Should a Writer be the Same Race & Gender as Their Narrator?

Hello Writer Bees!

So, the other day, I was scrolling through Twitter when a post caught my attention. It was a #WritingQ. The question was: Does a writer need to be the same race or gender as their narrator?

As a female writer with a male narrator, I felt the need to dip my toes into these controversial waters. Let’s talk about this for a second.

My Opinion.

Does an author need to be the same gender, race or sexuality as their narrator? In my opinion? No. That’s part of creative writing. We use our imaginations to create realistic characters, even if they’re much different than us. A narrator doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of the writer. And a writer doesn’t have to limit themselves and write only in a box. Don’t be afraid to write out of your comfort zone. When we do create characters outside of our own experience, it’s important to do them justice. Here are some quick tips for writing a character from a different background.

  • Be aware of stereotypes. Step above the stereotypes. If it comes off as cliché, a character will lose their authenticity. Also, if it’s not done properly, a character could come off as offensive.
  • Do your research.  – When a character comes from a different cultural background, research that culture. What names are common in that ethnicity? What are some typical meals? Do they have certain habits, rules, or traditions? Dig deep, you may actually learn something.
  • Be open to writing a character unlike yourself. Challenge yourself and stay open minded. The fun part about writing is stepping into someone else’s shoes – someone else’s brain – and telling their story.

My Experience

As many of you know, I’ve been writing my murder mystery WIP for quite some time. Many times, my main characters have made appearances on this blog. On paper, my narrator and I are completely different.

  • My narrator – Oscar Fitzgerald – is a young Irish man living in the 1920s. He/him pronouns. Attracted to women.
  • I’m a Puerto-Rican-Italian millennial. She/her pronouns. Attracted to… Mister Jabberwocky.

And maybe some readers will be put off by that stark difference. How can a woman writer do a man justice? Impossible!  I can understand why some readers feel that way. I’ve seen some men poorly portray women in fiction. Truth is, choosing a male narrator was barely a thought to me. I honestly thought nothing of it.  When I began crafting my detective duo and their dynamic, both characters being men fell into place naturally. If it works, it works. Why fix it?

How do I go about writing in male perspective? Frankly, I don’t set out to. That’s the secret. When I sit down to write, I don’t go “Okay, let me pretend I’m a dude now.” For me, gender isn’t often considered. Usually, I focus more on the character’s personality more than anything else. I keep our similarities and our differences in mind at all times. That mindset guides me through writing a male narrator. And look, I’m not perfect. I’m sure I’m missing some nuances of being a guy, especially one from the 1920s. But I do my best, that’s all anyone can do.


I want to hear from you. How do you go about writing a character from a different background? How are you similar to your narrator or main character? How are you different? Let me know in the comments.

I understand this can be a touchy, controversial subject for some people. Everyone has their own opinion. Please be respectful in the comments. I’d appreciate it.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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Hamburgers and Horoscopes (100 Word Humor Fiction)

In a pink sunset, the girl with thunderclouds on her thighs pulls into the drive thru. Sunglasses raise to her forehead. A muffled voice comes from the speakerbox. 

“Yeah, hi,” She eyes the menu. “My horoscope told me to indulge in life’s simplest pleasures. So lemme get two cheeseburgers, easy on the lettuce, heavy on the cheese. Lemonade, no ice. Large fries, extra ketchup packets. And for dessert,” She licks her glossy lips. “One of those fudgy brownie things. You know the kind.”

She pays and receives a greasy paper bag. BTS blasts through the car radio. “Thank you, astrology.”


Haven’t written flash fiction in a long time, figured I should this week. I was in the mood to write a fun, lighthearted 100 word story. Hope you all enjoy!

Anyone want to take a guess as to what her astrological sign is? Also, what’s your go-to fast food order? Talk to me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

How to Consistently Create Content for Your Blog

Hey Writer Bees,

I received another great question from my Q&A, this one from dharkanein. They write:

Congrats dear. I just want to know how you keep yourself on track…of course of writing daily that too for such a long period. As I have gone much up and down through this journey and stop writing…and I too have completed my 4 years of blogging a week ago. So basically I want a tip for the consistency.

First off, congrats on your 4 years of blogging. That’s awesome!

Its a lot of pressure to create blog content consistently. Other bloggers will probably agree. Regularly pumping out content can be stressful sometimes. Here are three ways I keep myself on track and stay consistent.

