Is…is this a joke?
I’ve answered a question similar to this before, but I’m going to break down your message and go all out because people still aren’t getting it:
"include colored people"
It’s 2014. Why are people still using “colored”? If you’re not black, do not use this word. It has a negative and derogatory history. The preferred and inclusive term is POC, which stands for “person of color”. Common related terms are WOC: woman of color, MOC: man of color, QPOC/QWOC: queer person/woman of color, and COC: character of color.
"But I find it a burden, because I have no idea how to write them!"
Writing a character with a skin tone other than yours is not some big mystery or a chore. You are writing a character. Just like any other character, they should have a personality, a background, likes, dislikes, development, faults, and a part in the story. However, you still need to research characters of color in fiction for various reasons. Go through the “characters of color” tag on my tags page to educate yourself and do some of your own research.
my books are about sophisticated people, usually rich, intellects and royalty.
A person’s intelligence is not defined by race. However, in a racist society, a person’s race or culture may affect their access to education and it may affect how educators see them or treat them. The Ann Arbor decision is an example.
Sophisticated people are knowledgeable and experienced. What makes a person sophisticated varies by culture. They are often stylish, refined, organized, confident, and have manners. Anyone can be sophisticated.
People can acquire wealth in many ways. It could come from luck (the lottery, oil on their property, etc.), their career or business, or inheritance. While race can, unfortunately, affect a person’s chances of getting a job and their pay, wealth is not exclusive to white people. I don’t know where you would get an idea like that.
Royalty is worldwide. There have been kings, queens, princes, princesses, noble people, emperors and empresses, and other rulers found everywhere. If you’re thinking about European royalty in the past, POC have married into European royal and noble families.
And I don’t think it would market very well because readers don’t care about the ghetto life :/
I really don’t have anything to say other than the obvious “not all black people live in a US ghetto” when it comes to that assumption.
There is an audience for stories that talk about life among communities that would be considered a “ghetto”, but you are not the person to write it. That much is obvious from your message. People come from different backgrounds and that background can be anything in fiction, especially in fantasy and sci-fi.
Readers want to read good stories and good characters,but they also want to see people like themselves in stories because representation matters:
This doesn’t end with race. Maybe if I had seen a male bisexual or gay character who was not portrayed as being murdered or hurt because of his sexuality, who was not used as a punchline, who was not a stereotype that I felt I had to live up to, and who was not subject to other forms of homophobia, biphobia, and bi erasure, then maybe I wouldn’t have spent five years freaking out about being bisexual and maybe I wouldn’t (to this day) be afraid of bringing up the subjects of bisexuality and representation (outside of the internet) due to not knowing how other people around me might react. I can’t even talk about it with my parents or any straight people I know.
Straight people are either afraid of writing queer people because they don’t want to mess up or they don’t want to write queer people out of spite, hatred, or ignorance. Queer people are afraid of writing about their experiences because of the discrimination they face and because they haven’t seen themselves in mainstream media and therefore believe that it is not “marketable”. This cycle continues until someone steps up and challenges this system. The same thing happens with race. When this cycle is broken, the people who are receiving this media can be inspired, can have higher self esteem, and can be more confident in who they are. This doesn’t mean this cycle is completely broken. It’s far from being completely broken.
Now, when you say:
I’ve seen a lot of pressure on tumblr for writers to include colored people in their works. But I find it a burden, because I have no idea how to write them! I also don’t see anywhere they could fit in, my books are about sophisticated people, usually rich, intellects and royalty. And I don’t think it would market very well because readers don’t care about the ghetto life :/
you are saying:
"I see these people as inferior, whiny, and not worthy of representation because they have not proven their humanity to me, because they are so different that I cannot possibly relate to them, and because their feelings of anger, fear, and other negative emotions as a result of bad representation, or lack thereof, make me feel guilty."
*I’d like to add more to this previous post of mine because you mentioned the same thing as the anon in that post and because I forgot to add this
bad analogy to the other post:
Let’s say you’re in math class and you just cannot understand what is going on. You get frustrated, you give up, and you fail. But, let’s say you go in for extra help and your teacher helps you see it a different way. Your teacher may be angry about this, maybe because they’ve explained it so many times and students aren’t getting it or maybe because they’re tired, but you can go elsewhere for help too. You can go to a previous teacher, you can look it up online, you can look in your book, you can ask a friend, or you can see a tutor.
Suddenly you understand it. You may be excited to do it because you now know what to do, where you went wrong before, and what not to do. Then you see your classmate having trouble as well and you decide to help them. They end up understanding it and the great pressure to pass the class will be lifted because you understand what you are doing. And even if you make a few mistakes at first, there will be overall improvement and your teacher will be more willing to help you fix those tiny mistakes. Later, when half the class fails the test and your teacher sits down in disappointment, you know that your teacher is not mad at you specifically because you passed the test. Maybe after that you’ll start a study group to help other people, which will raise your grades while also relieving your teacher of frustration and making the class more enjoyable for everyone.
The same effect applies to writing misrepresented and underrepresented groups. If you understand the problematic portrayals, the stereotypes, the effects of bad representation, and what not to do, you will know how to write these characters and you will want to write these characters. You will show other people that they can do the same. You won’t be under this pressure because you took the steps to lift it.