March 21st, 2019



Ideas! Ideas are usually very easy, but sometimes very hard!

Thurston Howl, who I guess is "my" furry publisher now, just announced their next anthology theme, and it's "Trans-fur-mation: Tales From Transgender Furry Voices". Which is to say they specifically want trans authors to contribute. The pun is a little...silly, but I am very interested in sending in a story.

An idea is proving really elusive, though.

I want to write something that's "me", that in some way expresses some portion of my own journey. That's the point of this kind of collection, to let trans people say something about themselves. So just some random "has a trans character" story won't do. But my journey has been long, gradual, convoluted, complicated, and strange even as trans stories go. There isn't any one path, of course, but even putting aside how "typical" my story is, the fact is that it's hard to explain, and also long. The anthology has an 8k upper limit, and for me that's REALLY SHORT. Putting anything that fully encapsulates what I've been through in a story that length is impossible.

And also, frankly, it makes for a bad narrative. The kind of wandering, quirky, convoluted exploration of gender I've had would be excellent as a B plot over a long novel or a trilogy or something, where more tidy and satisfying story arcs happen in some adventure-laden A plot, but it's not a "good story" in and of itself.

If I'm not to simply tell my own story through a furry self-insert character, though, then that leaves the question: what story do I tell? What threads do I pick out from my life, and how do I put them into an interesting tale with a distinct beginning and ending?

Thus far I'm honestly drawing something of a blank. I'd like to play more with the transhuman furry sci-fi setting I've got, and that seems like a good place to have things like this happen, I'm sure their tech can do some great things for trans people, and the Alliance of Sentients in particular, with their "ways of thinking define you, not bodies" philosophy would be a great place to be trans in! But of course if it's trans utopia, then what even happens in the story? "I was raised in a world where this is accepted, supported, and fully possible, so everything went great!" is first of all a little bland as a story, and second of all not my story at all. I was raised in a world where even being a "tomboy" got massive pushback at times.

So then do I write the outsider moving into this more accepting world? That is a lot more like my real story, but again, my story was so long. How do I make a short, punchy version? Who does the moving, from where, and why? Are they escaping something? Fleeing some danger is a great narrative, but giving this story an adventure A plot and a trans B plot threatens to make it far too long again.


I'm sure I'll hammer this all out eventually, I always do. But my usual "bounce ideas off of" person isn't here, and probably won't be for a while, so I am flailing at you all about it meanwhile.

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