31 Days of Post (2) Day 19: To Wizard or Not
I had originally intended this post to be about me figuring out a way to comfortably work on a contemporary fantasy project. But as I was brainstorming, my natural affinity for secondary worlds took over, and everything got sucked into a secondary world. Now this world isn’t new. I’ve been working on it for years.
However, this is not a post about my affinity for creating my own worlds. Maybe a future post, after I’ve thought more on the matter. For now, what I want to deal with right now (this is a talking to myself post) is what I should do with the protagonist. Should he be a wizard or should he be a regular human?
Now, if you are wondering, the protagonist I’m struggling with happens to be gay. And I’m favoring him over the heterosexual secondary protagonist. But am I favoring him due to his sexuality or because I’m envisioning him as a wizard?
My goal with this project is to have two coequal protagonists. I want this to be a near perfect team (or gathering of true companions). But the wizard character has gotten so much more attention than the mundane that I’m stymied.
Is the problem because I’m focusing too much on the wizard or the gay character himself? I think it has more to do with the wizard than the sexuality of the character. The reason is because when I’ve changed the wizard’s gender, I’m still more focused on her. But I’ve never really seen the other protagonist as anything other than a straight man. Maybe it is time to change that?
Before contemplating that, though, I think it is important to analyze my attitudes toward the wizard and the (for lack of a better phrase) hero (in a traditional heroic fantasy setting, the hero is usually a “normal” human).
I’ve already discussed, in part, my take on wizards. I see them as holdovers from a dark and savage time. Though full of wisdom and power, there is always a darkness to them, a hint of corruption. They are outsiders even as they serve as councilors or viziers. In a way, I don’t trust them. They are suspect.
This traditional take on sorcery is, for me, contrasted by a single thing. Super powers are cool, and that includes magical power.
Now, I’ve touched a bit upon heroism as well in recent weeks. But I don’t know if my thoughts on “normal” heroes are adequately reflected in my post on heroes.
If we’re keeping with the binary with wizards, then a mundane hero acts counter to the wizard. The hero is new, immediate. Whether the symbolic meaning is progressive or conservative, the hero stands against the darkness (whatever it may be).
Yeah, I should expand on those thoughts. And I will some day, but not today.
Moving on to switching my protagonists around, how could it work? I already have my wizard (whatever gender or sexuality it expresses) down. But what about his non magical counterpart? I have some ideas, but the main question is one of background. Is he upper class, middle class, or lower class? What kind of culture does he come out of? Now, if i decide the he, rather than the wizard, will be gay, do I have a good foundation for him? Yes I do. I have at least two very interesting gay adventurers I’m dying to research. So, I shouldn’t have too much trouble there.
Regardless of what direction I finally take, I know that I shouldn’t have too much of a struggle with things.
And these “talking to myself” blog posts are always helpful.
Posted on October 19, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Creating Protagonists, fantasy, Gay Heroes, Gay men in heroic fantasy, Gay men in SF, Mundane Heroes, Wizards as Hero, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.