Episode 80: Internet Grab Bag

On Saturday, February 1, Kasie and Rex took on the questions Twitter has of the #WritingCommunity. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day:

Grab Bag Episode

Agenda

  • We read your questions via Twitter
  • News in the S.C. Writerverse
brown shopping bags
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

This week’s #wschat was a Grab Bag episode so we thought we’d carry that over to today’s Write On SC. We also have two announcements for ya’ll.

First:

Registration for the SCWA Spring Conference is officially open. Presenters include SCWA members Barbara Evers, Robert Lackey, Estelle Ford Williamson, and Michelle Buckman. Also featuring Candace Thompson, Anna Edmonds, Alexia Clark, and Len Lawson. Publishers like Alexa Bigwarfe of Kat Biggie Press, Literary Community members like Ray McManus and Jonathan Haupt, and keynote featured author Belle Boggs.

A mix of networking, exhibits, workshops, panels, and parties, this year’s Spring Conference is the celebration of SCWA’s 30th Anniversary.

Second announcement:

February’s Local Authors Book Club selection is Dixiana by James D. McCallister. Buy it online at the link here or buy it onsite at Loose Lucy’s in Five Points or Sunrise Artisan Bath & Body, also in Five Points.

A little bit about James D. McCallister here

Some of the questions we took on in today’s episode:

Do you re-write your novel during revision? From scratch — blank page? No. But re-work it in segments to make it better, yes. Workshop it with others for their feedback, yes.

Do you have a story you’re proud of? Rex is proud of his soon-to-be-released novel What Hell May Come. Kasie’s proud of After December.

Should/Could writers write characters who have different ethnicities or backgrounds than them? We both said yes. (Admittedly this may be white privilege talking) We think authors are uniquely able to tell stories from various perspectives because we’re all infected with voices in our heads. Let those voices tell their story. It’s fine. But do two things if it’s not your heritage/background/religion: 

1) be authentic. People are not their race or their neighborhood. You cannot write a stereotypical character. It has to be an authentic voice. If you’re finding it hard to make this ethnic character authentic, then don’t write him or her. Authenticity matters most. No amount of research can substitute for the kind of authenticity true empathy and creativity create. 

2) Get readers who can speak to the nuances of language, description, perspective, and experience. If you’re writing a Latina girl, find one to read the work. If you don’t know one, go to an online writers’ group and ask for help. There’s no shame in checking your work for bias, cliches and sensitivity. In the end, it’s your work and you can show up however you want. But if you want the story to stand out without the trappings of internet rage over cultural reassignment, Get.It.Right. Do whatever you have to do to verify and validate.

That was a good segment of the show wherein we talked about the difference between internet outrage and the haters who just gonna hate, versus having a legitimate concern about misrepresentation. Authors and publishers should be prepared to defend the work.

More next week on Write On SC. Thanks for listening today!

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