Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Does Diversity Matter?-- by Naomi

A couple of times now I've seen something where writers, or even editors or agents say they want diversity in novels. Where they want a black main character or something.

Personally, I think it's really dumb.

My goal as a writer isn't to have the most diversified cast of characters. My goal (or at least one of them) is for the person who is reading the book to be so caught up in the story it doesn't matter what color the main characters skin is, or where they are from. And Personally, I think it should be your goal too. If the reader needs the character to be a certain someone for them to relate (as in Asian or Canadian or African or such) than they aren't the right reader.

If I ever get a book published, I don't want people to be like, "Oh my goodness, her character has blonde hair?! I can't read that!" The complete opposite actually. I don't care if, at the end of the story, they remember the color of her hair, or even if they don't remember the story at all. I want them to learn something, or to be touched, to take something away from the story they didn't have before.

So, is it important for there to be diversity in characters in your story? I don't know. Only you can decide what's important in your story.

(On the other, if you are writing about, say, a black person during the '50's and segregation was a big deal then yeah, it's important. Because it has something to do with the plot. The character isn't different just to be different.)
(and I'm not saying I'll never write a story with an Asian main character or what not, but I'm not going to specifically make a point of it just because there is a supposed need.)


  1. Hey! Visiting from the GTW's link-up.
    I think you have a point there, but I also see the point of adding diversity. I think everyone who reads likes to have a book they can relate to because the character reminds them of their own life. I know for me if I ever found a book about someone with Lyme disease I would gobble it up because I had Lyme disease for six years and yet I've only found one fictional book with a character who had it. Same thing when I read a book that has a large family. I have a large family and so it's interesting to me how authors write about them. Same way with writers. I enjoy reading books about authors because I'm an author myself. I'm guessing that just like I like being able to relate to a character through those characteristics, some readers like to relate to the characters culturally.
    Now, I'm totally NOT saying that to change your mind or try and get you to change your writing style, I'm just presenting another view. :)

  2. Aidyl, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment with you thoughts. And you know, I agree with you on some of those points. I guess the only times I've really heard about how people want diversity is when they talk about something physical (color of hair, or skin, etc.) But when you bring up points of Lyme disease or large families, I'm not at all opposed to them. :) (On a side note, in Brandilyn Collins' book Over The Edge the main character has Lyme disease, just in case you're interested in reading it.) Until I read your comment when people talked about diversity (because they didn't clarify-- or only talked about physical differences which my opinion hasn't changed on, haha) I was against it, but now, I understand your point and I'm only against half of it... haha! Thanks again for stopping by. :)


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