The Author’s Progress as a Person

You know when you’re sitting around and you get an idea and make a plan, and you get up to enact it but as soon as you enter another room, your mind blanks? Everything you were thinking five seconds ago is just gone, and the only way to remember what it was is to go back to the room you were in and walk through your thought processes. This is called “doorway syndrome,” though actually the process is more analogous to how thoughts and relationships are compartmentalized like the rooms in a house.

But there should be a term for the inspiration that strikes when you take a shower or go to the bathroom. When I’m at work and (my floor doesn’t have a bathroom) I walk upstairs to use the facilities, not only do my previous thoughts turn a page, I enter an entirely new brace of ideas and memories.

Today, and I don’t know how, it struck me that my journey as a size-fiction writer (that’s what I’m calling it now) has been a journey of self-improvement. What started as large women sexually availing themselves of tiny, vulnerable people has led to a confrontation with my own sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism, pretty much in that order.

My first stories were seamy sexual romps, no apologies, just pure fantasy. As soon as I had internet access in the early ’90s, I learned as many commands as were necessary to execute a search for giantess material. It was all waiting for me: I found a bunch of grainy, pre-Photoshop BMPs and a cache of size-fetish literature, and that spurred me to try my hand at this. Up to a certain point, creative writing had only been assigned to me by school. When I got into college I explored MUSE/MUSH environments where we referred to ourselves in third-person and told meandering, improvised stories, essentially, as we interacted. Between that and the giantess/shrink stories, I began to write out my own short stories, using beautiful women in my own environment that I lusted after but had no access to, either due to my own regressed social development or their other relationships/interest. In these stories, not only were they within my jurisdiction, but I could do whatever I dreamed of with them and they’d behave however I desired.

This is why I wonder why everyone doesn’t write. It’s the closest thing we have to real magic.

There was plenty of self-consciousness in writing these things. For one, I knew my specific kink was so perverse, it couldn’t possibly see the light of day in the hands of any friends or acquaintances in my physical proximity. I was sharing it with strangers online, obviously, but we were in on it together. We were conspirators, breathing the same rarefied air.

But long after this, there came a point when I began to look critically at my own work and wonder what kind of message I was putting out there. If someone’s only experience of me came from the stories I was hacking out and sharing in an online forum, what would their impression be of me? I was less concerned that they’d think I was weird for wanting to be a tiny person who crawls into what’s usually an ejection port for bodily waste on a woman, more concerned about how I was representing my attitude toward women. Yes, this was all a fantasy, and we should be unfettered in our imagination. But I was in my 20s, writing size-fantasy stories about teenagers, women under the age of consent. I was writing about women who were nothing more than a landscape for a tiny man to explore and exploit. Did she have thoughts, dreams? Beside the point: she had swollen red lips and hemispherical buttocks with an appetite for tiny men. Through some mental argument I realized that the Unaware fantasy, one that’s still highly charged for me, is essentially a rape fantasy: a tiny man using a gigantic woman to sexually gratify himself without her knowledge or consent. It doesn’t matter that she’s unharmed, that the gesture is so insignificant that it would take some effort to find any evidence of it, or that she could instantly execute her transgressor with the incidental brush of her hand. A little dude is getting himself off on/with a woman’s body and she’s not a willing partner. That’s frightening to contemplate.

The truth is, and this is true even in women’s erotica, rape fantasies aren’t uncommon. But the emphasis is on fantasy. You’re free to think whatever you like in your mind: how you engage with the real world, what you do to affect others’ health and liberty, that may damn you and see you rotting in a cell. Even talking about what’s on your mind is skating on thin ice, unless you know and trust and have a certain intimate understanding with your audience. But here I was, writing about this shit. And I still do. I still love to envision an Unaware scenario, even knowing what I know. I’m still reconciling with this.

There are some people who never question what they write, or they forgive themselves wholesale and paint over the issue with a large brush, excusing it all as fantasy and therefore permissible. It’s my conviction that whatever conclusion a writer comes to and however they choose to proceed, they have an obligation to seriously scrutinize their craft, their motives, and their values.

After I resolved the issue of consent (Narrator: Nothing was resolved.), there must’ve been some period of restlessness. I was looking to expand, diversify my oeuvre, explore new topics or motifs. I was on a MUSE with a woman, having introduced her to a giantess scenario, and we’d engaged like this for a while: I was tiny, and sometimes she’d let me explore her, and sometimes she would experiment with me, learning how to use me, what I was good for, what was possible. But at one point in the beginning, when she described herself as lying naked on a bed and I depicted my long journey up her draping bed sheets to her feet, she paused and asked if I knew what I was doing, or why I wanted this, something like that. I started to talk about my interest in size-differential fantasy, but she didn’t mean that. I said she was a giantess and this was what I was into.

