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Monday, July 24, 2017

Diverse Characters - N + O



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol




Here are the diverse characters for N:



Native Americans

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mary_Kim_Titla.jpg

Narcissists 

Narcoleptics (Individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder)

Nepalese Individuals (Nepal)

Newly Weds

New Zealanders

Nicaraguans

Nigerians

Ninjas

Non-Binary Individuals 

Norse Gods

Norse Individuals

Norwegians 

Nova Scotians

Nuns

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sisters_(Daughters_of_Mary)_Roman_Catholic_Singing.jpg


Here are the diverse characters for O:

Obese Individuals

Ochlophobics (people with the fear of clowns)

Octogenarians (century-old individuals)

Octophobics (people with the fear of the number 8)

Ogres (fantasy)

Oholone Indians

Opera Singers

Orphans

Image from Pixabay

Orphindiophobics (people with the fear of snakes)


SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with N or O, let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.


Have you written about a character from my list?




*All images are free to use.



NEW COVER ART + FREE EBOOK

Sliding on the edge by C. Lee. McKenzie

Scarred. Scared. Alone. Can sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone overcome her inner suffering and transcend the past? 

Shawna has spent the first sixteen years of her life in Las Vegas and learned to handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Damaged inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. When her mother abandons her, with only a bus ticket and the name and number of stranger to call, this troubled , desperate teen finds herself on a California horse ranch with Kay Stone, the steely, youngish grandmother she's never known.

Kay overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores, and Shawna baffles Kay with her foul-mouthed anger and shrugging indifference to everything--except the maltreated horse on the ranch next door. But it's worse than even Kay suspects: Shawna's driven to cut herself by Monster, that strange voice inside her head. Kay struggles to keep the ranch going and fears that unless she helps this girl, she could lose her last living family member.

As this unlikely pair struggles to co-exist, will they overcome their suffering and transcend the past? 


60 comments:

  1. That's a great way of approaching diversity! No, I haven't written about any of those types of characters, but it gets me thinking that starting with a character with something slightly unusual about them could lead on to all sorts of other ideas.

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    1. It certainly could lead to all sorts of other ideas. :D

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  2. A great premise to Lee's story. Now there are two diverse characters. Congrats to Lee!

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  3. I've used a few of the above a time or ten. Would Norse Gods count for N?

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    1. Norse Gods does work. I'll add that. Thanks!

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  4. I've probably written a few characters with some narcissistic tendencies, but that's about it!

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  5. It's bit of a cliche, though no less true, but most orphan characters are in bad situations, for example, starved, abused (physically, sexually, etc). And suggest to be careful and very knowledgeable when writing a Native American character. There are many, many, many distinctive tribes.
    N- Nova Scotian
    O- a person w/ octophobia (fear of #8)
    P- priest

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions! and you're absolutely right about writing a Native American character. So much research is needed to understand the specific tribe and culture.

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    2. I have another P suggestion. A palmist, a palm reader. Someone who practices palmistry

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    3. Thanks! I'll add palmists to my P post. :)

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  6. I'm wracking my brain to find diverse characters you haven't mentioned from N-O. How about Menonites, Mormons, Oholone Indians? That's all I got.

    Thanks for the beautiful shout out. I really appreciate it, Chrys.

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    1. No Ms in this post. My previous one had Mormons. I'll have to check to see if Menonites was added.

      You're welcome!

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  7. Another awesome list. Also, I love Ochlophobics. Wait, isn't that just being normal? Does anyone actually *like* clowns?

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    1. It's been a long time since I've been around clowns. I don't think I mind them, unless they are especially creepy.

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  8. Very interesting list, great of you to share.

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  9. Excellent diverse characters, also loved C.Lee Mckennzie's book. Great cover and review.

    Yvonne.

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  10. I'd do a lot of research before writing a story focused on Native Americans or other indigenous peoples. Too many writers, unknowingly or not, are guilty of depicting Native American life and culture as a monolithic thing, just like many writers don't understand there are important differences between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture. Not all Native Americans want to be called the same thing either; e.g., some have no problem with the term Indian, while others prefer Native American, American Indian, First Nations people, or the name of the tribe. I'd also stick to tribes about which a lot of information is readily available, unless the story absolutely had to be about a tribe it's hard to research.

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    1. Absolutely. Researching, understanding, knowing are extremely important for all diversities, but I agree, for Native Americans it's even more essential because of the vast differences from tribe to tribe.

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  11. I write a lot of science fiction and there's so much that could change about diversity in the future. Hopefully, it will be people's attitudes that change the most into a more accepting world.

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    1. That would be great...a miracle. :)

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  12. Diversity that fits and feels natural to the story line makes for a more interesting read, especially if the writer does their homework and teaches you something about another culture, region, religion, etc. Just sticking someone different in at random, like an aborigine in Alaska, is just cheesy.

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    1. Of course, it would have to fit the story line to be realistic.

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  13. Got to love a list that has ogres and nuns on it;) It's funny, but I guess I don't dwell too much on labels for characters. So long as the voice of the story is good, the rest always seems to fall into place for me:)

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    1. LOL! That's too funny.

      Well, that's good. The most important thing is the story.

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  14. And the list keeps growing ;)

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  15. Great suggestions for character ideas! I'm particularly intrigued by narcissists. Having lived in New Zealand for many years, I think it would be fun to incorporate Kiwi characters in a future writing project.

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    1. New Zealanders are also called Kiwis? I didn't know that.

