20 comments on “Diversity in Literature

  1. I agree 100%. The art of good story telling is something that seems to have been lost somewhere along the lines. We desperately need diversity.

    • Absolutely. The joy of stories is allowing readers to engage their imagination while also relating the characters to themselves. We can’t expect people to do that if all characters become stale, generic cut-outs rather than fair portrayals of how wonderfully diverse people can be.

      • Exactly. Isn’t a book supposed to put you in a place that you wouldn’t normally get to experience. What better places to experience than the diversity of our own world. This is a great subject, Callum.

  2. Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for this. It’s good to see that others feel the same way about issues like this as I do. Great post! #WeNeedDiverseBooks

  3. I agree with most of this post. However I’m unsure as to what you mean by this: ‘We need to see them taking on important roles within the plot; not merely a novelty, there for the sake of it.’
    Do you mean you’d like to see stories exploring characters race, disability or sexuality? because I’d like to see the opposite; books that feature characters where their sexuality or race or disability is a given rather than the subject matter or the plot.
    Great post though.

    • Absolutely the latter. I want to see characters and stories that are not defined by their characteristics. They should be diverse simply because humans are diverse and that needs to be portrayed in literature. Stereotypes and labels are tired and boring, so books making a song and dance of a diverse character as a play for attention is the opposite of what I would like to see.

      I hope that clears things up for you.

  4. I love this post, but at the same time, I will admit that I am afraid to be the one to take up the mantle with it. I have a character showing up in a book further down the line who will have high-functioning autism, as that is a mental disability I actually have experience with, and later on physical handicaps due to an accident. As far as ethnic diversity, this is a harder topic (for me) because I am a young Caucasian female who grew up mainly around other Caucasians. I am not racist (at least I try not to be) but I just don’t have enough exposure to other cultures to add them to my own works and make them authentic enough. Research can only get you so far. The reason I call it a touchy subject is because I don’t want to be hit with a label of either following cultural stereotypes or (even worst) a racist because the characters I portray in my work are not what people of different cultures/ethnicity really are, and I can see that happening real quick. It is something I would love to attempt in the future, but not until it is something I am comfortable attacking. So while I agree wholeheartedly, I can also see why it hasn’t happened yet. I hope this makes sense…

    • I can absolutely understand. It’s good that you appreciate the need to realistically portray people and as with any topic in writing, taking on a subject we know nothing about can be daunting.

      As long as we all collectively embrace and encourage diverse characters and authors to the best of our own ability, then I think that would be a wonderful thing.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s much appreciated! 🙂

  5. Great post 😀
    I’ve tried in my own small way to include one of these issues in my second novel, Desprite Measures, an urban fantasy set around Inverness (yes, I am an up-shifter, moving from the SE of the UK to Scotland a few years back), with a central character who is bisexual. She also happens to be non-human (a water sprite), but that’s less relevant than her sexual orientation to the fact that I’m finding this book much harder to market than my first, with a traditional hetero-sexual couple.
    I’ve stalked a fair few reader groups on Goodreads in search of a market, and find that while many ladies are happy to read M/M literature, they’re not keen on F/F, and bisexual doesn’t even appear on their radar.
    Fewer men enter these discussions, so I’m less sure of their preferences, but it seems more ladies read this genre anyway, so I’m struggling to find the book’s ideal niche.
    Even the agent I had interested backed out in the end, saying she was not ‘passionate’ about the idea 😦
    So yes, we can write these characters, but we still have to find readers, and it seems to me that this is the biggest factor in perpetuating the white Caucasian straight lead.
    However, I’m off to take a look at #WeNeedDiverseBooks – thanks for the tip.

    • That’s brilliant, and I understand exactly what you mean. When something isn’t yet all that common in literature, a lot of readers may shy away from it – or simply not even know it’s out there!

      I suppose that’s the beauty of this particular campaign. It’s simply readers and writers saying that there is indeed an audience for books that feature characters outwith the ‘norm’. It’s just a case of letting others know about it.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s