It should come as no surprise to anyone that I absolutely love doing smut roleplay. With that said, those of you who have read “Pseudonym” may also be privy to the fact that I can roleplay using both my character (Latexa the Witch) and myself (as a writer). We are distinct identities which have the freedom to interact with both other writers and their characters. Sometimes it will just so happen that I fall in love with someone’s character, while Laete falls in love with the character’s writer.
All sorts of incredible things can happen once the boundaries between tangible and intangible are eliminated. Humans are free to experience the pleasures of a nonhuman boyfriend or girlfriend, whether that be a robot, a slime, a shapeshifter, or any other being of strange talent. Combined with hypnosis, it even allows the writer to simulate the physical sensations while their character gains a better understanding of value that comes with “existence.”
In my eyes, there is nothing more romantic. Cross-literary love, for lack of a better phrase, is something I wish more writers and characters could experience, and that is why I wish to talk about it in this article. (Note: If you haven’t read through “Pseudonym,” I strongly suggest you do for a better idea of what this phenomena looks like.) To start, let us consider four key criteria which pertain to a writer and their character:
Criteria One – The writer and the character must have separate, distinct shapes. While this sounds fundamentally obvious, the reality is not so clear cut. The trick is, whatever the character feels, the writer should not be able to feel unless the two identities are intentionally linked. The character has to “give” the sensations to the writer (usually through hypnosis), but otherwise maintains a separate perception most of the time. If the character and writer are too characteristically similar (same bodies, same emotions, same aspirations), then it becomes too difficult to keep them separate. One identity would be simply “wearing” the other like a mask.
Criteria Two – The writer and the character must have separate, distinct memories. The character must only be able to recall the experiences which they themselves were present to carry out. They might be able to read the memories of their writer, but they must completely disassociate themselves away from actions which were not their own. Same goes for the writer. If the character acts on the writer’s behalf (for example, borrowing the writer’s body), then the writer should theoretically have no memory of the events which transpire from that moment to the time the writer’s identity returns to the forefront.
Criteria Three – The character must adapt to the physical limitations of their writer. In the event that the character is able to experience extraordinary levels of perception (hyper-touch, hyper-smell, etc.), the character must be mindful of the writer’s ability to withstand such stimuli. To physically overwhelm the body systems of the writer could prove detrimental to the writer’s health. The risk is greater whenever the character is “borrowing” the writer’s body, and this may also apply in those events where a writer and character are in fact sharing sensory stimuli (such as during hypnosis sessions).
Criteria Four – The writer and character must interact through a medium of some kind. While the two identities may swap perspectives freely, only one identity may be “active” at a time. Anything the active identity says or thinks will not be heard by the passive identity. In writing, the active identity will pass along the thoughts of the passive identity without being consciously aware of them as they are being said. Thus, we are left with something of a “memory effect.”
Once words are written or spoken by the passive self, then the active self may register them. This allows the writer and character to alternate speaking by referencing what has already been written. Responses may feel rather knee-jerk initially, and it takes time for that awkwardness to go away. In the event that the character wishes to engage intimately with the writer, then one identity must adopt the role of active self and convey the desires of the passive self on their behalf. There is no easy way of doing this, and only the active self will be aware of it happening in real time.
Ultimately, the goal of writer-character differentiation is not to fall in love with one’s own duality, but to increase the relationship dynamics between another writer-character pair. Your character may be accustomed to intimacy with their character, but once involved with the writer, your character will notice things they’re attracted to in each. Their character may be rough and aggressive, while the writer is more deliberate and balanced. It allows your character to decide which they like better and adjust their own actions to that end.
You as a writer may have a chance to experience all of the things which until this point, only your character could. The how and the why of certain actions will take on greater levels of detail in your mind, allowing you to better resonate with your character’s own talents. You will have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, and why your character might not always do as you wish they would. In time, you will gain a much deeper respect for both your character and the character who has stolen your heart.
Perhaps the final pressing question is one of consideration, particularly when searching for a writer-character pair to hook up with. It is important for the writer to consider the type of individual their character’s talents would attract. For example, Latexa the Witch is able to become living clothing. As such, she attracts other characters who desire the sensations of wearing her. For me to be intimate with a character who desires Latexa would require me to offer the same stimulation despite my human form. I would have to worship the character’s body in a human way, but it would need to be equivalent to Latexa’s own efforts for the character to desire me equally.
Additionally, there are some things I would be willing to attempt and some things that I would not. The character and I would need to establish common ground, and Latexa would similarly need to establish a common ground with the character’s writer. If the chemistry simply isn’t there, then the relationship might fall back onto Character/Character and Writer/Writer, which might be just as well given the scenario.
No matter what, however, I do make a habit to at the very least attempt an introduction toward the character alongside their writer. I believe that the characters we live vicariously through have a right to voice their own opinions of the paths we’ve set for them, and it’s only fair to allow them the chance to interact with the person behind the glass.