Writing Fat Characters

2021 May | Craft

WHEN: May 1, 2021 – May 31, 2021 via GroupsIO

Course Description:

Fat characters in fiction often fall into two categories. Most are negative portrayals where fatness represents moral failings or villainous tendencies. Seemingly “positive” portrayals emphasize weight loss narratives, self-loathing, or fatness as a limitation imposed on the self. Romance as a genre is uniquely positioned to counter these portrayals and yet, with some notable exceptions, fat characters remain thin on the ground. In this class, fat activist and author Marianne Kirby will help writers move beyond harmful tropes and create fat characters to be celebrated in romance. With writing exercises, discussion posts, live chats, and more, writers will practice generating fat characters while learning about the pitfalls to avoid – and how to write fat characters their readers will fall in love with, too.

Topics include:

  • Why we use the term “fat”
  • Identifying and avoiding overdone stereotypes and tropes about fat people
  • Types of fat experiences we need more of in fiction and media
  • How to write a fat body
  • How to write sex scenes with fat bodies

Writing the Fat Body In Romance

Week 1 – Introduction to “fat” – fat positivity, fat lived experience, what we usually see happen to fat characters, fat character “don’ts” discussion

Week 2 – Initial character generation, writing exercises and feedback, fat characters in popular media discussion

Week 3 – Expansion of writing exercises, more feedback, fat sex discussion

Week 4 – Expansion of writing exercises, more feedback, intersectionality of fat identities discussion

About the Instructor:

Marianne Kirby is the co-author of Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere and author of the gothic horror novels Dust Bath Revival and Hogtown Market. She has been writing about body politics, fat acceptance, feminism, and related subjects for over a decade, first on her blog The Rotund, and then for the Guardian, xoJane, the Daily Dot, Bitch Magazine, Time Magazine, and others.


Twitter – http://twitter.com/therotund

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/therotund/