A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Plot Store. You know, the Plot Store, it’s where writers buy their ideas. Yeah, we make noise about how they just happen but really we buy them from the Plot Store. No you can’t go there and no I won’t tell you where it is (Yes you can and yes I will, it’s on the corner of Obvious Dr. and Shut Up and Write Blvd).
I was thinking about a story I’m working on, and realized I wanted to tie an idea from Over There to the one Over Here and that they just needed a hinge point. A character to be the go-between, to bridge the two ideas. Not a stretch, it’s already kinda in my idea set for that character to be the type of person who could be that bridge.
So far it was a normal trip to the Plot Store.
Until I thought about that bridge character, fleshing them out more and listening to the noise in my head about who they were. And I realized they were trans. This is, of course, not a big deal. It isn’t a plot point, even. It’s just who this char is. And I realized I hadn’t written a trans character yet. So time to do more research and talk to some people I know and really dig in. Because while it isn’t a plot point, it will in fact, come up, and at that point I need to do it right. Is this a big thing? Not in the book.
But come on. I write female leads a lot. And gay male leads. And white and non-white and … all sorts of characters, as they occur to me whatever and whoever they may be. But this is my first trans character. I wanna get it right, even if it is just something discussed once or twice in the entirety of the project.
The best part is, for me, it is in no way an attempt to put a trans character in a story. It just happened. It’s natural for the tale and feels right. Which means I’m in no way forcing it and having to sand edges to make things fit. I hate doing that, for any reason.
But when I find myself able to, and naturally moving in the direction of, having more diverse and realistic portrayals of humanity in my stuff it makes me happy. It means, for me, that my brain sees the world in so many different stripes and possibilities and uses them all to reflect the world I build from the world I see. It makes my fiction stronger, it makes the world a bit fuller and it lets me stretch as a writer and a human.
So yeah. I’m happy. It’s the little things.