Overworrying about a work in progress

A number of years ago I wrote a short story, “Coyote Goes to College”. It was about a generic version of the Coyote trickster who populates the lore of some Native American tribes. I think it’s a good story and pretty funny, but should I publish it? I don’t know. Coyote isn’t a character that I invented, and comes from a culture that I don’t identify with. Input would be appreciated.

Another worry I have is about my novel-in-progress, Padma. The main character differs from me in many ways, but mostly she comes from a racial/cultural background — specifically, she is biracial (half white and half Indian) from India, though she was born in the US and came back at the age of 11, and has little knowledge or experience with her native culture; little enough so that when supernatural entities from Indian mythology show up, she doesn’t recognize them.

I would appreciate as many thoughts and comments as possible. If you could, please comment on this blog entry directly. I’m still on my social media hiatus, and may not see what you have to say if you say it on Twitter or Facebook.


Edited: It was pointed out to me that I misused the Twitter hashtag that I had included earlier. It’s been removed.

6 thoughts on “Overworrying about a work in progress”

  1. I, too, am curious about how to deal with this. Because taken to the extreme, this means that your novels may be populated only with cishet white American males, and mine may only be populated with cishet white American females. So clearly that isn’t the final answer.

  2. Apparently there are posting problems if I put all of this text into one text box….so this is part 1.
    Having looked at the various arguments on the Internet about this topic before, I can only conclude that (a) white people writing The Other is bad and wrong and offensive to PoC, but (b) white people only writing about white people is also bad and wrong and offensive to PoC.

        1. The compromise seems to be: have PoC as secondary characters but write your main characters as white if you are white.

          I hate to say it, but the consequences of publishing stuff on the topics you mentioned are probably worse than the possible benefits.
          (End of comment. Dang blog not allowing long comments.)

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