When I began studying creative writing I found
When doing a peer workshop toward the end of my MA studies, I was told that if I was going to have Deaf and transgender characters in my fiction, there needed to be a reason for them to be Deaf and transgender. Simply existing in the real world, it seemed, wasn’t reason enough. My goal with my fiction is to eliminate this harmful belief that in order to exist outside of the norm in fiction, that difference must have a role and teach a lesson. In that sense, I suppose my characters do exist to serve a purpose; to show us as we are.
My fiction mirrors my experience as a person existing in the margins. I create characters I see myself and people I care about in and most of the time, they’re somewhere in the LGBTQ rainbow, Muslim, Deaf or hard of hearing, and they may have an autoimmune disease (or six). Why? Because I write the stories I’d like to read or wish I could have read when I needed them. In far too many other novels, the kind of characters I write don’t exist as anything more than a plot device, so I set out to change that and change how people like me are seen in literature.
Thanks to my love of video games, I’m constantly looking for all the ways in which video games can help me grow as a writer. For me, games are just like books for a writer. We must consume good writing in order to create it and some of the very best writing I’ve found has been in video games. Where better to learn about world building and character creation than in a virtual world rich in detail and fully realized characters?