Differentiating Peoples

Victoria Aveyard’s novel, The Red Queen, follows seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow, a common girl who is drawn into the king’s palace through a chance meeting. Aveyard’s futuristic world is divided by blood—there are those with Red blood who are doomed to serve those with Silver blood. The assumption is that those who bleed red have no special talents and actually enjoy a life of servitude and drudgery. Those who bleed silver are gifted with superhuman abilities and so deserve to be held in high esteem.

The driving force behind the novel is the acknowledgement that not all people are the same. Some have natural-born talents to do amazing things, while many of us will go through life barely scraping by.

When you write a story, you people it with characters large and small, wealthy and not, intelligent or slow, able or disabled. Because our world consists of varied peoples, your world should also in order to mirror reality.

It is not an easy task to cover a spectrum of humanity without making it look fabricated or trite. Choose wisely, always thinking of those you meet as you go about your day.

For example, there is a wheelchair-bound man who sells snacks and cold drinks outside the metro station. A computer genius lives next door and you turn to him whenever something goes wrong. On the other side is a handyman who can fix almost anything. How about the autistic teen who loves to take apart electronic devices and make them work once again? The woman who climbs telephone poles to install fiber optic cables and drives race cars on the weekend.

Your task is to create a scene in which your character interacts with a variety of people. Choose one in particular to become an important supporting member of the cast. Let the others be chance encounters who enrich the character’s day.

After you’ve finished, reread to make sure that you have not stereotyped by race, gender, sexual preference or ethnicity.  Look to see if each moves, thinks, speaks in a unique way. Reach for a natural flow for the action/movement of the story.

Have fun with this one!

Good luck.