Jeff VanderMeer’s Booklife Now blog has two very exciting guest writers this week–Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.
Nisi and Cynthia are the authors of Writing the Other, a practical text aimed at helping authors write characters unlike them. The book is an excellent teaching tool, full of practical advice, and supplemented with exercises. VanderMeer writes:
I love Writing the Other because it espouses in a very specific and detailed way what I’ve always thought about writing characters, and even about writing minor characters: you need to fully inhabit them. Which is to say, if your characters aren’t going to just be carbon copies of you and your own experience of the world, you need to be able to see clearly through other people’s eyes.
Ward and Shawl teach workshops on the subject, though I haven’t yet had the privilege of taking one. The second best thing is reading what these smart women have to say.