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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2011 :  22:31:40  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Well, one can have big boobs and still fight. My bestfriend's sister who has really huge boobs is a martial artist---and she fights damn well. Other than that, let's face it, men (with the exception of Wooly and some others) like their heroines endowed with big boobs, in the same way most women like their heroes' bodies to be bulging with muscles.



I never expressed an opinion on breast size.

I just said I think that the clothing often worn in fantasy art is unrealistic. If a woman is in a casual situation, then yeah, cleavage is not unreasonable. If she's going into battle, wearing nothing more than a fur bikini is not reasonable. And yet, we set very minimal armor or revealing clothes as the norm in fantasy artwork, regardless of the situation.

Actually, we see the same for some men in fantasy art, as well... It's just not as prominent as it is for women.



Heh. Some women in Feist's books work and fight topless all the time. (I forgot the race, though. But I think they're somewhere in the continent of Novindus.)

Every beginning has an end.
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bladeinAmn
Learned Scribe

199 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  01:50:50  Show Profile  Visit bladeinAmn's Homepage Send bladeinAmn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by bladeinAmn

Regarding busty archers, I'm game. I mean, umm.. I, umm.. I mean, I believe in them!
The following link is of a beautiful girl and is entirely on topic:
http://www.fugly.com/pictures/22346/hot-bow-and-arrow-girl.html


Please note that the archer in your picture is drawing a modern composite bow. It is far shorter than an medieval-era longbow and gets its power from a system of gears and pulleys. The angle of the string is above the bustline. Extend the length of the bow, and that angle changes, making injury more likely.

In all fairness, I've heard different opinions on this matter. As a member of the SCA, I'm aware that some women who compete in archery competitions and combat don't seem to be inconvenienced; however, other female archers find that they need to alter their posture and grip in order to accommodate their proportions. Here's one archer's perspective: http://www.archery-interchange.net/f16/boobs-too-big-25163/

Most female archers wear chest guards to protect against injuries. Here's an excerpt from the Abby Archery website:

A Chest Guard is used to prevent injury to the breast of female archers and to retain loose fitting or blouses or billowing clothing from interfering with the bowstring, especially when the archer is wearing clothing in cold weather or in wet conditions.

The prolonged repetition of pressure from the bowstring can lead to the formation of a lump within the fatty tissue, which is clinically difficult to tell apart from cancer tissue without a biopsy.



quote:
Think how a male enemy must feel, being all battle hungry, and then the amazons come ready to face him in scantily clad garb! Depending on the amazon's charisma (I assume very high, such as the RL females I mentioned to go w/Arilyn), his sexual senses would most likely interfere with his battle frame of mind, thus giving at least a +4 to the amazons initiative, to hit, and to damage! No other factors need come into play! A show of cleavage in the midst of battle can turn the tide, me thinks - w/every fiber of my being, at that!


Maybe, but any man who thinks this way is going to die on the end of that amazon's sword, assuming she's competent. I'm not a guy, but I'm guessing the threat of death, emphasized by a few hard knocks and cuts, will switch a fighter into survival mode no matter WHAT his female opponent is wearing. YMMV


Re: 1st point Gotcha. Jokes aside, you're the better authority on the subject as you're female & I'm male, and the only bow I've ever laid hands on was a very simple looking one, when I was a child. All I can effectively add is I think female Realms archers & RL female archers whose bust is a problem in their sport, ought to consider the sports bras that WNBA players wear.

Re: 2nd point Jokes aside again, I'm personally much too disciplined to ever let an attractive woman overcome me. However, most evil foes become (evil) villains by letting their ego or greed take control beyond ethics. Hence, because those emotions are so prevalent in so many ways in a villain's disposition (to the point that even a conscience effort to suppress it would be debatable in its success, according to each villain), I think it makes it easier for a female warrior's innate charms to take control in the 'heat' of battle. Like a sirine's ability to seduce a foe in the heat of battle, being actually able to reduce their intelligence to '2' in such an instance. I figure a scantily clad female warrior with high charisma, while her charms aren't magical like that of the sirine's, may be enough to turn a tide in a skirmish; obviously dependent on various foes 'mileage' in battle prowess.

