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Monday, January 23, 2017

Diverse Characters - A + B



Welcome to the third new feature on my blog! This one will hopefully help writers and push them to use more diverse characters in their work.


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 A:


Aboriginals

Image from Wikimedia
Source Steve Evans


Acapella Singers

Adopted Children/Adoptive Parents

Afghans

Africans

African Americans 

Image from Pixabay


Individuals with AIDS/HIV 

Alaskans

Albinos 

Individuals suffering from Alcoholism

Elderly with Alzheimer's

The Amish

Image from Pixabay

Amputees

Individuals with Amnesia

Individuals suffering from Anorexia

Individuals with Asperger's 

Argentinians 

Artists

Asians

Image from Pixabay

Athletes

Australians 

Individuals with Autism




Here are the diverse characters for B:



Babies

Ballerinas

Bikers 

Biracial Individuals 

Individuals suffering from Bipolar Disorder

Blind Individuals

Individuals with Braces (teeth)

Brazilians

Brides 


Vietnamese Bride Image from Pixabay
Hindu Bride Image from Pixabay

The British 


Bounty Hunters

Buddhists 

Image from Pixabay

Individuals suffering from Bulimia



SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with A or B, let me know and I will add them to my list, if they don't fall under other categories or a later letter. :)

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?


62 comments:

  1. This is very interesting Chrys although I don't write fictional books, thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If the character comes to be I use them indeed. Had bounty hunters and british and babies within.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a WIP with a bounty hunter character. I just don't know when I'll be able to finish it.

      Delete
  3. It would be interesting to combine some of those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure would. That was the fun part of creating these posts, imagining characters that are a few of these at once.

      Delete
  4. Let's see A: Argentinian, Angolan, Afghani, android
    B: Botswanan, Bhutanese, Brazilian, baker, brick layer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there are SO many out there. Thanks for these! I'll add some that don't fall under other categories. Or that won't be used later.

      Delete
  5. I had a few childish giggles combining some of these. "Oh, my new book? It's about a guy who's an autistic Amish amputee."

    But that's a great list. I think it's fun to step outside of your comfort zone and write about someone who's totally different from yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the combinations can be funny, but they'd also make very interesting characters. :)

      Delete
  6. One major tip for writing diverse characters is ditching whatever preconceptions you might have about race, religion, sex, etc. Because all that is just distinguishing factors. Just write your characters as real people.
    A- a person or group performing acapella
    B- individuals suffering from bulimia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an excellent tip! I had thought to add that to my post. I can't believe I forgot about bulimia. Thanks for the additions!

      Delete
  7. Awesome list of examples! I have written about a Leprechaun with Alzheimer’s, alluded to canine alcoholism, and have unabashedly confessed to an innate adoration of babies ;-) Having enjoyed this post, I’m now considering a story about an Alaskan Eskimo Fortune Cookie writer – thanks, Chrys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Leprechaun with Alzheimer's? I love that!

      Ha! See? We can come up with fascinating characters when we think outside the box.

      Delete
  8. I have diverse characters in many of my books. Since my books are mostly set in the future, I usually treat that diversity as something so accepted, it's not really remarked upon. It just is. Hopefully, the future will really be like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the future will be like that. <3

      Delete
  9. I have one young Aspie, who was born in 1994 and thus won't have to grow up and get as far into adulthood as I did before finally having the condition's existence confirmed. Incidentally, most of us in the neurodiversity community prefer identity-first language (e.g., an autistic, an Aspie) over person-first language (person with autism, person who has Asperger's). It's an integral part of our identity, something that makes us who we are, not something we consider a disability or disease. It's different from saying, e.g., a person with cancer or someone who has Down Syndrome.

    I have one amputee character so far, who lost part of his arm during the Battle of Saipan, in a very similar way to the late Senator Daniel Inouye. Another character will become a leg amputee after serving in another war.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought you'd appreciate this and would mention a lot of diverse characters from your books.

      I forgot about individuals with Asperger's. I'll add that.

      Delete
  10. Awesome new feature! I did write about an anorexic character in a short story once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And that's great. I've read quite a few stories about anorexic characters.

      Delete
  11. I've had biracial characters in my story and I do have a zombie that's of Asian decent in one WIP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An Asian zombie character. That's interesting...moreso when I just think of a zombie being a character. :P

      Delete
  12. I haven't written about these, but I do have an author friend who writes nothing but Amish books. She's very successful at it, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amish books are very popular. My mom loves them.

      Delete
  13. Writing about a bounty hunter would be fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a bounty hunter in a WIP, but he helps a cop.

      Delete
  14. Neat series! I read an Amish romance once. It was a really interesting take on their way of life. Not sure how accurate it was though.

