Date: 02/22/14 09:16 am Title: On Reader Inserts
Thank you for this. I'm sorry it was so necessary for you to have to state the obvious, but as you correctly pointed out, it has to start somewhere. I'm sure the authors don't mean is as any kind of slight. I suspect that it has more to so with the author unconsciously inserting her or himself into the story as they write.
Oh, I'm not the only one who does this?! One of the reasons I write reader inserts is so I don't have to worry about writing myself into the main character so much ^-^;; Since the main character is a blank slate. . . but that actually sounds like a reasonable theory. I don't think anyone means to use these things as a way to slight people. If I did, the tone of this note would be a lot more passive aggressive, I think, and people would be a lot less receptive! Thank you for your support; I'm glad people have been so kind as to actually take this seriously and want to improve.
Date: 01/12/14 09:30 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I'm proud to say that for my first story that's written in second person, I haven't (or at least I'm pretty sure I haven't) described the reader at all whether it be skin, hair, eyes or even clothing style. The most I did was give the reader a name to go by in the story, and I'm trying to limit the use of that as much as possible. So far, the only description difficulty that causes me to hesitate is describing other character's height. If the story is in first person, I could have said something along the lines of, "He was half a head taller than me," but since it's second person, I can't say that because I know not everyone is short like I am. Instead, if I want to describe the height of other characters without getting technical, I have to compare their height with another person that isn't the reader or with an object. I've read reader-inserts where the male is almost always taller than the female reader, but in the back of my mind, even though I'm a rather short person myself, I know there are women who are taller than even "tall" men.
Haha, well, in a secong person story you could easily describe whoever the "you" is -- there's a huge difference between perspective/tense and whether something's a reader or self insert. Some people actually do write third person reader inserts, and I think it's easier to slip up then . . . but whoo! That's still an accomplishment. I think most people describe at least something the first time around ;) If only to assume the Reader has long hair. Though I guess giving a name is a describing something. . . . Whooo boy, height is such a pain @-@ I notice it mostly with Levi stories, since he's so short, but people just assume the reader would be shorter than him, even though. . .most wouldn't be?! But doors are probably a very good way of describing height, or tables . . . other characters could still be tricky though, huh? Since you'd've had to describe their height . .. @_@ This is a very good thing to bring up! Especially for ones that take place with younger characters, which some do >w>;;; Girls are generally taller than guys until about early high school. . . . or at least, that's been my experience. So with KHR! or other shows taking place in a junior high setting. . .!
Date: 12/23/13 03:37 am Title: On Reader Inserts
Oh my gosh. I mean, I completely understand where you are coming from, and it's so irritating sometimes that some people have to find that. I can't tell you how many times I've had to skip stories because of the whole hair-color, skin color, and every other description there is out there. To assume that the one who may be reading your story is always white just stumps me. And who knows? Maybe the majority are... but those few people who have to come across that--- it's just... Frankly, it's just so damn annoying. Especially for me, since well... I'm not of that certain type of ethnicity and if there's a Reader-Insert, one should expect it be just that, no? It kind of takes the fun out of the story... Heh, not to mention I'm no pale-skinned busty blonde or anything... Either way, I'm glad someone's addressed this issue, and the people who don't pay attention to it, can at least be aware of it--- I know I wouldn't be able to do it ^ ^
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I didn't have access to GOTVG for a while. Thank you for your support! It's really frustrating sometimes, when people don't realize how different the world is. The world is an amazing place~~! We should be celebrating that! Not forgetting it exists. Even though I say that, though, I kind of forget that the world is amazing sometimes orz I know that I have a fair number of people who visit my profile from all over the place! I wouldn't say the majority of readers are even white! I know one of the only other people I've met IRL who reads on Lunaescence is black, so it's a pretty low ratio for me. . . . I hope people become more aware of this, and become more accepting and open minded. u-u
Date: 12/16/13 12:41 am Title: On Reader Inserts
that's a good point... I need to go through my stories to make sure I didn't do that.
Thank you for pointing this out! :)
Thank you for your support! It really makes me happy to hear that people are going to go through their stories just to double check :3
Date: 12/04/13 08:40 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I'm glad you pointed this out. Because of this, I went back to all my stories to make sure I didn't do just that. Sadly though, I did find myself guilty at one part where I put pale in as part of the description and I AM ASHAMED -sits in a puddle of my tears-
This also reminds me about another thing when it comes to reader-inserts. Busty readers! I mean, honestly I don't really mind but every time I read it, it reminds me how much of a flat board I am LOL. I cannot believe I'm talking about my boobs xD I'll, uh, leave now lmaoooo.
