IWW: Characters of color

When I was writing The Pyramid Waltz, I didn’t want to fall into a trap where my characters of color are concerned. (Try saying that five times fast.)

We’re not here to empower you.

I didn’t want Starbride to be the wise brown person only there to enlighten her paler counterparts. I wanted her to be her own person, with her own quirks and faults and strengths. Many of my lovely beta readers have told me that she’s very human. I take that as high praise since I was hoping to stay far away from stereotypes.

I think some of blond Barbies might be darker than these two, tho. Seriously, Mattel, what’s up with that?

Anyway! I got lots of birthday Barbies, so guess what? Now Evil Barbie and Good Barbie can have allies! Can you say, epic fight scenes?

I think a black hole of awesome just opened up

Two kens, glamorous evil side, sensible shoes good side, and one panda. Who will win?!?!?

One thing never changes, though. This:

Welcome to the bondage club, half-naked Ken.

Still equals this:

Welcome to the bondage club, plastic swiss cheese.

Some things never change. The Barbies of color are just glad they’re not A) The ones in the ropes B) The mythical spiritual healers or C) The plucky/macho soldiers who never make it through the film.

We love you, Michelle Rodriguez.

p.s. Is anyone else doing extreme writing this summer? I’m in both Camp Nanowrimo and the Clarion West Write-a-thon. Who’s with me!?!?! C’mon. Being insane is fuuuun. ^_^

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Thank goodness it’s June.

*snort* I’m 35. Suuure.

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13 thoughts on “IWW: Characters of color

  1. Way to go! I’m still wondering how some people will react to my female MC being black and the hero being Asian. How many times do you actually see that coupling in literature? And thankfully, both should come across as human 🙂

  2. yay june!! Boo stereotypes!! also, can i make a small request? Can you post the photos bigger when you do IWW posts? I want to see them up close!! 🙂

  3. I’m glad I happened upon this blog. I was actually out hunting for Pyramid Waltz fan art (and being terribly disappointed that I didn’t find any :c) because I wanted to see if other people had the same mental image of Starbride as me.

    I had taken from the description so far that she was darker skinned, but whether the Allusians were meant to be more “Hispanic” or “African” or “Middle-Eastern” or “Brown Asian” or “Indian”… etc… I wasn’t sure. (Of course, using all these terms as general descriptors of the type of skin tones and bone structures, not suggesting they are any of these ethnicities exactly).

    Anyway, I couldn’t decide how long her hair was, or how dark her skin is. I had imagined her somewhere more in the “medium” skin tone (speaking from my perspective as an illustrator) and with a non-negroid bone structure (ala Egyptians and other Middle Easterns or even Mediterraneans) because of how she was described.

    Is her hair straight or curlyish? What color are her eyes? And is she meant to come off as slightly plump? Or is that just a misunderstanding of terms?

    Btw, I’m only 30% into the book and utterly in love with the characters and hooked on the plot. I’ll applaud you more when I’m finished, but I must say: bloody well done!

    Anyway, if you happen to respond to this I’ll be happy. Thank you for your writing! I’m loving a genuine, well-written story about a f/f relationship.

    • I wish there was some fan art, especially since I can’t draw to save my life. 🙂
      I always pictured Starbride as having the skin tone of a Native American, but I think Egyptian could work, too. And you’re right about the bone structure.

      Her hair is straight and black. Her eyes are very dark brown. She is curvy with an hourglass figure.

      I’m so glad you’re liking the story! I always love to hear from people, and you made my day. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the other books in the series as much as this one.

  4. Oh my gosh you responded to me. Yay! ^^

    Well thank you so much for the detailed description. I know it’s THERE in the book, but scattered everywhere since you seed descriptions in so nicely instead of just blocking them out. It’s helpful to hear a clarification straight from the author tho!

    Native American skin tone! Yes, this is along the lines of what I was thinking.

    I wish I was less busy right now because I want to make fan art just because none exists and I consider that criminal. Maybe by the time I’m finished with the book I’ll have a solid inspiration for how to draw them. 🙂

    Thank you again for responding. ^^ Made my day in return!

  5. Amusingly, I had pushed most of the sliders to the max (largest hips, largest legs, etc).
    And it’s more down to what people want. If they make large women, people complain. If they don’t make large women, people complain… But more people complain if they make large women that don’t look pleasing, and it’s hard for them to get the balance right, so a lot seem to just avoid it. I’ve seen a few games make it so you could play a larger woman with a pleasing appearance, but not many. As complicated as the body is to draw, I can’t imagine how hard it’d be to create it in 4 dimensions (3D plus all of the user-modification options).

    So I take it she should be less skinny? 😉

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