plot relevant

Bad Representation vs Tokenism vs Diversity just existing without justification like in the real world

Many authors can relate to the frustrating accusations of their characters and settings simply being the way they are for “diversity points” and writers are often scared of adding diversity out of fear of it being received poorly as a gimmick. Why does this situation exist?

Bad representation and gratuitous diversity are not the same thing and have to be addressed separately. The first one is a legitimate fear; the second one is exaggerated and has the dangerous potential to shut down legitimate representation. There’s so much diversity that you don’t even notice it in real life.

You go shopping in a Korean and Black neighborhood, get directions from some Desi folks, hop on to a bus and sit behind the guy in the wheelchair lift. When you come home to crack open a book (after shopping in that same neighborhood and riding on that same bus), does seeing diverse characters make you or someone you know cry, “WAIT A MINUTE NOW. I AM THE GRAND WIZARD. I SAY THIS IS TOO DIVERSE?"  

What is representation that ends up being harmful instead of supporting diversity?

“I need a tough drug dealer ex-boyfriend for my MC to be scared of. I know! I’ll make him Black and/or Latino.”

“My MC is oppressed by her parents who want her to get married, have babies, and not major in anything that would threaten a man’s ego, when she’d rather marry a girl and become a physicist. I know! I’ll make her Muslim, Hindu, or an Orthodox Jew.”

“My MC is very sexually open and adventurous. I know! I’ll make her Latina because that sounds sexy.”

“My MC has an older female boss who yells at him all the time, who he’s scared of. I know! I’ll make her East Asian.”

When choosing a character’s ethnicity, if your logic flows like this – you have to work harder to free yourself from the white supremacist myths that permeate our everyday life.

This is not the same as “gratuitous” diversity.

People have a way of accusing diversity that doesn’t seem plot-relevant of being “gratuitous”, but a character doesn’t need a plot reason to be Muslim, Jewish, Black, Latina, in a wheelchair, trans, or anything else.

If you have a witness in a trial, and she wheels herself into the witness box instead of walking, you don’t have to sit there justifying it. It doesn’t have to mean anything. If you walk into a coffee house and ask directions from a cute barista in a headscarf, you don’t have to work her ethnoreligion into the plot for that to be “allowed.”

Now, if you have actual significant characters who are diverse – and you should! – their identities should be incorporated into their characterization and not feel like they’re wearing a series of nametags. There are plenty of ways you can do this – giving them names common to a group, mentioning a Black character’s specific natural hairstyle, having them endure a microaggression, having a trans character experiment with presentation, having a gay or bi person mention a partner or a celebrity crush. You can also just say “He introduced me to a tall East Asian man wearing a polo shirt” or “the new doctor was a Black woman with her hair in twists and glasses that looked like they could stop a bullet” and just leave it there, since that’s referencing a visible trait; if that looks pasted on or artificial to you, you may have unexamined prejudices, which is normal, but something to work on.

Remember that if you’re not in a group, your meter for determining whether or not diversity is “forced” is going to be unreliable. Don’t assume that other writers whose works are diverse are trying to coast on diversity stats or that the diversity in their books is automatically unrealistic and forced just because it’s more diverse than the media you usually consume. The real world IS diverse and lots of people get erased by the way mainstream fiction is structured, most of all being people who are marginalized in multiple ways at once.


Thoughts on Black Panther

*no spoilers*

  • First things first Killmonger is 100000% valid and i love him even though he was wrong in his actions
  • The black female representation in this movie was A M A Z I N G and so so refreshing after a decade of nonsense from Marvel
  • Like each female character was fresh and dynamic and relatable and just fantastic I could talk all day about how much I loved each one
  • Okoye is one of my all time favorite Marvel characters, almost above Bruce which is saying A LOT
  • The visual affects were so outstanding and detail oriented and specific like damn
  • The clothing department deserves 9000 awards
  • SO excited to see how some of these things play into Infinity War cause I have some ideas and curious to see if I’m right 
  • #ProtectShuriAtAllCosts 
  • Soundtrack slapped so hard I downloaded it 8 times 
    • sidenote if you haven’t listened to Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther album than what??? are you???? doing????
  • How many times can I just say this whole movie was pure cinematic gold and you need to stop reading this and buy tickets right now
  • The overall message and plot were so relevant and so powerful, especially for black people in America, I truly urge every black person to see this movie even if they aren’t a marvel fan
  • Like just to see someone voicing some of the own angry thoughts I’ve had was both shocking and satisfying 
  • Chadwick Boseman had such good chemistry with every actor, which just made the overall film that much more enjoyable cause you can see why people treat him the way they do 
    • Especially Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright 
  • Killmonger had suuuuuch amazing lines, he is truly a wonderful character
  • Ending scenes (multiple! don’t leave after the first one!) were very interesting. Doesn’t directly set up things for Infinity War but I can definitely see where they are going with this 
    • *not really a spoiler but just my own thoughts* I think Thanos is going to start his destruction in Wakanda because of the vibranium??? And I think the thing that give the Black Panther his powers have to do with an Infinity Stone????
  • Please see this movie. Multiple times. 100 times. Buy out the theater. I’m getting a tattoo of the Black Panther symbol. 

what I really love about Fran Fine as a character is that in any other show she would be the comic relief, a two-dimensional bit character who makes occasional appearances and has zero character growth or plot relevance (kinda like Janice from Friends tbh).

