Some Amazing Cartoonists Give Pointers On Writing Characters of Color

Illustration for article titled Some Amazing Cartoonists Give Pointers On Writing Characters of Color

We all want to see more characters of color in books and stories — but for a white writer, getting these characters right can feel like an impossible challenge. You want to avoid stereotypes, but you don't want these characters to feel like white people with non-European names. So what do you do?

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Over at Midnight Breakfast, cartoonist and writer MariNaomi talks about reading a friend's novel that had no people of color in it. And the twin pitfalls of either turning a white character into a POC with a simple name-change, or inserting dumb stereotypes. How do you avoid these two mistakes? She enlists the aid of some of the world's greatest cartoonists, to help you out.

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DISCUSSION

This stuff pretty much applies to any writer. I'm a PoC and I still struggle with making characters feel authentic. Even when I write characters of my own race, I've had people say that the characters were too stereotypical by some and not authentic enough by others. I usually go with the write them as people first approach, but even that won't please everyone.