“But I’m Black,” she said.

I couldn’t have known this through our conversations. Aside from expressed gender, she seemed a bit like me: a mid-20s college student, somewhere in the US, going online for sexual titillation. A lot of material struck me dead in the chest in this moment: she had assumed I was white from the beginning, for one thing. For another, she herself found it reasonable to engage sexually with a white man, and expected that I would find it acceptable, as long as the context was tame and conventional. The moment I brought in a sexual deviance, she had to check to make sure I was clearly envisioning her, as though I might not be interested in sharing this with her on the basis of her skin color. The fact that I took our sex-talk to a new level indicated to her that I must not be seeing her clearly.

In the moment, I didn’t see what difference this made. She was still a giantess who was willing to entertain my company. I thanked her for the update and we went on with the scenario. This exchange keeps coming back to me, however. Maybe her self-esteem on the basis of her skin color had been programmed into her for her whole life. Or maybe she’d only recently had a couple extremely unpleasant online interactions with a couple horny crackers who ended up teaching her to be more careful in these situations. And likely a hundred other things that are far outside of my experience to consider.

Looking through my stories, I was now keenly aware that all the characters were white. So were all the characters in my real life throughout elementary and high school. Integration didn’t come until I joined the Army, and boy did I make a spectacular ass of myself throughout that learning process. But now I was throwing myself into creative sexual fiction, and I wanted these stories to more closely resemble the real world. That meant people from countries, cultures, and ethnic heritage other than my own.

I tried a few stories, and they sounded racist even to me. Those have been destroyed.

I tried again, writing white characters and then rewriting their descriptions as POC and international. Not only did I discover Mark Twain was the master of dialect and, importantly, the product of a very different context and I should not attempt to emulate him, but I had to question why I was doing this at all. Why did a character have to be Black, if their skin color or worldview wasn’t a crucial factor to the story? If I wasn’t going to do something interesting with that fact, why introduce it? That led to even greater doubt: even if I wanted to do something interesting, the Black experience is very far removed from me. How could I dare to guess at it? How could I dare to represent the mindset and cultural background of something I knew absolutely nothing about?

Well, that question, for me, goes toward writing about women, disabled people, people in other countries… fuck, it applies to short people, very tall people, fat people, people who didn’t go to college, people born into outrageous wealth, on and on and on. The metric here is a matter of “punching up” versus “punching down”: screwing up a wealthy white person’s life experience is less insulting than screwing up an impoverished POC’s experience. The misrepresentation is a greater crime in one direction and not the other. Intentionally or not, punching down is a form of mockery that perpetuates oppression and privilege.

What do I do now? Currently, I have POC characters and I go very, very light on everyone’s physical descriptions. It’s fine to leave that to the reader’s imagination, and sometimes it’s beneficial to do so. If someone’s reading my story and they connect with a character, and I fixate on the character’s hair because their image is very clear in my mind, but that hair says a lot of things about that character that the reader can’t relate to, they disengage. A story that meant a lot to someone now means less.

I don’t do that with all stories, obviously. I’m writing one series where I keep bringing up the woman’s long, straight, platinum hair. I’m selling one story in which Caleb has to convince Verna to come back to him for a night of magic, and Caleb’s White and Verna’s Black. I absolutely avoided any attempt at dialect, only rarely used a couple phrases and word choices I picked up in the military, and I didn’t obsess about their skin color. There was one moment, yes, when Caleb places his hand upon the high and wide wall of his ex-girlfriend’s body, and he notes how the color of his hand stands out against the color of her side, and that is the absolute furthest I dared to go with that. I don’t even know if that was too much, but no one’s written in to complain.

No one’s written in to congratulate me on a job well done, either. No one writes in at all, for any reason.

I’m selling a story about an American woman who’s ethnically Cambodian, too. Does that mean anyone like that is going to connect with the protagonist? Not really: she gains the unrealistic power to shrink people down, and she doesn’t use it for good. So diversity isn’t a tool for tricking people into liking your story, but it’s a way of introducing some realism, acknowledging who’s here, who makes up our country. Consciously failing to include people who don’t resemble you needs some very strong justification, or else it can be dismissed as bigotry.

