20 June 2012

Introduction

So, I'm new. Sort of. I was with Beyond the Veil when it first started, and I left for Real Life reasons. I'm finally finding time to write again, and to blog, too. (At least, on a once-a-month schedule, which makes BtV a perfect fit! :) )


And this month's theme seemed like fate. Since I started writing again, I've been finding myself with characters with an assortment of sexualities, even as I've begun to really understand my own.

No. I'm not going to talk about my sexuality on my first post. Maybe after we've had a few drinks together, k? :)

But still, the timing was pretty cool. Especially as my life in the past two years has made me much more aware of the things I've absorbed from my culture (heteronormativity, white-bias, gender-biases...). And I was determined to be a better activist. A better feminist.

And then my latest work in progress veered left on me (again) and my female characters revealed they were going to fall in love. With each other. But...but I had plans for them! They were going to fall for MEN. I even had them picked out!

And it dawned on me in that moment that I was falling for the same heteronormative crap that I wanted to fight against. That even though I've been reading m/m and (when I can find it) f/f - I was still wired to write m/f.

Once I faced that, and admitted that I've got these predispositions that run counter to my own beliefs, the story got its legs. The man I was going to pair Meg up with...was a male version of her heroine. And I got to really look at what I was writing and I realized a host of other biases that I was playing into - my characters were all white. I'd crossed classes, at least! But there were all my other privileges staring at me from the page.

I tossed them all out the window. The story is so much better for it. I have diversity. I have deeper, more meaningful characters. I have a lot more conflict. And I'm writing a book I can be excited about. A book I can be proud of. It features strong women. "Alternative" sexualities. (And for once I can use that term un-ironically, because it was an alternative and I chose it (or at least chose to run with it when my characters presented it to me.) I'm writing an interracial couple! (which scares me because I want to do it justice.)

And I'm finally doing all the things I think I should as a writer - I'm shaking people out of their complacency and challenging their beliefs.

Some of them just happen to be my own.

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