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May 22, 2017

Diverse Characters - H + I + J



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol




Here are the diverse characters for H:


Haitians

Hawaiians

Hebrews

Hillbillies

Hindus

Hispanics

Homeless Individuals

Hondurans (Individuals from Honduras)


Here are the diverse characters for I:


Icelandic Individuals

Immortals

Indians (India)

Indonesians

The Irish

Iranians 

Islamic Individuals 

Israelis

Italians 

Here are the diverse characters for J:

Individuals from Jakarta

Jamaicans

Japanese Individuals

Japanese Americans

Jehovah's Witnesses 

Jewish Individuals

Jordanians (Individuals from Jordan)



SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with H, I, or J, let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.

Have you written about a character from my list?

51 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

How about someone from Jakarta? I have a friend whose parents were stationed there for a while and he said the whole country has a supernatural air about it.

Pat Hatt said...

I've used hillbillies a time or two at our zoo. Never went to Deliverance level though lol

Yolanda Renée said...

LOL, love that you included hillbillies, been called that a time or two!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Incas? Inbreds? Better than iguanas I guess.

Sarah Foster said...

The only ones I've written are immortals. I think when you write about those you can usually make up your own rules!

M.J. Fifield said...

Love that you included hillbillies and immortals. :)

nashvillecats2 said...

All very classic examples of H,I,J. Also loved the Hillbilles.
Loved the read Chrys.

Yvonne.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I've written about a young Hindu girl in South India because my husband is from there and we've visited the family many times, during which I fell in love with India. My only advice would be: become familiar with anyone you want to include as a character. Do your research or talk to people or call on visits and encounters and then get feedback from those very people. A conference I attended in April had a panel discussion on that very topic, and I loved how they phrased it: "When you write out of your lane . . ." and their advice was the same: Know your stuff, avoid stereotypes, do your homework; it can be done. Nice topic, Chrys.

Chrys Fey said...

Jakarta. That's a good one. I'll add it. Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

Hillbillies would be interesting characters.

Chrys Fey said...

You? A hillbilly? I can't picture it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I'll add South American Indians under S for Incas/Inkas. Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

I've written about immortals, too. Fun!

Chrys Fey said...

Of course! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

I love to read stories about Hindu girls.

Seeing and experiencing India is on my bucket list.

sage said...

I am not sure the woman in front of the Taj Mahal is Hindu. The Taj was built by a Muslim ruler of that part of India (they'd invade India early on) who built it for his wife, so the Taj Mahal wouldn't be Hindu. Although Christian, I find the Hindu religion to be fascinating.

cleemckenzie said...

I find the topic of ethnicity fascinating because I would often have qualified as a "diverse" character when I lived other places. Now I'm just an ordinary anglo.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

I like this topic of diverse characters, but we always want to keep in mind (as well) to 'write what we know.' So, if we decide to include an ethnicity, religion, or culture that is one we haven't lived we just need to make sure we're educated enough about it. That's always my biggest concern.

Alex's comment - #snort ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Hmm... thanks. It is hard to find images free to use...maybe she was traveling. lol

Chrys Fey said...

You're not ordinary at all, Lee!

Chrys Fey said...

Research, knowledge, and understanding are important.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I have Hispanic characters in one of my books. Not too hard for me to do because my husband's family is Hispanic.

Chrys Fey said...

That's great! You already know a lot and have people you can go to if you have any questions.

Liz A. said...

I guess the trick is to not write their story, but to have them participate in yours.

Birgit said...

That's a great list actually and I can't think of any others but they would all be good. I worked with a Jehovah Witness....it was...interesting:)

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Great list, Chrys! I was a little nervous about the diversity in my books, but no one has yet to call me on it. Whew! I always do my best to be respectful and stay away from stereotypes.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

You could have posted a pic of Jed Clampett for the hillbilly. Let's see, our last name starts with H. And where we live, it definitely conjures up certain ideas. Seriously, as a reader all I care is that the characters fit in the story and that they are portrayed true to life, not as a caricature.
Visit me at Life & Faith in Caneyhead. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm a bit leery of using cultures I'm totally unfamiliar with. I'd hate to be offensive in my ignorance.

The Cynical Sailor said...

I think someone else mentioned it, but I love that you have hillbillies and immortals on the same list :-)

Lisa Thomson said...

This is a great list, Chrys. I really should consider a diverse character in the novel I'm working on now.

Chrys Fey said...

That would be a good trick.

Chrys Fey said...

I imagine that would be interesting.

Chrys Fey said...

Good for you for adding diversity to your books!

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! Darn, I missed out on that, huh? :P

The characters fitting the story is definitely the most important thing.

Chrys Fey said...

So would I, but fear of doing that could stop us from creating amazing cultural stories.

Chrys Fey said...

Yay!

Chrys Fey said...

That would be awesome!

Carrie-Anne said...

I've got several Western Hindus among my characters, as well as italians and Israelis. My secondary writing goal, after the Nobel Prize, is to win the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Jewish youth literature. I personally only create various levels of observant Jewish characters, instead of secular, assimilated lox and bagelers. Hollywood depicts a 99% intermarriage and interdating rate, and makes it seem like only the elderly and out of touch fanatics care about being religious, so I want to do my part to provide an alternate perspective. To be blunt, Judaism hasn't survived so long without the Temple because of warm, fuzzy, nostalgic memories about matzah ball soup and klezmer music. It was because people kept the Torah and created Jewish homes.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

That's what I think in my humble opinion. I am not a writer, and Lord knows I'm not politically correct.

DMS said...

Great list! My brain is tired right now- but I will try thinking of some more to add to the list. :)
~Jess

Shannon Lawrence said...

Homosexual characters can add to a story, as well, as long as they aren't just walking stereotypes (true for anything outside one's culture, of course). And I appreciate that I was for folks from India. :D

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

This is something I need to do for my next novel. Thanks for the reminder that we live in a world of various types of people and our books should show that. Thinking now, about my new characters.

Toi Thomas said...

Great list. Diversity in books is important and a list like this helps people consider many options they may not have. Diversity isn't limited to simply writing about people who are different than you, it's about bringing awareness to under-represented peoples an cultures. It's not easy, but it's oh so important.

Chrys Fey said...

You always have so many diverse characters in your books, Carrie-Anne. That's awesome.

Chrys Fey said...

We both have tired brains. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I had gay characters under G and will have lesbians under L. :)

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Beverly!

Chrys Fey said...

Great point, Toi! It is very important.

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent list!!!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks!