Comatose

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Comatose last won the day on December 18 2020

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About Comatose

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    Emperor of That, Shu-Korath Patriarch, Rashendi Trash
  • Birthday 05/01/1991

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    Just PM me or use Discord

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    Writing, Experimental Baking, Long-Distance Running.

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  1. Love the pose and style!!!
  2. I think part of your confusion may be that you are conflating sexuality having an impact on and forming a part of a person's identity, and sexuality being a dominant part of a person's identity. For me at least, when I say I want to see a character whose sexuality shapes their world view, I don't mean that it changes a queer character into a totally different person than they would be if they were straight - all I'm looking for is some indication that their sexuality has some impact on who they are (large or small). Their characterization definitely does not need to be centered on their sexuality, but to me it feels inauthentic for a character to identify as queer but otherwise be exactly the same as their straight peers, if that makes sense. I think what it comes down to, is people who have lived with being different want to see people who live with differences like theirs in fiction. The positive impact of seeing someone who is gay, or who has a disability, or who is transgender is lessened, I think, if the only marker of that part of their identity is a couple of sentences of factual information. If the marker of difference does not impact who the character is as a person, the representation feels more hollow. To use an example - I'm gay, I'm a Mennonite, I'm a lawyer, and I'm a millennial. Adolin is Vorin, heir to a princedom, straight (or bi), and was born while his country was at war. Drehy is a former slave, gay, and is talented at combat. Rysn's life was changed when she acquired her disability. All of these are aspects of identity that shape who a person or character is. The criticism isn't that one part of that identity (like sexuality) should be dominant, the criticism is when other parts of a person's identity have an impact on who they are, but their sexuality (especially queerness) does not, it kind of feels like the person isn't actually from the group they are supposed to be representing. By my read, most people here are NOT asking for any character's identity to be "centered on their sexuality" - they are asking for authentic and meaningful representation that goes beyond lip service. Personally I think Brandon is doing fairly well in terms of lots of different kinds of representation, and I do not think he is a bad person or author based on his work thus far - I'm a huge fan. I do think there is room to critique his work though on the issue of representation of queerness, and I am hopeful that he will do a good job of it in the future.
  3. I realized I didn't answer the second part of your last post re: experience, so I've edited mine above. I think we are mostly on the same page. I disagree that Vorin Roshar would lack queer subculture. Same-Sex couples would still experience things differently due to the strict Vorin gender roles. Since opposite sex couples are still presented as the 'norm', even if they are not facing overt prejudice, same sex couples would still face assumptions of straightness. The conversation about Drehy's sexuality in the last book is a good example - we have never seen a straight person's sexuality discussed like that on Roshar. It would have been nice if that scene had happened from Drehy's perspective (Unless I missed it in RoW, we also have yet to see Drehy and his husband in a scene together I think, so there's that too). Gavilar expects Jasnah to marry a man of his choosing without any consideration of her wishes or possible orientation - evidencing both outdated patriarchal attitudes towards marriage, as well as an expectation of straightness (or at least a denial of queerness if it exists). I can agree that queer sub-culture on Roshar would be different due to Vorinism's apparent lack of historical persecution of queer people, but I think the common experiences that many queer people on Roshar would have (I can accept this wouldn't be true for everyone) would still create some form of subculture. To look at it another way, Rlain is from a fictional race, but we get a clear picture of how his race as a Listener impacts his lived experience. Queer characters on Roshar might be from a fictional version of queer subculture, but it would be nice to still get a sense of how that subculture impacts them, even if in minor ways. I absolutely agree that part of the issue is we haven't seen in Drehy's head. That's why I think having a queer person in a protagonist/viewpoint role is so important.
