On inclusivity —
The meme continues ...
28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.
I don't know if it speaks only to myself or to the culture (a culture?) at large that, when I first read the above question, I did so hearing a chorus of voices whose sections included the shrill, the self-righteous and the politically fashionable.
I suspect I've read one to many internet pile-ons, in which hordes of (mostly) anonymous do-gooders wielding moral self-assurance like iron bars descend upon a sexist or racist evil-doer with the joyous outrage of the eternal Mrs. Grundy to berate, ostracize and otherwise correct the transgressor.
(Yes, in most of the cases I've witnessed, said transgressor had engaged in morally questionable (at best) behaviour; the pile-on itself remains an ugly phenomenon at least similar to mob-justice.)
But the question itself as written is in fact perfectly innocuous. People who are disabled are a significant ingredient in the human soup and certainly ought to be represented in fiction.
I've never set out to write a Disabled Character — or even a cripple, as my ever-more crippled father is the first to put it.
The closest I have come to physical disabilities have been those caused by age or illness and these have almost always been terminal. In my defence: what does a healthy teenage boy know of a life lived in pain or without the use of limbs most of us (at least when young) take for granted?
So, not much, on the physical side of the question. The mental is another matter ...
If physical disabilities are under-represented in fiction (and that's a pretty big if, outside of action-oriented genre fiction), I suspect that mental disabilities might be over-represented, at least if "disability" is broadly defined.
How much easier it is to write dramatically about the neurotic, the drug-abusing and mentally ill than it is to do the same with the well-adjusted, the teetotallers and the certifiably sane — am I right?
Few of my chracters are happy and no small percentage of them are, or have had bouts with, episodes which at least could have seen them institutionalized.
If alcoholism or chronic alienation are disabilities, than any number of my characters are disabled.
But I can't say that I've consciously sought to examine such "issues", or that I have explored what some might term "true" disabilities — missing limbs, malfunctioning nervous systems or mental illnesses that cause the sufferer to hear voices when no one is speaking or to see visions that no one else perceives.
0. Explain yourself! In which Young Geoffrey explains the meme and his reasons for exploring it.
1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.
2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females
3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?
4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!
5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about "youngest" and "oldest" in terms of when you created them?
6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?
7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?
8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?
9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.
10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!
11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?
13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?
14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?
15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!
16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how "far" are you willing to go in your writing? ;)
17. Favorite protagonist and why!
18. Favorite antagonist and why!
19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!
20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?
Question #20A, "What are your favourite character interactions to write?"
21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?
22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.
23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story — from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?
24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?
25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.
26. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!
27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.
29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?
30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!
On a note entirely unrelated to this meme and only tangetially to writing at all, I find myself in possession of a some invite codes to Dreamwidth, if for any reason you're looking for an alternative to LJ, or if you're a non-blogger looking for a home. Reply here or send me an email through my info page and I'll hook you up.
And on a personal note, I am happy to report that I will be taking a trip out of town for the first time since I moved to Ottawa nearly a year ago. Raven and I will be leaving Friday morning for Sudbury, my mother and brothers for to see. Which means that, coincidentally, I'll be finishing this Terribly Popular Meme on the very day I leave town and, likely, go mostly offline for four or five days.
Play nice while I'm gone, okay?
This entry was originally posted at http://ed-rex.dreamwidth.org/18926.html. Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.