Wednesday, October 19, 2011

INSANITY!!! Day 3- The Other Edition

The INSANITY!!! Day 1 winner, according to, is...

Entrant # 4...


Congrats, Sidrah.

In literature, there's a certain type of character that appears more often as the protagonist. In YA, that's a white, female, who's at least fairly fit and heterosexual. Any MC (and to some extent it also applies to secondary characters) who doesn't fit that norm is Other.

There's a lot of talk, especially in YA circles, about our responsibility to write the Other. I think writing stereotypical Other characters or ones you're not passionate about is worse than no Others at all. Before you write an Other, think about what that will really mean.

How does being Black/ Asia/ LGBTQ/ fat/ short/ developmentally-challenged/ academically-challenged (etc) affect your character? Go deep, don't just think about the surface ways. What does being fat mean for going to parties? What does being Black mean for college choices? What does being gay mean for which countries a character dreams of visiting?

Today, for INSANITY!!! Day 3, it's the Other Edition. Up for grabs, some of the books I've read this year featuring an Other MC.

 One of the best things about this book is that Hanna's (the MC) struggles with who she is aren't the main focus. Because not every Other character spend s all day thinking about their Other-ness. She's half Finnish and half-Black, but the strange, paranormal goings-on in her town in the American South are the bigger issue.
 This book is as multicultural as they come. About a Muslim girl, torn between not letting her school friends know that she's Muslim in the midst of all their post-911 issues and really enjoyng many of the facets of her Muslim heritage. Also, it's set in Australia.

Marcelo is somewhere on the autism spectrum. This is the story about a boy who sees the world in a different way, but is being forced to interact with it.

To enter, tell me in the comments:


Open until Wednesday, 11.59 pm.
Open to everyone - international and non-followers as well.

Don't forget the only way to win on Friday is to send me your 10 books every writer should read.


Sidrah said...

Thank you so much, Claire =)
I love new (and free) books. Lol.

Marcelo in the real world sounds like a good book.


Sana Castellano said...

Ten things I Hate About Me and Marcelo are two books I would love to read, because I am a Muslim and I am researching on autism in college. The paranormal part of Bleeding Violet fascinates me.=)

To answer your question : I would love to see more doctors (because I am becoming one), more simple village girls, Africans, cannibals, yoga teacher and a kid who is mature for his/age age. Long answer, I know.. =D

PS : loving the way you write INSANITY!!!
PPS: Already have sent the list. =)

Amparo Ortiz said...

I've been DYING to read Marcelo and Bleeding Violet! *dies*

An Other I'd love to see more of is a main character who's Hispanic, not in a gang, has good grades in school, and isn't buff :) But honestly, anyone who's interesting should be the MC of any story. Sometimes authors give a bit more life to the supporting cast, and that, to me, is a sign that maybe that story should've been told by someone else.

♥Iffath said...

OOH, why haven't I read Marcelo in the Real World yet?!? Ten Things is AWESOME (Aussie books FTW) and Bleeding Violet has been on my wishlist forEVAH. I should really buy it soon, yes?

I'd like to see more musical characters, like Mia and Adam from If I Stay and Where She Went. They rock. And maybe some more Muslim characters. Not many of those around. I'm a Muslim myself and it would be refreshing to see more in YA.

And more aspiring writers! And photographers (I am going now...)

brookea_2006 said...

I'd love to see more characters that are mature and strong for their age. Thanks for the giveaway!

brookea_2006 at yahoodotcom

Eden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yahong Chi said...

Okay, so maybe this isn't a specific character, but I'd love to see interracial relationships. Like, an Asian character with a white character, or black character with Asian character.

Thanks so much for the giveaway -- I've wanted to read Marcelo in the Real World for forever!

yahongchi @ gmail . com

Anonymous said...

Love the theme of this Insanity Edition! And the books you're giving away sound quite cool.

Strange how little this typical MC you describe represents the actual population reading YA... The people who commented so far are a perfect example of this, as are you, as am I. Half-East-Asian European/North-American girl engaged to an ethnically South-Asian African/North-American guy. (We'll have beautiful babies. LOL)

I know I would enjoy more variety in "races" displayed, while keeping in mind that mixed people are more and more common, and just because everybody thinks you're Chinese (argh) doesn't mean you feel any less "white" or "Western" inside. It's something different to look the part, and actually come from the Third-World.

But even more than that, I think I'd like more forays into homosexuality, bisexuality, etc. Its makes that much more sense in YA, because they deal with an age group for whom these questions are crucial. I know I have a few YA projects of my own featuring non-heterosexual MC or interrogations about my characters' sexual orientation. It just seems natural to me. Who hasn't gone through that?