Points to consider for writers describing people of color
By Scott Sigler
Did you know that certain skin tone descriptions can piss some people right the fuck off?
We contracted a new editor to do the copy edit for my scifi/thriller EARTHCORE (out Nov. 29 in print, eBook and audiobook). This editor did a solid job. She’s quickly getting the hang of my particular style and the Siglerverse as well (if you’re new to my work, most of my stories are in the same continuum). She’s currently doing my next short story collection, FIRE IS ORANGE, and also THE REEF, a GFL novella.
But back to the topic of pissing people off. As the editor was working on EARTHCORE, she came across this phrase:
He started out of bed but stopped when a hand with long, purple fingernails lightly scraped his back. He turned to see Chloe smiling up at him, her caramel skin beautiful against the white sheets, her lush lips slightly parted, her black eyes glinting with sex.
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Are Your Characters Talking At Cross-Purposes? Why Not?
Good communication is the secret to a successful relationship. Why? Because it prevents drama and solves problems before hard feelings manifest as conflict – that’s why it has absolutely no place in your story.
Well, we’ve wrapped things up quicker than usual, but that’s no crime. Let me know in the comments whether you think characters are more interesting when their communication is strained, or whether… What? You’re not convinced? Okay, we can do this the hard way.
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What’s in a (Character’s) Name?
For some of us, coming up with names is easy—just pick one that sounds right, or one you’ve been in love with forever. And sometimes it truly is that easy. But what if you want your characters’ names to be more meaningful, to be a better fit for your story? Olga Kagan’s got some great ideas on how to come up with just the right names for your cast members.
You’re about to start writing a new novel. Maybe you’ve already carefully developed a plan for each chapter. Maybe you have a plan for a couple of chapters only and, at this stage, have no idea what’s going to happen afterwards. In any event, there’s something you need to know from the very beginning: the names of your important characters.
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The more books you write the harder it gets (The secret to writing mastery)
Recently, I finished writing my fifth book. I thought it’d be done in March, so naturally, it was complete six months after that. This is often the way it goes.
Writing a book is hard. I don’t think that statement should surprise anyone who’s acquainted with this craft, this trade that Ernest Hemingway said contained no masters, only apprentices.
But the thing that surprises me about writing, the thing that I never would have learned had I not decided to commit my life’s work to it is this:
The more you do it, the harder it gets.
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