On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Cultural Values

I need to make a note of this for my seminar with Linnea at RWA Dallas this year. But other cultures will have other values.

For instance, in both Lladrana and Celta there is no shame in nudity, so the people are less self-conscious nude. The Lladranans have public baths and I've used the contrast of Alexa and Marian bathing to good effect. Also, a critiquer for Heart Thief wanted my heroine to be embarrassed when she was caught naked in a pool, but that isn't Celtan culture. She might feel vulnerable, she might feel sexually aware, but she wouldn't be ashamed of her nudity or her body. No discrimination against heavy people in Celta or Lladrana either, or gays. These are my worlds and those are my rules.

There IS discrimination -- not race in Celta since most are white, but I don't think that there would be discrimination since everyone on the planet is descended from the colonists and recognizes that. Furthermore, the human population on Celta is still struggling to prosper on the planet.

Celta's discrimination runs to class and this came up in Heart Dance again. There might be that hoary old theory of "bad blood." This will be a key point if I ever get to write Antenn's story -- the adopted son of Straif and Mitchella Blackthorn, who I plan on having do something that will be quite unpopular, too. Antenn's brother was a murderer.

Also, I think there is a slight religious discrimination. That is the value most people hold in common as important, so if you aren't pagan you aren't quite in the run of society, but, again, your ancestors made the trek, so if your beliefs came with them, they are generally respected.

Lladranans ARE racially discriminatory. I haven't made this a huge issue in the books, but it's obviously there. It isn't a big concern for my women from Earth because they are seen as fascinating and fabulous and exceptions to the rule that foreigners aren't to be trusted. After the war is done (no one believes they aren't going to win the fight, right?) I anticipate the borders to open again, though there aren't any people in the north, and to the east is an escarpment. However, trade will flourish and I see my women helping to prevent racial discrimination. I have tried to give them different names. Fitzwalter is Irish, Harasta is Hungarian (I have a Bohemian ancestor), Torcher is German, Drystan is Anglo-Saxon, but because I wanted a particular meaning for the twins' last name.

Lladranans are fighting a war against the Dark for survival. So another discrimination is added. Those who don't fight, don't believe in the "cause" (good vs. evil), or are betrayers, are regarded by those who do with contempt and/or loathing.

And, again, in Lladrana homosexuality is completely accepted.

May you make your world unique today, or bring a different slant on our own world.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for Faucon getting an Italian lady. Really. I vote for that, Robin.



8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's lotsa water around Italy, I hear. ROTFL.

moon (again)

8:49 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Ah, too late, Moon. Raine is from Connecticut -- Best Haven (fictional, I hope), of French extraction.


10:56 PM  

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