A Question About Diversity in Fiction

Do you go into great detail about the physical appearance of the characters in your books? Interesting perspective on this from Drew Chial.

Drew Chial

Many MesThe Pros and Cons of Concealing Certain Character Traits

There are good reasons to avoid identifying a character’s ethnicity, exact age, and body type in your writing, especially when these traits aren’t crucial to understanding their actions. By revealing these specifics you limit the casting options in your readers’ heads. You make it harder for some members of the audience to see themselves in the role. If you leave these elements ambiguous your lead could be anyone your readers want.

At the time of this writing there’s stubble on my face. If I’m reading a story with a male lead I’m likely to imagine him with stubble too, until the author tells me he’s clean shaving. I’m six foot four, I have dirty blond hair, and greying sideburns as is every male lead of the books I read, until the author tells me otherwise.

I’m never heartbroken when one of these…

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