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28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

This one is easy. Meet Nooj: important secondary character in FFX-2, leader of the Youth League, half of my OTP, and a double amputee. He lost all of his left arm and most of his left leg in battle sometime before the start of canon. Both limbs were replaced by mechanical prosthetics; these appear to be at least partially functional, but he does use a cane to walk. He also quite likely deals with depression (he is shown to be suicidal at different points in the game and through his backstory) and possibly also PTSD, although that's more speculative. Whenever I write Nooj in any kind of active context, I keep his physical limitations in mind, as well as what I imagine would be his frustrations with them. kunstarniki helped shape a lot of my thinking on this issue; although our takes on Nooj's internal life are quite different, I owe a lot to her in that she made me really think about what aspects of everyday life and extraordinary circumstances would be a challenge for him, and in what ways. Of course, not every Nooj story is "about" his disabilities, as such, but since I am so careful to set my characters in space by describing what they do and how they do it, it's rare for a story to go by where it doesn't come up at all. Probably the solo story where I have dealt with this issue the most is Aftermath.

There is also Auron, who is missing an eye; that tends to mostly be in the background, but I have sometimes dealt with his presumed lack of depth perception and peripheral vision. Same deal with Gippal.

I have contemplated writing a Nooj story for Festability, or at least linking some of my stories there, but two things have held me back: I always hesitate to get involved in projects that are Western-media centric because most participants won't know my source canon, and I'm having a hard time coming up with story ideas about "Nooj as disabled" that don't feel stilted and artificial. I work hard not to ignore Nooj's limitations, but they are only a part of who he is. There's Miracle, but that's a recovery fantasy and so probably not really what the fest organizers are looking for. The fest lasts through September, though, so I have time. Prompt ideas gladly entertained...

30 Days of Writing: Complete list of questions

So it's interesting to me, looking over the list of questions, that it includes this question about disabled characters, and another about writing men versus women, but there are no questions about writing characters of color, or LGBT characters, or any other issues of representation. Maybe I'll tackle those on my own another day.

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/488718.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on DW.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
penrynsdreams
Aug. 10th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
I would be totally interested to read your answer to a POC or LGTB question! Just, uh, make it 31 days of writing. :P
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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