The View From My Brain

iamthespacecadet:

I really just want to make a story about fantasy worlds that continue to advance at a technologically consistent rate so like, not urban fantasy which tends to have that “it’s now but there’s a ton of stuff U DON’T KNOW ABOUT” but like, Motorcycle gang dwarves and fashion model elves and wizards of high finance and like everyone standing around a water-cooler and they’re like-

“Who do you think you’re going to vote for this year? I mean King Shelmeth has a birthmark and a prophesy but he’s really strict about goblin immigration and Xarthon the Brave has that magic sword with the crown all on it and stuff but his taxation policies really leave something to desire, you know? And I just don’t know if either of them are really in touch with the fight for ghost rights, you know?”

And they all just sort of nod and mumble and the centaur stamps his hoof but then their boss walks by and they all pretend to be really busy with the copy machine.

This made me grin madly :-D

girljanitor:

asukaskerian:

celynbrum:

Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That.

gwydionmisha:

writeroost:

gwydionmisha:

As someone who originally trained as a social historian of the Medieval Period, I have some things to add in support of the main point.  Most people dramatically underestimate the economic importance of Medieval women and their level of agency.  Part of the problem here is when modern people think of medieval people they are imagining the upper end of the nobility and not the rest of society. 

Your average low end farming family could not survive without women’s labour.  Yes, there was gender separation of labour.  Yes, the men did the bulk of the grain farming, outside of peak times like planting and harvest, but unless you were very well off, you generally didn’t live on that.  The women had primary responsibility for the chickens, ducks, or geese the family owned, and thus the eggs, feathers, and meat.  (Egg money is nothing to sneeze at and was often the main source of protein unless you were very well off).  They grew vegetables, and if she was lucky she might sell the excess.  Her hands were always busy, and not just with the tasks you expect like cooking, mending, child care, etc.. As she walked, as she rested, as she went about her day, if her hands would have otherwise been free, she was spinning thread with a hand distaff.  (You can see them tucked in the belts of peasant women in art of the era).  Unless her husband was a weaver, most of that thread was for sale to the folks making clothe as men didn’t spin.  Depending where she lived and the ages of her children, she might have primary responsibility for the families sheep and thus takes part in sheering and carding.  (Sheep were important and there are plenty of court cases of women stealing loose wool or even shearing other people’s sheep.)  She might gather firewood, nuts, fruit, or rushes, again depending on geography.  She might own and harvest fruit trees and thus make things out of that fruit.   She might keep bees and sell honey.  She might make and sell cheese if they had cows, sheep, or goats.  Just as her husband might have part time work as a carpenter or other skilled craft when the fields didn’t need him, she might do piece work for a craftsman or be a brewer of ale, cider, or perry (depending on geography).  Ale doesn’t keep so women in a village took it in turn to brew batches, the water not being potable on it’s own, so everyone needed some form of alcohol they could water down to drink.  The women’s labour and the money she bought in kept the family alive between the pay outs for the men as well as being utterly essential on a day to day survival level.

Something similar goes on in towns and cities.  The husband might be a craftsman or merchant, but trust me, so is his wife and she has the right to carry on the trade after his death.

Also, unless there was a lot of money, goods, lands, and/or titles involved, people generally got a say in who they married.  No really.  Keep in mind that the average age of first marriage for a yeoman was late teens or early twenties (depending when and where), but the average age of first marriage for the working poor was more like 27-29.  The average age of death for men in both those categories was 35.  with women, if you survived your first few child births you might live to see grandchildren.

Do the math there.  Odds are if your father was a small farmer, he’s been dead for some time before you gather enough goods to be marrying a man.  For sure your mother (and grandmother and/or step father if you have them) likely has opinions, but you can have a valid marriage by having sex after saying yes to a proposal or exchanging vows in the present (I thee wed), unless you live in Italy, where you likely need a notary.  You do not need clergy as church weddings don’t exist until the Reformation.  For sure, it’s better if you publish banns three Sundays running in case someone remembers you are too closely related, but it’s not a legal requirement.  Who exactly can stop you if you are both determined?

