18 Comments

  1. Patricia Yager Delagrange
    September 14, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better.
    Thank you.
    Well written.
    Loved it.
    Patti

    Reply

  2. Lena Corazon
    September 14, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    Alica, I love you SO DAMN HARD for this post. I’ve had a response of my own brewing in my head, but I haven’t been able to write it quite yet, because the entire “bleaching and ironing” of literature makes me see red, and I’m afraid of writing when I’m enraged.

    With that said, your tips are AMAZING, and things that I have been recommending to other bloggers and writers. In my day job, I’m a sociologist, and I study race, gender, sexuality and class (primarily in pop culture), so I have a lot of things to say about how we can be better about infusing our work with characters from backgrounds different from ours. One thing that I’ve wanted to do is write a series of posts about “thinking like a sociologist,” or at least infusing the lessons that I’ve learned from sociological theory (feminist theory in particular) into our writing. Dunno if I’d ever be able to teach that sort of thing, but in my dreams, one day down the line, that would be an online seminar that I would give.

    But again, thank you so much for sharing this. You’ve given me a lot to think about in terms of my own post on the topic.

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

      *Hugs* thank you so much!!! I made my hubby read my post before I out it up because I have the same issue, but I just had to say something. I would love to read Think Like a Sociologist!! Please go for it. I’m thinking of breaking down my tips one by one and creating a post for each of them.
      I can’t wait to read your post!

      Reply

    • Patricia Yager Delagrange
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

      I, too, would enjoy reading a blog with a sociological bent, especially about different races and cultures and diversity, etc, Write on!
      Patti

      Reply

  3. Stephany Simmons
    September 14, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    I hadn’t heard about this until now but I can’t say I’m surprised. In my first book more than half the cast are people of color. I suppose that’s just one more reason to go indie. Nobody can tell you what to do with your characters.

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

      Indie all the way- there is no way I will be part of an industry that behaves like this.

      Reply

  4. Neeks
    September 14, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    It may be long but every word is right on track! I see no reason, with some research to do them justice, that I can’t write my MC as any ethnicity or bias that I want.
    Excellent post, it’ll make people think!

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

      Thank you- I hope it makes people think and inspires them to try something new!

      Reply

  5. Shiraz Akhtar (@Shsep1)
    September 15, 2011 @ 5:40 am

    I can’t agree more. Underneath our gowns of belief, disbelief and cultural differences, people are all same, with same emotions to showcase and needs to nurture. Rest assured these differences are getting thinner with each day of progress. Writers should face no boundaries on how they conceive their characters.

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 15, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

      Thank you! I agree, boundaries are breaking down knowledge is power as the saying goes and the more we know about each other the closer we become.

      Reply

  6. Debora Dale
    September 15, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Fabulous post and fantastic advice. Somewhere in the comments here, you said you might break down your tips and expand on each. I would LOVE that. We need more diversity in our stories but to have that, we also need more courage and confidence. Your post offers both, and expanded posts, I’m sure, will provide even more! I look forward to reading them.

    Reply

  7. Lissa Clouser
    September 15, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

    Well written. Thank you so much for sharing.

    By the way, I’m sorry I’m just now stopping by to say hi! I’m in your urban fantasy gruop.

    Reply

  8. rddenton
    September 15, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    Alica,

    Like those above, I can’t agree more. This “bleaching and ironing” is turning our literature into a blank slate of predictability and expectations. Literature needs to grow with a society and reflect its vast social changes as it goes along. Down with perfection and normalcy!

    I awarded you a little bloggy award over at my blog. 🙂 Participate if you want to! Might be fun!

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 16, 2011 @ 3:05 am

      Yes, I want real and gritty and diverse. Thanks for stopping by and for the award! Headed to your blog to check it out.

      Reply

  9. Jolyse Barnett
    September 17, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

    I especially liked point #7. Great post!

    Reply

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