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Post Reply Being an African-American and a writer
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Posted 8/24/16
To some extent, you're always going to write based on your experiences. And we live in a society that is very much dominated by images of white people, particularly male. I'll frequently try to write a scene without addressing the race or gender of the character. I can always go back and add those kinds of details later (unless it's critical to the plot). Sometimes you'll find that making a character of African, Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, or Asian descent adds something that you didn't even realize was missing. Sometimes it doesn't matter, so don't add unnecessary details. And sometimes the character just needs to be white. But even then, you're not dealing with a generic "white"--there's so many different cultures, especially in our modern, globalized world.

If your concern is the "African-American Experience," keep in mind that there is no single experience. I recall one author was writing from the perspective of her Asian-American experience, and the publisher kept complaining that her character was too American and not Asian enough. Total BS. The important thing is to be true to what your experience is, and that will help breathe life into anything you write.
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Posted 8/24/16
You should write about whatever you want, since you want to write about it. Do not be someone you are not, or else your writing will suffer.
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Posted 8/24/16 , edited 8/24/16

qualeshia3 wrote:




Well, my ancestors are African. I just call myself African-American because I dislike being called Black.


why

legit question

ps write whatever you want and don't worry about what others say about it. someone's gonna dislike it because that's how writing works. you just keep on writing ^^
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Posted 8/24/16
I only look at the picture of an author if the book I'm reading sucks. That way I'll know who to hate.

When reading a book I've never once thought, "Gee, I wonder what color the author is.." I don't really care what race, gender, sex, etc a character in a book are either, they just need to be interesting.
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24 / M / CAN, ON
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Posted 8/24/16
Who cares.

You are a human, end of story, it doesn't matter if you write about someone being blue, purple, green, it's your story.

I only have white people that are main roles, who cares, it is the idea you want to project, not that image.

It's not their story it's yours, and if people want to chew you out for it, just laugh at them.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 8/24/16


Why what?

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Hoosierville
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Posted 8/24/16 , edited 8/24/16

qualeshia3 wrote:




Well, my ancestors are African. I just call myself African-American because I dislike being called Black.


I'll call you african-american if you call me nordic-american :D

Yeah your probably not that black anymore probably light brownish. Africans have a habit of turning into Hindu's as they lighten up then Europeans turn into Mexicans if they get too much sun
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Posted 8/24/16



Sure thing.

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8500 / F / Apollo...
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Posted 8/24/16

qualeshia3 wrote:

Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.


So, I working on my story and It got me thinking that all of the stories I've written or was going to write were not about African-American's joys and problems. I read and seen some books written by African-Americans and some of them are about romance, pains, struggles, and etc that they face as a race. They bore me and frankly I rather not read them. The stories I write don't deal with African-American problems since the purely fantasy based. If my novels ever get published, and people discover that I am not Caucasian, that will probably cause some problems. Some people will say that majority of my writings are what "white people write" (whatever that means ). Some people might think I'm racist towards African-American because I never want to include them in my writings. I don't want people to think these things about my stories. When I write it's for either myself or all races. What I'm trying to get at is that should I brace myself for people who will question why I write what I write or just ignore them? What I fear is people talking bullshit when I shouldn't care what they say. But it is hard trying not to care.

Am I being silly for feeling this way? Should I continue writing for myself and not worry about who will enjoy my stories? How do I handle stupid comments(even though I have yet to face them) from people?


I haven't published anything yet and I worried over nothing. How do I stop that?

Enjoy!!!!


A few honest tips for you if you're worried about race being a factor in selling your work:

Use a pen name, or have your first (and middle) name as just an initial. Especially if it's about fantasy, it'll create a gender-neutral, race-neutral persona. Once you build a satisfactory readership base, you can reveal your full name and identity - if you so feel. To be honest (also from a marketing perspective) your name and revealing your identity as an author will likely have your books categorized in the African-American/Black Writers section of book stores and merchants, where there are not a lot of the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genres, so your distribution line will narrow. It's also a similar issue when they find out you're a female Fantasy/Sci-Fi author. Booksellers find it easier for them to sell product when it can be categorized with like products, but it's not always ideal for the writer.

When you start getting interviews and questions from media (for blurbs, reviews and such) you will definitely get questions you won't want to answer. You as a writer should know how to play around with how you answer them. And you're going to have to give them an answer, because that's how you sell your work.

Write whatever you want to write. People will continue to spew bullshit for any possible reason they can dig up - you will have to expect that. The more often it crosses you, the more you should be desensitized by it. In the end, who cares? If you're making a living off what you love to write about, no one can take your paychecks away because they had a personal opinion of you (except the editor and publishing director, but then again, if your writing is good, they see money before they see you as a person).
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Posted 8/24/16 , edited 8/24/16
Ignore those that try to stick you to a particular label and write whatever you like.

Oh here's 2 writers who did that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octavia_E._Butler

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._K._Jemisin

Personally I tend to focus on the stories and don't notice what the authors look like or their background. I may find out about that years later by accident since I don't seek it out.
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Posted 8/24/16 , edited 8/24/16

qualeshia3 wrote:I haven't published anything yet and I worried over nothing. How do I stop that?


If you haven't published anything yet, "nothing" is exactly what you're worrying over.

Work on something to publish first. Then worry.
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Posted 8/24/16
People like that arent going to be reading anyways, statistically. ahahha.
Posted 8/24/16


I have no idea how you can perceive things in this manner.
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Hoosierville
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Posted 8/24/16

qualeshia3 wrote:




Sure thing.



PRAISE BE TO ODIN!!!
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 8/24/16 , edited 8/24/16
Try using a pen name, I think that could help to get ya published

It's the same thing as getting a job, like Jose can be Joseph.

it increases your chances. It's racist for people to see you by a name and judge you immediately, but it's a reality.

I still get mail for Latino people, I get shit in Spanish by default even if I didn't ask for it. They see my name, "oh hey, are you Mexican?"...

Thanks for your prejudice.



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