Representation matters. I believe one of the most important reasons to tell stories is to connect to people, and everyone deserves to have well rounded, well written characters they can relate to. Our stories can be tragically lacking in good representations of certain groups, though. People of color, people with disabilities, and various members of the LGBTQ community can struggle to find relatable characters in popular media. That said, stretching outside of our own personal experiences in our writing requires a little legwork. The resources below are dedicated to educating writers so they can minimize the harm they do and present well researched and believable characters in traditionally underrepresented groups.
Writing the Color
Writing the Other is a great resource. As their tag-line says, they’re here to help writers “learn to write characters very different from you sensitively and convincingly.”
Writing with Color
Writing With Color is “a blog dedicated to writing and resources centered on racial & ethnic diversity.” The depth and breadth of the information on this blog is staggering, and it’s presented with such love and patience it genuinely amazes me. If you’re not sure where to start, check out their guide to describing skin color to get you started.
Rainbow writing is similar in purpose to Writing with Color, except for the representation of LGBTQA+ characters. If any of your characters have relationships or genders, you might want to give it a peak.
How to Disable Your Text
Finally, a blog about writing characters with disabilities. There is some adult language on this page, but there is also a lot of very useful information.
Cover via NeONBRAND