Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writing Multicultural...Part 2

In my last post, I made my disclaimer and introduction about writing multicultural fiction.

Some writers express difficulty writing from a child's eye view.

Still others rely on cliches when they write about other cultures, other races, and other ethnic groups.

A character often begins in my mind's eye.
I started life as an artist, so gender, race, and body type comes first.

I see the character's height, hair color, and often how they may sound.
If I want to get more technical, actual measurements, the texture of their hair, the shape of their eyes, I figure out through exposition. Hand size and facial shape comes through with physical  characterization.

You may ask what does this have to do with writing multicultural characters?

Well, I often think about the people around me.
Culture may not come into play until after.
I have to know who this person is first. If I'm confusing anyone, sorry.

In a nutshell, to begin thinking multicultural, think about the individual FIRST.

This is why writerly advice often stresses that you write as much and as often on your Work-in-Progress.

Writers often put undue stress on ourselves.
We cannot know EVERYTHING about our WIP: plot, story, characters, style... But what we do know is that, through the process of writing, something is revealed.

Get to know your character through the relationship of writing.


  1. I agree. First I am Marva. Then I am female. Then I am a mother, sister, daughter etc. Then I am black. But all of my secondary titles influence my first title.

    1. Thank you for this!
      It's because of dialogue and feedback from readers that keeps me and this blog going.