Homophobia. That came up too. I’m not gay, I don’t possess the gay experience, but what if I included a gay scene in one of my stories? Many writers and artists don’t give that a second thought: to them, it’s just hot if two women are making out. For that matter, this touches on the unrealistic over-sexualization of women in art, based on the premises that men are the biological standard, sexy is what men say it is, and women exist to serve men. Recently I saw a Western manga artist draw sexually objectified women, depicting them as voicing their thanks for creating them, and in his mind and the minds of his fans, that was a feminist endorsement. There, you could look on the page: a scantily clad woman with outrageous tits and ass was thanking the artist for making her, in her own words. What more could you ask for?

That was fucking chilling.

So anyway. Without being gay, how do I realistically depict two men who are connected to each other? How do I represent two strong female leads who want to fuck each other in their downtime? Maybe I don’t. Even in creative writing, maybe that’s a field I don’t need to venture into. For one thing… for the primary thing, I’m a middle-aged, straight, white, cishet American male: the world is fucking done hearing any more from people like me. My voice has been the only voice for centuries, and now the podium must be opened up to everyone else.

So why do I write? Why don’t I step down and let minority authors take their spot on the stage? It doesn’t exactly work like that, and also? No one’s asking me to stop writing. That’s an unreasonable thing to ask anyone: it’s more reasonable to simply not read someone.

You can see how difficult it is to talk about my homophobia: I keep getting distracted. I’m very reluctant to trot out all the trite declarations about having gay friends and donating to such-and-such nonprofit and marching in such-and-such protest. My concern here is accurately representing groups in crisis, oppressed groups, doing them justice in a casual, fun, sexy story. As a straight, white, cishet male, what right do I have to represent gay couples? Who the fuck wants to hear what I have to say about, well, human rights altogether?

Well, I’m an SJW who supports civil liberties and human rights, so I believe I’m contributing my voice to support. On the other hand, I don’t really bring LGBTQ issues to the fore in any of my stories. I don’t believe I’m an authority in this matter, I wouldn’t want to be accidentally insulting to anyone, and it’s more convenient for me to stick to writing what I know about. I’m not threatened by gay or lesbian relationships. I understand gender fluidity and nonbinary gender expression, I can explain it to my family members, but I still struggle with accepting the extreme and evolving forms of these. I do, I admit that. But I know what the right answer is and I want to improve myself.

One group within the concerns of equity and diversity that people forget about is ableism, and I really press this on people to remind them. Our society is structured to set certain groups at a disadvantage, and those groups have different skin colors, different sexual orientations and identities, and different physical capabilities. If I were ever to attempt to write a size-fantasy story featuring, say, a person in a wheelchair, I would have a lot of fucking homework to do first. I could go ahead and check out literature on the subject, but I would also have to talk with a disabled person, share my ideas with them and get their impression. And that would be incredibly awkward and potentially hurtful, but in these matters, that’s kind of how you have to learn. If you grow up in one very narrow, homogeneous society, and you want to write about people outside of that, you have to learn from them, directly from them. You can’t watch a documentary or read a stack of academic journals.

And, contrary to what conservative right-wing bigots believe, you cannot derive your information solely from the enemies of these people. Fuck, I had an ugly, frustrating conversation with a reader who claimed he knew all about what feminism stood for because he’d talked to men, and to women who were ex-feminists. I told him he had to read actual, legitimate feminist websites and talk to community leaders, but he was allergic to this suggestion. Oh, how he resisted. My suggestion terrified him, and he contorted his freshman philosophy background to justify doing exactly as he had been doing. He was convinced you could only learn the truth about feminists by talking to people who hated feminists. That’s how Whites learn about Blacks, how Christians learn about Muslims, and conservatives learn about liberals. They fucking don’t. They just pull shit out of their ass and spread it around.

So that’s it. I’m a white, mainstream, privileged fuck, and I’m trying to broaden my narrative and more accurately represent people in the real world. The only advice I have for other writers who might be wrestling with these ideas is just to treat all your characters like people, like regular people. Just that. Nearly all of us hate waking up in the morning, nearly all of us like chocolate-chip cookies, we all definitely have itchy little cravings we don’t think we can talk about, and we all want to be loved and feel happy. None of us are aliens in disguise (except the Republicans, you can see it in their irises and gums, they’re all dracos and reptoids), we’re all just people with different perspectives. So write about people who want things they can’t get, or two people together who want different things. Don’t write a racist caricature, don’t perpetuate homophobic stereotypes. Do your homework. Talk to people. Be better than you were yesterday.

