Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Writer Magazine

I subscribe to free email of The Writer Magazine. It's full of interesting articles. Now, because I'm not a "paid customer", I don't get the access to all the articles... Even though they offer a lot of interesting articles for free (like importance of reading bad writing), there's always some that are not free... Like "To make good conflict, play with the motivation", "7 tricks for the perfect pitch", or
"The importance of inclusive writing"... which made me think of something people say to me all the time: "Don't write about gay people just because you would like to have a homosexual character in what you are writing, if you are not gay, because you don't know enough of their culture and might say something a gay person would never say..." 
Isn't THAT something really prejudiced to say? And it's usually gay people who say so.

I can understand that people are afraid to be described as charicatures and token samples of their group by chauvinist people, but what would the harm be, if I described the person just like any other person in the story, but just switched the gender of their beloved one? Is really the "gay people don't act like that, they wouldn't ever say things like that, have those hobbies, behave like that" the worst thing that can happen?
I perhaps need to try to be more clear. I have been thinking about inclusivity, and I would want to create a world that is NOT just white, heterosexual and Western. I was asking if I could just let the character kiss her girlfriend, the same way I would kiss my husband. The relation would be mentioned not because of her sexuality, but because she is the main character's BFF, and I want to add more color and depth to her character. My husband is an important part of my life, and I find it hard to imagine any BFF whose relations wouldn't matter.

Of course I don't know anything about being a gay and trying to hide that fact from the world, just as precaution, I know nothing about the things people do to avoid uncomfortable consequences, or... well... what ever motives people have. Some take the difference and turn it up, some play it down, and I know nothing about how people with differences different from mine do it, why and what are the consequences...

But in the same way, I know nothing about neuronormal people. I know nothing about people who are not white, female, social-liberal, polylingual, middle-aged, straight, Pagan, bla bla bla. In fact, most of the people know nothing about the life of people different from themselves - AND WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT - we are all unique individuals... so if people were to write only about what you know, and only about people who are like you - we shouldn't ever write anything. Except horrible egocentric memoires. What a wonderful reading that would be... >;->

Well, then there's "Zombies can bring your story to life". I haven't read the article - I can't as I'm not a subscriber - but I was thinking about the things zombies are symbols of... or some people I know who are like zombies. There's emotional vampires, why not emotional zombies?
Come to think about it... what if Edward WAS a "real life" vampire... emotional one. What if he "really" was "sparkling"... you know some people with such a charm they seem to be sparkling, dazzling, shiny things? You know these enigmatic, extremely attractive people you just cannot turn to look at? Aren't all the vampires always described like that? Most psychopaths and narcissists are very charming. They need their followers, fan club, entourage... they don't seem to exist without people telling them they exist...
What about writing Dracula but in modern time and with psychological vampire as Dracula? Bah. Someone has certainly come up with that idea several times already :-D

How to turn into a werewolf. Really interesting insight to the world of Otherkin.


mshatch said...

I have to agree, if I only wrote about what I knew I wouldn't write much of interest.

Helena said...

I've always thought that writing with empathy and understanding means you can write about all kinds of human beings who may not be exactly like you but are still human. So I don't like limiting myself.