Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I Avoid Telling Straight/CIS/White/Male Stories

I read which is a response to a response to a response...

And I wanted to comment ALL OVER IT... but that would look bad, since I've rarely visited his site and haven't read his books and don't feel like I've earned the right to say "MY BOOK MY BOOK MY BOOK!" all over it.... ;)

But I can do that here, because My Blog...

Here is one reason why I avoid telling straight/white/male/cis stories:

Because I'm not one. And so my personal default, when telling a story, is NOT to write that character.

But let's take it one step further: why do I avoid telling straight/white/female/cis stories?

Because the first time I ran across a good story where the love story wasn't hetero, I was disappointed (and I still have that feeling, sometimes, because *human* and also *greedy*).

Because I want(ed) them for myself, why couldn't *my* team be represented in this awesome wonderful story?

In my defense, I think that first time I was 13.

But the point is, about 30 seconds later I went Oh, is that how people who aren't hetero feel about all the het relationships in stories out there?


Oh right.

And then I thought, sometime after that, is that how all the non-white people feel?

...and I've read other things and been inspired by other writers, but I think this was the start. My little sadness, multiplied by all the sads out there... the sads that love the story, but wish it was a little easier to squeeze themselves into it.

And that just wasn't right.

So I work a little harder, think a little longer. It's not even about ticking off boxes, it's about trying to write more interesting characters. I mean, I don't know any default characters in real life... do you?

No, you don't. Every person is individual, has scars and stories that stick to them like quicksilver shadows. People have faults, they aren't defaults.

Every character can have that same presence, with just a little effort, a little extra thought.

If I'm going to work hard to give my characters an interesting world in which to do amazing things-- why not make them a little amazing, too? yeah, that's what I write, and frankly, that's what I want to read, too.

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