[ExI] ai test

Tara Maya tara at taramayastales.com
Sat Apr 15 15:43:24 UTC 2023

> On Mar 2, 2023, at 3:10 PM, spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Oh hey, cool, I have an idea.
> Tara in our times in the USA and probably elsewhere, culture wars are escalating to the point where businesses are having to take sides, then settle for a much reduced market as the other side of the culture war will eschew that retailer or place of business.
> A writer might be able to leverage that culture war to her advantage.  Categorize stuff that generally goes together well: feminist movement and social justice for instance.  I want to leave out nuclear power because that one is undergoing a remarkable transition as the greens are discovering how clean it is, how little emissions, how safe and how small a footprint nuclear power requires.  OK good.
> Now, write two versions of your story.  Write one with your bad guys embracing all the stuff that kinda goes together on one team, and your good guys opposing.  Now switch them: still have bad guys, but have them all embrace the opposite.  It isn’t entirely clear what is the opposite of feminism (is there a masculism?  (never heard of it)) but the opposite of social justice I suppose could be imagined: your bad guys could advocate re-establishing slavery.
> So now you have really the same story but you would be writing for both sides of the culture war.  You could even have a pen name and a different publisher so that it wouldn’t be quite as obvious what you are doing.  You could make a buttload.
> spike

I do like the idea.

It's not that simple, alas. The most popular book as peak feminism hit the culture wars was 50 Shades of Grey. Who do you think was reading that book? 

People's taste in fiction often reveals other values than those they claim to hold. Or perhaps we all have atavistic drives we'd rather not admit to in public. 

You'd be surprised who reads stories about female enslavement for pleasure. 

(An old joke: 
Question: "What's the difference between male p0rn and female p0rn? 
Answer: "40,000 words.")

Also, it's not so easy to write "the same story" with a completely different theme. It's simply not the same story. No time is thereby saved.  :)

One thing I do like to do, however, is create many different characters in my story, who have different points of view. (You may know this technique from Game of Thrones.) I avoid modern politics and try to write about universal archetypes instead.

I'll give an example. In my coming-of-age epic fantasy The Unfinished Song, my main character is a young woman whose storyline has a lot of elements that appeal to young female readers: cute pixies, a magic doll, adorable pets, romance with a dark and mysterious guy, etc. Her personality is one that many young women also share: sweet, naive, generous, shy, idealistic. Her overarching goal is to right a terrible wrong done to the enemies of humanity; she sides with fae against her own kind.

At the same time, I also have some other characters, for instance, the older, experienced, grumpy, but still strong and virile War Chief of the tribehold. He is concerned with protecting his tribe from enemies, passing power to his recalcitrant son, punishing those who betray him while protecting those who depend on him, etc. He also wants to rescue his immortal fairy wife from the villain who kidnapped her. His personality is clever and gruff, ruthless, tricky and brutal when he needs to be, but with a soft spot inside for the vulnerable. In other words, I tried to give him a much different agenda and set of interests and personality than the protagonist. 

He's a good guy, but he is an enemy of the heroine because he think's her naivety is going to get his son killed.

Now if you look at who is at the cutting edge of "woke", you'll see it's teen girls. If you look who is at the forefront of pushing back against "woke", you'll see that it's mature men who want to protect civilization from collapsing back into barbarism. My story isn't for or against "the current thing," it's just an observation that young people are prone to rushing into "the current thing," and older people, who realize maybe the new thing isn't that new, are more likely to hold back and warn against it. 

In my story, it happens that sometimes the heroine is right... and sometimes the old War Chief is right. 

My attempt to appeal to different demographics may have worked, at least going by letters from fans. I have received emails from young female fans who HATE the old War Chief because he is SO MEAN to the protagonist. I've literally had girls beg me to kill him off.

On the other hand, I've received some email from military vets who asked me why I put such "girly" covers on my books when the books are all about strategy and war, etc. They tend to name either the hero and/or his father (the War Chief mentioned above) as their favorite characters.

Tara Maya

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