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July 24, 2017

Diverse Characters - N + O



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 N:



Native Americans

Narcissists 

Narcoleptics (Individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder)

Nepalese Individuals (Nepal)

Newly Weds

New Zealanders

Nicaraguans

Nigerians

Ninjas

Non-Binary Individuals 

Norse Gods

Norse Individuals

Norwegians 

Nova Scotians

Nuns



Here are the diverse characters for O:

Obese Individuals

Ochlophobics (people with the fear of clowns)

Octogenarians (century-old individuals)

Octophobics (people with the fear of the number 8)

Ogres (fantasy)

Oholone Indians

Opera Singers

Orphans

Orphindiophobics (people with the fear of snakes)


SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with N or O, 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?


60 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

That's a great way of approaching diversity! No, I haven't written about any of those types of characters, but it gets me thinking that starting with a character with something slightly unusual about them could lead on to all sorts of other ideas.

Nicola said...

A great premise to Lee's story. Now there are two diverse characters. Congrats to Lee!

Pat Hatt said...

I've used a few of the above a time or ten. Would Norse Gods count for N?

Sarah Foster said...

I've probably written a few characters with some narcissistic tendencies, but that's about it!

Lidy said...

It's bit of a cliche, though no less true, but most orphan characters are in bad situations, for example, starved, abused (physically, sexually, etc). And suggest to be careful and very knowledgeable when writing a Native American character. There are many, many, many distinctive tribes.
N- Nova Scotian
O- a person w/ octophobia (fear of #8)
P- priest

cleemckenzie said...

I'm wracking my brain to find diverse characters you haven't mentioned from N-O. How about Menonites, Mormons, Oholone Indians? That's all I got.

Thanks for the beautiful shout out. I really appreciate it, Chrys.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Another awesome list. Also, I love Ochlophobics. Wait, isn't that just being normal? Does anyone actually *like* clowns?

Blogoratti said...

Very interesting list, great of you to share.

nashvillecats2 said...

Excellent diverse characters, also loved C.Lee Mckennzie's book. Great cover and review.

Yvonne.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'd do a lot of research before writing a story focused on Native Americans or other indigenous peoples. Too many writers, unknowingly or not, are guilty of depicting Native American life and culture as a monolithic thing, just like many writers don't understand there are important differences between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture. Not all Native Americans want to be called the same thing either; e.g., some have no problem with the term Indian, while others prefer Native American, American Indian, First Nations people, or the name of the tribe. I'd also stick to tribes about which a lot of information is readily available, unless the story absolutely had to be about a tribe it's hard to research.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

How about Norsemen?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I write a lot of science fiction and there's so much that could change about diversity in the future. Hopefully, it will be people's attitudes that change the most into a more accepting world.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Diversity that fits and feels natural to the story line makes for a more interesting read, especially if the writer does their homework and teaches you something about another culture, region, religion, etc. Just sticking someone different in at random, like an aborigine in Alaska, is just cheesy.

Mark said...

Got to love a list that has ogres and nuns on it;) It's funny, but I guess I don't dwell too much on labels for characters. So long as the voice of the story is good, the rest always seems to fall into place for me:)

Chrys Fey said...

It certainly could lead to all sorts of other ideas. :D

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for commenting, Nicola!

Chrys Fey said...

Norse Gods does work. I'll add that. Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

Well, that's a good start. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for the suggestions! and you're absolutely right about writing a Native American character. So much research is needed to understand the specific tribe and culture.

Chrys Fey said...

No Ms in this post. My previous one had Mormons. I'll have to check to see if Menonites was added.

You're welcome!

Chrys Fey said...

It's been a long time since I've been around clowns. I don't think I mind them, unless they are especially creepy.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for visiting!

Liz A. said...

And the list keeps growing ;)

Chrys Fey said...

YES!!!! :D

Chrys Fey said...

Perfect!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for commenting, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

Absolutely. Researching, understanding, knowing are extremely important for all diversities, but I agree, for Native Americans it's even more essential because of the vast differences from tribe to tribe.

Chrys Fey said...

That would be great...a miracle. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Of course, it would have to fit the story line to be realistic.

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! That's too funny.

Well, that's good. The most important thing is the story.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Great suggestions for character ideas! I'm particularly intrigued by narcissists. Having lived in New Zealand for many years, I think it would be fun to incorporate Kiwi characters in a future writing project.

Christine Rains said...

Congrats to Lee! :) That's a fantastic list. You could randomly put some of those together to create a really unusual character! Hehehe.

Lidy said...

I have another P suggestion. A palmist, a palm reader. Someone who practices palmistry

Juneta key said...

I've been thinking about diversity as in places. How do you research and learn enough and specifics about place e.g. Paris to write like you are there and convey the atmosphere of place to the reader? What questions do you ask to find the info you need to do that?

I'm weak on research and how to do it for efficient use and knowledge. I do it but then it seems I am shifting constantly looking for an exclusive gold nugget.

Great post about diversity and characters.
' Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Lisa Thomson said...

