Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter. I’m listening, I’m learning, and I’m trying to do better.
2020 has been an apocalyptic year between covid-19, George Floyd’s murder, and the resulting fed up protests. Last week I was mired in despair, complicit in my silence, and deeply aware—and ashamed—of my white privilege.
I’ve read Black authors, Indigenous authors, and authors of other cultural backgrounds. I’ve taken a few Writing the Other courses. I’ve long thought that Canada’s greatest shame was our treatment of Indigenous peoples, but I hadn’t realized the hateful legacy of Canada’s treatment of Black people. I’m deeply grateful to the Black writers who’ve published insightful articles in the Canadian media during the last week (I’ll share some of them on Thursday and in ensuing weeks).
I have hope, though, because all four officers involved in George Floyd’s murder have been charged, even though it took some time to happen. I have hope because of all the protests, not only across the US, but also across Canada and all over the world, in which white and black protestors have stood, or knelt, side by side, demanding change.
I understand it is only a beginning and that we cannot ease the pressure on our elected officials until true and lasting change occurs. But I have hope.
Now, onto the informal writerly learnings.
Therese Walsh: the ourstory of now (BLM). Don Maass: the quest in the quest (BLM). Jael McHenry is getting comfortable with failure. Writer Unboxed
David Chariandy in conversation with Lawrence Hill.
K.M. Weiland shares 11 exercises to enhance your visual storytelling skills. Helping Writers Become Authors
Jami Gold explains the point of foreshadowing. Later in the week, she suggests how to format unusual dialogue.
Jeanette the Writer: even MS Word says two spaces after a period is an error. Gabriela Pereira: this needs to be said (BLM). DIY MFA
Janice Hardy explains why you should tighten your novel’s narrative focus. Fiction University
Kristen Lamb says, unforgettable characters are fashioned from damaged pieces.
Michelle Barker warns of the dangers of anecdotal writing. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci discusses the worst friendship tropes in fiction (starting at 3:22).
Mira Singer analyzes three genre-defining books with underutilized tropes. Then, Oren Ashkenazi examines six characters with poorly handled arcs. Mythcreants
Chi Luu: the linguistic case for shit hitting the fan. JSTOR
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you were able to find something to support your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well and stay safe. Whatever your lane (education, support, donate, protest) become part of the solution. And vote with your conscience. We need to put pressure on our politicians to make change stick.