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September 18, 2017

Diverse Characters - S + T + U



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 S:



Salvadorians (Individuals from El Salavador)

Satyrs (fantasy)

Saudi Individuals

Individuals with Schizophrenia

Scottish Individuals

Serbians 

Single Mothers/Single Fathers

Slovaks

Slovenians

Smokers

Social Workers

Sociopaths

Somalians (Somalis

Southerns (US)

South Africans

South Americans

Spanish Individuals (Spaniards)

Individuals with Speech Impediments

Surfers

Stunt men/women

Swedish Individuals

Swiss Individuals 

Individuals with Synesthesia (can hear, smell, taste, feel colors)



Here are the diverse characters for T:


Tajiks (Individuals from Tajikistan)

Teachers

Teenagers

Texans

Thai Individuals

Tiawanese (Individuals from Tiawan)

Titans (mythology)

Transgender Individuals

Transsexual Individuals

Trolls

Turkish Individuals

Twins


Here are the diverse characters for U:


Ugandans

Ukrainians

Unicorns

Underdogs

Uruguayans (Individuals from Uruguay)

U.S. Marshalls

U.S. Presidents




SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with S, T, U, 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?


55 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Underdogs!

Lidy said...

So far only have twin characters in a story idea. Have a five book spin-off story idea of my current romance WIP. And two of the stories have each twin as the MC.
As always, when it comes to other races, always research their history, religion, culture, society, etc. And always remain aware that within most if not all countries, there can also be a differentiation of culture, society and language between its villages and cities.
S- stunt man, school principal, social worker
T- Titans, from Greek mythology
U- Uganda

Nick Wilford said...

Do the Undead count as diverse characters? A lot of people are quite prejudiced against them, after all!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Love Underdogs ... Sumerians ... lots of thoughts here - clever lists ... well done - cheers Hilary

A Beer for the Shower said...

How about Spanish? As in Spaniard, not Mexican. Having to explain the difference to people is always fun.

The Cynical Sailor said...

I'm fascinated by synesthesia. I knew someone who had this.

Carrie-Anne said...

For S, I'd add Serbians, Slovenians, and Slovaks, all of whom I've written about. Religiously, most Serbs are Orthodox, and most Slovenians and Slovaks are Roman Catholic. There are exceptions, though, such as Orthodox Slovenians (who often have to worship at Serbian Orthodox churches, since there are so few Orthodox Slovenians), Greek Catholic Slovaks, and Roman Catholic Serbians.

For T, I'd add Tatars (who can be either Muslim or Christian, depending upon which sub-group they're from), Turkmens, Turks, and Thais.

For Ukrainians, I'd stress that their country is simply called Ukraine, not "the" Ukraine. They're also not one and the same as Russians, in spite of what many people assume. They have a slightly different alphabet and language. I also consider it good manners, in addition to linguistically correct, to use the proper Ukrainian names for their cities, like Odesa and Kharkiv. Their capital's name is truly spelt Kyyiv, but even I think that's nitpicky and looks awkward. The official spelling the Ukrainian people have asked the world community to use is Kyiv, not Kiev, which is an Anglicized form of a Russified name.

Chrys Fey said...

Added. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Great reminder for all. :)

Thanks for the additions. I'll add them.

Chrys Fey said...

I have zombies for Z. ;) And vampires for V.

nashvillecats2 said...

I enjoyed the read Chrys, missed some whilst I was taking a break.

Yvonne.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sharks. Yes, I'm writing a story where one character is a shark.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Hilary. I added Underdogs as Alex suggested. There are so many that I forget or don't even think of. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I added Spanish individuals and even put "Spaniards" in parentheses to help with any confusion. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Years ago, I wrote about a character with synesthesia. It was a lot if fun. One day, I'll finish that project.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

A shark character. I like that. In Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane there are shark, dolphin, and whale characters. :)

Chrys Fey said...

You gave me a lot to add. You always think of ones I don't come up with. Thanks! Your explanations are perfect. Also, it is odd that people call it "the Ukraine." Where did "the" cone from, I wonder.

Liz A. said...

I kinda think sociopaths aren't underrepresented in fiction. Probably more over represented. They tend to make great villains. Or anti-heroes.

Chrys Fey said...

I wasn't looking for underrepresented characters, per say, but diverse characters of all kinds (beyond race), and people with a mental disorders are pretty diverse.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm impressed with all you found for "U". And I love underdogs that Alex suggested. I think you just have to be really careful when the diverse character is from another culture to represent it accurately whether the person is a minority or not.

Chrys Fey said...

I agree. Caution and research is needed.

Pat Hatt said...

No Slayers at your sea? I'll have to sic Buffy on you for that.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Underdogs are always fun to root for!

Chrys Fey said...

They sure are. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Oops. Sorry, Buffy.

Birgit said...