Narcissists make a great villain. I have written about them in real life and in my fiction. Great list of diverse characters for N and O. Nova Scotians are interesting people with a unique perspective. Would Octogenarians count for diverse? Century old people can make an interesting side character :)

Lux G. said...

Whoa. These are excellent choice of words. Looking forward to reading more.

sage said...

Nuts... Nut-case... (oh me, I am sounding too much like the guy in the White House)

Anonymous said...

I love your lists. They always have something I hadn't thought of and would be fun to have an a story.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

And yet there's all this talk lately about cultural appropriation, when just a few years ago writers were encouraged to include diverse characters of other cultures and races. Now we're told we have no right to do so if it's not our race or culture. The pendulum has swung the other way.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I've read Sliding on the Edge and highly recommend it. C Lee is great at creating characters you want to live happily ever after.
Yes, I wrote about orphans in my historical fiction novel A Family for Leona. It's based on true facts about the Orphan Trains.
Thanks for the list of ideas. I hadn't thought of some of them.
Have a great weekend.

Unknown said...

Chrys, Always liked reviewing the alphabetic lists of people types. In my stories I've included Obese (a supervisor named Bolus), Asian (Indian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.), African(Nigerian), Jamaican, multiple European countries, amputees, and of course non-terrestrials! My "real life" job is for a global company, and I get to work with people all over the world as both research and inspiration. Keep up the blogs and the YouTube vids, too! As above, the story is important first, then add the interest of other diverse cultures and peoples and suddenly the story starts writing itself!

Chrys Fey said...

New Zealanders are also called Kiwis? I didn't know that.

Chrys Fey said...

That's what's fun about these lists. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Many people who write about Paris had lived there. Having a beta reader who lives/lived in a country you're not familiar with would be a big help. Travel guides can tell you a lot. I've never been to Oahu, Hawaii, but it was my setting for Tsunami Crimes.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm editing a story now with a great narcissist villain.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Lux!

Chrys Fey said...

LOL!!!

Chrys Fey said...

If we're smart, careful, and research as much as possible, we have the right to include characters of any race or culture in our books.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks! I'm glad they get you thinking. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I remember your orphan train posts. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, Beverly!

Chrys Fey said...

You've had an excellent cast of diverse characters in your books. Thanks for the lovely comment, Donrazor! I will continue to blog and post YouTube videos. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks! I'll add palmists to my P post. :)

Trisha said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and realised my novels don't really have much diversity. Though they do tend to focus on women characters, so I guess that's one thing :P But I have been wondering how to go about diversifying things. I can probably draw on my own life experiences of having diverse friends, but I'm not sure how to implement it yet.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Oh, look at that, I'm on the top of your list!
Here's my Native American tip... glance at the size of North America. Glance at the size of Europe. (9.54 million mi² -vs- 3.931 million mi²) Now stop pretending that all Native American tribes are the same, that they all knew each other, that they all have the same customs and pasts. We don't. If you can believe that Portugal is different from Finland, you can find it in yourself to believe that the Native American tribes of Southern California are different from the ones of Maine. Housing, diet, clothing, speech, religion, ... so many vastly different people are shoved into this one category, yet were so different in every basic way before the European Colonization.

At the very least, be more creative than, "The injin done ripped me off!" Yeah, the bad guys trying to defend their homes, hearing stories from the few displaced survivors about what was coming... Anyway, my tip is to get out there and do some research. Be better than a cliche.

Also, reconsider your definition of poverty. Ask yourself how it'd be defined if gold, silver, and other such backings were just rocks, if the economy wasn't based on money. Because, in order to be poor, all that is required is a lack of the established currency. It doesn't mean a lack of food, a fine shelter, an ability to communicate with your community, etc. Fitting in has become economic, and that weighs on how many people write about Native Americans in modern times. See, it's a choice. Which has more value-- Prada shoes purchased, or animal skin shoes made with honor during a ceremony? Dig deep on that answer.

Unknown said...

Well SAID Lenni! Iroquois, Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Algonquin, Powhatan, Timucua, Shawnee, Osage, Lakota, Pawnee, Menominee, Miami, Crow, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute, Navajo, Hopi, Mescalero Apache, Chiricahua Apache, Tilamook, Nez Perce, and dozens more that aren't just names of rivers, regions, cities, and streets but the names of peoples that lived, loved, thrived, adapted, fought, worshipped, and traded across an entire continent! If nothing else, research draws me as much to writing as a love for the topics, stories, and characters. Thank you for the post! The same is true for any region of the Earth. Basque, Celtic, Magyar, Goth, Dane, and thousands more of peoples in parts of the world we "think" are specific languages and countries today, but with cultures and ways that make each unique.

Lux G. said...

Narcoleptic. Obsessive compulsive. :)

Chrys Fey said...

This is great! Thank you! Writing about Native Americans takes a lot of Knowledge in so many areas to understand way or life, etc. Thanks for sharing these reminders with my blog visitors. I greatly appreciate it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, there are so many tribes and each one is different. That's why research us important. And talking to people in those tribes would be highly useful, too.

Chrys Fey said...

That's a good one! Thanks, Lux!

Chrys Fey said...

Drawing on your life experiences is a great way to start.