Sometimes terminology and identity intersect, so it’s important to get right. Here are a couple of resources that I’ve found helpful so far:
Introduction to Disability Terminology – Here’s a brief rundown of how to write about disability in your stories. It’s a fantastic website overall. There are likely some things you haven’t considered yet.
Writing Characters of Different Genders | Trans, Non-Binary, Cisgender, More – This is a link to a bunch of great resources here. Also, the Writing the Other classes have gotten good recommendations from people whose opinions I trust.
Now, I hope you all get back to enjoying the holiday silly season. I’ve got some presents to wrap 🙂
Do you have any links to share?
More awesomesauce links for writers.
Brief Analysis of the Alphahole trope in Romance Fiction – Oh this is a good one (also hilarious) and it doesn’t matter if you don’t write Romance. This trope shows up everywhere. Bruce Wayne? Totally an Alphahole. More on that if you read it.
Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions – A long list if you’re thinking about a new story. Not just useful for fantasy, but any story that’s not set here and now.
Writing With Color – Ways to describe skin color without resorting to those dreaded food analogies.
Names of the World – A starting point for finding names common in different countries. When baby name websites aren’t enough. via Tam MacNeil who also posts tons of writing resources and happens to write cool books too.
Useful stuff. Do you have any links to share?
This is by far the best description of ‘agency’ that I’ve ever read:
It is characters who create problems, who escalate the problems, and who inevitably complicate and then fix the problems. Characters want things, and in pursuit of those things, they fuck up and fail and then succeed as heroes. ~ via Chuck Wendig
Everyone always says you need to ‘give your characters agency’, or ‘the characters should drive the plot’, but in concrete terms those descriptions of agency have always been pretty meaningless to me.
I’ve struggled with it in my past novels, because the characters were too busy running from or reacting to what was happening around them to drive the external plot. I was going with the ‘chase character up a tree then throw rocks at them’ model of plotting, which left something missing.
It’s simple now that I think about it this way:
Have your characters create their own problems and suffer the consequences for good or ill. Let them fail once in a while, let them make bad choices, then fix them. Bonus points for snowballing problems.
Cue light bulb.
Character agency, decoded.
*YMMV, but it works as a mental model for me.