How To Write Diverse Characters and Why You Should Include Them

We’re all human, big or small, white or black. We all occupy this earth, we’re all in this together.

So, what would make your novel any different?

A diverse character is a character just like any other. Don’t write them differently because it’s something new. Don’t view them as special because you’ve added them into the story.

Just include them.

how-to-diverse-characters

Why should you include diverse characters?

  • We all want to see ourselves in stories. We want to be one with the protagonist, go on an adventure, save the world, and just escape reality for a little while.
  • It’s important for everyone to feel included. Everyone should be represented, everyone’s voices should be heard.
  • It also gives people an open mind. They recognize there are others out there who are like them and who are not like them. They feel as though they are not alone.
  • Don’t be afraid to write these characters. You may offend some people, not intentionally, but remember that people view things differently. Just do your research and do your best.
  • And, I don’t mean to get political on my blog, but with the way the world is now, we all need to come together and act as one now more than ever.

How do you write a diverse character?

I’ll admit that most of my characters are white, but that’s because that’s what I know. I know the mannerisms, the accents, the culture, and background. So, how am I supposed to write as anyone else?

Research

There are so many resources on the internet. Tumblr is a huge one, as a matter of fact. Tumblr, Pinterest, and even just Googling things give you a tremendous amount of resources at the edge of your fingertips. From various voices and accents to describing skin color and other physical descriptions, various cultures, and religions, and so much more. Just know what you’re looking for and don’t be afraid to search for it.

Talk about it

I’m sure you all have friends that come from different backgrounds than you. Study their mannerisms, ask them about their culture. Don’t be afraid to want to know more, to understand more about them.

Read

You’ve all heard of books, right? Look up books that center a protagonist that’s similar to yours and learn how that author pulled it off. Brush up on your history, as well, depending on what time period you’re writing in.

Remember, it’s one thing to add in diverse characters, but it’s another thing to add them in and actually portray them correctly.

But wait, there’s more!

What is a diverse character, exactly? So far I’ve basically just mentioned skin color and the like. But there are so many other types of people out there.

Diverse characters can include various:

  • Races
  • Ethnicities
  • Classes
  • LGBTQ
  • Medical disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Mental disabilities

And I’m sure there’s a lot more that I’m missing. (Seriously, if I’m missing anything, let me know and I’ll add it.)

Give your characters, give your novel, variety. The world is a mixing cup and we have to stir it up. (And that, my friends, is from a song we sing in my preschool classroom.)

Do you include diverse characters in your novels? How do you do it? Let me know in the comments below!

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