How I Can Better Represent Different Races And People

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Post by Guest »

Alright, so this may be a very controversial and complicated question with many differing opinions, but I'm hoping we can all have a discussion without issue. I'm trying to educate myself, not start a fight.

I'm white, but my favorite part of writing fantasy is world-building with historical societies and cultures. Recently, I've read multiple articles on white authors not knowing how to describe POC, including using food to disclose skin color, and describing almond eyes. I was absolutely shocked because 'cocoa' skin and 'caramel' skin was very common in writing when I was growing up. And I honestly thought almond eyes just referenced the shape like in makeup tutorials. Didn't see it as a racial thing at all.

I've done some research on the subject and ran into a few recommendations. Using only white, brown and black is one of them, but there are so many variations of all of those! And I have a wide range of individuals based on different races and cultures in my books. One person reccomended colors based on trees, which I feel is the same as using food descriptors, so not helpful.

I would love to hear from POC in this FORUM about how I can better represent different races and people, even in a fantasy book. Any resources would also be helpful.

Post by Wayne »

Full disclosure - I’m white too.

But I wonder if part of the challenge is why do you/me/we need to talk about the specific colour of a character’s skin?

I’ve almost completed a novel which has characters from different races and I don’t think I’ve used a colour descriptor. I’ve certainly not and never would to highlight a white character’s colour unless it was to describe a medical condition eg anaemia, so why would I with other races??

Last bumped by Anonymous on Mon Aug 29, 2022 8:59 am.
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