A monthly contest that provides ONE LUCKY MG or YA WRITER with feedback on their opening 400 WORDS! As part of our ongoing mission to support writers, we’ll give a MG or YA writer feedback on their work from four of The Winged Pen’s contributors.
Q: Sounds exciting! How do I enter?
To enter, simply comment at the bottom of this post! At 4pm (EST) on the 5th of June, one winner will be randomly drawn from the Triwizard Cup. The winner will be notified and given 24 hours to submit his or her opening 400 WORDS. On the fourteenth of the month, the winner’s words, along with the title and genre of the work, will be posted to our blog with feedback from four of our members. Still have questions? See our Four on 400 page for additional details.
If you’re not sure how to leave a comment, check our FAQ page!
Want a chance to win an extra entry? Go to ourFacebook pageand find our post about the June Four on 400 contest. Then like and/or share our post. While you’re there, like our Facebook page if you haven’t already!
Remember, the contest window is only open until 4pm EST on June 5th, so don’t wait––enter now! Good Luck!
This month, The Winged Pen’s own Michelle Leonard and Julie Artz were lucky enough to attend Madcap Retreats‘ Writing Cross-Culturally Workshop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Not only was it a blast to finally meet up face-to-face, but the long weekend was packed with great information and resources. We’d like to share a peek at what we learned with our readers.
We were surrounded by many talented writers of various backgrounds and made many new friends for life. The faculty (pictured below) included Leigh Bardugo, Daniel José Older, Nicola Yoon, Adi Alsaid, Danielle Clayton, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Justina Ireland, Julie Murphy, and Natalie Parker.Dhonielle Clayton
Your characters should have several layers of description that comes through in your story.
To get past good vs evil, to a more nuanced view of conflict, you have to understand the power dynamics of the characters in your story world.
Some examples of types of power:
Institutional power (posse of armed men)
Magic – the physicialisation of power
The crisis of your book must be determined before you develop your character. The crisis can be anything from your character “needs a hug” to “he’s gonna die.” Ultimately, all stories are about who has the power and how it’s used. Check out DJ’s Buzzfeed article about writing about “other” characters.
Microaggressions are indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group. They are often transparent to you, but not to others. Microagressions remind outgroups that they are outside the norm or social standard.
Example: A store owner following a customer of color around the store.
How do you prevent microaggressions?
Write with savage empathy by seeing the character like an individual.
Write for your entire audience.
Consider how people from outgroups will consider your depictions.
Acknowledge your blind spots and get help from others in writing characters unlike you.
Metanarratives are an overarching account or interpretation of events and circumstances that provides a pattern or structure for people’s beliefs and gives meaning to their experiences. Metanarratives are repeated until they seem like facts, but rarely reflect reality or what we want for future generations.
Basic western fantasy coding
Good: white, European Christian, pure
Evil: black, non-European, non-Christian
This comes from history
Medieval recreation of West v East (greeks v Persians) by Christian historians
Because this is the default, you must actively work against this metanarrative.
Cultural appropriation is adopting or using the elements of one (usually minority) culture by members of another (usually dominant) culture. Often the original meaning of those elements is lost or distorted, and this is disrespectful and oftentimes harmful to the members of the original culture.
The best part of our weekend–all the amazing friends we made! ❤️
We hope you’ll enjoy a few blogs from our new writing friends so you can see different takeaways from the MadCap Writing Cross-Culturally Retreat. Please feel free to share any resources or questions you have for writing cross-culturally in the comments!
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