Writing Without Historical and Cultural Inaccuracy or Offense- The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 8

Writing Without Historical and Cultural Inaccuracy or Offense

My first novel has the protagonist searching for the historical truth of the world’s magic system. One of the harsh realities they’ll face is that no matter how much truth you dig up and show to others, there is a comfort zone in the status quo that some find is hard to escape, especially if a group or race of people have worked hard to prove themselves to be capable of living a civilized way through the abandonment of their origins. My protagonist has to face their internalized shame and break away from it through the risk of being demonized by their society. I can easily write about how my character’s risky actions lead to harsh consequences, but for my audience to empathize with them, I need to explore the pain of disconnection, conversion, and misrepresentation. For that, I’ll need to start with historical inaccuracies in general fiction before I dive into horror.

As an African-American living in more contemporary times, I know my losses aren’t as extreme as the losses my ancestors suffered, but unfortunately, the loss continues. There’s a trauma from that past I may never understand, but their history still echoes through the Black Lives Matter movement and the African-American creators today wanting to be seen and heard. My heart is full of the genuine desire to understand many indigenous cultures and capture their views of what they considered divine or supernatural without judgment. As an animist and mystic, I’ve always been drawn by their stories in the stars, the lessons from nature-inspired parables and fables, and the development of shamanic power pre-dating organized religion and colonialism as it has inspired an entire universe inside me I only want to express with gratitude.

We Deserve Better

There’s a consistent theme happening in many facets of our lives at this time: Stop giving away your power. Accountability and autonomy are crucial for everyone right now. You’ve seen for yourself that no matter what kind of “powers” rule over your nation and no matter what other powers you compare them to, there is an incredible lack of consideration, compassion, and mindfulness. The world isn’t completely absent of heartfelt actions and thoughtfulness, we’re just being urged to express those actions on our own and I implore you to start with yourself. Develop your autonomy so when you feel genuinely led to attend to certain responsibilities aligning with your truth, you are more than prepared to hold yourself accountable. Accountability isn’t supposed to be a debilitating pressure that crushes you with blame, but rather a love and responsibility for your life where you address what is and isn’t in your power.

Stop depending on and expecting governing powers to make your life more fulfilled when they won’t even forgive your debts and blatantly ignore your devastating losses. We hold our own power and we deserve better.