With “The Geek Show” premiering in less than a week and other shenanigans happening as of recently, I regret that I have been unable to conjure up a proper topic for this week. Nonetheless, I don’t want to leave any readers that are out there hanging, and am instead making this post as my monthly Recommended Analyzing post.
So I follow a blog by the name of Nerds of Color. For those who may not be familiar with it, it is a community of nerds/geeks who aren’t afraid at looking at the latest from sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes and so on through a critical lens regarding the diversity and representation of characters (or potential lack of) that’s being presented. What the contributors write and publish is incredibly relevant and needed to be read in the time we’re in now, which is why I highly suggest you go check out some of their posts event beyond the two I’m going to recommend today.
That’s right. I’m recommending two pieces from Nerds of Color today; both of which were written by contributor and novelist Dennis R. Upkins and both were published elsewhere originally. The first one is called My Steps To Creating Characters and World Building. In case the title doesn’t already give it away, Upkins shares his process in both developing the characters and the worlds his books are set in. He goes really in depth on his process and shows just how much thought goes into every decision he makes. Given the core focus of the blog that this piece appears on, I also like how he didn’t hold back on discussing the creation of characters who aren’t always, white, straight, and male, and how in a general perspective, creating such characters isn’t and shouldn’t be as difficult as some might make out to be.
The other piece by Upkins that I want to recommend is called Writing to a Non-Existing Audience. In the past, I’ve agonized over the struggle to convince people to check out my book, and he touches on the reasons for why that is the case. I have to be honest, for he really opened my eyes for why people don’t read nowadays; for reasons that may not entirely be of their sole doing. He also goes in depth on how the publishing industry, peers, and even authors may be to blame, depending on the kind of messages that are coming across. He leaves you realizing how the industry, the peers, and the authors need to do their part in showing people the true potential that comes with reading, regardless of genre. Then, and only then, can the love a reading begin to take form once more.
Both of Upkins’s pieces came at such a valid point in my life as an author. I’m currently in development for my third novel, and there’s quite a bit of world building and character development going on. Naturally, his first piece can definitely be looked to as a guide in my case. His second piece really put things into perspective for me as to why people aren’t reading as much anymore, and the potential for how that can change. While he didn’t necessarily address all of my concerns regarding that issue, what he wrote still taught me something.
I can understand that these pieces are more so written for writers and aspiring writers. Even if you’re not one and have a deep appreciation for the creative process, then I highly recommend checking them out. This is some true wisdom dropped by this nerd of color.
An Absolute Mind is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. If you read it, please leave a review, for they’re greatly appreciated and help me grow as a writer. Also, be sure to check out its Goodreads page, and feel free to leave any questions you have about the book.
Also, if you’re in the Bay Area from April 20th-29th, please come out to Bindlestiff Studio’s production of “The Geek Show.” Tickets are on sale now.