Meh, title

All right, I’m gonna talk today like I wasn’t gone for four months.

I promise, the battery went dead, bro.

So we all agree that an important part of your writing is to edit. Incredibly boring and tedious, yes, but still important. But something that I didn’t realize for a long time is that editing something shitty doesn’t get you anywhere. Sure, you feel productive because you’re editing, but you’re not getting better. It’s frustrating, actually.

The key, Skywalker, is to get better (look at me using Star Wars names like I know what I’m talking about).

This is something I didn’t pay much attention to until I gave the rough draft of my thesis to Dear Sweet Gentle Jonathan, my own personal professional writer. I was desperate, for one, and I found myself having to send it to SOMEONE or risk it not being approved by anyone. And while his comments weren’t mean or made me question what I have spent two years of my life doing, he did make me think about one story in particular. It was a story I wrote during my first semester, in my first class, of this whole Master’s degree business. It was good for what it was at the time; a mediocre story written by someone who simply had no idea what the fuck was going on. I put it in the thesis because I thought it fit and it did, in theory. But it needed work. A lot of work. I didn’t see it because, I don’t know, I was lazy. Or I was forcing it to be something it wasn’t. Whatever the reason, when I did the overhaul of the story, it was so fucking much better that I could not even believe I was going to let the original version through. I was also extremely embarrassed that D$GJ read it, but he has seen me during worse moments, so, I got over it.

Anyway, my point is, sometimes in order to get better, you have to stop editing the crap, step back, and realize that you’re wasting your time. Maybe the reason why you’re editing so much is that you know, on some level, that whatever you’re editing just does not work.

It’s not a fun thing to discover, to be sure. I had a mini panic attack and a long swig of boozy coffee (in a TARDIS mug. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you don’t need a TARDIS mug in your life). It sucks because it’s actually a realization that you have the capacity to write something that wasn’t perfect the moment you thought of it. It’s admitting to yourself that you have, really, grown as a writer. Whether it be from taking classes or experiencing various things or even reading a bit more.

Trust me, though. If you’re stuck and don’t know why, maybe it’s an unwillingness to change. A failure to understand that who you were when you wrote a paragraph can’t possibly be who you are when you’re ready to be finished with that paragraph. What you have written in the past could be good, but that doesn’t mean it’ll reflect how good you actually are. The only one stopping you from being better is you. And a lack of boozy coffee.

A lot of problems could be solved if everyone sat back and had a boozy coffee.

Soylent green is people!

I don’t know why I’m even posting to this right now. I’m watching a basketball game that is making me want to punch things. ANGER.

Srs bidness.

 

Anyway, I guess I could be helpful today and not talk about my thesis. I could actually talk about literary magazines. Finally.

So, an important thing for a wannabe writer to do is get his/her name out there. Considering that everyone and his mom has a blog/twitter/facebook page, and everything is just loud from the world trying to be heard, the internet is not always going to be the best way to get your name out there. There are a few exceptions, of course. Sarah Rees Brennan made a name for herself by writing Harry Potter fanfiction on her LiveJournal (right? so 2000 and late) and gained a huge audience. She has since taken that stuff down, but not before her fan base found out she was going to be published for real. They went crazy and I’m sure that helped. I mean, I didn’t find her from her fanfiction. I found her via deviant art, because someone made fanart of the characters from her stories. That’s like six degrees of separation. Or like 2, whatever. I’m not good at math.

She’s a good example of how powerful word of mouth can be. Well, word of internet-mouth. My point is, she used the internet to her advantage but not everyone is going to be that lucky.

What you really have to do is publish.

And I know, I’m saying that like it’s the easiest fucking thing in the world to do. And I mean, Twilight got published, so publishing has lost a bit of credibility. But stay with me here, I’m gonna try to help.

As I’ve said before (and will say again and again), writers are jerks. So the people who control whether or not you can be called a real writer are going to be jerks too. Which means when you send your story out to an agent (because, I’ve been told by an Editor, most publishing companies do not take manuscripts from any Joe Blow off the street without an agent), you’re sending your story to a person who will probably be a douchebag. It’s just the nature of the business. People aren’t reading so much anymore but everyone thinks he’s a writer, so I think the whole community is getting a bit jaded.

But what I’m trying to say is, it’s harder to impress a douchebag if you’re a nobody, even if your story is good.

