So, you’re a writer and you’re worried about writing outside your immediate experiences and identities.
Here is the thread of practical advice for you.
Are you trying to solve racism/sexism/colonialism with your work?
As writers we love stories about heroic writers whose work has changed the world. And as such we like to look to our own writing to solve societal problems.
But if you’re looking to play saviour with your words, it is unlikely that you will do the marginalised people you are trying to save justice.
But as such, you are still making the reader read about someone being awful to people like them for most of the story.
There’s a huge difference between writing a story with a diverse cast that reflects the complexities of the world and a story which looks to represent them to the world.
I would strongly advise against writing a story that centres on the struggles of being gay in a oppressive society if you are straight.
Ask yourself what your story is ABOUT.
Eg: Why does your mermaid stand in for an Asian woman have to be white in order to be sympathetic?
Very often, I feel people are implicitly asking me for permission.
And I understand, there is this weight of expectation and responsibility that you want to be free from.
Self awareness can be uncomfortable, and you think perhaps this can help you return to that state of innocence and grace.
It doesn’t work like that.
We all worry about hurting the people we are writing about.
Marginalised writers, if anything, worry more abt such because we intimately know the hurt that can be caused.
We remember the many books that have disappointed us.
We worry about accidentally confirming or validating stereotypes and further entrenching them in our culture.
If we are diaspora, we worry about our authenticity and being estranged from those cultural impulses.
We all worry and I sincerely believe this is a good thing.
It is what keeps us honest.
It is what makes us do better.
There is a tendency in humans to desire rules, of what should and should not be permitted.
It is very easy, however, once you’ve reduced things to rules, for some to forget why something is bad.
To start looking for loopholes and exceptions.
And it is the constant societal repetition of certain stereotypes and ideas that creates harm.
Symbols gain meanings.
Very often, a single instance will seem trivial.
As such you have to understand these things in aggregate, as patterns.
Stop it with the thought experiments about likening cheongsam to lederhosen or asking if blackface is the same as a child wearing a long-sleeved Thor costume that has that bare arms with white skin.
It’s about history and repetition and cultural memory.
Symbols and actions and tropes all gain meaning through the people who have used them, who have weaponised them before.
This isn't about you.
I know it feels bad to be shouted at when you know that you have good intentions, but it's not about any given individual's intentions.
But the hurt of cultural appropriation causes is very real and you can't argue your way out.
This isn’t about how to lawyer up before the verbal accusations begin.
Listen and believe people when they say something is bad.
And yes, there isn't always consensus, and that's also okay.
No culture is a monolith.
It's not your place to demand those who love it to defend you.
It's not your place to demand consensus.
Only by actually understanding this can you avoid these issues.
So stop worrying about your reviews.
Be very aware that there are many people who are more written about than writing.
But if your only sources are written by outsiders, then it is very easy to pick up unconscious biases or outdated ideas.
Also be aware that, say, Norse myth has been claimed by Nazis and you don't want to be reading their websites.
Things written for tourists, for example, will often be looking to package the culture in a way to appeal to the traveller, to sell them that experience.
One of the reasons why marginalised people are so able to write about the dominant culture is that we often don’t have our own fiction, we are used to empathising with the Aragorns and the Tony Starks.
You will likely thus have blind spots.
For example, white people often aren’t aware about the discussions around the Asian "double eyelid”.
Marginalisation means having these aspects of culture be hidden from the mainstream.
If you’re writing about a culture that is not your own, it is very possible that you’re not aware of those tropes about it and within it.
You won’t necessarily know what has been done to death and what you should perhaps avoid.
But for black women, being seen as desirable is still very rare in fiction.
Which is to say how Uhura being single in The Original Series was not empowering.
So whilst trying to avoid the evil, inhuman savage, be aware that the opposite stereotpye of the noble savage is equally insulting and two dimensional.
These dichotomies are themselves toxic and should be torn down.
The wesbites and many resources on the internet. Writing the Other is an excellent place to start, they have a specific section on cultural appropriation that I recommend you read. Attend one of their workshops.
Buy their books. Promote their work.
If nothing else, but that friend a coffee.
This is labour and they deserve to be paid.
Returning to the first point about wanting to play saviour with your own writing, remember there is more that you can do than just write about something.
Don’t set yourself up as a spokesperson.
Tell people about their books.
RT their tweets.
Cite them as your sources.
Recommend their books to your friends.
Include their books on lists you write.
You can read it in paragraph form there.
signing off with this incredible thread by @djolder re: criticizing art, the inevitability of imperfection, and the genuine benefits of discussing different responses to works of art from multiple perspectives.— Saba Sulaiman (@agentsaba) August 22, 2018
criticism \u2260 an attack.https://t.co/66YOz7WseV
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My primary goal when I pitch is TO ENGAGE THE AUDIENCE EMOTIONALLY. Yes, I'm telling the story, but for me storytelling is a vehicle that delivers emotion to an audience. I structure my pitch around emotion.
