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Choosing A Race For A Character:

Are there any Unfortunate Implications inherent in having an Author Avatar character who does not share your race? I don't personally care about my own racial identity (I'm white, big surprise), but I was thinking of adding some diversity to the cast, and one of the characters seemed like a good fit for being black, but he's largely based on me, and I'm not black, so I'm worried people will accuse me of ignoring racial issues. Is it insensitive to write nonwhite characters identically to how one would write white characters? It doesn't seem like it should be, but people are easily offended these days, dontcha know.
I'd say I'm being refined

Into the web I descend

Killing those I've left behind

I have been Endarkened
 2 nrjxll, Thu, 14th Mar '13 8:28:30 PM Relationship Status: Not war
It really depends more on the setting and character's specific background than anything else.

Honestly, I'd be more concerned about writing an author avatar in the first place.

edited 14th Mar '13 8:28:59 PM by nrjxll

Oh, he's not an Author Avatar by the "actual, literal author, generally idealized, stops in, breaking the fourth wall, with omnipotent powers" definition; he's the more acceptable, common "character whose identity, history, and personality are primarily based on the author's".
I'd say I'm being refined

Into the web I descend

Killing those I've left behind

I have been Endarkened
patience, young padawan
I don't think there are any right or wrong answers to your question. No matter how tactfully you handle race or gender, or your story's context, there will always be someone who will take offense.

The approach that I have always taken on race is to always recognize them as human beings first and foremost, people of [race/nationality] descent second. Don't mold a character around being Hispanic or Japanese or whatever, but depending on the setting of your story, do research the implications of being that race/nationality in that setting.
J.D.T.creates
Well, how does anyone feel about mixed race characters in a country where they not often seen in. For example, my character, Marco is Italian by nationality and speaks the language as his first. Ethnically, he is a mix of Polynesian, Amerindian, African, and European which explains his blond hair and tanned skin. Most people probably wouldn't have that picture in mind for an Italian, I think.
All of space and time, everything that ever was and could have been... and there's still nothing on tv
 6 montmorencey, Sat, 23rd Mar '13 12:35:58 PM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
So...yeah.
As someone who has lived in Italy for three years, I can reassure you on that account. While it might not be the stereotypical image that comes to mind, it is entirely possible for someone like that to be Italian. In my class, three kids were naturally blonde and blue-eyed, one was Chinese-Italian, one had red hair, light skin and freckles, and another two had light brown hair. There were only fourteen people in my class. Some of them had mixed ancestry, others were 'pure' Italian several generations back. Might be somewhat less in other cities, but in Genoa, you also have black people aplenty down by the harbour.

Admittedly, I went to an international school, but I met a lot of people with mixed ancestry who didn't. It's not as rare as you might think.

edited 23rd Mar '13 12:38:20 PM by montmorencey

Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
Of course, Reality Is Unrealistic. As such, what you want to do isn't counter-balanced so much by reality but rather, by what the audience expects. You can be accurate to life but if your audience doesn't believe you, it still breaks suspension of disbelief. Therefore, the trick here is to align your audience's expectations with what you want to do (or with reality, if you so wish).
 
 8 joeyjojo, Sat, 23rd Mar '13 3:12:45 PM from Opp North Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Even thought it's quite common to be of mixed race in real life. You're at risk of looking 'greedy' if you over do it. Giving a character multiple real-life ethnic ancestry is just as much a mary sue trait as making them Half fairy half vampire half elf dargon.

Unity in diversity
J.D.T.creates
Well, he does have an story reason for being so mixed (he's a Designer Baby). The only other characters who are significantly mixed in the setting are Catina, an Amerindian/African girl from Brazil(common there) and Junjie (Chinese/French) who grew up in France. I just mentioned Marco first since he does have an unusual back-story.
All of space and time, everything that ever was and could have been... and there's still nothing on tv
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 9
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