So to get around being a nobody, you should send your story to magazines. Send it to tons of magazines, though make sure they publish stuff like what you’re writing. And when you find one that will take you, keep sending stuff to that magazine (unless they have a rule against that). That way you’re building up a reputation, at least in literary circles. It’ll help your case when you agent shop. And it’ll help your agent when they publisher shop for you.

Going back to the jerks thing; let me tell you, I’ve been to a panel discussion with literary magazine editors, and it was probably the most disheartening thing I’ve ever witnessed. Also I’m doing intern-y things at a magazine now, so I’m kind of in the know. I’m kind of a big deal.

So, some tips:

-They won’t read your whole story if the first couple of paragraphs aren’t good. That’s why I, along with the great Roger Rosenblatt, stress the importance of the good beginning. Because it won’t matter if your story picks up later, they won’t go that far. Also, if your shit is good all ways around, but they reject it anyway, they will (if they’re nice) give you a reason why they didn’t want you. And they might encourage you to send the story again with a couple of edits or a bit of a rewrite.

-Edit, edit, edit. Proofread, proofread, proof-fucking-read. I cannot emphasize that enough. Because I swear to god, if you have a spelling error, they will throw your shit aside. Think about it this way, if you can’t be assed to make sure your story is flawless before sending it to them, they can’t be assed to give you a chance. I know that sounds harsh, but they are getting thousands of manuscripts monthly–it’s like an application for a job: they want an excuse to eliminate options as quickly and legitimately as possible. If you are tired of staring at your story, get other people to read it for you.

-Again, make sure whichever magazine you send to publishes stuff similar to what you write, or at least are open to publishing anything. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time. And if you’re rejected, you won’t get feedback. You want feedback.

-Write a fucking cover letter. Seriously. Research the name of the editor of the magazine. Talk a bit about yourself and your piece, be polite. Don’t be a fucking pretentious prick. I can’t tell you how many cover letters I’ve read where I’ve been like, “I wish I could reject this douche simply so he knows he’s not as much of a big shot as he thinks he is.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had that thought but also had the power to act on it. I can’t act on it, obvi. To add to that, send a SASE, too.

-One editor I talked to said he didn’t like stories in the second person, but honestly, he was more of a dick than normal, so I wouldn’t go by that. However, don’t use things like the second person to try and stand out. Because that’s overdone. Gimmicks are called gimmicks for a reason. Writing a good story makes you stand out more than a funky format or using present tense when you don’t have to. Your job isn’t to try and reinvent literature, it’s to tell a story to the best of your ability. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m more apt to accept things that make me laugh. I’ve read so many things that were just so dramatic and boring, the rare one that makes me laugh out loud is appreciated. The whole thing doesn’t have to be funny, just pepper in some comedy to break up the monotony. And as I said, that’s just me. I’ve noticed that very few people enjoy comedic writing.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. But I can maybe answer questions if you have any.

The main thing is just getting your work known. Think of how many times you’ve decided to buy a book because you heard of the author or someone told you the author was good. And the more short stories people read of yours, the more willing they’ll be to read longer stuff. It’s all “dude, she writes awesome short stories, of course I’ll read a novel. Fuck yeah.” That’s how people talk in their heads. Duh.

This game is still making me angry, so I’m done now.

 

Titles are overrated.

So I feel kind of bad because it’s been about two weeks since I said I’d close the poll and I never updated, those of you who were waiting with bated breath, about the results.

The results are, I still have no idea.

I think by now, I'm not fooling anyone about what I do and do not know.

 

Naming the city sounds like it wouldn’t be a big deal, but really the city is a central character. That sounds stupid but whatever, it’s true.

So the results are inconclusive. Daresbury technically won, however an equal number of people are for and against my naming it that. Ordinarily I’d say, fuck that shit and do what I want, yet in this case, I don’t know what I want. Well, no, I know what I want. I want the original town name. Whomp whomp.

I’m not going to lie, I’m not learning a whole hell of a lot in this class because it is a class for beginners. I’d like to think that with one semester left, I’m not really a beginner. But that makes blog posts difficult because I’ve gone over a lot of what’s been said in class already.

I will say this, though. Copy edit your fucking shit.

