25 episodes

How do we write diverse characters in fiction? What are the do’s and don’ts of writing race, gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, religion, origin, ability, age, appearance, and so on?

Join Bethany A. Tucker and Mariëlle S. Smith as they explore why representation matters and how we, as writers and editors, can do better.

Doing Diversity in Writing Bethany A. Tucker & Mariëlle S. Smith

    • Fiction
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

How do we write diverse characters in fiction? What are the do’s and don’ts of writing race, gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, religion, origin, ability, age, appearance, and so on?

Join Bethany A. Tucker and Mariëlle S. Smith as they explore why representation matters and how we, as writers and editors, can do better.

    DDW - S3 Ep01 – How to Write Hair and Head Coverings

    DDW - S3 Ep01 – How to Write Hair and Head Coverings

    In this first episode of Season 3 of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—discuss how to write hair and head coverings.  

     

    Here’s what we talk about:

    That hair, hair care, and head coverings are often ethnically dictated and gendered
    That there is no such thing as “ethnic” hair: we all have ethnicity!
    How to describe different natural hair colors
    How to describe different hair textures
    Whether dreadlocks are cultural appropriation
    Who wears wigs and weaves, and for what reason
    That head coverings for men and women come into play in many ways that go beyond religion and what one’s culture dictates 
    How you can use descriptions of hair and head coverings to add layers to your POV characters 



    And here are the (re)sources we mentioned on the show:

    “Untangling the Symbolism of Art History’s Most Famous Redheads” by Sarah Dotson: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-untangling-symbolism-art-historys-famous-redheads 
    “Seeing red: why we need to be sensitive about using the word ‘ginger’” by David Marsh: https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2014/jan/24/mind-your-language-red-hair 
    “3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Address Redheads As ‘Gingers’” by Kali Hanson: https://www.howtobearedhead.com/3-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-address-redheads-as-gingers 
    “Writing About Hair: The Thick and Thin of Descriptions” by Sharla Rae: https://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/07/writing-about-hair-the-thick-and-thin-of-descriptions 
    “The East Asian women + colored hair trope” by Jess: https://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/post/101115852994/the-east-asian-women-colored-hair-trope-an 
    “The Ultimate Black & Natural Hair Glossary” by Joanna Samuels: https://afrocenchix.com/blogs/afrohair/the-ultimate-black-natural-hair-glossary 
    How to Write Black Characters by Salt and Sage Books: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZSJ9BN 
    “Dear white people with dreadlocks: Some things to consider” by Emanuella Grinberg: https://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/31/living/white-dreadlocks-cultural-appropriation-feat/index.html 
    “Once in a Lifetime: The village of Huang Luo in China’s Guangxi Region is famous for the dramatically long hair worn by its female residents” by Linn Yaeger: https://www.vogue.com/projects/13548460/women-of-huang-luo-china-long-hair-tradition 
    “Niqab, How Does It Work? | THE BASICS, how to wear the niqab” by Niqabi Nextdoor: https://youtu.be/KAbsPFS8gus 
    “What are the differences between a niqab, a chador, an abaya, a burkha and a hijab?”: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-between-a-niqab-a-chador-an-abaya-a-burkha-and-a-hijab 
    “Women’s safety clothing not fit for purpose” by Matthew Gunther: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/womens-safety-clothing-not-fit-for-purpose/1010138.article 
    “Employers Exposed When Women’s Safety Equipment Doesn’t Fit” by Fatima Hussein and Jaclyn Diaz: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/safety/employers-exposed-when-womens-safety-equipment-doesnt-fit 
    Tina from Glee: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1327801/characters/nm3206118 
    Mako Mori from Pacific Rim: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/characters/nm0452860 
    GoGo Tomago from Big Hero 6: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2245084/characters/nm1512166 
    Einayim Petukhoth or Eyes Wide Open: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1424327
    Unorthodox: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9815454 
    Crazy Rich Asians: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3104988 
    Steel Magnolias: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098384 
    Luke Cage: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3322314 
    Barbershop: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303714 
    Coming to America: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094898 
    The Boondocks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7Mly_Zj6gg
    Hair Love: https://youtu.be/kNw8V_Fkw28 
    Tamora Pierce’s work: https://www.tamora-pierce.net 
    Mulan: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120762 
    V for Vendetta: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434409 
    The Boys: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11906

    • 1 hr 24 min
    DDW - S2 Ep12 - Using Racial Slurs, Acknowledging Characters’ Racial History, and Other End of Season Thoughts

    DDW - S2 Ep12 - Using Racial Slurs, Acknowledging Characters’ Racial History, and Other End of Season Thoughts

    In this episode of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—bring our season on Race and Ethnicity to an end by delving into some lingering some questions. 

