New Member
Hi, everyone!

I'm a hearing woman in TN, and I've been reading through a bunch of the forums for the past few days and decided to finally register. I'm a writer and doing a round of edits on my middle grade fantasy where the main character is Deaf so I'm trying to get some better perspectives on being deaf while I edit to try and better portray that aspect of her character.

I'd really love a beta reader to check for any and all inaccuracies in the novel. I've done a lot of research, but I'm sure there are things I'm missing/got wrong since I'm hearing. I don't know if that's wholly inappropriate to post/say/ask for a beta reader on this forum or even where to post it. If it's inappropriate/offensive/just plain wrong, I'm terribly sorry. But, if it's cool, and anyone wants to read a 55,000 middle grade fantasy about a girl who creates worlds by wishing on dandelions who is also deaf contact me through this site or email me at cecilewrites@gmail.com. Or if you know a more appropriate place to seek beta reader(s) on this forum or otherwise, please let me know. Also, if there are any writers on here looking for a beta reader or critique partner, I'm totally up for that too, if anyone wants to swap manuscripts. :)

Either way, thanks for taking the time to read!


New Member
@dogmom Essentially, yes.

The book is not actually about about a deaf perspective. I mean, that's not the focus of it, but it does influence my character since she is deaf. My character just happens to be deaf (it's one of her many qualities and it not the focus of the book; her strained relationship with her sister is). I worked with a woman who went deaf as a child and got cochlears (one in her teens, one is her 20s; she had two separate surgeries) who never signed, but was an amazing lip reader, and listening to her stories about her childhood did definitely also influence some of my character's experiences (especially her stories about closing her eyes when her mom yelled at her and/or turning off her cochlear to block the yelling mom or any other unwanted noise out).

I also worked as a student worker at my college's Disability Services and picked up on some deaf culture aspects (and etiquette for in person interactions) and a tiny bit of ASL from our interpreters and some of the students. I've read many articles and several books and many of the applicable forums on here, but I know it's not really enough, as I'm hearing and there will likely be aspects that I simply can't get since I'm not deaf. But I haven't been able to find anyone else writing a middle grade fantasy with a main character who is deaf, and I have to write her story (she won't leave me alone), and I know she's deaf (I can't change that about her; she won't let me), so I'm trying to become as familiar with being deaf, deaf culture, the use of ASL (along with the fact that there are sign languages in most other countries (which I should've know in college, but didn't) as her grandmother was deaf, but used Spanish sign language as she immigrated from Mexico and didn't learn ASL until my main character was born), interpreter interactions, and everything else as I can as a hearing person who does not have these experiences. I want to make it as respectful and accurate as possible as I'm capable of. And I am worried about getting something ridiculously wrong and offending a ton of people because I didn't do enough research or try hard enough or was just plain wrong and presented a terrible representation.

Can you sense my anxiety in every sentence of this super long reply? *nervous laughter*

But, yeah, anyway, this is my kinda long reason for wanting/needing to write the story and where I'm coming from and what I want to achieve. And hopefully all that made some sort of sense. :)