A doctor, a logician and a marine biologist had also just arrived, flown in at phenomenal expense from Maximegalon to try to reason with the lead singer who had locked himself in the bathroom with a bottle of pills and was refusing to come out till it could be proved conclusively to him that he wasn’t a fish. The bass player was busy machine-gunning his bedroom and the drummer was nowhere on board.
Frantic inquiries led to the discovery that he was standing on a beach on Santraginus V over a hundred light years away where, he claimed, he had been happy for over half an hour now and had found a small stone that would be his friend.
Throughout October, we’ll be partnering with We Need Diverse Books to bring you a series of blog posts full of helpful advice, tips, and suggestions for writing diversity convincingly and respectfully in your fiction—from people who know what they’re talking about. Today, Ellen Oh shares how to identify, then expand beyond stereotypes:
One of the most common mistakes I see when people try to write diversely is that they fall into the practice of writing a positive stereotype. After all, if it’s positive, it can’t be a stereotype, right?
A stereotype is a positive or negative set of beliefs about the characteristics of a group of people. Just because it is positive, doesn’t make it any less problematic.
Writers shouldn’t fear criticism. Instead, they should fear silence. Criticism is healthy. It gets people thinking about your work and, even better, it gets them talking and arguing. But as for silence — it is the greatest killer of writers. So if you hate a book and want to hurt it — don’t talk about it. And if you hate my books — please, for God’s sake, shout it from the hills!