Diversity Within Fiction, Are We There Yet? #amwriting #MFRW #diversity

 

When I first started to write it did cross my mind that being a British author, not everyone may connect.  It never bothered me and it still doesn’t  now.  I feel this way as there is a reader out there for every writer, no matter what you write be it dark stuff or light comedy. I’ve come to feel really strongly that writers should not, and can not write to people please. Why? You’ll lose yourself , who you are and what you want to write. I write it how I like it end of.

Over the last twenty four hours I’ve really been thinking about diversity within fiction, this is mainly due to the writing prompt I did on the Ideal  Romance Hero, and  the  guest author post I done with Author Jane Ridson. I was asked ( in the guest post)  how I go about using diverse characters, and what advice I would give to those that shy away from it. To me, diversity is a given, where I’m from in London it’s a melting pot of different cultures  we love diversity this side of the water pretty much, well in London anyway. So it comes natural that I write reflecting what’s around me, and my diverse friends I have. It would be really hard not to.

Last night, I reflected on this point about diversity a little further, when I woke up this morning and read a few  other writer’s POV on the Ideal Romance Hero it occurred to me that my take on Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome  and the ideal romance hero is quite different, which is fine. I don’t mind standing out! One  ( supportive) comment led me to feel that diversity really does need to be embraced, I also had a response to my Beta Reader call from someone who is keen  to be a Beta Reader for me as I’m a different race and gender to them and I’m on  the other side of the world. This is cool really cool. 🙂  But … are we there yet? Do we still have a little work to do with diversity in fiction? There’s a blogger I love his name is Jason Cushman or Opinionated Man to you and I. I’ve said it before he is rather funny, frank, and to the point. He is also rather raw in his take on diversity.  Jason is of Asian descent and embraces it from what I read,  but he does highlight ” the struggle” he’s over in the USA.I thought about Jason, some of his posts I’ve read and his struggles. You should check him out.

I then went to Facebook in search of marketing groups or companies who actually work with writers who feature diverse characters.  I’d like to put my Romance Set in Paradise series in front of some readers who may love and seek a bit of diversity. Also my future work also, as you know I’ll never quit creating diverse characters. Do you know I found none, not one, like not even a choice! I am really surprised. This led me to set up my own group called Black, Asian and Minority Readers and Writers   this is not about segregation it’s more about celebration! Of authors who feature diverse character line ups, and can maybe help support other authors branch into this ( if they want to) without the fear of stereotypes, or stereotyping those they feature,  find readers who want to find  diversity in their fiction, a chance for all writers  regardless of their own race who love, support and read diverse fiction to come together. This includes the gay community also. I have nothing against same sex relationships at all, live and let live is my motto.  I feel like I want to do something from this side of the Atlantic as there are so many in the USA ( FB groups) with this focus on African American writers /fiction, but I see little with a welcome for all minority groups for anyone who would say they are a minority or of some mixed background.  Or am I just not looking hard enough?

So, if you’re an author of an ethnic background, or an author who writes with diversity regardless of your background, or you’d like to try it! Join the group, the link is above. I hope to build a community of support. And readers, marketers and lovers of our diverse work. Because variety is the spice of life.

Tell me, what’s your views on diversity in general?

Kim

 

Guest Author Over @ Author Jane Risdon’s Blog. #author #writerslife #writingtips

I had a lovely time as Author Jane Risdon’s guest  this week.  She made me feel very welcome. She asked me a lot about my experience with traditional and self-publishing, and what tips I’d give to writers who shy away from using a multi-cultural line up for the characters.

Check it out here:

Guest author with Jane Risdon

 

Writing Tip: Character Profiles & Their Importance #writerslife #amwriting

I’ve just sat down to do a couple hours work on the next novella story for my Romance Set in Paradise series, I started to think a lot about character development (as I normally do) as I’m creating a scene that’s unfamiliar to me. On top of that my main character is in a situation also unfamiliar to me. In order to do this  scene and story justice, other than research, one thing I have learned while creating unfamiliar or difficult scenes is it’s helpful to react to things as your character would rather than yourself. In order to do this you need a detailed character profile. (In my humble view).

When I wrote A Stranger in France, all 90,000 words were mapped out across chapters and character profiles, it helped A LOT especially as the characters are so far removed from me. I also wrote from a male POV – two very different males! So I had to keep in line with what my character’s traits are rather than me a thirty four year old woman. The benefits of a character profile I can not stress enough to every aspiring or even established writer out there. Here’s my take on this and why I’d say use them, don’t write blindly…. even if Stephen King does it!

  1. You’ll be consistent and save yourself a hell of a lot of headache while editing, you’ll have less red pen marks on your work from your editor saying ” you said x on page 57 now you say y on page 78″ LOL.
  2. Your stories will pop and so will your characters.
  3. You’ll write in an unbiased way, as your characters react to things based on who THEY ARE not  who you are.
  4. Character profiles can help move your story in a new and exciting direction!
  5. You’ll suffer less so called “writer’s block”.

So how do you go about developing a character profile? Here’s how I approach it as a tip generally you could….

  1. First see them as real 3D people. How they look, sound, smell, dress, talk. This helps to enhance your writing. ( I feel) and the reader’s experience.
  2. Interview them. Where do they live, car they drive, hobbies, interests, their general take on life?
  3. What is their overall goal in your story? What do they need to make sure happens to achieve it? What will happen if they don’t achieve their goal? What’s at stake?
  4. Take into consideration your genre and story length. I say this as you don’t want to take up all your words on too much of this if you’re writing a short story- a short story to me is like 30k words, to others this can be as little as 10k…. If you’re crafting a full blown novel over 40k words then by all means really work on your character’s profile and make them pop. With genre, I’m all about the suspense! 🙂 this is where my talent is, so to make the suspense come across character development helps within my genre, as I am SHOWING readers things via the moments of my characters rather than TELLING. Some genres don’t need this much work on characters to create the atmosphere of the genre.

And that’s my reflection on creating difficult scenes, and how to make your characters come across as some what believable! If you’re a writer what approach do you take? Do you even agree that character profiles are useful and important?

I better get back to work on my character profile and try to finish up this scene. In the mean time, drop me a comment writers what’s your view?

 

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