rape in fictional worlds

Raping your Female Characters isn’t the Only Way to Depict a Harsh Fictional World

I recently had THAT conversation again; the one where I criticise a fictional world for gratuitous use of rape and sexual aggression against women, only for fans of said universe to defend it by telling me how it’s a harsh world and that’s what would happen. It’s a tiring conversation, so here’s why you don’t have to use rape to ensure your readers know your world is horrible.

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How to write people of colour

How to write people of colour and ‘the other’

A practical guide to writing people of colour. However, a lot of this advice applies to anyone writing the other, such as men writing women, also writing about disabled or non-cis characters if you are neither of these things.

Rewriting the Balance of Black and White Characters in Fiction

I loved Chella‚Äôs recent article on avoiding black stereotypes in our writing. It highlights an issue so long-standing in fiction I think it calls for a deeper discussion. It was a revelation to me, following some general conversations with Chella, to realise that there are default settings for characters in fiction. I never even considered…

black character stereotypes

9 Black Character Stereotypes to Avoid in Your Writing

Congratulations, you’re writing a story with a diverse set of characters. This is a great thing and needs to be supported. A fear of political correctness mustn’t stop writers from creating characters from other races, religions or walks of life. Writing from beyond your own experience takes a little bit more thought and work, but that’s our job, right? The first step to writing non-white characters is understanding the mistakes of the past. So here’s my checklist for avoiding the most common black character stereotypes…