So the less money, goods, lands, and power your family has, the more likely you are to be choosing your partner.  There is an exception in that unfree folk can be required to remarry, but they are give time and plenty of warning before a partner would be picked for them.  It happened a lot less than you’d think.  If you were born free and had enough money to hire help as needed whether for farm or shop or other business, there was no requirement of remarriage at all.  You could pick a partner or choose to stay single.  Do the math again on death rates.  It’s pretty common to marry more than once.  Maybe the first wife died in childbirth.  The widower needs the work and income a wife brings in and that’s double if the baby survives.  Maybe the second wife has wide hips, but he dies from a work related injury when she’s still young.  She could sure use a man’s labour around the farm or shop.  Let’s say he dies in a fight or drowns in a ditch.  She’s been doing well.  Her children are old enough to help with the farm or shop, she picks a pretty youth for his looks instead of his economic value.  You get marriages for love and lust as well as economics just like you get now and May/December cuts both ways.

A lot of our ideas about how people lived in the past tends to get viewed through a Victorian or early Hollywood lens, but that tends to be particularly extreme as far was writing out women’s agency and contribution as well as white washing populations in our histories, films, and therefore our minds eyes.

Real life is more complicated than that.

BTW, there are plenty of women at the top end of the scale who showed plenty of agency and who wielded political and economic power.  I’ve seen people argue that the were exceptions, but I think they were part of a whole society that had a tradition of strong women living on just as they always had sermons and homilies admonishing them to be otherwise to the contrary.  There’s also a whole other thing going on with the Pope trying to centralized power from the thirteenth century on being vigorously resisted by powerful abbesses and other holy women.  Yes, they eventually mostly lost, but it took so many centuries because there were such strong traditions of those women having political power.

Boss post! To add to that, many historians have theorised that modern gender roles evolved alongside industrialisation, when there was suddenly a conceptual division between work/public spaces, and home/private spaces. The factory became the place of work, where previously work happened at home. Gender became entangled in this division, with women becoming associated with the home, and men with public spaces. It might be assumable, therefore, that women had (have?) greater freedoms in agrarian societies; or, at least, had (have?) different demands placed on them with regard to their gender.

(Please note that the above historical reading is profoundly Eurocentric, and not universally applicable. At the same time, when I say that the factory became the place of work, I mean it in conceptual sense, not a literal sense. Not everyone worked in the factory, but there is a lot of literature about how the institution of the factory, as a symbol of industrialisation, reshaped the way people thought about labour.)

I am broadly of that opinion.  You can see upper class women being encouraged to be less useful as the piecework system grows and spreads.  You can see that spread to the middle class around when the early factory system gears up.  By mid-19th century that domestic sphere vs, public sphere is full swing for everyone who can afford it and those who can’t are explicitly looked down on and treated as lesser.  You can see the class system slowly calcify from the 17th century on.

Grain of salt that I get less accurate between 1605-French Revolution or thereabouts.  I’ve periodically studied early modern stuff, but it’s more piecemeal.

I too was confining my remarks to Medieval Europe because 1. That was my specialty.  2. A lot of English language fantasy literature is based on Medieval Europe, often badly and more based on misapprehension than what real lives were like.

I am very grateful that progress is occurring and more traditions are influencing people’s writing.  I hate that so much of the fantasy writing of my childhood was so narrow.

Wanna reblog this because for a long time I’ve had this vague knowledge in my head that society in the past wasn’t how people are always assuming it was (SERIOUSLY VICTORIANS, THANKS FOR DICKING WITH HOW WE VIEW EVERYTHING HISTORICAL). I get fed up with people who complain about fantasy stuff, claiming “historical accuracy” to whine about ethnic diversity and gender equality and other cool stuff that lets everyone join in the fun, and then I get sad because the first defence is always “it’s fantasy, so that doesn’t matter.”

