My photo
Delaware, United States
Deborah Hawkins, penned Debra Renée Byrd, began writing after a blank book project in elementary school and never stopped, fashioning stories based on her favorite TV shows and movies before creating more original works. She studied at the University of the Arts and Florida State University before settling down and graduating from Temple University. She now resides in her hometown of Dover, DE, where she spends most of her time at work or at church. She loves fantasies, superheroes, is a trekkie and a brown coat. She loves television and lives for Final Fantasy video games, having collected most of them. She has read a myriad of authors, and her favorite authors change whenever she finds a new book that changes her life... "When you can't run, you crawl. When you can't crawl...well, you know the rest." -Tracey, Firefly, "The Message"

Search This Blog

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Color Line

Now, I've actually had this thought in the back of my head for years, but not until recently has it started creeping closer and closer into my frontal lobes.

Do I want to change the color of my main character??

At the moment, and as I've always envisioned it, Ghuli has mirrored the likes of Rinoa in FF8 and Dagger in FF9. Can I add pictures? (edit July 24: NOPE. lol Just read a blog about a woman who got sued.)

Here are some links. Rinoa. Dagger.

That pale, large-eyed, black-haired damsel. I've had the Crystal Bearers described in the same manner. Fair, dark hair, dark eyes.

For the movie adaptation (you know, for the book I haven't even published yet), I have SERIOUSLY been monitoring Jodelle Ferland to make sure she doesn't grow into some awkward looking child as most adorable child actors do. She's succeeding, thank God.

I also want Kristin Kreuk to play her mother, but anyway, that's part of the point. This face is the thing right now, as seen on those Fallen novels and Twilight, and TV's version of Vampire Diaries, Snow White every 10 years. That innocent, pale-faced, dark-haired damsel.

I used to just wonder, "What would happen if I made Ghuli brown?" out of curiosity. My first thought has always been, "What would the jewels in her hands look like then??" That's the big thing that stops me from changing her color. The jewels are white because they look good against just-as-white skin. White jewels embedded in a brown hand? I think of pus. Gross, I know, but my mother's a nurse, so that's what I think of. I thought of changing them to red to compensate, but then, I thought of blood. I'll come back to this in a moment.

Now I'm thinking, since we're inundated with this stock face, while beautiful, I'm now wondering if I should change Ghuli's color to propose a new type of heroine? I don't ever really jump into the conversations about race portrayal in movies and such, but if anyone else read all the racist comments that happened after The Hunger Games came out, it's clear that people have their ideas of who's innocent and who doesn't matter. Would the population accept a brown-skinned (and when I say brown, I mean like the crayon color, since many people label tan people brown and brown people black) damsel/heroine, and will my story get the same attention, or would it be shelved under "African American" literature? Not that it couldn't be as popular, but would it?

One simple question birthed SO many other ones! Well, I guess then it's not so simple.

I just asked my sister, and she said, "It would definitely get people's attention."

It also goes deeper, as a symbol of me embracing MY color, as a black girl who grew up in Southeastern PA just north of Philly where everyone's Italian or Jewish, so my identity was shot to Hell by the time I hit the first grade.

I think it could work. Perhaps a Kerry Washington type face? She could be the face of the Crystal Bearers. It's blowing my mind right now. And it's not like I'll lose the Jodelle Ferland face. In fact, the Crystal Bearers, like the Humans, can be black AND white! Epiphany #2.

So, I think I can do this (and I know it means going through another read-through to change any instance of describing Ghuli and identifying the Bearers as exclusively pale, white, fair, etc.). I think I will.

So back to the jewels, I think an amber stone would work, even a diamond...Let's do this.

No comments: