This is from a meeting I attended last night on writing diverse characters. It was amazing so I thought I would share some of the notes to help other writers.
Oh…I also keep the others in the group informed on info so that’s why it’s written this way. Sorry-
Diversity in writing-
For those of you who missed this amazing meeting- I am so sorry, but here are some notes that may help you out. I will also include a list of books we discussed and links to sites that will help with your research into creating diverse characters.
Our featured speaker last night was Shawntelle Madison. She was AMAZING! https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.shawntellemadison.com%2F&h=AT2kU4NVnO277FwGQDW6m-rr69OECpWLqyphvSqeFfmXChiYLttgk0EnetAPMfGu4JH8jMSK0xF72maEyd8AJA7vSIqamJgNWMno4r3-Rd4hTNmHNorU4Ixn6rrMaofFtg
** S.C., you have the coolest friends.
Get into the head of your reader. How? You need to create a protagonist that your reader can live through in your story.
• Avoid stereotypes
• Know the culture in which you are writing in
• Know the history of the culture and people
• Be accurate with geography- the example given by Shawntelle- the life of a black woman in Iowa and a black woman in Florida are two very different lives. They will see and experience things differently. Hence, know your geography.
How to improve your storytelling
• Be open to critique
o You may not like what you hear but you can learn from others points of view.
• Be willing to learn and change what needs to be changed. If your info is incorrect and someone calls you on it- fix it.
• READ- everything. Read your genre, your neighbor’s genre and even stuff that sucks. The best way not to suck is to know why something sucked in the first place.
• Research is your best friend. Look for books similar to what you are working on. When doing research be sure to use the purest form of information you can find. Not somebodies friend who wrote a book on what they thought might possibly be kinda true.
• Do your own research.
• Be a sponge. Learn, listen, and observe the world around you. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses and sit in a park. Watch. Wear earbuds but don’t turn on the sound. Listen.
• Be open to new experiences. Try that new restaurant. Check out the Museum of Mid-evil Torture Devices- No, really! It’s kinda cool and a bit creepy. I took notes.
• Know your limitations. You can’t be good at everything. I know I wish I could but even I can’t grasp all concepts and that’s okay.
BOOKS that were mentioned because they were awesome and because they were written by or about diverse individuals.
Children of Blood and Bone- by Tomi Adeyemi
The Hate You Give- Angie Thomas
ALSO…anything by Octavia Butler
Amazon’s Octavia E. Butler Page
Octavia Estelle Butler, often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” was born in Pasadena, California on June 22, 1947. She received an Associate of Arts degree in 1968 from Pasadena Community College, and also attended California State More about Octavia E. Butler
Bestselling Books: Kindred, Parable of the Sower (Earthseed), Parable of the Talents (Earthseed).
HELPFUL LINK: newspapers.com
• The largest online newspaper archive
• 9,000+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
• Millions of additional pages added every month
So this is a wonderful place to go while researching locations, language, and history for your characters.
Also- check out MORWA.org for a calendar of events that you may be interested in.
I hope this helped.
Novemeber PoP meeting will be on the 5th and is our critique meeting. Bring 5 copies of no more than 5 pages to be critiqued.
December 3rd will be our holiday party where we eat…a lot…and whine about all the stuff we didn’t get done and plan for next year.
See you then! I have writing to do!
I hope you, yes, you, found something helpful in this mess of notes.
Until next time…
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.