I learned this from my TV boss, Greg Walker.
How do I do it?
Two things I make sure I have in my pitch.
1. An early moment, usually in the first 30-60 seconds of speaking that creates a VIVID, EMOTIONALLY PROVOCATIVE IMAGE in the mind of the listener. We're pitching movies and TV. Those are VISUAL MEDIUMS. I drop that image early.
Sometimes, even though I can't draw, I'll sketch it out just to make *sure* it works. It'll usually revolve around a plot point, but the main goal is to get the audience to stop listening and start SEEING what I'm saying.
Then it's like storytelling at a campfire.
Having that image EARLY in your pitch can let the audience know that THIS IS INDEED A MOVIE. Once they can see the movie, then they're a little more with you. It still may not be the movie they want, but it's a movie. That's a win. The second thing I do is --
Today we learn health services are brutally underfunded with scant support for hard pressed staff, although it\u2019s left unclear who is responsible for that and it appears to be an exceptional, totally unpredicted phenomenon, like a freak weather event. pic.twitter.com/StwFR7RejE— Flying_Rodent (@flying_rodent) January 25, 2021
We also don’t learn that the paper it’s written in stridently supported those measures and attacked junior doctors threatening strike action over NHS cuts and long working hours, accusing them of holding the country to ransom.
We aren’t reminded that NHS funding and the future of health provision was a central part of previous election campaigns, and that attempts to highlight these problems were swiftly stomped on or diverted and then ignored by most of the press, including the Times.
I’d underline here that “corruption” doesn’t just mean money in brown envelopes: it describes a situation where much of an organisation is personally motivated to ignore, downplay or divert from malfeasance for personal reasons - because highlighting them would be bad for careers
Foges was Cameron’s speechwriter at the height of austerity; Forsyth is married to the PM’s spokesman; Danny F is a Tory peer; Parris is a former MP; Gove used to write for them regularly, and that’s before we get to professional mates-with-ministers like Shipman or Montgomerie.
A blend of @david_perell's process and SEO:
1/ David starts with a quote, a vague idea, or a concept that generates curiosity.
2/ Then, he searches inside his note-taking system for extracts and reflections related to the prompt.
These ideas come from his daily knowledge consumption.
3/ He then assembles extracts to create a narrative around a thesis.
An incomplete thesis will make a reader bounce. While the opposite makes them crave more of your content.
4/ Some of us never built a database.
To fix this, type your prompt into Google and examine the search results:
-People also ask
-Related searches at the bottom
These will help you structure your post while following SEO practices.
5/ After creating an outline based on his notes, David rewrites sentences, words, and paragraphs from memory.
He adds personal anecdotes, analyzes ideas, and creates his narrative—A process he defines as POP writing.
The essence of any good communication is simplicity. It’s the same in print, television, radio, online, or attaching notes to carrier pigeon’s legs.
In the sixties, a Granada current affairs show set the template for using a visual medium more effective: it was pioneered by a remarkable fellow called Tim Hewat, a flavour of whose personality is here:
Up to this point, most television in this country had been akin to putting radio on television: most of it was beyond parody though this from Harry Enfield is spot on -- the patronising smug tone that meant the BBC was nicknamed "Auntie" --
And take a look at the longest running TV show as it then appeared: https://t.co/T4FdppnQMo
(Patrick was a brilliant broadcaster. The point I am trying to make is the medium was not exactly groundbreaking in the visuals department)
But first: Why do we so often write rules in passive voice? Outlining the "laws" of our game feels like a very formal position with an of aloof authority. Avoid that voice.
Question any instance of "the player" in a sentence. If you are addressing one player, address them directly in the first sentence of the paragraph and use "you" thereafter.
"If you are the first player, you may X, Y, then Z. If you X, see next page."
Examine any of these words or contractions. There is usually a more succinct way of phrasing that sentence in the present tense and direct address.
"The player who has just moved must..."
"After you move, you must..."
If you want to put yourself at the table with the players, do so CONSISTENTLY. A random "we" in one paragraph really sticks out. You can even play with voice that way.
"We suggest using option A for your first game."
"Ahoy, cadet! Use option A for your first game!"
"YOU MAY BUILD, HARVEST, or REST."
Break up action options into a bulleted list rather than a long sentence. e.g.
"On your turn, do one of the following:
• Build: Pay X to place a card.
• Harvest: Destroy a card to gain X.
• Rest: Draw a card from the deck."
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Devotion is important than anything.
