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Writing Diverse Characters For Fiction, TV or Film

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  20 reviews

We're living in a time of unprecedented diversity in produced media content, with more characters appearing who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), disabled, or from other religions or classes. What's more, these characters are increasingly appearing in genre pieces, accessible to the mainstream, instead of being hidd

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Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Published August 24th 2017 by Kamera Books
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4.08  · 
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 ·  37 ratings  ·  20 reviews


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Olivia
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so happy to finally have found a book that covers this subject. As stated in the book, it may well be the first of it's kind and for any writer, it is so needed!

Firstly, not only are we given an understanding of why diversity is so important in film or books, but we are given the tools to explore and understand how we can write diverse characters in a genuine and positive way. As a BAME writer myself, there were a multitude of writing tips and examples that i know will really help give a f
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Kate Avery
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-16-17
Well what can I say, this book has been so helpful, I think this is a book that every writer whether aspiring or established should add to their shelves.

With more readers calling for diverse characters, it has become crucial as a writer to think about how we are representing people from different backgrounds in our work. However it can be a little daunting to make sure that your character seems authentic and isn’t just ticking the box of diversity. Writing Diverse Characters is a brilliant guide
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Elinor Perry-Smith
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At last! A book that pinpoints why we need more diversity in the characters we read about, watch or importantly, write about. Not only does Lucy's book highlight the same dreary old stereotypes (my own particular bête noire being the lack of complexity in disabled characters), she gives the reader some excellent observations and insights as to how to actually redress the situation in their own writing without reorting to jargon (I hate jargon!) or exhortations to the writer to flagellate themsel ...more
A.M.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, non-fiction
I really wanted to like this book. I just finished reading Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race and was set to have my eyes opened on how to improve my writing.

Pros:
- We need more books on writing diversity well.
- There are some very interesting statistics about diversity in the media which would help introduce someone to the subject and why its important.
- There is some very vague, general advice on general characterisation that would be useful starting points for beginners.

Cons
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Marc Pye
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When creating a new piece of work, it's so easy to get bogged down by structure, genre and theme that there's never enough real thought given to characters. Lucy has researched and created an in depth guide to help writers create real and original characters that leap off the page. Apart from being a great read, this is also an invaluable tool for any writer, which I will certainly be referring back to time and time again.

Marc Pye, screenwriter.
Emily L
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, writing
This was an excellent non-fiction book about how to include diversity in fiction/TV/film. I really enjoyed the up-to-date writing (it was very current with social media, etc.).

It helped me have a clear idea of stereotypes vs. tropes vs. archetypes. I would recommend this to anyone interested in writing fiction!

This will definitely help me with the SF novel I'm writing.
Sean Talbot
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review

This is an instructional guide and not a novel so this is a long way out of my comfort zone.

Years ago I was a gamer and created my own worlds and even wrote short stories about the characters in that world.  This book would have helped me a lot especially as it goes over the items that I had the most trouble with.

While not everything I can agree with you have to respect the convictionof the writing as well as how well it is handled. 

To describe this book I will use one sentence.

This is a m
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Nick
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Writing Diverse Characters for Fiction, TV or Film" is a straight-to-the-point guide showing you how to avoid your manuscript getting rejected due to boring characters. Many books make similar claims - but unlike the rest, this tackles the never-more-relevant subject of diverse characters.

Lucy V Hay is no stranger to writing guides (this is her third, and the most assured yet) and anyone who’s spent a few moments on her Bang2Write site will know how important diversity and equality are to her.
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Anthony
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
It felt like the timing for this book was the right one. And yet, sooner would have been a blessing.
Thing is, I'm from diverse origins myself (aren't we all?...). So, it's a tricky position to be put into, reviewing a book about diversity in the media. This book clearly states there is a lot of work to be done, to differentiate characters from the average Jane & Joe. It shines a light on very specific aspects that should be taken into consideration from now on.

