Roleplay Discussion Thread
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November 12th, 2012 (9:53 AM).
Resident Yuri-ism Cult Leader
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1. When writing a fiction how do you decide gender? Is it ever symbolic, is it random, or is it whatever yours is?
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It's pretty much random. I either think of it along with the personality, or after it — that's what it depends on, really, rather than any sort of symbolism. I don't like putting myself into my character enough to actually think it stands for something unless it doesn't actually relate to myself; things like politics or the state of the world, and that's still a stretch. I may, however, base a character off someone I know in real life.
2. What about side characters? Is there always a certain amount of characters of a certain gender or do you also make this random?
It's still random for me; generally it's a "what works best for this" situation. If there are more guys, or more girls, so be it. It's not like anyone really cares about ratio as long as the difference isn't glaringly obvious, or the characters aren't well-developed.
3. Finally my question: How would one go about keeping gender anonymous? I don't want to tell the exact gender of the main character.
Either don't use "he" or "she", or use both. Note that this only works in dialogue, where two people could see the same person as different sexes. If you're trying to keep it anonymous to the reader or the character is actually androgynous or neutrois, use "they" or one of the various gender-neutral pronouns available.
In roleplaying, this isn't going to be possible, since the character sheet kind of has to dictate their sex a good 99.999% of the time. You have to make sure the other players don't have a third person omniscient perspective going on in their posts, so at least their characters aren't sure about your character's sex. Tell them through VMs or PMs (no one likes being publicly called out), "No one's supposed to know [name] is a [sex]," and they should be polite enough to make their characters act confused about whether yours is male or female/androgyne/transgender.
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