What have you learned about writing diverse characters in today’s cultural climate?
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Tremontaine is the critically acclaimed prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside novels, which developed a cult following beginning with Swordspoint in 1987. The “Fantasy of Manners” focuses on decadent world building and interpersonal intrigue, and has been noted for its progressive expression of gender and sexuality. Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz Duffy Adams. The first episode is available for free at Serial Box and can be found here.
Writing diverse characters is about craft.
You take the time and do the work to get it right. That means research, that means practice, that means reading widely, that means consulting experts. It means building diversity into the foundation of your story, from the world to theme to plot. It means finding empathy for people who aren’t you and prioritizing their needs. It means getting out of the way. It means putting down a project or character because it’s not yours, and you can’t do it without harm. It means examining yourself and your position in power structures, your privileges, your prejudices. It means making yourself sit the f*ck down to let somebody else talk. If you want to write a good book, you practice your craft. It’s that simple; it’s that complicated. Continue reading