I write people more than races!

I am going to be blunt.

I strongly hate majority of the things that humans do to each other and the planet Earth.

So, whenever I write fiction, I REFUSE to acknowledge Earth and all the issues of man. I write fiction, mainly fantasy and science-fiction to get away from any problems that being on this planet brings.

Yes, there are instances where I take a issue or something on Earth and write it in my story, but it is the fictional version of said problem.

When it comes to characters however, I prefer to write humans not races that you find on Earth, but human dealing with whatever life brings.

No, I will not write about a certain group of people to please them or anything of the sort.
I gotta do what makes me happy always.

So, I do not write about different races in fantasy and science-fiction.
Like my main character may have dark or tanned skin, but they are not African-American or any other race.

I try not to reveal their skin tone because I don’t think it is all that important.
I wanna focus on the character and their problems, joys, quirks, and more. Why should their skin tone even matter?

Sorry if this seems like a rant or something. I just prefer to write humans existing in other fictional planets that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Earth.

What do you think?

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Bump.

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I’m not saying you should do this, but a lot of sci-fi and fantasy writers address the race issue by creating fictitious races. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with escapist fiction. You should write what you want to read, and who wants to read about real world problems these days? ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯

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I browse writing with color regularly. More than you would assume.

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I have fictional races and species in my story. It is just that I prefer not to make them black, white, Asian, or any other human Earth race/nationality/or whatever far as skin tone.

If that makes a lick of sense.

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I just don’t care, overall. I’ll write about a blue gnome, a coal dark barbarian, a paperwhite troll, a jaundiced man the color of bandaids.

But yeah, I’m not writing about this world around 80%-90% of the time.

The problem comes in at when superficial parallels are too close for it to be comfortable.

For example, I know what a bride price is for, but a lot of writers don’t and it shows in writing about buying a wife. If I wrote it fairly culturally accurate, it would cause arguments about trying to make buying a woman look favorable: I mean, outright, I’d be called a mysogenist. Besides, the worst of the nightmares on buying women are things I don’t want to touch.

So, I write in the fields I like to escape a lot of the things I find dumb here.

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I agree. Some people should never do political commentary in fiction ever

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Umm

A Rudimentary Look at SFF and Race

I can understand why someone would want to ignore race altogether when telling SFF stories.

The issue of race tends to be ignored by the SFF community, even as late as the 21st century. Black writers have been historically excluded from the canon, categorising them under general black/African American literature (i.e. George S. Chuyler). And this is why eugenic vitriol by writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs had gone unchecked for many years (yes, Tarzan is quite obviously racist).

But the truth of the matter is it cannot be ignored. In fact, it is ubiquitous and essential to SFF’s existence. Racial theory, social construction, post/colonialism, post/structuralism and feminism have shaped the genre we see today.

A story, at its core, answers fundamental questions of human existence. And the way we make sense of it is through our own experiences and by looking at the world around us. There is always an Other — the persons different from oneself, it could be race, gender, power etc. In classic SFF, the Other(s) (“Indians”, Orcs, Aliens etc. caricatures and vilifications of non-European races) were essential to the formation of the hero’s perspective. The Other has taken a completely different form in modern fantasy, sometimes the hero is the Other from society.

Imagine a book based on Mars. The geographical movement to Mars transforms the human Other into an alien Other. It is a replacement for terrestrial othering focused on race, ethnicity, nationality and gender etc. These aliens have green skin and magic, and they are oppressed by a caste system (supposedly) removed from the human caste systems that exist in the real world. This fictional license is a convenient way to avoid the discussion of human Others. It requires no research to make up an alien species and entails no understanding of an oppressed group of people in the real world. Therefore, it has the capacity to suppress the discussion of real struggles experienced by many groups, and the importance of race, ethnicity, nationality and gender etc. to society.

SFF, more than any other literary genre, emphasizes invention, exploration, and speculation, and authors can utilize the genre to question traditional boundaries, social conventions, and hierarchies. So why then, would you not do it? If there ever was a time to explore contemporary issues in fiction, it is now — especially, with the democratisation of writing, reading and publishing. I am not saying everyone should write a lengthy treatise on race theory. Have a critical look at the issues of race in our society, and at least challenge a negative stereotype or two.

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Honestly, the only reason I mention things like skin tone is for appearance, not for race problems, but still point it out.

Your idea has its pros and cons. On the one hand, great way to avoid the race issue. On the other hand, representation can be pretty darn important in stories and it’s a great way to address real world issues in a fantasy world.

