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Writing Characters from Different Classes

Tom of FinlandToday’s topic comes from QSFer John Allenson: “Writing and reading Class. We all love stories where the Knight rides away with his Squire or the Prince falls for his Pauper. Or we may have somewhat more sinister tastes for Masters and Slaves. Class barriers are one of the most common tropes in romantic literature going back to the Bennett’s marrying beyond their station. How do we read and write class barriers in LGBT Speculative fiction.”

Some of the great stories have explored the differences in class, often withn a stratified upper class and a plucky but less-than-educated lower class. Look at Pygmalion… who can forget that The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain?

It’s also a common device in fantasy and sci fi, where, as John points out, the Prince often falls for a common lass or lad, or in gay circles, the Daffy and his boy or Master and his slave.

So how about you? As a writer, have you written stories that delved into the connections and divisions between classes? And as a reader, do you enjoy books that explore this terrain?

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1 thought on “Writing Characters from Different Classes”

  1. I find myself writing about people who pass across class barriers: priests, medics, merchants, scientists. I don’t know what this says about me as a person.

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