Hi all. We’ve decided to address some common misconceptions we’ve seen within the Asks we receive.
1. The Magical Negro: Magical Negro doesn’t refer to a Black character having magical powers; it refers to the Black character being a “magical” force in the White person’s character arc (whether the magic is literal or figurative.)
If you have a Black character (with or without) magical powers who has no agency or motivation other than using those powers (whether it be wisdom or actual magic) only to save White characters, you may be falling into the “magical negro trope.”
See the Magical Negro tag for more details and on how to avoid this trope.
2. Names. We get a lot of questions asking about specific names that we can’t really answer. While it’s true that some cultures have specific naming traditions, not all people within that culture participate in these naming traditions.
A simple google search on “specific group” + naming conventions would be a good place to start. But remember, for every one person who follows traditional naming conventions, there is another who doesn’t.
3.“How do I write X group?” is too general to answer easily especially from people volunteering their time on the internet. I mean, try answering that question for your own group! See how it’s hard to know where to start? Do a little research first, read some blogs or literature by people in the group, then come back with specific questions.
"What are some things you wish writers not in your group would stop doing when writing your group?" is a more effective question, if you must be general.
4. People of Color are not a monolith. Here at WWC, we get a lot of questions saying “I was thinking of making my character a PoC, what are some tropes to avoid?” or “My PoC character does X, Y, and Z. Is that bad?”
First of all, people of color are not a one size fits all category and the word is not interchangeable with one specific group of people. We use it when we are referring to general or encompassing topics, but if you want a true answer to these types of questions, you need to be more specific. Also note that just stating “biracial” doesn’t denote any race.
Thanks for reading!