It's okay! Now you know and you can fix it, but when you wrote it, you didn't know, so it's not really your fault! I'm glad you went back to check :3 That's awesome~
Haha, oh yeah, goodness orz I never find ones where the reader is busty? But I'm like EXACTLY IN THE MIDDLE and it still bugs me to read that the reader is small. I'm just like "... welp, okay. Never romancing this guy again cause he aparently like SMALL BOOBS BYE." I dunno what I'd be like for bigger boobs. Probably the same. Ssssh, it's okay. We're a very open community here :3b
Date: 12/03/13 07:49 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I'm glad you pointed this out, because that is honestly the reason I sometimes lose interest in a reader insert. I'm not blond or blue eyed or white for that matter and it really ruins the story for me when I see white skin or blond hair. I think authors need to remember that more than one race/ethnicity reads insert reader fics. Or if that is the case, to mention it in the author notes so the reader can decide if they wanna read it or not. This really spoke to me and I myself hope that I will be more attentive when writing. Great job and thank you for enlightening us! :)
It's definitely really frustrating -- and I think authors just really need to understand the difference between OC and RI, too! Whenever you try to explain they're like "OH BUT WHY WOULD YOU DEVELOP A CHARACTER AND THEN NOT GIVE HERA NAME OR APPEARANCE IT'S STILL AN RI!!!111!!" and it's always like . . . no it's not! But that's the only way you should be ending up with blond hair, because there's no way someone actually can't imagine a lead with dark hair. Same with blue eyes.
And yeah, at least let us know if you're going to be messing around with our identity a lot, please! Ahaha, thank you, I really appreciate everyone's support.
Date: 12/01/13 10:04 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
Thank you Murder chan, I noticed this when one of the african american characters commented on the reader as "some white girl", i could barely continue reading it after that because it would come to my mind again. As an african american with mixed backgroud more authors need to be more aware of their dailogue.
That is just. . . terrible. Why even. .____.
IT'S ALSO KIND OF TELLING HOW BOXED IN CHARACTERS WHO AREN'T WHITE ARE LIke i can't even .____.;;
Date: 12/01/13 09:01 am Title: On Reader Inserts
Oh my god, this so much. I'm a typical asian, I have small eyes and black hair, I'm fair enough but not white person white... and sometimes I get irked when I read a reader insert that insists that the reader is a typical beautiful white girl. Blonde hair, almond eyes, etc. White/pearly/creamy skin, I'm okay with because well, it's possible for someone's skin to be white disregarding their race. It just makes me feel very detached from the story, and I immediately lost all intent to read it, to be honest. I mean, if it's relevant to the settings and stuffs, I can understand, but otherwise... :|
It makes me wish I'd discussed more than just skin! I really only mentioned skin, but I should have brought up hair and dialogue and all of these things. . . . and yeah! Why is it always blond hair? And smooth legs? My legs are super prickly 99% of the time >:[
Date: 11/29/13 03:09 am Title: On Reader Inserts
I can usually get away with reading stuff even if the reader is white cause I'm pasty. My white mom has a deeper tan than me lol but you know what usually gets me? Hair descriptions. XD When RC is described waking up with tousled locks that look nice or their hair effortlessly moves in the wind... etc etc I'm like "Lol, my hair does not work like that.."
Pulls me right out of the fantasy. XD I just don't understand the physics of hair from a different POV.
This was a fun read, and I'm glad that you've brought it up~ XD I hope it opens some eyes a bit.
Also, I saw you ask about another reader making the b29;
All you have to do is hold the ALT key and push the 3 key on your number pad and then let go of both keys.
You can make a ton of symbols like that b29; a86;a92;b34;b35;a88;▲◙○◘•b30;b27;b24;
Haha, yeah, I didn't even remember all the hair descriptions, like whenever the reader is assumed to have long hair gets to me, but I hadn't thought of how hard it would be to pull off some of those looks if you weren't of the right heritage @_@
I can't either, it's okay u-u
I'm glad you enjoyd reading it, and I hope so too.
Ffff, I GUESS I WILL JUST NEVER MAKE BABY HEARTS HERE THEN! I can't do that because I don't have a proper number pad. I'm using a laptop sobs. Oh well, though~ I can cope u-u Thank you for the information
Date: 11/28/13 12:16 am Title: On Reader Inserts
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I couldn't agree with you more, Murder-chan. I come across this so much that I've actually just forced myself to ignore it or insert words in place of them in my own mind to make them fit my appearance more. It's sad that people just assume this and I'm glad I wasn't the only one who was experiencing this issue!
