Writing About the Wives and Kids

  • Jinxeh

    Jinxeh (805)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    33
    Location:
    United States
    This is something I've been mulling over for a while, and given semi-recent events, is something that has been talked about quite a bit lately here on Mibba - and other fanfiction-hosting sites.

    Sometimes, you like to keep things as close to "real" as possible with your writing, when writing about real people. Sometimes, the people we write about have significant others in their lives, and children.

    Where do we draw the line on invading the personal lives of those we write about? You can say it's all right to warp a person's character simply because the person you write is a character...but is there a limit? Is it okay to already be writing about Bandit Lee Way as a teenager, and her exploits there? Is it okay to write Adrienne Armstrong as a complete b*tch simply because it works for the story? Or is it better to not put too much focus on these real people, who never asked for the fame that came along with those they just happened to be related to?

    On LiveJournal, several communities have a strict "no writing about the kids" rule, meaning they can be mentioned in passing here or there, but they can't be main characters, nor particularly integral parts of the stories' plots. It's also usually frowned upon to give large story parts to wives / girlfriends / boyfriends / husbands / etc of band people, if they aren't also band people themselves. (Ex: writing about Ray Toro's wife as opposed to writing about Gerard Way's wife, Lindsey, who is also a musician and in the public eye in her own right.) Do you agree with this rule?

    I'm just curious to know what everyone thinks about all of this. I've seen people on this site say it's never okay to do more than mention the children or significant others, or any real family members, and likewise; I've seen stories written solely about them. Where does your opinion fall?
    August 25th, 2009 at 05:35am
  • Hellcat

    Hellcat (150)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    100
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    I don't write about celebrities or real people, but I'd have to say I'm in the same boat as the folks over at LJ. What really irks me, however, is when somebody will write in the ex-girlfriend / wife of their love interest, only to make her an unbearable, vindicative bitch, but it in no way serves to further the plot, only to justify the author's feeling towards this person. It's juvenile and disrespectful.
    August 25th, 2009 at 05:59am
  • Fedex

    Fedex (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    29
    Location:
    United States
    Imagine if you had a kid and all your fans where writing stories about her/him. I don't think I'd be comfortable with it, but at the same time I probably just wouldn't read it. Now if they were exploiting my kid some way, more than just writing a story with my kids name, I don't think I could let it pass. I guess it kind of depends how they make the character out to be, too.

    I don't like it when kids are used in stories, because you're writing a story about a baby/child. A kid who's still pretty innocent and I don't think we should be writing about them being prostitutes or anything when they haven't even expierenced life yet.

    ...That's a hard question.
    August 25th, 2009 at 06:25am
  • meese.

    meese. (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    United States
    Y'know, I always wondered what the difference was between this, and including the parents.

    ... I mean, I guess wives and kids can have really different degrees of being personal, but people always say, "Well, their wife/kid didn't choose to be famous..." yadda yadda, but... neither did their parents, y'know?

    Anyway... just a thought.

    I'm not completely sure how I feel about the whole 'writing about the wife/kid' thing, yet. But I do know that I enjoy it more when their significant others, and kids, are made up. Just because... that's personally how I am. -shrug-
    August 25th, 2009 at 06:35am
  • Poirot's Moustache

    Poirot's Moustache (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    70
    Location:
    Australia
    I'm pretty much adamant that I won't write sex scenes between real-life couples. :XD But of course that's just one thing that a story can involve. I have written stories about real-life couples (though both are musicians, so that's different in a way) but if the story idea revolves around that couple having kids, I'll make it an OC always. I just feel more comfortable with it that way.

    I'm still out on whether I'm for or against real-life couples being written about when one is a muso/actor/whatever else and the other isn't though. :think: It is different, but they do get some attention from the media, so...I don't know.
    August 25th, 2009 at 07:52am
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

    :
    Admin
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    I think that writing about adults (real life wives, husbands, exes) is one thing, but the writing about a celebrity's kid is a completely different something else. Creepy, in my opinion, and usually disrespectful (with the stories I've come across). I mean, it's one thing if you want Gerard and Frank to sex each other up, but to have an incest story about Gerard and his real-life kid...that just isn't right to me. Not at all. And even if it's not necessarily a taboo or negative topic/story, still...it's just taking the whole fandom thing to an extreme and innappropriate place.
    August 25th, 2009 at 07:53am
  • HerFamousLastWords

    HerFamousLastWords (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    30
    Location:
    United States
    Personally, I don't like to involve the spouses or children of celebrities in my fan fictions. Writing about them just doesn't feel right. I think for me, besides not wanting to invade their personal lives, I like to keep a veil between my fiction and reality. To me, when spouses or kids are thrown into fiction, it can break the suspension of disbelief and the whole fantasy of the story.

