Routes to Diversity – Ask Questions

As I said yesterday, diversity in fiction can take many different forms, and happen in many different ways. I want to see more people from a wide variety of backgrounds producing books, but equally I want the people who are currently producing books to include a wide variety of characters, and do so in an informed and respectful way. How are they to do this? Well, a group of YA writers has set up a site called DiversifYA. It is aimed at all YA writers, not just the SF&F community, and it seeks to provide information on a variety of different life experiences. They use the “five questions” format to get structured feedback from people with a range of backgrounds, and that will hopefully help authors better understand the types of characters they want to put into their books. Today they ran an interview with me about growing up trans. You can read it here.

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5 Responses to Routes to Diversity – Ask Questions

  1. tade says:

    Kudos to them for setting this up.

    One (devil’s advocate styl-ee) question: isn’t that what anthropology is for? I get that anthropology texts can be dry, but there’s some quality control and rigour.

    Just askin’.

    • Cheryl says:

      In theory, yes. In practice anthropologists can be as blinkered as any other privileged person approaching a non-privileged group. Or indeed hideously prejudiced. I don’t know of any book about trans people I’d recommend that isn’t written by a trans person. And Julia Serano is a biologist, not an anthropologist.

      Also, from the point of view of fiction, there’s nothing like an actual life story. Of course it may not be truthful, and it may not be representative, but that’s why you talk to more than one person.

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