  4. I definitely did not mean to imply my experience is true for everyone (also he/him - not sure who you were using 'her' to describe ). My purpose in sharing my personal experience was that sexuality, like faith and culture, can change how people see the world around them. I'm not trying to say its the predominant factor that colours the lens in which people view the world, but in my opinion a person's sexuality usually should be a factor, even if it is a small one. To use your example - even if sexuality is not an important part of one's identity, it's still a part of a person's identity right? If you object to that point, then I guess we have a fair difference of opinion, but that's the only point I was trying to make - in my opinion queer characters should be somewhat shaped by their orientations, to varying extents. The more variety we have in the extent to which sexuality is a factor the better, but right now we have very few textual examples so it's tough to say. If we can have some characters, like Renarin and Rlain maybe, showing some evidence of their queerness colouring their experience, then maybe Drehy having his queerness not impact him much could be a nice counterpoint. EDIT [Spoilers - Personal Sidebar for people who want to read that]:
  5. I'd guess that some Singers/Listeners, depending on the individual, could still experience romantic attraction when not in mate form, even if they are asexual. Ace Corrupted Truthwatcher Boyfriends has just as much appeal to me as Gay Corrupted Truthwatcher Boyfriends tbh (or combined - Ace and Gay identities are not mutually exclusive after all). @Inavan - If you scroll up (I think it was included in this thread) - there's a WoB that says Renarin has a crush. It's not in the books (yet), though there are subtextual clues people were picking up on (reread some of their scenes together in Oathbringer, and then in RoW Renarin thinks of Rlain as the perfect candidate to join him as a corrupted truthwatcher).
  6. If I am reading correctly, I think what likehephaestion was focusing on textual representation, so Renarin and Rlain would not count yet under that analysis until they are canonized in the books. In terms of textual representation thus far - I agree Brandon could do a lot more to show people's Queerness. Being Queer is more than having a same sex partner. Having lived not knowing I was gay for the first part of my life, after realizing my sexuality I can 100% say I started seeing and experiencing the world differently. We need things like Drehy and his partner laughing about funny things their straight friends do, or see inside jokes between Shallan and Adolin about being bisexual (if they ARE both bisexual - I know Adolin's bi-ness is largely conjecture based on a WoB). The Veil eyeing women with Adolin was nice, but I think it's fair to want more. Once Renarin and Rlain are a thing, it would be nice to see them similarly show some evidence of Queerness aside from their relationship (if it works out). I do think Brandon has taken steps to represent Shallan as bisexual in the text, but agree he can do more. Same with Jasnah - I hope her aceness continues to shape and impact her in a meaningful way. For Drehy, I don't think basing him on a real person saves him from this critique. While the real world person is surely a three-dimensional human being, Brandon has not displayed many aspects of the character who is based on his friend. The issue isn't with the real person, or the character as he exists in Brandon's head, the issue is what has made it on to the page. I get that straight authors can be in a bind - on one hand they don't want to focus too much on a character's sexuality or make it too big a deal, on the other if the extent of a person's queerness is "has same-sex partner" it comes off feeling flat. People can be queer when single, or when dating an opposite-sex partner - the queer identity goes well beyond the person you are with. When I am looking for representation, I am looking to see myself and people like me in literature. Showing people in same-sex relationships is a start - but good representation should be more three dimensional than that. I think part of the issue (and the point of this thread) is we haven't gotten a gay protagonist or viewpoint character yet. Drehy is only viewed externally - we get straight people reacting to his same-sex relationship, but we don't get any of his internal queer experience. Hopefully, with Renarin and Rlain, who are both viewpoint characters, we will get more queerness going forward. [Small Mod Note: Let's be careful about playing devil's advocate on topics that are personal to people - I think people are doing okay here, and I want this conversation to continue (hence my post above) but just want people to be careful and respectful - thanks!]
  7. Okay, I know I've been participating in this thread personally, so I'm going to put my moderator hat on for a moment. [Mod hat on]. (1) Let's try to avoid getting too personal and remember we are all here because we enjoy to the books. Try to remember that tone can be difficult in text, and avoid jokes that depend on tone to make themselves plain, or tag them explicitly. Also, let's try to assume the best of each other. (2) I know that this conversation has wandered a bit, and that's natural, but let's please keep this to the depiction of Renarin and Rlain in the books, both as individuals and as a couple. The recent back and forth about representation dynamics in literature, I think, is an acceptable digression, but let's keep the focus in mind. Let's leave discussions about human sexuality generally out of it - people's sexual orientations and gender identities are NOT a matter for debate, so let's not treat them like one. Also keep in mind that while the topic might be purely academic for some, it is intensely personal for others. (3) If a conversation is making you uncomfortable or you are getting upset please either report it or take a break and see if you feel the same way when you come back and reread (or both). Thanks all! [Mod hat off].