I understand that you believe that copy editing will be done by your publisher and whatever once you got a book deal, but you have to understand how much simple mistakes reflect poorly on you. It looks like you don’t care, both about your story and about wasting other people’s time. Get someone to do it for you before you hand it in. Read it 50 times yourself–I don’t fucking care how it gets done, just do it.

I feel like I’m a copy editor trapped in a writer’s body sometimes (except with my own stuff, I’m terrible at finding mistakes in my own writing. Hypocritical? Maybe.) and that’s how I read excerpts. So if you’re lacking an Oxford comma, if you use “was” instead of “were”, if you’re dangling clauses, then I’m going to point it out to you. Because it distracts me.

I brought this up in class yesterday and apparently we’re beginner enough that we have to put “said” after everyone’s dialogue, but advanced enough that we don’t have to pay attention to simple grammatical errors. Go figure.

Another thing that really grinds my gears is characterization. What I mean to say is, how realistic do we make our characters? And how do we convince people this is realistic?

I’ve been running across this problem with the story I’ve been using for this class. Originally it was just a story that I was using to get through this since I couldn’t use my thesis and I didn’t have enough brain cells to spare to create another story. But now I’m sort of using this story in defiance. The character is real, she’s very real, I’d go as far as to say she’s kind of me.

Usually, I’d be all “Noooo, don’t base characters off of yourself! That’s asking for trouble.” But in this instance, as I said, I didn’t have the time or energy to put a whole bunch of thought into creating a totally original character. So I made her, put her in a situation, and made her react as I thought I would.

And now I’m being told she’s not believable.

It’s confusing. Because on the one hand, not everyone reacts to situations in the same way. Even one person could react to a situation in many different ways. So telling me that my character isn’t grieving in the proper way is like, well, who the fuck are you? The grief police? Also, my professor is all about characters having sex or something, and she seems really confused that a boy and a girl would live together, even sleep in the same bed together, without having sex. I can’t count the number of times I’ve slept in the same bed as someone and have somehow resisted the urge to jump his/her bones. I’m sure it was difficult, but I managed it. Everyone I know is just so fucking sexy.

One of my classmates said, and rightly so, that my character’s lack of emotion is okay, there just needs to be a reason for it. So that’s another problem to deal with. How am I going to inject backstory like that into a story that really has not use for it. Maybe not no use, but no room. The story isn’t really about her and her lack of emotion, the story is about her dealing with grief enough to find out who the fuck killed her friend so she doesn’t go to jail. Taking time out to talk about her troubled childhood seems out of place. Also, I don’t have time to add these scenes.

So I’ve been told to give this character more emotion. It took a lot for me not to just be so fucking sarcastic and make her incredibly emo and crying all the time. We’ll see next week how the additional emotion plays out. Whatever. This is why you don’t base characters on yourself, everything that’s said about the character suddenly becomes personal and your immediate reaction, instead of listening and considering the critique, is to defend the character’s behaviors. Live and learn. 

I guess I did have something to say. Hot damn.

Begin at the end. Or some shit.

Today was all about where you start your story.

Buddy Christ's seal of approval.

My professor has a knack for asking a question or posing a problem and never really answering it. For example, she asked several people today where to start their stories. But she never stated why the individual’s proposed beginnings were problematic. My story started with the discovery of a dead body. She suggested I start later. I have no idea why. I thought a dead body was a good beginning to a story. Which is why I did it.

But anyway, deciding where your story begins is difficult. Mostly because you feel like everything you say is important to the plot. Sometimes that’s true. A lot of the time it isn’t, a lot of the time it’s what they like to call “throat clearing”. I don’t like that phrase (I don’t like a lot of phrases writers use. Like “show don’t tell”. The fuck does that mean? It’s a fucking story, you’re telling it. God that was said so much in class today I wanted to stab myself with my pen. But then I realized that it would ruin my pen.). But that’s what it is, it’s you getting shit out of the way that you want to put down on paper but you have no idea where it actually belongs.

So how do you know where the *shudder* throat clearing ends and your story begins? Well, you’ll probably sense it. But really it’ll be all in the rereading when you’re editing. Once you get to the end, once you know what is actually important to the conclusion, you can see how the beginning fits that. Since my story is a murder mystery, I figured the dead body was a good way to start. But if I get to the end and decide it’s a story about a girl and a dog, maybe I’ll begin differently.

