Crossing gender, race, and age gap

Have you read a story written by a male whose protagonist is female?
In George Pellicanos’s story, “The Confidential Informant,” from The Martini Shot, the protagonist is a 20-something black man. And another young black man appears in another story, “String Music.” Pelicanos is a middle aged white guy. Ho good are the portrayals? I asked my grandson to read the stories because he spends hours each day in basketbal games with mostly African-americans.

Not unlike a male author creating a female protagonist or vice versa or a young author writing from the POV of a much older character, this black-on-white treatment can be challenging. Continue reading “Crossing gender, race, and age gap”

How many characters should inhabit your novel?

How many characters should your populate your story?

In a 2015 workshop sponsored by Houston Writers House, local literary luminary Ann Weisgarber warned to not have more than five characters appear in the first three pages of a story (short story, memoir, or novel). We did not take up the related question, what’s the maximum number a novel can support and how much does it depend on the number of words or pages?

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