Okay, so something bugs me, at least a little. Except I should embrace it openly, and I do, just not as wholeheartedly as other writers do. And it’s a thing that mainly just writers and editors cry out about.
That thing is representing the under-represented. People of colours other than white. People of sexualities other than straight. Transgendered persons. Women.
On the one hand I believe it’s right to represent in fiction those who are not straight white males. It’s better than right, it’s great. But only because we have a lot of homogenisation in fiction. According to writers, editors, and maybe readers but you should, I don’t know, ask readers whether they care or not. Fun fact: readers don’t care (as much) about the things writers and editors bang on about there not being enough of, or there being too much of, necessarily. The general audience, anyway. Genre savvy readers – speaking as one – don’t mind stuff that pushes the boundaries and goes down the paths less traveled. But less-read readers probably don’t have as much of a radar for these sorts of things as writers do – and have to, because as a writer, your best weapon is Different. Then comes Good Writing, and Punctuality, and other things like that which show editors that you’re a professional and not some loser. (Although, you could say these weapons can go in different orders.)
The point I started writing this post to make is that it’s not a crime to write about straight white dudes (for example). It will NOT get you awards for being different, though. It isn’t the crime writers make it out to be, but it is a disservice to anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the default.
The straight white male, though, is a target of lazy marketing. Or in other words, SAFE marketing. Especially those 18-30. Your dude-bros. Your Call of Duty players, if you’ll forgive the vidya game interjection. I think it’s a crime that LGBT (and the other letters I’ve seen attached to that, but can’t remember all of), non-white races, and women aren’t represented as much as maybe they should be. More stories about women? Cool with me. Written by women? Cool. I don’t tend to have that much success with stories written by women, for some reason, but the spirit I agree with. Same with gay, lesbian, African, Hispanic, Italian, or whatever… it’s all cool with me. I think we really do need more. All things in balance, and all that.
Just as long as it’s well written and engaging and not boring. Otherwise I’ll throw that shit against the wall.