  8. I love OSP. I think something she doesn't get into much though is the fan reactions. Identifying the impact of the "baseline" character traits in aggregate on characterization is a good exercise, but it's definitely true that characters that do not fit all the 'default' boxes because they are female, gay, neuro-atypical, etc. are more likely to be criticized for being 'flat' or 'defined by their attributes' then characters who are defined by accepted 'default' attributes. I like what she says about 'default' attributes being somewhat invisible, and so maybe that's where it comes from. The more I think about this, the more I get turned around by the idea that some characteristics are seen as adding to a character or developing them, making them more three dimensional (quirks, talents, unique ways of thinking) whereas others are seen as making characters more one dimensional. I definitely see this where a person has one defining character trait (gay, female) and no other distinctive traits, but I think aversion to these one note attempts at representation might make us over-zealous at times at policing representation in fiction. The gay character is not one note because they are gay - they are one note because they are ONLY gay. The absence of defining character traits is difficult to look for (its easier to spot the presence of something than its absence) - so maybe our brains tend to scrutinize non-hegemonic character traits more closely as a short hand. Past experience tells us authors are more likely to cut corners with secondary minority representation characters, so we scrutinize those characters more heavily for complex characterization than we do for straight white cis neurotypical male characters, because we expect those 'default' main characters to be more fleshed out (even if they often really aren't). This is meant to argue anything - just musing on different reactions. Anyways, applying this to Rlain and Renarin - I think we've already seen a lot of both of them. We know Renarin puts family first to a fault, is clever and observant, prefers to let other take the lead but gets frustrated not being listened to, and deals with a lot of fear and anxiety at times. He is hard working and willing to try things he is not good at. We also know his is autistic, and now that he has an attraction to another male character. We know Rlain is willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but still stands up for himself. We know he is very open to meeting new people and learning about people who are different from him. We know he is compassionate and brave. He is principled and dislikes deceit and liars, but can be pragmatic and shows willingness to work with people he doesn't like for the greater good. He is also a Listener who had a bad experience with mateform and may reciprocate Renarin's feelings. Basically, I guess my point is, whether or not these characteristics are revealed through a narrative dominated by a particular theme (such as being an outcast), they are still multiple dimensions of these characters. Adding a new axis on which to examine the character, like a romantic one, should be an opportunity to examine the different facets in a new light and expose new ones. Issues with exploring different characteristics can exist independently of a character's identity intersections, and no matter how many match the 'default' baseline. [Sidebar] Lastly (sorry for the essay - I just find this stuff really interesting), I think the earlier comment about people assuming the worst when people make certain statements can apply multiple ways. Yes - its easy to get emotional and assume the worst in someone when your reading of their statement upsets you. I think its also easy to mistake an emotional response from someone who cares a lot about an issue, or for who the matter being discussed hits very close to home, and assume it is a personal attack when it isn't. As I wrote in our guide to contentious topics, I think, aside from some extreme exceptions, it's generally best to assume the best of people on all sides. When I read something as problematic or offensive, I like to assume the person didn't intend it that way and offer polite correction. When something feels like a personal attack, I like to take a moment to examine my defensiveness, and see if it's actually less about what the person who is disagreeing with me is saying, and more about my own insecurity or discomfort knowing that I might not have worded my point as intended, or made a comment unsupported by my education or experience. [/End Sidebar] Obviously I find this all very interesting, particularly because of its application to Rlain and Renarin, who I absolutely adore. Sorry if this is too off topic haha.
  9. I am similarly Adolin trash haha. But honestly, Rlainarin is stealing a lot of my Kadolin love. Adolin is forever bae though. I'm very curious what Rlainarin's presence will be in the back 5 since things are supposed to come to light next book, and Renarin has a major role to play in the late game. Also two corrupted truthwatchers means twice the weird future visions. Should be fun.
