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It's something I've avoided for years, now. Ever since telling stories became my primary focus and (hopefully) career, I've steered well clear of writing a truly disabled character. The main character in my comic book HOLLOW in many ways could be considered disabled, though the disability is actually more metaphysical than real, but even he is able bodied. Since I started writing Hellwatch - that's why think I'm going to call my disabled demon/monster hunter story - I've had to tackle writing a disabled character head on, and it's taught me some things. I'm not sure if I've avoided it for this long because writing is a bit of an escape for me, or because I didn't want to become one of those people, who make everything about their disability, but whatever the case may be, I acknowledge that I've been avoiding it until now.

One of the things I've learned is that while I have a hard time including body language and general action in my narrative, since many elements of those things are foreign to me and I don't think about them, writing those things for my disabled character has been incredibly easy. I find myself mentioning things like the click of the motors when she moves her chair, or how they lock when she comes to a stop, and a whole bunch of other little things that most people wouldn't notice or include when writing a disabled character. I know it's pretty cliche and obvious, but writing what I know has been a lot less difficult than I expected. It's not just the physical things, the different body language and physical cues of a person in a wheelchair, either, it's the societal stuff as well. I've been having most outsiders talk to Sammy, her care provider, rather than talking to her directly, just as disabled people often get treated as retarded or otherwise mentally disabled regardless of the reality of their situation simply because they are in a wheelchair. It's really taken my writing to some new places and opened up a lot of avenues that I hadn't considered before.

I'm not shying away from it, either, such as when I describe the difference between her mostly normal looking upper body compared to her legs when she's undressing and getting into the shower. I fully intend to have some hot, gimpy sex at some point along the way as well.

Anyway, I've just found the whole experience to be rather interesting, and thought I would share.

For those of you who are interested in reading the first 50 pages of my first 100 +/- episode novella, you can find it here. I'm writing it in the form of serial fiction, kind of like a TV series or a comic book, and plan to have eight episodes a year with each episode being around 100 pages and coming out monthly for eight months, then taking four months off to prepare for the next season. Each episode/novella will be published digitally as an e-book, which I'll probably sell for $1.99 on various platforms. So rather than buying a novel once a year, readers will get an ongoing story in bite size pieces. I have no idea if it will be successful, but it'll be fun to try!

Originally posted to The Gimp on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 04:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.

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