Diversity in writing is incredibly important—it allows for everyone to feel seen and represented in stories they love. It can get murky and often controversial, so here are a few things to remember when writing a diverse cast of characters.
This is so incredibly important. If you’re writing diverse characters, they have to be accurate and represented respectfully, especially if you’re not part of the community you’re writing about.
You can start with a quick Google search and from there find all kinds of information: news articles, blogs, videos, stories, etc.
Remember: not everyone is going to have the same experience as another person who is the same race/sexuality/gender. If you write respectfully and as truthfully as you can, you’re doing well.
Stay away from stereotypes
Do not include stereotypes while writing diverse casts. It demonstrates a lack of research, understanding, and empathy. People are going to be offended if you use untrue and harmful stereotypes in your writing.
Hollywood and blockbuster movies have historically not done very well with this, which only perpetuates prejudiced ideas. Stay away from popular movies when researching your characters.
Find real-life experiences
This goes hand-in-hand with research. If you know someone who’s comfortable with sharing their experiences, talk to them! Try to get as many different accounts as you can from all different kinds of views, especially across generations and locations.
Don’t write diverse characters just to check off a box
Diversity should never be included just to fill some sort of requirement. Your diverse characters should have meaning, purpose, and depth, just like any other characters.
Write them as people, not stock characters or stereotypes, because they are people.