Good morning, good morning! Today on Writer Wednesday, I have the honor of hosting Chace Verity, a self-published author who has published several books that have completely stolen my heart!
Within the following post, they’re going to talk a bit about how nervewracking it can be to write books with #ownvoices elements, with regards to several different aspects of the writing and publishing process.
It’s a great post, if I do say so myself, so please! Welcome Chace to the blog and have a read!
I’ve been dragging my heels along the ground wrapping up the first draft of my enby/f contemporary romance (tentatively titled Couch Hunters). It doesn’t make much sense on the surface because I outlined the story in one very inspired evening after joking around about the concept on Twitter and love every part of it. What’s not to love about an entire book where two people go furniture shopping and fall in love? It’s a super fun and relatively drama-free novella, much like Team Phison.
But when I force myself to analyze why I can’t bring myself to finish the draft, it’s because this is my first project where I’ve been unapologetically queer about the characters & their lives. The allocishet lens is absent in this book. This is a story about a queer main character written by a queer author for a queer audience.
It’s a thing to be celebrated, but it also means coming to terms with the fact that in about 2000 words, my first nonbinary main character will be ready to have their story shared with my critique partners. Sorrel’s gender feels often align with my own. These are facets of my life I haven’t talked to anyone about.
I am nervous.
A lot of fiction writing, romance in particular, is about experiencing fantasies on the page that we often can’t have in real life. Billionaires, action heroes, secret royalty, hot water that never runs out in the shower, etc. Sorrel gets to do what I can’t–they get to open up about their gender feels with the people around them. They get to tell their parents they’re nonbinary, they get to ask their boss to stop using gendered terms of affection, they get to talk to their love interest about the awfulness of society’s heternormativeness without feeling judged.
What are my (cis, as far as I know) critique partners going to say?
What will nonbinary readers say if their personal feelings are not reflected on the page?
Sorrel is a fictional character and not me, but we have some overlaps. The prospect of being asked if I really feel X about this or told no enbies have Y feelings when it is my truth is daunting.
I don’t have a pep talk to give for anyone else going through a similar experience. Nor do I necessarily want one myself. This novella will see the light of day, even if I am sweating buckets. I want to finish this project. I want to see my critique partners accept me. I want my readers to find joy in Sorrel and Lena’s story.
But I am nervous.
It’s okay to be nervous.
Chace Verity (she/they) is publishing LGBTQIA+ as heck stories with a strong romantic focus, although friendships and found families are important too. Chace prefers to write fantasy but dabbles in contemporary and historical fiction as well. An American citizen & Canadian permanent resident, Chace will probably never be able to call a gallon of milk a “four-litre.”