As authors, we strive to create characters that resonate with a broad range of readers. Characters like Mark Watney from "The Martian" or Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games" are examples of diverse protagonists who added a layer of depth and realism to their respective books. Thus, writing diverse and inclusive characters is a necessity in today's world.
The Art of Inclusive Storytelling
Embracing Diversity in Fiction Writing
Diversity in fiction writing is like adding spices to a well-cooked meal—it enhances the base ingredients to create a well-rounded taste. A novel like "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan uses a diverse cast to introduce different perspectives and experiences, creating a rich tapestry that mirrors the complexities of real life.
Research: The Foundation of Inclusive Character Development
Writing diverse protagonists and other characters requires a deep understanding of their experiences, cultures, and worldviews. For example, if you're writing a character who identifies as LGBTQ+ but you don't, engaging with people from the LGBTQ+ community or consulting sensitivity readers can ensure authentic representation.
Words Have Power: Choose Them Wisely in Inclusive Storytelling Techniques
When you're writing diverse and inclusive characters, words are your primary tool. For instance, in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon, the author uses respectful and accurate language to portray the experiences of a protagonist with autism.
Breaking Stereotypes: A Key Aspect of Character Diversity in Writing
Stereotypes are like overused clichés—they make characters predictable and two-dimensional. Breaking stereotypes doesn't just make your characters more interesting; it makes them feel more human. For example, in "Harry Potter," Hermione Granger is a 'bookworm,' yet she's also brave, proving that characters can defy stereotypes.
Avoid Saviorism: Empower, Don't Patronize
In the realm of diverse and inclusive character development, every character should have agency—the ability to influence their own life and narrative. A movie like "The Help," where a white journalist takes it upon herself to tell the stories of black maids, faced criticism for its savior narrative, reminding us that every character deserves respect and agency.
Time to Bring Your Diverse Protagonists to Life!
Armed with these inclusive storytelling techniques, you're now prepared to tackle diverse character creation in your writing. "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker is a brilliant example of a book that handles diversity and inclusivity well but remember that the author didn't get there without practice and persistence. So, strive for growth and continuous improvement with each character you create and each story you write. After all, every great writer started somewhere.