It’s also an important decision to make depending on what you’re writing. If it’s a short story, you need to get shit going pretty fucking quickly. You don’t have time for meandering. I recently read a Jhumpa Lahiri story that basically follows a whole life in 15 pages. She didn’t have time for-UGH-throat clearing. Novels give you a little more leeway. But only a little bit. Because your reader invests more in reading a novel, you have to hook them and hook them fast. If you meander too much, they’re going to get bored. I feel sorry for novel writers. They have a lot of shit to get together.

This is also why I feel like editing when you finish is a good idea. Because if you don’t actually have the ending written, you don’t know how it’s going to work out, how the fuck are you going to know where to start? You won’t, that’s how. You’ll just keep editing and editing your beginning and never finish. Well, that’s what I’d do, at least. I don’t know you. 

 

Okay, so, yeah. Write better beginnings.

Enter title here

So how hard should you work to make sure that your reader understands what you’re trying to say?

Talk to the hand because the face ain't listening

I mean, that’s basically the question every writer asks himself at least once. And the answer is kind of…douchey. Which is to say, you work your ass off without making it seem like you worked your ass off.

Readers, and I’m saying this as a reader first and a writer second/third/last, do not want to be aware of the author. We don’t care about you. We don’t want to see you manipulating the characters to do what you think we want them to do. We don’t want to wonder if the dialogue is real or if it’s another trick. At the heart of it, unless you’re talking to a pretentious jerk, readers don’t want to consider the fact that someone else created the story. For 200 or 300 pages, we kind of want to believe we’re reading a snippet of a real life.

That can’t be done if you’re constantly showing the reader how clever you are. So you’re tasked, as the writer, with the seemingly impossible job of making writing so effortless that it looks true.

You have to let the story be told. I know that sounds like horseshit, but just hear me out. If you have a strong enough story, you won’t have to explain shit to the reader. You won’t have to use SAT words or a constant string of analogies. And you won’t bore the reader. Stories are interesting on their own. Think about how long storytelling has been around. If one thing can be said about humans it’s that we love to listen to how fucked up or crazy someone else’s life is. Look at how many gossip magazines there are to say, I don’t know, encyclopedias. Shit ton of gossip magazines. And all I can think of is Encyclopedia Britannica.

It relates to my post about word choice  last week. Don’t use the word envisage when think will do. Don’t complicate the story if the story isn’t complicated.

Also, be careful with narration. Especially first person narration. If your story is in the first person, I want your narrator to relate to other characters using the same language and vocabulary as he narrates the story. There cannot be a disconnect between your narrator’s dialogue and inner thoughts. UNLESS it’s intentional. And by intentional, I mean your narrator actually mentions to the reader at some point that he talks to certain people in certain ways. Because if there is a noticeable difference between the narration style and the dialogue, it’s immediately obvious we’re in story. The reader feels manipulated and maybe bored.

That’s not as much of a problem with second or third person narration depending on how close you are. It might be something you have to consider when you’re in close third person. What am I saying, might. It is. It is something you have to consider. So consider it. And second person is a whole different bag of nuggets. Second person is like the three chambered peanut. You don’t know why it happens and it’s a little scary at first, but once you realize it was a bonus tasty treat, it becomes acceptable.

Now I’m not saying you have to dumb shit down for readers. Which is difficult to do, as well, unless you’re already dumb. Then I guess it’s easy. I wouldn’t know. I’m not dumb (shut up).

I’m a huge advocate of writing how you talk. But I know that most of the time it’s not plausible to write that way. At least not if you want to be considered literary. And it is fun to throw in the occasional pretty sentence. God knows I don’t talk prettily.

A good writer knows when to step back. He treats his characters like people and lets them act accordingly. He realizes that books are, for the most part, an escape. Readers don’t want to be preached to, we want to sit down and watch shit unfold. That’s why reality TV is so popular. That and people are stupid.

Guess who’s back, back again

Allo! Did you have as fantastic a summer as I did? Probably not. My summer is what I like to call “fucking glorious”. I was more than a little disappointed when I realized it was over and I have to go back to being an adult with responsibilities and gross stuff like that. But hey, there’s still rum, right? Silver lining.

The semester for me started yesterday. It’s going to be a long one. I can tell.

I don't know why I don't have a giant book labeled "Excuses". Maybe Borders has them....too soon.