Some of the things discussed i
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Ita - storiesnotstandards
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The reason I opened this account was because I was tired to read and watch stories about white cis straight guys - or worse, stories about minorities trivialized by an arrogant white cis straight guy. I really enjoyed this essay, it's full of useful advices & I recommend it to everyone who wants to start to write (and to think) beyond stereotypes.
Micki Boden
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, this is a good book. There's some tangible advice and guidance in here, and doesn't fall prey to just becoming a soapbox for why diversity in writing needs to occur. However, it's a short book; I would have preferred a longer book that went into more detail about the nitty-gritty of writing, such as dialogue, instead of feeling like a starting point and mainly covering broad strokes.
Kitty Wenham
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is so bad it is genuinely absurd. Two stars because me and my friends got a lot of laughs out of reading extracts aloud to each other. If you actually want to learn about writing diverse characters, like I do, then, trust me, this book is not something you want to waste £16.99 on. Full, very detailed review to follow asap.
Krysztina
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
I've mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, we sorely need more books on the subject of diverse characters and diversity done well (there are plenty of poorly-written "diverse" characters around). On the other hand, though, Writing Diverse Characters for Fiction, TV or Film has enough flaws that reading it wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been.

But first, the good things. If someone isn't familiar with the subject of diversity in media, this book is a good starting point. It discusses th
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Sinistmer
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
This book covers some common characters and tropes that appear and points out ways to flip things and make a story more diverse. The writer is good at pinpointing these frequent aspects and explaining them. Some of the ideas for alternatives are useful as starting points.

At times it could be frustrating to read because the advice seemed geared to the screen and many examples were from either the big screen or TV.

I would say that this book is more useful if you are exploring creating diverse char
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Mark Walker
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is not just a primer for discussing diversity, although it does a very good job at that. It is, actually, a great introduction to the art of writing in itself. It may not go into the detail of structure and concept like Vogler, Field or McKee do, but it does provide a good grounding in what is definitely one of (if not the) most important components of a good story – Character. If you have never read a screenwriting book before, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start. While understandin ...more
Dave Holwill
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The characters I was writing suddenly started insisting on being different from my original imaginings, so I went in search of a guide to help me sort them out.
This did the opposite, and made me rethink all my other characters and how I could do a better job of them.
It wasn't what I was looking for, but it was probably what I needed, like Mick Jagger said, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes...
Essential reading for 21st century writers
Shannii
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s a fairly good book and an ok introduction to diversity in the media if you’re new to the whole phenomenon. However, it’s way too short to provide enough good, helpful detail on the subject. It covers the “why” much more than the “how” and focusses mostly on encouraging people to write books that sell. I don’t think I’ve really learnt much on how to improve diversity in my stories, but I do feel a lot more well-versed on its importance.
Niraj
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
the movie, and especially fiction and TV business are changing at an alarming rate. As a produced screenwriter and TV writer for several years, I'm glad diversity is becoming more important. Lucy's book is incredibly valuable and easy to read. Ignore the haters, they criticise because they don't have the talent to write. Buy this book to improve your writing career.
Jonathan Harris
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Level headed and quite comprehensive.
Full of practical tips to consider when writing.
Roland Clarke
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Review 5 stars

This timely and excellent book was everything I’ve needed especially since attempting to write a novel about a queer Welsh detective and her Tamil partner. (There are days when I feel totally out of my experience zone.)

This is essential reading for any serious writer - especially one aware of the value in addressing the 'diverse issue'. It was full of invaluable advice and information for me – a WASP, albeit one with Latin blood and in a wheelchair.

Lucy Hay has researched the hot i
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Lucy V. Hay script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for The London Screenwriters' Festival. Lucy is also an author, writing both screenwriting books and crime fiction. Check out her website.
“Often, race is assumed by the writer, so ‘white = default’ and BAME characters are noted FOR their ‘difference’.” 0 likes
“Wouldn’t it be great to just write a fantastic story without having to worry about labels? Absolutely, yes. Are we there yet? Probably not.” 0 likes
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