Edited by - bladeinAmn on 02 Aug 2011 01:57:06
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  03:40:11  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Today's "Monday morning musings" post on www.elainecunningham.com discusses fantasy art an invokes the Three Patron Saints of Elvenboobs. Seriously, how can you NOT read that? ;)

You're definitely hitting on a point of contention that I've also long rallied against -- both as a fantasy and comic book reader.

Any reader of comics during the early 90's will undoubtedly recall the prolific number of "well-endowed" female characters who suddenly become "big-breasted cover-girls" almost overnight. Others, after years of being portrayed with smaller sized breasts, quickly graduated into the "well-endowed" category -- often without rhyme or reason. Both the publishers Marvel and Image were specifically guilty of this trend.

And it was something that was, unfortunately, repeated in much of the fantasy cover imagery of the time as well. Almost to the point where I was finding myself turning away from novel discussions that focused exclusively on these characters, rather than the story.

...

I suppose I should note that, as a male, I appreciate an amount of cleavage in my fantasy/comic imagery... but definitely not of the exploitative kind, nor the type of "well-endowed" imagery that usually serves, only, to attract a particular readership.

I'll note, also, that Elaine's example of Olivia Wilde is a worthwhile one. I've been looking over recent casting images and "action-shots" from Cowboys and Aliens, and it's very easy to see how Wilde has accomplished a much more fitting, and anatomically correct, flow for her physical form in battle. This is how I'd envision females in battle, and it should be among those sources referenced by future artists.

And I know I'm probably going against a heavily-reinforced male-based tide of those who love to see their "well-endowed" heroines in battle, but I find it infinitely more seductive and sexy, when I see any female character who shares what, if Elaine doesn't mind... physical attributes similar to those she named as Three Patron Saints of Elvenboobs, in deft battle. The fluid-like motion and gracefulness is entirely more enticing for me.

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Thieran
Learned Scribe

Germany
292 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  11:05:10  Show Profile Send Thieran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


[...] Other than that, let's face it, men (with the exception of [...] some [...]) like their heroines endowed with big boobs [...]



Isn't the point that regardless of men's preferences - that is, even if they personally prefer large breasts -, enlightened men should not wish to see women stereotypically and regularly portrayed with large breasts, for the sake of the "greater good" if you will, that is to prevent the spread of an unrealistic and sexist body/beauty ideal?

Expressed in simpler terms: though I might like large breasts, I don't want to see 90% of women in fantasy imagery having them.

P.S.: I will not participate in any discussion about the sexism point etc. - doubt it if you will, but you could then as well doubt other uncomfortable, but obvious truths like smoking being bad for your health.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  12:06:37  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thieran

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


[...] Other than that, let's face it, men (with the exception of [...] some [...]) like their heroines endowed with big boobs [...]



Isn't the point that regardless of men's preferences - that is, even if they personally prefer large breasts -, enlightened men should not wish to see women stereotypically and regularly portrayed with large breasts, for the sake of the "greater good" if you will, that is to prevent the spread of an unrealistic and sexist body/beauty ideal?

Expressed in simpler terms: though I might like large breasts, I don't want to see 90% of women in fantasy imagery having them.

P.S.: I will not participate in any discussion about the sexism point etc. - doubt it if you will, but you could then as well doubt other uncomfortable, but obvious truths like smoking being bad for your health.



I'm gay, and believe it or not, 90% of the time, I don't like to see men in fantasy books posing topless or scantily clad and sporting bulging muscles. In fact, being very partial to wizards, I'd like them to be wearing robes, body totally covered, except the face of course.

The point is, I'm not the only gay man in the world. And there are those, perhaps majority of the gay community, who want to see nearly naked men in almost every book cover. Similarly, you and some of our fellow scribes here are not the only men in this world. Well, at least I know three men who literally want women in book covers---regardless of genre---to be as endowed as FHM models and pose like them.

The world is a huge place.

