Ask @SyeraMiktayee:

Your mention of socially awkward best friends got me thinking-- why are fictional best friends often socially awkward?

As I've never asked the authors, I can't really say for sure. I have a few hypotheses, though:
1. It's a convention that a lot of people follow without really thinking about it.
2. They want comic relief, but they're insecure about making their protagonists funny.
3. They don't want their protagonists to be over shadowed by someone who seems cooler.

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"The window for that has long passed". Why can't they teach an adult that?

It's a neurology/development thing; IIRC if a child doesn't learn languages early, they'll basically never be able to learn to speak to any substantial degree later. (This might tie into the socialization thing; learning language requires a certain degree of sociability, after all.)
EDIT: My information might be outdated/incomplete; it seems some children who suffered severe neglect did begin to learn language once placed into proper care. You might look into the cases of these children: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child#Raised_in_confinement

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+1 answer in: “I would like to write a story about a woman who was created in a lab by an evil scientist, but he didn't create her personality, just her body, so the woman is too moral to do the scientist's bidding and she becomes one of the protagonists. However, I am not sure how to go about writing a woman who”

Someone pointed out that main character in my story liking classic rock (Zeppelin,Guns&Roses,Black Sabbath etc) is very cliche. I chose this genre because it's my favourite & I know it very well (bands,lyrics etc) so it's easier for me to make references (making references is part of MC's characteri

sation), and not because it's 'glamorous' or cool to like it. I actually used a lot of my tastes in fiction (books, movies, games) as MC's exactly for reference-making, but since that's pretty much all I share with the character I don't think that's a problem.
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My thought is, what are you using these tastes to say about your character? They're very popular bands, so using them implies that your character has pretty mainstream tastes in music. If that's what you want to communicate about your character, then it's fine. But if your character is supposed to be weird or eccentric, you'd probably want to tilt more toward lesser-known bands, which will probably require you to start looking into them yourself.
Basically, it all comes down to what kind of person your character is intended to be, and what you're trying to communicate with these interests. If they fit the kind of person your character is supposed to be, it's fine.

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In early chapter I have half-page segment of dialogue that doesn't really add anything to the plot (just making music references). Thing is, the main character very often makes references when talking, so I think that scene shows this part of characterisation (and her music taste), so it should stay

If it feels like a natural conversation and doesn't take more than a couple of minutes to read, I think it should be fine. Things like this can be very humanizing and help people connect to your characters more.

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Do you have any advice for admins of an online community on dealing with the aftermath of banning a toxic, emotionally abusive member?

If they've let this person run amok and do a lot of damage before actually banning this person, they should apologize to the members and extend sympathy to them. And very importantly, the admins need to learn from this experience and take more effort in making sure someone like this doesn't get a foothold in the community again.
If people need to talk about what happened and how they feel to process their feelings and make sense of it all, let them; it can help the healing process. This is different from simply trashing a former member who left, since the banned member was abusive and these people probably need to talk about things to begin healing.
People might need to do some emotional self-care, as well, and it might be a good idea to talk to therapists, counselors, etc. if they are available. They can also look into self-help resources on the Internet; I've got a few related things and there's more stuff out there as well.
I hope that helps; dealing with this kind of thing is always tricky and painful. Good luck to everyone.

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Whether you say cinnamon or mocha, the reader understands "medium brown" so just say "medium brown" and then you can jazz it up by mentioning cool or warm undertones, yknow? Using food creates weird fetishy indications you might not want your work associated with, dude

That's a very good point; thanks for bringing this up!

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+2 answers in: “Seeing here some asks concerning PoC-approved descriptions I got to thinking... The point in describing a character is for the reader to immediately get an idea of how the character looks. So the descriptions of skin color like cinnamon or mocha (Livin' la vida loca ;) ) makes sense, 'cause everyone”

Different person here, but in this article you said that representation shouldn't be just secondary characters. But I have 3 main ones and it's in no way feasible for the plot and characterization to make them such.

This is already covered in the article - see the first item in this section: http://www.springhole.net/writing/writing-representation.htm#arguments-refuted
Ultimately you can write whatever you want, but it's *very* unlikely that adding diversity to your main characters is as unfeasible as you claim it is.

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+1 answer in: “Is it really so important to include members of LGBTQ+ (and other) minorities in your writing? Because to me it's just a ridiculous amount of time making sure your portrayal is perfectly accurate so as not to offend a group that often finds offence where it's not intented, that could be spent just”

My character gets transported from Earth into high-fantasy realm. Due to nature of the portal, some stuff (mostly useless) gets taken with xir, including a freshly bought bag with asthma medicine and eye contacts stuff. I've been told it's too convenient that xe gets to have those with xir, but soon

after there's a long timeskip, so during the plot, xe's very low on those medicines anyway and has a lot of trouble to deal with it anyway, so I don't think it's such a glaring problem?
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I mean, my thought is, why not have your character fall into the portal while carrying the medication and contacts inside the bag? If your character runs into the portal while, IDK, going out to a convenience store and has those things in xir bag, I don't think anybody's going to question it.

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Ok, I see your point- adjustments to the idea must be made for it to be feasible :) So even if they're adults with adult instincts, their society treats them like we treat teenagers "oh, you feel so adult, but you aren't yet so listen to actual adults who know better". Some will comply (good kids),

most will rebel like teens do (do things like they want but in the end comply to their parents), only some will actively really rebel against the system and face unplesant consequences (legal, being a pariah) so others fear doing the same. So we end up with people who think and feel like adults but lack rights, opportunities and skills to be 'proper' adults. The elves are all pretty isolated, so they lack comparisions to what could (and maybe should) be, so they're forced to accept that this is how things work in the society. (Also we skip sexual urges, hormones and the like as those come for them somewhere in 30s) This society IS supposed to look flawed to outsiders, but for them this is how things are (and that's a powerful perception of right and wrong in reality).
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Yeah, that looks good!