I mean, that’s a good and valid defence, but here you have it; proof fucking positive that historical accuracy shows that equality and diversity are not new ideas and if anything BELONG in historical fiction. As far as I can tell, most people in the past were too bloody busy to get all ruffled up about that stuff; they had prejudices, but from what little I know the lines historically drawn in the sand were in slightly different places and for different reasons. (You can’t trust them furrigners. It’s all pixies and devil-worship over there).

So next time someone tells you that something isn’t “historically accurate” because it’s not racist/sexist/any other form of bigotry for that matter-ist enough for their liking, tell them to shut the hell up because they clearly know far less about history than they do about being an asshole.

Awesome.

THIS POST LIFTS ME UP

IT GIVES ME LIFE

MORE LIFE THAN I’VE EVER HAD

IT’S ALL I’VE GOT

IT’S ALL I’VE GOT IN THIS WORLD

AND IT’S ALL THE POST I NEED

Read, read, read, everybody. You’ll be wiser for having read all of the above!

Every time someone lays out some historical facts like this I think of the monastery ruins I visited in Sweden this summer. Nuns lived there in the middle ages. That’s not unusual in itself, of course, but one of the saints revered in their Church was Katarina (St. Catherine) of Alexandria, an Egyptian Princess who suffered martyrdom and became a Saint. She was very popular across large parts of Europe, and many of the nuns in this monastery (Gudhem) actually took her name. For those who do not know, upon becoming a nun a woman will shed her secular name and take the name of a saint. And we’re talking about Northern Europe, people. Katarina of Alexandria, being an Egyptian princess before she became a saint, must necessarily have been a woman of colour. So that whole shit thing about white peeps in Northern Europe never having heard of nor seen POC in the middle ages is just so utterly absurd.

I sympathised with Granny but I also felt a deep vexation. She loved Em and thought it would be enough. It wasn’t. Love is never enough. Madness is enough. It is complete, sufficient unto itself. You can only stand outside it, as a woman might stand outside a prison in which her lover is locked up. From time to time, a well-loved face will peer out and love floods back. A scrap of cloth flutters and it becomes a sign and a code and a message and all that you want it to be. Then it vanishes and you are outside the dark tower again. At times, I was young, I wanted to be inside the tower so I could understand what it was like. But I knew, even then, that I didn’t want to be a permanent resident of the tower. I wanted to visit and even visiting meant nothing because you could always leave. You’re a tourist; she’s a resident.

— from Em and the Big Hoom, by Jerry Pinto. 

Probably the only book I’ve come across recently that talks of mental illness in this familiar intoxicating and yet, so dangerous manner. It draws you close, too close and before you know it, the words have cut through your bones with their clarity, and just…truth. Reading a chapter every two days, and it’s still too much on some days. 

Almost making me wish I hadn’t seen Monsieur Pinto’s ugly side before reading it, would have enjoyed the book more. Now, I mostly fear his craft.   (via woh-battameez)

Wow that does sound frighteningly accurate. *adds book to to-read-list*

Gee, I don’t know how to research writing Characters of Color tastefully:

missturdle:

1.) It’s not hard to figure out what to do, there are plenty of resources.

People say you have to get it right, do your research, but … what else are you supposed to research? It’s not like people with more pigment in their skin have completely different personalities than those with less, any more than any individual. It’s frustrating when I can’t even figure out what the heck people are talking about.

Bam. Research step one done for you.


2.) Writing characters of color/minorities is a good thing.

I don’t like the notion that fantasy authors are under some kind of obligation to present ethnically diverse worlds. I’m English, and a fair sized part of English history consists of unwashed beardy white people in mead halls. If I’m inspired by my own history and cultural heritage, then that’s what I’m damn well going to write about. I’m not writing about some other culture just to appease the people who think there aren’t enough black characters in fantasy, or whatever. You want it, you write it. Nothing to do with me.

You’re wrong.