Satyabhama, royal princess was very proud of herself. Rukmini was very humble, her devotion was pure to Shri Krishna.
One day, Rishi Narada( Kalahapriya) arrived in Dwaraka and met Sathyabhama. In between the conversation he hinted that Krishna exhibits affection more to Rukmini than her. Worried Sathyabhama asked what can should be done to gain Krishna's undivided attention.
Narada asked Satyabhama to make a vow, that she will hand over Krishna to him as a slave, if she cannot trade wealth equivalent to Krishna's weight. Narada thus convinces Sathyabhama that Krishna will admire her for sacrificing all her wealth for him.
Sathyabhama was sure that she have enough wealth to balance Krishna.
She went to Krishna and told about her vow to Narada. Krishna patiently listened to her and accepted the challenge. Satyabhama arranged to bring large scales to weigh and brought all her precious jewels.
Krishna patiently sat on one plate of the Scales (tula). Sathyabhama started piling up the gold, jewels on the other plate. She kept adding more and more wealth, but the pan with Krishna did not even budge. Even after keeping all her jewels the scale did not move a little
I was standing outside, waiting for a lyft to get home, when two cis men came out of the bar to smoke cigarettes. They're discussing the masks that folks are wearing in California at the moment because of the very dangerous air pollution from the fires happening.
I happen to be wearing one of those masks, because I think lungs are important and I like breathing. I dunno. One of the men notices me standing there, and says, "Like this f*cker right here. What is this shit?"
He goes on a homophobic rant about me, the pansy with a mask, and what a Very Manly Man he is because he's not afraid to smoke a pack of cigarettes while California is on fire. He doesn't need a mask, because something-something-heterosexual-something.
And part of me is just... impressed by the fact that this dude thinks he's Owning The Gay Libs by not wearing a mask to protect his lungs from smoke and particles in the air that are literally DANGEROUS... while chain-smoking. Outside of a bar.
One of the 32 Narsimha Kshetram of Andhra. It has a unique form of Narsimha, appearing like a shivlingam
It is said that Narsimha’s fierce nature is soothed by worshipping him with Varaha, considered a peaceful deity
The shrine is believed to have been constructed by Prahlada. With time, it crumbled.
In Treta yuga, King Pururava was passing from here in his vimana. The vimana was attracted to this place by a mystic power.
When the place was unearthed, the deity was found.
Pururava’s wife, Urvashi, had a dream that the deity should remain covered in sandalwood paste for the whole year except on Akshaya Tritiya.
This practice has continued till date.
The mukhya mandap here, has a pillar kappam stambham believed to possess curative powers.
Chandanotsava/ Chandan Yatra is the most important festival celebrated on Akshaya Tritiya. The sandalwood paste is removed from the moolavar deity and nijarupa darshan (original form of deity) for twelve hours of the day are done by devotees.
While main deity is Shiva as Kapartheeswarar, the kshetram is famous for Ganesha, known as Swetha/Vellai Vinayagar (white Vinayak)
During samudra manthan, Vasuki snake (used as rope) started spewing venom.
Unable to bear the intense heat, Devas rushed to Siva. He told them that this was because the task was started without getting Ganesha’s approval.
So the Devas created a Ganesha murti from white sea foam and worshipped it.
It was later taken by Indra to Indralok.
But once Indra had to come to Earth to pray to Shiva to seek relief from a curse inflicted on him. So he brought the murti of Ganesha with him. When he came here, he wanted to take bath before puja. So he gave the murti to a boy to hold for sometime. The boy was actually Shiva.
He kept the murti down and vanished. Indra could not lift it again and a divine voice told him to let Vinayagar stay there and visit every Ganesh Chaturthi to pray.
Since Vinayagar is made of foam, no abhishekam is done here. Only punugu is applied n camphor powder is sprinkled
(Very long thread but useful) 1/n
Shashanka was a Shaivite king of Gauda with his capital being Karnasuvarna.
He is often accused to be a persecutor of Buddhists by the certain historians prejudiced folks to form a picture that Hindu kings were also against other religions just like the muslim kings. 2/n
Much of Shashanka's life after 619 CE is not very much known to us. Historians primarily cite from a few sources like 1) Banabhatta's Harshacharita and 2) Hsuan Tsung's Si Yu Ki(SYK), both being 7th century texts and 3/n
3) Manjushri Mula Kalpa(MMK), an 8th century text sometimes also dated as a 12th century text. 4/n
The method of accusing Shashanka as a Buddhist hater is established by saying that Shashanka desecrated Buddha's sacred marks, destroyed the Bodhi Tree in Gaya and replaced the Buddha statue w Shiva after which he died as he incurred a mortal flesh-rotting disease 5/n