Emma Viskic: Diversity in writing

Emma Viskic writing quote

Emma Viskic is the author of Resurrection Bay, her debut novel (out now). Caleb, her protagonist, is deaf and becomes enmeshed in a mystery around an old friend’s death.

In her interview with me earlier this month, she mentions her interviews with members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community while writing Resurrection Bay. She also learned Auslan in order to ensure she portrayed Caleb accurately… which I think goes to the heart of her quote here: writing about disabled characters, about any diverse characters is possible with the right research and letting go of fear.

It’s the right kind of research that helps you get rid of the fear about diversity in writing.

Is this the case for you? Fear can be all consuming, can’t it? The fear of, as Emma says, not getting things right — even when it comes to a book review or a blog. I sometimes find myself thinking about whether my reviews are “right” and forgetting they are informed by own experiences.

What do you think? How do you combat your fears?


  • Great quote. I do think it’s easy to let fear rule you. You want things to be liked, whether that’s your book or your blog or something else – but in the end, you have to do your best and let the rest go in a way. As for writing about diverse characters, I do think you have to do research and be as true as you can, but at the same time, you shouldn’t shy away from diverse characters.

    • Verushka says:

      I struggle with that alot — letting go of the fear, am still trying to figure out how to completely let go of that myself. What about you? And IA research and talking to people is the only way to learn and to write these characters. And always maintaining respect of who you’re writing about and not shying away from the difficult things too, I think.

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