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Writing Characters in the American Class System

Lot of writing is unrealistic (“fantasyland”) cause it doesn’t engage with the realities of class. Important when you are writing a character to decide — is this character rich? Poor? Middle Class?

If character is rich, have the character have a lot of promiscuous sex in rooms with a lot of shiny metal. Have them have, if a woman, a dress that shows her back muscles. If a man a suit. Have the character curse a lot and have large ingots of precious metals — in the pocket of suit (if a man) — in a small clutch purse (if a woman).

If character is poor, have character have a lot of promiscuous sex in rooms with no furniture or cinderblocks or on a dock. Have the character curse a lot and use cool slang. If black the character could be a rapper or perhaps sell narcotics. If latino could be a maid or sell narcotics. If white could have poor dental hygiene, scrappy, lots of kids, bad car.

If character is middle class should be spend most of time worried about being murdered or mugged by poor characters or fired by rich characters. Should have very little sex and be interested in dogs and/or watching shows on netflix.

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One thought on “Writing Characters in the American Class System

  1. Dunno. There are advantages and disadvantages of using economic class in writing. An advantage is that it’s a familiar category, so readers (or in your case, viewers) will immediately know what you’re talking about. A disadvantage is that it’s unrealistically limited, since economic classes are only one form of in-groups and out-groups.

    I suppose that in most cases, it’s better to use familiar in/out-groups because you don’t have to explain them and can focus on details that are more germane to your story. However, middle-class characters should also use words like “dunno” and they should definitely have lots and lots of sex. I need to work on that last part.

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