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> The Writer's Block
anarch
post May 16 2011, 03:29 PM
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Roseanne Barr eviscerates Hollywood
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anarch
post Feb 8 2011, 12:05 AM
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I figure someone in here might be able to benefit from this (or know someone who might):

"The Institute for Interactive Journalism and the McCormick Foundation are seeking to fund four women-led projects that will rock the world of journalism.

We will fund individuals who have original ideas to create new Web sites, mobile news services or other entrepreneurial initiatives that offer interactive opportunities to engage, inspire and improve news and information in a geographic community or a community of interest. . . ."

$12,000. Apr 4/11 deadline. US-based projects only.
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auralpoison
post Feb 7 2011, 03:15 PM
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*bump*


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anarch
post Jun 24 2010, 03:14 PM
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QUOTE(Persiflager @ Jun 24 2010, 12:42 AM) *
Yes, also I can't really imagine how it works in practicality - surely even the most cursory physical description must imply race? I can't see how it would work to not describe someone at all.

I followed this link in comment 21 (ten tips for writing about race in novels). I'm not sure about the first piece of advice, to ignore race and focus on ethnicity; it seems like a bit of a cop-out to me. The fact that a character is black will affect how she moves through the world and how the world reacts to her in a way that, say, having Scottish grandparents won't.


Yes, and yes. The more I think about it, the more it seems like she's got an unrealistically simplistic view of the world. Or she's expressing herself poorly. I mean, Tip #1 is titled "Forget about 'race'" as if race and ethnicity don't cohabit the same person, but then in her detailed explanation there's "There really isn't a generic "African" race, for example -- there are groups who speak Kikuyu, Zulu, Ashanti, Fulani, etc." which acknowledges that both skin color and ethnicity can be forces of equal intensity.
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Persiflager
post Jun 24 2010, 02:42 AM
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Yes, also I can't really imagine how it works in practicality - surely even the most cursory physical description must imply race? I can't see how it would work to not describe someone at all.

I imagine that the writer you've quoted below wouldn't think of themself as defining a character's race as white by describing her as blonde and blue-eyed, for example, but it would require a leap of imagination (or great stubbornness) to picture her as anything else.

I followed this link in comment 21 (ten tips for writing about race in novels). I'm not sure about the first piece of advice, to ignore race and focus on ethnicity; it seems like a bit of a cop-out to me. The fact that a character is black will affect how she moves through the world and how the world reacts to her in a way that, say, having Scottish grandparents won't.


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anarch
post Jun 23 2010, 01:44 PM
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QUOTE(Persiflager @ Jun 22 2010, 12:40 AM) *
Edit: I liked the article's advice to acknowledge the whiteness of characters, at least to yourself; to get out of the default = white mindset.


Yes.

This part I don't think I agree with:

If my story doesn't require that my characters affiliate with a specific ethnicity (as with some fantasy or science fiction books, for example), could I err on the side of giving my readers' imaginations enough space to "see" the characters any way they choose?

It's their loss if they always picture an all-white cast, but defining an ethnic secondary character solely to "broaden kids' horizons" makes us guilty of patronizing them and tokenism. Not good.


Not for an author who's genuinely engaged in seeing and portraying the world in all its messily multitudinous, complex, constantly challenging glory.
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Persiflager
post Jun 22 2010, 02:40 AM
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Ooh, I missed that, thanks! Great article, especially the discussion in the comments. I will invest in some quality lurking time at that writing community.

I also liked one of the other links to tips about writing about race in novels.

Edit: I liked the article's advice to acknowledge the whiteness of characters, at least to yourself; to get out of the default = white mindset. That sounds like an achievable baby-step to writing well-rounded characters of different ethnicities.


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anarch
post Jun 22 2010, 12:46 AM
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drive-by posting, but:


Persi,

racialicious had a good discussion of a related issue a few weeks ago, dunno if you caught it:

Ask Racialicious: How To Read And Respond To Literature Of Color

Comment #24 mentions a writing community specifically for white writers interested in writing characters of color.
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auralpoison
post Jun 17 2010, 09:49 AM
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*bump*


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sukouyant
post May 28 2010, 01:45 PM
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Persi, I'm not sure. I think it's about asking yourself what you really *want* to write about, and what kind of effect you want to have on your readers when you're telling your story (all your readers, not just the ones from your own racial/cultural group).

I'm a fan of Octavia Butler's stories and what she does when it comes to race.

The one thing that's always bugged me is that her black characters never seem to worry about their hair. (with apologies! but still) Unless it's cropped short, my kind of hair (and presumably her characters') takes a very long time to manage and gets a lot of attention in my day to day life. (I swear this isn't a "why don't we ever see characters in the bathroom" kind of comment - even though it will inevitably come off that way standing next to Butler's genius.) If I were going around having adventures, finding my fore-mothers, traveling through time, there would definitely be a note in there about me putting on a hair-tie or braiding it out of my way.
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Persiflager
post May 14 2010, 05:05 AM
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Crossposted in the Busties of colour thread:

I think someone posted a link a while ago to an article by Ursula K. Le Guin regarding the lack of non-white characters in fantasy and science-fiction. I thought it was interesting, but it didn't really click with me until I started reading Octavia Butler's books. I'd get a few pages/chapters in before finding out the first-person narrator wasn't white, and it gave me a little jolt every time - I hadn't realised until then that I always assume characters are white if not immediately specified. Then I thought 'How weird would that be if it happened every time? If I had to get used to the default skin colour being something other than white? If I had to accept that jolt as normal?'

