Social Justice

Commentary

Six Rape Tropes and How to Replace Them

The Orville's security officer and XO.

Unless your story is specifically about sexual assault, you should probably remove any rape, attempted rape, or even mention of rape from your story. This is because these depictions normalize sexual assault and are often hurtful to survivors. Let’s go over how rape ends up … read more »

Q&A

How Do I Show That a Character Is Trans?

questions and answer talk bubbles

In a book I am currently writing, the fictional society has moved beyond any kind of transphobia, so being transgender is not treated as being anything out of the ordinary. Given this, I am wondering how to show that a character is transgender if it … read more »

Storytelling

Authorial Endorsement 101

Bilbo writing his book.

For all the time we spend arguing about plot holes and magic systems, we spend even more time arguing about what a story means. Fiction can send a powerful message, but first we have to understand what that message is. That’s where authorial endorsement comes … read more »

Commentary

What Storytellers Should Know About Normalization

Three identical white men in identical shirts work together

When we’re making recommendations about story content for social justice reasons, we often mention “normalization.” The basic idea is simple: something that’s depicted in a story is more likely to done by real people. However, there are some common misconceptions about what normalization is and … read more »