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What's your opinon on this story idea?


Registered Member
I hope this doesn't sound offensive...

I want to write a sci-fi story, have been wanting to write one since I first played Mass Effect 1. In the story, the protagonist appears to me as a black woman by the name of Commander Helen Chert, resident of Atlanta, GA and member of the United States Space Force.

Would it be offensive if I, a white man, wrote from the perspective of a black woman?

Her being black isn't a part of the story, my story doesn't care if she's black or not, but that's what she looks like in my mind.

I talked to a friend of mine about it and she said, "The fact you find it so unusual will be offensive to every black woman everywhere."

I do not find that unusual. I just want to write the story. Her skin color doesn't matter.

Is it that offensive? I just want your opinion.


Registered Member
I don't think there's anything inherently offensive about it. That said, you might want to have someone who is a black woman (or someone who's black and someone else who's a woman) who knows you and knows that you don't mean to be offensive read it with the purpose of paying attention for that.


Living in Ikoria
Staff member
I don't think it would be offensive if social issues aren't a part of this story, just space adventure.

However, to be an effective writer, I'd advise that you do get some opinions from African-American women as far as what the character might be like in this sort of setting. Do you have any friends that fit the description that have a little bit of interest in sci-fi?


Mark ov teh Pond
Offensive, no. People design characters with opposite genders and race all the time. The only possible way I can see it being offensive is if you deliberately use slang to make your character sound more convincing. Racial slang.

Even in the world of acting, writers can go too far and it's not uncommon for people to reject saying lines or playing roles if they felt it was too offensive for their image. Being a writer, and trying to bring a character to life is a difficult task that may at some point overstep boundaries.

I say focus on what it is: a Sci-fi. For starters, you said it involves Space. One can assume it also involves a man-made race of cyborgs hellbent on destroying the human race, or it has a really big phallic like spaceport where 10, 000 different RACES coexist. Your character is human, focus on their background as a whole. Skin colour is mundane. That's just my IMO.


Registered Member
haha, lol. No, it doesn't involve man-made cyborgs destroying the human race or a phallic-shaped space station. XD

It's just a story about a commander and her crew going on adventures.


I think it sounds like a great story idea, and I don't see how it could be offensive at all. Most authors don't usually write characters who could be themselves. Look at an obvious example, JK Rowling. She is a grown woman who wrote a very successful series of books through the eyes of a young boy. And even though they weren't the main characters, she also wrote hundreds of other people in there, some black, some chinese etc etc. I don't see anything offensive about what you plan to do at all.


Registered Member
Well, I guess I worry about people accusing me of writing a black woman as if she were white instead.

Not that it'd stop me from thinking about my character as being black because IMO, skin color doesn't matter. She could have green skin (cuz her dad's an alien or something) and it still wouldn't matter. Hell, RTD (who resurrected Doctor Who) had Ten run around with a black female companion and I didn't hear anyone fussing over it.

Jesus, I need to stop with the hand-wringing, finger-nail biting and just WRITE!! So what if my captain's black? So what if her birthplace is Atlanta, Georgia? So what if I want her to marry a white French-American man and have a child with him*? If someone doesn't like it, they are (of course) free to not read it. It's my story.

* Just a note: I'll probably do a time-skip after that so that their kid is a child of eight at most because the plot doesn't demand that I write about Helen's pregnancy and giving birth. This is if they decide to be parents. As crazy as it may sound, I let my characters write the story for me. If Helen doesn't want to be a mother, she won't be a mother.
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New Member
I don't think that's offensive at all. If you weren't racist, which you aren't, then her skin color doesn't matter!