Haha, thank you -- and that's a good plan, I should really just edit things, but I'm not good at forcing myself into stories u-u It is kind of sad, but hopefully people start paying more attention to it, right? Thank you for your support!
Date: 11/27/13 09:45 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I love how you're considering doing a MtF reader insert. It will really be a great outreach for the entire LGBT community. It makes me happy to know that transgender people are accepted that much by some people. :3 thanks.
Oh! I'm glad this is a welcome idea ;) She might be the heroine of the prequel I'm planning for one of the stories I'm writing currently oh ho ho~ But I may write an MtF heroine sooner, since that would be a while, possibly up to a year or two! @-@
Date: 11/27/13 09:22 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I always laugh when I see stuff like that because I'm black and have an afro.
Haha, yeah, GOOD LUCK WITH MY CASUALLY TOUSLED LOOK AND PEARLY SKIN GUYS. GOOD LUCK. I guess laughter's a good way to go about it, though ;)
Date: 11/27/13 08:45 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
This must have really upset you to write an article about it, and I think it's nice that you spoke out about it. The first thing that I think of when reading "pearly white skin" and "soft, pink lips" is Bella Swan! Not to say that having those traits are bad or overused, but there's still tons of different kinds at the author's disposal. Different descriptions other than specific colors could have been used, too. I don't disagree with anything you've said, but I hope the author who did that wasn't really saying that having "pearly white skin" in a fictional story is ideal,(unless it's somehow related to the storyline, and not a personal opinion), though I'd like to think it depends on the settings, and time periods, and things like that, but if that's the case then it probably should have been stated in the author's notes to let the reader know beforehand. In any case, I don't think the author was thinking about the readers' preferences at all, and was writing her own version of female lead without knowing that she might have been forcing a race or ethnicity onto her readers. I think it's kinda impossible not to realize and to feel it's okay to assume such things nowadays.
Haha, yeah it kind of did. Fff, whenever I see pearly white skin I think "Must be sick. Go lie down, okay?" but that's just cause whenever I'm pale, it's cause I go ghost-white when I'm sick. And there are definitely a lot of other kinds of descriptions! I don't think that's what she meant to say -- "ideal" has jumped out at a lot of people, though, huh -- but it's definitely a default that a lot of people were falling on, and that's probably what was going on with this story too. It was just a regular post-modern-day-apocalypse story. Homestuck >w>;; I think that's exactly why I felt I needed to say something, though, because people don't pay attention to what they're doing, and I'm 1000% sure they don't mean to hurt anyone, even though it can be really hurtful.
Date: 11/27/13 06:43 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
you're absolutely right. I'm sure I've used those terms when I was younger (mostly because I was eleven and I saw other authors using those terms and thought it was the norm.). As I got older I realized that technically, all the characters I've been writing have been Japanese (most of the genres I write for are based in Japan after all). It made me think about what I'm writing and I started changing my wording from pearly/pale/etc to smooth/soft/etc instead. Broader terms are always a better thing to use for RI. Everyone likes having smooth skin, right? u.u;;
I mean, I'm pretty sure I have too, even though my skin's more yellow than pearly or pink, and it's just like, legos, y'know? But eventually you have to start creating on your own. Smooth and soft are much better terms, because then you just want to touch things, y'know? And you're including more people at the same time! Whoo!
Mm, smooth skin~ /)(u-u)(
Date: 11/27/13 05:11 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I want to thank you for this sooooo much. This is something I see a lot and it truly bugs me. I myself am black and this is something I picked up on almost immediately after getting into reader inserts. I don't like to cramp an author's creative control but please keep others in mind like you pointed out. <3
Thank you for your support, and I'm glad to speak up. It is really weird how common it is!
Date: 11/27/13 04:09 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I'm the whitest white girl out there, and my roommate/best friend is black. It's honestly something I never think about. I'm pretty sure it's never come up in my writing (except maybe that one spoof story I cowrote, can't remember). I try to avoid describing anything about the reader's appearance. The most I'll describe is clothing, and that's only if it's relatively important to the story. If I have, anyone who notices it is free to let me know. I'll definitely fix it.
