Was telling a friend today about how I was supposed to be writing out a plot for a treatment when all of a sudden I had this idea for a dark fantasy story. I wrote the dark fantasy down, since it was fresh in my head. I’m glad I did. Now here’s something I thought about as I wrote my notes down. I want the main characters to be black. With most of the fantasy stories I don’t see people of color, and as a fan of the genre, I’d love to see more. Rather than insist that others write this for me, I’m in a good position to create this fantasy myself. So I have something I like in the works.
Now this is where I see a non-issue I wanted to discuss. Years ago, in my budding years of starting my artistic endeavors, It was suggest in part by theory, and in expectation that artists that happen to be minorities should exclusively address minority issues and topics. That’s not true in my book, but it touches on something that does bother me. My characters don’t represent an entire community. They’re characters, have a lot of flaws, do a lot of wrong (I can tell by what I wrote so far), and they keep moving forward. I’d hate for my charters to be seen as symbols or political commentary on black culture/life.
While I can’t control how others feel or interpret material, I can say that I know where I stand with my own creations. Also I think creating characters like me in that they are from a minority isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it feels like a weight is put upon any creator who attempts to infuse (or inform) his/her material with some of their own culture/ethnic background. At the very least I imagine that afterwards I may be expected to write more “pure” characters who aren’t flawed or imperfect, or make my dark fantasy a “light” fantasy. Like I said, this is a non-issue, but writing it out gives me a certain amount of release of a line of ideas that may go nowhere.
I will say this, the dark content does get dark. I can’t see this story or any of the subsequent stories in this world being casual or light. Perhaps no one will demand a thing of me.
Happy creative endeavors.