Lungern, Switzerland by **Anik Messier**
Requested by jesiwriter.
I live in The South and a lot of these are actual fact and not cliches
having original characters is incredible because you make up these people and give them lives and motivation and personalities and then you can smash them together in romances or kill them and no one can stop you, fucking nobody
i want to write the kind of short stories you read in english class that are on this weird level of surrealism that they still haunt you years down the road
If you bend over backwards feeling sorry for even having to think about putting people who are different from your in your stories, you are in the wrong. No one is going to break into your house and force you to make your characters people of color. They can, however, choose not to read books that don’t bother including them.
People of color aren’t aliens, LGTBQ folks aren’t unicorns, disabled people don’t just vanish when you stop thinking about them. We exist, and to not even consider reflecting that in your stories is poor, selfish writing.
Phenomenal. May I add?
I think I see where you are coming from, asker, but I still disagree. This is entirely correct, no one is going to force you at gunpoint to include underserved characters in your stories. And your point about freedom is also correct, writing is about freedom.
And so is reading, as I think we all know well.
If you refuse to bend to “pressure” to include underserved minorities in your writing, then your audience is free to refuse to read your stories. You can do absolutely whatever you want, but I expect never to hear you grumble that no one reads a story about another white, cisgendered, heterosexual, able-bodied male. I expect never to hear you cry that people are criticizing your writing as exclusionary. I expect never to hear you complain that people are being unfair to you when you are being unfair to them.
To refuse to consider the inclusion of people different than ourselves is to deny them a place in the world. Stories follow us as time goes on, and to pretend that only one kind of person exists is selfish and exclusionary. And the argument I least want to hear in your favor is “but there are other stories about [insert underserved minority]! they’re already represented!”
Do not throw us a bone when we are starving and then complain from your feast that we want too much.
Do not pretend you are the exception to a long-standing problem.
Do not sit there all proud of yourself for championing the cause of creative freedom if only certain people are allowed to be freely represented.
Write through it first and then go back to pick out the places that seem to be going too fast. Here are some reasons for why they seem rushed:
- Word Choice: Your word choice determines the way a sentence flows by itself and how it flows with other sentences. If a section of your writing seems too fast, rewrite it and rearrange it until is sounds right.
- Not Enough Something: If you look at a scene that is much shorter than you thought it would be, you might be missing detail or story. You can add more to the story by introduce subplots, adding in a little bit more conflict, or adding something else that puts more space between the beginning and the end. For tips on detail, go through the description tag on the tags page.
- Pacing: Your pacing is probably off. This goes back to the above points. If you need help with pacing, go through the pacing tag on the tags page.
- No Down Time: You need some down time in a story. The action scenes can go fast, but after that something should slow the story. The reader needs time between fast paced scenes to wrap their head around what had just happened, but this doesn’t mean it should be a pattern of fast-slow-fast-slow. Mix it up. Entire chapters or scenes shouldn’t be fast or slow. They can be a combination. There can be little moments of quiet in an action scene where you can catch up on everything that happened within the narration and where you can put in more detail about the world around your character.