    Call me a creeper, but when I read a Gerard Way romance, I want to picture myself in the OC's shoes. I really don't feel comfortable if his wife is around. :shifty

    I don't think that made a bit of sense...
    August 26th, 2009 at 04:00am
  • london dreaming.

    london dreaming. (255)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    26
    Location:
    United States
    ...And this would be why I like original fiction.

    But I do write fanfiction, and I'm lucky because the people I write it about aren't married (yet) and they don't have kids, so I've never really had to think about this. I personally don't believe it's right to write about a celebrity's child, unless in passing.

    As for wives, I'm not sure. I guess it's just your feelings about it. Again, I've never really had to deal with it.
    August 27th, 2009 at 03:58am
  • paranormality.

    paranormality. (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    25
    Location:
    United States
    I'm not quite as against writing wives as I am against writing children. When I see fics that feature Bandit or Bronx, etc, it really frustrates me. I don't think it's okay to even mention children in passing. It makes me uncomfortable.
    It's not as if they had any say in whether they would be famous or not and especially since they are children. It not only annoys me but makes me sad.

    I am personally more comfortable writing about Lindsey because she is in a band like Gerard so it's kind of the same to me? Like, if I'm going to write about Gerard how is it different to write about her? I never exploit her, though, and I never, ever would.

    When it comes to most other wives though, who have not chosen a life for themselves in the lime light and have simply chosen a husband for themselves, I don't think it's fair to write about them. Actually, it creeps me out. A lot.

    As for parents and things, if Linda or Donna (Gerard Way's parents) are mentioned in passing I'm alright. If they're in a scene or two, that's alright as well I suppose. I don't like them as significant characters, though.
    August 27th, 2009 at 04:27am
  • chrissie.

    chrissie. (250)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    Australia
    I generally just leave wives and girlfriends and kids out. I really don't like when writers make them bitches and stuff, just because they need an excuse to get them out of the way for the main characters to ~fall in love.
    Or when there's incest. -shivers- Father/daughter incest creeps me out.
    August 27th, 2009 at 07:20am
  • ravegirl.

    ravegirl. (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    United States
    I never thought about it that way...
    I used to write stuff about actual people being bitches and hoes just 'cause it worked and now I feel bad, even though that stuff was never puplished, not even close.
    August 27th, 2009 at 07:57am
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    29
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I think it's absolutely ridiculous to be touchy about celebrities' kids being characters. Stories are fictional and they can't affect reality in any way, I don't see why it's only okay to fictionalize some people. Many children books have characters based on real persons (for example Peter Pan and the Alice in Wonderland books) and nobody has a problem with it.
    August 27th, 2009 at 10:15am
  • elsa of northuldra

    elsa of northuldra (550)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    29
    Location:
    United States
    I don't write fanfics but I feel that you shouldn't write about the kids in a weird way.
    Like if someone writes a story where Bronx and Pete Wentz are lovers or something, I just think that touches base on something thats completely wrong.
    But also like proust. said, it's fictional. Who cares?
    I dont know, I'm kind of in the middle on the writing about the kids thing.

    As for writing about the wives, sure, why not?
    August 27th, 2009 at 11:03am
  • devil's trap

    devil's trap (150)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    United States
    I have no real problem with involving the wives in the stories. Writing about children, though...that's a little different. They're a touch too innocent for fan fiction.
    August 27th, 2009 at 11:15am
  • purple haze.

    purple haze. (220)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    To be honest, I don't really like it myself. Yes - if they're famous {the wives} for doing something in their own right - like Adrienne Armstrong is pretty much known just because of Billie Joe. But Say for example - when Joe Jonas dated Taylor Swift {Yes, they weren't married I know} worked because they're both famous, so you know the character better, and the readers will as well. It would please a wider audience and is more allowed rather than writing about normal day-to-day citizens just because of who their spouse is.

