I am a reader. I am a writer. People assume I do these things to escape. You couldn’t be more right. I’m escaping a world I don’t like. A world I have no control in. In this world, I am nothing. I am a color, a height, a weight, a number. But in the world of books and writing, I am amazing. I am powerful. I am different. People are better. Worlds are endless. Change is possible. Life is manageable.
- Me while reading: Noooo! My poor sweet babies! AUTHOR, WHY MUST YOU TORMENT YOUR CHARACTERS SO?
- Me while writing: This character has been orphaned, whipped, sentenced to death, thrown overboard by pirates, captured by enemy soldiers, near-fatally poisoned, put on trial for his life before an angry mob, tortured in front of his best friend, and thrown into prison again.
- Me while writing: ...
- Me while writing: Let's stab him.
I think, as a writer, one of my favorite things is to break a character and see what happens. I like to knock them down and watch if they can get back up. I like to knock them down to their absolute lowest moment, and see how those around them react, how they react, if they crumble or get up, or a combination thereof.
I doubt I am alone in this, but it just tells me so much about them.
I also prefer to do it after I’ve given them a really huge high, a nice run of bliss that puts them in just the right place to fall even further. I want that rock bottom to hurt, but I also want them to have something to grasp on the way down and to pull at as they reach out.
Hardly profound, but I’m just typing out loud.
Having trouble finding synonyms for ‘white’, ‘black’, ‘tan’, etc? Have any clear idea what tone you’re going for? Here’s some web pages for skin tone description and references:
Handy Words for Skin Tone (Includes palettes and comparisons)
More Tone Synonyms w/ Pictures
7 Offensive Mistakes Writers Make (includes more than just skin color)
Oh, my, god. That last link alone is worth it because I can not deal with people writing accents phonetically, and no one ever listens when I tell them why. It’s not cool. It’s exploitative and othering. And it is unfriendly to readers who are not native to the language the overall piece is written in. Secondary language learners sometimes have trouble with slang, and writing it in a phonetic context makes it nearly incomprehensible.
Oh God writing phonetically drives me up a fucking wall. Because it’s always characters who are poor, uneducated, foreign, etc. who get that treatment. And it just is really obnoxious to any readers who actually are OF THOSE BACKGROUNDS who might try to read your work. Not to mention how incredibly insulting it is to see somebody lazily phoneticize your own dialect and get it WRONG.
You can get the same idea across with vocabulary and grammar patterns. You just have to do some research and treat your characters with some basic respect.
— Gary Provost (via perfect)