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Do you think the general public is ready for such a thing? : Conversation question • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Do you think the general public is ready for such a thing?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
N.B.Yomi
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby N.B.Yomi » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:13 am


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b.sherman
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby b.sherman » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:21 am

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TerryRodgers
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby TerryRodgers » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:10 pm


N.B.Yomi
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby N.B.Yomi » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:57 pm


James A. Ritchie
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:11 pm

In plain point of fact, the reading pubic has always read diverse novels, but it's also true that most readers and writers in America are white, simply from a numbers stand point. Most people enjoy reading about characters like themselves because they like pretending to be that character.

There are always exceptions, but it's much like the difference between men and women readers. Both will read anything, but the most popular novels with women are, by far, romance novels with women as the protagonist. And since most who write these are white, and most who read them are white, the protagonist is usually white, as well.

With men, most read genre fiction, and most often genre adventure fiction. As with women, most writers and readers are white, so most protagonists are white, as well. But a couple of black writers are very prominent in SF.

It really has nothing to do with what the reading pubic is ready for. Very, very few readers have a problem with black protagonists. They haven't had in a lot of decades. Books are no different than movies, and the public swarmed to Independence Day, The Wild, Wild West, and Django Unchained. Way back when, they went to see such movies as Shaft. And even back in the seventies, I remember reading several novels with black leads, and often with white female love interests.

What people generally don't like is diversity just for the sake of diversity. Most writers get into serious trouble when they try to fill a novel with diversity because they don't know what they're doing. They either get the characters wrong, or they stretch diversity to the point of unbelievability.

Of course the reading pubic is ready. They always have been. But ready doesn't mean they have to buy or like any novel, and selling well always means targeting the largest group of readers. This is easiest when you write protagonists they can relate to, but it also works when you write a novel so good they can't put it down.

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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:17 pm


TerryRodgers
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby TerryRodgers » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:18 pm

I think you need to enlighten me on your definition of nerd because I've been one all my life. From being a math wiz to a techy dork to having two left feet there wasn't an electronic gadget I didn't want to tear apart. And as a nerdy male I have no interest in reading romance. I'd rather watch an episode of Chuck or Eureka.

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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:22 pm


N.B.Yomi
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby N.B.Yomi » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:47 am

Last edited by N.B.Yomi on Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Basie
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Re: Do you think the general public is ready for such a thin

Postby Basie » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:17 am

I guess I'm being hopelessly dense or shamefully ignorant about your concerns. What I walk away with from your posts is your concern over being a "popular" author making $$$$ rather than a writer with a story to tell. (?)

As James has mentioned in a recent and unrelated post, there's a difference between a good story and one that is publishable. You may have a written a story that is publishable, BUT if it isn't publishable, I struggle to see why it would be due to the color of your MC's skin.
Writing is excessive drudgery: it dims your sight, crooks your back, twists your stomach & your sides....Three fingers write, but the whole body labours. ~Eighth Century Scribe~

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