It’s kind of a fine line you’re walking and you’ll probably get some heavy backlash for taking race out of the picture ;-;

At the same time, it’s your story :thinking:

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Omg I can’t believe you wrote a whole post about SFF and didn’t mention Octavia Butler! But yesh, I totally agree with your post. ( ˆ◡ˆ)۶ ٩(˘◡˘ )

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Because you don’t wanna.

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Yes Octavia Butler is a very I important figure in SF and representation. I just haven’t gotten around to a proper research and analysis of SF post Samuel R Delaney :see_no_evil:

(And I want to add here that authors and stories are only part of the picture. Editors and readers also play a huge part in the discussion of race, gender & sexuality in SFF)

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I do the same…

In ICE there is a character that you would not even guess his origin, yet he is indeed a person of African origin. He has a name which is pinned to European origin, yet he is indeed an African. There is only one point within the story (and within this chapter) that takes a memory of his plight of escaping the coup within the Provence of Africa (as it is known at that time). He was just classed as a Merc and had to fight his way out of the country.

I use no dialect which would assume his origin, and I don’t see why I would at this point. Nor would I wish to… As far as I am concerned, he is a soldier first, a friend secondly, and he is part of the Global Security Office.

At some point he does indeed wish to return to his homeland (also stated), but with what has happened to Earth, he may find it hard to do so…

Sometimes we see characters, without voice, often without background. And we build these people within our telling. Often without origin. Does it mean more, or even less to drop a dialect and keep within our own language? Or should we fear the wrath, and include the right nuances of language? I think not.

However, I have written a Russian fellow into a short, who does indeed have the speech barrier, and often gets mixed up with what he says, and means. Is it stereotypical? probably, but it works in the context also. Which can be fun to do also…

Even though I would never wish to do harm within my works. Sometimes we just need to either find a good balance, or drop the fear of “what if?” and just write a good tale.

SD

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Makes sense and I do agree with you.

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I mean yeah I can reveal skin tones, but it readers get so pissy over the craziest shit.
I hate it.

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Afraid that’s the downside of being a writer. There will always be people who complain. But there will also always be people who support

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As @alenatenjo said, there’s always going to be people that get upset about things. Philip Pullman has some people thinking that because he killed God in the His Dark Materials books, he’s atheist or hates religion or something. But it’s a fantasy world, come on :woman_shrugging:

I’ve had someone all-CAPS yell at me for mentioning a character thinking about her period while lost in a fantasy world. But plenty people disagree with that person and don’t even really care if a character talks about her period :woman_shrugging: I still can’t believe a WOMAN yelled at me about mentioning a teen girl thinking about her period.

About race, most Humans on Elgana have red hair and/or darker skin. There is a really good reason for this :stuck_out_tongue: It’s about who most of them descended from and who arrived at Elgana first. And I don’t mention skin tone unless for some reason there’s a need to compare one Human with another Human, but not in a race kind of way, but more like when you see any similar creatures.

“Oh look, there are two cats. One is striped the other is not. Oh look, Humans. One has darker skin. I wonder if they own the cats?” (non-existent dialogue in my story, but you get the idea.)

Also, Elgana doesn’t discriminate by the color of skin (there is also a reason for this), so there really isn’t any reason for any skin-based racial discrimination things to be mentioned or to happen.

It can if you want it to. If it makes sense to the story. If not, then you don’t have to mention it at all. I only mention skin tone if there is a reason to compare or describe.

In Lone Gold, Daring Purple, Cypur, a pale-skinned, golden-haired Sorcerer boy meets a raven girl for the first time and since it’s the first time, I describe that her black wings fan out behind her and her skin is so dark, she camouflages into the shadows. And there’s a moment where Cypur and the girl hold hands to shake on something, and he observes how white his skin looks compared to hers.

There was a reason to mention. It was his first time seeing a raven girl.

But I don’t say whether or not either of them might have descended from a European or African Human. Those concepts don’t exist on Elgana anyway. No point in mentioning it. No reason to have to. And if someone has issue with that, well, that’s their problem :stuck_out_tongue:

So…that’s how I do it, I guess.

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Omg same there’s literally no way to win with these situations. Doesn’t matter if its bodies, race, religion, whatever, there’s no way to win. It’s really funny and really infuriating at the same time :joy:

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Exactly. Can’t win. Especially if they’re that passionate about it.

I just say “thanks for the feedback” while massively grimacing and rolling my eyes behind the screen :grinning:

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Maybe that woman was on her period with the way she was acting.

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