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I have a question for you...it's really apropos of nothing, because it has absolutely no baring on anything that I'm currently working on or plan to work on in the near future. (And I AM working on something - hoping to get it done before July, but we'll see.) Anyway, even though it might not matter, I had this conundrum and I'm curious as to what you guys think...

The Facts:

1. The demented'verse is gen - which, in my opinion, means that only canon pairings are acceptable, and there are no sex scenes. 
2. I'm a canon-nazi - meaning that I try to stick as RIGIDLY as possible to canon in both universes....to the point where I actually created my Supernatural Timeline for the SOLE PURPOSE of making sure that I was getting things right in the demented'verse. (and then I went and got the year in HP wrong by one year, but that's a whole different story).
The Conundrum:
What happens when I believe a male/male relationship to be canon...or a male character to be bisexual in canon? Does it mean that I have to warn for slash? Would people who enjoy my adherence to canon be pissed off because they might not view the relationship/character the same way as me? 
What are your thoughts? 

I mean - it's not mentioned in the books, but JKR has said that Dumbledore is gay - are fics that mention this (but have no sex scenes) still considered gen?...in my opinion they would be...but what if you are talking about a character whose sexuality has never been bluntly stated by JKR? Does that earn a fic a slash title? Would people be mad at me if they didn't agree with my interpretation?
In more detail...I'm specifically talking about Remus Lupin.
I have always interpreted Remus as being bisexual. His entire character is about duality...he's a werewolf for goodness sake! 
I'm also inclined to believe that him and Sirius has SOME sort of thing going on, though I doubt it was at ANY point healthy no matter what form it took (even if it was only intense friendship). To me, Sirius has always been a character about duality too - only unlike Remus, Sirius is a character that's very much about saying one thing and doing another...or, perhaps put more gently, as someone who could never quite escape his past or live up to his own ideals.
If Remus and Sirius DID have a relationship, I think it was something Sirius would never commit (or even admit) to and it was not something that could be resumed after his escape from Azkaban (although I could see a futile attempt being made, and quickly failing, though the friendship remained).

Anyway, I doubt the Remus/Sirius would ever come up in the Demented'verse - but Remus being bisexual very well might. To me, this ISN'T  a wild interpretation of the text...but I don't know if other people might see it as one, and get mad at me for it.
What about my original character? It's canon in my story that Nate's gay, so if I do give him a boyfriend, do I have to call the story slash? or can it still be gen because there's no sex scenes? I wrote a timestamp where a guy dumped him and I think I still labeled it as gen.
Maybe I just need to know the definitions of gen, slash, and het.
To me:
gen = canon, no sex scenes. (regardless of sexual orientation of characters). 
slash = non-canon male pairings OR canon male pairings in sex scenes.   
het = non-canon heterosexual pairings OR canon heterosexual pairings in sex scenes.
Anyway, um, yeah...I'm all rather confused. Help?
(PS: My mum's in town visiting until midweek, so I might not be as quick with replies as I usually am.)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 19th, 2011 09:26 am (UTC)
I think gen is used when the focus of the story is not on anything romantic and you just warn if situations are mentioned in the course of the story het or otherwise. Mentioned and not acted upon is the key here. If there's actual action, then you've veered out of gen territory.

I think you could totally just get away with an author's note that you are following canon with a tweak on a character trait that came across to you in reading and may not necessarily be what others got out of it. I really don't think you're gonna piss anyone off with Remus because a lot of fandom seems to be with you. Also, the Marauder Era men or Pure blood men came off as bisexual to me because it was like it wasn't a huge taboo so who cared?

Additionally I don't think you have to label the story slash if your OC is gay. As long as the focus of the story isn't about his romantic encounters than I think it can withstand the gen label. We don't warn when characters are heterosexual and there is no action so why should we warn for gay characters when there is no action?

Maybe I'm being naive but I think everyone should be smart enough to read something with a gay character without being appalled that you didn't warn for it when it's not focusing on their romantic interludes.

Edited at 2011-06-19 09:30 am (UTC)
Jun. 19th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's what I thought gen was too...good. I always saw the Marauders as going to school in the 1960s/1970s, so yeah...they're all a bunch of crazy hippies!

We don't warn when characters are heterosexual and there is no action so why should we warn for gay characters when there is no action?

Right! Yes, very well put.
Jun. 20th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Glad I could help! lol
Jun. 19th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
I agree with you entirely.
Jun. 19th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC)
ignore categories, write what works for you and what serves the story best.

you can always just explain in your summary/header anything you think readers need to know.
Jun. 19th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
Good point! As usual, I'm probably over-thinking this :P
Jun. 19th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
I agree with the two previous posts. Furthermore, I have to say that one of my favorite things about your writing is the thought you put into each character. Therefore, while I have never really thought of Remus as canon-bisexual, I can see your point of view, and even admire the thought that went into it. Who knows? Maybe next time I read the books I'll be seeing Remus a little differently ;D

As for minor slash like having a gay character- I don't think that needs slash warnings any more than having a straight character without sex scenes requires a het warning. Gen is fine. Good luck with your fic deadline! (Don't you love self-serving well-wishes?)
Jun. 20th, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
Thank you for the self-serving well-wishes ;) I'm being horribly slow at writing this summer (considering that the previous two summers I was writing 4,000 words a week)...so I should probably STEP THINGS UP! :P

Little known fact: Remus is possibly my favourite character in the HP series - so yes, I've put a lot of thought into him. So, yeah, if you ever want to talk about Remus, I'm your go-to girl for that. But if you do end up reading the books again - pay attention to the dual-nature of Remus. He's really very awesome.