Have a Schedule

Calendar GIFs | Tenor

Maintaining a posting schedule is super important. When you set yourself up with deadlines, you fall into a rhythm. Choose a specific “post day” and find a schedule that works best for you. For me, I post prompts on Monday and on Friday, I post writing tips and stories. That 2-posts-a-week routine fits my life. I try to stick to that plan as best I can, but things happen. And when they do, you can’t be too hard on yourself. Scheduling posts ahead of time helps manage that posting plan too. I have a couple weeks worth of prompts pre-scheduled for September. If you can’t write ahead of time, have a general idea of what you want to write about on posting day. Honestly, most of my Friday posts are written Thursday night. I’m a self-proclaimed procrastinator, but I’m a procrastinator with deadlines and those deadlines keeps me on track.

Knowing Your Voice

Own Your Voice GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

In every post, I use the same tone and voice. When I started this blog, I wanted to write about writing in a candid, conversational way. I didn’t want to sound like a professor giving a lecture. I wanted content to sound fun and relaxed but also informative and honest. Readers should expect the same kind of content each time they read a post. When you write a post, remember who your audience is. Remember the tone you are going for. Keeping the overall vibe the same is a big part of being consistent as a blogger.

Brainstorming Ideas

Brainstorm GIFs | Tenor

Easier said than done, but brainstorming posts ahead of time helps with consistency. Sometimes, post ideas happen when you least expect. I always keep a scrap of paper or notebook handy, just in case inspiration strikes. Lately, I’ve been daydreaming about blog ideas while brushing my teeth or doing the dishes. I’ll just stop for a second and think ‘huh, that’d be a good post for the blog’ then write it down. If you build up a stock pile of potential posts, ideas that suit your niche, you’ll have ideas ready for when you need them. And you won’t be scrambling to write a post last minute. Because, let’s be real, we’ve all been there.


Thank you for the awesome question. Hope you find these tips helpful.

To my fellow bloggers out there, how do you keep consistent with your blogging? How do you stay on track and manage it all? Share your experience in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

The 3 Ways I Beat Blogger’s Block

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope you all are staying safe and keeping creative.

Last week, I opened the floor for your questions, to celebrate 4 year blogging anniversary. The pessimist in me assumed no one would ask me anything, but thankfully I was wrong. You guys never cease to amaze me. I received some awesome questions from you guys.

One question came in from Raymond Oickle.

Congrats on your anniversary. As a fellow blogger, there are times the well goes dry… the dreaded “writers block”! Has this been a problem through your blogging years, and if so, what do you do when it happens?

Has writer’s block ever happened to me? No, never, I’m a constant a waterfall of inspiration.

Of course it has. It happens to everyone. And when it does happen, it’s important to not be hard on yourself. Everyone has crawled through that desert at some point.

How do I get through it? Here are three ways I get through blogger’s block.

Themed Months and Posts

Challenge yourself to a themed month of posts. They’re fun to do and if done right, will be well received by your readership. I’ve done this before with May of Mystery, a month dedicated to mystery themed posts. And between you and me, I’m already considering another themed month in the near future. Maybe stop by around Halloween to see what genre it is (wink wink).

Themed Parties GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I’ll give you an example. A few weeks ago, I posted a writing prompt about a specific setting; The ocean. Since it was well liked, I decided to continue the theme and post setting-themed prompts the rest of this month. The city, the forest, outer space. That’s like 3 posts scheduled and ready to go right there. One post inspired a batch of other posts. Didn’t plan that ahead a time, it’s a theme that stumbled in and I just go.

When you give yourself a specific theme to play in, ideas happen. If you’ve stuck in writer’s block, try a themed set of posts related to your topic.

Take a Break

I just had a mental health break for this blog. Stepping away from blogging was pretty relaxing. Sometimes, your brain needs a rest from posting schedules and statistics. And since I wasn’t stressing about what to post on Friday – slowly, but surely – a creative flow returned. A couple of post ideas graced me with their presence. It doesn’t always need to be a full length vacation. Once in a while, I just do something else, something other than blog writing. Like take a walk, or watch a movie or bake vegan oatmeal cookies.

Image result for take a break gif

From my perspective, there’s a ton of pressure on bloggers to consistently create content for their audience. That pressure can wear you down after awhile. It’s important to listen to your brain and take a break when you need to. Don’t worry, ideas will come back and the readers will stick around.

Remembering my Audience and my Purpose

Always, I keep in mind my readers and my reason for blogging; to encourage others in their creativity. So usually I ask myself questions tailored to that purpose. What tips would a writer find useful and how do I explain them in a conversational way? What would I want to know if I was starting out as a freelancer, or struggling with my creative work? Questions like that often lead to ideas for blog posts.