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+1 answer in: “While it's impossible to assume full mental maturity before the brain is properly developed (because biology), what about the reverse situation? Say that my elves biologically mature as humans do but their society considers age of maturity over double that. So a 20-something, fully developed in the”

I have a problem with feeling very bad if people tell me they don't like my tone of voice. I don't hold it against them, but seeing as you used it as an example of guilt tripping, I'm a bit nervous because of that.

That is unfortunate, but tone policing is a very common problem and is therefore a very relevant example. It sounds to me like you need to do some work in building up some resistance to people saying things like that to you. This might help: http://www.springhole.net/other/5-more-ways-to-be-a-happier-person.htm#defenses

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This might sound silly, but I sometimes worry that other RP-ers will mistake me for having a fetish or that I will mistake another RP-er for having one. How do I avoid that?

Well, that's kind of hard to answer without more context, but I suppose I can suggest that you don't describe whatever you're worried they'll mistake for your kink in intimate detail, or shove it in everywhere at all times.

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Yup, see that's the hard thing - there aren't many things in those shades that people easily recognize. Rust? Kinda rude. Tree bark? Ok, but which tree? Pine? And how this one looks? Umber,tawny,carob? Who knows what those are? And so on...

Yes, it could take you awhile. Lots of worthwhile things do.

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+2 answers in: “Seeing here some asks concerning PoC-approved descriptions I got to thinking... The point in describing a character is for the reader to immediately get an idea of how the character looks. So the descriptions of skin color like cinnamon or mocha (Livin' la vida loca ;) ) makes sense, 'cause everyone”

On the "speaking up" article, it says not to lecture. What exactly does "lecture" mean? Does it mean going on for too long? If so, what if the problem is complicated and needs a lot of words to explain?

It essentially means going on longer than necessary - EG, repeating yourself, bloviating, etc. Sometimes things take awhile to explain, but even when they do, you should still try to get to the point and be succinct as possible.

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I also have a question about the bonding thing. In Star Trek, there's these aliens called Betazoids who can pretty much all sense emotions, communicate telepathically with each other, and read minds (even the minds of non-Betazoids) since adolescence. Is this as bad as bonding?

Well, no. First of all, no permanent link is being created against the other person's will. Now let's look into how bad or not any of these are in more detail.
If a Betazoid is using an empathic scan to get a quick sense of someone's current emotions, that's not really a problem; it doesn't give the Betazoid any private details, but does give them a sense of how they might proceed with this person.
If they're communicating telepathically with each other, that's fine because they're basically just talking to each other. The method's different, but otherwise it's just a conversation. (Now, someone who isn't used to telepathic conversation should optimally be given a heads-up before someone tries to talk to them telepathically, because this is something they aren't accustomed to and it could be distressing if they don't know what's going on.)
Reading minds is one of those things where consent should be required. Without it, it's a violation of privacy, similar to going through someone's diary, personal e-mails, etc.
I hope that helps!

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While it's impossible to assume full mental maturity before the brain is properly developed (because biology), what about the reverse situation? Say that my elves biologically mature as humans do but their society considers age of maturity over double that. So a 20-something, fully developed in the

biological sense, person is among them treated like we treat a tween. So despite biological brain maturity that person would still be an immature child in most ways. But if xe's put among human society and has to fend for xirself among people who expect xir to be an adult already, xe could potentially mature very quickly through experience, since xir brain is technically ready to be an adult. That's my theory anyway, feel free to poke holes in it, because I need a second opinion.
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Here's the problem: what you're describing is a society that infantilizes adults and treats them like children long beyond the point where they've matured. Although these adults may lack certain life skills and critical knowledge (much like the children of helicopters parents), they're going to be adults with adult instincts. And they probably aren't going to be very happy with being treated like children, because adults want to have independence, start families of their own, live their dreams, etc.

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My friend is this trans guy named Yuri, but we knew each other as kids, and back then (before he knew he was trans), he went by 'Mia'. What do I call him when talking to other people (when he's not around) about things he did back then? I generally just call him Yuri even when talking about our chil

dhood.
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If in doubt, just call him Yuri. Also, why don't you ask him about this?

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Seeing here some asks concerning PoC-approved descriptions I got to thinking... The point in describing a character is for the reader to immediately get an idea of how the character looks. So the descriptions of skin color like cinnamon or mocha (Livin' la vida loca ;) ) makes sense, 'cause everyone

knows how those things look like, so they can imagine correct shade no problem. But most of the PoC-approved color descriptions would require an average person to google it to figure out how that color looks like, so that seems largely counter-productive...
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Well then, start looking for more words and similes that are more likely to be familiar to your audience, but aren't evocative of food.

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Well, what I could do is introduce the concept of this special magic in the first book in unrelated context, so the more curious readers could think "oh, maybe it was something like this" and leave the exact explanation where I planned it first :)

That could work, yep.

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+1 answer in: “Is it ok if the explanation for something that starts off the plot comes very late in the story? A character was born an elf but spent years hidden away being a human and returns to being elf with no knowledge of it, which seems illogical, but there's an explanation known only by 1 person (tbc.)”

Is it really so important to include members of LGBTQ+ (and other) minorities in your writing? Because to me it's just a ridiculous amount of time making sure your portrayal is perfectly accurate so as not to offend a group that often finds offence where it's not intented, that could be spent just

wiritng and progressing your story... And most of the time it's still wrong and feels too forced in there so everybody's angry at you anyway.
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Your question is answered in this article: http://www.springhole.net/writing/writing-representation.htm

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