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Rachel Udin
12-15-2012, 09:05 PM
So Japanese story I made. I asked two people who are Japanese. One did not respond, the other said maybe. (My other Japanese connections are busy...)

So what is the principle when you've asked and there is no one around to check your story?

I've studied Japanese, been to Japan, studied Japanese history, took Japanese class, hung out with Japanese, asked questions before, and studied Japanese culture (beyond anime and manga--believe me). But that still doesn't make me Japanese... and the story is time sensitive. (It's best published in the summer meaning it has six months to publication which is coming up...).

People who have been to Japan, but are not Japanese say it lines up so far... and I haven't done anything slangy because I've researched and I know the origins of the stereotypes. (I'd be Korean, so I understand Asian slurs and stereotypes, and those that are specifically Japanese--though I've gotten a few of them too because ya know Asians all look alike and act all alike... *sighs*.)

So, I've studied my butt off for 10 years... do I submit, or do I continue chasing down people and asking. 'cause these forums aren't exactly yielding helpers and I've asked around a few forums. (Where ARE the PoC writers anyway? Are we really rare?... I guess that's another topic).

fadeaccompli
12-15-2012, 10:13 PM
So Japanese story I made. I asked two people who are Japanese. One did not respond, the other said maybe. (My other Japanese connections are busy...)

So what is the principle when you've asked and there is no one around to check your story?

I've studied Japanese, been to Japan, studied Japanese history, took Japanese class, hung out with Japanese, asked questions before, and studied Japanese culture (beyond anime and manga--believe me). But that still doesn't make me Japanese... and the story is time sensitive. (It's best published in the summer meaning it has six months to publication which is coming up...).

People who have been to Japan, but are not Japanese say it lines up so far... and I haven't done anything slangy because I've researched and I know the origins of the stereotypes. (I'd be Korean, so I understand Asian slurs and stereotypes, and those that are specifically Japanese--though I've gotten a few of them too because ya know Asians all look alike and act all alike... *sighs*.)

So, I've studied my butt off for 10 years... do I submit, or do I continue chasing down people and asking. 'cause these forums aren't exactly yielding helpers and I've asked around a few forums. (Where ARE the PoC writers anyway? Are we really rare?... I guess that's another topic).

It's time critical. You've done your research. You've tried to get more detailed feedback from insiders.

Go ahead and submit.

I mean, be ready to have errors pointed out, and to accept that graciously. But that's going to be true for any book. At a certain point, you have to say, "I have done my best, and it's never perfect, but it's my best," and go for it.

Because frankly, ten years of research means you'll at least be doing better than some recently published books I can think of that seem to have done their research entirely via a quick skim of some Wikipedia articles.

slhuang
12-16-2012, 12:57 AM
It sounds like you've done your research. You're doing this the right way. I say, go ahead and submit.

I write a lot of people not of my ethnicity. I worry a lot about getting them wrong, despite my research. One thing I repeat to myself is that yes, I'm probably going to Fail in some way, and this does not make me a bad human being, as long as I always strive to learn and Fail Better the next time. It sounds like you've been very sensitive to Japanese culture; if someone criticizes an aspect you were ignorant about, then you know what? That's okay. You'll learn from it. There's a difference between a mistake made by a culturally sensitive writer (which it sounds like you are) and an entire work that's wall-to-wall offensive.

If you're really worried about it, one option is to offer to pay a Japanese person to copy edit for Japan-related mistakes. I know a linguist (with the appropriate background) whom I'm going to hire to copy edit the dialogue of one of my characters who has AAVE influences in his speech, because I do not trust myself not to make offensive mistakes. A paying offer might make the editor you want come out of the woodwork. :)

(And I'm a POC writer, too. Maybe we should do a roll call! ;) )

Kim Fierce
01-01-2013, 01:50 AM
I think you should go for it, too. It sounds like you've done your best, and whoever accepts the story will also work with you. (I'm white, but all my stories feature diverse characters--mostly white and black, as well as GLBT, though my upcoming story features a future where most people would be classified multi-racial by our standards.)