So instead of finishing writing, like, for example, the short story that’s about half done and would only take a few more hours, my brain insists on going back to Ostanes. Aside from the obvious (making it so it’s not so much talking heads), I noticed it’s basically a sausage fest, at least for the first half. And most of the characters are barely described right now (yes, that’ll be fixed), which means everyone will assume they’re white, able-bodied, straight, and cis. The last two aren’t things that will really come up without me having to force it in.
This is not acceptable.
But let’s talk total diversity (because I want people’s opinions on how to improve it). Diversity bolded and my questions in blue (so you can skip the teal deer if you want).
(Spoilers likely – also, this doesn’t take place in our world, but for simplicity’s sake I’m going to use Terran nationalities.)
Dr. Thomas Neill. White, somewhat overweight (although not mentioned very early), asexual.
Ostanes and Iosis. Multiple (not considered a bad thing in this setting). I need to do something about them denying they are, because it comes off as silly (first, research). But that’s a different issue. Ambiguously brown, probably mixed because he has curly hair. Their mom shows up and is Southeast Asian. We know basically nothing about their dad. Tall and very thin. Ostanes is pansexual. Iosis says he’s asexual, but likes to have one-night stands and make out with people at bars. Ostanes says it’s because it’s a power trip. I think it’s just complicated. Opinions? Iosis at least possibly has a mental disorder or personality disorder (that or he’s just a giant self-centered vain asshole). Ostanes has selective mutism, which I need to clarify.
Various undescribed guards. Easy place to add diversity.
Security chief. Pretty much undescribed. Woman, which I need to mention earlier.
Dr. Caro. Jerk. Male. No description.
Dr. Callis. One of Ostanes’ ex-doctors. Woman. Tried to seduce him, which is problematic. (Or at least Iosis insists she did, but he may not be an entirely reliable witness…)
Dr. Ginson. One of Ostanes’ ex-doctors. Male, no description. Could easily be a woman, which would make up for Dr. Callis.
Dr. Tross. One of Ostanes’ ex-doctors. Male, no description. Iosis thinks he’s a jerk.
Iosis’ victims. The few that are described are men, presumably white. I’m pretty sure that’s fine with me.
Uco. Overweight. Male. He has a heavy accent, but I don’t say from where. He could easily be a woman, but I’m afraid that that’s saying that making clothes is woman’s work? Or am I overthinking?
Uco’s assistant. Male, has Café au lait spots on his face. Could also easily be a woman. Maybe make Uco a woman and the assistant a man?
Delivery people. At least one is a woman. They’re otherwise undescribed.
Anita Trevino, Ostanes’ and Iosis’ mom. Southeast Asian. Woman (duh). Gorgeous. Probably has the same mental/personality disorder Iosis does because their personalities are very similar. One of the few people who can get the better of Iosis, and it’s wonderful.
Dusty. Who still needs a name change. Currently male. Going to be changed to a woman, possibly a woman of color. (Also, probably pansexual, but that won’t come up. I am NOT going to write young Ostanes walking into the kitchen and seeing his mother making out with his mentor. Not happening, but it’d be hysterical. Because I’m a jerk.) The other person who can chew out Iosis and it’s even better. Shows up as a fox (trickster archetype – actual talking animal fox) later. If I change him to a woman, is it problematic for her to be a fox? If so, suggestions for a different trickster type?
Mr. Hiddles. Rabbit of various anthro states. Male. Not changing, because oh god I lurve him. I lurve him to bits.
Elliana. Woman. Probably going to be changed to overweight, possibly a woman of color. Neill had a crush on her. She’s a fairy princess. Opinions wanted. The real Elliana was Neill’s kindergarten teacher, when he had a crush on her. Any problems there that I’m not seeing?
Three old women / witches (presented without judgement). I’m tempted to do the crone/maiden/mother thing, but I don’t think it fits. The king of fish and an ogre. Yes, this story gets odd. I need to foreshadow the change and read a lot more fairy tales to get the tropes right. It’s beautiful and I need to expand it more. It’s just so so lovely.