Writing Advice: Non-POC writing POC culture (high fantasy)

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by PotteryWalrus, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    I... kinda need a second opinion, guys.

    A while back, I started on a first-draft novel with the working title of 'Foxbones', which involved a lot of mixed-culture high fantasy, and a plot involving a second-son prince looking for his wastrel heir of a brother, and accumulating a ragtag band of friends on the way.

    At the time, when I wrote most of the stuff I this evening dug up and started to move to a Scivener project file, I was enamoured with japanese mythos with a little korean thrown in for flavour - and the number of fox characters, as well as a couple of bakeneko one of which is the main character's best friend reflects this. However.

    I've recently wanted to start throwing in other cultures as influences - mainly changing the royal family from asian-influenced to african, as well as drying up the surrounding country and maybe tossing a few hyena and painted dogs in, because I love them so - but I am hyper-aware that I am white as soap and I don't want to do it wrong.

    As mentioned in a holler closet post, I am often guilt-stricken at all the horrible things white people have done, cultural appropriation among them, and after living on tumblr for so long I find it difficult to start even on research into african cultures without my brain going 'YOU HAVE TO HUNT DOWN EVER DETAIL ON X TRIBE AND INCORPERATE IT SOMEHOW OR ELSE YOU'RE BEING A TERRIBLE PERSON.'

    On the other hand, my indulgent side just wants to fuck it and make a society of dark-skinned royal samurai. Am I allowed to do that?

    TL;DR - I love melting-pot cultures and mixing ideas from IRL mythologies and ethnicities, but as a white person whose only call to interesting lineage is some czech jewish blood on my maternal grandfather's side, I don't know what's okay for me to take from any more.
  2. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    Maybe plop this into the "Writing what you don't know" thread - many people have that thread on watch
  3. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    Thanks, I will do :)
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