    I mean, write them in that's fine. But I wouldn't exactly appreciate a story not including their husbands in it.
    August 27th, 2009 at 01:22pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

    :
    Admin
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    proust.:
    I think it's absolutely ridiculous to be touchy about celebrities' kids being characters. Stories are fictional and they can't affect reality in any way, I don't see why it's only okay to fictionalize some people. Many children books have characters based on real persons (for example Peter Pan and the Alice in Wonderland books) and nobody has a problem with it.
    Probably because Wendy was never screwing her dad and Alice wasn't made into some psycho crackwhore.

    A lot of celebrities are uncomfortable with fanfiction to start with. I think that if you're writing about someone you admire, then you should show a little respect for their offspring. It only makes sense. I know that if it were me, I wanted want some fan writing incest stories about me and my barely born child. I think it's a issue of respect really. Even if the celebrity never sees the story, as a fan, there needs to be some kind of distant here.
    August 27th, 2009 at 01:28pm
  • Dorian Gray

    Dorian Gray (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    29
    Location:
    Sweden
    I agree with it not being okay to write about people who didn't choose to be famous, meaning kids, wives and so on.
    I don't like stories about real life couples either way, though, because it feels like an intrusion of privacy.

    But stories about a month year old "famous" baby is what sickens me the most.
    August 27th, 2009 at 03:12pm
  • soft rains.

    soft rains. (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    27
    Location:
    United States
    I write mostly OF now, but when I did write fanfiction, I had a strict no kids policy.
    It just feels low and disrespectful to me, honestly.
    August 27th, 2009 at 05:27pm
  • Kilgharrah

    Kilgharrah (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    99
    Location:
    Canada
    I write Original Fiction, but every character has a part of me (or someone I know) in them somewhere... It's how you grasp that real feel to them, and to all characters you create. It's hard to have them feel real when you don't know the personality you are writing, or the character type or anything else of that sort.
    It's always been a problem with most people who write here on Mibba (I have found with my reading). They will base a character (or use someone as their character) on someone so completely, that any change in feeling toward said person will change how the character is treated in the story... Rarely does the change benefit the story at all... =/

    It's just easier to not write directly about anyone close/real. (my opinion there)
    August 27th, 2009 at 10:39pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    29
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Audrey T.:
    proust.:
    I think it's absolutely ridiculous to be touchy about celebrities' kids being characters. Stories are fictional and they can't affect reality in any way, I don't see why it's only okay to fictionalize some people. Many children books have characters based on real persons (for example Peter Pan and the Alice in Wonderland books) and nobody has a problem with it.
    Probably because Wendy was never screwing her dad and Alice wasn't made into some psycho crackwhore.

    A lot of celebrities are uncomfortable with fanfiction to start with. I think that if you're writing about someone you admire, then you should show a little respect for their offspring. It only makes sense. I know that if it were me, I wanted want some fan writing incest stories about me and my barely born child. I think it's a issue of respect really. Even if the celebrity never sees the story, as a fan, there needs to be some kind of distant here.
    But not all bandfics include steamy overly graphic sex, although since you've mentioned it, Death in Venice by Thomas Mann is pretty creepy (it's about a writer in his fifties who falls in love with a young boy while on holiday in Venice and starts stalking him), the boy character was based off a real person - W?adys?aw Moes and Lolita was also inspired by a real-life person - Florence Horner, they're both really good books and I'm glad that they've been written and that I can read them.

    I can distinguish between fiction and real life, I don't think I could ever take offense in a anything written about a character bearing my name or that of my children especially if they were relatively good stories, if not, well I'm just sorry for its authors, but bad writing is not worth any of my energy. It's a matter of how serious you take fanfiction, if you think it's just wishful day dreaming about people you admire and/or want to have steamy sex with, then, yes, it's probably disrespectful to have their kids involved, but if you see it as a piece of writing just as valuable as non-fanfiction texts, I still don't see the problem.
    August 28th, 2009 at 12:13am