1. Mordred85
    Offline

    Mordred85 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    74

    Hispanic author with predominantly caucasian characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Mordred85, Jul 22, 2015.

    Do you think it's a big deal if a Hispanic author writes dark fantasy with mainly Caucasian characters? I'm not a self-hating Hispanic or anything like that, but I see how Caucasian authors get attacked by African people for not having more diversity in their books and this makes me worry. Should I expect that kind of negative treatment from fellow Hispanics as well?

    I also wonder about certain European ethnicities feeling uncomfortable with a Hispanic author writing about them. Would they think that it's an interesting perspective, regardless of the fantasy. Or would they think it's blasphemy?
     
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,872
    Likes Received:
    10,047
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I'm 100% Puerto Rican, through and through, start to finish, made with local materials. [​IMG] I do not worry about my ethnicity vs. the ethnicities of my characters. Sometimes my characters are latino (hispanic, whatever), and sometimes not. I grew up in the military. All flavors of people. "Variety pack", so to speak. :bigcool::agreed:
     
    Mike Hill, T.Trian and Mordred85 like this.
  3. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,222
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I wouldn't worry. If your characters are Caucasian, let 'em be Caucasian. My sci-fi protagonist, Helen Chert, is black. Another, budding, main character is Asian (from Japan, specifically. What, I love that country. :D). I don't think sane people are going to flip shit if you write characters that are of other ethnicities.

    Also, you are gonna get haters no matter what. You can cram in as many diverse characters as you can and someone is gonna say, “You didn't include meh, whaaaz!!!!111” Just write your lovely characters as they are. :D
     
    jannert and T.Trian like this.
  4. Mordred85
    Offline

    Mordred85 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    74
    Okay, thanks for the advice :).

    I kind of figured I should have a similar approach, but I just wanted to be safe.
    Thanks, both of you!
     
  5. Void
    Offline

    Void Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2014
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    229
    You really shouldn't worry about it. The types of people who will make a big deal over white people creating white characters aimed at other white people are not the same people who are likely to get too mad at a Hispanic person doing the same. At worst you may have a few people rolling their eyes at what they perceive to be a lost opportunity to have more Hispanic characters in literature, but really, does it even matter if you have their blessing? Do you really want to kowtow to these groups who only see art in terms of how it exalts their political views?
    You'll possibly piss off the KKK, but then again, you probably piss them off just by existing. As for the rest of the white population, I can't imagine anyone would care about that in the slightest. For me, it wouldn't even be something I'd think about.

    Personally, I say there's a certain liberty in knowing that no matter what you say you'll piss off some group or another. Just write what you want to write; unless your work is so controversial that no publisher will ever touch it then you have no need to worry about other people's petulance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
    KaTrian, T.Trian and Mordred85 like this.
  6. Mordred85
    Offline

    Mordred85 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    74
    Yeah, I don't really care about catering to those kind of people who like to bring up racial tension every day. The kind of people who promote racism every day and remain ignorant. Alright, sounds good. I appreciate what you had to say. Thanks
     
    KaTrian and T.Trian like this.
  7. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    I'm white, straight, male American. My protagonist is female, my cast is majority female (lots of girl power), I have a major character who is South Asian, another who is Aboriginal Australian, side characters who are black, Hispanic, gay, and a lot of people who are Caucasian but ethnically different than me (My protagonist is Greek-American, and while she's technically "White American" and I'm technically "White American", if this project has taught me anything it's that I know as much about being Greek as I know about being a fish).

    My point? Write who you want without fear - but make sure you you research ALL your characters including (and especially) the ones your think are of your own ethnicity. Everyone is different, and you can't crawl into anyone's skin just because they share one trait or category with you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
    jannert and Link the Writer like this.
  8. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,222
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    ^ Pretty much. Write what you want, research what you don't know, and ignore the crybabies throwing hissy fits over your decisions.

    Enjoy! :D And good luck/have fun!
     
    Commandante Lemming likes this.
  9. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    I agree with all of the others above. Your artistic vision shouldn't be stifled and crippled by fear of upsetting the perpetually offended PC police seeking to censor just about everything that doesn't support their political agenda and suit their hallowed narrative.

    Hell, if your fantasy story takes place in a setting modeled after medieval Europe, it even makes sense most characters are Caucasian, just like it would make sense they were mostly east-Asian if the society was modeled after feudal Japan, or mostly black if the story's society was a representation of medieval north-Africa.