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Thieran
Learned Scribe

Germany
292 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  12:21:17  Show Profile Send Thieran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
True enough, but you seem to have overlooked that I precisely did not argue in the interest of my or other people's aesthetic preferences, but rather in the interest of their/our ethical preferences, i.e. in the interest of the "greater social good" if you will.

In other words: there are some - probably many, as you say! - men/women who actually personally like to see large breasts/muscled bodies dominating fantasy imagery because they aesthetically like them, but if they are interested in living in an enlightened society, they would be better off if they put their ethical preferences above their aesthetic ones. At least that's what I would recommend...
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  12:38:31  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Publishing is a business. A business must sell. And what's ethical to a select few does not necessarily sell. A hard truth, but there you go.

Not that I particularly like it. I even have my own recommendation, which is mainly based on what I want. But I would understand if those at the top reject it purely on the basis that most probably majority of the target consumers do not want what I want.

If business were to be strictly tethered to ethics, you'd hardly see any business survive at all.

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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  13:30:58  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I'd really like if we had options. Sometimes I like to show pictures to my gamers, specially of NPCs or, if they are beginners and I made their character sheets for them or with them, portraits of their own characters, to help them getting into the game. And it would be good to have some variety in body structure, as in hair color, armor donned, and so on.

And I really think that you can have big breasted fighting women, and other character whose primary ability is not to fight - like seductive rogues or vampires, for example. Not all of them, warriors or not, should be big breasted, in my opinion.

Besides, I think evil is not stupid, even if they are - sometimes - more prone to succumb to their desires. Since they are evil, they could beat first, and think of their desire after defeating the woman in question. Anyway, I think it would be too risky to a woman to bet solely on seduction and not to protect herself with a good armor (and a real seductive woman doesn't need to expose all of her skin to charm a man).

Fact is, there is beauty in many forms, and I don't think big breasts are necessary to make someone attractive. In the case of elves, specifically, the description of the race clearly indicates otherwise.

I don't think humans couldn't fight well with big breasts, and maybe it could be more difficult, initially, but training could compensate for it. But protection, of course, would be necessary and very welcome.

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2235 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  14:44:21  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Huh. Boobage is apparently a topic of interest to gamer guys. This comes as a great surprise. :|
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Thieran
Learned Scribe

Germany
292 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  16:26:33  Show Profile Send Thieran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Publishing is a business. A business must sell. And what's ethical to a select few does not necessarily sell. A hard truth, but there you go.

Not that I particularly like it. I even have my own recommendation, which is mainly based on what I want. But I would understand if those at the top reject it purely on the basis that most probably majority of the target consumers do not want what I want.

If business were to be strictly tethered to ethics, you'd hardly see any business survive at all.



That's an ages-old and well-known "argument" - a truism rather than a truth, though, IMHO. It's a comfortable excuse to do or change nothing. Is that what one should teach to one's children? I wouldn't. To make the world better, one should move beyond such a stance of resignation/defeatism, right? I mean, if we let capitalism always trump ethics, what's the point?

Edited by - Thieran on 02 Aug 2011 16:28:07
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  16:34:08  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Huh. Boobage is apparently a topic of interest to gamer guys. This comes as a great surprise. :|



Well, the available pictures, specially the shortage of those who didn't look silly or offensive to my female players, is a topic of interest to me and some of the guys around here.

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

724 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  16:52:02  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Huh. Boobage is apparently a topic of interest to gamer all guys. This comes as a great surprise. :|

Fixed that for you.

"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer
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Thieran
Learned Scribe

Germany
292 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  17:21:59  Show Profile Send Thieran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Still "a great surprise", I guess
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2235 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  18:34:59  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thieran

Still "a great surprise", I guess



I used "great" in the sense of "very large," but I suppose it's other meaning--"very pleasant"--could also apply.

So. Armed with this knowledge, I will shift my focus from elves to more robust humans and half-orcs, and in future art notes I will specify, "Mavel Comics proportions, please."

No, not really.
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

724 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  18:39:35  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Thieran

Still "a great surprise", I guess



I used "great" in the sense of "very large," but I suppose it's other meaning--"very pleasant"--could also apply.