3.) Your all White Fantasy Land Didn’t Exist in Real Life:

…the rather medieval one has more diversity than real medieval Germany probably had […] In a world with medieval means of transport, it just doesn’t seem natural to me to mix dark-skinned people with blue-eyed blondes in one setting. I just try to give the people a colour that fits the place where they live.

You mean like the people from Africa and the Middle east who began to take over Southern Spain, as well as the Jews who were pretty well spread out throughout Europe, the Middle Easterners they would have met on the Crusades, and the incoming Mongol Hordes who spread to the very edges of Eastern Europe before the empire finally collapsed? Don’t forget that Turkey is right there, and the silk road would have gone from Song Dynasty China, through India, and ended in Turkey before moving further westwards into places like Germany. Also the attempts at the Franco-Mongol alliance would have been pretty interesting. (That’s about the 13th century - arguably smack dab in Middle Ages Europe and definite contact between France/Christian Europe and the Mongolian Empire.)

Unless you’re writing everything in the far reaches of Denmark or something, historically speaking, I call bullshit on people who have societies that are only all white ever, because it’s just inaccurate. Consider the relative closeness of Northern Africa to Spain, or Turkey to the rest of Europe, the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Crusades, Slavery existing in Europe, including England, the slave trade, imperialism, Pax Mongolica, The Silk Road, Jewish Diaspora, the Islamic Empire vs The Holy Roman Empire, Egypt, Algeria, China’s sailing across the world, The Maruyan/Gupta Empires of India, tea trades, Columbus sailing in hopes of finding China, etc, etc, etc.


4.) I mean I just don’t believe you anymore. It’s unrealistic. Seriously guys.

You’d think I’d just denied the holocaust or something. Get a grip. All I said was that I’m going to write about my own cultural experience and anyone who thinks I should do otherwise for the sake of political correctness can bugger off.

This isn’t even about being PC this is just not being wrong about everything.

good lord.

This is a terrific set of resources. If I ever do manage to write that book I intend to, these will come in very handy. And to add to the research bits. It’s not actually that hard to find information online.

Warning: info-dump coming up.

I just want to add a bit of historical knowledge about the “far reaches of Denmark”, some of which is my own background knowledge, some of which is stuff I’ve found with a few quick google searches.

As far back as the Stone Age - which is considerable BEFORE the middle ages or medieval times as you might call it - the Danes traded with people from the Mediterranean lands. How do we know this? Because stone was moved between those places. Danish flint has been found in Norway (and that, too, is a long way away - if Denmark are “the far reaches” what the hell is Norway?), and Danish amber has been found around the Mediterranean. In the Bronze Age metal was imported from the South into these far reaches of Denmark.

And now we reach the Middle Ages. Digs at Haithabu, Ribe and other Viking Age and Medieval towns show that the Danes at this time traded not just with what is now Germany, Sweden and Norway, the Danes sailed to the British Isles and traded there. They sailed the Baltic Sea and up the rivers of Russia. They traded with most of Europe. How do we know this? Because some of the coins found in the dig sites I mentioned up above are Arabic and Roman in origin.

Sure, the population density when it comes to people of colour will definitely have been less in the Scandinavian countries in those days, but to pretend that nobody even knew of the existence of people of colour is disingenuous.

If I recall correctly the first Christian missionaries started doing their thing in the North somewhere around 6-700 AD. The most famous of them in Denmark was Ansgar in the 800s. This is not even the late Middle Ages. It’s the early Middle Ages. And Christianity came from a place largely populated with people of colour. It has since been white-washed to a ridiculous degree, but you can bet your arses that people knew of non-white people up here back then.

Oh, did I mention how the politics in Northern Europe in the later Middle Ages were actually quite aware of how things were going around the Mediterranean? How people from up here did actually also join the Crusades and go to Jerusalem? How people up here joined holy orders of one kind or the other and went on pilgrimages? How they brought back knowledge and new friends? How they sometimes also brought slaves back with them? Yes, this goes far back.