Go The Distance GIFs | Tenor

Also, some posts are about my journey as a writer. During my writer adventures, I scribble down things I’ve learned about writing. If I experience something while working my WIP, I wonder “Is it just me or do other writers go through this too?” And then I write a post about that part of the writer journey. I’m honest about the ups and downs of a writer’s life, and because of that, I can connect with fellow writers.

When brainstorming blog ideas, I remember what I want to give my audience, whether that’s a writing tip or a story or a laugh.

The Comments Section (Bonus!)

A bonus tip? What a surprise. Frankly, my readers are awesome. Some leave me these sweet, supportive comments that really make my day. And others, they leave questions. Writer working on their creative projects ask me for advice – which is flattering. I hardly see myself as some expert. I’m just a lowly writer trying to help others. I like to listen to what the audience is interested in learning about, what they’re struggling with. That’s how I go about creating content. Several posts, including this one, have been inspired by real queries asked by real aspiring authors.

When in doubt, check the comments.


Hope this answered your question about blogger’s block. For my fellow bloggers out there, how do you handle writer’s block? How do you come up with ideas for posts? Share your tips in the comments. I love to hear from you.

I’m ready to return to regular Friday posts again. I missed blogging. I just need to be more mindful of my stress level and mental health. Think we all do. Thank you for all the positive vibes and support during my break. I appreciate each and every single one of you.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Celebrating 4 Years Blogging with a Q & A

Hello Writer Bees,

Hope you all are doing well.

Recently, my little blog reached it’s 4 year anniversary here on WordPress. Even more recently, I hit the 1,000 follower mark. That’s crazy. The other day, I was looking through my first posts and talking to my boyfriend about it. We both couldn’t believe it’s been that long. Maybe this pandemic is messing with our concept of time.

Thanks for sticking around, writer bugs. This blog has kept me writing all these years. It’s also been a platform for me to help others in their creative endeavors. I genuinely don’t know where I’d be without Lady Jabberwocky.

To celebrate, I’d like to have a Q&A. Ask me anything you want, about my life, my WIP, my blogging experience. Whatever you want, I’m pretty much an open book. Never really done a Q&A before, part of me thinks no one will even responded, but why not give it a go? Leave your questions in the comments and maybe I’ll answer them in a future post.


Sorry Friday posts are still sporadic. Life has been… Life. I’m still figuring out the best schedule that works for me.

Thank you all again for the love and support over the years.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Thank you to 1,000 Followers!

Hello Writer Bees,

I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this.

My little blog has reached 1,000 followers.

Thank you very much for all the love and support and well wishes. I truly have the most wonderful readers out there, I’m so incredibly lucky. For me, it isn’t about views or follower counts. I just want to inspire and encourage others in their creative endeavors. Hope to get back to doing that soon.

I’m currently on a break. Still figuring out how to juggling everything – a blog, a day job, a WIP – while keeping my mental health in mind. Learning to not be so hard on myself. Maybe the world won’t come to an end if I need to occasionally miss a Friday post.

I’ve been taking the time to focus on my mystery WIP. Editing is a challenge, but it’s coming along. Who knows? Maybe someday it will be ready for an actual audience.

Oh! And next week, my boyfriend and I are going on a little weekend vacation. I think he’s been feeling burnt out lately too. We’re both overdue for a break. We’ll take some time for ourselves, to relax and to forget about real world responsibilities. Everybody needs that once in a while right?

Once again, thank you all for… Everything. Really, you guys are amazing. I’m grateful to have an outstanding readership of fellow creatives.


Got a question for me and my experience as a writer? Ask away! I’m an open book.

Got a problem with your WIP? I’m here to help!

Got a question about fiction writing or freelance writing? Lemme know in the comments!


Stay safe and keep writing!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Taking a Break from Blogging (Mental Health Check)

Hello Writer Bees,

Ever feel like a candle burning at both ends?

Yeah, me too.

For some time now, I’ve being feeling stretched thin. Pushing myself and trying to everything until my battery depleted.

Keeping my mental health in mind, I need to take a step back from blogging. That might mean no Friday posts for awhile, or posting every other week, or reposting old posts. I’m not sure yet. Prompts of the Week will still be happening on Mondays though. The next few weeks will be up in the air. Sorry about that, I hope you guys understand.

This is such a hard post for me to write. I feel guilty. Creating content and encouraging other writers is my passion. I feel guilty about taking a break, like I’m letting you guys down. But when your head and heart need some time off, it’s not about when it’s convenient for others. It’s about taking care of yourself, so you can take care of others. Guess I’m still learning that.

