Diversity is good. Stereotypes are not so good. In this two-week workshop, Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will show you how to write diverse characters while avoiding common pitfalls.
Your Instructor: Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 20 students
Creating inclusive fiction with characters that come from different genders, backgrounds, races, and abilities is important.
And one of the keys to doing so is crafting three-dimensional characters, not caricatures.
Another key element is language: how to describe skin tone and facial features, whether to use person-first or identity-first language, how to identify and avoid bias language.
And with character comes dialogue, and with dialogue comes the question of how to express dialect or accent without inducing cringes and flattening your character back down to stereotype.
In this craft-focused class, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will guide you through these aspects of Writing the Other through lectures, hands-on exercises, and a wealth of resources for further study. At the end of these two weeks you'll have the tools to analyze and improve your own work.
What This Class Covers
Week 1: Description
The week will focus on some of the fears writers have and pitfalls they encounter when trying to describe people who don't fit their dominant paradigm. You'll discuss bias language and how to identify it. In this week's exercises, students will work on describing people based on pictures, then move on to describing their own characters.
Week 2: Dialogue and Dialect
This lecture will illuminate the various ways writers have depicted dialect or other non-standard speech in fiction and explain why certain approaches work or don't. You'll cover other dialogue considerations when writing the Other. In this week's exercises, students will use a short, live interview as the basis for putting these approaches into practice.
*Both weeks will include lectures, writing assignments to be critiqued by your instructors and your peers, and plenty of opportunities for discussion along the way.
Goals Of This Class
- To understand how language can contribute to marginalization and bias and to avoid that in one's own fiction
- To utilize resources designed to expand a writer's vocabulary for description
- To identify and utilize good models for dialogue that deepen characterization
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.