It’d be so lovely to just write write write and not worry about reader perceptions. You can! That’s the first draft (and the fourth and fifth and so on, if you’re me). And while no one can tell you how or what to write, writers would benefit from taking a step back from their work to consider their content from a broader perspective.
This week: heaping servings of knowledge from those in the know and those who have looked down the barrel of their own biases.
(Warning for those who need it: one link includes a discussion of rape scenes in storytelling)
- “How do I describe my character’s skin tone without being offensive?” and “What’s the problem with comparing my character to chocolate and coffee?” The folks at Writing with Color answer these and other common questions they receive.
- While the Reading Diversely FAQ at Book Riot is geared toward readers, authors can benefit from the discussion of subjects that have come up again and again regarding diversity and representation in books.
- So. [Steeples fingers] You’re thinking of adding a rape scene to your novel for [insert reason here]. Author John Scalzi discusses the last time he ever considered using rape as an interesting character note or plot device.
- One queer editor analyzes his own preference and requests to see characters who “just happen to be gay” and how that phrase could discourage a diverse community of authors.
- On a different note: To MFA or not to MFA? That is no longer a question for City University of Hong Kong MFA candidates, as the government cracks down and abruptly closes their program.