Creating Characters Who Check Other Boxes

My mind is turning over the topic of writing characters of ethnicities, genders, nationalities, religions, and romantic orientations different from one’s own. Writers write characters that are different from themselves. They observe, interact, interview, research, and they imagine. A writer takes the human experience and lays it on top of these observations and imaginations and adds invention to create characters of all realistic and fantastical varieties. This is how all works of fiction, good and bad, have been created. A writer who writes only what he or she knows is incapacitatingly limited. Still, cultural appropriation is real and detestable. How, then, does a writer continue to write varied characters of a multitude of ethnicities, genders, nationalities, religions, and romantic orientations without trompling on others?

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