A Writer's Musings

Since the last few discussions went so well I thought I’d host another! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’d like your opinions on character diversity! Allow me to specify.ย Character diversity is something we as readers and writers come across all the time – and today I would like to chat about all kinds! Meaning strong female characters, bisexual characters, black characters – and every other character you’d like to talk about.

I’ve seen some strong opinions recently, such as: Every book needs a strong female character. Every book needs a weak male character. Every book needs a black character, or else the author is racist.

The two most baffling opinions were a review whichย rated aย book lowย because the white male lead was too white and too male (to be fair, he was white and male), and a post saying that female characters shouldn’t be expected to be strong and defend themselves because real women aren’t strong and can’t themselves, either. (in case you were wondering – the latter was written by a woman)

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My opinion is apparently controversial, because I disagree.

I love seeing strong female characters, but I don’t think any of the above should be in a book just for the sake of it. It needs to fit the story. Not every female character can be strong and empowered, and not every male character should be weak and in need of rescuing. Neither are going to stand out as something a little different if everyone’s doing it. They’re all people, and as such unique. Some are strong, some are weak – that applies to both genders. What does it matter if a female character is shy and naive, and a male character strong and saves the girl? I want variety! If every book I picked up had empowered feminists and crying boys I’d lose interest quickly.

What are your thoughts as readers and writers? Do you feel that all female characters should be empowered, and that every good books needs a black character? Do weak female characters and strong male characters offend you? Or do you feel that it should depend on the setting and the characters’ personalities?

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