Friday, July 30, 2010

Including more colored characters

Was thinking about this in my writing. 

Like, in the world I'm trying to put together - fantasy novel world, Telrin - I need to work on including multiple races beyond just Elves and Dwarves and shit. I mean I've even got Eastlands, a desert-region of the main continent Hioren, and it only struck me recently to make them darker skinned. It feels extraordinarily racist to not even think about including variants of skin color, especially when it's actually would be otherwise appropriate. 

Most of the inclusions I'd be doing to my writing wouldn't be adding in exactly one character here and there, otherwise it's just stupid tokenism. I'm not looking to after-the-fact edit in oh hey here's a black guy, here's a mexican woman, asian guy, etc etc etc. otherwise I'd just be throwing in whatever I feel would get me past the Politically Correct Committee and there'd be a wheelchair bound guy who's got to have exactly one worthwhile moment to make everyone feel better about the situation. The reason I'm making this post is to think, hey, from now on let me think about character concepts in-development and build being black, asian, or yes even handicapped as a facet of their personality rather than super-gluing it onto their completed profile after-the-fact. 

It isn't "Oh, hey, I need to include a black guy." *hasty after-edit*

What I'm talking about is more like this - "Hmm, I need a supporting character here for this superhero concept. He'd be...a cop, young, relatively new on the force. Good guy, really tough, but he's soft spoken. Has faith in people and things turning out okay. He's an active participant in improving things. Sorta like Jim Gordon channeling Morpehous. Hey...he could be black. It actually fits pretty well, especially since the city is supposed to be a big mix of races as it's a hot immigration spot. He's got...a brother, too, but he's not in the force, he' artist who lives elsewhere." etc etc etc

I suppose the only reason I bring this up is because in the delicate politics of racism there's about a million incorrect places to stand and only about three correct ones, and I feel like I just noticed I was standing on one of the former. 

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