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Diversity Guideline by Steerpike

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Steerpike, May 12, 2015.

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  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    **Everyone, please read this**

    Diversity issues, issues of race, gender, sexuality, and so on, are important to the human condition, and as such they have a valid, important place across the entire body of human arts. That includes fantasy literature. We want to see these discussions continue on Mythic Scribes, but it is important that the members of this site be able to have those discussions in a way that respectful of the issues, of other members, and reflect well on the site and all of us.

    To that end, please do not escalate tension or animosity in threads like this. If you disagree with an opinion, find a way to do it without profanity, insults, condescension, or attacks on other members. Do it without characterizing the other member, or putting words in their mouth. There have been points across all of these types of threads, over the years I've been here, where the discussion goes from one where people are at odds, but no one is calling names, using profanity, or otherwise attacking members, to a post or two that escalates the thread to a point where people are doing just that.

    Do not be the person to escalate the thread. It doesn't lead to the kind of discourse we want and does not comport with the rules of the forum. I realize these issues touch on certain emotions in some people a lot more than others, and that's perfectly understandable, but at the end of the day we want to keep a certain level of professionalism and congeniality on these forums. If a thread is bothering you enough that you don't feel able to do that, please step away from the thread. If it is something that needs to be brought to a moderator's attention, please PM one of us.

    Thank you all, in advance, for working to keep these discussions on an even keel so that we can still have them in these forums.
     
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Due to the volume of diversity threads and the importance of the issue, I've taken the liberty of stickying Steerpike's guideline.

    * * *

    While I'm at it, I'll add my two cents:

    Writing diverse characters is a challenge, but I dare say it's a worthy one. There are plenty of readers out there who want characters that are like themselves. It doesn't mean you go out of your way to write characters that aren't white, straight and male. But if you happen to write a main character who is a lesbian, a lesbian reader may one day surprise you with feedback like, "I wish I could be like her."

    I've met published authors who've written main characters who fit into underrepresented demographics. Not only are readers who share ethnicity with the characters grateful to read someone like "them," but as a straight, white male, I find diversity refreshing!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I'd just like to add that this is a topic I'm pretty passionate about. As a moderator, I never want to see these discussions go off the rails or result in name-calling or hurt feelings. We want this to be a topic that can be discussed honestly and frequently since it's important to so many people. But Mythic Scribes prides itself on being a community that feels safe and is devoid of the usual venom of other places on the internet. We want it to stay that way.

    As a fan, I love to see these discussions because it shows us how varied our backgrounds can really be. How each of our experiences (in life and reading and writing) are all different. No matter what, we're here united under one common love: fantasy writing. So I just want everyone to keep in mind that these discussions are usually based on ways to improve our writing and evolve as writers. Or to evolve as a genre. If someone disagrees with you about that, that's great. Discuss it. But the key is to not get frustrated because someone doesn't agree with you. Threads where everyone agrees with each other die quick deaths. Threads with passionate discussion and different viewpoints are encouraged. Just be aware that your words may come across harsher via the internet than you may intend. Everyone has different thresholds.

    So yeah. Keep the discussions going. And keep loving fantasy.
     
  4. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    All are welcome here.

    Something to ponder before anyone lashes out at another for being different or even something as trivial as a view that differs from one's own.


    Tis true my form is something odd,
    But blaming me is blaming God;
    Could I create myself anew
    I would not fail in pleasing you.

    If I could reach from pole to pole
    Or grasp the ocean with a span,
    I would be measured by the soul;
    The mind’s the standard of the man.

    —poem used by Joseph Merrick to end his letters, adapted from “False Greatness” by Isaac Watts
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
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