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Being A Deaf Writer

January 9, 2016

The novel I started working on while my other book is being edited happens to have Rita, a deaf instructor, and her group of deaf students. The heroine is hearing, but has to pretend to be deaf. She knows ASL because of her friendship with Rita. If I can write fast enough, I’ve considered giving Rita her own book.

Cats and Chocolate

Sometimes, being a deaf writer presents a unique set of challenges that hearing writers might not be as concerned about. Some of these challenges might seem obvious, some of them less so. For example, dialogue can be something I struggle with – developing someone’s voice, the way they speak, without coming across as stilted or character voices being too similar. A less obvious issue would be whether or not to write stories with deaf characters. Is it necessary to always write characters that are deaf, or just happen to be? Does it immediately follow that I will need to learn how to convey a world-view that shows what someone can and can’t hear or understand?

Penguin Aids

Some of my fiction has been an attempt to write stories with deaf characters. Some of my experiments have been more successful than others – some have become too complicated, whilst I’ve recently finished a…

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