But in The Nanny, she is the heroine! A brassy, bold, Jewish girl with a loud voice, working-class accent, and “tacky” clothes. And she always stays true to her roots, never abandoning her family or toning down her look to be more accepted with the uppercrust. Maxwell is the one who lets her into his life and changes his staid, buttoned-up traditional ways after falling in love with the nanny. She is not an MPDG either, the show focuses on her journey and her growth. 

That is really beautiful to me.

Get rid of your dialogue tags, not just “said”.

I see everywhere, “don’t use ‘said’ use _____!”, “100 words to use instead of ‘said’!”, etc. This needs to stop. First of all, do you know why “said” is used so often? Because it’s easy to ignore, when you’re reading at 300 words per minute, skipping over “said” is a lot easier than “inquired” or “demanded” or any other annoying verb.

I’m not saying you should use “said”, I’m saying you shouldn’t use any of it.

One argument against “said” is that it doesn’t give details about the speakers state of mind. 

“Good morning.” A said.

“Good morning.” B said.

“Good morning.” C said.

But tell me, do you honestly think this is better?

“Good morning.” A yelled.

“Good morning.” B shuddered.

“Good morning” C muttered. 

All of these can be misunderstood, is A angry? Is A deaf? Is B cold? Is B afraid of A?

Don’t get me started on adverbs. No. Is this better?

“Good morning.” A yelled angrily.

“Good morning.” B shuddered fearfully.

“Good morning.” C muttered distractedly.

It all sounds abhorrent! All three of the above examples don’t follow the Show, Don’t Tell. Don’t tell your readers characters emotions, show them through actions and imagery. 

A had a nasty scowl on his face, his eyes glazed over with fury. “Good morning.” His roar echoed through the room, shaking with wrath.

B flinched. His eyes were wide, like a deer caught in headlights. He meekly opened his mouth, “Good morning” his voice had a nervous tremor and his eyes were glued to the floor. 

C was flipping through his phone, not aware of the tension in the room. “Good morning.” His eyes never wavered from the screen, displaying much more interesting things. 

Of course there are exceptions. There are always exceptions, but next time you find yourself using said, don’t replace it with a longer, fancier word. Describe the character, how do they look when they’re saying it? How do they sound? What are they doing? Are they saying or doing anything plot relevant? No? Make them. There’s nothing I hate more than small talk in literature, if they’re not talking about something important, make them do something important. 

someone in the tags said they liked the way I draw Rand’s hair, and I was like !!!! yes, that’s the thing I’m super proud of!

should i use it as my new icon?…

anonymous asked:


Anonymous said: Do you guys have any family or relatives? §
Anonymous said:  Who’s mistake, bon bon?

“I don’t see why any of you would care about this kind of informations.”

“Memories and relatives? They’re just a waste of time.”

anonymous asked:

What do you think about NISAmerica's localization of Ouma's lines in general, especially in chapter 5?

Both of these questions deal with pretty much the same issue, so I’ll be answering them both together. Also, Ouma’s localization in particular is something I’ve been wanting to discuss ever since I got to about midway through Chapter 4 in particular, so now that I’m finally finished playing the localization in general, I’m glad to have a chance to talk about it specifically. I’ll be saving my thoughts on the rest of the localization for other posts, but for this one in particular, I really do want to talk about what happened to Ouma’s characterization in particular.

First and foremost, I want to say: these are my personal thoughts on the matter. I’m not here to bash on other people’s translation work, moreso with the amount of effort and detail that’s required for translation. Some of the errors that occurred throughout the course of the localization were not, in fact, due to any one translator but were instead the natural result of what happens when you have four translators working on different characters—that is to say, a simple lack of context and communication. Several lines were drastically mistranslated simply because the translators didn’t know what the character immediately beforehand had said, and this caused some confusion in the process.

However, it is a fact that much of Ouma’s characterization, particularly in Chapter 5, suffered as a result of this localization and the translation choices that were taken. In fact, some of the most important, plot-relevant scenes concerning Ouma were translated in a way that I believe makes it much more difficult for people who have only played the localization (and therefore had no access to the original lines) to understand his motivations, his thought process, or his character in general.

This entire post is going to be very, very long, namely because I tried to go in-depth and double-check all the original Japanese text before writing. I’ve bolded some of the points I felt were most pivotal to what the localization messed up. Huge spoilers for the whole game are under the read more, so be careful if you’re trying to stay spoiler-free!

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