So. Armed with this knowledge, I will shift my focus from elves to more robust humans and half-orcs, and in future art notes I will specify, "Mavel Comics proportions, please."

Gah!

quote:
No, not really.


Whew!


"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29648 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  18:57:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Thieran

Still "a great surprise", I guess



I used "great" in the sense of "very large," but I suppose it's other meaning--"very pleasant"--could also apply.

So. Armed with this knowledge, I will shift my focus from elves to more robust humans and half-orcs, and in future art notes I will specify, "Mavel Comics proportions, please."

No, not really.



Could be worse, I suppose... I've seen plenty of anime artwork that focused on women with what I shall describe as improbable attributes. Some of this artwork makes me wonder if the artists have ever actually seen a real woman. I've seen art where the artist did a phenomenal job on everything else, and then ruined it by mounting bean-bag chairs on the the woman's chest.

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Saer Cormaeril
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2011 :  22:30:24  Show Profile Send Saer Cormaeril a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I completely agree. However, I think its important to take this point to it's ultimate conclusion: Far too often, protagonists in fantasy/science fiction/entertainment in general are attractive. I mean, really?
Bringing this back to the 'Realms... Is *everyone* in the Realms attractive? Were I to judge the books by their covers, I would certainly come to this conclusion. However, I realize that often the cover art of books are *not* indicative of the characters portrayed within. (Otherwise, Danillo Thann is an overweight stooge with a double-chin the size of Mount Hotenow.)

Now, a question. Elaine, would you be willing to write a novel, or series of novels, in which none of the protagonists were physically attractive? It is clear from the research that the pervasiveness of these images (and portrayals) damage young women's sense of self image. Your novels always have compelling female protagonists, however, they are almost always 'beautiful'. Are you willing to draw a line in the sand, and finally portray a frumpy, overweight, dentally challenged woman as a compelling antagonist?

Brace Cormaeril
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2235 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  00:55:31  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Saer Cormaeril

I completely agree. However, I think its important to take this point to it's ultimate conclusion: Far too often, protagonists in fantasy/science fiction/entertainment in general are attractive. I mean, really?
Bringing this back to the 'Realms... Is *everyone* in the Realms attractive? Were I to judge the books by their covers, I would certainly come to this conclusion. However, I realize that often the cover art of books are *not* indicative of the characters portrayed within. (Otherwise, Danillo Thann is an overweight stooge with a double-chin the size of Mount Hotenow.)


Yeah, there was a time period in which the FR covers were photo-realistic depictions of real people, most of whom bore little resemblance to the characters. Apparently Fred Fields, the artist, decided to use one of the TSR cartographers as a model for Danilo on the cover of Elfshadow. For the original cover of Daughter of the Drow, he painted himself and his significant other as Fyodor and Liriel, despite the fact that Fyodor was supposed to be a 20-year-old warrior, and Liriel was a FRICKIN' ELF whose age was described as the equivalent of a human teenager.

quote:
Now, a question. Elaine, would you be willing to write a novel, or series of novels, in which none of the protagonists were physically attractive? It is clear from the research that the pervasiveness of these images (and portrayals) damage young women's sense of self image. Your novels always have compelling female protagonists, however, they are almost always 'beautiful'. Are you willing to draw a line in the sand, and finally portray a frumpy, overweight, dentally challenged woman as a compelling antagonist?



That's an interesting question.

Bob Salvatore once told me that he considered making Jillsepony, the central female character of his Corona novels, a rather plain woman, but he decided that this would be impractical. In romance and fantasy novels, attractive women--and, to a lesser extent, men--are an expectation, almost as firmly entrenched as romance's happy ending and fantasy's "good vanquishes evil." In addition to genre expectations, most of my fantasy books have focused on female elf characters. When you're writing about elves, beauty is a given. Even a "plump and homely" elf, such as Shaki Hunzrin, is attractive by human standards.

