Tuesday 17 May 2016

Meeting Deaf Girly's deaf heroine

For those of you who don't know, I have written a book. It's not there yet – I thought it was, as someone who has never written a book may think, but it's not. Quite a few of the lovely agents who I sent it to have said this.

Actually some of them have turned me down in such a nice way, I've had a little cry at the wonder of lovely words and it's given me hope. Not one of them has said I can't write. In fact most of them have said I can write very well. It's like a glowing school report on a first draft of coursework.

I'm currently in the middle of a massive re-draft attempt. This involves spending most of my time living in the head of my main character, which is quite weird as she's not really like me at all. She has a cat – the lucky thing – and a very nice flat in my favourite part of London. I think she's also got slim ankles (a girl can dream), although she's never mentioned it if she has. And, she's definitely got one hell of a chip on her shoulder. So you see, nothing like me *raises eyebrow.

The one thing we do have in common however, is that she's deaf.

Living in the head of someone else who is deaf means that Deafinitely Girly has been taking a back seat because I'm no longer thinking about my deafness anymore, I'm thinking about my main character's deafness.

It's hard thinking about someone else's deafness, especially a fictional person who you love because you created them, but who you are still desperately trying to find everything about. It's hard knowing whether she'd be annoyed, for example, about someone else writing a blog about her, or whether she'd get upset about the lack of decent subtitles on the Channel 5 catch up website and app – although somehow I don't think she's such an avid Home & Away fan as me so it probably doesn't bother her.

At times, I step around her rather gingerly, in disagreement with her views on deafness and how it should be dealt with in the real world. At times, I think, we wouldn't get on at all. But really, I love her because she's my first ever main character, and hopefully not my last.

The problem I've been faced with during my 2nd draft – before I submit it to my Romantic Novelist Association reader (I'm on the New Writers Scheme this year – HURRAH!) – is that I love her so much that I don't want anything bad to happen to her. I've given her a bit of an easy ride. So for the last two months, I've been getting up at 5.45am to write before work – not new stuff, but tough stuff.

It reminds me of the early days of DeafinitelyGirly.com – back then I was so emotional about things not being right with my deafness. Emotional and hot headed and definitely of the flight, not flight, mentality when the hearing got tough.

But I think I've turned a corner. I hope that there's enough dark to balance out the light. I hope that my character brings deafness to life in a new way. And I hope that when I do round two of agent submissions, someone reads about my character and her rather bonkers journey and says, 'I love it.'

In the meantime, I'm going to try and get back into my own deaf head. There's so much I want to write about – from new words I've learnt to pronounce – 'eyot' is 'ait' – WHO KNEW?! to what bees are in my bonnet and why.

Happy Tuesday peeps


1 comment:

Melanie said...


Your novel sounds amazing! There aren't nearly enough novels about deafness or with deaf characters. Congrats on getting on the New Writer's Scheme! That's brilliant! When you feel hopeless about things, remember that. Only really good writers with good potential are awarded these things. Don't let go of that.

I just read Whisper by Chrissie Keighery and loved it. It's about a teen in Australia who goes deaf due to meningitis.

My own story? I have moderate hearing loss. I haven't seen the specialist yet so I don't know what will happen or why it's happening or anything. As a writer, I'm working on two projects. My main one is a second draft of a fantasy novel about fairies, and my other project is a semi-autobiographical work about hearing loss. I'm using it to journal my way through my ear-related journey.

Thanks for writing this blog. It makes me feel a lot less alone. Good luck with your writing!

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