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integrating non white characters in stories

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Old 07-09-2015, 01:19 AM
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Default integrating non white characters in stories


or ''trooping the colours''
how do you approach that without sounding silly or over the top ?

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Old 07-09-2015, 03:30 AM
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I don't get the question. They are your characters they should come in when the story says to. If you are talking about how to describe them, why exactly the same way you would describe your white character. The only descriptions that will change will be color of skin eyes and hair. Build as well but each character will have varied builds so you should be used to that. In other words- exactly the same way you would describe any character.
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by daes13 View Post
I don't get the question. They are your characters they should come in when the story says to. If you are talking about how to describe them, why exactly the same way you would describe your white character. The only descriptions that will change will be color of skin eyes and hair. Build as well but each character will have varied builds so you should be used to that. In other words- exactly the same way you would describe any character.
o you take into consideration that they may respond differently because of their background language culture and so one or are they utterly integrated as though they were one and the same?
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:33 AM
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Seems more of a question of characterization than integration, and you make that up. A person's race is just a physical description it does not determine their ethnicity or culture. Put them in a broken home or a gated community, their race won't matter.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by daes13 View Post
Seems more of a question of characterization than integration, and you make that up. A person's race is just a physical description it does not determine their ethnicity or culture. Put them in a broken home or a gated community, their race won't matter.
let me try it this way
when or why do you bring a non white character?
for what reason?
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:18 AM
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Because I want to. There doesn't have to be any other reason. You don't have to be PC or shit, but you don't have to bring in a race for a stereotype. The only time I typically describe skin color is if I'm referring to a pale, tan, or ebony skin tone. There doesn't have to be a reason, you are the God of your own story.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
let me try it this way
when or why do you bring a non white character?
for what reason?

Bring in a non-white character? Huh? Why would you make this distinction? I don't follow the logic.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Bring in a non-white character? Huh? Why would you make this distinction? I don't follow the logic.
well manyer times then none characters go by their skin colours in stories
I wondered why make a distinction if there would be no distinction in the story after all
in other words
if a painting is black and white then why add colour in another one exactly the same?
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:23 AM
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Actually, though messily worded this is the most interesting question anyone has asked for a long time.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Actually, though messily worded this is the most interesting question anyone has asked for a long time.
messily? fair enough
the whole idea of integration is messy
in what way is it interesting?
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:34 AM
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Because we generally don't write black characters. And if we do, we make a point of identifying them as black. They're usually there for a reason, not just because some people are black. Black characters rarely make an appearance in a novel...

...unless the writer is black - then the situation is not reversed - there are black and white characters but the tone is very different. I'm thinking (because I saw her on TV last night) of Toni Morrison as a prime example.

"White" novels tend to be about stuff. "Black" novels tend to be about being black.

Feel free to disagree with me.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:15 PM
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Agent Emanuel Harris of the F.B.I. in Gordon Kormon's Falconer children's series definitely NOT referenced as explicitly black until near the Kidnapped series the second Falconer series. I think that that is first of all. Normal in this day and age to keep ethnic background out of a children's book as much as possible. But at the same time as every other character seemed to be caucasion as the front cover pictures of Kidnapped proved. The only indication that Harris was black was repeated jokes about how he should've been in the N.B.A. not the F.B.I. so it was a bit surprising. To avoid that surprise is why I think most authers specify skin colour. However in Zulu Africa, Ganna, Kenya and other places where whites are the mibority the same theme would be repeated in reverse with authers whacking you over the head with a to by 4 to get it through your assumed to be thick head that the character is white! Fortunately with my writing primarily involving things I understand better. Like alien races instead of bizarre groupings of different segments of the same genetic line acting like they're all from different planets!
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:22 AM
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Best is make some non-white friends and get to know them. Real-life experience cannot easily be imitated.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Because we generally don't write black characters. And if we do, we make a point of identifying them as black. They're usually there for a reason, not just because some people are black. Black characters rarely make an appearance in a novel...

...unless the writer is black - then the situation is not reversed - there are black and white characters but the tone is very different. I'm thinking (because I saw her on TV last night) of Toni Morrison as a prime example.

"White" novels tend to be about stuff. "Black" novels tend to be about being black.

Feel free to disagree with me.
My novels are called diverse. I've always had other races in them, but I think it really relies on a natural experience with diverse places, unless you are just that good to write out of your experience in terms of characterization. I love an over the top mix of characters of all races, even stereotypes don't bother me if they are good enough to feel a little tongue in cheek, or just like "story-telling" (old school) where nothing in the book is based in reality but you enjoy that.

Some authors show a racists mentality on accident when writing, and honestly, if they are good enough authors, that's okay to me. That's their own experience and they are being honest with it. You don't have to buy the books, but I like when I see the biased author take something and show me their learning. Anyway.

For me, I'd never been in an area where I wasn't a minority until the age of 16. Before that, if you didn't have diverse friends you had none! So in my books characters kind of show up the same way they did in my life, and so it's fairly natural.

I've had spanish in one novel, because I heard it all the time growing up, used/mixed with english. I didn't even translate it. Because in reality unless you had a small amount of spanish in my area, you'd be lost. That was okay for me--for the reader to get that sense of "What?".

I've had accents in my books from the Bronx, Jamaica, and so on, too. And I play them up because to me, they SOUND played up to my ear because they are not usual where I live. But I've heard them first hand plenty of times to mentally record the sound. I might not have gotten them right, but that's my honesty showing in my authorship. I'm okay with that.

What I tell my authors I do evals for is, don't write past your comfort so that I can see you reaching, or really taxing yourself to come up with something that sounds realistic. If it feels too tacky, it probably is. Definitely go with what feels natural to you and it comes across easier to a reader.
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