Lucy Hay

Writing Diverse Characters For Fiction, TV or Film

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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.
'A timely guide to creating original characters and reinvigorating tired storylines' – Debbie Moon, creator and showrunner, Wolfblood (BBC)
'Lucy V. Hay nails it' – Stephen Volk, BAFTA-winning screenwriter: Ghostwatch, Afterlife, The Awakening
'Packed with practical and inspirational insights' – Karol Griffiths, development consultant and script editor, clients include ITV, BBC, Warner Brothers
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233 printed pages
Original publication



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