Sorry this started to wander. I wrote half of it earlier, then came home and did some chores, started drinking, and now my cat needs attention. It’s just that I realized that in my pursuit of trying to improve my writing, to produce credible and believable fiction (even with this ludicrous premise), I learned more about people and became more accepting of and sympathetic to other people. It was just an idea that hit me on the way to the bathroom, but it’s receding now.

I know some people are sneering at this, people who think “SJW” is an insult, who think I’m being too sensitive or saying all this to feel good about myself. That’s not accurate, but you can’t convince them of that, and this piece wasn’t written for them. They choose to make people regret being aware of them, but I choose to treat people with respect.

Photo by Richard Jaimes on Unsplash

5 thoughts on “The Author’s Progress as a Person

  1. Okay so I read this whole thing and while I think it’s cool that you feel like this fetish and interacting with people in it has expanded your horizon and all that, but this ironically does seem like it reads a little bit racist to me.Feel free to correct me if my thoughts are incorrect, of course.

    Your anecdote about assuming a black woman was white is what I thought was strange. In your attempt to justify why she would have thought that the color of her skin was important you mention the potential for “horny crackers” in her life as a possibility. This sort of speculation is fine, I suppose, and doesn’t do any harm. But it also makes it seem like you had expected a black person to sound, well, black, in order for you to have picked up on the hint and not have made the mistake you did.

    Which in context, is fine. You said it caused you re-examine potential racism you held, so you learned from it. But then later on you describe writing non-white characters, and say this “I absolutely avoided any attempt at dialect, only rarely used a couple phrases and word choices I picked up in the military, and I didn’t obsess about their skin color.”

    Now, I’d like to think you had the best of intentions when you wrote this, but to me it just reads as if you’re sanitizing potential traits and qualities of a non white character in order to avoid accidentally fucking up and making a mistake. In doing so it sounds like you’re just turning non-white characters into white characters, as you had assumed the black woman from long ago was. And yeah, writing a black person as a jive talking man or woman with a huge afro would be borderline at best. Horrendously racist at worst. But people who embody some, or hell, even all of these stereotypes certainly exist, and can change the flavor of a story. Washing these potentially interesting avenues of exploration away to avoid offense is its own kind of offensive. It makes it so everyone has to fit the image of relative neutrality. An image that, funnily enough, you had associated with whiteness in the past.

    Also, this line.

    “There was one moment, yes, when Caleb places his hand upon the high and wide wall of his ex-girlfriend’s body, and he notes how the color of his hand stands out against the color of her side, and that is the absolute furthest I dared to go with that. I don’t even know if that was too much,”

    This line comes off as being afraid of exploring even basic differences between people of different races. It could also be inferred (though for this I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt) that you yourself find the subject of interracial couples taboo, and only want to dip your toe in the water to avoid any potential backlash.

    I suppose that what I’m saying in the end is that people like this, certainly exist, and sanitizing everyone into predetermined definitions of “ordinary” and “inoffensive” to avoid controversy is (imo) an ineffective way to promote diversity. Of course I’m not saying you should be writing stories about cholas or gangstas, just that something other than perfectly polite and eloquent people exist. It’s your job as a writer to skillfully handle things that could be perceived as offensive in a tasteful way, and I for one think it’s much easier than you seem intent on making it sound. And if you fuck up? What’s the worst that could happen? You should listen to whoever told you that you fucked up, and consider their opinions (cause not every opinion is valid, and, well, some people are just overly sensitive about certain things) before coming to a conclusion. If an apology is in order, then who cares. It’s not some world changing event that destroys your reputation. It shows that you’re willing to learn, which is something any progressive should be unafraid of.

    And I suppose that’s it. This turned out longer than I expected and is probably super rambly. Sorry about that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that’s why this is a journey instead of a destination. I’m still trying to work this out and learn.

      The woman on the MUSE: there were no egregious cues so I defaulted to thinking she resembled me. I think anyone would do this, I’m not sure who in text-only conversation with a stranger would reserve a placeholder in their mental image until they had better information. But maybe that is what other people do.

      I suggested avoiding dialect because it’s super easy for a beginning writer (or a well-intentioned experienced writer) to get this wrong and come off as insulting. Dialect is often interpreted as a class marker, and someone playing amateur ethnographer based on videos and TV shows could end up doing some damage. A friend of mine was writing a series set in a London neighborhood, and she thought she was honoring a certain dialect. In her mind, she clearly heard this character speaking that way, and she wanted to portray that for the reader. Her beta-reader in Manchester gently informed her that her representation was condescending and insulting. Could she have salvaged that with traveling to Manchester and befriending some linguists? Possibly, but she chose to back off and not dress up the dialogue.