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  16. Congrats to Lee! :) That's a fantastic list. You could randomly put some of those together to create a really unusual character! Hehehe.

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    1. That's what's fun about these lists. :)

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  17. I've been thinking about diversity as in places. How do you research and learn enough and specifics about place e.g. Paris to write like you are there and convey the atmosphere of place to the reader? What questions do you ask to find the info you need to do that?

    I'm weak on research and how to do it for efficient use and knowledge. I do it but then it seems I am shifting constantly looking for an exclusive gold nugget.

    Great post about diversity and characters.
    ' Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Many people who write about Paris had lived there. Having a beta reader who lives/lived in a country you're not familiar with would be a big help. Travel guides can tell you a lot. I've never been to Oahu, Hawaii, but it was my setting for Tsunami Crimes.

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  18. Narcissists make a great villain. I have written about them in real life and in my fiction. Great list of diverse characters for N and O. Nova Scotians are interesting people with a unique perspective. Would Octogenarians count for diverse? Century old people can make an interesting side character :)

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    1. I'm editing a story now with a great narcissist villain.

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  19. Whoa. These are excellent choice of words. Looking forward to reading more.

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  20. Nuts... Nut-case... (oh me, I am sounding too much like the guy in the White House)

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  21. I love your lists. They always have something I hadn't thought of and would be fun to have an a story.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad they get you thinking. :)

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  22. And yet there's all this talk lately about cultural appropriation, when just a few years ago writers were encouraged to include diverse characters of other cultures and races. Now we're told we have no right to do so if it's not our race or culture. The pendulum has swung the other way.

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    1. If we're smart, careful, and research as much as possible, we have the right to include characters of any race or culture in our books.

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  23. I've read Sliding on the Edge and highly recommend it. C Lee is great at creating characters you want to live happily ever after.
    Yes, I wrote about orphans in my historical fiction novel A Family for Leona. It's based on true facts about the Orphan Trains.
    Thanks for the list of ideas. I hadn't thought of some of them.
    Have a great weekend.

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    1. I remember your orphan train posts. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend, Beverly!

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  24. Chrys, Always liked reviewing the alphabetic lists of people types. In my stories I've included Obese (a supervisor named Bolus), Asian (Indian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.), African(Nigerian), Jamaican, multiple European countries, amputees, and of course non-terrestrials! My "real life" job is for a global company, and I get to work with people all over the world as both research and inspiration. Keep up the blogs and the YouTube vids, too! As above, the story is important first, then add the interest of other diverse cultures and peoples and suddenly the story starts writing itself!

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    1. You've had an excellent cast of diverse characters in your books. Thanks for the lovely comment, Donrazor! I will continue to blog and post YouTube videos. :)

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  25. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and realised my novels don't really have much diversity. Though they do tend to focus on women characters, so I guess that's one thing :P But I have been wondering how to go about diversifying things. I can probably draw on my own life experiences of having diverse friends, but I'm not sure how to implement it yet.

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    1. Drawing on your life experiences is a great way to start.

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  26. Oh, look at that, I'm on the top of your list!
    Here's my Native American tip... glance at the size of North America. Glance at the size of Europe. (9.54 million mi² -vs- 3.931 million mi²) Now stop pretending that all Native American tribes are the same, that they all knew each other, that they all have the same customs and pasts. We don't. If you can believe that Portugal is different from Finland, you can find it in yourself to believe that the Native American tribes of Southern California are different from the ones of Maine. Housing, diet, clothing, speech, religion, ... so many vastly different people are shoved into this one category, yet were so different in every basic way before the European Colonization.

    At the very least, be more creative than, "The injin done ripped me off!" Yeah, the bad guys trying to defend their homes, hearing stories from the few displaced survivors about what was coming... Anyway, my tip is to get out there and do some research. Be better than a cliche.

    Also, reconsider your definition of poverty. Ask yourself how it'd be defined if gold, silver, and other such backings were just rocks, if the economy wasn't based on money. Because, in order to be poor, all that is required is a lack of the established currency. It doesn't mean a lack of food, a fine shelter, an ability to communicate with your community, etc. Fitting in has become economic, and that weighs on how many people write about Native Americans in modern times. See, it's a choice. Which has more value-- Prada shoes purchased, or animal skin shoes made with honor during a ceremony? Dig deep on that answer.

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    1. This is great! Thank you! Writing about Native Americans takes a lot of Knowledge in so many areas to understand way or life, etc. Thanks for sharing these reminders with my blog visitors. I greatly appreciate it. :)

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  27. Well SAID Lenni! Iroquois, Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Algonquin, Powhatan, Timucua, Shawnee, Osage, Lakota, Pawnee, Menominee, Miami, Crow, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute, Navajo, Hopi, Mescalero Apache, Chiricahua Apache, Tilamook, Nez Perce, and dozens more that aren't just names of rivers, regions, cities, and streets but the names of peoples that lived, loved, thrived, adapted, fought, worshipped, and traded across an entire continent! If nothing else, research draws me as much to writing as a love for the topics, stories, and characters. Thank you for the post! The same is true for any region of the Earth. Basque, Celtic, Magyar, Goth, Dane, and thousands more of peoples in parts of the world we "think" are specific languages and countries today, but with cultures and ways that make each unique.

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    1. Yes, there are so many tribes and each one is different. That's why research us important. And talking to people in those tribes would be highly useful, too.

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  28. Narcoleptic. Obsessive compulsive. :)

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