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One Writer talks about why he's afraid to Write African American characters

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I got sent this article by one the many writer's group blogs I subscribe to and I am still reading it but for some reason, I immediately thought of today (and some of year's past) soap writers. For years, I've suspected that there is an outright reluctance on the part of many writers to write good meaty storylines for most AA characters (or even non White characters) on soaps, which is why we have many characters languishing while other characters are never far from the screen.

I may be premature in posting this because I'm still reading it. You all may have already discussed this at length in the past but I'm relatively new here. If you have discussed it at length , feel free to point me in the direction of that thread but in case, you're interested in reading the article, here it is:

http://www.howlround.com/why-am-i-afraid-to-write-african-american-characters-by-marshall-botvinick/

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Posted · Report post

Hmm, that's funny that said white writer is afraid to write for Black characters, considering that a score of them had zero issues in writing for said characters 15-20 years ago.

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I can see what he's saying, although I disagree with "lack of interest." Just because you are from a certain background does not mean you are limited to that background in what you want to write. If anything it can be just the opposite.

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That writer is not afraid of writing for African American characters, that writer just has a lack of creativity. You should be able to plug an African American or Caucasian into a good story...

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That writer is simply discussing his own limitations and I'm glad he's doing that but I think it's inadvisable to see this as anything more than one writer's conundrum. Even if it shared by others.

IMO, every writer has something that vexes them. But just because this writer is afraid to write minority characters doesn't change the fact that others aren't. There are white writers who have written very good minority characters and minority writers who have written good white characters. Men can write great women and women can write great men. There will always be "consumers" who think that authors should only write characters that are a mirror image of who they are. That's just the risk of putting your creative effort out there. For me its about whether the writer crafts his/her characters in a meaningful way.

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