      So yeah, sanitization. On the one hand, I can pull from some very specific acquaintances in my history and try to faithfully write with their voice, to try to enhance a Black character I’m writing. I might get that wrong, or I might get a lot of criticism about being yet another White person putting out a stylized version of Black speech. On the other hand, sterilization: I can only faithfully write in my own voice. If I strip the dialect and expression in an attempt to bring everyone to neutrality (and let the reader create sounds and identity in their mind), I necessarily resort to defaulting to my own dialect and my own expression. So on the one hand, we’ve got “watch a couple seasons of The Wire and try to imitate that,” and on the other it’s like, “don’t even try. Just stick to all-White characters because that’s who you are and what you know.” I really don’t know how to play this, is what I’m saying. The answer is somewhere in the middle and currently I lack the skill and experience to find my place in it.

      Maybe that’s my defense. In writing Verna, I can point to a couple very specific people I used for inspiration. In writing someone else, I can show how I patterned them off a sergeant I used to go clubbing with. There’s still the question of whether I interpreted them correctly and how much unconscious bias I’ve added. I can’t know what I don’t know, but I’m really trying to mitigate the damage I can do. Sure, I want to promote diversity, but I don’t want to swing hard in the direction of cheap and lazy stereotypes (gods know my slang is dated and I don’t know what’s cool anymore). Where’s the border between that and using colorful, credible dialect?

      What I did with the story about the interracial couple was avoid mentioning any cues or characteristics until well into the story. I used some word choice to make each of them interesting, but I let the reader make up their own mind until the middle of the sex scene. Like above, I don’t think readers hold featureless placeholders in their mind until they know more: I think they reflexively create images in their imagination as they read. I didn’t want it to seem risqué or exotic, so I wrote it as normally as any other story. This was just a guy who was unfaithful to his girlfriend and was trying to get her back. The only time I highlighted any physical characteristics was when I was underscoring his own lust and attraction to her. It was an experiment for me.

      What’s the worse that could happen? I don’t want to be yet another White writer getting it wrong. It’s unlikely that I’ll learn anything if I don’t take some chances, but I’m also not eager to receive a well-deserved dressing down from a wounded reader.

      You said: “It’s your job as a writer to skillfully handle things that could be perceived as offensive in a tasteful way, and I for one think it’s much easier than you seem intent on making it sound.” Okay, but how do you do that? What’s your technique or approach?

      Your response wasn’t rambly at all (or it was acceptably rambly, and I’m at least as rambly). I really appreciate your thoughtful feedback. This is the kind of stuff I hope to hear about, and I need to, to improve as a writer and a person.


  2. You raise several important questions in your initial post, so it might seem myopic of me to focus on one that has been dogging me for a while now: How much physical description is necessary or desirable in a work of fetish erotica?

    When I first set out to write down my size fantasies to be shared with others, I made a half-hearted attempt to seek out “style guides” for fetish smut. Even though I was primarily motivated by “If you don’t see what you want, make what you want,” it was never a purely solipsistic endeavor. I wanted to please others with what I wrote. The advice I came across was probably predictable: your readers want their itches scratched, and scratched often. Don’t stint on the sensory details, be vivid, keep the fetish theme front and center.

    My adherence to this advice has been fitful at best. At bottom, I knew I wanted to be telling an engaging story more than just a string of fetish encounters, and I wanted my characters to seem recognizable and plausible. Stock characteristics and Playmate-of-the-Month measurements just made for a poor writing style, and I quickly decided that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice interesting characters for the sake of catering to stereotypical fantasies (yes, even in a niche fetish such as ours, there are stereotypes).

    Nevertheless, my readers (myself chief among them) are here for stroke fiction, and that means describing bodies. I can do that, but what hangs me up is the possibility that a specific (and unnecessary) physical detail might take a reader out of the fantasy. Like everyone else, I have my preferences, but how much is strictly necessary to achieve the desired effect? Some specificity is required, if only to distinguish one character from another. I’ve already had to rewrite one story from top to bottom because I realized I had indulged in the Andrews Sisters trope.