So anyway, yes, if you want to write something that’s 100% white you need to not only set it in Scandinavia, the history of which most of the English-speaking world is surprisingly ignorant about considering the fetishism of our Mythologies that’s going around (Thor, anyone?), you also need to actively ignore the history of the Scandinavian countries. Not that that should be difficult, considering aforementioned ignorance.

So anyway, I realize that the “far reaches of Denmark” was a quip about how far you’d need to go to have a realistic all-white ‘world’. The thing is, on this planet I can’t actually think of a place that’d be far enough away from everything else to justify it at all. Not even Denmark in the Bronze Age.

And if you go further North into Sweden, Norway and Finland you’ll end up bumping into the Nomadic peoples of the North, who had/have connections Eastwards into Sibiria and have never been considered white by white supremacists. Heading to the islands of Iceland and Greenland? Don’t make me laugh. Though Greenland is still part of the Danish monarchy, let’s not pretend that its people are considered white Danes by any means. The racism that Inuit peoples are met with here in Denmark, which ought to count as their own country, makes it not their own country at all. And guess how long the people of Iceland and Greenland have been known to the Danes due to sea travel? That’s right. Since the Viking Age/early Middle Ages.

tl;dr

There’s no way to use History as an argument against inclusion of people of colour. Not even in the stereotypically white-washed and white-fetishized Scandinavia.

tchy:

I seem to recall a 30 Days of Worldbuilding (or some similar number) going around a while ago, but now I can’t seem to locate it. Does anyone know where I might be able to get the questions for it? Anyone have a link? Feeling up to an archive-diving session? Anything?

Because I have the edges of…

Reblogging again because I think I’ve found it!

http://www.web-writer.net/fantasy/days/index.html

Is that what you were looking for? It seems very useful.

SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A FANTASY:

tchy:

blocky-sheep:

oliviawaite:

missturdle:

How exciting! Fantasy is so fun! You can do anything you want to your universe, because it’s fantasy - which is really great, because you’ve always wanted cats to talk and everyone else to share your distaste of squash. Plus you could have magic! Or not, you know, low-fantasy works too. Maybe it will be another Epic/High fantasy, and surely you’ve got a trilogy in the works, or perhaps you’re writing steam punk…anything your heart desires! This is so fun!

What’s that you say? You say you have a hero in mind? Wonderful! Your hero is a strapping young farmboy? Yes? Well, okay. It’s been done before, but I trust you. He’s an orphan, you say? And the Chosen one? Oh, well alright. (Hey you steampunk novelist. Don’t walk away. I noticed you were writing about a young boy who wants to be an airship mechanic. It’s okay, just keep following along.) There’s a great big evil he must defeat in order to save his town, village, country, or the world? Well yes, there does need to be some antagonism in this story, so I’ll let that go, and of course your big evil needs monster or henchmen or something, and yes, this kid really does need a wiser, more experienced person to hel-he’s a man too?

Well you know it wasn’t uncommon for older men and younger male warriors in training to carry on relationships in certain societ- hmm? Oh they’re not gay? Are you sure?

I suppose. If you really feel that way. I just thought it would be interesting and realistic is all, but let’s get back to your story. So he needs a mentor, because he’s only a farmboy, and this older man actually knows what’s going on, but he can’t explain because…well you can think of why later.

What’s that? Oh! There’s a girl character? Lovely! What’s she like? I’m sure the hero here needs a friend, perhaps, or maybe a sister, or another advisor, and maybe just maybe- oh.

She’s the love interest?

Are you sure?

She’s particularly beautiful. Sweet, giving, and has been eying the hero now that he’s gone through some warrior training, and of course she’s graceful. (Is she an elf?) Oh, you gave her a sword. Well that’s a relief, those monsters/henchmen we tossed out into your world are crawling all over the place and so it’s a good thing to keep- she can’t wield it, can she?

