Beware the token character

Diversity has become a priority issue in speculative fiction. This blog provides some excellent Dos and Don’ts on the subject.

Welcome to My Magick Theatre

The We Need Diverse Books campaign is a wonderful initiative which has gotten a lot of people talking, and inspired many writers to create diverse characters. However, we should also beware using diverse characters as tokens.

1. Don’t have diverse characters for the mere sake of diversity. Even if your book is set in a known multicultural place like New York City or Los Angeles, it’s still not realistic to create some Rainbow Tribe to show off how diverse your book is. How realistic is it for every single member of a group of friends to represent a different ethnicity, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, etc.?

2. Constantly bringing up a character’s diversity is pretty awkward. People of my generation probably remember how every single Baby-Sitters’ Club book mentions, in the requisite infodumpy Chapter 2, that Jessi. Is. Black! While I do appreciate knowing a detail like that, so…

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