Portraying Disability in Fiction

This post started with one tweet that turned into a lengthy discussion.  I’d found a submission call for Crossed Genres said they wanted stories on characters with disabilities and passed it along to fellow blogger Day Al-Mohamed, who puts characters with disabilities into her stories.  Day reported she had heard often the following (which she doesn’t agree with):

@sandykidd @LindaAdamsVA @crossedgenres It’s tough.Disability (similar to race) if you mention it, there MUST be a reason.Not just be there.

No, I’m not disabled, which is why I wanted to write this.  I have a hard time understanding why writers require reasons to have it in a story.  While Day wants more disabilities in the stories, I want more women.  There are books where I feel like the writer checked off ‘woman protagonist’ but didn’t actually write a woman character.  You write a character first, then gender — but you have to do both, because that perception will influence the story. Read the rest on Unleaded – Fuel for Writers.