External Resource: Creating a Diverse Cast

It's common in the writing community to not have a character's race mentioned or touched upon in the story. Why? Because of the fear of offending others. Now, I'm not saying you should go ahead and write from the perspective of a marginalised person if you are yourself, non-marginalised, because the fact is that you have had to walk a very different life, over someone in a marginalised category. But, you should still be including diverse characters in your story.

I will admit, when I first wrote Cloaked Shadows, my debut YA Fantasy novel, I had no diverse characters whatsoever. I was a month away from my release date, my book was already loaded on to the system ready to be available to the world, but there was something that had always itched me. This itch was that, even as I was writing Cloaked Shadows, I knew that by not including race and describing everything but a character's skin colour, was wrong and damaging. So, in the last month, I researched daily and I started to mention a character's race in the story.

By being too afraid of including diverse characters in your story, you're not helping the growth of diversity and therefore are contributing to damaging it. Francina Simone describes this perfectly, please watch this video before writing race into your story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qYsBwfrojQ

Now that you know HOW and WHY you should be writing diverse characters, you need to know what is stereotypical and what is not. Similarly, you need to know what is offensive and what is not. I first didn't realise how much we, as a world, are not helping the growth of diversity as much as we should because I was not taught about it. I now know that marginalised people have had to walk a very different, difficult, path to what I have had to walk. I also was not taught what is offensive and what is not. Most of the time, non-marginalised people do not even know they are being offensive when they are which is why it's so important to do your research and actively talk about furthering diversity.

The next resource has all the information you need to know about this, but I'm going to section this resource out so that you can navigate the site easily.

Click the link to go to 'Words for Skin Tone': https://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/post/96830966357/words-for-skin-tone-how-to-describe-skin-color

Click the link to go to 'Stereotypes & Tropes' navigation: https://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/Navigation2

Click the link to go to 'General' navigation: