“For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney partnership reveal just how misleading that myth can be, because John and Paul were so obviously more creative as a pair than as individuals, even if at times they appeared to work in opposition to each other. The lone-genius myth prevents us from grappling with a series of paradoxes about creative pairs: that distance doesn’t impede intimacy, and is often a crucial ingredient of it; that competition and collaboration are often entwined. Only when we explore this terrain can we grasp how such pairs as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy all managed to do such creative work. The essence of their achievements, it turns out, was relational. If that seems far-fetched, it’s because our cultural obsession with the individual has obscured the power of the creative pair.”—
girls being kept out of the sciences and pushed into the humanities; the humanities being valued less in our society than the sciences; and the humanities and sciences being looked at as stark opposites that couldn’t possibly be enjoyed for the same reasons are all problems that need to in some degree be tackled together
Do you have any tips on how to write a character that is the type of person willing to stand up/fight against the prejudiced comments of other characters? (Like you, for example) but in a way that doesn't make it just preaching and doesn't come across as the writer just obnoxiously shoving their beliefs into their book (because I'll probably agree with what that character says)? I've read how it's poor writing and obvious when a writer flat out preaches in their novel
We’ve mentioned several times that when your character does something wrong (bigoted, harmful, insulting, etc), it’s necessary to show that it’s wrong, either by having them confronted on it or in narrative. What we haven’t mentioned very often, though, is how to do that without being preachy or obvious about it. There are plenty of instances where the author skirts the edges of preachy and sometimes loses. I’ve read highly praised books with positions I agree with that still come off that way. Here’s some advice that will hopefully help:
Show consequences. A character being racist is going to hurt someone whether or not they’re aware of it. A man murdered by an anti-hero is going to leave behind someone grieving, even if they’re working for ‘the bad guy.’ Behavior has consequences. Don’t be afraid to show them, either to the character or the reader. A character who does something bad and has no consequence shown is when the reader assumes the writer agrees with what their character did. Don’t let that pass you by.
Keep it real. You don’t have to make up an over the top, horrible event. Both history and the evening news is full of horrible things that happen because of horrible people and beliefs. Draw from reality, not sensationalized problem of the week TV-ified versions of problems. Those exist for cheap entertainment, not to provoke thought. Don’t overload the drama because you think it will sell; small events have just as much of an impact as large ones. (Note: I don’t mean you can’t use other methods of exploring them, like magical realism or interpretations. But don’t rack up the unbelievability of something just to make it a soapbox issue.)
Use the right characters. I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about sci-fi stories of privileged people playing at being oppressed. While this was and still is used to try to show oppressive situations in a different light, it tends to completely overshadow real oppressive situations that people living now would still face. Reversing discrimination of gay people to straight people in fiction, for example, shows jackshit - at the end of the day, gay people are still going to face challenges straight people won’t. Use characters who would face prejudice in these situations. A black person will face discrimination in sci-fi as they would real life - show that, not the ‘aliens racist against a group of mostly white people’ (or the other way around). Showing a disabled person fighting stereotypes is more real than giving a non-disabled person a “disability” to get people to relate. Fuck that shit.
Create strawmen. There are people out there with bigoted, horrible, hateful beliefs. That’s not the same as a strawman character, which would be a character created only to prove your point or belief with by saying or holding positions a real person would not do or have. Representing your ‘bad guys’ as strawman figures is one way to undermine your goal. Again, base yourself in reality, don’t wrap yourself up in things designed solely to make your point - however well-intentioned that point is - to look good.
Randomly punishing characters. A character was homophobic. Quick, have something bad happen to her! That’ll prove homophobia is wrong, right? Well, not really. What about the people who didn’t confront the character about her homophobia? How is something randomly bad happening to a person taking a stand against the bad thing she did? The goal should not be ‘be racist, get hit by a bus’ (it works for comedy and little else), but ‘do a bad thing, show how that thing is bad, have consequence for that bad thing being done.’ This could mean the racist character loses friends, the ableist coworker gets confronted by the boss, the homophobic baker loses business over not wanting to make a cake for a lesbian couple. Or it could mean they go unpunished, but the other characters have to face the results- the friends of racist character are no longer trusted by their POC colleagues, the disabled character has to choose between work and a safe environment, the lesbian couple goes home and cries. This is what people have to face daily, in real life. They’ll have to face it in fiction as well.
Make your ‘villains’ two-dimensional. The villain kicked a puppy for no reason! He called someone a racist word, again for no reason! For real, these things happen and they are done by people, but making your character ‘evil’ with no effort to make sure they are fully developed is worthless. Evil is not a demon from hell wanting to destroy the world ‘because,’ evil is a horrible human being who could murder people without regret because of religion/race/sexuality/etc and in the same breath say they love their family and mean it. Stripping humanity from characters who do evil things takes away meaning. Anyone can be against Satan. How much more real is it to deal with confronting the uncle who takes your character out on fishing trips about his racism?
Sacrifice story and tension for soapboxing. There’s a reason why people dislike this in fiction, no matter how much they agree with it or how right it is. Here’s the thing, your story is still a story, and it’s important that it works as a story. You may have a goal or an ideal, and a good one, but your story must still have to function as a story. A three-page speech about how something is wrong in the middle of a firefight is not going to work. It may take awhile to smooth them together, but it will be worth it.
It’s not easy to avoid being preachy, especially if you care deeply about an issue. You need to take extra care if it’s not an issue you personally face, as it’s much easier to fuck those up. But it is worth it to do it right, and to do it well. Good luck, and don’t be afraid to ask others for feedback and help.
Why is smartness related to blue? In Harry Potter, Ravenclaws are blue. In Divergent, Erudite are blue. Is there something I don’t know about this?
Also, bravery is red? Gryffindor and Dauntless.
Most of the time, blue (especially the light one) is related to calmness, serenity, sometimes intelligence. This might come from the fact that you can think easier and faster when you’re calm.
Also, red is traditionally an attention-getting color associated with boldness and competition (there was at least one study, albeit specious in terms of academic rigor, that suggested wearing the color red correlates with increased competitiveness, winning athletic competitions, and a drive for victory.) But red is generally a bright, bold color that could easily be associated with daring (and, if you consider that red is the color associated with emergency workers, firefighters, etc., bravery by extension.)
Also, blood is red. Aggression can lead to fighting, which can spill blood, so there’s probably also an association there. And since exercise (including sex) can get your heart rate up (which increases blood flow and flushes your cheeks), that probably also strengthens the association of red with boldness, vitality, action, etc.
(Just some thoughts. No research I can point to or anything…)
Vaccines aren't actually necessary. If you live a natural, healthy lifestyle free of chemicals, toxic food additives, and GMOs, your body will take care of diseases itself.
Ah, right, like the way literally millions of people’s bodies “took care of themselves” back when everyone was eating 100% organic non-GMO everything and living totally “naturally.”
Death. The word you’re looking for as the reality behind your little euphemism is mass, often genocidal, pandemic, bodies-piled-in-the-streets for fucks sake look up smallpox or polio some time and see how long it takes you to start sobbing DEATH. With a side of mutilation and life-long disability for the “lucky” ones.
PS: If you really believe that all chemicals in food and medicine are evil and therefore a good excuse not to get yourself and your kids vaccinated, see how long you survive without Dihydrogen Monoxide.
like one of your friends is super obsessed with a thing so whenever you see something about it you’re like “YES THIS THING” but you’re not the one obsessed with it. they are. you know very little about this thing and yet it still excites you because it excites your friend
Why INFPs get confused with INTPs: both live in their heads 95% of the time. The difference being that INFPs are busy trying to string together emotional values and morality and INTPs two sides of a random issue and logical matters. Both are also of course, quiet,…