Hearing/learning/writing - Please Advise

LadyZephyr

Member
Hi folks! I joined this forum because I'm in the process of writing an adventure story featuring a deaf adolescent female MC and I want try to do it without being rude, patronizing, or clichéd. Since I know very little about deafness or the deaf community, I thought a forum like this might be a good place to start.

I'd like to begin by getting some pointers about what TO do and what NOT to do, then maybe work with one or two beta readers who can help me stay on track with her characterization during the writing process. I'm hoping to have my first draft written before the end of the year with editing and (probably) self-publishing next year. Does this sound like something you would be willing to help guide me with?
 

DeafNerdMommy

Well-Known Member
Welcome :) the funny part is you are the second person to come asking about a character set up. The other girl disappeared quickly after she joined. Instead of asking questions, why not read some threads, talk to some people. Maybe feel out the deaf community and base a character off of what you have found.
 

LadyZephyr

Member
Well, I'm not sure how to start, honestly. I tried doing research on my own but most of it was very clinical and extremely varied and since I don't know what type of deafness my MC has, I didn't know what to focus on. Do all deaf people face similar hurdles or is it more specific based on their unique circumstances/condition/diagnosis? How do I ask questions without being a jerk?
 

Cappy

Well-Known Member
Hello and welcome to AD. Adding to what DNM said, at one time or another, many members here have helped out, only to end up feeling used after the OP left and never heard from again. That happens all the time. So, you may be dealing with an understandably hostile, unfriendly crowd here. But, never know, there may be a couple willing members. I am not one. Good luck.
 

LadyZephyr

Member
Thank you for replying. I was concerned my question might come across that way which is why I tried to keep it brief. I've taken DeafNerdMommy's advice and started reading some other threads in this forum (and I'm already seeing some embarrassing hearing-person gaffes I've made over the years-- eep) . It's a big world and I've never tried looking at before so it's a little overwhelming. I'm trying to be patient and polite and not too much of an idiot. :)
 

LadyZephyr

Member
Are you usually asked questions like this, help for creative projects? I saw the other thread about school homework questions being really common.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
Why would someone, who has no knowledge about deafness, write about a deaf character? This is like all the Switched At Birth wanna-bes.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
Are you usually asked questions like this, help for creative projects? I saw the other thread about school homework questions being really common.
Yes we get this asked a lot ! We would all be rich by now if we got paid every time someone came here asking us to do their homework or pick our brains to write a book!
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
Since you don't know anything about deaf people, why did you pick a deaf girl to be your character?

You need to know your character's type of deafness, how it was dealt with by her family, what method/s of communication she uses, what kind of education she's getting, what geographical area she grew up in, whether or not she currently belongs to a deaf community, and so on.
 

LadyZephyr

Member
@AlleyCat Why? Because we all like to read about characters who evolve and become stronger. My MC starts out shy, bullied, and socially isolated. Over the course of the story she faces multiple challenges and develops confidence. I don't think writing a deaf character is any weirder than writing a male character as a female author.

@whatdidyousay! I'm sorry to be another asker. I'll do my best to make this a worthwhile story!
 

LadyZephyr

Member
You need to know your character's type of deafness, how it was dealt with by her family, what method/s of communication she uses, what kind of education she's getting, what geographical area she grew up in, whether or not she currently belongs to a deaf community, and so on.

Yes, yes! I started with independent research before realizing that I needed information on a personal level. Google was giving me a lot of dry, clinical information but I'm trying to build a character, not a textbook! After browsing other threads like @DeafNerdMommy suggested I realized there's a lot of life/culture/community I need to start learning about. I think I'll read and comment and question on different threads for a few weeks before I go back and start trying to write the details of her character.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
@AlleyCat Why? Because we all like to read about characters who evolve and become stronger. My MC starts out shy, bullied, and socially isolated. Over the course of the story she faces multiple challenges and develops confidence. I don't think writing a deaf character is any weirder than writing a male character as a female author.

@whatdidyousay! I'm sorry to be another asker. I'll do my best to make this a worthwhile story!
I don't need to read a book about the deaf person be bullied and becoming a strong person. We have a lot members here that over came this in real life !
You can't tell me anything I don't leady know! I like to read stories leave room for me to learn something new.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
@AlleyCat Why? Because we all like to read about characters who evolve and become stronger. My MC starts out shy, bullied, and socially isolated. Over the course of the story she faces multiple challenges and develops confidence. I don't think writing a deaf character is any weirder than writing a male character as a female author.

Because we have a different life than others lead. It's usually a more difficult life. I would never write a book or story about someone who has cystic fibrosis, for example, or someone with lung cancer, or someone with an amputated leg, or anything else, if I haven't experienced it myself. You cannot put shoes on that you have never fit into
 

LadyZephyr

Member
@whatdidyousay! Well my story might not be for you then, there's nothing wrong with that (lord knows I hated Twilight with a passion). The story is meant for a younger audience and would possibly help hearing youngsters learn about and/or reduce ignorance-fueled stigma towards deaf classmates, family, strangers, etc.
 

Jezie

Well-Known Member
This angle is overused... learn about deaf culture and maybe go with a different angle beside a poor little deaf girl coming of age story... Hollywood and authors really need to reach a little... no need to go after the easy story line... give your story a message and let it be unique.
 
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