I need to focus on life outside of the blog for a bit.

Thank you all for understanding and supporting my humble little blog. It means a lot to me.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Month of Mystery Wrap Up!

Hello Writer Bees!

May of Mystery was awesome, in my opinion! Thank you all so much for stopping by and celebrating mystery fiction with me. All of your comments were wonderful. Felt like you guys really got into the spirit of detective fiction. In case you missed it, here is a wrap up of all the posts from May of Mystery.

Mystery Prompts of the Week

Main Friday Posts


Another Genre Themed Month?

This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile now. May of Mystery was fun and all you amazing readers really seemed to enjoy it. If I do another month dedicated to a specific genre, what genre should I focus on? Fantasy? Horror? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Apologies for the short post this week. I’ve been feeling sick and exhausted, but I didn’t want to let you guys down. What do you want to see next on this blog? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Scream For Ice Cream and Murder (Mystery Short Story)

Hello Writer Bugs!

For this post, I’m sharing my response to one of the mystery prompts of the week, describe a crime scene. Here’s a short story, featuring the detective duo from my WIP. Let’s go back to the scene of the crime.

Warning: This scene may be disturbing for some readers. Contains blood and a dead person.


I’m not going to sugarcoat this. There was too much blood for an ice cream parlor. No pun intended.

The cops needed an extra hand on this one. It was a curious case. And curious cases in Coney Island tend to fall under Mister Barnaby’s territory.

As the detective and I entered, the little bell by the door jingled. It was what you’d expect from your classic ice cream corner shop. Squeaky linoleum floor. Squeaky red barstools. Buckets of dairy. Cash register full of dough. Dusty chalkboard that listed all their sweet treats.

I checked out the menu. “15 cents for a sundae? The crooks. Though a chocolate cone does sound pretty good.”

Oscar, now is not the time.” He sighed, eyes inspecting the shattered front window, glass shards on the porch steps. Thick eyebrows pinched together on his wrinkled face. “Someone broke this from the inside, not the outside.”

“What’s that mean?” I shoved my hands in my pockets and took a guess. “Someone was locked in?”

His shoulders shrugged. “Perhaps to make it appear as though there was a break in. Our culprit is none too bright. The world is full of imbeciles.” Leaning on his walking stick, the detective teetered towards the bar. Behind the counter, a trail of blood drippings. A red handprint stamped on the doorway leading to the backroom. The temperature plummeted. In the cluttered storage, jars of sprinkles and candies lined the shelves.

“Didn’t Officer Lester say the body was back here?”

More splashes on red on the floor. A path of drippings led to the ice locker. Strange, the walk-in fridge was locked from the inside. Like something out of a locked room mystery we’d listen to on the radio. It took some fiddling, but eventually, I heaved the heavy vault open.

Between tubs of cream and cake boxes, a round man – Sal Pellegrini – slouched on a chair, with an ice pick lodged in his neck. “Jesus Christ,” My stomach twisted into a knot. “Yikes, right in the jugular. What happened to you, big guy?” Apron splattered with red and brown mess. Skin turned blue. Dark purple fingernails. Frost lingered on his thinning hair. He smelled like vanilla and death. In his left fist, a crumpled piece of paper. A recipe card. I handed it to the old man. “Any ideas on this one, boss?”

His eyes flicked back and forth, like he was reading something. “I remember this. Newspaper article published on September 29th, 1921. Mr. Pellegrini’s family recipe was deemed the best Strawberry Shortcake in New York.” He teetered closer to the body, a shaky grip on his walking stick. “Well, everything make perfect sense now.”

“It does?”

“Of course. It would seem someone tried to steal the famous cake recipe. When Mr. Pellegrini refused to hand it over, his attacker stabbed him in the parlor room.” The detective hummed, glancing around. “Somehow, he fled from his attacker, but was losing too much blood.”

“You got all that from a blood trail and a crumpled piece of paper?”

“Certainly.” He pointed to the brick wall that Mr. Pellegrini’s back was leaning against. “Move that one.”

A single brick disconnected from the wall. When I pulled the loose brick out of its place, we found a hiding spot of more recipe cards. Chocolate fudge, Vienna cake, Lemon sponge cake. Old recipes passed from generation from generation. “He locked himself in, to protect his family’s heirlooms, I’d imagine. Hid his prized possessions in plain sight. Quite impressive.”

“Or absolutely insane.”

“Regardless, a killer is still out there. There is more work left to be done.”