It must be late because all I think of is sick..the sick or sick people which can be written about people who have contracted a sickness or people who are sick in mind. I think, with any ethnic person, one must gain knowledge about the culture and the people so one does not do the an injustice. I love that picture of the girl who is so cute and sweet looking.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I know from interviewing transgendered people (and having one as a close friend) that there are lots of minefields. Words and phrases that were commonly used just a year or two ago are now frowned upon.

So I highly, highly suggest that anyone writing about trans people have someone who is trans read over their manuscript. And it's a great idea, btw. I'd love to see more trans characters in fiction.

Chemist Ken said...

I like to write about underdogs. Characters who get stuck in situations where they have no right to expect to succeed. I want it to be just as much a surprise to them that they succeed as it is for the readers.

emaginette said...

I think that what makes them stand out may add tension. What is their vulnerability because of their differences? Why don't they feel proud and included?

Something to consider anyway. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

sage said...

When I first started my blog, I wrote lots of satire that was about one particular Texan who was also the US President... now I find myself missing Georgie Boy...

Roland Clarke said...

My current WIP started with T for 'twins', and wove in 'gays', 'mixed race' and also 'Roma' as well as an S for 'slaves'. Since the first three drafts, the mystery has evolved and added more diversity with a 'bisexual' & 'non-binary' subplot, plus a diverse group for your next list - W for Welsh. (Main protagonist is goth Welsh detective.)

With so many diverse themes I had already decided that I needed at least one 'sensitivity reader' as J H Moncrieff suggests - problem is that the novel might require several.

Murees Dupè said...

I love and support your idea for diverse characters. Also, I'm smiling because you put South African on your list, and hey, I'm South African;) I'm silly, I know;) I definitely try to implement diversity in my current book, but I don't like naming a specific ethnicity. So, I'm just trying to describe the character as I see them, and let the reader fill in the blanks, like what race they are. Not sure if that will work, or if it will come across as laziness. I find that race is such a touchy issue, I try to limit my description of color, as not to offend anyone. But I'm all for mixing things up.

Hope you are doing great Chrys.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Nice post, Chrys, and gives food for thought. It can be tricky writing about diverse characters if you don't get them just right—but also a great learning and broadening experience if you do enough research to get it right. We definitely need diverse characters in books.

New Release Books said...

Excellent post and great list of diverse characters. I love reading twins, was reading a book last night with both not shaving on days they appear together or somehow manage to dress alike. They were men :)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I think the one about sociopaths is especially intriguing; I sometimes wonder about how psychopaths and sociopaths think and what it would be like to be incapable of things like empathy or remorse (though of course I don't want to be like them). But stories about people like them do help show what exactly goes through their heads, especially when they do drastic things that most people wouldn't even consider doing.

Chrys Fey said...

I had disabled individuals and individuals with mental disorders on my previous lists.

Isn't she cute? :)

Chrys Fey said...

I've found out a little bit for words and phrases that aren't tolerated now. It's always a good idea to have someone knowledgeable check out a manuscript for no-nos.

Chrys Fey said...

Underdogs are great characters, and fun to read about.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, there is so much to consider. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I'm finding myself missing him, too...

Chrys Fey said...

Wow. You sure went above and beyond adding diverse characters to your WIP. Way to go!

You're right...you may need a few different readers who can advise you on your characters.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad I could make you smile because of that. :)

There have been times when I decided against naming the ethnicity, because I was worried about saying my character was black, so I opted for describing my character and using adjectives to create a visual, including skin color.

Chrys Fey said...

It is a wonderful learning experience. One that can teach us in more than one way. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I haven't really come across twin characters before. Well, not identical twins. Usually one is a boy and one is a girl. Twin characters would be a lot of fun!

Chrys Fey said...

I've been fascinated by them, too, which is shy I've done a lot of psychology research in the past. Writing about such a character would be a huge undertaking, to create those thoughts and get into the characters head...

Lisa Thomson said...

That's a great list, Chrys. In particular, I think twins can make for fascinating stories. I can't think of other diverse characters at the moment...so thanks for the suggestions here! :)

kaykuala said...

Diverse characters provide the spice in life and the added sparks to our writings. You certainly have lots of them here. You are such a prolific writer Chrys! Keep it up Ma'am! You are of many talents!

Hank

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Some great ideas hear. I write about Texans often. :) I have twins (boy and girl) in one of my books, and my latest is a boy from a tropical island, no specific nation mentioned though.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Wish I could spell. That's here. Sorry.

Chrys Fey said...

Well, there. You have some diversity in your books. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It would be fun to write about identical twins.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for the lovely comment, Hank!

Roland Clarke said...

I've found two with overlapping 'qualifications' but enough to cover most of the diversity, especially my bisexual Welsh protagonist.

Chrys Fey said...

That's great! I hope they help you and provide excellent insight.