No, no, you gave her a broadsword. Her fingers are soft and smooth like silk, you just described this two pages ago. A swords woman has callouses. And even if you lie about that, or gloss over it, you just gave a petite blonde a broadsword. (Do you know what a broadsword is? Have you ever tried lifting one, and then swinging it around for a half hour? Nevermind, don’t do that. You’ll hurt yourself trying.) She just lost the fight. So the hero could save her.

Let’s do this over again.

Particularly beautiful, blahblahblah, no broadsword. Okay. Good. She can’t fight? Well no, she couldn’t fight, she was trying to wield a broadsword on foot. That’s just not practical. What, you mean she really cannot fight? Well that seems stupid, she needs to do something-embroidery?

She’s going to embroider things? And do what, make the perfect cross stitch?

It’s because she’s a woman?

She’s a woman so she can’t fight, but she likes to embroider-

STOP. STOP STOP STOP STOP!

We’ve gone too far! This is absurd. She lives in a world where danger is at every turn, and the worst she can do is bat her eyelashes and faint? Nevermind her craftiness, it’s not like she gets to use it to stitch wounds on the battlefield.

What do you mean it’s realistic?

This isn’t realistic! How is she alive when you’ve painted a big red target on her back that says “Beautiful noble thing the hero cares about - steal me, I’m helpless to stopping you!”? Well but she’s a woman, and women were supposed to be cooking and cleaning and having children in this time. What time? Whatever do you mean, dear novelist? It’s unrealistic to have her be powerful, she’s a girl!

But this is a fantasy novel! There’s no such thing as having to stick to one time period, and remember, we were so excited to do whatever we wanted to in the world because of this being a fantasy novel and all! But this is like Europe! It was a misogynistic society! There was patriarchy! I am trying to be accurate in my portrayals!

THIS IS “EUROPE” WITH MAGIC AND THE UNDEAD. OR STEAMSHIPS. AND FIRE BREATHING CREATURES. THERE ARE DARK FORCES INVOLVED. THIS ISN’T GOING TO BE ACCURATE.

Fine, you know what? You want accuracy. That’s cool. It’s okay to base your world off of stuff in the real world. So that’s why she can’t fight! Why are you arguing with me on this?

Well because maybe it’s why she can’t fight! But maybe it’s not. Let’s just FORGET Europe.  Look at Japan - women in Samurai families could train with weapons in order to defend their homes! that was a patriarchal society, and they still trained those women to fight. Or how about Mongolia? Not only were women in charge of the supplies, home tents, and animals, but they could choose to marry and were supposed to initiate sex. And they could fight or be a battle strategist too! And hey, Genghis Khan actually made selling, kidnapping, and raping women illegal under his rule! Maybe we can avoid implying that all brown people have mandatory rape festivals!

Get this, she doesn’t even have to fight to be powerful! [ableist slur redacted], huh? A woman wrote the first modern novel, remember? Maybe she’s a novelist, and wrote the equivalent of the Tales of Genji. Maybe she’s a diplomat, some of the Mongolian women acted like that. Or maybe she’s an adviser - a political adviser. Maybe she’s the Queen! She’s not the Queen? Well, maybe she’s running the show behind the scenes. Or she’s a spy. 

Want to hear something even [ableist slur redacted]? Not all societies function/ed under the western notion of what equality should be! Sometimes being the woman of the house means a whole hell of a lot because you run the place where people eat, sleep, and live. And the men have a totally different separate function in society that is not greater or lesser in standing. You remember seeing all those reblogs on why its not okay for white girls to run around in Native American war bonnets, right? They’re worn by men who have earned that right in battle, and women generally don’t wear them. They had their own regalia. A lot of non-western/white cultures don’t have the same norms, traditions, domains split between men and women but that doesn’t make it misogynistic or even unequal. Try looking up stuff like dual-sex/dual-gendered systems, female husbands, and matriarchies and patriarchies existing in the same culture or society. Not all cultures function the same way white Europeans do! Remember that when world building.

So your girl could totally be in charge of the household and not be a simpering helpless blonde. That household may put her equal to her husband or the hero who goes out and fights without a domain.

