By: Ava Jae
If you're involved in the online publishing/writing community at all, then chances are extremely likely you've heard about the We Need Diverse Booksinitiative and ones like it, like
diversifYA, Diversity in YA, Gay YA, Disability in Kidlit,
and many others. Hell, if you've been to this blog more than a few times,
you've likely seen me talk about why representation is important to me, and
more recently, about the importance of chronic illness rep in YA.
What I'm trying to say is as of late, there have been a lot of pushes towards encouraging writers to write diversely and readers
to read (and support) diverse lit. And you know? A lot of good has
come out of it. There have been books with marginalized protags getting huge
marketing budgets and promoted to the masses, which is incredibly awesome.
There have been writers coming together to try to write as respectfully and
realistically as possible. And probably most importantly: there's been more
visibility of representation in literature.
Of course, we still have a long way to go, but there's been progress. And progress is awesome.
But at the same time, there have also been internet uproars related to the causes, usually surrounding poor (or even harmful) representation, whether in a book, on a panel, etc. Which is understandable, because poor representation needs to be discussed and pointed out. But at the same time, it can be scary as a writer trying to write a diverse cast in a respectful way (or as a writer trying to decide whether or not they should write diverse characters at all), to see that. There have been authors chased off their social media accounts after getting slammed over not-so-great representation in their books—which is probably every writer's worst nightmare.
Stemming from all this comes a sort of guilt or pressure to write diverse characters. Writers sometimes come across diversity talks and walk away with guilt for not writing a diverse cast. So the question is sometimes asked: do you have to write diverse characters?
The short answer? No.
. . .
To read the rest of the post, click here:
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
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- Authors: Have You Blabbed or Scoped Yet? by France Caballo — The Book Designer http://ow.ly/Sjo2Y
- 9 (or more) Things I Love About Scrivener http://ow.ly/Sjo4M
- The Writing Life: Five Reasons Authors Need GoodReads http://ow.ly/SjpBQ
- Operation Awesome: Guest Post: Self-Publishing for Author/Illustrators, by Taryn Skipper http://ow.ly/SjpDN
- Where Indie Authors Should Sell Their Books http://ow.ly/SjpFt
- 18 steps to a successful book marketing campaign | Blogs For Writers http://ow.ly/SjpIR
- Villains: The Real Stars by Will Van Stone Jr | KateTilton.com http://ow.ly/SjpLp
- 7 Ways to Make Yourself a Better Writer in 7 Days - Marcy Kennedy http://ow.ly/SjpNl
- 3 1/2 Tips for Fixing an Unlikable Character | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author http://ow.ly/SjpTz
- 7 Simple Hacks to Get Writing When You Just Can’t http://ow.ly/SjpYF
- Fiction University: Pain, The Brain, Why Rejection Hurts and What You Can Do About It http://ow.ly/Sjq0F
- Writability: Do You Have to Write Diverse Characters? http://ow.ly/Sjqdm
- Writers On The Move: A Few Tips for Writing Nonfiction Articles http://ow.ly/Sjqmp