I've been away for awhile due to OctoberHell and illness and I'll probably be away a bit longer because of NaNoWriMo. It's official, virtually set in stone: I'll definitely be writing a blasian novel. Though I'm positive I'll be able to hammer out the 50,000 words/175-pages required, the content is still unclear. There are still a few odds and ends to clear up.
I discovered that even contemplating bringing together a southern Black-American female with strong African roots and an Ainu-Japanese male was sending me into intriguing territory. Suddenly, it has become a race to somehow cobble together everything I know about us and them. It's overwhelming because no matter how often Black-Americans are portrayed as not having culture or traditions, it simply isn't true. Not only do we still have links to our African heritage, we have that which we forged ourselves to avoid blanket assimilation.
The Ainu are in the same situation although it is not "color" that sets them apart. To the blind eye (lots of Japanese) they appear to be just like any other Nihonjin, but nothing could be farther from the truth. They suffer mightily for simply existing. As such, most live in fear that they'll be exposed and treated accordingly. Others proudly proclaim their heritage and willingly sacrifice what little they have to be recognized as human beings. Racism might be more subtle here, but the demoralizing psychological effects are exactly the same. The current government is talking about issuing commercial subsidies to the Ainu. Something sinister is amiss...
Sometimes when authors attempt to skirt stereotypes and they write the characters "just like everybody else," I can't distinguish them from "white" characters. For me, the distinction is imperative and therein lies the problem. What might be a small part of my reality might be perceived as a stereotype. This can't be helped as I can't afford to care about this or that set of toes. The story must be told with as much element of truth/reality as possible.
After coming to terms with this, I realized that I don't want to write a fictional story about race. I don't want racism or the racists themselves to take center stage in this tale. Instead, I want to write a story where a Black woman and the man she loves, the Asian man, wins!!! This doesn't mean I'll avoid race as it will take a profound knowledge of self (including ancestry, culture, traditions and the supernatural) to help these two characters overcome the harsh realities they will face.
You'd think, I'd be ready after that. Nope. With three characters vying for attention (the two protagonists and the antagonist), it's been tough to bring the couple together. For my purposes, I need them drawn to a certain place and time. What happens between them must be inevitable -- destined. Even I want romance. Good heavens. It would be impossible for me to write anything without nookie and true lovin'.
Perhaps my greatest fear is everything feeling forced, especially in the romance department. Basically, my husband and I accepted each other as fellow human beings the day we met; thus, when he finally declared his feelings, everything was set except for the date. A day later, that was settled, too. He tried for a date that backfired. Hahaha
Until I write, even I won't know the specifics; however, it'll probably a suspense-thriller-romance-mystery-speculative-supernatural thingy. As usual, I've said nothing of importance; however, I'm proud to be making an active contribution to this cause.