    ReplyDelete
  15. this would've made a terrific A to Z challenge!
    loved reading your extensive lists!

    and hope your tsunami blog hop was a resounding success! i had fun with it and reading many of the stories =) congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had thought of it for the Challenge, but I decided I wanted to take April off.

      Delete
  16. I have A-holes and Bitches to add:) I could never write about someone who is African American, Asian, Native American, Inuit or anyone else on this planet that is a minority because I would just do them an injustice. I am a white, blonde gal who has no clue except I what I read and what I watch but I can't feel their plight or emotions. Now if I can be allowed to write about a purple alien who contracted aids while having sex with an Amish woman and is now on the run because the bigots have found out he actually comes from the planet Bluto, well, I'm all in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I might keep a-holes and bitches off the list, but those are creative additions.

      Well, you don't have to write about those ethnicities or cultures. You can write about any diverse character. :)

      Delete
  17. That's quite a list. So many different people out there. I don't know if there's really a way to list them all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why I added a note that I can't list them all, especially every ethnicity. :)

      Delete
  18. It's a good list, but I have nothing to add. I tend to think about their inner workings. Except for babies. They are just too cute.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  19. I'm a hillbilly...that makes me a strange character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hillbilly. That's an H I can add! Thanks! :D

      Delete
  20. I like writing about regular people instead of rich, successful, and royalty people. I think that is diversity too. I always try to put color in my cast. Recently read an interesting book where the hero was missing an arm. It was a strange and beautiful story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Later, poor and wealthy individuals will be on my lists.

      Delete
  21. Lots of diversity here and that's just As and Bs:)

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is a great list. In a new story that's forming in my mind the main character is leaning toward being a character of diversity. I need to do some research, but I'm liking the idea of what he'll be like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! I wish you luck with it. :)

      Delete
  23. In his book, Writing the Block Buster Novel, Ken Follett has a great chapter on just this which I try to stick to. It's so easy to characterise just by using quirks of the people around us. It's so interesting to learn about people we don't know much about. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen his book around, but I don't think I've looked at it. I'll have to. :)

      Delete
  24. I don't specifically look for "diverse" characters to put in my stories. A lot of my stories have diverse characters because there are so many present in life. I rarely have them as main characters though. Soon it will be impossible to sell stories without them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful! I try to make an effort to add diverse characters. Like you, they usually aren't the main characters, but I'm trying to change that.

      Delete
  25. Love this list - thanks for sharing. I love that there's more of a push on diverse characters in books nowadays. I was about to ask if 'British' could be on your list but then I realized it was - we Brits are awesome ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think it'd be interesting to tell a story from a blind person's point of view, because then the focus on what people look like wouldn't be included in the blind person's narrative. Instead, it would focus on all the other things that they learn about the world due to their other senses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once wrote a short story in a blind girl's POV. It needs to be revised though, as I wrote it many years ago.

      Delete
  27. So... If that's what you consider diverse, I'm actually doing okay. Actually, the MC of my WIP is Hispanic, and the daughter of an illegal immigrant living in NYC. My worry is just being true enough to her culture because that's really a challenge. When you're writing a diverse cast, you have to research and immerse yourself like crazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People are diverse in so many different ways. :)

      Delete
  28. Love those pictures. Those aboriginal body art means something special to them. I spent several years totally taken by the Maori and how their culture was displayed on their person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The body art is fascinating. Thanks for commenting, Kali!

      Delete
  29. I just write about whatever I want. No ambition of being politically correct. I get enough of that at work >:)

    Cold As Heaven

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is a fantastic list! I once had a character, who was Indian (Hindu) and Spanish, and was told it was unrealistic. Except, I am Indian and Spanish . . . so . . . lol. I like diversity, but really dislike when it's forced *just* to check off a list. Great advice here!

    S.K. Anthony: Amazon’s New Print On Demand Feature

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should never be forced, but throughout carefully and for the good of the story. Funny how you wrote about something you know and people said it was unrealistic. Nowadays, I don't think anything is unrealistic when it comes to people's ethnicity.

      Delete
  31. I can't believe I didn't comment on this the first go-round. So, late, LATE, to the party but I just re-read this and I'm about to re-share it on twitter. I cannot tell you how many crit-group submissions and/or beta readings I've done where EVERY CHARACTER was WASP/straight/able-bodied/etc.. IT'S SO BORING.

    Of course, there are reasonable fears behind most of these vanilla characters. No one wants to write a caricature--or worse, a racist/sexist/ableist stereotype. It's not easy, neither is writing a cohesive story. Diverse characterization--like every other aspect of writing--is a skill to develop, not an innate gift from Yoda. Salt is a great seasoning but black pepper, cayenne, cumin, basil, and turmeric will really make your dish come alive. Thanks for sharing, Sis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the comparison you did with the spices. Clever and well put. Thanks for commenting. Late I'd fine. :)

      Delete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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