A writer grappling with how to write a novel responsibly while placing it in Incan/Mayan lands received a suggestion from a "College/University" respondent to travel there to research the locality personally. My advice to the stymied author?
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Wow, leave it to a person whose credentials for giving advice are "attended some College/University" to give you such life-changing advice: travel to Mayan/Incan Land where you can learn firsthand how to write ethically while "thriving in context." My advice to College/University? Go back to school and learn how to think things through realistically.
The truth here is twofold. First, as for ethics, approach your subject ethically by being aware that you're a real human being and a cohabitant of the United States of America in the Real World. In other words, don't worry about being politically correct. Do worry about portraying people and their cultures without bias. Treat all people equally, both in your writing and in your life, no matter what their culture is, and you're sure to be a winner. Don't talk down; write up!
Second, as for your book thriving in context, do some research. Travel there if Mr. College/University will pick up the tab, of course. That's considering that you're not averse to the gangland murders and cartel mayhem spreading throughout the land. (Wow, good choice--Mexico!) Otherwise, listen up.
I have an alternative. It's called research.
Don't know how to research? Then either 1.) learn or 2.) set your fantasy culture in Detroit or Pittsburgh or someplace with which you're more familiar. Read More