Saturday 7 September 2013

Q&A-Main Characters vs Secondary Characters in LGBT fiction

Hello people! Continuing with the discussion on presentation, I asked people

Do you think LGBTQIA characters are presented as well as they are when they are main characters, when they are secondary characters?

Here are their responses.

Suzanne: Main characters tend to be more three dimensional and more fleshed out just because they're main characters and the author takes more time getting into their head and presenting their various traits to the reader. From what I've read, LGBTQIA main characters are treated better and are less inclined towards stereotype than secondary characters that often conform to a certain archetype or simply fulfill a role required for the trope.

Ria: When they happen, I think they can happen well. But they're not as likely to happen. It's far more common to see a straight protagist with a gay best friend and sidekick, for example, than it is to see a gay protagonist.

LH: There's a difficulty in using sexuality as a defining character for a secondary character, because due to their 'secondary' status, that's all the time they have to make an impact. I do think though that with the shift in children's / YA literature over these past few year, you've got more and more authors writing with an increased awareness of what they're doing and what they're creating and that can only be a good thing.

Alfie: Too much emphasis is put on the sexual aspect of the characters.

Rie: No, usually when they are main characters they are portrayed in a realistic fashion. When they are secondary characters they are a joke, a plot device, or a stereotypical version of themselves.

Sean: Again, that depends on how familiar the author is with his/her subject matter.

M: I don't think I've read a teen novel where they are main characters (though I know these books exist).

Caitlin: I'd like to think so. Most of the recent books I've read have featured them more as secondary characters. I just like my characters to be well-rounded regardless of whether they are main or secondary, and being LGBTQIA features as part of that.

Megan: I think so.  Normally, anyway.  Except for when the secondary character is a guy and the lead character is a girl and the boy is gay.   Then it seems like it's just making the best friend gay to avoid a love triangle, something I think is wrong...

Charlie M: No, unfortunately some times they are more stereotypical. However in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, Bane is particularly well represented and appears initially as a secondary character. Authors should take care to make their secondary characters well rounded individuals, or have editors pick up on stereotyping.

Illjolras: No, their usually very exploitative, act like conforming to some stereotypes is bad, and almost tries to downplay the character's queerness.

Harriet: "Every character is presented in a different way, it doesn't matter if they are first or second characters.
In any novel, the protagonists of the story normally get the lime light, because you're following their story. If it was a book about the second character, they'll automatically become the protagonist of the story.
If the protagonist of the story is LGBTQIA then more detail will be put into their character. If the protagonist is not a LGBTQIA, then their character will have an equal amount of detail, as well. However if the LGBTQIA person is the second character, naturally there will less effort put into making and developing that character, unless you're going to continue the story as a series and have a book from the LGBTQIA point of view - thus you'll have a LGBTQIA protagonist and it goes back to what I was saying before."

A great range of answers from everyone. Please add your comments below, and remember that each comment is an extra entry in the giveaway.
Also, because this is a short post, you'll get another short post later.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...