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via The Mary Sue.

We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.

But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.

This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities

And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve to do better, and move on.


I wish this is something more creative writing teachers would bring up.

Comments

( 2 comments — Add your .02 )
browngirl
Sep. 6th, 2014 03:49 am (UTC)
Me too, me so too.
caitri
Sep. 6th, 2014 03:52 am (UTC)
I love how he starts off the whole thing talking about the creation of the Black Panther, and how a shitty first draft became a better draft became the comic we know today, and even while still kind of problematic, it was enough to inspire a young black boy to write.
( 2 comments — Add your .02 )

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