Remember that hero we had at the beginning? He’s now without supplies, transportation, food, a place to live, or any money or support. All he has are weapons. Because the women of your world are in control of the households. Men are warriors. Whoops. He’s not going to get very far without supplies. Now he has to learn to deal in this society by protecting the female domains who keep him supplied and clothed. Maybe he has to take up quests in order to afford the way to defeating the bad guy.

What’s that?

You want to write women who do stuff besides have babies? Awesome.

You still want her to be good at embroidery?

Fine by me. Just fine by me.

What do you do with that farm boy now? Don’t ask me, I don’t have the damnedest idea.

Reblog — reblog — a thousand times reblog!

There’s female vikings and shieldmaidens, Queen Boudica, pirate women, just to stick with warriors. There’s women who worked as field nurses in just about every single war ever, and if you think that’s not a skill worth writing about I’m not sure I want to read your books. And who do you think runs everything while your farmboy hero empties out towns of able bodied men to fight in his adventure war? Embroidery? Who the hell has time for that when there’s a farm to run, a mill to keep working, the town’s law to uphold and it’s defenses to coordinate. If your farmboy takes all the men into his army, someone is going to have to run the smithy and keep the horses shod. Someone is going to have to work in the factories making sure that the army has ammunition. Oh hey, and speaking of WWII: FEMALE PILOTS.

I do embroidery for fun. I knit. I weave. I can do pottery. I’m not bad with power tools. I’m a bit rusty but I know how to shoot a bow. If push comes to shove I can pick up most any blunt object and put a real beat down on someone, even though I haven’t had a lot of self defense training. I know two ways to kill someone with my bare hands. This is just me, Jane Q. Boring and if I’m more interesting than the female companion/love interest of Farmboy: The Chosen, that says a lot about how much you don’t think women are capable of, and your inability as a writer to make something that’s relatable and real. Get your nose out of Tolkien’s rear end and actually talk to some women, find out what the average woman is capable of.

Stuff like this is why my activism is all mixed up in my writing. Representation and normalization of minorities and oppressed groups and people outside the dominant Western narrative. The stories you tell are powerful.

Hey, there’s a reason my blog is called The Pen and the Sword.

I rebogged this once already, but… commentary!

Question mark?

tchy:

I seem to recall a 30 Days of Worldbuilding (or some similar number) going around a while ago, but now I can’t seem to locate it. Does anyone know where I might be able to get the questions for it? Anyone have a link? Feeling up to an archive-diving session? Anything?

Because I have the edges of a new world niggling at the corners of my consciousness, and I’d really like it to exist—but unfortunately I’ve never done any work with a world that wasn’t an alternate earth (at least not anything that I still consider useable today—I made up loads of shit when I was an invincible thirteen year-old and writing wasn’t any real work). This one is decidedly not earth, and I need to get it figured out. So please, link me up if you know what I’m looking for, or, heck, even something similar. Let’s get to it!

I’d be very interested in this as well!

If any of my followers are in the know about this thing tchy speaks of, please share?

madamethursday:

missturdle:

How exciting! Fantasy is so fun! You can do anything you want to your universe, because it’s fantasy - which is really great, because you’ve always wanted cats to talk and everyone else to share your distaste of squash. Plus you could have magic! Or not, you…

Every time I read something lie this it makes me wanna get working on my own book idea. So much in agreement!

When you first start writing stories in the first person, if the stories are made so real that people believe them, the people reading them nearly always think the stories really happened to you. That is natural because while you were making them up you had to make them happen to the person who was telling them. If you do this successfully enough, you make the person who is reading them believe that the things happened to him too. If you can do this you are beginning to get what you are trying for, which is to make something that will become a part of the reader’s experience and a part of his memory. There must be things that he did not notice when he read the story or the novel which, without his knowing it, enter into his memory and experience so that they are a part of his life. This is not easy to do.
Ernest Hemingway (via overtonesringing)