Thanks for weighing in! So far it seems like everyone is on the same page as me - which is good. I just got horribly confused for a second there about what was intuitive to other people and what constituted "canon"
Jun. 19th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
You have the most interesting questions *grin*

It IS really interesting. Where does slash start, and where does it end? (btw, what about girl/girl? That's femmeslash, or what?) I have no clue about things like that.

I think I like your definitions. They'd suit me, and therefor, I'd agree.
As to Lupin, I never got too involved with the HP-books, as you know. I really don't care if he's bisexual, in fact, it'd be interesting to give your characters (or the borrowed ones) more variety. And Lupin and Sirius? Hmmm, your explanation is good. But I'd still call it "slash", since it's not mentioned or even hinted at in the books (if I'm not mistaken), and so I'd also call Remus/OC pairing "slash".

Just to be cautious.

For your own character, I don't think the word would be necessary. I'd say "m/m-sex-scenes" or "mention of a male/male relationship" and be done with it.

Just my two cents, though.
Jun. 20th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
Yes, girl/girl is femslash, or femmeslash, or however you spell it. :P

Ok, seems we're on the same page. If I did write Remus/Sirius, or mention it, then I'd probably at least put a little warning for it in the header...though, I doubt I'll ever do so.

I'm glad you like my questions :)
Jun. 19th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, you won't have any idea who i am but I just read the whol DDD verse and loved it! Also this question is very interesting.
I've always seen gen as a rating, as in it contains no sex scenes and then slash and het as descriptions of any pairings within the story. But then nothing really bothers me as long as writing and characterisation is good so I tend not to notice any warnings as much.
I'd say if you were worried about offending people you would warn for any actual pairings in the fic but not the sexual orientation of a character within it. After all people normally don't warn taht a character is straight. :)
Hope you don't mind me adding my two cents. I can't wait for your next story!!
Jun. 20th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
Hi! I'm glad you liked the DDD'verse! Please feel free to add in your two cents anytime! :)

I'd say if you were worried about offending people you would warn for any actual pairings in the fic but not the sexual orientation of a character within it. After all people normally don't warn taht a character is straight.

Very good point - and a good rule to go by! Thanks!
Jun. 19th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is a subjective question.

I think it depends on the how you work that particular character in the story. If all your characters are having canon relationships, then you can always label it as gen, because you know that Harry ends up with Ginny and Ron ends up with Hermione, etc. It's when the relationship isn't canon that slash and het comes into play.

Take your Remus as an example. If he's just a passing/minor character with no sexual action in the slant of the story, then whatever his orientation shouldn't be pivotal in labeling the genre. Or, maybe you can label it as a gen with a side of slash for a minor character. But if his character and bisexuality is central to the plot, then you can label it as slash.

Similarly, if there's minor action of an OFC/male character or OMC/female character, then it can be labeled as gen with a side of het for a minor character. But if the sexual side is important in the arc then you can label it as het.

These are just my opinions. Personally, I think over-labeling can take away the enjoyment of the story. Unless sexual action and/or non-canon relationship is involved, then everything else can be labeled as gen. :)
Jun. 20th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
I think that's a very good standard operating procedure you've laid out there. It's basically what I was thinking - that if I just mention Remus' bisexuality in passing, that it's still a gen story.

But if I have a story where Nate has a boyfriend and they are making out, I should probably label it as having some minor slash.

I don't want to over-label either, but I also don't want to under-label and have people upset with me.
Jun. 19th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
I can't help you with the gen/non-gen thing, but here is my two cents about Remus : I think the primary point about Remus is that he is very grateful to Dumbledore, and his childhood friends who supoorted him when they learned he was a werewolf. In fact, he's so grateful that he's ready to listen to and follow those those people even when he doesn't agree with them. And I can totally see a sexual relationship with Sirius being based on this gratefulness.

About Sirius : I think he would have done anything to distance himself from his family, and being gay would drive his parents mad (old wizarding family don't strike me as very tolerant of homosexuality). And, we musn't forget Remus and Sirius would have been teenagers when they had this (hypothetical) relationship. Teenagers are often not the best at self-control...
Jun. 20th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's why I say that any relationship that Remus and Sirius may have had would have been unhealthy in some respect - Remus is too grateful and accommodating, and he has admitted to Harry that he had absolutely no ability to control either Sirius or James...and I really see Sirius as a teenager being very self-absorbed. Also, Sirius went to prison when he was still quite young - and then prison basically kept him at that maturity-age...so any relationship they may have had before Sirius' false imprisonment would only be worse off once he got out.

I could definitely see Sirius either using Remus to scandalize his parents, and having very little regard for Remus' feelings...or otherwise having the relationship be emotionally-immature with it affecting Remus negatively.

That being said, I do believe they were good friends and nothing could ever have destroyed that fundamental friendship.
Jun. 19th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
Well, a lot of different people have different definitions of what they would call a gen story, a slash story, or a het story. I can only give you my opinion.

I definitely agree with your gen definition.

I think a story should be labeled slash if canon characters are paired with someone of the same gender and they are a major or secondary character in the story. Or if there is an original main or secondary character that is in a relationship/has sex with someone of the same gender then the story should also be labeled as slash because it is a major part of the story.

I guess I would say the same thing about het that you do, except het would count BOTH not just either of your definitions.

Jun. 20th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
Ok, that makes sense.

I guess I would say the same thing about het that you do, except het would count BOTH not just either of your definitions.

Good point, I think you are correct about that.

Thanks for adding your two cents on the issue! :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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