Where books about non-beautiful characters fall short, I think, is their preoccupation with the fact that the characters are not beautiful. Back in the 80's, I recall reading a catagory romance from the Harlequin American line, in which the guy was gorgeous and the woman downright homely. The whole story was pretty much focused on her insecurities and his initial reluctance to get involved with someone who didn't fit conventional ideas of beauty. I found the book irritating. People whose central concern is their physical appearance annoy me, whether they're beautiful, average, or fugly.

Another example is Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles series. Jane Rizzoli is a murder cop, and she has two huge chips on her shoulders: she's a woman in what is traditionally a man's job, and she's not pretty. It really, really bothers her that she's not pretty, to the extent that she gets pissed off and takes it personally when any guy notices another woman. It's a bit much. (The TV series lost that aspect when they cast Angela Harmon, who IS very pretty.)

The way to handle this issue, I think, is to ignore it. A lot of people aren't gorgeous, and it's extirely possible to go through life without obsessing about this fact.

Now, to address your question direction: Would I be willing to write about people who are less than beautiful?

I've written stories in which characters are described as plain or not described at all. Consider the short story "Ravens," a link to which is posted above. Frankie is a suburban soccer mom, and she's middle-aged, overweight, and fashion-challenged. The narrator notes this and moves on. Frankie's appearance is a minor part of who she is. She looks "normal," despite being somewhat better at witchcraft than your average soccer mom. Since the story focuses on the weird things happening beneath the surface of small town life, her appearance echoes a theme and fits the story. Bobby, the narrator, isn't described at all, because a physical description would be superfluous to the tale.

Admittedly, it's easier to get away with this in a short story than a novel. People are strongly biased toward attractive people, and this bias shows up when they're deciding whether or not they want to spend time with a character.

I'm not saying writers should avoid characters who are plain or even downright unattractive, but there should be a compelling reason for this choice. This reason can be as simple as spy who blends into the crowd because he's not at all memorable.

Does this answer your question?

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 03 Aug 2011 01:09:19
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Saer Cormaeril
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  01:12:58  Show Profile Send Saer Cormaeril a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe... are you saying that there should be a compelling reason why a protagonist is *not* attractive in a novel or series, i.e., it is compelling that Switters (a CIA spook) in Tom Robbin's "Fierce Invalids Home From Climates" is not attractive, because he is a spy and can therefore blend in with a crowd, but otherwise, one should default to "the hotness"?

Brace Cormaeril
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  01:13:09  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

So. Armed with this knowledge, I will shift my focus from elves to more robust humans and half-orcs, and in future art notes I will specify, "Mavel Comics proportions, please."

No, not really.

You almost had me worried there.

Interestingly, though, I've been flicking through some DC titles from the early 90's too -- particularly the Wonder Woman book, and I find myself amazed by how Diana could even use her lasso so deftly when she was "packing" incredible "physical attributes" beneath her ridiculously moulded her chest armour.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2235 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  01:41:23  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Saer Cormaeril

Maybe... are you saying that there should be a compelling reason why a protagonist is *not* attractive in a novel or series, i.e., it is compelling that Switters (a CIA spook) in Tom Robbin's "Fierce Invalids Home From Climates" is not attractive, because he is a spy and can therefore blend in with a crowd, but otherwise, one should default to "the hotness"?



"Default to hot" is, I think, overstating the point. Readers are more attracted to characters who have a pleasant appearance. Writers ignore this at their peril. But. "Pleasant" and "the hotness" are quite different matters. In fact, overdoing "the hotness" can be counterproductive. Making every character look like a Victoria's Secret model or a Chippendale chancer is more likely to exasperate readers than intrigue them.

There are times when beauty is irrelevant and distracting. Years ago, I agreed to edit a relative's first attempt at writing a romance novel. Her prose wasn't very visual. In one scene, she wrote something along the lines of "A nurse came into the room." I suggested that she give the reader something to see. She ammended the description to, "A nurse came into the room. She was a stunning redhead with emerald eyes." I suggested that she put herself in the patient's position, since the patient was the one noticing the nurse. What would the patient notice? At the time, both my sisters were nurses and they were religious about maintaining their manicures, not only for personal reasons but because their hands were what the patients noticed. A nurse with an unseasonal tan and a palm tree painted on the nail of her forefinger is a memorable image. Even better, it's an image you can use to create a mood or reflect a theme. The nurse has obviously taken a recent vacation. The patient's daughter was just killed in an accident while on vacation. A stunning redhead with emeral green eyes is meaningless. A reminder of a tropical vacation twists the knife in the POV character's heart.

