I’m not even talking about he has coffee colored eyes. That isn’t so bad. People everywhere have at least seen coffee. It gives an idea of a direction. Although, I would like to remind you, coffee comes in various colors. Light and sweet makes me think a light brown. Strong and rich the darker side. Let me know where you’re headed. Or chocolate. I love chocolate. And if my character is fond of the food as well… Descriptions match to interests and desires. My dendro student is going to say your eyes are like the silver maple leaf’s back, almost a greyish green. My sailor will reference the ocean or the boat or the dock in his descriptions nine times out of ten. If I wrote a chef or someone who loves food, descriptions ends up in the obvious place.
What pisses me off to no end is “mister tall, dark, and handsome”. Then they go on to say the guy’s eyes are blue. Hello? Black people don’t have blue eyes. Dark skin does not match blue eyes. So he wouldn’t be tall DARK and handsome. He’d be more rosy cheeks type. You ruined him. I was all happy I got this good looking character and you white wash him. Ugh!
So it has me being more specific when it comes to adding Blacks into my story. I have to specifically talk about skin color and hair. Because if I don’t the stupid reader will think tall, dark, and handsome is white. No. That’s not the description I wrote. That is never the description I write.
No matter how much I rant on the topic it doesn’t change anything either. Give me my sexy Black hero back. At least don’t reference his eyes being blue. Say they’re brown. Let me have my fantasy.
Why do I even bring this up? Why is this even a rant?
My writer friend asked for my help for her “Mister tall, dark, and handsome”, so me being me I started going with the sexy Black male. Then she realizes we’re talking about two really different characters. I was no longer allowed to help.
Writing from a Black’s perspective, do I have to reference their skin being Black? Even at five? So the reader doesn’t assume “I” is this little rich white kid with nothing going wrong in life? The only real reason a kid starts noticing their skin is different is because they are treated differently. Before that difference in treatment, it’s in the same category as pointing out the firetruck is red and the police car is blue.
How about I just don’t say anything about skin color? Not at first. Let’s screw with you. Here’s a snippet of Kitty’s story:
“Six in the evening and we’re waiting before the school. Eleven wolves in the group including myself. From my pack, Chelsea Moore is the only other female who is unshifted. She’s a beta blood and by the ease she has with leading, I’d call her a beta.”
Her last name sort of gives it away, right? Ha! My mc’s best friend is Black. You can’t make me change it. And it’s not referenced until later that her skin is dark. You need to read basically an entire page before getting the description.
“I glance at Chelsea. Her skin is dark; dark enough to gain Miss Miller’s poor treatment either way. Sometimes I wonder why Chelsea and her sister Lily willingly go to school. I’m not mistreated by most of the humans. I’ve seen the damage done to Chelsea by an ill meaning person before, and she cannot do anything because it was a human. No one messes with a Moore in pack. Or even within wolves. Beta Moore earned his title of third position.”
I’ll stop venting now.
Can you just stop taking away my sexy Black hero? Please?
FYI: That tall, dark, and handsome picture is going to be Alex in Dragon Rider. My second draft is three thousand times better. Alex makes a lot of people hot and bothered. ::
“You are sneaky. And dangerous. And scary.” I pause thinking back to Yule’s comments. “And desirable. Although I can’t for the life of me see why.”
“Dagger to the heart.” Alex touches his chest focusing on me now. “Are you saying you don’t feel at ease being with me?”
“Yes, but that is not the same as having attraction as half the high schoolers seem to have.”
Alex huhs. “Only half? Thought it was more.”