Writing Terra Incognita

It’s just two days and change from NaNoWriMo, and I’m really not feeling ready.  Part of it, I think, is that I’m afraid of fucking up the main character.

Roban is my first non-romance male protagonist in, I think, ever.  (I’m not sure why my brain categorized male romance protagonist as different from male every-other-genre protagonist, but there we are.)

Not only that, he’s a binary trans man, and a father.   So he’s kind of the perfect storm of things I’m not.

In a way, the dude part is the scariest.  I can hire a transmasculine sensitivity reader (or three) and I’m sure that I can find either an editor or a beta who’s a parent, maybe even one with a kid Ethziri’s age.

But maleness seems like a minefield, and my own experiences with it are both fleeting, and complicated by the fact that even when I feel like I’m a man remote-operating a woman’s body, the social reality of my life is that body, the expectations and limitations that come with it.

Maleness is terra incognita.  I’ve made occasional forays, but have never gotten more than a few steps past the border.

Really, it’s character creation that’s the problem.  I don’t know how to make sure a male character is real.

This isn’t a problem in fanfic: there, I’m not trying to write A DUDE, I’m trying to write a version of Dean Winchester, or whoever, who is in line with his characterization from Show.  (And given the fandom’s love of AUs, I would bet good money that somewhere on AO3 there is at least one fic about trans single dad Dean Winchester.)

I suspect I may be overthinking it.  Men are people, men are individuals, there are as many ways to be a man as they are men.

And anyway, I can always fix it in revisions, right?  (RIGHT!?)