This brings me to last week. In April, I am going to be doing a novel writing challenge called Camp Nanowrimo. The main character in my novel is a firefighter who develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Last week, I read a couple of articles by someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not only did it talk about the disorder, but it also addressed some of the common misconceptions that authors make when writing about characters with it. For example, the article said that not all people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have a lot of flashbacks and they don't throw up after flashbacks. I guess that those are common portrayals in fiction that are inaccurate.
I have sort of realized that writers of both fiction and nonfiction are gatekeepers of sorts. People don't only look to us to be entertained, but they look to us for information - even if they are just reading a good book. It is important that we get it right because we have more of an effect on the way that people view things, and other people, than we often realize.
Sarah Evans was born with cerebral palsy and has been a long time member of AbilityOnline.org. She mentors other members and openly shares her valuable experiences. Sarah is also an aspiring writer.