So, that made a tiny lightbulb go on in my head.

Anyway, I write stories, and have recently started worrying about the lack of diversity in my characters. It seems wrong to make every single one white, it seems dishonest to ignore race when describing them, and it seems really wrong to go down the route of tokenism and just change the colour of one without changing anything else about them (is that tokenist?). But my family/friends/cultural references are all overwhelmingly white, and I feel that I lack the tools to write realistic, non-cliched, characters of colour.

I don't want to force this into my writing out of political correctness - it feels like a big area of life that I've been ignoring, and I think my stories will be richer for thinking about this dimension.

Any thoughts?

[Also, hi pants! I'm going to one of their weekday retreats on Monday, and am really glad that you found it useful. By the way, I read your blog the other day and think we live quite near each other - I'm in Herne Hill. PM me if you fancy meeting up to get some writing done sometime!]


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pants
post Nov 24 2009, 06:29 AM
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Anybody still using this thread?

This weekend I went to an Urban Writers Retreat 35 for a seat at a table in a room without wifi for 8 hours and while that may sound a little ridiculous it was AWESOME.

I got 15 pages written and think some of it was even good.

Still feeling a little braindead but also back in love with my idea and my draft.

What do other people do to motivate?

I'm going top try to sort out my writing space with pictures and things that I find inspirational in order to make it a more inviting corner.


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This is a place where I talk about other stuff, and try to make it interesting.
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auralpoison
post Sep 10 2009, 11:00 PM
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Do shut up, FlyT.


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Persiflager
post Aug 20 2009, 11:06 AM
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Huzzah!

I might see if I can lure Bunny (I know she does a bit of writing) as well, and will email the people from my course.

We'll have to have a think about the mechanics of it - would it work using a blog site? I'd be happy to run it and post on people's behalf (anonymously if anyone's feeling shy!). I think we'd have to limit the length of each extract for practicality.

We could set challenges/exercises, then I could post the results together for comparisons and contrasts.

There might better ways of doing this - a forum? a closed site? - but blogs are about the limits of my internet-savviness rolleyes.gif

ETA: epinephrine, I've sent you a PM.


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epinephrine
post Aug 20 2009, 08:24 AM
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I would I would! I was actually thinking of suggesting something similar. I tried to start a creative writing group with memebers of my class after it ended. Three people (including myself) showed up to our first meeting, and it was really good, and I kept trying to get people together, but nobody ever showed up again. I gave up after three subsequent no-shows.

I just really need some kind of target for my writing. I can't focus if I'm writing for my eyes only. Even if I manage to get some words down, they're scattered and unfocussed and I quickly give up in disgust. So chalk me up for a big "yes" to an online writing group!


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Persiflager
post Aug 19 2009, 03:39 AM
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Sadness abounds sad.gif

Creative writing group all cancelled on our first meeting, and only one person besides me thinks that they might make it to another. I suspect chronic lameness!

It's a shame, because I find the group dynamic really helpful. The quality of the feedback isn't as important as the tacit permission to write, the respect that someone pays you by reading your words.

Do you think it would work to have an online group? I was thinking that I could start a blog, and offer to post people's work (or excerpts) and provide feedback in the comments. I'd probably mix it up with blog entries about writing and creativity, and if a few people were interested we could do group challenges and exercises.

Would anyone be interested in joining in?


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MadameHooch
post Aug 3 2009, 07:23 PM
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Stank - If you've kept diaries or journals, looking back can really help, because not only are you going remember what you did but how you acted. It can be really funny and interesting (and at times, embarrassing) to hear how you talked and what seemed important to you at certain times in your life. Another thing that really helps me is listening to music I was really into at some time or another. It's amazing the things that will pop back into your mind. I can't listen to a Descendants album without remembering the summer I was 15 and worked at a pool club - it was disturbing how often little kids would poop in the pool, sending masses of wet slippery people running for their cabana. Hilarioussssss.

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Stank
post Aug 1 2009, 06:39 PM
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Hi all! I'm new here and looking forward to posting in this thread - I'm writing about my life in work, just the different weird jobs I've held down. It's not really for publication just to keep my memories - and that's the problem..Does anyone have ideas for ways to jog memories from your own past?
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angie_21
post Aug 1 2009, 01:03 PM
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BTW Jezebel, I love your Evil Slutopia blog. Do you write all of it?
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girl_logic
post Jul 19 2009, 08:16 PM
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Epinphrine, did you know that there's a community of busties on lj, if you go that route?

Jezzie, are the conferences always held in New York?


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