The first day of workshops is always the most boring. I constantly consider skipping them. I don’t because a lot of the time the workshopping schedule is decided and never want to be stuck on a terrible day (in this case, she made up the schedule which was annoying because now I have to go through the hassle of changing one of my days since I won’t be there). Inevitably, your professor is going to make you go around the room, say your name (Yermama), why you’re there (because I had nothing better to do with $1500?), and what you like to write (fanfiction. Always fanfiction). Sometimes you’ll get asked what you’re working on (An EPIC Doctor Who fanfic in which I’m captured by Daleks and the Doctor has to save me. He doesn’t know that I’m secretly his wife from another dimension) and/or what you like to read (Playboy magazine). If you’re in a program, as I am, then you’re going to end up hearing the same shit over and over again about your classmates.

Workshop first days are rapidly becoming a study on what I’m not going to do on my first days when I become a professor. Because no one cares what you’re saying, we’re busy thinking about what we’re going to say. Or we’re thinking about what we have to do when we finally get to leave. Melissa Bank did it the best I think, she had us email a mini-biography of sorts about ourselves to her before class, because this “go around and tell everyone about yourself” business is really just for the teacher. And for the shallow people who like to talk about themselves. The rest of us either want to learn something or go home. Or not travel 2 hours by train just to hear that Joey Kissass loves the works of Pretentious Author Mcgee.

I’m going to try hard in this class, I promise. I try hard in all of my classes. I’m not as slackery as my laziness would suggest.

Anyway, out of all the things we talked about in class (besides my not being able to use my thesis for workshopping and having to do an in class exercise), one thing I noted in particular was word choice. Being quite a fucking wordsmith my damn self, I think wit mah headstuff this was an interesting topic.

At the time, the professor was picking on a dude who used the word elegant in his scene. A word I’m pretty sure no one else paid attention to aside from her. And when she made him read the sentence again, it, again, didn’t strike me as anything special.

But that was the point. What does elegant mean? What do you picture when someone says “Jackie had a rope elegantly tied around her neck”? Nothing remarkable. I just see a woman with a rope around her neck. Telling me it’s elegant, isn’t exactly telling me anything. Professy Wessy also said the same goes for words like beautiful, handsome, etc. They’re not helping the reader picture your scene. Because beauty, elegance, and the like mean different things to everyone. For example, I think this vampire is hot. Others think this vampire is hot.

There’s no accounting for taste.

So yeah, choose your words wisely. I mean, I know it’s difficult. I just did a search on my complete thesis document (over 300 pages, what whaaat) and I used the word beautiful 17 times. Granted some of it may have been within dialogue, and my professor said you can say anything in dialogue. Then again she told someone that she didn’t think one of the characters in her scene would say a particular thing. After hearing the character say one line before that. And not knowing anything about the character. But whatever. Say what you want! In dialogue! Exclamation point!

My professor says those words are lazy.

(She also said pop culture references are lazy. I, for one, like pop culture references. Yeah, it dates the material or whatever, but I like to feel like my characters are in a real world. Pop culture is in the real world. So, take that as you will. I’m not a bestselling author, she apparently is. Who you gonna believe?)

I don’t think those words are lazy, I think they’re a product of you either writing too fast and not knowing exactly what you want to say or you have an image in your mind that is difficult to translate onto paper. I’m completely terrible at setting up scenes (and, somehow through 4 semesters of the MFA program, I have yet to get better at it) so I know that images can be hard to write. D$GJ is the master of imagery, talk to him if you want help. He might not help you, though. He’s busy.

I absolutely hate it when published authors say something is lazy like the moment they got published, writing became a cakewalk. I get it, you’re hot shit, we should emulate you. Whatev. There’s so much to think about when you’re writing and also want to be published, it’s very easy for a word like beautiful to slip through. And, I don’t know, I’ve seen plenty of books become NYT bestsellers with it in there. Hell, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Beautiful and Damned and I’m pretty sure he’s one of the best authors ever. But I’m biased.

So go forth, beautiful writers! Create handsome works of elegance!

And stay away from vampires.

Living la vida crazy

Well hallo thar. I vaguely promised a post during the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, but I forgot to take into account that I was not planning on bringing my computer. Which made posting difficult. Thus why I did not do it.

Only BAMFs have unread messages. The rest of us read them right away.