Mister Barnaby turned to leave the ice cream parlor. As always, I followed him, like a shadow. But not before I helped myself to a chocolate ice cream cone, with extra sprinkles.


This is the last post for May of Mystery. Thank you all so much for sticking around. Hope you all enjoyed!

Stay safe and keep writing.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

What Its Really Like to Write Mystery Fiction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Hello Writer Bees!

Over the years, I’ve received comments and questions about what writing my whodunit is like. Plenty of times, I’ve talked about my murder mystery WIP here on this blog. My main characters have even appeared in a short story or two. When I started this blog, I wanted to help encourage other writers in their creative endeavors. However, I also wanted to share my honest experience as a writer. The ups and downs that come with a writer’s journey to publication.

So, in the spirit of May of Mystery and sharing my writer life, here what’s its really like to write a mystery.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Why I Chose to Write a Murder Mystery

When I was in college, My interest in the mystery genre grew. I started reading detective fiction, like Holmes, Poirot, Marlowe, etc. Those books inspired me to imagine my own dynamic duo. At the time, I was writing an epic fantasy story – which didn’t get past chapter two – and the detective on the back burner kept nagging me, “write about us instead!”. Then, when I finally had the opportunity to give mystery writing a shot – in fiction writing class, no less – I fell in love with my sleuths and their sleuthing and the 1920s NYC setting.

Looking back, I’m not surprised I chose to write a mystery, based on my personal story preferences. Plot twists, complex characters and dialogue-heavy tales are a thrill to read. There’s something oddly satisfying about an extraordinary event happening then unraveling to reveal the truth. It’s like that feeling of fitting the last piece of the puzzle into place. That’s what a good mystery is, right? Something out-of-the-ordinary suddenly becomes a clear picture. It’s exciting, magical even.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Creating the characters is my favorite part. Suspects are awesome to craft, giving each character probable cause and motive to commit the crime. Nothing in this kind of story is black and white. Every character has their good and bad traits, and everyone has the potential for evil. You don’t know who to trust. That’s what makes suspect characters – and sleuthing protagonists – feel realistic.

Dropping clues can be fun too. Like I’m some Easter Bunny leaving presents behind. Let me just hide this bloody murder weapon behind this bush. Since my murder mystery is set in 1924, it’s an extra challenge. No modern technology is present and forensics is minimal. I really have to consider what would be evidence in a murder investigation for this specific time period.

And it sounds cliché to say, but I really do like my detective protagonist and his assistant. Detective Barnaby and Oscar Fitzgerald have this great banter that’s a pleasure to write. I enjoy writing about them investigating together. I wonder if Doyle felt the same way about writing Holmes and Watson’s relationship. When an audience is reading a mystery, they connect to the detective. They root for the hero(es) to unravel the mystery.

Tricky Business

For me, outlining and narrative pacing are my weakest points as a writer. Always have been. I’m working on it. Structuring the sequence of events in a mystery can be difficult sometimes. Timing is everything. When do the readers and the detective learn this piece of information? Is it too early in the plot? Too late? Does this timeline make sense for this investigation? I’m still learning how to perfect the perfect outline.

Also, I’ve been told my pacing is too fast. My narrator is a fast talking New Yorker, how could I not tell a story with some pep in its step? Finding the right tempo is tricky. I’m learning I don’t have to speed through things to keep readers engaged. It can’t all be drama filled and actioned packed. There needs to be moments of relief, a calm pause now and then, to break up all the excitement. All while maintaining the intrigue of a mystery.

What You’d Be Surprised About

With any genre, I’d imagine there’s some level of research involved. Some of it can be lovely, like researching 1920s fashion. Often times, the search history on my computer – or my wandering thoughts in general – can lead to pretty disturbing things. Most mysteries involve murder, so I have to consider all elements of death. Cause of death, details of a corpse, crime scenes, blood and guts. It’s not for the faint of heart. And when creating suspects, I have to highlight the worst in people. Does this make me a dark and twisted person? Probably.

Final Thoughts

Look, this is my first time writing a full length novel. I don’t have all the answers. Writing is a constant learning process. But I’m happy I have this blog to share my writer experience. Mystery writing is a challenge, it’s true. In the end, getting through these challenges will have been worth it, because I will have a complete murder mystery story to be proud of.


Hope this post gave you a little insight into my experience as an mystery writer. If you want more posts on my personal writer journey, let me know in the comments.

For the mystery writers out there, what is your experience writing mysteries? For all creators, what is your biggest challenge crafting a story? What is your favorite part of writing? Talk to me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky