How Not To Write Disability

Panels, lectures, workshops.

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How Not To Write Disability

Postby dash » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:13 pm

Disability in fiction is a hot topic - and lots of us are getting it wrong. From simple inaccuracy to "inspiration porn" to autism cure stories, learn about the most common mistakes writers make with a variety of physical, mental, and developmental disabilities, and how to avoid them. If time permits, we'll also bring examples of writers who got it right! Bring your projects and your questions.
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Re: How Not To Write Disability

Postby thespian » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:02 am

I don't think a negative panel is the way to go with this. I came here tonight because I'm reading Lock In, which is great, and I want to make sure it gets represented. I think that panels about 'man, that was bad', while fun ranty stuff, don't actually progress things much. I think 'How to Write Disability Well' offers more options.
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Re: How Not To Write Disability

Postby awexelblat » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:19 pm

Seconded Thespian's idea. What if this was broadened to something like:

"How to write 'The Other' Well" - we seem to be able to write incredibly complex alien species, mythic sylvan races, and infinite retakes on classic monsters. But when it comes to writing characters whose physical, racial, or gendered presentation is other than our own, we often stumble. Sometimes badly. What are some good ways to write characters that are human, but unlike the author? How do you critique such writing? How do you get good feedback from people who know more than you?
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Re: How Not To Write Disability

Postby dash » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:02 am

I would like to see a panel that specifically focuses on disability, since every year we already have panels and/or workshops on "writing the other" in general (there is Nisi's workshop on exactly this topic, and we have had other more general programming). When everything "other" (in quotes) is lumped together, it is difficult to get very deeply into any specific category, and some categories inevitably end up getting only a brief mention or no mention, depending on who is on the panel and in the audience and where the conversation flows. While there are common issues and threads, there are also differences.

I proposed this panel on the request of a disabled friend of mine in fandom. I am open to either a "what to do" panel or a "what not to do" panel, or a panel which incorporates some of both.
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Re: How Not To Write Disability

Postby awexelblat » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:19 am

That's a fair point. Would you be willing to take up Thespian's idea and re-frame your proposal in a positive way?
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