I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Lucy V Hay’s new writing guide, Writing Diverse Characters for Fiction, TV or Film. Lucy is a real advocate of diversity in writing and this book aims to help writers, new and old, find their way in navigating their way around embracing diversity and creating authentic characters in their writing.
I’ve got a great guest post to share with you on Lucy’s publication day rituals, just as soon as we’ve taken a look at what the book is all about.
We’re living in a time of unprecedented diversity in produced media content, with more characters appearing who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), disabled, or from other religions or classes. What’s more, these characters are increasingly appearing in genre pieces, accessible to the mainstream, instead of being hidden away in so-called ‘worthier’ pieces, as in the past.
How to Write Diverse Characters discusses issues of race, disability, sexuality and transgender people with specific reference to characterisation – not only in movies and TV, but also novel writing.
Taking in blockbuster movies such as Mad Max Fury Road, Russell T Davies’ ground-breaking TV series Cucumber and and the controversial novel Gone Girl, the book explores:
– How character role function really works
– What is the difference between stereotype and archetype?
– Why ‘trope’ does not mean what Twitter and Tumblr think it means
– How the burden of casting affects both box office and audience perception
– Why diversity is not about agendas, buzzwords or being ‘politically correct’
– What authenticity truly means and why research is so important
– Why variety is key in ensuring true diversity in characterisation
Writers have to catch up. Knowing not only what makes a ‘good’ diverse character doesn’t always cut it; they need to know what agents, publishers, producers, filmmakers and commissioners are looking for – and why. This book gives writers the tools to create three dimensional, authentic characters … who just happen to be diverse.
How do you spend the night before publication day?
I daresay I will watch Emmerdale, then read a for a few hours. During this I’ll probably run and up and down the stairs of my three-storey house, telling my teenage son and tween daughter to turn the music down on their computers, whilst trying to get my six-year-old to settle in bed. Normal stuff, really!
What do you do on the day itself?
The day will start off normally too: I’ll do the school run after an hour of hysteria while I try and get packed lunches done and my girls are trying to do gymnastics rather than eat their breakfast or do their hair. Even though we live five minutes from school, we’ll be late so we’ll arrive puffed out … and then I’ll follow up on various errands with school, speak to other mums and dads, etc.
BUT instead of going straight home and writing, I will take a right into town! I will leave all work stuff behind: iPad, books, scripts etc. This is not a working day, it’s publication day!!!
So, I’ll do a little window shopping, especially for books and clothes, then go to my favourite coffee shop. There I will have a bucket of black coffee and either a big slab of ginger cake or piece of pecan pie (both my faves). I’ll write in my journal and read for a couple of hours, totally by myself. This hardly ever happens – especially during the day, when I’m when meant to be working – so it will feel very luxurious!
If it’s a nice day, I will go down to the river and feed some ducks. If it’s raining, I’ll go to another coffee shop to see some friends who write there, or maybe go to a local art gallery or the museum, see if I can soak up some inspiration. Before I know it, it will be time for the school run again!
When my husband gets in, we’ll get the kids’ dinner sorted and eat together. Later, we’ll open a bottle of something fizzy and toast my new book. Writing Diverse Characters For Fiction, Film & TV will be third non-fiction book I’ve published now, but it NEVER gets old!
Thanks Lucy. Sounds like the perfect way to celebrate to me. Writing Diverse Characters is available now from the following retailers.
About the Author
Lucy V. Hay is a script editor and blogger who helps writers. She’s written three non-fiction books about writing, Writing Diverse Characters For Fiction, Tv & Film; Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays and its follow up Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays. Her debut crime novel, The Other Twin, is out now with Orenda Books. Check out her website HERE and all her books, HERE
Make sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in the tour for more reviews and features.