Starvation and Books that like to Steal: Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, sex, and another thing…
Because I just went for a twelve mile run and refuse to eat until my dear lover wakes up, my empty stomach is too distracting to get any book-editing done till after I’ve eaten. In the meantime, articles on The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, and other book-related posts I’ve been reading.
I worry a lot about appropriation, because I write. And I try to write deep and complex and specific. I write about aliens, I write about earth goddess; I have characters who kill people, characters who are men who love other men and–naturally–have sex with other men, characters androgynous and aquatic with blue-silver skin, characters who are more swamp than human.
Keeping all this in mind, I obviously don’t just ‘write what I know.’ Strictly following that rule is an act of stupidity. I’m a writer, I’m a liar. I’m going to write what I like. But. I’m going to do it with care. And that means authenticity. It means specifics. It means research and heart, a lucid mind and sensitivity. Which is why I worry about appropriation. Taking someone else’s beloved, or painful or–or just heartclose experiences and basically raping them is not okay. And needless to say, I don’t want to do that. But, also needless to say, no matter how hard I try, I probably will.
So what to do? Write. Write. Write. Research. Talk, interact. Absorb. Observe. BE. Be human.
Yes, I’ll screw up. But hel, I was born, I exist. Screwing up is a way of life.
One way I try to minimize the screw-ups is by reading. By understanding the art I enjoy and, simultaneously opening my eyes to its flaws:
[Take note: I don't strictly agree with everything said in the following. Accord is not my purpose.]
These articles are about Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. About how she’s basically emptiness shelled in badass. I like The Hunger Games. I grew up reading Hatchet (and the million books that followed thereafter) and Far North, My Side of the Mountain, Hungry for Home, Julie of the Wolves and essentially any book that involved trees and killing/wildcrafting to fill your belly. Add in wolves and I was a very happy, feral child indeed. The Hunger Games is all this (minus the wolves–no, the mutts don’t count), plus dystopia, another favorite thing of mine. But it still has its problems.
Another good article about The Hunger Games. This one, though, discusses not how screwed-up its characters are, but rather, its fans.
I like A Song of Ice and Fire, but we have our troubles, that series and I. This article touches upon some of them.
Also, an article about writing sex and what you DON’T know–Queering SFF: Writing Sex–To Do or Not To Do?
And, finally, just how much is Smaug’s treasure-hoard REALLY worth?
Below, you’ll find two of my favorite comments (by the same guy):