About writing, about representation, about insecurity..?
OK here goes.
As some of you may (or maybe not) know, I’m currently writing a sci-fi comic called Amariah. The main themes build around communication - and especially miscommunication - in the age of the future interwebs when basically everything about you is on display online. Some other important themes are privacy (and struggling to maintain it), prejudice and religion.
Now, writing a story like that has been super interesting! I’ve done a lot of research, learned a TON about things that I’ve never known much about like HOW THE INTERNET ACTUALLY WORKS and HOW THE CHANGING CLIMATE AFFECTS PESTS, AND WHICH PLANTS AND TREES WILL GO EXTINCT FIRST BECAUSE OF THEM (I didn’t even need to know that, I was drawing a forest and started to think about what my backyard forest would hypothetically look like in 100-200 years.. luckily my mom used to work in plant disease&pest control before she became a florist, so she was able to answer some of my questions)… Anyhoo. The point is, I spend a lot of energy thinking about concept&character design :D.
I’ve also tried to make my characters versatile&relatable, but in order to do so I need to be able to completely understand my characters, their background and motives.
Since I’m writing about miscommunication, my comic’s cast is an ethnic melting pot with characters of various educational and financial backgrounds. I’ve tried to build a better understanding of different backgrounds based on all the people I’ve met in various art communities, or just random encounters, or my travels (lots of backpacking and couchsurfing, semester in America and so on) and by reading up & watching a lot of youtube content on things I didn’t quite understand, like economics or what it feels like to be spiritual - looking mostly into christianity and islam.
But I only have my personal point of view to write from. I want to see better representation of females and of PoC in media, but I’m kinda afraid of writing something like that myself… I’ve met/befriended some awesomely inspirational people of different backgrounds from all over the world, likes of whom I’d want to see more in books and TV and who have been a huge influence to my writing….But still, I fear it’ll be yet another failed attempt in versatile representation.
Because you know, I’m a cis female, I’m straight, I’m Finnish, my complexion is extremely pale. I’m privileged, and what I’ve gathered from tumblr, I should be very careful with writing characters whose culture, ethnicity or religion I don’t share.
But I’m passionate about doing research, I’m observant and very keen on being a good storyteller, both in my everyday life and interaction, as well as with my art&comics. That means that I want to look at everything from multiple angles and understand the reasong why people do what they do and think what they think. I want to do my best not to seem prejudiced or ignorant.
Umm, I was supposed to ask if people would like to share their stories of SOMETHING, but I’m not sure what to ask exactly, and from whom, sooooo I’m just gonna leave this here. (I’m thinking it’d be awesome to have a writing partner on this, someone with a completely different view on life than mine, but I don’t think I’d even know where to start.)
Umm. Feel free to reply in here or my ask box or your own blog, I’d like to hear your thoughts.