Links? Lynx?

I’ve an accumulation of things from…the beginning in April? I think I’ll do these in a couple of posts, to keep things organized.

First, links on writing:

Fundamentals of Writing the Other Basically, Writing Beyond the Default 101. This is good. Also, lots of Julie Dillon‘s stunning art. (On a side note, she recently won the 2014 Hugo for Best Professional Artist, and is utterly deserving.)

Should White People Write About People of Color Listen to Malinda Lo. JUST LISTEN:

When white writers come to me and ask if it’s OK for them to write about people of color, it seems as if they’re asking for my blessing. I can’t give them my blessing because I don’t speak for other people of color. I only speak for myself, and I have personal stakes in specific kinds of narratives.

It also feels as if they’re asking for a simple answer, and frankly, there is no simple answer. Writing outside your culture is a complicated endeavor that requires extensive research, being aware of your own biases and limitations, and a commitment to delving deeply into the story. However, writing any fiction requires this. There are no shortcuts to writing fiction truthfully and well.

Cultural appropriation (from Aliette de Bodard)

When a writer is perpetuating horrible clichés in the course of their writing, when they’re propagating transparently false ideas of what it means to live in a place and/or a time period… This is cultural appropriation, and it’s bad–and whether said writer meant it or not doesn’t change the fact that they’ve egregiously mangled someone’s culture through lack of care.

Five Common Problems I See in Your Stories Chuck Wendig has smart things to say about doom and dream-teats and eating things made out of paper. And maybe some stuff about writing, too. I don’t know. I read this months ago, so why don’t you go and find out.

now i’m looking in the mirror all the time wondering what she don’t see in me (from Elizabeth Bear) “Everybody deserves stories. ”

And some resources:

Writing with Color What the URL says. Lots of questions, accompanied by good answers.

Diversity Crosscheck Tumlr “This Tumblr is intended as a platform for writers to interact with the very marginalized people they want to write into their stories, in order to minimize stereotyping. Nothing will ever be a 100% perfect portrayal, but this will hopefully open conversations and take us a step in the right direction. Diversify your writing. Don’t be afraid.”

2 thoughts on “Links? Lynx?

  1. I believe you write what you know. White people have lived with black people and black people had lived with whites. I was born and raised in Detroit and served 15 years in the Army. Black and white need and want the same. I believe writing about areas and cultures is hard. Different places need time and understanding. Can’t write a proper tale without knowing location, people and culture.

  2. Sorry for the delayed reply; I was away from my computer a couple days, so thanks for your patience!

    I agree that a good tale needs its feet, and really its whole self, steeped in knowing. And I think that ‘write what you know’ is an adage worth paying mind to, as long as one considers that there is always more to know–when I don’t know something, I try my best to educate myself until I do know (as best as I can, as knowing is ongoing, and really has no end, and some things I won’t ever truly know because they aren’t mine to know). Writing about areas and cultures not bound in our immediate experience is, indeed, hard–which is all the more reason to continue attempts at knowing, with vigor and care.

    And, of course, as you mentioned, people of color obviously, OBVIOUSLY, exist. Yet a lot of media refuses to acknowledge this truth–again, more reason to write what we know, and (in some cases, considering white privilege, our often insular lives–whether intentional or not–and so much else) to seek out with empathy what we don’t.

    Anyway, thanks again for your comment!

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