The main character

She doesn’t have a name yet, although I know what language base we’ll be using for naming. I think this is always a consideration when writing fantasy. Entirely made up names can be awkward to pronounce and can feel fake.  Drawing on a time, place or culture can give you feelings of coherence and resonance, which I rather like.

But, I digress. We knew we had at least one female lead on the way. We’d had conversations about her, and I thought she might be a former soldier. Abbey introduced me to her via Facebook, having posted this image of her and announcing her as the main character, and a virgin.  I noted that other people commenting on the post thought it unlikely that this was a representation of a virgin, and that convinced me that it was going to have to be.

We read sexuality into the female body. Large breasts are invariably read as sexual, regardless of the behaviour of the person whose breasts they are. There is no way of arranging fabric over large breasts that does not draw attention to them. And thus your body shape becomes your perceived sexual identity. I’ve had some first hand experience of having my body shape read as meaning promiscuity.

Sexual appetite is not about body shape. How we function romantically and sexually can have very little to do with how we look. Innocence is not a body shape. Experience is not a body shape. Being asexual is not a body shape.

This is a character who is struggling with guilt and trauma. She’s got a history to overcome and a lot to deal with around things she has done, and the reasons she did those things. She’s not looking for a relationship, and she doesn’t have the emotional space to even consider wanting to be sexual. She is also entirely used to people making assumptions about her based on how she looks, and she is very tired of that shit.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

3 responses to “The main character

  • lornasmithers

    Sounds like she has the potential to be very interesting with her ex-soldier background along with being a virgin and I’d be interested to discover whether this was due to her being asexual or just not really having ’emotional space to even consider wanting to be sexual’.

    I can’t believe folk thought she couldn’t be a virgin due to her appearance!

    • Nimue Brown

      I’m looking forward to finding out! I usually start by getting to know characters well at the point where the story begins, but I seldom have much idea where they are going!

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