Regarding one of our last asks
This one. Is about writing Latinxs in first person being yourself a white person.
I’d like to address two specific responses.
theyaoiarcanaI feel like anyone can write a character no matter what the race is. As long as it’s a good character. To say someone who’s a different race can’t write for another race because “you’re not one of us” is really stupid. Doesn’t matter if its in first person, second person, third person whatever. As long as the character is well written and the plot is amazing. I mean all Latina/Latino people don’t act the same. So. Yeah. That’s dumb. And they shouldn’t ask if they have to write for a certain race. Because it’s literally just a character, not the customization of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
I’ll repeat myself here. Latinxs are not one race, nor we can be defined as one. You don’t get to reduce us to one to fit the categorization of your worldview.
The first thing you have to do is to set up your audience when writing a story using a Latinx character as MC.
If your audience will be white people, why are you writing from a Latinx perspective? Let me tell you something. We can tell when a Latinx character has been written by one of our people and when they have been written by a white writer. On the contrary, if your audience will be Latinxs, well, read the lines above as well.
As soon as you publish your story, doesn’t matter where, you stop having control over it. Every story needs to be self-explanatory, if you have to explain yourself to your readers, sometimes bordering poor excuses, then your story was not written the way it should have been. By this I don’t mean leaving unanswered questions about the plot, those are necessary if you’re planning more than one book.
What to do here.
- Set up your audience.
- Narrow down your research.
- Ask the people who fucking matter. (Set me up on fire if you want to for this, but if you are writing about Latinxs, ask a Latinx for fuck’s sake. Don’t ask white people).
- Research again.
- Repeat as many times as you have to.
smallwrittenkingdoms Honest question: under this reasoning, is it ever okay for white authors to write non-white characters?
It is okay to write non-white characters, but there are ways and there are ways. Many times we don’t get the same representation, the same endings, the same description as white characters. In many stories we are only to support the white character without a story for ourselves, we get killed only because someone has to die, and it seems two, or more, non-white characters can’t co-exist in the same place at the same time. Change that. Write non-white characters with the same depth as white characters, give them interests and goals outside the white character.
Every stereotype perpetuated about non-white people sustains and endures sistematic violence. You get to read it, but we get to live it.
You want to write non-white people being yourself white?
- If you are into character’s charts, create them for non-white characters as well.
- If you aren’t into character’s charts, try to keep track of your non-white characters as the story develops.
- Be respectful. Is free.
- There are stories that are not for you to write, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write other stories. We do not exist so your book can be labeled as “diverse”.
- The universe won’t collapse on itself if there are more than two non-white characters who don’t supply emotional support to the white character, or need to be defended by them. Save your white savior complex and your white guilt for someone who cares (i.e. not us).
So, are you gonna listen to our voices and read what we write or are you gonna wait for a white person to say the same words so you can finally consider what we’ve been saying for ages now?