Okay, THAT was a rather long annecdote. Back on topic.

I like the notion of "default." What is the "default appearance" for characters, and why? This is definitely something writers should think about. What are the readers' expectations? If you confound these expectations, what are your reasons for doing so?
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Saer Cormaeril
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  02:09:57  Show Profile Send Saer Cormaeril a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree. By default, female adventurers and female super heroines have big boobs. I think the reasons for this are manifold, but two may be that the outward appearance of femininity is *urm* augmented by these depictions, and that it is the readers of these genres expectation.

With your work towards aerodynamically probable faeries (did I just type that?) and A-cup elves nearing fruition, how do you expect this confounding of reader expectation will impact your readers?

Brace Cormaeril
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2235 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  04:03:50  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Saer Cormaeril

I agree. By default, female adventurers and female super heroines have big boobs. I think the reasons for this are manifold, but two may be that the outward appearance of femininity is *urm* augmented by these depictions, and that it is the readers of these genres expectation.

With your work towards aerodynamically probable faeries (did I just type that?) and A-cup elves nearing fruition, how do you expect this confounding of reader expectation will impact your readers?



I think most will survive the shock.
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Saer Cormaeril
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  05:05:29  Show Profile Send Saer Cormaeril a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lol, I'm certain.

Maybe I should have said from the outset that I personally feel that the hypersexualized society, or a society whose norms diminish or victimize, make less of or disparage women is highly offensive to me. As an anecdote, I would also like to add that I am a northern woodland american indian, and am myself a member of a society which maintains a strong matriarchy. The 'american' part of that weird anthropologically adequate label I get to apply to myself of course means I fully experienced the prevailing society, while at once being taught a very different body of norms. I studied womens issues as a undergraduate as well, though I am by no means an expert.

But I am a Realms fan.

From the Venus of Willendorf (certainly long before) to Storm Silverhand...

So do you think that big booby girls on fantasy fiction covers are just a tired trope? A sorta covert yet pervasive form of misogyny? Indicative of the Forgotten Realms setting, by design or by extension of the what, 30 years of collaborative development?

I also wonder if physical attractiveness is another extension of fantasy, and if women also want, when reading adventure stories like Liriels and Arilyns, to think how cool it would be to be special, and pretty, and have amazing clothes, and two guys that are both totally hot sooo into them they might just fight at any moment... Kinda like how my fourteen year old self thought it would be so cool to be a bad-ass with a sword and be able to kick the asses of 'bad-guys'. (Ok, I still that would be cool.)

Personally, I think the Faerun is kinda sexist, and do you have any plans to touch of feminist themes in your upcoming Forgotten Realms work?

Sorry if I'm totally off base in thinking that your take on fantasy fictin boob art had a feminist theme.

Brace Cormaeril
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2011 :  12:01:16  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Thieran

Still "a great surprise", I guess



I used "great" in the sense of "very large," but I suppose it's other meaning--"very pleasant"--could also apply.

So. Armed with this knowledge, I will shift my focus from elves to more robust humans and half-orcs, and in future art notes I will specify, "Mavel Comics proportions, please."

No, not really.



Could be worse, I suppose... I've seen plenty of anime artwork that focused on women with what I shall describe as improbable attributes. Some of this artwork makes me wonder if the artists have ever actually seen a real woman. I've seen art where the artist did a phenomenal job on everything else, and then ruined it by mounting bean-bag chairs on the the woman's chest.



Totally agree, Wooly. That's one of the things I dislike about some anime. Not just the women's breasts. Their behind is impossibly huge, too.

Every beginning has an end.
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