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TVTropes Day: Author Appeal


Tweet of the Day: How “Dungeons and Dragons” Changed My Life

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So, last night I tweeted a line that popped in my head and this is the response I got:

BigWords88 Gary James @RafaWriter So… Every time she lies, her, um… I’m not gonna say it. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MostCommonSuperPower
To wit I answered (after clicking on the link) that was not what I meant, and that well yes, I do like that most common of superpowers. That of course let me into remembering another page that dealt with Author’s Appeal which is define thus:
A kind of Fanservice where the presence of a particular gimmick or kink is so widespread and prominent that it is interpreted as a specific reason the creator actually produced the work. Often, this can overlap with a certain philosophy the author espouses; for instance, an “enlightened culture” in The Future may have no nudity taboo, or may have everyone bisexual, remove all body hair at birth, et cetera. Deliberately satirical or political stories often invoke associated Take That moments.
Common in superhero comics (the above power being something that has spread across the industry!). Mind you the difference between Fanservice (usually a character created to appeal to fans because of their behavior or mode of dress which usually* highlights a part of the anatomy) and Author Appeal is that the later is something that appeal to the writer in some way. The writer may admit this, deny it or simply remain silent on the subject. It usually takes sharp readers to figure it out on their own, especially if they notice the same recurring themes/gimmick in a book series (the longer the better, as it provides more material to study.)
I don’t know if I have an Author Appeal. I do seem to have a thing for a) eyes, b) hair, specially long natural color hair. Doesn’t matter the color itself, just the fact that it is a deep, rich natural color seems to do it for me. As for eyes, well where I live blue and green eyes are rare, so I tend to gravitate to those. But I’ll leave it to my readers to decide if I have or make any Author Appeals. And whether they approve or not πŸ˜‰ .
So, what is your Author Appeal?
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9 comments on “TVTropes Day: Author Appeal

  1. There are so many things I throw into (nearly) every story that I don’t know if some of them truly count as author appeal, or if there are underlying themes I am picking at. I tend to throw in elements of more than one genre, have a bald character, use broad stroke political or religious elements to highlight personality of a character, and throw around pop culture references as if they were confetti. This may not be the full list of my quirks, but it covers most of the bases.

    I’m figuring I should also be more careful about the jokes I make constantly, or more posts such as this will appear. πŸ˜€

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    • Well, Author Appeal seems to be mainly sexual in nature. Other subject fall under Author’s Tract and the like. As for the jokes, think of them as valuable inspiration fuel!

      πŸ˜€

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  2. In two manuscripts now, I’ve had men with long hair (braided). They tend to be powerful and ruthless, possibly to balance out the effects of their coiffures.

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    • In two manuscripts now, I’ve had men with long hair (braided). They tend to be powerful and ruthless,

      Or Polynesian? πŸ˜€

      Hair does get a lot more attention than dead follicles deserve. I wonder why?

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  3. Hm. I never really thought about it, but many of my female MCs are emotionally distant with guilt complexes, and their male sidekicks tend to fall on the levelheaded-&-logical end of the scale. It makes for some truly fabulous subtext.

    Re: physical appearances, I can’t find anything consistent enough that I could call it Author appeal. I guess I just tend to go for the psychological. πŸ™‚

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  4. Ralfast – I have inspiration fuel? Awesome. πŸ˜€ I will work out how to focus this power for the purposes of *cough* *cough*

    Amy – Go back and read through your older material – look for where you throw in a sentence or two without really dwelling on the descriptions you give (if any), because “author appeal” (in its’ purest form) is where you keep returning to certain themes or imagery without really noticing it in yourself.

    Because I have yet to make mention of this, I will do so here – using a set of recurring character types, images, story twists or anything else is not bad. Don’t immediately panic when you see you are ploughing over old material again, because even multi-published authors do this. You gotta use anything you can to spur on the muse. πŸ™‚

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  5. Tropes are very, very good – and the madness is spreading… I can feel the disapproving looks aimed in my direction already. πŸ˜€

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