Bringing Disabled Characters to Life on the Page

Michelle Renee Kidwell
4 min readJul 13, 2022

Tips and Tricks…

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels:

From the time I began writing fiction, I knew I had a mission, and that was to bring Characters with disabilities to life on the page, over the years I’ve grown in the way I write and in the way I bring those characters to life, but the one thing that has not changed is the way I go about this, first of all I begin by allowing myself to feel what the character feels, and I’ve had some positive response to this, as well as some questions as to why my stories are so depressing, but if that’s what the readers thinking either I’m failing or the reader isn’t reading the story as it’s meant to be read, yes I deal with tough topics, but there’s hope in those stories, but let’s delve in to what to do and what not to do when writing about a Character with a disability.

1:) Generally don’t let the disability be the center of the plot, there are exceptions of course. Disability in itself is generally not enough to make the entire focus of the stories entire plot, throw in romance, a little intrigue or anything that may enhance the story.

2:) Don’t be afraid of discussing the characters disability and the way it impacts, his or her life. You have the opportunity to educate as well as entertain, show the world what a person with a disability can achieve. A disability may not always be fun, but like everyone else people with disabilities have good days and bad.

I was able to sit up on my own, get in and out of bed, and transfer from the wheelchair to other pieces of furniture. I was learning the importance of making sure I changed position, because pressure sores could cause serious damage. The doctors had warned me and I knew that I could not let anything jeopardize my progress.

From Make Lemonade

3:) There are disabilities that are visible and those that are invisible, not everyone with a disability has a disability you can see, show the readers what kind of disability your character has, and if the disability is invisible show the reader that doesn’t mean they are faking it or crying out for attention.

4:) Disabilities are not always tragic, don’t assume that just because someone has a disability that means they live a sad depressed, life, because that’s not always true. And be sure…

Michelle Renee Kidwell

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge in the light: Helen Keller