     

    What we talked about

    If and how to use racial slurs in our writing
    When and how to acknowledge our characters’ racial history
    Whether authors are allowed to write POV characters belonging to a different community
    Co-writing with BIPOC authors as a white author
    The representation of Asian masculinity in Western media
    Being accused of being too political when including a diverse cast in our books
    How to make your cast more diverse when your characters aren’t human



    (Re)sources mentioned on the show

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe: https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Timeline 
    The Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon: https://www.nps.gov/ocmu/index.htm 
    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9376612 
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3748528 
    Crazy Rich Asians: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3104988 
    Nora Phoenix’s White House Men series: https://noraphoenix.com/my-books/ 
    Finding Nemo: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266543 
    Mariëlle’s 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner: https://mswordsmith.nl/journal

     

    This week’s episode page can be found here: https://representationmatters.art/2022/04/07/s2e12

     

    Subscribe to our newsletter here and get out Doing Diversity in Writing Toolkit, including our Calm the F*ck Down Checklist and Cultural Appropriation Checklist: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r3p6g8 

     

    As always, we’d love for you to join the conversation by filling out our questionnaires. 

     

    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Writer Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/UUEbeEvxsdwk1kuy5

     

    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Reader Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/gTAg4qrvaCPtqVJ36 

     

    Website: https://representationmatters.art

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doingdiversityinwriting

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHfIaeylIgbAWVy3E66lmw 

    • 1 hr
    DDW S2 Ep11 – Writing Interracial and Intercultural relationships

    DDW S2 Ep11 – Writing Interracial and Intercultural relationships

    In this episode of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—scratch the surface of an incredibly broad topic: writing interracial and intercultural relationships. 

     

    What we talked about

    That writing relationships between characters of different races and cultures is really not that different from writing relationships between characters who are not exactly the same for other reasons
    Questions to ask yourself and things to keep in mind when crafting interracial and intercultural relationships in your writing
    A ton of examples in which interracial and intercultural relationships are depicted well and convincingly



    (Re)sources mentioned on the show

    Payne Erskin’s The Mountain Girl: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11084308-the-mountain-girl 
    Disney’s Pocahontas: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148 
    Stargate SG-1: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118480
    The Karate Kid (1984): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087538
    The Karate Kid (2010): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1155076
    Kim’s Convenience: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5912064
    Bend It Like Beckham: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286499
    Blinded by the Light: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8266310
    Sarfraz Mansoor’s Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion, and Rock N Roll: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001V7U6LE
    The Grand Budapest Hotel: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278388
    Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give: https://angiethomas.com/the-hate-u-give
    Benjamin Alire Saenz’s The Inexplicable Logic of My Life: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23447923-the-inexplicable-logic-of-my-life
    Kim Dare’s Axel’s Pup: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21522467-axel-s-pup
    The Marvel Cinematic Universe: https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Timeline 
    Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series: https://shadowhunters.com
    Never Have I Ever: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10062292
    Bright: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5519340
    Bridgerton: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8740790 
    Young Royals: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14664414 
    Bethany’s Editing Your Novel's Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish: https://theartandscienceofwords.com/new-book-for-authors

     

    This week’s episode page can be found here: https://representationmatters.art/2022/03/29/s2e11 

     

    Subscribe to our newsletter here and get out Doing Diversity in Writing Toolkit, including our Calm the F*ck Down Checklist and Cultural Appropriation Checklist: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r3p6g8 

     

    As always, we’d love for you to join the conversation by filling out our questionnaires. 

     

    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Writer Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/UUEbeEvxsdwk1kuy5

     

    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Reader Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/gTAg4qrvaCPtqVJ36 


    Don’t forget, you can find us at https://representationmatters.art, on https://www.facebook.com/doingdiversityinwriting, and on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHfIaeylIgbAWVy3E66lmw

    • 1 hr 15 min
    DDW - S2 Ep10 - Naming Our Fictional Characters

    DDW - S2 Ep10 - Naming Our Fictional Characters

    In this episode of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—talk about naming our fictional characters. 

     

    What we talked about

    General things to look out for when picking our characters’ names
    All the different aspects that might influence which names make sense for your characters
    Where to look for names
    How to verify whether these names are appropriate for your characters or not



    (Re)sources mentioned on the show

    Think Baby Names: http://www.thinkbabynames.com
    Behind the Name: https://www.behindthename.com
    Behind the Surname: https://surnames.behindthename.com
    Mariëlle’s 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner: https://mswordsmith.nl/journal

     

    This week’s episode page can be found here: https://representationmatters.art/2022/03/24/s2e10

     

    Subscribe to our newsletter here and get out Doing Diversity in Writing Toolkit, including our Calm the F*ck Down Checklist and Cultural Appropriation Checklist: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r3p6g8 

     

    As always, we’d love for you to join the conversation by filling out our questionnaires. 

