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Writing Advice

Mythcreants is an online publication featuring a blog and podcast that provide storytelling advice in the speculative fiction genre. One of the things I enjoy the most about their work is that they have a solid understanding of how oppression works. And, not only do they discuss social justice topics, they also bring that knowledge into other discussions.

I have been collaborating with the folks at Mythcreants for the past three years and I’m currently acting as their disability consultant. In this role, I am giving detailed feedback and suggestions on articles that discuss disability representation. In addition, I have a monthly Q & A series that is goes up on the third Monday of each month, where I answer reader questions about portraying disability.

This page collects all of the Mythcreants articles that I’ve worked on, including my Q & A series.

If you have a storytelling question of your own, you can submit a short question to the Mythcreants Q & A series. If you are looking for more detailed feedback about disability representation, I maintain a list of Disability Consultants for Geeky Projects and also do disability consulting myself (you can contact me here).

A photograph of a red brick building that has a black wrought iron sign with the word "ask" in bold white letters.

A photograph of a red brick building that has a black wrought iron sign with the word “ask” in bold white letters.


How Do I Depict Historical Cultures With Problematic Behavior? A Q & A article about the major concerns involved in handling more egregious forms of oppression in historical fiction.

How Can I Depict Lipreading Respectfully Without Making Dialogue Tedious? This Q & A article is a collaboration between me and Chris Winkle. I focus on the broader aspects of depicting d/Deaf and hard of hearing characters, while Chris goes into detail about ways to realistically depict the challenges of lipreading without becoming repetitive.

Is Playing a Disabled Necromancer Ableist? This Q & A is about handling necromancy in a way that avoids common ableist tropes, as well as creating a disabled antihero that is a respectful representation.

How Do I Describe Fat Characters Respectfully? This Q & A is about treating both fatness and thinness as value neutral traits, being sensitive to context when choosing words to describe fat characters, and describing other aspects of body shape. Links to a number of resources are also provided.

How Can I Respectfully Subvert the Magical Cure Trope? This short Q & A article touches on the storytelling challenge of subverting oppressive patterns without turning away readers who experience that form of oppression. From there is goes into some disability specific aspects of representation.

How Can I Make a Villain With a Disability Work? This Q & A is about portraying disability respectfully in speculative fiction and key challenges that are specific to representing disabled villains.

How Do I Avoid Stigma Around Schizophrenia in My Writing? This Q & A focuses on how to address the impact of stereotypes and stigma when creating a positive representation of disability.

How Quickly Should Characters Adjust to a Disability? This Q & A is about figuring out how quickly side characters should to adjust to a main character’s new medical technology.

How Should I Approach Disability in a Pirate Story?: This is a Q & A where I answer a reader question about representing disability in pirate stories with some tips on researching.

Is It Okay for My Disabled Character to Use Futuristic Assistive Devices?: This is a Q & A co-written by Chris Winkle where we answer a reader question about portraying disability in settings with advanced technology.

How Can I Make My World Accommodating to Disabled People?: This is a Q & A where I answer a reader question about accessibility in a historical fantasy setting. I also have a podcast episode where I discuss this question and creating accessible settings in greater detail.

How to Avoid Melodrama in Your Writing: This is an article by Chris Winkle about what melodramatic writing is, why it doesn’t work, what to do instead, and how to handle emotional conditions like depression or anxiety.

Should You Give Non-Human Groups Marginalized Traits?: This is an article by Chris Winkle about “What you should know when making non-humans resemble marginalized people – or privileged people.”

Five Common Harmful Representations of Disability: This article is a polished, updated, and expanded version of my short articles on Villainous Disability, Cosmetic Disability, Helpless Disability, Inspirational Disability, and One-Dimensional Disability that are in the Trope of the Week Series.


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