This may be a shock to some of you, but I’m white, male, and worst of all, Canadian. There are a lot of things I grew up with that I just assume are standard across the board. I could have made it easy for myself and told stories that all take place in Canada, but no, I made things difficult and made it canon that, for example, Hazelwood is in Massachusetts (my favorite state). This has led to a couple of fuckups from my Canadian mind.
My personal favorite was the point in Being More Social where a police officer visits Hazelwood and I apparently decided not to think about it for even a second, because I labelled the police officer a fucking constable. Oof. Granted, it was loosely based off of an event from my own high school where a situation that called for police happened and a guy named Constable WhoCares answered, but still, what an easily avoidable embarrassment.
I’d rather write things that are outside of my own direct experiences but it comes with the trouble of not knowing what I don’t know. It seems obvious to say this, but a lot of writers tend to make those mistakes. One of the most difficult things a writer can do is write a character smarter than them, the writer. If an author isn’t well-read, it becomes painfully obvious that to them a “smart” character is just “person who memorized stuff and says the word ‘logically’ a lot.” Truly smart people think in fundamentally different ways than the rest of us, and for one of the normal ones like myself, writing the personality of someone who would be classified as a genius like Daisy or Nicole was both a pleasure and a challenge that to this day I’m unconvinced I pulled off flawlessly, or even well.
I did not want any embarrassing mistakes in this story. The story of Mutual Benefits will veer off into crazy story territory at some point for sure, but for now, it’s loosely based upon a time a popular girl asked me (with ‘me’ being, at the time, a talk-to-nobody insecure awkward kid) to help her with her math homework. I want to make sure I get both the dynamic and the personality of a popular girl, so some of it is finding out who Taylor is over time, and some of it is going over my old text message history from my high school days.
However, that’s not the full picture. As mentioned, I’m white, AKA, not Asian. To help understand the mindset of a second-generation immigrant and someone who comes from a Chinese background, I asked for the help of a friend of mine whose family is very stereotypically Chinese. I feel as though it’s practically my responsibility to make sure each story of mine is more polished than the last, and has readers have noted, I fill a niche of sex stories where people actually do care about the details, and of people from different backgrounds not being reduced to stereotypes or skin colors to fetishize.
I’m underway with chapter two now, and I’m hoping that I have it done before the 30th this time, fingers crossed. Either way I’ll be making a big effort to have it out this month. Thanks for the continued support, as always. I’ll talk to you all next week.