Hello friends and welcome to another fun filled fantasy edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
Well, I am happy to report that I am finally coming out of the fog that has been clouding my brain for the last six weeks or so, and that means I am ready to attack my current project, The Nexus, with gusto.
I write fantasy, and one of the best things about writing fantasy is that the writer has a level of freedom that authors of most other genres do not enjoy. There is no history you need to keep in mind, no conventional values to adhere to. Not even the laws of nature are necessarily safe. With magic and fantastic creatures and pantheons of gods that can shape reality to their will at an author’s fingertips, literally anything is possible.
One of the things I am strongest at with my writing is developing characters. Even when I play roleplaying games, I tend to take the text and supplement it with background information of my own imagining, for no other reason than I find it more entertaining that way.
I am also a white, cis-gendered, straight passing woman who grew up surrounded by white, cis-gendered, straight media telling white, cis-gendered, straight stories, so when I create characters they usually start from a white, cis-gendered, straight template. However, as I started developing not just my craft but my social conscience in my early 20s, I realized that books strictly about white, cis-gendered, straight characters were no longer interesting to me – to read or write. And so I made a conscious decision to be extremely intentional to be as diverse as possible with my own casts.
I’m disappointed (in myself) to say that I’ve not done as good a job as that with The Nexus. For background, The Nexus came into being when I decided to round up a handful of unused or discarded character concepts from past projects. That means that though the story itself is wide ranging, most of the characters still more closely resemble the template upon which they are based.
There is still time to adjust this, of course, and I have no doubt that as I get deeper into the trenches (I’ve only completed 1/6 story paths after all) more ideas on how to diversify will come to me, but the realization that I hadn’t done as well as I’d hoped served as an important reminder that resisting one’s internal biases, even if it is unintentional and non-malicious, is an ongoing battle.
fThat’s all from me this week. I miiiiiight be back on Tuesday for a book review, depending on how much time I have to read over the weekend, but if not I’ll see you next Thursday. Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.