Needed: readers with a physical disability

I’m writing a story with a central character with a disability (a form of cerebral palsy) and would be endlessly grateful for feedback about her specifically from those with a disability, to give me any feedback about language and how she is portrayed.

https://www.wattpad.com/745759188-yuna-and-the-otherworld-chapter-1-yuna-and-cameron

@AWFrasier

This is not self advertising.

I could be crazy, but I think Wattpad made threads where you can request sensitivity readers. Check Story Services?

1 Like

Ooh, really? I’ll take a look! Thanks so much.

Wrong place to post this.

Maybe read @ErinIsobelM as her story features a MC with cerebral palsy and think the author lives with it but I can’t say for certain.

3 Likes

You might search the #story-services:special-services

@xkaydotx @Spruce_Goose @stpolishook @Prisim @Alicia22M

3 Likes

Hi there. I moved your thread to the Special Services section of the Story Services club as it’s best suited there. Thank you for understanding.

Alicia -

Wattpad Ambassador/Mod

1 Like

I’m confused why I’m getting tagged here.

I thought the story was an advertisement. Whoops.

Please just use the flag option instead of tagging in the future. Makes things go faster as I’m not always on the forums.

2 Likes

cool, awesome thanks

I didn’t mean it to be (new user, might be doing wrong things awkwardly)

Thanks!

1 Like

Amazing, thanks SO MUCH

Hi! @witchoria is right, I have CP myself. Are there any specific things you’d like feedback on? I want to read the whole story but I don’t have a lot of time at the moment.

1 Like

You are the best. I see you dipped in and really appreciate it.

First, I want to make sure that from the first page she is fully realized as a character - funny, clever, beautiful and fierce - not a unidimensional Here Comes The One With A Disability. The (spoiler alert) main event of the story is that when Yuna, the overprotective sister (who is all caught up in her own hero role) gets out of the way, Cam turns out to have been the true hero all along, despite her sister’s and the reader’s assumptions (setting up Book 2, in which Cam is the protagonist from the start).

Second, Cam does not need assistive devices in the parallel realm (“Otherworld”) - this is to provide an early hint that her powers are so tremendous there, but I am fretting over that plot element and wondering if that is implying that her path to power entails her becoming able-bodied and/or falling into the “magical healing” or “escape” trope.

Those are the main things. Google has helped me get started on common pitfalls when a person sans disability tries to incorporate a person with a disability into writing. And I’m searching here for other threads that might clue me into classic faux pas / cliches / bad habits / loaded language when developing characters with CP.

Thanks.

2 Likes

Um, also, to be clear, it is clearly not your responsibility to be the CP Representative for All Fiction Writers. Any time you are free to / feel inspired to contribute is appreciated, but the potential burdensomeness of requests like this is not lost on me, in case you need to take a pass at this time.

2 Likes

I haven’t read a lot yet, only a part of chapter one, but I really liked how you characterized Cam. Honestly, and this might sound a little stupid, but I kind of recognized myself in her, even though my CP is less severe. My mom always says I’m an old soul, and teasingly calls me “grandma” sometimes. (I take it as a compliment xD). The plot sounds really cool! We need CP heroes :smiley:

It depends. If she needs to do certain physical stuff that she wouldn’t be able to do in the real world, that might be kind of problematic. What I would suggest, is that maybe she still needs those devices, only now, she can ‘create’ them herself, with her powers, in a very cool, magical way. But I’m not sure how the magic in your world works, so I don’t know if this would be plausible.
I think it would be very cool if despite still needing those devices in the other world, she is the hero.

I myself really dislike the world cripple. What I also like to do, but that is my personal preference, is to say “person with a disability”, instead of “disabled person”. Other common toxic tropes I’m sure you’ve come across is the person with the disability being sad, dying, or being inspirational. Also, many able-bodied people seem to assume you can never be happy or at ease with a body that functions differently, but enough people with disabilities are perfectly fine in their skin. I don’t hate my body, never have. Am I frustrated with it when I drop a jar of sugar again? Yes. But it happens so often I just curse and move on.

I didn’t feel that way, don’t worry :slight_smile: I’m happy to answer all your questions. Although, of course, my experience is also just the one, and I can’t even speak for all CP people. CP comes in so many forms… My case is a lot less severe than your MC’s, but I still think I can give you some general pointers.

Ask any question you want, and when I have time, I’ll surely read your story!

1 Like

All SUPER helpful, already has me thinking of some key changes. THANK YOU - more q’s may follow as I write on!!

1 Like

Great! Glad I could help :slight_smile:

1 Like