  10. I certainly wasn't intending to call you that. I can't speak for others, but I think some of the middle paragraphs of your original post provoked some heated emotional reactions more due to implication. Keep in mind this is a thread about Renarin and Rlain's relationship, so some of the statements made in that context might have made people a little defensive. I'm still not clear on what the relationship has to do with the concern that the characters won't be fleshed out enough since I see it as fleshing them out more. Regardless, hopefully we can disagree respectfully on this. I definitely hear uou that you didn't intend the post the way others seemed to take it. GroundPeterel- I love all those scenarios
  11. I think thats a fair opinion to have. I didn't mean to put words in anyone's mouth - just putting my two cents in on the topic of conversation. That being said, personally I still have to disagree. I don't think Rlain's arc dealing with themes of being an outcast is a detriment to his characterization, in the same way I don't think the focus on depression in Kaladin's arc is a detriment to his (obviously Kaladin gets more screentime than Rlain but I hope the example still functions). Secondly, if the main critique is how Rlain's arc is too focused on being an outcast (which, fair, isn't what everyone will want to read about), I don't see how him being gay or ace or mlm would change or effect that or his characterization? If anything I feel like a close relationship would give more opportunities to diversify Rlain's arc, and more opportunities to show different facets of his character.
  12. What about "Adolin gives Renarin dating advice and then Shallan points put Adolin doesn't have a great track record, and then Pattern says something hilarious" - honestly there's so much great potential.
  13. Renarin and Rlain was one of the things I was most excited about after finishing RoW, so I am vibrating over the news. I have to say, it feels very validating for subtext to be acknowledged as intentional and legitimate. Often I find writers will include queer subtext without meaning to, or the worse ones include it just to string queer fans along with no intention of giving a pay off in the end - so it's just super exciting to know Brandon is foreshadowing this intentionally. For me the argument of a character being crammed full of two many 'isms' doesn't really carry much water (I didn't love Brandon's use of it in his annotation about Jasnah either). Everyone is crammed full of isms. Even the stereotypical "straight white cisgender male" is full of isms, they just happen to be ones that are associated with the hegemonic norms. Identities are intersectional, so I have no issue with Brandon exploring intersectional identities in his books. I think representation-wise this only becomes an issue if there is only ONE minority character meant to represent as many minority groups as possible. Here we have lots of characters with diverse race, gender, and sexuality identities, so I don't see intersectionality used in this way to be an issue. EDIT: It's interesting that the reverse argument never comes up - you never see characters with multiple hegemonic norms brought up as lacking individual character. I've never seen anyone say there's no room in Kelsier or Elend for individual characterization because of their straight white cisgender neurotypical male-ness, so I'm confused why it would be an issue for queer characters. Now I'm just excited for Renarin telling Adolin about his crush, because that's going to be just the most wholesome thing ever. I don't think it'll earn screen time, but I'm also head canoning brunch between Renarin and Rlain and Drehy and Dru because imagining them taking some time to fondly kvetch about the heterosexual nonsense of the rest of Bridge Four would just be super fun and relateable.
  14. This thread has been very informative so I appreciate everyone who shared their perspective on this. It's been really helpful to me in understanding Shallan's plot line. One thought I had (as I'm a singlet feel free to refute this if I am off base) was Formless being less of a new head mate, and more of an instance of Shallan forcing herself to reintegrate in an unhealthy way that ignores her trauma and who she is? My sense was Formless was less a distinct entity and more what would be left after the collapse of the others (including Shallan). Not sure if that helps much in terms of the reintegration narrative but to me at least it kind of indicates that any reintegration that is happening is on Shallan's terms and based on what she needs at the time. I totally get the frustration though at having one of very few plural characters following a reintegration narrative and confirming biases that aren't true for everyone.
  15. I don't think Szeth even knows Nightblood's name haha. I am definitely curious to see how the sword is behaving next book, but anticipate Szeth will miss any weirdness, or chalk it up to 'sword-nimi' being weird generally. EDIT: Nevermind - I think Szeth actually started calling it by its name in RoW - but I still think the point about him not knowing it well stands.