*Point to character/character development; WHO do you want to see?
Imagination + Character= Representation
Representation will always matter, especially in the media. This type of visibility grants those whom identify as any minority to see themselves in places where they may not have been before.
This is invaluable.
The award-winning writer Walter Mosley said that in order for a minority person to exist in the culture they have to exist in the fiction. Think of it this way—identity is existing! It is existence! It is mirror and a door in a world that doesn’t want people whom are not part of acceptable majority to see themselves outside of stereotypes! Your characters provide an existence, even in the face of a world that doesn’t want you to exist!
When you create your story it is a sense of identity, even if you leave pieces of yourself in it. In the immortal words of Beyonce’ Giselle Knowles Carter, “I was here.” The people that hide in your head and talk to you through ink or screen—they deserve to be here, too.
Give them the chance to be in the world that you inhabit. Rest assured that someone needs to see them—in order to see themselves.
I know the debate between traditional/physical books and e-books is always evolving.
I also know that the passion to write is independent of books and their formatting. Allow this post to be your reminder to what it is you want to do! Formatting, page counts, they will always be there. That is the trouble of the work. It is just what we have to deal with. The quicker you get used to that, the easier your time writing will be and become.
What I will tell you as a cardinal rule is this:
If you want something quick, make an e-book.
If you want to say a lot more, do a BOTH (a physical book and a e-book).
Giving your readers options allows you as the writer to broaden your fan base, expose them to other stories you are working on, as well as builds the confidence you need (or will need) to continue writing the work you want. As a writer you must learn to cultivate as well as build. You do this when you master all tools at your disposal.
A good craftsman doesn’t ignore his tools–or how to reuse what has been overlooked.
*Points to genre; WHAT STORY DO YOU WANT TO WRITE?
Ah, the magic (and menace) of genre!
As a BIPOC writer, you will run into this quandary (more than once) of a potential reading audience, beta readers and almost fans who will tell you some permutation of this sentence (speaking as a Black woman who writes, this is what I have been told more than once):
“Black people don’t write _________.”
It never gets easier to hear, or less aggravating to explain. The writer and MARVEL comic icon, Christopher Priest, explains such stupidity this way: “A real writer can write anything.” This is the quote that I use to diffuse any apprehension that I have to writing anything, or being relying on any other opinion other than my own to determine (or influence) what genre I want to write or what I want to write for it!
The story, the idea, the process is all mine. I didn’t need approval to start, and I will not require it to finish. Just like I fire the little White man on my shoulder who thinks his critique and approval for my work is salaried position—I dismiss those unsupportive people who tell me but for my race, I can write anything that I want. Just not that genre.