Monday, May 27, 2013

Writing the "other"

I recently wrote a gay character.  My first one.  He wasn't a main character, by any means, but he wasn't entirely insignificant.

I didn't set out to write a gay character--and I certainly didn't set out not to write one either.  It just happened.  That's the way my stories seem to go.

I am not gay, so to write a character like that was a little challenging.  But no more challenging than writing women.  Or a Native American.  Or a lawyer.  Or a homeless man.  Anything that isn't an overweight white male in his early 40s.  The last thing I wanted to do with it was write the character as clique as possible.  I wanted to write them . . . er, normal.

Or as normal as possible.

The same could go for Blacks or Hispanics or Native Americans or Martians.  For me, I want to stretch my boundaries and write them as believable as possible.  I do seem to take it as a challenge to write them outside the stereotypical norm.

I hope I succeeded.

Lastly, what I don't want to do is "hang a lantern" on these differences.  I didn't write the gay character as if they were a flashing billboard for homosexuality.  They just happened to be attracted to the same sex.

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