Honesty in stories. Truth in words.

The Official Guide to Writing a Left-Handed Character

Today I welcome my wonderful friend, Abigayle Claire! As most of you already know, she’s an awesome person, an incredible writer, and one of the most amazing friends ever! Writing unique characters is a challenge for anyone, so today, Abi is going to give us some insight on writing left handed characters.

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If you know that I blog at The Left-Handed Typist, then you can probably guess: I’m left-handed (and proud of it).

 

Anytime I’m writing a new book, I create characters who go through something or have some attribute that I know nothing about! And that leads me to think of people I know who could provide some inside information.

 

Well, today’s your lucky day, because I’m here to provide you with a firsthand account of being left-handed. (See what I did there?) Consider this the official guide.

 

First, the insight:

  • it makes eating more difficult (leftie + rightie = elbow wars)
  • “watch me” doesn’t work; they have to reverse any directional demonstration
  • lefties have to pay more for sports equipment, or just make do (I have a left-handed gun)
  • they will always be the odd one out as left is their directional preference for everything
  • scissors actually don’t work with a left hand no matter what
  • old-fashioned school desks don’t work (trust me, I had one)
  • lefties crochet in the opposite direction to form their rows
  • they have to wear watches and bracelets on their right hand
  • mouses and numerical keypads are on the wrong side of the computer

I also have a few “facts” that even right-handed people can research, but I’ll save you the trouble. :)

  • teachers may force you to use your right hand because it’s “normal”
  • “your way” of doing anything will be considered backward
  • in certain foreign countries, using your left hand (handshake, waving) is offensive
  • lefties only make up about 10% of the population
  • but up to 40% of the mentally ill (uh-oh … left-handed villain perhaps?)
  • International Left-Handers’ Day is August 13
  • sometimes the odds aren’t even (2-3/7 kids in my family)
  • right-handed parents can have left-handed children (lots of them, apparently)
  • lefties are that much more unique!

Now I’m curious! With all the demands for diversity today, I bet it’s never even crossed your mind to create a left-handed character. ;) How many of these facts were new to you? If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to dispel some myths for you.

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5 comments so far.

5 responses to “The Official Guide to Writing a Left-Handed Character”

  1. Faith Potts says:

    Wow! I never thought about most of these. I did know about teachers ‘forcing’ kids to do things right-handed. That was my grandmother’s situation, and now she kind of does either/both. ;) This post was great! Definitely something I’ll look back on while writing my left-handed guy. :D

  2. Kellyn Roth says:

    I knew practically all this … except some of the statistics, like the one about mentally ill people being 40% left-handed. I’d say that it’s not just scissors … it’s pretty much everything? :P WE LIVE IN A RIGHT-HANDED RULE. PEOPLE ARE SO PREJUDICED AGAINST LEFTIES WITHOUT EVEN KNOW IT. ;) Okay, just kidding … a little …

    ALSO, I tend to do this thing where I assume that my strong hand is my right hand (which is really my left hand), so I don’t know the different between left and right 90% of the time. So people are like, “To your right!” and I look left and such. But … this is just me not left-handed people.

  3. Megs says:

    Ah ha! Brilliant!
    One of my main characters is left-handed. I knew some of those, but not all. These things are good to know!
    Fun post Abi!
    I’m praying for your quick recovery, Ivy! <3

  4. Madison Guy says:

    This is such a neat post idea. My mom is the only one in our family left-handed but she’s actually learned to do everything right-handed while holding babies with her dominant hand! She only eats and writes with her left, which is pretty neat :D

  5. Mikayla says:

    This is awesome!! I am always interested to hear different sides of things. *Files this away to use as character research* I was ambidextrous as a kid, but my parents trained me on my right hand so it would be easier for me to do stuff. =)
    Thanks for sharing!
    -Mikayla-

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