“Period Typical Racism” – One kind of historical accuracy in fiction that I wish would go away

Want to throw me out of a story in no time flat?

Include “Period Typical Racism” in a book written after 1989.

(Seriously, I read one Miss Fisher book because it was recommended as a “feminist James Bond” and honestly, I’d’ve preferred to read Fleming’s James Bond books because at least I can go into them knowing that the guy was a racist misogynist.)

The thing about looking at and reinventing older genres like Noir and Gothic fiction, is that you have a duty to reinvent, not rely, on harmful tropes. It’s your job as a writer writing in the twenty-first century to take our century into context. It’s your job to look at what was written years ago and go “no, I won’t do that”.

It’s your job to be better than the writers who were working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Read More »