While I write main characters that nearly live within my own experiences, a novel full of people like that is blind to the world as it is. Furthermore, this is fiction! If I can't portray Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of integrated communities here, then what's the point? But writing a diverse cast is full … Continue reading Four Steps to Writing Diverse Casts With Authenticity
Today's guest post was written by Brenda Drake. I met Brenda online years ago when #PitchWars and #PitMad were just starting out as contests for up-and-coming writers. Both contests have grown exponentially in recent years, bringing so many more great books to the market. The way that Brenda supports writers inspires me to give others … Continue reading Thunderstruck by Brenda Drake [release date 9/11/17] + Giveaway!
There are so many decisions that go into characterizing the protagonist in your novel. In addition to profession, personality, and life history, there's this immensity called "background." What's the character's race or ethnicity? Gender? Sexual orientation? Socioeconomic status? Religious affiliation (and position on the faith-doubt spectrum)? Physical abilities and limitations? Neurological tendencies and diagnoses? Family … Continue reading Writing a Main Character With Privilege Instead of Telling Someone Else’s Story
You support the #weneeddiversebooks movement and the #ownvoices movement. You want to be an ally against injustice in our society. Congratulations! But if you're like me, then you're cisgender, straight, and white, and you're wondering: How do I write in appreciation of others without appropriating from them? If I write from other perspectives, am I … Continue reading How to Write #DiverseBooks as a Writer with Privilege
The enthusiasm of the Pitch Wars community is so contagious that I had to join in the fun this year. It's awesome to see mentors, mentees, and all of us wannabes engaging in some good old-fashioned literary citizenship. I already got my first mentor in the form of Colleen Halverson, who critiqued my query and … Continue reading #PitchWars Extended Bio
I'll use any opportunity to reference The Great Gatsby (like here, here, and over here). Today is no different. In the first chapter, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes: "Why CANDLES?" objected Daisy, frowning. She snapped them out with her fingers. "In two weeks it’ll be the longest day in the year." She looked at us all radiantly. … Continue reading Summer Solstice Observance for Sun-Haters