Last Week’s Discussion:
Last week the bookish community was in a bit of an uproar over a book containing some offensive stereotypes. As a result, I thought it necessary to discuss stereotypes in fiction and ways we might be able to remedy such an issue so as not to have it happen again. Let’s see what the discussioners had to say!
“As writers, it’s our duty to see the world complexly. As easy as it is to write a flat, pure evil character, it does an injustice to the world we live in and our readers, especially in YA and MG markets. […]Buy book by diverse authors, tweet at editors and publishers that you want more “own voices” stories, and lastly, like Melanie said, hold authors accountable who misrepresent the “other” with stereotypes and cop-outs.”
“I think by normalising it. […] this is the best way. To include it, but to keep it normal. To not always make it the focus (though I think that can be sometimes effective, too) but to make it as if it’s a part of normal life. If it’s projected as normal – which it should be, in all aspects – maybe it’ll get rid of the idea that some people/groups are more special than others.”
“I don’t know how we find the balance. One of the things that confuses me, as a reader, is correct representation of POC in books.[…]I’m never quite sure what I should be looking for in terms of ‘diversity’ and non-stereotyping. I mean, obviously I’m not looking for people to be portrayed as savages, idiots, etc. I’m talking more subtle than that.”
“It shouldn’t be difficult to represent POC correctly. Not stereotyping shouldn’t be difficult. If you can’t tell the difference between stereotypes and truth then that in itself is the first problem.”
Well, it seems some discussioners had a few suggestions for how we can fix this difficult problem we face in fiction. Are any of them right? Are any of these methods going to work? I don’t know. A lot of fiction is trial and error and I think it’s worth getting it wrong a few dozen times to ensure that we get it right. Stereotypes should no longer exist in fiction nor in reality. Let’s try and end it. What do you say?
Check out this week’s discussion on Thursday at 10am EST:
Writing: Point of View