     

    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Writer Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/UUEbeEvxsdwk1kuy5

     

    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Reader Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/gTAg4qrvaCPtqVJ36 

     

    Don’t forget, you can find us at https://representationmatters.art, on https://www.facebook.com/doingdiversityinwriting, and on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHfIaeylIgbAWVy3E66lmw

    • 1 hr 6 min
    DDW - S2 Ep 09 - Flipping the Script and Building Different Worlds with Clare Sager

    DDW - S2 Ep 09 - Flipping the Script and Building Different Worlds with Clare Sager

    In this episode of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—interview Clare Sager about building different worlds in our fiction.


     


    Clare Sager is an office lackey turned full-time author. With both a bachelor of arts and a masters of arts in Creative Writing, she is now living her life-long dream of writing fantasy adventure stories of swoon-worthy, troublesome men and strong, sassy women who can handle them.


     


    When she's not writing or master planning her next book, she's an editor, outline coach, and formatter. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, sewing, and lifting weights at the gym (she’s as shocked by the latter as anyone). Her stationery addiction knows no bounds, with a washi tape and fountain pen collection to rival that of a stationery store. She loves to spend time chilling out with her planner plotting world domination. She likes cats, coffee, and cocktails, and speaks fluent sarcasm. 


     


    What we talked about


    Why Clare felt compelled to build a different world for her fictional characters

    How consistently asking yourself “What if…?” will help you build better fictional worlds

    How to use a coin (or dice!) to populate your world with a wide set of characters 

    That diverse characters are just like any other characters

    The importance of being curious about the world and remaining open to what there is to learn





    (Re)sources mentioned on the show


    All about Clare: https://claresager.com 

    Clare’s books: https://claresager.com/books 

    Clare’s author services: https://services.claresager.com 

    The Decolonial Atlas: https://decolonialatlas.wordpress.com

    Writing the Other Tumblr: https://writingtheother.tumblr.com

    Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice: https://annleckie.com 

    Kalynn Bayron, author of Cinderella Is Dead: https://www.kalynnbayron.com/books

    Jessica M. Butler, author of Sweet Pear: https://www.jessicambutler.com 

    May Sage: https://www.goodreads.com/maysage 

    Bethany’s Editing Your Novel's Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish: https://theartandscienceofwords.com/new-book-for-authors/


     


    This week’s episode page can be found here: https://representationmatters.art/2022/03/17/s2e9


     


    Subscribe to our newsletter here and get out Doing Diversity in Writing Toolkit, including our Calm the F*ck Down Checklist and Cultural Appropriation Checklist: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r3p6g8 


     


    As always, we’d love for you to join the conversation by filling out our questionnaires. 


     


    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Writer Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/UUEbeEvxsdwk1kuy5


     


    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Reader Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/gTAg4qrvaCPtqVJ36 


     


    Don’t forget, you can find us at https://representationmatters.art, on https://www.facebook.com/doingdiversityinwriting, and on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHfIaeylIgbAWVy3E66lmw

    • 56 min
    DDW - S2 Ep 08 – When Money Gets Between Your Writing and Hiring Professionals

    DDW - S2 Ep 08 – When Money Gets Between Your Writing and Hiring Professionals

    In this episode of Doing Diversity in Writing, we—Bethany and Mariëlle—take a pause to talk about what to do when hiring professionals to better your writing is not an option (yet). 


     


    What we talked about


    That there’s privilege in being able to advice others to do it right or not do it at all

    That not everyone has the same resources going into publishing their work

    What options are out there for authors with limited or no budgets





    (Re)sources mentioned on the show


    “The different kinds of editing explained” by Mariëlle: https://mswordsmith.nl/editing-tips-tricks-different-kinds-editing-explained

    The Salt & Sage Books Incomplete Guides: https://books2read.com/ap/8Vy9vl/Salt-Sage-Books

    The Writers for Diversity Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/779217692216226

    The Writing the Other website: https://writingtheother.com

    Writing the Other: A Practical Approach: https://writingtheother.com/the-book

    CritiqueMatch: https://critiquematch.com

    Scribophile: https://www.scribophile.com

    Mariëlle’s 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner: https://mswordsmith.nl/journal


     


    This week’s episode page can be found here: https://representationmatters.art/2022/03/10/s2e8/


     


    Subscribe to our newsletter here and get out Doing Diversity in Writing Toolkit, including our Calm the F*ck Down Checklist and Cultural Appropriation Checklist: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r3p6g8 


     


    As always, we’d love for you to join the conversation by filling out our questionnaires. 


     


    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Writer Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/UUEbeEvxsdwk1kuy5


     


    Our Doing Diversity in Writing – Reader Questionnaire can be filled in at https://forms.gle/gTAg4qrvaCPtqVJ36 


     


    Don’t forget, you can find us at https://representationmatters.art, on https://www.facebook.com/doingdiversityinwriting, and on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHfIaeylIgbAWVy3E66lmw

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Roland Denzel ,

Eye opening in a gentle way

I've learned a lot about better ways to write characters that aren't like me.

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