#BlogTour #AuthorInterview ~ Writing Diverse Characters by @LucyVHayAuthor @Bang2write @emmamitchellfpr

I’m welcoming Lucy back to the blog today .. I have previously stated her book The Other Twin is one of my books of the year. This time it’s a non-fiction book highlighted and Lucy has kindly answered some questions below 🙂 x

We’re living in a time of unprecedented diversity in produced media content, with more characters appearing who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), disabled, or from other religions or classes. What’s more, these characters are increasingly appearing in genre pieces, accessible to the mainstream, instead of being hidden away in so-called ‘worthier’ pieces, as in the past.

How to Write Diverse Characters discusses issues of race, disability, sexuality and transgender people with specific reference to characterisation – not only in movies and TV, but also novel writing. Taking in blockbuster movies such as Mad Max Fury Road, Russell T Davies’ ground-breaking TV series Cucumber and and the controversial novel Gone Girl, the book explores:

How character role function really works

What is the difference between stereotype and archetype?

Why ‘trope’ does not mean what Twitter and Tumblr think it means

How the burden of casting affects both box office and audience perception

Why diversity is not about agendas, buzzwords or being ‘politically correct’

What authenticity truly means and why research is so important

Why variety is key in ensuring true diversity in characterisation Writers have to catch up. Knowing not only what makes a ‘good’ diverse character doesn’t always cut it; they need to know what agents, publishers, producers, filmmakers and commissioners are looking for – and why.

This book gives writers the tools to create three dimensional, authentic characters … who just happen to be diverse.

Author Interview

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’m a trained screenwriter and work as a script editor now, so spend all day with screenplays. On this basis, I have to be a plotter – I don’t know any different! I get everything done a LOT quicker if I know what actually needs doing. In my work, I’ve seen waaaay too many writers get lost inside drafts without direction. That’s not to say pantsers don’t exist or get stuff done, of course they do, but I bet many writers would save themselves a lot of heartache if they did the foundation stuff first. I’ve even seen writers lose heart and give up altogether sometimes, it’s a real shame when we consider the solution is obvious.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them if they are particularly good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?

I’ve been a writer a long time now, so feel like I have a pretty thick skin (you need it!). I do read my reviews and as long as they’re constructive or obviously down to personal judgement, then that’s fine. No one HAS to like my work! I do get annoyed when there’s an obvious agenda behind a review, but I never respond. Besides, that’s what the ‘not helpful’ button is for! 😉

What is your least favourite part of the writing/publishing process?

Writing the first draft is such a slog, I hate that bit of the writing process. It feels like pulling teeth. I would far rather be rewriting pages, I enjoy tweaking and re-structuring and moving scenes around. I absolutely hate changing tenses or POVs. That’s really dull. In terms of the publishing process, the waiting is hard. Nothing seems to happen for ages and ages … and then suddenly they want everything YESTERDAY!

What are your favourite and least favourite types of scenes to write?

I like to plan – I find it soothing. When it comes to non-fiction, transcribing interviews is hard work and can be frustrating, especially when you don’t even end up using the content! But nothing is ever wasted, it’s always interesting to hear what people have to say.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

If I could somehow DREAM a fully written and edited manuscript into being, that would be brilliant. I’d have a whole library of books done by now!

About the Author – Lucy V Hay 

Lucy is a script editor and blogger who helps writers. She’s written three non-fiction books about writing, Writing Diverse Characters For Fiction, Tv & Film; Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays and its follow up Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays.

Her debut crime novel, The Other Twin, is out now with Orenda Books.

Check out her Website and all her books, Here

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