L. E. Perez, author and owner of Palmas Publishing, shares how she chooses the cast of characters for her stories. Today, readers are more aware of representation in books. However, conversations surrounding diversity are complex. Making sense of our current landscape is difficult but vital for authors who hope to be relevant. Perez has sound advice for writers who are attempting to create beautiful, holistic stories. In particular, Perez cares about writing stories that reflect the world we see. This is what creates organic, diverse characters. Writing diversity can be extraordinarily difficult if it’s approached incorrectly. Characters that serve as tokens, or placeholders for various identities, don’t ring true with readers. Instead, Perez encourages people to write what they know and what they see. In the clip below, Perez teaches some dos and don’ts of writing diverse characters, particularly characters who differ from one another in sexuality and race. These are valuable tips for authors who don’t often think about the diversity of their characters or are at a loss when it comes to creating a diverse cast of characters.
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