June 1st, 2016

Me typing?

Writing Excuses 11.22: Examining Unconscious Biases, with Shannon Hale

Writing Excuses 11.22: Examining Unconscious Biases, with Shannon Hale

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/05/29/11-22-examining-unconscious-biases-with-shannon-hale/

Key Points: Everybody has unconscious biases, which will get into your writing. Start looking at them, seeing what you are doing, and examining them to make yourself a better writer. For example, let's look at how we write female characters. Who are the main characters, the named characters? Writing and reading are not gendered topics. Watch out for the one token awesome female -- better than no females at all, but lacking in variety and diversity. Ask yourself "Why?" and "Is there a bias at play?" Start with a person, then decide traits. Try the two rules -- every crowd is full of men and women, and every other speaker is a woman. Then start fleshing it out from there, with interesting characters. Keep trying! You will make mistakes, but learn from them, don't just repeat them.Collapse )

[Brandon] All right. Shannon, you have some homework for us.
[Shannon] Yes. Take something you've written and gender swap it. Every character that's a male, make him female. Every character that's female, make her male. See how that changes the story. Often what will happen if you have a story with a lot of male characters, not many female characters, suddenly your now newly male characters, you're going to say, "Why aren't they doing anything? Why are they just sitting around and only the female characters are doing everything?" It's going to open your eyes to how you treat the different genders. Then the challenge after that is see if you can actually make your named speaking characters half female and half male, just like they are in the real world.
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.