The only point where I think appearance would come into play is when the world of the story necessitates it. Like if it's taking place in ancient Egypt. Pretty sure tanned/olive skin would be the norm there. That's the only time I could see it working. Even then, I probably wouldn't describe them anyway. What's the point? The appeal of RIs is that you get to decide who the character is :)
I read a guide on reader inserts once that said something like "DON'T SPECIFY THE RACE OR ETHNICITY OF THE READER UNLESS IT'S SETTING RELEVENT" and I think that's really true, but they gave an example that was "exotic", so I don't think anyone reading that was like to have a moment like "Oh, yeah, I shouldn't specify white either" which is honestly kind of sad. . . .
This is so true! I mean, I think they started out as a gimmick to make other people care about a given person's OC, but then someone was like, "K NO WHUT THATS DUMB IMMA FIX IT" and whoever that person was, all my love, because RIs are pretty much the best thing to happen to me in my life.
IDEC if it's sad to say that.
Date: 11/27/13 02:44 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I agree 100% with what you've written. The skin color detail has been bugging me for quite a while now... I do hope that more writers will pay attention to this detail in the future.
Hopefully! I may start pointing it out when I run into it, because I don't expect everyone to see this, but if people do read this and act accordingly, I will be very happy. u-u
Date: 11/27/13 02:42 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
I know what you are talking about and I really try to avoid any blanks at all. My Rea's don't tell their name, they do not mention their eye color etc. And they only have specific skin color etc. if it is needed for the story.
I often write for Attack on Titan, where people with Asian or otherwise exotic origin are considered almost extinct. And one of my Rea's has to an extent exotic origin because it is necessary for her backstory - she was sold by slave dealers, since she's worth a fortune. I tried to make her origin and ethnicity as wide as possible, though, and wrote that her exotic origin was visible, but her complete origin wasn't clear. Another reader of mine has a slender figure because she's been in a wasteland for seven years.
It's hard to make Rea so unspecific that everyone anywhere can resemble her and I do love to give my Readers their own personality, but I would never write down her skin color if it isn't necessary for the story.
I hate to leave out people. So I approve of this little rant. Good thing I'm not the only one noticing this. :)
Yeah! Those things make sense -- they're part of surviving as that reader, and it's completely different than just arbitrarilly assuming your reader would be white, skinny, short, what have you. It actualy drives me nuts when I see Rivaille/Reader ships assume that reader-chan has to be shorter than Rivaille, and therefore must be super short, cause I'm exactly the same height as him, and I know people who are taller!
This is true, but I think we can all relate to different personalities, because at some point we've experienced something similar, and that's a lot different than being told you're not allowed to be whatever it is you actually are.
Thank you for your support! It means a lot!
Date: 11/27/13 02:21 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
It's a very interesting point! In one of my stories a while back about Apollo, I had written something to the effect of "creamy skin" because I had put the reader character as a noble's daughter, therefore wouldn't be outside working much in ancient Greece. A reader pointed it out to me and I realized that I was excluding people when I wrote it! So, I quickly changed it to something more inclusive. I probably should go through my older stories too to make sure I didn't do it anywhere else.
Anyway, it's a good thing to bring to attention! :)
(Also, I didn't even think of the lips thing, TBH. I should also check my stories for that!)
Haha, yeah -- it can pop up in really surprising places, and having thought about, I really want to go through my stories to double check myself. It's no good talking about something if you don't do it yourself, or at least, not in situations like this. It's totally okay to talk about killing and torture if you don't do it yourself .___.; But I'm glad someone wsa willing to bring it up! I'm always glad when my readers do things like that for me. It feels like they have my back u-u
(Haha, that's just something that frustrates me cause I have like. NO lip color? It's sort of sad OTL)
Date: 11/27/13 01:04 pm Title: On Reader Inserts
Excellent points have been made here! I've always felt a little alienated by the pearly white skin portrayed in reader-inserts. It immediately removed me from the story, and made me more of a viewer than a participator in a story.
Another note: I'd like to thank you for drawing attention to the gender/sex disparities in fanfiction! I've decided to start implementing a system where I say what kind of reader I've intended to write a story for. For example, in the story notes and the description of the first chapter of my new story, I put:
Reader: Cisgender, Female.
I hope that doing something as simple as this will help to let readers know what to expect when they read.
Great little article yet again; it's inspired me to be more sensitive to my readers. Lovely job!
Oh, that is a really good idea! I think I may start doing the same, if you don't mind a copycat ;)
I'm glad to be inspiring, always u-u /puffs chest up in pride
But I'm even more glad to be heard about this, and that for the most part people have been in agreement. I feel like the more people can draw from this, the more likely we are to change the way things are, and even if it's just reader inserts on a fanficiton archive, everything has to start somewhere, right?
Thank you for your support! /bows