Stereotypes are generalizations or overgeneralizations that tend to be incorrect and unyielding. They limit the way we see the world and our understanding of who we are and why we are the way we are. Too many fictional characters are confined by stereotypes. In this workshop, we will explore the creation of diverse characters. In your writing, you should not strive to create a cultural melting pot where cultural difference is absorbed, but a cultural mosaic where difference is accepted, even celebrated. In this class, we will complete and discuss a number of exercises toward character diversity in your novel. This workshop can help if you are just beginning your novel, if you have already started writing, and even if you are looking to improve a completed manuscript.
Venise Berry is the author of three national bestselling novels: So Good, An African American Love Story (1996); All of Me, A Voluptuous Tale (2000); and Colored Sugar Water (2002). Berry’s book of essays, Driven: Love, Career and the Pursuit of Happiness, is currently with her agent. Berry’s co-edited anthology, Black Culture & Experience: Contemporary Issues, was published by Peter Lang in 2015. She is also the co-author of two nonfiction film books, The Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema (Scarecrow Press, 2007 & 2015) and The 50 Most Influential Black Films (Citadel, 2001). Berry is an associate professor of Journalism and African American Studies at The University of Iowa. Visit her online at www.veniseberry.com.