    I think we need some guideposts as the genre of size fantasy (ranging from gratifying smut to intriguing mystery to poignant literature) is still being established. I want as many readers as possible to be able to access my stories, and I find myself trying to strip away idiosyncratic details while keeping the sensual delectations. There will be a voice that is particular to me, and I think I ought to hold onto that rather than denature it. I’m trying to expand What Size Fantasy Means To Me, and hopefully that will result in reaching more readers. Onerously, I try to keep the non-fetishist reader in mind, both when constructing plots as well as describing raunch. I find stepping outside the fetish helps keep me focused on what makes the fetish hot.

    I freely admit that #GtSoWhite is a real problem. I particularly feel for photo manipulators and 3D modelers, whose source material is skewed by the marketplace for visual porn. Textual artists are free—too free, perhaps—to specify physical and dialogue details that can admit a greater diversity in characters, but we lack the reassurance that comes from a mature readership. I share both your desire to feature a wider representation of experiences in your characters and your chariness of making an affected misstep.

    The only response I can make is that literature is one of the Humanities because it can—but does not always—speak to all humans. Reading a greater diversity of voices is probably the best way to learn how to write them, which is why I’m always looking for ways to encourage people with different backgrounds to share What Size Fantasy Means To Them. You can’t abdicate your own experiences, but you can add others’ to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read this aloud to my wife, and several times she stopped me to ask whether I’d written it. We’re struggling with the same basic dichotomy: unapologetic and unrefined sexiness versus real storytelling and approaching literature. Except it’s not a dichotomy, these aren’t exclusive conditions, just discrete audiences. There’s the “get to the fucking” porn audience and the readers who’d like a little more substance, who are looking for another hook before interstitial fucking.

      I also looked for a how-to for erotica, but found these to be highly suspect. Mostly it was what an individual wanted to see, a nearly Strunk & White superimposition of some rando’s values upon the general storytelling process, an ambitious Victorian attempt at shaping the future. There are tawdry marketing ploys posturing as blogging success stories that don’t help much, seem as based on luck as anything else. I tried to study women’s erotica for guides, but there is no “women’s erotica,” just erotica written by women, and those range from watching naked guys do housework to rape fantasies. No useful patterns there.

      I think an erotica how-to can only be a supplement to regular short-story and novel-writing advice. Vague suggestions like “slow down and use Latinate verbs when describing a sexual passage.” I don’t think there’s a formula. And then I think that a size-fantasy story is just like any other: well-rounded characters, plot points and anchors, with the exception of gross reverse sexual dimorphism in the pedestrian context and what that does to the sexual interludes. I’m upset that (I feel) most of my characters are indistinguishable from each other. The tiny men are at turns petulant and grateful to be there. The giantesses are maternal or oblivious. We only know which story we’re in because of the names being used. I want to do more to define the individuals and make them stand out, embed them in people’s memories and imaginations (currently listening to Lani Diane Rich’s “How Story Works” podcast) so these are lives the reader cares about and a world the reader wants to live in. I also have other satellite stories that go straight to the fucking, those are easy to write, but they don’t receive my greater creative cognition. And sometimes, after a really good story I’m kinda happy with, I wonder whether these couldn’t be farmed out to a speculative fiction literary magazine, you know? I’ve seen some of the stories in these Size Riot writing contests, and I think they should be published in sci-fi magazines and elsewhere. I don’t see why not. The story moves beyond “oh my god I’m tiny and here’s a huge vagina” to “amazing things are happening and by the way I’m tiny and that changes a few pertinent facts.”

      The Humanities appeal is what I fall back on, in this hostile political environment and the times I question whether there is something better I should be doing with my efforts. I remind myself I’m a subversive, transgressive artist, and a robust culture requires diverse artists, even if I’m not exactly a leftist footsoldier. And yes, I try to promote all artists within my ambit, I try to support different writers, but within my own writing, I wonder how far I should go in promoting diversity. It seems counter-productive to portray minority characters from a privileged perspective, but it does no good at all to exclusively populate a city with the people I know best: people who resemble me. Going in with good intent only excuses so much, and nobody can attack a liberal like another liberal.


  3. There probably won’t be any reliable solution to the question of authenticity until there’s enough of a critical conversation where you can receive feedback. In the meantime, trust your ear and don’t be afraid to experiment.

    I’m finding that many of the fetish conventions are unhelpful, putting the cart before the horse. Rather than starting with desired focus or act and trying to conjure characters and a plot that would plausibly proceed in that direction, start with the characters first and let them tell you what they want do with this amazing new size differential.

    Liked by 1 person

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