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Expand Your Writing Horizons

Attention all Writers

This entry is an unabashed BSP post.

What is BSP?

It stands for Blatant Self Promotion.

What is being blatantly self promoted?

I’m promoting myself. As an author. As a teacher. I’m flexing my wings and extending my reach. I’ll be teaching a writing class on the Savvy Authors site starting on March 14, 2016. It’s about using disabled characters in your stories.

What’s the name of the class?

It’s titled, Pardon, is my Disability Showing? Writing Believable Disabled Characters — an Interactive Approach.

Quite a mouthful of a title, right? And although there are only 8 lessons including an introduction, the lessons contain a massive amount of information about three disabilities. the disabilities covered are: Vision, auditory, and mobility challenges. (Or if you’re not politically correct — Blindness, deafness, and paralysis entailing the use of a wheelchair.)

What makes you the person to teach this class?

For the first twenty-seven years of my life, I was one of the non-disabled. Then a head injury rendered me completely blind. I’m now one of the physically challenged. I’ve had to change the way I do certain activities, learned to use adaptive equipment, and focus more on what I’m doing. And occasionally, I have to ask others to help. (But, there’ll be compensation.)

This gives me the opportunity to look at disabilities from both perspectives. The non-disabled view where those with disabilities interact with the non-disabled on a limited basis. And the disabled viewpoint, where performing even simple tasks can sometimes take a Herculean effort.

Why teach a class like this?

In many of the books I’ve read, the disabled have, for the most part, been well and effectively portrayed. But, it takes a lot of research to make them and the tasks they do flow so seamlessly. So, this is my attempt to gather the majority of the information together and present it to interested writers.

Why use a disabled character for a story?

Using a character with a disability in your story can add more excitement, intrigue, and emotional wallop. It can supercharge the visceral content, enhance your character’s inner strength, and provide a person to cheer for. Or a villain you can really hate. Not all the disabled are true-blue and saintly. The disabled can also be vindictive, greedy, and out for revenge. You know, just like you non-disabled.

But, what if you don’t know anyone disabled, and have no idea of where to look for information?

Relax, Just take my class. Starting March 14, you can register on the Savvy Authors site at:

a course taught by Barbara Bates: Pardon, is my Disability showing? Writing Believable Disabled Characters — an Interactive Approach.

Who should take this class?

It’s suggested to get the most benefit from this course; you have a strong grasp of the basics: POV, showing versus telling, using characterization and setting techniques, and being able to layer your story.

For, this is not an introductory course, the lessons are long and the information detailed. Not only will you learn the ins and outs of how to write a disabled character, but you can pretend to be one (within limits, of course).

The course includes two lessons for each disability. the first lesson is chock full of information about the disability. The second lesson is the interactive one. In the second lesson a series of tasks are provided for you to take part in. These tasks will allow you, for a limited time, to perform tasks as the disabled do. Boundaries will be set up so you face the same limitations as the disabled do when doing simple tasks.

And if your caught doing these tasks, then you’ll have to explain to your significant other, or child, or good friend – why you’re walking around the house blindfolded, or banging pot lids together in the kitchen, or rolling around the house belted into the desk chair. What could be better than that? Come join us at:


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