I've been doing a lot of thinking about DarkShines lately, especially in regards to the characters. In a recent post on Writer's Chronicle Blog, my friend Jen posted about Diversity - which was really apt because I've run into this issue with DarkShines.
At the moment, I am at the stage where many of my characters just have a name, age, and maybe a rough idea of their personality. I feel once I attach a face to the name (which is usually a model for me rather than 'the character' e.g. sometimes I use expressions of actors to make the process more visual to me of how character will react etc.) I have a more concrete grasp on the character.
Recently I was looking up pictures for my main characters, when I came across a picture of an actress of Nigerian and Russian descent. And BAM, I knew this was Chloe, the exact same way I knew one of the main characters was gay. But now I wonder and worry - not about my decision because I know deep down that this is Chloe and this is Michael, but there is a weight attached to these characters now, which I'd never considered before.
I guess I'm just throwing my thoughts out there to the blogosphere because I feel a little out of depth, as I've seen so many people write about diversity and challenges of writing about other ethnic groups etc. but maybe I'm being VERY naive but I know who Chloe and Michael is, can't I write them as they are? Can't I treat Chloe and Michael the way I treat every other character? Isn't their skin colour and sexual orientation just a part of who they are, but is not the whole of who they are? Why should these characters be treated differently? If I think of Chloe and Michael as individuals with loves, hates, desires and fears aren't I being true to them anyway?
Am I being stupid and naive about this? People say write what you know, but my stomach actually twists at the thought of changing these characters. I really feel this is who they are.
I guess I just need to push this out of my mind and write the characters for who they are. . .
But any thoughts/comments/advice please share!!!