of person, and #aroaceprincess has very little travel, quests or big battles. It does have monsters and it does have people fighting monsters, but most of the story is basically people talking, discovering things and solving mysteries.

Which… is extremely hard for me to write, apparently.

I have a trick, though. Every time I get these doubts I ask myself, “would I like to read this story? Would I get excited about it as a reader? It’s something I want to read?” and for now, the answer is yes. This helps a lot.

So, I think I’ll start writing again tomorrow or Tuesday. My deadline is April 3rd, so I have 35 days or so to write more or less 35.000 words. Wish me luck & see you guys next week!

On headcanons – or why do aro/ace headcanons bother you so much?

It’s no secret that aromantic characters are rare in both books and TV. There are few stories out there with aro characters, and even when we find them there is the question of whether we are interested in book/movie/tv show. I wouldn’t, for example, be very interested in a contemporary book with an aro character (unless it was about the character being aromantic) because I’m a fantasy/sci-fi kind of person, so that limits our options even more.

Continue reading “On headcanons – or why do aro/ace headcanons bother you so much?”

On oppression and being normal

Happy Arospec Awareness Week, everyone! I was planning on posting here almost daily during this week, but a medicine I’m taking knocked me off and left too exhausted to do anything but drag myself to uni. But here it is, my first (of three, at least) post for #ArospecAwarenessWeek!

One of the arguments used by aphobes against the inclusion of aromantic (and asexual) people in the community is that there are no laws against us, therefore we face no oppression (which isn’t the truth – in some countries, for example, marriages can be annulled if they aren’t consummated, that is, if the couple doesn’t have sex). This is a simplistic view of oppression – gay, trans, bi, pan, etc, people aren’t just oppressed because there are laws against them (or laws that don’t protect them), though that is of course part of it. They are oppressed because society sees them (us) as lesser and treats them accordingly to this view, pushing them to the margins of society, arguing that their ~way of living~ is wrong and sinful and unnatural. It’s because they aren’t part of the dominant group, not only because there are laws against them.

Continue reading “On oppression and being normal”

Writing Diary #04 – On to the second act!

So, I finished editing/revising the first nine chapters (plus prologue) aka the first act of my current wip, #aroaceprincess. I’m actually quite pleased with myself for this – I worked on this wip every single day since my last update and managed to fix a lot of stuff I knew was wrong, plus to find & fix some other problems that arose along the way. Mind you, these nine chapters + prologue aren’t finished finished by any means – I still have to polish the writing, get the characters’ voices right, stuff like that.

To be honest, I was planning on doing all of this in this rewrite, but I quickly realized that would cost me a lot of time, and well, remember when I said I was sick to death of rewriting this first act? Yeah. I don’t want to burn out, so I’ll leave these things for the next round of edits/revision, which will probably happen when I’m done with the rewrite of the whole book.

So I’m basically planning on doing a rewrite with pauses to edit what I wrote every 9/10 chapters (roughly every 25% of the book) and then on doing an extensive round of edits/revision. On the rewrite I’ll fix  (or try to) the plot, the structure, the characters, the relationships (that is, the meat of the story) and on the edits I’ll be working on the writing itself, on the characters’ voice, on keeping everything flowing as they should, that kind of thing.

Today I drafted the outline of the first half of the second act (the next 10 chapters). It was easier than I thought it’d be, but it was still a bit tiring, mostly because this story changed so much since I wrote the first draft, and even more since I wrote the old outline for the rewrite that I had to move a lot of stuff around, discard some ideas and even delete two characters. But now I’m confident that the story will *finally* work.

Tomorrow I’ll probably start planning the scenes/chapters, but I don’t think I’ll start writing until Friday, when Carnaval begins here (which means I’ll have a few days off uni to work on #aroaceprincess).

So, that’s it! I’m pretty happy with my progress so far and I hope I manage to keep working on this story daily. See you guys next wek!

(PS: Remember how I said the first act was 32.902 words long and that I needed to make it shorter? Well, now it’s 35.782 words long, which means I managed to make it *longer*. No, I have no idea of what I’m doing anymore).