On the Importance of Voicing in Runewriters

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Shazzbaa's avatar
So I ran into someone recently asking about why voicing (basically, the fact that Tareth is encouraged to speak rather than sign) is treated as important/desirable/necessary in Runewriters... and the thing is that I don't really think it is, so I wanted to go into that a little bit!

My instinct, as usual, is to say "keep reading!" :meow: because that issue was definitely not finished with in Chapter One -- but I can still understand the uncertainty. The tricky thing about this, I think, is that speaking aloud isn't a new thing for Tareth. She flips easily between the two -- but only with Severian. Speaking aloud to other people is the thing she hasn't really done before. It's being willing to step outside of her sheltered world that makes her decision a big deal, rather than it being a decision to vocalise.

That said, there's way more to the story, and Tareth's preferred method of communication is something that'll come up throughout. To those of you who are sad to see less signing this chapter -- do not worry! It's not done, not by a long shot. This is one of those long, long stories where whole characters and plot threads can fall into the background for a chapter or so and come back later, and without delving into too much explanation of my own story, I feel like this is basically an example of that.

Ultimately, though, my primary concern is the characters, rather than the issues they raise. The story is about them -- not about their deafness, or muteness, or OCD, or bipolar disorder, or anything else that is but one facet of them. I'm not trying to spread an Important Message About Deafness by having a deaf character -- Tareth's circumstances, especially growing up without any Deaf culture to exist in, are very different from someone who is deaf in our world -- though I do understand the danger of generalising "this is the way it should be" with anything like that, and I really don't have any intentions to make such statements as the story continues. So far, Tareth has been encouraged to speak aloud in order to help Severian. But there's more to the story, and to her story, than that. =)
© 2012 - 2021 Shazzbaa
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archangeltama's avatar
(I comment as Tama-chan on the comics)

I..didn't really think there was a DEEP MEANING so much as to say, a good idea. The signing and speaking can be used as a way to tell Tareth's mood, I guess... MEH. I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. D: I just love Runewriters!

Ummm...lookie at my art? Just a little? :3
megamiaki364's avatar
I love Tareth! She seems like a real person...and the going back and forth between signing and speaking only adds to her character :) Keep up the great work!!!
chopper481's avatar
Honestly, I love Tareth. She is interesting and her character is well-done. I love Runewriters as a whole; the art is fantastic, the writing is great, and you have awesome characters. I don't know what I like best about it, but I do know that it is one of my favourite webcomics. :) Thank you for sharing it with us so freely!
MistyDawnAmara's avatar
im glad your charecters are developed the way they are, it makes things a lot more interesting. when i (attempt) to write, i dont know what the charecter is going to be like, i develop them as i go along (and then go back and edit XD) it usually makes the cast diverse, but somewhat unified.
22bubble-eyes22's avatar
Agreeing with previous comment.

I don't know how many times I'm overjoyed to see a character who is: in a wheelchair, a little person, blind, with a learning disablilty, or even of a often stereotyped worldview only to learn that the character is basically an anthromorphized version of that trait. Their entire existence revolves around it.

With Tareth you say "She's blind, whatever" without belittling it and embracing it as simply an aspect of her character. I trust you to preset it however you see fit.
Panda-Snack's avatar
It's the little things that make a character truly unique to themselves. I like it when a writer provides as much detail about a character without it completely blotting out the actual story. It makes the characters more "human" and you can relate to them.
22bubble-eyes22's avatar
...*deaf. Curse my inability to properly edit.
UrbanBanshee's avatar
I love the way you are writing her :3 and your approach to such traits is a good one I think should be more common. It's frustrating to read stories (or watch movies) when the only time a character has a trait that sets them apart, it is only because the story is strictly about that. I'm including talents and other facets of characters in stories. A character seems to only be allowed to have a hobby, or weakness, or strength if the plot or message of the story demands it. Instead of those things coming out naturally due to them being a part of the character.

I honestly can't think of any stories off the top of my head, book or movie, where a main character was deaf, and the story was about something other then just being deaf.

^^; that's a whole lot of talk for me saying, Tareth's character seems more natural and not just a gimmick and I really appreciate that as a reader.

Seriously loving the comic :D
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