|by Ryan Pouncy, via Unsplash|
|"Mirror Mirror On The Wall"|
by Stella Yodo
(I'm looking at you, Twilight movie.)
- Determine your purpose. Does the cultural setting add to the work, or does it seem superfluous? Could the work succeed equally well if it used a different cultural setting?
- Don't distort or omit history.
- Avoid stereotypes.
- Don't use loaded words like "savage," "primitive," "lazy," etc.
- Characters and their lifestyles should be genuine and complex, not oversimplified.
- Dialogue should accurately represent oral tradition. (Anyone who has heard me rant about badly written Southern dialects knows how insane this makes me.)
- Standards of success: Characters should ultimately succeed on their own, not through the divine intervention of a protector character, and especially not a protector from a dominant group.
- Talk to people. Don't know anyone from the culture? Contact your local university's exchange student program. Participate in online forums. Read, read and read some more. Make new friends. Ask them to beta.*