Anyway, so all in all, I didn’t learn much at the festival. Well, not much that I didn’t already know from the program. My workshop was pretty informative, though. My teacher was only slightly older than I am (well, so it seemed. Maybe she was older than she looked. I’m not the greatest judge of ages.) and that gave me hope for my becoming a professor soon. At least as long as I publish something. That’s apparently important.

She said one or two interesting things about making sci fi/fantasy stories fresher and more appealing to wider audiences. She told me, in fact, not to call my book a book of short stories but a novel in parts because that would make it more marketable. Which I agreed with. But I’m not publishing it, so there’s that. But she was right, so whatever.

We did, however, have an interesting discussion about dealing with the race or ethnicity of your characters. I was all “Race? LOL, wut’s that?” because, you know, I don’t see skin color. I only see the colors of the American flag. And I also see the horrendous colors some people think go together.

Seriously, though, most writers are guilty of making their characters white. It’s just what happens. Although, I’m sure non-white writers make it a point to create characters that aren’t white. (I only did it just recently, but that’s because the concept of race bores me. I’m more interested in witty banter and a good story, not giving a very important lesson to my reader about tolerance or whatever. I’m not saying tolerance isn’t important, but that’s not what I’m writing about). It’s easier for them to be able to do such a thing because there won’t be a question of authenticity. The moment you create a character that is non-white, everyone is going to be all in your shit about authenticity. “Would a black kid say something like that?” “Do hispanics really call everyone mami and papi?” “Why isn’t your asian good at math?”

Okay. Yeah. So, you get it. Also, unless your editor is a racist, that last question probably won’t be asked. And if it is, maybe get a new editor? That shit ain’t right.

My teacher said that she was once told by a professor of hers that race is never mentioned in a story unless the character isn’t white. Everyone is going to assume that the character is white right from the get go. And think about it. I’m sure you’ve done that. I do it all the time. I did it a couple of  finished books back while reading The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan. It was mentioned, a couple of times now that I’m looking back on it, that the narrator was black but it went over my head. When it was mentioned again in the last couple of pages of the book, I was all “She’s black? When did that happen?”

The point is, not only did Brennan do it so seamlessly (race was mentioned but it didn’t become a BIG DEAL because there were other more important things for the characters to consider at the moment. Like, you know, demons.) but the character didn’t become a token. She didn’t force stereotypes onto the character to make her more real or some bullshit. And she didn’t use race to gain sympathy for the character. It was fantastic (In fact, if you ever want to know how to correctly write a character who isn’t of your race, I suggest you read that book. I give much props to Brennan).

And I believe that’s the key to writing a non-white character. Honestly, there’s no need to continuously draw attention to race unless it’s a central issue of your story (Which, I think that’d be sort of lame, but whatever you want to do is up to you). Non-white characters are no different than white ones in pretty fundamental ways. They’re still people, damn it.

I’m not saying you should just write a non-white character completely as you’d write a white one. That wouldn’t work. It’d confuse the reader, since there are things that will come up with say, a Puerto Rican character that wouldn’t come up with a white one. For example, I recently created a Puerto Rican character who occasionally slips into Spanish. I modeled that off of my mom, who will toss in a Spanish phrase or two in passing. My character doesn’t do it all the time; she doesn’t get all sassy and call people chica. She’ll just swear in Spanish every once in a while. Her boyfriend thinks it’s sexy. Which it is. Because hispanics are fucking sexy.

If your character interacts with his/her family a lot, then culture and whatnot is going to come into play. The dynamics of an Asian family are going to be different from a black family. That’s when research comes in handy.

And that’s the main thing. If you’re going to create a character who is of a race you’re not familiar with, you’re going to have to research. Then you’re going to have to determine what part of that research is relevant. Is the Han Dynasty important to your Chinese character? Probably not. So don’t force a dialogue where that comes up just to point out that your character is Chinese. You’ll look like a douche. But maybe your character’s favorite food is a traditional Chinese dish that her grandmother makes. Maybe she gets a craving for it when she’s fighting off a zombie apocalypse. You see? You see what I did there?

Basically what it comes down to is don’t be a douche. Do your research, but also don’t treat your character like some sort of alien. Avoid stereotypes like Tea Partiers avoid logic. Don’t have him shouting “BEANS AND CORNBREAD“. Not all white people say “bro” and “dude” all the time.

But yes, all hispanics are fucking sexy. True facts.