Day 69

Spoiler Alert! May contain planning-stage plot/character details or other spoilers!

02 Mar 2016

Contains affiliate links. So I came across this article about Grace Dove, a Northern BC Shuswap (First Nations) actress currently in the news for playing DiCaprio’s wife in The Revenant .

Early on in the development of this story, I wanted Cole to be of First Nations descent, and Grace Dove would make a great model, but…thing is, the reasons I had for doing that aren’t really still in play and will probably make their way into a separate book, plus I’m worried about whether having people of colour in my books is just another way of abusing white privilege instead of empowering diverse audiences, plus the way I’ve written Cole and structured the story plays up this idea of paleness/whiteness, and I’m just not really sure how to write a different appearance…

How do you write non-white skin tones without being awkward/racist/confusing?

But it would be authentic to a Vancouver-future west-coast city to have mixed races with influence from European, Asian, Native etc. - in fact, based on the current trajectory, the weirdest, least-likely future would have maintained clear racial divisions. There’s so many interracial marriage/births that it’s got to outpace immigration and ethnic purity at some point.

So long story short, I guess the Tower papers over the inevitable ethnic diversity with the burka-style uniforms, and I’ll just have to figure out how to write different skin tones!

I like the idea of Maria staying blazingly blonde and white, though that makes it harder to write the Ravels, since I had pictured them as somewhat Asian…

Right now Itri is kind of a south/eastern European/middle eastern mix, darker skin… I keep going back and forth between full on black, even brown, or a mixed, olive/tanned type skin.

I’d like greater visual diversity between him and Cole, which is part of why I described her as very pale at the beginning (the other part being that I’m not sure how else to write her…), but given that I want him to have kind of broad, not Hollywood-clean features (is swarthy pejorative?), yeah…

It’s like there’s a type of visual binary in writing. You have sharp-cut, pale/bright looks = good, vs. ‘other-ness’, and I want to write multiple types of distinctive ‘other’ in roles ranging from hero to villain, but I feel like I’m lacking the tools for it. Maybe I’m just not that observant. So for the rewrites, I think I’ll try to track down visual models, or at least a ‘look-book’ composite of models to improve the descriptiveness. There have been enough heroines with red/blonde curly hair, underdeveloped bodies and green/blue eyes, and there have certainly been enough tall, defined, sharp-jawed heroes to represent those looks.

I’ll do my best to write diverse looks, abilities and body types so that we can all have someone to identify with. Speaking of which, I need to circle back and take another look at Lily’s descriptions vs. Sam and Morris2’s for consistency. It could be cute if she were half Asian - someone for my future niece/nephew to identify with? Although, it’s not like I’d let him/her read this at age 7 anyways, so maybe not…

In other news, had a decent planning & research session yesterday. Starting to build out a promo plan and get an idea of what kind of effort needs to go into that (hint: too much!) - It’s tempting to just dive right in, but probably not advisable.

So many questions that need answering, not least of which is: what to call this? Pseudonym vs. real name? Cute/catchy/descriptive? How much content to prepare ahead? What kind of targets are realistic vs. necessary? What tools/platforms/languages? What on earth am I going to do for graphics?? Gah!


Start time: 10:15 am

Location: couch/living room

Drinking: Los Sietos Mezcal

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