    And yes, you will get criticized about it, but I wouldn't worry about that, it's inevitable no matter what you do because you can't please such irrational people. E.g. if you lack a strong female MC, you'll get criticized for that. If you have one and she's a sexual being in any way, you'll get criticized for sexualizing her (I believe the term is "fighting fuck toy"). If she's not a sexual being, e.g. she's only interested in her career as a warrior, you'll get criticized for writing what the same crowd call "a man with boobs" (since we all know women never just focus on their work...).
    My point is, no matter what you do, people like that will find fault in it because their logic is fundamentally flawed and makes it impossible for anyone, even themselves, to write a story by which they wouldn't be offended.

    Just follow your vision and create art instead of writing with a political checklist in a hopeless effort to ensure nobody could take offense over the story; someone will always find a way.

    Note that there's a difference between the kind of people described above and folks who genuinely want to affect change in e.g. the underrepresentation of women or minorities in sf/f, fighting whitewashing of historical characters (e.g. pretending Jesus was white) etc.
    Nobody should be pressured into changing their vision to placate the less reasonable critics whose interests lie in politics instead of art. The people working to e.g. make sf/f (even) more inclusive generally don't expect others to do their work for them. E.g. I haven't yet seen many of the kind of female warriors in sf/f that I think should exist in greater numbers, so I'm writing them myself as we speak, hoping my meager attempts would qualify as leading by example/practicing what I preach etc.

    Good luck!
     
    Steerpike, Mike Hill, Void and 2 others like this.
  10. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,222
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Exactly. At the end of the day, the creator gets to draw the line and say, "Folks, this is what my story is about, take it or leave it." Does anyone think Miyamoto gives two squirrel fucks that all his protagonists are white men? No, no he probably does not. He is only concerned about the story he's making, the game he's making. I'm sure there were lots of jokes about Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask Link looking like the poster Aryan child (he had blonde hair, blue eyes, and was white). Did he care then? Nope. Nein. (Insert Japanese word for 'no'.)

    On the flip-side, there is no shame in writing about non-white and/or not-men and/or are LBGT+. If the story demands it/it makes more sense to have a minority main character, then go ahead! If that's where creativity takes you, then that's where it takes you. If you want to help diversify the protagonists of fiction, then by all means, do it. Personally, I don't think there are a whole lot of strong hearing impaired protagonists, so I'm slowly training myself to come up with stories that do have strong deaf/hearing impaired protagonists. Not that there's anything wrong with my blind protagonists, I just think it'd be a little closer to home for me (since I'm hearing impaired) to have a protagonist (and a strong one at that) who has hearing problems.

    To sum up:

    You, the creator of your stories, get to draw the line somewhere. If it makes sense for your story to have xyz group, include it. A wise person once told me, "Don't put something in your story just for the sake of having that in the story." I could have a deformed human character hang out with Helen on her starship if I wanted. Well, if I did that, I'd better have a good reason besides "LOOKIE! LOOKIE! DISABLED PERSON IN MY SCI-FI!!" If you're gonna do it, have him/her fit within the world/plot. Treat the minority character as a person rather than a 'thing' with which to please the PC crowd.

    I've also heard somewhere that it never hurts to research the ethnicity/group you're trying to write about. In fact, you probably should. It'd be too easy for me to take that deformed character and have her be a beacon of inspiration for the non-deformed characters or persevere in spite of his/her deformity or like Tiny Tim and sooth even the hardest heart. She, like Helen, deserve better than that. What would matter is her life experience, her dreams, her likes/dislikes, her goals, etc. Yeah, she might have a severe deformity and it would have an impact on how she grew up and how she perceives things, but her character would be so much more than just 'deformed person on a spaceship'. Y'know what I mean?

    If you don't know, research. Talk with the people who are actually from that group, listen to their life stories. Your characters should be just as human as the actual human beings; not stereotypes or caricatures.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
    C. W. Evon and T.Trian like this.
  11. Burnistine
    Offline

    Burnistine Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2015
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    26
    I don't care who you are, if you write a good book no one will care. I have had issues with this too.

    If you are overly concerned to the point of it hindering your work, use a pseudonym. This isn't uncommon. For years, female detective writers used male names. Go for it! Concentrate more on writing a compelling story. Ignore the naysayers.
     

Share This Page